Thursday, June 26, 2008

But enough about you...

This is totally old. I started working on this in UT, but never finished. I'll post it officially until I'm sufficiently embarrassed and then re-post.

I've been "tagged," a first for me in this world o' blogs. Apparently this is a chance with the mike on to hear about little details of my life. My beautiful younger sister Heidi tagged me specifically so I must respond. So let's get on with it:

Ten years ago, I was... in New Westminister, BC, with Edlira Hoxha. Finishing up my mission serving with an Albanian girl ten years older than I who opened my eyes to how awesome it was to grow up in the USA and how horrible communism really is. Teaching lots of folks from Sudan and the Philippenes, humble and generous. And teaching my comp to drive. Completely scary.

Five years ago, I Jersey City, NJ, staying home with two little girls while Mark worked many many hours saving lives doing PR in Manhattan. Upstairs from 4 kind Indian families who cooked with onions, garlic, and curry nonstop. Not so bad occasionally, but when you're making banana bread or first wake up in the morning, not a smell you really go for. Consequently, I cannot stand that stuff while pregnant.

Speaking of that, One year ago I was....pregnant and carsick, driving back to TX from UT and a side trip to DC for my brother's wedding. With my 17 year old sister Liesl and my 3 kiddos. What a brave soul my sister is.

Yesterday I Heber, visiting my fabulous cousins the Palmers. We crashed their family reunion, and my children consumed their weight in junk food.

5 Fave snacks
Ice cream (Especially high quality)
homeade cookies or pie

5 Favorite Books
To Kill a Mockingbird
Les Miserables
Jane Eyre
Peter Pan
Persuasion (yes, I can count. I just had to add another.)

5 Favorite Movies
The Scarlet Pimpernell (although I kinda killed this one by overwatching it)
Pride & Prejudice
Monsters, Inc.
It's a Wonderful Life (even when it's not Christmastime!)

5 Bad Habits
Wasting time on the computer
Staying up too late
Talking too much

5 Things I'd never wear
Nose ring (seems like it'd be really awkward with a cold)
Short shorts
Belly dancer costume
shirts advertisting beer

5 Pet Peeves
Perpetual Sniffing
Chomping food/gum
Whistling (my poor, cheerful husband... has such a grumpy wife!)
Drivers who cut you off and then slam on the brakes, like I encountered 2 days ago.
Piano students with a nose-picking problem at the lesson.

5 Things I enjoy
hanging out with my beloved family or friends
Sleeping in!
Tickling my children
Successfully preparing a dinner I don't have to clean up after
Reading a good book with a good ending

5 Favorite TV shows
Design to Sell
Cosby reruns (older ones)
Burn Notice
Quick Fix Meals

5 Living People I would like to meet
Claudia and Richard Bushman
President Monson
Alton Brown
Patrick Von Bargen
Tom Hanks

5 favorite places to run away to:
My room
the bathroom (yes, sometimes I get desperate for privacy)
the Mountains (sadly, we don't have any around here)
the woods
the pond behind my house

Friday, June 20, 2008

Packing With Children

If you have ever had to prepare for a long trip (or even a short one) with children, you know my pain.

Yesterday, we were readying for a 3 week trip. With 4 small children and many tasks before us, we set off to clean the atrocious toyroom. Even cleaning under the toy shelves and under the beds, we cleaned that sucker good.

I then approached the Exploding Desk, as we call the desk that holds the computer and oh-so-many-other-things. I call it the Exploding Desk because it always looks like it's just about to explode...or already has. It's been awhile since I have waded through the bills, school papers, coupons, kiddie art, junk mail, Christmas cards, and let's just stop there before I incriminate myself further. While I was tackling this enormous task, Felicity and Katrina were upstairs.... packing.

When I went upstairs to investigate, that toyroom was now in shambles. There were 5 kiddie backpacks and 3 grocery store bags crammed full of toys and stuff. I looked inside to see what they were packing and none of it was good! Oh you know, stuff like towels still damp from swimming lessons, markers to color completely the Grand Canyon, Felicity's homework binder, etc etc. Felicity was instructed to pare down her Fun Stuff to one bag and then the hallway was suddenly littered. So much that Matthew, bringing up the laundry basket full of his clothes for me to pack, tripped and ejected the clothes everywhere too.

