Happy News

July 28, 2008

I survived!

Teaching my first lesson in Relief Society, that is. 🙂 All in all, not as painful as it could have been. I felt a little like a toddler learning to walk, hoping that the people watching me wouldn’t laugh when I fell. Thankfully, the sisters in my ward are kind and contributed fantastic insights when asked/prodded. 😉

Highlights:Starting off and realizing my “attention grabber” question at the beginning was the perfect, intriguing, captivating question… for nursery aged kids. Hahaha! I asked them “What are characteristics of something alive?” and I got these looks that said, “You’re kidding, right?” It was so surprising! And then it hit me — Ooops. A two year old would be totally fascinated by a discusion about what the differences are between alive and, um, not alive. We had a good chuckle about it, we did, and then a few people took pity on me and spoke the obvious. Bless them for it.

When the RS President told me it was time to end (thank heavens she did, cuz I had no idea what time exactly I was supposed to close things up)… and before I could stop myself I said (with visable relief and great gusto), “It is? Sweet!!!
Oops again.

I probably wouldn’t have felt that way so much except that (ARGH) I printed out my well-thought-out and much-prepared outline for the lesson… and left it in the printer at home. For those of you who know me well, I’m sure you aren’t surprised. I was SO reminded of the time I forgot the article I was supposed to base a talk off of. I had my outline then, but not the subject matter from which I had planned to quote.

NOTE: It is much, much, much better to have the words of apostles and prophets in front of you and lack the detailed outline of your presentation than it is to have said outline and lack inspired text.

So. I learned a lot about what not to do, and yes a few things that did go well that I shall strive to repeat next month… and I’m grateful for a calling that is motivating me to be better, strengthening my testimony, helping me rely on the Lord more, and providing an opportunity for Him to work a miracle in our ward — because for me to give a coherant and uplifting lesson is definitely a miracle.



Camping Do’s and Don’ts

July 25, 2008

Camping. Three children under 5. Two nights in the mountains. Here’s what I’ve learned.

1. Don’t cook a marshmallow on a twig. It won’t work.

2. Don’t forget the S’mores ingredients. Otherwise you pay big $$$ to buy them from the camp worker people. ($2 for a bag of marshmallows?! Sheesh.)

3. Don’t bring the air matress with a huge leak. (frowny) Bring the one w/o the huge leak.

(The big black thing in the background, by the way, is a solar charger. LOVE IT! Costco, $100.)

4. Set up a cool castle tent (Thanks, Kate!) w/o bringing friends for your kids to play in it with.

5. Don’t try to cook scrambled eggs/bacon as a tin foil breakfast without non-stick spray. (Oops)

6. Don’t be downwind of the bathrooms. (Devin, are you poopy again? No? You sure? Okay, Evan? Nope. Then what IS that smell?…)

1. Reserve a spot. Especially if you’re camping over a holiday weekend. Which we were. (Happy Pioneer Day everyone!)

2. Go somewhere beautiful.

3. Have more than one way to cook your food. (Good thing we didn’t learn this one the hard way!)

4. Make sure there’s running water nearby – the streams & waterfalls were a highlight.
5. Pack clothes you don’t mind getting trashed.
6. Go exploring! Who knows what you’ll find? We found a log over a stream. My favorite!!! I went first to make sure it was steady, then helped the kids along.

They were so brave! We were happy to tromp around on the other side of the stream.
I know it looks like you could just walk across on the rocks, but you couldn’t really. At least, the kids couldn’t. Not without getting royally wet, which we were hoping to avoid.

5. Be happy and have fun!
Me: “Hey! I thought I was supposed to have more time! It said 2x the time…
“Oh, it meant it would take TWO pictures…”

Got it.

Cinderella’s favorite thing: When she sucked her thumb in one of our family shots. (Thanks cousin Audrey… She loves to be like you!)

Devin’s favorite thing: Playing in the sleeping bags.

Mommy’s favorite thing: Chipmunks. Okay, maybe not my very favorite thing. But they are dang cute and I wanted to post a picture.

Daddy’s favorite thing: Devin was supposed to be going to sleep; Daddy stealthily sneaked up and saw what he was doing through the window of our tent. He had a sock on each hand and was singing a song (about a duck who goes to see a turkey) – and acting it out like his socks were puppets. Sorry we don’t have a picture of it. A camera flash would not have been stealthy.

He did eventually go to sleep.


July 22, 2008

I married Superman.

But John doesn’t look like that, you say?
That may be true, but I’m pretty sure it’s only because Superman figured out that Clark Kent wasn’t really a decent secret identity. And that bit about John still being sore sore sore from being an “anteater” is all pretend, too. He’s sneaky, Superman is.

And why, reader, am I sure I married Superman? Let me tell you.

First he changed Devin’s nasty-wasty diaper in the middle of the night, puts him back to bed. That in itself, heroic, and I slept right through it. John tucked him in upstairs, and then Devin came down again – We didn’t hear him until he was throwing up next to our bed. YUCK. Being the fantastic mother I am, I rolled off the towel I sleep on (in case baby spits up in the night all over me… or in case baby doesn’t wake up and I end up sleeping in a small pond of milk… it never hurts to be prepared), handed said towel to John, and rolled back over. 🙂

John cleans it off the boy, off the floor, off the stuff on the floor, and then takes Devin back upstairs to bed for the second time.

