Monday, May 2, 2016

Eating Scriptures

Here is the sequence of events:
1) Owen woke up and had a messy diaper.
2) I change his diaper and his clothes.
3) I search for a shirt that I like from my bag that I took to church yesterday.
4) I get my scriptures out of my bag to more easily find the shirt
5) I get Owen dressed and leave him on the floor by my bag and... my... scriptures...
6) Owen eats and rips up my scriptures.
I hurried and took them away to assess the damage, then gave them to him again so we could take a picture. Can't have something important destroyed without documenting it's demise... He loved it, and was waving his arms cause this is just so fun! Such crinkly noises! This is the third Quad that children have ruined. Joseph was the first - as a baby he nibbled on a few pages...
That pic there is taken from one of the ol' scrapbook volumes from when I used to scrapbook. That was Corey's scriptures, just a few pages were ruined - June 7, 2000
Then 6 month old Abi ruined a Book of Mormon that I left on the bed in Feb 2008 - I read while I nursed her to sleep. I left it there on the bed, and when she was done with her nap, she woke up and had a snack.
Lily in 2011 was not a baby eating paper, just a 2 year old doing what 2 year olds do. I was upset that time, cause those were my scriptures that I got when I was 13 that had seminary and institute notes and that I took on my mission an everything. I usually don't use those to read anymore, they are just preserved with old journals on the shelf. now. And today Owen joins the rank of children who enjoy feasting on the word.
Just a few chapters from the New Testament, so again, most of the scriptures are still usable, but sigh. Owen ate footnotes and ripped off the sides of pages from 1st Corinthians through 2nd Timothy, and also felt that both epistles to the Thessalonians should be entirely removed. Sorry Paul. And thus is the life of a mother. And thus is also why I buy most things 2nd hand - from clothes to furniture to scriptures. I found this quad at the thrift store. I'll start checking for another one maybe, but until I find one I'll keep using this, and add it to my collection of quads that I can use part of. I'll buy a brand new one someday when all the babies and toddlers are grown. Although by then maybe I'll have grandchildren that will come ruin them? I'll just have to keep my perfect pair up high and my already children-ized scriptures on the table. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Ethan's SBO Video

Ok, today is the day that they have the video assembly at the junior high. I was thinking of trying to go, but left Owen's car seat in the van, and Joseph has that. Plus the assembly started at 9, and at 8:30 my little ones were all still asleep. Seems like a tragedy to wake them and not take advantage of the quiet time. So, Corey went to the assembly and skyped me in via his phone, sweet! So we were able to see all the videos and see how we feel his compares, thus helping with the drama as we all further weigh in and speculate on his chances of making it. Eth's video was definitely the most professional. Take a look:

Being a perfectionist (and having a perfectionist father) probably helped with that. The skype call dropped for me at the beginning of his opponents video. Ah, the suspense. Ethan was shorter than the other guy, which might help him with the sympathy vote as he appears to be the underdog. They are probably voting right now, cause they do it right after the assembly. But they don't find out the results for a few weeks, that's gonna be a killer. Well, no matter what happens we love you and think you're pretty darn great, good luck Eth!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Hard Core Kid

Yesterday I was a little sleep deprived. Owen woke up at 2 a.m. and was loud enough to get me out of bed... I moved him downstairs to his pack and play so he wouldn't wake up Corey or Natalie, and then I went to make his bottle, which is when he fell asleep. That's been happening a lot lately (it always seems to take forever for the tap water to get warm). So then I layed down on the couch and was woken up by someone screaming upstairs at 3:30... got up and went back up there to find that Natalie was being attacked by a messy diaper (she's been a little sore). I was glad that Owen was downstairs so Natalie wouldn't wake him up. She's actually pretty good at sleeping through his noise, but Natalie... she is loud and doesn't know how to shush. She moaned as I tried to quickly take care of that, and then I couldn't fall back to sleep. So I went in and asked Joseph again what time it was that he wanted me to help him make sure he was up at? ...was it 4? He was going to the temple to do baptisms before school (before 6:30 am jazz band which was already before school). He went to bed about the same time I did, and before we went to bed I was questioning whether it was prudent or not. I mean, you're gonna be tired. Not that I want to discourage him from attending the temple, but wow, this kid is pretty intense. He goes every week. Usually it's been Friday after school but Joseph felt that he needed to go today. So more power to you. He texted his friend, turns out Scotty woke up late, so instead of his friend coming out here to pick up Joseph, Joe asked if I could take him there. So at 4:15 we were on our way in the dark. Not a lot of drivers on the streets at 4 am. After dropping him off, I couldn't help but be impressed. I used to think Corey and I were kinda die hard Mormons, but our kids are putting us to shame. Getting up at 4 am to do baptisms before school on your own?! Like not a youth activity planned by an adult leader... just me and a friend? I never did that in high school. You're a good kid Joseph, and your pal Scotty is a good kid too. Not just good, you guys are great. I have hope for the future
Another thing~ Joseph usually takes the van to school (he didn't yesterday cause I needed it for my ultrasound appointment) and whenever I take the van after he's been driving it, do you know what comes on the radio? Not any of my favorite cds (Brandon Flowers or Imagine Dragons) and not his jazz music either... It's GENERAL CONFERENCE for pete's sake! I've collected almost 2 decades of conference cd's and Joseph is working his way through them. What is driving this young man? Perhaps it's cause he's heading out on a mission in two short years or something. He's getting ready, and he's gonna be great. I'm also pretty proud he's setting such a high standard for our family, he's a good leader of the pack.
hard core - noun - the most active, committed, or doctrinaire members of a group or movement.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ultrasound ~ It's a...

