Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I am siting here thinking about Christmas gifts. My kids never want normal easy-to-find Christmas gifts. One of them always asks for something weird or impossible to find. Some of the Christmas gifts my have kids wanted: laundry baskets and tin foil (he wanted to make a space ship), a potty trained talking pony (This was the year after he "found out" about Santa and I think he just wanted to see Santa say no), A million dollars (we told him that even Santa's elves would get thrown into jail for forgery) An actual real-life Pokemon character, (his cousin told him they existed).
This year My 16 year old wants a laptop, Yeah right, like we have that kind of money. My 11 year old wants an actual, real life sword, Santa told him NO. My 14 year old can't think of anything he wants, so we'll just surprise him. My 7 year old wanted a world war II army medic set, army medic bag and a medic helmet (they have to be camouflage with a white circle and red cross on it), I don't think they sell these at Toys-R-us. Good thing I can make these.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
He thought that was pretty ludicrous: Mom and Dad intentionally missing sleep? ha ha!
he told me he set her straight; he said to her "oh yeah, then where do they get the presents? If I wanted an I-pod touch my mom and dad could not make that, but elves can."
Monday, December 8, 2008
I replied "You can't tell the tooth is wiggly in the picture"
"Mom! it made me look like a little kid and I am a big man now"
"Yes, I even put on deodorant this morning"
I guess he thinks stinky armpits define a man.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
All I can say is: brain tumors SUCK!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Grades just came out for last quarter. I was so happy! My 16 year olds GPA is 3.75, which is remarkable because he is taking some very difficult classes; half of the classes he is taking he is getting college credit for, and my 14 year old got a perfect 4.0! I knew they were capable of getting good grades but they have been struggling. The last few years my 14 year old was just barely passing his classes. He would easily get "A"s on all the tests but, he was not doing any of the classwork or homework, it was like he was not even trying. My 16 year old went through that same thing but he got his act together last year. Their grades became a problem 3 years ago when Jimmy, their little brother , got diagnosed with a brain tumor. That year my boys went from near perfect grades to barely passing grades. My 16 year old told me at the time he felt like his school work did not matter, good grades were not going to make Jimmy better, nothing he could do would make Jimmy better. So, on top of the fact that my kids are getting good grades *yippee!* I am also celebrating another sign that my children are recovering from their brothers brain tumor.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
We are in trouble...
The population of this country is 300 million, 160 million are retired. That leaves 140 million to do the work.
There are 85 million in school. Which leaves 55 million to do the work.
Of this there are 35 million employed by the federal government. Leaving 15 million to do the work.
2.8 million are in the armed forces preoccupied with killing Osama Bin-Laden. Which leaves 12.2 million to do the work.
Take from that total the 10.8 million people who work for state and city Governments. And that leaves 1.4 million to do the work.
At any given time there are 188,000 people in hospitals. Leaving 1,212,000 to do the work. Now, there are 1,211,998 people in prisons.
That leaves just two people to do the work.
You and me.
And there you are,
Sitting on your butt,
At your computer,
Nice. Real nice.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The other morning as I was making a shopping list and my hubby was in the bathroom getting ready for the day, he noticed that he was out of hair gel, so he hollered to me "I'm out of gel"
"OK" I said making a note of it
My seven year old ran into the room with a very concerned look on his face asking "What did Dad do? How come he was in Jail?"
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
My 11 year old wanted to the Tooth fairy only with his own personal twist, He wore a tutu and wings and and carried a wand that was duct taped together. he had torn, dirty jeans and wore a stained pillow stuffed T- shirt that read "I'm the tooth fairy -'ya got a problem with that? this costume was all his idea, he enjoys being funny. It was easy, all I had to make was the tutu.
My 14 year old was a monk, He wore the robe I made for a "death" costume a few years ago with a big silver crucifix, a rope around his waist and sandals. He looked good.
My 16 year old went as a hippie: he had a long wig, a tie dye shirt, peace sign necklaces, and a fringed leather jacket.
