Wednesday, June 30, 2010

one of those days

How is everyone's summer going?  Mine is clipping right along, rushing hither and thither, and lo and behold I haven't written a single thing on my calendar.  June is sitting there forlornly, completely blank, like we haven't a single care in the world.  Are we just sitting around doing nothing?  Actually no, but one would think, from the external evidence, that we were doing exactly that.  Usually I can slide through with this kind of organization, remembering things at the last minute, as it were, but yesterday it didn't work out so well.  I rounded up two oldest for a doctor's appointment at 9:00.  In the morning.  Not so early to most, but quite remarkable that we got out on time -- showered, coiffed, scented -- with a 16 and 14 year old in tow.  Also with youngest so running out the door, down the street, through the parking lot, up the stairs, down the hall, through the door, at the receptionist's desk, on the receiving end of blank stare.  Um, I will tell you their names again.  Nothing.  Oh!  Well look at that, the appointment is for tomorrow!  Won't that be nice to do that all again?  (We survived, yay!)  So back home.  Gave the big girl a job to do in the car and she decided that she just had to listen to some tunes while working so turned on the car, left it on, and when I needed to take younger girls somewhere two hours later, car wouldn't start.  Wonderful!  No biggie.  Car jumped and we are off again.  Boy gets a call while we're in the car, drop people here and there, get home again and can't find my phone.  Look all over car, ask husband to call it.  Look all over house.  Get messages on Facebook about how I'm not answering my phone :), keep looking.  Have to take oldest to voice lessons, still frustrated about phone.  Why do I keep losing things?  Wait, I didn't lose it, I simply made the recurring mistake of allowing someone to receive phone calls on it.   Boy used it last.  What would he do with it?  Drop girl off and hear phone vibrating.  Rip car apart and find it, with the ringer turned off (I didn't do that!) under the front passenger seat.  Whew!  There is something that makes me very tense about not having a phone.  Can relax again and no other disasters for the entire rest of the day!

Hope everyone else is faring well!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


What have I been doing?  I have been assessing, and obsessing about assessing.  First of all, our lawn has grubs and in other places it isn't growing.  It also is growing moss, and why wouldn't it since we apparently live in a swamp?  The rain!  It just keeps coming, and the weeds keep growing, and I have to bring all of the clothes off the line at a moments notice, and the lightning!  The thunder shakes you deep inside followed by the fire engine sirens signaling another run to put out the sparks.  And the humidity!  I cannot ever remember it being quite this bad.  Maybe this no A/C thing isn't such a good idea... no we're fine, it is quite cooling to use the body's mechanism, also known as sweating, and then let the ceiling fans do their magic.  Where was I?  The heat is making me loopy.  Oh, long story short I paid someone to assess my lawn and tell me what I can organically do to get it healthy and thriving again.  They'll get back to me in three weeks.

Secondly, I sent in my picture for a body profiling assessment at Dress Your Truth.  That only took a few days, but in the meantime I was devouring books and information online, searching madly for clues to explain me to me so that I can find my true calling and get on with it already.  After all of that wading I didn't feel like waiting any longer so I tried to cancel that assessment, but they had already finished it.  Ooh, exciting!  What would they say?  I had pretty much decided who I am, so I was prepared to be unimpressed as they told me something different.  The sceptic in me was quite sure that that part would all be hooey, but it was exactly what I had already figured out!  Wow.  So it is all very interesting and I am pretty much obsessed with it at the moment so if anyone wants to talk about it with me I could gladly blather on about it for hours.

