Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Chewing Gum

So, I called Sam and Joseph in from outside around 8:30 tonight because it was time to start getting ready for bed. I came around the corner, and they were smiling they wry little smiles and I knew that something was up. I could see that they were chewing something, and I asked them what they were eating.

No answer.

Again, I asked and again no answer.

The third time, Sam gave himself up. "We've got gum", he said proudly. My children know that I confiscate any gum that comes in the house, and this was obviously the reason that they were being sneaky. Now, I'm not fundamentally opposed to gum, but in the hands of a five-year-old and a three-year-old, gum becomes a problem. Instead of getting mad, I decided to teach them correct principles.

"Now, there's nothing wrong with chewing gum, but it needs to stay in your mouth," I taught. "When you take the gum out of your mouth, it gets on things it shouldn't be on and it makes a big mess. If you take the gum out of your mouths, I'll take it away."

They had been properly taught, and now I just needed to know which of the other children on the playground had given them the gum so I could keep a watchful eye the next time I was out there.

"Who gave you the gum?" I asked Joseph.

"Sam" he replied.

"Where did you get the gum, Sam?"

"From the sidewalk."

and then I took the gum away.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Another Trip to the ER

Joseph had the fortune of making another appearance at the Emergency Room today. The kids were having a pillow fight while Ronny and I were making dinner. In all the excitement Sam picked up one of the Thomas the Train towers and clocked Joseph right between the eyes. It left a deep enough slice that we thought he should be checked out. Five minutes after arriving a 16 year old boy walked in with a similar cut on his nose, he however fell out of a tree to earn his scar. 30 minutes later Joseph and the other kid both had their faces super-glued back together.

While waiting to fill out paper work Joseph's nurse took him outside to watch the helicopter landing and then gave him a Teddy Bear to keep. While waiting for the numbing gel to work we watched the Beavers play for the National Championship once again. We came home just in time to see them win. Joseph has decided to name his bear "Darwin" after the Beavers short stop. Joseph was kind enough to share his stickers with his siblings and is doing well. He has even forgiven Sam although he likes to remind him about the trip to the hospital every chance he gets. And we thought it was just going to be a quiet Sunday afternoon.

Earlier this week I came down with the flu. Ronny of course had a big conference this week so he wasn't home much. However I was grateful to at least have him in town. The kids are happy he is home for bed time. They have informed me he tells better scripture stories. I am happy he is home to tell them. Ahh, what a day to end quite a week!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

New bikes and Strawbetty Jam

Last week we noticed Charley and Joseph were getting way too big for their bikes. So we started the hunt for a new bike. New bikes Charley's size are way out of our price range at the moment so we started the hunt for a used one. We found this bike on Craigslist for $6. It has definitely seen better days but it works just fine and Charley is so excited.

Joseph now inherits Charley's old bike. He is also very excited to have a bigger bike to ride. He and Charley are both getting used to hopping on a taller bike but once their on, they take off. Joseph's was concerned (and rightfully so) that this new bike to him is too girlish. It will get a fresh coat of blue spray paint this weekend to make it a boys bike. He can't wait!

Yesterday morning I went with a friend to pick strawberries. In an hours time I picked a total of 12 pounds. I didn't realize how much this was until I started making jam that afternoon. After 8 batches I have come to the end. When we get back from California I will do raspberry jam and then hopefully we will be done for the year at least until its time to make blackberry syrup in August. I love summer fruit and berries!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Father's Day

Father's Day was an interesting day for us. The kids and I made cards for Ronny Saturday night while he was at graduation. Sunday morning we woke up early and the kids and I made him blueberry muffins and scrambled eggs to take to him in bed. They brought along their cards for him to open. What I didn't realize was that they were buttering him up to see how much trouble the 4 of them could get into throughout the day. Here's how the day played out:

1. Sam threw his typical Sunday morning temper tantrum about wearing his Thomas shirt to church.
2. Charley left all of her art supplies scattered all over her bedroom floor after making Ronny's card.
3. Sam discovered the art supplies and dumped out two bottles of glitter on the carpet.
4. Sam opened the black stamp pad and stamped his feet and then walked all over the carpet.
5. While searching for the stamp pad Mom finds a basket of clean clothes Charley has told her she put away mixed with dirty ones.
6. Ben thought it was amusing to throw his lasagna on the wall at dinner time as every time he did so his siblings would burst into laughter.
7. Joseph yells "Damn It" on Aunt Deborah's answering machine after singing Happy Birthday.

Needless to say they all went to bed early last night. I should point out that Ronny did get a two hour nap in after church. Unfortunately he woke up to Mom discovering the black ink footprints in the house. I probably woke the neighbors up if they were having a nap as well. Here's to hoping your Father's Day was a bit more subdued.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Sam rides his bike!

Monday the kids and I went outside to play before it rained. I noticed that Sam was still struggling to ride his bike. That was it! Today is the day he was going to learn to ride his bike. I put Ben down to toddle around the lawn, Joseph was playing at the playground so I thought this would be a good time. Sam and I worked on peddling for about an hour and finally he made it around the quad on his own a couple of times. At that point my allergies were so bad I couldn't stand it any longer so we went back inside.

Yesterday Sam, his friend Jackson, another friend Mason, Ben, and I went on a walk to the dollar store. Sam rode his bike all the way there and halfway home before deciding he was too tired to continue. It was quite the adventure taking 4 little boys for such a long walk but they did great! I was so proud of Sam he did such a good job. That afternoon Sam woke up from a nap and begged to go outside to ride his bike. We have passed another milestone.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Fathers and Sons

The Aaronic Priesthood Commemoration campout was this last Friday and Saturday. I spent the entire time running from one place to another (after one person or another), so there are very few photos to document the event.

Here's one of Joseph on Friday night and one of Sam and Ben sleeping on Saturday morning (good time for pictures).

Ben is in my sleeping bag - very comfortable. Sam is in one of three identical sleeping bags that we got for the kids for Christmas 2005. You can't see it in this picture, but I was able to fit four double-sized air mattresses into our (10 man) tent. It was nice.

We had another family in the tent with us. Jared Stenson and his two boys, Rees and Luke liked the accommodations. I parked the van right next to the tent, so that the sliding side door opened right up to the back entrance of the tent. I put my laptop onto the floor of the van and we watched Return of the Jedi. I have an FM transmitter that plugs into the headphone jack, and we were able to transmit the movie sound right into the tent through some flashlight/radios that Denise and I got at Costco. It's not often that "camping" and "surround-sound" go hand in hand, but it worked great for us.

All in all we had a great time. Joseph is old enough to understand that he needs to be responsible, but not quite old enough to be responsible. Case in point: I instructed him that his most important job was to stay close to Sam while I pitched the tent. They ran off with the other boys, and a few minutes later, back comes Joseph, alone. He reported to me that he was doing a good job staying next to Sam. He just wanted to let me know. "Where's Sam?", I asked. "He's by the pond." was the response. This wasn't the one I was looking for, as my only other instruction was "Don't go by the water until I come with you." Did I mention that Joseph was already muddy up to his knees?

This year was a blast. Next year will be easier.