Friday, March 31, 2017

Classic Skating

Two weeks ago on the 18th of March (perhaps as a warm up before his Las Vegas adventure...) Corey took lots o kids and our 3 Chilean friends to Classic Skating for some fun. They had a ball. The highlight of the afternoon was when Natalie met Ariel and Rapunzel.
Corey said their costumes looked really legit and wondered if the Disney corporation/trademark was okay with people out there posing as their copyrighted characters. It was really fun.
Corey had a lot of work to do as always, but soon was in full fun father mode and they had a great time skating, timing each other in an obstacle course, and stuff like that. Cata got the most tickets of anybody
Angela said she had only gone skating two other times in her life, and broke her leg both times. She made it out injury free this time with the help of the skater (the walker for skating).
That isn't the best pic but that's the one Corey sent me, I shall update later. Also Corey has a few videos that he hasn't uploaded yet but I'll update with the links here later.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Toddler Pedicure

I got a kick out of seeing Sophi clipping Natalie's toenails last week on Ethan's birthday. Natalie was laying there all comfy cozy on a pillow while receiving her pedicure, talking outloud as she pointed to and named the colors on the Birthday banner that was hanging up ~
Sophi was working very diligently on Natalie's toes. It was a cute moment.
I get a little nervous when they want to clip their own nails and toes, but Sophi's ready for independence in this area. She hasn't hurt herself yet, but I get nervous cause, as stated below ,it can be..
I made Daniel bleed once, I'm sure I've done it to other kids once or twice but I don't remember, but Daniel is fresh in my mind, I felt so bad! So far Sophi hasn't hurt herself and she didn't hurt Natalie here, so I guess I'll let them keep trying and learning.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Bike to School

Wes and his friend Christopher are enjoying the nice weather. They've biked to school together a few times, on the days that Wesley doesn't have band and doesn't have to bring his trumpet. I was a little nervous about them crossing the busy street. So I went out for a morning jog and was on my way back when they were leaving. I told him to strike a pose~
Then I ran down the street with them and make sure they made it across allright. Wes was laughing as he saw me running with all my might in effort to keep up with him as he pedaled lightly on his bike. Yes, it is fun being the fast one. I like it when the kids ask to walk home from church and get out of the car, and then want to race, and I don't put the gas on at all, just put it in drive and the car is able to beat them. So Wes, I know how you feel. I'm okay that you're faster than me. When he got home after school, he sat down in a pant with a red face, as he said "I didn't quite realize when I biked to school that I'd have to bike back home!" The hill goes down on the way to, but it's a BiG uphill on the way back. Fun kid, I like Wes

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Leader of the Pack

So, here I am again in a too quiet house. A big part of me misses the loud and busy fun of family life, as it is the daily life I've come to know and love. Another small part of me feels like 3 days is not a long enough break. There is still so much I need to do and haven't done, and those things soon will be on the back burner again cause I've only barely almost taken care of the basics these past 48 hours. Oh well. So, I'm am here alone with Daniel (who is kinda sad about all this quiet)...

