After a several weeks of the winter blues, I BEGGED my hubby to take me and the kids to play yesterday. We went to the Science Center and played all day, then we ate dinner at one of our favorite restraunts, then we finished the day off with popcorn and a movie. Good family times.
Something you may or may not know about me is that I love books, but not in the usual way. I don't have the time to sit around and read a book anymore, or at least that's not how I choose to spend my leisure time (if it ever exists). The main reason being that my life tends to fall apart when I manually read a book. I have trouble putting it down and doing anything else. As a result I get angry with myself for not getting anything done, I get grumpy, and I try to read more just so I can be done with the whole stupid thing. It's very unsettling for my household for me to read.
The solution is that I listen to audio books like a fiend. I listen to them while I cook and clean my kitchen. It's true that I do occasionally get too into them too, but it's more manageable that way.
Here's my problem: If you only do audio books, your resources are somewhat limited. I am constantly on the look out for a new book to go at. Ordering books on line from other libraries helps that a lot. The other problem is that I HATE smut! I wish that there was some sort of rating system for books like there is for movies. It's a risky thing to pick up a book not recommended by a trusted friend. Yesterday I got a new book that I had ordered because I thought it sounded interesting. I was right, it's a fascinating idea! I could totally love this book. The problem is that I can't listen to it in good conscience. It's not just that I don't want my kids to hear this smutty crap, I don't want it in my head either. Once you get into a GOOD story, it's hard to just quit, but quit I must. It's going back to the library today. Darn I hate that! I wish there was some place I could get an "edited for content" copy. Oh well, my life will not be greatly bettered for having read this book. DARN but it seemed like such a good book! (No, I won't tell you what it was, because I don't want to put anyone else into the moral predicament that I find myself in.) ARGH! If anyone has a suggestion of a smut free good read, please tell me. I am ALWAYS on the hunt.
Oh gosh, I'm crying already! My littlest brother Trent just flew out today to go to the MTC. He'll be serving a mission (for the LDS church) in Switzerland. We won't see him for two years. And while I am tremendously proud of that great, great little man, I didn't realize how much I'd miss him. He hasn't even been gone one day yet. If you get to read this Tree Head, I love you so much. Do good. Life is sure going to get boring here without you! I know you'll do a great job.
Todd, my second brother is moving to Washington (state) this coming weekend with his wife. I'm going to miss the heck out of them too! I'm really glad that Suzanne and I had a few good months of walking together and getting to be closer. I love my family so much it hurts. I got to go for a nice long run (10.7 miles) on Saturday with Todd and Trent. Saturday night I got to go out to dinner with the girls one last time before Suzanne leaves. Darn it sucks when siblings get old and move away! Here's an I love you for Todd and another one for Suzanne.
Here's a picture we took yesterday, one last day with everyone together for a while:
In this photo L to R: back row - Me, Bruce (my hubby) holding Clayton* Suzanne (Todd's wife), Todd, Ashley, Dad, John, Trent. In front and middle - Liz used to be Bryan (John's wife), Jonni**, Justice*, Lydia (behind Justice)* Mom holding Erik** (She's in a wheel chair because she slipped on the ice a couple of weeks ago. She'll be fine.), Ross*, Mark*
*My kids **John's kids
Upon reading that caption, I realize that "Liz used to be Bryan" makes it sound like she's had a sex change. No folks, as far as I know, Liz has always been a Liz. Her last name used to be Bryan.
Jonni (the little girl in the front row) cracks me up in this picture!
#1: I now have two washers and two driers hooked up and operational. I'm a fraggin' laundry mat! Now I can do some serious laundry. Oh yeah baby!
#2: I think Justice might finally be potty trained! ...maybe? (Yeah, don't I look like a fool posting all about potty training about a year ago like I knew what I was talking about.) Only one in diapers would be heaven! (Do you like how I made that one #2? I know, I'm a doof!)
Odd bits that I find mildly amusing: Clayton's word for anything that he likes is "fun." I love that. His word that means "Look at that!" is "Bum!")
Mark says the other day, "When I get a cell phone, my ring tone's gonna be 'Alvin, Alvin, ALVIN!!' That will be really disturbing in church."
Somebody rescue me from this day! Clayton has been a rascal royal today!!!!! He made an epic mess of Kool-Aid, crunched cereal on the floor at least 3 times, dumped cat food down the stairs twice, filled the bathtub with water which he also splashed all over the bathroom and put clumps from the litter box into the water in the bathtub, smeared butter and mashed potatoes all over the table on two separate occasions, emptied the shelves of all the books in out library. All in one day. Now I find that he has just cracked an entire carton of eggs on my counter top. I now have to go and clean up after the second night in a row of company for dinner with the eggs an butter on top. However I have to change his poopy diaper and clean Clayton up first. When will it end? I need a serious break! See earlier post for full details. Five posts in one day. This is definitely a record. Ross and Mark are laughing their heads off at Clayton right now. I think I may cry.