My 14 year old decided he still wanted to do some trick-or-treating, but he did not think he should eat the candy, so he gave all the candy to his older brother who was at a party all night, I was proud of him, he has been dieting and this was all his idea to give the candy away.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
We carved pumpkins last night. Yeah, I know it is a little early for pumpkin carving, but it was the only evening the family was all home together to do it. We carved the pumpkins and saved the seeds for the kids favorite Halloween treat: Pumpkin seeds. I have had people ask how I cook Pumpkin Seeds so here is my recipe:
Separate pumpkin seeds from pumpkin. the easiest way to do this is to scoop the seeds out with your hand, before you remove the pulp from the inside of pumpkin. rinse all pumpkin pulp from seeds, you may have to rinse 2 times. Cover seeds with water, add Worcestershire sauce (if desired) and salt: abt. 2 tsp. of salt to one pumpkin's seeds. and mix well. Let seeds soak in brine overnight. Drain seeds, scatter seeds on buttered cookie sheet, let dry. cook seeds at a 350 oven stirring every 10 min. until seeds are toasted to a golden color.
Try different seasonings. Try adding garlic powder or butter flavor.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
My brother-in-law posted in his blog about going to a movie by himself. It made me think. I have never gone to a movie by myself, I just don't have time, I usually don't like movies unless they are really good, I just sit and think I about how I could be better spending my time. However, I wouldn't mind going to a movie alone. I don't mind eating alone in restaurants either. When I go on business trips or conventions with my husband he always frets that I will have to be alone most of the time. I always have to convince him that I enjoy spending time alone. I do like being around people, but I am just as content to be with myself. Does that make me weird?
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
The other day, just after parent-teacher conferences we were talking, my second oldest son had just had an exceptional parent teacher conference, after getting poor grades all year last year, he was now getting almost perfect grades. Last year when we had a similar report at parent teacher conference with our oldest son we stopped and bought him a T-shirt from his school as a spur of the moment reward. When all of my second sons teachers praised him so abundantly (one even cried) I thought I'd better buy him a T-shirt too, just to be fair, but they were not selling any shirts that night. I told my second son that I wanted to get him a shirt, but instead of a shirt I would spend an extra $10 on the scriptures that I was getting him anyway and make it a nicer book. My older son overheard this and started whining, about how unfair I was being, he had already been complaining about how we wouldn't buy him a laptop and how we expect him to do chores on his day off from school. It made me so angry. When my oldest was that age I got him new scriptures and a t-shirt, the t-shirt cost more than the extra $10 I was going to spend on his brother.
When I calmed down some I firmly told my oldest that if he goes around comparing what he has to what other people have he is always going to be unhappy. There will always be someone who is better looking, richer, has nicer parents, is more talented than him and if he looks for life to be fair he will be forever disappointed, bitter and angry. The trick is to be grateful for what you do have that is what really makes you happy.
I sat there fuming and suddenly I wondered if God ever feels that way toward me when I am asking for more or complaining about what I don't have. Do I ever make him that angry at my selfishness and ingratitude?
Thursday, October 2, 2008
I did this painting for the Utah State Fair art show. I try to do a painting for the fair every year. I usually hurriedly paint something the day before or the day of the deadline. This year was no exception. I frantically painted this the day it was due. This watercolor was done on watercolor canvas, the first painting I have ever done on watercolor canvas, it was a learning experience. It is nearly impossible to do any glazing on watercolor canvas, the canvas stays wet for quite a while and the colors seem to lighten quite a bit when it dries. Had I known that I may have used another technique to paint it . The watercolor canvas did come with a little "tips and techniques for watercolor canvas" flier, but I did not read it until I was finished with the painting. One tip I wish I would have known is that if you want to glaze on watercolor canvas spray a fixative between layers. I'll have to try watercolor canvas again and use this tip. The cool thing about watercolor canvas is you don't have to frame it under glass. If you fix it you can just frame it and hang it like an oil on canvas painting. I painted this on gallery wrapped canvas so I did not frame it at all. I did have someone from the fair call me to make sure that this was really a watercolor.
Overall it is not a bad little painting but it probably would have been better if I read taken more time on it and read the directions.
Monday, September 29, 2008
At the Utah state fair they had a Guitar Hero 3 competition, my oldest boy seems to be pretty good at GH3 so we encouraged him to try out for the competition. the preliminaries were held at a local video game store, my 2 oldest sons and my husband made it to the final round at the State Fair. Well ... my oldest boy won second place and won $50.00 he was very excited about it, he was younger than the other winners and the man who took 1st place is a "professional" GH3 player. After the competition my son said all those viola lessons we gave him for all those years finally paid off.
