Friday, November 30, 2012

Love the Girl

I just read this article called "Rules for Mothers of Daughters."  Read it.  It is wonderful

I hope it does not make anyone feel guilty.  Perhaps we should call it "Great Ideas for Mothers of Daughters."  I think the only "rules" should be these:

  1. Love your daughter, no matter what.  Even when she doesn't want you to, and especially when you don't want to.
  2. Teach her about her infinite worth and royal heritage.  She will need this undergirding to get through what life has to throw at her.
  3. Show her how to love.
  4. Teach her that life is bigger than she is, and help guide her towards the best paths to become what God has set out for her.
  5. Keep loving her.  You both need it.
That's all.  But I think I'll go collect a hug now.  And maybe tomorrow we'll paint our toenails.

Parent Teacher Conferences

Not happy today.

After a few years of pulling teeth and general wrangling about the importance of schoolwork, Chris has decided that he could get good grades if he wanted to.  Better yet, he has decided to want to.  First term went so much better than last year, but he's slid back into some of his old, lackadaisical habits recently.

Today was parent/teacher conferences at Chris's school.  We looked at his grades together.  To his credit, they are mostly As.  Three, however, are considerably lower than that.  One was caused by just not turning in things he had done.  Easily remedied in that class.  The other two will be tougher.

Chris got angry, blaming his teachers for changing late-work policy and going over hard material too fast.  Then he complained that the classes were boring and not worth listening to.  He ramped up the rant by accusing me of not giving him any incentive to get good grades.  Other parents pay their children for good grades, or give big rewards.  I'm too stingy, to mean, and too uncaring, I know (he didn't actually say that, just so you know).

And for some reason, Chris did not want to go with me to talk with his teachers.  <sigh>

If you want consequences for grades, you have to accept the bad consequences, as well.  And that means going to an uncomfortable meeting with your teacher (who is unimpressed with your performance) and your mother (who is frustrated with your attitude and disappointed with your work ethic).

And part of growing up means taking accountability for your own actions, not shoving fault onto others around you.  It also means finding your incentive inside yourself instead of waiting for someone else to motivate you.  If you want a better environment, you have to put more into it.

Yes, I am listening to myself talk here.  And here are some ideas I found in this article today.  It talks about how to be happy at you job.  We all have jobs.

  1. Like your job. Employees who achieve great results care about what they do. They are always zealous and take an interest in all facets of their work, whether they are in the classroom, on an outreach program, in a fair booth or doing management tasks.
  2. If you are not happy with your work, find a way to make it interesting. Try increasing your job responsibilities or changing your outlook. Do not be scared to take on more responsibility. If you have the opposite problem and have too much on your plate, find out if you can delegate some of your responsibilities.
  3. Watch where you put blame. Where do you put the fault when you have a tough time with a supervisor? Blaming the other person will only cripple your attempt to change. We all have tough times at work. Some choose to complain, others choose to be productive and positive. Which kind are you?
  4. Ask for help from a boss or an HR representative, or ask a co- worker how he or she does a certain task so efficiently. Consider it a way of acquiring strength rather than exposing a weakness. Showing interest in your job is a positive step.
  5. Be a positive thinker. When you commit a mistake, tell yourself, “It's OK, I messed up, but I’ll do better next time.” Team players don’t waste time getting unduly upset about mistakes made. Instead, they gear up for the next opportunity.
  6. Be a team player. Top achievers share their knowledge, experience and time with others. They do not keep important information for themselves only. They do not act like only they can complete a task or are capable of completing an assignment correctly. A sign of a team player is that others on the team have the information to cover when one team member is out. Real team players are generous about their time and effort when it comes to contributing to the success of the team.
  7. Be cheerfully flexible. Plan on the fact that the unplanned will happen. Often we show our true mettle when a crises occurs and we have to deal with something unscheduled. Roll with the punches.
  8. When work is through, go home and do something. Walk around the block, or read a book. Work on a hobby or plant a flower. Make your home life as active as your work life. It will help you remember that work is only part of your life, and life is worth living. The more you do, the more you want to do. Your enthusiasm will motivate you and you will naturally achieve more — both at work and at home.

