Monday, November 23, 2009

All [He] Wants for Christmas...

Atticus tells me that he wants a flame thrower for Christmas. (HA! In your dreams, son.)

But that's his answer every time I ask.

Anyone have any idea how I can give him a "flame thrower" without actually giving him a flame thrower?

Be creative. Think outside the normal parameters. I'm talking about the kind of thing my dad would come up with: a miniature three-legged stool glued inside a cup (a stool sample); a wooden circle with "TUIT" printed on it (an excuse breaker, as in "as soon as I get around to it I'll do _____").

Remember, this is a family friendly blog, so keep it clean.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Find me here!

Get it? Find me? Oh never mind. Go read my first Guest Blogger post (a repost of something I wrote a while back) here. I feel practically like a celebrity! (Thank you, Gerb, for the invitation.)

Monday, November 02, 2009

My Favorite Spooks

The Buzzy Bee (J Boo)

The Executioner (Sweet Boy), The Tall Man (Nephew M), and The Knight (Mr. Wiggle Brows)

The Scarecrow (Atticus)

The Mystery Woman


Kisses from Little "Bro" Peep (my brother Klay)

Little Bro Peep found his sheep (nephew D)

Sweet Boy and Mr. Wiggle Brows as a girls

And guess what J Boo ate for breakfast this morning?

Notice the chocolate clear down on the waist band of the diaper.
(It was under her arms, too.)
She bathed herself in chocolate, after which I bathed her in soap and water.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


In the texture on my kitchen ceiling, right above my sink, there is a Wallace and Grommit type sheep head. I see it every night after I use my asthma inhaler while I'm rinsing my throat and mouth. It's sticking its tongue out at me. I think it's making fun of the way I gargle. (You would too, if you had to see me gargle.)

Sunday, October 04, 2009

And miles to go before I sleep

This was my day today:

*Up at 7:50am to take care of Princess J Boo, who was yelling, "Hey!!" and "Mommy!" from her crib (which is still in our room).

*Started laundry.


*Vacuumed the floors.

*Started listening to conference (all radios in the house are turned on LOUD so you can hear it wherever you are, whatever you are doing).

*Mopped floors.

*Cleaned nasty spiderwebs (and spiders) off of cement forms for window wells while my little (or, rather, younger) brother helped finish digging out the first window well that we started together a few weeks ago.

*Had to stop to take J Boo on a walk during the morning session of conference. Missed a couple of talks, but what can you do when an 18-month-old must go exploring that puddle on the sidewalk down the street? She found a lovely branch with leaves on it to take back to Daddy.

*Changed laundry.

*Resumed digging work on the two other window wells while listening to conference.

*Smacked myself in the cheek with a pry bar while digging out small boulders (damn rocks). It hurt.

*Got slap happy because my body was tired from the digging and my brother kept making silly jokes or singing chain gang songs. Surprised to learn from little brother that my dad sings songs while working.

*Finished up the third window well just after the afternoon session finished.

*Finally had a chance to eat something (skipped lunch to keep digging).

*Got in the shower and cleaned myself up enough to be presentable.

*Loaded kids in the car to head over to my mom's.

*All the girls (and kids) went out for pizza while the priesthood holders went to their meeting.

*On the way home, stopped to pick up prescriptions. Wondered how much we spend a year on prescriptions? Decided I don't really want to know.

*Got home to a disaster in my kitchen.

*Sent boys to go get pajamas.

*Chatted with my sister-in-law (who came to hang out with me) while I cleaned up the kitchen.

*Gave J Boo a bath (because she had bathed herself with ice cream twice)

*Asked boys AGAIN to please get pajamas on.

*Read stories to J Boo while chatting with sister-in-law.

*Tried to put J Boo down, but she freaked out because she wanted the milk that she insisted not 2 minutes previously that she did not want.

*Gave J Boo milk and read more books to her.

*Told Sweet Boy and Mr. Wiggle Brows that they absolutely MUST have pajamas on NOW!!!

*Walked SIL out to her car and said "hi" to my just-older brother.

*Said "hi" to Phil and Atticus as they, too, arrived.

