Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Chaos

Wes in the school Halloween Parade, he's a pirate skeleton (such a cute smile) and Ethan below as an evil old Hag with a poison apple
So what's going on here... Joe had a Halloween Concert and Jazz Band concert last night.
Seemingly embarrassed as I snap a picture too close to the stage
Then we got home late, then had dinner late.  Then we went to bed late, so I got up late, so was late getting to the temple, late getting back, late making lunches, luckily the kids had helped each other get dressed up in their costumes.  Although they did put me in tears for a brief moment.  I vented "If our life is so busy that I can't spent 2 little hours at the temple out of the 168 hours in a week, then our life is too busy and something's gotta go.  But it's not going to be the temple. Halloween parades, school - those are on the table in my book, but the temple isn't, so if you guys want to go to school and attend your costume parades I need to have atleast these 2 hours without feeling guilty about it."

(I'm feeling a bit stretched if you can't tell)
Then since I was running around in a panic I was early to the Halloween Parade.  Too early.  Sophia was impatient waiting for the show to begin.  She didn't want to be there and made sure I was aware for the next 45 minutes that she wanted to go back home.  Then we came home, changed diapers, ate breakfast, then were late as we went back to the school for Wesley's 2nd grade Halloween Program.
Abi still in pjs and without shoes.  Lily without shoes...
Hmm, can anyone besides me tell that I do not have my act together?  But we're alive.  Now we're gonna eat lunch then run to the store and buy Halloween candy to pass out tonight.  And food.  We've been out of cereal for a few days.  Except for "All Bran" and "Grape Nuts" which my children don't recognize as edible food, so they've been looking a little confused in the mornings when I offer them eggs and apple slices for breakfast like "What is this??".  If we survive the day then it will have been a success.

Have fun Trick Or Treating  Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Junior High Kid

This morning Joe left for school looking like this:
It's Crazy Hair or Facial Hair Day at his school, so I willingly cut off from my head some hair for him to use as a mustache and long goatee beard.  He was pretty excited.  I just took him to school and I wished I'd had the camera to take a picture of him in the car as we drove - he gazed at himself with the dim light from the sun visor's mirror glowing on his face, singing along to Hot Fuss and obviously anticipating with excitement his peers' reactions when they see him today. He's a goof.  And he promised to give me credit for sacrificing my hair (point: Mom) while at the same time giving a disclaimer that I'm not responsible for him being so strange that he was willing and eager to walk around all day with my dead hair stuck on his face.
Also, a few weeks ago at the Cross Country team party, Joe was awarded a medal for being the fastest 7th grader.  Pretty impressive huh!  I'd like to now take credit for any future he has in running or track & field, I did it by hyping up the community Fun Run on the 4th of July.  Point - Mom!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Marshmallow War

Yesterday we went to Thanksgiving Point to participate in what might be a world record for the largest marshmallow fight ever. 
Giant cellophane wrapped sugary delicious candies!  They wish...
Mmm - Cotton Candy!!
Hyrum wanted to get in on the real action in the rink - Throwing a marshmallow and feeling pretty cool!
 Until he got hit in the face, and lost his lense on his glasses...
I saw him looking worried up there and thought he was done and wanted to get down but couldn't for whatever reason, but we went up and he told us his lense popped out.  Poor kid.  Not as bad as finding a needle in a haystack, but kinda close.  I help him look among the scattered marshmallows and hay and grass under the throng of children's feet.  Then Joe came over and we got his help - Joe to the rescue.
 Thanks Joe
And I truly feel really sorry for whoever has to clean up that mess.  Yikes.  It was not pretty.  I would have like to help, but I got my arms full with these 8 kids, just trying to get out of here without loosing any of them.
One reason I am glad when the kids get sick on sugar: they realize healthy food is good.  When we got to the car I offered Joe a carrot, to which he replied: A carrot actually sounds really good right now.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Reflections Open House

