Thursday, October 20, 2016

Playdough is serious business

It's worth letting them make this big mess to see them all nicely playing together:)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Ortho party

Our friends own this Ortho office, but we would've gone here anyway for this party!

I love when businesses choose to spend their marketing dollars on family-fun events :)

Facepainting, bouncy houses, carnival games, treats, contests, and great prizes! We won an awesome sled, and Disney on Ice tickets!!

But we're not moochers....Brianna has an appt there now for her first consultation. There's nothing especially concerning about her teeth right now...but since both of her parents needed braces, it's definitely worth checking out early to see if we can avoid issues. Plus, she's super excited about the prospect of having braces. I'm guessing that will wear off in a few years, better jump on it now!

I wasn't grateful enough to my parents for the gift they gave me in paying for this is the way to make up for that, right? Perfect straight teeth for all my kids! All for the price of.... a very nice car. Oye.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Date night!

I was pretty shocked when Brian asked me out on a date! In advance! And planned the babysitter! He hasn't done this in... well, I won't share that :) We had a great time! The Chinese Lantern Festival at Riverfront Park was amazing. I thought I had seen it enough, since I've walked around the perimeter, and ran through it during a race in daylight hours. But seeing it at NIGHT, plus the live show, plus the IMAX - totally worth the admission. Bonus - hardly anyone there, since it was raining! Not even raining - just drizzling. Still fun to be in. Unfortunately, our kids weren't great for the babysitter. Poor girl, Emily...too soft spoken. Gotta be firm with our kids and they'll comply. We paid her well, and Bennett had to write an apology letter. I think it will go better next time :)

Socktoberdash 5/10K

I wonder if my kids think it's totally normal for their mom to wake them up at 7am on a Saturday morning and say, "cmon kids, put on your crazy socks, time to go to the fun run!"

We had a blast! I ran the 10K, which started a few minutes before the 5K, so I was able to circle back after finishing and help Brian with the crew. He had Charity and Bennett in the double jogger. Brianna ran the whole thing, Courtney ran most of it but got to trade Bennett for stroller time when she got a little tired.

The kids got lots of prizes, and great post-race refreshments. And they learned a great lesson about helping others when they heard what the event was raising funds/awareness for.... Teen Closet, a local organization helping outfit homeless/foster kids. Such a foreign concept for our children....good for them to realize how blessed they truly are. 

And good for them to RUN!! :)

(my time was invalid - since I went the wrong way - not my fault - poorly marked course with lame volunteers - but I was first overall, and got a decent workout, so it's all good)

Our new puppy

Everyone was so excited about Spike besides a certain toddler...

Post race refreshments...

COURTney found a COURTroom

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Nonny made WonderOven bread...

....But I really wish she wouldn't, cuz I end up eating way too much of it! But I waited til the next day, after the gym...and I get Delayed Gratification Points for that, right!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

How Brianna watches Gen Conf

Before Conference, she makes a list of words she thinks she'll hear. Then everytime she hears that word, she makes a checkmark on it.  She earns a penny per checkmark!  Win win win!  She gets SO much out of it...she can tell me all about the talks she heard. And more importantly, how it made her FEEL.  I love it.   And it only ends up costing me $2-3.  Perfect investment :)


I see little video clips being shared on FB with quick tutorials and hair style ideas for little girls.... it's SO FUN! I love having new options for cute styles!  

Saturday, October 8, 2016

I'm glad her friend's moms take time to do this stuff....

Brianna went to a friend's birthday party, themed "Emoji Party."  Kamryn's mom Ashlie went all-out in cute stuff! 

It was a sleepover, but we decided a few years ago that our kids wouldn't do sleepovers if we can avoid it. We'll do "late night-overs" instead.  All the fun, none of the worry! 
No reason not to sleep in your own bed safely at home :)

Friday, October 7, 2016

FHE - tennis edition

I want to pass on my love of this sport to my littles!  And the sooner we can get them good at this....the sooner I'll have people to play tennis with :)

I honestly look forward to the day my kids can beat me - and I'l really trying - in any sport!!

Just some pre-bedtime tests of strength.....


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Racing around

Previous to the past 2 weeks I haven't done any official races in months. Not sure why....just wasn't focused on finding them or prioritizing them. I also felt really out of shape. Well, running shape. I always workout. But the only way to be good at running is to RUN. So why waste my time and money driving out to race events when I wasn't training for them?
But Meredith kicked me out of my comfort zone by making me do this Happy Girls 5K. Her coworker had a couple entries she couldn't use, so sold them to us.
I was super excited and nervous to do a race. No idea what to expect for my time or how I'd feel. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I haven't totally lost it. Time was 19:55, and I was the first woman. I had to work super hard for it - the 2nd girl, Haley, was on my tail. But my pride wouldn't let her beat me, since she had beat me last Spring at a 5K while she was pregnant. Now she has a 2 month old. So while I've had all summer to train, she's been busy with the infant stuff. So I have absolutely no excuse. And I'm going to have to train much harder to beat her in future races, since she's already THIS good, despite the best excuse in the world. I won some cool stuff - a nice Athleta jacket and hat, $25 gift card (gave all that to Mere, she appreciates it more and had bought my entry), and a free entry to a future race. And chocolates. And they had delicious chicken/tofu/veggie teriyaki bowls after...and I think I took like 6 of them....So overall, very worth driving out to SFCC for this! Oh, and the best benefit - a killer workout.