Yes, I made him go to parent/teacher conference with me.  And later we made up.  And now I'm having my own parent conference and finding some late work I need to redo and turn in.  I have some lackadaisical habits I need to get rid of, too.

And maybe tomorrow (or tomorrow's tomorrow) will be happier.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Lights

Yeah, we went to Big Box Mart and picked up a few strings of lights after all.  And wouldn't you know it, the same boys who have been begging to have our house all decked out in Christmas lights are the same boys who don't want to put them up?

So now, reluctantly, we have half the house lit.  Redneck, us.

To Bed!

I finally, finally got everyone to bed.  It's been one of those days.  The twins were all out of sorts, so I spent most of the morning sitting on the couch and reading stories to them.  They needed a lot of attention today, and threw countless screaming temper tantrums.  Naptime was brutal, and ended up with Georgie, Freddie, Angel, and Mom all passed out from exhaustion on the boys' bed.

We attempted to go to Cub Scout pack meeting, but after each little one had to go to the bathroom multiple times (score: Freddie 5, Georgie 4, Angel 2) AND change seats on the noisy folding chairs AND keep running to the door to hold it open indefinitely .. I gave up and packed up for home.  Trent was working this evening, and there just isn't enough of me to corral three tumultuous preschoolers during boring-to-them presentations.  By bedtime, I was a wreck.

By miraculous Heavenly intervention, they all went down to bed fairly easily.  This was good for my shot nerves.  Ben came back up and we visited for a few minutes.  I heard the rustle of twins getting up to go potty again, but they scampered back off when they saw that I saw them.

Ben said goodnight and I love you (!) and went downstairs to bed.  Momentarily, he was back up, holding a twin in each arm.  "Look who I found rummaging through my garbage can!"  He had thrown away some spice drops because they taste like the detestable black licorice that I like.  He put down the little thieves and they slowly inched towards me, proud of themselves, smiles tickling their lips and mischief dancing in their eyes.

As Freddie lifted his arms to hug me, I frowned and shook my head.  "Go back to bed!" I commanded.  "That was very naughty."  The smiles fell off their adorable faces as they turned in unison.  Single file, they shuffled slowly toward the bedroom with heads bowed and arms hanging dejectedly.  It was the saddest thing I've seen for a long time - and executed so precisely!  They must practice when I'm not looking.

Ben and I managed - barely - to stifle our laughter until they left the room.  Aren't twins fun after all?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Lost Shirt

Think of it something like the prodigal shirt- so sad to lose it, and so happy to get it back.  I present to you today, the modern parable:  The Lost Shirt.

Ben has started playing on a basketball league.  He loves it, and I think he's tall enough.  Today was his first game, and he was anxious to get there early.  He was indeed prompt (probably because we didn't take him to the game).  He had fifteen minutes to warm up and get his new basketball jersey.  He's always happy when he can have an earlier pick on the reversible jerseys, and doesn't end up with the smallest one in the bunch.

Ben picked out number 23, close to his lucky number of 13.  He took off the t-shirt he wore today and pulled on the new-smelling jersey.  He took some practice shots and warmed up to play.

Unfortunately, his team lost.  That's what happens when you don't have a practice before the first game, and you have a new team.  But Ben enjoyed playing the game, and came home happy to have played a good game of ball (and they didn't lose by much).

After being home for a few minutes, Ben peeled off his sweatshirt to show me the new, big-enough-for-a-tall-boy jersey.  He looked down to the floor where he had placed his basketball, and got a funny look on his face.  "Mom," he said sheepishly, "I think... no, I did.  I left my shirt at the basketball game.  Can you take me back to get it?  I really have to have it because I only have six shirts and if I lose one then I will only have five and then I'll get ribbed about wearing the same shirt on the same school day.  Please, Mom?"

