Wednesday, December 30, 2009

So tomorrow is New Year's Eve. It's time to remember what we spent our time on in 2009 and evaluate. Also, I suppose goals are in order.
January-June = a big blur. Sundance Film Festival. Stay-cation Spring Break. I went to ITALY (I love my job)!
June = Summer Vacation! Lemonade Stand open most days.
July = BEST VACATION EVER - we took a road trip down to So. CA via Utah and Las Vegas. Beaches, amusement parks, sun, friends and family. Seriously, it couldn't have been better! (Except for maybe the night the cops wouldn't let us sleep in our car in a parking lot.)
August = Birthday marathon -
Ian was 7 on the 8th. Brooklyn was 9 on the 9th. And Lucas, being the youngest and least understanding of why it isn't also HIS birthday, celebrated his half birthday on the 9th.
CASH FOR CLUNKERS - I traded in my old Ford Windstar for the cutest orange Honda Fit!
September = Back to School - I returned to work at Foothills School of Arts and Sciences
This year I brought my kids with me too. Since it is pre-k through 9th grade all the kids can attend with me. I LOVE IT!
However, we didn't love the SWINE FLU. Brooklyn and I escaped, but the little boys got it. But they were tough and we kept away from the hospital. Nothing a little TLC couldn't cure.
October = ARRR Matey! (See Halloween post.)
November = More birthdays & Thanksgiving in Utah at Gram and Libby's. Birthday cake, Chocolate Cheesecake courtesy of my dear mommy, and Thanksgiving feast in UT = limited pants options for the rest of the year. (Don't worry, the 2010 goals will take care of that.)
December = Cabin visit, sledding, COLD. Christmas was beautiful and we spent our 2nd Christmas in our great little house in Hyde Park. It's so nice to be in a house that we can finally call home.

Sure, the real estate market still sucks and YES, AARON IS STILL WORKING AS A REALTOR. The boys got the Swine Flu and we still aren't millionaires. BUT - we saw the beach and I got to see Ian happier than he's ever been riding the waves on Huntington Beach. Lucas makes us laugh and fills our hearts with joy everyday. (Even when he is sent home from pre-school, and has to write us notes about his "disrespectful behavior licking the office windows while in time out") He is our early riser and is a ray of sunshine in our home, especially on these dark days when there just aren't enough hours of sunlight. Brooklyn is "practically perfect in every way", although she is much to humble to think it of herself. She is a budding musician, playing piano, flute and electric guitar. She is the cutest rock star in the world . She is a good friend, kind, well adjusted, a good student, and an angel and peacemaker in our home. I couldn't love them more.

Aaron and I have managed to continue to love each other through some pretty major transitions over the past three years. We have learned to rely on each other and support each other. The harder times have made it more important to have a friend to lean on and I'm so grateful it's still him.

I feel refreshed that this first Y2K decade is behind us. 5 houses, 3 kids, 4 schools and many ups and downs later - it's been a good ride.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Random Festivities

1. Snow fell here. Baby, it's cold outside!
2. I learned how to make my Gram's recipe for gingerbread boys.
3. THREE WEEKS OFF! No work or school - let the wild rumpus start!
4. Decorated gingerbread houses with some of our favorite friends. See Aaron's Facebook profile picture for a view of the Santa BBQing hotdogs on the roof with a giant spatula and peppermint grill. Now that's ART!
5. Too cold to hang Christmas lights! Everytime I have a window to get the job done it's snowing or 4 degrees. I guess it gives me something to look forward to next year.
6. The 6 Schicks! Some of our best friends adopted a sibling group of three daughters to add with their one son. We had an open house for them last week over here and it was a true to the Spirit of Christmas kind of gathering.
7. Lucas thinks he's on the naughty list.
8. Santa is trying really hard to get Lucas on the nice list. But Lucas says,
"it doesn't matter if I'm on the naughty list. Coal is the JACKPOT! Or it doesn't matter if I'm on the nice list -
presents or coal (are good)."

9. Ian and Brooklyn came running, screaming up the stairs yesterday,
We just found them opened under his bed!"

10. Fred Meyer on Federal Way is giving away all their Christmas Trees as of 12/22/09.
11. Juggling families and festivities at Christmas is hard - and a blessing.
12. Sore throats are not fun.
13. I think we spent more on our dog than on our kids. (but she REALLY needs to go to the groomer, so we got her a gift certificate. I guess that is more for me than for her.)
14. Aaron is the most thorough researcher of TV's I have ever known.
15. Soy Nog for the lactose intolerant isn't good. The stomach ache is worth drinking the real stuff.
16. I'm like a kid on Christmas.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Card 2009

Aaron suggested that we do an e-card this year. You know, get with the times! It's the earth friendly way to go, right? All the cards just end up in a landfill in a month anyway. But I refused.

