Monday, June 27, 2011

Yo Yo, Daddio

Our kids sure are lucky to have Bryce for a dad! At church the kids missed singing the Father's Day songs because instead of the Primary doing a special musical number, the kids were to be there early to sing prelude. Hello. There is very little chance that I will ever get all 6 kids to church by 8:45. After sacrament meeting the Primary kids handed out candy bow ties made of M&M packets. When Harrison discovered they had more candy than fathers, he kept one for himself. Ah, I think they go through this every year--kids never want to relinquish the sweets!

Bryce and his pre-party pose.

Bryce and Cameron...or is that Mowgli from the Jungle Book?

Tyce was in Utah for Father's Day, so we just had silly Harrison, Ninja Cameron, and bite-your-head-off Mary.

The napkin says it all.

I was proud of myself for helping the kids pick something Bryce had actually said he wanted: a gorilla pod for his camera. He's doing a bit of a Richard here but I think he was genuinely pleased.

Mary made the cake--one for her dad and one for the rest of us (which she had to sample, you know, to make sure it was okay).

Bryce tried out his gorilla pod on Mary and Harrison. These are two good-looking kids, wouldn't you say?

The beginning of the slap-happiness.

Something struck their funny bone!

Mary made Bryce an entire folder of gifts, including a poem, a word search, and a picture of his favorite things. Here's where things really got crazy. Mary said, "You teach us new words...."

....and Cameron jumped in and shouted matter-of-factly, "like BASTARD!" Of course, that's not what Mary meant but it was funny because it contained a grain of truth!

Oh man, kids sure have a knack for repeating the very things you wish they wouldn't!

For dinner I made cheese-stuffed chicken breast wrapped in bacon, baked sweet potatoes, and green beans. It was pretty good--something a little different than I usually make.

I hope Bryce knows how much we appreciate him and love him! Both Bryce and I are blessed with loving, wonderful fathers ourselves, who taught us about the importance of family.

"God bless you, dear fathers. May He bless you with wisdom and judgment, with understanding, with self-discipline and self-control, with faith and kindness and love. And may He bless the sons and daughters who have come into your homes, that yours may be a fortifying, strengthening, guiding hand as they walk the treacherous path of life. As the years pass--and they will pass ever so quickly--may you know that "peace... which passeth all understanding" (Philip. 4:7) as you look upon your sons and daughters, who likewise have known that sacred and wonderful peace."  --Gordon B. Hinckley

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Three . . . Daughters?

Tyce went to Utah last week to attend EFY, and then to spend time with the grandparents. He's still there, and will be for a few more days. I am really starting to miss him for many reasons, the least of them being that Mary has taken to dressing up her brothers like little girls.

The artist shows off her work.

Harrison was a little pained to have to pose.

Cameron just wanted to go to the park.

Mary pretended to be the handmaid who dressed the twin sisters for the ball. She brought them to us one at a time, announced their names (Melissa and Alondra) and instructed them to curtsy. The "princesses" did as they were told.

I took a video but Bryce won't let me post it because at the end Harrison yells, "I'm not wearing any underwear!" and flips his dress up to show the world. Cameron laughed so hard he doubled over. Suddenly we heard a noise and Cam cried, "I tooted!" Unfortunately (or . . . very fortunately) I stopped the camera before that declaration could be captured forever.

I guess it's a comfort to know that no matter how much mascara Mary puts on them, our boys still make very un-ladylike girls.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Memorial Day

Memorial Day was a gorgeous day. We had a neighborhood barbecue at the end of the cul-de-sac, catered by a the Taco Stand Guy. That's what everyone calls the truck, even though the "guy" was a lady. That food was deeee-lish, and it was so nice to have a lovely evening with friends. We have a ton of kids between us so it's a good thing they could spill over into the park. 

I am so grateful for those who died in the service of our country. The older I get, the more I realize that freedom isn't free. 

Our patriotic house!

On the Ramos' driveway with friends, with the Taco Stand Guy lady cooking for us.

Some of the kids--there were probably 40!--at the park.

I'm proud to be an American!

"Love your country.  Your country is the land where your parents sleep, where is spoken that language in which the chosen of your heart, blushing, whispered the first word of love; it is the home that God has given you that by striving to perfect yourselves therein you may prepare to ascend to him."  ~Giuseppe Mazzini

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Final Stretch

Almost summer! These past couple of weeks we've had tons of wrap-up before vacation begins: end-of-year concerts (Tyce and Mary), awards banquets (Tyce), Great American program (Mary), three graduations (Cameron and Harrison from kindergarten, Mary from 5th grade), last week of seminary (ME!) . . . and then finals, cleaning out lockers, and all that other farewell to the school year stuff. I am most looking forward to not getting myself up and ready--or anyone else--early in the morning.

I am looking forward to summer movies and swimming pools. Slushes and Slurpies. Vacations and more vacations (I hope!). Oh, and hanging out with friends--that's the best part of it all.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Roller Coaster

Wednesday was a very hard day, and Thursday was not much better. I alluded to that last week.

The plummet.

But the weekend was fabulous. Sunday was one of the best days I've had in months. Maybe the best day I've had all year. The kids were all wonderful, church was great, I got to hang out with my friend Maia (who is being baptized on Saturday, along with two of her boys, Kyler and Konner), we played Settlers with the family and Kyler, and just ended the night happy.

Exhilarating upswing!

Monday was a pretty good day. I have Memorial Day pictures to share later.

Still doing fine.

But Tuesday was one of the worst days we've had here in a long time. Different child, different problem, but that same gut-wrenching anxiety in dealing with it all. And I'm not talking run-of-the-mill issues; these were serious matters with long-term consequences.

And . . . down again, painfully fast.

Then this morning I got a call from Mary (I had just gotten in the minivan after seminary, which was 7:20 a.m.). She said, "Mom, we have a surprise for you. All of us are dressed with our teeth brushed and we're ready for school!"

If you know Mary, you know that getting up and getting where she needs to be is one of her BIGGEST problems in life.

That never happens--I can hardly get her awake by 8:30 most mornings. Bryce texted me to say the children were being delightful, and when I got back from the grocery store they were happy and even wanted to walk to school.

Adding to that, Tyce taught his seminary class (with Bryce's guidance) and he did a great job.

Going up.

Lately there's very little "neutral" around here. Either we're in a state of crisis or a state of bliss. One day I'm going to have a heart attack from the adrenaline rushes both ways. That, or just throw up.

Ups and down, twists and turns--I'm pretty sure I'm never getting off this thing so I'd better get used to hanging on.