*Handed J Boo to Phil when we got inside.

*Rerouted Atticus away from siblings and towards his room with orders to get ready for bed.

*Brushed Mr. Wiggle Brows teeth.

*Brushed Sweet Boy's teeth.

*Read story to Mr. Wiggle Brows and Sweet Boy (Bedtime for Francis).

*Was asked by Mr. Wiggle Brows, "Mom, when do you go to bed?" Answered, "Not until my jobs are done."
"When is that?"
"Pretty late, son."
"When does Daddy go to bed?"
"Whenever he wants to."
Thought of the unfairness of this statement, but remembered some of the talks today about accepting our trials willingly and cheerfully. Must try to be better.

*Returned to the kitchen to assemble soup for the crockpot for Sunday dinner with my family.

*Also made some desserts.

*Cleaned kitchen again. (It never ends! It never ends that way too!)

*Picked up living room for the umpteenth time.

*More laundry.

*Tried to start dishwasher but realized that when Phil fixed the outlet under the sink today, he made it so there is no power.

*Tracked down extension cord downstairs (in itself is a miracle if you've seen my basement and the amount of boxes Phil has with his stuff in them), got dishwasher plugged in and ready to go.

*Sat down to look at family photos that my brother Nihao took two Sundays ago.

*Decided to write this post.

*Still need to wash up and get myself in bed. It's almost 1:30am.

When does the mom get to go to bed?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Eh? Whatcha say, Sonny?

On Friday I went to a most delightful lunch with blog friends to celebrate suedonym's birthday. While in line to order my food, I was chatting with Geo. I noticed that one of the female servers there was quite pretty--one of those natural beauties who would look great in any situation. I pointed her out to Geo, commenting on how lovely I thought she was. Geo agreed, saying, and I quote:

"Yes, she looks like a star from a foreign film."

I didn't hear the "f" in "foreign," and I didn't hear a bisyllabic word. I heard a monosyllabic word beginning with "p" and rhyming with "corn."

I was understandably shocked, which made me start to laugh. But I lost it completely when Geo said, "I'm trying to think which movie it was."

Geo was confused. Why was I so entertained? Then I said, "Geo! I had no idea you were into [p]--- films!"

"NO, Julie! That's not what I said! I said 'For-eign films,' not [p]--- films!"

Poor Geo. I can be such a tease, and she put up with me so well. I may not ever let her live it down.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Grow Old Along with Me

When I was about the same age Atticus is now, Grandma B, my maternal grandmother, came to stay with us. She had been living on her own in an apartment close by, but it became obvious that she could no longer be left alone. Mom & Dad moved her in with us. She shared my room. (I had the only other bedroom on the main floor, I had a bunkbed, and I was right down the hall from my parents--it was a no brainer to give her the bottom bunk.)

At first, things went well. Grandma did weird things on occasion, but Mom was able to handle the strange stuff. Grandma liked to work and stay busy, so that's what she did. Unfortunately for me, I came home one day from a friend's house to find my posters torn off the walls and Grandma going persistently through my underwear drawer.

"Grandma! What are you doing?" I asked.

"You're parents told me to pack up your room because you're moving out. And I cannot believe what a messy girl you are!" she answered, obviously disgusted.

I was devastated.

What girl at that age wants anyone, especially her grandmother, going through her personal things? But Grandma was convinced that Mom & Dad had told her to move me out, so that's what she was going to do. She played favorites, and for some mysterious reason I was not on her golden list, so I knew no amount of explanation on my behalf was going to change her mind.

That's how it came to be that I was "roomless" for quite some time. Mom & Dad set up a bed for me in the basement family room, and they cleared out a storage closet for me, but there was no privacy. Even the storage closet door had a metal screen in it, so changing clothes was difficult to do with any measure of privacy. I had four older brothers and one younger, and only two of the five were kind enough to allow me the courtesy of dressing without harassment. It's an awkward age as it is. Having three brothers coming in and threatening to watch you dress does not build confidence.

