Sunday, February 28, 2010

Kids Say the Darndest Things!

Tonight, Micah was quoting to Jonah a scene from the movie "Little Rascals" and his interpretation was hilarious:
"Dear Darla,
I hate your stinkin' guts.
You make me bomb it.
You're stuck between my toes.
Love, Alfalfa"
Both boys laughed and laughed and laughed, and then Micah said, "Mom, what does "bomb it" even mean?"
Classic. Definitely put a smile on my face.

Because the boys are on a 4-day school week, they have long school days. They get home from the bus at 5:10, we have dinner, and we usually have different activities and homework and downtime in the evenings, so I don't make them do chores until Friday.
The boys hate Friday because it is officially the "chore" day in our home. Every Friday, the T.V. and nintendos and computers are shut off at 10am. Then it is up to the boys to complete their chores. During the school year, Ammon has three chores, and the twins each have two. Each Friday, I let the boys know what their chores are for the day, which usually consist of choices from: vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, dusting, dishes, laundry, cleaning the bathroom or cleaning their bedroom. Once I let them know what their assigned chores are, they are in charge of doing it themselves--I do not nag them about it because I know that they are 1. old enough to do them alone and 2. chore-time is a regular routine in our house so they know what is expected of them. Sometimes it takes them a half hour to complete, sometimes it takes over two hours because they choose to not do anything rather than do their chores. The only rules are 1. NO FOOD and 2. NO PLAY TIME until the chores are finished. Aren't I such a mean mom?!
This past Friday was one of those days where the twins didn't feel like doing any chores. Two hours passed while nothing was getting accomplished. Their chores for the day were: 1. clean their room and 2. vacuum. Pretty simple, right? I thought so, but apparently I was wrong. Cleaning their room was proving to be a difficult task that seemed insurmountable and impossible to accomplish. Jonah pushed everything to the outskirts of the room and declared that the room was clean because there was room to play on the middle of the floor. I'd never heard that concept before! He didn't get away with that quite so easily, and I let him know the room was still very much messy. I tried to help them by picking up one corner of the room, and while I was doing so, both boys whined repeatedly about how starving they were. Micah refused to help clean the room in any way, so I told him to get on his bed until he changed his mind. Micah was crying, and didn't want to be on his bed. At this point, Jonah want ballistic and kicked into angry protective mode. He was screaming at me "MOM! He's going to DIE! You HAVE to have food to live! If you don't let him eat, then he's going to DIE!" I tried to console him..."Jonah. Micah is not going to die. If he helps clean his room, then he can eat and so can you". But he wouldn't be consoled. So I put Jonah on his bed to join his brother in time-out, left the room, shut the door, and VOILA!!!--within 5 minutes, the room was miraculously cleaned! And then the boys ate lunch and, here's the best part, lived to tell about it!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

XLIV Champions

For many (including me), Superbowl means yummy food and funny commercials.But this year was different. Since my husband is a Saints Man, (CLICK HERE to remember), I actually watched the game!
For the 2 weeks leading up to the Superbowl, we knew the Saints would win, even despite all the hype about the Colts being picked as the favorite. Although the first half of the game was slow (at half-time the score was 6 - 10 in the Colts' favor), the second half proved us right! During the 4th quarter, the Saints cornerback intercepted a pass thrown by Colts quarterback Payton Manning and ran it back for a touchdown! At that point, it was over for the Colts! The Saints won the game 31-17!!!This was the first time the Saints had ever been to a Superbowl, so their win was a first in franchise history!!! Drew Brees and his team were spectacular to watch! Usually, we like to have a little party with friends for the SuperBowl, but this year I was in Utah during it. I watched the game with my two sisters, my mom listened to the game from the kitchen, and my dad checked in on us from down the hall whenever he heard us laughing hysterically or whooping loudly! I was sad because I wanted to be with Josh as he was celebrating for his team! I could just imagine him jumping up and down during the whole thing! We discussed the game as it happened via facebook, but it just wasn't the same. Ammon reported to me after I got home that he's never seen his dad so excited during a football game!!!
Yay for the Saints!!! You deserve to be called champions!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pointing Fingers, Placing Blame

Living with 4 rambunctious boys means things are always getting destroyed in our house.
But when something breaks, I never seem to get a direct answer out of any of them.

"Who did this?", I'll ask.
"He did it", they'll say and point their fingers to whoever "he" is.

