Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's a Girl Thing

Once again I have no photo for what I want to talk about. Yesterday we bought a beautiful red dress for Gwen to wear to church for the Christmas season. I was so excited about it and dreamed of dressing her in it and getting the perfect picture. But no such luck.

Gwen never stops moving unless she's asleep and even then I have my doubts! So she is a bear to dress. Then you add a big fluffy dress and buttons that would be easy to do on a doll, and you get my drift of how hard it is to dress the Little Miss. I did my best to make her hair feminine. Sometimes she looks so much like her brothers. In that dress with her short hair it looked like we were putting a dress on one of our boys. She looked very pretty today. If she hadn't spit up and drooled all over the dress and had dark gray toes on her white tights from crawling around the church, I would have redone her hair for a picture. Maybe next week.

Every once in a while I'm overwhelmed in some way by the fact that I have a girl. I can't wait to paint her nails. I know I could do it now but like I said, she is a professional wiggle worm. I can't wait for her hair to grow longer so I can do fun things with it. At least it's getting thicker now. I love all her cute girly clothes. I love that the lint trap is filled with pink lint after I do her laundry. I love her little doll that is always abandoned somewhere in the house. I love that she actually plays with it. I love that she plays with her brothers toys. Especially the cars.

Sometimes it's scary to think that I am responsible for a little girl. I worry about her self-esteem, friends, boys. I hope she has boyfriends. Lots of them. And I hope she is the definition of modesty and wholesomeness without coming across the wrong way. I hope she is never taken advantage of in any way. I hope that when she tries to spite me for making her such a girly girl and excells in sports for her dad, I hope she can take out the ponytail and put on make up when it's appropriate.

A year ago we didn't know who Gwen would be. There were worries but there was faith and joy too. She is perfect and we are all in love with her. I am so glad I have two boys and a girl. My boys push me beyond my comfort zone and I love it. They couldn't be more perfect. I could have never had all girls. That would have never satisfied me. I am so blessed to have the family I have with all their challenges and joyous moments.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Sorry, but it is a day late.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What have you been up to?

I can do the "Mom Thing" in my own way. But "Suzy Homemaker" I am not! Yesterday we made sugar cookies. I used a premade mix that expired last year or something like that. Heath assured me it would be fine. Then I made a mistake that basically resulted in me doubling the recipe but losing half of it. How is that possible you ask? I forgot to melt the butter first. I put the egg in the mix with the cold margarine. (Good thing I didn't waste good butter on this mistake!) Then I tried to mix it all together. That's not possible so I threw it out and started over after melting the margarine first.

The boys loved cutting out the cookies themselves. I would roll it out and they would use the cookie cutters. I used parchment paper which meant I only had to use one cookie sheet and not have to clean it. I am thankful for parchment paper.

Then the fun part. After the cookies were cooled we

did this!

That's right, I let them frost their own cookies and pour their own candy. It only took one cookie from each boy to verbalize the rule of pouring a little bit of candy on their plates and not directly on the cookie!

When we were finished we enjoyed the fruits of our labors. This morning they were begging for cookies as soon as they finished their breakfast. I told them they could have one cookie all day and I didn't care when they ate it. So they ate it as soon as I was done talking.

The boys have been crazy today. It's like it's been raining all day, Dad worked from home, and tomorrow is Thanksgiving or something. So we made Muddy Buddies. For my first time I don't think I did too bad. I don't think I'll ever make it again though. It's so sweet it gives me an instant tummy ache. I'm all for making the Chex Party Mix again though. That's good eats.
After lunch we did some crafts. We made snowmen out of leftover craft/science supplies from my teaching days. I think they turned out really cute.

Parker has loved his so much it's fallen apart a couple of times. Who knew it would be such a hit.

Then Gavin made a pencil person. I came up with this idea when I taught 4th grade. I told my students that they were not allowed to use their erasers when we were practicing handwriting. So we decorated the tops of the handwriting pencils so the eraser couldn't be used. Gavin thought it was fun making a pencil person that looked just like mine. He was concerned about covering up the eraser but he'll get over it. It won't be a homework pencil.
Then they watched a movie and had popcorn while I was supposed to shower. I cleaned the bathroom instead. I have not sat down all day! Being a good mom is a full time job. How do you women do it?
Tomorrow we will be decorating a box to look like a gingerbread house. Heath asked for paper instead of plastic today so I can use the paper bags to cover the box. That will be our project to keep kids away from Dad while he makes Thanksgiving dinner. Then dessert will be with a family in our ward who are famous for their desserts. In fact, we have been told that calling it dessert is like calling a lamborghini a car. Works for me!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Elfs do the Charleston

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Country Elfing

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Disco Elfing

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Just elfing myself

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Monday, November 24, 2008

Easy Monday

Gavin is out of school all this week for Thanksgiving. He had Friday off last week too. I was intimidated about all the time off. The last day off of school he had did not go well. So I made sure to plan, plan, plan. My kids are easy like me. If there is one activity a day they're fine.

