Sunday, December 30, 2007

hanukkah

Reed: Do we celebrate Hanukkah, Mom?
Me: No, why?
Reed: Dar-net, I was just hoping we could play the games of Hanukkah and... open MORE presents!
Reed is already thinking about what he is going to ask for from Santa next year. The top two of his wish list:
*a snow globe. We have one, but apparently he and Blue each need one so they can play "Santa Clause III, the escape clause"-if you've seen it you know what I am talking about.
*a pet monkey in a cage that speaks all languages. I'm not real sure where this one came from...

Friday, December 28, 2007

a Christmas present to remember

A few posts back I mentioned that Reed had bought Christmas gifts for the family at a yard sale put on by his school. My gift was better than I could have imagined:

Yes, it is a BEAUTIFUL necklace with a cross. Once again, Reed was so proud of his gift. He has asked everyday since then if I am going to wear my necklace. I just tell him that it is so nice that I don't want to break it or lose it when we go run errands. I'm not sure how much longer I can use this excuse.
On a side note: I left my camera at Channy's house over the weekend so I didn't get any pictures of Christmas morning. But nonetheless, Christmas was a success at our house! At first, Blue was a little worried that all he was getting from Santa was a stocking, he didn't realize that Santa had wrapped his presents and put them under the tree with the rest of them. He took one look at his stocking and then started crying because he didn't see the toy that he had asked for. Luckily the crying didn't last long. What a wonderful day!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

worse than cooties

Blue has an obsession with girls, well not necessarily WITH girls just making sure he has nothing to do with them. When asked what he wants for Christmas he reply is, "Anything but girl stuff." When he is playing his games such as star wars/high school musical/sonic (yes, who knew you could fit so many diverse characters into one game?!) Blue will always assure me that no girls are playing.
The other night we were watching TV and all of a sudden Blue yelled "NOOOOOO! Change the channel quick!" I looked to see what he wanted changed and it was a Victoria's Secret commercial. Luckily it was not too promiscuous, it was the one for their perfume and lotions (the girls were covered by a Santa suit). But still Blue wanted nothing to do with girls! The clincher was when we were watching Garfield, a Tale of Two Kitties. I thought it was a safe choice but apparently at the end John and his girlfriend get engaged and kiss. Blue covered his eyes and made his usual noise of ewwww. I asked him if girls had cooties and he said, "NO, they have KISSES!"

Thursday, December 20, 2007

heaven and nature sing


Thanks a million and three Chea (ya, you deserve more than just thanks a million)! You captured my vision and turned it into my Christmas card. I couldn't be happier! The real story behind the picture is to come in a separate post.

On a side note:
There has been some controversy about my Christmas card. Is it "heaven and nature sing" or "saints and angels sing"? My observation is that the Hymn Book says saints and angels and all others are the first. I am not sure as to why but if you, please enlighten us all...(Lance?)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

they came in by twosies, twosies...

Lately Reed and Blue have been sharing a bed, not because they have to but because they want to. It brings back many memories of sharing the roll-away double bed with Heidi. My favorite part about it (and probably Heidi's least favorite part about it) was that when I would pee the bed, I would roll over to Heidi's side 'cause my side was too cold and wet. While listening to my boys giggle in bed is very endearing, there are a couple of drawbacks to their closeness. Number one: it takes twice as long for them to fall asleep because they are either laughing or fighting. Number two: It used to be that when one of them had a bad dream, just ONE of them would come into our room. Now, when one of them has a bad dream, TWO of them come into our room. I usually try to take them back upstairs or make them a bed on our floor. But lately, it has been very chilly at night and so all I do is let them BOTH crawl into bed with us. Huge mistake! They are now coming down on a regular basis and even though we have a king size bed there is not enough room for the four of us. Colby usually ends up sleeping on the couch on those particular nights. So now I am torn... Do I make them sleep in their own beds or suffer the bitter chill and walk them back upstairs? I'll probably just let them sleep in our bed, it is the easiest solution (for me anyway).

Monday, December 17, 2007

it's the thought that counts

Reed's school held a garage sale for the students to purchase gifts for family members. Now, I'm sure some of you are picturing the secret Santa sale that was put on when we went to school, no, no, this was a real garage sale (except for the fact that it was not actually in a garage, which really perplexed Reed). I sent $3 to school with Reed and he came home with gifts for Colby, me, Blue, and his cousin Trey. He was so proud and excited and wanted us to open them right away. I told him that we should probably wait till Christmas. Reed asked if Colby could open his because it was something that could hang on the Christmas tree. He had convinced us, so Colby opened his gift...

The picture does not do justice. It is a door hanger crocheted from scratchy yarn in the true red and green colors of the Christmas season. And the jingle bells attached to it are not your average cheapy jingle bells though. Their sound is more like a jingle bell from Santa's sleigh (if you've seen Polar Express you know what I'm talking about). Anyway, Reed was beaming, I was trying my best not to laugh out loud, and Colby was stunned at first but then made a quick recovery and told Reed that it was the BEST Christmas present ever!

Monday, December 10, 2007

one good deed deserves another

Today was a snow day! Our very first while living here in Flag. Before 8:am I already felt like a prisoner in my own house, and we don't leave the house till later than that on a normal day. Anyway, around 9:30 we decided to brave the weather and get out of the house. We went to Target... of course. After perusing the toy aisle for what felt like forever, I got the things I needed (a Christmas tree was one of them- hey, better late than never) we got to the checkout area. I had a few bulky items in my cart so I let an older gentleman go ahead of me since he only had on item. While he was checking out, my boys were begging for some candy (conveniently placed at their eye level). I told them that I wasn't spending my money on candy but if they wanted it they could use their own money. Reed and Blue both brought their wallets with their chore money, and as Blue said, "It's burning a hole in my pocket." I don't think he even knew what it meant but he had heard it said before- thanks to Tana. Back to my story, I was excited that my boys were going to pay for their own candy with their hard earned money. And the boys seemed okay with spending their own money too but not a second later the older gentleman turned to me and said that he would pay for their candy. On one hand I thought that was very kind of him since I did offer for him to go ahead of me. But on the other hand, I thought maybe he thought I was being selfish since I said I wouldn't spend MY money for their candy. I don't know, am reading too much into a small act of kindness?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Reed turns the big number six


Who would have thought that such a difficult baby could turn into an ideal kid?! That is what Reed was and is. I'm pretty sure he was mad at the world when he was born, being nine days overdue and all. But I couldn't ask for a better older brother to Blue and Beau. He is so sweet and tenderhearted. He is also too smart for his own good and a perfectionist. We love him so much!
For his birthday, we went bowling as a family. It was hilarious to watch him and Blue get a running start then come to a complete stop at the line then drop the ball and watch it slowly, I mean really slowly, roll to the pins. They would squat on their haunches or lay on their bellies and wait for it to get to the pins. Most of their rolls were right down the middle but didn't have enough momentum/strength to hit them all down. Next we got an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen and I let Reed and Blue decorate it. Reed wanted a karate kid cake so we came up with making the design that is on the bandana. They were so pleased with their work. I do believe that I just might let them decorate their own cakes from now on. The best part about it was that the entire day was spent just with the family and Reed was okay with that. In fact, when he blew out his candles he asked me if wishes came true. I told him it just depends what you wish on. He then told me that his wish was to be with his family forever. I definitely think we can work on making the come true. Happy birthday Reed!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

fun in the sun, I mean snow

government conspiracy


Colby swears that this is a government conspiracy that wouldn't let us have any fun in the snow. He was ticked that all of the forest service roads were closed. How dare they ruin our fun. Have no fear, Colby found a road that wasn't blocked off. I don't think it was really a road but Colby didn't care, all he wanted to do was spin the wheels in the snow. Well, he got his wish and thankfully we came out of there alive.

It has always been Colby's dream to live where it snows and I think our boys are following suit. They had so much fun! Beau couldn't stop grinning and squealing. Blue loves to eat snow. In fact, after we were done playing in it, I caught him licking snow off the bottom of his boot. What a die hard, I know. Reed thought he was so skillful in the art of snowball fights. It was hilarious to see him run up to Colby and throw a snowball at him then turn and try to outrun the one that Colby had ready to throw at him. For being desert rats for so long, I do believe we acclimated pretty quickly.

