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.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Charlie (Brown) and the Chocolate Factory

It's done! And it's beautiful!

Oh, I'm talking about painting in the living room and kitchen. See?


(Here's the before shot, if you wanted to compare. Before: white walls. After: chocolate walls.)

And if you don't believe me about the chocolatey-ness, here's my chocolate milk next to the lighter of the browns:


The chocolate milk extends into the one wall in the living room, and the dark chocolate is above that and on the opposite wall. YUM!


Though, I can't decide if I want to sit and try to touch up every single tiny blob by the top of the big wall. It would literally take me hours, and you can't tell there are little blobs unless you're right underneath the wall looking up. I mean, can you tell in the picture?


Well, I can't, and maybe that's all that matters. I'm so glad to finally have some color (albeit brown) in my life! Thanks, Kar and Mom, for helping me paint, and Pete, who (mostly) kept the kids out of the way.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The After Party

Well, we ended up going to Texas Roadhouse for Pete's birthday. Then we had family come over to celebrate and eat cake with us. Pete got garmies and a massage and fudge, and his angry shoes count towards his birthday. Well, I had fun on Pete's birthday; I hope he did, too! I'm sure it was better than last year for him, at least, what with the kidney stones on his birthday and all.

Here's a little slide show of the celebration:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pete's Sweet 16! (you'll see why in a minute)


Happy Birthday, Pete! I think you're officially over the hill now at a whopping 31. But don't worry, you have a young spring chicken for a wife (for another 4 months and 1 day, anyway). Thanks for being a great husband, for letting me sleep on your side of the bed with you so that I stay warm, for picking Texas Roadhouse to eat at tonight for your birthday (LOVE their Ranch dressing!), for watching really lame shows like "Bravestar" with the boys, and for always making me laugh.

And here's a little something to make you laugh. I asked the boys some questions about you, and here are their answers. Enjoy!

1. How old is your dad?
Jake: 16
Brock: 60
Troy: 2

2. What is something Dad always says to you?
Jake: He says good words.
Brock: He doesn't say "po-ee sank" (not a clue, dude)
Troy: He says shut up.

3. What makes Dad happy?
Jake: When I don't be bad.
Brock: He's into the temple.
Troy: Just sleeping.

4. What makes Dad sad?
Jake: When he gets mad.
Brock: He fights for the shark.
Troy: Just crying and don't sing

5. How does your Dad make you laugh?
Jake: He says funny stuff.
Brock: Dragons onto Ivy's head.
Troy: Just silly.

6. What was your dad like as a child?
Jake: Voltron.
Brock: He was a kid at 4.
Troy: I dunno.

7. How tall is your dad?
Jake: 100
Brock: really, really tall
Troy: I dunno.

8. What is his favorite thing to do?
Jake: eat his dinner and eat chocolate
Brock: He can fit his shirt on his head.
Troy: say be quiet

9. What does your dad do when you're not around?
Jake: plays WoW
Brock: brush his teeth.
Troy: Take a bath.

10. If your dad becomes famous, what will it be for?
Jake: something like, a genius
Brock: make dinner (yeah, right!)
Troy: work

11. What is your dad really good at?
Jake: spelling stuff on the computer
Brock: sing songs
Troy: ride bikes

12. What is your dad not very good at?
Jake: playing games
Brock: He's bad at flowers
Troy: going to sleep

13. What does your dad do for a job?
Jake: to do good
Brock: he does numbers
Troy: I don't know its name.

14. What is your dad's favorite food?
Jake: apples, I guess.
Brock: dinner
Troy: chicken nuggets and fries

15. What makes you proud of your dad?
Jake: when he is very good, not bad
Brock: he goes to swimming for me
Troy: just wake up

16. If your dad were a cartoon character (or character from literature), who would he be?
Jake: paladin
Brock: he got a sword, he'd be an elephant
Troy: a doggy

17. What do you and your dad do together?
Jake: draw stuff together
Brock: make swords
Troy: go to church

18. Where is your dad's favorite place to go?
Jake: the swimming place
Brock: swimming
Troy: go to work

19. How are you and your dad the same?
Jake: if we're wearing the same clothes
Brock: we got punched and we didn't have Wall-E.
Troy: play bikes

20. How are you and your dad different?
Jake: we don't have the same name or same number where we are.
Brock: he's old
Troy: I dunno.