Gavin's vacation so far:
1. Had a friend over on Friday while his mom met with a client.
2. Weekends are weekends. We watched a couple of Christmas movies this weekend so that was fun.
3. On Saturday I burned a CD for the boys with all their favorite songs. We may do a couple more for stocking stuffers for them. They love having their own music in their room.
4. Gavin was up and dressed with shoes and socks by the time I got out of the shower this morning. Where's that cooperation on a school day?
5. Went grocery shopping for ingredients for treats.
6. Made Chex Party Mix for the first time. It's tasty.
7. Gavin was invited to a friend's house. Parker had a pouty face when the friend came so his mom invited Parker too. What a rare privilege to be invited to play with the big boys!
8. I dealt with an issue at the library while I only had Gwen. It's not resolved yet. They think I have a book I know I returned. We're all looking again.
9. I talked to my doctor's receptionist about renewing my prescriptions since he's ending his practice next month. The website had been unsuccessful.
10. Gavin went over his reading flash cards and even some math flash cards. I don't want his brain to turn to mush in 10 days!

So who wants to nominate me for mom of the year? Big grin :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Toilet Seat Debate

Up or down? Some families have to deal with this question. Our family keeps it down. Actually, we close the lid too. But here's a good reason why it should be left open.

Gwen has been growing lately or something because she sleeps a lot. She takes a two hour nap in the morning and a two to four hour nap in the afternoon. Then she's cranky and ready for bed at 8 pm and sleeps for 11-12 hours.

Last night she was losing her mind around 7:30 pm. So we decided to skip the Saturday night bath and just get her ready for bed. We figured we could either bathe her in the morning or she could shower with one of us.

Heath volunteered to shower with her. He got her completely undressed, including losing the diaper, and turned on the shower. I was creating a cloud of hairspray when I heard Heath say uh-oh and head for the toilet. We were both laughing but neither one of us got to the toilet in time to open the lid. Gwen finished the last tiny little bit in the bathtub that is conveniently located next to the toilet. We had a good laugh over that one and they showered while I wiped up baby dribbles off of the floor. I guess I better clean my bathroom tomorrow!

Hard Questions

On Bill Engvall's "Here's Your Sign" CD he talks about how his 9 year old daughter "is starting to ask questions I don't think she needs to know the answers to. Ever!"

This question came up in our house this morning.

Gavin: Why do Moms and Dads go to bed naked sometimes?
Me: Who told you that?
Gavin (growling because he thinks he's in trouble): I'm looking at it now!

I look up at the scene on Shrek the Third that he's watching.

Me: Shrek doesn't have a shirt on but that doesn't mean he's naked!
Gavin: Oh.

Whew! Dodged that bullet!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Mary Higgins Clark is a fabulous author. She really is. Every time I read one of her books I remember that I am too sensitive for the thrilling story. I've mentioned before that I don't indulge in books very often because I ignore my responsibilities to read. Mary Higgins Clark books are hard to put down. Her stories are fast paced and gripping. I like that. But they are almost too thrilling for me too. I have a tendency to get too caught up in stories. Especially when I read. It almost becomes reality to me.

I just finished reading the Anastacia Syndrome. I am so freaked out right now! That was quite the story. It was so good that I don't think I can ever read it again. One heart pounding read was enough for me.

One question I have is, has Mary Higgins Clark had personal experiences with schizophrenia? She writes about it a lot. She is good and I am so glad I finished the story now and not at midnight before falling asleep for the night!!!

How Big is Gwen?

So big!

I took Gwen to the doctor yesterday for her 9 month check up. She will be 9 months on Saturday.

height: 29.5" Above 95%
weight: 22 lbs 10 oz. Above 95%
head: 90%

I was surprised about the head measurement. I had to tease Heath and say that she has his big, fat head. What else can you do when you have a genetically small head that your mom calls a pea brain (her head is small too)?

Gwen has mastered all her 9 month skills including one 10 month skill. I wasn't told what that was and I didn't ask. Dr. Smith acted as if this is not her favorite baby stage. Her baby is just entering it. But I love this stage even though it is high maintenance. Dr. Smith said something about me getting lots of exercise while I try to keep up with Gwen and keep her out of trouble. I wouldn't put it terms of exercise.

