Thursday, February 26, 2009


Mornings at our home usually begin with groans and moans. I homeschool our kiddos, so breakfast and school and twenty other things are often happening at the same time. Each night I create a list for each kid of the things they need to accomplish the following day. (Yes, I LOVE lists. ) After tiring of the moans and groans I heard each morning, I decided to add a "joke of the day" on each of their "to do" lists. What a difference a dumb joke can make to a kid! Usually the boys are rolling their eyes at how corny they are, but it certainly changes our morning mood.

I always wanted to be one of those people that could just rattle off a few witty jokes. No such luck. I forget them as fast as I hear them. I did commit one to memory though so I have "a joke." It's my favorite.

How do you make a tissue dance???

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Chili Picante Corn Nuts con Limon

I made a conscious decision a few days ago to focus on my own reaction to the world around me. No one makes me frustrated or upset or stressed. That is MY reaction to what is going on. (Thanks Caroline for getting me thinking . . . )

So, I tried really hard today to "act" instead of "react." I was doing great all day long until it got to be about 8:30 p.m. I was sitting here at the computer with my two sweet boys not far away. The other item not far away was a big bag of corn nuts. Anyone had a corn nut lately?

As I was sitting here, typing away, both boys were within a few feet and were eating corn nuts at lightning speed. The noise could have awakened the dead. I slowly felt my irritation level rise from my stomach, up to my chest and on up to my neck. I tried so hard to swallow it down and failed miserably. Thankfully the boys just laughed at my frustration and started chomping even louder. I'm back in control, hopefully tomorrow will be better.

It's going to be a long time before I buy another bag of corn nuts.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

"What do you do?"

Matt and I went out this weekend with some of his best friends while in high school. He hasn't seen them in almost 20 years. It was a couple from his home stake that dated while in high school and married shortly after he returned from a mission.

I completely enjoyed our dinner. We ate in Berkeley right on the bay. It was beautiful. I learned little tidbits about Matt that I didn't know. :) The food was yummy and the conversation easy. That is, until one question was asked. It stopped me in my tracks.

I'll give you a little background first. This pretty woman knew that I stayed home with our kiddos. She has 5 kids of her own and is home with them! She is active in their schools and church, runs marathons, and plays sports. She is a happy person.

Now, back to the question. She leaned over the table and asked, "So, what do you do?"

Sounds simple and innocent enough. What do I do? Do you know how your brain can run a millions miles a minute and at the same time feel like you are trudging through waist deep snow? That was me. I immediately pictured myself running from the stove to the laundry to the phone to the bathroom to help a little one and back to pick up a crying babe back to the stove and then to the fridge and then running out the door to move the wash to the dryer back to the fridge ( this time for me) and then off to change a diaper only to realize the new diaper is now dirty and change another diaper and then running to the wash to start a new load and then to the calendar and realize the missionaries are coming for dinner tonight and back to the fridge to see what we had on hand and maybe check and see if any of you have sent a hello on my email . . . You get the picture.

Then the "trudging through waist-deep snow" part of my brain sat in a stupor and thought, "What do I do???"

I can't remember what I answered but it's stuck with me for the last 2 days. What do I do?

I've refocused a bit and now I have a list a mile long.
I do a lot.
And it's good stuff.

I dare you to ask me again.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

What's your mission statement?

When Matt and I were sophomores at BYU, we were in the same ward and had a fantastic bishop by the name of Stephen Covey (he was the oldest son of the famous author). It was 2 years after the well know book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" had hit the bestsellers list. Our bishop took 3 months and put a few of us through the leadership course that was taught at the Covey Leadership Center. Matt and I were fortunate to be in that group. It was terrific.

Fast forward to now. I saw the above book in a bookstore and thought it would be great to read. The idea of the book is to teach young children the 7 Habits and implement it in their lives. Easy, right? I finished the book this weekend and was excited to put it into action. In the last chapter, the construction of a family mission statement is discussed. Decided where you want your family to go and how you want to get there and put it into a statement. I was excited. This was going to be great. We needed a family mission statement. (I tend to get a touch over-excited about things like this.)

I was talking about it to Matt and the kids were wandering in and out as we were discussing it. Brett came in and asked, "Hey, don't we already have a family mission statement?" I started to think that we had already done this and I'd completely forgotten. This was entirely possible the way my brain has been working lately. Just as I was about to pat myself on the back, I asked him if he remembered our statement. "Oh, sure," he said. "Don't be an idiot."

Matt was eating a bowl of cereal at the time and I thought he would have milk come out of his nose he was laughing so hard. Me and my grand ideas.

Isn't that nice? Our family mission statement is "Don't be an idiot." Short. Sweet. To the point. At least they won't forget it.

I think I need a new book.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

David and Goliath

Ever since Ben learned about the story of David and Goliath, he's been begging for a slingshot. How cool to have the power to take down a giant with the flick of your wrist. This last Christmas, we finally gave in - with ONE condition. Instead of firing the bb's that come with a slingshot, ( can you say neighbor's broken windows??!!), we insisted on marshmallows to be the bullet of choice. He reluctantly agreed and has blanketed our yard in white as he worked on his aim.

