Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

Our Utah group was rather small for the traditional gathering at the cemetery.  My dad, our family, Uncle Lane and Aunt Diane, cousin Kathryn, cousin Christy and Matt (who are not in this picture because they came late) and their boys.
We really look forward to this activity each year-- rain or shine.  And it seems we've had more bad weather than good for the past several years.  It was still wonderful, even with a smaller group.  And on a side note-- there are not very many women I feel short around.  It is somewhat refreshing!
Georgie's first Memorial Day.  Awwww.
It was cold so Grandpa shared his ear warmers with Faith and Cannon.  I'm not sure if he tried to dissuade them or not, but perhaps he sensed resistance was futile.
All right, friends.  We need to have a little informal poll.  How do you feel about bagpipe players at cemeteries?  My dad, never one to be shy about expressing opinions, does not like them.  And I quote, "What gives him the right to destroy my peace?"  
Um, I don't feel quite so strongly about it, but it did raise the questions, does the cemetery pay for this guy to come?  Or does he just volunteer his services?   Does he have a band of bagpipe playing friends who spread out across the valley on Memorial Day to help with the ambiance of the cemeteries?  And why should the Scottish corner the market on grave site music?  Could anyone bring out their violin or flute, guitar or trombone and provide the same service?  

What do you think?  Do you like the bagpipe player at the cemetery?
I like George.
Like father, like son.  
This was right by Abe's great-grandparents, Mary Leona Johnson Jolley and Jesse Levi Jolley.  Sadly, we didn't meet up with any Jolley family this year.  
Abe headed back to work for the afternoon while Grandpa and the kids and I went to Memory Grove to visit my Great-Uncle Hugh's memorial.  He was 21 years old when he died in a WWII naval battle in the Pacific.  Grandpa grabbed a few twigs and bark pieces and mapped out what happened in the battle and how Uncle Hugh's ship sacrificed itself so that several other American ships could get away.  Clark had a lot of questions about the war that Grandpa could answer for him.
As per tradition, we enjoyed a fun lunch together.  Remember that I told you that my dad wasn't exactly the shy and retiring type?  He's on the school board in Davis County and I casually asked, "So Dad, are you stirring any pots on the school board lately?"

Oh, yeah!  Makes for good lunch conversation and I think the kids enjoy the drama. 

Yesterday I logged a pretty serious complaint here on the blog that I didn't get to do any of the lovely, relaxing things I wanted to do yesterday afternoon.  I am happy to announce that I did indeed get to take a happy nappy this afternoon while my little boys slept.  Oh happy day!!!  Lark Rise to Candleford--- HERE I COME!!!!!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I Am Mother, Hear Me Roar

I had 3 things I wanted to do this afternoon.  They were calm, lovely, soothing things.  They were uplifting, rejuvenating, good things.

In no particular order I wanted to read my book, take a nap, and watch Lark Rise to Candleford (English period drama).  I didn't really think all three would happen, but maybe one and a half? 

"Children, I want you to play quietly in the family room.  You don't have to do any picking up.  You can completely trash the family room with your toys.  Feel free to graze in the kitchen for any food you want to eat.  Yes, you may watch a Sunday kind of show.  I will let you do just about anything you want-- just don't argue and be relatively quiet.  This is a good deal.  I suggest you take it.  Another offer like this is not likely to come around for a few weeks.  Complete freedom in exchange for your silence!"

There were no takers. They were-- how shall I say?-- high maintenance children today.   I didn't get to do any of my soothing, relaxing, lovely, uplifting things.  POOK!  They just couldn't leave well enough alone.  Cannon was--- how shall I say?-- a little monster after his day of showering gifts and attention on him.
THAT'S IT!  No more fun for you, little mister!

Kids!  I don't know what's wrong with these kids today!!  
So I said to myself,  if I don't get to relax-- NOBODY GETS TO RELAX!!!!

Enter:  Sargeant Mom!
Sargeant Mom is an imposing woman.  She strikes fear into all those she commands.  She rarely resorts to violence, as her intense and forceful voice is sufficiently powerful.  (That's a nice way of describing "yelling")  Sargeant Mom is able to summon the troops, mastermind and execute the picking up of the family room, playroom, living room, and kitchen is roughly 20 minutes.  It's not pretty and I don't like to go there, but Sargeant Mom is very effective.  She gets the job done. Dear children, if it is my attention that you need-- Oh, you will get it! 

