Thursday, December 18, 2008

Why I am so excited this year

In years past it has been way too easy for me to get caught up in making sure all of my kids had everything on their list and went into panic mode when I started to wrap and realized that John had more than Jane and the rest of the clan (names have been changed to protect the spoiled) and had to run to the store to find more things to prevent the inevitable counseling they would need someday because I must not love them as much.

I was determined that this year would be a little different...much to my kid's dismay I declared that this Christmas would be a Homemade Christmas. The kids had to come up with gift ideas that had to be made from their own hands. It could not be something silly and it was to take a lot of thought and planning. I had heard of it being done before and balked at the idea myself as anyone who knows me knows that even though I came from one of the craftiest, made-everything-on-this-planet moms, I have the creativity of a hamster. So as each child came up with ideas I could see the excitement/creativity (even from me) start to flow. I spent more time in the craft stores than all my life combined (even all the times with mom as a kid) and wanted one of everything.

My questions of whether they were "getting it" were answered by these exclamations:

"I can't wait for Christmas so everyone can see it!"

"Oh, I just want to go give it to her RIGHT now!"

"Mom, when can we work on my gifts?" x10

"Mom, when can we work on my gifts?" x10

"Mom, when can we work on my gifts?" x10

"Mom, when can we work on my gifts?" x10

"Mom, when can we work on my gifts?" x10

"Wife, when can we work on my gifts?" x10


Coming soon: A peek at the busy little elves...

Monday, December 15, 2008

This post is NOT about ground beef

Can you please tell me how in the H-E-double toothpicks a cow can come from 3 different countries? Because we ARE still 3 different countries right? Am I right or am I wrong? I am very disturbed to say the least.


Side note: This is a real package purchased from the local grocery store, in my community, by me in the good ole U S of A.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The ordinary

Wow the pressure is on to do a post. It can't be that by doing so I will have broken my record of blog silence or anything. But when life kind of gets busy, your creativity goes away and Heaven forbid I should just get on here and post something ordinary like,

* My Christmas tree that died already and we are wondering if it will be just as well to set a can of gasoline in our living room for the fire hazard that it is, or

* The 10 strands of lights that I put on the Christmas tree that probably shouldn't have all been hooked together as they will did blow out, or

* How Boo was sick the other day all throwing up and everything, but pulled through in record speed and has eaten me out of house and home since, or

* How I got snowed in last night when it was one of the only nights I had to get out and finish start my Christmas shopping, or

* When Lex gave me a note about me being the best mom and that I should not ever be a mom to other kids and I willingly agreed, or

* Why I am so thankful for my job even though it can really be stressful some days, or

* How Meg and Brand did the most awesome Christmas concert ever in school and they even sang, not one or two, but A LOT of songs about Jesus and they did not even get put in jail for it, or

* That Jord makes me laugh all the time but especially when she sings the wrong words in the hymn book at church and she nudges me ferociously to stop laughing and directing even more attention her way because it is so irreverent of me, or

* That I am more excited than EVER for Christmas because I am finally really "getting" it this year, or

* How I have plead with my dh to please shave his beard, because I have never been a beard lady, or

* How I got to go shopping with my mom last week and it was so fun. I loved it and I think for one time in my entire life, I out shopped her. She was begging ME to please be done, cause she was ready to go home, or

* That it is my dad's b-day again and if you want to read more about what an awesome dad/grandpa/friend/neighbor go here, or

if you want to know more, you can just call anytime...really.

So until I can get my brain more blog-directed, enjoy the ordinary.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I can do it, promise mom.

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Boo. She was the bravest in the land. This brave soul has the honor of being the only child at home with mom while big brother and sisters are in school. Being that mom has to work in her office and the rest of the house is big and scary and spooky, Brave Boo must cower stay right by mom's side to protect her from anything that might come to get them. One of her favorite activities to do while mom works is to talk. Talk, talk, talk, talk and talk. She was even so cute as to talk about this one day while sitting next to mom in her kid-sized rocking chair:

BB: "Mom, if you and Sharon ever need to go anywhere, I can tend Ammon-Sam-Zeki-and-Ben all by myself. Really. I would not. even. be. scared. "

Now if you know the brother duo x2, Ammon, Sam, Zeki and Ben, you would know this is not an easy feat for anyone, especially Brave Boo.

