Monday, March 31, 2008
And despite the snow, Jimmy still has baseball practice. But it is indoor practice, which irks him. We are all crazy for playing outside in warm weather, but alas, warm weather eludes us. Tomorrow, the high school team will make its first cuts, and while I think Jimmy is a good baseball player, I try not to be very hopeful that he will remain on the team. If he doesn't make the team, at least there is community baseball (P.L.A.Y.) and everyone plays in community baseball. Besides, playing with PLAY is more fun for Jimmy--the season is longer and later in the year than school ball so the weather is much improved over the school season. This will be his last year of P.L.A.Y., though' once you've started 11th grade, either you play Legion ball or you get a job. We are hoping he will get a job even this summer--he needs something to do. And I'm also hinting around to him about starting on his Eagle project. He knows what he wants to do, in fact, he did it all last year, but, because of the refusal of the district person to get back to Jimmy in a timely manner, Jimmy was unable to get his Eagle Scout rank for his efforts. Anyway, allowing for more time this year should do the trick.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Here is a picture for my brother, Mike. Mike, you'll be happy to know that Katie's deprogramming from her Communist exposure went well. She is no longer spouting quotations from the Little Red Book.
Not just one kite, but a bunch of kites all strung together. You can't see it very well, but each kite has a painted face on it, and all of the faces are grimacing. I think they look like Mexican wrestler masks.
Now here are some pictures with Katie in them:In a jade shop, Katie and Alex mimic the statuary:
Katie and a million dollar piece of carved jade (no, she didn't buy it. Sigh. Now we'll never have a jade horse in the house!):Head over to the Laker Band Adventure website (link to the right) for a short video clip of Katie fulfilling her drum major duties in Shanghai.
Keep checking that website because even though the kids are home, there are many more pictures to share. I love playing "Where's Waldo" with Katie in the pictures. How many of you spotted Katie on the Jumbotron screen in several band pictures? Cool, huh?
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Katie is home from China! She made it safe and in very good spirits. She is totally sick of Chinese food and she said that Chinese food from China is different from Chinese food served in Chinese restaurants here in the US. She wanted Taco Bell and pizza immediately. We've spent over an hour looking at her pictures and hearing stories of China adventures. Before she went to China, she was very excited about the "dancing on the tables" at a restaurant listed on her itinerary. Yes, she said, they really do allow you to dance on the tables there. And Katie seems to have made a friend at that particular event. Witness:
Oh. My. Word.
Can you imagine a mother's thoughts of horror at seeing a picture like this???
Actually, I nearly laughed my trachea out.
She says she was dancing (not on the table) with two friends. He grabbed her camera and gave it to her friend Riley; then grabbed her hands and started dancing with her. He kept wanting pictures to be taken of the two of them dancing. Then he dropped his ciggy and crushed it on the floor and kept dancing with her. She couldn't get away fast enough.
Friday, March 28, 2008
I'm sure my children will never ever tease me. Ever.
ANYWAY. In other news, Katie comes home tomorrow. She's probably already started the trip home. I'll bet she's sad to have the China trip behind her. UPDATE: While I've been composing this post, Katie text-messaged me, asking if we can have Taco Bell for dinner when she gets home. She's sick of Chinese food.
I wish I had more to report, but sadly, as I have stated before, this has been a disappointing spring break.
Have a random picture of our cats, Tom Servo and Magic Marker:
Today I resolve NOT to be sick so that I can complete a list of to-do items and feel like I did manage to not totally waste all this time at home with the kids. We didn't even do anything fun this spring break!
Anyway, here is my to-do list. Maybe if I publish it, I will be more motivated to get some of these things done. And you can see how really EXCITING my life is. These are not necessarily in order:
1. Find the top sheet for the bed and finish making it
2. Spend 15 minutes cleaning on my side of the bedroom so I can vacuum it
3. Vacuum my side of the bedroom
4. Fold laundry
5. Cut out bathrobe
6. Sew one pair of pants for sis-in-law
7. Prepare lunch
8. Make dinner
9. Make a job list for the kids
1. Found the top sheet. It had migrated to the boys' bed linens area of their closet and was enjoying the party too much to go back to my linen closet. Made the bed. I also scrubbed the kitchen sink, which was not on my list. Yay me!
2. Done. Now I have to find the vacuum. Better check the boys' closet to see if the vacuum was partying with my top sheet.
7. Sort of done, in that I told all the kids that there were leftovers to heat up and I got the grapes out of the fridge.
