Thursday, November 29, 2007

Cam Quote

Those of you who know Cameron's little quirk will think this is funny.

Cam: I was being silly to Grandma!

Me: Oh, did she like that?

Cam: No, did *he* like that!

Around our fire pit two nights ago Bryce asked the kids to say nice things about each other. Cameron said that Harrison was good at doing his chore wheel job, which is moving the chairs after dinner so someone can sweep. I thought that was really cool for him to notice that.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving pictures

I guess we didn't take very many pictures of our holiday meal. I think I look cool in the last one.

Sara's baptism

Mary and I went to Sara's baptism on Saturday in Kaysville. It was beautiful and Sara looked so sweet an innocent. I love that she and Mary are such good friends and I was so glad we could go and support her.

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Our family had a great time visiting Grandma Judy and Grandpa Al in Utah. We also enjoyed spending time with Betsie, Andy, Kess and Kira, as well as their foster girls. The Thanksgiving meal was awesome, filled with delicious food made by all us "girls." Our kids enjoyed playing with their kids. It's always nice to spend time with family.

We usually do a Thanksgiving tree in our family (blessings written on construction paper leaves hanging from branches). But since we traveled this year and our other Family Home Evenings were used up on other activities we didn't. I missed that. Here is a list of some things I'm thankful for:

1. Positive attitudes. I love when people are positive. As Bryce will tell you, I really value friendliness. When I meet someone, if they have a quick smile and a positive disposition, I'm going to like them. Positive people see the good in a situation and in a person. I love sincere compliments (to others . . . or to myself) because they show a person's ability to look outside themselves and see something of worth in someone else. I have a lot of positive people in my life and I am soooooooo thankful for them. My good friends and my family--especially my children--exemplify a positive and friendly nature. Hooray for being happy!

2. The gospel of Jesus Christ. Everything I do, think, or say is influenced by my testimony that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World and through his infinite Atonement I can be cleansed from my sins and attain eternal life. Through the power of the Holy Ghost I am guided and led to do God's will. I know that our children were led to us, for example, and I am grateful for how my life has turned out so far.

3. My family. Of course. I think it would be obvious by now that I think my husband and kids are pretty special. I am thankful for each and every person in our household, for their different talents and personalities. I love my extended family so much. My parents are two of my best friends in the world.

4. Return to normalcy. For the moment. We spent a year thinking about moving, then getting the house ready to sell, then moving, then putting the old house on the market, and finally . . . selling it. Oh, I can't tell you how grateful I am for that!!!!

5. Our new house. It is awesome. It's pretty much perfect for us. And now I can enjoy it knowing that we don't have ties to two properties. I am soooooo thankful for the space we have now and for the funds that enabled us to buy it.

6. Bryce's job. He loves it and he works with amazing, talented, generous people. Our whole family is blessed because he has job satisfaction.

Well, I am thankful for many, many more things but these are the major ones. I know that all my blessings come through the grace of God and I hope I always show gratitude for what I have instead of pining for what I don't.

I've been thinking

And here's a picture to prove it.

I've been reading The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck. I read it in college when I was in a totally different stage of life. I'm finding my re-read very enlightening.

So far I've been thinking about the difference between being neurotic and character deficient (most people being a little of both about different things). The first take all problems on themselves; the second put problems on others. On average I'd say I'm, oh, 99% neurotic. Peck states that neurotics are great therapy patients. LOL

I am also interested in the section about self-discipline, which he says is also self-care. If you value yourself, you value your time and resources, and you'll use them wisely. I've been contemplating this in my tendency to procrastinate . . . how highly do I value myself?

Anyway, I'm hoping to read this along with Bryce so we can discuss. If anyone else wants to join in, please do.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Dam Good Bike Ride

I never get tired of using "dam" in a sentance!

Bryce and Tyce rode their bikes to the Hoover dam a few Saturdays ago. They said it was a pretty rigorous trek but they loved it.

What children get up to when they're too quiet

Cameron has a Reece's Pieces candy stuck up his nose.

