Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The best Time of the Year

I haven't had much time to write, there is so much to do. One of the things my kids look forward to is making a gingerbread house. I usually take a shortcut and buy a kit. This year I got home with one, only to open it and find that it was used already....which leads me to the question, who opens a gingerbread house, puts it together, takes it apart, and then returns it to the store? This was super annoying, because I had to run back to get another one...but, oh well! So, here it is before during and after our decorating party.

AFTER......as you can see, the kids really did it themselves. I had to control my bossy tendancies the whole time. (I like symmetry and patterns of color...they don't seem to care!) I should put a picture of what the house looked like by the next morning when I got up. There seems to be alot of snitching!

Some other random things to write about. This is what we gave our young women at the Christmas party. I was in charge of packaging this chocolate angel on a pretzel. A big shout out to Ashley for helping me make the card....it was not easy and took us right up until it was time to go...but as usual, we Earl girls work well under pressure. They turned out super cute even though Ash and I were covered with glitter!

Okay, so it FINALLY snowed here. Right on time for Christmas. It has been downright balmy! Here are some pictures I took about 5 minutes ago. I was thinking I should make my kids cuter for pictures...but that would not be REALITY...and would make all you other mothers think I really have my stuff together...which I don't. I fly by the seat of my pants most days. This is Grace with her "snow toy", a whisk from the kitchen.

I love Jack's eyes when he wears this coat.

Carolina...who in real life is pretty cute, but is a very unphotogenic child. Sorry CC, but it's true!

Friday, December 5, 2008

What I've Been Up To...

Time has gotten away from me. We have been having busy times around here. I wanted to quickly throw some pictures up for my mamas! (and my sisters, brothers...well all of you)

People who know me understand that I am NOT crafty! I know it is a rare find around here, someone who doesn't make things, scrapbook, decorate....you get the picture. That being said, I love my new nativity...I made it myself. I learned how at a "super saturday" and then Ash decided to make one too and after some fun afternoons, we actually finished them.

The next picture shows a candle nativity that I did for Young Womens...(I am mormon, and work with the 14-15 year old girls in my ward) It was great. It is a narration of the Birth of Christ, with Christmas hymns. You light the appropriate candles during the singing and narration. Can you see Mary and Joseph, the three kings, angels, shepards and sheep?

Okay, so I don't have a sweet camera like so many of you...but I wanted to show my mia maids. We had the laurels come at the last minute too. Aren't they adorable? I love them so much.

And finally what is a blog post without pictures of the kids? We got another huge beanbag for the basement and here is Joey settling them in to watch Alvin and the Chipmunks. As my dad would say "Does it get any better than this?"

Friday, November 28, 2008

No Dirty Dishes

Happy Thanksgiving. We had a very interesting day. We usually spend Thanksgiving with a large group of family, alternating between the Emig and Earl groups. The last couple of years we have either driven 10 hours to Arizona, or hosted at my home. With my parents on a mission, and all of my family going to their in-laws, I was faced with making our own Thanksgiving feast for Joey, me and the kids. I am no longer intimidated by this meal, as I have (with the help of my family) pulled off dinner for over 30 with all the fixins...but it seems like a lot of work for a group of kids who aren't even sure if they like mashed potatoes. So this year Joey and I decided to take the kids to Chuck-a-rama! I found this idea to be exhilarating and kind of funny. Lots of food for my picky kids to choose from, and NO CLEANUP!

I bragged around about my non-traditional plan. And people thought it sounded funny or sad. I think it actually helped me to not miss family so much. In the end, my best friend Celeste and her family joined us. (they too, thought the idea sounded stress-free) It was fantastic. Here are the pictures.

Ty and Jack in the car on the way there. They were so excited! (Ty has a few injuries, a fat lip from playing football, and a cut on his eyebrow from being accidentally pushed into a bookshelf at school!)

It was cold, which is why Carolina wouldn't cooperate and get in the picture.

Tyson and Adeline.

Me with my two boos.

Ella Rose and Jack. (Ella was being "too cool" to smile)

Grace, before eating...look how clean and sweet she is. Also, I wanted to show a picture with the buffet in the background.

Celeste and I. I was so glad that she and Darren came (Darren's parents came too.) She IS family to me.

Grace, after eating all a little girl could want (in her case, peaches, mac and cheese, applesauce and ice cream) looking less clean, but cute as usual.

