Monday, July 30, 2007

#4 aka K vs the Drinking Fountain

This is a video D made of #4 trying to get a drink of water all by himself. The background sound is a recording we made of #2 laughing when he was a baby along with some cheesy music.

We are heading out of town tomorrow for our date with doom (aka the dreaded Volcano). I won't be posting for a few days. Enjoy the video while I am gone!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

I have been tagged!

...for a meme. I am going to answer the meme on my other blog though because I try to reserve this blog to be about my family, especially my five boys. Thanks to Michelle at A Happy Heart for the meme.

Impending DOOM...

We are planning a camping trip soon to visit Mt. St. Helens. I love the great outdoors, but I will admit a certain aversion to sleeping on the ground. Our compromise was to reserve a yurt for our camping experience. Call me a wuss if you want, I can take it, as long as I get to sleep on a futon instead of the cold, hard ground.
Yurting will give us the benefits of camping (cooking our food over a fire or in a dutch oven, a nice outdoorsy environment, and time together as a family) without some of the things I dislike about camping (setting up the tent-which isn't nearly as bad as taking it down, and the aforementioned sleeping on the ground). The yurt also has one outlet and a lamp. The boys have already asked to take a TV/VCR along, and I already vetoed the idea. We will take a small CD player so that we can listen to Harry Potter 7 on CD before bed. Other than that all technology is out (and if you have been reading this blog for long you will know that my boys have a big addiction to the computer and to most things technology related. This vacation is going to be great for family bonding.)
D (my husband for those of you new to reading this blog) has a tendency to get excited about things, and he likes to share that excitement with others. He is very excited to go and see the North side of Mt. St. Helens (which he has never seen before-at least not up close) and to take the boys to see the Ape Caves on the south side as well. In his excitement he borrowed a DVD about Mt. St Helens from a co-worker and we spent an evening last week watching it together as a family. Of course the DVD was mostly about Mt. St. Helens as a volcano and showed a lot of footage of the big eruptions that took place in 1980. I knew right away that watching this was going to be a mistake. Now I have to live with constant questions about whether or not we will survive our vacation. At the grocery store yesterday #5 (who just turned four) told me that he doesn't want to go to a volcano because of the lava. Hopefully we will all survive the trip!

On another note, I was very surprised to be tagged by Scribbit for a Creative/Thoughtful Blogger Award. I can't say that I totally agree with her description of me, but I am flattered just the same. Accepting an award is the easy part, its choosing from so many great blogs to pass it on to that is hard.

I will start out with Kim over at Temporary? Insanity. She is a wonderful person who is kind, compassionate and just an all around great friend to have.
Carrot over at Carrot Jello is responsible for bringing many family members into blogging, resulting in an even higher number of quality blogs to read.
Millie over at What On Earth Is That Smell is great at answering comments and is known to have a playlist that can keep people on her blog listening for hours.
Emma Sometimes over at Fueled by Coffee is great at helping her blogging buddies with their templates. Her blog always makes me laugh, think, or both.
Sarah over at Hollywood Flakes always has a story to tell and she always tells it in a fun way.
I would love to award something to every blog I read, they are all certainly deserving. Unfortunately I think my limit is five.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


I went to a scrap booking activity Tuesday night while #1 and #2 were at Cub Scouts. They played in the gym afterwards while I finished up the pages I was working on. A few other kids were there and they spent some time playing with the son (he is around three) of one of my friends.
After the activity #2 pointed out that they must be a bad influence because whenever they play with other little boys the other boys get very rowdy and aggressive. I explained to him that it wasn't them, but that it was just how boys are. I said "Its called testosterone."
Of course this brought up questions about what testosterone is, and I explained that it was a hormone that boys have in more abundance. This brought on the question of what hormones are and #1 piped up, "Oh yeah, hormones are what make you fall in love when you are older."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

One of the joys of childhood is making a wish on a dandelion puff...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sometimes I think board games should be banned...

