Family Pic 2017

Family Pic 2017

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A dreary days ramble...

I can't decide if I've woken up on the wrong side of the bed for several days running, if I'm ready for Shawn to be home, or if I'm just ready for spring! (likely all of the above) We are having beautiful, blizzard-like weather, but it's so cold and grey, and something about it makes life feel so monotonous to me the last couple of days. Yesterday there was a sign outside the local Walgreens that said there was a winter storm warning from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm.

Last night after the never-ending question of what to make for dinner, I decided that I would cook up the stir-fry that Shawn had in mind to make on Monday night. (He was going to cook for us since the kids had piano and I usually get home from running them around at 6:00 - he ended up having to leave for Boise before we even got home.) SO... I cooked up that dinner and went through a couple of the little kids being upset about what was for dinner. One of them refused to eat and cried all through-out the meal. There's nothing like going to all that work only to have it go unappreciated! Then he cried all while I drove the older kids to where they needed to be for mutual. He did end up eating with gusto once he got home- now, why couldn't he do that in the first place?

I was feeling the witch inside starting towards the surface, so I made sure to have the littlies in bed before 8:00.

Today, after exercising at the gym with my friend Amber, I felt much better for about five minutes. But do you know, I think this monotony is affecting these little boys, too. They've been fighting and squabbling and getting "injury" after "injury" and they whined and complained as I drove over to Walmart to grab a few things - you know, before the foul weather REALLY hit-(I'm always so nervous to drive on bad roads.) Figuring that the boys were feeling a bit bored of life today, too, I offered to invite their cousins over to play. They were excited about that prospect, but when I called my sister-in-law, she said that one of her boys was really sick with the croup. When I told Nolan he couldn't come, he started to howl. Then he shouted, "I don't like you!" a couple of times, perhaps thinking that since I turn into a witch at night, this would be good behavior to use to manipulate me into wiggling my nose and making his cousin suddenly well enough to come over! (come to think of it, I do have some wonderful tricks in my bag most days - no wonder he thinks I'm magical!:) Unfortunately, nothing that magical happens after being that rude and sassy to THIS mamma!

Back in the car heading home, something happened to Abram's granola bar that he was eating - I can't say what, as he sits directly behind me in his car seat and he doesn't talk well enough to tell me what the problem was. But I found out that he talks well enough to shout, "I don't like you!" - with the exact same intonations that Nolan had used. Sigh. Why is there always a kid learning how to talk right when one of your other kids isn't using their language the way you desire them to?

Upon arriving home, I got the boys all situated playing with their play-doh ( their favorite thing to do while I shower). Abram stated that he needed toys to play in the play-doh, so I quickly grabbed whatever was nearest at hand. Apparently they didn't meet with his approval, because he took the first one and threw it on the floor as hard as he could. (And right here I would like to insert that wood floors are not very great to have with little children because you're always worried about things dinging them up or scratching them. And someday when we re-floor or move, I am going to order something cheap and durable- something that will last so well that I will be PRAYING that something will happen to it so that I can get rid of it!) Anyways, then Abram grabbed hold of the second toy, and I said, "Abram do NOT throw that on the floor!" He gave me a look and threw it down harder than the first. He got his little hand slapped. Then he buried his head in my shoulder and cried because the baby of the family never has such hard things happen to them. Poor little fellow. Maybe tomorrow his mother won't be in such a funk and everyone will be happier...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Gussied up

Last night, just before bed time, Isabelle brought me a bunch of the smallest rollers that we have and asked me to put them in her hair. This morning when I took them out she had some very tight curls. She wasn't very happy once when we did this in the past and got the same result, so I told her that they would probably relax quite a bit before church.

Later she combed through the curls and came into my room to show me the results. She said, "I thought about putting my hair into a pony tail, but I'm kind-of just trying to look like Grandma Shirley today." (Her great-grandma-I thought that was so cute!)

Shawn leaves for meetings so early on Sundays that the kids don't even see him until we arrive, so I gave him a heads up on what to compliment Isabelle about. He said, "Wow! You look a lot like Grandma Shirley today!" Isabelle beamed.

