Sunday, December 18, 2011

Queen Solomon

We have six kids.  They are quite messy. Fortunately they are also good at cleaning up at the end of the day. Someday they will learn to just to keep things clean and then evening pick-up time will be super quick but until that day...we have chores.   Evening chores are usually just picking up, vacuuming as needed and dishes/dinner--Saturdays are for actual cleaning--when we get to it.

The way we divvy up the evening chores depends on the time of year.  In the summer we have a job chart that we rotate every week.  It works well because everyone gets a chance to do every job.  However, the job chart doesn't work during then school year because we never have the same kids home in the evenings.  We usually just assign each child who is home a room to clean. So that's where we were last Friday night.

Dallin and Landon had been assigned the big back family room but it had already been mostly cleaned so I reassigned one of them to help me with the dishes.  Dishes are NOT the favorite assignment so they decided to let rock, paper, scissors make the determination about who had KP duty.

After a minute I heard one of them say, "Yes! I knew exactly what you were going to do! I won!"

Then they both came in to the kitchen and declared victory.
Austin and I questioned and listened and questioned and we could NOT tell who really won. We went back and forth with everyone laughing hysterically.

"Dallin you lost--I can tell by the smirk on your face!"
Laughter from Landon.
"Okay Landon it was you.  I can tell. You can't stop laughing."
Dallin bends over slapping his leg, shaking with laughter.
"Okay Dal it was you.  I'm sure this time."
I'm not actually sure. I don't know whose voice I heard.

We couldn't tell.
So I had a brilliant idea.
"Okay let's just do it again. Rock, paper scissors..."
Dallin popped right up ready to go.
It was Landon who won.
Dallin did the dishes.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ho Ho Ho

So much to write about!
I have been busy with projects and kids and all kinds of good things.  Updating our activities is on my very long and ever-growing list of things to do before this month ends...

In the mean time here is the family member that is most enjoying this season!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

symbiotic relationships

Beau misses the kids when they are at school.
So does Jackson.
So they help each other out.
Jackson pukes. Beau cleans it up (from floors, clothes, faces...)
Beau lays on the floor and Jackson practices standing up and slobbering.
It's awesome.
Except when Jackson has a runny nose and Beau is shedding.
That's not such a pretty sight...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lessons of a football mom

Benson and I went straight from the Emergency Room to join the family at Dallin and Landon's last game of the season against our middle school rival.

We lost 24-28 when the other team beat all odds and made a touchdown in the last minute of the game.

It was heartbreaking.

Landon started on offense and defense (and did great!) and played the whole game with his arm like this...
Dallin had his best game of the year. He also started on offense and defense and had a safety as well as lots of great tackles and sacks.

Five years ago I was completely oblivious to local football games;  and yet, when it was time for my boys to play the other night, I worried about it all day.  I made them their lucky pancake breakfast and I made sure they had plenty to drink.  Is this a motherly thing? Suddenly caring deeply about something I was oblivious to in the not so distant past?

This year we had a  blow-out undefeated season--only one other team gave us any competition and that team had beaten Robert Stuart.  We had high hopes.

This loss was bitter.  I think I felt as bad as they did.  So many boys left the field with tear streaked faces.  My boys couldn't sleep--replaying each disappointing second over and over. I knew they would feel better and forget about it within a few days' time but I also knew there were lessons to be learned.  Lessons that needed to be learned. We talked a lot about finding peace even in disappointment and about letting time heal.

Unfortunately, losing the eighth grade end-of-year football game is preparation for a lifetime of experiences.  Football seems trivial but now those boys know that-- indeed--disappointment does fade with time and hurts that seem really important in the moment lose their sting when viewed from a distance.

Maybe when they are alone and those hard experiences come {failing an important test, being dumped by a girlfriend, losing a job, death...} they will remember long talks with their mother after middle school football and they will find peace.

I can only hope.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Don't read this post if you have a queasy stomach.

I knew we were in trouble when I pulled up to the curb and found Benson standing with the principal and the school police officer.

I had just finished taking some padding to Landon so he could play in the final football game of the season with a cast on his arm.  On my way to get Jen and Ben a friend called and said to tell me she had picked up Jenna but couldn't find Benson because he had injured his finger.

