Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Tour Hangover

Ethan, Hyrum, and Wesley left a week ago for the 2017 Band Tour to California. I took a picture of them before they left...
(can't find it, phone won't sinc up! will update later)
and then we hardly heard from them until they were back on Sunday night. I think they had a really good time. They didn't send me any photos so I had to snoop around for these on facebook.
Playing by the ocean
They had two days at Disneyland. They got to perform there. 
Riding on Pirates of the Carribean above, Eth on splash mountain below.
Disneyland is always a magical place.
I can't find any pictures of Wesley yet, I shall have to snoop some more or see if they got any on their phones.

Of course, now life is no fun again cause it's back to reality, (if summer break can be considered a harsh reality?) "My parents make me get up at 8:30! 8:30!!! Oh the injustice!" The boys got home late Sunday night, but we didn't got to bed any later than usual. Though I don't know how well they slept on the bus or during their partying the past few days... Wes looked pretty wiped out when Monday afternoon rolled around and took a nap from 3-5. Hyrum was back to work and seemed okay. Poor Ethan had a major hangover. He got up at 9:30 on Monday, watched "The Flash" til noon, then went back to bed until 5:30. He just wanted to be back on tour. There is nothing to look forward to anymore. ...Nothing! Yesterday was slightly less pathetic. Today an improvement again. So I'm sorry you boys aren't on vacation anymore. I know life at home can't beat life on vacation that someone else paid (us) and spending someone else's money (ours) on food and fun, but you better kick it in gear if you want to go next year, cause so far I'm not all that impressed with the fruit of our sacrifice on this end. I'm glad you guys performed well and I'm pleased with your musical skills, but please try to be contributing members here at home too!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Toddler View

I saw Natalie with my phone today, walking around the main floor with a very pleased smile on her face as she took pictures of whatever suited her fancy. I usually stop Sophi when she has my camera, cause she just takes way too many "bideos" (videos) and selfies. But Natalie is new to photography, so I was curious to see what her work would look like. So, I now present you with ~ "Afternoon at the Wride Home" - a photo series by Natalie Wride.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Get Out Into Nature

It's kinda funny, so many of the PBS shows tell us to get outside and get out into nature (Nature Cat), and yet usually, there we continue to sit, vegging out in front of the tele waiting for the next kid show about getting outside (Wild Kratts or Dinosaur Train). It's almost as pathetic as the station's fruitless attempts to get us to get up and get moving during the commercials. "Clap your hands! Reach up high! And jump!" [yawn]

But this weekend we've been feeling like we have been obeying Dr. Scott the palentologist's advice to "get outside and make your own discoveries." On Saturday morning from the kitchen window, Mel and I noticed a monarch flying around our yard and landing on the milkweed. We went outside to see and she fluttered around us. We checked the leaves for eggs and found atleast 15 eggs! And, as we checked out all the milkweed, we heard a buzzing overhead. We watched and saw it was a humming bird. It hovered around us for a good 5 minutes, and I wondered why it was staying around and not flying away. We kept watching it go from branch to branch, and then it landed on a little nest! A little nest that we never would have noticed without the bird landing on it - it was/is very camouflaged. Of course, it's really small too, that might be part of it's hiding secret. Last night I went out and took a picture of it.
I was excited to get a picture of it in the nest! Then it would fly away when we got too close....
Such a little thing, humming birds are amazing.
So butterflies, humming bird, and in another tree close by, there were 4 baby Cooper's Hawks - I tried to zoom in on them as much as I could...
Plus the hawk parents and the hawk's friend the turkey vulture, not to mention the deer that still come by and eat the roses, plus squirrels and the skunks (ok, skunks aren't so magical... The kids saw a few baby skunks in the backyard last month and we've had a few stinky nights with them close by, but luckily no one's been sprayed...) but it's all pretty incredible when I think about it. I don't know many other neighborhoods like this. I told the kids "Do you realize that you are living in a idyllic childhood dreamland? It's almost straight out of a fairy tale with all the animals, they're so lucky!

We've had nature coming to visit us in another form too these past few weeks - we've had some kinda bugs that are all over the house. Hyrum thinks it's a box elder bug, but they aren't red and aren't as big as those are when full grown, but they do kinda look like smaller versions of them. They are creeping through the cracks around the front door and we find them everywhere on the main floor and upstairs. The kids have been on a mission to seek and destroy them. Probably not politically correct to protect and nurture caterpillars but then kill the little bugs. They are harmless (I hope) but kinda annoying. We've been vacuuming them up, Ethan drowned some, Abi likes to squish them with a fork, all the kids are involved. Even Natalie went outside last night and took off her show and smashed on against he window. I'm not as eager to kill them right now, but if I see a few, I'll get out the long duster, catch them in it, and then go shake it in the toilet. We've never had a bug problem before, and wouldn't you know, I paid for pest control for some reason this past year, and now that the contract is over and I didn't really see a difference in anything, NOW the bugs come. But I'd rather have bugs. I'd rather spend the $100 bucks getting my carpets cleaned every quarter instead of having the bugs exterminated. Anyway...

So, about the monarch eggs, we kinda lost track of how many there are out there, but I think it's easily in the 20s. I'm sure there will be more laid in the next few weeks, cause this time of year, right before we leave for Park City, seems to be our peak monarch season. We're reconsidering our approach given our unsuccessful caterpillar farming experience last year (plus they gave me bad dreams!). I have a neighbor who is in the know about monarchs. She gave me some advice on how to cut the milkweed and scrub the stem to be sure the milk doesn't become like a glue that seals off the water from getting into the plant. That was a problem last year - the milkweek would go limp so quickly, so if we can avoid that this year we might be able to take care of them. So, despite my initial feelings that I just didn't want to get involved with caterpillar farming this year, ...I brought in 6 eggs last night, ahh! Grow little creatures, grow! But I can't take the stress you could cause, so we'll pray for you to make survive but you'll have to do your part (and please don't invade my dreams.)

