Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Choir Concert

Gavin and some of his friends

My camera batteries went dead during this performance so I wasn't able to get very much of it. There is a little blurp of Gavin singing one of his favorite songs. This was the first year the choir director had his concert choir sing the "Hallelujah Chorus" and I must say, I was very impressed by those young kids. Again, it's too bad those batteries went dead! (Oh, and in case you might be wondering, Gavin sings Tenor, for now).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Orchestra Concert

Allie had her first orchestra concert last Friday. (Gavin also had a choir performance at the University Mall, but I didn't remember to bring the camera...he felt neglected). We were pleasantly surprised at the ability of these 7th graders who hadn't ever picked up an instrument (for the most part) until just a few months ago. "Kudos" to the teacher.

The Ugliest Sweater Award

I was a "mother-helper" in Allie's english class last week. Funny how it came about actually...I volunteered while under the influence of a sleeping pill and the next morning I couldn't recall a thing about it. I was taken by complete surprise when the teacher replied to my unknown email and thanked me for my willingness to help! (Needless to say, I have asked Richard to keep all electronics and phones away from me after I take my pill at night to avoid any more involuntary acts of service). After I realized I had said I would help, I discovered that my assignment involved dressing up like an old person, an "Elder" from the book, The Giver. I was to wear all black and pull my hair up into a bun.

I did the best I could considering I wasn't really in the mood to do it all. I threw on some jeans, a black shirt and my old grayish/brown Finnish sweater (which is about four sizes to big these days). I stretched my short hair into a stub of a ponytail and showed up for duty. When I got there, all the other mothers were wearing black skirts and the mother I was to sit next to had done herself up all model-like so the contrast between the two of us was quite glaring. As I sat there talking to the pretty mom, Allison came in with her class. When she saw me she smiled, but as soon as she looked at my costume, her smile fell off her face.

"Mom, WHY did you wear that UGLY sweater?!"

"I'm supposed to look old"

"Yeah, but that is the ugliest sweater!" At this point her friend scolded her for being mean to her mother. The next five minutes went by as the other classes gathered in and settled down. And as if twice wasn't enough, Allison again embarrassingly asked me why I wore the ugliest sweater I owned. I just laughed because I knew just how pretty I didn't look.

I was completely surprised when we were all done and Allison wanted me to walk back with her to her classroom...HAND IN HAND with the Ugly Sweater Wearer!
(By the way: I really like my Finnish sweater!)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ahhh...tis the Season!

Is it considered child abuse when you send your son to football practice and he continually comes home with blue-ribbon bruises?

Allie and Smokey taken right after soccer practice. She was trying to get a profile photo she liked for her new Facebook account.

This is the only picture I got of "Halloween" and it has nothing to do with the holiday. It was wacky wear day at school and this is what the kids came up with. Slippers on Gavin and Moose socks on Allie. I think they are the ugliest socks I've ever seen and I can't figure out how they ended up in her closet.

I love this time of year, minus the Halloween part. (I know, I know...what a party-pooper I am). This year the kids had friends over for night games and then we had our annual Dinner party with the Graves. We had different kinds of pasta with salad and a fabulous dessert. The kids love this tradition and this year it was made so much simpler. We didn't dress up until after they had ordered their mystery food and then while the parents prepared the meal, the kids went downstairs and dressed for dinner. With make-up and three boxes of dress-ups to choose from, it was fun to see what they came up with. Allie ended up in a hoop skirt complete with a fancy dress and every ounce of her face caked in make-up. Meanwhile, Gavin put a cloak with a hood on and called it good. If only I had thought of taking the camera...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Bain of My Existence

It's been awhile since I went upstairs to the kids' rooms and overhauled them in the sort of way that only their mother can do. After a grueling day of cleaning, I am taking issue with a couple of things:

1. Airsoft BB's (Have you ever kneeled on one? Think Legos... They are all over our yard, bright green, white, red, like large plastic fertilizer pellets that never melt away. When Gavin ran out of them during his last airsoft war, he decided to just pick up the ones lying on his bedroom floor to recollect. In one pick-up he hauled off quite a pile and that was before he checked under the bed or in the corners. I found those while I was vaccuuming - after he'd said it had already been done!)

2. Perler Beads (Those colorful plastic beads you make designs with and then melt together. I had a whole refrigerator covered with designs made into magnets at one time. Usually the designs get made and then sit around Allie's bedroom waiting to be ironed. I'm constantly setting them aside to get dinner ready or they have to be carefully moved off her bed and onto the dressers so she can sleep at night. While I was vaccuuming her room the other day, I thought I saw something colorful in the heat vent. Amongst bobby pins, a Scooby-Doo Bandaid, pistachio shells, yarn and who knows what else - I didn't inspect further - I found handful after handful and I still didn't get all of them.)