Friday, December 7, 2007

crummy weather


Sometimes crummy weather makes you do crazy things. Not crazy enough to start collecting brains (cause I know that's what you thought it looked like) but I started canning chicken again. Because canning chicken requires that you stay in your kitchen for a straight hour and a half, what better day to do this than today?! The weather was cold, wet, and blustery. It seemed as if it was raining sideways and coming down in buckets.
My supply of canned chicken was running low so I decided to start backup the habit. Plus, I discovered these new "elite" canning lids. They are a platinum lid as opposed to the old school gold. Now my year supply can be stylin'.

karate kid

Such a classic 80's movie. Last night we watched it as a family. I thought Reed would enjoy it since he is taking tae kwon do lessons. Reed watches movies just like me...with every scene came the question, "What happens next?" I think it was driving Colby crazy. Reed was very concerned about Daniel when he got beat up by the mean kids and his exact words for Mr. Miagi was, "He is such a kind man." Reed is has tender heart for sure. Throughout the movie, Blue would tell us that he was Daniel until there came a girl part. Then Blue would inform us that he wasn't Daniel with a girl, just Daniel fighting karate. Blue wanted to know why Mr. Miagi spoke the way he did. In fact, Blue couldn't understand anything he said; which is surprising since we can hardly understand anything Blue says. We had to interpret for him anytime Mr. Miagi spoke. All in all, it was hit! Definitely one that will be watched over and over.

Monday, December 3, 2007

santa gets a visit from the hillbillies


On Saturday I went to Prescott and left all of the boys with Colby. Since it was raining then started to snow that day I figured he would take them to play in the snow. And he did, but he also went above and beyond that and took them to see Santa at the mall. Why is it the thought of a visit with Santa just seems so overwhelming. I'm not sure if it is the part where I have to get my three boys ready, wait in line for who knows how long, or take the chance that they won't be afraid of Santa that I most dread. Anyway, on a whim, Colby takes the boys to the mall to play at the play area and it just so happens that Santa is set up right next to it. Of course, for Colby there was only two people ahead of him in line. As you can see by the picture that none of them were petrified by Ol' St. Nick and Colby didn't bother to get them ready unless he was tying to pull of the hillbilly look with the bed head hair and the irrigation boots. Luckily the lady in charge offered Colby a wet wipe to clean Beau's face, a minor detail that didn't seem to phase Colby. The sure sign of portraying hillbillies came when Colby walked up to Santa to retrieve the boys and Santa sympathetically said, "You're a real good dad." Since Colby hardly ever wears his wedding ring I'm pretty sure they all thought he was a single dad and was just doing the best he could. But I do have to agree...He is a real good dad.

Friday, November 30, 2007

and so the countdown begins

Tonight I finished a few Christmas countdowns with the help of Reed (and not a moment too soon since tomorrow is December 1st).
The first one I made was an idea of Heidi's. I was pretty pleased with the way it turned out until Blue told me that it kinda looked like a monster face. Gee thanks, Blue but I guess he does have a point. It does kinda look like a monster face but nonetheless I am still happy with how the project turned out.



The second countdown is a mini muffin pan and behind each number is a little ornament that the boys will put on the tree. When I showed them the tree that they would be putting the ornaments on, Reed informed me that it didn't look like a Christmas tree but that maybe if we put a star on the top of it, it might look a little more like a Christmas tree.


But their favorite countdown is...

the paper chain! What kid doesn't love a paper chain?! While I painstakingly spent more time than I should have on my countdowns, my boys were just as happy with their paper chain that took them just a few minutes to make.
Moral of the story is... little boys would rather rip and tear off a link of their chain (it does sound pretty manly, I know) than just flip a number or hang a tiny ornament on a piece of metal that their mom is trying to pass off as a tree.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

let me explain, no, let me sum up

Talk about an overwhelming week! Where do I begin...
On Monday Reed received an award during an assembly at school. Apparently he demonstrates a lot of respect towards his peers and teacher. Who knew?! I was there to take part of this proud moment and even remembered my camera on the way out the door. But much to my dismay, as I am taking a few pics before the assembly started, I realize my memory card is not in my camera. Whoops!

Tuesday I thought I would torture myself a little and take a "quick" jaunt down to Phoenix with Blue and Beau. Actually I had to purchase all the lighting fixtures for our new house and since I wasn't happy with the selection at Home Depot I decided to go to Lowe's (there isn't one here in Flag, surprise, surprise). Well, as I am pulling two shopping carts around I let Blue and Beau run up and down the aisles. Every once in a while I would catch Blue dragging Beau around by the hood of his jacket along the floor with Beau screaming, such brotherly love.

Wednesday I tried to be in three different places at once. Both Reed and Blue got out of school at noon and because of car trouble, Colby needed me to pick him up also right in the midst of my magic act. While I didn't actually pull off my magic trick, after giving Colby a lift back to work, I was only ten minutes late to pick up Blue which left me only twenty minutes late to pick up Reed.

And now we come to today... the house that we are currently living in is going to be looked at by potential buyers tomorrow so I went ahead and purchased a few, okay more than a few, storage bins and shoved everything that I possibly could into them and set them in my garage. This is a highly effective way of clearing out your clutter. The true test of a clutter bug... I wonder how long it will be before I decide to unload the bins again.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

oscar the grouch

Recently Beau has been a little grouchy, whiny, and just plain difficult. I was starting to get a complex thinking it was me... I mean most of you know that Reed was quite a handful as a baby and Blue, probably more of a handful now than when he was a baby and now Beau. Maybe my parenting skills need a boost. Well, I was relieved to discover it wasn't ALL me. A few days ago, I was playing with Beau and I tipped him upside down and I discovered his molars are coming in. All I could see was a tip of white and what looked like a red marble where the rest of his tooth will soon be. Poor kid, he was in so much pain and I probably wasn't being as compassionate as I should have been. The same day I made this discovery, I pulled the biggest sliver out of the bottom of Beau's foot. I'm telling you it was bigger than any sliver Colby ever got framing or hunting. Again poor kid, he was probably in a lot of pain and I was just not reading the signs. The next morning solidified my belief that I had Oscar the Grouch as a son. I caught him eating handfuls of garbage out of the trash can. Here is my proof:



Don't be alarmed that he is eating something harmful. It is actually a piece of cake that I had thrown away because I only wanted the frosting. Come on, I know you all do the same thing.
I do have to say that Beau was very pleasant this past holiday weekend, in fact he was rather funny and charming at times.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

pleasantly surprised

Pleasant surprise #1: Tonight Colby and I went out on a date. I know, a Tuesday night, how lucky are we?! We unexpectedly had a babysitter for the evening and took advantage of it since there is no school tomorrow. We decided to go out to eat. After checking out a couple of restaurants we decided on Sakura, a Japanese restaurant that I had not been to before. The date started out a little rough. While we were waiting to be seated, we were looking over the menu and quickly became aware of how pricey our dinner was going to be. For a Tuesday night and not celebrating anything special it wasn't exactly the price range I wanted to be in. Nonetheless, Colby convinced me to stay and give it a try. We were seated and then had to wait an hour, yes six zero minutes, before our dinner was prepared. Colby wasn't too upset because he had ordered sushi (I am not a fan). Chea, you would like this sushi because there was not so much rice on the outside.
Pleasant surprise#2: Our meal was prepared right before our eyes. Yes, it was one of those restaurants where the chef cooks on a big griddle right in front of you. Our chef was amazing! Lots of fire, tricks, and jokes. And our food was awesome! Chinese or Japanese food is not my favorite but this was delish. We had Steak Yakisaba?- I think that is what it was called. The best steak I have had in a long time, and fresh vegetables with noodles, not just any noodles but the kind they serve at Aloha Kitchen which are my absolute favorite. It almost made up for our hour wait, almost.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Christmas shopping

My goal is to be done with Christmas shopping by the first week in December. So I can focus on much more important things like my Christmas cards:). Well, and I hope to get in a little bit of baking and crafting. I figure the only way I am going to accomplish this is by a lot of perusing on the Internet. But today I discovered another option: shop while Blue is sleeping. No, I do not leave him in the car and run into the store (as tempting as this has been many a time) but rather just let him sleep in the shopping cart. I have mentioned a few times in the past what a heavy sleeper he is and now I can finally use this to my advantage. Today we went to three separate stores and I had to pull him out of his booster seat then lay him in the back of the shopping cart then put him back in his booster seat when we were done with that particular store. Three times without him waking up! Amazing, I know. I am so pleased with my new discovery.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

spilt milk

On Thursday as I was dropping Blue off at preschool Beau threw up all over himself while he was strapped in his carseat. Now all of my boys are big milk drinkers and even when they aren't feeling good they always beg for a drink of milk over anything else. So in order to paint a vivid picture for you think of two bottles full of curdled milk. That is what covered Beau and his carseat. It was rank! I tried to pull his clothes off with the least amount of contact, placed him in Blue's booster seat then we quickly drove home. I had to clean his carseat not once but twice because of the awful smell. Since that was on Thursday and today is Sunday, I thought I had dodged a bullet because Reed nor Blue had thrown up. Well, no such luck. After dinner Blue started vomitting. The first time he made it to the garbage but the second time was all over the stairs. Again, more curdled milk. Yes, it was just as disgusting as Beau's. While there is nothing funny about cleaning up "curdled spilt milk", Blue did put a smile on my face when he said, "My arms feel squiggly and I need you to help me throw up." How can I "help" you throw up? "Just hold onto my shirt and pat my back."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

new owners



We are the new owners of a Polaris Ranger unbeknownst to me. No wonder Colby has been so helpful lately.

