Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Night of all Nights

Glenn Beck at the Utah State Capitol! Thanks to our friends, the Flynns, last night we joined our great friends from our book club at the George Wythe University Gala. I haven't found the words to describe what a night it was. The attire was very formal, the company was the best, the food was elegant, Glenn Beck was inspiring. Every detail was attended to. Everything about the evening was PERFECT. I'm sorry my words are not doing it justice. We all went in a limo driven by my cousin-in-law.

I think I need a few days to let it sink in. It was wonderful to step into another world for a few hours. Thank you to our friends who made it possible.

Cannon Turns One!

Cannon is one! I'm sad to say we haven't had too much of a celebration yet-- hopefully we'll get to that this week. But Grandma Fox did send him dinosaur legos and we gave him two new balls to play with. We love this little guy!

Fathers and Sons

Abe and Clark headed to the Fathers' and Sons' camp out on Friday night. They had a great time and as always, it soothes Clark's soul to be out in nature. I think monthly campouts in Boy Scouts will be good for him.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

Memorial Day 2009.
It is one of my favorite holidays. We have a standing family gathering with My Uncle Lane's family at 9:00 am at Wasatch Lawns Cemetery. This is where our Tessa is buried, along with my mom and several other family members. Far from being a sad day for us, it is much more a chance to feel very close to those that have passed on before us.

I love the day because it is all the benefit of a holiday-- family time together, tradition, outdoors, patriotism, flowers-- but NONE of the stress that come along with many holidays. No gifts to give, no food to prepare, no house to clean.

My dad shared some thoughts with the family about the military and why we need a military and sacrifice and such. He was quite appropriately attired for the occasion.

Uncle Lane is our Clark family history guru. He always comes prepared with his binder full of Clark family history, pictures and stories. We love him. This man knows how to value and appreciate family. He always reminds us how much Grandma Beth Clark (notice the names!!) would LOVE to see all these great-grandkids running around and would make sure all the girls had beautiful dresses!

Abe explains some family relationships to Elinor. After Wasatch Lawns we go to Valley View cemetery where my Cannon Grandparents are as well as Abe's Jolley great-grandparents (in very close proximity).
The children wanted to put their feet in the creek at Memory Grove but they said it was freezing.
Abe had to head into work for the afternoon so the kids and I went with my dad and Chip and Laura up to Memory Grove where there is a memorial for the soldiers lost in WWII whose bodies were not recovered. One of those soldiers was my Grandpa Cannon's brother, Abram "Hugh" Cannon whose ship was sunk in the pacific. There were a lot of gravestones with the soldiers' name, birth and death dates and where they were lost.
I love for my kids to see that there are things worth fighting for and they are a part of something bigger than themselves.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It's my room's birthday!

When Brig (my sister) and I were kids and we were bored on a Sunday afternoon we would declare it was our room's birthday. This meant that it was a time to super-duper, duper organize and rearrange our room. We thought this was the funnest thing in the world.
Well. Today was Abe and I's room's birthday. I put on Pride and Prejudice (A&E) and we organized and rearranged our room. It did take the entire length of the movie to do it. But it feels so nice to be in an orderly, clean bedroom. I really try hard to keep the main living space of our home neat and orderly (I know, I know... it doesn't usually look that way), but my bedroom gets dumped on A LOT-- laundry, organizing outgrown clothing and shoes, blankets and pillows all over the floor from children sleeping on the floor. It's bad. Scary bad. Shameful bad. BUT NO MORE!!!!! Well, no more for at least a couple of days.
Maybe I need more rules about children not coming into our room so freely. I remember not being allowed in my parent's room without permission. I do not remember their room being a trash pit like ours tends to be. But... I do love having the kids come in and snuggle in the morning and tell me what they dreamt about. I love the girls watching me do my hair and make up and asking to use the lipgloss. I love that we love to be together where ever we are in the house. Someday they may not want my company so I guess it is worth the mess to show them how much I enjoy them now.

Abe's dad has lost a lot of weight doing a soup diet. I decided to make the soup today and give it a little try this week because Abe and I have a VERY FORMAL event we're attending this weekend (more details to follow in another post) and I want to be STUNNING. Well anyway, I made the soup. It was tasty, but I think the chocolate cancelled any good it did--oh well. So I told the kids that this was Grandpa Fox's "Magic, skinny soup". Elinor tells me, "Mom, you should eat a LOT of that soup."
I say, "Why is that?"
She says, "Because you're not very skinny"
I say, "That is true-- but it's not a very nice thing to say"
This is the same child who told me one morning last week, "Mom, you should go put your make-up on. You look really plain".
Thank you so much. Is honesty really the best policy? I'm not so sure.

