Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Python in the Cupboard

Do you remember the snake I showed you yesterday?
Clark caught it at a park yesterday.  Here's a refresher in case you missed it or forgot it or have tried to block out the unpleasant image from your mind.
Clark came up with a very appropriate name for this little beauty-- "Fugitive".
Hmm... I wonder where he would get a name like that?  Yes, as you may have guessed, Fugitive escaped.  Escaped-- as in-- we have a snake loose in the house.
And yet nobody panicked?  Nobody moved a muscle to look for the snake.  No one's heart rate even got slightly elevated.  We kind of shrugged our shoulders and said, "Well, we'll find it at some point."

That's disgusting.  I suppose it is disgusting that there was a snake loose in the house, but I'm rather more disgusted with myself that it didn't bother me that much. What has happened to me?

Years ago when we lived in our Bluffdale house we had a ball python that got loose in the  house just hours before my brother-in-law's graduation party we were hosting.  I was inconsolable-- hysterically crying upstairs in fear that one of 3 horrible outcomes was imminent.  1) The snake would crawl out of the bathroom cupboard while some unsuspecting guest was taking care of business.  They would have a heart attack and it would be our fault.  2) The snake would be unable to escape through the bathroom cupboard and I would have a dead rotting snake carcass in my wall.  3)  The snake would hide-out in the walls and/or vents of the house and then come out after Faith was born (I was very pregnant at the time) and strangle her and eat her.

FORTUNATELY the snake came out sooner rather than later and no harm came.  But still, it was tramatic and I feel I had a relatively healthy reaction to a bad situation.

But the fact that I had absolutely no reaction to Fugitive's escape concerns me.

However, you need not be alarmed to come to my house this week.  I found Fugitive before we left for church this afternoon.  The sneaky little thing was somewhat camouflaged.  Can you see her in this picture?
She thought I wouldn't see her there, but I did.  That's how I roll.  I'm horrified by it, but that's how I roll these days.

 Okay, new subject.

Remember what it was like in junior high?  I know it's painful but try to go back there with me for a moment.  You were very self conscious and convinced that everyone was noticing every little thing about you.  If you were like me you were self-obsessed and regularly looked in any reflective surface to catch a glimpse of yourself  to make sure you looked alright.

Well friends, I've been living the jr. high life this week and let me tell you-- it is exhausting.
This week has been all about me and my hair.  I've been consumed with myself and have been very obnoxious.  My apologies to my family.  I am ready to get back to normal.  But I had one big obstacle to overcome first.

I had to play the organ at church today-- right up on the stand where everyone could see me and my new hair.  I was very nervous, in an unattractive jr. high kind of way.
You can imagine my relief as I sat up on the stand and realized-- nobody cares!  People were very kind and complimentary, but besides registering some initial surprise, nobody else cared about my hair even a miniscule fraction of how much I did.

This very healthy realization gave me the confidence to express my hair's real possibilities a little more freely during game night tonight!

Midnight Blog

Today was a hot, windy day in the valley so Abe took these four kids up Big Cottonwood Canyon for a hike in cooler temperatures.  The whole family would have gone, but due to some car troubles with the van we could only send as many people as would fit into Abe's car.  More on that later.
The trip up the canyon involved quite a bit more excitement than Abe expected.  His car died on him about 3/4 of the way up.  They ended up parking it on the side of the road and finding a nearby trail to explore while the car cooled down.  
They enjoyed cooling off their toes in the creek.
They discovered an area a little ways off the road they dubbed "Fox Hideout". 
When they headed back to the car their prayers were answered and the they were able to start the car and make it back home.  Barely.

As soon as they got home Abe and I went to the car fix-it place to pick up our van.  Our dash board panels were wigging out on us this week and we'd been driving around with a non-functioning speedometer and no turn signals.  How exciting.  We were so happy to have more prayers answered that the repairs were very minimal and very cheap.  Hooray!  Especially since Abe's car now needs some repairs.  Oh well.

I don't think I've officially announced it on my blog yet, but I have registered for and am diligently training for a marathon at the end of September.  This morning I needed to do 11 miles.  But when I went to bed last night I wasn't feeling that great.  We've had a few sickies at our house lately and I was afraid the yuckies had caught up with me.  BUT I HAVE A TRAINING SCHEDULE I MUST STICK TO IT!!! So Abe and I headed out this morning.  Abe did the first 2.5 with me and then I continued on.  I felt surprisingly good until mile 8 and then I called Abe, "Houston, we have a problem."
My tummy was not happy.  Abe rescued me and took me to a little ladies room.  I walked home from there.  I ended up logging almost 12 miles.  But there was a price to pay and I have been moving in slow motion for the rest of the day and not feeling so well.  This afternoon while Abe took the kids hiking, Bethany played at a friend's house, and George and I napped. 

