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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas thanks.

Things I am thankful for today...


Big laundry machines.
Rustin--home.
Presents that are wrapped.
A dog who is as soft as a rabbit.
Brothers and sisters that all like each other.
Kids that laugh.

video

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Eve of Christmas Eve's Eve!

We are loving Christmas break this year.  It has been sooo nice to have the kids out of school all week.  They have done a great job of doing their chores and they are only driving each other (and their mother) slightly insane with their impatience.  They keep counting down the days until Christmas wishing time would move faster but I wish I could slow everything down.  This is my favorite time of the Christmas season--once Christmas is here the best part is over!
Actually I have to admit--while I love this time of Christmas, I also feel really stressed out as the clock ticks.  I am sure I am forgetting something that I will regret.  I had to stop several times today and remind myself that my vague sense of anxiety is not based in reality...

Jen and Ben took the camera on a tour of the house. I always wish I had done more decorating sooner.  If I had my way I would have Christmas quilts on every bed and trees in every room.  I was slowed down this year by our forced smoke-damage-induced evacuation and a serious need for a nap every afternoon.   Rustin will be home tomorrow though so things are looking great!  Here are some of the favorites around the house...





My mom insists on calling this the Charlie Brown tree but I love it.  It has all the little school decorations the kids have made over the years.


This mound on the counter top is what a four batches of sweet chex mix looks like while drying. I really should make at least four more (this filled 20 quarts!) if we have any hope of thanking all the people who have helped and supported us this last year.

And to be realistic this is what the mound of laundry looks like that I swore would not still be lying on the floor tonight.  I only have four loads left in the entire house so tomorrow my Christmas present to myself will be clean and organized laundry then Christmas can come and I can watch Little Women and While you were sleeping all day guilt free!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Scrooge??

We have lots of fun things going on this Christmas season that I really intend to write about.  But I have a lot of distractions that are blocking my writing ability such as...the yucky cough attempting to rip my lungs out, class Christmas parties, rain a.k.a slushy snow, the lingering, lovely smell of a Burned (BURNED) pot of roast beef burned (did I mention?) (did I also mention that I can't smell anything?)  completely to charcoal that is making me compulsively spray Febreese and wash the cupboard doors in the kitchen (honest to goodness smoke damage--which required yet another visit from Summit Restoration; this time they brought an Ozone machine...I can't really talk about it yet--my eyes threaten to let the floods loose every time the stinkin' subject comes up...).  There have been some great things that I am determined to write about so they can be included when I print this blog out into our own family book!  For now I am just going to share a video that made all five kids laugh last night. (Thanks sis.)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

little brothers.

There are lots of great things about little brothers.  Mine were only 5 and 9 (?) when I left for college so I didn't really get to appreciate all the joys of growing up with little boys.  But I sure do get to see them here in my house.

This morning I was awakened by Benson saying, "Mom we need you to come help us right now."

Apparently Dallin and Landon have noticed that those big chocolate brown eyes of our youngest have the ability to make me do almost anything.

This morning the boys wanted me to help them make sausage for breakfast so they woke Benson up to have him come get me.

It worked.

What can I say!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wonders never cease...

For the first time in a decade...Twin Falls school district actually cancelled school for a Snow Day!


You can imagine the joy.  (We told them they didn't have school after the ten pm call from the school district.) I woke up to the sounds of the kids playing some game at 7:30.  


" You guys, I thought you would sleep in to at least 9:00..." I whined.


"Mom we usually get up at 6. This is sleeping in. When can we have pancakes?" was the only response.


I'll never understand why Sunday morning is the only day they actually stay asleep until after 8.  All five kids will sleep late enough on Sunday to make us rush around to get ready by noon.  We are all going to die in January when we go back to the 9 am schedule.


So, instead of making the pie dough, finishing laundry and updating the budget, I spent the day hanging up wet gloves, moving wet boots off the carpet and making endless batches of hot chocolate.  And we watched The Princess Bride.  It was a good day.



Snowballs and...

Snow fights.

Beau "rescuing" Jenna who was making a snow angel.



Today we have below zero wind chill and lots of snow but the storms passed just in time to travel for Thanksgiving.  We hope everyone will be safe!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Injury number 5,789


It should come as no surprise that we have yet another set of stitches.  I honestly can't even remember how many sets of stitches we have had around here.

