And together we learn

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Playboy bunnies

I don't usually blush when I read children's books. I don't usually have to gasp and giggle and edit pages and pages out. But I did with this book.

No mere recap can do justice to this book. Must quote verbatim.

"Although he has already fathered several different litters this spring, the buck is ready to mate again. He chooses a young doe, dancing around her to see if she is interested. At first, she hesitates, not quite sure. Then, with a quick flick of her little white tail, she joins in the game. They chase each other around and around, this way and that, lolloping and leaping through the long grass.

(So far, still ok, right? Just wait)

"It is not long before the complicated game is over. The rabbits sniff each other, their noses twitching, ready to mate. They are quite safe--there are no rival males around, and the rest of the rabbits are grazing safely in the next field. The doe gives the signal, crouching down low on her belly and lifting her hindquarters into the air. The buck climbs onto her to mate. Afterward he topples over, roly-poly, onto the ground beside her. They rest quietly, side by side, a soft, brownish-gray bundle in the long, green grass. From time to time, the buck gently licks the doe, his pink tongue tenderly preening her face and ears. They doze peacefully together, warming themselves in the late spring sun."

As Steve put it, all you need is for the guy to roll over and smoke a cigarette. I'll never think of playboy bunnies the same way again.


Parties and aftermath

There's just too much to write. Where to start....

Yesterday was Steve's birthday, so we had a huge party with 30 people and wonderful amazing food. Even though my kitchen floor is at an all time new level of stickiness, it was well worth it. And today? Well, let's just say that I'm not used to staying up until 3, nor my children used to an 11 pm bedtime. 'Nuff said.

My sweet sister Stephanie was invited to a barbecue with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They had karaoke. KARAOKE with Mo-Tab!! This is priceless. I wanted her to go undercover to get some pictures for me, but she demurred. She did, however, get to rock out with the choir. Too funny!!

I was talking to Hazel yesterday and really focusing on her and our conversation. That's always a mistake. Because when you're giving one child you're attention, that means that there are others unsupervised. Calvin unsupervised. He climbed onto the counter and got the bunch of bananas and threw them to the floor. Banana free for all! He unpeeled them all, stuffed a couple into his bottle, smashed some more, and had a glorious time. I came out and saw his little guilty face and ordered him to start cleaning. I stepped over the mess, careful to avoid stepping on any of the squishiness, and my heel came down on a peel. People, I slipped on a banana peel!!!


Sunday, July 22, 2007

A late night with Harry

So. Very. Tired. Made the mistake of picking up Harry Potter last night at 9. Didn't go to sleep until 1:50. But I finished it!!

I'm not a HP fanatic, but there's something fun about the books, and I did want to read it before the spoilers were everywhere. Fun.

Fortunately it's Sunday morning, and I can take a nap before church.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

This and that

There's nothing earth-shattering going on here, but I wanted to post a quick update to the old blog. The days weave together in a jumble of laundry and sprinklers and popsicles and scraped knees. Sometimes it's hard to remember what day of the week it is. You gotta love summertime!

The other night we had leftover salmon tossed with pasta, sauteed zucchini, swiss chard, and beet tops, all from the garden. Yum! I have so many tomato plants, I'm not sure what will happen when they all start to ripen.

I have mice in the garden (we border an open field), so lots of the tomatoes got nibbled and of course I left them where they were. This year, there are so many volunteer tomato plants, I've been pulling them up like weeds! But I left around 30 in the ground, and they're starting to get little green tomatoes on them. Happy little gardening surprises.

The girls can recognize mint, basil, dill, oregano, sage, parsley, and lemon verbena by sight and smell. They know what a tomato plant smells like. They are eager each morning to check on the progress of our little red peppers and scallop squashes. I didn't ever realize just how fulfilling a garden is with kids!

Calvin is in that language explosion stage. Every day, more and more words. It always amazes me that language acquisition is so natural--that a baby can progress so rapidly to using abstract concepts and can actually convey a message. He's saying his prayers now, with help. He'll parrot back the last word that I say, and is always quick to say thank you for Daddy, milk, and his blanket, mimi.

I'm sure something exciting and oh so bloggable will happen soon. In the meantime, we're loving the lazy days of summer.


Monday, July 16, 2007

A wedding

Whew! That last week was absolutely a blur. My darling aunt got married on Saturday, and my little girls were flower girls. So dang cute! My mom and sister were in charge of all the food for the reception (holy cow) so the wedding day was a little harried. Especially for them. I just showed up and served stuff and tried to keep Calvin out of the many water fountains.

This is my three plus their little cousin, Jane.

All the little nieces with the bride. Nine of them, all in matching dresses!

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Not quite worth it

Now that Chloe is 4 and Hazel is 5 1/2, I was telling them that they need to stay little for me. No more growing!

Hazel was thoughtful. "All right," she acquiesed, "but you're going to have to give us lots of caffeine and soda and junk food so we stop growing."

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Mountain air

The weather has been sweltering. Stifling. Downright yucky. So we decided to flee to the mountains to enjoy a cool respite. What a blessing to be able to drive a quick bit and reach beauty like this.

My little brother came with us--the kids adore him.

We took a picnic of bread and fruit and cheese. The air was cool, and after a quick sprinkle, all the flowers released their heady scents; mint and sage filled the air. We went on a quick hike and counted wildflowers, chased chipmunks, listened to bird calls, and smelled all the different plants. Such a perfect day!!