I am alone because, as I said yesterday, Corey left on Sunday for a trip for spring break. He took with him 10 kids and 3 Chileans. So, he called me Sunday night after the first leg of their journey and said he thinks he's officially reached his level of difficulty. Lol. I apologized for not going, he said it was okay... as he said he appreciated that I went along for our other 4 crazy international adventures. I was just feeling really frazzled on Saturday, and after listening to Sister Bonnie Cordon's talk, and realizing I'm off balance, I knew going on a trip is not going to give me any relief. Vacations with kids are a lot of work during the trip and a lot for mom when it's over (laundry and trying to get kids to unpack). I had originally planned to go with them, and I probably would have gone, but he just booked a trip to Brazil again and will be leaving me on April 1st for 8 days. I said I could probably manage Vegas okay, but anticipated that I'd be running really low on fuel during the week after when he was gone. He obliged. I had to call several friends to see if it was okay for me to not go, cause I've never abandoned Corey like this. He abandons me now and then, sure, but I'm on my home turf when he leaves. I wouldn't like to be abandoned on the road. Here is a picture of Corey from the last time he abandoned me, this time for business in Seattle. That time it was just for 4 days.
So they are enjoying their second day in Las Vegas, mostly swimming I assume. Later this week I'll try to post pictures of anything exciting that transpired. One detail of the adventure that I do know about was from Sunday night. When I called him at 5:30 to see their status, he said they were checking in. He sounded a little frazzled himself and said he needed to go. When he called me later, he told me about what it was like checking in to the Hotel in St. George. Here the kids are on the stairs of the St. George temple - photo courtesy of Ethan's Instagram page, which was followed by this caption: "The Wrides. we are short, have big hands, bit feet, and nice eyebrows (there are four more wrides)
Corey used our timeshare there in St. George, and Worldmark is pretty verbally strict on occupancy limits. Corey is an obedient guy, so he takes it seriously. (That was another reason why I didn't go, we were 16 with me and we only had room space for 14 cause Daniel and Owen count.) At the desk they had him fill out on a paper the names and ages of each person who was staying. He let her know that this was one of the reasons his wife didn't come, because of their strict policy. He said this hoping to get a little bit of sympathy and his room key and parking pass. He said it trying to point out to the check in lady that he was in charge of this trip, with all the people he just listed, all by himself. As he's trying to fill out the paper, the lady invited him to attend a presentation to win a prize. "I don't think I'm going to be able to..." said the single father with 10 kids and 3 Chileans in tow. She asked him again and again and again. He looked at her with pleading eyes that said "Really? Look, just give me my parking pass..." "You can come by yourself!" she offered. He said he felt bad that she was so lacking dignity to keep asking him to come when he should have obviously seemed a little high strung already. His look again said "Will you show mercy please?" She reminded him of the prizes... "You could win $1000 dollars!! Wouldn't your wife be happy if you came home with $1000 dollars?!?" "I'm probably not going to come." "Well it would be really great to see you..." I was laughing as he was telling me this. He said "We should just show up there, all 14 of us, that'd teach her..."

So, Corey's been a trooper. He called yesterday evening as he was on his way to the store to try to figure out something to feed everyone to eat for dinner. Been there, poor guy, sorry I couldn't help. His parents are down there with his sister and her family, and he said they came by tonight with pizza for everyone, which was very kind. To my sweetheart, thank you for your sacrifice in doing this trip alone and letting me stay home for a little quiet time. We miss you, see you tomorrow!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Las Vegas

Corey and the kids and our 3 Chilean friends headed down south yesterday for a few days of fun in the sun. They left after church to go to St. George, where they spent last night, and then today they are going the last little bit to arrive in Las Vegas. They will be there for two night and are coming home on Wednesday.

On Saturday I felt a bit exhausted. The "this is insane" point hit me when I went to get a fork for a kids to eat with and once again saw that EVERY spoon and fork and knife were gone from the silverware drawer! I had a clean load of dishes that needed to be put away, as well as a completely full sink of dishes waiting for their turn in the dishwasher and I was just like "I just can't keep up!! It NEVER STOPS!!" So my already frazzled mood was topped off by not being able to leave the house for the Women's Broadcast. At 6:00, I gave myself permission to be excused and I went into my room where I gave kids a bath and had other interruptions as I tried to watch the broadcast on byutv. The first talk shared was about how we need to "Trust in the Lord, and Lean not..." She continued: "In English the word lean has a connotation of physically listing or moving to one side. When we physically lean toward one side or another, we move off center, we are out of balance, and we tip. When we spiritually lean to our own understanding, we lean away from our Savior. If we lean, we are not centered; we are not balanced; we are not focused on Christ."

I thought how I definitely am feeling off balance. I'm gonna topple over from being so dizzy. I need to slow down and take a breather. I've been running on all cylinders since Corey's February trip to Brazil at the beginning of February, followed by him being on business for two more weeks in Seattle followed up with several weeks with our house guests that are still here, on top of the whole 11 kids we have with all that they require and such... Just trying to keep this family afloat.... But I was not looking forward to a "break" by going on a trip. Maybe I could stay home? Oooh, that sounds nice. Yes, I did experience some relief when I thought of staying home and not going with them. Would that be okay? Corey would have all the older kids to help, plus Angela and her girls. If I ever did want to take a break, this is my chance. Corey was in his office working when I went in and asked if I could toy with the idea of staying home. "Of course" was his reply. I still felt a bit guilty, mostly for feeling like I was abandoning him. I called several friends to ask their thoughts and to help me be brave enough to let them go or tough enough to accompany them. But none of my 911 girls were answering their phones! I finally got through to Rachael, who thought I was very wise to recognize my limits and gave me permission to listen to and follow those feelings. Sigh, that feels good! Then I called Susan, who shared some thoughts and said they'd be fine, stay home and take a break! Then I finally talked to my twin sister (haha) Nicole yesterday morning (yes, it was Sunday morning and I hadn't packed but I was still not fully committed one way or the other...) and she said that if Corey was honest in saying he wanted me to do whatever would fill my cup, then I should stay home.

