Keeping Up With the Jameses

Adventures in Modern Day Motherhood

In Which Jennifer Amuses a Store Full of Rednecks With Her Refusal to Acknowledge the Need for a Shopping Cart May 5, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommyoffive @ 9:08 pm

Hey!  Remember when I said that I would be blogging “a picture a day” four times a week?  Let’s just forget I ever said that.  How about a nice little weekend update instead?

I really don’t remember what happened for most of the week, except that Joshua participated in his first ever track meet.  When I asked him how it went, he replied, “Awesome!  Me and friend played card games ALL DAY!”  When I asked about his actual race, he said, “Oh, I came in last.”  Apparently he gets his running skills from me.

Speaking of running, yesterday morning I went on a delightful nine mile run.  Oh, how I wish I was a better photographer and could show you pictures from my running trails.  I seriously think that I live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.  Also, there is a cow that loves to cool off in a canal that I run along, and she always makes me laugh. 

Then we were off to a Cinco de Mayo celebration at the McShinsky’s backyard playground paradise.  Check out the giant Jenga game:


No Cinco de Mayo party is complete without a pinata:



Of course, the grown-ups were only in it for the food.  I made these babies:


Sadly, they looked better than they tasted.  I cheated and used store-bought guacamole, and it. was. nasty.  I didn’t even know that it was possible for guacamole to be nasty.  Costco, you have finally let me down.

Once the festivities were over, it was time for yard work.  Yard work!

But first…

I had to make a quick trip to CAL Ranch to buy some new soaker hoses.  I love the CAL Ranch store even more than I love Maceys.  Even more than I love Costco.  Even more than I love Coldstone.  Wait a minute, let’s not get hasty here.  But seriously, it is the best store ever.  It’s the perfect mix of farm fashion, gardening supplies, cool camping stuff, and patio furniture.  Plus, everyone speaks in my native tongue – Utah hick drawl.  It reminds me of home.  Yesterday, I found a camp table that I have been searching for FOREVER.  I was so excited that I decided to grab it right then and there and carry it through the rest of the store with me.  (I hadn’t grabbed a cart, because I was only there for a few hoses, after all.)  Then, I found the exact hoses that I needed.  I perched them on top of the table.  Next, I saw some onion starts.  On top of the stack they went.  From there, I proceeded to the most important part of the store – the baby chick aisle.


Aren’t they adorable?  Todd is lucky that I already had my hands full, because I was soooooo tempted to buy some new babies to bring home.  They also had dozens of fluffy baby bunnies.  Again, I resisted.

After a delightful somewhat satisfying dinner of leftovers, I headed out to spend some quality time in my garden.  And then boy howdy did I miss my old chickens.  Weeding a garden just isn’t the same when you don’t have a sweet black chicken sitting in your lap, eagerly waiting for you to dig up some delicious grubs.  I was *thisclose* to running back to CAL Ranch for an emergency baby chick trip.

That brings us to today – Cinco de Mayo.

I planned a very special dinner using this video as inspiration.  Here is Sarah’s version:

WP_000656The hexaflexatilla


The first layer of spreadable goodness


Spreadable goodness flipped safely inside


And the finished product – yum!


Bizzie opted for a simple flexahexaquesadilla


And of course, no Cinco de Mayo feast is complete without dessert

Did you notice the delicious creamy tomatillo salad dressing on Sarah’s masterpiece?  I’m not gonna lie.  I picked it up at Cafe Rio.  Some people make their own copycat recipes like chumps, but I like to go straight for the real thing.  Also, I am lazy.

Tom Marvolo has been lonely lately, so Sarah brought him over for a visit.


And finally, we went to a fun little farm to play with some cute animals.


This llama HATED Sarah.


See ya next weekend!


I’m a Fair Weather Blogger April 29, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommyoffive @ 8:39 pm

It’s true.

Last week was incredibly busy and stressful, and there was no time to blog, which means that I missed out on telling you about a very important event:

That’s right – Daniel got his associates degree.  He’s very proud of himself.  He’ll graduate from high school next month.

And now back to my regularly scheduled posts about nothing.


