Monday, January 31, 2011

Word Of The Year

So today while making Chicken, Vegetable Tortellini soup, and doing the dishes and making snowmen cookies that, sadly, looked nothing like I'd pictured and only slightly resembled snowmen, I thought of my word for the year.

Two years ago, "light" worked out well I was able to cast a lot of light on some dark beliefs that had kept me trapped in, well, the dark

Then last year was, "experience". Yay me! I learned how to spell it and I learned a lot about experience. My feelings/learning's are best summarized here.

I have spent all of January trying to find just the right word, a word that will give me the courage to step into the light, experience without fear and walk joyfully through the next half of my life a changed woman.

Drummmmm, rollllllll!

My word for 2011 is BALLS, as in, time to grow a pair and do some stuff.

I'm off to a good start, I signed up for a writers conference in February.

I am registering for a 10k in June.

I must say, however, the most ballsy thing I've done so far is publicly owning my word, I think I'll have a t-shirt made...

See, I always worry what people will think. I try to let only the appropriate, sweet parts of me show... this year I'll be, uhhh, showing my balls. Hmm, well...something like that.

Judgers (so a word) beware, this girl's growing balls and she's not afraid to use 'em.

Now, I realize I run the risk of blending into my background, I am surrounded by a lot of testosterone producing danglies. I assure you this is all about me being a more beautiful, God lovin, happy, sexy, crazy WOMAN. So don't you worry.

And, thanks to all for your vote of Boy Raising Advice confidence. I'm planning on Thursdays as the post day.

Woo Hoo! 2011's gonna be great!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Well That's A Relief

I have mentioned that growing up in an all brother house makes teaching female pronouns, challenging. It's not that we don't use she , her, hers, she's ever I do occasionally talk about myself and other girly types. But, apparantly, exposure to a word and frequent practice of a word are worlds apart.

It is a never ending source of entertainment to watch my 8 or 9 year old struggle to speak about a member of the opposite sex. "He's...uhh, hers...mmmm she's, well, what I'm trying to say is, this shoe came off that girl's foot." Never ending entertainment for others that is, it makes me feel like a communications teacher failure.

Imagine my relief this morning at hearing an 11 year old neighbor boy, also a member of an all brothers house, say, "Did you know my dog Duke was a girl? That's so weird that he was a girl but he had a boy name."

My boys nodded with empathy. "Wow, that really sucks for him," they agreed.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I'm Thinking of Stuff

That title should scare you, it does me.

So, I've been thinking of writing a weekly post filled with boy raising wisdom...

What think you?

Obviously I have a little experience in the subject matter.

It should be entertaining.

I promise it will be out of the box.

Sooooo, yays? nays?

Like I need your permission to write about stuff on MY blog; but, really your opinion does matter to me. Really it does.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Sunday #5 broke a shoe lace just before church. "No worries," I said "You got two sets of shoelaces with your new shoes so you can use the extra pair for your Sunday shoes."

"Uhh, Mom, do you think maybe this looks a little nerdy?"

I think my boys are beginning to suspect a lack in my fashion sense.

In my defense I remembered two sets of shoe laces not colors.
And, it's a vicious rumor that someone said, 'Dude, those are AWESOME!" I would never refer to someone as "dude".

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Why I Have Bad Hair Days

I've been trying to give myself time to get my hair done before going out in public. Ha!

We all know that's gonna be a short lived goal.

But a goal nonetheless and I was three nights into it and really proud of myself, I had managed to curl my hair and spritz in some hair spray for three whole nights. Yay Me!

Then #5, perched on the edge of the bathtub watching me curl and spritz asked, "Mom, why do you put that stuff in your hair?"

"It's hairspray. It helps my curls stay in place."

He laughed, "What's the point of curling your hair and putting in stuff to make it stay when curling your hair just makes all your boys want to play with it and mess it up?"

Uhhhh...Hmmmm....Errrr... So back to bad hair days???

Thursday, January 20, 2011

You Say Potato

I had to take #7 to the dentist to have an achy tooth filled. Nothing triggers more "Mom guilt" in me than having to get dental work done, it's so expensive, it's terrifying to a child and makes me regret every sugary treat I ever gave them.

