Saturday, May 31, 2014

Movie Mouth - JundiaĆ­, Brazil

Our conquering heroes have returned. And now Corey's taking a nap, Ethan is walking around saying it all feels like this little trip to Brazil was all just a dream and that he never actually left. Thus is life, my son. So enjoy the now, cause it is fleeting. They were able to go by the old chacara where we lived in 2007. It was all locked up with the current owners, so they just prowled around like a couple of foreign burglars.
The trip has been a success. They didn't get as big of a turnout as they wanted, due to some scheduling conflicts and some ill-timed construction and an accident nearby or something. Here are a few pictures though:
Everyone that came and listened really liked it and said they will definitely want their language schools using the Movie Mouth software.

So, now he's back and recovering from jet lag, and then there a lot more work to do. Keep it up sweetheart, go get 'em.

Friday, May 30, 2014

He Won

Joseph won Student Body Officer. He is super excited.
Corey got the text with the news . Joseph didn't want to know. Grandma and I did. We got the word from Corey. Much less nerve wracking going to the assembly knowing already, I liked that. They did a cute little show using Disney characters and movies.
He is positive that he will always remember this day. I told him to trust me... as the years pass, he will not remember anything about this that I don't photograph ) or that he doesn't write down. So that was his homework for the night ~ to write down all his happy emotions.
He wore the sweater around the house, it was cute. (nice socks too in honor of the COW.) Corey gave him some good advice before the assembly. He said "As a father, I think it would be a better growing experience for you to lose. But I know how much you want to be an officer, so I hope you get it."
And he also passed along this gem of wisdom that he attributed to John Bytheway: "If you're not good enough without it, you'd never been good enough with it anyway. So be good on your own terms and the honors come and go." ~ good advice. :)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Survival Tip

So, how does one survive running a household full of kids all alone? I was going to survive off of lettuce and green shakes, but then my mother gifted me a jar of something... Natalie will give you a hint... (look at that face! Look at your pretty pursed lips Natalie!! Give me a kiss, oh you're adorable!)
So, how to survive... it involves something sugary and chocolaty. Yes, unfortunately, I had more than my fair share of Nutella the past few days.
Then I tried to get the kids to help me get rid of it, and they obliged. When I gave Natalie a baby spoonful, it all landed perfectly on her lips like she was wearing some chocolate lipstick or something ~
You look so pretty Natalie! So cute! We had to call everyone in to watch her lick her lips - it was cuter than a bunny eating raspberries!
So now the Nutella is gone, phew! Ok, back to healthy eating. But when it shows up kicking around the house again, I know Natalie will be there to help me out.
(Mmmm, chocolate!)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Big Decisions

So Joseph has a big decision to make. The question: Should he find out if he made SBO the night before the big assembly at school or does he wait until the COW? SBO = Student Body Officer. Specifically Commissioner of Activities. COW = Churchill Office Winners (aka the BIG assembly)
I never had to endure such a decision as a young teenager. We had to wait, and texting wasn't invented yet. He's trying to decide. He has to let them know tomorrow morning if he wants a text or not. If he gets one, and he wins, he probably won't be able to hide his excitement. If he gets one and he didn't win, he probably won't be able to hide his great disappointment. Either way he said he's going to go to school. He's been following Melodie around and bugging her saying "What would you do if you were in my position..." and she just shrugs and walks away and wants him to go away and for him to stop talking about this (cause it truly is all he's talked about for the past month...)
I'm trying to humor him. He likes to hash it over several times. And then rehash it all again. We've got a plan, I think: We'll have them text me and/or Corey. I, like Joseph, cannot hide my happiness/disappointment and or keep a secret. So I'll have them text me and I'll just not open the text until after Joseph leaves for school, then I'll find out and text him like 10 or 15 minutes before the show, so he's not having to answer questions of other classmates about if he knows if he won, but he can still sneak away to mourn privately if he looses. And of course Corey won't blab it to Joseph cause he's still out of the country. He's good at keeping secrets when he's in the country, so we're doubly safe there. 

So, yeah! We'll find out soon! Let me know if you want the play by play, cause it's all we hear about around here. I'll be glad when this part of it is over. I hope for Joseph that he makes it, he's a good kid and has his heart kinda set on it. I've been hoping for me that he doesn't make it, cause I tend to favor anything that helps me not have to leave the house and/or makes us less busy as a family. Corey reminded Joseph that he's like 90 - 0 for achieving his goals and having his dreams come true, time for him to miss for once and see what life is like for the rest of us here on planet earth.
Corey and I both won SBO when we were in junior high together. Corey was President (woo-woo!) and I was Historian. And they put me on probation cause I was being delinquent in my responsibilities. I can tell that story sometime. It made for a interesting part of our long courtship. :) It's okay sweetie, I don't blame you for it, I was being a slacker (but not really) (the other officers were out to get me!!). Fyi, at the end of year award assembly that year, I won the Outstanding Student Body Officer award. Ha! Take that!
Man, they threatened to not let me wear my sweater at school! Talk about cruelty and unusual punishments! Muah ha ha! JUNIOR HIGH!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mississippi Queen

