Friday, September 25, 2009


My #3 loves to find loopholes in the system.

When she was five, #3 took to layering all her clothes, including her school uniform. In this stock photo, she is wearing a long sleeved polo shirt and slacks under a short sleeve polo and jumper dress under a skirt. She was never written up, but the next year in the school handbook, they had added a phrase about only cardigans and jumpers can be worn over other uniform pieces. I guess her creative outfits defeated their purpose for the tidy uniform look!

She found a more recent loophole at the beginning of this school year. For one of her first homework assignments, her second grade teacher directed, "Write ten sentences using words from the spelling list." #3 wrote a paragraph that was ten sentences long, and a few of those sentences included a spelling word. I think she used four of the words total. I mentioned, "I think your teacher wants you to write ten sentences with at least one spelling word in each and ten different spelling words altogether." Her reply: "But that's not what the directions say." I had to agree with her...and I wrote a note to the teacher advising her that #3 likes to find loopholes. The following week, the teacher's homework instructions said, "Write ten sentences with a different spelling word in each sentence." #3 complied. Last week she found another loophole. She earns "Johnson Dollars" from her teacher for good behavior. Five Johnson Dollars buys a homework pass, so if she earns $15 each week, she is home free from any spelling homework at all! She's really working that system now.

One more. On her math homework yesterday, she had to solve a logic problem: Frisky the cat is 4 years old. Tiger is 2 years older than Spot who is 3 years younger than Frisky. Find their ages. #3 did so. Then the directions said, "Explain how you found your answers." The idea was to write a few sentences about the process she went through to find the ages. Her answer: "I read the question carefully, and then my brain helped me a lot." I just laughed, tried to redirect her answer, and then had to agree that she had answered the question, which only asked "How?".

Looks like she has a promising legal career ahead of her!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Games

I'm about two weeks late on this post, but this is one I didn't want to skip. My sister organized our family's first Glauser Olympics, which we played on Labor Day. Each family came up with uniforms and games to compete for the prestigious gold(fish crackers). The games included a torch relay...

(by the way, after viewing these photos, I saw a lot of cheating going on!)
...a hand's free doughnut-eating race, which I'm not so proud to say was the reason my family took gold, but our sheer numbers had a lot to do with that...
a game of Twister that #2 proved to be adept at...

...a speedy ice melting contest, some treat tossing, and my favorite, a dizzy relay.

If you zoom on this first photo, you can see the top half of my nephew headed one way while his legs are headed another direction.

Sorry about that Dad.
And Christy--but at least I didn't get a photo of what dizziness did to you! I don't think anyone noticed anyway.

I know I already gave it away, but our family took the gold! Like our uniforms? They double for our weekend wear during the Fall. Go Cougars...and "Y-t"s.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Play Those Pipes

Kent and I have very different tastes in music. There is some overlap of classy songs, but for a large part, I think his music is too loud and obnoxious. I do like almost all of his Latin music preferences, but I'm guessing that's because I don't know what the lyrics mean so I can't get offended.

Anyway... Kent has been out of town (and is back tonight!), so last night when I was driving home with the kids, I got to choose the radio station with no one in the front passenger seat to change it when I switched lanes. I thought I'd expose the children to some classical music and tuned into KBYU's Classical 89.1. We caught a program called "Pipe Dreams", which is devoted to organ music. Honestly, I'm not a big fan. But when my kids started complaining and requesting The Twilight Zone, I decided to be obstinate and stayed with the station. We tuned in at the beginning of an energetic, loud piece. This wasn't your Sunday morning Church organ. More like horror movie organ. A couple kids started whimpering and asking me to turn the scary music off. I answered that it wasn't scary music, it was organ music. (Here comes another dialogue.)

Them: "It sounds like vampire music."

Me: "It's not. This is the same instrument that Brother [So And So] plays at Church. He teaches this music at BYU. That's how much he likes it."

Them: "Brother [So And So] is a vampire?!"