M: "Now Brave Boo, are you sure you could do all that and not be scared?"

BB: "Oh, yes mom. If a monster knocked on the door, I would just kick him far out the door."

M: "Well then yes, I guess you are right. You could do all that and not be scared."

While the words were still fresh from her lips she informs mom that she needs to scoot her chair closer to her.

BB: "...and here, let me put my arm on yours too."

M: "Why?" (Mom just had to ask.)

BB: "I heard something upstairs."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Out of the mouth and into the archives #3

Teacher shared Alexis's journal entry:

I am so grateful that my mom works so hard so we don't have to live in a box.

* Ingrain-into-my-kid's-heads-that-I-am-working
-- check.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cheecken a' La Accidante...

...or in other words, how to make the most divine chicken and mashed potatoes evah! by mistake.

1. Be desperate enough to want something different and start looking for chicken recipes in any recipe book you can find.
2. See that there are recipes for Parmesan chicken and chicken with mushrooms and chicken with apples on them, and as tempting as they may sound, just ignore them.
3. Stop on the page that says fried chicken even though you have never been successful at making your own fried chicken.
4. Get yourself ready for the challenge as you will be attempting fried chicken AGAIN. Remember the saying? When at first you don't succeed...yes that is it. Try, try again! and again! and again! etc.
5. Notice that this recipe is a bit different than any you have tried before as it uses instant potato flakes as the coating. Hmmm. This could actually work!
6. Prepare your 7 boneless chicken breasts by cutting them into strips, getting any loose fat off of them and setting them aside.
7. Get a large bowel and poor some potato flakes in, about yea much. That is it. Decide that you want to add your own personal touch and put some Parmesan cheese in, some garlic powder in, part of a ranch packet in and some salt and pepper. Mix together well and set aside.
8. Pour some oil in the bottom of the frying pan, about 1/2 inch deep and heat. Start coating the chicken in the potato flakes and add to heated oil.
9. Realize after you have added about 10 strips to the pan it is already full and you really don't have all night to sit and fry up the other 50 strips. Finish coating them all and add them all at the same time.
10. Start stirring the strips around and wonder why the coating is falling off and turning into mashed potatoes.
11. Try not to panic as there is no time left to figure something else out for dinner. Giggle at the sure-to-come looks of disgust and protests from not only your kids but your spouse.
12. Don't be afraid to let the mashed potatoes brown up a bit on the bottom and scrape this off every once in a while so that more will get brown. This will start looking like just what it sounds like. Chicken mixed into mashed potatoes.
13. Finish cooking the chicken a la accident and carry it gracefully over to the table with head held high and set it among the curious faces.
14. Tell them it is a special dish that only the most elite have ever eaten.
15. Make them swear to secrecy that they will never divulge the secret recipe (as if they will ever know it!) before you give them some. Even the pickiest of eaters will be begging by now.
16. Serve, sit back and watch the shear amounts of pleasure as they fight for every last piece!, but even more than that, relish the requests for this to become a frequent fryer at your house.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

High School Musical goes to jail

With the new episode coming out, the old songs once again can be heard being bellered throughout the house from any one of my 4 girls. Some of the old rumors that were flying around about the stars have started circulating among the youngest of my girls once again. I have heard them on and off, here and there. 'Did you know that Gabriella sent nekkid pictures of herself to Troy and she had to go to jail!' With a little chiding from me, that kind of talk was usually quieted with "I don't think she would go to jail for something like that, but it is definitely not something she should have done!"

Not thinking of it again, I would go on with what I was doing. Who would have thunk that queries such as this could come from my 5-year-old: "Mom, if I just pretend to send a nekkid picture of me to Troy, would I have to go to jail?...