I made a deal with Trent, and stayed home where it was warm.  I've been so cold lately!  Trent took the three little ones on a ride with Ben, and the five of them high-tailed it back to the school where the game was held.

They pulled into the parking lot, worried that there was only one other car.  "Please, please, please," Ben pleaded, sprinting to the doors.  Locked.  Ben ran to the front doors, and was relieved to find them still open.  The gym, however, was locked.  He pounded on the doors until the custodian opened up.  "Did you see my gray t-shirt?"  Ben was hopeful.  Nope.  No one had noticed anything.  Ben dashed in and searched.  Success!  He ran back to the car with his triumphant gray banner flying overhead.  (Or maybe I'm taking creative license, but it would look good in a movie, wouldn't it?)

They came back home in a jolly mood, looking at festively decorated houses and listening to Angel's new song, "Christmas lights, Christmas lights, Christmas lights, Christmas lights.  Christmas lights, Christmas lights, Christmas lights, Christmas lights, I wish we had some on our house because I think they are so pretty.  Christmas lights, Christmas lights."  At the end of the song, Freddie and Georgie shout, "Yay!" and clap their hands enthusiastically.  They also do this at church.

Trent pulled into the driveway, and Ben thanked him profusely.  Ben grabbed his treasured shirt, only to have the ultimate panic, "This.  Is not my shirt!"  His eyes were wild and Trent said he could hear Ben's heart screaming.  After three seconds of eternity, Trent said, "You're right.  That's the sweatshirt I left in the van.  Yours is over there."

Peace was restored.  Ben is funny.  The twins had a lovely drive with Daddy.  Trent is a good man for taking care of the kids when they panic.  And Angel may get some Christmas lights on our house.  I love this family!

The end.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Ultimate Career

I've been thinking a lot about being a mom.  I just have to say that I love it.  It's the hardest thing I've ever done, but I'm learning to find joy even in the difficult parts.  I've been told that I need to "get away" or "take a break" or "make some time for yourself."  Yeah.  When I have eight kids and a husband and a household to manage... when is there time for anything?  If there was anything, I'd just want some sleep.

I do understand the need for me to recharge, to have a break.  But it is frustrating to think I have to do all that I have to do, PLUS take out time for me.  And time out for Mom often takes the lowest priority, you know.  

So I've been learning to take mini-breaks.  I can pray for an extra moment when I dash into the bathroom.  I can ponder and plan as I crawl out of bed.  I have been impressed with how much of a difference it makes when I just smile.  And I ask for and give hugs.  Lots of them.  Today I'm working on giving compliments, because it is a two-for-one bucket filler special!  Fills my bucket, fills someone else's, too.  What a bonus.  

I'm glad I get to be Mom.  I have thought of other jobs, other careers, but this is the best one.  C.S. Lewis knew it, too.  He said, 

"The homemaker is the ultimate career.  All other careers exist for one purpose, and that is to support the ultimate career."


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Learning Colors

Red.  Blue.  Black.  The twins are starting to notice that colors are different.  I'm glad, 'cuz their dad is a little bit colorblind.  We'll see how the little ones do.  The Angel has them all figured out, so she is a good coach.

When I start teaching new concepts, I try to incorporate it into as many ordinary things as I can.  "You want a drink of water?  Great!  You can have a drink in the RED cup, and Georgie can have a drink in the BLUE cup.  And Angel has the ORANGE cup.  You have red, Georgie has blue, and Angel has orange.  What color is your cup?"  We go over it enough times to make a non-toddler-mother nervous tics, because that is how they learn.

Georgie is starting to get the hang of red, blue, and green.  Freddie thinks everything is "lello."  We go through a single color and do identification.  "Here is a WHITE paper.  Look!  Your shirt is white.  What else is white?  Your milk?  Good job!  This envelope is white, and the cord is white, and this spoon is white."  Then I ask Freddie what color the spoon is.