Is it any wonder, then, that when my other grandma, Grandma A., moved in with us my Senior year that I was more than a little apprehensive? Granted, I was four years older then, and I had my own room in the basement (with a locking door) that I didn't have to share, but the damage was done. I was nervous to be around her. I didn't like being left alone with her, and I hated having to go on walks with her. My "boyfriend" at the time couldn't understand why I was so negative. She was my grandma, after all! But he didn't understand: the woman who thought the oranges on the table were sleeping (because they hadn't moved for so long) was not the grandma I knew and loved. I couldn't risk being vulnerable: what if she "moved me out" like Grandma B. had done?

My grandmothers have both died long since (I was 15 when Grandma B died and 26 when Grandma A died). I can look back on my experiences with more understanding for them and for myself. They couldn't help what they were doing, and I don't believe they would have knowingly hurt me. Will they forgive me for being immature and insensitive? I think so.

My MIL, Gert, has Alzheimer's and is in a care facility now. Recently, we went to visit her. I was nervous. What if all my past feelings came rushing back? What if I froze and couldn't think of what to say to her? Thankfully, I was fine. I can still "see" the real Gert, even if only for a few moments here and there. She may not know who I am for sure, but I'm okay with that. I can honor her, love her, and just be with her without fear.

Because of my experiences with my grandmothers, I recognized the nervousness in my sons as we walked into the center. I worried about how they would react. I needn't have worried. Somehow, they understood what my younger self did not. They were patient, loving, and kind. I think that when I am old and senile, I will be grateful to have them taking care of me.

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith 'A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!'

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Some Family Firsts

J Boo had her first tantrum (of many). She's entering into the terrible two's early, following the family pattern. Lovely. It's a good thing she's so dang cute.

Mr. Wiggle Brows started Kindergarten. No, I didn't cry, and neither did he. Good times are had every day.

Sweet Boy got his first retainer, although he hasn't had braces yet. Except for the first two, his baby teeth on the bottom have had to be pulled early by the dentist to make room for the permanent teeth. I am not looking forward to the orthodontic experience with him.

Atticus got his braces off. Hooray and hallelujah!! I know I'm the mom and all, but I think he's a pretty handsome kid.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Uncanny Resemblance

And now a game of who's who...

Friday, August 07, 2009

Things I've Heard at My House Lately

These are the nice ones. I won't describe the one where Atticus called Phil a Nazi. (I kid you not.)


While going through Atticus' shirts to see what still fits, he informed me that he would not be wearing the nice, hand-me-down sports T-shirts because he's not familiar with the teams.

"So?" I said.

"People ask me who the teams are and I don't know enough about sports to tell them." (spoken with that "duh" tone of voice that only a teenage son uses)


With an exasperated sigh, he replied, "Moooom, you might as well tattoo 'I don't get out much' on my forehead!" He used gestures and everything. I thought I was going to wet myself from laughing so hard. I know, you had to be there, but truly, it was funny.


I took Sweet Boy and Mr. Wiggle Brows on errands yesterday, one of which included the office supply store. Mr. Wiggle Brows found several things of interest, but his favorites, the two that inspired a near melt down, were a packing tape dispenser and.......duct tape.

"But I want my OWN duct tape! I don't want to use yours. I NEED it."

Um, dude, you're not even in Kindergarten yet. What the hell do you need duct tape and a tape gun for?


J Boo says lots of things now, and can get anything she wants from her Daddy by just saying "Thank you!" but she captivated us completely last night when we realized she was singing "Mahna Mahna." Yeah, that one. It was awesome. (That's for you, ~j.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

You'll Be Stone Dead in a Moment

Today I played a rhyming game with Mr. Wiggle Brows while we were running errands. I was asking him for words that rhymed with "car." We listed several, then I asked him what was the word for the things you see in the sky at night. Once he figured out the word I was after, he said:

"I like looking at the stars at night. Sometimes, after I check to make sure you and Dad are not dead, I go look out my window at the stars."

Should I get him a little hand mirror?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Small Miracles

A few weeks ago, we had Phil's former girlfriend, Heather, and her beautiful daughter over for dinner. My dear friendsister, Katie, asked, "Wasn't that really awkward for you?"

