Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Linus Was Right

The Great Pumpkin really does exist.  We put out our 6 pumpkins Monday night.  (How do 3 kids end up with 6 pumpkins, you ask?  3 pumpkins+Mom carving+the dashed expectations of a spoiled child+it wouldn't be fair for just her to get a new pumpkin=6 pumpkins altogether.)  In the morning we found a bag of candy on our porch with a note from the Great Pumpkin!  We were pretty excited.  Thank you, Great Pumpkin!

This morning I went in to help with Anne's kindergarten Halloween Party (I guess they do let me volunteer a little in the classroom.)  Here's how I looked, except I was vertical:

Told ya I went a little crazy with my costume.  But I think it was worth it.  You wouldn't believe how many kindergarteners complimented me on it or asked if I was a real witch.  And it's versatile.  Damon says it looks like a vampire costume, and Anne says it makes me look like a zombie princess.

Learned some interesting things from one little boy: he has seen "a scary movie called Lord of the Rings," he has a girlfriend, and he would love to see someone getting killed in real life.  "It would be so cool."  It's wonderful, the variety of parenting styles there are in the world, and that my children get to interact with the product of those parenting styles.    

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

education espionage

I might be paranoid, but I think the elementary school doesn't like me.  Maybe I left a bad taste in their mouths last year over the fight to have Claire's tutors in the classroom.  I've signed up to be a volunteer in Anne's and Claire's classroom and in the library.  Only the library has asked for me.  When I go in to spy on Claire, I often see lots of other parent in there.  Hmmm.

Claire ended kindergarten last spring in a really good place.  She was almost indistinguishable from her peers and hadn't had a tutor with her in the classroom for about 2 months.  We continued her therapy at home over the summer, then ended her therapy just before school started. (Ah, I was so happy.  I felt like such a hero for keeping the tutors coming for so long.  And it was so nice to have them finally gone.)  This morning I went in to spy on her.  It was discouraging, agonizing, and depressing.  While the other kids hurried to finish their morning worksheet, she pressed on her desk with her hands and looked around the classroom.  She is the class messenger this week, so while I was watching she and another little boy left to make some deliveries to the lunchroom.  She seemed excited, and maybe being a messenger is distracting her.  I'll have to spy next week to see if she's doing better without a special job to look forward to.  If not, are we going to have to have tutors in the classroom at the beginning of every school year to retrain her?  Gah! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

making costumes

I've gone a little crazy with Halloween costumes this year.  Mostly mine.  Damon's and Claire's weren't too over-the-top, but when I post a picture of mine, I think you'll wonder what's wrong with me.  But this post is actually about false advertising.  My costume pattern says its EASY.  Easy for whom?  A team of expert seamstresses working together?  And Damon's says "One Hour!"  One hour to do what?  Find the fabric and notions in JoAnn's?  Or read the instructions?  Or cut out the pattern pieces?  It took me at least 7 hours to make, probably more.  If you can make a "One Hour!" pattern in one hour, I'd like to meet you.  You've got to either be from the planet Krypton or one of the X-Men.

Monday, October 22, 2012

another reason we seldom have dinner guests

We had Claire's former tutor, Jay (not his real name), over for dinner Saturday night.  Jake asked Claire to bless the food.  It went something like this:

"Please bless the food and please bless Jay that he'll be a member of our church."

I almost fell off my chair.  I couldn't even look at Jay after the prayer, and I sure as heck didn't mention our church while he was there.

History: Jay came to church for the kids' primary program a couple months ago.  And then he came again of his own volition after that!  We were so excited!  But it was Fast Sunday.  He hasn't come back since.  There's nothing like a few off-the-wall testimonies to scare away visitors.

There was another awkward incident after dinner that is too mortifying to relate.  I will tell you it involved another campaign poster by Claire, one that I was unaware of until it was proudly shown to Jay.

I think we can safely assume we've managed to scare Jay away from our church and our home forever.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Wedding

My youngest brother got married in August!  You can see how blessed [lucky, wildly fortunate, winners of the good wife lottery] Justin and Phillip are here  (Anj-babe is the 4th adult from the left, Swisserpants is the one in the wedding dress):

But unless you know Ang-babe and Swiss, you have no idea how incredibly blessed Phillip and Justin are.  No pressure, Lex.  Just don't ruin our perfect family.  Kidding.  Like I was telling my mom, I don't worry now that Justin and Phillip are taken care of.  Lex is too Lex to have to worry about.

Note to self: Don't stand like that.  If I had photo shop and knew how to use it, I'd photo shop my legs under my body, rather than behind it.  Talk about freakish defiance of  the laws of physics.

This was supposed to be a group hug.  As you can see, we don't hug in our family.  But it looks like we did manage to embarrass Justin, even if we don't know how to express affection.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


My hairstylist left for greener pastures.  Boo.  He gave me my best haircut ever last month, ask Lynsey.  Anne and I tried out his replacement yesterday.

Doesn't Anne look great?  But she really irritates Damon by holding up my old 4-H ribbon like she won it, because she didn't.  It's not even hers, he says.  (No, I do not have a shrine in my house displaying my 4-H ribbons.  My mom saved all that stuff and Anne has gotten a hold of it.)

