Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Dear Santa,

How are ya, Big Fella?

Recuperated? Rested?

Good, Good!

Say, remember the last three years we've had that little post-stocking-filling discussion about super sized boxes of Christmas Nerds, that festively colored, fruity little treat that I did not want to become a Christmas tradition?

Hmmm, well, one of us forgot...AGAIN!

I'm not tossing blame around, it's just that there are half eaten boxes of Nerds lying around everywhere, spilling their tasty little nuggets of Christmasy cheer, into couches, onto counter-tops, carpets, and beds. And, what with someone bringing THREE buckets of those little plastic army guys...

So, for next year when your magical mind is figuring out how to fill those ginormous stockings that seemed like a great idea back in the day when there were only four of them, 8....not so much, think beyond the FRICKIN' NERD'S!!!

Uhhmm, let's not have this little conversation again, Mmkay?


Love ya tons!!

XOXOXO
Boy Mom

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Thoughts

It's 2:13 AM, Santa has come and gone, everything's wrapped and ready for tomorrow. There are gifts under the tree to hand out, presents from the "Big Fella" (as he's known at Boy House)attractively arranged, every dish (but one with a left over cracker and a half bottle of coke) is neatly washed and put away. We all worked together to wash walls, vacuum nooks and crannies, clean bedrooms and, Christmas miracle, the laundry room is clean with only 5 unwashed batches, can you hear the heavenly choirs? Even the pans, and utensils, serving platters and non-perishables are neatly arranged ready for our annual Christmas Breakfast.

This is my favorite time of Christmas, everything is perfect, like a snowy yard with no footprints or tip-tilted snowmen wearing, soggy scarfs and leaves that didn't get raked.

I wander through the silent house enjoying the lights, the decorations, full candy dishes, containers of fudge and cookies, brimming and ready to serve. I smile at the perfectly wrapped gifts and careful arrangement of packaged toys, and brand new clothes. I take pictures of the perfection like a picture will freeze it, make it last, quiet the chaos that will erupt as seven boys, a tired husband, and 40-50 breakfast guests crowd into our average size home.

I find my mind drawn to a still, silent night. I have felt the euphoria that comes after the labor and work of a birth is done, when the overwhelming pressure is over and the baby is cradled in my arms, fingers and toes examined, everything perfect. But that night in Bethlehem, that perfect, quiet moment was not what saved me, not what grants me strength to press through the trials of life, affords me courage to love, empowers me to overcome.

That came in the days and years to follow, from the heart pounding rush of a midnight flight, to the constant clamor of the ill and hungry. It came in the scorn of betrayal, the agony of Gethsemane the mocking on the path to Golgotha. There were quiet moments, with hearts and belly's full. Wondrous moments of gratitude for healing. Reassuring moments when Father spoke from the heavens. I'm sure those moments were savored as only a Savior can.

So I savor this quiet, this silent night, and rejoice that morning and noise and commotion will come. "For God", on a sacred, still night and again equally on a cacophonous, tumultuous hill, "So loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son. That whoso believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

Christmas blessings to all of my beloved bloggy friends!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gee Thanks, Babe!

Tonight I asked a man at work what gift he was getting his wife for Christmas.


"Well, I'm actually getting her a maid to come in and help with the heavy cleaning." (Yes, he's a doctor.)


"Wow, what a great gift. Will the maid be peeking out of the top of her stocking with a feather duster and a cute little french outfit?" (Yeah, I talk to doctors that way... 'cuz my jobs just for fun, don't cha know!)


The conversation started me to thinking that there are some gifts a husband could get his wife that, wonderful seeming though they may be, should, perchance, be accepted with suspicion.


Because I love you and wouldn't want your marriage to suffer many years from now when you suddenly suspect an ulterior motive behind all those unique and wondrous gifts your dear one showered on you, I've made a little Suspish List.

Boy Mom's Suspish List

1) A French Maid


Uhhh, Mon Cheri, unless she's from Winnemucka, France, drives an older Japanese car, wears sweats and a t-shirt that says I conquered the Monster Steak Sandwich at Frenchy's Bar and Grill...Be suspicious.


2) Sugar-free Chocolate and diet soda


Chiquita, this should immediately bring to mind that sweet pick-up line from the movie Napoleon Dynamite, "I see you're drinking 1% (milk, for those unlucky enough to not have this movie oft quoted in their presence), is that because you think you're fat? 'Cause you're not. You could be drinking whole if you wanted too." Now, let suspicion invert the quote. Don't question the logic? It's 3:00a.m. and Boy Mama's sleepy.


3) A Couples Massage from,
BENEFITS SPA
Desiree Jucy, CMT


Ladies, lovely as an hour of knot kneading may sound...this is the gift you refund for a Rubbed Steak at Outback with your best girlfriend. Trust Boy Mom on this one.


5) Self-help Books


What you sayin' boy? Don't mis-read, Boy Mama's all about self improvement; jus', self-motivated, self-improvement.


6)Ironing Boards, Hangers and Spray Starch


Sister, take that highly suspicious crap back to Walmart toute de suite (learned that fancy term from the French maid).


7) If the box says, STANLEY, DE WALT, CRAFTSMAN or comes from HOME DEPOT


Precious, I want to put this gently...He's going to be getting a whole lot more out of that chain saw then you, even if you are the 'crafty type'.


8) A year of ESPN2 and a new cable box.


Girl, if you love LPGA Wednesdays, re-runs of Pete Sampras before the hair went bye-bye, and soccer players (yum), this may be the perfect gift. If you're still trying to sound out LPGA...then, not so much.


9) Naughty Lingerie


Sweet Cheeks, if you can't wear it to drag the garbage can to the street 20 seconds before the truck gets to your house. If it's inappropriate to drive the lil' 'uns to school in, even with a ratty 'ol bath robe over it. Well then, it just might be the gift that keeps giving. To. Him. Jus' keepin' it real, ladies.


10) If, at any time during the Holiday Season, you hear that darlin' man of yours say something like, "Girl, my Mom and I picked up a truly fab little wifey gift that you're just going to A. Dore!" (Hmm, well if he says anything, about any subject, like that... then, Hon, we need to have a whole 'nother little chat).Let's jus' say if "My Mom" and "gift" come up in the same sentence, gal, let, Boy Mom's Suspish Gift List be your guide and don't you even open that little bundle. Hide it under the piles of discarded wrapping paper. (Unless, of course your Mum-in-law is super cool like mine and picks out absolutely amazing gifts. She says she reads my blog, we'll see :))


Now, Luv, If you get such a gift from your Numero Uno, don't despair. Hug on that boy, tell 'im you love, Love, LOVE it, then hit those after Christmas sales hard. Buy your wonderful lil' self something really, really great, Boy Mom insists.



My work here is done. Feel free to re-produce copies for all your girlies.

And, remember, if a lady doesn't give her man an amazing gift, well then, Sugar Plum... 'nuff said.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Swiftly Home

I've been thinking a lot lately about the choices I make, the choices others make and the experiences that those choices lead too.

I've spent most of my life believing that the experiences we have are good or bad and that it's all tied into making good and bad choices. I have been guilty many times, of thinking my choices and resultant experiences were the good choices and that others, who were living life differently then I, were, "Doing it wrong." I have been happy to, "tsk tsk" them and all too willing to point out the error of their ways so they might benefit from a set of experiences more similar to mine.


I have, on the other hand, looked at someones life situation and their experiences as better then mine. I have scolded myself for not being more like so and so. I have spent many hours trying to figure out how to make different choices so my life could be as wonderful as I perceived other lives were.


Mostly though I have gone back to my past over and over and over beating myself up for choices and experiences I have lived and wondering, till I'm sick of being in my own skull, how much better my life would be if I had just not made certain choices.


The past nearly three years our family has had many experiences that I never expected to have. It is easy, and most would say important, for us to look at these experiences as bad, wrong and painful to ourselves and others. I have gone from feeling like a victim, to being angry, to setting impossibly ridiculous lists of goals and precautions to prevent these experiences from ever happening again and to fix the pain caused.


A few days ago I was trying to deal with the emotions of handling it all and trying to figure out what the, "Right" thing to do was. I had not been awake long and was still in bed, wrapped in a blanket, near tears trying to figure it all out. #7 burst through the bedroom door, flipped over the foot board of the bed, and dove at me for a hug. As soon as he caught sight of my face he stopped and asked, "Mom, what's wrong?"