Then, to celebrate Chloe's birthday, we came home and had a barbecue with lots of family. Grilled salmon, marinated in soy sauce, ginger, garlic, brown sugar and orange juice. Grilled veggies, baked potatoes, salad, and rosemary bread. Oh. My. Goodness!! So much fun.

I gave Chloe a present that she was thrilled with, but all the guests thought was just a little odd. A child sized mop, dusting cloths, and her own toilet scrubber! She is so excited to play Cinderella, and I'm excited to get these girls working more. But wouldn't you so much rather give a practical, yet very welcome gift instead of yet more cheap plastic junk?

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

When they can describe it, aren't they ready to outgrow it?

Chloe (my sensitive, dramatic, tender little girl) was being herself, and threw a late-night tantrum over some perceived slight. I came out to see what the drama was all about, and she summed it up pretty succinctly.

"I am choosing to SULK!!"

At least she can put it into words.



And just one more, in the same genre of 80's Mormon singing commercials.

Who Broke My Window?

As if we needed another reason to love the internet. But here it is, the commercial we remember from the 80's. Love it!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Parties and fun

Chloe is turning four this week, so we had a birthday party for her yesterday. I love summer birthdays, because you can throw a party for little ones so easily. Lots of water, lots of kids in swim suits, and everyone is bound to have a great time!

Am I alone in thinking that the trend of $500 kids parties is a little scary? Do they really NEED a bounce castle? Or a pony? Does a party HAVE to have a huge theme? I've seen some pretty elaborate celebrations for tiny tiny kids. But you know what? The kids yesterday had just as much fun (I think) as at any of those much more expensive extravaganzas.

Note to self for the next party: Do NOT try to make a new frosting recipe, one that's a little on the temperamental side (a whipped ganache) and start it 30 minutes before guests arrive. I managed to make it stiff enough after lots of improvising, stuck the cupcakes in the fridge so the frosting would stay firm and crossed my fingers. What I did NOT take into consideration was the 102 degree temperature outside! So you give oozing chocolate frosting cupcakes to 18 small's a darn good thing it was a water party!


Friday, July 06, 2007

The spark of genius

We live in an amazing world. I'm sitting in my bedroom, using a wireless connection to the internet on my laptop computer. Air conditioning, refrigeration, and electric lights don't even occur to me to be luxuries. So now after reading this, I'm crying.

Amazing, amazing, amazing. A boy from Malawi, forced to drop out of school, reads a book on energy and changes the world. Wow is all I can say.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Fireworks and kissin cousins

Camped out on the grass, shaded by huge trees in a magnificent park. Aunts, uncles, cousins, my sisters and brothers, nieces, and Grandma. Watermelon, blueberries, boardgames, frisbees and kickball. Aaaaah. This is the sweet life.

Calvin and his little cousin Jane played a couple killer games of peek-a-boo.

My girls are decked out in their festive 4th apparel. How many more years do I get to dress them alike in themed clothing? With matching hair ribbons, no less?

The fireworks were incredible. The kids oohed and aaahed, but Calvin wasn't so thrilled. He spread his little chubby fingers over his eyes, and didn't move them the entire. time. of the fireworks show. But nestled in his daddy's arms, wrapped in his own special 'mimi' blanket, you could hardly feel too bad for him.

Hazel sleepily confided in me on the ride home that her little 7 year old cousin has a girlfriend.
"Who?" I asked, knowing pretty well what the answer would be.
"Did he tell you this?"
At this point she grinned delightedly and hid behind the hair that fell in front of her face.
"I just know, because (in a stage whisper) we were holding hands under the blanket!"

I'm not ready for this!! But it was just so dang cute how she said it!!!

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Feelings of satisfaction

You know how whenever other people besides you put the toys away, inevitably pieces get intermingled? Well, with all the trips lately and different people over and such, things had really gotten out of control. So, today was a day for drastic measures.

I gathered up every piece from every toy in the entire house into one large plastic-y pile. Then I spent a couple hours sorting, purging, and generally making the house a much nicer place. I made a run to Target for a couple of extra containers for some of the toys, and now everything is in it's place.

Whew! That was quite the project! But that's one thing off the list and now that it's organized, the kids are able to clean up after themselves a lot better.


Monday, July 02, 2007

Those summer nights

I love summer evenings. There is absolutely nothing like the feeling of sitting around the table on the deck, feeling the softness of the evening cool. The kids play below us and their laughter drifts up to us as we relax and chat. We just got this new patio set that seats 6, so now we can have 12 people total out there.

It's been so fun!! We eat Sunday dinners out there as a family. Since the meal was just so absolutely delicious, I just had to blog it.

My mom did pork skewers marinated in a curry sauce, with peanut sauce on the side. My sister made the most delicious
Pad Thai I've ever had. Better than any Thai restaurant. I'm serious.

We had a huge pile of grilled veggies, watermelon and cantalope, and finished with this amazing Key Lime Pie. It was light and fluffy and creamy and most important on a hot summer evening--very cold!

Oh, I almost forgot. I was cutting up the watermelon, and had some left over. I stuffed the blender as full as I could and whirled it for a few seconds. I added some lemon juice, sugar and water and had the most delicious watermelon lemonade ever! I made popsicles out of it, then served the rest as a drink. So refreshing and summery.