Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Emma went to Disneyland

I could talk about the boring and repetitive topics of how I feel busy/stressed/blahblahblah.  There has been a lot of that lately.  But lucky for you, I'll skip that.  Adam and the occasional phone call pep talk from my parents are bearing the brunt of that tirade on your behalf.

I could talk about Elephant's Graveyard which is the play our kids are in that opened last night.  I will at some point.  Because wow.

Emma went to Disneyland though. I want to internet the pictures because it's where I store stuff.  (Yes, I just used internet as a verb.)

She said she went on Small World just for me because she knows I love it.  She texted me this picture and it cracks me up.  There's Emma looking dutifully excited and Vanessa looking awestruck and Rose looking like she wants me to drop dead.

I could be wrong, but I think Rose loved Small World.

She lives in our neighborhood.  She's one of my Young Women and in the future, if I ever want to torture her, I know just which song to sing. (You never know when that kind of knowledge will come in handy.)

I know everyone in this picture except for the two people in the back.  I asked Emma who they were.  She said they were just two random strangers.  She said, "We asked them to pose like that."

I'm pretty sure if some high school students asked me to pose on Splash Mountain, I would say, "Sorry, I'm not going on Splash Mountain.  I'm heading over to Small World."

This picture is my favorite:

Happy, pretty girls.  I love them and I love that they went to Disneyland.  I would say I would have loved to go with them, but I need more sleep than that.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Wrapping up

Our ambush business dinner was a success.  On the way into Cracker Barrel Mark said, "This is going to be about choir isn't it?"

"Why do you ask?" I asked in a convincingly (hey, I'm guessing) casual way.

"Everyone in the family has been talking to me about it.  Braeden lectured me for twenty minutes."

(When I later told Braeden about the conversation he said, "Oh, it was more than twenty minutes."

I told Mark it was a mistake to do things only because your older siblings did them, but it was also a mistake to not do things only because your older siblings did them.  I've always thought choir was a good fit for Mark.  He likes to sing and he's a pretty good singer.  He sang before he talked.  He wants to try his hand at drama and choir will only help him with that.  Besides, the choir program here is really amazing.

Over dinner, Mark agreed to take one semester of choir on a trial period. I texted Emma (who was still in California) and she was.... in favor of the idea:

I feel like I should explain about the picture of Adam I also texted Emma.
We'd been cleaning the garage and Braeden had invented a game where he threw a cardboard box in the air and then smacked the box with a hammer.  As you can imagine, it was very helpful for garage cleaning.

Later, at Home Depot, Adam picked up that whatever-it-is so I could send Braeden a picture of Adam's version of the game.  Adam sort of looks like a scary Viking or maybe Wreck-it-Ralph.  He sits at a desk all day when maybe his true calling is vanquishing foes.

The good news is, we didn't get thrown out of Home Depot.

Also on Saturday, I planned the rest of the school year.  I had a fleeting thought that I wouldn't have to plan for the rest of the year.

Then that settled over me and I realized, this is it.  I'm not going to do any more home school planning ever.

I try to savor and remember every bit of my time with Mark.  The other day we were reading about how you had to remove your shoes in Kublai Khan's presence.  Mark said, "Kublai Khan, the first TSA."  Then there was the time we were reading about Henry VIII.  Mark said, "Henry VIII was a piece of work.  Poor guy.  He just needed someone to love him...and a son."

What am I going to do without his constant presence in my life?  This will end the thirteenth year of me homeschooling. 

I doubt I could have done anything with my time I would value more.

Friday, I was reading to Mark while we were getting some work done on our van.  A woman was tidying up the waiting room at the service center.  She stopped me and said, "I used to read to my kids before they were grown.  There's nothing I miss more than reading to my kids."

I know I will always feel the same way.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friendly persuasion

For one thing, I have a track record.

When Braeden was a freshman in high school, he didn't want to audition for the play.  I convinced him to just try.  He relented and being in plays defined his high school years.

When Emma was going to be in seventh grade, she didn't want to take choir.  My little songbird, and she refused!?!  I argued and cajoled and harangued and finally gave up and enlisted Adam's help.  He said, "I think you should take choir."

She said, "OK."

(I'd like to think I'd laid the groundwork though.)

And now Emma is in Disneyland on the all important choir tour.  She loves choir.  It's her Thing.

So the moral to this story is that I'm smarter than my kids.  (I'm considering stitching it on a pillow so they can see it often.)

Mark needs to register for his classes next year.  Adam and I have ideas about what he should take for his electives and he has other ideas.

I've related the above stories to him.  He doesn't care.  We've discussed it several times and the boy has his heels dug in like a stereotypical stubborn redhead would have their heels dug in. 

