Sunday, April 25, 2010

So Happy for the Coming Week

I am so happy for the coming week, because last week we were CRAZY busy and I'm looking forward to a normal week. Normal will seem relaxing. The past week was filled with mostly great activities, but just too many of them. I will put up some pictures and details soon, but the exhaustion is still too fresh in my mind and I'm trying to relax, so I can't go there yet. Too much fun stresses Clark and I out. Everyone else seems okay with it, but he and I tend to butt heads and lock horns frequently when we aren't with our normal routine.
I said last week was mostly great activities. Now let's talk about what wasn't so great, yesterday, I spent much of the day at a dance competition. Blah!
Bethany and Faith take ballet classes at a local dance studio. Over the past several years I must confess to being a dance studio hopper. Meaning, I'm quite picky about what I look for in a dance studio and if a certain place isn't working for us, we'll move on. Right now Bethany takes ballet twice a week. That's it--no jazz, no tap-- just ballet. She likes it and I like it and really, with ballet, there's no worry about questionable music or costumes.
Faith takes a 45 minute "ballet" class once a week. Besides, her Sunbeam class at church, this is her only outside of the home activity. I don't really think she NEEDS it, but she does love it so I'm fine with it.
The thing about this dance studio that I DO NOT LIKE is that ALL the dance classes have to participate in one dance competition each spring.
RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!! Faith-- who is FREAKING FOUR YEARS OLD!- had to do a dance competition for her "Dream Ballet" dance. Let's be honest. These darling little girls have next to no clue what they are doing. I don't expect them to. That's part of what makes them so cute.
Bethany's class also competed with a beautiful ballet dance. I don't have a problem so much with her age group competing, as I have a problem with competition in BALLET! It's ballet for Pete's sake! It is an art!
That is the first layer of my disgust with yesterday's activities. The next level is the costumes and music for many of the dances. Ballet dancing was in the minority at the competition. Most of the dancers are jazz, hip-hop and lyrical. Let's just say, ballet seems a safer route.
And the last layer has to do with my own insecurities. GEEZ! Where are all these "hot-mamas" coming from? Am I possibly as frumpy as I felt yesterday? These mothers-of-dancers are so stylish. I may not leave my house until it's time to have this baby!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

2010 Family Pictures

It is always a relief to get family pictures over with for the year. I am quite pleased with how they turned out--thank you, Allison! These were taken at a park in a neighboring town.

Clark had a moment this afternoon when he got a bit upset with Bethany. A bit later I showed the kids this picture and Clark says, "In that picture it LOOKS like we're a happy family and we're all smiling and love each other. Not like we really are!"

Ouch! And I beg to differ! We do look like a happy family, and we are. But we're also human and sometimes get annoyed with each other and don't treat each other how we should. We're all trying our best and I appreciate pictures like this that remind me what we're working towards-- a happy family that is smiling and loves each other.

Here are the individual shots:
Clark- almost 11 years old

Bethany - 9 years old

Elinor - 7 years old

Faith - 4 years old

Cannon - almost 2 years old

Here are the boys.

The little ladies.

The responsible party for the above population explosion.

I hope it is okay if I share this next story (and I hope I get it right), but it is one of my favorites. Abe comes from a family of nine children. He was born and raised in Spokane, WA where large families certainly aren't the norm. One day when Mom Fox was grocery shopping a checker asked her why she had so many children. I don't think she asked it in a nice way. Mom Fox is the sweetest lady you'll meet, but she's no wilting flower. She responded, "An angel told me to do it." I don't think the checker would have thought her any less crazy if she'd told her the real reason-- that she LOVES each child and loves mothering them. Well that, and she was so curious to see what the next one would look like!
In another few months we'll excitedly welcome our 7th child into our family and I completely understand how she felt. But I'm ready with a few quips of my own in case I encounter any nosy grocery checkers.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Just Want to Be Heard

I have nothing profound to share in this post. No big, fun activity with the kiddos. No big news to announce. I just want to write a bit and see where I go.

