Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Other Fashionable Looks

Remember how the girls are wearing their shirts one shouldered lately? Well, they also like the highly fashionable arms-free look.
Here's Charlotte's version of the whole arms-free thing. She's more of a minimalist.
I love the look on her face. It's like she's wondering what in the heck I'm doing taking a picture of her. But then she remembers she's supposed to smile at the black thing that flashes light and makes an effort to please.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Gangsta Babies

Hi everyone. I guess gangsta babies isn't quite right for these pictures (not sure if gangsters wear pink), but I couldn't think of anything else.
I also don't think they pose on their dad's lap, but whatever.I'm pretty sure they do push people around though.
On to another topic entirely, the babies like to wear their shirts one shouldered now-a-days. I saw an article that said one-shouldered tops are all the rage this winter and was very glad to know that...
because they're not the only ones who like to wear the one-shouldered look.
I recently saw this picture for the first time. This is me and my older sisters and brother with both sets of grandparents. I'm the one by my grandma and am apparently trying to take off my top. I guess these things must run in the genes. Also, notice the look on Jacob's face. He's pretty grumpy looking. I think it's pretty hilarious. (I only said that because it's his birthday today, and what's a sister for if not to make fun of you on your birthday? Happy Birthday Jacob!)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Spare Change

Here I am again. Next day too. Must be a record. Anyway, Amazon recommended that I buy this book called Spare Change by Aubrey Mace a couple weeks ago. I was a little surprised because turns out it's a Mormon chick lit book. As far as I know, the only comparable book I've bought from Amazon is Austenland by Shannon Hale (which I thought was pretty entertaining), but that was when I was on bed rest with the twins. Amazon has a long memory. I should probably clarify something. When I say Mormon chick lit, I mean it's totally clean and kind of mentions going to church. It's not overtly religious, so those of you who were worried that I might recommend a spiritual book can relax. You know I would never do that! Ha ha ha.

The book opens on New Year's Eve, when Riley is over at her family's house reluctantly making New Year's resolutions along with her brothers and sisters. She hates resolutions because she never follows through, but she finally decides on just one- to save up her spare change and give herself a treat at the end of the year. She begins doing just that but then changes the focus of her resolution as a result of interacting with people at her job- she is a receptionist at a cancer treatment center. Instead of buying something for herself, she decides to donate the money to cancer research. It starts out as collecting pennies from lunch and ice cream and then escalates into a fundraiser and a carnival. There's also a boy or two involved- it is chick lit after all.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book, which I guess tells you something about my expectations for a Mormon chick lit book. They're not high. I hate it when chick lit authors deliberately try to make their main characters flawed without any reason other than they think that somehow makes them more interesting. It usually backfires because most authors are not talented enough to pull it off, and their characters become completely horrific people that you wouldn't want to spend 5 minutes with. I liked this book because there's none of that. The main character is likeable, and you root for her. I would say the entire book is similarly likeable. I hope more books like it will be published. Ok, now I'm starting to overpraise it and maybe setting your expectations too high. I'll leave it at this. I liked the book, and I'll most likely read it again some day when I need a quick and entertaining read.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Katie Swings and Looks Kinda Miserable

Like the previous post, it's self-explanatory.
video

Charlotte Goes Down the Slide

It's self-explanatory. Not that you don't want my explanations because I'm sure you do, but they're unnecessary this time. Well, they are unnecessary all the time, but that's a thought for another day.
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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Letter To Me

Dear Mom,
Why do you torture me so? Why did you put my hair in this ridiculous ponytail today?
Haven't I been a good daughter? Haven't I given you enough hugs? Didn't I put my ducky in your face this afternoon and make you kiss it over and over again? Wasn't that cute? I'll be even more cute if you stop putting my hair in a ponytail, I promise.
Love,
Katie

P.S. Also, if you don't stop it, Charlotte will put a hex on you.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Halloween Preview

