Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My Kind of Camping

This past week the kids have been "toasting marshmallows" over the "campfire" using chopsticks as skewers. It keeps them busy with their imaginations for several minutes. They told me they could even smell them roasting. Oh, to be a kid again!

Now tell me:


Does this look clear to you?

My Resourceful Son



Jason thought this grape jam container would make a great iggy ank.
(He didn't actually say "iggy ank", but I'm sure he thought it in that fuzzy head of his.)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Featuring my kid with the fuzzy head

I thought I'd post some of Jason's most recent phrases. He's a thinker when it comes to language. He gives you a blank stare when you speak to him. I think he is trying to soak it all in. This is his progress:

"boken" (broken)
"can't"
"ess" (this is for mess, dress, and yes)
"get out" (usually said when he climbs out of his crib.)
"boop" (poop)
"ay-yah" (Sarah)
"Da-yee" (Daddy)
"Ray-shel" (Rachel)
"oy" (toy)
"em-ade" (lemonade)
"iw-wo" (pajama. He confuses pajamas for pillows.)
"etzel" (cracker. A little confusion there too.)
"ookie" (cookie)
"Ank oo, Mommy." (Thank you, Mommy.)
"et" (wet)
"ga gone" (all gone)
"hee-yo" (here you go)

Today Jason walked around with a graham cracker box peg leg.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Answers to Questions

Playtex or Tampax? Obviously Playtex. A recent comment suggested OB for environmental reasons. I justify my use of applicators due to my lack of periods. (By the way - pregnancy is totally the best form of birth control!)

Townhouse or Ritz? My kids refuse to eat oval crackers, so it's Ritz all the way in this house.

(Diet) Coke or (Diet) Pepsi? Definitely prefer Diet Coke, but I buy whatever is on sale. However, I will not settle for store brand cola. It just doesn't cut it.

Sprite or 7UP? Hmm. I think Sprite tastes like soap sometimes. But Sprite definitely seems to be more popular and because of that I give into the peer pressure.

McDonalds or Burger King? My husband won't allow the family to dine at McDonalds because he used to work there (a loooong time ago) and knows too much. We actually prefer Wendy's because 1) we have a daughter named Wendy and Dave Thomas's daughter's actual name is Melinda and, 2) who can refuse a square burger?

Green grapes or red grapes? Red. They have more snap in the skin.

Del Monte or Green Giant? What ever is on sale. Del Monte seems to have more variety of vegetables.

Progresso or Chunky Beef? I think I prefer Chunky Beef because although the two brands contain pretty much the same amount, the Chunky Beef appears to have more because the can is taller thus giving the illusion of a greater value.

Lays or Ruffles? Definitely Ruffles if you are going to indulge in dip. But you can't beat baked Lays. I think I became a Lays fan about 10 or 12 years ago when the whole "light" potato chip thing came out. At the time Ruffles was using Olestra to lower the fat in their product. Olestra was known to cause anal leakage, so I steered clear of Ruffles and developed a healthy fear of it.

Graco or Evenflo? Our first infant seat was Evenflo that lasted through 4 kids. We are all Graco now though - car seat, portcrib, swing, stroller. Graco even sent me a free new swing motor because mine broke after one child. Go Graco!

Spray N Wash or Shout? I am aware of Zout. My mother-in-law introduced it to me after Emily's first blow out, but I can't always seem to find it in the stores. I bought several Spray N Washes on Sale about a year ago that I still have to get through. I also have a bottle of Shout. I'm not too loyal when it comes to stain removers.

Crayola or Rose Art? How does Rose Art even stay in business?

Plain or peanut? Plain. I like unobstructed chocolate.

Milk chocolate or Special Dark? Special Dark all the way!

People or US? People. I think it has higher quality celebrity gossip.

CNN or FOX? FOX. I like Shepard Smith.

Soup or salad? Salad with sesame ginger dressing.

Mmm. Now I'm hungry. I'm going to go grab some Special Dark from the cupboard.

