March 30, 2009

hard at work...

yup. we like projects at our house. here is ellie's hot air balloon for the transportation parade at school.

here is my family wall-- i finally took LEAH to get her toddler pictures done... so, we have all 6 smiling, hair brushed and on the wall. here's drew's self portrait. he said that he thinks his picture looks like a cross between a frog and a shark. love it. here's jakob's Komodo Dragon Habitat... yes. that is a bloody pig. boys. we had fun making salt dough, painting, researching online and typing up his report. he knows way more about animals than i do... it is SO fun having kids. yes. even our bunnies had projects this weekend. here they are hard at work at their "Bunny Training Center"-- the BTC. I'm sure they'll learn tricks in no time... like- run. and, my favorite project. bath time. and squishy babies. as much as i know i'll miss babies... it is SO fun watching them grow-up into balloon flying, frog/shark like, bunny training, young men and gals... family moments. love it.

NOTICE- there are NO pictures of Sunday morning... getting the kids dressed and ready for church... it was what we call a "birth control Sunday morning." kids are fun. MOST of the time. birth control sunday mornings... not so fun.

March 28, 2009

oh. i'm a sucker...

Meet Snow and Skippy.
[edit-- skippy is now Scamper]
We found them.
(at a store)
They needed us.
They did this little wiggle nose plea... They cuddled right in to my arms like they knew me forever.
and, i just couldn't put them back with all the other mean ones.
I just couldn't.
The Professor was upset.
he may have accidentally used the adjective "Retarded".
Especially when he found out that the two bunnies we fell in love with happened to be one male and one female. :)
i think it sounds fun to have little bunny babies...
It's not my fault that he was at scout camp with the boys-- with an unreachable cell phone--
when the little bunnies started looking at me with their sad bunny eyes.
once the Professor found out that the pet store would pay us $7 each for every baby he has seemed to warm to the idea.
it's an investment.
The bunnies are to live outside.
And, not to come inside.
well, unless it's cold outside.
like today.
or, unless one of the kids really needs a bunny cuddle.
or, unless they seem lonely out there.

oh. so sweet.

every little girl needs some bunny lovin'

can you blame me for being a sucker?

he can fix it!!...

See that? That's my man. He fixed our really broke toilet... past plunger-ability... Yup. a master's degree in mechanical engineering and my man saved cinderella... (leah calls her cin-guerrilla). i've found leah flushing lots down the toilet lately, and i knew our slow-to-flush toilet had something to do with her. the next day i found a drowning plastic goat in the kids' bathroom. i asked leah about the goat and she said happily, "It's OK mom. Dad can fix it! He can! It's all better..."

March 24, 2009

i'm already missing our row...

This is me-- 8 and a half months pregnant, moving from Michigan to Texas. We had tons of help from friends and family, but it was still hard, and scary and exciting... we still miss our good friends, our ward, our neighbors, our house... but, we've moved on. we've made new friends, learned to love a new ward, new neighbors and a different house... And, our family has grown... we now have 2 boys from Provo, 2 girls from Michigan, and two cowgirls from Lubbock... we have grown in size, and in experience... we love it here just like we loved it there...i don't think i'll ever be as close to other moms as i was in Michigan... life changes as your kids get older... i think it was Shana who said, "You never get invited over to dinner with six kids." And, maybe Maria who smiled and swore that she USED to be as social as me when her kids were younger... now, i'm her. my kids are older and busy, and i cherish my time at home with my little girls and the quiet, peaceful, time for order. i don't crave social interaction like i used to. so, my texas friends are more phone, pta and church friends...
but, i love it here. i'm more involved in the school and community than i've ever been. we have sweet neighbors and coaches and a row at church that is reserved for us-- even if we're late. (Yes, we worked hard for that row... if any other family sat in our 2nd row reserved seats, we threatened to put a dead cat in their mailbox for Family Night... we've only killed a few cats and the bench is ours...) and, the best thing about having a bench in church is that we know our neighbors... In Michigan, we were surrounded by "family"... sweet church pew neighbors who smiled at the flying cars, funny kids and ground in cheerios... friends who loved my kids and whispered little, "They'll be great teenagers..." or, "We just love your kids..." when days got tough... It took me a whole year before i stopped looking for the Seitz, Davidsons, Herring and Laws families at church... and now i'm going to miss the Perez, Hardins, Speeds, and Hanna families... who can i whisper to grab Leah as she heads backwards under the chair during the sacrament? Who will give me a sympathetic look as Jakob scoots down the bench, far away from me with his Sunday morning grumpies? Who will be there when Jakob goes into young men's... who can say, I knew Jakob when he stripped down during the Christmas devotional at age 2 and i saw him win the pinewood derby... who will remember when Drew climbed to the top of the gym on a huge ladder for his talent, or remember the time during sacrament when the bishop got down off the stage to get Anna who was performing on the stage at the back of the gym-- we had no idea until church was over!! who will know our moments? Who will be able to look at Lily and say, "She's getting so big. She looks just like her sisters did at that age."
Todd should be finished his dissertation by DECEMBER. We'll probably be here till next summer, but his professor has already been showing him some job opportunities... it has put me in a funk.
i hate goodbyes. never mind one year of goodbye. i hate transitions. i hate the unknown.
me. i'm not a surprise-type person, i'm a 2nd row on the right type person.
i KNOW that we'll be fine. i KNOW that we will end up loving wherever we move and that we will be loved... but.
but. I hate this time. The goodbyes, the nice to meet you times. The "don't paint your walls, you're moving" time... the, is she a good mom or a bad mom evaluations... it's nice to be settled and comfortable and have a place.
we have a year to enjoy Lubbock 3rd Ward- 2nd row, on the right... and, hopefully, somewhere in the grand ole USA, there is a row just waiting for our smashed cheerios...
am i really going to spend one year saying good bye?

