Tuesday, January 31, 2012

AA & EE & The AP Family

I found this awesome little page in Hubba's backpack. Rather than point out the inappropriateness of certain words, I have learned to ask questions. So I casually asked, "Hey Hubba, what's this paper for?" "Oh. It's my word list. We had to think of all the words we could that have the AA or EE sound. I could only think of one with AA, but I thought of two with EE!" he told me proudly.

It reminded me of when ElemenoB was in the 1st grade and she called me from school and asked me to come pick her up because she wasn't feeling well. As I entered the classroom her teacher was asking the kids if anyone had any good words in mind from the '-AP family' that they could add to their class spelling list. "Map!" shouted one child with her hand in the air. "Perfect!" the teacher exclaimed as she wrote it on the board. "Cap!" the next boy she called on suggested. "Great!" she answered as she added it to their list. "Nap!" came the next answer. "These are all so great!" the teacher said. ElemenoB's hand had been up the whole time so the teacher called on her. "Crap!" ElemenoB suggested proudly. "Oh," the teacher responded thoughtfully, not even fazed. "That's a very good idea, ElemenoB, but I think we're just going to use words with three letters this time around." I stood there in the back of the room, red-faced, knowing it was me she had learned that word from. But since no one else seemed to mind at all, I gathered up my little angel-faced girl and took her home without a word of apology.

I'm sure our family nAAme will live in infamEE for these little mishAPs.

I just hope their teachers have a good sense of humor.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lunch Leftovers

I am usually irritated when I find yesterday's leftovers in my kids' lunch bags the next morning.

On this day? I was just impressed.

Friday, January 27, 2012

My Heart's On Fire

photo here
I got an email yesterday from the Covey Center with a picture of these four guys and the announcement that they are coming soon!

I was a little confused, though. Because I know Dumbledore and Snape, but who are the other two?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Forgiveness Came

Our kids got an awesome new work station for Christmas, a desk built along the entire length of one wall with nice, comfy office chairs to sit in as well.

For some reason, our youngest kids like to sit three to a chair. We told them over and over not to sit in the same chair (one on each arm, one in the seat) but they just didn't listen.

Until the chair broke.

The kids, knowing trouble was likely coming as a result of this, quickly drafted the following letter with Hubba spelling the words and he and Curly taking turns writing them out.

(Transcription, if needed: Dad PLese DONT Be MAD WE BROke THe DeSK CHAIR WE CRAKD THe SiDE WHeN ALL 3 of us were sitting on it we are so soory. HERE iS OUR MoNeY To BUY A NeW CHAIR WE WiLL WoRK AND EARN MORE MoNeY. We ARE So SoRY love Hubba Curly Little O)

How could anyone be mad after something as thoughtful and heartwarming as this? Disappointed, yes. But mad? Nope.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Personal Reminder

"There should be no yelling in the home unless there is a fire." -David O. McKay

Wise words from a wise man!

I found this quote online the other day and knew it was just the reminder I needed. I decided to make it into something I could print out and hang on my wall - but probably just where I can see it. Otherwise the kids would probably point at it all the time while glaring at me with accusing looks on their faces. I'm pretty sure that would be counter-productive.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

All In A Day's Work

Little O's life is well described by the term chillaxin'.

His life consists of lounging around in his pajamas for most of the day, playing with Legos and blocks and cars and Woody and Buzz, watching movies, looking at books and convincing his parents and older siblings to tend to his every need by simply flashing his adorable smile or asking, "Pweeeeeze?" in his sweet little voice.

It's some pretty exhausting work for a 3-year-old, let me tell you.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Haunted House

photo here

A couple of my kids have decided to tell all of the other kids that there are ghosts in our house. These ghosts apparently live in the basement and the upstairs bathroom. I have personally never seen or heard any of these ghosts and the kids spreading these ridiculous tales haven't either. But they've heard them. And they've just known the ghosts are there sometimes.

This has resulted in every kid under the age of 12 being scared to go down to the basement (where their bedrooms are, for crying out loud!) or into the bathroom unless someone is with them. Because somehow, the ghosts will not devour frightened children who travel in pairs. It is getting to the point where I am beyond frustration in dealing with this. I have tried reasoning with them, using solid arguments such as the following:

Kids: Baby X, you want to come down to the basement with me?

Me: WHAT?! He doesn't want to go down to the basement with you. Just go down there yourself! You're FINE!

Kids: I'm not going down there alone.

Me: And how is Baby X going to help you? Is he going to fight off these imaginary ghosts? Are you going to hold him in front of you so he'll be attacked first? This is ridiculous! THERE ARE NO GHOSTS DOWN THERE.

Kids: There are.

Me: Has anything happened to anyone who has been in the basement alone in the 15 years we've lived in this house? EVER? No! So, what are you scared of?

Kids: The ghost.

Me: WHAT GHOST?! There is NO ghost!

Kids: Cowgirl heard it once.

