Monday, February 28, 2011

Quotes by Dan, Commentary by Mom

I'm just checking in to share the quotes my kids wrote on the white board.  They are from Dan, of course, since he is our entertainment.

"When I grow up I'm going to be a Grandpa!"  We've heard this many times.  His Grandpa's must do a good job of making being a Grandpa look fun.  He doesn't want to be a Dad -- just a Grandpa.

"I not dancing.  It's just moves."  He must have decided that dancing isn't manly but moves are and so that is what he does -- his totally awesome moves.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Karate Kid Sit Ups

I've been trying to think about the happy things I could write about.  Here's what I came up with:

Derek shoveled the snow this morning.  That is usually my job since it's good exercise -- but right now it is a forbidden activity thanks to my wimpy back.  I have a friend coming over later to bring her little boy.  She has a sprained ankle and I was worried that she would fall.  Hopefully now she'll get to the door safely.  I am also a little psycho about snow on the driveway and walkways.  I like it cleaned off nicely and so it's removal helps relieve any stress that I might otherwise have had when looking out the window.  So today Derek got to be the hero snow removal guy.  He was wearing a black shirt in honor of the fact that he wasn't looking forward to something at work today.  Do you think I'm rubbing off on him?  If only there was an Oscar the Grouch work shirt -- ooo or maybe a tie!

Trisa is coming home today.  She's traveling after the snow has been cleared from the freeway I hope.  Dan said yesterday "I wish Trisa still lived with us".  He also admitted "but she's supposed to be at college".

Tia gave me a fabulous hair cut in under an hour yesterday.  I'd take a picture of myself but right now it mostly looks like bed head hair so you can just imagine for yourselves.  She also wins the prize of doing her dishes without being asked -- even the pots and pans. 

Kayli didn't complain when I disappeared after school for that haircut leaving her in charge again and she turned off the television when she was doing her homework without being asked.  Hooray for her.

Connor went with his Dad to help run the scoreboard at the church again last night.  This is really helpful to Derek and is fun for Connor and so everyone wins.

Jake did his homework last night even though it was very obvious that he did not want to.  He does a good job at listening when I read scripture stories to him and Dan at night.  Dan goes out of his way to show that he really doesn't want to listen and so it's nice that I have one boy willing to pay attention!

Below you can see some of the fun we have at our house.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Oh! My Hat!

One thing that I like about my husband is how good he is with kids.  Last night poor Dan was coming out to get me so that I could tuck him and Jake in.  On the way down the hall he managed to bonk his head on the wall and so he was crying.  After a few minutes his crying took on a "waa, waa" quality that seemed to say "please still feel sorry for me" instead of "I'm in a lot of pain".  He was sitting on my lap and I was on the floor where I had been folding laundry.  Derek came in and started picking up various clothing items and saying "Oh!  My hat!" and then he would put whatever it was on his head.  Pretty soon Dan was giggling so hard that he forgot he had been in pain at all.

Something else that has worked when Dan has been throwing tantrums is that Derek will ask if he wants to go to the laundry room, the room our kids sometimes end up in when they insist on yelling about something instead of talking.  But Derek does not ask if he wants to go to our laundry room.  He changes it from the church's laundry room, to McDonald's laundry room, to pretty much anywhere that doesn't really have a laundry room.  Dan is so busy explaining that those places don't have laundry rooms and laughing that he forgets to be mad about not getting his way.

Of course I enjoyed the hat game the most.  I wished I had a camera, but Derek assured me that he could get those pants / shirt / big boys off of his head very quickly if I had a camera in my hand.  I think fun distractions are a good way to get our minds off of ourselves and get us moving in a happier direction.  I am thankful for humor, and something to smile about.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Imagine the Dancing Cousins

I thought that you were finally going to get to view the dancing cousins Connor and Poe-lina (not his her real name).  It works great on my computer but I can't get it to upload and so I'll have to figure out why and try again.  So here is the rest of the post that has been waiting to be sent out.

