Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sharing is Sweet

Katie brought the yummiest cookies over to my house recently. I saved one for June, because Katie asked specifically if I could since she felt bad that June did not enjoy a treat that she brought earlier to primary (Katie is June's teacher now). I'm sure June would have devoured it the next day, but she was distracted by the plethora of other treats in the house (Candy Corn, cupcakes, Skittles, etc.) So the cookie sat in its little zip-lock bag waiting to be savored. Now I have not been craving sweets with this pregnancy, but that cookie was looking mighty good, so I thought I would try something...
June was already in bed and I went up and knelt next to her and asked, "May I have your cookie?" She looked at me for a moment and then said, "Are you kidding?"
"No, I really liked them and it sounds tasty to me, so I wanted to know if I could have it?" This was pretty much torture for June. You could see the frustration and confusion on her face. It is not natural for children to give away treats (especially if there is only one!), but she loves her mom. She sat there saying, "Hmmmmmmm." "Hmmmmmmmmm." I could almost see the wheels turning in her head. She hmmmmmed a bit more and when I gave her a quizzical look she finally said, "I'm still focused on we each have half."
Ahhh, isn't that sweet? I tied with the cookie. I told her that sounded great and we could share the cookie tomorrow.
The greatest part of this story is that I told Tyler this same tale later in the evening when he came home. He got the funniest look on his face and he said, "Do you mean the cookie in the little zip-lock bag?" It didn't take a genius to realize he had eaten it. "You have to MARK things like that!" he wailed. I told him not to worry and that if June noticed, we could always specially ask Katie for another batch. June must have felt good in her conscience because she hasn't asked about the cookie yet. However, Katie, if you ever feel like making some more of those, we would be happy to consume them. Yum!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Look at the Past

This is a little late, but since I have this blog partly as a journal, I wanted to put this in here to remember. Back in December, we took the kids to meet 'Father Christmas' instead of Santa Claus at the mall. There was a reporter there that day and she said that she was going to post something in the Deseret News, but I didn't check it until now (a little slow, I know). Here is the article and the part about our family is about 1/2 way down. I increased the font where it begins in case you don't want to read the entire article.

Deseret Morning News

Father Christmas Calls For Gift Sharing
by Amy K. Stewart
Deseret Morning News
Published Dec. 14, 2007

PROVO — Andy Baggs tugs sharply on his white beard to show Jack Setzer, 11, of Springville, that it isn't fake.

Jack is convinced. "He let me pull on his beard. And believe me, it is real," the boy says.

The No. 1 Santa at the North Pole is quite busy this time of year and so he needs helpers to fill in at malls and other events during the holiday season.

Baggs, 61, of Provo, is one of Santa's special helpers. Instead of asking kids all the things they want for Christmas, he talks to them about being nice and doing their chores.

"I want kids to look at giving and sharing and not worry about getting," Baggs says, emphasizing he wants to be called "Father Christmas" — not "Santa Claus."

Parents can fill out a form so Father Christmas can talk to their child about specific discipline problems or encourage them to clean their room. An elf relays this secret information to Father Christmas via a two-way radio. Children rarely notice the earpiece.

Father Christmas has been doing this for about eight years.

"He just 'magically' knows the kids' names and everything about them," said Lee Ann Setzer, of Springville. She brought her children to see Baggs recently at Heindselman's Yarn, Needlework and Gifts, 176 W. Center St., Provo.

"He somehow knew I hadn't practiced my piano," Elizabeth Setzer, 8, said.

"I talk to the kids. I want to know what kids are doing, what is in their hearts," says Baggs, a school psychologist who works at Elk Ridge Middle School in Jordan School District.

As Father Christmas, Baggs has a lot of advice on holiday giving.

"I talk a great deal about service — about taking care of Mom and Dad," he said. "If they are young, I tell them to give Mom and Dad a great big hug and a kiss. I tell them to bake a plate of cookies for the lady down the street or shovel her walk."

