Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Not to Jump the Gun or Anything, But...


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's Still 2008? Are You Kidding Me?

Have you ever noticed that once the regular schedules of school and work are put on hiatus for the holidays, it's really hard to keep track of time? Not that I mind every day being another Saturday--but that means the next day should always be Sunday. A week of tomorrow-Sundays really stresses me out!

I've been trying to get Christmas put away (let's not discuss the fact that the trees went up late and have barely seen more than 2 weeks!). We've had Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, we've played with all the toys, identified the gifts to exchange/return, had guests for dinner, watched movies, gone out to dinner, hosted sleepovers, gone sledding, watched movies, played Wii, played Uno, played SkipBo, eaten cheesecake (and gained a few pounds), and now I realize it's not even 2009 yet! Is this the longest week of the year or what???

Anyway--New Year's Eve is on my doorstep... And apparently it's in no hurry to cross the threshold, so I assume I'll have time to pack the Christmas ornaments, make hors d'oeuvres, organize some party entertainment, and confirm the guests... Hurry up 2009--you're killin' me!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Snowed In and Loving It

Have I ever mentioned that we get a lot of snow at our house? Well, in case I haven't mentioned it... We Get a Lot of Snow at Our House! We get falling snow, blowing snow, swirling snow, horizontal snow, drifting snow, piling snow, blinding snow, lots and lots of snow.

We had an awesome storm blow in over Christmas night--and when I say it blew in, I mean it! Our street was drifted over to the point of no escape. We had to turn down invitations all day long because we were snowed in by the huge drifts. At one point, The Boy's girlfriend tried to come over just to prove that we weren't as stuck as we thought we were... She didn't ever make it... The Boy had to hike out to meet her...

Anyway--we really were stuck in our house until about 4pm. Even the snowplow driver who was hired to clear our street shook his head when he arrived. He called the heavy equipment guys and turned the job over to them.

So here they are--our new snow removal crew. THANKS GUYS! And according to the weatherman, I guess we'll plan to see you back here next week!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Not-So-Rip-Off Christmas

Much to the utter amazement of my children, yesterday turned out to be an exceptional Christmas. As you may recall, this was the year that HRH labeled the Rip-Off Christmas. She and The Boy had decided that they were going to be stiffed in the gift department. Boy were they wrong!

We decided not to go overboard this year in the gift department (and we didn't!), but somehow everyone got what they really wanted anyway. The Little Buddies got the games and Legos that they were dreaming about, The Boy got his goth-looking guitar, and HRH got the beloved new phone for texting her entourage. Among those most requested items sat an additional family gift. The Wii.

Let's just way that we enjoyed a lot of family togetherness around the Wii yesterday! And I dare say that the fun will continue! We laughed hysterically when HRH got pelted in the forehead with soccer cleats and panda bears. We snickered and guffawed when The Boy tried the latest yoga poses. And there might have been a little trash talk during the tennis and baseball games. And for someone who wasn't initially interested in the Wii, let's just say that The Boy was up well past midnight last night playing against himself...

Despite all the fun toys and games, the best part of the day was just being together. If for no other reason, I love Christmas for the togetherness that we enjoy on that holiday. I love you guys!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Warmest Wishes

to All our Friends and Family!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Greetings 2008

Another year's ending, I'll give you the gist.
Events kept on happening, sometimes with a twist!

We traveled, played soccer, and danced up a storm.
By the end of it all, this family was worn!

We're happy to say we survived yet another.
And we're glad to report that we still love each other!

Where does the time go? I can't believe that we've already come to the end of another year. This year was full of ups and downs, but for the most part, we all survived it well!

This year brought many opportunities for travel. The Mister and I took a ten day cruise to French Polynesia and The Cook Islands. It was a new experience for us to spend time alone together, I think we should do it again sometime! The Princess and I spent about ten days in New York City for a national dance convention. In October, we went to Orlando to play at Disney World. From Orlando, we took a family cruise to The Bahamas on the Disney Wonder. I think it's safe to say that this was our family's all time favorite vacation.

The Buddies took up soccer this year. The Mister coached their team. While it wasn't exactly a winning season (ours was one of the youngest teams), the boys had a really great time. The Buddies started kindergarten this year--what a change that was! They are in separate classes and enjoying making new friends. JJ's teacher loves him for making her smile. Max is in the highest reading group in his class. Zeke is friends with all the girls--yes, all of them...

HRH, the Princess, is dancing on Teen Company at her studio. Age-wise she is only a Junior, but she competes against the older dancers. We enjoy traveling to conventions and competitions, and she will be competing for another national title again this summer. HRH is only in 7th grade and is already studying Algebra II and getting straight As. She's such an over achiever!