I briefly explained that I was trying to figure out some things and that people were hurting and asked him to pray for them and me. He rolled over closed his eyes and silently prayed. After a minute or so he sat up, curled up in my lap and asked, "Mom, why do we say bless us to get swiftly home ?"


"Do you mean, get safely home?" I asked.


"Oh!" He said, gave me a hug and kiss, jumped off the bed and ran out to play.


I can't get that thought out of my head. "Bless us to get swiftly home."


We come to this earth to receive a mortal body, have experiences that teach us to know our spiritual selves, to yield flesh to the spiritual self, so that we may return home to God, literally at some point and to create in our fleshly tabernacles the peace of our heavenly home.


I have cautioned my children over and over about choices and experiences that I have deemed unsafe. I have held them back, scolded them, and attempted to force them into certain choices and experiences. I have done this, I tell them and myself, for their safety; because, we all know that you just can't learn anything good from bad choices. I've worked really hard to set them on the right path. The only path, my path. I have cautioned not only my children but many others against choices they were making.I have spent much of my life miserably convinced that I knew the safest way home. Until a sweet son innocently suggested a new perspective.

What if safely isn't the answer? What if safely home should be swiftly home and what if all our experiences are bringing us swiftly home?

Maybe I am too quick to label choices as good and bad, maybe they are just choices that lead to the experiences that teach me of my spiritual nature? What if the factor determining that an experience is good or bad is what I learn? What if every choice I make is like a stepping stone in the river of experience, and we each are connected to our Heavenly home by a river flowing between God and us? Would I sit prudently on the bank, avoiding the swift, swirling waters for safety's sake?


If I knew that leaping from rock to rock, was the way home to Father would I stand flat footed on a big rock in my river, proud of my choice, sure I had avoided a terrible experience. Would I proudly look over at other river runners, and shout safe navigational instructions? Would I mock or scold when a jump landed them in the current and carried them, bumping along? Would I forsake the wet, rocky path of my river, scramble up on the bank to sit scared and shivering, agonizing over the slippery rocks, and wild currents.

My personal river has, at times, felt like a happy little brook until it merges with another river. Suddenly we are sharing currents and eddies, rocks, submerged logs, mud and turbulence. As the volume of water increases, we may both feel we are tumbling down stream to fast, out of control. Each may lose sight of their personal connection with God. Then we may begin to blame others insisting that their choices are determining our experience. We feel that we're drowning and flail helplessly, clinging to any little floating scrap of debris.

That's where I am, clinging, treading until every muscle aches.

But you know... I'm learning. I'm learning, from the warm, dry, days and the wet, scary, slippery days. I'm thinking that if God can offer a little peace though the simple faith of a 6 year old then surely I can keep leaping from rock to rock, choice to choice, learning from each experience and finding the grace to allow others their choices and experiences with love and compassion. I'm tired of judging, overwhelmed with worrying, ready to look to Father and love living each moment of my journey swiftly home.


I remembered this picture by Greg Olsen after re-reading this post. I could have just posted the picture it sums up my thoughts so beautifully. Greg Olsen, Fear Not

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Listing

I haven't posted in quite a while, it's on my Christmas To Do list. It's just below fulfilling my boys wish lists.

#1-- I'm just happy to be serving the Lord. Ahhhhhh!
#2-- Just a couple books about transcendentalism and spiritual quantum physics. Uhhhh!
#3--A girl. Ummmm...
#4--A mixer board. Whaaa?
#5--A helicopter with a remote control crane and eye. Sheesh!!
#6--A Rip Stick. Hmmm... (I think I was supposed to be riding one of those this year.)
#7--A pot of gold. Riiiiiiight!
#8--I don't know. Grrrrr!


So as soon as I get done checking out the army surplus store for a helicopter and catching that Leprechaun....

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What Does Boy House Wish You and Yours for Thanksgiving?

This morning cuddling in bed with #6 and #7, the subject of pies came up.

Boy Mom: #6 what is your favorite kind of pie?

#6: Pumpkin...Duh!

Boy Mom: #7, what's your favorite kind of pie?

#7: I like them all mixed together.

#6, Boy Mom and Adorable Hubby: Wha???

#7:What? It tastes like rainbows!

So from Boy House to your house, Thanksgiving rainbows...Duh!

Seriously though, so thankful for all of you.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Of Mice and Boy Mom

"Mice are dumb!" That's how a thirteen year old boy comforts you when guilt over a mouse trap that didn't finish the job turns you into a big bawl baby.

But, getting caught in a trap is not what makes mice dumb. Nor is leaving little love pellets in the cabinet under the sink, that would be what makes mice freaking, gross, germy, disgusting, vulgar, little varmints.

Nope, what makes mice dumb is the same thing that makes this Boy Mom dumb. And, that would be cheese!

I don't know if mice really even like cheese, they're still dumb whether they do or not. I do know that I like only a few carefully selected varieties of cheese. Yet, whenever they sample cheese at Costco I try a piece. Bleaaagh!

Dumb barely covers it!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

We Believe




We're all about wholesome Christian principals here at Boy House.



But some of them make us grit our teeth a little...apparently.

Monday, November 8, 2010

As Easy as Fall...ing Off a Log




This has been an easy fall.



Downright balmy for our lil' old state. Saturday I watched a little girl ride by on her scooter, bare-footed, dressed in shorts and a tank top, it's November in Utah, and it made sense.

And, Ohhh the jump on thankfulness, in this thanksgiving month, when the temperature stays warm enough that no one, gets frostbite at a football game.

But, now that football is over and turkeys are plumped, the green leaves and growing grass is getting old.

I need crisp fall mornings, and evenings that make necessities of hot soup and hot chocolate and long, blanketed cuddles.

So, this morning when Maxine, the most put together, say what she means co-worker ever, told me to enjoy the weather I was expecting another sunny, balmy day.

I smiled at the rain, at Maxine's sarcasm, and walked slowly to the car. At home I took my time falling asleep and woke to the sounds of rain on the roof, the smell of wet leaves, wet boys and new rubber rain boots. Ahhh sensory heaven!

I was so inspired that I put on a pair of warm sweats, a hoodie and... flip flops?? And went to get a... pedicure??? Wha???? I know I'm a nut when I'm operating on too little sleep, I have cute fall colored toes though...the inside of my boots will appreciate them.

Now, I have a fall confession to make.

I have a set of Halloween tree ornaments and...I know, Turkey Day tree ornaments. I was so inspired by the blustery fall weather that I convinced #6 and #7 to hang turkeys and sunflowers on the tree. They made sarcastic little comments like, "What are you going to hang on the Christmas tree next, Mom, Christmas stuff?"

Another fall confession, I made pies, pumpkin and apple, and I didn't share with any friends or neighbors. Not even my Mom. I have a little streak of pie stingy going on 'cause I don't really make pies; but, when fall weather inspires me to venture out of my baking comfort zone and it turns out this beautiful...I promise they were just like this, well that's when I make a cup of something warm and steamy with an extra scoop of cream and I imagine I live life out on the open road. My home is


an airstream trailer, my kitchen table a truck stop cafe', pie and country music is a meal and a change of seasons is just a few miles down the road.

So fall, if you're really out there and today's' rain and cool wasn't a brief interlude in an endless summer, hurry up already, I wanta rake leaves and buy socks and put away the shorts and eat turkey and bite into a frosted apple.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Teams

It's easy, in a family of so many boys, for a sport, that 5 or more boys are playing and a dad is coaching, to become the living, breathing, eating focus of every moment of its season.

It has felt like football had taken over our lives the past few months. School work, schedules, church activities, sleep, meals all of it has been effected.

Except for #4, somehow he just calmly does whatever needs to be done in each moment. At football he is consistent and diligent he plays to the best of his ability and expects everyone else to do the same. He is supportive of other players and does his best to be on time and focused at each practice or game.

School work is finished each day, he even signed up for a study class so he'd have extra time to get it all done.

At the beginning of this school year we signed him up for 8th grade orchestra. He had learned to play the electric bass and we figured it was the same as the string bass. The orchestra teacher (who looks about 17 years old) corrected our assumption that the two basses are the same and let us know that she would accept #4 into 8th grade orchestra only because she had no other bass player in that group.

#4 stayed after school and worked with his teacher 2 or 3 days week. He practiced diligently. We could recognize tunes immediately and were impressed, but we were so busy with football that his efforts largely went unnoticed.

#4's football team was really doing well. Every game won! Playoffs beginning. One night #4 mentioned a concern about a conflict he could see coming. His football games were on Wednesdays and in two weeks he had an orchestra concert on Wednesday.

