Thursday, August 29, 2013

First Day of School

The Sisters Floyd began the school year yesterday.
Someone tell me how it's possible that I have a first grader and a second grader.

I was happy that Riley walked to school with us. It meant that I had someone to accompany home. She prevented the tears that surely would have followed had she not been with me. Oh, my heart was heavy when I walked away from that building!

 Here is Kaylee with all her special, first-grade, brand new school supplies. SO fun!

And here is Lily at her 2nd grade desk!
{She's like, "Cheese. Okay, you can go."}
Oh, and her cute pencil smelled like strawberries!

We got to the school and Lily disappeared! At first I was concerned that she was lost and afraid and then I remembered that she's Lily. I found her sitting happily at her second grade desk after I dropped Kaylee off at her classroom.

Also, I think it's important to note that Lily applied a VERY healthy dose of my Grandma Christensen's perfume before we left the house. I was quite confused when I caught a strong whiff of my late grandmother's essence on our way out the door. Lily represented her well.

The girls had a great first day. I was so happy when it was time to pick them up. I expected much excitement and celebration when they beheld my presence after school, but instead all I got was a semi-happy "Hi Mom" from each of them. Oh, well.

My kids love school and that makes me happy. It's so hard for me to leave them there; I can't imagine how miserable it would be to walk away from them if school was a place that they didn't want to be. Mom, I am sooooo sorry for what I put you through as a child. I now have an understanding of how heart wrenching that must have been for you!

These girls are ready to learn! I'm so excited for the adventures they have ahead of them.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thursday Three

Mallory was kind enough hold all our coats for us while we watched the high school performance of Beauty and the Beast (all the way back in December!).

Cutest rainbow child.

Mallory having a seat on a good friend's lap. Mallory is at least 6 months older than Nyle. She digs the younger men.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

a lovely conversation with a grouchy neighbor

The very first night we moved into our new house back in May, Michael got yelled at by our brand new neighbor because our children were being too noisy. A few nights later he yelled at Michael again because Michael was sawing some wood (inside our house) at 9:00pm. Michael apologized profusely both times. The neighbor (let's call him Mr. H) made it known to Michael that he goes to bed at 8:00 and gets up at 4:00 every morning. Michael is very good at conforming and decided to make a set of rules for our family so that we could be courteous to our new neighbor.

1. No driving in on the driveway that we share with the H's past 8:00 at night because the headlights shine directly into their bedroom.
2. No loud voices or power tools after 8:00 at night.
3. No stepping a foot into his immaculate yard. (Mr. Wilson???)

I genuinely want to be good to people and I give the benefit of the doubt whenever I can. I follow the rules and every time I see Mr. H outside I stare him down so that I can smile and wave at him. The latter attempt at friendliness doesn't ever work as he refuses to look at me. He accidentally did make eye contact with me one time and gave the most unhappy and unfriendly wave I have ever received. But it was progress!! And I was satisfied. I have visited with his wife on a few occasions and she is so happy and friendly and kind. She seems like a dear, sweet lady.

Tonight I was honored with my first conversation ever with Mr. H. Remember, he has only even made eye contact with me one time so there haven't been very many opportunities for conversation.

Before I begin, you should know that the driveway situation at our house totally stinks. We have to park in the back of the house and we share the driveways on both sides of the house with the neighbor on the respective side. There is only room for one car to drive in and out at a time. My kids are almost never in the driveway because I realize it's a dangerous place to be (duh!) and we have designated the back yard and the front yard as the only acceptable play areas. However, today they had driven their car to the front of the house to play with it. I didn't want them out front at that particular time so I told them to take it to the back of the house. They drove up Mr. H's side of the driveway ONE time today to get to the backyard. I was watching them from the front door and Mr. H did not leave his house anywhere near the time that they drove the car on the driveway that we share with him. He did not have to wait for them and was not inconvenienced. Except by the mere sight of them, so it seems. Back to my story.

