Thursday, December 31, 2009

Triple header for Ethan

Today was too funny. Ethan had three blog-worthies. In chronological order:

1. Greg was working to put together our weight bench downstairs this morning. As usual, Ethan was chatting his ear off. "Be quiet, Ethan. I'm trying to concentrate." "Yeah. You're right. I'm a blabbermouth . . ."

2. Ethan and Greg are playing around after our dinner/games guests leave. Greg: "Whoa! You hit like He-Man!" [more playful punching] Ethan: "Whoa! Dad, you hit like She-ra!" Greg looks at me: "This is totally going on the blog, isn't it?" How could I resist?

3. We keep telling Ethan the New Year's Elf can't come fill his shoe by the fireplace with goodies until he's asleep . . . or maybe he won't find us at all. Ethan: "I'm pretty sure he has a GPS on his suit or something. He can always find us . . ."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Craving manhood

Ethan turned to me in the middle of Sacrament meeting last weekend and whispered: "Mom, do I have hair on my chest yet?" I then exerted all of my effort to keep from falling out of my seat.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

There are diapers and there are diapers

We had a beautiful Relief Society Christmas program the other night. It was held at the Senior Citizens' Center in town. where 4 sweet young women were in charge of watching over 20 crazy kids while we enjoyed the program. When it was time to go home, I went to collect my 3 boys and this cute little young woman tried to pull me aside shyly, "Um . . . Lincoln . . . um . . . " she turned red and trailed off. "Did he have an accident," I asked. She looked relieved and handed me a tiny ball of wet underwear wrapped in plastic and paper towels. "Yes. There were these diaper things in the bathroom, so we put him in one of those." I thanked her for all her help and assured her it was a not a big deal and we went on our merry way.

Later at home when I was getting the boys ready for bed, I peeled Lincoln's pants off to change him in his jammies and started laughing out loud. "Greg!" I yelled down the hall to our bedroom. "Lincoln is wearing Depends!"

Faith in Daddy

Lincoln sat at the kitchen table for about an hour with his quesadilla today, munching, talking to himself, hiding from me inside his cape . . . Once when he was hiding, he said, "Mom, you can't find me 'cause I'm dead." I told him it would make me so sad if something bad happened to him, to which he responded, "If the bad guys killed me, daddy would fix me, huh mom?"

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Our new place

So we're into our new house out on Coyote Trail and we LOVE it. It's a little reminiscent - at least for me - of our Indian Ridge house. Maybe it's the hard floors, mountain views and fireplace warmth. Regardless, it's absolutely fantastic. We've moved and unpacked nearly everything in a week, which says a lot about the simplicity our household maintains a year later (yes folks, we are 1 year and 2 weeks post fire - wow).
We are settled in and loving it. Here are a few pics to wet your whistles. If you think it's as wonderful as we do, you'll just have to pack your bags and come see the rest of it for yourselves!

Front/Great room - kitchen off to the left, looking from the hallway. And yes, we're working on the lack of furniture thing.

My marvelous kitchen! The stove even has a warming shelf above and warming drawer below. Sigh.

Half of my master closet. More hanging space and LOTS of shelves on the other side. Yummy.

I know - we're lacking the decorative touch as of now, but are you not in love with this brick wall!?

Seriously folks, this is NOT a house you want to miss visiting . . . so get up here!

Monday, November 23, 2009

One of these things just doesn't belong . . .

We had haircuts today. Porter went first - his first haircut ever - and did pretty well, all things considered. Lincoln joined Porter shortly thereafter, when his haircut was complete. I got Porter out of the tub and dressed before Ethan got in. I then proceeded to clean up the hairy mess in the kitchen. A few minutes later - over the noise of the vacuum - I heard screeches of delight. I made my way to the bathroom where I found this:

Can you find the boy who doesn't belong?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bathroom behavior - addendum

Greg came out of the bathroom laughing tonight. Apparently, Ethan and Lincoln were peeing at the same time before bed and when they were done, instead of swatting his own bum a couple times to clear the drips, Lincoln reached over and spanked Ethan's bare bum instead. Ha!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Just me and PJ

Greg took Ethan and Lincoln early Friday morning to Utah with him to pick up some furniture for our hopeful move and ... drumroll please ... our new chocolate lab puppy. Yes, I'm a sucker for boys with puppydog eyes. We named the pup Dakota and she is absolutely adorable. I don't even like dogs - truth - but I can already see the potential for loving her. She's a doll.