Me: No she didn't! She heard the water going through the pipes or someone walking on the floorboards upstairs or the wind outside. There are no ghosts! Ghosts don't exist! The only thing in the basement is your bedrooms, a bathroom and the washer and dryer!

Kids: Ghosts like to hide.

Me: There are NO ghosts hiding in our basement. What do you think these imaginary ghosts are going to do to you?

Kid 1: Scare us.
Kid 2: Or eat us.
Kid 3: Or get inside our bodies.

Me: WHAT are you even talking about?!

Kids: That's what ghosts do.

Me: Maybe it's a ghost like Casper. Maybe it's a friendly ghost!

Kids: HA! So you ADMIT there's a ghost!

Me: No! There's not... I meant... Oh, forget it.

And then there's the issue of using the upstairs bathroom. Little O was all potty trained and never had any accidents. Until Princess decided to freak out one day and tell all the kids that there is now a ghost in the upstairs bathroom. The result? NO ONE WILL GO IN THERE WITHOUT A COMPANION. In the bathroom. Come on! Yesterday I made it a point to not let anyone accompany anyone else into the bathroom. I wanted them to see that they could use the toilet without company and return to the rest of the family, unscathed, and without any ghost sightings.

Here's how that went.

Little O: I gotta go to the baftroom lilly, lilly bad!!

Me: GO! GO! You know how! Get in there!

Little O: I too scared! You come wif me!

Me: You can do it, Little O! You're a big boy!

Little O: (doing The Dance) I GOTTA GO LILLY, LILLY BAD!



Me: He can go himself, Princess. Let him go himself.

Princess: But the ghost!


Little O: I too SCARED! (Looks down) Uh-oh...

After 3 changes of clothes, I had had enough. I let him have a bathroom buddy and pretended not to notice.

All I can do is hope this is a phase they are going to grow out of. Either that or I'm going to be stuck in a haunted house for as long as I still have kids at home. And friends, that's a mighty long time.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

On The Phone

photo here

The following phone conversation really occurred. I have changed the name of the caller to protect his identity.

Me: Hello?

Coal S. Mountain: Hey, Sister B., this is Coal S. Mountain. How are you?

Me: I'm good. How about you?

CSM: I'm good. (nervous laughter) So, I wanted to ask your permission to take your daughter on a date this Thursday, January twelfth at around 6:30 in the evening or so.

Me: Well, I appreciate you asking but I guess it depends on what are you going to be doing for this date?

CSM: Oh. Well, (nervous laughter) we will actually be going to be a part of a protest.

Me: You want to take ElemenoB to a protest? That sounds like a pretty exciting date.

CSM: (nervous laughter) Yes, it probably will be.

Me: Can you tell me more about this? Like, what will you be protesting?

CSM: It's a protest on the government. They want to move part of the river and that means people can't do any more fishing in some places... and other stuff. And they're taking away some business, too. It's just a bad idea. (nervous laughter) Yeah.

Me: So, I assume there will be more protesters there besides you and ElemenoB?

CSM: Yeah. For sure. Unless someone's playing a really good joke on us. But yes, I believe there will be other people. Lots of other people there.

Me: And what is the likelihood that you'll be hauled off to jail because of this protest?

CSM: Oh, no, I'm pretty sure no one's going to jail. But if she does get put in jail, let me just say I apologize in advance.

Me: Actually, the proper thing to say would be, "If ElemenoB is put in jail, I will foot her bail and remain her friend for life to offset the stigma that a jail record can carry, such as not being accepted to colleges or getting gainful employment."

CSM: Oh, yeah - of course. I will totally bail her out of jail and be her friend.

Me: Well, when you put it all that way, how can I say no?

CSM: You really can't.

Me: I'll tell you what. That would probably be okay unless I look at our calendar and see something else is happening that night. Or if I think it over and something doesn't seem right, I'll let you know.

CSM: If you could call and let me know as soon as possible, that would be great.

Me: Sounds good. Will do. Thanks for the call, Coal S. Mountain.

CSM: Yeah, you have a good day, Sister B.

Me: You, too, Coal.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Happy Camper

For many years now I have been attending camp with the young women (age 12-18) in our area. I have been an assistant camp director in the past and, in more recent years, a camp committee member. A few months ago I was thanked for my service and wished good luck in any new endeavors. I was a little sad about this (okay, a LOT sad) but I figured it was time to give someone else a chance to experience the awesomeness involved with going up to camp with the young women in our neighborhood.

I may have sulked a little bit. But then! THEN!! Not too long ago I was asked to be the camp director for my church congregation.

I am not even kidding, you guys. I AM THE CAMP DIRECTOR. You know what this means, right?

Dreams really do come true.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Quick Quips

Hubba: See that dot at the end of the sentence? That means it's done.
Curly: Right. It's called a pyramid.

Little O: I wanna pway at Rango's house!
Curly: You can't. Because Rango's not real.
Little O: Yuh-huh! He's real on my TV!

