Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I just heard about the funniest thing EVER...

Some nice lady was talking on the radio to Bob Lonsberry about the merits of home-cooked meals; and I quote,

"When you make a home-cooked meal, your children are more appreciative of the food and your efforts."

I haven't stopped laughing since.

She went on to inform the radio audience (those who could still hear her through their peals of laughter) that when you have a home cooked meal, children are more willing to help with the preparation.

Ho, hee, hardy-har-har...I'm wiping tears from my eyes now!


Did you know that teenagers are more willing to share their feelings with other family members when they have a home-cooked meal?

"Teenagers who gather around the dinner table don't seem to build up the walls that other teenagers build, and they are more open to talk and share their feelings..."

Oh! Stop! I'm going to pee my pants! My side hurts from laughing so much...Whoo-ee, I've got to stop and breathe now.

And make yet another home-cooked meal.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I finally find myself with a day of nothing-on-the-schedule, and I am sick, sick, sick. Yuck. (I know, I know...count my blessings that I am sick on a nothing-on-the-schedule day! Still, yuck.)

On a happier note, Joshua had a birthday!!!!!!
We have had him this many wonderful--yes, quite literally, full of wonder--years:

I got pregnant with Joshua just after having a miscarriage. When I started bleeding again in this second pregnancy, I was absolutely terrified of losing yet another baby. Michael and my brother Jeff gave me a beautiful priesthood blessing. In it I was told that this baby would come to term and would complete our family. Well, he did and he has!
Initially, all I could hear in that blessing were the words, "Come to term, come to term, come to term..." and I was comforted.
Later, as I watched Evan and Lane bond and brotherize their new baby, I felt and saw our "blended" family blend more completely. And I was comforted.
Then, as it became more and more obvious that there weren't going to be any more babies, I understood yet another way that Joshua has, indeed, completed our family. Heavenly Father knew these things way before I did, and gave me that nice little hint. He also gave me this nice little boy. And I am comforted.

When Joshua was one he put his guardian angels to work (and his mother into a state of cardiac arrest) when he climbed up the metal ladder to the roof of the garage, and proceeded to try and pull himself up to the next roof level where his dad and grandpa (who were supposedly watching the kids) were hanging Christmas lights. I had been downstairs folding laundry when I heard Lane and Evan yelling, "Look at Joshua!" and loud footsteps pounding across the roof above me. My heart still has not stopped pounding when I think of that day.

When Joshua was two he met his best-bud, Hudson, when Shannon and her family moved into the house around the corner from us. Hudson and Joshua have been somewhat inseparable ever since then, and share some special sort of bond that erases time and distance each time they get together. We're sad that they have moved a little ways from us, but still relish every moment with that family!

When Joshua was three he made it quite obvious that he got all the math brains I never had. Standing next to me at the fabric cutting table at Wal-mart, he looked at the yardstick pasted there and said, "Oh, I get it! Numbers go both ways from zero," and told me, with his 3-year-old vocabulary, about negative numbers. It had taken me until college and a hired tutor to grasp the concept of the number line!

When Joshua was four he had to go to the doctor often for two reasons: one was that he had a constantly--and I mean CONSTANTLY--dripping snot nose (at one family gathering Uncle Christofer said, "Look, Joshua's brains are dripping out his nose," to which Aunt Esther replied a moment later, "Don't worry, he just sucked them back in!"). Joshua's pediatrician was concerned about severe allergies and sent us along to an allergist. The allergist told us that Joshua had "Old Man Sinus Syndrome." Personally, I think that title may be something she made up, but whatever. The snot-well has, thankfully, since run dry and now Joshua just has normal Young-Boy boogers (still plenty disgusting in their own rite).
The other reason Joshua had to get checked over more frequently was that he had an inguinal hernia since birth, and the doctors were trying to decide whether or not to perform surgery on it. We all decided to wait, and the hernia, too, has apparently had sufficient time to heal itself.

When Joshua was five he got to stay home with me and have "Mommy-Preschool." Many people told me that I was curbing his education by not putting him in preschool. Oh, well. I did what I felt was right. And, so far, he's still got better brains than me (even if he did recycle some of them through his mouth)!

