Thursday, September 30, 2010


"I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails.
I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp.
I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children.
I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden.
I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder.
I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived."
Marjorie Pay Hinckley
This quote ran through my mind many times today.  I've been puked on, pooped on, pee-peed on.  I've bathed my people.  I've read to my people.  I've taught piano lessons and practiced with them and chauffeured them.  I've washed their clothes, their dishes and their mouths.  I've fed them and hugged them and sung to them.  I've helped them pick up their toys and clean up scraps of paper and crayons.  I've marveled at their creations and made sure no one got lost at the park. 

I go to bed thoroughly worn out and thoroughly grateful I am a mother to my people.  It is exhausting, yet energizing to do what you love.  And I love being a mother.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy Holidays

I declare it is now time to start thinking about the holidays.  The big three-- Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. 

You may already know that we take Halloween pretty seriously.  We have almost always done our costumes as a family around a theme-- vampires, StarTrek, Star Wars, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan.  It's been really fun for us and the discussions start early as to what to be each year.  Honest to goodness, we have never forced anyone to be anything for Halloween.  They just see what the rest of us are doing and each child has chosen to join in.  But we are at a stand still this year.  Will some of us break tradition and refuse the family theme this year?  They can if they want to. 
But I hope they don't.
Stay tuned to find out what Halloween 2010 will bring for us this year.  I won't spoil the surprise by even telling you what's in the running.

We're hoping to make a trip to the northwest this Thanksgiving.  Abe and the kids traveled all over this summer, but I stayed home, so I'm looking forward to leaving the Wasatch Front for the first time in many many moons.

Christmas:  Oh panic!  Panic! Panic! Panic!  One of these years I'm going to have the guts to go small for Christmas and trust that it will not destroy my children's magical memories of childhood Christmas mornings.  My mother made Christmas absolutely perfect every year-- except the year I only got a new trombone case and a fleece bathrobe, when I really wanted a silk jacket.  I was a MAJOR stinker and I called it a "crap Christmas".  That was really horrible of me.  I'm racked with remorse, but it was a major disappointment.  Okay, with the exception of that one year, Mom always made Christmas morning magical.  I want to recreate that for my people every year, but perhaps I've overblown in my mind just what she did.  Maybe to my childish eyes it just seemed like we got everything we possibly wanted, plus more.  Maybe we just didn't get anything the rest of the year so it seemed outrageous on Christmas morning.  I don't know.  But it was good.  Really good.  Really really good.
Of course my poor deprived children don't even know what they want for Christmas because I spend the whole year preaching that we already have SO much and we should be grateful for what we have.   I don't dwell on wanting a  lot of new things and don't encourage them to spend much energy pining away for the latest and greatest gadgets either. They don't watch commercials and they don't go to school.  Consequently, they play with relatively simple toys and all Elinor can think to ask for for 4 years in a row is a locket.  Which locket she always gets and always breaks and/or loses.  Maybe this year I'll follow through on my idea to just fill a large box with tons of string, rolls of paper, tape, and markers.  That's what they actually play with the most. 
Also, at this point we have a lot of really great toys with tons of play value-- legos, wood blocks, polly pockets, dolls, tinker toys, dollhouse, games, duplos, animals, little people, balls, swords, cars, trucks, petshops.  See what I mean?  We already have so much!  I've got to break the cycle of compulsive Christmas mornings.  Help!
I welcome any advice on this topic.  Seriously friends,  I need advice.  Please. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Perfect Day

You don't get very many "perfect days" in your life.
To me, baby blessing days are perfect days.  It is the culmination of a lot of hard work-- getting through the pregnancy with a healthy baby, working together as a family to prepare the home, grandparents traveling to be with us, preparing food, supportive family members coming to share the special day with us, a husband who holds the priesthood to bless this baby.  It's all the little, somewhat less rewarding things, you work towards everyday, that all come together to result in a perfect day.
I can imagine the same feeling occurring on my children's wedding days and when their children are born.  I go to bed tonight feeling very blessed and knowing that I could never be worthy of such goodness and happiness and blessings on my own.  Heavenly Father is so good to us and I am very grateful this evening. 
Our family friend, Barbara made his blessing outfit for him.  She is remarkable.  Her daughter is our official family photographer.  She's remarkable too.
George with his Grandpa he was named after-- they share a middle name--Russell.  This is one loved baby.
Thank you to everyone who shared this memorable day with us.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


