Saturday, February 07, 2009

Smart is as smart does...

When I was younger, I was told I was smart.
I took smart people classes.
I got smart people grades.
I scored higher than some siblings on smart people tests.
All in all, it was very validating.
Especially because I didn't have to try that hard.
Then, somewhere along the line, I tried less and less.
And I decided that just getting by was good enough.
And then I dropped out of the smart people race altogether.

Then I became a mom.
And nobody calls me smart.
Well, nobody but a bunch of kids, and what do they know.
And some days, I feel all my talents are wasted on washing the same dishes, picking up the same toys, cooking the same meals, refereeing the same fights.
And I feel my brain turning to mush.

But then I went to Roundtable (it's this place nobody said I'd have to go to, but I actually do have to go to).
And there was a test on scouts.
And I happen to have learned a lot recently about this topic.
So I totally aced it.
And I felt smart again.

The End.

Poems by Emme


My dad lives in a town
This town is not underground
He knows what to do in a fire
And he is not a liar

My dad is nice
He likes to skate on ice
He is a college teacher
Who always works on his feature

He likes to eat cherry cake
He likes to go skiing on the lake
He may like root beer
But he does not have any fear.

Ummm...this is all true.

Check out my sister's masterpiece. Sheer genius.

Thanks for checking in.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Here's my week, in case you were wondering. No, I don't have pictures. Yes, I know you like them. No, I am too lazy to download them now, so stop asking for pictures.

1. My princess of a daughter informed me that there are two lists boys fall on. There is the cute list, and the good personality list (a good personality was someone like her, she said, you know, funny but not obnoxious, nice, not stupid). She seemed a little perplexed that none of the boys she knows fall on both lists. (I was not.) We discussed names of boys, and which lists they fell under. I tried to reign myself in, and I (surprisingly) kept from spouting how I felt about her discovering boys a few years too early.
As we were finishing our conversation I asked her which quality was more important, cuteness or personality. She thought for a second, and answered "Personality." My heart leaped for joy. "That's right," said I, "because cute can go away, but personality never changes." She was quiet, then said disappointingly, "So a boy might not always be cute?" One life lesson learned a little too soon.

2. Cannon started carrying around a box. It is a Home Depot project box, with a sliding top. The prof had made them with the kids over a year ago. And they had remained unused until this past week. When Cannon started carrying his everywhere. He discovered it was the perfect place to put his Nintendo DS, and all his Bakugan, and any other important small things he didn't want to lose. Again. Because he loses things all the time.
Like the time he lost his Nintendo DS two weeks after he got it. And it remained lost for months, until it fell on me when I was cleaning under my bed. (He had put it inside my box spring. I'm not sure why.) So now he sleeps with it, wakes up and takes it downstairs, takes it in the car, puts it on top the tv before he leaves for school, takes it down when he comes home, totes it with him until he falls asleep with it. And then the cycle starts again. It is really quite endearing.
Poor guy, he just hates losing things. He can't help it though, being related to me and all.

3. My eldest waited until the last minute to do his book report. Again, being my son, I was not surprised. But he had already read the book! (He's really into Hardy Boys right now. And any kind of war book. Non fiction are his favorites. He gets that from the prof.)
He wrote out the oral part at school, and we just had to build a diorama. I made salt dough (how preschool of me, I know) and I let him go to town on the inside of a shoe box. It turned out quite nicely, with painted trees, a sandy beach, an overturned boat, and the Hardy boys (aka lego men). I let him do the entire thing, even though I was told parents could help a LITTLE. He does not need nor want my help.
Cannon wanted to know if the school was going to keep it, because he really wanted his lego guys back. He probably wants to put them in his box.
Chance also finished his cub scout requirements and will be receiving a pretty awesome award next week at his last pack meeting, and then he'll cross over into boy scouts. Ahh, scouts. It just seems to last forever.

4. Claire is as cute as ever. Seriously, have you seen her? Adorable, especially with her new talking with her eyes thing. I don't know how she does it, but she makes the most hilarious eye movements that make me want to eat her right up. I've never seen any of my children be quite this expressive with just their eyes. And she also decided that she likes nursery (score!) so that increases the cute quotient by 1000. If she wasn't so stubborn, I'd say she was the perfect baby. But stubborn she is. And usually she's without clothes. I pick my battles. Being a two year old, she usually wins.