Fine!  I will make you dinner if grazing is not what your delicate pallet desires.  But so help me if even one of you offers up one single complaint about what you are served! 

Now dear children,  all is not lost.  Tomorrow is a holiday and you will have a chance to redeem yourselves.  If you let me do even one of my lovely, soothing, relaxing, uplifting things, all will be right again.  Sleep well little ones... and consider!  Consider what excitement and freedom awaits you if you will but let your mama have a moment.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

"Now is it Time for My Party?"

And then he was three.
Cannon loved his Old MacDonald Had a Farm birthday party.  This event was highly anticipated at our house and with the exception of some light rain near the end, it was all we hoped it would be.
We invited the families of his nursery friends and had a great turnout.  Considering that it was Memorial Day weekend we were glad anyone was in town to come.  We had sandwiches, chips, watermelon and veggies.  I didn't want to mess with the mess of birthday cake for little ones so we just had an assortment of hostess cakes.  Kind of gross, but in a tasty way.
He had a grand time and was so impressed with Grandpa Cannon's confetti gun that he fired off after Cannon blew out the candles.  "Hey!  That was a gun shot!"
We wanted to hurry a bit through the presents before the rain started.  We told him he had to wait until we got home to play with the presents.  After two presents he really wanted to play with them so he asked, "Can we go home now?"
It was so fun for me Cannon to get a bunch of cars and trucks for his birthday.  With Clark it was all animals, bugs, and dinosaurs.  I loved it, but we played with animals A LOT!  One time I bought him a Little People City in the hopes that we could get some variation in our play.  Nope.  He just put animals all over the cars and city.  
Our after dinner activity was feeding the ducks and visiting the animals.  The party favor was a loaf of bread!  Grandma and Grandpa Cannon were Cannon's companions and they kept him safe from the rushing creek waters nearby.  Grandpa was very patient with a very energetic 3 year-old!
Grandma Barbara fed the ducks with Faith.  She also royally spoiled Cannon with a battery powered Toy Story 4-wheeler.  We are all so excited to see him ride it--  Clark wants to teach him what to do.  Elinor made up a driver's license for him.
It seems like often times we get together with families that have kids the same ages as our older kids.  It was fun to be with families with younger kids that match up with our littler ones.  Faith and Cannon are good friends with these little cuties.  We quite like the parents as well!
Philip (Abe's brother) and Katie and their 5 boys always add an exciting element to any event!  Katie was so good to stroll George around in her double stroller.  She was doing a trial run of six kids!!
Perhaps you had to be there to appreciate this picture, but Bethany was doing a drunken farmer routine and it was really funny.
  We have great neighbors.  And might I take this moment to plead that no more of my great neighbors decide to move.  Several families are leaving our ward in the next month and I am very sad about it.  I'm especially sad because I will be losing both of my counselors in Primary, plus a whole slew of other Primary workers as well.  Blah.  Blah.  Double blah.
But let's go back to happier thoughts.  He is three.  He is so funny.  I would say I want to pause him right where he is right now, but I'm so curious to see what he'll be like when he's older.   He is my comic relief.  Yesterday at lunch he was "not being appropriate" at the lunch table.  I was going to count to three and then put him in timeout if he didn't stop.  
MOM:  Cannon, that is a one.
CANNON:  That's two! (smiling and laughing)
MOM:  Cannon, please don't be yucky at the table.
CANNON:  1-2-3-4  TIME OUT!!! (said very quickly with hysterical laughing)

Well, I just don't know what to do with that.  As you can imagine, there was no time out.  Point for Cannon.
I'm so glad he is ours. Thanks to everyone who came to celebrate with us!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bloom Where You are Planted

It is three o'clock.  I have no piano lessons to teach this afternoon.  The children have some of their school work done for the day.  I have dinner all ready to go in the oven.  Georgie is going down for his happy nappy.  My people are wasting a full skein of yarn turning the trampoline into a giant spiderweb.