21. How do you know your dad loves you?
Jake: 'Cause he's so so so glad.
Brock: he hasn't punched me in the face
Troy: he gets (me) chicken nuggets and fries

We love you, Pete/Dad! Happy birthday!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Things We Said Today

My sister did this tag, and I thought it would be fun. You pick ONE band or artist, and answer the questions using ONLY song titles. She picked the Beatles, and since I love them as well, I decided to do Beatles, but tried to pick different songs than she did. (Oh, my title is also a Beatles song.)

1. Are you a male or female: Another Girl
2. Describe yourself: I Am the Walrus
3. How do you feel about yourself: Free as a Bird
4. Describe your ex boyfriend/girlfriend: I Should Have Known Better
5. Describe your current boy/girl situation: I'm In Love
6. Describe your current location: When I Get Home
7. Describe where you want to be: Strawberry Fields Forever
8. Your best friend is: Baby It's You
9. Your favorite color is: Blue Jay Way
10. You know that: Tomorrow Never Knows
11. What's the weather like: Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
12. If your life was a television show what would it be called?: In My Life (that's my favorite Beatles song, by the way)
13. What is life to you: A Taste of Honey
14. What is the best advice you have to give: All You Need is Love
15. If you could change your name what would you change it to: Penny Lane

I tag Pete and Lex and Mike!

More Homework Confusion

Here's another awesome ambiguous Kindergarten homework question. The two pictures are supposed to describe one word, a word that has both meanings. Like watch (wristwatch) and watch (look at something). So take a gander:


I was like, ice cream? fence? cone? eat?

Um, that would be "lot". As in a lot of ice cream, and a lot that you buy to build a house on. Like I said, stretching it on some of these.

And this was on Fail Blog the other day:



What in the world is that bottom grouping supposed to be? I read through some of the comments to see if anyone guessed. Someone said "things that are black". Except...trains are silver, and whales are blue... Someone else said "things that Chuck Norris can lift with one finger". I liked that answer. (Have you heard some of the Chuck Norris jokes?)

Yep, adventures at every turn.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

This, That, and the Other

-These are Pete’s ANGRY shoes.  He wears them when he’s mad.
3-22-09 001
Or, he wears them all the time now because they are his new shoes.  But maybe he’s mad ALL the time, and I just don’t know it…
See?  He’s like a raging volcano:
3-22-09 003
Just how I’m sure he wants to spend his Friday night- studying for the CIH.
-Brock got a dollar from his Utah grandparents for his birthday.  I wonder if he’ll spend it on getting a Coke for me.
3-22-09 007
Well, he didn’t.  He ended up with a candy bar, which I got at the store, when Tobey Maguire checked my groceries.toby
Seriously, the dude could have been his Peter Parker twin, with the glasses and everything.
-Sometimes I feel like this is all I do:3-22-09 008
One of these days I’ll get around to potty training Troy.
-We moved our trampoline outside.  I took a picture of it last night.  Wanna see?
3-22-09 017
See, it’s right there, in the middle of our yard.
You know what else is in our yard?  Green, growing things.
3-22-09 021
I love tulips.  I wish they would last all summer.  Of course, right now those green things are covered in white stuff.  The winters can be a little long.
-I picked up our food storage the other day.  And someday it will make it down into our basement.3-22-09 009
So one of us can survive for a year!  Or all of us for 2 months.  Same diff, right?
Also someday, I’m going to paint our walls, one of these colors:3-22-09 011
Yep, brown.  REALLY going out on a limb, there.  But first, I should probably fix the gaping hole in the wall:
3-22-09 015
Gotta love removable door stops.
-I have two zits on my face.  They look like this:
crater
Say it with me: AWE, SOME.  I also got a mild form of pink eye.  Yep, America’s Next Top Model is knocking down my door right now.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Is That Your FINAL Answer?

Helping Jakob with his kindergarten homework has definitely opened my eyes to how strange the English language is. And how things may seem to only have one answer, and yet can have several.

Example 1: The number one. Jakob had to write "one" in his homework. He wrote "won". I had to tell him that yes, that's how you spell it, but not for the number. When I spelled out "O-N-E", Jakob said, "But 'o' doesn't say 'wuh', 'w' does!" And don't even get me started on "eight".

Example 2: "of", said "uhv", not "off". What's up with that?

Example 3: A section of his homework deals with word families. They kind of stretch it for some of them. The paper was listing "-ag" words, like "bag". There was a picture of a witch: a hag. Who calls witches hags anymore?

