Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sick Saturday

I'm not going to bore you with all of the things I accomplished today. However, I did clean my kitchen despite the fever, jaw pain, and sore throat from a secondary maxillary sinus infection I am suffering from after my cold last week. It makes me happy that my kitchen looks awesome. Or at least it did look awesome until I came home from the grocery store and loaded the counters with food and washed the dishes after dinner to leave to dry on the counters. I'm going to go get some rest now and prepare a lesson for tomorrow, because my sentences aren't making any sense.

My mom is coming to town late tonight. Yippee! She loves to clean out my refrigerator, or frigilator (Sarah Talk.) I saved that chore for her. I can't wait.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Date Night

Tonight my husband and I attended a wedding. It was a Corpse Bride wedding. This was their cake. We gave the couple a case of wheat (33 lbs.) I hope they like it.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Where are my screwdrivers?

So Bradley has this thing for screwdrivers. I have a set of 10 screwdriver's on the inside of the cupboard door beneath my sink. More then half of them are always missing.

He's been taking everything apart in the house. Today he took apart the kid's rocker and used the rocker pieces to ski down the big padded arm of the family room chair. He is very skilled at replacing batteries in all the children's toys. I bought a brand new package of AA batteries the other day and had to tell the kids, specifically Bradley, "DO NOT OPEN THESE BATTERIES. YOU MUST ASK PERMISSION BEFORE OPENING." If I didn't make that clear, every toy would have brand new batteries regardless if they needed them or not and my batteries would be all gone. I have also found several cupboard doors with the doorknob replaced on the inside of the cupboard as can be seen in the photo above. I had to convince Bradley today that it was not a good idea to unscrew a cassette tape in order to get the tape out. He's taken apart the baby seat and the rocking horse. He's asked me if he could take apart the high chair. I didn't let him. Sometimes he gets his siblings to help him in his unscrewing. When I find them disassembling the furniture, I ask what's going on and they tell me that they are Santa's elves and I am Mrs. Claus.

Hopefully one day Bradley will continue what he does and learn how to fix cars. We found out today that our car needs a new alternator and drive belt for a total of $578. Not too bad, but I could sure buy a lot of pasta with all that money. Let's hope the warranty will pick up the tab. I find out tomorrow morning if they do.

We went to the pool this evening and there was a family there with two children. My children barged down the stairs into the pool as I stripped off my cover-up and I could see the mother counting our children and mumble something to her husband. As we were leaving the father jokingly asked his daughter to go home with us because we would probably never notice an extra child. I asked him how old she was and he replied that she was five. I told him we already had a five a year old. The slot is filled. Sorry. I suppose I could handle another 5 year old, but at the moment I have enough kids and screwdrivers to keep track of.

How to kill a roach

1. Grab a shoe with a sturdy sole. Do not use a slipper or child's shoe.
2. Grab another weapon such as a broom, another shoe, or rolled up newspaper.
3. Wait for roach to get on a flat surface such as a floor or wall. Do not try to kill it when it is situated where the baseboard meets the wall. What ever you do, do not take your eyes off the satanic beast.
4. Approach very quietly and slam the heck out of him. Scream if you have to. Limit yourself to one mild curse word.
5. Say, "Die sucker! Die! You stinkin'.... I hate you! Die!"
6. If you miss, be sure to locate him quickly and try again.
7. Slam roach with shoe, secondary weapon, or combination of both at least 5 times until roach begins to ooze.
8. Use 1 heavy duty paper towel folded in half and in half again and wipe him from the surface of his death.
9. Flush down toilet regardless if paper towels should be flushed because if you throw in trash, the thing will come back to life and haunt you.
10. Wash hands.
11. Continue blogging.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Good day or bad day?

