Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Letters to Wednesday

Dear Wednesday,

It's dark and quiet. I'm writing to you from my bed. Ainsley is snuggled next to me. Reagan is at my feet. Cade is next to the baby. Somehow, he's convinced the others that he gets dads place when dad is gone.

I have a sink full of dishes to hide before Dan gets here. What do I want most today?
A little family togetherness time at the laundrymat. I have to call on a stray cat today and see if it's been approved for adoption. Just what I always wanted, right?

Ainsley is squealing at me :)

Well, more physics today. I actually don't mind it. I like the time with Sydney. When we add our science brains together, it almost equals 1 full brain.

The other night we were calculating the mass of an object based on theories of centripetal force. We worked formula after formula until we figured it out. She was very proud of herself.
Needless to say, the kitchen was neglected. If only I could keep all my plates spinning on their sticks in the air at the same time.....

Well, that's it for now.

Sincerely,
Me

Monday, December 26, 2011

Monday

Guess who's at the zoo on Christmas Eve?
Just us and the Indians,
and anyone else who practices a religion other than Christianity.
It was really quiet,
and the perfect, relaxing atmosphere where our kids feel comfortable.
They love to be outdoors.

We did find Drew.
I miss him.

And Christmas Eve is always fun.
Maryn kept taking the baby Jesus (and the manger) and walking off.
Corbin made an awesome wise man.
We all got Christmas pajamas.

Our final party of the evening was the last forever.
It's been a fun tradition and our kids will miss it.
Next year, it will be up to the next generation to put on something really cool.
I'm not sure it can happen,
but anything is possible :)

The kids rolled out of bed early on Christmas morning and got ready for church without any complaints.
(Merry Christmas to mommy.)
But by the time we got to church,
the littles were a train wreck.
Christmas Eve was fun and exhausting for them.
Dan and I exchanged the "Why do we do this?" look a few times as we passed in the halls with little cranky angels.
The girls sang beautifully in their program.
We survived :)

We took a vote on the way home from church whether to open gifts or eat.
The kids sorted the gifts and Dan made breakfast as quickly as possible.
We ate,
and then buried ourselves in wrapping paper.
Corbin said his "wish came true" when he opened his light saber.
Cade was super excited for his "Humungus Monster Truck!"
And the older kids spent their first Christmas not entirely over-joyed for their clothes,
but it's what they really wanted.
(Christmas isn't the same once you leave toys behind.)

So around Thanksgiving, my mom was telling me she couldn't decide what to get the kids for Christmas and she was thinking about giving them money.
I said, "NO WAY!"
I told her she needed to find the perfect "horse blanket" gift,
something they would want to keep forever.
(When I was about 8 years old, every person in my family got a blanket for Christmas. The boys got Tigers. The girls got horses. I still sleep with mine almost every day, and it goes on trips, and no one is allowed to use it, except for cuddling.)
So my mom set out to find the perfect 'horse blanket gift'.
I was out one day when I found it.
I called her and she met me there.
It's nearly impossible to find a blanket with a horse on it,
but we found some super soft blankets,
and a sweet girl that spent the last few weeks embroidering for us.
And yesterday,
we all got new 'horse blankets'.
Last night,
we all slept with them.

My gifts to my children:
New soft pillow cases with their names on them and perfect squishy pillows to go inside.
They also got new towels with their names on them.
(Dan thought that was kind of weird.)
I told him I had one,
and more than likely, the children would pack their towels in their things when they go away to college.
He didn't believe me,
but I took mine when I left home, and it was baby-pink.
(It wore out a few years ago, and I had to retire it).

So my goal this year was to give the children something they would use and love every day.
I knew it wouldn't be anything exciting to open on Christmas morning, but I was okay with that.
This morning, Caleb thanked me for his pillow.

When Dan comes home we will take the kids to the movie that we didn't see yesterday.
(Movie cards are the perfect gift for our kids.)
Sydney already read the book I gave her.
And of course the little boys are in heaven with new toys and crafts.