Making it worse, when #7 had been to the dentist not many months before taking x-rays had been difficult so we had given up because we couldn't see any outward sign of trouble.

So I'm sitting in the dentist office feeling guilty and resenting the inventor of Fruit By the Foot, looking at #7's sweet face as he sat excitedly in the exam chair with a Horton Hears a Who paper towel chained across his chest. "Mom," he says, eyes sparkling at the thought of this new adventure, "I hope they give me a new teeth brusher!"

"You mean tooth br..." I start to correct his English. Then I realized...

He's not this guy.

So maybe I'm the one mispronouncing.

And, maybe the guilt can go too. I bet this guy never ate a Fruit By the Foot.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sleepless In Insanity

Last night at work...which is to say, Thursday at about 2:30 AM...which is my, " last night" but your 2 nights ago. Now that were all clear about that... Eh hmm.

Anyway, whenever it was that wasn't tonight, and by that I mean, not last night but the night before your last night; because it's 5:00 AM, so my last night is different than yours, theoretically. A great word, theoretically, my boys all use it by 4 years old, it makes preschool teachers eyes pop. Um, where was I going. Oh, so our office is under construction, everything is torn up and some walls are temporarily made of plastic that, I swear, breaths.

It is a little creepy most nights but last night (shudder), super creepy! I kept hearing rustlings and whisperings. Scenes from the movie, The Sixth Sense kept flashing through my head. I got so creeped out (Creeped out is another fun phrase for preschool teachers) at one point that I followed Steve The Housekeeper around for 15 minutes so I didn't have to be alone. Ummm, NO! Of course I don't think that creeped Steve out at all, much.

Tonight (don't worry I'm sure my previous excellent explanation will suffice) I decided to Google soup. The point was, to take my mind off the breathing plastic walls and find some great soup recipes to get me through January.

I mentioned in the previous post that my boys don't think much of soup as a meal, so I did a search for kid friendly soup.

This was the result.

Octopus Soup for dinner boys. Buwahhahaha!

I can't stop laughing for the past three hours. Ummm, NO I don't think Steve The Housekeeper is at all nervous about my insane cackling, "Are you Steve? Steve???"

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Confession: I kinda, maybe, don't love January. A lot!

Yep, putting that right out there. I really gave it a try this year. I told myself January gets a bad rap I'll think of some warm cozy thing I love about January each day and I'll do it. I was just sure that would help.

Warm cozy things I love:

Soup. Unfortunately, the Boys are not big fans. They think soup should accompany steak, and baked potatoes, and homemade rolls, salad, and seven layer dessert...grrr!

Warm jammies. What could go wrong with warm jammies? Try having to go to work in the cold just at the time for putting on warm jammies. Ahh...Graveyards!

Reading. I was able to get through the last Fablehaven book. Sadly, I felt guilty about all the things I needed to get done. Sigh.

Blankets. My awesome Mom made three denim quilt tops for me to give to #8, #3 and #4. We have plans to find some flannel and get them finished. But, the term is ending and school work needs finished and Christmas needs taking down and organized and put away. Boo

Cuddling. Well...that's been fabulous, except for those pesky jobs we both have.

Friends. We have spent some catch-up time with friends on a couple occasions this month. Love that!

Media. January is the perfect month to get really into some TV or blogging. So far the TV broke and the computer has a virus, the router gave up the ghost. Always, everything breaks in January. Why??

Socks. Warm, fuzzy, socks! #3 is a sock fiend. He will raid my sock drawer multiple times a day. Either he's color blind or really secure in his teenboyhood, pink and lime green socks are not a deterrent. Nor is his size 11 feet in my size 9 socks.

Hot chocolate. Swore off sugar...dang!

Peanut butter cookies. Swore off sugar...dang!

Cleaning and organizing. Wait, that's not warm and cuddly and I don't enjoy it. Stupid plastic bins and organizers in all the stores.

Writing. Still don't have a stinkin' program on my laptop. To cold to go out and get it done.

Snow. I really enjoy walking in falling snow all bundled up toasty warm. The dirty frozen mess and poor air quality are making that impossible this month.

Yeah! Yeah! I'm whining and feeling sorry for myself.

