Sunday, January 30, 2011

Marcel the Shell

Want some good clean fun?
Watch this!

Friday, January 28, 2011

My love for children.....

I have such a love for children. If finances were not an issue.....I would have really....20!
I love my children and my friends children with unconditional love. I have had some special relationships. When I first moved back into our ward, I fell in love with a little Kylie. She and I had the most special relationship.....I found that these relationships fulfilled my desire for the 20+ children. I have to mention another special relationship between Kylie's aunt Tiffanie and I. When Tiff was a little girl, she and I were very close. So close in fact, that when I moved away, she would write me letters. I just adored her. It is so amazing to see her now as a mommy and read her fun blog. Since those times, there have been many children that I dote on.
This is a pure love that I love to share with them.'s my little Torah. She is just about the cutest little thing I have ever seen. Atta, a FIG girl in my group described her eyebrows like this....."they are like inch worms". I love that! They move all over the place. So much expression!
Forming bonds with these children help me form bonds with their parents. I am always better with children. They can sense my sincerity, innocence and pure love.
I was so thankful to have Nonnys kids yesterday. Nonnys kids are like my own. I love them like my own. I started thinking about all my relationships with the children in my ward. I love them all the same. I truly do. I am thankful for this wonderful religion that fosters these relationships and encourages them.
I am thankful for the trust that they have for me because of this beautiful religion where we call each other "brother" and "sister" because we truly are. I am like an aunt and we are a part of this beautiful large family. I hope they know they can always count on me for unconditional love.
Oh.....and I love their parents too. Just as much.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bieber F-E-V-E-R

So Mae has a strange crush/adoration for Mr. Bieber. It's sweet, and she talks about him a LOT.
The funny thing is...we don't have cable television, none of the boys like his music, and we don't listen to the radio. So....where in the world has she learned about him?? Well, even without all these outlets to see him, he is still talked about a lot. Myrons hair for one....he does the "Bieber" sweep. She goes bananas if the boys find him on the internet for her. She pretends to have phone conversations with him. Last nights conversation went like this-
Mae- Justin? What are you doing walking around without a GIRLFRIEND?
Me- Giggling
Mae- STOP laughing at me....I just always want to know what he is doing.
Grandma presented Mae with a whole magazine all about Justin Bieber today.
She is sleeping with it as we speak. She used to say that he was her boyfriend and that they would get married. I nipped that one right in the bud. I let her know, that no way would she have a boyfriend before she was 16 and that she couldn't even talk about boyfriends until she is in her teens. she just says that he is her "friend". Much better. What 3 year old talks about boyfriends??

I think that Mae thinks Justin Bieber is so cute because he sort of looks like her brothers and she sure adores them.

Justin may be cute, but he's got nothing on these Butler boys. After all.......they DO take after their mama. (licks finger tip and touches her bum.....sssstssss.....sizzle)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

An oldie but goodie!

I have


to post.......

so....this old photo

I found......


just have to


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Been sick........again

Never before have I cursed myself so much for not getting the flu shot last year.
Not that I have ever had the shot, but after getting sick SO many times in the last few months...(no I am not pregnant) I am determined to get the shot finally.
I could barely get out of bed today. My body is weak, I can't keep anything down and I just want to sleep. The kids? Oh of course they are fine far. Better that mama gets sick first so she can be well when the sickness hits everyone else.
Ta ta for now.......I am going back to bed.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

No news is good news?

I have been dilligent with my every day posting give or take a few. :)
Today cameras battery is dead and I have nothing to post!
I could post about the cute "time out" daddy gave Mae on top of the refridgerator.
She loved it and didn't want to come down.
It would have been a great post if a photo accompanied it....instead.
I got nuthin!
So, I hope today is in fact uneventful for you, because let's face it......for us mothers......
NO news is good news.......

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it SNOW! rained and melted all the beautiful snow today. But......before it did, Shane and I ran out to enjoy some midnight snow fun. I did a snow angel.....he watched and then I got him with a snow ball. At 7:30 am this morning.......the kids decided that instead of sleeping in.......they should go play in the snow, and they did until noon! Happy Snow Day!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Must haves for 3 year old girls.