The "kids table". It was so awesome, because the kids all sat together and had the best time. They were very well behaved, which surprised me. My kids haven't been to restaurants very much, so we had alot of talks about how to act in a "fancy restaurant". (This makes me laugh...when I was growing up I thought Denny's was so fancy, and it was for us....and I wanted my kids to feel the same way I did, that they were so special to be able to go out where grownups are, and they had better behave or else!...I'm not sure if I'm making sense to anyone right now, except maybe my brothers and sisters)

The "grown up table"....sorry Joey, I caught you mid-chew, but it was the only shot I got.

The highlights: the kids loved the slushie machine, Grace loved the pickles, I loved the rice pudding, and Joey loved it all. After eating Tyson had a bad tummy ache from eating too much...I guess he's like his dad and wants to get his money's worth at a buffet.
We came home and hung around. In the morning we watched Kung Fu Panda in the theater with the kids (funny movie). At night Joey and the boys watched a demoralizing Cardinal football game. I give my husband credit for not freaking out and making the rest of the night enjoyable for me. We watched Top Chef together snuggled up in our bed, and I couldn't help but think that I'm a girl who has it all. To all my scattered family...I love you! We are so blessed!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Girl's night out

I don't know what to say in this post. If you have read my sister Ashley's recent post, this may sound redundant. People can be pretty divided on this subject. No, I'm not talking about politics, or the recent Prop 8 stuff, I'm talking TWILIGHT. Confession time: I love everything about it. I am one of those nerds who pre-ordered all the books, downloaded the music, and ordered my movie tickets a month in advance. There, I've said it. I feel relieved.

I feel that these books perfectly capture the whole "first love" feeling...the essence of high school, and all of the dramatic feelings you feel when you are young. I don't talk about these books very often, because I don't like to have to defend them....they are what they are, an awesome romance story.

Anyway, after standing in line (that is a whole other story,...thanks TIF) I found myself sitting with my girls, feeling giddy and excited. It was so funny to hear so many ladies (and some brave guys) giggling and squealing in unison. What a fun night we had. I was wearing a sweater with a big cowl neck and I was holding it up over my cheesy grin all night. Funny. I must say the casting of Edward and Bella was fantastic, and I loved all the side high school actors. I think the next movie could be even more fantastic, because it will hopefully have a bigger budget, for all the special effects and stuff. All in all, one of my funnest nights in a long time.

I couldn't find the picture I wanted but...these will do. Edward, with attitude and ray bans.
PS-Okay, so now it's cougar time, and I am so nervous I don't know what to do.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A House of Order

We had an exhausting weekend of stomach flu! Of course the worst day was Friday, so while Joey was at work I took care of all the sick kids while running for the bathroom myself. It has been through all of us by now, and so today, I wanted to open the curtains, look at the sun, and get something done.

There are lots of things I have no control of in my life right now....family out of work, stress from my husband's job, the economy, the volume of my children's voices....all in all, I have been feeling stressed out. I have decided to focus my energies to something I CAN do in my life. Right now, I look around and things are a mess. Sometimes I feel like all I do is CLEAN! And when I am picking things up, I look at them and think, what is this, and more importantly, where does it belong? So I have decided to take a closet at a time and de-junk my life. SIMPLIFY.

Today, I took on the biggest of my planned projects....the toy room. I went through every toy in my entire house. I threw away 2 huge garbage bags of junk, donated 3 bags of good stuff to D.I., and organized everything. I really wish I would've taken a "before" picture so that you could get an idea of what I'm talking about...but anyway, here is the after:

Here is a picture of the awesome closets I had put in when we finished our basement. It is seriously one of the best things about my house!
The finished toy closet. One of those bins is even empty! Hallelujah.

I have been wanting to do this for a long time, and am very proud of myself. I think it will help me when I am cleaning as I won't be picking up random happy meal toys. I did overdo it though, because after 3 and a half hours doing this I did the dishes, and straightened the rest of the house, including CC's room, which in itself is a project. Now I am tired and my back hurts and I have a headache, but I'm still smiling. Tommorrow, the coat closet. (I'll remember to take a before picture so you all can laugh at how horrible it is.)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Happy Birthday little brother!

