Saturday, August 30, 2008

SWOONING

I am a sucker for a man with an accent. What other explanation is there for my absolute love of Jamie in Outlander (or, should I say, Davina Porter, reading Jamie in Outlander), my nodded "Uh-huh"and heart-felt "Awh" at the end of (an otherwise stupid book) Austenland, my mild obsession with the guy who dies right at the beginning of "P.S. I Love You," as well as a persistent yearning for Pierce Brosnan ever since my teenage years of surreptitiously viewing "Remington Steele" when my homework wasn't done? Yes. I am a sucker for a man with an accent.

Apparently I am not alone. Case in point: that one time that I went to Sophomore Orientation with Lane and he made me go away...yeah, that time...Well, before heading out to the concrete steps to read my book, I went to the Counselors' office to try and correct something on Lane's transcript. There's a new guy there in the Counselors' office. He's not very tall and he looks really young and he's got kind of funny teeth and his hair is thinning and sticking up all over in a not cool way. But he's got this accent. And he's just gorgeous as soon as he talks.

Evan's friend's mom was in the office, too, trying to rearrange her senior son's schedule. She asked Accent-Man a question about said schedule, to which Accent-Man replied in his British accent. Then he walked away.

Marianne turned to me with a dreamy look in her eyes and said, "I have no idea what he just told me to do, but I sure like how it sounded!"

I can understand the sound of that!

Friday, August 29, 2008

OUSTED

School started this week and already I have been expelled! Kicked out! Supplanted!
Not from school, exactly, but from my growing children's lives!


First day of school, and Joshua left me to lock up his bike while he scouted for friends. When I found him again he turned with a quick, "Bye, Mom." When I didn't get the clue fast enough he was more emphatic. "Bye, Mom! Mom, 'bye!!"

Ah, how I smiled at the First-Grade Parents, with their cameras and their tear-streaked faces...Just you wait until Fourth Grade hits, you Still-Needed Grown-Ups!


Lane, the Dude, whispered, "You're not really going to follow me, are you?" when I started to tag along at the sophomore orientation. Parents were invited, BTW. In fact, they were encouraged to attend. I ended up waiting outside on the high school steps (thank heavens for a good book) the 45 minutes it took Lane to orientation-ate by himself, reconnect with his peeps, and then come outside to ask if he could go hang out at a friend's house. It's not as though I had anything better to do with my time than sit around and wait on Lane's whim and fancy. For reals. I didn't.


Then there's Evan. The only one who still doesn't mind introducing me to his friends. He does mind, though, when it's time to get picked up from school (I had the car that day) and he's talking to a girl. Nary a "howdy-do" or a "thanksforcomingtogeme, Mom." Nope. Instead I got, "I'm just going to walk home." Translation: Leave me be!

The weaning has been slow and gradual, as well as normal and natural, I realize. But when the Mommy-I-don't-need-you-quite-so-much-anymore monster reared it's precocious little head and bit my nurturing hand this morning, I was, admittedly, quite taken aback.

There was this play-date planned for after school.


There was this ensuing conversation about it:

"You know you don't have to pick me up from school today," said the Big Little Guy.
"I don't mind," Mother responded.
"I know. But today I can just walk home without you."
"You mean you don't want me to walk home with you, right?"
"Right. Well...you can walk behind us, I guess. If you want. Far behind us."

A zoom lens does come in handy once you've been relegated to the back.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

NOT PREGNANT

This is, actually, good news.

I don't particularly want to be pregnant. I really am too old. My kids really are too big.

But I used to want to be pregnant--REAL BAD--and that has been, for me, an intense, probably-not-quite-over-yet, struggle with learning better to accept myself, God's great plan, and that pernicious little ache called disappointment.

So I've learned some things. I've felt some things. And I've come a long way, (no more) Baby! Still and all, it's a sad, sad day when A MAN can get pregnant, and I can't!

Go figure. Pickles, anyone?