For my own personal enjoyment, another random picture from the past:
An autumn leaf in Oregon last October. I took this at a rest stop somewhere in Oregon, while returning from a visit with Jim's mom and Larry in Idaho. We on our way back to Washington state to visit with our friends, Doug and Stacey. Jim and I enjoyed our trip to visit friends and family and we enjoyed traveling by ourselves, except for the speeding ticket.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Only 15 %? Dude*, that kid looks 99% like his dad. I'll take responsibility for the nose and the weakening of the eyesight, but the rest of Jimmy is all his dad.
*Can I legally say "Dude" if I am 40?
Since I don't have any events of interest to blog about (other than Jim went back to work today after taking a sick day yesterday, and I'm feeling much better. We'll see if Hayley is feeling better today--she's been down with a sore throat), I thought I'd post a random picture from my archives. Who knows? Maybe this will be an ongoing topic here at the shoebox castle.
I took this picture during my last trip to Florida, which was too long ago. I really need to go back for a visit with my sister. I get so much cross-stitching and sewing and other crafty things done when I visit her. Anyway, I was on a walk and spotted this plant (some sort of cabbage?). The colors were so interesting; I love the green/purple combo. When I take pictures of objects other than my kids, I go for color. I love bright colors, as any one who has been in the hall of my basement can attest--several picture of flowers line the wall. I also have my sunset picture on top of the computer desk, and on the wall over the desk is another frame holding 4 flower pictures. The colorful pictures brighten up these drab March days when it SHOULD be 50 degrees outside instead of 20 or 30.
It's been a pathetic spring break here, nothing but lying around in our sickbeds and going nowhere. I promised Matt and Hayley that tonight we'd go on a flashlight walk. We've done it once before and they loved it. We'll just walk around the neighborhood in the dark with our flashlights. I need to get out of the house, even if it's only around the block.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
No pictures in this post either. No one wants to see what regurgitated spinach lasagna looks like. Trust me.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
MyHeritage: Look-alike Meter - Vintage photos - Old photos
Seriously, Katie does NOT look more like me than Hayley. I'll have to have Hayley reevaluated using some different pictures. Although I do freely admit that Katie looks a lot like my sister Jen.
50 bonus points to all those who spotted the picture of Katie on the Great Wall of China at the band blog! I am so glad Sheri B (one of the chaperones) is sharing the band's experiences with the left-behind parents! All the worry about Katie being overseas in a very different country is lessened when I see the pictures of the kids enjoying themselves. Katie must be having a blast.
If the illness keeps up at our house (Hayley has a sore throat and is currently sleeping) we are sure to have a very quiet, non-exciting spring break. I guess I don't mind.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Paul has a sizable basket of eggs to hide around the yard. He looks like he's going to use it for bicep curls.
A group of egg-hunters. Back row: Sophie McNurlin (my stepsister's daughter), Matt, Hayley.
Front row: Dylan Hawley (my brother Jake's son), and Sidney McNurlin.
Matt finds an egg. In the foreground you can see my niece Mimi's hat. You can see some of the pockmarks in the snow and some of the lighter eggs resting in the snow.
Hayley found that some eggs contained coins!
My brother Mike expounds on something (windmills, going off the grid, using used fry oil as fuel, practical jokes, hunting, fishing, ostrich meat, movie quotes, various dangerous escapades in his youth, endodontistry, using gum wrapper foil as graffiti...you pick a topic) while Jim helps himself to broccoli salad. We ran out of mashed potatoes (sorry, Mom. I came up one serving short while calculating amounts. I am ashamed), but really, there was PLENTY of food.
The only other event I didn't capture on film was the alleged 9-1-1 call. No one seems to have witnessed the call, but we did get a call from the sheriff's office claiming that there was such a call placed from my mom's phone number. Mike, who answered the phone (his exact words as he picked up the phone were: "Hola, digo." He thought the call was from our sister in Florida) assured the sheriff's office that there was no emergency and that whoever placed the call would be reprimanded. But no reprimand was forthcoming, since we could not determine which of the little kids was playing with the phone.
The kids had an egg hunt at Grandma's house yesterday after church, but because of the 10 inches of snow, some of them gave up after a bit because of very cold hands from having to dig the eggs out of the drifts. Why were the eggs buried? Because some teenage boys (ahem Jimmy and Paul) thought it was too much work to place eggs gently around the yard for little kids to find and decided instead to lob the eggs from the porch into the yard, which created little pockmarks in the snow where each egg fell. The pockmarks were quite deep too. Anyway, I'm sure that as the snow melts, Grandma will find several uncollected plastic eggs around her yard. I'd upload some pictures, but I can't find my camera at the moment.