I usually blog at foolishly late hours of the night, when I ought to be sleeping, but I'm going to give myself a treat and write at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.  Will writing at this hour help me think more or less clearly?  Not sure.  I'd really like to go down and read A Tale of Two Cities,  but the very nanosecond I sit down to read, at least four kiddos will simultaneously need my attention for something. I don't know why they don't want my attention while I'm on the computer.  I won't question.

For a while now I've been thinking about the saying, "Bloom Where You are Planted".  My mother was very much into country/crafty things and when I was about 10 she gave me a t-shirt that had a girl with a flower garden and that saying printed along the bottom.  Think Mary Englebreit.

I never understood this saying.

For starters, we are people-- not trees or flowers.  But more importantly, we have choice in our lives.  If we don't like where we are we should do something about it.  Go plant yourself some place else!  Don't just stay where you are-- go and become what it is you want to become.  Go be where you want to be. 

I thought this was a dumb saying to make lazy people feel better. 
I am sure I am a little wiser now.

As children of our Heavenly Father here on earth we do have a tremendous amount of choice about what we want to do with our lives.  Especially living in the country that we do.  For the most part, you can choose what kind of education you want, what, if any church to go to, your entertainment, what kind of food to eat, what kind of work to do, where you want to live, whether or not to exercise, how big your family will be.  If you don't like how you look you can have plastic surgery to change your face, you can dye your hair.  In so many ways, you can choose who you will be. 

But not entirely.

Not everyone has equal options open to them at all times.  Some people are very poor monetarily and don't have many educational opportunities.  Some are in poverty of the soul and don't know who they are and where they came from.  Some people are lonely and haven't found a partner to go through life with.  Some might have multiple babies when they only wanted one.  Some would love nothing more than to be healthy enough to be able to exercise.  Some have good education, but are unable to provide for their families.
Choices in the past very much determine what kind of choices are available now.  I obviously no longer have the choice to be a single, unattached career-gal.  I chose to have children and now it is my job to raise and nurture them.  I can't undo that choice.  I could neglect that responsibility, but at what cost?

"Bloom where you are planted" means something much more to a 33 year old mother of seven than it did to a freshman at BYU in 1995.  It means to ENJOY where I am now and to embrace my work.  It means to bloom and be happy despite the occasional less than ideal growing conditions.  I am now connected and bonded in such a way that my life really is not just mine anymore.  I cannot just pick up and leave and go change to a different life.  Well, I could, but I don't want to and it would seriously hurt a lot of people.  My life is so tied to the lives of my family that I am actually quite rooted to where I am. 

I suppose I am like a tree or a flower after all.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

May I Present Bob and Red

I recently mentioned that "The Hole" in the backyard was now "The Pond".  Clark stocked it with goldfish and now two red eared turtles reside there as well.  Abe and Clark went and got them from the Reptile Rescue guy.  They're names are Big Red and Bobble Head.  We call them Bob and Red.
We need another reptile like we need a hole in the head, but I can't think of a good reason to say no.
It's good to have a passion in life, right?
And speaking of passion, Cannon will be turning three very soon.  He is having a birthday party at a local farm with the families of the kids in nursery.  He is so excited that he sleeps with his "Old MacDonald Had A Farm invitation".
I know a three year-old doesn't need a birthday party, but why should that matter?  We enjoy a good party, and I think it will be fun!  That's all I have to say about that.
This picture was taken of the men at our family book club.  It reminds me of this You Tube video.  Only our dads are better looking!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Poetry Recitation Night

For the final month of our Kid's Book Club the kids were suppose to read as much poetry as they could and then we came together tonight for a Poetry Recitation.  Here is part of the group waiting at the library for the rest of the group to arrive.  We had kids, siblings, and some parents recite--23 in all!  This was a most enjoyable way to spend a Friday evening!
  Elinor was first on the program and she recited, "I'm Nobody!  Who Are You?" by Emily Dickinson.  She dressed all in white because Emily Dickinson dressed all in white when she got older.  When Els was memorizing this poem she accidentally kept saying, "I'm a nobody!  Are you a nobody too?"
I told her it was really important that she say "I'm nobody" and not "I'm a nobody".  It's a small word, but it really changes the whole meaning.
Not the most flattering picture, but Clark had one of the best moments of the evening.  He recited "O Captain!  My Captain!" by Walt Whitman.  It was a challenge, but he delivered it beautifully.  He is very good at memorizing things.

