Sunday, March 30, 2008

Great Stories From This Week

On Thursday I had Raelin, Ryker, Liam (my nephew who's about 16 months old) and Liliana (our friends' baby who is the same age as Liam). Angel (Liam's mom) had run to the store to get a few things for the dinner I was making for all of us. While she was gone, I was slaving away over a hot stove, and the kids decided to all gang up on me. Raelin and Ryker decided it would be a good time to do what they do best and fight! Raelin was getting pretty sassy and bossy, so I gave her a time-out to regroup. I went to talk to her about being bossy and how I like to be around my nice, kind, happy Raelin so much more than when she's bossy and rude. I lectured for a minute or two and she said, "But Mommy, I just want to learn it the hard way." Oh, boy, are we ever in trouble!!! Then I went back to the stove to rescue the dinner when Raelin said that Liam was getting into trouble. I went and looked and Liam had taken the canister out of the vacuum and dumped all the dirt and dog hair and whatever else was in there all over the floor and was playing with the filter. So I scooped up the big clumps and ran back to the stove. Then I turn around to find Liliana on the floor with a package of wipes (the pop out kind), pulling them all out! Brice's mimic later of what was going through her mind was, "Oh, look! Another one. And then another one. And another one. Wow, they just keep popping up!" She was surrounded by wipes and having a grand time! I went to pick them up but then I heard my kids in the garage and decided that was much more important to check on. Go ahead, Lily, just keep pulling! So I went out to the garage to find:

Raelin with a hand saw, sawing away!And Ryker with a 4 foot stick, hitting things! Maybe he thought he was hammering things and, lacking a hammer, the stick was the next best thing (kinda fuzzy picture, but you get the idea).
So, I got all the kids back into the house and away from the dangers of our garage and attempted to rescue dinner yet again. Minutes later, I noticed the back door open and looked out to find Ryker out there with the filter from the vacuum (I hadn't bothered putting it back together--the damage was already done), banging it on the porch to get all the dust out. He's seen Daddy do that apparently. In the meantime, however, the babies were both escaping! I herded everyone back inside again and fortunately, Angel returned before any other catastrophes came to pass. Amazingly, dinner was still fabulous--we had Caribbean Black Beans with Mango Salsa over rice. Don't you wish you were here! For once in my life, I was able to just laugh at all the mayhem going on around me even in the moment (as you can see, I even took pictures of it all!). That was a first!

Here's a funny Ryker anecdote: This morning we were getting ready for church when Ryker came to the bottom of the stairs and called, "Brice, Brice, Brice!" Brice came to the top of the stairs and said, "Ryker, you should call me Daddy." Ryker said, "OK" and started to walk away. Then he stopped and said sheepishly, but matter-of-factly, "Mommy calls you Brice," and stuck his thumb in his mouth and swirled his hair as he wandered off.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Crazy week!

Holy cow! Was this ever a crazy week! You have never had a week like this one! Okay, maybe you have, but it doesn't happen often because if people had frequent weeks like this one was, we'd all keel over and die!

The mayhem really all started last week. On Wednesday, Brice and I played racquetball with my dad. He slaughtered us, as you might expect but it was loads of fun. But the next day, I was the sorest I've ever been in my life! Well, I think I remember being more sore one other time in my life, but still... I was so sore that when I tried to drive myself home the next day, I could only use my 1st, 3rd, and 5th gears--I couldn't pull the stick shift down into the other gears! Pitiful isn't it! Good thing I didn't have to back out of my parking spot...

So, by Friday, I was still super sore and I was really starting to feel the pressure because Brice's parents were coming the next day and I really wanted to have a clean house for them to visit instead of one cluttered with kid shoes and toys and everyone's clothes and a sink full of dishes. The thing is, I really couldn't do anything! I was too sore. So I was stressed and miserable and then I loaded up the kids to go to my 3:00 class only to discover that my stinkin' car wouldn't start. Grrr. So I spent an hour trying to start it, I missed my class, and Brice got a ride home. Then he took me out to cheer me up. Thank you, William and Angel for watching the kids.

