Sunday, December 31, 2006

do you ever wonder what you did all year?

I do. A blog is a good thing to have for when you are wondering what you did all year. We are blessed. No one died this year, no broken bones or stitches this year, we are employed. So, no complaints.

Our Family Is Growing!

No, I am not pregnant.

We have two new members of the family. We adopted 2 3 month old sister kittens. In keeping with tradition we have named them Biblical names but not names we would ever consider for a child. So, after hearing the boys say, "We need to name them Taco and Burrito!" "We need to name them Chimi and Changa!" "We need to name them Minnie and Mouse." "We need to name them Mary and Martha." "We need to name them CAT and DOG." We decided to name them Jezabel and Delilah. Yes, Jezabel did get eaten by dogs but we aren't talking about that in front of the young kids. Know what I mean??

We tried Mary and Martha but it didn't fit. I told DH that #3 needed a mammal before Christmas. He didn't believe me. Now he knows how much that kid needed a pet. #3 runs laps with these kittens. He chases them, goes under the beds for them, under the couches for them. He picks them up and he uses both arms, puts the cat in his elbows (the cats front leg pits are in one elbow, the back legs in the other elbow) the cat's legs are sticking straight out like chopsticks and the cat has this look on its face that just screams, "SAVE ME!" #3 is having a blast and learning that cats scratch. And it hurts.

The comic relief of kittens has been very good for the giggles around the house. Every night after the kids go to bed Jezabel and Delilah have this run the family room loop that includes running up and down all the furniture. We aren't talking little jog here either-they are running full out. It really reminds me of a movie I have seen, maybe Tron? (yah, that shows my age) but I am not sure. I just remember this movie in my head where they were running and the runners could go up the walls and down and swoop and in tunnels. That is what the kittens do.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

just when #3 was slowing down on the funny comments--here is #4

#2 was a trooper on his birthday. Here is the rest of the story....DH and I attended the temple that night. #4 barfed then was all perky. We checked with our adult babysitter if she was okay with us going. She was fine. #4 was perky perkey perky! He had a great time. She said she sent everyone upstairs for bed. #4 was jumping on the beds (very normal). Well, he jumped on #2's bed and barfed again. No, I am not kidding.

#1 came downstairs, the sitter said, "why are you down?" His reply, "I have to get #4 a bowl. He barfed on #2's mattress." So, the babysitter goes upstairs, wipes up the mattress and flips it. #4 comes down with her. He falls asleep on the family room floor and is there when we get home at 11.

Yesterday, we were picking up another sitter #4 and myself. We were driving in the car, counting bridges. In the course of conversation I asked him, "Why are you so smart?"

He grins and says, "Because I bawfed aww ova #2's mattwess."

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Classics: Floor Surfing

We owned a house in Richardson, TX that had a huge family room. The floor was covered in a plastic "wood" laminate on the concrete slab. DH was travelling 4-5 days a week at that time and Thursday was cleaning day. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were not and with 3 boys under 5 the floor seemed to get pretty sticky and gucky. (This is the house where the raisin bran and milk were dumped on the floor-remember? the boys eating like puppies?) The room had to be 30 feet by 25 feet. The couches were around the perimeter and there was lots of space in the middle.

One Thursday we needed to mop the floor. I got out the bucket and just knew that the boys were going to want to help. I got out extra rags and had them strip down to their underwear. (Hey, I was cleaning the floor-I didn't need extra laundry too.) I start mopping, they start mopping, we are having a good time. We are singing. We are scrubbing. #3 decides he just can't get enough water and climbs into the mop bucket. Water is being splashed all over the floor. #1 decides that #3 needs a bucket ride. He pushes the bucket around the room and water is sloshing out all over the place. #2 is chasing and slips and belly flops. And from there Floor Surfing is born. They would stand at one corner of the room, take a fast little fun and flop onto their belly and slide all the way across the rest of the room.

The bucket ended up emptied on the floor, and all three of them ended up running and belly flopping onto the floor and sliding across the floor. It was a blast. I took a video. There were waves. And really, really tired, happy kids. I used up every single towel in the house to dry it up (so much for the laundry). My father-in-law saw the video and gave me something in between a tsk-ing and a chewing out. Apparently I should have never let them do that. But you know what? my kids like to mop floors to this day. And I was in the Fun Mom's Club.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Has Anyone Ever Thought About The End?

What do we want as the end result of this homeschooling journey? I think it varies from family to family. Our is we want adults who have a knowledge of Heavenly Father, Christ, and their mission in life, are self-sufficient, honest, kind and still love learning and growing. And for the boys-ability to support a family with wife staying home. For girls-knowledge how to run household and parent. (That does not mean the boys won't know how to run a household or that the girls won't be able to support a family-we believe in traditional roles and hope to raise our children to find joy in assuming a traditional role.)

What results does your family want from this homeschooling journey?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Today Is a Day of Discovery

We are re-discovering the horizontal surfaces in the house. Home skills count as education right?

We struggle (like so many others) in keeping a tidy, non-sticky house. (Hey-with toddlers around these dining chairs have seen better days.) If I call off school for a day and we all work together and I make sure the bribe is good enough to keep them on task, we all benefit.

Clean house--sane mama--computer-zombied boys.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Overheard

#1 is helping #3 get dressed for church, as he is tucking in the shirt I hear: "There! Now you are cute!"

#3 responds, "NO! I NOT coot. I cooowa. Weega coot."

I guess girls are supposed to be cute in his 3 yo mind but boys are cool. Who argues with a 3 year old?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Applesauce

67 quarts, 8 pints

no added sugar-all apples and cinnamon

squik, squick, squick

that is noise that my shoes make going across the kitchen floor....

Monday, November 6, 2006

anyone care to enlighten my son?

Tonight at dinner he asked the sister missionaires what a *itch is....

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Wet's Go to Dat Houwse Gwammie!

That is what #4 kept saying last night during trick-or-treating. Over and over again. He was so very excited. He would not put on a costume. I don't argue with 3 year olds either so he went in his red Lands End coat. He was a boy little red riding hood. #1 started off as Darth Vader (but as it darkened he couldn't see and ended up being a guy in a black cape and dressed in black, so he settled for a Zorro guy), #2 was Ty Pennington, #3 was an Army guy, #4 was a boy red riding hood, #5 was Little Red Riding Hood using The Coat.

DH is at his sister's wedding. Since I was being single mom I decided to go to my parent's for Halloween. It is an hour and a half away but my parents don't see a lot of the kids and especially not on these really fun occasions that involve free candy. Grammie made potato soup for us. She went trick-or-treating with us. We hit the street she grew up on and visited the house she grew up in. She introduced me to the woman that babysat me when I was 3 or 4. The boys got a few stories from her and me (this is the church Grammie went to when she was a girl, I know where all the rooms are in this house, that yard used to have a pear tree and a little playhouse-more like a shack-that the kids would play in, the barn used to be taller until the neighbor kids caught it on fire). It is quite different trick-or-treating without anonymity. We ran into my cousin and their kids and they didn't recognize us (didn't really expect them to). But it was still very different.

We only stayed out for a hour then we headed back to Grammie and Poppy's to trade candy. #1 ate yet another bowl of potato soup, everyone stuffed themselves with tootsie rolls and m&ms and then we headed home. I arrived home with five happy snoring Brownheads.

It was a good day.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Misadventures of Yet Another Babysitter

DH and I had a church meeting on Thursday night. We hired a sitter we had used in the past. He is a boy. Can you just hear the glee of all these testosterone laden children?

Learning from my past mistakes I wrote out very clear instructions. Bedtimes, who can sleep where, no computer, no tv, snacks okay, brush teeth. I finished the writing with: Play! Have Fun!

M. saw that and said, "Oh, yah! for sure we will have fun!" while nodding his head. Just so you know, I didn't hire a 12 year old. I hired a high school senior that has his own job, car and cell phone. He is capable enough to pull all that off. He has watched the boys/kids for us before. He is one of 6, he has 5 sisters. The only reason we haven't used him more is it is difficult to get through on the phone line to arrange for him to come over (5 sisters).

I was bathing today and #3 just had to come talk. (::eyeroll:: That kid always needs to talk.) He was giggling and told me how much fun they had last night. I expect the farting and burping contests. The boys hear that M. is coming and part of the glee includes, "All Right! We can have another burping/fart contest." (sigh-I am picking my battles.) I expect the dodgeball on the trampoline, and the popcorn game on the trampoline.

What I didn't expect was this one, "Weww, afta the babies wewa in bed. We POPPED POPCOWN!! (I am thinking, "You came into the bathroom to talk to me to tell me popped popcorn?") Mama, we popped popcown in the aiwa poppa in the middall of the famiwy woom without the WID! It was way coowa mom. Did you know that if you put popped popcown in the poppa when it is running it comes out even fasta? It is wike a vowatex."

In my attempts to not levitate from the bathtub, I nonchalantly asked this child, "How come you didn't just do it on the back deck?" Cause I know that if they get a rise out of me it will happen again.

He responds, "Weww, thewa wewa too many gewms out thewa on the back deck. We ate it all."

I can just picture all of them in the family room, the floor is covered in popcorn and they are all crawling around like animals licking up popcorn. The gross thing is #2 didn't vacuum yesterday and the deck may have been a better option.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A New Classic: Peanut Butter

On Saturday DH and I attended a marriage enrichment course. It was very good. We don't have a bad marriage, in fact, I think we have a good, if not great, marriage but we needed some tweaking. We decided to get a room for Saturday night and sleep. And we did. After our class we took a 3 hour nap, got up, did dinner and then went back to sleep for the night.

We hired two sitters to watch the brood. Maybe we have a gaggle? A herd? Anyway, I digress. We walked in Sunday at noon to find that the sitters were still asleep, the children had been awake since 7:00 a.m. #3 met me at the door with the absolutely most pathetic face I have seen. "Mama! I am soooo hungry" and he started crying. I knew right then and there things were not right.

I told him to eat cereal. Then I walked into the family room and found that all the couch cushions were off, the Girl (21 months, a.k.a. Mistress of Mess) had gotten a jar of peanut butter off the countertop. She brought it over to my BRAND.NEW. loveseat, took off the lid, smeared peanut butter all over the back of the loveseat, a couple of cushions from the couch and then covered herself head to toe in peanut butter.

