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, May 27, 2009

"I Think I'm Beginning to Die"

Well, we have the sickies over here today. Especially Jakob, and he's really feeling it as he's the one that said he thinks he's beginning to die. And tonight is Kindergarten graduation. Perfect timing, eh? Maybe he won't feel well enough to go and, you know, stand there looking all grumpy while the other kids sing (which is what he does on the normal-feeling days). I may end up dragging his sick little body over there, anyway, because after all the ups and downs from this year, he deserves a diploma-ish kind of thing, and I deserve to watch him get it! Here's praying he makes a miraculous recovery...

(By the way, do you like this sweet outfit Jake put together to wear to school the other day? The clip-on mismatched tie with the collared shirt that totally can't handle a tie on it. Classic.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Books 101

* rap rap rap* Now, now, class, I know that it's almost the end of the semester, but we still have a few literary classics to go over. For instance, this beauty by the very famous Jakob, titled "Ironman". Notice his cover page. Even by itself it can tell a story. It shows how Tony Stark, in the middle, makes the Ironman suit on the right. But wait, there's more!

The first page sets the scene: Ironman is Tony Stark. Very straightforward, class. Jakob lets you know exactly who his characters are through (obviously) characterization. And to top it off, he has a picture of Tony. Such description!

On this page, Jakob starts building the plot: But he got in a suit. You can see Tony, in the suit, standing at the mouth of the cave. What attention to detail!

Then, tragedy strikes our protagonist: And he died. Not to be confused with "and he djed", which would be pronounced "duh-yed". Note the symbolism that Jakob uses here, with the blank page. Death means emptiness, a sparse future. Deep stuff here, class.

Then, hope for our main character, and furthering the plot: But he was Tony. Now he is Ironman. See how Jakob makes our hero grow, and change. And can you see the determination in Tony's face. He will not be defeated!

Then, Jakob says so much, without saying a word. Notice how he mixes up his literary usage, first with the page with only words; then, the page with only pictures. Jakob has the reader guessing at every turn. Will he become Ironmonger (on the left)? Will he become the evil that could be his? Or will he become Ironman (on the right)? Can he defeat Ironmonger? Or will he be something else (the question mark in the middle)? Notice how Jakob makes his readers think, and ponder. He twists the plot. The dramatic climax! The intrigue!

Then, Jakob pulls the story all together: Ironman is good. He shows him flying and jumping. A beautiful conclusion to his epic story!
Well class, that concludes our discussion on Jakob's "Ironman". Next semester, we will be discussing one of Jakob's earlier works, "Moo Cow".

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Good Day

On Friday I took Brock to get his picture taken. Yep, 2 months after his 4th birthday. I'm a winner like that.

We went to JCPenney where he was basically a supermodel for pics (Oh, you want my hands in my pockets? Sure thing! And smile all cute? Got that down. You want me to say "cookies"? How about I do you one better and say "ding dongs" instead?). Then I took him to ride the escalator, and we got Pretzelmaker with cheddar cheese dipping sauce and Dr. Pepper (his drink of choice) to share. After that, because he was being so good, we went to the store and got him some candy while I bought some new spaghetti sauce (which I treated like a newborn baby so I wouldn't have a repeat shattering).

It just was so pleasant to have one-on-one time with my child. I definitely don't do that often enough, and I need to try and do that more. For me, it ended up being one of those really pleasant memories that kind of takes me back to my childhood. Where riding the escalator stairs is the coolest thing ever. Where you get to feel really special and important, because it's just you with just one parent.

I don't know if Brock will remember this day with as much fondness as I will. Heck, I don't even know if he will remember it at all. But it was a good day for me. A really good day.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

If At First Karma Doesn't Succeed...

So. Trying to do some good in the world today. I went to Jakob's school to help the Kindergartners with their skills books. (A skills book is a little booklet the teachers made; each page has a different thing that they may learn during the school year. The kids pass the pages off at home, then pass them off at school.) My kids were being totally crazy while we were there, which isn't all that surprising. For instance, Troy set up a smaller chair in front of a bigger chair, climbed onto the bigger one, and jumped over the smaller one onto the ground. Nice.