So Brice's parents came the next day to a house that wasn't quite what I would have hoped, but hey, that's life. We had a great weekend with them and then Monday came and the work began. In one week we: dug 27 holes by hand around our yard that had to be at least 2 feet deep through hard clay, poured concrete in them, and set fence posts in them (okay, we didn't really dig them by hand--we rented an auger. I had ya going there for a minute though, didn't I!); we dug and lined and shoveled rock into a 2 foot wide strip along each side of our driveway to widen it; we made a planter out front with a rock walking path along it from the driveway to the door; and finally, we put in a sink, toilet, and mirror in the storage room to make it a bathroom. All that from Monday to Friday! On top of that, Brice and I had school and homework and tests! If it wasn't for Brice's mom helping so much with the kids and the house, I don't think it would have been possible. She really went above and beyond the call of duty because she also helped outside and kept us all fed too! She's amazing!I LOVE this planter and walkway (above)! I think it turned out so well. And I can't wait to see flowers in it.
Ryker, true to form, is in the slop from cleaning out the cement mixer. He might have made a nice statue, but we got him out before the cement set...

It was really great to work hard together as a family and see so much progress. What a rewarding week. But oh, so exhausting! Ryker was a great little helper. He was so willing to do whatever he could to help, and was outside with us the whole time. Raelin was very good and kept herself entertained and out of trouble. She is a magnificent artist and created several masterpieces that week. She also got really good at writing her name. She can do it from memory now!

Today is Easter and we have another fabulous tradition: My dad hides eggs for the kids and we all follow them around and take pictures like parents and grandparents are supposed to. But then the real fun begins. My dad also hides eggs for the adults! And he hides them REALLY well! It usually takes us about two hours to find our eggs. We each have ten, and they have our initials on them, so you can't just take the first ten you find and be done. You have to find YOUR ten. Last year, we were down to the last two or three eggs and William (Brice's brother--this is an extended-family-and-friends activity) was getting pretty irritated. He'd had nine of his eggs for the longest time and just couldn't find that last one. So my dad started giving us hints. At some point Angel (William's sweet, gentle, innocent wife) found and egg, looked at it, and said, "oh, not mine!" and THREW it as high up the pine tree as she could. And it stuck. Of course, it was William's! He was mad but laughing at the same time and ended up climbing way up in the tree to get his last egg (I thought I had a picture of William way up in the tree, but I can't find it at the moment. Darn). So this year, William found the first egg (it happened to be mine) and he threw it on the roof! Oh, we were off to a good start!

So the hunt began and we were having a great time. I kept hearing William across the yard bragging about his eight eggs he'd already found, so when I came across one of his just lying on the grass out in plain sight I thought, "That's way too easy," so I picked it up and put it in a hiding place that was WAY better. I hid it in an egg-sized crack by a door and then I covered the opening with grass so you couldn't even tell there was an opening there! Heeheehee! He was the last one to find all his eggs. Again. Oh, good times! We love Easter egg hunts!This picture's kinda fuzzy, but the enthusiasm is there!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Magic Bean Sprout

Once upon a time, there was a little boy who found some magic beans. He didn't have to trade his cow for them or anything; he just happened upon them one early-spring day. Sadly, as the boy was playing with them in his parents' bathroom, they fell down the sink. His daddy was so angry that he made the little boy throw all the rest of his precious magic beans in the trash can. The poor little boy was so sad! But the daddy's sink wasn't working right and the daddy tried to plunge it but it didn't work. So the boy lost his privilege to have any more magic beans. A few days later the sink was still not draining efficiently so the boy's mommy told the daddy that they needed to fix the sink--it was, after all, their beautiful new house. So the daddy took apart the plumbing under the sink and the drain stop (lots of beans were stuck all around it) and poured out the water into the toilet and then put the beans in the trash. But then the mommy noticed the most amazing thing! The beans had started to sprout! In a few more days, the mommy and daddy would have had magic bean sprouts growing out of their bathroom sink drain!

Maybe the boy can have some more magic beans later in the spring if he promises to plant them in the GARDEN this time...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Santa's gift and our future cheerleader!