I was going to make today a good day. I was planning to do lots of fun things with my kids. As I was checking my fan mail while I ate a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats Sarah simply opened the refrigerator and said, "Look! It's magic!" Then she secretly told me that it wasn't really magic. It was cute and I made a mental note of it. Then the kids were taking pictures of their toasted oats cereal art. I gave permission for Emily to take a picture of her house,

but somehow the camera was transferred to her younger brother, Bradley. On Monday Bradley was forbidden from the camera due to misuse and clumsiness so he definitely should not have had the camera today. But he did and of course his clumsiness caused him to slip on the milk on his chair and fall crashing to the tile floor, camera and all. Usually cameras are pretty resilient, but not today. The lens of the camera slammed onto the floor breaking the lens cover. It was pretty obvious it was broken beyond repair. I was furious, but contained my anger and just cried. I excused myself and went to my bedroom to finish mourning and called my husband to discuss appropriate discipline for this particular scenario. The punishment ended up as loss of TV and computer privileges for the rest of the week and cancelling our digital cable subscription until we save what it will cost to buy a new camera. The kids were devastated but I think they understood the severity of the situation and that a digital camera is essential to Mommy's blogging career. I immediately went to and shopped for my next camera. I was secretly happy to find out the only affordable camera had a 3 inch LCD monitor as opposed to my 2.5 inch. I decided to ponder the purchase for a few hours before purchasing. Fortunately the broken camera still takes pictures and movies indoors. Here's Jason testifying that the camera is indeed broken (Watch it. It's only like 10 seconds.)
(This is the first time using Blogger video upload and I have no idea why there is an extra image below the video. It looks dumb. I know.)

However, it doesn't take very good pictures outside as you can see here:

So yeah, I need a new camera. I guess the lens cover served as some sort of shield from sunlight.

Since the kids weren't allowed to watch TV, they decided to exercise their imaginations and build a fort. They played that a hurricane, earthquake, tornado and hail were all coming to destroy the kings, queens, princesses, princes and baby birds. They were princesses and princes disguised as peasants hiding in the fort. They mixed a magic potion to make golden eggs and regular eggs.

I fixed macaroni and cheese for lunch and the milk jug talked to me:

I love when he talks to me.

Then I got the phone call. My husband's car died. It wouldn't start when he went to lunch. He got a co-worker to jump it at around 2:30PM and he decided to drive home in case it decided to do anything else wacky. About a mile away from our house at the intersection to our neighborhood it quit. He called AAA at 3 PM and they said a tow truck would be there within the hour. I decided to get the kids ready and drive there to keep him company. We arrived and waited and waited....and waited ....and waited. Meanwhile the car was stuck at the turn signal. A police arrived to help direct traffic and he jumped the car so my husband could get it to a safer area. The car died again. So we waited in the 95 degree weather. I turned the van off, but had the fan blowing to save $8 or so dollars in gasoline. I asked,"Why isn't the clock working?"

My husband replied, "Probably because the battery is about to die."

At that moment the van quit and we were stuck in the heat dripping sweat. Two and a half hours after the initial call to AAA a tow truck arrived. Woo hoo! I told him that my van needed a jump and he told me that he didn't have any jumper cables. Why would a AAA tow truck not have jumper cables? Anyway, we were able to use ours and got the car on the flatbed and took it to the shop. We won't know until tomorrow what is wrong. The good news is that we still have 40 days left on the extended warranty we purchased when we bought it. I have bad luck with warranties though and they always find loopholes. But I am going to remain optimistic.

While we were waiting, Emily said, "I wish today never happened." I kind of agreed, but I remembered that trials make us stronger. I got my workout today. Broken camera. Broken car. It's all good. It could've been worse. I could've actually cancelled the cable today.

Time for So You Think You Can Dance.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Multiply and Replenish the Earth

The other day I was on (I think) and saw a headline about large families being eco-unfriendly. Of course I was curious and clicked the headline and began to read. I was hoping that I would get some helpful tips on becoming more "green" such as ways to reuse food containers, how to get your kid to stop pooping to save diapers, or perhaps some tips on how to get your kids to stop using a whole bottle of soap during one bath or better yet an advertisement for a new Ford E350 Hybrid. I became very disappointed when I realized there weren't going to be any helpful "green" tips or hybrid 15 passenger vans. The article was mainly about how irresponsible it is to have lots of children because of all the carbon dioxide they emit when they breathe. What!? Excuse us for breathing! Perhaps the world should stop exercising as well. Now, it's been awhile since I've been in school, but I do remember learning in basic biology class about the whole oxygen and carbon dioxide cycle. Animals breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide which the plants use to produce oxygen. It's a nifty little system. Apparently this author is a punk who skipped that day in school.

