Sunday, November 23, 2008

Family happenings

Friday night was our Liberty Girls Family Night. The girls all had little parts they shared about the Civil War and slavery. Then they each did a talent. There are more pictures on our Liberty Girls blog-

Elinor recited a poem and Bethany showed her splits.

Clark with Master Kim after receiving his red belt. He usually goes to Tae Kwon Do twice a week. He use to test for a new belt every 2 months, but now that he is in higher belts it will be another four months before he goes to senior red. Then four months till red/black, then 1 year before he can test for his black belt. Many of you know that Master Kim is in our ward. We didn't know that until after we bought this house. You never shake hands with Master Kim at church, but we do bow to him even at church!

We enjoyed watching half of the BYU/Utah game. Literally we could only watch half of it. Our Comcast was out for the first half. Apparently Comcast was out for most of Riverton. Yikes, of all the hours of the whole year for the cable to be out-- during the BYU/Utah game. They were getting some pretty nasty phone calls I bet.

On a sad note, we had really sick kiddies today. Poor Elinor just threw up all night and day today. Then this afternoon Faith started throwing up too. No fun for anyone.

Cannon's First Meal

Cannon tried his first baby food last night! I think he liked it better than some of my other babies have. He's a big boy!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Faith was invited on a special girly outing with her best little friend, Abby! They went to a fancy cupcake shoppe and from these pictures it appears she had a simply marvelous time--daaarling!

The parable of the Petshops

No cute pictures to post today. Just thoughts. In the newspaper this morning was a column by Orson Scott Card-- I generally like his column and I did today as well. He wrote about finding parables in life. So here's the best I could come up with. Oh, but before I start "The Parable of the Petshops" let me clarify a couple of things first. Today I was feeling a bit "blah"- a little down in the dumps, having a pity party for one. You get the idea. Abe and I made some really bad (stupid) financial decisions a while back and we're still suffering the consequences. So today I'm wishing things weren't quite the way they are.
Secondly, Littlest Petshops are cute/ugly (depending on your opinion) three inch toys of animals that little girls LOVE to play with.
Okay, so today I happily have some neighbor kids from our ward (also homeschooled) to play while their mom drives carpool for her older kids. Our kids play really well together and the two girls- K and R -bring over their petshops to play with my girls and their petshops. K and R and Bethany have some system of dividing up the Petshops and playing some game I think I am too old to understand. Today however, K and R didn't want to divide things up the way that Bethany did. It is important to note that K and R have many more petshops than Bethany. So Bethany starts getting a little flustered and I ask her to come up to talk to me. She comes-- crying. I don't know more detail than that about the conflict. I purposefully try to stay ignorant of the details--not because I don't care about their feelings, but because the details don't usually matter that much. Bethany explains to me that it isn't FAIR because K and R have so many more. I try the classic "Sometimes things aren't fair" line. She doesn't buy it. Then I say
"Bethany, do you have petshops to play with?"
Bethany: Not as many!
Me: But you do have a lot you can play with?
Bethany: But they have newer ones that are cuter!
Me: Just play with yours and be happy you have some to play with
Bethany: Maybe I can ask them to put some of their cute ones away so we can be even
Me: That might work. You can ask them. I'm sorry you are feeling sad but I think you are wasting really fun playing time being sad instead of thinking about all the fun ones you have to play with.

Ah Ha!

Now. Did I handle this perfectly. No, I'm sure I could have been much more understanding to her plight, but I learned something for me. The "Parable of the Petshops" teaches me to stop being sad about what I don't have and be grateful for what I do have. We say life isn't fair. Really? Is that really true? I suggest life is fair. It's fair because who doesn't have problems. And who doesn't have blessings! I don't want to spend so much time feeling sad about my problems that I "waste my really fun time" enjoying the good things in my life. This is sometimes hard for me to do, but its the way to be happy.
I could go on, but that's the basic idea.
As a side note, I DO NOT believe K and R are guilty on any count. All was quickly resolved and everyone is friends again.
Okay, I can't help myself-- one cute picture! Bethany lost her second front tooth last night. I LOVE little kids missing both front teeth-- so cute in an ugly sort of way! She's mostly just excited to be able to sing "All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth!"

