Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: A day at the parks!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What'd she say?

I told you my Valentine card to my husband sings a song.  I also told you my Annah has an affinity for it.  So does my Jesse guy.  I don't know why.. it's kinda funny and very adorable.
I keep hearing Annah singing it.  "I think we're a-lawn-ga".. and I die inside every time!
In her stubbornness she won't listen to me and change the "words" to what they really are!  She is such a strong headed little girl. 

She is so smart too!  She is sitting through the second time of watching the end of "Akeelah and the Bee".  While she was rewinding it she asked me,

" Mom how do you spell pig?"

Wanting her to remember that she knows how to spell it I reminded her how to listen to the sounds of the word to find the letters.

"P-I-G" she said.

I smiled and said, "May I have the definition please" (yes I get that the speller usually asks this not the "judge" but that's the joy of pretending!  You don't have to do it the way it's "supposed" to be done!)

She smiled and said,, "uh.. I don't know"

I asked, "What is a pig."

She said, "it's fat and it rolls in the mud".

She played along with that one but when she spelled our family member's names and I asked for definitions she just shook her head and said, "uh--- No."

I don't know that anyone else would find this funny just reading it.  That's where I'm at an advantage.  I get her by my side all day.. every day.  She's my little side-kick!

Eesin Boy-ya!!

Ethan is our second born.  Our first boy.  The first grandson.  He was the hardest labor out of the four   children.  He is tender hearted.  He is exceptional at whatever he puts his mind to.   He is strong.  He is the most dedicated "worker" of our kids.  He strives to do whatever he thinks will cause us to be more happy with him.

Since he was a baby it's been obvious that he loves music.  He has always had great rhythm.. whereas some of our others have had to acquire it over time.  He used to turn any long object into a "teegar" and ferociously strum and sing, "Open the eyes of my heart Lord!"  That continues to be what I pray for him, believing that it is what his child-heart truly cried out for. 
He has always tried to display his strength.  Whether it be physically, emotionally or even mentally.. he wants to show others that he's got what it takes.  I know John Eldridge says this is one of the questions every boy grows up struggling with, "Do I have what it takes?".  It has been obvious with our Ethan.  I thank God that his Father, my husband, continually answers that question for him.  He is continually telling Ethan he can do it.  Telling him he is capable.  Putting him in situations where he can prove it.
He's always had a goofball side to him as well.  He tries to hide it.. and then will surprise us with some offhand comment or crazy gesture.  His teachers have said that he has a bit of the "class clown" mentality.  Especially in music and PE.  I think that he simply doesn't see these classes as educational but rather as a type of break from the regular classroom rigmarole.
It is a joy to watch Ethan turn into his dad's playmate, or shadow might be a good word.  Whether dad is fixing the car, playing video games, taking Christmas lights off the house, (I was unaware that his daddy let him climb onto the roof of the house to take the lights off the front edge of the roofline!  But Ethan loved it of course!!) or playing ball.. Ethan wants to do what he is doing. 
This precious gift we've been blessed with brings us joy daily.  As his parents both of us are looking to Jesus to show us how to help mold his character to fit his personality.  How to set him on the path HE should go, so that when he is old... he will not part from it.  What a tremendous honor it is to be a parent and partner with our Lord to create within these children a heart that understands the cry within.  The cry each of us have within but don't always understand.  The cry that is so easily distracted with things of this world.  The cry for HIM.  This is why I love that at the age of two this precious boy began singing.. "Open the eyes of my heart Lord".  As well as.. what reminds me to continue to pray it with him.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"I've become my Mom"!

I know this phrase usually gets a bad wrap.  But, I know lots of ways I've said it that aren't demeaning but enduring.  It's been a joy and an honor to see myself develop some of the wonderful characteristics of my mother.

I'm not sure today's experience of thinking this started off with such enduring thoughts.

I remember when I was little that my dad teased my mom about folding the laundry before putting in the dryer.. after removing it from the washer.  I remember thinking about this as a teenager and deciding it was one more neurotic behavior of my mother that I WASN'T ever going to repeat.  (it's a teenagers job to see a mother's diligence and attention to detail as neurotic... right?)

Well.  Today, I became neurotic.  You know how "in" jeans are a darker wash.. and thicker material?  Well, as lovely as they are and as much as I love oogling at my husband in his.. and prancing around in mine.  They drive me NUTS!

I can't seem to get them to come out of the dryer without the legs being all crinkled and twisted.  And I am NOT going to go as far into the land of the neurotic as to IRON jeans!  No. 

