Sunday, December 27, 2009


Today when we arrived at church we found out that the igniter for the chapel's heater was out and needless to say the chapel was extremely cold so families were huddled closer together and most of the center benches were filled--it also helped to have it be a missionary homecoming. So the chapel was filled and everyone was closer than usual. We have been working with M about being quiet and reverent during the prayers. Today she was very quiet and didn't utter a word until after she said, "Amen!" At which point she immediately exclaimed in a not so quiet voice, "Daddy, I was quiet during the whole prayer!" We will now work on being quiet after the prayer, too.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monkey see, monkey do

We recently had a family night about how to make our home more like the temple. As I was talking, I mentioned that they have been able to go into two temples before they were dedicated and that Steve and I had recently gone to the temple for our date night. I asked if they knew the name and M proudly and very loudly says, "The Okie Monkey temple!"

I hope that even if she didn't get the name that at least if they see us going that maybe my little monkeys will want to go someday.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


H has found a new form of entertainment. He loves to imitate and they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but well....

H has recently found his tongue and loves to stick it out and if you stick yours out, he'll stick his tongue out and if you blow noises he'll try to blow noises, too. We encourage this behavior because of what we've learned in speech over the years. It's a great way for him to explore how his mouth moves and how his tongue works to produce sounds albeit very wet sounds. Yet, this imitation has moved up a notch. If Steve is sitting at the island programming, H likes to have his chair right next to Steve's and he'll sit and watch and be happy doing something that Steve is doing. If M has decided to get dressed out of her pajamas, H starts taking off his pajamas. If someone gets their shoes on, H will run and get his shoes on. If E and T are taking their laundry downstairs and putting them away, then H will take his laundry down the stairs and try to put his clothes in E's and T's dressers even though his dresser is upstairs. He simply wants to be like you. His latest imitation might not be the flattery that some seek or want because if someone passes gas and H hears, H will start letting out gases and smile really big after each one and because it is just too funny, it's hard not to laugh after this and so he laughs which continues to make H try to pass more gas. Really we need to learn not to laugh but for right now we just let it pass...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Last night we were driving up and over the mountain to get back to our house. Apparently we don't go that way, too often, because as soon as we saw all the lights of the valley, T shouts out from the back, "We can see China!"

We aren't even remotely close to China but all those lights caused quite the commotion in the car with oohs and aahs even after we said that it wasn't China.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Library returns

Today I took M and H to the library to return a movie and a book and also to get a movie and let M pick out a new book for the week. In the library there is a conveyor belt that you put your items to return on. M put both items on the conveyor belt and H felt a little left out but he was happy after I let him hold the new movie to check out. We got our items and were heading out the door--M was first and a bit ahead of H and I so I tried to hurry and catch up to her before she got to the street. I figured H would be right behind me but when I got through the first door I glanced back and saw H making a detour to the conveyor belt. I told M to stay and ran back but just as I was getting to H and our movie, H turned to me with a big grin on his face and was waving goodbye to the movie on it's way up the conveyor belt. What a happy little boy he was. I quickly informed one of the librarians that our movie we had just checked out was unintentionally returned this very moment. She was nice and went to get our movie but it had already been checked into the system again and was going to be sent to another person requesting it so she had to re-check it out for me and do whatever she did so the other person could get it again and all the while H is just happy that he got to put something on the belt and see it go up.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I recently had to renew my driver's license. Technically I had until January but I needed to update my address on it and I had already done it once before (about 7.5 years ago) so there wasn't room to do it on the back and since I needed a new one and they said you can do it up to six months in advance, I thought I'd take them up on that and kill two birds with one stone because they fewer trips I have to make with M and H, the better. So the three of us went down to the DMV, filled out a form, stood in line then waited in some chairs and about 15 minutes later my number was called. I gave the man my old license so that he could do what he needed to do--he looked at my license, then looked at me and then looked at my form. He started to laugh and said that for the past 10 years I'd been bald. Bald? He said that a typo had occurred and that the last person who'd entered the info had put in BLD (bald) instead of BLN (blonde). So now I'm officially a blonde again. Not that I have anything against bald people because technically the DMV had me down as bald for the past 10 years. And it only cost me $25 to get my blonde hair (and a new license).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

10 and counting

We still don't know a lot of girls to ask to babysit and since we had promised the girls to take them "camping" in the tent in the backyard on Friday and then we realized that it was our anniversary. We figured it was more important to keep our promise then it was to celebrate so we went camping and had fun with the kids. We cooked hamburgers on the grill and then roasted marshmallows on the coals afterwards. We watched the movie, Race to Witch Mountain and then had lemon-blueberry bundt cake for dessert. We were having a great time and were heading out to the tent when T tells us, "Thanks for the great anniversary!" You're welcome T and it was a pretty great anniversary. I even got flowers and despite H not wanting to sleep and then having an accident so Steve took him in around 4 and then the tent falling down on the girls and I at 6 at which point we took everything in and I decided that I had better take the tent completely down before it really started to rain and having the wind blow the tent away, it was a pretty fun time.

