Saturday, May 29, 2010

Foreign Lanugage Skills

I think it is important that children have the opportunity to learn multiple languages. It's a dead useful skill to have.

Take Thing One, for example: French in Jr. High school, 2 years each of Mandarin Chinese and Latin in high school. Not fluent, mind you, but skilled. She's retained quite a bit of all three. I backed her in high school because I heard that having Eastern languages would be especially useful in the business world today.


But when would she have an opportunity to use such skills, you ask?

When she's ordering food at Disney World, or course.

Man, I'm glad we invested so much in acquiring foreign language skills.

Monday, May 24, 2010

creepy crawlies

I found Eclair on the floor next to my bed this morning. Unfortunately, I find her there often. She wanders in her sleep, you never know where she will be found.

But this time she had a good reason.

M: Why were you asleep on my floor this morning?

E: I had a bad dream. I died.

M: You died? How did you die?

E: A giant spider got me and I died.

M: Wow. A giant spider. How big is a giant spider, like bigger than your hand?

E: No, I think it was a medium spider. It had one eye that was big and round, and the other wasn't. The other eye was oblong (didn't know she knew this word). But it bited me, and I died. And then I woke up so I could make sure I wasn't really dead. I wasn't.

M: You weren't dead?

E: Well, I'm talking to you so what do you think? (I love it when she talks like a teenager!)

And here, just for your enjoyment, is Eclair's picture of the spider:
If I'd seen one of these, I'd wake up to make sure I wasn't dead, too.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Haiku...

Most people are unaware that I have MAD Haiku skills. Really. I'm just so phenomenally modest that people haven't gotten this information yet. I'd like to share what I composed in my shower this morning:

My tub is moldy
It needs some bleach really bad
I wish I had slaves

See? Mad skills, man.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fine Portraiture

You know, I'm a pretty dang good photographer. You would never know it looking at the photos I get of my own kids.

Thing Two, for example.

That's him letting me take his picture. The next one, not so much.

Wow. Look. The Hand. Again.

And again, with the hand. I have dozens of these.

Here's a new variation. Hand is full, so use the instrument.

Surprising him doesn't yield better results.

Trying to pose him results in this:

Every year, I take a picture on the first day of school in front of the school's sign. Look how cooperative he is.

Crap. Saw me coming.
It's just not great when we include him in the family pictures, either.

Unless we do it his way.

Don't think for a minute that this is a recent development. Here's the evidence:

But today, TODAY! I got a SMILE!!!!!! a genuine SMILE!!!
Because Luke Skywalker was standing behind me picking his nose just to make him smile.

And just so you don't get the crazy idea that any of the rest of my kids are normal and take lovely pictures, I present Middle Daughter:

And....Thing One.....

...and....Luke Skywalker....

And sadly, even me & Eclair.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Chicks Rule.

Top Ten Things I Love About Women's Conference:

10. SPRING!!!!

They have Women's Conference when the evil drudgery of winter is over, and it is now BEAUTIFUL SPRING!

9. My big sister always comes for Women's Conference. She usually spends the entire time driving me crazy with "I'll be there in 15 minutes" (and then she never is). Word to the wise: when waiting for Debbie, bring a crossword puzzle, or a good book. And snacks.

(this out of focus picture was taken by some strange woman who doesn't know how to operate a real camera, even after I gave her instructions. Thank you, ma'am.)

8. Great speakers. I even know this one! This is Sandy. She is amazing. And she likes to ride motorcycles.

7. Lines at WC (not Water Closet, Women's Conference! I'm just tired of typing it out, okay?) are epic. You will not see lines like this anywhere else. In the photo below, I am about 15 feet downstream of the door to the room these women are lined up for. Many didn't get in and had to go stand in another line to go to another room. Lines all day, everywhere. They convert 80% of the men's restrooms into ladies restrooms to help manage the lines. Not too many seats in a men's room, by the way. The only time I ever saw a riot in the line was when they ran out of fudge.

6. 14,000 women attended WC this year. That's 2000 less than the amount of text messages Middle Daughter made last month. Just sayin'. My estimate is that these women will consume 31 tons of fudge and 47,379 BYU brownies.

5. Did I mention that it wasn't freezing because it was SPRING?

4. Bonnie spoke at WC this year, too. "There is No One Way to Be a Perfect Mother." Click on that, and it will take you to Mormon Times where she was in the NEWSPAPER!!!!!! SHE'S FAMOUS!!!! She wasn't happy how she was misquoted & all, but hey, who cares when YOU'RE FAMOUS!!! This is Bonnie with most of her cheering squad (part of it is behind the camera, you know).

3. My Favorite, maybe, and a reason, perhaps why you should go to WC: I wasn't speaking this year.

Good speakers were instead (like Bonnie). When it was my turn three years ago, I was so nervous that I ate nothing but caramel Ho-ho's for eight weeks beforehand. I had never eaten one before and have never eaten one since. I was a sweating, shaking wreck for the two whole days of WC. Bonnie sat behind me on the podium in case I passed out, so she could make sure it was as embarrasing as possible. Thank you Bonnie!

2. No matter what you wear to WC, someone else will be wearing something so incredibly stupid that you will look like a high paid model by comparison:

Take a gander at that homemade attempt at one of those little crocheted headbands that all the middle school girls are wearing. Lovely (NOT).

First of all, she's over thirty. Second, it looks like it is consuming her entire head. Third, the flower is bigger than the palm of my hand and looks very little like a flower at all. Fourth, do you think she deliberately picked out yarn the color of wallpaper paste?
Hmmm. What do you think?

