Monday, December 19, 2011

Santa at Reams

Went to the grocery store on Saturday and right in the milk section we spotted Santa & two elves sitting all by themselves waiting for kids.
Sarah was with me and he tried to wrangle her in but she was having none of that.
I called Nathaniel and asked him to drive John (and my camera) down to meet us.
John was pretty intimidated and couldn't remember what he wanted for Christmas.
Sarah and I thought it was funny and reminded us of the movie "A Christmas Story" except this Santa was nice and there was no slide or boot in John's face at the end.

We asked John what he thought about it later and he said he liked it but Santa had bad breath.
Oh John!

Temple Square 2011

Despite the cold we made it to Temple Square again this year. We bribed the kids with Chinese food--which luckily worked:) I also packed hot chocolate and cookies in the van for afterward.

I let Peter handle the photography this year.

It was not warm. You can see no one really is feeling like having our picture taken.
Kind of hard to smile when you can't feel your face!

They had a new display of nativity scenes from around the world. That was fun.
Rebecca thought the angel at the top of this one was particularly strange and we were trying to figure out what kind of an animal that is on the bottom right.
Kind of like a platypus but the beak is pointy.

They also had hundreds of lit-up paper bags that people had punched little holes in with Christmas greetings in many languages and scenes from the life of Christ. Peter took a picture of this one because it was in Hungarian where his sister Sally served her mission.
This means "love."

I always like going to Temple Square because we live so close and it helps me remember the real meaning of Christmas.
The nativity is always beautiful and inspiring and we always stop to listen to the messages and the singing, complete with President Monson's words from a Christmas devotional.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Chess club

I went into John's room last week to wake him up and this is what I found on the floor. Kinda creepy, no? He recently started attending the chess club and got this t-shirt that he was very excited to wear to his first meeting, which happens before school on Tuesdays. The girls frequently lay out their clothes at night and that is what I think inspired him. Of course they don't stuff them to look like a body complete with shoes. . .

Just to ease your mind here is where the real deal was at the time,
sleeping soundly, whole and complete.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas decorating 2011

John's Christmas list

Look! My Christmas Cactus bloomed this year! I'm so excited!

We did a second tree in the family room. It was fun but now is starting to dry up a bit even though we keep it watered. I'm wondering how it is going to be faring by Christmas.
The kids and I decorated with bird ornaments we've been collecting.

The tree in front of the window, of course. It always looks the same and I love it.

End of November

For Grandpa's birthday we made him a hat. So cute!
Wanna guess how old he is?

Love this expression on John's face.

On Thanksgiving the girls and I cook for hours . . .

Sarah sets the table . . .

John gives the toast:)

Family spends next two days playing Mario Cart on the Wii.
You can see here Nathaniel knew I was trying to take a picture.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Driving me crazy

Nathaniel has been a driver for three weeks now. It's been weird but nice. For the record, all merit badges are finished (yea!) but he still needs to do his Eagle project. At church last Sunday he went to another Eagle Court of Honor. Apparently this boy finished hours before his 18th birthday. Then another boy was passing out information on gathering his Eagle project stuff together and I was unhappy that this wasn't my son. At the DMV they told Nathaniel I could take his license for any reason and could even walk into the DMV and revoke my signature at any time just cause I felt like it. Nathaniel wasn't loving that speech.

Nathaniel finds all sorts of reasons to drive. Need lettuce? Forgot propane? I can get it! He's taken John to the store and Rebecca to her violin lesson. I love that he can drive himself to the stake center for a mutual activity. I haven't worried too much yet because we've only let him go a few blocks away so far.

Sunday was the first day we saw him bless the Sacrament. I say the first time we saw it because the first Sunday he turned 16 he had to bless it twice for people that were home bound. So we weren't there for that obviously, which I think is kind of nice for him since he didn't have a very large audience for the official first time. Now I guess I join the ranks of mother's who worry during the Sacrament prayers.

The idea that Nathaniel is not far from mission age has not escaped me. He reminds me of it from time to time and I can't help but think of a missionary that spoke in church a couple of Sunday's ago. We've got several out in this ward right now--like eight-- and one of the missionary moms just lost it completely for the rest of church and finally went home for Relief Society. I was feeling for her. Peter and Nathaniel think all the mother emotion over missionaries is hilarious and are clearly going to have no empathy for me whatsoever when I get to that point.