The two oldest are at camp for the week so it is quieter and I can't just run out the door without baby any old time I want.  What the...?  (As Miss Ibby would say, so cute every time).  I miss them (and not just for what they can do for me).  And they are having to sleep outside with all these crazy storms roiling around -- yikes!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

and the livin' is easy

Summertime, summertime, summer, summer, summertime.  Not much time to blog, blog, blog, but having a delightful time.  Ella went to Youth Conference late last week and it was so different being with only our three youngest.  Such a change in the dynamics and we actually had some time alone in the evening.  On Saturday we fetched big boy from the airport and had a full report on the BYU basketball camp -- definitely a great program and a hit with our guy.  He talked the whole way home with a full report on everything from hiking with his lovely cousin up Rock Canyon on a drizzly afternoon, to the amazing-ness of cookie dough milk (?) from the creamery, to the fact that his team won the whole tournament.  It has been incredibly rainy and humid in these parts (muggy, muggy, good for the skin; muggy, muggy, GREAT for the skin -- my new mantra) and the weeds are commanding quite a bit of my attention.  The garden is coming along and some fresh picked chard accompanied my poached eggs for breakfast this morning.

Also, Charles started an online math class (because he is utterly and completely mortified to be in Algebra 1 as a freshman, which is totally my fault since I homeschooled him in 6th grade, not realizing that that was THE definitive year in which the die of the rest of his life would be cast, but now do realize after receiving his schedule a few weeks ago for his entire high school career (?), which he handed over very reluctantly along with some comment about how he hadn't shown it to us earlier because he didn't want to hear about how he'd be living in our basement as an adult, and how the schedule was cast in stone and there was nothing we could do about his loser future, but after making some calls found that he can indeed catch up in math, which is his best subject, and therefore also be in the honors science class and more than likely someday get into college and having a run-on sentence like this is completely acceptable since I framed it in parentheses...) so he will be on the computer for about six (!) hours a day and I won't be seeing much of my beloved and ridiculously large computer screen.  Do you think I should go get myself a laptop?

Along with not writing, has been a lot of not reading blogs which makes me sad.  I always find so many interesting things to read!  I was recently reading how my newfound blogging friend Jen made her own deodorant -- that is something I need to try -- to go along with my baking soda hair.  I haven't used antiperspirant for years, since I first read about the harmful effects, and have had various levels of luck with different brands of more natural deodorant.  As my children have gotten older and deodorant is required in their P.E. class, I especially didn't want them rubbing aluminum directly into their lymph nodes.  My 14 year old son does not approve, in any way, of my no aluminum rule and overcompensates by using an inordinate amount of body spray -- one can even smell it outside as it wafts out of the fan vent into the yard.  What is in that stuff?  It can't be good.  I wonder how frankincense would go over with him as a natural alternative?

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Last week we took Charles to the airport to fly to Utah - alone!  It was our first time to send one of our babies off by themselves, but I suppose that he is old enough and he is certainly big enough.  Since his flight was in the morning we went up the day before and spent the night with Hiroko.

First stop:  The Field Museum
We had bought a pass last year on my birthday because it was cheaper than paying for everyone individually so of course we had to try to use it again because we're frugal like that.

Thank you Vanna!

Oooh, a wooly mammoth backpack -- a must have for any two year old boy.
When Charles sees the camera come out, he immediately turns around

Then off to the Art Institute:
We ran into our old friend Michael on the street!  How amazing is that!  He is so cute.  Matthew also spotted and chatted with a former student.  I am quite sure we couldn't find someone we were expressly trying to find on purpose in downtown Chicago.
Our first stop was the Modern wing with cool sculptures and rooms filled with plain white canvases.  After reading the paragraph of how the white changes with the light, Charles observed, "It is kind of like 'The Emperor's New Clothes' with everyone trying to see nothing." 

Curses!  Foiled again!  Another back shot as they watch an installation.
Our favorite part is downstairs where the kids can touch things...
and we can gawk at the miniature rooms.
Such a good museum goer!

After closing we stopped to enjoy some jazz on Michigan Avenue

and romped through Millenium park

We followed the sounds to find more music in the park
And finished our visit the next morning by visiting a very cool mall -- Ella was in heaven!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Little guy woke up so early and all I wanted to do was cuddle with him in my bed -- he would have none of that.  Finally I decided to get up and do some yoga -- well, of course, he was all about the cuddling then.  Laying along my front while I did bridge pose and riding my body like a boat while I was in bow pose.  Needless to say, a better workout than most mornings.

