Thursday, October 31, 2013
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
My four youngest kids all dance, and three of them are good at it. One of them enjoys it, but has to work harder for it than everyone else.
I realized that I needed a dance class. I've taken gazillions of exercise classes over the last 20 years, but not a single dance class. I haven't had to do any choreography for anything in more than a decade, so I was rusty.
Heather the Awesome suggested a year or two ago that we take a belly dancing class that was being offered up at our rec center, and finally last fall everything lined up to make it doable.
It's been a little over a year now that we've been taking the class, and I am SOOOO glad that she suggested it. Our teacher is wonderful! She makes everything seem completely attainable, but is realistic that practice is necessary. And I've had the opportunity to perform with her and my amazing classmates at both a belly dance workshop/retreat and several smaller community gatherings.
I feel like belly dance might be one of the forms of dance that is the most accepting of all body types. I know that seems weird since we all imagine perfectly shaped women in their little bikini tops and toned abs. For the most part it isn't that. It's normal looking women who have learned how to isolate muscles that I wasn't even aware of having before I started belly dance. And for some moves, the more belly the better!
I'm not quite ready to bare my belly while dancing, but I'm becoming more accepting of the idea. Thanks in part to my religious beliefs and standards of modesty and in equal part the tremendous number of scars left by being pregnant with excessively large babies, I'm still a bit hesitant to don a spangly bra and let the rest of my torso hang out. But I think I'll get there eventually.
Here are a few of my favorite ladies from our very first performance last Spring:
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
"And please bless us that we'll have a good week at school and that Dad will have a good week at work and that Mom won't spend all of Dad's money by going to the spa three times a day."
For the record, I have never been to a spa.
Let alone three times in one day.
Also, Todd is a notorious cheapskate, but has never said anything about me wasting money, so I know Nathaniel didn't hear it from him.
No, the blessed boy came up with that one all on his own. And after the prayer when I asked him what that was all about, just kept digging himself into a deeper hole by talking.
And again, I was comforted by the fact that both Benjamin and Caleb knew that he should not have said it in the first place, and CERTAINLY should have stopped talking afterwards!
There's hope for the rest of them.
To Nathaniel's future wife: I'm so sorry. I promise I didn't do it. He's always been like this.
Monday, October 28, 2013
Well, at least I know what my November expense sheet will lead with...
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Saturday, October 26, 2013
In case you were wondering, Benjamin was dressed as Oberon, king of the faeries. Nathaniel was the 11th Doctor, the little boy who's not mine was a pirate, and Caleb was the 9th doctor.
Friday, October 25, 2013
I give up. I have been sick for so long I don't remember healthy. I have tried zinc, vitamins, teas, otc drugs, and yoga. I didn't want to go back on antiobiotics since we were just on those for walking pneumonia a couple months ago. The cnp took one look at me and told me I needed to rest. She told me I was "ragged" and my immune system was "shot" and that I need to sleep and sleep and sleep and rest. She actually ordered me home to bed for the weekend. (I didn't mention that I'm one of the people in charge of the annual church chili contest/Halloween party tomorrow.)
Anyway. Yay drugs, and extra vitamin c, and medically ordered naps!
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
I've seen a few previews, and I've decided that the only thing that might make tonight a little less happy for me is that because it's a bunch of Brits doing American accents they sometimes hang on to that "r" sound in their words a bit more than an actual American might. I'll try to take of my proper diction ears for the night, though, and just enjoy the whole experience!
Here's one of my favorites:
Monday, October 21, 2013
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Saturday, October 19, 2013
|Caleb asked for a picture with her before he buried her next to Nico, the Hedgehog in the backyard.|
Friday, October 18, 2013
This ear stretching thing grosses me out. I can't look at it, actually. When I go into a place of business and am helped or served by someone with this type of thing in their ear, I can't look at their head. I'm sure they're very nice people, in fact some of THE nicest sales people I've ever had wear this in their ears. I'm not passing judgement on them as people, I just can't look at it.
In other words, it's not them. It's me.
A young man just knocked on my door to try to sell me something who had these gauges in his ear, and I can't even tell you what he was selling because I was trying to get the door closed so fast.
I don't have my own ears even pierced. Not once! I've never been a fan of putting holes in my body that don't naturally occur. And this style is such an extreme of that idea, that I can't stomach it.
So, I apologize if you've been trying to talk to me and I seem distracted. I'm trying not to be sick. Or stick my finger in your ear lobe and pull really hard. (It's an impulse I constantly fight. Even with long dangly earrings.)
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Lately, Lilyanna has been pointing out and correctly identifying letters everywhere. I figured it was a byproduct of her brother being homeschooled...even though we don't really practice individual letters except for cursive.
She's been sick for the last few days. Today she finally feels well enough to be bored with being sick, but not well enough to get up and play. This was yesterday:
She slept for 20 hrs yesterday. Literally. I would wake her up every now and again to try to make her eat and drink and take her temperature, but other than that, she slept in my arms most of the day.
Anyway, this morning she asked if she could watch netflix. After some Angelina Ballerina, she asked for Super Why. I've never actually watched this show before. It's a show I let her watch so I can take a shower or help Caleb with work when he needs it's quiet. Turns out her academic brilliance thus far is thanks to PBS Kids.