So later that Sunday we were all kneeling around our bed for family prayer when Peter stretches out over the bed and says, "You know what would really make me sad? If this mattress went away for two years."

It really is unfair.

Friday, November 18, 2011

School Events of the last 24 hours

John had his Thanksgiving program last night.
They sang lots of songs about unfortunate turkeys. So adorable!

Here is John and his turkey.
Speaking of turkeys, have I ever mentioned Peter's rather extreme feelings on the subject? If not, know this: Peter lives for Thanksgiving dinner. He loves turkey. As in weeks ago he started worrying about whether I had secured our turkey yet. I don't know why this is. Maybe he is afraid they will run out before I buy it. I think more than anything it just makes him feel better knowing his Butterball is safely tucked in the freezer awaiting the big day.
Every year he wants the same menu--no deviation. He has reviewed this menu with me this week, he's afraid I'm liable to I forget something.
And it has to be my turkey dinner. This is key. If we travel I still have to cook.
He's so cute:)

Today was the 5th grade wax museum at Art City Elementary. Rebecca was Mary Edwards Walker, a civil war doctor and spy who is to date the only women to have been awarded the Medal of Honor. (See how educational this blog is?)

She was a big woman's rights advocate too, as you can imagine. She was also very outspoken about the restrictiveness of women's clothing and frequently dressed as a man.
Rebecca was not impressed by this at all.
She did marry (in pants, not a dress) but later divorced, surprise surprise.
She was buried in her suit.

Below you can see the gym filled with all the kids dressed as Amelia Earhart, Babe Ruth, various astronauts, presidents, explorers, inventors, and even Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's and Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek.

This is a 2 1/2 hr ordeal so Rebecca was very lucky to be set up with her good friend Brooke!

My personal favorites?
These guys . . .

Bonnie and Clyde! Check out that cigar!

And only because we live in Utah--

Joseph Smith!
Love it!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Happy 11th Birthday Rebecca!

Here is a scene from the low-key party we had for Rebecca last night. After some significant burn-out of late I told her this year I wasn't going to do a craft, or games, or a theme. I'd do pizza, a cake, and that was pretty much it. She could invite friends from the ward only. (We did make one exception to this but that girl didn't end up being able to make it anyway.)

They had plenty of fun as evidenced from the wild screaming in my house that went on for several hours. They were planning to watch a movie but that never came to pass. I think they were having too much fun in the basement playing games like "murder in the dark."

Peter and I gave her a pogo stick, a Jessie Doll, the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, and not one, but two pair of moccasins. We had bought two different styles with the plan of returning the one she didn't care for but she ended up liking them both. I think it all went great considering how much work I didn't do so mission accomplished.

Today was the primary program (which was really well done by the way!) and also Rebecca's official birthday. She wasn't feeling very well so she went home after Sacrament. I taught in Relief Society so I had to stay and worry about her from a couple of blocks away. For the record John refused to stand up for any of the songs in the program and would only pop his head up occasionally to see if we were still smiling in his direction. He was all the way in the back so we basically didn't see him for much of the meeting. Bugger.

Cold Kitties

A few weeks ago Rebecca kept having hives that wouldn't quit. When she broke out in oozing blister hives on the one side of her face I was determined to get to the bottom of it. I was racking my brain one night trying to think--what has changed? What would be coming in direct contact with her face? And specifically on the right side?

Then if finally came to me. It was one of those few moments in my life of instant clarity--she is allergic to our cats! She had been sleeping in the guest room more than usual and just around that time the cats had been sneaking in a lot more because it was getting cold. Carmel would frequently take up residence on the pillow there, sometimes even sleeping with Rebecca there by her face. And Rebecca always sleeps on her right side. With all the allergies Rebecca struggles with this shouldn't have come as such a surprise to me. It's just that we've had these cats for eight or nine years and so I wasn't really making the connection.

When I broke the news to her the next day she was not pleased and denied that this could possibly be true. But whether she believes me or not was not going to change my mind and as soon as I took control of the situation her hives magically disappeared.

The cats are no longer allowed into the house at all. I feel bad about this but there was only one room they really hung out in and it was the guestroom right off the garage and that is now off limits as it is frequently in use by my insomniac child Rebecca.

Even with the cat beds out in the garage it was obvious to me from the way they flocked to the engine of a recently driven car for warmth that they were still cold.

So I got with it and ordered these heated airbeds for them and set them up in the garage.
Carmel took right to them but I kind of had to direct Jill.