She also got hold of a marker and decorated the entire desk and DH's work laptops.

#4 was under the bench and dining table breaking an entire box of crayons into bits.

#4 had a stinky diaper.

#1 and #2 were on the computer sucked into a new Bionicle game oblivious to all that was going on around them.

I called the sitters' mother. She told me to let them "have it."

We got the Girl into the tub, the stinky diaper taken care of, the cereal dished out to #3, #1 and #2 were looking sheepish and getting ready for church. I head downstairs to talk to the sleeping ones.

This is how I let them "have it," "We are home. It is 12:05. You are asleep, the kids have been awake since 7:00 and there is a jar of peanut butter smeared into my brand new furniture. Your mother says to let you have it but I don't have teenagers yet so I don't know how to let you have it."

Not very good, huh?

D. (older of the sisters) replies to me, "Don't worry. You will learn how."

AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH

A. came upstairs, looked at the couch and started bawling.

You know, the couch doesn't bother as much as the fact that the kids were not taken care of. It just killed me to be met at the door by a crying child who was hungry and not cared for. There are so many things that really, really could have happened to my children. We are so incredibly blessed that it was just a couch, a box of crayons and an empty tummy.


and, yes, we are getting new sitters.

And all that peanut oil should keep the Girl's skin peanutty smooth. Sheesh.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Cafe

Yesterday the masses decided they had to watch "Blue's Clues" with the toddlers. (I still just don't understand why an 11 yo and almost 10 yo watch Blue's Clues but that is for another rambling.) They watched an episode that had Blue's Cafe, Steve and Blue made menus and served a meal. Immediately after the TV was turned off the boyos made the declaration, "We have to have a cafe!"

Who am I to say no? They were going to make dinner and serve it. Sure, why not?

Last night was Brownhead Cafe. #3 made menus and was waiter and busboy. #1 and 2 were chefs. We had the option of leftover Broccoli Soup or Spaghetti. The kids' choice on the menu was Banana Dogs. #3 made no bake cookies for dessert. After the meal was finished I went to work on the laundry. #3 came downstairs and informed me that at restaurants you pay money to eat and that dinner was $10.50. I told him, "go talk to my date." He ran back upstairs to talk to DH. I found out later that they presented DH with a bill. One had a total on it, another had terms and conditions (no credit, no debit-really!). They were totally hoping they were going to get some cash. giggle DH said, "No way. I already paid for this food. I am paying you in cookies."

There were no complaints.

Brownhead Cafe was a success! I have no complaints. They made dinner and cleaned the kitchen. They know they are capable of making dinner and cleaning a kitchen and eating lots of cookies.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I like to read other people's blogs. I find them humorous, information, and even liberating. It is nice to know there are others "out there" who are struggling, working and don't know exactly what to do in their lives especially when it comes to raising children.

The reason for this post? Today I was reading a blog and found myself chastizing myself, "Well, why don't you make little bento boxes for each of the children for their lunches? how come there weren't more veggies? why don't you make rice molds? and use a paper punch to make stars out of nori to decorate those rice cakes?"

I had to slap myself out of it. Each of us has a life that is custom fit for us. Heavenly Father saw to that. I don't have to make bento boxes to be a good mom. I don't have be thin, beautiful or doing crafts. I have enough of what this family needs even though the world wants me to think I don't.

I am really working hard to keep telling myself that today.

Friday, October 6, 2006

Off for the weekend

This weekend I am attending Time Out for Women. I am also renting a hotel room and sleeping.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The timer helps

tears, tears, tears, "but mommmmm, this is going to take foreevvvvveeeerrrrrrrrrr. I am never going to go jump on the trampoline and this is too hard."

This was #1 this morning. I had him go get a timer (since there are now 4 stuck to the side of the frig) and said do one problem a minute. In less than 10 minutes all of the math was done. He was flying through it. So, try a timer with your dawdler. It may just work-it did with mine.

Why?

Why do they put pockets in a size 2 toddler for girls but not pockets in my clothes?

Just wondering...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

OK I am ready for a drink-Overheard at my house


*Please, I know I am a Mormon. And I do not drink.*

"MY CWOTHES AWE ON FIWA! MY CWOTHES AWE ON FIWA!! MY CWOTHES AWA ON FIWA!!!"


Yes, we had a lesson on stop, drop and roll.

Yes, I do need a drink. A pop will do but I NEED it.

UPDATE: #3 was trying to set a timer for his computer turn. He chose to use the timer built into the microwave. The microwave is over the stove. The stove is gas and the burners were on. He would not stop panicking and would not listen to me. I had to yank the shirt off him over his head chancing getting his hair caught on fire but he would not roll on the floor. Panic is a powerful thing. He was only lightly burned on his back, just a little pink and no raised skin or welt.

I called Cindy for a virgin strawberry dacquari recipe.

and really enjoyed it.

I can go cry now.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Down day around here

the teacher has a migraine.

Life will resume another day.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Heard at my house

UNDAWEAR DANCE!!

Pants were flying off.

I guess that is what Grammar Songs will do to a bunch of boys.

....verb, verb, verb, I'm an action word....

The Torch Can Be Passed On

My sister's nickname growing up was Monkey Butt. I do not remember why or how that came about. I just know she collected monkies and had a Happy Birthday M.B. birthday cake at least once. Since now both of use are having anniversaries of our (cough)27th birthday (cough, cough) I absolutely cannot remember the last time she was referred to with that name and I would absolutely understand if she decked someone if she was called that name. Now, I know my sister is wondering why in the world is she "talking" about this?

The torch can be passed on. I thought #1 could climb. He got up onto everything. But never, ever, did he use the drawer pulls like a ladder like the girl did today. I have stack of drawers in the family room. The pulls are one right on top of the other. I was sitting here at the dining table working on a Sacrament meeting talk and thought, "Whoa! She is on top of the desk. She is such a monkey butt." Then I looked around and there were no chairs remotely close to the desk. She then lowered herself down, using the drawer pulls, her little pudgy toes stuck in each pull. She was incredibly happy with herself.

Can we change the name to Monkey Baby? There is absolutely no way that DH will go for having that precious girl nicknamed with the word butt.

Off to find a screwdriver to take out the pulls...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

School With #3 Today

This is my entry to win a camera in the "Capture the Educational Moment" contest sponsored by Spunky and Academic Superstore.

We covered trees today. He was quite animated (as usual) and very interested. We read about trees then went outside on a walk-about to look at our trees.

"Wet's wook at the cwimbing twee fiwst."
OK.
We looked at roots and branches and leaves. We talked about cambium and bark. We talked about how trees grow. We had to go on a stump hunt. He led the way. Have to check out those rings you know.

I guess we had child led learning with two toddlers following the way, down the street in their feety-pajammies looking for a stump. It was a good time.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Overheard

"Well. I would rather be an EWOK than Leia."

#2 talking to #3 about their new Star Wars Lego II PC game.

I had to chuckle. He would rather be short, furry, growl and primitive than a girl.

Findings for the week

2 tubes of toothpaste have so far been squeezed out into the bathtub.

4 scoops of sand from the sandbox were deposited in the middle of the family room floor--by the girl.

1 cookie dough blob was found on the stairs to the basement-barely missed by my bare foot.

15 bandaid wrappers found in the hall.

My debit card mysteriously showed back up into my planner.

3 cavities between #1 and #3.

Chocolate pudding painted all over the dining room table.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Bzzzzz, Bzzzzz, Bzzzzzzzz

Busy as bees around here lately.

I spent a good chunk of my time this weekend sitting with a friend's child at the hospital. He has pneumonia. I didn't get all the stuff done around the house so I just have to fervently pray we can get school done and the babies won't get into the camping gear from #1's campout this weekend. Or any of the other stuff that needed mommy tending while I was gone.

I feel like saying: Hello, my name is Dana. I love running around like a chicken without a head while tripping over hunks of petrified waffle, baby dolls, lego creations, a dust pile left on the floor from a sweeping that no one will claim, laundry, couch cushions and camping gear.

Today I am attempting the almost impossible: homeschooling 3 sons, keeping two toddler tornadoes out of the mess that was not cleaned up over the weekend, feeding and clothing aforementioned children, tackling a mountain of laundry, making sure the roofers will be able to work on the garage with no toddler intervention or disruption and helping my friend if she calls and putting away the stuff that is all over the house.

Off to work...

For those discouraging days

We got the school mailer in our mailbox last week. You know that little newspaper that goes to every home in the area? The one where school district tells us how great they are doing, yadda, yadda, yadda.

MEAP Scores in our district (percentage=proficiency)

Grade 11
Reading 2005 60%
Reading 2006 55%
Writing 2005 31%
Writing 2006 40%
English/Lan. Arts 2005 49%
English/Lan. Arts 2006 45%
Science 2005 37%
Science 2006 49%
Social Studies 2005 21%
Social Studies 2006 73%
Math 2005 27%
Math 2006 38%

Yes, folks, 62% of the students graduating from our high school cannot pass a the math proficiency test. 62%! Only 40% can pass the reading part of the test. 60% are not proficient at reading. 60%!

There was an article on the back page that DH pointed out to me. Alcohol and drug survey results. Paranthetically is the national average. Grade 12 lifetime use of various drugs:
Alcohol 86.4% (76.8%)
Cigarettes 63.6% (52.8%)
Marijuana 58.4% (45.7%)
Smokeless Tobacco 17.6% (16.7%)

Saturday, September 9, 2006

As terrible as this sounds, I am ready for some dumb kids

just for a day. OK, maybe not dumb-just not so brilliant.

DH recently reset all the computer passwords. He used "peanutbutter" as the password. #2 can spell it. #1 and #3 cannot. DH is gone with #1 on his 11 year old Scout campout this weekend. I have been managing by buying a box of Panera and just not looking in the family room yet. I will get to it after they are asleep for naps.

Well, I had to deliver something from the library/living room to the family room. #3 is at the computer desk holding (can you guess?) a jar of peanut butter. He climbed to an upper shelf in the frig (we have a frig on top/freezer on the bottom frig) to get it so he could get into the computer.

My first reaction: What are you doing with food at the computer desk?
Then it dawned on me. peanutbutter.