If you missed the General Relief Society broadcast last night, you can watch it at http://byu.tv/ and click on LDS Church Broadcasts.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Creativity and Compassion Rule the World

So tonight I went to the General Relief Society Meeting for our church. It's broadcasted from Salt Lake and we watch it at our church building. It was really good. The General Relief Society President spoke about having faith, strong families and homes, and charity. Her counselors spoke too about some good stuff. But my favorite part is always when a member of the First Presidency gets up to speak in front of a crowd of thousands of women. Now keep in mind the First Presidency consists of three elderly men. Tonight President Uchtdorf spoke. He's not all that elderly. He's like 68 or something, but nonetheless, I could tell he enjoyed the response he received for his stand up comedy. He cracked jokes about his burnt toast and fried eggs, how his wife always apologizes for something she did wrong with the perfect meal she cooked like how she added too much ginger or not enough curry, as well as some other jokes that had the crowd rolling. The point of his talk was that women are awesome. We are beautiful both physically and mentally. After the comedy act, he pointed out that he understood that some women are experiencing sorrow, fear and other bad feelings that result from the trials we face in this life. He gave encouraging inspiration to let us know that those feelings can be overcome by applying two God-like attributes in our life. Those attributes are 1) creating and 2) having compassion. When we practice these two things, we can be on our way to a fullness of joy that is intended for us to experience in this life and in eternity. It was a very inspiring talk and by the end I was ready to stand on my feet and shout, "Yeahghhhhhhhhh! Relief Society is AWESOME!!" I didn't though and instead reverently listened to the choir sing a hymn that I can't remember because my mind was racing about what I was going to create and how I was going to show compassion. So this week I'm going to create myself a beautiful Relief Society super hero cape that I can wear while I go deliver home baked cookies to my neighbors. You think I'm kidding...

Well, I probably won't wear the cape while I deliver cookies, but I do strive to accomplish both things. Perhaps I'll wear the cape next time I teach at church.

So that was probably the best part about today. The next best thing was the fact that Playtex has changed what used to be a white gentle glide tampon applicator to a pink gentle glide applicator. How awesome is that? Gosh! I haven't bought tampons in like 18 months. The advances they have made! They are so pretty. It's like a little intimate piece of bubble gum. So, I love Playtex! Which brings me to ask:

Playtex or Tampax?
Townhouse or Ritz?
(Diet) Coke or (Diet) Pepsi?
Sprite or 7UP?
McDonalds or Burger King?
Green grapes or red grapes?
Del Monte or Green Giant?
Progresso or Chunky Beef?
Lays or Ruffles?
Graco or Evenflo?
Spray N Wash or Shout?
Crayola or Rose Art?
Plain or peanut?
Milk chocolate or Special Dark?
People or US?
CNN or FOX?
Soup or salad?

Ok, now I'm just wasting time. I need to go be creative and create some dreams. Good night! I'll reveal my answers another time.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I dropped the ball today

I can't believe I didn't blog an actual blog post today! What in the world? What kind of loser am I? Gosh! I'll have to think of something to say tomorrow.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Do me a favor, please.

For those of you who didn't click on "Click here for full photos" on yesterday's post, you must go do that now so you don't keep thinking I'm some sort of freak. Thanks.

So go do it.... I promise you won't be offended (can baby butts even be offending?) Anyway, go do it now.....

There. I told you it was G rated!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Photoshop Lesson 3 - Healing Brush

Before


After
Today we learned how to de-Frankentize a child. Except I haven't figured out how to get rid of the swollenness. I love this software! Oh, and by the way, for newer visitors, that's an old injury from April 4, 2008. I did not whack Jason in the face with a shovel again.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Six Little Pigs

I do my grocery shopping on Saturday evenings. This weekend I was pleased to see that Walmart understaffed their Saturday evening creating long check out lines. This meant I had time to read some celebrity gossip. I settled upon US magazine because of a headline about Brad and Angelina's French chateau being a pigsty. Could it be true? So I found the brief two page article and read it. Yes indeed, even six kids can get the best of the filthy rich and famous. According to the author, who implied a tone of disgust, the family leaves empty pizza boxes and dirty dishes on the counter. Gasp! They don't make their bed because the kids are going to mess it up anyway. Horrid! Piles of clothes are all over the master bedroom. Disgusting! An erector set and scattered toys clutter the foyer. Unacceptable! The walls have toothpaste smeared on them. Nonsense! Crayon marks the walls and wallpaper. Double gasp! Muddy footprint tracks in the living room. Can you believe it? These people actually live what I consider to be a normal life. I found the article delightful. What difference does it make that their castle might be a little messy. At least they can be assured that the big bad wolf isn't going to huff and puff and blow it down. Yes, I like order to my home, but the term "order" becomes relative with each additional kid. In the eternal picture, this is how I see it:

Dirty dishes spread the entire length of counter - evidence that a mother is spending her cleaning time to be with her children (or at least blogging about them.)