I let her climb the stairs. Why not? She needs to learn that skill at some point. It makes increases her self-esteem to accomplish that. When I don't want to follow her I put her in her exersaucer or in her jumper hanging in the doorway or I corral her somewhere. Not as much physical exercise; more like creative mental exercise!

Gwen is still on Axid. She is actually on a lower dose than she needs based on her weight. But Dr. Smith said if that works for us then we should keep it that way. She is still hopeful Gwen will be off of Axid by her first birthday. Let's hope!

Even though Gwen is a BIG baby the doctor says she is not gaining weight faster than she should. Dr. Smith is happy with Gwen's size and progress. I'm not worried because Gwen has always been tall and big for her age. It was about a year ago I was being told I had a big baby in my belly. I heard comments like, "Don't worry, you just have a future basketball player in there." Or, "Oh good, you're planning to have a scheduled c-section. We would have suggested it because you're not going to get this baby out on your own!" I'm still getting used to having such a big baby. When I told Heath about Gwen's weight it reminded us about how Gavin didn't even weigh 20 lbs at his 12 month check up and had to keep his carseat facing backwards for about 3 weeks. Every baby is different.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Comic Relief

Heated argument between Parker and me (the reason for all the capital letters)

Parker: I WILL!
Parker: YES!!!

Heath and I could not stop laughing at that one. Normally I have yelling matches with Gavin and almost never with Parker. He was on one tonight but trust Parker to break the tension with some hilarious response!

These pictures were taken last night. I love that Parker is all cranky in the first one. Seconds later the second picture was taken. That kid cracks me up.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Worth a thousand words

Yes, a picture would have been worth a thousand words but you can't capture everything on camera.

Gavin: Mom, Parker taked his socks off.
Me: I know. He wore them yesterday so he took them off to change them. You should change your socks and underwear everyday.

This is not a new concept. Heath and I have been telling our kids to change socks and underwear for years. But you should have seen the look on Gavin's face. It was priceless. He had his head tilted to one side just a bit. His nose was wrinkled into almost a sneer and his mouth was wide open. He looked like he had never considered the need to change his socks and underwear daily. I had to laugh it was too funny.

A while later Parker said something that wasn't as funny as how he said it. I laughed and told him he makes me laugh. He gave a courtesy laugh back and said, "Me too."

In honor of Thanksgiving (and with one of Gavin's homework assignments in mind), I am thankful for my sense of humor and the way my kids always make me laugh.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The magic of kindergarten

wore off a long time ago. Looking on the bright side, if we can survive this year, we can survive ANYTHING!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Heath and I went out on Saturday night. That was fun. I love having him all to myself. I love taking his Mini instead of my mini van. Vans are just not cool date vehicles!

We decided to explore so we went to Fremont to eat at Johnny Carino's. While it's no Cedar City Pizza and Pasta Factory, it was worth the trip. I know I've said it before but restaurants seriously have the best Diet Coke EVER!!! I can't believe I only had 2. It was so good. I've been craving Diet Coke ever since we left.

After dinner Heath and I ended up doing Christmas shopping for our kids. The opportunity presented itself so we took it. We are pretty close to done with our Christmas shopping now and it's not even Thanksgiving yet!

Yesterday Heath tuned the TV to a Christmas music channel. I told him he shouldn't have done that because it made me want to bust out the Christmas tree. He told me in no uncertain terms that I was not allowed to decorate yet. He claims the Christmas music thing was because our grocery store has been playing Christmas music since November 1.

I'm so excited that Gwen will be 10 months old for her first Christmas. She will be much funner than the boys who were both 5 months for their first Christmas. I just don't think she will leave the tree alone. We may have to get one of those baby gates that wraps around. Heath said maybe she would leave it alone because of the pricklyness of the tree. I reminded him that she is our texture girl. I thought Parker was curious until I met Gwen. I still think Parker looks like Curious George but Gwen is very curious about everything. She was touching all the stereo equipment last night. Heath would sternly say her name and she would stand up and do her head dance like that was all she was doing over there all along! Little stinker!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pink Slip

We are slowly saying permanent goodbyes to our baby items. All the nursing things in the picture have been given to my sister. The bras were donated to DI. I hope that's not weird but they were nice nursing bras that were hardly used.
Heath just donated our high chair, swing, and bathtub. There were more boy clothes and our travel system stroller. Unfortunately, I had forgotten about the baby chairs in my closet. There will be more opportunities to donate again.
It is a liberating feeling to be donating those items to DI for someone to buy at a heavily discounted price. Some of those items have been with us since 2003. What a relief to not have to store it anymore but just send it on to someone with a growing family.
I know so many people still having babies. And that's cool. I'm happy for them. But my family is complete and I'm giving the pink slip to baby items that Gwen no longer has use for. The best part is unless we adopt a baby, we will never have to have baby items in our house again until we have grandkids. If I get pregnant again I lose my husband. To jail or prison for hunting down my OB/GYN!
Happy parenting, no matter what stage in the game you're at.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Sorry Mom and Dad but I hate my name. I know that everyone has some reason to hate their name so who am I to complain. But really. Credit card applications and other random junk mail for me with a Mr. in front? Really? I just got a phone call from my eye doctor's office about my appointment tomorrow.