So, I decided to dip my toe in by following my mother's folding of the clothing before drying them.  "I've become my mother" I thought to myself. 

Well, it worked.  They came out straight and un-crinkled.  They look wonderful.  All the better to oogle at and prance around in.  Neurotic-ness wins.

And, to be fair to my mom.  When I finally got around to asking her about this habit of folding clothes before putting them in the dryer (well, actually I think I was attempting to make fun of her) she informed me that she NEVER did that.  She would simply shake things out and instead of wad them back up she'd fold it in half or something before throwing it into the dryer. 

So, my "I've become my mom" thought may have started as an, "Oh great!" kind of thought.. but definitely turned into thinking how wonderful she was for putting such attention into the laundry swap so as to make sure clothes came out needing the least amount of straightening. 

Just goes to show that no matter how old I am.  No matter how long it's been since my mom "trained" me in the art of housework.  She still knows best. 

Dusty Rose

I lay in bed last night thinking.  This is what I do most nights before I fall asleep.  Unless of course it's too much to just think about.  Then I share with my husband who graciously listens as he tries to.. sometimes successfully.. fall asleep.

I was thinking the usual random thoughts about my day.  When all of a sudden I thought of a color.  Dusty Rose.  Such a nineties color I know.  Or at least I think I know.  But as I was picturing it's loveliness in my head, I was filled with warm, peaceful thoughts and feelings.  I realized, "I LIKE Dusty Rose".  What ever happened to this color in my life?  Why does it fill me with such warm ooey gooey feelings?

I've been pondering this through my morning and realized.  It WAS a nineties color.  At least for me.  My mother must've loved it.  It was on the walls of our home.  She wore it on her lips.  It was on the dresses she was known to wear during that season of life.  She also wore it on her finger nails from a bottle of Avon nail color.. I loved that.  It always seemed like such a lovely womanly thing to paint your nails such a soft but warm pink. This made me like it even more.  Dusty Rose makes me think of my Mom.

Not like red does.. the color she always said was her favorite when I was younger.  Not like brown,, the color she wore ALOT of until she learned she was a... spring?.. and shouldn't wear it sooo much.  Not like baby blue the color that adorned our previous home.

No, this color, Dusty Rose, was the color my mother surrounded us in during the time in her life where I remember her doing so many things she loved.  Running a Tea Room.  Hostessing like a mad woman.  Running a business out of her kitchen making goodies and selling them at bazaars and coffee shops.  Finding the joys of being the mother to not just girls, but women.  Learning her love of being a mother-in-law, grandmother and friend to those women daughters.

This is a good color.  Dusty Rose.  Now that I know why I like it.. I wanna help it make a come-back.  It could be the new color for 2010!  Hmmm.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Annah, Dora, Pedi and Bugaboo!

Today was my "start everything back up that we didn't do during the 4 day weekend but usually do during regular times" day.  Like laundry, packing lunches, getting up early, going to the gym and last but not least.. spending a lot of time with just me and Annah.

So after making Bruce's lunch.  I made Naomi's lunch and took her to her 8am unicycling class.  Came home made the boys lunches.  Took them to school at 9:05.  Came home and got Annah more breakfast (they all had bagels with misc. toppings) then set her down for her "school time" with Dora.  Went to take a shower and mid-shower the phone pops through the curtain..

"Mom, someones on the phone for you"..

"Kaaaaayyyyy, tell them I'm busy"

"But they said they need to talk to you"

"Annah!  I'm in the shower, tell them I'm busy and hang up"

I know that the only person that calls my home phone in the morning and Annah labels "someone" would be a telemarketer or some such irritating person.. ugh.  She went away.  When I got out I could hear Dora and Annah singing "I play maracas, shake-a, shake-a, shake-a!".  I smiled to myself thinking what a dear girl Dora is for singing with my Annah so I can get dressed.

After I had done just that I decided I should call the property management co. about the scurrying I was hearing over my head in my bedroom ceiling.  I told them I wasn't sure if whatever it was would cause damage or get stuck and die.. so maybe they want to send someone out to fix the holes said creature was getting in through.  They told me they'd call "Bugaboo" and have them get ahold of me to set up an appointment.  After processing the name for a bit too long I said, "Okay, great!".  Then spent alot of time thinking about what company would call themselves "Bugaboo".. until I realized it was a pest control.. or "bug" control company.  Then spent alot of time thinking about how cute that name was. I could just picture a man crawling into my "attic" and saying "Boo!" to whatever he found up there!