I am not sure what kind of reaction other moms would have with a question like that from their sweet little innocent, never-thought-of-such-a-thing-before, cute, kissable, little baby girl, but every mommy instinct I ever had stood on high alert! My blood began to boil and I did what any other mommy should do...

"Yes dear if you even pretend to send a nekkid picture to Troy, not only might you go to jail where there are all kinds of monsters and bears, where the fire alarms go off everyday and all you get to eat is spinach for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but your sisters would get to have all your toys and your brother will get to finish off all the food on your plate everyday."

I can now file this under, I-know-you-may-need-counseling-someday-for-this-
and-when-you-are-all-done-with-it-make-sure-you- look-up-Gabriella-and-see-how-her-counseling-is-going.

My question for you is this, and believe me I am among the most conservative of mothers when it comes to the content allowed into my home, where is the line? Without taking everything that is socially acceptable away, how much is too much. When Joe down the road and Jane up the street are going to see "it", and are wearing "it", and these "examples" are becoming idols talked about among the youngest of them all, I want to know, how do you live in this world but not of it? I know I have blogged about this kind of thing before and I might have joked a bit in this post about it, but when my 5-year-old asked me that question, it. scared. me. to. DEATH!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Out of the mouth and into the archives #4

Overhearing me telling Megan that I better not EVER catch her playing with her playdough ANYWHERE but up to the island, a few days later, Brooklyn very puzzled, inquired the following...

Brooklyn: Mom how come we can only play with play dough in China?

Mom: China? What are you talking about?

Brooklyn: Nooooo, I mean... you know... the river?

Mom: OHHHH. You mean how come we can only play with play dough up to the island?

Brooklyn: Yeah! That. How come?

Mom: Cause we don't have a table.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Out of the mouth and into the archives #2

Megan: Jordan I know a good reason you and _____ would be prefect for each other.

Jordan: What would that be?

Megan: Cause he doesn't have a perfect face either.

If this wasn't so innocent she might have had to apologize. Not sure where the filter is between her brain and her mouth sometimes but we are all just glad Jordan has a sense of humor.

Now what is not perfect about this face?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

AND...she turns a decade old.

Megan B-day-1

Our sweet little Megan has turned a year older. She brings so much joy and laughter. Here are a few things about Megan that you may not know.

~~~ She is the very middle child who is very low maintenance. This can often be to her disadvantage as life gets so busy and she does not get the attention she wants but doesn't know it. ~~~

~~~She never has to be asked twice to get a job done. She learned early the value of getting a task done quickly.~~~

~~~She often times has no filter between her brain and her mouth. This can make for some great entertainment or some awkward situations...~~~