Tonight, we tackled Mae's dollhouse that she drew all over. Little girls love to clean and help! So does Rylan. At one point I even had to say "If you don't share the sponge, I will not let you clean". What? From the dollhouse, I started organizing her toys. Every month or so, I will go through them all and get rid of the ones she isn't playing with and organize the ones she is.
Our house is quite small and even though Mae shares a room with Myron, she doesn't spend anytime in there therefore, she has no space of her own. It is a room for her bed and clothes. I keep her toys in our living room. As I was creating her own little space tonight, I reflected on things that are so important for little girls to have as they grow up.
I created a little "zone" for each of her favorite past times. She has a puppet theater and puppets to act. She has an area for her baby dolls. Her books are within her reach.
Her basket of toys creates a nice border against the hallway.
She can sit in the middle of this area and feel like it is her own little space, even though
it is part of our livingroom.
Baskets are a must. She has a basket for her dress up clothes, puppets, babies, tea cups, food etc.
They look warm and cozy. I even have some pink plastic (gag me) tea cups that I let her play with. I am still on the look out for some quality wood ones. I am a toy snob when it comes to my kids as toddlers. I firmly believe in children using their imaginations and creating their own stories through play. Society dumbs down our children and gives them toys that do everything for them. That and they are sterile to look at. I love toys with soft colors, fabrics and natural materials. They may be hard to come by and expensive, but they are treasures that you can pass on from kids to grandkids.

A little craft that I made for Mae to help with our preschooling at home, are these sweet alphabet marbles/magnets. I have a set for the fridge and when we are doing our school work, I pull them out and we make words with them. Lots of fun and they are so pretty to look at!

Here's how you make them....
Take florists marbles
Cut circles of paper to match the size of the marble
Put a letter, number/shape/etc. on it.
Glue to marble......voila!
So much fun.
Interested in the book " Creative Play". Waldorf crafts and teachings about natural toys and their importance in our childrens lives.
Here's the link......... ( here......)

Monday, January 10, 2011

What we are reading....

It's January and for Christmas, we all got new books! Happy Reading.

Rylan, Mae and I are reading Tum Tum and Nutmeg. It is a fun Brittish story about two sweet little mice (yes....I can stand this book even though it has mice in the story. They wear clothes!).
I read this every night to them and they fall asleep every night to me reading. Is that a bad or a good thing? Rylan will tell me as he is falling asleep to please wake him up if there is a picture.
Brennan just loves this series. He is an avid reader and thinks these books are the best out there. He is also reading a book for school that he is really enjoying right now. The Watsons Go to Birmingham" about an african american family in the 60's.
Myron had a request on his Christmas list for a new series to start reading that did not involve fairies or magic etc. Hard challenge. We found this one about a young man that finds out that he has super powers. He is really loving this one.

I just started reading the following book. It's alright. I really loved Harry Potter and the description says that it is comparable to Harry Potter and the Narnia Chronicles, so I'll let you know.

After 2 years......Shane finally finished "The Glass Castle". Now he has moved on to the next best memoir below. It is incredible. Good luck Shane!

As for Nathan....he is as mysterious as ever and I have no idea what he is reading.
He is so overwhelmed with high school studies and getting up early for seminary, that he usually crashes at about 8:30 every night.
So that's all for now!
What are YOU reading??

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Welcome baby Miles!

I thought it may be time to put another baby on my blog as little Torah has monopolized my posting as of late. I DID get to see her tonight though and fought the urges to photograph her.
Did you know she makes the BEST awnry face? It's beautiful and then it turns right into the sweetest happy smiley face you have ever seen. Anyways......about this "new" baby.
He is just adorable and I was so happy to get to bring dinner to my sweet friend, her sweet mother and family. Congratulations to all of them. I can't wait to get to see his dear personality grow.
Ps- Did you know that I am a babyholic and there are NO support groups for me?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

And behind this sweet exterior..........