It was a blessed year.

Today is Monday.
What are we doing all day?
Physics.
Blehh.
I mean...."Cool. Physics. My favorite."
And the littles will play and nap.
The olders will NOT bug me about being bored.

This week,
Colin delivers his Eagle Project Kits.
That was a huge effort on his part,
and he is nearly complete on his goal.
After last night,
he needs only a minimum of 21 more McDonald's gift cards to go.

It's been amazing to see that prayers are answered.
I didn't want to tell Colin how hard it would be to put these kits together,
and how vulnerable we become when we rely on other people to meet our needs.
I encouraged him to exercise his faith,
and I said lots of my own prayers that this this project would be a good experience for him.
Honestly, I have seen him grow.
I finally understand Scouting.

This week, he will take his troop to deliver these kits/gifts.
He will know that his Heavenly Father heard his prayers,
and people answered his needs,
and I believe Colin will always have a tender place in his heart for the homeless of the world.

A heart-felt thanks to every person who helped make this project a reality.
It's the little things that make all the difference.

Well,
Curious George ends in 10 minutes,
and then it's game on.

Have a great Monday.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas 2011

Frosty

It's Christmas Eve.
What on earth happened to 2011?
I was laying in bed at 2:30 this morning,
contemplating whether I should just get up.
Dan was snuggly and warm,
but he's a night owl,
and I'm an early bird.
I thought for a minute that Ainsley would wake up,
but she didn't.
I finally got up.

Anyway, I was trying to think of my successes in 2011.
I have one that I feel pretty good about.

  • Hammie is still alive.

Does it get better than that?
Of course it does, but it is still pretty cool that the Hamster survived his first year.

We did lots of stuff in 2011.
Every one made progress.
We have good work,
and a healthy family.
What more can I ask for?

Our Christmas Eve traditions are fun.
In the morning, we go to the zoo.
And then we come home and get ready to go to Dan's family.
I would like to try to find my brother today.
He hasn't been well.
And we end the night at a fun party.

I am always impressed with the kids on these holidays.
They are so well behaved wherever we go,
and they seem to genuinely love this day.

I am super excited about tomorrow too.
I love church on Christmas,
even the 8am kind.
And we will open presents after.
Dan makes a big breakfast and we take naps in the lull of the afternoon.
Lots of Christmas Days, we go to the movies,
but not tomorrow.

The family switched up the traditional pot-luck style Christmas dinner to Prime Rib,
and dinner will be awesome.
For some reason, the annual gift exchange got cancelled this year.
That's weird.
But I found something cool a long time ago,
and yesterday I bought the candy for it,
so we can still have some fun.

At the end of Christmas this year,
I have a giant Frosty the Snowman Pinata,
and to end this holiday season, we are going to beat that thing till it explodes candy all over the place.
Ahhhh......sounds like a perfect new tradition.
Maybe this time we will have the kids watch, while the parents whack Frosty.
hahaha.
I love Christmas.

Well, I better get moving.
I only found half the church clothes the other day.
The other half is in the laundry which didn't go to the laundrymat on Wednesday night because Cade still didn't feel well.

Colin is still looking for 90 McDonalds gift cards to complete his Eagle Project.
That's about $400 worth.
It's 'ambitious' to put it mildly.
I still believe it's possible.

Anything is possible.

Merry Christmas Eve.

Friday, December 23, 2011

screens

This is usually the day I try to finish up the wrapping,
but thanks to my super awesome mom,
it's all done.

I am not sure what I will do this year if I am not staying up all night on Christmas Eve?

Thanks to a wonderful mother who went above and beyond this year.
Not only did she do all the wrapping,
(and make sure that each child had the same number of gifts to unwrap)
but she also spent SO MANY HOURS sewing bags for Colin' Eagle Project.
The collection and assembly day went off great.
Colin is still trying to collect gift cards for McDonalds,
but all kits were stocked.
We thought for a minute that we wouldn't be able to put in the soap.
How does a hygiene kit not have soap?
My sister stepped in and generously provided all the soap.
My younger brother drove Colin all around for the things he needed.
My older brother and his family showed up to assemble.
Family rocks!
Friends are amazing.
Complete strangers who help 'just because' are incredible.

