Tuesday, November 30, 2010

little brothers.

There are lots of great things about little brothers.  Mine were only 5 and 9 (?) when I left for college so I didn't really get to appreciate all the joys of growing up with little boys.  But I sure do get to see them here in my house.

This morning I was awakened by Benson saying, "Mom we need you to come help us right now."

Apparently Dallin and Landon have noticed that those big chocolate brown eyes of our youngest have the ability to make me do almost anything.

This morning the boys wanted me to help them make sausage for breakfast so they woke Benson up to have him come get me.

It worked.

What can I say!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wonders never cease...

For the first time in a decade...Twin Falls school district actually cancelled school for a Snow Day!

You can imagine the joy.  (We told them they didn't have school after the ten pm call from the school district.) I woke up to the sounds of the kids playing some game at 7:30.  

" You guys, I thought you would sleep in to at least 9:00..." I whined.

"Mom we usually get up at 6. This is sleeping in. When can we have pancakes?" was the only response.

I'll never understand why Sunday morning is the only day they actually stay asleep until after 8.  All five kids will sleep late enough on Sunday to make us rush around to get ready by noon.  We are all going to die in January when we go back to the 9 am schedule.

So, instead of making the pie dough, finishing laundry and updating the budget, I spent the day hanging up wet gloves, moving wet boots off the carpet and making endless batches of hot chocolate.  And we watched The Princess Bride.  It was a good day.

Snowballs and...

Snow fights.

Beau "rescuing" Jenna who was making a snow angel.

Today we have below zero wind chill and lots of snow but the storms passed just in time to travel for Thanksgiving.  We hope everyone will be safe!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Injury number 5,789

It should come as no surprise that we have yet another set of stitches.  I honestly can't even remember how many sets of stitches we have had around here.

This is living proof that even on no-school days, video games are dangerous.  (Kids were out all day Friday so they played and played and played...we don't have video games during the school week at all...) Dallin got frustrated and chucked his controller across the room nailing Landon on the eyebrow.  What are the odds?   Five stitches.
And a big fat swollen eye.

And here is a really pretty close-up.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

For my Dad

My Dad just had his birthday.  I never quite know what to do for him--he doesn't like to get presents;  he says it makes him feel anxious. What if  the gift is something I already have?--how do I make sure the gift giver knows I appreciate the thought even if the gift isn't perfect? etc...
So what do you do for your dad?  I still don't know but I do have a few great memories that I don't want to forget.  One in particular was from my college days.
One year at college I had an crush on a boy in one of my study groups.  Back then my dad went up to Rexburg for Army reserve training one weekend a month and he would usually come by to visit.

One weekend we spent some time together on Saturday and I told my dad that I was going to go to a play with "the boy" later that night.  But as things turned out "the boy" totally stood me up.  I was sad and rejected.  I don't know how my dad knew but he showed up at my door and just said,  "I was thinking of going to a play."  I didn't have tickets so we went stood in the standby ticket line where after just a few minutes someone just happened to come by and offer us his tickets.  I don't remember what the play was but I do remember my date that night and the feelings are still very tender to me.

Living in the same town as my dad as an adult has taught me more about his soul than the 18 years I spent under the same roof.  My dad worries about keeping people happy.  What I used to perceive as frustration or irritability I now know to be a  tender heart that doesn't like to see unhappiness.  He often shows up at my or Kendra's house to fix whatever is broken or to splice a vacuum cleaner cord bitten by a puppy (I should just happen to leave out the CD player, iron and fan).  Or sometimes he "lets" me cut his hair so we can have a few minutes to visit followed by a hug.  On his days off he works until he can barely keep his eyes open.

Friday night he spent a couple of hours playing Wii with Austin, Jenna and Benson.  What more can I say.

I don't have a gift to give my dad but I want him to know that I see him.  I know who he really is and that makes me feel lucky.  I want him to be happy and to have peace in knowing that he has done well.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Warm fuzzy.