During my getting ready I made sure to call out to Annah to "Put clothes on", "Brush your hair", "Get socks on".. so she'd be as ready as possible by the time I was.

We headed out and went to the gym where she got to spend time with her friends Brooky and Lolo and I got to sweat with my friend Tiff.  As we were headed into the gym I reminded Annah to stay on the sidewalk and not walk on the grass because it was mostly mud.  She pointed out that some of it was green and began singing, "Take me down to Paradise City, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty.. Take, me, Ho-ome".  I told her that wasn't a child song and please stop singing it.. (before we got inside and other people heard her!)

We finished at the gym and headed to Baja Fresh which Annah calls "Ha-ha Fresh" for some lunch.  It was delicious.  After that we headed to get the car washed.  Annah started singing the song she learned from Dora earlier in the day.. only.. Annah style.

"I'm a musician and my enemies will be.. I play the flu-ute dink, dink, di-dink, dink.. I play the maracas, shake-a, shake-a, shake-a.. I play the dru-ums, bom-bom-bo-bombom.. I play the trombone boom-boom-boo-boom-boom.. I play the harnica doot-doot-doo-doot-doot."

I suggest that the beginning of the song wasn't "and my enemies will be".. she didn't get it.  Or disagreed because that isn't what she heard Dora say.. not sure which, but she never sang it the way I suggested.

After the car wash we headed to the mall to stop at Macy's and get Ethan a belt, go to get Annah a snack and then head to "Sassy Nails" so I could get a pedicure!  Where Annah would play with my phone and eat her snack!

On the way over her lunch gave her a couple of.. burps.  She finished with one and said, "Ugh.. I'm starting to burp like La-Fo... Ma-ga!!"  (she was acting like she was spelling!  lol!)

At Macy's Annah found her favorite things.. the child mannequins.. and stood there talking to them, checking out their clothing sizes, and standing in front of them measuring herself to them to see who was taller.  She is so adorable.

We made our way over to the Sweet Factory and she picked out which candies she wanted in her little bag.  She was excited about getting to choose SO many different kinds!  And I was excited and amazed I made it out of that store spending less than 3 dollars!

We finally made it to the salon and I got Annah set up with my phone and her candies in the chair next to mine.  She was excited to try out the massage options on the chair!  But the lady was ready to start my pedicure so she had to just make do with the phone and candy.  She did awesome!  She sat and played and was polite and calm.  I was in heaven.  (The other mother in the store who had a "terrible two's" child in her care only helped to secure my seat there!)  ;)

After my toes were happy it was time to rush back home for the appointment with Mr. Bugaboo that I'd set up in between weights at the gym earlier.  I got to the house just as he did and so rushed in and sprayed Febreeze before showing him where he could access the "attic" and where I thought the creature(s) were getting in.  It came time for me to go get the other kids from school.  I told the guy and took Annah for our 5min. pickup of the kids.  We all rushed in.. he was still in the uppers of our house.  It was apparent the kids were home cause it was loud and orders were being given, "Unpack your lunchboxes", "You can have Fishy crackers.. but only "this" much in a bag".  As well as questions being asked, "Can I go to Abby's?", "Can we go to Brett's?", "Can I go to Corrina's?".  Then it began to quiet down as the kids meandered out the doors to their respective friends houses.

 I noticed Annah wasn't leaving and asked, "What are you waiting for?".  She said, "I wanna see the animal he catches".  I'd forgot that she thought he was an animal rescue agent... like ones on the Animal Planet show that her sister watches all the time.  I told her I didn't think he was planning on catching anything cause he didn't bring a cage or anything up with him.  She left the kitchen and it was quiet.  It was quiet until I heard the singing Valentines card I bought for Bruce being played in the hallway where the man had his ladder set up.  "I think we're alone now.  The beating of our hearts is the only sou-ound!"  I rushed over half terrified and said, "What are you doing!?".. Annah smiled and said, "I wanted to show him what you bought Daddy!".

I was mortified thinking.. this man is in my attic and can hear the kids come home and leave and then possibly hears THAT song being played when I am the only one who should still be here!  So I was very loud in my talking to Annah to make sure HE heard me saying it was HER who played it.  Oy vey!

He finished his job.  Annah left and I had my quiet time before Bruce got home and dinner and homework and evening stuff happened!

So that was my day's highlights with Annah!  I enjoyed it and hope you do too!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Naomi, Heating and Cooling, Freezers and Juvie!