This message is for Tristan. This is blah blah from blah blah's office. If you could let him know his appointment is tomorrow. Thanks.

Him? His? Really? Amazing that this is a problem when giving boys names to girls is the new norm. Taylor, Tyler, Ryan, Riley, Parker, Bryce, Shawn, etc. I had a friend once use her brother's library card when she couldn't find hers. The librarian gave her a weird look and said Your name is Brian? My friend replied with a confident It's pronounced Breeann. And my liar mouth friend got away with it!

I thought we picked good names for our kids until I found out how many Gavin W's live in the area, the number of girls named Parker, and the fact that everyone thinks Gwen's name is Gwendolyn or Gwenevere. It's Gwenyth thank you very much.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Toy Story

There is a love/hate relationship with toys in our house. I fight with my kids about cleaning up toys. Daily. But I can see toys on TV or in a catalogue or in a store and really want to buy it for my kids. I love my kids and I know what their interests are and I want to spoil them. Then I go home and the toy fight begins again (or resumes) whether I've bought them toys or not.

I was talking to my mom last night and I vented a little about the latest battle of the Toy War. I told her that we weren't going to buy any new toys for Christmas. She said That's what you say now! I was in the middle of the battle that had been going on for a while at that point so I never thought I would surrender my position.

Parker finally saved us all from the insanity! He cleaned up the toys with my direction. (If I sit in there they think I'm helping.) It helped that Gavin was at school so there was no unnecessary-ness. Gavin likes to argue, bargain, whine, you name it he does it. Since the toys were cleaned up I allowed Parker to watch a movie. He chose super long movies that we didn't have time for so we compromised with a couple shorter ones. One was our homemade movies. Guess what Parker saw.

Not a big deal until you realize I cleaned up in the garage yesterday. I took the garbage out and finally decided to do something about the mess in there. The boys were fighting. I was tired of listening and playing referee. Gwen was asleep. So I took the opportunity.
I created a DI pile of sorts. It's hard to pile a baby swing, highchair, and tub. I also put this crocodile piano on the pile. (The pictures are from Gavin's second birthday when we gave him the piano because we were trying to foster his love of music.) The piano had turned into a chair more often than they ever played with it. I don't know why we brought it with us to CA but it's been collecting dust and spiderwebs ever since.
Parker had seen the piano in the garage since I moved it. I didn't want him playing in the garage so I brought it in the house. I was so close to getting rid of it! The crocodile piano has been revived. Everyone is happy except Mom and Dad. The demo button can really grate on a person's nerves!
On a slightly less related note. Gavin is Star Cub of the week in his class. He gets special privileges like being first in line etc. We had to make a poster for him with pictures showing his progression from birth to present. We also had to write a letter expressing how we felt about Gavin. We knew about this for at least 10 days. But since procrastination is one of our favorite sins, we put it all together Sunday night. As I had said in a previous post, it had been a long weekend. Gavin was revved up and intense from the moment he woke up around 6:30 am on Saturday and he never really calmed down all weekend. It wasn't as easy for me to write about my love for my child in that frame of mind.
Heath wrote his letter first. It was perfect. I had a harder time but managed to get into a groove a couple of sentences in. I was pleased with the results. After that I felt like reading all the letters I have written for him and saved in his scrapbook. My bad feelings melted away.
We thought we ended the weekend battle of the neverending Toy War on Monday night when we had a family home evening lesson on respect and helping around the house. We ended with returning the toys. (As I said before, every last one of their toys was in our room.) They put the toys away that night. You can imagine what happened yesterday.
Since the battle was still on this morning I was mad at both boys when I dropped Gavin off at school. I thawed a lot when Parker finally took care of the toys without incident. But when I went to pick up Gavin, another mom, who had volunteered today, told me how Gavin told her all about why we didn't do anything yesterday for the Veterans Day holiday. He admitted it was because they didn't clean up toys! Nice. She told him what we have been saying for years. That if you play with one thing and then put it away when you're done, it won't be such a big mess to clean up later. I was hoping that since he heard it from someone else he would actually think it was a good idea. All he remembers from the conversation was that she said her boys make a big mess too sometimes. (Proof that kids only hear what they want to!)
Then Gavin's teacher told me that she had read the letters that Heath and I wrote today when she had her snack time with Gavin (a perk of being Star Cub). She said the letters were so special and she thanked me for writing it. She looked like she may tear up if she talked about it much more. That made me feel good to hear her reaction.
At the end of the day I do love my kids. I always love my kids but we do butt heads a lot about things. I don't care what anyone thinks or says about my involvement in the Toy War. It's not about toys, it's about respect. If my kids weren't so disrespetful about it I would try to let it go but we're trying to teach them the importance of respect. And come Christmas, they will get toys. A limited number as we have alreadry discussed, but they will get toys despite our threats that they won't!