AND ... with three boys gone that left only Porter and me to fend for ourselves. We went on an impromptu trip with Becky and her girls up to Jackson to visit the BEST dollar store ever - seriously. That's all. An hour-and-a-half both ways just for the dollar store. It's amazing how carefree and easy it is to pick up and go with only one child. Porter has never been away from his brothers for this long and, as it turns out, he's pretty independent and very happy to entertain himself. It lasts a lot longer, too, when nobody's bossing or pushing or teasing him. He's delightful. I always knew it ... but this weekend was a good reminder.

I did miss seeing my Kemp girls ... but could hardly pass up an unsolicited offer from Greg to take not just 1 but 2 boys away overnight. I feel refreshed and happy. Sometimes mommies just need a break.

This weekend's quotable quote: Ethan said to Greg on the way back from Utah, "Daddy, drive faster than the signs tell you and if a policeman makes us stop we will tell him we have to go fast because our puppy is cold!" Ingenious.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

i told you so

And you all thought I was kidding when I told you he wouldn't sit still! Yes folks, these ARE the best of the best of Lincoln's 3-year-old photos. Little stinker . . .

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lincoln turns 3

Lincoln Dale is 3 today! I'm not quite sure how that happened, but he has managed to remain adorable through it all. He loves to play with Ethan (during the rare times they're both feeling friendly and cooperative) but really enjoys playing alone, too. He could spent an hour or two with simple blocks if uninterrupted.

He talks and talks and talks and talks and can make just about anyone laugh - even against their will. And any day of the week (yes, even in the 10 degree Wyoming weather) you will more than likely find him in shorts and his red rain boots. Why discourage such a cute thing?

3-year-old Favorites:
Book: I don't know (would NOT be pressured)
Movie: Um, Mickey Mouse!
Color: Um, white!
Treat: Suckers!
Drink: Juice!
Toy: The Rescue Heroes he's holding
He's easily influenced. I couldn't get him to focus on a book, Mickey Mouse was on the TV, his shirt was white, he's been begging for suckers all day, there's juice in his sippy cup and he never plays with Rescue Heroes . . . until I ask him what his favorite toy is and he picks up the first thing he finds in the toy box. BUT, every answer was given with zest! Gotta love life's simple pleasures.

At the moment, my computer won't let me upload his 3-year-old photos. I spent nearly 15 minutes trying to get a good picture . . . and it never happened. When I get more technological cooperation, I'll post the best of the best - which don't do him any justice at all.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy birthday Ethan!

It's true. Ethan is 5 years old and doing what he loves best - eating sweets (I suppose that's what happens when your birthday is the day after Halloween)! Yes . . . he's definitely my son. And to celebrate, here are some of Ethan's favorites to commemorate his last year (in his very own words):

"What makes me happy is when I go somewhere fun like miniature golf . . . What makes me feel good is when I play with my toys . . . I like to eat samwiches, quesadillas and nachos . . . I like to draw pictures . . . What I mostly like is to pretend to be a daddy."

Color: Blue
Movie: Ben 10: Alien Force
Toy: My new watch, my Bakugan and my glowing ant farm
Thing to do in Pinedale: Play outside
Person to talk to on the phone: My grandma
Song: I wonder when He comes again
Superhero: Robin (from Batman)
Place to go: The PAC (pinedale aquatic center)
Drink: Milk
Activity: Playing with a dog (sorry buddy, we're still not getting one)
Book: Never Tease a Weasel
Treat: Halloween candy (duh!)

Just another excuse to dress up

Amy and Sally hosted a fabulous mommies and kids' Halloween party last week. This was the only time I dressed up all week. Thank goodness Greg served in the Army so I always have a costume in the closet. And yes, folks, that's Army issue face paint!

Later in the week, Mandie had us over for pumkin carving festivities. Can you tell Ethan loved weilding a knife? I'll have to keep my eye on him . . .

Pics to savor

Just a couple pictures I felt I needed to have documented from our houseful of Kemps last month. This is why our children LOVE their grandparents!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick-or-Treating in Pinedale

Picture this: 2 mommies, 5 children under the age of 5 in costumes - all crammed into 5 seats of my Durango, driving 15-20 feet at a time in the frigid wind to trick-or-treat at all the participating businesses on Pine Street. We spent 1-1/2 hours driving, unloading, collecting candy, reloading and driving again just so our kids could say they got to go trick-or-treating on Halloween. Since all the other activities in town have been cancelled because of the swine flu, we had no choice but to make our only option work. After getting home and unloading our goods, I'm happy to report that the kids collected enough candy to supplement the pinata at their birthday party this month!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ethan and Lincoln have spent the last two days running around the couches hunting and killing "mommies" with binoculars, guns and lasers. Huh?