So, Sunday morning... we went to church (and I dressed Daniel in a new little onesie Sunday shirt I got! Isn't he so cute!!??) No Sunday shoes yet, so he's not totally ready for work yet.

Of course he can't be totally respectable in his slacks and tie when he's got a pacifier clipped to his collar anyway!
The kids stayed for the whole block with me. Corey came and got some things ready. When church was over we came home, I helped them pack up, I didn't pack for myself or Daniel, and soon they were ready and I let them leave without me. I still felt kinda guilty. So I snuggled with Daniel and we took a nap and woke up at 5:30 and called to see where they were at... I figured they were probably half way, and Corey told me they were just checking in at the hotel in St. George. Wow! Well, if it's that quick, I could still come down! I called my mom to see if I was crazy to think I should still go (I did have two cars at my use...) but if I did go down I'd need to find someone to take care of the guinea pigs. But my mother talked me out of that silly idea and I finally accepted that I was going to miss out on the fun but I was also going to have a quite clean house to myself for the next 72 hours. I've never done this!

So here I am, in a quiet and fairly clean house. Some of the things that are awesome: I haven't taken the garbage out at all today! I did the dishes today and will not do them again until everyone comes back! And I haven't had to pick up any shoes or coats or socks on the floor! I shampooed the carpets with the Kirby vacuum, and it looks nice. I didn't have to put out towels on the wet carpet cause no little feet are running around on it.
I gave the tub in the kids' bathroom a good shinning too, and realized as I scrubbed that I haven't done that since our last visitor Kiran was here last spring. I should probably clean it more than once a year, but I don't see it much so it doesn't bother me. Plus if I wait till it's nice and gray then even the teenagers notice and appreciate how nice it looks.

One drawback is that the house is so quiet that Daniel is a bit concerned and has become a bit high maintenance... if he is awake and I'm not giving him my full attention (or vacuuming) he's quite upset. Thus he's looked like this for a good part of the day.
Isn't that the cutest little "I'm freaking out" face you've ever seen? Silly boy. Please let it be known that this fit did not produce any tears, just a red face. He just wanted to scream at me cause he missed out on swimming. Sorry buddy, I can't promise that I'll make it up to you by doing anything fun here this week but don't you worry, I'm sure you'll see Vegas someday.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Pocket Squares

Last night, as the final event for Ethan's birthday, he came to dinner with Corey and I on our date night. We treated Ethan to a special dinner at the Roof Restaurant. Here we are after the meal -
We've decided we will take each child to eat at the Roof one time before they leave our family for their life in the big bad world. Tonight was Ethan's turn. It was a feast. He says he feels bad that he ever liked McDonald's. It's okay Eth, we need to know the simple to know and appreciate the extravagant. Opposition teaches us that there is differences between ok, good, better, and best. Tonight was the best meal. We dressed up. Corey even donned a pocket square! But let it be known it was actually a checkered Stance sock.
The "pocket square" was inspired by a video Joseph and Corey watched last night. Joseph came home from hanging with friends, he shared the lastest Lyceum video with Corey (see Joseph at 3:28!). Followed in the playlist by another Lyceum video starring Gentri. Followed by another video featuring Gentri talking about the amazing pocket square, which Corey found fascinating! So fascinating, in fact, that they stayed up past 1 a.m. watching and learning and having their eyes opened to this new world of men fashion. Tonight, since we were going some place fancy, he wanted to play along. But at the same time, since he honestly doesn't care, he had to do it in a sarcastic way... thus he carefully put one of his black and white checkered socks in his pocket, making sure it had a nice triangle like folded tip pointing out. It was funny. Ethan was embarrassed but was also laughing, telling Corey he should be ashamed and someone is surely going to notice that it's actually a sock. "I'm wearing a sock to prove that I don't care...." We joked that Corey was brilliant cause his pocket square could double as a place to stash desserts before we headed out. After we left and were driving home, I looked up the video on Corey's phone so I could learn from the masters. Check out the background music at 1:30...

