Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Gratitudes

Today I subbed as Primary Chorister at church. I had forgotten how much I enjoy being with the kids and teaching music. We worked on learning basic signs and words for a song called The Holy Ghost. It's a sweet song with basic instruction of who the Holy Ghost is and what he does for us.

The kids were - for the most part - attentive. They learned my Primary rule "We don't say "NOOOOO" in Primary!" They also learned that I will stare them down if I see them not singing, or not opening their mouths, or turned wrong way in their seats. One arch of my eyebrow and feet are taken off chairs and put on the floor. One tilt of my head and chairs are righted from their tilted position. Oh the power! BWAHAHAHAHA!

Truly, I had a great time and I hope the kids did, too.

We have 200+(?) kids in Primary. Actually I don't have a good count. Let's say that we have so many kids that the Primary Presidency is switching to three Singing/Sharing Times. They will utilize an overflow area of the chapel for Sharing Time, the Primary room for Singing Time, and classroom times will be cut down to 30 minutes. You have to get creative when you live in a ward that took the command to multiply and replenish the earth very seriously.

The best part is that I was asked to sub as chorister next week, too. Here is my gratitude for letting me have fun in Primary. There is nothing better than teaching kids all about music. Primary Chorister is the best calling in the church.

I am also grateful for my ward choir singing today. They sang This Is The Christ. Click on the title to hear Mo-Tab sing it their version of the piece. Ours was similar in feeling and sound, just a slight difference in the same arrangement. My choir sounded beautiful. Their singing strengthened my testimony.

On a side note (no pun intended, ha!) Mo-Tab has auditions coming up. I am eating my heart out - I want so badly to audition! But, I don't live in Utah anymore. One of these days. It's still the #1 on my Bucket List.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Goodbye Happiest Place On Earth

Goodbye Donald. You're a cool duck, but you're not her favorite.

Goodbye beach. We had great fun boogie boarding and building sandcastles with Grandma.

Goodbye Toon Town. We wanted to take one of your cars home.

Goodbye rides. We were so glad that everyone was tall enough this year to ride.

Goodbye Goofy. You were awesome. But you weren't The Love Magnet's favorite, either.

Goodbye Roger Rabbit ride. We would have loved you if you hadn't broken down right when it was our turn. We had to make do with props.

Goodbye Train around Disneyland. You made it easy to get around.

Goodbye Handy Manny. YOU were The Love Magnet's FAVORITE. She followed you around the park until you stopped for pictures. When she told you she loved you, you KISSED HER HAND. My daughter talked about it for the rest of the day and all the next during the plane ride home. You made her summer, Mr. Manny.

Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa. We had so much fun with you.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Gratitudes for my Daddy

I'm grateful that my daddy sat me down for a father's interview one day and told me he liked Mr. Wonderful and thought I should marry him. At the time it made me laugh. I thought Daddy liked Mr. Wonderful because he didn't have long hair or an earring or a band or was in theater. I didn't take the advice seriously. But (obviously) Daddy knew what he was talking about. Mr. Wonderful is indeed wonderful.

I'm grateful that Daddy sang with his kids from the start. Between Daddy singing bass and Mom singing alto, I learned to harmonize by the time I was 10 years old. Daddy played guitar and had us sing at every ward talent show. Now with 7 kids, spouses, and grandkids, you should hear us harmonize when we get together.

I'm grateful that Daddy paid for 8 years of piano lessons. I hope he thinks they were worth every penny. I sure do.

I'm grateful for all the priesthood blessings before school started, the blessing he gave when I had an eye infection and lost most of my vision (most of it came back), the blessings when I was sick/sad/nervous-about-something.

I'm grateful that my daddy taught me to swing dance. And for all those daddy-daughter dances he attended in my pre-teen years. I'm sure it wasn't the most entertaining time for him but he made my twin sis and me feel special. I used to love those date pictures taken at the activities.

I'm grateful for the times he has taken each of my kids out by themselves when they visit. Thirdborn still talks about the last movie they went to together. I know that movies about hamsters (chipmunks? rodents?) can't be high on Daddy's t0-see list (they certainly don't compare to James Bond movies).