This is my brother Mike. Today he turns 20. He is on a mission for the LDS church in Paraguay, and I have been thinking about him all day! When he was born I was 12 years old. He lived in my room, and he was MY BABY! I was so obsessed with this baby. I had so many nicknames for him...I think I will list them as they are awesomely hilarious: Miguel, Miguelito, mi lindito, mi rey, mi principe, mi bonboncito, spiderbaby...most have a spanish twist as my family was living in Peru when he was born(you have to say them in a syrupy shmoopy latiny way), the last one seems random, but he was a real scrawny little guy, and it fit. I changed his diapers (cloth, by the way!), played with him, carried him around on my hip, and even got up with him in the night when he would cry, and hold him until my mom would finally come to nurse him.

Mike was still a kid when I went to college, and it was hard for me to leave him. Now I know that for him, most of his memories of me are as an adult, a married lady. But I have had the privelege of watching him grow up. There were only a couple of years when he wasn't sure if I was lame or not...Remember Mike, when Ash and I were visting Moses Lake and we were at the church when there was a dance happening, and we danced up to you and you were so embarassed? You said "How would you like it if mom and dad did that to you?"

As Michael got older, and I spent lots of time in Moses Lake with my kids, I got to see him interact with them. He is an amazing uncle, and a GREAT example to my children. By the time he was in college, we were getting even closer, and now I consider him one of my favorite people, and definately my friend. I am glad he let me in!

Michael is smart, funny, charismatic, nice, religious, and good-looking. I am so proud to have him as a brother and friend...even though he will always be my baby! Feliz Cumpleanos Miguelito!

Mike is the one on the left!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


So, I let my son Jack dress himself every day for kindergarten. I see alot of interesting outfits, but rarely make him change. He loves to wear different pairs of church pants with t-shirts. It is hard to get him to put on socks. I have given a disclaimer to most of my friends and also his teacher, so they don't think I have really bad style, or don't care how my kids look. Sometimes, if he is clashing too bad, or has worn the same shirt more than once that week, I intervene.

This morning, I noticed the jeans he was wearing were way too big around the waist. He was basically holding them up with one hand. "Jack, are those pants too big?", "Yeah, mom, maybe I better get other ones." So I went upstairs with him to help him find some, only to find that he had no underwear on underneath. He said he couldn't find any in the drawer (there were like 10 pairs in there). So basically, he would have been at school, with his pants falling down, and no unders on. I guess that's what mothers are for.
By the way, the photo of Jack was taken by my brother in law Cortney Boice, who is an amazing photographer. View more of his work at: http://www.cortneyboicephotography.blogspot.com/

Monday, November 10, 2008

This is my life

I live with a husband, and now a son who are OBSESSED with sports. My 8 year old knows all of the college football teams, their rankings, many of their important players...he also know this for pro football, baseball and basketball. I can not believe the intricacies of the sport that he "gets". He understands what everyones role on the team is, the penalties, everything! He already gives me a little smile when I try to talk about it with him (like, look how cute that mom is trying to talk about sports...she's clueless). His fav teams, college: BYU (of course!!!), pro: AZ cardinals, Diamondbacks, Suns, also, Red Sox. And now, to top it all off, Joey has introduced him to fantasy sports, which he sold me on because he would be playing with his AZ cousins...yeah, he used the whole family angle on me. But what this means is that he has players on multiple teams, so he is always checking scores, and stats....I already feel bad for his future wife.

Here is Ty's last birthday party. He wanted to go to the BYU and look at the legends museum. He was totally engrossed in all the displays of memorabilia.

Here was his cake. A baseball with his two favorite teams.

Here he is with best buddy and brother Jack. Go Cardinals!

My husband has even made it a family tradition to go to Cardinals training camp. (this year the girls stayed home) This is Ty with Anquan Boldin.

This picture was taken tonight:

Ty wakes up early and puts a sign on our door every time BYU plays. They are pretty funny. This is a picture of Saturday, we played the Aztecs....

I'm already nervous for the last two games. Ty gets so involved and often cries with joy or sorrow based on how BYU does.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Oh, snap!

So Grace has really started talking. She repeats everything like a little parrot. This can be funny as she is always copying the other kids and saying things you don't usually hear a two year old say. Her pronunciation is not the best, but I love that she is trying. One word she says alot is "princess". Except when she says it, it sounds exactly like "nutsauce". So when I'm out and about I hear her screech "nutsauce" like 20 times a day...(I guess I have those clever marketing people at Disney to thank, I can't even get through the cereal isle at Macy's without her seeing one!)