We went to the ward's trunk-or-treat party tonight at a Christmas tree farm, and the girls had a blast. It might look like some remote spot, but it was really in a neighborhood. A beautiful, way-beyond-our-price-range (that's a lot of hyphens!) neighborhood, but a neighborhood none the less.
First, we hung out in the car while Jared went to get candy in the store. Charley thinks I'm hilarious.
Katie likes to think deep thoughts and stare out the window. Don't worry; they're only in half costume. The butterfly wings refused to be strapped in.
Here they are at the party, in their full butterfly-costume glory. Charlotte models the front of her costume for us while Katie shows off her fantastic wings. You might notice that for a party, there aren't that many people around. That's because the babies, perhaps having inherited their parents' slightly anti-social tendencies, found a hill and and only wanted to run up and down it instead of participating in the festivities.
Katie gives us a smile. Ahhhh. She's cute.
Charlotte hurries to catch up. Look at her eyes. They're saying "Don't leave me, Mom! I'm coming." Shortly after all this cuteness, Katie had a meltdown. We decided that she had a cute overload and needed to let off some steam. One can only be cute for so long. She expresses her feelings by putting her Halloween basket on top of her head.Charlotte is content to hold her basket and (surprise!) smile at us.
Thus ends our first trunk-or-treat. Since we had the previously-mentioned meltdown just before the actual trunk-or-treating started, we didn't get to get rid of any of our candy. Oh well, there's always next year. And by that, I mean we're going to save the candy we bought and give it out next year!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

North and South

My friend Sherri told me about this movie years ago, but I didn't watch it until recently. It is based on a book by Elizabeth Gaskell, who was writing in the nineteenth century. I read the book and liked it, but I loved the movie. I stayed up until after 2 in the morning watching it and then rewatched the last hour the next day. It got hazy near the end there.

Margaret Hall is a young woman who is raised with her cousin in London. When her cousin marries, she goes back to live with her parents in the vicarage of a picturesque village. Her father is a vicar but has doubts about the church and feels he can no longer be a part of the ministry. So shortly after she comes back, her father moves her and her mother to a dank and dirty town in the north of England. At first Margaret dislikes the north and always is comparing it with the more genteel and idyllic south. However, she grows to accept her circumstances and starts to adjust.

Because he has left the ministry, her father now teaches private students and has very little income. One of his students is a local factory owner, the rich but rough John Thornton. He wants to become more cultured and so takes lessons with Mr. Hall. Thornton and Margaret pretty much hate each other on site, so of course they're going to fall in love, right? The story follows their developing relationship but also deals with the tension between the factory owners and workers. There's also tension between Thornton's mother and Margaret. The mom is a fearsome character. Talk about a potentially terrible mother-in-law. I'm not sure I would have had the fortitude to marry Jared if his mom had been like that. Also, I'm not sure I would have married him if his name were Chester, so thanks for not doing that Sisko.

Ok, confession time. I liked the movie way better than the book. I know, this is blasphemy coming from an English major. What can I say? I have no excuse. Although part of the reason is the actor who plays Thornton. He's all Mr. Rochestery (yes, that is the official literary term) and makes the movie. If you are a fan of period pieces, you will probably like this movie. If you're not a fan of period pieces, then well I don't know you.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Playing In the Backyard

Last time we were swinging in the park. This time we are playing in the backyard. We are trying out our new jackets. Yes, you sometimes need jackets in GA in October. This is the closest we got to both of them looking at the camera at the same time. Charlotte likes to wear her hood. We like to call her the baby unabomber.
She thinks it's a good name! Although she wonders why I'm pointing my toes on the concrete behind her. She kinda thinks I'm weird. Actually I'm doing the same thing as I type this. I wonder how frequently I sit like that without even thinking about it?
Katie kind of looks like she's doing some dumpster diving.
Here she thinks it's funny that we called her a dumpster diver.
And finally they are ready to go inside and do some plotting. They like to plot. Or maybe they'll eat a snack. Snacks are good.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Swinging In the Park

The babies have found a new love- the park. They like to go down the slide.
Then they like to squat and cry when they get to the bottom.But most of all, they like the swings!
And here's a video with really crappy image quality but with really cute babies talking and laughing.

video

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Hi people. My mom told me about a book a few months ago called The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Marie Ann Shaffer and Annie Burrows. She said that her book club was reading it and that I would like it. Well, I took her advice and read it. And I liked it. A lot. I might even take her advice again some day. Ha ha ha ha.

