Saturday, March 31, 2007

We think that we shall never see a poem as lovely as our tree

All four kids and our spring-splendored Ash tree. Can you spot them all? (Click on the picture to enlarge.)

"I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do. They go wandering forth in all directions with every wind, going and coming like ourselves, traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day, and through space heaven knows how fast and far!"
~John Muir

"Happiness is sharing a bowl of cherries and a book of poetry with a shade tree. He doesn't eat much and doesn't read much, but listens well and is a most gracious host."
~Astrid Alauda

"Once there was a tree...and she loved a little boy."
~The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein

Friday, March 30, 2007

Go Dodgers!

Ready . . .

Set . . .


Tyce is a pitcher for his Little League team, the Dodgers. The *starting* pitcher, but to say that first sounds too . . . well, you know. I don't want to alienate all those average kids out there. j/k
He did a great job and he's having a really good time. The past two years he'd been on winning teams with exceptional players, but because of that, he'd been in the outfield and didn't get much play action. This year he's on a not-so-winning team but he's one of the better players and gets to play a lot of interesting positions. Is it more fun to win but do little to contribute? Or to lose but be active the whole time?
Bryce is an assistant coach again this year and is enjoying spending time with his oldest boy.
While Tyce was busy doing his thing, this is how the rest of us spent our time last night:

Rebecca and twins watched from above because the double stroller wouldn't fit down the ramp! Dont' the boys look happy? Mary fed them a steady supply of snacks.

Mary Rachel hung, twirled, climbed, and skipped within a 50-ft. radius of the stroller. She especially liked going down the steps and hiding behind her dad's back until he finally noticed he had a shadow.

Bryce yelling, "You'd better call it both ways next time, Ump!" He did the scoring for the game. Check out Mary's face.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

We can "help" with the dishes!

Why do we believe them when they say they actually want to help clean up?

Harrison squirted himself in the face. Cameron eventually dunked his entire head under the faucet. Good thing I hadn't mopped that day or this would be a lot less cute.

Mary'n the Librarian

Enter the World of Mary Rachel Jones!

"May I help you find something, dear?"

On Sunday Mary Rachel told us about listening to "Little House in the Big Woods" after lunch at school. They had just gotten to the part where the family (?) used pig bladders to make balloons. The combination of these two words were of great disgusting delight to our Mary.

In order to keep on that subject without impunity, she adopted a slightly British, very formal accent and informed us that she was the librarian, and could find the passage in question if requested. I played along.

Mary: I have all sorts of books in the library--what are you looking for, darling? Perhaps something over in the children's section? I can tell you are a child. How old are you?

Me: I'm 7.

Mary: You look like an orphan, so scrawny and dirty. Are you an orphan? (Say yes).

Me: Yes.

Mary: So your mother and father are dead?

Me: Yes.

Mary: Well, you can stay here with me if you would like. I have a lot of children--like 6. I am 28 years old. Do you want to know where my husband is?

Me: Yes.

Mary: He's the lazy one over there, reading the newspaper. (Gestures to Bryce). He never helps with the kids. I do all the work around here. Come dear, let's find some books down the hall. (Takes me by the hand and leads me to her bedroom). Are you wondering why you're a kid but you're taller than me?

Me: Yes.

Mary: Do you know that show, "Little People, Big World?" Well, I'm on it.

Me: Wow, that's cool.

Mary: Yes, it is. And now, dear, please pick out a book.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Tyce's trip

We sure loved hearing about Tyce's trip to Sea Camp with his GATE group. His favorite things: dissecting a squid, whale watching and boogie boarding. His least favorite thing: snorkeling. Oh, and the food, which he said was not good at all (and no crab legs!). He hated snorkeling because the water was way too cold for him. He wasn't the only one who felt that way. That's too bad, because he would have really enjoyed seeing all that marine life up close like that.

He says he had a really fun time and I could tell because it was hard for him to get back into the swing of things the next day (school). He kept saying he was tired and Bryce said, "You just spent the weekend in San Diego while the rest of us stayed here--you don't get to complain that you're tired!" I have to say, a weekend in SD sounds pretty good to me . . . can I go if I promise not to whine when I get back?