I gotta admit I'm not that scheduled a person. I figure if I can get through this week that two weeks from now will take care of itself. So I gave him my best advice. "Well, we'll just have to pray that your football game is at 8:00 and your concert is at 7:00 and then you can do both; but, I will support whatever decision you make."

#4 debated the decision for two weeks concerned he would have a choice to make. And, he did! Tuesday before football practice he asked me what he should do. His concert was at 7:00PM his game at 8:00 PM. This was an important game, his couch wanted him at the field for warm-ups by 6:45, he was a starter, and 2 other boys were going to miss the concert for the game.

This is when parenting is really gut wrenching. I'll beat my boys into submission without a flinch; but, helping them decide between two equally important and worthwhile activities, YIKES!

We discussed the similarities between the activities, how football was a team sport and he was important to the team; but, that he was the only bass player and had made a commitment and received a lot of personal help from his teacher as well. #4 decided that we had to do both. So at 6:45 PM, despite the strenuous protests of his coach and his two older brothers, #4 was in his seat, dressed in Sunday best, waiting for the concert to begin.

Adorable Hubby and I found seats and waited. I sat silently praying it would all come together and that we had parented effectively, that the right decision had been made.

7:03PM. The concert begins, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is squeaked out by the 7th graders.

7:09 PM It was a long, stinkin' version of Twinkle, Twinkle...

7:10PM The orchestra teacher begins explaining exactly how she wants the students to practice, she has them demonstrate each technique.

7:20PM Adorable Hubby has elbowed me so many times in the ribs that I was actually thankful, for the first time ever, that I have padding. And, I was seriously questioning my parenting.

7:25 PM 7th grade Orchestra leaves the stage and 8th grade files on. Thankfully they are seated quickly and the lone bass player is perched on a stool bow posed ready to begin.

7:26 PM The first song starts, the deep, perfectly tuned notes of the bass add fullness and harmony to the music.

7:29 PM The song ends and Adorable Hubby and I are in tears as the teacher praises the efforts of this group, she begins to put the microphone down for the next song, Adorable Hubby and I sigh with relief, she brings the microphone back to her mouth. "Oh one more thing, we're so thrilled to have Ben Smith here tonight as our bass player he has done a years worth of work in just over a month."

7:30PM Adorable Hubby and I can't see the stage. Yep! We both know that we're big boobs and that one of us has big... never mind.

7:33 PM The second song ends #4, Adorable Hubby and I run for the car.

7:50PM After a quick in car clothing change including a stop at home for forgotten cleats, lest you think #4 isn't all forgetfully normal teen boy, we arrive at the field.

8:00PM #4 begins his best game of the season. Boy Mom cradles a hot chocolate and gives Adorable Hubby a few, I'm not a nut job parent after all, elbows to the ribs.

10:15 PM #4 comes into our bedroom for a goodnight hug. Adorable Hubby tells him, "Now don't tell your brothers I said this... you played an incredible game tonight and I was very proud of you; but, I was even more proud of your efforts in orchestra."

We're an all boy house and sports seasons, especially football, can consume us, thanks to our amazing son who's choices reminded us that life is most beautiful when it is balanced.

And, last night his team won the middle weight championship. Football season is officially over. YAY!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Costume Made Halloween

This was an odd year for Halloween it being on Sunday and all. I am usually ready to go with decorations and costume boxes to be dug through and costumes decided on by the 15th at the latest. But, this year it was hard to get in the spirit (a little Halloween joke) and my usual Halloween night soup, and treats Hangout, a 7 year tradition, was on the 29th, which coincidentally was the same day as the three little boys school costume parade and my second day of cooking (Usually cook for at least three days) first day of decorating and cleaning.

The costume box found it's way to the living room on the 28th around 8:00 pm which is when #5 decided to use the 11 year old wizard costume first worn by #1 and #6 decided on the 12 year old grim reaper cloak most often worn by #2 (a child with a darker humor) and #7 grabbed a Sponge Bob costume given to us last year by who knows who.

The 29th dawned cloudy and cold and very early. At 7:10 am three boys were on my bed with the bag of colored hair sprays and face paint left over from last year.

#5: (round faced 9 year old) Should I wear this wizard hat or this wizard hat?

We have two wizard costumes and a lizard costume, one year due to #4 and his inability to pronounce his L's we had a Wizard, a Wizard and a W(L)izard. I love all the memories that haunt me when I open the costume box each year. (I know, I've obviously eaten way to much pilfered trick or treat candy and really need to knock it off with the lame Halloween humor attempts)

Boy Mom: (Very sleepy 40 something) We could forget the wizard hat and spray your hair gold. (As she smears white and black grease paint on a pale skinny #6 in his too big grim reaper costume)

#5: Do wizards have gold hair?

Boy Mom: (yawning) Duh! They can have whatever hair color they want...they're wizards. We could spray your hair black. ( to grim reaper boy)

#6: (He was already pale, probably in anticipation of puking his guts out later that night, and with the white face paint and black around his eyes...) Actually, Grim Reapers have white hair.

#5: Actually, Grim Reapers have NO hair.

#6: Actually, you're right!

#7: (Excited, Blond, 6 year old in a sponge bob costume.) Actually, can I have blue hair?

#5 and #6: (Loudly and in unison) You're Sponge Bob???!!!

Boy Mom: (Feeling her first caffeine craving of the day) Actually, I could use a couple more hours sleep...Arghh!


We had a lovely get together with friends, some have been coming to celebrate with us for all 7 years now. Decorations were up! Soups were hearty! Treats were abundant! House was mostly clean! Puking didn't start until 5:00 AM or so.

And even though it seemed an odd year it ended up being a Bootiful Happy Halloween!

If I pinky swear no more Halloween humor, will you all come next year?!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pink Mystery

Not a lot of pink laying around at boy house...just isn't there.

Also, you would be sadly disappointed if you were looking for a girl toy. Wait, we have those.. so to speak, uhh hmm... I believe I'm trying to say, play items directed towards the interest of little girls.

Take baby dolls for instance, we did get one once. Just before #2 was born I bought a baby doll with a little blue pajama sleeping bag outfit to prepare #1 to be a big brother. He held it for 20 seconds or so, handed it back and patted me on the leg, "You baby, Mom." He said.

That baby doll was loved on briefly by each of our sons when they went through the figuring out the difference between mommies and daddies phase. And, that baby doll, he remained clean and in his little blue pajama outfit until little girl cousins came to play... Y'all, girls are hard on baby dolls. They draw on them, undress them, drag them out to the sandbox....

Any who, the other day my American Girl catalog arrived in the mail. This is a super sized, super little girly magazine full of dolls and every accessory imaginable for dolls themed to different eras of American history and the beautiful faces and customs of the many immigrants that make America.

I get the American Girl catalog because at some point, a few years ago, I was sure I would get a little girl some day and that she and I would delight in all things pink and girly...I was probably delusional from puking non-stop for 5 months with morning sickness.

On the second page of the catalogue is pictured row after row of versions of the original doll. All the same face, full cheeks and a darling mouth with two perfect little white teeth; but, with nearly any combination of hair color, skin tone and eye color so that your little American Girl can have a doll that looks uniquely like her.


#7: Mom what's this. {He hands me the magazine with a confused look}.

Boy Mom: It's a catalog of baby doll stuff.

#7: Huh????

Boy Mom: For girls.

#7: Ohhhhh!! {He looks at the rows of dolls on the first page.}

#7: They're all the same! He's confused again.

Boy Mom: They have different skin and eyes and hair so the doll can look just like the girl. Which one would look like you?

#7: Hmmmm, {he has to check, he climbs up to look in the mirror.} I have white hair and white skin and blue eyes. {Our boys don't learn hair color words until they're umm...18?? }

{What??? it just doesn't come up.}

#7: I'm like that one. {He points at a blue eyed, blond doll.}

Boy Mom: Good job! Shall we look to see what kind of clothes you like to wear.

#7: Uhhh, {he gives me a why on earth would we do that look} Let's look to see what doll Lily is. {Lily is his best friend who is a girl.}

#7: Hmmm??? {He intently studies the pictures but just can't figure it out.}

Boy Mom: What about this one? {Points at a Lily looking doll.}

#7: {Peering closely at the doll.} Yep, I think you're right Mom. Her has Brown Hair like Lily. Her has brown eyes like Lily. And, her has... buck teeth?????


Did I mention that female pronouns aren't learned at an early age either?

And that I'll be cancelling my American Girl catalog.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Powelling Around



First! Will someone please hurry over and SLAP me for that post title!