So Naomi has been begging me to let Yanna come over after school.  (among other girls.. but I like Yanna)  So, after she finally got what I meant by, "Have her mom call me and we will schedule something".. we had a "playdate" set up!

Of course it didn't really have a specific start time.. I was running errands and helping friends and dropping stuff off for Bruce at work.. and dealing with 4 children needing fed, bathroom-ed, exercised and trained in general.  So I said to tell Yanna that about 1:30 we'd pick her up.  Of course we had to call and change it to 2:30.. so I told her mother that Yanna could just hang out 'till 8 instead of 6:30 when her mom was able to pick her up and we'd just drive her home. 

Anyway, after all of this planning and calling back and forth.  We get the kids home and of course they're bored.  Can we straighten hair?  Can we play on the computer?  Can we, Can we, Can we!!!!

(Now I just watched Bill Cosby and so don't feel so bad complaining about the annoying things my children do and how it very literally and honestly annoys and drives me NUTS!!  He said that he didn't have children so they could change his name to "Daddy Can I".. HA!  I love it!)

I suggested she do things with Yanna that involved her personal belongings and not mine.  Fingernail polish,, Hair "streaker" tool (completely washable btw),, coloring, origami, bike riding, Wii,,,, the list went on.

(So, I've decided that before we have another "play" date.. we're going to make a list of acceptable means of having fun PRIOR to the "date" so that we can eliminate some of the unnecessary driving insane of mommy)

  When I finished going on about what they could do together that didn't involve "my" belongings.. they went off to Naomi's room where I inaccurately assumed they were taking part in one of the previously suggested activities.

I cleaned the kitchen and finished putting away the groceries I'd bought the day before.. :).. picked up in the living room for a bit and then sat down to call my hubby for our daily, "It's time for you to come home", call.  Which I make just to talk to him for a bit not to TELL him to come home.. most of the time.

In the middle of our discussion about having the kids make a list of sports and classes they want to take this upcoming year.. Naomi came rushing out of her room crying, sweating, and repeating.. "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!!" with her fingers up to her mouth like she used to as a toddler when she was in trouble.  (sigh.)

I was sitting in the living room looking way up at the tortured face of my 10year old thinking.. "this isn't our house.. we are only renting.. what did she do to it now?"..

I asked "What happened, are you hurt?"..

"NO,, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!"..

I turned to Yanna,, "Did she spill fingernail polish on the carpet?" (my naive-ness shining through)..

Yanna replied, "No"..

I turned back to Naomi and said, "What is going on?"..

To which she began blubbering about how she'd made a prank call and asked the lady for a freezer and the lady said "Ok, which kind", and she said "Your finest" and the lady asked, "May I get your name" and Naomi  said, "Jeremiah Johnson is my husband's name".. and then hung up... Then the phone rang and Naomi could see it was the people she'd just pranked because when they had answered they said, "Olympic Heating and Cooling".. and that is what the caller ID was now reading.  Naomi picked up and the lady asked for Bruce or Summer Bryan.. Naomi said they were unavailable.. to which the lady replied, "I'm sorry dear,, but the police have been called"

Now, that may have been hard for you to follow.. but please understand that was me decoding her blubbered mess of an explanation. 

Oh and let me tell you Naomi was freaking out about the PO-PO.. no she didn't say that.. coming to our house any minute and taking her off to Juvie..  she told me lock the doors and close the blinds.  I said, "It's not fun being a criminal is it?"..

She was also very.. peeved.. that the lady would call the police!  The level of irritation was such that if she were allowed or so desired.. I think she would've been using expletives to describe the woman who had told her "I'm sorry dear, the police have been called".  But being as she's not allowed and I'm sure would not have such words in her head or heart... she stuck with "Jerk". To which, though it wasn't an expletive I still told her was inappropriate and inexcusable.

So many things go through your head when your child tells you the police are coming to take them to Juvie.  Among them.. for me.. were,

"Well, hopefully she won't do it again"...

"If she would've listened to me and made origami this wouldn't be happening"

"If she would've listened to me when I told her not to prank people two months ago this wouldn't be happening"

"Good for the lady to try and scare her like that"

"I wonder if she'll refuse to talk to the police if they do show up like she refused to let the Dr take the stitches out of her nose?"

Needless to say, the police never showed up.  But when her dad did and she ran out barefoot to tell him.. he said, "Well you may wanna put shoes on, you don't want to go to Juvie without shoes!"  Go Dad!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Queen!

