Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Plop Went the Pizza .... etc.

Last week, on Friday, I started making dinner at 5:30.  I think that was the quickest I've ever managed to make pizza (maybe because Derek was helping) and it was ready to come out at about 6:05.  So I reached in, oven mit secure on my hand, and started to pull the pizza out.  Then something happened.  It happened so fast I'm not sure exactly what, I just know that before anything could be done the pizza slid right off the pan onto the bottom of the oven and the door.  Before long the fire alarms were blaring and the windows and doors were being opened to clear the air.  Derek and I worked together with separate spatulas and soon had most of the pizza back on the pan.  Thankfully all of the pizzas were done cooking.  Derek and I ate the plopped pizza and the kids decided they'd go for the more normal looking ones.  Thankfully it was not the "Dan pizza" because there wasn't an extra of those.  Here is a picture of the oven after we had taken out most of the pizza.
Now for the etc. part of the post:

Dan said his night time prayer with Derek the other night. Afterwards Derek hurried into our room to write down what Dan had said so that I could post it later.  Dan prayed, "Thankful that Jesus made us -- with a little help from God".

Another day when I was with Dan during his night time prayer he said "Thankful that Dad's not faster than me at running to my room".  (I guess Derek was very convincing when he let Dan win).

The day after Derek and I had been gone to dinner and Tia had been watching Dan, he said to me, with some amount of surprise, "Mom, Tia can't see without her glasses!"  I told him that Dad and Trisa had a hard time seeing without theirs too.  He's used to me since I am with him every day and I am still blessed to be able to see quite well without my glasses, I just get less headaches with them.  Sometimes though, I can forget mine, or just get tired of them being on my face and I take them off.  Dan said "Tia just takes her glasses off to sleep". 

Dan is working hard at figuring the world out.  He did freak Trisa out a bit when she came to visit because he said "Trisa, we're all going to die soon."  She asked if he was worried about that and he said "No, we'll all live in heaven together and it will be nice." 

My favorite thing that he says though is not "what's tomorrow Mom?" because he asks that a lot and I don't always get the answer right according to Dan. Lately he keeps asking "When is the last day Mom?"  I don't know what he is hoping I'll say, and I usually just say "I don't know".   My real favorite is when he says "I'll love you forever Mom".  That will be nice.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tia's High School Graduation

Here is one of Tia's senior pictures taken the week before graduation.

The next picture is Tia walking in to start the long trek around the track before graduation.

Next we see Tia right after having received her diploma cover (they picked up their diplomas at the snack shack after the ceremonies).

For those of you who have heard of Darci, who has been Tia's friend for many years, here is a picture of them together after graduation.

My parents, Tia's Grandma and Grandpa F. drove a couple of hours plus some to come sit with us in the sun and see Tia graduate.  They got a little sun burnt.  Oops.
Next you'll see a picture of Tia with her proud parents.  Someone caught me being goofy.  Derek is holding a gift Tia got from a friend.
Finally, we have a picture of Tia with Kayli.  Kayli came to graduation and stayed the whole time.  We somehow missed getting her photo until we were at home.
The day before graduation it poured rain -- really a lot of rain.  We were thankful to have sun because, as far as we know, there was no backup location, there was just the football field.  There are fun things about having graduation outside.  One of the coolest was that they had sky divers come who landed on the field.  One had a big American Flag.  The first flew right by us on his way to land and then it was his job to catch the flag when the other guy landed.  The American Legion did the flag ceremony and, though I'm woefully uninformed about what exactly you call it, they saluted the flag by shooting their guns.  Later someone shot off something that sounded like a cannon.  It was good to have a pretty day and special events to go with it.  Tia did a good job of enjoying graduation.

Later that evening Tia, Grandma and Grandpa F., Derek and I celebrated by having dinner at The Cracker Barrel.  After that Tia went to the senior all nighter.  She managed to stay up all night even though she had a miserable cold.  Somehow Tia keeps going and keeps cheerful.

Congratulations to Tia.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tia's First Graduation

On Sunday Tia graduated from LDS Seminary.  I had her "stand by Jesus" for her picture.
Seminary graduation was very enjoyable (except maybe not "very" enjoyable for me because I had a horrible cold and just wanted to go to sleep).  Tia said the closing prayer and then came and opened her diploma and said "I did it!  I'm going to frame it.  Only, it's already framed". 

I am thankful that, so far, Seminary (four school years worth of classes where students study the scriptures) has been my girls favorite high school class, even though it's not really a high school class, they are released from high school for one class period to take it.  They love to attend and they love the Spirit that they feel there.

