5.27.11

yard sale: in fifteen days!

we are still going non-stop around here to prepare for our yard sale…
less is amore, so we are clearing things out!

*****

i couldn’t resist making this cute cardboard cash register!
seriously, i could make things out of cardboard as a career!
big-time-obsession! {hey, my kids like it – gives them something to play with later!}

i was inspired here, on oh, hello friend blog. then, the same cash register popped up on pinterest. and, as i’ve said before – i love pinterest. best invention this year. have you joined yet?!? if you need an invite, let me know.


also, we have our signs ready! check out the picture above, and memorize those signs – if you live in orem, there will be thirty of them leading you to our home on June 11th. 9am-noon. mark your calendars – set your cell phone alerts! but, please don’t arrive early.

also, a huge shout-out to hannah at ‘my coupon habit’ blog – she featured our yard sale here this week! you should definitely check out her site if you are a local, she stocks it full of good deals!

thank you, m’dear!

xo.

{photos by me.}

10.20.10

happy birthday, krista!

we adore you!
xo.

8.30.10

hello monday…

it seems i took an entire week off of blogging.

time is going so fast.

we’ve been busy with a list of things… more posts to come on them later!

  • we hosted an adults-only volleyball nite. i can’t believe that it was only our second volleyball nite this summer…how is that possible? we have usually hosted twelve or more by now!
  • picked up my girls from the airport after their week of being cowgirls.
    listened to them talk for hours about their adventures.
  • sela’s open house for preschool
  • kj & myla’s back to school night.
  • kiana’s jr. high back to school night.
  • the kids actually went back to school. the alarm clock is set way too early.
  • we hosted a first day of jr. high after school swim party. love those kids.
  • every day the kids came home this week, we had ‘special’ after school snacks and lots of conversations filled with their first week experiences…
  • myla’s soccer team had their first game, and won!!!
  • i started my classes. loving 20th century art history. nervous about my digital prepress class, and what is expected of me…. eeeeeeekkks.
  • had one final swim play date for sela and her cousin lilly. those two girls are too cute together.
  • i’m trying to be dedicated to an earlier bedtime. oh man, it’s hard.
  • home cooked two big dinners this week. one a total success. the other, i’m still trying to get the curry-fish smell out of our house. my husband was a serious champ for eating it. it was bad.
  • stopped eating sweets, on wednesday. doing good. family life with a schedule makes this so much easier.

    on another note, something i’ve wanted to share here for a while…

    since having our 4th child, we decided to employ nannies almost four years ago. our nannies come and go, they change from full time to part time depending on how crazy our lives can be. you will see them pop into our life’s events quite often here on my blog. they are my saving grace on many a days. and often, i enjoy their company while my husband spends a portion of his time traveling with business.

    there is quite the tale on how we decided to have a nanny. a tale for another day, to be sure. it involves me three weeks post-partum after my fourth child when my husband suggested we get a nanny… lets just say, his suggestion didn’t go over so well. wink. wink.

    many people have sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbors etc who help with many of the parenting tasks. i don’t. when three of my children need to be in the same place at 4pm, and my husband is out of town, life can be tricky.

    since employing nannies, i’ve been asked often over these years, by others looking for nannies how to go about doing so… if you are in this boat, here’s a few recommendations i have.

    first of all, know what you are looking for. do you need someone to be with/care for your kids, without any other responsibilities? do you need someone to drive/carpool? someone to help with family chores? cooking? homework? running your home? you need to have a clear idea of exactly what you are expecting before you even begin the search. this will save you the hassle of hiring the wrong person. the nanny must understand exactly what your expectations are. we have had challenges arise in the past when the person we have hired didn’t know what their responsibilities were. if this happens, you may tend to spend too much time training/explaining the job requirements. or, re-hiring if you choose someone not wanting to do all of the tasks.

    the first nanny we ever hired was a girl who had literally grown-up babysitting for us, from our neighborhood. when we had the demand, she was the only person i could think of who would possibly want to fill the position, and had already spent a large portion of time with our family. so, it was easy to trust her and i already knew she loved our children. she was fabulous, and continues to help us on a regular basis.