So today, I was trying to find that article to share with you all. I was unsuccessful, but did happen to stumble upon this article about a woman who refuses to have any children in order to "protect the planet." In summary, during her first marriage she was horrified to find out that she was pregnant. She saw no other option than to end the pregnancy and get sterilized at the same time. The doctor performed the abortion, but refused to sterilize her. She became angry and to quote her:

"I didn't like having a termination, but it would have been immoral to give birth to a child that I felt strongly would only be a burden to the world."
Um, ok. I think she has that backwards. But anyway, finally she found a doctor that would agree to tie her tubes at age 27. It was at this medical center where she met her second husband who had the same feelings about burdening the world with children. He gave her a congratulatory greeting card on the day of her operation. I think it was about at this point that I started to cry over the narrow worldy view of these people. I won't try to summarize the rest because you might think I am making it up. Here it is word for word. Toni, the lady, said:

"After the operation, which is irreversible, I didn't feel emotional - just relieved. I've never doubted that I made the right decision. Ed and I married in September 2002, and have a much nicer lifestyle as a result of not having children. We love walking and hiking, and we often go away for weekends. Every year, we also take a nice holiday - we've just come back from South Africa. We feel we can have one long-haul flight a year, as we are vegan and childless, thereby greatly reducing our carbon footprint and combating over-population. My only frustration is that other people are unable to accept my decision. When I tell people why I don't want children, they look at me as if I was planning to commit murder. A woman who does not have maternal-feelings is seen as some sort of anomaly. And a woman like me, who is not having children in order to save the planet, is considered barking mad."

The article then went on to discuss another voluntarily sterile couple. The woman, Sarah, said:

"I didn't want to have an 'accident' if contraception didn't work - we would be faced with the dilemma of whether to keep the baby. When I see a mother with a large family, I don't resent her, but I do hope she's thought through the implications.

Her fiance said:

"In short, we do everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint. But all this would be undone if we had a child. That's why I had a vasectomy. It would be morally wrong for me to add to climate change and the destruction of Earth. Sarah and I don't need children to feel complete. What makes us happy is knowing that we are doing our bit to save our precious planet."

Ok. So I believe it's safe to say that I would not be good friends with these people. Is Al Gore the cause of their brain rot? Or is this Satan doing his most prized work at not just destroying the family, but preventing them altogether? I'm a spiritual person. I know the scriptures tell us to multiply and replenish the earth and this commandment is still in force today. Read this. I think these people are going to be highly disappointed when they arrive in heaven and realize they have no family to live with forever. Don't these people get bored? What do you do without kids? Walking, hiking, weekend trips. Borrrring!! Cross Atlantic airplane trips with no coloring books, fruit snacks and puke? Borrrrring!! No in-house live entertainment?

To Toni - I'm afraid you are barking mad. Your plan is an attempt to save the planet by ending civilization. What good is a beautiful Earth if there are no people to inhabit it? Think people!

To Sarah - yes, I have thought about the implications of having a lot of children. The implications are abounding joy and a sweet heavenly mansion with bedrooms in the double digits awaiting me. I look forward to having a raging celestial party when we are all reunited for eternity. I am happy to make up for your lack of children. All the more for me and the more the merrier.

I hope you both come to realize a nagging void in your lives some day and choose to adopt and enjoy this beautiful earth with a child in your lives. It's totally worth it, despite the carbon dioxide they exhale and methane gas they fart.

Other wacky news I saw and read today (all on

A video of a cow with 2 snouts.
Way cool!
Japanese men are fined at the workplace if their waistlines are larger than 33.5 inches.
Uh oh, honey.
California is working on a way to reuse toilet waste water for drinking.
Not moving there.
Town tries to ban porch sofas.
Man drives giant telephone through town.
Not sure why, but cool!
Video of kids gagging on pickle juice popsicles.
People selling ghosts in a bottle.
$14 for a gallon of orange juice in Hawaii. $5.50 for a loaf of plain bread.
Not moving there or traveling there, for that matter.

What's up with the insanity in this world? I'm going to go balance my carbon footprint now and hold my breath as a I throw out the dirty diapers.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I've got things to do

I just don't feel like blogging tonight because I want to go watch The Bachorlette. There's nothing like a good waste of time.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

It's All Relative

The Bishop of our ward was home ill from church today. The children in Primary made him a giant card. It was made of bright yellow construction paper approximately 15 inches across and 2 feet tall folded. All of the kids signed it. I guess the person in charge of the project failed to tell the first kid to write small so that all the children's names could fit. The first kid was my kid. I wouldn't have known about the card except for the fact that the Bishop's youngest son was holding it in the hall after church. He happened to flash it open for his older brother to see all of the signed names of all the kids who love his daddy and it just happened to catch my eye:


written in 2 inch tall letters across both the left and right sides of the inside of the card. After we got home, Emily told me that after Bradley had wrote his name, the teacher had to tell the rest of the kids to be sure to write small enough so everyone's name could fit. I think Bradley just saw the giant card and assumed it meant to write big.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Kids Rule!

