Monday, August 31, 2009


It's that time again. We've started talking about Halloween costumes. This year I didn't even have to push the idea of dressing up with a family theme, the kids just assumed that's what we would be doing and were even excited about it. (Yes, my plan for total family domination is working out just as I planned.) But then, just as naturally to them comes the plain fact that of course they'll each dress up as something different for trick-or-treating on the 31st. Which means more work for me.
But I don't mind.
It's all worth it.
I talked with the kids and we bounced around a few ideas and were able to settle on our theme this year (I won't tell you yet, it's a surprise, but not too hard to guess), with everyone eagerly and easily choosing their characters...except for Josh. Bless his little heart, he has a hard time deciding on things. He's chosen at least three different options for himself only to change his mind later and fret over what he should be instead. He was really worked up about it while we were talking in the car the other day. He kept asking me what he should be and I kept giving him suggestions (including those he'd already dismissed) but none of them would do and he just kept agonizing.
Lydia tried urging him, "Josh, you should be Hello Kitty."
(She was wearing her favorite Hello Kitty shoes at the time.)
(No, our family theme is not Japanese characters.)
Her insistence only added to Josh's agitation. "Lydi, no! I do not want to be Hello Kitty!"
"But Josh, you could just be Hello Kitty for Halloween."
"Lydi! That doesn't're just...I don't...that doesn't even make sense!" (exasperated that she would suggest such a thing)
"But Hello Kitty is soft. And cute." (soft and cute said as two syllable words)
"No! Lydia! I do not want to be Hello Kitty!!" (losing his mind now)
"But Josh..." (calmly)
We finally managed to come up with an acceptable new idea for Josh. I'm hopeful this one will stick. In the meantime Lydia has decided she would like a Hello Kitty birthday cake.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The greatest invention of the 21st century

You heard it here first; if there is even a remote possibility a baby is in your future, run (don't walk) and get yourself a couple of these beauties. Squirt, the baby food dispensing spoon by Boon, Inc. is my favorite possession for the next several months. My sister, Julie, gave me one before Afton was born (mine is pink). I have raved about it so much ever since she started eating baby food that Julie kindly gave me a second. One is always in the diaper bag and one is always in the dishwasher. There is balance in the force. I am out and about with the kids so much, it is the best thing ever for on-the-go feeding. All of the food is ready, I can feed her one-handed while holding her, there's no baby food jar for her to kick or grab, it's awesome. Swim practices and meets, church, the ice cream shop, Natural Tunnel Stake Park, it goes where I go. Every single time I have used it (which is many), every single time people stare in amazement and ask where I got such a marvel. You can get one at Baby Bundles in the mall, from Boon's website, Amazon, and Walmart or Target online (but not in stores).
I am not an official sponsor of Boon, but if they would like me to be, they can pay me in Squirts.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fort Dining Room

We'll call it 'The Impenetrable' (to everything except babies, who have the super-human strength to pull the walls right down and highly annoy the fort builders).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Backing up a little...

Of course, you can't go back to school before going to Grammy and Grandpa's Back to School Pool Party.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to school

I just wasn't ready yet. Maybe that's why I'm a week late posting the photos.
Emma = 4th grader, Ben = 2nd grader, Josh = kindergartener

Everyone was happy. Even Emma and Ben (who have mastered the art of pretending they don't like school) couldn't hide their excitement. Josh was bouncing off the walls. I like all of their teachers. Should be a good year.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Animal Books