    since then, we have expanded our trust circle to others. many others. this site has been useful to us on numerous occasions, and a handful of nannies we have chosen have become dear to our family. many of them are local college students looking for part-time work, who have or are currently working on ‘family science’ degrees. so, often, the applicants are prepared and educated for the position.

    most parents have a resourceful list of babysitters. however, i found it to be so much more comforting to have one person who completely knew and understood our family to be hired for the position rather than constantly trying to find someone every few days to babysit at the last minute. it gives me a calm, peace of mind to know that while our nanny is here, the kids are going to be taken very well care of. the nanny is also capable of completing tasks that i could be doing. so, when i return home or have taken the time to attend class, finish homework, work-out, not only are my kids happy, but things like laundry have still been taken care of, homework has been completed, etc. etc.

    the reason this is on my mind, is because our nannies have been all-over the place this summer, traveling, out of state for internships, getting married…

    and starting today, monday, they will be returning!

    if you are in a situation where you are looking to hire a nanny, i have a lot more i could say on the subject ~ send me an email, jane{at}prolook{dot}com, i am willing to offer more advice or answer any questions.

    ***

    on yet another note,
    this little cutie has always had the best eating habits.
    she loves everything.

    her current obsession:
    marshmallows.
    from here.

    she just can’t seem to remember that
    mushrooms are not called
    marshmallows!

    when sela orders, she says,
    i’d like two orders of marshmallows!

    her daddy loves taking her there, for one on one dates.

    if you haven’t been…
    run, don’t walk.

8.29.10

happy birthday, tregan!

twenty looks beautiful on you!
xoxo.

8.18.09

princess sela @ the library…

back in july, when sela went through this phase, i was temporarily drowning in homework and finishing my finals at school. becky, one of our adorable nannies, took sela to the provo library and they had an entire afternoon focused on being a princess!

sela wore her princess dress, with her princess shoes, they only read princess books, and spoke to each other like they were both princesses!

recently, becky totally went over the top and surprised us with an adorable photo album all about their princess day on her facebook page – which most of you won’t ever see. so, i had to copy some of the pictures to share their princess day


thank you becky!

you made sela’s day spectacular

& ours for knowing she is so well cared for! {{{hugs}}}

7.29.09

volleyball nite

number four!

funny story about our champions-picture. after our first round in the volleyball tourney, we THOUGHT we were the champions. had our celebration. took a picture. THEN we found out it was double elimination tonight. whoops. but that’s OK, because we still ended up being the CHAMPIONS! totally rocked. good karma!

i didn’t get very many pictures tonight. my camera was passed around, but not put to use. bummer. and our action shots were all blurry, not sure why, but by the end of the night my camera was back to normal.

thank you to everyone who came! see you again, soon…

xoxo

7.22.09

indoor surfing gone outdoors…

the new “flowrider” is at the lindon city pool.

we went there with good friends a couple days ago,
and the “flowrider” indoor surfing system is now outdoors…
and it’s the summer hotspot!

such a cute swimming pool, it really had something that each of my kids loved.
the flowrider-
becky & sela-
shannon with all the little kiddies – snack time!
these three together are so stinkin’ funny, they just sit and play ring-around-the-rosie, jump off the sides, they love everyone to watch while they go underwater…

hayes/livi/sela

kiana-
ethan-
danny-
boston-
roxy/shannon/cynthia/me
sela with livi and hayes at the end of the day…
my kids are having such fun summer-packed days.
they are truly exhausted from playing by bedtime each night.

1.30.09

mazatlan

ahhhh, mazatlan.
our home away from home.

Back in July, I shared our love of the Philippines. Well, my husband a.k.a. Pro Look Sports also has a factory in Mazatlan, Mexico.
Since PL started contracting work with this factory our family has been traveling to Mazatlan. While recently there we tried to nail down how many times we have gone. We think this was our seventh family trip. Of course Dusty has also gone solo. Our first trip there as a family I was pregnant with KJ. We have celebrated Halloween in Mazatlan, Thanksgiving, and lots of birthdays in-between. I am drawn to the familiarity Mazatlan has to us, and love the memories of being there with incredible friends and family.