Most of the time, they respond that "Kanyon did it", because he doesn't really know how to verbally defend himself yet, so he's the perfect target. Sometimes they'll blame it on him even if he wasn't in the room or had never touched whatever it is that's broken!

I suppose Kanyon is accustomed to having the bigger boys place blame on him with their fingers pointed at him, because look what he does when he's with somebody that's smaller than him:

He's pointing the finger and she's feigning innocence!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Princess and A Castle

My trip to Utah at the beginning of February was a storybook happy ending to the blah days of January!
I watched the baptism of my niece (the beautiful little princess)
I went to the temple (the castle on the hill)
I returned home feeling rejuvenated (almost like a happily ever after)!

Monday, February 22, 2010


Three TV Shows I love so much I want to own on DVD:

Because each show has the ability to make me: relate to it, laugh aloud at, and feel good about my own life in comparison!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

On My Mind

I'm thinking about...
Looking forward to...
Can't wait for...
**I've even created a Top Ten list to enjoy the spring! See my sidebar for the details!**

Friday, February 19, 2010


Right now, this is how I feel:
I'm working on getting over it...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bucket List: Item #1

Last night, the boys and I ate a pancake dinner at the Episcopal Church to celebrate Fat Tuesday.
Even though I don't participate in Shrove Tuesday or Ash Wednesday or Lent religiously, I do enjoy a good meal and a reason to celebrate!
As I sat there, surrounded by purple and gold and green decorations, in a room full of happy people, eating delicious food, I got to thinking...
Someday, I want to attend Mardi Gras.
Last year, Josh and I went to New Orleans in February, just 2 weeks before Mardi Gras.
The people in New Orleans love to party, and they do an excellent job at it!
So even though it was weeks prior to the event, the celebrations had already begun...

Decorations were up.
Pre-celebration parades were happening.
Tourists were appearing in multitudes.
Excitement was in the air!
It all made me hungry for more (and I'm not talking about pancakes).
Now I want to experience the real thing!
Visiting New Orleans during Mardi Gras {insert hopeful sigh}--the first official item on my bucket list!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ice Fishing

Every year, the local Department of Fish and Game holds a kids' ice fishing derby in Salmon at the end of January. This was Ammon's 5th year, Jonah and Micah's 2nd year, and Kanyon's 1st year participating in it!The boys didn't come away with a single bite despite all their hours of sitting on the ice, but they did enjoy being outside on the cool Saturday morning! The older three boys left their poles on the frozen pond with the fish line dangling in the water several times to go sledding, while dad stayed stationary and kept watch for them.
Kanyon never abandoned his pole like the other boys. He kept looking at the worm on the end of his line, repeatedly saying that it was a "big fish, big fish". He had so much fun, but got tired and cold within an hour!
They all came home happy with new prizes, despite not having caught any fish. Ammon won a new fishing pole, the twins got new T-shirts, and all of the boys got new tackle and rulers and stickers and coloring books!

Monday, February 15, 2010

The BS Club

I think book orders are wonderful.

I think school library book fairs are divine.

There's just something about new children's books--the beautiful illustrations, the untouched pages, the colorful covers.

I just can't get enough of them!!!

My sons' book orders are always returned, filled out, money attached.

Our school's book fairs are always attended, books purchased, checks written.

My love affair with buying childrens books started when I was in the 4th grade.

Because that was the year my addiction began.

An addiction to the B.S.C.

(For all of you who weren't faithful followers like me, the B.S.C. means "the Baby-Sitters Club".)

After checking out the first dozen B.S.C. books from the school library, I was hooked.

For 2 years, I spent every possible dime I could purchasing B.S.C. books from book orders and book fairs.

I was involved in the lives of those baby-sitters, I was inspired by their stories, and I learned how to be a good baby-sitter and friend from them.

I couldn't wait to get my hands on each new book in the series written by Ann M. Martin, especially the "Super Special" adventure ones, they were my favorite!

I have loved these books. I feel bonded to them. They are a part of my childhood, my history, my life. I have held onto them for 20 years, thinking that some day I would have a daughter who would treasure them as much as I did.

But you all know that's not going to happen.

My mother once shared her love of "Nancy Drew" stories from her childhood with me, hoping that I would inherit her same youthful passion for those books. Unfortunately, I hate reading mysteries, which meant I disliked reading Nancy Drew.

In comparison, I doubt any of my boys will ever be interested in reading about young girls who liked babysitting, so now I know the disappointment my mother must have felt!