The children make a lake in the backyard, right before we're supposed to go to a birthday party.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Poems by Mary Rachel Kimberly Jones, age 7


Tomorrow is tomorrow
and today is today
It cannot be tomorrow if it is today.

Today, tomorrow
Tomorrow, today
It cannot be tomorrow if it is today.


The cricket is an insect
who cheeps.
He cheeps his lovely morning song
to start his day off . . .
Then hops off in the lovely morning day light.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I have two words to say . . .

House sold.

Wooooooooo Hooooooooooo!

The house closed today and a HUGE weight has been lifted off our shoulders. We took the children to say good-bye on Friday. They ran around the backyard, climbed the tree in the front, and dashed around the empty house. Then we held hands in a circle and said something we remembered about living in there. When you think about it, Tyce had lived there since 1st grade and Mary since she was 2, so there time there was significant. Everyone was a bit emotional (except the twins, who were spazzy) and we will always treasure our memories of our first real home.

Friday, November 16, 2007

A different way to look at it

A few days ago I was quizzing Tyce on what he did in school that day.

Me: Did you turn in that assignment, "Portrait of a Homely Person?"

Tyce: Yeah, I did. It's in the basket but the teacher hasn't checked it yet.

Me: What does it mean to be a homely person? (driving home that vocabulary, you know!)

Tyce: It means ordinary . . . not caring what you look like . . . you know, original.

Me: Oh, you don't mean original--you mean unoriginal.

Tyce: No, I mean origninal.

Me: Original means unique, one-of-a-kind.

Tyce: No..........

Me: Okay. What does original mean?

Tyce: It means plain, regular, not special.

Me: (the lightbulb goes on) Oh....Do you mean in the way that original flavored potato chips are plain, but sour cream or barbeque ones are kinda spicy?

Tyce: Yes, exactly. Original.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Just Harrison

Last year Harrison was really, really difficult when it came to getting the Christmas pictures done. I mean, he literally kept walking away from the set. We were graced by his granting us a family photo, after many attempts to bribe and lure him that direction. I really wanted a single picture of him too, but he absolutely refused to pose, even for a moment. So this year I had the photographer focus on Harrison and take a ton of pictures, just in case he was feeling ornery again. LOL

Anyway, Harrison was pretty stoic and quite shy, but willing to be the center of attention. The big kids kept saying, "Don't smiiiiiiiile!" Which, of course, made him kind of smile.

The last one is Tyce and Mary's favorite.

Showing Off

We got Christmas pictures taken today. The kids were bribed with candy, and therefore, pretty good. These are some of the ones I thought were cute--I got the disc so I have a whole bunch to play with now. They're a pretty good-looking bunch, wouldn'nt you say?

Monday, November 12, 2007

We went on a date!

Finally. Our last one outing together to do something fun was our anniversary trip to the Bombay House! I know, I know, that's bad. Bryce and I have season tickets to the UNLV theater company (as you know, I used our tickets last month to take Mary to "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie"). This is the first time we've been together, and the play was called "The Heiress", based on the novel "Washington Square" by Henry James. It was in the Black Box theater that I went with the other time, so it was very small and intimate. The acting was great and the story psychologically compelling. Bryce and I loved it. I love being out with Bryce. He is fun and smart and he always makes me laugh.

Then we went to dinner at Pei Wei. If you can find a recipe for their spicy chicken salad, please let me know. I would make that every single day for the rest of my life.

When we returned home, I was reminded of why I have so much anxiety about going out in the first place. I don't want to say that the kids were "bad" but one of them was particularly wild and hard to keep track of (as in, "I'm going to my friend's house" hard to keep track of). The babysitter was so very nice and enthusiastic and wants to babysit again, so either she's a saint or she doesn't know that these antics are just the tip of the iceberg. Her name is Ceara (like Sierra) and she actually came up to me at church after we spoke a few weeks ago and begged to watch our kids for us. She even wants to come over just to visit and hang out (and she can drive herself). That's fine with me. I told the wild child that I would get Ceara to watch the other kids and get a mean old lady to watch him/her.