One draw-back of going to Mazatlan is that we are not quite as close to the family/workers who run the factory there. First of all, the factory in the Philippines is BIG and only works for PL. The factory in Mazatlan is smaller, and contracts work with PL but also sews for many local companies in Mexcio. Another drawback in Mazatlan, not many of the factory owner/workers speak English. Our family doesn’t speak Spanish either. So, Troy-the COO of PL and a dear friend run the relations between them and us. Troy speaks spanish fluently as do his wife and kids. So, our communicating is very limited, although, we do enjoy our time with them and they are so genuinely kind.

As I mentioned in our trip last month to Cabo, we have a timeshare in Cabo and in Mazatlan with Pueblo bonito. If anyone is looking to invest in something like this, let me give you one tip- buy on Ebay or the equivalent! We purchased our first timeshare with Pueblo Bonito a few years ago in Mazatlan and spent a lot, then a few months later we discovered them being sold online at Ebay or other equally respectable timeshare resale sites for the lowest price around $2K. {depending on the size of room you want this gives you one week per year for around 30 years} A few of our friends have purchased since we did and it’s so fun to travel in groups. And, the Pueblo Bonito resorts are gorgeous.

Pueblo Bonito at Emerald Bay-

hands down, this is the best pool ever! It’s even just a little bit warm, perfect!
After the rush of Disneyland it was so relaxing to be at the pool, lounging, and doing our favorite activity – painting ceramics poolside!




kj-doing lego’s poolside, and swimming with them!


one of our favorite things about the emerald bay beach is that there is a section that has hermit crabs living all-over and the kids LOVE to go down there and catch them.

The funny thing is, they bring them back up to the pool in cups and forget to watch them…

Sooner than later we have escapee-hermit crabs hanging out in the pools!

One highlight of our week was playing sand volleyball, this was the first time that some of the older kids joined in with the adults. What’s better than playing a sport/game on the beach with your kids!?! I was so proud of Kiana, Eli, and Ethan {Howell boys} they all did so good! We didn’t take it easy on them either, they had to play tough!

This is how the story goes…

5am – our bedroom is dark, KJ is tapping me on my shoulder in my sleep}

KJ: “Mom, there’s a fire.”
{yeah, notice the PERIOD. not an exclamation point! he’s totally calm…}

{Groggily, I roll over to focus on what he has said and REALIZE immediately there is reflection of FLAMES on our bedroom door from the other room!}

Jane: hitting Dusty from across the bed “omGOSH! Dusty, Dusty, wake up! There’s a fire in the other room!”

We both go RUNNING into the other room to spot Sela sitting across the room on a sofa, passionately holding her pillow and sucking her thumb while she stares on at the fire…

I turn off the stove top and hit the vent on the microwave to try and help the smoke and Dusty started dumping bowls of water of the stove…

GOOD MORNING!

This is how we imagine the story goes…

Sela, our ONLY child {I’ve mentioned this before} who thinks it’s acceptable to wake up at dawn, was up and going early every morning in Mexico. She was up very early this particular morning. Our routine was to wake up, get her the food she was requesting, turn on the TV in the living room to watch while she eats her breakfast meanwhile we try to get another hour or two of sleep.

It seems, she also wanted popcorn. Without waking Dusty or I to make it for her, she pulled a chair across the room to try and reach the microwave. When that failed, because she still couldn’t reach the microwave, she set the plastic wrapped bag of microwave popcorn on the BURNER of the glass stove top and turned it on. WAIT! We have a few things laying on the stove top. A cooking pot, two nintendo DS’s one of which was plugged in being charged, and a plastic strainer. We assume it didn’t take too long for the fire to break out.

KJ was not in the room where Sela had been. He was in a bedroom down the hall, sleeping. When we later asked him why he was awake? He said, “I heard Sela watching TV and wanted to come out and see her.” So, when he woke up at 5am {totally not normal for him} and strolled out to the living room he immediately saw the FIRE and came in and told me, casually…

“Mom, there’s a fire.”

