Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Never Whisperer Strikes Back

If you know Cameron, you know he is happy and fun and spontaneous. He reminds me of a golden retriever puppy--he may not know his own strength, or keep from knocking things over, but you forgive him because he doesn't mean to and he's just so cute.

At church today Bryce stood at the pulpit to read some releasings and sustainings as part of his duties as a high councilor. It was at the beginning of the meeting so everybody was pretty attentive and the little congregants hadn't wound themselves into their cracker-crunching and crayon-coloring frenzy that can get so loud after an hour, you know? Well anyway, Bryce finished and the room was silent. Suddenly Cameron yells, as loud and sincerely as can be, "GOOD JOB, DAD."

I tell you, I was shocked at his outburst--but it was hilarious. The entire chapel was roaring. Bro. Callister, not missing a beat, stood to announce the hymn and said, "Yes, he did a very good job."

Oh my goodness, what would this world be without comic relief?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Tyce's Wand

During the school year when Tyce was in Band, he attended an after-school conducting class. He really enjoyed learning to lead the music, and because of his efforts he was singled out and awarded his own baton. I think it looks like a magic wand, don't you? I'm really proud of him.

Kids, don't try this at home (ever again)

A few days ago I was getting cereal for the twins' breakfast when Mary came crying down the stairs. "Mom! Mom! It's stuck and I can't get it off!" When she calmed down I got the whole picture: She'd been listening to a book on CD at night, and knowing that the current CD was about to end, slipped the next on one her finger for a quick change. Unfortunately for her, she fell asleep before she could make the change. Unfortunately for me, this was a library CD, and all my attempts to save it were in vain. After 20 minutes of wrangling, twisting, shoving, oiling, soaping, and crying I finally gave up. For the sake of the finger I had to cut the dang CD.

Before . . .

. . . After

Once I fell asleep with a rubber band around my finger (to remind me to do something in the morning). All I could remember when I woke up was that putting a rubber band around my finger was a really, really painful idea. I can imagine that a CD would be even worse, poor thing.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Backyard Fun and the Doctor

On Tuesday Sara and Zach came over to play, and Mary was in heaven planning their outisde activities. First there was hose-on-the-trampoline, which is always a blast. Sara said, "Thank you SO much for letting us do this. My dad won't let us get our trampoline wet because he says it's not appropriate."

Then they moved the hose to the playground, where they made a water slide and spun on the tire swing. Finally Mary orchestrated a picnic, which included a platter of sandwiches that the girls made, fruit, and peanut butter cookies left over from Family Home Evening. Even though getting them to clean up afterwards was MY chore, they had a great time all day.

My friend Stephanie (one of the Camp cooks) mentioned that her daughter was tutoring at the elementary school this summer. I thought that sounded like a great use of a middle-schooler's summer time, so I talked to Tyce about it. He was excited about the prospect. I called the reading specialist at the school and Tyce went on Tuesday. I figured if I could commit him to do a few hours once a week, that would be great. Well, after his first day, he loved it so much that he wants to volunteer five days a week, all day long!

We compromised at 3 days a week, so he wouldn't get burned out and he'd still have time to do "summer" things like swim and hang out at the library and play (and help around the house / watch kids, though I didn't mention that part).

I took the kids to the doctor yesterday for a well-check. Tyce is 55 3/4 inches tall and 61 pounds. Mary is 54 inches tall and 62 pounds. Luckily I hired a babysitter for the twins, because I could hardly handle the two kids I had.

This was how it went:

M: Dr. Levin! Come in here! We neeeeed you!

Dr.: Umm, okay. I'll be there in a minute.

M: Woo hooo! Dr. Levin will be my Prince Charming.

Tyce: No, that baby walking down the hall is your Price Charming.

M: Oh, my handsome baby prince! Crawl to me, my love!

T: You're weird.

(Doctor comes into office)

M: Mom, I want to sit on your lap.

Dr.: Mary, how are your ears?

M: Terrible!

Mom: No, she's fine. The amoxicillin is working great.

Dr.: How's her sleeping?

M: Terrible!

Mom: It's fine.

Dr. How about her appetite?

M: Horrible!