Friday, November 9, 2007

New book

Last night was book club at Carmen's house. I can't tell you how nice it is to hang out with smart people talking about intellectual subjects and not the latest episode of Sesame Street (which, by the way, was so cute with that number zero. . . did you see it? But I digress).

Tale of Two Cities kicked my butt until the middle of the book. That Dickens sure does like to take a 2-sentance idea and turn it into a 10-page novella. Phew. I made it to page 211, so about half-way. Now that I know what happens at the end, part of me wants to keep reading so I can see how it all fits together. And part of me says hey, you already know the ending, so why bother?

I thought Carmen had some really interesting suggestions for our next book but people didn't want to read anything depressing. As we discussed various books it was apparent that most great literature is pretty darn depressing. I suggested we try a different genre, like science fiction or humor, or maybe a collection of short stories (my fave). Well, somehow, after a lot of debate/discussion, we ended up choosing a collection of science fiction short stories. It is I Sing the Body Electric, by Ray Bradbury. This book title prompted Carmen to sing a song by the same title she learned in high school choir, so I look forward to the full performance next month.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Pat on the back

I organized a closet and it looks awesome. The only problem is that it looks like the closet threw up into the room now.

P.S. We signed the contract for the old house today and we think we can have the deal done by the end of the month.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Big news admist some regular goings-on

I taught YW on Sunday as a guest speaker and I have mixed emotions on that. First of all, I really love the youth and love to be with them whenever possible. But second, I have a calling in the Primary and I felt really, really guilty leaving my post that third hour. If I'm ever asked to do something like that again I'm going to have to say no, because I can't stretch myself that thin and feel good about it.

The best part of teaching YW was that I asked Bryce to come with me and talk on Elder Scott's talk called Realize Your Full Potential. Bryce was awesome. Seriously, I was blown away. He is so good with the youth. *I* was bawling my eyes out and I already knew everything he was going to say!

Today I took Sara and Mary to the pottery-painting place and the girls had a blast. Sara chose a fairy and Mary chose a sand castle to paint. I made a little ornament. After that I asked Sara where she wanted to go for lunch and she chose McDonald's. I let the girls play for a while before we called it a day.

Guess what. We got a higher offer from the same person(s) who made the initial low-ball offer. It's $10K more, which is still less than we wanted to net, but here's the deal: housing prices continue to slide and NOBODY has looked at our house lately. So we will counter with a higher price and see what happens [other text deleted which was way more interesting but possibly imprudent]

Tyce moved from regular science to honors science last week, on the recommendation of his teacher. I think he's pretty pleased about that.

My book club is this week at Carmen's house, where we discuss A Tale of Two Cities. I need to put my nose to the grindstone to get that read. Every time I start to read (and it's not a light, quick read) I say to myself, Wow, I'm really tired . . . and I put it down. I think I'm on page, ummmm, 20.

Now I'm working on my Sesame newsletter on Thanksgiving, due tomorrow (of course). I think that once in the 7 years I've been writing I've finished something before the deadline.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A day with friends

Sara's 8th birthday party was this morning. Mary and Sara have been inseparable since they were 2 years old. If you know those two girls, you know they are peas in a pod.

It was a beautiful day to go to the park. For her gift, Mary is taking Sara to the pottery-painting place for an afternoon. I had a really fun time when M. and I went a few weeks ago, and I'm sure the two girls will have a blast.

Friday, November 2, 2007

We don't hang out in casinos . . . really

You know you live in Vegas when . . . your daughter combines two forms of gambling into a new super machine.

Conversation between Mary (who doesn't know much about card games) and me:

Mom, what are you playing on the computer? Charades?

No, Hearts.

Oh. Is that gambling?

Well, if I played it for money it would be gambling, but I'm just playing by myself for fun.

Well, it looks like something you'd find on a slottery machine.