The kids are happy to be free from school and it seems that none of them have been given much homework to do. So I gave them chores to keep them busy. Oddly, none of them were particularly grateful. Hmm.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
One of my favorite scriptures.
Happy Easter! The kids must be getting old. None of them woke us up at the crack of dawn to hunt for Easter eggs. In fact, Jim and I had to wake them all up. And we sat around for a little bit before getting any of the kids up. Some day in the not to distant future, we won't color eggs, hide and seek eggs, we won't fill up Easter baskets. It's kind of sad. And with Katie gone, it's a glimpse at our future--the emptying of the nest.
Yesterday we went to Dave's to wish Owen a happy first birthday. I have never seen a kid smile so big or be so ready to burst with joy as Owen did when we all sang "Happy Birthday." He got scared when the kids were batting at the pinata, but he cheered right up when we sang to him again. Here are the Hawleys: Dave, Owen, and Marissa:
And here is Matt, sitting in the broken shell of the pinata. As you can see, it was a relatively big pinata. Or it's a relatively small Matt.
Keep checking the Laker Band Adventures link for updates on the PLHS band China trip!
I really shouldn't be updating the blog right now, because I have a last minute assignment to teach at church. As the Education counselor, I'm the go-to person for sick teachers in Relief Society. Mind you, I'm not complaining; I'm just chastising myself for spending time on the computer when I should be preparing the lesson. Jim has a lesson to teach too; he's the YM president and it's his week to teach. But he's being good and reading his lesson. I'm just lucky we have late church, although I do have to be there for choir practice. And prelude. I am not the organist, but our ward organist is currently in China.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
But I do have a picture of Hayley's cake. She wanted bunnies and chocolate eggs on it, so what easier way to do bunnies than to get some Bunny Peeps. And chocolate eggs were easy to come by as well, although it meant fighting through half the population of Savage who had all congregated in the Easter candy aisle at Target.
Hayley is showing off her new Mp3 player and her new watch. Now she can join Jimmy and Paul as music zombies, unable to hear me call their names, dead to the world, living only in a world with surround-sound bass pumping through their heads and screeching vocal solos knocking their eyeballs out of their sockets.
And here is Jim who hasn't had his picture posted on my blog castle walls, except on the sidebar. I don't know if he would appreciate having his picture up here, so don't tell him! Right now, he's out at the P.L.A.Y. baseball shed with two other guys, cleaning it out. I don't envy him having to spend time in a chilly shed this morning. But he does it so that all three boys can play baseball this summer. We get quite a rebate because Jim is the PLAY inhouse baseball equipment manager. What a great guy!
Friday, March 21, 2008
She should be in flight by now. Have fun, TaterBean! Take lots of pictures! Check out the China trip link to the right if you are interested in what the band does while they are visiting China.
And Jimmy decided to lie down in the snow for reasons only known to aspiring macho teenage boys. Yes, he is barefooted and wearing NO jacket.
11 years ago today, I got my second girl. What a relief that was, knowing I would not have three boys in a row like my poor mother had. Hayley was probably the easiest birth out of the five. My mother was in attendance so that she could actually see a birth. Mom was a good spectator--she was quiet and didn't try to get me to do something I didn't want to do. The doctor did that. I had to argue with the doctor about an episiotomy--I didn't want one and knew that I didn't need one, he wanted to perform one. It's hard to argue while trying to deliver a baby. But I won and I was right.
Here is Hayley at the age of 2 1/2. This was during a time when she had a tendency to put Tupperware on her head. She doesn't do it anymore, thank goodness. She was such an angelic child, really. I always thought that Matt and Hayley were my reward for dealing with Jimmy when he was little. And she is still an angelic child, except that she would rather keep all her clothing on the floor than in the dresser.
And here is Hayley on her birthday, relaxing in her robe, watching Cinderella with her newest Webkin, which she bought with birthday money from Granddaddy. The Webkin is a kitty and she named it Karin (Car-in, not care-in), same as sister Jen's middle name--and Hayley didn't even know it! And had Matt been a girl, that would have Matt's middle name!
And so begins Hayley's last year in Primary at church. One more year and she will be in the Young Women's program! Not my baby girl!
I'll probably post pictures of Hayley and her birthday cake tomorrow. Coming up later today (hopefully), a picture of Katie leaving us for China.