I admit, it's not for entirely unselfish reasons...
As many of you may have noticed, I have sent a photo Christmas card for the past 9 years. Ever since Brooklyn was 4 months old and her little fat feet were visibly kicking in the shot, I have adored our yearly card. Now I hang each card together for a holiday photo gallery during the Christmas season. From 2000-2008 I have watched my family grow and I can reflect on it at a glance through my cards.

I ordered our 2009 card tonight. I didn't order as many as usual. I think I'll just send them to family and those that I think could use a smile from seeing my kids' cute mugs on their walls for a month. But I didn't include Aaron and I in the picture this year.

Why not? Again, it's not for entirely unselfish reasons...
We didn't have a fantastic family photo this year. Although we did have one that would have worked.

But last weekend we went to Aaron's family's cabin in Smith's Ferry and we took a really cute picture of the kids out in the snow. It won out!

If you want this picture to hang around your house for a month,
leave me your address in the comments section.
"Harry Christmas Every Guys!" - Brooklyn 2003

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Weekend '09

Halloween on a Saturday makes for a lot of opportunities for fun.
We carved pumpkins earlier this month and Lucas' was voted best jack-o-lantern. He designed and carved it all by himself!
Brooklyn had a Boise Rock School gig at a local record shop on Friday - it was a MONSTER MASH, so we all got dressed up and went to support our favorite band.
Brooklyn's best fans!

Just as Brooklyn's band got on stage, Ian let me know his tooth was falling out.
We have been working on this tooth for at least 3 weeks, and NOW it is falling out?!? We excused ourselves for a moment, found a Halloween napkin from the treat table and POP! Back to the show...

Brooklyn's band ROCKED THE HOUSE!

Then we headed to the Halloween party at the Church.
And then did it all again the next day - HALLOWEEN!
After visiting 4 sets of grandparents and an "as good as grandparents" stop at the DeFoggi's. We headed to a "healthy potluck" with some friends (our poor attempt at providing food for our kids rather than candy) the kids spent almost 4 more hours out Trick-or-Treating.

Feel free to stop by for some treats...I think we have enough to share!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tell me how cute I was.

So it turns out I don't have a perfect memory. And it also turns out that people are right when they say, "Before you know it your kids will be all grown up!" (said with a little old lady voice).

By NO MEANS are my kids all grown up. I'm still wiping other rears on a regular basis. However, I don't have anyone in diapers anymore, and I don't have any cute tiny toddlers around, just cute kids. I noticed the other day that my house isn't even all that toddler proof.

The kids, Ian in particular, have been asking me lately to tell about all the cute things they used to say "when they were little". My first thoughts were, you are little. What are you talking about? But then I realized that we have officially moved into CHILDHOOD and out of the toddler years. That is a significant change when your whole life consists of 7 years.

So I attempted to recall fun little phrases that he used to say. And I was stumped. I could only think of a few. I felt so guilty. Poor middle child, your mom can't remember anything about you. BUT I REDEEMED MYSELF. I kept a spotty journal during Ian's toddler years. I dedicated the back side of the spiral bound pages to jotting down funny, cute or clever things the kids were saying those days. That was one of the best things I ever did. We read through them together with all three kids this week and laughed and had a great time. I had already forgotten many of the experiences and moments that I luckily made record of. Now I wonder what else did I forget? For heaven's sake, it hasn't been that long? How will I ever have bribery material when they are teenagers if I am already forgetting.

And on another depressing note: I realized that Brooklyn is half way to 18. Who calls that an adult anyway?

So in an effort to not forget, I will share with you the cute phrase of the day:
A fire fighter visited Lucas' preschool class today. He taught them about knowing the difference between tools and toys, put on his uniform and oxygen mask and then the whole class had a fire drill. Tonight when I was getting Lucas ready for bed I asked him what he thought of the fire drill. With tears in his eyes and his voice cracking he said, "I didn't get to do the fire drill."
I new that to be false, since I was holding his hand the whole time during the drill, so I needed to ask a few questions before I realized that he didn't know what part of the day was the actual fire drill. He said, "I never got to drill it." That's when I realized he thought a fire drill was a tool and was disappointed that he didn't get to see or use the drill.

So word to the wise, write it down and pull out the video camera, you are getting old whether you think so or not. And as soon as you notice, it will be too late.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Why can't I lose 10 pounds? or Why am I so lucky to have dessert so often?