Monday, May 18, 2009


We have five children and two parents living in three bedrooms. Thanks to bunk beds for the girls and a high loft bed for Clark we make it work. That being said, no one will sleep in their proper bed these days. The weather has taken a turn from quite cool to quite warm, quite suddenly (as it often does here in Utah). The children tell me it is too warm up on their beds. So we have children lying all over the floors and in the hallway upstairs. Even those with lower level beds refuse to lay in them. We learned the term "slop sleep" from cousins. It means to just throw blankets and pillows wherever and sleep. I don't actually care where anyone sleeps or if they are even asleep as long as everyone is quiet and peaceful and not being naughty.

Almost ten year old boys need adventure, right? Clark asked if he could ride his bike the 2 mile round trip to the library today to check out some books. My first thought was no-- too far, you can't go alone. But as a mom I get so tired of hearing myself say no that I decided to say yes. Why not? He took my cell phone in case of emergency, his library card, and $0.85 to pay down the library fine (I usually have standing fine... oops). So he did it and even checked out some princess books for the girls. I was quite proud of him and glad that some need for adventure can be so easily and cheaply met!

I have mentioned our bi-monthly Spanish lessons we do with Grandpa Cannon and when we're lucky we get Grandma Cannon too. Today was a lesson day and it is so enjoyable for us. Grandparents have so much to offer the younger generation. I am grateful to have loving, involved grandparents on both sides of our family. Dad and Bev, if you are reading this--a big thank you for sharing your time and love with us.

I've told the children we've got to keep up our school routine until June, but I don't know if I can keep it up until June! I am seriously looking forward to a summer break. We will keep up a mini-school, but it will be very pared down. Two more weeks. . . I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. Maybe.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Cannon's Favorite Toy

Here he is with his favorite toy. He is going on 72 hours straight of carrying this ball around. He laughs hysterically when anyone will play catch with him. I can't help myself- I must post some more pictures of this little cutie.

Sorry about the food in the mouth, but he was trying to throw the ball to me.

In sad news, our little Elinor has been afflicted by the nasty flu bug. She was fine yesterday for the recital, but has spent the day in bed with a pot nearby. Poor thing.
Clark did indeed have a MARVELOUS time on his campout. It was quite cold (freezing in the morning) and the camping was very primitive. They went to bed very late and woke up quite early. These do not sound like enjoyable conditions to me, but apparently upon waking up Clark said, "This is so great! I don't have to do any school work or chores today!" Yikes- I must be some kind of slave driver!
Bethany spent the day playing with friends and kittens. That is heaven for her. Faith got to go on a special outing with Allison to get ice-cream, so she too was delighted. With the exception of Elinor's sickness it was a very relaxing, fun Saturday.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I like to have my people around

I prefer to have "my people" close by. By "my people" I mean my husband and children. Tonight Clark is not under our roof, but is instead on a campout with Grandma and Grandpa Cannon and his cousin Andrew. They are tent camping with plans of early morning fishing in the SeaHawk II (the inflatable raft boat). Clark is no doubt in HEAVEN. He's probably pretty cold as it isn't quite warm camping weather yet, but I'm sure he is loving every moment of being out in nature. This boy's favorite book is "My Side of the Mountain"-- about a boy who lives in a tree in clothing he made from a deer he killed. He's loving where he is and quite honestly, I'm enjoying the break, but I feel better when all my people are around.

I had my first piano recital for my students tonight. It went very well and everyone played great. I have enjoyed these first few months of teaching. I had six of my eight students perform. We did it here at our house and although we were snug, it was comfortable.

Question. Is it a normal part of childhood to not want to grow up? Occasionally my kids, particularly Elinor, come to me with tears in their eyes and express sadness at the prospect of not always being a little kid. I try to to comfort them with the idea that by the time they grow up they will want to be grown up and telling the great things about being grown up. I never remember wanting to stay young. I always remember wanting to be older. I don't have a lot of detailed memories of my childhood. Conversely, Abe seems to remember every minute detail. Why is that? Do you have some children that relish childhood more than others?