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Girls verses Boys

Here is our little happy chappy. Can-Man. What a little joy he is--especially since he has been sleeping a bit better lately. It may still be wishful thinking, but I still see a little bit of red hair. What do you think? Am I just imagining it? I know Abe has siblings with children with real red hair and I don't think Cannon's quite there, but maybe he has a little?



Boy activity! Here is Clark at his TaeKwonDo testing last week. He was testing for his red belt. He passed!

SERIOUS Girl activity!

The girls danced at the South Towne Expo Center for a big Christmas show they did there (small businesses selling their wares). The people who put on the show want entertainment and dance studios want a place to put on a Christmas recital. Anyway, the girls had a great time.

Here are some of the girls in Elinor's dance class. Elinor tells me the little girl third in from the right is not very nice to her. Apparently she told Elinor it was weird that Elinor wanted to be Spider-woman for Halloween. (It is wierd!) Anyway, we showed Els this picture and she pointed out which little girl was mean to her to Bethany. Bethany then said, "yeah, I can totally tell she is mean--she has a mean looking bun!" Oh gracious-- let the drama begin!

Here is Bethany's class going over their dance in the back before showtime. Both girls did great.

Boy activity. Here Clark has built a lego ship. Clark gets a free lego magazine each month to help remind him of all the lego sets he wants to buy. Smart! They always advertise lego building contests where you can win a lego set up to $100. Clark has entered several (unfortunately has never won). But the great thing is- he has to build whatever it is and then write about it-- ah ha!! I LOVE LEGO! It makes my homeschooling job so much easier!

Here we have the first snow of the season. The snowman melted quickly, but it was fun while it lasted. Mom moment-- does anyone else like, but also sort of dread the first snow of the season. It means dragging out all the snow gear. It means finding boots and hats and coats and gloves and snowpants for everyone to wear. Just helping the toddler put fingers in the right places in gloves is enough to drive me to drink! Then you must catch each child when they are ready to come in before they track snow through the house. You've got to find a place for all the snow gear to dry before you put it away. Then you must be prepared with hot chocolate and LOTS of marshmellows when they finally get out of the hats and gloves and coats and snowpants. My goodness, moms are amazing!

Girl activity. Our Liberty Girls activity this week was going to sing at a rest home. The girls did great and seemed to enjoy themselves.

Faith. She is starting to talk a lot more. Yea! She likes to argue. Boo! She has a best little friend she talks about ALL the time. Her name is Abby. Abby's mom does a little art group and sometimes they have little play dates. Today Elinor said to me, "Abby is Faith's God, she worships her" Hmm-- something seems not quite right there. But Faith does love her and Faith has had to be removed from Sacrament meeting two weeks in a row for throwing a tantrum for not being allowed to go sit with Abby. I think we better move to a pew farther away from Abby's family.

I'll leave off with Cannon. He is almost six months old.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Three things a day