We have Grandma and Grandpa Fox here to visit!  We will be blessing baby George in church tomorrow and they've come down from Spokane for the occasion.  The kids love them so much and were so excited to see them.  I don't know where Clark was for this picture, but he is still one of our children.
This afternoon our family joined Grandma and Grandpa and Daniel and Lori's family to ride the Heber Valley Railroad.  Our 1 1/2 hour train ride was a little taste of turn of the century rail travel.  The kids had great fun, and I think the adults quite enjoyed themselves as well. 
You could sit inside or out, so we did a little of both.  It was a little warmer than was comfortable, but with a breeze it was all right.  We're so spoiled with A/C. 
Cousin Kylie and Bethany were both little bookworms, but eventually they put their books away and enjoyed the scenery.
George was very content on the train-- and why not?  He got to ride in a moving, rocking vehicle, but there was NO car seat involved-- thus, no crying!  Maybe we should go back to train travel.  I guess I could ride the bus and TRAX everywhere I go.  No thank you.
Elinor and Cousin Gentri have always understood one another.  Did you know that peace signs are all the rage again?  They're everywhere--on t-shirts, on notebooks, jewelry, backpacks.  It's not like I don't want peace, but come on.  Wouldn't it be funny if every time someone gave the peace sign you made a gun with your finger and pretended to fire?  No, that probably isn't really funny, but it seemed funny to me late at night.  I should go to bed-- we have church at 9.
But first,  look at this little Mr.
Oh yummy!  This was taken right after the train started moving.  After some initial concern, he discovered he was in no danger and he was all aglow!  A 2-year old boy on a train has got to be about the cutest thing there is.
It was a really fun day with great company.
Now.  The house is clean, the food is ready, the clothes are laid out, the baby is sleeping, I'm finished blogging (for tonight anyway) and I'm going to bed.  Wish us luck for tomorrow!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Babysitters for Hire

Clark and Bethany are old enough that I can leave them home alone tending the younger children.  This has revolutionized my life.  This past pregnancy was SO nice to not have to worry about what to do with the kids while I went to my appointments.  I could just leave them home.  Of course I left them with instructions to "Just watch a movie.  Don't do anything else.  Don't cook food.  Don't go outside.  Don't answer the door.  Don't let Cannon turn on the bathroom faucets and run away laughing. You don't have to  accomplish any school work or practicing while I'm gone.  Nope, just make sure everybody is here and alive when I get back and don't flood or burn down the house."  Clark and Bethany have a perfect record of tending if these are the expectations!  I'm so proud.

My sister, Brigitta has 3 little people of her own nowadays.  She is in the stage where all of her people are little.  No one can really do anything on their own yet and the dream of being away from her children without paying someone for the pleasure is a far distant hope.  She called to see if Clark and Bethany would be willing to come babysit while she went to a Dr. appointment.  They were THRILLED to go.  Clark, being the eldest, felt the weight of responsibility and was a bit nervous.  Bethany was ecstatic to have little people to nurture.

So I sent my people off to tend my sister's little people.  Maybe I should have felt more worried for them, but they make a good team and I was sure they could handle it.

Afterward, Brig reported they did great.  She said she was a little concerned when she came home and discovered they had done play dough.  AHHHHHHH!  PLAYDOUGH!  The bane of every mother's existence.  We hate it, but the children love it so.  Its is beyond messy, but so fun.  How could my children resist?  (they are still children, after all!) I hope they didn't get it into the carpet, but I didn't have the heart to ask my sister just how widespread the mess was.

Then I realized I hadn't had "The Talk" with them yet.  No, not that talk.  We've had that one.  I mean the talk about picking up the house when you go to babysit.  That talk about not sitting around watching TV while the kids are napping, but picking up the toys the kids got out while you were there.  And, heaven forbid, you clean up a few that were already out before you got there.  My mother regularly had this talk with my sister and I when we were babysitting age.  I don't think many kids are getting "the talk" these days because we've had some doozies of messes after babysitters at our house.  Not all, some have been very good.

