Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring Break 2011

Made the annual trek down to Tehachapi for Spring Break. We went to Newport again and again poor Peter didn't get to go due to it being the last week of the tax season.
The weather was not as warm as last year but still so great coming from Utah where it snowed almost all the way to St George on the way to California.

All the cousins

At the beach . . .

Peter's sister Megan went with us to Newport at my request.
It was Daniel's first trip to the beach and he took to it almost instantly.
Giant sandbox? Bring it on!

Rebecca's hair looks lovely in the wind.
That never happens to me.

Rare moment in which Daniel lets his Auntie April hold him.

Grandpa is not so used to having so many kiddies around.
Course John has that special gift of being able to wear just about anyone out.

2nd Annual Easter Egg Hunt on Grandma & Grandpa's large property
This year there was $25 to be found. I hid the $10 one in a bush and watched as kid after kid looked through it without seeing it. It was driving me crazy!

I don't think there are many businesses out there like a tax business.
It is so predictable and condensed.
One day everyone is frantic and the phone is ringing off the hook--
and then all the sudden it is over and we are all reeling.
Here we all are at our celebratory dinner. Two of our office staff were able to make it, but only one was able to bring her family. We had 21 people seated at the table!

Peter's mom and our most fantastic office manager Anna.
We'd pretty much die without her.

Peter's dad Nat, (side of John's head) Peter's brother Charles, Peter and Nathaniel.

John and Heidi were so cute.

Anna and John celebrate with a little boogy-down.
Woo-hoo! Another tax season down!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Ya learn somethin' new every day

I see a psychiatrist once a year in the hopes of averting another mental crisis like I endured in 2006. (Really hope to never, never do that again.)
So I'm forking out my $160 in the office on Wednesday. They don't have debit so I have the secretary run the card as a credit. When she prints out the receipt for me to sign I am taken to see there is a line for a tip.
A tip?
Okay, I know to tip the dog groomer, my hairdresser, the waiter, the pizza guy, and the doorman, but am I the only one who didn't know you were supposed to tip your psychiatrist?

For the record I didn't take advantage of this subtle and very discrete way of asking for even more of my hard earned and carefully budgeted money. But if compliments for Dr. P's fine skill in his area of expertise, attentive bedside manner, thorough knowledge of nutrition and medications, as well as his agreeable personality and maybe even some boyish good looks could be translated into money then I would be happy to cast in my coins to the proverbial psychiatrist tip jar on high.
Accolades to Dr. P.
Hope you get my tip.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cub Scouts

My Wolves and I at Home Depot Saturday morning. I have 5 but one was missing that day. By October I have 10 and then in December the numbers will start going down. Waiting on an assistant and been relying on parents and primary leaders lately.

Nathaniel is my most regular assistant. He is the den chief (or whatever you call it.) He is teaching the boys to tie a square knot before he teaches them to properly knot a tie.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Daddy Grandpa Nite

Rebecca & "Daddy" Grandpa
So cute.

The annual Daddy Daughter Achievement Day came and this is the first time they have held it this early I think. Peter missed it by a day. Rebecca was all excited to give him her invitation and then threw it away and went all drama-mama when she found out he wouldn't be there. I kept level headed and told her many kids don't have any daddy or worse a daddy that doesn't care about their kids and that she was very lucky because there are plenty of people who would be happy to step in for Peter. I knew Grandpa would be the perfect one and told her we would bring the invitation over that night. She perked right up.

They had a great time. It was a progressive dinner where they did the main dish, then the appetizers, then the salad, just to shake things up a bit I guess. The dads were supposed to share some things about the girls at the end when they met up at the church for dessert and Grandpa wasn't sure what to share so I gave him a story and here it is:

When Rebecca was three she was more than just a handful. No need to delve into that one though, suffice it to say we didn't think we'd ever survive it. One day our neighbors, the Gambles, were having a welcome home missionary party across the street. We went, socialized a little, then went back home and went to bed. The next morning I found a plate of food by Rebecca's door in the hallway. Thought that was weird since I didn't remember anyone bringing home any food, but I forgot about it quickly.
Later that week Brother Gamble was talking about Rebecca being at the party when they were playing a game. I assured him she wasn't there for that. We were all in bed by then. He was sure she was there. After the game he watched her walk her back across the street to our house.
"Was there any lights on?" I asked, "Did anyone come to the door?"
Come to think of it, he said, he didn't think so. She just walked into the house.
Turned out Rebecca had a busy social life after we all went to bed.
We installed a latch at the top of the front door and started locking Rebecca in her room at night. I was more afraid what she might do if she got out then of a fire. Sometimes I'd get up in the middle of the night and unlatch her door just to ease my conscience, but then I couldn't sleep for worry she might get up before I was up.

I have yet to look back on these days with fondness.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Deer me...

We planted hundreds of bulbs last year and I've been very excited to see them start coming up but the bleepin' deer keep eating my tulips--chewing them down to the nub and sometimes even pulling out the bulb. Everybody around here has a different take on how to deter the deer from eating your plants. Grandpa says he heard you can pee on your tulips. Sadly I've actually contemplated collecting my pee to pour it around the tulips but my dad assures me it won't work. So here is my brilliant device for keeping them out of at least the front bed:

So far it seems to be working. Dad also suggested I could rig some kind of an electrical wire and put it on a timer. Easy for him to say since he's an electrical engineer.

Pictures of the family room, finally.

Before pic of the family room:

And after...

We finally got a new TV and stand after all these years. We knew if we waited long enough the prices would just keep dropping and the timing was right, still I was vacillating on buying a luxury item like this when our other one was still working. Then in February our old one suddenly up and died so then of course I was happy:)

We went a few weeks with this little tiny TV we drug down from upstairs and it was very annoying. So one day I picked Peter up from the airport and said we were going shopping for a new one right then. I pondered a great deal over the selection at Costco. I was worried about going too big. I don't like it when you walk into a house and the TV is the main focal point.
At least make it appear like we don't watch it that much, right?
The one we bought turned out just right. We are finally in the age of HDTV folks. Let me tell you--it is so nice.

Peter and I both love this quote and I found it on Etsy.

I am very happy with how everything turned out. I think it looks so much more open and I finally dared to go with cool colors. I've always loved them in magazines but just hadn't made that leap yet. I painted the kitchen 3 times trying to get a color I liked with the blue in the family room. When I decided I didn't like the 2nd color the kids were just shaking their heads.
"Again mom? Are you serious?"
I don't like to change things around all the time so I want to get it right. I ended up doing something I never thought I'd do--I went white. Surprisingly happy with it.

We bought the shelving at IKEA and yours truly assembled all but one piece. Their instructions are the best I've seen and they don't even have any words! I'm all about picture instructions. Don't you hate it when you are given 3 instructions and one picture? That is why I don't make clothes. I truly can't follow the patterns.

And this here is why I don't do electronics:

Just looking at this picture makes me feel stress. How can a man, who is supposed to be the more rationally minded of the genders, make any sense of this?
I mean, come on.
Turns out not only my husband but my son can.
I feel very dependent on them because I'd never figure this out on my own.