~~~She is quick to tell anyone she meets that she is half tomboy. This is to her only brother's advantage. They get along so well.~~~

~~~She LOVES animals. Her favorite is horses. I hope she will forgive us someday for not being a horse family. One of my favorite memories is of her when she was about 3 years old. She was crouched down on the top of a fence waiting for the neighbors horse to come close enough as it was galloping around and around the corral. She just knew that eventually it was going to get close enough for her to jump on its back. Had I not been there to stop her, she would have done it, I am positive. She has no fear.~~~

Megan B-day1-1

On this special day, her siblings had something they wanted to say to her...

Jordan says: Thanx Megan for being one of the cutest, and bestest sisters in the world! You are so beautiful and growing up so FAST!! lol, well just know I am always here for ya and you can talk to me about anything!!

Brandon says: I think you are one of my favorite sisters. We have a lot of fun on the trampoline. I really love you. I hope you have a happy birthday!

Alexis says: I LOVE to play games with you especially when we both agree on the same one. We always like to play "what if."

Brooklyn says: I love it when you give me a ride home from school on your bike. You even SIT on the bar when I am high up on your seat. Thanks!

hApPy bIrThDaY mEgAn!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Who is to say that 2 wrongs don't make a right?

After moving to a new ward it is not long before you are asked the infamous question, "what were your previous callings in your old ward?" When asked this question one Sunday evening by the visiting bishopric, I babbled off a list of callings and then with all the Nephiness I had, I let them know I was taught by a valiant mother that all callings were from God and that I should never turn one down. That being said, I let them know I was willing to serve where ever except for primary, nursery, anything that would require public speaking and/or especially scouts I was needed. I am sure they left my home thinking I was the best thing that came to their ward in a long time as they thought of all the callings nobody else wanted to do.

When it comes to scouts, I am LOST. Somehow my only son made it through each den, passed off all his requirements and made it out of cub scouts and into boy scouts while I rode an oblivious ride right along side of him. He always had amazing leaders who knew exactly what he needed. I thanked my lucky stars for them as I. was. clueless. When the call came, I almost panicked. I came this close to declining my first calling. Didn't they know that I can't tell bears from wolves and bobcats from tigers? "Sister Smith would you be willing to work as an assistant to the (I think he said Weblos, I am still not even sure) den leader for the scouts?"

Ok, to the point of the story. I, of course (did you doubt me?), accepted this calling and went to my first meeting with the boys. Off to the fire station we went to learn about first aid. Awe this is right down my alley, a field trip with 8-10 rowdy boys learning about blood and gore. I think I can handle this. As the boys piled into the cars, I wondered if they were going to like me (cause that is important to me you know). The ride started out quiet, nobody really knowing what to say. I finally asked them each their names and I heard some snickering from the back. The ring leader older boy in the front seat made some gestures to the boys in the back to follow his lead and he gave me what I knew was the wrong name. Following him, each of the other boys gave me a wrong name too. They thought they were pretty funny, BUT! I am way funnier! "Nice to meet each of you! I am Bertha Lou Magilicuty. We are going to have so much fun!" Even though I was driving I could not have missed the whites of their eyes for anything. They tried to suppress their smiles, but the giggles were not to be held onto. I tried to feign hurt feelings and when their giggles quickly cut off and they tried to be serious, I started giggling too.

Leader of the pack: "Um, those weren't really our names."

Me: "Mine either!" (We won't tell them that I wonder if it is sometimes.)

The laughter ensued until we reached the fire station. I made some great little buddies that day and had a lot of fun. As to whether I am going to like it or not? I don't really know. But I am where I am supposed to be. I am in this calling for a purpose that I may not know for years to come, but I am here... or as Nephi put it so eloquently, ... I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hanna Montana Moments...brought to you by her greatest fans

Alexis: Dad you want to hear this song I know?

Dad: Sure.

7-year-old Alexis (in her Hanna Montana way): If we were a movie, you would be the right guy and I would be the best friend that you would fall in love with. In the end we would be laughing, watching the sunset, fade to black, show the names, play the happy song...

Dad (a little dumbstruck): Um yeah. I know a song too. Wanna hear?

Alexis: Yeah!

Dad: Head shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes, knees and toes... Oh and here is another one! John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith! His name is my name tooooo!

Mom (upstairs): Giggle, chortle, snort!

