Sunday, October 31, 2010

Size Doesn't Matter

Just before going to bed this evening, Abe and I watched a few minutes of a program on PBS called "Lords of the Gourd".  In Cooperstown, NY they have an annual Pumpkinfest and the main activity is a pumpkin weighing contest.  It was so charming to watch these farmers anxiously await their pumpkin's turn on the big scale.  These pumpkins were so big they used a crane and fork life to get them on the scale.  As the farmer awaited the official weight of his pumpkin they would skip to another shot of the farmer in another setting discussing how intense the competition was.  "A few years back a 1000 lb. pumpkin would win you the tournament.  Now you have to have a 1000 lb. pumpkin to even think about being in the top ten."

Abe and I were hooked.  We couldn't change the channel. 

In the end, Tom's pumpkin was the last to weigh in.  His pumpkin was the envy of all the other farmers and was expected to be about 1400 lbs.  In the end, it only weighed 1076 lb. 
It was SHOCKING!  No one could understand how that could have happened.  Must have been less dense.

The announcer was speechless.
His friend said, "It will take him a few days to snap out of this."
Someone else said, "It was crushing.  A hush fell over the crowd."
Tom said, It just rips my heart out.

Who says there's nothing good on TV?
Some one should order this and invite us over for a viewing party next Halloween.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Teacher's Report for Halloween 2010

Here in the great and quite religious state of Utah, we get to do our Halloween festivities on Saturday instead of Sunday.  10 points for Utah!  In an effort to try to expose my home schooled children to the ways of the "real world", I shall give a report card, with grades, for the different subjects of our Halloween celebration this year.
In the subject of ANTICIPATION:  B
Over the past week the children calculated not only the number of days until Halloween, but the hours, minutes and seconds until the 6:00 trick-or-treating hour.  So I would have given a higher grade but their anticipation peaked too early.  They kind of crashed today.  I should have kept them busier instead of letting them watch Halloween movies all day.  The anticipation was too much for Faith today, who seemed very down in spirits.
The girls went with the pioneer theme, but Clark as an Army guy and Cannon as Tigger severely lowered their average.
We failed this subject completely.  A pioneer man and a witch?  Was that really the best we could do?  Poor planning on my part.
Oh yeah!  The kids brought it home this year.  Thank you to all my neighbors.
I'm not being sarcastic.  Really-- thank you.  I thoroughly enjoyed taxing my children for their best candy tonight.  I would just call out what treat I wanted and if they have it they HAVE to give it to me.
What?  You think that is mean?  Whatever.  Some parents don't even LET their kids go trick-or-treating.  My kids have it good.
This was a gimme.  We always have pizza for dinner on Halloween.
When I came downstairs in my witchy-attire Cannon was extremely upset.  I think I took the cackling too far and it wasn't very considerate of me.  In my defense, I really get into character when I'm in costume.  It took a lot of convincing that it really was mommy and it was just a "silly nose".  Clark said, "Mom is really horrifying."  Why thank you, my son.  That's what I was going for.
The children come home and take inventory of their haul.  They divide out what are their most valuable assets. They trade their commodities to increase their net worth.  They have to pay dividends to the board of directors (mom and dad).  I'd say that's a pretty good economics lesson.
This is a two edged sword because on the one side, they do have to hoof it all over the neighborhood to collect all that candy.  For the older kids it was a good two hours of walking.
On the other side they do come home and gorge themselves on sugar.  I'm fairly certain that in health class the children are taught to eat a minimal amounts of sugar.  Oh well.  I let them have it on Halloween night.  Eat to your heart's and stomach's content.  Eat candy until you throw up for all I care.  (no one did this year!).  Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow Mom monitors all the Halloween candy.
RECESS:  no grade--it's recess  for heaven's sake
That's where you play with your friends at school, right?  Clark needed to get away from Mary, Laura, and Baby Carrie (I can't think why?).  So he found a couple of boys to tag along with.  I guess their pace was faster and at his age it's all about increasing the haul. He's been wanting to go trick-or-treating alone and I've been telling him, "When you're old enough to trick-or-treat alone, you're too old to go trick-or-treating."  I do believe we are fast approaching the end of his trick-or-treating run.  Sadness.
TEACHER'S PET:  A+++++++++++
He eventually got used to my nose and green skin.  As he came home he knocked on my door and I gave him more treats and asked him for a kiss.  He hesitated, but finally relented and smooched me.  I don't think I want him to get any bigger.  I LOVE HIM!
Please pardon my white tennis shoes.  I've completely fallen off the fashion train and have no hope of ever catching it again.  I don't even know what state or country the fashion train is in now.  I'll just go back to the horse and cart.
That green, grease face-paint is strong stuff.  After washing my face 3 times with soap it still had a sickly, greenish/ gray tint to it.
Ummm. . . . . . I have to speak in church tomorrow morning.  What if I'm green?  What if I still look like an alien zombie?  I just don't think I'll be able to focus on giving my talk it the children are frightened of me.
This is the first year the kids have done any trick-or-treating with friends.  We've always gone just with our family.  But when your best gal pals are also pioneers, it seemed the way to go.
Oh, and Zorro (fox in Spanish), was ADORABLE.  I love his mustache.