THEN, an hour or so later, John’s paternal radar informs him Devin is ready to puke again, and John found himself climbing the stairs yet again… Where he found that Devin did indeed throw up all over his bedding upstairs. Nice. So he changes the sheets, pillows, etc, and helps him get back to sleep. Thankfully, the rest of the night passes uneventfully.

Me, I’d have taken the icky jammies off the kid and pulled him in bed with us when he came down the second time. And then we would’ve had barf in our bed later… Yuck.

So you see, I married Superman.

The difference…

July 20, 2008

The difference between ants and the ant-eaters is —
Oh wait. You don’t know to what I am referring.

John yesterday participated in our Stake Youth Conference. (Bishopric representation.) That afternoon the kids played Ants/Anteaters, a game probably known by a million other names. The idea was that the “ants” were trying to get safely to the other side, and if the “anteaters” tagged ’em, they had to go to “jail.” To get out of jail, 4 ants had to get to the jail successfully, and then carry the convict out & back to safety.

Youth were ants, Leaders were anteaters. They all played HARD and they all had fun.

The difference, however, between the ants and the anteaters is that the ants are remembering it thinking, “That was fun.” The anteaters are remembering it now thinking, “Ow. I hurt.”

Heh heh heh. Poor John. He’s sore sore sore.


July 20, 2008

Okay, so I was going to show you all how lovely a pedicurist Cinderella is… But the stupid “attach file” button won’t work.
Suffice it to say, she and I both have lovely multicolored toenails now.

Ah-ha! Figured it out. Aren’t you glad?

She gets her ugly pinky-toes from me, as you can see. You’re welcome, dear.

This all happened during D’s nap Friday… Also the same day I walked by the bathroom and found her gazing into the mirror.

“My face is pretty,” she said to herself.

I stifled a laugh.



“My face is pretty.”

As if she hasn’t heard that from every relative she’s got every time she sees them.

Oh my…

July 20, 2008

So! I could be writing about many things this evening. There was the family reunion in Logan (Mom’s Mom’s side)…

Above: me, my Dad, and my baby E — And have I mentioned I’m totally THRILLED that E looks like me?! Well, I am. C looks like my mom, D looks like a Smith, and E is the Mann-side! YES!

Below: my sister, her soon-to-be-missionary, and my mom. I’m sure they’ll just crop this for their engagement photo in two years. Mom will be sad they had to leave her off the announcement — after all, it’s an arranged marriage & they have her to thank.

That shallow stream was lined with lovely little rocks that David loved to throw and put in his pockets. Just before we left, Cinderella let her shoes float down the stream, catching them and then letting them go again. Unfortunately, she let them get pretty close to where the stream went underground… Mom (that’s me) had to jump in and save them from being lost forever. Unbeknownst to me, the stream is knee deep down there, and instead of those lovely little rocks, it’s bottom consists of 6″ deep GOO. Mud. Muck. Like, suck your shoes off your feet type sloshy suctiony stuff. Totally caught me by surprise, and I nearly lost my shoes in saving Cinderella’s.

Which was all quite fun, but not what I’m writing about.

I could be hoping to share my excitement with you about the newest member of our family, a baby banana tree named Mo…

Who I love dearly, hope I don’t kill, and was FREE at Farmer’s Market today. (Sweet!)

But that’s not foremost on my mind either. Close, but not quite.

D came down after we put him to bed this evening. He usually does if he’s had a nap. Evan pulled his long, shaggy hair, and I used it as a chance to talk a two year old into a much needed haircut.

“Oh no! That hurt! Maybe we should cut it so he can’t do that.”

“Okay Mommy.”

(Huzzah! I’ve been trying to talk him into letting me cut his hair for a month or more!)

I’m just curious, Dear Reader… How bad would it be of me to blame Devin’s new haircut on his sister? Okay, that would be lying, so I can’t do that. How immature would it be, then, to give Cinderella a pair of scissors tomorrow morning before church, let her cut a snip off, and then -when the funny looks get directed to me – I can honestly say, “C cut his hair again.”

Sound good to you? Okay, then it’ll be our little secret that those WAY short, butchered bangs are all my fault.

Pictures will be forthcoming later. I’m hoping a little gel will go a long way in redeeming my “save a buck” policy of cutting his hair.

Little kids are crazy &I have pictures to prove it.

July 18, 2008

To make up for the shameless plug below, I thought I’d share some funny pictures from our recent trip to Washington. This is what happens when you try to get a house ready to sell while your two mobile children are left to fend for themselves…

Mustard for lunch — deeeelicious:


Mom’s deoderant! Everyone’s favorite toy!

Dancing, prancing, chasing each other, shmearing it all over themselves… What fun.
They smelled powder fresh from head to toe!
And I’m still laughing about it.