It is time for me to free up some space in my shed and my soul, and part ways with the B.S.C. books.

I tried to donate them to the school library, but the librarian refused them. She said, "the young girls aren't interested in those types of books anymore". I wanted to cry. But deep inside, I already knew 10-year-old girls nowadays aren't into babysitting anymore.

Times have changed since I was a 4th grader. My son is a 4th grader now, and I can see many differences...

When I was in 4th grade our family didn't even have cable TV or a VCR--now it seems everyone has Dish DVR or Digital Cable on Demand. In the 4th grade, I listened to my Walkman tape/radio--not an iPod or MP3. Our school had large ancient computers, where the screen only showed two colors and the only game on it was "the Oregon Trail"--now laptops have mega pixel screens and large GB storage and are filled with hundreds of programs. We played dodgeball and 4-square and MASH and Chinese Jumprope at recess. Back then, we didn't have wii or cell phones or internet. In the 4th grade, I had hopes of someday inventing a "tv-watch", where you could view TV on a monitor attached to your wrist--and now the iPhone makes my dream possible.

The differences are numerous between my life in 4th grade in 1989 and my son's life in 4th grade in 2009.

But, at least there is ONE great thing that hasn't changed: monthly book orders and school library book fairs.

And I'm still addicted to them!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Scouting for Speed!

Ammon is a good-looking Webelo Scout. He participated in his 3rd and final Pinewood Derby in January. His car was flaming hot!There were 10 entries in the derby this year, representing scounts from two local troops. He won the award of "most colorful paint job". The derby is such a fun and exciting event for the boys! They anticipate it for weeks! They are all friends...which makes the race against each other even more competitive! Ammon's car did fairly well, but he couldn't beat the cars made by either set of twins; he even tried running it backwards down the track to see if that would make a difference.
He was sad when the activity ended, because he knew his derby days were done. After we got home, he said he wants to keep making the cars every year even if he's no longer in cub scouts! He has loved building and racing the cars! He's always chosen the car's design and the paint colors and pattern. He likes seeing his mental image of the car become real! And he loves racing against his friends; it is so thrilling to watch the cars speed down the short track! The Pinewood Derby has been his favorite scouting activity! (retired derby cars of '08, '09, and '10)

Friday, February 12, 2010

On the Ice

At school last month, the 100% attendance reward was a trip to the Ice Skating Rink. The twins had a blast with their kindergarten class! But without skates, for them it was less ice skating and more:

Ice Racing,

Ice Train-Pulling,

and Ice Chair-Pushing!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

silence of the cows

When I was a teenager, I fell in love with cows. Well, to be more specific--cows of the fake kind. I thought they were so adorable! During my high school years, I started my collection of them. I bought cows, I crafted some cows, and my friends gave me several cows. My good friend Heather gave me a shirt with this on it:I loved it! I wore that T-shirt until the armpits were yellow and there were holes in it. After I got married (to a dairy farmer's son of all people!), I knew that I wanted to display my cows, so I chose to have a cow-kitchen. I cut that T-shirt and framed it, and it's been in my kitchen ever since. I have had cows adorning my kitchen for 12 years!

After my collection became too big to fit in just the kitchen, I decided to have a cow bathroom as well. This phase lasted about 2 years, when I figured I needed to down-size. I got rid of older ones and dirty ones and not-cute-anymore ones. After the purge, the remainder of the cows all fit back into my kitchen again. As time went on, whenever I added a new cow to my collection, I immediately got rid of an old one (since we live in a small house, I'm very strict with the rule of "bring something in, take something out").

I have loved my cows. I have loved the country feel they add to my home, especially in this house that we've lived in for 7 and 1/2 years. It's been very fitting to have a cow kitchen while living on a dairy farm! To go along with the whole theme, my floor is black and white checkered, my cabinets are white with black knobs, my cupboards are lined with black and white checkered contact paper, my walls have a cow wallpaper border. I have bought cow shelves, cow pictures, cow glasses, cow measuring spoons, cow hand towels, cow magnets, cow souvenirs. I have been given many cow decorations, homemade and store-bought, by family and friends, including this vinyl saying I put above my cupboards: "The family that grazes together stays together".

