Saturday, December 28, 2013


Dear tasty Christmas treats,

Please go away. I love you in small doses, but you are not good for me. My taste buds disagree, but I am trying not to listen to them. Sometimes they lead me astray. Maybe we can meet again around Easter? I think that would be best. Thanks for understanding


Friday, December 27, 2013

Twiddle Thumbs

Remember that other blog? For the first time in nearly two years it has a current post.  Check it out!  Not sure that this will be a continual thing, but for now it's current. :)

Thursday, December 26, 2013


was fantastic.  Surprisingly, we had to wake our kids up and after all their boasting and plotting and scheming last night.  Both Santa and Mom and Dad hit the mark on the nose.  They each had their obvious favorites (iPods for Lyndsi and McKay and American Girl dolls for Sophie and Chloe).  I asked them what their next favorite gifts were.  They each (independent of each other) named everything they got except maybe the clothes. ;)  It was so fun to watch them play so well the rest of the day- building Legos, dressing dolls, figuring out ipods.

I enjoyed a lengthy nap (which is why I'm now blogging at 1:24 a.m.) and puttering around the house as Jeff would say.  McKay had his dad's full attention engaging him in Skylanders, iPod help, electronic/sciency stuff, movies etc.  Jeff loves it.

My parents joined us for the morning, watching the kids open gifts and sharing a yummy breakfast afterwards.

After a full, fun day I found myself wide awake and restless at midnight, a Christmessy house weighing on my mind.  My neck was stiff anyway, so I threw off my covers and marched my now grumpy self downstairs for a heating pad and midnight cleaning session.  I am not that girl.  I prefer to do these things in the morning when I can enlist my minions  children's help. Perhaps if it were any other time of year I would have read a book or watched TV while the rice pad worked it's heated magic.  But I know the kids will want to play tomorrow.  Bonus, my house is clean the way I want it clean.  :)

Merry Christmas!

So, so happy.  Watch out instagram!!  

His reactions kill me.  He's so excited for everything, you'd think we'd be used to it.  This was the genuine thing, though. Love these moments.

These two cuties have already been shopping and to Cami's house with their mommy.  (Hmmm...maybe play does really imitate life) The boy is Mickey and after a little debate (meaning mom refused the name Minnie), the girl is Charlie.  They are already well loved.  Chloe will be a cute mom to her new babies. 

Meet Kali.  Did you know Sophie had a twin? She and her new AG doll look uncannily alike, even before the matching outfits.  I think Sophie has hardly let go of her since taking her out of the box.  

Monday, December 23, 2013

Early Christmas

I posted this on Instagram last night as my favorite Christmas gift this year. My father in law made these signs for each family. He used the wood from an old walnut tree that grew in the backyard of the house Grandma and Grandpa Maynes lived in for years in Manti. It is beautiful on it's own, but priceless now with sentiment. I am excited to go home home and find the perfect place to hang it. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Projects

All my projects (well- almost) are centered around dolls. I'm really excited about the things I've done for my girlies. These simple slipper/moccasins are no exception! (I'll post a link to the pattern I used as a soon as I can find that particular blog again.)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

From Experience

I'm so glad people don't care if I have pictures on here!

So.  After a late night last night, I got thinking about the exhaustion that always comes the next day.  With Christmas right around the corner, we'll all be having our share of late nights getting everything ready.  I'd thought I'd share my get-thru-the-exhaustion tips.  They work.  Promise.

1.  Eat healthy and include protein throughout the day.

2.  Drink lots and lots of water.  With ice.  Without ice.  Add some flavor if it helps you get it down.  (I don't love water, so I usually have to add something at least once in the day.)  Side note: Use a large water bottle to help get all your ounces in.

3.  Exercise.  Not a full on workout, but 25 jumping jacks here, 10 pushes up there, little things to get the blood going.  Also good to help warm up on a cold day.

A little Christmas season advice from me to you.  Stay healthy, girls!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Lazy Blogger

(What a great name for a blog!  Someone should get on that.)

Not a lazy person, but when it comes to blogging I have become lazy.  I want to blog.  I still love reading other peoples blogs.  But when it comes to my own blog, meh.  I blame it on using my phone camera as my primary camera.  The pictures never seem to make it to my computer. Apparently I am also a lazy photographer. ;)  If we're all ok being mostly picture-less, blogging may pick up. Or maybe not.  We'll see.  Haha.

Love you all.  Hope you're Thanksgiving was great. We had a lovely small celebration with just my little brood plus parents and brother.  While we were small in numbers, we had enough food to feed an army.  And it was good.  It still is good and will hopefully stay good for a few more days.  I like not having to cook.

