Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Beautiful day!

This winter has been so different from our 3 other winters here.   We had a freak early October snow storm.  We have had only 1 other major snowfall.  We have had some pretty windy days. 

How windy?  So windy that they blew the shingles off the top of the roof.  Here is Trent coming back in yesterday from re-hammering them back down. 


You can see the new shiny metal nails --


We have also had a bunch of days in the 50's. And today was one of them. We played . . . OUTSIDE!!!!


Monday, January 30, 2012

The Many face of Owen

Owen melts hearts around here.  He is always such a little man.  He has a thousand faces and only about 5 words (mom, dad, hi, ball, woah) but trust me when I say we ALWAYS know exactly what he wants!  Communication truly is 98% body language!







Sunday, January 29, 2012

Julianne -- New Beginnings

Seriously, can she be turning 12 this year??? She is so very grown up and she fit right in with all the girls there and part of me wishes she could stay little forever and part of me wishes she were 12 already. She is so responsible, mature, and above all READY for something a little more.
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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ender's Game

Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, #1)Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an interesting book. At times I was so bored with it and yet I wanted to know where the author was going so I also couldn't put it down.

It would make for a great book club book -- themes to discuss age, maturity, abuse, power, strategy, innocence, motivations, guilt, responsibility, militarism, government, etc. . . .

View all my reviews

Friday, January 27, 2012

Crazy Busy Friday

Girls to school,
Carpool to Adam's school.
Visit a friend and take some photos of her and her newborn.
Pick up Adam, drop friend off.
Put away groceries.  Make pizza.
Kids home. (some extra friend's too)
Kids baking in kitchen (mom cleaning up in kitchen)
Dinner, take Madelyn to birthday party
Watch soul surfer with kids.
Pick up Madelyn
Finish movie.
Go to bed exhausted.

But it was so fun.  and I got some great photos!!!!
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Another Memory kind of day

This is from Christmas 1995 -- I'm home from college -- my sophomore year. My mom's parents Betty Jo and Charles Bingham came to visit us that year. Amber is 11, Shad 15, Carrie 18, and I am 19 years old.
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Memory Lane Photo

Today was so busy just with all the regular things. It was rainy and I didn't ever get my camera out so I'll have to settle for a photo from memory lane!

August 1995 -- first semester of my sophomore year at BYU -- with all my roommates except Patti -- who must have been taking the picture??

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

6th Grade Band Concert

Tonight was Julianne's band concert. It hardly seems like a year has passed since last year's, but it has. Last year they played 12 small songs and they sounded pretty rough (after all they all had only been playing their insturments for 4 months). This year they played 4 longer songs and they sounded so good. Such a testament to hard work, practice, dedication, and consistency.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Under the Helmet

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Our town's library puts on some really amazing events. The one we went to tonight was no exception.

Here is the description of the event from the library's website.
Under the Helmet with Fred Gaudelli and Drew Esocoff

If you've ever wondered how one of the biggest events in sports television ACTUALLY happens, come to New Canaan Library and get the behind-the-scenes scoop! Join football fans for our second annual Under the Helmet program to learn everything it takes to televise the Super Bowl and other live sports events.

You'll hear about the team match ups, coaches, drama and personal stories from our guest speakers, Fred Gaudelli, Producer, and Drew Esocoff, Director, of NBC Sports’ Super Bowl production this year. Leading the conversation will be special guest emcee, Chris Hansen of "Dateline NBC." From personal predictions, to rating the quarterbacks to the critical details of what it takes to cover an event of this magnitude, no question will be left unanswered. These two professionals will show clips of some of their favorite games of the past, discuss hilarious moments not seen on camera, and reveal the intense process behind capturing that all-important play that makes you jump off your couch and yell at the TV!

Fred Gaudelli is in his sixth season as producer of Sunday Night Football, which received the Emmy Award for Outstanding Live Sports Series in each of the last three years. Gaudelli, a 10-time Emmy Award winner, also has produced Super Bowls XLIII, XL and XXXVII and will produce Super Bowl XLI in February, 2012 in Indianapolis.

Drew Esocoff is in his sixth season as director of Sunday Night Football, which received the Emmy Award for Outstanding Live Sports Series in each of the last three years. Esocoff has directed Super Bowls XLIII, XL, XXXVII and XLIII and will direct Super Bowl XLVI next February in Indianapolis.

Chris Hansen is a correspondent for NBC News’ “Dateline NBC”. He has reported on issues of both national and international interest, including the Columbine massacre, child labor in India, the Oklahoma City tragedy, the TWA flight 800disaster and issues related to national security and airline security. Hansen has received numerous awards throughout his career, including seven Emmys, three Clarion awards, the Overseas Press Club Award, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists Award, and four Edward R. Murrow awards.