Abe did "Abou Ben Adhem" by James Henry Leigh Hunt.  He considered dressing in his Arab garb, but decided against it.  It was for the best-- this was no costume party.  This was high-brow.  Well, it was until Cannon went.

Cannon did "Trick or Treat" author unknown.  No, no-- that is not some classic you are unaware of.  It was the good old, "Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat..."  You know the rest.  What can I say?  We thought it was funny.

I did "Solitude" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. Faith recited "Happy Thoughts" by Robert Louis Stevenson.  It goes, "The world is so full of a number of things.  I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings."

Bethany was the final reciter with "My Shadow" by Robert Louis Stevenson.  She dressed all in black and was very expressive.  
 I'll try to put some videos up soon, but we're having a few technical difficulties.  We'll see.
   We went over to the park for dinner afterward.  I'm going to pretend I do not see a pile of cookies and cheetos on both Bethany's and Elinor's plates.  I would appreciate if you would do the same.  
I just have to put this picture up because it is my favorite of the evening. 
I'm hoping other families might be interested in doing another poetry recitation night next year. 

"I'm Running Away!"

Elinor just finished reading Ramona and Her Mother.  Towards the end Ramona gets very upset with her parents and decides she is going to run away.  Her mother offers to help her pack and then purposefully packs too much so that Ramona's suitcase is far too heavy.
Although Elinor wasn't upset with me, she thought running away sounded like great fun.  Faith agreed, and so the two began to pack EVERY ARTICLE OF CLOTHING THAT THEY OWN.

MOM:  That is fine as long as you put all your clothes away when you come back.

ELINOR:  You'll need to call me on the cell phone when you need me to come home.

MOM:  I would really rather you didn't run away, because I would miss you terribly.

ELINOR:  Mom, I just need some adventure in my life.  Didn't you ever want adventure in your life when you were a little girl.

MOM:  Well, okay, but you can't run away until you finish your math and your piano practicing.

ELINOR:  Yeah, I know.

As it turns out, she never did get her math done, so she didn't run away.  What a relief.  This morning she did indeed have to unpack her clothing bag, and her food bag, and her bedding bag.  I guess she didn't need me to help make her bags too heavy.

Yesterday morning it was raining so I didn't go walking.  Then my piano lessons for the morning were canceled.  Then I realized I was still really tired because George had had a rough night.  So I did something glorious.

I went back to bed.
I would love for the children to have gotten right on their jobs and school work, but let's be realistic.  I had to settle for them building a giant fort in the family room.  Totally worth three extra hours of sleep. 
The fort comfortably slept the whole gang.  We were due for a good family room fort-- it had been a while.
With as many children as I have, you'd think I would be pretty good at diagnosing illness, but occasionally I get stumped.  George recently developed a rash on his face, neck and torso and he was very much out of sorts.  I didn't recognize this rash, so being the calm and relaxed parent that I am, I rushed off to the Dr.  I was sure he had meningitis. 

He didn't. But I appreciate that the Dr. didn't laugh in my face when I told him my suspicions.  Perhaps Elinor is right and I was just looking for more adventure in my life. 
Supposedly, the rash, which lasted less than 36 hours, is not unusual at the tail end of a virus.  I've never heard of, nor experienced that before, but okay.  Georgie did, however, have an ear infection so it was good that I took him in.  Thanks to antibiotics, he is a happy-chappy once again.
 I arranged with a BYU student who is in our ward and majoring in English to come and teach a series of four classes on creative writing to our book club kids.  She has a great personality and Bethany especially LOVED the class.  Bethany has always enjoyed writing, so she is happy to have some new ideas and direction. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Weather

I'm not really one to complain about the weather.  It all goes back to the "Serenity" poem I had to write in my 8th grade calligraphy class.  

Why complain about the weather?  Your complaining won't change the weather, nor will it make you feel any better about the weather.  I don't see much point.

That being said, the current weather here in Utah is seriously cramping my style.  We are having rain, rain, and more rain.  Fortunately we are in no danger of flooding like many parts of Utah and the country are, but we are suffering nonetheless.  Along with the clouds up in the sky we have a very heavy cloud of grouchiness hovering over our family right now.  Several of the children are very off kilter the last couple of days.  Some of them are the very children I usually count on to help keep the emotional balance of the family in tact.  Some of them are the usual offenders.  

