Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What If. . . . . ?

Tonight was Elinor's big date night. She and I went to see Hello Dolly at the Hale Center Theater. We had great time together but we did have some unusual conversation to and from the theater.

Elinor is the QUEEN of the "What if. . .?" game. You know, like WHAT IF you drive your mother crazy with questions?"

Here are actual "what if. . .?" questions I had to answer this evening. Where does she come up with this stuff?

Elinor: WHAT IF you lived at the temple and you could swing on the chandeliers?
Mom: I don't think I would want it to fall and break into a thousand pieces.
Elinor: WHAT IF it just broke into two pieces?
Mom: I don't think it's a good idea.

Elinor: WHAT IF a giant cut into someone's brain. Would they die?
Mom: Yes, I think so.

Elinor: WHAT IF Slimer (the ghost from GhostBusters) came out of that sign.
Mom: That would be scary.

Elinor: WHAT IF an Indian came to our town? Would you be scared?
Mom: I don't think Indians nowdays are scary.
Elinor: WHAT IF they took your whole family?
Mom: I don't think they would do that.
Elinor: WHAT IF they said to give them food?
Mom: I would give them food if they wanted it.
Elinor: WHAT IF you starved because you gave him all your food?
Mom: I'm sure my neighbors would give me some food.

Elinor: WHAT IF someone broke this window with a rock?
Mom: no comment

Elinor: WHAT IF there is a fire at the theater? Then can I scream?
Mom: yes

Elinor: WHAT IF you are crying because you ran away from home and your dad caught you?
Mom: Elinor, I don't know what you are talking about.

I love her death, but WHERE ON EARTH does she come up with this stuff? Is it the age? I don't remember this with Clark and Bethany.

On a side note- Abe was planning to take her, but as I am still home bound with no car Abe thought it would be best for me to get out. What a wise husband!

Moments I want to remember. Clark is so tender with Cannon and "always has time for his brother."

Monday, June 29, 2009


We are having a little car trouble with our minivan. It's looking like it is not going to be terribly expensive (thankfully), but we are going on four days with one car that 1. doesn't fit all of us and 2. Abe is driving to work all day.
Hopefully we'll get it back tomorrow. However, I am enjoying being temporarily without a car. It's like when the power goes out. I would NOT like it to be without power long term, but for a few hours it is delightful. You can't do any heavy duty cooking. You play games or read or go to bed. If it is storming outside you get to watch the rain and lightening and trees blowing.
Similarly with no car you don't go anywhere--except on walks to the park. You invite friends to come to you. You relax at home and get into projects. Of course the house is no cleaner since everyone is into projects, but it's a little calmer.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Clark is Surprised and Older

Today was Clark's surprise 10th birthday party-- pizza and games at the park. The party goers were all at the park when Abe brought Clark--blindfolded. This first picture is Abe removing the blindfold.

Clark first sees the party!

Here are my favorite pictures of the day. The girls immediately ran to Clark to hug him. When I told them this morning (after Abe and Clark left) about the party I thought they would explode with excitement. I don't think they could have been more excited if the party was for them.

Here are they all are eating pizza. It was a nice mix of boys from the neighborhood, home school friends and dear old friends.

I think Abe's favorite part of the party was the game of kickball. There are so many parts of homeschooling that I love, but we do miss some of the P.E. games like kickball. They had a blast.

I loved watching Clark feeding Cannon some of his doughnut. Nothing makes a mom crazier than hearing children fight, but nothing makes me happier than hearing them be kind to each other.

What does a girl have to do to get out of practicing the piano??

Something more than breaking a wrist.

Someday she'll thank me for this.

I did ask and the doctor said it was fine for her to practice. Isn't her cast beautiful?
Can you believe it is WATERPROOF! She can swim, shower, and play in the sprinklers. Casts have come a long way. She just needs to wear if for three weeks.

The Return of the Back Yard Campout

According to Bethany, we are "the only ones" who don't have a "house car" (a camper/trailer). For the first ten years of our marriage we tent camped every year with babies and toddlers up in the mountains. I just don't want to do it anymore. At least I don't want to camp up in the mountains. I hope I will come back around. But I'm taking a hiatus from real camping.

