Friday, October 30, 2009

In the spirit of Halloween

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

I encouraged the kids to write Halloween stories.

Here is Clark's, which he has posted on his blog, but I can't resist sharing here. It is so disturbing. Please don't report us to anyone. I don't know where these ideas come from.

The Glass Doll by Clark

Once upon a time there was a family. In the family there was a mom, dad, brother and sister. One day the girl wanted a glass doll so the mom got her one. The girl was so happy. That night the mom heard a voice. "I am at the door," CRRREEEAAAKKK. The door opened. "I am at the bed, I am at the bed". Then the mom saw the glass doll with a kitchen knife. The next morning the girl went into the moms room and screamed. The mom was cut into a million pieces and the glass doll was siting on the bed with a bloody knife

Ahhhh! I found these pictures on the camera! Have you ever read Edith and the Lonely Doll series? Nevermind.

He did in fact continue it.

The glass doll continued... by Clark

That day they had the funeral for the mom. Every one was very sad. That evening the the girl smashed the glass doll and put in the trash can. That same evening the brother said to the sister that's a really ugly glass doll that you had. then the girl ran to her room and cried. That that night the brother heard a voice. "I am at the door," CRRREEEAAAKKK. The door opened. "I am at the bed, I am at the bed". Then the boy saw the the glass doll.It was all cracked up but glued together. And the doll had a rope in her hand. The next morning the girl went into the brothers room to say good morning but the boy was not in his bed.Then she looked in his closet and screamed. the boy was hanging by his neck dead. And the glass doll was in the closet holding the rope.


Heaven help us.

This boy reads too much.

Abuelo y Espanol

Abuelo y Espanol.

Grandpa comes to help us with Spanish 2 or 3 times a month. We are using an online Spanish course that we quite like, called Power Speak.
Grandpa brings his laptop and the kids all squish around him on the couch and we try to learn Spanish.

There are two tricky factors to work around.
Factor#1 is the Cannon factor. This little boy is beyond adored around here. But, he is quite a busy, active, loud, fiesty, determined, squirmy little dude. I haven't had a baby like him before. Just think the opposite of Faith and that is Cannon! Like I said, we love him and he is so funny and interactive, but the Cannon factor is real and must be planned for.

Factor #2 is how fun it is to have Grandpa here and how much fun he is to show off for. Basically it looks like I have zippo discipline and kids are bouncing off the walls and getting seriously wound up. My dad probably wonders how it is that I haven't lost my mind being with them all day. But I swear, Dad, they aren't like that all day. You bring it out of them:P Here, look at the pictures to prove it:

See. . he is doing math. That's discipline, right?

Oh, and here Bethany is kindly helping Elinor with her math. We do have moments of peace. I'll have to think about how to encourage the peace and calm during Spanish lessons.

However, Dad, it would help if you didn't act out Spanish bull fights for them anymore! That seems to rile them up :P

Happy Day

We've had our first good snow of the season. The kids were delighted. The dog enjoyed frolicking in it. I, too, was happy to see the green disappear.

It made me want to make soup and cookies and gather my childs around and read books all day.

But no.
My people would not rest until they had gone out to play and build a snow monster (what happened to snow men?).

I do want them to go play in snow and obviously they are ecstatic, but nothing can ruin home school academic plans like snow falling. I guess it's not that different from regular school. Maybe I need to chill out. Okay, I DO need to chill out.

But that is not the worst of it. I LOATHE snow clothes. I think I wrote about this last winter. I think if all 5 of my children had complete sets of snow clothes that fit, (coats, boots, gloves, hats, scarves, snow pants) then it might not be so bad. Instead we pull out the bins of random winter clothing and have to outfit everybody. Note to self: it is time to restock some winter clothing.

I just wasn't ready for it yet this season. I needed to get through Halloween first. So I told them they could go out, but they were on their own for protection from the elements. Clark didn't want to brave the bins in the basement so he opted for socks instead of gloves. Faith was the only one I would help, because she is three and last time I let her get her own snow clothes on she only made it as far as a hat and nightgown with no underwear.

Any advice on dealing with snow clothes?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Facebook Retraction

When navigating the world of online socializing, namely Facebook and blogs, I try to always keep it positive. I figure people have enough stress dealing with their own problems-- why would they want to be burdened with mine? I try to follow Thumper's advice: If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

But last week, I broke my rule and publicly complained about Cannon at church. This post is sort of my retraction.