THIS is how I feel today. Utterly and hopelessly.......WITCHY! This is how I feel on the inside and I am sure when I am yelling at the kids......this is how I look on the outside too.
I don't know what it is about today, but I feel awnry. Not just normal awnry......A W N R Y!
I mean.....put myself in isolation (or try to). never fails, when I go away to take a break,.....all of my kids follow. Then they want to talk talk talk and grab and jump on me etc.
I start thinking bad thoughts like......"could I just run away" among some of my favorites.
Just joking, BUT......I DO want to get away and I can't. I need to get everyone ready for church tomorrow, dinner made and cleaned up, laundry folded and bed sheets changed (don't ask).
It's so hard not getting a day off. This mama really needs one.
It's an early bed time for me tonight. Is 7 too early? I just want to get this day behind me!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Is it Christmas again??

Grandma Sandra and Shane went to Silverdale today to get some things for the house. While there, she decided to buy Nathan an early birthday present! A new guitar. He has really needed one since his last smashed. Long story.
While there, she also decided to buy a power washer for herself, but it will stay here. Niice!
Can't wait to get to work on the deck and house with it!

The biggest present?? A surround for our wood stove!!! So exciting to finally have a wood stove

She gave us this cast iron wood stove last month. When we first moved back to Washington, our neighbors were losing their home and sold this stove to Sandra for 50.00! She has kept it all these years and during our last power outage, remembered that she still had it. Since her new home has one, we were the lucky recipients. For our Christmas present, she offered to buy all the piping etc. for us. The only hitch is.....we don't know anything about the stove.
There is no make/model or company information on the entire thing.

It's a scary looking beast. Right now, it's sitting among our rescued items from the basement so I apologize for the mess. Have you ever seen a stove like it? I am curious as to how old it is and where it is from. Needless to say.....I am looking forward to another power outage to try it out!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Quick dinner idea- Bean taquitos and cherry empanadas.

I love to cook. This we all know. Tonight I was able to make a really fun, kid helping friendly, vegetarian dish that took about 15 minutes to make. One taquito is pretty filling so I cut one in half for Rylan and Mae to share. I use the tortillas from our local Central Market because they are fresh made every day and when fried, they take on a very chewy, texture which really compliments the crispy ness.
I also added some chips for my guacamole because the kids love it and it is a great way to get in those extra nutrients. Guacamole is chalk full of veggies.
Here's how to do it.
Take a tortilla ( can be bagged, unless you are a food snob like me)
Add beans, refried or whole.
Add cheese. Sometimes I like to add cream cheese, chicken and chives.
Fry in hot oil for about 3-5 minutes. DONE!
Add your favorite garnishes and that's it.
For dessert....roll some canned cherry pie filling into the tortilla, fry
and serve with whipped cream and cinnamon. Yummy!

I was really thankful for this quick meal tonight because Myron let me know that he had a pedigree chart that is due TOMORROW!!
After a few hours......this is what we came up with. It was fun to spend that special time with him.

Last night, our Faith in God girls worked on their own family trees, so it helped that it was on my mind. Goodnight!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Kitchen Help

I love it when the kids help with dinner. Every time I get to the stove, my little ones beg to help.
Tonight, Rylan and Mae helped garnish the salmon and make the fruit salad. We decided to use coconut cream with the fruit and it was delicious. At dinner, we play a game. I ask the kids to name the ingredients/spices I use in their dinners. I have this fear of them heading off to their missions and schools not knowing how to feed themselves properly. This is my italian heritage.
I always want to feed people. If you ever visit my home, you will know.
Tonight we had sockeye salmon with lemon, garlic and rosemary with baby red potatoes and fresh asparagus. I find that even my picky kids eat what they cook.
Bon Appetit!

What? You DONT like nori and boursin together?




Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Can we get a break already??? FLOOD!

