Friday, January 30, 2009

Our Sweet Princess

Baby #4 turned five years old today. I can't believe I only have a few more months of being home with her every day before she starts Kindergarten. She is a wonderfully sweet and funny child, and she plays so well with her little brother. We'll both miss her come September.

But for now, we'll make good use of the time. When she woke up this morning, her sisters sang "Today it is your birthday and we sing to let you know that you will be queen for the day. Whatever you say goes." (From a Barbie movie soundtrack, in case you
missed the reference because your house isn't full of little girls.) So we all treated her like a princess all day. I gave her hair a trim and a style--and it only took three handfuls of gel and a few dozen squirts of hairspray to make the curls last all day. She was so thrilled with the result--phew!--that we did a little glamour photo shoot afterward. One of her friends share the exact birthday, so she went to that party, which had a princess theme, and wore her dress-up dress all day. She got her favorite pizza for dinner and a cake (that didn't turn out so well) with candles. Making the birthday wish is really the point of the cake anyway, right? Her White cousins surprised her with a visit and balloons, which are always a favorite
for her.

She is such a gracious and loving little person. Truly a princess who brings joy to our home. We love her dearly.

Happy birthday Gooferdoof.
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Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Kids Are So Hard To Read--Not!

Tonight when we started dinner, I escorted #3 (the seven-yr-old) to her room so she could clean it before eating. When I went back a few minutes later to check on her progress, she had strewn her sister's "noodles" (which, basically, are giant pipe cleaners) around the floor. So I just shut the door again. Twenty minutes later, I heard her knocking. I opened the door and she walked out without a word...spoken. The room was clean and on the floor she had left this:

After dinner, parental help with the dishes, and some cuddle time, she disappeared. At bedtime, she told me she had a surprise for me. She led me through the house to her room while I closed my eyes in anticipation. This is what I found there:

I am always amazed at the creative ways she expresses herself. This time the message was very clear. Good penmanship too! I sure love her.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Secret Weapon

In my arsenal of motherhood tricks, my new secret weapon is FRUIT SNACKS! I know, I'm pretty ruthless. I started using these to potty train #5. He quickly eased from getting a fruit snack for each successful toilet trip to getting one whenever he had a successful dry pants check. Now he gets one or two per day for dry pants. Recently, he has become terrified of the full moon. When the moon was too bright, he would climb into bed with #2. That turned into nightly trips to her bed because he claimed he was scared of everything. So #2 wasn't getting restful sleep. Then I remembered the fruit snacks. If he stays in his bed all night, he gets one in the morning. Mind you, it's not one baggie; it's one fruit snack from the baggie. So with my four boxes of fruit snacks that I bought on sale, I figure we're good for at least six months. Hopefully by then he will have forgotten to be scared at night. It's working so far!

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Post From Kent: Cute Enough to Cause Permanent Damage

For my animal-loving friends--that's you Mindy. Mary thinks it's a little weird creepy in a cute-ish way too.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The House For Lost and Abandoned Pets...and other items

Here's another quirk about our house: we attract a lot of lost things. Because we are on a main-ish road, dogs find their way over here. Cats get abandoned in the field next to us. Mice wander in from the field (to meet their doom). We've even found car keys in our gutter and a credit card in our driveway. So as the finder of lost things--excepting my pressure cooker regulator and remote control, of course--I feel it my duty to find the owners. This post is about animals, but I'll tell the key and card stories at the end, too.
When we bought the house, two cats came with it. They had adopted the house about four years earlier. We kept them as outside cats because they were gentle with the children. The girls named them Tiger and Cocoa. Cocoa, the white cat, later died and six months later Brownie showed up. This past summer, Kid #1 found a scrawny kitten in the field that she took in for a few days before we turned it over to animal control. We've had five other cats attempt to adopt us, but I refuse to become a crazy cat lady, so they've moved on.