Enter-- The Backyard Campout. You just set up camp in the backyard. No packing up food. No mountain dirt- just a few grass clippings. No fear of bears dragging your children out of their tent in the middle of the night. (I know--I've got issues.) You can even bring a real mattress to sleep on. It's not the most adventurous way to go, but you do get to sleep outside in a tent.

We don't do friend sleepovers but our family has become very good friends with a family in our ward and so we joined up for backyard campout together. We had a great time. Abe's quickfire is fabulous for ambiance and warmth. Not so much for actually cooking food because it just turns marshmallows gray.

These little cuties are sticking their heads through the doggy door of our tent.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I am a Mom-of-All-Trades

On a friend's fabulous blog--- messagesfromthemothership.blogspot.com----- she wrote that her three year old daughter announced to her church class she wanted to be a mermaid when she grew up. My friend celebrated the idea that the you-can-be-anything-you-want-to-be-lessons were getting through.
This reminded me of my childhood dream job -- I wanted to be a game show host. Not a Vanna White type, but I was gunning for Bob Barker's job on the Price is Right. In the fifth grade I even did a school project/report/presentation in game show format where I was the host and my fellow colleagues answered questions about the subject into microphones I'd made from aluminum foil and plastic cups.
Earlier in my childhood I wanted to be a scientist--more specifically a chemist. I think I just liked mixing the chemicals in my chemistry set.
I was sure I would be a future organist for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
I would be a public official- like a judge.
I wanted to be a veterinarian.
I've always had a desire to be an actress.
I could be a fashion designer.
I have entertained thoughts of writing a book someday.
Did I have visions of grandeur? Perhaps. But I believe it is fantastic for children and adults to have dreams of things they want to do. Big things. Varied interests. Here's why.

In very real ways I have gotten to do all those childhood dreams and much more. I am a mother.
As a mother, almost every day I get to do most of these things--just on a smaller scale. Let me explain.

Host the Price is Right-
-I am constantly helping children figure out what things cost. I help children choose one thing over another based on what is the best value. I also offer prizes to the kids for jobs well done.

A scientist - I am Clark's mom. Enough said. I do science experiments. I read books about science. I let my children keep reptiles in the house. We hike in the mountains.

Organist for MoTab- I play the organ at church once a month. I keep the volume pretty loud! I teach piano lessons to aspiring young musicians.

Judge Betsy- I am judge and jury all day everyday. Five children living and working together all day- you better believe we need conflict resolution.

Actress- We read a lot of books aloud and I do great voices for the characters.

Fashion Designer- I help pick out lots of clothes for people and gently notify them when their clothing choices are not acceptable.

Veterinarian- We have a dog and have played a part in helping many reptiles pass to the other side.

Author- You are reading my words I wrote that are out there for the whole world to see.

Motherhood, (as all things) has it's challenging parts. Challenging might be too light a word. Down right, tear inducing, screaming in frustration, HARD things. But in the flip side is the glorious adventure and fulfillment motherhood provides. I find the more I invest in my family and children the bigger the payoff. The more I search for ways to fulfill my needs for physical activity and mental stimulation in ways that involve my family the happier we all are. I do need time alone sometimes. I need time to read by myself. I need walks alone. I need time with friends and most importantly, dates with Abe.
But for me, it is within my home and family that I find the fulfillment of my childish (and not so childish) dreams.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I stand corrected

In my last post I wrote that we thought Elinor might have broken her wrist, but she was fine.
I was wrong. The next day her wrist was still hurting so we took her in for an x-ray.

She did indeed break her wrist. She has a buckle fracture. I finally understood how she did it. She was hopping up and down the rows of benches in an outdoor amphitheater and misjudged the distance and went down.

Elinor is a little bit of "the forgotten child" in the family. She is not very demanding, she is quite peaceful with Abe and I and her siblings. She really enjoyed getting so much attention at the Dr.'s office and from the other kids at home. Clark kept saying, "I can't believe Elinor has a broken bone in her body".

Bethany was beside herself with excitement at getting to play nurse to Elinor, even though Elinor feels perfectly fine and is still getting around as smoothly as ever. Elinor is not overly dramatic so we knew when she was complaining of pain, she really meant it.