Today I love my crock-pot.

Not so much because of the really pretty red color (thanks Rustin!) but because I really love it when five o'clock rolls around and I have already prepared food.  It really makes my day.  I should do it more often.

One of our current favorites:

Creamy Italian chicken
8-9 chicken breasts (frozen)
1 package cream cheese
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 envelope of dry Italian dressing mix
A bunch of sliced carrots

I mix the soup, cream cheese (warmed in the microwave) and dressing mix together and pour it over the chicken and carrots.  It's done in about 3-4 hours.  Not too long or the chicken gets tough.  
We eat it with rice--I am currently obsessed with medium grain 'sticky' rice.  I buy the big bags of Calrose rice at Costco.  I don't have a rice steamer so I just cook it in the regular rice maker.  It's not truly sticky but we still love it--it's sticky without being mushy.  The perfect rice amount for us--3 cups rice and 4 cups water.  Sometimes I use 4 cups of rice with  5 1/4 cups of water.

I need some more crock pot recipes.  Any great ideas send them my way!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Life's not fair--or is it?

I've been thinking lately about a conversation I had with the mom of one of Dallin and Landon's teammates.  She didn't know which player(s) I belonged to but she was lamenting the fact that some of "those big boys get to play the entire game--all the time.  It's not very fair."  Dallin was out with a sprained ankle so I knew she was referring in large part to Landon.

Her comments took me back to my own feelings of sorrow at my children's struggles.

 I remember in second grade Landon and Dallin having to go back to first grade for reading.

 I remember Dallin crying at home because he was put in the out box at recess {again} for tripping over and on top of other kids playing soccer.  As he would say--"it's just not fair, I'm just running along and the next thing I know there's a kid under my feet."

I remember spending hours and hours working and explaining why the boys had to go to extra "school" (tutoring) in order to learn to read.  It wasn't fun.

So, now when I see these really big, very focused, hard-working teenagers of mine have loads of success in one area, I am completely happy.  I want to tell the other moms not to worry because working through heart ache makes for hard working and well balanced kids. I know from personal experience.

I want everyone to remember that we can't compare our own kids' weaknesses with other kids' strengths.   Life tends to balance out.  I hope I can always remember not to look at a successful child with jealousy because chances are that there is, or will be an area of struggle.  That's just how life works.   And it would be good for me to remember that that rule continues to apply to adult life as well!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I have been less than energetic lately. I admit it. I got over the horrible 'morning' sickness only to be bombarded with a massive wave of fatigue. Or maybe I'm just lazy, I don't know. But I think a couple of months of frozen meals and paper plates has convinced my children and husband that they are terribly neglected. Apparently this Halloween weekend they decided that they had had enough.

They teamed up and began the appeal--"why don't we ever get to have a good costume?" and "Gandalf's staff is white not brown" and "I thought you were going to make me a cape" and "we never get to do anything fun" and "Froto has to have a vest and SHORT pants mom." (Nicole Martin in Page Arizona, this is entirely your fault. They would never have expected me to make costumes if you hadn't introduced me to the art of costume creation!  But I still miss you every Halloween...)

So Saturday morning I headed to the fabric store and here's what we got...

This is Gandalf the White (Dallin) and  Raistlin (Landon--a character from one of their favorite books).  For Dallin I just had to make a white cape--we already had the robe.  For Landon I sewed the robe--we already had a red cape.  Thankfully I've made a million capes and robes so I kind of had an idea of what to do.  Obviously these weren't high fashion but they made everyone happy.  Rustin did makeup (as always) and staffs.

Austin is just a wizard.  I cut his robe too short so I had to add a big hem which was off center and drove Austin crazy. 
Rough life.
Jenna is the easiest ever.  A purple and black witch.
Benson gets the easy award also--Froto.  I made this costume a couple of years ago.  

I am hoping that I have earned myself a few brownie points so everyone feels well cared for for a couple of weeks.  I think I'll go take a nap.