Friday, September 28, 2007

It's Feast or Famine With Me

You've noticed that, haven't you? Either I go 10 days without a word, or I give you so much to look at you can't keep up. Here are some pictures from when David and Brooklyn came to visit. Also, two pics from when Betsy Fowler came over for dinner. Don't you love the one where she's downing our kids' cough medicine?

An adorable picture from the past

I found this looking for something else. It's a picture of someone you know in the Friends in the News section of the children's magazine The Friend. The picture is in the third row, fouth photo. You can right click to zoom in.

G'Day, Mate

Last week I got to meet my friend Suzanne IRL (in real life). I've known her through a yahoo group (and before that, Sesame Street when they had discussion boards) since 1999!

She is from Australia (Geelong) and is an amazing person. She has a nursing background and recently earned her PhD. She has two daughters aged 15 and 11, and a little boy who's 3. She and her family (including her husband) are vacationing in the United States for a whole month. (A whole month!)

The twins and I met her at the Mandalay Bay aquarium. Brooklyn, Maya, and Cambria were there too while David worked at his conference. (Pictures of them coming soon!) We enjoyed chatting and Mason's little Aussie voice was so cute to hear.

The next day Rick drove Suzanne and Mason to our house to play. This was nice in several ways, since we were able to really talk without distraction. I loved the aquarium but it's a little hard to have more than a 10 second conversation with someone before one of us was off chasing a little one. At our house Mason got out the trains and was sorely diappointed that I couldn't find the "diesel." (I didn't want to mention that the fact that there were actually two trains in the train box was pretty good by our standards.) I made lunch and discovererd that Australians share the Brits' dislike of peanut butter and jelly. Suzanne said that cheese sandwiches or peanut butter and vegemite sandwiches are popular choices for the 10-and-under set. Yeah . . . I was fresh out of vegemite. (I promise if you click on the second vegemite link and listen to the jingle you will curse its catchiness.)

Our three boys enjoyed playing outside in our dirt backyard and crashing trucks inside.

It was a great visit and I'm so glad I got to meet her after all this time. Her husband came to pick her up and said we could stay with them if/when we visited Australia. I would love to take him up on that!
Mom! Hey Mom! Look at me! I'm in the sock basket! It's a boat! Oh yeah!

Uhhhh . . . I didn't really knock this over because I pretended my boat flipped. I'm, um, giving you something. Here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A few more things

Today Harrison took his first trip the the ER. I believe he fell against the corner of the hearth and tore a hole in his top lip clear through. (I know. Gross.) There was a lot of blood. There were a lot of tears. At first I blamed Cameron because, frankly, Cameron was in a naughty mood this morning and I figured he'd done something to cause the incident. No wonder he was so indignant when I removed him from the scene. Looking back, I really think he was innocent.

Harrison got three stitches and guess what. He's already pulled two of them out. The doctor just gave him a regular band-aid but he needed to get one of those industrial super-glue ones, you know? The kind that stay on for two weeks and then leave a black outline when you finally summon the courage to yank it off.

Unfortunately I missed the birthday party I was so looking forward to (my friend Jen). It was a lunch at Rebecca's house, which the kids were going to, of course, but the afternoon's festivities were to revolve around the adults. Ironically, I was getting ready to leave when everything went pear-shaped. I believe this is my children's way of saying that I'm not allowed to do anything fun.


Mary Rachel had screamed and yelled last night about something she perceived as unfair. (I got Tyce an Oreo blast at Sonic after his open house and had the audacity to not buy one for her. I did anticipate that reaction though and tried to hurry Tyce up on eating it in the car but he wanted to save the rest for later.) I'm trying my best to implement the tactics outlined in the book Parenting with Love and Logic and get her to own and solve her own problems. It ended well, though getting there was a bit exhausting. Anyway, this is my typed version of the note she left for me the next morning. I was very impressed with her ability to express her feelings:

Dear Mom I cant exsplan how good you were to me and wen I lost hop in my faith you wod not let me down. I am so sary Love Mary to Mom

I love that Mary Rachel Jones!


