Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter!

This is one of the most beautiful talks about Easter and what Christ did for all of us. Whenever we feel lonely, lost, hurt, or afraid, we need to remember we aren't alone. Christ understands. And if we turn to him, he can help us through anything!

Friday, March 29, 2013

thank goodness for video game

There was lots of this stuff going on during our week off.
Because, you know it's Marchuary, and it's been like, 60 degrees outside.
Waaay colder than January was. And too cold to be out and about much.
Seriously. I don't know how we even survived the freezing weather.
Luckily, Marchuary is almost over and the days are warming up again.
The pool has been mocking us during spring break.
Being open but too cold to use. It's cruel.
I know you all feel sorry for us,
but we'll get by somehow until the 80's come back on Monday.
No need to bring us meals or anything...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

we've got some rad moves, dude...

Here are some recent dance moves our family put out there for the world to see! If you need instructions on how to perform any of these fancy dance moves, let us know, we can make a training video ;-)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

another day of spring break

Yesterday we had to take Ethan to the dentist.
This is what Josh and Ashley did while Ethan's teeth were being cleaned.
No cavities, but we got a referral to an orthodontist who will tell us if Ethan needs a few permanent teeth pulled to make room in his crowded mouth for two teeth struggling to come out when there's no place to go.
Cross our fingers we won't have to pay for that... 

 The kids decided to be rock scientists. They pulled out their book about rocks, found their magnifying glasses, and checked out their own rock collections and also the rocks around our village. 
 Josh is dusting off an old fossil leg bone he got from the museum a few weeks ago. He took it very seriously, scratching, dusting, and checking it out with his magnifying glasses.
 They think they figured out what all of their rocks are called.

Ethan has been into chess for a few days. Nobody really wants to play with him. So while he was staring at his board, he asked if he could take pictures of it. He snapped these pictures and then helped me edit them on the computer. Not too shabby!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

lame-o coughs, crazy costumes, and grocery carts

So I've had a cough that mostly comes around at night when I'm trying to sleep. Which makes it really hard to wake up in the morning. But yesterday (the first day of the kids' spring break!) I peeled myself out of bed, showered and dragged us over to the village's spring break costume party.

 Ashley always has pink lips, but the lighting here makes them look super pink! Maybe it was the juice she just finished drinking. 
 Ethan was a Hawaiian cow. He wants you to eat more chicken and get milk.

Too bad space man josh's picture was all blurry. Oh well. he's still cute.

Then we had to go shopping because (of this darned cough) we didn't have much food, such as bread and fruits. Since I had my camera, I decided to let you all come shopping with us.
 Everyone else took their costumes off, except Josh. At least he left his helmet in the car. And look how Ethan is drooling over the candy (which we never buy).

 Publix had BOGO on cereal, so the kids were excited to read the back of the scooby cereal (which we never buy).

I'm not sure what Josh is pondering about here, but it is probably something deep and meaningful, and not about the candy (which is right next to him)...

Monday, March 25, 2013

welcome, spring break

It is spring break this week! I get to spend all my time with these guys. Things are {almost} always more fun when they are around. Grocery shopping isn't such a chore because they can help me carry things from the car, and laundry is actually interesting because who knew putting quarters in a machine could be so exciting. Yay for spring break.

Now if only it would warm up like spring, so we could go swimming, things would really be looking good this week...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

come listen to a prophet's voice!

In biblical times, God spoke through prophets. He still does. We can know why we're here. Who we are. Where we are going. I know God hears and answers our prayers, and I can't wait to listen to living prophets during conference :)

Friday, March 22, 2013

crepes and conversation

Last night my kids had crepes for the first time. The Relief Society had a meeting to talk about the importance of family meal time. They served crepes as dessert. My kids were instantly in love. I guess I need to learn how to make them now.

Chris and I were both raised in families that believed family meals were important, so it hasn't been too difficult to make it a priority to eat together most of the time. Our problem is the conversation.

Half the time our kids sit and make noises. Or whistle or sing or say something silly which makes everyone else repeat it over and over and over. And over. We end up telling everyone to zip their lips and just eat if they aren't going to contribute to a decent conversation. So we all eat in peace and quiet.

