Friday, November 28, 2008

The Thankful Turkey Bag

My sister-in-law Rhonda recently mentioned a Thanksgiving tradition they had of decorating a bag like a turkey and filling it with the things they were thankful for to then be read on Thanksgiving. I thought this sounded like a great idea, so I stole the tradition for us.

So, for family night the Monday before Thanksgiving, Mike did a little Thanksgiving lesson, and then the kids decorated the turkey bag. I'd envisioned a cute little lunch bag looking fully like a turkey, but we only had a very large bag, and here was the end result.

I am glad my kids found so much to be grateful for, but I was a little shocked by the amount of time they spent cutting up little papers and writing thing after thing after thing. In fact, when Mike first opened the bag he suggested, "We'll read a few every day . . . FOREVER." Our kids weren't buying that though. They weren't going to go to bed til we'd read every last little thankful paper!
A few high-lites were:
-- Goldie's squeals of happiness each time Mike read one of her papers (they'd put their names on the back because they wanted us to know who had written what).

-- Mike reading that Abe was thankful for hoses. Abe insisting he hadn't thought of hoses. Me suggesting, "Noses?" "Horses?" before Abe realized he'd left the "u" out of "houses."

-- Mike reading that Abe was thankful for "Spontee." And Abe glaring at how poorly Mike had read his lettering of "Squanto."

-- Seeing that each of their names had ended up in the bag as something someone else was thankful for. (And someone, apparently, thankful for their own self).
-- Mike reading that Abe was thankful for TVs and then turning to Abe and saying, "You're grounded."

-- And (half way though the million and one papers) Mike saying, "Have you guys ever heard of a game called 'speed thanks'?" -- They laughed alright, but they were not about to let him speed his way through one of their special papers.

There were a lot of the traditional good things they thought of to be thankful for, "Family," "Jesus," "The Prophet," "etc." and a surprising number of papers mentioned, "bowls" or "cups." Here are a few others I liked.

Some of Abe's:

Some of Daisy's: (Mars? Sweet).
Some of Goldie's (Often she would go whisper to some grown up what to write, but the three on the left are my favorites because I don't know that she is truly that grateful for "Hat," "Dog" or "Book" but she figured out how to spell them, so in they went -- along with quite a few that Mike was wholly unable to decipher from her cute self):
And, you can easily tell that they even got my mom involved as evidenced by this paper found in the bag!

Anyway, I thought I'd share because it is always fun to get ideas for new little traditions from others, and I thought some of you might like this idea . . . you can even make your turkey way cooler . . . if that is even possible.
Oh, and P.S. 4 mile Turkey Trot + Tons of Thanksgiving dinner and pie = No Labor.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Well, I don't even have a title today.

Alright, I feel very super unbloggy lately. I am only posting because I am tired of that labor post being there when there is no labor going on. Actually, I think I have been in labor for two weeks now. Really super boring slow labor that just makes me contract miserably all the time with out ever turning into REAL labor. That is new for me. Usually I feel nothing til the end. But wait, am I typing about labor again when I just said the ONLY reason I am posting at all is because I am tired of my top post being about labor?? Sheesh.

Well, you know what I like? I like Mike. Yes, I like that he came home from doing some type of DI service on Saturday bearing (baring?) roses and eclairs for me for no reason (and I don't think they were simply a DI donation he grabbed a hold of . . .) BUT, that is the type of thing I should not be typing because there is no reason to make everyone cry their eyes out that their husband did NOT return home with flowers and eclairs this week. (Although, it is Thanksgiving time and we all need to be able to tell our little things we are thankful for, so. . . .) Still, here is something I like that should cause no "Hey no fair!" feelings. It will just make you all like Mike too. He recently, totally out of the blue, said to our children, "So, kids, are you getting excited for Thanksgiving when the Grand Turkey and his Cranberry Helpers will be coming to visit?" Our kids just happily laughed and shook their heads, but I wish they would come. Where did he come up with The Grand Turkey and his Cranberry Helpers? Every time I think of the Grand Turkey and his Cranberry Helpers I get so happy. Some how, some way, I must work them into our holiday traditions.

Also, I like Goldie. She loves to help. Really. Today, after she washed all the dishes (and she did a darn fine job), I told her that she would take such good care of her own home some day. I forgot for a minute the rule of never mentioning growing older to Goldie. She whipped around and tensely reminded me, "I don't want to grow up and have my own house. I want to stay me -- your little helper." Oh, she is my little helper.

