Sunday, August 31, 2008

School Pride or Brainwashing??

Hanging with Uncles John and Nate
Flexing his muscles for the camera
trying to roar like a cougar

So my husband is a huge sports junkie....especially when it comes to college football. My husband is a true-blue BYU fan. He's watched every game since he was little, and most of them more than once (because he records them or watches them when they show old games on BYU TV). It's not really something I completely understand. But our children know the words to the Cougar fight song from about the time they first start to talk. My husband hates the color red (rivalry color---U of U) and absolutely owns NOTHING even remotely red...not even a stripe of red in it. He's trained our children red is bad, too. Once at Halloween they had dumped all of their candy on the floor to admire it and compare their stash, and Lauren said, yuck, I don't want a RED sucker, it's a Utes color so it's bad, and she threw it aside. (are you starting to feel like I, they're BRAINWASHED?)

Matt took our son to his first BYU home game yesterday. It was a proud day for Daddy. They left two hours early so they could see the team warm up. My boy was at the stadium from 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Matt said our boy would stand up and sing every word of the fight song when they scored. The ladies sitting behind them were amazed that he'd know it at such a young age. Matt said "Yeah, you have to train your kids right. We sing the cougar fight song every night at bed time (a true story)............the ladies said, "Oh, that's too cute". Then Matt said, "Yeah, and we read the media guide every night as his bedtime story." The ladies said...."Okay, that's weird............... and probably taking it a little too far."

I'll have to vote for BRAINWASHED!

Kids Say the Darndest Things

I wish I was better at writing down all the cute and funny things that my children say. I always have good intentions. There's been a couple things I've heard lately that I thought I'd share.
It seems that with the start of a new school year that I've been using a marker to write names on everything that my kids take to school. Backpacks, lunch boxes, pencil boxes, etc. I guess Anthon has taken notice to this. This morning we had him use our bathroom toilet before going to church. He opened the lid to the toilet and got all excited and started screaming, "Look, it says my name! Its says Anthon right here. Mommy wrote my name on the toilet!" I didn't want to spoil it for him and tell him it really said, "American Standard".
Micaela has become familiar with garage sales. Not because she's ever really been to one, but as we have driven by them she has asked why everything from inside a house is out on the grass. So I explained to her that a garage sale is a bunch of different things that people no longer want and then they put them outside and see if anybody wants to pay money for them. The other night we were going for a walk in our neighborhood. There's a house that back ups to a park. They have all kinds of various plastic toys, play structures, etc. that are all mismatched and there yard looks rather cluttered. As we walked on the trail behind their backyard Micaela said,"Look, Mom, they're having a garage sale at their house today."
Today in church the family who was sitting behind us has very cute and rather loud children. The one little girl was lying down on her fathers lap. Then she said really loud....." come there's hair in your nose??!!"
You gotta love the honesty of children.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My Thoughtful Girl!

(MY POSTS ARE OUT OF ORDER.....I meant for this post to be after the hiking post. I'm still figuring this whole blog thing out! So if you read this post after the "A Hike, Some Laughs, and a Couple of Donuts, it makes a little more sense)
Micaela really wanted to go on the hike with Lauren and I on Saturday morning. Having taken her with me on my 2 1/2 mile exercise route (and she's on her bike) I knew she would not be able to make it, and I knew I couldn't carry her up the mountain. So she stayed home to have a Wii competition with Daddy, though she would have preferred to come.

When I returned home I realized Micaela had been doing small acts of kindness around our house....including making our bed. We left so early Matt was still in bed, so it didn't get made before I left. I am really particular about how my bed is made, and which pillows go where. Every time I passed my bed on Saturday I thought of my sweet, darling, thoughtful girl. She is such a treasure in our home, and such a peacemaker. Quite often when there's a dispute, or conflict, she'll be the one to give up something, just so there can be peace. And she has quite a strong personality, so it's not that she's a pushover. She's just a very thoughtful, kind, girl. Though my bed had lumps, and some pillow tags sticking up, every time I walked by my bed it was a reminder that my daughter loved me, and this was her way of serving me and that she had thought about me while I was gone half the day. And I think she did a great job making that enormous california king bed all by her five-year old self!!!! I just had to take a picture of it!

