Monday, February 27, 2012

Kids on the Playground

Every day after school the boys play with their friends on the playground. There is nothing cuter than a bunch of kids chasing and playing around (especially when one is the very cute Hannah, whom Harrison calls "gummy bear").

They learned some sign language at school and Harrison showed me the word for love.

Getting Cameron to stand still and smile is not easy.

They are proud of their ability to skip bars.

Down the fireman pole.


Definitely against playground rules during school hours!

Swinging on the rings.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Peacemaker with a Punch

Before seminary started this morning.

Class Member 1:  I thought you weren't teaching today!

Me:  Oh, it just worked out better for me to take today and for Sister B. to take an extra day next week.

Class Member 2:  We like you better than Sister B.

Class Member 3:  Yeah, she's mean.

Me:  Hey hey now. She is an amazing lady and you guys are lucky to have her.

Class Member 1: Well, she's a better person . . . but you are a better teacher.

Me: Oh . . . thanks. Wait, what? Actually I'm going to turn around and cry now.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Identity Crisis

What is my blog? Happy anecdotes for the grandparents' view? My sometimes-feelings of anger, frustration and despair? My spiritual journey? A resource for adoptive parents? I don't know.

I want to be honest but I don't want to over-share, cast people in a bad light, or hurt anyone's feelings.

Life can be hard, you know?

Parenting is hard.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hail to the Chief

On the way to Fresh & Easy I talked to the boys about Presidents' Day.

Me: Who is your favorite president, Harrison?

Harrison: Barack Obama.

Me: Great! Cameron, who's your favorite president?

Cam: The one who had the ice cream machine. He has a big head. I think he's on the nickel.

Me: Aha, I didn't know Thomas Jefferson was a soft-serve pioneer.

Cam: I don't know if it was Jefferson. But he has white curly hair, if that helps.

Well I came home to do a little research, and Cam was right! I guess ol' TJ knows what's good. To a boy who knows nothing of policy or politics, a president who support frozen treats would definitely get Cameron's vote.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day Love

I think I've said this before, but I celebrate Valentine's Day as a family-and-friends affair. I love everything about the decorations, colors, and food! I think it's a nice time to reflect on the people who make your life complete. I enjoy making special foods and giving little presents to my kids. I love to see what they bring home from their school parties. But as for romance--well, I'd rather save it for another time. It's too much pressure and expense. (Although I did consider it supremely romantic when my husband wrote on my facebook wall AND posted a picture of us together. That's pretty great to me!)

So I am in mommy-mode on Valentine's Day, but it is quite annoying to realize that my 15-year-old is not on board with my awesomeness. He's definitely moved into the "must-get-flowers-for-a-girl" stage of celebration. He certainly went all out for his Valentine, whom he assures me is "just a friend" from school. He even sang to her at lunch which made her cry. One would assume they were tears of joy, hm?


The Valentine's season kicked off with our girls camp sweetheart dinner and dessert auction last week.

This giant menu was made by Stephanie, our super-talented camp director.

The girls were the best decorations. Here are Savannah, Sara, and Mary.

They worked the bake sale table. In a quiet moment Mary played a game on my phone.

The tables were gorgeous.

I won that red velvet cake on the yellow stand. And some cinnamon rolls.

Moving right along: the night before Valentine's Day the twins addressed their cards.

They did a great job!

Love is delicious.

The morning started off "lovely" and ended "sweet."

Homemade egg McMuffin with a heart-shaped cheese on top for breakfast. I wasted a lot of cheese trying to make those dang (still-lopsided) hearts.

My present to the kids: a ring pop, little chocolates, special pens, and cute socks.

Harrison's socks: "Owl always love you"

Cam's socks: "Bee mine". Tyce's had a skunk and said "Love Stinks" and I kind of wish he still felt that way.

After lasagna for dinner we had ice cream balls--these were so easy to make and absolutely delicious.

Bryce got a rose for me--and also one for Mary, which I thought was super awesome. He said, "I don't want the first flowers she gets to be from a reprobate boy." Aww, what a sweet thing to say. Ha. Mary loved it!

Cameron was in the middle of a ninja move or a smile, I can't tell.

I am grateful for the loves of my life! Not to make you think I don't appreciate romance, Bryce and I want to do something together this weekend. Cross your fingers that we can make that happen.

I shared this clever visual on the chalkboard in seminary (but oh my gravy, this pillow version is adorable):

So true. We're never alone. I hope that you feel loved, on Valentine's Day and every day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Overheard at Seminary

Just today!

Me: Turn to 1 Kings, chapter 3 in your Bibles. David and Bathsheba had a son, Solomon. You remember from last week who Bathsheba was, right?

Class Member 1: Yes, David was immoral with her.

Class Member 2: He was a creeper who looked at her bathing.

Class Member 1: He wasn't a creeper, he was a peeper.

Class Member 3: Bathsheba . . . BATH-Sheba . . . do you think that's where we get the word "bath" from?

Me: Um, Doubtful.

Class Member 4: Doubtful? Sister Jones, why do you always use such big words?


Me: Class, if you could ask Heavenly Father for one thing, what would it be? Solomon asked for an "understanding heart".

Class Member 5: New Kobe VIIs!

Class Member 6: A million dollars. No! To win the Powerball! Do you know how much money was on that thing? Like $400 million dollars . . . after taxes it was still like $92 million.

