Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another wavy blanket...this one for a baby

My friend, Brittany, is having a new baby (oh heck no, not me). Baby needs a blanket. It was so fun and quickly satisfying to make a baby-sized version of the monster I finished last year. I ought to learn a different pattern one day...maybe.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dead battery

I like to get to church early. Scott has had to attend meetings before church for the past 8 1/2 years (that's three kids ago!), so I've had some time to practice and refine how to get the rest of us out the door and in the pew on time solo: I always aim to leave for church about 30 minutes early (though it's only a five minute drive), that way when someone can't find their scriptures or shoes or keys (guilty!) or has a big cow lick I didn't notice before or is found inexplicably wandering around in their pajamas having not had any breakfast yet even though we've had the same routine for literally their entire life and they know when they're supposed to get up and get ready, we've got plenty of built-in wiggle-room so that after handling these and other crisises we can still arrive at church about 10 minutes early, giving me plenty of time to sit and feel gathered and ready for services to start, and the kids plenty of time to go on a walk around the hallways a time or two to get a drink and (hopefully) the last of their wiggly energy out before settling in with me. [longest sentence ever] It's a good system and I love it.
Last Sunday, however, I met my match. We had already dealt with the week's miscellaneous delays and were finally loading up in the van. The problem? It wouldn't start. {Background information: 95% of the time we leave the sliding doors of the van open when it's at home in the garage--this way young Afton (who lacks the strength/dexterity to open those doors on her own) can easily get into the van without waiting for assistance plus it just saves everyone a bit of time not waiting for them to automatically slide open. Because the doors are almost always kept ajar, we keep the interiors lights in the all the way off position at all times to prevent the battery from dying. Saturday night the doors were actually left in the unusual closed position, but unfortunately someone (none confess) accidentally hit the switch that turned all of the interiors lights on. Result: 0 juice Sunday morning.} The first solution to this problem I thought of was Scott, but I knew he would almost certainly be engaged at the moment, and if I knew his habits, wouldn't be checking his phone until after sacrament meeting was over. I quickly thought of the numerous good friends who I knew would be happy to come pick us up (more than one later chastised me for not calling them), but the next thing to cross my synapses was a mental calculation of the time that would take for these good people to go off course, load us up and shuttle all six of us to church (likely in more than one trip) and realized that would almost certainly cause any of our would-be rescuers to arrive late. Late enough that I didn't want to impose our problems on someone else and decided instead to just wait. Scott would notice from up front where he was conducting the meeting that the kids and I had not filled our usual spot. He did notice, of course, but was needed by a long line of people at the meeting's end (as he often is), so he called to let me know he'd sent a capable rescue squad in his place.
We were delighted when Ben's entire Sunday school class, plus their teacher and two extra dads, showed up with jumper cables in hand. The 10-year-old boys were overjoyed to check out the engines and show off their mechanical skills. The luckiest boy had instructions to sit in the driver's seat and rev the engine for several minutes to work our poor dead battery up to an acceptable charging level. Ben had the honor of turning over our engine until it finally took. We made it to church in time for the kids to go to their classes and for me to teach mine.
Just a minute or two before our heroes showed up I realized with some embarrassment that I could have just called on a neighbor for a jump start from the very beginning. Most of them were home and we're good enough friends that I could have easily done that. For some reason, the thought didn't even cross my mind until that late moment. I got word from a couple of the other parents though, that it made for a memorable and meaningful experience for the boys...the good Samaritan in action type of thing, giving them a chance to put in to practice all the service and sacrifice lessons they've been taught. Thank you boys...we could never have made it without you.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

This year's valentines....

....same as last year's. If it aint broke, don't fix it, you know?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Kids: the update

Emma is so awesome, she's the best babysitter ever. She gets the kids to bed right on time, then busies herself cleaning up the whole downstairs to a glistening, sparkling perfection. You know the pan that I always wait till the next day to scrub? She does it before we even get home that night. Class act.

Ben wants to start a book club with some friends from school. I'm a big fan of the finer things, so I'm all for it--to the point of hosting the inaugural meeting and making some cookies to go with it. I'm cool like that.

Josh is full of love. SO MUCH LOVE. If love were money he could single-handedly wipe out the national debt. He has begun the habit of wanting to scratch my back at church. How can I say no? It makes him happy.

Lydia has recently turned that corner where she is suddenly reading like crazy. I love it. I'll sit and listen to her read Geronimo Stilton and I don't understand how she knows all those words. Something clicked--click!--and she gets it. She gets words. I'm so excited.

Afton makes me laugh, she's a total goofball. Plus she's melodramatic, which is hilarious. Case in point: the other day she came into the kitchen with her little arms folded, face pouty, making a fake whimpering noise. I asked her what was wrong and she said, "Nobody doesn't like me no more." Most of her siblings were within earshot and quickly chorused in with, "I like you Afton" which she completely ignored while continuing to whimper. It reminded me of this gem:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Adventure awaits

The other day Scott called me from work mid-morning with urgency in his voice.

This is unusual.

He explained he'd been thinking about the kids lately. They are now 12, 10, 7, 5 and 3. The next few years are prime--especially for the older kids--they'll always remember them. We need to do things, have fun and exceptional adventures. They don't always have to be grand or expensive, but they ought to be special. We need to fill them with happy memories centered around being together as a family. We need to record and photograph and document these things to help them remember. They're going to keep getting older and could turn into surly teenagers who don't think being with their family is awesome. These are the golden years. They still think we're cool and they like us. Now is the time to fill their tanks.

A phone call like this is one of the best reasons I love Scott.

He said he'd meant to expound all of this the night before but had forgotten. When he remembered, he called right away because he didn't want to forget again. I am under charge to remind him of this conversation any time an adventure just seems more like a hassle.

That's why we're driving to California and back for our family reunion this summer. There's fun to be had along the way.

{image: a carefree college-aged newlywed impresses his young wife by jumping over cars}