I also thought that I'd include Kami's cute hair-do of the day - she has been finding such cute hair-dos to do on herself. Lately she has really been into grandma Shirley's era of music - you know, the big band stuff and swing dancing and all that. I think the hair-dos she has been liking go along with that same time period, as well. It's so fun to see what our kids get interested in.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A definition of courage

I'm really noticing that I really love being an aunt-and I especially love to hear my nephews and nieces call me "Aunt Amy". Short soapbox: I think it's so important for kids to call their aunts and uncles "aunt or uncle". It reminds the adults of the relationship they have to the child and reminds our kids where everyone fits in the whole family scheme of things.

Anyways, I love all these kids that I'm related to and I love feeling (hoping?) that I can have a positive impact on their lives. One of my nephews, Sam, is a fun, good, handsome kid and I have always liked how he will come and tell me all about all sorts of things.

For the last little while, I haven't consciously noticed how long, this little guy hasn't gone out of his way to talk to me anymore. So, I would start a conversation with him but he would seem preoccupied and take off fairly quickly.

Well his mother, Shawn's sister, Kristi, just had her third little boy and sixth child, on Sunday afternoon. (He is very cute and very tiny.) Today we had Sam and his little brother Isaac over to play. I had picked up Isaac earlier in the day, but Sam is in Kindergarten so we picked him up from there. He seemed really excited to come over, but soon after he got into the car I could tell that something was on his mind. I had stopped off at a car wash before heading home, and I asked him what he was thinking about. He said, "My mom told me that you turn into a witch at night. Do you really?"A light bulb went on in my head-I had blogged about that recently and figured Kristi had read about it and told her kids. I explained to him that I didn't really turn into a witch - I just get so cranky after 8:00 when my kids still aren't in bed that I feel like one!" A light bulb turned on in his head too, his eyes lit up and he said, "Oh, I get it! You just tell your kids you turn into a witch so that they'll go to bed?" Nolan was in the very back seat, so I just held my finger up to my lips and said, "shhh!!!" He thought it was a great joke. I could tell that it was a big deal to him because he talked about it all the way home-about a fifteen minute drive. He sure seemed a lot more relaxed about things!:)

So there you go. That is a pretty brave kid to go to someone's house that you knew could turn into a real, live, witch! Maybe he felt safe as long as he wasn't here at 8:00...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dog sled races

We moseyed up to Ashton Idaho this weekend to see what real dog sled racing was like! I can't say that it is as exciting as the movies like "Iron Will" make them look, but it was very interesting! Ashton Idaho has the oldest running dog sled race in the world.

This is what I imagined all sled dogs to look like:
That was the only team that had the "typical" look. Most of the teams had such small, mismatched dogs. This was the team that won the 100 mile race:

Hmm... They look a lot bigger in the picture, somehow. Notice the booties on their feet. The other thing was that it certainly wasn't an exciting race to the finish. The dogs didn't run nearly as fast as I had imagined (they go about 10-14 miles an hour the whole way) The announcer kept telling everyone to clear the path for the team that was coming in, but when the lead dog's nose reached the finish line, everything pretty much stopped. The guy who won the race was really great to answer a lot of questions.

I thought the methods of transport were interesting. Who knew that there are special kinds of trucks for avid dog sledders?
The dogs are kept in the kennels on the back:
While we waited for racers to come in they had some other events like the weight pull.
Any one could enter their dog in this and the kids were wishing that we had brought Jack along. We KNOW he can pull at least 100 lbs. up-hill!

The things mothers have to protect their children from these days...

See the scratch on the side of this impish little face? Last weekend he was playing outside and fell down and got a scratch. At least that's what he said at first. Several days ago the real story - or at least the most sensational one -came out.

Abe was feeling his scratch when suddenly his eyes got really big and he suddenly said to me, "dragon...bite...ME!!!" Now everywhere we go, he has to tell everyone around us what REALLY happened to his face.


We found some good pintrest ideas this year for Valentines and for the girl's hair - I did Maddie's hair, Kami did Belle's.

Shawn made heart pancakes with pureed berries and whipped cream:)

The cupids made seven deliveries:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hearts, sharing the love, and stuff like that!

For our FHE activity this week we did our annual tradition of cutting out hearts and writing poems about each other on them.