I feel decidedly less brilliant now.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Caleb has beautiful hair. It is so thick that I've had more than one hairdresser suggest to me that I should really take him someplace that specializes in Asian hair.
I really try to convince Caleb to shave his head at the beginning of each summer just because of the amount of time he spends in chlorine all summer. His hair turns to straw by fall, otherwise. This was only the second year he refused to do it, and nothing I said (or anybody else said) would convince him to reverse his decision.
However, after a brief trim a few weeks ago, he announced that he planned to be the 9th Doctor Who for Halloween. This guy:
He's already got the eyes, the cheek bones and the leather jacket, but notice the hair?
So, now Caleb has decided that he's going to shave his head in preparation for Halloween! He'll be cold this winter, but I'll take what I can get at this point. (I'm still finding sand from a summer beach trip hiding in his hair. Yikes!)
Monday, October 14, 2013
This sweet husband of mine had a day off today and offered to watch the kids so I could have the day off, too! I booked myself a hair appointment and assembled some friends for lunch to make it a truly happy day.
When I got home this afternoon (after getting 4 inches cut off and a whole lot of high and low lights), the only person who noticed my hair was Lilyanna. Lilyanna is 3 and has been delirious from a high fever most of today. The delirious 3 year old noticed my hair but not EVERY SINGLE MALE living in my house!
At dinner after I'd been home for 4 hours and they still hadn't noticed, I announced at the dinner table that they were all in trouble. Todd immediately repented and gushed compliments. Caleb said, "Oh, yeah, I noticed the color, I just forgot to say something." Nathaniel dug himself a deeper hole by saying, "How could I notice? It looks exactly the same!" Followed by, "You always wear your hair up, how am I supposed to tell that it's shorter?" Benjamin redeemed himself slightly by warning Nathaniel to stop talking, and to never repeat any of those statements to any girl friends. So there's hope there.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Lilyanna and I are home sick from church today. She can't go into the nursery with her current symptoms and taking her to Sacrament Meeting without allowing her to go to nursery afterwards is the cruelest torture we could ever inflict upon her. Yes, we've tried it before.
She and I are celebrating the Sabbath here at home. We have a deal. I get to listen to a few chapters of scripture while she plays quietly, and then we get to watch a Veggie Tales episode while cuddling under a blanket.
And now I need to go find another tissue box.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
*I don't use the food coloring in this recipe. Also, according to people in the know about this sort of thing, cornstarch isn't a shelf stable ingredient. However, I've never had a problem with this recipe.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
The dresses are pretty and function like clothes pins (squeeze the bottom of the dress together and it comes apart at the top so you can get the doll out. Pinch the next dress open and drop the doll in. GENIUS!), so the child can easily get the doll dressed and undressed 362 times each hour without needing help. It makes everyone in our house happier.
Lilyanna plays with these things happily for hours! I like these toys less than when Benjamin became obsessed with little plastic dinosaurs at this age, because I thought of that as an educational pursuit, but who am I to complain about whatever it takes to get her to play independently?
Best $4.99 spent ever. (I got them on sale at Target this summer.)
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Now to find a place to stay...
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
I am by nature a lazy person. I would much rather do nothing than do something. However, I recognize that laziness isn't helpful. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem sitting and reading. Or taking a nap. But if I were doing only those things all the time (which sound really tempting), it wouldn't work. Dinner needs be cooked, groceries bought, lesson plans made, appointments kept, etc. And I do like a certain amount of keeping busy. I just appreciate more down time than some of the busy bees of the world.
I don't know that I would have been good at teaching my children to work otherwise, but the circumstances of our life have made it so much of the housework and yardwork falls on my shoulders along with all the other daily and parenting responsibilities. And I can't do it all.
Over the years my kids have taken on more chores around the house. Jobs are not perfectly done. Sometimes children need to be called back several times to do a complete job, but they understand that if they don't get their jobs done, our household runs less smoothly. There is less time for fun.
This spring we told our children that we were going to take our mostly annual trip west, but that they would be responsible for helping to pay for it. We put each kid in charge of a different category: hotels, food, and gas money. Then we calculated what it would cost and came up with a list of jobs that needed to be done inside and outside and assigned dollar amounts to them. So, yes we're still paying for all of vacation, but our kids have literally EARNED it. Here are some things they've done this summer:
|Caleb chopped down the bushes that used to be here, Benjamin built the box to frame the garden in, and Nathaniel helped put down mulch and plant some flowers.|
|The garden box in the picture above is where that mess off to the right in this picture used to be.|
|This was just one coat, but Caleb stained and sealed our pretty Adirondack chairs to protect them from the elements.|
|This sad looking deck has needed to be taken down for some time. All three boys and I worked on taking it apart using nothing but hand tools, then we power washed the concrete patio that was hiding underneath.|
Monday, October 7, 2013
Today I'm trying to clean up the disaster that is my house after all of us did nothing but eat and watch General Conference for two days.
We all know that I can't be bothered to JUST clean. So I keep taking breaks and reading a chapter or two of "The Huaca" by my friend Marcia Mickelson. This is Marcia's 4th published book and I'm really enjoying it so far. Todd and Marcia went to high school together, and then she and I both had our first babies right around the same time. I love that despite having 3 boys and working, she has still written 4 novels. She's kind of my hero, and an all around fantastic person.
And now, I've got to hurry and finish my chapter, then finish cleaning the living room before my piano students get here!