Friday, April 25, 2014


It was quite the show.  We did have a couple cases of stage fright jitters, but the talent was astonishing.  We had a dancing singing butterfly, a sung performance of the ABC's, an amazing display of hopping skills, a dancing ballerina, and my personal little boy's presentation of a battling superhero.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Beautiful Distracted Mondays

'Crunch!', so help me if I step on one more plastic egg, I just might crack and pull the ears off every last stuffed Easter Bunny in this house!  Deep breath.... I guess the better plan is to retrieve the purple Easter totes from the basement and start pulling down all the Easter decorations.

I dump one of about eight egg baskets into the tote and glance up at the clock, 8:13, where did the morning go????  'Joooooooooo, grab you backpack, it's time to go.'  I stand at my open front door, 'I love you.... have a great day at school.... don't forget to turn in your lunch money.... remember to bring your jacket home.... and don't forget to check for homework.... and seriously your lunch money, it's been in your bag for over two weeks, if you forget it today they just might not feed you, so please don't forget!'  I hastily shout my list of reminders to my fairly absent minded son as he runs towards his bus stop.  Boy, it's a beautiful Monday morning, maybe we can get in a bike ride before Sol has to catch the kindergarten bus..... Monday..... I wonder if Monte remembered to take the garbage can to the curb..... I better check.

Yep, he remembered, but I wonder how full it is.... it seems completely wasteful to dump a half full garbage can..... maybe I'll just take a look.  As I suspected, still plenty of room, and with my compost pile over whelmed with decomposing leaves I'll just rake the leaves from this front flower bed and fill the remaining space in the garbage can.  Now to find the rake.

It took a little bit, but I found it, it was next to the fire pit, much more practical than the garage or the garden shed.  I head towards the front flower bed with my rake.... look at those vines, they've really taken off this year, I guess I should cut them back a bit, but where are my clippers?  I set down my rake to go search for my clippers.  Objects clank the sides of the bucket as I dig through random gardening tools, shovel... nope..... spade.... not right.... long pokey thing... what is this thing called???  Scissors.... what are they doing in here????  No clippers.  I grab the scissors, I guess they'll work.  I'm sure I did a little damage to the blades of my household cutting shears, but they did the trick, even hacked through a couple of broken branches I noticed on a neighboring bush.  I make a pile of debris next to my discarded scissors, alright maybe over the top of my discarded scissors, and find my way back to the front flower bed.  I forgot the rake.  I find my way back for a second time to the front flower bed this time with my rake and begin my work.

B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L morning.... just a little chilly.... maybe I should go get dressed, pajamas aren't the best gardening attire.  I walk through the front door, who left it open, and why is there a chicken in the house?

I grab a chicken treat, and chase my friendly feathered girl back outside.  I find two little ones at the kitchen table, happily digging through their Easter baskets, looking for just the right treat.

'Hey, did you guys open the front door.... did you see that the chicken was in the house????  I see, you where too involved with your Easter candy to notice.... Well let's eat breakfast.... Have you guys looked outside, it's going to be a beautiful day.... you want to see how nice it is... sure go ahead, just grab a jacket, it's a little chilly out.'

I didn't have to tell them twice, they threw jackets over their pajamas and ran barefoot into the backyard.  I love the spring time!  I put down the couple of bowls and the box or cereal I was holding, and figured that I'd better go out with them.... let me just throw on a jacket....but where is  my jacket?  That's right, I remember,  it's in the hamper, it needs to be washed, I'll just start a load and head out.  I need more darks, I wonder if the boys have a few pair of Levis I can toss in with this load.... I only make it up a couple of steps.... you know I really should go check on the boys.

I find them battling each other with large stick swords in the garden, totally pleased and entertained.... but look at that planter box.... it's completely overrun with weeds.... I better clear it out.... it's almost time to plant.  I start pulling the invading grass from the planter box.... you know what I need.... that long pokey thing.... what is that thing called again.... I know I just saw it.... but where?  I step over a pile of vine and  branch debris to search through my garden tool bucket.