The weather was PERFECT today. I turned off the thermostat and the indoor temperature stayed exactly where I would have set it anyway--69 degrees. Very comfortable and at NO COST! Yipee! I opened up all the windows and left the sliding back door open all day so that my little people (Faith and Cannon) could come and go as they saw fit. The backyard is fenced so in nice weather I consider the backyard an extension of the house. The funny thing is, Abe NEVER criticizes the shape of the house. It can be REALLY messy and either he doesn't notice (smart man) or he notices, but doesn't say anything. However, if ANYTHING is left in the backyard there is an immediate interrogation to find the offender and to remedy the situation. Why is this?

Now it is time for a confession. A shameful confession. Some of you may never speak to me again or read my blog anymore after you hear this, but here goes. We said goodbye to our dog, Winston. We took him to a place where another family can take better care of him. That's what we told the kids. What? IT'S POSSIBLE!
Let's be honest, we never should have gotten a dog. It was a horrible, stupid, rash decision made on a sunny spring day. We never took the time to train him. The kids were/are totally fine with the decision. They are delighted to have the backyard back. Well, there it is--will you still be our friends?

Today I went to the store and seriously stocked up on cold cereal. There was a deal at a local grocery store to get 5 boxes for $5. But I used a coupon and ended up paying $.40 a box. That's a good price! So I bought 50 boxes. But I'm not satisfied yet- I'm going out to get more tonight. What a thrill! A woman behind me asked if we would really go through that much cereal. What a silly question. Has she ever heard of food storage? Now, where to put all this cereal?

I started this post last night but I got distracted by "Survivor" (the TV show). Abe and I used to be the biggest Survivor fans on the planet. Then we fell away for several years. We are back watching this season. This leads me to a point I've wanted to make for a while. Brace yourselves-- it's a little bit controversial.
I hope we're not a family that lives and breathes for TV. That being said, I do not believe that the TV is Satan's little helper. We have a TV and we watch it sometimes. We get the very most basic channel package and we have a DVR (a digital video recorder-AKA Tivo). There are a few shows the kids like to watch and a few Abe and I like. We quickly fast forward through commercials and rarely channel surf.
In some circles people proudly proclaim to the world that they have no TV. Wow! How admirable. Think of all the productive ways they spend their time. They never get sucked into wasting an hour of their life on meaningless entertainment.
But wait! Then they proclaim that they watch certain shows on their computer.
Okay, so what's the difference? Who cares if you are watching it on an old fashioned TV or on a fancy laptop?
If you truly don't watch any shows on TV, but you regularly watch all the latest movies-- is that much different, either?
There is a ton of JUNK on TV, but I think it's ridiculous to vilify all entertainment that is broadcast on TV.
That's all.
If this post bugged you, wait till my next one, when I will discuss, "What a Woman Wants".

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring Happenings

Clark has as many Cub Scout pack meetings left in his Cub Scout career as I have months left of this pregnancy. Abe is his Webelos leader and only one other scout comes to den meeting, but Clark enjoys it nonetheless. In this picture he was the anchor for a game of tug-o-war. I think he looks a little demented here, but I'm sure it helped to intimidate the other team.

Softball season is underway for the girls who are playing on the same team. I'm so happy there has been some sunshine lately-- it is good for the soul.

Here's an action shot of Bethany's first hit to get on base.

I'm sorry to embarrass Bethany with this picture, but she is funny. She told me she is so uncomfortable having to stick her bum out when she's batting or "ready" in the field. "But Mom, in dance I'm NEVER suppose to stick my bum out!"

Cannon was having his breakfast on Saturday and he noticed the sports page had a picture of his most favorite thing in the world-- A BALL!

We had a treat Saturday morning when Barbara brought us donuts. She and I were headed to the fabric store to pick out fabric for the girls' pioneer dresses she is making them for when they go on a pioneer trek this summer. I'll put up lots of pictures when we get them.