 Everything good is lello.  It's such a cheerful color, and now I have a more cheerful name for it.  The marshmallows are my favorite.  It's such a cheerful color, and now I have a more cheerful name for it.  In honor of Freddie and one of the most cheerful people I haven't met yet, I'll call the color Maralello.

We all need a bit of cheer, don't we?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Toddler Naptime

It's a challenge to get a toddler to go to bed.  There are four phases:  wind down, get ready, placate, and whack-a-mole.

The wind-down phase begins just after all the hustle for the day is over.  For us, that's usually after dinner is cleaned up.  If I can keep the kids from running outside or having pillow fights or wrestling matches, I'm doing pretty well.  We read books and play quiet games.  At least that is the goal.  Usually life is somewhat subdued by then, but not always.  The biggest challenges lie in the fact that mother is tired at the end of the day, and sometimes relinquishes her role as schedule-keeper.  Then we all fall apart.

Getting ready is pretty self-explanatory.  We change into pajamas.  We brush our teeth.  We visit the bathroom.  If I'm feeling especially tired, I find that the kids change from day to night mindsets easier if I change into my pajamas, too.  We brush teeth assembly-style: line up Angel and the twins and just go down the line.  I sing a Barney song while I brush.  Yes, I will admit to having watched Barney on occasion.  He's not my favorite, but I really liked this song - or at least the first verse of it.  Here.  Watch.  You can thank me later.

If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops, 
Oh what a rain that would be!
I'd be standing outside with my mouth open wide,
Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah!
If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops, 
Oh what a rain that would be!

Of course, brushing is easier when the toddler is happily singing the "ah ah ah" part.  And it's just more fun.  They don't let me brush without singing now.  I have no idea how many times I've sung this song, or for how many years.  Another thing our family does in the "get ready" part is to gather together, read a chapter of scriptures, and say a family prayer.  It's just a nice way to end the day.

We give hugs and kisses all around, then lead the Angel off to bed.  Now it gets difficult.  She isn't ready yet.  She needs a drink of water.  Only Daddy can take her to bed tonight.  She wants three stories.  And two songs.  She can't sleep without the pink blanket Grandma made for her.  And her dolly is lost.  And can she sleep in someone else's room?  She might get nightmares if she can't sleep with someone else.  I tell her stories, let her recite the scripture she learned for Primary, say prayers with her ("bless me to have no bad dreams and only good dreams"), give her more kisses, and say goodnight.  I might get down the hall before she needs somethings else.  Usually I can do the whole process very briefly.  Daddy is more patient with his little girl.

The twins are a different story.  For a nap, I hold them on my lap and rock them while I tell quiet stories or sing gentle songs.  Sometimes Daddy will help, and we'll each hold one boy, rocking in the matched set of old, pink velvet upholstered rockers in their room.  Yes, pink.  They were a garage sale deal, and maybe one day I'll recover them.  Not any time soon.

When the twins have quieted down, I lay them down on the bed, and cover them with their blankets.  I often lay down between them to keep them from erupting.  I continue to sing, slower and more quietly, until Freddie starts to snore.  Sometimes I get a little nap in, too - until the snoring starts.

At night, we sometimes give them a cup of warm milk while we rock them.  The bedroom light is off, but the closet light has to be on, the door slightly ajar.  They will hop down and fix it just so if we did it wrong.  We always say prayers, with two little voices lisping every word after me.  Hugs and kisses for both - Georgie gives little kisses; Freddy's are strong and wet.  We don't lock them in anymore, just so you know.  I tiptoe out of the dark room, my mother-heart full of love for my babies.

On a good night - no, a wonderful night - that is the end of things.  I can read a book or take a bubble bath.  Let's be real.  I don't remember when I last took any kind of bath.  Usually, we begin to play whack-a-mole.  You know, the game where one thing pops up, and almost before you can respond, someone else has popped up?  Eddie gets up.  Daddy puts him back to bed.  The Angel needs something.  We escort her back to bed.  Freddie needs to go potty.  Now Eddie does, too.  Back to bed.  Up, down, up down.  I have a long history of playing the maddening nighttime game.

