Thursday, March 15, 2018

Oatmeal Pictures

Here are too many pictures of a small moment from lunch today. Daniel decided to take Sophi's oatmeal.
She let him. He tried to feed himself with the spoon but gave up after a few failed attempts.
Just go for it with your fist, Daniel! Yeah! That's much easier.
Hmm, oatmeal and maple syrup, tasty.
Finger lickin' good.
Going for another bite, but he got distracted by the gooey texture on his fingers.
He started to squish it, then grab some more, and squish it again, squeezing it nice and hard with all his little one year old might, making it wring out between his fingers.
"Mom, why are you just sitting there taking pictures?"
"I'm making a mess!! You don't approve of this, right?!? Now get over here and clean me up." So that was fun to watch. Seeing these kids be fully present, whether with food or toys, helps me slow down and be present for a few moments too. They're just trying to figure out the world around them. Go for it, D. Just put your whole face in the bowl.
Both of those ways seemed more effective than using the utensil. Here's a video of the oatmeal moment, just in case all those pictures didn't cut it. Cute kids.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Tropical Day

So, at the high school, it's some kind of spirit week in preparation for the WAMA dance this weekend. Monday was pajama day. TODAY was Tropical day. Ethan is a student body officer, thus he tries to take the "show your school pride" up a notch from the typical student. Here he is in his full glory after coming home from a day in the tropics.
How did Ethan achieve such a great look you might ask? Well, last night Melodie took Ethan to the store so he could buy some Loreal bronzing lotion - "L'Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze" to be exact. Last night he started caking it on. And we were all laughing at him. This morning we were still laughing, it was pretty funny. Ethan comparing his fake tan with Joseph's wintery-white skin.
Looking good Ethan! He said that at school he got called Trump, Cheeto, Dorito, and carrot.
For carpool on Tuesdays, Joseph brings home the jr. high kids. So while they were waiting for the jr. high to let out for the day, Ethan and Mel ran in to see their favorite teacher, Mr. Arnell. Mel said Arnell took one look at Ethan and then was jokingly banging his head against the wall. "Arnell, you should get a spray tan!" Ethan joked. "I would if I could look THAT good!! You have no blotches AT ALL" he teased (Eth did have blotches). Funny. Kids at the jr. high thought it was a serious tan, and he got lots of stares. There was a cop coming in to the school as they walked out, he looked at Ethan and said "Ooops!" as in "That tan got messed up, huh! Oops!" Anyway, it was really funny. He didn't take a shower this morning, not wanting to risk rubbing off any of his bronze color. But he took a good long bath after he got home. It didn't come off much, but the overall tone does look a bit more even.

So that's that. A few other tidbits - I had two sit down dinners the past two days, yay. Last night I made this Kidney Bean and Lentil Dal, it was so good and the house still smelled delicious this morning. I love Indian Food. We had an alfredo pasta tonight. Corey went to a jazz game tonight again, he got 2 tickets from work, he took Lily. It was a nice day, the kids played outside in the front yard. Not tropical weather, but it was nice, we're ready for spring!

Monday, March 12, 2018


On Sunday, the little girls were busy playing downstairs. After a while they came upstairs and were excitedly telling us about their spaceships! I didn't go down to see them, I'm not sure if anybody did, but the girls were happy and having fun and went back down to get lost in their space game.