Then I hear, "Mom! Can you spell Hot Wheels?" a pause then, "never mind!" I hear a fast race downstairs to the toy area. He comes up with a car. It is a Hot Wheel. He looks at the letters on the underside of the car, types them in and goes to the url he wants.


My dear husband, please, no food product names for passwords anymore. 'kay?

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Gardening

A few years ago I became a certified Master Gardener. After baby #5 was born I had to stop volunteering. Time is time. There just wasn't time to volunteer.

Mom and Dad have purchased a home a little over an hour from our house. It has over 6 acres. I would have to say at least 1/2 an acre is flower beds. Neglected flower beds.

Yesterday, we travelled out to their house and worked on the gardens. It was good. I learned lots in class and volunteering but nowhere near enough considering how many plants my parents actually have. It felt good to get to garden again and learn more plants.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Memorization

We have asked our boys to memorize the Articles of Faith by the end of the year. There are thirteen statements that describe the fundamental beliefs of our faith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Last night as we were going over them, we heard moaning about how, "I just am not going to be able to do number 13! It is too long!" So, DH and I encouraged them to memorize #13 first, the all the rest would be easy.

This is number 13:
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

#1 son was reading it last night. He read the ammunition of Paul. I was giggling (as mothers do), DH was giving me the evil eye 'cause I was giggling during scriptures. I guess Paul did give us some good ammo-faith, hope, endurance.

It is great ammunition.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Happy Birthday My Son

Today you turned three. The changes between 2 and 3 have once again amazed me. You aren't a baby anymore. You have far too many opinions (just like a 3 yo should have).

You play games with me. I whisper to you, "I love you." and you whisper back, "I Wov you." and this goes back and forth until you end up yelling at me, "I..WOVVV..YOU!!!"

You give squishy hugs. Other people know them as bear hugs. You grab hold of the persons neck or whatever body part you can reach and hug and squeeze them.

You love books. You love to be read to and you sit in the library and just look at the pictures.

#1 is your own personal little brother carrier. You are regularly on his shoulders, piggy-backed on his back or riding him like a horse on the trampoline or family room floor.

You are a charmer. You know when to flash your smile. Your brown eyes regularly flicker with mischief. You have a great sense of humor and will tease me. But you have a hot little temper. You are living up to the reputation of red-heads even though you aren't. You just have highlights. You bunch up your little fists and will let them fly if you are offended.

I watch you and wonder what it would have been like to grow up with so many people adoring me. I know you are blessed to have been born into our family. But we are even more blessed you joined us.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Happy Birthday My Son

Here are the clues for the birthday scavengar hunt for your gift.

VOBBK PWDFVROK! (It was a "rot14" code.)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
You are eleven!
Use the clues to find your ....the boys yelled out GIFT!

A piece here and a peice there, look for one under the stair (some 2x4's under the basement stairs)
Is it larger than a mouse? Is it smaller than a house? Is a 35 feet tall? No! It is behind the wall... (more 2x4s behind the upstairs wall in their bedroom)
Can you? Will you? Are you able? Look next in the table.... (inside our dining room table-we have a table that is one rails and slides open-the plans to the lego table)
The last place to look is look is not made of feathers, the last place to look is the cubes of leather (our cube leather ottomans that have a flip top-inside 2 books and hardware to build the lego table)

All of these clues were written out in code that they have to crack. I always start the code with Happy Birthday and then the name of the child so they have a few clues to break the code. The codes are getting harder to crack, hopefully allowing me and DH a little bit of extra shut eye. (Yah right.)

Our birthday tradition has evolved over the years. Two years ago I decided to make it a treasure hunt for their gift. I mean, we go through all this angst of getting them the "perfect" gift. We wrap it and put it on the table. He finds it, rips open the paper and the climax is over. I wanted it to last a little longer. So, I printed up a small poster and left it on the dining table. They found the papers and wondered where in the world was their gift? I let them know it was a treasure hunt and shouts of joy were heard.

Little did I know that two years down the line I would be up until 1 in the morning writing rhymes and codes for the monkies to run around the house like screaming banshees following the clues. 'Cause you know that all of them must participate. Every child now must have their own treasure hunt-even the ones that don't read. The big ones will do it for the littles.

Only then for them to find a piece of the gift, not realize what it is and say, "What?! I didn't want some darn lumber. Why aren't there any toys?" over and over again. (Note to self: add gratitude to the curriculum and family home evening)

DH and I breathe another sigh of relief that this child has made it another year. He hasn't required stitches this year or a cast. We are starting to joke that our job with this child is keep him out of prison but only half joking. (Impulse control will come one day right?) He is not climbing out of second story windows or squirting hershey syrup under all the couch cushions anymore so there is progress.

There were lots of pictures taken. Much sugar was consumed and lots of smiles were on the children's faces. It was a good day.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Steri-strips are a wonderful thing

I just saved myself a run to the ER and $100 (copay). #3 decided to trip and fall on the garbage bag and got a gash on his chin. Now that I think about it, we got the steri-strips from the nurse last time we took him in for tripping and running into the garbage cupboard and putting a gash in his nose.

She gave me that knowing look and said, "You will probably need these."

Oh, she was so right.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A Letter

Dear Eldest Son,
I love you. I love your big heart and your goofy giggle.

School is your job. It is your education. But it is my responsibility to make sure you are educated. So, no matter how many tears are shed, grumbles sounded, tables pounded, pencils snapped, wails released, feet stomped and scowls made you will be doing school work. Even if you decide to stop your work to play with the babies, spread the felt stories all over the family room, build with the duplos and fill another hollow leg, you will still have to complete your school work.

You see, my son, you receive your stubborn streak from a parent that has perfected stubbornness. Ask your dad. Ask your Grandmother.

Love, Your Mother

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A woman just knows when to draw the line

Being the mother of sons there are just certain things that are.not.going.to.happen. Call me prude. Call me un-fun. I just don't care.

There are just certain items that are exclusively mine that I will not let them use.

"Mom? Can we use your blowdryer?"
"What? No!"
"Mom! We need to blow dry our Bionicles dry."

I am sheltered

Recently, in an effort to get school running smoother I started going to the gym at 5:30 a.m. (ugh). Having homeschooled now for 5 years and being a SAHM for 11, I had NO idea of how many people are actually out on the road, going places at 5:30 a.m.

I found myself thinking, "PEOPLE! GO HOME! GO back to bed! Go cuddle those babies and make pancakes." I mean that is what I have been doing.

But it dawned on me the blessings that I have having a loving DH who can support us without me having to work. Others aren't as blessed. Thanks HunnyBunny for letting me stay home with these dirty, opinionated, wrestling, armpit farting, loving children.

Monday, August 7, 2006

I stole this from a dear friend

We recite in the morning before scripture study:

I am a child of God who loves me and I love him.

As a BrownHead, I have the courage to follow Jesus Christ.

I have integrity. I will not lie, cheat or steal.

I have charity. I will show love and kindness to all around me.

I am a peacemaker. I will not allow the spirit of contention in my life.

I have faith like the sons of Helaman. I will trust that the Lord's way will bring happiness.

I am obediant. I strive to follow the commandments with exactness.

I work diligently. I know that throught my diligence and the grace of Jesus Christ I can accomplish anything.

I strive always have the Holy Ghost with me, so that I may feel God's love and know what He would have me do.

I am a witness of God at all times and in all places so that others may find eternal life with me.

The Schedule

As much as I really don't like living by a schedule, the kids did much better with a schedule. I have known this trick for babies for years but I thought that my bigger ones were past it. Nope.


So here is the schedule. And as everything I do, is subject to change.

530 am treadmill
630 shower
700 CD starts (Children's Miracle Music)
745 free time for kids, shower for mom
815 scriptures
900 School with #3, bookwork #1 and 2, Blue's Clues #4 and 5
1000 Spelling and speed drills with #1
1015 Spelling and speed drills with #2, #1 on baby duty
1030 Paragraph book with #2
1100 History
1200 Lunch and recess
100 Read to the littles and put them down for a nap
130 Science and Language Arts with 1,2, 3
330 School books are due to mom, mom checks books
400 Afternoon chores, dinner prep
600 Dinner
700 Mom goes down starts laundry, studies, clean up anywhere needed, mom stuff, runs errands, etc.
730 PM CD starts, Daddy (if home) does bedtime routine
930ish Time with DH
1030 Fall into bed exhausted

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Mexican Village

Today me and another Mommy went on a field trip.with.no.children.

All 8 of them were at her house with a babysitter. They were at her house because my house has a pool and I just don't think you should leave 8 children (including 3 toddlers) under the care of one 14 year old with a huge potential for death. I don't like setting people up to fail.

We ate at the hole in the wall Mexican restaurant. She had head meat burritos. I had chorizo and eggs. We went to the La Gloria Bakery and spent a ton of money to satisfy the sugar needs of the families. We went to the SuperMercado and were amazed at animal carcasses, tripe, different cuts of meat and tomatillos by the case full.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Warm fuzzy moment of large family life

The Baby Girl wakes ups.

I open the door a crack and peek in. She is standing in her crib. I open the door all the way and say, "Good Morning Baby Girl!"

Her hands go up! #4 has followed me into the room. I lift her out of the crib. #4 insists, "Mama! Mama--I give WEeega kiss."

I put her down and the two exchange kisses and hugs.

Monday, July 31, 2006

I went to Wal-Mart this morning

I rolled out of bed, brushed my hair into a ponytail, slapped on some moisturizer, threw on a clean t-shirt and a skirt and was through WalMart's doors by 7:45 am. DH was still at home, on a conference call and I wanted to make a quick run to get binkies (where do all those things go?) and new sippy cups that didn't leak.

If I bring all 5 of them to WalMart....well, let's just say in this heat my DH might need to find a good attorney.

Anyways, I was headed to the check out lane. I asked this man in front of me which lane he was going to (cause you know he was really in both lines). He looks at me, his eyes scan me and he says, "Hey! You are cute!"

I said thank you. And started loading my 10 binkies and 8 sippy cups on the conveyer belt.

Maybe he was hungover....

Friday, July 28, 2006

Being the adventurer I am....

I did something completely foreign yesterday.



I went into the pink aisle at the toy store. I brought my daughter with me.



I bought a little cuddly doll for my daughter.



And an outfit. and a bottle.