So, the big announcement was after dinner tonight. I had several announcement ideas ready to go and couldn't decide which would be best, so I kinda winged it. First, everyone got to vote for which team they were on - Who do you vote for? Team Boy or Team Girl?
6 votes for a boy, 4 for girl. Hyrum voted girl cause he thought it would be a girl, even though he was hoping for a boy. The little girls kept switching sides.
Owen voted for boy - Joseph put the bow tie and hairbow in front of him and O went straight for the bow tie. I have been thinking it would be good for Owen to have a little brother to help him fend off his four older sisters a little. Then we went in for some cake donut holes - 3 of them had a thing of confetti in them.
Who will bite into the confetti?
Joseph got it first and everyone saw him chewing on something shiny and blue... so then they all knew it was a boy! Yay!
Then the kids popped a ballon with more confetti and we've got "It's A Boy" sparkling all over the place. 
I also had picked up some cards that you can scratch off the silver to see the gender.
Wesley had to wait 10 years for a little brother and Owen's probably going to get one before he can walk.
Seems unfair, but it looks like Wes isn't harboring any hard feelings.
Congratulations Owen, and congrats to the boys, you're back in the lead! Wahoo!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Starring Owen

Mel had Owen laughing on Saturday ~

It was cute. A few other Owen videos (cause the baby is always the star of the family videos...)
Owen on the trampoline last Thursday, testing out his little wings~

and one last video from today after school of Owen playing catch with Ethan (Owen loves to play with balls, it's super cute. Of course everything he does is super cute...)

I do have a video from one of our other children... it is Ethan's campaign video. He made it past the primary election last week and now he is in the running for governor with one other boy. The video is due on Thursday, and Corey and Ethan worked on it for a few hours after school on Friday and then for 8 more hours on Saturday. Corey said it was a fun thing to work on to get his mind off of work, which is still seems to be on the verge of collapse. They came home with an awesome finished product. Ethan has uplaoded it to youtube, and I told him to make it public so I could put it on here, but alas, during all the 100 times he's watched it himself, he didn't make it available for me. So sad. I will try to instruct him again tonight and we'll see if he can obey, then I can share it tomorrow. It is really good!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Spring

Beautiful spring has arrived this week - it's been gorgeous all week. I took this quick photo during a morning walk
Blue skies and flowers in the trees. Last night I walked out into the back yard and froze at the door as a wave of perfume hit me. The breeze from the canyon was blowing the scent from our neighbors trees right to our door. Looking to the left I could also see the moon rising in the canyon. It was just a lovely moment. Most of the kids were gone at their Wednesday night activities, but Ethan was home and came out to enjoy the moment with me.

Sophi, Natalie and Owen and I spent most of the day outside - they played on the trampoline and I just watched. Nice nice day though, I wasn't too cold in the shade, it was just perfect. Here is Owen on the trampoline, working on his flapping - this baby bird wants to fly from the nest.

