The Cutest Blog on the Block

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old

We have moved.

A lot.

Some places are easier than others to find good friends.

The older I get, the more I value true friendship.

I had a group of friends in high school,

that were a blessing.

They were fun.

They were witty.

I laughed EVERY day - several times - hard.

Each had a talent to offer.

They were good.

They made it easy to be good.

As a matter of fact, it would have been hard to be bad.

They were inspiring.

They continue to inspire me.

It's been 17 years since we graduated, we have scattered all across the world.  Arizona.  Florida.  China.  Idaho.  

But last summer, on a rare, but valued occasion, we were able to get together.

It started with lunch - it was way to short for all we had to share with each other.

Then we went to Les Miserable to watch Chelsea's son perform.  So fun.  So emotional!

We met the next morning to run a 5k.

Our small town parade followed.  The parade was a time warp.  Same parade, different year.

Not much had changed, except us.  Older.  Wiser.

We all stood there together.  Chatting.  Laughing and enjoying the unique bonds that form from childhood friendships.

We watched our kids stand in the same vicinity as each other.  They didn't interact much.  They are strangers to each other.  Sad.  But when we look at them, we see a part of the person we love in them.  We see the fruits of all of their dedication and love.  It is a good thing.

There are more pics, but this is the only one I can find right now at the 5k.
Brett (Fawn's son), Chelsea, Fawn, Holly and Jeff, Glenn, Me, Jen and Isaac.

...One is silver and the other gold.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween



Porter = Vampster (google it)
Christian = ?
Warrick = Missionary
Stafford = Spiderman

Friday, October 26, 2012

Glenn is in Paris. I'm on the front line.

Bedtime Check List

Doors locked.
Check.

One extra light on so it looks like someone is awake all night.
Check.

Porch light on.
Check.

Doors locked.
Check again.

Kids in beds.
Check.



Just as I was falling asleep, all of the fire alarms in my house started wailing.

Note to self:  Do not ignore the chirping of the fire detector that it does when the battery is low.

Apparently it doesn't like to be ignored.

In my defense, Glenn had just put in a "new" battery so I thought it was just being a squeaky wheel and since Glenn has been in Europe all week, I was too busy putting out other fires (pun).

So in the midst of the noise (Noise is too nice of a word for what I was hearing.), I ran to our battery cabinet and frantically searched.

Alarms were blaring all the while.

I couldn't find a battery!

Christian woke up at this point and started helping me.

Dang the 9 volt battery.  

Finally we found one.

I ran to the offending smoke detector and searched for the battery slot while on a stool.  I found it, but couldn't get the new battery to stay put.  My ear was 2 feet away form the alarm.  Soon my brain started pulsing with each repetitive scream.  That's when I noticed a nifty button you can hold down to get it to stop - sure wished I had noticed that 10 minutes ago and 10 headaches ago.

I got the battery to stay.

Yes!  Now I could get some sleep.

The chirping resumed.

None of the other kids were awake.  This was both good and bad all mixed in one.

So there I was standing under the fire alarm and it continued to chirp every so often.  Two conclusions came from this.  Either I just put in an old battery even though it was in the place where new batteries are stored (Excuse me as I vent for a moment.  No one in this family likes to clean up after themselves, but why is it that when it comes to dead batteries, they put them right back where they found them without being asked?) or the fire detector was broke n and malfunctioning.  The battery Glenn had put in a few days ago had lasted a week chirping and since I was out of options, I figured I could live with that, at least until I could get to the store the next day.

Around this time, Porter got up to go to the bathroom.  It was silent, other than an intermittent chirp.  Christian asked Porter if he had heard the beeping.  Porter, still half asleep said, "Yeah."  No big deal.  Stranger things had happened.  He wasn't worried.

Second note to self:  I think a family fire drill in the near future would be beneficial to us all.

Christian's little brother's nonchalance had him concerned.  He took matters into his own hands. "That was the fire alarm!  If that were a real fire then you would be dead!"  Porter was wide awake after that.  Thanks Christian.

I told everyone to get back in bed and I followed.  My blood pressure hadn't even had the time to regulate its self when the alarms all throughout the house started yelling back and forth to each other.

Again.

Noooooo!  Now what was I supposed to do?

Was it the alarm or the battery?

Would it go on all night like this?

Should I pack everyone up and show up on Glenn's parents front porch and let the alarm go on by itself?

That was an option.

I decided to try to deactivate the bomb.  The plan was to pull the alarm off the ceiling and find the wires and simply disconnect them.  So with shaky fingers I easily twisted the alarm and pulled.

Brown Recluse Spider 
Remember the movie Arachnophobia? 

Well coming straight for my upturned face was a spider.  That didn't sit well with my already overactive adrenal gland or my vocal chords and out came my own little alarm.  I think that scared Christian and Porter more than anything.  I quickly tracked the spider down on my spider colored carpet, made the kill and put the alarm back up.