Example 4: What rhymes with "fish"? A bowl or a hammer? (These are pictures, by the way.) Oh wait. A bowl is also a dish.

Example 5: There's a page that has pictures of things that begin with a letter, in this case "p". And there's always one that doesn't start with that letter, and the kids don't color that one. So on the page there was a policeman. Jakob didn't color him along with another picture that didn't start with "p", because he called him a "cop", which very obviously does not start with "p".

Example 6: A picture of a doctor with a dog that has its leg bandaged up. Underneath it has "_ e t", where you fill in the first letter. Well, is it asking about the doctor (the vet)? Or is it asking about the dog (the pet)? Either one would fit. Same with a picture of a taxi, with "c a _"; it's a car, but it's also a cab. Hmm.

Example 7: With opposites, a picture of a treasure chest. It says underneath, "It is not open. It's ______." So, is the opposite closed? Shut? Locked? Your guess is as good as mine.

Crazy homework aside, Jakob has continued to bud into quite the artist. Here's a picture of his new obsession, the Bionicle guys:


In this next one, the one on the left is a "to do" list for Pete that he made. Jakob must think that getting dressed ("git clothes") and enjoying life ("have a blast!") are top priority, along with working ("go work") and eating ("pizza" with backwards z's). On the right are, obviously, the Ghostbusters.


One of the boys' new favorite movies is "Horton Hears a Who!" Below is Horton, holding the clover that the speck lands on. The speck at the beginning of the movie floats by Horton and says "Help!"


And this is one of my favorite things Jakob has made. In school the kids were to trace their hands and glue them onto the reindeer head as antlers. Jakob, always thinking outside the box, did his whole arm for one side. Always an original thinker, that one. I was so sad because I thought I had lost it, but I found it! I couldn't fit the whole thing onto the scanner, but you get the idea.


I wonder if all my kids' homework will be this adventurous.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

This One

Brock turned 4 on Thursday. What a cute not-so-little guy! He chose McDonald's for dinner and scarfed down his chicken nuggets. That night he got clothes, and t-ball stuff, and a movie, and a bike, and a Kung Fu Panda cake with an inch of frosting; it was a wonderful day.


You know, I realized that of all my kids, I probably blog about Brock the least. Jakob is experiencing so many "firsts" first. My baby Ivy is also in the "firsts" phase. And Troy is just always into stuff and doing random (usually messy) things.

And then there's Brock. Maybe I don't blog about him because of his temperament. He's just so...chill. He just sits back and observes. He's happy to watch his brothers doing stuff while he sits on the sidelines sucking on the fringe of his blanket. Or maybe it's because he's #2. Because Jakob is doing so much, and kind of takes the lead, Brock just goes along and follows. I'm the #2 in my family, and I think in some ways I just kind of did what my sister did, because that's what I knew. I also sat back and observed, and sucked my thumb instead of a blanket.



But that's not to say he doesn't have his own personality and his own likes and dislikes. Brock loves scary shows, so he begs Pete to show him clips of "The Grudge" and "The Ring", much to my chagrin. Lately he's been waking up at night, scared out of his mind. *sigh*

He has such a great memory of where he puts things. When he was little he hid my sister's glasses in a drawer, and the next time we went over there he went straight to the drawer and pulled them out again, after my sister and mom had searched the whole house over for them.

I used to sing "Little Brocky foo-foo" to him instead of "bunny foo-foo". I would tickle his tummy when I said "Doooowwwwnnnn came the good fairy..." He loved it.

One of his new phrases is "Mom, you'd better watch!", instead of a simple "Look!"

He's Mr. Justice. Once when I came out of the shower I discovered the house all awry, and Ivy's door wide open (she had been sleeping). I lined up the boys on the couch and lectured them on what shouldn't be done while I was in the shower. Afterwards, I asked them if I should give them spankings to help them remember, and Brock very emphatically nodded his head and said, "YES." He'd make a great judge.

He loves to get pampered and held. One day I started singing "I am a Child of God" and was rubbing his back. After I was done he immediately rolled over, and said, "Sing 'Twinkle Little Star'", and lifted up his shirt for me to rub his tummy. When I was done with that he flipped back over with another song request to get a massage to.

He's my healthy eater. He'll eat bread over candy, and fruits and veggies over sugary stuff. He prefers water to almost all drinks, except for Coke. That's my boy!