Good heavens, I'm glad I don't have to hire babysitters anymore.  Then again, it was nice to have someone to blame for the mess besides my own offspring.

I'm glad Brig could trust Clark and Bethany.  It gives them a chance to make a little money and it gives me some time with just my younger kiddos-- a rare treat!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I'm a Horrible Soccer Mom

Elinor had her first soccer practice of the season this evening.  It didn't bode well.
We were very late because I got confused about which park it was at.  I thought it was Rose Crest.  No, it was Rose Creek.  And how was I to know that there are TWO Rose Creek parks in neighboring towns.  Who's stupid idea was that?
I asked a couple of legitimate soccer parents a few questions to ascertain if we had indeed finally found the right park.  I still wasn't sure that this could be her team because she was a FULL HEAD taller than the other kids.  This is a team of 1st and 2nd graders.  I actually had to ask myself, "have I made some mistake about what grade Elinor is in?  Maybe time is going so fast, she is actually in the 3rd grade and I just missed it."  Nope.  She's just really tall-- like a giantess.  A gorgeous giantess, but a giantess.
Now here's why I say the other parents were legitimate soccer parents and I'm not.  They actually care about how their children are playing.  They are shouting things from the sideline, at the first practice, no less.  One dad yells to his son who was playing goalie, "be up on the balls of your feet!"  Another dad yells to his daughter who was practicing kicking the ball into the goal, "don't commit too early!"

What?  Seriously?  Don't commit too early?  Does she even know what that means, much less what it means in relation to scoring a goal???

I just want the kids to have fun, running around trying to kick a ball.  Elinor had fun playing soccer last year and wanted to play again. So I've been a nice mommy and signed up for my day to bring treats.  And I'll do my best to keep track of her soccer shirt, cleats and shin pads. But I probably won't be screaming out advice on when to commit to anything, as I'll be busy screaming at my other children at the nearby park.

Oh, give me strength. This is going to be a long season.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday Night Lights

Flag football season has begun.  Clark's got a great coach and nice boys on his team.  There are FOUR homeschooled kids on his team!  Tonight was his first game and they won-- not that it matters-- they don't even keep an offical score for this league.  It really is just for fun and experience with the game.  Clark really enjoyed the evening and even caught a pass.
This is a 5th and 6th grade league, and Clark is the tallest on his team by quite a bit.  He's the big kid in the jeans.  I'm not sure why he insists on wearing his jeans to play football, but I figure he's old enough to decide what to wear to football.
Cannon immediately found a friend and this friend had trains with him!  Cannon finds friends wherever he goes. 
Here is my Pied-Piper of a husband.  He had a whole line up of children over on the bleachers.  He was doing an impromptu spelling bee and math quiz.  This is how homeschool parents check to see if there children are keeping pace with their peers academically.  The kids loved it, but I hope the other parents were okay with this method.  Abe tells me that Elinor performed admirably. 
Oh, good. 

In other Tuesday activities here at our house. . .

The next level of math books came in the mail today.  This picture pretty much captures the different reactions. 
Clark:  "Boo! I hate math!" (whatever-- you hate anything I tell you to do)
Bethany:  "It's so shiny!  I love shiny things!"  (that is an exact quote)
Elinor:  "YES!  I LOVE math!" (exact quote)
Faith:  "Why didn't I get a book?" (fortunately, her books came in the mail later on today)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Late Nesting

We are blessing George on Sunday.  Even though it can be a little bit stressful, I LOVE the day of the baby blessing.  It seems to be the formal welcoming of this new soul to our family.  It is wonderful to celebrate with our family and friends. 
In an effort to get the house ready for a gathering afterward, we've been in a major clean up mode for the last couple of weeks.  Don't feel sorry for me-- this house has needed a good deep cleaning for a while. I never did get that extra energy for nesting at the end of the pregnancy.  I think I'm getting my nesting instincts a couple of months late.  But I'll take it. 
So I'm scrubbing blinds (we're way past the dusting), scouring cabinet doors, organizing nooks and crannies, washing walls.  It is my understanding that this is normal levels of cleaning for most homes, but it is new to me.  Now wait!  Before you think I'm just disgusting, hear me out. . .  then feel free to think I'm disgusting.