There, no more labor in the top post . . . well, except for that opening paragraph, but what's to be done? It's far too late for me to consider deleting now. I'm probably in labor and need to be rushing to the hospital.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL OF YOU!!! I hope the Grand Turkey and his Cranberry Helpers pay you all a visit and do whatever it is they do . . . I'll have to ask Mike for more details. But really, I just don't get tired of saying "The Grand Turkey and his Cranberry Helpers" . . . and I hope none of you got tired of reading it. If so, don't mention it. I will think you are a Thanksgiving scrooge. Ohhh, I hope the Grand Turkey isn't THEE turkey . . . as in the turkey you eat and his little cranberry side dish. That would ruin everything!! No no, the Grand Turkey is a big happy turkey and his helpers are bouncing, happy, round little cranberry folk; and once, when I was in Las Vegas, I went to the Ocean Spray factory . . . or the Cranberry factory? Something. Anyway, there was a little dance put on by the Cran Cran girl, so I know first hand just how cheery cranberry helpers can be . . . but that is neither here nor there. (P.S. Maybe I am the scrooge . . . I don't actually like cranberry sauce. BUT, I stand firmly by my liking for cranberry helpers).

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thoughts on Labor

(Pregnant bellies of niece Kristen, me, and niece Ashley at Ashley's recent shower)
Oh labor labor, where are you? I am now past the 37 week mark -- which means, for those of you who don't know, that I am now considered "term." I won't reach my due date til 40 weeks, but once you hit 37 no one gets worried about you going into labor. "Go ahead," they say, "See if we care." Yes, that is what the doctors say. They won't try and stop you.
Of course, I won't be going into labor. Not yet anyway. My kids don't believe in early arrivals. Well, that isn't totally true; Abe believed in it by a few measly days, but the rest have all preferred the fashionably late entrance into the world.
I shouldn't be complaining because I am not one bit ready for this baby. I need every last minute of letting Penny be the baby; no Christmas shopping is done; we haven't even gotten the car seat, cradle or any baby clothes from our storage unit; I have a long list of organizing and cleaning I want to get done; AND, I have talked my sister Megan into running the Thanksgiving day "Turkey Trot" with me -- which, coupled with a Thanksgiving feast, will put me in labor -- and why ruin that fun? (Side note: no amount of running or other craziness has ever put me in labor -- people will tell me how they took a vigorous walk to go into labor and I am like, "HUH?" My body, or perhaps it's my baby, just won't be tricked).
So, as I said, I shouldn't complain, but once one has reached that official "go ahead and have your baby if you want" stage, it is really really hard not to start thinking about it and getting excited and, if nothing else, thinking, "Why can't I be fun and surprised by suddenly going into labor now -- when I least expect it?"
If nothing else, it certainly has me reminiscing about my past labor experiences -- and being a little nervous -- I've had my last two with-in about an hour or two of getting to the hospital, which is great, but I don't want that hour to shrink to no hours and a baby on the boulevard! Of course, that would make a good story. My friend gave birth this last week and got to the hospital with no time for an epidural, so that has made me more nervous!
Abe's labor was quite perfect. I woke up around 2:00 am with closely spaced contractions. By 4:00 am we were off to the hospital -- in pain, but certain there was no way I could really be in labor! I was dilated to a 5 when we got there though; so I was quickly admitted, numbed up, and a few hours later (much of that time being spent pushing -- much to my dismay) Abe arrived with the widest screaming mouth Mike and I had ever seen.
Daisy's labor . . . I do adore that girl, but . . . to this day remains one of the worst experiences of my life (except of course for the end -- when I had the little one in my arms). Unlike with Abe, I had contractions all night -- never quite close enough to go to the hospital, but much too close to relax or sleep. When we finally did go, I was dilated to a 5, but once I reached a 6, my body decided it was done with laboring and everything pretty much stopped. It would have been no big deal normally, they would have given me a nice boost with pitocin and we would have been on our way. But, I had decided to go natural that time and I was determined that if I was going to go natural I wasn't going to have synthetically induced contractions. (I wanted to be certain I was dealing with the pain my body was forcing me to deal with and nothing else). I wanted my doctor to break my water to see if that would get things going again. He wouldn't (a huge frustration to me then and still today when I think about it). I wanted to go home. They wouldn't let me because I was so far dilated. Finally, by the end of the day, I'd given up. In tears I told them to just give me the pitocin, but I wanted an epidural if I was going that route. Contractions immediately began coming one on another. As I tried to sit for the epidural I was in the most horrible pain I could have imagined. Unbeknownst to me, this was because I had already dilated to a ten and was trying to hold still for an epidural when Daisy was ready to come out. Before it had any effect, I was pushing and pretty much felt like I was sinking into a deep black pit that no one else was aware of and that I coulnd't possibly be saved from. It really was terrifying. At the end, I was shaking so awfully I could barely hold Daisy. I later read some little sanskrit proverb that said something like, "In giving life, death holds your hand." It made me shudder because it rung so totally true to me.
After that, you'd think I'd give up on natural labor, but I was so disappointed in my last experience that I was determined to have one more go at it. And truly, as far as a natural labor goes, it was perfect. I had a great nights sleep, started contractions in the morning. Hung out with the kids and Mike -- doing random little things to keep me occupied. Got to the hospital at about 3:00 pm dilated to a 5 as usual. Goldie came an hour later -- surprising us all -- particularly the nurses who had to deliver her since my doctor hadn't yet arrived. A bunch of nurses had come rushing in and it seemed to get everyone all excited to have the unexpected quickness. They all kept complimenting me on how well I did, and I think all I said, over and over -- about 50 times was, "I'm so glad that's over! I'm so glad that went so fast! I'm so glad that's over! I'm so glad that went so fast!" I'm probably more of a wimp than some, but truly I think the last bit of labor and delivery can only be described as utterly terrifying. I'm glad I had the experience, and it does give you almost something spiritual to think about, but I'd proved whatever I'd wanted to myself, so . . .
With Penny, I was back to the joy of an epidural. I went into labor around 2:00 am, was at the hospital a few hours later ready for that pain relief. I think I was even less patient than I might have been otherwise because I knew and was scared of how much worse it could get (when the usual early dilation stages are already miserable pain). They took waaay too long getting me checked in for some reason, but once I was up to my room the anesthesiologist was there quickly. He was about the most unfriendly soul I've ever come across. He pretty much ignored any comment I made or question I asked. I think he said about two words of instruction and nothing else. But, bless his little heart, I'd have Mr. grumpy and taciturn again and again and would say nothing against him as he put the epidural in quick as a wink with out giving me a moment's pain. He was an epidural expert. And I was glad he was so quick because a short 20 mins. later I was at an 8 and about 30 mins. after that Penny was born. My only regret is that I didn't push that darn little pump thing enough, so it was a little uncomfortable again at the end -- not bad mind you, but I was ready for dreamy oblivion!
So, those thoughts keep going through my head as I think and wait for this next experience. Of course, they are much more sentimental, detailed and significant to me than portrayed here, and I wish I had my pictures available so I could have a little picture of each tiny newborn next to their tiny story!
P.S. I don't trust this blogger spell check. It just flagged "unbeknownst" and gave me "Unbeknown St." as the only possible option. That would be a cool place to live.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Turkeys Turkeys Everywhere

