i've been counting down since last Dec 26 ... are you ready? me neither!!

Monday, March 31, 2008

hellos and see ya laters

the last week has been chuck-full of "hi"s and "not-goodbye-see-ya-later"s! it all started with my mission trainer (first companion) Michelle Ryan - she married Michael Jordan {not the basketball star ... just this short, darling, white kid} who served in florida and lived with Andy for several months - i know ... small world!! they were in town for Michelle's grandma's funeral and they brought their 3 boys. the youngest was 10 days old when we met him on Easter! they are a darling family and promised to come back for a real visit soon!!
then came my mission buddy Corey Hughes and his family - they were taking a long vacation and spent 2 nights with us! they arrived on the 26th around 2:30 and hung out with us the rest of the day! we had that yummy dinner i posted earlier and then wednesday they spent the day in Seattle! that night we had Julie (Sillito) Tegeder and her family over for dessert and hangin' out - chatting up the mission days! it was SO fun to have everyone together ... the kids had fun playing and i LOVE having company! it gives me just the right incentive to get the house cleaned and tidy ... as well as i just love to have people here!!
then we had to say 'see ya later' to our good friends the Conlin's ... they moved away to Colorado Springs. we've been kindred spirits, walking buddies, and friends for quite some time and it was hard to see them go! they promised to be back for a visit in july-ish ... so we're looking forward to that! we sure do miss them already!
in short these past few days have been fun-filled and heart-breaking all rolled into one! we look forward to having our friends come back ... and Corey made the mistake of telling Abi that he'd help her build an igloo if we went to visit them next winter! why is that a mistake, you ask? Abi is like an elephant - she NEVER forgets anything! so we'll be seeing the Hughes family in the snow next winter!
as for our other friends that live far away - our door is always open or we'll give you the code to our garage ... just PLEASE come for a visit!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

yummy dinner again!

Prep Time:25 min
Total Time:32 min (exactly ... wink)
Makes:4 servings, two topped potatoes each (i could only eat 1 and a half ... )
8 small new potatoes (3/4 lb.), about 1-1/2 inches in diameter
1/2 cup water
4 slices OSCAR MAYER Center Cut Bacon (i used alberstons bacon that i had in the freezer!)
2 Tbsp. KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing (or albertsons brand zesty italian - and we used more like 4 tbsp.)
1/2 cup KRAFT Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese (i have tillamook medium cheddar)
PLACE potatoes and water in 2-qt. microwaveable dish. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 10 min. or until potatoes are tender. Let stand 5 min. Meanwhile, cook bacon in large nonstick skillet on medium heat 8 to 10 min. or until crisp, turning frequently. Drain on paper towels.
DRAIN potatoes; place on work surface. Press each potato with bottom of small bowl or saucer to flatten to 1/2-inch thickness. (we scored the sides so they would smash nicely)
HEAT dressing in skillet on medium heat. Add potatoes (face down ... so that the good side gets browned first so it looks nice); cook 4 min. or until bottoms are golden brown. Meanwhile, crumble bacon. Turn potatoes over; sprinkle evenly with cheese and bacon. Cover skillet with lid. Cook an additional 2 min. or until cheese is melted.

we topped them with a small dollop of sour cream - SO yummy!

Prep Time:5 min
Total Time:25 min (no joke!)
Makes:4 servings, one sandwich each (i doubled it and we had only a small bit left over - we had 4 adults and 6 kids - mind you my 4 ate less than half the amount that one of the other 2 kids ate.)
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs (we used breasts - we prefer white meat and that's what i had!)
1 onion, sliced (i didn't have one ... it still tasted good!)
1/2 cup KRAFT Original Barbecue Sauce (i had hunts brand ... )
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 French bread baguette, 16 to 20-inches long (about 10 oz.) (i had stadium rolls - those costco hotdog buns - we toasted them in the oven and for the kids we just toasted bread!)
4 KRAFT Singles (or what ever kind of singles you have ... processed cheese YUM)
COOK chicken and onions (or not) in skillet on medium-high heat 8 min., stirring occasionally.
ADD barbecue sauce, water and sugar; stir. Reduce heat to medium; cover. Cook an additional 7 min. or until chicken is cooked through (165ºF).
REMOVE chicken from skillet. Shred chicken with fork or chop into small pieces. Return to skillet; stir until evenly coated with sauce. Cut baguette crosswise into four pieces (or just toast the bread you're going to use!). Cut each piece lengthwise in half. Fill with chicken mixture and singles.

my kids ate their obligatory/mandatory bites ... didn't like it - big surprise! but the kids that were visiting ate it and loved it! i think i need to trade in my kids ... they're broken!

i made this meal for my mission buddy and his wife and family that are visiting for 2 days - i was SO happy to have an actual meal that people (besides myself) ate and enjoyed!

