Friday, January 20, 2017

Spelling Bee

On Wednesday evening, Peter participated in his school spelling bee. He might have told me about it beforehand, but I didn't remember. It was that day as we were walking home from school that he dashed over to talk to a friend and then came back to tell me, "The spelling bee is tonight at 6 in the library."

"Six? That's dinner time!" I said. And usually Hannah and John's play rehearsal get out at six. And Wednesdays there is youth activities at the church. I'm not a person who likes having unexpected events thrown on me at the last minute. I was not thrilled.

But we went anyway. Hannah and John got out of rehearsal early so that wasn't an issue. I got dinner mostly ready and John agreed to watch it. Peter and I set off for the school.

There were only about twelve contestants in all, I don't know how many students qualified, but there were a lot of empty seats. Peter was contestant #17, but was only about 8th in line. There was a practice round, and then the competition began. Peter stayed in through several rounds, gradually inching his way up towards the first seat. He spelled "banana" and was disappointed when someone else got to spell "monkeys". He spelled "married", "contestant",  and several other words. In the end, he got out trying to spell "clodhopper". (He spelled it "claudhopper".) By that point, he was in third place and now he gets to go on to the district spelling bee which will be in a couple weeks. Maybe he'll actually practice for that one!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


John's haiku for today
What is this I hear?
Vivaldi's Four Seasons play.
Ahhh, Sweet Symphony.

What is it about haiku that is so appealing? I'm not sure, but I think it is the simplicity of it. How can you portray a feeling, a mood, a revelation, in just seventeen syllables? We have a white board on our piano that is perfect for writing a message, a thought, a haiku.

First, Steven wrote one.
Today, John wrote another.
Who will write one next?

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Request

He stares at me with those penetrating green eyes. Feeling uncomfortable I ask him, "What?"

"Meow." he says.

"What?" I ask again, not understanding.

"Meow!" He repeats. He starts to walk towards the kitchen, then looks back to make sure I'm following. As I follow him, he continues to chastise and complain. "Meow... Meeeow...Miaow... Meow!"

He leads me to his food dish, then looks at me again. "Meow!" he demands.

"What?!" I ask him again. "I just filled it an hour ago! You can't see the bottom, and even the water is fresh!" Earlier that morning I had filled the food dish, fished out the pipe cleaners that somehow always land in the water dish, dumped the dirty water out, and refilled that dish with fresh, cool water. What more did he want me to do?

"Meow!" He insisted.

Rolling my eyes, I bent over and shook his food dish a little. The dry food shifted position slightly.

"Whatever." I said, walking away. As I looked back, he was finally contentedly eating his breakfast. Silly cat.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Stroll Down Memory Lane

This morning as I was waking my younger boys for school, I had a flashback from my childhood:

This picture (found on Google) shows how
 I remember that alarm clock looking.
Andy, Andy, please wake up! It's time to call our friends!
Okay, Ann, I'm awake, lets shout it once again.
We were sent to wake you, so here we are to say,
Please get up, brush your teeth and have a happy day!
*ding dong*
Andy, Andy, please wake up...

This was the talking alarm clock from my youth, featuring Raggedy Ann and Andy. While a little bit annoying when I was trying to get a few minutes extra sleep, I remember repeatedly playing it during the day, just to hear them talk. I imagine it must have driven my family crazy.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Peter's Demented Christmas Carols

All through the month of December, Peter was working on a project. It wasn't assigned by school teachers. It definitely wasn't assigned by a parent. No, he took this on himself, and worked on it industriously throughout the month. It's rare he shows such dedication (if a little misdirected)! I thought about posting it during the holiday season, but then figured I'd try not to ruin any one else's holiday. Hopefully you can forget the words by next Christmas.

The following song lyrics may not be appropriate for children under the age of 11, or for children over the age of 11 either for that matter. They may not even be appropriate for adults. 

Here Comes Santa Claus

Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, into your driveway.
He’s gonna kill your kids and steal your toys on Christmas day,
Bells are ringing, children screaming
What a terrible sight,
So hide your wife and hide your kids,
‘Cause Santa Claus has a knife!

Jingle Bells

Jingle bells, Jingle bells, Better run away!
Oh, what fun It is to hide From a psychopathic guy, HEY!
Jingle bells, Jingle bells, Gotta get away!
Oh what fun It is to hide From a psychopathic guy, HEY!

Frosty the Snowman

Frosty the snowman
Had a dark, demented soul,
With a creepy smile And a creepy pose
And two eyes made out of coal,
There  must have been some face paint in that old silk hat they found,
For when they put it on his head,
He turned into a clown!
Down to the village with a knife right in his hand,
Going here and there,
All around the square,
Saying I’ll kill you if I can!

Choppity chop chop,
Choppity chop chop,
Look at frosty go,
Choppity chop chop,
Choppity chop chop,
Over the blood stained snow.