The undercover elf, who hovers out of sight and radios information to Baggs, is Ted Schofield, owner of Heindselman's.

"We have more fun doing this," Schofield said. He and Baggs are also Boy Scout leaders with Troop 999 in Provo.

Maleen Cazier, of Orem, brought her three daughters to see Father Christmas.

"I like the idea of not worrying so much about getting presents," Cazier said. "He is more about what you're doing for others and being kind to people and remembering what the season is for."

Her husband, Tyler Cazier, of Orem, agreed, saying his family wants to do things to celebrate Christmas without all the commercialism.

"We wanted to come out and see Father Christmas. Santa is too commercialized. He is too much a piece of this capitalistic society that we have," he said. "I like to have something that reminds me more of why I celebrate the season."

Father Christmas sits on a throne, which is really a chair wrapped with glittery gold material. Black cowboy boots peek out from under his black jeans. He dons a furry white-trimmed red robe that spills over his gold-colored cloth robe.

Ivory Cazier, 1 year and 9 months old, approaches Father Christmas hesitantly. He gently sits her on his knee.

Schofield, waiting in the wings, says through the radio, "Ivory likes snow ... and she likes being tickled."

Father Christmas tickles Ivory's tummy, and she bursts into giggles.

Schofield whispers, "She eats crayons."

Father Christmas says to Ivory, "Don't eat the crayons. You'll get a purple tongue."

Ivory's two sisters laugh as they watch.

June, 5, and Robyn, 3, are next.

Schofield relays, "June is a big helper. But she needs to keep her hands to herself. Robyn needs to work on her reading."

After their chat, Father Christmas gives each girl a candy cane and a pair of children's blunted-nosed scissors with brightly colored plastic handles.

"I always promise them they will get neat stuff for Christmas," he says. "But what's important is what you're doing for the people you love and who you associate with. Look outside yourself."

The article wasn't bad, but I would say it was only 95% accurate. I am fairly sure that when Father Christmas tickled Ivory, she didn't even crack a smile. It is much more dramatic to read that she burst into giggles, but that is hardly true. The rest is pretty safe journalism.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Musical Musings

My thoughts turned to music a few weeks ago when I heard the song Short People on the radio. Being short myself, I have heard the familiar line, 'Short people got nobody,' but I had never heard the whole song before.

It is not a nice song.

Maybe it is because I am short, but I certainly wasn't impressed by the lyrics. They are mean. Tyler had never heard of the song at all and I think he was dubious to whether there really was a song about short people having no reason to live. I played it for him and he laughed and laughed. (Ha ha).

That evening we started talking about songs we hadn't heard in a while and songs we could only remember a few lines to. The internet is amazing for finding songs that you had almost forgotten. Tyler knows there are a few that really touch my heartstrings and he proceeded to play some of these tearjerkers while I was trying to go to sleep. On the first song, I found a few tears in my eyes (against my will) and by the end of the second, I was weeping. Tyler was again trying not to laugh, because I am pretty sure he was picking these songs on purpose to get a reaction. Well, congrats Tyler, the pregnant woman predictably bawled when you put on a song about children being sick. Sherrie Austin sings a song called Streets of Heaven about a mother who doesn't want her sick daughter to be taken yet. Holy cow, I can't handle it. And it certainly doesn't help that I have three daughters. I finally had to tell Tyler to knock it off because I was using up all the tissue in the house.

But music is wonderful. I love how it can pull an emotion out of you, or it takes you back somewhere to the first time you heard it play. I can't listen to the No Doubt album without thinking of this silly board game because I played them both together too often in high school. I went to sleep the other night listening to Sunny's blog because she put some great music on there. What would life be like without music? Certainly not as wonderful as it is now.

