Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween

Here's just a cute close-up of Mira Catherine. Her face looks older to me in this photo. Blue eyes, pink lips, little white teeth...just adorable.
I took this just at the wrong moment. But I wanted to get one of her in her cowgirl getup. It was darling! Too bad it's the only shot of her in this I got. She's trying to get her 'rope' ready for her horse. Later in the day she decided she didn't want to be a cowgirl anymore...
I am the queen of funky shots today, I guess! Here's Micah as Superman (they're pj's with a cape--his pick). We even had the Christopher Reeves curl in the front goin' on. Later in the day he changed HIS mind and didn't want to be Superman anymore, either!
All ready for the 'trunk-or-treat' down at the church. Mira Catherine was a wolf (but she refused to wear the hood with the wolf's face), and Ella as Funshine Bear. My mom sewed this costume (and another one just like it in green) for my brothers when they were young. We're putting it to good use.
Here we are at the trunk-or-treat. Colin's the Emperor and Micah's Luke Skywalker. The trunk-or-treat was perfect for the girls. They got to go around saying, "trick or treat!", and collect candy. That sufficed for the night. The boys went out again house to house with neighbors and Chad. They have a STASH!!
I had Mira Catherine be in charge of handing out candy from the trunk of our van. Well, mostly she ate Smarties.
Here we are on the porch ready for trick or treaters. It was a sad showing in our cul-de-sac this year. I think we're a bit isolated being right next to patio homes and a church.
Mira loving 'Tum-Tum'. She's a sweet cat.
Micah sorting out candy... counting, organizing, enjoying!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sad Pumpkin Day

I posted earlier about the pumpkin patch outing with my mom several weeks ago. We got some rockin' pumpkins, and we set them all on our outside steps with the intention of carving them this week. Saturday evening I noticed our 4 large pumpkins were gone. I swear I saw them earlier that day. Did someone really have the gall to pick them up in broad daylight? Perhaps I'm wrong and they snagged them in the cloak of darkness--either way, I was you-know-what. Micah just bawled. He keeps telling me I've got to go back to the pumpkin patch and get more. The grocery store is our only option at this point. And at 29cents a pound, those monstrous things cost a pretty penny, I'll tell you!! Well, I'm going out to get candy tomorrow, I guess I'd better add those to my list.

Speaking of candy, I'm so proud of myself for not purchasing the Halloween candy any earlier. Only I know what happens to any candy bought before Halloween day!! =) Last year I got little tubs of play-doh. Kids loved getting them, and it was no temptation!

The kids get to wear their costumes to school tomorrow. I'll post pictures of them in costumes in my next blog.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

What to Do?

I've got a dilemma. Actually, I don't know that it qualifies as a dilemma, because there's not really anything I can do about it. We really want to go to Germany. But we really want to move to South Jordan sometime after the school year. That pushes Germany back a while (like over a year or more away!). But, once we're to that point, I'm tied up in knots, not sure what to do!

To take the kids or not?

Pros to taking the kids:
  • they see their cousins, aunt, and uncle
  • they experience Germany! food, travel, language
  • I don't cry everyday because of missing them and feeling guilty
  • I don't have to worry about a babysitter, their care back in the US, emergency situations, etc.
  • hmmm...

Cons to taking them:

  • likely stressful overseas flights!
  • adjusting to the time difference with 4 kids
  • less travel/sightseeing
  • more $$$

I know I really shouldn't even be thinking about this right now. But I am. I like to have a plan. I know when we go we'd want to go for about 2 weeks. I cannot imagine leaving the kids for that long with anyone! I have a friend who goes 2-3 times a year to South America or Europe. She's done it with and without her 3 kids. She highly recommends doing it once just Chad and me. It all sounds swell until I think about being 2 weeks away. That's a really long time. I definitely think Chad and I would enjoy this trip if we could freeze-frame America while we go over and have fun. Then come back and, "Zwip!" everything unfreezes and back to normal life, no one the wiser of our absence.

I need to give this more thought... Have any of you taken trips away from your kids for more than a couple of days? How did you feel about it?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cats, Dead Things, Girls

Here is the cat. More details at the bottom of this post.
Chad took Ella on a field trip to a pumpkin patch:
Again:
Ella not wanting to be disturbed while watching a Barbie movie:
Mira with the skirt over her clothes:
Just about everyday Ella insists on wearing a dress or skirt. There are days I have to put my foot down (like when she's got a tumbling class). Today we were just going to the club, so I was fine with whatever. She picked out a sleeveless Christmas dress. Pretty, but not really appropriate for the club. Oh, well! She also found a red ribbon she wanted in her hair. We struggled with how we should get the ribbon in her hair. Finally she agreed to let me pull a small part of her hair back for the ribbon. And off we go.

Now we're home, she and Mira Catherine are watching Barbie's singing movie. Ella wanted to change into a different dress that looks more like Barbie's. Fine. She just came down and wanted to change yet again into something longer. Sorry, sister.