Colin has seen so much kindness and generosity.
In all yesterday,
61 pairs of hands participated with the bags.
Dozens more donated.
It was truly inspiring to know that we are surrounded by such great people.

Well, I only have a minute.
I need to do some haircuts and laundry.
The house is 1/4 clean.
Tonight will be busy,
and I am hoping that this will be the year I avoid the all-nighter.

Thanks to the best kids on this street who stepped up and helped in so many ways this week.
Grandma is sick but her house is now clean.
I hope they love helping her.
So many hands make much lighter work.

And this morning as we cleaned here at this house,
we listened to Buddy Holly.
I missed my dad.
He would have loved this weekend!
I wish I had spent time with him during 'retired' years.
That would have been fun.
It's okay.

Oh....and I figured out that I am programmed with certain pre-sets.
EVERY Friday morning I wake up with the first same thought.
I can't always get there,
but I always want to be there.
This morning, my little alarm clock didn't wake me up early enough.
(It's the first time she has slept a 6 hour stretch in days....I am back to zombie-mode again.)
We were later than usual to head out to the temple,
but it's officially Christmas Break here,
So I wasn't worried.
I felt zero stress.

And then we walked right into some of my most favorite people.
It was the best morning ever.
I said my best prayer there,
and feel so excited for this weekend.

In my favorite place, I learned something new about myself.
In my mind there is something that looks like a security office where there are several camera screens.
I have 10 going at all times.
I can watch them all.
And then there are a few other screens that blink in and out of different people.
It's a blessing to be able to understand so many little people with all their demands.

Well, I need to get moving again.

Happy Friday.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Letters to Wednesday

Dear Wednesday,

It's been awhile since I last wrote to you. I know we have had our issues in the past, but with the holiday season upon us, I would really like to make amends.

Today is an important day. It's the last full day of school for our precious toad stools. And, great news; the high-schooler can officially give the bird to the Fall semester (figuratively speaking that is....because I wouldn't really give anyone the bird). "Good rid dens," I say, because that was b.r.u.t.a.l. (And you know how much I enjoy suffering too.) It is officially time for a much needed break.

Well Wednesday, what have I learned from this last 4 months?
  1. I might actually never sleep an entire night again.
  2. Remind the children to read the syllabus BEFORE the class begins in case it's taught by someone who believes in busy work.
  3. I love sports....doesn't matter which sport....any will do. (I wouldn't change that about our life.)
  4. Scouting is an important time sucker.
  5. Little people grow way too fast.
  6. Every now and then, it's good to play.
  7. Weight is hard to lose.
  8. A busy house is nearly impossible to keep clean.
  9. A messy house drives us all insane....literally.
  10. The tender mercies of the Lord are all around me if I remember to look.
I know there are many more things that I have been taught and I wish I could name them all.

As Christmas approaches, I am thinking about my Savior and His mother. I picture in my mind, Mary, as she enters the stable: "A stable. Right. A stable. Okay....I can do this. It will be just fine. Good even. After all, it's better than not having a stable. And the animals are quite friendly. Stinky, but friendly. Deep breath. Here we go."

Can I really complain about my blessed circumstances?

She was there the day her son was crucified too. I am sure she was remembering the night He was born, holding Him in her arms for those precious hours. And His childhood in her home, and His ministry and life. How can you watch your son suffer? Only a faithful and sincere testimony could have carried her through that painful experience. Life is so temporary. Families are eternal.

So Wednesday, today is your day. My mind is always thinking a few days ahead (whether my body can accomplish all that's required or not). I am thinking about Sunday morning. Christmas morning. (Oh to be Sunday this year! Don't feel bad that you are just the work day before the main event this year. Sometimes we work.)