Tyce is also busy with baseball and I will write more on that once I get some pictures to show you.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Activity Days Girls at the Temple

On Saturday my partner Tina and I took our Activity Days girls (ages 8-11) to the Las Vegas temple grounds. In the back are Tina, Ashley, Daija, Mikayla, and me; in the front are Hailee, Summer, and Samantha. This is about half of our group.

We had a lovely lesson under a tree about the importance of temples, how to be worthy to enter the temple, and why the Lord's house is sacred. They told me the right answers and it all went well. But then they also wanted to roll down a hill, jump off the curbing, and stick their feet into the fountain. When we were on the move, Tina and I had to work really hard to keep them in line (figuratively). It reminded me that young girls, no matter how sweet and kind, are also immature and impulsive.


After we returned home, the twins played with blocks. I thought Cameron was pretty cute in his Cubs hat. Cameron and Harrison are both talking quite a bit. Cameron's favorite phrases include "Shoo, beat it!" and "Dirty Yewt." When asked how old he is, Cam says--and I have no idea why--"I chicken!" Maybe he's being funny? Harrison will say he's 2 and hold up two fingers.
At night Harrison's evil side emerges and he climbs out of his crib repeatedly, destroying anything in sight (very quietly, of course). Books have been ripped, old Halloween candy eaten, and Yu-Gi-Oh! cards scattered. Looking through Tyce's stuff is fascinating . . . which is why Tyce can't wait to have his own room. Cameron is capable of climbing out but chooses to tattle from his little cage, "Harrison out of bed! He climbed out of the crib! He being naughty!"
It's hard to believe that from such cute pictures though, isn't it?


In other news, Tyce is away for the weekend at Sea Camp in San Diego with his GATE group. Bryce got him a disposable camera to document his adventure. They were slated to go snorkeling and boogie boarding, as well as study marine life on floating laboratories. I'm sure Tyce will be full of exciting information when he returns tonight.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Lost and Found

Earlier this week I couldn't find my set of keys. Bryce used his mighty investigative powers and located them on the "franklin" (our term for one of our many pot shelves, which is pretty much a dumping ground for for books, papers, etc.) But when I went to retrieve them a few hours later, they were gone. I asked Tyce and Mary Rachel if they'd seen, they hadn't. But they *did* remember Harrison pulling up a chair....maybe he took them?
We looked outside, inside, and anywhere else we could think a toddler might have been. No luck. When the twins woke up from nap I asked Harrison about the keys. He led me right to the laundry room, where the door knob had punched out a hole in the wall. He pointed at the hole and said, "They're stuck." I looked down into the blackness, and sure enough, I could see the Albertson's card sticking up on the keyring. I tried using tongs and pliers, but luckily we had skinny-armed Mary around who pulled them up with ease.

The latest newsletter

I take back what I said about it *starting* to get warm here in the Las Vegas area. It is just plain HOT. And when I say hot, I mean that it's 90 degrees outside and it's still winter. Dang that global warming.

Still, I look forward to spring and the promise of cooler's supposed to be cool and nice in the spring.....isn't it?

I thought you might like to read my latest piece, but I appear to be unable (or incapable) of linking it to you at this point. I will have to wait a week or two until it is the archive on the website.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Water World in the Backyard

It is warming up here in the Las Vegas area. In fact, when I was on the telephone they decided to entertain themselves outside with the hose. The only problem is, the big kids have zero body fat and get cold once they're wet, regardless of the temperature (we had swimming lessons in the middle of summer in the middle of the day to compensate for this, and even *then* they froze exiting the pool). Anyway, by the time I discovered their activity, they'd gotten their winter coats on. The twins enjoyed playing in the mud pool created by the runoff.
I'm realizing that I don't know how to format these pictures. I will have to work on that. That, and many, many other things.

My African Princess

Mary Rachel had a recital and the end of her African Dance class. Bryce and Tyce and Cameron had to go to their first Little League meeting at the same time, so I took a lot of pictures for them. Harrison and I enjoyed watching Mare do her thing. I definitely got the easier twin to take along . . . he even sat by me for a few minutes at a time.

Harrison enjoyed playing the drums with Zoe.

These twin girls are the teacher's kids (Zoe and Zamora).

First post on a blog....ever

Never ones to be at the cutting edge of technology, we have finally created our own blog. I am just testing out my blogging capabilities (which I hope prove as formidable as Brooklyn's). Pictures and family ramblings to come soon.