I grew up in the army where we moved every 2 or 3 years.  It takes time for dirt to build up and by the time it was dirty enough to really need a good cleaning, it was time to move!  Abe and I have moved a few times since we've been married and it's been the same thing.  By the time it's dirty-- we've moved.  But we've been here for a while and we're not going anywhere, so it is time to clean!  It hasn't been so bad.  There have been some good moments. 
Elinor was scrubbing walls with me on Saturday and she kept saying, "This is fun!  Getting to work with my mom and dad is like a holiday!"   Okay, Elinor, you're my favorite child this week.

All that being said, don't bring any white gloves to my house on Sunday-- there are still 6 children living here.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Style is so Subjective

This masterpiece of an outfit was Faith's doing.  The pink underwear was meant to be Superman's red underoos.  This is a child who knows what he likes.  He wore this get-up all day yesterday. 
Here is another little fashionista.  Did you know, that just like Fancy Nancy, sparkly dance clothes DO help me do math better!  I loved this image, but I loved this even more.

On closer inspection, she's got lip gloss tucked in her "holster" just in case.  You know you've got to look good when you do your math.  Homeschool is no excuse to let yourself go.
Faith is doing her handwriting book (Handwriting Without Tears, if you're interested).  Fortunately she is persistent in asking me to do her "school" with her.  She's learned that if she just keeps asking in a nice voice (this is key) enough times, I will find a moment to help her.  That sounds horrible doesn't it?  That I make my four year old beg to do her school work.  It's not that I don't want to help her.  I do!  She's the most agreeable to work with!  I guess the squeaky wheel gets the grease and she doesn't squeak loud enough.  Not that we need any louder squeaking in this house than we already have. 
Anyway, I just want to eat this little girl up!  She is such a sweetie and has always been a HUGE blessing in our family.
Friday night Abe and Clark went on a Scout camp out and the kids had some friends over for a late-night.  Pizza, movie, Wii and this.  Wild and crazy antics on the trampoline.  I think they were playing Kung Fu Panda or something. 
These are a few of Bethany's close friends.  I've said it before, but I do think it is very important for kids to have friends and we feel so happy that we live in an area with wonderful families for our children and us to be friends with.  These particular girls are beautiful and kind and creative and a great influence on Bethany.
And I got to have a friend over to play as well.  Allison came down to keep me company and we had a fun time chatting.  George is a dream baby these days.  I can appreciate what that means, because I've been to the other side and it aint' pretty.  All babies are wonderful, but some are A LOT easier than others.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Betsy Scissor Hands

These are the shrubs and bushes (what's the difference?) in front of our house.  Don't they look lovely?  Well, they do now, because after living here for over 3 years, we finally trimmed them.  They were QUITE overgrown so I don't know that "trimmed" really does justice to what we had to do them.  A "mow down?"-- a hacking, whacking, chopping, butchering job.  We borrowed a pair of shrub shears from a neighbor and did part of the job until another neighbor took pity on us and lent us a power tool that did the job much quicker.

I did a bit of the job with the shrub shears myself and I was having a very Edward Scissor Hands moment.  It was fun.  I liked chopping as fast as I could and watching the cut off branches flying all over.  I wanted to just keep cutting and cutting.  But as I was hacking away I thought to myself, "If I enjoy cutting shrubs so much, I wonder if I could enjoy cutting hair?  It can't be that much different!" 

It was a natural connection in my mind.  For years I've paid money for Clark to get his hair cut.  Call it vanity-- but I liked a nice sharp hair cut on my one son.  But then I had 2 more sons and I'm thinking, "This could get expensive.  I don't want to keep paying for haircuts!" My dad has cut Clark's hair a few times, but it suddenly occurred to me that if other people could learn to cut hair-- THEN SO COULD I!  No matter that I HATE handicrafts.   Haircutting is a much more utilitarian art form and I'm all about utilitarian art!

So last week I cut Cannon's hair.  It went okay.  Today I approached the Big Dog.  My little Chia Pet.

