Monday, December 22, 2008

The kindness of others

Today I had to run a few errands. I was trying to beat the coming snow storm. I called various stores and found out if they had the items. One store even put the candy thermometers on hold for me since they only had two left of each type. We made it to the customer service desk and the ladies there found the candy thermometers on hold. Another lady that worked there saw what I was getting and told me to get the cheaper one because she says that they all work the same but the expensive ones were like buying a name brand. She also told me that she had the same cheap one and it worked great but if for some reason it didn't I could return it. I saved $6 not a whole lot but I appreciated her help and honesty. I still needed a few more items so we finished some shopping and went to check out. When we were checking out, E, yells out, "Mom! H has a big burger!" I look and sure enough he does. I'm trying to find a tissue but can't find anything. I did have a piece of paper so I was trying to use that and H is screaming because paper isn't soft. The lady behind me saw the situation and pulled out a tissue from her bag. H liked that a lot better as I finished cleaning up his nose. The third random act of kindness came in the parking lot. It was snowing and I had finished putting the three bags of groceries in the back and I was trying to buckle H and T in their car seats when a lady walked past, saw my empty cart and saw me buckling the two little ones in when she says that she will just put my cart away with hers. Three acts of kindness showed to me by strangers who made my day a little easier, a little happier. So thank you to all who show a little kindness to another person--I hope that I can return the simple acts of kindness to someone else.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Enemy #1

M has an enemy. According to E and T the little boy across the street, who is a year younger than M, is her enemy. He is her enemy because he hits her (although she hits him back). He is also an enemy because he makes her cry and they stare at each other with looks of anger or malice until the other looks away. Who knew that one so little could have an enemy already?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's all about giving thanks...

Around here we have a lot to be thankful for.

E: my family, food, books, school, parents, brother and sisters, toys, games, my house, bed, plants, animals, clothes, my grandma and grandpa, my cousins, my friends, aunts and uncles, teeth, dentists and doctors, firefighters, police and hospitals.

T: family, friends, grandpas and grandmas, aunts and uncles, mom and dad, sisters and brother, clothes, toys, the earth.

M: mommy and daddy coming home, my birthday, family, books, tomatoes, Ella and Thea and Henry, blankets.

H: food to eat, foot pajamas, bandaids and neosporin, music, milk, bottles, ability to crawl, diapers.

I am thankful for 4 wonderful children who are healthy, a husband that loves me and a father who loves and teaches our children. I am thankful for falling leaves and the wonder it holds for little hands and feet to explore, for rain and for puddles to jump in, for a washer and dryer to wash and dry those same clothes. I am thankful for smiles and little hands that reach out to hold mine. I am thankful for women in my ward who will love H for me and rock him to sleep during Sacrament meeting so that I can hold M and be with E and T. I am grateful for my parents who teach and love me and for sisters and a brother who also love me. I am grateful for air to breathe, public libraries, books, testimonies, and my Savior. I am indebted to men and women both past and present who fight for my liberties and freedoms that I enjoy on a daily basis. I am thankful for a house to shelter us, technology, good neighbors, Steve's job and so much more.

I am truly blessed.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Makes me laugh

If you ask M to spell her name this is what you get: "E-M-E-B" or "E-M-E-turtle" or "E-M-E-monkey." She isn't even close but it's funny to see what combination she can come up with next in her little mind.

E was playing Heads Up 7-Up at a church function and after she proudly exclaimed, "I knew who put my thumb down. . . . Because I peeked!" At least she is honest and really how else can you know who pushed your thumb down?

T running out of dance class exclaiming, "I'm a snow sprite! I'm a snow sprite. I've always wanted to be one!" In her oh so many years alive apparently this is a huge pinnacle she's reached but her grin makes you smile and wish that everything in the world would be like finding out you are a snow sprite.

H loves to crawl away from you as fast as he can and if you follow behind him he always winds up in the bathroom in the upstairs with a giant grin on his face as you pick him up and carry him back down the stairs and if you put him back down again he'll repeat the process.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My soapbox

With the election just under a week away, I have thought hard about who I want to see run my country. I might not agree with everything that one candidate says or does all time but we are human and being human means we make mistakes. I figure I have only two options when it comes to choosing the next President of the United States. I can choose Obama or McCain. I have watched the debates and as I have watched Obama I must confess that he is a great rhetorician. I did a term paper on great rhetoricians in college among them were Martin Luther King, Jr. and Adolf Hitler. I listened to their speeches and they were eloquent. They made you see the change they could bring or offer. It's no wonder why the people of Germany who in desperate times wanted some change as they were starving and their economy was at rock bottom. Martin Luther had a dream and it made the country perhaps look beyond the color of one's skin and take the necessary steps for the rights of blacks to come to the forefront. Yet, as I listen to Obama, my stomach lurches as I know a little bit of his background--I have tried to do my part to see what type of man he his. Yet, with all the hype about him and his charasmatic personality can't people see what lies beneath his words. He's a snake charmer. He lulls you away with his words and his smile but what happens when he is in control. What friends will he keep and what laws will he pass?