The Eldest took a little detour this year. It was a great decision and we are proud of him. I think our whole family has benefited from his choice. He is back home and going back to school in January. I can't believe he will be graduating this spring! He continues with his music, art, and voracious reading. The boys now reaches six feet tall and is officially tall, dark, and handsome!

We hope 2008 brought you as much fun and excitement as we enjoyed.

Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for a Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

Do You Remember When We...

I found this on my friend's blog and thought it might be fun. Can't wait to hear from you....

1. As a comment to this post, please leave one memory that you and I share. It doesn't matter if you know me a little or a lot, anything you remember is fine!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It will be fun to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll visit your blog to leave a memory about you!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Storm

At the onset, a frenzy of chaotic motion assails me. I watch the movement as it drifts and flows from one direction to another--swirling and ebbing without order. I am timid about entering the storm, but I have a destination.

I feel as though I am swept along the way. I follow the others who seemingly share my destination. I attempt to slow my pace, yet I cannot extract myself before being swept beyond my goal. My minimally restrained travel continues to push me along. I find myself skidding with little chance of regaining control. I desperately hope to avoid a mishap as I struggle to maintain my course.

Suddenly, everything becomes sluggish and slow. It has become a waiting game. I inch along in the stop-and-go, waiting for the next cashier...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmastime Miscellaneous

Can you believe it? Christmas is just around the corner! I wonder, are the gifts I ordered online going to get here on time???

The tree is trimmed (OK, both trees are trimmed--and one is seriously listing to the side), the snow is piling up in deep, fluffy drifts, and the snicker doodles are cooling on a plate... what else is there to do?

Oh, let's see--I need to wrap a few things (OK, everything I've bought so far, which isn't much, but there it is...), I need to make treats for my nice neighbors (and figure out what to do about the mean ones??? Just kidding!), I need to sweep the snow of the porch so the carolers don't slip and fall (and sue me), I need to hang my wreaths (and take down the Give Thanks decor), I should find some mistletoe, I need to get out the advent calendar (oh, is it too late for that?), and I still have to find that dang partridge in a pear tree--here kitty... here kitty, kitty...

Aside from all that, I think I'm ready. I can't wait!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gotta Getta Life

After much contemplation, it has been determined that I need to get a life. I have been reading so many clever and interesting blogs--and I wonder, why is everyone so much more clever and interesting than me?

Hmmm. Let's analyze...

I have five kids (all of whom I like on most days but love on all days), a hubby (who I like a lot more when he's actually home--and whom I always love), two cats (ok, ok, they are cute and fluffy), a house to keep, a job (or two), meals to cook, homework to supervise, laundry to do, errands to run, carpools to drive, oh yeah... that's right... I don't have time for an interesting life!

So--I'm already planning for my New Year Resolution (resolution, singular, I'm nothing if not realistic). My goal for the upcoming year is to do something to make my life more interesting. I plan to inspire myself with a fun/exciting/educational/inspiring something at least once a day... or maybe once a week... how about once a month... maybe once a quarter??? Well, we'll see. But I do want to be more clever and interesting!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Awakened by the sound of a hushed world. Silence, the color of white. Lights aglow from the rooftops and trees, muted by the swirling flecks. Drifting through the air--fluffy, frozen perfection. Points and filigree, fluttering on a breath. Swirling and scattering, embracing all, while suppressing sound. Blankets of quiet--settling into drifted swells.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Mom, my head is getting bigger.


I said, my head is getting bigger!

What do you mean?

Well, I need bigger holes in my shirts because my head is getting bigger.

Oh, it's hard to get your head through the neck of your shirt?

That's what I said!

Oh, of course! Duh!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Snow Storms and Santa Sleighs

Breakfast with Santa was met with the perfect setting today. The snow blew in and made the whole neighborhood look like it had truly become winter, just in time for The Jolly One's sleigh to deliver him to our event.

The food was good, but the company was the best part. And I am so happy to report that "Santa" is prepared this year with just what was requested from atop his lap--at least in respect to my kids! So, YAY!!!

There is nothing like Christmastime when you have children at home. While I've had a hard time getting in the mood, I'm sure Christmas Morning will be spectacular.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Trees of Glass and Other Stuff

You just never know where some things will lead... A couple of years ago we gave my dad "lessons" at a glass studio for Christmas. He loves to stay busy and we thought this would be a great outlet for some of his hands-on tendencies. He'd mentioned a long time ago that he thought glass work would be interesting, so when the opportunity came along, we signed him up!

