Sunday, November 15, 2015

Dinner in the London Fog

I forgot to show you this photo of Marc leading climbing for his first time! Lead climbing is when you don't have a rope going before you while rock climbing but instead you are carrying the rope with you and clipping in aver 6 feet or so.

He said it was quite terrifying, but he did it! I love that rock climbing and canyoneering is becoming part of our lives in such a big way!

Also, I just have to interject this photo so you can see Marc's humor... he'll just randomly send me texts like this sometimes....

Ha ha! Funny Honey!

We had some friends, Dan and Mike over for Thai Food on Monday night. Our kids have really come to love Dan and Sister was very excited for his arrival so she set the table for dinner. Marc took a picture of her hard work, but she was a little embarrassed about the praise.

I love taking pictures on my little hikes. I hope it inspires other people to get out there and enjoy the outdoors... I also like to show how beautiful the area is that I live in.

Play rehearsal for "It's a Wonderful Life" continues to get better and better. I really love meeting new people and making lifelong friends. Oh, and, by the way, that is my "husband" Mr. Martini on the far left.
I love to cook, no bake, but cook. I must admit, though, that I can get distracted while cooking with other things going on in the house... and sometimes, just sometimes, I cause a little smoke or burnt smell.

I had burnt a pan (I hadn't put anything in it yet, and forgot I had the burner on to heat it up) and I was nonchalantly opening windows and doors to let the smoke escape.

Marc started laughing from the other room and said, "Oh, I just love this London Fog! Isn't lovely?"

I laughed really hard and was grateful he had a sense of humor about being smoked out.

He just had to take pictures to document it.

The sun rays add to the drama of the "fog."

When I first married Marc, James Bond, was just a name and I had never seen the movies. Well, long story short, I've seen them all (from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig) and I am hooked. So we always get excited to see the latest and "Spectre" was no exception. We liked it so much we had to get poster pictures to document our date with Bond.

Our kids are such a joy! I mean, they really are. Every little accomplishment and word they say are quite treasured. Baby was coloring this butterflies and was happily singing a "Vampire Butterfly" song she had made up for the occasion.

After enjoying the vampire butterflies and getting Baby off to school I met up with my friend, Naomi, and we hiked to the "Y" in Provo by BYU Campus.

I haven't hiked the "Y" since I was a teenager and boy oh boy it's quite a steep climb. It was awesome though.

Thanks,  Naomi, for letting me use your pictures (my camera had no more room)

Day 319 of 365 Days of Up

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Laptop and Parenting Issues

My laptop broke.

I thought the battery just died, but nope, it's toast.

I had to pay to get all my stuff off the hard drive and that was frustrating.

So now I am blogging on my old, old, old laptop... which really doesn't seem like a big deal, but it's the way I have to use it that is funny/annoying.

The screen has a glitch of some sort so in order to type with two hands I have to sit up on my bed, lay the laptop in front of me and hold the screen at a certain pressure with my left foot in order to keep the screen on so I can see...

Here, let me take a picture... just a second... because this is all going to be tricky because I also can't leave the computer unattended for more than 30 seconds or it shuts itself down.

OK, here it is... I know the suspense was killing you!

Ha! I love our life! It's never dull!

I was getting my phone fixed yesterday and when I came to pick it up there was a mother carrying her child (maybe 5 or 6 years old) torpedo style to put her in the van to leave. I immediately recognized the stress on the mom's face and the sound of the child's rants... she was dealing with a child with special needs. I had a flash in my mind of what I must look like so often to others when my children are having issues and all the times I've had to just avoid the judging stares and awkward glances. So, because of my own experiences, I knew it was best to let Mom take care of the situation the way she knew how and not to judge her in any way.

I went into the store, had a nice exchange to get my repaired phone and happily walked out of the store and turned the corner to see the same little girl now pacing back and forth and grunting and screaming. I looked to see where Mom was and she was sitting on the front of her van and was on her phone... now let me pause here... Some people may see this situation and think, "Oh mom gave up and just decided to check her Facebook likes while her daughter has a tantrum."

I had another scenario in my head, like one that I would be in, "Uh oh, the little one is having a major melt down and being in the car is making it worse. All I can do is wait for her to make the decision to get into the car on her own so that we can both be safe on the drive. I have to inform so-and-so to let them know I will be late or possibly have to cancel today's plans so instead of calling so my little one can here me talking about her, I will make sure to send a text."

I bet a lot of  you out there wouldn't have thought about the situation in that way.

I encouragingly and empathetically spoke to the mom from across the way and assured her that I understood and have been in the same situation a few times myself and to just hang in there. She looked at me through almost-tears and said, "What else can I do when she won't stay in her seat belt and is putting us both in danger with her melt down?" and then gave a nervous chuckle and nodded towards her daughter and I witnessed the young one now removing items of clothing one at time and throwing them.

