Sunday, November 15, 2009

Stressed out?

Parker: "Dad, are you stressed?"

Me: "No, why?"

Parker: "You're going to get stressed! There's gum in the carpet."

Am I that predictable? I told him, "Parker, I don't get stressed anymore." I calmly got down on the floor and examined the situation. Gum quite ingrained in the carpet. "Someone go get me the scissors," I calmly intoned. As I coolly cut as little as possible of the carpet out, I explained to the gaggle of kids surrounding me, "Never do this. Only mom or dad can cut something out of the carpet." As I was going through this stress-free exercise, Jesi reaches down and grabs the gum beween her thumb and forefinger. Me, (slightly less calmly), "Jesi, no." By this time she had squeezed the gum, so when she complied with my directive, the gum, which had been in a nice, cuttable ball, stretched out into one of those thin strings. It broke off, leaving some residue on Jesi's finger, which she quickly proceeded to wipe off-on the carpet:) I grit my teeth, forced a smile and said, "See, I don't get stressed anymore!"

Happy Sunday:)


Saturday, November 14, 2009

I Have the Greatest Kids in the World

I know everyone thinks that, but I really do:) (No offense, world!) Saturday is the one day a week the kids can watch TV without permission. They go downstairs and veg out while Christi and I sleep in. It's great. This morning about 10:00 am, Jesi knocks on our door and says, "Can I come in?" Then I hear Parker going "Shhh! You're waking them up!" I groggily hollered to Parker, "It's ok. We're awake." So then Parker pokes his head in and says, "Dad, would you like a fried egg sandwich?" Me: "Um, are you going to make one?" Parker: "If you want one." Me: "Sure! I love fried egg sandwiches." So my 9-year-old son brings me breakfast in bed. And this sandwich could have been served at a restaurant! What a thoughtful guy.

Earlier in the morning we had heard Jessica wandering around the house singing: "I am the queen. I am the princess. I am the queen...." After I got up, I asked her to go do something. She responded with "Yes, daddy," while going into a deep curtsey! What a cutie:)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


As I tucked Jesi in to bed tonight she said her bedtime prayer. Included in her sweet requests to her Heavenly Father: "Please bless that I can have a good crush on Nate." What a sweetie:)


Six going on sixteen...

Dear Jesi,

Someday you will thank me for recording our conversation on the drive home from kindergarten today...

Me "How was your day, Jesi?"

You: "GREAT! There's this boy named Nate, and I have a crush on him!"

Me: "Oh, really?"

You: "Yes! I do!!!"

You: pause, followed by high pitched, drawn out sigh ending with a dreamy sounding, "Nate..."

Me: burst of laughter (:

You: "What, Mom?"

Me: "Nothing, nothing. (try to regain control) I'm glad you told me about your crush. What does Nate look like?"

You: "He has yellowish-ish, brownish-ish hair, just like me, and he's really nice."

Me: Oh good! Because it's important to be nice. By the way, what is a crush?"

You: "I don't know. Will you tell me, mom?"

Us: talk of butterflies and smiles and cute boys and happy feelings...

Sweet Jesi, I am so glad that you told me about your crush. It makes me so happy that you like to talk to me about such things. Please, please, PLEASE continue to do this as you get older. This means the first time a boy holds your hand, the first time he kisses your sweet lips, and the first time you know you are in love. Please include Daddy on the details too, because he's the kind of dad that will like to know these things, and it will make him so happy to share them with you. Don't ever be afraid to open up to us, because we are, and always will be, your biggest fans.

Love you!

--The girl who has a crush on your daddy!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A bit exasperated...

Dear, sweet family,

I want to teach you about something called a garbage can. It is a handy little contraption that you put garbage in. There are three different types of garbage cans in our home—one for recyclables, one for diapers, and one for everything else. I have scattered them throughout the home for your convenience. Those in the bathrooms should generally be used for bathroom-related trash (think, no banana peels, bread crusts, etc). Other than that, I’m not really picky, so long as they get used. This means that when you finish a gallon of milk, you should not put the empty container back into the fridge. Empty granola bar boxes should not go back into the pantry. Empty candy wrappers should not go in your pocket. Empty yogurt containers should not go on the floor. Empty pretzel bags should not go on the cupboard. Empty orange peels should not go on the table. Etc, etc. If in doubt, remember that empty things are generally meant to be emptied into the trash.

A mother, not a trash collector

P.S. If the closest trash can is full, instead of not using it or piling trash up so high that it overflows, maybe you could try taking it out and putting a fresh new bag in the can. Without being asked. That would really put a smile on my face.

P.P.S. I love you (:

Dear Carol and Cristie,

I am praying for you.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Dear Taylor,

I just watched video of the day you came into this world. You were so tiny and so so angelic! I remember perfectly the love I felt for you that day. I thought my heart was so full that I could not possibly love you more. Ever. I wanted to just soak up every bit of you. Well, guess what?? My heart has grown, and you are in every crevice. I somehow love you a thousand times more than I did on that day. I still want to soak up every bit of YOU. You are my sunshine. Please, please, please stop growing!


