Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Garden Academy Proudly Presents . . .

Our darling children reciting the first four paragraphs of the Family Proclamation. We have been working very hard on our memorization and we are taking this opportunity to show off what we have learned. They did it with a little prompting, but who doesn't occasionally freeze and forget what they are saying?! I hope you enjoy.

Monday, July 28, 2008


It's official, the chest x-rays are in! David has Pneumonia. He is on an antibiotic and is resting. In the meantime . . . Peter still has Strep Throat, but is being very good about taking his medicine from a baby eyedropper just like a little bunny. In between dosing my two sick bunnies, I am trying to get some cleaning and laundry done while keeping the natives quiet enough to David can rest.

Escapades of Mark
It has been quiet. A little too quiet. So I went to investigate. I found them all in the boys bedroom with the door closed. I opened the door and saw Mark shove something under the covers on his bed. I walked over and pulled back the covers to see his Leapster. How odd I thought. I reminded him that it's ok for him to be playing Leapster right now since it's the afternoon. Then Peter reached farther under the covers and pulled out the cell phone. Busted! Mark had been getting online with the cell phone and playing a Wall E game. I think he knows more about that cell phone than I do. Of course this comes on the heels of him purchasing a movie download on Amazon barely a week ago for Xmen. This child has been testing me since he was born and everyday brings new challenges. I keep reminding myself to focus his creative skills in a useful direction, but today, I'm too tired to focus me!

That was Mark's naughty side. Here is a sample of his angelic side.
Last night I went to check on the kids like I do every night. (Background: In devotional with the kids I read a chapter or two from the BoM everyday and we were supposed to start Jacob 5 today (which we didn't cuz we had to take Daddy to the doctor) and i had explained how Jacob 5 was long and I wanted to spend time explaining what it was about to them, so we planned to spend at least two days on it.) Most nights I find at least one child not asleep and this night it was Mark. I found him in bed with a flashlight and a book. Now what do you suppose this devilish seven year old was reading? Magic Treehouse? Star Wars? No. The Book of Mormon. More specifically Jacob 5. When I checked on him he it had been about an hour since I had shushed him last and he had been reading that whole time. He begged me to let him finish the last four verses of the chapter. What could I do? I let him finish and went to tell David about it. A few minutes later Mark comes down to our room to explain it all to us. Apparently he started reading and he didn't get what he was reading, so he decided to pray for Heavenly Father to help him understand. After that he told us he understood what the chapter was about and how the bad branches got burned and the good branches had fruit. Then he happily scampered off to bed.

Umm, SWISH! Score a point for the Good Side! I love when I can look back and see that Mark's right choices are getting better and his wrong choices are getting milder. This boy is certainly going to keep me on my toes, intellectually and spiritually. What a weekend!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Is it just me?

Why is it that when I'm sick and have commitments and then cancel those commitments because I'm sick...I tend to feel just a little better? And then I question whether or not I can still follow through on the commitments that I just cancelled?

Is it just me? Or does that ever happen to you?

Is my body just telling me I need a break? Granted...I have a fever, sore throat, and achy body. So I'm legitimately sick and don't need to prove anything to anybody (yet I'm sharing more now as if I do have something to prove). So I will leave it at this.

Now you all know the mind of David just a little better. I can't apologize enough. :)

And now I wonder how Karen does it? She's never sick and even when she is (which is rare) she doesn't stop. She will certainly enjoy the "rest" that comes with immortality in the next life!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Elmer's Glue

I am astonished that it has been two weeks since either David or I have posted on here. Mostly I have been wiggin out about some stuff, but now David has gotten into Facebook. Crazy and fun all at the same time.

So you are now wondering why I titled this post Elmer's Glue. Like is there a reason, or is it the tumor talking??!?!

I have a reason!