And, of course, these things don't like to be sucked up by the vaccuum hose. I try every time only to end up picking them up by hand. Is this something I'll miss when they grow up? I think NOT!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Gavin's Bee Sting

Gavin got stung this weekend while we were in Logan fishing at the Shaws. He's just like his sister and dad and blows up like a balloon when he gets stung. Poor kid!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010


The act of being SPONTANEOUS.
Spontaneous: Arising from a momentary impulse; not apparantly contrived or manipulated.
Without any encouragement from anyone else in the family, Richard woke up Thursday morning with a plan to go to Logan for the weekend. No real reason to go, just to get out of town. So, yesterday, without any previous planning, we left the funeral we were attending, went home and changed our clothes. The kids made sure to grab their bare essentials and we were able to fit everything we needed in a large tote. (I didn't bring makeup or anything!) In 15 minutes or less we were loaded in the truck and ready to set out. I am so glad Andrew and DeAnna were okay with us just "dropping in" on them like this.

Highlights from the Weekend:

The Shaw's farm drops right down onto the bank of the channel that runs passed their property. It was perfect for them to just run down the hill and fish for a bit, while D and I stayed in with Allison and watched a movie. The next day, we went outside and watched them fish while laying on the grass in the shade of the house. The boys all caught carp and catfish out of the channel and had a great time.

The next day, they took the local farmers up on their requests and went to thin out Rock Chucks from the nearby fields. This was a first for Gavin and he definately scored on his first try. He won the trophy for the largest beast! (shot right in the head).

We also spent time eating. We had Sushi the first night and then ate at the Texas Roadhouse for lunch the next day. The Texas Roadhouse was good, but we are still in awe over the flavor and quality of that sushi!!! It was fabulous. We had about 8 or 9 rolls to share amongst ourselves and those not already on the brave ending of eating raw fish and joined the club of "True Sushi Lovers". This place was SOOOO good! Nice therapy, if I might say so myself.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Dream Moves On

Gavin has been drawing up Go-Cart designs for the past month. He and his buddy have it all worked out and they got started last week. Here's what they have done so far.

Step 1: Show your mother the drawings so she will smile and think you are a cute and silly kid, but not really expect anything to come of that nice sketch of a go-cart.

Step 2: Wait a few weeks until mom has almost forgotten about the go-cart plan and call her from a strange friend's cell phone to let her know you are not coming home from school. You have very important business to attend to at Ole' Widower Honey's house (okay, his name is just Brother Honey), but he's expecting them to arrive for their scheduled time.

Step 3: Make an appointment to go back to Honey's house and go through his collection of old metal junk in his shop out back. At the same time, have your other friends contacting their father who owns a mechanic shop and see if you can spend some time down there before the week is out.

Step 4: After you have found the perfect project for scrap metal, realize that you don't want to hurt Bro. Honey's feelings and instead of scrapping the old motor bike you found in his garage, you decide to "practice" on this one before you get into the actual building of the go-carts.

Step 5: First try to talk your father into letting you store the soon-to-be-fabulous-addition-to-the-garage-toys in your back yard. That will fail miserably. Try tactic two: Call your friend who has nothing to do with this plan. Invite him to join the team of mechanics and share the glory of triumph when it runs and moves at the same time. Oh, and if he says he's interested be sure to have him store the junk at his house.

Step 6: Go pick up Yamaha and bring back to the garage. You know your dad has tools you can use. Once it's cleaned up, you can move it the newest member's house.

Step 7: The bike must be cleaned. You'll need four shirts of various sizes out of Gavin's closet to cover your good clothes with his good clothes. He doesn't mind sharing, he knows his mom would never care about grease on good shirts. She's real good and turning things into rags!

Step 8: Tell your sister you'd like her to make some lemonade for the gang. They're getting pretty thirsty with all this work.

Step 9: Gather the tools and start scraping decades of dirt from the frame of the bike. Be sure to use mom's butter knives on the real hard to get grunge. And go ahead with using her favorite food container (you know, the one that gets used whenever there's a meal to be brought to someone else or a treat brought to a function) as a bucket for greasy, grimy, used to be white rags.

Step 10: Be proud. You are on your way to freedom from oppression and on a journey to independence. This project is the gateway between boyhood and manliness. And hopefully as a man, you won't think your mother's butter knife will be your best tool option next time!

Wednesday's Word: Grundle

GRUNDLE: A fine word used when one wants to indicate an excessive amount. It gives the listener or reader a beautiful depiction of what "a lot" might look like. In a sentence: Wow, you have a grundle of cards in your hand. That grundle looks as if it might win you the game. Oh, my. You won. If it weren't for that grundle, you'd have lost for sure.

Use it in a sentence...go it. You know you want to.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

I had to say a few words in Sacrament Meeting today. (I say "few" because I was the last speaker of 8 women. Do you think I had any time left to speak? I had about -4 minutes when it was my turn which was perfectly okay with me). The couselor in our bishopric asked all the former RS presidents of the 4th ward to talk about service and then wanted to end with the current pres. The first speaker shared a story I thought was cute and I figured since it's Mother's Day I'd share it with you.

When her daughter was about five, she came to her and asked if they could go to Grandma's house. Her mother said, "no, they had ironing to do." The five year old asked her mother if she would pretend to be the grandma and they could talk and play as if they were at grandma's house.

So, they did and after a while of talking back and forth, the child started to get a little silly. Pretty soon the mother stopped her daughter and told her to quit the silliness. With her hands on her hips, the five year old looked her mother straight in the eyes and said, "Now Grandma, you're startin' to talk like a Mamma!"

Her message to all of us today was to remember to be "grandma's" more often and not too much "mamma" all the time.