It probably has something to do with Operation: Work Before Play.  It's no fun.  It has some satisfying aspects, but it's no fun.

It also has to do with the reality of being back into the full swing of school and regular life after our marvelous Great Plains Adventure.  Perhaps we should sell our home, buy a motor home and hit the road on a more permanent basis.  We could become gypsies!!!  No, I don't think so.

As I think about it-- this funk we're in is probably my fault.  How's that for an unhealthy dose of mom guilt?

I think I felt such rejuvenation after our trip that I went a little manic.  I thought we could revolutionize our whole lives-- We will be organized!  We will accomplish every single school thing every single day!  We won't watch any TV or movies!  The dishes and laundry will always be done!  We will have healthy, home cooked, sit down meals every night!  Every person has to wear clean underwear every day!   I will exercise everyday!  I will plan out our curriculum for next year before we even finish this year!

Perhaps I've been the hovering cloud of grouchiness.  You think?  Once again I prescribe one giant chill-pill for myself.  I will chillax and enjoy my people again.  Which unrealistic expectation shall I release first?  There are so many to choose from.  I suppose next year's curriculum can wait.  And take out pizza for dinner sounds great.  Heck, let's watch a movie tonight.   

But I won't budge on the clean underwear thing.  I think that is entirely realistic. 

Monday, May 16, 2011


When we were on our big adventure a little while back we stayed a couple of nights in Wichita, Kansas with Abe's brother's family--Russell and Melissa and their four daughters.  We had a great time and I noticed something about how their home operated.
--They were diligent in doing their dishes right after a meal.
--When I asked if I could do a couple loads of laundry, their laundry room floor wasn't covered in dirty clothes and clothes didn't need to be moved through in order for me to start a load.  The laundry room was ready and waiting. 
--The playroom was picked up before going to bed at night.
--There was a place for everything and everything was in its place (what a concept!)

Basically, they had time to sit in the living room in the evening and relax because all the work was done.

Many of you may be reading this, thinking, "Isn't that how everyone lives?"
Let me assure you that this is NOT how everyone lives.
Me for instance.

Oh, I do take time to sit and read, but it is always at the expense of work that needs to be done, so it's not true relaxation.

But I really enjoyed the order to their home, and I have made a vow to change my sloppy ways.  Well, not exactly a vow... but I really am going to try harder.  Part of that effort  to change my ways involves convincing/forcing my children to change their sloppy ways.  I do understand that their ways are mere reflections of my own ways, but it takes a pretty concerted effort to change deep seated house keeping habits of a large family.

Here's my plan for OPERATION:  WORK BEFORE PLAY 
1.  Each person MUST pick up their own belongings. You get it out-- you put it away. REVOLUTIONARY!!
2.  Each child is already assigned certain jobs to do each day.  They are responsible for their jobs for about 4 months before the jobs rotate.  When I see a job needs to be done-- SHOW NO MERCY-- call them in to do the job.   Yes, it might be easier to just do it myself, but I must be strong.
3.  Everyone picks up and straightens up before meals.  I'm just thinking about his one-- I haven't actually put it into practice yet.
4.  Although it may seem somewhat unrelated, I MUST have regular, nutritious meals planned and prepared every day.  I have long felt that having to feed this many people three times a day is excessive and unrealistic.  REALLY???  Three times a day???  It is too much!  But it must be done.  These healthy satisfying meals are the keys to a smooth family life.  *Sigh*  I must make (and stick with) a meal plan.

Perhaps I'll keep you posted on my progress.  Ooh!  Maybe I'll show you pictures of my clean kitchen sink?  Or my clear laundry room floor?

Oh, I'm just kidding!   I know you don't want to see that and besides, the moment of cleanliness would be so fleeting, I'd never be able to find the camera in time.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Saturday Night

 ------Cannon is potty trained!!!!  If you know his personality, you can imagine how many laughs have been involved in the process.  My favorite is after he goes potty he runs downstairs and yells at the top of his lungs, "I had tinkles and chocolate!"
Yes, you know what chocolate means. 
It's taken him a little while, but he has been very agreeable and cooperative.  And he has made sure the whole family has been a part of his success.

