testing 1,2,3.

I've literally been dying to post pictures and blog about our summer vacation, but my (once again) non-functioning laptop has prevented me from doing so.  it only needs a new battery, a new mouse pad, and a new charger, so I'm really not sure what's holding me back from getting it fixed. 

oh.  that's right.  I just spent our life savings outfitting eight kids for the new school year.  ie; purchasing tennis shoes, a few articles of clothing, school supplies, backpacks, and forking over money for miscellaneous student fees and field trips, to name a few.  before that I was paying off the dentist for eleven fillings, one tooth extraction, and a set of sealants. next will be Christmas, and who knows what else might pop up in the meantime.  more stitches, perhaps?  Sawyer is on a roll, having received two sets of stitches in just two weeks.  OY!  holy smokes, kids are expen$ive. in fact, I recently read somewhere that it costs roughly $250,000 to raise ONE child from birth to 18 years of age.  times that by eleven and yikes!  my calculator just  blinked an error code, shorted out, and died.  but not before it told me I could've made a hundred trips to Hawaii for that price! 

maybe I need to consider a new career in panhandling.  rumor has it, those folks make millions!  or not.

I don't know.  hopefully I can look back someday and honestly say the cost of raising ten plus kids was worth it!  because as of right now, I have my doubts.  seems like every time I turn around it's something else-- yet another unforeseen expense.  wow.  all this to say that's why I haven't blogged.  sorry!

anyway.  back to the topic at hand.  being my computer is out of commission, I suppose you're wondering how I'm blogging then?  well, about six months ago, I downloaded the blogger app onto my iPhone and I'm just now getting around to testing it out.  why rush into things, right?  and except for the cramp in my pointer finger from pecking at the minuscule keyboard, it seems to be working okay.  hooray for that!  

below are a few snapshots from Yellowstone taken on my phone.  with only two days to explore the gazillion acre park, we barely made a dent in it.  I'd love to go back again someday when we have more time to sightsee.  and also, without toddlers or babies.  I lost track of how many heart attacks Finley caused all those poor, unsuspecting folks as he raced along the boardwalks.  that kid is a serious adrenaline junkie!

(hopefully the resolution looks okay, as it's tough to tell on my tiny phone screen.)

I have so many more pictures to share!  guess those will have to wait until next time!  whenever that is.



summer happenings.

just a quick update to let you know that we're indeed alive and well and have been enjoying our summer vacation thus far.  my only complaint is that I can't seem to keep food in the fridge (or cupboards, etc) no matter how hard I try.  so, DUH.  I should just buy more food then, right?  OH NO.  because the more food I buy, the more the kids eat.  hence, the fridge remains empty and all that's left to show for it is an increase in the weekly food bill.  basically, it's a lose lose situation.  in the meantime, until I can think of a solution to remedy the situation (put locks on everything?), I have taped a note to the fridge that reads: manager is on strike.  today's choices are molasses or mustard, take it or leave it.  wait.  I lied.  there's ranch and ketchup, too.  because we're classy like that.

anyway, below are a few, okay more than a few, pictures highlighting our summer happenings.  like most summers, it's been a mix of busy and fun as we try to fit in as many activities as we can during the short two and a half month vacation.  it's hard to believe the kids go back to school August 12th already!  yay!  I mean, bummer!  heh.

*side note: I had high hopes of putting the pictures in order from oldest to most recent, but after the third failed attempt I was like, screw it.  it's a challenging enough task to get the photos lined up in these  silly square boxes than to worry about whether or not they're in the right order on top of it.  to make it slightly less confusing for you, I have numbered each picture from left to right and added a corresponding, sometimes corny, caption.


1. Scarlett struts her stuff in Sedona.  
2. Phoebe and Chloe share a tender moment at Fossil Creek.  
3. breakfast in bed with a side of sunshine. I believe this was taken on Mother's Day, pretty much the one day out of the year that I'm spoiled.  wait, who am I kidding?  I'm spoiled every day of the year.    
4. Finley is found guilty.  guilty of being too cute.  
5. mornings are always better when they start out with a chokehold, am I right?  
6. happy mess.  until it was time to clean up.        

7.  creamsicles, for the win!  their treat for being good at the store, or my treat for surviving grocery shopping with three hooligans, however you want to look at it.  
8. a cruise around the block on my aunt's bike. she doesn't know this yet, but I get first dibs on it when she's through with it.  
9. lunchtime: the 'lil sis spinning on the table while big bro looks on without pants' edition.  always good for a few laughs.  
10. after being called a girl on three different occasions, Finley's curls must go.  a sad day for all, indeed.  but mostly his momma.  cue the WAH WAAAH.  
11. diner vibes.  
12. *SMOOCH*  Rowan ran away shortly thereafter.  girl germs! 

enjoying donuts and dapples of light at the park.  and shame on the person who left their car keys on the ground.  how irresponsible!  