Teacher's note:
Halloween was joyful this year and the Fox children seem healthy and well adjusted.  They are a joy to have in my class and I hope you have 6 more just like them.

If you like this-- you might like this or this .  Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lullaby and Goodnight

I am now going on four weeks straight of walking at 7:00 am with my walking buddy.  Hooray for me!
My alarm goes off at 6:30, I wake George to nurse him and then I'm off.  It's energizing to get up and get moving.  It's theraputic to talk with a good friend for 30 minutes every morning.  I'm not seeing any difference in my pants size, but hopefully that will come when I lay off the Halloween candy.
But I am struggling with something.  I start the morning off great; we're getting right on our big 5 (getting ready), cleaning jobs, some mornings I teach piano lessons, school work, reading, lunch, practicing, playing with friends.  By about 5:00 I am DOG TIRED.  I don't know exactly how tired "dog tired" is, but I am wiped out.
So is getting up early (well, it's early to me) to exercise worth it?  I feel great and am super productive, but only for half the day!  If I slept in later I might be slower to get going, but I would be like the tortoise-- slow and steady.
Obviously there are health benefits to exercising, so it really is the way to go.  I shall have to put myself to bed earlier.  Yes, I'll put myself to bed tonight right after I fold another 38 loads of laundry on my bed, write a draft of my talk for Sacrament Meeting on Sunday, finish putting my people to bed, complete the seating chart for the primary program practice on Sunday, nurse George one last time and load up the dishwasher to eliminate stinky dish smell in the kitchen.  I guess it's not looking good for an early bedtime tonight.  Dang.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Snow Day

Georgie slept late this morning-- (long sigh).  How relaxing.
Well, it could have been relaxing; except we had our first real snow of the season and you know what that means.

A homeschooling mom is in a no win situation when it snows.  You can't say to your people, "When all your work is done you can go out and play."
All the snow might be melted by then and then you are the devil because you denied your people childhood memories of frolicking in the snow with their siblings.  Nope.  Carpe Diem!  You must seize not only the day, but the hour, and get into your snow clothes ASAP before the snow melts..  Then there's the hot chocolate, marshmallows to warm up afterwards.  School is NOT going to happen. 
And man-oh-man do we have a lot of snow clothes.  This picture was taken at 8:30 AM.
By 8:30 AM we had located:
5 pairs of gloves
5 hats
5 coats
4 pairs of snow boots (Elinor outgrew hers)
4 pairs of snow pants (The Man Child outgrew his)

The dreaded snow bucket.  Curse you!
My people had big plans for the 4 inches of snow.  A snow fort was priority number 1.  It is hard to build a snow fort with 4 inches of snow, but somethings you have to learn by experience.
Do you remember Boxer from Animal Farm?  He was the horse that worked and worked and worked.  He basically worked himself to death and then got sent off to the glue factory.
Clark was Boxer today.
Only Boxer wasn't so happy when Snowball wasn't pulling her weight shoveling snow.
And Faith just was amazed that snow was so edible.  "It tastes like white fluffy snow!"
Yes, I'm sure that's exactly what it would taste like.
Boxer did eventually run out of steam and found a supervisory role more to his liking.
This is where the snow pants would have been really useful.  Jeans don't stand much of a chance when you sit down in the snow.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blood and Pumpkin Guts