As a mother of 4, I have learned responsibility to those who can't take care of themselves, the little one who is sick and only wants to be held and loved, those that smile for the first time and those whose little fingers wrap around yours. There is nothing better than holding a newborn in your arms and feeling your heart grow and knowing that you brought this miracle into this world. Yet, how can Obama with daughters of his own support partial birth abortions when the baby at a viable age is extracted from the mother except for the head and then scissors are rammed through the skull and the babies brains are suctioned out. This is not humane. I have friends who would give anything to have a baby of their own but are not able to and yet this practice of killing little ones who could live on their own takes place and Obama supports it. Don't give me your hoopla saying that he voted "present"--he didn't take a stand and not taking a stand is just as bad. I worry about policies he'll make and how he'll treat others. I know how he talks but I need someone who does more than talk the talk.

I know that McCain has his share of problems and concerns, but at least he sticks his neck out and stands up for what he believes. I need someone who will do that. I know that our economy isn't the best but look at the world's economy because it's not doing, too, well either. I know that we will emerge from this time stronger but I want someone that has similar values leading me. Don't you?

---And now I'll get down---

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dumpster diving for treasures

One man's trash in another man's treasure and E and T have literally taken that to heart. On Saturday E, T and one of their friends started going through the big trash cans. The friend found a big red stuffed animal. E found some books, computer games, and markers. T found a box of markers and crayons. There is something disturbing about seeing you're little ones open up trash cans and climb inside or else after it is tipped to scrounge around. They were told to stop and they said that they had enough stuff. Great. What does that mean that one has enough?

Steve and I told them that we don't look through garbage because it's 1) not ours and 2) it's disgusting. On Sunday, I had E take some recycle stuff out to the blue can. She was gone for a lot longer than what it should take and M was with her. I went outside and what do I see but E closing the lid on another person's recycle bin and running back exclaiming that she has found a journal that has never been written in before along with some more pens. I reiterated that we don't keep other people's garbage and that she needed to throw them all away. She was quite sad and told me how clean they all were and that she just wanted a journal to write and color in. Couldn't she keep it? I told her that this was the last time. No more dumpster diving.

Tuesday night E was out with friends and what did she find, a dictionary. Her very own dictionary to use and look up words with. Can't she just keep it? She doesn't own a dictionary and now she can look up all the words she needs to and she won't have to use the one we own. Then T came out and showed all the little neighborhood kids how to tip over the trash cans so they can look inside and see what they can find. All those little kids were so excited until I told them all that they needed to stop looking in the garbage cans.

I am so glad that today was trash day and all trash cans have been emptied and hopefully the treasures will stop coming back to our house.

Lucky fish

Lucky is one lucky fish. He has now been alive over two years and despite our inability to properly take care of him, he is still swimming. On Sunday, M decided to feed Lucky herself and instead of giving him a few flakes dumped the remaining half bottle of fish food into the tank. What a lucky fish to get so much food. M was so excited to help and it was hard not to laugh when you saw the bottom of the tank covered in food. We thought nothing more about it until Monday when I woke up and went downstairs. Lucky's tank was a puce green color and Lucky was floating upside down. I didn't want to handle a dying fish and 3 crying girls who lost their fish. I called Steve and asked him if he had noticed the fish tank. Nope. Why can't I be oblivious to things like that? Lucky was still breathing so I hurried and filled up a pitcher of water and put in one of the water tablets. After it was dissolved, I scooped Lucky out of his old tank and put him in the fresh water. He was still upside down and I told the girls that perhaps they needed to tell Lucky goodbye and perhaps they could say a little prayer so that Lucky wouldn't suffer long. I felt downright terrible seeing Lucky breathing and swimming upside down and thinking we should have cleaned out his tank the night before. I cleaned his tank out and put fresh water, and filter in it and then placed Lucky back in before we went to swim lessons. We had to run some errands afterwards and I was prepared to come back to a dead fish, but when we arrived home, the girls and I were overjoyed to see Lucky swimming right side up again. Lucky is one lucky fish and now all the fish food is kept where M can't reach; although she is delighted to see him every day and give him a few flakes of food.