The Biggest Loser

Somehow I have really gotten into this show! I stumbled across it on FLN one night. Now it's my new thing. I think it's on every Tuesday night at 10:00 or something. I guess you could say I'm not addicted since I don't know when it's on, just what channel, so I'm pleasantly surprised every time.

I find it very motivating to watch overweight people do crazy exercise routines while I lie in my bed like a lump. Heath always says encouraging things to me like telling me my belly is getting smaller and less dense.

We started this new routine Saturday night. We had the TV on in our room and we started playing around with my fitness ball. I don't know what Heath thought of that night but I sort of made a competition out of it. We got the fitness ball out because of an exercise we saw on The Biggest Loser. (neither one of us is any good at it and can't complete a set!) It's been our nightly thing ever since. I have been pushing myself harder and harder every night. I used to exercise in the morning but I always had to skip mornings when my blood sugar was normal or low or I would have dropped way too low. So it's easier to deal with everything at night. Plus, I have more time to do more than I used to do in the morning. Last night I busted out the weights to work on my triceps since I'm not very good at push ups on the ball.

I could look fabulous from all this! Yeah, we'll see. I lost 5 pounds the first weekend we got the Wii. It's all back now! I feel better about myself when I do something that makes my muscles scream.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Gavin put the paper in one of the outside pockets of his backpack. He checked the wrong one and thought he lost it while lining up before school. He was told he wouldn't share today but maybe he could make another one and share next week. All my worrying for nothing!

Gwen update: it looks like she is getting 3 teeth at once. The 2 on the side like I said and now one of the top front teeth is starting to break through. I can't feel the other front tooth but her gums are swollen there. No wonder she hasn't slept as well this weekend. That and Parker wakes everyone up with his naptime tantrums and waking up at 6 am regardless of when he was sent to bed the night before!

Every single boy toy is in my room right now! Long weekend. Don't ask. They were so out of control yesterday after church and I couldn't calm them down even with Wii Mario Party 8! They were in bed at 7 pm.

Parker update: He is potty trained. He has been a little under the weather the last several days. I don't know if that's why he's been going so often but he poops all on his own now! Yay!!! He still gets lazy and forgets to pee sometimes. His movie was turned off prematurely this morning as a result.

We learned over the weekend that Parker's asthma may not be totally allergy related. He was coughing from his cold. We gave him some medicine for that. But he was acting really weird. He couldn't sit still and this is my snuggle bug! His breathing was really rapid and shallow. We finally decided just to let him use his inhaler even though he hadn't been exposed to any allergens. It worked. I'm glad. I will admit I know nothing about asthma. So I may sound like an idiot when I say that maybe he is more susceptible to asthma issues in any circumstances. Good thing we have the inhaler.


Vocab word! Vacillate - to waver between choices. (Wouldn't Mrs. Quigley, my junior high English teacher be so proud that I remember vocab words!)

When I was a teenager I hated people who vacillated. Fence sitters is what I called them. Pick a side I would demand. Right or wrong, pick a side and defend it! As a parent, I'm learning that is a lot easier said than done. Sometimes either decision is fine. Sometimes I have to ask myself if it's a fight worth having and what are the consequences for picking a side?

This morning I vacillated out loud and sort of regret it! I asked Gavin what he wanted to take to school to share with his class. He immediately said he wanted to take his game. His game is a small (less than half the size of his palm) piece of paper with crayon scribbles. It means nothing to anyone but him. Ever since he made it he makes up all these rules and stories. Most of the rules resemble computer games or video games. The characters are all Mario characters. He jumps all over the house lost in his own reverie.

On the one hand we appreciate his creativity. Yesterday Heath said, "Wouldn't it be funny if he grows up to program video games?" Yes, that would be cool. He would have quite the story to tell. But my hesitation came from thinking nobody in his class would appreciate a scrappy piece of paper. Nobody would understand it! I made the fatal mistake of asking him what he would say if he shared that. He went on and on about if you click on this button blah blah would happen and Mario, Wario, Peach, blah blah blah blah blah. I'm not into video games can you tell? My boys are lucky I have allowed the X Box to stay (it was a gift from a client Heath worked with years ago) and I have allowed Mario Party 8 to be played on the Wii.

