Sunday, February 28, 2010

You Might Have Watched Too Much Olympics

Signs that your family is obsessed with the Olympics to a very unhealthy level:

* On a daily basis you know the exact medal counts for the leading 10 countries down to exactly how many of each color medal they've won.

* Your 7-year-old daughter regales the entire Jr. Primary with a lengthy explanation of the mechanics and physics of the game of curling.

* You get a MASSIVE head cold and lose your voice because you've stayed up WAY too late for two weeks straight watching Olympics.

* You know TONS of Olympics trivia you can spout off about at any given moment. (The last and only time the U.S. has led the Winter Olympics medal count was the 2nd Winter Olympics, 1932 Lake Placid, NY.)

* You can't remember what you used to talk about at the dinner table before the Olympics started.

* You tell your children that any country that comes close to us in the medal count is our sworn enemy.

*You fear being swallowed by the giant void in your life that is sure to follow the Closing Ceremonies.

It all ends today. This is a good thing. Although, I do worry about that last one.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Elinor Turns Seven

Look! We have a curly haired red-headed boy!

Sort of.
This is a true picture with no photo shopping or anything. As Cannon's hair is getting a little longer it has quite a bit of body and definitely a reddish tint. One night after his tubbie I put a bit of curl enhancer in and this was the result.
I think it is so cute! But it didn't last. I still think he's pretty cute.

He was pretty pleased with himself as well. Couldn't you just EAT him up!

Elinor turned 7 yesterday. She's pretty tall for her age. VERY tall. Here she is with a couple of her favorite friends. She is a full head taller than both of them. I hope they catch up over the next few years or stake dances could be very uncomfortable.

Elinor opened her presents yesterday and was delighted with new softball equipment. Bethany will be joining her this season so she got an early birthday present so they could practice together.
These two sisters have very different personalities, but I love to watch them interact with each other. They are best friends who share clothes, shoes, toys, a room, a bed (by choice), books, and friends. They are kind to one another and they include Faith in their games. What a lucky mommy I am.

Today was the party! Elinor has never had her own birthday party. Oh, she has had parties, but they've always been combined with Bethany. We thought it would be good for her to have her own (although, I don't think she cared much either way).
What a GREAT group of kids! We had pizza and cake and ice cream and then lots of fun birthday games--pin the tail on the donkey, musical chairs, four corners. It was a very fun afternoon and I am so grateful for good friends for my children. The blond girl on the far left is Elinor's cousin, Gentri.

This is kind of a boring picture, (except for Faith), but our family room works out great for a game area. We just push the couches all the way back and it gives us a good, big area for play.
Abe and Clark were the decorating committee. They did well. We'll just leave the decorations up until Faith's birthday later in March.

Thanks to the dollar store, you can throw a pretty fun birthday party on a pretty small budget!
One girl birthday party down this month--- two to go next month!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Grumpy Hour

I saw a bumper sticker (or maybe it was a license plate cover) that read, "Sometimes I wake up grumpy... and sometimes I let him sleep."

Poor Abe. This is probably very much how he feels about me. I am kind of grouchy in the morning. Well, not necessarily grouchy, but VERY groggy, which I'm sure comes across as grouchy. Then he comes home in the evening in my actually grouchy time. In between 5:00 and 6:30 pm I am frightening. I'm getting dinner ready, and helping straggling children get their school work finished, and listening to music practice, and trying to keep Cannon off the kitchen table, and I'm hungry and tired and I am biting everyone's head off.
So there you have it. I'm not proud of my behavior.

This evening Abe came home to find me asleep. I'm sure he breathed a sigh of relief and threatened the children that they had better not disturb me. As it turned out, I did get a lovely happy nappy and woke up refreshed. I avoided my whole grumpy hour (as opposed to happy hour) altogether. I must remember this tactic.

So lets talk Olympics. Are you loving them?

1. Why do all the luge guys look the same? They all have identical goatees and similar facial shapes. We call it attack of the clones. Actually, luge is one of the few events I don't find that interesting. I am particularly disturbed by double luge. I think it looks unnatural, but beyond that, what is the point? Why don't they have triple or quadruple luge? Why don't we just see how many human beings we can stack on top of each other and send down an ice track?