Actually, no blood, but LOTS of pumpkin guts.  Here is my sweetheart; he wields a mean pumpkin carving knife.  He is a pumpkin arteest.  For 13 years of family life he has created masterpiece after masterpiece of jack-o-lanterns. I'm glad, because although I love the end result, I can't actually do any of the pumpkin carving myself.  I think I'm allergic to pumpkin guts-- it makes my hands sting.  Okay, I guess I could wear gloves.
This is Abe's first assistant.  Clark carved his, Elinor's and Cannon's, for which Abe was very grateful because 8 pumpkins is a lot of pumpkins to carve, and pumpkin arteests are sensitive and cannot be pushed too far.  And I think 8 pumpkins would be too far.
BLAHHHHHH!  Pumpkin guts!  You want to know something shameful about me?  I am sore ashamed, but I slept through almost all of the pumpkin carving today.  I was just going to lie down for a minute (wink, wink) and nurse George.  3 hours later I was very refreshed, but had missed most of the annual tradition.  How do I live with myself? 
Cannon slept, too.  But I don't think anyone missed him and I think it was for the best as knives and sharp objects abounded on the kitchen table. 
You will notice that Bethany's hand are not touching any guts.  I don't believe she gets "stinging hands", she just doesn't like touching slimy things.  She kept a very safe distance. 
The masterpieces in the daylight.
In the dark--Oooowoooooooo!
Never disturb a pumpkin arteest at work.  But I do believe that for the right price, he could be talked into private pumpkin carving tutorials. 
Oh, if only we could all look so cute posing with our hand in a gutted pumpkin.

Happy week of Halloween to you all!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Does your Mother Love You?

When I was in the fourth grade my family moved from Berlin, Germany to Colonial Heights, Virginia.  In Berlin we lived on base and went to school only with other Army brats.  In Virginia we lived a little ways off base with almost all civilian kids.  We moved in about the middle of October and Halloween was quickly coming upon us.  If I remember correctly, we were staying in guest housing, which is the Army's hotel until you get your permanent housing.  We didn't have all of our belonging yet and my siblings and I had to make do with whatever we could find to come up with Halloween costumes.  I guess I wasn't very original because I was a "racquetball player".  I wore a pink sweat suit, my dad's sweat bands and carried his racquet. 
But there was this girl in my class named Amanda.  Her mother made her this amazing rag doll / Raggedy Ann costume.  Of course she won some "best costume" award.  I was more than a little jealous. 

That wasn't the only year I came up with something lame for a costume.  One year I dressed as a cleaning lady.  I actually wore an apron of sorts and carried feather dusters and rags and maybe wore my hair in curlers.  What was I thinking?
In junior high I wore my younger brother's football uniform, full tackle pad and all. I think the boys were scared of me.

When we kids were younger my mom did make (as in SEW) for us cute costumes.  I was a pumpkin one year, a pioneer another.  I remember her sewing my youngest brother a darling little devil costume with glow in the dark horns (wish I had that for Cannon this year).  But I think she got tired or something and eventually let us fend for ourselves in the costume department.  I can understand that-- I'm feeling a little tired myself.

A couple of nights ago Abe and I saw a Target commercial on TV.  A boy, about age 6, has a very depressed look on his face as his mother puts the finishing touches on a homemade Iron Man costume.  The basic idea was there, but the costume was rather plain and unimpressive.  Then the screen flashes to a wowser-dowser Iron Man costume this mother could have bought at Target for only $20 and made her son truly happy.   How sad for this young man.  His mother didn't love him enough to spend $20 on a costume. 
Side note:  This mother didn't have 6 children to outfit for Halloween at $20 a pop.

When I was in the fourth grade and Amanda's mother MADE her costume and when my mom MADE us costumes when we were younger-- it meant that our mothers loved us.  If your mother really loved you, she made you a Halloween costume.  Nowadays, your mother only makes you a costume if she doesn't love you enough to buy you one. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

What is that SMELL?

It's Friday night and my brain feels mushy.  I couldn't remember President Obama's first name today.  It took my overloaded brain about 5 minutes before I could find his first name.  That seems unhealthy.

Is this one ever going to slow down?  Bless his heart-- I love him. 

Do you ever have days when everything is smelly to you?  I mean actual foul odors assaulting your nose all day long.  I was in my house all day long and every room I went into had a different nasty smell.  Smelly diapers, smelly dishes, more smelly diapers, smelly laundry, even more smelly diapers, smelly garbage cans, smelly car, yet even more smelly diapers.  
What am I pregnant again or something? (for the record-- I am NOT pregnant)
Faith told me this evening that my shirt smelled bad.  Yeah, well baby spit up can be smelly. 

