Saturday, November 2, 2013

Halloween 2013

I know I have a few family events I need to catch up on. Namely, the cruise, Eden's trip to New York, first day of school - I'm stopping this list. It's stressing me out. So, if Halloween is all that gets reported on each year, it's better than nothing, right?

Anticipation was in the air for one young member of our family. Once  while being dragged along on a clothes shopping expedition, he looked at a rack of clothes and said, "I don't get it. How can girls think this is fun? The only day clothes even matter is Halloween." He had his costume ready to roll months ago.

The older girls are going through that transition stage of Halloween. They still want candy, but now parties take priority over canvasing the neighborhood for full-size candy bars. 

Eden got to dress up for school. For some reason, they let the high schooler's wear costumes, but the younger kids aren't allowed to (weird, I know). So, Eden was excited to look done up and glamorous. 

Her plans for the evening included a football game. Her school was playing their rival high school this week. The Freshman team plays Thursday nights, and the Varsity team plays Friday nights. The Varsity game is called The Mound Showdown. They even sell merchandise around this game each year. It's kind of ridiculous. 

Anyway, her "friend" John plays on the Freshman football team, so she wanted to go see his game and then met up with him and a few other friends to hang out. She still wanted to figure out a way to go trick-or-treating, so she said she and her friends would take Davis. 

Since the game didn't end until 7:30, she was going to take Davis to the game, change into costumes when the game was over, and then walk home and trick or treat along the way. Davis didn't mind going to the game because the girl of his dreams (remember Audria?) has a sister who is a freshman cheerleader and she goes to all the games.

Long story short, the game went long, and around 7:45, Davis started having a full on panic attack that he was going to miss trick or treating. Eden kept telling him that they were still going and that there wasn't a time limit. He wasn't buying it and the tears started gushing. In the middle of his melt down he told (yelled at) Eden that she was making this Halloween "ALL TRICKS AND NO TREATS!!"

She texted me to come pick them up and in the car on the way back, Eden told Davis she would still take him trick or treating. He said back to her, "No offense Eden, but you haven't done a very good job of Halloween this year, I want mom to take me." 

Of course, I did. I was glad, too, because he needed a little help with navigating his interactions. More specifically, he needed someone to apologize for him at most of the houses. Highlights included him telling someone that it was "okay" they gave him a pencil because he actually needed one. Asking someone why they took so long to answer the door. And, my personal favorite, telling someone they shouldn't let their dogs come with them to the door because some trick or treaters (like him) are allergic to shedding mammals. Most people were not amused.

Abby attended her first boy/girl Halloween party at her friend Laura's house. She dressed up as a nerd, but didn't want to look too nerdy. Eden had a little too much fun with the "I thought you were going to dress up" jokes about Abby being a nerd. She looked cute, though.

Katie went as an 80's Valley Girl. I taught her all the lingo and instead of saying "trick or treat," she smacked her gum and said "gag me with a spoon." She ran around the neighborhood with her friend Clare. 

After I put on Katie's make-up, Davis walked in and said, "Whoa, Katie, you look really good." Katie said, "Are you saying I don't normally look good?" "No, no," Davis said, "It's just that this is . . . WOW." after a short pause he added, "I don't have a crush on you or anything."

By the end of the night, their bags were full of candy and our Baggs were full of candy. It was 11:00 p.m. by the time everyone got home and settled and in bed. We let Eden off the hook for seminary tomorrow, and for some reason, tomorrow is PICTURE DAY! for Katie and Davis. Who does that?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Our Young Prince is in L-O-V-E!

OH, my sweet, sweet boy is in love! Of course with me...but also with a little girl from school. He has been talking about an Audria for quite some time. Apparently, she's the only girl who likes to play Transformers with the boys at recess, which we discovered is explained by a case of mutual admiration.

The evening of the first day of school, the high school hosted a "Meet the Jags Night" at the stadium. Since Eden is now officially a Jag, we decided to finally give in to the long standing Texas tradition of meeting the football team at the beginning of the season. It was quite a spectacle - drill team, cheerleaders, marching band, choirs, etc. We learned the FMHS fight song and a few cheers. Kyle and I needed some practice, so we sang and cheered REALLY loudly. If you think we got louder every time Eden and Abby cringed and scooted further away from us, you would be correct.

Amidst the cheering, cringing and scooting, a beautiful, young (about 8), curly haired maiden ascended the stadium stairs. The young prince sitting next to me sat up straighter and brightened at the sight of the young maiden heading in his direction.