You can see this stack of hearts that Isabelle made, smack-dab in the center of the picture up above, but her hearts bear a closer look:
And just in case you couldn't see the white heart well enough:

She's learning all sorts of good first grade knowledge!:) And I always have to love the compliment that my kids pay me when they write me a love note, "You are the best mom that I have ever had!"- you know, that reassurance just in case I thought they liked their other mother (mothers?) better!!

Just a sampling of some of the cute poems: "laughing and giggling and singing all day, Belle is a sweetie in every way" (Kami) "Roses are red, violets are blue, flowers smell sweet and so do you...depending on who you are." (Maddie) "Kami hugs people day in and day out. Very rarely do you see her pout." (Caden) "Roses are red, Abram's growing up fast. We only wish that his lisp would last!" (me) and "Caden is a terrific friend. Sometimes we disagree, but we make up in the end." (Kami) "Dad is the amazing kind of guy. When he's around, he makes time fly." (Caden)

Then there are the heart-warmer Valentines that make you forget the times the very kid who wrote this one went stomping off in a huff saying that they didn't like you !!

Sunday Afternoons

Ahhh... Sunday afternoons. I am so grateful to have early church again so that we can enjoy Sunday afternoons!!! The last two weeks everyone was so worn out that we all ended up having a long nap, but today was such an enjoyable family day.

We were all involved in one project or another in what seems to be our unofficially appointed gathering place: the kitchen. I love it so much when we are all together!

The projects all began when we decided to make some homemade Valentines for out new adopted grandma in our ward. (She asked Isabelle is she wanted to sit by her a few weeks ago, and Isabelle surprised me by nodding enthusiastically and heading right up to her bench. She asked Isabelle if she would like to call her grandma - so that's how that has gotten started.)

Then the kids started putting crayon shavings between waxed paper and ironing the paper and then cutting the waxed paper into hearts. They look great against a window with the light shining through:
After that, Kami started doing red "glitter nails" -She paints her nails with clear polish and then puts glitter all over them (She learned this from her Aunt Jodi). Everyone else started creating one thing or another using glitter:
I made some Valentine sugar cookies, which Nolan decorated, and we took them visiting.

But this is the best part:

Doesn't he look comfortable? (He moved into the kitchen so that we could hear better.:) Shawn has been reading aloud to us the book: "Yearning For The Living God" by F. Enzio Busche. It is the most inspiring and motivating book that I have read for a long time. I read it last week and realized what a great book it would be for everyone in the family to hear. I got it for my parents for Christmas, because it came with high recommendations, and then when a couple of my sisters-in-law started raving about it, and offered to lend me their book, I decided to read it too.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Heggledy Peg

This week at story time the librarian warned the children that she would be reading a story, Heggledy Peg, that was a little bit scary...

I looked over at Nolan and he had his hands pressed tightly over his ears and his eyes squeezed shut! He wasn't going to risk getting scared.:) He must have been able to hear, somewhat, because towards the end of the book when things started sounding more comfortable in the story he started looking and listening again.


We've got a serious clock watcher around here lately. I first clued in to it when I was pulling into the garage and Isabelle had us all sit and watch the clock in the car because it was about to change to 6:00! Have you ever sat and watched for a clock to change times? It only takes one minute, but it seems like forever!

From there she has progressed to being completely frustrated by the differences in time throughout our house. She comes downstairs and notices the time on the kitchen clock and with a great deal of frustration says, "The clock upstairs said that it was 7:27, and the clock down here says it's only 7:23!" She sits quietly but can't relax until the downstairs clock changes to what the upstairs clock used to say. Then I can't help myself from impishly informing her that now the upstairs clock says 7:31.

We frequently hear her exclaim things like, "Its 4,5,6! Or It's 5, 5, 5!!" You get the idea.

I thought she was close to coming out of her skin Tuesday night at Caden's band concert. There were two digital clocks at the front of the auditorium, and they were usually three minutes apart. When they weren't keeping time, that was all that she could notice, and had to frequently point out their discrepancy. Every five minutes they would skip to the same time, for some reason. Then she wanted me to stare at the clocks with her so that we could see the very moment that they went wrong once again. I'll admit - I couldn't do it - it was too a painful!!