This morning when I went downstairs to exercise, I was surprised when I saw the "mess". Oh that's right, they were making spaceships. Ugh, now I have to put these things back where they belong!
I was about to begin by taking apart their glass rocket boosters and put all the jars away, but as I took out the batteries, I couldn't help but smile at their creativity, and then I put them back. Yes, they are glass. Yes, there's a small chance one or two of them might get broken. But they might want to keep playing their game. I'll leave it up till they're home from school. I could tell which ship belong to which kid - the yellow chair and plate is Sophi's, the blue chair/purple plate is Lily's (and I can tell she's the captain too!) and Natalie's is the pink chair with blue plate. The little glass stones on Natalie's plate made me smile as I thought of her carefully setting each of them out and around her board, "decorating" her ship.
Natalie's ship's wheels are four now squished rolls of toilet paper, Lily's is two small stools from the Pirate Ship toy, and Sophi's ship is propped up on my foam rollers. If they don't use it tonight I'll put the things away. But I can do without my foam rollers for today.
Girls, I love your ships. So cute. Look at this creativity - they used Ikea plates for their steering wheels. It made me wonder why they didn't use the Wii Mario Kart wheels? Maybe plates are better cause they require more imagination? That thought made me think of a comment a neighbor made. I was over at her house visiting, and after our visit, I went with her downstairs to have my kids clean up and get ready to leave. They had a finished basement. Ah, that is a dream of mine. I said with some lament "Our basement is not finished..." She said "Oh, I loved that when I was a kid, it was sooo fun." It made me check my thoughts. Yes, I as a mother would like it finished, but I agree that as a kid, it was way more fun to be in an unfinished place to play and imagine than in a finished area. We'll probably have a finished basement someday, we should enjoy the raw unfinished creativity producing area while we have it - it's given us great things like Kids Town, a Ninja Warrior Cliff Hanger, and our own Art Studio. It allows them to create their own world. I'm able to tap into that when I go out with the kids and build snow forts - let's put a room here! And a door here! The possibilities are endless! Good creative fun.
Update - Tuesday evening - As predicted, they broke some of the glass things - the two glass Valentine mugs. I'm not sure if I'll toss them or try to fix them, they weren't broken too badly.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Application Is In!

The big new for the day is that at 10:00 this morning Joseph had his interview with our Stake President for his mission. So, it's officially in! And now we wait. President England said he thinks it will come next week on Thursday the 22nd. We are super excited! This is the beginning to a whole new era for our family as they leave on missions. From here on out, there is a good chance that mission will overlap and so there will be someone gone for the next 19 years. In my family, 6 of 7 kids served missions (and that's with only 2 boys in our family!) And Corey's family was 100% with 3 out of 3. So you could say that serving a mission is a family tradition, and it's a good tradition to have. We are strongly encouraging our children to prepare to serve. And I'm sure with Joseph trailblazing this path, they will all be able to see the great blessings and growth that will come to him as he gives this tithe on his life, and they'll want to follow his example. So, Corey told the kids he'll pay them $50 bucks if they guess the right mission. No one has placed bets yet, but I know a handful of them are thinking Spanish speaking in South America.
We'll find out soon!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Riding the Lion

Tonight, like most every Friday night, Corey and I went out on a date. It's always nice to be in his company. We went by the cheesecake factory. We tried to call and make a reservation, but they don't do reservations. Ok, fine. When we got there it looked super busy as it usually does when we drive by and leave. This time we parked and went in to ask the wait time... 90 minutes!! You guys are all crazy! Corey and I don't do 90 minute waits, but the place was packed, so I guess everyone else does? Crazy, who are all you people?!? We thought it was a bit insane. We'll go back to the India House, thank you. We've never had a wait there, plus it's a quiet restaurant. We're not up with these trendy places. Anyway, as we walked back to the car to go somewhere else, he told me a little bit about his week and work and what the latest is. He said that he's turned a corner. In 2014 we came across an article that compared entrepreneurs and the risks they take to a man riding a lion. We liked the analogy and felt it was accurate. When the stakes are high, we usually think back to the riding a lion comparison. Well, Corey told me tonight that he is happy to say he is no longer riding the lion!