I just couldn't feel comfortable with Gavin sharing that piece of paper so I told him it was too little. Nobody would be able to see it. He made another one (slightly larger) while I searched for the rock he painted as a ladybug. Then we had this argument.

Me: Gavin, that's really a toy and Mrs. Williams doesn't want you sharing toys.
Gavin: No it's not. It's a game. That (he points to the ladybug rock) is a toy.
Me: Why don't you share the ladybug and maybe you could share the "game" another week.
Gavin: No, it's just a toy.

I call Heath for advice. We agreed to let Gavin share the "game." He's 5. I'm sure other kids in his class share really bizarre things too! So he practiced what he would say to his class. He talked a lot about playing Wii with Natalie. She babysat the boys when we went to the BYU/Washington game in Seattle. I still don't think it was the best thing he could have ever shared with his class but the memories were good. So what if some silly piece of paper was the prop for the memories?

What do I know? I vividly remember sharing a Barbie doll with my kindergarten class. Only it wasn't just a Barbie doll. I also brought at least 5 outfits and held up each one for all to see. I brought probably 10 pairs of shoes and shared each of those too. I remember Mrs. Kennington trying to nicely stop me but I wasn't done yet! I told Heath that story. He laughed and said I was the reason for the rule - "No toys please! They distract the children."

Friday, November 7, 2008

Tell me all your thoughts on God

The news is so crazy nowadays. I can hardly listen in the morning anymore. How selfish and self-centered can people be? Black families being targeted with vandalism of property hours after Barack Obama was named the new President Elect. Sonoma county allowing gay couples to marry until they hear from the state to stop. Protests at Temple Square.

I'm reminded of some very astute quotes.
"What can you say about a society that says God is dead and Elvis is alive?"

I printed this e-mail after the September 11 attacks.
Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her how God could let something like the 9-11 attacks happen.

Anne Graham said, "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?"

In light of recent events, terrorist attacks, school shootings, (the need to define marriage) etc. I believe it is well past the time when we should all stop and think about how we've gotten to the point we have in our society. Just as we Americans have drawn the line and began the war against terror, maybe we should also draw the line with people who are trying to unravel the fabric of what makes America, America.

I think it started with Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools. We said OK.

Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school, the Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK.

Then someone said teachers and principals better not discipline our children when they misbehave. The school administrators said no faculty member in their school better touch a student when they misbehave because we don't want any bad publicity, and we surely don't want to be sued. (there's a big difference between disciplining and touching, beating, smacking, humiliating, kicking, etc) And we said OK

Then someone said, let's let our daughters have abortions if they want, and they won't even have to tell their parents. And we said OK.

(to paraphrase a lot now) We agreed to schools passing out condoms because boys will be boys. We agreed to allowing top elected officials doing whatever they want in private as long as they do their jobs and the economy is good. We agreed to magazines printing pictures of nude women and calling it wholesome, down to earth appreciation for the beauty of the female body. We agreed when people wanted to take that appreciation a step further and published pictures of nude children and then a step further when they made the pictures available on the Internet. We agreed because they are entitled to their free speech. We agreed to allowing the entertainment industry to make TV shows and movies that promote profanity, violence, and illicit sex. We agreed to the recording music that encourages rape, drugs, murder, suicide, and satanic themes.

Now we're asking why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

I believe everyone has the right to believe whatever they want as long as their beliefs don't interfere with someone else's beliefs. This country was founded on religious freedom. To target religious groups and say how dare they try to enforce morals on society, is preposterous. Marriage was around before government was. All Prop 8 was trying to do was define marriage as between a man and a woman. Gay couples are allowed civil unions and through that they enjoy the very same rights and privileges that heterosexual married couples do.

Yes, how dare religious groups voice their opinions! Maybe we should do away with religious groups and allow murder. Survival of the fittest. Look at all the other things we have allowed as we separate God from society. I saw a book on CD today titled "God is Not Good. How religion ruins society." I go back to the thought that America came together after the 9-11 attacks. While God was not reintroduced to schools, many things we take for granted like the Pledge of Allegiance were used more often with a lot more meaningful pondering. As a country, we turned to God (in whatever way we believe in Him) and we became more decent to one another. How quickly that all changes when a black man runs for President and wins and a definition of marriage wins . . . again. Yes, how dare religion try to enforce morals on society!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My Parker

Me: You're not listening.
Parker: Yes I am. My mouth is closed.
Me: Do you think that's the only way to listen? You have to understand what I'm saying. I said I would help you with your socks after I finish feeding Gwen. Don't ask me again.
Parker: I not axing you! My mouth is closed!