I walked out of a toy store with not a single lego...it was a very new experience for me.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Thinking

Today I was thinking about "The Classics."

I decided that the squirting pee on someone qualifies. So, I edited that entry title.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Why do I think clean carpet is cool?

I should really just love the carpet I have.

I am thankful it is multicolored with a pattern.

It hides the smashed up banana that just got ground into it. It also hides the gum I just found in it. And the chocolate protein drink powder and the manicotti.

That two year old has to go.

Anyone seen any travelling gypsies around?

Yesterday someone tried to guilt me into

writing in a journal more often. And to write the things I do on a daily basis.

I outloud said, "No! I am not going to write about laundry on a daily basis. My kids don't want to know about laundry."

Another woman responded, "Well, when your kids get old enough, maybe there will be disposable clothes."

I outloud said, "Hey, as long as the bras have good support I am all for it."

I have to stop thinking outloud so much.

Why in the world would my kids want to know about schedules, laundry, meal planning, dishes, all body excrements and how to make a house look not lived in? Why do they want to know about stain-busting? mopping? dusting? I pluck my eyebrows. Do they want to know about that?

I see the benefit of keeping a journal. This blog is part of mine. I am recording for the future the things these BrownHeads did and truthfully how I responded (for better or worse).

If I recorded the things I did daily it would look like this:
Got up
Use the toilet while #3 barges in and talks to me all the while I am saying, "I am PEEING. Leave the bathroom!"
Get a shower while #1 is talking to me through the door and it just sounds like Charlie Brown's teacher
Be grateful the steam from the shower didn't set off the fire alarm and I am running around naked disarming the alarm system
Go to my room and get dressed, #4 comes in and talks to me about how hungee he is
Go back to the bathroom, apply moisturizer and attempt to brush my hair and put it in a pony tail
Go to the kitchen and hear 4 different questions about what is for breakfast
Answer what is for breakfast and hear 4 different responses of what they want for breakfast
Make breakfast
Feed the babies
Tell #3 that is not allowed to use a 1/2 cup of sugar on his oatmeal
Ask if the morning jobs are done
Start school with #3
Answer 40 bajillion different questions about things that are incredibly obvious to me
Set up #4 downstairs with Blue's Clues
Get #5 off the table and out of the school books
Snacks, hey we only ate a half hour ago, everyone must now have snacks
School with #3
Tell #1 and 2 to keep working on their math
Email reading comprehension questions to #1 and #2
Back to school with #3, yes, we do have to do all these books
Read aloud
Change a stinky diaper
Wipe a nose
Wrap up school with #3
Set up #3 on the computer game
Ask everyone if they have done their morning jobs
Look at them and wonder why in the blazes they haven't brushed their hair or teeth
Ask #1 how many days he has been wearing that shirt
Head downstairs to load the two washers, Shout the stains, turn pants right side out, wonder when they will ever truly learn to wipe themselves, empty out of pockets 17 legos and 3 binkies and start the washers.

This is all normally before 9 o'clock. Me and the Army. We can get it done.

This is me stumbling out of bed after the kids are up. If I manage to get up before them then I get my scriptures read and prayers said, some puttering around the house done and precious's thrown out and hidden in the garbage can before someone can rescue them.

Maybe tomorrow I can write about between 10 and 11.

I forgot, I missed the beginning of the journalling lesson

because I was reprimanding #1 for going missing during Sunday School. He and the two boys from class disappeared. One of the Primary leaders came and found me and let me in on the act.

He was in the bathroom. He didn't do it but watched as his friend booby-trapped the soap dispenser and the papertowel dispenser.

I hate having conversations when I have to ask, "are you telling us complete and honest truth?"

His hand was recovering from writing sentences, "I will not touch anyone's underwear while they are wearing them." He and #2 decided to get into a wedgie war. Each were doled out 25 sentences for each wedgie performed. #1 had 25, #2 75.


Dear God, please let their brains start working. Please. Please.

I know that patience thing.

I am working on it.

Saturday, July 8, 2006

The M.O.D. and M.O.M

Just as the memory of the pains of childbirth fade there is another kind of forgetfulness we mothers experience--the messes of toddlerhood.

MoD (34 months) and MoM (18 months) struck yesterday with a vengence.

The day started with the Master of Disaster taking a loaf of bread (homeade) from the kitchen and into the family room, shredding it with his bare little hands and spreading it all over the floor and the new furniture.

He moved on to better things after the bread, playdough. For only having one container he did an amazing job of spreading it around the room. Little balls of dark blue playdough were all over the room and somehow under all the furniture.

He emptied the markers and striped his younger sister.

He emptied the scissors and then we caught him.

How long did this take?

He was under older brother supervision and Mama and Daddy were gone total of 7 minutes in the bedroom trying to figure out the priorities for the day. You know, doing those things like getting dressed, getting rid of our fuzzy teeth, brushing our hair, having the discussion, "we have to finish the toolroom downstairs or otherwise the babies are going to make a huge mess if it isn't all behind a door by Monday when you go back to work."

We cleaned up the mess, rearranged the furniture and headed downstairs to finish the toolroom project. The MoD and MoM were with us most of the time. We were finishing the project (you know vacuuming and taking out the trash) when we hear water dripping.

in.the.basement.from.the.upstairs.bathroom.

We bolt up the stairs to find the Master of Disaster and his sidekick, the Mistress of Mess. They were in the upstairs bathroom (did an older brother forget to close 2 gates?). The MoD was perched on the toilet and the MoM was on the stool. Both were saying, "oooooooo!"

The overflow drain didn't work. Water was cascading over the edges of the pedastal sink and across the floor.

They had broken up a bagel, shoved it into the drain and started running the water. The bloated bagel bits were swirling around in the center of the sink. Apparently that wasn't cool enough because they also had to empty a tube of toothpaste into the sink also.

We finish cleaning up the bathroom and the phone rings. It is the next door neighbor calling. She is wondering if we know that the spigot on the side of the house is running full blast? flooding the side yard?

Outside on our deck I have planters (earthboxes). Two of those were emptied and the dirt spread all over the deck.

All this was before noon.

Do you want to hear about the legos? the squished watermelon? the mud wars? digging holes behind the shed?

The Classics: This is what my husband says to me

Today started unusually. I typed the entry on the M.o.D. and the M.o.M. and then went outside to check the garden (drat, still have to do that). As I went out onto the deck I hear #4's name being called from the back fence line. All of my BrownHeads are inside. There are neighborhood boys playing in the thicket of grapevine that is beyond our property line.

It all started a couple of days ago. These boys were playing on the other side of our fence line and calling my boys names. My boys retaliated by squirting them with squirt guns. The other boys retaliated by throwing sticks. They learned the name of #4 and have been calling him to the back fence line to throw sticks at him. At a 2 year old. That is what they were doing this morning. They were calling his name to throw sticks at him. The kids had not been outside yet this morning so there was no reason to continue this little skirmish. Feeling my MamaBear claws come out I go inside, tell DH that I am taking a ride. I take #4 with me.

I get into the small car. It doesn't start. It makes that funny clicking nose. DH tells me to open the hood. As I look at the hood I see the distinctive footprints of #1 on the hood. DH jumps the car, the car starts and I am off. I drive over to the place where the thicket is. (Our yard backs up to our neighbors side yard and the only way to get to it is to hop the fence or go on a major street.) The boys are there. I asked them who was calling the name of my #4. Apparently I am hearing things in my senile middle age and no one said anything.

So, I then asked them if they knew who #4 was? No, they didn't know. I had #4 on my hip. He was sucking a binky and in his footy pajammies. I told the boys, "This is the person you are calling. He is 2. If you hurt him I will be calling your parents and the police. If you throw sticks at him you are being bullies."

I then get the response, "well one of those other boys, he was squirting pee on me. He peed in a squirt gun and he squirted it at me." I told them that was information I had to have and I would deal with it. But do not hurt a baby.

I visit with my neighbors and head home.

I get home and start questioning my sons.
How did it start? They were calling us names
Did you squirt them? Yes
Did you throw sticks? No, they threw sticks at us
The moment had arrived--Did you squirt pee on them? sheepish Yes. And #1 points to #2.

DH and I are floored.

If anyone in the family would have done this it would normally #1. His lapses in judgment are well known in our household.

Stifling the giggle, I ask the all important question. How? Did you pee into that little hole of the squirt gun?

He used a 1 inch syringe that he and his friend were using in a water fight. Apparently, he peed into a bowl from the sandbox, sucked it up from the bowl and squirted it at the boys across the fence.

I had to walk away. I was starting to laugh too hard.

DH and I discuss it. We hand out the punishment and start working on the housework.

#1 was given the privilege of washing the car since his footprints were all over the hood. DH goes out and finds him washing the car with the windows down. #1 says, "But I only got a little bit of water in the car."

He comes in and says, "Some days I think our kids are really smart. Other days...." he says with a huge grin on his face.

yep, squirting pee on the neighborhood kids and washing the car with the windows down-those brilliant boys.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Fourth Time

#4 decided to climb out of his crib.

You know what that means? Big boy bed. We have plenty of twin mattress around here so that was no problem. He is too big for the crib but won't stay in the bed. Do you remember that routine? We got to do it last night. Today I have a MONSTER on my hands.

A friend told me last week that during adolesence they revert back to the old toddler ways. I believe the way she put it was if you had a sulky toddler, you get a sulky adolescent. When this guy gets to adolescence I am getting a prescription for valium. Or maybe I will have DH build me a treehouse that I can hide in...as long as it has internet access I can IM them all their assignments. Right?

He is a screeching, whiny, crying, unreasonable, obstinate, naked person who is insisting on drinking sugar drinks all day and that I make cake.

I have done this before and I will do it again.

Now to decide-wemon, spice or chocweey cake?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I have made a discovery

I am a pretty good housekeeper when there aren't a whole bunch of kids making messes around me day in and day out.

#1 and 2 are gone to day camp this week. It is quiet and not nearly as contentious around here. I can handle corralling the babies if the big guys don't leave stuff out for them to make a mess with.

For example: this morning after making their lunches #1 and 2 left the makings, fixings and packaging products on the counter. As soon as they left, the 2 year old decided to empty that 150 count container of sandwich bags. Then dump the Kool-Aid they made on top of them.