Friday, January 25, 2008

No Regrets

I bawled when I cut off June's curls, and I was resigned when we finally cut her hair, but with Robyn it has been a whole different story. I am not sure why, but it was definitely time. She was getting frustrated with her hair always being in the way and it was getting quite long (when it was wet, it was down to her waist). I didn't cut enough to donate the hair,but I wouldn't have anyway (sorry, I know I am selfish, but I have plans for that hair).
She loves it by the way, and she laughs every time I pretend that I don't know who she is, now that she has short hair. But who could mistake that doubt it is Robyn.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

That Hit The Spot

I made stuffed green peppers last night and for some reason, they were soooooooo tasty! You know how sometimes, something tastes just right, like a comfort food. Anyway, it was so delicious, I just thought I needed to share the recipe in case there are others who needed some scrumptiousness.

Italian Stuffed Bell Peppers
4 large sweet red, yellow or green peppers, halved lengthwise (I buy green just because they are cheaper, and I only buy two because my kids don't eat peppers yet)
2 cups cooked orzo pasta (um...I have a hard time finding orzo, so I just use small shells)
1 can (14-1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, well drained (I like fresh)
1 cup diced cooked Italian sausage or salami (I usually use pepperoni)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or oregano or 1-1/2 teaspoons of the dried varieties
8 slices Provolone
Hot spaghetti sauce, optional

Place pepper halves in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave, covered, on high for 6 minutes or until tender. In a medium bowl, combine orzo, tomatoes, sausage and basil. Arrange pepper halves, cut side up, in a shallow baking dish. Fill with orzo mixture. Top with cheese. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until cheese is golden. Serve with spaghetti sauce if desired. Yield: 4 servings.

Apparently I don't follow the recipe very exactly, but I really like it. And I would have taken a picture, but it was gone so quickly last night. Maybe I shouldn't have written this post, because now I want some more.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Kids say the funniest things

I've told several people this story, but I love it so much that I need to write it down for posterity.
Many people have seen the way Tyler flips our girls. He does it more when they are younger, usually because they weigh less. This tends to frighten people out of their minds. Women are known to get faint or turn away looking queasy and even men get a little uncomfortable watching. I myself, am getting used to it. There are still moments when I say, "Oh, stop Tyler." But he is very careful. June and Robyn enjoyed and perhaps endured much of the flipping, but Ivory absolutely loves it. If he puts her down, she asks for more, and she holds her hands up to be picked up when he puts her down. She giggles as she flies through the air and there is no doubt that she can't get enough. I still tend not to watch.

So a few days ago, Tyler was flipping Ivory in the loft. I was not watching as usual, when suddenly I hear crying. I was not overly concerned since I know Tyler would never let serious harm come to the kids. I walked out and asked what happened.
"Well, she may have hit her feet. She bumped her feet on the floor and then stumbled forward," Dad explained.
She was wailing away so Tyler started to take her into the next room to calm her down. This is when June runs over to me, tugs on my arm and says,

"And when Dad says feet, he means head." (I should have been more concerned but it really just made me laugh)
I turned to Tyler who was quickly coming back to defend himself. "No, that's not right," says Dad.
"Yes, I was watching," June adamantly states.
"Well, she hit her feet and then stumbled onto her head a bit."

It was interesting watching the story unfold. There was no real damage to Ivory, but it was cute to see that her big sister was watching out for her.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I Shot Tyler 18 Times...

But this was my best shot!

You are going to need some background on this story of course. Last year, I took Tyler and his buddies from work to play Laser Tag for his birthday. We all had a great time running around in the dark tagging each other with our laser guns. I feel that I shamelessly took advantage of Vieve and shot her way too many times, but she was such an easy target. After the game, they give everyone a score card with their overall ranking and how many times they shot and were shot by each person. Tyler received his card first and they told him he ranked 14th. "Wait," he said. "There were only 13 people playing!" Well it turns out that some guy playing with us had a faulty suit so he switched it half-way through play. Well, this only ends up being more embarrassing for Tyler because that means the guy shot more people than Tyler in each suit he wore. Which wouldn't have been very hard since Tyler shot 7 people the entire game. I really should be kinder but I have no idea what he was doing. Vieve alone, I shot 21 times (sorry Vieve, but you will be redeemed soon). And I guess the frosting on the cake would be that I ranked 1st overall in the game. So Tyler lost miserably and his wife won, and on his birthday too. Ouch.

