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.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


First of all, I just have to say that I love the phrase "Constant Vigilance!" Mad-Eye Moody says it in the Harry Potter books, when he's showing them the Unforgivable Curses. If only he had had a megaphone to say it with. It reminds me of that movie, "The Bachelor", with Chris O'Donnell in it, where his grandpa carried a megaphone around and would say stuff in it.

*krrk* PROCREATE! *krrk*

So, yeah. This week has been a little hard. On Tuesday everyone was grumpy, but not all at once. So one child would be happy, then the next would be crying or what have you. And then there are the messes. *sigh*

I don't know how many times I've seen Ivy sport the Goth look:

I know Jakob keeps his markers picked up. But somehow she finds one, and kablam! Marker mouth. Tuesday after her nap I got her out of the crib, and she had spit up on her blanket and sheet. The reason: she had been munching on pencil shavings.

Last night I was made aware of this little ditty:

It's a Darth Vader laptop, but notice anything missing? Um, yeah, ALL the keys got pulled off. I don't know who, or when, but suddenly they were flying through the air. I had to put them all back on. (By the way, do you know how hard it is to figure out where the keys go without looking at a keyboard? I wonder who came up with the keyboard, and why they didn't just do it alphabetically.)

Then there was this lovely thing. Now, it's not like I'm off, like, primping for the prom or something when all this happens. This one I was downstairs paying some bills:

Apparently Troy wanted to make something. And he must have wanted it REALLY garlic-y, because the entire bottle of minced garlic was poured everywhere. He had also gotten the hand mixer out, complete with the beaters. Oh, and the day before, he had put an Etch-a-Sketch and a paper in the microwave. Thank heavens he didn't turn it on!

Troy also did this one:

My children are so presumptuous. This was Wednesday, when Troy got out the sherbet and started eating it. Hey, he was willing to share-he also got out three bowls and three spoons, most likely for his brothers and himself, though straight out of the carton was good enough for him. (I'm getting awful flash-forwards of my kids in college.)

Oh, and on Tuesday Jakob took a picture over to Ila that he drew, and Brock went with him, and they completely made themselves at home at Arin's house. I was down doing laundry and heard the door open and shut, but just assumed they went out to play. Presumptuous children.

So apparently, I need to learn a lesson in "CONSTANT VIGILANCE", because my doing crazy things like the bills or the laundry only gets me in trouble. I guess I should be staring them down, watching their every move. Or maybe I should install hidden cameras everywhere that feed to a device that I keep with me at all times. Oooh, then I could also install a megaphone system, too.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Good With The Bad

Lately in Jakob's prayers:
"Please bless us that we can be good...or bad."

Monday, February 23, 2009

Famous Family

So. My sister did a tag a while back about if someone made a movie of your life, what famous actors or actresses would play you and your family.  She did such a good job on everyone that I didn’t know if I could do it and make it be different.  But here are my picks.
I agree with Kar on my parents.  My dad would be Michael Keaton (they could be twins, seriously), and my mom would be Doris Day (she’s always so sunny and fun-both of them).
michael keatondoris_day
Kar would be Eliza Dushku, especially with her new bangs.  And  Ben would be Jamie Hyneman, from Mythbusters, with the goatee and shaved head and glasses.
eliza-duskdu-layered-long Jamie_Hyneman
Beej would be Liv Tyler, with the dark hair and the piercing eyes.  And Spencer would be Russell Crowe (back in his normal days), with his handsome smile and curly hair.
liv_tyler Russell_Crowe
Lex would be played by Blake Lively-the long, blonde gorgeous hair, and beautiful blue eyes.
If the movie shows my kids grown up at some point, then Jakob would be played by Jensen Ackles, because I can honestly see Jake looking like him when he gets older.
jensen ackles 1-26-09 007
Brock would be Joaquin Phoenix (before the big beard), because of his dimples, dark hair, and blue eyes.
Joaquin-Phoenix DSCI0046
Troy would be Daniel Craig, a long, LONG time from now.  They both smile with their whole faces, and their eyes crinkle up.  They’re both blondies with the blue eyes.
craig_daniel_cp_8652752  1-22-09 003
And Ivy would be Hayden Panettiere.  Again, it’s the blond hair and blue eyes.
panettiere_hayden2-16-09 007
For Pete, I pick Joshua Jackson.  The dark hair and beautiful blue eyes, and the scruff.  And in the show he’s currently in, Fringe, he plays a genius that’s funny, which is totally Pete to a T.
And for me, well, I went with Bryce Howard.  My kids saw my 8th grade yearbook picture, where I have a fabulous perm going on, and they were all, “Hey!  You look like Ivy from Billage!”  (Bryce’s character, Ivy, has permy strawberry-blond hair in “The Village”.)