There was a lot of fun dancing at the luncheon after cousin Brynn was baptized.  I got some pictures of her.  She is very photogenic.
I also liked the pictures that I got of my boys on the trip to the baptism.  It was obviously an exciting ride!  The ride home was looking pretty similar. 

The day was so much fun that for Valentine's Day we got the dancing game for our family.  It provided me with a lot of entertainment as I watched my boys wiggle their hips back and forth.  Maybe some time I'll figure out how to upload video of that too.  Until then your imagination will do.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Jake is 9!

Today is Jake's birthday.  Jake is our second boy and our fifth child.  He was the baby for four and a half years before Dan came to take the job.  Jake is amazing.
Balancing on this ball is an easy thing for Jake to do.  I had a picture of him on his knees -- not using his hands -- but it was too blurry to post -- one of us moved.  Jake can do amazing thing on this ball (which belongs to Kayli).  It is terrifying for me to watch him because I'm always sure he's going to fall and split his head open on the multiple sharp objects in the room -- but he never has.  When he was very young he already had such good balance that, after a while I quit cringing when he did semi-dangerous things because it was so extremely unlikely that he would fall.

This is Jake's first year playing city league basketball.  He has not been shy about it and he loves to shoot.  He's quite good at dribbling the ball too.  His Dad is his coach and today for his birthday Jake made two baskets.  He watched Connor play later and was happy to go to McDonalds for lunch.
Jake got to open presents this morning.  He got very nice things but I think this soccer ball is his favorite.  He loves soccer and he loves the color black and so a black soccer ball is perfect.  He got a camera too and both sets of grandparents sent him gifts.  I think he was very happy with his presents.
Here is Jake with his Pikachu cake.  When I was trying to figure out what would make Jake happy on his birthday I kept quizzing him on what he would like to do and what kind of cake he would like to have.  I knew I had hit on the right thing when I mentioned a Pokemon cake and got a smile.
Jake had trouble blowing out his candles.  Derek got about eight pictures of him blowing out the candles because it took so long and Jake was laughing before he was done.  We had cake and ice cream at snack time (about three o'clock at our house) and then we had a pizza picnic at dinnertime while we watched Despicable Me.  All in all I think it was a good birthday for a very good boy.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Water and Squishy Hearts

Wednesday Night at bedtime I was finally reading the note Dan's preschool teacher had sent home Tuesday at noon.  It turns out that Dan was supposed to have 16 Valentines ready for his party the next morning.  Usually I have spare ones around but, in a past cleaning frenzy, I must have gotten rid of them.  I did not want to get up early and go buy Valentines and so I cut out sixteen paper hearts and wrote "Happy Valentine's Day" on one side.  I offered to draw happy faces instead but Dan preferred letters.  Then, my amazing sweet boy sat down and wrote his name 17 times (he goofed on one and was very upset and so we made one more).  He taped smarties to sixteen Valentines.  He did it all before it was time to go.  I was very impressed.

I helped in preschool that day and we went on a field trip to the Post Office and then we had the party.  Dan started to cry when he was decorating his Valentine bag because he couldn't make the heart as perfectly as he wanted.  He didn't seem to love the party -- he cried again after delivering his Valentines.  But, at home afterwards, Dan LOVED the Valentines he'd been given.  He raved over how nice Ms. Tonya is and how wonderful that people gave him all of that candy.  He is going through the candy rather quickly. 
Through all of this I learned something about Jake.  When we were talking about the Valentines before school Jake said "Mom, I didn't like to do Valentines because it made me nervous".  He knew that Valentine's Day would be different.  It would disrupt his routine.  He'd have to hand things out.  Now I know why it was so hard for me to get him to write his name and why I often found it easier to fill in his name myself.  Hopefully he'll feel like doing his own this year.  You'll learn more about Jake tomorrow for his birthday.
Last night we had soft pretzels for dinner.  It may not be overly nutritious but we made it fun.  Tia helped me and so she spelled her whole name.  We made first initial pretzels for everyone else but I decided you didn't need a picture of ALL of them.  Derek wasn't home and so he didn't get one.  Poor Derek.