Me:  Clark, will you let me cut your hair?
Clark:  No! (running away)
Me:  Come on, PLEASE?  I need to learn how to do it.
Clark:  No way!
Me:  Let's watch videos on YouTube to learn how to do it
Clark: (Very concerned look on his face)
Me:  How about I pay you 2 bucks to let me cut your hair and if I mess it up I'll take you to the barber?
Clark:  Okay.
Abe helped coach me through.  There were a lot of people on edge.  Elinor asked me if I was a barber.
"I am today, Tootsie!"
AH-HA!  It worked!  I did it!  I can cut hair!  Abe even told me he would let me cut his hair next time.  I can't mess it up worse than the gal at the barber school for $5.00.   But now that I have so much experience I won't have to pay my clients to let me cut their hair.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Infant Torture Device

Car seats.  I know they are a good thing.  They save lives.
I appreciate that I can strap Cannon into his car seat and he can't get out.   It doesn't matter how mad he is about something, he can't hurt Faith if he's strapped in.
I wish Faith could buckle up her own seat belt, but that will come in time.
But what I am having a problem with is that George HATES the car seat.  Screams every moment he is in his car seat.  Sadly for George, he is child #6, and we have places to go in the car.  Dance, football, soccer, piano, classes-- there is no way to avoid the car seat.   
Sometimes the kids and I turn the music up to drown out the crying.  The kids are learning not to ask me for anything while George is wailing away.  I can handle it for about 5 minutes before I feel my mommy stress sensors go off. 
I don't understand-- I thought babies were suppose to like riding in the car!  I thought car rides were suppose to put babies to sleep!   But this is four babies in a row that hate the car seat!!!!! And each one seems to hate it more than the one before.  Can anything be done about this?  Am I doing something wrong????
Can you tell we were in the car for a while this evening and it didn't go well???

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Evolution of Clothing

I could have named this post, "The Decline of Clothing", but evolution seemed a bit more neutral.

In my efforts to keep all of my people clothed, I was thinking about how my idea of proper clothing has "evolved" over the years with the addition of many more children.

1. At first, I wanted all of my people and myself dressed in fancy, name brand clothing. I never really achieved that for myself, but I did manage to have my little ones fashionably dressed for a while. Looking back, I'm not proud of this stage and I don't think anyone should be proud of being in this stage.

2. The next step was not so much name brand clothing, but still dressed very nicely and stylishly. Some people come by this quite naturally without much effort. I wasn't one of them. I lack vision when it comes to stylish clothing.

3. The next level is just making sure all clothing ensembles are matching. I think I was in this phase around the time Faith was a baby. This is a perfectly reasonable expectation. I miss this stage. It goes down hill from here.

4. With Cannon I entered the next phase-- all clothing really should fit properly. This means people are wearing the right sizes. No flood pants, no super tight jeans, shirts that cover little tummies. Fashion is a distant memory, while matching is nice, but not a necessity.

5. Enter George and enter the next phase: IS IT CLEAN? Yes? Okay, you can wear it. You may not wear dirty clothes. This is where we are right now. Elinor, you want to wear the fleece, cheetah print skirt? Is it clean? Go for it. Clark, you want to wear humongous t-shirts and basketball shorts? Are they clean? Then yes, you can wear them.

6. I would not like to lower my standard any further than, "Is it clean?" But I can see that there could be another level that I could live with, Does it cover the parts of your body that need to be covered? We shall see if we end up there.

I know this is all rather silly, but I'm just trying to keep my priorities in order. Nice clothes are nice, and we certainly do want to be neat and comely, but I'm in the business of raising children, not creating fashion plates. Also, I'm betting that at some point, my people will want to start attracting members of the opposite sex, thus they will recognize the need to present ones best self. This will include moving back up the scale of the evolution of clothing. I'd like them to stop at level 3--clothing ensembles should match. In all fairness, Bethany already has a pretty good eye for fashion and if she had a mother with more natural style, could very easily settle in at level 2--nicely and stylishly. Fortunately for her, the finances will never support the ridiculous level 1-- fancy, name brand clothing. It's best not to be tempted.