Tonight we did some science experiments with a plasma ball for FHE.  If you’ve never put tin foil on top of a plasma ball and then used a nail to burn designs onto a paper that is on top of the tin foil, you must try it.   It’s mucho cool.

And a little bit shocking.

Jakob Kissed a Camel and I Dressed a Belly Dancer April 20, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommyoffive @ 5:38 pm

I am not even kidding.


This morning we woke up bright and early and headed up to exotic Lehi, Utah to attend a Bedouin festival.

First, we put on some Arabic nametags.  (I’m hoping we didn’t put them on upside down.)  Then we sampled some delicious food – the munchkins LOVED the falafel.

The littles participated in a camel race.


Jakob’s camel won.


We checked out Harry Potter in Arabic.  (Yup.  Josh is every bit as photogenic as I am.)


The kids each got a fancy henna tattoo.


And yes, we played with Cosmo the camel.


I know that camels have a reputation for being mean, but Cosmo was a sweetheart.  (Please ignore my hair.  It was very rainy and windy outside.)


Joshua didn’t seem to trust him, though.


I think the feeling was mutual.

Oh, and about that belly dancer – I happened to be in the restroom with Bizzie dressing room while she was getting ready for her performance, and she needed my help to fasten the buttons on the back of her sheer, tight, see-through, totally not family friendly beautiful dress.  Thank goodness for strategically placed sequins.


Both of These Actually Happened Yesterday, But I Forgot to Blog Because I Was Reading a New Book April 17, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommyoffive @ 7:36 am

It’s teacher appreciation time at the boys’ school, which means that I was in charge of making a poster for Joshua’s teacher.  Since I have all of the artistic ability of a sick sea slug, I delegated the task to Emma.  She cranked this masterpiece out in about fifteen minutes, and she got Josh’s teacher just right by looking at a tiny yearbook picture.  Wow!


By the way, the theme and poster board color were assigned to me.  It’s not what I would have gone with if left to my own devices, which is probably a good thing.  I once spent three days working on a door decoration for Sarah’s fifth grade teacher.  Three days!

Joshua received an invitation by owl to a Hogwart’s birthday party.  How cute is that?


This is why Mindy will always be a better mom than I am.   And I’m OK with that, as long as my kids can keep going to her awesome parties.


The Tooth Fairy Will Never See This One Coming April 15, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommyoffive @ 8:38 pm

Joshua lost another tooth today.  I swear he has lost more teeth than the other five kids combined.  He must have shark teeth or something.


His teacher gave him a cool tooth holder to keep his tooth in until the tooth fairy can whisk it safely away tonight.  Or three days from now, because our tooth fairy is just a little bit forgetful.

As soon as Bizzie saw the tooth holder, she thought of the perfect use for it:


A roly poly house!

(Please ignore the combination of Cheetos and mud on her fingers.  It’s pretty much impossible to keep the child clean.)



Oops April 14, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommyoffive @ 7:01 pm

Why, hello there!  Let’s just pretend that I didn’t forget to blog for the last half of the week, mkay?  I had every intention of blogging, but the school year is coming to an end and my children seem to think that their homework time is more important than my computer time.

Fear not, though, because I did take pictures.  Here’s what you missed:

WP_000508Our neighbors had a yard sale, which meant that the munchkins just had to buy some new stuffed animals.  This brings our stuffed animal count up to approximately 3, 779.

WP_000515Daniel’s high school held a 6k scholarship run.  Emma and I were the timers.  (She was soooo excited about being volunteered.)  I’ll tell you what – timing can be pretty stressful when large groups of runners come across the line all at once.

WP_000524WP_000531Em had her final ballet recital.  She portrayed a very convincing Wicked Witch of the East.  I’d like to think that I was her inspiration.

Today, Sarah tried to take some headshots of me for a project I am working on (no, I am NOT trying to become a model).  She took 114 pictures.  Two were somewhat usable.  At one point, she told me that I was like trying to photograph a lizard.  #camerasmakemepanic

And no, I NOT going to post any of those pictures for you.


We Might Not be Ready for Cupcake Wars Just Yet April 9, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommyoffive @ 9:50 pm

Tonight I taught my little cub scouts how to make snickerdoodles.


It was slightly terrifying, but the cookies were delicious.  🙂