Muddy footprints - evidence that children are enjoying childhood, experiencing the outdoors in the mud.

Bed not made - efficient use of time. Who ever goes in the master bedroom anyway?

Piles of clothes - spend two weeks at my house and you will have piles of clothes too. Trust me.

Scattered toys - a healthy back that's been saved by a gazillion less bend overs by mother.

Empty pizza boxes - mmmm. Who dang cares? You just ate pizza!

Toothpaste on walls - in case you didn't know, toothpaste is extremely easy to remove from walls.

Crayon on walls - an innocent child seeing a blank wall as a beautiful canvas to express herself. A little gentle correction can guide her to paper.

So, yes, that article made me happy. I love my pigsty. I love evidence of happy children enjoying childhood. I actually like Brangelina. Brad is super hot (I know. I'm married, but I can say that because my husband thinks he is hot too.) Now if only Brad would quit smoking, marry Angelina, and send me some money, things would be perfect.



Piglet #5

Who knew macaroni and cheese, milk, a plastic bowl and cup could be so entertaining?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Who took a bite out of the stack of cheese?

Library Etiquette

I would really like to blog a good post today, but I have to go prepare a Relief Society lesson.

Wait, I'll tell you one little interesting thing I saw today. We took the kids to the library and whenever we arrive, they gravitate to the computers. There's shelves and shelves of books and they aren't the least bit interested. What am I doing wrong? Anyway, there was a sign by the computers that read:


"Please do not chew on headset cord. Thank you."


Gross!

Oh, and I also saw a guy wearing a kilt at Walmart this evening. That was kind of cool. I really need to remember to bring my camera with me when I go out.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I hear crying. I find this:


And yes, baby Rachel was in there when it fell. I picked her up to console her before taking the picture. What happened was Wendy was trying to peek at her sweet baby sister and the crib toppled over. All is well. Emily put the crib back for me.


I hear slurping. I see this:

(It's worth 37 seconds of your time. Although, I'll warn you that the last 7 seconds are rather anti climatic.)



I guess that is one way to drink water. Just so you know, my kids do have access to cups. But as you can see, they don't serve much purpose. At 23 months, Jason already knows how to get paper towels and clean up his own mess. "Uh oh, Mommy. Bill (that's toddler for spill)!" I guess the competence balances out the incompetence.


I think from now on when my kids are thirsty, I'm just going to pour a puddle on the table.

(By the way- Do you like my new Photoshop technique? I used an elliptical marquee, inversed, and lowered the output in the curves. Then I painted out my messy kitchen counters. And I bet you didn't know that cup is actually green. Are you impressed? Don't be. I have no idea what I'm talking about. I'm just following the step by step instructions in the "Classroom in a Book." Bear with me as I show off my new skills every now and then.)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Today we learned....

...a little about Adobe Photoshop. I'm learning it as well. We completed Lesson 1 and learned about text, inversing and curves, and painting. I gave Emily a picture to work with and this is what she produced.
Before
After

That girl has an amazing future in Graphic Arts!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Count Your Many Blessings

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10...


Clearance shoes from Walmart. Girls shoes cost $2.00/ pair. Boys shoes cost $3.00/ pair. That's only an average of $1.20 per shoe! How awesome is that? Of course they are all about one size too big and slipping off the heels, but that's ok. $2 and $3! Who needs Sketchers when you've got Faded Glory?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I'm a Boring Person Today

I think I might be the most boringest person in the world today. I have nothing remotely interesting to say. I've sat here all eveing procrastinating my daily blog post by checking my Facebook, reading other blogs, and just wasting time. The only remotely interesting thing that happened today was that Bradley was excited to find a New Hamster state quarter (that should be New Hampshire in case you are rusty with your US geography) and Wendy told me I had a big L Bone (elbow.) I think my boringness might be due to the fact that I was feeling a bit under the weather today. Emily, Sarah, and Wendy put on a ballet show for me this morning. I was so tired that I dozed during the show. Emily told me that I wasn't very good at watching. Slam! They also dressed Jason in a pretty ballerina costume. He felt so special. It was actually kind of funny, but I refused to take a picture. It's just not right. Putting on his sister's church shoes is one thing, but a ballerina costume is taking it a little too far.