-----Faith got a haircut this week.  Her hair was quite long and it is now just below her shoulders and very cute.  I kind of wish she went even shorter.  Maybe I'm getting tired of my own long hair and I'm living vicariously.

-----Abe and I had a very nice date this evening.  I love his company and love to hear him talk.  Not that I don't do my fair share of talking, but his voice is very soothing to me.  I would rather listen to him tell me about a movie than actually watch a movie myself.  Most recently he told me about The Tourist because I was too tired to stay up and watch it.

-----Elinor was sick yesterday and went to bed at about 5:30 yesterday evening.  She slept all the way through the night, but woke up kind of early.  Abe got up with her and then he took her to her softball game today, so they had a lot of father/daughter bonding time.  She needed a little one-on-one time with Dad.

-----Clark and Abe went to talk to a local man who runs the Salt Lake Reptile Rescue Service.  Clark would like to do some volunteer work, taking care of the animals, feeding them, cleaning cages and such.  This evening while I worked on my Sharing Time for Primary tomorrow, he talked to me for about an hour and a half straight about all the awesome reptiles this guy has.  The man told Clark that getting bitten at some point was pretty much guaranteed.  Clark said he was good with that.
So let me get this straight, you are good with getting bit by snakes, but if Cannon bares his teeth to you, you would scream like a little girl?

-----Bethany was a big help to me this evening making tons of "silver plates" to engrave testimonies on in Primary tomorrow.  We're going to make our own Primary Testament of Jesus Christ.  We covered 100 quartered sheets of card stock with aluminum foil.  We'll put hinged rings through them to hold them together.  I'm quite excited!!

-----I tried to keep up on the laundry since getting home from our trip and I did great for about 5 days, but it got boring.  So I started reading more books and that was way more exciting, but now there's a lot of laundry to do again.  This week I enjoyed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society  (strange title, but enjoyable book) and  The Wide Sargasso Sea.  This coming week I need to finish A Tale of Two Cities. 
How do I find time to read, you wonder?  I just told you-- I've stopped doing my laundry.  I've stopped doing my hair as well, which is why I really shouldn't have long hair.  All of my pony tail holders should be confiscated and given to someone more worthy who won't abuse them.  Maybe you know that I have this crazy idea to grow my hair out and sell it.  I know it is rather mercenary of me to sell it rather than donating it, but...

It's kind of romantic. 
I sold my hair to pay for my daughter's dance lessons.
I sold my hair to finish a room in the basement for my son.
I sold my hair to pay for my husband's master's degree.
I sold my hair to buy an iPad.

Oh, wait.  That last one is kind of pathetic, but I would like an iPad.  Who knows?  My hair will probably go gray before it gets long enough anyway.  There are a lot of things in my life that I never pictured myself doing-- homeschooling six children topping the list.  Growing my hair out long to sell it is perhaps a close second. 

It is late.

A Break With Reality

When I was a senior in high school I took an elective sociology class (which subject I majored in at college).  One of the assignments in the class was for each student to have a "Cultural Experience" and then to report to the class.  I lived in Virginia at the time and came out to Utah to look at schools and audition for scholarships with my trombone.  Did you know I played the trombone for 13 years?  Pretty impressive, huh?
Well, anyway-- I went to a dance at BYU.  This was my cultural experience.  It may not seem very "cultural" to you here in Utah, but a dance at BYU is definitely a different world to non-LDS high school students in Virginia.

That was NOTHING compared to the cultural experience I had today.  I'm not quite sure where to begin.  Perhaps with a picture...

I took the kids to the Utah Renaissance Festival and Fantasy Faire today.

Wow!! And I don't mean that in a good way.  The very real (frighteningly real) jousting was the high point.  More on this a bit later. 
The kids went last year with a fellow home schooling family in our neighborhood and they had a marvelous time.  They were very excited to take me with them this year, but shortly before the festival opened, the location changed due to flooding in the regular place.  Consequently, the festival was smaller and some of the more "educational" aspects weren't there (i.e. the blacksmith, and wool carder).  Instead, it seemed to me to be more akin to a carny-ridden, gathering of people who have completely broken with reality, selling their wares to innocent children.  That's harsh, but so was being subjected to scantily clad 40-year-old dancing gypsy women.