She has on a splint right now and we will go in on Monday to see about a cast. If she has a choice as to the color, my money is on hot pink.

Elinor thought maybe she wouldn't have to practice the piano at all, but we came up with a plan. She will be the right hand and I will be her left hand for her. It was really fun to do her practicing today.

I've heard that if your children never have any broken bones you are probably too over-protective. We hadn't had any broken bones up until now. I just figured we must have really strong bones because I don't think I'm that over-protective. I let them ride bikes and climb trees and play sports and play on playgrounds.
Anyway, I will take this broken bone as a sign of my good parenting!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It turns out I DO like summer

For most of the last ten summers I have either just had a new baby or have been newly pregnant and feeling yucky. I had decided I didn't like summer. As it turns out, I just didn't feel very good. I really DO like the summer. Granted we haven't had very hot weather yet (actually very rainy), but the kids and I have been out doing all sorts of fun activities the last couple of weeks.

We did not, however, do any time traveling. There was a free movie promotion for Disney's Christmas Carol up at the train station in Ogden. We went with our friends, the Taylors. The company was fantastic, but the activity was pretty much a bust. Way too crowded and we would have had to wait three hours to go on the Disney train. With ten children between us, waiting was NOT an option. So we went to play at a park instead.

Climbing on real trains is real fun.

Next stop-- Mars. We joined a group in our neighborhood for a movie at the Clarke Planetarium.

Little Fay-Fay visits the moon.

Cannon enjoys being out and about. He's quite the little extrovert.

Today was the Liberty Girls Retreat. Several chapters of the Liberty Girls gathered for an afternoon of activities and a family dinner. The girls had a great time until the very end when we thought Elinor might have broken her wrist- she didn't but it was sad and painful.

Faith sits on her Frog Prince. While the girls were at the Retreat I took the other children to the Utah Museum of Natural History where they had a Frog exhibit.

It's been a fun week but I think we're ready for a day at home.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A shout-out to our friends in the northwest

We've had A LOT of rain lately. A LOT! It was sunny-well, at least not rainy- this morning, so we headed up Little Cottonwood Canyon for a little hike and picnic. It rained again. We brought along our ponchos for just such weather. I thought of our friends and family who live in the northwest where rain is much more a way of life.

Fortunately the rained stopped after our little picnic (under a pavilion). This very easy trail was up by Snowbird Ski Resort. It was paved and only 1 mile round trip. I guess that can't really be called hiking, but we did see a deer and I was irrationally keeping watch for any bears.

There were still some patches of snow, but it wasn't cold, just crisp. Elinor is wearing her softball sweatshirt, but because of all the rain her last two softball games were cancelled (including one scheduled for today) so we had to go do something fun instead.

When I see pictures of the whole family I think, "wow, that is a lot of little kids. Surely they can't all be mine?" But they are and I love them. Life seems to be passing very quickly and I have some real concerns about my memory. I think that it is just sleep deprivation, but my hope is that when I look back at the pictures and stories on this blog it will all come back to me--at least the good parts!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

This ain't your parents' dentist

My children go to a pediatric dentist. They LOVE going to the dentist. On dentist day they get up and get going-- no complaints, no lollygagging. They are in the car, getting their seat belts on. They love to get new toothbrushes. They love to wear sunglasses and watch movies on the ceiling. The office is totally decorated with every character kids love. In this picture Faith is getting her bag of dentist goodies. She wore her fairy wings for the occasion.

So, the kids love the dentist. But I also love our dentist. He makes me feel so good about myself. He thinks I'm wonderful! He thinks I take such good care of my children's teeth. He praises me about the spacing of their teeth. He gives me thumbs up and tells me to "keep up the great work!"

I would be horrified if people knew all the teeth brushings that have been skipped in their childhood. We are diligent brushers as they get older because they get stinky breath if they don't. I think flossing is WAY overrated. We are certainly no poster family for the American Dental Association.

And yet. . . he is right. The kids have amazing teeth. They've got Abe's teeth of steel and my humongous mouth with plenty of space for their teeth. I can put my fist in my mouth. It's not pretty, but I saved my parents a load of cash because I didn't need braces.

