Sunday, May 11, 2014


With the loss of her two front teeth, a strange thing happened. My little girl somehow became a lot older. Or maybe I am just finally able to accept that she is not a toddler or even a pre-schooler. It is amazing how quickly she went from this:
to this:
She is spunky and thoughtful and has such interesting things to say. She is also full of drama. Oh, the drama! The other day she started singing a song that went something like, "Oh, I wish my mom would understand meeee, I wish she understood! But I guess I should just give uuuuuuuuuuup. Because she doesn't. But I wish she would listen to meeeeeeee." It went on for awhile, but that was basically it. I guess I'm a mean mom who doesn't understand her, because I make her do chores. She has to vacuum under the table after dinner every night, and one day I asked her to do it again, because she had missed half of the mess. She raised her eyes skyward and said, "You're never satisfied by what I do for you!" Isaac overheard her and just about died laughing.
Anyway, back to the subject of teeth (because that's what I was talking about, right?), Henry, at nine months finally cut his first tooth. I'm proud of him for waiting so long. I was worried that it would mean he would suddenly cut six at once, but it's been about a month (since he turns ten months tomorrow!) and he still just has the one.You can't actually see the tooth in this picture, but you can see his little wrinkle- nosed smile, which is one of the cutest things ever. I can't not smile back at him.

He is a complete darling, without any apparent fear of strangers, and possessing a happy, relaxed attitude. I'm pretty guaranteed a smile if I tickle under his chin, and if someone in the room laughs, he'll probably laugh, too. You know, watching Lizzy learning and growing, eating new foods, beginning to sit up, crawl, take first steps ... those were some of the most exciting and rewarding moments of my life. I didn't know that it would be like that for each child. Henry, my fourth child, has been crawling for a few weeks now, and his first little shuffles were every bit as exhilarating as Lizzy's were. I feel like my world just keeps expanding. I would not trade being a mother to these four loves for anything.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


We had a very happy Easter this year. The Easter Bunny was pretty good to the kids; I think we're all set with chocolate for the next year or so.
 My mom outdid herself on the outfits she made for us. Can you believe how gorgeous Lizzy's dress is? And even though you can't actually see it in this picture, the skirt she made me is also really pretty. 
 Seriously. Best looking kids ever.
Next year I need to remember to boil more eggs. I thought a dozen would be plenty for our family, but then Sebastian ate three in one sitting. By the time Easter was over, we were out of eggs.
We tried making a somewhat traditional Easter meal with moderate success. The ham we picked ended up being too big for our crockpot, so we shoved it in upside down and it basically worked. It fell off the bone and looked kind of funny, but it tasted good to me. The rolls came out flat, and the frosting melted off the easter bunny cupcakes,but everything was edible. Luckily we invited some friends to join us, and they brought some amazing potato casserole, which really rounded things out.
The best part of the day, though, was sitting in church, singing Easter songs, listening to the talks that all centered on the Atonement, and feeling deeply grateful for the gift of the Saviour. Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 27, 2014


I've been playing a lot of Uno this year. When I say "a lot", what I really mean is that I play at least three rounds of it every day. Barak is four and can't get enough of the game. I think it might have something to do with his delight over the chance he might be dealt a whole handful of "power cards", which is what he calls skips, reverses, draw-twos, and wilds. Or maybe he just likes having my full attention for a bit. We usually play while Lizzy is at school and Sebastian and Henry are napping, so it's just a cozy game between the two of us. Sometimes we also play in the evening, when Lizzy's home. She likes to shout a triumphant "Uno!" as much as Barak does.
Once while Barak and I were playing, he was starting to get sad because I was winning, so I tried to reassure him. "It's okay," I said. "I've only won once, and you've won three times, so you're still winning overall." He paused in the act of playing a card and looked confused. "What overalls?" he asked. Since then, we've decided that whoever has won the most games for the day gets to "wear the golden overalls." Barak, being who he is, likes to try to add a golden sword or two, especially if he's winning (which he usually is). I wish a could capture this time with my little boy and hug it close to me forever. He says the funniest tings and makes me laugh so much. There is no one on earth like him, and I am so grateful to have him as my Uno rival.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Disorganized chaos

We left all but one small bookshelf in Oregon, as well as the kids' dressers. They were ugly, beat up, and not in great repair, so we decided to just replace them once we got here. We're still working on that. As you can probably imagine, our house is not currently the most organized place on earth.  Clothing in our home spends most of its time in laundry baskets anyway (whether dirty, clean, or folded and waiting to be put away), so I am content to wait on the dressers a little longer. The books are largely hanging out unpacked in the garage, so I'll wait on the bookshelves, too. Somehow, though, we developed a toy problem. Toys never lived in dressers or bookshelves, and yet there is suddenly no where to put all these things.
We currently have all four children sleeping in one room while their toys occupy the bedroom across the hall. We started out with the older kids in one room and the little guys in the other, but first Sebastian moved over (because he was lonely without his big brother), and then we dragged Henry's bed in, too (because it seemed ridiculous to lavish that much space and privacy on an individual weighing less than 20 pounds. Also I don't want him to get used to sleeping in silence.) So now we have a room full of toys, and no organization for them.
Yesterday I learned something while playing hide and seek with the kids. If your six-year-old can lie down on the floor in the middle of the toy room and you can't find her, you have officially reached the point where Something Must Be Done.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow Days