So then I finish feeding Gwen. Parker had thrown his socks up in the air at one point and we could only find one. I told him to just get a new pair of socks. Then I found the other sock. Knowing it would take him forever to get a new pair I decided to tell him I found the one we were looking for. This miscommunication took place.

Me: Parker, come back down I found the other sock.
Parker: Coming Mom.
Me: Sit on the steps so I can help you.
Parker: I need to get my other sock.
Me: I got your other sock. Sit down.
Parker: No, I need to get my other sock!
Me: I have it right here.

He comes down the stairs and I finally see that he has taken the first sock off! I had to go into his room to find it. But not after making a face and growling. Parker laughed so hard. He made me growl like that all the way to Gavin's school. We would growl and giggle. Parker has the best sense of humor. I love that he is comic relief in our family. We need that every once in a while.

Earlier today he was outside standing in the middle of the garden. I couldn't even imagine what he was doing. But he wasn't hurting anything so I watched him have this exploring child moment. When he came back in I asked him what he was doing outside. He told me he lost his cat. He wanted to tell the man and the lady that he lost his cat. He said it ran away. He went outside and it ran away and now he can't find it! (In case you were wondering, we do NOT own a cat!)

Yesterday he went outside chasing after a squirrel. He's a funny kid.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


What a joy to be an American citizen. What a privilege to have the right to vote. What a joy to see history in the making. How grateful I am that I took part in this election. I haven't always been the model citizen when it's come to voting.

No matter who you voted for this is a historic election. Having Barack Obama as President is inspirational in many ways. Look how far we have come as a country to have elected an African-American President. I believe he will bring a unique perspective to his position as President. Maybe that's just what this country needs right now.

I want so badly to say something profound or eloquent. But I feel like I don't express myself well when it comes to politics. To be perfectly honest I was fine with either Obama or McCain as President. It was difficult for me to decide who was better suited for the position of leading our country. I knew that no matter who was elected President I was going to hear immediate nit picking. I grew up with a father who never had anything positive to say about anything political. If his candidate won he still had constant complaints. I know that complaining is my favorite pastime but even I have a limit to the amount of complaining I can do and listen to. My opinion is this election is historic. No matter who won, who you wanted to win, or whatever, Obama is now the new President Elect. He deserves respect. This country came together after the September 11 attacks. May it come together now to show respect for a new President.

And I am very grateful that Prop 8 passed. The fight is not over and probably never will be. I wish people would understand that it never was about discrimination. As I heard on the news from a spokesperson for Yes on 8, gay people are our brothers and sisters. We respect them. In the state of California, gay couples have the same rights and privileges as married couples.

I don't know how to end this post! I guess traditionally we say
The End!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Take 5

After the Halloween festivities we have a lot of candy in our house. More than any of us need. But I keep eating it. We all do. Today I stumbled across my new favorite candy bar. It's made by Hershy's and it's called Take 5. The wrapper says it's made with chocolate, pretzels, caramel, peanuts, and peanut butter. Basically a little taste of heaven on earth! Have you ever had Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby ice cream? That's what this candy bar tasted like. Good stuff.

I've always been a Snickers girl. Butterfinger is my other favorite. Butterfinger Blizzards from Dairy Queen are the best. 100 Grand is a good substitute for my favorite candy bars, or even Baby Ruth's aren't bad. PayDay is not good eats though! I have learned that the best way to eat a Snickers candy bar is to eat it in the fun size. If you're really craving Snickers eat a few fun size bars rather than a King sized candy bar. There aren't enough peanuts in the King size anymore. Without the peanuts what's the point? But this new Take 5 candy bar experience is where it's at! I'll have to see if it's as easy to get as Snickers.

Today I saw that Gwen is getting 2 new teeth. I just have never seen a baby get teeth in this order before. She got her bottom front 2 teeth. Then I expected her to get her top front 2 teeth. But she's actually getting the teeth just to the side of the front two teeth. Weird. I'll have to post a picture soon if she'll cooperate. I hesitated to post about her saying Mama and DaDa. I thought maybe it was just one of those moments that would not repeat itself any time soon. But she still does it. She actually repeats what I say. I got her to say GaGa. I thought that was cute. Maybe her way of saying Gavin. If she gets more teeth soon I can teach her to say antidisestablishmentarianism. That would be cool.

Parker is getting better at pronouncing words correctly. Not perfect but better. I still feel like I am translating even for myself. He has a really hard time with "s" sounds. He can pronounce it correctly but he can't blend it with the word. So he says things like sssssssssssssss . . . gock. We have been practicing that one over and over for a while and he still can't blend the s correctly to say sock.

