Meet The Nat Pack!

My photo
The Nat Pack: The super fashionable, super mod, super hip family consisting of Nat, Pete, Jakob, Brock, Troy, and Ivy. Like The Rat Pack, only younger, cuter, and not as rich or famous.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

For a Laugh

Here's a video of Ivy laughing. She laughs the most at fake laughing for some reason. Sorry the video is all wiggly-I was holding the camera and doing the fake laughing while leaning closer to her over and over, and I wasn't looking through the camera to make sure it was holding still.

video

And here are a bunch of really crappy pictures of the rest of us. Here's me about a month ago:


My Brocky Foo-Foo with an Ironman toy, I think:


The Christmas ornament viewpoint of Pete:


Here's Ivy, but notice Jakob picking his nose in the background:


And now he's eating it (and Ivy's drooling, too):


Troy's drugged face:


Yep. A super photogenic family!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cleithrophobia


The fear of being locked in an enclosed place.

Jakob's got it.

I think it started with kindergarten recess, where the door automatically locks behind them when they go outside to play. And now the fear has spread to his bedroom door. My kids have always slept with the door shut (note: not locked, just closed), in the dark. But lately...

"Mom, will you please leave the door open and the light on? I don't want to get locked in my room. The door gets locked and it sticks together like this" (clapping hands together and pushing them against each other).

Poor kid.

Picture Perfect

Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles!



Troy AND Jakob were actually good for their yearly pictures! And they turned out really good, too! (No, my scanner still isn't hooked up. Someday soon. I hope.)

Jakob went first, and the lady was all, "Put your hands here, sit here," and Jakob was like a supermodel. Then Troy was next. He did pretty good, but near the end would move at the last second, or say, "All done, Mommy." Still, we usually can only get one semi-good picture; this time we got several good poses. It cost me a trillion dollars, but it was worth it!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Parents Becoming More Awesome and Giving (If That's Possible)

Here's my dad:


He's truly amazing. And he has an amazing yard. It's like...Eden. If there was some sort of immaculate gorgeous yard contest, his would win hands down. (Our yard is the antithesis of his yard.) Anyway, I don't know if Dad was actually planning on getting rid of these bushes, or if he decided our yard needed some love, but he donated two big bushes to us. They're so beautiful.


In related yard-resuscitating news, my mom bought some killer-literally-weed spray. It's super expensive stuff, but worked wonders-the weeds shriveled up in a matter of a couple of days.


My mom:


She's the eternal do-gooder. When I talked of food storage, we do have more than just the purchases I made the other day; those are the first purchases that I've personally made in obtaining a year's worth of food. My mom is the canning master, and has given us some canned peaches. (So we can have yeasty peaches. And then brush our teeth some more.) She has spent the last week canning 5 million peaches for me, my sister, her, and my grandpa. How nice is that?

So thanks, Mom and Dad, for being so giving and kind and helpful. You guys ROCK!!

I'm a Winner!!

Apparently my blog rules. According to Kristy. And she rules, so that's all the confirmation I need.

Anyway, she "nominated" me for having an awesome blog. And now I get to put this little sticker-like thingy (except it's not sticky, because it's virtual) on my blog, telling everyone else how cool my blog is and how cool I am. It's a good deal.
So here's the lowdown:
1. The winner (whoever I nominate) gets to put this same little sticker thingy on their blog. It's like the cool club or something.
2. Link back to me, because it's all about internet traffic and about getting more visits to your own blog and to other's. A giving tree of sorts.
3. Nominate 7 other blogs. (This part is going to be hard for me because there are so many stinking good ones out there that I read.)
4. Link up to said awesome blogs.
5. Leave a message on those blogs so they can get all flustered and butterfly-ey and blushy like I did when Kristy left a comment saying she nominated me.

And the nominees are: (drumroll...)
Mindy. She's my sister's sister-in-law. So it's like we're totally related. We went to the same high school. She's an amazing writer, and so freaking funny! She even writes articles for the Ensign. I think she should write books for a living instead of teaching sevies about them.

April. She such a deep thinker. My blog is like the kiddy pool; her's is the ocean in deepness. She's very expressive and political (which is good because I'm an anti-politic-ite, so she brings the ideas and issues to my lazy butt). And she has cute kids.