A Hike, Some Laughs, and a Couple Donuts

Last year Lauren and I had a mother daughter day and hiked to Timpanogas Cave together. We had a blast, so she asked if we could go again this summer. This year she wanted to invite Papa and Uncle Steve (my dad and brother).
So…. bright and early Saturday morning the four of us headed up American Fork Canyon. We had a lot of fun. The trail is a mile and a half up. I believe it’s the perfect hike. It’s not an easy nature walk, it’s definitely a hike, and the cave at the end makes it well worth it.
We had a lot of fun together. Steve and my father have a great sense of humor. I was laughing all the way up and back down the trail. Here was how some of the conversation went:
Shirlene: (on the way up the trail) After all of this exercise we better stop and get donuts on the way home..
Lauren: Yeah, I want a big jelly donut…..wouldn’t it be cool if jelly donuts grew on trees and we could just pick one right now.
Steve: Yeah, maybe we could arm--wrestle a bear for a jelly donut.
Lauren: There’s bears up here?!!?
Shirlene: We’ll just put some bear repellant on….they won’t bother us.
Steve: Yeah, Lauren, you put your beef jerky cologne on this morning, didn’t you??!
Steve: Maybe we should open up a donut stand somewhere along this trail. We could make lots of money.

Dad: So who discovered Timpanogas Cave anyway?
Steve: I believe it was Walt Disney. I’m pretty sure this is a Walt Disney attraction. Be on the look out for Snow White and the Seven Dwarf’s, Lauren.

(taking a break to share some fish crackers
and granola bars)
(Uncle Steve got a little too comfortable on a

On our way down the trail, Dad and Steve were so encouraging of all the hikers. Several people had kids on their backs, and dragging others up the mountain (one girl about Lauren’s age was crying uncontrollably, for no apparent reason, other than she probably was sick of hiking). Some of these people my Dad would say, “Only twenty miles more to go”…..Steve would start laughing in his contagious laugh and say “another few miles up and you’ll have to abandon your wife and children…’s survival of the fittest.”
My Dad made friends with everyone along the trail. Then he’d stop on the bench and hold his chest and say, “hook me up to the oxygen”.
Lauren was a great little hiker. She never once complained. The last two switchbacks are a little steep and she was skipping up them.
I think Lauren is my hiker. She loves it and could go forever. Yeah, a hiking buddy!

(proof I was there!!!)

(You thought I was kidding about
the donuts. Nope! And oooooh, were
they good!!!!)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

When I grow up I want to be.......

Micaela absolutely loves dance and especially ballet. She's always dancing around the house, and it's amazing how she can stand on her toes and dance, without pointe shoes on. I've never seen anything like it before!!!! Watching her makes my feet hurt. When she grows up she wants to dance on stage as a lead in a ballet. She can't wait until she's old enough to take a pointe class.

When we were at the dance studio for Lauren's pictures, Micaela was with us. The photographer and studio owners asked if they could borrow Micaela and her friend Halle (who also takes dance at the same studio) for a photo shoot with one of the older ballet students in her Swan Lake costume. This is how they turned out. I just got a disk from the photographer. I can't wait to get them enlarged for Micaela's room. I just bought a used pair of pointe shoes yesterday to hang off the corner of the frame. What do you think??? I love them!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Can you believe it---I went Camping!!

Anyone who knows me well enough knows I hate camping. If I'm not going to sleep in my own bed, then it better be at a Marriott..... or nicer.

But this last Thursday my father called me and said he'd reserved a campground in American Fork canyon at the base of Mnt. Timpanogas and requested that our family come and stay with him, my two single brothers, and he talked my mother into it. (Matt didn't go because of work)

I must admit I was hesitant at first. But I thought, what the heck, and my children really wanted to we did. I did not sleep at all. But it was so relaxing and I was truly amazed at the majestic beauty of the mountains. I don't know how you can be in nature and not feel a connection to a greater and higher being. The scenery really was breathtaking. And despite lack of sleep and whiny kids the next day, I was really glad that we went.

It was fun to have dinner around the campfire and make s'mores. To stay up late talking. And to take a hike the next day. Anthon really enjoyed getting dirty....not something I usually let him do (I can't stand dirty kids. My children get a bath every day of their lives). And Micaela hates tennis shoes, so she opted to wear 'ballet flats' , and thought they'd work as her ballerina shoes so that she could dance in the mountains. She found a flat spot which was an area for a tent and it became her stage and she danced for us all night.

My children had so much fun with their Uncle Steve and Uncle Chris. They adore their uncles on both sides. (I so appreciate the time that their uncles take to spend with them and play with them and love them and be apart of their lives. If you ask AJ who loves him, with hesitation he'll say, "Uncle Ben!" I'm glad they get to see their uncles often so that they know them so well.) While on our little hike, as the kids got tired Steve hoisted AJ on his shoulders, and next Chris followed by carrying Micaela down the mountain.
I'm not sure I'll go camping anytime soon. But I am grateful for the opportunity of spending time with my family....and making memories with them.