Yeah, Right, that's what the lessons were for...
Monday, September 22, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I am so glad that his MRI is over now: Jimmy had a "stable" Mri-*WOO-HOO*. The most amazing thing happened: my 7 year old boy held absolutely still for over 40 min. and did this MRI without sedation! I was so impressed by that! especially when he still had to have an IV for contrast. He hates IVs and thought that if he went without sedation he might not have to have an IV. The whole without sedation thing was his idea and it really made things so much quicker and easier. I am so proud of him.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I drove by his school during recess and saw him in the corner of the playground alone sitting against the fence. All the other kids were running around the field and playing on the playground. I pulled the car over so I could walk over and talk to him when he suddenly got up and ran to the school building, seconds after he started for the building the bell rang and all the other kids ran to the school with him. When he got home that night I told him I saw him and asked him what he was doing. He told me he could not see any other kids on the playground and did not know what to do so he was saying a prayer. When he was done praying he said he knew he should go to the school building.
I asked Jimmy if he introduced himself to his class. He said the teacher asked each child to tell the class their name and something interesting or unusual about themselves. He said he told them his name was Jimmy and that he had a wii game system. I asked why he told about the game system. He replied that it was all he could think of. Hmmm... the kid has had a brain tumor, is blind, half bald & wears a hairpiece, has has 4 brain surgeries and the only thing he can think of that is unusual or interesting about himself is that he has a wii game system?
Good for him.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Well it is finally here, the first day of school, the day I have been dreading with some anticipation for months. I think I am the only mom that cries the day she sends her kids back to school. Sure, I will enjoy being able to get things done around the house and I will enjoy the quiet but, I will miss the kids and the noise and I'll miss the hugs whenever I need one. When I send them to school it just seems like they age an entire year in one day. I now have kids in 11th, 9th, 6th, and 2nd grades: where did all the precious summers with them go?
It was especially hard to send Jimmy this year, he is being mainstreamed and I can't help but worry about him. I worry about him getting lost, making friends, fitting in with the other kids. I worry about both my youngest boys, with their learning challenges, falling through the cracks.
I worry about my 6th grader, he does not seem to have any friends at school, I watched the other children run to their buddies on the playground, but my boy just stood there alone by the school door and watched the other kids. He really hated school last year I hope this year will be better.
I worry about my two teen age sons: are they making good friends and making good decisions? Is my oldest ever get his eagle so he can drive? Will they be able to understand the importance of getting good grades?
I look back at their summer, did my boys have good experiences? did we build good memories together as a family? did we have enough fun to last until next summer?
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
One of my favorite parts of etsy is Alchemy where buyers can post requests for custom handmade items, and then sellers bid on the opportunity to make the goods. Have you ever wanted a handmade book, dress, art, or jewelry custom made just for you? here is your chance, if you can dream it someone there can make it. Just describe what you want with what price you are willing to pay and all kinds of artists and artisans send you bids. You can look at their work and decide to get what you want. This is just so cool!
Friday, August 1, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Directions1. As a comment on this post, leave one memory about me. It doesn't matter if you know me really well or if we don't know each other very well at all (like my new blogging friends). The memory can be anything you remember...something recent or something from when we were kids or from when we first met (and even if you only know me through blogging...you can tell me your favorite blog post and why or something). If we know each other really well and we have a lot of memories together just choose your favorite memory, the funniest memory or the first one that comes to your mind.
2. Next, post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty cool (and funny) to see the responses. If you leave a memory, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave a memory for you if you put this same game on your blog!
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
ArtGraphica Free Art Lessons: Learn how to draw portraits, landscapes, still life... http://www.artgraphica.net/free-art-lessons/free-art-tutorials.htm
Utrecht: Art & Ed
Free art lessons:
Learn to Paint Wildlife and Animalsby Jason Morgan Professional Wildlife Artist:
Monday, July 21, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Son #4 as an "adventure pirate" part of the kids club on board the ship.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
We did do things together as a family, just never an official "all-go-somewhere-together-in-the-summer" vacation. So we finally did it. We took our government stimulus package check and our savings and blew it on a 4 day cruise. we took off, drove 14 hours in our gas-guzzling-minivan, spent 4 days with it with my sister in California, we were 4 days on the cruse and spent another looooong day driving back home. Then I took another 4 days at home to recover.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
My kids were roasting marshmallows for an after dinner treat the other night and offered me some. I told them I don't like marshmallows, I never have.