The grass is looking great, so green and long.... already.... should I mow it?  Why not, I'll probably never find that long pokey thing anyhow.  A mower is easy to find, it's too large to lose..... funny that it still it took several minutes to locate.  I prime the engine, and give it a yank, it starts right up.... what a great yard sale find, I don't care what Monte says.  Boy, is it just me or does the mower seems louder than I remember, and did it always rattle this forcefully... I can't recall.... my arms are shaking violently on the handle.... is this normal?  After cutting a couple of strips through the lawn, the mower sputters and dies, maybe it just needs gas.... I'll go see what I can find in the garage. 

I pass my front flower bed....  the leaves!  I'd better get those leaves in the garbage, and get the can back out to the curb.  I'm reaching for my rake as I wave to some passing neighbors.... they seem hesitant to wave back.... strange, they're usually so friendly.... maybe it's been a hard walk?  I brush some dried leaves from my plaid pajamas, use my bare feet to push a couple of rocks back into place, and begin raking.... again.  A few rake strokes later and.... 'Ouch!', look at that branch, sticking straight out, got me right on the top of my head.... I should cut it back.... but my clippers.... and now I can't seem to find my scissors either.  I give my head a rub, trying to wipe away the sting.... I wonder what time it is.... I haven't seen the boys in a while.... I hope we'll have time for a bike ride later.... my thoughts are interrupted by the sounds of an approaching large vehicle.... what could that be????  I ponder only for a second.... Oh No, the Garbage Truck!  I shove one large armful of leaves into the can and pull the lid shut.  Yanking it's handle, I make a dash to catch the impending garbage truck, with my only slightly fuller than this morning garbage can.   

I hear the church bells dong 12 times, noon already, where does the day go?  'Sooooooolllllll, grab your back pack, it's almost time to catch the bus for school.'

'Wait.... why are you still in your pajamas.... why am I still in my pajamas.... what do you mean you haven't had lunch yet.... or breakfast?  No you ate something, I saw you shoving it in your mouth when you ran past me earlier in your Spiderman Costume.  Oh.... it was your Easter candy.... all of it?  Do you feel alright?  A little yucky... on the plus side I'll never make eggs that delicious, and I'm pretty sure I read an article once stating that happier people eat more chocolate.  Oh good you do feel buzzingly happy.... do you know what, I bet if we hurry you can get dressed and have a roadside picnic at the bus stop.'

Still in my pajamas, I wave goodbye to Sol, no reminders needed for my mindful kindergartener.  I push the mower out of my way as I walk by my large pile of raked leaves boardering my front flower bed.  The front door is open, but no chicken this time.  I walk inside, stepping over a purple Easter tote, 'Crunch!', son of a ......  Deep breath, I grab the couple of bowls and box of cereal I'd left out earlier, I wonder how Abe feels about cereal for lunch?

Abe's contently spooning Honey Nut into his mouth, as I look around at what needs to be done.  I guess I could start with the large pile of mail, papers, and bills on the counter.  Old school worksheets.... toss... water bill.... keep.... gas bill.... keep.... what's this.... coupons.... here's one for a dollar off a jar of Nutella.... sounds like a bargain.... cut along the dotted line and keep.... but the scissors..... can't seem to find....  know I just saw.... didn't I just....

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day

Each year the boys and I venture down the canyon to the Ogden Nature Center for their annual Earth Day Celebration.  Despite huge crowds, we always leave with gained knowledge, a couple of planted seeds, a few leafy vine crowns, and some great memories.....

Gained knowledge of what mealworms really taste like (Jo was brave this year).  Gained knowledge of alpaca wool, honey bees, reptiles, and large birds.  Including Abe's gained and shared knowledge of one of the wing amputee eagles.  Losing most of her wing when she was very young, this extremely vocal bald eagle has spent most of her life with humans.  Because of this she has learned how to voice her opinion.  She chattered and screeched disruptively through out the entire presentation.  Abe giggle and laughed disruptively too.  What was so funny?  Abe informed me later that the bald eagle's 'chattering', was actually her sharing his laughter, apparantly they have a similar sense of humor.

Not pooping..... laying an egg.

Great memories of a shared frantic excitement over witty empty bird houses.