I've saved most of my kiddos' clothing to use with later kiddos. This is great, but it's no easy task to organize all the clothing and then find it again when I need it. I have about a billion plastic totes with kids' clothes stored in my sister's basement because I haven't found a good spot to put them in my own house. Then the trick is to pull the clothes out of the clean laundry when they are outgrown and get them back in to the tote of the right size clothing. It hurts my brain to keep it all straight. About once a year I do an overhaul and get everything back into the right place. I guess it must be about that time because I'm feeling overrun by kids' clothes and my own clothes as I transition from maternity back to normal clothes. Well, the big normal clothes because the normal normal clothes haven't been seen for a while. Is it all really as complicated as I just made it sound? And how ridiculous to be complaining about having so many clothes. It just goes to show that "less is almost always more."

Monday, September 13, 2010

We're Back at It

Today was our first Kids' Book Club of this school year. I have no pictures to share because the camera battery was down, but it was great and I was happy to see the gang back together again. In addition to the regular book club, there is now a younger kids' book club meeting just down the street at a fellow homeschooler's home. There were several younger siblings of kids in our club who were wanting to come, so we organized a 6-8 year old group to meet at the same time. So Clark and Bethany stayed here, and Elinor was happy to get to go to her own book club. They read, "A Grain of Rice".

But then, Faith felt really put out that she didn't have a book club, "But Mommy, I want to do a really little kids' book club!". Oh Faith, I'm sorry, Mommy should not take on one more thing right now, or mommy may have to be taken away by the men in white coats.

Back to the book club today. We read Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit. I love this book. A super short version is a family finds a spring of water, they drink it, they never get any older and they live forever. A girl finds out their secret and has to decide if she wants to live forever as well. Obviously there is more, but that's the basic idea.
As part of our book discussion I asked the kids what age they think they might want to stop at if they were going to live forever at a certain age. The girls all said they would want to be the age they are right now. Most of the boys said they would want to be older-- and they all agreed that they would NOT want to be older than 30. I guess to an 11 year old, 33 (my age) is getting old and decrepit. It was hard for me to not crack up at their discussion.

George update: He went to sleep tonight with no fussy time! Yippee! For the last few weeks he's gotten really fussy in the evenings and Abe and I take turns doing the "holding the baby dance" to keep him happy. He has been a great sleeper almost every night, but today he actually napped quite a bit during the day too. Yippee again!

Cannon update: I attempted to give Cannon a haircut today. I didn't do a very good job, but curly hair is merciful to an extremely novice hair cutter. Abe? Clark? Who wants to be next?
Faith update: Faith needs more attention. Sadly we are in a "take a number, get in line, I'll be with you as soon as I can mode". Note to self: must spend more time with Faith.

Elinor update: Did you know how sassy seven year old girls can be? Yeah, it's pretty intense. Lots of hands on hips and valley girl talk. Fun. I'm sure I was worse when I was seven.

Bethany update: Bethany reads to her sisters every night in their room. Thank you, thank you thank you, Bethany. Maybe Faith will think you are her mother?

Clark update: He's been reading The Hunger Games. Should I let my 11 year old read such books? I don't know. But I'm overjoyed that he is devouring books and asking my advice on what he should read next! 10 points for homeschooling! (sorry, I have to get my accolades somewhere!)

Abe update: Abe seems to be suffering from allergy-like symptoms, although he denies that he could actually have real allergies. I don't understand it either. He's heard Clark and I discussing Hunger Games and so he's getting in on the action and reading it right now. By the way, we are desperate for Mockingjay. Anyone feel like lending it out?

Betsy update: I should stop reading WWII, Nazi/Jew books. They are real downers and I don't think they are doing much for my emotional recovery postpartum. I'm looking for a real pick-me-up book that won't require too much hard thinking and I can still follow with interruptions every minute and a half. Any suggestions?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Too Tired for a Title

Clark is 11 and plays the piano. He practices for 45 minutes a day and has quite a strict, demanding teacher. Consequently, he often questions my judgment in requiring music lessons. My response? "It will make you happy". I secretly believe that if you could take away the required practice time, it already makes him happy to play the piano. That being said, I saw his group lesson folder (the kids could decorate their own) the other day and couldn't resist commenting on it. I hope this is normal for an 11 year old boy.Here are some close ups. Don't be frightened.
"Death-- it can really happen". It really could happen by getting struck by lightning or hanging.
I'm not sure what all these pictures are, but death is dangerous and it really can happen. We should all be aware of the dangers. During one of our kids' clubs we did a little while back, the kids made short movies and all the boys' movies ended in death scenes. I wonder when that phase ends?Have you ever seen Abe do the "helicopter"? He's spinning these kids super fast. It looks dangerous and it probably is, but no one has ever been injured during helicopter. It is quite a sight to see.