I'm grateful for all the vacations to Sun Valley, ward camp out, Denver, Nauvoo, Disney World, and Georgia (driving to Georgia used to take us more than two days). One time, Mom asked me to stay up with Daddy to keep him awake as we drove through the night on our way to Georgia. I think I was 12. The moon was full and red that night. We talked for hours. I have no memory about what we said to each other. I just remember it as being one of my favorite parts of the trip.

Happy Father's Day, Daddy. I'll try to Skype you tomorrow so I can sing to you.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Happiest Place On Earth

Meeting Minnie (and making your older brothers stand in the picture with you):
(The Love Magnet will be talking about this for months)
Spending time with your dad:
(very deep conversations about mathematics, physics, and stuff I can't follow)

Hanging out with your grandma, constantly saying "Watch this! Watch this!:
I don't think there is enough money in the world for this woman's patience.

Spending time in what is billed as "The Happiest Place On Earth":
Priceless. But only too a point. After a while, all The Love Magnet wants is to go back to the hotel and swim in the pool.

Multiple people to keep an eye on The Love Magnet:
(and thanks to the new leash - which she can not stand - there have been no escapes)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday Gratitudes

Today in Sunday School we were studying the story of Samuel and Eli, particularly the part where Eli doesn't really make an effort when he disciplines them. The result is that they are destroyed and the Ark of the Covenant is taken. The story started a conversation about how we should not be our children's 'buddy' but really act as our children's parents and use that role to teach and instruct. Other adults were commenting about their children and how hard it is sometimes to be the parent. Huge gratitude to those parents for sharing their stories about the difficulties we face in parenting and disciplining our children. I don't feel like the mean mom, now. I'm not the only parent who insists their their kids learn how to work and do the job right the first time. Nor am I the only parent who gets the eye roll, the emphysemic sigh (I laughed hard at that description - it perfectly describes one of my children), the hunched shoulders, or the "it's not fair!" soliloquy.

I'm grateful for our upcoming vacay with Mr. Wonderful's parents. The kids are really looking forward to spending some time with their grandparents. They are good people. I love, love, LOVE my in-loves.

The Love Magnet took off again today. The front door was locked, as was the backyard gate. She went through the garage door (I didn't hear it with the dishwasher running). My next door neighbor saw my daughter chasing after my dog down the street. Neighbor tried to get her to stop, but The Love Magnet ran faster when she realized she was being chased. Neighbor caught her far down the next street and brought her back. I found out when Neighbor's firstborn knocked on my door to tell me his mother was chasing after my daughter. I'm grateful for my neighbor for bringing my daughter back. I've asked Mr. Wonderful to install alarms to tell me when any door to the outside or garage is open. I also bought a child leash. I hope that teaches her to not run.

I did a record amount of laundry this week. I'm grateful for the smell of clean laundry. I will be more grateful when all of my boys know how to do their own laundry.

My garden is starting to do better now that it isn't raining so much. The corn and peas look happy. The tomatoes look almost dead. Pumpkins and watermelon are finally starting to improve. The herbs are straggly. The strawberries are starting to bear fruit. I'm grateful that I'll be able to provide fresh, organic food for my family. I'm still learning. I wish I had inherited a little bit of gardening talent from my grandma.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


I feel like the general marshaling apathetic troops. Please tell me this is not a precursor to the entire summer.

Trying to study for the GRE during my summer vacay. Wondering if I should take a GRE prep course or just stick with my GRE prep manual (said manual will be taken on all vacays, too).

As The Love Magnet's desire for independence grows, so does her impulsiveness. Escapes are more frequent as is hiding from her mom. Seriously looking into GPS bracelets.

Thirdborn no longer likes his silver eyelashes (silver due to, we think, the loss of pigment in his skin). We've always told him it is because he has stars in his eyes. No longer a cool thing to say.

Iron Man 2 makes for a good dinner-and-a-movie date. Loved it with Kalua Pork. Bet you didnt' know that Robert Downey Jr. and Hawaiian food made for a good combination. Now you know.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Like packages and fun things in the mail?

Want to play "Pay It Forward"? Go see The Laundry Faerie for details.

What We're Doing During Summer

Going to a preserve to see these.

Planning a vacation here.