Friday, July 14, 2017

Kid Lunch Date

Yesterday I told the kids that if they helped me clean the house, including the basement, I would take them to Chuck A Rama. The original plan was "Let's finish by 5 and we'll go for dinner tonight." Abi didn't think that was possible. Ok, as soon as we're done, we'll go. That seemed more doable. Abi told me I should go to the temple, and they would clean while I was gone. That plan worked pretty well - Abi was a hard worker while I was gone and Sophi was her shadow. But it wasn't worthy of Chuck A Rama reward. We had to get more kids involved if we were going to make it to the buffet. So we kept at it the rest of the evening. Mel finally kicked it in gear last night and really helped the basement progress come along. Lily didn't do jack just because she couldn't get in the cleaning mode, and Joseph didn't do anything cleaning-wise, although he did watch the kids so I could go to the temple. That was really nice Joseph, Thank you.

So, last night I told Joseph and Lily they could also come to Chuck a Rama with us if they cleaned this morning. The two of them didn't work as hard as they should have or as hard and Abi had, but since Abi had earned it and she really wanted to go today, we went. She was cleaning again this morning. So, we picked up the front room, Abi did the kitchen, then we all did my bedroom and we called it good. Lily still didn't do enough to earn her lunch, but we let her come anyway. The kids enjoyed the lunch out with me. I toyed with the idea of dropping them off and running to Costco with Owen and Daniel while the rest of them ate, but Abi wanted me to come. (She's the one that makes family activities happen around here, thank you Abi). So I ate a SAD Vegitarian meal (let myself have some cake and ice cream) and it was a feast for all. I think Daniel's favorite part was a big square of rice krispy. He dropped utensils and crumbs all over the floor, we left a big tip, and we let him take his rice krispy home. He fell asleep with it in his hand on the drive home. He was pretty sticky and messy. And looked stuffed from the feast - properly showing how I think all the kids felt.

Natalie was freaking out cause she wanted to go to Carl's Jr. to play on the slide. The feisty fours are here for a year.

In other EXCITING news!! I have been a bit behind in the Killers stuff - I just found out today they have a new album coming out in September!! We listened to "The Man" on our way to lunch today, I like it. Jammed to it in the car on the way to the airport to pick up Corey tonight and I told him the fun news - a new song from the Killers! I shall be pre ordering the album soon - Wonderful Wonderful. And Imagine Dragons just released an album last month! Gotta get that one too, I'm excited to have new music to listen to for this upcoming winter treadmill season. :)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

4 AM and Content

Today it was Owen whose turn it was to be the little boy that got me up in the wee hours of the morning. At 4 a.m. it took me a minute to wake up, and then I realized he was calling for me. I walked over. The shadows on the bed made me think he'd made a mess in his bed again. I felt around, it was all dry, yay, I don't need to wash the sheets today (or yet!) so I picked him up. "Wa" he said. I got him a drink of water, thinking that after this I could find his binky and put him back to bed. But then he said "Foo" (food). Since he'd thrown up one of his meals yesterday and quickly passed through the rest of his food (3 bad diarrhea diapers), I knew he was thirsty and hungry. So downstairs we went. I turned on the small light by the sink, to give the overall impression that it was not morning time or time to wake up - it's still bedtime! He sweetly and slowly ate a piece of bread. What to do. I guess I should unload these dishes. So I kept looking over at his sweetness as he munched his bread, and I unloaded cups by color, then ikea bowls by color. I get crazy looks sometimes from my family, and I admit it's stupid, but.... if you have to pick the cups out of the dishwasher one at a time anyway, it's just as easy to take out the colors in an organized way as it is to do it willy-nilly (definition: without direction or planning; haphazardly.) So that is why I put the dishes in the cupboard like this. Just trying to create some order around here.
I took this picture after putting Owen back to bed. I wish I had gotten a picture of him. He looked so sweet. I thought he'd be done with his bread when I was done unloading, but he was barely half way. Ok, he's a slow eater. I guess I'll load too. So in the dishes go, one by one. We need a new dishwasher. This one has been missing prongs on the bottom rack since we moved into this home. And the top water spinner thing is broken, so, as I've experimented, I've discovered that the things on the top rack won't get cleaned unless it's all loaded a certain way. I pride myself on being the one that knows where things go to maximize cleanliness. There are times when the kids or my sweetheart will load it up, and we'll have to put a lot of the bowls right back into the dirty dishes pile after a wash cause they're still dirty. So, I loaded the dishwasher and a moment of joy - they all fit except for one plate, and I washed that off. The dishwasher is humming, I wash a cookie sheet and a big bowl. Then I soft-scrub out the sink. Owen still seated and quietly eating, almost finished. And I just had a simple feeling of contentment. I thought of the Mary Edmunds book and when I learned about being content in Brazil in 2007. Life is great. I'm a mother and I love it! There are hard days but there are many delightful moments that give me such joy, it makes the messes and monotony so worth it. I kinda feel like a little girl playing house, but it's real and it's fun. I am doing what I want to do. I hope I can learn to be more grateful more often. It is the key to JOY and happiness!

(Unlike last night when I was almost cursing the kids as I washed cherry juice out of the carpet on the stairs - some kid stepped on a two cherries and then ran up the stairs and left footprints of red on the carpet...) Ugh, I hope I can learn to be calm and grateful in those circumstances too. I was grateful as I cleaned it that each spot seemed to wash out rather quickly, I love my US Advantage! - it even gets out permanent marker. 5 years later and I am glad that I can look back at that and laugh) Be happy, be grateful... Life goal: be Full of THANKS

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