Why do I have to work so much, when some moms get to stay at home? or Why am I so blessed to have a job I love, where my kids can come with me, in a weak economy when many don't have work at all.

Why do I have so many bills? or How is it that I have so many nice things?

Why does my dog chew up our things? or ...hmmmm. Is there a good side to this?... Let's see- Having a dog encourages my family to keep things tidy and in it's proper place away from the dog. Or suffer the consequences.

I'm feeling pretty lucky these days. I really don't have anything to complain about, yet anger and anxiety still creep into my days regularly. How does one fend off negativity when things seem overwhelming? I would say, get back to basics and "Keep on the sunny side".

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Adios to the Trial Dog

Bella was a lovely dog. She fetched much better than our real dog Jetta.

But alas, I still found a bike seat chewed up in the back yard. The only reason to get Jetta a dog was to keep her busy, so she wouldn't be destructive. I don't know which of the pups chewed up the bike seat but Bella was returned to her rightful owner on Monday.

Lesson learned: Getting your dog a dog will not keep it from acting like a dog.

Chew on that for a while.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Some reasons I'm a bad blogger, and an update...

My pictures take FOREVER to load. It makes me not like to post. But aside from that blogging is fun, and I enjoy spying on the lives of others through blogs too.

News from the WilliamsFam5...
* We went on vacation. We totaled up all our lemonade sales and took our $360 to So. CA. (And a bunch of other $ too, but the kids feel pretty good about the $360. That's a lot of lemonade at .25 a cup!) We invested in the Costco City Pass and went to 6, yes SIX DAYS of theme parks. (3 Disney, San Diego Zoo, Sea World, and Universal Studios.) I wouldn't say we had a favorite, but it was more than fun! On "off days" we went to the beach and boogie boarded and body surfed, and of course, buried our children in the sand. Thank you to my step sis GIA and her hubby BRIAN for letting us stay, as well as the PROCTORS in Pasadena, and KIRSTEN & CHRIS in Newport. The only way the trip was feasible was due to the fact we didn't sleep in 1 hotel. (We did follow Williams tradition and car camp for 3 nights.) I hope our kids remember this trip forever! And if they seem to be forgetting they will receive an obligatory photo tour of the trip for the rest of their lives.

* We found out about the government's "Cash for Clunkers" program on July 30th in CA. We got home to Boise on August 1 and bought me a NEEEEEEEWWWWW CAAAAAAARRRRRR on August 3!! I traded my official clunker Ford Windstar (no A/C, almost 200K miles, and bad tires, not to mention all the small problems) for the cutest HONDA FIT in Orange Revolution. It matches Lucas' hair and eyes perfectly. Hooray for a reliable vehicle with gas milage out of the teens.

* Ian turned 7. He is AWESOME, smart, fun, cute, nice, cool, thoughtful and my favorite 7 year old in the world.

* Brooklyn turned 9. She is BEAUTIFUL, kind, fun, silly, exceptionally considerate, a good friend and fun to be around. She is LOVED!

* I went to take my new car back to the dealer today to get my floor mats and protective coating sprayed in it, and ended up getting a puppy. We are waiting for her to arrive right now. The owner is bringing her any minute and we are running a trial basis visit to see if she gets along with Jetta. We thought dogs might be like kids. It's easier to raise more than one because playmates are good. We'll see.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lemonade Stand sales have paid off

Fun things about vacation in Southern California...

Monday, June 22, 2009

In case you needed a laugh...

Ode to Lucas

I like having someone who dresses like this in my house. Yes, ski boots, a size L Brazilian Jersey, and a helmet are standard attire. I like that he says "No I amn't". I like that he has a squeeky voice and tip toes everywhere he goes, even while running. I like that he works up a sweat playing Lego Indiana Jones on the Wii. I like that he eats cottage cheese even though his big brother and sister won't. I like that he is still small.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Summer Rain

The pictures say it all:
Lucas, Ian, Brooklyn and our neighbor Simonne

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Do you blog?

If you don't see your blog address listed on this blog to the right, that means I don't know your address. If you are my friend and I want to read your blog, please let me know what your blog address is.

Just leave it as a comment to this post.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Brooklyn's Tender Heart

Brooklyn's best friend has Cystic Fibrosis. But, we really don't think about it all that often. It's only at meal times when we remind her to "take her enzymes" that it is obvious at all. However, last weekend Brooklyn and Daphne, with their teacher, friends and family, worked and walked to raise money to cure CF.