Keeping it Together

Some days our home looks like this. There is love, kindness, cooperation. And then there are days that our home looks like this. But we don't need to dwell on those days. They aren't pretty and it's not something we like to talk about. So let's go back to some lovelier moments.The latest rendition of "Poor Girl". This is still one of their favorite games to play. On this day, they lived on a farm and only had bread and milk. Bethany and Elinor are at such a fun age where their play is very independent (they don't need my help) and based very much on their own imagination, not so much actual toys. This is good because I'm a little preoccupied with this little one.George. I am very much enjoying him, but as the kids recently discovered, "babies are a lot of work". Yes indeed they are. He LOVES to be held. He HATES his car seat. That is pretty typical of one of my babies.I am thankful for George-helpers. They don't have a ton of stamina, but they are very helpful for a couple minutes here and there.
Faith loves Cannon so much. I'll hear her say, "Cannon, we are best friends. Give me a hug". Sometimes he'll hug her and sometimes he'll wallop her. Fortunately for Cannon, Faith is super quick to forgive him and request another hug. This process repeats many times a day.My arms enjoy the break from holding George when Abe gets home.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Stinks

Today is Labor Day. Abe is working and my kids don't realize it is a holiday that kids get off school. Against my better judgment, I decided we would just have a normal school day today. We've got a busy week coming and I figured if we did our work today, we (I) wouldn't have to feel bad if we didn't get everything done later in the week.
I'm not sure this was a good idea. Kids are wild today-- did someone tip them off that today is a holiday? Is someone interfering with my plan to completely shelter my children from the "real world"? George is not happy and hasn't been for the last couple of days-- he has a little cold. Sad for him and for me.
But back to the title of my post. I don't really "get" Labor Day. It's a holiday to celebrate people who work, but isn't that everyone? Do you know anyone who doesn't work? I don't.
Is it a holiday to celebrate the end of summer? What's to celebrate? We don't celebrate any other season ending? Why celebrate the ending of the best one?
I guess I'm just jealous that other people have fun stuff to do on Labor Day and we don't. If I were feeling proactive I would go do something fun, but I can't think of anything that sounds even remotely fun with six children (one being a fussy newborn with a cold) and no husband around. So there you have it-- I'm spending my Labor Day hiding in my room and pouting.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Born to Shop or Born to Drop?

The girls have earned some more money from their little job-- stapling rubber bands to flyers and they wanted to go shopping to the craft store this afternoon. Half of my kids LOVE going shopping. They don't care what they are shopping for. They just love going to stores and they can go from store to store to store and never seem to get tired. I wear out WAY faster than they do. Said children are Bethany, Faith and Cannon. The other half-- Clark, Elinor and I'm going to put George (at least temporarily) in this category. They LOATHE going to the store. I loathe even more having to take them to the store--EVER! Since they don't want to be there to begin with, they tend to rile up the natural shoppers. Given the choice they will always choose to stay home. In Clark's words just the other day, "I hate Costco. It's too big. I hate big stores".
Sadly, I'm afraid I must cast my lot with the group that hates to shop. A little while back Abe told me he actually liked going to the grocery store and if I'd just give him a list he'd be happy to do the shopping.
But this afternoon, in an effort to be a nice mommy, I took the girls and George to the craft store. We needed to hit Walmart as well, but Elinor requested to be dropped off to Abe at home rather than accompany us on the second leg of our outing. Wish I'd stayed with her.
On a side note, I'm still traumatized from my childhood trips to craft stores. My mother was SUPER DUPER crafty and spent a great deal of time in craft stores. They were like her mothership. I am not even an ounce crafty now and I was even less so as a youngster. I remember being trapped at craft stores for a long time wandering the isles of bolts of fabric, thread, needles, styrofoam balls, googley eyes, and feathers. I'm breaking into a cold sweat just remembering.