Since the game started and I became enlightened, we have had a discussion on the different between "mommies" and "mummies." Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 23, 2009

We want an elk!

During prayers last night (ethan):

"And please bless daddy that he can get his elk before time shuts up and he can't try again until next year . . . "

Monday, October 19, 2009

NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART - consider yourself warned

Our house was happily flooded last weekend with almost all of Greg's family who came up to visit and hunt ampewopes. If you don't believe the title, I'll warn you again that the photos to follow are not for those of you with a sensitive gag reflex (and I've even excluded the most graphic ones). There were 18 people - 11 adults and 7 children - in our 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house and I loved every second of it. I have finally reached a point in my life where I prefer a full house of happy people over a clean but empty one. Greg had already filled his 2 tags, so there were 10 to be filled over the weekend . . . and you know those hunters wouldn't let up until each filled his/her own tags. The kill of the weekend was Kamie (she always seems to outshoot the boys) who dropped an antelope at about 270 yards with one shot. What a stud.

(Cousins happily reunited: Ethan, Jess, Brigham, Link, Jocelyn)
Ethan and his cousin Brody went out with the hunters on day 2 in the morning. Ethan is definitely Greg's son - eager to get in and hold the legs while the animals were cleaned, wanting to know about and touch everything that came out and still demanding that we have some antelope for dinner . . . and soon. Just a couple more years and he'll be tagging along as Greg's official hunting buddy.

A fantastic side note about Wyoming and hunting - all school children get the first day of hunting season off!
Anyway, the weekend was filled with fabulous food, fantastic company and memories that we hope to renew next year! I think my favorite event was when we set up the projector to watch a movie on the "big screen" (a.k.a. the wall) and had three queen-sized air mattresses lined up side by side. It was like flashing back to a middle school slumber party, although I'm sure in middle school we would have been able to last longer into the movie than we did here.
The last night was a late one in the garage for the hunters. There were 11 antelope hanging from the rafters at one point and everyone spent a lot of hours outside cutting, packaging and bottling the meat (which, turns out, tastes like Costco's canned beef - pretty good).
After the last of our house guests cleared out on Sunday after church, I did a quick pickup and clean of the floors . . . and then settled into missing everyone who had just left.

I love you Kemps! Can't wait until next year's hunting season . . .

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bathroom behavior

So whenever I take Lincoln to pee, I always make sure he shakes off his drips so as to avoid a mess (you all know how messes make me twitch). Sometimes to facilitate this, I will pat his bum a couple times to clear the lingering drops. He has taken this upon himself now, when he goes to the bathroom alone, and will spank his bare bum 2 or 3 times - with vigor - when he's done peeing . . . you know, just to get the drips off. Seriously . . . you can't help but giggle.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Ethan has just changed into his soccer shorts and muscle shirt. He's "working out" on the weight machine and has just informed Lincoln that he now has 77 muscles. Lincoln's response: "Whoa."

Monday, September 28, 2009

Off the charts cuteness - prepare yourself

I could tell you that there are always this many smiles and always so much love at my house - but you all know it'd be a lie. I have three little boys, for goodness' sake! However, I did capture a couple of the rare moments when all three are happy and being kind to one another. Sigh . . .

A hunting we will go

Greg left this morning a little after 7:00 to hunt his first antelope (pronounced ampewope at our house). He called me at 9:00 - success. He brought it home and "cleaned" it up. Now he just has to cut it, wrap it and stick it in the freezer . . . for the only time I will touch it is when it comes out of the freezer to thaw and be cooked.

A proud daddy and his little boys (who were SO proud of daddy and his "deer"):

As we speak, he's bringing home his second ampewope. At least we won't starve this winter! Way to go, Hunter Greg!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Batman's anatomy

We went to a friends' home for game night last week and had a ball. The kids were thrilled because they got to stay up way past their bedtime . . . Ethan was most excited because there were costumes to dress up in. Yes, he was in heaven. He immediately went for the Batman costume. He came to me later for help undressing because he had to go to the bathroom so I went along to assist with the costume. While he was getting re-dressed, he said, "Mom, Batman has puffy nipples!" I had to laugh out loud. When I settled a little, I was able to explain that those were his chest muscles but good for him for being so observant!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Soccer mom

Went to a pickup soccer game tonight. A few other moms/adults, lots of teenage girls, tons of fun. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to walk tomorrow...