Corey said after pointing out the music "Can you hear the momentum building?!" and we hung on in suspense for the big climax at 1:40 when the square goes in the pocket! Hear those trumpets sound! That is the moment, that is what it's all about!! We were laughing. Oh, fashion! I laugh at it as I am wearing my black t-shirt and green skirt that have been my go-to formal attire for the past 6 years... I probably should become more fashion aware... (But one more note that might prove these kind of things do not matter: I don't see these men wearing any pocket squares!)

So, then we drove past a very interestingly dressed guy crossing the street wearing bright leggings and other current fashion trends. His ensemble was impressive. I said "Corey, if you really don't care about what you wear you'd put on an outfit like that!" Corey's quick reply "But that guy DOES care... He just cares about the wrong things..." which had Ethan and I laughing again. Corey is so funny, I love his whit. On our date nights I try to remember to bring along a paper and pencil so I can write down all the funny things he says that make me laugh. Love him. And I'll probably get him some real pocket squares for Father's day or his birthday just for fun.

Friday, March 24, 2017

School House Rock

Yesterday was a crazy busy day. First I had a Visting Teaching meeting here 10 - 11:30, then we had to end that cause Hyrum had an Orthodontist appt at 11:45. Those are usually fairly quick but we didn't leave until 1:30 cause they accidentally broke a bracket off as they put in the new wire. And... since we had to wait longer for them to fix that, and since they weren't busy, I decided to get myself a consultation. I never had braces but do have a little area of my teeth that bugs me and a few other small things I wouldn't mind having fixed. So now I know what that would require if we ever have the money to do that (I'd like Invisalign, which is pricier, so we gotta wait a bit for that, we're still recovering from paying for the Fiesta to get fixed...) SO, after that was done we rushed home cause Abi had her School House Rock play at 2, and cause I had to take Mel to the bus at 2 for her flute lesson downtown by the U. I went home, grabbed Angela and her girls to go with Hyrum, dropped them off at the school, came back for Mel, and was just going to drop her off and then head to the performance, but she missed the bus and was now going to be late if she waited for the next bus, so I took her to the U. I decided I could go to her play today (which I did). As I came back from taking Mel, Hyrum called that the play was done, so straight to the school to pick them up, then home to shove some food in my mouth, wait for Ethan to come back from his party, take him to his lesson with Ray, home from that at 7, take Wes to a concert at Brighton, home for a bite of food, then off to pick up Wes at Brighton and pick up Mel to Special Needs Mutual and yay, I was finally home at 9 pm and felt like I'd run myself ragged. I was spent!

So this morning I was able to go do my parent duty and watch Abi's school performance of School House Rock. I usually struggle a bit in my attitude when it comes to school plays and performances, (sorry children). (But your Dad does too.... he just couldn't bring himself to sit through the whole Halloween concert at Churchill this year. Sometimes you can only watch the exact same show for 3 years in a row before ya start going insane,) But we hadn't been to School House Rock since 2013, so we were ready to do it again. Luckily the older kids were already out of school for spring break, so it was nice that I didn't have to bring all my toddlers with me. I took Daniel, Corey came and joined us and saw Abi's debut singing "Three is a Magic Number" and then he had to leave. But I got a video of the other songs she was in (on top of the box for Conjunction Junction here holding a gree train car with the word AND on it)
Abi did a good job. I'd upload the videos but I can't get on youtube anymore. Another thing Corey messed up in his tampering with the router. I'll request he try to fix that so I can upload and embed videos again. I'm also hoping Corey has some better pictures on his phone that I can post - will update later!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

