Monday, November 3, 2014


We bought a minivan last weekend! It is a black 2011 Toyota Sienna. After hemming and hawing (that's the phrase, right?) and driving Evan to work for two and a half years, we finally took the plunge. Over the past few months I've been casually watching online for a good deal on a fairly new, low-ish milage minivan. It seemed that one dealership frequently had the type I was looking for at the right price but that dealership had terrible reviews so I didn't want to risk buying from them.

Eventually a dealership with great ratings had a minivan that was 3 to 5 thousand less than most comparible ones so we went to take a look. It was priced lower than the blue book dealer trade in value!

It was such an easy car purchase! The dealership we went to was awesome. They have NO obnoxious sales people. They leave all their cars unlocked and let you go look at them by yourself. And they don't come along for the test drive either. In fact, they let you test drive it all day if you want to! Plus, they don't negotiate price so we didn't have to worry about haggling. And they have lots of good snacks. And an included 60 day warranty.

Calvin LOVED car shopping. He was practically begging us to buy one. Especially with automatic sliding doors. Haha.

Anyway, we signed to buy the car on Wednesday after getting the okay from our mechanic but the dealership had to fix a bunch of minor broken things and detail it so we actually bought it on Saturday. It was so easy! Our kids ate their snacks while we signed some papers, wrote the largest check I've ever written, then we drove home!
I didn't actually drive it until Sunday- I trusted Evan to test drive it for us, but it is awesome! And shiny! It has grocery bag hooks in the back! And sliding doors! That you can open with the remote! And a back-up camera! And volume adjusters on the steering wheel! And fake leather seats so spills are easy to clean up! And room for 8 people! And the back seats collapse flat into the floor! I could go on and on.

Calvin tells me every day that he loves our new car and he is so glad we bought a minivan. And he wishes he were allowed to go out and play in it. Haha!

I only have thee regrets: One: It has 38,000 miles and I was hoping to buy something with less than 30,000 miles (but I feel like 3-5 grand was a good trade for 8,000 miles). Two: it doesn't get as good of gas milage as the Odyssey (Odyssey was my first choice). Three: it doesn't have a self-closing back door. I didn't even realize I wanted that until today though. Haha. But seriously, I'm so glad we bought a minivan instead of an SUV. Sliding doors are amazing with kids!

The best part is our days of being at church for at least 6 hours straight are over! We can drive separately now!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

How to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, by Daisy

Step 1: Pull your sandwich apart so that it is now two pieces of sticky bread.
Step 2: Try to pick all the peanut butter and jelly off with your fingers. When that doesn't work, shove the middle of the bread into your mouth.

Step 3: Take a break to tell your mom something.
Step 4: Continue eating the sticky bread, working from the center to the crust.
Step 5: Bite your finger. Then cry.
Step 6: Keep crying
Step 7: notice your brother is eating pears. Reach for them.
Step 8: Whine.
Step 9: If your mom still won't give you pears, rub your sticky peanut butter fingers in your hair until she gives in.
Step 10: Eat those delicious pears.
Yum yum!
Step 11: As soon as you finish those pears, rub your sticky fingers in your ears and eyes.
Step 12: Rub your hair. Make sure you squish some bananas in your hair too.
Step 13: Whine.
Step 14: Cry until your mom gets you out for step 15.
Step 15. Take a nice warm bath!
Step 16: Decide that you are still hungry. Eat your bath toys.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Family home evening

Two blog posts in one day?!

Tonight for family home evening we decided to have a lesson on being nice to Daisy since Calvin has been mean to Daisy on several occasions over the past few weeks.

We started out the lesson by talking about what a family is and why we should be nice to our family. Then we talked about how Calvin feels when kids are nice to him at the playground. He told us he is happy when kids play tag and when his friend James plays pirates with him.

Then we reminded him of a time when some kids at the playground were being mean and weren't sharing any of the trucks in the sand box. As Evan reminded him about that experience, Calvin started sniffing his nose and his face turned to a frown. Before we knew it, he was crying just from thinking about that experience! Evan and I had to hold back our laughter, but it really was quite funny. Luckily, we were able to distract him and remind him how he felt when others were nice and the tears dried right up.

Then we talked about how Daisy feels when Calvin is nice or mean to her. Next, Evan and I did a role play so we could demonstrate which things are nice and which things are mean to do to Daisy. I think that may have been a mistake because when Evan annoyingly shoved a blanket in my face while I was pretending to be Daisy, Calvin busted up laughing and begged us to show more mean things.

