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, April 26, 2012

Photo a Day: Somewhere You Went

Monday afternoon was HOT. I don't know if I've ever said that about an Idaho spring before. So I called Pete and suggested we get some KFC and have a picnic at the park for Family Home Evening.

But Monday evening was a little windy, and started to get overcast quickly. We stuck with our plan and got some food and went to the park. After eating, my kids just played and played and played. It got windier, and colder, and even rained on us a bit. But my kids didn't seem to mind. They continued to play in the dirt/mud, slid down the slides and got wet butts, and ran up and down the steep hill in that park.

Not pictured: Brock, because he and Pete left to get some ice cream. Which we still haven't eaten. For some reason I always forget about having ice cream in our freezer.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Photo a Day: 1 p.m.

Today at 1 p.m. was like most of my days at 1 p.m.

Ivy was still eating lunch. Sometimes my kids take 2 seconds eating lunch; sometimes it's more like 2 hours.

I was getting sleepy, because that's what my body does at that time.

And Troy was doing homework, namely, reading to me.

Troy is really good about working on his homework after kindergarten. I am soooo glad that I decided to have him in morning kindergarten this year. He's a morning person anyway. But because he's home for a couple of hours before the other two get home, I can spend some one-on-one time with him, helping him through some of his homework packet that he gets each week. (Some he can do on his own, some he needs help with.)

Lately he's also been getting little books from school as well. He reads each one three times, and we rate how he did with it (was it easy, just right, or hard). He's done pretty well with those, too. Although one of the books today had the word "why" right after the word "happy". I always feel like a traitor having to explain all the exceptions to the English language to my little budding readers, like how one word ending in -y says a hard "E", while the other word ending in -y says a hard "I". What's up with that? So he kept saying "wheee" instead of "why" the first couple of times.

I think it will be so weird when he's in school all day next fall. And then my 1 p.m. will consist of only this one and me:
She's sad because, heaven forbid, I made her sit and finish her lunch that she had been working on for over an hour.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Photo a Day: Inside your Wallet

I once heard you can tell a lot about a person by looking in their wallet, or their garbage can. I really don't know if either of those are true. But here's my wallet:

Pretty empty. Minimalist? Boring? Plain? No personality? Hmmmm.

On the left, my checkbook. Also on the left, in a little side flap, are pics of my kids. In the middle, the change holder (it currently has 26 cents in it), and cards: temple recommend, health insurance cards, my library card. On the right, my license and debit card.

Every once in a while, there's actual cash in there. But it's usually 5s or 1s for kids' allowances. (Which, they don't get paid unless they do their chores. So I don't know if that's called an allowance or a payday.)

I also used to have a credit card, until I realized that having that in there made me spend more money than I should. So now I don't even carry it so I'm not tempted.

And, I'm still old school in the fact that I still write everything down in my check register, including debit usage and auto drafts (even though it's all on my bank account online, which I check every few days). And I have to know where I'm at to the penny (I've tried rounding, it doesn't work for me).

My wallet sits in my purse, which is equally empty. Sometimes there are receipts in my purse-until I get them written in my register, that is. I also have two pens, lip balm, hand sanitizer, keys, and breath mints.

Yeah, I'm going to go with minimalist, to make myself feel better.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Photo a Day: Last Thing You Bought

(Technically, the last thing I bought was pizza on Saturday night, because I was still getting over the awesome stomach bug that Pete passed to me. But this is the thing I got the picture of, so this is what you get to hear about. And it's the second to last thing I bought, so that's close enough, right?)

Pete recently got put in Young Men's as the 1st counselor. They were having a 50s night, and had to dress up. So Pete rolled up the bottom of his jeans, and I got this shirt for him. It just reminded me of the 50s for some reason; I don't know if it was really the 50s style or not, but whatever. We tried to slick his hair back, but his hair kind of has a mind of its own. I should have gotten the really thick black-rimmed glasses, but thought about it too late.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Photo a Day: Flower/Something that Makes You Sad

No, flowers do not make me sad. Let me 'splain.

I love my tulips. Love them love them. They are my first flowers to bloom in the spring. (Actually, they are my only flowers that bloom at the moment. I've had others before, but none that have done as well as my tulips.)

They are my first sign that the long, long Idaho winter is finally melting away. They are so beautiful.

What makes me sad is they are only a spring flower. I would love if they lasted all spring and summer. And I know that's why I need to get other later-blooming flowers. But like I said, whenever I've gotten summer bloomers they've never actually done all that well in the "bloom" or "grow" department.

