What is being said....

"I need dessert for my blood sugar."

Mallory, 7 yrs.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dancing Queen...

Mallory has been taking dance for about one & a half seasons now. She goes with her cousin Jessica & she LOVES it!!! But I have to tell you, when she first started out, I wasn't so sure. Any of you ever watch Seinfeld? Have you seen Elaine dance?? Oh my goodness, that is Mallory!!!

After completing her first class & now being in a newer one, she is showing signs of improvement....she practically dances through the house at times.....& now only falls occasionally. She is certainly attaining some grace.....& it's very cute....I call her Mallorina-Ballerina...

Playing with the Camera...

A few weeks ago, Hatcher & I decided to play with our camera (don't worry, it's insured...ha ha).....So, I took a picture of a pretty Aspen leaf......that is the color of Autumn in Colorado.

What did Hatcher take a picture of???



Many days, in my house anyway, the siblings that live here fight. They fight over lame things...they fight over bigger things....they fight over attention. They just fight. It is enough to drive a Mom bonkers!!!

Then, there will be a moment....just a flash in the pan.......when you least expect it & especially when you don't force it.......you may walk onto something like this:

And of course you have to document it or nobody would believe you!!!! ha ha

This warmed my Mommy-heart....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My sick boy...

I have a very sick four year old.....very sick. Hatcher has pneumonia & it's an icky sickness unlike any other one I have nursed any of the kids through. It doesn't go away. He seems to perk up a little bit & them "bam!" he is hit with another fever. Don't even ask about the coughing....it's ugly. Please pray for his little body to heal quickly. He has spent most of the past week in his bed, watching "Cars" on the portable DVD player & drinking Gatorade. Today he was bugging Mallory, so maybe he is getting better?

Here he had fallen asleep with his new backpack Papa Jake sent home for him on.....he has been wiped.

Did I mention he likes the movie, "Cars?!?" I cannot stress this enough...even on the 11th time of watching it....

In trouble...

Ok, so with eyes like this, how can DJ not be in trouble when she is older....he should be scared....very scared......watch out world....here comes our beautiful & sweet spirited Mallory Jynelle.....


Well, I think I shot myself in the foot. A couple years ago when Bergen lost his first tooth, the Tooth Fairy left him a note, along with his dollar & pack of sugar free gum. Because of that first encounter with the Tooth Fairy, the bar was set....& he buys it hook, line & sinker. I mean, in a house where the Easter Bunny isn't real & they know that (although they still question the Easter Beagle) & where Santa does not come to deliver the presents, the Tooth Fairy is alive & well. Bergen gets very excited to see what creative thing she has written this time....she may be running out of inspiration....I mean, it's been 6 teeth already! And come on, but sometimes, it happens at very inconvenient times! How in the world does the Tooth Fairy keep up with it all? How does she always have a pack of sugar free gum in a flavor Bergen will like & cash to boot??? (many last-minute trips to Safeway, I am sure.) How many teeth do kids lose anyway? And how will she keep up with the next three kiddos? These are all serious questions I am sure she asks herself while she is trying to compose a creative ditty in her head & waiting for the printer to work in the wee hours after the toothless boy is fast asleep.

So recently, Bergen lost another tooth....at the breakfast table (gross). He now has a double-gap to stick his tongue through, of which he is very proud.....but my other boy was sick & I was exhausted (he still is sick & I still am exhausted, by the way) & I knew that as bedtime approached, the tooth had been forgotten....& frankly, I was ok with that. Then, it was remembered & I'm pretty sure I lied. Around 11 pm that night, as I was still up with the sick little boy, Bergen comes down from bed to say, "My tooth!! I forgot my tooth!!" And as I groaned inwardly, I hear these words coming out of my mouth, "Well hon, I think it's too late tonight to put it out....she has probably already passed by our house, so it's going to have to wait until tomorrow." He slowly turned with shoulders slumped & went back to bed.

Thankfully, the Tooth Fairy finally came to make her visit (she was prepared with gum & a dollar this time!)......& here is Bergen with his note she left him (very creative, I might add).

Oh, how does she do it all? And tell me again, how many teeth do kids lose??? And, Bergen wants to know what she does with all those teeth....maybe someday I will tell you all what my idea was.....& as I stated at the beginning of this blog...I think I shot myself in the foot.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My kind of music...

