Friday, October 2, 2009


2 gray hairs. Anyone missing any?

Please advise.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bright Cheery Mornings!

I used to loathe mornings. As the alarm would rip me from slumber, I would feel the weight of dread hit my chest. There was so much stress, so many details. I was absolutely certain that if I didn't get out of bed, the world would cease to turn and all mankind would be annihilated. All that changed this year.

What is different?
I wake everyone up earlier. And I no longer pack lunches.
If anyone forgets their lunch, backpack, coat, homework etc., it's not my problem.

I still wake up every morning to the alarm, but that just means it's time to roll over, curl up with Lewis for about 10 more minutes of snuggle time. I gradually waken to Lewis sitting up in bed, reading his scriptures. At this point, depending on all kinds of environmental factors, I either sleep a little more, read some scriptures myself, or go wake up the kids.

It never ocurred to me that I might have it easy with my boys until I saw my mom's expression of shock when I told her it's not tough at all to get them out of bed. It's usually somewhere between 5:50 and 6:05. I come down the stairs calling "Good morning handsome princes!" I begin tickling Dainon's feet and cajoling him out of bed. I summon Logan repeatedly until I get a verbal response and I hear at least some movement. The little boys almost bounce out of bed. I carry Liam upstairs and put him in my bed, where he gets a little snuggle time with dad if it's still early enough.

Then we have scriptures. Tuesday and Thursday, we have Daddy here, which is new, and I love it.

After scriptures and family prayer, the boys all get themselves dressed and come up for breakfast. I quickly assemble a lunch for Lewis and kiss him as he dashes out the door. The boys get their own cereal while I sit at the table reading the paper, sipping herbal tea.

They eat, and I read any interesting articles aloud. Today, we discussed the Al Quaeda suicide bomber that got into the palace of a Saudi prince and detonated while he was standing right beside him. Apparently, he had a whole pound of explosives AND a detonator shoved up his rear. The prince was only slightly wounded, but the assasin made a BIG MESS!

What lovely breakfast discussion!

Then they pack their own lunches, and I'm slowly working my way through the paper. Heaven help anyone that tries to grab the comics out of order!

I'm available for consultation and various signing duties as I sit on my throne at the head of the table. First the big boys leave, then the little boys do. Somewhere during this time, Liam arrives looking toussled and grouchy. In an effort to avoid hysterics, we quickly supply him with cereal.

Then, before I know it, everyone is gone but Liam and me. It's lovely.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

At the Checkout

I shop at Winco, which is a veritable United Nations. I love to see all the different styles of dress and hear the accents. Sometimes I'm just dying of curiosity to know the stories of the people around me, and how they see America. I also love to read all about different cultures and current events. Some of the stories I read break my heart, and I wish that everyone could live in a place with as much order, justice and equity as we do. Our country isn't perfect, but as I look into the faces of handsome young men that were fighting in Bosnia, or what look to have been lost boys in Africa, I'm SO GLAD THEY'RE HERE!
I was unloading my cart yesterday, when I noticed three very tall African men behind me. I heard them speaking in their native tongue and I tried to imagine the events they've seen. One of the men was quite imposing, and I remembered reading this article. I found it so sickening, and I wondered if any of the men behind me had ever raped anyone. I glanced up and my eyes locked with the mountain of a man behind me. His face was devoid of expression, but his eyes looked straight through me. I supressed a shudder and flushed, certain that he knew exactly what I was thinking. I felt terrible.
Who am I to judge anyone when I've never missed a meal or had to really fear for my life? A drug-addled thief at my door doesn't count.
I was pondering this when I noticed the woman beside me loading her groceries. She was from Africa too. I discreetly peeked at her face and saw the pinpoint scars that swirled decoratively on her forehead and cheek bones. She had a large scar slashing down her jaw. I was certain there was a long and painful story there. My self disgust was still fresh in my mind, and I decided to do something about it. I looked at her, smiled, and said "Hello!". She was startled and looked around, unsure if I meant her. She saw my smile, and I could see the thoughts forming in her mind. It went something like this: "Oh my gosh, she's talking to me. What do I say? What was that phrase again?" I repeated my greeting, and and asked "How are you doing?" I remembered how scary it is to try to form words and sentences in a foreign language, regardless of the goodwill of both. Her face lit up like a Christmas tree, and she proudly said, "Hello! How you doing!" She'd bagged her few items and turned to leave, and I wished her a good day. We both grinned at each other, and I left the store feeling light as air.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


This is the maneuver you employ when your four year old makes you a delicious drink (made of cold water, apple chunks and butter) and then waits with shining eyes for you to drink it.

Fiesta Friday

I've been trying to make little occasions to brighten everyone's day around here. The adjustment to school has been tough for most (all) of them this year. We had such a kicked back summer, that fall reality was especially harsh. I decided that Friday's dinner should be something of a celebration- as in, "Hooray! We survived another week of school!"

This Friday was our first fiesta, which meant that I made a ginormous platter of nachos, and we all sat around and ate them without plates and forks.
This is a full size cookie sheet! The coolest thing about it was, we couldn't finish it all! Do you know how hard that is for me to do? It gave me great satisfaction to see food still on the table. I'm already planning this weeks fiesta, I need to get my hands on some good Mexican mariachi music!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Goth Baby

I came home from violin lessons last week and found this. His 14 year old brother dressed him all in black, and made him an emo goth. Is his big brother a goth? No. He even takes great care to not pair black jeans with a black top lest others suspect him of leaning that way. While this was a slightly disturbing sight, it was also a very sweet demonstration of how much big brother is invested in Liam's life. I'm still taking away the markers, though.