Monday, January 30, 2012

Notice a Difference?

The braces are GONE!! See ya. At least for a few years, until her other teeth grow in and mess everything up again. (Don't try to tell me differently...teeth are just stubborn.)

I don't regret going through it all, because the main goal was to expand her upper jaw and we accomplished that mission just fine. In fact, expander is gone as well.

Of course, it left behind gaping wounds. I was watching the Orthodontist take everything off today and I could tell June looked very uncomfortable, not to mention tears rolling down her cheeks. It was only for a few moments and then the appliance was off, but it wasn't until I took the pictures that I noticed the matching cuts on the roof of her mouth. (Okay, the word gaping before may have been a bit exaggerated, but they sure look sore.) I'm guessing that in trying to take off the appliance, it was pressed down a little too hard into the soft mouth tissue. Luckily, mouth injuries heal quickly. She will be fine, and for the moment, she is so stunned by the extra room in there that she is less likely to notice the cuts. Plus, they gave her a bag or caramels as she left... that is sure to ease the pain.

She is only nine and she has already gone through one set of braces. That seems strange to me. What I am most grateful for, and I even got a little misty-eyed thinking about it as I drove home today, is that I have an amazing husband who works hard so that we can take care of these beautiful girls we have. Orthodontia and other surgeries are expensive. Ivory's tonsils were not cheap to extract, but listening to her sleep peacefully is worth it. I know there are parents who want the same things for their kids and can't always afford it. That breaks my heart (And almost makes me wish for some socialist type of health care for everyone. Almost.) but I am so glad that we have the means to do what we can for our children. Thank you Tyler for taking care of our family.

And June, your teeth are cute.

p.s. When I told her this, she said, "They're not cute. They're naked."

(That is so much wittier than you realize, but I have been a slacker and haven't posted our family inside joke. I'll get on that right away.)

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Last Domino Fell

I really thought we were free and clear. But alas, Daisy succumbed this afternoon. Poor thing. And now that every child has had a turn, I am much more appreciative of the ones who threw-up in plastic covered beds versus on the computer and carpet. Trust me, I don't make any child feel bad for where they throw up; I just like it more when they hit an easily washable surface.

The saddest part was that Daisy also threw up on her new Dora book. She takes it everywhere and when I'm not reading it to her, she reads it to herself. I rinsed it off, thinking that water damage was better than vomit, but we will see how it dries.

Pearl's new favorite word is Dora. She sings and babbles it all over the house. "Dohwa, Dohwa!" It is pretty cute and tonight she even said, "Furby" (Wait, have I mentioned Furby before? Well, if not, too bad. I'm not in the mood for that tangent. We'll discuss Furby at another time.)

Other funny things said recently:

Me: Ivory, your blankets are in the dryer. You will probably be asleep by the time they are dry, but I will bring them up to you.

Ivory: Just put them right on my head.

(She does like to sleep with her blankets on her head.)

(I really like Fig Newtons and we usually have them on hand. I was snacking on them by the computer and Daisy saw me.)

Me: Would you like a Fig Newton?

Daisy: No, that is not their name...they are BIG Newtons.

(I should really try to enunciate around here.)

(Tonight we were eating a pomegranate. Dad likes to take big bites, sucking out all the juice and spitting out the seeds. June likes to squeeze all the seeds out onto her plate and then eat them. I pick individual seeds out and then spit them out. June was watching me quizzically.)

June: I'm not sure about the way you are eating them. It is kind of like Dad's way and kind of like mine.

Me: It just seems easier to me.

June: Dad's way is gross.

Me: Your way is messy.

June: Then your way is gross AND messy.

(Ha, you got me there.)

Lastly, I got my Valentine's stuff out after Tyler's birthday. I'm not a huge fan of Valentine's in general, (Tyler is pretty good about showing love year round.) but there is something about hearts, pink, red, and white that makes me smile. Here are some of my favorite things around the house.

This one I forgot that I bought on sale last year after the holiday. I pulled them out and it was like a mini-present to myself. And I love how simple they are next to the curtains, but how cute.

Happy Valentine's Day. (Or should I say...Happy pink hearts and stuff.)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Icky Sickies

One of the joys of a large family is having sickness run its course through multiple people. I'm always interested to see who gets it and how badly it hits them. Let's take this last bout for instance: (*This is your cue...if you don't like reading about vomit...please don't continue.)

Ivory fell first. Threw up twice Friday evening and then seemed to come out of it the next day. (Even not feeling her best the next day, she dressed up fancy.)