Guess who gets to mop the floor when they get home?

Ponderings of a SAHHM*

This weekend I had the wonderful privilege of leaving my home sleeping, shopping, eating whatever I wanted (within reason-and german chocolate cake was within reason) and doing it with a friend.

Like every mom, there are seasons in my life I have more concerns about my role as a wife and mother. You know the questions and statements that go through your mind-is it really making a difference? someone else could do this so much better. why can't I have enough discipline to get things going first thing in the morning? should I send them to school? are they socially well-adjusted? are they excelling academically? or just holding to the grade level they are supposed to be? am I just insane? why can't you be more like ....? you are just not the fun mom.

I was getting discouraged.

It is hard not to get discouraged when you are constantly bombarded with questions about socialization, academic (are they really reading well? how do you really know? don't you have them tested? you mean the state doesn't monitor what you are teaching?) (any that I missed?), the children's personality quirks and the constant questioning of myself of if they are doing enough (maybe they should be in tae kwon doe? art lessons? piano? violin? Lego league? OM? Scouts?).

Then there are the regular logistics of running a family. Keeping a house with all these BrownHeads in order, relatively clean and a place where we like to be. And food. Must not forget food. Or laundry.

DH was on the phone this weekend talking with a brother at church. The brother wanted him to do something and DH had to respond that he couldn't. He had all the kids and I was out of town. You know that built-in babysitter? She was out of town. The man just grumbled, "You just need to put those kids in school."

Apparently, in his mind the whole idea of homeschooling is my idea. My DH has nothing to say about it? To be honest, DH has held to homeschooling more than I have in the last year. I was ready to enroll them a few times this past year. I guess I should put it out to the masses or make a t-shirt for us to wear to the next field trip that says, "We prayed about homeschooling. God wants us to do it." The back could read, "Yes, you read right, God." or "yes, we pray in our school." Maybe I should rent a blimp for the next major sporting event.

I recently have been trying to grow spiritually. I need the peace. I have been reading scriptures and talks given by the prophets and leadership of the church. The Holy Ghost whispered to me right before I left on Friday, "print out all the talks by Sheri Dew." I did. I read two wonderful talks by her over the weekend. I found the answers to my prayers in these talks.

The one that struck me the most was entitled This is a Test. It is Only a Test

From the talk:
It is only a test—meaning, that's all it is. Nothing more, but nothing less. It is a test of many things—of our convictions and priorities, our faith and our faithfulness, our patience and our resilience, and in the end, our ultimate desires. In the long run, as Alma taught, whatever we truly desire, we will have. "I know that [God] granteth unto men according to their desire . . . ; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men . . . according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction" (Alma 29:4).

The firmer our faith in Jesus Christ, the clearer our vision of ourselves and what we can ultimately achieve and become.

"Where there is no vision, the people perish," Solomon proclaimed (Proverbs 29:18).
And perhaps nothing is more vital today than having a vision, manifest by the Spirit, of who we are and what we can become, of our intrinsic value to the Lord, and of the unparalleled role we must play in these latter days. We are literally the offspring of God, his begotten sons and daughters, with the potential of exaltation (Acts 17:29; D&C 76:24). "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:16-17).

But how do we get a clear vision of who we are? How do we gain an eternal perspective compelling enough to move us to action and to govern our choices and priorities? From whence cometh the vision?

Light is a key to vision! And Jesus Christ is the ultimate Light, the "light which shineth in darkness" (D&C 6:21), the light which chases "darkness from among [us]" (D&C 50:25). Faith in Jesus Christ is the key to vision, to seeing ourselves as the Lord sees us. So to improve our vision, we must increase our faith in and connection to the Savior.

Why is it vital that we as LDS women have a clear vision of who we are and what we are about and have a bedrock faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?
Sister Patricia Holland said something that I find profound: "If I were Satan and wanted to destroy a society, I think I too would stage a full-blown blitz on women" ("‘Many Things . . . One Thing,'" A Heritage of Faith: Talks Selected from the BYU Women's Conferences [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1988], 17).

Satan wants us neutralized, because he knows that the influence of a righteous woman can span generations.

See if any of the following techniques sound familiar.
1. Satan tries to blur our vision of why we're here and get us preoccupied with this life. He would have us distracted by and involved in anything and everything except what we came for.
2. He wants us to feel insignificant—that no matter how hard we try, we'll never make much of a difference. Oh, sure, our work is necessary but not very important. This is a big fat lie. It is a diversion designed to keep us so focused on any perceived injustices that we completely overlook the opportunities and privileges that are ours, that we underestimate the vital nature of our contribution, and that we never come to understand the power we have to change lives.
Elder Henry D. Moyle said: "I have a conviction deep down in my heart that we are exactly what we should be, each one of us. . . . I have convinced myself that we all have those peculiar attributes, characteristics, and abilities which are essential for us to possess in order that we may fulfil the full purpose of our creation here upon the earth. . . .
" . . . that allotment which has come to us from God is a sacred allotment. It is something of which we should be proud, each one of us in our own right, and not wish that we had somebody else's allotment. Our greatest success comes from being ourselves" (Improvement Era, December 1952, 934).
3. Satan tries to wear us down by creating the image that there is nothing glamorous in enduring to the end.
4. The adversary encourages us to judge and evaluate each other—a practice that is demeaning to both the person who judges and the one who is judged.
5. Lucifer whispers that life's not fair and that if the gospel were true we would never have problems or disappointments.
6. The adversary attempts to numb us into accepting a sliding scale of morality.
7. The adversary promotes feelings of guilt—about anything. Pick a topic. You can feel guilty for having a large family—how can any one woman possibly care for eight or nine children? Or for having no children at all—you're not doing your duty. For working outside the home—don't you know what the prophet has said about mothers who seek employment. Or for choosing to stay home—what's the matter, no ambition?
Guilt does not originate with the Savior, who invites us to step to a higher way of living and a more ennobling way of thinking, to do a little better and perhaps a little more. Promptings that come from him are hopeful and motivating rather than defeating or discouraging.
8. Lucifer works hard to undermine our innate tendency to nurture and care for others. His object is to get us so busy and caught up in the "thick of thin things" that we don't have time for each other.
9. The adversary would have us hung up on perfection and stymied by the commandment to become perfect.
10. Lucifer would have us so busy—with family, friends, careers, and every soccer league in town—that there's no time to live the gospel. No time to fast and pray, to immerse ourselves in the scriptures, to worship in the temple—all the things we need to do to "study" for our mortal test. In other words, he wants us to be a little more concerned with the world than with the gospel, a little more interested in life today than in life forever.
11. He delights in portraying religion as something restrictive and austere rather than liberating and life-giving.

This talk helped me. It gave me peace.

And just for all those people who question me and DH-I am working on a really zingy comeback. So, POSITIVE messages is all I want. Got that Grannies? POSITIVE messages? Got that grumpy guy at church? POSITIVE.

*Stay at Home Homeschooling Mama

Thursday, June 22, 2006

DON'T say it

This was my response to #3 this morning.

He comes up to me and asks, "Mama? What is for dinna?"
"I don't know yet."
"Weww, can we go to CiCi's Pizza?"
"I doubt we are going to go to CiCi's Pizza for dinner tonight #3."
"Weww, I want to go to CiCi's Pizza. Cause I get fuww thewa."
"Well, you can get full at home too."
"The food at CiCi's pizza, I wike it. And youwa food"
I interupted him.
"DON'T say it-you will hurt my feelings and you will spend lots of time on your bed."
"Weww, I want to go to CiCi's pizza for dinna."


Maybe I should have told him we would go to CiCi's pizza "when this house eva gets cwean."

Old Fashioned

I hired a personal trainer for a few months. I spent the Christmas money my grandmothers sent to me and used it on me. Only me. It is something I rarely do and I am not incredibly comfortable spending money only on me. Guess that is a mother thing.

My trainer was nice and personable. Blonde. Perky. Heading off to school. As I would sweat and she would say, "Come on only 15 more." we got to know each other better. She was amazed at my stories of the BrownHeads. I was amazed at her new relationship with her boyfriend. Oh, wait. Maybe he isn't a boyfriend. That would be too committed.

She thinks she loves this man. She can see having a family with him. She sleeps with him. But she can't tell him that she loves him or that he is her boyfriend.

So, here is me climbing onto my soapbox. (hopefully it doesn't involve a lunge)

How in the world can you think that having ahhhhmmmm with someone isn't a commitment?

Once you have ahhhhmmmmm with someone you are committed. You are committed to the responsibilities that come with the act and the outcome.

I know I am old-fashioned according to some. Is it so wrong to save intimacy until after the marriage? Honestly, I think the fact that DH and I waited is a strength in our relationship.

Climbing down now....

Monday, June 19, 2006

Discipline

There must be discipline!! There must be discipline!!

No, I am not talking about the boys. I am talking about myself. sigh.....

The boys and I have red fingertips

We were blessed to purchase organic strawberries. I picked them up last night (Father's Day). Today we have about 30 pounds of strawberries in the freezer for the next 6 months.

smoothies, mush, shortcake, yummmmm

Saturday, June 17, 2006

You remember those clown cars in the circus? Where they just keep coming out?

My dear daughter loves vegetable barley soup. She will eat two bowls of the stuff. She has also decided to stuff pieces of the corn, peas and barley up her nose. Yes, up her nose. We have never, ever in the history of Brownheads have one do this.

It is not like she has a big nose. She has a Brownhead little nose (honest, my kids have little noses-ask Cindy).

It was truly like watching the clowns come out of the circus car. How many things are really up that little nose? DH pulled one kernel of corn out, then another, then another, wait! there is more up there and a barley too. 4 kernels of corn and barley.

This definitely comes from His Side of the Family.

My sister never put cashews or cherries up her nose.

His did.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Found: a note on the desk

As I was cleaning the desk I found this note written by Aubrey:

I was spitting over the edge of the trampoline. #3 said, "You can't do that. Michigan is public and you can't do that in public. You can't burp in public either. And you especially can't fart in public.

Monday, June 12, 2006

What would life be without comments like these?

During the getting ready for the party my children did grace me with a few choice comments.

