Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Beginning of our Grand Vacation and Dan says...

In my opinion our vacation was grand because of the people we got to see.  However, it was also grand because it started out and ended with eight of us flying in airplanes, and "laying over" at various airports.  We even managed to pack for our one week trip in such a way that we could carry on our luggage.  That is a grand accomplishment.  Of course, Derek's Mom is mailing some of the sleeping bags back and she is keeping the pillows she bought for us to use for .... decorating the inside of a closet.

On the way out to Boston I was sitting by Dan on the plane.  Here are some of the amusing things he said:
"Mom, we're going off the earth."
"Mom.  Where are we in the sky?" (I didn't know what to say -- I said "here")
"Mom.  Can I play the Wii when we get home?"  I explained we'd be gone quite a while but he still wanted to know and so I assured him that he could.
"I hope my ears work when we get down!" (They did)
Making up his own song (loudly while on the plane) "We're going up, off the earth..."
When we were almost done with the flight he decided to try to quote Madagascar 2 with Jake.  Dan's version was, "The good news is we're landing safely.  The bad news is we're crash landing" (over and over with big giggles every time).
Dan before our trip in sunglasses from Kylie's b-day party.  He loves them.

Character Dan said a couple more things that I recorded from our trip.  In the big white van he said "I wish I had a tiger, then I could pet it, and it would love me so I could ride it."
Jake replied, "Just because you pet it doesn't mean it will love you." (Jake's smart)

In Boston Tia reported that Dan said, "We don't eat squirrels because they are not made of chicken.  We don't eat them with ketchup".

Dan says some pretty grand things sometimes, which helps make vacations more fun and, well, grand!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Angelic Angela

My sister-in-law Angela has a birthday this week.  The longer I know her the more I am impressed with her.  The very first time I met her I wrote in my journal that I liked her, and that hasn't changed.  I chose the title Angelic Angela because I really do think that in a lot of ways Angela is angelic.  Now, she is not quiet, but I don't think that all angels are.  She is good at taking charge, and I suspect some angels are very good at that too.  She's even opinionated (gasp!) but that provides for more entertaining family conversations.  But what is it exactly that makes me think of Angela as angelic?

I think it comes down to the fact that she is an excellent family member.  What does that mean?  Well, I have noticed that she does a lot of work to give our parents in law thoughtful gifts.  She made them a picnic quilt once and typed up about a zillion favorite family recipes and compiled them in a book another time.  I have paid attention and I have discovered that she, and my brother-in-law Jordan are almost always the last ones at any family gathering making sure that everything is cleaned up properly.  I love my parents-in-law.  They are great.  I love Angela because I have noticed that she goes out of her way to take care of them.  I expect she does the same for her parents when she can.
Angela is great at making sure we keep up with our first Sunday family dinners and our cousin days for those of us who live locally.  If one of us can't take charge on our particular month she is quick to trade or volunteer to help.  She has my boys over to play with her kids and she even brought Connor a shake after he crashed his scooter.  Because I am a member of the family, her value of family makes me feel --- valued.

Angela puts a lot of effort into being a good Mom.  I like to hear about the things she does because it gives me ideas of things I can do better.
Angela has helped me out by talking to me about allergies, kids, the gospel, and just life in general, and by watching my kids sometimes when I need some help.  I find it fun to be with Angela.  She occasionally shares a book with me too.  Bonus!  I am thankful that, in our family, we get to have an angelic Angela.  We are truly blessed.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dan says:

"Mom, just because you eat more than me doesn't mean you are faster than me.  It's because you eat more than me that I can go faster than you."

I don't think that was a complement.  I also don't think he can go faster than me.....yet.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I often say I don't like to read poetry, I just like to write it.  I realized yesterday that this is not true!  I like to read my own poetry.  I like reading my brother Brian's poetry (on the rare ocassion when I can get a hold of some).  I like reading hymns, songs, and nursery rhymes, which are poetry.  I always liked to read a book my Dad and Mom owned by Edgar A. Guest that was poetry.  There are some poems that I like to read very much.  This is a good discovery and I am out to discover more poetry that I like.  Do any of you have suggestions? 

I have a plan to read a poem every day for a month (yes only one, I don't want to commit too much time!) and then to write a poem a day for a month.  I was inspired with this idea when I read a book my sister Tina sent me called The Happiness Project.  I am not ready to do a full fledged happiness project, but this sounds like a good way to expand my horizons and hopefully improve a talent.

So if you have a poem
That you would like to share,
Or know a poet that you feel
Is just beyond compare,
I'd love to hear about it,
So send a note my way,
And you can be certain,
Your note will make my day.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Father and Sons, Mother and Daughters

Friday was the annual Fathers and Sons camp out.  Derek took our three boys, a tent, some food, and blankets and off they went.  I have no pictures of their activities or of the activities I did with my girls so I'll do my best with word pictures.

Derek enjoyed talking to some friends.  They compared wife stories.  The friend's wife doesn't like it when nobody sits beside her in Relief Society.  I wouldn't llike that either.  Derek just compared our dreams.  He has violent nightmares where he needs to protect the family and has a hard time moving.  I have nightmares where people don't like me.