Finally, I'll end with a few tidbits of information from Dan.  He brought me a package of fruit snacks from his Valentine bag and said "It says no milk, no eggs, no peanuts, just water and squishy hearts."  Then he informed me that "Santa comes whenever we need him".  I said "Oh, really?" and he replied that "Yes, when we need some toys, we just ask him and when it is dark he brings them to us".  So now you know how to get new toys.
Okay, I had to add the S.  I thought it was superb.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Hair Show and Happy Things

Tia's camera broke before she even got to the airport so I had to get one off the computer.  She may not like this one -- but Tia's a good sport and I have no doubt I'll be forgiven.
I think I mentioned that my daughter Tia went to a hair show in California.  A few people expressed interest in what exactly a hair show is -- since it sounds like hair will be parading across the stage displaying talents.  It turns out that a hair show is pretty much a trade show for cosmetologists.  There are many, many booths where people try to sell you their fabulous product.  You could buy a new wonder shampoo, or fabulous makeup, or gels, or hair cutting tools, or other random things.  Tia said that they were really good deals -- but she only bought makeup and something else (shoot -- I forgot -- bad mom!).  They did have some famous people there.  One named Tabitha -- but none of us were saavy enough to know who she is or what makes her famous, and the guy from What Not to Wear (I don't watch it and so I don't know who he is either).  

There are demonstrations on hair cutting techniques and other stuff cosmetologists and a few other people might be interested in.  Tia had a fabulous time.  She enjoyed the beautiful California weather and the trip to Disneyland.

Other happy things:
*My boys have recovered from their long bouts with whatever miserable cold / fever thing they had.
*Connor dealt beautifully with going back to school after missing more than a week and has been handling his piles of homework well too.
*We got to go to my nieces baptism.  My sister-in-law's Mom made us all feel like we were the most wonderful people in the world, and Brynn's baptism went well, and all of us had a really good time together.
*I got great footage of my son Connor and my nephew Porter dancing.  Poe was being Poe-lina at the time.  Hopefully soon I'll figure out how to post some of the fun dancing videos and the pretty pictures of Brynn and cousins. (New camera -- new challenges!)
*Derek and my kids are totally awesome.
*Dan loves Rosie and saved her from an early death by remembering we hadn't watered her.  She's looking a little feeble though so cross your fingers.  I left her by the sink this time -- she's more likely to be remembered.
*Angela watched Dan so I could go to breakfast with a friend.  It was fun even though I goofed and ate breakfast before I left.  I wasn't really going for the food and the visit was great.  So was the second breakfast (Hey -- if hobbits, and Dan can do it ...) 
*Shannon called.  That's always nice.
*The family "super bowl" dinner without the game was fun.  Loud.  But fun.
*Dan gave the home evening lesson and was very enthusiastic at hide and seek.  He's getting good.

Friday, February 4, 2011

New Awesome Moves

Today has had its ups and downs, and ups, and way downs and ups again.  So I wanted to count some of the ups.  First off, this morning Derek walked into the family room and Dan showed him his "new awesome moves".  He showed them to me too and they were awesome and I just went and had him perform for the camera for your viewing pleasure.  Note also that you can feel good about yourselves if you do not have unfolded laundry in your family room, or even if you do, since -- well why not?
Besides getting to see awesome moves today I was rather pleased that the television didn't stay on all morning (which is normal when I have sick ones home -- which has been all week).  Dan and I exercised by playing the Wii Explorer game -- though I finally got on the exercise bike at the end when he kept choosing one player.  He doesn't like to lose and I guess I had awesome moves this morning too -- which would account for me winning.

Next Dan helped me repot Rosey.  He said he wished she had a face so that he could talk to her and she could talk back.  After that Dan helped me make dinner.  He peeled the carrots and pushed the button on the chopper to chop up onions and tomatoes, and poured in the broth.  Then he even took some groceries downstairs to the storage room.