Tyce came home singing a rap song he heard on someone's iPod at school. It is a catchy tune and quite popular right now. We watched the video on youtube and I couldn't really tell what the song was about or what they were saying. So I looked at the actual lyrics and asked, "What are you going to do if the song has a bunch of bad words in it?" Tyce said, "Well, then I'll stop singing it, of course." It turns out ignorance was bliss because once we read the lyrics they were vulgar and nasty. (Really vulgar, really nasty, though he used phrases and words for things I don't even know.)

So here's my question. When I was a teenager, I listened to and sang popular music, and only as an adult did I say, "Holy cow, are you kidding?" (For example, "Like a Virgin" by Madonna.) If a song is cool and catchy, does it ruin your sense of decency and morality to listen to it, even if it's "bad?"


I'm posting a few more pictures, just because I can. They include my $300 piano, and our $400 dining table and 6 chairs (both from craigslist), and our new TV. Also, Kess running outside.

Twin's 3rd Birthday Pictures

Good news--I'm a genius! I figured out how to upload pictures from new camera to old computer!

However, since my attempt at using a hip blog template backfired a month ago, I have lost the ability to see my pictures as "pictures" when I upload them to the blog. It's just a bunch of text. So I can't (or won't) be captioning each picture. Bummer.

Good thing I took a picture of the "cake" because it had a mishap on the way to the table. Perhaps you can see the very beginning of the tip-over in one photo. The boys had a great time at Grandpa Al's and Grandpa Judy's house, with the balloons being a big highlight.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Doctor Says . . .

No chicken pox. Just a mystery rash (that had already begun to disappear between the time I made the appt. and when I took her in).

Eight things

1. Our next book club book is "A Tale of Two Cities" by Dickens. Carmen Pendleton came to our last meeting ("The Little Prince") and I was so happy to have her there. (Carmen was one of my BEST roommates at BYU.) Great discussion, great friends, and great snacks. Now you know why I like book club so much.

2. I've been working out. Walking, going to the gym. It's been great. Tell me to keep it up. I need all the encouragement I can get.

3. "Guess who has the chicken pox?" (said in a Cameron sing-song voice). It looks like Mary does. She's been vaccinated so if she does it will be a less-severe case. I'm taking her to the doctor today. Last time I kept her home for a cold and she caused so many problems with the twins, I really, really regretted it.

4. Tyce is first chair in band (so far). He's loving band. His school's open house is tonight.

5. The twins got a new trike and a new scooter, thanks to birthday money from Mopsie & Grandpa, Great-Grandma Mary and Bill, and Great-Aunt Lynn and Uncle Bob. They felt like hot stuff. Right after buying the ride-ons we had to go straight to the park to try them out. I thought they'd hyperventilate before we arrived, they were so excited.

6. I decided to keep the twins at home for another year rather than send them to preschool. Yes, in part because Harrison didn't get in, but mostly because they have a long, long time to go to school and a short time to just be kids. This is the wisdom that comes from having pushed two older kids pretty hard. I'm enjoying having them around when we run errands, and it's fun to take them to the park or to play with friends. There will be plenty of time to go to school . . . later.

7. I have a Sesame newsletter due this Wed. and the topic is safety. Bluh. I did that one last year, and since I had to switch with someone due to scheduling conflicts, I inherited his topic. Maybe I should let my kids play in the street this afternoon to illustrate a what-not-to-do anecdote.

8. That's about all that's going on. I'm waiting for the doctor's office to open to make the appt. for my girl. Must go clean up the chewed-up ham somebody spit onto the floor.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

It's been too long (again)

Either I blog about my real life or I actually live my real life. I can't seem to do both. Right now the kids are running around doing who knows what, so you can guess which one I've picked right now.

We had a great time with the Cooks, and then I enjoyed visiting with my Australian friend Suzanne. It was a very busy week, especially since I was also busy with my two new callings (Primary secretary and activities co-chairperson). In case you're wondering, I didn't really catch on that my activities calling was more than just a board member. I guess we are the chairpeople. (Honestly everything would've turned out the same either way, eh?)

