Monday, April 30, 2007

The Golden Rule...

Today is Monday. Monday at our house equals Family Home Evening night. That means that we spend Monday evenings as a family (although not always at home). Sometimes we have a family activity or watch a video together for FHE. Other times we have a lesson or go on a hike. Tonight our lesson was about The Golden Rule. We had a family discussion on what the Golden Rule is, and what it means, and some self evaluation on how we are doing at living the Golden Rule.
At one point in the conversation D asked the boys how they could live The Golden Rule. #1 responded: Give someone some chocolate, and hope they give you some chocolate back.
It wasn't quite what we were looking for in an answer, but at least he is honest.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Definitions of ugly...

Today at church we parked next to a Dodge Sprinter Van. I apologize to anyone that loves those vans in advance.

After church while the boys and D were waiting in the van for me #1 commented on how ugly that Dodge Sprinter was.
#1: Its so ugly it makes the inside of #2's nose look like the Mona Lisa.
#2: No it doesn't. The Mona Lisa is ugly.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Various tidbits of dinner conversation

#5: Your brain is small...and my brain is even smaller!

#2: Today I learned how to pump on the swings, and the way it will help me in the future is when I get married I can teach my kids how to pump too. (Every night at dinner everyone gets a turn talking about something they did or learned that day, and sometimes we will ask them how what they learned might help them later in life. And pumping on the how we swing without having to have someone push us to go higher)

#1: I learned that if you ride your bike without a helmet and you fall, your head will explode and there will be lots of carnage (we went to a bike safety training today which included a demonstration that involved dropping two watermelons on the pavement, one with a helmet on it, and one without. Also, a big thank you to DYM for introducing the word carnage into my ten year old's everyday vocabulary when she wrote this hilarious post.)

D: Raise your hand if you are ungrateful.
#5: I am ungrateful! (waving his arm excitedly)
#3: I'm grateful...what does grateful mean?
D: When you are grateful you don't complain about things.
#4: I don't WAAAAAAAANT sauce! (This said in a very complaining tone.)
Me: Thank you #4 for illustrating that point so beautifully.

Tiny gifts...

As I was opening birthday gifts last week, a family friend mentioned that the rest of my gifts would be coming in an email.
#3 said: WOW! They must be really small!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Infinity and one...And no tag backs!!!

Apparently this is the ultimate weapon in arguing. I hear it on a regular basis from each of the four older boys. To be honest I can hardly wait to hear #5 say it in his cute little squeaky voice. I have to wonder if I could use this phrase to my own advantage. It is possible the conversation could go this way.
Me: Please do your chores.
Them: NO!
Me: Yes...infinity and one and NO tag backs!
How could they possibly argue against that?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

It just...

Our boys love legos. LOVE them. They have been especially into legos since #3 acquired three Lego Star Wars sets for his birthday.
Last night #3 was building a ship of his own design at bed time. He set it aside somewhere he deemed to be safe (but was unfortunately within reach of anyone that might want it). When he returned from school today he found that his ship was not as he left it. He began accusing his two younger brothers, first #4 and then #5.
#5 said: (He is only three years old by the way) No one broke it. It just desploded!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Birthday themes

When #2 found out my birthday was coming up, he asked me if I was going to have a special theme for my birthday the way they do.
I told him my theme for this year would be old...and we would all wrinkle up our faces to celebrate.
Thinking about it though...wouldn't it be fun to have a theme? My kids have had Star Wars, Pirates (complete with treasure hunts and a pirate ship cake), Jungle Safari, trains, race cars and more.
Now that my birthday is past I am wondering if I should have tried having a theme. I tend towards grumpy being my theme. I just don't enjoy my birthday. But maybe next year I will have a theme to look forward to. Something like tropical island getaway, maid service for a day, or Mom's spa day. What would you pick if you could have a birthday theme of your own?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Picking Flowers

I have always loved how my boys would pick the weedy dandelions or other wild flowers from the yard and bring them to me. Its that time of year again where we have flowers (and some weeds) growing in the lawn. #1 and #2 have definitely outgrown the flower picking for Mom phase. I miss it in a way because it means they are getting older.
#3 hasn't shown any signs of picking flowers so far this year either, except that he has gladly gone out into our yard and woods with a pair of scissors to cut some bluebells for me (at my request). #4 has devotedly brought me flowers every spring and summer since he could walk. He has already picked some small daisy like flowers in the yard, and I am sure I will be overwhelmed with dandelions as soon as they start to take over. #5 has never been a big flower picker, but he does bring sticks into the house regularly. For some reasons he thinks sticks are the greatest things! He tries to bring sticks home whenever we go on hikes, and he brings them from our yard on walks we take in the area. I am looking forward to seeing what treasures my boys bring me this spring and summer. Its always an adventure.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A future in advertising

#2 has come up with what he feels would be a great commercial featuring those cute and adorable chevron cars.