I gave him a hopeful smile, until he followed up with "I am now being eaten by the lion. ...but I'm still putting up one hell of a fight." Oh boy. Not good. Anyone have any good strategies for survival when you're being eaten alive? We ended up going to Red Lobster for our dinner after passing on the Cheesecake Factory. We both felt bad for the lobsters, sitting there in the tank next to the guest benches. Corey said "Their chances of getting out of this alive are pretty slim..." I imagined us being animal rights activist, smashing the tank, and yelling for the lobsters to run for freedom! We're here to liberate you! Unfortunately the coastal waters of Maine are very far away, and since they were all caught there, that might not be the safest place to return to anyway. I don't think Utah has any territory that is eco-friendly to lobsters. So, looks like they are at the end of the line. Maybe that's another anaology for us and the business - we've got the man and lion comparison, the ship stuck in the Pacific doldrums metaphor, and now the lobster in the tank at the seafood restaurant. The chances for survival do not look good... the end is near. If Corey gets eaten by a metaphorical lion, where does that leave us, metaphorically speaking? I feel like a single mom sometimes, I hope I don't start to feel like a widow, I'm not ready to be a widow yet. So, as has been the story for us for the past several years, the business is hanging by a thread. Thoughts and prayers are appreciated. I turned to dessert for a little bit of stress relief tonight - I bought these earlier today to be our Sunday family dessert. We sampled these early (these are soooo good!) Now I don't need to go to Lehi to Aubergine, these are just at Smiths and hit the chocolate craving spot.
I bought some regular ice cream and a few containers of dairy free ice cream for our Sunday dessert - coconut cookie dough frozen dessert, soy and almond "nice cream". I decided to sample these early just for a taste test. Luckily there are only 4 bars. Corey and I had two tonight, we'll save the other 2 for Sunday. For my fun with kids goal I played some Fire Boy and Water Girl video game with Wes. I'm so bad at video games. But I stuck it out for a few rounds. Wes probably would do better if he was just both players and didn't have my "help", but it's good to spend quality time! ?
So, I guess that's it, happy weekend.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

New Trumpet

Wesley has been in need of a new trumpet for a while. His mouthpiece is stuck and won't come out, all the little parts that are supposed to move don't move, a few parts that are supposed to be welded together have come apart, etc. This trumpet has served him well as he started out, and now after 2+ years into it, it's time for an upgrade. Corey found a good deal on the classifieds for a silver trumpet and Wesley is pretty excited.
Corey told him that the silver trumpet does not belong to him, Wesley, but that Corey is the true and sole owner. But Wesley may earn the right to use it IF he shows he is worthy of it - by practicing. Everyday. Wesley has been slacking in the practicing department, but those days are over. He's promised he will practice everyday, and thus earn the right to play the silver trumpet at his band practices and performances. Today for fun he gave a go at blowing two trumpets at once.
He made a sound come from both, he's got good chops. Not me, I can barely make any sound. It's funny to hear Joseph try to play the trumpet. Wesley has decided to bequeath the old trumpet to Sophi and Lily - to whoever shows they are worthy of it through practice. Sophi's taking it pretty seriously, so maybe we'll have another trumpeter in the family. She's doing good so far - one day into it, but hey! Let's keep that excitement fresh, it's always fun to have a new horn to kick the practicing back in gear. (Kinda like me and buying books about cleaning/organization!)

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Stick'em Up

Yesterday before Corey left for work, he had a few moments to play with the little kids. Wesley got out the nerf guns over the weekend for Owen to play with, and guns and bullets have been all over the house since. Natalie and Owen picked up the weapons and practiced their aim on their dad.
Usually they shot at close range. Once they did start in the other room, but didn't shoot until they were right in his face.
"Let's get him!"  
Owen would say "Where is she" when he was looking for a bullet. They'd find the bullet, bring it over to Corey so he would load their gun and cock it for them, Corey'd give the gun back, then they'd turn the gun on him for another easy shot. They laughs are pretty cute.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Jazz vs. Magic

Corey and some of the kids enjoyed a special treat tonight - my parents had 6 tickets for the Jazz basketball game tonight. Bonus was the tickets were box seats, ooh! When my parents first offered them to us over the weekend, I didn't mention it to Corey, as I assumed he wouldn't be able to go cause he'd need to get work done. So I offered them to Joseph and his friends. Over the weeked Joseph texted his friends to gauge the interest, and they all said "Cool! Who are they playing?" "The Magic" and that response was followed by a disappointed "Oh..." We don't know anything about basket ball teams, so we didn't know it wouldn't be a very close and therefore exciting game. Still, Joseph checked with his friends again this morning at school and then texted me that he'd take them. Corey was still home when I got that, so I told him what was going on, that I'd offered some Jazz tickets to Joseph ...unless he'd like them? He got excited - "Yeah, that sounds fun! Seems like an experience the kids should have atleast once in their life." So, sorry Joe! This was not good manners on my part, but I rescinded the offer to Joseph. But I told him, if he still even wanted to go (with it being a school night and all) he could bring one friend, and then it'd be Corey and 3 of the kids.