Mom: Mary! Shhh. Her appetite is fine.

Tyce: She suffers from brain damage.

M: Mom!!!! Tell Tyce to sto-o-o-p!

Mom: Tyce, cut it out. And scoot a little farther away. Your foot is touching her.

Tyce: Okay, I did it. (moved two millimeters)

Dr: Well, Mary, you look fine.

M: Can I get a shot? Please? I love shots! I just want a shot!

Dr. Nope, sorry. But it looks like Tyce gets one. Actually, two.

T: NOOOOOooooooo!

M: Haha Tyce, you get a shot!

T: You little . . . (Pretends to fake punch her)

Dr: (Looking at watch) Ummm, can we hurry this along? You people are giving me a headache.

Just kidding. Actually, that was me.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The first day of summer break

School's been out for two weeks but Mary just went on track break, and so for us--well, the summer's just beginning. I am a little nervous. A sometimes-surly preteen, a temperamental middle child, and two wild little boys can make my most well thought out activities seem ridiculous.

I got a Laurel advisor for YW, and she taught on Sunday. The girls seemed to love her--she had great personal stories to go with the lesson. She was timid and a little self-conscious but she was great and I look forward to getting to know her better.

Bryce has a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals thing he's working on and is working like a madman. He has to have everything done by July 3rd. Then his whole office travels to SF so the judge can have his turn to sit in on the 9th Circuit, kind of like a substitute. Apparently all the judges within the circuit are asked to take a turn.

Guess what. I get to tag along for part of this excursion too!

Heather is coming to watch the kids, and Bryce and I will have a little vacation, after the work part is over. I'm really looking forward to that.

Friday, June 20, 2008

They're only little once

Even though most people wouldn't consider the 3 1/2-year-old twins little, they are still in that cute and amusing stage that kids grow out of so quickly. I'll be sad when they stop mispronouncing words or abandon Caillou in favor of Sponge Bob (heaven help me).

Here are just some of the things that Cameron and Harrison do right now. If you aren't related to me or if you don't have a high tolerance for kiddie cuteness, you are excused from reading any further.

Here we go.

Harrison likes to change out of real clothes and into pajamas as often as possible. This prompts Bryce to ask as he's coming through the door, "Didn't you dress this boy today?" I guess Harrison just loves his pjs, though at our house they aren't even the cute kind. His selection incldes hand-me-down sweatpants and t-shirts either a size too small or 6 sizes too big.

I think this picture is hilarious. He looks like Popeye.

Harrison only likes pants. When I dress him in the morning (which he's surprisingly amenable to, considering he strips an hour later), he insists on wearing pants--not shorts, pants. For the small time he did allow shorts, they had to be knit with a stripe down the side. Cameron is totally fine with whatever I present him with.

Though he always goes to sleep in his own bed, he ends up on our floor every single night.

Cameron likes the layered look. He likes to wear two or more shirts and two or more pants/shorts. Yesterday he had three shirts on. Harrison had three sweatpants on. It was well over 100 degrees outside, and I can assume it was well over 100 degrees in those outfits.

Cam wants me to tell him the story of the Three Little Pigs every night before bed.

Both boys like picking out a clean cup from the dishwasher and getting their own ice and water from the refrigerator door. Their favorite color is blue.

Cameron loves to pose. I have a ton of pictures just like this.

Cameron asks a million questions a day. Sometimes I totally follow him, and other times, not so much. Here's an example.

Cam: Can we go to the store today?

Mom: No, not today.

C: Because I'm not big enough to go to the store?

M: No . . .

C: Because we don't need anything at the store?

M: That's right.

C: And there's not enough candles?

M: (Huh??) What do you mean?

C: 'Cuz it's not nighttime yet?

M: Right, it's not nighttime yet . . .

C: Why?

M: Because the sun is still out!

C: The sun is still out because I better brush my teeth? So go do it right now?

M: Sure, you can go brush your teeth right now.

C: Why do we brush our teeth? So no bugs can get in our mouths?

M: To keep your teeth clean.

C: And no bugs will crawl in?

M: Right, no bugs. You can be all clean and healthy.

C: Because I'm filthy right now?