I wasn't about to try that again.

So I moved onto plan B.

I called Glenn's mom who quickly came up with two 9 volt batteries.

I replaced the battery, again.

Chirp.




Quiet.




It worked.  My nerves were still a little frazzled, but I was thankful.

Today, the fire detector in Warrick's room started to chirp.  I ignored it.  Just kidding, I now have a new respect for those sweet little chirps.  I immediately replaced it with the second battery that Drusilla brought over the night before.

I wondered if Glenn was eating a French pastry at that moment or a bonbon.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The First Snow of the Season

There is a quote that goes something like this, "The person who thinks something is impossible is interrupted by the person doing it."

This morning, One Armed Warrick, set out to make a snowman, not only did I think there wasn't enough snow, but he only had one arm to work with as his left arm is in a sling (again) because he broke his arm (again).

Amendment:  Turns out that Porter helped Warrick.  I guess the saying should go, "The person who thinks something is impossible is interrupted by the person doing it because he got help."

Monday, October 1, 2012

Looking back over Warrick's 6th year because now he's 7

1.  "upposed to" = supposed to
2.  After school Warrick said, "A boy at my table asked me how to spell 'earff'".  Warrick's eyes got big like "Can you believe he said earth like that?" and then he burst out laughing.  "Earff" he kept repeating with a smile.
3.  During Kindergarten, Warrick's best friend in school was Aubrie.  He had grass in his hair after school one day.  I asked him why.  He said as though commenting about the weather.  "Aubrie was dragging me around."
4.Warrick was wearing sweat pants and said he needed to change before school. He explained, "Because if I'm wearing sweat pants, when I hold Aubrie's hand it will be all sweaty!"
5.  One time when Warrick missed the bus and I drove him to school, I  noticed that he had a fuzzy mess of bedhead on the back of his head and a peculiar looking spike going on in his bangs.  I tried to tousle the spike out, but it was sticky and not going anywhere, even with encouragement.  How did I not notice his hair until now? I wondered as I sat in the quiet stillness that accompanies one who is late.   Nothing could be done.  He was late.  I smiled at him and encourage him to have a good day.  I'm glad he's in Kindergarten and unidentified substances in the hair are not unheard of or at least not unheard of if my kid is in the class.
6.  Warrick's wisdom, "If it's between life and death, you tell lies."
7.  Warrick called to me while he was using the bathroom, "Mom!  I need a bigger butt hole."
8.  Warrick went to a birthday party that had a clown that painted faces.  Each child got to choose the face art.  Warrick came home with a ladybug eating a spider.  He told me that the clown said in all of her years she had never had a request for that.
9.  Another bathroom quote.  I hear him in there say, "That feels better."
10.  Warrick was the lead in a kindergarten play.  After the plays, the teacher started complimenting the parents about how involved they were and that this year the kids all knew their parts.  She continued, "And they know their lines because of all the hard work you parents put in at home."  Warrick raises his hand and says, "Not me.  I only practiced once at home."  My six year old son ratted me out in front of all the  parents/grandparents of his class.




Little Babaji

11.  The kindergartners got to have a fair where they made things at home, brought 25 pennies and bought and sold goods.  Warrick and Christian came up with Pebble Pets.  They painted rocks and made them into animals.  We didn't do it until the day of and found we only had white and black paint and neon orange.  They were creative and made a tiger, penguin, Killer Whale, bee, mouse and other creations.




Warrick's Kindergarten Teacher Mrs. Gallagher
12.  The summer after Warrick's Kindergarten year, he broke his arm while playing Dead Man on the trampoline.  You can read a longer story about it here.  Here are some pictures of when he got his first cast off.  We thought it was going to be off for good, but they told us that he needed another one.  His brothers were all there for support and helped him to feel better.  They became his cheering section when he got nervous at the beginning and when he got a bit sad when he felt his fixed arm looked rather weird.  
Stafford fell asleep on the drive to the Dr.


The nurse explained how the tickle machine cuts off the cast.
The brother's flanked him on either side.
The nurse asked if Warrick had any questions or concerns before she started to cut his cast.
 He said, "I'm concerned!"
The tickle machine cheered him up.

The machine cheered him up until he saw his arm.
Then he was concerned again.


Here he is getting his final cast off.  
Notice that he is in the same outfit as when he got his first cast off.  
I'm not sure what that means.
This was Warrick's doctor.  She has worked on lots of BYU athletes, including Jimmer.
She and Warrick developed a bond over the summer.
After I took this picture she asked me to send one to her and said how sad she was to see him go.
(When Warrick re-broke his arm about 8 weeks after this photo was taken, he said, through tears, "Well at least I get to see my doctor again."  I told him he didn't have to break an arm to see her and that we could go anytime - I guess I should have explained that before he re-broke his arm.  I guess my timing was off on that one.)