I do better with bushes. Really hardy, impossible-to-kill bushes.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Photo a Day: Feet

Here's my Ivy, in my Ugg boots. A button had fallen off of one of them forever ago, and Monday I was feeling all ambitious and sewed the button back on, along with a few other small mending/sewing projects.

Ivy fished out the matching boot from my closet, and said, "Look Mom! I'm Puss in Boots!" But then she got all embarrassed when I went to take her picture.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Photo a Day: Kitchen Sink/Window

I tried to take an all-inclusive picture, of my sink and looking out the window, but I couldn't get it to look right (it was too bright outside). So you get two pictures, with a bonus key code thing so you know what you're looking at! YAHOO!!

These pictures are very typical. Sometimes there are more dishes waiting to the right to be rinsed. This pictures was taken on a good day.

A) I have a total of one live plant sitting by my sink. I do not have more plants in my house, because I know I would absolutely forget I have them and they would die from lack of water. Even with the plant sitting right there, I forget to water it most of the time. Thank goodness this plant is forgiving. It was a gift a year ago from the stake roadshow committee; it's called an angel something-or-other. It replaced the other plant I had in there that was shriveling up at the time.

B) The rinsed dishes go on the left, which is weird because my dishwasher is on the right. But when I have backed-up dishes that haven't been rinsed, the longer counter (on the right) holds those dishes; there's not enough room for my laziness on the left side.

C) The to-be-rinsed dishes, or, the soaking dishes. Pictured above is my crock pot, which I use at least once a week if not more. I love crock pot meals.

D) One of Brock's birthday gifts. (Which maybe I should blog about that someday, eh?) He asked for a Venus fly trap. We planted it in this cute pot. I had high hopes for it. But unlike me (the under-waterer), Brock basically drowned it to death. It shriveled up and died. Poor thing. I have not moved the pot, because one of these days I'm going to learn how to really take care of a Venus fly trap, and we will get a new one and hopefully not water it to literal death.

E) Our many, many medicines that we've had to take in the last month-and-a-half. The kids all got this weird fever sickness, that really didn't have any other symptoms except for the fever that always hovered around 102 for about four days. And then it went away. I had sinus infections (plural), and Pete this last week had a stomach bug or something that lasted for about 4 days (but no fever). It's been super fun.

My kitchen window looks out to my backyard. My huge, empty backyard.

A) You can't see it really well in this picture, but figure A is above our trampoline frame. During the winters I didn't take the cover down. So then last summer, the cover rotted through by the rings, and broke. We need to buy a new cover, although I would love to get a bigger trampoline instead-the one we have is smaller, and shorter, which was nice when the kids were smaller and shorter. But now, a bigger one would be fun. So, maybe this summer.

B) One of our spindly little trees. We actually have quite a few trees planted in our backyard. The thing is, we've only lived here about 6 1/2 years, and a lot of our trees are only a couple of years old at the most. I checked, and they all made it through the winter, so that's good.

C) Our ghetto swing set. The kids love it, but it is totally falling apart. The swing chains have plastic covers on them that have rotted off and are falling down. The rungs leading to the little slide have broken through the screws multiple times, and then I've duct taped them in place, and then they have slid down the outer rails. So they are all crooked and jacked up. My kids don't care. But still, I should do something about it, right?

D) Again, you can't see it very well, but we have a row of trees along our back fence. To give you an idea of how deep our backyard is, though, that pine tree back there (which is a good 10 or 15 feet from the back fence) is taller than I am. When I bought it, it maybe came to my waist. So it is growing. And not that being taller than me is a huge feat, but in the picture it looks like it's about 3 feet tall.

So there you go. Kitchen sink and kitchen window.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Photo a Day: Something you Found

I'm kind of cheating today on my photo a day thingy, because I'm feeling "blech" - achy and tired. I'm REALLY hoping that this doesn't turn into what my husband just got over. *sigh*

Anyway, for "something you found", I'm going with pics of the kids doing the Easter egg hunt that my mom does every year. Which is totally awesome, because she stuffs 'em and hides 'em, and because she does such a great job I don't have to do a hunt of my own.

Jake, the spazzy picture poser, just like his mom

sweet sweet Brock

Troy the excited hunter

Ivy, happy with just a few eggs

Monday, April 16, 2012

Photo a Day: Mail

Our mail is usually pretty boring. Ads, more ads, and bills. A couple of weeks ago, however, we got this in the mail. It made my stomach turn.
If you can't see what that says, it's a collection notice.