This is living proof that even on no-school days, video games are dangerous.  (Kids were out all day Friday so they played and played and played...we don't have video games during the school week at all...) Dallin got frustrated and chucked his controller across the room nailing Landon on the eyebrow.  What are the odds?   Five stitches.
And a big fat swollen eye.

And here is a really pretty close-up.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

For my Dad

My Dad just had his birthday.  I never quite know what to do for him--he doesn't like to get presents;  he says it makes him feel anxious. What if  the gift is something I already have?--how do I make sure the gift giver knows I appreciate the thought even if the gift isn't perfect? etc...
    
So what do you do for your dad?  I still don't know but I do have a few great memories that I don't want to forget.  One in particular was from my college days.
    
One year at college I had an crush on a boy in one of my study groups.  Back then my dad went up to Rexburg for Army reserve training one weekend a month and he would usually come by to visit.


One weekend we spent some time together on Saturday and I told my dad that I was going to go to a play with "the boy" later that night.  But as things turned out "the boy" totally stood me up.  I was sad and rejected.  I don't know how my dad knew but he showed up at my door and just said,  "I was thinking of going to a play."  I didn't have tickets so we went stood in the standby ticket line where after just a few minutes someone just happened to come by and offer us his tickets.  I don't remember what the play was but I do remember my date that night and the feelings are still very tender to me.


Living in the same town as my dad as an adult has taught me more about his soul than the 18 years I spent under the same roof.  My dad worries about keeping people happy.  What I used to perceive as frustration or irritability I now know to be a  tender heart that doesn't like to see unhappiness.  He often shows up at my or Kendra's house to fix whatever is broken or to splice a vacuum cleaner cord bitten by a puppy (I should just happen to leave out the CD player, iron and fan).  Or sometimes he "lets" me cut his hair so we can have a few minutes to visit followed by a hug.  On his days off he works until he can barely keep his eyes open.


Friday night he spent a couple of hours playing Wii with Austin, Jenna and Benson.  What more can I say.


I don't have a gift to give my dad but I want him to know that I see him.  I know who he really is and that makes me feel lucky.  I want him to be happy and to have peace in knowing that he has done well.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Warm fuzzy.

Today I love my crock-pot.




Not so much because of the really pretty red color (thanks Rustin!) but because I really love it when five o'clock rolls around and I have already prepared food.  It really makes my day.  I should do it more often.


One of our current favorites:

Creamy Italian chicken
8-9 chicken breasts (frozen)
1 package cream cheese
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 envelope of dry Italian dressing mix
A bunch of sliced carrots

I mix the soup, cream cheese (warmed in the microwave) and dressing mix together and pour it over the chicken and carrots.  It's done in about 3-4 hours.  Not too long or the chicken gets tough.  
We eat it with rice--I am currently obsessed with medium grain 'sticky' rice.  I buy the big bags of Calrose rice at Costco.  I don't have a rice steamer so I just cook it in the regular rice maker.  It's not truly sticky but we still love it--it's sticky without being mushy.  The perfect rice amount for us--3 cups rice and 4 cups water.  Sometimes I use 4 cups of rice with  5 1/4 cups of water.

I need some more crock pot recipes.  Any great ideas send them my way!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Life's not fair--or is it?

I've been thinking lately about a conversation I had with the mom of one of Dallin and Landon's teammates.  She didn't know which player(s) I belonged to but she was lamenting the fact that some of "those big boys get to play the entire game--all the time.  It's not very fair."  Dallin was out with a sprained ankle so I knew she was referring in large part to Landon.

Her comments took me back to my own feelings of sorrow at my children's struggles.

 I remember in second grade Landon and Dallin having to go back to first grade for reading.

 I remember Dallin crying at home because he was put in the out box at recess {again} for tripping over and on top of other kids playing soccer.  As he would say--"it's just not fair, I'm just running along and the next thing I know there's a kid under my feet."

I remember spending hours and hours working and explaining why the boys had to go to extra "school" (tutoring) in order to learn to read.  It wasn't fun.

So, now when I see these really big, very focused, hard-working teenagers of mine have loads of success in one area, I am completely happy.  I want to tell the other moms not to worry because working through heart ache makes for hard working and well balanced kids. I know from personal experience.

