Christmas past and presents

I am writing this post early morning of Christmas Eve. There are so many important things to do and I realize that no one is reading my little blog. But blogging to me has become relaxing and somewhat satisfying.
So today I blog.
Last night I locked my bedroom door, took out all our accumulated gifts and sorted them into piles.
Brett, Lauren, Wade…etc.
I looked it over and tried not to panic.
Was it enough? Was it too much?
Are the kids going to be happy?
Could I have done more?
Then as I looked at all that brand new "stuff"
I wondered;
Which toys are likely going to be disregarded in a matter of days?
It happens…in every home, I think.
Toys and gifts that are bought with the highest expectations eventually end up at the bottom of the toy box.
Except for some.
This is my favorite toy ever purchased.
The little yellow boat

It was Christmas 1996.
Brett was just one year old. Dean and I took our only child to the University Mall in Orem to Christmas shop. While there, we went into ZCMI II?
Remember that place?
We were browsing around, and just letting Brett run amuck in the toy isle.
Brett found this little boat and immediately climbed in. He was in love...turning the wheel, spinning the knobs, rocking it furiously back and forth. It was quite a sight. Dean and I stood there just smiling and watching Brett with no intentions of buying the boat.
Then a lady who was also watching Brett's delight said...
”If you don’t buy that for him, I will.”
I probably should've taken her up on that since I remember that the $30 we spent was kind of a big deal at the time.

But we have loved this boat ever since.
It has survived six toddlers, and has taken quite a beating.
It has been played with outside, but never left outside.
This is an inside boat.
If a handcart pulls up tomorrow and makes me leave my home and all it‘s possessions…
the boat is going with me.
It’s my “Woody and Buzz”

So today, on this glorious day of celebration, preparation and contemplation-
I am trying to keep it all in perspective.

Kids are simple.
They are generally happy if you are happy for them. (unless they are teenagers)
Here is a picture of my little hooligans playing their favorite game of...
"lets go get all the blankets and pillows in the whole house and roll down the stairs until someone starts bleeding." If only I could wrap that up and put it under the tree.
All the best to you and yours.
Merry Christmas


“I’m getting nuttin for Christmas” (Director’s cut)

This is a production by the Roberts kids; Brett, Lauren, Wade, River and Kal;
performed last Wednesday night at our ward Christmas party. Even though the performers struggle a little at the chorus, their little routine brought down the house. As the director and mother I have to say I've seen them better and their mistakes are going to cost them. But to tell you the truth, it was pretty cute. After the performance, everyone was giving Kal high-five and telling him how cute he was.
Kal is now fielding calls from agents and signing autographs.
This act is rated PG (pretty good).


I am not frugal!

When we were freshman in college, my older sister Brooke and I were having a sit-down talk with our parents about the usual;
responsibility, personal finances
…blah, blah, blah.

My Dad could see that Brooke was getting sensitive, so he lovingly said…
”honey, I know you are being frugal…”

Brooke jumped up off the couch ready to walk out and dramatically shouted
Stunned, my Dad grinned a little then calmly said…
”Uh…I don’t think you know what that means Brookie.”
It was so funny. I still tease her about it.
Ever since then I have always loved the word “frugal.”

And it seems now all of a sudden it’s hip to be frugal.
Some of the most popular websites and blogs are dedicated to showing off their frugality.

Dean will argue otherwise, but I do love being thrifty.
Case in point…

Last month I was at DI looking for some new underwear and bed sheets (just kidding)…
I was looking for a rabbit cage for Lauren’s new rabbit.
While there I glanced down on the bottom shelf and saw a brand new stovetop all wrapped up still in the box with the protective plastic still around it.
The price tag said $30 dollars. Forget it, I thought.
Then I called Dean and he said, sure bring it home.
Needless to say it fit like a glove.
Dean and the boys lifted the old one out, and slid the new one in place practically during a commercial break.
For my own satisfaction, I looked up our model number on line, and found out the cooktop retails at Sears and Lowes for .. $799.00…SEVEN HUNDRED NINETY NINE DOLLARS!

Yeah, I slept well that night. My question is; who throws this stuff out?

THE BEFORE: the old 1970's monster that came with the the house, took ten minutes to boil water, had only one working burner, and years of caked on yumminess

THE AFTER: a clean, mean cooking machine


29 days and counting...

Last night as Thanksgiving day was fading with the perfect sunset, someone asked me about my Black Friday plans...my fleeting thought was "I really don't care, but I do a little."

So I fought with myself all night long wondering if my lazy bones were going to make their way out of bed at 4:00 am. Proud to say,...no they didn't.
But I did make it to a few stores around 7:00 am and found pretty much what I wanted. I was even able to resist the yelling and elbow throwing over the last pair of three dollar pajamas.



bowling for birthdays or Great Expectations

My child's birthday is not the most exciting thing to read about, I know..I know..
but today I've got nothing else.

River turned SIX! We are on River overload around here.
My sister-in-law, Merrie wrote about birthday overload on her facebook page. Does anyone else think we've set the birthday bar too high for our kids? Special birthday breakfast, balloons, signs, presents, cake, special dinner, birthday lunch with Dad, classroom treat, birthday outfit, classroom poster, friends party, family parties, birthday table at school...etc. just some of the expectations of birthdays in the year 2009.
I admit it's so hard not to spoil the child when it's their special day.