Alexis: That one IS funny dad! Much better than Hannah Montana huh?

Dad: Yep!


Brooklyn: Willow thinks Hannah Montana stinks. She doesn't stink huh mom? She probably smells REALLY good!

Mom: No, I don't think she stinks either. She probably doesn't even need deodorant yet...

Side note: I find it interesting that though we don't own any Hannah Montana "stuff" her "stuff" never fails to find its way into my kids heads...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thank goodness for bad batteries

Who's to say that nothing good can come from bad luck? Without that bad luck I might not have known...

Day one: Wal-Mart is too busy and will not help me if my battery goes dead and I am stuck in their parking lot. They will however suggest a price gouging, wallet sucking, toeing service that would be more than happy to help. By not falling for that, my dead battery also showed me that I do have a great father-in-law and sis-in-law who would pack up her kids and drive all the way to save me.

Day two: If that were all the bad battery could teach me I would be just fine, but no, it needed to teach me some more. I learned that when it is my turn to carpool and my car wont just turn on like it is supposed to, the other mom is more than happy to come and take the kids to school, and that is not all, no, no, no. My OTHER sister-in-law would come over with a battery charger and some cokes (not to drink) and we would clean the battery and try to hook up the battery charger, but no that would not be enough. Rob That battery wanted us to know that we DO indeed have to turn the battery charger on before it will cooperate.

Day three: I was done learning things but the battery was not done teaching me things. I learned that if I have just jumped off a battery, driving it a few blocks is not really enough time for it to charge and I should not turn the car off and expect it to start again. This will surely trap me in the school parking lot as I watch my oblivious already-saved-me-once-sis-in-law drive away. No amount of cheer leading, dancing or karate chops, jumping up and down and screaming was going to get her attention. I also learned that if this ever happens to you, you should hope that you didn't park in an impossible place to get to. You are not strong enough to move a dead car and wouldn't really want anyone watching you try. I did however get to learn how helpful the school's custodian could be. There was no need for me to reveal the wonder woman in me my strong muscles because he could just drive on the lawn to get to my car and jump it off.

I also learned that I do sorta take awhile to learn things, but I was finally done learning things from that battery. I was trying to give it all the chances I could to quit teaching me things but now I have a new battery and I am teaching it a thing or two. My family, friends and neighbors are all tired of showing me how much they care for me. Work or else!

P.S. I am afraid I can't let you leave my blog until I swear you to secrecy cause you see, we don't really want anyone to know we were at Wal-Mart as they are the enemy competition and Rob was there too and didn't dare ask any of the 30 ladies who came out to help him anyone to help him, thus the SIL came to save us but before she could get there Rob finally got brave and asked a man to help him and he did and I was shopping just window shopping that whole time and not even out there or I would have asked someone (really), but I just had to come clean with this because you all need to know that Wal-Mart really is as rude as all that and so you need to come to Maceys instead cause I KNOW they would help you if your battery ever decides to teach you something... {catching breath}.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I lived in Heaven a long time ago, it is true

We have been learning about the Plan of Salvation...

... in FHE over the last few weeks and we learned an important truth in the first lesson that a lot of people in the world don't know and understand. It is on this day that I can reflect way back on a day 33 29 years ago when I left my place in Heaven and came to this earth to receive MY body. What a glorious day that was indeed for it was the only way for me to progress from one of Heavenly Father's spirit children and on my journey towards becoming like my Heavenly Father and striving for eternal exaltation with him. His perfect Plan included giving us a family here on earth with parents who could provide for us and teach us about Him and our Savior. I am grateful to know that he also gave us a way to be with that family forever and ever.

It is on this day that I would like to thank my mom and dad for giving me a body and an eternal family. I love you all so much!

Sept 2008 Missing sister Wendy

October 2007

Everyone likes to see funny pictures of Bonnie right? Today is the only day you have permission to laugh!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

From enemies to buddies, just. like. that!

Following in my sister's footsteps and reposting and oldy but goody.  (Original post 9/2008.)  Enjoy!

Why can siblings be so MEAN to each other? I am talking crazy mean! Pulling hair, scratching, biting, smacking, pushing, need I say more? Cause I can. My sisters might try to tell you I should already know cause I was a meanie myself, but I wasn't and so I just don't get it.