Michael had just left for work and the girls and I had just stepped outside for some swim time. I have had a rough few days and I'm tired and not feeling well. I did NOT want to go outside. But I try to be a good mom and stuff like that so I gave in and out we went. I began to fill the pool up and Arthur (that's the puppy!) trotted around the back of the garage.  I walked back to get him because I try really hard to keep him out of yards that don't belong to us. He had not been out of my sight for 30 seconds. When I walked around the garage he was sitting just over the property line and looking adorably up at Mr. H. Mr. H was wagging his finger at him with the angriest, most disgusted look I have ever seen on an old man (who wasn't acting in a movie, of course). I picked up our sweet puppy boy and here is the conversation that followed. {What Mr. H failed to realize is that I am not my husband. I won't back down to mean people. I am not the most clever person when it comes to witty responses but I dealt with enough bullying in Junior High and high school and I refuse to put up with it as an adult.}

and one more thing. When you read his lines you need to imagine the meanest voice possible because there was NOTHING kind or gentle about the way he spoke to me. Not even remotely.

Mr. H: (wagging his finger at me. or the dog. or both) You oughtta have a leash on that dog.
Me: We're working on it. I'm sorry he was in your yard.
Mr. H: And another thing. Your kids were in the driveway driving around a toy car this afternoon and that's not okay. Your children can't be playing in the driveway like that unless you want a dead child on your hands.
Me: (only a little flabbergasted. okay a lot. Seriously?? a dead child. Was that a threat?) Okay, since we're making requests I've noticed that you back in and out of this driveway really fast and it's scary. So perhaps you could go slower so that the driveway's a little safer.
Mr. H: (Shaking his head) No. That won't solve the problem. I can't see behind my car and I go in and out all the time. You keep your kids outta the driveway.
Me: Okay, but if you were to be more careful and drive slower there would be much less of a concern.
Mr. H: (shaking his head): No. I can't see behind my car. Your kids don't belong there. Do you want a dead child?
Me: Do you want to kill a child? I'm not asking you to install a camera on the back of your car, I'm asking you to drive slower. My older kids are old enough to to move out of the way if they see a car coming; the baby doesn't come out unless I am with her. If you're driving slowly they will see you and get of the way. I will continue to do what I can to keep my them out of the driveway but I can't be out here every minute. I will work on keeping them out of the way and I would really appreciate it if you'll drive a little slower.
Mr H: No. I've lived in this house for 40 years and I've never had to worry about backing in and out.
Me: Yeah, well you've got a family with children next door now and you've got no choice but to deal with it. You can move your vehicle a little slower. You've got control over that much.
Mr H: You need to deal with me coming in and out of the driveway. You keep your kids out of it.

At this point I walked away because talking to him was like arguing with a grouchy, wrinkled 12 year old and I could see that going back and forth with him was pointless. He may have 50 years on me but my maturity level seems to be just a little higher and I was not about to keep such a stupid conversation going. I sent a text message to Michael and told him what happened and then stomped around my yard and thought of a hundred more things I would have liked to tell him. I walked back to his yard to find him and then headed for his front door when Michael called me. And that's when I cried. Michael talked me out of confronting him and it probably wouldn't have been a good idea anyway because my emotions were all bubbling at the surface and the last thing I wanted was for that bully to see that he had succeeded in making me cry. Don't worry, you can bet your buttons he'll have a letter waiting for him in the next few days. And he can confront me any time he wants because next time I'll have my guard up.

Poor Mr. H obviously has something that he is very bitter about. I don't know what it is because he has a wife who seems to be just precious. He has grandchildren who visit him all the time. (and who are all really nice!) I don't know why he is upset, but even if there is a perfectly legitimate reason it does not excuse a person's mean and unacceptable behavior. I would love to hear any advice anyone has for me. Or other mean neighbor stories. I didn't know this stuff happened in real life! So please, friends. What are your thoughts?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thursday Three

 There was this one time when Emma made cupcakes with powdered sugar instead of flour.
"Katie taste this batter. It's freaking delicious!"
I was like this recipes calls for powdered sugar???
The mess was my fault. Rather than waste ingredients I told her to bake them anyways.

