Thursday, December 30, 2010

Toy Story alive and well around here

So are they all ganging up on that one guy? John is highly anticipating getting our wood floors so he can play with his soldiers in more places than the spot in front of the fireplace.

Peter was very careful to preserve the box as he opened the new Buzz.
Good thing because that is where John keeps him all the time.

Christmas Day

"It's a pillow. It's a pet. It's a pillow pet . . ."

Kind of blurry, but you get the idea. She was eyeballing this present with the sure knowledge that American Girl doll Felicity was in it.

Course she was right:)

Sarah's Itouch
I gotta go back and watch her reaction to this on video again.
She was not thinking she was getting this.

Nathaniel's first cell phone.
I caved, I know. But seriously what do you buy for a 15-yr-old boy?
I for one, had no idea and he wasn't that helpful.

What Christmas would be complete for John without Buzz?
He's interactive and so he talks to you and before I figured out how to turn him off he talked to me all the way home in the trunk of the van.
"Are you still there?"
"I'm not sure I caught that, did you say Star Command?"
All the way home from Orem Target. It was very annoying.

Peter got a wool coat (not the pea coat kind, he looked totally gay in in when we tried it on), a Canon Powershot, and a new electric razor. All somewhat expected I'm afraid. No big surprises.

Santa brought me a very cute brown suede coat and 'Lovely' perfume.
Peter gave me a Kindle, which I expected (and I LOVE LOVE LOVE) and a new flash for my Canon Rebel, which I did not expect at all, and was very excited about! Peter is the man.
I have got to take a photography class.

It was a really, really fun Christmas.

Christmas bake-a-thon 2010

17 plates this year.
That is down by at least 8 from last year but I think the cookies last year were less complex. And larger so they took up more space on the plate. I'll keep this in mind next year.
Bigger cookies, smaller plates.

blanket for Daniel

Cutest baby blanket ever!! This was my first time using wool and I absolutely loved it.
Can I just say that I'll never forget Daniel has 23 letters in his name?

The joys of snow!

Tuesday before Christmas I got up to get the kids off to school and this was my driveway. With the roads not being plowed I was not even going to attempt to drive and so I called the carpool (because of course it was my turn that day.) Nathaniel had this big math test which was extra annoying because in my opinion they shouldn't even have school that week at all, something I'm a not a little bit outspoken about.

I told Nathaniel we would just have to walk. In the snow. Up to our knees. I didn't care. Good exercise anyway, right?

As we shoveled we hear that the school district has canceled buses but not school. What?! So I'm calling schools and "all circuits are busy." Well there's a big shocker. Anyway it finally happened. They actually ended up canceling school. The joy of children in the neighborhood was audible through the streets. All the neighbors were outside shoveling and marveling and we all had a good old time. We actually saw people on their snowmobiles!

Lily was in California and that is her car she left in our driveway.

the bikes--we really need a shed!

Nathaniel outside his snow fort.


Rebecca didn't go to school Monday either because I decided she had too much work to do as it was for her book report and so I kept her home and she worked on that until she was was done and then went to play in the snow.
When I took the work into her teacher later that afternoon she said, "Oh! Is Rebecca sick?"
Blank stare.
Ok, so here's the thing-- I'm not going to lie to you. I would, but that would make me feel guilty, so if you ask you're pretty much going to get the truth. If I call the school to tell them somebody won't be there I'm not going to tell the office my kid is sick if they're not.
I used to--before I grew up and realized I'm the mom.

Maybe they need to play in the snow, or watch movies, or just hang out for a while--I don't know.
Sometimes kids just need a day off.

Except Nathaniel I guess because he won't miss school or it's a crisis. The teachers here can be harsh and sometimes they won't let you make up work. Or in his advanced math class he'll start drowning after one missed day. This was actually a class I advised him not to take by the way. I thought he needed more foundation but who listens to me?
I'll tell you this--Nathaniel is his father's son.

So the snow was welcomed around here. Oh! The texting! The Facebooking and Twittering going on with thru the morning--it was like an early Christmas.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas is here!

My most favorite time of the year is here!

Here comes Santa Claus!

And after several pictures like this. . .

and this . . .

and this . . .

Lily got a decent Christmas picture for us. The kids finally cooperated after they got the point that we were just going to do take after take until they stopped goofing around.
Thanks for your patience Lily!

