Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 facebook status updates

Michelle Riley Marsh

* has over 12,000 photos in iPhoto. It's too overwhelming to pick a few to post here.
January 8, 2009 at 9:46pm

* is seriously happy to have a new Nikon D90.
February 20, 2009 at 11:49am

* would do it all again. But this time I'd register at Best Buy, just to make Rob happy.
February 22, 2009 at 5:27pm

* hasn't seen a single non-animated movie that was nominated for an oscar this year.
February 23, 2009 at 1:39pm

* favorite quote today, from her five year-old: "No, I don't want to play that—Duck Duck Goose is for preschoolers."
February 27, 2009 at 2:39pm

* is done with winter.
March 2, 2009 at 11:15am

* will inherit a large sum of money. Gotta love the Peking Noodle Company.
March 7, 2009 at 8:49pm

* is so sick of homework. And I don't even have any.
March 25, 2009 at 9:57pm

* I just put 16 soccer games and 40 practices on my calendar and I'm feeling guilty because I'm dreading it. That's my native cheery optimism shining through.
March 26, 2009 at 5:21pm

* Michelle Riley Marsh 's husband is the best. The very best.
April 15, 2009 at 6:08pm

* I promised the girls a sleepover in Mom & Dad's room while Rob's out of town and they're so excited they've already got on their pajamas. It's 4:00 p.m.
April 20, 2009 at 4:03pm

* If the weather was this awesome all the time, would anyone really appreciate it?
April 21, 2009 at 6:34pm

* Absence does make the heart grow fonder, but it doesn't take two weeks. About thirty hours left...
April 30, 2009 at 6:34pm

* hates to be hated.
May 15, 2009 at 8:52am

* We had a great dinner at La Cleavage—I mean La Caille tonight. $50K well spent for sure.
May 20, 2009 at 10:26pm

* Joey just threw up in class. I guess I should have believed him when he said he wasn't feeling well this morning. :(
May 21, 2009 at 10:19am

* was so happy to turn the calendar page this morning!
June 1, 2009 at 9:12am

* My house is cleaned often, but never quite clean.
June 2, 2009 at 10:01pm

* My family needs to quit generating laundry for a few days so I can catch up.
July 6, 2009 at 9:53pm

* Deathly Hallows. For the fourth time.
July 16, 2009 at 9:21pm

* If I were re-writing the Inferno, one entire level would be filled with laundry.
July 16, 2009 at 9:22pm

* Today is Rob's favorite "holiday." Happy Birthday!
July 28, 2009 at 8:59am

* A two year-old throwing a tantrum is SO much cuter than a six year-old throwing a tantrum.
August 5, 2009 at 9:47am

* Four out of four kids liked dinner tonight. They had Cookie Crisp.
August 6, 2009 at 7:45pm

* Taking my kids to their most-anticipated summer event—a trip to the dentist. That's either a high compliment to Dr. Boyden, or a sad statement on everything else we've done.
August 10, 2009 at 1:34pm

* Rattle and Hum.
August 14, 2009 at 10:25pm

* Just had my back adjusted. It feels so much better!
August 26, 2009 at 12:32pm

* Is it too early for a nap?
September 1, 2009 at 8:39am

* I guess this cut could be considered short.
September 3, 2009 at 4:01pm

* Ainsley keeps saying "Mom, let's clean the whole house and surprise Dad when he gets home" and I keep thinking "That word LET'S, I do not think it means what you think it means."
September 5, 2009 at 10:57am

* Joey and I have been planning his 9th birthday party for a week. When he came up with a guest list of 20 kids and the location fell through, I offered him cash and a fun family activity in lieu of the party and was thrilled for a change to have such a mercenary kid. Mother. Of. The. Year.
September 17, 2009 at 5:04pm

* the office :)
September 17, 2009 at 6:57pm

* Conversation with Ainsley: "Mom, I love you the most." "No, I love YOU the most." "No, I could take your brain away." Well, she's got me there.
October 13, 2009 at 1:55pm

* I have been restored! Whew. I was missing that illusion that I had a life.
November 1, 2009 at 8:00pm

* I'm not a big Michael Jackson fan, but I loved "This Is It."
November 21, 2009 at 5:57pm

* I love watching penalty kicks. Especially when Rimando is on our side. Way to go RSL!
November 22, 2009 at 9:59pm