While I napped I dreamed that I took myself to the hospital and told them I wasn't feeling well.  Truthfully, I exaggerated my condition to the medical people because I wanted them to admit me.  They did admit me and as I lay exhausted on my medical bed they gave me an IV because I was dehydrated and they gave me medicine to make me really tired so I could rest peacefully. 

As twisted as that dream may sound it helped me relax for a nap in the middle of the day and it was perhaps the loveliest nap of my life.  Ahh.

Elinor had her belt ceremony for Tae Kwon Do today in conjunction with the annual TKD picnic.  It was great fun and she is now a senior green belt. 
There was a little creek nearby the TKD picnic and of course the reptile whisperer found this little beauty.  Just what we need.
We got some free passes to Seven Peaks water park that we used this week.  The kids had fun.  But if I never have to go to another water park for the rest of my life I will not miss it.  I just don't like water parks.  This one in particular was SO CROWDED!  The wave pool was a mass of humanity.  The lines were long and the rides were short.  I am not terribly impressed with water slides-- it's not like rides at amusement parks that are at least some feat of engineering to marvel at.  Water slides are no more than plastic, water, and gravity.  And last but not least-- too much flesh exhibited for my taste.  I don't want to see that many people and I don't want to see that much of each person.
Here's another looksie at my new pixie-do.  CRAZY!  But I think I like it.  I'm liking it more and more each day-- just such a huge change.  This much I will say, when I go running I don't care if it looks good or not-- IT FEELS HEAVENLY!!!!!  And it is so quick and easy to do. 
I hope I don't frighten the primary children tomorrow at church!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Our 15th Wedding Anniversary!!

 [Posted by Abe]     This weekend 15 years ago, on an absolutely perfect day, Betsy and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple and sealed together as husband and wife for time and all eternity.  Here is proof in the form of three portions of our incredibly cheesy and incredibly wonderful wedding video -- the third of which is largely pictures of our honeymoon to Hawaii.

Betsy, I love you more than ever, thank you for saying "Yes" and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, Sweetheart!!!!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Snip, Snip, Snip

I remind myself of someone...

A little bit of Beiber...

A little bit of Demi Moore in Ghost

Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell in Hook-- minus the elf ears.

Perhaps some Suzie Orman in the mix

Definitely channeling some Tinkerbell.

 I am having something of an identity crisis.  But this morning I knew exactly who I was-- I was the lady with the really long hair and I was ready to chop it. I was so excited.
Feeling so sure of myself and what I was about to do.  I was going for the pixie cut. 
And it's a good thing I felt so confident going into the haircut, because I'm not at all sure how I feel about it this evening.  I'm quite certain I am in a state of shock.

I had over 20 inches of hair cut off today!!!
It is done!  I have VERY short hair.
It was very long and now it is very short.
That's the short of it.
I don't really consider myself a daredevil, but I'd say I was pretty brave today.  And I will admit that I have shed a few tears today as well.  That's normal, right?  But let's look at the bright side-- for starters, hair grows.  And mine grows pretty fast, so just in case my new style doesn't really grow on me (pun intended) it won't take too terribly long to return to a lovely chin length bob.

It is going to be so nice and cool for the summer and it is going to feel heavenly for running.  No more headaches and neck aches.

I love knowing that I was brave enough to do it-- how very Jo March of me.  "Jo!  Your one beauty!"

And since I'm selling my hair--how very Fantine of me-- I weighed it on a scale so the buyer knows how much hair there is.  The other good news?  I will be at least half a pound lighter tomorrow!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

What I Did Today

Here is a list, in no particular order, of what I have done today.

1.  I folded clothes.  Not so exciting, but I am proud of myself for doing it before the pack-n-play overflowed.

2.  I went shopping for a swim suit.  Not terribly enjoyable, but better than it was 47 lbs ago.  Even still, you can shrink a lot, but body proportions are hard to alter.

3.  I ran about 9 miles this morning.  It was a good run.  I enjoyed that a lot more than the swim suit shopping.

4.   I applied A LOT of sunscreen to my people.  We have a kiddie pool in the back yard and the sprinklers under the trampoline.  All of the kids, but especially Cannon and George are out there A LOT. 

5.  The whole family went to the big city pool today.  More sunscreen.  I wore my new swimsuit.  Abe tried to teach Faith to swim, but she is resisting her water instruction more than the older kids did.  No more life jacket for her.

6.  I found a pen that had gone through the washer today that by all counts should have exploded all over a load a whites.  Mercifully, the pen cap held.  Glory be!

7.  I joined Pinterest today.  I know why I did it-- I'll get to that next-- but I don't know that I'll go on there much.  I don't really understand how it works and I think it will make me feel like I should be doing more.  I'd kind of like to focus on doing less rather than more. 

