Saturday, March 23, 2013

Easter Preview

Update:  This was actually the kids 2nd Egg Hunt. 
My hubbs and sister took the kids to their first one.  My mistake :0)
Our first Easter Event. 
They called it an Easter Egg Hunt, but it was actual a candy scamble. 
No worries! 
My kids aren't discriminating about how they get candy, just that they get it.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


It's the first day of Spring. 
So no matter what my family is at Rita's partaking of the free goodies. 
Regardless of the temperature.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Reading Public Museum

The kids had a day off school a couple weeks ago.  We went to the Reading Public Museum.  Our family loves museums.  This was a good visit mainly because it was the kids' first time.  It was a mixture of science and art.  The kids loved these famous paintings that were redone using jelly beans.  They were quite cool.  Plus there was a Lego castle.  Awesome!

Thursday, March 14, 2013


I've experimented with you as my oldest child. 
You've been the most accommodating guinea pig. 
And I love the way you are turning out.

I can't believe you are in middle school. 
I can't believe that you want to take the Red Cross
babysitting class for your birthday,
because you are getting to that age and stage. 

So far the tween years have been lovely. 
Hormones have been minimal.
I haven't seen any of the crazy behavior that
I've been warned about by other parents.
Hopefully it stays that way. 

I love you. 
I am proud of you.
You amaze me.

Monday, March 11, 2013

My Cup Runneth Over

Is there anything better than a child falling asleep in your arms?

Just maybe a child who is getting past that stage
coming up to you and asking
if he can snugge down and sleep on you after a very tiring Saturday. 
I worry this may be the last time :(

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Mostly Different, But Sometimes the Same

My dad was raised by wealthy parents.  He had one half sister ten years older than him.  His family was not particularly religious but they believed in God.  They were upstanding members in the community and had wonderful friends that I have heard numerous stories about.  He was fairly intelligent and I grew up hearing about how high his IQ was and his natural propensity to exceed at a lot of things.  Many would label him a WASP.

My mother was the first of her siblings born in a hospital, the rest having been born in "the Marsh".  She had an alcoholic father who left their family while she was very young, a single mother, 5 sisters and 1 brother, who was the baby.  They believed in the Mormon faith and tried to attend church as circumstances allowed.  She remembers being hungry throughout her early child years and was the first to attend college in her family dropping out after one semester/year (I can't remember) due to lack of funding.

I tell you all this to simply say, my parents could not have been raised more differently.  Yet incredibly they found enough common ground to get married.  Many in my family would argue too much common ground, which would often be cited among close family and friends as the reason for their marital demise as well. 

Some of the things I remember their opinions being very similar on were the roles of women.  To say my parents viewed women as inferior and second hand citizens was something I grew up feeling.  The burden of my womanhood was a weight I carried early on and tried to shrug many times, often attaching the label of tomboy to myself was a relief, an acknowledgement that maybe I could fit in.

Likewise their views on children were similar.  "Children should be seen and not heard." was a common refrain around my home.  Dinner time was often the time we, children, were expected to sit quietly, with my dad being served first, then my brothers, then my sister and I, and last our mother.  Most discussion was considered an abrasive rub to my parents already day-worn nerves.  And being one of many children the amount of time my parents focused on us as individuals was next to non-existent. 

Needless to say I grew up feeling tenuous and practically expendable.  Often I felt like their level of love for me was dependent on what I had done or would do.  The more I excelled, the better it reflected upon them and therefore garnered me indifference.  But any weakness either physical or emotional was a liability that they didn't want to carry and treated with disdain and punishment often severe and physical. 

What is most shocking is that despite their similarities in views on these matters they could not have raised a child with more different ones.  I laughed as my brother texted me the other day seeking some parenting advice.  He was weighing it along with the opinions of three other trusted sources.  In the end I texted him inquiring what he had decided and why.  He gave his answer and reasoned it by saying, "I thought of what Mom and Dad would do and I did the opposite."

There are times when I feel the same way.  I could not love anything more than my children.  Their knowledge of my love for them is firm and secure.  I tell them constantly what incredible little people they are and I love to hear how their minds work and operate and how they view things.  Talking to them is the healing balm for my day-worn self and they guilelessly, as only children can, give me their advice and insight.

I have only one daughter and she could not be more treasured by any member of our family.  She is singularly the princess that could run and rule this house, but her purity makes her the most loving and generous soul you could ever imagine. 

So it alarmingly shocked me to realize today that despite these differences there are some ways in which my kids still need to prove their worth to me.  Once I received this epiphany, via a public breakdown, I vowed to adjust my views once again.  Because even though I choose to do things differently, I'm sometimes the same.  And guess what that's not always bad, but in this case it was.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

This and That Thursday

I just walked up to bed at 11:03 pm and found Bella still awake reading in bed.  What the heck?  She's not supposed to do that.  I do that.  She needs to wait until she is in college to pull those kind of hijinks. 

Sadly I let her stay up because she was 13 pages from finishing the book.  Who would really make her quit at this point?

This week on a field trip I learned to tap a sugar maple tree, turn 40 gallons of sugar water into syrup and that I don't like maple candy.

While at an after school activity tonight where families were encouraged to wear PJ's, a friend came up to me and said "Now I know you don't wear your jeans and shirt to bed." Sadly, I think many would be surprised to learn how often I sleep in what I had on that day.