* Cyber Monday. So much better than Black Friday.
November 30, 2009 at 11:16am

* We won a complete set of Seinfeld DVDs at the company party...time to bring the Thursday night parties back.
December 3, 2009 at 11:07pm

* We LOVED the concert last night! I think there are still a few tickets left for tonight's show—you should go!
December 19, 2009 at 10:07am

* The kids can't wait to go to bed, which is a good thing, since we've got several hours of wrapping and assembly ahead of us. Merry Christmas everyone!
December 24, 2009 at 8:14pm

* Now that Christmas is over, can we just fast forward to summer?
December 28, 2009 at 10:51pm

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Since I'm feeling lucky...

I'm linking to the giveaway for these cool nativity hurricanes on the simplemom.net site so that I have an extra chance to win. Love these.

Monday, December 7, 2009

My lifting buddy

She can't really spot me on the bench press, but Ainsley is very enthusiastic, and a great flexibility coach. I'll be struggling to touch my toes, and she'll say, "No mom, you're doing it wrong. Just do this. See, it's easy!"

Here she is working out with me this morning. We've taken a page from Rob's book and are watching a Palladia concert. This one is Jason Mraz's Beautiful Mess.

video

Epic. Awesome. Music. Thank you Natalie, for posting your favorite music on your facebook page so I could discover him last year.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Festival of Trees

Ainsley had a performance at the festival of trees yesterday. It was pretty hilarious watching her grab the little girl closest to her so she wouldn't slip in her tap shoes. As my aunt Jan said, all they really had to do to entertain us is walk out on the stage looking cute. Here she is after the show with her best non-cousin friend.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Well, the force must be with us. In addition to the reflections contest and the fabulous brownies, we scored big in the raffle at the company party. There were around 10 prizes, and our tickets got picked four times! It was actually a little embarrassing. Of course there was a one prize per couple limit, but we walked away with the complete set of Seinfeld DVDs. I may need to call one of my Idaho friends and have them purchase a lottery ticket for me! :) And of course I'll need to create a new label for the blog: "winnings." Or maybe I can tag it as "traditions" and keep the luck coming...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

And the winner is...

Melissa. Let me know what kind and when.

Rob is pretty bitter about not being allowed to win. I might just have to have a brownie party and invite all of you. Rob, you can lick the bowl.

Here's the Martha Stewart Ultimate Brownie recipe I promised. For a long time I could handle the richness, but now I usually cut back a bit on the chocolate and sugar.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ve haf a vinner!

I've been meaning to post this exciting news all week—Joey took first place in literature for Reflections. This kid thrives on positive reinforcement. He just lights up—I wish I could have caught his face when they announced it. But he's still pretty happy here:
I do feel a little bad that what is getting reinforced is a first draft, "this is due tomorrow so I'd better get it done"entry. Here's what he wrote:

Beautiful People
By Joey Marsh

Some people think that beauty is fancy clothes or make up, but I think beauty is happiness, kindness, and treating others the way you want to be treated. I think that someone beautiful would be helpful. For example my grandparents are beautiful. They may look old, and have wrinkles and white hair, but they are nice and happy and they treat others kindly and they are helpful. I think everyone on Earth can be beautiful if they are kind to each other.

Awww.

AND, guess who won these brownies?!
Yes, this might be an unprecedented two-winner week in the Marsh family. Hopefully our luck will extend to our teams tomorrow. Too bad we're not still living in Idaho, we could give the lottery a try. :) Thank you, Stacy Julian, the only person I know of who loves brownies as much as I do. If you haven't checked out her blog, go and be inspired.

I don't think I've ever won ANYTHING before, and it was so fun to see my name listed (although a little embarrassing because I left a pretty lame comment—couldn't I win when I had something witty to say? Um, don't answer that.)

Since I'm feeling the love, and I think all three of you reading this would agree that if I had an area of expertise, it would be brownies, I too am going to give away some homemade brownies. Just leave a comment, preferably a lame one. I'll draw one of them at random on Sunday at 6:00 p.m. You can even pick which recipe you'd like: St. George Brownies, Mint Brownies, Brownie Cake or Ultimate Brownies (which I haven't posted yet, but will if you pick them).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

School picture day

I volunteered to take a class photo at Ainsley's preschool, and discovered, as their teacher (my friend) Mandy said, that the photographers at Kiddie Kandids are seriously underpaid. We did end up with a few good shots, but there were many more silly faces than smiling ones. I love Ainsley's class—the other kids are all friends from the neighborhood or cousins. And Mandy is pretty much brilliant—check out her preschool blog and you'll see what I mean.