I have many fond memories of playing Aggravation, Monopoly, Uno and more as a child. We had family game nights regularly and it was a LOT of fun.
Here at our house we have accumulated some games due to my habit of buying them when they are on sale. I get them because of those fond childhood memories. Then it comes the time to play the game, and all HECK breaks loose.
Today #3 threw a major fit because #1 bought Pennsylvania railroad in Monopoly before #3 could. Its not just that #3 is a sore loser, its that he can't handle it if any one thing goes wrong for him in the game.
I wasn't the nicest person to play games with as a child. I admit that I had and still have quite a competitive streak in me. I was known to be close to winning and to go ahead and go around the board again in Aggravation just for the chance to jump on someone and make them start over. I was horrible. But I didn't cry when I got jumped. I just got even.
When playing Aggravation #3 will gleefully jump on your man and send you back to the start. But if he suffers that fate, then he just freaks out.
So my question is, does anyone know of a fun board game that doesn't involve actually winning or losing? Is there such a thing as a game that is all positive for everyone? And if there isn't, will someone please invent one?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Did you try to cheat when eating less than savory foods as a kid?

I think all kids do this. I remember trying to hide my mixed veggies under my napkin when the folks weren't looking.
Today we had some couscous with dinner. I have no idea how to make couscous in an appetizing manner other than making it up like oatmeal (the boys love eating it that way.) I needed a quick side dish to go with our chicken, so I decided to make a batch of couscous. Its quick cooking, but boring. The whole reason I bought a bag of it was because last year I went to a church activity celebrating international things. The Africa table had couscous with this chicken and spicy sauce, and it was great. I bought the couscous thinking of that, but when I make the basic recipe, its just bland.
Most of the kids didn't want to eat it tonight unless they could add some sugar and milk like when they have it for breakfast. #4 wanted seconds on applesauce and I told him he could have some after he ate his couscous. So a few minutes later he asked for the applesauce again, and I glanced at his plate, noticing the lack of couscous, and gave him a second helping of applesauce. A little while later I noticed a romaine lettuce leaf on his plate, and moved it only to find his carefully hidden couscous. I can't believe I fell for that!
If anybody has a good recipe for couscous, let me know!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Pinewood Derby...

Part of the Pinewood Derby is that the boys are supposed to do most of the work on their cars themselves. Parental help is supposed to be kept to a minimum. Looking at the cars, I can tell that the majority of these boys (most of them are 8 or 9 years old) had their Dad's do most of the work. I am proud of #1 and #2 for doing most of the work themselves. D only did the drilling to put in the weights, and helped them put the wheels on. They designed, sawed, sanded and painted themselves (our cars are in the middle. #2's is the blue and green one, and #1's is the gold and pink one).

Here is a shot of #1 and #2 just before their cars raced each other.

I know that Pinewood Derby racing is a lot of fun for the boys, but I feel like too many of the parents interfere. Our boys' cars were actually doing pretty well when a well meaning adult decided to take pity on some of the other boys whose cars were not doing well. They put graphite on the wheels of the losing cars, and some of those boys ended up placing in the top three. I was also disappointed that the boys that placed in the top three were rewarded with a large back of M&Ms and all the other boys got a regular sized candy bar. I think that it made the boys whose cars were not as fast feel bad. I think awarding the ribbons for first place and such is fine, but giving them a bag of candy five times as big as the other boys got took a lot of the fun out of it for the other boys, and I thought fun was what it was really supposed to be about.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Some days are just Crabby...

Mawwaige...that bwessed awwangement...

Yesterday #2 expressed that he is not interested in getting married when he grows up. I think it was something along the lines of "I don't want to spend my whole life looking for someone to marry." He was also concerned that he would find someone he wanted to marry and they would not want to marry him.

#3 gave his own words of comfort when he said something like: After she says no you can just tell her how you always do jobs when Mom asks you to, and then she will want to marry you.

I told #2 that women really like a man who is willing to do dishes and help with the housework like he is, but his comment was that he didn't want to end up doing all the work by himself.

I imagine when he is older and those hormones kick in, he will be singing a different tune.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bread and water are good...

Today on the way to church we were talking about the sacrament and how it is one of the most important parts of our Sunday church services.
#3 said: The bread and water is really good for you because it reminds you of God. It won't make you not hungry though. If you are really hungry and thirsty though you should definitely take it.

I am planning on taking tomorrow off from the computer. I have realized that I have not been spending as much time with my boys as I should be, and I have been spending a lot of time on the computer. So tomorrow I am going to spend the day with my boys having fun and doing things they would want to be doing. See you on Tuesday!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Farewell Claireford...and a mystery.