We had such a fun time playing kick ball with a couple of other families. It's a great game because the youngest kids could play and I even played! There was much laughing and trash-talking among the adults. What kind of horrible example is that? Actually most of the trash-talk came from Abe. Poor sport.

Today was our kids' book club. We read "Caddie Woodlawn" this month. The kids really like it. And I liked that it was warm enough to play lots of games outside. In the book there is a trio of two brothers and a sister that go on all sorts of adventures together. So we played "triplet-tag". It was like regular tag except they had to be linked together in a trio.

Faith and Cannon wanted to get in on the action as well.

The kids were hilarious in red light, green light.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Elinor and Co.

The girls love to pretend they are twins. This means dressing alike, or at least very coordinated and having the same hairstyle.

On a warmish spring day Elinor became a street urchin for about an hour.

The girls in a mad dash down the stairs on "Easter morning". We do our Easter morning celebration on Saturday morning.

Elinor models the latest look in pipe cleaner fashions. Bethany was the designer and Elinor was her model. You will note the glasses with flower decorations, wings and a pouch for her wand. Note to the Easter Bunny: pipe cleaners are cheap and versatile.

Elinor on the hunt for Easter eggs. She is a very logical, analytical girl. She says to me, "Mom, I need to know if the Easter Bunny is real".
Me: Is it fun to believe in the Easter Bunny?
Elinor: It's fun to believe in what is real.
Me (thinking): that is very deep. I can't keep up the charade against that kind of reasoning.
Me: What do you think?
Elinor: I think he's not real. I also think Santa isn't real, but the parents put stuff out.
Me: I whisper the truth and tell her she gets to help make it fun for the littler kids.
She took my advice to heart and went all out to make it fun for Faith. See the next picture.

Elinor's note to the Easter Bunny read: "Dear Easter Bunny, I love your candy that you give to us. Please eat the carrots and water."
The carrots were whole before the Bunny got to them.

The girls played a bit of Conference Bingo during General Conference. I am so happy for Cannon to have a brother close in age, but I hope my days of little girls aren't over after these sisters. I LOVE my girls!


Faith was so excited to show me the first flowers of spring.

She was so excited for the Easter Bunny to come.

We had a power outage on the Saturday morning of General Conference so we ended up listening to Conference on a radio with battery power. This picture was taken of Faith during the closing prayer of the morning session.
She is SO SWEET it almost isn't human!

Action packed! We had Daniel and Lori's family over for an Easter egg hunt on Saturday.

What a nice daddy! She is at such a fun age for holiday celebrations.

Faith isn't the strongest or most coordinated little girl, but she has worked so hard to be able to ride her scooter around the block. Sometimes she'll take a little break to walk, but then she says, "I tink I have the energy to ride my scooter again".

Our Jolley Baby

Many of you reading this will remember Clark's early fascination with animals. He couldn't get enough of playing with his toy animals, making animal noises, reading books about animals. This was all well before he turned two.
Cannon has his own fascination.
This boy loves any kind of sports. His favorite word is "ball".

Here he is cheering during the NCAA Championship basketball game tonight. It was cute until he started throwing the basketball at the TV because he wanted to play too. When we go for neighborhood walks he thrills to see the driveway basketball hoops.

Cannon has learned to give "crusties". That's what we call his dirty looks. He's not actually mad when he gives you a crusty and he will give a crusty on demand. If he was really mad at you he'd just scream really loud and long before he takes a swipe at you.

Grandpa Cannon came and gave Cannon his second haircut. It was definitely time for a haircut, but it did make me sad to cut those lovely locks.

Would you want to mess with this kid? It's usually best to just get out of his way.

The Easter bunny brings everyone a new book. Cannon isn't a big fan of books yet, except to color in them. Cannon lost interest in his new book after the second page, but it made for a great picture!

As a baby, Cannon was very eager to interact socially. He smiled early and his personality just seems to get bigger and bigger. What a joy he is to us.