All mine--even the little blue man

Last week we went to one of the local home improvement centers to pick up various items. I had all four kids with me and all 4 kids were not too happy to be there after about 30 minutes and I still had a few more things to look at and purchase. We made our way to the front of the store and a lady telling about the home center's carpet cleaning services asked me if the kids would like a little sack of fruit snacks to eat while we shopped. Of course they would like it and thank goodness for carpet cleaning services who had a big pail of fruit snacks for kids available. What a great diversion. While each of the girls were choosing a fruit snack package, the lady looks at all of them, at me, at them, at H in the cart and then at me again and asks, "Are they all yours?" My reply, "Yes of course they are." Did she really think I would take four children who aren't mine to a home improvement store? I even claimed the little man who was sporting blue hands and feet as mine and who wouldn't when he looks up from his discolored hands and smiles?

And how do you think H got blue hands and feet? I'll tell you and it's really quite simple to figure out. It was me. I needed his hand and footprints to document how small they are at this age in life but my regular black ink pad was all out of ink so I simply did them in blue. However the blue didn't come off and so for the next few days he had blue hands and feet.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


A lug is a box or basket for vegetables or fruit, with a capacity of 28 to 40 pounds. --Wikipedia

So this is my lug of cherries. In this small container was about 30 pounds of pitted cherries with sugar already added.

This is what a lug of cherries will produce--10 quarts of cherries ready for pies, cobblers, or anything else desiring delicious cherries.

One of those days

I needed to go to the library today to pick up a book I had on hold and also to return some books. As we walked in we had to venture over to the books they had on sale. Today was 50 percent off, so hardbacks were 25 cents and paperback books were a dime. How can I pass up cheap books? I couldn't but perhaps now I can and you will see why after I relate the following story.

We walked into the library. I was holding H as taking him in his car seat becomes harder every day as he gets bigger. I went left to peruse the cheap books. T and M went to the right and sat on the giant overstuffed chairs. I saw a few books that caught my eye but continued to look. T and M are now trying to put their heads through the plastic paneled book detection devices that you must walk through when you enter or leave the library. Still no problem until T sticks her head through the hole that M wants. M gets mad. T doesn't want to move and thinks it's funny. The plastic detection walls aren't very sturdy and why should they be if they just need to detect books that haven't been checked out. I tell them that they can each pick out a book if they will just stop. Yet T is laughing and putting her head through the stupid hole while M is trying to climb through the hole so that she can hit T. The librarian meanwhile is telling the girls to get off because it's unsafe. No change. So finally in a very non-library voice I say, "Knock it off!" and grab T by her arm and move her away from the situation. I take her over to my books and show her what I'm getting--anything to distract her. M meanwhile sees a book about penguins that she wants but I show her the one I already have which has more pictures. She wants that book about penguins so I just let her hold it. I hurry and go pick up my holds and we go to check out. I make the girls put all the books on the counter. I had 4 to check out and 4 to buy. I check out the books and then purchase the other 4 books and leave M's book about penguins to be bought by someone else. We are now heading out of the library back to our car. M wants to see her penguin book. I naively thought that she wouldn't remember what her book looked like. I gave her the book I purchased and she starts crying. She then grabs the book and throws it on the ground. T is now asking me about the zebra book we had checked out several weeks ago and that I had to return before we went on vacation. I told her we could check it out again; however, she is crying hysterically because she doesn't have the zebra book at home to read. Forget the 3 new animal books I had just bought. So remember I am holding H, M is yelling and throwing a fit about a book she wants that I didn't buy and now T is crying as well. No one wants to go to the car but me. So I can't go put H in the car and come back because I know M will dart out and most likely be hit by a car because she doesn't look and is so hysterical. Still holding H, I grab M's hands and start dragging/carrying her to the car. She is screaming. T is crying/screaming about the zebra book and H is just looking around. As we made our way to the van two different ladies commented to me, "Looks like this is going to be a long day." Ya think?