I want everyone to remember that we can't compare our own kids' weaknesses with other kids' strengths.   Life tends to balance out.  I hope I can always remember not to look at a successful child with jealousy because chances are that there is, or will be an area of struggle.  That's just how life works.   And it would be good for me to remember that that rule continues to apply to adult life as well!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Neglected.

I have been less than energetic lately. I admit it. I got over the horrible 'morning' sickness only to be bombarded with a massive wave of fatigue. Or maybe I'm just lazy, I don't know. But I think a couple of months of frozen meals and paper plates has convinced my children and husband that they are terribly neglected. Apparently this Halloween weekend they decided that they had had enough.

They teamed up and began the appeal--"why don't we ever get to have a good costume?" and "Gandalf's staff is white not brown" and "I thought you were going to make me a cape" and "we never get to do anything fun" and "Froto has to have a vest and SHORT pants mom." (Nicole Martin in Page Arizona, this is entirely your fault. They would never have expected me to make costumes if you hadn't introduced me to the art of costume creation!  But I still miss you every Halloween...)

So Saturday morning I headed to the fabric store and here's what we got...

This is Gandalf the White (Dallin) and  Raistlin (Landon--a character from one of their favorite books).  For Dallin I just had to make a white cape--we already had the robe.  For Landon I sewed the robe--we already had a red cape.  Thankfully I've made a million capes and robes so I kind of had an idea of what to do.  Obviously these weren't high fashion but they made everyone happy.  Rustin did makeup (as always) and staffs.

Austin is just a wizard.  I cut his robe too short so I had to add a big hem which was off center and drove Austin crazy. 
Rough life.
Jenna is the easiest ever.  A purple and black witch.
Benson gets the easy award also--Froto.  I made this costume a couple of years ago.  

I am hoping that I have earned myself a few brownie points so everyone feels well cared for for a couple of weeks.  I think I'll go take a nap.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Growing up is hard to do...




 Mom this is hard. (note the awesome gloves!)
A little encouragement from Dad fixes the tears. But she still wants training wheels back on...
Maybe next week.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Go cubs!

I have to admit it--I love watching the boys play football.  Two hours every day of blood and sweat finally pays off at the game.  Dallin and Landon were on the 7th grade team.  As usual for us, Dallin ended up in the  ER with a sprained ankle at the beginning of the season so he only played in the first and last games.  Opposite foot from last time.  Landon had a great year playing defensive line and he carried the ball a couple times on offense. The coaches created a new award (head hunter) for Landon after one particularly great game (more than 20 tackles).  
Landon 67, Dallin 62.
Benson with a little half time show of his own.

Austin had his first year playing tackle football. The daily two hour practices were a shock to his system at first but he loved it. He played offensive line most of the time but spent quite a bit of time on defense. Rustin told him if he got a solo tackle he would buy him a milk shake. He finally pulled through on the last game of the year.  Dallin and Landon knew they would benefit from Austin's success--we can't think of a better way to encourage brothers to cheer for each other!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

ummm Fall.

Tonight the boys are playing the card game equivalent of video games.  Seriously.  A couple of times we have found Dallin and Landon up at 6 am playing games. (They always get up at 6 am but they are usually more worried about eating and finding shoes than playing a game...)


Little Jen has been like this all day.  Fever is currently 102.9 with ibuprofen and Tylenol.  We (and the pediatrician) think it is probably viral.  Yuck.  She holds onto her head every time she takes a deep breath.  Poor thing. I hope this bug doesn't make the rounds through the house.  
Beau is checking on Jenna...I can't get this picture to turn the right way.  

Rustin performed a really nice wedding today. (I filled in playing prelude music-I think it's my unofficial calling...)  This is his third wedding and he has conducted 12 funerals in the last 18 months.  He does a great job every time.  


We pulled up the garden and I wish I had a picture of the Beverly Hillbilly trailer full of plants.  For the record plants CAN grow really well in just six inches of a non-soil mixture. Next year we will try square foot gardening again.  No weeding needed has made a believer out of me for sure!    I really wish I had a before picture--everything grew great--no weeds at all in the garden (some around the edges where the lovely dog dug up the weed barrier).  We didn't do a very good job of picking and pruning.  Next year.


Dallin sprained his ankle in football.  The coaches called us and said that they all heard a really loud 'snap' and we needed to take him to the ER.  We were very relieved to see his leg wasn't broken.  We know from experience that casts are a pain and they are very expensive.  But he is just now hobbling without crutches.  The coaches are really pushing him to play on Tuesday but we aren't sure if he is ready.