My kitchen floor is clean. That's good. Both my diaper kids have diaper rash because they poop so dang much! That's a bad thing. There was a thunderstorm today. That's a good thing. We made burritos tonight and the avocado tasted nasty. That's a bad thing. Today kind of balanced itself out. Maybe tomorrow will be a totally good day.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pop Food

I gave the kids popsicles after finishing their school work today. It was a nice simple bribe, a little messy, but effective. After they finished their popsicles, Sarah requested popcorn. I firmly told her that they were only allowed one 'pop' food in one day and explained that they already had popsicles, as I tried to hold in my smile. A little confused she rolled with it and I could see the wheels turning in her head trying to produce an alternative word for the delicious puffy snack. Unsuccessful, she proceeded to beg and said, "Mommy, can we have some pop (in a whisper)corn?" Perhaps if I didn't hear the word, it wouldn't matter? I cracked up, and gave her hug then gave her some pretzels. Seriously, only one 'pop' food in day. We'll eat exploded maize tomorrow because I don't want to be cleaning up kernel choking hazards all evening.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Conclusion

So how did our week go without raising our voices?

It was AWESOME! I think I added several months to my life. It has a very mellowing effect. I'll admit I was tempted to shout several times.....a day. I think I did a couple times. I'm a little confused on where to draw the line though. For example, when you see that your daughter has been peeling the white paint off of her headboard, is it ok to let out an agghhgghhh!, not at her but just in frustration? I think that's ok. You shouldn't keep energy bottled up inside or it might explode. I kindly told her to quit peeling the paint. In the big picture, a trashy looking headboard is no big deal. The pillows cover it up anyway when the bed is made, so maybe it will be incentive to encourage them to make the bed. We are going to work another week on our softer voice tones and try to get a little better at it. 21 days and it will be a habit.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Question

There's been crazy rumors going around town about how gas prices are expected to go up to $5.00/ gallon because of Hurricane Ike. To be safe I thought I'd fill up our 35 gallon tank in our gas guzzling van while prices were still at $3.71. Four of the kids wanted to go with me, but I was too lazy to run all the way upstairs to get Jason's shoes that he took off in my bedroom the night before. So I put his sister's church shoes on him. They fit perfectly. Is that bad? Or should I have put on the pink cowboy boots?

I gave him an Oreo for his cooperation.

Rachel's First Taste of Ice Cream

No more Jib Jab, but here is a clip of Rachel's first taste of ice cream tonight (19 sec.)




What the...? I'll take my ice cream warm, please.

Friday, September 12, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance?

So it doesn't look like I'm playing favorites, here's a clip of the oldest kids doing their dance. They were practicing last night.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Our Kids Like to Disco

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Morning Snack

I can't keep Rachel from crawling into the kitchen. She's beginning to think the term "table food" is a slight misnomer. (Don't worry, it's just a cracker, nothing wet and soggy or more than a day old.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I think I'm high

On Sunday my husband and I vowed not to raise our voices to the kids this week which has consequently led to us being sugar sweet to them. I have to say it's really having an effect on me. I've never smoked marijuana, but I imagine the high I'm feeling might feel very similar to being high on pot. Last night there was a big nasty roach in my kitchen and it didn't freak me out. Instead I decided to write a song about it. It goes something like this:

I killed a roach.
It ran along the floor,
Beneath the cupboard door.
I smashed it with my shoe,
Not enough to make it goo.

I killed a roach.
She ran under the fridge,
I'll think I'll call her Midge.
I killed a roach, I killed a roach, I killed a roach.

I killed a roach
She'll die a lonely death,
Because of me, Melinda Beth.

I killed a roach.
She was a big and juicy one.
Her career in terror isn't done.
Because she's still beneath the fridge,
Dead and lonely Miss Fat Midge.
I killed a roach, I killed a roach, I killed a roach.
I killed a roach, I hope I killed that nasty roach.

Now, pass me some Cheetos.