In Utah and surrounding states we are known for our amazing sandstone canyons. Many are national parks. Zions! Arches! Capital Reef is one I've spent a lot of time hiking and swimming in. These are crazy beautiful creations of nature and I never get tired of hiking, exploring and discovering for the bazillionth time each little nook and cranny of brilliantly colored canyon, dry, sandy riverbed floors enclosed by, 100 foot straight up on either side, rock walls.

Pictures (mostly pirated from friends cameras) are of me and my boys and the many friends that have joined us at Capital Reef over the years. I include them so you'll have a picture of how how incredible these parks are and then be able to imagine how cool they are when you add water. Just Add Water... now that would have been a good post title.



One of these canyon areas, carved by the Colorado River, is Glen Canyon which at some point (really not in the mood to research a Utah history lesson here) was filled with water when they dammed the river so that desert states like Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada and California would have water available year round. This huge man-made lake, well known to folks in the Western US as Lake Powell is named after a one armed explorer (really, he had one arm).

Lake Powell is a hugely popular recreation site and we have some friends who have a house boat. They have asked us many times to come down and hang out with them so, over fall break we went. Neither the other Mom nor I brought our camera so you'll have to imagine how fun it was and how great we all looked in our swimsuits four days straight.

I worked up until the day we left so trip preparations, which usually for me include, multiple changes of clothing for every family member , any food and drink item imaginable, 5 or more preparation only trips to stores, a spotlessly clean(in case we die and someone has to go through it) house, all the laundry done and a valiant effort to lose 50lbs and get into Olympic triathlete shape all in one marathon 24 hour rush the day before we leave, were severely limited.

Yes, of course, Adorable Hubby and the boys love my OCD trip preparations...OK! I'm lying! Preparation for this trip was exactly their style. We made it to Costco with no menu plan carefully written to include food preferences, allergies and favorites of each person in the travel party, with alternative meal items and specialty foods. We bought some stuff! We went to a football game, came home found a couple coolers, went to bed got up 45 minuets before we were leaving, yelled at everybody to put on a swimsuit grab a blanket and some pajamas, piled in the suburban and pulled out.

Fortunately our hosts were terrific and didn't mind that between #5, #6 and #7 there were two pajama pants and 1 shirt, and that #3 wore Underarmor underwear as a swimsuit, I never did quite figure out if he didn't bring a swimsuit or just thought it was an acceptable option. They also didn't complain that there was no garlic in the Alfredo sauce even though I insisted that no floating marina store would be without garlic and that it would be worth the 45 minute trip.

We spent four days zipping over the lake, wind in our hair, soaking up the last rays of sun, swimming, eating, skinny dipping...uhhh chunky dunking, laughing, climbing up huge sand hills, making inappropriate sand shapes, eating, laughing, exploring, building rafts, eating, listening to bowel sounds, laughing and wondering why it had taken us so many years to get to Lake Powell.

Thanks to our Pals the Gardner family for being such terrific hosts, for finally getting us down to Lake Powell and for the best fall break ever,"We'll Powell around with you any time."

Really, really needing that slap right about now...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dazed and Confused Mondays

There are some things that leave me feeling befuddled.


Take goat cheese. It smells like barf. So when is it too barfy smelling to serve?


Tonight leaving a church meeting I passed the teenager meeting just starting, as I walked by I heard their leader encouraging them to be on time. Out in the parking lot I said hi to several people coming late????? Uhhh, maybe talkin' to the wrong crowd, darlin'.


You know that building? The one that is a new resturaunt every 6 months. What is it about that building??? And, who are these people that think, "ahhh... but the last 30 owners didn't have what I got."



Walking past a 3 foot x 3 foot talking, blinking skull at Costco. #7 says, "Woahhhhh! Mom, that's the coolest Christmas decoration ever!!!"

"Uhh, the coolest Halloween decoration ever?" I question.

"I know! Right?" He gives me a thumbs up.

"???"




Don't you just love it when the traffic Gods are smiling on you and the perfect left turn opportunity opens up before you? The kind of left hand turn that flows, not to close to the car in front of you, no braking, Nascar stuff, taking you smoothly through a crowded intersection without a pause. What really was the point of a pale Adorable Hubby mentioning that it was a four way stop?


Costco once again, I've escaped all by myself for a little girl time. I have two items a lime green and blue bottle of Herbal Essences shampoo, and a twin pack of feminine products. "Is that everything?" asks the checker, he's looking mighty fine in his pointy toed shoes and his mod shirt. I'm kinda distracted by the highlights in his perfectly messy hair or something because I say, "Yes....Oh! Wait! I forgot! I need a weiner!" What the... is the matter with me? It's like I need a Haz Mat wash down to get the testosterone off before I go out in public.


So what makes you a bit soft in the head?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Seasoning

It's turned blustery and it snowed on the mountain tops. I love fall, breaking out sweaters and soup recipes.

This fall has felt like an endless summer, 87 degree days, air conditioner and sprinklers still turned on, Saturday I got sunburned at the football game.

Football? Well if you insist.

I'm kinda the quintessential football Mom.

I get that you can't wash the luck out of winning uniforms, "Embrace that smell!"

I know that winners need celebration and losers need space.

I don't talk to coaches during the game even if it's something real important like, what they want for dinner.

I don't yell, "Ohhhh man, I just washed those pants!" Well, not out-loud anyway.

I bring cool after game snacks.

I mostly know what all the penalty signs mean...well, I know what grabbing on, face masking and pushing look like. And I know to yell, "Let em play!" When it's against us, and "That's right!" When it's against them.

I know to bring sunglasses and ice water and blankets and hot chocolate to the same game because you just never know.

At little league games I stalk up and down the sidelines and shout encouraging stuff, "That's OK tigers, shut them down on the...uhh, after..point...thingy!"

When my little players get hurt by the big, mean first and second graders on the other team I give them a hug, a drink and yell, "Now go kick their asses!"

And some Saturdays I do it all at the same game while wearing my Fully Chested t-shirt, I'm just quintessential that way...

And, WOW! am I looking forward to football being over and nothing but raking and baking.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dog Days of Summer

I have never really understood what, "dog days of summer" was referring too until this year.

Apparently it's when your black furry dog sheds his summer coat to make room for the winter coat and the last few days of summer are spent in a cloud of fur an inch thick all over your house.

But, understanding the old saying hasn't really cleared anything up...

Why, does the dog need to shed the old fur? Can't he just grow some winter fur to add to the summer fur, like layering a blouse and a jacket over a tank top?

Does shop vacuuming a dog help with shedding? Oh! Oh! Pick me! I know! The answer is no, not really.

"Wait, your dog will stand there and let you shop vac him? He doesn't run or bite at the vacuum?"

"What can I say, he doesn't get layering either."

And how can a dog with the surface area of...ummm, a dog, shed enough hair to cover the entire surface area of a house? Isn't that a mathematical impossibility?

Finally, and most importantly why the crap did I not see this coming when I stood at the pound, on the other side of the kennel wondering why this dog wasn't barking with all the rest.

Doggone dog days of summer!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What's In Your Wallet?

I have, after many years, reached a point in child rearing where I can look at my purse as a fashionable accessory rather then a diaper bag.

I celebrated with smallish purses that held the basics, a wallet, lip gloss, powder, girly supplies and a pen.

Then came Hobo bags.

I held out! I was potty-trained...er my boys were potty trained. A Hobo bag was large, it could hold a lot of stuff, I didn't need or want a lot of stuff hanging off my shoulder, whacking me in the back. I've been there and done that.

Then an inexpensive, go with anything Hobo bag caught my eye. It was voluminous. I promised to show some restraint.

Now, I'm the type that gets waved through security check points. Everyone in the party may get ID'd. Not me!

So imagine my surprise the other day when my purse was searched by a security guard at the court house. Apparently the x-ray machine showed some suspicious items.

First, the dour looking guard pulled out a flashlight. Hmm...it does kinda looks like the silencer to a gun, I thought. He turned it on, turned it off then dropped it back in the bag.

I believed the embarrassment for both of us was over.

NOPE!

He continued to dig though pulling out item after item and comparing them to the picture on the screen.