I don't know what I expected,  but what I found was this--

 A seriously mangled pinky.
This picture really doesn't do justice to the contorted appearance of the little finger  but most of my phone pictures didn't turn out well.  The underside of the finger was worse.

Benson got the honor of being the first Hatch child in Idaho to get an actual room in the Emergency Room.

Our new hospital is beautiful.  Benson was quite proud of being the first of his siblings in the new center.

The bone in his pinky was fine but the tissue was pulled off and to the side (de-gloved) and some of the skin had to be trimmed off.

It took quite a few stitches to re-attach the tip in its proper place...

Benson was a trooper.  He sat completely still (with Rustin by his side) for all the numbing shots and he watched all the stitches go in with comments like "it looks like you're stabbing my finger", and "that doesn't even hurt at all--it's a zero (on the pain scale)."

We packed up and went over to Dallin and Landon's football game which turned out to be more painful than Benson's finger.  More on that later...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Third time's the charm.

This is Landon.
He broke his thumb playing football last Tuesday. (cracked through the first knuckle but not displaced)  He'll have a cast for three weeks but he will be able to play in the all important game against the city rival tomorrow.

For the record, that puts Landon up three casts to Dallin's two.  We hope Dallin will just let him get away with the win in this department.

This injury happened when boys' football team was playing the only other undefeated team in the district on Tuesday so the stakes were high. They were tied 0-0 at halftime which made this the first competitive game to watch this season.  Landon and Dallin both had a great game and they won 22-6.  Landon broke his thumb playing defense in the fourth quarter.  He came out of the game for two plays and had his thumb/hand wrapped and went back in the rest of the game. Trooper.

Tonight Landon taught the Family Home Evening lesson.  He got the idea from a young men lesson.

He started with a beautiful scoop of ice cream--a  "Sundae."
Then he added things to make the sundae 'better':

The other children watched in horror.

Rustin tried to pay them to eat the ice cream.  No takers.

We then talked about how we add things in our house to our "Sundays" that ruin the day.  The six children and I are usually alone most of the day and I am sad to say sometimes our day is less than holy.  We are working on it.

The kids came up with a list of things that ruin the day:  waking up late, playing too rough, tv/video games (we don't do either one), waking up mom when she wants to take a nap (!!-they said it...) and not being able to find clothes in the morning.

Of course tonight I had to physically separate Austin and Benson and I had to instruct Dallin not to talk to anyone in order to keep everyone from bickering during the lesson.  I think the point was well taken though.  Now I'll be able to say "who is pouring hot sauce on my ice cream?" when they are misbehaving on the Sabbath.

I think we all have a pretty good mental image of what a ruined Sunday looks like. Thanks Landon.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fashion Handicapp

Rustin has laid down an ultimateum: buy a new coat or he will buy one for me.  Rustin buying me clothes means a trip to the mall where I will be forced to look at my post-baby (can we just say softly maternal?) figure  in a three-way-mirror.  I can barely stand the thought... So I am taking matters into my own hands.

I was inspired by this girl...

so I looked up some coats on-line. had some good suggestions that are far less than Kate's $1000 Burberry trench. Did you know after Kate wore this coat in Ireland Burberry sold out of it in one day?  How's that for advertisement?!

Are they cute? I can not have a wool coat.  Wool and Golden retrievers are not friends. Cotton blend is the way to go.
Double or single?

The double has a hood.  My curls don't like to get wet so that might be good but is a double breasted coat formal looking?  I'm not really formal.  I like the flared fit of the single.  hmmm.
Someone give me a second opinion before my husband drags me to the mall.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

boomerang baby

We had a five day weekend. I love having kids home but we were busy with football practices and games the whole time. I was seriously tempted to unplug the phone and turn off the lights and pretend like we were out of town the entire weekend but I was outvoted.

We did get a few rainy days. Somehow I don't mind the rain--it feels like a good excuse to stay home. ( I'm afraid I am a bit of an agoraphobe these days. Or maybe just a bit lazy? Overwhelmed?) It also usually seems like a good excuse to make bread, soup, brownies, cookies, muffins, waffles... Rainy days are super healthy.