Peter's hands have been peeling lately. It's not major or gross or anything. It just looks like he has dried up ELMER'S GLUE on his hands and it is peeling off. But he doesnt. I am neurotic, I don't let a 2 year old near glue. umm, ever! So I asked the doc about it when I was in today with Luke for his checkup. (Note that I have all five kids in an exam room that is 7x7 square and 86 degrees. Not the most fun, but the doctor and nurse are really great) She says to me that his hands peeling could be a sign of Strep Throat. Ya, that sound nutty, but we did the super q-tip in the throat (he was, umm, less than pleased) and it was positive. So tomorrow we start the fabulous pink Amoxicillin, eat it up yum!

Now when you combine that with a scheduling mix-up that had me at the aforementioned doctor's office two times within one hour, James using a toy golf club on a tree during a lightsaber duel, my accidentally erasing David's Facebook account and all the natural guilt I have when I take a day off, like today, and don't do devotional with the kids, and you get an idea of what my life is like today. How does life get so crazy when you aren't really doing anything???

Who knows, but it makes for a great blog!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My Near Death Experience

I took the kids to playgroup this morning at the playground down the street. As is becoming more common we were the only ones there. sigh. It was rather warm and humid so I told the kids we wouldn't be staying long. Still we were there for about our normal time (45 minutes, without a watch I always want to leave after 45 minutes, weird!).

We were close to leaving, 5 minute warning, three minute warning, etc. I was pushing Peter in a baby swing and Luke was in the stroller about three feet away from me. Suddenly I felt a very sharp prick on my hand and looked down to see a bee on the front of me. I calmly brushed it off and then began to make sure that it didn't return to land on me. I have never been stung before, I had no idea what to do. So I panicked.

I quickly and sharply told the kids we were leaving in my "I'm scared beyond words voice." They hustled to the car knowing that it was serious since the last time I used that voice it was because the neighbor's house was on fire. By this point I was lightheaded, dizzy, weak and shaking like a leaf in the wind. I was praying I would make the 1 1/2 minute drive home okay.

The sting site was a tiny red dot and a white swollen area around it about the size of a pencil eraser. I kept thinking how seriously inconvenient it would be to have to go to the hospital, but since it was my first time, I didn't know if I was dying or not. My head started hurting by the time we got home and I hustled everyone inside. I quickly sat down and googled for bee stings.
All the websites I found said to pull out the stinger quickly. More panicking. I couldn't see a stinger! I frantically checked for signs of allergic reaction. It was all very unclear. I did put on an ice pack, but I didn't know what else I could or should do.

So I did what every mature adult mother of five would do.

I called my mommy.
No answer.

So I called my second mommy.
No answer.

More panicking.
I called my husband.
He advised me to wash it and put some neosporin on it. Which I did.
It hurt for a long time. I whined, I moaned and I got a little teary from the pain in my hand.

Now seven hours later I am miraculously alive and my hand is mostly just stiff and a little achy. I can't even see where the sting is. I think I would be classified as a very mild reaction. It's funny how what I think can become what I feel even if I'm not really feeling it.

Though I will probably deny it after this, I know my kids aren't the only drama queens/kings in my little family. I guess all those years in theatre rubbed off on me, or maybe I've always been like this . . .

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Peter Speaks, sort of

Peter is our darling 2 1/2 year old boy who for reasons beyond our knowledge doesn't really talk. He has learned to say things like mama, and dada, and hippo, along with snippets of other words like hm, for home, or nya, for Anya. Most of the time we understand what he wants or needs just with his gesture and trademark umgaga.

However, more recently we are finding that his need to communicate with us is getting stronger and yet he still seems unable to make that cute little mouth do what he wants it to. I can sit and read a book to him, he will point to an animal on the page and I will say what it is. He very intently watches my mouth, his little mouth will open a little and it seems as if he is trying to decide if he can make that sound. Most of the time he just replies, with a ya(yes) and a nod.

I have been advised by more than one mom to try and teach him ASL. I tried. He looked at me like I was way off my rocker. I gave up. Then I got re-inspired and checked some dvds out of the library. Now I have three kids who holler, mom, mom! look! and then make really cute uh noises in their throats as they sign to me what they want.