Today we bid a sad farewell to Claireford the snail. He/She was a good pet. Low maintenance, easy to please and fun to take care of. #1 got Claireford at school at the end of 3rd grade as part of a science unit. Each of the kids in his class got to keep the snail they observed and on the last day of school #1 brought home Claireford. The snail was named after Claire and Clifford Huxtible, the parents of the Cosby show. Since snails can be a boy or a girl he thought the name would be fitting.
Once we got Claireford home we set him/her up in a fish bowl with dirt on the bottom, a few rocks, a cuttle block to provide calcium for a healthy shell, and a screened lid on the top to keep the snail from escaping. Claireford liked a variety of foods, but Romaine lettuce seemed to be the favorite. We had Claireford for a little over a year before he/she passed away quietly in a corner of the fish bowl.
The interesting thing is, that there is a new tenant in the tank. When I discovered Claireford there was also a very small slug on the inside of the tank climbing up the wall. I am not sure how it got there. Its the same color as Claireford and at first I thought it was a baby snail, but there is no shell. I have no idea how a slug could have gotten in there through the two lids that are on the fishbowl. All I can think of is that maybe some of the dirt we brought in from the yard had a slug egg in it. I was hoping for a baby snail. We will keep the new tenant for a while to see what happens. It does have a kind of a bulge on one side that I thought might be the beginning of a shell, but everything I have read says that snails are born with shells in the first place. Its quite a mystery anyhow.
Goodbye Claireford! Happy leaf hunting in that big valley in the sky.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Fly Safely...

Today I was sharing a news story with the boys about a man from Bend, OR who took a 193 mile flight in a lawn chair with 105 helium balloons tied to it. He flew most of his flight between 11,000 and 13,000 feet high and wore a parachute just in case. His goal was to make it to Idaho from Bend, but he called it quits short of his goal because he was running out of ballast, (in this case water) and was worried about rugged terrain ahead. He landed safely without having to use his parachute. He spent 9 hours in the air, even passing through clouds.
When I mentioned to the boys that he had a parachute #2 said, "I would never go anywhere in the sky without a parachute."
#4 added, "I would never go anywhere in the sky without a GROWNUP!"

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

We went looking for frogs but only found tadpoles.
I know this is kind of an ugly picture but for some reason I like the way the branches are reflected in the water just perfectly over the tadpole.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Today we have a guest blogger...

#3, after seeing #1 work on his blog, has expressed an interest in having a blog of his own. We have come to a compromise and he is going to try out doing a guest blog here today. So, without further is #3...

Jimmynega tron is evel. Jimmy neutron is good. the game is hard. go to Jimmy negatron is not as smart as Jimmy neutron. Jimmy negatron is stuped. I think the movie if thay make a movie. Jimmy neutrons eyes are dark biue. you can see its rated E. Did you now ther myt make a arcade game. you can see a little THQ on it. Jimmy negatron has a beard.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Sometimes more is not better, but don't try telling them that!

Tonight we were having our FHE (Family Home Evening) lesson about emergencies, making sure that the boys knew what to do in certain situations. We were giving them different scenarios to find out what they would do. One of the situations involved a what if Mommy was asleep and you couldn't get her to wake up and there was a fire.
#2 recommended hitting me over the head with a book to wake me up (he knows there is always a book somewhere near my bed), but the rest of us decided that this course of action would be counterproductive. D explained that their own safety needed to come first and that it was a fireman's job to save other people. He thought he would make his point by asking, "What is better, for one person to die? Or for three people to die?" #3 jumped right in with his answer: "Three because that would give the police a bigger emergency."
I am not exactly sure what his logic is, but I think he must think that a higher body count means the police will hurry to get here faster.

This is #1

#1 on a class field trip to Fort Clatsop.
#1 aka J is our oldest. He taught himself to read when he was three years old, and he loves all things to do with Computers and Nintendo Video games.

#1 with a nice smile

Some of #1's contributions to this blog include My Baby is Growing Up, In His Own Words, Bikers are Dangerous, Definitions of Ugly, The Golden Rule, Ah, The Power of Cheese, and Issues.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Saying Goodbye to Spidey...sniff sniff...