I've been sad that all my Christmas decorations are packed away, but judging from how my kids have plastered the downstairs cupboards, doors and fridge for Thanksgiving, I imagine Christmas will be taken care of. (P.S. If you look closely you'll notice two especially interesting ones done by Abe. One with a city living in a turkey and one with turkeys guarding a castle).


I love you, I love you, I love you Saturday. Really, one can hardly know how much I love Saturday's at present. It might be the most I have ever loved them. During my school days Saturday was always a great break, but usually homework would be hanging over me. When I graduated college and had my first full time job (which Abe told me the other day sounded "kind of boring") Saturdays were a luxury, but Mike worked all day Saturdays so I missed him. (Side note -- my job was boring, but I thought for sure Abe would think it was "cool" when I told him how I worked in a lab testing plant and soil samples. Darn him). The past few years it has been nice to have a Saturday because of Mike's being home, but other than that, the days haven't been drastically different from my normal days of being a mother. But now, oh now, how I love love love them. Here is why: H-O-M-E S-C-H-O-O-L. Friday night I don't have to review any lessons for the next day, then Saturday morning I have no real responsibility. I don't have to make sure we are up and going -- breakfast done, jammies off, hair brushed and doing school. I feel totally guilt free to let them watch cartoons while I lounge lazily on my mom's couch. Mike is home. The kids are so happy I am not trying to teach them anything (and trust me, I'm not). I don't have to prepare lessons that night. We are around family which is pleasant and seems to make it easier to find things to do that don't cost money. It is the best day ever. Yes, I know, I know, I have always loved and still love Sundays. They have probably most consistently been my favorite day, but this perfectly perfect Saturday business is novel at present.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Some of my thoughts

