Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Full Day

About a month ago, without his knowledge I signed Abe and myself up for a 5K race.   It was free and we'd get a nice shirt out of it and I really wanted Abe to start running with me.  I figured those were three very good reasons.
He was a good sport and agreed to do it.  Free shirts will entice people to do all manner of crazy things.  The race was at 8:00 AM yesterday morning and IT WAS SO FUN!  I loved it!  I like running with Abe because although I've got more endurance right now (he'll catch up), he's got longer legs and can go faster than me.  I have to work a little bit harder to stay with him.  
Our good friends had several members of their family run it as well.  It was just such great fun.  There were lots of kids that ran as well.  So now that I've got Abe with me, which of my people is next?

Yesterday was a very full day-- next up was Bethany's dance competition in Spanish Fork.  Now, putting aside the fact that I do not love dance competitions, yesterday's was the most enjoyable one I've been to.  It moved along quickly and was well organized.  Because of our race in the morning I gratefully enlisted the help of my Dad and Bev to drive Bethany down earlier than I'd have been able to get her there.  I did, however, make it in time to see both her ballet and lyrical routines.  I'd be lying if I didn't say that I was super proud of her.  She was just beautiful and I am kicking myself (I really did just kick myself) that I didn't take any pictures to post.  Shame on me!  See what happens when Abe isn't there to take pictures!  And I call myself a mother! Anyway, there is still a recital in June and I will not fail to take pictures of her in her costumes then.  

Next up on the schedule Elinor and Faith went to a three hour softball clinic in the afternoon.  I really don't know how worthwhile it was, but they were pretty worn out at the end.  That's got to be good for something, right?  I did see Faith turning a lot of cartwheels in the outfield.  Which I suppose is more productive than picking grass in the outfield.  
For the record, Faith does not ever pick grass in the outfield, and only turns cartwheels during practice-- never during games. 

And last but not least...
Clark had his closing night of performing in Shakespeare's somewhat less known play, Love's Labour's Lost.
Where do I begin to explain Clark's love of his Shakespeare class?  
Let's start here, with Andrea Flynn.  She teaches the classes and directs the plays.  She does an older group and a younger and Clark is in the younger.  She used to do an even younger group that Clark, Bethany, and Elinor all did.  She has directed The Tempest, Midsummer Night's Dream, MacBeth, Much Ado About Nothing, (another I can't remember at the moment) and now Love's Labour's Lost.

And these young people EAT IT UP!!  I mean, they can't get enough.  She must inspire them something fierce! They do the old style renaissance dances, they quote Shakespeare to each other, they even write their own scenes in Shakespearean language.  It is magnificent, even if it is about the strangest thing I've ever seen.  I mean that in the very best possible way.  
Here is Clark with a fellow thespian and Pi Pod team member.  I credit this co-ed class with the recent change of heart the man-child has had.  And I quote, "Girls are people too.  They aren't so bad.  They're kind of interesting."

You heard it here.
I know most young people won't understand all the language.  Heck, most adults won't understand all, or even most, of the language.  But it flows beautifully and the actors all delivered their lines quite clearly and understandably.  I think it's good to just get used to hearing it.  

I can see why they love Andrea-- she is remarkable!  And I can see why Andrea loves them-- they are a remarkable group of youth and I couldn't be happier to have such friends for Clark.

Abe note:  Here is a link to an excellent "behind the scenes" youtube video of L.L.L.
  And here is a youtube video of L.L.L. highlights featuring Clark:
(This 2nd video takes forever to get going.....sorry)
  And one more link to a slide-show of L.L.L on youtube:

Monday, April 23, 2012

I Have Confidence

It takes a confident woman to share a raw and real photo taken first thing in the morning.  But first thing in the morning with a puffy eye due to an allergic reaction to make-up and a sun-burned tomato face-- now that is radiant confidence.
For future reference for myself (because this has happened before), Revlon eyeliner is good.  Loreal eyeliner is BAD.
Do not be tempted if the Loreal is on sale.  $3.00 is not worth it. 
You were allergic two years ago and you will be allergic two years from now.  Don't make the mistake again.

It takes a confident woman to admit to the world that I'm more of a Walmart gal than a Target gal.  I want to be Target.  Who wants to be Walmart?  Target is stylish and hip.  Trendy and cute.  But since by this point in life I cannot accurately be described as any of those four words, I am left to accept my fate.  I am Walmart.