When Alec was about a year and a half, we had played this game with him for too long one night.  His daddy and I were trying to do taxes, and our patience was wearing thinner every time he got up.  I heard the tiny creak of his bedroom door, then the little shuffle of toddler feet.  Sighing, I turned away from the computer to get the little escape artist.  Our bedroom door slowly opened - two inches, six, a foot.  Unexpectedly, the head of a big black bear popped in the room.  Alec had his hand inside the stuffed animal puppet, and was making the most furious growling sounds he could muster.  It was all we could do to not laugh and encourage him.  I firmly took him back to bed, removed the toy, and left the room.  I did give him an extra squeeze, just because he makes me happy.

Being a mom makes me happy.  Even if I have to play whack-a-mole.

No children were harmed or whacked in the writing of this post.  Really.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Just in case any of my kidlets are reading this, I will say that we bought Christmas presents today.  Several of them.  And one is in a very large, flat box.  And one is jingly.  And one is dangerous.  And one is beautiful.  And a few are amazing.

And my bedroom is off-limits from now until Christmas morning.

Just so you know.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Poor Twinkie

Twinkie, my high school friend.  My dear, yellow-fluffy delight.  I pined for your creamy middle and your carbalicious sugary-ness.  As often as I could, I begged the cute boy to take me to the convenience store where I would buy a single cello-wrapped confection with my meager sofa-cushion-scrounged coins.  Driving in his old gray truck, I enjoyed every crumb and daintily licked my fingers.

I grew and moved on, but did not outgrow my love for you, Twinkie.  My husband loved your chocolatey brother.  In my youth I was also tempted to call my brothers ding dongs, but you had the fortitude to do so and be celebrated for it.  My dad called flighty girls by your more popular name.  You were part of my upbringing, my culture.  I was saddened to learn of your family's misfortune.

I need to go to the store and buy some Hostess to sadly introduce to my little children as we mourn.  Happy trails, Twinkie.  I will miss you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Apple Recipes

We've been doing more apples.  I didn't realize that Trent had cheery-picked the best apples out, put them in boxes in the storage room, and left all the bruised ones in the kitchen.  It hasn't been cold enough yet to really keep them well, so... more applesauce and apple butter!  The kids (and their parents) have loved both.  For breakfast, I had whole-wheat pancakes with apple butter (and whipped cream, but that may cancel the otherwise healthiness.  Maybe?).

I've been asked for the recipes, so here you go, compliments of my lovely sisters-in-law Heidi and Julie.  We have made some modifications, so I'll just write out what we did.  Thanks, ladies!

Crock Pot Apple Butter

5 1/2 pounds apples (mixing different kinds makes yummier sauce, but use whatever you have),
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves and nutmeg (which I totally would have used except I didn't have any so I put in a few dashes of ginger and allspice instead)

Cut the apples into halves or quarters.  I didn't peel or core the apples, just cut out the bad parts.  If you don't measure - like us - just fill up a 6 quart crockpot enough to still fit the lid on snugly.  Dump the sugar and spices over the apples in the crockpot and mix it up a bit.

Place the lid, turn it on low, and walk away.  I think we cooked the aromatic mess for 5-6 hours, until it is soft.  Take off the lid and continue cooking until it is the thickness you like (ours was another hour).

If it is too hot to handle, let it cool a bit, then run it through a Victorio strainer (you can skip this part if you peeled and cored the apples first - then you'd just have to use a blending stick or potato masher a bit, depending on how smooth you like it).  What comes out is delicious apple butter!  Ladle into hot jars and process like any other kind of jam.

Eat on pancakes, toast, biscuits, granola, or ice cream.

Crock Pot Applesauce

10 large cooking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
Fresh juice of one orange

Put all ingredients into crock pot.  Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours, or on high 4-5 hours.  Blend.