I'm loving this year with Ainsley. I have a few hours a week to myself, and that's been great, but I really love having such a bright, fun, super cute friend to hang out with the rest of the time. I love this girl.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Finally

I've been promising to post this recipe for weeks. Thanks for being patient.

This is Halloween

Or rather, this is us skipping Halloween. When Shawn and Melissa invited us to join them and the Boydens at Disneyland for the weekend, no one was more surprised than I was that Rob agreed on such short notice. I mean, it took him FIVE YEARS to pick out and buy his road bike. We're not exactly spontaneous. But as Melissa said here, we "clearly underestimated Rob's hatred of all things Halloween. He was more than happy to leave costumes and trick-or-treating behind." We had a great trip—thanks Stringhams and Boydens! Here are some highlights:
Alright, this isn't really a highlight, but I can't document this trip without mentioning our three hour stop north of Beaver. What's sad is that we actually got out of the house at 6:00 a.m., which is a record for us, only to be delayed by a nasty snowstorm.


While we were waiting for the gates to open our first day there, a cast member (Bob, pictured here with us) said he was looking for a family of six to open the park. Several families raised their hands until he added "from Utah." That's us! It was fun to be the first ones in.


Both of the boys were picked for Jedi training, another first for us. I wish I had a photo of Ainsley hiding behind my back every time Darth Maul came near us.

We didn't see as many characters this visit, but it was fun to see a few in costume.


We loved Toy Story, the latest ride at California Adventure.


The decorations everywhere were great. The Haunted House was completely redone in "The Nightmare Before Christmas."


We got several shots with Mickey though, all in different outfits—he must have been busy changing his clothes every five minutes. :)

video
Joey was picked to be in one of the shows. Too bad he's not very dramatic.

It was three times the fun on days two and three, since the Stringhams and Boydens were there too.


Rob thinks this photo sums up the whole trip pretty well.


The whole group.

No costumes this year, so we settled for shots in their Halloween shirts.

More photos here.



Monday, October 19, 2009

Our baby...

...is really not a baby anymore. It's bittersweet. It's so nice to not be changing diapers or waking up at night (usually, anyway). She can buckle herself into her car seat and take a shower now. She is a chatterbox and constantly entertains us. Right now she's really into putting on "performances" for us—she'll inform us that the curtain is "going up" and then starts her ballet, interspersed with a few no-quite-complete cartwheels. It's easy to see why the three year-olds are called the Sunbeams in primary—she literally shines and brings light. It's hard to come up with anything I haven't liked about her at age three. So as she turns four, I guess the bitter part is just knowing that it's all going by too fast.
Since her birthday was on Saturday, we had a breakfast celebration, with the best pancakes I've ever tasted (thank you Martha Stewart!), followed by gifts, and after that no other celebrating was necessary—she and Ellie played with her new toys all day long. Actually, we did celebrate a little more, on Sunday, when I made her cake. Ellie had drawn a picture of a birthday cake, and Ainsley wanted that cake. I did my best, and I must say, my cake tasted better.
I used the Brownie Cake recipe, cream cheese frosting, marshmallow fondant, and of course, sprinkles.

Here's hoping that year four is even better than year three. We love you so much Ains!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Stringham, I mean, Marsh Adventure

I mentioned to Rob that I was thinking about updating the blog today, making it clear that I was only thinking about it, not promising to actually do it. He told me to make it easy on myself and just link to Melissa's blog. We did cram four days of fun activities with the kids in the week before school started, but she's done a much better job at posting than I have. So you can see what we did Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday by just clicking. I actually feel a little guilty that we spend more time with these cousins than other cousins or friends, but it is SO convenient—they live so close, and everyone has a buddy their age (except for Peter, and so far at least, he doesn't seem to mind). Plus they are awesome and way fun. Of course this fun all took place over a week ago so I still have plenty to catch up, including the first day of school and Ellie's birthday. I'll get to the school stuff later...here's what we did to make Ellie's day special:

Since Rob wanted to get a long bike ride in around ten, we opted for a birthday breakfast and let Ellie choose the where and what. Of course we ended up at Hagermann's for french toast.