Black Friday was awesome.  No major deals other than movies, which let's face it, is the only reason I went.  Mom and I started at 6 a.m. on Friday.  Best, least crowded black Friday shopping ever.  Got everything we wanted.  No crowds.  No lines.  No crazy-eyed tiredness.

The kids all have clean rooms.  At the same time.  I know.  I'm shocked, too. The real surprise here is McKay's room.  It is for probably the first time ever (at least since he has been in charge of tidiness) clean to mom's standards. Everyone pick up their jaws.  It really is a miracle.  I've walked in his room several times today to make sure I wasn't dreaming.  Wanna know my secret?  I followed him in his room, climbed on his bed and basically bossed him around while I played on my phone.  I think I'll write a parenting book called Everything I Need to Know as a Mom I learned from being the oldest child. It has potential.

Christmas is coming.  I am off the wall excited.  I haven't been this excited since I was a kid.  I've worked hard this year to have everything bought by about Thanksgiving.  Kids, Jeff, parents, siblings, cousins, friends, etc. While it's not ALL done, Christmas could be tomorrow and I would be satisfied with what IS done.  That is huge.  There are still lots of little projects to finish up, most important helping the kids finish their name gifts for each other.  I'm hoping these next few weeks will be filled with fun memory making moments instead of stress and tears and sickness brought on my stress and tears.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend/start of your week.  I have big plans to enjoy mine which I'm sure the kids will foil as quickly as possible with ideas of their own. :)  Happy December 1st!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Oh Boy!

She's got joy!

A sweet friend of mine invited Chloe and I to be part of the joy school group she was starting up.  I was a little hesitant because she is a little young.  Having done the program twice before, I decided it might be a good thing.  The baby of the family learning to share and be kind in a social setting? Yeah.  Good idea. :)

She's been doing it for 3 weeks now and absolutely loves it.  She loves her new friends and teachers.  She sings all the songs randomly and then makes whoever is closest to her (usually me) sing them.

For me this has been the best Joy School experience.  No pregnancy.  No brand new baby.  And no toddler to entertain in the background.  I know what's expected of me. What's worked for me in the past and what hasn't. I'm happy to be doing something fun and positive with my baby girl.

Joy School 2013-14

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

It's No Secret

If you know me well, you already know this about me, and will probably roll your eyes.  I listen to Christmas music in the summer.  I can't help it.  It calls my name.  It's nostalgic.  It's happy.  It's peaceful.  Who couldn't use a little of that at the end of summer?

I am getting better.  This year I made it to the middle of August before listening to a Christmas album.  And in my defense, it's never the Jingle Bell variety.  Today's choice is Alex Boye's "My Christmas Wish."  Lovely.

It's the only Christmas album I have on my phone. Randomly a song will pop up and I usually switch it to the next song, but today I was elbow deep in bread dough and couldn't change it.  Then it was so lovely, I didn't want to change it.  It dug up wonderful memories of my beautiful grandmother.  Whenever I think of the peaceful side of Christmas, it is always her living room that comes to mind. Quiet, dark, with a fire built too hot.  The distant sound of aunts, uncles and cousins making merry in the basement.  The white lights on her flocked tree twinkling.  It's the stuff people dream of.  So pardon me while I jump ahead to December (or back a few Decembers).  I'll be all summery again when the album has played through.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Proud Mom Moment

It's no secret That reading is not one of Lyndsi's favorite things to do. Her 5th grade teacher has required a ton of reading this year and Lynds has really stepped up to the challenge. (It doesn't hurt that she adores her teacher.) this is the latest book report/log that she turned in. I couldn't be happier with her scores. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Sometimes I think I really missed out on the whole sister thing. 

Thankfully I can live vicariously through my girls. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Happy Hogwarts Day!

I mean birthday....

Sometimes having a birthday in April with a CPA for a father looks like it's going to be a disappointment, especially when your mom informs you that you'll have to celebrate a day early because everyone will be too busy on your actual birthday.

To make up for it, mom serves pancakes with sprinkles and frosting for breakfast

Spends too much time (having too much fun) working on wands for you and 9 of your closest friends

Who all gather at your house after school on a Friday for a special Harry Potter themed birthday party.

We began with the first year tradition  The Sorting Hat. The boys sat on a stool and had the Hat placed on their heads.  Reaching into a bag, they pulled out a badge with a house Coat of Arms on it and a bit of information about what it means to be in that house.


Next- Two houses attended Seeker training on the Quidditch pitch while the other houses attended Potions class with Professor Bradley.

Seeker training was taken very seriously.  Each boy learned the fundamentals of good seeking and had opportunities to run run several drills and participate in at least one scrimmage

Potions with Professor Bradley.  Several loud explosions could be heard throughout the school and all the way to the Quidditch field.  Thankfully no one was had to be taken to the hospital wing.

