Friday, December 30, 2011

The happiest place on Earth!

We are preparing for an upcoming trip to Disney World, and besides the fun that I'm sure we are going to have while we are there, I am already enjoying the conversations the kids are having in anticipation.  Wherever we go they cannot stop spewing at people (they have a SEVERE case of diarrhea of the mouth) about which characters they will see, what they are going to ride, and from my four year old how "the BEST part is that we get to eat as much as we want at the fanciest restaurants we ever went to!" (a boy after my own heart!)  Here is a conversation we had at dinner tonight...

Dax: "How did Walt Disney get enough money to build Disney World?"
Dad:  "He made lots of money from some movies he made, and also had investors."
Mom:  "Yeah, he made movies about Mickey Mouse."
Kade:  "Well that's funny huh, because now Mickey works at Disney World!"
Darcy:  "Duh Kade, you know that Mickey Mouse isn't REAL right?  He is just a person in a costume."
Mom:  "That's perfect!  I guess that means that we won't have to spend any of our precious vacation time waiting in line to get autographs then, right Darce?"

I don't remember her exact response to that, but I'm pretty sure it amounted to "Nice try, Mom."  Guess I better start gearing up to stand in some lines!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

On Aging...

This morning I started a bath for Kyanna in my room and my boys decided they should hop in too.  With three kids in the tub, things were getting crowded and the kids started to argue.  I was standing next to the sink putting on some makeup and I overheard their conversation...

Kade (4) says to Dax (6): "I can't punch you now because Mom is watching but when I'm older than you I am going to beat you up!"

Dax:  "You are never going to be older than me."

Kade:  "Yah huh.  When I'm a dad."

Dax:  "Nope, sorry.  By the time you're a dad I'm going to be a grandpa!"

Kyanna:  "Well, I'm going to be a Mom and they are really the boss, so I am going to beat you both up!"

I'm glad at least one of them knows who the real boss is around here. :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Last Teacher Tuesday of 2011

With the end of the year quickly approaching, I'm sure we are all thinking of resolutions and how to make 2012 better than 2011.  For teachers, this happens at the end of a school year.  We dream of more well-behaved children, more productive time in class, bulletin boards, writing ideas, better math curriculum, and many oh-so-wonderful projects to get planned for the next school year.  Very often, those hopes and dreams end up just like our New Year's Resolutions...forgotten and given up on once reality hits us back down to earth.  Students are trying to fit in all the naughtiness that they can because they know there is nothing that their current teacher can do about it since they will soon be moving on to a new boss at school very soon.

This particular scenario was happening on my last day of school the first year I was a teacher.  I was feeling happy that I had survived my first year, only losing half my hair instead of all of it!  I was feeling a bit sad to let my first year kiddos go - they were mine and to think of giving them to another teacher was a bit heartbreaking.  (yes - teachers DO love your children - even the stinkers!)  All the desks in my classroom were pushed to the sides, all the art was off the walls, children were armed with their backpacks and lunch boxes, and we were all impatiently waiting for the bell of summer to ring.  One little boy, who had a lot of energy and didn't know how to contain it, was rambunciously crawling under all the desks that were pushed against the wall.  He knew he shouldn't be doing this - not only had I told the students 10 times that day not to do it, but I'd told them at least a hundred times during the school year that we don't crawl around under desks.  Finally, I said, "Billy, you need to get out from under the desks.  You know this is against the rules. (At this point I'm trying to think of some type of consequence, but having difficulty as there is only 1.863 minutes left of the school year.)  So I continue, "You are not making a good choice.  I hope that next time you can make a better choice." (lightweight - I know)  A few seconds later I hear him mutter to himself. "Wait - There's not going to be a next time!"  And proceeds to continue crawling under desks.  Lovely.  Good thing I was saved by the bell because once it rang little Billy was outta there and moving onto bigger and better things.

So - to all of you who are ready for up 2011 as much as possible because time is dwindling!  Eat what you want, don't exercise, be lazy, watch a lot of trashy TV, don't clean your house, spend as much money as you feel like, and crawl under those desks like a crazy person because very shortly our goals are going to get in the way of our fun again.


Best White Elephant Gift Ever!

The DI Nativity

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Yesterday I woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep so I decided to treat myself to a nice hot bubble bath.  I wasn't in there long before both Kyanna and Kade woke up and discovered me, and of course immediately wanted to join me in the tub.  Trying to discourage them from interrupting my peace I said "I won't be in here too much longer...the bubbles are almost gone."  "That's ok," Kyanna said. "Our bum bums can make you lots more bubbles!"