Monday, March 24, 2008

our Easter was awesome

i feel like i need to post this to remind myself how to make easter perfect.
we do easter bunny, egg hunts and candy (ie:secular) easter on saturday in an effort to save sunday for the real reason we celebrate.
it's tradition to have easter breakfast and egg hunt fun at grandma shaw's house. this easter saturday i had a massage scheduled early (i highly recommend massages especially from my good friend and massage therapist Andrea Hubbard). i left home at 8:30 and was rubbed for an hour!! andy took the kids to his parent's house and i met them there. we had breakfast, waited for the eggs to be hidden, hunted, visited ... it was great! my father-in-law brought out some old home videos from before andy was born and when he was a baby - fun to watch and it helped remind me that i need to be taking more videos of the fun things we do!
we came home and had naps and cleaned out the garage ... we can park in there now!
sunday was fantastic as well! abi and i sang in sacrament meeting - we were in a small primary choir singing "He Sent His Son" and then i joined the ward chior singing "Master the Tempest is Raging" and "He is not Here". we had to go early and practice so abi and i were at the church at 8:20 ... andy was in charge of bringing the rest of the troops. he's awesome - with a broken hand, he was only 10 minutes late!
we arrived home at 12:30 had lunch, loaded back in the van at 1:30ish and headed to visit some friends from our missions that were in town. our kids played with their kids for about an hour and a half and then we loaded back in the van and headed to granny's house (my parents) arrived there at about 4:15ish and had dinner and had andy's birthday cake for dessert. my mom had to go sing in her stake's easter fireside and had to leave the house at 5:45ish and so we cleared the table and said our goodbye's and headed home. we changed into our jammies and watched 101 Dalmations (and by 'we' i mean andy and the kids - i read my book upstairs) and then put the kids to bed at 7:30ish. it was PERFECT!
i don't have any pictures of us on Easter ... we didn't get new dresses this year ... but we had a great day nonetheless! halleluiah!

Friday, March 21, 2008

advice? ... ummm ...

andy and i went to meet jack and visit with the nedry's tonight. we talked about his slightly traumatic entrance and his miraculous beginnings. he is a trooper and is giving his mommy and daddy a much needed breather by sleeping 5-6 hours in the night. he is sturdy, alert and does NOT like getting his diaper changed! i just love new babies! they still smell like heaven! emily and brian are doing great, they are fantastic people and are shaping up to be even better parents!
brian blind-sided us with a question that i'm still mulling over and wish i had answered anything better than the quick cliche-ish one i gave ...
"what is andy and emily shaw's best parenting advice? as parents of 4 you must have some advice you can share ... "
andy blurted, "do your share ..." speaking mostly to brian. [do you think i have damaged him?]
i looked at andy and said, "advice? ... ummm ... " then said something so trite and corny like 'cherish each stage because they come and go so fast.'
in all honesty it's true ... those cliche-ish sing-songy dorky lines that you read in cards and hear in country songs hit the nail on the head - but they are NOT what you want to hear when you ask for advice.
i think i was mostly surprised by the question, when we were driving away i said, "are we really that old?? that people are asking for our advice!?!?"
andy, in all his wisdom and charm, said "we have 4 kids ... but we're young! we have the experience to reference but we're not old!" [good answer, honey!]

so i want to redeem myself - i do have advice to share ... but i wanted to sit down while i'm thinking about it and share what i've learned that may or may not help new mommies (there seem to be quite a few that i know).

1) you're the mom and you know best. pediatricians, lacticians, new grandmas and friends with children know quite a bit and can share helpful hints, medical knowledge and what works for them ... but in the end 'the mom' is the boss of that darling little baby and what you say goes.
2) sometimes all you can do is cry too. when you've fed, bathed, changed, held, loved, walked, bounced, patted, rubbed and are at your wits end ... if you can't stop the crying it's ok to join in. sometimes it helps to have a good cry.
3) you don't have to do anything else but take care of the baby and yourself ... for at least the first month. when you have that part down, you feel like you can face the world. don't push it - take it as slow as you need. toilets can be cleaned by dads, dishes can be washed by dads, windows don't really need to be spotless, and laundry by definition is never done [because what are you wearing?? potential laundry]. these are also things that can be put on a list and when you have people over and they say "how can we help you??" you can say "i just happen to have a running list ... " put people to work, that's why we offer!!
4) take a break when you need it! there are several people that would be more than happy to come over and hold that sweet baby for you while you go the the store, get a jamba juice or take a walk. it's ok to call your visiting teacher, friend, mom, mother-in-law, ME to come over for an hour so that you can have a breather!
5) the scriptures say 'and it came to pass' not 'and it came to stay' ... this stage is going to pass - they won't always poop up their backs and out their leg holes irreparably staining everything. someday they'll be driving you crazy with all the talking and running and 'mom, mom, mom, mom'-ing. and like the new country song says, "you're gonna miss this, you're gonna want this back ... "
6) dads are handy for just about everything - they don't know what they are supposed to be doing ... tell them.

there's more - possibly much more where these 6 came from ... but i will spare you all. know this: i have learned these truths from the best granny on the planet [my mom] - she never actually said any of this in so many words but helped me to learn them when i was a new mommy! good luck - enjoy ... and seriously - call me when if i can help!

and one more thing ... remember that you don't have to do it all! cut yourself some slack!! it took me a LONG time to figure that out ... kids only remember the good times, things you do together and family fun. you're doing GREAT!

