Thursday, October 28, 2010

Getting Laughs

On Sunday was our church's primary program. Issac had been waiting with overwhelming anticipation to say his part which he had memorized. When the time came he jumped up to the podium, grabbed the mic, and loudly fast talked his way through his part and jumped down adding a half spin and returned to his seat. It gave him some of the loudest laughs of the day. This isn't the first time this boy has sent people in church or anywhere else for that matter into a fit of giggles. I've largely considered why he is so funny. Because when I look at his antics although amusing they are not laugh out loud hilarious, but people are constantly laughing. I have decided that people laugh with him, because his joy is infectious. He has more personality and energy bubbling over and emanating out of him than anyone I've ever met. And all of this personality is stuffed into this itty bitty boy who barely arrived on the growth charts his last, 4th, birthday. But don't underestimate his size either because he is a solid, stout, football playing, baseball hitting, wishful hockey star.His name means, he will laugh, and as a baby Travis and I were worried his name would not fit him since he was a colicky one. At the tender age of 2 weeks he started crying and hasn't really outgrown it till recently. But daily he fills our home with laughter, eye rolling, and knowing looks between me and Travis about what the teenage years will hold for us with him as our son. But because he has never been one to mess around with mediocrity it is only fitting that every emotion is felt as deeply as his happiness. And with that I bring to light Issac's extreme tender side. When something is wrong, he is the first to rush over with a hug and a kiss to make it all better. And when all is right he is the first to tease you mercilessly. When one of the kids is being picked on he is the first to step up and engage in a physical assault on behalf of another. (Yeah, we're still working on the appropriate hitting thing. I don't want to take away too much of the aggression, because I really think he has athletic potential that just needs honing.) Although Issac and Kody are the closest in age and therefore have conflict often times, he is the first to take care of Kody and make sure he is taken care of by others. He cries on behalf of others and quickly is brought to tears himself when you reasonably point out where he has disappointed you. And so it just amazed me to no end when our recent family photos were handed to me on a disk by our friend and she had captured this side of Issac which people rarely see or notice. It is the side that gets lost in the depth of his personality. Issac's own little hand is wrapped around Kody's leading him down the creek bank into the water which had scared Kody previously. Just another way in which Issac takes care of those around him. Man I love this boy. I can't wait for all the entertaining years ahead.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

When Emma Comes To Town

...this is super delayed, because forever the pics wouldn't download without error. This really was the last week of September

We celebrate with 44 oz Sonic Strawberry Limeades.
We go pick pumpkins and giggle over the phallic nature of some of the gourds.
(I never said we were mature.)
I take her to meet my neighbors and other friends on Jaime's birthday.
We bedazzle my front porch with seasonal decorations.
We head on over to Roots, we visit the Hershey Factory.
We make and eat enormous amounts of junk food, talk all night long, and relive our college days.Is she not the cutest little prego girl, 5months and with twins? Miss you already Emma!

P.S. We also had an early dismissal from school because of the flooding the day I took her to the airport. I was in Philly, so thanks Kelly for picking my kids up after school. And on the way home I was debating about whether I should tempt driving through the water when along came the postman. In the end I did drive through it to get home.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Candy and Primary Pro (Grams)

Dear Lancaster 2nd Ward Primary Children
(parents read this to your kids),

You really amazed me yesterday with your primary program. Almost all of you had your parts memorized and spoke clearly into the microphone. And the singing was amazing, just fill the chapel with sound kind of great. And more than anything I was so happy to be able to feel closer to my Heavenly Father by listening to you guys. Thanks for working so hard. I loved it and I can't tell you how many other people loved it. I got more compliments yesterday than any other day I have gone to church and I hope that you were hearing just as many too, because it wasn't me who did anything great, but you. I think people were just in awe of how good you all could sing. I hope you always sing these songs and remember the words. Hope you are all getting excited to eat yummy, yummy whoopie pies.

Sister Whiting

Monday, October 25, 2010

Nothing Feels Sweeter

...than quiet one on one moments with my kids and a hubby by my side. Who would have ever thought that having my emergent reader, Wyatt, read to me in the quiet calm before nap and night times would be my favorite moment of the day. Just look at the range of emotions we experienced and Travis quietly captured. I may just love him forever for recording this for me.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Little Perspective

This is one little excited boy and 500+ pounds of pumpkin.
This is 300ish pounds of pig! Which would you rather eat?
This is the start of fall and the changing colors of the leaves. Give it another week!
And here is a Sunset Maple, my fav. tree, on the very same day.
Here is a Issac's first trip to the fire station.
And now his life long dream is to be a fireman.
And here is the seemingly average looking firefighter, who just got hotter looking the more of the fire suit he put on.