If you know me at all, you know that I NEVER pay my bills late. EVER. Nor would I ever skip out on paying somebody.

Back in October, we switched internet providers, because our internet was super slow. (Although right now, with our new internet, my computer is still being really slow. Maybe it's my computer. But either way, it's annoying.)

So I paid our last bill to the old company, and sent in our modem. A month later (November), I got an email notice from them saying I owed them for the modem - like I had kept it, so they were charging us for keeping it. So I called, gave them all the information about how I sent it in. Supposedly they took the charge off, and all was well.

I didn't hear another peep from that company. Until a couple of weeks ago.

You know, that's the one thing I don't get. Why didn't the company try to get ahold of me first, instead of just sending stuff to collections and ding my credit? I didn't get any phone calls, or emails, or anything. Awesome.

After getting this notice, I called the company, and got it all straightened out on their end. And then I called the collection company.

I told the guy on the phone that there had been a mistake, and that I didn't actually owe the company that money - they had charged me for something that I didn't owe to them. He was all, "Well, you should pay us anyway, and then I'm sure they can get you a refund." And I replied, "I don't want to wait around and have to hound them for another four months trying to get a refund on something that I don't owe in the first place!" Very frustrating.

Anyway, I called again last week. And the charge was removed from the internet company. I called the collection company, and the charge was cleared with them too.

So yes, it's all taken care of. But I LOVE doing other people's jobs for them.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Photo a Day: Green/Hair/Funny

Okay, I need to preface this with telling you that I think that what we did was funny. Probably this was more dorky than funny, but I'm a dork, so there you go.

My cute little nephew loves a lot of girl things, like painted nails, My Little Pony, etc. Part of the girl things he loves includes long hair. Here he is, in the middle of my two kids:
Which, I must point out, he's Ivy's age, but I think he's taller than Troy. My sister makes really tall kids. (Also, Jakob in the background is a spaz and a half.)

Anyway, Micah doesn't have long hair. In fact, he has short, platinum blond hair that's so, so cute. So to make up for it, he wears "hair" around, which ends up being an old T-shirt. Lately it's been a green tank top that I think belongs to his older brother.

So Micah's "hair" got left at my house. We decided to take ransom pictures of the hair for my sister for our Family Home Evening. You know, instead of having an actual lesson about love and kindness or something. So here we are, modeling the "hair".

Jakob's spazzy model face:

I was going for a picture that was more like the shirt had its hands up, but this is what we got instead:

Again, I was going for a beard for Pete, but it was too small. So it's like a bank robber instead:

I just realized that none of my ideas turned out as planned. I have vision, but not execution. I was going for three-headed monster, but again they didn't all fit quite right:

 I can wear little boy clothes!

 A skirt for Ivy:

 And a kangaroo diaper:
We sent these pictures to my sister, along with a ransom note about bringing us Black Dutch Fudge for its safe return, but then we ended up going over there and taking it to them right afterwards.

We would make crappy kidnappers.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Photo a Day: Fruit/Breakfast/Delicious

Here are some pictures of the fruit smoothies that my sister discovered during our health challenge.

This one had pomegranates in it, so it was a little seedy (as in full of seeds, not run-down). But it was still yummy.

I'm going to share the recipe again, just because it might be hard to find in the wall of text that was my report on our health challenge.


3 cups frozen fruit, any kind (we liked strawberry/banana the best, or a mixed berry kind) 
1 cup milk (or water or juice, but we always did milk)
1/2 cup yogurt (we did vanilla)
1/2 cup sugar

I discovered that when I put the fruit in last instead of first, my blender was a lot happier with me.

I'll make this for breakfast all the time now, especially on the weekends when Pete is at home in the mornings. It makes enough for two people to have their fruit servings for the day.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Photo a Day: Something You Wore/Red

This is me and Ivy. This Idaho spring has been a lot warmer than usual, and fairly mild. A couple of weeks ago as spring break was starting, it was nice enough and warm enough for my sister and me to take our kids to the park, and only have jackets! My kids ran, and ran, and ran, for about 2 hours.