Congratulations Tia!

This is a bit blurry but I like her smile in this one.  She was agreeing that she would be happy to stand by Jesus.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dan Granduates from Preschool and a Bonus

 Dan graduated from preschool last night.  He has loved his year with Ms. Tonya and, I think, was my first boy to actually participate in his preschool graduation with his classmates instead of sitting beside me.
 Here he is looking to Ms. Tonya to see what to do.  After every segment he would yell to me "Mom!  Did you love it?" There were over 200 people there to help celebrate and I was sitting on the floor in the front to take video.  If he couldn't hear my answer he would yell "Talk louder!".
At one point he yelled to me "I love you Mom!"  He was very cute and I expect that nobody much noticed his yelling because they would have been focused on their own little people.  He yelled that he needed a kleenex once too and Jake took it to him and I went to get it.  Dan really isn't very shy.  He is going to miss preschool.
 Here is the "Bonus".  This is from last Saturday.  The wind came up and was blowing blossoms across the trampoline.  Dan and Jake were playing in falling blossoms and I was trying to capture it.
This was a little blurry, but I still thought it was worth keeping with the pretty tree, two cute boys and a smiling Derek in the background.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Dan Says .....

"Mom, how do I look in these shorts?" (They are new bright orange shorts)
Me:  "Good!"
Dan:  "They look awesome actually on me."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

There is Beauty All Around

When There's Love at Home.
 Peace and plenty here abide
Smiling Sweet on Every side.
(The flowers above are my Mother's Day Flowers from Derek,
The ones below are Derek's tulip garden.
Photos of the tulip garden are by Connor.)
 Time doth softly, sweetly glide
 When there's love at home.
 All the earth's a garden sweet,
Making life a bliss complete,

When there's love at home.
(Love at Home by John Hugh McNaughton, 1829-1891)
23 years ago Derek and I got married.  It was a beautiful, sunny, and happy day.  I am very thankful for that day and for every day since then that I have had with Derek. 
 My thanks to Derek for his loyalty, humor, and love.
Happy Anniversary!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Flowers, a Rock Song, and Optimus Prime

So today I will reveal the list of surprises that I couldn't talk about yesterday.  Was Derek surprised?  Yes.  A good way to keep someone from getting a surprise out of you is to not decide until the last possible minute what it will be.  So Derek came home to see flowers on the table.
Yesterday they stood up on their own, today they really wanted to lie down on the table so I had to hold them up to take their picture.  I got them for Derek because they smell kind of like lilacs and Derek likes lilacs.  Besides, we can plant the bulbs in our garden and enjoy them again next year!  The smell really is a bit on the overpowering side.  Our whole upstairs smells like flowers!

Besides the flowers, there was also a pile of presents and notes on the table.  One of the notes was from me.  It included the lyrics to my latest attempt at a rock song for Derek.  He's wanted me to write him one for years but, I guess I just don't have rock and roll in my soul.  So I'll let you read the words.  There is a tune but Derek hasn't even heard that yet and I'm pretty positive it won't be winning any awards.  The song is about sleeping because Derek does not have a knack for sleeping.

The Beast

1.  I lay my head down on the pillow
And close my eyes and then,
Instead of going right to sleep
My head begins to spin.

Round and round my mind goes
Dizzy as can be
Looking at the one thing
I don't want it to see.
I ask it to be quiet,
To let me rest in peace,
But no matter how hard I try to sleep
I cannot tame the beast.

2.  I say to my mind "don't think of that!"
I say it with command
But when I want to think of home
It wanders in a foreign land.

3.  I try hard to distract myself
By thinking other things
But my mind does what I do not want
Running circles in a ring.

4.  The Beast is coming at me now
It's menacing and mean,
It wakes me up when I finally sleep
I'm sure I'm going to scream!

Okay, so it wasn't "I Love Rock and Roll".  Sigh.  Maybe I could write a hit country song about my boots -- except I only have snow boots and so maybe not.

Derek's surprise that gave us all the most fun was an Optimus Prime pinata full of candy -- though it was hitting it that was the most fun -- or for Derek it was probably attacking us with it while we were blind folded.  Here are bunches of pictures.  We all took a turn blind folded and then not and got pictures of both but I just picked one of each person...