She has a point. Heather sent Phil a "Dear John" letter while Phil was on his mission. I think it was hard on Phil, but they remained friends. When I finally came into the picture, I thought it was a bit odd that they would still want to spend time together. My mom thought it even stranger. But I accepted it. After all, she was married, and I had some guy friends too, though I wasn't as close to them as Phil was to Heather.

We kept in touch with Heather off and on for a while. She was kind enough to invite me to social events, which I appreciated, even though I couldn't always attend. She was my nurse when Sweet Boy was born and was one of the first to hold him. It was comforting to have her with me in the hospital--not at all as weird as I thought it might be. She always was a little intimidating to me: tall, beautiful, and confident. (And her singing voice is gorgeous.) Still, I liked her, though our friendship was maintained more through Phil. Then she moved to Nevada and we lost track of one another.

After some life shaking events, I came to understand Phil's relationship with Heather a little better. Suddenly, so many things became clear to me. I had an all new appreciation for Heather and felt the kind of connection with her that comes through shared experiences. I wanted to reconnect, to talk to her again, but I didn't know how that would happen.

Then I got more involved in Facebook. Imagine my delight when Heather sent me a friend request! We began to chat and send messages back and forth. When we arranged a time for her to come visit us with her daughter, I was thrilled. And I wasn't disappointed: we had a wonderful evening. She took as much delight in my children as I do (or at least she pretended to). I was sad to see her go but grateful to know that we have reconnected.


At the end of April, I went to Women's Conference at BYU. I knew that one of my aunts and her daughters, some of whom I haven't seen for a very long time, would be there. I knew that the chances of running into them were pretty small, but I still whispered one of those "wishing" type prayers that I might run into them.

You can imagine my joy when I discovered them Thursday morning sitting two rows behind me in the Instant Choir rehearsal! I could hardly believe it! We embraced, we visited, we had our pictures taken together, and I figured that would be it until I saw them at a family get-together that was planned for Friday night. I hoped I'd see them again during the two-day conference, but decided one small miracle was all I would hope for. Not so! They were sitting about 5 rows down from me during the closing session on Friday! It was amazing.


Those chance miracle meetings were not the only ones I experienced at Women't Conference. There was one woman I had been thinking about several days before the conference that I haven't seen in a few years. We used to live in the same ward about 11 years ago, and the only time I ever see Shauna is at Women's Conference. But I wasn't planning to sit in the section where all my friends from that area usually sit. I sent a wishful thought heavenward that I'd see her there but didn't expect anything, until I saw her walk right past me in one of the classes I decided to attend. I got to talk to her for a few minutes and share with her some memories I have of her doing sweet things with her children. I don't know why Heavenly Father allowed me to "run into" Shauna there, whether it was for my benefit or hers, but I felt loved at that moment.

Directly after that class, while waiting for the next class to start, I decided to make a pit stop at the restroom. While waiting in the line, I saw a woman come out of one of the stalls, and I nearly passed out from shock! "Leisa?" She turned, and it was indeed Leisa, one of my dear, dear friends from high school who ended up marrying one of my cousins. I hadn't seen her in probably 15 years or so, and we run into each other in a small bathroom in the Wilkinson Center with 30 other women waiting in line? Not a coincidence.

It was also no coincidence to find out we were both going to the same class that hour. She was in need of some direction for a difficult situation that I ended up having personal experience with. I firmly believe that the Lord put us in one another's paths so that I could ease some of her pain. (At least, I hope I did. I tried to.)


Thinking back on these interactions with dear friends and family, I realize even more how much God loves each of us. We are His daughters. He knows exactly what we need, and even sometimes gives us things that we really want. Logically, I should never have run into Leisa, Shauna, or my cousins and aunt. Social norms tell me that I shouldn't be friends with my husband's former girlfriend. God knows better for me: he gave me these small miracles because he loves me and knows what I need. He has always known, even if I haven't.

Because I would SO love one of these...