Well, I guess I'm pretty much done with the "hard" parts of being the Reflections Program Chair person.  We had our open house last night which I think I did an awesome job at it, being as I did it all by myself.  I kept kinda wishing someone would come forth and offer help over these weeks, but wishful thinking.  Nothing just happens, and I have kind of a hard time asking people for help, I hate to impose and would rather just do it by myself instead of possibly inconvenience anyone.  
Yes, there were a lot of entries of nature: waterfalls, trees, and mountains, as Ethan and Mel's artworks both attest.
As Corey took this picture, he said "Three generations of artists...
So, yesterday I spend the whole day at my computer typing up all the names of the students that entered and "artist statements" for the photography and visual art entries.  I was given the inspiration to pin the art on the carpeted walls with sewing pins and it worked like magic, I was so pleased.  It was really simple to put up and take down and didn't damage the artwork or anything, it was sweet and I was thankful.  I ran to the school after Joe came home and spent 2 hours by myself, then came home to get the kids ready and in the car so we could go back over for the big event.  As we pulled into the parking lot 5 minutes before it started, there was one car, and it was Corey's.  My hubby was there to support me.  We went into the school.  Ethan and Mel were impressed with my work.  Ethan also said "I'd rather no one comes rather than just one person..." which I could understand, it's better to have no one show than to have someone come and have them feel bad for you - cause then you have a poor turnout AND someone besides you knows that you had a poor turnout.  But we didn't advertise it too much, so it's okay, it was low-key anyway.  The principal was there, she estimated that over the hour there were 20 families that came, I think it was more like maybe 10.
So I worked all day (without complaining!) and set it up (without complaining, I'm learning! Ya just have to do it) and we had the open house and I was pleased with how it turned out, so even though not many people came I didn't mind.  Abi felt sick the whole time, my house was a wreck from my having neglected it all day to do Reflections, so after it was done Corey ran to the store for food/dinner and we went home to try and clear off the table, and I was just coming in from the garage when I see Ethan coming back toward me and he says "Abi just threw up..." and it was true, a big mess all over the kitchen floor.  Sweet!  I'm happy, cause she didn't throw up on carpet at home, or at the school, or in the car, so this is good.  Stinky and gross, but good/better than it could have been.  And I could complain and it would still take 20 minutes to clean up, or I can be calm and pleasant and it will take 20 minutes to clean up.  Complaining doesn't make anything better.  (Although I have read that swearing can increase one's tolerance for pain, so if you consider cleaning up throwup to be "pain"-ful, then maybe complaining will be helpful if you do it by swearing... although I don't want to make a habit of swearing, but I might keep swearing on the table if I get my femur cracked in half.)  So I mopped up the puke and was grateful that Corey's bringing home the bacon for the fam. 
I know everyone just loves seeing pictures of throw up, so there ya go.
So that was last night.  Today I was over at the school from 8:30-10:30 this morning for the awards assembly.  Wasn't too bad, hope parent's and kid's are okay with the results, no hard feelings for trophies not awarded.  After it was done lots of the kids didn't pick up their work, so I had to sort pieces that I need to keep to ones that needed to be returned and then walked around to the classrooms giving those back. Kind of a lot of busy work mostly cause I wanted to get back home to my kids, but not too bad.  And now just a few hitches to finish up - two awards where I misspelled the names, a few pieces that need to frame their work better or unframe it (no glass frames allowed), and I go drop those off for counsel by next Thursday, so I'm basically done and don't plan on doing it again next year, but I am thinking I'll proactively call whoever is in charge and offer her help, since that was what I was wishing for these past few weeks.

Political side note - This Obama ad is awful and has to be the worst yet, made me cringe.  Yes, it is that bad.  If Obama runs this ad, it's going to cost him votes.  Then again, there was a study done recently that showed that Romney ads had been wholly ineffective, but Obama ads are effective at getting people to vote, for Mitt Romney.  Yet another sign of the coming landslide.  This woman is a perfect example of what I've been thinking these last four years:  If Obama was the answer, just how stupid was the question?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

That Ain't Nothin'

After Sophia awed us with her amazing walking abilities yesterday (updated with proper photos now that I found my camera), she showed us her other talents that she's been hiding for the appropriate time - look at what she's learned how to do:

"All right everybody, You thought walking was cool, well you ain't seen nothing yet.  Check this out - I can use a computer and I can type ~ I can be gainfully employed and provide for a family of 10.  It's a piece of cake, see, all you have to do is poke the computer with your cute little pointer fingers like this! (look at that little double chin and those lips of concentration)
Oh yeah, she's amazing.  "Aren't you all impressed?!?  Come come now, everybody clap!  Hooray, I rule!"