But that's not what family meals should usually be about. It's a time when we can discuss our days and our discouragements and our dreams. I remember lots of interesting conversations when I was growing up, both fun and serious. And I love eating with Chris's family for the same reason. It's bonding time.

So last night the teacher gave out a page full of conversation starters. Thoughtful things like, "tell us about something nice you did for someone today?" or silly things like, "If you had 3 wishes, what would they be (and you can't wish for money!)?"

Maybe tonight we'll we'll try it out. I think there will be less hoo-ha going on while we eat, and more heart-to-heart. I'll let you know how it goes :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

super kids

My kids got these super cool superhero costumes from a cousin's birthday party a few years ago. They still love them. Especially Josh.

Every week we have to traipse over to the church at Josh's bedtime for Ethan's scouts and Ashley's achievement day activities, and my young women meetings. Josh has to sit quietly with a bag of junk to keep him busy. Last week Josh wore this to our weekly activity. He made a lot of people smile as he wandered around the hallways in this gettup.

And yes, we try to be super quiet in our apartment so we don't bother any neighbors. But for these special few minutes, I let him jump off the bed, and jump on my bed, so he could be a real superhero. He thought it was the best. day. ever.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Strike a pose (or a bug!)

This has nothing to do with the totem pole kids picture, but I had to share a story and didn't want to steal a picture off the internet. Anyway, these kids are cuter than what I'm about to talk about.

The other morning I walked into my kitchen and a big creepy bug was standing around near my stove. "Silverfish," I thought. Then immediately wondered why I thought I knew the name of a bug I've never seen before.

It gave me one glance and promptly ran away. Which was a smart move on its part. I looked around until I found it, then successfully smashed it, which always makes me feel guilty. How many bugs will approach me in heaven someday and say, "Man, I wasn't doin' you no harm. Why'd you go and kill me?" (Because bugs will have dumb accents in heaven. And bad grammar, too.)

So I looked up "silverfish" on the internet, and sure enough, that was what I saw.
Now I know I'm a genius, knowing the name of a bug I don't know anything about...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

can you dig it?

On Saturday we went to the Natural History Museum for an event all about the earth.
We studied sand from around the world, and looked at it under a microscope.
Chris pointed out the Mt. Fuji "sand" to me, because...ah, Natsukashii.

We made a topographical map out of sand and a cool sensory projector.
They made mountains, then made it rain, and then created an ocean.
This scientific tool (and accompanying sand box) is now on my Christmas wish list.

We made an earthquake by jumping on the floor and watching the seismograph go crazy.
We also made an earthquake by shaking a slinky. 
We poked a cake with a fat straw to see layers of earth, we made water more acidic by blowing bubbles, we made tectonic plates shift on an Oreo, and we were given pieces of dinosaur bones and teeth, sparkly rocks, and even a few real gems.

Now I know exactly what to do next time my kids have to enter a science fair. I love this museum.

And, P.S., if you're curious, I don't have a black eye like the Dr. promised I would. So far. Right now it's just puffy and swollen and gross :)

Monday, March 18, 2013

eye surgery fun

This morning I went in to get a chalazion looked at, and hopefully removed.
It has been hanging around since October, and even though it doesn't bother me or get in the way too often, it's kind of embarrassing having a huge lump making the bags under my eyes look even baggier.
 My optometrist brother told me I should see an ophthalmologist about it, so I made an appointment. They couldn't see me for over a month, and I crossed my fingers that it would go away on its own. I really don't like going to the doctor. A lot.

But my appointment came, and the chalazion was still there. The doctor said it probably wouldn't go away on its own, it was pretty solid. So he offered to do some minor surgery. I'd read up on this before hand, and knew what to expect, so I said, "Yes, yes! A thousand times yes." Because I really wanted that annoying lump on my eye to be gone.
And this minor surgery? It hurt. A lot. They basically had to give me a shot in my eye lid to numb it, then flip my lid inside out, then give me another shot. The ungraceful doctor then scraped and cut and picked until my mass was supposedly gone. And he chatted the whole time like I wasn't there. Even though he was causing me quite a bit of pain and trauma.