Today was the Primary program and the kids did great. I got to show up after all the hard work was done and then revel in the compliments that came to the Primary presidency. LOL I've only been to Primary twice so far. It's great. It's like when I served in Young Women with Jen, Rebecca, and Allison. I still get together with those ladies for lunch quite regularly. Good people make it very enjoyable to serve.

Here are two funnies from chatty Cameron:

Bryce asked Cameron to come over and stop doing something (I can't remember the details) and Cam looked at him and said, "How dare you!"

Today at nursery Cam scraped his thumb and got a bandage, which of course would not stay on. After playing outside this afternoon he came in and in a sing-song voice said, "Guess who needs a band-aid?"

Bryce is working tonight because his September deadline is imminent. Hopefully he'll finish everything and we'll be back to smooth sailing.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

We never saw it coming

Bryce got a call today from the Bishop, asking him to meet about 20 minutes before church. Obviously, he was getting a calling, a job in the ward. Would it be in Young Men? Primary? The 11-year-old Scouts (the one he really wanted)?

Brother Callister sat us down. After some small talk he got down to business. Bryce's new calling in the ward is . . .

. . . Activities Committee Chairperson!!!!

The shock has not worn off. Luckily for him, I was also called to the activities commitee its sole member. If you have any fun ward activities you've done, please let us know. I think Bryce is still trying to pick his jaw up off the floor. He's very good at vacation planning, so maybe he can transfer that talent into a ward activity, eh?

He's most depressed about having to attend HP each week now. That may be the biggest adjustment of all.

I was called as the Primary secretary and I am learning the ropes. The last time I had a Sunday Primary calling was 12 years ago! I love the kids and I love the people I serve with already.


Guess who's here. That's right, my brother and his awesome family! I love having them here. Mary Rachel engaged David in a boisterous game of Sorry and was one space away from winning. Now she's being a second mommy to her almost-3-year-old cousin Cambria and both seem to be happy with the arrangement.

I'm off to prepare dinner for when Betsy comes over. More later.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I'm a Lucky Duck

You know how I've been wanting a piano really REALLY bad? So bad I almost paid $3500 for a plain jane upright in St. George I didn't even like? Well, I've been religiously checking ebay and craigslist, because pianos come up quite frequently (on craigslist). Most are old, abused uprights or out-of-my-price-range grands but I kept hoping I'd find "the one."

Well, a few days ago I did a craigslist search for "piano" and there was a new listing for a moving sale. It mentioned a Samick baby grand piano (no picture). I thought it was a long shot (no description? no price?) but decided to call anyway. I hoped I could take advantage of the seller's desperation and talk them down on the price, which I mentally figured to be about $3000.

So I asked the lady who answered about her ad. It went like this:

"Hi, I'm calling about your craigslist ad. How much are you asking for your piano?"

"We're asking $300."

"Three hundred dollars? For the piano?" (sputtering from shock) "It's a real piano, right?"

"Yes, it's a real piano."

"Ummm, okay. Let me call you back."

Holy moly!!! I had to take a moment to collect my thoughts. Bryce was very suspicious of the whole thing and said,"Make sure she doesn't owe money on it" and "What if she's just house-sitting and selling off someone else's furniture?"

Valid points to be sure, but guess what. Bryce and I both went to her house, checked it out and then . . . WE BOUGHT HER BABY GRAND PIANO FOR THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS! For real! Come look, we hired movers and they set it up right in our living room. It's a real piano and it really works. No one owes money on it. She wasn't a criminal hocking stolen goods. Just a woman sticking it to her soon-to-be ex-husband, who originally bought the piano (4 yrs ago) and which the she (the wife) never wanted.

Oh, and get this. It comes with a disk player that turns it into a player piano. What in the heck? How did I get so lucky?

It looks like this.

I feel like I won the lottery.