13. quote by Scarlett, age 3: "everyone makes me mad!"  I take it she's not always getting her way.  life sure is rough when you're three.
14. another beautiful day in Sedona, AZ.
15. a perfect way to beat the heat!
16. bliss.
17. uh oh!  looks like someone learned how to jailbreak!  so long, quiet afternoons.
18. my mini model.

19. little people, big world.
20. yakity-yak, don't do crack.
21. she's too much!
22. today's forecast: sunshine with a side of water fights.
23. here's to hoping this black thumb can at least keep cacti alive.
24. Chloe receives a red balloon for finishing in the top 10% of the entire eighth grade class.  congratulations, miss smarty pants!

25. my cute, little photography assistant.  she makes sure I never miss a photographic opportunity.  "take a picture of that, mommy!  and that.  oh, and THAT!"  okay, missy!
26. evenings on the golf course are nothing less than gorgeous.
27. sunset twirls, part one.
28. milk and cookies picnic.
29. baking assistant for hire.  he rarely makes a mess or gets into trouble or anything.    
30. gooood morning!  see?  he's so sweet!  how could you not want to take him home with you?  

31. me, Tarzan.
32. kids were here.
33. sunset twirls, part two.
34. last light.
35. boys, boys, and more boys.  'twas a fun-filled day in Sedona with friends.
36. have you rolled down a hill today?  I'm telling you, the best type of stress therapy is free.

can never get enough of this place.

or this place.  here, Myra glides along in the crystal clear, aquamarine waters of Fossil Creek.  ahhh, refreshing!

37. who stole my baby and replaced him with this big boy?
38. I rearranged the girls' room and suddenly it's fun to play in there again!
39. testing out the underwater housing for my phone for the first time.  it was simultaneously nerve wracking and... fun?  
40. still waters run deep.
41. you, Jane.
42. oh, you know, just hunting elephants.  er, I mean, filling the fridge.  although hunting elephants sounds easier... and funner.

43. oh, hello, 20 week baby bump!  we are beyond excited and can't wait to meet the newest Kesti addition sometime early November!  I'm feeling great now, although I can't say the same was true for the first 14 weeks.  no lie, at times it felt more like I was dying than creating a life.  phew, so glad that's over with.
44. happy place.
45. giggling girls.
46. "you've got to dance like there's nobody watching, love like you'll never be hurt, sing like there's nobody listening, and live like it's heaven on earth." William W. Purkey
47. fresh air and sunshine.  just what the doctor ordered.
48. we drove out to Lake Mary to watch the sunset.  only it was obscured by clouds.  

thank you, fishermen, for being in the right place at the right time.

49. she didn't want to get her skirt wet while jumping the waves.  I can't blame her, I'd do the same thing.  except maybe I wouldn't lift my skirt so high...  
50. Ella is currently going through a cartwheel phase.  she cartwheels everywhere; down the grocery store aisles, down the hallway, in the kitchen, at the park, down the sidewalk.  and every time she says, "watch me do a cartwheel, mom!"  and so I watch.  and smile, knowing this phase won't last forever and soon she'll be on to the next thing.
51. okay, Sawyer.  you win.  even though it appears you have outgrown it, technically it is still considered a "kiddie" pool.
52. after Scarlett took the scissors to her own bangs twice this past winter (once to the scalp!) they finally grew out enough so she could get her hair cut.  and just like that she looks all grown up.
53. sunset views.
54. I spy two wee sunset chasers.   

sisters forever, friends for always.

well, there you have it.  that pretty much wraps up the first half of our summer vacation.  as busy and fun-filled as it appeared, I lost track of how many, "I'm bored's," "I'm hungry's," and "there's nothing to do's" I heard.  sigh.  some things will never change.

in just a few short hours, we'll be heading out on another adventure in the form of a two and a half week camping trip.  we're renting a 26-foot RV travel trailer to pull behind our van.  supposedly it sleeps nine and has a full kitchen, as well as a full bath.  so maybe this would more appropriately be referred to as "glamping?"  like as in, glam camping.  we've never done something like this before, so we're anxious to try it out.  something tells me that I won't ever be tenting it again.  ha!

our first destination is Zion National Park where we'll be spending three nights.  after that, it's on to Yellowstone, Washington (for our church's annual summer services), and finally down the west coast, through Oregon and Northern California.  it should be a lot of  work... I mean FUN!

and now I better get back to the packing.  ugh, THE PACKING.

until next time!



project 52 week 21 | laughter.

the best laughter is the kind where you're laughing so hard yet no noise is coming out, so instead, you sit there clapping like a retarded seal.  am I right?

and here's a little playground blooper video to kick start your long weekend with a chuckle, at the expense of my adorable children, of course.  don't forget to note Rowan's "oh crap" look as he witnesses his brother going overboard, and Finley's final, desperate attempt to save himself by clinging onto the neck of Scarlett's shirt, nearly taking her down with him as he does so.


(also, please don't worry.  Finley walked away unscathed.  he's a pretty tough cookie.)

hope this weekend brings you lots of good laughs!