I wanted to hug the mom and tell her it would all be OK and that this is just a blip in time that would soon be overshadowed by the good things.

But, mostly, I wanted to write this post in hopes that more people would have a different perspective on situations like these and have sympathy and respect and not pass judgement or scorn. Sometimes you can't really help with the situation, but, at least showing sympathy and respect can be strengthening in to mother in these similar situations.

I can't even tell you how many times I have had total strangers say things to me that are judgmental and degrading. I'll never forget a time when Sister was having a complete melt down in the middle of a small store and  in her fits of anxiety she had knocked over an entire display of something that scattered all across the floor in all directions. I was trying to hold onto Sister all while still holding a tiny Baby and the stress of the meltdowns that had happened before was all coming to the surface and I was holding back tears as  tried to pick up the mess of what was my life in front of me. I saw a woman walking toward me and my tears were halted as I took it as an act of kindness that she was coming toward me to help me with the mess and girls.


She was coming to give me a piece of her mind,

"People shouldn't even bring kids like that into a store at all!"

And then she walked away.

I hope you are NEVER that person.

You don't have any idea what a person has gone through in a day or even the last few minutes so try to be understanding and kind.

You just never know who out there might be like my laptop and just hanging in there only with the support of someone to keep your lights on and your body from shutting down.

Be the support that keeps their light from dimming.

Check in on someone every so often to make sure they haven't shut down.

My UP today is that I am grateful for my opportunity in life to understand more deeply what some people might be going through.

My other UP today is that I am actually grateful for that right now.


Day 315 of 365 Days of Up

Thursday, November 5, 2015

I needed a band-aid?

I am amazed at what our kids can do with the help of technology.

I had to delete YouTube from the kids' iPods because they kept running into stuff that no one should see, let alone kids! Anyway, I deleted that and then heard about a YouTube App that is for kids.

So I tried it.

I haven't thought much of it, other than how nice it is that the kids don't find things they shouldn't until this morning.

They have a feature on the app that you can "speak" what you are searching for. So instead of wandering aimlessly through cyberspace trying to find what they want, or hoping they type in an actual word, they just push the microphone button and say what they are looking for.

Sister has been doing this for the last week or so. She gets really frustrated with it when it doesn't understand her interpretation of what words sound like, but for the most part it has been nice not to have to type everything in for her that she wants to find. She just says, "Batman egg surprise" and voila there it is.

Well, this morning I heard baby talking to her iPod. I kind of giggled since she doesn't always speak so clearly. Once I started paying attention though, I realized she was saying the same phrase over and over again until she said it the right way so her YouTube App would understand, "My Little Pony surprise egg."

I looked at her screen and there it was, in plain words across the search bar of her screen.

She had been learning from her sister.

She had the patience and drive to try it over and over again until she got it!

I love when things are discovered around this house for the benefit of our kids.

To have something that encourages speech!


I had to take a picture of her with her iPod (and her hair was so cute with her little hair springs):

It's a good thing, too, that she was so cute this morning because when I had to take her to the doctor this afternoon I had to keep remembering that while she was kicking, screaming and hitting at me.

It didn't really help my situation either that I was running late, my tire was almost flat so I had to stop and pump it up and then when getting Baby she was much less than cooperative or happy.

I imagine carrying her to the car when she is not happy about it would be about the equivalent of carrying a flopping dolphin 30 yards over a rickety bridge to the next pool...

Anyway, we get to the doctor late, there for my usual 30 minute-one hour wait became and hour and 45 minute wait... !!! Ugh!

Luckily after Baby had thrown the toys in the room, my iPhone, my purse and then thrown them all at me individually a few times she was finally calm enough to just sit... either than or she just wore herself right out.

Anyway, yada, yada, yada... at the end of the appointment she had to get her Kindergarten shots...

Wasn't pretty.

In fact, it's really sad actually because she was kicking and freaking out so much the need actually ended up scratching her leg pretty good on the way out.

Makes me cringe.

I think the nurse needs to practice on a dolphin... while she's riding it... through the waves...

Anyway, after making a HUGE scene in the hallway while every passer-by observed my dolphin wrangling technique I finally got the print out of the immunizations to give to the school and we were out of there.

The experience of getting Baby in the van after that was competitive to a greased pig chase, only it wasn't a cute little pig... it's one of those wily ones than can kick at ya. (Don't ask how I even know what it's like to catch a greased pig... OK, I don't, I've just heard my mom's stories...)


We made it. Back in one piece.

I made dinner.

Then I was freshening up before going to rehearsal and I noticed I had a little green friend.


Thank goodness, not a boogar.

A band-aid.