The verdict is in: My body and lungs are definitely not in high school anymore.

...but I'm already counting down until I get to go back for more!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ice cream sandwich

The ice cream truck found us at the park this afternoon . . . and Ethan's prayers were finally answered.

Friday, September 11, 2009

As we speak . . .

I'm sitting at my desk working; one ear is listening to the dictation and the other is listening to my children. Ethan and Lincoln have interrupted their nacho snacking to say prayers. Ethan went first and is now helping Lincoln finish up his own - always remembering Uncle Mike. Sometimes I'm overwhelmed by my children - in a good way.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Grill me up a blog, a little heavy on the Ethan...

It seems like all my posts have been about Ethan lately, but I couldn't pass this one up. We were playing at my friend Becky's house yesterday and Ethan was sad that I'd forgotten his swimsuit. I told him to just go out and play in the water in his underwear (don't judge me). He was insistent that I run home really fast to get his trunks. After several denials, he finally conceded. "[sigh] Ok, mom. I'll walk home and get them . . . but can you please give me the directions?"

I wish I could post a picture of his face when he said it . . . he's too smart for his own - or maybe just my own - good.

Monday, September 7, 2009

More Ethan

Ethan: "Mom, if Harry Potter were in real life, Heavenly Father and Jesus would love him, too, riiiiight??"

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Child's Prayer - Part II

I finally explained to Ethan that you have to buy ice cream from the ice cream man and the reason he didn't stop is because we weren't outside waiting with our money when he drove by. So tonight's prayer included this: " . . . And please bless me to get some money so I can buy some ice cream from the ice cream man . . ."

Sigh. I swear I'm listening. Ice cream is in Ethan's future.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A child's prayer

The ice cream truck passes our house every afternoon and Ethan is always sad when he doesn't stop and hand out ice cream of his own volition. The other night in his bedtime prayer, he said ". . . and please bless that the ice cream man will like us and stop at our house some day." Do you think I should just buy the poor boy an ice cream?!

A soccer sensation

Ethan has begun his short 6-week soccer season. I am thrilled to announce that it is a much better fit for him than t-ball. Lots of running and kicking - right up his alley! He even scored 2 goals in the first 2 minutes of his very first game! What a little stud.

This picture cracks me up. He's always stretching - so vigilant about it sometimes that he misses the start of the play!

Lucky #7 - my number all through high school - and look at that form!
He informed everyone while running off the field that he needed a substitute so he could have a break and lay in the sun. Yep . . . he's definitely my son.

Quick trip to Rexburg

The little boys and I left after church on Sunday for Rexburg for a visit with Lee and Danika. We stayed with them in their darling apartment and had a magnificent time. The boys are still asking when they are coming to our house . . . although L&D are probably relieved to be able to sleep in past 5:50 or so now that we've gone.

Some of the highlights include playtime at the ropes course, the splash pad, catching "suicidal grasshoppers" in the field across from L&D's apartment and spending as much time outside as possible. Thanks for such a fun visit Lee and Dani! We'll see you soon.

A conversation

As mentioned before, Ethan is obsessed with He-Man these days. Yesterday he begged to be in his underwear like He-Man, so of course I conceded. When he started getting his sneakers on to outside, however, I drew the line. I told him He-Man had to at least wear shorts outside. Tantrum ensued. "He-Man doesn't wear shorts - he only wears his underwear!" I tried to explain that He-Man's "underwear" were really shorts and they were just small and tight because he couldn't find any awesome shorts like Ethan's at the store, so he had to take what he could get. That helped . . . a little.

5 minutes pass . . .

"Mom, can I be spiky-hair Robin from Batman instead?" I agreed because Robin always seems to be fully dressed. Then he explained . . . "Yeah," he replied, "But he wears his underwear on TOP of his clothes!"

Oh my . . . I'm beginning to wonder why I buy this boy any clothes at all!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Another trip to Utah last week to help Mike and Michelle and Dale and Elaine move. Lots of work . . . and lots of fun. We broke up the packing and moving with a windy day at Strawberry Reservoir on our annual (or at least attempted annual) crawdad fishing trip. Greg and I first went the first August we were married. I felt so confident when we arrived because I had equipped us with wire hangers and hot dogs. Hmmm . . . maybe that's why I never caught many at the lake growing up.