A little background on the first one...you remember that birthday we had at the end of March? Yes! that one for Mr. Wisdom, a.k.a. #3. At the time of his birthday, Grandma sent him a cool card with a $20. He was overcome with joy. Then the neighbors across the street gave him $6. He put all his money in a zippered pouch to "keep it safe." He promptly lost it. We knew it was here in the house but in a house with 2 toddlers and 3 other children things just aren't as clean as this Mama would like sometimes. Let's just face it. My boys are slobs. They are messpoopers. Everywhere they go they leave a mess. I nag and cajole and nag and yell and they are still slobs. They still leave clothes, shoes, dirty socks, legos, books and anything they can get their hands on laying around the house. It drives me slightly batty.

#3 was talking to me one day about his money pouch. He asked if I knew where it was and I had to say, "No. I am one Mama. There are five children. I cannot keep track of everyone's things. Have you looked for it?"

In his own sweet little way this was his response, "Don't worry Mama. One day when this house eva gets cwean we will find it (the money pouch)."

One day when this house eva gets cwean....

Overheard

#1 and #2 are doing science this summer. They will be doing reading and experiments. I have asked that they read Janice VanCleave's Biology and Chemistry Experiment books and pick one experiment a week. We are documenting them, photos and write-ups.

They were reading this morning and I hear #1 say, "Ooooo that is a cool erection." Yes, my ears perked up. I think, yes, that was a biology book. Did they have the right one? Do we have a bio book out on the shelves about that topic? I hear #2 say, "Wow. That is a really cool erection."

I leave the dishes. I ask, "Erection?" You know one of those questions that you are trying to not let them know how much information you really want?

#2 looks up at me, he is looking at an experiment about a carnation and food coloring and water. He says, "Oh, I mean reaction."

Erection. Reaction. Same difference.

DH's new calling

ward mission leader

Sunday, June 11, 2006

We now return to our regularly scheduled life

The party is over. The house is dejunked (mostly-have to do the garage now) and painted and clean.

You know, I did all this work on the house. It turned out to be the best day we have had in Michigan in years. It was 70, clear skies, light breeze. No one came inside.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Basement Update 2

The great room is painted (a.k.a. the family room)
The kitchen is painted (mostly-have to do behind the frig)
The basement floor is tiled. Cindy came over last week and helped.
The basement doors are hung and trimmed and were painted.
The casings around the doors are nailed on, the baseboards are up.
All the nail holes are filled (and I have made an executive decision-the person who put all those nail holes in the boards HE should fill all those stinking little holes).
Today I am painting the little holes too.
Today I will finish painting the hallway

As soon as the paint dries the basement is officially finished.

Tonight we hope to unroll the carpet and start placing furniture.

Saturday is the Graduation Pary.

Now all I have to do is clean. Boy, is that it an understatement.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

DH was released from the bishopric today.

Both of us have mixed feelings around here. I just wonder what calling they will ask him or me to do next.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Furniture Shopping

I am pooped. I really do not like furniture shopping. With our basement upgrade, the current couch will be going downstairs (and the TV too). Our great room will be bare for a while. DH and I are those furniture shoppers that drive salespeople wild.

We scour the store. Try just about every couch including ones in the clearance center. We don't want pillows that the boys can take off the couch and jump on. DH would prefer that all the cushions clip on. I don't want brown, black or white. He doesn't want green. Classic styling but not over the top. I like to sit on a couch and not in a couch. And a reasonable price.

Monday we were at the furniture store for 3 1/2 hours. The sales person was shadowing us the entire time. Of course we had all 5 children with us. The kid castle would not take the 10 or 9 year old-they are too big. The 2 and 1 year old were too young. That left Mr. Wisdom to be the lone child to go into the kid castle. We didn't let him-he would rub it in everyone else's face that he got to go in and they didn't.

Today, the kidlets were across the street being babysat. I ran to the upscale furniture store. I had no idea how low brow we actually are! Good grief! We have been married 12 years and we still have garage sale furniture. I walked into this store (I should have put on makeup) and the sales person approaches me. I tell her what I am looking for (see list above). She brings me straight to 2 couches that fulfill my requirements. You can get extra firm cushions too. Then she tells me that we have to go pick out the fabric for the couch. You get to pick? You don't just get what they have on the floor? Cool!

The room she brought me to is larger than my bedroom and is wall to wall, floor to ceiling fabric samples. I find one I like. She is a color consultant and finds this one that would be great pillows and that one would be wonderful on a chair. I ask her to price the couch. 3 grand. Yep, three thousand dollars. for one couch.

I gulp and try not to blush. I tell her, well, I will have to work on my husband. I might be able to pull it off. Yeah, right.

Then I mentioned that I needed to pick a color paint. She said, "Oh! I can help you with that!" And flounces her golden curls and walks over to another desk. "Do you like Sherwin Williams?" and she opens a color catalog with every color that Sherwin Williams carries. She found 4 that coordinate beautifully with that $3,000 couch. She writes down the paint names and colors for me. I pocket them and say thank you very much. Go to my car and go to the cheap furniture store.

I walk in, find the brand we like. Discover that it can be special ordered with a fabric of my choice (on their little twirly fabric sample hanger thingy). The expense store did all the work for me. She showed me how to coordinate the fabrics and I got the color paint for the family room.

Decision made. Furniture is ordered. Paint color is chosen. Life can resume.

So, is that cheating? I didn't tell the expensive store salesperson I was buying. I told her I was looking. I didn't expect to get that level of service at all. I just wanted to see if that kind of couch existed. I am counting it as a blessing.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Mama!

I hold you!

This is what #4 says when he wants a hug or some lovin'.

He comes up to me, with both arms extended and says, "Ah, mama! I hold you!" I'll let him keep on thinking he is holding me. It makes me do the happy sigh.

I really need those spy glasses that take pictures

Today #1 was on the family room couch. He started reading a book to #4. #5 went to the library, got her own book, handed it to #1, climbed up on the couch and joined them.

It is a wonderful sight seeing my first child reading to my two toddlers. It was even more wonderful that he hung in there and read 4 books to them. He is a great big brother.

I really need those spy glasses that take pictures

Today #1 was on the family room couch. He started reading a book to #4. #5 went to the library, got her own book, handed it to #1, climbed up on the couch and joined them.

It is a wonderful sight seeing my first child reading to my two toddlers. It was even more wonderful that he hung in there and read 4 books to them. He is a great big brother.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Well, #4 is starting his own funnies

Last night #s 1, 2 and 3 went across the street for dinner. It is always amazingly quiet when it is just DH and the little ones for dinner.

#4 is 2.5, rather verbal and a charmer but temperental (but what 2.5 year old isn't?). He has dark brown eyes that look like little pots of chocolate and a quick smile that lights up the room. And like most children this age he will not say his name. We were all at dinner the other night. #4 points to each person and says their name but when we ask him and point to him what his name is he says, "ME!"

Last night, we were eating and #4 asked for a drink. #5 had a bottle and he wanted it. #5 gave the bottle to him. He starts sucking down the apple juice. After a few minutes, #5 wants the bottle back (isn't that just like a girl?). DH says to #4, "#4 give the bottle back to #5. It is her turn."

#4 looks DH straight in the eye and says, "No, Me's turn."

He won't say his name but he got the possessive right.

Basement Update

The downstairs bathroom is painted.
The new TV room is painted.
The registers are installed, as are new lights, and trim.
The wainscoting going down the stairs is caulked and dings are filled.
The hallway is awaiting its last coat of paint but I am not going to do it until the couch is hauled down and all the wall scuffing is completed.
We tore up the carpet going down the stairs yesterday. All the tack strip and staples are pulled out. We are going to paint the stairs and call a flooring person about tiling the stairs. We were going to put down resiliant tile but the stairs are in rough shape.

So, I still have to paint the stairs, paint the doors (when they arrive) and scrub the floor, roll out the carpet, move the furniture in, hang pictures and then let the kids trash it, oops, I mean use it. DH and I have to figure out what to do about the stairs. He has to put in doors. And then I get the clean the whole house and get the yard in shape.

3 weeks left until the graduation party....can I get everything done?

I have to call a carpet cleaner this week and schedule an appointment.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The mommies that could

Today, DS #1 is causing my head veins to pop out. He had a meltdown because the Lego magazine arrived just after he finished his TV privileges. He knew going into the TV privileges that he would have to do some work after his show was completed. He started crying, turning red, being angry because I was making him work too much. I told him that I did not want to yell at him or hurt his feelings. He accepted that. All I did was send him to sit on his bed and think. He came down after 10 minutes and apologized. I forgave him. He came up with a plan to get what he wanted and I approved it.

During this whole little episode of parenting, I have this thought in my brain, "WHAT ARE YOU NUTS???? HE ONLY HAD TO DO 3 PAGES OF MATH AND 1 HOUR OF READING AND HE IS COMPLAINING THAT HE HAS TOO MUCH WORK TO DO?????"

My evil side started thinking, "Send that kid to school and let him see how fast that 7 hours can drag by. Mwaw ha ha haaaaaa."

April and May seem to be the months that I hear homeschool mommies all over say, "AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! LET US SEND THEM TO SCHOOLLLLLLLL!!"

Deep breaths mommies. We can do it. We can do it. WE CAN DO IT.



I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.



and in a few years we will be saying (some of you that don't have as many children as I have-I will still be on the I think I can):


I knew I could, I knew I could, I knew I could.





In the meantime, I think I need chocolate.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Back to the basement

Since the hives I haven't been working on the basement. Tonight I spackled (again) and wood fillered (is that a verb?) the wainscoting. I am attempting to make it look like 4 boys don't live here-ha! Fat chance!

Aubrey set the date of June 10 for the party. I have to step up my work pace. ugh

On a brighter note-the dishwasher is repaired. Thank You Heavenly Father! A friend was over this week and commented on how my housekeeping had slipped lately (in a nice way). All I was doing was dishes, dishes, dishes. Even tonight, a mere 24 hours later, the house is cleaner. I got to other things!

The babies emptied several hundred rubber bands across the family room and used marker on the carpet. (They both went to the gym striped.) In the basement they emptied 5 pounds of thin spaghetti onto the floor and stomped it into little bits. All three events were under a brothers' care while mom was showering or reading to another sibling. Gotta love a 2 1/2 year old with a 16 month old chaser that giggles at him.

