And together we learn

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


So here's the Halloween picture. Humph.

The ORIGINAL plan was to go as the Cinderella cast--stepsister, handsome prince, and of course, Cinderella herself. But after the whole drama of the other night with Chloe's costume, I was a bit nervous. She was all set to go until a few minutes before showtime, at which point she again refused to be Cinderella. I told her to go find something from the dress-up box, and she came up with an apron from a grocery store. She wanted to be a grocery worker. Fine.

Then I tried to put Calvin's handsome prince cape on him. The one I sewed. With a machine and pretty fabric and lots of gold trim and are you getting that I made it all by myself?? Yeah, nothing. He shrieked every time it came near him. But he would wear his crown. Yes, it is made out of paper. Hazel was all about her costume, but being dressed as a wicked stepsister kind of loses something if it's not part of the ensemble.

As the biggest slacker-looking mom of the century, my kids went trick-or-treating wearing an apron and a paper crown.

BUT, they were happy. And really, this is NOT about me looking good as a mom. This was not a battle I was about to start with. So they had a great time and got way more candy than any child should ever have. (I passed out quarters this year. I didn't have to worry about eating them before, and extras are always welcome! Plus, every. single. kid who came by went screaming back to mom "I GOT MONEY!!!!!" Big hit.)

For as long as I can remember, the Halloween tradition has been chili before trick-or-treating. So I cooked up a big old pot and the fam came over. Not that anyone needs dessert on Halloween, but you HAVE to see what my sister Andrea made.

Is she not incredible?? Yes, she sculpted the pumpkins and ghosts out of fondant. Amazing.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007


At 10 in the morning, Calvin pulled his 'me-me' (blanket) into my big tub and curled up. Hazel thought it was hilarious, so ran and got his pillow and 'woggie.' He slept there peacefully for an hour!!


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Shrink, anyone?

So we had a big ward (church) Halloween party last night. My kids are going as Cinderella, a wicked stepsister, and the handsome prince (I sewed, people!! Pictures later). They've been looking forward to their costumes and this party for weeks. So an hour before, Calvin came down with a raging ear infection. He's not going anywhere. Fortunately Steve was home and could take the girls.

Their hair and makeup was all finished, one looked beautiful and the other comical. Chloe is my little one who lives in a make-believe world, and is constantly pretending. She loves Cinderella with a passion. Her hair was swept up with little cascading curls, she had on a beautiful tiara and sparkling makeup.

This is where it gets downright weird. Five minutes before they were going to leave, she jumps up sobbing, "I want to be Chloe, I want to be me!" She wrenched the tiara out of her hair and threw it down, tore the dress off, pulled her hair out of the bun. "I have to be Chloe, I'm Chloe, I'm Chloe!!!" She was sobbing, hysterical.

I hugged her, put on her own clothes, and she was fine. I told her she's always Chloe, no matter what clothes she's wearing, and that if she wants to go dressed as plain Chloe, it's perfect. That calmed the torrent, but let me tell you, that was just plain WEIRD. It was this terrified sort of existential fear for her. She is so ultra sensitive about everything. I worry.

Any advice??



I had a beautiful couple of hours off yesterday while Steve was home. I ran up to my sister's house to see her craft room that she's been working on. This is what I saw as I drove up her street.

I racked my brains to remember what patriotic holiday fell on October 27th, but couldn't come up with anything. Then my sister reminded me that her neighbor has a husband returning home from service in Iraq--he's been gone about 18 months and was expected home any minute.

There were hundreds of people lining the street. Flags everywhere. Then he and his family came--on the back of a fire engine!! Cheers, clapping, furious flag waving, and tears. The war in Iraq is such a can of worms--so many different opinions and an overall bad feeling about it for so many. But politics aside, those men are heroes. And being there to welcome one home was humbling and overwhelming to me. I cried, and I still do when I think of the sacrifice he's made.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A red letter day

Something momentous occured around here tonight. Are you ready for this???

I made dinner. Actual, real dinner involving chopping an onion, using the stove, a protein, vegetable side dishes (VEGETABLES, people! This is huge!) and a table set with real dishes and cutlery. And that's not all. It gets better. I picked vegetables, a watermelon and herbs from my garden to make said dinner. The garden that I haven't set foot in for 7 long weeks.

And there's more. I cleaned up after dinner including wiping the counters and sweeping the floor.

I'm cautiously, hopefully, wondrously starting to FEEL BETTER!!!!!!!


Thursday, October 25, 2007

When is a birthday not a birthday

My girls are doggedly determined to make the new baby's entrance into the world something to celebrate. To that end, they're already planning the party.

"Mom, can we have the baby's birthday party a few days early? Maybe in April instead of May?"

"Well, we have to wait until the baby is born before there's a birthday. The day it's born IS the birthday."

Undaunted, they persisted.

"Then we'll have to have the birthday a few days after it comes. You don't want to be all tired and bleedy and stuff on the day of the birthday, do you? You need to be able to enjoy it too!"