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Teacher Tuesday...Christmas Gift Ideas

During the holidays, it seemed that the closer to Christmas it got, the more full my desk would get with
gifts from students. I always felt spoiled and appreciated, and it seemed as if the students really took
pride in giving their teacher a gift.

In my 2.5 years of teaching I was more than spoiled. I’m not sure if the parents of my students could
tell how stressed out I was, or if I had just tricked them into thinking I was the most amazing teacher
around, because they loved to give me exuberant gifts and let’s be real – I wasn’t complaining! Because
of this, I got a Christmas gift from almost everyone in the class. I remember my first year the kids
being so excited to bring their present to me, and getting even more excited when I opened it up.
Unfortunately, this made the few kids who didn’t get me a gift feel insecure and a little embarrassed.
This one little boy in my class would come up to me each morning as other children were giving me gifts
and offer me a trinket , eraser, pencil, or other toy that he had brought to school months ago, which
I had probably taken away at some point and given back to him on the premise that I never wanted
to see it again, to which he decided to just hide it in the dark depths of his tote tray. Each morning it
would be a new “gift” from him, and by the end of the day each day he had asked for it back. “Oh, well
I REALLY like that pencil. It is nice and shiny, um….” Or “Well, I actually really want that eraser. I think
my mom bought it for me instead of you.” Or “I have something else for you at home, can I have my
unidentifiable playdough person that I made in kindergarten back?” Ok – so maybe that last one was
a stretch, but really – he always asked for the things back, and I don’t blame the kid! As much as he
wanted to give me a gift, he wanted to keep his own “junk” even more. Bless his heart!!!

Now the dilemma – Christmas break is only a few days away, and to avoid the previously mentioned
situation, but you are wondering what to give to your student’s teacher or if you need to even bother,
here’s a few words of wisdom. Okay – many words of wisdom.

Yes – you should get your child’s teacher a Christmas gift. I’m not saying this because I am a present
whore – although feel free to bring me one if you want. I’m saying this because your child’s teacher
takes care of them for most of your child’s waking hours. They help your child learn. They show
patience to your child long after you, their own parent, would have lost it on them. They wipe tears
when your student cries, helps them be brave, and teaches them how to be independent and function
without YOU by their side. They teach your child social skills, how to be a friend, and how to work with
others. They get paid next to nothing, spend their own money so your child can have a fun experience
at school or make a fun project, and work 10 hour days every day of the week, and that doesn’t include
the work they take home, the sleepless nights they spend worrying about your student, and the
weekends they use to prepare for the upcoming week of teaching. Next to you, there probably isn’t
a more influential adult that they interact with on a daily basis than their teacher. Yes – I know these
things are part of a teacher’s job and what they get paid for, BUT, teachers barely get paid enough to
provide their own families a very modest Christmas, and a little appreciation from you goes a very long
way. Trust me.

(Soapbox over…sorry)

So – what to get your child’s teacher? It doesn’t have to be big or extravagant. Here are some
suggestions based on price range.

FREE – Give your child’s teacher your family’s holiday card. I LOVED getting these. Write a personal
note to the teacher and tell them they are appreciated. Tell them why you like them – and be specific.
Have your child participate in this and draw a picture and write something too. I really loved getting
this type of thing. Teaching is a thankless job sometimes and it feels good to know that you are

$1 – whatever you are giving to your neighbors – add your teacher to that list too! Homemade goodies
are great, and what’s one more plate? I used to always snack on these the during the day the week
before Christmas. YUMMY!

$5 – a FAVORITE of mine is a caramel apple. I love that it is a spin on the traditional apple for teacher. I
had a parent bring me one of these when they came to parent conferences my first year of teaching. To
this day, I still appreciate that gesture SO MUCH. It’s a great gift for teacher anytime of the year.

$10 – A few times I’ve had parents bring me lunch. What a way to make your child’s teacher feel
special! Make sure you schedule it before hand and know what time lunch is so that the teacher can
enjoy it. I always appreciated the thoughtfulness of this and especially for the time spent picking up the
lunch and bringing it to school.

$15 and up – If you want to do something big for your child’s teacher a gift card is a great way to go.
Movie theaters, restaurants, and Target are good ones. I’ve been given many gift cards and have always
loved it! Just the other day I used a gift card a parent gave me last year for the movies, and I was so
grateful and thinking of that student and parent the whole time. (THANKS JEN!!!)