Interesting facts I learned
  • On a typical Sunday night football game they have about 27 cameras.  At the super bowl they have 40.  The additional cameras are stationed on all the boundaries of the field for additional coverage of important potential game changing plays. 
  • Since 9/11 they do not have an aerial presence (blimp or plane) for the superbowl so they use a mounted camera on a neighboring high rise.
  • The planning and preparations for the superbowl begin 18 months in advance.
  • There will be 24 commerical breaks throughout the entire superbowl.
  • The camera's cost about $100,000 and have nearly 1000x zoom that can be doubled digitally if the lighting situation is good enough.
  • The biggest challenge is showing the replays and the personalities in a timely fashion, so that it tells a story, and wraps up in time for the next live play.  It is a lot of data to process.  For every second that appears on your television they have trashed 39 seconds worth of material.  Actually more when you consider the teams that are creating the replays and the pertinent graphics. 
  • That challenge will be even greater at this super bowl because the patriots play a no huddle offense and the game moves very quickly.
  • The producer and director are doing there work in a truck at the stadium but do not see any of the game "live".
  • For 22 weeks these 2 men work 110 hours a week on average and are on the road Thursday through Monday and they miss being home for all the major holidays (thanksgiving, christmas and new years).
  • They communicate with the "talent" Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth only through an earpiece -- so it is quite the coordination feat to have them talking about what is showing up on screen --they both must make a lot of assumptions trying to anticipate what footage and graphics the producer and director will put on the air.
  • They each got their start at ESPN (the producer started in the mail room).  They got where they are today through hands on experience.
  • The future technology?  3D and computer generated 3D images generated by merging all the camera angles --- then they will be able to remove players and strip down the images to the basics. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The first "failure" of my New Year's Resolution

I don't usually make New Year's Resolutions.   I am more about making gradual changes that progress me towards a goal.  But this year I thought of one. 

And the more I thought about it the more I knew that this was a change I needed to make.  That this was something I could do and should do. 

And so on New Year's eve I went to the library and paid all my fines and resolved that this year I would not have any Library fines. 

That probably meant that I wouldn't let my kids check out any DVD's (even though our library here is as good as Redbox) -- since you get the movies for 2 nights and then the fine is $1 a day. 

That also meant that I was going to login and check the accounts a little more often. 

And I stuck to it . . . until the kids found a movie they really wanted. 

And then I remembered to go online and renew it (at 11:50 p.m.) so that I wouldn't have a late fee.  And then I found out that someone had the movie on hold so I couldn't renew it.  So I got in the car early the next morning to get that movie returned in the box before the library opened.  Whew!  I made it. 

But then, just when I thought things were going well. 

We returned a CD without the paper insert (and the library didn't count it as returned since it wasn't complete) and I didn't renew it since I thought I had returned it and at the same time Adam pulled this book out of his bag, because he wanted to read it some more. . .  and just like that . . .

I owe 20 cents. 

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Our first WINTER snowstorm

While we had a huge snowstorm in October, it has been pretty quiet and mild here for the winter. (and I have loved it!). This week though we got about 2 inches on Tuesday, about an inch on Friday and then today has been the "jackpot".

The kids are out playing. It is fun to enjoy on a Saturday when we don't have anywhere to go or anything to do. The kids are outside building forts and snowmen and shoveling and making angels.

After getting all the big kids dressed Owen was so sad that he wasn't getting dressed for the snow. He brought me his boots and his hat. So I got him all dressed (knowing he would not actually stay out for very long -- given that he is not feeling well).

We took some pictures under the back porch (so he was sheltered from the snow) and then the kids took him for one sled ride. And one sled ride was ENOUGH! He couldn't get inside fast enough!!!!

Enjoy the photos!

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Friday, January 20, 2012

this is ALL for Owen

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He has had a cold and I wondered if it had become more than a cold, but it had only been 5 days (and my doctor is SLOW to prescribe antibiotics) so I figured I would tough it out until Monday. As long as he had cold and cough medicine, and tylenol, and ibuprofen he has been pretty happy.

But then today at 4:00 (I could go on and on about how all my kids sicknesses turn for the worse at about 4:00 on a Friday, but that is another whole blog post) when he awoke from his nap -- his eyes were goopy and stuck closed.

Ugh, pink eye too???? I could just see that running amok in our house over the weekend. So I got an appt for 4:30 and found out that he has 2 ear infections, a bad cough, a cold and pink eye . . . in both eyes.