8.  I joined Pinterest because I've been scouring the internet, obsessively searching for pictures of the drastic thing I'm about to do.  I am getting a hair cut.  A MAJOR haircut.  A haircut like nothing I've ever done before.  It's coming... soon.  I needed a place to put all my pictures.  I have one board-- "pixie cuts I love".

9.  Did I just say pixie?  Oh, yes I did.  When I was pregnant with Elinor we knew for many months that we were going to name her Elinor.  But I didn't think other people would like her name very much, so I didn't want to tell anyone her name.  I didn't want to hear their opinions.  They might not be able to resist sharing their opinions before she was born, but once they saw her and loved her they would love her name as well.  I feel a little bit that way with my upcoming haircut.  I've decided I'm doing it.  I don't really want to know if people think I should do it or not.  Maybe it will look fabulous; maybe it will look less than fabulous, but my family will still love me and worst case scenario-- I have really atrocious hair for about a year and then it grows out. 

10.  Notice I'm not putting a picture up here of the hair cut I'm thinking of?  Yes, well, I don't want opinions quite yet.  Except for Abe and the kids.  They are hearing and seeing no end of what haircuts I like.  "Ooh, what about this one?  I like this one!"  For the record they are all on board. Not that I need them on board, but... well, yeah, I kind of do need them on board.

11.  Notice that I've phased out of writing about things I did today and am now just typing my stream of consciousness?

12.  I shouldn't have worried that people wouldn't like Elinor's name.  It's a beautiful name and it suits her very well.

13.  I finished reading Sprig Muslin by Georgette Heyer today for my neighborhood book club.  I haven't decided yet if I liked it or not.  My reading time for this book was in lots of short little stints, so I wasn't able to really get into it.  Besides, I am embarrassed at how much time and thought I've spent researching and thinking about my haircut.  Talk about self obsessed.

14.  Enough about me.  

Monday, June 11, 2012

Rock On

Here are the videos of the kids and I playing at our recent jam session.  I've put them up in the order we performed.

Me, playing "With or Without You"

Bethany playing "Something That I Want" from Tangled.

Elinor playing "Lean on Me"

Clark playing "Fireflies"

Faith playing "Eight Days a Week"

Saturday night we went to a neighboring city's town days celebration to hear Dave Young's band, Contagious play.  He was such a good sport for all the kids, but it was great fun to see him really rocking out on a full drum set.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Not-So-Photogenic Fathers and Sons Campout

As I looked through the pictures that Abe took at the Fathers and Sons camp-out, I thought about two things. 
1.  I love these boys.
2.  Cannon is going through a very non-photogenic stage.  I'm not concerned as I am sure it will pass.  Bethany takes beautiful pictures now, but she went through a serious "Bride of Chuckie" phase.
The Sunbeam buddies.
I'm telling you, every single picture.
Such a handsome little dude, but it's just not coming across here. I'll tell you what is coming across-- a sincere desire to use the restroom. 
Sorry, I shouldn't have gone there.
Alright, I'll move on to something else.
Okay, I really was going to go on to a new subject, but then I noticed Cannon in this picture.
It just so happens that the camp-out this year was located very near Clark's all time favorite reptile hunting grounds-- Red Ledges. 
Clark caught six lizards.  That's respectable--not remarkable-- but respectable.
Of course, that also means we are the proud new owners of six lizards in our home.  I'm just glad he didn't catch another snake.  We still have the one he caught 3 years ago at Red Ledges.
I think morning face is an improvement-- what do you think?
"Don't worry, Mom-- I'll grow out of it!"

Elinor Goes To War

Elinor really wanted to go to camp this summer.  Any kind of camp.  She'd happily go to Cub Scout day camp if that was an option.  But alas.
Her wish came true when we signed her up for a 3-day history camp at Camp Floyd State Park.
We found out about the camp from her good friend, Enoch, who is pictured here with her.   Sadly, Elinor was Confederate and Enoch was Union.  The Civil War was like that-- friend against friend, brother against brother.  
They set up their own camp, got cap-rifles, hats, haversacks and a canteen.  They even got paid for their three days in the Army and could spend their pay at the commissary.  She was on cloud nine.  We always knew she craved adventure.
On the last day families were invited to come and watch the final battle. 
And there were casualties.
Including my darling-dearest.
At least she had a good dramatic death and her side won the battle in the end.
I'm not a big connoisseur of summer camps, but I'd say this one was pretty awesome.  And now Elinor can check one more thing off her bucket-list.
And here is the EVIL Cannon with his weapon of choice.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Summer Jam Session