To quote one of our most uneducated, "Ain't nobody got time for that."  When I finally get time to sleep I just lay down and sleep regardless of dress.

Travis left his laptop on the plane on Tuesday.  Didn't realize it was missing until Wednesday and called it in lost.  By Thursday someone had turned it in and the airport called him to work on a return plan.  Yeah!

4 pics 1 Word is a game. It's entertaining, but apparently I'm really good at it. Because after a fluke friend or two asking for help, I now get almost daily email, facebook, and in person requests to solve their puzzles from friends.

On a related note another friend found a game she thinks I'll like. Sounds like Scattegories when she described it. My favorite phone game is Scramble. Do you think it's unhealthy to like only word games? Does it say something about my character?

According to my OB/GYN today, my uterus is ridiculously small considering I've had four kids.  Don't really know if that is good or bad or more for the gee whiz collection.

My sister is coming to visit in less than a week and I couldn't be more excited.  I learned a week is far too short.  I have a million ideas and plans for us.  Likely we'll lay around all day talking, fighting, making up, and being goofy. 

The boys this week made a comment about fat girls and old ladies smelling.  I thought it was funny and posted it on facebook.  Needless to say, not everyone did.  I'm glad my small children can get grown adults so riled up.  Or maybe it was me being amused by the way small minds work.  Either way.

We had another "Snow Day" with cancelled school when it didn't snow a single snowflake.  Third day this year that we had school cancelled for bad weather that never came.  At what point do the "Educators" realize that their priority is no longer education but the avoidance of Helicopter Parents (read hovering) complaining about the unpredictable danger of nature. 

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss.  I would have been a mystery reader to celebrate your birthday, but the Snow Day ruined it.  But I still got to make obscene snacks for first graders under the guise that they were green eggs and ham.  So the jokes on you.  I guess the real joke is on the American public though since you have everyone calling you Dr. when you have no doctoral degree.

And that's that on this this and that Thursday.  Now who's Dr. Seuss, hmmm???

Friday, March 1, 2013

That Little Green Monster Called Jealousy

*  I'm not a jealous person typically, I swear, but based on this story you may never know it.

I arrived at college at 17, alone, 4 hours from the nearest relative or known acquaintance and without a car to get me to them.  The Saturday before the semester started, my brother ceremoniously toured me round the campus now known as Brigham Young University-Idaho, back then it was called Rick's College, afterwards he left me with the promise that I would be fine. 

Almost immediately I met and made lifetime friends.  And the next day, I happened upon the man I would marry.  Although the journey was not so simplistic as all that.  But back to the gist of my story.  BYU-Idaho is the consummate outdoorsman or outdoorswoman location.  It is filled with geological wonders including a cold desert, learned this term through my field biology class thanks Tate Carter, world's best Professor - (still a facebook friend), Sand Dunes and mountains.  Most of the fun you have in college here will be self made creative fun involving the great outdoors and a great capacity for mischief.  As you can imagine I excelled in this environment. 

On Day 2, I met Travis and we started a courtship.  I had been to the Civil Defense caves, sometimes called the Ice Caves but those are actually different - most just don't know it.  One particular night Travis was calling to ask if I wanted to go there with him.  The catch: although we were dating we were not dating exclusively and this other girl was asking him and his roommates to take her and her friends.  Because we were nigh unto exclusivity and I think he feared the wrath I might bestow, he called to give me the option to go with assuming I wouldn't be able to go with such late notice.

And like any girl worrying that someone was in my territory, I jumped at the right to stake my claim. Travis would be by to pick me up in less than two minutes.  He lived in the building right behind mine. This is how I ended up in this place (below), at night - close to 10pm (I don't believe I ever visited this place in daylight hours despite hundreds of visits) in shorts, flip flops and a t-shirt (okay maybe it was a tank top - I can't really remember).  Note the rocky entrance, yeah this is the biggest space probably throughout the whole place.  There is no clear path, but lots of tunnels that circle back on one another and lead you back to the entrance, sometimes not depending how adventurous and small you are.

As you can imagine those rocks are sharp, a lot of time is spent crawling and slithering around,   likewise at night gives an extra dimension of challenge and Rexburg is next to never warm and this cave was even cooler than the outdoor night temperature.  This particular night we had far fewer flashlights than people and so I largely wondered through in the dark tripping and feeling my way along.  I ended up with cuts and scraps all over my improperly outfitted self.

But I remembered the effort at being a good sport and not complaining, pretending a proper mix of athleticism and competence, but not above needing help at just the "right" moments.  I remember being purposefully cheerful and the life of the group (read fun, witty) despite hating most of those moments in that cave that night because I had been having fun with friends before Travis called.  Having my skin shredded by the unforgiving surface of a dark cave was no walk in the park.  But alas we finished and headed back to our homes.  I don't remember the way the night ended, probably something as common place as making out in his truck or a petty fight over my jealousy and actual disinterest in the evening's activities. 

Regardless this place holds a dozen very strong memories.  So as I assembled a list of things to do and see while at BYU-Idaho for a friend who will be attending in the fall, I was reminded of this one.  Almost fourteen years later, I have to smile recalling it.  Because jealously really is an ugly emotion and most often friend to no one.  I wonder if Travis even remembers this night and what he would remember.  Despite it not being my best and brightest moment, I still hold it in my heart with fondness, because that experience among a million others has built this rock solid marriage of mine, that I wouldn't trade for anything in this world or any other.