Jackson is now SIX months!  He weighs 17.8 pounds and he is one busy baby.  He scoots all over the floor and crawls on occasion when he remembers to uncross his ankles.  He giggles and grabs and eats (this boy LOVES solid food--I've never had one eat so early...) but he also slobbers, chews and 'fusses' to get things he wants.

When he is in a particularly slobbery, chewy, fussy state he becomes boomerang baby.  I send him out with Jenna and he comes back with Benson.  Then I send him out with Benson and he comes back with Dallin.  And then I send him out with Dallin and he comes back with Landon.  You get the picture.

All I can say is it's a good thing he's so darn cute!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Jackson 7 months

At seven months old here's what we have:

18 1/2 pounds
Crawls like crazy
Walks around furniture
Occasionally forgets to hold on to something and stands alone
Loves cream of wheat cereal
Just started going to sleep alone in his crib
Usually sleeps all night but sometimes wakes up at 4:30
Would spend all day nursing with mom. Mom doesn't mind!
Always falls asleep in the car
Has two bottom teeth
Chews on everyone and everything
Jabbers all the time in a very whimsical chatty sort of way (week-a week-a wee-oh)

And of course he is in danger of being completely and utterly spoiled!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

making me love my bed

Last weekend Jenna and I had our own Night at the Museum.  We got a group of girls together (thanks Shelly!) and packed our pillows and blankets and spent the night at the Herrett Center.  We looked at stars and tasted all kinds of chocolate and made banana bread at midnight.  Rustin kept Jackson and he had (and took!) his first bottle ever.
We slept under the jungle display.
I use the term slept liberally.
 I don't think adults are meant to sleep on hard floors.
Adults are absolutely not meant to sleep on hard floors.  I hope she remembers this forever.  Over and out.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Year supply in 30 minutes

 Last weekend we took the kids to a giant field of dead weeds.

But there is gold in them thar weeds...

Idaho gold.

Gleaning potatoes is like a giant Easter egg hunt where there is no end to the eggs.
When potatoes are harvested, (check out this two minute video) the spuds are first dug up by a big harvester and then a big tractor with a conveyor belt-like attachment drives along behind the harvester and picks up the spuds and dumps them into a big truck.  Back in the 'old' days farmers had to hire people to walk along with buckets and hand pick the potatoes.  When my parents were kids in Eastern Idaho it took an entire community to harvest potatoes--'spud harvest.'  Everyone was let out of school  for a couple of weeks.  Most of the communities in Eastern Idaho still get out of school around this time of year to help with the harvest.
Today the potatoes are mostly harvested by tractor but the tractor leaves a lot of potatoes behind.  If you know the right people you can go to a field after the harvesters have gone through and glean the extra potatoes.  

We are extremely grateful to have farmer friends who let us have a bit of their excess.  Thirty minutes and we were loaded up.  We packed potatoes in boxes and a bunch of  huge Costco bags and hauled them to the root cellar where they will live in  until they are needed.

Baked, mashed, fried, boiled and added to doughnuts--we now have potatoes on the menu for the rest of the year!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Manna in the form of nectarines

I wrote the other day about how my life felt like a hurricane.  It still does. Three football teams, scouts, activity days, music lessons and a husband who is usually gone are making driving and meal times ridiculous.  In fact I've been feeling very sorry for myself lately.

Thursday morning I was feeling especially sorry for myself when we read in the Doctrine and Covenants 42:25 for morning scriptures. The Lord is talking about how sometimes he talks to us through "the voice of lightnings... tempests...pestilences of every kind" and still we don't listen.

 It occurred to me at that moment that maybe my own personal storms are the Lord's way of reminding me to listen.  I need to ask Him for help more often.

Later that evening  I was rushing around trying to find  food  for everyone before they had to leave for the night and my hands were sticky, my hair was a mass of frizz, Jackson was crying, and my attempts to keep the house tidy were completely nullified.

Someone came to the door to bring the missionaries some food and she decided to bring some to me as well.