School Friends and Teachers

Last night Corey told Ethan that he would let him have a social gathering celebrating his birthday. So Eth got on the phone to see who could come and what time and where, a lot of logistics involved. He was on his phone again this morning and then came down at 10:30 a.m. to announce it started and was starting NOW and we need to go. He walked over to Corey's office door, where Corey was on a business call, and tried to get in and tried to knock... I told him he couldn't interrupt. "But Dad has to take me! Everybody is already going to be there!" "You can't interrupt, you have to wait." Corey kept on his phone call and so we woke up Jospeh to see if he could take Ethan, Dad will come down when he can." Corey got off his call shortly after 11 and was able to head down, then he was on calls most of the time there during the gathering, which I think is totally fine. Corey already put in his Skating time at Classic with a full group on Saturday. I was running kids to errands at the orthodontist, and Abi had the first of her School House Rock performances. I was going to go, but Mel missed the bus to her flute lesson so then I had to drive her to the U for that. Corey and I were both very busy as usual. We met home at 3:45 so I could take Ethan to his lesson with Ray, and we snapped a picture with his friends before Corey and Joseph took them home.
I took Ethan to his lesson where I heard another funny story. So, he and his friends have a group called the T-Rex Gang - they even have shirts they wear. Well there is an Asian student named Nathan who saw Ethan in his shirt and teased him a bit and decided he would start his own group. He called it the "Asian Mafia" and now the Trex Gang and the Asian Mafia pretend that they are rival gangs. So, after Ethan got his contact this last Friday, kids at school were teasing him that he looks Asian without his glasses. Well, with that label Ethan asked if he could also join their Mafia. Nathan looked at him and thought for a second, then said "Squint your eyes..." Ethan did:
Nathan asked "How many fingers am I holding up?" Apparently one of the rules is you have to have very squinty eyes but still be able to see. "Three!" Ethan said proudly. He was in! Well, there was another right of passage. He has to eat all the different types of Chinese candy that Nathan smuggles into the school in his backpack each day. Ethan says Nathan's locker is just jam packed of candy and he's always sharing it with everyone. Ethan has now tried them all. He wasn't able to swallow some of them and said only one of them tastes good. He showed me a few of the wrappers in his pocket from the candy allotment for that day as proof.
So now Ethan is a member of the Asian Mafia too. He walks around and nods his head to his friends in the hall as he says "Ni hao! Me gusta China!" So the Asian Mafia now is a group of Asian guys and Ethan. There is one Asian student at their school who was denied membership. A girl asked if he could join, Nathan thought and said "Let me ask the Elders..." He did, and then got back to her. "The Elders don't approve." "What? Why not?!" "Cause you're a woman." We thought it was pretty funny and gender biased of the Mafia. Teenagers...

Ok, two more stories. So in Ethan's English glass, their teacher is pretty politically correct. Nathan is in that class. They received an assignment to each choose an object that represents them and do some creative writing on it. Ethan compared himself to a saxophone. Nathan chose... a banana. "Cause they are yellow on the outside and white on the inside" and then he expounded on it in from of the class. The teacher did not like that, but what can you do when it's the person that belongs to the cultural minority making the racist remarks about themselves? Needless to say he got away with it.

Last story from a school: Ethan helps at school in the "popcorn room" during athletic events. Some girls came up to order popcorn. Ethan served two of them, then asked one of the two if the third girl wanted salt on her popcorn, and then the third girl turned around and in some irritation asked him "Did you just assume my gender?" Eth was caught off guard that he caused offense... "Yeah... but you are, aren't you?" "Yes, but somebody might not be..." He rolled his eyes "Fine" and turning back to the two girls "...does 'it' want some salt?" That exchange supplied Ethan with comebacks for a few days later he was in his math class and the topic of Mormons came up. The teacher there, who is atheist, pointed out Ethan saying "Well you're Mormon..." Ethan protested: "What!? Did you just assume my religion?!" "You're Mormon, I know you are." "No I'm not" "Your brother gave me a Book of Mormon!" "I'm less active!" Ethan protested. "No you're not..." "Ok, fine, I go, but I identify as less active..." (How junior high teachers survive working each day with smart aleck kids like my Ethan is impressive to me.) Then the teacher said "I know you're Mormon." "How do you know?" Eth asked. "You've got this look about you..." to which Ethan quickly replied "It's called 'the Spirit'" and that is where I think he dropped the mic. Pretty funny kid, he's super clever. We're taking him out to dinner tomorrow for his birthday. I think he's had a good one, and that's enough Ethan stories for today!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Happy Birthday Eth!