Another day, another fifth grade state float parade.
So, first obstacle: preparing the float. Yesterday was a day off from school, he had plenty of extra time to work on it, so of course he didn't and he stayed up late (too late for a 5th grader) working on it (which is seems especially sad considering how little actually was done for this float). He made a flag (cause our printer doesn't work) and got some red, white and blue pillow cases to put over his float. Now to transport it... sadly we don't have a wagon (will try to get one within the next 2 years before Wesley's float is due) and so we wandered around the house looking for something with wheels. His bike has flat tires. Wesley's bike is too little, so he didn't want to do bikes. We don't have scooters. I tried to convince him to pull a tricycle, but he wanted Sophia to be part of his float and she is only 11 months old and thus shouldn't be trusted to hold on to a tricycle for 3 laps around the school. What to do, what to do. Hyrum decided he'd push Natalie in her highchair, cause that has wheels.

Obstacle two - I wake up the girl and help them eat their cereal in time for us to get over to the school in time to deliver the highchair float.

We get to the school - I wheel the high chair through the parking lot and become aware that it's little wheels can scoot around a kitchen, but they're not made for laps around a school on asphalt. So - back home to get a stroller. I left the high chair at the school and come back and rip it all off and re-tape it to the stroller with Hyrum's favorite prop, his baby sister (who ate the streamers.)
So: He's ready to go, good job Hyrum! He's got the paper flag on display, as well as a teddy bear (cause Theodore Roosevelt's nickname came from when he hunted a bear in Mississippi) and the other thing he found around the house that can be tied to Mississippi: Darth Vader. Cause just everyone knows James Earl Jones was born in Arkabutla, Mississippi! RiGhT?! (We looked all over for the complete black Vader cape, but could only find the black and red vampire cape. Close enough.)
So Hyrum comes out to get ready for the parade march. He and Natalie check out the competition of another students' Mississippi float. No no, self, this isn't a competition! ...But I knew it was Mississippi cause of the Barq's rootbeer (which I knew cause I spent my holiday helping him with his report... oh, wait, I forgot... (and this is funny...) ...

Speaking of his written report - they had a lot of time to work on this at school but Hyrum didn't finish, and I found out the reason why was because he kept trying to DOUBLE SPACE his report, like double space it between the words, and at home as I helped him type it, he was very attentively telling me that Mrs. Butterfield said it had to be double spaced. When he typed on it at school, he'd try to save it double spaced but the computer kept correcting it and changing it back to single space and Hyrum would spend his whole time the next time at computer time at school going through and putting the spaces back in. He felt slightly defeated when I told him it was double spacing between the lines, not the words, and you do it with a simple format option. He said "You mean I wasted my whole time?!?" Yes you did buddy, but that's okay. Poor teachers, they think they are being clear with their instructions but there are still kids that get lost in the wrong details... so anyway...

So we come out and pass by another Mississippi float and I'm thinking Hyrum's looks pretty pathetic. Not that I really care, but I guess I do a little bit, feeling like either I'm a dupe mom cause I don't help enough to make it look like it is a float... or like they are dupes cause they help too much. See notice those two grown men in the blue shirts? They were both working on it, drill and staple guns in hand, putting on the finishing touches.What do you think Darth?
Darth think's it's hot. Especially with that black helmet on and no shade to take refuge under.
Maybe neither of us are dupes. Maybe the over achieving men and the underachieving me are both just doing what we can, and that's okay. Yes, I'm okay, you're okay. So off they go ~ round and round, where they stop, nobody knows...
He said that the elementary kids from the other grades that were lined up to watch said "DARTH VADER pushing a BABY?!?!?" Come on, kids, EVERYBODY knows that people in Mississippi wear Darth Vader costumes and push their babies around in strollers all day! Yes, that's definitely common knowledge.
Coming around for lap 2... Natalie's done. I pulled him aside to check his temperature... Then I insisted he take off his helmet. He protested against it, but I think he was grateful I took a stand against his discomfort. I also grabbed him after the 2nd lap was through, as did most other parents. I don't think 3 times is necessary. Phew! We're done!
 You made it buddy. So did you Natalie. Let's go home and take a nap.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Ethan's Dream

Yesterday, we were driving in the car to my lil' brother's house. Since it was the Sabbath, I told the kids their listening options during the drive were: Conference (Oct 1991 on tape, I love Elder Packer's talk and have got it on repeat) Screwtape letters (still in car from CA trip) or Hillary Weeks "He Hears Me" (lovely music that always transports me back in time to my mission in Arizona.) Joseph was sitting in front, and he chose Screwtape. I don't think the other kids were paying attention, so Screwtape won. And he and I started laughing because of Ethan and were remembering this story.