2. Short track. This is probably Abe's favorite event to watch (although he's gained a new appreciation for curling- not kidding). It is super exciting and unpredictable. I enjoy it also, but talk about anxiety! I almost can't handle it. It's worse than watching "24". In Clark's words, "I can't watch- I'm going to pee my pants!"

3. Iceskating. Who doesn't love iceskating. I guess most men don't particularly care for it, but I love it. What a poor sport the Russian who won the silver is. I think Evan Lysacek deserved to win and was very gracious about it. But did you see his Alfalfa hair when he did his spins. Hee hee hee. The women's figure skating will be near the end of the Olympics and one of our Americans is a girl named Rachel Platt (I think-too lazy to look up for sure). Anyway, when we were watching the U.S. Nationals Faith saw her and said, "She looks like a bunny". It was true. She's cute, but her face does indeed resemble a rabbit. See for yourself.

4. Shaun White in snowboard half pipe. Whoa! How does he do it so much better than everyone else?

5. Women's snowboard half pipe. Come on ladies. I know I can't snowboard at all, but it you can't land this stuff don't do it. They were wiping out all over the place. I suppose that is part of the sport, but I was disappointed.

6. I just told Abe I think I would like to go cross country skiing someday. I want to do the freestyle kind. If you've been watching your Olympics you'll know what kind that is. I think it looks fun without all the risk. Except for avalances. I'd still worry about that. Do you think I have anxiety issues?

7. I don't like Bob Costas. My mom didn't like him either. My kids keep asking why. I don't have a good answer.

I'd better go. Ice dancing is on!

Friday, February 12, 2010

La Caille to DI

Abe and I went on our Valentine's date tonight. Last year in May we purchased a $50 gift certificate for $25 to a fancy-pants restaurant named La Caille (rhymes with La Tie). We'd been to this restaurant once before for a super nice wedding reception for the daughter of Abe's boss. When we bought the gift certificate I thought surely $50 would be plenty to cover a nice dinner out.
I was wrong. Big time wrong. At La Caille $50 will cover one entree. That's it. No appetizer, no drink, no dessert. ONE ENTREE.
When we got there we weren't quite sure how much food we would get, but we had decided we would not go over the gift certificate. So, we ended up just getting dessert. Mighty tasty dessert, I must add. Also, we skipped the valet parking and actually parked our own car. How chinsy can we get? But who cares-- I park my own car everyday, everywhere I go, so it's something I feel very comfortable with. Not to mention my minivan is like a toxic waste dump. Like I'm going to let some young man get in there without a hazmat suit.

We didn't linger too long at the restaurant because we wanted to catch a movie since we had a real babysitter and we didn't have to worry about the kiddos. Besides, when you've sworn an oath not to spend more than $50 at La Caille, you don't really want to hang around watching everyone enjoy their food.

We had a few minutes before our movie to run into the DI just across the street. I was looking for a Little Tykes basketball hoop for Cannon. No luck, but interestly, (or sadly, depending on your opinion) I felt more comfortable at the DI than the fancy-pants restaurant. Talk about your socio-economic spread--La Caille to DI.

Growing Up is Hard To Do

We have a very normal size house, but if you put two parents and five home schooled children and various pets into a normal size house, all of a sudden your house just got a bit smaller.
This picture is Clark's solution. Lego land is a 3x6 gated off area in the family room between the couch and the bookshelves where he regularly builds his legos and listens to books on tape.
This works out great for everyone. This post is all about my eldest.
First children. Sure, they get to do everything first, but man, what a price they have to pay in dealing with inexperienced parents! Clark turns 11 this year and Abe and I are both very pleased with the young man he is becoming. Clark and I do lock horns occasionally and we are both very grateful Abe is there smooth things over on both ends.
But this post is actually about the signs of the times that Clark is growing up. Like I said, I am very happy to see who he is becoming and I look forward to what he will do in life, but I am a mother. Which means I get to miss the little boy things that are not to be anymore. (Enter my tears). So here are some of the signs of the time:
1. When we go to see our pediatric dentist who gives out balloons shaped in to animals or swords when we're all done, Clark refuses his balloon. (What? He loves those balloons--or at least he did love them.)

2. When we all go to Walmart to get our valentines and candy, Clark asks if he can just give out candy and skip the valentines. (At first he didn't want to do anything at all. He finally did give in when he saw cool dinosaurs that moved when tilted. I guess he's got a few more years.)