Today I was tickling him relentlessly. He was laughing so hard he was foaming at the mouth and he kept saying, "Top! Top!" I had to laugh because it brought back a great memory. My mom was visiting me in Cedar City. We were driving back to my apartment and it was becoming obvious my mom didn't notice the stop sign coming up. I yelled out, "Top, top, top! It's a top sign!" We laughed like crazy at that. We still do, actually. And yes, she did manage to stop on a dime and we got whiplash. Just kidding about the whiplash part.

If you haven't voted already, DO IT!!! Vote yes on Prop 8 if it applies to you. It doesn't take any freedoms away but freedoms will be lost if Prop 8 doesn't pass. When you're done voting buy yourself a Take 5 and take 5 minutes to enjoy it. Maybe buy 5 of them as the name suggests.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Speaking of

Gwen can say Mama and Da Da. She says it like a baby just learning to make sounds who doesn't really know what they are saying. But she says those words nonetheless. It is so cute especially when she sucks in her lower lip to say Mama.


it's raining! I think I want to mention the days it rains since there are so many sunny days. I love the sun and all but only 2 months of rain out of the year and I'm climbing the walls. It poured rain all day Saturday. So awesome!

Today Heath dropped off our ballots in the mail. I like this absentee voting thing. It's nice. I keep seeing so many people blog about voting. I did vote. I just don't have a sticker to prove it!

Today Gwen has a runny nose. Poor baby. Honestly, I'm nervous she'll get an ear infection again. And I'm afraid Gavin will catch her cold and have croup be part of it. I'm bracing myself for when they all take their turn with the flu. Gwen has not slept well today either.

Today I think my kids are brilliant, cute, and funny. The other day Gavin was making a lot of noise downstairs. I went down to see what was up. He said, "I accidentally got the Tang out so I'm making myself some Tang." That kid is so funny. He was rocking out to Book of Mormon Stories on the Singles Ward soundtrack yesterday and today. I don't have specific examples of Parker and Gwen being cute and funny. They just are. I love my kids.

Today I dressed up because I could. I changed my clothes 3 or 4 times but finally settled on the nice outfit. I was afraid the other moms would think I had somewhere to go. Costco is all. I decided I'm excited about the cooler weather. I have nicer winter clothes than summer clothes.

Today I am almost done with the book I'm reading. I changed my mind about it yesterday while I read the only 2 good chapters in the whole book. I'm back to hating it! Every time I want to throw it at the wall I think of a friend from high school. She finished every book she started because she didn't think she had a right to complain about anything she never finished. So I'm finishing for the opposite of bragging rights!

Today has been a pretty good day.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

For the Love

For the love of our children's love of Halloween . . .

Holy Cow! What happened to my hand?
Because we love our children, we touched yucky pumpkin guts!

Because we love our children, Heath painstakingly carved the face Gavin wanted.
Because we love our family, Parker watched The Bee Movie while we carved pumpkins.
Because we love Gavin and we value his education, we counted the seeds in his pumpkin as assigned by his teacher. Gavin was supposed to guess the number of seeds - he guessed 13. Then he was supposed to write the actual number - 237. He lost interest in counting around 17. Because I am trying to be a nice person, I will keep all my comments to myself!

I love my boys.

Because we love our children and were so busy carving the perfect pumpkins, I let Gavin feed Gwen her dinner. Because Gwen loves Gavin she didn't complain.

If you click on the picture and look closely, the last picture happened while I was painstakingly poking holes to transfer the word Boo! I had written onto the pumpkin. Again, this was all for love.

Because we love our children, we put candles in the pumpkins and let the smell of burning pumpkin stay outside.
The larger pumpkin is on its side with the stem as a nose.

A better ambiant shot.
Because we love our children but hate trick or treating, we played rock paper scissors to see who would take them out. I lost. Twice. Because we love to have fake arguments I jokingly told Heath I hated him as I walked out the door. He laughed at me.
Because our neighbors are awesome, they invited us to trick or treat with them. So even though I still had to go with, at least it was a little more fun. Heath hung out next door with about half our neighborhood in the driveway. I don't know why there weren't many trick or treaters last night. It's a good thing we were going with friends because after going to only about 5 houses in our circle (nobody was home) we went into the neighborhood behind us. Since we were going to houses our friends knew, our kids scored with lots of candy. Their buckets were full of candy bars and chocolate. There's talk of having a neighborhood barbecue next year. I'm all for it.
Because we love our children, and they love Halloween. I think it was actually more fun for them this year than it ever has been. Despite the lack of trick or treaters. Actually that may have been in our favor since they got more candy from people trying to get rid of it!