Maybe next time, we'll skip role-playing the mean things. We have a lot to learn as parents. Haha.

Daisy at 9 months

Daisy is a girl who knows what she wants and works hard to make sure she gets it.

For example:

She learned to roll over before she was four months old by trying it out one day and then practicing it at least a hundred more times that day.

When I put her in her bed on her back, she always immediately rolls to her stomach as fast as she can, tucks her arms under her, and sticks her bum in the air. Every single time.

In the bath tub she LOVES laying on her back. If we try to sit her up or stand her up to wash her, she arches her back until we let her lay down again.

The past few weeks she has been waking up twice a night and I've just been feeding her to get her to go back to sleep. Last night I decided I'd had enough so we checked her diaper, gave her some pain killer for the teething pain, offered her a sippy cup of water, and put her back in bed. I thought she'd cry for 5 minutes and go back to sleep, but that girl knows what she wants! And she didn't want to go back to sleep without nursing. After about half an hour of listening to her sob (and hoping that our neighbors wouldn't hate us), I finally gave in and fed her, after which she went right back to sleep.

But despite the fact that she drives us nuts by not sleeping through the night, we love our sweet little girl. She is crawling, walking along furniture, and saying mama and baba. She loves playing with Calvin too, which is fun to watch. And as always, she is great at smiling.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Major purchases

Before I begin, I just want to mention that I detest those things that divide windows into fake smaller panes. They block some of the light and they make it take 10 minutes to wash the windows instead of 30 seconds.

Now, for the real blog post...

I don't think I mentioned this here on the blog, but we decided to wait a few years to buy a house. I kept feeling lots of excitement about buying a house followed by overwhelming anxiety about owning a house. We couldn't find any that we really liked so we decided to wait a few years and maybe save up a bit more money. It was kinda a relief just to stop looking.

That decision opened up the possibility of buying a minivan a little sooner than we planned. Originally we were going to wait until we had a third child and could no longer fit in our car. That way we could save money on gas, insurance, property tax, and we wouldn't be losing money on a depreciating car. And we wouldn't have to worry about maintaining a second car.

For the past year and a half I have been taking Evan to work when I need the car and it works out okay. His commute is only ten minutes so it isn't too bad. However, since Daisy has started napping regularly, it has been hard to get Evan to work and home without interrupting her nap schedule. Plus, now that he is Elder's quorum president, he has to go to meetings before church every Sunday. He has to leave his meetings early to come back home to pick us up and we are late to church pretty much every week. It isn't working very well. Plus, we really can't give rides to anyone because our car is practically filled to capacity. And when our car breaks (like it did today) or we lock our keys in the car at the grocery store (like I did last week) we really could use a second car. For these reasons, we have been thinking about buying a minivan sooner than later.

However, I feel like I flip flop every day about buying a minivan just like I did about buying a house. Some days I feel like we can't buy one soon enough. Other days I feel like we should wait a year or two. Other days I just don't want to go through the hassle of finding a good car to buy. And then I get really sad about the prospect of seeing all that money we've worked so hard to save just disappear from our accounts.

Anyone else have this problem with major purchases?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The word of wisdom

Over the past few weeks I have been reminded on several occasions how grateful I am for the Word of Wisdom, particularly the council to avoid alcohol and drugs. It seems that so many of the really bad things I see happen in my neighborhood and community happen because people are drinking.

I am grateful that I will never lose control of myself because I never drink. It really is a word of WISDOM from God.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


Lately I've been really interested in trying new recipes. I can't stop myself from scouring the Internet and cookbooks for interesting new foods. It is kinda addicting and also delicious. But I'm wondering how long it will last.

It seems that I am always developing a new hobby and as soon as I buy all the supplies to make a project, I've found a new hobby to occupy my time. Perhaps my real hobby is developing new hobbies? 

A few months ago I started refinishing some chairs I bought at a thrift store. I've spent hours sanding those things down but I got so bored of it that I don't want to do it anymore. But I've spent too much money and too long working on them to not finish them. So they sit unfinished in the basement along with two unfinished skirts, four unfinished paintings, one unfinished quilt, one unfinished granny square blanket, and a dress that will be too small for Daisy by the time I ever get around to it.

Anyone else have this problem? Anyone want to come finish all my projects for me?