Today was Sarah's "special day" to run errands with me. We went to Barnes and Noble per her request. We looked at books while it stormed outside. We played stuffed animals. She was dogs and I was cats. We put gas in the car. We dropped junk off at Goodwill. We ran into Walmart in the rain and shopped for cotton swabs, bandages and food. We went to my favorite grocery store after Walmart to stock up on Buy One Get One Free pasta. I loaded the cart with about 24 boxes (4 boxes of each shape.) The lady beside me in the aisle watched me. I looked at her look at me and she asked, "What are you going to do with all that pasta?"
"Eat it."
"You must like pasta."
"Well, my kids do. I have six of them and they eat it almost everyday."
"You have six kids?"
It was at this point I couldn't tell if her expression was shock or disgust.
"Do you think that's a lot of kids?"
"Uh, yeah."
She went on to tell me how she didn't know how we did it. She told me she has one kid and her husband makes good money and with the way the economy is going she just couldn't understand how a large family can make it work because it's difficult enough for them. I basically told her we do without a lot of things and live pretty basic. I still couldn't tell if she was disgusted. I think it may have just been plain bewilderment. I really didn't think 24 boxes of pasta was that big of a deal especially when it was on sale. She asked if my husband and I came from big families. I told her we didn't and that we just enjoyed having kids. She became even more shocked when she asked if we were going to have more and I told her yes. It was kind of an awkward conversation, but fun.

When I checked out, the cashier said, "That's a lot of pasta!" Seriously, does no one in this town ever stock up on anything? The bagger then offered to assist me to my car. I told him that it wasn't necessary. I didn't want him to see the evidence in my trunk of my shopping at Walmart. But he insisted and I agreed. When I opened my trunk, he gasped and said, "You've been shopping somewhere else today!" BUSTED! I wanted to throw my arms around him and tell him I was so sorry, but I refrained and quietly admitted that I was a traitor and that I do most of my shopping at Walmart. I felt awful. Again I used my favorite grocery store for the deals. Out of guilt during my shopping trip, I purchased 3 reusable shopping bags and 2 bags of garbanzo beans because Walmart doesn't have garbanzo beans. What's up with that?

On my way home I thought about my conversation with the lady in the pasta aisle. I'm curious why she thinks it would be so difficult for a large family to make ends meet. My life is my life and it's all I know. I don't live a life of luxury, but it's still good. I would love to see new releases in the theatre, but will patiently wait for them to come on TNT. 12 passenger vans simply just don't come with many expensive upgrade options. I don't feel it necessary to have to pay for preschool because my kids have plenty of in-house socialization and access to Noggin. We are trying to raise our kids to be as genious as possible so they will have plenty of college scholarship opportunites. We aren't currently saving for retirement because we are raising our retirement. We don't buy video games or many electronic toys that use batteries or expensive accessories. We budget (maximum $25) for one meal out per week: pizza, Wendy's, Taco Bell, or kids eat free night. We buy store brand, cheap toilet paper and Ivory soap. I only take kids to the doctor for vaccinations, or if they have a fever for more than five days, or if they need stitches. I shop clearance racks and won't spend more than $10 on any clothing item, unless it is a dress. I often get items for $5 or less. I buy $0.99 baby soap at Target. I don't have a gym membership because I have constant access to a 45, 40, 30, and 15 lb. set of weights. The kids only get one pair of shoes for Spring/Summer, one pair for Fall/Winter and one pair for church and many are hand-me-downs. We only have family birthday parties with homemade cake and one simple birthday present. We have a three bedroom house and the kids love sharing a room. I think the most expensive piece of furniture we have ever purchased is our king size bed for $1100 (best purchase ever!) when we gave the girls our queen. I will gladly buy used furniture and fix it up, except for mattresses or couches. We mow our own lawn. We don't take many vacations except to visit family. We find fun in feeding the neighborhood geese on a Saturday afternoon.

