Meet The Nat Pack!

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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.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

100% Awesome

  • This picture:
  • This post, by Mindy. Seriously, Pete and I laughed our heads off for a good half hour.
  • Ding Dongs. YUM!
  • Brock, because he llOOOves everything.
  • "Scrapbooking", but online! I signed on to blurb, and I've been doing 2008. No mess, just clicking stuff and moving it around...very nice. To "clean up" I just close it. Voila.
  • Running into my old seminary teacher last night during mutual at the ice rink.
  • Pete quitting WoW. Maybe one of these days he'll blog about that.
  • Ivy completing a rite of passage in our house-falling down the stairs. She started crawling, and was playing with Jakob, and when he went downstairs she tried to follow. (Not that her falling was the awesome part, more the crawling thing.)
  • Troy drew an "e" on a little magnadoodle board, pointed at it, and said "E!" He also did "o". It may have been a fluke, but still very cool.
  • Hot cocoa. Although I burned my tongue a little.
  • Jakob finishing his homework packet Tuesday morning, when it's not due till Friday.
  • Having more money in our account than we should. I don't know how, but it's there. The better to pay for Pete's CIH test, my dear.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bob the Snowblob

Meet Bob the Snowblob, ravage crusader and guardian of our backyard:

He started his long and glorious life as a Snowman, put together lovingly by Nat and her three boys. However, he knew he had a higher calling, especially when the three boys thought his base was big enough and were done helping Nat roll. He then proceeded to grow by clumps being thrust upon his base, complete with machine-like noises emanating from Brock. His arms were found by Jakob, where he took mere sand rakes and turned them into raging claws of death. His mouth is sharp, like a pencil, literally. And his basketball eye, monster-like, a la Mike Wazowski.

More snow now covers his form, camouflaging him from unsuspecting passers-by. And as long as the cold weather holds up, he will as well, remaining vigilant day and night. Raaarrrr.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Things You May Not Care About. (But SHOULD.)

You know that Christmas story, "The Little Match Girl"? She totally dies at the end! What's up with that? She's all peeking in at other people with their happiness and warmth and presents, and all she has are matches that she lights, and then she dies. "Hey, Merry Christmas, a little girl died!" (My kids keep picking the Christmas stories for me to read at night.)

Ivy totally has a rooster-tail hairdo naturally.

One of Troy's nicknames is "Stumpy", because he's, well, stumpy. Just short and little. When he's angry we call him "Grumpy Stumpy". The other day he called Brock a Grumpy Stumpy when Brock was upset.

Brock was very aware his picture was being taken. He's such a non-poser.

Jakob totally rocked his reading assessment this last time. We just got his report card. Apparently his after-school reading program and Title One have helped him out. Although, if he ever hears any foreign language, he calls it Spanish, I think because he's in the after-school program with a lot of Hispanic kids where Spanish is their first language.

Jakob drew this sweet picture, of a skeleton playing a lead guitar. He's becoming quite the artiste. (Pete drew the one on the right.)

You know the movie "The Village"? It's Brock's favorite movie, but he calls it "Billage". (I already know I'm a bad mom for letting my kids watch PG-13 movies.) We were asking Troy about colors, and we pointed at red and said, "What color is that?" And he replied, "The bad color." Yes, that would be my two-year-old.

Troy can fit in a garbage can.

My abs will be made of steel by the time this cough is out of my system.

I love cookies. A lot.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Thing that sucks: Having the whole family sick with an awesome cough/cold, stuffy/runny nose thing.

Thing that rocks: It's not the barfies.

Thing that sucks: I've got it, too. Yet, the world does not stop for a mom that is sick.

Thing that rocks: Taking a two hour nap with my two-year-old. (So the world did stop. For two hours, anyway.)

Thing that sucks: My three-year-old throwing a fit about taking medicine, and him spitting it out all over my hand.

Thing that rocks: My 8-month-old totally takes the medicine.

Thing that sucks: Going over-budget at the grocery store. And the money getting tighter and tighter...

Thing that rocks: Knowing our tax return will be coming in a month or so.

