Thursday, February 28, 2013

5th grade is hard for parents

The purpose of the elementary school's Sock Hop is not a fundraiser (though that is what they will have you believe). The true purpose it to make families crazy. 

Children begin dreaming of the Sock Hop several weeks before the actual blessed event. When they are in the younger grades their dreams of the dance are mainly of candy and "looking cool." When they are in the older grades their dreams are  of "who will I go to the dance with?!?!"

You will go to the dance with your family.

You will NOT go to the dance with some kid who offered to pick you up in his golf cart.

You will NOT go to the dance with some kid who suggested that you go with "a real He-Man" like himself.

Your parents are currently seeking therapy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

party time, excellent

One day we finally had the kids' birthday party.

Jimmy decided the best thing to do would be to dress as Spiderman.

Grace just dressed in non-superhero attire.

There were a lot of children there that day.

We went with a Valentine's theme. Grace's cake was awesome, but my pictures of it are not awesome. And of course Jimmy insisted his heart-shape cake be green. Of course.

Happy Birthday Grace and Spidy! Perhaps next year I will dress as Wonder Woman at your party and Dad will be The Flash.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

one day jimmy turned 7

He got some loot.

He enjoyed the unwrapping process.

He also was most thrilled with the best gift for someone with his name:

A guitar.

Even a god of rock-n-roll needs to start somewhere.
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Friday, February 15, 2013

a day of red

Perhaps its just coming off our birthday highs, we just dig Valentine's Day. Everyone is happy to wear red. Everyone is happy to get presents wrapped in red. And everyone is happy to eat their dinner which is green.


Yes. Green.

The first year we were married I decided to get all fancy and make the fanciest meal I knew how - Leguria Pesto. It was really good. So good that Nate asked if it would be all right if we make it every Valentine's Day. I pretty much think we have for the last 14 consecutive years. Want to try it????

1 c fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
1/2 c pine nuts
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 c olive oil

Combine everything except the oil in a food processor. Start grinding and add oil in a slow stream to make a nice paste.

1 pkg filled tortellini
diced new potatoes
asparagus, cut into fork-sized lengths (we sometimes do green beans)

Cook tortellini according to pkg directions. Add potatoes with 5 minutes of cook time remaining. Add asparagus with 3 min remaining. Drain - don't rinse. Transfer to bowl. Add pesto to pasta and toss until pasta is covered.

I copied this recipe down on the back of an envelope as I was watching a cooking show on PBS back in college. The year was either 1995 or 1996. The chef said that as you prepare and enjoy this dish you will "feel the sounds of the waves of the Mediterranean." That chef hadn't hit big yet. His name was Mario Batali.

We dig our pesto so much on Valentine's Day that everyone is more than willing to participate in a series of self-portraits:

Do we look fabulous in red????

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Did you ever surprise yourself by doing something you pinned on Pintrest and it worked out? That happened this morning. Grace thought it would be a great idea to have some heart-hair. I can't believe we pulled it off.

I'm celebrating by listening to Dean Martin croone Italian love songs at me while I read the limmerick Nate wrote for me. Its awesome.

Happy Valentine's Day!
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Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Someone (who shall remain nameless) has decided to mail a secret admirer Valentine to her crush. She actually did it. I think I have just as many butterflies in my stomach over this as she does.

Love, please be kind.

homework propaganda

I wonder what his teacher will think when she sees what word he first thought of that demonstrates a long "u".
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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sunday, February 3, 2013

a lesson learned

One should not assume that just because she wakes up feeling better she is actually all the way better. She should not attempt to sweep the floor because she will then feel dizzy. She should also not hang up pictures because they will all be crooked. The fact that they will all hang crooked at the same exact angle is either because her head is still cloudy from the dizziness created by sweeping, or it is just the simple fact that she is delightfully awesome.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

snow day

What happens when 4 cousins from Arizona see snow in Utah?

The demand to play in the snow at all times and all places (even at the burial of their great-grandfather because "hey, there's snow at the cemetery!")

We fortunately had a day that they could partake in the snow. It was during our visit to Grandmother Darling's house (that is really what I call her, because she truly is darling - you will see her soon)

To those of you living in a snowy climate would say, "these poor kids, there isn't much snow at all."

But our kids would (and did) say, "Look at ALL the SNOW!!!!"

The Dads decided the kids needed to be schooled on the proper making of a snowman. So when they finished their inside job for Grandmother Darling (a kitchen faucet repair, Grandpa Beck would be so proud), they came out and schooled the children.

Then I made them all stand nicely in front of the snowman to take a picture.

Then they made "chilly" faces.

It was then time to bring Grandmother Darling out of the house to see her new lawn adornment.

She rather liked it.

I do too. And for those of you wondering why the snowman has weird ears on top of his head, it is because the snowman ended up being Hobbes. All of the children have been ferociously reading Calvin and Hobbes and were greatly influenced by Calvin's artistic and creative snowman building skills.

Friday, February 1, 2013

its better to laugh than cry

Perhaps its because I'm sick, but I found the following to be quite hilarious, and a rather apt description of how things were here in AZ a couple of weeks ago.



We all know the point of having a birthday is picking out what you want to eat for dinner (spaghetti and meatballs if you are Grace) and opening presents!

Grace and Jimmy's birthdays are only 10 days apart. Aunt Lindsay took advantage of this and gave them a joint gift. This might not be so huge in your family - but it is in ours! Its a license plate game. If only we had it last week when we were on our unexpected road trip to and from Utah. I believe we had 42 plates that trip, and if we had this handy tool we would know for sure.

She was delighted with her leopard print dress (and sweater, not pictured), but nothing compared to the greatest gift of all time...

The Diagon Alley Lego Set. PURE JOY, people, pure joy.

The evening ended with some Marble Love Cake (believe me, you want the recipe) and a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday."

Our plan had been to have a joint birthday party for the two of them and their cousins and a couple of friends tomorrow (it was to be Groundhog Day in theme - shadow tag, some kind of game involving a hula hop where one has to get themselves through the hoop (representing the groundhog's hole in the ground) all the while holding hands with the people on either side of you, and of course darling groundhog themed cupcakes). Sickness has changed our plans. We're hoping next week is a more healthier one.

Until then, we have Marble Love Cake and Harry Potter Legos to keep us going. But I don't think the Groundhog theme will hold. We'll have to come up with something else.
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