Here are some pictures from a while ago; I just got these pictures from Angel's camera the other day. Thanks Angel!
We went to a Christmas party this last Christmas and Santa was there. For weeks before the party Raelin kept saying she wanted to give Santa a present. The day before the party, I asked her what she wanted to give him and she went and found her beloved monkey that she had dressed in a dolly dress. I explained to her that if she gave it to Santa, it wouldn't be hers anymore and she wouldn't get to play with it anymore and was she okay with that. She said yes so I said okay. She wrapped it herself and "wrote" him a note and gave it to him at the Christmas party. It warmed my heart to see how kind and generous she was. Santa probably didn't really get what she was giving him and how much it came from her heart, but it just made me proud to see what a thoughtful girl she is. She was so happy and excited to watch Santa open her gift.
You can't quite tell from this picture but Raelin has a huge smile on her face in this one and Santa is holding her monkey.

And here is our little cheerleader-man. Raelin got some pom-pom's for Christmas and Ryker started playing with them one day. Angel started snapping pictures of his "routine."

Ready, GO!
Go team, go!

Ta-Da!Isn't that the best picture!

Shopping trip from H-E-double-hockey-sticks, and other random stories

This picture is from Christmas time when we were in California. This is Ryker and his cousins (Jordan on the right and Elias on the left) . Good looking kids, don't you think?
Also from our California trip, Raelin and her cousin Leah got dressed in some leotards and tu-tu's (is that what they're called?) and danced like crazy! Oh, so entertaining! There is no rhythm in this family! Darn cute though!

Daddy and Raelin napping.
Daddy got up for dinner, but Raelin slept right through! After a while, Brice decided to see what would happen if he woke her up with a bowl of cheesecake! That was the happiest she's ever been upon first waking up!
This is Raelin's roller coaster. She rocks back and forth in it and goes crazy!
Ryker is rowing his boat gently down the stream. I guess he must have been planning on falling in and he didn't want to get his clothes wet.
So to go along with this picture of a beautiful, innocent girl, I'll tell you the nightmare shopping trip story. I went to Wal-Mart with my two kids and my friend's one-year-old, Liliana. Lily was GREAT! she sat in the cart and ate crackers the whole time and was a delight! MY KIDS on the other hand were MONSTERS!!!! I'm trying really hard not to be such an uptight parent these days so I let them walk along and gave them a bit of a loose leash. They started off meandering through the isles with me, but, they started to meander faster and faster and faster. At some point I realized that my kids were RUNNING all over the place with complete disregard for others or my embarrassment. Try as I might, they would not slow down. Oranges and ice cream cones were suddenly appearing in my cart! Once, I turned around to find Ryker standing there holding an empty egg carton by only the lid! AHHHH! Eggs everywhere! I just couldn't take it anymore when they were playing tag around the produce stands yelling at the top of their lungs! So I grabbed them each by the arm, trying desperately to control my temper (in hindsight, I should have just left, but we needed food and I was almost done!), and I marched them over to the cart and said, "Hold this and DON'T let go!" So the kids started riding on the rungs in peace for, oh, about, 25 seconds, until one inched their way along the rungs to the other kids' side and then... "Ryker, this is MY side! I want to be in the front!" "No I want to be in the front!" "Get off!" together with the pushing and pulling and NOISE! An old guy walked by and said, "Are those all yours?" I said, "No, the good one's not mine, but the one's running rampant around the store are!" So eventually we got to the check out line and when it was my turn, Ryker disappeared. I didn't even care at that point; I'd find him when I was done and just leave already! So after I checked out, I went around the corner and found him sitting on the floor eating CADBURY EGGS! GGRRRR! So I had to pay for those and then we FINALLY left. But, oh, no, the story's not over yet! I got the kids and the groceries loaded in the car only to discover that the car WOULDN'T START! Our car has a chronic electrical problem, so I tried all the stuff that usually works to fix it, but to no avail. Eventually, I found myself standing on my engine jumping up and down on it and kicking things (Brice has taught me well). At that point, I could only appeal to God, so I asked Ryker to say a prayer because I was too frustrated and angry and he says very thoughtful prayers. When I said "amen," Raelin could tell I was crying and she said, "Mommy, why are you sad?" I said, "I'm SO frustrated! You guys were HORRIBLE in the store and it makes me so angry and frustrated and embarrassed! And now the car won't start and I'm frustrated about that too!" She said, in a squeaky little sad mouse voice, as though she were trying to muster up some tears as well, "Ryker, maybe you should say another little prayer." How do they redeem themselves so easily!?! So I called Liliana's mom, who was at my house by now, and asked her to come get us. When we got home, it was nap time--for me. Oh, what a day!