There were 36 of them today.

I don't have time to shop much. Who needs shopping when you've got blogging? And of course, I stock up on food that is on sale. So that's how we do it. I love my life even if I don't have surround sound and trips to Hawaii. Kids are the best! We've been blessed.

Friday, June 20, 2008

No Time to Write

Tonight is date night. My husband is calling me over to the couch to watch some TV.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

All I ask for is one sick day

I think one of the worst parts of motherhood is that you are not allotted any official sick days. I've been battling a minor cold this week. It's not horrible, but enough to feel under the weather and wanting to veg on the couch. My sister-in-law was coming this afternoon with one of her kids and I just wanted to get 20 minutes of rest this morning before she came. I laid down on the couch wishfully expecting my kids to quietly play in the other room. It didn't happen. Every 2 minutes one of the kids had a request, demand, tattle or something or other.

"Mommy I have to go pee pee."
"Have Emily help you."
"No, you."
"Have Emily help you."
"Oh tay."

"Mommy, Bradley's being mean!"
"I don't want to hear about it."

"Mommy, Emily hit me!"
"What did you do to make her want to hit you? Work it out between yourselves."

"Mommy, I have to go poopy."
"Hold it for 20 minutes."

"Mommy, help me." (Wendy handing me a Barbie doll and dress.)
"Mommy, help me." (Jason handing me a Barbie doll and dress.)
"I'll help you each with one Barbie dress and then leave me alone and go play quietly."

"Mommy, can I watch TV?"

All I ask for is 20 minutes to lay still and let my body doing some recovering. Then just as I began to doze for a 5 minute half awake and half asleep power nap, I felt something flop on my face followed by the giggles of Emily and Bradley. I opened my eyes to to find an overripe banana oozing from its brown peel, punctured by a toddler thumb, onto my cheek and the big blue eyes of little Jason begging me to open it for him.

"Neena?" (banana)

I gave up on my rest. I guess moms just don't get sick days.

So what do kids do when they find a stash of 200 lbs of grits?

Pretend they're beavers and build a dam.
"It's a damtastic dam!"- Bradley

Make grit art.
This one I helped them with. Just shake a 1/4 cup of grits with 5-7 drops of food coloring in a jar and glue to paper like glitter. It was a hit.

The day ended good. I watched a Discovery Channel TV show about Coney Island that I recorded back in March. I love amusement parks. I learned that the guy who invented the incubator tried selling it to hospitals all over Europe and the United States. Nobody wanted it, so he tried the amusement parks. The Luna Park at Coney Island decided to give it try and they hired registered nurses and allowed mothers to put their premature babies in the incubators. They charged $0.10 to park guests to come see the babies. It is likely the incubators saved 700-800 babies. How cool is that? A preemie baby freak show. I really like the times in which we live, but I think it would have been really cool to live back at the turn of the 20th century. They had some crazy rides back then like a big huge spinning disk on the floor that a bunch of people laid down on and it would start spinning and fling the people off. However, what would I do without blogging in the 21st century?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Lesson for 'A' Cups

Today Emily showed me how she stuffed her shirt to hold her snack. I told her when she gets older and stuffs her shirt for real that she shouldn't stuff it with popcorn. Tissues work much better.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My First Pouching Party

Tonight I held my first quarterly Mylar Pouching Party at church. Our Stake recently purchased a Mylar Pouch Sealer. I'm a little bit of a fanatic for food storage ...

200 lbs. of grits

... or perhaps a borderline hoarder of food. (Thankfully I have a husband who is not embarrassed to fill a grocery cart with 30 bags of grits.) I like to try and motivate others to stock up on food. The floods in the Midwest have me a little freaked out. When you have 8 mouths to feed, a small increase in the price of food can add up quickly. My kids were excited to go with me to the church for the so called party. We got there, I got out the pouch sealer and hauled some food to the Church kitchen. Nobody was there besides us. Then Emily said, "This isn't a very fun party." I suppose she was right. I should've brought balloons and cake. It ended up that one person came to participate and pouch some beans and grains and 3 other people came to observe and check out the piece of equipment. It's hard to motivate people to spend money on bland foods that will most likely sit in a closet or pantry for 20 years. But I do it anyway. I am a collector. When I was little I collected Strawberry Shortcake dolls, Smurf figurines, souvenir flattened pennies, glow-in-the-dark stuff, and piggy banks. Now as an adult, I've shifted my collecting to just kids and food.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Jealousy Kicks In