I didn't take a single picture today. Shame on me! I was going to post a picture that I took on September 10th from either 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, or 2006 and label it "On this day in [insert year], but I didn't take any pictures on the 10th of September any of those years either. So September 10th is a pictureless day and so it shall be forever.

My kids didn't do anything blog worthy today. Boring kids! The only exciting thing we did was pick ice cubes up with a string. Try it. Put an ice cube in a cup of water. While you touch the end of the string to the floating ice cube sprinkle some salt on the ice cube where the string is touching. Then raise the ice cube out of the cup with the string. Its like magic. Actually the salt melts the cube just a little bit and then it freezes again right away which locks the string to the ice cube (like getting your tongue stuck to a pole in the winter time.) Pretty cool. Eh? I love homeschooling! Now why didn't I take a picture of that? Duh!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Yes!!!

My hands were clenched, my heart was racing.
"Honey, when should I do it?"
"Last minute."
"Now?"
"Whatever."
"Now? Come help me."
"No. You can do it."
"44 seconds. Now?"
"Yes."
Click.
My heart continued to race as I watched the green bars advance across the bottom of Internet Explorer. I covered my face in anticipation. My heart beat faster. My toes curled. I couldn't handle the stress.
Refresh.
I read, "Congratulations! The item is yours." (or something like that)
I blink. I read, "Congratulations! The item is yours."

YES!!!!!!

I get up and do the Ebay winner dance, slap David a high five, and do some more dancing.

The total adrenaline rush.

That was awesome!!

Oh yeah, I won a Lot of 24 Magic Tree House books for $21.99 in mint and near mint condition.

A Sampling of Our Day

Emily
Is going to be our family lawyer and our retirement plan. She's persuasive. Today the kids were begging to watch TV at 9:30 in the morning. After I said no, Emily argued, "But when we watch TV we don't make a mess." We watched "Here Come the ABCs with They Might Be Giants" DVD.

Bradley
Told me that once, before Rachel was born, he slept all night without a shirt. I love how my kids base time on the birth of their siblings.

Sarah
Learned how to write her name. She was very excited.

Wendy
"Mommy, we watch scary My Little Pony Movie now?" I suppose large talking pink ponies with purple manes could be considered scary.

Jason
Poured himself a Hello Kitty cup of lemonade and learned a lesson about surface tension.

Rachel


Got bored at dinner. Crackers and formula get monotonous.

Me
Didn't raise my voice all day. I get five points in Heaven.

David
Calmly and quietly scolded Bradley for complaining that he wanted ice cream for dessert when a chunk of cookie dough and handful of M&M Minis sat on the table in front of him. We'll put up with a picky eater, but picky about dessert is pushing the limits.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Female Anatomy 101

Jason has had this thing lately where he likes to squeeze my breasts and say, "milky." I don't know why because they've been dry wells for at least 2 months now and he hasn't sipped any human milk for 19 months. I explained that those are my boobs and asked him, "Can you say 'boob'?" He recognized the "oo" vowel digraph and then mimicked as close as he could with his current knowledge and said, "oop." Then he lifted his shirt and attempted to show me the contents of his diaper. Perhaps we'll postpone lessons in female anatomy. We don't want Jason thinking that Mommy poops from her milkies. It might hinder his upcoming potty training.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Stake Conference - Well Done

Twice a year our church holds a stake conference. I'm a convert to the church and when I was verbally invited to attend my first "stake conference" at the age of 22 I was a little confused as to why we would meet to eat sirloin when the Word of Wisdom clearly states to eat meat sparingly. So let me clarify. A stake (not "steak") is a region that is made up of individual church wards (congregations.) All the wards attend this conference. Our stake consists of about 9 wards. There's a lot of people at the conference and we listen to speakers and sing some hymns. It can be a struggle getting 6 kids to sit there for 2 hours, but today we managed well with the help of some friends. Our Stake President gave us some wise counsel today. He counseled us to make ourselves a better people. He specifically told us to be modest in our dress. That's easy stuff! After giving birth to 6 children, I have no desire to wear a bikini, crop top, tank top, or mini skirt - ever. Secondly he urged us to be more reverent. Now mostly he talked about having a reverent attitude in our chapels and in our prayers. We should not use our chapels as a place for socialization and our prayers should be addressed as if we are respectfully addressing our Father in heaven and not a best friend who is an equal. Our Stake President did not give mention to whether or not we should discuss nipples in our blog posts which leaves me to make the judgement call. Therefore, I determine that since breastfeeding is a natural process that gives nourishment to children, it's ok.