Now, two years later, my dad just brought me the most beautiful piece of glass art. He designed the artwork and then created this amazing nativity scene. My dad has also been working on the stained glass for the new LDS Draper temple. He's worked on glass for some of the other temples as well.

Last week my mom and I attended the Festival of Trees in SLC and made sure we stopped by to see the glass Christmas tree submitted by the studio where my dad volunteers. He didn't work on the tree, but he helped put together some of the glass packages that are under the tree. While it's not exactly my style, it's really an amazing piece of art. I heard it sold for $25,000 which will go to Primary Children's Hospital

Making of a Glass Christmas Tree from Richard Holdman on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Define "Good Mom"

I think I'm a good mom. Not Supermom, mind you, but a relatively good mom. I cook, I clean, I do laundry (if not windows) and I usually remember to meet the school bus at the corner... usually...

I was at a meeting tonight and I got to thinking about being the mom of active triplet boys, a busy tween, and an angst-wrought teen. I could probably be a better mom if I was in a position to specialize, you know, super-cool teenager's mom, way-fun-and-crafty tweener's mom, or build-a-snowman-in-the-yard triplets' mom... But the truth is, I'm your basic, all-purpose, everyday (just a little bit crazy) mom. Is that good enough?

I once purported to be an "awesome" mom. I did something outlandishly cool (it could happen!) and then encouraged my son to answer his phone for a week by saying,

Hello, this is Mike, my mom is awesome!

OK--so maybe that's not the best way to become Awesome Mom... oh well...

My daughter loves to have sleep-overs. I, however, abhor them to an impressively extreme degree. If you knew how I really felt about them, you'd be amazed at amount of emotion that I can put into something as simple as a bunch of slipper-wearing, pillow-toting girls. If I were Way-Fun-and-Crafty Mom, I'm sure I wouldn't feel the stress and weighty responsibility of these events.

As for my short-comings in regard to the triplets, where do I start? I often get invited to join playgroups and mommy-and-me groups, but I am always reluctant to attend. First of all, have you met The Buddies? You must realize there are three of them, right? Why would anyone want to expose themselves to our particular brand of chaos? And really, keeping track of three at the park, the zoo, the swimming pool--it's not exactly a picnic, folks! I don't want to join a playgroup, I live in a playgroup!

So there it is. Maybe I'm fooling myself with this good mom business, maybe I'm really Slacker Mom. Pin a giant "S" on my chest and I'll get myself a cape.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Reason to Celebrate

Yes, I am aware that this season is reason enough to celebrate. However, I am inordinately giddy because the tinker-er called it quits and let the professionals take over.

After the ill-fated tinkering attempt of last weekend, it took (only) three days, one Comcast repairman, two phone consults with the whole-house automation guys, and one personal visit from our family favorite whole-house automation guy, Ritchie. Hi Ritchie!!! (The partridge in the pear tree was our next option.)

Since I know you're not as over-the-top thrilled at this life altering event as I am, I'll spare you the rest of the details. Suffice it to say, the phone, tv, and internet are all back to their original working order and it only cost us three days of frustration, many hours of ranting, a few minutes of cussing, lots of ribbing, one scheduled appointment, one impromptu visit, several phone calls, and about $80 in labor fees.

Monday, December 8, 2008

What? No Snowman Butts?

What do you mean you don't have a snowman butt tradition???

Christmas is the quintessential time of year for sharing traditions. Some traditions are handed down through the generations from the "old country," some traditions happen by accident, still others are nothing but premeditated ways to spend time with our families.

I love Christmas because of all the happy traditions I remember from my childhood. But if I'm honest, I have to admit that I prefer the traditions of Christmas Eve to the traditions of the actual Christmas Day. I remember spending Christmas Eve driving 60 miles through the snow to spend the evening with my cousins. Half the time the roads were treacherous and I'm sure we were lucky to arrive in one piece. Once we arrived, the best part of the evening was watching the nativity story in the form of a homemade slide show. The slide show was created using photos of all of us dressed as Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the shepherds, the angels, etc. The best part of this tradition was waiting for that most favored photo.

Our favorite snapshot was not the one with Mary smiling sweetly at baby Jesus. It was not the one where we were standing in the neighbors pasture among the sheep, pretending to be shepherds (but really fearing for our lives--those child-eating sheep!). It wasn't even the one where the plaid pants are sticking out of the angel's flowing white robes. No, our favorite photo was the carefully posed shot of the angel standing on the stoop to deliver his message of good cheer to the shepherds who waited at the bottom of the porch stairs. The reason that we love this particular photo is because of the big, black work boot that inexplicably sits on the window ledge in the corner of the photo. I don't know why it's so funny--it probably has something to do with my aunts gasp of distress the first time she noticed the unfortunate oversight. Cost of one gasping aunt, priceless...