Chelsey. She has triplet girls. And still finds time to blog about them. Truly amazing.

Ralphie. If you wanna see the most gorgeous girls in the best pictures in the universe, go check out her site. She's also gorgeous. And did I mention the camera skills? She's like...Camera Barbie. (Yeah, a little jealous of the camera skills, and the Barbieness.)

Kar. Three cute kids, very cute blog. She's, like, 10 times busier than I am and manages to blog twice as much.

Beej. This girl makes me jealous with all her amazing adventures. She's so open and eloquent in her blog. And when her hubby, Spencer, blogs, he cracks me up. (He's Mindy's brother. Must run in the family.)

Lex. She complains about having two blog readers. She definitely needs more! (Go check her out, because she's stinking hilarious, too.)

Man, I wish I could nominate more, but alas. Anyway, enjoy reading these awesome blogs as much as I do!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

First Purchases

I'm pleased to announce that yesterday I bought our first start to food storage.

And... it wasn't even food. DOH!

I bought 10 packets of yeast (of 3 each, so 30 I guess), 3 gallons of bleach, two gallons of drinking water, 10 tubes of toothpaste and 12 toothbrushes.

So, we'll have some bacteria we can grow. We can't make it into bread without flour, but let's pretend a calamity won't befall us within the next month so I can remedy that next time.

But we'll have clean teeth. Really, clean, teeth. For a whole year! Hey, we can't feed ya, kids, but you can brush your teeth! Won't that be fun while you're starving to death?

Nunsense

On Friday my mom, my sister, and I went to a play called "Nunsense". It was so cute, and hilarious! And, it had Sally Struthers in it.

Not that that means a whole lot to me, because I only really knew her from an infomercial about getting your degree in several different things like "computer programming, child day care, etc". Still. She did awesome.

My favorite nun was Mary Amnesia, who couldn't remember who she was before entering the convent. My favorite numbers were one where they tap danced in really bright shoes, and another where the chorus said, "I'm holier than thou". That song was about picking a saint and emulating him or her.

It was very fun, and it's always a treat to do something "adult" once in a while. Thanks, Mom, for taking us!

World Peace


I love how cute and innocent and wonderful little kids are!

Jakob and Ila are friends. They're in the same class at school. Ila has held Jakob's hand at school when he was upset for the first little bit. And Jakob will play "rescue the princess" with Ila.

Anyway, the other day they were playing outside with our T-ball equipment, and they got in a fight. Ila ended up going home, and they were both very upset. A little while later Ila came over with a card for Jakob that said "I'm sorry", and had a picture of the two of them. (It's hard to see in the picture, but her card is the blue one.) Jakob thought that was the coolest thing ever! He wanted to write a card back to her. So I wrote out "I'm glad you are my friend" for him to copy, and then he drew a picture of the two of them as well.


All was forgiven, and they're friends again. I just love how easy it was for them to forgive one another. If only that's all it took for married couples in fights, or world leaders. Can you imagine if Saddam had drawn a little picture and said "I'm sorry"? Granted, some fights are bigger than T-ball, but still. You get the idea.

Monday, September 15, 2008

If Ye Are Prepared...

No, I don't live anywhere a hurricane would reach.

Nor do I live anywhere near Tornado Alley.

BUT...

You know that year's supply of food storage that every family is supposed to have? We're nowhere close to that, either.

Today I'm going to change that. I'm going to rearrange finances the best I can to start building up our food storage. Because if something were to happen, we'd last maybe two weeks. Maybe. That's pathetic.

The plan: I'm going to come up with 14 dinners that are easy that my family likes. We'd only have to eat the same meal 26-ish times in a year. I'll also come up with 4-5 breakfasts and 4-5 lunches as well.

My parents gave us 72-hour kits a couple of years ago for Christmas. I haven't even opened them to see what all is in it. I know I need to add things like clothes and diapers.

The tools: There's a website called Your Family Ark that you can figure out how much of everything you need.

The goal: By the end of this year (2008), I want to have at least two months' worth of food storage. In 12 months' time, I hope we have a whole year's worth. We'll have to see how far money actually goes in this endeavor.

Wish me luck!

(I'm hoping by posting about this, it will get me motivated to keep on top of it. Maybe I'll have to do monthly updates or something.)