Clark had a friend over this evening and when his dad came to pick him up I think I saw him trying to breathe through his mouth.  Hopefully he had a cold or something so he couldn't smell.  That's not nice of me, I don't really want him to have a cold. 

When I was a teenager and going babysitting, the mom would always come pick me up in a car that smelled like little kids and all that that entails.  I swore I would never have a stinky, dirty car.  HA HA HA HA HA!!!! What a joke. 

Speaking of jokes, I like to to tell the kids that moms know everything.  Sometimes they agree and are amazed by my vast stores of knowledge.  Other times they delight in pointing out that moms don't know everything. 
Two questions today that I did not know the answer to:
Posed by Faith:  Is infinity a counted number?
I don't know.  I'm not sure what you mean by that question, but it hurts my mushy brain to think about stuff like that.  Let's just count to 20 and call it good.

Posed by Clark:  What would they do with Clifford's (the big red dog) poop?
Seriously? How old are you?  I don't know what they would do with his poop, but I'm sure there would be a lot of it and IT WOULD BE SMELLY!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Witches Night Out 2010

Witch-A-Palooza at Gardner Village tonight.  I'm glad we went, but zoinkers!--I am tired this evening. 
I  told my three oldest children the things that needed to be done today in order for us to get to go tonight (schoolwork, practicing, clean rooms, etc).  They went above and beyond what they were suppose to get done.   So even though my three younger people were quite a handful today, and I really didn't feel up to going, there was NO WAY I could go back on our deal.  Why did they have to be so helpful and cooperative today of all days?
As per tradition, I had to get a picture with my "patron witch".  I feel such a kinship with this witch.  And how sweet that my girls insisted on being in the picture too.  They think they like chocolate as much as me-- NO WAY Jose-lita!  They don't understand the depths of my love, my need, my obsession.  It wasn't always this way for me.  I liked chocolate as much as the next gal until I bore my first child and suddenly I started craving it something fierce.  I've never recovered.  Truthfully, I don't think I want to recover.
 It is great fun to do the scavenger hunt and find all the witches on a paper you get.  However, Gardner Village is a collection of specialty shops-- quilt, Christmas, yarn, purses, baby, tea.  Most women love window shopping, if not real shopping at places like this.  But at this point in my life I don't have space in my brain and energy to spend looking at things I:  a. can't afford, b.don't have room for, people would break, d. they're cute, but I wouldn't know what to do with even if a., b., and c. were not an issue.  (I lack decorating vision).
The coach of all coaches is there in the white shirt on the right.  He planned a final game for the boys to play against their coaches and family members.  Then they all went to an awards banquet at a local pizza place.  The league provided a medal and bag for each boy, but these coaches went a big step further and made special personal awards for each boy. 
Here Clark is being presented with a "Bulldozer Award- for successfully clearing perfect paths for his teammates to run in".  He also got an award for "always smiling regardless of the situation".  I'm thinking of getting all the parents of these boys together and petitioning this coach to coach a tackle-football team next year. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Is That Suppsed to Be Funny?

It was one of those evenings where everything seemed funny to me.  Was it really funny?  Or was it more a matter of "laugh so you don't cry?"  I don't know.

Was it really funny when my children debated at the dinner table who was the better cook-- my friend, Rebecca, my friend, Michelle, or me.
And I came in third place?  They made a list of recipes I am suppose to request from said friends.  Not funny.

Was it really funny when we went to deliver some neighborhood treats and Abe rammed the minivan into his car park behind us?  Definitely should NOT have been funny, yet it just damaged an already banged up fender on his car, so it was kind of funny.

Was it really funny when Cannon was climbing all over the furniture during Family Home Evening and fell and conked his head.  He sort of deserved it because he was being really onery, but still, it probably shouldn't have been funny.

Was it funny when Elinor had her friends sent home because she and they had a brilliant idea to have a water fight with bottled waters they sneaked out of the back of the car while I taught piano lessons?  I guess that was only funny when she argued that I hadn't told her not to do that.  I told her to consider herself told and for future reference, she shouldn't drink poison or jump off the roof either. 

Was it funny that Cannon colored all over a table with permanent markers that I thought were out of reach?  No, that wasn't funny, but it was funny that the other kids had HUGE gasps when they saw it and Abe and I were relatively calm.  It's funny when the older kids begin to act like parents to younger siblings.