The best part?

She brought nectarines.  I love nectarines because I can just eat them.  They don't need to be peeled.  I don't have to can, dry, freeze or make them into jam.  They are just for eating. No guilt.  My mom also brought some peaches that were cut up into beautiful little baby food size chunks and put into lovely jars.  No work and no guilt for me.

I was reminded by a stranger that I am not forgotten.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hurricane Season

I don't know how the national news has missed this but hurricanes are running rampant in Idaho this Fall.  Just this morning a gigantic storm caused the disappearance of one of
Landon's shoes (he had to wear basketball shoes...) and one of Austin's shoes (he had to wear size 11 shoes with totally frayed shoelaces).

Papers were thrown about the kitchen and sweaty shirts, socks and shorts were scattered about the bathroom and bedrooms.
Remnants of hastily packed food stuffs (lunch...) are visible all over the kitchen and floor.

In the midst of the chaos this morning one child was mysteriously compelled to play Tarantella over and over on the piano (help me!!!...).

I think we may have to declare this a disaster zone and call in the national guard.  I fear it may take months to clean up the damage.

Who knew September was such a dangerous month in Idaho? 

School began almost three weeks ago.  Dallin and Landon started the first day of school with a football game.  Benson is in school full time (1st grade!) this year leaving me alone in an eerily quiet house with Jackson all day.  He is doing his best to keep me from being bored...and succeeding quite well.

Dallin, Landon and Austin are busy with football everyday which pretty much means I am driving all over town trying to pick-up and drip off to practices, games, scouts and school.  
Landon (76) and Dallin (61) stand the exact same way on the sidelines. They have won every game by more than 30 points so far this year and both have had tons of sacks and tackles which is fun to watch.

Grandma and Jackson

Austin is totally enjoying football this season also--he had three sacks in his first game which is a huge improvement from last year.  He's the biggest kid in the league (in height and weight) and he loves it. 

I'm wishing an actual hurricane would come by and knock all the apricots from my tree so I wouldn't have to feel guilty about not picking them.

This year apricots are extra credit.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It starts now

Notice anything different about this girl?

Look a little closer.  See it?

Okay how about now?

Can't miss it here...

Two days before school started Jenna finally got up the nerve to get her ears pierced.  We told her last year she could get them pierced whenever she wanted.  For the last few months she has been putting little stick on jewels on her ears every morning to match her outfit so we knew it was only a matter of time before she asked to get the real Bling.

We cheated before the big event and put a couple of drops of numbing drops on her ears before we got to the store.  I think it was more of a "Dumbo's feather" effect than anything but she did great.  No tears at all.  

Yesterday she asked if she could borrow my silver flower earrings when she can take her studs out. 
I have a feeling this is just the beginning.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My arm amputation.

Over the summer my baby went from this...
To this...

I underestimated how much the kids helped me this summer.  They all went back to school on Tuesday which has left me with a permanent hip attachment.  This babe is certainly cute but I am seriously getting nothing done.

 I have never had one baby.  Not ever.  Jackson is in the stage where is rolls and scoots and wiggles and squirms.  He can move just enough to get himself trapped or stuck everywhere but he's not big enough to get himself out of trouble. I'm not sure how I am going to manage this yet.  Baby Jack is going to have to get used to playing alone a bit or I am in big trouble!

  *For the record I did not touch up those baby blues.  Who knew two brown-eyed parents could have such colorful children?!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Project organization: menus

As the kids head back to school I am ready to get serious about organizing my life. 
Organization isn't really my strong point but I am determined to have my weak things become my strengths...

Here's something I've been trying for a month or so now--

I write our menu on the front of the fridge where everyone can see what's coming up and I can plan ahead before it is 5 pm and everyone is starving.
I love the   Crayola dry erase crayons.  They come in lots of colors and the writing doesn't just brush off if someone bumps the fridge.  They wipe off really easily with water.  Awesome.

Before I can actually write the meals down I have to plan them.  I hate thinking of things to eat.  Isn't thinking of meals the worst?