Monday, November 12, 2007

who are you and what have you done with my husband?

I started getting suspicious earlier in the week when Colby took Reed to karate not only Monday but Wednesday also. Then I had to go to Prescott on Tuesday and he said that he could pick up not just Blue from school but Reed also and that I could stay and visit with my friend Tess for as long as I like (meaning that the boys would be running wild around his office). I thought maybe he was making an extra effort because I was feeling a little under the weather those days. Well, my suspicions were even higher yesterday, Sunday. While I was getting ready for church, Colby put the roast in the crock pot (he's never done that before), gave Blue a bath AND got him dressed for church (never done that before without me asking him), AND put a load of bedding in the washer (certainly never done that before). All of that before I even left for church. Colby was staying home with Beau and Reed, who had pink eye and I was taking Blue. On my way home from church I still wasn't convinced that my husband was entirely a new person and this is why: We were going to have green chile burritos for lunch and in my mind I was hoping that Colby hadn't already shredded the meat because when he shreds the meat he always leaves majority of the fat in it. When he was younger he loved to eat gristle. In fact, he loved it so much he had to eat everything on his plate before he could eat it-like it was some special treat- ewww! Anyway, when I got home the table was already set and the meat already shredded- but he made sure not to put all the fat in with it. Dinner was amazing! I didn't have to do anything for it, and he also helped me clean up. Okay, now I was pretty convinced this was not the same guy I had married. It gets better, not only did he finish the load of laundry he started before I left for church (which I thought he would just forget about) he also did two more loads and folded them. Wow! Later on, I find him watching tv and eating brownies and ice cream...in bed. Okay, no doubt in my mind that this is Colby, the man I love. Obviously, there are a few quirks in my training system. He has learned to cook and clean and help out with the kids which I am grateful for. I guess I will just have to work on the eating in bed a little longer.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

don't drink "that" gatorade

We drove down to Queen Creek this afternoon. Colby met us just before we left town to say goodbye to the boys, as he was not coming with us. He gave each of the boys their own gatorades to drink on the way down. I knew exactly what was gonna happen so in an effort to avoid five different potty stops I told them not to drink it all at once. By the time we were at Cordes Junction, gatorades were gone and Blue was shaking like crazy because he had to go the bathroom. I made him hold it till Black Canyon City (another half hour). When we got into Phoenix Reed needed to go. Blue's potty break was only about twenty minutes earlier, why didn't he go then? He said he didn't need to. Of course. We were in the thick of rush hour traffic and I was not stopping not to mention it gave me the opportunity to give a few "I told you so". Reed was really going crazy now.
I had heard from one of my sisters that she makes her boys pee in bottles while traveling. So I thought I would offer this option to Reed, thinking that he would never go for it. He is my rule follower and surely there is a rule somewhere about peeing in a bottle in a car. Much to my surprise Reed agreed to this option. It must have been pretty thrilling for him because not more than 20 minutes after filling the first gatorade bottle and he "just" had to go again. As disgusting as it sounds, it is very convenient and I think I will use this option in the future.

Monday, November 5, 2007

star wars battleship


Have you ever wondered if anyone ever buys from those sky mall magazines you find on airplanes? You know what I'm talking about- this magazine is the last resort when you have read every book and magazine you brought with you and you are still 20 minutes away from landing. Well, Colby brought one home the last time he flew to Cali for work. In it he found Star Wars Battleship. He thought it would be fun to just "show" the picture of it to the boys (they just recently got interested in the original battleship game). Anyway, Reed kept asking question about how to order it and how long it would take for it to come. So finally Colby gave in and ordered it. He told Reed it would take seven days for it to come. Every night in Reed's prayers he would have a countdown about how he was thankful Star Wars Battleship was coming in seven days, then six days, then five and so on. Well, it was delivered late one evening when he still had two days left on his countdown. But when the doorbell rang Reed knew for sure that it was the game. Needless to say Colby, Reed and Blue have had hours of fun playing this game. I highly recommend it for any of you Star Wars fans out there.
My boys enjoy getting mail. They especially love looking at the magazines and catalogs that come in the mail. Blue will carry around a toy catalog from fisher price or etoys for days. He brings it with him in the car, he holds it while he is watching tv, and once or twice I have seen him looking at it while going the bathroom. With Christmas around the corner, the number of toy catalogs has increased. Yesterday I checked my mail and what do you know... the Target toy catalog was waiting. Little did I know what ruckus this was going to bring. Both Reed and Blue wanted it and why they couldn't just sit down together and hsare it I don't know but the fighting began. They would cry and then get mad at the other then come tell me. Since Colby had been gone all weekend I was pretty much at my wits end anyway, so when they started fighting about this catalog I just ignored them. I thought it would be good to let them duke it out. After 45 minutes of this, Reed came down and said that Blue had punched him, I decided that literally duking it out wasn't the best solution. They both were stunned when I took the catalog and wouldn't let either one have it. It is only the beginning of November, I wonder how many more of these fights I will have to endure before Christmas is here.

Monday, October 29, 2007

temper tantrum

Beau and I came home from dropping off Reed and Blue at school. We actually didn't come directly home, I did stop at a few places first just to torture myself because Beau was so pleasant and charming at each stop (not really). By the time we got home he was so tired. I carried him in and he was crying because he wanted me to put him down then he was crying because he wanted me to hold him. So as he if flailing around and crying I take off his shoes and socks. When I did this he stops crying and looks at me and says "ahhhh" then smiles his goofy proud grin. I smile back thinking he was through with his tantrum. The second I smiled he realized that he wasn't done and went back to flailing and crying. It was hilarious! He must be a creature of habit because he always says "ahhh" every time we take off his shoes, even a temper tantrum couldn't stop him from his ritual.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

hans and leia


Colby had a work Halloween party on Friday night. He went as Hans Solo and I as Princess Leia, very fitting seeing as our boys were Star Wars characters also.
Highlights of the evening:
1. The place was decked out in Halloween decor. My boys were thrilled. The house was set up on a hill and the walkway was lined with pumpkins on both sides. Beau loved this because he could give each pumpkin a little push and watch it roll down the hill. I tried to keep up with him but every time I was halfway up with a rescued pumpkin, another was rolling past me.
2. Reed enjoyed the hay ride. The ride took us past a little ranch house and Reed was so excited because it looked like Cy and Dakota's house except this house was bigger and a different color (those were his exact words). With those differences, I'm not sure why he thought it looked like Cy and Dakota's except for maybe the horses walking around it.
3. They gave prizes to all the kids who had on costumes and not just dinky prizes. Blue scored! He comes running up to me with a package the size of him. In it was three squirt guns and one mega blaster. I don't know how he finagled such a prize but he was pleased with himself.
Low lights:
Colby and I did NOT dress up as Hans Solo and Princess Leia but you could imagine.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

the force was with me


Tonight we went to the Halloween carnival at Reed's school. Sounds like fun, right?...until I tell you that Colby was out of town so I put costumes on the kids with just a little bit of frustration- Blue was crying because I had to wake him up and we all know that is not easy; and if you look close enough in the picture you can see that I underestimated Beau's size when purchasing his costume and we had to improvise. Then once we got to the carnival I had to hold Beau the entire time to keep him from running in the opposite direction. Not only did I hold Beau but I also held Reed's and Blue's light sabers while they played games and got their face painted. Luckily we arrived right when it started and we didn't have to wait in any lines as I noticed a lot of other people were having to do as we were leaving. In forty minutes we had played all the games, got their faces painted, listened to a Halloween story, and picked out prizes. It definitely was not as bad as I was expecting. A night spent in the company of Anikan, Luke Skywalker, and Darth Vader, I must have had the force with me.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

lickety-split

This time of year brings dry skin and chapped lips. Both of which Blue gets worse than most kids. Today we were at Reed's taekwondo class and Blue told me that his lips were hurting. I didn't have any chapstick handy so I told him I would put some on when we got home and not to lick his lips. He didn't skip a beat and said, "I didn't, Beau did." While Beau does give slobbery kisses, I don't think this is what Blue meant. He wasn't even in trouble but Blue is so used to hearing me tell him not to do certain things that his first impulse is to blame someone else.