Thing that sucks: Taking my 8-month-old in for shots at the health department, and having it cost more than our co-pay, but not knowing that until they're ringing us up. Oh, and the shots in the thighs of the 8-month-old.

Thing that rocks: Having said 8-month-old thisclose to crawling. And her top teeth are almost through her gums.

Thing that sucks/rocks: My two-year-old not getting into stuff as much lately. Rocks because it's less work for me; sucks because it sure was fun to blog about. (However, I believe it's a temporary reprieve; he is still himself, after all.)

Thing that sucks/rocks: Eating at Red Robin for free with my sisters and mom. (They practice for a few days, and give out passes to people so they can make stuff-like a dress rehearsal.) Rocks because it's so dang yummy, and great company. Sucks because when it's open, it's a $10 meal, meaning a $10 burger. And the smoothie/lemonade drinks are, like, $4. Yikes.

So, what sucks or rocks for you?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Break. Dance.

Last night Pete pointed out that I haven't blogged in a week. Not that that's such a gigantic hiatus, but unusual considering my blogging average. I guess I've felt like I haven't really done anything of note, but quite the contrary; I've been busy! Doing what, you may ask? Well...

1. Last night I cleaned my bathrooms. If you know me, you know that's quite the feat. I just kept thinking about if someone came to my house and had to use the bathroom. There's no way I would have let them, because all three of my bathrooms were that bad.

2. On Friday we went down to Pete's brother's house. Both Pete and Mike are Industrial Hygienists, and they're both studying for the Certified Industrial Hygienist exam coming up in April-ish. So we all went down, hung out, Pete got some books and attempted to copy some CDs (didn't work). It was awesome to see his little family, and Pete's parents came up to see us. Super quick trip, but it was fun.

While down there we ate at Benihana. Ahhh, Benihana. Even my kids like their rice! If I were a millionaire I would either have a private jet and go down every week and eat there, or I'd hire a Benihana chef to cook for me. Man, now I need to go wipe my drool off the keyboard...

3. I gave a talk on Sunday. Talks really shouldn't be that nerve-racking. It was on the Mutual Theme for 2009: 1 Timothy 4:12. Look it up.

4. I conquered Mount Laundry yesterday. Of course, in our house, that lasts about two days before it rears its ugly head and grows back. But as of last night, it was completely gone. Go me!

5. I also taught the lesson to the Young Women on Sunday. I'm really glad I had a movie clip to show them from The Testaments. I'm just not the greatest teacher out there. Of course, I've been considering teaching piano; maybe I can take classes on becoming a better teacher.

6. Taking care of my rug rats. Ivy's getting close to crawling. She's very mobile without it, though. And she sticks everything in her mouth. Brock was being clingy yesterday (drove me insane). Troy, for some crazy, wonderful reason, hasn't been getting into stuff as much lately; I hope that sticks. (Knock really really hard on wood!) Although he did pull a table onto himself last week. And Jakob is back to the grind with homework. Lots of homework.

7. My back has been killing me for the last couple of weeks. I have a chiropractor appointment tomorrow. I hope it helps. (In case you didn't already figure it out, that's not my back. I only wish I had that many muscles. However, I don't wish to be a man. But that is where my back has been hurting me.)

8. I've been debating the whole digital scrapbooking thing. Blurb, Shutterfly, Picaboo, Heritage Makers, etc. So I've been looking through my old scrapbooks to see how big they are in terms of pages, and how big a year's worth is, etc. By the way, my babies are total clones of each other. I'll have to post about that some time.

9. I've been watching my kids bust some sweet moves. Jakob does this little dance that cracks me up every time. They are constantly boogying. So here are a couple of clips; the first is Jakob's little dance, the second is to some music. Brock wasn't feeling the love at the time. He's more of a sit and lip-sync kind of kid anyway.

Troy's such the little copycat. And Jake is a spaz, no doubt about it.

Anyway, that's where I've been for the last week.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I love my boys. Really, I do. Which is probably why they're still alive right now.

Just kidding. Well, not about the love thing....