Look what the weather left for Hayley's birthday:
Will it never end??? 3-5 inches on the ground with more to come! I hope Katie's flight isn't delayed.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Here is a picture of Hayley on the last day of being 10 years old:
She is wearing one my most favorite sewing creations. I sewed that robe for her for Christmas and I just love it. (I may not be focusing on Katie, but the sewing theme carried over!) It's a flannel-backed silky fabric, so it's pretty and cozy all at once! But my favorite part of the robe is the ruffly sleeve.
After breakfast (see above picture of Hayley getting ready to pour a hard-to-find cereal that is a favorite for four out of five Evans children--Katie doesn't LIKE cereal), I attended parent/teacher conferences for Hayley and Matt. It's the same thing year after year: they are good students, teachers love them, yada yada yada, but Matt needs to work on raising his hand when he has something to say and he doesn't need to talk ALL the time, and Hayley needs to make sure she remembers to bring her homework and turn it in. Nothing new and nothing unexpected. This is Hayley's last year of elementary school; next year she will be attending the middle school.
Hayley, enjoy your last day of being 10! Tomorrow the birthday monster comes and eats up your 10-year-old self and regurgitates the 11-year-old you. Beware!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
This website will be updated to inform all those interested in the trip of the goings-on and various events and sites that the PLHS band will experience.
And boy, will Katie's arms be tired by the end of the trip.
Katie will be mostly directing the band on the trip. She is taking her flute just in case, but does not anticipate playing it.
So this is my sewing/foodstorage (although you can't see my food shelf and closet from this angle)/craft room. I also have pictures on the ledge to keep me company when I spend large amounts of time in here. The sewing machine is older than I am, sez my mom, but the machine and I love each other and can't bear to be separated. It's a workhorse of a machine and with no computer parts to go psycho on me, it's reliable and easy to fix. The machine also likes Kate; she can make it go when few others outside the family can (you have to push down on the pedal while simultaneously pushing in--very tricky).
Here is a very unmurderous dress lining. Doesn't look like much. But I assure you, the dress itself will be wondrous to behold.
Stay tuned for Prom Dress III: The Bobbin Runs Out.
Coming soon to a blog near you.
I can hardly wait.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Katie has started on her prom dress. This is the dress she is going for, except the dress will actually go over both shoulders and have sleeves. The skirt overlay will be sheer and the embellishment will be made with buttons.
The picture of the fabric sadly does not do it justice. It is a very yellow yellow, a bright vibrant yellow. The sheer overlay is also washed out; it's more golden than the picture shows.
Of course I will post pictures as she works on the dress. She has the lining of the dress sewn together--now we fit it to her and make adjustments. She is sewing it, but I am hovering and offering advice. So far she hasn't thrown the scissors at me. I guess that means we are having a good time.
On Sunday, the snow was almost gone from the yard. Now it's all white again. Yes, I know we live in Minnesota where this kind of weather is to be expected, but I've been wearing my parka for three months straight and I am tired of it. I want to be able to wear just a sweater outside. I want to see the tulips and daffodils coming up. I want to wear sandals. I want to open up the windows and let fresh air in. I want to put all the coats in the entryway into boxes and not think about them or see them for a few months. I want to be done with pools of water from snowmelt off of boots in the entryway. Besides, Easter is this Sunday. Does the Easter Bunny even do his rounds when there is snow outside?
Monday, March 17, 2008
So on to the pictures:
L to R: Hayley, Matt, and Dylan (Jake's son). In back, Maya, Dylan's sister. The three up front played Pokemon all evening. We didn't see or hear much from them because they were having too much fun in Dylan's room.
L to R: Marissa (Dave's wife) and Jake. Kids in front and Stephanie (Jake's wife) in the green shirt on the side of the picture. Sadly, that's the only picture of Steph that I got during the whole evening. So if you don't know what Steph looks like, I'm sorry but all I can offer is a side view of her. She has a very nice profile.
I tried to take a nice picture of my two older boys but Jake had to be a total goober head and stick his hand in the picture just as I pressed the button.
Kayla, Steph's daughter. She's in 9th grade. Very nice smile, Kayla!
The birthday girl!
The upcoming birthday boy--Owen (Dave's boy) turns one on Thursday. Owie LOVES having his picture taken. He recognizes cameras and knows that when one is pointed at him he is supposed to smile.
Owie also loves food. He kept lunging at Grandma's cake, so she shared with him.
Warning: Dimply rear end ahead!
And because Owie loves food, he has a sizable tushie.
Dave wants you all to know that he grew up and is doing very well for himself these days.