Naughty kid #1: Hey, that is mine, I had it first! MOM!
Naughty kid #2: Yeah but you put it down.
Naughty kid #1: So! That doesn't mean I was done! Now GIVE it back!
Yadda, yadda, yadda. I'll spare you the rest of the hub bub cause frankly it is no fun for anyone. Basically it comes to something like this...
...and I am left to figure out who the thing belongs to. Do I give it to the favorite kid (JK, I REALLY don't have a favorite kid, really) or do I take it and keep it for myself (especially if is like an Oreo or something), or do I just ignore it and let them fight it out? Do I really need advice on this? No, because I have learned a trick. I kind of came across it by accident one fight. It went a little something like this:
"...but mom! I had it first!" "No I did!" "No I did!" "Mom tell her to give it back!"
When ignoring it could go on no more and my blood was boiling hot, I might have pealed off the mask of the nice mom and put on the one of the mean mom. With stomping, growling and words that were not so gentle I might have said,
" Here! Give me that darn thing (except I probably didn't say darn) and get up to your beds right now! I have had enough of all this bickering. Go now! "
If you know me when I put my mean mom face on, you might can imagine the the shear terror on their faces as they run for their lives and for their rooms. Then if you were a fly on the wall in their room you might hear something like this.
"Mom is mean huh?" {sniff, sniff}
"Yeah she is really mean."
"I don't like her anymore, do you?"
"No, not really."
"I am bored. Want to play?"
"Yeah, what do you want to play?"
"I don't know, why don't you chose?"

And that is where I say... mission accomplished.
Disclaimer: With your newfound peace, it might be tempting to forget about them in their rooms leave them there forever a long while, but if you do, you will miss out on the beauty of children and their ever forgiving hearts. They don't really hate me. They still need food and and clean clothes and a bed to sleep in...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Helping with homework 101

Today I had the opportunity to think back on all those times I wondered WHY we had to learn this stupid thing or that stupid thing in school. The teacher's answers always seemed to elude the truth and never seemed to suffice. Why didn't they just come right out and say it. Why not come clean and just say "the reason you are here learning this difficult stuff is because you will need to help your kids someday with all the homework they have and they will. need. your. wisdom. "


Why not just tell me that some day I might look at my kid like she was from a different planet when she tried to teach ME what she does know so that I could pretend I already know and try to teach her what I forgot.


Why didn't they just give me a clue that I would spend countless hours wallowing all over the floor in great despair as I tried not to pull out my kid's my hair.

If they would have just told me those things, I would have paid more attention and tried harder to remember the... stuff. Instead I filed it under "useless info the teacher said I will need this someday, but I don't believe him" and now I am paying dearly.

"That is NOT how my teacher taught me to do it!"

"That is fine dear but please remember, they are teaching things wrong different these days. I would know. I learned this one time you know. This is how MY teacher taught me how to do it. "

"Why do we have to learn this stupid stuff anyway?!?!?"

And her teachers wonder why she is so confused.

But... they could have saved themselves a great headache if they would have just told me all this in the first place.

By the typing of keyboards, who remembers how to do integers and linagers (is that a word?) and so forth? Are/were you prepared for this?

P.S. If you need a great funny today, check this out.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Out of the mouth and into the archives

 DSC020101 Autumn: It is so hard to be righteous sometimes don't you think?
DSC01551 Megan: Yeah, it's especially hard for me. I have too many brothers and sisters.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dear School Board,

I hate early out day. Well let's see, that might have been a little harsh, maybe I should say, I loath early out day, or it happens to be an inconvenience for me especially when I have a kindi-gartener and it only comes once a week, or when it sneaks up on me (on a day like today) and my daughter still looks like this ...


...and I think I still have 45 minutes to get her ready and feed her lunch but really I only have five minutes. On a day like today she might have missed her lunch, but no big deal because it is early out day. She will be back sooner than I thought. I dislike early out day...


a mother who loves her children dearly and loves every minute she gets to spend with them and loves to have a set schedule that she can expect their departure and their arrival to and from school. This mother does not like surprises on a day like today when the beloved children grace her with their presence before she was expecting them.

P.S. You don't really need a teacher prep day do you?

