Friday, August 28, 2009

The Students Are Back In Town

This became obvious to me when, in the middle of the day, I pulled into the parking lot at Macey's. It was packed! Almost all of the carts were being used by moms (and one dad) helping their grown children stock up. It was cute to see a mom ask her late-teens son, "Do you like oatmeal?" and he replied, "No. I mean, actually, yes. I guess I do." That's a kid who had never had to select food from the shelf for himself before.

The other sign of the students' return is the busy traffic. I do enjoy the improved driving conditions from May through August. However, it's also fun to see license plates from Colorado, California, Washington, and sometimes Missouri or one of the Carolinas on cars trying to maneuver with the crazy Utah drivers.

It all takes me back 15 years when I was settling into my Deseret Towers room for the first time. During my four years, I came a week before everyone else to attend band camp, so it has always impressed me how the campus swells in so short a time. The students bring a certain energy to the city. Where I live, I only rub elbows with students every so often. I like to catch an on-campus show or exhibit a couple times each year, and definitely a sporting event of some sort. Occasionally, I can hear the drumline practicing BYU's signature cadence from my house a few miles away. My favorite is seeing the Y lit up for Homecoming or graduation. Sometimes Kent's dad, a BYU-ward bishop, will invite our family along to an FHE barbecue. I like hearing the young adults' plans for the future and their thoughts on varying subjects. It's also always interesting to be an observer of the flirting and teasing. And THAT takes me back to another event: my first kiss, fifteen years ago this weekend. It was a good band camp that year! ;o)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Life Is Good

I'm starting to get a handle on our new back-in-school schedule, and it is BUSY! But I like it. I guess summer break ends when the crops no longer need tending, just harvesting. I have the equipment I need to process and preserve the food from my garden, and I love having the dehydrator running or a canner boiling while I do my regular chores. Today my day started early with some weight lifting and a quiet half hour with the scriptures and my journal. Once the kids were at school, I managed to pick up the downstairs in time for a meeting to organize a neighborhood preschool co-op, then eat a sandwich of homemade bread and freshly picked tomato and basil. I finished that just in time to drop off the younger kids and have a few minutes alone in the temple baptistery before Kent's aunt and uncle's family joined me with their relatives' names. It was so nice to have that peaceful, joyful hour-and-a-half with that good family. Then I lingered a bit at my friend's house who was babysitting before running errands with #2 and making a yummy dinner with a cream-based squash soup. After dropping by a neighbor's for a quick visit and checking off homework, I played a board game with the kids. After our evening devotional I read books with the younger children and caught up on blog reading. I still have an hour of work before I go to bed, and even though it's been one thing after another all day, it has been very satisfying and fulfilling. I am grateful that Kent works so I can be home, and I am grateful for days like today when running the household is more of a joy than a chore.

...Probably For the Same Reason He Did This:

Yep. That's ice cream. Actually it's imitation ice cream, which is important to note because it smells worse than genuine ice cream when warmed. I found this in his closet...on a school uniform...and a library book...and the carpet...about an hour after the perp committed the crime. (The fake ice cream was kind of dried out. It looks slightly frozen, but it's more just a foamy mass.) I guess #5 was too chicken to follow through with stealing the ice cream to eat it, so instead he just hid the evidence.

The good news? I didn't get overly upset in his face. In fact, I handled the whole matter rather calmly. This incident occurred last month, and I am also happy to report that the smell is finally gone--or at least it's overpowered by the smell of cat that we get whenever we have moist weather. (I didn't know until a couple years ago that cats spray their territory with their scent. Gross! My apologies to all who drop by after a rain storm. I can only imagine what it would smell like if they were indoor cats.)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Why Would He Do That?

I have to apologize in advance for sharing bathroom-related stories. However, the nature of my work at home revolves around them frequently. Now you know what's coming. I decided to write this little story backwards. In reverse, here's what happened at our house last night while Kent and I were waiting for the kids to get ready for bed.

Kent inspected the damage to discover little puddles all over the floor. Because he is such a good husband, he grabbed the mop and went over the bathroom floor twice!

#5 flushed the toilet and left the bathroom. As he walked right up to where Kent and I were sitting in the front room, we noticed that his shirt was soaking wet around the navel area and his shorts were soaked around the crotch.

I yelled, "[#5]! Don't you dare put that in there!" He pulled the elastic headband back up from the toilet and threw it in the tub. Since he couldn't put that particular accessory in the water, he instead decided to practice some swimming strokes with his arms in the toilet bowl.