When the moment came to go, Mel and Ethan opted out because of homework. We still needed to narrow it down from the 8 other kids: Lily was fine to miss out "I don't like basketball" Sophi and Owen both wanted to go but we bribed Sophi with a trip to McDonald's later in the week and Owen got distracted, yay. Natalie wasn't paying attention either, and Daniel doesn't have a choice, he's not going. So the winners are: Hyrum, Wesley, and Abi.

The game started at 7. At 6:00 they got ready to go and ate a quick bowl of some of the delicious and healthy minestrone soup I had made, and then they were off. Joseph and his friend Talmage at the game~
When they got home at 10 they didn't look that good and I could assume what had happened as they all waddled in from the garage. Corey was holding a container of shredded pork and a bottle of sweet sauce and said "I feel terrible..." He had brought home some meat for Ethan. Ethan looked at it and said it looked gross. "See what you've done to him! See what you've done to us?!?" He was referring to my efforts to help our family eat healthier. Now they can't go eat the food of the world without feeling terrible from the shock to their system, and Ethan thinking meat is gross!?! What is going on!?!?! ( really did look gross though). Corey replied "Well it looked great an hour ago." The heavenly reflection of the lights is a nice touch. Yay, meat! The star of the American dinner show! (Don't do it, America! That stuff will kill you!)
I'm not totally forcing my food upon everyone, but we eat a lot more healthy here at home. And now my poor family, now they can't go out and binge on the standard American diet without really feeling the consequences of their decisions. Joseph and Abi's extended arms digging in.
They had a great time in the moment. As Corey walked up the stairs, holding the railing for support, he confessed "I'm not proud of what I did. ....but it sure tasted good at the time. Now I feel like a fat old guy..." He walked around the house and moaned "I feel terrible" like 20 times. He was cracking me up with all the things he said. It was so funny, it reminded me of when he came back from the Disney On Ice outing years ago with Lily. That was sweet innocent fun then, but this... "Great and spacious building?" I asked (see 1 Nephi 8:26-28)
"Oh yeah, that was totally great and spacious building." Corey replied.
"That was pure Babylon... The loud music, the lights, the lazers, the food, flames of fire coming out of the ground! ...even Joseph wasn't immune... he grabbed a Coke! If that doesn't show you the moral decadency we just experienced... Daniel would not be proud..." I wasn't sure what he was talking about there, and thought maybe he was referring to my blog post about our healthy toddler - "Our Daniel?" I asked. No, the Old Testament prophet. Yes, that Daniel might be shaking his head at you. Corey was still bent over, holding onto the banister. "I felt fine until the cheesecake..."
Oh, these first world problems! "How many did you have?" "Just one..." then lets out another deep breath/groan. "Yeah...that's no way to live. ...but atleast I didn't eat a bowl of cookie dough!" he said with his finger pointed at Abi who was beside me.
Corey and Wes were both standing there now with a pained expression on their face, and Hyrum came up the stairs, walked between them as he did a ballerina jump in the air with his hands spread out. He gloated "I feel great!" Hyrum just ate pretzels.
Isn't that amazing for a teenager with all that deliciously tempting food around? I tell ya, that kid is 100% committed
Hyrum confessed that he had also had a can and a half of Fanta. Corey teased "Fanta?!? FANTA?!?! That's not exactly pulse, Hyrum!" Referring to Daniel 1:12. Abi was proud of herself cause she didn't have any soda. Good job Abi. Something to balance off that bowl of cookie dough, lol. Well, I've been there (see end of this post) so it's okay. But now we know better, so I can't say I pity you. Any of you guys feeling sick, it's your own darn fault! Wes went to bed with a bowl just in case he threw up. Good to be prepared, but don't throw up! We'll see if they've recovered by morning. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