"Audria!" said the young prince with an enthusiastic wave of his hand. "I'd like to introduce you to my family!" He did.

The young maiden smiled and said hello. Then, upon seeing there were no empty seats on our viewing perch, she gracefully slid onto an empty bench behind us. The royal adviser (me) turned to the young prince and suggested he join the fair maiden behind us on her bench. He did.

Deep, meaningful conversation followed. A discussion of favorite animals, an explanation of what an astrophysicist does, and a relationship solidifying sharing of secrets. The price revealed: he still wets the bed, and the young maiden revealed: she still sleeps with her parents. (Upon hearing this, the royal adviser strongly advised the young and inexperienced prince to maybe, in the future, keep HIS little secret nugget to himself.)

Now that the "favorites" had been exchanged and secrets had been shared, the next logical step was for the young prince to meet his future in-laws and perhaps make a plea for the young maiden's hand. They journeyed together the three rows down and one row over to meet her parents. Our cunning prince decided that a detailed demonstration and explanation of how the moon was formed would hint at his desires without being too forward.

Next was the ever-popular display of prowess. Our prince led the fair maiden to the bottom of the stadium stairs and challenged the ferocious Jaguar (school mascot) to a duel. Upon seeing the beast close-up, he hoped a spirited high-five would be as impressive as a bloody duel. It was. After sitting back down, the flaxen haired maiden offered her hand to her brave prince. He proudly held it.

Heading back up the steps, the entire stadium heard the elated prince declare with gusto that he "belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!" Surely a pre-emptive strike against any future difference of religion discussions.

As the stadium show drew to a close and the crowd dispersed, it was time to say goodbye. Parting was sweet sorrow...but also a hug. A later recounting of the moment went something like this: "Mom, um, she hugged me! I played it cool on the outside, but my insides were GLOWING! I feel like there are bugs crawling everywhere inside my tummy."

As we walked to the car, our starry eyed prince said, "Well, God just told me that she is the one! Tomorrow at recess, we are playing family. I'm being the dad platypus and she's being the mom turtle."

As the evening progressed, lovestruck became diarrhea-of-the-mouth-struck and the comments were as follows (in no particular order):

"Can we have Audria over for a playdate? Maybe we can take her to the science museum with us. She would love that. I would love that. I'd want to wear my very best clothes for our mini-date. Not a tuxedo or anything, just clothes maybe one step down from church clothes. And deodorant. One thing girls don't like is stinky pits."

"I'm going to buy her a treat when we go to Target." At Target I saw he only had one box of candy. I asked him if he was going to get something for her. He replied, "Yes, I'm sharing my treat with her. Sharing means more and if I count them out and it comes out uneven, I'll give her the extra."

I know how much he talks when he gets excited, so I was going to tell him to make sure to ask her questions about herself and maybe compliment her when he sees her. Leading up to that, I asked him, "Do you know what girl's really like?" He said, "Yes, I do." I said, "Oh, you do?" and he said, "Yes, a strong and sensitive man."

Later that night, I was brushing my teeth while he was in the shower. He said, "Mom, I know I'm only 8 years old, but I LOVE her. Maybe we could be junior boyfriend and girlfriend. You know, be together but save the kissing stuff for when we're older."

The shower was followed by a count out of the candy (he gave her more than he kept for himself), and a note that read "Audria, I like you! Do you like me? Check the box yes or no." He was going to catch her at recess, tell her to meet him after school and then give her the candy and note. The next morning, he said that having slept on it, he thinks that maybe he should slow things down a bit. He took the candy, but left the note at home. When he couldn't find her at school, he ate the candy.

Looks like happily ever after can wait a few years. Thank goodness!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Recent Pictures and Teeny Update

Kyle posted these recent pictures on Facebook, but I thought I'd throw them up here, too.

Davis wasn't seeing the point in a personal picture, and Kyle didn't push it.

Not much exciting to report on.

Eden started tutoring at Sylvan and LOVES it.

Abby has made a name for herself in being the most sought after babysitter in the ward (she got Kyle's baby-whispering gene).

Katie is choreographing her own dance solo to perform in the school talent show. Originally, she was doing a duet with her friend (also named Katie) but her friend backed out at the last minute. I love that Katie has no problem getting up and doing a solo. She's not even nervous. Abby said wild horses couldn't drag her onto a school stage to perform by herself. She thinks Katie is crazy. I think the feelings are mutual.

