5.29.2012

Mem Day

Gary Lewis Family - 1983
1983. I'm the cute baby of course.

Every year on Memorial Day my mother would gather flowers and we would visit the cemetery as a family. Most of the time we would meet my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins there. It was always a grand procession cars, people, and bored children.

Gary Lewis Children - 1988
1988. Lewis kids minus one. Bored much?

We would place flowers on the headstones of family members. Most of them just names to me of people that I had heard of but never met. There would be two bouquets reserved for babies that my mom lost shortly after their births. My dad would take out a pocketknife and clean up the overgrown grass around the headstone and we would sit there a minute before proceeding to the next area.

Usually the weekend would also include a grand Hyde BBQ or a campout at Lake Lahontan with the Lewis'. Memorial Day weekend was the defining moment of summer's arrival, my approaching birthday, and many days to come camping, boating, floating the river, swimming, and playing outside with cousins and friends.

I've always wanted traditions like this for my kids, but sadly when you move 9+ times in 9 years of marriage it just doesn't happen.


Nonetheless we had a pretty amazing weekend:

My friend Rach invited us over to ride ponies on Saturday and I about died. What?!? Really?

Ponies!

Haha!

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Her neighbor's parents own ponies and they totally just brought them over just for our 7 little girls. Talk about heaven! The children were totally nervous at first, but after a bit even little Roo was on her second trip around the yard on Snickers. Not only that but Rach also hooked us up with some fresh eggs they brought straight from the farm - you all know I was all over that. :)

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Then Sunday night we camped out at Beaver Lake next to our friends. The kids rode their dad's longboards up and down the road, hotdogs were roasted, bocce was played, Easy busted out his new hammock, and my girls learned how to catch things on fire with a magnifying glass. Even little Rosie slept pretty soundly for us in the tent with the crickets chirping all night.

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Yesterday the older girls attended their first swimming lesson of the summer and to all of our surprise they absolutly loved it.

Yes summer is here! And with camping, swimming, BBQing, and good times I guess it's not too far off my own childhood memories.



Except, of course, for the ponies.

5.25.2012

Plans

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Easy and I have plans in the works for a big trip this summer.

Family in UT.
Friends that might as well be family in AZ.
More friends in TX.

Every time I get to thinking about it I have to take a deep breath, calm my nerves a little, and just remember:

1. We love our family and miss them much
2. We have good little travelers
3. Easy has a great job with vacation time that will allow this
4. Utah mountains/summers are the best thing ever
5. We can do it


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Currently I'm also planning my lesson for church on Sunday. I have been recently asked to help teach/advise the girls ages 12-13. This is a huge and very welcome change since I have been working with the children in primary for the last 5 years (mostly nursery age 18mos-3yrs). Hooray for no more noses to wipe!

Anyway, I'm hoping I can lure these girls in with chocolate, after all that is what I remember working the best with me.

5.22.2012

Crown Braid

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Yes!

Finally after many failed attempts, bad words, arms on fire, and huge relentless knots in my locks I got the crown braid right.

I even did it late Saturday night, sprayed the heck out of it, and slept very consciously still for church first thing in the morning on Sunday (8am).

Best thing ever is that I got like 4+ compliments from all the sweet older women at church telling me how lovely it was - just enough motivation to get me to try again.


5.21.2012

A List

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Summer list inspriation here

Summer break is officially in swing.
Last week the girls and I made a list of all our fun plans.
Some are little things like painting nails and making play dough and others will involve some planning like riding the train to Ft Smith.

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We have already hit up the pool, had friends over, played hide-and-seek, worn out the slip-n-slide,

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and enjoyed TCBY.


At this rate we will knock it out in no time.

5.16.2012

On Getting Bigger


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Rosie at Six Months
May 16, 2012



She did it.
She is 6 months.


I know.


What? How? Why?

Wait. Stop!


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I hate that babies have to grow so fast!
Wasn't I just pregnant with her?
Didn't I just have her sleeping like a little Koala on my chest all molded into my body and smelling like heaven?

It breaks my heart.

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This girl love love loves her sisters.
She tolerates her dad.
And she beams at me, her mother.
So I know I shouldn't complain because well, 6 months is like the funnest.
Then 9 months is more fun and it just keeps getting better...12-18 months is like the best ever!

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Okay baby, you can grow.

Just go easy on your poor momma, alright?



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Big sister really wanted in on the action this morning.


5.15.2012

The Perfect Salsa

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After trying out about every brand of canned salsa out there we have finally just given up. It never comes close to the real thing and we always regret just not making it fresh. I usually make a chunky version of Pico to go with our burritos, tacos, fajitas, and quesadillas but recently I have been experimenting with blender salsa and Iam proud to report that I totally found the right mix. It is perfect and has had rave reviews from family and friends.
I swear you'll probably want to skip the chips and just drink it.