WeYll......after the leak in our driveway was fixed (or so we thought)....Shane and I set out to get some things finished in the house. When Shane was walking down to get Rylan from the bus.....he noticed that the water was STILL leaking. So.....he followed it up and decided to check out the basement. Guess was under 2+ feet of water!! WHAT?! Can't we catch a break here??
Luckily our insurance will fully cover it IF it is a break in our pipes under the house. We just have to pay our 1000.00 deductible. We will also receive a settlement for our damaged possessions. Man oh man. Shand and all the boys AND grandma AND me went into the basement to sort through items, bag them.....or burn em.
It resulted in this massive bon fire at our home. See photos below!

After we finished burning the damaged items......we started in on items that needed to "go" from other areas. The below photo is of a chair that we had for years. It went up like it had gasoline on it. Very scary. It really hit home, how quickly a fire can spread in our homes. We had a local woman that lost her husband and 4 sons just a few days ago to a fire. So tragic.

We were able to rent a sump pump at Bainbridge Rentals, just as they were closing and I am happy to report that as of now, most of the water is gone. Tomorrow we have a dumpster going to finish getting rid of all the damaged items and an insurance agent meeting us tomorrow afternoon. Life is never dull in this house.......ever.
Myron took the below photo. It was wet and needed to go. sad.
That is all for tonight...........I pray!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Are you ready for this?

That's only half of the water that was in the kayak which made it next to impossible to pull up.
So......where do I start?
Let's start with the pipe that burst in our driveway and caused a little river that went all the way down to the road, which then mixed with our freezing weather, turned into ICE and made driving conditions unsafe for our fellow islanders. Yeah....that sounds about right.
Shane had to miss work today to dig a 3+ foot hole in the freezing cold to find the exposed leak.
Once found.....we figured out that the people that originally did the pipes didn't put the correct valve. Weyll...they also didn't answer their phones today SO...another pipe person (plumber?) will be arriving tomorrow morning to get the job done.
Moving are probably waiting for the "kayak" story. Weyll......(ps- WEYLL sounds like "well", but with a southern twang. Mom used to say it a lot).
When the kids got home, we decided to finally go pick up that crab pot that Nathan left out there on Saturday. The water was choppy, but Nathan was determined to get out there. I was completely sick to my tummy. The tide was all the way in and the buoy was pretty far out there. don't know how much I love out he went. I mean....I DO have 5 children afterall. What's 1 loss? :) Anyhow.....he's out there and I am mid panic as I look through the binoculars at him. The kayak seems lower in the back as he tries to pick up the pot. I am thinking "how in the world is he going to get it up and back if it is full of crab"?? In my over active imagination, I think he's goin down. I tell Shane to get suited up and ready to go rescue him. Yes.....I tell my rather large husband who has NEVER been in a kayak to go into the choppy ocean in freezing weather conditions to rescue my son who shouldn't even be out there in the first place!! All for CRAB! I am so going to hell I think. Anyhow.....Shane gets in the kayak.....well he attempts to get into the kayak. I hold on to the back and he's rocking (tide was in and he is on the steps trying to get into the kayak). He says don't let go, but I think......PUSH! I push him off and well.....he wobbles a bit and over he goes. Straight into the ccccold water. Oh is Nathan that I think is going in, and now Shane?? Shane climbs up the steps and what do you know......he forgot to hold on to the kayak so off it goes into the ocean. He looks at me, and I say to him "you'd better go get it"! Already wet, he goes after the kayak and gets it. Meanwhile.....the neighbor is giving me a piece of her elderly mind about how irresponsible we are. Blah blah blah. Finally......we see that Nathan is coming in, and looks just fine. Phew. Then Steven, grandmas elderly blind and deaf dog gets out and we are running after him.
Shane tries to get the kayak back up the steps but it is full of water. Nathans coming in......NO CRAB! What?! Just one huge starfish who probably ate all the crab we had in there. Darn him!
Nathan had abandoned the pot half way home because of the choppy water.