Thoughtful, sure, but I don't think they're really grasping the whole concept of Birth Day!


Sunday, October 21, 2007

It's a dang good thing...

he has big brown eyes and curls. Little stinker got into some window markers, and well...


Thursday, October 18, 2007


Today was a miracle. Plain and simple, the Lord is so aware of ME and is so merciful. I'm so overwhelmed by my blessings.

I haven't been able to stop throwing up. Over and over and over, relentless. It was 11 in the morning, none of the kids were dressed, and they had been watching tv straight since early morning. I couldn't function. As I was finishing up in the bathroom yet again, the kids ran and told me someone was at the door. Hair disheveled, eyes streaming, looking a complete disaster, I came to the door.

My dear neighbor stood there, looking a little bewildered as I burst into tears.

"I was driving by and had the feeling that you needed me. What can I do?"

I just sobbed as she dressed my girls and took them home with her. She told me she'd keep them all day, happily.

Not 2 minutes after she left, the doorbell rang again and there stood my sweet sister Stephanie. She hugged me, cried with me, and bundled Calvin off for a few hours of McDonald's and playtime with her. I slept, ate something that stayed down for a few hours, and prayed.

Can you believe the tender mercies of the Lord? I hadn't even been praying for help--I was too miserable, but He sends blessings that I don't even ask for. I know Steve was praying for me, though. It's so humbling to know that my needs are known.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Only in Utah...

For anyone who's LDS, this picture will need no introduction, and the irony will be immediately apparent once you realize that this is a LUXURY home neighborhood. Right.

If you're not LDS, let me do some quick explaining. In the Book of Mormon, there is a prophet/king named King Benjamin. He taught, quite strongly I might add, on caring for the poor, service, and especially giving freely of what God has blessed you with to those less fortunate. Now I'm sure the lovely homes are peopled with philanthropists and do-gooders a plenty, but the irony of naming your LUXURY home community after a PROPHET who preached selfless giving is just priceless to me. Only only ONLY in UTAH!!!


Buyers remorse

We were at this random fair-type thing where there were lots of little booths selling things. I saw these dresses, thought they were gorgeous, and promptly bought them. Got them home, pulled them out of the bag and thought "DOH!"

Linen. 100% pure dang linen. Arrrgh!!!

So I put the dresses on the girls 2 minutes before church, snapped the picture 30 seconds later, and resigned myself to one good wear out of them. After's LINEN!!! Oh well!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Dreams of crustaceans

This morning Hazel came to me with the problem that every homeschooling mom hates to hear. "Mom, I just want to go to real school." Emphatically.

So I started to get to the root of the problem. What exactly was she looking for that she wasn't getting at home?

"Well, at school they get to choose their own lunches, like pizza...or shrimp salad."

Hmmmmm. Shrimp salad?? Not at any elementary cafeteria I've ever seen! Come to think of it, this kid of mine has never even tasted shrimp salad! Their brains are really odd sometimes.

But seriously, we had a great conversation about what things she'd like to do more of (cooking and hiking) and how we can make homeschool more fulfilling for her. Things have been pretty haphazard around here for the last little while. Poor kids are still kind of fending for themselves most of the time.

Whenever my beloved mother feeds us (often) my kids get so excited to see real vegetables on the table. Calvin just claps for the broccoli. Talk about guilt!!

I told the kids that when I throw up it means that the baby is healthy and strong, so now they watch expectantly for the tell-tale look, then cheer heartily for me. Great.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

A bed of cards

Hazel was stretching on my bed and musing on the mysteries of things.

H:"Mom, is my bed a jack?"

Me: "????????"

H: "You know, you have a king, Grandma has a queen, so I guess I must have a jack bed."


Tuesday, October 02, 2007


I know it's been forever. But there's a good reason for it, honest. Let's see if you can figure it out... Lately, I spend most of my time lying on the couch while my kids wander aimlessly around and beg for food. I put them off as long as possible, then run into the horrible place called the kitchen and throw something together for them. Foods I normally love, like basil and tomatoes, are now so completely off limits in our house. I'm eating a diet consisting of canned vegetable beef soup and quesadillas. Anything else makes me want to groan in agony. The toilet and I are very very close.

Need any more hints?? I'm pregnant!!!

So very excited, but it's been hard to feel excited when I'm so surrounded by ick. And since my ONLY topic of conversation lately is how yucky I feel, I've been avoiding posting. Because really, how much of that can people listen to?

My kids are beside themselves with excitement. Every day, many many times a day I hear, "How big is the baby?" "About the size of a lentil."......."Now??" "As big as a lentil."........"How about NOW??"

We're making in utero development a part of school for the next, oh, nine months or so. They love thinking about the baby growing little fingers and a nose and delight in each weeks new progress. It's so much fun to do this with kids old enough to be excited with me.

I'll try to post more often, now that the big news is out. But if I'm whimpering in the bathroom and can't make it to the computer, I know you'll understand.

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