Monday, December 21, 2009

Who really stuffs the stockings...

Our kids were being very rambunctious this evening and less than well behaved. D lamented that we didn't have a coal burning furnace. Of course, none of the kids got his hint that they were misbehaving to the point of earning a lot of coal this Christmas. I explained what he meant and the conversation continued this way after we asked T if he knew what Santa put in the stockings of kids who weren't good.
T: Santa doesn't put that stuff in our stockings anyway. He's DEAD. Mom and Dad do it! (Not all of our kids knew about Santa yet but I bet they are suspicious now!)
K: No...Where would Mom get all that stuff to put in our stockings?
T: MONEY (said in a duh tone of voice).
K: No, Mom doesn't do it...(followed by a long thoughtful pause)...It must be Grandpa Lloyd!

I laughed out loud. I guess he knows that Grandpa Lloyd has more money than we do! I wonder what he would think if he knew that I stuff Grandpa's stocking!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Cranky Parents

Me: T, I love you!
T: I love you too.
Me: Sorry I get cranky sometimes.
T: It's okay. Mom's and Dad's are like that when they have kids that are 12 (note here that T is not the 12 year old). Then they get worse when their kids are teenagers and start saying bad words and playing T rated games...pretty soon J is going to start acting like a teenager.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A modern thinker...

Last night at Cub Scout Pack meeting the Cubmaster urged all the boys to think of a friend they could bring to Scouts. #5 thought about it for a while and then stated that he thought they should be able to bring girls into the Cub Scout meetings. His logic was that girls would grow up and have babies, and then that would mean even more scouts!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bertie's Every-Flavor Water

As I was getting a drink of water for my 1st grade son, he was explaining to me that he didn't have a drink at home today. But he did have a drink of water at school:

"The water at school tastes like grass mixed with some water that is kind of warm."

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Yellow hair vs Brown...

This morning I was talking to #4 aka K. He said, "Do you think my hair will still be yellow when I grow up?"
I thought about it for a minute and then said, "Grandpa L had yellow hair when he was a kid."
#4 quickly shot back, "So I'm going to have gray hair when I grow up?"

A few minutes later I found out that he wants his hair to turn brown because he wants to BE Indiana Jones when he grows up.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Too many Fish in the Sea...

#2, our almost eleven year old son mentioned the other day that he wasn't sure he would ever get married. When I asked him why he said: "If I have a hard time choosing which video game to play, how am I going to decide between all those people in the world?"

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fun House in the Bathroom

That title probably stimulates the imagination more than intended considering that the purpose of this blog is to document behaviour of young boys who give characters like Calvin (and Hobbs) and Dennis (the Menace) a run for their money.

At church yesterday, I walked into the bathroom and saw two boys standing side by side, each in front of a flush valve looking straight in front of them with careful concentration making funny noises and occasionally bouncing up and down with excitement. I wasn't surprised to find out they were both mine, T (age 9) and C (age 6).

They were focused so carefully, they didn't even notice me standing behind them watching them making faces at the silver flush valves. They were quite content watching their faces distort in the curved reflective surface.

It was a relief seeing them so innocently entertained. And, even now, I think, too, its pretty funny to see my distorted face in curved reflective metal. It's timeless entertainment!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Croaking Frogs

As we started walking home from playing baseball on the school playground, we heard frogs singing in the ditch that runs along the side of the gravel road leading home. My wife commented to our youngest son to listen to the frogs croaking.

J, age 12, responded: "If the frog 'croaked' once, how can it keep croaking over and over again?"

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dangers of Stating the Obvious

My dad took our family out to dinner at a restaurant in celebration of C's recent 6th birthday. It's a fun, much anticipated, tradition my dad started to take the whole family to out to dinner to a place selected by the Birthday person.

T (age 9) ordered a Hot Chocolate. When the waitress brought it out, she politely said, "OK, here's your Hot Chocolate...careful it's Hot."

Taren responded matter-of-factly--and not too quietly--with an obvious tone of 'duh' (including the lazy eyes and head shake), "Why do you think they call it 'Hot Chocolate'?"

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Happy Birthday #5!

Baby C aka #5 was born 6 years ago today.
Our 5th boy, he fit right in with the rest of us!

Ever since he was tiny he has loved trains.

#5 has a great smile...

and can be a real sweetie too.

He also has his share (or more) of mischief.

We love you #5! Happy Birthday!

Signs Seen Through Town

T (age 9) noticed a sign as we drove to a picnic event in another town. "Who would want to buy fleas?" He asked, puzzled.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Is it Soccer or Football?

J was asking why asking facetiously why do people in Europe call soccer, 'football' and in the United States we call football, 'football' instead."

S explained that we call it, 'football' because in football there are a lot of 'hikes'.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby B!

One year ago today we welcomed Baby B into our family. I can hardly believe it has already been a whole year! Happy Birthday to my sweet baby girl!