I am in the kitchen, doing kitchen-type things (some days I swear I live in that room!). I hear noise, which is not abnormal in our house full of four kids. But it isn't just normal noise I hear, it's singing.....& it isn't girl singing, which would not be an unusual event because Mallory is my artist who loves music....it's a BOY singing.....& it is absolutely adorable!! (so says his Mom) I have another artist......Hatcher!! He not only sings, but he writes his own songs. Sometimes he just sits at the piano, plucking notes & making up words....I LOVE IT!

One time on a Walmart outing, he spent the entire time sitting in the cart singing about all the things that God has created..."God made the lawn mowers & the milk & the hot dogs...." basically God made everything he happened to see in Walmart.

But while in the kitchen, this is the song I heard,

"I'm a dyin', I'm a dyin', I'm a ddddyyyyyyyiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnn', Cadillac!"

Ok....what in the world is this song? Where would he hear it? Did he make it up?? Nope, he heard it on "Huckleberry Hound," an old cartoon I used to watch as a little girl. But the way he heard it was, "Oh my darlin', Oh my darlin', Oh my daaaaaaarrrrrrrrlin', Clementine...."

Oh that made me laugh once I made the connection! Funny thing is, he had the tune just perfect!!!

It figures....

A conversation I had with Melissa Jack today....

Me: "Miss Jack, say 'Ma ma'."

MJ: "Da da."

Me: "No silly girl, say, 'Ma ma'."

MJ: "Da da."

Me: (trying now to put my child psych. degree to use) "Ok then, Melissa, say, 'Da da'."

MJ: "DA DA!"

AAAAAAHHHHHH! She is lucky she is so stinkin' cute!

Happy Halloween or Bah Humbug?

I have never liked Halloween. Well at least not since the 6th grade. That’s the year I thought I was too old for costumes & going door to door for candy. Junior Highers just don’t do that sort of thing you know. As an adult, I never liked attending Halloween parties, I don’t like dressing up, I HATE clowns, and I don’t like handing out candy to strangers. (I used to turn out all the house lights and sit in the back bedroom watching TV so nobody would come to the door.)

Alas, when I got married, that kind of behavior just wouldn’t fly. Apparently it’s neurotic. So, each year (since we’ve had kids) our family has celebrated Halloween by attending the Harvest Festival at Resurrection Fellowship Church in Loveland with all of the grandparents, cousins, aunts & uncles. It’s a safe, fun, warm way for the kids to play some games & get candy without having to be out in the cold and subjected to grotesque costumes that would make a Marine cry for his mommy.

The other night we were sitting around the dinner table and Jynelle was asking each of the kids what they wanted to dress up as for Halloween. Bergen wanted to be Darth Vader, Mallory wanted to be a Princess/Fairy/Butterfly, and Hatch wanted to be a snake (all of this has changed many times by now). I’m minding my own business, focusing on one of my favorite times of the day, dinner, and Jynelle tries to drag me into the conversation by asking me what I think the kids should be.

In my best Robert Young impersonation, and speaking before thinking, I said “How about if we don’t celebrate Halloween and just do something fun together as a family.” Well you would have thought I had suggested we kill the family dog (sorry Lucy). My mortified (and beautiful) wife asked me to explain myself and help get the kids calmed down.

I explained that we would end up spending roughly $60 - $80 on 4 costumes plus some extra money for candy, snacks, & whatever other expenses come up during the night. Plus, we never get a chance to just enjoy our time together because each of the kids wants to go in a different direction and keeping up with all the family (there are 18 of us) is a whirlwind. (I didn’t mention the fact that since there are no scary costumes allowed, there are a number of clowns and it freaks me out!) I suggested we take the money and go swimming at the Rec Center or bowling, or Chuck E. Cheese…anywhere where we could just go and have fun. Or we could save the money and stay home and play games, watch movies, and eat candy.

Jynelle (did I mention she’s beautiful?) suggested that anywhere we go, there are going to be Halloween festivities and the costumes aren’t “regulated” so there is no telling what the kids will see. I smugly answered “Not if we go swimming at the Rec Center” (of course some of those outfits can be pretty scary too). So, Jynelle throws down the gauntlet and said “Well, you’d better figure out what we’re doing, because Halloween is just a couple of weeks away”.