5. I love running. Seriously, I. Love. Running. Especially this week. I can go for a run at 4pm if I want and it's so beautiful outside. So when both of my running partners call out (happens 2 or 3 times a week, on average, slackers) I can still get a run in. In the summer, this isn't possible, as the heat is too oppressive past 6am. But now, oh now is when I live to run. I would run every morning and every night if I could. I would go for miles and miles. When I see other people running, all I can think about is how much I wish I was running. And if I could get another run in, I will.
Someday when all my children are big and I have nothing to do (right Dad?) I will run 2 or 3 times a day, just for fun. I will go for 20 milers on the weekend. It will be awesome.

6. Remind me someday to tell you about the hula hoop contest that Chance entered. It's a good story.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Because you know you want to see pics of my kids...

This picture is my favorite of all the children.

This is the prof's favorite, and being a good wife, I put it in the Christmas card.

I love this one.

My awesome sis, Beka, took these pictures of my family. I wish my children didn't run in horror at the thought of getting photographed. Even though they absolutely hate every minute of it, Bek still was somehow able to make us look good.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Random observations

We had the opportunity to go to the school last night. Cannon was getting his very first SOTM award. He looks excited. Despite his overwhelming emotionless expression, He was actually quite pleased. On the inside.
This was the exact face he made through the entire ordeal. Not a single smile. Not one. I'm not real sure where the seriousness comes from. It must be the prof. I find I can blame most things on him.
On a different note,
I went out the other night.
I had a meeting or something to go to.
It was in the neighborhood.
I was gone about 1 hour.
I left my eldest in charge.
This is what I saw when I walked in the door.

My baby sound asleep on the couch.

An open jar of peanut butter between her legs.

A fork.

Peanut butter on everything, the couch, her hands, her hair, her diaper.

I had to ask myself

A. Wasn't somebody supposed to be watching her?

B. Do I dare wake her to give her a bath?

I opted for a baby wipe bath.

I reprimanded the children.

I wonder, do you think she loves peanut butter as much as me?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkey trot, trot, trot

(Bottom row, Lisa and Me, Top row, Dad, Nick, Craig in a turkey suit, Amy, Mike, Rachael, Richard (holding Rock))

My family has run the Turkey Trot in Mesa for like 30+ years now, or almost as long as they've put it on. It was just my dad for many of those years, but as you can tell, he's converted most of his children to the sport of running. This makes him a little giddy, as he loves running almost as much as he loves us.

Before you get any ideas about how lovely this all is, a family full of runners getting together early Thanksgiving morning to celebrate and enjoy one another's company, I have to tell you that this is not for fun, although we have fun. We are not occasional runners. We take this seriously.

For example here are some words we exchange with each other as we await the start:
What do you think your pace is going to be today?
What is your goal time?
How did you do last year?
Do you think you'll set a PR (personal record)?
Did you eat a good dinner last night?
What did you eat for breakfast?
Are you feeling strong?
How's your hip, calf, foot, etc.?
Remember, don't go out too fast (to the newcomer).

As we congregate on the patio above the sign in tables, we hand off all of our keys, wallets, phones, and newly acquired t-shirts to the spectators (usually mom, some spouses and small children). We stretch and jump and pin our bibs to our shirts. We discuss whether we think the weather will be good, and whether we should add or shed layers. My dad visits the portajohn a million times, just in case. We watch the 1 milers finish, and then the 2 milers. Then we start our descent to the start line (surprisingly this year, one of us was skipping very big skips to the start, I won't say who).

My eldest brother who runs 6 minute miles is usually right up near the line. The rest of us are nearer to the front than the back of the pack. We wait, and wait, until the gun goes off. And then we go.

No, we don't run all together.

We each have our own pace. Sometimes those paces match up, and we'll get two of us running together. This year was Rachael's first year, as she's a newcomer to the sport. Amy ran with her. They did awesome, although I know Rachael was slowed down by the massive ring on her left hand, placed there just the night before by Greg(g). I am excited to have another sister in the running ranks (Beka you are next). I am also excited to have another brother.

We weave in and out of the thousands of people. The crowds don't seem to thin at all, as it's a 10K and there aren't enough miles to separate them. We turn onto Brown, turn again at the end of the park, turn again on Adobe. All the time passing runners and being passed by runners as we find our paces.