This is the "who's toughest" game that Brice thought up. Take the kids out and stand in the snow barefoot and see who lasts longest. Who do you think won? It was RAELIN! She out-lasted Brice! What a tough girl! She manifested her toughness again yesterday when she was standing on the front bumper of a car to look at the engine, when her feet slipped and she smacked her face on the hood latch! Oh, it looked SO bad! Her mouth was bleeding like crazy! As I started to clean her up, I could see that she had a gash on the inside AND the outside of her lip and I thought her teeth had gone all the way through and that we'd be headed to the emergency room, but by the time I cleaned up all the blood, it had stopped bleeding and it looks like her teeth split her lip on the inside and the latch cut it on the outside. She was SO tough though!

Monday, March 3, 2008


So, I've been tagged! I'll actually do this one because I think I seem to have a few minutes. Weird!

The rules? Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player chooses 4 people, posts their names, then goes to their blog and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they are tagged.
MMM...who to choose??

1) Where I was 10 years ago: At Rim High School trying to not feel like a complete and utter loser and trying to recreate a name for myself with track, cross country, and soccer. And REALLY missing life in Rancho Cucamonga. It was not a good year (or years +/-3 for that matter).

2) 5 things on my "to do list" today: Do my reading for Family Life 100, finish my project for MFHD 160, take two Statistic quizzes, do the dishes, keep the kids from killing each other or their cousin.

3) Things I would do if I became a billionaire: Adopt my little black baby that's waiting in South America or Africa for us to be financially eligible, buy the perfect ranch and some horses, buy a second (bigger) car so we can fit baby # 3 in with us whenever he/she comes along, save and invest, go to Peru and start a business there, visit Jesse in Hawaii, and go to school forever. And maybe a few new clothes that actually FIT would be nice, but I hate shopping, so maybe not.

4) 3 Of my Bad Habits: Speaking before I think, thinking I know something about parenting (that ALWAYS backfires; I don't recommend it), and needing to be right--okay, pride in general.

5) Places I've lived: Provo (UT), Santa Cruz, Canoga Park, West Hills, Rancho Cucamonga, Lake Arrowhead, Running Springs, (all CA) and Springville (UT).

6) Jobs I've had: Mr. M's Pizza House, Utah State University Catering, Comfort Inn, Carl's Jr., Lake Arrowhead Children's Museum, Lake Arrowhead Building Company, Lake Arrowhead Physical Therapy, Shellie Stehmeier, and the Mom job.

7)Something Most People Don't Know About Me: Like BreAn (who tagged me), this was a hard one because I'm pretty open. Hmmm. Oh, here's a good one! When I was in high school (I was probably about 16)I beat my dad in a half-mile race! If you know anything about my dad, you'll know that that is a REALLY BIG deal! My dad is the most exceptional athlete I have ever met (challenge him to whatever sport you're best at and he will kick your butt without breaking a sweat. Okay, now he might break a little bit of a sweat--he is in his 50's, but in his prime you didn't stand a chance!), but I was in great shape from cross country! We raced from our first dock in Lake Arrowhead to our Shelter Cove house and I lagged behind at a slightly slower pace than my dad the whole way until I could see the house and then I started running faster and faster until I passed him about 100 yards from our house (he said, "You TURKEY!). That was probably my greatest victory ever and one of my few non-loser moments in high school!

Okay, that's all folks! Now I'm supposed to tag 4 other people. I think I only know about 4 other people with blogs. Actually 5, so I'll just tag you all! Laura, Mollie, Karly, Jordan, and Ange. But like BreAn said, no pressure if you don't have time or don't want to.