Monday, January 20, 2014

My version of a Year-In-Review

I was composing a post in my head as kind of a "2013 Summary!", but it was turning into a downer and nobody wants to read that.

Instead, I wanted to talk about the awesome things that happened in 2013.

  • We saw a lot of our families! More than we expected, but that was great! With 2 family reunions, and people staying with us for 6 months of the year, our kids know their relatives a lot better. Thank you everyone for taking time out of your lives to help us! We love you!
  • We kept the U.S. Postal Service in business (also Amazon). Thank you to everyone who sent us packages and notes! I'm pretty sure I haven't written over half the thank you notes I need to, but we truly, truly appreciated ever single letter, gift, or package. I know they came from family members, old and new friends, ward members, and friends of friends. It was like a hug with every box. No one feels as loved as we do.
  • Our ward went above and beyond with taking care of us. I cannot even count the number of people who have helped us with watching the kids, cleaning our house, making us food, dropping by gifts, coming by to chat, writing notes, sending gift cards, and praying for us. We have felt so loved and supported by our ward family (our old ward is included in this).
  • We met a lot of other people in the cancer world. Although it is sobering to think of the number of people with this disease, we also feel hopeful about how many amazing survival stories and survivors themselves there are out there. 
  • We also met wonderful doctors and nurses who have helped us every step of the way.
  • Our family has been thriving this year. The kidlums have grown and learned so much. They are delightful when they are not maniacs and we look forward to watching them grow more. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Toddler Selfies

Today Rafe got a hold of my phone for a while and took approximately 78 pictures of the upper right quadrant of his face. Incidentally, that section of his face is the part that contains a bruise, a scab, and a fresh scratch that he won't stop picking at. I now have 78 pictures that make it look like I abuse my child.

He's just an active (read: crazy) nearly-two-year-old, honest!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Cooking With Kids

I almost wrote "Cooking with Toddlers" as my title, but realized that at the ripe old age of 4, Lydia doesn't really qualify as a toddler anymore (/tear).

Also, this post is not a revelation of how to make your chicken and child casserole taste delicious, so if you're looking for cannibalistic recipes, move along.

The actual point of this is to ask the question "How on earth do you cook alongside your children without losing your mind?"

A typical cooking session for me looks like this.

"Okay, keep fingers out while I'm chopping, thanks! Yes, you can help pour, but...OH that was a lot. You are such a HELPer! Yay! Rafe, the microwave is not a toy, no really, not - Stop pushing the buttons...okay, let's unplug it. Hey Lyds, what have you been up to? Oh, what else did you add to the recipe? Great (big smile) No, buddy, your sister is on the stool right now. Can we keep the fridge closed? Oh, be careful there, that's hot. Chopping is really Mom's job, but that's really nice of you to want to help. We're not unloading the dishwasher right now. Yes, stir all you want. Preferably keeping some of dinner in the bowl...

And so it goes.

I want them to learn to cook, and I want to spend time with them, but goodness gracious they drive me crazy. Any hints?

Tonight I made this delicious baked gnocchi, and when I put it in the oven I realized that I had forgotten two important ingredients (one being salt) because I had been so busy putting out fires (figuratively people, no real fires, although with Rafe's obsession with the microwave, I'm sure there will come the day. Maybe I should check to make sure our fire extinguisher is in working order).

So yeah. I'm still alive. So are my children. We might order pizza tomorrow.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Road Trippin'

Hey guys! Long time no see! A lot of stuff has happened since mid-December! Maybe I'll play catch-up, but maybe not!

In the meantime, here are some pictures from our recent trip to Tennessee.