So there you have it.  Hey, Hollywood?  I’m so ready to sell the rights to my family's story!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Miss Integrity, with her CTR ring, in the chapel!

On Tuesday our Young Women had New Beginnings. For those of you that may not know, New Beginnings is where we highlight the girls that came in the last year, and kind of go over Personal Progress and the values. And because I'm totally awesome, I brought my camera that night, but failed to take pictures.

Anyway, it was super cute. Our Laurels and Mia Maid and the YW Prez were the ones that planned it. They did a Clue theme, where during the night we had to guess the value girl, and the "weapon", and what room. The guests had clues in an envelope, and had to say if they could disprove the accusation. Each of our girls had a little spiel on the values. And I was Miss Choice and Accountability. Which means...

...I got to wear a sweet orange outfit, not unlike the one below. I found it at D.I. for $6. It was polyester bell bottomed pants with a shirt that had cute little flowers on it. When I showed it to Pete, he laughed, then said, "Well, now you have paint clothes."

They had decked the gym out with question marks, and had a dead person outline on the floor. They even found Clue candy to hand out with the invites! The culprit ended up being our Miss Faith, decided because she was the only one that came in last year, so they took the chance to highlight her at the time of accusation.

All in all, VERY cute, and VERY fun!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


On Monday Kar, Dylan, Jake, and I went to a play called "The Ant and the Elephant". The only way we got to go was because my mom completely ROCKS and got tickets for us.

The story is about different creatures in the jungle that could help each other out, but don't. An ant is stuck, and a turtle could help rescue him, but doesn't, then the turtle gets stuck, and a bird won't help him, etc. Finally an elephant comes along, and helps all the creatures out. The ant is the only one that is grateful. Then the elephant, thinking he won't ever get in trouble, gets stuck. The ant and his colony come to the rescue. The moral is you're never too little to help someone, you're never too big to need help.

It was really cute, and we all enjoyed it a lot. They kind of made it a musical, where each creature sang a little song about their predicament. And they all had different styles: the rhino was a British military guy, the giraffe was a snooty aristocrat, the lion was jazzy, etc. Both Jakob and Dylan said their favorite was the lion.

Kar and I thought the elephant's song was funny. It had a jungle beat, and he kind of chanted to it. He was like, "My trunk, my trunk, my big amazing trunk", as he was helping the creatures out. It sounded like "My Humps" by the Black Eyed Peas. We were like, "My humps, my humps, my lovely lady lumps!"

Anyway, it was much fun. Thanks, Mom, for giving us the chance to get out!

Kar, Jakob, Dylan, and Nat

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Going Green

I'm not really sure what was in Brock's shoe...

...and I'm SO glad Crayola markers are non-toxic!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sorry. They're MINE!

Valentine's Day came and went, and as is custom, I didn't do much for Pete. Usually I'll get him some chocolate and stick it in his lunchbox the night before, but since it was a weekend I didn't go that route. Instead, Pete and I got take-out from Olive Garden with 50 billion other people, rented Romeo + Juliet, and went to Walmart, where Pete pushed the cart for me (how romantic!).

But actually, Pete surprised me the night before with a beautiful bouquet of flowers...that he colored. He made the boys swear on their lives not to tell me that he was doing this for me. Tuesday night, while I was at mutual, Pete colored (with the help of Jakob) and cut 12 flowers for me. And on the back, he wrote things to do for me, like the laundry, cook dinner, clean toilets. He even left two of them blank, as in my choice! How stinking thoughtful was THAT?!?!? Seriously, it's one of the best Valentine's gifts that I've ever gotten, maybe second to my engagement night 7 years ago today.

Here's the bouquet. You can tell the ones that Jakob colored (they're a little less conventional):

So now the flowers are mine. And Pete's mine (sorry, ladies). I love him for the great husband he is, and I also love him because he gave me 4 little munchkins to keep life busy and crazy and sweet. And I love my kids:

I love Troy, because he's so very smart. Here he is, opening the fridge lock that we put on to keep the kids out of the fridge. I love his little smile, his talking skills, and his stumpy-ness.