broken promises

My latest attempt to pass the time between drop offs and pick ups is refinishing furniture- well, sanding, painting, then distressing. I have been sanding by hand for the past few weeks which is very time consuming. Colby kept telling me he had a palm sander that I could use but it was in our storage unit. So, on a regular basis I would ask him to get it for me since he has the only key to our unit. Returning home without a palm sander, he would always reply, "I forgot, sorry." Broken promise after broken promise. Today I finally stopped playing the martyr and bought my very own power tool. Yes, a palm sander. Talk about empowering! I love it! I spent an hour and a half today on my latest project. What I accomplished in that time would have taken me a couple of days to do. I have a renewed motivation- it is too bad they don't make power tools to help you clean your house.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

are you gonna eat that

My boys go through these eating spurts like most children, I assume. Today was the start of one of Blue's. This morning he wakes up at 6:00 asking for breakfast. I tell him to give me five minutes. At 6:45 I finally get up and ask him what he wants. He says, "What are my awshuns?" Awshuns in rubberish (Blue's language) means options (Giving options is a favorite among Reed and Blue). I ramble off a few names of cereal boxes in our pantry. "And what else?" I give a few more awshuns. He finally decides on a yogurt. He promptly eats this and asks if he can have a snack. At 7:00 in the morning, are you kidding?! I told him he needed to eat something else for breakfast. He decided on a bowl of cereal. By the time I took him to school around 8:45 he was telling me he was hungry again, this time asking for a corndog. Colby was actually in the car with me when this was going on and offered Blue McDonalds instead. En route to preschool Blue finished a little over three quarters of his sausage mcgriddle.

When I picked Blue up from preschool at 12:00, he asked me where his cake was. What cake? He told me, "You know, the one I was eating before." Oh, the sausage mcgriddle from three hours ago. I had already thrown it out. Imagine his disappointment when I told him I threw it out. Blue had intended on polishing it off when he got back in the car from preschool. Poor kid, he was probably daydreaming about the sausage mcgriddle during preschool.

Monday, October 22, 2007

camo in a concrete jungle

Chea and Wayne and girls came up a couple of weeks ago to visit. My boys love it when Chea's girls come to visit. Here is an example: The morning our visitors were to arrive Colby and Reed went bear hunting. Not more than two hours after leaving the house, the boys were back and I asked why they were home so early. Reed did not want to miss Taryn when she got to our house.
Not only do I like to take advantage of the babysitting from my nieces, I also like to take advantage of Chea's skills whenever she is around...so with just a few minutes notice we decided to do a family photo shoot. What we would possibly wear to give a cohesive look but was already in our closets? Camouflage, of course. I called Colby at work and told him to meet us downtown for a family picture. His response- Didn't we just do a family picture? Boy, was he excited. Thankfully he showed up anyway. Chea worked her magic and got some great shots. Thanks Chea!



lovingly look in your eye



During our impromptu photo shoot Chea asked Colby and me to look at each other. I could not as much as glance in his direction without cracking up. I guess "gazing into each others eyes" was totally out of the question. You know you've been married long enough when just the the thought looking at the love of your life makes you cry...with laughter!

Friday, October 19, 2007

does a bear crap in the woods?

Today was a beautiful day here in Flagstaff! Besides a little bit of smoke from control burns, the weather was perfect! Reed gets out of school at 1:00 on Fridays (love it!) and so we decided to do a little nature hike behind our house. Beau was thrilled, he had a bucket and put everything he could pick up in it- rocks, leaves, rocks, pine cones, and more rocks. Reed and Blue were on the hunt for acorn caps. I'm not sure what they are really called but you know what I'm talking about, right? Whenever they would find one they would yell,"Sweet! Look at what I found." After ten or so I stopped paying close attention to what they were showing me. But I happen to look up when Reed mentioned that he found something that sorta looked like an acorn but wasn't. Hmmm, what could it be? As Reed is holding it in his hand, I tell him that is no acorn but the dropping of a coyote. Ewwww! I had to be careful because you never know how Reed will react to something so out of the ordinary. Luckily, he was not totally devastated. In fact, his reaction was surprising. He just said, "Oh." Almost like he was disappointed it really wasn't a giant size acorn.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

tagged

The thing about being "tagged" is you can say you've been tagged when you really haven't. I mean who's gonna take the time to track down your tag-er? While I really was tagged I think it shouldn't stop anyone else who so desires to share their deepest secrets with the rest of us. So here goes (I modified the categories just a little):

My first real job: The best Hawaiian restaurant ever, Aloha Kitchen, and Ray the owner still remembers me after fifteen years. I must have been a dang good employee.

My first real job living on my own: Good ol' Taco Taste in Safford, Arizona. Good times, right Lindsay? Yes, Lindsay worked there also during her brief stay in Thatcher.

A job I would love to do: Write episodes for the Backyardigans. If you are not familiar with what this show is I highly advise you to tune in on Nick Jr. It is by far the best kids show out there...catchy tunes and great moves.

Places I've lived and don't want to live again:
Ghetto downtown Mesa. Our neighbor actually hooked jumper cables to our electrical box and lived that way for a month without our knowledge.
Colby's parents house. It was actually easier for me to live there than it was for Colby but a 10x10 room just wasn't big enough for the four of us (Colby, Reed, Blue, and me).
Queen Creek....gotcha! Of course, I MIGHT reconsider living there again. :)

Food that I would drive more than an hour for:
Green corn tamales. I would drive all day if I could just get my hands on one of Grampy's green corn tamales. Although, there is a restaurant in South Tucson that serves a close second.
Crab legs from Outback. Luckily, there is an Outback here in Flag so I don't have to drive an hour for them. But I would be willing if necessary.

Weird things about me:
Nothing. I am the most normal person you'll ever meet. I have no irrational thoughts, o.c.d.'s, or insecurities- at least none that I am willing to admit right now. Well, here's one for you...naaa, nevermind.

Places I want to go without my kids:
The Rose Bowl Flea market.
Round Top, Texas.
Mostly anywhere would do.

Places I want to go with my kids:
The beach
Disneyland

I believe Francis tagged a couple of other people, what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

blue-isms

On Sunday Colby gave the blessing on the food for dinner. It wasn't a super long prayer but it also wasn't a two-liner. After he was done, Blue said,"Next time just say 'thanks for everything'... that's what I do". Tonight I listened in on his prayer and sure enough I heard a "thanks for everything" and then amen. I think we need to work on that.

Today I was trying to purge a few of the boys' toys seeing as Christmas is right around the corner. I know, can you believe it- where did this year go?! Anyway, I was going back in forth from their room. On one of my return trips I discovered that Blue had taken all of the bedding off of his bed and Reed's bed (again). When I confronted him about it he started looking down at his hands with a concerned look and said, "I didn't know what my hand was doing." He is quite the character!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

to be or not to be

How can something {Halloween} so fun cause me so much grief {Halloween costumes}? Every Halloween, ever since Reed was just a baby, costumes have given me grief. The year Reed was not yet one year old I decided we would dress him up as a scarecrow. Luckily this decision was on a whim with maybe twenty minutes of prep time. But as you can see in the picture Reed was not pleased.

Then came the year of the dragon. Reed had a costume that had a hood with a big face on it. Whenever Reed wanted to turn his head he moved his entire body like his neck was broken. It was pretty funny.

Next was Scooby. Reed was so excited but when the day of Halloween came he refused to put the costume on. He cried all through the photo shoot. After Halloween was over I couldn't get the costume off of Reed. He wore it for the entire month of November.


Now Reed was finally old enough to enjoy a costume for Halloween but Blue was a different story. The year of the eagle was the year I painstakingly made an eagle costume I had seen in a Martha Stewart magazine. I mean, come on, who doesn't want their child to look like something out of a magazine? Well, once again, my efforts were in vain. The only time Blue would put on the costume was well after Halloween and it lasted long enough to snap a picture.

Finally, last year, Blue wanted to be superman. But when he saw the Reed was a Star Wars guy with a light saber, he, too, had to have a light saber. Not so bad I guess, I'm sure the force would have come in handy for superman at one time.