It is just after WWII in England. Juliet is a writer who spent the years of WWII doing articles about the lighter side of the war. The war's over; she's tired of being sunny and wants to do something different. She gets a letter out of the blue from a guy on Guernsey Island who happens to have one of her old books (it had her name and address in it). Guernsey Island is a British possession in the English Channel that was occupied by the Germans at the beginning of the war. It was completely cut off from communication with England and is still fairly isolated even after the war. He wants her recommendations on a bookshop in London that can send him some new books. They start a correspondence that leads her to find out about much of what happened on the island during the occupation, including the happenings of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, of course.

The book is written entirely in letters. It's a device that can go either way. I think it works really well in this book. Partly because the letters are not just between two characters. Letters, telegrams, and notes go between many of the different characters, so you get all sorts of perspectives. What I really like about the book, though, is it made me want to jump on a plane and visit Guernsey. I want to learn all about it. Also, the book is funny and sentimental without being sappy. I hate sappy. Sentimental is ok as long as I don't cry my stinkin' eyes out, which I didn't. All in all, I enjoyed it very much. Thanks Mom!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday Morning

Hi everyone. Here we are getting ready for church a few weeks ago. The babies have taken up brushing hair and eating bows.
(Sorry about the fuzzy pictures. My picture-taking skills seem to have taken a turn for the worse.)
Katie's wondering why I felt it necessary to put a bow in her hair. Charlotte likes it though.
Well, she liked it for about 2 seconds until she realized how tasty the bow was. Then she tried to eat it. Her sister followed suit. Haven't they ever heard that beauty requires sacrifice? Although it is true, most people don't have to sacrifice the joys of eating their hair accessories. Just babies.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Scenes From Our Kitchen Table

Can you find the common theme in these pictures? It's really hard, so I'll give you a hint. Stuffed animals.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

And now, for your viewing pleasure...

Here is a new video of the girls. It is a 30-second thrill ride that includes dropping toys, sucking on thumbs, squealing, and even some throwing of pacifiers. You may think it's cute even if you are not my mom or my mother-in-law. Enjoy!
video

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Trendsetters

The girls should have been born in the 80s. They love to put their plastic rings all the way up their arms like bracelets. They also like to wear them on their feet, which I don't think happened in the 80s. However, I'm pretty sure it will catch on now. They are trendsetting babies. For example, when one of them realizes the bathroom door is open and feels it is necessary to splash in the toilet, the other one feels it is necessary to join her. When I take them outside and one of them decides she needs to eat bark, the other one decides it looks mighty good. When one of them squeals and then throws down her sippy cup on our brand-new hardwood floors, the other one thinks it is the best idea ever. You get the picture.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Thief

I don't really like to commit to things. I had five official majors in college. I broke out in hives a couple days before Jared and I got married. Commitment is scary, and I usually avoid it. But I'm going to come right out and say this. I love The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. More importantly, I love the two books that come after. Series are tricky. Sometimes subsequent books disappoint. In this case, the second and third books get even better. This might be one of my favorite YA series of all time. (Notice the might... I can only commit so far.) When I found out she was writing another book in the series, I yelled "YIPEE"! Ok, I thought it, but still. If you happen to read the book and hate it, please don't tell me. I would still like you, but I would be forever suspicious of you. I'd think "S/He's nice, but I'm not so sure about his/her brain capacity."

Here's the review. Gen is a thief. He is, in fact, the Best. Thief. Ever. He'll even tell you so himself. Frequently. He spreads his own fame far and wide and promptly gets himself thrown into the king's prison. Luckily for Gen, the king's magus needs a thief to steal an artifact from a neighboring country. He gets Gen out of prison, and the adventure begins. I would tell you more, but it would ruin the story to know anything about the rest of it. It would even ruin the story to tell you my specific reactions to it, so I'll just repeat myself - I LOVED this book!

