My two little guys helping me make mashed potatoes. How sweet is that? Justice pulled up a chair and Clayton found himself a big plastic container to sit on. Justice worked hard with the extra potato peeler, and Clayton went through the drawer and tried out just about every tool in it. He did wind up with the potato masher. Isn't HE a smart boy ;) .
In other news, my hubby has been WAY better to me than I deserve for my birthday. He's been planning and squirreling away money just for me. I got a new memory card for my camera, Photo Shop AND he arranged for me to have a sitter all night last night, today, tonight and a good chunk of tomorrow. How great is he?! I so don't deserve all of this. Unfortunately, I've been so incredibly busy that I haven't had hardly any time to practice piano this whole week. I was about to have a nervous break down. I'm accompanying our Stake Choir in our Christmas Program this year, and I need a LOT, LOT, LOT, LLLLOOOOTTT of practice to be able to play confidently in front of people. (I had no idea that Bruce was sending my kids away this weekend). So, I'm planning on spending like 5 hours or more if I can stand it at my piano today. What a crappy way to spend my time sans-kids. It's totally necessary though. I am literally on the edge of freaking out because of lack of practice. I've been a mean, crabby person all week. (I can hear Bruce saying sarcastically in my head "Really, I hadn't noticed a difference." Implying that I'm always mean and crabby. Which, unfortunately is kind of true. Argh, I suck!)
On another subject, I've been riding my bike in the basement a LOT the past month. My hip has been giving me troubles, so I haven't been running much at all. (I'm doing a 10 mile race -running- tomorrow. I'm pretty sure this year won't be a PR (personal record) for me! My hip is feeling much better, so I think I'll be okay there. I hope.) Anyway, the bike didn't hurt my hip, so I've been doing that instead. It's a regular bike on a trainer, which is a thing that you put on your back tire that creates friction equal to riding outside, only you don't go anywhere. If the back tire isn't aired up properly, the friction is a LOT less, hence the workout is not as effective. I've been thinking that I need a new inner tube for the thing, because I've had to air the back tire up nearly every time I get on it. Yesterday I was downstairs doing laundry when I heard a hissing noise. I turned around and saw Clayton attaching the air pump to the back tire just enough to let the air out. There is nothing wrong with my tire at all. Clayton's been "helping" me again.
Our vet told us that we need to keep our new kitten locked up in the upstairs bathroom for 5-7 days to train her to use her litter box. We go up and visit her often, but Bruce took the cake. He slept on the bathroom floor last night with the kitten. "Aww, how sweet!"
Bruce brought home a kitten from deer camp. I've never had a birthday present that I loved so much and yet wasn't sure if I wanted before. I'm not sure what I'm naming her, but for now she is Lady Nemesis Grim, on Chloe's behalf. The two animals are shyly getting acquainted. Nemesis crept up to Chloe today and sniffed her nose. Chloe (the 100 lb lab) jumped about a foot in the air and scared the cat. It was kind of funny. I'm hopeful that they will be good buddies. The ride home from deer camp was about 2 and a half hours, during which the cat did not freak out. She crawled up underneath the gas / break pedals and into the dashboard and stayed there for the duration of the ride. It took us about a half hour to get her out once he was home. I could stick my hand up behind the glove box and pet her, but I couldn't maneuver her to get her out. She nuzzled my hand, purred and licked me, but she just wouldn't come out. I eventually got her by the tail and pulled till she came out. Bruce was in the garage getting out a screw driver to disassemble the dashboard at the time. I gave Lady Nemesis Grim her first of many baths if she's going to live with us. Lydia and I are both allergic to cats, but both too in love with cats to stay away. She didn't like it, but was pretty good. I hope this doesn't turn out bad!
-oh, and Bruce killed 3 deer. He has many a disgusting picture that he can post on his own blog.
I just gave Clayton his first hair cut. He didn't enjoy it much. It never fails to surprise me how much older little kids look when you cut their hair. I'd post a picture, but Bruce is out hunting and he took the camera.
Note to self: Do not cut the child's hair without first cleaning off the oatmeal and snot from his face. It stuck all over his face, like being tarred and feathered only with out the pain of the hot tar.
I've been thinking about posting kinds of things that I didn't use to post. In the past, I have not posted about spiritual things that I was thinking, preferring to write them in my journal. This was not because I was ashamed of my faith. It's just that some things are so personal and sacred to me that I didn't want to send them out into the world wide web. There are still things of a sacred nature that I will be keeping to my journal, but I think it is a mistake not to share the little thoughts that help me. They might help someone else too. I've recently started keeping my journal with me when I read my scriptures and church magazines so that I can write down little passages that strike me. Today I read an article in the Ensign that had quite a few little thoughts that helped me. Here are a few:
God is "...someone I can turn to for love" (and help) "when I feel weak, not hide from in shame."
"We are worth loving because Christ thought that we were of enough worth to atone for us individually." -Bonnie D. Parkin
". . . We can distinguish more clearly between divine discontent and the devil’s dissonance, between dissatisfaction with self and disdain for self. We need the first and must shun the second, remembering that when conscience calls to us from the next ridge, it is not solely to scold but also to beckon.” -Elder Neal A. Maxwell
My thought is this: Don't look around and, seeing where you are on the path, lie down and give up because you aren't where you think you should be. It's not about where you are on the path. It's about getting back up and keeping on going."