Isn't life just all about perspective?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Grown Up Christmas List

Ludicrous that Christmas is just over 2 months away.
My kids have been telling me what they want
and they are getting antsy to write Santa a letter.
And I can't help thinking about some things I would go bonzo over this year.
So here it is my very own Christmas wish list.

1. My basement to be finished. (Namely carpeting!)
2. A new digital camera. (Mine is on the fritz, hence pictureless blogging.)
3. One extra shelf for my laundry room.
4. New loaf pans. (Current ones are rusting.)

And now you get to weigh in.
What kind of camera would you get?
I love the Nikon D5000, but that's a cool $600-$700.
And I worry that the bulkiness of it and the lenses
would prohibit me from carrying it everywhere.
But I need a 5X opitcal zoom minimum.
And something that can take and load pics quickly
for those rapid snapping times.
Anyone have sometime they are in love with?
And hopefully closer to the $300 range.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I'm Immature

...but seeing this just sent me into a fit of giggles.Yes that is McCracken's truck. Perhaps his first name is Phil.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Here's Your Sign

Last night Travis and I attended our first Manheim Sportsmen Association meeting. Basically we were there to be officially inducted in and to get a small tour of and safety course in using the facilities both necessary before we can start going in our free time. For those who aren't up on these things basically it is a pre-approved area in the city where you can shoot both guns and bows into targets for fun or practice.

As we entered it was a whole realm of people mostly covered in camoflauge and cotton in the sweat suit variety. Earlier I had worried about not getting "gussied" up for the meeting only to get there and realize there was no dress code or grooming code for that matter. Travis and I amused ourselves through the minutes and business portion of the meeting by playing "Name Their Gender" which was considerably long lasting taking into account we could only see the back sides of people and there were a surprising amount of androgynous people.

But the highlight of the night came when we toured the facility and heard safety lectures. The membership chair led the group issuing axioms as clever as "A fool is borned every minute" and "An empty gun is as deadly as a loaded gun". But hey at the end of the night our family can go shooting on a moment's notice anytime we want and I laughed for a good hour.

Then today, Travis called me. He is a sucker for helping anyone out anytime. It is one of the main reasons I married him. He will stop anytime someone is on the side of the road, he will help anyone move, babysit any one's kids, and volunteer at most any opportunity including his current stint in PTO, our only consistent male attendee.

So it was no surprise to me when he called me today and said that a loose acquaintance of ours was back in college and struggling with some math homework. He could use some tutoring and Travis had volunteered me. The man appeared at our door and I was nervous about my rusty math skills being enough to get me through this. Travis assured me it was a basic level algebra. I assumed 100 or 101.

As the man got here he came in carrying a computer book and flipped it open to questions on learning to understand computer programing systems including the decimal, binary, octal, and hexadecimal systems. This was not algebra, but I fancy I can get through most things. So as the man streamed a continuous line of chatter about how smart he was I read the chapter, studied the examples, and taught myself how to do his homework so that I could teach him. And when I did he decided that he didn't like numbers, doing homework, and he didn't see the application in all this. Alas our tutoring session was pointless once he comprehended the amount of work involved.

But the highlight was when the man asked to use our restroom, went in, and continued to talk the whole time he relieved himself both of urine and flatulence. I about combusted as I consider this to be the most intimate of intimate acts. I don't even share potty time or talk with my husband, so I thought I would die. But once out of the bathroom, I ushered him out the door failing to offer continued support if needed. Because that would just not be productive.

Now I ask you, between my crazy visitor early this week, the Sportsmen Association Man, and my tutoree do I have a sign on me that is drawing the crazy people to me? If so I would like to remove it, seriously! ...but it makes for amusing fodder in telling others.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Never Thought I'd See It Happen

I have a signed photograph of Matthew McConaughey!
No really I do.

Due to an extremely intense and long term devotion, some friends gave it to me as a gift.
I have never run into the man in person; it's probably better that way considering restraining orders and the like.