Damage done:
Water everywhere from extinguishing the fire.
Two extremely well-done nintendo DS’s
a melted strainer
a smoke-burned microwave

and

POPCORN!

Successfully, sela did pop the popcorn.

Luckily, no one was harmed!

Afterthought, to take a picture of the smoke damage…
What better thing to do after a fire?
Spend the day at the beach!

Emerald Bay, where we stay is located in “nuevo mazatlan” a few miles outside of town so we are not in the heart of the action for most of our week. But, we usually try to go into the Pueblo Bonito in Mazatlan at least one day to enjoy the action! Lots of vendors selling souveniers, boogie boards, hair braiding, Dusty tried surfing this trip!











a new event at our resort is the Mexican fiesta on Wednesday nights.
we had a blast!
We had lots of delicious traditional Mexican food, great entertainment, and best of all, really good friends to party with!


The kids all participated in a traditional game that was similiar to musical chairs. They stood in a circle with the music playing and passed a sombrero, but when the sombrero was handed to you, you had to put it on your head, spin around 2 times and then pass it. If the music stopped on you, you were out. It was a riot, and the best part was our little buddy Esher who’s only 4 was the winner!


This was one of the only nights we didn’t stay up late as adults playing cards. It still amazes me how in-to-it Dusty gets. He is a freaking little kid and must win!… and did 2 out of 3 nights. He and Danny also had fun starting a new tradition during cards not necessarily to my approval. :)

Next Day:
more pool time-


Everytime we visit Mazatlan the Mom {grandma} of Rudy & Inez, the owners of the factory host all of us in their home for lunch. It’s tradition that she makes us mole’ and rice pudding, it is seriously a treat. So so yummy!



After our lunch we all piled in Rudy’s truck and headed to the downtown markets
KJ is working on mastering the rubik’s cube, his buddy Eli is helping him. So far he can get to one of the first steps, where he completes one side… Just a little more time, and he’ll have it! KJ had his rubik’s cube to keep him busy while most the girls shopped!
Sela’s new Mexican sandles, she was my little shopper!






a pulmonia – an open-air jeep/taxi. they are really fun to cruise around in, especially on the roads right along the beach!
The kids spent one afternoon in the kids club- One activity was to make “dinosaur eggs.” It was really cute, you take a balloon, fill it with flour, tie it. Take another balloon and cut holes in it, slide it over the flour-filled balloon and you now have a spotted dinosaur egg. Evidently, while just starting to use the flour, Myla blew in the top of the bowl and surprisingly covered her face with flour. So, since she was already covered she kept blowing. She was seriously unrecognizable! that’s my Myla!


One very disappointing element of our trip…
Kendric and Bethany were planning on spending the week with us in Mazatlan for their first time. But, Bethany’s passport didn’t come on time. Long story short, Bethany never made it and Kendric spent the week with us as the solo uncle. He was a great sport all week to play with the kids for endless hours and even let the older kids have sleepovers in his room where they could be left without their younger siblings bothering them! That alone is worth gold! Thanks Kendric for being so unselfish & fun! Bethany, we missed you and plan on you being there next time, dang it!

the circus came to town!
one guy was in this cage with 17 tigers all the size of this one, he was crazy!
my girls all snuggled up to get a good view-

at intermission the dads’n kids went down on the arena floor to pet the white tiger cub! priceless!
SENOR FROG’S
This place is a party 24/7, although compared to our last very innocent dining at Senor Frog’s, this time was pretty lively and it was not-so-kid-friendly, we will most likely not be going to SENOR FROG’S as families in the future!

balloon hats-



All the kids – dancing on stage!
SWINGS!
marshmellow fights!
always sad, our last day to paint and lounge in the sun…

nothing in the world is as good as when this little guy crawls on my lap to snuggle
still practicing!
and last, but not least!

On our flights home, we flew Mazatlan to L.A.
and L.A. to Salt Lake City.

On our 2nd flight {that we barely made}
as we walked on the plane {very late} the flight attendant leaned over and asked if our family was American Idol fans?

ummm, YEAH!

He then whispered that DAVID ARCHULETA was on the plane, and it just so happened he was two rows in front of us!