The scene begins with several chevron cars gathered around a table.
One of them says: Will someone please pass gas?

At this point #2 bursts out laughing.

What do you think? Would this commercial make you want to buy chevron with techron for your car?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Ah...the power of cheese...

We went on a little family excursion to Costco today. I had mentioned over the weekend that I needed to get some cheese as we were out. As I was looking at the wonderfully ripe strawberries and trying to determine which ones I should adopt #1 approached me with a large wedge of Gouda. I declined the Gouda. He took it back, and approached me again, this time with a bag of single serving sized babybel cheese rounds. Again, I shot him down. Not to be deterred, he returned the babybel and picked up the brie. I told him that he probably wouldn't like brie (although it is on sale this week, I just know his tastes and that he is not likely to enjoy brie). Next he moved on to the spreadable Swiss cheese, and finally gave up when I told him I was just buying medium cheddar today. I know...we sound so boring. We do frequently get Swiss, Provolone, Colby, Monterey Jack, and Mozzarella. Its not like we are cheddar only kinds of people. So why do I feel a little bit bad that I didn't buy him a new kind of cheese to try? (He has never tasted any of the kind he tried to entice me into buying). After we moved on from the cheese section #1 expressed his frustration that Costco didn't have the kind of cheese he really wanted to try the most...feta. I was wondering where he even heard of feta cheese! I didn't know what feta cheese was until I was an adult. I think I may have a culinary mind on my hands. Maybe the next time I am out and about I will pick up some new kind of cheese for him to try. Just not in the Costco bulk size.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

What did you learn in church today?

Every evening at dinner we have a tradition of discussing what we learned or did that day. Everybody gets to take a turn, and participation is not optional. I have to admit that these dinner conversations have become one of my favorite things each day.
Today being Sunday, the question was "What did you learn in church today?" When it came to be #3's turn he surprised us by talking about many things. (#3 typically says he forgot what he learned most days and we have to pry something out of him.) He started off by talking about the Holy Ghost being a present that you get when you get baptized (usually he says bathtized-which I find amusing.) He also covered that the Holy Ghost can help us know what is right, and can be with us all the time (at which point #1 said something about the Holy Ghost having a lot of frequent flyer miles.) Then #3 started talking about baptism. He just turned seven, so he only has one more year until he can get baptized. The conversation continued something like this.
#3: After you are baptized it helps you to be better.
#2: I can't wait until #3 gets baptized!

You know you're a successful parent when...

They can sing the entire Gilligan's Island theme song, enthusiastically. #4 prefers to sing it in the bathroom, although he has been heard singing it in other areas in the house. If I had a recording of it, I would post it. Of course I thought everyone would love the clip of #4 singing Weird Al's The Saga Begins, but no one commented about it. Maybe everyone missed that post...or maybe I was just wrong about the cuteness factor. I have been known to be a bit biased about my own children after all.
Gilligan's Island is a new addition to our DVD collection. Fred Meyer was selling it for $14.99 per season, and I couldn't pass that up, so we picked up the first season. Its in black and white, but the boys don't seem to mind. I find it interesting the things they pick up on. #1 (who just turned 10) for instance says that he loves everything about Gilligan's Island except for Ginger. He doesn't like that she is always getting close to and trying to kiss the men on the show. Her feminine wiles make him uncomfortable. Luckily Gilligan usually bonks his head on something, or has some other accident that causes him to narrowly escape Ginger's clutches.
I know that compared to some of today's riveting and realistic TV, Gilligan's Island might seem foolish and trite, but I am just happy to share something that I enjoyed as a child with my boys, and to know that I don't have to worry about a lot of innuendos (aside from Ginger's flirting) or inappropriate content, and even better...there is not a swear word to be heard! I say, long live Gilligan!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Mashed Potato Shame

I love mashed potatoes. Sometimes, however, I am lazy. I know they don't taste as good as the real thing, but I have been known to use instant mashed potatoes. I get them at Costco in a box with 18 packets of mashed potatoes inside.
For Easter Sunday I made real mashed potatoes to go with our Turkey. I used Red Potatoes, boiled in salted water, used real butter and milk (and can I just say here that a KitchenAid mixer does wonders for making them light and fluffy?) and they were the best mashed potatoes I have ever made. Unfortunately, they went quickly. A couple of days later I was still craving mashed potatoes. I decided to go through the tedious process of peeling and boiling potatoes for lunch no less. As I was standing at the sink peeling away, #4 came in and asked me what was for lunch.
Me: Mashed Potatoes. (Let me insert here that #4 LOVES mashed potatoes and is always asking for them for lunch)
#4: Ooooh (think whiny). I don't like potatoes unless they are smashed!
Me: That is what I am doing. Making Mashed Potatoes.
#4: Then where is the bag?