Dear Sister Simon,

Thanks to you, I can now make perfect rolls every single time. My kids love you. I love you. My waistline does not love you.

Sister Green

Dear Graci,

You are growing up, dear! It is fun to watch you transition from a little girl to a young woman. I am proud of you. You do so many good things. I am hereby promising to focus on the positive with you. I love listening to you sing “Love Story” at the top of your lungs. I don’t care that you can’t carry a tune—I think it makes it even more endearing! I am so glad you are mine.


Dear Fall,

I love everything about you. Everything.

Your biggest fan

Dear Jesi,

You are magic. Pure magic.


Dear Walmart clerk,

I did not mean to put you out when I realized I didn’t have my credit card and had to run out to my car to retrieve it. I know you had to put my items on hold—but really, all you had to do was push a button. And you got to stand there and wait for me while I dragged my three small children out of the cart, across the store, and into the van. You got paid to stand there—and really, the store wasn’t busy—so it was like a little break for you. And you were only a few feet from the customer service counter, where you wheeled my cart full of stuff. I did not get paid to cart my hungry, tired children (without my cart—ha) and rummage through my van looking for the card while trying not to get flustered about the whole thing. So really, maybe you could try not to act so aggravated next time. Just a suggestion.

The girl who almost single-handedly keeps you in business

Dear Walmart Customer Service lady,

You are a gem. Your cheerfulness helped me feel better about the whole thing. You laughed and said you’d done the same thing before and that you were sorry I had to go through such a fiasco with my children in tow. Your smile made me feel so much better.
You have found the right job for you, and restored my love of Walmart.

A happy customer

Dear Parker,

I have replayed our conversation many times, and it still makes my heart sing. You came up to me and asked if you had told me about your miracle. You went on to say:

“I was upstairs and I had this feeling in my heart that I should go downstairs, but I just ignored it. Then I felt it again, and I still ignored it. Then a voice in my heart said, ‘go downstairs’ and I thought, ‘wow, I better not ignore it after three times.’ I went downstairs and there was Elli sitting with her back to the tall toy shelf. She was shaking it and almost about to pull it down on herself. I grabbed it just in time. I think she could have died or gotten really hurt. Do you think that’s a miracle, Mom?”

Yes, Parker—I think that’s a miracle. I love how you went on to tell me it was your “first experience feeling the gospel in your heart.” (: You are only eight, but you are a spiritual giant.


Dear Leslie and Megan,

I cannot WAIT for this weekend!!!

A lucky sister

Dear Xander,

I thought it was so cute when I walked in the kitchen and saw that you had covered your unwanted piece of pumpkin chocolate chip bread with a napkin and put it up on the counter. I took the napkin off, picked up the bread, and proceeded to take a GIANT bite. (After all, it is my favorite). AGH! What is that nasty taste???? I spit and spit into the garbage, trying like crazy to get my mouth free of the stuff. At second look, I realize you hadn’t covered the bread with a napkin, but with a couple of fresh fabric softener sheets. Yum. Remind me to teach you about saran wrap.


Dear inventor of the “Ark of the Covenant” game,

You have provided endless hours of competitive fun for me and my hubby. Because of you, we can get through bedtime with happy anticipation. Who would have known that a board game could bring so much joy to two very tired parents? A very sincere thanks.

The Ark Queen

Dear Elli,

My very favorite sound in the entire world is the sound of your singing. I love waking up to you singing, “The Lord is my light” at the top of your lungs. You are my little hero.


Dear Whirlpool Cabrio,

I never knew that laundry could actually be fun. Because of you, I can now wash at least twice as many clothes at once—a very important thing for a mother of six messy kids. Besides, I feel so cool pushing all your fancy electronic buttons. You have cut down my work load significantly, and you have done it with style.

A woman who’s now glad that her old washer and dryer went caput.

Dear Jeremy,

There is nobody I would rather go through life with.


And Dear Self,

Try to lay off the kids’ Halloween candy.

The voice of reason

We are alive

Sorry it's been so long. I am committed to blogging at least once a week from here on out. I reminded Christi this morning that she had committed to post on Elli's blog several weeks ago. In the post where she committed to do that, she gave any readers out there permission to hound her if she didn't follow through. When I reminded her of that this morning she said, "Yeah, I know. And it's their fault-- they stopped hounding me!" Weak, dear:) So I am officially hounding you. Write on Elli's blog:)

Last night as I was tucking Jessica in, she gave me a BIG hug and said, "Daddy, I will never quit on you!" What a sweetie.

Before bed last night I looked at the girls' room and told Graci I would pay her $3.00 if she got it clean before she went to school. When Jesi woke up, she wandered in and said, "My room is already clean-and nobody cleaned it!" I asked Graci when she did it. "I woke up at 1:24 and went back to bed at 5:00," she calmly stated. That girl is unbelievably motivated by money!!!