I love Brock, because right now he gets tenses and words all mixed up. Like, "Woody is fell on to the floor" instead of "Woody is falling on to the floor". I love when he sings so intently. I love his little dimples, and that he usually puts on his shirts backwards.

I love Ivy, because she's starting to do kind of a scrunchy face when she smiles (finally caught it in this pic). I love that she's been pulling herself up on furniture. I love that she's not afraid to meddle with her brothers. I love that she's so into "people" food.

And I love Jakob, because he's a little spaz. He's constantly posing for pictures in crazy ways. I love that he made me a valentine, and he also made one for his brothers, dad, and sister. I love that he's trying to read (he can mostly sound out the small words), and that he's such a great helper.

Happy Love Day, everyone!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Where Being INfamous Pays Off

So, you know how I'm practically famous because I know people that are famous? (I like to pretend sometimes.)

Anyway, it totally worked in my favor last night! I asked the current Miss Idaho, Elise Davis, to come and speak to our Young Women. She did an AMAZING job. She talked about the pageant, and the reality show leading up to that. She went through the Young Women values and talked about how each one helped her in her experiences at Miss America.

She told us how Clinton Kelly, from TLC's What Not to Wear, came up to her after the evening gown competition, and told her she looked like Grace Kelly! (Now I'm only two degrees away from Clinton Kelly!) She talked about how when you're modest, people see you, not what you shouldn't be showing. Elise mentioned how faith and divine nature helped her realize that she was enough, and that it didn't matter what the judges thought about her, but what she thought about herself.

Elise did such an awesome job, and the girls and I loved having her for the night. She sang her competition piece for us, she answered the craziest questions, and she even let us wear her crown and take pictures.

Thanks a million billion, Elise!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Murphy's Law

My sister decided to instigate a "Biggest Loser" contest in our family. She recorded our current weights, and our goal weight. After a few months (I think we're ending at the end of May) we'll record our weight then, and for every pound we don't make it we put a dollar into the pot.

So. I'm not really at the point where I want to lose weight, but I DO need to exercise, and badly. Sure, I go up and down the stairs multiple times a day. I'm constantly lifting my children, and getting up and down off the floor. Once a week I push a heavy cart of children and/or groceries around a store for an hour. But it's still not a condensed, get-your-heart rate-going kind of regimen.

The last time I went skiing with my family I made it about a run and a half, and then I was kaput. It was embarrassing, to say the least. So instead of poundage, I decided to make my goal to exercise three times a week for a half hour each time. And I thought it would be simple-I'd get up before the kids, exercise for half and hour to TaeBo or with Dance Dance Revolution, and then get all showered and breakfasted before my busybodies are up and at 'em.

This is where Murphy's Law comes in to play. Every time I try to get up before the kids, they end up waking up early. They're usually 8:30ish kind of kids. So when my alarm goes off at 7:15, inevitably at least one of my kids gets up about then, too. What's up with that? I've only half-succeeded just once: I started the TaeBo tape, and about 30 seconds later Jakob wandered out of his room. As I attempted to force my limbs into movements they haven't done in ages, Jakob took one questioned look at me, and said, "Uh, Mom? What are you doing?" I replied, "Working out. Do you want to join me?" He said, "No. It's stupid." Although later in the tape when they were doing side kicks Jakob said it was "cool". And this morning when my alarm went off, I hit it, and immediately Troy started scream-crying, so I pulled him into my bed to calm him down (mostly so he didn't wake up his sister), and he and I fell back asleep. (It actually kind of rocked, because all my children slept until 9:15. It was like a reverse Murphy's Law.)

I guess I could work out after the kids are in bed. If I make Pete go in the other room. I have a hard time exercising in front of people, because I'm so uncoordinated. I'm the person in the step aerobics class running into the others, and missing my step, and standing there for a while with a bewildered look on my face because I can't figure out the sequence of moves.

So until I get some kind of miracle wherein my children stay asleep until they're supposed to get up (Benadryl?), maybe I should count that extra hour I'm awake as a half hour of exercise, eh?

What Can $50 Buy?

For $50, Pete's work buddy bought his World of Warcraft characters and all their stuff. (Pete, are you ever gonna blog about that?)