Robyn was next throwing up on Saturday evening. Only twice again, and lucky for us, she came in very early complaining that her stomach hurt, so she was sleeping in the bathroom by the time the action started. I now think this is genius. All kids feeling slightly ill will be allowed to sleep in the bathroom until they feel better. It totally saves on cleanup. (Robyn took it a little harder and was more lethargic. Here she is curled up with Moxy in the sun.)

A couple of days passed and we thought we were in the clear. But Tuesday night got June and it got her bad. She threw up around 14 times, and sadly there were no indications for her, so her first aim almost hit Robyn. (Robyn was NOT happy about this, but when I pointed out that she almost threw up on June just a while ago, she was consoled. It might be time to get a second bed...)

Pearl was the same night. Although she was spared most of the gore. She threw up once, was all smiles and went back to bed without a sound. She was pretty chill.

As if that wasn't enough for one night, Ivory had two bloody noses. (Well, I guess I should say that her nose bled twice...since she really only has one nose.) If the blood on her sheets was any inkling the next morning, those bleeds were quite something. Bless Tyler who took care of almost everything that night. I helped clean up June and woke up to snuggle Pearl, but Tyler shouldered the brunt of the kid cleaning and comforting. Granted, I got all the laundry the next day, but that is nothing compared to a night of no sleep.

June was pretty good the next day. She drank the coveted Gatorade (that you only get when you are sick) and she read and watched movies. I could handle a day like that.

The count stands at four. Daisy and the adults are the only ones to escape so far. Let's hope this particular strain has lost stamina and petered out. We can handle the occasional yuck, but I prefer our normal routine.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday Mirth

These were actually taken at the beginning of the twelve days of our anniversary, but I have been a little slow in getting them on here. (Mainly because I can't figure out how to scan with our new printer. [New—as in we have had it for quite a while but I have never tried scanning with it because I knew it would be different than the last one and I wouldn't be able to figure it out—I didn't—Tyler had to help.] For the record, I like the old printer more; much more user friendly.) So, this is just for a laugh today. Sorry for the bad quality. Those photo booths are pretty crappy. I am pretty sure I could make my own 'photo booth' here at home and get much better pictures. (Hmm...that sounds like a fun party idea sometime.) Okay, are the pictures.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Birthday Stallion

*All these gratuitous photos are for the Stallion's pleasure.

I think he had a good birthday. We got him some work-out duds; long-sleeved and short. And then a watch that tracks all his movement and caloric removal. I think he looks pretty good...and so does he. We brought out the cake brownie and he posed with his dessert.

We finally got him to blow out the candle.

Don't change Raging Stallion. We like you just the way you are. Okay, even if you lose a few pounds,  I promise that I will still love you.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Missing Cake

Today is Tyler's Birthday. Happy Birthday sweetie!! This post isn't for you....yet. Your birthday isn't over yet. I may still take more pictures.

But I am feeling guilty that I had a great birthday and never posted my own thoughts. I had a whole birthday WEEKEND. Friday night, lots of ladies came over for Girls Night In. (Lots of laughs, including many chuckles over me ordering Tyler to get chairs for us. You kinda had to be there.)

Saturday, I was kidnapped by wonderful friends who then proceeded to not talk to me in the car while I remained blindfolded for a loooooong time. (Well, almost any amount of time seems long when you have a blindfold on.) They would clap when I voiced a question with a positive answer, but other than that...not so many clues. It is hard to keep a one-man conversation going for long. But I was thrilled to have lunch with Kari, Camille, Jenaca, Becca, Aubry, Tricia, and Caitlynn. (I know there were a lot of others who would have liked to have come. I love you all too.)

Then of course on Sunday I was showered with more love. You saw the gifts from these cuties.

I sometimes make a cake for myself, but I didn't bother this time around, because I had more dessert than I could stuff myself with at one sitting. All from one family. Shari was so nice to make me cheesecake. (She knows my weakness.) But then her stellar husband (who happens to be our home teacher) brought chocolate cake as well. Everything was devoured eventually and this was all I had to show for it; a stack of dishes I need to return.

No candles for me this time around. So, yay, I didn't spit on anyone's dessert this year.

Ivory and I did a little photo session a few days before my birthday. Here you can catch a rare glimpse of me right before 33 overtook me.

I felt really loved this birthday. I have great family and friends. I hope Tyler has a good day as well. He deserves some birthday splendor too. (Especially after I beat him at laser tag.)