When I went off to spend a semester in Jerusalem long ago, I was a bit nervous. Never mind that I was already a junior in college. I had never lived away from home and my fun sisters, and I was quite a wimpy little homebody. Still, despite my homesickness, I was so so happy there -- that kind of happy that is just extremely full of peace. One day as I randomly opened my scriptures my eyes fell on these verses in Doctrine and Covenants 111 : 7-10 part of which reads: ". . . And the place where it is my will that you should tarry, for the main, shall be signalized unto you by the peace and power of my Spirit, that shall flow unto you. . . . inquire diligently concerning the more ancient inhabitants and founders of this city; For there are more treasures than one for you in this city."

Needless to say, that was one of those times when the scriptures really spoke directly to me, and I felt validation that I was exactly where I needed to be.

Lately the first part of those verses I just wrote keeps coming to my mind, "And the place where it is my will that you should tarry, for the main, shall be signalized unto you by the peace and power of my Spirit, that shall flow unto you." I so much want to feel that about finding a neighborhood and a house.

We have so many questions and things to consider -- particularly since we don't know if we will be moving into our "forever" location or another temporary one. I know that having the Holy Ghost entitles us to divine guidance and I remember hearing Packer or someone once say how severely we under use that gift. It's just sometimes it is so clear (particularly after the fact) that the Spirit has guided you. Other times, like now, there are so many other factors influencing my feelings -- excitement over certain home features, questions over pricing, thoughts over distance from family, from Mike's work, etc. -- that my mind seems too jumbled full of things to pick out what influences are from the Spirit and which are just my own crazy desires. I guess my desires need somehow match up with what the Lord's are (which is fine . . . if I knew what they were). We almost offered on a house the other day (it is a long story, but we only had a one day window to make the offer). It was probably the best deal and closest to what we've been looking for (in our price range) that we have seen, but we just couldn't feel certain about it . . . and now we keep rethinking it and wondering if we made a poor decision by not making the offer.

At the same time, I know we can't just expect all our decisions to be made for us. I think very often the Lord expects us to use our reasoning (coupled with prayer of course) to make a wise decision before that decision is confirmed. You know, the old taking a step or two into the darkness before that light shines to illuminate the way again. (So, it would be nice to feel a confirming anwer that we made the right choice the other day! Maybe we really didn't). I just really keep thinking of that scripture. I want to find a home, and I want to feel that peace that it is a good and right place for us to be. I feel so unsure of things right now though that it makes me think I'll never earn that feeling or worry that I'm not being spiritual enough to receive the guidance we could so very much use!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Some Super Great Footage

If this video is really here, which I still don't truly believe, then it may be some of the worst video footage anyone has ever put on their blog -- showcasing, well, pretty much nothing.

Here is the thing though, I have had some very cute footage I've wanted to post in the last month or two. I really wanted to put some I'd taken one day of Penny. She was just lieing on the floor eating an apple telling me cute tiny things. I also wanted to post some footage I captured of Abe reading to all of the girls because my kids aren't usually so super sweet and kind as they appeared at that moment. Unfortunately, I have had no luck posting any of this footage. I think maybe the higher quality of my new camera makes it too big to upload? I don't know. Do others out there know? Do I have to shrink it somehow with some program before I try to load it on my blog?

Anyway, after all that no luck, I messed around with my camera and saw that perhaps I could put it on a lower quality setting before filming. I wasn't even sure if I was even really doing that or not, but after trying, each of my kids insisted on filming for a minute. I have no recollection of trying to load Goldie's video specifically. I loaded them all on the computer and then, just to see if it would work, I tried to upload one to my blog, but after a long while, some error sign popped up and I turned the computer off.

Then, lo and behold, I am looking in my posts today when I notice an untitled draft. I open it and here is this clip!! I swear it never got on and wasn't there yesterday. Anyway, who knows if that means it will work in the future or not, but I simply can't delete this one success. So, enjoy some wobbly Goldie filming (as well as some cool noises she makes as she films) if you feel so inclined.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Rose By Any Other Name . . .