1.!!!!!! CHICKEN CEASER WRAP!!!!!!!!

Um. I have to go now, and make one of these at home. I'm suddenly VERY hungry.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A contrast...

This is Muffin. Sweet, mature, wonderful cat. Rarely uses the catbox (because she's using the neighbor's yard - we don't like them anyway) and eats like a bird (also eats birds, and snakes for that matter). She is graceful, slightly playful, and her only vice is that she likes to lick the butter (put the lid back on!).

Her mother was a Siamese, her father an orange tabby cat. Why she is a grey tabby cat, I have no idea, it defies the laws of nature. She also has short hair, and rarely sheds.

My wonderful neighbor (not the one whose yard she uses for a catbox) said to me once, "I don't know if I love that cat, or hate that cat. She DID kill all the snakes that lived under my front porch, but she also taunts my dog by standing 5 feet beyond her reach when she is leashed in the backard."

This is the new cat, Asparagus. Don't let this photo fool you.

This is the real Asparagus.

His is an unknown heritage, we adopted him as a VERY YOUNG kitten found in a parking lot.

He stalks anything that moves, and many things that don't. He is as likely to sit on your head as your lap. He likes to awaken people by suffocating them or licking their hair. He uses the litterbox so much that it needs to be cleaned twice a day. He eats his weight in cat food twice a day (thus the litter box use, I suppose).

He scratches the couches, eats anything that is not stored in the refrigerator, and has been seen recently climbing the shelves of the kitchen hutch in an effort to slay the Immortal Fish who live there. He sheds buckets of hair daily, and only seems to be getting fluffier by the hour.

If for some insane reason you would be looking for him on purpose, just look down: he is probably wrapped around your ankles about to trip you.

But alas, Asparagus LOVES ECLAIR, while Muffin despises her. It is his only redeeming factor.

So Gus stays.

Happy Mother's Day

Well, my mother's day was a disaster. Made my own breakfast, everyone else slept in until 9:40. Only Eclair remembered it, she gave me some lovely homemade cards and a cookie. Daddy stayed home to clean the house after no one else would help (because we were having the WHOLE family over for dinner). Everyone else hates me.

There were a few high points: In church, all the men got up to sing a musical medly of Primary songs. There were only 5 copies of the music, which were shared by about 6 men each. Watching the dads in the congregation ask their wives "Should I go up? or would you rather I stay with you and the kids?" was great, as it was repeated no fewer than 10 times just in my line of sight. The loudest male singer in the ward (8 year old Max) was there with his dad (didn't want to share his copy of the music with anyone else) singing relatively on key at the top of his lungs. Tyler (dad of the year) was holding his youngest daughter while singing. When she dropped her binky, she started screaming and flailing about. When Tyler picked it up and tried to give it back to her she had a full-on meltdown and proceeded to assault her father and the sheet music he was also holding. Unable to calm her down (screaming and beating him over the head - you really had to be there, it was hilarious) he slipped quietly into the adjacent alcove while every man standing nearby tried to continue singing without laughing out loud. It was awesome.

Then, in Primary, Sister Peterson read "I'll Love You Forever" to all the Primary children sitting on the floor at the front of the room. The kids had lots of questions about the story: Why won't she let the boy just sleep? How can she hold him, he's a big boy; a teenager; a dad? Why does she have a ladder, is she going on the roof? The best part was when I looked behind me, and all the other teachers were sitting there with tears running down their faces. The kids didn't get it at all, but the moms sure did!

Dinner was great, I made my from-scratch lasagne (three of them!), my mom made this amazing Jello salad that had odd ingredients but was - amazing. My neice made wonderful french bread, and my sister made delicious Texas sheet cake. I ate WAY too much.

The moral of the story is: I may be a good daughter, sister, aunt and wife, but apparently I'm a terrible mother.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Woo hoo! It's Star Wars day! Nerds unite and celebrate! Which they really seem to be doing all over the internet today. In honor of my son, Luke Skywalker, I post the following random and perhaps disturbing images gleaned from the web:

(I SO want that car...wonder what kind of milage it gets?)

Hey! You can't say I didn't warn you, right? That wedding picture was sure disturbing, wasn't it.

Happy Star Wars Day!


Eclair came home from school last week with a mysterious envelope.

Inside the envelope was a letter and a Payless Shoes gift card. Her wonderful teacher had been given some extra "Quarters for Christmas" gift cards, and had chosen Eclair to recieve one.

Is this because the shoes she was wearing had been chewed on by the dog? Or because the other shoes she wears are hand-me-downs from her cousin that are too big? Never mind that they are too big, they belonged to her favorite cousin and that is the only reason she wears them. Never mind also that she has a lovely pair of pristine white tennis shoes with little discreet rhinestones on them that she NEVER wears (she doesn't want to get them dirty). And then, there are a dozen other pairs of shoes that are worn out and should be burned.

So we went shopping.

and tried on shoes. many many shoes.

Luke Skywalker went too. He needed shoes " 'cause the old ones are leaky"

Now here's what is funny about shoe shopping. Eclair tried on many shoes. Too-high heels, sandals, tennis shoes, clogs, shoes of every color and design.

Luke Skywalker tried on one pair of shoes. And they were identical to the leaky shoes. Then he was done. And sat and waited patiently until we were done shopping for girl shoes. He will make some shoe-loving woman very happy someday...

Ecalir showed great restraint and only bought two pairs of shoes (and only using half of her gift card -- more shoe shopping later!).

And everyone knows you can't leave the mall until you have been swallowed by a dinosaur.

And then we went home and burned a dozen shoes.