M: No, just kind of dirty from a normal day. We'll have a bath later.

C: And then we can go to the store?

M: No . . .

C: Because I'm too little?

M: No . . . (Here I run away, screaming)

But I just love our little guys. Even though I sometimes fantasize about a clean(er) house and the day I won't have fingerprints all over my walls, or about doing errands alone, I want to live in the moment. I am happy with my life and I love all of my children. I hope I can truly appreciate who they are right now and continue to find happiness in everyday life.

They like to ride their scooters. Harrison is particularly proficient. Notice Cam has on a fine example of Jones family pajama-wear.

P.S. Tyce has been in Utah this week with Grandpa and Grandma. Mary has her last week of school before she goes on a 4-week track break.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Girls Camp--The Temple

At the end of the week we took a detour to walk the grounds of the beautiful temple in San Diego. All temples are beautiful, but this one is particularly breathtaking and holds a special place in my heart because I was able to tour it before its dedication with my college roommates, all the way back in 1993 .

This is the whole group at the temple grounds. Our camp directors are on the front row: Serena (with her two daughters); and on the back row: Lori (in the white t-shirt). I'm on the back row too, in black.

I think the girls enjoyed this little side trip. I know I did.

And there you have it. The last of my Girls Camp posts (until next year!).

Monday, June 16, 2008

Girls Camp--The Beach

We checked out San Onofre but it was super surfer crowded (but no nudists). So we found a new one. I figured out where we were. It was Doheny State Beach in Dana Point. No wonder it was so nice, right? It was about 10 min. away from from our campsite. I didn't drive so I spent my time gabbing . . . it could've been an hour away for how well I kept track of time. j/k

The girls loved boogie boarding and swimming every day. One night we had a luau on the beach! One of the men leaders had to shoo a group of boys away from our pretty hula girls.

Getting splashed.

Boogie boarding girls.

Hula Hoop contest at the luau.


The Bishopric came down for Thursday night (the luau) and Friday afternoon. They stayed in a condo in Oceanside owned by one of the counselor's old friends. We got to swim at the private beach there . . . and even saw dolphins! I can't imagine how much it must cost to live there, but I suggested that we sell our stake camp at Kolob Canyon in favor of buying a beach house. Good idea, no? For lunch, the Bishop ordered us pizza, which I thought was so nice until I realized it came out of our Camp budget!

One of the homes on the private beach. I want this to be my summer home.

The coastline. These will all be my new neighbors.

Waiting to catch a wave.

Proof that I actually enjoyed myself.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Girls Camp--The Camp

What a week! I can't believe I'm sitting here at home again already. In a nutshell, it was awesome. The 15 girls got along great, the leaders were wonderful, the men were helpful and fun to hang out with, the beaches were gorgeous, the food was superior, the performances were amazing (skit night, Laurel presentation), and to cap it all off, the testimony meeting was beautiful and every girl participated.

Sorry to any of you who love your church service, but I have the best calling and girls ever.

Our motto was "steadfast and immovable" and we had a nautical motif. This is the lighthouse the beckoned the girls. (It was temperamental.)

These are the tent names: G.S. Lolli (leaders), K.C.N.L Legacy (Laurels--the girls' initials), Flying Dutchmen (Beehives--apparently they got this from Sponge Bob?), and Black Pearl (Mia Maids).

Since the leaders were the Good Ship Lollipop, we had a store where the girls could buy treats with their coupons they earned for service. Our two incredibly talented camp cooks made these adorable signs. One is the "store" offerings, the other the cooking help rotation.

Our beautiful camp cooks, Stephanie and Stacy.

The Bishopric blow bubbles at the girls.

Guess what we found in the supply tent . . . this . . .

And this . . .

And finally this! Naughty little critter!

Apparently while we were at the beach one day the squirrels unzipped all of our tents and foraged for food. They struck gold in the Beehives tent and ripped open the Fritos bag, chewed up their gum, and demolished the candies. After that, we kept our tents zipped to the top. But when it came to clean-up duty and the supply tent, someone evidently forgot.

In addition to all this, we went on a 5-mile hike (almost to the tallest peak in Orange County).