Jason has always been very loving toward Rachel. But today I think he expressed a little bit of jealousy when he managed to climb himself into her swing.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Today I had a really awesome nap dream. I dreamed that I found a trap door in my family room floor that led to a secret play room that had swings hanging from the rafters. I was so excited that I would be able to contain the kids and their mess down there. Off of the secret playroom was a secret dance studio. I also found some old Mickey Mouse movie posters that the previous owners left and I was planning to sell them on eBay. Shortly after I found the secret rooms, a bunch of my friends came over with food and we feasted on spaghetti and hamburgers. David Archuleta was there too. Although I enjoyed the company of my friends, I was anxious for them to go home so I could further check out the bonus square footage of my house that I had no idea existed for the past four years. It was one of those dreams that I was disappointed to wake up from like the dream Emily had yesterday. Dreams don't get much better than that.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My Saturday

This morning I awoke at 8:30 AM. I wanted to get up and get busy with cleaning, but I just couldn't. I was tired. Emily crawled in bed with us. About 20 minutes later Bradley came in and said, "Emily, are you finished with your dream yet?" Apparently Emily was prematurely awoken by her siblings and she crawled in bed with us to finish her enjoyable dream about going to Disneyland with Alvin and the Chipmunks. I would've wanted to finish that one too.
We actually got up at 9 AM and cleaned our bedroom. Unfortunatley our bedroom is located beside the laundry room and it always collects stray laundry and piles of clothes that either need to be retired, stored away or ironed. It's annoying.

We ate breakfast at about 10 AM after the kids complained that they were starving. It was cold cereal and an extra special treat of Barbie cereal that Wendy picked out at the grocery store last week.

Then we went outside to quickly water the plants before our 1 hour Saturday speed cleaning. It turned out to be not so quick as we got involved with weeding and murdering Japenese Beetles that are pestering and eating our garden. We are officially not organic gardeners anymore. My husband very much enjoys chasing around the yard squirting beetles with liquid Sevin and watching them die, especially the mating ones because the possibility of any future beetles is also destroyed. I harvested 4 strawberries and admired my first sunflower bloom.

They're small, but pretty.

Not quite the "Mammoth" bloom I had in mind, but I'll take it.

I finally went inside to do our team's chore of cleaning bathrooms. I finally cleaned all the toilets that were accumalating nasty mildew rings in the bowl. I also cleaned out the clogged drain in one of the master sinks that's been clogged for the past year because I washed a bunch of hair down it after a child's haircut. That was nasty but successful. Now the sink doesn't take 5 minutes to drain.

We ate the typical lunch of tuna fish, crackers and cheese. Jason went down for a nap.

Emily was the lucky one to accompany me on my errands. We went to Whole Foods to get some special paraben free soap for poor eczematic Sarah. Her skin is a mess and we deperately need to fix it. I'm not typically an "organic" person, but this soap was recommended. Then we went to Walmart to check to see if they had more fabric for the dresses. They didn't. It seems that they are phasing out their fabric department. That is very sad because our town does not have any good fabric stores. Then we went to my not so favorite grocery store only because they have my laundry detergent on sale. I bought a 5 month supply to add to my 6 month supply.

Emily had a great time using the self check out. Then we went to the car wash to vacuum the car. It was so messy it took 2 times and $2 to get it all vacuumed. I vacuumed like mad to get my money's worth. Finally we went to Walmart to grocery shop. We both enjoyed a nice vanilla ice cream cone from McDonalds. I stocked up on some staples such as oatmeal, grits, flour and beans. A lot of times a checker will ask me if I am having a party when I purchase food in bulk. But today as she scanned my two 20 pound bags of pinto beans the checker said, "Do you run an orphanage?" I looked at her trying to process the question to make sure I heard it right. I determined that I did and I explained that I like to store food for emergencies. She thought that was cool.

We came home, unloaded groceries, ate hot dogs for dinner and went to the pool.

Going in style. Sarah wears those boots with everything.

It was fun. We came home, ate a bite of cookie dough (Tollhouse), and bathed. Sarah was excited to take her own bath with her "special" soap. Bradley got a hair cut so he no longer looks like he is wearing a helmet and the kids went to bed.