Me: Hmmm. Shoes and money won't help you in the next life.

Class Member 6: Yeah, but if I had all that money . . . man, you'd never see me again.


Class Member 8: Have you ever given a pigeon Alka Seltzer? I want to see one blow up.

Me: Eww, no. But I have heard of that happening with rice. That's why you can't throw rice at weddings anymore.

Class Member 8: I already know that. You know what they throw at weddings now?

Me: Yes, they--

Class Member 8:  Cooked rice.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Proust Questionnaire

 In the back pages of Vanity Fair each month, readers find The Proust Questionnaire, a series of questions posed to famous subjects about their lives, thoughts, values and experience. I saw this questionnaire and thought it would be fun to do--you didn't already know I'd like to be a dog, did you?

Your favourite virtue ::
Faith and perseverance

Your favourite qualities in a man ::
Humor, leadership, kindness to his family, humility

Your favourite qualities in a woman ::
Emotional flexibility, intelligence, positive outlook, passion for life

Your favourite occupation (way of spending time) :: 
Playing board games and celebrating holidays with my family

Your idea of happiness ::
Stability, with the freedom to dream and explore

Your idea of misery ::
Being in debt

If not yourself, who would you be ::
A border collie

Where would you like to live :: 
In the exact house I'm in now, but on a large property and closer to family

Your favourite colour and flower ::
Reds and turquoises are my favorite colors; I am partial to poppies and gerber daisies

Your most treasured possession ::
My journals

Your greatest extravagance ::
My hair (the salon)

Your most obvious characteristic ::
My smile and approachability 

A trait you dislike about yourself ::
Caring too much what other people think; fear of failure

Your favourite poets :: 
Edgar A. Guest, Khalil Gibran, Robert Frost

Your favourite heroes in fiction ::
Jonas (The Giver)

Your favourite heroines in fiction ::
Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games)

Your favourite heroes in real life ::
Jeffrey R. Holland

Your favourite heroines in real life :: 
 Marjorie Pay Hinckley

What character(s) in history do you most dislike ::
Hitler, Saddam Hussein--the usuals

Your favourite food and drink ::
Chicken mango quesadillas, anything with barbecue sauce, Indian food, cheesecake; root beer (when I'm in the mood for it)

Your favourite names ::
Long ones--the more syllables the better; alliteration (eg Junie B. Jones); the names of my family and friends; if I had another girl I'd like to use the name Katherine

Your pet peeve (something that easily annoys you) ::
Pencil-tapping, when people don't smile back, foul language, superficiality

The change you most anticipate :: 
A crazy election year

A gift of nature which I would like to have ::
Exceptional vision

How I would like to die ::
Quickly and peacefully

What is your present state of mind :: 

Of what fault are you most tolerant :: 

Your favourite motto(s) :: 
•  I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me (Phil 4:13)
•  Life is all about choices
•  There's no problem so bad that complaining about it won't make it worse
•  You're unique . . . . just like everybody else (said like Eeyore!)
•  Never poke a crazy person
•  Happiness is a journey, not a destination 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Gearing Up for Girls Camp

I was called as an assistant camp director! You know what the best word in that sentence was? Assistant.

We had a meeting yesterday and camp is going to be the bomb. It's great to work with Rachel and Stephanie again. First we have to get through the stress of the fundraising dinner next week and after that it'll be planning the fun stuff. We're going to Clear Creek Ranch in southern Utah. We're sleeping in cabins! Hello. I am going to bring my mini-fridge and TV. Just kidding. (Just a blow dryer.)

I'm super excited to share this experience with Mary and 35 of her closest friends. Our ward has a big group of young women and I look forward to getting to know them better.

If you have any must-do activities you associate with camp, let me know.

Okay, how beautiful is that?

P. S. I am still teaching seminary.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Groundhog Day

Cameron and Harrison were anxious to find out whether Punxsautawney Phil had seen his shadow or not. They were quite disappointed to find that he did, meaning that we now had six more weeks of winter. Our weather has been absolutely gorgeous all month (sunny and mild) so I was confused by their unhappiness.

"Now it'll be even longer until our birthdays," they grumped.

Apparently the believed that the calendar would be turned back six weeks to accommodate a longer winter (and would have been sped up by the same amount if that ol' rodent had seen things differently).

When you think about it...that *is* what it sounds like.

Poor kids! I think I set the record straight.

Their birthdays are forever away no matter what. Ha.

"Seriously, put me down before I get all wolverine on you."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

We Went to the Temple

With the Fullmers, the Foutzes, the Muainas, and Bro. Smith. It was lovely! What a relief it was to come home and find that the kids hadn't burned down the house. No over-the-stove marshmallow-roasting occurred, which was better than last time. When we came home everyone was watching "Spy Kids: All the Time in the World" on tv. I don't know what went on before we walked in but they sure made it look like they'd been angels the whole time. Halleluyer!

When we were serving in the temple I thought about Bee the entire time.

Last night when I was falling asleep I thought I was dying. On the cusp of wakefulness and sleep I felt like I was falling into another realm, slipping from this life. I exerted what little control I could muster and said aloud, "I don't want to die!" (or at least I think I did). I was terrified, to be honest. I think I must have death on my mind all the way down to the subconscious level.