Update: I'm thinking having a year's worth in a year's time is REALLY ambitious. Maybe in 18-24 months? We'll have to see how it all pans out.

I'm 17...I'm 17!!


Cute Kristine tagged me about high school.

1. Did you date someone from your High School?
My sophomore year I "dated" (as in we sat by each other during lunch holding hands) Soren; summer after my junior year I dated Ned for all of 2 months; my senior year I dated J.R.

2. What kind of car did you drive?
A 1983 Honda Accord-the Ocean Car! We named it that because of the color, and the tape player would make the sound all wavy. The head rests got stolen, so then we got some brown ones spray-painted blue to put in it, so they were all crunchy. It was the coolest car ever.

3. What was the most embarrassing moment of High School for you?
My junior year I didn't have time to go to the bathroom during lunchtime to change my tampon. So I was sitting in class and totally leaked. I got up with my bag held around my waist, did what I could to cover up my leak, and then had to spend the rest of the day with my bag adjusted as low as it could go. And my friend took pity on me and cleaned the seat while I was in the bathroom. You'd think by then I would have had a handle on the whole period thing. Awesome times.

4. Were you a party animal?
My friends and I were always having parties and playing a ton, but drinking or any of that was never involved.

5. Were you considered a flirt?
Does Dawson have a creek?

6. Were you in Band, Orchestra, or Choir?
None. I had lots of friends in all of those, though. Um, I was in drama and student government.

7. Were you a nerd?
Oh yeah. I think Josie Grossie from "Never Been Kissed" was fashioned after me.

8. Were you on any Varsity teams?
Nope.

9. Did you ever get suspended/expelled?
Nope.

10. Can you still sing the fight song?
Dear old I.F. High we are with you... Every word, man.

11. Who were your favorite teachers?
Mr. Hatch my English teacher, Mrs. Sestero my French teacher (Misstero), Mr. Francis my history teacher, Mr. Miller my government teacher, Mr. Hampton my science teacher.

12. Where did you sit during lunch?
We usually sat in the hall near the Tiger tile.

13. What was your school's full name?
Idaho Falls High School

14. School mascot?
Tiger

15. Did you go to Homecoming? With whom?
My junior year I went with Chris, one of my good friends. My senior year I went with Alan, another great friend. Both were way fun.

16. If you could go back and do it again, would you?
High school rocked, but I wouldn't want to repeat it EVER.

17. What do you remember most about graduation?
I totally bawled, but not until after I crossed the stage. I couldn't stop crying for the longest time!

18. Where did you go Senior Skip Day?
Our whole class went to Lagoon. Supposedly there's another Senior Skip day, and I went to class. I know, I'm a rebel!

19. Were you in any clubs?
French club, Key club, Art club, Drama club, Conflict Mediators, Honor Society

20. Have you gained some weight since then?
Actually, I think I weigh about the same.

21. Who was your Prom Date?
My junior year I went with Sean, my senior year I went with J.R.

22. 10 year Reunion? Are you planning on going?
I was in charge, so of course I went! I may or may not go to my 20 year, depending on if we live here or the hassle of getting to it.

23. Looking back, what advice would you give yourself?
Take the AP classes! I didn't, and in college I wish I would have.

I tag whoever wants to do this!

Stuff N Nonsense

Troy was sick last week. One day he slept till 12:30, got up, had some juice, then fell asleep again...on the stairs.


This is a rendering of our family by Artist Jakob. From left: me, holding Ivy, then Pete, Brock, and Troy; Jakob is flying above us with an Ironman heart, of course. I love that we're all so very robotic. Or Ironman-ish.


Here's an Ironman that Jakob made for Aunt Lex. (Lex, haven't mailed it yet; we're working on writing a letter, too.)


My cute Brocky. He's fully potty trained! It really didn't take very long. His last poop accident was on my birthday. He didn't have any accidents from then until a month later, at my sister's house where he had a pee accident. I think he didn't know where the bathroom was, so he just held it till he couldn't any longer. But that's the last time. He's like a ninja bathroom goer; he doesn't ever tell me, he just goes. I love it.