Reaction times

Moving into a new house necessitated new fire procedures so that all would know what to do; however the more we practiced different scenarios the more the girls cried and by the end of the night, E and T were hysterical and thought they'd die in the basement and be trapped if they couldn't make it upstairs and had to retreat back to the room and go out the window. M was crying and sobbing that she didn't want E and T to die. We have since added a ladder to help them climb out of the window well to help alleviate the fear that Steve wouldn't be there in time and when we added window well covers E and T once again thought they'd be trapped until I told them that they could push them off. It has been a struggle to get them to understand that we will not leave them down there and that it is Dad's responsibility to get them out while I get the two smaller ones upstairs. Each night their prayers include the desire that no fire should come to our home or to anybody else's home in the world and that tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes or burglars will not come either. T quite literally jumps if she hears the smoke alarm. Now I'm not the best cook and sometimes the smoke alarms go off when I'm baking and without fail, E and T will run up to the front door if they hear it and ask me what's wrong. They are prepared to leave the house if necessary with M and H right behind them. A few days after we practiced our initial fire drill the girls were taking showers. One of the smoke detectors downstairs is very sensitive to the steam emitted from the bathroom downstairs (we're working on that problem) and I hear one of them go off. I'm about to head downstairs to check everything out when E comes running up the stairs and right behind her is T fresh from the shower with soap still in her hair, dripping wet, and no towel. She had heard the alarm and knew she had to get out of the house. She was ready to run outside to our meeting spot before I stopped her and grabbed her a towel and told her and E to wait with M and H while I checked things out and then if need be we'd exit the house. Steve told me later that we need to talk to them again and I said we would but that wasn't it great to see such great reaction times from everyone.

It was almost like the time shortly after we moved in and I hear "Fire in the bathroom!" from E. I'm thinking, "Fire in the bathroom? Is it an electrical fire?" Then I hear again, "Fire!" I know that E is going to the bathroom and now there is a fire with her. I run downstairs as my first thought is get the girls and get out and I yell back questioning what I've heard, "Fire?" Again I hear, "Fire!" I'm now rounding the hallway and can see the bathroom but there is no smoke or smell of smoke. I keep running and when I get there, E shouts out, "It's in the tub! The SPIDER's in the tub!" Oh spider, not fire. Then I see Steve running with the fire extinguisher. He heard all the "fire" yelling and wanted to put out the fire. See his first thought was save the children and put out the fire where as mine was just save the children.

Just remember that you really shouldn't yell "spider" in the house because it can sound an awfully lot like "fire" when you're in the kitchen and to have an extra towel ready just in case someone needs it during the fire alarm.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Man tools

H is fascinated by tools--all tools and especially ones that anyone is using and most importantly if Steve is using them. The other day we were trying to fix the vacuum and got a screwdriver. A minute later, H leaves the vacuum and then comes out of the laundry room with his own screwdriver he'd found so that he can help. I didn't know H knew where I kept my set of tools but apparently he has been watching.

When we were setting up the girls' beds and H's crib, H was right there with Steve putting in all the hex screws with the hex wrenches. He figured that each hole needed something in it and set about putting a screw in each hole. Steve would do one side and H and I would do the other. H and I finished first on the last bed so H decided to crawl under the bed with Steve to help him. He just wanted to put the screws in :). He knew what needed to be done.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bloody tooth

If we were English, that title would be exactly how T felt about her tooth on Monday. Not only was it the bane of her existence but it was in fact bloody as all teeth are when they are going to come out.