Again, we didn't peel or core because we the boys like to crank the strainer more than I like to peel, and I'm not sure we cooked it that long on low.  But it smells great, and it makes my mouth happy.

Happy crockery cooking!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Angel loves to have a story told or read to her.  Before she will take a nap, she needs to have a story.  Before she will go to bed at night, she wants to have three stories.  Now the twins like to have stories, too.  Come to think of it, all my kidlets have loved to have someone read to them.  We're a family of readers.

Recently, we came up with the brilliant idea to have her "read" stories to the twins.  They all love it.  Score.

The end.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Number Five

Happy Anniversary to the man I chose (and still choose) to spend my life with.  It's been an adventure, hasn't it?

And I do.  Still.  Even though.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Time Flies

I haven't written much.  Partly because I got burned out during October.  But mostly because I've just been loving being a mom.  Being a mom takes time - lots of it.  Forgive me if I enjoy making these memories more than  writing them down.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Juice Anxiety

I got some grapes.  A kind neighbor brought two boxes of small but deliciously tart purple grapes over.  The kids were beside themselves with excitement - until they found out there were seeds involved.  They were less than impressed with the "yucky parts."  I wanted to juice them, and maybe make some jelly.

I went down into the dungeon storage room and lugged out my mom's old graniteware steamer juicer.  I'd show you a picture, but my camera is not at home, and I can't even find a picture of the old thing on the internet anywhere!  It's that old.  It's like a big canning pot, except that there are three sections: the bottom one holds boiling water, the top holds fruit, and the steamed juice drips into the middle.  You get the juice through plastic tubing hooked onto a spout in the bottom of the middle pan.  

I washed all the grapes (with a lot of help and six little hands splashing in the kitchen sink), and loaded the top pan.  I made sure to fill the bottom pan with enough water, stacked all the pans, and carefully lifted the whole, heavy monster to the stove.  After simmering for a while, a rich, syrupy smell floated through the house.  It was heavenly.  

When enough juice collected in the middle pan, I was ready to unkink the hose and fill quart bottles with fresh grape juice.  And then I was paralyzed with childhood memories.  

When I was a little girl, my mom was doing a load of fruit... apples maybe?  I don't remember.  I do remember that she carefully poured a bit of hot juice into a cup and let me taste it as soon as it had cooled enough to not burn.  My young mouth was delighted, and as soon as she left the room, I wanted more.

I had seen how she unhooked the hose - and yummy juice came out!  I could do it, too.  I don't think I need to paint in too much detail the picture that followed.  Boiling juice all over me, the counters, gushing out the hose, pooling on the floor, my mother upset, little me crying...   I remember that it was a disaster and I certainly learned my lesson.

Decades later, I can't unhook the hose without worrying that I'll make such a colossal mess.  Isn't it interesting how memories can come flooding (bad pun, sorry) back when you least expect it?  Today I miss my mom, but with a smile on my face.  Thanks for not killing me, Mom!

And I successfully got a few quarts of really tasty grape juice to enjoy later!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Of Souls and Sauce

I've been making applesauce today.  Actually, I've been making applesauce for the past week or so.  With all my little helpers, it's been quite a process to work around little fingers, sharp knives, and boiling pans.

I haven't been saucing Red Delicious.  It was just the only apple left when I was done.  

Trent and the boys picked unwanted apples from two trees and brought me home boxes of sweet red Jonathans and crunchy yellow Golden Delicious apples.  Yum.  I made a few batches of applesauce on the stove, and then a few of apple butter in my crock pots.  Have to say I'm converted to the crock.  Again (thanks for the tip, Heidi!).

The process is time-consuming.  These were not great apples, but were bruised and full of worm holes.  I spent hours at the sink, sorting and washing and cutting out bad parts.  While I worked, I had plenty of time to think and learn.  There are many similarities between apples and people.