Brock's very trusting. Yesterday I took him to the doctor's office to have his wart on his chin frozen. The doctor had him hold out his hand and he blew the air thing really lightly onto his hand so that he would know what to expect. He gave the doctor the most trusting look, and when it came time to put it on his chin he held as still as a 4-year-old can, and kept giving the doctor and me that same trusting look. He's had that look since he was a baby.

Speaking of when he was a baby, when the nurses put him into my arms for the first time, I felt this overwhelming bond with him. I've felt that bond with all my kids, but not as suddenly strong.

He loves Kanye West songs, like "Love Lockdown" and "Stronger".

He's a super night owl. The kid is up until Pete and I go to bed. And he just hangs out in his room, playing with a couple of toys that he took to bed with him.

He has the cutest dimples as all get-out. LOVE them. He has crazy cowlicks in his hair that are really hard to cut.

All in all, I love my Brocky. I love the joy that he's brought into my life. I love how he's such a calm content little spirit. I can't believe he's 4!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bowling Buddies

On Monday Jakob and Ila didn't have school. So Arin and I decided to take our kids bowling.

Here's the winner. Troy scored over 100! He kept rolling spares, somehow. I love that the ball is bigger than his head.


At first Jakob didn't want to bowl, but near the end he decided to join in, and would dance after each turn. (I have no idea why he's wearing two shirts. It's part of his extreme fashion sense.)


Brock was so enthusiastic. Every turn he would dance, and throw his hands up and say "I won! I won! Yesssss!" His own personal cheerleader.


Poor Ila dropped a bowling ball onto her socked foot-ouch! And Jayce got way too interested in the driving arcade games to do much bowling, so Stacy took over for him. Stacy bowled a strike, even! (It's so sad that the kids do better than the adults. Well, me, anyway.)

I think all the kids at one point or another ended up in tears, thus (Mr. "What's 'taking turns'?"):

But overall, very fun. YAY for getting out of the house!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Reading Rainbow

Well, it's official: Jakob is reading! At school they take turns bringing different books home to read, and he just finished his third or so set. One of the sets of books had a really funny story in it, called "Jam and Ham". It's about a cat named Al that eats jam and ham, and then gets really fat. Then Al is sad that he's fat, so he runs a lot on a treadmill and gets thin again, and then he's happy. Jakob and I both thought it was hilarious.

Jakob loves that he can read, and he tries to sound words out to write as well. For instance, he tried writing my name, and wrote "Nadle" (for Natalie), which actually I thought was pretty good. He also tried to write "funk", and I don't think I need to tell you what he actually ended up writing.

Here's a video of him reading to Brock. Sorry it's kind of quiet-I should have stood closer to him.
video

Thursday, March 5, 2009

It's Real!

If I ever doubt again, here's the proof:

I really can have a clean kitchen*, and clean floors (mopped, even!) in the middle of the day. Though this phenomenon will only last until dinnertime, it's a beautiful sight, and I just had to take a picture.

So, yes, Virginia, there is a clean kitchen at Nat's house presently, though this happens probably only once a year, like Santa's visit.

*Disclaimer: The term "kitchen" in this instance does not include the windows and sliding glass doors, as they always have smears, smudges, and little hand prints all over them. It also does not include the "desk" area, as this is usually cluttered with homework, and currently home of the once again keyless laptop.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Third Time's the Charm

You know this plan? Well...

I did one or two months, and then kind of tapered off.

And apparently, I'm obsessed with hygiene. Because this is what I got last time I went to the store:


They are little travel cleaning products for our 72-hour kits: shampoo, conditioner, hand sanitizer, soap, deodorant, lotion, and mouth wash.

BUT. We got our tax return, and before something befalls us (kidney stone, car trouble, etc.), I went and spent it all. I went to The Preparedness Store, and ordered a year's worth of food storage for one person and a 55-gallon water drum. The food, packed in #10 cans, lasts for at least 30 years ("store and ignore"). This is the one I got. The water drum, when you put some magic stuff in it, keeps water fresh for 7 years. 7 years!

Though I'm far from done collecting food storage, it feels really great to have something in our basement.

Oh, and I totally won something food-storagey! There was a giveaway at Safely Gathered In, and I left a comment, and the random generator picked me! I won some little emergency first aid cards. I never win. NEVER. (Well, never before I won over at their blog.) But hey, go check out their site-they have oodles and gobs of good information, recipes, free printable stuff, etc.

YAY for being prepared!