Sunday. 8am church. We will be there on time....in our best Christmas clothes. I need to find the teeny sweaters and the black socks. The girls need tights and hair things. What will I wear? Do the suits need to go to the cleaners? Today I need to prepare the church clothes so that morning can be peaceful.

Tomorrow is the big collection day for the Eagle project, and Colin asked me to pick a few things up this morning. I don't want to forget anything, and it is going to be busy, so I should finish my chores early.

Tonight is wrestling practice. It is closed to viewing, but I could go to the laundrymat down the street while I wait, or do the grocery shopping. Corbin, Cade and Maryn need to be in bed by 6pm tonight. No naps today, and their beds and rooms need cleaned so they can fall asleep quickly tonight.

Sydney has a party tonight. I think she has a present? I have a few more gifts to wrap.

Wednesday, I did not get the Christmas cards out this year. I won't beat myself up about it (I hope).

Well Wednesday, if it is possible, please be kind to me this day. I am SO over puking. Please can we be finished with this sickness today?

I have one more gift to find. It's obscure. I hope it exists.

Merry Christmas Wednesday. Only one more of you left in 2011 after today. We did it! And we are friends now. Isn't that great? To think....you used to be my hardest day.

Well...this is me signing off now.

With tired eyes and a heart of gratitude,
Yours truly

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Monday night...no Tuesday. Ahhh....Who really cares?

Been up for an hour in the worst pain.
The most severe of headaches come in the middle of the night.
I wake up with an excruciating pounding.
Almost no medication can relieve the pain.

But there is one,
that when I take it,
I know it will work,
at least for the day,
until a re-bound headache comes back.
But depending on how important the day is,
I have to choose to get through it,
and face the later headache,
hopefully more prepared.

I'm not sure what causes some weeks or months to be worse than others,
but I am definitely in a bad zone lately.
As I type, the meds are slowly helping,
and my heart is getting a little racey,
and my eyes can almost handle the light.
Thankfully, everyone is asleep.
With this medication,
when it completely kicks in,
my ampage hits an all time high.
I can sit feeling a little bug-eyed and confused,
not able to keep my thoughts in sequence,
or I can get up and start cleaning.
So I chose the bugsy, rambo feeling this night,
as much as it doesn't make sense,
because pain in the brain is the most horrible of feelings.
Even last week in the middle of that violent, wretched flu,
where I was wondering what death might actually feel like,
I still preferred the flu to an extended-period-migraine.

There is something I have learned about pain over the years,
and it has everything to do with endurance,
and so much of it is about Mind-Over-Matter.
I try to choose to remain calm.
The minute I break down,
the pain intensifies and lengthens it's grip on my mind.

I wonder how many years I can go like this?
We are in the trenches of raising kids.
Our days continue to get longer and harder.
The stresses rise with each new phase.
I search more faithfully for peace and relief,
and I find it in all the places that I have heard about my whole life.
It comes at church,
in the temple,
in my scriptures.
I also find peace in some rather obscure places;
around the dinner table,
tucked in close to a loved one in the darkness of night,
or on the couch with kids gathered all around to watch a movie.
It's on the ball fields,
or sitting at a loud game.
It's time with the kids,
and always with Dan.
My peace is all around me.
I just forget to remember it.

Deep breath.
The worst of this painful night is almost over.

We all have our issues.
I probably have lots,
but my hardest are these headaches.
I really can't afford to lose days.

Okay....let's move on.

We debated for weeks about a wrestling tournament in Vegas.
Dan knows that I hate that place.
In my memory it's mostly filthy and vile.
But it has something I love:
A temple.
And then it had something else I love now too:
Sports.
So I shocked Dan,
and agreed to a road trip.

The tournament:
I didn't realize that Vegas is the top of the food chain for wrestling.
My boys have 2 months of real experience,
but they are strong from months of training.
Vegas offers a Rookie division,
and so we signed them up.
They were excited to go.