Was it funny that Bethany questioned every direction I gave her in helping to make the caramel popcorn balls we made for Family Home Evening?  Only because Abe does the exact same thing to me in the kitchen while I'm cooking.  He, like Bethany, knows next to nothing about cooking and yet they both question me on EVERY SINGLE step I make while cooking.  Like father, like daughter.  "Out of Mama's Kitchen!" (that's a little joke for my brother, Matt).
Never a dull moment.
Wait, I take that back-- I'm about to go fold 38 loads of laundry.  I expect life to be very dull for the next hour.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

No Feeling Sorry for Ourselves

Abe and Clark and the rest of the 11-year-old scouts went on a camp-out on Friday night.  Bethany had a fun birthday party to go to all of Friday afternoon.  These little cuties were left behind with me.  Rather than sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves, we called up Elinor's Primary class friends to set up a play evening. 
We had a grand time making caramel popcorn balls in preparations for the fun. 
I believe Cannon is in "monster mode" here in this picture.  Today at church I asked him if he was excited to go to nursery-- which he loves and only has to be taken to us for stinky pants, which he calls "pooties".
Mom:  Are you excited to go to nursery?
Cannon:  Nursery--- DIE!

Ahhhh!  What?  No more weapons for you.  No more playing dead when you pretend to shoot me.  My girls just don't say things like this. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Offensive Commercial

I went to Walmart today--ALONE.
Okay, I wasn't completely alone--George was with me, but he is my constant appendage, so I don't really count him.  For all intents and purposes I was alone.  Just before I got out of the car there was an advertisement on the radio for something called "Hydroxy Tone".  It is suppose to be some miracle face cream--blah, blah, blah.  A man's voice was speaking saying something like this:  "I couldn't believe it.  My wife's skin looked so great.  It was like looking at a picture of my wife from 10 years ago!"

Where do I begin?  For starters, I'm not a huge believer in expensive face creams.  I live in Utah so I get the dry skin thing.  I understand the need for a moisturizer.  But truthfully, I think your skin condition is kind of like tooth enamel.  When it comes to tooth enamel, some people like my husband and kiddos, have enamel of steel and have super healthy teeth without much (if any) effort.  Some people take care of their teeth religiously and yet dental problems manifest regularly.  I think a lot of your skin condition
(and dental condition) is hereditary and minimal effort will keep it looking beautiful or aging relatively early.

Next-- guess what?  Barring any tragedy, YOU ARE GOING TO GET OLD.  You are going to get wrinkles.  The best you can hope for is that you spent your life smiling and being pleasant-- that way you'll have happy nice wrinkles, not sad, grumpy wrinkles.  Besides, the most beautiful women are beautiful from the inside out.  Their countenance is beautiful not because they spend their time and money thinking about what facial cream will make them defy nature, but thinking of ways to do good to others.

But here's what REALLY bugged about this commerical.  I better be a better person in ten years than I am now.  If ten years from now Abe is pining for his wife of ten years ago, I will know that I haven't been living right for the last ten years.  I should be getting more and more beautiful as I age.  I will have ten more years of learning and living and serving.
I have several aunts who I admire so much.  They are so kind and loving and BEAUTIFUL--and it's not due to any face cream.

Do real men really feel that way-- that they want their younger year's wife back?  I don't think so.  So I have to wonder who this advertisement was really directed towards.  Were men listening to this ad supposed to think, "Yes!  I will order this product for my wife and tell her I want her to look younger and more attractive again!"
Good luck with that pal.  Let me know how that tactic works for you.  I'm seeing the couch in your future.

Nope.  I think this ad was a scare tactic directed towards the women.  What they are really trying to say is "All that matters is how you look on the outside.  If you don't stay looking like a 20 year old (which by the way is completely impossible) you are not worthy of your husband's love, or anyone else's.  So be sure to
order this farce-of-a-product, and keep running a completely losing race.  Spend all your time looking for the magic fountain of youth, but don't spend any time focusing on what will make you truly beautiful".

That is what they are really saying, just maybe not in quite so many words.
LIES!  Just not true.  There are some LOSER men out there who overrate the importance of their wives staying young as long as possible, but that is sad and doesn't reflect well on their person. 