I started to think about why I wanted to avoid celebrating Halloween. Is it my pride again (see Dumpster Diving Queen below), is it against my Christian belief to celebrate “The Devil’s Holiday” (be in the world, not of it), or is it not wanting to deal with the hassle of meeting everyone’s expectations? I wish I could say I was more convicted spiritually and isn’t right for our family to celebrate Halloween, but in reality, I don’t see the harm in having some “alternative” fun instead of haunted houses, scary costumes, and trick or treating. I know Christian families who go to both extremes regarding Halloween and I am not about to say which point of view is right or wrong. That is a slippery slope and we’ll leave that debate to the professionals. I think mostly I just don’t want to deal with the hassle of it all and my pride does get in the way (I still won’t dress up for a family theme).

So, after long and thoughtful debate, I have decided we’ll go to the Harvest Festival this year (Feel free to join us. It’s really fun.). If I (as the “Leader of the Household”) don’t find anything morally wrong with going, then it’s my personal issues that would keep us from going and I can’t impose my issues on everyone else (stupid Dr. Phil). However, I will keep the discussion open with the family and see if maybe next year, with a bit more planning, we can do something separate from Halloween. Anybody have any ideas (and no clowns!)?


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

W '04 no more

I've conducted a little non-scientific poll this past week. Driving home from work last Wednesday, I had three cars in a row pass me with Obama campaign bumper stickers on them. It made me think first, Colorado is being overrun by Liberals and second, where can I move to get away from them?

Then I thought "I wonder how many Obama stickers are on the road vs. John McCain stickers?" So, for the past week I've been counting bumper stickers and you might be surprised.

(I drive the I-25 corridor every day (100 miles round trip). I'm not sure the volume of traffic, but it must be in the billions.)

Obama: 4
McCain: 0

There weren't nearly as many bumper stickers out there that I thought there would be. Nothing like the good old days of Bush/Cheney and Kerry/Edwards (I still see these on the road 4 years later).

Now I did see three pro McCain stickers. One said something like "My special needs child supports McCain/Palin", another said Obama Sucks '08 (my favorite), and another had a whole window tinted with a McCain/Palin sign. But there were no campaign bumper stickers.

So is America really not into either candidate this year and will just vote for the "lesser of two evils", or not vote at all? Is it just a case of hard economic times and people don't want to spend the money? Have we become more materialistic and don't want to damage our precious hybrid? Will the extra weight of the sticker decrease our gas mileage? Is this just restricted to Colorado?

Any thoughts out there?

Even if we don't show it on our rear bumpers, we need to be aware of where each candidate stands on the issues and be sure we exercise our right to vote on November 4th. (Except for you Libs, voting is on November 5th.)

Tune in next week when I count campaign yard signs.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

My wife….The Dumpster-Diving Queen

As many of you know, I am a rather quiet, reserved person (unless the Bronco’s are in the Super Bowl). I don’t like a lot of attention and avoid situations that will cause me embarrassment (Jynelle says I have a pride issue. I’m working on it). So the other day when Jynelle told me of her latest escapade, I could only thank the good Lord that I was not there to share it with her.

Jynelle was out for a walk with the younger kids, killing time while Bergen was at piano practice. Walking past a vacant lot, she noticed a dumpster with something shinny catching her eye. She walked over and climbed up on it (I’m not sure where the baby was and not sure I want to know). Well, she found this “really cool” mirror that was in “great” shape.

Jynelle takes the kids back to the Suburban and drives over to the dumpster. She dives right in and pulls out the mirror (“It wasn’t in the trash. It was above the rim.” as George Costanza once said). While digging around (you’re in there, you might as well look) she found another wall hanging that is ugly as the day is long, but she says she can paint it and make it look “really cool”. She loads everything into the truck, all the while, the neighbors next door are watching from their front yard.

When I got home and she told me about her find, all I could say was I’m glad I wasn’t there. I have to admit, the mirror was a good find, but I don’t think I would have dove into a dumpster to get it (at least during the daytime). They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, but you shouldn’t have to go dumpster diving for it. That’s what garage sales are for which is another thing I refuse to do. (Yes, I’m working on my pride).