Tonight David and I decided that one thing we are going to work on this week to make us better parents is not raising our voices to the kids. I don't know if every parent struggles with yelling, but sometimes we feel like drill sergeants barking orders to our army of midgets. I guess it will be classified as one of our little experiments and I will update 'yall with a conclusion at the end of the week. We made the decision while cooking lunch. As we sat down to eat, Wendy leaned over and grabbed a de-shelled hard-boiled egg from a bowl with what was probably an unwashed hand. David said in a raised tone, "Get your dirty hand out of the eggs!" I gave him a look and he corrected himself. Yay! We are recognizing, correcting, and on our way to creating a piece of Heaven on Earth. Later during the meal Wendy was making a mess by not eating over her plate. David said to her kindly, "Eat over your plate, you pig!" Next week we will work on the name calling.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Nipple Confusion

Tonight at bathtime Sarah held this soft rubber toy from the Megablock family up to her chest and said to Wendy, "I'll be the mother and you be the baby." Then Wendy pretended to cry like a baby and sucked the water from Sarah's left Megablock nipple. Meanwhile, Jason observed in confusion.

The Perfect Storm

The perfect storm is one that threatening enough for your husband's employer to cancel work for the day, that encourages you to get on the ball with emergency preparedness and alerts you to the fact that your supply of D batteries is low, yet isn't strong enough to cause any property damage.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Terrible Twos

Jason has premature terrible twos. He still has 6 more weeks of his ones. The other day he was eating a banana. There's a "no eating in the family room except for popcorn" rule in our house and he walked into the family room oozing banana from his mouth and holding a half eaten banana in his hand. I politely said, "No, no, Jason, go to the kitchen." He has this bad habit of throwing things when he gets mad or when things don't go his way. As I expected he threw the banana on the family room floor. I gave him a slight slap on the hand and told him that it was naughty and I picked the banana up off the floor and carried it to the kitchen table. I wasn't overly mad because I was grateful it wasn't another glass of milk to clean up. With my back turned, he continued with his terribleness and proceeded to spit the banana he had left in his mouth onto the family room floor. Rotten kid! He better quit this monkey business soon!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Cheese!


Thought I'd post a family photo. I downloaded it onto my computer last night and was amazed that we are all looking at the camera with a smile. We take a self-timed family photo every Monday evening. We only take one shot so it's completely "as is." This week David accidentally set it to take 10 consecutive shots with a few seconds in between each snapshot. The kids thought it was pretty funny, thus the smiles. This one was taken August 25th, the Monday after we returned home from our vacation, which is why 3/4 of the family members are still wearing pajamas or only a diaper at 7:06 PM. I vowed not to get dressed that day because I was resting from my vacation. My imperfection is exposed by traces of popcorn under the couch and a stray Tinker Toy by my foot. Oh yes, and the pink pillow behind baby Rachel is strategically placed to hide a shirtless Emily. And why am I wearing flip flops? Because I also vowed not to do any housework that day, and the shoes were saving me from getting crumbs on my feet from my unswept kitchen floor. So long June Cleaver days!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Mob Mentality

I noticed today that my kids travel in a herd. One moment they are all in the playroom creating a ruckus. Another moment they are sitting happily on the couch watching Dora. Then I hear them trampling upstairs up to no good. As I searched for them at lunchtime, I found them huddled in our small downstairs bathroom, in the dark. Emily had her Disney Princess tracing desk with its dim light perched on the toilet. Sarah situated herself in the stadium seating as she awaited her turn while Bradley and Wendy watched intently and Jason mimicked them watching intently as Emily traced the outline of Chip from Beauty and the Beast. Time for lunch, kids! Don't forget to wash your hands!"