A tinfoil pack of Tuna Fish
Pineapple tags
Muscle relaxant cream in a metal tube
Five lip gloss in various containers
Lotion
KY Jelly
Two sets of keys
A hair brush
A tooth brush
A package of diaper wipes
Two powder compacts
A finger nail file
A glasses cleaning kit
12 pens
4 lbs of coins
Toe separators
Wallet containing 3 more lbs of coins
A tin of Altoids
3 packages of gum
A bottle of shampoo
A bottle of hand sanitizer
2 eyeliners
Mascara
An envelope full of amusement park discount tickets
Two bottles of vitamins
A bubble gum sucker
A Happy Easter pencil
A months worth of grocery store receipts
Coupons
Deodorant
Dental floss
A check book
A Zip Lock of herbal tea bags
And, one tampon

What the poor guy didn't find was the pocket knife he thought he'd spotted.

Can you imagine a Boy Mom purse without a pocket knife? I too was a bit shocked!

I think I'll give my hobo bag to a hobo and downsize. I have no restraint!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Football Hostage Update

I was able to sneak this letter out...

The tortures are terrible I'm being asked to do unspeakable things. Like figure out how to get three boys and one Adorable Hubby to three different practices at three different locations at the same time. With one car.

Tonight they violated the Geneva convention by strapping me to a metal stadium bench and dumping gallons of rain water over my hair, in my face, down my shirt and pants while electrical currents flashed overhead. Finally when I was thoroughly soaked the wind machines were turned on and the temperature was dropped 20 degrees. Human Rights Advocates grab your poster boards somebody needs to protest.

There have been demeaning questions, "Why did you let #5 take my water bottle I filled?" "Why are we never eating dinner until 8:45pm?" "I hate football! Why did you sign me up when I cried and begged and told you I was unloved if you wouldn't?"

When it all gets to be to much they send in a little 7 year old who has worn full football gear constantly since last Christmas, and can't understand why he doesn't practice on Sunday. He tells me with shining eyes, "Mom, my position is secret ninja guard!"

"Do you mean free safety?"

"Yeah!!!!" With such joy and wonder that I forget for a moment that I'm a captive and develop a bad case of Stockholm Syndrome, start identifying with my captors and even fall in love with their cause...until they ask the most unspeakable thing of all.

"Mom, will you wash my football stuff?"

If you get this letter send chocolate and a chauffeur and a maid.

Love,

Boy Mom

Monday, August 16, 2010

Stuff I Need to Get OFF My Chest (Or, in Some Instances, ON)


I was bitter and angry when the Schlotzsky's Deli near our home closed. For the past several years I have suffered bouts of depression and unreasonable anger when faced with purchasing a substandard sandwich. Oh Joy! Adorable Hubby found a Shlotzsky's Deli in Utah only 22 miles away according to Google. There is also a Schlotzsky's in Pocatello, Idaho 183 miles away and seriously worth the drive and whatever social stigma is attached to driving 183 miles to get a sandwich in Pocatello.

There now, I feel much better... unless I think of Kenny Rogers Roasters.


My boys are really good to let me sleep during days when I've worked a graveyard. From time to time though they feel compelled to wake me for some really important news. I don't resent these important moments in the least.

On Thursday an entirely new and earth shatteringly important discover was made in Boy Yard.

Apparently one of these.



Got it on together with one of these.



And created one of....




Sadly, #5 pushed (No I didn't it was an accident) #7 (It wasn't an accident and he HIT me and it was his fault) who landed on the newly discovered land Crustacean (Rolly Polly's are crustaceans, I Googled it.) with pincers and squished out it's kind forever.

Terribly sad, because we all know how rare crustaceans with pincers are. The entomological world and #7 are reeling from the blow.


Worth getting woke up for and not at all resentment causing.

And since we're on the subject of graveyard shifts. I usually get up around 3:00 PM, throw on some clothes and try to get a few things done before getting ready for work at 8:00 PM or often later. I usually leave for work at 8:45 PM, or often later, with wet hair and no make up, and I always drive at 90 miles an hour with the windows open to savor a little of my favorite time of day.

So when I arrive at work having used the open windows as my hair dryer and put on whatever make up I could find in my purse, I kinda look like this.



Smokin' Hot, I know. And, when arriving at Radiology from the ER patients seem really calmed by my appearance. A working girl does what she can.

Why can't I get organized and to places on time?


And speaking of awesome t-shirts and chests... What? Well we are now!


This is the t-shirt/slogan handed out to local college football fans a couple years back.




And this is the much awesomer version made for my Birthday by my awesomely artistic and dashingly manly friend, Paul. His gorgeous female counterpart, Mandi made me cookies and negotiated the always tricky woman's sizing dilemma, earning her an awesome accolade as well.


Now that's something worth keeping on my chest.

All t-shirt modeling inquiries will be handled by my agent, Adorable H Hubby Dawg, yo!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Sweetest Things

Monday August 9th we took our 4 youngest boys and their cousin back to Lagoon, the large amusement park in our state. We really enjoyed our visit a couple weeks ago. So much so that Adorable Hubby got all spontaneous on me and insisted we bounce back (only $10.00 a person to come back with in the next couple weeks of your full price, or coupon price, visit).

I love when Adorable Hubby get's spontaneous so we ditched the dirty house, over grown lawn and laundry for a fun night.

On our first ride, the Tilt-A-Whirl I kept making eye contact with the ride operator, he apparently thought it was more then me begging for the ride to be over soon so I could run find a restroom because as we got off he offered me his hand, a suave smile and probably said, "Have a really great day". To #6 and I his accent made it sound a lot like a really sincere, "Happy Birthday!"

"Wow!" Said #6 looking up at me wide-eyed, "How did he know it's your Birthday tomorrow?"


So, since everyone at Lagoon and most likely the whole world knows it's not at all vain for me to blog about my birthday. Right?

I started the day by sleeping in until 9:45, not without kicking the dog and multiple boys including some neighbor kids out of my room, but still 9:45 WOO HOO!

It would have been a bit later but that's when #4 and #5 came in with breakfast in bed. Three 8 inch pancakes with peanut butter and organic maple syrup, two cold, rubbery fried eggs (a #5 delicacy, he's 9 just smile and eat), eight pieces of bacon, and two pieces of toast, artfully arranged on a meat serving platter that may have needed to be rinsed off before use.

And it was delicious! I have wonderful sons! And a 2000 calorie breakfast on your birthday is perfectly acceptable...?

Next, I hung out in bed and texted with some friends and discovered the joys of a birthday on facebook, when I found 30+ greetings from friends and family and a stranger from India who thinks I have nice eyes in my email in box.

My sister Laura is in town, she is just 13 months younger than me, we were really close in college, last year we almost lost her to an aneurysm. She is in town for a week! What a great present, to hang out with Laura and my youngest sister Jenny. We pedicured, Pier Oned, Chilli'sd and laughed and talked. Sweeter than the free brownie at Chilli's is time with those you love.

I got home and suddenly remembered I was married and had children, errands and dirty dishes...fortunately my friend Suzie called and we chatted through the errands and chores. A best friend is the best birthday present you'll ever get and you get it every stinking day! Sweet!

I Finished off the day at dinner with Adorable Hubby and came home to well wishes and treats from more friends.

Thanks everyone for making it a great day! And, I heartily reccomend a spontaneous night including an unexpected if misinterpreted birthday greeting from a teenager at an amusement park to keep you from feeling too old.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

RanSOm NoTe

I've Got BoY MOm.

IF you WaNt heR baCk place...

A couPle thou$and dollar$
FiVe sEtS of PaDs
FIve (GaG) MoUth GUaRds
fiVe JersEys
FivE pair'S of StinKy socks
10 muDDy cleATes
FivE paIrs of GrasS sTained wHite panTs
FIVE sets of exPen$ive, sweaty unDer Armour
ThreE LaWn cHairs
Twelve KaTrillon bottleS Of GaToRadE
2 LosT gloveS (from diffErent pAirs of course)
TweNty weeKly PracTices
5 GaMes a wEEk
60 StadDium DiNNeRs
1 LarGe, waRm, approRiateLy colORed blanKeT
aNd
ThRee MonThs

In A diStinCTtively MaRkeD sUbUrBan.

You wIll bE conTacteD by 5 CoaChes witH drOp oFf/pIck uP tIMes.

wE aRe sERious abOut ThIS dO NoT tRy to contAct law EnforCement TheY WoN'T wriTE Off thAt sPeeDing to PraCticE TickEt.

IF YOU evEr WanT to sEE BOy MoM again follOw alL insTrucTions.

signeD

FOOtBaLL SeAson

Monday, August 2, 2010

Amusements

Friday we (all of Adorable Hubbies family) headed north to Lagoon, a large amusement park.