We are enjoying our summer thus far.  It has been much cooler since school has been out so we have only been swimming a couple of times.  The girls started tennis lessons, Ella is finishing up her AP history, Charles is in beautiful Zion, and I have very grubby fingernails from digging around in the garden at every available opportunity -- we have some arugula and lettuce for lunch!
::a study --  the peanut butter sandwich

Thursday, June 3, 2010

in memoriam

It has been hot.  I've had a cold.  We've been deep cleaning.  I had to give a talk in church on Sunday (Matthew said he protected me as long as he could).  I never get a chance to sit down at the computer and write in the ole blog or read my favorites.

I hope that everyone had a Happy Memorial Day.  We always try to do something memorial-y and this year my friend was tour guiding at an old cemetery nearby.
Isn't she cute? So we decided to go over there on Sunday after church with friends and had a wonderful time. We first had a little walking tour with someone else from church and he showed us the old storage space where they would keep bodies until they could be buried -- wouldn't want to get locked in there, spooky! We learned the difference between a crypt and a mausoleum and about the different types of headstones and memorials. They then gave us some candies and water while we waited for the trolley. What a completely harmless and kind thing to do.   Phin ate one -- I said one, little, tiny, insignificant -- tootsie roll and was covered from head to toe with chocolatey stickiness.  Someone came by and asked if he had had a chocolate ice cream cone.  No, a mere tootsie roll caused this much damage.  I've washed his shirt three times now and it is still stained, but it kept him happy and that is all that matters in life, right?  Next we were given a ride on this tractor pulled trolley and would stop at various spots to talk about the interesting life of a Bloomington son or daughter.  All of the stories were so fascinating -- circus performers and opera singers, politicians and quack doctors, midwives and mothers.  I love to think about people's stories and how a whole life can be wrapped up into a tight little package of a paragraph.  What would be our talking points?  I also like living in an old house because there is life soaked into the walls (not literally, of course, ew!) and other people's memories swirling around.  I can sense that nothing too horrible has happened in our house because it has such a serene spirit.  Matthew and I could feel it when we first saw the house.  Hey, that is seven years ago this week!  Wow.  We saw thirty or more houses on a Monday.  Went back to see some on Tuesday, and bought our first house on Wednesday.  When we initially walked in we were phantasmed by the shiny floors and completely charmed with the second staircase and unique nooks.  Matthew was amazed that the distinctive front and back doorknobs were the same ones that were on his childhood home in Fresno, California.  I sat down on the bottom step and for the first time felt like I was home.  I felt the spirit of happy families and pleasant busy-ness and still feel it as we've added our own stamp to it.  I used to always be scared at night, but have never felt that way here.  We even decided to ignore the fact that there was only one bathroom and not enough bedrooms.  That is true love.

Okay, back to the present and the cemetery drenched in past.  All of the kids seemed to like it, even the surly teenage boys who wandered off before we embarked on the trolley, found their own fun in spying on us, hiding behind large markers, with only their telltale gangly athletic shoes poking out.  Every once in a while we'd also catch a peek of their mischievous smirks.  Then we started the macabre subject of what do they do when the cemetery is full because those dead people aren't going anywhere and Ella told us that in Europe they dig up the bodies after a while so there is room for more.  I don't know if that is true, but just cremate me please.

On Monday we hung out with the same friends who were kind enough to take us to State Farm pool.  It was delightful, of course, but then my dear Ella left her brand new, only worn once, totally splurged upon, no longer available, J. Crew swimsuit in the shower -- never to be seen again!  The lady at the lost and found asked, "Was it nice?"  As if that could excuse and explain why someone STOLE it.  We are praying that they will be so consumed with guilt that they will eventually return it to the office and we will be reunited with it once again.  Another lesson in not paying too dear for anything.
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