My family has a new tradition. Several years ago I bought a cute table decoration with a family of snow people. I placed it on the kitchen table and thought it gave the kitchen just the right wintry touch of whimsy. What I didn't count on is the contention it would cause at dinner time. It seems that while the family was adorable from the front, nobody wanted to have to look at the "butts" during our evening meal. And just so you don't think these were anatomically "correct" snow people, let me assure you that the backsides were just round balls of snowy fluff--no details--completely G-rated. However, night after night, all we heard was,

Why do I have to sit here and look at those snowman butts?

The snow family was starting to look a little worn, so I decided the place of honor on the table was probably a thing of the past. Last year I placed the little family in the Christmas tree. I thought everyone would appreciate getting to eat their meals without taking their turn with the butts. But no! Now everyone is grumbling because I've ruined the snowman butt traditon.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Now I Remember...

Ever had one of those days?

The Mister is one for tinkering around the house. Not necessarily a problem--unless he's messing with the cable. Let's be clear--the cable is the life line of this house. Without our cable connection we can't surf the web (obviously a problem), place a phone call (love the $10/ month, but VOIP still has issues), watch TV (duh, and there are Saturday morning toons on today!), upload photos (aren't you just dying to see my Christmas tree?), or in other ways entertain ourselves. It's scary to imagine that we might actually have to resort to actual conversations with one another today. (That could be interesting!) Needless to say, The Mister thought today would be the perfect opportunity to rewire a few things and get the TV in the loft working. Can you guess what happened?

If you guessed that the modem would go out and need to be replaced, the block would be defective, the signal would be too depleted, and we would be left with no internet, no phone, and only snowy TV stations to watch, then you get the prize! Because that is exactly what happened. If you continued on to guess that we would need to call Comcast and they wouldn't be able to get here for a day or two to fix it, you'd win the bonus prize! And Now I Remember why I hate it when he tinkers with the cable!

So, in lieu of an afternoon of finishing my holiday shopping online (in a quiet and peaceful manner), I was relegated to joining the masses at the mall. OK, so we'll go to the mall--big deal, right? Only I don't like the masses at the mall. I don't like getting out of my sweats and into real clothes to go to the mall. I don't like standing in line to pay for anything at the mall. I don't like cranky employees nor do I like cranky shoppers at the mall. Now I Remember, I don't like the mall!!!

I made it back home (and obviously I survived--but how?) and I'm taking great efforts to apprise you of our family's cable related misfortune. I am posting from a laptop, which has a severe inferiority complex in relation to my most favored Mac. I'm plugged into The Mister's "work" wireless modem, and I am unable to provide you with joy in the form of Christmas tree photos. And Now I Remember, I am never going to let The Mister tinker with the cable again.

Let's just hope he Remembers that!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Around the World

My mom (who happens to be awesome, just ask anybody) kindly bought tickets for the two of us and The Eldest and HRH to attend BYUs Christmas Around the World. Now, I am not a fan of that school which dominates Happy Valley, but we went to the show and enjoyed it anyway. The show itself was really good. I especially liked the Irish dancers, and the US Western Swing number. But the best part, in my opinion, was the BYU Male Choir. Those singing boys were awesome!

However, I was very distracted by the "helpful" Marriott Center Staff. Not two numbers into the show, some small child (who shouldn't have been there anyway) puked... On the floor... On the seats... On her parents... It smelled lovely--trust me! Anyway, it was bad enough that the mom and child had to escape from the center of the row, stumbling across the feet of everyone. They were followed seconds later by the dad and the crying baby (baby missed mom, obviously). In and out they went, at least a couple of times--and then it really got distracting.

First, helpful girl #1 arrived with her flashlight to survey the mess. She returned moments later with helpful guy #1 who helpfully sprinkled sawdust (or something) over the mess to soak it up. Yay--they're gone--now nobody is standing in front of me during the show (that my mom paid good money for us to see)... But no. Then arrived helpful girl #2 along with helpful guy #2 who swept up the sawdust/puke mess. Helpful girl #2 made me nervous because she acted like the smell was going to cause her to add to the mess! Oi! Again, I thought we were done, but no! Next, reappeared Flashlight Girl along with Mop Boy. Mop Boy may also have been helpful guy #2--there is some debate on that. Anyway, Mop Boy mopped (obviously) and let me say that he mopped standing up--in front of me--and he wasn't transparent... so I couldn't see anything... But yay--smell was gone, helpful people were gone, flashlight was gone, until... Lysol guy arrived purportedly to clean the seats.