And because we were all sorts of thrifty, we immediately went out and blew it all! But this is what it got for us:

Three Happy Meals from McDonald's, and two adult meals at Bajio's (YUM!)... to the movie theater to see Bolt which was...okay. It was showing at the cheapos. The two youngest slept the whole time, Pete even dozed off, and the two older boys were all "Can we go yet?" Needless to say, it's probably not a buyer. But still kind of cute. And we also got...

...the new album by The Fray. Pete loves them, and I like most of their stuff.

We also rented Fireproof, which I really liked. It's a Christian film starring Kirk Cameron (Mike Seaver!). It's about a couple that are on the verge of divorce. I think it's really universal, because they fought about chores, and money, and addictions, and proper work relationships, and how to spend spare time. It talks about "never leave your partner behind", and loving someone no matter what. I just realized I've seen a lot of movies lately. Hmm.

Yep, a good (expensive) weekend.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Let's Go to the Movies

Lately I've seen a bunch of movies that I've been pleasantly surprised by. Not that I'm, like, a film critic and impossible to please, but I don't absolutely love everything I watch, either. And, I don't rush out to see every single movie in existence.

But Pete's always willing to give movies a shot. He took me out on a date last Friday (YAY!), and after eating at yummy Chili's, we rented a few movies.

We rented Horton Hears a Who! for the kids. And they love it. And it's funny, and cute! I never did see the Cat in the Hat remake, or the How the Grinch Stole Christmas remake (the ones where the live people were the characters). I saw snippets, and they were awful. But Horton is computer animated, which is what the others should have done in the first place. My boys asked to watch it over and over. We're thinking it will make a good birthday present come March for Brock.

We watched Ghost Town, and actually I hadn't heard anything about it. It has Ricky Gervais in it, who played the same character as Steve Carrell in The Office in the British version. It was funny, and touching, and uncomfortable (in a Michael Scott kind of way/open mouth insert foot), and just really good. Viewer be warned: there are two F-bombs.

I didn't really know what to expect with The House Bunny. It's a Happy Madison production, hence dirty Adam Sandler humor. But it didn't have too much of that (or maybe I'm desensitized). The main girl, Shelley, says a few phrases that I'm like, a girl SO wouldn't say that. But overall a cute story. Viewer be warned: you get to see her bare butt for a second. And I think there's one F-bomb.

Finally, I went to a movie with my mom and sisters on Saturday. I was surprised by Paul Blart: Mall Cop. I was expecting...well, I really don't know what I was expecting. I hadn't seen any previews, probably because we don't have TV. But Kevin James is a crack-up. I didn't laugh as much as I thought I would, though it was far from serious. It kind of turned into an underdog wins/action kind of movie. I actually really liked it, and wouldn't mind seeing it again. (Pete, if you're reading this, that's an invitation to take me out on another date!)

So, if you're stuck inside because of the freezing cold like we are, or just want something to rent, I'd recommend any of the above.

Monday, February 2, 2009

For the Record

This weekend we had Stake Conference. But it was extra cool this time because we had an apostle come to speak to us: M. Russell Ballard. I got a chance to go to the adult session while Pete stayed home with the kids.

There were several speakers at both the adult session as well as on Sunday. I even took notes at the adult session because I was, you know, not holding kids, or drawing pictures of Wall-E for the kids, or getting drinks at the fountain, or mixing bottles of formula, or settling fights of who got to sit by Mom or on Mom, etc. (Can you tell how much I got out of the Sunday session?)

BUT...I wrote just a few notes on a random piece of paper on a quickly dwindling notebook Saturday night, so I thought I'd put what I wrote down here. These thoughts aren't all from Elder Ballard. But they're all things that I needed to be reminded of. And maybe what I got out of conference isn't what others did, but maybe it will help others out there that read this. So without further ado...

-We need to teach our children to have their own personal prayers and their own scripture study.

-We need to shrink our expenditures to fit our income.

-We can always do a little better.

-We need to fill our time with the essential things. We need to make sure to have family prayer and family home evening.

-We need to gather our children together, and teach them, and testify to them, and be an example to them. Nothing can compensate for failure in the home.

-Keep positive and prayerful through our challenges and our trials. Count our trials as blessings, because they keep us humble.

-We can't teach or discipline our children while in the throes of anger.

-We need to do the best with what we are given.

-The priesthood is so precious and powerful.

-Remain true and faithful and we will be blessed.

-PRAY, and God will watch over you.