I was doing something upstairs when E and T come running from the basement with M in hot pursuit. E is yelling that T's tooth is bloody. My first thought is what were the three of you doing because T is crying uncontrollably. I look in T's mouth and blood is coming from one of her bottom teeth and E is saying that her tooth is loose. T has never told me that her tooth is loose so I'm wondering how it can be so loose right now and bloody. The answer came as I inspected her mouth more closely and saw that the permanent tooth was already pushed up through the skin behind the baby tooth. This also explains why T keeps complaining that there is something caught in her teeth--she's felt the other tooth and I now feel like a lame-o because my solution was for her to floss more. I should have looked. T is crying because she sees blood as she's wiggling her tooth (she is my daughter after all and I don't handle blood well either). I'm trying to calm her down and tell her that this amount of blood is normal for when you loose a tooth and that if she can wriggle it in all directions we can loosen the roots of the tooth and out her tooth with come. She asks me to help wiggle it. I push it to one side and you can hear a "pop" sound as the root loosens it's grasp. Meanwhile E is giving T pointers about the best way to wiggle her tooth so that it can come out quickly. This is coming from a girl who has lost two teeth when she has been brushing her teeth. M is sitting in awe at what is happening. I think the tooth is ready to come out. I know I'm ready for it as T is still somewhat crying. I try to pull but I can't get a good grip. I have her wiggle it some more and then decide to use a napkin to help pull the tooth out. I figured I couldn't have her scared when I pulled because I learned from E that if one is scared and I reach in with my fingers that soon the teeth come clamping down hard on aforementioned fingers. So with my lesson learned from E, I told T that I wanted my fingers and got her to laugh. I grabbed a hold of that tooth and I yanked (none of this counting to 3--makes them scared and my fingers get hurt). Out came her tooth and one big eyed T stared at this tiny tooth I was holding in the napkin.

She was so excited that she wrote a note to the tooth fairy saying that this was her very first tooth that she had lost on June 6, 2009. When I went to tuck T in, I asked where she put her tooth; she lifted up her pillow and there on the bed was her tiny, little tooth. I suggested we move her tooth up to the dresser where the tooth fairy wouldn't have to move T during the night searching for this itty, bitty tooth. T was concerned that the Tooth Fairy wouldn't find it but I convinced her that we needed to give the Tooth Fairy a fighting chance at finding it. T woke up on Tuesday morning a little richer and when she asked why the Tooth Fairy didn't take her tooth, I told her that the Tooth Fairy lets them keep their first tooth to show others. She liked that idea so don't be surprised if she shows you her very first loose tooth.

After T's tooth came out, M came and looked in my mouth and told me that my baby tooth looked good still and that she thought it looked rather big compared to T's tooth. Oh well. I figure that my baby tooth better stay in for as long as possible because I don't want to pay for a replacement.

Dead fish

Yesterday I took all the kids to a park. I thought it would be just another ordinary park day. The temperatures were bearable, kids from our old ward were going to be there so that the girls could see some of their friends and the park has water features for the kids to play in. What more could one ask for? I would simply say, "No dead fish." You see about 10 minutes after we got to the park E, T, and M all headed over to the "river" where the water comes from a stocked pond and emerges about 100 yards away in a cement stream bed. Kids love playing in algae infested water. Did I mention that there is perfectly clean water spouting up about 100 feet away from this fake river?

Well E comes running over to me (as H was the only smart one and wanted to play in the clean water) and shows me her dead fish. Yeah, it was dead. Not flopping, not moving, nadda. Well after a while I decide to take H over to where the girls are playing and see what they are doing. When I get over there, M is wet up to her waist and she is holding a dead fish in her hand, holding it exactly like she holds a treasure. I asked M what she had and T quite excitedly exclaims, "She found a dead fish! Wanna see mine?" No I don't want to see yours and I would appreciate it very much if you would throw them away in that garbage can. Yet this is what came out, "Do we really have to find the dead fish and hold them? Let's leave them alone." M tells me, "Dook (look) mom. It dyed." Yes, all the fishes that the children were finding were dead. One of the mothers I was with asked if we should worry if all the fish were dead and that if one of the children got sick we could probably count on all of them getting sick seeming as all the children were hunting for these two inch dead fish.

Now to make it even more memorable here is what I see:
Girl running and screaming hysterically followed closely by E and her friend H. In E's hand is a dead fish. Girl keeps running and screaming and E is laughing saying, "It's just a dead fish!"
I know that this girl has taunted E and H for the past year and is always saying that she's the princess and they are the slaves and blah blah blah. It is funny in that E and H are finally getting the upper hand but at the same time I know that I should step in especially when I see E getting ready to throw the fish at the Girl. I told E that it wasn't nice to throw dead fishes at others and that they really need to stop chasing the Girl and that perhaps they should really go wash their hands. E agrees to throw the fish away and to go wash her hands of the fish smell, but not before looking one more time at the fish and the Girl.