The band-aid that was for her shot site, somehow ended up on my shoulder from Baby's thigh during all the dolphin and pig wrestling... She was wearing pants... I don't know how it got there... on my shoulder... perfectly placed.


Day 309 of 365 Days of Up

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Up, Up and Away

I was feeling better today so I was able to get my butt going and get some things done today.

That's always an UP to feel like you have actually accomplished something.

Sister was up being sick last night, but she was popping all over this morning with happiness and excitement saying she was all better so I let her go to school.

So that gave me the day to do some much needed tasks and chores. I even got my Halloween decorations put away, fixed up some of my Thanksgiving ones and put those out, then caulked my leaky sink, did laundry and even cleaned carpets that I didn't do last time.

I mean, really, I feel like I conquered the world!

Another UP of the day was going and taking family photos for a high school friend and meeting her family.

I am surprised how much I love to see people I went to school with and meet their families, but what an even greater experience it was to spend an hour with them making them smile.

There was a really cool thing that happened during the shoot and I turned just in time to catch a shot, but we were in an area where the National Guard planes were flying low! It was pretty amazing and quite reverencing too with the thought of Veteran's Day coming up.

Day 308 of 365 Days of Up

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Little Scooby Do Song

I've been feeling sick today, so I really haven't felt exactly UP... I've been more like down, because my bed has been calling my name.

I'm hoping it's just because I neglected my diet this weekend and went to town on too much candy and sweets.

I haven't eaten stuff like that in a gluttonous amount for a long time and I think my body is kicking me back for it.

Anyway, it was good because I did post two posts today to catch up and I was just going to skip today so you all didn't get sick of hearing from me.

Then after Marc got home from work I heard him singing with the girls.

It was so cute!

It was my UP today!

Day 306 of 365 Days of Up

The Game of Sorry

My Brother's baby was blessed yesterday and through a series of events I missed being there in time to watch, but was able to hear his sweet words for her while listening in the foyer outside the chapel.

Once I got into the chapel, I cried a little because I was so disappointed in myself for not being on time and missing out on a special moment for our family, specifically my brother and his wife.

I said "sorry" a few times, but it didn't seem to make me feel any better about the fact that I missed this important event.

"Sorry" is an interesting word that can wield so much power yet leave a person feeling helpless and vulnerable at the same time.

I say sorry to my kids a lot.

They sorry to us a lot.

Sometimes it is just a word.

Sometimes it is a feeling.

Sometimes it is an action.

Brother will bite me in his moment of anxiety and frustration and then quickly, with tear-filled eyes, he will say he is sorry over and over again and you feel that he is sincere in his disappointment for his actions.

Sister will say "sorry" quickly if she knows she may lose a privilege and you know it is only to save her own self from being in trouble.

Baby says "sorry" with a big smile on her face because she thinks it is just a game to play so that she can laugh that she is sorry about not being sorry...

Recently we received a letter in the mail reminding us of a specific kind of "sorry" that demands a lot of us on our parts.

It's one of those things that gets really complicated and a little ugly because the word, "sorry," doesn't seem to cut it in this situation.

The game of "sorry" is a tricky one.

We must be humble enough to apologize, but we must also be strong enough to not take more of the blame than is ours, and we have to be willing, able and bold enough to accept "sorry" in circumstances that may have affected us for life.

Years ago Marc's mom started to play "Sorry" with the Brother and Sister. The actual board game, "Sorry." They fell in love with it right away and it has since been their go-to game.

They won't play it with me though... it's mostly a Grandma Lynne thing.

And that's OK.

I am glad they have their thing with her that stands out and creates special memories.

Sister asked Grandma Lynne to play after dinner yesterday and Marc captured a few pictures. It was such an UP to see Sister so giddily playing a board game with her grandma.

I love these pictures! I know they will be among the treasured ones.

I just hope that through my life actions and choices I can teach them, efficiently, the real life game of "sorry."

Sometimes things are easier written than done...

Day 305 of 365 Days of Up

A Feminine Spiderman...

All our kids dressed up for Halloween at their schools!! One of those little miracles at our house!

Granted, Brother only wore this mask in the morning, but hey, I was shocked he even put it on and then let me take a picture to boot!

And Sister, well, I forgot to get a shot of her in the morning before she left for school and she was so happy to see me at her school's costume parade that she couldn't hardly stay still and apparently neither could I so she's a bit of a blur. 

I love that she is such a confident girl in what she likes and wants, but I also have to laugh a little bit that she had to wear this Spiderman suit with the muscles. It was ironic because it's a little small on her and she is growing up so the pectoral muscles kinda made it look like a little feminine enhancement... tee hee! For a girl who refuses to act like a girl, she kind of defeated her purpose in her sassy Spiderman costume.