When Joshua was six he started kindergarten. He was, and still is, extremely shy, and found public school socially excruciating. He's done well, though, socially and academically, and we're proud of his growth and development. His biggest dilemma throughout school has been that he doesn't want to seem different from anyone else, so he hates being in separate reading or math groups, despite his abilities in these areas. (I so know what you're thinking, home-school advocates, and I don't disagree. We're just choosing this way right now.) What he does love, though, is soccer on the playground, soccer at recess, and soccer after school with his buddies. He also might admit to liking chess-club, math-club, and creative dance with Mrs. Fenn. Just don't push him on whether he likes school choir or not with Mrs. Vance...

When Joshua was seven Michael was the Scout Master for our local Boy Scout troop. This meant (much to big-brother Lane's chagrin) that Joshua was invited to go along on all the scout activities, including their summer High Adventure hike and week-long camp to Brown Duck Lake. Everyone--including Joshua--carried their huge camping packs on their backs the seven miles at an altitude of 11,000 feet in to their campsite, and then back out again. Not wanting Joshua to fall behind while hiking up the trail, Robert, another leader, tied Joshua with a rope to Nick, one of the bigger scouts. Nick and Joshua still share a special bond (no pun intended) from that Herculean effort. Joshua also thinks that the Cub Scouts he's in now is pretty boring...and it probably is after already having spent several years backpacking, ice caving, snow camping, fire building, gun shooting, snow-mobiling, water skiing, and more with the Boy Scout troop!

When Joshua was eight we all took a trip to Mazatlan, Mexico to celebrate our 10-years-as-a-family anniversary. Lane and Evan couldn't get enough of teasing Joshua that he wasn't invited on the trip since he hadn't been part of the family from wedding-day-one like they had been! Brothers! It was a good thing we brought Joshua along, though, to save me from the beach-combing vendors. One time I was pretty excited over the good deal I thought I was getting, having not successfully computed the exchange rate from pesos to dollars. Overhearing the entire exchange, Joshua pulled me aside and said, "Mom, would you think about this for a minute?! It's going to cost you such-and-such amount of money, and that's NOT a good deal!" What would I do without my little Wall-Street banker?

When Joshua was nine he surpassed all expectations by auditioning for "Savior of the World." This was really hard for him, because Joshua hates, I mean HATES, to be in front of people. I'm pretty sure that the only reason he agreed to audition was because we could sing together in the try-outs. Sadly, for him, I started crying like a baby with only two words out of my mouth, and Joshua had to sing the rest of the song all by himself. And he did! Now we're doing the show together, with Lane in tow. It's great stuff. They are great kids to spend time with.

Joshua is a great person, and we love getting to know him. We're all so grateful for what he adds each day as he completes each year, and each of us.


To the Grandma, who must have pictures:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Lane had a birthday!

It's a good thing he can date now (driving comes in December), because he also got asked to Monster Mash.

The message was left inside the pumpkin (gross!).

We have a message for you, too, Lane.


Friday, November 7, 2008


Favorite book, page 91
"I'm sure you have heard it said that appearance does not matter so much, and that it is what's on the inside that counts. This is, of course, utter nonsense, because if it were true then people who were good on the inside would never have to comb their hair or take a bath, and the whole world would smell even worse than it does already."

Ha! This was obviously written after standing next to someone who had been running around in a monkey costume in 75 degree weather all night! Pee-yew!

There was a trick part of "trick or treating" this year, and all at Evan's expense (poor Evan).

As I said before, Evan had to work on Halloween, but he got off early and was home about the time that we finished trick or treating (or about the time that we could get Michael away from his junior high school groupies!).

(B.T.W. What does it look to you like Michael's T-shirt says?)

Michael and his "brother-from-another-mother," A.B, decided they hadn't had enough fun yet. So they put Alan in the monkey suit, and headed over to our house where Evan was just settling down to a nice, nobody-else-home evening. Michael called Evan on the cell phone, and began chatting away while A.B./gorilla-guy followed me inside the house.