Then there is my darling Peter. He really has enjoyed the videos and I kept encouraging him to sign to me what he needs, but he was resistant to the idea and hung on tight to his gaga, and ya, no responses. (why is it that of all the words a child masters no seems to be the most common and the clearest? :)) Then just this week, things started to change. He took me to the fridge, I opened it and he started his regular umgaga, and pointed to the juice. He's only allowed juice once a day and he had already had it so I replied, No, you can have water or milk, which one do you want. He then began tapping his finger on his chin to sign water. At first it was just one finger and I didn't understand, but then I realized that he was using sign to communicate what he wanted without my prompting him.

He has done it twice today, to tell me about a ball and about some toy apples that Anya has in her room. On one hand it seems like such a small thing, but for Peter and me it is opening up a whole new world. I am not sure I can express how exciting it is for me to have him communicating with me. It's one of those yes! victory moments that we parents get to have every now and then. I just wanted to share my joy with everyone.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Ode to Erin

Not really...but it got your attention, right? She's my newest old friend. And by old, I mean I've known her for like 10-15 years but she was my sister's friend. Now that we're both adults, I suppose it's time to be friends. Partly because we're freakishly similar in odd ways. And that's what makes it fun. I don't know what it is, but something has clicked here's my shout out to Erin!

I remember a trip to Utah. I was still in high school...maybe my junior year. And I thought I was so cool because I was hanging out with college kids. I remember riding in a car with Erin and Heidi and a couple other guys. I don't know where my sister was and why we got split up. But the car I was in went to Subway and then we headed over to an outdoor concert. It was somewhere in the Provo area. Erin and you remember any of this? I don't know why I remember a detail like eating at Subway...but it's been engrained in my head and I remember having a really good time.

And she tagged here goes:

3 Joys
Early morning fog
Practical jokes
Spiritual ah-hah moments

3 Fears
Spiders (of course)...but not the small ones anymore. And by small, I mean the ones that are so small you can't tell if they're a spider or a regular house bug until you get really close.
Walking up the stairs at night when all the lights are off. I know someone is walking right behind me!
Sharing the Gospel and admitting I'm a political conservative with a group of strangers

3 Goals
Weighing 180 again
Camping out next to Emerald Lake on top of Mt. Timp and enjoying the stars at night while talking with my closest friends
Enjoying the eternities with my family

3 Current Obsessions/Collections
Laziness (sad, isn't it?)
Minesweeper (I don't think I can beat my best scores anymore...they're pretty darn good!)
Wanting to get into the habit of reading good books

3 Random Surprising Facts About Myself
I'm always up for a good musical - Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Singing In The Rain, High School Musical (can't wait to see 3...with the kids, of course!), Phantom of the Opera, Newsies, Enchanted, etc. etc. etc.
I'm dramatic - case in point...I had a crush on a girl named Emma in 4th grade while living in Kentucky. She was blonde and from England. The subdivision we lived in butted up against another subdivision but there was no connecting road...just a line of trees and a small dirt path I would ride my bike on to get to the other side. For some reason I thought Emma lived in the other subdivision. So I went on the dirt path...right in the middle of the two subdivisions...and screamed as loudly as I could, "I LOVE YOU, EMMA!!!!!!" Needless to say, I can be dramatic.
I killed 3 Anoles before realizing what I was doing wrong. I thought they needed light at night so I placed my reading lamp over their container. Turns out my reading lamp fried them. I still feel guilty about it. I can't imagine the slow and painful death that the reading lamp caused. I had some friends over and we held a funeral service. They're buried under my parents deck in St. Charles.

I tag...Jay, Kristy, Julie, Sarah, and Steph ( cousin!)

Happy Birthday America!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

My New Gotta Have

It's hot outside.