3. If he's hungry, he can just make himself some food. (This one I'm super happy about, but then I forget that not all the kids can make their own food. Sorry I forgot to feed you, Cannon.)

4. Doesn't have to be told to brush his teeth and comb his hair. (Oh, happy day. I know several teenagers who have a problem here.)

5. He reminds me of events we have scheduled for the day. (I actually do need quite a bit of help with this).

6. He insists that Abe wake him up when he gets up for work and not let him sleep in till his lazy mother gets up (I added that lazy part, he is respectful and would NEVER say that, but it's true), so that that he can get started on his school work.

To Clark (who I know reads my posts) I say to you, forgive your mother all of her shortcomings. I really am trying the best I can. And someday when you remind me of something I did wrong I will apologize and tell you that I really did the best I could. So, it would probably be best not to ever bring those things up, because it will probably just make me cry. You wouldn't want to make your mother cry, would you? Love you, Clark.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Good Things January

It is working. After 13 years of marriage and family I said, "NOPE, I'm not doing all the dishes anymore!" Abe, Clark, Bethany and I are all in the weekly rotation for dish duty. Hooray for me! After some initial backlash (which was to be expected) it is going very smoothly.
With the exception of the couple of days Clark tried to load the dishwasher with VERY dirty, food encrusted dishes; which food then cooked on the heating element producing a very strong burning smell.
He has since learned that there is a reason we rinse the dishes before loading them.

Clark's First Lego League team went back to Pocatello for the State competition (after winning a category in regionals). They WON first place in the same category again. They were thrilled, but didn't rank high enough overall to go to nationals/worlds in Atlanta. That's okay, because that would have been some kind of fundraising nightmare. Their project was researching energy producing speed bumps.
Great group of boys.

This little guy is growing up very quickly. He's about 21 months and just as much trouble as he looks. He loves balls and cars. He is obsessed with the basketball hoops at church. He knows what they are there for and it is very frustrating to him that he can't get a ball up there.
He recently ripped several pages out of Clark's scriptures and tore the earrings out of a favorite doll of Bethany's. He likes to throw things away. Our can-opener went missing a couple of months back and we can only figure that he threw it away. The Cannon-ator strikes fear into the heart of the young and old who do not put their things away.
For Abe's birthday Clark made him a Lego look-alike. He also created Elinor's likeness. Abe took his to work. It's kind of like getting a bobble-head of yourself (like Dwight from The Office).

Also in honor of Abe's birthday we turned our monthly book club into a cold cereal party. All the sugar cereal you cared to eat. The kids were never so anxious for dinner at book club before. But I must admit that by the end of the evening nobody (with the exception of Abe) was feeling very good. The kids admitted that lots of sugar cereal doesn't make your body feel good.
Important lesson learned.

The little ladies of the club wrote a song entitled, "Fabulous Five". It was so catchy that I'll share the lyrics with you, but remember they are copyrighted.
Fabulous Five
Dead or alive
We are all connected

Fanciest Five
Strong and Alive
We are all connected

Bethany, Elinor, Raven, Faith and Gracie
We are all connected
This picture is of their debut performance. Sorry you weren't there to witness it. It was really something.
Clark and Abe went to a Jazz game last night. Included with your registration fee for Junior Jazz comes two "free" Jazz game tickets. It was fun for them. They didn't climb all the way up to the top of the arena just for the view and a picture. Nope. That's where their seats were. I guess if you're getting "free" tickets you get the nosebleed section.

The February Blues

Please indulge me:

da DA da da DA
da DA da da DA

Well the sky is all gray
da DA da da DA
And it's too cold to play
da Da da da DA

And the house is a mess
da DA da da DA
Cause it's boring to clean
da DA da da DA

I ain't got no money
da DA da da DA
Because the taxes aren't done
da DA da da DA

We don't want to do school
da DA da da DA
So I say "just go read"
da Da da da DA

I say this is the month
da Da da da DA
When I feel pretty sad
da Da da da Da

I've got the FEB-RU-AR-REE-EE Blues
Oh, nooooooooooo.

Sorry everyone. I know it's lame, but this is the time of year when I hope for my non-trauma induced coma to set in. Wake me when it's March.
How's that for self pity? I'll get over myself.