I was telling Braeden about it and he agrees with me and he decided he would talk to Mark.  He got a gleam in his eye and I could tell was metaphorically flexing his rhetoric muscles.  If there's something Braeden loves, it is convincing people to do things.  I'm usually his best victim.

Yesterday afternoon, Braeden and I took a walk.  He told me he'd talked to Mark.

"Did it work?"

"No.  That kid is crazy."

this picture showed up on my ipad one day...no one doubts he's crazy
I said, "I can talk you into things and Dad can talk Emma into things but I don't know who can talk Mark into things."

"I'm not giving up!" Braeden said.

And neither are we.  Tonight, Braeden has social engagements so Adam and I are going to take Mark to dinner.  I told him it was a "business dinner" because we're going to talk about his schedule.  "Oooh," Mark said, kind of excitedly.  "Where are we going?"

"Cracker Barrel," I said.

Because we are pulling out the big guns here.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A random collection of randomness

1- I still know all the words to Kenny Rogers' song, The Gambler.  Don't let anyone ever tell you I don't have skills.

2- After a hiatus of three years, I am joining my sisters, hopefully all my sisters-in-law, my mom, one aunt and some cousins and going to Women's Conference at BYU.  When I think about it by chance during the day, I just grin.  I can't help it.

The program came in the mail.  I want to go to everything.  Twice.
3- It snowed several inches yesterday.

4- Emma didn't sleep one bit Tuesday night and then she spent all day yesterday at Disneyland.  She is ten thousand times stronger than I am. That would kill me.  Dead.  No more Thelma. 

5- Speaking of the name Thelma, I always, always have to spell it for people.  And it strikes me as a pretty phonetic word.  I've started saying my name is Emma when I need to give it at a restaurant or something.  It's easier because Thelma is such a stumbling block for people.  Yesterday at the store, looking at my account, a store clerk asked me how I pronounce my first name.  Take it slow...sound it out?  I'm not sure how many alternative pronunciations there could be.

6- Yesterday I talked to Tabor while he was driving.  He drove by my house twice in his travels and said he waved.  I didn't see it, but I'll believe him.  He was too pressed for time to stop.  That kid is definitely in the top three of my favorite brothers.  I love talking to him.  He is funny and empathetic and wise.  He always makes me feel better.  He said, "I wish I were there to give you a hug."

7- You know what, Tabor?  Me too.

8- I prepared some stuff for Young Women's and I felt like I was in an alternative universe where I do Pinterest-y type stuff.

9- I mean, look at me and my bad self.

10- But I didn't even get these ideas from Pinterest.  They are Thelma (how do you pronounce that?) originals.

11- Isn't that one pretty Emma?

12- I miss her.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Small victories

Yesterday we had a storm move in.  A big one.  Utah has all four seasons, sometimes all in the same day.  That meant wind.  I think someday we may end up in Oz.  (I may get some ruby slippers out of the deal.)

First the air filled with dust then it rained mud, then it snowed.

I'm not sure if this picture adequately shows how really dirty the window is.  It was not raining or snowing at the time of this picture.

In preparation for the storm, I gathered up all the cushions on the deck furniture and stowed them close to the door and under cover.  I slid all the furniture against the house.  A few nights before, the wind had been strong enough to blow the furniture all around.

At lunch I told Mark that I had battened down the hatches.

"What?" he said.

I explained it's an idiom.  I explained it referred to preparing a ship for a storm.  I gave him a few examples.

"So you did this to get ready for Girls' Camp?"



I started over.  I explained the idiom.  I pointed to the ominous sky.  I showed him the deck.

(Have you ever tried explaining idioms to a skeptical twelve year old?)

He finally got it though.

It's the small victories.

Both boys got haircuts.  They really needed it.  A few nights ago, Braeden and Mark were on the trampoline and the static electricity that resulted only emphasized the bush like monstrosity that was Braeden's hair.  He did what he does though and took a selfie and sent it to his friends.  One friend sent him back a picture of a Chia Pet.

So yeah, they needed haircuts.

And we got them done.

It's the small victories.

We sent Emma on her way to choir tour.  I felt a little apprehensive about sending my girl away.  So what that we were sending her to the Happiest Place on Earth.  I wouldn't be there to make sure she was happy and safe and all.  She's my baby girl!  Adam said, "Of all of our children she is the best equipped to handle something like this."

And of course that's true.  She is tough and responsible and sturdy.  She's got this.  I may have felt a teeny tiny bit like crying when I said good-bye.  But I didn't.

It's the small victories.

I made dinner!

It's been a while.  There's been a combination of busyness, laziness and very accessible takeout.