I felt kind of guilty hitting the leader of the good Transformers -- but my choices were that or a Disney Princess or Spiderman (I didn't think of it soon enough to attempt making my own).  The picture of the roof has a leg on it.  Connor hit both of the legs off.  Poor Optimus.  I think everyone, except Optimus, had a good time.  We got to have a picnic outside too because the weather was great.  We did miss Trisa who is off at college, but she texted her Dad to wish him a happy day. 

The good news is that I pulled off a surprise, and the flowers, the Rock Song, and Optimus Prime added to a festive evening.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Surprise for Derek?

picture taken by Dan

Derek really likes surprises.  Not the kind that are for him, but the kind where he gets to have a fun secret and not tell somebody until they are about ready to clobber him to get the information from him.  For example, one of his very favorite things is to get movies for the family to watch and then not let us know what it is until he pushes play.  He seems to enjoy it when we all guess and guess, and he refuses to even give us a hint about whether we're close or not.  I think the more we guess and whine the happier he is with himself.

So what surprises are lined up for him on his birthday?  Well, since he will be reading this you can be sure that I am not telling.  But the non-surprises are this.  He will be coming home after work to have some Teriyaki chicken on rolls with chips and fruit on the side.  We'll stick a candle in a ginger cookie and sing happy birthday to him.  We'll probably watch a television show at 9 because that's what we do on Thursdays if we aren't busy elsewhere.

He'll have some presents and at least one he won't be able to guess. We'd try really hard to drive him crazy with a surprise present but he has this annoying habit of not being curious.  Presents?  He doesn't really care if he gets any.  He knows I'll never go out and buy what he really wants because A.  I don't know what he really wants (exactly) and 2.  It would cost more than I could comfortably spend without talking it over with Derek first.  Those fancy sports cars aren't cheap!

One thing is sure, we will try to make this a fun evening for him if we can because he makes every evening fun for us when he can.  Last time he was out of town I was reminded again of how he is most obviously the fun parent and I am the -- well the other parent who occasionally tries to be fun.  Our house feels absolutely strange without him here at night.

Derek is good at making things fun.  He is good at laughing, and listening.  He is smart and thoughtful and kind.  He is my best friend.  He isn't much into sappy blog posts though so I guess I'd better quit.  It is his birthday after all.

Happy Birthday Derek!

 Derek 5 years ago with his ginger cookie and candles. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Playing Dress Up

Tia cleaned her room yesterday (Gasp!)  She had an afternoon off which is a very rare thing.  When she cleaned out her closet she got rid of a couple of dance dresses because they don't fit anymore.  Since she is bigger than her mother, I thought I'd try them on.  I had Connor take a few pictures of me in Tia's Prom dress from her sophomore year (her only Prom).  I love feeling pretty in a pretty dress!  Alas!  There is no princess ball for me to attend, and I would really have to beg to get Derek into a nice tux to take me to one.  Okay, so I'm not really sure even begging would work -- but it's fun to dream!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Reports with Pics

Vacuum Report:  We have greatly enjoyed vacuuming with our new vacuum.  The carpet looks fluffier, and it really is rather fun (even if it's also kind of gross) to see how much you vacuum up.

Mower Report:  We also got a new mower.  Our old one finally broke in enough ways that it needed to be replaced.  We decided to try an old fashioned reel type mower.  It was relatively inexpensive and it does not use gasoline.  As a bonus, Jake can mow with it.  He said it is a lot less heavy than the other one, and a lot easier to turn.  Dan (when I went out to hit a few missed spots) informed me that it was his job to mow, and he did.  Granted, he decided the best plan was to push it way back on the cement and make a run at the grass so it would work better.  I like it because you can run around the lawn if you want, you don't have to go at the pathetic self propelled speed.  We'll have to keep you posted on whether it remains popular.

***Yes Dan was posing in this one.
Can Opener Report:  I have never owned an electric can opener in my life until now.  I think at some point I whined about pain in a blog.  After seeing a couple of doctors and having some nice expensive tests it was discovered that I have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.  One of the affects of having this for me is that sometimes it really hurts to hold something tightly or to push down with my hand.  So, our pathetic regular can openers, that I replace regularly, were very hard for me to use.  I got a nice under the counter one so it doesn't take up counter space (Thanks for the suggestion Shannon!).  Unfortunately, I have had quite the lack of need for a can opener since we got it.  I did open one can yesterday and it worked like a charm.

**I know you are thinking "What!  Nobody posing with a can?"  We still didn't need one opened.

New Game Report:  I also splurged and bought a new game.  Some of our relatives own it and we liked it and so I got it.  I'd report on it except we've been too busy vacuuming and mowing to play it.

End of Report.