What would a Harry Potter party be without having a Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Bean tasting?
Hmm...A Nice strawberry one....

And presents!  Trying out some standard first year magic with his new wand, "Lumos!"

Herbology: Transplanting (edible) mandrakes.  (Cookie crumbs, cake crumbs and chocolate pudding)

The headmaster sent down butter beer to help refresh everyone as well.

Since it was such a special occasion, the boys were allowed a privilege generally reserved for 3rd years and older- a trip to Honeydukes Sweet Shoppe! Chocolate frogs, acid pops, licorice wand and more.

Hmmm...Maybe a tax season birthday isn't so bad after all.

Happy birthday McKay!!!!!

Monday, February 25, 2013

A healthier Me

Last summer we drove by what used to be our local Albertson's grocery store.  A big banner was hanging from the building announcing it as the future home of a Gold's Gym Express.  A few months later, after weeks of pressuring, I caved to my friend's pleas to join and go with her.  We started frequenting the closest open Gold's Gym until our location finally opened.  By that point we had convinced 2 other friends to join us in early morning torture.  The four of us have braved unearthly morning hours,  wind, snow and single digit temperatures all in the name of good health.  

I can only speak for myself, but I'm seeing some differences.  For one, I am exceedingly tired.  All of the time.  I, who can boast of multiple insanely late movie nights with my BFF, cannot function waking up at 5 a.m. 4 times a week, even when I go to bed by 10 p.m.  I have heard my kids friends more than once whisper, "You're mom's asleep again?"  Increased appetite.  Exercise always does this to me.  The cold weather is not helping.  Weight loss-none.  Strength has improved.  I can now own up to being able to do 5 push ups.  You have no idea what kind of miracle this is. Sickness.  I only get half sick now.  It's almost annoying.  I feel the symptoms coming on, steel myself for being bedridden and then....nothing.  Wha?!  It goes away.  While I'm grateful I don't have to put my life on hold for something so blah, I'm starting to think a day in bed sounds kind of nice.  C'est la vie.  

Hooray for good health!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Life As It Is

I thought I'd take a minute from my life to record what it's like right now.  I have a journal that I fill with   things of gratitude.  I try to put a positive spin on some trials to help me be grateful, but sometimes I don't think it's enough to give an honest idea of what life is really like in this moment. There are lots of things I love, and several that I struggle with or just plain don't like.

What I love about life right now:

1.  A darling 11 year old daughter who is turning out to be more helpful then I ever could have imagined.  For example (and one that very nearly made me cry), she came in the other night to ask what she could do help with dinner.  I had just come home from picking up a few things at the grocery store and hadn't gotten everything put away.  I told her she could put the eggs and yogurt away.  She did, but while she was down in the depths of the fridge, she also cleaned out all the old food that had reached or past its expiration date.  Unasked.  Such a simple thing that left me full of gratitude and an increase of love for her.

2.  The kids and I can laugh at jokes together.  We quote movie lines all the time.  We speak with British accents randomly.  A few fun(ny) things I never anticipated being part of our fun.  (For one, I never even had the nerve to attempt a British accent until a couple of months ago.)

3.  Not having to take 4 kids on every single errand I run.

4.  Time in my day to read without guilt. Kids at school.  Baby napping.  Book?  Don't mind if I do.

5.  Consistent weekly date nights.  Partly due to #3.  I love date night.  I crave it.  I need it.  Our conversations really aren't much different than at home, but something about having my man all to myself is really nice.

Things I'm not liking:
1.  Adjusting to my neighborhood.  It's beautiful here.  The people are friendly.  Yet still I struggle finding a good friend where I'm at. I'm working on it.

2.  Learning to parent 4 very different personalities and there little struggles and challenges.

3.  The ever constant feeling that I should be doing something, but not really knowing what that something is.

4. Balancing my time.  Never been good at it.  Family.  Husband. Friends. Me.  Church.  It ends up that nothing is getting the time it needs or deserves.

5.  Cleaning the kitchen.  I hear this gets easier down the road.  That one day I may only need to sweep once a day instead of hourly.  (Let's be honest.  I count myself lucky when I sweep once a day. :P)

There are lots of things I could add to both lists.  Life is good. Life is hard.  And the world keep turning and I keep trying.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Love Potion #9

I was combing through McKay's backpack the other day looking for forgotten notes and calendars when I came upon this little gem.

Love Potion
By McKay Maynes

2 cups of water
2 drops of your blood in the water
1/2 cup of sugar
2 peppermints

Then put the lid on and heat it for 2 minutes.

So for all of you looking for a little extra lovin this Valentine's, you're welcome. :)