So it is costume choosing time again. I can't tell you how many costume catalogs my boys have looked through and then looked through again. I'm not worried about them, it's Beau who is on my mind. I'm pretty sure he will just give me one of his crusty looks which is interpreted as "You will not put THAT on me and if you do, don't expect me to like it." Wish me luck this year!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

budding artist


Isn't this the cutest puppy dog you have ever seen?! This is a picture of the puppy Reed is hoping to get for Christmas. Reed is quite the artist. Whenever he is drawing pictures he always asks, "Aren't I such a good artist?" He has decided that he wants to be an astronaut and an artist when he grows up. Well, that was today. Yesterday it was a school teacher and an artist. Which is pretty funny for him to say school teacher because I have never heard mention of this before. I think Reed's school must be trying to persuade children at a young age to go into the education profession.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

baby genius

I love my cell phone. I love it because it is pink and is a constant reminder that I am a the only girl amongst a house full of boys. I also love my phone because while in my car I can talk to anyone (usually one of my sisters) and tune out the noise of my boys teasing each other and fighting. But the most useful part of my cell phone is that it occupies Beau while I am at any store. Beau has learned how to call Heidi. They have had some very deep conversations. I know when Beau has called someone because he presses the phone against his cheek very tightly and sits very still while giving me a stoic look hoping that I won't discover that he has actually called someone. As I was viewing the pictures in my phone, I discovered that Beau knows how to take pictures and has taken more than I have. They are all very lovely distorted photos of his own head or the floor of various stores. The other day Beau had enough shopping and pitched my phone. The back plate went flying in one direction while the phone laid lifelessly on the floor. It was still on so I assumed that it was still working. Later on that day I realized that it was not working and I could not call anyone. So I turned off my phone and figured I would "re-boot" it. When I tried turning it back on nothing happened, I was still looking at a black screen. I pressed every button hoping that it would turn back on. No luck. I gave up and decided it was a lost cause. I was going to have to get a new phone. The next day I gave Beau my phone to play with. I didn't think his curiosity would last long since it was broken. A few seconds later I heard some noise coming from my phone. My baby genius had fixed my phone! It works now with no glitches. My laptop has been running a little slow, I think I'm gonna have Beau take a look at it.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Blue no longer feeling blue

Blue is back and better than ever. I could tell he was feeling better yesterday morning when he wanted a corn dog for breakfast. Since he hadn't eaten in a day and a half we went straight to Sonic after dropping off Reed at school. This was a bonus for me since I was all out of diet coke in the fridge. More evidence of Blue regaining strength was that my house was a wreck before lunch time. I had noticed while he was sick that my house stayed a lot cleaner for a lot longer. The kid is sorta like a Tasmanian devil. He makes a mess in one room then moves on to the next. But I am grateful that he no longer has a fever although he is still trying to kick his cough. Today, though, was a sure sign of his well being. We went to the bank (this time without m&m's) and I reminded him that he needed to sit on the couch or stand by me. He heads for the couch and before I am even at a teller window I look back at him and he is upside down on the couch with his legs hanging over the back side of it!

pillow talk


Colby found this picture underneath his pillow last night. When he asked Reed about it this morning, Reed was all grins. Reed was so delighted that he surprised Colby with a picture and more so that Colby loved it. Reed has put pictures under our pillows every so often for the past year. He loves the idea of being sneaky in a good way. He is such a good kid!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

just forget 'bout it

For those of you who have carried on a conversation with Blue know that sometimes it is difficult to understand what he is saying. I will usually ask him to repeat things a couple of times until I can figure out what he is trying to say. Well, the past few days have been extremely hard to understand him since he has a cough. So not only is it hard to get what he is normally trying to say, you add a raspy whisper and I can hardly understadn what he is trying to say let alone hear him. He is so exhausted that by the second or third time I ask him to say it again he tells me to "just forget 'bout it." Poor guy. I feel bad but apparently I cannot fluently speak rubberish (as Jessica so lovinly refers to Blue's speech).

Monday, October 1, 2007

pulling an all-nighter

As I mentioned earlier, Reed had a fever on Thursday. With this fever came a very hoarse cough. On Saturday morning Beau woke up with the same hoarse cough then followed with a fever later on in the day. Sunday morning Blue followed suit with the same symptoms. Luckily, by Sunday Reed no longer had a fever and his coughing was not so often. So last night started off relatively uneventful, Blue had fallen asleep around six then Beau at 7:30 and then finally Reed at 8:00. Around 10:45 as I am watching tv I hear Beau whimpering. Since he is not full on crying I hope he will just fall back asleep. Fifteen minutes later he is still whining. So I go in to check on him and find him covered in puke. I know, disgusting! And to think I made him stay in there for fifteen minutes. I felt so bad, but he wasn't screaming or even really crying for that matter. I get him cleaned up put him in bed with Colby while I take off his bedding and put a new sheet on. Not more than a half an hour after getting in bed after Beau's ordeal, Blue comes in hacking and crying. He climbs in with us and he is burning up. I tried to convince him to take some medicine for his coughing and fever but no luck. So I just laid there listening to him moaning and coughing. A couple of hours later Reed comes in because he said he heard some noises in his bedroom. Since there Blue was already in our bed, I went upstairs with Reed to lay by him for a little bit (partly selfish because then I wouldn't have to listen to Blue wheezing and coughing). While upstairs, I heard Beau wake up again but this time he went back to sleep on his own. Thank heavens! The next thing I knew the sun was coming up and it was time to start another day with sick kids. Won't this be a fun day...

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Can't Wait to Get to Heaven

Loved it! So I just read the book entitled Can't Wait to Get to Heaven today. Yes, I read the entire book today. This is why I do not read very often because I cannot put the book down until it is finished which means the rest of my life suffers...my kids, my house, and meals. Anyway, I highly recommend this lighthearted book. The author, Fannie Flagg, also wrote Fried Green Tomatoes. Aunt Elner is hilarious! I found myself laughing out loud for most of the book. Yes, there may be a few tender moments but all in all it is a book that will keep you laughing.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

service=sacrifice

Yes, this is not a new concept but it is certainly became very clear to me the other day when I went visiting teaching. Our appts were scheduled for between 2:15 and 4:00 and Reed gets out of school at 3:00. I was hoping Colby would be able to pick him up but Colby was out of town that day. I decided I would just take Reed out of school early so I wouldn't have to go in between appts. We arrived at Reed's school and I ran in and to get Reed. Well, I technically did not run because I had Blue, Beau and Tate to get out of the car. Oh, ya, did I mention I was watching Tate (a friend's two year old) for the day? So ten minutes later my entourage makes it to the front office. We now head to Reed's classroom only to discover that his class is not there but at "the lab". We find "the lab" and Reed is not pleased to see us for I forgot to prep Reed about this change in his schedule when I dropped him off for school that morning. After convincing him to come with us, we finally get in the car. By now, I have gotten a good workout from carrying Beau all around Reed's school and chasing after Tate to make sure he didn't run into any other classroom or the parking lot. My companion and I visit three girls who live in the same apartment complex- I know you're thinking that's a bonus. Yes, except for the fact that there are 20 buildings and none of them live in the same building. While we are visiting the first girl, I discover that Reed has a fever and is being ever so pleasant. At the next girl's place I go ahead and make a fool of myself with every word that comes out of my mouth. Topics of discussion: Building a house and expensive haircuts. I won't go into detail, but pretty awkward. The third sister that we visit lives on the third floor, yes that means three flights of stairs. Do you remember from a previous post that Reed is afraid of heights? I must have been quite a sight to see... I was carrying Beau and holding the hands of Reed AND Blue. Thankfully, my companion was willing to hold Tate's hand. When we were done with all of the appts I was completely embarrassed and exhausted. Is service supposed to be this painful?