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

I can totally see Mr. Wiggle Brows and J Boo riding in the back and loving it. And I wouldn't have to hook up a bike trailer! If you, too, want a chance to win one, click on the link and follow the directions.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

You know you're tired when... find yourself falling asleep during choir practice, and you are the accompanist.

Oh yes, I did.

And I was playing parts at the time.

At least no one caught me.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Making Mistakes

I don't do Easter baskets.

I know, I know--I'm robbing my children of a great American {*ahem* pagan *ahem*} tradition, not to mention a sugar high. (I already got the look of shock from Pflower this morning.) I just don't want my children thinking that Easter is bunnies, eggs, and candy. I want them to associate Easter with the amazing gift of the Atonement. I want them to know that Jesus lived, died, and was resurrected for them.

A few weeks ago, Sweet Boy called home from school. He had been there less than an hour, so when I saw "P-- School District" on the Caller ID, my heart did a giant leap into my throat.

SB: {teary voice} "Mom?"

Me: "Sweet Boy! Are you okay? What happened?"

SB: "My backpack is gone!"

Me: "Gone? What do you mean? Was it stolen?"

SB: "I don't know! I thought I had it on my back--it felt like it was there on my back--but when I got to school and went to take it off, it was just gone! I looked everywhere, but it's not there. And I won't have a lunch today because my lunchbox was in there too!" {breaks down into tears}

Me: "Oh, Sweet Boy! It's okay. You won't go without lunch because I'll bring you another one. It will be okay--we'll find your backpack. But in the meantime, I'll make sure you have lunch today."

SB: {sniffing loudly} "Okay. Thanks, Mom."

I hung up the phone and got J Boo and Mr. Wiggle Brows loaded in the car to do the drop-off at preschool. I told Phil what happened, and he offered to drive by the school on his way to work and see if he could see the backpack outside. I planned to do the same on the way back from my drop-off duties. Neither of us saw anything.

When I returned home, the thought came to me to check Sweet Boy's room before starting a 2nd lunch for him. Lo and behold, there was the backpack, hanging on the hook where he keeps it in his room, lunchbox and homework present. What a relief! Sweet Boy was so happy to see his backpack (and even happier to see his lunch). He laughed when I told him where it was and was a good sport when his classmates teased him. Happy day for Sweet Boy, happy day for mom.

Later that evening, as Phil and I were getting ready for bed, Phil asked THE QUESTION.

"So, what do you think Sweet Boy learned from this experience so that it won't happen again?"

(Can I tell you how much I detest THE QUESTION? It always feels so patronizing. When I goof up, I don't really want to verbally rehash the painful lesson learned in order to "prove" that I learned something. And the kids don't like it either. Some lessons are meant to be learned privately.)

Here was my response: "He learned that his mother loves him enough to make him another lunch if his gets lost so he won't go hungry to school. He learned that it's okay to make mistakes, and it's good to be able to laugh at yourself when you do."

It stopped Phil dead in his tracks.

And it got me thinking about making mistakes.

Not long after the backpack incident, Sweet Boy was scheduled to take part in a violin recital. He was nervous. When we got there that night, I could see him getting more and more agitated. He got teary and told me, "What if I make a mistake? I'll be so embarrassed, and then I'll burst into tears, and I'll be even more embarrassed! It will be just like the fiddle contest!"

The recital started, and I did my best to help ease Sweet Boy's fears. There were several performers before it would be his turn, and it worked out great. Every single performer made some kind of mistake. I'm sure the people around me who could hear my whispers were annoyed to have me pointing out the mistakes to my little boy, but I needed him to see that everyone makes mistakes, and it's not the end of the world if they do. He began to relax a little.

Then Lorien's oldest son got up to play his pieces. He sounded great! But part way through one of his songs, he forgot where he was and had to stop completely. His mind went blank, and he could not remember where he was in the music.

"Whoops, I forgot where I was," he grinned, sheepishly. Then he picked up his bow, found a different starting place, and finished the song.

I leaned over to Sweet Boy and said, "See, C-- goofed up big time. Did you notice how he responded? He just said, 'Whoops,' and started over. Maybe, if you make a mistake, you could say, 'Oh poop!'" He started to giggle. (I had to play to that potty humor streak that boys have.)