Thursday, June 19, 2008


At 7:40 in the morning I am called urgently upstairs by E who exclaims that M has her leg stuck in her bed. I assume that M just has both legs through the slats on the headboard of her toddler bed. Wrong! What I find upon entering M's room is M in tears and one knee wedged in between two slats in the metal headboard. Not being one to panic (at least not yet) I try pushing her little kneecap back. Nope. I try moving her knee up or down. Nope. No movement. Nothing. M is screaming and crying because she is stuck. I stop and try to think how we can get her knee in a smaller position because she had to get it in somehow. Yet she has it perfectly placed so that I can't extend her leg straight because there isn't any room to maneuver. Now I panic. How can I get her knee out. I can't budge the metal rods so I can't bend them or break them off. Her knee seems stuck. Meanwhile E is telling M, "You're going to suffocate and die!" M starts crying even harder. I tell E that she isn't helping and to leave the room. E goes and wakes up her sister, T who comes in to investigate and E once again says, "M you're going to suffocate and die!" T then asks, "Is she?" "No" is my very firm reply. I'm loosing patience with E using the wrong word choice and for scaring M. I don't want to have to call the fire department and tell them my child has her knee stuck in her bed. I don't want to call my neighbors because off all the mornings I didn't get dressed before I went downstairs and I'm still in my pajamas. What to do?

Butter, margarine--anything greasy comes to my mind. I run downstairs and grab the tub of butter. I come back up, M is still crying and passing E on the way up the stairs she says, "M is going to suffocate and die isn't she?" "No" I say exasperated, "she isn't going to die. You're using the wrong word." I hurry into M's room and proceed to slather her little knee with the butter and then I pushed on her kneecap and out her little knee came. She was still shaky and only wanted to be held. E and T are in the doorway thinking that butter was a good idea. I calm M down enough and then go and find E telling her that to suffocate means you can't get any air into your lungs. M was in no danger of suffocating and that next time she shouldn't say that anyone is going to die because it just makes the other person scared.

What a way to start the day.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Operation Hummingbird

Sometimes nature is cruel to animals and makes you weep as when we watched little baby peregrine falcons hatch and then die because of a sudden drop in temperature. Then sometimes it is not nature but man that causes the pain and it again makes you want to cry; yet, there is often reason for joy when nature takes control and an unconquerable spirit soars.

Yesterday when M and I went out to water the garden, I heard a buzzing sound coming from the cherry tree. Upon investigation, I saw a small hummingbird caught in the net we have put around the tree. What was to protect the cherries from bigger birds was now a trap for a beautiful hummingbird. I felt horrible and didn't know what to do. I called Steve at work and asked if he could come home early to help me. I didn't want to face a wounded bird alone. Yet he couldn't leave as the next bus wasn't for awhile. I then decided to call home as moms can fix anything. Mom asked if she could take a few minutes to think about what should be done. In the course of our conversation it was decided that she would try calling someone in the wildlife department and I would get the ladder, gloves, scissors to cut the net, a box to put the bird in and a special drink made for hummingbirds.

I went back outside and told the girls they needed to be quiet as we didn't want to startle the hummingbird even more than what it already was. E was given the phone and told to answer it right away if it rang. T and M were to make sure the box and drink were ready. I climbed the ladder and the hummingbird started beating it's wings frantically when it saw me approach. I tried to calm it down by speaking quietly to it and told it what I was going to do. I started clipping the net and had my gloved hand ready to hold the tiny, frightened bird. It was gorgeous with a dark purple band around its neck contrasted against the black head and light gray body. As I was clipping, I noticed that its little wing was caught on one of the net's strings so carefully I clipped the net--careful not to clip the bird. As soon as I cut it, the bird was free. I had no time to grab the bird but it was still on the inside part of the net. I told the girls they needed to see where it went. They ran around to the back and saw it up high. It would try to fly straight into the net trying to get out. But it would fly right into the net and then fly back. What had I done? I made a bad situation get possibly worse. Then as we tried to shake the net in hopes that it would fly out the top an amazing thing happened; the little bird flew right in between the netting squares and up and over our tall tree in the front of the house.

Prayers of gratitude were given that the little hummingbird could fly and was free with prayers of hope that it would be alright.

The girls and I were ecstatic to see the little black speck fly higher and further away. What a brave little bird!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Oh my...

If people link to your blog then perhaps you need to update it--but what to say? How about something funny?

M likes to take off her diaper and run around commando. It has become a constant struggle to keep her diaper or pull-ups on. Once you do get them on, off they come in about five 5 minutes. The other day I had just put her diaper back on for quiet time/movie time. I went into the office to work on a talk I have to give but then decided that I should really unload the dishwasher first. (There is nothing quite like procrastination.) I went upstairs and passed what I thought was a diaper but would M really take it off already? She looked so comfortable laying on the floor with her purple blanket covering her. I decided to ask. "M do you have your diaper on?" To which M lifted up her purple blanket and laughingly says, "No!"

There you have it. When M goes commando she'll tell you when she has to use the toilet. Yet, if you put underwear or anything else on her she feels free to just go whenever.

Long live Commando M!