Saturday, August 30, 2008

'Pre' Labor Day!

Due to the poopy weather we anticipated on Labor Day, we decided to celebrate our holiday early on Friday. The weather was wonderful, and the water was finally warm. (as in not numbing your extremities) I struggle with the lake water until mid or end of August. Growing up I was spoiled by warm ocean water and sunny sandy beaches every summer. Cold Utah lakes are just for fish-un', you the mount-un's, right? But I am adjusting!

Our great neighbors the Marshall's came along, and Sode came with Nate and Carmen. (We really missed Aboo and Alyssa) We had so much fun! Lexi, Cori, Nate and Tyler went out and swam. All the girls wanted multiple rides. And Cori even let Mike open it up to 54mph this time! (so stinkin proud, maybe she'll be an adrenaline junkie like her momma) The kids made 'pancakes' with the mud, but Nate corrected me...'pancake puffs!' Oh sorry!

It was a blast! It may be the last trip to the lake this year, hopefully not, but you never can tell with Utah weather.

I was a bum and didn't bring my camera. (because we were just there on Saturday with my camera, and I didn't take any pictures) So I am stealing Maelynn's pictures. Thanks for taking pictures of my kids! You are great, we couldn't ask for better neighbors!

Friday, August 29, 2008

My budding musician!

Addi's latest pastime is singing and making up songs. They are usually about Jesus and Heavenly Father. All of which follow familiar church songs.

We were getting ready this morning and Addi comes into the bathroom and says "Hey Mom?...I have a new song."

"Let's hear it." As I start brushing my teeth. She said "It's called 'I was sad, but now I'm happy.' I'm feeling really proud like, the song will probably be about me, and how happy I make her. Or even better...maybe how good of a Mom I am.

She starts with a really catchy tune:

"I was sad...hum...hum...but now I'm happy...hum...hum...I like...hummmmmm...PEPPERONI!...hum...hum"

I seriously gagged on my toothbrush! I couldn't help but laugh, bending over the sink, with all the toothpaste running out of my mouth. (And of course a big blob on my shirt)

I said "Wow, that was SOOOO good! there any more?" Then she answers "Nope...but I'm really glad the 'happy' rhymes with pepperoni...because I suuuuuure do love it!"

Oh that sweet little girl! I was so proud of her for trying to sing a song that rhymes. And I know that Mike will be so proud that pepperoni is in the song! I'm thinking that maybe she has a future in songwriting, and I thought of my favorite artists "The Flight of the Conchords". I really think she may have a future with them!

(I put the clean songs in my playlist, but I apologize in advance if there is a naughty word in the rap not bad though)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hate-ah or Participate-ah?

So I felt inspired to post about a strangely controversial topic...are you ready...


That's right...I will shout it from the rooftops! I'm no longer afraid! I have broke free from the chains and I am "coming out of the closet" so to speak. I don't really feel it "appropriate" to publicly express some of my political views...however, this may be oddly more inappropriate.

I was inspired by a new friend of mine, Ann (down south) "Holla!", to post this. After leaving her a very long-winded and pretty passionate comment on her blog. (sorry about that!) It seems to me that these books are a hotter topic than the latest Home-Making, I mean Enrichment craft!

I will come right out and say it...I have read the first three books...and truthfully, I loved them! I am not buying shirts and dreaming of Edward, but hey, some people do and that's fine with me. On the flip side, it seems I've heard of how "against the plan" people have said these books are. While I admit my plan to read the latest book, I like to think I'm maybe somewhere in the middle. So, let me tell you a little story...

Not too long ago, in a not too far away land, there lived a YW leader. She attended a YW lesson devoted to the reading of these books. The YW president gave an entire lesson on the "inappropriate books". Chastising the readers of these books, and reading church doctrine to supplement and defend her opinions. (Now the key word there was "opinions") Meanwhile, the YW leader was sitting in the back (because she is a bit rebellious like that) wondering if she were in trouble for having read the books. She was trying to make eye contact with other leaders to see if she might be in trouble, and if so, why she missed the memo. (or the letter from the First Presidency) She knew that there were girls in the room who had not only read the books, but their own Mother's had recommended it, and read with them! She thought back to the previous years Girls Camp, where the LEADERS were obsessed with the books and perhaps more excited than the girls for the next book. This particular Leader was very confused and a bit concerned, both for the girls, and for the venue in which these opinions were being presented as church doctrine.

...OK back to present time. I have heard more about these books than I have about any other Deseret Book publication EVER! Am I just not conservative enough? Am I "not in tune with the spirit"???? I am not trying to be blastfimist, but I am a bit shocked at it all.