This epic janitorial episode took FIVE very helpful people. However, I believe that I (one solitary person) could have cleaned up the mess faster/better/in a less distracting way/even if I had been wearing an elephant costume!

But the show was nice. Really. I thoroughly enjoyed it. HONESTLY!!! And really, the best part was spending the evening with mom and the kids. Family togetherness is good and I'm glad we had the opportunity to go to Christmas Around the World together. THANKS MOM!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Captain Trims the Tree

Do you think Captain Crunch cereal (with crunch berries, of course!) is appropriate Christmas tree ornamentation? Because if you do, that's one thing you and The Buddies have in common.

The tree has been waiting patiently in the corner for the moment when the Christmas Spirit would assault me and propel me into action. (It has yet to happen.) So the tree stands at attention, patient and stoic, lit, but bare, humiliated--I'm sure.

The Buddies took pity on me (and the tree) and decided they would dress the tree for the season. They emptied their kindergarten backpacks and bestowed upon the tree all their holiday art projects. I was OK with that--Santas, snowflakes, what's not to like? But when I took a closer look, I saw the cereal bits and berries nestled into the branches.

While I understand that crunch berries are the perfect, festive color, I really have to insist that they are not appropriate. At least not in this house. While the kitties are doing a fabulous job of keep our house a mouse-free zone, we certainly don't need to encourage a relapse.

Stephenie Meyer

So, I'm still taking flack about my post on the Twilight movie. After watching the movie (and being disappointed), I decided to reread the series. I didn't want to remember Twilight as the movie--I wanted to keep the story in my head in all it's awesome-ness! As I've mentioned before, I NEVER reread books. Even my most favorite stories. But because the movie was so off from how I visualized the story and characters, I decided to give it another go.

I am happy to report that I really enjoyed the books this time, too. I feel like the story was more complete and the characters were better developed and (at least to me) the characters now look right again. In fact, I've been surprised at how much I enjoyed the second book. Originally, New Moon was one of my least favorite books. This time, I really liked it. I guess it was because I was reading it from a different perspective this time--already knowing the outcome and where it was leading.

Anyway-- just in case you're wondering, I am still a Stephenie Meyer fan. But I doubt I'll get too excited if the other books are made into movies.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I've Got It! But Can I Get It?

I finally solved the question of what the big thing is this year. The bigger question is where can I get it? The Mister and I don't plan to go overboard this year, but there is something special that we would like to get for the family. Of course I can't spell it out because that would ruin the surprise! Sorry kids! No spoilers here!!!

We decided to have a smaller Christmas this year. Fewer things, more experiences and togetherness. The kids are referring to it as our Rip-Off Christmas, but I hope they will change their minds. We are going to several concerts, shows and productions. I'm excited about all the upcoming opportunities, I just hope we haven't gone overboard on the togetherness! It wouldn't be very helpful (for the family morale) if we hit January and are no longer loving one another! I suppose we had better schedule some down time, too.

Anyway--I'm waiting for a snowstorm to get me in the mood to decorate--is that a bad idea? Weather Man??? The tree is up, but aside from the lights, it's pretty bare. I guess I'll just have to keep wishing for fluffy snowflakes and steamy mugs of hot chocolate!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Say What?

The Buddies have their own language. I had heard that happens with multiples, and it's true. One mispronounces a word and then the other two pick it up as if it's correct. Now all three are convinced that it's the rest of us who can't speak correctly.


Under de Rest - what police do to bad guys.
B-seen - seen before, e.g. I b-seen that movie.
B-tending - making believe, pretending.
Ordamints - things to hang on Christmas trees.
Camel Ope - cantaloupe melon
Batatoes - potatoes and/or tomatoes, both are apparently yucky.
Silly Beans - soy beans, edamame.
Bizzert - anything sweet that is served after dinner.
Ripped Cream - a fluffy topping for bizzert.
Roop Deer - a beverage used for making ice cream floats.

I asked the boys if they can say "root beer," and then I said I was having root beer, did they want any? JJ says,

Mom, you can have root beer if you want, but we all want roop deer!

Interesting name changes:

Matt-You - the name of a boy in school.
Mike Handsome - AKA Mike Hansen (and yes, he is handsome).
Pretty Lady - Karen, who didn't want to be called Mrs. or Sister...
Peter - AKA Wendy, Zeke can't remember which character from Peter Pan she's named after!

And one of my personal favorite songs:

"Jesus wants me for a sun BEAN!" also sung, "Jesus wants me for a sun BEEP!"

Aren't kids the best?

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