P.S. There's an amazing blog at cjanerun.com that everyone should read. Everyone should also pray for c jane's recently injured sister, Nie (lots more information at cjanerun.com) and her husband.
Then, if you'd like, search for c jane's July 21, 2008 post. Somehow she summed me up. And reading that filled me up. Thanks, c jane.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

PLAYING CATCH-UP

Once upon a time, I went to a demolition derby. Then, a year later, I went again.

This is something that Michael and the boys have been attending for a few years, and something that promises to be an annual excursion for the whole fam now. I can't say that I am, exactly, a fan of crashing cars, flying mud pellets, or geysers made of antifreeze. But I do enjoy my men, and they sure seem to enjoy the crashing cars, flying mud pellets, and antifreeze geysers.

Besides, they have fireworks at the end. And you can bring in treats. Give me food, and I'll pretty much sit through anything...

We certainly struggled to stay happily seated (more like "squashed") in the car on the ride home, though. Some surreptitious fellow let his methane flow and it was STINKY. It was also followed by a rousing chorus of, "It wasn't me. It wasn't me." I told them all, "Well, you know it wasn't me, because my farts smell like roses." Immediately Joshua cried out, "Then fart, Mommy! Please, fart!"

I don't remember how she smelled, but sweet little niece Hannah (and her sisters...) surely was pretty as roses--and daisies--on the day of her baptism. I'm glad we got to be there for that special occasion. I'm sad we missed out on the luncheon afterwards, but I guess it was enough to be fed by the Spirit...



Speaking of special occasions, here are some pictures from the Pioneer Day Parade I sat through, despite minimal snackage, on the 24th of July.


My favorite exhibition.



Some more of the fun. Note Joshua playing with Michael's hair (along the wall).

And here's me on one of the last Saturdays of summer, sitting on the boat, blissfully supplied with a good book and a great assortment of food.



We spent a lovely day at Utah Lake with Lane's friend Cody and, later on, Colin and his friend/roommate Joe. Evan didn't come with us because--weird kid--he wanted to work.



Lane and Cody, doing their thing...and their own hair.


Colin and Joe.


Michael, a.k.a. Craziest of all the crazies.



The little dude, being not little.


Me again...(I promise it's a different picture from before. See--my feet are on different sides of the boat.)


All the crazies, right before "bubble jumping" into the bubbles of the speeding, whirring, spinning, very sharp motor blades. Joe had to reassure me several times that physics makes it entirely impossible for them to land anywhere near the motor...Still, I can't say I liked the whole thing.

video video
But they did!

Colin came later to visit us in Salt Lake, and here he is, sitting on me, doing some version of what he calls "The Flying Burrito." That is not a snack. It is, rather, torture. This picture does not capture the shaking and squashing he was doing to me. Sounds bad. Feels worse. And some people wonder why I have to lay around reading books all day to recuperate...


All the young males in my house laid around for a long time the next day, but I did eventually take Colin and the boys bowling. It was rather entertaining--especially when Colin slipped and fell on his cute little behind. But, sadly, it remains undocumented, as my camera was at home, charging.

Here's to fun times, though. CHARGE!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

IN DEBT



By this picture you may think this boy to be a money-grubbing, greedy little child, but you'd be wrong. Instead, what we have here is photographic evidence of how sorely the Tooth Fairy needs to work on his/her communication skills...



Young Son had a tooth extracted at the dentist's office this week because, sadly, he seems to be related to his mother. This means that he a) doesn't have enough room in his mouth for all those pearly whites and b) doesn't seem to have teeth that want to fall out on their own. It also means the dentist is someone we see regularly--and I mean regularly in a way that's far and beyond the good old 6-months-'till-your-next-cleaning kind of thing. Oh, how grateful we are for insurance and a really nice dentist!

The Tooth Fairy, recognizing the deep levels of pain, despair, and anxiety this tooth extraction caused Young Son's mother, brought him a butt-load of quarters, and maybe a few extra dollar bills, as well. Then, not realizing that Tooth Fairy I had already made a visit, Tooth Fairy II came along and did the same thing.