After we got off the plane he was so friendly and totally willing to take a picture with Kiana & Myla!

We came into Salt Lake City with the airport temporarily closed due to the snow storm.

welcome home to utah!

Luckily, the pilot said we had lots of fuel and he was going to continue circling the airport till we could land.

We finally made it.

This trip goes down in our family history as another wonderful week in Mexico. It is truly valuable family time. If you could all see my planner, it’s so funny because every day leading up to our trip looks like madness and immediately the next day after we get home again is madness. We all love every activity we get to do, but time stops on vacation and it’s magical to be together.

1.28.09

the happiest place on earth…

was indeed happy!

However, we did get started on the wrong foot. Evidently, we managed to get the one taxi driver in L.A. who did not know how to get to our hotel. Instead of a 40 minute ride, it took two hours! geesh!

Other than the long taxi ride, we had incredible weather, it was beautiful in the high 70’s or low 80’s each day we were there and considering we were there over a 3-day weekend the place was not busy at all! Seriously awesome.

For Disneyland and California Adventure our favorite place to stay is at the California Grand Hotel. The day we arrived we kept it low-key and didn’t go to the parks right off the bat. We headed to downtown disney for dinner, ice cream, and some strolling around. {notice the chocolate ice cream down her leg!}
Soon after we headed out to the pool to swim. Our kids love their big slide.
Then we changed the kids into their pj’s and went down to the HUGE fireplace in the lobby for story time. KJ and Sela LOVED story time.There are these really cute kid-sized rocking chairs, the storyteller was great, he really involved our kids in every story he told.

The next morning we were up and going early.
DISNEYLAND, here we come!
We had breakfast at Goofy’s Kitchen-Dusty was harassed by Goofy…while trying to take a business phone call!




After going on a couple of rides our very first stop was JEDI training! KJ and Myla were both selected to participate. KJ was on the front row and Myla was on the platform in the second row to the left. This was big time super-cool for KJ. He loves Star Wars, and spends time playing the xbox-360 and DS Star Wars LEGO games all the time!



KJ really believes he was trained to be a Jedi! During the training the girl asked KJ who is favorite Star Wars person was and we heard him say, “Darth Mal!” She said, “But, Darth Mal is a bad guy.” and KJ was stumped, he didn’t know what to say!

After the training, he begged to go to again each time we passed or walked through Tomorrowland. All the new Jedi’s were given certificates. I am going to hang KJ’s in his room with some pictures, he’s sure to check them out all the time!

tea cups!
Sela rode the carousel a few times, and she would have been happy to ride it a few more!
splash mountain, this is for sure Kiana and Myla’s favorite ride at Disneyland {along with Space Mountain!}
Sela, our first super-sensitive child was scared of almost everything at Disneyland. The characters. The rides. Strangers. You name it!
She was scared of pooh-bear!
AND Eeyore!
She kept her eyes covered during most of “pirates of the Caribbean” which really, was to be expected!
main street – home of the $6 corn dogs!
The Pixar parade-


the end of day one, a very tired little girl!
A is for Amberlee!
Amberlee has been babysitting for our family since she was 11 years old! She started when Kiana was ONE and now Kiana is almost ELEVEN! 10 years ago she and her family lived a few houses down the street from us in our first home and an entire decade has passed since then! Amberlee was also our first official nanny and has since moved on to other things, but still travels with us on occasion and babysits for me on last-minute notice. This was her first time to Disneyland but her third trip to Mexico with us – we easily consider her part of our family.

Kiana and Amberlee were twinners in their Disney sweatshirts!

We didn’t plan on being up quite so early on day two, but when Sela was up and walking around our rooms at 6am…we were early birds again, and took advantage of the early park entrance we could use for staying inside Disney!

We went to a character breakfast at the Storytellers Cafe-
Sela was still scared of the characters…

Day two at 8am! KJ was having just as much fun in the stroller as on the rides. Dusty was running him down mainstreet, 4-wheelin’ up and down the curbs, flying around things…he loved it!
look! a family photo in front of the castle with no one else walking by – only at 8am!
we did this – a few times in a row!
buzz lightyear – how exactly does Dusty get 199,000 points?
the disneyland train!

time for some more California Adventure!
It’s a bugs life-

KJ thinks Toy Story is “freakin’ awesome!”
The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail – our kids have just as much fun running around these rope bridges/tire swings as they do on the high-tech rides!