So for now Ivy and I have matching jackets. The other day she said, "Mom! We both have REDS!" Hers is a hand-me-down from one of her brothers. Mine is a hand-me-down from my grandma. We both love our red jackets.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Photo a Day: Reflection/Younger You

Whenever I look at my Troy, I am reminded of my younger self SOOOO much. So essentially, he is my reflection. Here is some photographic evidence to prove it.

Here's Troy, about a month ago. A company did eye screenings at his school, and we got a letter home saying he needed a doctor to check his eyes. And what do you know-he needed glasses. I think he's so SO cute in them. I probably needed glasses when I was 5, too, but it didn't happen until I was about 7.

When we were driving home after he got his glasses, he was all, "Mom! There are mountains over there! Mom! There are WINDMILLS on the mountains over there!" Yep, definitely needed the glasses.

And here is 5-year-old me. Check out that expression. Is Troy my reincarnate or what?  And just to prove that it wasn't a one time shot of that weird "smile", I included another picture of 5-year-old me.

So silly.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Photo a Day: Animal/Orange

This is my kitty-cat, Memo, in her Sphinx position. She likes to sleep on the end of our bed, so I change out blankets for her to sleep on so our bedspread doesn't get all nasty. (I can wash smaller blankets; I can't wash the huge bedspread.) Right now it's the orange blanket that my mom donated to my class reunion's raffle, that I won randomly. (My high school colors are orange and black.)

Memo is a really good cat. She totally needs a bath right now, but it's such a stinking pain to clean her that I keep putting it off. I never thought I'd own a pet, but she's been a good one to have around. She'll cuddle us when we're sick. She lets the kids pet her even when she doesn't want to be touched, and is super soft with the kids. Once, when Ivy was little, she reached out and grabbed Memo by the tail and started pulling. Memo just looked at her, let out a misery meow, and laid down until I could get there and unwind Ivy's chubby little hand. Most cats would have swiped or bit. What a good kitty.

I love both my cat and my orange blanket!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Photo a Day: Bedside

Sideways on her bed:

This is totally weird, because when I first got up and peeked in Ivy's room, she was under the covers and lying the right way. I took this picture about 20 minutes later, yet she was (and is) still asleep. Hm.

And this was Jakob's bed last night, apparently:
We've been passing this awesome fever thing around, that lasts for about 4 days. Troy had it before spring break, Brock had it for the last 4 days (I sent him to school today because he wasn't feverish - hopefully he's doing okay), and Jakob started in on it yesterday.

I asked him this morning when he came upstairs why he was asleep in the bathroom. He said, "I wanted to be close to the toilet just in case I had to barf." Poor kid. Which, he totally barfed right after getting medicine. Nice.

One of these days we'll be all better.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Photo a Day Thingy: Up

Oh, my poor, neglected blog. *sigh* We've all been sick for like, a month. Now that we're finally, FINALLY, getting better (although Jake just started getting sick today - grrr), I figured I should try to find a few minutes here and there to blog.

And what better way to do it than to jump onto someone else's idea??  If you're looking for originality here, you're NOT GOING TO FIND IT! Ha ha! Nee-ner, nee-ner, NEEEEEE-NERRRRR!!!

I was lurking around someone else's blog the other day. Because let's face it-I've moved from "commenter" to "lurker". I still read people's blogs, but I don't comment, which is so sad. Who doesn't love comments? Anyway, I was lurking, and there's a blog that that girl follows, called Fat Mum Slim. She's all about photography, and blogging, and has about a trillion followers.

So, she does this thing called a photo a day. She comes up with a topic for each day of the month. And then I think you're supposed to take these fabulous artsy pictures and link to them, and then everyone can see them, and all that fabulous stuff.


I am not a photographer, no matter how much I want to be. A lot of my pictures are pretty crappy. Therefore, I will NOT be linking them to the hashtag, because people would be all, "This chick must be on crack." However, I still think pictures are important, especially pics of my kids. I'm hoping by doing this it will 1) get me back in the habit of blogging, and 2) get me back in the habit of taking "everyday" pictures.

Because I discovered this near the end of March, I'm going to do a little of March's list, and a little of April's, and sometimes combine some of the ideas. Well...we'll just see how this goes, shall we?

So here are the lists. March:

And April's:

Today I chose to do "Up" from March's list. I have two interpretations. First, this one:

My kids are always, always climbing up on the counter.

And here is my other picture. Brock drew/colored this for last Mother's Day (2011). It's a picture of Paradise Falls, which is in the movie Up. He's such a good artist - it blows my mind.

So there you have it. UP.