This evening I needed to go out and buy some clothes that fit.  I am not complaining that I've lost enough weight to need to buy new clothes, but I DO NOT LIKE CLOTHING SHOPPING.  Or grocery shopping, or toy shopping or electronics shopping, or online shopping.  I do not like shopping, Sam I am.
Oh, wait I do like shopping for books.  Barnes and Noble is probably the only store I actually like going to.  But I digress.
I picked Bethany up from dance and told her we were going shopping.  She was overjoyed.  I needed her support.  We headed to Target because, hey I've lost weight, I might look good in some stylish clothes.
I did find a pair of running capris, but that was it.  I wouldn't even know how to wear most of the clothing I saw at target and I'm pretty sure I'd look like a total poser.  Come on, Bethany, we're going to Walmart.

And as I hoped, there were plenty of "pieces" at Walmart that I will be very comfortable wearing.  Sigh. 

And one more thing in this riveting tell-all post.  I saw an old friend from my high school days while I was at Walmart at 9:30 at night, with no make-up on, with itchy puffy eyes, and not having brushed my hair even once today.  Yep, I have confidence.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Day in the Sun

When an adult gets a sunburn I am not very sympathetic.  I want to say, "Have you ever heard of sunscreen?  It's been around for a few years and it is miraculous stuff -- it actually keeps you from getting a sunburn.  Try it." 

And yet, here I sit with a rather uncomfortable sunburn.


I would like to blame these two little cuties, but it's not their fault.
The girls had a morning game and an afternoon game and I did a longer run this afternoon and I didn't think to put on sunscreen for any of it.

Foolish woman.

Oh, but the games were fun.  Their team has lost all four games so far, and not to discourage team spirit and loyalty, but I don't care at all.  I am tickled that these two are reliably hitting and getting on base almost every time they're up to bat.

WARNING:  Obnoxious proud mama moment!
Faith is in the outfield, so she's not seeing much action in the field, but she is rapidly moving up the batting line-up because she keeps hitting.  The coach was a little concerned at the start of the season because she was so small and young, but she's proven she can play with the big girls.
And Elinor is playing 2nd base a lot and got two outs in a row today.  My voice is a little raw from cheering. 

Clark and Co. having their monthly D&D club. 
All those rumors about teenage boys eating a lot... it turns out they are true.  But a few boxes of pizza is a small price to pay for the enjoyment of such an outstanding group of young men. 

Now, you know that I don't know much about D&D, but I have gathered bits and pieces of info about how it works and I know you have a character sheet that gives you all sorts of information about how strong your character is and what they can do and such.  That's the extent of my knowledge.  The sheets are jam packed with numbers that are hard for me to wrap my mind around.  

I appreciated the simplified, but WAY cute character sheets Bethany and Elinor made this week.  I can follow these. 
  Except "Thaco".  I still don't know what that is.  But Rose Ranger has a baby blue dragon and a golden retriever dog.  That makes sense.  200 pieces of gold and 175 pieces of silver.  Good.
I like the category "Back Pack Stuff".  And she obviously has 3 shirts for clothing.  If Clark's D&D club was this simple I think I could figure it out.
Please pay no mind to the spelling mistakes.  We're a work in progress:)
I'm mostly happy with the progress.  And I'm very happy that Bethany and Elinor and even Clark occasionally, will read stories to the younger kids.  It is a source a great sadness to me that I don't read to the little ones as much as I did to the older ones.  I am grateful to the helpers that in many ways help to raise their younger siblings.

The girls and I had a lovely time at the Activity Days Etiquette Dinner this week.  I didn't do a lot to help with the meal or planning the event, but I did come help set up and clean things up at the end. I made note that preparing dinner and cleaning up is downright enjoyable when done with friends who are eager to be as helpful as possible.  Now, if only I can teach this concept to my people-- it could revolutionize dinner time!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Game On

Elinor and Faith had their season opener tonight!  The whole family was so excited to go to the game.  Some members of the family were only excited to pay their first visit of the season to the Snack Shack, but whatever the reason we were all there and happy to be there.  Elinor got a couple good hits in, which was to be expected now that she is such the veteran.
And little Faith got a great base hit on her very first time up to bat!  You can imagine the hysterical screaming and wild cheering that ensued.  We were perhaps a scene.
Els was so happy to finally get a chance to play first base.  
I even got to help out a bit in the dugout getting the girls in the right batting order and making sure they knew when it was their turn.  I felt so useful.