We happened to be in the elevator with the promoter of the whole tournament.
And then he was at the weigh in as well.
He suggested that our boys double-bracket the Rookie and National Division.
He said it would give them more matches.
He was very convincing,
and I excitedly shook my head yes.
"Of course they would love that."

We got to the venue the next day.
"Double-Bracketing" can be very confusing.
We had 3 different boys on 5 different mats.
I was nervous for them,
and it took both Dan and me concentrating really hard to keep it all straight.
Colin and Caleb faced their matches courageously.
Definition of "courageously":
"Knowing you are about to take the beating of your life,
and still stepping out onto the mat anyway."
We were so proud of them.
Their Rookie matches were extremely competitive.
You can imagine what their National matches held for them.

What is gained from competing like that?
A full and complete understanding that people your own age and weight can do extraordinary things......and so can you if you want to.
We spent 8 long hours in order to learn something valuable.
They have seen the best,
and the best are not untouchable.
The winners had a fierceness.
Dan calls it a 'quiet confidence'.
They executed their moves with preciseness.
To win in that venue, you had to want and believe it was possible.

Again,
I cannot express enough my admiration for their bravery that day.
We saw many boys cry tears of frustration.
We witnessed many parents and their disappointment towards their sons.
Our boys kept their dignity in tact,
and we were so happy to see them face their fears.

Our children do some really hard things.
They inspire me every day.

Moving on.....
The ride home was....well.....interesting.
The teenage girls took turns barfing.
(I think that word is so funny.)
At one point,
Sydney was in the first bench.
Kiersten was on the third bench.
Colin was asleep on the floor in the row between them.
He woke up to Sydney puking all over his feet,
and moments later, Kiersten puked an inch from his head.
The poor kid rode the rest of the way home curled tightly in a ball,
hoping that no one else would throw up on him.
We passed out Zophran like tic-tacs for the entire trip.

The flu hit Dan just as we pulled into Vegas.
Our first stop was the temple.
It was really important to me that we take the kids there,
before we saw the rest of Vegas.
We said a little prayer in the car that Dan would be okay.
The temple was beautiful.
The kids and Dan went in ahead of me.
They got dressed and I joined them after a few minutes.
We sat and waited for Dan.
I finally said, "You know, he isn't feeling well. Maybe we should start without him."
So we did.
Dan, looking a little green, joined us later.
He got through the baptisms.

Now the flu we had was of a violent nature.
It strikes suddenly,
and ferociously,
but is relatively short lived.

We left the temple.
As we drove away from that beautiful place,
I asked Dan, "So what happened to you in there?"
He said, "Let's just say that every penny of my tithing is going to fix that toilet in the Las Vegas temple."
He proceeded to give me a play-by-play accounting of what happened,
until I was laughing so hard that there were tears.
(He can be so hilariously descriptive).

And so we headed down from the million dollar homes surrounding the temple to the ghetto of the Strip.
Thankfully, in the parking lot of the temple, we met a man.
He encouraged us to find the beauty of Las Vegas,
rather than focussing on the trash.
It was super good advice.

So we searched for the hotel,
and all along the way,
the kids eyes flashed with the imagery of that place.
The blinking lights,
and colorful people.
(We did finally have to stop Colin from reading all the signs.
He was cracking us up.)

Vegas is not a friendly place.
Not
NOT.
But we made the best of it.
I took the older kids down to walk the Strip.
It's changed a lot in 14 years.
The architecture is amazing.
It is a place of wonder.

We felt sad for the people who make their living in such desperate circumstances.
If only they knew or wanted a happier, healthier life.

Well,
we made it home to our quiet house by 2am.
I was up by 6am the next morning to get ready for church.
It was an important day for Colin.
He needed to be at church to announce his Eagle project.
Sydney needed to go to help.
I was teaching.