My mom is to blame, she always made our birthdays great.
River announced to everyone she didn't have to do work, or obey rules on her birthday.
Um..hmm..ok. We might be sending the wrong message.

We went bowling for River's birthday...obviously. This is Kal waiting for his turn to slowly roll the ball down the lane while we all cheer. Sounds riveting huh?

This is my lovely family making fun of my bowling form no doubt.

Brett remained on the floor trying to regain his dignity after slipping and falling in front of a bunch of BYU co-eds

Breaking the honor code, Brett put a fake earring in his ear...and waited for Dean to notice

Dean finally noticed it, and tried smiling through gritted teeth.

After several disappointments, I realized that I needed to give my kids acting lessons on how to look thrilled when opening up presents. It works!

Wade wasn't joking...his fingers were stuck almost to the point of tears...almost.

And last but certainly NOT least.
Introducing my beautiful new neice (Will & Kim's)
Little Lily Katherine Neves was born on River's birthday!

So here is my advice to my little brother Will.
In the years to come as your baby girl grows up and you are tempted to buy her a life size barbie, a pony or a rainbow for her birthday...
think about buying her a savings bond instead.


Monday Observations

This one…
Has decided lately that he wants to wear his American Eagle hoodie over his church clothes every Sunday. This must be a generational thing for all 12-16 yr. olds.
Are they colder than the rest of us?
Personally I think it is a security blanket.
I will not have a power struggle with my son…
I will not have a power struggle with my son…

This one…
Has had her iPod firmly attached to her ear since her birthday.
We quickly realized that we needed to set some rules.
First rule: No iPod in ear while communicating with parents.
Then we added…no singing along to iPod in family areas .
Then we added…only listen to iPod in bedroom
Then we added…with the door shut.

This one…
Has a habit of busting up laughing at me while I’m getting mad at him.
I guess I should be able to laugh and have a cute little mom & son golden moment.
Instead I just try to count to ten before I shake his shoes off.

This one…

Was observed the other day out on the swing set by herself singing
and motioning with her hands.
When asked what she was doing, she responded…
“I am singing so the birds will come and play with me”
My six year old is a bit delusional. I blame Disney.

This one…
Secretly sleeps in my bed when Dean is traveling.
He is a good companion, but requests that after we watch a mommy show…
(news and Nightline) that we watch a kid show for him…(Simpsons and Family Guy)
I usually try oblige. Only kidding.

This one…
Found a hole in her binki today and is disgusted by it now.
So I am wondering...should I go out and buy a new binki,
or just go ahead and pull the plug?
Get it? pull the plug…


Everyone's talking about Healthcare

I would much rather listen to these kids pitch healthcare than listen to the garbage coming out of Washington. How about you?


Ocktoberfest '09

All month long has been non-stop Halloween parties, Halloween chili cook-off, decorations, school parties, carving pumpkins, costumes, and lots, lots more.
And I've loved it all.
Today is November 2nd - Today I can’t stand Halloween.
I’m putting it all away as fast as I can.
It will take another 11 months to bring the love back. It will come back.
October is always big for us.
Lauren’s birthday started out our month.

We had a “girl birthday party”…but somehow a bunch of cute, shy boys showed up….hmmmmm

Brett turned fourteen. I have a fourteen year old...did you hear that? fourteen! My own youthful indiscretions are still too fresh on my mind to have a teenage son.

For Brett's birthday this year we took a bunch of rowdy boys to the Haunted Forest. Teenage boys act really tough, but I saw a few pale faces as we stood in line. I think a couple of the boys would have preferred to just stay home and play Twister.

The first annual Neves pumpkin carving contest was a success.

Jared and Amber threw the gantlet down. The competition was fierce.

Will cheated and got an early start…we should’ve won, but at the last minute Will pulled off an upset.

I think he bribed my Grandpa with the promise to listen to his life story. But what’s a family party without competition and controversy.

My birthday was a blur. Literally. Dean put Kal in charge of taking pictures...gee thanks.

I even got a traditional candyposter the day before the biggest candy day of the year.

Then the big day came.

Brett was an eighties rock-star. I kept wondering if he was doing obscene gestures with his hands. He is too naïve to know, and thankfully so am I.

Lauren was the Corpse Bride. A good look for her.

Wade was ‘ol Captain Hook. It takes a confident nine year old to wear velvet and tights.

River was a mermaid. As I was putting on her make-up she said “finally I look like a woman…” Thank goodness Dean wasn’t there to hear that.

Kal was Peter Pan. And again…who needs masculine and gore, when you have a little boy willing to wear tights.

Quincy was an un-cooperative Tinkerbelle fairy.

At the last minute I dressed up as a suicide bomber. Not my best year.

Cousin Luke won my best costume award for Jack Skeleton.

A close second was Brooke as the Octomom.

River and Kal with cousins Maddie, Lox and Sophie.

Lauren with cousins. Indy is "Lady Gaga" and Hallie is a punk-rock chick with an attitude.

More cousin pictures. Little Gracie looks a little ticked off.

Will & Kim. Will without his usual mask and chainsaw, and squirting blood.
The kids were safe.

Rex Kwando's pants and Jake doing a roundoff kick to the face.

Throw in a little crying, fighting, and complaints of stomach aches and there you have it.
It's all over and I couldn't be happier.
And if I hear someone claiming to have their Christmas shopping done already I will kill them.


(a two minute video of the girl who needs to be everything)       So far my hobby has been micro-managing my kids and as rewardi...