So I was a little surprised that he was willing to try again this year, although he did offer the caveat that if he came in last place again, it would be the last year for him. But he totally made up for last year. We played girls against guys which was really fun because I got to shoot against Tyler this time. Nothing like a little healthy competition between spouses. I may have taken it a bit too far though (see above picture of Tyler's bloodied head). In my defense (and there are witnesses) it was a complete accident. It went much like this...
Tyler had gotten a little too close for my comfort and I find that instead of running, if you face down your attacker, they will often bolt. My plan worked perfectly and Tyler took off running and I was in hot pursuit. Unfortunately, I had James on my tail and this speeded up the whole running process. I'm assuming Tyler's plan was to duck around a corner and turn around to catch me unawares and this would have been a great plan had I not been so incredibly close. He ran around a barrel and turned while I simultaneously plowed right into his face with my gun. Inertia was not kind in this case. I had built up enough steam that I could feel the collision rock my body. I was at first worried that I had broken his glasses and I screamed in terror. This only proceeded in bringing more of the men to shoot me in my state of trauma. James was adequately concerned over the injury, but I still think he managed to get a couple of shots on me while I stood there gaping. The moment was over quickly, and Tyler was up and away, but he heralded me minutes later to show me the blood flowing down his face. I was feeling so guilty.
The game ended a short time later and we filed out into the hall. Some people hadn't witnessed the event and they were surprised to see someone with a true injury (after all, we are playing with plastic guns--who's gonna get hurt?) Tyler put in a good showing at 4th place and he ranked highest guy on the men's team. I got 1st again, but I think everyone doubts how fair I play now. We'll have to see who is willing to take me on next year. To redeem Vieve, I didn't hit her even once this year (then again, she was on my team) but she scored 3rd place (way to go!!) Justin, I'm sorry I got you so many times, but at least I didn't hit you in the head.
Good times though. As you can see from the after shot, it wasn't that bad an injury.

Just a flesh wound really. But I have taken out the birthday boy again. What can I say...don't get on my bad side.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I Confess, I'm Pregnant

Oddly enough, I should have written this post ages ago, but somehow it didn't get done. I wanted to write it in December, but Tyler wasn't ready to share the news with everyone at his work, and they tend to know what is on the blog. So I put it off. Then I was going to do it early this month but another friend of mine posted about her pregnancy the day I was going to post, and it felt too copycatish (I know I am silly). So, I contemplated not posting about the pregnancy at all until I found out what we are having (some time in March) but I gave up. It is too frustrating to try to leave it out. Having a baby touches so many aspects of our lives that it is getting too hard not to include it, so I am outed.
The final straw was yesterday when I went shopping to get some new exercise pants. I have been a bit of an exercise slacker since the beginning of this pregnancy mainly because of feeling nauseated and having overall tiredness. No one judges me, but for myself I need to try to get back on a schedule. I went to Target yesterday to find some pants and I was not impressed with their selection or lack thereof. As I left the parking lot, I spied Savers and I thought, 'why not try there?' I'm really not picky and I found 4 pairs of good workout pants for less than $20. I was feeling pretty proud of myself and Tyler said, "You should model those and put them on your blog." That might be fun, except for one thing. Depending on what I am wearing, I am starting to show and some days I look more pregnant than others.
Well, that day I happened to feel bigger than most and I laughed to myself. 'Oh yes, I can just see it. The people who know I am pregnant will say, "Oh, how cute, she is starting to have a tummy!" and the people who don't know I'm pregnant will say, "Wow, it's a good thing she's going to be working out more often!"
So instead of a post about pants, you get a post about the baby. I feel relieved, lightened in fact. I have nothing to hide. Baby number FOUR (wow!) is due at the end of July.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

