Monday, August 30, 2010


Did you know I'm a closet member of PETA? At least, that's what my family has always accused me of. I have always been an animal lover. Growing up I had a lot of pets. Cows, chickens, rabbits, lambs, geese--oh yeah, dogs and cats too. Most would think, with the exception of dogs and cats, that these are farm animals, not pets...but you'd be wrong. They were my pets. I named them. I feed them. I taught my chickens to fly. I read stories to my lambs. I taught my geese to swim in a pool (okay it was instinct, but I babied them along the way). And parents killed them and served them up for dinner.

Sure, they meant well. My dad thought that I needed to understand the animals' purpose. And I did understand their purpose, I just couldn't see why we had to eat my pets, the ones I'd loved and cared for. I remember crying in my room on the days the chickens were to be butchered, and refusing to go out to see the bull one last time before it was sent off to meet it's ill fate. Finally, my parents decided to stop telling me when it was happening and just let me find the "lb. roast" (lamb roast) in the freezer the next day. I'm not sure which was more traumatic.

Then there were my brothers who loved to point out that we were having "Herbie Burger" for lunch, or "Cinnamon chops" for dinner. And there was hunting, lots of hunting at my house. Deer, antelope, elk, you name it, it was hanging in our cooler. Needless to say, I'm a little gun shy as an adult.

Colonel Mustard would love to go hunting or fishing, but I'm a little less than supportive.

But this week, he finally took the boys fishing for the first time. And since hunting and fishing is a milestone for little boys, I had to record it.

We just went to a little rainbow trout farm where the fishing was good and very easy. The boys enjoyed catching fish. Andrew seemed to understand from the get go that this was fun...and dinner.  He was good with that.

 I was a little surprised at Ethan though. He was highly entertained with the fishing, and loved to see the fish in the bucket, but that quickly changed. He was happily watching the fish when he realized that one of them was no longer alive. He stroked the fish and shocked, looked at me and said Mommy the fishy died. "I know Ethan, that is what happens when you go fishing. Daddy will put them on the grill and you will get to eat them for dinner." He angrily looked away and declared," No. I'm not eating those fishes." Then he walked away. I recognized a little girl in him, and felt bad for exposing him to the facts of life. But he, like I, will survive in knowing that life isn't always easy or pretty.

There awful brothers. Don't you feel bad now for the lifelong trauma you imposed upon me? No, you don't...and if any of them read this, I'm certain they would crack another joke about who's for dinner!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Their Future

Do you stop very often to ponder the future of the next generation? I do, and quite a lot lately--everyday I read the headlines, or hear the news on the way to school. Sometimes I think we work feverishly to provide a future for our children that may never come to pass.

Will they live in a world or country that even somewhat resembles what we have enjoyed? I'm not trying to be a doomsdayer, or predict the end of time, but I believe it is a reality that we must prepare for. I sometimes look at my children and see in them so much strength and ambition, and faith. Do you think this is an accident? Do you see the same in your children? I'm guessing you do. It is no coincidence.

Will they be asked to be stripling warriors? Go without the basic necessities of life? Be a missionary to the masses who will persecute their faith? I hope that none of this is required of my children, but what kind of mother would I be if I did not prepare them for this very real possibility?

And exactly how do I prepare them for such possibilities? How can anyone be prepared to live a life of turmoil or hardship?  I can't say that I know, but lately I have had one very strong impression when it comes to teaching my children. "They cannot be fence-sitters." We live in a world of fence-sitters. We want to keep everyone happy, and not offend, or make judgments, and in so doing I believe we begin to sit dangerously close to the edge of the wrong side of the fence. Our children CANNOT be fence-sitters. They must go forward with faith and courage, and stand on the Lord's side or they will never be prepared or protected from anything.

So am I doing my job? Am I as a mother preparing them for whatever future is in store for them? I'd like to think I'm trying my hardest. At least the responsibility is a constant thought in my mind, and weight on my heart. I hope if ever I am asked to watch my children endure terrible hardship, I can experience what the mothers of the stripling warriors did, knowing I taught them well and that the Lord would bless them. At least, this is what I strive for each and every day.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Andrew turned seven today, but before he turned seven, he had to do some last minute maneuvering while he was still six. He can only play Wii on the weekend at our house. Yesterday he came to me with puppy dog eyes.

"Mom, can I just ask you a question about me?"

"Sure buddy, what's up!" (me thinking he had some deep desire for details on his earthly sojourn)

"Well, today is my last day of being six, and I was wondering if you would let me play Wii one last time while I'm still six?"

Yes, I let him--cause I'm a pushover, and it was definitely a creative ploy!  And then I cried after we said family prayers that night,  and I had to hug him one last time while he was a six year old-- because I'm sappy like that.

It's crazy to think next year he will be baptized.

And since I'm sure you're dying to know about that Tornado cake.....absolute nightmare! You try defying gravity with a cake. It's not an easy task. I got 2 hours of sleep last night. I went to bed praying that I had done a good enough job and it would still be standing today. Thankfully, it was. And Andrew's big eyes and reply of, "That's Awesome!" made it all worth it.
 (Hard to see detail, but it's about to hit a barn, and that is an airplane sticking out of the top--colonel Mustard's idea! Speaking of which, this cake would not have been possible without his helpful engineering and shoulder to cry on)

I won't ruin his birthday, I'll wait until tomorrow to inform him that I will be making his birthday cake selections from now on....and they'll be in the form of a square...a flat one....lying down on the cake board!

Happy Birthday Andrew! We love you and are so grateful you picked us to be your family. ( And we wish you would stop growing, cause it's got to be embarrassing to make your Mom cry so much....and we can't afford your shoes!)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Morning

Every Monday when I get up, I vow to do a better job this week.

