Friday, July 31, 2009

Then and Now

I know we came home from Spokane awhile ago, but I came across this picture today and it made me smile.

This is our family at Manito Park when we visited in June 2006

And here we are in the same spot (although we are facing a different way) during our trip there June 2009. What a difference three years makes! In my opinion, Chad has only grown more attractive (especially since he ditched the sideburns).

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hot and Holy Sabbath Day

This has to be one of my favorite pictures ever, despite its blurriness.......

And this is a close second

My sister Ashley is here visiting with her family. On Sunday, they blessed their two month old Isaac at my brother Levi's house. Have you ever asked 16 kids, ages 0-9, to be quiet for the duration of a blessing? Let me tell you, it was AMAZING! Just a few little chirps from one of my favorite nieces. I could not believe how quiet and good the kids all were.

As for the rest of the day, well, get that many kids outside in that muggy air and mischief is bound to happen. They discovered that the slip and slide hill is also fun for vehicles of all kinds. It was so hilarious to see those kids playing together!

(We missed you Lily, Amelia, and Elizabeth!)

(click on this one to see how many kids were trying to pile on!)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Easy to love

Yesterday Sabina took Gabe and Colin with them to the movies. Liam stayed at our house with Ollie and I, and I got to watch the little boys toddling around together (much more entertaining than Surf's Up). They thew things into the tub and laughed and gave each other rough little hugs.

When it came time for Ollie's nap, I laid down with him to nurse where I had a clear view of the hall and stairs, and Liam just roamed around, babbling to himself. Every once in awhile he would stand at the top of the staircase and matter-of-fact-ly yell out a few baby sentences, as if he were calling to see if anyone was there, and then come toddling back into the room. Liam would look at me, blink some long blinks, lay his head on the bed, and then go back into the hall. After doing this for awhile, he just plopped his little body down with his face towards the room I was in. By this time Oliver had his eyes shut, and I saw Liam's lids slowing giving in. Within ten minutes I had two sleeping babies.

I tip-toed into the hall to admire that adorable nephew of mine, in all his sweet glory. That face! Those lashes! My heart was warm with love.

He isn't my son, but I could love him like he is.

I often look at my nieces, nephews, or even the kids I used to teach in nursery, and think to myself, "I could so totally adopt."

Is that a weird train of thought?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Keepin' It Real Wednesday

I spent my teenage years in a whirlwind of activities. Ballet, tap, jazz, helping in dance classes, every school play, mock trial, National Honor Society, junior class vice president, early morning seminary, Young Women's, Environmental Club.....

I jumped into college in the same fashion. 18 credits (most of them dance classes, which take up a lot of time), plays, Folk Dance Ensemble, socializing until the wee hours of the morning.....

All of those activities, and you know what? Most of them were done very very poorly, with mood-swings galore and tears at the drop of a hat.

This was the pattern of my life until I learned something about myself. I am not someone who thrives on stress (we all know people that do, and I am not one of them). I am not a multi-tasker. I do not do well when I have a lot going on.

When I keep my life simple, with just the things that matter most to me, my mind feel clear, my back problems disappear, I have great focus, and I know that I am doing my best as a mother, wife, friend, and daughter.

If I wake up in the morning with a long list of tasks that have to be completed that day, I feel completely paralyzed. I just want to crawl in bed with a carton of ice cream.

Which is why, on Monday, dinner for twelve people was an hour late because I forgot to buy tortillas for the chicken enchiladas, even though it was on my list. Seriously Katie??

I have had way too much going on. It's been okay because I know it is for a very limited time, but let me tell you....

I am forgetting eveything

Running late for everything

Losing everything

and just downright frazzled.

So now you know,

I will never be THAT woman
(or Relief Society President :o)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Interesting Article

This article makes me very happy, once again, that we have enrolled Colin in Smith and that our other two boys will go there.

As a side note, Colin absolutely loves our exchange students and will be sad to see them go, but says he is really tired of speaking Chinese. They love hearing him and try to eek as much out of him as possible. I guess it has been a good way to brush up over the summer!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Family Home Evening

Elder Bednar

New Friends

Ice Cream

Three Generations

Heaven on Earth

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Lovely Summer Evening

In the works

What is happening over here:
(in other words, why my mind is too fuzzy for proper blogging)
Broken dishwasher. New dishwasher.
Broken Windstar. New Versa. (Thanks, CARS)
Broken AC. Fixed AC (Thanks warranty!)
We have two exchange students from China for one week.
Aloha Snow opened on Thursday and we made a visit. Now the kids ask daily if we can visit again.
And lastly, and most exciting - my parents moved here! They moved in to their new house last weekend and have been busy busy busy settling in.