I woke up children at 5:45 this morning and invited those who so desired and who were physically able to come join us in the kitchen as we wished Ethan happy birthday before he left for jazz band at 6:10.
Abi and Lily had be we been up so early! Ethan and Hyrum have, and they know that being awake at such an unholy hour is supposed to be accompanied by a dazed look or a head collapsed on the counter.
Doesn't that look sad? No balloons... it's all dark... only 4 kids singing for you... The joys of the school year. Ethan was so tired that he was struggling with the basics of birthday celebration, like blowing out candles. He started to laugh at how pathetic it was when he couldn't get the last candle out.
He is 15 years old and excited and ready to get his driving permit. For his birthday he got contacts and I had also bought him new Vans shoes a few weeks ago as an early present. Other than that it was a regular day with music lessons and school. He is planning to hang out with friends tomorrow. The older kids are happy that it is the end of the term and that spring break starts tomorrow. Joseph found put that he and Xani made it past the Primary election for SBO, so good luck wth that Joseph! We tried out some new varieties of Red Button ice cream tonight, (I had too much) and even though it was kind of a regular day, I hope it was a good day for you, Ethan, we love you!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Internet Issues

Corey was dinking around on our firewall this weekend and I haven't been able to access blogger since. He admits that the timing of our internet troubles does make him a prime suspect, but claims innocence from having caused the problem. So well see if we need a new router or something.

So here is a "just touching base" post via my phone where it is not easy to type very much. Here is a picture for the day of little Daniel sitting in my yoga wheel like it's his little nest.
 He is totes adorbs!

Monday, March 20, 2017

WAMA Dance

The WAMA dance was this past Friday. WAMA stands for Women's Association/Men's Association. But I think the Men's association is in charge of putting it on. I didn't know much about this dance, other than he went to it. As I was here beginning to type this and he was downstairs, I knew I could just go ask him, but it was easier to send him an email and wait for his reply. #parenthoodinthe21stcentury. Hence, to quote from Joseph's email: the theme was wamawood which is like hollywood except wama. So basically movies and were were an old western movie."
"My dates name was Sophia Hadley. And idk what else you could document. We took the pictures at Wheeler farm, ate at Pizza Studio, then went to the dance, then bowling at Olympus Hills after and after that ice cream at someones house." Here is his group picture ~
 Joseph is a good kid and I'm glad he's got good friends.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Sunrise

Beautiful sunrise this morning! It's a Saturday but I had to go wake up Mel so she can catch the bus to GMS. From her room I could see pink clouds across the street -
Whenever I get a glimpse of pink in the sky, it reminds me of my mornings in Brazil in 2015. We are so close to the mountains here that we usually aren't able to get a great view of the sky, but it's still pretty.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Contacts

Ethan has wanted contacts for a while, like 2+ years. I've put it off for several reasons. 1) It is new territory for us, as neither Corey or I have glasses or contacts. 2) I don't know the costs it involves. I kinda wanted Mel to blaze this path first, plus she likes glasses. 3) I've put it off cause it seemed like such a hassle to have to do a separate exam for contacts, don't know why they can't just give a contacts prescription at the same eye exam (lame imho). So, Corey suggested we do it as a gesture of love. I thought that doing it as a birthday present would make it doable for me to be willing to go through the sacrifices of inconvenience involved. And birthday would cover the cost of it. So I finally scheduled it and off we went on Friday afternoon. It was a pretty long wait to see the opthamologist. I was hoping we'd just be an hour, so in my bad judgement I didn't bring a bottle for Daniel. My bad. Next time I'll be better prepared. But Daniel was a trooper and only fussed for a little bit of the freaking FOUR HOUR LONG event. His appointment was at 3:30. So it was about a 25 minutes were the drive each way, and we spent one hour was waiting and having the exam, and 40 minutes waiting for someone to help us with the contacts (I think they were a bit understaffed today) during which time we looked around at glasses just for fun, check out Daniel in these baby glasses!!!
Here's Daniel giving Ethan his "I'm a Librarian/teacher annoyed at you cause you're being noisy/a smartalec" glare
Ethan tried on a few frames, he liked these Napoleon Dynamite lenses that helped him pull off a pretty good Kip impression. He made this pic for his GroupMe friends.
And then the rest of the time was spent with Ethan trying to figure out how to get a contact on his eyeball. That started at 5:30...
It took FOREVER. He was tired and frustrated and felt like crying but he held it in. He was really tired from getting up super early and he felt like he was in some strange eternal dream where you can't do simple things. Like dreams where you're trying to run but can't get your legs to move, or dreams where you are trying to open your eyes but they just won't open. That is how he felt.
He just kept trying and trying to get an invisible and slippery Orbeez (as he described it) to balance on his finger and then put it on his eye and he felt it was impossible.
Finally at 6:30 he got it in! 5 minutes later he got it in the other eye, it was a miracle.
He was very happy and so was I, cause now we could leave. So he gets to try these out for a week and then we'll come back next Friday for a follow up to see how he likes them and how they feel and stuff. Fun fun, Happy Birthday Eth, glad you had a birthday to make me willing to do this I guess? #FirstWorldProblems