Encore: Here is another view of this very funny picture. When your kid hardly EVER takes a nap (like maybe oh, every three months if even that) and she ends up in the middle and ON top of all of her toys, it becomes a spectacle. I found her this way just when I needed to get her ready for school. Oh how I wanted to let her sleep. Not quite sure how she ended up with the Bob the Builder hat on. Can't figure out how that goes with the whole doll house theme or dolls, or whatever else she might have been playing with there. So go ahead... have fun with this picture. What caption would you give it? You can make fun of all the toys that are out of place, or that she is still in her nighty at near noon, I really don't care. I already have...


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Got Fruit?

Not too long ago there was a family from Mexico that moved into our neighborhood and within a week they had sent their kid out to all of the neighbors and invited them over for a Mexi-que so they could get to know everyone. My kids went over and got to try all kinds of great food they had never even seen or heard of before. Since they have moved in, there has been this "candy truck" that has drove past and stopped at their house for awhile. My kids kept running in to me with puppy dog eyes, desperation evident in their faces as well as absolute I-am-going-to-die crazy pleading for understanding that the "candy truck" was so close AGAIN and they really needed some money and since they didn't have any could I just hand them some. Knowing that they are definitely NOT deprived of candy I would reply in the negative and their puppy dog eyes would turn to devil eyes and their desperation would get more wild, "but moooom it is sooo close! Don't you understand!?!?" When that didn't work the tears would start and the stomping off to their room or out the doors came next.

First of all I have never heard of a "candy truck " and the one time I happened to be outside when it drove by in all its glory, I still did not get what kind of candy truck it really was.

During a particular "candy truck" episode I saw the familiar cycle start; puppy dog eyes, devil eyes, wet eyes, no eyes. It did not dawn on me what was happening until it was over. I had thought I heard Brandon running up to his room with a friend whispering and then back out the door as fast as he came in. At the time I was busy staving off the little ones during their puppy-dog-eye phase. After the ordeal was over and the little ones had run off with their weepings, wailings and gnashings of teeth, one of the older kids came running to tell me that Brandon had went to the "candy truck" with his money and he bought fruit flavoring. They were all giggling at him as he came to show me. He looked beaten at his own game.

"I couldn't read any of the labels on any of the 'candy' so I asked the Mexican man if I could just buy this. It looked good; just wasn't sure what it was. He kind of looked at me weird but sold it to me anyway. " Sure enough, this little bottle of fruit flavoring looked good enough to eat. It even had a cute little lid that opened so you could shake it right onto your fruit. It might have fooled me too as the English translation of "Fruit Flavoring" could only be found at the very bottom. After we got all our giggles out we set about to find some fruit in the house. Not having anything other than bananas, they became the hot item as the brave kids peeled, shook and tasted.

Moral of this story? If your kids come running to you wanting money for the "candy truck," save yourself, and them, the weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth and tell them that it is not a candy truck at all, but maybe just a Mexican Schwans man who will sell them fruit flavoring if they want.

Monday, September 8, 2008

His first, my first, our first

We got an itch to take the fam for a day out. We weren't intending to end up on this trail that led to a... place. I hadn't been on this trail for over 14 years. Would we remember how to get there? After all it is a place that holds hilarious romantic memories for us and a place I have wanted to revisit. Never mind that we had the dog and four of our five kids with us, they were eager to see this place too. With flip flops, giggles and a twinkle in our eye we set out. It was an adventure indeed.

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This is the first landmark I recognized.

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We crossed the river 1852 countless times. This is where my flip flops came in handy.

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Wild raspberries were not expected but cherished.


"Is this the place mom?" and "are we there yet?" became the whine of choice was asked at every turn.

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Awe the cave! We are almost there.



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I don't remember the moo cows. They could have been there though...



Rob: Hmmm. Did we pass it? I remember it being this way.

BonBon: Well I remember it being this way.

Anonymous kid: I am surprised you remembered anything at all...

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Why?! Why do we have to turn back? We wanted to see it!

Anonymous kid #2: Yeah we wanted to see where you had your first (giggle, snicker)...

Anonymous kid #3: SMOOCH! (giggle, giggle, snort, snort!)

Anonymous kid #4: Ewe!