Thanks to the mercy of another group leaving, Greg and I ended up with 10 lines of twine attached to 10 raw chicken thighs . . . and as fast as we could pull the lines up and fling the crawdads to shore and into our bucket, we'd start over and haul in another load! So, needless to say, we don't show up with hangers and hot dogs anymore. Long lines with raw chicken are the ticket. I don't even love to eat the little buggers (although I will), but the experience is long anticipated and the are fun is fondly remembered.
Our total count this year: 815 . . . and we could've kept going! I think next years we'll go home after a couple hundred, as that seems to feed a crowd just as easily . . . and with much less work!

Greg and Rich bonding with the crawdaddies.

Thanks for the 4-wheeler rides, Uncle Mike!

Everyone had several chances to hold the critters . . . except Porter who wanted nothing more than to get his hands on one.

Greg, Rich and Mike: The nitty gritty cleaning. I helped . . . I swear. But I have to admit I wasn't too disappointed when called away to tend to the chilluns.


See? There really is a beach in Pinedale. It's about 8 minutes from my house, and it's the biggest watering hole for mommies and kids in the area. A tan in Wyoming? You'd better believe it!

Craft it forward

My best friend from Washington, Jessy, published a Craft it Forward post a while back and I was one of the three lucky winners! Part of the deal was participation, so although I'm a month or so late, I'm fulfilling my end of the deal . . .

Here's how it works: Be one of the first three to leave a comment on this post, and you win an item handmade especially for you by me! Winners must post this giveaway on your blog once you receive your gift, meaning that you will Craft it Forward too, creating a handmade gift for the first three bloggers who leave a comment on YOUR post about this giveaway! The gift that you send can be any price range and you have 30 days to make and ship your item(s). Phew! If no one wants to play, it's totally okay . . . but I LOVE my bracelet (sorry for the lousy picture - camera troubles). . . and who knows what I'll come up with for MY craft . . .

Monday, July 27, 2009

1980s throwback

Okay . . . so thanks to, those of us who do not pay for television right now are grateful for random things to watch occasionally. Greg located long-lost episodes of He-Man: And the Masters of the Universe. Now, whenever we're at home (ONLY because I refuse to let them do it elsewhere), the only thing my big boys want to do is run around nearly naked with swords tucked in their underwear screaming to me about their power . . .

They just don't make TV shows like they used to.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mama snake

Does anyone else hiss at their children in church? I dream every Sunday of the day Greg will be back on the bench with me. Sheesh . . .

Thursday, July 16, 2009

It just occurred to me . . .

We have been out of the hotel for almost three months...and guess what!?! Not a single one of my boys has had more than a sniffle since then. To me, that says a lot about the environment of our hotel - any hotel. Considering that in the five months we were there I had two of my boys in the hospital/emergency room, an unimaginable number of trips to the doctor's office, humidifiers, antibiotics, eye drops, steroid shots, nebulizers, etc., do you get the gist of how happy I am to finally be elsewhere? Besides that, we've found that everyone - finally including Porter - can be happy at the beach for 2-3 hours each afternoon. Yes - we're adjusting to Wyoming pretty well . . . and I can say without hesitation that I LOVE Pinedale.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Kemp candids

Just a few photos of cute boys, sweet moments and favorite finds:
Porter's close to walking...he could really do it if he wanted, but for now his favorite way to get around is with someone else's shoes on his hands.

Ethan and the Mountain Man at last week's Rendezvous parade.

Lincoln fell asleep while watching a movie with Greg on the computer - looks comfortable, huh?
Porter the cowboy.

We all love Mr. Potato Head and his trusty sidekick. Lincoln wears those glasses all day - no joke.
My garage sale find of the year: A signed sketch of John Wayne in barnwood frame for $2. Greg still raves about it...maybe his favorite surprise ever. Some of my other favorite finds include Burton snowboard and boots for me at $35, fat sterling silver ring $1, replica Confederate States of America canteen, rusty spurs and an old ice grabber to be used as a paper towel holder (idea courtesy of mom and dad) $35. Seriously...I live for Saturday mornings, load the kids in the car with snacks and distractions, and try to beat everyone else to the best sales around.

Lincoln picked out these pirate props as his "totally finished potty training treat" at the local grocery store. I think they lasted maybe two days before falling apart, but for those two days the boys were totally happy pirates.