Monday, September 24, 2007

forbidden food

This afternoon Reed and Blue were eating popcorn for a snack. Beau was wandering around the kitchen and would beg for a kernel every so often. I was upstairs when I heard Beau start to gag. I ran downstairs, thinking he was choking on a popcorn kernel. Nope! He had a dishwasher tablet (you know the little concentrated pacs?) in his little grubby paw. He was successful at gnawing it open but was very disappointed in the taste of it. Luckily most of the pack was all over the floor and his clothes instead of in his mouth. He has been trying to get one of these from underneath the sink for quite some time now. Hopefully this has cured his curiosity. Nevertheless, I am going to have to think of another place to store the rest of the box.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

60%

60% of back up accidents are caused by large vehicles (trucks, vans, and suvs). No, Lance, I did not make up this statistic- but the website I got it from might have. Anyway, I was a statistic the other day. I was trying to make a three point turn and in my second point I backed right into a concrete mailbox! Of course I quickly pulled to the side and got out to assess the damage. Luckily the only damage was to the outer casing of my back lights and a few scrapes to my bumper. I did not cry (until I called Colby to tell him what happened, of course) but I was mostly frustrated. This should not have happened because... I have a back up camera that is supposed to prevent incidents like this. Ironic, I know.
While I am on the subject of driving, let me just mention that I am grateful that we were driving northbound on I-17 today instead of southbound. We noticed traffic was backing up just outside of Anthem (just north of Phoenix) on the other side of the highway. I am not sure if it was an accident or what but the traffic continued to be at a stand still or a very slow crawl past Black Canyon City, through the mountains, past Sunset Point rest area and almost to Cordes Junction. That is a 30+ mile back up! I am soooo glad we were not coming home to the valley but leaving the valley to come home.
Now let me just mention why we were in the valley. Casey came home from his mission Friday night! It was quite a party weekend! We had a dinner Saturday night at Channy's house. Everyone was in attendance, including Jeff and Pam and Cameron. If you can imagine roughly 35 people hovering around you asking lots and lots of questions, I am sure that is how Casey felt. Maybe just a little bit of overload, not to mention the serious jet lag he was experiencing from his flight from Sweden. All in all, it was great to see him... oh and as always, great to see everyone else too:)

Friday, September 21, 2007

m&m's

I usually keep a small stash of candy in my car for emergencies- not for me but for my children. While gassing up this morning Blue found a pack of M&M's I had hidden. He was shoveling them into his mouth as fast as he could before I noticed. I told him that he couldn't eat anymore of them. The pack was actually one of those tubes of mini M&M's, which is a pretty cool toy in the eyes of my boys. So Blue said he wouldn't eat them anymore, he just wanted to hold the tube. By now we were at the bank. Blue stuck the tube in his pocket and I reminded him about no more eating. While I did my banking business at the teller window Blue sat on one of the couches. I would glance over at him every so often just to make sure he wasn't jumping on the couches (which has happened there in the past). He would just wave and smile at me. I was so pleased that he was behaving. Well, as we were walking out of the bank Blue says, "Sorry, mom, I ate all the M&M's. I just couldn't help it. They were so chocolaty!"

Thursday, September 20, 2007

it has come to this

So when I started this blogging thing I was sure I would never run out of things to post. But here I am, it has been a week and I can't think of anything to post that I haven't already talked about, such as, the dialog between Reed and Blue when we drop off Reed (it is getting longer each day, which in turn holds up the line of all the other parents waiting to drop off their kids). Star Wars and High School Musical have both been the subject of my posts but here is something a little twist: lately when I ask Blue what he's doing he responds, "Oh, just playing Star Wars-High School Musical." I'm not real sure how it works... Hans finally gets to sing his solo? or Troy's swing is a lot straighter when he uses the force? Only Blue knows. Beau and his crib has also already been a topic. But here we go again. So Beau no longer chews on his crib. He now likes to stick his legs in between the slats to the point of getting them stuck. Sometimes it is both legs and he is sitting there or sometimes he is stuck on his stomach with a leg wedged between the bars. Either way, he is learning that if they get stuck and he screams loud enough and long enough eventually I have to come in and rescue him. I usually feel bad for him and instead of leaving him in his crib to go to sleep, I will take him out and let him stay up a little longer. I had no idea that swindling and scamming could start at such a young age.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

what year was it?

You take today’s date and add those two numbers together. With your answer add the number of children Cliff and Cathy have. Then add how many son/daughter in laws they have. Now add their grandchildren. Here comes the tricky part. Count how many different cities they lived in (not how many times they moved, just the number of cities). Add this number and your running total and you get the year Cliff and Cathy were married. Now subtract the first digit of your number from the second digit and you get two. What do you know… All because two people fell in love, (okay, Chea may have already used this line but I was thinking about using it before she did.)
Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Monday, September 10, 2007

finger foods

So many different foods fall into the category of finger foods such as bacon wraps, bruchetta, chicken nuggets and so forth. Well our family has a different view of finger foods. For example, Beau considers anything you place on his high chair a finger food. From spaghetti to waffles (with syrup, of course) to yogurt, he holds a utensil in one hand and then eats with the other hand. It can get pretty messy. Reed isn't a huge fan of finger food mostly because they get his fingers sticky. Now I thought he inherited this particular characteristic from me, not necessarily the clean fingers aspect of it, but more so the compulsive orderliness to it all. Come to find out though, Colby does not like cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, and Cheetos not just because they are junk food but because he doesn't like to get his fingers sticky. This is coming from a man who can devour crab legs, hot wings, and ribs like he is an animal?! Blue, on the other hand, enjoys a good serving of finger food. He has no problem with getting dirty for the good stuff. Today I discovered he enjoys hand-boogers, not to be mistaken for hamburgers. While checking out a the store I looked over at him and he was digging for gold, if you know what I mean. I quickly gave him "the look" and shook my head 'no'. He put his hands at his side. We finished up at the register and headed out. I turned again to look at him and he had struck gold! A whopper! He put it in his mouth just as I called his name sternly. He quickly pulled it back out of his mouth and said "Here, mom" as if I wanted a taste too. So kind of Blue to share his finger food with me.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

a distinctly pronounced name and personality


Her name is not pronounced like Shaya,
But for the perfect picture she would go to the mountains of Himalaya.

Her name is not pronounced like Chay,
But when it comes to her opinion, no holding back what she has to say.

Her name is not pronounced like Chia,
But with a kind husband, her life is euphoria.

Her name is Chea, pronounced like estrella,
To us, her family, that is what she is, always trying to save the
day-a.

Happy Birthday Chea!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

wendy/wendo


I'm not sure why we said wendy/wendo. Maybe we thought it was okay to call Pierce wendo because we put an "o" at the end for masculinity. Anyway, back in the day, our family thought pierce and I looked like twins. Can you see it in this picture? All I can see it the tanness that is me and I now know where Blue gets his celtic look from. Plus how can you not notice my santa claus eyebrows. Enough about me on this great day... today is Pierce's birthday! Here are my who, what, where, when questions for him:
1. What makes you all that and a bag of chips? Could it be the fact that you carried around and polished off all by yourself a bag of potato chips bigger than you when you were two?
2. Where do you plan on playing major league baseball? I mean, with your current baseball endeavors- baseball practice, fall ball, baseball tournaments, regular season, weight training, traveling teams- surely you have a few major league teams already "courting" you.
3. Who, out of the twelve parents you have, has given you the best/worst advice? Yes, I said twelve parents- you have a mom and dad and then you have ten older brothers and sisters that act like they are your parents. Lucky you. You must be the perfect child with so many people telling what to do and what not to do.
4. When are you going to get your driver's license? You are the big 16 now! Happy Birthday!

cool cat



Yesterday was Blue's first day of preschool. As you can see by his pictures he was a pro at this school thing. No nervous jitters for him, his only complaint was that we couldn't get there fast enough. I'm not sure why I even got out of the car to walk him inside. He took off running to the front door of his school (it is inside a home) and started playing. I had to pry him away from the toys so we could have a "talk". Now Reed is a rule follower. When a teacher says it is time to clean up, he cleans up. When a teacher says it is time to be quiet, Reed listens. Blue, on the other hand, likes to see how far he can go or what he can get away with. So as I am telling him to listen to his teacher and not to go back into the bedrooms, he isn't even looking at me and is already walking away from me. Heaven help his teacher.

Still on the subject of school, I have noticed the beginnings of a routine with my boys when we drop off and pick up Reed. When dropping off Reed this is how our conversation goes:
me: "I love you and be good"
Reed: "Okay, love you too."
Blue: "Wuv you Reed. Be nice to your friends."
Reed: "Okay, love you too." (with a slight roll of his eyes)
When we pick him up from school our conversation goes like this:
me: "How was your day at school?"
Reed: "Good, where did you go today and did you buy me anything?" (All in one breath. Apparently he is afraid that we are going to stores and buying loads of toys without him while he is at school.)
Blue: "Did you miss me?"
Reed: "Ya, did you go anywhere?"

