Thursday, July 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Robbie!

Ten years ago, we were up at LDS Hospital, just happy to have survived a delivery without medication, no idea what we were getting into. Even then it was worth it, we had a beautiful baby boy. I remember thinking that he would never fit into the huge 6-12 month size clothes that someone gave me. Having a ten year old was the last thing on my mind. It's much better that I could have imagined...I love this kid! At ten, Robbie:
  • reads like crazy
  • is a great helper
  • is a good brother
  • thinks he's the dad
  • is a talented pianist
  • is very in-tune with the spirit
  • is an "A" student
  • is generally happy and optimistic
  • is a triathlete
  • worships his dad
  • likes to tease
  • had made tennis pro on the Wii
  • eats like a teenager
  • makes us proud
Happy birthday monkey. July 31st will always be one of the best days of my life.

Monday, July 28, 2008

How to Ruin Your Husband's 40th Birthday

Yes, today Photo Scrooge turned forty. I know, when you look at the picture on his blog, you'd think he could easily pass for eighty, but no, he's just a young one. And here's how I'm ruining this important milestone:

I actually tried to make his day. I called the Apple store this morning at 8:10, only to get the recording for store hours (open at 10 a.m.)...then I called back at 9:59 and asked if there was any way to get my hands on this today. I was told that there were only about twenty people in line so far, so my chances were good. After picking the kids up from swimming and dropping them off at Melissa's, I rushed down to Gateway. I was relieved to hear the employee out front telling the guys in front of me that they would have a phone in their hands by 6 p.m. Then he said "but I'm out of black 16's." He gave the last ticket for one to the person just ahead of me. And I don't see Photo Scrooge using a white phone. So you see, five minutes really can make a difference. Because other than this failure, Rob's day is a perfectly orchestrated birthday dream come true. Yep, up at 5:15 to work out, then to work, then straight to a swim meet for the kids. His only regret is that we'll probably be home too late for him to mow the lawn. :)

On the bright side, he apparently did like this gift, which I made him open last night, because I knew our schedule would be so crazy today:

It's a book made on—haiku written by family and friends then matched up with photos by me. If you want to read the haiku, just click on the slideshow and you can see it enlarged. Thanks to all of you who weren't intimidated by the idea of writing a poem!! And thanks again Katie, for the great idea!  (BTW Rob, there are actually a couple of extras here, that I somehow missed when publishing.)

I'm putting another slideshow, with one photo per year, on the sidebar. Because I'm all about ruining perfectly good birthdays.


Friday, July 25, 2008

An epic day.

You've probably heard of Toyshare and similar companies, where you can pay an annual fee and have access to fun recreational equipment...well, we've found an even better option. It's simply to be related to someone who has all the toys and mooch off of them. :) Yesterday we went to Echo Lake with Shawn and Melissa (and yes, all eight of our kids!) and had the best time ever. It marks the beginning of a new, fabulous stage in our parenting lives—even Ainsley was old enough to ride a tube and LOVE IT. Notice in the photo that she's got the sign for faster figured out. Thanks Stringhams, for buying into the boat, and for being willing to overcrowd it with us.

Dodo Salad

Because we've been living the Stringham lifestyle (read "cereal diet" or "food is optional") Rob's worried about getting too skinny and my recipe book has been neglected. I did make this for the fourth of July, however, and I highly recommend it. If you read the commentary at the beginning of the recipe, you'll also see that it's a great wedding gift idea, along with some salad bowls.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Photo Scrooge won't like this...

I can't believe this was taken almost four weeks ago! The summer has been flying by. Here the short version (that seems long because of the photos):

The kids think Bear Lake is the greatest place on earth, and I have to agree. We love spending time with our extended family there. Thanks again, Ralph and Judy!

Here's a more complete cousins photo at the Smolka's on the 4th—check out cute Clara:

If the Marshes weren't already sick of us after a week at Bear Lake, plus a picnic, swimming & BBQ on the 4th, they had another chance at the family reunion in Alpine on the 5th. It was fun, and I think I could live in Alpine... 

We celebrate all Riley birthdays on the second Sunday of the month, so Rob and Robbie got to celebrate early:

We took the boys to see Kung Fu Panda on the 3rd (four thumbs up), and Robbie was excited to get the game for the Wii.

We were able to go and see Ralph set apart as a sealer in the Salt Lake Temple on the 15th. It was great to meet President Uchtdorf, although Rob called him Elder Uchtdorf, so now he figures he'll be consigned to years of service as a nursery leader. Everyone laughed at me for bringing my camera, so if they want copies of the photos there will be a charge. :)

Not pictured here (You and Photo Scrooge can breathe a collective sigh of relief here) is lots of swimming, Webelos Camp, weeding, soccer, remodeling, weeding, piano, and The Police concert. Did I mention the weeding? The remodeling is going to be covered in another post, possibly on the next holiday, when I have time to blog again.  

"Are you INSANE? Nobody uses Microsoft Works!"

So I've been too busy to document our past few weeks here, but there's always time for font hilarity. Century Gothic has been one of my favorites for a few years...I am SO nonconformist. Vote for your favorite...

Monday, July 21, 2008


We had such a good time at The Police concert on Saturday night—the weather was perfect, the company was fun, the kids were in good hands and the music was AMAZING. This clip was one of my favorite songs of the night (although it's from an earlier concert, Sting is wearing the same shirt). Now I just need to find the Ghost in the Machine shirt that Stewart Copeland was wearing for Rob's birthday.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


When I started this blog it was mostly to relieve my guilt for not scrapbooking or keeping a journal. I've found since then that it's also a great way to keep in touch with friends and family, and even meet people. But I recently discovered yet another benefit of blogging: incentive for my kids. While we were swimming at Ralph & Judy's on the 4th, Robbie was trying to land a flip off the diving board, but couldn't quite make it around before hitting the water. I suggested that I could film him and he could post in on his blog, and here's the result:

Think of the possibilities. I'm envisioning the following post titles by my kids: "I vacuumed the whole house by myself!" and ""Today I didn't whine ONCE!" Or, as long as I'm fantasizing, how about "My full-ride scholarship to Harvard!"