With dad safely inside, clothes in the dryer and Nathan back too.....we went to sit outside and speculate on what we could do better next time. Wouldn't you know it......a guy motors right up to our pot and picks it up. How nice, we think! They must have seen you out there struggling and went to get it and bring it to us to save us a trip. Right on! I even took a photo, I was so impressed by the kindness. That was until I noticed that the guy took it and kept going. We screamed, jumped and whistled and he just waved and took off and STOLE our pot!! K....that didn't sound good. Our CRAB pot.

Nathan was pretty bummed. Even though the kid doesn't even like seafood! He does love his mom and anything that involves a risk.

We had all been planning on a huge crab feast. We thought that FOR SURE we would get some crab since the pot had been there since Sat. So....we had to head to Central Market . We just HAD too. I bought the kids snow crab legs and saved the dungeness crab for myself.
I really dislike cracking crab for other people, even my kids. All that work with no reward?
Not fun! Kind of like sunflower seeds and artichoke. Also my favorites.
Alright.....that's enough excitement for tonight. Goodnight!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Years Eve Part 3!!

No more parts to this story. These sweet little children are who we came back to just in time to toast and shoot off fireworks. I ended up bearing my testimony today. I knew I would, but wish (as always) that I would have been more eloquent with my words. I had this urge to go up again just to explain what I REALLY meant the first time. Oh well. I hope some youth listened.
It really doesn't end just because you are an adult. Bad influences are around you your whole life, and at least for me, doesn't get any easier, but......I know it is worth it. I know the reward at the end. I know that Satan knows each of our weaknesses very specifically and personally. I know that he wants nothing more than to see our sweet family be miserable because, that's what he does. I do testify of the importance of standing in holy places. I don't mean just church, or temples etc. I mean....being where the spirit can be as well.
If you aren't somewhere the spirit can's time to leave. This all sounds like something I should be preaching to my children right? I's a no brainer to every other LDS mom. Why didn't i get it before? Weyylll.......I did and I do......and I don't and I might......every day of my life. This is a tortured girl in here. I will be questioning my beliefs, my mind, my actions, my words every day until the day I die and I might never find the answers I am looking for but.....
at least I can try. I owe it to "him" to try my hardest.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Years Eve- Part 2

So, I know I said I would not be able to post until Monday or so, but we ended up leaving the party at 11:30. It was lots of fun, but after something special that happened earlier, I just didn't feel right staying.

At about 7pm, I went outside Grandmas to look for my friend Lydia that was going to be dropping off my mask she made me. I noticed a young girl standing in the dark road.

I walked past once and then came back to her and said "hey, do I know you"?

She responded that yes, I did know her. I shined my flashlight and immediately recognized her as a girl that grew up with my Nathan. She is quite popular and he doesn't hang with her, but he dad owns a store next to mine, so we became friends.

After some prodding, she broke down crying and let me know that the kids she was hanging out with (14+ years old) were all drinking and she felt very uncomfortable.

I was so impressed. I let her know that I would wait for her dad (she called him) so she could go back to the party so no one would suspect her of telling on them.

He ended up taking about an hour. It was freezing. Then, instead of busting up the party....they just grabbed their daughter and left. Although he thanked me, I felt such a sense of dismissal. Like....."kids will be kids". I was so thankful that Nathan was at a church function and SAFE.

Which brings me to our party. Many of my high school friends were home this Christmas.

I happen to be the only LDS one in the group of 30 or so of us. As I was at this party last night, I couldn't stop thinking about this young girl and how uncomfortable she felt and why didn't i?

Well, that's just it.......I did. That's when we left. I started looking around me.

I love my friends, don't get me wrong.....but, I don't need to drink to have fun.

Not that my friends drink to get crazy, but there were some people there I didn't know that were so over the top drunk, that I felt horrible even leaving them there. I felt naive and saddened. It actually made me feel so reassured to be able to still feel this way.....sensitive.

I may bear my testimony about this tomorrow. I may not, but it's something I will never forget.

The example of a young woman, standing up for her beliefs even in the midst of the ever judgmental popularity game, that we are all in.........