"Or maybe you could say, 'Oh poop nuggets!'" That got him laughing even harder. He was no longer near tears, and he got up and played his best. No one noticed his goofs, and he didn't get embarrassed, and he didn't cry.

Not long after that, we attended the Draper Temple dedication. During the program, President Monson made a mistake in his conducting and announced a song from the choir that they had already sung. President Uchdorf stopped him, he corrected the error with a bit of humor, and went on. I leaned over to Sweet Boy and said, "See? Even the prophet makes mistakes sometimes." He smiled.

And I prayed silently in my heart that he would remember these mistakes--the ones he made, and the ones others made. I prayed that he would remember that making a mistake does not mean the end of the world. Mistakes can be handled with humor and grace. Making mistakes is an opportunity to learn, grow, and repent.


So I don't do Easter baskets. A mistake? I don't think so. Because my children will know that, because of the great and powerful Atonement, they can make mistakes and still return to live with Heavenly Father. Because of their relationship with their Savior, mistakes can be rectified. Because of the Savior's gift of blood, sweat, death, and then life, they, too, will live again, even if they have made mistakes. And no amount of plastic eggs, chocolate rabbits, or jelly beans will teach them that.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fashion Fil, Part 2

Remember this post? Well, Phil's coworkers went one step further. They have a "Name Phil's Style" contest going on--written up on the side of Phil's filing cabinet.


Thursday, March 05, 2009

Booger Air

I was talking with Mr. Wiggle Brows this morning about wind. This is what he told me:

"When the wind goes in through your mouth, it's still wind. But when it goes in through your nose, it turns into booger air."

I think I actually blew some booger air onto my shirt from laughing so hard.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Just a Flesh Wound

As requested, here are some "after" pictures:

That steri strip is driving me bonkers!

But not as much as the rash from the dressing adhesive. This is the biggest patch of it (about as long as my hand and three fingers wide):

I told them I had a tape allergy. (And no, that is not boobage showing. It's my left shoulder, thankyouverymuch.)

On a tangent, here is what Sweet Boy and Too (Mr. Wiggle Brows) were doing tonight with a blanket.

Upon emerging from the cocoon, I asked Too (Mr. Wiggle Brows) if he was now a butterfly.

"No. I'm a biskeeto!"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Falling among Cutthroats

Notice my lovely, scar-free neck:

(Yes, I know--there are wrinkles and a double chin.) Sadly, today is the last day that my neck will ever look this way again. Tomorrow I fall among cutthroats to have part (or possibly all) of my thyroid removed. (See what a haute nodule will get you?)

I'm not sure how I feel about the whole thing. The only other surgery I've ever had was a C-section, which really wasn't that bad. I wonder how many jokes I can make about the surgery and the resulting scar?

On a lighter note, Phil has requested that I use nicknames for the kids instead of just initials. You might have noticed them on the sidebar. I'm still toying with a couple of them, but Atticus is definitely a keeper. Sweet Boy could also be Lego Lover. Too might be too confusing, but I haven't come up with an alternative. And I may shorten J Boo to just Boo. Who knows?

I'm sure the anesthesia tomorrow and the subsequent pain meds should enhance my creativity.

Friday, February 06, 2009

I Believe in Autonomy

This is what T-- chose to wear today.

I know I'm fashion challenged, but I had hoped my children would have slightly better fashion sense. Then again, I'm not this bad.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Giving Pause

A couple of Sundays ago, T-- decided to bring Tootie Fruities (or "Fruitie Tooties," as he calls them) to church for his "snack." In the middle of sacrament meeting, T-- started rubbing one of the cereal pieces all over his face and then tried to rub one on my face as well. I couldn't figure out what he was trying to do. Then he leaned up to my ear and whispered, "Smew my face, Mom!" Um, what? He repeated it. Ohhhh...SMELL my face. Ah. Got it. "Okay," I said, still a bit confused, and sniffed his cheek. "Does it smew wike Fruitie Tooties?" And, lo and behold, it did! Do they make Tootie Fruitie cologne for 5-year-old boys? Because T-- would be all over it.