here come the brides...

yes, we have continual dress-up land at our house... it is HILARIOUS listening to the pretend play of little girls. "And then you kiss your prince on the lips"... although it makes me giggle, i'm glad my girls dream of prince charming and happily-ever-after... i found my prince. and, even if happily-ever-after is a bit harder then i dreamed it would be, i'm grateful that i started with dreams...
somehow, when i snapped this shot of Anna, it seemed a little too real.
Anna is a mother-soul, she's the wedding planner, the director... "You stand here and I'll sing while you walk down the isle..."
Ellie is in-charge of drama, "And then the wicked witch comes and tries to take my prince and i hit her over the head with my magic flowers, and save him. ...AND we kiss on the lips." Leah thinks she's 8 and she keeps up with the big kids easy... aside from occasional wardrobe malfunction she's ready to face any prince, witch or sibling that tries to take away her crown.
yes. i have romantic girls. but they are strong and i'm excited to watch as their dreams unfold.
on a side note... i had to laugh when we were getting in the car the other day. The big kids all yell, "I have front seat." "I have back middle." "I have front-middle." and leah yelled, "I have carseat."
she holds her own.

March 18, 2009

it's spring (not-really-a) break...

kids are doin' lots of this...
and i'm doin' lots of this...LOVE IT!!
(seriously-- it's 75* in Lubbock right now... so lovely.)

March 14, 2009

i heart pictures...

Yup. We got our new camera.
i love it.
it's not scary at all... it inspires me to be better.
i'm taking lots of pictures like this... and this...
and this...
and this... and todd's taking this...
i'm reading my manual,
enjoying my 30 day free version of photo shop elements
life is good.
spring is in the air!

March 13, 2009


Leah is the cutest, smartest little thing. Since she first started to talk, she has used full sentences. Never "Mama, Dada", more like, "Bla be dup bew mom da res the dad..." We know that she knows what she's trying to say. Now that she's a little older it's so fun hearing her cute language. "Mom! Yily's spilled!" She says this when Lily has drool or spit-up. "I don't want to take a bed." Leah loves to take a bath, but doesn't love taking a bed. "Mom... It's too cold, I can't hear. Too cold Mom." Again this is a bath reference applied to watching cartoons... she meant, the TV's volume was too LOW. "I want to go home." This took us a long time to figure out, because she said she wanted to go "HOME" when she was home and she wanted to go out. We thought she just had things backwards. I laughed when I heard myself explain, "It's time for your friends to go home." Yup. She's a smart cookie, she "wants to go home" with them. :) "Him's not scared, Mom, Him's nice." Leah has a love/hate relationship with scary things or mean kids. This would be her description of a kid we have playing at our house that she is just not sure about. "See, it's all better, Mom, it's all better." She doesn't like attention for injuries, especially if she may need a hang nail cut or something. So, she'll usually come show me something that hurts and then when I go to help her, she'll start walking away and tell me she's all better now. "Hug and a piss, Mom, hug and a piss... Can't reach?... Light off." Leah has a cute bedtime ritual. She needs to sleep with a sippy-cup of water, a book and a stuffed animal. After we properly arrange all she needs around her, she'll ask me to put the side of her crib up, and then she wants a hug and a piss. I kiss her hand and tell her I can't reach her to give her a hug. Then she wants the light off. Since this is nap time, the light is already off, but I turn it on and off again and she smiles and says "Goodnight Mom, love you." It's cute. I didn't realize how ritualistic she was until one afternoon when I gave her a hug and a kiss BEFORE I pulled up the crib bed. She said, "No Mom, crib up." Then she said, "Hug and a piss?" When I looked at her funny, she started to laugh and said, "Can't reach Mom?" "That's a triangle." Yup. She never ceases to amaze us. She knows all her letters, most of her numbers and just yesterday she surprised me with her shapes. Ummm. Sesame Street? "That's mmmmm, Mom?... No, that's ewe." She's funny with food. Either it's MMMM or it's ewe. "NO! with a scowl or OK! with a smile." Yup, she's a hot/cold type kid... she goes very quickly from adamant no to sweet OK! "Thank You!!" So if she does do something wrong, like color in a book, and I explain to her why it was wrong and say, "What do you say to Mom?" She always smiles real big and shouts, "Thank you!!" The correct answer would have been, I'm sorry, but she's so cute that we just laugh, hug her and let her go on. "I go bench." Another funny thing she does, is send herself to timeout. When she acts cranky, she'll say, "OK. I go to bench." Or, I tell her she needs to stop or she'll have to sit on the bench. She'll give a resigned, "OK," and she just walks there by herself, climbs on and counts to 20. (Yes, she misses numbers, it's SO cute.) "One-teen..." Yes, I do think she's brilliant, but don't you agree that she's a little young to pick-up on number patterns? When she counts she'll say things like one-teen, two-teen or eleven-teen... so smart! "You're crazy, Mom, You're crazy." OK, this one is a bit sassy. A couple of times she's gotten upset with me and this is what she shouts. Once, she was not wanting to get her jammies on and she was a bit upset. I heard myself say, "Leah, cut it out. You're being crazy." Ohhh. That's where it came from. "No. I'm hungry." We were driving in the car and Leah was being silly in her car seat. She was scowling and acting upset, with fake cries. "Are you being crazy?" I asked her. She was quick to retort, "No... I'm HUNGRY!" I think this comes from having a perfectly, sweet 6 month old sister. Whenever Lily cries, Leah yells, "Mom! Yily's crying." And I explain, "It's OK, she's just hungry." OR, it could have been her attempt at saying "ANGRY"... I think explanation number one, but either way it was cute. :) Life with Leah is a joy.