Then they finished up, said goodbye, and left me to walk to the check out desk alone. I nearly fainted, I think my body was in a bit of shock. I looked like a zombie walking out of the office and out the building and down the street to the parking garage to wait 40 minutes for Chris to finish up his class and drive me home.
Now I get to have a sore black eye for a few weeks, and hope that the doctor really did know what he was doing. If the lump is still there, then so be it. Vanity can take a back seat. Next time someone offers to perform minor surgery on my eye, I'll say, "Look, is that Elvis?" and then I'll run the other way.

And by the way, it's really hard to type and use my hands with one eye. No depth perception at all. I admire all my one-eyed friends out there who can actually get things done every day. Sheesh, I am such a wimp...

Friday, March 15, 2013

bug playground

The kids gathered some fancy sticks and stones and large pine cones, and created a place for bugs to hang out. They were so excited when a few bugs came crawling around, having a good time.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Chinese Salmon Salad for one

Today at lunch I was craving salad and salmon. So I decided to invent an easy recipe because I'm pretty lazy when it comes to making lunch. It made enough for me, so if I made it for my family, I'd have to quadruple the recipe.

Chinese Salmon Salad

1 3oz smoked salmon pouch (I used Chicken of the Sea, it tastes pretty good)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp pure maple syrup
2 tsp light soy sauce
2 tsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp ground pepper
sprinkle of pepper
sprinkle of salt
1 Tbsp chives (less if using dried chives)
1/4 c sliced or slivered almonds
1 c spinach or other green salad

Mix everything but greens in a small bowl, then spread over the top of salad. Sprinkle with chow mien noodles. After I ate my salad, I had a cutie for dessert and realized it would have been good chopped on top. So if you'd like to add a little sweetness to this salad, sprinkle some mandarin oranges on top or on the side.

the sound of music

 One sad thing about being a poor starving college family is that we don't have extra money for lessons. I wanted to start my kids playing the piano a few years ago, and then we decided to go back to school.

Even though I play, I don't know how to teach. I tried a few times with Ethan. He wasn't interested and I didn't know how to make him interested. And as a mom, I need to pick my battles. That wasn't one I was interested in fighting at the moment.

At this point Ashley is the only one self-motivated enough to listen to my pathetic attempt at piano lessons, and then practice until she has each song memorized. She's getting better every day, and it's fun to have someone else play the piano during our Family Home Evenings for a change. There's always music in our house now, and I love it!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

This Ethan is a Funny Guy

A few weeks ago, Ethan wrote a script. Kids versus Witch. He sat for hours scribbling it out in a notebook. Then he sat even longer pounding it out on the computer. Then he took it to school and held auditions.

That's right. He walked around at recess and asked if anyone wanted to audition for his play. And who would have thought? A dozen kids wanted to participate. Several girls even auditioned for the part of the witch. It went to the girl with the best witch voice.

Ethan cast himself as the main character, Ian. But he let someone else be the director. Now Ethan carries a big black script binder to school every day, so his cast can practice at recess. He wondered if he might be able to put the play on for the entire school. I told him it wasn't likely, but that he should ask his teacher if they could put the play on for the class someday.

If he does, I hope he invites me!

Monday, March 11, 2013

39 wishes

When I was little, I remember wishing to be discovered as The Next Big Thing.
The next big what? I'm not sure. But whatever it was, I was pretty sure I was the best at it, and people would fall all over each other to get tickets to see it.

Maybe I'd be the star of My Turn on Earth. My parents took me to that musical, and I spent many hours standing on a box in my room, pretending to come down from heaven singing, "My turn, it's my turn, it's" I was pretty good at that.
When I got a little older, I wished for someone to fall madly in love with me. Or even better, I wished for a kiss. Even though I knew I didn't really want one. Some guy with his eyes closed and his slimy lips coming toward me? Gross.

Thank goodness my church standards saved me from all that awkward and embarrassing kissing stuff. 
After I finally got a kiss or two, I went to college and wished to know what to study. And I wished for an internship. And a job. And to travel the world. And I especially wished for a husband.