So all in all it was another great but not so ordinary day at the park.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The end of the beginning

This afternoon I will make my last trip to the old elementary school to pick up E. We've been in that neighborhood for 7 and a half years. My girls have literally grown up there. We said our goodbyes to the crossing guards this morning as they have helped us cross safely for the past 3 years. Today, they have one more time to help my daughter cross the streets safely. They amaze me with their dedication to crossing the children safely in all kinds of weather. I have seen them day in and day out brave the cold snow, blizzard winds, the pelting rain, or the hot sun. Today we once again gave them a small token of thanks for all that they do because how can you ever truly express your gratitude to someone who has helped to keep your child safe.

I've said goodbye to teachers who have taught my daughters the joy of learning and wish that the younger ones could have been taught by them and hope that new teachers will pick up where these outstanding teachers have left off.

The trips past the old house will become fewer and fewer. Already when I drive by I see my flowers blooming and hope that the new owners enjoy them as much as I did.

Yet as much I will miss all the familiar places and people there is much to look forward to in our new area. The next stage is just beginning and I for one am excited to see what it will hold.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Need I say more?

Take M:

Several metal bracelets:

Have M take those metal bracelets and put them on this (her nightlight):

And you get this:

Along with the aforementioned metal bracelets that have been welded together and one little girl with big eyes who was found covering everything with her hands and was quite scared she'd get in trouble. Needless to say we had a talk on electricity with all the girls. M seems quite fine and despite the blackness the outlet and nightlight work just fine after we reset the tripped circuit breaker.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Dandelion moments

Being in the process of selling our home has forced us to keep on top of cleaning the inside and outside of the house. A few Saturdays ago, I told the girls that we were all going to go out to the backyard and dig out dandelions. E had some clippers and was clipping the tall grass under the slides. T and M each had the job of taking the dandelions I had dug up and putting them into our weed bucket. After about 30 minutes they were ready to call it quits and go play with their friends in the front yard but only half the backyard was done. We hadn't finished and I had told them we needed to finish what we had started and then they could play. T then tells me, "I don't know why we have to do this when we are moving. Just let the new people weed." I then told her that it was still our house and that we needed to take care of it until we moved and that it would be nice for the new people to come and see a yard that was taken care of and loved.

A few days ago we were once again out back weeding when T and M spot a dandelion puff ready to blow and send the seeds flying. M ran over to pick it and T yells, "Stop! Don't blow it because the seeds will make more dandelions grow in our yard and we'll have to dig them up!" M quickly dropped the dandelion. However not blowing a dandelion is like leaving an uneaten piece of candy on the table--it's too irresistible. So T came up with the idea that they could blow it on the cement where the seeds wouldn't fall on the grass. I didn't have the heart to tell them that the seeds would just blow back onto the grass where we'd still have to dig them up.

Is it still nice?

We took the kids to the school the other night to play on the playground. While we were there another little girl showed up and she started following M around. M doesn't like to be followed or copied and so she was getting really frustrated. M went down the slide and then started climbing back up the slide but who should be at the top but that same little girl so M tries to go up the adjacent slide but the little girl moves over to that one. Whenever M tries to climb up one side the girl follows and by now M is really upset. I went over to M and told her that if she asked the girl to move that perhaps she would. So M says, "Will you please move, dupid (stupid)?!" I'm not sure if it is nice if you call the person stupid even if you say please. I couldn't help but laugh as we have tried to tell M to not call people stupid but it was just too funny when she said it looking up at the girl that had followed her around.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Simple faith

T makes me humble. She has a profound sense of what she needs to do although sometimes her temper gets the better of her. She tells me everything that she learns in Primary and loves telling me that Jesus and Heavenly Father love her. She knows this. She has recently decided that on some decisions that she needs to pray about it because Heavenly Father will tell her what she should do because he knows what will make her happy. This is applied in various circumstances. We were out shopping for fabric and I told each of the girls that they could get a fat quarter of whatever they wanted. M chose a pink and white piece of fabric and she chose it fast and didn't waiver from her choice the entire time at the store. E debated over a few but when she saw the one she wanted she put the others away and was happy. T was in deep thought about which of the two she should get because I told her she could only get one. She then pronounced loud enough for the entire store to hear, "Heavenly Father knows what one will make me the happiest in the future so I will pray to him and he'll tell me." A minute later, T, once again very loudly declares, "Heavenly Father says to get the soft turtle fabric because he knows I like soft things and he knows what makes me happy." And with that we put the other fabric away and she got the material with the turtles.

She has been quite happy with the turtle fabric as each of the girls sewed their own pillows and love sleeping with them.

Sometimes I wonder if I simply don't ask my Heavenly Father for things because I feel that they are trifle matters. Yet, watching T, I realize that to her the fabric was a very big deal as she would be sleeping on it and when she on her own accord couldn't decide she turned to someone who knew her better then herself and knew what would make her happy. I am thankful for a daughter who shows me that Heavenly Father loves her enough to help her choose fabric--even the small trifle things matter because he loves us.