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

At The Door!

Lily woke me up this morning at 4:45 a.m., pulling my arm and saying "Hurry!  Ethan is at the door!"  She had woken up Melodie too, who was standing at my bedroom door with a sleepy smile as she tried to be of service to this little 3 year old and her imagination.
We went back into the girls' room - Lily was pointing out the window and down the foggy winter street, saying again with urgency - "Ethan at da door!  Hurry! Let's go!"  I didn't want to go downstairs with her and open the front door to the cold and dark world outside to prove to her that there was no one at the door, so we just put her back in her bed and and talked to her little wide eyed face and tried to decipher clues as to what she was thinking in that toddler head of hers.  Finally figured out she was saying "Ethan is at the store" and that he was sad and that we needed to go get him at the store - so we figured she'd had a dream that Ethan was left at the store and we needed to go get in the car and drive down the street to go get him and bring him home.  Mystery solved!  So I told her Ethan was home, picked her up out of her bed, over into the boys room and look!  There he is!  Ethan was peacefully sleeping, safe and sound (and drooling on his sheets).  We patted his head and said "Ethan is home!"  Lily's eyes and eyebrows showed that she was a little confused as to what had just happened, but decided to roll with it and was contently smiling, glad that the problem was solved.  Then she went and tucked herself back in her bed and quietly fell asleep again.  It was cute. Mel and I were laughing at each other, and I was so impressed with Melodie that she was calm and saw the cuteness and beauty of the situation even though it interrupted her slumber.  She kept quietly laughing and whispering "Lily is so cute..." Melodie is already on her way to becoming a great mother. 

And in other exciting little people news... guess who's side show made scripture study last for over an hour last night cause she just had to show off her new trick...

Yes, Sophia took several steps several times last night and everyone wanted a piece of the joy (ie: Lily in the photo below)
We were all squealing and clapping and cheering "yay!" with each little pitter pat, and fighting over who's turn it was to have her walk to their arms.  It was precious. 

Joe and Ethan had been talking smack about who is faster at running and better at sports or whatever, so Corey seized the opportunity to give a quick lesson "So are you guys jealous that Sophia can walk now too or are you happy for her that she is learning?  We're all happy right?  This is how Mom and I feel each time you guys achieve something!  What if someone came and pushed Sophi down and told her she'll never learn and she's not good enough?  That would be so sad right?  It hurts us and Heavenly Father if you tear each other down."

We're all on the same team, and we need to build each other up with open arms, smiles, and cheers, cause you are all still little Sophi's to us.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Secret Garden

Another lovely quote from "A Thousand Gifts"
"Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend...when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that's present - love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure - the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience Heaven on earth."  - Sarah Ban Breathnach 
So, I know what I should do: Tend the pretty garden!  The secret garden of peace and happy flowers - tend it by being calm, smiling in my small adversities, and not freaking out at the kids over the mole hills they keep making everywhere.  "This is not Valley Forge!"  Now, putting what I know into practice ... ah, therein is the glitch where I am more than often lacking. Can I remain calm and see the beauty/innocence/mole hill when a glass plate shatters, when sticky juice is spilled, and when smiley face people are drawn in books, on walls, and on the carpet.  (Lily's little drawing below)
I usually don't remain very calm.  I vent as I clean.  It usually doesn't take long, but I still have a long way to go to make my happy garden pretty and I need to just ignore the Crazy Garden where there is mud, messes, and weeds galore - why do I fertilize and tend that garden?  Don't do it self!  Only the happy garden.  It's work, it's  a conscience choice.  I want to make that choice and not react to the weeds as often as I do.  Well, the baby's crying... "children's music, oh how sweet!" Gotta go.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tickle Police