Definitely a good idea to open presents first thing—I think we could have gotten away without planning anything else for the day, since she would have been content to play with her new things.

She got an MP3 player, some new shoes, a magnetic paper doll, Annie on DVD, a book and new ballet clothes.

Great-grandma Clayton joined us, and Grandpa Riley (behind the counter) was able to take a break while it was slow and eat with us.

I really tried to get ONE shot without a silly face, but silly and six just seem to go together.

Good times.

While Rob was off logging around 70 miles with Shawn, I whipped up some cupcakes (which were unfortunately not photo-worthy) then we headed to the Murray City pool to hook up with the Stringhams. Ellie was very excited about the water slide, so it was a bit disappointing to find it out-of-order after we had paid and were already in the pool.

But, with some chocolaty sweetness,

diving board poses for the older kids,
and fountain fun, they all had a good time anyway.

Thank you Stringhams for making Ellie feel like she got a party when she really didn't. :)
Melissa, I'll have to e-mail the rest of the photos to you—there are some cute ones of just you guys and Peter. Then when you blog it I can link to you again. :)

Coming later today (or maybe tomorrow), an interview with the birthday girl. We love you Ellie!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

If I could stop time...

This would be a great stopping point. We took the kids swimming tonight after dinner. It was a little cold so while Ainsley was warming up next to me I snapped about 30 photos of her. Oh my gosh I love this face.
We've been trying to pack as much fun as possible into this last week before school starts, so I have a bunch of "things we've done" posts to catch up on, but what I really want to post is that it doesn't get any better than this. Well, it might be a little better if we had a cleaning lady at home while we're out playing. But this is about the gratitude I'm feeling...I love this week of fun, I love this stage in our lives, I love my family. And cheese, lots of cheese. Obviously.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Hike to Donut Falls

Today while I was dropping Joey and Will off after drama camp Becca mentioned that they were planning on hiking for Family Night, and we ended up tagging along at the last minute. It was a short, easy hike, but somehow the girls still ended up riding part of the way.
Not so many wildflowers on this hike, but the water was pretty.
And the company was great—we love the Breinholts.
A big bonus for me is the chance to take photos of the kids without too much of a fight.
This is at the top, but the Falls were out of my viewfinder.
There they are (the lower falls, anyway).
So who wants to go hiking with us next week?

Best Birthday Ever

I was at youth conference for Robbie's birthday this year, and felt bad because I like to make birthdays a really special day for the kids. To make things worse, we've decided that once they're in the double digits they probably won't get a friends party, and since we've already bought him a new bike, tennis racket and sleeping bag this summer, we told him not to expect any big presents. Here's what saved the day:
We had talked about going to the Peter Breinholt concert, but decided it was a little late to keep the kids out when we had church at nine a.m. Luckily the Stringhams wanted to go and we decided to throw responsibility to the wind and join them.
Becca was kind enough to bring our blankets since she was coming early anyway. We also got to sit by the Ensigns, Griffiths and Breinholts, so it was a huge party. We even got a sneak preview of the set list:
Of course there was a lot of dancing:
I didn't get a great shot of the birthday boy—he WAS having fun, really.
It was a gorgeous night and a great venue.
We had a great time, although the young couple sitting next to us might NEVER have kids now.
The best line of the night came from Scout—Rob was teasing her and she replied "You're the president of the you're wrong club!"
The absolute highlight was when Pete wished Robbie Happy Birthday right in the middle of "Flowers." I'm so bummed, I had been shooting video of the kids dancing, but had turned it off as I turned back to the stage, so I missed catching that on video.
To top it all off, Pete gave Robbie a signed copy of Deep Summer for his birthday. Robbie declared it his best birthday ever, and it's hard to argue with that!

We love you Robbie!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Welcome home buccaneer

Shiver me timbers! Today I got home from a fun youth conference to find this card waiting for me:



I have NO IDEA where the buccaneer theme is coming from, but Rob and I are relieved to know that Joey has a future career with Hallmark. More later about youth conference and Robbie's eleventh birthday. Until then, ahoy mateys!