BYU Bound

We've got another BYU Cougar in the making - Joseph is BYU bound!
That was a rough wait though! They were supposed to find out yesterday. Joseph's had the March 2nd date on his mind for 3 months. Acceptance letters were to be emailed around 5 supposedly. We checked and refreshed and checked the status online over and over again. Joseph had to go to concerto night and thought it would be posted for sure by the time that was over. But nope, after he got home still no news. Corey and I checked it over and over again on our date to India House, love that restaurant. Came home, still no new, still checked and checked. I finally gave up around 11 pm, Corey and Joseph were up until 2. I woke up at 4 and checked, (then turned off ALL THE FREAKING LIGHTS in the house that were STILL on in every room of the main floor!!!) Come on people! So, it still wasn't posted. I didn't check when I woke up today at 8, but Corey got on and checked around 9, and it was good news for Joseph, hooray! He printed up the acceptance letter, and went into his room to give it to him as he played the cougar fight song nice and loud! We're all wearing blue today in honor of Joseph and BYU! Lily wrote Joseph a letter -
We're all super happy for him. He'd already had his dreams crushed 3 times this past year. Didn't help that the concerto night he thought he's be playing in was last night. He still had to go, but was just in the orchestra. He had received a gift bag with some chocolate treats for his help there. Then Lily came in and, after giving him her sign of congratulations, ate them all. Yay, thanks Lil for coming in and eating all my candy.
That's how siblings share their love. This is how my siblings shared their love - over Marco Polo - my little brother sent a video singing a tribute to Joseph's achievement, I thought this was super cute.

I love my siblings! Way to go Joseph, we're happy for you! He's officially ready to launch into life.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Sharing Lunch

These two little guys melted my heart today. The elementary kids didn't have school today cause it's a teacher work day after parent teacher conferences. So all the kids were down stairs eating lunch together, and I came down to find Owen feeding Daniel, it was the cutest thing. I admit at first I was concerned because it was a lasagna dish, aka messy, especially for a toddler who is feeding himself, not to mention feeding it to someone else. I also get nervous when they aren't seated at the table or at the counter, so I watched them and was impressed with how well Owen fed his little brother, so cute.

After I took that video, I took a few pictures as Owen continued to feed him. I loved how Owen was kneeling by him. 
So I let go of my usual mom job of being concerned about the mess and decided to enjoy it as a delightful moment. And it was.
Owen and Daniel fight over toys and bottles sometimes, but it's nice to know and be reminded that they get along with each other too. Love these little moments.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