Laser Tag

For my birthday, we usually go play some laser tag. We play exactly once per year--so as to be comparable to last year. Several folks from work came out to see who is the best with a plastic mesh vest with a box and sensors hanging off it--oh yeah, and of course the laser gun.

Players included (in alphabetical order and team color):
  • Arthur (player 33)
  • Brandon Burrup (player 13)
  • Brett (player 27)
  • Caleb (player 18)
  • Dan (player 1)
  • Dorel (player 4)
  • Langi (player 10)
  • Maleen (player 28)
  • Ron (player 34)
  • Troy (player 30)
  • Tyler (player 11)
Technically, red beat green. But the most-important ordering was the rank of each player—much more interesting anyway. Here's how it shook out during the shoot out: 

For my part, I've learned that should anyone break into my house, I should hand my guns to Maleen—she's got a statistically better chance of killing the bad guys. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mini Stories to Laugh At

At Family Home Evening, we each get to chose a song to sing. Naturally, a lot of the songs are Primary songs. Ivory has chosen, "Hinges" the last few times, and at our most recent FHE, I didn't hear her correctly. I thought she said, "Ninjas" instead of "Hinges". Let me tell you, the actions are way more fun when you are all made of 'ninjas'.

I took a few moments today to read with the kids. (I know this makes it sound like I never read with them.) Pearl handed me Moo, Baa, La, La, La. The book is short enough that it is mandatory to read it more than once. So I spiced it up and we did several different versions: Slow, super fast, singing, rapper style, opera, robot, etc. I had a captive audience for quite some time.

I try not to let the kids eat right before dinner. I am not always successful, especially with Pearl. Since I know she won't eat dinner, I usually cave and hand over a cracker or two pre-meal. Today I succumbed and offered her a Graham Cracker. Of course, this starts a chain reaction and I have each successive kid come and ask for a cracker. Daisy was first. I told her she needed a good reason to get a cracker. She didn't really know what that meant, but her pleas that the cracker would abate her stomach pains did the trick.
Next was Robyn. I told her to give me a good reason. She said that she had done a lot of extra piano that day. I accepted. Even as she was leaving with her prize, Ivory rounded the corner and asked for a cracker. I told her to give me a good reason. She looked at Robyn with her conquest and whispered to her, "What was your reason?"(Clever...that one.)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Maleen!

Maleen is celebrating her, er... 29th-ish birthday today on this 15th of January! For her birthday, the girls and I spent some quality time together, coniving about what to put on t-shirts that we made for her (this is what wives of designers get for birthdays).

We got the designs just right, and then took them down to BYU and had them print heat-transfers (or "melty papers", whichever is more appropriate for your age). Now Mom's sporting these gorgeous ditties:

"The Girls are with Me, Hello Kitty" by Daisy & Raging Stallion.

"Formal" by Robyn & Raging Stallion.

"Owlright, Now What?" by Ivory & Raging Stallion.

"I'm Worth It" by June & Raging Stallion.

"Fresh Sqeezed" by Raging Stallion

Not related to the birthday, but here are nine amazing gems of wisdom that deserve preservation:
  1. When you're on a date at the temple, it's not a good idea to tell your spouse that there are a whole bunch of scratches on the front on their brand new 2012 (overly expensive) minivan.
  2. Should you decide that it is necessary to take advantage of your spouse's relatively mild temple-going temperament to break such news, don't be surprised when aforementioned relatively mild temple-going temperament expires and morphs into a not-so-mild temperament.
  3. When you got home, in the dark, is not the right time nor light (nor temperament) to inspect alleged scratches on the brand new 2012 minivan.
  4. When you have discerned in amazing fashion that the scratches are in fact NOT scratches at all, but left-over adhesive from the plastic guards the dealerships keep on there, you should not brag to your now-verbally abused spouse that you are the "most-brilliant man in the world."
  5. Effects on the body and mind when swinging rapidly from relatively mild temple-going temperament to most-brilliant man in the world temperament can be unpredictable. In your vigor to prove you're the "most-brilliant man in the world," you should never demonstrate anything.
  6. If you choose that you must demonstrate that you are, in fact, the "most-brilliant man in the world," it's a poor choice to use a dish scrubby and a little spit to remove the left-over adhesive. 
  7. When you've discovered that you've actually transformed non-scratches into honest-to-goodness scratches, you should not try shifting temperaments—it's only going to go badly for you.
  8. Shouting profanity at a cold, scratched minivan has no effect whatsoever—unless you count the psychological benefits.
  9. When the brilliance of "most-brilliant man in the world" has faded, humility is the best option for approaching your spouse. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How You Know if Your Pants are Old and Other Stories

My parents sent me some clothing to mend as a Christmas gift to them. Since I am NOT the most excellent sewer and certainly not mender, they are taking a risk, but they are usually easily pleased. (Thank goodness.) I was working on hemming a pair of my Dad's pants when the label caught my eye. Go can read it too.