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Ready for the Day

It's fun having a big family and seeing just how many different varieties of children can come from the same two parents. They are all similar in many ways but also very different. Take the morning routine, for example. Most of them don't want to wake up, which I'm sure is typical of most school age children. But they'll take different approaches. Joseph can usually get up and ready with an hour of time or just 15 minutes. If it's less than 15 minutes he'll be late. Mel will occasionally not get up during the first two wake up calls and then find herself jumping out of bed with just 10 minutes before she has to leave and I'm always impressed that she makes it out the door in just 10 minutes. Ethan can get up really early if he must to finish up homework, but generally he's slow out of bed, slow getting ready, and running a little late when it's time to get out the door. We often accuse him that he doesn't have a "hustle" mode. Wesley likes to take his time, so he likes an hour/hour and a half to slowly do all the things. Abi will usually wake up early on her own and brush and brush her hair and change outfits 5 times. Lily I have to drag out of bed and I have to watch her like a hawk until she's out the door... If I help her get mostly ready and tell her to finish up and get her socks on or something and then I go take a shower, I'll come out 5 or 20 minutes later and she'll be in her room distracted by something and won't have her socks on yet. I have to watch her and make sure each part of the morning routine gets done until she's got shoes and back pack and coat on and out to catch the bus. Thankfully I don't have to take her to the bus stop.

Hyrum takes a different approach to the mornings. This morning, like most mornings, Hyrum woke up an hour before he had to leave, and got ready as quickly as possible so that he could set his alarm and go back to bed. Here he is in his bed with his shoes on, ready for the clock to ring at 7:10 so he could grab his backpack and go to school.
Pretty funny. Usually he takes a nap on the couch with his phone as an alarm, so I'm not sure what was behind this full on sleep mode in his bed, but it made me laugh to see.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Playing and Cleaning with Guests

Our guest from Chile have been with other US friends for the past two weeks, but on Tuesday night (after many days of the little girls asking "When is Angela coming back?!?!") they have returned. The kids were excited and they played out in the back yard too late, so late that we got a text from our sweet neighbor saying they were having a hard time falling asleep with the noise from all their fun. Doh! Kids, back inside! I know it's warm outside, but it's not summer yet!

So, it feels like they cleaned the whole house again. It's so nice to have help, wow. Angela helps with the daily stuff - picking up toys, sweeping, vacuuming. Her daughters picked up the girls' room. The boys' rooms didn't get helped this time (they might be beyond help....) Yesterday I spent most of the day doing a big day project that I hadn't planned on: it was time to clean out the fridge again. We got a refurbished fridge delivered on the day Abi was baptized over a year ago. 3 months after that was when it first began to make the noise, our 90 day warranty covered it being repaired that first time, but a few months later it did it again. Warranty now gone, so I've tried to do my best to fix it. It comes from ice building up around the fan and then the fan hitting the ice. So it still makes the noise every couple of months. When it does I usually just go hit the power switch off and leave it off overnight. I use the breaker box cause I don't want to roll it out and unplug it, cause that's a pain. So defrosting it that way helps and it usually works after one night off. So, it started making it again last night but I didn't turn it off cause it wasn't that bad, but this morning it was full on LOUD, so off the power goes, time to defrost the fan! It's some kind of design flaw since there are lots of people out there experiencing the same irritating noise. Ironically, I had just noticed and eve mentioned to Melodie how nice it was that the the noise hasn't been here for a while. I googled it more this time and did find these troubleshooting instructions here on their customer support page.  I have now properly leveled the fridge, and I know the ice was all gone off the fridge cause I left it off all day (moved all the food to the garage fridges and freezers - I guess it's good I haven't sold our 2nd extra on the classifieds yet), so we'll see how it works. It's a pain, but a good way to make me clean out the fridge every few months.
Tonight they've been dancing to 80s music and some Chilean hits in the front room. It's fun, they are all laughing and having fun and making memories.
The kids have shoved pillows up their shirts and are body slamming each other. Hyrum is "The Red Apple" Wesley is "Purple Plum", Lily was "Cotton Candy"... then Gabriella brought down Owen with a blanket shoved in his pajamas, we named him "Blue Berry Boy".
Sophi, not to miss out on the fun, ran upstairs to plump up her clothes, Her name is "Cherry" - just to keep with the whole food theme.
Body slammin' in the front room to entertain their Chilean audience.
We're going to try to do something short and fun this weekend with them and have plans to take them to Las Vegas for a quick trip spring break in 10 days. :)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Eugene Fitzherbert