Last night, about half an hour after A-- was supposed to be in bed, he comes running out of his room, all excited. "MOM! MOM! LOOK!!!! I solved it!" He had a Rubik's cube, completely solved. He'd been reading a book that Phil gave him on how to solve the cube (without taking it apart, which is how I always solved them) and he got it! I was so impressed! I never could figure those things out. Even more proof that A-- is waaaaay too smart for his own good (or, rather, for my own sanity). What a great kid.

During one of his violin lessons a few years ago, S-- came across a fermata. He got all excited and said, "Oh! I know what that is!! It's a one-eyed penguin!" To that point, I'd never really seen his teacher laugh much (she's very shy), but she was nearly weeping with mirth that day. It made my whole week. And every time I see a fermata, I will think of S-- and his sense of humor.

All these things remind me that I need to pause occasionally and just enjoy my children for who they are, to really live in the moment and love what is happening now, rather than hope for better times to come. Even if these things aren't "funny" to someone else, they made me laugh. I need to do that more often.

On that note, what better person to remind us to embrace the moment than Nie Nie? Go bid on some sweet stuff in preparation for the benefit concert for her family.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Must Be Genetic Part 2

I had to look back in my archives to make sure I hadn't already told these stories in this post. Fortunately, they weren't there, so we're clear.

Several years back, my mother's side of the family had a reunion in Star Valley, Wyoming, where my grandparents raised all of their children. My Uncle Lloyd was, at the time, still running the ranch. My mom decided she wanted to take some of her grandchildren out for a tour of the ranch. While walking along, pointing out the sites, Mom said, "See those animals over there? Those are boy cows. You call them bulls. Now, see these things on the ground? These are called little bullsh!ts."

When my sister was about 3 years old, Dad overheard her expressing her frustrations over a broken doll thus: "Hells bells, Matilda! Can't you fix this?"

Dad asked, "Now where in the world did she learn that kind of language, Leah?"

Mom was curiously silent as she washed up the dishes....

And one of my own, that I know I've told many of you already:

When A-- was about 2 or so, Phil was called to be a Ward Clerk in our church. He needed to be set apart, which they wanted to do in a very tiny office in the building. After our church meetings ended, we went to the designated room. Phil and the two men who were assigned to set him apart took their places. I sat on a chair, holding A-- in my lap. During the middle of the process, right when things were quiet, A-- dropped his sippy cup. Imagine my horror when he said, "THHHit! Thit, thit, thit!" (He had a lisp.)

I quickly revised my at-home vocabulary. But A-- had (still does) a long memory for things we don't want him to recall, and the next time I dropped something at home and said "shoot," A-- piped up and said, "Mommy, you uthed to thay thit! But now you thay thoot!" Yes, thank you, son, for remembering my faults and shortcomings. Lovely.

And now you know the rest of the story...or at least parts of it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Must Be Genetic

I took my mom shopping for a couple of hours today. While in the car, she asked if she had ever told me the milking story about her grandparents. It wasn't one I could recall, so I asked her to repeat it.

Not long after her grandparents were married, they were out in the barn. Feisty little Grandma had just finished milking the cow when the cow kicked the bucket over and spilled all the milk. She was pretty upset and said, "Why, you dirty bit@#!"

Grandpa, who was very mild-mannered and kind, replied, "Now there, Hattie, I thought you knew the difference between a cow and a dog!"

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Putting the Drag in Dragon

T-- got a Christmas gift from his friend. It was one of those fizzy egg things that dissolved to reveal a little toy dragon. T-- was so excited! We got the warm water ready in a bowl and dropped the egg in. The fizzing brought excitement (on T--'s part) but also added the smell of cheap soap to the air. Ugh.

Eventually, the dragon was revealed. I rinsed off the nasty soap stuff and started putting the wings and tail on. As I looked at the dragon legs, I said, "Wait a minute. They put a back leg on as a front leg. This can't possibly be right!"

Then I took another look. And another. And I suddenly realized that I was holding Puff the effeminate dragon. Yes, our dragon was a drag queen.