13.  Warrick has the type of laugh that you can't help laughing along with him.  He is very ticklish and loves to be tickled.

14.  Warrick wants a pet sooooo badly.  He has stuffed animals that play the part while he is waiting for his mom to change her mind.  He also cherishes any bug or reptile he captures and treats it as well as he knows how.

15.  Warrick is good at art and is often found trying to do nice things for people in his family.  He doesn't cause problems and is really fun to be around.  And he is funny.  Super funny.  His sense of humor often makes me laugh and others too.  We had neighbors once that would often sit and give Warrick quotes.  They called them "Warrickisms".

16.  I love being around him.  He is kind and thoughtful.  He is sensitive to the spirit and has such a great heart.  I look forward to many happy moments with him.

I love being Warrick's mom!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Last Year He was Baptized and Now He's Nine - A Look Back over Porter's Year

Here is a collection of pictures, thoughts and stories of Porter from the past year.  There are more pictures, but I'm not sure where they are.  I'm still working out the kinks of moving from one computer to the next and now having a phone that some of my pictures are located. 
Swimming in Aspen Grove

This kid has always done well in the water.  When he was four, he would wear a life jacket and float on his back and go from one end of the pool to the other again and again.   He was so relaxed.
1.  "I don't think Justin Bieber should get married."
"Why?" I asked.
"Think of all the hearts he'd break."

2.  Today, Warrick was crying in Wal-mart.  Porter held him in a hug and tried to comfort him.  A lady came over and wanted to compliment Porter for being so nice to his brother.  She gave him two quarters.  Then she gave some to Warrick because he was sad.  Then Stafford asked if he could have some and she smiled and gave him some and then she gave Christian some too so he wouldn't be left out.  Then she said to Porter, "Well now you have the same amount as everyone else so I better give you more."  She made their day and I think they will remember her kindness.  It was a happy and proud mom moment and a humbling moment that a stranger would be so kind to us.

3.  The Pinewood Derby

The car got "Best of Show"

Porter was very excited about this event.
He doesn't procrastinate and was constantly asking Glenn to help him on his car and drew several sketches of just how he wanted it to look.

Kade L., Porter and Warrick
They all look amazed.  Or shocked.  Not sure what happened.

4.  Porter started 3rd grade with Mrs. Gonzales as his teacher.  On the first day of school I was waiting for Porter's class to get out.  A mom was there and asked if I was Porter's mom.  She said her son followed Porter around last year like a shadow and that Porter was so nice to him and that she was so thankful that he had been kind.  She said that he was nice to everyone and that her son thought the world of him and was so glad that they were in the same class again.

5.  Porter had his first flag football game.  We noticed he was hesitant as he played, unlike in practice.  After the game he said that he was going up against a smaller guy and he didn't want to go too hard on him because he didn't want the boy to get his feelings hurt.  He also feels bad for the other team when his team wins.

6.  When Porter was three we took him to the neighbors house that had 18 cats, literally.  I'm actually thinking that 18 is a low estimate.  Anyway, we were off to get him a cat. He picked out a cute little black one; they were all black.  I put it on his lap while he sat in the stroller and we walked back home.  Ever since Chelsea and Porter have had a special bond.  She has moved 4 times with us, smuggle across the Canadian border and lost in Chicago. She has adjusted very well to all of the moves and every time, especially in the initial adjustment for the boys, she has been a constant and a comfort.  When Porter is feeling stressed at night he'll find "the girl" and cuddle with her like a stuffed animal, only better, softer, warmer and cuter.  Stafford told me the other day that we have two girls in the family, me and Chelsea.  We love having this cat.  She is so easy to take care of.  As a matter of fact, in the summer, when people come over, they seldom know we have a cat.  She stays outside, except to come in and eat.  Easy!


7.  Porter is a fun kid.  He is sensitive.  He is responsible.  He is punctual.

8.  He will be out on the baseball/soccer/football field and is so entertaining because though he will give it his all when it is play time, but when there is any down time he does the funniest things.  Pure entertainment.   When Porter played coach pitch baseball, he started pointing before he would hit.  I guess Babe Ruth did something like that.  But it became his trademark and his coach would remind him to do it before he would pitch the ball to him.  When he is on bass he usually is chats with the others.  When he is on the line for football, he usually is making jokes and laughing with his own teammates and the other team too.  He doesn't take any of it to seriously between plays, but jumps right in when it's "go" time.

9.  He loves to make me happy.  He started a business of brushing my hair.  It was 10 cents a session.  He even had a sale that lasted a few days of 5 cents a session.  When he makes me laugh, there is a small smile that he gets.  Then he will do the thing that made me laugh, over and over again.