I am totally taking this idea from my good friend Monica. I don't think she'll mind if I share it with the world. She says she can only get done three of the four things she needs to get done each day. The four things are (in no particular order): clean the house (yes, I know the kids should be helping with this, but they need direction and help), school with the kids (this includes music practice and reading together), cook good meals (more than canned chili and peanut butter and jelly, and do projects (grocery shopping counts as a project).
So four things, but only three make the cut every day. I find if I look at it this way I am very pleased with my accomplishments each day. Wow! The house is a disaster area, but we got all our school stuff done , and did Liberty Girls (club for the girls) and ate two good meals today! Hooray for us! OR-- Hmm, we ate cereal for two of the three meals and picked up Little Ceasars for dinner, BUT we finished our read-a-loud, and did our morning chores, and hit Costco! WE WIN! See, this is a much happier way to look at things.
It's not possible to get it all done so let us just celebrate what we do get done.
Easier said than done! But it is good to think about it and maybe I'll remember the next time I am feeling discouraged. I remind myself that Heavenly Father does not want us to be sad. He wants us to be happy. Here is my favorite quote from this past General Conference from Thomas S. Monson. "Never forget let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved". For me this means not to be so concerned with getting things done that I am unkind to "my people".
So we are doing well. Just trucking along. Our week is busiest Monday-Wednesday and then things calm down. Cannon continues to torment my nights. My kids enjoy being rewarded with titles. Titles such as, "Fussiest baby", "hairiest baby", "snuggliest baby", "grouchiest baby", "loudest baby". Yeah, I know, I'm totally labeling my children, but they seem to enjoy this. (don't worry, nobody gets all the negative titles) So Cannon is officially titled, "WORST SLEEPER by a lot!" Sometimes I let him fuss a bit, but he is just so dang CUTE that if I make eye contact I lose the stand off!
Okay, well, this post is mostly my mommy ramblings. If anyone is interested Bethany and Elinor will be dancing at 2:00 this Saturday at the South Towne Expo center. Also on December 5th at 5:30 same place.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fall and the Capitol

A few of the boys from Knights of Freedom and their families went on a field trip to the Utah State Capitol on Wednesday. The Capitol recently underwent quite an extensive renovation and it was beautiful. I haven't been to the Capitol since Abe and I were newly weds and we went to a BYU homecoming dance there. I had a serious sprained ankle from a co-ed basketball game so we didn't dance much, but it was memorable.

We had about a good size group. Everyone was very well-behaved and had lots of good questions. My kids particularly liked "The Gold Room" with is the really formal reception room with bullet-proof windows where the dignitaries come when they visit. It's called the Gold Room because it is painted and decorated with lots of gold.

This is the Governor's ceremonial office. Across the lobby was the Lieutenant Governor's office and we saw him on his way out. He addressed the children and told them to make sure they never miss and opportunity to vote! The kids got pencils and were delighted.

I just doesn't get any better than this. Kids playing in leaves!

We bought a couple of cheap smaller rakes for the kids to play with the leaves. Clark and Bethany got to them first. Elinor was so cute though, she ran and got a snow shovel to use!


Halloween is for the children!
Okay, so we kind of like Halloween too. I know it is hard to tell. We all were vampires. I like to call this picture of Abe and I our "Edward and Bella" shot. I don't think vampires are suppose to be beautiful!

Clark: good, correct emotion

Elinor: sorry, too happy

Bethany: you just look sick

As Faith's cute little friends came to the door dressed in princess costumes, I felt a little bad making my sweetie, two-year old into a heinous vampire, but she seemed okay with it. Still, I like her cutie pose in this picture with the kids.

Here we are just before the trick-or-treating began. Some have asked why Cannon wasn't dressed in black as well. I tried to be clever and say he was my snack for later, but the truth is I, uh, forgot to dress him up. I know, I know, he'll be scarred for life or something because his mother didn't dress him up for his first Halloween.

Abe pounded the pavement with the little vampires. I think he quite enjoyed himself as well! Faith did a solid block and then she was brought home while the older kids continued on. We had a very light sprinkle off and on during the evening.

And this is what I did all night. It really wasn't cold so Cannon and I sat on the front porch welcoming the trick-or-treaters with a low, "Good evening!" The older kids either thought I was pretty cool or pretty dorky (it's a fine line), but I'm afraid I really frightened a few little ones. If they looked particularly disturbed I would take out my teeth and show them that they were fake. Fortunately we were able to avoid any tears.

We really like all going in some sort of theme with our costumes. The last couple of years Clark and Bethany have thought about doing something different, which of course they would be free to do, but Abe brought home vampire teeth one day and that settled it. We dug through dress ups, past costumes, and closets for all black clothes. Elinor's was my favorite. She was wearing a Darth Vader costume from a couple years ago turned inside out. Way to be resourceful!

I was the make-up artist and did a pretty good job if I do say so myself-- and I do.