Phew! What a day! I'm looking forward to a day of rest.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Teacher Evaluation

Today I evaluated Emily in her first grade language arts. I went over a checklist with her of things she should know. A teacher evaluation is exactly what it says - an evaluation of how well the teacher fulfilled her responsibility of teaching. Today I learned there are 4 areas in which my teaching was not as effective as I had hoped it had been:

1. Contractions - a tool to combine two words with an apostrophe, not labor pains associated with childbirth.
2. Simile - a comparison of two things using the words "like" or "as", not just a word that rhymes with Emily.
3. Synonym - a word with a similar meaning to another word, not a spice used in baking or cooking.
4. Thesaurus - a resource used to find synonyms, not a type of dinosaur.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

5 Things

5 Things I Love About Where I Live:
1. Spring
2. The beach is 11 miles away.
3. Porches and rocking chairs
4. There are 15 grocery stores in a 10 mile radius.
5. The people are friendly.

5 Things I Don't Love About Where I Live:
1. Cockroaches
2. Mildew growing in my toilets
3. Summer cooling bills
4. There's no Jo-Ann Fabrics.
5. Weeds in my lawn

1 Cool Thing About Today:
Jason sucked up fruit punch with a straw with his nose. It surprised him, made him cry, yet he did it again.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Source

Today Emily went to play at a friend's house. Today the house was quiet.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Shape and Color Recognition

I don't know who was demonstrating their toddler intelligence, but I found this in the kitchen the other day. Go Jason or Wendy!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

A Refresher Course at the Beach

It's been a awhile since our family took a trip to the beach. In fact we didn't go at all last summer. Yesterday while playing in the water Sarah told me she had to go pee. I told her to go in the water. She looked at me a bit confused at my barbaric recommendation and tried to figure out if I was kidding or not. When she realized I wasn't, she started taking off her bathing suit. I told her it wasn't necessary to take it off. When she finally comprehended the concept of peeing in the ocean and went forth with the task, she expressed her enjoyment with a smile on her face.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Love and Hate

I have a love and hate relationship with Saturdays. First of all, I love the fact that my husband is home and that there is an extra set of hands to help. I also love that it is a day for recreation and a day I can venture from my prison I call home and venture out to civilization in the daytime. However, Saturday is also the day that I have to cram all the things on my to-do list into approximately 14 hours which surprisingly goes very quickly.

This morning I awoke at 8 AM and opened the blinds in the bedroom. My husband grumbled because I had the self-discipline to get up and begin my productivity. I tidied up the bedroom and put away clothes. At about 9 AM I mowed the lawn. Now, typically I consider the lawn the man's responsibility, but I gladly take on the chore because it gives me some exercise and gets me outside where the only noise I can hear is the sound of the motor and the occasional mulching of a small tree branch which is a nice relief from a week of the kids shouting , bossing, tattling and whining. At 10:30 AM our family began our 1 hour Saturday speed cleaning. Every Saturday the family divides into two teams and thoroughly cleans one room/zone of the house. Today I had the playroom with my team of Emily, Sarah, and Jason. Of course I didn't accomplish all I had hoped, but managed to clear the clutter from one section of the room. At 1 PM we ate lunch, tuna fish and crackers. Jason took a nap and at 2 PM I took Wendy with me to the dreaded Walmart to get some groceries. Every week, I take a different kid to go with me. The past few weeks I have treated my child companion to a McDonald's ice cream cone. Today the ice cream machine was in "clean" mode when we got there. The cashier told me that it takes about 5 hours and would be finished at 6 PM. What?! Why on earth would you set the machine to clean at 1 o'clock in the afternoon on a 95 degree day in June? Use your brain, folks. Anyway, thankfully Wendy is only 2 years old and happily settled for a $0.33 bag of Cheetos Puffs. We did our shopping, arrived home at about 4:30 PM and immediately got ready for a beach party. It took about 45 minutes to get on bathing suits, lather up with lotion and pack the bags. It was quite insane and we finally made it to the beach at about 6 PM. We had a great time. It was both Rachel and Jason's first beach excursion. Rachel slept the whole time and Jason loved the water. We ate hot dogs, cake and marshmallows. Can you tell which skewer is our family's?

I think Jason is going to associate the beach with sandy hot dogs.