I feel much better and we all love the cool (finally!) weather.  We have been having morning temps in the forties and afternoon in the high 90's. I am ready for pumpkins and leaves!  








Monday, October 4, 2010

A re-do wish?

I don't have a lot of regrets in my life.  Only a couple.  One of the biggest is that I don't remember the first six months to one year of the twins' life.

 I really don't.

There are a lot of reasons--severe sleep deprivation, a bit of untreated postpartum depression (see previous reason...), work, and denial.  I didn't realize at the time that my life with tiny twins was unique and would be gone in a second. I didn't keep a journal so I can't really trust my memories.  I started writing a blog a few years ago so that forgetting would never happen again.

But, every once in a while it feels like there just isn't much to remember.  There's nothing exciting to write about--I still feel nauseated (pregnant).  the boys love football.  we had another trip to the ER. homework still gets ignored sometimes and the socks STILL aren't matched.  Hmmm.

This line of thinking led me to a specific memory...

I do not like flying.  I never have.   I have a few stand out memories in my life that reinforce my dislike of airplane travel:  A tiny, toddling Benson grabbing a strange man's water and dumping it all over the lap of his nice suit pants;  running out of my stash of "desperation only treats" before the plane even left the runway;  trying desperately (and unsuccessfully) to keep two pairs of three-year-old legs from kicking the seat of the glaring woman in front of me.  Most of the time those things were just unavoidable and unchangeable side effects of flying with tiny children.

There is, however one particular flight that I really wish I could re-do.

 I sat next to a businessman who was eager to show me pictures of his bikini-clad identical twin toddler daughters.  He went on to talk (for most of the flight) about how he took his girls and the nanny ("who had her own separate room of course") on a business trip to Hawaii so his wife could have time to pursue her career.

"And sometimes", he bragged, "I have the housekeeper just take the girls outside to play so my wife can have time to cook whatever she wants".

And--he was quick to mention--his wife was busy writing a book about how to raise twins.  *excuse me while I chuckle for a minute...*

He talked about interviewing preschools for his girls so they could start on "the right path-because you can't get into the right schools if you don't start in preschool."  He talked about tennis lessons and music lessons.  He went on and on.  I felt like I was being lectured in a very subtle manner.  Like he was trying to graciously show a poor woman what real life is like.  For one of the only times in my life, I really didn't know what to say.

For the first time in my life I felt like a dowdy, uneducated woman who had a million (four at the time...) kids.

What I know now and wish I had said then is that I would never, ever trade my life for his.  Not even for a trip to Hawaii with a nanny. I am sorry for all the things those kids will miss.

I love to see my kids ride bikes down the street and run barefoot to the neighbors to see if they can play.
I love having sweaty, dirt-covered faces show up for lunch every single day.
I love that I don't have to have a number and identification to pick my kids up from school.  They see my car and come running.
I love sitting on the grass at football games while my kids play under the bleachers with all the other kids.
I love that I can go to the park packed with  moms and kids eating lunch and leave to see that not one person (I'm not kidding here) has left their garbage on the lawn.  Every other mom is saying "if you don't pick it up then who will?"

I love it. Love it.  LOVE it.

I come from a long, long line of happy moms who are married to happy dads who have raised happy kids who have made great contributions in life.  Who can argue with that?

Tennis lessons, fancy preschools and exclusive nannies are just poor substitutions.  It's the regular old life that I want to remember.  If I ever sat next to that man again I would tell him how sorry I am that he can't have my life.  And I would completely mean it.

And I'm going to write about it so I don't ever forget one minute.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

oh baby!



Has it really been a month since I last wrote?  


I have a really good excuse---oh Baby! do I have a good excuse.
or maybe BABY?!


Yep. We are expecting number six in mid- April.

I am just beginning to come out of a serious nausea-induced fog.  (We are talking like--'I just rode the Gravitron at the fair three times in a row' kind of nausea.)
  
Don't get me wrong, I don't feel well enough to actually go scan the ultrasound picture (very cute and in 3-D!) into the computer and post it, but I did make dinner and attend a football game without desperately eating a pile of saltines the whole way through. I am hopeful that I may begin to feel like a normal person most of the day.  And when that day comes I will clean the house.  I promise.


The most frequently asked questions: 

Is this a surprise? 