Things the Mitchell's do at Christmas
-Visit Temple Square
-Watch the First Presidency Christmas Message together
-Read all of our Christmas books
-Buy a new ornament for each child to add to their personal collections
they will take when they leave home.
-Watch at least 2 versions of "A Christmas Carol" and go see the play if it is in our area.
-Watch "A Christmas Story," and "Miracle on 34th Street."
-Bake and sew and bake and sew...
-Attempt to get a family Christmas picture (not always successful)
-buy more Christmas music to add to our collection.
This year I'm getting Susan Boyle, Josh Groban, Michael Buble, and Jackie Evancho.
For the record my very favorite Christmas singer is Nat King Cole.
Love, love, love him.
-Do a big Christmas puzzle.
-spend all our FHE's the month of December based on Christ's birth and life.
Next week we have tickets go to the BYU museum of art to see the Carl Bloch exhibit.
It was 9 years in the planning and a once in a lifetime experience--I'm so excited!

Friday, November 19, 2010


A couple of days ago John comes into the kitchen where Peter is cooking. He pulls down his pants and says wants to know what "these things" are. Peter tells him that those would be his testicles. "Oh," John says, "I call them mouse brains."
Where oh where, oh where did he come up with that? His mind just never stops.
He is so hard for us right now. I had another talk with the kindergarten teacher the other day. She is so great. She is SO great. Wonderful with John.
"It must be exhausting for you," she says.
She's right. Some days it is no different than having a toddler. There is no pause between demanding something and then demanding it over and over again. I'm doing the dishes and "Mom I want some milk. Mom. Give me some milk. Mom, I'm asking you for milk. Mom. Milk! When are you going to get me some milk!" I haven't even had time to process it before I'm already overwhelmed. He hasn't even given me a chance to respond!
The constant tapping, stroking, talking. I took him to the pool the other night for about an hour. I have to be within arms distance of him the whole time because he isn't a strong swimmer yet. He never stopped talking. Not for one minute. Not for 30 seconds. Story after story after story after story...about Buzz and Woody and aliens and sharks and fictional boys.
He won't go to sleep at night and then in the morning he stalks us until we get out of bed. Tapping, whispering, staring, patting. I feel like I'm being driven to the brink of insanity.
He has no sense of when to stop. I don't think he can stop. 6 1/2 years old!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Birthday for Rebecca!

10 years old! She described exactly what she wanted for her cake and I made it.

M&M game

Nathaniel's belated birthday party goes on simultaneously.

We did tons of games, had veggies and dip, had 7 pizza's delivered, then had cake and ice cream. Rebecca opened presents and then they watched a movie and ate popcorn and endless candy.
Rebecca got a case for her American Girl dolls, a piggy bank, and a pricey Harry Potter wand, which she was really excited about.
One of the girls, not getting that it was a mock sleepover party says,
"This is the longest birthday party I've ever been to."
You're telling me. People started arriving at 4pm and I didn't get the last one out until 9:45.
I came down with a bad cold the next morning and laid on the couch all day.

Poor John did not have a good time. He felt totally left out as the girls were not as nice to him as they should have been. It was not a good day for our little guy.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Really long post about something boring to you but exciting for me!

Our first washing machine was given to us by an old bishop we had. It was super old, even at the time, from like 1979 but we used it for the first 5 or so years of our marriage. It was his wife Sister White who offered it to me, and when we went to pick it up she came out with this big pole/stick thing and I was thinking what is this for?
"I just use this to agitate it sometimes."
It worked out fine.
My current washer isn't too old, maybe 8-10 years. We did have it repaired a couple of years ago, but it has certainly given us our money's worth. It is SO loud and bangs around incessantly. Sometimes it actually jumps around when I'm washing a blanket. Kind of alarming but you get used to it.

The dryer is older-- about 14 1/2 years old. I know this because I bought it when Nathaniel was 4 or 6 months old. We had to get the heating element fixed once, but other than that we've never had any repairs. Very faithful dryer.

The dryer has been looking sad for some time now. One of the paddles inside has been gone for a few years and I have to put duct tape on it periodically to keep it from snagging all my clothes.
I figured this out on the first wash of some brand new sheets:(

For some time (months? years even?) I have been looking into getting a new washer and dryer, but it just wasn't an outlay of cash I was ready to part with.