One Hot Tamale

It is sad to see old friends go and I feel sorrow at the passing of our old Nissan. Really it is the memories that seem hard to let go of. It was my Grandmother's car, she must have bought it when I was seven. I remember taking rides in it in California. When she passed away, my mom inherited it and gave it to us when we needed a second car. It was old, but it served us well. Tyler was brave to go without adequate heat in the winter, no AC in the summer (unless you count rolling down the windows). There were no inside lights on the dash, no clock or radio (until we installed a small one last summer). The headlights were constantly burning out due to humidity trapped inside the light covers. The muffler has been tied on since it fell off last summer. In short, the car had a few problems.
I don't doubt there were a few more good miles in the Nissan, but I will also admit that there wasn't just one night when Tyler was late that I wondered if perhaps the car had broken down on the side of the road. And so when the offer came that was too good to pass up, the Nissan was sold. I didn't even get to take a picture in parting. But the new vehicle is rather nice. I think Tyler will be spoiled for a while. It is a '05 Dodge Neon and I can't imagine he would have many complaints after the last car. We like to call it the Tamale and I think it is a nice ride.
And so Michelle, real proof that the new car does exist. Sorry it took me a while to post. I didn't get a picture until this morning.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Angels in Disguise

I was telling Deanne just this morning that I wanted to go to Tucanos tonight to celebrate for our birthdays (Tyler's and mine, Deanne's is not until May) but I was tired of calling babysitters. It is not that I don't think people are willing to help out (I have many kind friends who often watch my kids) but I just don't like the whole process. I don't think I would have done well being a guy and having to call for dates. I just don't think I could handle all the rejection. Just kidding, those two things aren't exactly the same, but it is frustrating when you really need a sitter and no one is available. I don't have family that I can call on that is nearby, so I rely on neighbors and friends.
This is really just a long way to tell a story about this morning. I was trying to multi-task (I was making oatmeal for myself, baking a cake for Tyler, cooking him eggs for breakfast, and answering random requests from three children eating) and my mind was everywhere. The phone rang and Tyler handed it to me telling me it was Elise (she is from Brazil and her name is pronounced Eh-lee-zee). She is my neighbor two houses down and she is so super sweet and beautiful. She calls randomly and asks if she can watch my kids (who does that??). She said that she felt I was probably needing a break and to give her a call because she was going to be free all weekend. Oh my gosh! Who sent this angel? I had already given up on Tucanos (see beginning) but thanks to Elise, we are back in business. I really wish I could be her sometimes. I want to be that person who brings such joy to someone else; who does meaningful service. I guess today I will settle for being the one who accepts it, but I will remember these moments and try to be better in the future.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sleeping On Cloud Nine

I don't know about you, but we are a one set of sheets family. Now, when it comes to the children, it is a different story. When you have one of those wonderful nights where kids throw-up or wet the bed, it is essential to have multiple sets of sheets for their beds. But for us grown-ups, well, we have one set. We take them off, wash them in one day and they go back on. Two years ago it got really bad and we actually had big holes in our sheets and I would laugh because Tyler would get into bed, but he would get into the hole by accident sometimes.
Part of the problem is that I like Jersey sheets and they wear out faster than other sheets. They are incredibly soft and comfortable but Tyler says the thread count is so low they don't even list them as quality sheets online. Who cares, I like them. But last time I bought sheets, I did buy regular sheets hoping they would last a bit longer.
The other morning, Ivory managed to soil our sheets, so I knew that I needed to do laundry that day. The evening came and I still hadn't gotten the sheets washed. This posed a problem. Either I stayed up late and washed the sheets or I put them back on the bed (unwashed, eew) and washed them the next day. Both options didn't sound very pleasing. So we dug in the linen closet and found some really old sheets. I'm not sure why we still had these sheets, and they were showing some real wear and tear. There were ink stains, holes and the elastic had lost its spring. But they would work for one night. They were some of our old Jersey sheets and I crawled in and was in heaven again. I thought, "Why did I buy other sheets when I like this kind so much?" I mentioned to Tyler that next time we bought sheets that we should get this kind again.
So I was quite surprised when the next day on my birthday I was gifted with TWO sets of Jersey sheets. I think he bought them even before the sheet conversation, and he was probably happy to hear that I wanted Jersey ones.