My Children's Greatest Heroes

We had a wonderful opportunity this last week to have the local LDS missionaries in our home for dinner. From what I understand, this is a rare opportunity in Utah. Their area includes so many different Stakes and wards, that each ward only gets to feed them twice a year. This was our first time.

We also had two of Matt's 16 year old Priests from his youth group over as well.

My children were eagerly awaiting their arrival and looking out of our glass sidelights to our front door until they could get a glimpse of them. When I saw the missionaries they looked so young to me. I'm sure that's not because I've gotten old and have 17 years on them. But in reality, they are young...19 or 20 years old.

Despite them being young in age they were so mannerly, polite, and carried with them such a great spirit. When they prayed you really felt that they were connecting to our Heavenly Father and communicating with Him. And they asked if they could leave us with a thought. The Elder from South American gave the thought, and talked about Faith. The spirit was so strong. You could tell that they really believed in what they were speaking, and what they were doing with their lives in serving a mission and teaching others to come unto Christ. I was very impressed with them.

While they were finishing dinner, my girls and Anthon drew them pictures, and then asked to have their pictures taken with if they were celebrities. But this is because the missionaries are heroes in our mind.

While we were taking the pictures the two 16 year olds from our neighborhood said...."It's like the missionaries are characters from Disneyland or something and you stopped to take pictures with them!" We admire the missionaries service and dedication in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm glad that my children admire and look up to the missionaries.....they possess so many more quality attributes than any celebrity probably ever could.

Uncle Nate's Garden Party

Matt's parents are currently serving a mission for the Church in the Congo of Africa. It's been a pretty interesting experience to read their blogs and hear their stories and experiences they've had there. I'm sure we'll have a greater understanding of all the service they rendered once they get back. They are serving a Welfare mission and are "Country Directors'. From what I understand some of the projects they have oversaw was clean water (most people have to walk miles several times a day in order to get water...and then it's not even clean), wheel chairs for disabled individuals (see the video at the end of this post if you want to be touched and get a good cry for the day). They've also done clean beds for hospitals, and lots of different hospital training, including eye surgery for cataract, and newborn resuscitation. They are due home the end of September, and we're praying there is someone to replace them so they can come home. (Strangely it's one of the most expensive missions for couples.)

Matt's brother Nate who is a swingin' bachelor has been living in their house while they've been gone. He's done a great job taking care of their place but we decided we'd all get together for a "garden party" and try to spruce up the yard and do some cleaning up in preparation of their return. All the grand kids, children and spouses came to help. The younger kids played in water, while the rest of us worked, then we had lunch together.

Matt, I, nor the kids have been in their home since they left. My children were a little confused and couldn't find where the bathroom was when they needed to use it. They vaguely remembered it was Grandma and Grandpa's house, but couldn't quite remember the layout. They had a 'playroom' upstairs in one of the extra bedrooms before they left. While we were there on Saturday Micaela wanted to go and see the playroom. I told her to go upstairs by herself because I didn't want to be wandering around "Nate's" house. So she ran upstairs to see the playroom and I waited at the bottom of the stairs. After a minute she came running to the top of the stairs to report in an alarmed voice, "Mom! I can't believe it...someone changed the playroom into a bathroom!" Don't be scared Marilyn' and Farrell, Nate has not done any remodeling to your home.....Micaela just felt a little lost in your house. I'm sure once your back home and after a couple of visits she'll feel right at home again. We can't wait for you to get home!!!

(Matt his brother Ben...our boy Anthon and Ben's new baby Mari.......taking a break)

(Lauren and her cousin Eve)

Some of the gang...

oldest granddaughter, Jennie

Grandparent's Wheelchair Project in Africa
(This is a project that they were intimately involved in. This footage was taken by my mother in law.)

Addendum to 'K-I-S-S-I-N-G'

I posted a few days ago that Micaela and her good friend MacKay (a boy) have been caught kissing each other.

Well yesterday, we were driving home from the mall together as a family. Matt was informed of this show of affection through my blog, apparently. So he brought it up in the car ride home. He asked Micaela what was this stuff he was hearing that she and MacKay had been kissing. And then they had a conversation about it, and how it's okay to hold hands and to love MacKay, and that he's a good kid and we really like him, but that we don't kiss him. After Matt's council, this is how Micaela responded: (exact words---and remember how expressive and enthusiastic she talks)

"Yuck, kissing is so gross. I think it's the most disgusting thing in all the land. I can't believe I used to think it was so romantic!!!"

So case closed. Her Dad talked to her about it, and luckily she now apparently thinks that it's gross. Hopefully she'll continue to think it's gross for many, many more years! I'm scared to have teenagers--YIKES!