In the Hospital

Blessing Day

She's a Smiler!


First solid food

Sitting Pretty

When did my baby turn into such a big girl?
Happy Birthday B! WE LOVE YOU!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Perspectives On Cemeteries

In anticipation of a future service project, we drove through a cemetery today to review the extent of the headstone cleaning we will be doing.

We visually toured acres of upright headstones (we couldn't read all of the on-ground headstones) engraved with symbols and pictures that helped explain the personalities and beliefs of those memorialized by them. You can't help but respect the people who came before you and ponder about what kinds of experiences they had while they were alive.

It was the first time I've been into that cemetery and I was impressed with how nice it was. The cemetery sits on a hill overlooking a small lake spotted with lily pads. The opposite border is padded with a nice evergreen forest. Beautiful blossoming cherry trees guarded the front.

I was thinking out loud about how nice it would be to invest in some personal real estate at a this or a similar cemetery.

Shortly after a family of deer peacefully walked through the cemetery, J (12-yr-old) piped and commented, 'This would be a nice place to be buried."

K (age 7) joined the band wagon, "This would be a great place to play hide and seek!"

Friday, May 01, 2009

Conflicting Messages

The other morning our 1st grader was getting ready for school when I walked into the room.

He said with a confused tone, "Dad, do you know what? When we have writing at school, [my teacher at school] says, 'take your time and do the best you can.'

"...Then half way through she says, 'I want to see smoke coming out of your pencils.'"

Friday, April 24, 2009

Girl Shows

I was reviewing some work-related stuff on the computer at home. My seven-year-old son was on the other computer next to me doing his 'computer time.' Without venturing a glance away from his game, he said, "Dad, we had to watch a girl's show at school today."

"What?" I asked after realizing he was talking to me.

"We watched Cinderella at school today," he clarified. He maintained his stare at his computer screen with fingers flapping over the keyboard.


"We're studying fairy tales in school"

"Oh. Did you like it?"

Without breaking concentration on his video game, he exclaimed, "Nooooeeew! It's a girl's show, what do you expect?!"

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Who is really in charge here...

Baby B and I are going on a little getaway this weekend and leaving D and the boys at home. Last night at dinner #4 piped up and asked me, "Will Daddy get to make the rules while you are gone?"
Apparently everyone around here thinks I am the boss!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Happy Birthday T!

Nine years ago today #3 aka T was born. He was a sweet, curly haired baby. (And boy did he have a LOT of hair...this pic was at about a month old.)

One of T's favorite things is playing at the beach. Sand and water are close friends for him. I have often wondered if he loves water so much in part because we had a water birth with him. Three of our six children were water births, but he was the first one.

#3 has a sweet smile, and a tender soul. He loves to be hugged.

He also likes to be a tough guy.

Science and nature fascinate him and he loves to share his discoveries.

#3 also has high functioning Autism. Some people in his life dwell on the negatives of this, but we are trying to focus on the positives. T is a sweet and wonderful boy, with much to offer and unlimited potential.

Happy 9th Birthday #3. We LOVE you!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Disneyland Wish Fears

I was about to head downstairs after tucking the boys into bed last night when, out of the blue, my 5-yr-old said he was scared. He's been waking me up almost every night for the past few weeks due to bad dreams. Anticipating some answers to the cause of his nightly disruptions, I asked him why he was scared.

He went on to explain that when we were at Disneyland, he threw a coin into a fountain and made a wish. He wished for all of the Thomas the Tank Engine toys in the world.

He was scared because he just realized that if his wish came true, 'there would be too many and the house might explode!'

I did my best to console him without making him loose hope that his wish might not come true and made my way downstairs when the kids got on a tangent discussion with each about who the 'wish maker' might be (after all it got to be different than Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy because they already have a job).

He made that wish at Disneyland 15 months ago!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dinner Table Pearls: 5-yr-old wisdom

"Don't talk to strangers, unless you know them." C, age 5.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Indiana Jones and the Shark Treasure

I was inspired by the following video:
to put together a Lego-adventure story with my boys.

The boys (particularly K) came up with general story and set up the scenes. I took the pictures and tried to create a narrative that fit their story and the pictures. The boys had fun setting up the scenes with the Lego characters and telling me what was going on in the story. I tried to keep up with the camera and remembering all of the story components.

It was fun. So without further ado, please enjoy:

(Simply 'Click' through the slides.)

If the above link doesn't work (seems to only work with Internet Explorer) try this link.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Overheard In Restaurant

This weekend in celebration of our oldest's 12th birthday we had dinner at a local seafood restaurant. With five young boys and a baby girl, waiting time in a restaurant is a very unpredictable time. Here are some things overheard or seen from our table:

"Take me to your leader." T approached us holding a straw wrapper mustache and a sprig of parsley 'growing' out of his head.