And, Baby, well, Baby doesn't like wearing anything really lately... no, I mean really. It's been a struggle to get her to wear anything other than her diaper.

So to get her to wear a costume I had to disguise it as being able to go to school in her pajamas. Luckily she was happy enough to be watching YouTube that I was able to style some Minnie Mouse-style buns and even smudge some black eye shadow on her nose! She was so adorable!

It was even more adorable when I caught her hanging out in her room before her bus came with the inspiration of her costume and looking like a little teenager in her room.

And as much as I wished her full costume would last all day, she came off the bus with buns and bow out, but a big smile, so I can't complain too much. (wink)

My sister was crazy enough to take our kids for the evening into Saturday afternoon so after my play rehearsal Marc and I attended a Halloween Party at the Scera. It was so much fun and I had a great time putting together my steampunk fairy costume.

Marc always rocks the creepy masks and stays in character and disguise the whole time.

The funniest/funnest part of the party was going through the haunted house experience.

I just have to laugh so hard at the differences in mine and Marc's personality because Marc walked through it with comments of being impressed and a smile at the great effects and complimenting the spooks on their acting ability. Then, there's me, screaming at every noise, movement, shadow and light flicker and falling in fear at the jumping out of the ghouls. So instead of ruining the experience for Marc I held onto a friend that had already been through and was good to let me hold onto his Minion overalls for dear life... I hope I didn't hurt him... ha ha ha!

There's just something about a good, clean scare that I get a rush out of. I love to give people a good scare too. My kids have gotten used to the fact that I like to startle them every once in a while and they have learned to scream hysterically and then laugh hysterically... I think it's actually a great sensory stimulation. (Oh the things I say to comfort myself with my quirks.)

Then, early Saturday morning Marc and I headed out to go to a canyoneering class with 12 Finger Outdoor Adventure and our friends Dan and Mike.

It was such a great date with Marc and I love being able to do an activity together that we both enjoy so much!

We learned knots and etiquette, skills and techniques and even laughed and shared stories and experiences the whole time! It was so much fun! I got to know some new people and really lifted my spirits throughout the entire experience.

It's pretty crazy to be on such an emotional and spiritual high and then go to a physical high.

I wore my Parade of Pumpkins shirt and my spider eatings to celebrate Halloween.
That's the LDS Provo Temple behind me in the valley... 
ya, and I was sitting cliffside... it was just that cool!

Marc and I.

We left our class a little early so that we could get the kids down and Jessie and Joel's in time for their neighborhood trunk or treat.

We were hoping that the kids would come back home with us so we could trick or treat the neighborhood, but we had also prepared ourselves in case they had decided that they wanted to stay with their cousins. It's always a bit of guess work with our kids because you never know if there is going to be a fit about a change or a fit about another change, or a fit about neither or both changes. I've learned the hard way to be prepared for all scenarios if it is possible.

When we got there the kids were so excited about going with their cousins to their neighborhood trunk or treat so the decision was made.

Jessie had made some soup and homemade rolls for dinner and my mom had come so we could celebrate her birthday a little bit as a family.

It's always fun to be with my mom on her birthday but the best part was seeing her out trunk or treating with the kids. It took me back to the days of seeing how happy and excited she was when she took us.

I was also so excited that even Baby decided to get a few treats.

Trick or treating scares Baby pretty good so even seeing her go to 5 spots is a great accomplishment.

It was fun to see Sister, Lil B and Baby walking together.

But it was even funner to see my mom excitedly walking with the grandkids on her favorite holiday and birthday. She was so happy, you couldn't help but smile.

So, after about 5 stops, Baby was done and instructed me to sit down so she could relax and start working on her stash.

This worked out great to my mom's advantage because then she was able to go to each trunk and say, "Hey, so my granddaughter is to scared to trick or treat anymore so can I get a piece of candy to give to her? ... and my sick brother." Ha! She had everyone laughing so of course she got candy.

Then Brother caught onto my mom's technique and decided it was was worth overcoming his fears and trick or treating with his grandma. She teaches us well...

We got back to our house around 8:00 and the kids didn't want to go out again so we just hung at our house and handed out candy to the trick or treaters that came.

Sister thought this business of handing out candy was the greatest activity ever and decided she needed put on her costume and take on that job.

It was so awesome to hear her excitement and watch her come a little out of her comfort zone to answer the door to neighborhood friends and give them candy. We were so proud of her.

One of the funniest and most creative trick or treat experiences of the night was when this door showed up at our door!

I told Brother to knock on it and our neighborhood friends handed us some candy!

We all thought this was a hoot and thoroughly enjoyed it enough to make them do it a few times so I could get some pictures!

Creative kids are always fun!

Days 303 - 304 of 365 Days of Up