Tonight Tyce and I went to the stake mother-son activity, which was a 50's party. It was a lot of fun spending time with my boy and a whole bunch of other boys his age. There were 4 stations everyone rotated through: posing for a photo on a Harley, making construction paper dice to hang from a car mirror, painting on a "graffiti" wall and doing hoola hoop, and "barber shop" where the moms "shaved" the boys and spiked/slicked their hair. (Of course Tyce is basically bald right now and his makeover was, shall we say, subtle.) At the end the moms and sons learned a dance routine to "Rock Around the Clock". We had a blast! It will come as no surprise to you that Tyce is a great little dancer.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Too busy to breathe

Sorry for not posting, and especially for not posting any pictures yet. I have to find a spare moment to figure that out.

Took the big kids to the doctor yesterday. Tyce weighs 58 lbs. and is 54" tall. Mary weighs 59 lbs. and is 51 1/2" tall. We keep them at the same size for wrestling purposes. j/k

Tyce just had a check-in re: his medication and Mary had an initial appt. for medication re: her ADHD. She has not been medicated at this point because she's doing well at school. We suffer at home and at church though, believe me. Well, since our move she's been having a hard time adjusting and her behavior is *unbearable* every moment of every day. I know she doesn't like being in trouble all the time. You should have seen her at the doctor's office. If there were a poster child for hyperactivity and anxiety, my beautiful, spazzy daughter would be it.

She also really wanted to get a shot. Luckily for her, she got one (flu).

I got my hair dramatically cut/colored last night. It used to be medium brown with blondie highlights, but now it's dark reddish brown. It's shorter and sassier. I LIKE IT. My kids like it. My husband . . . is not so sure. I shall photograph myself soon.

I got a new calling on Sunday. It is in the Primary presidency. I will tell you more if/when sustained on Sunday.

Oh, guess what. David and Brooklyn and their adorable girls are coming to visit us this weekend! We can finally make use of that guest bedroom. We'll have a family party on Sunday when Betsy (Brookie's cousin) come to dinner. We need more visitors. Also, my internet friend Suzanne from Australia is coming to see me next week (actually she's vacationing in LV and will happen to see me). Billabong, mate!

Okay, I have to receive the plumber soon so I need to get back to the cleaning. Those pesky twins have shoved something down out toilet AGAIN. How can I help them potty train (which they are pretty gung-ho about) if they're not allowed near a toilet????

Happy Birthday to my wonderful sister-in-law Kim!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

My favorite Labor Day story

I'll bet you have one too, eh? j/k

When Bryce and I ran a group home we had a very bright, precocious, (difficult!) boy named Pierre who was about the same age as Tyce. At that time they were 3. Our foster family was going to a group activity at the Rocket Center for Labor Day. We'd had a particularly trying day (as they all were back then) dealing with the house and all the children. As we were walking out the door, Pierre asked:

"What's Labor Day?"

"It's a day to honor people who work."

"Oh. When are you going to start working?" (!!!!!!!!)

Saturday, September 1, 2007

We finally celebrated our anniversary . . .

. . . by going to the Bombay House in Provo! There is no better food in the world. Period. I'll bet people from Mumbai visit the Bombay House in Utah County and say to themselves, Heck, how come we don't have anything this good back home?

So yes, we went to Utah this weekend to celebrate BYU's first football game of the season. Bryce, Tyce, and Grandpa Al went to the game and were very happy that they emerged victorious (20-7). Apparently the team and the fans were fully invested. Go Cougars!

I went to buy a piano in St. George on our way to West Jordan but I chickened out. I looked at everything I could afford and I wasn't in love with anything. Oh, you should see the one I do love! It is gorgeous. It is nearly $20,000. Yeah. So, dejected but confident, I left. Bryce said that was very mature of me. I think that is code for, "Phew, I'm glad you didn't blow a couple grand on something you don't like and we can't really afford."

Tomorrow is the twins' birthday party! And guess what . . . we bought a new camera. Woop woop!