And great fun memories of this years favorite activity, a long extended stay in a field chasing and popping oversized bubbles.  Lucky Sol even got to pop two.  As for Abe, his fun was in the chase.  He clumsily ran after each bubble batch, remarkably farther than any other child, bringing only his own laughter for company (Well his laughter and his back pack he insisted on bringing, full of rubber snakes, frogs, and a calculator.).

When it was time to go, we gathered our memories and gained knowledge, and waved a goodbye to the Celtic dancers, the caged bugs and reptiles, the fake descriptive animal poop, our funny feathered friends, and the couple of frogs we'd spotted in the pond on the way in. It was only a goodbye until next year, when we'll be back again, to celebrate and wish all, a Happy Earth Day!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter... Family, Love, and Fun

Easter..... Mini Cadbury Eggs, three handsome boys in matching linen shirts with tiny bow ties, beginnings of a new season, kite flying, gathering of friends and family.....  all things I love.  As a child I loved Easter, but it was Christmas that filled the number one spot on my list.  But as I've grown, I believe Easter has taken over that top spot.  A spring holiday, full of family and traditions. 

So where do those eggs come from, and what about this elusive bunny, does he really live in candy land, and is he the one who delivers all those candy filled baskets? Seems like some pretty strange notions to celebrate this special holiday.  But I've always seen things a bit differently, so I have to admit, an egg laying bunny, who leaves candy and other treats to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, doesn't sound too crazy to me, in fact, it seems..... right. 

Pastel colored eggs and the E.B..... believable?   Eggs, they do bring forth new beginnings, and bunnies, there isn't a better representation of fruitfulness of life.... maybe it's a slight stretch, but they both seem fairly believable.  However, children outdoors, excitedly hunting for sweet treats, eating around an open fire, and playing with friends, sounds not only completely believable but also totally natural.  There is something purely organic about little boys and the outdoors.  Playing, running, chasing, digging, and hunting...... yep, entirely natural.

Oh how I love watching my children eagerly search for sweet riches.  It brings out the best in them, one always helping the other.  They share excitement over found baskets, working together to prove that they can't be out smarted by a long eared furry friend.  Despite their best efforts, they lack the competitive spirit you need to be natural egg hunters.  This combined with my own dislike for large crowds, is the reason we steer clear of organized egg hunts.  They only bring tears, agitation, and separation, three things that don't feel natural or right for our family.  We hold our own annual egg hunt each year, inviting friends to participate, and then later share our own version of an Easter Feast.  Our hunt is a true quest, eggs are hidden throughout the entire yard, even around the pond in the back field.  Every year at least a half dozen eggs join the missing egg cases, I wonder if they'll ever be found?  I love not only this fairly new tradition, but others both new and old.

New traditions, like a Town Egg Jubilee..... complete with a small egg hunt, an egg toss, egg races, and an egg drop.... sooooo fun.....especially when your egg never breaks!

And some great old traditions, like dying hard boiled eggs for the Easter Bunny to hide the night before Easter even if we don't start until after 10:00 pm......     

And old traditions like always spending Easter with family, even adding a new super hero twist.....

We all love Easter, what a fun day spent together as a family.  What we do feels right, whether it's full of traditions, egg hunts, or spiritual reflection.  Family, fun, and love, why over think it?  Spend time doing something fun to rejoice this exceptional spring day with your family, and love every minute of it.  It is a celebration of His life after all, pink plastic eggs and sugary marshmallow chicks are allowed.... but not always necessary. 


Friday, April 18, 2014


He's getting so big..... almost too big to sit on my lap..... almost..... his Kindergarten program marks the end of his first year at school..... he perfectly preformed every part, even sang a solo at the end...... I am so proud.

Joining Mamabyrd in her weekly 'impressions' post.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Too Many Eggs in My Basket

Just over a dozen..... not eggs..... but superhero egg t shirts.  On Sunday will meet again for our annual Easter get together, spent with my aunt and her family.  This year with a theme, 'A Super Hero Bunny', and the facebook invite told me to get my costume ready.  If I'm going to make a few simple costumes for my family, why not throw in a few more and make one for the entire group.... was I taking on too much?

I thought using the freezer paper stencil method would be fairly quick and easy....... I might have been wrong.