Grizzly Rapids {Sela entertaining herself while we watch our family get WET!}



Dinner at the “Blue Bayou”
At the end of the night, I went on Grizzly Rapids with everyone and got SOAKED – then everyone went on it a few more times without me – how is it so fun to get so wet when it’s so cold?!?
Luckily, the entrance to our hotel was a few feet away and everyone ran inside to warm up and go back out for round 2!Kiana and Myla went on “California Screaming,” who knows how many times! I made it once, and it was great! but, I just love going on rides with my little kids so till they are all big, that’s where I’ll be!

Disneyland and California Adventure were everything we had hoped for, again. Somehow we strangely didn’t see Mickey or Minnie Mouse in passing or ANY of the princesses other than Alice in Wonderland. We skipped toon town, and I am taking an oath to swear I will take Sela there next time around!

This trip we definitely focused on RIDES.
No autograph books {I am secretly very happy to not be doing that anymore!}
It was priceless, uninterupted family time.
loved it.

10.8.08

happy birthday becky

better late than never?!?
We hope your birthday was amazing!
{{{hugs}}}

9.14.08

happy birthday Christina!


5.17.08

happy 20th birthday, Starlee!

We had a little celebration for her yesterday…
Kiana & Myla had a poem/song they were singing to her about “bumping her on the head” with each present before she opened them…

20 things we love about our Starlee

1- Her beauty; she has no idea how stunning she is.
2- Her laugh; she laughs at all of us.
3- She’s funny, and always sharing the crazy stories of things she’s done.
{for example, going the WRONG direction down a freeway ramp entering I-15!)
4- She’s GREAT at doing hair, and starting cosmetology school soon!
5- She has a great eye for detail.
6- Her honesty; she’s not intimidated to tell you her fears or opinions.
7- She is fun!
8- She is very grateful for everything.
9- Her car rocks!
10- Her tender side, she is quick to tear up, and show emotion.
11- She makes friends very easily and is a very loyal friend.
12- She is an awesome soccer defender. Watch out, Starlee might take you out!
13- Her love of animals. Specifically, a dog lover (currently has a pug & rats!)
14- Her willingness to try new things.
15- Like some of us, she is a little overwhelmed with the skeletons in her closet, but she is forging a new trail and has amazing potential.
16- She’s kind.
17- Her love of music.
18- She does not judge others.
19- Regardless of the situation, she always understands me.
20- She manages to keep our families CRAZY life organized, functioning, possible. Without her, I couldn’t do half of what we do.

We love you! {{{hugs}}}

4.15.08

spring break day 4

We took Salt Lake by storm again, today.
dined for lunch at -
Then we headed to the Gateway. Such a fun place.
First stop, DISCOVERY GATEWAY




Second stop, CLARK PLANETARIUM

Third stop, the fountains!



Lastly, we shopped & had an ice cream break. Sela stayed awake the entire day till we made it to the car about 6:30pm and she was asleep in her car seat before we got out of the parking garage.

3.17.08

Laddies & Lassies ~

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

KJ-Kiana-Starlee-Myla, some of my good luck charms!Sela; she wasn’t interested in having her picture taken today…

2.1.08

We {heart} activity days…

Activity Days, returns! I have had a 5-month break from activity days, leader. There was not a single girl in our ward currently 8 years old till Myla, last month. So, we had our first activity tonight with Myla, 2 friends/neighbors who are almost 8, Kiana & Madi who are almost 10 but don’t get to go to activity days with their leader very often because they have busy schedules, and of course, KJ.

We made these cute fleece {heart} pillows ~~~ I have TONS of fleece left over from the Christmas blankets I made, and I let each girl put together whatever she wanted…it was a lot of fun!Starlee hung out to make one with us, and check out how cute hers was!!!

© 2014 jane rhodes.