March 11, 2009

six pack abs?

most people hang pictures of skinny girls on their fridge. not me... this is what i'm dreaming of...
see this closet... it's from oh frannson (click here)
isn't it lovely?
i really believe that in life you can achieve anything you put your mind to.
so, i don't get it.
do i really WANT a perfectly organized home? i think i do.
is it possible? well, look at oh frannson.
am i willing to put in the time and energy to get my house this way?
starting tomorrow.
AFTER i watch survivor and grey's anatomy and private practice and eat 5 golden oreo's...
i hate it when i'm logical with myself. i mean, i'm trying to give myself a little sympathy... it's my body type... some people are organized and some people are chubby/carefree types. you see-- i like the idea of an orderly home, but i hate keeping it clean. blah. push-ups, sit-ups, picking up... they all suck.
jen, i say to myself... either do it or stop complaining about it.
ready... go!
ps. to self--
NO, it's not that you have 6 kids. seriously, it's because i have six kids that i need to be organized. there are plenty of big, organized families out there... quit complaining and get your lazy butt sorting... arghh! i think i can, i think i can.

March 07, 2009

happy birthday melissa!

Yesterday was Melissa's birthday.
Today she and Kamryn were baptized.
Tomorrow Todd will confirm them in church.
It was a sweet day... they were both glowing!
Todd, Melissa, Kamryn and Elder Mortenson. The Turnbow's... cute and crazy! photo courtesy anna.
oh... he's so cute.
(11 years and i still like im.)

March 04, 2009


can you imagine if i would have stopped at Leah?
yes. with six i have to deal with lots and lots of laundry...
but, it's so worth it.
love it.
not so much.
no, i don't have mental whispers to drown my kids... but, i do have to hold myself back from squeezing em and eating em... oh my gosh-- you'd think by now I'd have this out of my system.
funny... wednesday is laundry day... how many blogs can i post instead of folding laundry? hee hee...

teachers... love em.

Jakob and Drew had TAKS testing yesterday. I was reminded again how much I LOVE WESTWIND and how much I LOVE MY KIDS' TEACHERS. 1. They sent home envelopes so that every parent could write a sweet thought for their kid to open TAKS morning. 2. They dressed up in Camo and a yellow NO FEAR shirt on Monday to get the kids ready to defeat the TAKS. 3. When I told Drew, "Good Luck on TAKS." He replied, "I DON'T NEED LUCK, I HAVE SKILL." 4. PTA gave the kids water and snacks-- both had signs of encouragement... the water said, This is WISE WATER... drinking water makes you smarter. 5. They fed the kids breakfast burritos at school that morning, just to be sure they were full of good stuff. 6. Their homework sheets had a reminder "Eat a good breakfast (not sugary cereal or donuts)." 7. Drew counted out his bedtime to be sure he had 9-10 hours of sleep the night before TAKS. 8. I found the cutest note in Drew's backpack from his teacher. It said, "Drew, I have total confidence in you to do your best. Use your strategies, do what you know to do, relax, and you will totally ace this thing. You're a smart kid and a good reader. Make sure to take your time and don't rush! Love, Mrs. Dennis." I LOVE you Mrs. Dennis!!! 9. I found a note Drew wrote (I hope the fact that he can't spell his middle name is not an indication of how well he'll do on his tests...) Name: Andrew Clounden Moss I know I will do well on the TAKS tomorrow because... I was taught all the things I need to know. Scence my brother pasd the TAXS Test so I can if I do my best. I trough all my wories away in the dumpster. I am going to do the stretches and I am going to eat good food. If I feel like I need aneyting or if I need a drink I can tell the teacher. 10. They didn't just teach my kids how to do well on the TAKS test-- they taught them how to attack every hard thing they'll come across in life. With NO FEAR, because THEY HAVE SKILL. I'm so grateful for the sweet, underpaid, educators who spend so much of their heart and time loving my kids... THANKS!
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