The Roman Gladiator seemed a bit out of place-- uh... weren't they well before the Renaissance and they weren't fantasy--they were real.
This "gentleman" was very cute with Cannon-- talking to him about being a knight-- right before he conned me out of $5 for a sword for Cannon.
Do you see the person with long hair in the kimono with the parasol?  Yeah, that was a man. 
What's up with a kimono at the Renaissance Festival and Fantasy Fair???
I try not to be too judgmental of people.  I appreciate that it takes all kinds to make the world go round, but this was too much for me today.  When I saw children being a part of their gypsy parents' traveling show-- my heart went out to them.  I got lots of heebeegeebees today. 
Back to the jousting.  My kiddos tried to tell me what it was like from last year, but I suppose I just couldn't wrap my mind around how intense it would be.  YIKES!  My mommy-danger-warning-sensors were going bezerk!  Huge charging horses, long lances, flying shattering wood pieces, knights being knocked off horses onto the ground.  What kind of insurance must these people have to have?
Now these were very respectable young people.  This is part of the group of kids that performed Much Ado About Nothing this morning at the Festival.  Clark is on the far left. 
These young people appreciate Shakespeare, but none of them actually think they live in the 16th century.  See that's the big difference.
They can enjoy playing a part---temporarily. 
Shortly after we arrived the kids asked me what I thought of the festival.  I could only answer that it was very interesting.  By the end, I couldn't WAIT to get into my car and get home.  After today, I can see why someone would not like Halloween.  As Elinor said a while back when wondering about the Easter Bunny, "It's fun to believe in what is real."

Amen, Sister.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

For Shame

"She skulked silently into the room, praying she would remain unnoticed.  Her eyes scanned the table buried in stacks of books, tools, and plants at the front of the room .  She had been here before and it was always painful.  Why did she come tonight?  She knew she wasn't going to do it this year, just like she hadn't done it for the past eight years.  Were all these people really that much smarter than her?  Could they tell she didn't belong there?  Her guilt engulfed her and she could only hope that the hour would pass without any tears."

Can you guess where I went this evening?  It was a gardening class over at the church. 

What is my problem?  I say that I'm too busy growing children to grow a garden, but really-- people have children and have gardens!  I dealt with my pain by making notes about my blog post this evening rather than notes about where to "buy" my dirt from.  After I actually asked out loud where to get dirt from, I realized just how RIDICULOUS I was.  I shut up after that. 

The ward's resident master gardeners were very gracious and really did a very nice job.  It's not their fault that I was in the class.  There were people there who could speak their language-- you know-- garden talk.  Conversations about nitrogen, fertilizer, pesticides, spacing, watering systems, planting schedules. 

I have two goals I must accomplish before I turn 50.  I will grow a respectable garden and I will learn to sew.  Gracious Day!-- Caroline Ingalls wouldn't even give me the time of day.  And I call myself a homemaker.  For shame.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Back to Normal

This is the backyard high dive.  It does look very unsafe and Abe was concerned, but I assured him they jumped off the playset roof all last summer and everyone was fine. 
The hole in the backyard is now a pond in the backyard.  Clark has been scouring KSL Classifieds for turtles, frogs and fish.  He has plans to create a Reptile Gardens of his own. 

I don't know how I feel about that.  I don't know that it matters how I feel about it. 

Do you need some sort of permit to build a pond in your backyard?   
Chocolate pudding makes excellent mustaches, beards, and goatees. 
This is why we don't take them out in public very often.
Mother's Day breakfast in bed.  Abe made me a humongous omelet.  I'm not sure why he made it so large, but it was tasty and I was grateful. 
The kids insisted that there should be a Children's Day. I told them that besides Christmas, EVERY day at our house is Children's day.  I agreed to celebrate Children's Day, if (and only if) they would do what I do on Mother's Day.  I would bring them breakfast in bed if they would make me lunch and dinner, potty train Cannon, and take care of Georgie all day.  Also they would need to write me a letter of appreciation telling me how wonderful I am and what they love about me.

I didn't have any takers.