I now hang my head in shame. I have become known as an instant mashed potato Mom. My five year old never knew that you could make them from scratch.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Burps and other bodily functions...

As we were tucking the boys into bed the other night, #3 (who makes us smell his breath after he brushes his teeth) asked us if he burped, would it ruin his toothpaste breath. I told him that it would depend on what he ate and how big of a burp it was, but that I thought the toothpaste smell would win out in the end.
#2 piped up with this comment.
#2: I'm glad burps don't smell as bad as toots because your mouth is a lot closer to your nose than your bum is.
Such a deep thinker.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Sometimes life is the pits

We had my parents over for Easter dinner yesterday. We enjoyed a nice turkey dinner, with mashed potatoes, oyster stuffing, gravy, salad, and ice cream Sundaes for dessert. The boys got a little bored later on while trying to entertain Grandma and Grandpa. I jokingly suggested they show Grandma and Grandpa how well they can play their armpits (after my Dad got them started on imitating certain bodily noises). This unfortunate suggestion on my part led to several minutes of pit playing joy. Who knew I had such talented kids?
f you are interested in learning how to play the pits (I confess I never learned how, and I am happy to just listen and not participate personally) my boys suggest that getting your hand wet first helps. Now go, and enjoy the music.

The Cake...

Well...Here is a photo of the lightsaber cake, such as it is. Its actually more of a lightsaber dessert. #3 wanted a double sided lightsaber like Darth Maul has in Episode I because, of course, double sided lightsabers are the coolest. The blade part of the lightsaber is made out of Rice Krispy treats. I made a double batch, and filled a 9x13 inch
pan with them so that the Rice Krispies were extra deep. Then I cut three equal pieces of Rice Krispy treats lengthwise in the pan. I actually only used two of these pieces, because that is what would fit on my board. In the middle I used five Hostess Ding Dongs for the handle. I used melted chocolate to attach the power switches (Sweettarts) on the handle. After I had the handle in place I placed the Rice Krispy treat pieces one on each side. I buttered my hands a little bit and squeezed the treats into a more rounded, and longer shape. Then I covered the Rice Krispy portion of the lightsaber with red fruit roll ups. The "glow" on the sides of the blades was made using fruit by the foot, which currently comes in precut zip shapes. The nice thing is that you could easily change the blade color by using a different color of fruit roll ups, and you could get fancier with the handle as well. Another idea I had was to make individual lightsabers using oreos for the handle and doing smaller versions of the blade. #3 wanted a cake that would take up most of the table though, so we opted for the larger version. First attempts never look as good as I envision they will but #3 was happy with it, and that is what I was hoping for when I came up with the idea.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Star Wars Birthday Party

Yesterday was #3's Birthday. He wanted a Lego Star Wars theme for his birthday. (We don't do big parties with other kids at our house for their birthdays. We take birthday food to their classrooms at school that day, and we have a theme for their birthday party with just our little family). This year #3's party included a lightsaber cake (I will post pics of it if they turned out decent), and some fun activities which included a hunt for mini kits (in the Lego Star Wars games there are ten hidden mini kits in each level. We hid small canisters of Star Wars themed mini-m&ms around the house, and they got to hunt for all ten. In the game we have, when you reach ten mini kits in a are given the parts for a Lego ship to use in your game. At the party the prize was a Lego Star Wars V-wing fighter for #3's birthday. We also played Laser tag as a family (someone from D's work had given us a used set a few months ago and we had not tried it out yet, and the boys didn't know about it it was a perfect opportunity.) The boys had great fun taking turns with the laser tag set, and after that they earned a red candy heart that I made with Wilton's candy melts and a mold. (In the Lego game small red hearts regenerate your lives). We also enjoyed refreshments of Pretzel Sabers (stick pretzels dipped in green candy melts) along with the cake, and I made Chocolate Star Wars Characters from a candy mold I borrowed from a friend. They included Chewbacca, C-3PO, Yoda and R2-D2. We saved the chocolate characters for today since they had eaten a lot of junk food already. All in all, I think the boys had a lot of fun. #3 got another Lego Star Wars set, and a new color changing lightsaber that makes realistic lightsaber noises. I also learned this week how to use a picture editing program to make somewhat cool looking lightsaber effects. The pics above are #3 and #2 posing with toy lightsaber handles. I had fun with the pics once I figured it out.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Telling time...

D wanted to know what time it was the other day, so he sent #4 to go and "Look at the numbers on the microwave and tell me what they are." # 4 dutifully went and did as asked. He came back and said...
#4: 1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9...