It reminded me of an incident from my childhood. I was probably 8 years old or so and I got a huge sliver in my foot from trying to climb a wooden fence barefoot. My mom was trying to get me to hold still so she could remove the sliver when she tried to bribe me with marshmallows. "If you'll hold still so I can get the sliver out I'll give you some marshmallows" I didn't like marshmallows, but my brothers did! So the idea of tormenting my brothers with "I get marshmallows and you don't nananana naaanah" became my motivation for holding still. Of course I never said anything about that, If my mom knew it would never work. My mother removed the sliver and then proceeded to hand out marshmallows to me and my brothers saying it was a celebration of my bravery. Boy was I mad! My brothers did not have to have a sliver removed and they still got marshmallows! how unfair! My mom said she never said my brothers would not get marshmallows I should be happy that everyone was benefiting instead of just me.
I was really really mad, but over the years as I thought about it, mom was right. My desire to make my brothers unhappy was ultimately what backfired and made me unhappy. If I had wanted to make those around me happy instead of upset then the whole incident would have turned out different for me.
Again it all comes down to attitude.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Jimmy is getting "mainstreamed" next year for school. He currently goes to USDB (Utah School for the Deaf and Blind) He is on the bus for an hour each way to school he has 4 kids and 2 teachers in his classroom, only 2 kids in his grade. We have decided to send him to the neighborhood school just down the street, it is a five min. walk away with 30 kids and one teacher in the classroom, naturally he is nervous about the change, so am I.
I took Jimmy to the school he will be going to next year, I thought it would be good for the teacher and the principal to meet Jim and it would make Jim a little more at ease if he met his teacher. When we got to the his new school the principal and teacher were waiting for us. The principal said to him "Hello, Jim, I'm the Principal" Jimmy reached out and took her hand and said very formally "I'm very pleased to meet you" and then turned and shook the hand of the teacher. The principal and teacher both looked very surprised to see such manners from a 6 year old. Believe me I was even more surprised. I do try to teach my children good manners but I don't think I ever taught him this.
Monday, May 19, 2008
My 10 year old wanted to ride his bike to the school and around the block and I almost didn't let him go because he wanted to ride alone and his brother was elsewhere with the cell phone that the boys share. *panic* How could I check on him? what if he needed me? I started thinking about what I did as a child. My mom used to let me ride my bike around and I just had to be home in time for dinner. Am I such a neurotic parent that I freak out when I know my kid will be out of contact for 30 minutes? YES! I decided that I needed to calm down, and give the poor kid a little freedom, so I told him to go ride his bike, just be home in time for dinner.
Oh, and I had him take him MY cell phone so I could call him....
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
It got me thinking about how we teach our kids about money. I can think of a couple of instances that have helped us to teach our boys.
I remember when I was about 16 or 17 when my dad out of the blue said to me "How would you like to have 15% to 20% more money without working any harder or doing anymore work?" of course I was interested, He went on to explain that if I wanted to buy something I should save up for it instead of charging it. I would be earning interest in the money I was saving instead of paying interest on the money I had borrowed. ( %5 interest earned plus 15% interest saved) And I could sleep well knowing I was not in debt to anyone. I always remembered that lesson, and I strive to never be in debt. Of course I have passed that story along to my kids.
Another success came when we were going on a vacation. We were tired of the kids asking for goodies at every gift shop and store we went into. Before we left for our vacation we gave each of the kids a ten dollar bill and told them that this was their money to spend, when we went to anyplace and they wanted to buy something they would have pay for it themselves and any money that was left over they could keep. The kids were quite young they were thrilled at having so much money. On that trip when the kids would ask for something all we would do is ask "do you have enough money for it?" It worked wonders! No whining or begging! The kids stopped bugging us for things, they learned about money and how to make good choices, the kids came home with money in their pockets, and it saved mom and dad some money also.
Don't let society's messages "things give you happiness" and "you should have instant gratification for the things you want", be the only source of learning about money that your children receive. Don't be afraid to talk to children about money.