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

making an identity





For labor day weekend I had some visitors, okay I had a lot of visitors! My mom and dad, Jackie and Pierce, Heidi and her three kids, Channy and Lee and their four kids, Chea and Wayne and their four kids all escaped the heat of the valley by coming to Flagstaff. What a weekend! My story begins with Chea concerned that we weren't making memories by just sitting around and talking, reading, and watching tv. What kind of identity are we making for ourselves if we are just sitting here?, she told us. So much to the dismay of the teens and tweens, we decided we would do something cultural, something that required some sort of physical effort. We were going to give ourselves an identity of a family that is cultured and we were gonna have fun doing it, even if it was forced on us. I mentioned hiking to the Indian ruins at Walnut Canyon. Perfect, it was settled. After stock piling snacks and gatorades into various backpacks and then squeezing all twenty four of us into three vehicles we were well on our way to making memories. Here are a few of the highlights from the excursion:
* The fee to get into the park was $5 for 16 and over, all others was free. Chea and Wayne had 5 persons in their car over the age of sixteen while the rest of us only had two. Sorry 'bout that Wayne.
* There was a Native American weaving a basket outside the visitor center just before you start the hike. We stopped at her table to admire her work and right then Reed asked if we were going to see any dead Indians.
* I could see that Papa (a.k.a. Cliff) was a little less than thrilled about the 240 steps down to the Indian dwellings. But Reed came to his rescue. The path was steep and the drop was far. No persuading was going to convince Reed that he would be safe if he held my hand on the way down. So Papa "sacrificed" his opportunity to see this landmark and stayed at the visitor center with Reed while the rest of us proceeded.
* Trey and Blue, the youngest and most rambunctious hikers of our group, couldn't understand why they had to hold a grown up's hand and not just each other's.
* Wayne carried Beau and Heidi carried Josie and Chea carried Grammy(Cathy). Okay, maybe Chea didn't actually carry Grammy. But Grammy was not so sure on her feet after walking down the steep 240 steps. With her health conditions, she probably should have stayed at the visitor center with Papa and Reed. Her actions might have caused a little scolding from the daughters.
*Beau and Josie were thrilled with the little rooms made by the Indians. They could finally run around. They were not pleased when we proceeded onward with the rest of the hike.
* Pierce and Jessica were very disappointed that there were no walnuts to be seen in Walnut Canyon.
I do believe we made an identity for us... three ring circus.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

he's lucky he's asleep


Last night for family home evening our lesson was about Cleanliness being next to Godliness. I told the boys that it would be great if they could help me out in keeping our house picked up. This meant cleaning up their toys after they are done playing with them and putting away their clothes once they have been washed. Now Blue is not one to sit still for very long, even if it was a five minute lesson. So in an effort to reiterate what was discussed, after the lesson Colby asked Blue what we had just talked about. "Umm, be good?" It is amazing how fast kids learn this answer to any gospel question. So, I'm not sure why I was so surprised/upset when I walked into their room this afternoon and saw this aftermath. Every piece of clothing in Reed and Blue's dresser, including socks and underwear, was on the floor. I was a tad bit angry. I went downstairs to confront the culprit and found him asleep on my bed. Blue is one lucky boy right now.

alarm clock

I apparently do not have the skills to be a good alarm clock. Before school started Reed said he needed an alarm clock to wake him up every morning. I told him I could do it. Well, he gave me strict instructions on how to perform this task. I must pop up and down (kinda like a cuckoo clock) and when I am up I must say/sing "wake up Reed, wake up Reed". I have only had the opportunity to do this three times since school has started because Reed wakes up pretty early on his own usually. The three time I have been his alarm clock Reed informed me (in a disgusted voice) that I was doing it wrong. Apparently the first time I was not popping up and down correctly. The second time my tone of voice was not to his liking. And this morning I was gently rubbing his head as I was trying to wake him. Direct contact is not part of the job. I told him I was sorry. "It's okay mom, I still love you." Whew. I thought for sure I was fired not only from my alarm clock duties but from my motherly duties also.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

living on a prayer

Beau has figured out how to fold his arms. More importantly, he has learned to fold his arms when we say prayers. Along with folding arms during a prayer, Beau thinks we must clap after the prayer since this is what we did the first time he folded his arms. We have reached another milestone with Beau. This past Saturday I took the boys to Prescott to visit Tess and her girls. Beau slept the entire hour and fifteen minutes to Prescott which is highly unusual for him. He usually just screams when he is in his carseat. Not only was he pleasant on the way there but on the way home he never made a peep. I thought he fell asleep again a few times but every time I looked back at him he was just zoned out watching a movie. Hallelujah! Maybe by December he will have progressed enough to drive to Utah!

getcha head in the game

Yes, I will be posting three times today (one for each son). Just for you, Heidi. We are fans, huge fans of High School Musical. I may not have teens or tweens or even any other girls in my house but that has not stopped my boys from loving and learning all the songs on High School Musical. On occasion, I have found Blue on the computer at 6:30 in the morning looking at High School Musical on the Disney channel website. Blue knows all the words to We're Breaking Free and will gladly belt it out wherever and whenever he wants. This morning he informed me that he can only wear white shirts or red shirts because that is what the basketball players wear when they are singing Getcha Head In The Game. When we are at a store and he sees all the High School Musical paraphernalia he is eager to point it out. Luckily, he has not asked to buy any of it yet. Blue is trying to decide what type of lunchbox to get for preschool: Ninja Turtles or Diego. No, he doesn't "need" a luchbox for preschool but he sure wants one.

the verdict is in

School is fun! This verdict was decided by three days to one. The first day of school was probably more overwhelming than fun for Reed but the last three days of school have been the "funnest day" (direct quote). When I ask him what makes the day so fun he tells me all of it. Here are some of the highlights I have been able to get out of our conversations:
1. He has learned to go across the monkey bars all by himself -in just four days- what an athletic specimen:).
2. He made a friend and shares his cookies from lunch with the kid -but Reed can't remember his friend's name.
3. Reed is a very slow eater. The first day at lunch he didn't get to play at lunchtime because he took too long eating. He is a fast learner though, yesterday he still had half of his lunch left in his lunchbox... Priorities: one: play, two: eat.
4. His teacher asked the students to bring a box of kleenex and glue sticks. I sent it to school with Reed and when I picked him up he said, "I don't know why we had to bring that stuff, my teacher already has a lot of it and we didn't even use it today."

This is not school related but Reed has his first loose tooth! You may be thinking that he is already missing three teeth but these were pulled by the dentist. This will be his official first loose tooth.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

run, run as fast as you can

Okay, I give up! I have spent the last hour and a half (not exaggerating) trying to get a simple picture from the Internet to copy/download to my blog. I, apparently, am more computer illiterate than I thought. So you are just going to have to imagine (or click on the link at the bottom of this post) a picture of the gingerbread man. I would like to wish two of my younger brothers a very happy birthday. Anthony turned 26 yesterday and AJ turns 28 tomorrow. I was reminiscing about our childhood years and the memory that kept coming back to me was when I would chase them down the road in our neighborhood. Sometimes we were just seeing who could run the fastest (me, of course) and most of the time I was chasing them because I wanted to "punish" them. When we were young I could always catch them. I don't really remember what I would do once I caught up to them but I know they were scared. But as we got into our teen years, it was impossible to catch them and they were no longer afraid of me. I soon discovered it was best not physically chase them anymore but just let them know that I could catch them if I wanted to. I guess what it really comes down to is that I was a pretty bossy older sister and I hope you guys don't hold that against me now. I just want them to know that I am proud of them for following through with their dreams and goals. They are now wonderful men, well their ages define them as men but their wives may think otherwise :). Happy Birthday AJ and Anthony!

Not the Buttons! The Gingerbread Man Fanlisting

Thursday, August 16, 2007

ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED THE DAY BEFORE KINDERGARTEN



Reed started kindergarten today, sort of. It was more of an orientation for the parents. It was only one hour long and parents were asked to stay and then it was over. Pretty easy for a "first day of school". But let me tell you what I learned yesterday, the day before kindergarten. I thought it would be a good idea to do a practice run in the morning to figure out how long it will take to get ready and out the door and then drive across town to his school. Here is what I learned:
1. Make sure you have something to feed your kids for breakfast. Reed asked for cereal and I realized I didn't have enough milk to give all three of my boys cereal and milk so I offered toast and a shake. I opened my freezer and remembered we used the last of the ice over the weekend. No sweat, I sent Colby to the gas station for milk and ice.
2. Bathe at night. Reed and Blue took a bath (I tried to persuade a shower but of course it was a no go). After they got out, I thought I would wash up Beau real quick while the other two got dressed. I turn to help with Reed and Blue then turn back around to Beau and he had already pooped in the water and was squishing little "pebbles" between his fingers!
3. Mom must wake up earlier than everyone else and get ready before the kids get up. The boys were coming their hair and brushing teeth in my bathroom and I realized that I was in no condition to be seen in public!
4. Make sure you have enough gas to get to school. We finally get in the car and I notice that I don't have enough gas to make it across town ( Reed is attending a school by our new house which should be finished in December).

Okay, now for today. Everything went smoothly thanks to my practice run. When we got to Reed's classroom, all the kids were coloring. I showed Reed where his seat was and he told me he didn't want to color because it makes his arm "tired". Fine, just sit here then. And that is what he did the entire time.