Anyway, I don't by any means plan to turn my blog into a big pulpit or anything, but I just wanted to share what helps me.
I call this picture "Another reason to keep my kids out of my laundry room." Clayton is trying to learn how to make french toast on the floor apparently. He did it almost perfectly too, just a little backwards maybe. First he dumped out an entire bottle of Cinnamon Sugar, then he added a few eggs and a cup of milk, and mixed it all up. The kid's a genius! At least my kitchen smells nice. What is cracking me up is that right now Justice is singing "No one likes a frowny face, change it for a smile..." over and over again.
Justice and Clayton love throwing things down the little holes in the floor. Our house has quite a few of these little oddities from old pipes from the radiant heater that isn't there anymore, and other little things like that. Recently they discovered the small hole beneath my piano. It's especially cool because, not only can you drop things down it, but since it comes out just next to the basement stairs, you can push things back up the hole. Unfortunately the two sticks that stabilize the peddles on my piano are the perfect fit for that hole. Clayton and Justice keep pulling them off to stick them down the hole. I had to break Ross and Mark from using them as swords years ago. My poor, beat on piano! Can it survive my children?
My mom always gave us a small spot in the yard where we were allowed to dig holes. (Ours was in the spot under our tree swing, where the grass wouldn't grow anyway.) So, in that spirit, I've always told the kids that they could dig holes in the garden (in a spot where nothing was planted). The kids have been outside for several days this week working on their hole. Our yard is pretty big, and pitched slightly downhill, so while I could see them from the kitchen window, I couldn't really see the hole. The kids were outside and having a ball. These are good things! Yesterday I finally went outside to see their hole. They dug up the entire bean patch! Oh well, I did tell them they could dig a hole in the garden. I'll just have to make them fill it in when they are done with it.
Here's Mark with a guy he made from the mud in the garden.
The kids have also been having a blast raking up leaves and then jumping in them.
Yesterday I was downstairs doing laundry. When I came back up the stairs, I found the basement door locked. I hollered for Justice (everyone older was at work or school) to come and unlock the door. After a minute or two he did. However he had scampered away so quickly that he was gone by the time I had opened the door and come up the last step or two. I had an armful of clothes to put away in my room, so that is straight where I headed. To my surprise, that door was locked too. I knocked and hollered for Justice (who was on the inside) to unlock the door. After a minute I heard the door unlock, and more scampering footsteps. This is what I found upon entering the room:The little scamp! He had sneaked an ice cream bar and was trying to hide from me.
Once again, there was a big event that I forgot to bring my camera for. Lydia participated in a 24 hour run at school. Lydia and all of the other participants prepared for a couple of months so that they'd be able to finish it. They had about 5 teams of 11-12 kids each. They ran relay fashion from 9 am Friday morning until 9 am Saturday. Each kid had to run about a mile approximately every 1 1/2 - 2 hours for 24 hours. Way to go LYDIA!!! She did it. I went up for a few hours during the day, and ran with her while I was there. Bruce's parents came up for a while in the evening, and Terry ran with her. Bruce and Trent went there around 7 ish in the evening and stayed the rest of the time, taking turns running with her. I think they only got about 2 hours of sleep. Lydia was soooo tired when she got back! She slept nearly all day and was eager to go to bed early that night. I'm so proud of her for setting that goal, working for it and then doing so well! Love you Babe!
On another topic, here's Ross and Mark with a tower that they were proud of.
Here's Clayton, very happy with himself for discovering the canister that I keep snacks and stray cookies in. Ain't he cute!
Bruce took Justice to Tae-Kwon-Do with him the other night. Justice was very excited to go! He kept asking about it all day. Bruce told me that while they were there, Justice announced that he was going to do a flip. (We have a trampoline, and Justice is very good at doing flips on the that - but on regular ground?!!) Before Bruce could react in any way, Justice jumped up in the air, and attempted a flip. I hope that he learned a lesson about how unspringy regular ground is, when he plowed himself head first into the ground. Silly boy!
Correction: Bruce says Justice landed on his back.
My hubby tells me that I'm being silly. My best friend tells me that I did good. Maybe I am being silly and I'm trying hard to be sensible. But it is sooo hard -to work for so long at the one thing (apart from the important things in life like Mother and Wife) I REALLY want to be good at, only to screw it up when it counts. I know that when I am alone, I am actually quite good. I am not what I want to be yet, but I am making real progress. I can see it. But every time I get in front of other people, it falls apart. It's a good thing that I am a stubborn, determined little buger. I hate being mediocre - crappy; especially when I've worked so hard, I want so much to be good, and I (only I, no one else has ever heard me play like I can - except for my kids) know that I can do it. Would it be too much to ask for everyone at the Stake Christmas Program to turn around, plug their ears and hum? Oh well, it was only a practice. I've got several weeks to practice yet. "I think I can. I think I can!"
Okay, I need to get a grip and get back to work. I'll probably delete this post. Sorry for being glum. You can ignore me if you want.
This spot is reserved for my a select few favorites, which are guaranteed to be wholesome and wonderful in every way. EVERYONE should check these things out!
Of course I love the scriptures, but you already know that, right?