Monday, April 21, 2008
I could go around angry that my little boy had a brain tumor and is blind and half bald. or I could be grateful that he is still alive.
I could be bitter that we have to spend at least $3,000 every year on medical bills for his MRIs and treatments for the next 11 years, or I could be grateful for the insurance to cover the rest of his medical bills.
I could be upset that I have to deal with the hassle of putting a hairpiece on my 7 year old everyday or I could be happy that he has a hairpiece to put on.
I could be frustrated by the mess that my kids leave all the time or I could be happy to have kids to leave a mess and a nice home for them to mess up.
I could be bitter or I can be happy It is MY choice. I have decided to be happy. Sometimes I just need a reminder.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Jimmy, was watching me put on makeup when he picked up my mascara and asked “How come you put this on?”
I replied “so I can be beautiful”
He looked at the mascara and asked “can I put some on?”
I said “You are a beautiful little child so you do not need any makeup”
He told me “Mom, everyone is a children, we are all Heavenly Father’s children”
I looked down at his sweet little face and asked “Well then, do you think Heavenly Father thinks I’m beautiful?”
Jimmy looked up at me with his big blue eyes and said “Not yet” as he handed me the mascara.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Jimmy's last ski day with the School for the Blind was last week. The School for the Blind takes the kids skiing 5 times a year. Jimmy loves it. It is one of the highlights of his school year. It is amazing how well Jimmy does on the slopes, he went skiing this time without the his "Ski Guide" assisting him much at all. His guide just skied close to him and yelled directions. Jimmy was so proud of himself and he kept saying that he only fell down once. The National Ability Center in Park City where they teach these handicapped children to ski. Not only do the kids learn to ski it is a reminder to parents that just because our kids have special challenges we have to not set limits on what they can do. It is a reminder that I need, sometimes it is hard for me to let him do "regular" kid things.
Monday, April 7, 2008
My 16 year old came home the other day complaining that he had planned to invite his friend, Joseph, over for a computer battle but Joseph couldn't come over because he had a date.
My son has a dating quandary, he has always has lots of girls he likes and he has gone on a few dates since he turned 16 (Mom's rule: no dating until you are 16!) when the girl has asked. But, he does not want to ask any girls out, because he does not want all the girls to think he has a "favorite" (his words).
I asked if the girl that Joseph was going out with was cute. His reply was an unenthusiastic "yeah, she's really cute".
I said "too bad you didn't ask her out first"
What he said next surprised me. "mom, I don't want to go out with her, she is pretty, but that's all she cares about, what she looks like and how much fun she is having"
I'm glad that at this young of an age my boy is not shallow, I wonder how much of his attitude has to do with what he has been through with his little brothers brain tumor, watching his brother suffer, at the brink of death, and realizing at a young age what the important things really are, or maybe that is just how he is.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
We had a talk with Jimmy the other day. We were worried that he was getting a little spoiled. It went something like this:
Dad said "Jimmy, you aren't more important than other children"
"Yes I am, I had a Brain Tumor" Replied Jimmy.
"But, that does not mean you're special"
Jimmy said "Barney says everyone is special"
I explained "Being important comes from what you do, not from what happens to you."
What we are trying to tell Jimmy is that simply because he had a brain tumor and is "visually impaired" he can't expect that he should be treated any different than anyone else. He should not expect to work any less at life, actually he will probably have to work harder. I remember right after we were first told that Jimmy was legally blind I received a letter from my little brother who is deaf. He wrote "Don't ever treat him like he has a handicap, don't let anyone treat him differently, don't let him use it as a crutch."
The problem is actually Jimmy is special, he has been through some really hard stuff, he is incredible brave, strong and tough. And yet he is always cheerful and happy, we just want to keep him that way.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Monday, March 31, 2008
Jimmy had a goal ball tournament today, Goal ball is a sport created for blind and visually impaired with 3 players on a team wearing blindfolds, using a ball with a small bell inside. Players try to block the ball by listening for it. It actually looks quite fun. Jimmy's team lost two games and won one, pretty good considering the teams they played against were quite a bit older than Jimmy's team of 6 and 7 year olds. One team they lost to was 14 year olds. Jimmy said "I did my very best and I had fun" and he was thrilled with his participation ribbon.