But. While we were there, Jakob read "Green Eggs and Ham" to his class. Upside down, so that the kids could see the pictures. With no help. Such a smartie pants.

Decided to go to the store. I always end up picking the line behind the person that takes about a hundred years. This time, the lady in front of me had expired credit cards, so she was digging around in her purse for cash, and was about 50 cents short. I happened to have a couple of quarters on me (which never happens), and so I gave that to her. And actually, she had a Walmart gift card with a couple of bucks on it that she found after she was out of line, and gave that to me. Which means I actually was ahead in the karma situation there.

Continuing down the road, trying to be a good person. I stop to let someone pull out, as there was a huge line at the stoplight.

Get home, get the kids out, open the back to get the groceries out. And my peanut butter and spaghetti sauce roll out of the van. The peanut butter, not a big deal, but the spaghetti sauce shattered, and splattered. Kind of like this:
Awesome. My question is why isn't spaghetti sauce in a plastic container? Other things that used to be glass are now plastic-baby bottles, Tang jar... Anyway, I just hope the bad spaghetti sauce karma will end there, that hopefully I got all the glass shards so that my kids won't cut their cute little feet when they go out to play in the crazy wind. But if I think about it, it's like I didn't even buy it in the first place, because of that gift card from that lady. So maybe it was a good karma day, after all.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's a Bird! It's a Plane!

It's Dapper Superman!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Winning Has Never Felt So Good. Really.

Friday I went to The Essence of You, and redeemed my massage package that I won! Yippee!

First I got my massage. (Oh, and the chocolate part? Yeah, it's just chocolate scented oils that they rub on you.) Then on to the facial, where I think I dozed off a few times because I felt my body jump. I enjoyed a brunch of a ton of yummy chocolatey treats. Then the manicure; I had the lady paint my nails a sparkly light pink. And then a lady that looked like Bryce Howard on the Spider-man 3 movie did my hair.

See? Don't I look all sorts of relaxed and buffed and primped?

And I even treated myself to a Quizno's sub afterwards.
And then I started feeling guilty.
Maybe it was because I never do that kind of thing for myself. Maybe it's because I was neglecting other things to take time out for me. I shouldn't have felt guilty. And hey, I won the dang thing, so I didn't even have to spend any money to do it! Maybe it's the mom in me-women tend to put everyone else and everything else before themselves.
But then again, the guilt feeling was probably a good thing, because I sorted through the toys and tossed the annoying or broken ones, then Saturday I swept out my garage, windexed and vacuumed out my cars, and cleaned up the yard a bit.
At any rate, it was a fun little spa day, and I'm glad it rejuvenated me. So, maybe I should do it a lot more often, so that I get a lot of little projects done afterwards. Hmm, the wheels are starting to turn...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Fun at One!

My little Ivy turned the big 0-1 on Monday. I can't believe that she's already a year old! She had a grand old time playing with the wrapping bows while Brock opened her gifts for her. Then we had some cake with strawberry frosting-YUM!

Just a few things about my little girl:

She loves the color yellow. We have a little yellow Care Bear that she carries around everywhere.

She does the "take a knee" football stance. None of my boys did that.
She's free-standing now, and the other day took a tentative step! Oh, and she barely learned how to climb up the stairs.

Ivy's already starting the mischief-she loves getting into the garbage, the little raccoon.

She has a ton of nicknames: Ivy-loo, The Loo, Ivylicious Def (from that Fergie song), the Def.

She sucks on the fringe of fleece blankets. Just like Brock.

She growls.

Ivy loves books.

She loves to boo-gey. Check out this video:

And here's a slide show of the evening:

We love our little Ivy, and we're so glad she's part of our family!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Who Knew?

Who knew that staying at a hotel could be so very fun, even for the adults, and that you kinda feel rich walking into a fabulous hotel lobby and have a fancy reservation? And how cool is staying on the 8th floor, and riding an elevator that has a glass wall, and you have a cooked-to-order breakfast every morning?

