Friday, November 28, 2008

The Wedding

No, this is not the bride. Bev was the bouquet holder during pictures at the temple.

My kids have two baby cousins--and they can't get enough of them.

The happy couple.

On Saturday, we went to Wyoming for a reception.
My mom and dad and siblings.

In Wyoming, Landon's siblings took our kids for horse rides. The kids loved it.

When Christian found out that they would get to ride a horse, he grabbed his cowboy hat and put on his boots. He wouldn't take them off for the entire ride to the horses.

The wedding was beautiful--and so was the weather. For late November, we were nervous about weather, but it ended up being perfect. My sister and her family are here from out of town, so the party goes on.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Weekend Update

It is very late (or I guess it's very early in the morning.) I can't sleep because I have this flu/cold/misery that I am fighting. So, I decided that I would get up and do something instead of wallowing in my misery in bed.

Here is the whole family on Halloween.
Reflections was a big deal for Andrew this year. He entered in the photography category and the dance category. He did a karate-inspired piece. He won a medal for his dance. The best part of the awards assembly was seeing the two of them cheer each other on.
The kids love it when I let them get the paint out. The boys automatically take their shirts off before starting. I love this picture of my two little men.
The whole gang creating works of art.
Mike had to move some gravel in the yard. Kiki loves helping.
I ordered this print for Christian and Jessica's room. I really love elephants, and their room is done in African animals.
My latest project was this board to keep the girl's hair clips orderly. It makes a huge difference being able to see them all easily. I hung it on the inside of the door to our linen closet.
My little sister is getting hitched next week. She went through the temple on Saturday. Pictured is my dad, my mom, Landon and Natalie (the happy couple,) sister Camille and me.
Saturday, Tyler came out to help Mike plant some trees in our yard. I just love trees and plants. I am so happy to finally have some trees--even though they are naked (Christian learned about trees being naked in the fall at preschool.)
But, the best part of the yard (as far as the kids are concerned) is the trampoline. Christian has asked almost everyday since we moved into the house, "Mom, can you go to the store and buy some grass so we can get our trampoline?"
Mike put the mat on and the kids didn't get off until it got too cold outside.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Off Track

We are on day four of a four-week-long stint of off-track time. I love the kids being home, but I am finding that by about 2 p.m. I am ready for them to have quiet time in their rooms. The toddlers are actually so much more entertained when Bev is home. She makes little worksheets for them and they play school every day. All goes well until the students revolt and don't want to do what she wants them to do. Then she gets upset because they are done, and she isn't. I can totally relate to her situation. Back when I was her age I loved playing school--no, actually I loved being the teacher. Melanie and Camille were the students. It was so frustrating when they wouldn't obey me. I think that was when they started calling me "Bossy Cow." Mean huh?

Because we are obsessed these days with all things Star Wars, we are watching all six movies in order. They were really disappointed that we didn't watch them all on Monday. We bought Kung Fu Panda and we have watched it a few times. They are doing a lot of projects like drawing, coloring, crafts, and today they mentioned the dreaded PlayDoh. I usually just put it outside on the little picnic table and let them go at it, but that only works in good weather. Can you just picture the four of them huddled together with hats and gloves and coats on, seeing their hot breath in the cold air, playing PlayDoh. I actually decided to be Fun Mom and get it out only to discover that I threw the dough away when we moved. Oh well, I guess I will just have to go to Target. (I love that place.)

We now have cement, pavers, grass and sprinklers. We are having the trees delivered tomorrow. Our yard plan is a little ambitious, so it is going to be done in stages. We are just happy that we will not have muddy snowmen made over the winter. We had the trampoline buried in the ground, so Mike told the kids he will put the actual mat on this weekend.

I have been working on some projects around the house and getting my craft room organized. I have been watching The Office, Seasons 1 & 2 while I work. It is the funniest show ever. I just love Thursdays for that reason.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Optimistically Hopeful for Change

So, I am documenting this here because this is part of my journal. I know that not all of my friends and family agree with me politically, and if it had gone the other way, I would probably be feeling the same way supporters of John McCain maybe feel right now. I actually like him. His concession speech was gracious--he is impressive.

I have to say that after Obama won, I really did feel a sense of "hope" and "change." (Rush Limbaugh would say that I have been hypnotized by Obama's voice.) The last eight years have been, for me, well, difficult to watch/experience. Not just because of our current president, but because of the lack of wisdom, honor and honesty exhibited by so many of our "leaders." I have felt a little cynical about any person who wants my vote.

I am sad that we couldn't get it together enough to oust a racist state senator (Chris Buttars, you know I am talking to you.) I am sick, sick, sick that he remains in office. But, I'm not gonna let him bring me down (until I hear another of his wonderful pearls of wisdom spoken on the floor of the state senate.)

I know our leaders will disappoint us sometimes, but there is something about Barack Obama that inspires optimism in me. I didn't vote for him because I think he is never going to make a mistake--I can enumerate the problems I have with him. I voted for him because I see so many positives in him--his temperament, intelligence, courage and vision. I voted for him because he insists that we try for better. I was also impressed that he didn't seem to engage in the negativity that was thrown to him. He said in his speech that we wouldn’t all agree with him all the time, but that he would still be honest with us, and listen to us, particularly when we disagree.

I did have someone assume that I was voting for him because I have a black child. That he is black makes this election even more historical and inspiring, but I didn't vote for him because he is black. I am excited that he is an example to all of my children--to all children--of what is possible.

On Wednesday, I Tivoed the movie "Hairspray." We had not seen it before. It helped remind me of just how different things are now for people of color--how much things have changed for the better.

Another fun experience was volunteering at the kid's school on Tuesday. The third grade was having their own election. The kids marked their ballot and put it in a box. As they were preparing to vote, I heard some of the funniest things. The kids obviously repeated stuff they had heard--or at least repeated part of what they heard. They all wanted to know which candidate I was voting for. I reminded them that it was private, so I was keeping it to myself. One little boy said, "Oh, I know, you are voting for McCain--almost all of us are." I told him that I would not tell. He then said, "You can't vote for Obama. He is going to raise our taxes." Another kid said that Obama will make it so we can't say the Pledge of Allegiance--or was it that we can't say "God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. He couldn't remember. A little girl said that her Dad said if Obama wins they might have to move to Canada. Bev came home and asked, "What's Obama's health plan?" I asked her what she meant. She told me that her friend told her that Obama's' health plan was that if a little kid was sick, he would let them die. Hearing the kid's take on things was disturbing, but really funny.

Favorite quote from his speech: "So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other."

I know that things will never go perfectly--he is not a perfect person. I am also not willing to put any political leader on any kind of pedestal--too many come crashing down. I am going to remain a realist, but for now I am feeling more like an optimistic realist.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy Halloween

We have been enjoying all things Halloween this week. This is a picture of the kids at the neighborhood trunk-or-treat on Wednesday. We did the Star Wars theme this year. This is the first time we did a theme. It was fun, but a lot of work. I will post a picture of Mike and me later. Mike is Darth Vader. I am Queen Amidala. Andrew-Luke, Bev-Leah, Kiki-Yoda, Jess-Jedi Girl.
We visited the pumpkin patch.
Andrew had a school project about pumpkins. He had to estimate how many seeds his pumpkin would have, and then count them to see how close he was. He estimated 413, there were 249. At one point he asked me to help him pull the "pumpkin intestines" out. I declined. Mike cut the pumpkin for him and scraped the guts. Andrew pulled the guts out.