"It's a uni orange uni brow." T held a long piece of orange peel along his forehead.

K attempted to make glasses out of his orange peel...only he didn't quite get all of the orange eaten off it.

Baby B was eating oyster crackers, and would periodically sweep one onto the floor for the fun of it.

As we were leaving, we had to pry T away from his 'art' work. I was afraid to look too closely, but he was arranging food remnants from neighboring plates onto his own. He expanded to some of the table condiments.

Who needs Calvin and Hobbes when you have a few living with you?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Life Savers Can Save Your Life

I gave my kindergarten son one of those large mint Lifesaver candies.

He opened the wrapper, "I know why they are called 'lifesavers."

"Why?" I asked..

He put it in his mouth and muffled, "Because if you choke on it, you can still breath." [referring to the big hole in the middle.]

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Best Laid Plans

Today at church, I was moving the diaper bag out of the middle of the walkway just as my third grade son decided to walk past. As if it was slow motion, I saw him put his foot inside the carrying strap as I moved it out of the way. I felt his foot pull on the strap and his body topple to the floor.

It was so predictable, that I had to hold back a laugh. He shot a glare at me as we made eye contact as if I had done it on purpose. Then he lay face down on the floor in another Academy Award-winning performance.

At the climax of his production, he lifted his head out of his arm, turned towards me and snapped, "I know why you were smiling....because your plan worked!"

He paused, glaring, for effect, then dramatically turned his face back down into his arms floor to finish the act.

He probably didn't appreciate me almost laughing again.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

A Trip To The Beach

Last summer the kids and I took a trip to the beach. We like listening to waves crash against the rocks.

When the water hits the rocks it sprays high into the air.

The kids enjoy climbing around on the giant rocks.

The kids found a lot of great hiding places among the rocks.

The trees on this beach are fun to climb.

While the kids climb high into the tree, I stand guard to make sure they stay safe.

We also love to meet the crabs, starfish, birds, and other friends that play at the beach.

Watching the wildlife is one of our favorite things to do at the beach.

They usually don't try to hurt us, but I am still cautious around them.

They make funny faces and act all goofy.

I can't help laughing when I hear the sounds they make.

Also, when wildlife are around, we rarely need to bring our own food.

We always have a good time at the beach.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Random dinner conversation...

I won't go into how we got onto the topic in the first place...

Me: You should NEVER pee on people.

#3: (without a pause ) Unless they got stung by a jellyfish.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Looks Can Be Deceiving

This is only the fifth Christmas you've ever had in your life and probably only the third one you even remember. It was hard enough to sleep last night and finally morning came. You ran out to the living room to see all the presents that accumulated overnight. It takes all the strength you possess to resist opening the presents.

You barely have an appetite for breakfast, but endure it agonizingly while the adults seem to blab more than eat. Why does there have to be a rule that breakfast comes before opening presents?!!

Finally, after an eternity, the adults finish and you run into the living room excited to open your presents.

The first present you open is a pretty cool toy. As the rest of the family takes their turn opening one present, you scout-out your next target. Of course! Across the way you see the largest present you can find with your name on it. If that smaller-sized present was so cool, then surely the largest present will be the best thing in the world!

When its your turn again, with a giant uncontrollable smile, you race across the room to the giant present almost tripping over the torn wrapping paper and empty teaser boxes because you are so excited.

You tear off the wrapping paper--almost slowly to soak up every detail of the experience. Its a teaser box which is like opening two presents in one! The best present, ever, must be inside. You pull open the first flap, the second flap, in an instant you are peering down inside the giant box. You reach down to grab the 'greatest present in the world.'

All of your excitement and anticipation dash to pieces like that Christmas Ball your brother pulled off the tree a few years ago. You try to hold a smile, but you are overwhelmed with disappointment as you pull the puffy coat out of the box. How could this be?!!

No matter how hard you try there is no way to hide your true feelings. Anger swells up and pours out like Eggnog. You are screaming--almost crying--that you don't want a coat. You swing the coat through the air and beat it against the ground over and over again, until you feel someone grab you around the waist. Your feet lift off the ground. Wrath continues to spill out of every inch of your body. Your mom carries you off to another room. You continue flailing your arms and legs the whole way out.

The next time you walk into the living room, you are not much less disappointed, but you are calmer. Mom helped you kind of understand that the person who gave you the gift might feel bad by your previous behavior. Being sensitive to that idea, you do all in your power to try to find something good about pulling a coat out of the biggest present with your name on it.

You acknowledge the benefits of the coast the best you can. Then you notice it has a little compass attached to the coat. "It has a compass!" Your countenance brightens as you recall a recent visit to the zoo, "Next time I get lost at the zoo, I can use this to find my way back!"

Damage control successful! ???

You were disappointed at first, but it's the only Christmas present you enjoy using every day!