So last night I used the new sheets and I loved them. He bought the yellow and the brown color you can see in the background. Sure they won't last as long, but I have two sets this time. Sweet dreams.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Bounce Back

It always amazes me how kids can bounce back from illness. There is the illness that takes days to fully recover from and then there is the random bug that takes them out momentarily, but it seems that moments later they are back at full force.
Ivory spent the greater portion of last night throwing up, but no one would be able to tell this today unless you looked at her bleary-eyed parents (okay, I should say bleary-eyed Father since he really stayed up with her, but I would argue that I don't really sleep through anything when he is walking around, and he would argue that I was still the one in bed looking asleep, but whatever...) Besides being a picky eater for breakfast and taking an earlier nap than usual (she might have been tired too) she was her usual spunky self. It is a weird sort of spectacle.
She even posed for some pictures.

These last two crack me up, because when you tell her to smile, she closes her eyes. This may be because I have squinty eyes when I smile and I am always the one telling her to smile. Other than that, your guess is as good as mine.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Super Surprise!

Yesterday I had my first surprise party ever! Kari and Camille had heard that I have never had one and they were so sweet to get everything organized. I thought it was a normal evening. Kari invited us over for dinner and I packed up the kids and we walked down the street. Everything was as usual in the Wright home except for a whole bunch of people hiding in the kitchen. I never even saw it coming, but I think I must know how it feels to go to heaven now. There were all these people that I love, familiar faces from all over, and I realized they were there because they care for me too. It was a really cool feeling. Thanks everyone!
I don't have any pictures because I don't think many people bring cameras to their own surprise parties. Kari had some great shots of the evening and you can check it out on her blog. I got some great gifts and I don't ever really expect presents anymore. As I was telling Bro. Hawkes, I figure the good friends you have are the best gifts anyone could receive. And I certainly have some great friends.
I still don't really have words for the whole experience. Thank you to everyone!
Here are a few specifics
Tyler- For being the best friend ever and although you don't do surprise parties, I never expected you to. I love you just the way you are. Thanks for doing your part too.
Kari- Thanks for giving me my first ever surprise party! You are awesome.
Camille- Please teach me how to make a cake that beautiful (and sorry I couldn't blow all the candles out, I am a wuss). Thanks for being the wonderful you that you are.
Katie- Thanks for feeding my kids while I sat and gabbed and ate.
Tricia- Thanks for traveling the furthest and even on a school night.
Michelle- You are the trooperest of all! I can't believe you came even with a headache, true friendship.
Steve and Darin- Thank you for being patient while a whole room full of girls yakked! I guess I should include Bro. Hawkes, but he seems to fit in there somehow. But it was nice that you came regardless.
The Hawkes- You know my weakness (caramel corn) although Fiddle Faddle can never compare to the real stuff you make.
Vieve- Thanks for books, I love books. Did Tyler tell? And he appreciated the scream!
Erica- I'm still keeping the card in a safe place, you know I love it!
Deanne and Keri- It wouldn't be a party without you and I ate some Symphony today while I wore my warm socks :)
Martha- It was really nice to see you there although I secretly think Kari invited you to help her clean up :) You are a great friend to her and I'm glad I know you.
Eric- Are you the only one I am missing? Thanks for marrying Camille and letting my borrow her sometimes.