I'd started just before noon, and didn't get to the cleanup until after nine that night.  My only breaks had been to make lunch, get Sol on the bus, and hastily eat my plastic play food that Abe kept preparing for me, I was just grateful he managed to stay busy until his brothers got back home from school.  I stayed at my painting post while I directed orders towards my children....'Gonna have to get your own snack', 'Stop teasing each other', 'Get your homework done', 'Help me get the blender out for dinner'.  You heard me right.... a blender..... for dinner?  Cluttered counters and tables, and one obsessing mom meant smoothies, toast, and cottage cheese for dinner, a quick and easy dinner method borrowed from a friend.

With a large pack of Superhero Bunnies, who could be our egg stealin' villain?  Who to wear the 4XL black villain t shirt..... I had the perfect fit, for both the role and the shirt.  It really was an easy pick, there is only one who is loud and dramatic enough to embrace this evil chicken position....  you'll look great Bub!!!

 It had been a busy but productive day.... I'd finished and sent off our taxes, got in a darkened evening swim, filled bellies with toast, blended spinach and fruit, and probably to make up for my absence most of the day, a couple scoops of ice cream, adding something extra sweet to our normally green fibrous concoction........  And how could I forget......  designing, painting, and completing the dozen or so superhero themed Easter t shirts.

*Now that I'm done what about a matching superhero mask..... or capes..... or adorable bunny ears..... and don't forget snacks..... cute hard boiled eggs with tiny red capes.... drawing a little black mask on each egg probably won't take too long.... I think I saw something on pinterest about that.........  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Bunch of Weekend B's

I cut up the last strawberry and glanced out the kitchen window facing the backyard, 'That's a Bunch of Busy, Boisterous, Boys in the Backyard......'  Busy Boys...... just Back from a Bike ride to the Beach..... Bouncing, Backpack Bike riding, Batting, Battling, and Balancing.  Being even a little too Boisterous for one not so Big Boy.

So I'll Bring my Big Boy Baby into our family Building for a Bubble Bath recovery Break.  And tend to his Bruised spirit and Blackened eye.  But just Briefly Because Best Buddies will Be here Before too long for a BBQ.

What a Blissful weekend Break..... Bikes, Beach, BBQs, Buddies, But I almost forgot, the Bunch of Babies Brought to my attention.

Just a Bolt from the Blue, a Beautiful discovery just Beneath Bits of Bunk, in our aBandoned aged Building Behind the house.  Four feral Bitty Baby Kitties, for me to catch and hold was worth every Bite and scratch, they're so Bemused, should they Bark or Buzz?  But four Babies, now what?

It won't be too much longer Before our Balmy Break Begins, and days will be Bursting with Bike rides, Bubble Blowing, Blue Cloudless skies, Beach visits with sandcastle Building and Sun Bathing.  BBQs, Barefeet, grassy Blanket lounging, Baseball, Bug hunting, Balloons full of water in our Backyard water park, and with a Bit of a Blessing, four Bitty Babies now Big and Beginning anew with other families.  But until then this Blogger will end with a fitting Belief from my Jr. High youth, a playfully impish memo that would litter the Backs of worksheets and shared friend's notes.....

Boys Before Books, Because Books Become Boring, But Beware Because Boys Bring Babies! 

Friday, April 11, 2014


Just last night I learned from a room full of beautiful wise mothers, that your first is your trial, your second is your error, and your third is your gift.  Only a truly precious gift can sweetly dress his own tiny baby while wearing a quiver full of ninja swords.  

Joining Mamabyrd in her weekly 'Impressions' post.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Planted Seed

'Here's Dad, he's skiing, and fishing, and riding his long board, and riding his bike in the mountains.  And Mom that's you, and you're talking with your friends.'

It was a lovely picture, perfectly detailed in every way from my little three year old, It was that picture that planted a seed that I've been struggling with ever since.  I tried not to ask, but curiosity got the best of me, 'So is that what Mom does...... talk with her friends?'

He proudly aswered, 'Yes Mom, it's your favorite.'

Alright so he wasn't too far off, but I was still intrigued so I urged him on, 'Is there anything else Mom likes to do?'

