Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Day 1 - OCEANSIDE BEACH - So great - especially after spending 10 hours on the road!

Victoria & Brayden made a city for the tiny crabs Daddy & they dug up. Brayden was sacrificing his body to protect the city from the incoming tide.

Alan rented a 15 person van

2nd Day - SEA WORLD!!!

Before and After Shamu

Too tired to even finish her cracker


Sweet Baby #5 - Laura
All decked out (thanks to the Aunts & Uncles) & Ready for DISNEYLAND

Brayden got picked from the audience to star in a Western

The babies got tired of waiting in line to see the princesses, so I took them into a store where they picked out a few things. Mommy talked them into waiting until she took them shopping later.

Boo-a-ful Audrey

Audrey got a Rapunzel dress and a cape for her birthday. I caught her admiring herself in the fireplace screen.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Non-Political Tea Party - The Best Kind!

While Mommy was in NYC, and Daddy and Brayden were going hunting (which was an adventure in itself - ask Alan about how to clean up projectile vomiting), Victoria, Audrey and Ellie got to have a sleep over at Grandma's & Grandpa's house. Victoria suggested we have a tea party with water, "but what can we use for sugar cubes?" Being the quick thinking Grandma that I am, I came up with Chex cereal. (?) So the girls were delighted with their "tea and sugar cubes" and had several helpings. (Note Audrey's "Rapunzel" braid on the back of her head.)

Lucy joined our tea party, but didn't know how to hold her cup correctly, even after Audrey showed her how it's done.

Saturday morning we went to see almost 89 year old Bestah Mor and then we went school shopping. Victoria found a cute long shirt that had EVERYTHING, including stripes, a ruffle, sequins, a picture of a horse AND a necklace chain with several charms (sorry, Mommy!) Audrey found a cute summer dress, but alas, they only had a size 2. Audrey had to have it and Grandma just wanted to get done, so yes, I bought it for her. Victoria found another one exactly like it - same size and all - and we got that for Ellie. After lunch at McDonald's, it was back to Grandma's for naps. I was just going to lay down with Audrey for a minute, but an hour and a half later I woke up and realized that we'd left Victoria to entertain herself! Fortunately, Aunt Kat, then Grandpa and Tracie arrived to keep her company.

Oh, and Friday night Grandpa said, "Ellie, tell Grandma what's in your pants." Ellie scrunched up her face, held onto her bum and said, "Poop!"

Monday, July 18, 2011

Most Relaxing Spot on Earth!

The little boys, including Brayden, Austin, Josh, Maysen and Gavin found 3 goose eggs that had washed up on the beach (along with a HUGE dead carp that Brayden discovered). We all told them to put the eggs right back where they found them, because they were probably rotten. But, Brayden and one other kid took them into the boys’ shower with them, forgot about them being wrapped up in their towels, and yep, when they picked up their towels, the eggs fell on the floor and broke. The smell was horrible and we could smell it really strongly in the ladies’ room, too! So we told them they all had to clean it up and at one point, Austen came out with toilet paper stuffed up his nostrils.

Funny, funny Ellie kept telling everyone, “Hey Kiate!” with a mad face and then immediately smile at them. She said it to me today, so Mommy put her in time out. There was no way she was going to tell me she was sorry, although she did give me a hug, so she had to go back to time out. The second time was a charm and she told me she was sorry.

Everyone's favorite place

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Kim and Jeanette's Excellent Adventure

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011
We left for SAN FRANCISCO (well, actually Dublin, CA, but San Francisco sounds so much more exciting) at 9:30 a.m. and had a lovely 11 HOUR DRIVE. We listened to “Gone With the Wind” on CD’s and that was great, but we didn’t even get through half the book!

Thursday, June 16th, 2011
After several phone conversations, we finally met up with James, Alyce, Tyler, Sibil, 3.5 yr old Sarah (who’s definitely an Einstein kid), 1 yr old Jane, the bridegroom-to-be Zach and their “foster” kid, Charlie. They rented an RV that’s all contained and pretty sweet (Dad said we should check it out for Bear Lake some year). Since there aren’t any RV parks in CA, they were renting space at the county fair grounds – which Sybil said was quite nice. So we’re sitting there with them and the conversation went something like this: Us – “So, what are the plans for the day?” Them – “no plans, really.” Really?! (Yeah, Laura, I totally thought about how crazy that would make you!) So, while they got showered, etc., we took Zach over to the-bride-to-be Carrie’s house in Livermore, which was really nice, too.

James & Alyce fixed us a delicious lunch and we had a nice time eating and visiting with them in their RV. Then we all (except Zack & Carrie who were getting their marriage license) went on the quest for a beach. We got lost a few times on the freeways from Hell, but finally made it to Santa Cruz – where there was absolutely no where to park – especially a huge RV. So back into our vehicles we went and headed up north along the coast.