I have a family member who believes her daughter is falling victim to the "dark side" because she has chosen to read them. She has expressed her disappointment in her daughter. Now, the thing is, her daughter is a grown and married adult! Not that being a grown and married adult gives liberty to read anything, but really!

I have heard the following:

1. They are really great! You should read them.
2. They are kind of cheesy, really meant more for teenagers than grown women!
3. They are really good for teenagers, in a "great example" kind of way!
4. They are alright for adults to read, but not teenagers!
5. They are not alright for anyone, even adults!
6. I cannot believe a 'Mormon' would write such a inappropriate book! Major disappointment!
6. They are "evil", in a Satan's tool kind of way! (this one is my personal favorite!!)

I will leave you with my favorite quote..."they make you feel feelings, that you should not feel until you are married"

If they only knew the "feelings" those girls were would shock them into next year! Those girls have 'feelings' that do not have ANYTHING to do with these books! And am I the only one who's libido kicked in before my Wedding Day? "Feelings" were the least of my teenage problems!

I would be interested in others opinions, even if they are not like my own, on the topic. If you are part of "twilight anonymous" I fully understand. I would not wish that kind of backlash upon anyone. Speaking of...can you imagine the letters Sherie Dew has received for selling these books??? Maybe we can all sleep better believing she never has, and wouldn't DREAM of reading them!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Habla Espanol?????


My daughter is in Spanish Immersion and apparently I need to be as well! She came home in tears today...she cried for 15 minutes telling me what a hard day she had. Now if she went to Jr. High I would chalk it up to typical behavior. She is only in 3rd grade!!! I'm afraid she is going to hate school.
Their teacher only speaks Spanish to them in class. Well, as you can imagine, she hasn't heard much Spanish over the summer, and is really struggling.
All of her homework has come home with instructions in Spanish. Now, if either Mike or I knew Spanish, this wouldn't be so bad. But we don't. I am spending my evenings on 'Google Translate' trying to figure out how to help her.
I feel like I've started school this week, and I am failing miserably. Can they expect parent involvement if we don't know Spanish?
My initial reaction is to march in there tomorrow morning and let this teacher know how frustrating it is for our entire family! Cori cried today in class and she feels really embarrassed about it, she even said she doesn't want to go back. I said " really shouldn't cry in class, it won't help you learn Spanish any quicker." I know, I know...I am not the best at being sympathetic, but I don't want her to cry her way through school. She responded with "but Mom, I feel so much better when I lets all the bad feelings out!" Oh, it broke my heart! And here is where her and I are so different...she cries, and I want to rip the teacher a new one! Sorry, I know she is an excellent teacher. She really is great, and I'm sure her methods are the best way for Cori to learn.
So...I'm thinking about signing up for a college course in Beginning Spanish so I can help my kids with their homework. How in the world will I help them with Math? Crap!!! I'm in trouble.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Back to School!

Cori and Lexi headed back to school this year without me. This was very difficult (more for me) since I could not be there to wish them well and say goodbye.
When Mike and I planned our trip, I thought we would return the week before school started. In the past it has started on the 20 something-ish of August. Well, I should have really looked into it because this year it started earlier than usual.
I was in Florence and called them that morning. I got to tell them I loved and missed them. (that was the part of my trip when I was ready and REALLY wanted to go home) My sister Sam got them dressed and ready. (She promised pics, but I haven't seen any) Luckily they were older this year, so they knew their way around, had been going all day, and were used to walking to and from school.

Cori is now in 3rd grade and still in the Spanish Immersion program. Her teacher this year is Sra. Duran. She is such a smart muffin! I love how much of Mike I see in her. She wants to be the best and always do what's right. She can be really hard on herself and that breaks my heart. I always say "I never get after her because she's harder on herself than I will ever be!"
Her latest thing is to say "Mom...I promise to do (blank). And if I don't you can ground me until Christmas!" What in the world? Why would I do that? I just tell her that I believe she will do it, and if she forgets I won't "ground her until Christmas". Last week it was "...and if I don't...I will give you all my money!" Geezz La-Weeeez! The poor girl's gonna send herself to jail one day.
She's getting old enough to reason with me. (this has it's pro's and con's) She will soon be much smarter than me, not to mention know a second language, and I will be in major trouble. I hated it when my Mom would answer me with "Just because I said so!" or "I don't know...just do what I said!" I find myself telling her the very same thing. She will grow up to reason with her Dad. Their brains work on a whole other level than normal people.