Pete and Troy on our new toy. This is the awesomest purchase we've made in a long time. It's so flippin' fast! Pete's all, "WHY didn't we get this sooner?" The boys love to ride on Pete's lap while he's mowing. And Pete loves to mow now. A win-win. (Brock calls it the "mow lawner".)


Ivy's just so cute and fat! She's so patient, too. The boys will wake her up in the morning, which I hate, but she just goo's at them and smiles and kicks around. She looks SOOO much like Brock did when he was a baby.


Here's Pete new favorite song, which I also love. This video has clips from one of our guilty pleasures, "One Tree Hill". The song is called "No One's Gonna Love You" by Band of Horses.

Friday, September 12, 2008

We're Expecting...


...our new riding lawn mower to be delivered tomorrow!!!

Our other mower died a very tragic death as it was trying to power through our craptastic backyard. It had a good long life, though-it was a hand-me-down from my dad. I remember running it when I was a pre-teen. It sputtered and smoked while I was mowing earlier this week. It hasn't started again since.

So a new mower was needed, and since our yard is so huge, well, this will make it easy, fun, and fast to mow!

YAY!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering

9/11/2001.

My story isn't all that spectacular. My mom woke me up, told me what was happening. I got up and sat in front of the TV for....hours. I went to work, where the TV was on, and everyone watched, just staring, dumbfounded, not really realizing how real it actually was.

Shock.

Disbelief.

Horror.

7 years later...I can still remember how it was. How it felt. But...life goes on, babies are born, people get married, and though we can remember the sadness, we need to remember the happiness and the good in life. 9/11 was horrible and tragic, yet it made me so much more grateful for the people and things in life that I have.

I really enjoyed this post about 9/11.

Cherish the good things, the little things.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Where Were You?

Cute Kristy tagged me with this one:
20 Years Ago…
1. In 1988 I was in 4th grade, sporting permed hair, sweet feathered bangs, and too-large-for-my-face eyeglasses.
2. Mrs. Farman was my teacher (one of my all-time favorites) and Heather H. was my best friend.
3. I wanted to be a professional piano player or a teacher.
10 Years Ago…
1. In 1998 my missionary just left for his mission. (Soooo glad that didn't work out.)
2. I was majoring in accounting at Utah State University.
3. I was working at Zuka Juice. I totally wrote down all the recipes and still have them...somewhere.
5 years ago…
1. In 2003 I had just had Jakob.
2. We were super poor, living in an apartment smaller than our now garage.
3. I watched Oprah and Dr. Phil, both of which I hate now. I also watched Clean Sweep, which unleashed my subconscious into my minimalist ways.
3 years ago…
1. In 2005 I had just had Brock.
2. Pete graduated from Utah State University in public health with an emphasis in industrial hygiene with a minor in chemistry. That meant a new job, a new city...basically a new life for him and me and our family.
3. We bought our first house.
1 year ago…
1. In 2007 I was in charge of my 10 year high school class reunion.
2. I was pregnant with Ivy.
3. We went to Lake Tahoe with my parents and siblings and their families.
This year so far…
1. I had our fourth and final kid, Ivy, in May.
2. I started blogging in January.
3. Jakob started kindergarten, and I volunteered to be a room mother. No idea what that entails as I have yet to get the courage up to return the phone call about it.
Yesterday…
1. I cleaned under my stove. Yikes!
2. My mom came over to help my sad sad lawn, and we couldn't get the mower started.
3. I called the hospital about our bill for Ivy-there was a mix up of insurance coverage and all sorts of good stuff.
Today…
1. I've been dealing with Troy and his really stinky diarrhea.
2. I'm going to have frozen lasagna for dinner. (That doesn't sound right; it's frozen right now, but I'll stick it in the oven to cook for the actual eating of dinner.)
3. I need to do tons of laundry, as always, but I'll probably watch shows with Pete instead.
Tomorrow…
1. I really want to clean out my garage.
2. I'll either go to the store to buy, or will be implementing, mouse poison. Right now they're still outside, but...
3. I'm gonna vacuum downstairs. I hope.
Next Year…
1. My lawn will be okay!!
2. I will have some semblance of food storage.
3. We may or may not move, depending on if/when Pete passes his CIH (Certified Industrial Hygienist). It depends on who is willing to pay the salary a CIH is worth.
I tag…
1. Kar
2. Lex
3. Beej
But only if you guys want to do it.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Babes at the Zoo


Today Arin and I went to the zoo with our little kids. We found out that a parent pushing a stroller got in for free, so I only had to pay for Jakob. Sweet! We had tons of fun, and because it was a little cooler all the animals were out, including the tigers and lions. Whenever I've gone they've been asleep in the shade. Jakob said his favorite was the lions, Brock's was the monkeys, and Troy's was the "guy-ger" (the tiger).