Earlier in the day we had our younger kids book club.  Like I said earlier, our book for the month was Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling.  Me no likey.
And I didn't feel like doing a book club for a book that I did not enjoy at all.  I was stumped for games, discussion ideas, snack, everything.  I had put a block on anything having to do with Just So Stories.  When it finally came down to it the kids and I managed to come up with a few ideas, and would you believe it actually turned out to be a very delightful time with my young book club friends.
I made elephant ears for a snack in honor of Elephant's Child.
We played tug-o-war in honor of Elephant's Child's nose getting pulled by the crocodile into a trunk as we know it.
It rained this morning and we were bummed because we feared the softball game would be cancelled and it makes book club a lot trickier when we can't go play games outside.  Fortunately, the weather took a turn for the better.
The Just So Stories are all stories of origins that tell how something came to be-- like how the leopard got its spots.  So the kids all made up their own stories of origins.  Elinor's was about why the penguin doesn't fly anymore.  Someone else wrote about how humans got their ears.  Another was how the giraffe got its long neck.  Faith and Cannon also participated, but I'm not so sure they really grasped the idea.
Cannon drew pictures of octopi and told a riveting story of how the octopus and the monster were playing tug-o-war with him.  
And Faith's story is destined to be become a classic:  Why the old grandma did kung-fu.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sleep Your Cares Away

I'm in a mood to chat.  I understand that it isn't really "chatting" if it is just me typing my thoughts to myself and no one to answer back-- but I suppose you could post a comment and it would be delayed chatting, and that will work.

Sometimes I like to organize my thoughts before I write, but that feels like it would require too much thought, so I am going to go for a "stream-of-conciousness post".  I don't think it's going to be very pretty.

I spent most of the day at a dance competition with Bethany yesterday.  It was an hour a way from home.  I don't understand why I have to travel for such an event when I am the one who lives in the most populated county in the state.  I love dance and find it a beautiful, expressive art.  So why am I so put off by these competitions?  Is it the fake eyelashes?  Is it the thought of how much money is poured into such an event?--registration fees per routine, costumes, warm-ups suits, admission fees, tuition for the dance instruction.  Is it just the time it takes to wait through 40 other dances to see my little darling dance?  I am pleased with the studio Bethany goes to and the instruction she receives, but if the studio announced they were no longer going to compete I would say, "Yippee!"

My solace throughout the day was reading Persuasion for my upcoming book club that I am hosting.  Anne Elliot helped keep me grounded in the midst of glitter and eyelashes.

So that was most of the day, but then it got better when we rushed back down our direction to go to Abe's nephew's baptism.
We went back to Daniel and Lori's home afterwards and had a nice dinner and lots of visiting.  Abe's parents came down from Spokane for the big day and stayed in a hotel with a pool.  The kids were wild to go swimming at the hotel, and although I am a little ashamed of myself for my choice, I happily stayed and visited with Lori while Abe took our kids swimming.  It was lovely.  So lovely in fact that I was not nearly as ashamed as perhaps I should have been.

We didn't have anything going on this afternoon or evening after church and I was feeling very tired, so I let the kids pick a movie to watch.  They couldn't agree on a movie so I made them watch a turtle documentary that nobody wanted to watch.  That will teach them.

The girls wanted to bake a treat this afternoon.  Sorry ladies, we're out of flour, brown sugar, and rice.  The rice wasn't such a problem for the treat, but it has made dinner the last week a little trickier.  I've really got to go grocery shopping tomorrow.

Speaking of things that I really need to do-- the clean, but unfolded laundry is taking over my boudoir.  I was going to fold tonight, but I was also going to go to bed at 8:30 pm.  It was not realistic to expect to be able to do both.  As I write I am debating which I should do.  If I pick the laundry, I will wake up to a cleaner room and my children will have an easier time of getting dressed in the morning.  I will feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that I did the job that needed to be done and I am taking good care of my people.  On the other hand, if I just go to bed I will get a good full night's rest and I'll be so happy that I won't care that my room is a mess and children can't find their clothes.  Looked at in that light it is really a no-brainer.

On Tuesday we are hosting our younger kids book club and we are discussing Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling.  It's not a very long book and I know it's a classic, but none of us are enjoying it.  We've just got to get through it.  Over the last three years of doing book clubs once or twice a month, I can't think of a book we've enjoyed less than this one.  What does that say about us?  I don't care.  And I don't like Alice in Wonderland either.  So there.

Elinor's and Faith's first two softball games have been cancelled due to rain.  There have been tears and grave disappointment.  We've even done hair with black ribbons to match their shirts in the hopes that the game would go on.  No luck.  Maybe this week. 