So here are my top five in today's order.
And let's be honest it does change daily as I am a finnicky and vain woman.
Just good old fashioned hottness. 4.
He is what started my love of cowboys.
He has such a versatile look - all hot!
But long hair has never looked so good!!!
This man is trouble; my gut tells me so as well as his michievious smile.
But I still love him trouble and all.
Holy hotness and cuteness!
I want to drag him home and marry him!!!
Who do you lust after?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Home is My Haven

There are very few things I get totally serious about, but my home is one of them. Within its walls I want to hear laughter and love and peace - that's it.
So if you are an invited guest at my house please do not start it by asking if I am growing my hair out and then informing me you do not like it like that. Neither should you segueway into speculating about my menstrual cycle making pointed remarks about the potential for it being that time of the month for me. And last I wouldn't recommend being invited into my home and then suggesting that my husband may look for physical affection elsewhere if I don't give it to him and commenting on the general nature of how I am undeserving of my "perfect" husband.

Because if you do it is at this point that I will take my very serious nature about my home being my safe place and ask you to either learn to check what you say in my home or please leave.

On a totally unrelated note...I had the most fortunate experience this week. Monday I was zonked tired trying to recover from a whirlwind previous week and weekend. After taking Issac to school, I came home and went back to bed not setting the alarm thinking for sure I would be up before 11am. At 2 minutes until 11 I woke up knowing that I should already be at Issac's preschool. I jumped in the car with Kody and zoomed towards his school, running through one just turned red light on the square.

I looked in my rearview mirror hoping the car behind me followed to cover me if any potential cops were around, the police station is right on the corner. Sure enough a car had followed me through the red light, it being a cop car and all. He turned his lights on, I quickly pulled over waiting impatiently for him to come to the window where he asked for my license and registration. I informed him I knew why I was going to get a ticket and happy to accept it if he could please kindly follow me to the school a short four blocks away before giving it so I wouldn't be late picking up my son from preschool.

He asked what time I was supposed to pick him up. I answered 11am. He asked what time it was now and if that was why I had run the red light. I answered 11:03 and yes. At which point he took me name and said I'll give you a warning unless when I run your license it is suspended. If it is you will receive a ticket in the mail, if your license is clean consider yourself warned.

Well lucky me my license is not suspended, but my license had he given me a ticket would have hit the 6 point mark, Pennsylvania's limit whereupon there are additional consequences. But alas no worries, he was a very nice police officer. Thank you random policeman!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


So as chair person of a farm show booth, basically my life is madness for one week. The biggest pain has been last minute changes to the volunteer schedule and no shows. Today I worked an impromptu shift. I told Bella to be in charge of Issac and put Wyatt in charge of Kody and allowed them to roam around the farm show for forty mintues whle I filled in. They each knew where my stand was and how to find me, and I felt totally confortable letting them explore for a bit. I know I am a very relaxed parent. For those of you who are a bit more protective, close your ears or eyes as the case may be.

About thirty minutes into it, I heard the area PA system static and it soon kicked to life with the voice of an older gentleman and I knew. As soon as he sad we have found a child, I said to my other volunteer this is going to be one of my kids and I have a strong suspicion I know which one. Blog readers, friends, I implore you. Take a guess.

As the man's announcement continued he said we have a little boy, he says his name is Issac. I took off my gloves and went to the designated area to pick up this child, the one whom I had suspected even as the static kicked on. I felt a momentary second of confusion, "How did Bella lose him?" But I knew Issac and so harbored no ill feelings towards her. As I arrived at the puppet show theater, I didn't see him. I asked the woman there about the missing little boy. She said, "Oh within seconds a little girl, his sister, came to pick him up and she told him she was so worried and why would he leave her side." A slow smile spread within me, Bella is my good girl.

And then the woman said, I adore your son. As he sat here watching the puppet show by himself I asked him, "Does your Mom know where you are at?" To which he responded, 'No, but I'm an escape artist - she won't be worried.'" I laughed a little knowing the truth of that statement more than anyone. She continued to tell me what a charming little boy he is. I thanked her and left to find and confirm the status of Issac. Issac got his usal speech that seems to have little effect.

So tell me dear friend and reader...what am I supposed to do with a little boy who looks for oppurtunities to escape when in a crowd so he can go and do whatever he wants to. He always comes back to us when he is done exploring and playing where he wants to and the rare time he has gotten lost he knows to find an adult in charge. He is actually quite responsible, but I hate that he hasn't learned to listen even if he thinks he's not a baby and doesn't need constant watching.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Farm Show Musings

This week is Manheim's Farm Show. I unwittingly and single handedly became the chair of the Women's Club of Manheim booth. We do brownie sundaes, ice cream, and assorted beverages. Of all the booths it could likely be one of the easiest ones with fewest food selections, but still it's crazy and already I have vowed to never chair it again. First I have observed that unless you are a part of this madness you have no idea how much work goes into serving several thousand residents of a farm show community loads of unhealthy fat and sugar ridden deliciousness. So thank you to all those who do this year after year.