Here's my little fam on the tiger statue:


We went to see the goats, and the lady let the kids brush them down. The kids and the "kids" loved it! (Get it? Young goats? Kids? I'm so clever!)

There was a display area there that my husband's company had contributed to. It was playing some kind of drum tribal music. Jakob and Ila started busting their moves.


Afterwards we went to McDonald's, where our starving children sucked down nuggets, fries, and drinks. And of course they played on the really (filthy) fun toy in there.
All in all, a very awesome outing.

Here's a slide show, including pics of the kids with the tigers in the background.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

College Memories (Or, Don't Know How I Passed Half My Classes Because I Was Playing Too Much)


My cute cute sister just transferred to a different school. She's a junior now, and by the sound of it, having a blast while there. She tagged me for telling of times we did crazy things in college. Seriously, where do I begin?

My freshman roommate and I were up "studying" for a test we both had the next day. And we both drank super caffeine drinks at, like, 10 at night. "Hyper" doesn't really cover it. I folded myself in half, tucking my legs under my head. Then I stuck my hands together. My roommate carried me around by my arms like a basket at 2 in the morning and showed everyone on the floor. Some people didn't think it was as funny as we thought it was.

Highlighting boys' hair, dressing them up in our clothes...

Of course snow fights and water fights and food fights and pen fights...

One night some guys we were hanging out with decided to act like Veloca Raptors the entire night. We went to Taco Bell. They snapped their teeth at the ladies taking their orders, and did the short arm thing. It was hilarious. Of course, there were about 8 of us, all packed into a 2-door car.

We wanted to make brownies, but accidentally dumped the mix onto the floor a little. We were making them for boys, anyway, so we added extra "ingredients"-lint, egg shells, dirt, whatever we could find.

The same brownie night, we acted like we were on a scavenger hunt through the guys' cooking dorms for brownie stuff. We just wanted to meet the guys.

We stole couch cushions and chairs from our guy friends' apartment. At 2 a.m.

Jenga or Twister with Consequences. Whoever lost had to go through the Spanking Machine-crawling under everyone's legs in a line while they spank the loser's butt.

Writing our names with our butts in the air. Also a 2 a.m. activity. (I think we rarely went to bed before 2 a.m.)

One night some guys came in with ski masks and totally kidnapped me. Drove me around blindfolded and dumped me off at some chick's house that I didn't even know. Weird.

We cooked s'mores over the stovetop. It doesn't really work.

One day we snuck into our friends' apartment and waited for them to get home so we could jump out and scare them. Totally didn't work-they were boys.

There was endless bowling and ice cream and dancing on the tables at a school dance. We hiked and campfired in the canyon. We decorated rooms and t.p.'d and spied on the neighbors across the parking lot with our lights off.

One week we didn't feel like cooking, so we convinced different apartments of guys to cook for us. It totally lasted all week. We had some serious flirting skills. Or begging skills.

One night we snuck into Old Main and went up into the very top of the tower that was restricted.

So, there ya go. A peek into the funnest four years ever! I hereby tag Pete and Kristine. They were both there for part of the party I like to call my "college education". Worth every penny, Dad!

Finished

I'm probably the last person in the United States to finish reading all the Twilight books. I didn't have any interest in reading past Book 1, but then Pete wanted to, and I thought why not? So I did.

I'm glad I did.

WARNING: Spoilers ahead!! Don't read any more unless you want the ending ruined. Pete, this means you!

Honestly, these books didn't do for me what they apparently did for everyone else. I wasn't so addicted and enthralled with them as much as many other people were. They were a nice mindless read. I found the story interesting. I enjoyed books 3 and 4 way more than 1 and 2.

Jacob bugged the crap out of me, especially in book 3. I had heard he narrated part of book 4, which I was dreading, but I actually tolerated it way better than I thought I would.