And everyone else who couldn't come. I still know you love me and you can drop your gifts by later (just kidding). Thanks for thinking of me though.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Mission Accomplished

So I promised the young'uns that we would make a snowman. Well snow has fallen and melted, fallen and melted, and June in particular has been wondering when this snowman making would actually happen. (I'm not a big fan of the cold so I don't go out and 'play' in it often) I myself was starting to get worried. What if it didn't snow again, or at least enough to make a snowman. So when this last deluge of snow came, I knew I had better make good on my promise. So here is our snowman.

I actually had a good time because I was dressed appropriately. Apparently if you wear the right clothing, it isn't terrible to be out of doors. Growing up in Washington near the coast, when we did get some snow, we didn't have the right gear for it, and I remember coming in freezing in all my wet clothes. Our girls don't have proper snow attire either because their mom is too cheap to buy a whole bunch of snow clothes that they are going to grow out of soon. So here's to passing on the tradition.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Serious Paranoia

So I was sitting there tonight, just wanting to close my eyes and let sleep overcome me. Unfortunately, I had several things to do. I needed to put a few things away, brush my teeth, etc. But I wasn't moving.
I looked over at Tyler and said, "I have a problem. I need to move but I am not motivated." He said, "What do you want me to do about it?" I didn't really have an answer so I didn't say anything for a moment. Then I looked over and I saw him staring at the ceiling above me. It was exactly that kind of look you get when you see a spider slowly descending on a strand of web. "Tyler," I said, my voice rising just a little. "What are you looking at?"
No response.
"Tyler, do you see a spider?" (I don't actually look up myself because I don't want to see how close the spider might be)
Still no response as he stares at the ceiling.
I start to edge away from my spot on the bed slowly so as not to disturb whatever may be lurking above and I say, "Tyler, really, what are you..." and then it dawns on me like some dummy that I apparently am. He wasn't looking at anything. He was pretending to see a spider because he thought it would motivate me. I can't believe I fell for it and only moments after I had prompted him. I am so gullible and apparently really afraid of spiders. So, I learned what motivates me today and I really hope that Tyler doesn't feel the need to use this method often. I feel like I lose several years of my life in fright each time. I have to give him serious genius marks for thinking up something so quickly that would motivate me. Very mean, but pure genius. Ask me sometime about the spider/vacuum story. I can't retell it here because it disturbs me so. Better yet, ask while Tyler is around; he never fails to laugh when I bring it up again.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Eight Years!

I always liked getting married at the end of '99 because the year usually coincides with how long we have been married. So, here it is 2008 and we have been married for 8 years. It just seems like yesterday, and if I had the choice I would do it over and over again. Tyler is definitely the best thing that has ever come into my life.
We had a whirlwind courtship that only lasted two and a half months before we were engaged and then were were married a short time later. I wouldn't recommend this for everyone. We didn't get to know each other very well, but lucky us, we were perfect for each other.
And so, eight years later I want him to know that I still love him. In fact, I love him more than I did then, and it shocks me to think that next year I will love him even more. It was my year to plan our anniversary, but he doesn't like surprises or big elaborate schemes, so I kept it simple. We went to a movie in the morning (I am Legend) and then a movie and dinner in the evening (National Treasure 2 and Magelby's Oyster Grill --thanks ShiAnn). For anyone who knows us, this was actually a monumental event. We do NOT go see movies on the big screen. Tyler thinks it costs too much and it really does for us once you throw in a sitter, so we usually rent at Redbox. So it is possible that those two movies were the only ones we saw in a theater this year (Oh, I forgot about Shrek 3, but my friend Tricia got us tickets to see that for free-thanks). Then we came home and I did a little home spa for Tyler. I was going to take him to a real spa, but I decided to save some coin. But I soaked his feet, gave him a face mask and a long massage. And since he loves massages and loves to save money, I'm sure he was in some kind of Tyler heaven.