Dad found a gorgeous beach right off the road and before everyone was even out of their cars, I was in my swimsuit and ready for my “ocean fix”. I didn’t even care that it was 65 degrees and who knows what the water temperature was. I jumped right in and started to “ride the waves”. Tyler jumped in next and said, “Ha ha! It looks like you’re trying to body surf!” Well, yeah! So then he followed my example and we had a riot – that’s definitely one of my most favorite things to do! Sybil and the babies swam a bit, too. Best time ever!!!!! (Even though it literally took me two hours to warm up and my knees, feet and hands were raw from the sand/rocks.) Oh, and we saw several WHALES spouting just a little bit out from where we were swimming!!! We even saw one or two as they came near the surface! Totally incredible!

Friday, June 17th, 2011
Yesterday I discovered, to my horror, that my temple recommend wasn’t in my purse pocket where I always keep it. (Who knows where it is?!) So this morning we drove to the Oakland Temple to find out how to get there. The temple is up on a hill and you can see the entire Bay Area – so breath taking! I went in and explained my dilemma to them and they had me fill out a form and said they’d have a pass for me tomorrow.

As we jumped back on the freeway with every intention of going to help set up for the reception tomorrow, we came to a fork in the road: to the left was where we were supposed to go; to the right was San Francisco! Dad said, “Which one should we take and we both yelled, “SAN FRANCISCO!!!” So off we went across the Bay Bridge and right into downtown San Francisco. They traffic wasn’t bad at all – a little stop and go in the city. We found a parking spot A HALF BLOCK away from Fisherman’s Wharf. We spent the next couple of hours strolling around, eating killer corn & clam chowder, clam chowder, etc., at The Blue Mermaid. (Dad insisted on buying me a Blue Mermaid T-shirt).

As it was already 2:30 and traffic going into the city from across the Golden Gate Bridge was already crowded, we decided to just drive by the Golden Gate Bridge, rather than across it. It was an amazing sight! A fantastic end to a great adventure!

Can you spot the tourists?

Note the thrilled little girls

"Stop that, Zach!"

Saturday, June 18th
The wedding ceremony was really nice although the officiator was kind of ornery and told us all, “No back slapping in the temple!” Which was funny, because Zach wasn’t there when he told us that and he was very enthusiastically slapping all the men on the back!

Zach looked so handsome and Carrie looked so beautiful. She was wearing yellow high heels (her mom laughingly told us that Carrie is 5’2” and Zach is 6’2”) that matched Zach’s yellow tie.

Then it was time for pictures. While we were waiting, 3 yr old Sarah pointed and said, “Look! There’s a hum-pecker!” I looked and there was a little hummingbird.

We had a nice luncheon right there in a building on the temple grounds which they use for just such occasions.

Sybil and I went through a session at the temple – but we both kept falling asleep – so we felt bad for the people we were going through for. The Celestial room was very beautiful and elegant.
Dad and I didn’t know the reception was a dinner, so we went to the Outback Steakhouse for a great dinner AND had a GLUTEN-FREE brownie for dessert!!! Who knew?!

The reception as really nice and Carrie’s folks went all out. There was dancing later and I danced with the babies (just to give their parents a break – mind you)

When it was all over, we and about 20 other people spent the next 1.5 hours taking stuff down, piling it into cars, etc. After 1.5 hours, Dad and I were so done even though there was still stuff to do, so we abandoned ship and went back to our hotel to go to bed.

Sunday, June 19th, 2011
We spent the whole day on the road, checking out the gorgeous CA scenery (for awhile) and listening to “Gone With the Wind”. We still didn’t finish it, but it was very entertaining. And as for sleek and oh, so comfortable Odette? She averaged 30 mpg for the entire trip. How’s that for a V6?

P.S. Maybe someday I'll know how to arrange my blog . . .

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tu Tu Cute!

Happy 2nd Birthday to Ellie!



We all went to watch incredible Kathrin participate in the Women of Steel (?) Triathelon: swimming 300 meters, biking 12 miles, then running 3 miles.


We went to watch Victoria and Audrey in their gymnastics meet. They both did a great job and earned some ribbons


We headed to the park for Ellie's birthday celebration. She was so cute with her cupcakes and opening her presents. (Audrey did a great job of gushing as Ellie opened each gift.)


I met 5 of my 9 siblings for a great dinner at Carol's house.

Ellie loves to sing and dance, so I figured a tu tu would be the perfect birthday gift for her.

Audrey (on the right) is wearing my first tu tu attempt - not poofy enough. Ellie is wearing tu tu # 2, which turned out very poofy :)

Tu tu #1 was made by:

1. cutting 3 -18" lengths of tulle (1 "sparkly" piece of tulle and 2 regular pieces).

2. sandwich the sparkly piece between the regular pieces (because the sparkly piece was scratchy).

3. Fold the 3 pieces of tulle in half making a 9" wide piece. Make a casing by sewing 1/2" all along the folded edge. Thread a piece of elastic the width of Ellie's waist through the casing.