I have this theory:
If we can't get up on Sunday mornings to be in the place we are meant to be,
we are doing the wrong things on Saturday.
Something has to give,
and it can't be church.
I was very happy that the kids gave little resistance that morning.
It was a challenge to be at church,
and it was the best thing we could have done.

(I will say....I loved the afternoon nap that day.)

Well....my heart is really racing now.
My fingers keep typing the wrong keys,
and my thoughts keep skipping around.
I might have to end this post.

Dear Zombie #1,
I love you so much. You always amaze me. Your hardest, longest semester is nearly over. You finished strong and Dad and I are so happy for you. There is always a period when the burn-out sets in. You have 2 years of great experience under your belt. We really feel like you need a semester to enjoy. We will pray for you to decide what will be best for the next few months. We trust you to make that decision, and encourage you slow down for a minute. We love you, sweet girl.

Dear Zombie #2,
You came through the toughest week of your life last week. Setting up your Eagle Scout Project was no simple thing. I am actually overwhelmed by the number of steps it took. It's incredible to know that you are at this point at such a young age. Your strengths lie in your organizational skills, and your ability to see so many steps ahead. When the women asked about your project, I told them the truth. Putting this project together is right up your ally. I am humbled by your desire to go above your original goal. 175 kits is ambitious, but I understand how you are. You would never leave anybody out. Dad noticed something about you. Some people are outwardly very spiritual. Others express their faith by serving. Dad pointed out how much you love serving in the temple. You are always willing to help with a move, or set up chairs, or perform your priesthood responsibilities. You serve God by serving those around you. It is good. We encourage you to continue that, and also add some time in the scriptures, and finding words to share you testimony with others. You are growing to be a great man someday. With God, everything is possible. Remember to pray to Him. He is your best resource in this life.

Zombie #3
I love you so much, and lately, I see your frustrations. Be patient as you finish this last year in elementary school. You are an amazingly gifted person. You have a tenderness for your Savior and His sacrifice for you. One of your many gifts is your obedience. It will be tested because it is your strength. Remember that we attacked in the areas that are strongest. Pray every day that your gifts will be protected. I encourage you to write, because your inspiration will come to you that way. I also encourage you to continue to be a great example of kindness. "Quiet Confidence" is learned and granted with hard work, and hard work requires a ridiculous amount of discipline. Dad and I love you so much.

Zombie #4
Aren't you glad it is almost Christmas? I am. I want to spend this weekend with all of you. You have been especially supportive lately and all of us appreciate it. Thank you for being so dedicated. It eases my anxiety to know that you are so careful with your time and responsibilities. I wanted to tell you how great it is to hear you sing lately. Your talents are numerous and it seems like you discover new things all the time. You live in a time of great advancement. Sometimes it is hard for me to keep up, but you seem to adapt so quickly. It is inspiring for me to watch you grow. I love you so much.

Zombie #5
You are my sweet little shadow. You are the constant in my world, unchanging and reliable. I know I can count on you, and that brings me tremendous comfort. As this Christmas time approaches, I want to give you everything that will make you happy. You make it so easy for me, because you tell me that you already feel happy for your life. Your gratitude is your grace and it lifts those around you. I miss my time with you when I read my Book and you read yours. Let's do that some more. It's almost time for you to choose about your baptism. I know you are excited, and I encourage you to finish the Book of Mormon, and know for yourself if it real. I can tell you from my experience, that Jesus was born of Mary, and was sent as God's Son to save us in this life. He really lived. He really died for us. The Book of Mormon is another witness of His life and gospel, and it speaks to my soul. I could not possibly get through my days without my understanding of who I am, where I came from, and what I am meant to do in this life. I struggle through my days, because I love Heavenly Father, even though I can't remember Him. I know He hears me when I pray and I feel His love every day. I feel it from you too. I hope that you will feel all these things, and I think you already do. I love you, little angel. Thank you for being part of my world.