Rudolf the Deadly Reindeer

Rudolf  the deadly reindeer, had a very deadly nose,
And if you ever saw him,
You'd be buried in the snow.
All of the other reindeer
Panicked and coward in fear
They never let old  Rudolf
Get even slightly near.
Then one foggy Christmas eve,
Santa came to say:
Rudolf, you might be on meth
That’s a crime, punishment: death!
Oh, how the reindeer loathed him
As he shouted out in horror
Santa, you big fat bully,
Now you will see day no more!

Santa Claus is Coming to Town
It's still okay to cry
it's still okay to pout
but on Christmas Eve you'd better watch out
Santa Claus is coming.. to town!!

He's making a list
He's checking it twice
He's gonna see who he should feed to the mice
Santa Claus is coming... to town!!

He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He is the Ultimate stalker so on Christmas stay awake!

Lock your doors
the windows too
Kriss Kringle is coming for you
Santa Claus is coming... to town!!

Hide away
especially tonight
or Christmas eve will bring you a fright.
​Santa Claus is coming...
Santa Claus is coming...
Santa Claus is coming TONIGHT!?
( So if I were you I would hide!​)

Up On The HouseTop
Up on the housetop
Reindeer claws
Out jumps creepy Santa Claus
Down thru the chimney
With a chainsaw
He comes out laughing: mwah ha ha!

First comes the stocking of little bill
He will get a little chill
With a shrunken head to play
He’ll be scared on Christmas day

Then is the stocking of little sue
She’ll be scared her face‘ll turn blue
A boa constrictor packed in a box
Last year it was chicken pox

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Christmas Eve Film

Grandma Kathy wanted to watch the kids open the gifts she sent this last Christmas. So, we filmed them opening their gifts (traditionally pajamas) on Christmas Eve and sent it to her.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Year, New Start

Yes, I'll admit it. My blogging over the last couple months has been pitiful. I feel like life has picked me up like an ocean wave and has been sweeping me along with it. I'm managing to keep my head above water, but I'm not really in control.

We had a great holiday season. We enjoyed a fantastic Thanksgiving in Missouri with my sister Kristy. I even got to see my friend Tabitha and her family while we were out there.

The month of December was full of holiday concerts and parties and other activities. On Christmas Eve day we were able to help out with the Salvation Army dinner again. This year instead of handing out gifts, our family helped with the bouncy house: managing crowds, letting so many kids in at a time, and making sure everyone got about 3 minutes of fun - long enough to enjoy it, but not so long that those waiting in line got impatient and left.

Christmas Day was enjoyable. We opened gifts, ate breakfast, and opened more gifts later when Grandma Kathy could watch (from sunny California via the wonders of modern technology.) We attended church where Hannah, John and I participated in the choir and various musical numbers.

The kids have enjoyed their Christmas break. Tomorrow they return to school. This morning we had a "practice morning" where Steven woke us up for scripture reading at 6:30 before he left for work. After scripture reading, the kids all went back to bed while I exercised, read my scriptures, showered, ate breakfast, and started my day. It's 10:00 now, and they are still all sleeping. Tomorrow, scripture reading will be at 5:30am, Hannah and John will then go to seminary and on to school, while Josh and Peter will be able to sleep until 7:00 when they will need to get up to head to school. The days of sleeping in until 10 or 11 will be over.

This morning I came across an interesting blog. (You can read it here.) It described bloggers who misrepresent their lives as being better than they actually are as "lifestyle porn". As an example, he tells of a fashionable lady blogger who hired a talented woman to come make a special treat in her fancy kitchen, then had the nanny bring her child down for a photo shoot. Later, the blog presented her as having made the treat herself with her child. His point is that what we read in some blogs isn't reality. It encourages people to have higher expectations in their lives than reality usually offers, resulting in disappointment and disillusionment.

Reading his blog made me wonder, do I do this? Do I represent my life as being better than it actually is?

My answer is this: Possibly, but not intentionally. I write about the things I would like to remember down the road. I'm not a very good journal keeper, so this blog serves as a type of journal. But at the same time, it is public, so I try not to write about things that will embarrass my family members or myself. I don't want to sound like I am griping or complaining when I have a bad day. So it is very possible that the image I present here is better than reality. At the same time, I do try to be honest. I try not to misrepresent facts. I try not to take credit for other people's work.

It is hard for me to imagine people looking at my life as represented in this blog and being disillusioned because their own life isn't as great as mine, and yet, my life is pretty good. We don't live in a big, fancy house, but the condo we live in is sufficient for our needs. My family members aren't perfect by any means, but I have a happy marriage and we are all trying to be the best we can.

The purpose of this blog is just to focus my thoughts, and maybe share our family's doings along the way for friend's and family's enjoyment. It isn't to suggest to you how you should live your life, or even to show off how I live mine. Each of us has our own struggles and challenges that are unique to us, and we can't compare ourselves to anyone else. It would be like comparing tomatoes to cucumbers.

So, Happy New Year to all who may read this. Count your blessings and be grateful for the life you have. And check back here soon. I hope to be a little more regular about writing this year. ;)