Coming up, more detailed posts about the students and a very special post about cicada killers.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Smart AND Coordinated

Oliver took his first steps in Spokane and has been so proud and excited to try out all his different ways of walking. I just think he is downright adorable in this video as he manuevers around (does that sound like bragging? 'cause it was!).

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hooked for life

I can pretty much bet that my Saturday evening walked all over yours.

My sister-in-law Audra (with my brother Levi) is fulfilling her dream of opening up a hip "sno-ball" shop. So last night we were invited to a tasting party, where I tried at least 10 different flavors poured over fluffy, finely shaved ice. I also sampled a "stuffed sno ball" (or two, or three) and I am already thinking about the next time I can get ahold of one.

Gabe had three cups full and was begging for more.

Colin cried when we told him he was officially DONE.

The biggest fan of the night though, was baby Oliver, who dropped all seperation anxiety to beg a bite from everyone in sight. He had a sample (or two, or three) from at least six or seven different people last night. He was climbing up his grandpa for more. Absolutely shameless.

You can get yours starting sometime this week at Aloha Snow. Keep checking the website for an opening date and more information!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Saying goodbye to Grandma and Grandpa Coleman in Spokane

We arrived back in Charlotte Wednesday morning.

Recovering from a red eye with three kids, plus jet lag? I think that takes at least two days.

Getting back into the swing of things after two weeks of relaxation, good food, and lots of helping hands? I will let you know how long that takes. It hasn't happened yet.

There is a lot going on here, so more blog posts should soon follow....when that whole "getting back into the swing of things" thing happens.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Our own food network experience

Do you watch Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (or Triple D, as Guy likes to call it)?

We do - so we were pretty pumped when Chad's brother Bill let us know a few months ago that he saw an episode featuring a restaurant in Charlotte. We knew we had to make a pilgrimage to the holy ground on which Mr. Fieri trod. The Saturday before Father's Day was the perfect occasion for such a trip. We headed downtown to visit....

....what was truly a "dive"....

Penguin Drive-In (which actually isn't a drive-in)

Finding parking on a Saturday in this somewhat seedy neighborhood was our first challenge. The next challenge is getting a seat. The seating area is not large at all. As soon as you open the door, the hostess ushers you in, asking you to shut the door quickly. There is no foyer or waiting area so you smash yourself up against the wall with the thirty or so other people who are waiting ahead of you. After we put our name on the list, I took the already restless kids and sat in the car while Chad waited inside. It was amazing to sit out there, watch more and more people pile in, and wonder where everyone is waiting. By the time we got a seat, there were thick lines of people inside along one wall and between the bar and tables.

We were excited to order our food to see if it was"out of bounds" or "off the hook." Everything on the menu was very reasonably priced (so reasonably priced, in fact, that Chad was a little ticked off - why not raise your prices a little if you have lines out the door? - he was dumbfounded).

Chad got the "Hemi" - three hamburger patties on a bun with the usual fixin's.

Colin and Gabe got the corndogs - huge, greasy, and freshly made.

It looks large-but Chad had no problem eating it, though it completely fell apart half-way through. The taste? Basically like regular ol' ground beef. Not exactly "money."

I got the pork chop sandwich - it was good, but pretty bland. I really wanted some kind of tasty kick -some sweetness like coleslaw or some acid, but it was just basically what you see in the picture with a little bit of mayo on it.

The onion rings were the best part of the meal - generous, flavorful, with a light batter that was far from typical. Even Colin, who normally won't go near onions, liked them. We also got the hush puppies, which were good, but not the best we have had in the four years since we first tried this southern appetizers.

Would we go again? - the price was right and the food was about what you expect from a greasy dive (I felt sick for the rest of the day, and Gabe later lost his lunch in the Target parking lot -after we piled Chick-fil-A on top of this). If we had friends who were fans of the show who wanted to go, we would probably go again, hopefully on a weekday this time!

Not sure when the Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with Penguin Drive-In airs again, but the title of the episode is "Blue Plate Special" if you want to keep your eyes open for it!

Sunday, July 5, 2009