He innocently shrugged his shoulders, 'No, can you tell me?' 

What was to be expected, he was only three, so I turned my attention to my five year old, and then again to my eight year old.  In the end Abe's answer was the only one given with certainty, what I collected from my older two boys was really just a list of similar guesses.

'shop for stuff?'
'help your sons pick up?' (started a reaction)
'play with your sons?' (pretty cute)
'give your sons hugs?' (adorable)
'make food?'
'being nice?'
'planting flowers?'
'go on bike rides?'
'go to Jamie's?'

Clean, cook, and shop, is that all they ever see me do?  I guess I should be happy that hugging and playing made the list.  The truthfulness of their answers was the hardest thing to process.  I don't even know what my hobbies are anymore, how could I expect my boys to recognize them.  My loves have become completely unclear.  How do I sort out what are mine and what are theirs?  What things do I do out of want, and not out of need?  There was a time I craved exercise, but now do I only do it because I want to eat?  What about this blog, do I write out of love, or simply a compulsion?  It's all so vague, and so that seed begins to grow.

How often do we hear that motherhood is a selfless act?  I knew that entering motherhood meant the needs and desires of my family would most likely come before my own.  I'm sure my hesitance to give up my own selfish ways somewhat delayed the presence of adding children to our family.  Children mean a loss of control, a loss of control is unsettling for someone who's an obsessive list maker, a rule follower, and finds comfort in schedules.  Little ones don't exactly follow a rule book and fit into a checklist.  My navigation through motherhood has been full of struggles and learning experiences...... but more commonly the most rewarding moments of my life.  I love being a mom, I don't even mind the personal sacrifices, it was that growing seedling that was bothering me!

The realization that I'd postponed my own desires and passions long enough that not only did my children not know them, but neither did I, was concerning, but not entirely unique.  I'd heard other moms voice similar concerns, I wasn't alone, I'd figure it out, and so with that I did my best to stifle my little seedlings growth, and move on.

That tiny seedling remained dormant, almost forgotten until after a difficult week a typical disagreement over homework and a messy room sent me into a downward spiral of completely unhealthy pessimistic thinking.  Looking back I'm sure it had more to do with lack of sleep and unbalanced hormones, then the missed math sheet and the pile of legos.  'I was a horrible mother..... I shouldn't be allowed to have children...... They all hate me..... How could anyone ever love me......'  Downward spiral remember..... even though I knew what I was saying was ridiculous, I couldn't stop my negative decent.  The one sensible thought I had was 'I need a break'.

The only nights I've ever been away from my boys are the ones spent delivering another baby, this means I've had 2 nights away from Jo, 1 from Sol, and none from Abe.  It's some pretty easy math to figure my 'night away' total..... 2, and really can labor be considered a night away..... I think I'm due?  For the first time in years I wanted a break from my mothering duties.  It was the idea of a 'break' that allowed me to temporarily regain control of my thoughts.

A break.... what to do, where to go, who to go with?  I want my 'break' to justify the time I spend away from my family.  Can I come back not only rejuvenated, but better?  I'd heard of other moms organizing a 'girls weekend', full of spa visits, shopping, and delicious desserts.  Sounds fun, but spending money on things that I'll only end up feeling guilty about later seemed counterproductive.  But what about a getaway tribute for a fifteen year wedding anniversary?  A chance to not only celebrate a landmark in our marriage, but spend quality time together free from distractions, finding what we may have lost.  I think I've found my needed break.         

Another sacrifice, looks like a tropical anniversary getaway will have to come another year, how often does your husband get the opportunity to spend a week in Alaska fishing with friends.  Can't keep a budget and do both, I won't be the one to take that away from him...... motherhood..... their needs and desires before my own.  Darn that seed! 

Time has a way of not only fading downward spirals, and choking seedlings, but also a chance to rediscover.  I haven't lost my identity, I know who I am, and Abe's picture doesn't define me, not even to him.  I haven't forgotten about my desired break, a chance to spend time unearthing that seed, productively doing something that I love.  But until that time comes I've got toilets to scrub, laundry to fold, hugs to give, dinner to make, schedules to keep, and obviously friends to visit.... and in my spare time.... I'll figure out the rest.