It's Spirit week at Skyline. And Joseph, the aspiring Student Body officer, is taking it seriously. Tomorrow is Walt Disney Wednesday. So he took another trip to the DI with his friend to seek inspiration. He found this sweet vest and with that pulled together this get up. Can you tell who he is? (If you need a clue, look at the blog post title...)
Yes! That's right! It's Flynn Ryder from Tangled! Joseph's got a little Indiana Jones bag as his satchel, which I made years ago for 5 year old Hyrum's kindergarten costume. Brown belt over the vest, then a frying pan to complete the look. In the photo Joseph is defending his costume idea as Ethan tells him the bag is too small. I'm impressed Joseph. J is also really excited for "Thrift Store Thursday". Like most teenage boys, rhe's a big DI fan. I remember my little brother would seriously shop there before prom and find awesome stuff, cause everything is awesome when you're a teenager!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Bad Selfies

So, it was 10:30 at night. Kids were heading to bed. I was taking a picture of something and once again, when I turned on my phone's camera, it was in Selfie mode. It's usually in selfie mode because a kid took my phone without permission and was taking pictures or videos of stuff, such as was the case this time. Lily is the currently reigning selfie queen of our family.
...and her first attendant ~ Sophi
I usually try to hide myself from my eyes if I notice it is in selfie mode. I need to shield my self esteem from seeing myself in caught unawares, cause those images I see are never flattering. I'm usually looking at my phone with my rest face which is a preoccupied mother frown/scowl, and also usually at an angle that emphasizes things I don't want emphasized (like the chin and neck). So, as I turned on my camera tonight, I unintentionally caught a glance of my unflattering self in the screen. This time I decided to just go with it. Let's see if I can capture how hideous I feel in this unaware selfie images...
That one was pretty good. I went for another snapshot
Oh yeah, that is what I see. So that is me. I started laughing a little uncontrollably at how bad it was and Mel, who was doing homework in the front room, heard me laughing and came up to see what was so funny. I turned the screen to her... "MOM! That's horrible!!! Don't do that! You don't look like that!" But she couldn't resist and joined in the fun. Kinda hard for Mel to look bad...
Hmmm, pretty good "bad selfie" I guess for a pretty teenage girl, but you got nothin' on me. Soon all the kids that I had been telling to "go to bed!" were out of their rooms dinkin' around with me.
See kids, we gotta put time restrictions and other blocking software on your electronic devices or you'll just end up wasting time! Ha! Oh, yeah, it was me this time. Well, ok, now let's show the steps to a good selfie. Good side, turn your head to the side (all the Disney Princesses do side glances, never straight on), hold the camera at a high angle...
Abi, try to do a bad selfie!
She can't do it. Hyrum?
That one is weak too. Wes?
Wesley was tired and fumbled out of his bed... he couldn't resist the call of laughter from the hallway. He's trying to look like he's sick, but mostly you look like you should be back in bed. Who's idea was this goofing off at night anyway!? Back to bed kids! But it's fun to make funny faces and laugh and as I hear on PBS kids everyday during the Vroom commercial: making faces helps brain development as kids understand different feelings and emotions. Who knew that we've been having brain building moments sponsored by Vroom all this time! I'm a brain builder! Whatever Vroom is... we just did it cause it's fun and silly. It's kind of a family past time. From the mirrored elevators in Chile to eating grapes and playing with broken glass, it's fun to laugh at ourselves. A few more funny faces images from years past: Joseph as a Who character, Mel as Anton Ego's Sister... I need to stop looking at these or I'm going to laugh so hard that I'll wake up Daniel... Ok, goodnight for real this time!
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