Tomorrow is paint.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Grocery Budget

Anyone noticed lately how the budget is getting tighter and the prices are going up?

I have an announcement

I am currently experiencing something that I have never experienced in my entire life. I view it as a complete blessing from Heavenly Father. I have woman friends.

I was the person in school that never really seemed to have lots of friends. I just didn't make friends easily. I still don't make friends easily but we have been in this house now for 4 years (the longest we have lived in one place in our entire marriage) and I am making friends. Good friends. I have friends I can laugh and cry with, turn to for advice or to vent. I have friends that give me a kick in the butt when I need it. We eat Thai food together.

My DH and I have a good marriage, even a great marriage. He is my beloved best friend. If he is the cake, the woman friends in my life have been the frosting. You can live on cake alone (and enjoy it) but you know that cake is better with frosting-even just a little bit. He is yellow cake-my friends are chocolate fudge frosting-homeade, not from a can.

My woman friends have added a dimension to my life that I didn't realize existed. I am beginning to understand more why women of the past clung to their dear friends so fiercely. I have found "kindred spirits."

Thank you my friends.

Thank you Heavenly Father for putting them in my life.


For those who don't know me and my friends--I have great friends. We are all different. Some of us have lots of children and some none. Some are close and some are far (and we get the long distance package with unlimited minutes and the phone company loses money on us!) The kids are all different ages (but there seems to be lots of boys!). We are all not of the same faith. Some homeschool and some don't. What we eat goes all over the place-vegan, no dairy, no restrictions, no food dyes, white flour, whole grain everything. We got Democrats and Republicans and moderates and conservatives and Independents. The common thread is respect. We respect each other and value each others' experiences.

I have great friends.

Date Night with #3

#3 earned a private date with the parent of his choice. I was the chosen parent. He picked riding his bike to the local ice cream store. Since it was pouring here, DH and I convinced him I could just drive him (versus riding the bike). This is a bit of the conversation:

#3: Mom....you awa a young mudda wight? (you are a young mother right?)
Mama: Well, that sorta depends. (cause I sure ain't no spring chicken anymore-I am a summer chicken)
#3: Weww, you don't hav wumpy fingas. (Well, you don't have lumpy fingers.)
Mama: Oh, you mean on my knuckles? (and I showed him my hand)
#3: Yeah. (he curls my hand into a ball and touches my knuckles) Tommy's mom-she has wumpy fingas AND white haiw. You don't have white haiw or wumpy fingas so you are a young mudda. It is sowta like dandelions-when they are young, they awa aww fuww of yewwow and when they get old-they are aww white. Muddas are wike dat you know.


Mr. Wisdom strikes again.

Parents are like dandelions. When they are young they are full of color. When they are old they get white. Doesn't that just glamourize aging?

After we got home, he thanked me for taking him on a date and gave me a HUGE hug and kiss. sigh

Monday, May 8, 2006

Its the Dreadful Day

Today is the bi-annual Dreadful Day. The day of sorting-clothing sorting. The winter clothes are put away, thrown away or donated and the summer clothes are coming out. The laundry is done (or the washers are started) and the attics are being cleared of the clothing boxes.

I might emerge tomorrow. I hope.

Sunday, May 7, 2006

Proud Mama Moment

#3 bore his testimony during Sacrament Meeting.

He had no help and it was his own choice.

Saturday, May 6, 2006

Overheard

Tonight #3, 4 and 5 were all in the library (living room). DH put #5 down to bed and #3 and 4 were reading books. #2 came in and read a book to #4. #3 read a book to #4. He then went to the shelf and pulled off a new book to read.

"Mama-let's wead 'Hideous Geowge and the Chocwat Factowy'."

Yep, that is right. It is no longer Curious George-it is Hideous George. I had to walk away so I didn't laugh in his face. I

brought him to DH and had him tell Daddy what the name of his book was.
"Hideous Geowge and the Chocwat Factowy"

snicker



Later, during a quiet moment I told him that the name wasn't actually Hideous George-it was Curious George.

#3: What does cuwious mean?
Mama: The monkey asks lots of questions about everything and loves to explore--just like you.

He got a very cute little smile on his face and was very happy.

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Popcorn Ceiling

I think Cindy is right. I am allergic to the popcorn ceiling in the basement. My hives were virtually gone this morning. I went downstairs and swept and worked and they are red again. I called DH. This is the conversation:

Me: I think we need to paint the ceiling.
DH: Oh, why?
Me: To close up whatever it is that I am allergic to and so when the boys (notice that was when-not if) horse around down there and knock some off the ceiling I won't immediately have lips that puff up. (Yes, Angelina Jolie lips.)
DH: You think they are going to goof off down there? When there is a nice couch down there?

My dear husband-did you eat this morning? Were your cinnamon raisin bagels spiked with some sort of anti-memory drug? Remember the children? your children? The same ones that have been in our house for the last 10 1/2 years? They draw comic strips about the Kingdom of Fartalot and can't clear the dinner table without going into goofy laughing convulsions or a wrestling match?

You know, the children that have attempted to go out second story windows, climb the kitchen shelves, the library shelves, onto and into the washer and dryer, the little ones that still think they are part monkey and make those cute little, "ooo, eeee" noises? The little one that lays across the back of the couch so he can pounce on an older brother when he is least aware? Is your memory coming back now??

Those children will be using the downstairs room.

What makes you think a couch is going to change their behavior? It seems that you and I (their parents) can't change their behavior.


I will have it painted before you get home from work.

Monday, May 1, 2006

Anyone have any cheese and crackers to go with my WHINE?

If you want you may have wine but I just gotta whine...

I have been fighting a sore throat for 6 weeks now. It comes and it goes. I did a round of antibiotics. After that didn't work I did a round of herbals. Now, after that not working I have broken out in hives from head to toe. Yes, head to toe. I thought I could be a big kid and not have to see the doctor but yesterday after my palms were itching (haven't heard about itchy palms since high school, eh?) and my lips started swelling, I headed to Bon Secours ER. (I could have stopped for Sunday breakfast Carin!)

If you want really good service at an ER just telling them allergic reaction and swelling lips. I beat out the guy that was losing feeling in his hand, had a huge bag of pills and brought every family member including the second cousins twice removed and the hoochie mama girlfriend. In the Detroit area going to the ER is a party event, bring the whole darn family. That way Grampa can have a heart attack from all the complaining he is doing because, "Them doctors ain't seeing his boy." That is, of course, if the doctors can understand him because he didn't put his dentures in.

The nurse talks to me and brings me back to triage. She does all the vitals, I fall in love with their scale that says I have lost almost 30 pounds since the beginning of the year instead of mine at home that says a measley 22. She takes me back to a room, the blood lady comes, the doctor comes, the blood lady blows out my vein after I told her not to use my hand, the doc starts rambling off drugs they are going to give me, I nod and they both leave. The nurse comes back gives me the drugs intravenously. Now we just wait to see if any of the angry bright red welts are changing. After 1 1/2 hours and a nap, the doc says I am getting better. He can see a change and I think I don't have Angelina Jolie lips anymore. I am discharged. At that time he gives me instructions that conflict with the instructions that are written down that the nurse has me sign. And those blood vials that were sitting on the table that I have this wonderful bruise for are thrown away.

I have pink hives today. After some research on the net, I have discovered that we will probably never know what causes this. It could be a viral infection (that sore throat) or an allergic reaction. I got steroids, a medicine to keep the steroids from giving me an ulcer and benadryl to keep me woosie. I also found out that prednisone can give you mood swings. Just what my sons want! An itchy, unpredictable mother!

Off to my primary care doctor today...

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Lesson I have learned today

Never, ever, scrape a popcorn ceiling in a v-neck t-shirt, unless, of course, you want popcorn b**bs.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Calvin and Hobbes

Today we cleaned out the basement. Our dear babysitter has asked to use our house for her graduation party. This means the Brownhead household gets to spring clean! Yeah! It also gives our Daddy a deadline to get a few projects finished. Double Yeah! We decided to give the basement a much needed clean out, a coat of paint, carpet and move the TV downstairs. So, this week the boys are learning to dejunk, spackle, paint, change electrical switches and lay carpet. All are important skills for boys in my opinion.

Today was dejunking. As we were working I would tell the boys what we had to accomplish and then we could have a break. #1 asked me, "Mama? After this can I get out the Calvin and Hobbes books?"

The Calvin and Hobbes books had been put under lock and key. After the flooding we had where they reeacted Calvin's tidal wave DH confiscated all the books and put them away. Just think water everywhere by an 8 year old swooshing back and forth up, and down attempting to get the wave of water over the edge of the tub.

I said, "Sure, you can read them." He really had worked hard enough to deserve a comic book break.

After his Calvin and Hobbes break, #1 says to me, "Boy, mom! now that I can read Calvin and Hobbes are even funner!!"

Ummm, yah. Reading is a good thing.

Friday, April 21, 2006

HOLEY MOLEY!

My #1 child loves videos. The rule for the summer here is read first the same amount of time you are going to watch a video. I can't complain too much because the kid got up at 6:45 to read.

He picked a book yesterday. It was a Pokemon book (I guess I need to go on a twaddle hunt again). After he finished I handed him a book. We normally alternate who picks what kind of book he is reading. He picked Pokemon so I picked "Storytime with the Millers."

He just handed it back to me (he finished it) and said, "Good book. I think I will read that again sometime."

Pick me up off the floor please.

It might be working. He might be learning to like to read. It might be working.

Overheard

as #1,2,and 3 are watching "Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones."

The part where Padme and Anakin are on Naboo frolicking is on. This is what I hear from #2: You were sent for security! NOT lovemaking.

How could anyone dare mix military and love? :)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Classics

Cindy and I were at the gym last week. We were yacking and having a great time, relaxing, enjoying the hot tub and adult convesation. As we were talking she reminded me that there are a few Brownhead Classics that I need to post. These are events for which I will never be forgotten among the homeschool community here. There is one in particular she said I should put on the blog: Chocolate Pudding. So, as I have time I will post The Classics per Cindy's request.

The Classics: Chocolate Pudding

I should relay a little about my personality before the story begins. I do not consider myself to be part of the Fun Mom Club. I watch other moms do the crafts, the soccer practices, the dance, the rocket club, etc. and I turn a little bit green with envy. (Have I ever mentioned that I am imperfect?) The moms who can whip out a craft in 15 seconds flat not fret about the paint and the effects it will have on the boy consuming it or the mess truly are a wonder to me. A magnificent mother who loves them enough to get the crafts and make fun food. Now that is an aspiration.