Friday, April 4, 2014


For an unknown reason he stubbornly refuses to believe that he actually turns his birthday age until he's blown out all his candles....... one, two....... three, four, five...... six...... Happy Sixth Birthday my Sweet Stubborn Solomon!

Joining Mamabyrd in her weekly 'Impressions' post.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A 'Fools' Samuria Birthday

April 1st, a day when lying is totally acceptable and celebrated.  A day when you question everything your told, and you double check every seat before you sit.  A day my children finish most sentences with 'April Fools!', and fake poop decorates my kitchen table.  A day that I love and cherish, not for the mustached glasses and chattering teeth, but because it was on this day six years ago my Sweet Sol and I met for the first time.

Year one
My round baby boy, so sweet even at birth, simple and easy even with his strong opinions....... somethings never change.  It's his big event that brings me inside, other projects on hold, back to the blogging world for some moments in front of the computer screen, documenting and recording his special day.

year two
An April Fools birthday party..... we had meatloaf cupcakes and backward cloths, he was so wobbly on his feet he slipped and fell, ended up with three stitches on his first birthday, right on the forehead, it was a memorable emergency room visit.............. April Fools!  Just that once did we have an April Fools birthday celebration, only before he could voice his choice.  By two, in typical Sol fashion, he'd not only mastered a full vocabulary, but also developed a sense of child rights, and informed me of his intended birthday theme.  At two it was trucks, at three race cars, four it was superheroes, five transformers, and now, at six, Power Ranger Samurais.

I have my own opinionated live in expert on Ranger Samurais, he'd already decided which activities were the most appropriate to do.  So the most difficult task of this party planning was convincing him to cut his original 20 plus guest list to just over a dozen.  Welcome to the Power Ranger Training Center, where you'll enter a child and leave a samurai.... well that's what the invitation says.  Complete each challenge and you'll receive your earned tokens.  Who knows you may even have to put your newly acquired skills to the test and battle a real live nighlok?  You can really build up an appetite with all that samurai training, but no worries here at the training center no good deed goes unnoticed, just follow your two young senseis to your celebration feast.  

Sensei leader for the day= full permission for him and his sensei friend to boss his little brother and his friends around for most of the party.  I don't know who was more excited for Sol's birthday celebration?


Sword training with Abe

My brother, such a good sport, he and his wife (who made an awesome power ranger cake) took the day off of work to come celebrate with Sol, I don't think he expected what was about to happen next......

And this is what happened next..... it was quite the battle but in the end Octoroo the Nighlock was defeated.
Victory is sweet, even if your older brother manages to sneak in a cheap shot.

After the last child officially left as a samurai, my birthday boy was totally content and happy playing with his new Lego sets.  Sol had only one wish for his birthday dinner, for his Uncle Matt to stay and make some more of his favorite yakisoba noodles.  Wish granted Sol.

I might have spoke to soon.  Looks like his Uncle Matt was a little too involved in helping Sol find the 'oh so important' Lego piece, his forgotten noodles were burned and tossed out, then due to some spring snow causing a power outage we couldn't even find an open restaurant to eat at, and with no open gas stations due to a lack of power we ran out of gas, and don't forget while walking the couple of miles home who else but the birthday boy slips on some snow and sustains an injury.... you guessed it..... stitches..... right in the forehead.....

April Fools!!!!!  The noodles were delicious, the company was even better, and the birthday boy was sweeter than his birthday cake.  Even my gelatinous 'red punch' was a hit.  It seems my last prank was really just an unexpected treat, who knew that drinking jello from a straw was so appealing?

With both of his brothers already asleep, I was able to hold my April Fools baby and share his birth story, completely uninterrupted.  It's one of his favorite stories, he sleepily smiled and mimicked my actions.  He loves that he was my biggest baby, weighing in at 13 lbs 4 oz..... and who would of guessed that my tiny babe would obtain a wound so soon after birth..... stitches on the day he was born..... right on the forehead......

It really is 'Fun to be 1'!
If the hat still fits wear it, only on April Fools can it still be 'Fun to be 1' when your really six.