Okay, I am really surprised we kept the spider as long as we did. More than two weeks. It seemed to be doing okay, but I always have a hard time seeing things in a cage (except criminals of course) unless they are really nice habitat places like at some zoos. Spidey's bug house was not a very big one. That, and D is getting tired of taking the boys out to catch flies and other bugs to put in the cage. Yes, it was fascinating to see Spidey lay in wait and then attack the prey. Still, we decided it was in our best interest and his/hers to make Spidey an outdoor pet. Good luck Spidey, we will miss you...please stay outside and keep other bugs and spiders from coming in.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Bros at the Beach

We had a fun time on the 4th. The parade was fun (except the clowns are always a little bit scary to us for some reason) and after the parade we went for a walk at the beach. The walk turned into a nice hike, with about a half hour of sitting on the rocks (climbing on them in the case of the boys.) There were many shouts of "I'm King of the World!" from the boys as they stood on top of the rocks. (Not a quote from Titanic, but think Kronk's New Groove).

#5 was the first to yell that he was King!

#4 is such a poser...and I mean that in a good way.

#2 reminds me of Moses commanding the seas to part...

#3 smiling for the camera

#1 looks like he is ready for us to take next year's school pics.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

4th of July Parade 3 years ago.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

Today I took #2 to Cub Scouts and we stopped to pick up some things on the way home. On the way out of the store he asked me "What's so special about the 4th of July? Was it the day fireworks were invented or something? Are we celebrating that or are we celebrating our freedom?"
I took some small comfort that he at least was aware enough to suspect it might have something to do with freedom. Do you think your kids understand what the 4th of July is really about?

A friend of mine says that he plans to read the Declaration of Independence for the 4th of July. I think that is a great idea and if you have kids then I have a recommendation for you. Its a book called, The Declaration of Independence and it was illustrated by Sam Fink. It has the whole Declaration in it written in small segments and illustrated with pictures the help to convey the meaning of what each phrase means. It has a glossary as well. Its a great tool for teaching kids about the Declaration of Independence and the pictures, while educational are also entertaining. It is a somewhat hefty 160 pages, but its not really a long read either. Its one or two lines per page with a full page illustration opposite. I highly recommend it. I bought it a couple of years ago at a book sale at the school and am thinking about starting a yearly tradition of reading it with the kids during the week of the 4th. Sam Fink has also done similar books on The Constitution and The Gettysburg Address.

Monday, July 02, 2007

When are they not babies anymore?

#5 is our youngest child. I have heard that "the baby" of a family can be a bit less mature than the other kids. In our case that is pretty true. #5 talks great, know how to work a computer mouse, can build with Legos (the small kind) and can color better than a lot of first or second graders. But he insists that he is still a baby. He just turned four and he refuses to potty train (although we are making some small progress there). He brings it up daily that he wants to be a baby, or asks when he will be a baby again.

I have explained to him that there are a LOT of things babies don't get to do, foods they can't eat, toys they can't play with and fun they don't get to have. But that big boys get to do all of those things plus big boys still get hugs and kisses and time with their Mommy. He still insists that he wants to be a baby. He has gotten to be very attached to being around me all the time and hates going to his classes at church unless I go and stay with him the whole time. He is due to start Kindergarten in a little over a year, and I am honestly not sure if he will be over this stage of life.

I can tell that its on his mind a lot because this morning he crawled into my bed and started asking me what he was going to look like when he grows up. He got pretty upset when I told him he would probably have to shave unless he wants a beard and mustache (he really freaked out at the idea of having facial hair).

So what am I doing wrong? He still gets to sit on my lap or next to me, and I still give him lots of hugs and kisses, so why is he so fixated on this? Any ideas out there? In some ways I feel like I should enjoy this time while I can because there may be a day when he doesn't want to snuggle with me or even sit next to me! Maybe he just needs more reassurance that I am always going to love him no matter how old he gets. And maybe he has just been sensing that I am getting a little bit baby hungry again after four years.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

My baby is growing up...

#1 aka J asked if he could start his own blog today. For now we are not making it a public blog because, hey, there are some weird people out there. He is very excited about the prospect of writing in his blog every day. He has big plans to have tomorrow be movie monday in which he recommends a movie. It will be interesting to see where it goes and I will keep you updated on his progress periodically once he gets it going on a regular basis.
Boy I am glad we have two computers! I don't know if I could handle someone taking up my own blogging time...and #1 does the one finger typing, so it takes him a while to get things down.

On another note, my husband also started his own blog today. He admits that he will probably not blog often, but its still a start.