She eventually got it figured out.
Now instead of watching for stolen moments to dart into the house they are pretty happy right here. So far seems to be a win-win.

Friday, November 11, 2011

5 Random things

1) The other morning Peter was running late for some appointment when I noted that he was ironing a new shirt in the basement. I had to question his judgement on this. "You're late! Why are opening a new shirt when your closet is full of shirts I just ironed for you yesterday?"
His answer? None of them were blue.
Something funny about Peter: he likes blue shirts. A lot. A whole lot.
Maybe this is because they look great with his eyes and I have told him so in the past. Maybe it is because he just likes blue. I'm not exactly sure.
So I called down, "Why don't you just buy all blue shirts then?"
He said he hadn't thought of that but that he thinks it may be a good idea.
He was entirely serious, which made me laugh.
I counted all his shirts this morning that were either blue or good enough for Peter because they had solid blue stripes. There were 10.
Then later this morning I pulled out 2 more out of the dryer.
Twelve blue shirts. Twelve.

2) John drew this last Sunday. It is his depiction of the baptism of Jesus.
The bird is saying "I know the scriptures are true. Tweet tweet."

3) Rebecca's birthday list complete with what she needs for her party:

For the record she wanted a horse ("which I'm not getting") an American Girl hair set, a Jessy Doll (from Toy Story), a "bird suite" (meaning suit) for her bird Rocky (which is actually a harness that can be used to "walk" her bird,) a pogo stick, and she wants her own room. Unfortunately she is right about the horse and I haven't seen any new rooms pop up in our house recently so that probably isn't going to happen just now either.

Also this is her depiction of the kids eating me for dinner thanks to my kitchen sign.

4. I have a pet peeve with short skirts. For the record, I'll never approve of your short skirt.
If you struggle to find modest skirts I do feel your pain. Even at the "modest" stores they are still too short on me. I probably try on 8 or more dresses or skirts for every one that is going to be long enough. So one day I was checking out skirt extenders online and was dismayed to find they were like $40 bucks!

So I found this this website and decided to make my own:

Note that in theirs they only used the tule. I used fabric under the tule for more coverage. They are the greatest thing! It's like I have a whole new wardrobe of options now. This red skirt I hadn't been able to wear in forever after it shrunk slightly in the wash. So far I've made a gold, black, and white one.

The Young Women asked me to come in and demo for them and it was a great opportunity to share my opinions. Such as how your skirt should hit your knee and if it does so barely in the front you should bend over and see what it is doing in the back. That if you can stand outside and see through your skirt you should be wearing a slip and because it was me teaching and I got to say what I wanted I also threw in that I didn't think you should be wearing hoodies to church. Or flip flops. And that goes for their moms too.
Okay I didn't really say anything about their moms:)

5) Lastly, is it bad to brag about my kid's grades?
I say not since this is my blog and she worked her butt off for them:
(Go Sarah! Go Sarah, go!)

Cub Scout news

Mouth a-l-m-o-s-t to the marshmallow. . .

Nathaniel and volunteer mom rescuing our dying fire.

A few weeks ago we had our most anticipated event of the year--
our Annual Wolf Den Cookout.

It's like Christmas for the Wolf Den. Hot dogs, chips, and smores is all we do. Course I always provide a tray of veggies and dip in case anyone is feeling healthy. Surprisingly some boys take advantage of it. Others just use the dip for their chips. It's all good.

Up to now I've never had an official assistant. For the first year we met with the Bears. Then the numbers began to climb and when we split the Cubmaster Assistant became my temporary substitute assistant. Fast forward many months and on Sunday I got my new assistant.
I'll call her Sister Jane for today.

Sister Jane was the first person I worked with in this ward. She and I co-taught the Sunbeams for a few months. We were a good match. No nonsense kind of people.
During our meeting this week Sis. Jane made her first appearance. She was a good sport because she hadn't been there when she was finally sustained on Sunday and no one (including myself) bothered to mention it to her.
In my defense I did think of calling her several times.
That counts right?
So as I'm sitting in the parking lot with 10 boys running about I called her and apologized for not contacting here this week but could you please come over to the church--like now?
She did. What a sport!
As we settled into our room in the church I was trying to call order to our first activity when Sis. Jane barked out "get over here and sit down! Now!"
It was music to my ears. And for the record, the boys were golden.