Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Merry Christmas from all of us!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Family Circus

In case some of you have wondered why I named our blog the Swenson Family Circus, it is because that is exactly what it is. I took some liberties borrowing from the actual Family Circus cartoon--I should just use that as my family chronicle instead of a blog. These faves are up on my wall--they could have been snapshots from my life...

On a side note, I am sure all mothers feel my pain when I say my kids are constantly asking questions that have no answers. Or at least no answers I know of. Yesterday though, Jacob asked me a question I KNEW the answer to I thought it would be a one shot deal-one question, one answer. This is how it went down...

Jacob, holding up a gold dollar coin: Mom, how much is this?
Me: A dollar.
Jacob: No, how much is it?
Me: A dollar!
Jacob: No, mom, how MUCH is it?
Me: ONE dollar, 100 pennies.
Jacob: NO! HOW MUCH is it?
Me: Jacob, it is one dollar, that's how much it is!
Jacob, in a very exasperated tone: Mom, you just don't understand what I am talking about...

I guess not.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Guess who turned 3!!!

That's right, my little Maggie-Moo is now the big 3! Maggie is so much fun. She is totally girly--will only wear skirts, loves church because it means she can dress up in her nice dresses, loves "pretties" in her hair, loves the color pink, and is our little princess. But even though she girl through and through she can hold her own with her brothers. I have to admit she has hit a bit of the "terrible twos (and threes in this case)" with her tantrums, but, hey...the girl knows what she wants. She's a little spitfire and keeps us laughing all the time. She likes to be naughty but flashes her coy smile and it melts your heart anyway. We love you Mags!

To celebrate I decided to make a rainbow cake. It started out as a lot of work (meaning dirty bowls and spoons) but was coming along nicely... Doesn't this look pretty?
Unfortunately, the pretty ended there. For some reason the cakes would NOT come out of the pans. I begged, pleaded and bribed but it was a no go. I don't know why--I've made this exact recipe before and I greased and floured the pans, but I think it may have something to do with the food coloring? I don't know. But I was...let's just say a bit annoyed since mixing all the colors took forever and lots of dirty bowls, etc. I tried to cut around the edges, scrape them out, no luck. So I finally put them back in the oven for a few minutes in the hopes it would help. After cutting off the sides and literally slamming them over and over again, and scraping with a spatula they finally came out. Needless to say they didn't look pretty. Half the cake was still in the pans. Ugh. But with a little frosting finesse I was able to mostly salvage what was left...

The inside didn't come out as pretty as I had hoped. But the recipe I used was different than the recipe for the rainbow cake (it just said to use a mix which is thicker than homemade batter so mine ran a litle). But Maggie still thought it was so pretty. And served with rainbow sherbet it still tasted like cake....with a lot of buttercream frosting filler!
Her cousins and aunts and uncles (sans the Cardons who we miss!) and grandma came over too. Sam helped Maggie open her presents...
She loved them all!

And yes, I did want her to look cuter for her party but she wasn't having it. She didn't want her hair up and she wanted to wear that outfit. I figured it wasn't worth the fight.

That may not have been worth the fight but this was...
Look closely and you will see an ENTIRE BAG of pretzels thrown all over the living room floor and crushed in pieces. This is what I came upstairs to after exercising the other day. Maggie was literally dancing on the pretzels to make them crunch, Joey was in heaven eating his heart out, and Jacob, as you can see by his guilty "uh oh" expression knew what was coming! They were all over, it was a new bag! This pic only shows half of it. Needless to say I was not happy.

On a brighter note, Tyler had his very first Pinewood Derby last week. He wanted and designed a bear car--dad and mom helped him carve and paint it (we don't trust him quite yet with the power tools). We warned his he wouldn't win because of non-aerodynamic shape, but he actually did pretty well. He won several of his races and came in around 8th out of 18. Not bad!

We all had a ton of fun and he got the award for Most Creative. Good job Ty!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I messed up and only got a picture of Jacob's pumpkin. I just didn't know Maggie was going to ruin all the pumpkins 5 minutes after I carved them. This one, however, is Jacob's. It looks AWESOME considering he did the ENTIRE thing himself--gutting, designing, and even cutting. The only thing I did was cut the top open and help him get started on the guts. I am really impressed.Tyler made a Frankenstein. He actually drew about 5 pictures on the pumpkins but they were so intricate there was no way I could carve them. Finally he drew a manageable Frankenstein but I still managed to mess it up. We salvaged it well enough. Maggie had a cute butterfly but she promptly ripped out the wings.
Maggie was "Pinkalicious" from the childrens book....
Tyler was what almost everyone else was this year it seems--Harry Potter....
Joey was a happy cow....
And Jacob was a Ninja. Awesome.
They had so much fun trick-or-treating and came home with loads of candy. By the time we got home it was pitch black and freezing out. But we still went to Aunt Katie's house for yummy food, family and MORE trick-or-treating! She has the best neighborhood for it--my boys came back with more than one full size candy bar! There was yummy soup too! Perfect for Halloween.
Another Halloween down--can't wait until I have to pick out costumes for next year! Booo aaa ha ha ha ha! (that is supposed to be an evil laugh....)

Camping at Capitol Reef

Okay, it wasn't exactly "camping" considering we were staying in a house trailer with full utilities (microwave, beds, heat, toilet, etc) but it was still enjoying the outdoors. The boys had 2 days off school so we decided to take a little trip down south to Capitol Reef and do some hiking, rock throwing and collecting, and eating yummy camping food (namely s'mores, my personal favorite). We went on several hikes and the kids had a blast. There was a lot of great scenery, and cool rocks. We even found some geodes that we cracked open. Joey had the best seat in the house. He liked being up high where he could see.
Jacob and Tyler loved climbing up the rocks walls and hiding in the little cubbies. I call them cubbies because that is what Jacob said they were--cubbies for the Indian children who used to live there and go to school there a long time ago.
Maggie tried her best to keep up with the boys and, I am not going to lie, there were a few meltdowns. But after realizing she could do her own thing she calmed down a bit.
At the place where we had the trailer house there was a field where Tyler and Eric played football. The boys also played in the leaves--a treat since there were none at Fort Irwin. Joey was a pill--he wanted to walk by himself but couldn't quite maneuver the rocky terrain. That left him with a few scrapes and bruises, but he survived. We learned that, like my other boys, he has an affinity for sticks. Once he got hold of one you had better watch yourself if you tried to take it away. He was not letting ANYONE take his stick away.

I had to throw this pic in--yes, they are being nice to each other!
Joey was particularly happy when he had a sucker in hand. It didn't make mom happy since she ended up with sticky hair...
This was one of the last hikes we went on. I think it was called the Goosenecks. It was short but took you out to the edge of a huge gorge. I think the ranger said it was 800 feet deep. Seriously, about 10 feet behind the boys is a drop off into the gorge. There were moments when I actually thought I might throw up. Eric didn't seem phased but it was too much for me so I didn't let the boys play around. There was a lot of stern words from me!
Overall the trip was a success. Despite a lack of sleep at night--Joey did not want to sleep, neither did Maggie--it was a fun time. Who knows, maybe it will become a Swenson Family tradition!