Now, I’m not sure what kind of message this is sending our children. Is it being thrifty? Is it the fact we’re not too proud to fish treasure out of a dumpster (except for dad). Is it saying it’s ok to play on big, dangerous things that mom & dad would kill us for if we ever did it? All I know is I now have to hang a “really cool” mirror, somewhere in our house.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Music to my ears....

Some of you may know that I am a musician at heart.....I've even had some formal training. So, there was no question our children would all be going through piano lessons.....& they can quit when they move out! ha ha

Bergen has been doing piano now going on his 3rd year.....some days it is a drudge to remind him to practice & to remind him to keep practicing while he is practicing. This morning, I heard some interesting notes being played while he was practicing & this is what I found....

She is SO proud of herself!!!

& look at her beautiful, chubby baby hands!!!

She is quite a musician also, at the ripe old age of 9 months old....she dances & when I sing to her, she sings with me.....seriously......

I guess I am not the only musician in our house.....& that is good because I can always use some good backup singers!! & Big Brother Bergen loves sharing his practice time...


One Bag of Goldfish crackers - $3.59
One Bag of Raisins - $2.67
Falling asleep while eating the goldfish & raisins..........priceless.....

Oh, if only I could sleep anywhere like this......sweet Melissa......

Dedicated to Hatch-Batch...

DJ & I had a "surprise" pregnancy when Mallory was just 9 months old. Although I did want more kids, I didn't want one THEN! I admit, I spent a lot of time crying over that one. Nine months later, along came our child that we flipped a coin to name......he was our third born child, second born son....& he has been "special" ever since.

Hatcher is quite the Jekyll & Hyde child....one minute he is the most loving, caring, sweet, cuddly child you will ever meet. You want nothing more than to sweep him up into your arms & shower him in kisses, although you will get complaints on the kisses. Then, BAM! He is suddenly a child that I don't think could ever have come out of me!! He is mad, fighting, angry & hard to intimidate with my parenting-powers. I have NO idea where this mixture finds it's root except "there is foolishness in the heart of a child." When moments like this arise, I have learned the best thing to do is send him to his room. When he acts angry & rebellious, it makes me angry & what good does it do for both of us to be there throwing a tantrum?

There is a third element to this small-statured 4 year old....an element that keeps me going when things are getting rough. He is a RIOT!!!! I have never had so many funny things coming out of one child's mouth to write down & share. It is this streak of humor that has inspired this blog.....it is this humor that gives me something to look forward to even when he is "terror-child." It is this streak of humor that I want to share with you now.....

Recently, while working on the letter "B," in our Phonics program, we were going over the sound "B" makes....."buh, buh, B!" Hatcher was picking up on this very quickly & I was very proud of him as any Mom would be. So, I put a challenge out there for Hatch...."Hatcher, who in our family has a name that starts with the "B" sound??" Me, of course, thinking, duh, this is easy...BERGEN!! But NO, Hatch excitedly looks up at me with his bigger than life, green eyes & exclaims, "Mom! I know! Balissa!!" How could you not crack up at that answer!?!? Hatch has called our baby Melissa Balissa since the very beginning, even though he says the "M" in Mallory perfectly. In fact, because of Hatch, MJ enjoys the nickname Balissa from quite a few of us.

When I am doing school with the older kids, I often am looking for things to keep Hatcher occupied. I gave him some school blocks to play with & he built a robot he was very excited to share with me. The conversation was this, "Mom, see my robot? Here is his head, his arm, another arm.....this side he has two legs & here is his other leg & here is his pen**........." Yep folks, you guessed it, his robot was a BOY!!! Where does he get this stuff???

THEN, "Mom, look!" I made my name!"

See, so with stuff like this, how can I stay mad at him too long? It is thinking of these things when the going gets tough that keeps me laughing & willing to let him back out of his room.......so Hatch-Batch, as you have recently informed me you want to be called, I love you with my WHOLE heart & even though I cried when I found out you were in my tummy, & some days I still cry when you are being "terror-child," I wouldn't trade you for anything....

Love, Mom