Finally, Davis is still cracking us up. Our water heater broke and needed replacing. Davis heard Kyle on the phone with the plumber and said, "You called a plumber dad? I'm so excited! I've always wanted to see a plumber plumb!"

Saturday, November 3, 2012


I can tell the kids are getting older. For the past several years, our house has been filled with intense excitement for the last day of October and the festivities, candy, costume decisions, candy, decorations, candy, and the candy involved. To explain what I mean by "intense excitement," I'll use what Davis would call a "calculation." Take my excitement for the holiday that signifies cooler weather, candy, changing leaves, candy, the spirit of community - where everyone visits each other's houses, candy and multiply that by four. Subtract 25% of that amount to account for the lack of enthusiasm from the other parent in the house (we'll call him Franken-Scrooge to protect his identity) and what you have left is still some pretty intense excitement.

When the kids are toddlers and they remember from year to year what Halloween is all about (princess dresses and candy or hero costumes and candy - not interchangeable enthusiasm), the anticipation grows with time. At about age 8, the excitement peaks and depending on the child, declines at different rates. 

For Child #1 (we'll call her Can-Still-Get-Away-With-Trick-or-Treating-Based-on-Her-Short-Stature-But-is-Probably-Too-Old) enthusiasm peaked several years ago. This year, the needle was all over the gauge. It went from Handing-Out-Candy to Taking-Little-Brother-Around-the-Neighborhood to Whatever-My-Friends-Are-Doing to Going-to-a-Party to Ticked-Off-Mom-and-Dad-Said-I-Can't-Go-to-the-Party to I'll-Just-Sit-in-My-Room back to Taking-Little-Brother and finally back around to Whatever-My-Friends-Are-Doing. Evidently, Friends decided to trick-or-treat as 80's girls.

Child #2's enthusiasm (we'll call her Too-Cool-to-do-Anything-Little-Kids-Do-Especially-if-Older-Sister-Does-it-Too) was intense early on, but rather than decline gradually, it took a huge dive on November 1, 2011. She made her personal views public by proudly wearing a t-shirt that read "I Don't Do Costumes." She stuck to her guns about being the candy giver-outer at our house, but made a last minute change and helped her friend hand out candy at her house. Her friend had the same t-shirt, but neither girl actually wore the shirt on Halloween (only leading up to the big day) because that would have been uncool.

Child #3 (Last-Year's-Costume-Got-Me-Attention-From-the-Boys-So-Why-Mess-With-a-Good-Thing) had her costume decision and trick-or-treating companion booked months in advance. With her arrangements in place, her focus shifted to mathematics . How many pounds of candy could she collect in the fewest blocks and least amount of steps in clunky boots?

Upon realizing meaning of phrase "No Pain No Gain." 

Saw Eden doing the splits and thought we were going with some sort of theme.

Child #4. We'll call him (Everyday-is-the-Best-Day-Ever-So-it-Doesn't-Take-Much-to-Put-Him-Over-the-Edge). His countdown began November 1 last year. Costume choice is extremely important, but varies little from year to year. All involve muscles. Enthusiasm for this one went beyond just costumes and candy this year. Thanks to mom's convalescence and subsequent time on the computer, he discovered a treasure trove of festive decorating ideas on a little site called Pinterest. He printed his ideas, made a shopping list and pushed mom around the craft store in a wheelchair collecting supplies. We got pumpkins, ribbon, bats, ghosts, spider webs, and clay to make spiders. He told his whole class he was helping his mom make Halloween decorations. I fear for his safety at school sometimes, but the house looked great. When the big night came, he didn't get much candy. He tends to perform a very energy inefficient skippy-dance between houses. Wears him out fast.

He wasn't gone long.

As usual, though, BEST DAY EVER!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sisters in Perfect Harmony (but a little off key)

Monday was a holiday in Texas. We were told it was a Columbus Day/Texas Fair Day/Teacher Workday. They say everything's bigger in Texas and apparently, we can't have just one reason for a day off of school, we need three.

I had a doctor's appointment (finally got out of the cast and boot and am able to walk on my own two -still slightly sore - legs). I also wanted to run by the library and Target. The girls LOVE going anywhere out of the house except school and to get flu shots, so they begged to come with me. I got such a kick out of watching them get ready to go and thought I'd share.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Haven't quite got the hang of this Blog thing

I read blogs. I like blogs. I think the whole idea of blogging is amazing. That real people can write about their lives and talents and share them with the world. My favorite blogs are craft blogs. I enjoy a good tutorial. My problem with blogs, though, is that people share only what they want to share. The pictures are usually perfect and the writing is eloquent. I usually leave a blog with the impression that the blogger's life is more beautiful, more organized, and much more peaceful than mine.