Back to the new hairstylist.  Here's a picture of how I looked after she was done with me.

Or maybe it's the Russian from Rocky IV.  I can't really tell.  She gave me such a great scalp massage though, I might give her another chance some day.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Presidential Campaign

I've probably mentioned before that Damon is a talker.  If he's not talking about interest rates, demographics, or how much money Jake makes (Jake considers this an intrusion of privacy and refuses to discuss it), Damon's talking about the presidential election.  Yesterday, his comments on the election prompted Claire to say,

"I hope Mitt Romney loses."

[Gasp! My child is an apologist and a socialist!]  "Why, Claire?"

"Because I want Dad to win."

[Sigh of relief...hey, why doesn't she want me to win?!]

"And then we'll all be famous."

Anne was on board with that.  Here's her campaign poster:

Anne gets confused.  She isn't sure if Claire has Jake running for president, king, or prophet, but she does know that when he wins, we'll all be wearing crowns.  And Barrack and Mitt (the colorless guys in the middle) will be upset.

Here's Claire's poster (Jack H! means Jake Henderson!):

Parents who think their children are brilliant are so annoying, but when their children really are brilliant, it's less annoying, right?  The guy on the left is Obama the donkey.  The guy on the right is Romney the elephant.  They're both saying "Boo." How does she know about party symbols?  I don't know!  She had no help or coaching with this drawing.  I love the hands on the bottom.  From left to right, they're clapping, handing Jake a trophy, a ribbon, and money.  So Jake could be a communist, a socialist, or a capitalist, since all three are after accolades and money.  But once again he's being crowned which leads me to believe that although there's an election going on, Claire and Anne are more interested in monarchy than anything else.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

life expectancy

Anne:  Mom, do people live to be 100?

Me: Yes, some people do.

Anne:  I hope I'm one of those people.

Me:  Me, too.

Claire:  I don't.

Me:  Why not?

Claire:  I want to die when I'm tired of being alive.

[Me: disturbed that a 7-yr-old anticipates being tired of life.  Still freaking out about it.]

Claire:  And I want to see Heaven.  I want to find out what it's like.

[Me: is Heaven Can Wait  on Netflicks...better have a family movie night soon.]

Friday, October 12, 2012

Continuing backward through time

There's nothing exciting going on 'round here.  Jake and I have been sanding, scraping, and re-staining (it's actually paint.  I don't know why they call it deck stain) the deck.  Lame.  So I'll keep blogging about the things I should have a while ago but didn't. [translation: I'll blabber on about nothing to put off dishes and laundry while I wait for the temp to hit 50 degrees so I can finish the deck]

I was called as 2nd counselor in the ward Young Women's organization a few months ago.  I can't believe how fabulous it is!  Maybe my bratty teenage memory is skewed, but YW's wasn't that great when I was a young woman.  Combined activities with the young men were good, but just YW activities were usually [yawn] working on Personal Progress.  The tedium of this was underscored by the fact that while we worked on our Divine Natures, the young men were off water skiing or hiking in the Grand Tetons.  I remember my nature becoming more envious than divine.

But let me tell you about this YW's group: we've been target shooting with handguns (fun!), indoor rock climbing (even more fun!) and are having a scavenger hunt through the mall next month (not sure if that will be fun, but the girls are excited).  I'm telling you, it's the life.  No wonder older women jockey to be Young Women leaders.  I should have been campaigning myself a long time ago.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Each life that touches ours for good

My Grandma Barbara died in September.  A few things about her:
-Valedictorian of her high school class (not unlike a few of her granddaughters)
-Loved my Granddad from the moment she first saw him (but he asked out her best friend before he asked her out)
-Had 6 kids, 26 grandkids and I don't know how many great-grands.
-Feisty and fun
-Served two missions with my Grandad
-Excellent homemaker
-During her last few days at the hospital, family members would take turns staying with her.  She told my Granddad he was the only one she missed when he was gone.
-Ate hot cocoa and toast every morning for breakfast
-Was a good sport, but usually got revenge, when we switched her and Granddad's dentures in the night
-Never had to dye her hair because it didn't go gray
-I cannot do justice to her on this blog
-We all miss her. 

Grandma and Granddad at the mountain ranch, July 2007

Lynsey, Grandad, and my Uncle Jack at Grandma's viewing

(above) All 26 grandkids at the cemetery.  We laughed and cried a lot that day.  You'd be hard-pressed to find a better family.  Grandma and Granddad deserve the credit for that.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

tae kwon do tourney, the campaign

Damon took first place in the blue belt 8-11 yr old forms competition last weekend.  I was so proud I almost cried.

Here's the link where you can see the sparring match that earned him a 3rd place medal:  (he's the one in blue)

Student Council elections were last week, too.  Damon lost.  He was a little bitter that some of the kids running made promises that would be impossible to keep, like guaranteeing longer recesses and lunches.  And he was annoyed that kids were allowed to run even though they turned in their speeches late.  Ah, well.  That's life on the campaign trail.