 Last week we had two snow days. Isaac still had to work, but Lizzy had no school, and I don't think I will ever be comfortable driving in snow, (even the relatively small amount that we got). Honestly, I am a big wimp when it comes to being cold. I am pretty much done with winter by Christmastime. Playing outside all day, making snowmen and having snowball fights? Thanks, but I'll stay inside with the baby and keep the hot chocolate warm. Which is what I did while Lizzy and Barak made a snowman on our back patio.
 After that, I felt like our "play outside in the snow" requirement had been met, so we had to come up with other ways to entertain ourselves. We started out by unpacking a few boxes.
 We found the box with the wii in it, which allowed us a happy hour playing a dancing game which had the kids jumping around the room. I'll spare you the video I took.
We did a lot of reading. The kids and I are reading Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Race against Time right now, and I recommend it. It's the second in a series that continues Ian Fleming's original story. (It's better than the original, though.)
 We did some workbook pages. Lizzy refused to do the one that was sent home from Kindergarten, because it was "too easy" so we let Barak do it.
 We did some simple crafts.
 And of course we made cookies. I've never made snickerdoodles before, so we thought we'd try it. They came out mostly pretty good, but so far all the cookies I've made in Oklahoma have been really dry. Nothing a glass of milk can't fix.
I had a very enjoyable couple of days. I think my kids are really funny, and creative and smart. I really like spending time with them. 
√úbrigens: Henry is in love with his feet. He spends a lot of time playing with them and chewing on his toes. Completely adorable.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A random group of pictures

As I said below, I just added a ton of pictures to the computer, and in an effort to remember why I took them, let me share with you some of my favorites.
 Best buddies
 Barak has gotten really funny lately about thinking kisses are gross. So I kiss him extra.
 Henry is completely in love with my mom. He smiles and talks to her like nobody else.
 Sebastian got into a roaring contest with my dad. I wish I had taken a video, so that I could always remember how high he jumped when he heard my dad roar back. 
 I LOVE matching Christmas pajamas.
 Poor Ammon was so sick on Christmas. And yes, Lizzy is sitting on the couch reading with a headlamp. Because she's awesome.
 I really love these next two pictures, because they show what it was really like at Christmas. I feel like there is a lot of happiness in these pictures.

 Jamming with the one-year-olds
 Living without furniture or dishes for the first week proved to be a fun challenge. The kids are sharing one cup of hot chocolate, because we forgot to buy disposable cups, but somehow remembered the straws.
 Henry, with awesome hair. I hope it really grows in that way.
 Henry's first taste of food. He has done really well with solid food, though he would really like to feed himself. 
 This is from yesterday. I can't believe how big Henry is already. Life has been a little hectic the past few months (since he was born, really) and I'm worried that I'm letting his babyhood slip away without stopping to enjoy it. He really is a wonderful baby. Sweet and loving and mild. He likes everybody and is generally content as long as somebody is holding him or paying him a little attention. 

Kids behind the camera

I finally got around to putting my pictures from the last month or so onto the computer. As I scanned through them, I was able in part to re-live the last couple of days in our house (which SOLD, by the way! Hurray!), Christmas celebrations with the Jensens, Christmas with the Washburns, and the first week in the duplex we're renting here. There were a lot of pictures. I realized how blessed I am, to have had really good friends who helped me so much with packing and cleaning, to be a part of two really fun, really caring families, to have found a place to live here with plenty of space for us all... I really feel greatly blessed.
Scrolling through, I also discovered a series of pictures taken by my kids. Isaac and I were trying to tie up about a hundred loose ends as the truck with all our things was delivered, and a maintenance man showed up to replace light bulbs.  To distract our kids, I handed them the camera, and wound up with some beautiful shots, like this one:
I think that's Barak

A whole lot were like this, of Barak's "cool moves."
 Barak's feet
 A closer look at Barak's foot
 Lizzy's feet, in case you needed to compare
 More cool moves, while Mom and Dad do boring things, like sign up for school and health insurance
 The view out our back door
 Barak's hand
I  don't know, I think they're natural photographers, don't you?

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Well, we made it. The truck came, our things have been unloaded (though not unpacked) and we finally have the internet. It's been quite a month. The journey getting here is worth its own blog post, but for now, I want to focus on my first impressions of life in Oklahoma.

  • It's going to take me some time to get used to the water here. When it comes out of the tap, it swirls around for a while in a most disturbing way, before settling into clarity. It doesn't taste too bad... but it doesn't taste too great, either. 
  • The weather is bipolar. The day we got here was sunny, but extremely windy. The next day was 60 degrees and gorgeous, and the following morning we woke up to snow which turned into ice and stuck around for a week. I am unable to discern any kind of pattern, and will just have to start trusting the weather man. 
  • The wind is insane. It's like being on the Oregon coast, except, without the ocean. Or the beach. 
  • It is DRY. Lizzy's poor hands might never be the same again. She applies lotion and goes to bed with gloves on, but in the morning her hands still look like they have lizard skin. I'm told the summer is just as humid as it now is dry, and I wonder, what will that do to my hair?
  • People here are very kind. On our first Sunday at church, I think everyone in the entire ward introduced themselves, and we were invited to dinner that very night. That was a great blessing, because our furniture had not yet arrived, and we were getting tired of sitting on the floor. More importantly, we made some awesome new friends. 
  • The grass is brown. And completely dry. In January. Weird.
  • It is beautiful here. The sky really knows how to turn blue. I'm looking forward to spring when all the trees get their leaves. 
I'm sure there are more things I could mention, but It's getting late, and Henry is getting bored with the hairbrush he has been chewing on, so I will leave you with a picture of the Washburns NOT in Oklahoma. It was taken over Christmas, in Utah, but at least it has all of us in it.
As a special note, Lizzy was throwing up in a bowl on the side of the road right before this was taken.