Grandpa and Grandma were kind enough to get all of the grand kids their tickets. They had carefully searched for discount tickets that brought the price down to something like reasonable, then had placed the tickets and money in an envelope. I got home from work, slept a couple hours, showered, jumped in the car and realized as I was walking up to the ticket window that I had neither discount tickets or the money. Brilliant!

Despite the huge price for reuglar tickets we decided there was really nothing we could do. It was over an hour to go home, we'd just have to buy the tickets at full price, so I got in line feeling bitter. As I stood there a lady walked up got in the line next to me turned to me and said, how many discount tickets do you need. Sweet!!! Turns out they were a better discount then the ones I'd left home. Extra sweet!

This was our first time in 19 years year of attending amusement parks without a diaper bag, or a stroller and the first time all of our boys could go on all but one or two rides. OK, I'll admit it, this no baby thing, has it's perks.

The first ride of the day was the old wooden roller coaster. My riding companion was #5 our nine year old. It's been a couple years since he had been to an amusement park the last time we came he could only ride the little kid stuff, he was excited but, turns out this boy has a bit of a swearing issue when he's nervous. I was a little shocked that sitting next to his mother didn't inhibit him more. I had never heard the word $h!t used so many ways in such a short time...until a bit later on the ride Wicked. A lady on that ride came up with some curse word combination's that would have been downright impressive... if she hadn't been sitting next to her 7 year old.

Can I say once again how nice it was not to have to worry about a diaper bag, a stroller or stringing together multi-word cursing combination's.

As long as we've been married Adorable Hubby has been planning a roller coaster vacation. It goes something like this, rent an RV drive to every really cool roller coaster location in the US, spend a day riding then move on. After watching a couple shows on the food network this weekend I've decided my version is a roller coaster and restaurant vacation which means the RV will have to have a really great restroom.

Now that all the boys are old enough to curse like sailors to ride everything we may just have to make this a reality.

Meanwhile, were bouncing back to Lagoon sometime this weekend. Wanta come?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Soul Soil in July

I may have mentioned that I love gardening...really love it. Freakin', stinking, OCD love it.

I am touched by how simply and beautifully plants give, receive and grow.

I remember once during a particularly trying period of time my Mother-in-law called to tell me everything would be fine. She had awoke early that morning worried about life and had gone out to sit on the porch next to her, always planted just so, flower bed. She glanced down to see several of her beautiful flowers pulled off and crushed into neat little piles of petals, obviously the work of a grandchild.

In that moment all the worries that life didn't seem to be presenting itself immaculately landscaped into eye pleasing rows of carefully coordinated and spaced arrangements didn't matter. Those little bundles of petals arrange by chubby fingers were more beautiful and peace giving then the most skilled gardener could achieve.

And those flowers pulled off the stem before their time, in simple acceptance of their destiny are the only blossoms still remembered of all the flowers that bloomed that year.

I blogged a couple years ago about the plant that I gave up on getting rid of and let have it's summer in the sun. Turns out it was a burr plant. It was the exact right size for the spot, ended up covered in beautiful purple flowers was a favorite of bugs, butterfly's and bees, and turned out to be the perfect metaphor for that year. I took it out for good that fall it wasn't a metaphor I wanted to continue, but no plant has filled the spot as beautifully since.

Summer evenings when the air is starting to cool and heat is rising from sun soaked earth and pavement is one of my favorites. Around 8:00 in the evening I am drawn out to wander my yard and neighborhood. I might water scorched soil or chat with a neighbor, watch a game of street football, but nearly every evening I wander through my yard to see what's new in each nook and cranny. A Day Lilly that was a bud in the morning may have chosen this as her day. A Fairy Slipper may be curling up for the night, a droopy Tomato may be longing for a long cool drink. Nearly always a bird will light on the fence cock his head, fix a bird eye stare on me, determine I'm not a threat, then slip into the bird bath to clean up for an evening with his lady bird. Soon he'll be followed by his flighty mate who will hop along the fence impatiently waiting for her turn in the bathroom. I delight in these birdy bathing rituals and once a day dump out each birdbath and fill them with fresh water.

At this point I need to break for a little background info.

When we moved into our current yard my favorite corner garden was filled with a plastic wading pool full of dirt rocks and rotting weeds. My Sister-in-law had starting the summer before to weed and get rid of some debris, had commandeered the old plastic wading pool as a green dump. She figured that my brother, a landscaper could scoop the thing up with the tractor and haul it off once it was filled; and, there it sat moldering. I spent my first summer in the house remodeling and being pregnant with #6, the only thing I did for the yard that year was transplant an uprooted rose bush from my Moms front yard. I didn't make it out to water it and figured it had died there next to the composting kiddie pool of yuck.

The following spring inside projects, mine and the house, were done and the yard was calling. I had a vision for my corner garden, roses climbing the fence, a terrace of rocks, a bench, and a bird bath surrounded by a plethora of perennials. First up was to get rid of the kiddie pool of rotting weeds, which after two years and a wet winter had become a swamp, complete with an 8"slug. It took me three weeks of transferring sludgy scoop after scoop into the garbage can then waiting for the next garbage pick-up day to fill the can again. My motivation was the transplanted rose bush which had somehow clung to life and was sending out green shoots that I hopefully wound and tucked into the fence.I only got one or two roses that June but the miracle rose bush kept my plans alive over the next three years as my garden slowly became what I had dreamed for it.

This year June was stunning, so many roses weighed down each branch that they drooped in rosy curtains to the ground. Lavender scented the air, Clematis clambered up the arbor bench and the base of the bird bath, deep purple complementing the happy yellow of Columbine. I threw myself at the feet of several couples who I knew were talking marriage and begged them to elope to my back yard during those last two weeks of June.

July came rains dried and roses wilted with out a wedding. I was a little sad that so much beauty went largely unnoticed. I felt the roses had given their all for little reward and now they were wilted and browning.

Typically as July heats up and dries out I lose a bit of my gardening zest and wonder if my efforts really matter. Tonight I slipped out for a few minutes before work at 9:00pm to visit my yard. The long, hot, dry, days have sapped more then my gardening zeal, patches of grass are yellowing, plants were drooping from the heat, halfheartedly I turned on the hose and wandered around feeling like I was visiting care-worn friends. As I watered my corner garden I made vague plans to prune back the roses and pull a few weeds, my thoughts as wilted as my plants.

Turning to the bird bath I began my usual routine of dumping and refilling, but was stopped short by the sight of a whole rose, delicately browned on the edges, petals translucent like antique parchment, floating in the warm water of the bird bath. My weary thoughts dissipated, my breath caught at the singular beauty of the moment. My roses preserved by the sun, yielding graciously, transcending the end of a season with a grace and elegance which eluded them in the wild, cacophony of June.

And there in that dry, sweltering, July evening I looked with new perspective and realized that in the heat of the sun my plants were producing fruit, fruit in which are the seeds of life in a new season. I judge their drooping at the end of a long hot summer day, assigning them human resistance, depression, cares. Perhaps, instead it is acceptance of the season, peace in the heat that transforms blossoms to fruit bearing the seeds of life, the quiet journey of immortality taking place before my eyes. Yes it's hard work and some drooping leaves are to be expected and accepted. No fruitless resistance here in my garden only roots reaching a bit deeper for moisture, leaves creating all the energy possible, fruit and seed drawing all that moisture, all that energy, so the plant can live beautifully over and over and over.

And, so our lives. No matter how hot the summer gets or how much snow piles upon us in the winter the Son is preserving our efforts and we will experience wildly beautiful springs, eternal springs welling up within the garden of our soul. The more extreme the season, the years when arrangements and growth are unexpected those are the giving seasons, the years most remembered. God is the gardener we are the fruit each season provides for the next, springs are joyful, tumultuous, blossoms give way to fruit which grows and matures in the heat of summer, autumns cold nights mature and sweeten the fruit until it's drops to the earth where blanketed by winter snow it rests and waits for the cycle to begin again.

That's what I adore about this gardening thing, it's all about the giving, receiving, and growing of life, it's work and sweat, sludge and dreaming, tenacity, clinging, fragrance, color, vibrant moments of clarity, heat and drooping, moisture and sunlight, soul fruit, seeds, metaphors for life, and I freaking, stinkin' love it.

And LIFE? Yeah, I freakin' stinking, OCD, love that too.

Monday, July 26, 2010

#7

There is something special about this baby boy of mine.

Wednesday when I woke up after seven graveyard shifts he curled up in bed with me, kissed me, played with my hair, asked if I was done working for seven days then, when I had assured him I was done working for a week, he took my face in his hands smiled sweetly and said "Mom, we should spend more time together...at the store!"