But the time and the season have come to end the reign of the cows. The cows have lived a very good life, and have served their purpose well, but I needed to bid my mooing friends farewell, including the framed shirt. The kitchen in our new house is very open and doesn't have a lot of display room, so there won't be any place for my cows. The new kitchen is very neutral and has a more antique feel, and the cows just won't belong in there. So, in preparation, I went through and cleaned up all my cows, threw some away, put many in a box to sell at our moving yard sale, and I chose to keep just a few...I couldn't quite bring myself to get rid of ALL of them!!! Some of them have extreme sentimental value, especially ones that were gifted to me by my mother, my aunt Candi, my Grandma Perkins, and some of my friends. In our new home, the cows will now reside in the boys' bathroom.

I'm sad to see the end of the mooing era, but in saying goodbye to my beloved bovines, I'm opening up space within myself and my home for something new to enter! Packing up my cows is the first of many changes to come with getting a new house! It's overwhelming and exciting at the same time!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

a perfect TEN

Ammon turned 10 in January. To celebrate his special day, he chose to have a sleepover again, and he wanted to invite 4 boys. When I went to the store to get invitations, all they had for boys were pirate invitations. So just 4 days before the party, the "pirate" theme was chosen--an inspiration taken from lack of assorted invitations! And it ended up being so much fun! I bought some balloons, a tablecover, pirate loot bags, and some goodies, and the rest of the decorations and games I came up with on my own, so it was an inexpensive party, too!
The first event of the party was sledding. The boys had a great time on the little hill next to our home, with only minimal injuries resulting from it! After sledding for almost 2 hours, they came in for some hot chocolate, and then we started the indoor games. The first pirate game was "Walk the Plank". I made them cross the long 2x4 three times: once normally, once with their eyes closed, and once with their hands tied behind the back. Each time they had a successful crossing without falling off, they received swedish fish.The next game was "pin the patch" on the skeleton pirate. I painted a pirate skull on a poster, cut out patches from different colors of paper (so that each boy had their own color), and attached glue dots on the backs of the patches. Each boy had to wear a black-out sleeping mask as well as a bandana over it so there would be no peaking and no cheating. The boys loved this game and played it several times. The winner of each round received a handful of swedish fish.
The last pirate game we played was a treasure hunt. They were so excited! It was fun watching them run all over the house to retrieve the clues! There was enough clues for the older boys to each read one aloud. I gave them the first clue in a glass bottle.
Clue #1:
Ahoy there Mate! Are you ready to hunt for the treasure chest?
You’ll find the next clue where reading adventures are put to rest.
(bookshelf in boys room)

Clue #2:
ARRRR! Good job finding the next clue!
You’ll need to go where black & white keys are planked for spot #2!
(on the piano)

Clue #3:
Shiver Me Timbers! You’re already on clue number 3!
You’ll find it where dinner will be cooked for you and me!
(in the oven)

Clue #4:
Aye Aye Captain! You’re finding clues galore!
The next one is under a large resting spot on the floor!
(under Kanyon’s bed)

Clue #5:
X Marks the Spot! You’ve almost completed your quest!
Go to where linens are dried to find the treasure chest!
(in the dryer) In the treasure chest, there was a pirate loot bag for each boy containing whistles, notepads, candies, and confetti. The chest also contained several gold and silver wrapped chocolates for the boys to share. For dinner, we ate corndog sailed ships, string cheese swashbuckler swords, goldfish, and ocean blue jell-o. I tried out a new recipe for Ammon's birthday cake, but unfortunately I overcooked it. But I attempted to make up for it by decorating his cake fashioned for a pirate. It wasn't exactly what I had envisioned, since my cake decorating skills are minimal, but Ammon thought it was awesome, and his opinion is what mattered on that day!!
After cake & ice cream, Ammon opened the gifts from his friends, and then the boys played wii for hours and watched the movie "Little Rascals" in the boys' room, and then they giggled and talked and laughed until they finally fell asleep around 11:30. The boys all had a great time at the party, and it was hard for their energy levels to tire! It's a wonder that they ever even fell asleep, since there was seven boys all sleeping in one room!!
My oldest boy is now 10; he's officially hit the age of double digits. I'm sad that he's growing up, but I'm also very proud of him for the young man that he's becoming. When the party was over and the boys were all gone, Ammon told me that he really loved it all and it was the best birthday party ever. When he told me that, I felt like I scored a perfect 10 for his big 10!!! I was glad that all my efforts were appreciated, and that he truly felt special surrounded by his friends on his special day. I love you Ammon and I'm so grateful you're my son!