Favorite pastime for the last week of summer break:
The kids have been getting these just-for-kids wildlife magazines for the past couple of years as a gift from Scott's grandma. The old already-read issues have been sitting on a shelf pretty much since we moved here, until last week when out of nowhere they gained new life. Emma started it all by finding a so-cute photo of some baby animal and showed it to the rest of the kids. She announced she was going to cut it out and tape it on her bedroom wall. Instantaneously every single past copy of those magazines was on the kitchen table. All four big kids pouring through them armed with scissors. Lydia was just cutting randomly, but Emma, Ben and Josh were focused. There was almost a feeling of frenzied competition and unbearable anxiety that someone else might get to all the good pictures first. Soon their cut-out-animal-picture-piles were growing. Ten, twenty, now bragging about who has the most, thirty, now bargaining for rights to the next lemur anyone found, forty. I didn't really want them to stick that many magazine cutouts on their walls (is that wrong?) so I supplied them each with a brand spanking new notebook full of blank paper (thanks, Grammy!) and a glue sticks instead. Say hello to 'Animals of the World', 'Animals of the Land and Sea and Sky' and 'Animals of the Land, Sea and Sky'! ("Josh, you can't copy my title!" "But I want to name it that!" "Mom!") This occupation has kept them thoroughly entertained far longer than I thought it would. It got even better when Emma started adding humorous captions to some of her cutouts:Once again Emma had hit on a winner and Ben got busy writing in his own comments in his book. I went through Josh's book with him as he dictated what I should write. I very quickly noticed a theme. By the picture of a skunk, "Don't make me spray you!" By the picture of a crab, "Don't make me pinch you!" By the picture of a rabbit, "Don't make me hop on you!" I wondered why every animal was issuing threats and who they were being made to, but I did not get a chance to ask because as the threats got more and more weird I was laughing so hard it was difficult to even write.

[Don't make me sneak up in the night and eat all your garbage!]

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009


Have I ever mentioned that Scott is sporty?
More seasons that not he can be found cleaning up for the Busdrivers, our church softball team. In game one this year he hit one home run. In game two he hit two. I am going to be there for game eight!! This footage from game two is less impressive in a way because the bases were loaded...he had to just jog so he wouldn't pass the other runners. I took some footage of him in game one on his phone, I need to ask him how to download that because he was able to full-out sprint in that one. (Near the end keep your ears peeled to find out what Ben was worried about while his dad was winning the game.)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Made me a shirt too

I've had this tutorial bookmarked forever. It wasn't my favorite...seemed a little overcomplicated and needed a bit of tweaking in the end anyway. Nonetheless---voila!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dot -or- 'Tis better to have loved and lost

A couple of weeks ago, Emma caught a little hoppy friend at Grandma's house and named it Dot. Emma's been wanting an animal to call her own for a very long time, but I am just not up for a "real" pet (you know, the kind you have to walk and take to the vet and house train and pay for). But I liked this cute tiny frog and so we struck a deal. She could bring the wee froggie home and make it a little shoebox home to keep in the garage. If she could get it to eat, and remain committed to refreshing the habitat, Dot could join the family. But if it wouldn't eat after two days we decided it would be best to let her go so we could avoid an animal funeral.
Bless Emma's sweet little heart. We looked up how-to-have-a-pet-frog info online. She played with her frog every day, gave it fresh water, brought it freshly swatted flies and even a few live little bugs she managed to snag around the yard. She showed it off to the neighborhood kids and spoke proudly and affectionately of her pet frog. But Dot just wasn't meant for captivity. The beloved amphibian wouldn't eat any of the insect offerings we gave it. By day two it actually looked skinnier.
Emma asked if I'd take some pictures of her with Dot before we released it. The one on top is a perfect shot of Emma's sad smile (reserved for time such as this, when she's being brave...not letting on how hard something is, or when she's trying to reassure someone in a hopeless situation). Josh wept big alligator tears over the frog's departure, but Emma only allowed a few moments of misty eyes, maturely acknowledging it was better this way. She snapped this photo as Dot leaped to freedom.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bowling for Babies

[I didn't get a digital recording of this event when it happened. But we were watching home movies with the kids the other day and I realized this must be shared. So I went for the old school filming of the TV screen.]

Here's the scene: the Barber family reunion, May 2008. It's the evening of the big talent show. We've been treated to all sorts of music, comedy, magic and more. Now it's time for the grand finale. Scott (the mastermind) and Lydia (the willing assistant) step to the stage and bring down the house with this unique performance...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

If you know the Clapps, you'll love the Athletic Supporters

Go here for some sweet classic rock. Then give them a good rating so they can make it to the finals.