So Saturday I ask Peter if he wants to go with me to run some errands so we can get away from John, who has just about driven us to the edge, and he suggests we look at washers and dryers while we are out. The man was reading my mind.
When we decided on a set I asked the salesman at Lowes to give us a grand total of everything--pedestals, the warranty, tax, whatever. I was expecting to walk out the door with the estimate when he looks at us from behind the computer and asked if we wanted him to go ahead and order them. Peter and I looked at each other.
"Well, I don't know," I said.
Peter says, "It's up to you."
I was like, "What? It's up to you!"
He said let's get it.
I have to say he was in a really good mood that day.

So there it is, my washer next to the inferior dryer.
The new dryer is back ordered and won't come for another week.
The sales guy felt bad but I said I thought
I'd live with old faithful another week or two.
The washer comes with a steam setting. I didn't even know this.
And it plays me a little tune when the cycle has ended.

Peter was like, "Well? Are you going to try it out or what?"
I told him I didn't even have any high efficiency detergent yet.
"Well, come on then--go get it!"
I'm funny about these things. When Peter gets a new toy (like his new Verizon Droid) he must play with it right away. I'm a little slower. I have to gaze at it, shine it, and then read the whole manual. Then I called Lowe's because I couldn't find the button for setting the load size and there was nothing about it in the manual.
They said no load size button, instead there is a sensor that automatically sets it.

I gave John have the special honor of being the first to press the "start" button.
Then we watched it for so long he was late to kindergarten.

We are all completely smitten. I wish there was a light inside.
Reminds me of that commercial of the woman watching her machine, which I think was supposed to be funny but turns out to be reality in this house.
Peter is very happy for me and reminded me of what a good husband he is.
I didn't disagree:)

Houdini mice

For months our cats have been staking out our trash compactor. I assumed there must be a mouse somewhere in the vicinity but had never seen a mouse in the house or any signs of one so thought it was probably long gone by now.
Then a couple of weeks ago Nathaniel opened the trash compactor as he was getting ready for school and "they were both just staring at me!" Sure enough there was not one, but 2 mice in the trash. But here was the weird thing--there was no hole in the bag! I couldn't really figure out how they got in there, but they must have somehow squeezed up and over the top of the compactor while it was closed. Gross.
Well Peter's mom Penny was visiting at the time and from that point on I kept seeing trash sitting on the counter top. Turns out Penny wouldn't chance opening the compactor. She said she's experienced more than her fair share of mouse incidents in her life, thank you very much.
hee hee
Yesterday morning John was freaking out--"a mouse is in the trash! I saw it! Come see!"

And here it is--mouse #3. Again no hole in the bag.

We can't really set a trap behind the compactor but we have figure out something. Now I'm thinking there has to be a whole nest somewhere in the wall behind there.
Really, really disgusting.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Report Cards and a Permit

We made our first trip as parents to the DMV here and Nathaniel got his permit. How weird is that?? He wanted to get in on his birthday but I didn't know exactly what we needed to do and didn't feel like waiting in line so I made an appointment for Monday. Then it turned out he needed to take a written test (even though he insisted he didn't) and so I was glad he got to read some of the manual online this weekend.
Having an appointment is a beautiful thing. There were people winding all around the counter at the DMV when we got there and I walked right up to the counter. These old people in the line were not happy. I actually felt kind of bad. Well, not too bad I guess.
He could only miss ten questions and so I advised him not to miss eleven, and guess what? He missed eleven. But here in Utah you can just walk right back and take it again--up to 3 times in the same day. So weird. The 2nd time he missed 10 and passed. We were out of there in an hour!

So here is his funny picture.

Also very major news around here is that he got a 4.0 for his first term of his Freshman year.
He knows his grades really count for something now so he can get into a college he wants to.
We are very proud!

Sarah didn't do too bad either! She is in the 7th grade and got a 3.67.

At school today they gave all the honor students candy bars, which I thought was funny.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Nathaniel's 15th birthday

Nathaniel turned 15 on Tuesday and here is me trying to get a picture with him:

I had to guilt him to even take the pictures with me and then they come out like this.
Growing out my hair is never cute--and would someone like to tell me where my makeup went?
And what the heck is Nathaniel doing in all three of these photos?
Just overall not good.

He is having his party with friends next week because that is when the video game he is getting comes out. Turns out we scheduled Rebecca's party on the same day he was planning to have it--and at the same time. He insists he told me several times about the date but if someone tells me about a date in November when it is still October it's unlikely I'm going to make the connection.
The invitations for Rebecca's are already out so I guess we'll have 13 extra kids in our house on that day.
Nathaniel had already reserved the theater room and so Rebecca gets the portable projector for her PJ party--which luckily only goes until 9pm.