We also went to the school park to pick up the kids today. My walk this morning was to walk Lily and Wes to school - Lily wanted to bring her scooter for the bike rodeo and Wes was kind enough to ride his bike with her.
But I found the paper about the event after I took them - the rodeo isn't today, its next Thursday. Oh well. But since Joseph had the car I walked them across the busy street and went to pick them up too. When Natalie saw the park she insisted (screamed) that we stay and play. So she was a little spider on the ropes, she did pretty good!
 You're a good spider climber too. Soph!
Other than that not much going on. I guess for posterity's sake I'll also add that we didn't get paid this week. Corey's still working on it and hoping they'll get more investment or something soon, pretty stressful for him. I'm ok for now, but things are super tight. American Express also froze our personal credit cards... that has happened before, cause they freeze all Corey's accounts when the business is overdue paying their card there. So, yeah, fun. So, children, if someday you look back and wonder how your father and I raised a family with him getting a business off the ground, the answer is "by the skin of our teeth" (eventhough teeth don't have skin, not sure the history behind that expression). Corey said he feels he's in a movie at the silent part of the where the bomb goes off and everything is quiet. Luckily the years of being stretched have made us pretty tough and we might make it through another month, but the rescue ship better come in soon, this isn't sustainable. Thus is the life of an entrepreneur. Hang in there sweetheart, and we'll keep hanging here too.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Poster

Last night they worked on Ethan's campaign poster, which is now hanging in the hall at school. total of 4 people running for governor. I think tomorrow they will know who the final two will be. Homework and music practice have both taken a big slide on the scale of important things to get done to this boy (and he and Joseph didn't take advantage of me giving them a second chance and still haven't cleaned their room or folded their laundry, tsk tsk. So sad, they on track to be the only two that don't get cereal on Sunday...) Ethan's poster is really cute. Here's part of the draft - they've kinda been doing an academic theme so far, with the dictionary definition and google search on his shirt. His poster is a textbook figure showing the different parts of a great governor:
Cute huh, I especially like the self deprecating humor (like his skinny arms help 7th graders not feel threatened, ha). Good luck in the primary election tomorrow Ethan!


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Another Election

I've given up on following the ups and downs of the presidential election. It wasn't helpful to my mood, didn't make me feel good, and now that Utah has voted, there isn't really anything I can do to make a difference. It's been nice to not be on facebook much anymore, and I've finally started trying to get involved with family history, yay. In our life right now, there is another election that is giving us a topic of conversation around the dinner table. Introducing Ethan Wride, running for Governor of his jr. high. He worked on his t-shirt yesterday, with much help from Corey. Joseph and Ethan went and printed it at Corey's parent's house, and they got home late at 12:30. When I saw the shirt this morning, I must say I thought it was very clever.
The front does a quick dictionary definition, with Ethan Wride being definition #2. On the back, Corey changed the html from several google searches to make it look like it was a google search about Ethan Wride and it is really funny. Good job Corey and Eth or whoever credit should go to.
(I believe most of the credit goes to Corey. He's a great dad.) Ethan was stressing out big time yesterday after not making ballroom, hoping things go better for Ethan with this effort at putting himself out there again running for student government. Good luck Eth, hope you win! You'd be great, but you're still great even if you don't win. But really hoping and praying you make it, it's fun seeing your kid win what they want, and hard seeing them have their hopes and dreams crushed. Telling them that they have a whole lot of life ahead of them doesn't seem to help. Still, trust me buddy, Jr. High elections really won't matter much to you later in life as you look back. Here's to growing experiences!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Slaves for Cereal

So guess what, I have had a stroke of genius. I told my children several weeks ago, when I started Whole30, that I would not longer be supplying them with processed junk food or endless bags of sugar cereal. They shrugged and said "yeah right" cause I've made this threat before. So I said "Ok, you may not believe me, but this time I might really mean it, so you've been warned." Well, they have been in mourning. We have no junk in the house. So despite there being plenty of food in the fridge drawers and food on the pantry shelves, there are children in this house who would testify that "there is nothing to eat". I show them the way to where they can find food and nourishment, but it's just, so, meh. So over the past few weeks they've had oatmeal, cream of wheat, toast, bacon for breakfast. And I have had grape nuts and corn flakes available for them too (but perhaps only while they are in transition to this new way of life). There are also snacks of fruit and peanuts, and I'm happy to say they are all still alive, but just barely. I found an MnM that had been left under the couch, along with other evidence of our recent Easter Egg Hunt. Joseph was at the computer, and I put the red MnM next to him. He sighed a gasp of relief ~ "Yes!" I laughed. "Hey, I'm desperate..." So that's how the teenage boys are handling life. We are having a planned dessert on Sunday's also (Sunday is going ot be their favorite day of the week!) Yesterday two children wanted to make it, so we had a combination of crepes with bananas and nutella topped with French toast sticks and powdered sugar. Made me a little sick, but I told them to enjoy it, cause that sugar rush has got to carry them through until next Sunday. The complaining isn't too bad. Some of the kids even enjoy sharing in some of my Whole30 meals. Mel loves coconut lime soup, Wes is a good sport most all the time, Lily loves raisins in her Great Grains cereal, and Owen is the sweet potato king.