 My girls love to pretend that the mannequins at the mall are their Moms. What have the got that I haven't got? Long legs? Big boobies? Fancy clothes? Bald heads???

 Carl, a mouse, and Jasper (or is he Horace?) on Halloween.
I love these brothers of mine.

Monday, August 12, 2013


Does anyone else call this "Spider Legs"?

 A random monsoon that destroyed our backyard campfire and smores plans.

Kaylee loves "Geire"
I love finding stuff like this.

The girls with our new puppy. 

 Coloring and playing

Kaylee reeeeeeally wanted to buy these for Grandpa Howe. She thinks they are just his style.

Friday, August 9, 2013

more of the Foster/Howe wedding

For their 2 week anniversary I thought I'd post some random pictures from Zach and Rachel's special wedding day.

 Our family. Even Andrew! Too bad he was was only a cardboard cutout.

 Zach and Rachel with Grandma and Grandpa Howe.

With Grandpa Christensen and the always lovely Cecil.

Michael with half of our children.

 My mom and her bff Jackie made the centerpieces for the luncheon that we had at the  Joseph Smith Memorial building.

A view of the Wasatch Room before the luncheon began.

 My Dad, very pleased that he can lift his 190 lb son with one hand.

 The Salt Lake Temple

 This is the dessert that was served at the luncheon. Chocolate Satin Pie with Oreo crust. Oh MAN it was delicious. I have been dreaming about it.

 My Aunt Stacey and Uncle Dan with their cute granddaghter, Ellie.

 The wedding cake

My cute Howe grandparents.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thursday Three (four)

 This special origami set that I was THIS close to purchasing for a special brother-in-law.

 This cute photo which was supposed to look like the photo below:)

 This photo make my post four pictures instead of three. What a crime. I couldn't include one with out the other.

"Mommmmmm! HELP me!!!"

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

this happened

Lily has been begging to get her hair cut for MONTHS. I kind of ignored her begging because I knew her daddy would be so very sad if we cut her hair. It was getting so long and scraggly and she kept asking and asking and I could ignore it no longer! Daddy reluctantly agreed to letting her cut her hair and off to the salon we went. I love her cute hair! It suits her personaltiy so well and it is lovely and healthy looking. And look at those freckles. Could there be a cuter 7-year-old anywhere in this world? I think not!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

half fish half girl

The girls and I are in California for the next week and a half-ish. We came to visit and to be here for Zach and Rachel's 2nd reception and to play on the trampoline, in the mountains, and in the California sunshine. The next several posts will be catch up posts from the last couple of weeks.

I wanted to post a video of Mallory being so cute and jumping in to the swimming pool. I couldn't decide on just one so here are all of them. For your viewing pleasure.

Monday, August 5, 2013

weddings all around

We went to Zach's wedding the last weekend of July and then had the privilege of attending my cousin Melysa's wedding the first weekend of August. What a bride she was! My sweet Melysa cousin has always been a princess child and she is STILL (and will always be) a princess. She wore a beautiful gown that was handmade by her very talented mother. Her reception was the perfect mix of vintage and whimsy and everything that says "MELYSA". It was a dream. I wish I had pictures of the cute decor! Melysa, please send me some if you're able!

Her husband Dillon is a gem. His countenance shines bright and so does Melysa's. They are the perfect match and I'm happy for them and the beginning of a beautful life together.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thursday Three

The cutest reindeer.

 An AMAZING cake castle fail! hahaha! I knew it would end up this way, which is why it took a week and a half of a Begging Riley to get me to make it with her. The girls thought it was just lovely.

My Cinderella girls being so helpful and mopping the floor at our old house.