So Joshua ended up being relatively well-paid for that one long, skinny, white tooth. I certainly wish I could figure out a way to be paid for the things that come out of my mouth! Even better would be payment for what I put in...


Ha!

What I do get, if not money, is this little nut of a child who is wildly entertaining to me. Last night I found him in the entryway, tying a knot into his T-shirt, dancing around with his midriff showing. Why? I'll never know. And this was after he spent a good half-hour singing made up songs to the tune of "Love At Home."

The truly funny thing is, Joshua is so shy, calm, and reserved any other place. I feel truly privileged to have a first-row seat for the show of who and how he is at home. Luckily we have a little video clip here to give you a glimpse, too (unfortunately, this is the tamed-down version--he was much sillier before I started filming):

I lied. There is no clip for you. After 2 computers, 4 installs, and more than 8 hours, I am giving up on the video upload. I have a sneaking suspicion that Joshua, who besides being shy is also smart, has somehow managed to sabotage the video clip--he did keep saying to me, "No! Don't put that on! Don't put that on!" So now you'll just have to imagine Joshua's silliness, because I promise, you won't see it anywhere else.

I really do love the little guy. I love the bigger ones that live in my house, too. Heavenly Father has truly given me more far more than I deserve, and I am deeply, deeply in debt; happiness-grubbing little blessing-keeper that I am...

Friday, August 22, 2008

CULINARY

Although I've not burned a thing in at least a week, my cooking has apparently not improved, as evidenced by Joshua's question last night:

"Mom, is this chicken supposed to be green?"

It was beef stroganoff.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

LAZY

Dear sister Dana called yesterday and said something potentially sweet. She began with, "I acted like you today..."

And finished her sentence--dashing all hopes and dreams of my actualization of an exemplary life--with,

"I was lazy."

After rousing myself enough to laugh, I wondered, "Wait! Should I be mad?"
Nah. Too much effort. And besides, I really am.

Lazy, that is (See? I couldn't even finish the previous sentence!). Here is how Dana finished describing her day like Keri:

"I just laid there with my book, letting children crawl all around me, not caring what they did, just as long as I could keep reading."

Yeah. That's me. Just know, though, that my children don't crawl anywhere near me...or at all, for that matter.

Also know that, lazy as I may be, my children are all still alive and thriving (what?! My oldest is a senior in High School this year?! What?!), the laundry stays done (mostly), the floors eventually get swept and vacuumed (that's what chores for children will do for you), Michael gets an ironed uniform and a sack lunch (and a kiss or two) everyday, and dinner does appear on the table more often than not. And sometimes I blog. I'd say I'm pretty darn accomplished.

But that would require too much work.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

FAR BEHIND

I am so very far behind, and that has nothing to do with me deciding to never run again. That does, however, have to do with me being gone for most of the summer (BEST SUMMER EVER!).

I did a pretty good job of recording my amazing trip to Boston (thanks, again, super Seesters!),



but have failed miserably when it comes to sharing with you my awesome trip home to Colorado (Mom and Dad, you've spoiled me for life! It's just no fun having to actually cook dinner myself...),



or in recording anything about our family adventures in Idaho. Anyone out there want to know about leech-filled lakes, ice-cold rivers, stairs that fall out from under you, flat tires in the middle of nowhere, and other amazing tales of Western wonder?



Then stay posted. I'm bound to catch up eventually.

SORE

I went running yesterday. Ouch.

What was I thinking?! I do not like excercise. I am not my sister Dana! I am not even on a diet! So why run?!

Because my friend Erika is training for a marathon.

Today, with my aching legs crying out in pain and anguish, that sounds frighteningly similar to "Because everyone else is doing it!" No teenager, and no 38-year-old wanna' be teenager, should ever confuse that thought with sound reasoning.

Yesterday morning, though, I just figured that if Erika is already running 16 miles a day, and she's not really a runner, either, then certainly I could run, rather than walk, my daily dog-walking trail through the neighborhood.

Today, though, I am sore. I am also not training for a marathon. Best of luck to you, Erika. I'll just be walking...about 26 miles behind you.