Thanks to all of you that donated to her efforts. She raised $173 in only a few days. I am so happy that she had a good experience! She is a truly kind, generous and loving person. We are all blessed to have her around.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

ITALY: too much to blog

I went to Italy last week. I had to, it was for work. Yep, it's rough; an all expenses paid 10 day trip to Rome, Venice, Florence, Pisa and the Cinque Terre. I was a chaperone for my 6th-8th grade class's Spring trip.

Every year all Foothills School classes go on a Spring trip. Every 3 years, the middle school class goes on an international trip. This just happened to be the year. Not a bad year to start working for Foothills.

I have posted many of my pictures on Facebook. It's so easy to post multiple photos there. How do I choose from the 703 pictures I have which ones to post here?

It's really late, and I'm tired, so here is a sampling of my travels...
The Roman Forum
Tasting an Orange from Palentine Hill at the Forum in Rome. It was sour!
Drinking from the fountain at the Spanish Steps. Roman water is so refreshing!

And that all took place during my first 24 hours in the country. I'll have to post more later.

Friday, May 15, 2009

ITALY - Rome

As most of you know, I am in Italy right now. I am here with twenty seven 6th-8th graders from Foothills School of Arts and Sciences. We are visiting Rome, Venice and Florence. We spent the 12-15th in Rome and arrived in Venice today around 2:00 p.m.
Here are some of my favorite shots from Rome... I only have about 350 to choose from.

Day 1:
The Colosseum

The Forum

Mamertinum Prison - The last prison where Paul was held. He wrote some of his letters from here.

Capitol Hill

Trevi Fountain

The Spanish Steps

lots of other amazing places.

Day 2:
The Vatican -
St. Peter's Basilica

The Vatican Museum

The Sistine Chapel

The Pantheon

Walk through Rome and shopping.
and lots of other amazing places.

Check my Facebook page for more pictures.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rock 'n Roll Ate My Homework - First Gig

Brooklyn is in a band. She plays the electric guitar. She joined Boise Rock School in March and is becoming a rock star.

They named their band last week (Rock 'n Roll Ate My Homework) and performed their first gig at the coolest record shop in Boise on Saturday with 4 other bands. Prior to the gig, they haven't had a singer, but after performing yesterday with their teacher on vocals, Brooklyn has decided that she will step up to the mic for their next gig.

1. Their first song is an "original jam"
2. "Back in the USSR" by The Beatles
3. "Hardest Button to Button" by White Stripes
4. "10 am Automatic" by The Black Keys

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Happy Pappy Day * 60 is good!

Ode to my Dad on his 60th birthday...
There was really no way he could refuse our request. It was, after all, his only daughter and three dearest grandchildren with eyelashes batting and sweet voices calling, "Come on Pappy, JUMP!"

True to his character and zest for life he passed the threshold between the soft cushion of the grass and the squeaking and unsteady bars of the trampoline.

It was intense and quick, but never have the kids (or Pappy for that matter) had such big smiles while vaulting into the air.

However, in an effort to avoid crushing his granddaughter, Pappy sacrificed himself, his leather jacket, and his newly washed jeans landing hard on the grass to the side of the trampoline.

It wasn't until right now I realize this is the first time our newly sunken trampoline has served it's protective purpose. (Just ignore the new and rehabilitating sod - we are hoping to pump life back into it over the next couple weeks.) I digress.

After the adventure on the trampoline, we headed over to the park near our house and enjoyed some lemon cake and ice cream, and 1st grade soccer practice. What a way to ring in a 60th birthday!

Happy Birthday Pappy! We love you!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Now Open...Lemonade, 25 cents!

We are planning to go to Disney Land in August for Brooklyn and Ian's birthdays. However, we need some major cash flow to make it happen. So the kids and I have started a business. Any day that the sun is shinning, it's over 70 degrees, and we are home, we will be out front having a Lemonade Stand. And to offer our customers variety, we have expanded our menu with two sizes to chose from in pink or yellow Lemonade. Also, we are offering "Otter Pops" as a refreshing frozen treat.

Brooklyn was out front on advertising duty, while Ian manned the megaphone attracting customers. Lucas spent most of his time on tasting duty.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Easter 2009

This is my big payoff for being a parent. The picture of my kids running up the stairs to see what the easter bunny left and hunt for eggs is priceless.
Ian loved this megaphone, which has a variety of settings to modify voices. He preferred alien robot. Then he realized that one of the settings serves as an amplifier and decided it will be perfect to attract customers to our lemonade stands this summer.
I tried once again to get a great family picture. Well, at least we got a picture. Maybe I should have Aaron photoshop a picture of Lucas in so he isn't snarling like a wolf. But it is his classic four year old camera smile. I love it.

Too sunny, but cute none the less.
Here is the shot I was waiting for- pure happiness on our beautiful new stairs.