Oh my gosh!! I forgot that I signed up to have the missionaries over for dinner tonight!! Today is turning into a comedy! Really it's all normal life stuff. Honestly, my only emotion right now is utter amusement. Life is just funny that way! (You'll have to read all of my earlier posts of today to understand.)
After the Kool-Aid mess, the post-large-family-dinner mess, five poopy diapers (and it's only noon), one pool of animal sick, three separate crunched up cereal messes, and one bowl of cat food thrown down the steps, I've decided that I hate food in all of its forms. We need that Wonka stuff that's an entire meal in a stick of gum. Please, will some non-fictional character invent that for me?
Now I must go and comfort myself with a large vat of Rocky Road. ;)
While cleaning up the kool-aid mess (see earlier post), I found these two frames that I had forgotten existed. I had NOT forgotten these two pictures. One was hanging on the wall and the other was on top of my fridge awaiting a new frame. Any interior design person might cringe, but I don't care. My bestest friend, Amy made both of these for me a long time ago. Both have been hanging in my space since their creation (except in times between frames. My poor mouse picture has been through several, as it has the unlucky habit of getting knocked off the wall by my kids.) Amy made the mouse picture for me at girls' camp when we were 12 years old. She gave up asking me to take it down only a couple of years ago when she stole it and reframed it in a beautiful frame which sadly only lasted a couple of months before being knocked to its doom. The Curious George picture was made when we were 17ish. I love that they now have matching mats and frames. I guess I should thank Clayton for spilling kool-aid all over so I would have to go in the basement and find them.
I had a bunch of family over for dinner yesterday. That was good. I love my family! After everybody left, I cleaned the tables off, put away the extra chairs and tables, put the left-overs in the fridge. Then deciding that it could wait till morning, I piled the dishes up on the sink and left them.
This morning, I got up and made french-toast for breakfast, knowing that it would be less to clean up if I dirtied one skillet and fed everyone on paper plates, than if everyone dirtied a bunch of cereal bowls. After everyone was hustled off to school, I sat down at this computer which wastes so much of my time, for a tiny break before I tackled the mess in the kitchen. However fate was in a humorous mood today. Clayton beat me to the kitchen. He climbed onto the counter top and decided to help himself to the pitcher of kool-aid -may all kool-aid burn in the hottest corners of hell with rabid wolverines in its underwear for the rest of eternity. Clayton was perched in the optimum position for optimal mess. He succeeded in drenching my counter-top, my kitchen floor, everything in the cabinet under the sink -where I keep all of my pots and pans, and even dribbled a goodly amount into the basement, all down the wall, onto the floor, and into a box of currently unused nick-nacks and picture frames. O the joy! If he weren't so darned cute!
Here's another thing that I learned this morning: It is not good to forget that you took the lid off of the kid's amoxicillin and then shake it vigorously while looking the other way.
Bruce and I were at a book store today which had several themed tables set up in between the main aisles. One table had a sign that read something about "Valentine's Day" books. On this table was an assortment of racy romance novels, and instructional sex books all with pictures that made me blush to look at. Two tables down, there was a table with a sign that read "The Best Kids' Fiction." I stole that sign and covered the "Valentine's Day" sign with it.
A while back, on a different trip to the book store, I rearranged the books so that these two books were side by side.
I have this vicious cycle that I'm trying to break. Winter makes it worse, especially when my kids get sick and I can't go anywhere. Being a stay at home mother, I get really sick of being at my house with nothing to do but the endless cooking, cleaning and laundry cycle: over and over and over again. Truly, the work is NEVER EVER done. Ever. It is absolutely impossible, and the sooner I realize the truth of that fact, the better. My second problem is that I am a total neat freak. I get really grumpy when my house is messy, as it OFTEN is with 7 people living in it. I get tired of yelling at people to pick up their things, tired of doing it for them, tired, tired, sick to death of cleaning over and over again only to have it messed up again. Part of the problem is that I need to enforce discipline on my children and make them take on more responsibilities. Anyway what happens is that I get grumpy, and if it really goes too far, I feel rebellious, and I'll sit down in a grump and won't do anything. Then self disgust adds to my grumpy feelings about having a messy house, and before you know it, I'm a mean ogre, which makes me hate myself even more, till I don't enjoy my life or anybody in it at all. How horrible is that?!
The reality is that I have a great life. I have a great husband who is good to me, and loves me, and we have a pretty great relationship. I have 5 beautiful, smart and healthy children. I have a warm roof over my head, plenty of food to eat and clothes to wear. I have the gospel in my life. What more can one person ask for? REALLY! I have been blessed so much more than I deserve. Yet, there I am grumbling because I'm tired of taking care of my greatest blessings?