To begin making things easier I went to my favorite food planning site at food storage made

The site has lots of interesting food storage ideas but my favorite is the excel spreadsheet.  It is programmed to calculate how much food is needed to have a one or three month storage of regular meals that we eat all the time.
I love it.
I went in and put in all the meals I could think of right off the top of my head and I had 30 meals before I knew it.  I change some meals according to the seasons {in the summer we grill pizza outside...} but I still use pretty much the same ingredients.

I took the list of meals from  the spreadsheet and printed them off on the computer and stuck them to some cute paper...

Whoever is helping me with dinner for the week can choose from the pile of meals and I know I have the ingredients for that meal.
Some meals are in more than once--we eat pizza at least twice a month so I entered pizza twice in the meal planner spreadsheet and I put two pizza strips in the pile.  When we finish the pile then we can start over and I know I need to stock up on another month of food.

So far it works really well.  I especially like having the plan in front of me so I can remember to get the chicken out of the freezer ahead of time.  

Okay really---we don't always eat all the meals like I plan. Sometimes I just don't get it all done so I have a few easy meals in the freezer. 

Sometimes I bring home roasted chicken when I go to the store.  Actually we are a two chicken family these days and I suspect we are well on the way to becoming a three chicken family...
Sometimes I buy pizza instead of making it {we are now a three pizza family too!}.

Sometimes we just eat eggs and toast.
I tell myself that when I don't have a baby nursing 6-8 times a day I will have more time but I know it's not true.  I never have more time.  Something always comes up. 

But having a plan always helps! 

Next up in my organization plan--school stuff.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Million dollar view

I love moments like this.  Jackson has drifted off to sleep and I know I should go put him in bed but I am distracted by his long wispy eye-lashes. And those soft cheeks.

Then, two seconds later...

His little eyes pop open and he grins at me. And I know I missed my window of opportunity and now he will be awake for awhile. 

He lays quietly for just a second before he starts batting at my phone determined to put it in his mouth.
He snuggles his face in my arm and he smells like baby shampoo mixed with that oh-so-lovely acrid yet slightly sweet smell of baby spit-up.

I am completely enjoying this baby but I think I have reached that point where it is time for me to choose bedtime instead of being held captive by the whims of an infant.  

He has been sleeping through the night for about three months so I haven't really worried about putting him down awake--Rustin or I can usually just hold him until he's asleep without too much trouble.  But, with school starting on Tuesday I think it's time for a more predictable schedule for all of us.
We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Summertime in Franklin

I'm so glad I married This guy...

Because it means I can go to This place any time I want...

I love Franklin, Idaho in the summer.
I love it in the winter too but summer is really fun.
We finally realized that Rustin wasn't going to have time to come with us to  Franklin.  Missing two weeks of work with terrible eye infection took a big dent out of vacation plans for us so the kids and I loaded Beau up in the car and headed down ourselves.
It was a GREAT week.

Darren completely wore himself out keeping us entertained.  We built two awesome bookshelves {in the 100+ degree shop} for Jen and Jack's room {more on that later},we got to meet the new puppy Milly, we rode horses and went canoeing.
Loalee showed us how to spin wool into yarn and made lots of delicious food.  How's that for an awesome weekend!

All six of us got to go on a 'real' horseback ride.  We went three at a time.  Jenna fell in love with the new horse, Darksea, and spent some time riding both Darksea and MissQuito by herself.  Jenna and Benson still had their horses lead by Grandpa most of the time but they are both doing great learning.  Dallin and Landon are pros and spent a lot of time helping to saddle and brush horses.  Austin also does really well by himself.
  Not bad for city kids.  Don't tell them I called them city kids.

Beau proved himself a total city slicker as he bounced around the horses and got stepped on.  It cut the pad of his paw really bad--we are hoping it heals without getting infected.  He had a blast.

We went to Johnson's Reservoir (one of many in the area) to canoe and swim.  I don't have any pictures of that beautiful night.   Beau learned that he loves swimming and Jackson loved it too!   We were the only people at the reservoir along with Jotham and Jamie and their family.  And of course Darren and Loalee.   The cool water was perfect in the over 95 degree weather.

We came home tired and happy and ready to enjoy our last week of summer vacation.