Monday, March 17, 2008

why is there a drip trail from the toilet to the kitchen?

the hazard of not putting the roll on the TP dispenser ...
the baby of the house will put the WHOLE thing into the toilet.
and don't even worry ... he knew it wasn't supposed to be in there ... so ... he brought it to me!!
(i put it back in for the picture)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

church basketball - the bane of my existence

wednesday nights are usually my 'night off' - i get to go out with friends or wander the aisles of Wal-mart or scrapbook unhindered by little people. after dinner is made, eaten and cleaned up and the troops head upstairs to get ready for bed, my night begins! as i have mentioned before, i have a BIG problem with my television obsession ... wednesday nights are hard to miss! so the last few i've been having my 'night off' in front of the tv (sad, i know).

this last wednesday night i had settled in with my scrapbook and remote when andy came back from putting the kids to bed in his basketball clothes. (many of you know that thursday nights are 'game night' for church ball - but this week there were some meetings in the stake center and so the powers-that-be cancelled all games for this thursday.) he had decided that since he wouldn't be playing thursday night ... and i wasn't going anywhere, he'd take this opportunity to 'get in some cardio'.

he left at about 9:00 ... at about 9:45 i got a call from him, "i jammed my finger really bad - it really hurts. do you think i should go to a walk-in clinic?" "how bad is it? do you think you need to?" "i don't have my wallet - i'll be there in a minute."

when he walked in i could tell it was bad ... he was almost in tears - and he has a pretty high pain tolerance. he had gone up for a rebound and another guy's elbow came down on his ring finger ... he thought it was just jammed but when he pulled on his finger he said that it felt like the bones in his hand were moving. he could bend it right after but now it hurt too bad. almost as i watched it, his hand started to swell. we googled everett walk-in clinics and discovered that they all close at 8pm - the emergency room was the only option. he took his jacket and wallet and headed to providence everett.

at 10:45 the phone rang again. "hey what's your social security number? ... how do you spell dr. pautler? ... thomas? ... k - i'm all checked in ... now they'll see me."

but not right then - well, they took him to get an x-ray and then he was back in the waiting room for another 45 minutes. at about 11:30 a nurse came out and took him to a room where he waited for another LONG while ... at about 12:45 the doctor came in and woke him (he doesn't know if he was snoring or not - i bet he was...) and let him know that he was, in fact, broken but didn't need surgery. the nurse came back to put it in a brace and gave him a perscription for some pain pills.

when he arrived home i was already in bed half-asleep ... his hand was wrapped from finger tip to elbow. he could bearly pinch his thumb and pointer finger together. he told me what the dr. said and all i could think was 'he's going to have to get a cast and he's going to be zero help for the next 6 weeks ... i have SO much to do before we have company ... my list has 15 things on it - all require the use of hands ... more than just the left!! how am i ever going to get it all done and for that matter he can't change diapers, do dishes, put away the folded piles of clothes or rub my feet!' (forgive me: i didn't have enough presence of mind to take a picture of it.) he got ready for bed - left handed ... and came to bed. i kissed him goodnight, rolled over in my self-pity and cried myself to sleep. [nevermind what he was feeling - it was his RIGHT hand ... and he types for a living ... and he can't even wash his own armpit.]

the next morning he called for an appt. at everett bone and joint - the first available was friday at 4:15pm.

friday couldn't come soon enough, i picked the girls up from school and we headed to grandma shaw's house ... we left the 3 oldest there and took easton with us to his appt. i was andy's scribe and we filled out the necessary paperwork and then waited in our assigned room for the doc. he came in and took us back to look at the x-ray. it was a clean spiral break of the fourth metacarpal bone in his right hand.

the last time he broke a bone it was the fifth metacarpal bone of this same hand and he was an ASL missionary in NYC ... he was fed up with one of the 5 other elders he shared a studio apt. with (not his companion ...) and instead of punching him he took it out on the coffee table. his cast was knuckles to elbow for 6 weeks. he rode his bike and taught the gospel to the deaf with his left hand! when it was removed he asked to keep it - for sentimental reasons ... maybe he was thinking that his future children would want to see it, or that his future wife would want to scrapbook it, or that his posterity would want it for some gosh-awful-reason-i-can't-figure-out!!

anyway ... this most recent cast is much smaller (thank heaven! as well as modern medical knowledge and technology) and blue! he's supposed to go back in next friday for another x-ray to make sure it's healing properly and then we'll know for sure how long he'll be a lefty.

wish us luck!