This was a delightful Sunday at our house.

Here are my lovely ladies just before church.

For those who don't understand why people get dressed up for church. Why do your hair nicely for church, if you aren't doing it nicely the other days of the week.
Why go to church and talk about ways to act that you don't always do? Isn't that kind of hypocritical?

But I don't think that is it at all. When we are getting ready for church and putting on our nicest clothes and doing our hair and behaving our best-- we get to be the closest to what we really want to be. It's the day we get to be our best selves. This is who we really are. It's just harder to remember the rest of the week.
This afternoon was pumpkin carving day!

It is pretty much a whole day's affair.

Abe takes his pumpkin carving very seriously. Fortunately, Clark is learning the art and so Abe didn't have to carve everybody's this year.

I don't carve pumpkins. Neither does Bethany. Elinor is not quite ready to yield a knife and obviously Faith is not either.
Clark carved his, Bethany's and Cannon's.
Abe did the rest.
I did make them all some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, though!

Also, we don't MAKE them carve our pumpkins. They like it. I guess they are the artist type.

Here are the masterpieces.
From bottom left: Abe, Cannon, Tessa, Faith (it's a dog), mine (notice the bangs).
From top left: Elinor, Clark, Bethany

Daddy-Daughter Date

Is there anything funner for a six-year-old girl than a date with her Daddy? From Elinor's face in all these pictures, I would say NO!

Elinor and Abe went to a Salt Lake Real soccer game together. Elinor got a pair of complimentary tickets from the league she played soccer with.

It's hard not to smile when looking at this picture.

They even got to go out to eat together! I stayed home with the other kiddos. Both Clark and Bethany tried this technique: "Mom, since Elinor is getting to go out to eat and go to the soccer game, can we ______(fill in the blank)?"

Sorry, gang. I'm not really into the whole equality thing. Eventually it all evens out and nobody in this house is lacking for any fun or attention.

It's good that at the time they didn't know Elinor was also getting hot chocolate, popcorn and a churro. That would have been truly unjust.

Like I said, there is nothing better than a daddy daughter day when you're six!

Witches Night Out!

Clark's got a girlfriend! Clark's got a girlfriend! Clark's got a girlfriend!

This from the woman who twenty times a day tells my man-child to "STOP TEASING YOUR SISTERS!!!!".

Hmmm. . . Is it possible I am actually encouraging the teasing in our house? I'll have to think about that.

It was our 2nd annual outing to see the witches at Gardner Village. You can do a scavenger hunt in which you write down the location of lots of the witches and the prize for completion is a cookie from the bakery for $.25 instead of $.90. We did complete it and we did get cookies.

But they weren't very good. Clark said, "Man, I'd be embarrassed to sell these cookies for$.25. It would be a crime to sell them for $.90!

My favorite witch and me. Sadly my witch was missing one hand and her other hand was severely mangled. I guess there wasn't money in the budget for repairs this year.

Hooray! Cannon is a walker! But he follows the philosophy of all Fox babies at our house-- "SAFETY FIRST!" He is not one to get injured in the walking process. It is all very slow and methodical. There is an occasional bump down onto the diaper-padded bum, but no head crashing. I appreciate that.

We met up with Brig and Dev's family and they joined us back at our house for games and hot chocolate. Takara snuggled with Faith and Bethany on the couch.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Ultimate in "White and Nerdy"

Listen to this song. This is the Lego version because I couldn't put the real one up. Search YouTube for "White and Nerdy" by Weird Al.

This song hits a little too close to home. My home that is. We may be the whitest, nerdiest family in America. Exhibit A:
We are all Star Trek for Halloween this year. Check out the cutie little Vulcan down in front. I could just bite her ears!

Exibit B:
We LOVE watching videos of the "Donny and Marie Show" from the late 70's.

Exhibit C: We (as in Abe and the kids) regularly play role playing games just for fun. Known in some circles as D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) although we play a watered down "Adventures" version.

Other evidence from the song: We do enjoyTrivial Pursuit. Clark does have a chess mentor. We do attend a 2-day renaissance event.

Yes, I'm afraid there is no denying the truth. We are WHITE AND NERDY!
How did this happen?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October Happenings

Clark's annual Halloween vampire.

The decorations are outdoors as well. Be afraid. Be very afraid. We take Halloween seriously around these parts.