Here’s a few other ideas…Soap, lotion, candles --Teachers get A LOT of these things. We like these
things, but just know that every other kid in the class will give this to teacher too – so if you are looking
for something original, don’t go with this one.

Something handmade by you or your student. --It’s ok if it is made by a first grader – teacher will still
appreciate it!

Candy or soda -- don’t be afraid to ask teacher what he/she likes!

Under NO circumstance should you ever give your child’s teacher something that says 2 teach is 2 touch
lives 4 ever. We don’t like those things or anything that says “world’s best teacher” or anything else like
that. We know you mean well, and don’t feel bad if you have past offenses in this area. Now is always
a good time to change…you can do it! And while we’re on the subject – school supplies aren’t really a
good teacher gift either. They are appreciated – I promise. BUT, it’s like giving your mom windex or
your dad disposable razors for Christmas. Will they get used? Yes, but is it a good “gift”? Not so much.
School supplies should be donated at various times during the school year – but not Christmas. Sorry.

All that being said – do not feel pressure to do anything extravagant. Put in some thought and call it

good. And don’t think that the bigger the present you give your child’s teacher the more they will like
your child. Sometimes not even a great gift can make a teacher like your kid. JUST KIDDING!!! Think
simple – stay in a price range you feel comfortable – and whatever gift you choose will go over well with


Monday, December 19, 2011

Life's great questions

What I want to know is...

Who was the genius that decided it would be a good idea to make children's toothpaste come in blue?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Shopping Anonymous

My mom loves Christmas more than any person I know, and she loves to spoil her grandkids.  Thinking about how much they are going to love something she has picked out for them is just more than she can handle...she has no will power to tell herself no!  I have been wrapping presents for her all week and bringing them home to put under the tree and I am seriously embarrassed about the number of gifts the kids have waiting for them on Christmas morning.  I couldn't even bring myself to take a photo because I'm pretty sure in some spots the presents are stacked taller than the tree.  I mean, true its only a five foot tree, but still!  I am never going to have to buy my kids anything for the rest of their lives.  :)  Thanks Mom, you're the best!

Anyway, yesterday Daxton just happened to "mention" to grandma that for Christmas he would really like an ipod or some vinyl stickers for his wall (neither of which are things she has purchased).  She asked him why he was telling her, and didn't he see all those presents she had sent home for him?  He looked at her and replied, "Oh yeah, I saw them!  That's why I'm telling you.  Because your name is Grandma and YOU have a shopping problem!"

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Teacher Tuesday!!!

This is my baby sister Kristen with two of my babies at the rodeo (I have no idea who the bearded guy behind her is, or the red shirt guy, or the kid).  We were born four years apart almost to the day.  I am four years smarter and she is four years better looking.  I'm not sure I got the best end of that deal.  Kristen used to teach first grade before she had a baby and decided to stay home and teach piano instead.  She has tons of funny stories, kid projects and parent tips from her time teaching and she is going to be sharing them with us every Tuesday!  I am so excited I can hardly stand it!!!  But that could also be because Christmas is coming!!!  Hooray!!!  How many exclamation points can I use in one post?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is her very first Teacher Tuesday post...

One morning, I was doing a reading test on a student.  I pick a story from the testing kit that I feel is on his reading level, have him read it, time him, record errors, and then at the end check comprehension by asking a series of pre-determined questions.  

This particular story was about the zoo.  Each page had a few sentences about an animal.  "This is a giraffe. Baby giraffes can walk on the same day they are born." "This is a penguin.  A penguin cannot fly, but it has wings."  etc...  The student did a great job reading and had hardly any errors.  After he finished, I began asking the comprehension questions.  This would be a breeze - or so I thought...

Me: "Billy, (name changed) what did you learn about the animals at the zoo?"
Billy: Nothing.  I already knew all those things. (typical first grade answer)
Me: "Can you tell me any of them."
Billy: Well I don't really remember now. (how convenient) 
Me: "Ok, do you remember anything about the story?"
Billy: Not really. (Did I forget to mention that this particular student sounds EXACTLY like Froggy from The Little Rascals?)

Things are NOT going well. (Just goes to show that your child might be able to read every word in the book but it doesn't count for anything if he/she can't remember a lick of it!)

I try to move onto an easier question - one that will require less factual knowledge.

Me: "Why do you think the author wrote a book about zoo animals?"
Billy: Because he likes going to the zoo (Now we're getting somewhere!)
Me: "Why do you think people like to go to the zoo?" (I'm sure he can make a connection here...)
Billy:  Well, you know those long skinny things that are covered in cinnamon and sugar?"
Me: "A churro?"
Billy: Yeah - that's why I go to the zoo.