Friday, March 14, 2008

ever wonder what spiderman does during quiet time?

with 'worker gloves' on and feet crossed comfortably he takes it easy watching Beauty and the Beast - of course!

Monday, March 10, 2008

we've been tagged - (drumroll please...)

quite a while ago Alicia tagged us ... here are our answers to "7 things you never knew you wanted to know about us". she thought it might be fun for the WWW to learn about the crazy Shaw kids!!

we tag Gabi, Zack, Alivia and Megan Rowe … we’d love to hear a few things that we didn’t know we wanted to know about them before they come for a much anticipated extended vacation (that we’re SO excited about) to our house this summer!!

here goes ...

Abi (age 7):

1. i was born with NO hair on my head but my mom and dad knew i'd have red hair because my eyebrows were red from the start.

2. i had my very own language called "abian" before i 'actually' spoke. sometimes i still make up words when my sister and i play. we pretend that it's spanish or chinese ... but really it's abian.

3. i love to read and write. i am reading above my grade level and love to read anything and everything ... i've been known to spend more than 20 minutes in the bathroom on the potty looking at magazines and reading books. i am in a 1st/ 2nd grade split class and i love school!

4. i went to 2 different preschools. the first one i only attended for 2 days but everytime we drive by i remind my mom that it was my 'first' school.

5. i sometimes call myself Rocky - from the movie '3 Ninjas'. i'm Rocky, Elyssa is Colt, and Ammon is Tum-Tum. we sometimes practice what we'll do if a bad guy breaks into our house.

6. when i grow up, i want to be a vet and a mom and a cowgirl ...

7. my favorite animal is a horse. i want to have one someday, but for now (when we get a house with a yard) i will settle for a puppy - even though i have no idea how much work a dog really is ...

Elyssa (age 5):

1. i have always been off the charts in height and weight. i'm usually a head taller than other kids my age.

2. i'm really athletic. i work hard to learn new sports and i’m usually pretty good at all sports.

3. i know i’m in trouble when my mom only uses my first name – i usually go by ‘lyssa mae’.

4. i’m a snuggler. when i climb into bed with my mom and dad … i’m not content to just lay in their bed … i have to be touching them – usually full-body contact.

5. i won’t go potty in the downstairs bathroom because one time i saw a bug on the floor … i don’t even like to wash my hands in there.

6. i love to hold babies and i try to be a good helper so that i can be the one that mom asks to help with the baby.

7. i love to be praised, i thrive on it. i will do just about anything if you will tell me how much you appreciate it when i’m done!

Ammon (age 3):

1. i have lots of ‘favorite’ things … football, ninja turtles, tools, and cars – to name a few!

2. i wear my cowboy boots just about everywhere … church included.

3. i like to pester my sisters and brother – i’m really good at it!

4. i’m cute – so i can get away with things that the girls can’t do …

5. i am learning to be a nice gentleman and i hold the door for my mom … sometimes she has to remind me … but i’m getting pretty good at remembering!

6. my newest talent is doing puzzles – i can do them pretty fast and i don’t get frustrated easily.

7. when i grow up i’m gonna play football – that’s why i eat a lot of food.

Easton (age 18 mo.):

1. i have 3 uncoordinated cowlicks on my head.

2. when i was born everybody thought i’d have red hair … but after my first haircut – no dice.

3. i can speak 1 (one) word: bubble. this is worrisome to my pediatrician but not my mom – i think she is secretly happy that i don’t know how to say her name. i communicate quite clearly with sign language - it's amazing how easy it is to use ... everybody should learn it!

4. for fun, i like to wait until everyone is watching the tv and then walk up and turn it off. it’s funny how much attention i can get for just pushing a button.

5. my pediatrician also says that i’m ‘off the charts’ (whatever that means) – what she doesn’t know is that i can take down my big brother already – wait a few more years and i’ll be knocking him down and stomping on him for fun, and then a few more years, we’ll play football together and steamroll the competition!

6. i’m sensitive, when mom scowls at me and tells me ‘no no!’ i get teary-eyed and feel sorry for dumping my plate (again!).

7. secretly, i am a LOT smarter than i let on. i have my whole family fooled! although, i think mom is catching on – she talks to me like she knows i can understand her … i hope she doesn’t tell anyone!

thanks Alicia for tagging us! this was fun!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

who is that darling little boy!?

this is easton.
he sucks on his left ring finger.
he knows he's cute.
say cheese!


what is with that face?!

every time i get my camera out and point it in his direction!

except when his sister pesters him!

he doesn't need words ... his face says it all!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Saturday, March 1, 2008

march march march

happy march