My sister Helen is doing a give away over at her blog  
So, run on over and enter!  It's free and fun!
And yes, I realize that most of my followers are her followers.  I'm just trying to get my name in the hat more than once!  ;)

Thus is the man blessed who fears the Lord

My sister, brother-in-law and nephew spent the night last night.  My nephew slept in the boys room and sister down stairs in the family room.
I woke up at about 7:30 to someone beside me saying they were hungry.. of course.. it was Jesse.  I got up trying to make sure my husband got to sleep in. ( He had to work yesterday, then helped our friends replace a toilet and make a dump run that turned into a several hour wait in line at the dump.. then he, our friend and our brother-in-law watched the kids while us girls went to a party at my sisters friends house.  So.. he had a busy day.)  I came out and the kids were eating Cheerios.. Ethan, almost 9, was wonderful and got them all set up.  I started in on the dishes from yesterday.  Only to find out that the dishwasher could hold about 4 more dishes and needed ran.. oops.  So, I made coffee and got my bowl of Special K.  I set the kids up on the living room floor with blankets and cartoons.. and decided to wipe out my fridge.  (this has been a real irritation to me lately,, the disgusting state of my fridge,, but I have just let it continue to get out of hand.)  After it was white again I sat in the living room and checked my FB.  Then layed down to watch some cartoons with the kids.. trying to keep them quiet so as to not wake up my sister and her husband too too early.
At about 9:30 my BIL, KC, came upstairs.. followed by my sister.  I went in and snuggled in my warm bed with my hubby for a while before getting him up and making his coffee.  My sister took Jesse and her family and went to church at a near by church.. we're planning on going to our's tonight.  So, I switched the dishes and cleaned up the living room while Bruce looked online at the schedule for Fort Vancouver, he is planning a trip over there with the kids after my sister gets back. 
I finished and found Bruce stretching in the living room saying he feels like he needs to do some Yoga.  So, I found a class On Demand and watched him and Annah do Yoga in the living room.  Now, the picture of Bruce doing Yoga that may come into your head.. may seem odd.  But don't worry.. he was making fun of it the whole time.. "Haha,," Downward Dog"... Haha, she just told me to feel my pelvis open up to the earth!".. He totally maintained his Macho-ness while doing it.
When he finished he decided to go take down the Christmas lights.. "Before February", and I decided it was time to make lunch.  Weekend lunches have been a pain to me lately because I feel like it has to be different from the normal sandwich routine we do all week.  Here is what I came up with today.. it was fun!
Top Ramen for Bruce and the kids
Progressive Light Sante Fe Chicken soup for me
Carrots and Ranch
Open Faced Sante Fe Albacore Melts on English Muffins
The last was a made up recipe and turned out delicious so I'm gonna tell you how to make it.
Toast some English Muffins
Turn on the broiler
Mix the following
2 cans Albacore
2tbls light Sour Cream
2-4 tsp Taco Seasoning
2 tsp Green Taco sauce
3/4 cup shredded light Mozzerella
1/4 red onion diced
Heap a spoonful onto each of the toasted Engilsh Muffins and use the back of the spoon to smash it down.  Top with a sprinkle of Mozzerella
Broil and.. Twa-laa!  Nummy low-cal deliciousness!
I called Bruce in, we had lunch then he and Ethan went out to continue the lights.  Oh, and I forgot that before I made lunch I emptied and refilled the dishwasher.  Annah helped with the dishes and lunch and after lunch wanted to "scrub the table".. so I gave her a bowl of soapy water, scrubber and a rag and let her at it.  I'm sure when I head back upstairs I'll have a bit of a watery mess.. but her adorable face and servant heart keep me from being able to tell her no to her "helpfulness".
After all of this I decided to come downstairs to our new office and read the Bible and blog about what this seemingly "boring" day has stirring within me.
I read Psalm 128.  Then I had to go to the bathroom to wipe the mascara outta my eye!  How faithful God is!
So, all of this may seem kinda mundane to be listing in such detail.  But I am writing it to tell of God's faithfulness to me.  My heart has been overjoyed with the "little" things.  I love seeing how God gives me the ability to do the things I need to do and enjoy the things that are easily overlooked.  As I open myself to Him and rid myself of the things that bind me.. I am seeing that I am more able and more joyful.  I wasn't feeling childish in the bad way.. just in the way that I'm meant to as a child of God.  Thank you Jesus!