Me too, Billy.  Me too. 

Ha Ha Thanks Kris!  Boy it is super annoying that the font has got white behind it.  Does anyone know how to cut and paste these things without that occurring?  I will work on that.  I guess I could always just type it all out.   I doubt that's going to happen.   Did I mention that I am four years lazier?

Monday, December 12, 2011

My first product review!!!

I absolutely love Christmas shopping and this year did not dissappoint!  I always shop Black Friday, because I just can't bear to miss all the crazies.  It's like watching a train wreck where nobody actually gets hurt.  Unless you count the pepper spray.  Fascinating!

Some items however, require more time spent shopping and less time spent waiting in line to pay, so for those items I have to make a trip back to the store.  The other day I was in Walmart perusing the aisles for the perfect gift for my almost 3 year old niece.  It needed to be a combination of something cute she would love and something with as many annoying noises as possible as payback for all the years I had to put up with my smelly brother (And I found it!  Oh Yeah!)  While I was there, I found a new brand of doll that you will not want to miss this year!

The problem I have with dolls these days is that they all give girls an unrealistic sense of how they should look and act.  Case in point...

This one is actually called a Bratz.  Definitely don't need more of that at my house...

This year I found a doll that will make you feel proud about even your most unfortunate children!  The brand is called baby boutique.  I was sad to discover that my phone had erased several dolls' photos, but you'll get the idea.

Exhibit A.  Perfect if your newborn is Chucky or maybe half vampire

Not sure if these are freckles or measles.  But either way...awesome!

If you are Gollums parent...check this out!  And it's on sale!!!

This baby sleeps with its eyes cracked open.  I don't blame her...her shelf buddies were Renesmee and Smeagol.  What talent!

All I can say is thank you Baby Boutique!  I applaud your efforts!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Spiritual Giants

Despite their irreverence, we continue to take our children to church every week.  Our religion is an important part of our lives and we want our kids to have the peace, hope, and happiness that the gospel brings.  I always ask them what they learned in their church classes, and unfortunately in the past few years they have wisened up and usually just answer "about Jesus."  This was a post I published on our family blog a few years ago when they weren't such smart alecs. :)

Darcy: "Mom, if everybody can only take one sacrament bread, what do they do with all the leftovers?  Does somebody eat it or do they feed it to the ducks?  Cuz I'm still really hungry..."

Mom:  "Dax, what did you learn in Sunbeams today?"
Dax:  "About Adam and Eve"
Mom:  "Tell me what you learned about Adam and Eve"
Dax:  "They are dead."
Mom:  "Yeah, What else?"
Dax: "Well, they had circle faces, and they lived on a rock, and Adam growed trees.  And they stole food from Heavenly Father that they weren't supposed to eat.  I think it was a tomato."

Saturday, December 10, 2011


For my birthday my husband is paying his brother Aaron to tile a gorgeous back splash in our kitchen.  Aaron just got married last month to a really fun girl named Kristen.  I also have a sister named Kristen, so my kids are really psyched that they now have two Auntie Kristens.

The other night after staying late to tile, my brother in law stashed his equipment in my garage before he left to go home.  When Dax saw it in the morning, he immediately began searching all the rooms in our house...

Darcy:  "Dax, what are you looking for?"
Dax:  "Uncle Aaron, all his stuff is in the garage.  Where did he sleep?  Let's wake him up!"
Darcy:  "He went home.  He slept in his bed with Auntie Kristen."
Dax:  "Oh."

and then a few minutes later..."Which Auntie Kristen?"

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Believe it or Not

Kade first day of preschool Sept 2010 - notice Kyanna's socks.  She gets that from her dad.

My son Kade is a lump.  Part of it comes from his medical issues and part of it is just his personality.  He was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes and Celiac Disease at a very young age and tends to have less energy than his peers.  And I'm pretty sure he's just lazy. :)  In fact, we laugh because he wouldn't voluntarily climb stairs until he was over three years old.  He just sat at the bottom and cried "Come cawwy me!  I'm too heaby!"

So this morning, despite the fact that I handed him clothes five seconds after he exited the bathtub, he decided getting dressed was too much effort and chose to wander around the house in the buff.  When it came time to drive the big kids to school and he was still completely naked my older kids decided he was going to need some coercion.  