It wasn't so much that I minded being single. Singleness was actually not too shabby most of the time. But dating was too much pressure. The whole, "Lets go out for a few hours, look our most attractive and be on our best behavior, and see if we could be eternally compatible."
Too. Much. Pressure.
So I wished for a magical way to find a husband without dating.
I lived in Tokyo for a year. I graduated from college with an exciting major, a good internship, and a decent job. But no husband.

So I moved on and wished for other things. I wanted to play the guitar and become a background singer for Peter Breinholt and the Big Parade. And I wished to be fit and healthy. I wished to be a better person. I wished to spend lots of time with my family and friends and just be plain old happy.

All of those wishes came true. Except for the whole Peter Breinholt thing. But that was okay. I found people in my singles ward to play the guitar with me. We sounded pretty good sometimes, too.

This year I get to make 39 birthday wishes. That's a lot, and I'm not sure what to wish for.
Maybe I can share them with my husband and kids and friends. They can all have whatever they want this year. I'll just keep two for myself.

My first birthday wish is that my apartment walls magically become sound proof so I don't have to hear or smell my neighbors all day.
You never know, it could happen!

My second wish is for my family to continue being healthy and happy. That's all.
Now I can't wait for next year, but I'd better start thinking about what I want. If you need a wish, let me know, I'll get 40 of them. I'll have a few to spare...

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A million kisses

Yesterday Josh woke up with a sore throat.
He sat there all silent at breakfast, with tears running down his cheeks. He cried because it hurt.
He mostly cried because it was pajama day at school, and he'd been looking forward to it for weeks.
So we had pajama day at home. 
(someone needs to remind me to never make a silly fish face again. I look like the one who is sick...)

While we were eating lunch, he read his Go-Gurt wrapper. It had a fill-in-the-blank area for him to make his own lyrics. So this is what Josh came up with:

I want to be a builder
I want to see the Eiffel Tower
I want to wear a golf shirt and dance
And have a million kisses
'cause I want to be a builder

The golf shirt part makes me laugh because he has to wear one of those every day. It's part of his school uniform. But I guess it's his dream to wear one while he's dancing at the Eiffel Tower.

I asked him who was going to give him a million kisses. He gave me a "duh" look and said, "You are, Mom!"
Then he sat thinking about it for a while, until he said, "Since I'm six, you've probably already given me about two-hundred and one thousand kisses. I think I only need about a hundred and ninety-nine more."

So every time I passed by him, I'd kiss his forehead or cheek and say, "Two-hundred one-thousand and ONE. Two-hundred one-thousand and TWO."

It will take a while, but we'll eventually reach a million kisses.

Friday, March 8, 2013

a big snake and a little boy

Yesterday I went on a field trip with Josh.
I arrived at the museum early enough I got to enjoy the peaceful morning and beautiful scenery for a while. 
This is the music I listened to as I waited:
 The bus showed up, and off we went in a herd of first graders to check out the Titanaboa.
Josh said he was nervous to see such a big snake. Until he remembered it lived 60 million years ago.
Josh's favorite part of the day was looking at the huge sculpture of the Titanoboa.
My favorite part of the day was every time he held my hand.

My second favorite part of the day was when the docent explained to the kids why The Swamp doesn't have any dinosaur bones, like the T-Rex. All of our fossils have to do with the ocean, since we were once part of the ocean floor.

The docent said she saw real dinosaur bones in Utah once (she was wearing a t-shirt to prove it). All the kids looked at Josh, fully impressed because they all know that's where he's from.

A little boy turned to me and asked if Josh ever got to see a live dinosaur in Utah.
I said, "Nope, they were all dead by the time Josh was born."
Then he asked if I've ever seen one.
Why, yes. Yes I have.

 The museum has a room of quotes that are all lit up. This one goes out to my mountain man, Chris.
When the tour was over, the first graders gathered near the frog wall to eat lunch. Unfortunately, Josh told his teacher I was bringing a lunch for him, even though I'd signed a paper stating that he was going to get a school sack lunch. So he didn't have anything to eat.

His teacher suggested I sign him out right then and there and take him home, since the field trip was over. So it was a date. We held hands and walked home and enjoyed each other's company for a few hours before everyone else got home.

I sure love this little guy.