Little O: I don't like ANY beans. But Jesus likes SOME-beans. We singed it at my church class.

Little O's friend: The mom in Tangled is scary.
Little O: Yeah, my mom is scary, too.

Allen: Okay, everyone. Stop teasing All-a-Boy.
Princess: (in a sing-songy tone of voice) All-a-Boy is Barbie's boyfriend! Ha-ha, ha-ha-ha!
Allen: Princess, what did I just say?
Princess: You said to start teasing All-a-Boy.
Allen: I said to stop teasing him.
Princess: Oh. Oops.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Shout Out!

Today I present you with a list of places/things that I would gladly recommend. You know, just in case you were wondering.

Have any of you who live in my neck of the woods eaten at La Jolla Groves? Oh, my goodness gracious - you must. This restaurant is our new favorite and I can not say enough good things about it. The food is freshly made, the produce used is locally grown and the portions are perfect. I have eaten there at least a dozen times and tried a new dish each time. I have never eaten anything that I do not LOVE. If you want something light, just get some soup and you'll still leave happy. And guess what? It gets even better. DESSERTS. Oh, yeah, baby. They have an incredible variety of desserts. And here's my insiders secret for you. The dessert menu is only a small portion of what's available. Take a look in their bakery before you order dessert because there's a whole plethora of deliciousness in there. My recommendations would be either the coconut cream pie (I have never in my life had better), the fruit tarts (a perfect little sweet to end your meal) or the monster cookie (I'm not sure what's in it but it's awesome). Go check out La Jolla Groves - but you don't have to tell them I sent you because they'd be like, who?

I know I've mentioned it before, but along the lines of good food, this is still my favorite blog on healthier eating - Word of Wisdom Living. The writer of the blog, Skip, suggests 52 simple Healthy Changes (one each week) you can make in your life to start eating better. I have always had the desire to get my family eating healthier - but there are so many rules I know we should follow and things I know we need to put effort into in order to really make this happen. It can be overwhelming and frustrating. This blog has been an inspiration toward helping my family live a healthier lifestyle. In Skip's own words, "The Healthy Changes are like resolutions, but better—they're done continuously, all year long, one each week." Seriously, go check it out.

You know I'm a sock fanatic, right? Well, this will prove my craziness. I read somewhere online about these socks that cost around $15 a pair and I thought, "I'm not that crazy." Well, it turns out I actually am. I read a bunch of online reviews about these socks and I couldn't resist trying a pair. If you love socks, or even if you don't, you have to try SmartWool socks. They are comfy, cushiony and (if you like) colorful. I'm in sock-love.

If you have a baby who is eating real food you need Munchkin Fresh Food Feeders. They look like this:
and they are fantastic. You can slice up some apples or pears or carrots or whatever your baby wants to eat but you're afraid they'll choke on and slide a piece into the mesh pocket. Snap it closed, hand it to baby and VOILA! you're both happy. I need to go get me some more of these. If you want to give them a try, too - check your local Target or order them online at Amazon.

*No one asked me to write this post or compensated me in any way. I just really, really love these places/things and think they deserve a shout-out. Plus I've seen these kind of disclaimers on other blogs and I thought it would make me look cool to add it.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Twenty Twelve

This year is going to be an eventful one for our family!

Allen and I will be celebrating our 20th anniversary.

I'm going to be celebrating 40 years of life on this planet and seeing my first published writing.

Coolister will be leaving to serve a 2-year mission for our church.

ElemenoB will be a senior in high school and turn 18 - technically an adult.

Thumbelina will turn 16 and be old enough to drive and date.

Hubba will be turning the magical age of 8 which means he'll be getting baptized.

Curly is FINALLY going to start kindergarten! (She's been ready for this for about 3 years now. I'm pretty sure she could act as a substitute teacher if hers is ever gone.)

Little O had his first week at church as a Sunbeam yesterday. He is growing up much too quickly.

And that's just the stuff that we actually know about. (Well, that and the end of the world on December 12.) Who knows what other adventures and surprises 2012 could have in store? I think it's going to be a great year.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Bringing Sunshine Since 2003

Nine years ago, on January 1, 2003, our Princess was born. She was the second New Year's baby born in our local hospital even though she didn't arrive until around one in the afternoon. (Apparently everyone was trying to have their babies induced the night before and only one held out until after the new year rang in.)

She has always had this beautiful, contagious smile that just lights up a room like sunshine.

Princess can be ultra-sensitive at times, but that's because she's just a tender-hearted sweetie.

Her manner of speaking, her kind nature and her helpful attitude are just some of the things I love about our Princess.

She is the kind of girl who is a friend to everyone in her classes at school and church because she has a natural ability to love others for who they are.

Princess has told me that her name needs to be changed on my blog because she's "not really into Princess stuff anymore." When I asked what she is into, she named things like Harry Potter, reading and 'spy stuff'.

She loves to make that face up there. Like, all the time.

We are so lucky to have this darling girl in our family! Happy birthday, Princess.