We have a squirrel in our backyard that is bordering on obese, thanks to all of the fruit he enjoys from our trees. Lately, he's been picking oranges, balancing them on the fence and enjoying lunch.

Can you see where this is heading?? Yesterday, Ben came tearing into the house, pumping his fist in the air and with a huge grin, yelled, "I nailed him!!!!" Yep. Ben managed to pluck the squirrel in the head with his slingshot and a marshmallow. He sees himself as a modern day David taking down one giant at a time. . .

Monday, February 9, 2009

Can I make a suggestion?

Can I make a suggestion? Cracker and cheese packs don't make good snacks for church.

Should I explain? Yesterday was one of those days I desperately wished Matt sat with us at church. We were late getting out of the house, so I was throwing granola bars and cereal in bags for "breakfast on the go." (No, I don't consider crackers and cheese a breakfast option. Gracie snuck them in the church bag!) Not long into the meeting, Brik became his usual busy and noisy self and on top of that, we were sitting in a quite crowded row, which didn't help. You know when you get itchy/sweaty because everyone is just too close. I was there. No elbow room.

I stood up with Brik in the back of church, not far away, so I could keep an eye on the three other kiddos sitting alone. Gracie came back and stood by me for a short while and then decided she wanted her sippy cup. I watched her walk back to our row, pick up her milk and then disappear. Not good. A few seconds went by and she didn't reappear and I happened to notice the people around her looking in the aisle. I figured out I better check out what was going on and as I rounded the corner, Gracie was sitting in the middle of the aisle with bright orange cheese all over her hand, face and the bottom of her shoe. She was holding her shoe in the air as if she didn't know what to do. She found her cheese and crackers.

Of course the wipes were at the bottom of the church bag and as I went to get them and bring Gracie back to our row, Ben dropped his bag of cereal ( breakfast!!!) and "Oh's" rolled everywhere. While this was happening, Brik was pulling my hair, squealing and trying to squirm out of my arms. It was lovely. Remember, we are sitting in a tight row with NO elbow room. Can you just get a visual of the circus we created yesterday? I took a split second to glace at Matt, sitting calmly, listening to the speaker. . . completely oblivious to my chaos. I just hope we put a smile on someone's face yesterday. Maybe they pointed out to their children how not to act in church. For that, you are welcome. Glad I could help. Next week it's your turn.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Rollerskating anyone?

From the above pictures, I'm sure you can get an idea of how lame we are at roller skating. We gave it a shot though! Actually, I take that back. Matt is great at roller skating. All he needed was a walkman clipped to his belt and some fuzzy headphones along with a really cool headband and he would have owned that rollerskating rink.

Gracie was actually better than Brett. He came off the rink after an especially bad fall and announced that his butt was bleeding. When we got home, he kept complaining about his sore rear end. After a little more investigating, we discovered a huge bruise! Poor guy!

Brett and Ben's buddies who were also skating with us. Ben named Kyle the "professional."

We escaped without any broken bones. Miracle.

A Little Princess Time . . .

Gracie doesn't get too much princess time around our home. She can do some wicked damage with a light saber, but was thrilled to leave that behind and go to her cousin Cammie's princess party. Gracie and Cousin KatePinata time. I'm proud to say that Gracie took a pretty good swing! She's certainly had enough practice with all the baseball around our home!

Thanks, Cammie for a great day!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Anyone need a NAP?

I am a sucker for gimmicks. I love them. Matt, on the other hand, hates them. He is convinced they are a waste of money and time. I'm always willing to give them a chance.

We were flying home from somewhere that I can't remember, and I was flipping through the Skymall magazine. I love the stuff they have in there. So many neat ideas that I'd love to fill my house with, from cobweb cleaners to garage organizers. I found a full page add on the "Powernap." Anything with the word "nap" catches my attention. I read the first line and was hooked. It said, "Get a 3 hour nap in 20 minutes!" Just what I need.

I leaned over and mentioned to Matt that I would just LOVE something like this for Christmas. (Sleep seems the be the one thing that takes a major hit in my life when things are busy. ) He just laughed at me, rolled his eyes and told me that those things never work. I sort of believed him, but just hoped . . . Christmas came and went and I forgot about my coveted Powernap. About two weeks after Christmas, Matt got home from work and with a huge grin on his face, tossed me a brown envelope. I opened it up and waaalaaaaaa . . . POWERNAP! My knight in shining armor pulled through! :)

Now, I'm sure you are wondering, " Does it work???" I can only give you my opinion. I LOVE it, although I'm pretty easy to please. Every time I've used it, I am out cold and in a deep, deep sleep. I wake up feeling good. Maybe it's because I'm pooped and just needed a plain old nap. Maybe it's because it really does synchronize my REM's and puts me in a deep restful sleep for 20 minutes. All I know is that it works for me, and when I'm exhausted, I can find 20 minutes in my day to refresh. Yea!

(Matt's used it and he reluctantly agreed that it actually might work!!)

Think I'll go take a nap . . . :)

Cute Buns

Why are little buns so cute? I've never had a kid LOVE the bath as much as Brik. He starts shaking with excitement at just the mention of a bath. Can a kid named Brik actually be a good swimmer? We think so.