- I will eat healthier
-I will keep the house cleaner.
- I will not yell at my kids.
-I will not forget to read scriptures.
- I will exercise better.
- I will read to my kids more.
- I will be more patient.
- I will not get behind on the laundry.
- I will keep up on the yardwork.
- I will etc., etc., etc.

I do this every Monday and by Sunday evening, I feel like a miserable failure. So this morning at 3:55am, I woke up and began my weekly ritual of bombarding my brain with to do lists and not to do lists, praying for help that I could actually accomplish some of these things, and giving myself a pep talk about how this week will be different...better than last week. was so overwhelming and exhausting that I ate a brownie and went back to bed.

Better luck next week!

Friday, August 13, 2010

What the Heck?

Andrew's Birthday is Wednesday. I know, I've hardly recovered from the last birthday. I'm still mad at the doctor for that. I begged for a July Birthday--he wouldn't comply. "She's just too little. I would hate to deliver her at 38 weeks and have her end up in NICU." Thanks Doc! I had her two weeks later and she still ended up there....and now I'm stuck with two birthdays 10 days apart!

Anyway....Andrew has picked his birthday cake of choice. I do not know if he wishes to torture me, see me fail miserably in my attempt, or if he just wants to have the most whacked out birthday cake ever! He wants a Tornado cake!

Yeah, my first thought was, "what the heck?"  My second...."How the heck?" Okay, that wasn't my word of choice, but I'm trying to keep it rated G here.

He is obsessed with natural disasters. You may recall last year's cake.  It has been one of my all time favorites, but I just don't think a tornado can have the same effect.

I thought about making a sheet cake, and then proceed to get a hammer and take out all my frustration. I would caption it..."Happy 7th Birthday Andrew....A tornado was here!" Me thinks he won't go for it....and we all know I'm not going to cop out that easy.

So be thinking of me this week. And praying for my sanity. Worst case scenario I end up on Cake Wrecks, and I'll be infamous for the worst attempt ever at a tornado cake!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


 Ava in her birthday dress Mommy made.

I'm a few days late, but Ava turned two on Sunday! We officially have no babies at our house anymore. (sniff, sniff)

Ava's two year old stats:    31" tall
                                          19.5 lbs.

              --She is in the 97th %tile for height and the 28th %tile for weight......for a 12 month old! But hey, this is progress for her and we think she's rather large in her old age! I even call her "porker" sometimes!

Year #2 was an eventful and stressful one with our little Ava, and while I do not wish to relive all the drama, we have really enjoyed watching her grow and learn. She is so different from the boys. She is 100% girl. She eats, sleeps, and breathes princess! Which would explain why absolutely everything about her birthday had Cinderella involved! Every mannerism of hers is so dainty and feminine. I told Colonel Mustard I feared she may grow up to be a pansy, and she was just going to have to learn to be tough and self sufficient under her prissy little outer-shell! (I'm such a sweet Mom!--I'm guessing something about this statement will come back to slap me in the face one day!)

I was determined that Ava would not miss out on the traditional Birthday cakes, no matter how difficult it was to achieve. It was a long and frustrating undertaking to make a cake that would hold together, and frosting that you could decorate with. In the end, I was not excited, but somewhat satisfied that I was able to make her something that looked halfway decent. Now, I can't say the same for the taste, but she doesn't know the difference and thought it was great. And it was very fulfilling to see her eat a cupcake instead of a rice cake.

We had to wait an eternity for her to open her presents because she is just too much of a little lady to rip into the package! It literally took 5-10 minutes for her to carefully open her Cinderella doll. (So funny after savage boys rip into presents with their teeth- not really, but you know, it's no fun if you don't exaggerate it!)

Happy Birthday to our sweet baby girl! You are so loved, and we feel blessed to have royalty in our family!

Friday, August 6, 2010

And They're Off!

Off to start another year at school. What else is there to say? I teared up today taking Ethan in too, but I made it through. It's hard for me to watch them grow up. I guess that's the bittersweet of parenting. It's so fun to watch who they become, but very hard (at least for me) to stand back and watch it happen in the blink of an eye.

Andrew~ starting 2nd Grade

Ethan~starting Pre-K

I guess it's safe to say the reflectors on their backpacks work quite well!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Conversations with an almost 2-year old

Mom: Are you going to be 2 on Sunday?

Ava: (shakes head yes) I a big girl!

Yes, getting big way too fast. And today was the start of Second grade. You'd think I could get through second grade without crying....but you'd be wrong. Heaven help me tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I have one! A very large, very round one. I have hated it my entire life. I have tried to "work my butt off," "exercise my butt off," "sweat my butt off," but to no avail. It is still there. I'm pretty sure if I was lost in the woods, died of thirst, and my body was found weeks later they would not use my teeth to identify me. They would just bring my family, roll me over, and..."Yep, that's her. I'd know that badonkadonk anywhere!"

I don't know where it came from. NO one in my family has one. My Mom, all my sisters--they have flat backsides. If you lined us up sideways to take a picture, the camera man would ask me to stand up straight and not stick my but out...but I wouldn't be sticking my butt out--that's just what it does.

At 30 I determined I must: A: afford massive amounts of lypo on my backend, and some sort of newly engineered procedure to remove layers of round muscle tissue, or B: I could learn to accept and embrace my badonkadonk. I chose B.

So why am I telling you this useless information? Oh yeah, I remember now. I am easily distracted. I bought some new shorts for my kids yesterday. In trying them on last night I about fell over laughing when the shorts fit my kid's butt and were miles too big in the waist. I guess my genetic affinity for large round derrieres has been passed on to my poor unsuspecting children. Lucky kids!

....And by the way,  keep you eyes to yourself the next time you see me. I've had enough gawking at the junk in my trunk!