Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Little Pumpkins

I have to get a little sentimental here. This is one of my favorite Halloween pictures of all time. I put it up every year and remember the days when the most stressful thing in my life was the fact that Rindi's braids were so much longer than mine!

6 years old

Rindi (on the right) and I (on the left) are as close as two cousins could ever be. She's seen me at my best and my worst and loved me right along through it all. To simply say that she is either my cousin or my best friend, doesn't do our relationship justice. She is both, and so much more. Really more like a sister. I remember the days when "Rindi & Emily" were two words that didn't really get said separately. Whether it was singing "I'm on the top of the world" (by the amazing Carpenters) from the tippy top of our special tree, writing embarassing Reader's Theaters, or playing homemade Double Dare, we were always together. Now that we live miles and miles apart I still see her influence in my life every day. She's an amazing friend and so, like every Halloween when I remember these pumpkins... I miss you Rins, Happy Halloween!

P.S. Stay tuned for LOTS of exciting Halloween pictures!

Friday, October 26, 2007

A little too scary

Black food coloring does come in handy sometimes! Lila and I made spider cakes for the ward primary party tonight. Here's a few pictures for those of you who were sitting on pins and needles waiting for them! My cake was a little too scary though. Out of the 7 cakes there, it was the last one picked for the cake walk. Oh well!

My cake

Lila's cake

She frosted the whole thing by herself (with great concentration.)

Don't worry, her cake didn't go to the church!

Have your cake...

Since I'm posting cake pictures I thought I'd add in a few of my past favorites.

This was a ladybug cake I made for our cute friend Emma's birthday party a few years ago.

This was the little cake Lila got to tear into for her first birthday party.
(And yes, she is wearing a coconut bra and grass skirt.)

And drum roll please....

Here is our infamous Volcano cake for Lila's first birthday Luau.
Smokin' isn't it!!
And it tasted as good as it looked!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Black Milk vs. White Milk

I like to give my children the illusion of choice. So while getting food for Lila, I will frequently give her list of things that she surely won't want and only one or two choices that she might actually eat. For example, at breakfast the list might be, "Lila, do you want to eat carpet, diapers, dirt, cereal, or pancakes?" This has been working very well.

This morning as I was bringing out the milk to put in Lila's cereal I asked, "Do you want black milk or white milk with your cereal?" To my surprise Lila replied, "Black milk." I thought she was kidding and tried to give her the white milk and she got quite upset. Fortunately for me, Emily keeps black food coloring on hand (I don't know what for either). So we whipped up a batch of black milk and Lila loved it.

How do you take your milk?
White free polls

Monday, October 22, 2007

"No, Say Thank You to ME!!"

Lila made dinner a few nights ago. When I said "mmmmm I LOVE sloppy joes" she said "No Mom! Say thank you to ME, I made the sloppy joes."

Thank you, Lila. I wish you'd make dinner every night...

Saturday, October 20, 2007


It recently became clear to me why Hasbro steered away from the traditional spelling of Play-Dough in favor of the Homer Simpson style Play-DOH!

It went something like this:
"Lila! Lila! Lila! Oh my GOSH! Lila! Ohhh Man! Lila! What are you doing?"
"What, Daddy, what are you saying, Daddy?" She comes and sits in my lap. She was standing on this pile of Play-doh methodically messaging it into the carpet with her feet.

(click on the picture to see it full size in all its glory)

Meanwhile, Emily comes down the stairs and then ducks her head back around the corner.
"Daddy, what is Mommy doing?"
"She is laughing, why don't you go ask her what she is laughing about?"
Emily, was able to compose herself and helped pull what we could out of the carpet.

Fortunately, Hasbro has "How do I remove PLAY-DOH compound from carpet, upholstery or fabric?" in their frequently asked questions (FAQ). I guess we will have to wait and see if it works.

P.S. Lila has recently being yelling "Ohhhh Man!" when she gets really upset about something breaking or something not going her way. I had been wondering where she picked that up. I guess it was from me.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"These Are My Friends"

While we were taking pictures the other day Lila climbed up on the wall with Abby and Zack. Without any prompting from me she put her arms around both of them and said "These are my friends!" I hope she always feels this way!

Lovin' the Leaves

I wanted to go take pictures of the kids in the leaves today. I asked Lila if she wanted to go to the Gore Place (where they have farm animals) or the church. I was voting for the Gore Place but she insisted that we go to the church. Go figure...

I guess Zack doesn't like the taste of leaves...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

For katieo

And Kates... since I had my scrapbook out, this one's for you (and Kinz, Lees, & Monica if they're reading...)