I learned that while there are occasional "flesh wounds," most blemishes are actually larger than they appear. We never know how deep a hurt goes.

I learned many people would throw away a badly bruised apple, but most of them, upon closer inspection, are at least 2/3 good.  Don't underestimate how much good there may be.  And don't judge too quickly.

I learned that knives cut.  I need to be careful with sharp things (my tongue, maybe?).

I learned that nobody is perfect, but there are all kinds of good.

I learned that when I find a flaw, it is to my best interest to cut it out quickly, and completely.  Letting it sit just increases the damage, and infects all the neighbors.

No one wants to look at the garbage, but we all have it!

I learned that I'd rather deal with an apple with one large bruise than a pretty apple riddled with wormholes.

I learned that I work better when I am standing on a soft rug.  I need to keep my feet comfortably grounded in good things to allow the rest of me to work without tiring.

I learned that good results take work.  And time.  Sometimes lots of both.

I learned that I should not procrastinate.  That only makes the job worse.  And bad apples make my whole house smell bad.

I leaned that I like being home.  Home.  Not just in my house, but fully engaged at being home.

And I learned that when I am blessed to be in the company of a truly beautiful apple, I should take my time and savor it.  Make the most of now, and enjoy it.

And cooking spiced apple butter in crocks makes the house smell delicious!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween '12

Not even going to apologize for bad pictures of the average costumes on the greatest people I'd love to stay with forever!

Ben was a "greaser" with his father's letterman's jacket.  (I took this picture when he dressed up for his "80's" choir concert, but his Halloween ensemble was similar - but with rolled-up jeans and a white t-shirt.)

Superman and Batman - we painted the logos on sweats that will keep them warm through the winter.  They didn't like the capes at first, but submitted after a while.

This is Eddie, the wizard.  He took an old ball-style light fixture to use as a crystal ball.

David's 6th grade class was studying Egypt, so they had to dress up as something related.  The black eyeliner was his idea, not mine.  He's a good sport!

Yeah, I'm the black widow.  The twins were a little wierded out by the plastic spider I stuck on my forehead, but all Angel would comment on was my red-painted nails.  She was an angel-butterfly-princess, because she couldn't decide between the three.

Angel wanted her picture taken with some friends at the elementary school costume parade.  These were the best costumes I saw, but I wish I had seen the ones my sister-in-law told me about: a guy dressed "gangnam style," dancing perfectly, with another guy in black mimicking his every move - his shadow!

I didn't get pictures of the superman shirt Trent wore, or the green velvet cape Chris sported to school.  My bad.  I wonder what Alec wore at college?  

I don't remember my first Halloween at college, but I know what I did for the second year.  I stuffed small pillows into the belly of a roomy jumper I had, and stuck a ball of yarn and some knitting in one of the pockets.  I made applesauce (really!) and "trick-or-treated" by going around to friends' apartments and giving out warm bottles of applesauce.  Barefoot, pregnant, knitting, and home-canning.  Somewhat domestic, no?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Toilet Paper

We were running low on toilet paper a while back (a long while back).  When Trent was at the store to pick up a few things, he spotted a great sale on cases of toilet paper.  It was too great to pass up.  So he bought a few.  It wasn't until he brought them home and installed a roll or two that we discovered it was thin one-ply.

Due to our pioneer heritage, we had to buck up and use it up.  We are tough enough to handle any difficulty. With some complaining, that is.  But we kept using it, and kept replacing the empty rolls with wonderfully transparent one-ply toilet paper.

We finally ran out.  And there was great rejoicing in the land.

The Angel carried a roll of toilet paper over to me (I didn't know she knew how to remove it from the holder!)  She help it close to her face.  In reverence she whispered, "Is this ours?"  Confused, I answered in the affirmative.  "Oh," she exclaimed, "I didn't know that!  I like it!"  She gently stroked her face with the new tissue's velvety two-ply softness, and solemnly sashayed back into the bathroom.

Lesson learned.  No more one-ply.