Also this week I have observed more human behavior than normal and several things keep coming forward to my mind. Teenagers are in the midst of building their social networking skills and will do quite anything to practice, including standing late at night in the rain and cold just to be together instead of home separately.

Teenage life is the same no matter where in the world you are and the religion and cultural context you take with you. Being Amish or Mennonite or Brethren may look differently through how they dress, what they drive, etc...but when you see a group of teens gathered round talking it doesn't matter, it could be practically the same conversation because learning to be an adult through experimentation is the same wherever you are.

In America, I have concluded it is a social status upgrade to be in a relationship, no matter the age, even ones that look from the outside to be ill fated and badly yoked. Is this why whole genres of books and movies are written about the male/female relationship?

Additionally when my red headed son sees another red headed boy, he started hopping around like a happy lunatic chanting, "He has hair like mine." It is crazy to realize that even at age 3 he notices the unique color and wants nothing more than to find someone like him and to fit in even in the most fundamental way. And that is what community is all about - finding the people like you and gathering together, learning how to exist in a socially complex society and loving it.

But last of all if and when you run a farm show booth know that you will be so tired and exhausted that you will fall asleep while reading to your kids at nap time. You will be praying and not realize you stopped until a full ten seconds after the initial five seconds of awkwardness because you just realized there is a problem you had not previously foreseen. And last when your husband leaves for work early in the morning after you have only been asleep a short three hours, the slight vibration of the garage door opening and shutting below your bedroom may make your half sleeping self grab unsuccessfully over your mostly naked body searching for your "vibrating" cell phone.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

September Wrap Up

In reverse chronological order, September included, a family dance/birthday party. Of course Rico Suave, or Issac as we like to call him in our house, found the prettiest girl there and they danced together. Actually very cute! And Wyatt broke out his mad dance skills shocking some of our friends who only see his reserved side. He can do a mean robot.
Also earlier in the day we went to Dutch Wonderland, a child amusement park similar to Lagoon in Utah. It was tons of family fun and perfect weather. We rode tons of rides and took in a show. It was set up at a pool and included divers. I think I found a new career for next summer. Although the lead girl was good, I'm a better diver - I'm just pretty sure people would rather see her body in a bathing suit though. Kody was excited about many rides, including one Frogger ride which I tried to talk him out of. After the ride began so did his shrill crying and I caught it on tape with my maniacal laughing in the background. Yes I am that mom who may on occasion enjoy seeing a child cry, it's amusing -okay.
The Monday before that some friends invited us over for barbecuing and we played on their community playground. I had pictures of them, but they deleted while trying to format the stuff. And quite frankly I am too lazy to re add them as well as a cute picture of Travis and me at Dutch Wonderland. Back to the playground though, this was the fastest slide ever. Quite crazy, but great for my older adventurous kids.
Wyatt lost his first tooth with much less drama than Bella's. He just ate apples until it was so loose I ceremoniously ripped that sucker out. Ignore the fact that he is shirtless. It is a constant battle with the boys around our house especially with nice weather.
Also it is/was apple picking season. I picked me some apples, 26 lbs or so. I made apple pie, applesauce, and we ate apples like crazy. The kids don't even have to ask for this snack.
Dakota got another birthday present in the mail, from Nana. It was a great rebounding punching bag that the three boys attacked with much hula pa loo for several weeks. Also he got expanding dinosaurs and trucks that have turned into great bath toys.
And for Labor Day we headed up to my sister's cabin. It was great fun. Proof I am with my family is the occasional picture of me. Always with at least a kid or two hanging on me, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Kody loved the view from Hyner and seemed to have no fear of the huge drop from the wall or the mountain. I'm just happy when he is happy. I don't worry about anything else, fall schmall. Additionally while we are up there I drink the best water in the world, at least that I have ever had. Where does it come from you ask? Oh, straight from the mountain side. While up there we always spend a lot of time shooting guns, fishing, looking for wildlife, and reading, well that's me anyway. This trip was no different. In our driving around though we spotted this lovely cabin/shed? I really don't know, but the porch was decorated with hanging squirrel pelts. And even me, with my extreme open mindedness towards hunting and weird outdoorsy behaviors, found this to be a little too Deliverance for my liking. Hopefully I don't hear a banjo anytime soon.

Hope you had a banging, he he, September too!