Ok, there's one caveat. There are sometimes stories within the story. I hate that unless the stories are directly relevant to the main plot or are short and sweet. These are somewhat relevant in that they give background info but are not always short, so I tended to skim. But that's a personal prejudice that many don't share. Oh and another caveat. The story unfolds slowly. You have to be a little patient. For me, it was worth it. Did I mention that I love this book?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Things We've Been Doing

Hi, this is Katie and Charlotte. We're posting pictures of things we've been doing lately.
We're prisoners. Aren't Mommy and Daddy mean?
We discovered Dad's laptop.
Katie finally started liking a pacifier now that Mommy doesn't want her sucking on one.
And Charley's been sleeping with a bear on her head.
We were going to post the picture of Charley being a Captain Naked Bum when she was wearing her towel on her head like a super-hero cape, but we think it's a little too risque for the internet. We also would have posted a picture of us getting into the toilet if Mommy hadn't been so mad that she didn't think to get the camera. Oh well. Maybe next time.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Costco card

I know. I know. I don't post for forever, and now I post twice in one week. But hey, look at what happened to my Costco card.
Side-view
How did this happen? Well, Jared would tell you that most of my family members have some uh quirks. One of my sisters loses her keys and her wallet and her purse and her everything else about once a week. Another one chews ice like um something that chews ice a lot. One of my brothers once told me I needed to mow the lawn in straighter lines. So what is my big quirk? Well, I have too many to go into right now, but one of the main ones is that I leave stuff in my pockets to go through the wash. Not sure how many chapsticks I've ruined, but Jared can tell you how many shirts of his have been ruined with chapstick goo. Now my Costco card has joined the ranks of things I've ruined in the wash. Poor little Costco card. I still love you.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Babies in the Bucket

Hi guys. So we made the big move to Georgia. I haven't been taking a lot of pictures lately. That's the problem with a 2-story house. Whenever the girls are doing something cute, the camera is upstairs. But, luckily for the viewing public, the camera happened to be downstairs when they figured out how to climb into their bucket-o-toys.
video
And here's a silly video of them playing together.
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I think this one of Katie relaxing in front of the TV is hilarious. I love the little leg kick at the end.
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Monday, June 22, 2009

France Trip, part 2

Yes, thank you Jared. That was a lovely post about your new truck. It is actually very exciting to have two cars again. I went to Target today just because I could and not because it's fun to schlep two squirmy babies around town by myself. Anyway, I decided to finish the post about our trip today if it killed me, so here it is.

After we left Normandy, Devaun, Jared, and I went to Mt. St. Michel. It is a medieval monastery and has enough stairs to get Friar Tuck in shape. I kept imagining all the very thin monks who must have lived there. I honestly still have remnants of a blister from that part of the trip. But look at this picture- it's worth all the trouble.
And here's the sheep that were crossing the road as we were trying to leave.
After we left Mt. St. Michel, we drove down to the Loire Valley, which has a lot of castles. Unfortunately, two of the three we went to were under construction. Here's a picture of Chenonceaux with the lovely scaffolding that has been painted to kind of resemble what the castle should look like. We saw these everywhere there was construction. I don't see the ugly construction anywhere. Do you? Ha!
This is a picture from farther away where you don't notice the construction as much.
This is a picture of the way up to the castle. It really was beautiful.
Next we went to Versailles to stay with my sister Darla, who lives there with her family. We didn't actually get a chance to see the palace at Versailles because of time. Instead, we met up with my other sister Chanda and all of us went to Monet's house at Giverny. Look at this picture people. It's pretty much straight out of a Monet painting.
All my sisters were there. And Jared of course. He had a harem that day. Look at the poppies- we're in another Monet painting.
My hair seems kind of poofy. Maybe I'm crazy. Anyway, we spent the last few days of the trip in Paris, where I was pretty much all pictured out. I can only take so many pictures before I am el finito. I did take this picture on the last day though. We went to Sacre Coeur, which I can honestly say was the pits. If you are planning a trip to Paris and think "Wow! Sacre Coeur sounds cool." Think again sweet cheeks. It is not worth it, and this is why.
Among other various violations of my personal space, I think I must have been sweat on by at least 20 other people on the way up to the basilica. It looks cool from a distance. Keep that distance between you and it and the hundreds of people who like to hang out on the steps.

All in all, though, it was a fantastic trip. We had a great time hanging out with my family and seeing the sites, but we were also happy to come home and see our silly babies.