I remember my dad always pointing out time to us kids - I especially remember it as we drove to early morning seminary in the mornings. I figured Isabelle inherited this 'compulsive time gene' from him. Then my father-in-law, who was also at the concert said, "That's just like Marilyn! She is always frustratedly saying, "There is not a clock in our house that is on the same time!!"

Maybe a lot of people watch clocks. Not me. I use the clocks in my house to give me a ball-park idea of the time of the day - never do notice if one is keeping time with another. When I need to be somewhere at a specific time, I go by a specific clock just to be consistent. Who's abnormal, them or me?

I've decided that people who have a penchant for math notice things like time, and those less numerically- minded (like myself) could care less!:) It's probably a good thing that we have both kinds of people around us.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Curiosity supersedes vanity when you're nine..

Yesterday I was kissing a wart. (I know that sounds like a strange thing to do and I'm not so sure why I was doing it.) Shawn seems to feel that warts are contagious or something, and that led to the thought and question to Maddie, "What if I got a wart around my lips now?"

Immediately and very adamantly, Maddie said that was impossible. I said, "Really?! How do you know?" She replied that once, she had wondered the same thing, so she had rubbed her wart against her nose. She had tried this several times and nothing had happened, so she was sure that you couldn't get warts that way.

The intriguing thing about this is that she has been completely mortified by a wart that is on her hand for several months now. She's kept it faithfully buried under a band aid, applies solutions that are guaranteed to remove warts, and continually laments its existence.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Memory

Tonight when we were visiting the family (our weekly Sunday evening activity) I was reminded, by my in-laws, of something that I had forgotten all about:

When Kami was a baby, we moved into an apartment on the second floor of an apartment building. Shawn's dad came over to help move our furniture in, and when it came time to move the couches in, the couch wouldn't come through the door because of the angle of the stairs and doorway. We had a loveseat that had made it in, but I was really disappointed that I wouldn't be able to make everything as homey and nice as if we also had our couch. I was determined that there had to be a way to get the couch in there as well. I remember Shawn's dad, as he was going to leave, chuckling and saying, "Uh-oh. I've seen that look on a woman's face before!"

Shawn puzzled about it, and then told me that about the only way he could think of to get the couch in was to take the upstairs window out and bring the couch in that way. He talked to the managers about it, and for some reason, they said we could do it. Shawn set up scaffolding, brought the couch in as slick as could be, and then re-caulked the window. I was so happy to have such a great problem-solving husband and I was so glad to have that couch the whole time that we lived there! Was it just a little over a year? Oh well, it was worth it.:)

My mother-in-law said that was when she knew that Shawn would do anything for me. I've just been thinking about that memory, and I have come to the conclusion that I must be the luckiest girl in the world!

Maddie's Science Project

Thursday was a big science fair -all day- for the fourth graders at Maddie's school. She teamed up with her friend Alexis and they experimented to see which drinks were the hardest on teeth.

They chose to experiment with milk, apple juice, Gatorade, sprite and crystal lite. Their surprising finding was that sugar-free crystal lite is actually the hardest on teeth. The tooth that was left in the crystal lite got cavities and was very stained.

Maddie says that they received an A++ on the project, and in my opinion, they earned it just from having to handle those disgusting teeth! They got them from our dentist, flesh still attached, and the secretary said that they'd probably stink, as well. I don't know when I have ever been so grossed out by something. I felt like I should help Maddie clean them up, but just the thought of them was making me feel nauseous. Caden saved the day and helped her with that.Shawn and I went Thursday morning and checked out the projects from all the kids in our ward and also a couple other relations (your boys' projects were awesome, Lanette). I tell you what, these science projects are a lot of work for parents, even when your children do everything they can! There's still an awful lot of over-seeing and assisting that has to go on.

The most exciting event of the day

Last week, Shawn got to stay home ALL WEEK!! We all thought that we'd died and gone to heaven.:)

When Shawn's home, all he has to say in the morning is, "I'm going to go Shower" and the little boys run for his bathroom as fast as they can go. They LOVE to watch him shave! They take in every detail and ask questions and make constant comments about the whole process.