We've also had seven dogs during our time here. None have stayed longer than eight or nine hours before we find the owner, until Larry. Last Saturday, this Pomeranian hung around all day and even tried to scare Kent away when he came home from basketball. The dog had no tags, so we brought him in and posted a sign on the fence and an ad in the online classifieds. He was a very sweet dog: never barked inside, stood by the door to be let out for his outside business, loved to see us come home but would quickly settle down to let the kids pet him. Even Kent, who hates the idea of pets, admitted to me on the fourth day that he liked the dog and wouldn't mind keeping it for a few months while we looked for the owner. Some friends informed me about pet microchips, so I took Larry (as we called him) to the shelter. When I walked in with him, the receptionist said, "I know who is looking for that dog!" They scanned him and detected a chip. So they called the owner, who said he did not have a chip, but she would come ID him. The shelter later called to finish the story. Larry was stolen on Christmas from the owner listed on the microchip. He was then given to a little old lady in my area last week, and he escaped on Saturday, which is when we found him. The old lady was upset that she couldn't keep the dog, so the shelter gave her one of their orphans. What a happy story all around!

The credit card story: I found a beat-up credit card for a person I've never heard of laying in our driveway one summer. I called the credit card's company to report it lost, and I had to explain the story twice. The customer service rep couldn't believe that someone wouldn't take advantage of the find. When she understood that I was turning it in without first running charges, she just gave me a lot of thanks and asked me to destroy the card.

The key story (I really like this one): At the end of the race two weeks ago, a runner turned in a set of car keys that he had found in my gutter. There were two Acura keys, an Acura remote, and some other keys. The remote looked like it had been run over, and the key ring was a bit rusty, so I assumed they had been lost for at least a few days. I sent an email out to my ward RS members. A couple hours later my visiting teacher called. She had been on a stake youth activity that afternoon and was following a bishop from another ward, whose wife I have met a few times through another friend. She thought to herself, "I didn't know they had an Acura. I always thought they drove an Accord." When she read my email, that bishop's daughter happened to be at her house hanging out with her own daughter. (I know this would be less confusing with names, but I don't know if these people want their names posted on my site. Sorry.) She (VTer) asked the bishop's daughter if they were missing keys, and she (daughter) said her dad had lost them a week earlier and the family had been praying to find them. So he came over that night and retrieved the keys. What a great story about the Lord answering those prayers by working through the rest of us!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Go Utah's Third!

My sister posted this on her blog, and since I live in Provo, I felt it my duty to do the same. I only ever watch the Colbert Report on the internet, and this one is pretty great. Enjoy the seven minutes of funny!

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Treasure Trove

Am I the only one who gets out of bed at 6:00 a.m. to clean out the couch cushions? Let me tell you, it's an interesting way to start the day. The picture shows everything I pulled out of the couch. I know it looks like all that accumulated over a decade, but honestly, I clean out the cushions at least once each year. Here's what I found this time:

A lot of garbage (candy wrappers, popcorn, paper). Not very surprising.
Just as many crayons, pens, pencils...and a ruler and a protractor.
A couple handfuls of hair clips, barrettes, ponytail holders...and two combs!
Puzzle pieces, game pieces and cards for various games.
Some atypical items, including a drumstick, a recorder (in three pieces), a stone coaster, a book, a DVD...
...and my two favorite finds--a pine cone and a rubber duckie!

At one point I started getting really excited that I might find the missing TV remote and/or my pressure cooker regulator cap. But no. However, the hour wasn't a total loss. For once I got paid for doing housework! I found a $2 bill and $1.25 in lost change! Woo hoo!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

At The Races

When we moved here, the previous owners said they sometimes had people stop by who wanted to see the house or know about it. It's one of the perks/quirks of this home. We had a great quirky perk last Wednesday. Tuesday night, a complete stranger asked if she could use our garage as the registration spot for her club's New Year's Eve Fun Run. They had a different route planned originally, but the roads there were too icy. The new route happened to begin and end at our intersection. She expected ten or 12 runners, so I said they could just use our front room where it's warmer. Well, they got a better turnout than planned, and I counted at least 30 people here. Rather than use her folding table,
they used my dining table for registration and refreshments afterward. They covered everything in the front room with plastic and they all gathered there for awards. The port-a-potty came late and left early, so I was very glad that I had cleaned the bathroom. The children who ran in the 200 meter (not 200K) were able to warm up in front of some PBS shows while the adults mingled. I'm really glad they could use my home. It was warm and was probably more inviting than a frozen picnic table in a park. Three of my girls entered the 200 meter (free of charge) and won first and second places in their age categories. And I got a restaurant gift certificate for hosting. It was a fun way to spend the last day of the year.
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