Lexi is in 2nd grade and has Mrs. McPherson. Lexi has already made new friends and loves her teacher. She is such a loving girl! She has a very tender heart, and I've always worried the world would be so harsh for her. She seems to manage things fine. She'll get her feelings hurt, but she's getting tougher.
During the summer...she was riding around the neighborhood and another kid said to her "Helmets are for BABIES!" She was really embarrassed and came inside. Of course she didn't say anything until later that night, but you can always tell if she's sad. She told me what was said and so I asked her "Lexi? Why do we wear helmets?" "To keep us safe, and protect our brains." she answered. Then I said "That's right! and YOU have a smart brain! So the next time she tells you tell her "No...babies don't wear helmets...SMART PEOPLE DO!"" She looked up at me and said "Mom! Can I say that?" "You sure can!" I replied.
But Lexi is so kind and really doesn't want to make people feel bad. (that's where we are different) She is my little peacemaker, and I love her for that!

I am so glad the girls get to go to this Elementary School. I love the faculty and how involved all the parents are. We logged a staggering amount of volunteer hours last year, and it made me so happy. I am so grateful for excellent teachers, who don't get paid NEARLY what they should. Teachers who love to teach and love children. I think it is one of the very most important jobs anyone could ever do.
So here's to another great year !!!

Bittersweet Reality!


I am back and officially off of vacation. I couldn't sit at my table this morning and order whatever I was in the mood for. Nope! Nobody brought me breakfast. Nobody made my bed and cleaned my room while I was at breakfast either. I didn't step out my front door to see beautiful blue waters or cathedrals and bell towers. My day wasn't planned with fun and exciting tours and museums. In fact, you know when you've been gone too long, because you wake up and have no clue where you are. Crazy! And it's 4 am and you can't get back to sleep. No, was very fun, amazing, and long enough to be happy that I'm home.

Things I already miss:
  • Beautiful blue water
  • Maid service (I kind of forgot that I was a maid in real life)
  • Italian Restaurants (fresh mozzarella, and homemade pasta)
  • Gelato
  • (Oddly enough) Catholic Churches
  • Gyros
  • Holding Mike's hand all day long
  • Marble
  • Music on the streets

Things I am so freakin' grateful for:
  • My sweet, sweet little girls, and I'm so glad they forgave me for leaving them for so long
  • Air Conditioning...I mean REAL cool's such an amazing luxury!
  • Deodorant...I'm so glad we know it is such a wonderful necessity
  • Cleanliness
  • Free Toilets...that not only are clean, but come with big wide toilet seats
  • Eaves-dropping (being the people watcher I am, it's just not the same when you can't understand anything people are saying...and the constant wonder if they are talking about you!)
  • Shorts, baseball caps, and big white tennis shoes...for women!
  • My own form of transportation
  • Grocery stores...with thousands and thousands of options (of course Diet Dr. Pepper)
  • And just the quiet, little country town I live in! (although I would be just fine in a Tuscan villa as well...just not the city!)

It was a fabulous trip! Greece was spectacular, and so beautiful. Italy was fun and charming. Turkey was ...well...probably not on my list of vacation spots to revisit. France was wonderful, considering I only visited the French Riviera it was very nice. And I really felt that Monaco was unreal, like a place that belonged at Disney World.

It was great to celebrate 10 years with my best friend. I already miss talking to him and being with him 24/7. The past 10 years have flown by. We have been through a lot, and we both have grown, thankfully together and not apart. I still can't believe I was ready to get married at 19. Truthfully I probably wasn't, but there's not another person I would ever want to share my life with. We have had the chance to travel the world together and start a family. I get so caught up in my day-to-day huffs and puffs with life. I think that being away, and seeing other cultures really puts into perspective how much I have to be grateful for, and how insignificant and petty my complaints are.

I am part of an amazing world, full of so many different kinds of people. I get caught up in the rat race, and keeping up, and getting my feelings hurt. All of which really doesn't matter at all. I have my health, my husband, and my beautiful children. I know my Father in Heaven loves me, and I know that Jesus lived and died for me. There's really nothing else beyond that to worry about. I know the next 10 years will be just as great. And if I survive having 4 teenage girls, I hope to get the chance to get away like that again. (Although with 4 teenagers, it may not be long enough)

So, sometime in the near future, between my maid, cook, nanny, and secretarial responsibilities...I will backdate all my adventures. The thought is quite overwhelming right now, but I'm sure things will become routine again before I know it. The fact that I took an average of 200 pics a day doesn't help the task seem any easier. I may just scrapbook it all and call it good. Especially since other trips have been documented that way.

I HAVE to thank all those who helped take care of my girls. I am so lucky to have family close, and the opportunities that come with that blessing. My Mom(Grandma Sharla) is so good to my kids. They can't stop talking about everything they did with her. My Sisters, especially Jay and Manda, who sacrificed their weekend. I remember how precious those weekends are when you're young, single, and itchin' to mingle! You guys are the best! I promise to pay you back someday. When you have your kids...I'll be the coolest, oldest, 'grandma looking' aunt who will babysit all the time! No really...Thanks!