I decided on one summer day to join the Fun Mom's Club. Just for one day. Temporary Membership.

It was summer. I had chocolate pudding. My mother-in-law had sent us some popsicle molds. It was looking like it could be a scorcher. I figured, "Hey! Let's make fudgicles."

My first mistake was I said that out loud. The boys heard me. "Yah! Let's make fudgicles Mom! Those will taste yummy!" Think Bill Cosby-the chocolate cake skit.

Too late to back out now.

I get out the molds, the chocolate pudding mix, the whisk, the bowl, the rubber spatula. We start making the chocolate pudding. (This alone should qualify me for sainthood-cooking with three kids?) I, on purpose, made it a little thin so it would fill the molds completely. #3 was just 3 when we were doing this. He wants to make his own fudgicle. So, #1 and #2 had poured the pudding into the molds. #3 wants to put in the sticks.

Okay. We can do this. #3 and I are in the kitchen putting in the sticks-HE has to put them all in.

#1 and 2 ask if they can eat the rest of the pudding that is in the bottom of the bowl. Sure! Why not? I am a Fun Mom!

#3 and I are still working in the kitchen.

#1 asks if they can use straws to suck out the pudding from the bottom of the bowl. Sure! Why not? I am a Fun Mom! #3 leaves the kitchen. I am finishing up the fudgicles and put them in the freezer.

I hear sounds of yummy slurping. Then I start to hear giggling. Sugar will do that to boys right? Then----I hear splatting and spitting.

I turn to the family room where my sons are. Imagine the slow motion camera. I watch my sons suck up chocolate pudding, then spit it at each other and the entire family room. I am flabbergasted. I am speechless. They do it again. There is chocolate pudding SPIT all over my family room. The boys are laughing.

Vesuvius erupts.

I hear my voice (cause it was sort of an out of body experience) screaming, "GET OUT OF MY HOUSE! GET OUT! GET OUT! IF YOU ARE GOING TO ACT LIKE ANIMALS THEN YOU CAN LIVE OUTSIDE!!!"

I open the sliding glass door, kick them out, tell them they are not allowed back into the house until their father comes home and lock the door. This is about 1:30 or 2:00 and he doesn't arrive until 6:00 or 6:15.

I start cleaning. I am still way too angry. I call my mother. I remember specifically asking her how long they can live outside without CPS getting involved. Afterall, a tent roof is still a roof. I would still feed them. I would put their food in a bowl and let them eat like animals. I could slop them like pigs.

About 15 minutes after they are banished, a thunder cloud rolls across the sky. The big boys pound on the glass door, "Mooommm, it is starting to rain."

I hand them an umbrella and re-lock the door.

#3 comes to the door. "Mama! #1 and #2 awa not shawing da umbwella. I getting wet."

I close the door and relock it. I go to the kitchen. I get out my box of garbage bags. I cut holes in the bottom and two holes in the side. I put the garbage bag over his head, pop his head through and tell him to put his arms in the two side holes. Instant poncho. I was happy I didn't asphyxiate him before his head came out the top. I toss two more bags out for the other two children. I close the door and relock it.

It starts to pour. The three of them sat on the swinging bench under the umbrella. Then #1 ventures out into the rain. He knocks on the door, "Mama! Can I use the hose?"

Why not? As long as I don't have to deal with you.

The kids had a great day in the rain. They made rivers. They puddle jumped. They were muddy. They had more fun outside than they would have come close to having inside.

Banishment backfired.

Such consequences! Having a food fight then getting to play in the mud for the rest of the day.



Now, every now and then, in conversation with another mom who knows the story, I hear, "Yah, well, at least I didn't put my kids in garbage bags."

True. True.

But you didn't have chocolate pudding all over your family room either.

Me? Fun Mom's Club? Nope.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Quiet around here

I am reworking the chore chart and trying to get the house and yard cleaned up. I am still fighting whatever infection my throat has and attempting to rest. Yes, rest with 2 toddlers that are in destroy mode. It is incredibly simple to write-incredibly hard to accomplish.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Another Grand Dinner Conversation

Grammie and Poppy joined us for Easter Dinner. Grammie sits on the bench sandwiched in between boys-#3 is always on an elbow.

#3 talking to Grammie: I am fuww. If I go to the bathwoom and poop I will have more woom for food.
Grammie: We don't talk about those things at the dinner table.
#3 continues: Weww, I would get more woom if I went to the bathwoom.
Grammie: We DON'T talk about these things at the dinner table!

This is from the kid that said to me,"Mama! Make suwa the pwaywand has a bathwoom. I'm stuffed!" (Mama! Make sure the playland has a bathroom. I'm stuffed!)

Dinner had poop talk. Breakfast had testicle talk (balls). Ah, the glamour of it all.....

Friday, April 7, 2006

Have I ever mentioned how truly grateful I am to be alive at this time?

I truly am. I think of our ancestors and how they lived. I am not one of those longing to get back to the land kind of gals. I am so thankful for antibiotics for my daughter. I took her to the pediatrician last week. One eardrum was bulging and the other was infected. Her last little bottom front tooth came through this week also. She is back to her happy little self--not the little-snot-nosed-raw-butt-won't-eat-or-drink unhappy little person she was last week. She is walking around smiling and scrunching up her nose (which is incredibly hard considering how little her nose actually is). She is just so happy.

sigh

She learned how to pucker for kisses this week too.

sigh

Thursday, April 6, 2006

No school today

We are taking the day off for a Narnia viewing. We were going to have a family movie party but some dear friends of ours called and put out the "Help!!" signal. DH and #1&2 went to go help. So, after their bookwork is done it is a Narnia day.

It's okay. Service has its rewards that aren't all heavenly. :)

Ode to My Husband

Oh, my dear one, the man of my dreams,
This man who thinks so clear.
The one who knows I do not hold laundry dear.
My words of appreciation this post will teem.

Oh, dear one, I profusely give thank thee.
This morning because of the saved time,
The laundry did not consume I have a moment to rhyme.
I am thankful your thoughts were to set me free.

I expressed the need for an additional shower.
You thought of the bathroom situation.
You thought of the family expansion.
You saw the laundry tower.

Oh, one, two washers, one, two dryers!
You knew that two pair of machines our family required.
Now I know you were seriously inspired.
Without them, the situation would be quite dire.

Thank you, dear one, for making my day,
Already filled with the buzz of school
And the clamour of boys who love to be the fool,
Much, much easier with more time to play!


By the way---I know this is a terrible poem. I am not sure my DH wants this post up. He has red ears. snicker

And before two washers and dryers were installed-the laundry was in towers in the laundry room. Laundry is not a half day affair-not a 3 day event.

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Brain damaged, brain damaged, brain damaged

This is what I keep telling myself. My sons are brain damaged. My sons are brain damaged. You can't say that--they are brain damaged. No, you can't whack them upside the head--they are brain damaged.

The goofies will pass?? They will right??? Brain damage is the ONLY explanation for their behavior.

God please help me....

brain damaged, brain damaged, they are brain damaged...

Monday, April 3, 2006

Time to plant the raspberry canes

It is a quiet day around here today. I am getting caught up on housework (HA!-if I do it when the babies are asleep it might last 10 minutes), teaching #1 multiple digit multiplication and putting in the raspberry canes. Heavy on my mind is changing around the family schedule-going to the gym in the morning and then doing school and a new chore chart. Since #3 is now 6 he gets new jobs. Yeah!

UPDATE------didn't feel like planting the raspberry canes while it was SNOWING. grrr

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Time for the birthday present conversation

#3 is having a birthday this week. He is turning 6. He started talking about what kind of party he wanted, the cake he wanted, the presents he wanted, the food he wanted for his birthday the day after he turned 5.

I am not kidding.

Needless to say, I tired of the birthday talk the day after he turned 5. I banned all talk of birthday until one month before his next birthday. In our curriculum we are working with a calendar and I starred the day we could talk about presents. The flu took over and I just got around to having the present conversation this morning.

Mama: Well, it is time to talk about birthday presents. What would you like?
#3: Weww....I would like a Staw Waws wight saba that is two dollaws, it comes in a singwa pack, bwue, not the doubwa pack. It should be two dollaws and that is in the budget wight?
Mama thinks: hmmm, he has been talking with the brothers-they know about the budget
Mama says: Okay. Is there anything else?
#3: Yes. An Ice Pirwaka (piraka-for all those not in the know-legos).
Mama: Well, what if the store is out of Ice Pirakas? Is there anything else you would like? (sincerely hoping that I will not have to purchase legos)
#3: Well, they are popuwar with hundweds of kids and the storwa should have them.
Mama: What if they don't?
#3: Weww, any ovva (other) piwaka is okay.

We do something else for a while then I open the conversation back up again.

Mama: You know, those brothers have been hassling you about legos. Are you sure you want legos for your birthday?
#3: I am suwa. I am not going to open them until THEY leave the house.
Mama, stifling a huge laugh: Well 14 years is a long time to wait to play with your birthday toys.
#3: FOUWATEEN YEAWS! I fink I need to fink about this.

Now some may think this is an excessive conversation to have with your almost 6 year old about his birthday present. You were not present last year at the opening of the present. We normally have a pretty tight budget about birthday gifts. I went over last year and purchased a Leap Pad with 3 cartridges. #3 was expressing an interest in learning to read and really loved Curtis' LeapPad. I talked it over with DH, he agreed and we went ahead and bought him his present with accompanying storage case.

#3 opens the gift. DH isn't at home because he has been working 80+ hour week against a deadline. #3 looks at the LeapPad, he looks at me. He looks at the LeapPad, he looks at me and then screams, "I DIDN'T WANT A BOWWWING WEADING GIFT!! I WANTED TWANSFOWMAS!" He then subjected the entire household to the worst hour and a half tantrum I had seen in a very long time.

So to ensure I am not purchasing a "boring reading gift" I check to see if the kid wants a "transformer." Only this year it is a "piwaka."

I had to laugh at the fact that he isn't going to open legos until his brothers move out of the house. Right.