So on a day when everything didn't go as smoothly as I would have liked, I am very thankful for my boy with the "New Awesome Moves".

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


It was a big relief to me when Tonya joined the family.  I sometimes forget that not everything is about me and I was seriously worried that all of the brothers were avoiding marriage because of me for some reason.  You know, as in "I don't want to get stuck with someone like that!"  It had been five years since Derek and I were married and Tonya's husband is NOT five years younger than Derek.  In reality it is more likely that the brothers didn't want a first apartment like ours, and even more likely that they just hadn't met the right people yet.  Anyhow, I was glad when Quinn married Tonya.  I have had a bazillion reasons to keep being happy about that.  Here are some of my favorites.

Tonya has been a good friend to me.  I enjoy talking to her about lots of things.  She lets me whine at her if I want to and she is sympathetic.  I have a lot of sympathetic family members and I appreciate each one!  That makes me wonder if I whine a lot.  Hmm.  Tonya and I both have this annoying thing where we cry really easily about lots of random things and so it's nice to have a buddy who understands when my eyes are dripping and nothing really sad just happened.

Tonya is the only Aunt in the family that is called "Ont" instead of "Ant".  When we are with her we discuss the way that apricot should be said and we smile when she insists on being the only one in the universe to use the "proper" pronunciation of some words -- which I believe she learned during acting classes.  She's an incredibly good sport about it and allows us to butcher the language however we want to as long as we don't give her too bad of a time about the fact that the "correct" pronunciation she uses isn't the common one (to us).

Tonya has the greatest number of children who are close in age to my kids in the C. family for the obvious reason that nobody else got married for a while.  My kids love to visit the cousins in the warmer part of the state.  Tonya and I always end up going to the grocery store to pick up a few things.  Dan needs soy or rice milk and (shockingly) they drink milk from a cow (No.  Not their own cow).  Tonya and I are always both buying things and I constantly try to sneak some of her stuff into my pile (since it's food we'll be eating).  She has a tendency to try to sneak my things into her pile (because we're the guests?).  It's kind of a tradition by now.

One fun memory with Tonya is during a C. reunion.  The whole family was outside and she came in to help me make missionary name tags for my girls for our skit.  We found some paper but we needed crayons.  Where are crayons kept?  In the Master bedroom, in the top drawer of the dresser.  Of course!  So, feeling like we were somehow being naughty, we snuck into the Master bedroom and opened the drawer.  Now that felt awkward!  I personally think that underthings go in the top drawer of dressers and I was worried that maybe Mom and Dad C. had changed their mind about where the crayons go.  Thankfully they hadn't and we got the crayons and started to leave the room.   Mom C. was right there on the other side of the door getting ready to come in!  We apparently looked so guilty that she started laughing and assured us that we were allowed to get crayons out of the drawer.  If it weren't for the fact that Tonya doesn't eat chocolate she might have thought we were sneaking candybars out from under the bed.

Tonya has been helpful to me when some of my kids started having asthma and, it seems like she somehow understood from the first what I was feeling when Dan's food allergies were first discovered.

Tonya is an incredibly talented person.  I'm always impressed with how well she can remember a book after reading it and even express intelligently what she liked about it and what she did not.  I can usually remember if I liked it or not -- but after a day or two I probably can't name the characters, or any other important details, or exactly why I liked it.  She is a talented writer and she expresses herself well verbally too.  I think she can even think when put on the spot which, I think, would be a great talent to have.

She and Quinn do a wonderful job of doing projects to improve their house and yard.  Tonya has a talent for doing detailed work that would drive me nuts after a few minutes (scrapbooking type things and sewing projects).  My girls enjoy talking to her too and she is generally a good person to have around for a lot of reasons. 

Tonya is a spiritual person who loves her Savior and her family.  I'm thankful that Quinn waited until he found Tonya to get married so that I could have her as a sister and a friend.

Happy Birthday Tonya!