Ok, so here is my stroke of genius: The boys that are hungry for their cereal comfort food are also just happen to be the ones that are too busy to clean their room or fold their clothes or help much around the house. So, we're starting a new thing where they have to do three things everyday for a whole 6 days, and should they be successful, they shall be rewarded with a bowl of some sugary cereal on Sunday. Ethan said this is the best idea I've ever had. To think, all these years I've been giving them cereal for free when I could have been milking it for some child labor! I'm not asking much. This is simple and easy, especially if you stay do it everyday. And a little work by each kid goes a long way when there are 7+ of them doing it (Sophi and Natalie get Sunday cereal for free.) Let's look here as our model child, Melodie, shows us how this new system works:
See, just three simple things. 

  • 1) Bed made and bedroom clean. 
  • 2) Any clean laundry folded and clothes looking nice and organized. 
  • 3) Come and ask your mother "What can I do for you?"

Once their initial clean-up of their rooms and closets is done, I dare say that those three tasks should take them less that 15 mintues a day. And I know that they are not so busy that they don't have 15 minutes that they could spare to help around here.
Easy. And this is a little easier than the chore boards that we did a few years ago, cause I have each kid and the whole week one one sheet, conveniently located on a clipboard next to their bedrooms, enabling a quick nightly verification of completed chores.
Ethan didn't do his jobs the first day. But he did have a rough day... found out he didn't make the jr. high ballroom team which he was really hoping for. And SBO elections are coming up and so he's stressed about that too, cause he's 0/1 and hoping not to be 0/2 after the COW next month. Stresses me out a little. Rejection is tough on all kids, but I think Ethan takes it particularly hard. So he was working on his T-shirt tonight and is over getting it printed now at his grandparents' house. Thanks to Joseph for taking him (great having a kid that can drive!) so Corey could finish up work. So I counted that as Joseph's job for me, and I'll ask them tomorrow if they want to earn cereal this week and if they say yes, I'll let them do double duty tomorrow to make up for slacking off on it today. Since it's just the first day, and teenage boys need a little time to get acclimated to doing daily chores. ;)

Friday, April 15, 2016

Passport Prayer

On Tuesday after school, Lily lost a tooth as her teeth tugged at a fruit roll-up. Somehow, when she came in to tell me the exciting news, the tooth fairy in me was totally not paying attention. The next morning, Lily sat up and checked under her pillow, very disappointed. Before I could explain to her the reasons why the tooth fairy might have forgotton, Lily put the blame squarely on herself as she realized that she hadn't put it under her pillow~ she had fallen asleep on the couch during scriptures. When we put her up in her bed, she was half asleep and didn't remember. Phew! Lucky break for this bad tooth fairy! I then promptly set an alarm on my phone for 1 a.m.) So, later that night, Lily was getting ready for bed. She had guarded her tooth carefully most of day, except for when she dropped it somewhere in the house. But Corey was on his way out to the roller skating rink, so the tooth would have to wait. When they got back, she asked Corey to help her find it. "We should say a prayer." Corey had some work to do before bed, and was a little not excited to put effort into the impossible task of finding her tooth. But they prayed, so he had to try. He picked up a piece of broken cereal on the kitchen floor and tried to fashion it into a tooth shape. "Is this it?" Joseph was doing his homework in the other room, listening, and came in to help, also a bit skeptical that they were going to find it. But in a matter of minutes Lily had located it! Miracle of miracle! She went and put it under her pillow, and Joseph jokingly asked "Lily, you want to help me find my passport?"