If the maker of these pants is telling you to air dry them away from the sun, and questioning whether you even own a dryer, I would say these are some pretty old pants. So kudos Dad that you can still fit into them. That must be saying something.

Oh, and I hemmed them without a machine. It seemed the right thing to do since they were possibly assembled by hand anyway. Not perfect, put pretty darn good.

Pearl is turning into a bully. She picks on Daisy constantly. Mainly because she knows she can get a rise out of Daisy. I am having a hard time not giving Daisy the advise to push Pearl down a few times to put her in her place. (That doesn't seem like good parenting.)

Pearl knows she is being a stink-pot. In fact, she gets this sneaky, taunting face when she knows she is up to no good. Kind of like this face here. (When I had already asked her multiple times to leave Daisy alone in the tub.)

This picture brings back good memories.

June requested that we list 100 things we are thankful for as advised in the December Ensign. They broke it down into ten categories so it was easy to accomplish.

Take a Gratitude Challenge

Let’s not just talk about counting our blessings—let’s do it! Write a list of 100 things you are thankful for. If that sounds like it is too many, try this:
  1. Write 10 physical abilities you are grateful for.
  2. Write 10 material possessions you are grateful for.
  3. Write 10 living people you are grateful for.
  4. Write 10 deceased people you are grateful for.
  5. Write 10 things about nature you are grateful for.
  6. Write 10 things about today you are grateful for.
  7. Write 10 places on earth you are grateful for.
  8. Write 10 modern inventions you are grateful for.
  9. Write 10 foods you are grateful for.
  10. Write 10 things about the gospel you are grateful for.
When we make a list like this, we discover that a list of 100 doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of all the things God has given us.

I had the hardest time thinking of ten deceased people. Santa and the Tooth Fairy kept popping into my head. And as far as I know, they are still alive...

Anyway, it was  fun activity and I like that the girls got involved.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Book Review 2011

I like to read and my book group keeps me going. I am at a sad busy time in my life where if I didn't read because I was required to, I might not find time to read at all.

Funny, I just wrote that and then I went back and checked how many books I read last year. I thought it would be around 12, since that is what was planned, but it turned out I managed to fit in 20. Go me! Most of those extra ones were pre large calling, and young adult fiction, but it gives me hope that maybe I do find time to read after all.

I am terrible about things like goodreads where you write reviews. Since in my mind I don't have time to read, I hardly have time to write reviews, but if everyone were as lame as me, we would never be able to read all the cool book reviews out there. (Hypocrisy at its best.)

But I did see one lady who posted all the books that she read and then listed her top 5. I think I want to do that too. So, here is my list of literary reading accomplishments for 2011. (Not listed in the order I read them.)

And here are my:


5. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier: I feel odd putting this one in here because I was snoring through the first half of the book. Really. Boring. Very. But...I liked the twist at the end enough that I might even read it again someday. And I certainly recommend it. Especially to those who can skim-read the first half of a book.

4. Your Happily Ever After by Dieter F. Uchtdorf: I don't know if you can call this a book, because it is really a Conference talk with a binding. But the truths in there are still great to hear. I actually should read more books by General Authorities. They tend to be very uplifting.

3. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale: Gotta love a good fairy tale. This one was a fun read.

2. The Cardturner by Louis Sachar: I should have guessed I would enjoy this, since I absolutely LOVE Holes, but this is a book about a card game. Boring, right? Hardly. Who even knew Bridge could be so enthralling. Yes, I like to play cards. No, I don't know how to play Bridge. But I really want to learn now.

And my favorite book of this last year.

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: This book was beautiful and touching. I feel like so many Holocaust books leave you feeling very depressed and perhaps angry or disgusted. This book portrays the tragedy and loss while still letting you revel in the character development and plot. It is written from the unique perspective of Death. I would go read it again, but I loaned out my copy and haven't seen it since. Apparently someone else liked it too.