So.....when Kyle asked/begged/pleaded for me to start a family blog, I resisted. I still resist a little. I don't feel like I have any gems of wisdom or super talents to share. I love to craft, but most of what I make is copied from someone else's blog. I do have a desire to share our "real" lives, but part of me resists putting it out there. I'm a little afraid of the judgmental eyes of others, but more than that, I'm not convinced people won't read the mundane aspects of our lives and simply say, "Who cares." In addition, when things aren't so great, who wants to read that?

I'm guessing the key is balance. In that spirit, I'm going to make a concerted effort to blog more and just let it all hang out. I don't want to swing too far in either direction of life's ups and downs, so I'll try to tell it like it is. We have moments that are like sweet, juicy oranges, and other sour lemon-y moments.

Here were last week's ups and downs (according to the kids):


Oranges - "Can't think of a favorite part. Well, okay, going to the mall with friends."

Lemons - "Everything else."


Oranges - "Nothing."

Lemons - "Everything."


Oranges - "On Monday, I really liked dance because we got to learn a dance and it was really fun because it was a lyrical. I really liked that. Tuesday just a good day, not the best, but it was okay. Wednesday not a good day because it was my dish day. No one likes that. And then Thursday, it was so much fun at dance because we had our banana split party. Our banana split party was that we had two months to stretch and do our splits. We had a sheet of paper like directions and it told us to warm up for five minutes, then do right, left, and middle. I passed because I got 0 inches (off the floor) on my right, 2.5 inches on my left, and 2 inches on my middle. Friday was awesome because that's the day we get to watch TV. Finally! And I had no homework, so that was good. Saturday I really was falling behind on my book report and so I spent some time reading. Today, which is Sunday, I'm really determined to get it done because it is DUE TOMORROW. My report is on the book called From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler."

Lemon - "I really, really did not like Tuesday. It was because we had so much catching up to do in school. I was falling behind and had to go to study hall. In fourth grade you don't get to go back out to recess when you're done. I had to sit there for 20 minutes even though I'd finished my work. Mrs. Giebel wouldn't even let us pick a book to read. AND - they got popsicles at recess. And I didn't. (Davis chimes in, "Oh, I got a popsicle.")


Oranges - "renting Avengers and going to Mason's. And Mad Science. It's science and you learn about space. Mad Science allows me to talk and tell other people about the universe. They can get better at mad science. I mean the kids at my table. Now the Avengers. I like the Avengers because it has most of my favorite super heroes and I could really see the Marvel. My favorite character and super hero in it is Ironman. I really like when Loki steals the Cosmic Cube and gets the army to try to fight the Avengers. And he tries to get control of Tony Stark, but it doesn't work because of his Heartware.
Mason is my best friend. He is my best friend because . . . I don't know actually . . . oh, we bond. We have a really funny thing in our relationship. You see, when we first met, we were just three. We weren't interested in the same things because we were just three. Then when we got older, we started to like the same things and started to play and right now, we just have a good time. He does Marvel Ultimate Alliance which is a game I like very much and he has X Box. That's where I learned how to play X Box. With Marvel Ultimate Alliance you push A to punch, then you press B to do a super punch, you press X to open doors and you press Y to jump. And if you're a player that has the super power to fly, push Y a few times to fly."

Lemons - "I didn't like, you know, having to do a normal school day. It's really not good. It's boring. I didn't like having to wait for dad to come back from Katie's class to say goodbye on Donuts with Dad day. That's it. I have a lot of things I like this week.

I have friends who blog as a family journal. For Christmas, they print it in book form and have, on their shelf, a book for each year of their family's life. I would love that. Every Sunday, we watch a few old home movies of the kids when they were little. We let the kids either watch home movies or church movies. Home movies usually win out. It's interesting to see what we thought record-worthy with each video. Sometimes, we're on vacation, sometimes the kids are performing. But, our favorite segments are those with us just "being." Sitting in our house, running around the back yard, or making dinner. Those moments may not be as precious to anyone else, but it's those moments that remind us why we are important to each other.

Memorable Kid Quote - Davis

Davis wrote an adorable Halloween book about how he saved our family from a zombie skeleton:

Me: This is great. All you need to do is color the pictures to make it look really nice.

Davis: No. I don't really like coloring. It's a waste of my time. That's why I want to be an astrophysicist. No coloring.