Thursday, October 28, 2010

Move over Red Hanger (and Hailee)

Our local dry cleaner's got nothing on this guy. He has stepped in and filled the shoes of his older sister who used to rule the ironing board. There are two perfectly good reasons for this switch.

1. His older sister is living away at college.
2. He is driving the car his sister used to have access to.

So what do driving and ironing have to do with each other?

Ironing=Gas $$
Having kids that drive definitely has its advantages.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Lone Carver

It's messy and time consuming and I probably would have skipped it all together if it weren't for the fact that I had four kids bubbling over with holiday enthusiasm and the end result always seemed worth it-at least in their eyes.

But then one year there were only three enthusiastic carvers ready to go...and then two...
Until this year just one lone carver was left...

...still bubbling over with holiday enthusiasm.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Maiden Voyage

U.E.A./Fall break for us folk in Utah was the perfect excuse to get out of Dodge and head to Phoenix. It was a "Maiden Voyage" of sorts. As in, for the first time on a family voyage, I was the only 'maiden.'
The dictionary defines 'maiden' as a girl or young unmarried woman (among other things). For the sake of this particular post, I'm going with the "girl" definition.
I have sailed to Phoenix many times but always on a sea of estrogen. Always I was accompanied by girlfriends or sisters or daughters. On this trip my companions were all of the male variety. My husband and two sons. I knew it would be different. I worried I would hold the boys back or interrupt the 'guy' flow. And how, I wondered, would I hold my own as the only shopper in the group?! As it turns out, my concerns were in vain. But I was right about one thing...It was different.
The trip started off in the fast lane-literally. Because there were only four passengers Jordan was able to drive his car. People ask me if I'm nervous to drive with Jordan. I'm not. If it were anyone else, I would be white knuckled and sick to my stomach. But when Jordan is behind the wheel, I relax. This trip was no exception -aside from two occasions...
Once when we came upon another car with a driver who was taking advantage of the long stretches of open road and his twin turbos. When the two drivers locked eyes it was like a scene out of "The Transporter." Only we didn't have stunt doubles. When the other driver turned off to get gas, and my husband once again became aware of his true age and the 3 other passengers in the car, I was noticeably warmer than I had been previously and where I had been dozing off moments before, I was now wide awake. Strangely, there was no discussion about the incident other than this: uncomfortable occasion #2: Jordan twists around to glance at our 16 year old son and, after making sure that Christian is listening, admonishes him about the perils of driving too fast. "Never, never drive this fast," Jordan tells him.

Now I'm white knuckled and sick to my stomach.

Upon our (safe) arrival at our destination, I made this declaration:
"We are going shopping."
"We will be going to these three stores: 1. Last Chance 2. My Sister's Closet and 3. H&M"
After a few (obligatory) whimpers those 3 adorable boys headed out into the blazing Phoenix heat and discovered that aside from some great bargains there was also a fabulous thing called "air-conditioning" in each of those stores. At the end of the day the back of the car was loaded with sacks filled with our treasures. And only two little sacks were mine. The boys put their sisters to shame in the shopping department.
But any similarities to their sisters would definitely end there.

Like when it came time for lunch. I suggested a quaint little diner I visited when I had been in Phoenix previously with friends. I had been thinking about the veggie sandwich and cupcake ever since. Oddly, my little diner got one vote and this place received 3....

Maybe it was the less than stellar food choices that led to all the talk about who had gas... Ah..but I digress...
Anyway- I also thought of the different feel of this trip-in comparison to one with daughters-as I took in this series of events as we headed back to our hotel room after dinner one night: We passed by the Fitness Center and the boys ran in. Normally, Jordan wouldn't be caught dead in the Fitness Center, but he made an exception that night to see if he could get the treadmill going fast enough to shoot Gabe off of it. He also tried the scale (obviously no one was in the Fitness Center). When that scale was deemed inaccurate, he tried another. Strangely, that too, was inaccurate. Leaving the Fitness Center Christian noticed the sauna. He encouraged Gabe to step in and check it out-which he did. When he turned to get out, his dad and brother were holding the door closed. Seemingly unscathed and unfazed my boys continued toward the hotel room..jumping up to touch a tree branch here, trying to give a dead arm there.... culminating in Gabe having run ahead so he could be hiding in the elevator when it opened so he could scare the pants off of us.

Different trip-yes. But I never said it wasn't thoroughly entertaining. How could I not be enjoying myself?

There was a lot of this:

..which lead to a lot of sweating. But herein I have a confession: I think sweaty boys are cute. Weird-I know.
I said sweaty boys. Not men.
There was also a good deal of this:

And then there was the football...

..that also did this:
I may have been surrounded by boys on this trip-but those boys were also gentlemen. I don't think I got my door, refilled my drink or loaded a bag into the car once on this trip. I may have been the only maiden but I was treated like a queen. And I loved every minute.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Having a 16 year old son can be scary

You know how I've said that I love having boys? How I love their ingenuity and enthusiasm? Well...lately not so much.
Meet "Manny"- Christian's most recent acquisition. He has appeared around every corner and in every unlit hallway for over a week now. He has taken at least ten years off my life.
Forget Haunted Houses and creepy son knows scary.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Note to self

A couple of Sundays ago we had the biannual privilege of listening to our church leaders teach and prophesy to us via TV. It is a lovely change of pace from the scramble to get to church-looking decent-by 9 a.m.
We stayed in our comfy clothes all day (which for Christian means being half clothed) and snuggled up in front in of the TV ready to soak up inspiration and guidance. There came a point during the day, however, when I looked around and realized that most of my crew was soaking up the inspiration subliminally. I remember back in my younger, know-it-all days when I looked forward to the day (this one) where my kids would be old enough not to be distracting and to listen intently.
Note to self...pinning away for the future is always a waste of time.
I have to say...they really did get more out of it than you would think.

The dog loves Conference Sunday more than anyone. Christian at his disposal all day is his idea of heaven. Even when he does the following torture tactics....
This was (one of) Christian's form of entertainment....line up M&Ms on your chest and measure the dog's self-control. Then eat each M&M loudly, exclaiming delicious pleasure in the dog's face, leaving only the mole on your chest as a trick M&M for the dog to lick.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"The Gift of an Ordinary Day" by Katrina Kenison

I removed my last post. It was just too whiny and pitiful and not at all upbeat. And it should have been. So unless you go to bed really late or get up really early (Sarah..I'm talking to you) you were spared my insecure dribble.

Fall, my favorite season, is upon us. There is so much to look forward to. I am, therefore, turning over a new leaf and staying focused on all things positive- enjoying the gift of an ordinary day.

A friend introduced me to Katrina Kenison years ago with her book, Mitten Strings for God. I fell in love. The book made me want to be a better person. A better mother. Her new book, The Gift of an Ordinary Day, is just as lovely. Read it. Or take a couple of minutes and listen to this excerpt...