Uhhh....!

That's #7 tenderness for ya!

Today #7 turns SIX years old. "No really it's OK! I'm sniff, sob...just fine"

He assures me he'll still be my baby.

And judging from his face and hands after birthday cake last night he's good for at least that aspect of baby for several years.

#7 you are my YELLOW, my sunshine, tender wrapped in fierce and chocolate frosting, it's an honor to be your mother.

Happy Birthday!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Motown Smack Down

My teenage drivers distinguish themselves by the music selections they listen to at 7brillon megahertz as they drive.

It would never occur to them to turn their music down or off when they pull into the driveway.

If I haven't ejected the loudly offending disc and tossed it into the back seat, a knee jerk reaction when 6 seconds after the car starts the music blasts out scaring the snot out of me, I occasionally find myself really liking a song.

I liked the song that was playing as I pulled into work tonight. So, as I gathered my stuff(enough crap to pass as a bag lady) I pushed the eject button on the CD player, thinking I would download it to my laptop (always looking for great tunes).

The CD player didn't spit out a disc for me it just flashed in blinking, red lights.

NO

What? You don't tell the Momma NO!


Even if the song is on the radio...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Oh Boy

A post about boyness.

If you're the card carrying mom of a boy and have never been, socked by a snuggle, or knocked over by a kiss, or hospitalized by a hug, your time is coming. It isn't intentional or even mean, far from it, it's just that boys do everything big, and loud including affection.

I love that my teenagers need hugs from their mom. I'd prefer that #2 didn't see picking lil' ol' me up with his hugs as extra loving, especially on Grandmas old rotting wooden deck. His legs may fit in between the 4" inch crack, mine don't. Ahh boy hugs.

Bathrooms: It's sad when you feel a little happy at glancing out the window and spying your son answering the call o' nature in the the backyard because you just cleaned the bathroom.

Boys are fit to tie: Yesterday the 3 year old neighbor boy showed me his favorite toy, a Lightning McQueen car tied to what looked like a happy meal toy with a balloon string. Boys go through phases where they twitch a little with out a rope or string in their hand. One year all #2 asked for from Santa Claus was a rope and gun.

Boys aren't fond of Sunday clothes. #7 comes home from church strips down to superhero unders in the front yard, turns on the hose and washes every fiber of stuffy church clothes off as the neighbors drive past on their way home from church. Adorable Hubby assures me that only the women are judging because all the men would like to join him.

Boys are smart. I was woken up by a fight over Lego's. #5 said #7 had a Lego guy made with Lego's that #5 claimed were his...Ummm, apparently it's possible for a boy to distinguish which Lego's in a bucket of 53 katrillion tiny Lego bits are his.

I suggested that they work together to build another guy so that both would have one. A meltdown ensued.

I sighed and sat down on the floor to try to build #5 a Lego guy. I admit to being super tired and drugged against pain from my recent hug, but seriously, could there be anything more confusing to the mom brain than a bucket of tiny Lego parts.

Fortunately my being there was enough and #5 built himself a Lego guy and left me with a pat on the head and some patronizing advice. "Uhhh Mom, it's ok, I don't need any more parts, and you should really try to get more sleep."

Boys make holes. In walls and landscaping and their heads...the doctor showed me how to use the staple gun and sent me home with a gun and three leftover staples. My mad butterfly bandage skills now have an alternative... Buwahhaha staples.

#7? Oh he's fine, three staples and a toy did the trick.

Boys are hungry!!!! Always and forever starving, snarling, hungry! Sigh! I came home from swimming with #7, #6, #5 and two friends to #4 grilling double cheeseburgers with his friend. What happened to a glass of milk and a couple cookies?

Boys are tender: Thanks to my big tough little brothers, my husband and my sons for being the caregivers after my traumatic hug. I was carried, medicated, blessed, comforted, caressed, and checked on by these amazing boys in my life.

Boys are wonderful! Mostly!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Man

21 years ago today Adorable Hubby, who at the time was just Adorable, picked me up at 6:00 or so in the morning so we wouldn't be late to our wedding ceremony which was at 10:30. The little old ladies at the temple rolled their eyes a bit when we walked in at a quarter to 7:00 and sweetly informed us we had 2 1/2 hours to kill.

Not a problem, I just never get tired of time with this incredible guy.

Adorable Hubby quickly found that the wildly impetuous, tattooed, tank top wearing, good time girl he thought he'd married was actually a prim and proper homemaker with a 'sweet' personality and a lot of guilt...wait, flip that around. (I haven't got the tattoo yet Mom so quit being scandalized)

I on the other hand got just what I bargained for. The cutest, sexiest, lovingest, man a girl could ever hope for.

My top 10 Adorable Hubby favorite personality traits.

10. I can, and on many occasions have, asked him to be my best girlfriend. He loves shopping at Bed Bath and Beyond, maybe even more than me. He will consult with me on cute clothes, can pick out the cutest shoes ever, he'll gossip, read people magazine and I'm thinking any day now I'll convince him to get hot pink glitter toes to match my lime green french ones.

9. He indulges my little addictions. Tank tops, tattoos, sandboxes, coffee ice cream, black licorice, Cadbury, pedicures, plants, boys...

8. He's a talker, a unique and amazing trait in a man, I'm pretty sure we'll talk ourselves to death in some old folks home somewhere, and they'll make a movie about us...or not.

7. He's a cook, steak sandwiches, Mtn. Dew potatoes, BBQ, root beer, mashed potatoes, breakfast burritos are some of his specialties. And cooking for 8 sons doesn't intimidate him.

6. He loves my toughness and treasures my tenderness.

5. He makes me laugh!

4. He's a big cry baby. Likely as not a tender moment will end with Adorable Hubby crying about the moment and me crying because he's crying.

3. He can't keep his hands off me...enough said.

2. He has always seen me for who I really am, even when I didn't know myself. He has encouraged, defended and even battled for the real me, and against the toughest adversary any man could ever face a woman who is learning to love and accept herself.

1. He honors me. There is nothing about the role, and true nature of womanhood that he doesn't delight in. I am free to be every amazing beautiful thing a women is when I choose to beloved of him.

Thanks Adorable, for picking me up so early that morning, for being the best Hubby ever and for killing the last 21 years with me.

I love you!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Yesterday I was supposed to hike up to Timpanogos cave


with this blogger.



Would you look at all those boys...we probably won't find much in common... but still, I have been looking forward to her visit for many weeks and was so happy to hear her say, "Hi Boy Mom. Almost happy enough to ignore the burning in my chest with each breath and hike 1.5 miles straight up to walk through a cold, damp cave, before yelling at 12 boys to slow down for 1.5 miles straight down. It actually was my fear of not being able to yell in my usual grating "That Woman" voice that really made me say, "I'd better not." And, we'll be getting together on the 10th for a local parade.

So, to make good on my excuse I popped over to the Instacare and was told that it could be pleurisy which, apparently is diagnosed by squeezing on a persons ribs while bending them into various pretzel shapes; or, pneumonia, diagnosed by nodding and looking concerned. Seriously Doc, could you break out the stethoscope and listen for a sec? I'll be leaving you a couple hundred bucks, lets just say, it's the least you could do.

A few days ago #6 asked me, "Mom, are you still a doctor?" My three littles think working at the hospital makes me a doctor. Being a doctor comes in handy at times like this, I considered my symptoms and prescribed a pedicure. Cute toes can cure anything.

At my favorite pedicure place there were massaging chair to massaging chair people, I'd have to wait...What? Did I mention it's MY pedicure place? I glared at the nearest customers and headed to another pedi-place close by.

Walking into a new pedicure place is nerve wracking, you can almost hear the nail fungi growing. I'm known at MY place, I can chat or not, I know who gives the best massage, when to switch feets... it's never a good feeling to realize three steps inside the new place that A) you're the one and only customer and B) the blinds are down, presumably to keep out the summer sun. The sound track from Psycho began playing in my head.

I never worked out where the two male employees accents were from, they didn't talk much. The one who didn't jump up and grab me sat in a pedi-chair watching a show about a prison in Peru. Uhhh, maybe a different channel would attract another customer or make the ONE you've got feel a bit less like the victim in a movie produced by the police department.

The short little fellow who did grab me said, "How I help you, Mam?"

"I'd like a pedicure." I had been thinking of getting lime green glitter toes.

"You pick color" He pointed.

"I w...."

"French! Yes. OK you sit here!"

"Umm..."

