Friday, October 31, 2008

S'up fools?

#3 picked the pumpkin for our jack-0'-lantern this year, and we all helped carve it. Thanks to Marshie the Marshmallow for the inspiration. Not familiar with Marshie? Consider yourself normal. You can check him out here and a more Halloween-themed version at

I guess I've been a bit of a Halloween Scrooge this year. I never got the decorations out because I didn't want to add to the existing clutter of our house. But the kids have taken over. They webbed our front porch and hung homemade ghosts. My Scrooginess also meant I didn't go any (let alone all) out for costumes. The school children wear one curriculum-themed costume to school, and then usually something else for trick-or-treating. #1 is a corpse; we found a novel that referenced a corpse, so that worked for the school costume too. #2 was going to be an ancient Egyptian, and then changed to a Roman at the very last second--literally; we had a little melt down trying to get her in the van for carpool. Tonight she's a witch. #3 is Little Red Riding Hood and later a devil. (We couldn't find a way to make a devil fit the curriculum--thank goodness!) #4 is a pumpkin and #5 is an elephant. Fortunately, the two youngest haven't been around long enough to be sick of our old costumes, so they still like these two options.

The kids came through for my costume too. While I was at a meeting last night, Kent took them shopping and they bought a light-up, Halloweeney shirt. So I've decided to be a teenager for Halloween--minus the teenage body! Most impressively, #s 1 and 2 spent their own hard-earned cash for my gift. They both starting tutoring younger neighborhood children last week, and they pooled their earnings. I really wish they would save some for themselves, but how can I say anything against their generosity? I've got great kids!
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Monday, October 27, 2008

We Miss You Grandpa

My Grandpa Al passed away two Thursdays ago. We attended his funeral Saturday, and it's given me time to reflect on his life and on the Plan of Salvation. I am grateful to know that his death is just the next step in his progression, and to know that he welcomed that next step, which freed him from illness. I have many childhood memories of being with Grandpa. My earliest is when I was probably three years old, and Grandpa kept sneaking fudge bars from his garage freezer for me. Through the years, he took me fishing, introduced me to liverwurst, complimented my sewing, came to my piano recitals, and always answered my phone calls with such exuberance that I felt like he was celebrating my voice: "It's Mary! How are you Mary?! It's so good to hear from you." My strongest impression of Grandpa Al is how much he loved family. He stayed involved in our lives and he organized family reunions for hundreds of relatives. When I cried at his passing, it was because I will miss him. But I am glad that he is well and with loved ones, and that I will be with him again some future day.

This picture is from last year when we visited my grandparents around Labor Day. Not a great picture of my kids, but my Grandpa is cute. He was trying to get #3 to smile.
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Sunday, October 12, 2008

I've been tagged!

Fortunately, Charlotte gave me a choice of which tag to accept, and this one seemed simpler. I'm not passing on the tag, but feel free to comment on any of the thoughts below, or tag yourself and answer the whole list on your own blog. I like learning things about family and friends that wouldn't normally come up in conversation. Here's a little about me:

Someday: I will learn to play violin.

I usually: can’t sleep past 6:30 a.m., even when my sleep-in alarm time is set to 7:15. (It’s a curse.)

I wonder: where the regulator for my pressure cooker went. (I bought another identical pressure cooker just to have the regulator.) I’ll bet Green5 knows where it is.

I regret: not visiting or keeping in better touch with my grandparents.

I love: Dark Chocolate Cookie Crunch ice cream.

I care: about getting only positive feedback on ebay. (Is that my way of getting a pat on the back?)

I always: bite the inside of my cheeks when I’m nervous or worried.

I worry: I am too hard on my kids.

I am not: too old to skip as a mode of transportation.

I remember: number digits. Phone numbers, car wash codes, addresses…you name it. (Fortunately I can empty them from my memory when I no longer need them.)

I believe: in ghosts.

I dance: freely in front of children; hardly at all in front of adults.

I sing: in my head almost all day and when I’m awake at night. (Is this normal?)

I don’t always: practice what I preach.

I argue: for school vouchers and cutting pork spending.

I write: in my scripture journal five days a week. In my personal journal once a year (usually when I’m upset).

I win: about half the time when Kent and I play card games at night. (Two-player Settlers of Catan is a favorite.)

I lose: and gain three or four pounds on a continual basis. Don’t know why; my weight is just always fluctuating around those pounds.

I wish: I knew what the stock market would do next so I could plan and invest accordingly.

I listen: to people cry a lot. Mostly because I’m daily surrounded by people under age five.

I don't understand: how the new particle accelerator really works, but it seems cool!

I can be found: snuggled in the covers with my electric mattress pad on high when nights are cold.

I am scared: of imaginary burglars when Kent is out of town.

I need: someone to cook for me once in a while.

I forget: my…no, um…I think I forget…hmm…I don’t remember.

I am happy: in my marriage, in my home, to be LDS, and with life in general.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Key To the White House

Are you sick of my punny post titles yet? Yeah, me neither. ;o)

Well, my sister has me a little freaked out about protecting my children's identities. (The post that explains this is at So I've changed their names to their favorite colors, for the purposes of this blog. (I hope I don't have to delete any of your comments, but I may if they include real names.) Here is the key to help you decode our family:

K = Blue
M = Pink
A = Magenta
G = Purple
H = Green

I was pretty impressed that when I was asking their favorite colors, H knew what we were doing and piped up with, "Reen!"

So, can anyone figure out why I went with colors to represent our family?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Whitey Tighteys

Some were not optimistic. Some said it couldn't be done. But yes! My baby is potty trained!

The process wasn't even as painful as with a few of my other four. Yes, I did clean mess out of several pairs of training pants. Yes, there were a few puddles on the floor (but only once on carpet). Yes, I found the toilet literally overflowing with a mountain of toilet paper one morning. But it's done! NO MORE DIAPERS!*

I'm a little disappointed to discover that even though he sometimes sits on the toilet, his aim takes the stream right through the gap between the lid and the ceramic, so that I still have a puddle to clean up. But an experience tonight makes up for that fact. As we were leaving his grandparents' home, I turned to Kent and said, "Did you get the diaper bag?" In unison with synchronized sly smiles, we answered, "Noooo!"

Celebrate good times. Come on!

*True, I change diapers on some babies I tend each week. But at least it's not all day every day.

FYI: I highly recommend the book Toilet Training in Less Than A Day. I think it was published in the '70s. Most helpful if you read it before making any attempts at training, but still good if you want to improve what you're already trying.
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