I'm going to schedule our next dental appointments for when I'm feeling a little down. Of course it will probably all come crashing down when we have a child who gets my soft enamel and Abe's crooked teeth! I'll enjoy it while it lasts.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It Never Pays to Have Fun

It never pays to have fun)This is a funny little saying my sister-in-law (Lori) has to describe the efforts of trying to go do something fun with the kids and it doesn't go as well as you hope. Sometimes the hassle of it all isn't worth it. But today it was! Our friend Allison took the kids bowling yesterday and discovered that kids can bowl one game FREE everyday of the whole summer (you just have to pay $1.50 for shoe rental). We don't plan to actually bowl everyday of the summer but I was so thrilled with the good deal that we did go today. Only $8 for bowling! The girls all used the bumpers so there was no possibility of the dreaded gutter ball. Clark was more ambitious and bowled half the frames with no bumpers with a total of 4 pins knocked down. As you can imagine it was pretty disheartening for him. Finally he opted for the bumpers too and his game improved dramatically. I don't mean to brag or anything..cough, cough... but I scored 133! My dad taught us to bowl when we kids were young. I think I'll have to enlist him to teach my kids to bowl!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ooo-La La -- I am 100!!!

This is my 100th post! Hooray for me!
Little Cannon is one busy, wiggly little boy. I hear that a lot of babies are very active-- I just haven't had one yet-- until now. I was making up a baptism program and for just a minute I wasn't watching Cannon. I had that "mother feeling" that said "go check on Cannon!" and I found him at the top of the stairs with two pairs of scissors!!! YIKES. Obviously he was quite pleased with himself.
Pay no attention to the junk in the hall. We were cleaning out bedrooms.
Cannon had his one year check up today. I was sad to find out he had an ear infection, but kind of glad because at least there is a good reason he's been quite grouchy lately.

Last Thursday we spent an evening up Big Cottonwood Canyon for dinner with our good friends - the Johansens. It was great fun except for the moose that kept wandering fairly close to the campsite. Well, the kids thought the moose was great fun, but having a moose by my little people makes me nervous.

Weekend of FUN, FUN, FUN!!! Matt and Misty made a very quick trip down to Utah this weekend. So we all joined for a birthday lunch for Allison on Saturday. It's not too often we all get together now, so it was a REAL treat.

I am a fan of little girls being little girls, but on dance recital day we do LOVE playing beauty salon and getting gussied up for the big event. The girls' dance recital was Saturday night. Bethany was in three dances and Elinor was in two and it was so fun to watch. It was quite a family event with Matt and Misty, Brig and Dev, and Grandma and Grandpa Cannon being there.

Bethany did her ballet dance first. She was nervous for the evening but she danced beautifully. She has improved so much this year.

Elinor was in a class of only three girls, so it was almost like a solo for her. She did particularly well in her tap dance.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What Mother Could Be Prouder?

What mother could be prouder? Elinor, the Dragon. School is "out" and that means the creativity has been kicked into high gear.

I buy scotch tape in bulk at Costco and yet when we really need tape for something we can't find it because the kids use it for so many other things. If for some reason we couldn't have any toys at our house I truly believe the kids would be completely satisfied if we had five things: paper, scissors, tape, string, and crayons (or colored pencils, or markers). The possibilities are endless!!!!

Elinor eats her dragon food. What a good little dragon! In case you wonder what dragons eat? At our house they eat pretzels and tortilla chips.

"Oh, Clark! It's time to practice the piano!"

I've heard that every good piano player had a really mean mom. That might be true. Yes, my son was hiding in the recycling bin. Apparently we aren't big recyclers because the bin was empty and quite clean.

We've had a busy schedule lately and we finally got around to Cannon's little party last night. One would like to have these events be very special and memorable, but I'm sad say Abe and I were a bit tense last night and Cannon got pretty fussy and it didn't really go over that great. Children are very perceptive to such things. So this morning Clark made an addition to the "Happy 1st Birthday Cannon" sign. At the top he added, "not very". Sad. I guess there's always next year.

Faith loves to ride her bike. She's a busy girl keeping up with her sisters.

Kids and trees are friends. Abe took this picture of Faith and I think she looks a little nervous. I would be nervous too if I was sitting on that small branch!