Okay, let me start over. Lately we've had a lot of things break. Some of it has been the kids' fault, some of it is just the nature of "stuff". But it always seems to happen all at once. I already mentioned our car's woes. But now our other car has joined in, with an almost flat tire, a broken seat belt, and the glove compartment refuses to shut. Fixed the tire, but the other stuff not so much.

My boys have discovered a new hang-out: under the kitchen sink. And they've taken the phrase "hang-out" literally, and probably hung on the sponge-holder thing, which now refuses to close all the way.

Here's my sad Charlie Brown Christmas tree. See the ribbons clumped? And the anti-ornamented spot at the bottom? That's why the tree came down the day after Christmas, my friends.

Plus, I didn't want any more ornaments to meet the same demise as these two did:

The snowflake on the left my mom attempted to tape back together. The star on the right was one of my favorites, and Memo chewed the arms off. (Although I think I liked it more when I thought it was wood; I then discovered it was styrofoam. But still.)

Our doorknob on the back door broke, so we were sporting this fine, white trash, duct tape look for a while. The front door deadbolt broke the day after. Luckily I'm somewhat of a handywoman (cough! hack! -sorry, give me a minute to collect myself after the laughing hysterics stop), and they've both been fixed. (In my case, "fixed".)

We can't even keep cookies unbroken around here.

Other stuff in the broken category: a picture frame for Pete's diploma, the door on our entertainment center, Pete's headset to the computer, crayons-always, a few of the kids' books that I put on the bookshelf (silly me, thinking books belonged on a bookshelf), a couple of drill bits from my attempt at hanging a shelf in our garage (handy, remember?), half of our toys because it's apparently the cool thing to hit toys with other toys...the list goes on and on.

But...things not broken: three little boys' chicken necks. Yet. (Just kidding. Kind of.)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Cute Mindy tagged me with this one:
1. Take a picture of yourself… riiiiiight… NOW!
2. DO NOT change your clothes. DO NOT fix your hair.  Just take a picture.
3. Post that picture with NO editing.
4. Post these instructions with your picture.
So here’s mine:
1-6-09 002
Gotta love the fresh out of the shower picture, eh?  At least I had my makeup on at this point.
And awesome Mike tagged me with this one: shows that I love, shows that I think should go away.  This is a little tricky for me, as I’ve been without cable for about two years now.  But we still download shows, and you still hear buzz about shows.  So first, ones that should go:
Legend of the Seeker.  Pete watches this, and I’d rather pull out my arm hairs than watch it.
The Real World.  I think they’re on Season 21.  I honestly don’t know how such a crappy show has held on this long.  I’ve only seen a couple of seasons while flipping through channels, and that was enough.
Next, the Doodlebops.  Don’t know if it still airs on the Disney Channel, but it’s one of the reasons I got sick of paying the cable bill.  It’s about creatures/people that are supposed to be good singers and dancers, and they’re not.  And they’re Canadian.  Double whammy.
Now for a show that should NOT have been canceled: Arrested Development.  If you haven’t seen it, seriously go out and rent it.  It was funny, and clever, and canceled way too soon-I think it only got, like, three seasons in or something.
And for shows that I think rock.  Pete and I have a few shows that we watch together (downloaded, and watched after the kids are in bed).  Here are my top ones of the ones we watch in no particular order:
Gossip Girl
One Tree Hill
one tree hill
The Office
And one I haven’t seen in ages, but it’s still a favorite- Clean Sweep on TLC:
Clean Sweep

L to R: Organizer Peter Walsh

Credit: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images/TLC
And a clip from a show that most people either love or hate: Friends.  I’ve told Pete about this clip about a hundred times.  I love to cuddle at night, and so I snuggle up next to Pete on his side of the bed.  So this clip is about Ross and Rachel, called the “Hug and Roll”. Enjoy!
I tag anyone that wants to do either of these tags.