As we were leaving the beach at around 8:30 PM we noticed one of Emily's shoes was missing from the stroller. Also, one of Wendy's shoes was missing ... and one of Sarah's shoes was missing. Oh yeah, and both of Bradley's shoes were missing. We hunted for them with no such luck. We thought for sure they were swept off with the tide or a dog decided to play fetch with them. As we walked along the beach back to the van calculating the cost of our beach trip after the purchase of new shoes, my husband said, "What's that?" I looked and sure enough it was 5 little miracles washed up on shore. It was as if the shoes were divinely placed for us at the edge of the surf to find and save $50. There's really no way they should've been there because they must have fallen off the stroller about 100 yards from where we set up our beach camp and when we arrived the tide was way low as we walked along the water. So we said a prayer of thanks and continued the treacherous trek back to the van as David carried the double stroller over the soft sand and I carried a 30 lb. child on each hip. Who needs a gym when you have six kids?

We got home at about 9:15 PM and bathed the kids. I sped cleaned the kitchen and my husband and I sat down to watch the rest of So You Think You Can Dance from Thursday night. That was my Saturday. I both loved and hated it, I didn't like the hard work of cleaning, mowing, shopping at Walmart and packing for the beach, but mostly loved it because it ended with a good evening at the beach, miraclously found shoes and TV.

Friday, June 06, 2008

A Redneck Friday

Tonight we took a trip to Walmart to buy some more fabric for these dresses I'm making. So far the sewing is going good. As I stood in line to return the butt-ugly boots that my husband bought last week, I read the sign behind the customer service desk. It was advertising their various services such as money orders for $0.46 and check cashing for $3.00. Then I read:

Money Transfers $11.83
Domestic/ International *example - Mexico

Apparently Walmart patrons need "international" defined? Probably. I can imagine the meeting to approve the final draft. The Walmart executive probably said, "I don't know, Joe, thirteen letters and these people don't travel much. We should probably give an example.

The butt-ugly boots were exchanged for these socks. That's why I love him!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Home Schooling Gone Bad

We home school our children. We have a decent system where my husband creates and prints worksheets for them. They have one math, one Chinese, and one story writing everyday. It's my responsibilty to supervise them as they work on it and teach them the concepts. I also do science, social studies, and art with them. I'll admit I can be a bit slack some weeks and I'm glad if they read just a little bit and complete their worksheets. All I want is enough to make us look productive. Their story writing is usually something like a picture of a house or flower and says something like:

This is a house. It is our house. It is green.

Well, yesterday Emily and Bradley both drew a picture of a television and the backs of two heads. Emily wrote, "We watched television all day." Bradley wrote, "We watch television everyday." **sigh** You gotta work with me, kids.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Epitome of Evil

Just so you know - that sucker is huge! I thought his tenacity to live and grow to be that big was deserving of a little blogging fame. I still hate him though. The monster tormented us today. I threw a shoe at it. I snapped rubberbands at it. I didn't dare get near it. My kids rooted me on in the attempted slaying. I did smack it a good one with a big sturdy blue rubberband, however, it only caused it to fly at us and make us run screaming into the other room. We were defeated and it is still hiding out somewhere in the house. Yuck! Welcome to summer in the South.

Can I do it?

I am about to embark on a major sewing project. This summer we will be attending a huge family reunion on my side of the family. It is the family's 100th reunion and hundreds of people are expected to attend. My family is German and my mom wanted to order my girls some Bavarian dresses to wear. They were riduculously priced and my frugalness forced me to refuse such a purchase. So I am attempting to sew 3 dresses. I'm nervous because my last attempt at sewing a dress for myself was about 12 years ago. It was a disaster and not even suitable for nightwear. So I am detemined to make this a success. I will post my progress and try not to curse during the process.

This is my inspiration.
(Photo from in case you want to buy one.)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Please rinse feet before entering chapel

We live near a touristy beach area which means we frequently have out-of-town visitors that come to church. Today it looked like there were a couple of visiting families with children. As I looked at them, I thought about how they must be renting a beach house and are probably starting off their week of fun in the sun. It made me look forward to our family's summer vacation planned for August and wishing this coming week could be our vacation. When sacrament meeting was over, I went to the drinking fountain to fill Rachel's bottle and I saw one of the fathers and his son coming out of the restroom clad in bathing gear. Come on, now. Seriously? Perhaps our ward should consider changing the sign outside to say:

The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints
Boogie Boards are Welcome