The next weekend, Oct 1, I did the Colbert Half Marathon. I had actually been planning on this one all year. No reason not to... it starts a mile from my house, costs just $20, and is a beautiful course! I won last year in 1:30, this year in 1:36. They changed the course, so I could blame that....but it's more likely that I was just in better shape last year. Still happily accepted the case of HUGE Honeycrisp apples as my prize! Gave it to Lindsay & parents. The medals were awesome - a 40th year commemoration. Crazy they've been doing it so long! Before half marathons were even popular.  Looking forward to next year! And planning to train better so I'm not SO sore after. My quads/calves/hams were dead for several days.
I've got about 5 races on the calendar for the rest of the year (not actually registered for any, since I tend to procrastinate that)...a 5 mile trail race, a couple 10Ks, 5Ks.  And Snake River half in the Spring to hopefully keep me training all winter! I have a brilliant idea for a Half/full that would be super successful here... the Mt. Spokane Half, going down the canyon from the ski resort. If I had more time/motivation I'd totally jump in and put it on.  But nope! Tryingtryingtrying to keep life simple and focus my energies on my fam. Anyway...ramble over...yay for running :)

How bout them 'tatoes

The weather's turning chilly, so this might be our last tomato harvest unless we get some sunshine!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The highlight of her day...

She came running in the door after school exclaiming, "I bought an invisible pen!!"

Let's pretend 1998 never happened.

While going through the storage room today to trade out the summer clothes for fall clothes and deal with sizing and all those fun issues that come along with having children... I came across my bin of high school stuff. I opened it up, looking for my YW Medallion. Because I would really like to be wearing it on Sundays and at our activities. Set a good example and all that. My stack of journals was in there. I kept a journal pretty consistently starting around age 10, all through college. I don't anymore. This blog has to suffice. But maybe that's a good thing, because I might look back at what I write 10 years later and be horrified? I hope not. But today I really was. My freshman Journal was ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. Mind-numbingly ridiculous. Wanna slap my 14 year old self ridiculous. Just completely obsessed with boys. Boy drama. Some friend drama. But mostly just Boys Boys Boys. And lots of poor choices. And lots of stupid thinking. Or lack of thinking all together. Wow. I'm now absolutely terrified of having to parent four teenagers. It's obviously a terrible time in life filled with hormones and neurological impairment causing totally irrational behavior. I'm going to immediately start praying that somehow my children are Leaps and Bounds better than I was and I don't have to deal with this. I need to start now coaching them. "Children, repeat after me, 'I will not be a stupid teenager. I will not be a stupid teenager. Got that guys?' Great." After some internal debate, I decided that this journal needed to go bye bye. Ripped it up and put it in the recycle bin. I thank the Lord I somehow made it through that time in life without making any super serious mistakes.

Monday, October 3, 2016

My dream car

So cute we had to pet it!  

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The little things...

I'm not sure why, but it makes me happy to see my dad eating his apples this way...
slice by slice with a small sharp knife...
I've observed him doing this my whole life. 
And the fact that he still does this makes me happy.
I'm sure there's some fancy psychology explanation for this.

Brother wimbly puppet sustains our leaders

I love me some General Conference!! Best weekend(s) all year.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

More kindergartening

I broke away from my kindergarten volunteer duties to the snap these of my purple handed cutie. 
They were learning about the combinations of primary colors to make secondary. So fun!

She's a full head taller than most kids in her class. It's funny.
I'm teaching her to -*hopefully*- embrace it!


No 2 year old should ever be without her shades.
And stuffed elephant.
And fly swatter.

CRAZY carrots!

Monday, September 26, 2016

More walnut harvesting

Brian apparently thought it was pretty comical to see me outside before church knocking down walnuts with a bonfire roasting stick while standing on the hot tub.  
I don't know why. 
Perfectly normal thing to do. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Heading to the party

Mom and Dad have spent the last few months really making some grand improvements to their (already beautiful) country estate. With it now more party-ready, they volunteered to host a wedding reception for a family/ward friend, the Phillipys. The kids really enjoyed getting dressed up and heading out to the festivities! We parked at the bottom and hiked up, which is probably my favorite part. Cuz that's me.  And the chocolate vanilla cookies rolled in powered sugar and dark chocolate. Cuz that's also me. Unfortunately. 