But last night, I made dinner.

It's the small victories.

Also, we haven't blown away.  Yet.

It's the small victories.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Weekend stuff

New stuff:

Emma was an extra for a movie that was filmed locally.  She had a great time and earned $10/hour.  She was supposed to wear nineties clothes.  She found some of Adam's old shirts in Braeden's closet.  (Braeden's closet is kind of like a costume room.)

Good stuff:

Braeden's school team placed 2nd in the state drama competition.  He performed a dramatic monologue.  He too had a great time (but did not earn $10/hour).

Adam and Mark and I sat on the deck Saturday night (under blankets because it was cold).  We talked and laughed and played a guessing game and looked out over the city lights.

Same old stuff:

Braeden and a contingency of his friends descended on the basement with boxes of pizza and 2 liters of soda.  (I can't decide if I like our basement or deck more.)

Hard work stuff:

Adam and the kids weeded our entire yard.  He took them to the Purple Turtle for milkshakes to reward their efforts.  I went too.  I hadn't helped weed, but the Purple Turtle! Milkshakes!

As for me, I kept my nose to the grindstone and crossed at least every pressing item off my to do list.  When does that happen?  Rarely.  I'm pretty sure I deserved the milkshake after all.

Nevada stuff:

Sunday was quite a day.  I had early meetings starting at 7:00 and I was in a skirt and heels until about 10:00 that night.  Phew.

I spoke in church (I cried).

I taught a lesson (I cried).

As soon as church was over we (Adam, Mark, Clarissa and I) went to Nevada.  It is such a wonderful thing to be so close!  We had a typical delicious and generous spread that only my mom can offer.

("Have more!" she urges.  Well, if you insist.)

We headed to Elko for a production of Savior of the World.  It's a musical drama about the birth and resurrection of Christ.  My own Marianne directed it.  Olivia was in it (sang a solo) as well as Desi, Liberty, Hyrum (sang a few solos), Lili, Ruben and Carolina.

(By the way, Marianne didn't do the casting.  All those kids got in on their own merit!)

It's been what they have all been living and breathing for awhile as they've been preparing.  It was phenomenal.  They were all just wonderful.

And I cried.

Then I looked over at Enoch who was on my left.  He was surreptitiously wiping a tear or two.  My dad was on my right, on the other side of Adam and he too was crying.  So I can't help this genetic defect and I blame my dad.

I hugged my beautiful and vastly talented sisters after the production and we all cried some more and I love those girls.  They are a blessing in my life.  They make my life happier and then when things aren't so happy, they carry part of the burden for me so it's not as heavy.  Sisters.  They live up to the hype.

Back at my parents' house we visited in their cozy living room.  I think just being in their house lowers my blood pressure.  My mom tried to push more brownies on me but I was just thirsty so ice water it was.  A pitcher.  My mom doesn't mess around when it comes to being a hostess.

The next morning it was French toast and fresh raspberries and whipped cream.  My sisters came over to visit for a little while then we headed to Wells and saw Enoch and Jennifer's new house.  It is lovely!  We discussed furniture placement and I told Enoch why my ideas were better than his.  (My birthright as his older sister and he loves it or tolerates it.  One of those two.)

Enoch and Adam went outside to contemplate the sprinkler system, Mark ran around like a crazy banshee with his cousins and Jennifer and I sat at the table in her sunny kitchen and chatted.  It's possible we both cried.

Just a little.

It happens when you talk about those near and dear things with people that are near and dear.

And Jennifer is.

We made it back to our mountain home by late Monday afternoon.  It was good to be reunited with Braeden and Emma and then I rehydrated.

Which you need after all that crying.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Stupid tired/lazy day

Yesterday I was tired.  I had a million things to do (laundry! I'm speaking in church on Sunday! And teaching a lesson!) but no motivation.

My get up and go had got up without me.

I had an eye appointment and started one load of laundry and had my kids do some dishes.  Then I gave up.

I put on yoga pants.

We went to the store and bought junky junk food.  We picked up Adri along the way.  It was easy to find Emma and Adri at the store because I just had to follow the laughter.  I don't just like Adri for her great laugh, but it would be reason enough.

We picked up Braeden's car from the shop which is back in tip top shape.

And thus ends the "productive" part of my day.

I don't really know what else we did.  Emma and Adri were supposed to be working on a school project.  Apparently the first step was hair and makeup:

I don't know what is so funny with these two, but apparently something always is.

We got The Boxtrolls from Redbox and watched it.  (We liked it.)

We didn't even eat most of the snacks we bought.  I guess we were too tired.


Oh today, I'm going to set the world on fire.

(Or at least do more laundry.)


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