Tonight was our piano recital, but it was quite different from our typical recital.  This was a jam session, complete with popular music and a drummer.
Here we are with Dave Young-- our drummer for the evening and a very good friend to Abe and I. We've known Dave and his family for about 7 years through our homeschool family book club.   He was beyond a good sport, giving these kids a wonderful experience and making them all feel like rock stars for the night. 
Not only did he give up his evening for the recital, but he spent all of Tuesday night at my house for a rehearsal with each performer. 
The pre-teen/teen young ladies were in fine form this evening and they all did great.  Somehow Elinor missed out on this picture.
And couldn't you just eat these little sweeties right up!!!!! I can hardly stand how cute they are.  I said to go ahead and channel your inner rock star and THEY DID!  Faith is so lucky to have all these friends in our neighborhood.
Because this recital was so different from anything we've done before I wasn't quite sure what to expect.  I have lost a bit of sleep over the last couple of weeks as it drew nearer.  There were more hiccups and stumbles than usual, but this was a hard thing these kids were doing.  Their songs had very challenging rhythms and were quite a bit longer than their regular music.  The girls in front are holding the music to "Bohemian Rhapsody"-- 11 pages, that my most advanced student played.  Then add the drums into the mix and each song was a real accomplishment, notwithstanding any mistakes.  We worked very hard and I am very proud of everyone.  I love these kids!
And I LOVE these kids.  Elinor played "Lean on Me" and I enjoyed watching her get into it and tapping her feet and doing a head bob as she played.  She was enjoying herself.
Clark played "Fireflies" and his fingers were flying, but he did a great job of staying right with the drums to some tricky rhythms.
Bethany played "Something That I Want" from Tangled and I've got to hand it to her-- she was seriously jamming with the drums.  One of my favorite of the evening.
Faith was second to last and she and I played "Eight Days a Week" by the Beatles.  She loves this song, has practiced it so much, and was spot on.
Abe snapped this picture of the whole group with the instructions to "make a rock star face".
Now I ask you, why is the drummer the only one not making a rock star face, when he's the only one who is actually IN a rock band??!!

What fun it is to work with so many great kids.  Do you see the young man in the striped black shirt on the left?  That's Jakob.  He played "Bohemian Rhapsody" and he was fantastic.  This was his last recital with me because he is just too spectacular and I've got nothing left to teach him.  After he performed he gave me a gift of a bling-y treble clef sign necklace.  I'm gonna miss that guy!  Good thing he's friends with Clark so he'll still be hanging around. 

As soon as we arrived home Clark announced, "Mom, now that the recital is done you can start thinking about the Christmas recital."

Clark, I didn't realize you loved it so much:)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Instead of Disney

Yesterday we took our whole gang over to the Library Summer Reading program kick-off party.  The event was held at one location for the entire county library system so it was quite the shindig.

Now to be honest, I don't know what an event like this has to do with getting children to read.  But who am I?  I'm simply a homeschool mom who has successfully taught 4 children to enjoy reading.  It seems like a lot of money was spent for a fun day, but I'm not sure I think this is how tax money should be spent.  Sorry to wax political on you.  I suppose that's another post for another day.  That being said, I was glad we went.  It was as close to a trip to Disneyland as we're going to get this year.
The train ride was the highlight.
I don't think I've ever seen Georgie so excited as when he was looking for the train.
Oh JOY!  To an (almost) 2 year-old happiness is a train!
And from the looks of it, "happiness is a train" is true for an (almost) 13 year-old as well.
As we were waiting in line we asked Clark if he was planning to ride.  His response? "I waited in line didn't I?"
At this point we thought we might really be in Disneyland when we saw Po and Tigress from Kung Fu Panda.  What luck!
But then--- JACKPOT!!!  Cannon was speechless and nervous and suddenly very serious to be in the presence of such pure awesomeness. 
Elinor didn't really like Ariel that much and in fact might have been somewhat disturbed by her.  But I like it when she saw her from a distance and said, "I'm going to freak out if she comes and talks to me because she is not supposed to be able to talk in her human form!"
That is one yummy leg!
What Disney experience would be complete without a show in the evening?  Bethany had her dance recital last night.  It was lovely.  She was lovely.
I may or may not have cried during it.  All right, all right, I was weeping at one point when a group of girls about 2 or 3 years younger than Bethany's group danced to a sweet song about caterpillars becoming butterflies.  They looked like little girls and my Bethany is becoming a young woman and there's no going back.
I tease my kids about not allowing them to get older and how dare they continue to disobey me! This business of children growing up and becoming their own persons is going to be rougher than I anticipated.  If last night is any indication I don't think I'm going to handle this very gracefully.   And it has only just begun! 
Bethany was so excited to get to do a ballet dance as well as a lyrical dance this year.  And once again, she was just lovely.  Too grown up, but lovely.
Here are a last few pictures of the day that make me smile.
Faith was happy to get to ride in her own seat and be the first car in the train.
Did you know that the man-child is almost as tall as me?  Quick, grab me the tissues.