I'm glad Stephenie Meyer didn't ruin the wedding scene. I kept waiting for something bad to happen, for Jacob to run in and "I object", for...something. I was really glad they just got married.

The Volturi really weren't scary to me. Even Aro. Pete was like, "He was way creepy in book 2." I just thought of him as kind of slimy. And when they led those tourists down there to eat them, I just shrugged in my head and said, "Well, a vampire's gotta eat." Kind of a weird reaction compared to how other people reacted to it.

I liked Bella's "ability". Pretty cool.

A lot of the events seemed predictable to me. I knew that Jacob was going to imprint on Reneesme. I knew that Alice hadn't run away, but was on some kind of mission and would show up during the confrontation.

Reneesme is the dumbest name in the universe. When Bella told her dad that the middle name was Carlie, for Carlisle and Charlie, I thought, "Cute! Love it! Why isn't that the first name???" Reneesme is...Ren (like from Ren and Stimpy) Ay (like the greeting Fonzie from "Happy Days" says-"Aaaaaayyyyyy!") Smee (like Captain Hook's first mate).

Ren-Aaaaaayyyyyy-Smee!!




Dumb.

The movie...don't know if I'm going to see it. Of course, it has Cedric Diggory in it. YUMMY. I probably will, though, since they're bumping back the release date of Harry Potter 6 movie. Very Grrr about that.

So, overall, it was a fine series. But I think I'm going to reread me some Harry Potter now.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Shhh...

Ironman is sleeping.















The last two nights, Jakob has laid out his Ironman costume concoction, put it on pillows, and covered it with a blanket. I guess even superheroes need their sleep.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Buried Treasure

I decided to vacuum out my couch today.

Here's what I found:

tons of unidentifiable food
Spiderman cell phone
two pink and one elephant ears for Mr. Potato Head
several crumpled coloring pages
a quarter (I'm rich!)
many many cars of various shapes and sizes
magnets
a barrette
a purple dinosaur (not Barney)
airplane
lots of wrappers
a coin to our cash register toy
two Spiderman figurines
heaps of color crayons
socks
a wooden spoon
a toothbrush belonging to no one in my family

What a treasure trove of goodies! Well, and junk. And my vacuum is completely full of crumbs. But my couch is free of debris for at least the next two minutes before my kids lose something else in there. Hurray!

Monday, September 1, 2008

What ARE You?

This is possibly the weirdest Happy Meal toy we've ever gotten.

I don't think George Lucas had anything like this in mind when Princess Leia was created.

Jakob immediately "shared" his toy with me. So generous.

Carrie Fisher would be embarrassed.

It has little wheels on the bottom, but they're too little to make it actually roll somewhere.

It's not really a bobble head toy, either. The head barely even twists side to side.

Maybe they're trying to dissuade kids from going to Clone Wars.

It's a little disturbing. It's a little creepy. It's... hmm.

And Grubby's My Friend, Too...

This is the current state of our lawn. Pathetic. Sad. Awful.


What, that's not enough for you? Okay, here's a close-up. Lovely.


Here's a chunk of our grass that I "pulled" up. More like scraped up. Notice something unusual? Um, that would be no roots to the grass. (I'm using the term "grass" very loosely.)

Wanna know why? Behold, our new "pets". These are the babies.

And these are the proud parents that have completely ruined our lawn. Grubs. The adults aren't much bigger than the babies; hence us not seeing these awesome creatures at work decimating our entire yard.
So. Now that the damage is done and these little guys are finished for the year, we get to fix the problem. We can't kill 'em till next spring. Grrr. But in the meantime, we get to do a whole lotta this:
Followed by this:
So that someday, maybe possibly, we could dream about having a yard like this:
Well, at least I don't feel as bad about my yard. I thought it was all our fault. I guess it still kind of is for not recognizing the problem earlier. But now we know, right?

And this is a shout-out to my little sister, Brianna. She had a Teddy Ruxpin when she was little. It didn't last very long, because she would feed it food. If you don't know what a Teddy Ruxpin is, it's basically a stuffed animal tape player. It's mouth would open and shut in time with the tape, like it was talking or singing. He had a friend named Grubby. Whoever came up with that obviously didn't own a lawn.