Connor enjoyed playing capture the flag and other games with his friends.

Jake loved the chance to play his favorite game with his friends.  He got up an hour earlier than Derek and his brothers and went out to play tag.

Dan made Derek smile.  They were walking from their tent to the fire.  Along the way they passed several people, adults and youth.  Dan waved at one man and said, "Hi! We're going to the fire."  He passed some youth and said "Hi guys!"  And, sometimes people would say "Hi Dan!" first.  Dan's very friendly and is well liked.  Dan also told the Dad of an African little boy (one of Dan's friends) "He's brown."  The Dad agreed.

In the meantime the girls and I dressed up, yes -- in dresses, and went out to eat.  Kayli ordered a pizza pocket and felt silly about it. The other two girls had some fancy chicken, and chicken fried steak, and I had soup and salad.  Tia was very sun burnt and was having a hard time being warm even though her skin was burning up.  After dinner we went to a wedding reception for Shannon's daughter Chelsea.  I enjoyed it very much.  Trisa enjoyed it very much, Tia enjoyed it except for the hugs because they hurt, and Kayli wished we hadn't stayed so long since she didn't know as many people.

We watched a movie when we got home and then headed to bed.  The next day Tia was up early for school and I was up with her.  She went to school.  I managed to read, go on a walk, and weed the garden before the other girls got up.  I enjoyed the quiet time, they enjoyed the sleep.

It was a good weekend for Father and Sons and Mother and Daughters.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Things I Love to Do

1.  I love to read a light hearted (clean) romantic comedy.
2.  I love to read a books where I learn something.
3.  I love holding hands with Derek (until our hands get all sweaty)
4.  I love to dance.
5.  I love to sit outside and watch the kids play.
6.  I love to watch the birds at the bird feeder.
7.  I like creating beautiful things.  I don't do it often but it gives me a sense of accomplishment!
8.  I love talking on the phone with my family and friends.
9.  I love a peaceful ride / drive through the country (by this I mean no busy roads, lots of greenery or good landscaping).
10.  I love listening to Derek and his brothers banter back and forth trying to outdo each other at being the most funny and clever.  His sisters sometimes join in and I enjoy this too.
11.  I love hanging out with my family (my parents, Derek's parents, brothers, sisters (including the in-law variety, and their kids).  They all have good humor, and wisdom.
12.  I love helping.
13.  I love visiting with (either in person or through technology) extended family that I don't get to see very much.  It is always fun to reconnect, and to discover again what great relatives I have.
14.  I love when I can teach my kids something in a happy way.
15.  I love playing music on the piano or flute, especially with friends.
16.  I love going to the temple.  I can always feel Heavenly Father's love for me there.
17.  I love listening to good music.
18.  I love the times when all of us here at home are busy working together and are happy.
19.  I love swinging.
20.  I love to write poems
21.  I love to vacuum carpet.  It's a rewarding job.
22.  I love it when Derek thinks he's funny.  He usually is right, but it's more fun because he enjoys it so much. (Okay so this isn't something to do, but I still love it)
23.  I love hugs -- therefore I must love hugging.
24.  I love sitting on a warm beach, listening to the ocean and watching the waves or reading a book.
25.  I love walking in the woods in the snow, it's like being in a different world.
26.  I love singing.
27.  I love sitting by the fire.
28.  I love seeing my kids do good and kind things.
29.  I love giving presents that I know someone will like.
30.  I love writing notes to people.
31.  I love wrapping up in a blanket when I'm cold.
32.  I love walking through garden shops and choosing flowers to buy.
33.  I love to look at (and own) musical instruments.
34.  I love walking with Derek.
35.  I love talking to Derek.
36.  I love talking to people about the things they value, especially when I value them too.
37.  I love to smile at people to try to get them to smile too.
38.  I love going to libraries or bookstores -- there's always the possibility of finding treasures.
39.  I love walking in the morning sunshine.
40.  I love reminiscing about happy times.

I made this list because I felt that if I identified the things I love to do, I could be sure to do them more often.  It's good to love what you do!

*I love to point out obvious things like:  This list is not made in any particular order and just because romance novels were listed first doesn't mean I love them better than I love other things -- like visiting with you!  This also isn't an all inclusive list, I'm bound to have forgotten temporarily, or to have not discovered yet some of the things I love to do.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Another Teenager in the House

My first baby boy has long since stopped being a baby.  He is 13 now and is enjoying a happy day.  Today he has spent the morning goofing off with Trisa and Kayli.  They are good friends and have been laughing all morning and being generally silly.  Tia came home for lunch from school so that she could wish Connor a happy birthday, which was thoughtful.  At snack time we had some cousins over for cake and ice cream, and for dinner Connor got Chinese food, including some Honey Shrimp because Connor loves shrimp.

He opened his presents this morning without Tia (she was gone to school but had told us we could go ahead without her).  I suspect his favorite presents were the books.  He LOVES books and gets annoyed if you borrow one and he discovers you are not using a bookmark, or are using a handy sock or some other odd object as a bookmark.