Zombie # 6
I have been praying for you for many months. I pray for your speech and your safety. Today, you made the 'f' sound. I wanted to jump up and down. You are working hard, and many things are becoming more clear for you. I love to see that. I also love your honesty and the funny things you say to us. We cannot help but feel happy when we are with you. I love you little cute zombie

Zombie #7
You are very sick this night, and I am very worried. You spent all day on the couch, not moving except to take a sip every now and then. I was relieved to see your fever break a little. I hope you are on the mend today, because it worries me to think about your suffering, and I cannot comprehend being without you. I hope it never happens that I am separated from any of you. It would break my heart to pieces. I love you, little monster zombie.

Zombie #8
You have decided to kick my energy up a notch in order to keep up with you. I can tell you are creative and spunky and dangerously intelligent. We are in for some fun with you. Lately, you show signs of organization on a Colinesque level. You have an order in your little mind that makes perfect sense. I can almost understand your thoughts and actions if I observe well enough. Your language skills are high. Your kisses are sincere. Your voice is sweet and calming. I love to spend time with you and listen to your funny sentences. I love every cute part of you.

Zombie #9
You light up our home with your sweet little smile. Your laugh is intoxicating and distracting, and it is sometimes hard to get anything done during the day. Our family would have a ginormous hole without you. I love you ever so much.

Big Zombie: I miss you. Maybe we will get our bedroom back when this sickness finally leaves us. Until then, you are my very best friend through these long winter months and so many years. I love you forever.

Well,
the medicine has sufficiently masked the pain in my head.
Writing calmed my nerves,
and I am ready to try to sleep.
If not,
it's me and a bottle of bleach for the rest of the night.
I am needing put the smackdown on this shamble of a house.
We have something big coming this weekend,
and it's not just the fat guy in the red suit.

If you read all the way this far.....thanks a ton.
That was uber boring stuff.

Have a great day.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Gastric Geysers and Technicolor Yawns

I don't mean to neglect this blog.
It feels like there are never enough minutes in a day,
or days in a week,
or socks in the sock basket,
or eggs in the carton....
(You get my point)

Tonight,
it's just me and zombie fish.
He's happy we started feeding him again.

I think we set an all-time record this week with puking.
You know that story on Goonies,
where the guy pukes and then all the other people start puking too?
There is also a classic scene from that TV show "The Office",
and another scene from my favorite movie "Cheaper By The Dozen".
Yep...that was us.
Sydney called me when I was out to say that Cade was sick.
My reply, "No puking on the carpet or furniture. GET THAT KID A BOWL."
She threw up from helping clean that up.
Reagan threw up from watching.

I picked up boys from wrestling and we drove in silence the whole way home.
I ran up stairs and made it just in time.
Of course....no more Olive Garden salad for me any time soon.
Cade and I took turns using the same bowl.
He was weak and barely awake.
Poor little dude.
Caleb spent the night Mt. St. Hurling,
and Presley made me miss the Spot Bot ever so much.
4 genuine barfers,
and 2 that joined in just for the heck of it.

I can't remember being that sick.
At one point, I finally understood what dying will feel like.

So Dan came home from work, armed with Gatorade,
and started washing sheets and making banana bread.
He is the best.
His IV skills come in handy for the super-dehydrated of the world.

Well that was entirely TMI.
Talking about driving the porcelain bus isn't something we are shy about,
that that night was excessive,
even by my standards.

So after losing a day,
and all kids missing school,
I am up at 3am to get ready for this weekend.
The boys have a wrestling tournament that requires a drive.
Finals are fast approaching.
Colin has been working furiously to meet the strict demands of an Eagle Scout Project,
which he can officially announce hopefully by 8am this morning.

A super huge thanks to those who have expressed interest in helping him with that.
It makes an overwhelming task more manageable to know that people are supportive.