10.   He is a saver.  He saves his money like crazy and as a result is rich.  He begged to open up a bank account so he could start earning interest.  I have, more than once had moms tell me that their son loves playing with Porter.  He is tender.  His feelings are hurt easily.  He is tender in regards to other's feelings.  When he sees something sad, he will talk about it often and keep saying how sad it is. If people are not perceptive, they don't notice how soft he is.

11.  He gets nervous and scared sometimes.  He is the type you just want to pull onto your lap (even though his long legs dangle down) and just hold him and protect him.  There is a feeling of wanting to shelter him from everything and everyone.  To never let tears drip from his eyes.  To never see him quickly wiping them away hoping that no one saw a piece of his heart.  I'm thankful that I get to be his mom and while I know he must go out and learn to live with disappointment and hurt, I try my best to be ready to hold him and rock him when his heart hurts.  I'm glad it's my turn to be his support (well I have to share this job with the cat) because I know one day he will be too big to sit on my lap.  One day, even when he hurts, he won't want to sit on my lap and one day, there will be someone else he will go to for comfort.  That's the way it should be - needs to be.  But right now it's mine and Chelsea's turn and we'll take it.

12.  He has such a great, contagious laugh and a good sense of humor.  He can laugh at himself and the world around him.

13.  He loves outdoors.  Camping.  Hiking.  BB guns.  Boating. Hunting (though he feels badly even when he catches a fish).

14.  He loves being involved with Christian's ideas, being in charge of Warrick, teasing Stafford and doing work with his dad.

15.  Porter is a good worker when it comes to the manual labor type things.  He will pick blackberries even though his bare hands are scratched from the thorns.  He'll shovel snow, dirt and rocks.  He loves when Glenn builds things with him.

16.  Porter plays the piano.  He almost quit, but then said,  "If I don't play the piano, then how will be have music in my home?"  I told him he could marry someone who played the piano.  I guess he didn't want to take that chance since he decided to stick with it.

I love having this kid around!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Day of Preschool

Stafford decided to be a "rock star" on the first day of school.

 He found a "pleather" jacket in the storage room.  
It is a 2T.
He was bursting with pride over the outfit that he crafted himself.
So was I.
Perfect first impression.
I introduced him to his teacher, "This is Stafford.  Just call him Jet."
Okay, so I didn't say that.


When I walked out the door to wait with Stafford for his ride, this is what I saw.
Chelsea was there to send him off.

It was really, really hot.
That didn't deter him from wearing a coat and waiting for his ride out in the heat.
Fashion first.  Comfort second.  That's my boy.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hobble Creek Canyon

At the first of the summer, for fear of the kids getting bored,  I made a huge list of fun things we could do.  It turns out that none of us got bored.  There was a whirlwind of things to do all the time and I found that we didn't get to some fun things I had been looking forward to.

I guess I got a little nostalgic toward the end.  We live in a ward where lots of people are about 10 years ahead of us in life.  I see their children get married.  I see their children go on missions.  I see the moms say over and over how fast it went.  I look at my little boys and I want to hang onto them, while it is the season to hang on to them.  The reality of them leaving is quite real to me.  I want them to spread their wings when the time is right, but right now while they are all in the nest and still at the ages where they like being in the nest, I want to embrace them. 

Soooo, with those thoughts and the lingering thought that they will be in school soon and therefor not spending as much time with me.  We hit it hard the last few weeks of summer.

I let the kids take friends, when possible, and we went to 7 Peaks, Jolley's Ranch, the splash pad and the dollar theater with treats.  

Our family night on Monday for the month of August and the end of July was getting an ice cream cone at Macey's and then playing at the splash pad and park nearby.  

I love being in nature and truly enjoyed the times we made it to the creek at Jolley's Ranch. 

 

Christian is floating on a log that he and his friend dragged into the creek.


Christian and his friend Macarthur
Porter was on a mission to catch a fish either by hand or spear.

In the search to catch a fish, Christian found a snake. 
 It was too big for my taste.
He assured me that is wasn't a rattle snake because it didn't have a rattle.
But then I saw that the end of it's tail had been cut off - somehow.
I panicked and said, what if someone cut off it's rattle.
My friend that was with me said that if it was a rattle snake it would have bitten him.
Then..   
...it bit him.
This picture is of it's initial side bite.  
Soon it was able to turn it's head and latch onto him really good.
Christian couldn't get it off.
He put it under the water to get it loose.
After it let go, he chucked it head over cut off tail into a tree.
I would have felt bad for the snake as it smacked the branch, 
but it bit my son so I shrugged it off.
Christian put mud on it, as per a stranger's advice - to draw the toxins out.
Rest assured it wasn't a rattle snake.
Either that or my son has super human strength and rattle snake venom won't affect him.
Yeah, I like that idea. 
Maybe it was a rattle snake.