I know that I am posting a tad late since technically our anniversary was LAST year, but I just wanted a shout-out for my man. The best Raging Stallion there will ever be, and my best friend for life. I love you!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Prized Possession

Last week was my very last week teaching my primary class and I will sorely miss them. Our lesson was on possessions and the Golden Rule. The goal is to get these kids (age 5) to think about other people's stuff in comparison with their own toys, etc.
It was very amusing. Some got it. June in particular has Foot, her most prized possession, so she somewhat understands, but then there is Talon who is just too laid-back. It is hard to teach a lesson when the kids are so mellow. The conversation went much like this:

Me: So, Talon, how would you feel is someone knocked over your tower. (We built clay models to represent possessions we treasure and Talon's was a tower.)

Talon: I would build it again.

Me: But what if someone broke it and you couldn't rebuild it.

Talon: That's okay.

Joseph: You can't break Legos

Come one kids, give me a break!! I heard other classes suffered from the same problems. Kari told me that she had answers such as:

"Well, it is too big to get lost."


"It doesn't matter, my mom can fix anything."

I guess I can just take heart that most of these kids don't have anything so precious that they will not be able to get over the loss of it in a few days. June, possibly, would never recover if we lost Foot. If anything, she gets more attached each day.
When she knocked the Christmas tree over and broke it (literally, the stand snapped and the tree would stand no longer. It really motivated me to put it away), I tried to use the lesson as an example. I think what she got out of the lecture was that I was thinking about breaking Foot because she broke the tree. She clutched him to her chest and started to cry. I obviously need some training on how to deliver a life lesson.
I actually panic sometimes when we can't find Foot at bedtime. I try to think of how our family would function without him. June even woke me at three in the morning a few nights ago because Foot was no longer in her bed. He had fallen into the crack by the wall, which takes a lot longer to find than you want it to at 3 a.m. He truly is a prized possession.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!!

I am woefully behind on my blogging. It seems a good New Year's Resolution to get back on track. And plus I had such an excellent time last night that I need to remind myself why I have friends and why we get together--Because it is so darn fun!
The Neilsen's invited us to get together with the Wright's and Phelp's. They mercifully allowed us to have the party at our house so that we wouldn't have to find a sitter. I don't know about you other parents, but I tend to not do anything on New Year's because I can't think of any sitters that want to stay up past midnight. I am ashamed to admit that this is the first New Years' Eve that I have stayed up to welcome in the New Year for several years. Tyler says he usually comes to kiss me on the cheek at midnight and I mumble something in my sleep (what can I say, I am the life of the party).
But not this year. We had dinner and some scrumptious snacks and played games into the wee hours. Camille always comes up with fun things to do, and I have to admit that I had WAY too much fun playing Mafia. I don't think I played enough growing up because I didn't even remember the rules, but it didn't take long for everything to sink in. Having a smaller group, we eventually took the traditional 2 mafia hitmen down to just one and I am proud to say that I single-handedly took out the entire town twice (I must lie better than I thought, and I am pretty sure no one in that room will ever really believe what I say again). Especially Camille; I have no idea how I convinced her twice to gang up on Bryan and leave me alive? She says I look innocent (hardly).
We all got a little punch drunk and drowsy as the hours waned. There were a few gigglers, but I won't name names. Finally the witching hour arrived and we went outside to light Sparklers and ring in the New Year.

I thought it very appropriate that there were eight of us in a circle waving sparklers in honor of 2008! I didn't grab my camera until the very end, so I missed some good shots, but I personally think these show off a lot of our personality. Awards for the evening go to Tyler for best saxophone made out of clay, Camille for guessing Atkins Diet (amazing), Maleen for killing the most people, Kari for cheating the most and not being noticed, and the Phelps for being the most romantic couple (it wasn't until we came inside after doing sparklers that I realized we should kiss our honeys. I mentioned this, and everyone realized that we hadn't done this except the Phelps who said they had kissed a long time ago. Way to keep the marriage spark going Katie and Bleep). Thanks for a great evening everyone, and Happy New Year!