YES.  But not the way you think.  We were not surprised by the pregnancy (actually waited a good 6 months...).  We were surprised that we wanted another baby.  We were truly content and happy with our five.  Our last two kids are 15 months apart--close enough not to risk the "spoiled youngest child" syndrome--just like we wanted.  


We happily gave away all the baby stuff and clothes.  
Then--what happened?  


It started with a little thought.  It kept ruminating. I specifically remember when we went to the movie theater to see Ice age II (I think) and the mammoths had a little baby girl.  It made me cry in the theater.  Shocking.  I asked Rustin if that movie scene made him want another babe.  He looked at me like I was crazy and didn't even give my question a response. I'm still not sure how it happened.  I mean the wanting of another one not...you know...

Were you missing someone?  Did you think you had another one waiting for you?

Nope.  Really.  We knew this was our choice.  We could have been done with five and that would have been okay.  But the little 'what if' question just kept recurring.  'What would it be like?' 'Would our children and family be happier with another one?'  We didn't know, so we prayed and pondered.  I asked the Lord to show me what it would be like and He did. 


I have come to realize over the last year and a half that life will have trials. No one escapes it.  No matter what your level of spiritual conviction, something will be hard because we are always expected to progress.  Progress is always hard. You don't ever reach a level of "righteousness" that means you don't have trials or temptation or sadness. Righteousness doesn't insulate from growing pains.   I was reminded  that whatever the Lord has in mind really will be the happiest and best life. It took about two years to get to that point of acceptance.  


And then we didn't get pregnant for a long time.  I had just decided that maybe the Lord was saying "thanks for the offer and demonstration of faith but I have other things for you to do that don't involve a baby." 
And then I was sick.
And then I found out I was pregnant.



The kids are thrilled and so are we.  I'm sure I will feel even more excited when I can eat normally again.  


And one of these days I am going to catch up on all of the great end of summer things I have been meaning to write about...  

Monday, August 16, 2010

Drive-in

Our little hometown is one of the few remaining towns in America that still has and regularly uses not one, but two drive-in movie theaters.  However, we decided to have our own version in our back yard.  

The Feature:
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Screen time:
9:15
Concessions:
provided




We put a "screen" up on the side of the shed and we used a projector (thanks Wrights!) in the back yard.  We had more than thirty-five people and we had a blast.  Tons of popcorn and treats and no mess in my house!  We should do this more often!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Laugh...

The other day I forgot to take Austin to scouts.  I took Dallin and Landon but left Austin home reading a book.  I didn't even realize that I had ignored my middle child until Rustin got home and  asked me why Austin didn't go to scouts.
  
When I called the scout master to apologize and explain that I am often unintentionally forgetful he just commented, "don't worry Sister Hatch, I had already heard that about you."  

Great.  

So...to keep my self-esteem in tact...every once in a while I need to read about a mom who is just as bad as I am.  

You have to read this post.  I'm still laughing!

Exposed.  written by themeanestmom.blogspot.com

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Eat my bubbles!

We have loved swimming this summer.  Dallin, Landon and Austin swam every morning from 8:30-10.  All three made huge leaps in their times and technique.  Jenna and Benson will be ready by next summer if I have any say in it!  Here are some favorite pics...


Landon
 Dallin
Austin
Jenna--the cheering section.
Benson--not so much the cheering section.

Cowboy Ben

Who needs a horse when you have a good-natured golden retriever puppy!

Benson cracks us up.  
Last week we were eating eggs for breakfast and Ben said, 
"Mom, will you come over here and bling-bling up my eggs."
Bling-bling?  

Then he wanted chocolate on his ice cream and he asked me to help him "you know--decorate my ice cream."

He starts kindergarten this year.  I already miss him...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hatch,Hatch, there's no match!

Okay that's actually the cheer from Jotham's family--we all have a cheer that we do every summer--but I think it can apply to all of us 'Hatches'.

We had a great family reunion at Big Springs up by Lava Hot Springs.  We had a huge camp spot all to ourselves and as usual the kids played like they have never been separated.  Here are just a few favorite pics...
"magic fire"

 Darren always has a baby tucked  under his arm.  He has done this since his first grandchildren.  And I suspect with his own children...




Next year Rustin and I are in charge.  We will have three newborns in the family so we will have to see what we can come up with to make it fun for everyone.  I'm sure it will be great fun as always.