A quick shout out to Amber! She watched Blue and Beau so I didn't have to take them with me. Thank you so much!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

ups and downs (part one)

So here is a list of the ups and downs of my life currently:
UP'S:
*clean UP- I have a husband who loves the outdoors, hunting for days at a time without a shower. Some believe he is the true Grizzly Adams, but on date nite he "cleans up" real nice. I'm a lucky girl!
*make UP- I am amazed at the imagination of my boys. I love to listen to them play together. Whether they are playing with the kitchen utensils or a cardboard box, they "make up" some pretty interesting scenarios.
*break UP- With this imagination comes determination which leads to stubbornness which leads to disagreements(putting it lightly) and I am often called on to referee. Most of the "break ups" are necessary because Blue is teasing Reed.
*give UP- When it comes to disagreements, I pick my battles. Sometimes I must "give up" a small battle in order to win the war.

DOWN's:
calm DOWN- This is usually directed to Reed. When Reed gets excited about anything he starts bouncing of the walls and acting like a mad dog (literally- rolling around and panting). It can be something small like getting a new kind of cereal or to something bigger like going to his recent kickboarding clinic.
get DOWN- This is ALWAYS directed to Blue. Get down, stop hanging from the light bulb in the floor lamp! Get down, you're not allowed to hang from the garage door as it is opening. Get down, I don'to want you to be tempted to cut the window screen again. All of these are true events.
quiet DOWN- This is usually directed to Beau. He has picked up this terrible habit of screaming at the top of his lungs whenever he wants or doesn't want something. He scream at home when he wants to come down the stairs (yes, he knows how to come down by himself but thinks I should be the one to carry him down). He screams in the car when he wants to watch Backyardigans or when he doesn't want to watch Backyardigans. Basically, he hates his car seat.

more ups and downs to come...

Monday, August 13, 2007

star wars


I have noticed that "age appropriate" toys change with every child you have. Reed, being the first, was only exposed to age appropriate material per manufacturer. For example: We first started with Sesame Street and he absolutely loved Elmo. Then came Blue's Clue's, again Reed totally loved "Here's the mail" song and even had a Blue's Clue's birthday party at two years old. Then Scooby Doo came into the picture. Another favorite. Reed had Scooby Doo pajamas, sheets and had perfected the "scooby-dooby-doo" howl. Next was Buzz Lightyear. He had so many Buzz lightyear toys (all of which were rewards for going pee in the potty a week at a time). About this time Blue was becoming mobile. And wanted to play with whatever Reed was playing with. So, Blue skips over the whole phase of Sesame Street and Blue's Clue's and jumps right into Buzz Lightyear and then adds his own favorites of Superman, Spiderman, and Batman. Still Buzz was his first action figure. Blue would walk around shooting anyone or anything (from the birds outside to Wayne Lamb during sacrament meeting) that got in his way with his "laser" on his forearm. Reed mastered potty training and moved on from buzz. Star Wars was next. I didn't think Reed would like Star Wars but boy was I wrong! That is all he has talked about for the last two years! Blue quickly followed suit and needed his own light saber (a blue on, of course). In fact, Blue could identify any character in Star Wars just by their voice before he even learned to speak himself. I'm not sure that we are ever going to get out of the Star Wars phase. Now Beau is mobile. He completely skipped over Sesame Street, Blue's Clue's and even Buzz Lightyear and jumped right into Star Wars. The kid is obsessed with light sabers! Luckily, as toy manufacturers keep upgrading their light sabers so do we but never getting rid of the old ones. We have your basic ones that are purple, red, blue and green (yes, we have all colors). Then they came out with Darth Maul's double sided light saber (yes, proud owners of this also). And our last light saber purchase was the light sabers that change from illuminating red to blue and make a whirring noise and a crash when you hit something or someone, this would be Beau's favorite. Anyway, back to my point. Beau loves to join in on the battles between "the force" and "the dark side" much to Reed and Blue's dismay. No wonder they are growing up so fast.

Friday, August 10, 2007

observations

Here are a few observations I have made lately about my children.
Reed: He is fascinated about shadows. He likes to move around outside and try to catch his shadow going the wrong way (which will never happen, of course). I realized how much he enjoyed watching his shadow when we were walking in the parking lot of Target. He walked right into the end of a pick up that was sorta sticking out of its space. He wasn't watching where he was going but at his shadow on the ground. He looked stunned and surprised. How dare that truck jump out and get him!
Blue: He will occasionally take a nap in the afternoon. When he sleeps there is no way of waking him up. You can shake him, drop him (not on purpose), or try to bribe him with no luck. Yesterday, we went through one of those car washes at the gas stations which sound sort of like a tornado. It scared the dickens out of Beau but Blue was asleep and it didn't even phase him. Unbelievable!
Beau: Being the youngest, Beau feels left out sometimes. But his large stature has come in handy. He often will sit on Reed or Blue when they are in the middle of playing. They try to push him off and he just lays/sits there. It is hilarious. Well the other day at the park, Beau was working on his bullying skills. He was pushing the swings a little and they would come back right at his face. This ticked him off so he gave the swing a good shove and what do you know... it came back in his face just a hard. Luckily he wasn't hurt too bad (only his pride). He got a taste of his own medicine.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

tribute to my mother


Have you ever read the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? Well, if you have then you know the redeeming qualities of my mom. For those of you not familiar with the story let my recap for you. It is a story of a mouse who is given a cookie. He asks for a glass of milk to go with it, then a straw for the milk, then a napkin. After eating the cookie, he moves on to the bathroom, where one things leads to another and the next thing you know he has gone through every room in house. Each task he starts reminds him of another he would like to do. In the end, the mouse winds up right where he started: in the kitchen with a cookie.
My mom is not one to sit on the couch and just relax. She has to always be on the go, with projects going on in every room of the house. For example: she can start out in the kitchen making bread (which she does very good, by the way), after starting she remembers she isn't wearing an apron so...
She goes into the adjacent laundry room to get an apron. She sees that Pierce's baseball uniform is done drying and remembers he has a game today so...
She takes the uniform into Pierce's room so he has it for his game later that day (she made sure all of her kids had clean uniforms for whatever activity we participated in), while she's in there she picks up a towel from the floor and...
Heads to the bathroom to hang up the towel. She remembers that she needs to clean the bathroom. After cleaning the hall bathroom, she then remembers that her bathroom needs to be cleaned also so...
She cleans her bathroom. She finds a button from her silky pink robe (I think all of up older children can remember this particular robe) and ...
Goes into her sewing room to get some thread so she can sew her button back on. While she is in her sewing room, she remembers that her granddaughter (take your pick of a granddaughter- I'm pretty sure she has made a dress for one occasion or another for all of her granddaughters) needs her dress sewn TODAY! No sweat. She pulls out her sewing machine and ...
Heads to the kitchen table. This is where all of her sewing gets done. While setting up, one of her dear sons walks in the door and looks famished. Without asking if they are hungry ...
She goes into the kitchen to whip them up a gourmet breakfast, lunch or snack (their wish is her command). While in the kitchen, she remembers she had started to make a batch of bread. By this time it has risen and is overflowing all over the counter. Nevertheless, her house is clean, her granddaughter's dress is finished, her son is fed, and her bread turns out beautifully!
Thanks for all you do for your family! I love you mom. Happy Birthday.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

what I learned today at church

1. You can do anything you want and still be reverent as long as your arms are folded. You can roll around on the floor, whistle, kick everything out of the bag, and turn around and stare at the people sitting behind us and still be reverent...as long as your arms are folded.

2. The winner of rock, paper, scissors, is not rock if the other person played scissors or paper if the other person played rock and so forth. The true winner is the first one who can bang is fist on the other person's hand, no matter what they're playing.

the art of boardkicking




The day had finally come! Reed is taking karate and yesterday he went to a clinic for boardkicking. He was bouncing off the walls all week long. He was so excited to get his own board to use at home. Colby took him and Blue went with them, of course. Blue can't wait to be four because then he can take karate (actually taekwondo)also. We learned there are two aproaches to boardbreaking. First:


concentration and discipline. That is what Reed is all about. As you can see his hands are protecting his face (they call that the fighter stance). Perfect form requires a side kick in the middle of the board causing it to break in half. Reed performs to perfection. He is the next karate kid.
Then second approach is:


all out warfare. Blue is not so much into concentration and discipline. He figures if he just starts kicking his legs and swinging his arms the board is going to break eventually. An effective approach also. Colby is going to guide him in a different direction... cage fighting.