Corey is the "Tickle Monster"
The kids are usually the tickle victims.
(Although there are rare occasions when Corey unwisely tickles me, but not before I give him a verbal warning reminding him that I am not responsible for any thing that happens if he does)
And Sophia also regularly doubles as the Tickle Police.  After Sophia put in her tickle time, she was released and set free to play with the remote control batteries as Corey moved on to his next victim (Mel)
It looks like she's not paying attention (love her face, she played with those batteries for like a half hour!), but she's got her ears tuned to the screams of the children.  She'll turn around to check on them if the screams give the indication that the play has gotten out of hand...
There she is giving Corey "the eye" - but everything looks okay, so she goes back to play -
Turning her head to check in again - it's really cute.
She does this all the time when the kids and Corey are wrestling or tickling, and if Corey makes anyone beg for mercy too loudly, she sends out a little cry, voicing her unapproval - No big people picking on little people!  She's a cutie.  She's the peaceper of the house.  That's a good thing to have.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


I have a cold.  Might be allergies?  Either way, my eyes are watery and nose is runny and I have a headache and need to sneeze and it's not very fun.  Sophi's been a little sick this past week but seems well today.
I think Abi's feeling under the weather too cause she has been nah-stie, so we were all glad when she took a 3 hour nap.  I think I'd like to go take a nap.  But since it's 7pm, I guess I'll just toughen it out for another hour or so and go to be early - haha wishful thinking.  I'm squinting with one eye closed right now as I type.  I was sick around this time last year too - (at the end of this post - I also just picked up a cheesecake!  But I'm going to try to be good and stay away from it till Halloween or Thanksgiving... but I have another one coming next month, so maybe I will go eat all of it.  It's my survival food.)  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


So, I'm the chair of our Reflections Contest at the kids school.  Haven't done much yet but stew about it in my head.  Hopefully getting these entries judged this week will go well, then gotta order the awards/trophies, have the open house to display all the entries next week, then I'm hoping I'm basically done.  Ethan submitted the photo below, Mel took the picture above, they both also entered a drawing (both were waterfalls).  Mel also did a little clay 3D sculpture.
Political thoughts from last night's debate - I think Romney did great. The first debate was a game changer, this second debate was simply was a game maintainer. If Romney had to win the first debate to remain relevant as a candidate, Obama had to win this second debate big this time and that didn’t happen. Obama came back scoring a few political points and added some fuel to his unenthusiastic campaign.  He did lie about Libya, and even though Romney didn't catch him on it in the debate, a lie is still a lie and that never sets well with normal people, plus there is a debate on Monday on foreign policy and so it will definitely be brought up then and he won't get away with it next time. Many said President Obama "won", but the bar was set pretty low since he just had to improve on his last performance.  Basically he just had to show up and be engaged, so he did that.  But, Romney won on style, looking presidential, and at the same time hitting the President over his record, and boy, was that a long list.

The post-debate CNN poll of debate viewers felt Obama edged out Romney in the 2nd debate with 46% to Romney’s 39%. But, when asked about specifics, they expressed greater confidence in Romney’s ability to lead, especially on the economy which is the issue of this election. Please, we need a President who will help this economy.  As a member of the middle class who had 8 kids and an entrepreneur husband and breadwinner, we are so feeling the crunch. Romney has promised to help our family, that's what I want, he has my vote. Looking forward to some R&R (rest and recuperation) from R&R (Romney and Ryan).  Let's not mess this up, America.  19 days away.  Next Debate on Monday. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Debate Eve

Nothing too exciting going on today.  I'm excited for UEA weekend and to have all the kids home.  I love the weekends, I try to endure the week, so I'm glad this week is short school wise, cause that means it's like already Wednesday!

And it also helps where there are exciting events during the week to anticipate. I'm a little overly excited for the debate tomorrow night.  Not thrilled with the townhall setting, but that's okay.

Gonna be party time, chumps!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Can We Help You?

I've been feeling a bit beat up / over my head / in a funk / desperate for the ability to get a hold on life lately.  But instead of figuring it out, I kinda walk around with glazed over eyes and stare at the walls.  Or lock myself in the bathroom.  Or stare at the computer and listen to the Killers. 