Tu tu #2 was made by:

1. Cutting 3 - 18" lengths of tulle (1 "sparkly" piece of tulle and 2 regular pieces).

2. Sew two rows of gathering stitches (the loosest stitch length) 8 1/2" from each long edge of 1 piece of tulle.

3. Repeat step 2 for remaining 2 pieces.

4. Gather each piece separately by pulling one thread from each row of stitching.

5. Layer the gathered pieces of tulle with the sparkly one in the middle, matching up the stitching lines as well as you can.

6. Sew all three pieces together using the gathering stitches as a guide and forming a casing.

7. Thread a piece of elastic the width of Ellie's waist through the casing.

8. Sew ribbon bows through all three layers to keep the layers straight.

*The clerk at Joanne's suggested cutting lengths of tulle and then tying them with a slip knot around a piece of elastic the width of the waist.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Sewing Project from #"&@

I have been unpicking and replacing FOUR YARDS of frayed fringe on a Western shirt for a guy in our ward for the past several months. (He had cut and drilled holes in 230 wood buttons for our Pioneer Trek last year.) He wore it to a competition last week and TOOK FIRST PLACE FOR THE BEST COSTUME!! (Sorry I didn't take a picture of it - it was truly a work of art :)

Easter at the Paul Household

Kathrin (aka "The Easter Bunny") went all the way out to 9500 South to get me these gluten free cake pops - and they didn't disappoint!

We had the whole family and Grandma (Besta Mor) over for a wonderful Easter dinner (April made a special pan of fantastic gluten-free killer brownies just for me :)

It stopped raining long enough for us to have an Easter egg hunt and then the kids and I put on a little Easter play about Christ's atonement and resurrection. I was so impressed with how much Victoria and Brayden know and understand about it all.

Five of my beautiful girls

Six of my beautiful girls (thankfully, Kathrin didn't inherit her fantastic photography skills from me . . . )

Ellie didn't like the feel of the grass so she picked up the candy with two fingers :) I can't believe she's going to be TWO in less than a month!

Tracie's Dance Concert in Logan

Ellie and her bag of jelly beans (that ended up all down my shirt and pants when she got tired of chewing them :}

Look at that amazing height and form!!! (Tracie's on the left - in the great dress :)

Tracie was in a trio dancing to Paul McCartney's "Blackbird" and it was so thrilling! Come to think of it, the whole concert was totally thrilling and it was so much fun having the whole fam damily there :D

My beautiful girls after Tracie's concert.

Everyone had to head home to go to work the next day except April, the kids and me! We rented a hotel room in Logan :D Victoria and Ellie slept with April in one queen size bed, and Brayden and Audrey slept with me in the other bed. (And I use the term "slept" loosely.) I woke up totally sweating and claustrophobic around midnight with those two hot little bodies plastered against mine. Then poor Ellie kept waking up and coughing, so she and April didn't get much sleep either.

After an "all you can eat" breakfast, and Audrey freaking out thinking that Brayden had stolen her bowl of Fruit Loops, we got into our swimming suits and hit the hotel pool. Speaking of hitting, I was holding Audrey in one arm while she was having a splashing fight with Victoria and Brayden. She went to throw an arm-ful of water at them and ended up smacking me in the face. With a stunned look on her face, she said, "Sorry!"

I talked Ellie & Audrey into getting out of the cold hotel pool and going back to our room to take a warm bath. (They LOVE baths and come running any time they hear some bath water running :)

After I pried the girls out of the bathtub, I wrapped them up and sat them in front of the TV to watch a "boofie" while I showered.

We stopped for lunch at Wendy's before heading home after such a fun evening and night in Logan.

How I Spent My 55th Birthday

This is one of the many tests that Kathrin had on April 4th. Fortunately, all of them were normal - our prayers were answered. She told me she didn't feel weird or anything, but then asked me the same question - twice :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Being Cheap Doesn't Pay . . .

When I went to NYC with the Hunter High Dance Co in April 2008, I bought this adorable hoodie. But, being the cheap person I am, I didn't want to spend the extra $$ for a zipper. After wearing it a few times, I soon realized that a zipperless hoodie and a HOT (flashing) MAMA do not play well together :)
So I added a separating zipper - making a dysfunctional hoodie functional!

How To Do It:

* Unpick the hood where it crosses over itself in front, leaving about a 2" gap
* Turn the hoodie inside out and find the center of the front (from the neck to the bottom), then mark a line down the center
* Iron a 5/8" wide piece of fusable, lightweight interfacing from the neck to the bottom of the hoodie, along the line you drew

* Pin a separating zipper (with the zipper head on the inside) on top of the 5/8" interfacing you just ironed on the center line. Baste with big stitches down both sides.

* Use your sewing machine with a zipper foot to sew down both sides of the zipper, about 1/4" from the zipper itself.

* Turn hoodie right side out and very carefully slide your scissors between the zipper and the hoodie so you're only cutting the hoodie - not the zipper. Then cut all the way up between the two lines of stitching, unzip the zipper, and there you go!