Cannon seems to be back to his normal wiggly self again. When he was so sick last week I actually missed his wigglyness. A fun thing with Cannon is he has discovered the joy of a toy ball. He has been sleeping with and eating with a small nerf ball. He delights in rolling it back and forth with people. This probably isn't that unusual with boys, but Clark never expressed ANY interest in balls, so this is really fun for us to see. As many of you remember, with Clark it was all about animals from the very beginning.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Let's Go Shopping in the Basement

Like most families with lots of children, hand-me-downs are a way of life. The clothes not in use are all stored away, somewhat organized, in plastic totes in the basement. Since money is not in excess these days there is not a lot of shopping being done. It's okay though, because who has time for shopping anyway? Well, okay, I guess if I could find the money I could probably find the time, but anyway.
Faith has outgrown a lot of her clothes and shoes (which were Bethany and Elinor's). I said to Faith this morning, "Let's go shopping in the basement to get you some new shoes and clothes!" She was so excited and pestered me all morning in her cute little voice, "Wet's go shapping in da basement!"
We all headed downstairs (everyone had to come because. . . I don't know we travel in a pack, I guess). Faith was THRILLED with every article of clothing and shoes. She spent much of the day trying on every article of clothing! But it was Bethany that cracked me up down in the basement. In a whiny, why-isn't-life-fair tone of voice she said, "Why does Faith get all these new clothes? I want new clothes!"
"Bethany, sweetheart," I said, "you do realize that these are all hand-me-down clothes, don't you? You do realize that Faith pretty much NEVER gets new clothes, don't you? You do realize that we went shopping for 'new clothes' in OUR BASEMENT!!!!!"
I think she is over it now, but she was quite envious!

Now, this next little bit is about a comment Elinor made to me today. Mind you, I am choosing to take this as a compliment. It could easily be construed otherwise, but here it is. I am washing dishes today and Elinor looks at me and says, "Mom, you are finally starting to look a little skinnier after having your baby." Really? Just finally?-- Cannon turns 1 this month!
I smiled and said thank you, but Clark said, "Elinor, you shouldn't really say that." Perhaps she shouldn't comment on adults' sizes (she is very observant about such things), but I'll take that comment over, "You know, Mom, your bum is really big". Yes, I've heard that one too.

Abe is with his brother Daniel at the Star Trek movie tonight. He was so excited to go. He asked if I was sure I didn't want to go with him. Uh, yea, I'm sure. Some of you may know the story of one of Abe and I's first dates (and I use the word date loosely) going to a Star Trek movie. I actually fell asleep during it. It was my only escape. I thought we were going on a date which is the ONLY reason I would have even considered going to a Star Trek Movie. In fact it was a group going and Abe ended up sitting by another girl at the opposite side of the row in front of me. So, no, I don't have very fond feelings associated with Star Trek movies. I'm sure he's having a grand time and he definitely deserves a fun night out so I'm glad he could go.

A very happy 58th birthday to my dad today!

Here's an interesting little story. On Monday Abe called me somewhat frantically because he couldn't find his laptop bag. Fortunately there was no laptop computer in it (that was at home), but notes from his class, his MONSTER Constitutional Law book and a couple folders were in it. He didn't know if someone has stolen it from his work or if he could have left it in his car at work and someone swiped it. He was concerned because he needed to write the final paper for his class that night and not having his book and notes would make it considerably more difficult. No luck. He couldn't find it so he stayed up crazy late trying to piece that paper together to turn in.
Today we got a letter in the mail today from UTA (Utah Transit Authority) informing Abe that something had been turned in the lost and found. Indeed it was his laptop bag, monster book and everything. I suppose someone stole it, hoping for a nice laptop and wasn't very interested in Con Law so they just left it. Yea for us! That was an expensive book we'd like to sell back!

Poor little Cannon has been super sick that last couple of days--a nasty flu. I don't believe it is the "piggy flu", but when they are so little and they lose a little bit of weight it is scary. Hopefully he'll eat with a vengeance when he gets better.

One last thing-- it wasn't a fluke. Elinor hit the ball AGAIN tonight on her first up at her game and made it home. On her second up she struck out but as she walked back to the dug she said to Abe, "Well, I CAN hit it!" Half the battle of hitting the ball is believing you can hit it. She believes!