Connor got a backpack so that he will be prepared for all of the camping he will do as a Boy Scout.
His Dad found him a red Darth Vader sucker, and a match box Corvette (Connor drools over Corvettes)
Here are pictures of Connor blowing out the candles on his cake.

 He didn't manage it the first time.
 He didn't manage it the second time.
By then Bennett, and everyone else including Connor were laughing so hard that he didn't really manage it the third time either, but he provided us all with lots of amusement.

This is really his second celebration since on Sunday his Grandma F. surprised him with cake, ice cream and a present.  Lucky Connor!  Aunt Michelle surprised him with a treat today too.  It has been a good day for a very good boy.  I think we will enjoy having another teenager in the house.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dan Says...

"Bees don't have hearts, they just have stinging powers.  Their wings have stinging powers too, but I've never been stung by one."

Derek tried to convince Dan that bees actually do have hearts, but Dan doesn't really believe it.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Celebrating Memorial Day

This year our celebration of Memorial Day was different than usual.  We decided to have Tia's graduation party at the same time.  We invited all of Tia's aunts and uncles and their families.  We held it at "The Homestead" (Derek's parent's house) because it was rainy and there would be more room.  The weather did stay nice enough to barbeque outside, which I did.

I liked these things about the day:

1.  I enjoyed barbequeing outside because because the grill kept me warm so I could enjoy the otherwise chilly sunshine that was there at noon.

2.  Everyone was good company and was kind.  Nobody even whined when I forgot all of the vegetables that people like on hamburgers. 

3.  Derek had us all sing one patriotic song America in memory of those who have given their lives and service for our freedom.  He also had us sing another song Families Can be Together Forever in memory of the family members that we love who are no longer with us.  What good singers we have in our family!

4.  Derek talked a little about our good Tia and she opened a present and then she taught us all a dance.  Here are some pictures.

Our traditional cemetery visits were postponed due to weather, time, and energy.  We did get a good idea from Uncle Devin (my kid's uncle).  Devin had been with his kids to the cemeteries in the pouring rain.  He told us that it is his tradition to tell his kids a story about each of the relatives whose graves they visit.  We thought that was such a good idea that yesterday, when we finally paid our visits to the cemeteries, Derek told us some of his memories of his grandparents and his brother, and in the car between cemeteries I told the kids a bit about my grandparents whose graves are too far away for us to visit easily.  The older kids did a great job of listening and being interested, and Jake and Dan enjoyed not paying attention.  We enjoyed both days of celebrating Memorial Day.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Head Start on Summer

I've been wanting to write this since before Summer vacation started and so I'm just going to keep the original title.  Before the kids got out of school I printed out my list of things I want to do in the Summertime and hung it on the fridge.  I decided that there was no real reason to wait until it was officially summer vacation to get started.

So far I have done the following things from my list:

1.  Read on a blanket outside.  Spring has been cold and rainy, but there have been a few sunny, relatively warm days mixed in and I decided that I should be out enjoying any day that was nice.  I ended up reading outside on a Sunday after church.  The only bad moment was when the little jumping spider decided to jump on me, but he jumped back off pretty quickly.

2.  Sew Something.  In Relief Society we planned on making plastic bag holders.  These are the cool kind where you shove bags in the top and then pull them out the bottom.  The nice ladies e-mailed me instructions and I made it here.  It works great! We didn't end up having time for it in Relief Society meeting anyhow.  We were too busy learning other fabulous things.

3.  Go to the Library.  Let's face it, I'll probably do that every week.  I just wanted a few things on the list I knew I'd do!

4.  Paint the bar stools (fabulously of course).  I'm not done with this, but I am half done.  Here are what the stools basically looked like before I started.
Then I chose two colors (because I can't possibly be decisive enough to pick one).  I painted the bottom of one stool black and one green.  I like the black better, but I kind of like the contrast, and let's face facts, I don't really want to paint the green one black after all of the work it took to turn it green.
I painted the top a cream color because my fabulous idea was to make the tops look kind of like one of my Grandma F.'s dinner plates that looked like this:

It was hard to find wheat that matched, and any pictures of the plate printed out too gray and so I finally just chose some wheat that was close enough and the stools ended up looking like this:

A closer look at the top shows you this:
They are darker than the plate but they look nice.  Hopefully they will be great for sitting and cleaning off.  They at least look better than before.

So, I have a headstart on my Summer list and that is good because I spent a lot of the first week of vacation panicking over how to organize the children so that they will have fun, help out, AND learn things, which means I was too busy stressing out to actually look at my list.  Thankfully there is more Summer ahead to do better.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dan's Other Name

Today Dan said, "My name was Gooloo (Gulu?) before I was born, then you called me a different name.  I was Gooloo because I like painting and gluing."

Derek called him Gooloo a couple of times and Dan answered as if that were normal, but an hour later he couldn't remember what his "real" name was and so he's back to being Dan.  I think, one day, he'll be glad we didn't really name him Gooloo.