PTCs and Trying to Not Grumble at Life

The elementary kids had parent teacher conferences today. We had to walk to the school cause I didn't have a car. I knew I wasn't going to have one, cause Joseph had the Fiesta at school (he had to stay after for a rehearsal for concerto night, he's in the orchestra), and Mel took the van for her flute lesson. We used to have 3 cars, and we still do, but Corey let a friend borrow it 3 weeks ago.
It's not a big deal, right? Or atleast it shouldn't be if I would listen to my own preaching that I was going off on yesterday about how I have absolutely nothing to complain about, (right SELF?!?!) Boo-hoo, I have a warm coat and good shoes and roof over my head but I have to walk for 20 minutes in the cold weather to a nice school that my children have the privilege of attending. Walk 20 minutes in the windy cold vs. live in a bombed out country with 12 children scavenging for food to survive. Yet here I was, murmuring once again. Mostly the lack of our car frustrates me cause it reminds me of how I'm loosing hope in/for the business and there still is no relief or end in sight (cause the guy Corey gave it to just moved here from Brazil, and he lent Corey $ so Corey could pay some of his Brazil employees, and his friend needs Corey to pay it back so he can buy a car here, so Corey thought he'd buy himself some more time by just letting him borrow our car) So, it's annoying and makes me think grumpy things about the business and how it appears to be a big money pit... So, yeah, I was murmuring, and I was mad at myself for murmuring... I usually do get frustrated with myself for being ungrateful. So we walked to the school and it was really cold and windy and my hand was super cold cause I was eating a cold apple and couldn't put my hand in my pockets cause I had to hold it to eat it! I had to hold it, of all things!! Tough life I got, right!? So. We got to school. We went to see Sophi's class first. We passed by this picture of Sophi in the hall -
They had just celebrated the 100th day of school. The kids got to dress up like a 100 year old person for it. Sophi wore a bathrobe and I put curlers in her hair. Then they used one of those faceapp type things to make the kids look old for the photo. We got a real kick out of her picture, she looked like the most legitly old person on the wall.
Next we went to Lily's. Lily showed us a picture she drew of our family while we waited.
She got a real kick of how she drew Corey. She said he's tired. And some art that Lily did that was on the wall in the hall.
I think it might make our wall, cause it's colorful and we all know that I like colorful things! So conferences were nice, the school was warm, the kids teachers are great, the girls are doing great.  It was a good distraction to get me out of my bad attitude. I was hoping we'd see someone who could give us a ride home, but when we were done and on our way outside, the wind had stopped and it was a rather pleasant walk. And I was able to count is as my goal #5 for the day, yay! I'm checking off my goals. So as we walked back home, I thought about how Holly said that I shouldn't beat myself up for having mad thoughts, cause they are just thoughts, but I do need to get them out, let them move on, I shouldn't own them or keep them. Holly said thoughts are like clouds, just let them float by. She also quoted Dr. Laura - you can't stop a bird from landing on your head, but you shouldn't let it build a nest. I googled that to try to find the exact quote and look at that - google attributes the quote to Martin Luther!
(Did you know that he's my 17th great grandfather? Pretty fun, huh!) The negative thoughts really are just a bunch of temptations. :) I let them push me around a bit, but the walk home helped me calm down. But then other temptations we awaiting me at home... behold my kitchen (Lily is a blur walking by, making a tortilla something)
Ugh, gonna be hard to prepare dinner in this area. By the way, who wants dinner? Ethan? Nope, he's asleep buried in his comfortor...
Natalie, Wes? They're asleep on the floor. Sophi and Abi are asleep in my bed, they fell asleep right after we got back from conferences....
Joseph still at rehearsal, Mel still at her lesson... Corey working in his office...
 Looks like it's just you and me tonight, little boys...
Seems like I should be able to get something done with the house all quiet and all, right? I tried to load the dishwasher and they tried to stop me play. I don't have much on hand to make dinner anyway. I've needed to go to the store since last Saturday, but again, I never had a car. Ugh. So, can't make dinner with out kids awake to help get the little boys away, can't load the dishwasher, maybe we'll go play in the front room...
Blah, looks like we need to clean the front room... every room here is a mess. Why are we stuck living like this? How can we stop the madness? Everyone's so tired from staying up so late and getting up so early... if we want to go to bed at a semi decent hour, you all better wake up now so you can force yourself to go to bed at 11. I turned on "The Greatest Show" to pump some energy into the house. Ok everybody, it's only 6:00 - it's not bedtime yet, wake up and help me! Abi, who is always perceptive to my mood, could tell I was frustrated. Yes, I am. I need to make dinner but no one likes the stuff we have available, but I can't go to the store when Dad's home cause kids will get in his way.
Abi said she'd help me be able to go to Costco. I took Owen with me so that he wouldn't get in Corey's way as he tried to work more. Abi gave her word to watch Daniel. Ok, I didn't tell Corey I was leaving, I just snuck out and hoped he'd not get interrupted and would keep working and might not even notice I was gone. Into the car. As I drove, my alarm to pray and say my affirmations went off at 7:30. I said some of my usual ones, but the one that really resonated was "I am calm, I am clear" and I just said that over and over on my 14 min drive there. Soon I actually was calm and I was able to breathe again. I know that I do have everything I need. I sang the Greatest Showman "The Greatest Show" which lately in my mind has been about all of us Children of God getting ready to come to earth, for the moment we've waited for. It's everything we want, it's everything we need, to prove ourselves and learn what we need to learn. We're working and climbing up these mortal stairs, getting the clinical lab experiences we need to become like our Father in Heaven.
I fighting to get this grumpy natural man out of my soul, it's a lot of work. I'll keep working at it, keep fighting those nagging negative thoughts that fly overhead. I won't own them and let them nest in my hair. Shoo them away and replace them with good things that I choose - I am calm, I am clear, I have everything that I need.
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