And I think it's rubbing off on Mira. Last night she wore a skirt over her pajamas and was as happy as could be. She's always getting into drawers and picking out skirts to wear over whatever she's got on.
That picture up top is of a cat belonging to our neighbor. The kids and I have fallen in love. It's been christened 'Tum-Tum' or 'Tom-Tom' depending on whom you ask. (It's a girl.) Chad gets so irritated with it coming around. On the sly, we'll occasionally let it in the house. It doesn't thrill him, but he doesn't say anything. The other night, after dinner, I put out a plate of leftover meatloaf for her. Chad saw that and said wearily, "Now we'll never see the end of it!". Yesterday morning it was crying outside our sliding door and I opened up the door to let it in. No sooner did she come scurrying in than I saw what she had in her mouth. A dead mouse!!! Aaaack! I tried to shoo her back out, but she wasn't cooperating. Chad just kind of stood back for a moment in shock. We finally got her out. Colin said, "Now how are we going to get rid of the mouse germs that got in here?!"

Monday, October 20, 2008

Remembering Those in-between Years...

  • My Michael Jackson 'Thriller' album
  • My first CD player in 9th grade
  • Walking to 7-11 with my girlfriends to buy a treat
  • Rollerblading all over creation...to seminary at 6am, to work in downtown Merced, with friends...(the only times Adam Hansen and I ever kissed we were on rollerblades!)
  • Swimming in the backyard pool listening to Duran Duran
  • Thinking there was no life without Depeche Mode (pathetic!!)
  • Chinese jumprope
  • Slap-on bracelets (I've seen these make a slight comeback)
  • Practicing flag routines for hours on end
  • Trying to make myself enjoy mosh pits, ska, and funky styles (they weren't my 'thing' after all!)
  • Wearing a lot of black one year in high school
  • Totalling my 2-week old bike I got for Christmas
  • Driving around with friends, continually asking each other, "Whaddya wanna do?" and just wasting gas and time.
  • Uhhh...borrowing the old red truck to take a spin on several occasions before I was legal, thinking the whole time I was gonna get so busted that it took all the fun out of it!
  • Amy, Bekki, Laura
  • My first kiss 'stolen' from me by a fast one on a date at the movies. I got pulled over driving home because the policeman thought I was intoxicated. No! Just traumatized!!
  • Doug trying to teach me how to do a layup. And the "Flying Neeee-cole!" in racquetball. Remember that one, Doug? Boy, we had some laughs!
  • Playing lots of Roller Hockey

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Ninjas

Here they go tonight. After watching a ninja movie, the kids are all wound up. And Chad fairly gets into it, himself! I can't help but thinking of my dad goofing around with my brothers, Doug and Chris when they were younger. Underwear was normal attire (for my brothers!) for Saturday and Sunday mornings at the Miller house. And, boy, did dad wrestle with us! Take on the boys and perhaps me all at once. He was the king of the 'claw'!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

These Little People

I just want to share a funny conversation Chad heard the other day between Micah and Colin. Colin has a loose tooth and is anxious about the whole wiggle-it-until-it-falls-out-thing. It was bedtime and Chad was trying to console Colin that the tooth would eventually fall out and he didn't need to worry so much about it. Chad tried to get him excited about the prospect of having the tooth fairy leave something for him. Micah said, "But there's not really a tooth fairy. Fairies are just pretend." Colin didn't agree at all. He said, "There has to be a tooth fairy, otherwise who leaves the money?" Micah replied, "Maybe somebody's just tricking us. Yeah, I think Santa Claus is playing a trick on us and leaving the money and not a tooth fairy."

Monday, October 13, 2008

It's Still Autumn


We got almost a foot of snow Sunday. After church we got home and Micah and Ella begged me to go out with them and build a snowman. Finally I agreed and it was actually a lot of fun. Perhaps because it's been months since it last snowed. I have a feeling if this were February, I'd be burned out of building snowmen. Thankfully, this snowfall was related to the cold front that came and went. We're back to near 70 degree weather. The snow is melting quickly. So it's beautiful again today. I don't mind the snow like this. Enough to have some fun in, then it melts. We'll see what this winter brings. Hopefully it's a different story compared to last year's winter.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

Friday my mom and I took the kids to a pumpkin patch. Funny, the best parts were waiting in line and going on the hay ride. The pumpkin picking itself was a little more frustrating. Here are the highlights:
Micah: proud to be him!
Attempting to snuggle an uncooperative Mira Catherine.
Trying on Ella's cap
Girlies!
And here is how the pumpkin hunt went down:
Colin: Mom! You put my pumpkin somewhere! Where is it? You lost it!!
Mom: Alright, Colin, let's find you another one.
Ella: Waah. I want a pumpkin. These are all too heavy.
Mom: Oh, sweetie, how about this one? I think you can manage that.
Ella: No I can't! You carry it (along with Mira and 2 other pumpkins. Hey, I'm good, but I'm not that good!)
Finally!
Hope your pumpkin patch visits were at least as good as ours!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

It's Gonna Be a Great Day!!