Joseph's passport has been MIA since he got back from Chile last summer. He has been looking for it for several weeks - he needs to send his passport info to Chapman Music in preparation for his July jazz band tour to the British Isles. "You gotta find it soon or we need to hurry and apply for a new one" we've told him. Corey's helped him look, I've looked, but no passport. Joseph looks for it here and there most every day, looking in the same places over and over again. The rest of us had ours together as Corey kept them on our trip home from Brazil. But when Joseph got home from Chile, we were out of town with friends and his grandparents picked him up - Joseph was in charge of it, and rack his brain as he might, he could not remember where it was. But wow, Joseph thought, little Lily and her childlike faith can find her tiny tooth lost somewhere in the house. My passport is lost here too, and it's bigger than a tooth...  As he was looking for it again today, he asked her again more earnestly, "Hey Lily, can you pray to find my passport?" She agreed to help, but first she instructed him, "We need to go someplace quiet to pray." So they went into her room, where she said a prayer, and the hunt began once again. Joseph took her to our room to show her what a passport looked like. She started to look downstairs. Joseph was looking upstairs in all the same places. Seriously, TWO MINUTES LATER, we hear her cheerful little voice call out "Joseph! I found your passport!" All of us who had been listening, and aware of the ongoing investigation that has been happening, thought she was joking... "WHAT?!?!" We all gathered around Lily, who proudly displayed a passport, and inside was Joseph's picture. "WHAT?!?!? WHERE did you find it?!??" I have some family history files where the birth certificates and social security cards are kept for each of the kids - Joseph's passport was in there. HOW Lily knew that I even had those file is beyond me, must have been a revelation. Joseph was like "Oh yeah! I remember seeing that in there in January before getting my driver's license!!" (cause he got his birth certificate to bring along) Well, wow Lily, miracle of miracles again! We've got our own little brother of Jared here - maybe now we'll call her the sister of Joseph.
The requests immediately started coming in... Corey: "Lily, will you pray for my business?" Hyrum: "Lily! Pray to find the Wii remotes!" It was a really fun and great small miracle to behold, we were all very happy for Joseph, now you can go on tour! And thank you Lily for your childlike faith, and thanks to Heavenly Father for answering this child's prayer. Looks like the rest of us have some humility work to do at becoming like unto this little child. ;) Thanks for your good example, Lily!
In this painting, Lily could have been the model for that little girl in pink - looks just like her! (well, except for the missing teeth)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Couch Potato

Last night Owen took a little power nap after dinner. He fell asleep as Ethan held him while I gave the little girls a bath. When I came down, Ethan had him in the chair with his cell phone next to him. At first glance I thought it was a remote, and thought it made a funny picture, as if this little man had fallen asleep watching his favorite team on the tv. My comment inspired Ethan's creativity. We didn't have any popcorn or potato chips... so baby puffs it is:
Remote in hand, slouched in the recliner... Ethan even crumbled up some of the puffs onto Owen's shirt, giving the impression that this guy had been munching on them mindlessly during the big game (never mind that O's teeth can't crunch anything yet or that baby puffs don't crumble, they just go soggy)
Still, we all got a good laugh at Ethan's photo composition. We love Owen!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Sleeping in the Tent

So last Friday, some of the kids did finally sleep in the tent that we had set up on Monday. Which was good, cause we put it away the next morning because there was some rain in the forecast. It still hasn't rained yet, but I'm glad we took it down, cause it's too cold for them to sleep out there anyway, and they're in school this week, so I'm glad they got one sleepover in. We'll put it up again when it's warmer. I did take a few pictures of the kids in the morning. It was just four of them that slept out there: Sophi and Abi~
I thought they might have been cold but they said they were fine. Melodie looked nice and snug -
Wesley - often when I peek on him when he's asleep in his room, he's got blankets all over his head. He likes his head to be totally covered. His sleeping bag was a little thin, but he said he wasn't cold either, so that's good.
I think they didn't sleep very well though, cause they all took naps. Sophi took like a 4 hour nap, she was wiped out. It might have been because of the tale they told us that morning of the HUGE fly that followed them into the tent cause it was attracted to the flashlight. Apparently it was ginormous, Melodie eventually was able to get it out so they could sleep in peace. Hyrum wasn't comfortable with the idea of me leaving the back door unlocked. "Just give them a key!" I'm not going to make them fumble with a key when they're half asleep and need to use the bathroom during the middle of the night. So I left it unlocked, but offered to be the night guard and slept on the couch so that I could fight off any unknown nighttime intruders. Natalie was on the couch with me in the morning, she's my little sleeping companion.
And Hyrum slept downstairs on the couch, where he would be safely hidden from the burglar (as he killed the rest of us?) Good thinking buddy!
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