Another of Them: "Now it sounds like scary-clown-at-the-carnival music. Oooooh! I'm a scary clown." Now they were laughing.

Their giggles continued mixed with remarks that I heard randomly through the piece, such as "Hey! This is The Twilight Zone!" and "Scooby Doo, where are you?" That one got me laughing too!

When the piece ended, I changed the channel, and they all begged me to turn it back! I'm glad they could enjoy it. (Or at least enjoy making fun of it!)

BTW, isn't that a cool picture?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Vinegar Victory!

I was at an Education Week class a couple years ago, and the topic was cleaning tips. When it came to the bathroom, the instructors said they had a product to be given as a prize to whomever in the audience had the most sons. I remember thinking that wasn't really very fair. I mean, most of us were there because we have kids to clean after. Why do boys win the award? So the prize went to some lady who had eight sons, and I felt a bit cheated out of the competition.

But no longer!

I have a boy who likes to mark his territory and brags about how high up the wall he can "shoot". I think I've finally broken him of the on-purpose out-of-the-toilet practice, but he still misfires occasionally. So I have been fighting a pretty nasty scent in the bathroom for several months now. Because we have a septic tank, we can't flush harsh chemicals, and my "green"/edible cleaners weren't doing the trick. I came up with using antibacterial wipes on the floor and toilet, but they didn't work on the sand-finished walls.

So I did a little research on the internet and found several proponents of vinegar who said it would neutralize the urine smell. Most said to mix it with a 10 or 20:1 ratio of water to vinegar. But I wanted to make sure it would work the first time. My ratio was 2:1. Today I spent over an hour scouring the kids' bathroom. I sprayed the solution on every surface, floor to ceiling. I hand-scrubbed the entire floor so I would get every crevice that a mop might miss. I used a soft bristle brush on my sandy walls. The result? My bathroom no longer smells like pee!

Now it smells like I pickled the toilet.

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Post Only a Mother Could Love

This is a post that is mostly for my benefit. I'm afraid the rest of you will find it boring and/or pointless. If you still want to watch the slide show, it's only 36 seconds long, so that's not too much of your life to waste, I guess.

I keep my old camera in the glove box. The flash is broken, but it still works okay for outdoor shots when there is sunlight. More than once, when away from home, I have retrieved it to capture the cutest or most amazing thing ever only to discover that the batteries are dead. The batteries only lose life as they are used. So who used my camera? When I recharge it, these are the types of pictures I see. I've already edited (deleted) half of them off, which were too blurry or too dark to make out. Here's what my kids are up to:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Why Oh Why?

Why do I always forget how many questions a three-year-old can ask in one day...until I have a three-year-old? I wish I had prepared myself for the barrage.

After ten hours of interrogation yesterday, I nearly cracked. Here is a sampling of our latest conversations. My thoughts are in italics.

#5: Why can you drive?

Me: Because I'm a grown-up.

#5: And grown-ups can drive?

Me: Yes.

#5: Then where is Grandpa?

Me: That was random. At work.

#5: What does he do there?

Me: He works.


Finally, while he was watching me make dinner yesterday, I saw how he had trapped me with his constant questions.

Me (after answering the latest question): ...and please don't ask me any more questions. I can't answer anymore right now.

#5: Why?

Me (not realizing I was about to answer a question I had just asked him not to pose): Because I just can't... or my brain will explode. I'll still talk to you, but no more questions.

#5: Okay. This is not a question. I just will tell you something. Could you...?

My brain: KABOOM!!!

Luckily, my solution came today in the form of a two-year-old that I babysit during the school year. She and #5 were sitting behind me in the van, which is usually prime questioning time for #5. But guess who bore the brunt of the attack?! She did! I literally breathed a sigh of relief when I realized I could ignore the babbling because none of it was directed at me. And she, being two, just responds to all his questions by repeating the last few words, so #5 feels satisfied that someone is listening intently, even if she doesn't answer anything. I LOVE IT!