Oh my goodness, look at the time.  It is 8:38!  What am I still doing up?  I am going to sign off, throw all the clean clothes back into the pack-n-play and climb into my cozy bed and go to sleep.  May I encourage all of you to do the same-- Throw off all of your responsibilities and sleep your worries and cares away:)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter 2012

It has been a beautiful, relaxing, rejuvenating, enjoyable, and all-round marvelous Easter weekend.  This morning we got up early and quickly got all ready for church.  We don't have church until 1:00, but we wanted to go to the cemetery where my mom and Tessa, along with several other family members are buried.  We don't do this every single year, but I love it when we do.  I can't think of a better place to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ than by thinking about what it means for each of us and those we've already lost.  Easter morning always gives me such peace and comfort and especially HOPE.  My heart feels lightened and I know that we will all be resurrected and we'll be able to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and our families forever.  
A moment with my girls at my mom's and Tessa's grave.  
It is always emotional to visit the cemetery, but on Easter it is a very comforting, special time.
We enjoyed good food and good company for dinner this evening.  Grandma and Grandpa Cannon joined us and for dessert they brought all the fixings for ice cream sundaes.  Maybe we're not very original, but our dinners with Grandma and Grandpa Cannon always follow the same format--yummy dinner, a little talk of Grandpa's politics, a talent show put on by the kids, and topped off with a few rounds of The Great Dalmuti.  I guess we like routine, but it is very enjoyable to us.
And here come the troops charging into the living room to see what the Easter Bunny has brought.
We always do our Easter Bunny celebrations on Saturday morning.  It gives us plenty of time to gobble candy without the rush of getting ready for church.
I know, it's genius.
As per tradition, along with the candy, the Easter Bunny brings everyone a book.  Did you realize the Bunny was such a strong supporter of childhood literacy?  
Faith got a Fancy Nancy book.  Raise your hand it you cannot get enough of Fancy Nancy!  Ooh, ooh, pick me!
The Easter Bunny must know that after 12 years of reading stories to six children, I need some new material every now and then.  Georgie got a couple of Gyo Fujikawa board books.  My sister-in-law, Amy, introduced me to this author/illustrator and I just LOVE her books.
Everyone seemed very pleased with what the Easter Bunny selected for them.  Elinor got an American Girl book about feelings which is good for her because she has a lot of feelings to work through.  Most of them involve an injustice perpetrated against her by the world.  She is a middle child after all.
Bethany got a babysitting book and kit. She still has her morning babysitting gig, but she is ready for more!
Clark got a Heroes of Olympus book, but I think he's had the most fun reading Cannon's book to him.  It's called Awesome Man and it's darling and we've all gotten a kick out of it. 
We've never done it before, but we decided to go to our city sponsored Easter egg hunt.  Putting aside the fact that I am opposed to city sponsored events such as this (what business does a city have using tax dollars for an Easter egg hunt?), it was very well organized and very short and sweet.  Not much suspense in "hunting" for eggs since they were just laying there for the grabbing in a roped-off smallish area.  It was over and done in one minute.  But the kids liked it and got some fun stuff.  
Clark and a friend went to check out the Teen Easter Egg Hunt on Friday night.  From what I've been able to gather from him it was the same idea as the younger kids the next day, but in the dark and over even quicker.  I'm sure he'll figure out a better activity for next year.  Live and learn. 
And look, Georgie got to sit with the Easter Bunny.  And he liked him.  Elinor is the only one of our children who has feared for her life around costumed characters.  
See, her feelings ran deep even way back then. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Abe was a nice daddy and colored Easter eggs with the kids yesterday.  Does he truly enjoy coloring Easter eggs?  Is he an artist at heart and eggs are a cheap medium?  I don't know, but I am so grateful, because I do not enjoy coloring Easter eggs and I am not an artist.  I am so happy to have Abe do this with the kids.
Faith is holding up her finger because she has an owie.  In attempting to peel an apple with a peeler, she accidentally peeled a bit of her finger.  Sadness.
We've been enjoying this beautiful bouquet of fresh spring flowers.
The flowers aren't actually so fresh, since they are made of paper.  But they are beautiful and colorful and Bethany made them last weekend.  No watering, no dead leaves, and besides a little dust they will last indefinitely.  My kind of flowers!

In other news, Abe has made me a very happy woman this week.  Not that that is so unusual.  I consider myself very fortunate to be married to Abe and I am regularly very happy with him, but this week he started exercising with me!  Hooray!!! He walked with me a couple of times and he ran with me as well.  I've got the endurance and can go for a long time, but for shorter distances he is faster than me so I had to hustle to keep up with him. 

Elinor is a thinker.  Sometimes I fear she may think too much as evidenced by two of her recent questions too me.

"Mom, if you found out I was a mermaid, would you turn me into the scientists?"

(No, I wouldn't tell anyone and I would protect you from the scientists.)

"Mom, do you think I have any fifth cousins that are suffering from cancer?"
(Sadly, you probably do, but I don't know who they are).

Where does she come up with this stuff?