Well, I always have cute things I want to write down,
but it's been such a dizzying few days that I can't exactly remember right now.
Corbin was sick a few days ago.
He would wake up a little incoherent.
He raised his head once and asked why Jesus made the small bugs?
I told him, "So we would have something to watch."
He immediately replied, "Well, why the poisonous ones then?"
Good question, son.
His last dreamy thought, "And why rattlesnakes and scorpions??"
You got me there kid....no idea.

Sydney is nearly finished with what she calls her "worst semester."
Amen to that.
She had some crazy instructors this time.
I did what every good Chinese mother would do,
and dug in hard.
Even radical hippie teachers can give 'A's.
Nice work, kid, for not giving up.
And she learned SO MUCH MATH.
I love math,
but that was way over the top.

Colin's grades are on the bubble.
Sickness won't help his cause,
but he has given excellent effort and hopefully it will pay off.

Caleb has my dad's hands,
and when I hold them,
I think of him.
I love that.

Reagan is looking more and more like me.
I see myself every morning as I comb her hair.
She is sweet and easy to spend time with.
We don't have to do homework together yet,
and I like that we can just hang out, stress free.

This week, Dan sent me to lunch with Presley.
He was worried about her.
I told him he didn't need to.
I asked her lots of questions.
She gave answers like,
"I am happy. I don't have anything that bothers me. I don't really want anything for Christmas, because I have everything I need already."
I love that.

I was driving around when Elvis started singing "Oh Come All Ye Faithful."
Very clearly, Maryn said, "I like this song."
I said, "I like this song too."
She is adorable.

And Ainsley has been entertaining everyone with her cute little laugh.
She is an angel.

Poor Dan.
'nuff said.

Why he keeps coming home, I have no idea.
I love him more than I love my pillow,
and that's a really super lot of love.

Thanks for taking care of us.

Today will be a good day,
because, let's be honest,
we've seen some pretty disgusting and painful days this week.

Happy Friday.
Today is the day :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday

I think about sitting down to post,
but that would require sitting down,
and I can't actually afford to do that much.

I have to write a few things down before I forget.
This morning Corbin said, "P-rease tell me G-ramma is home tomorrow!"
(She does homework with him and she has been gone a lot)

And a few weeks ago I was giving my best effort to keeping the kids off my phone.
It has a passcode.
Colin admitted that he has been wiping the screen clean before he hands it to me,
and then lifting the fingerprints in order to break the code.
The other night I changed my passcode again.
Colin borrowed my phone.
A minute later he said, "Mom, you better change it to 2013 now. That wasn't even challenging."
(My code was 2012.)

And Caleb is going through the less-than-motivated phase.
The primary leaders came to find me at church on Sunday.
Apparently Caleb and his cousin were holding a meeting outside.
We invited them back in.
I mentioned it to Dan.
He said it's normal for that age.
The 11 year old boys are ready to move out of Primary.
He also happens to be in 6th grade,
which is the last grade of elementary school.
He has Senioritis for sure.

Son, school starts at 8:15am.
Please show up on time.

Dan and I recently discovered that children should have bed times.
So I assigned everyone a time.
Last night,
Presley was rushing in to get jammies on so she would be in bed on time.
And amazingly enough,
the children went to sleep with lights out in their beds by a very reasonable hour.
It's weird that children want to be told to go to bed.

I love my bed.
And my pillow.
No one ever had to tell me to go to bed,
but we did have a bed time as children.
I believed it was the law,
and so I was obedient.

These kids are beginning to appreciate their beds,
(because I frequently pull them out before 5:30am).
hahaha.....if only I believed in sleeping late.

Well, this isn't much of a post.
I have a gazillion things to do before Dan comes home tomorrow,
and we ran out of graham crackers so I have to resort to plan B,
which is cooking a real meal.

This weekend will be full of Christmas music, parties, sports, math, science and scouts.
I suppose I should scrub some toilets and do a little laundry.
The sock basket is dangerously low also,
and that becomes a big issue around here.

If I sit again later, I will post a bit more.
The good news is that I feel excited about the holidays again.
(Apparently, it was just the shopping that had me feeling anxious.)