Monday, June 9, 2008

Leaving for the week

Meet the newest member of the Jones transportation fleet!

Since Brooklyn was the only person to hazard a guess on the color, she wins. I know it's hard to tell but the color is charcoal.

Bryce said, "I've been saving this sticker for a long, long time . . ." and now, as you can see, it finally has a home.

In other news, someone just called to tell me that the beach we're going to for Girls Camp is a nudist beach. Hello, are you kidding me? Why must you torture me 12 hours before I leave? Here's the thing. It's Cal-i-for-nia. The whole left-hand side of the state is a beach, right? If "the" beach we go to is clothing-optional, then we'll move farther down the road. Sheesh. Don't mess with me right now. LOL

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Where has the week gone?

Sorry if you keep checking and there's been nothing new. I guess I've just been busier than normal, in the not-interesting-enough-to-report vein. Oh wait . . . this is my blog and I can tell you whatever I want! So let me start by saying that I reorganized my utensil drawers . . .

Just kidding. It hasn't been that dull around here.

Well here's a jazzy little tidbit: Bryce bought a new car. You heard it here, folks. It is a 2008 Hyundai Elantra, pre-owned. Have you noticed that "pre-owned" is just so much more classy than "used"? I think it's the hyphen. I have tons and tons of pictures but I'm going to keep you in suspense. I know, can you stand it? For now, you have to visualize. Think four-door sedan with good gas mileage. What color do you think it is?

Don't worry, I'll post a photo eventually.

I took the kids to the dentist yesterday. Tyce dodged another bullet and is still cavity-free, while Mary has three cavities to be filled. The twins ran around the office (they have a different dentist) and I was pretty glad that nobody melted down during our two hour stay.

We watched the Peter Sellers movie The Party last night and it was, as my grandma would say, a hoot.

Today I went shopping for some camping gear and handouts for my YW lesson tomorrow. We leave for Girls Camp on Tuesday morning. I had a meeting with the camp leaders this week and can I just say . . . I am so glad they are in charge. They are capable, competent, creative ladies and I know we're going to have a blast. I am happy just to supervise (it's ironic that *I'm* in a position to oversee anything involving camping!) and help when asked. Or volunteer. I keep offering to do crafts and other things I'm really not good at.

Tyce's last day of 6th grade was on Wednesday. He's pretty excited. I have a bunch of book reports to assign him, so perhaps his giddiness will be short-lived.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Breaking Fashion News

Henderson, Nevada

The fashion duo of Jones and Jones released their latest creation yesterday.

"I was just enduring quiet time in my room when inspiration struck," says Cameron
Jones, founder of the new line. "I was emptying my dresser drawers, like I do every day. I've already tried the whole pajamas-as-daywear thing, the long-sleeved-sweater-during-the-sweltering-summer look, and I was just looking for something new. Suddenly I spied a Wal-Mart bag. Where some people see "future trash bag" I see "future outfit."

Sources close to the duo say that Harrison was supportive of his twin brother's creative direction.

"I mean, what are you going to do with those bags anyway?" he said. "This is fashion with a purpose. Truly genius."

The trend's debut was met with mixed reactions.

"Oh. My. Gosh. Do you have any underwear on?" cried one onlooker.

"Awww, they look like little homeless children," said another.

Although the bags are given at local retailers for free, the brothers maintain that every good idea comes with a price tag. "How much will we charge? Well, to get the look exactly right, you really need to go with one of our originals. I figure it took Cameron, like, 10 seconds to stretch it correctly, and tear the leg openings with his feet. It's more involved than it sounds. I'm thinking about eleventeen dollars. Or a pack of Otter Pops," said Harrison.

The boys have been forbidden to wear their creations on the street, putting a damper in projected sales. "Great design is never understood!" cried a defiant Cameron, punching his fist in the air as he was wrestled out of his erstatz overalls by the fashion police.

I don't think the world has seen the last of this creative team's work.

Monday, June 2, 2008

A little news

Bryce was recently called to the High Council at church, where his responsibilities are our ward, Sunday School, and the Primary.

After four years of him being gone in the Bishopric, I think I should be able to manage the kids alone a few Sundays a month. (I hope . . .)