Really though, despite it all, he is a good little trooper.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

More of Adam's adventures and some tips and tricks of mine!

It is so fun watching as Adam learns to read. He wants to read more and more everyday. We had so much fun doing a backyardigan's book yesterday that he chose another one to do today!

This time they were explorer's in the Jungle. Adam got his explorer hat and jacket and a box to put his "prickly, pink plant".

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He insisted on another chalkboard mural.

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And we used the big ball swing in the storage room as his jungle vine!

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Owen loves swinging right now! So he was excited for it to be his turn.

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Today I thought I would write down a couple of my little tips. First, my dad gave me this hot chocolate / latte machine a couple of years ago. I have loved using it but it was kind of a pain to clean. If you left it on with a little bit of hot chocolate in it, the milk would burn and it would take a lot of scrubbing to get it all cleaned. Then a few weeks ago I had this brilliant idea to only put water in it. That way the kids just fill their mug and add the powder and no hot chocolate is wasted. It never gets dirty and everyone can customize their hot chocolate to their liking. The amazing thing is then how many other ways I have found to use the hot water. I make oatmeal with it. I make fruit and herbal teas with it. And I am sure I will find more things in the future. And the best part? it doesn't have to be cleaned!!!!!

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Another favorite idea of mine has been a DIY dry shampoo. Sometimes the girls hair (even if they washed it the night before) can just look a little greasy. A friend of mine had recommended dry shampoo. So I bought some and found that it worked great! The only problem is that it is expensive and barely can do all three girls hair! So I came up with my own. The primary ingredient is corn starch. So I took cheese cloth, put cornstarch in the center and then tied it shut with a rubberband. Then we can just take the puff ball of powder and dab it on their hair. I usually let the powder sit for a minute or two (to absorb all the oils) and then you just brush out the powder. It works great and is super cheap!

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And last of all, I got this idea from pinterest. A person posted "instant" brownies. Instead of baking them for 25-30 minutes you put the brownie batter right into your waffle maker. Then you top it with icecream and voila! almost instant hot brownies! Yummy!

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Last night the wind was howling. It woke me up. It EVEN woke Trent up. It was freight train, blow the trees down loud. Fortunately all the trees were still standing when we woke up (I figure at this point all the weak trees have already fallen!)

So it was pretty funny when Adam walked into the kitchen and announced, "I know what day today is . . . Wednesday." He definately knows the days of the week, but I was impressed that he knew the day without even going over the days plan and in spite of the day off on Monday. I asked him how he knew? He replied that when he heard the wind he knew it was "winds day".

This afternoon we grabbed another series of beginning readers to work on (me and Adam). This time they are the Backyardigans (which he loves to watch as well). The book was all about pirates and we had so much fun drawing on the board, getting dressed up like a pirate, and filling a shoe box with gold!

Adam is such a fun boy to have home during the day. Whenever people ask me why I don't do preschool it is hard to respond quickly about all the fun we have together (and all the fun I had with my other kids). I wouldn't give up these fun moments for anything. Now that is not to say that I am super excited for them to go to kindergarten. There comes a point where they are ready for ALL day stimulation and I am only good for 1-2 hours of educational stimulation each day -- (all that laundry and 3 meals a day stuff gets in the way).

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012


We haven't had snow since the freakishly early October snow story. It has been quite shocking actually. Even more shocking is that we had about 2 inches and they didn't cancel school. They didn't even delay it. That is amazing for around here. 403639_3078283360929_1379108599_3205289_431664744_n, 403639_3078283360929_1379108599_3205289_431664744_n

Monday, January 16, 2012

MLK day -- playing softball

I have taken a board position for our town's softball league and as such have been looking so forward to my own girls participating in a sport I LOVED playing so much as a kid. Last year Catherine played softball and Julianne and Madelyn watched hesitantly from a distance. I was excited for MLK day because our softball league held a free indoor softball clinic. All 3 girls wanted to go to the clinic. There was no pressure to join a team, no pressure on performance -- it was all about having fun and learning new skills.

It was certainly nice to have something fun and energetic to do inside on a cold, cold, cold holiday. My girls all had a great time. At the end of the clinic and later that night ALL 3 girls asked if I would sign them up for softball!!!

Was the clinic a success? I don't know about everyone else, but for my family it was!!!!!

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

My three little girls -- aren't so little anymore

Sometimes you just get the sense that time is flying by . . .

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That's how I felt today.

First, Madelyn is in Senior primary. Really??? And she got an invitation to "It's great to be Eight!" Already??

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Then Julianne got an invitation to New Beginnings. Really? Already???

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And of course Catherine just turned 10? double digits?

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Please slow down time. I would appreciate it.