After lunch they herded around Emily and looked at the kid drawings in their church magazine, The Friend. And, yes, my house is a mess. I cropped out as much as I could. I'm working on it... I'm working on it. Wendy is not in the picture because she needed assistance going potty and the downstairs potty was out of order because Emily's tracing desk was sitting on the potty with strict instructions not to move it so her picture wouldn't get ruined. So I took Wendy to the bathroom upstairs, and while I was at it, I spontaneously put her down for a nap. I wasn't very popular for doing that, but I needed a toddler break. Jason went down shortly after. Wendy sleeps in a bed at night, but for her nap I put her in toddler prison (a crib) so I can be assured that she gets up when I want her to get up. About 2 hours after I put her down, I hear her voice in the kitchen.
What the?
"Wendy, did you get yourself out of your crib?"
Nod. "Mommy, I needed you!"
Dang it!
Jason also learned how to unlock the front door and open it today. Crap! Why do kids have to.....have to.....have to learn!? It's not cool.


I thought I'd throw this photo in, since Rachel isn't quite a member of "the herd" yet because she can't walk. She greatly desires to be a member though. Anytime she gets ditched and left in a room all by herself, she fusses. Rachel only fusses for hunger, pain, and loneliness. Rachel normally spends her time on the family room floor. Today I placed her on the floor of the playroom while the kids played in there. She was so happy! It was a whole new world and she must have played in there for two hours straight. She discovered Barbies, blocks, scrap pieces of paper and other random things. They tasted good.

I held my baby tonight. She fell asleep like a log in my arms and I was forced to watch TV. I decided to get acquainted with the Republican nominees and watched the Republican convention with a little bit of America's Got Talent squeezed in between. I wanted to get to know Sarah Palin. I love that she looks like Tina Fey from 30 Rock. So the Republican nominees for President and Vice President have 13 kids combined. I like that!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Back in Business

Today we started homeschooling again. It was a bit painful for all of us but we made it through the day. Sarah and Wendy are learning phonics. Today at lunch Sarah was demonstrating to me, "Ta ta ta table. Wa wa wa water." She is so proud to be on her way to learning to read.

I'm sure every parent can relate to getting their kid's names mixed up. For example, calling one daughter by the other daughter's name. Right? It doesn't help that Sarah and Wendy are the only two children in our family so far that are the same sex and next to each other in birth order. It also doesn't help that they look very similar. There have been numerous occasions when David and I have called to Wendy, but accidentally started saying "Sarah." Today at lunch, Wendy was so proud of her phonics and said, "Mommy! Sssssssss...wendy!" Poor Swendy!

Monday, September 01, 2008

And you thought is was over

Days 12 and 13
Friday and Saturday
August 22nd and 23rd

This was our last elevator ride and argument over who was going to push the button. Only on two occassions did a child get trapped alone on the "elegator" during our stay. The first one was when Jason failed to follow like a good duckling. The second was when Wendy lagged too far behind upon exiting. She didn't handle the situation quite as calmly as Jason did. You could hear her cries of terror as the elevator took her up to the second floor all by her lonesome. David was a good dad and ran up a flight of stairs to greet her when the door opened. She survived the ordeal and followed close behind after that.

We drove to Hershey, PA where the streetlamps are shaped like Hershey Kisses.

And where I was able to capture and prove a little piece of Heaven exists where chocolate is in abundance.


We visited Chocolate World. It was totally not what I had expected. I was expecting a little factory off the beaten path where they showed us how Hershey made its chocolate. Instead it is a ride that takes you through a simulated chocolate factory with singing dairy cows and fake factory equipment. Our kids loved it and we did the free tour twice. There was a ton of overpriced souvenirs and a whole lot of tourists hyped up on chocolate. After Chocolate World we stopped by Wendy's to get milkshakes and french fries. We stopped for the night about 30 minutes outside of Hershey. We wanted to get further today. We knew we had a long day ahead of us tomorrow.

And it was long. We traveled (including stops) from 9:22am to 11:30pm. The kids got a bit restless along the way and Wendy lost some hair thanks to Jason.


The tears and fighting were all curable with some handy Dums Dums that Nani packed for us. Thanks, Nani!


We did not bring a DVD player on the trip. We don't own one. Instead we opted to entertain the children by having them lift their arms when driving under bridges. It lasted about 30 minutes. Not quite as long as a movie but this video sure beats a video of kids watching a movie.





We finally made it home. Yeah!


My, it was a good trip!



Now back to the present. We start homeschooling tomorrow. I should probably go figure out what I'm going to teach the kids. Spongebob is off duty and I'm in charge.