Reading this in 90 days and discussing it at

Printing off chore charts from Free Printable Behavior Charts.

Tracking the Flat Love Magnet on this.

Studying this and combine our findings in a science journal.

Cooking Lessons

Swimming lessons and swim meets


Scout Camps

What are your plans this summer?

Monday, June 07, 2010

First Grade Graduation

Today was the First Grade Graduation Luau for The Love Magnet. The luau was held at Teacher's house. We filled cute little buckets with red, white, and blue Jelly Bellys and a GC to her favorite coffeehouse. I made a fruit salad. We chose to walk to Teacher's House.
The Love Magnet immediately got down to business at the luau. She had some serious talks with her friends (along the line of "I come to your house tomorrow, okay?")

She played on the backyard playground, insisting that I stand back and let her do it all herself. I had no intention of helping her. I was just trying to record the moment.
Mr. Wonderful tried to get her to conquer the monkey bars. She had been talking about it all afternoon, insisting that it was okay for Daddy to help her. But when the time came, she lost all courage. Nothing her daddy could say would change her mind.

Firstborn and Secondborn were good sports. There wasn't anyone their age to play with. They did bring a football, and spent quite a bit of time smacking each other. Thirdborn was moving so fast that the camera didn't capture him.

She ate a good dinner. Well, she ate potato salad. She didn't care for the hot dog. Mr. Wonderful thought it was sacrilege that a luau had hot dogs and not Kahlua pork.

Then it was time to put on graduation hats and have the ceremony. The Love Magnet's hat was too big. It didn't stop her from wearing it.

Graduation included an award. The Love Magnet was given the Sunshine Award for bringing sunshine into the class room. Then she took a bow and Teacher popped a balloon filled with glitter over her head. TLM is now officially a second grader.

Her first act as a second grader? She came to her mom, dumped her diploma and hat, leaned over, and proceeded to shake all the glitter off her head and onto her mom. She didn't want glitter in her hair anymore.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Sunday Gratitudes

I know. It's been ages since I posted any gratitudes. I have felt the lack on a daily basis. I have no other excuse (and truly, excuses are lame) of being too busy, too bleh, too.....yeah. Lame.

Today I am grateful for the people who caught my daughter in the church parking lot. The Love Magnet ran away from me as church let out. The halls were crowded and she could easily slip past packed bodies where I could not. My profuse apologies to those people whom I shouldered out of the way as I tried to follow her down the hallway and out the door. I gave up running long enough to drop my scripture bag, the Sunday quiet bag, and my purse, kick off my sandals, and book it after her. she made it through two rows of the parking lot without looking both ways and (thank heavens) without getting hit by ward members leaving the their vehicles. When TLM got to the third row, another mother, hearing my yelling, turned around just in time to grab her. I finally caught up to them and swept her up in my arms. As soon as she saw my eyes, The Love Magnet knew that what she did was wrong. I haven't been that scared, ever.

I'm grateful for my Relief Society President for gathering up my bags and shoes and bringing them to me. When she asked me where I was parked, I couldn't tell her. My mind wouldn't work, numb from watching my daughter run. Thank goodness, Secondborn remembered where we parked. R.S. President talked calmly (which helped me immensely to calm down, too) and made sure everything and everyone got into the car before she left. I had enough presence of mind to be embarrassed about the state of my car (sheet music and kids homework everywhere).

I'm grateful that I didn't cry. I know, odd duck. But I cry at everything. I'm been praying for awhile to get a grip on this. For once I didn't get teary during or after an event like this. I consider is a sort of triumph. Or maybe I was just too scared.

I'm grateful that Firstborn made Acapella Choir (the top choir at school.) Yeah, proud mama here.

I'm grateful that The Love Magnet and I are finally over the nasty spring cold going around. Unfortunately, Mr. Wonderful and Secondborn picked it up. I hope Firstborn and Thirdborn avoid it.

I'm grateful that we were able to host family for Memorial Day weekend. My aunt and uncle, another aunt and uncle who live in Oregon, my cousin and his family all came for good food and good conversation. I've missed having extended family around.

I'm excited for our summer plans. Some of that I will blog about tomorrow. Should make things exciting and educational.

Off to research child harnesses for future family vacays (to prevent wandering).