It was pleasant at 10 am when we went to ward playgroup at the local playgroud.
(Though Ward Playgroup is a lame name since we are usually the ones there)

We had a nice time swinging, playing, etc. Mark, Anya and James have gotten into the habit of bringing one toy each with them to the park. Usually Woody and Jessie are the top picks. Today was no exception.

The boys were playing nicely on the playset, which is the thing you climb on with all the slides attached, and by playing nicely I mean that no one was screaming or crying. I was a good distance away when I saw Mark standing on the highest platform throw Woody up into the nearby tree. And there he stayed. Mark came running over with a great story about how he slipped and almost fell and Woody fell out of his hand and got stuck in a tree.

Ok, really people! Even if I was only a babysitter who had not seen what happened, I wouldn't believe that story! So naturally I informed him that I had seen what really happened and he tried to hide his I am so guilty and busted grin while explaining that He and James were pretending that their toys were getting hurt and needing rescuing.

For those of you who have not seen the trees here, this was previously a logging forest and there are no tree branches below about 10 feet. So you can imagine that this toy was pleasantly high up wrapped very nicely around a small branch. I thought surely this was the end for Woody, but unfortunately I remembered our lightbulb changer we just purchased to change light bulb in the garage. It telescopes up to 11 feet long. I had to extend it the whole way in order to reach the toy and knock him out of the tree. The other parents probably thought I was a real nut job.

I am afraid I will have much more use for this new tool than simply changing lightbulbs.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

One Soul, Institute and Little House

I thought that David starting another blog would encourage me to blog more. Apparently not. It seems as though I have very little to say right now, due in large part to a lot of inner dialogue (which I am not going to subject you fine readers to again) that has been bouncing around in my brain. I have however received what I think was inspiration guiding me along a path that may alleviate some of the stress in my life, but only time and effort will tell. Tonight it is going well, but we shall see.

During our devotional this morning I introduced to the kids the new scripture for July. It happens to be Doctrine and Covenants 18:15. Go ahead, click over and read it, otherwise the rest of this may not make sense :) We read it out loud and then discussed what it meant. While I was reading it, Mark interrupted me to tell me that he knew the one was each of us. We each get ourselves back to Heavenly Father. I agreed with him, after all, he was right. The more I talked with him and thought about it, the more right it became. It's all about agency. The only person that we can bring back to heaven in ourselves. We can be instrumental in helping someone else, or guiding them to the right path, but in the end we are each responsible for our own choices that will either lead us to or away from our Father in Heaven. I love when I get to be a part of those moments with the kids. It was really just the pick me up I needed since yesterday was not the best day and I had been feeling kind of down.

I have also been using the Institute Manuals for my personal scripture study and am 3/4 of the way through Old Testament 1. I have been doing a chapter a day, which on days like today means that I spent 4 hours reading either in the scriptures or the manual. That is almost all of my free study time in the day, but I did find time to read my more fun book, Little House on the Prairie, more on that later. Sometimes the manual asks really silly questions and by silly I mean the other s word that we don't let our kids say. (stupid) However I have found that the notes and commentary explain things that are otherwise so confusing I don't even think about asking a question about them. The experience thus far has been a very enlightening one and I feel as though I am getting to know the scriptures better than I ever have before. I would wholeheartedly recommend using the manuals, though you might not go as hardcore as I have :)

Ok, last thing. Little House on the Prairie. I admit I was inspired to read the series by Laurel's recent post about the show, which I never watched. I was more the Highlander, Star Trek, Charmed kind of girl. I must say I am really enjoying the books. I have read two of the eight in the series and I almost feel a desire to find a plain where no one has lived and build my own little log house and dig a well, and milk a cow, but then I remember that I was born during this time because as my father always reminded us I am "a pampered little princess". Just as a side note, though I haven't read it in the books yet, I do know from the summary bit on the back of some of the later novels that Mary does indeed go blind, how or why I will have to let you know when I get to it.

It may be a while before you hear from me again, or maybe not, who can tell? Just know that I am still here striving to figure out my life and everything that goes with it.