These two are just the best. Brianna is an attentive, loving big sister. More than I ever imagined. It's fantastic, and I hope she keeps it up. And I wish she was this sweet to Courtney! Too close in age, I guess. One of the (many) things I'd do if I could go back in time would be to be kinder to my little sister. More loving and inclusive. Not that I was really UNkind, but I could've been so much better. And I think it would've made a difference. I listened to a TED talk recently and read an article both taking about the cause of addiction NOT being simply biological/neurological/physiologic....but more in the feeling of CONNECTION. Everyone needs to feel like they are loved, needed, and connected to their family & community, or they seek that feeling from elsewhere. Bad places. Or escape their feelings entirely with substances. I'm probably not stating this as eloquently or factually as the research and presentations did, but that's what I got out of it.  Anyway, I'm rambling. Story of my life.  YAY for sweet sisters :)

Friday, September 23, 2016

Mult-tasking for Mom

 Everyone plays on their phone while ironing, right?!
Apparently mom found this very entertaining to see, so took this picture and sent it out to people. 
Little does she realize (or maybe she does), that the funniest part is simply that I'm ironing at ALL.  I do not iron stuff. So pointless, superficial, and time consuming. Just pull it out of the dryer and hang it up right away. Done. 
But she wanted these tablecloths looking pristine for the party, so I obliged!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Telling Sammy Stories

Last Saturday we stopped by Sammy's after the Stake Potluck out in the Valley.  I just love....LOVElovelovelove....the look she gives me when I first walk in. It's just so special. Like she really KNOWS me and is so happy I've come. She starts "talking" to me - and even made a few audible noises today!! That's HUGE - the girl has a TRACHEOTOMY - she shouldn't be able to make noises! But she does! Just barely, and rarely. But I have witnesses. It happened. So cool.  It's SO hard leaving her at the end of our visit. Like SO hard. I want to stay there until she falls asleep so she doesn't have to see me leave. I feel like it makes her sad. 
But wanna know what makes her HAPPY?
Apparently... talking about running with her sisters!!
I started telling her about how Lindsay is coming to visit next weekend and will run a half marathon with Meredith and I. I told Sammy that someday SHE will get to go running with us. And it will be awesome. All 4 of us out running together. With Sammy being the speediest, of course.  
And how did Sammy react?  SHE SMILED SO BIG!!! She was INTENTLY listening to me, and absolutely smiling in response!! It was so awesome.  I can't wait til that running date. It will be the best group run ever. 


We have a really nice, dedicated Home Teacher. David Dorius is a really nice guy, and he brings his 2 awesome kids. Today he left us with some amazing books to borrow - 200 yr old journals from LDS pioneers! He bought these (expensive!) rare books online.  Very interesting to read about all the miracles they experienced!
Now I just gotta work on teaching my kids to be more reverent/calm/respectful when we have someone over. These monkeys' behavior is embarrassing. They were jumping all over.
Duct tape is the obvious solution, right?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

How to show mom love on her bday

A video full of clips featuring greetings from every one of her children, their spouses, and grandchildren! Took a bazillion hours and was worth every one of them!

Link to it:

Volunteering in the class!

Ohmyword. One afternoon in Kindergarten and I'm just in AWE at what these teachers do!!! Managing a room full of 20 5&6 year olds is a pretty incredible after day... wow. 
I'm so glad I get to be in there volunteering weekly! Gotta do it while the kids still love having me around, right?!
They've got an awesome teacher (in her 30th year of doing this!!) and are all set to have a spectacular year!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

It begins...

Sent from my mobile.


Ready to rock Third!

Monday, September 5, 2016




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Brian Mckell
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1-800-MEDLINE<tel:1-800-MEDLINE> (Customer Service)<>

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Just the two of us

Where did her siblings go??! 
I miss our usual parade!
Sadly , they escaped off to Seattle with Papa for some wild cousin adventures. 
Gone for a full 2.25 days. 
Life is too quiet easy and calm with just one child to hang out with!

Saturday, September 3, 2016


Had a sweet visit with Sambam on my way home from the temple.
I love that she lives just 4 minutes from it.
 And I love how her face lights up with recognition when she first sees me.
But I hate how I feel when I have to leave... it's heartbreaking.
I want to stay there forever to keep her company.
I wonder if she gets bored.
She doesn't get to go out much, I think.
I wish so badly she could go swimming.
Or get in a walker of some sort to get her body moving more.
Or sprint around through a grassy mountain field singing the Sound of Music with me.... But we'll probably have to save that for after this life.
And I know that there are great things in store for Sammy then.
 I love my sister!

When Charity plays with Bethany....

 Got this text pic from Meg: 
Looking beaut-i-ous!

Phunny hubby

Sometimes I find selfies like this on my phone....and I'm not sure whether I should laugh, or be concerned....

Friday, September 2, 2016

Not sure if this is Quality Time or not....

Hot tub safety?

Creative little twins, eh?

First heartbreak

She found out her bff Olivia is not in her 3rd grade class ....she didnt take it well....

An hour later she was fine. Convinced her they'd have plenty of time together at lunch, recess, etc.
She might be more upset that I took and posted this picture :)