Anyway, I was having a total horrible pity party over the weekend, and I was being truly awful. What I really wanted was to enjoy my family -with a clean house. Sunday Lydia was sick, so I stayed home from church with her. (For the record, I honestly hate to miss church. Call me a weirdo if you want, but it's true. I feel so much better after a good dose of church! The gospel is such an anchor for me and a guide. I love the gospel! It fills a hole, and helps me to see what I want to be. I'd be lost and probably a mean horrible person without it.) Anyway, I'd been a bad grump all weekend. Sunday evening came, and my family needed some dinner. I didn't feel like making another mess in my kitchen that I'd have to clean up. All I wanted to do was to spend some quality time with my family ~ not cooking some meal that half of the family would probably call yucky, and then cleaning it up. So instead I sliced up some pumpkin bread that I had made earlier that day, sliced up some oranges, and popped a bunch of popcorn. I pulled out a game and put it all on the table with the snack food. We all sat around the table snacking, playing a game, and enjoying each other's company. What do you know, my grump went away! Last night, we had family night, but my favorite part was the impromptu cranking up of some fun music and everybody danced in the living room like fools.
I know this is a long and preachy type of post, so I'm sorry for that. But for the record, here is my idea of a perfect day: Scripture time, and running have to take place early, or I feel out of sorts. Then the whole family pitches in and we get our house put in order double fast. Next we all head out to enjoy a day at the zoo, the Magic House, hiking or really anything that the kids and Bruce and I can enjoy together. Then to end the night, Bruce and I get to have a date. Those days don't happen but once in a great while, but they are my favorite. I don't know why I'm writing all of this poop. Okay, I'll shut up. Have a great day. Did anyone even hang on till the end of this post? I can't blame you if you gave up long ago. So here's a silly thing to end on, if you hung on this long: There, I just pulled my sweater up around my head (I'm wearing a shirt underneath) and ran around in circles in my front yard shouting "Obscenities in the Nude!" over and over again. I did that just now for you. I really did, AND the trash guy was at my neighbor's house.
We are having our second snow day in a row. Yesterday, Ross and Lydia got up early just to prank Mark, who had been asleep already when the call came that told us school was canceled. They got Mark up and all got ready to walk out the door, then they told him he had missed the bus.
I took the kids sledding yesterday, but it turned out pathetic. It was 18 degrees and windy! After we'd been there for only about 15 minutes, one of my boys really needed to use the bathroom (and not the kind where you can just run behind the tree). At about the same time, Clayton fell face first into the snow with his glove off and decided he was completely miserable. I loaded everyone up and called the whole thing a wash. It's too bad! Today is supposed to be -2 degrees with a wind chill of -25. There is no way I'm attempting it now! Ross, Lydia and Mark are bravely sledding on our mini-hill in the backyard right now. BBHHRRR!!
In the "tag-team" department, Justice and Clayton's latest craze is smashing cereal on the floor. So much money has been wasted! Clayton starts out just trying to get a snack (I think) and ends up dumping the whole bag on the floor. Crunching up the pieces is so very delightful that he and J-Bird just can't resist. The other day that happened, and my darling little Justice decided that one bag just wasn't enough. I caught him purposely dumping a second bag on the floor, the villainous little sinner! I'm going to have to start keeping the cereal under lock and key!
Here's a cute thing: the other night, Lydia and I were sitting on one couch doing homework, and Ross and Mark were reading on another couch. (It only sounds quiet - somehow I remember shouting "Shut up! We are trying to do HOMEWORK!" a lot.) Clayton got himself a magazine and plunked down next to R & M and started "reading."
My kids decided to make cards for my poor mother who slipped on the ice, broke her wrist, and bruised hip up so badly that she can't stand up. Here's a poem that Ross wrote for his card:
Your bones are a mess but I still confess you are one mighty tough grandma you're in the E.R. but you have come so far so pretend you are in Alabama
And since we were in the poem writing mood, I made up one of my own for no one in particular -ahem:
I tried to draw cupid, but my pencil's too stupid. So instead, I drew you this blob. I tried one more time to show love in a rhyme, but I can't do a very good job.
It's too bad you're so lame cause Honey my aim was to give you a compliment or two. But you're dumb as a box of slimy old rocks, and can't even tie your own shoe.
You're extremely pathetic and hardly athletic, so tell me, what can I do? Even though you're not smart, you've quite won my heart, and I'm crazy in love with you!
(For the record, neither my mother nor Bruce are dumb or stupid, and only occasionally pathetic ;). Both are capable of tying their own shoes and Bruce at least is quite athletic. Actually I guess my mother is a bit "lame" in a literal sense, at the moment. Just so you know, I dearly love them both!)
Oh, dear Heaven and Bruce forgive me for posting this, but it really tickled my funny bone:What does it say when you pull up a chair to the open fridge?!
Bruce says that I am required to tell you that he was extremely tired because he got called into work around 10:00 p.m. and didn't get back home and to bed till 3ish a.m. When I took this picture, it was after a full day at work the next day on only about 3 hours of sleep. Poor guy!
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?