Evan had just hung up the phone and was surprised that "Michael" was already home.
"I thought you were still trick-or-treating."
Before I could say a word, A.B. was upstairs, pretending to pick nits and such from Evan's head.
"Dad, cut it out!"
To which gorilla guy responded by "OO-EE--AH--AH"-ing as only a gorilla guy could do.
"What's up with Dad tonight?"
This was apparently the cue to make A.B. monkey wrestle Evan to the ground and begin thumping his rubberized chest. Just then Michael came inside with a cheerful,
"Hi, Evan. What's up?"
This made Evan stop and think a moment.

"Dad???? What's going on? Who's this? What's going on?! Who IS THIS???!!!"

Evan was beside himself. You could see his eyes getting bigger and bigger, and his face going whiter and whiter. The relief just flooded his face when Alan took off the mask and Evan figured it all out enough to start laughing with us.

"You jerk!" Ha, ha! "You jerk!" Chuckle, chuckle! "I can't believe you did that to me!" Chortle, snort. "You jerk!" Giggle, guffaw.

Yes, it's all fun and games until someone gets nit-picked by an ugly ape who is not your dad.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Pg. 66 of my new favorite book:
"It is always cruel to laugh at people, of course, although sometimes if they are wearing an ugly hat it is hard to control yourself."

Enough said.

Halloween came and went this year in glorious, hideous, hilarious style.

It was fun for me, since I got to be at Joshua's school the whole day long. We started off with our Owl Chorale Halloween Concert--a performance of which you will never see a picture because I am either directing the choir or playing the piano, neither which activity lends itself to photographic evidence of the event. Just know that it was marvelous, as per usual. The kids sang lots of great new songs, and one old favorite. See if you can guess what it was: the song's title was my inspiration.
(Thanks, Tasha, for capturing the memory...)

Then I got to substitute in third grade, allowing for ample opportunity to see and participate in the Halloween parade and other elementary school festivities.

"Here comes Joshua, here comes Joshua, right down parade route lane..."

It was frighteningly fun to see all the students and teachers dressed up all day. My favorite costume, by far, was the picnic table:

Clever! I can't wait to try that some year!

Do you see the handsome Rastafarian guy behind the picnic table? That's our friend J.B. He told me that the picnic table was EVERYBODY's favorite, and that everyone behind the picnic table was completely ignored. Probably true. I didn't even know J.B. was in the parade until I saw the picture...

I got to see J.B. lots that night, though,

since we went trick or treating with his family. Here are Mom and Dad Trick-or-Treaters (they stole J.B.'s hat, I see):

We also had in our group a princess,

a penguin,

two scary (and constantly trying to scare) skeletons (Joshua ditched the clown costume after school and went back to his great green stand-by of 3, or is it 4? years now),



I've often thought that Michael has the most fun of anyone on Halloween. Here are a few pictures to prove it:

There happened to be another gorilla out in the neighborhood that night, and the two of them did a monkey dance right there in the middle of the street. I wonder if the other monkey man was as popular as mine with the junior high crowd...After Michael scared these girls they wanted their picture taken with the great ape.

This may have been Michael's shining moment, second only to the time he went to my friend's house to pay his annual visit, and the first thing she said/yelled when she opened the door to the furry fiend was, "Keri! Come and get your husband!!!"

So, yes, Michael had a good time on Halloween (thanks again, Colin, for saving the day...I mean, night!). The only one having more, or at least an equal amount of fun on that street was either a) the other gorilla or b) this spook on stilts

who walked the neighborhood, moaning and groaning as he grabbed at little peoples' heads. This spook on stilts also happens to be a 64-year-old Grandpa. With inspiration like that out there, just think what I have to look forward to with my own husband for Halloweens to come!

Hopefully, it's a bit more of this:

And not so much of this!

(Just in case anyone was wondering, Lane was at a Halloween party and Evan was working--by choice--at Wendy's. Later they came to our friend's house and watched stupid scary movies and ate Halloween candy by the bucketful with us. See, we do love them, too! We just don't take pictures of people not dressed up as well as we were...

(I went trick or treating dressed as a Halloween elf, btw.)

See you next year !