The Perfect Salsa

2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can chopped green chilies
1 clove garlic chopped
1/3 c. chopped red onion
handful cilantro
1/2 large lime juiced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2+ tsp adobo sauce (optional)

Place all in blender and turn on until it reaches desired consistency. Enjoy with tortilla chips. These are a favorite around here lately.

5.14.2012

The Best Job

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A. Rose Attacks
May 12, 2012


Yesterday I woke to Easy banging around in the kitchen at 6am. He knows that of all things on Mother's Day I would mostly like to rest from my duties. So, on that day he cooks and I assist where needed. It's a pretty good gig.

I spent the morning at church celebrating motherhood with my fellow sisters then the afternoon enjoying gifts from my daughters. Mostly little notes and drawings scratched on paper with lots of hearts and "love" written all over them.

I love my job. I say it so often. It is a big one. I'm supposed to teach these 4 daughters of mine to be kind, polite, charitable, patient and also strong, confident, and brave. It is overwhelming at times and frustrating, but all the same I find that I am the one who is learning to be these things from them.

The oldest teaches me to be kind with her selfless words and acts. The second to be brave with her sense of adventure and spontaneity. The third polite with her sweet pleases and thank yous.

And my baby, well she teaches me to be patient (I'm letting her cry it out a little), to not sweat the small stuff (spit up and poop everywhere), and that despite my feelings of inadequacy - I really am a great mother (as she lights up every time I enter the room).



5.10.2012

just a few more

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cruising with roo
5.8.2012


summer is ours for the taking in just one week from today!
just a few more days!
i can't wait for it.
i have ideas in my little head to spend our days running through sprinkles, slip and sliding, going to the pool, the lake, grilling, roasting marshmallows, having picnics, doing crafts and traveling around.

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blondes telling me to "get out of the way!"

part of me is a tinsy tiny bit worried though.
because things can get a little, um, high-drama around here.
all four girls at home.
all day long.
eeek!

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so this is where you could chime in and maybe help a sister out a bit.
what are your plans to stay sane this summer?
and what would you do if you were me?


thx.

5.07.2012

Beating the Bird

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I am not of Latin descent in any way, but I do love Mexican food and I appreciate Mexican culture. So having a chance to party it up with salsa, guacamole, streamers, queso, rice, beans, shredded pork, and a pinata was awesome this weekend at our Cinco de Mayo/Farewell to the Whitcomb's Party.

This year the girls and I made the pinata from scratch. Surprisingly they had no trouble at all whacking all of our hard work in the face while my heart cried a little each time the bird was hit.

Here is the breakdown:

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Supplies:

1. Tissue paper
2. Glittery shred (for "wow factor" when it explodes)
3. Box
4. Glue and (not pictured) tape
5. Scissors
6. Confetti (I used chopped up tissue paper also for "wow factor")
7. (not pictured) Straws and heavy duty string
8. CANDY!

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Assembly:

1. Cut a hole in the bottom of the box. This makes it a little easier for the kids to hit the candy out.

2. Okay, this is where you need to fashion a way for the box to hang. I should have done it here at this step, but realized that it needed strings when I had the bird totally done. Yup. It kinda sucked threading sting through the box when it was all complete. I thought that the straws would help the string to not cut through the cardboard and I was totally right - it was the way to go. Thread your string through the straws and the straws through 2 holes in the front and back adjacent to each other. Then tie it all up at the top.

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3. Fill the box with candy, shred, and confetti, then tape her closed.

4. Place a piece of plain white paper over the hole you cut in the bottom. I folded it in half first to make it a little tougher.

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5. Starting at the bottom where you just put the paper go ahead and cover it with whatever color tissue paper needs to be at the bottom. In this case, blue. I taped it on like gift wrap.

6. Roll up a single sheet of tissue and cut off 3.5 inches.

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7. Cut slits in the piece you just cut up about 2/3 of the way, fluff the slits out and open 'er up.

8. Glue around the bottom perimeter of the box.

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9. Repeat steps 6-9 moving up the box about 1/2 inch with each new row of tissue. I used the same color x2 rows moving up.

10. When you can tell what color will need to be at the top to finish it off go ahead and cover the top taping a sheet into place like you did on the bottom.

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(this is where I cursed myself for forgetting to make a way to hang it)

11. At this point I just used cardstock for the eyes, beak, and wings. The wings were covered in extra tissue paper that I didn't need for the rows.

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The kids all tried and tried to break it open, but the thing was just too tough.



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Finally the guest of honor took one big hit and that was the end of our dear amigo The Bird.

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Jessica's Tres Leche was delicioso!

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El Final.

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