I am surprised this year as I see my dad ahead of me. I catch him, smile, and run past him. I wondered, rightly so, if his injury was bothering him. I don't see any of my other siblings. I wonder who is ahead and who is behind me. I slowed down for mile 5, it's a slight upgrade. I get discouraged because I don't foresee making my first goal (53 minutes) and try to salvage my second goal (55 minutes). I hit mile 6, with .2 to go and realize if I kick hard enough I can make 53. I don't know how I made up the time, but I kick. I cross the finish line, then turn to the ropes to catch the rest of my family. I look for them, and pretty soon I see Nick, then Amy and Rachael. I cheer and then go find the rest of the family on the patio.

Someone tells me I beat Richard. What?! I came in 1st BM (behind Mike, who ran it in 42 minutes, the freak show). That can't be right, I say. Are you sure? I beat Richard?! I came in after Mike?! I let the reality of that hit. It was a wonderful feeling, sublime actually. Although I somehow missed them, Richard, Lisa, and Dad came in right after me.

We discuss the race back on the patio. We dissect the miles, recap our injuries and illnesses and how we feel now. We eat orange slices and drink water. And then we wish each other a Happy Thanksgiving and leave. Some of us go to the parents, some to the inlaws.

It's one of my most favorite holiday traditions.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Ways to tell your children are turning into teenagers and you are turning into your mother:

Me: Why didn't you eat your lunch today? (asked as looking into a full lunchbox)
Child: Because no one brings those kind of chips to school. (Tortilla chips)
Me: When I was your age, I was grateful for anything to eat, and most days I had nothing!

Me: I bought you a new shirt today. How do you like it? (Holding up a nice striped polo)
Child: I'm not wearing that to school. No one wears those kinds of shirts to school.
Me: What's wrong with it? It's nice, and brand new!
Child: No one wears nice clothes to school, I'm not wearing it.
Me: Oh you'll wear it, if I have to duct tape it to your body!

Child: Do you want me to show you which boy I like? He's in the yearbook.
Me: Is it still that Mike kid? (Fake names have been used)
Child: Mom, he is soooo last year. He's totally old school.

Child: I need a cell phone.
Me: No, you don't.
Child: But all my friends have one!
Me: I didn't get a cell phone until I was 31, you are just going to have to wait.
Child: I wish we weren't so poor.

Child: Mom, are you going to blog about this?
Me: No. Well, maybe.
Child: Well I'll find out, all my friends read your blog.
Me: Ummmm, what?

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Sometimes I mess up. And then I feel just awful about it. I'm not perfect. I've never claimed to be. I just wish I wasn't so human. And I wish I could hide under anonymity, so no one would ever have to know that I am a loser sometimes.
And if I want to dwell on this for a little while, I wish people wouldn't tell me to get over it. Because I will get over it, just on my own timetable.


I have magic scriptures. Yes, that's right, magic.

When I open my scriptures, I am almost always given the comfort, answers and admonitions I needed right then. Seriously, it's almost scary.

For example, I was complaining the other day (not perfect, remember?) about having to do something that seemed monumentally difficult. I complained to a few(5) people about said hard task (don't judge me, it's how my head works). I wallowed in a swimming pool of self-pity.

Then (10 minutes later) I realized I was wrong. I was really wrong. And I needed to apologize to all (5) people I had complained to. I needed to assure them that I would be fine, that my complaints were unfounded, that everything was actually going to be alright.

And then I felt really dumb. Why is it that when I feel really strongly about something I can't just stop my mouth from opening and my foot from lodging itself inside? Why can't I figure out the feelings I have on my own, without involving a whole slew of innocent bystanders, whom I've now converted to my way of thinking, and I have to reshape their view of the situation?

That evening, I opened my scriptures. Literally, I just opened them. And there, highlighted for my eyes to read was 1 Nephi. You know the part where Nephi speaks about his brothers murmuring, where they were saying it's a hard thing the Lord has asked them to do, but Nephi says he will go and do all things?

I wish I wasn't a murmurer. There in black and white and highlighted red, were the words I needed to hear, stop murmuring. Just go and do. My life is not hard. I don't have many trials, compared to some. Everything would be alright. Stop freaking out.

I wish my magic scriptures would've opened themselves a little sooner.