This is not to say we women should not take care of ourselves and try to be lovely, but we are smarter than those moron advertisers give us credit for.

I heard an idea from my long-time, seldom-seen friend, Sariah.  She told her daughter to take all the time in the morning she wanted thinking about herself and getting ready.  But once she left the bathroom mirror, it was time to start thinking about other people.  I like that.  I've got to go talk to my girls.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Corn Maze 2010

It's CRAZY corn maze time again.  My friend and I anxiously awaited the arrival of our corn maze coupon in the mail.  The older boys ran off together to navigate the corn maze on their own. 
But this year, the girls got to explore without parents as well.  They were really excited about the prospect. 
Come on... we're not that bad.
Perhaps the excitement for independence is due to the slow pace dictated by these kiddos-- particularly the two on the right.  Cute-- but slow.

Good Parental Advice

Not all of us are known for our athleticism. 
That's okay.  Some of us will have to live vicariously through our children.
This is my Nookie.  She scored TWO goals at her soccer game!  It was so fun for her and Abe went crazy cheering for her.  She really wanted to score this year, but she was losing hope.

Elinor:  Kevin and Dalton are hogging the ball!  They don't care about the team, they just care about themselves!

Mom:   Just go for the ball and push them out of the way if you have to. (I know, really good parental advice)

Elinor:  Mom, just so you know, there's no pushing in soccer.

Mom:  Well, just try it and see what happens. (more good parental advice).

Clark finished up his flag football season tonight.  He had the BEST coach on the planet.  Such a positive experience all the way around.  Hooray for flag football.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I Shall Overcome

"I shall overcome.  I shall overcome".

I've had a problem for pretty much my entire life.  I have not been able to wake up in the morning.  I sleep deep.  Really deep.  Ask my college room mates.  It is  possible to sleep straight through a loud ringing alarm clock.  No need to press the snooze button-- I just plain wouldn't hear it.

It was embarrassing to explain to my BYU professor why I was chronically late to his 8 AM class because, "I couldn't wake up to an alarm clock".
My dad told me I could wake up if I really wanted to.  Nope.  You can't wake up if your ears do not tell your brain there is a loud noise.  
In my defense I will only say that I come from a long line of heavy sleepers and I am not alone in my struggles, although perhaps I have to most severe case in my family. 

So as the years have passed, I did acquire the ability to wake up to a crying baby.  But I still was a little slow, so Abe would usually bring the baby to me and then I'd nurse in bed.

But today I have an announcement to make.  I have overcome my problem.  For 2 weeks straight I've woken up immediately after the little beep on my cell phone alarm.  Even before the actually ringing alarm starts.  Somedays I even wake up moments before the alarm goes off.
I thrilled to discover I might actually have an internal clock.  Who knew?
I am walking every morning with my friend and it is great.  But I must remind myself, 30 minutes of walking in the morning cannot justify chocolate and donuts before bed.  Darn.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Aunt Misty

 We had Aunt Misty here visiting this past weekend..  My people LOVE Aunt Misty.  More than me.  I don't blame them.  If I were them I would feel the same way. I have often heard statements like, 
"Aunt Misty is so nice".
"Aunt Misty's hair is so pretty!"
"When Aunt Misty washed our hair it didn't hurt."
"We like how Aunt Misty styled our hair."

Yep, we love Aunt Misty.  But we're not alone--oh no!
 She came down to Utah for her baby shower and she was seriously showered with gifts.  I've never seen anything like it.  I didn't know there were such cute baby things out there. 
Barbara went all out with the most beautiful handmade creations for Misty and baby.
The women came out in force for the occasion.  In this picture are Barbara and Allison, my sister and I and the Clark women.  The Cannon Aunts were there too.  I was just soaking up all the wonderful women in my life.  It wasn't a shower for me, but I felt SO rejuvenated after the visiting.
Look what a chunky-monkey I've got!! I'm so excited with each new roll!
It was so enjoyable to take my girls to the baby shower.  They were enthralled watching Misty open the gifts.  They were impressed with all the baby "bling" and accessories. 
We got to play a little "Dalmuti" with her before she headed home to be with my brother, Matt again.
"Dalmuti" is a game of ranking-- a bit like "Scum".  Faith was on Aunt Misty's team.  They stomped us.
  The little ladies did pretty well for themselves as well.
Things didn't go so well for Clark and I.  We are the peons.  Oh the shame.