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Year's Eve Par-tay

For New Year's Eve we went to Jaren and Arin's house for a small get-together. Basically, Arin is super social, super put-together, and super awesome. So all I have to do is bask in her socialness, her put-togetherness, and her awesomeness, and I have a blast. Secretly I'm hoping that someday it will rub off on me. It hasn't worked so far, but maybe one of these days I'll learn her secrets and then people will be blogging about the amazing time they had when I was hostess. (Um, just go along with it, okay? Maybe someday fantasy will become reality.)

The host and hostess:

The adults played games upstairs while the kids played/ruined stuff downstairs. We had really yummy food, like chips and different dips, and cinnamon rolls, and pop, etc.

Arin, Steve, Zoe:

One of the games we played was called Snorta! Each person is an animal, and you're putting down cards that are also animals, and when your card matches someone else's you have to make their animal's sound. Sounds easy, right? Mmmm, not so much. Half the time we (I) couldn't think of the animal's sound quickly, the other half of the time we (I) would say the wrong one, either doing my animal, or the animal on the card. Yeah, I was the first one out.

Heidi, Jaren, and Pete:

At first when we were playing, we'd all end up pointing at the other person's animal while trying to think of the sound it made. A very fun game.

Allan, Jason, and Heidi:

We also played Catch Phrase, and Apples to Apples, both favorites of ours.

Steve, Zoe, Kristy, and Allan:

And we actually stayed until after midnight! Our kids were just having a good ol' time, as were we, so it was all good. Thanks, Arin, for having us over! Maybe next year, our house? (Let's be honest-it will probably be at Arin's again. *sigh*)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Festivus Miracle!

Between my parents and Pete's parents, we'll have our year's worth of food storage in no time! For Christmas this year, my parents gave us food storage-enough for one person for 6 months. Crazy generous, huh? And Pete's parents gave us a ginormous kerosene heater.
But just so you know, Pete wants to get a gun to defend our food storage, so don't even think about coming over and stealing it from us! And in the meantime, he and I are a pretty sharp shooters with his paintball gun. I know from experience you wouldn't want to get shot with that thing within a 30 foot radius.

And because my parents love Seinfeld:

Merry K.I.S.S.Mas

This year for Christmas my unofficial motto was K.I.S.S.-Keep It Simple Stupid. Call it the Scrooge factor, call it laziness, call it lack of ideas for gifts, but Santa was the only one that brought gifts for our kids this year: one toy (albeit a bit bigger than normal) and one movie. Of course, we had other gifts under the tree from the grandparents. But actually it was pretty nice; less really was more.

Our Christmas Eve traditions for the last few years have included doing luminaires at my parents' house, a tradition we started at our own house this year. My parents usually put salt pellets in the bottom of the paper bag, but we just put snow in, which did rather well. My boys are so spazzy:

And thus:

Brock was being very efficient:

And Troy couldn't get enough of the lit candles:

We did luminaires at my parents' house this year as well, but of course my camera died for that portion of the night.

And the kids, Christmas morning, with their loot:

Brock was sooo thrilled to get his picture taken on their new trampoline that takes up the entirety of our basement. (It will be going outside come spring. So, like, in June.)

Ivy, with her new phone cord. She loves the thing.

Jakob with his new Iron Man DVD.

Troy on his new bike.

Brock with his Wall-E toy. It plays music and dances around.

Pete asked me when we were going to start having the kids give gifts to each other. But after reading this post, I'm kind of thinking I may have the kids give immaterial gifts to each other-like services or something. Just to keep it simple, and to help remember what Christmas is about in the first place.

Anyway, I know it's a bit late, but I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

I Do!

In the spirit of New Year's Resolutions, I present to you the things that I've done from a tag of random experiences. I've done 44 of the 100. Not to say that I'd actually want to do some of the things listed (sing a solo-#10-hey, no one else wants me to do that, either), but some of them I wouldn't mind checking off someday, like visit Hawaii (#4), or go whale watching (#62).
Things I've Done. To participate just copy and paste in your own blog, and bold all of the things you have done.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars

Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland

8. Climbed a mountain

Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning

Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked

Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen an eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted (I've been sketched)

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching

63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

Had your picture in the newspaper
Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one

94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a law suit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

100. One cavity or less