Blame it on January, I am!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Daisy If You Do

I'm finally taking down Christmas. The stockings are emptied, and by emptied I mean I ate the rest of the candy and treats left in mine...and left in a few of the boys. Yep, well on my way to completing that New Years resolution to gain 30 lbs and grow out my armpit hair 10 inches so I can donate it to locks of love.

Now don't get all jealous and stuff because your Christmas is still out. I haven't put the stockings away yet, and I haven't taken down any of the 6 Christmas trees, including the live one...wait, why do we call them live trees when they have been cut down and stuck in a tub of water that dried out three weeks ago? Hmm, I hope #6 doesn't get crazy learning to ride his Ripstick in the house. One spark and I can shop vac the ashes. Sorry. Sugar high. Easily distracted.

So, anyway this un-decorating thing started me to thinking about a couple gifts I got.

A book of Carl Sandberg poetry and a pink GerberaDaisy.

You can blame Carl, or the sugar...

Dalliance With a Daisy, InWinter

For Christmas, a pink Gerbera Daisy.

Displayed, amidst snowy evergreens, absurdly.

Cheekily calling my Christmas bluff.

Why do those with most to give, worry most if they give enough.

I loved these two gifts best...well, the white mocha powder and Harley Davidson mug were pretty sweet too. I'm drying the daisy between page 257 and 258 of my new, used book.

Back to un-decorating.

Hmmm, I wonder what's left in Adorable Hubby's stocking...?

Sunday, January 2, 2011


New Years Day was a beautiful day at Boy House.

8 years ago on December 22nd #6 came into our lives.

The best way I can think of to describe this son is a story.

Any mother of boys knows well the Super-hero phase. Around 5 - 7 years old little boys become invincible and angst ridden just like Spidey or Bat Man. Now, anyone who spends any time at all studying the whole super hero thing, (and I real time) is aware of the juxtaposition of the noble, good nature of their favorite hero and the dark angst that is part and parcel of the super psyche. It seems, any super-hero worthy of a letter on his chest must own the darkness as well as the light in his soul. To ignore one or the other runs the risk of becoming something less than super. It's all about not getting too caught-up in your own shtick.

And, that's our #6.

A bit over a year ago on a summer evening, as I walked through the living room, past the front door, open to let in the cool of the evening (or, we really do live in a barn), I could hear my two youngest and their cousin playing in the yard. There was nothing alarming about the scene, but some Mom sense urged me through the door to the front porch. Just then a small pair of feet and legs appeared above my head as #6 began climbing down from the roof.

Of course, I did what any Super Mom would do, I grabbed his leg to help him find his footing and began lecturing. Suddenly, #6 lost his grip on the roof and swung down suspended by my hand around his ankle in a magnificent sideways arching swing; his head missing, by inches on either side, the concrete slab of the porch and the decorative metal arbors in the flower bed. He came to rest, calmly, hanging upside down from my hand and said, in the mildest of voices, "Thanks, Mom, you saved my life."

The next day we were alone in the kitchen, #6 sat at the cupboard eating, I was cleaning. "Mom," he said in a quiet, thoughtful voice. "You saved my life yesterday."

"I did." I answered.

"You know I wouldn't have fallen if you hadn't been holding on to me?" He asked, with a slight frown.

I hesitated, looking into his sober, blue eyes. "I know." It was the truth.

"I love you, Mom." He nodded at me and walked away.

Yesterday, on New Years Day, our little super hero was baptized by his 18 year old brother. They sat together, alone, on the front row of the chapel, dressed in white. When the Bishop announced that #2 would be baptizing his brother #6 reached up and patted #2 reassuringly on the shoulder.

#6, thank you for your solemn, contemplative nature. The symbolism of you becoming new in Christ on this first day of a new year is magnificent. You were born on the darkest day of the year, December 22, the day of least sun light. I cradled your naked little body in front of the window, hour after hour for nearly two weeks to fill you with enough sun light to purify the jaundice in your blood. You never fussed or complained.

You never do.

Your name, Joseph, means, "To increase." From your birth on a dark December night, light and love have increased and grown in our family.

Thank you, for your heroic nature. Thank you, for teaching us not to get so caught up in one view of ourselves or an experience that we lose sight of the wholeness of life, the delicate balance between good and bad, old and new, dark and light.

Thank you for following the example of the Savior and for making this a beautiful New Years Day.

Our Family

Our Family