Our October Kids' Book Club. We read Number the Stars by Lois Lowry and everyone seemed to enjoy it.
We ran races and played a game of hide-and-seek.

The annual corn-maze outing with the Johansens.

Followed by donuts and hot chocolate. The other tradition is the spilled hot chocolate. It happens every year. Every single year.

I Ran Away From Home

And guess who was really mad at me when I got home?

When he saw me he burst out crying and would NOT let me hold him. He buried his head on Abe's shoulder and wouldn't even look at me.

This is the look he gave me (from a distance) for several hours. Sadness.

Eventually, we did make up.

And yes, I got bangs.

Of course the kiddos were delighted with their little gifts I brought home.

I had a really enjoyable time cramming in as much Shakespeare as we possibly could. I went with my good friend Andrea. We saw the funniest play I've ever seen: The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Macbeth, and Tuesdays With Morrie. In addition, the high school Shakespeare competition was happening so we watched lots of other scenes and got to listen to all the judges critiques. It was a crash course in Shakespeare acting.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Lone Man

Abe here. This is for all intents and purposes Betsy's blog, and I get to read it, enjoy it and make lame comments in the comments section........but I just had to put something up tonight.

You see, for the next THREE nights (and basically four days, counting today) I will be "A Lone Man". This is the longest separation from one another we have experienced in over 6 years, and I do not like it!!! I know, Bets, I know, you will have a splendid time, and the kids and I will be just fine, Henry Higgins put it:

[Dang]! [Dang]! [Dang]! [Dang]!
I've grown accustomed to [your] face.
[You make] the day begin.
I've grown accustomed to the tune that
[You] whistle night and noon.
[Your] smiles, [your] frowns,
[Your] ups, [your] downs
Are second nature to me now;
Like breathing out and breathing in.......
I've grown accustomed to [your] look;
Accustomed to [your] voice;
Accustomed to [your] face.

Betsy, I am missing you Oh-So-Terribly already, and it is just the first night.

I love you.


P.S. And I do not care how mushy this is and how many people may view this fact, I want this to go internet-viral!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hair and Space Camp

Add ImageWe were up north today taking Bethany and Elinor to a day at Space Camp. In the meantime we headed over to visit Grandma and Grandpa and begged for free haircuts.

Grandpa has many years experience under his belt of cutting hair. He said he practiced a lot on my brothers before they were old enough to care. Smart.

Clark wanted a buzz/Army cut and we think Grandpa did a mighty fine job. I told Clark he should have cut it short during the summer and grown it long during the winter. I think he's so handsome!

But this was the REAL accomplishment of the day. Grandpa's next task was Cannon's head of hair.

Cannon did pretty good. He had a hairy lolly pop by the end, but he thought the "tickly" clippers were funny.

By the end he had had enough!

He might not look too happy here, but compared to the pictures of Clark's first haircut, Cannon is downright giddy. I'm still traumatized by Clark's first haircut (which Grandpa did as well). I think there was a baby headlock involved. We've both learned a few tricks since then.

All was forgiven and they were friends at the end. He looks so grown up! (Cannon, that is. Grandpa looks very grown up too!)

And the girls loved Space Camp. On a scale of 1 to 10 the girls started out ranking it a 12, but made it all the way up to 1,000! That's good.
Clark went to a Space Camp yesterday and was thrilled to get to be the Captain of his mission.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It Left as Quickly as it Came

Sunday morning Cannon woke up throwing up and continued for most of the day. No problem. I can handle one sick baby. He was better by bedtime.

Monday morning I woke up sick and then about every hour another of us succumbed to the vicious stomach bug. By six o'clock pm every family member (minus Cannon) was laid out on our bed and floor, completely incapacitated.

Once I watched a Little House of the Prairie mini-series by Disney. In one episode the whole family gets sick with scarlet fever (?) or some other life threatening illness. They are all laying around looking out of dizzy, unfocused eyes. No one is able to get up and help anybody else.

That was us! I was so grateful Cannon napped well because I could not take care of him. Fortunately Clark was one of the last to succumb so he helped a lot earlier in the day. Abe had to miss his class because he caught it.

Now here is the miracle. Today we are all perfectly well. No upset tummies. No throw up. Normal activities. And A LOT of laundry! Every single bit of linen that has seen the light of day during the illness is getting washed.

As quickly as it came, it left. That is my kind of sickness for a family of seven. Imagine if that nasty bug had lingered! I'll take one horrific day and get it over with.