Well, I took some dinner over to the lovely Sister Missionaries a few weeks ago, and this afternoon there was a knock at my door and they returned the dishes.  We exchanged some pleasantries in the doorway as the kids swirled around us (got 3 nieces over and some neighbor kids too, plus my ocho ninos) I wondered if I should invite them in, they probably have an appointment, so no, but then they asked "Is there anything we can do for you?"  I remember being the missionary asking that question, and so I knew they weren't just asking to be polite, they really mean it.  So I paused... "Do you guys have to go / have an appointment?"  Nope.  Sheepishly... "Um... (swallow pride) do you want to help me clean my kitchen?"  And guess what, they jumped at the chance!  Talk about Heaven sent help!
And they really did it!  They cleaned my kitchen, swept my floor, washed my dishes, wiped off the counter (I helped too of course) and then they thanked me for letting them serve.  "Not many people let us..."  Well, I'm here for ya, so watch what you say cause I take people up on their offers, I hope people will take me up on mine. Thank you Lord for sending these Angels to knock on my door and help me swim in my mess, and have a nice conversation at the same time!  An answer to my heart's prayer.  If you see Mormon missionaries, you should take them up on some service too - I know they'd love to help, just don't give them a heart attack from the surprise.  I love missionaries.  They are on the Lord's errand.  I shall be too. I'm off to serve my family by folding laundry ~ TTFN.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pet Funeral

Last night was hard for the kids - (mostly Mel, Hyrum, & Wes).  Before the kids got home I checked on Oreo and the 3 girl guinea pigs and was surprised to see he was looking really bad, like "verge of death" bad - the kids got home and the drama quickly swept through the house, and then he seemed to be doing a little better, then a little worse, the evening passed and kids did homework and tried to carry on as usual ~
Time to get ready for bed around 9:00 and Oreo was declining fast and seemed to be in the death throws, kids were understandably sobbing, we held a viewing in the Lego room where they each had some time to go in and tell him anything they wanted to say. 

We read some scriptures from Moses 5 about knowledge - that's what we are here on earth to experience ~ good and bad, joy and sadness. We get to love pets, like we get to love babies and each other.  But for us humans the joy is one half of a whole - cause joy comes with sorrow, happiness comes with sadness.  We wondered:  "How come Medusa and Twix and Hamlet (our other 3 guinea pigs) don't seem to care that Oreo is dying?  They aren't sad, why?" They don't have knowledge.  When Adam and Eve ate the fruit, they were signing up for opposition.  They had great joy in their life and in their children, but also great sorrow - sorrow and joy come together, we humans can't have one without the other.  Medusa doesn't have joy in her baby guinea pigs like we all feel in our hearts from Sophia, right?  They've got some animal instincts that get them through things, but we have got knowledge, or are in the process of getting it.  Lily wasn't sad, and kept telling Mel "Don't be sad, the bad guys not get us!" And also, interestingly enough, little sensitive Abi didn't shed a tear - she's just bounce into the room and in a perky voice ask "Is Oreo dead yet?"  and then bounce out and continue playing with her toys.  Go easy on your siblings, Abi, a little more gentle comments please... 

So, after our lesson the kids were calm but Mel was positive she wouldn't be able to fall asleep, but we put on some calming "Peace Like a River" MoTab music, and after getting them in bed and Sophia asleep, I went in to check on him and he was gone, so he was officially pronounced dead by me at 11pm. 
Today I spent 2+ hours trying to dig a deep hole in the back yard.  Didn't make much progress until the kids came home and cute neighbor Brox went and got a pitch fork.  Made great progress after that.  As the young men and I dug the hole deeper, the kids wrote letters and prepared his casket (box)
Abi's note (with a portrait of him and his favorite vegetables on the blue post it notes) that she put in Oreo's box/casket cutely stated "REREO DEDU REREO U TU BE ULFE - Translation: Oreo Died Oreo Used to Be Alive

Hyrum's note.  The other kids didn't want theirs published.
I conducted the services, Mel said the prayer, then we interred Oreo, returning him to his mother earth.
And the headstone we made.

He really was a great little guinea pig, he was so sweet.  We'll miss him. It's better to have joy, even if it's comes with pain.  It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.I'm grateful we had him and that my kids were able to take care of him and love him and learn about life and death and that they are being so brave.  Goodbye Oreo, we love you.  See you again!
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