From where Kent was sitting, he could see #5 standing at the toilet. "[#5], you have to hold it steady and aim!" To me, "What is he doing? Is he wearing a blindfold?!" He was indeed; one of his sisters' headbands. Kind of makes it hard to aim when you can't see your target, let alone having only two months of practice under your belt, so to speak.

#5 announced he had to go potty for the third time in ten minutes. Talk about procrastinating bed time. He know the one line that will keep him up as late as he wants.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

How Romantical

"Romantical" is a term Kent coined back in high school. It's kind of a way to point to a truly romantic situation and then tease it a little so we don't take ourselves too seriously. This past weekend, we went on a date that turned out to be romantical.

On a tip from my sister and her husband, I decided I wanted to see a demolition derby. I'd never heard of one, and after they told me about it, I really wanted to see one for myself. Happily, Kent's dad was asked to parade around the arena on horseback at the demolition derby that was part of the Utah County Fair last Saturday, and was offered some free seats as a thank you, so my in-laws invited us along. We had a blast!

We saw a car catch on fire, cars stuck together that would ram other cars in a team effort, and cars pushed over the barricades. I've included a picture of a "hatchback" that wasn't a hatchback at the beginning of the round! Just as entertaining as the demolition was watching the tow trucks and pallet lifters pull everyone apart at the end of each round. I can't wait to go again!

It doesn't sound like a romantic date, does it? But the fun, the summer evening, and just being together at the fair brought nostalgia with it. We felt carefree, which, after twelve years of marriage, is quite romantic.

By the way, click on the pics to enlarge them. You'll see in the pile-up one that car X25 was limping around on only three tires!

After the derby, we walked around looking at the blue-ribbon animals and talking about which carni rides make us sickest. Kent wanted to ride the ferris wheel together, but I couldn't bring myself to cough up eight bucks for it. (So maybe I wasn't completely carefree, but it was the the thought that counted.)

My parents had all our kids Sunday night to Tuesday morning. When a friend found out we were childless on FHE night, she offered us some tickets that they wouldn't be using. We saw Big Bad Voodoo Daddy perform at the outdoor Scera amphitheater. (Click on their name to go to their site. Their music will automatically start playing.) They are a swing band that was absolutely entertaining for 90 minutes straight. I was even familiar with some of their songs! We spread our blanket by some friends we saw there and enjoyed another evening under the stars. A lot of people were dancing on the sides, and one couple that knew their steps well was dancing in front of a lighted background, so they were silhouetted all night. It was, again, romantical.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


You know, toes are funny things. When they are relaxed, some curl in a bit. It takes some concentration to spread and bend and flex them, and then they really look weird. When I was a teenager, I used to pick things up with my toes all the time. Back then, my knees were limber enough that I could spend more time with them. But now I hurry through pedicures to save my knees the ache.

I believe toes are generally taken for granted--until you stub or break one. Then you remember how necessary they are for keeping balance. Until you injure a toe, you just expect them to be crammed into uncomfortable shoes without complaint. So take a minute today and appreciate your toes. :)

Monday, August 3, 2009


During last October's General Conference for the LDS Church, the prophet, Thomas S. Monson, gave a talk about finding joy in the journey of life. Here is one thought he shared that I heard with disbelief:

"If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will—to your surprise—miss them profoundly."

When I heard that, I thought, "I hope that's true, but it really doesn't sound like me." When people ask me what I'll do when all my kids are in school full time, I answer, "Clean the house." Seriously, it hasn't been clean to my liking since I was pregnant with #5 almost four years ago. So when President Monson warned that I would miss that, I thought, "Not likely."

Last week my kids were playing with their cousin who is visiting from England. They wanted to "paint" with shaving cream on the windows, and since I am trying to say yes to my children as much as possible (within reason), I let them go ahead. When they were done, I saw the window and immediately thought of the prophet's words. I still can't appreciate the constant mess of five young children, but it does blow my mind that I have no babies anymore and that #1 is giving our phone number to boys she meets at the pool. (Fortunately, Kent and I are screening their persistent phone calls so they don't get to talk to her much.)

I know I will have regrets as an empty-nester some day, but I hope to use the time I have my children in my home to enjoy them as people and pass along some wisdom too.

If you want to read the full talk, click here It's one of those that I've read a few times and always lifts my spirits and puts things in perspective.