Darcy: "Kade you need to get dressed right now so we aren't late for school"
Kade:  "Nah, I'll just ride like this."
Darcy:  "You can't do that!  It is cold cold cold outside and your weiner will freeze solid and fall off!"
Kade: just laughs...still no intention of getting dressed
Darcy:  "It's true!  That has really happened before and its going to happen to you!"
Dax: "She's right.  I read about it in a library book at school once.  Ripley's Believe it or Not.  It can happen!"

I really hope there weren't any pictures.  Bundle up warm!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

September Facebook posts

I'm trying to move several of my older facebook posts over to a more permanent place since I'm pretty sure facebook is not saving the archives for my posterity to be blackmailed with.  Here are some from September...

Dax made friends with his classroom aide today at school.  He told me "I asked her how old she was and she told me she is 68!  I told her "Wow that's old!  But don't worry, I know one person even older than you!  It's my dad's grandma...but she died."

Two of Daxton's spelling words this week are chunk and hunk.  He told me "Well that should be easy to remember!  You're a chunk and I'm a hunk!"

Today Kyanna wasn't paying attention to where she was going and ran straight into the wall.  She immediately turned to yell at me "MOM!  You can't put a wall there!  You hurt my head!"  How could I have been so stupid?!!

I am such a proud mother...I loaded Kade, Kyanna, and the neighbor girl into the car this morning and then ran back inside to get my purse.  When I got back to the car Kade announced "Mom guess what?  We have been talking about it and all three of us love to eat our boogers!  They are sooo yummy!"

My 8 year old just asked us if she can have a sweet sixteen party when she turns 16.  Thinking she meant something like the ones on tv, we told her only if it wasn't too expensive.  She said she was considering "either a twilight party, where they watch all the twilight movies, or taking a few friends to Classic skating."  Ha ha!  Absolutely!

Kyanna just came in to tell me that Kade needed his bum wiped, "but don't worry, I did it for him."  Hmmm...maybe I should go check that out

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Black and White

One of the fun things about having kids is observing how two different children raised in the same house with the same parents can be completely different from one another.  I was reminded of this this morning as I came down for breakfast and found one of my daughters eating like she is a sumo wrestler and the other one enjoying her cereal from my spoon rest.

Happy Tuesday!!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Daxton the Brave

In addition to freezing our tushies off, and getting to stay inside all day long with four maniacal children, I have discovered some other perks about this time of year.  Thanks to empty lots on each side of our house, plus the fact that the four above mentioned children frequently forget to close the door, we get to have mice as house guests for the winter!  They usually choose to lodge in our cold storage room which is in the basement and is where we store any surplus food items that don't fit in our pantry.

I find it ridiculous that my kids would be perfectly content to sit for hours and pet a hamster, but the mere thought of a possible run in with a mouse gives them nightmares for days (although my oldest also got nightmares from watching the preview of Johnny Depp's Alice in Wonderland, and the first ten minutes of "Passage to Zarahemla").  And I am definitely not going down there myself.  I won't even pet the hamster.

So, since Dax is usually the oldest man present when I happen to need something from the food storage room he usually gets to take one for the team and go fetch the item.  This morning it was a box of cereal.  Thankfully he had a plan.  He went armed, made himself look as ferocious as possible, and let out a scream that could be heard down the block.

The mice didn't stand a chance.  

PS.  Ignore the mismatched pajamas.  We have a lot of laundry to do around these parts.  Don't hate.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Skid Marks

My three year old is fiesty.  Yesterday we were eating lunch at a restaurant when she announced she needed to use the restroom.  It was within our eyesight so I asked Darcy to take her and help her go potty.  I started to get an uneasy feeling when I watched Darcy come out of the women's restroom several times without her sister, but I could clearly hear a strange version of Jingle Bells being shouted from the stalls.  Finally both girls walked out together but Kyanna had a look on her face like she meant some serious business.  She marched up to the table and without any warning pulled her pants and undies down around her ankles, turned around and stuck her bare peachy bum up at my face and yelled "Look Mom!  Darcy would not wipe by butt and now I have POOP STAINS!"

It turns out that Darcy has decided that other peoples excrement makes her vomit.  I didn't even have to ask if they remembered to wash their hands.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cheese please

While driving in the car today, I overheard this conversation between my three and four year old...

Kyanna "Someday I'm going to be a mom when I grow up"
Kade "Yeah, and someday I'm going to be a dad.  But being a dad isn't any fun."
Kyanna "I think its fun.  Why not?"
Kade "Well, only one part is fun.  And that is that when you are working you get to eat ALL the sharp cheese you want and you don't have to share with your kids even when they say pretty pretty please."

Sounds like I need to talk to Asiel about learning to share his food. :)