Meanwhile, as I was searching for clothes through my children's drawers (shoved with dirty and clean clothes alike, and in no particular order), Katrina was being a snowflake fairy and littering the whole upstairs with lovely white kleenexes. No really, this girl is 5.

Maxwell was a big helper and slept through the whole thing. What a champ!

We had a late night and now it's a late start. But we'll get there.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Oh, a Cowboy needs a Horse, Needs a horse, Needs a horse

Kindergarten is hard-core here, and many kids redshirt their first year, so preschool graduations are usually not Pomp and Circumstance. They do some other fun stuff though. Katrina's was a program all about Texas and involved 24 four and five year olds shouting "Deep in the Heart of Texas" and other such songs at the top of their lungs. It was sure cute though, and Katie Sue enjoyed it.

And this is Katrina's teacher Mrs. Bornstein, "Texafied" from New York. (Most Metroplex residents aren't from Texas. But they like it enough to stay forever.) Katrina really loved Mrs. B and yesterday was weeping about missing her. But we hear Miss Lawson is great, too.

Myself, I never went to preschool. My mother taught me at home. But I sure loved my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Knight, and so much that I came home on the very first day and said that I wanted to become a kindergarten teacher. Funny thing, that's what I actually studied in college, all those years later. There were some bad teachers along the way, but I think for the most part, I had good teachers in elementary school. I would say most of what I actually remember now comes from those years at Thomas and Orchard Elementary Schools.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Meet my son, No-Neck

Sometimes I try to see how far I can pull my kids' legs, just to see how much they will believe on account of my being their mother and mothers knowing just about everything. The other day, after bathing Maxwell, I was calling him "No-neck" (like of Drabble fame) and told the other children that he was born without a neck- his head is directly attached to his shoulders. He really does collect a lot of stinky lint under there.

But he doesn't seem to mind. So this past Monday, a friend from church told me that as she subbed Felicity's class on Sunday, she was teaching about how Jesus healed the sick and afflicted and that miracles continue to happen as people are healed. She said that Felicity was relieved to hear that because then Jesus would be able to give her baby brother a neck.
"Your baby brother has no neck???" the other children yelped.
"Yes. He was born without a neck; his head just goes onto his chest and shoulders."

Whoops, guess I was caught red-handed covering up commandment #9.

But isn't he adorable?

Friday, June 6, 2008

We went to the Animal Fair; the Birds and the Beasts were there

On April 30, Mark had a birthday. Here he is surrounded by his adoring children, who scrimped and saved for months to give him the water pitcher next to Matthew. The first one shattered when someone (Katrina) wanting COLD WATER took it out of the fridge. That's okay, Treen Bean. We won't cry over it.

In honor of the bunnies we saw that day, we had carrot cake for dessert. As the candles show, he turned five. Who wants to bet he's the biggest kid in his Kindergarten class next fall?

He had the day off, so we went to the Fort Worth Zoo. I've been to the San Diego Zoo, the Hogle Zoo (SLC), Dallas Zoo, St. Louis Zoo, the National Zoo (DC), Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Van Saun (teensy zoo in NJ) and probably other zoos that I can't remember, but I think the Fort Worth one is my very favorite. Why? Because things are close enough together that you don't have to walk all over creation, and yet there's enough space for the animals to have a nice habitat and be somewhat interactive with the folks who are visiting.

Here we are sitting on a very interactive animal, the Komodo Dragon.

The only sad part was going through the birds of prey section, where the birds were getting their lunch... perfectly white little bunny rabbits. We walked out of there pretty briskly, as Felicity has a special love for bunnies and seeing that would sway even a cold hearted non-animal person.

Next is The Birthday Boy with 3 of his children and some pink flamingoes. I think they actually color these guys pink because the birds in the wild turn pink from their shrimp diet. No kidding!

And the best part of the zoo is, when you get to the end and you're totally wiped out, there's a great train ride to take you all the way home. Or at least back to the front of the zoo, so you just walk through the gate and hike to your car. I must be a nice mom because I picked the most unflattering picture of myself to show everybody our fun train ride next to a TX longhorn.

And a good time was had by all.