Remember how we don't have a name for our baby and how I don't even like looking at name lists because they are too overwhelming? Well, good news, I have at least found a web site that I enjoy looking at. My friend Jana emailed me a list of "Hipster Names" because, well, my kids names are clearly so hip . . . or hippy . . . or, shall we say "hipster." Anyway, I have been perusing the site simply because it has all sorts of short similarly fun categories like -- "Names kids love to have" (Star, and Daisy!), "Colonial names" (those colonials sure liked to use virtues for names -- Patience, Charity, Chastity, etc. -- Mike pointed out that a name like Chastity is dangerous because once it is gone, the name is simply a sore reminder), "Bad girl names" (but really, can Fifi even help it? Surely she doesn't know any better), "Names headed for Harvard" (Megs, you'll be happy to know Reed was on the list), "Boy names dads like more than moms" (Ace), etc. etc.

I was surprised how often Daisy and Pearl (Penny's middle name) showed up on the lists. Today was our kid's primary program at church. As Mike looked at Goldie with her two blonde braids he suggested that perhaps our next child ought to be named Helga -- unfortunatley I saw Helga on the site today. It was listed (along with Bertha) on the list "Names no girl may be cool enough for."

Anyway, here is the site if any of you feel like having a baby and naming it

P.S. Only 26 days til my due date. Go ahead and cast your little vote on my poll off to the side (baby dhost is a long story -- those of you who follow my sister Shan's blog will know -- for the rest of you, it stemmed from an Enquirer headline "Woman Gives Birth to Baby Ghost" and my nephew's word for ghost "dhost").

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Good Morning from Goldie

At about 7:30 this morning I was sitting at the kitchen table turning on the laptop to access our homeschool lessons for the day. Abe and Daisy were on our bed (very close by as my parent's have a studio apartment in their basement -- so kitchen, living room and bedroom are all as one). They were giggling and occasionally screaming while they ate the rest of Daisy's Halloween candy and occasionally attacked one another (whether or not a good mother would be letting her kids eat Halloween candy first thing in the morning is a totally different topic -- while some diligently divvy it out, etc. I prefer to just let them recklessly get the entire thing over with).

Suddenly, and with out warning, the door of the bedroom connected to our little apartment flew open. There stood Goldie -- blankies and stuffed animals all about her, hair disheveled to the point of shocking, mouth in a full and forced angry frown, scowling eyes blazing upon none other than Abe and Daisy.

After a moment of her saying not a word but continuing her fearful fiery glare upon them, Abe paused whatever he and Daisy were up to and said (slightly in awe, slightly in laughter), "Dais, look at Goldie!"

"Good morning sweetheart." I said, "Why are you looking so grumpy?"

"Because," she announced fiercely, "I don't like them messing up your bed!"

"Daisy!" Abe thrilled, "She's mad 'cause she thinks we're messing up her bed!"

"No Abe," I corrected, "She doesn't like that you guys are messing up my bed." In truth, my bed had not yet been made for the day, but I suppose they weren't helping it any. I turned again to Goldie and soothingly suggested, "Why don't you come give me a morning hug?"

"No!" She said, "I'm not waking up. I just don't want them messing up your bed!"

Well, I turned to Abe and Daisy who, rather than defensive, seemed greatly amused by all of this, and said, "Abe and Dais, you guys better quit messing up my bed."

Still looking unsure if she was satisfied, but obviously through with her siblings shenanigans, she shot them one last look of righteous indignation, turned and, slamming the door behind her, went back to bed.

At that point I thought it best to shew Abe and Daisy off to the couch whilst I made my bed.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Something Bad

The other day Daisy and Goldie were playing when one of Daisy's little guys shouted happily, "I'm going to kill you! I'm going to kill you!"

I'm not big on "kill." Even when playing with toy weapons (which I am plenty fond of despite the growing terror of toy weapons) they are only supposed to say, "I'm going to 'get' you." So . . .

Me: Daisy, I don't like you to say "I'm going to kill you."

Daisy (to Goldie's guy): OK, I'm going to "something" you. I'm going to something you! I'm going to something you! And something is something real bad!

Just a little somethin'

Penny loves to put baskets, boxes, buckets and containers of any sort on her head. This is a tupperware she dumped Goldie's toys out of. At Halloween time she kept demanding her Halloween bucket so that she could immediately put it on her head and stumble blindly around bonking into things and falling down. Also, on an unrelated note, it is so fun to watch tiny Penny and her tiny cousin Layla with my sister Megan's giant Newfoundlands. They love it.
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