Here are the kids before catching the bus in the morning. I mean, shouldn't we all look forward to the day like this? I love it! Of course, it's a different story 'waking the beast' and getting him to the breakfast table. But now he's got the blood flowin'!
Yee-haw!
'Grandpa Miller' has been knitting blankets, hats, scarves, you name it for some time, now. (Well, he's always been artistic in this way). The boys have requested their colors. Dad just finished them and brought them over. With a list of rules to obey:
  • No dragging it on the ground
  • No poking fingers/toes through it
  • No stretching it

Ella's supposed to go this weekend to pick out her yarn with Grandpa. You just know it's gonna be pink! So here they are snuggling up:

Yesterday afternoon the Barnetts and Millers came for a pot-luck meal. It was nice to spend time with them. We sure love every member of our family. They are each special. And we feel the absence of those living away. We love you, too: Doug & Rachel & family, Chris, Blake & Maren & Braden. We look forward to the time we can spend time together again.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Kiddos

Here are Micah, Ella, Mira Catherine and a couple of neighbor friends. Enjoying a picnic on perhaps one of the last warm, sunny days of the year.

Ella too-cute in her little leotard playing with her dollhouse.
Saturday afternoon, after the LDS General Conference, we took the 3 younger kids to the pool (Colin was at a birthday party). I wish I could've gotten a more true video of Mira Catherine in the water. She turns into 'crazy baby'. She is fearless. At various times she tries to pry our hands from her body so she can be free. Clueless of the consequences. But it sure is fun.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Let Me Count the Ways...


Today Chad turned 32. I'm sorry to say it wasn't much of a birthday for him. I didn't have any presents for him to unwrap (he recently bought a new tennis racket claiming that as his birthday gift), I didn't make him any special dinner or cake (he was gone from 7am until 9pm). Shoot, we never sang him 'Happy Birthday'! Buu-uuut I will have a homemade cherry cheesecake for him tomorrow. And we will sing him 'Happy Birthday'. The way this day has gone in no way reflects how I feel about him.


I knew I was getting someone good when I agreed to marry Chad. But I realize more as time goes on how blessed I am to be married to this wonderful man. Here we go...


  • He is dedicated in every way to this family

  • He always comes home in a good mood
  • He sets goals with the children regarding spirituality, education, health, etc.

  • He is gung-ho about being financially sound

  • He is complimentary and kind to us

  • He wrestles with the three older kids

  • He spends time with Mira Catherine at the playground

  • He volunteers weekly in the boys' classrooms

  • He leads family scripture study and prayer

  • He plays tennis with Colin

  • He keeps up with piano so as to be an encouragement to the boys

  • He works hard

  • He's honest

  • He loves learning

  • He laughs when I do something stupid (in a fun way, of course)

  • He loves to be goofy with the kids

Well, I could go on. Most of these I've posted have to do with the kids, I know. Listen to this. When Chad got home today I told him I sure missed him. He asked what I missed most. I said I missed him most when it was homework time. I know that might sound heartless, but it so meaningful to me!! And he knows what I mean. When Chad is home he's HOME. He doesn't sit around. He's up and at 'em. Involved with what everyone's doing. Interested in achieving something positive. I can't imagine doing this without him. I really feel like we are great partners. We take a task and tackle it together. He's pretty terrific. A keeper for sure.

The Day Gets Away

Micah came home from kindergarten today with a couple of cute little neighbor girls to have some fun. We started out the school year on a more rigorous schedule with Micah coming home, having lunch, doing a little homework and piano practice. But when do you fit in playtime? So I'm having to loosen up a little. It just makes it a little tricky when Colin comes home and needs attention with his homework and piano to split my time between them--and at the time Mira Catherine wakes up from her nap.

It seems that by the time Colin has his snack, does homework and piano, it's time for me to scramble around preparing dinner. And then there's not much of the day left for free play. I hear that the Roy school district has done away with homework completely (other than daily reading, of course). Their policy now has children logging hours of outside play time, eating healthful foods, and they must sit down as a family for dinner at least 4 times a week. Apparently, from what some studies have found, elementary students do not improve scholastically from having homework.

I'm curious as to whether this is true? Dear reader, have you found this to prove true? Colin pretty well plows through his homework. It doesn't take up too much time. But they spend 7 hours at school.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Problem Solving

Most of you know Chad and I love, love, love Dave Ramsey. He's spoken on the topic of our $700 billion near-disaster, and this new bill trying to be pushed by the senate. Take a few minutes to think about this: http://www.daveramsey.com/etc/fed_bailout/3_steps_to_change_the_nations_future_10928.htmlc?ictid=sptlt

And, of course, the best way to avoid personal financial disaster is to be wise ourselves. Get out of debt, avoid it like the plague! There is no better time than now to begin seriously saving for retirement and that rainy day that will come. We can't expect others to be responsible for failure on our part to be self-reliant.

Anyway, I'm sending a copy of this to my congressmen.