Here are some pictures Ash took of her while I was in China. It shows her making her signature scowl while taking a bath in the kitchen sink, which is one benefit of having a pint-sized girl.

Another cute thing, I heard my kids the other day quoting a movie, they were all trying to say the expression..."ohhhhhh, SNAP!" Here are some of the variations:

CC-ohhhh, snack!

Jack-ohhh, smack!

Grace-ohhh map!

Monday, November 3, 2008


I was actually kind of excited for Halloween to get here, just so it could finally be over. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a holliday based around the acquisition and consumption of candy...but after the ward Halloween party, Young women Halloween party, school and preschool parades and parties....well lets just say I'm done being excited about getting all 4 kids dressed up and ready to go in their costumes.

I started the night at Kaelynn and Jasons for chili and scones (delicious by the way). My friend Shane came with me for moral support, as Joey wasn't able to get out of work early. After a quick bite to eat, the trick-or-treating began. We went back to our house around 7:30 and I stayed to put the girls down while Joey and Shane took my boys around our neighborhood for a bit. Then Joey, Shane and I watched a movie. I'm still on a candy high...

Here are some pictures:

Shane will hate this picture, but it is the only one I have of him from the front. This is him pushing Gracie. She sat in the stroller all night downing candy.
Joey with Carolina Jones, aka, Minnie Mouse

Gotta love my niece Brooklyn's awesome 80's costume, even better was how she did this sweet pose when I asked to take a picture of her.

Carolina Jones and her idol, older cousin Eliza.

Okay, so that's me, the most unphotogenic person in the world...but I'm determined to show through pictures, that yes, I was there too!

Tyson, the avid BYU fan with his good buddy and cousin Zac. Zac kept saying "I'm shiny!" I love Gigi in the background.
The gang. About to get our candy on....

Shane with Minnie. He trained Carolina to say "can I have one for my sister too?", so we didn't have to take Grace out of the stroller every time, but still got candy for her.

Have you ever seen a gorilla with a bottle? I love when you can still pick what your kid is going to be for Halloween...because once they can talk, it's princess, princess, princess!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Has it been two years?

So my baby is no longer. Grace turned 2 yesterday. The time has flown by. I remember when Ty was 2, he was a little man....I would put him in time-out if he did anything wrong, he could speak perfectly, I made him clean up after himself. My how things have changed. Gigi, is my baby. I hold her, carry her around, let her drink bottles all day. Maybe its because she is so short. Maybe it is because I realize how fast they grow up. (Ty got embarassed when I kissed him the other day.)

Okay, some facts about Grace. She is the perfect mix of my father-in-law Joe, and my mom, Connie. She is named in honor of Joey's mom's family, (Grace Christensen) they are the Christensens from Grace Idaho. She has always been really small. She has the loudest voice of all my kids. She wears a scowl most of the time, even when she is not mad. She is incredibly sassy and spunky. She gives the best hugs on the planet...wrapping her legs and arms around and squeezing so tight! If you can't tell by my blog already, I am obsessed with her.

I could put the story of her birth on here, but to be honest, I would have to consult her baby book on that one. The four births of my children have kindof blended in my mind. I have had to have magnesium sulfate with all of them (for toxemia) and so it's hard to remember details. So I am putting on tons of pictures of her birthday, for your viewing pleasure.

I made cupcakes for the kids and a mini-sized cake for my mini-sized Gracie!

Some pictures I took right before her party. (and when I say party, I mean my kids singing happy birthday and eating cake)

Here are Carolina, Jack, Gigi and Jack's friend Brody making wrapping paper by coloring pictures all over the back of Christmas paper....I'm pretty good at improvising.

Gracie blowing out the candles. This took a couple of tries, as we had to teach her how.
Her favorite present was a little horsie with wheels to ride around (thanks Grandma Connie) but I thought this picture was funny, because as we were trying to put it together, Gigi was so excited she was riding just the wheels around.

She got a little dollie, which she loves.

Oli and Robbie got her a microphone...the kind of gift the kid LOVES and the mom hates!
Opening presents! She also got a little bratz doll from Grandma Jones, and clothes and an adorable blow up table and chairs from Grandma Lori. (It has been non-stop tea parties since then.)

Happy birthday Grace!!