The rest of the French pedicure was communicated with taps and pointing. Until the massage on the second leg. I have a large birthmark on the front of the calf. "What happen skin?" He demanded loudly making me jump.

"It's a birthmark, it will fade as you rub it."

"AAAAhhhhaaaaaa" He rubbed and pointed like a kid pleased with a new toy. The Psycho music was back.

Silence again except for the Peru prisoners cheering their team at an inter-prison soccer match.

I tried to relax by turning up the massaging chair.

Suddenly he spoke again "YOU Toes, good circulation, sometimes no circulation, toes YEWHH! (he made a face to show his disgust). You toes...(he nodded his head and gave me two thumbs up)

I guessed that was a big compliment but didn't want to get lulled into a false sense of safety. I leaned my head back, waiting for my toes to dry and planned my escape, just in case.

Praise Buddah, the bell rang as another customer entered. Spanky (because despite an exorbitant amount of goo his hair stuck up in the back) touched my big toe, nodded his head, put my shoes on me, took my $30.00 dollars almost smiled at the $10.00 tip(what, it was way less then the Dr.) and nodded once more as I walked my "Two thumbs up" French toes out into the glorious sunlight, unfortunately the deep breath of summer air hurt, a lot. Guess I need Med school refresher course.

Sorry I missed the hike Lashel, looking forward to the parade.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ah Ha

#4 and his friend started making movies together 3 years ago.

Our sandbox is the favorite location for many of their shoots.

They often come in for props, and special effects equipment.

Yesterday they were rummaging through the kitchen tool drawer looking for string.

"What you two doing?" I asked.

"Working on a proddy." Replied #4.

"A proddy, is that what you call a production?" I like to prove how cool I am by being down with all their slang terms. I'm tight like that.

#4 rolls his eyes ever so slightly. "Were making fun of Iron Man."

"Uhhh, a parody?" I ask.

"Is that how you say it? Good to know."

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Fathers Day

This morning I woke up 15 minutes before church started.

Adorable Hubby had lovingly dressed #6 and #7 for church, in plaid shorts, t-shirts and the new brightly colored foam shoes(Croc's) I had bought for them on my Saturday night grocery run.

I changed them into church shirts wiped them down with a diaper wipes just in case their baths from the night before had worn off, and told them they would need to put on church shoes.

#7 turned to me and stated emphatically, "It's Fathers Day and DAD said we could wear these shoes, Dad can say whatever he wants today because it's Fathers Day! I'm listening to Dad and wearing these shoes!"

To all the great dads I know and love...Have fun saying whatever you want today. Hey, since this is being posted so late at night feel free to say whatever you want on Monday as well.

And, a great big HAPPY FATHERS DAY HUG to you.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Rant

Three weeks before school let out #5 came home with an important 3rd grade assignment. He was asked to choose from a list of famous Americans then write a report on his choice.

For #3 the choice was obvious, he would do his report on Nicola Tesla a Croatian born inventor who was a contemporary of Thomas Edison and who WAS NOT (for some odd reason at least in my third graders mind), on the list of famous Americans.

That darn educational TV teaching 9 year old's about inventors and history and crab fishing. How do you tell a nine year old who has taken up the cause of a man who did become an American citizen and who really should be equally as famous as Edison, that he just can't do the report because it isn't what the teacher wants.

So we compromised. My passionate, intelligent third grader and I, wrote the report,(his ultimatum involved not writing a report, picketing and possibly a hunger strike), followed all the guidelines, for the Edison paper then added our own twist by comparing the lives of Edison and Tesla, concluding that if both men had been willing to use their ability to see things in new and creative ways, to work together and get along with each other, the results could have been phenomenal.

At the conclusion of the last day of school when I went through #5's box of papers I came across this note attached to his third grade report.

Isaac,
Wow, I learned a lot about someone I had never even heard of. Next time please follow the instructions.

People, I have loved this teacher. #5 would not have made it through the year without her loving, consistent patience with him.

But, WHAT THE...

I don't know who the other Famous Americans he could have chosen were. I do know that not one of them followed the instructions as outlined. They were free thinkers, visionaries, rebels even.

Edison made it through three months of formal schooling, before the teacher called him, "addled". Tesla would have "sick" spells and do nothing for weeks then wake up with the entire working model for his next invention envisioned in complete detail.

I do know that Paul Revere was one of the choices, I wonder if the British teacher of his day would have pointed him out as a role model for following instructions.

In fact weren't most famous Americans once infamous Americans.

As I said, I have loved this boys teacher. I don't believe she is the problem just symptomatic of a larger problem.

And thus my rant.

If a third grader cares deeply enough about any subject to think outside of the instructions and fight for his right to express his beliefs by going where most third graders don't go... Shouldn't we be celebrating that?

Does our current system of education encourage and support the next generation of famous Americans.

Have we gotten so mired in trying to follow set after set of instructions that we have lost the meaning of life?

Do we think ourselves above those who follow different sets of instructions then ours or who throw out the instructions all together.

I don't have any answers just my little rant here.

I believe people and relationships are more important then the instructions.

I believe the only set of instructions that really matters is to Love God and others. And,that it is these instructions, purely lived which create the only basis for true teaching.

As Thomas Edison said of his mother who became his teacher. "My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me; and I felt I had something to live for, someone I must not disappoint."

Rant over. Now let's just hope his teacher wasn't referring to the fact that we didn't type his report.... a rant for another day.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Marvel-ous Laundry

Blog Reader, I'd like you to meet my Laundry Room.

Laundry room, this is my dear friend Blog Reader.

Laundry room was looking really great one day, little patches of the concrete floor could be seen. Boxes of pictures hoping for a scrapbook were nearly visible. I was listening to the washer swish and the dryer tumble thinking, "Wow, 1,2,3,4...umm 7 loads of dark's two, 2 loads of towels,1 load of blankets and the laundry will be done. Except for the clothes on the bathroom floor, and in the bedrooms, and the socks in the backyard... sigh."


Still, knowing Laundry Room at its worst, I was feeling super proud of myself, then I noticed a pair of feet poking out from under the dryer. Ah Ha!

I should have suspected that it would take the help of an actual super hero to get Laundry Room looking this good. I'm not surprised that Bruce Banner got very angry at Laundry Room what with piles of wet sandy shorts and t-shirts, mounds of jeans and sweatshirts because, hello? it snowed two weeks ago. And, I'm sure he popped a button or two when he noticed clean folded clothes, boys didn't put away, cleverly mixed in with sweaty, stinky football girdles and grass stained socks. I'm guessing it was the used once tossed on the floor towels that made my pal Bruce furious enough to transform into the Hulk. Whatever did the trick I was just thrilled that he was there until...


Laundry Room is one tough villain.

No worries, I'm sure somewhere in the piles are a few pairs of X-Men underwear to lend headless Hulk a hand.

Things That Go Bump in the Light

This Graveyard Shift thing means that I try to spend from 7:30 AM to 2:30 PM sleeping. Meanwhile, life continues as usual.

Summer sunlight streams through the windows. Brightly!

Lawns get mowed with LOUD, sputtering mowers.

Cars come and go and come and go. Go. GO!

Phones ring! RRiiiiiinnngggg!! Hello...Yes, but she's sleeping....No, I don't think she wants to wake-up right now....OK, I'll ask her. Mom....mom....mom...um, Uhh, do you want to talk to the...Who is this again?...Red Cross? To the Red Crossss... Bleary evil eye! Ummm, she'll have to call you later.

Teenagers eat three, no four! Well, you had three too... I didn't get one, I'm telling Mom! Bagels.

Door bells ring.

Electric guitars are practiced, amplifier on. Kashmir is the current craze. Please Rock and Roll God's let this Led Zeppelin revival end.

Elmo costumes are tried on dogs. Three laughing boys are sure Mom will want to wake up for this. One embarrassed, growling, dog insists Mom wakes up for this. Ok, it was almost worth it. Just wish I'd gotten a picture.

Weeds grow!

Laundry molders!

And sleepy or not I'm there for it.

Kinda!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Oh Baby!



Of course I love all my boys the best, just ask them.

There is something about my baby, #7, though.

I'm not sure if it's his killer sense of style.




Or, that he sings Led Zeppelin.

video

Or, that he is surviving life with seven older brothers, tenacity, love, and cuteness intact.


Maybe it's just a wise Heavenly Fathers way of letting me know that it's OK to let go of the raising babies stage of life.

Because, "Duh, Mom, I'm always gonna be your baby!"

And, baby, that's a promise I can live with.

Our Family

Our Family