Em, Katie, Kinz, & Lees... 1999
Kinzie, Katie, Lisa, Emily & Monica (Roommates at the Reeg)

Uncitified Too

A few of you have expressed some questions about my reactions to the gators. Well, let's just say that "gettin' uncitified" is a prerequisite to marrying one of the Russ boys.

These came from an old scrapbook that I had to SCAN!!! They were taken in January 2000, before we were married (back when I was still trying to impress Johnny by doing crazy things!!)

This picture is taken on an airboat in the middle of a lake. Johnny caught this baby gator so that this Hooper girl could take a picture!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Gettin' Uncitified

I have been concerned for sometime about my children spending their formidable years in the big city here in Boston. Yes, you southerners know my concern. They will grow up here, get some learnin', and get themselves all citified. Well, fortunately with a few days at Grandma and Grandpa's house in Florida, I think we were able to undo most of the damage thus far.

We kicked it off with some good ol' tree climbin' with the cousins.

Then some playin' in the rain.

Then some 4-wheeler ridin' at Auntee Amy's house.

Then some squirrel holdin'

And of course some good ol' gator wranglin'. Some neighbors found this baby gator in their yard, so they called my younger brother, Blake, to go get it for them. We taped its mouth shut, so we could take some pictures before he got released somewhere safe (for all of you yankees, yes, duct tape will securely hold a gator's mouth shut, even a big gator).

I didn't have my camera handy when we swam in the lake, chased down a great white heron in the john boat, swung on the bag swing in the oak tree, fed the fish in the lake, or cheered at the football game.

It made me a little sad to bring Lila back up here to the city, but I guess even one week at the Russ house in Florida is more adventure than most kids get all year.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Choose Your Battles

This is why I got to watch general conference this morning. (At least for a few minutes anyway!) I decided to choose my battle here and let them play so that I could listen. It made quite the mess, but they sure had fun!

Johnny... I think we need to find a new place for the shredder.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Where dreams come true

Well, Lila and I arrived in Florida, and guess where the first place we went was.

Yep, you guessed it, the Orlando International Airport.

There was a huge pile up on the freeway that goes from my parents house to the airport. Two semis got into a head on collision. So the freeway was closed down, and my Mom had to figure out another way to get to us. Fortunately if you have to spend an hour or two at an airport, then Orlando is about as good as it gets. We went around to all of the stores for Disney, Universal Studios, Seaworld, and Bush Gardens. As you can see Lila didn't mind one bit.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Twins For Sale

Two babies for sale!
Two babies for sale!
Two sitting and spitting young babies for sale!
I'm really not kidding,
So who'll start the bidding?
Do I hear a dollar?
A nickel?
A penny?
Oh, isn't there, isn't there, isn't there any
One kid who will buy these old babies for sale,
These sitting and spitting young babies for sale?
(adapted from Sister for Sale by Shel Silverstein)

Saturday my twins club held our semiannual tag sale. My brother Andy called to congratulate me on my "twins sale" profits but he said I should have held out for more money. He says Abby & Zack are worth way more than what I got from the sale!!

I've been working like crazy for weeks trying to get ready for this sale. After tagging over 400 items, and writing my number (ER 219) the brand, size, and price on each item, I almost felt like selling a few of my kids!!

A few times Lila would come across something I was going to sell and say "Mommy... please don't sell it, please Mommy. Someone gave it to me." (I don't know who this ambiguous someone is.) If I was lucky, she would forget about her new favorite book (or whatever) and then I could hide it back in my pile.

When I was loading everything into the van I took the car seats out. When Lila saw her booster seat next to the stuff for sale, she got quite upset and begged, "Please, don't sell my seat!" Yesterday as Johnny was packing her stuff in the suitcase to go to Florida she said "Mommy, please don't tag my stuff..."

These pictures really don't do it justice, but my van was completely full TWICE!! This is all the clothes, etc. Sorted by gender and size (and there are more rubbermaids hiding in the picture that you can't see.)

This is a shot from the driver's seat of all the toys & gear. I took this picture while I was stopped at a light and it doesn't even capture half the stuff I sold. I was really late the morning of the sale and I had all this stuff that I was supposed to have set out early. As always happens when I am late, I missed my exit and then got lost. The entire time I was trying to figure out how to get back to the right road Lila's little "princess potty" was making magical wand noises and fanfare the entire time. "Da Duh Duh Daaahhh!!!"

Even though I came home with a van full of stuff (some of which I bought) the sale was an incredible success!! And you're right, Andy, the twins are worth WAYYY more than I made from the sale!