Wedding kisses

E was supposed to be brushing her teeth and getting ready for bed. When I went up to check on her progress I saw in the mirror E puckering her lips with eyes squinted shut and peeking at herself in the mirror. I asked what she was doing and this is E's reply, "I'm practing my wedding kisses." This is what happens to a little girl when she's spent the entire day seeing her newly married aunt kiss the groom.

Socks don't fail me now

The other day as I was cleaning the house, the girls asked to go outside. I agreed but told them they had to stay in the yard and I would be checking on them periodically. Everything sounds good in my head, it's only when things are put into place that I notice when things go wrong. M came back inside after a bit and I put on a movie for her so that she could watch and I could still get some much needed cleaning done. A few minutes later, M tells me that she is going back outside to ride her scooter. If anyone has seen M, you know that despite her small size, she rides her scooter as fast and as fearless as she possibly can. She zips in and out of everything as she shifts her weight to steer. She doesn't like the foot brake and prefers to stop with her feet. I thought nothing of her going back outside as she is quite capable of putting her helmet and shoes on. Just a few minutes later, M comes upstairs to my room telling me that her feet hurt. She sits on the ground and shows me her feet. This is what I see and I know instantly what she has done but I would like her to tell me.

Me: What happened?
M: (with big blue eyes looking up at me) I don't know.
Me: Did you ride your scooter?
M: Yes.
Me: Did you have your shoes on?
M: No (smiles really big) I don't know where dey at.
Me: Did you go really fast on your scooter?
M: Yes!
Me: Did you use your foot to stop?
M: Yes.
Me: Do you think you should put shoes on next time?
M: Yes.

At least the socks slowed her down without getting her foot scraped and rubbed raw. However, shoes still provide the greatest amount of friction for slowing a fast moving girl on a scooter and last quite a bit longer.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Ice Baby

You know it's cold in your house and outside when you find ice on the inside of your windows and not just a trace but quite bit. I decided that the Christmas lights in the girls bedrooms needed to come down today because I really wanted to put the last box of Christmas stuff finally away. I pulled up their blinds and started pulling off the suction cups holding the lights when I noticed that at the bottoms of the windows near the track the window had a nice quarter inch of ice all the way along and in the corners there was a bit more. Is it time for new windows? Probably. Will we get them? No, because I plan on moving after this winter. But poor little M whose bed is below the window with the most ice on it. I'd move the bed but there is no place else to put the tiny toddler bed so we'll just make sure that she is covered up at night before we go to bed. That is an easier thing to say than to do. M has little to no fat on her body. Last night when I went to tuck her in before heading to bed she had taken off her pajamas and was huddled in a ball. I put her heavy fleece blanket on top of her and she relaxed a bit. I knew the temperature was going to drop last night with the incoming storm so I put her jammies back on while she was sleeping--not an easy task as she kept wanting to suck her thumb but I needed her arm to put inside the sleeve. It was finally accomplished and a blanket tucked in around her. This morning she was still dressed so that is a good thing; however, if she chooses to get undressed in the middle of the night except for her underwear like she did last night, I can't do much about it. I'm hoping this getting undressed thing is just a stage.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy 2009!

Ever since we've had kids we've decided to celebrate New Years early. Early is usually around 8 P.M. so somewhere in the world someone is bringing in the new year with us but usually it's not our neighbors. We light sparklers at 6:00 and then come in to play some games, eat some treats and then do our countdown at 10 seconds to 8. At which time we toot our horns, pop those little confetti things and shout at the top of our lungs, "Happy New Year!" Then it is time to clean up the streamers, finish getting the kids ready for bed and then finally put them to bed. We figure there is no sense in having the kids stay up late since they don't sleep in and then have them be grumpy all the next day because of lack of sleep. It works out really well since they watch fun movies during the day and at night we have our party with lots of fun treats that they have picked out.

This year, E, asked me if she could stay up till midnight. I told her no and that we celebrate early so that the next day we can all be happy people. Besides we were going to go sledding the next morning after we got up and had breakfast. That seemed to help. And on New Year's Day we did go sledding bright and early and we were the only ones at the hill so they all had plenty of time to sled on the sleds or on their stomachs and do the penguin slide. Even H got a few rides and enjoyed crawling on the icy snow. He lost his boots a few times but what do you expect from someone who still crawls everywhere.

Our favorite game this year was the Honey Bee Hop--squeals of giggles are heard as the girls try to jump over the bee and it gets them all tired from jumping and laughing. Here's to a great 2009!