On a normal Monday, I was taking Ethan to his band practice in American Fork. He was tired. We had the radio on, but once he was napping and not paying attention, I decided to switch it to Screwtape because I wanted to be in a more ponderous mood since I was going to go see Sacred Gifts again. Ethan was totally out of it. When we were almost at the music studio, I turned off the Screwtape book on tape and woke him up. He looked like he really had a major power nap and was struggling to wake himself up. After some effort, he started to come to and blinked his eyes and stretched and as he tired-ly picked up his sax case, and as he shuffled out of the car, he said "I just had the weirdest dream... This bald guy was sitting on a bench, and he just kept talking and TALKING and he wouldn't shut up!..." then he closed the door and walked away. And I laughed and chuckled my way to the museum cause Ethan was so funny to depart that way making a comment about my cd. It does sound like some bald guy rambling on.

When I picked him up, he was fully awake and told me again that he had been having a really weird dream right before I dropped him off (as if he didn't remember that he had already told me about his weird dream, cause he was so tired he didn't remember?) So he told me again, of this weird looking little fat guy who was sitting on a bench, and everything was all white around him except for him on his bench, and he kept talking and talking and Ethan wanted him to be quiet but he was trying to get away but this dude just kept talking and talking!!! Now, I thought Ethan knew that it was my cd, but as he was here revealing this information to me again, I thought he was just being silly and telling me in this joking way that he doesn't like my audio book. But as he went off about this weird dream, I decided to play along and asked "Did he sound like ... THIS!" and I turned on the cd again. Ethan's jaw dropped and his eyes went wide with amazement "WHAT?!?" he said as he looked at the car's cd player, then he yelled "THAT'S the guy!!! That's the guy from my dream!" So he's thinking that it is so freaky that I've got a cd with the exact same voice as the guy that was in his dream and I just laughed harder, cause now it was even funnier that he wasn't joking with me, he was totally serious - he didn't know what was going on with his dream when I dropped him off. I told him that after he fell asleep, I turned off the radio and turned on the Screwtape cd, and he detailed his dream more "I was dreaming about something else, I can't remember, but then it stopped and it all went white and then this guy showed up on a bench and just began talking and talking!!!" and we were both laughing at how the surrounding in the car changed what he was dreaming about during his nap, funny to play a trick that like on him. I admit that the guy that they chose to do the audio recording of the Screwtape letters is a guy with a rather "devilish" sounding wicked voice (Joss Ackland) I'll have to show Ethan Joss' picture, cause that would be weird if Ethan got the visual image of the guy right, that really would have been a magic trick by his brain all of it's own! Anyway, I told everyone the story at dinner that night and we got a good laugh. Ethan is a good kid. We miss you Ethan! Hope you're having fun in Brazil with dad! (Here's an old picture from 2006 of Ethan Skyping with his grandparents when we lived in Virginia.)
Ok, and these pictures of my little 4 year old Ethan too, what a cutie... do you like your breakfast? No?
Oatmeal bad, oatmeal good!
Miss you buddy!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Still Alive

I've been a bit over my head with life this past week, but haven't drowned yet. Church was great today and reminded me to pray more and also I learned (again) to slow down and do things that fill me up emotionally, and not just work and be busy cause there are 100 things to do and cause everyone is running in every direction. So yeah, that's a lesson I keep learning and being reminded of over and over again.

I got to put it right to practice right away, cause today after church we went over to my parent's house for dinner and it was great - my mom made a lovely meal and it was so fun to take a tour of my dad's garden. "Take time to smell the roses!" Or atleast photograph them. We haven't all been over to my parents' house for forever. Like, I don't know if we have since we've been back from Chile? My mom usually comes to visit us cause it's just easier, so it was a special treat to go to their house. I love my dad's garden.

So I took deep breaths and photographed flowers while the kids played downstairs with my old toys. They broke out the box of the old Fisher Price "Little People" toys. They played "school" and were going on a train ride as a field trip I think...

Hyrum always plays so cute with his little sisters. Well, not always I guess, but when he's in the zone and willing to play down to their level, it's always heart warming to watch.
After that, we did another thing we've never done, we went to my little brother's house. He lives in Saratoga Springs and they bought a starter home last August, so almost been a year, but none of us had paid a house call yet, so that was fun to go see them too! We did two somethings we've never done before! It was their little boy's birthday, so we came down to visit and enjoy some cupcakes with relatives. Natalie was tuckered out after the drive down. Her little arms just look like they're so exhausted...
Natalie woke up and enjoyed licking chocolate frosting off of grandpa's fingers. Mmm.
Sophia loved the swing. I didn't get a picture of that, cause I was too busy pushing her. When she took a break for cupcakes I took a pic of Wesley stuck. Hyrum got stuck in the baby swing too, with his legs through the holes but his waist and hips stuck out of the chair if that makes sense? That was the biggest laugh I got today.
And the kids colored with chalk - Lily made a rainbow.
 Wesley made an amazing maze, of course.
 And they were tuckered out again after the drive back home.
Heading home to bed, thanks for a lovely evening, mom and dad.
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