Who could ever imagine that Troy would lock himself into one part of our hotel room about 5 minutes before we had to leave to take Pete to his test, and got him out in the nick of time?

Who knew that I would feel nervous all day long as Pete took his test?

And who knew that he wouldn't (initially) pass? (We find out for sure if he passed or didn't pass in a few weeks, when they send him his score and the breakdown.)

Did you know that it's impossible to take pictures while swimming with kids, even with two adults present?

Who in the world would know that 400 S. turns into 500 S., which is also called University Blvd., which turns into Foothill Drive, so that when you're at 100 S. and 1300 E. after dropping your hubby off for his test, you think, "Hey, I'm really close, I'll just go down a few blocks, then head east again, and I'll totally get to Hogle zoo!" that you won't, because that 400 S. is a totally different 400 S. than the one a few blocks away? Crazy Utah roads. (Because we totally don't have roads like that here. *cough* 17th into Pancheri, just to name one of dozens in my little town *cough*)

Did you know that, after keeping a Dr. Pepper in a diaper bag and setting it in a rental wagon and pulling it around at the zoo for a few hours, that when you go to pull it out and drink it that it will explode on you?

Was there any way to know that Ivy would get all blotchy and puffy because of the sun and the sunscreen?

Who knew that my kids would be really really good at the zoo? But I had a gut feeling they would pick the most annoying toys in the universe to bring home as a souvenir.

How could I have known that watching three episodes of "Hannah Montana" in a row would make me want to scrape out my eyes and ears?

Who knew that Benihana is the yummiest restaurant ever? (Oh wait, I totally knew that!)

Who would have guessed that Brock, while carrying his blanket and toy monkey, would find the one puddle of water at the entrance of the hotel parking garage, and trip and fall into it?

Who knew my kids would love Temple Square, and that the brides getting their pictures taken are "princesses", according to Brock?

And who knew that walking up to the Christus in the Visitor's Center would make me get all choked up, until Jakob says, "I didn't know that Jesus lived here!", and then I laugh and then just want to squeeze all my kids as tightly as I can, because they are just so precious and funny and cute?

Who knew that Jakob could climb a peach tree at his grandparents' house?

And who knew that we just made some wonderful memories with our kids, and I wouldn't trade all the tiredness, and the massive laundry, and the funky-smelling house (we left our cat in the house while we were gone-somewhat of a mistake) for that? Ever?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3...

Well, Pete has his Really Important, Really Big, Really Expensive test on Friday. I can tell he's sooo excited to take it. But even though he has 8 hours of awesomeness ahead of him, we'll try to make the rest of the time surrounding that time as fun as possible, by eating out, and swimming in a hotel pool, and stuff like that.

And maybe he'll pass the test. So then, when he's dressed up like these guys, he'll be dressed with authority. And then everyone will say, "See that Stay-Puffed Marshmallow over there? No, not that one, the other one. Well, he has his CIH. So he's the smart marshmallow." Or something like that.

Good luck on your test, Marshmallow-um, I mean Pete!

Monday, May 4, 2009


This is what happened to our computer yesterday:
Well, not literally. But it completely crashed. Just...curled up and died. We don't know why, or how. And we were going to lose EVERYTHING. Everything like every picture of Ivy from birth on. Like all of my little files (which would be like losing my mind). Like the I-Tunes music we've purchased. EVERYTHING.

Luckily, Pete is a master genius when it comes to computers. Luckily, he was able to move stuff around to our other computer. Luckily, before we had to completely wipe the hard drive, we saved some of our stuff.

Unluckily, we did end up losing the pictures from January and February of 2008. Unluckily, we lost some of our I-Tunes music. Unluckily, we lost the blurb digital scrapbook that I had been working on. (Luckily, though, I've been too busy to work on it much lately, so I wasn't very far into it. Still, though.)

Lesson learned: Back your stuff up! Put it on a disk far, far away. Or, have two computers, and double copy everything to both. And after doing that, still do a disk far, far away.

Now a moment of silence for my lost blurb book...