Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Scripture Stories

Sometimes I cry when I read the scriptures with my children. But mostly, they're tears of hilarity. In the early books of the Book of Mormon, I remember reading one night about the Whore of the Earth and damnation and being cast down to hell.  Oh my.  Without hearing it yourself, it's not as amusing, but Porter's little voice repeated innocently every phrase I offered him, without qualm or hesitation.  I know we're supposed to read the scriptures with our families, but his little voice often makes me ponder, and chuckle.

But wait.  It gets better.

Last night, we were reading the story of Abinadi and wicked King Noah.  We each read a few verses of Abinadi's sermon, and then it was Porter's turn.  As soon as I started reading, I saw it coming, but by then, there was no turning back.

Mosiah 12:5

Me:  "Yea, and I will cause ..."

PJ:  "yeaandIwillcause..."

Me:  "...that they shall have burdens..."

PJ: "thattheyshallhaveburdens..."

Me:  "...lashed upon their backs;"

PJ:  "lashedupontheirbacks..."

Me:  "and they shall be driven before..."

PJ:  "andtheyshallbedrivenbefore..."

Me:  "like a dumb ass." [Greg and I are attempting to stifle our laughter, Greg less successful than I]

PJ:  "like...a...dumb...ass?  Um, Mom, what's a dumbass?

Hilarity ensues.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Rusty Bucket Does It Again

My yearly tributes to Michelle continue.  This photo shoot took 5 minutes - maybe; it could have been less.  Honestly, I could spend all day trying to get my kids to smile and take a mediocre picture, but Michelle, well, she has the magic touch.  And I love her.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Happy Birthday, Linky-Doodle

Lincoln is 5.  It's weird to me that he's older now than Ethan was when our house burned.  Life moves quickly onward. 

Lincoln is busy and creative.  He would rather play with toys or draw/color than watch TV.  He sits quietly in primary and charms all the adults in his immediate vicinity.  And can I tell you about his eyes? Or his cheeks? Or how he steals hearts like it's nobody's business?

Happy birthday, Lincoln Dale.  What a blessing it is to have you in our home.

5-year-old favorites:

Food: Apples

Treat: Every treat (it's true folks, he's definitely my kid)
Book/Author: Mo Willems
TV Shows: Go Diego, Go
Place to go: Disneyland (to which place he has never been...yet, but we all dream, don't we?)
Person to visit: Samantha in Pinedale
Halloween candy: All of it (smart kid)
Song:  Down in the River
Color:  Rainbow colors

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Funk and a Promise

I've always thought daily scripture reading with my children would be a nice idea. In theory.  Only recently have I felt a strong desire to pursue it actively.  I had been in a little bit of a funk and after giving a Visiting Teaching lesson about bettering your family by first bettering yourself, I thought that reading my scriptures alone every day might not be enough.  So a few months ago, I formulated a plan and we put it into action.  And I waited for my in-house struggles to disappear.  Or not.

True story:  For nearly the first 2 weeks of reading scriptures each night as a family, my funk worsened. My patience was tested, my temper seemed short; I was overwhelmed. 

Then, I was running with Michelle early one morning, during which time we seem to have a lot of epiphanies.  And I had one.  I was telling her how I was striving to read each day with Greg and the kids, but didn't feel like it was paying off.  And then it hit me.  Of course I wasn't.  In this life, when we up our game and try to be more righteous and obedient, Satan ups his too.  It was suddenly very clear to me that this was the reason I was still struggling.  If scripture reading is too inconvenient, too rowdy, too frustrating, why not just quit and try again when they're older? Because it will be hard then, too; harder, maybe.  Also, in that scenario, Satan gains a small victory over my home.  BUT, if we will perservere and be diligent, we will be blessed.  And we were.

It was as if, immediately after my realization came, the change began to happen.  My temper wasn't so fragile, patience came a little easier.  The battle for peace in my home was more personal.  It's been a couple months now; I think we've only missed 2 nights of reading.  And one of the perks of incorporating something new into my family's schedule is that my children are like elephants - they never forget.  Even when it's late or we're cranky, somebody always remembers. 

When we started this new ritual, Ethan was just beginning to take off as an independent reader.  And when we began to read the Book of Mormon together, he soared; now, he is essentially fluent with scriptural language.  The little boys are more wiggly, but even they like to have their turn to read. 

The lesson:  In retrospect, it was hard to start.  Even though we are committed to doing something righteous and productive in our home, we cannot expect Satan to stand idly by while we slip farther from his grasp.  We have been told that the most important work we will do will be within the walls of our own home, and we have been promsied that if we will be obedient, we will be blessed.  We're working hard to have the Spirit in our home, to do the things our Heavenly Father has asked.  And we have been blessed - in more ways than I ever anticipated. 

Satan hates to lose. But today, in my house, he will.  And tomorrow. And the next day.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day and a Mother's Tribute

To all the veterans in my life and those unkonwn to me: Your service and perserverance in preserving this country's extraordinary freedoms will never be forgotten. Thank you for giving my children the opportunity to grow up knowing freedom. We live the way we live because of your service.

"I also wanted to pay tribute to my father, my mother, my Shirl (my other father) and to my son, Greg....all veterans. Greg joined the army right after 9/11. The first 9/11. He wasn't pressured by a draft....he did it because he loves his country. He served in Iraq during the very scary times. Greg, I am humbled to be your mother. Thank you for your service to this country. I wish I would have told Boyd Bronson, Gladys Bronson, and Shirl Kemp more often how grateful I was for their patriotism and service. God bless all veterans."  ~Elaine.

"Thanks mom....we come from good stock."  ~Greg

I'm so grateful to have this kind of patriotism in my family...and that my boys can learn gratitude for and the price of liberty from their father.  What a special gift.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ethan!

My oldest kid is 7.  I'm not sure how that happened, but I'm sure glad he's around.  Happy birthday, Ethan. We love you. A lot.

7-year-old Favorites:

Food: Quesadillas
Treat: Rainbow Sherbet ice cream and snickerdoodles
Book: Dr. Suess
Movie: Harry Potter (all)
TV Shows: Johnny Test and Looney Tunes
School subject: Science
Place to go: 7 Peaks
Person to visit: Grandma and aunts and uncles
Halloween candy: lemonheads

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I love to see the temple...


We had Family Home Evening up at the temple with Mike and Michelle, Kassie and all the kids.  Shelle was nice enough to take pictures for a project we've been talking about, and this is the result.  When I saw it for the first time, I almost fell over.

It was a marvelous family night.  And how about another shout out to our family photographer.  Part of what makes her so amazing is that she doesn't know how amazing she is. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

And so it begins...


Greg had a good talk with Ethan. He was stern and Ethan listened. Then later, when we were alone, I giggled and told Greg I would keep this note forever. He reminded me that Ethan had to turn it in to his teacher the next day. And that, my dear friends, is why it is emblazoned forever on the blog.

Gross...and cute

PJ put his darling little face right up next to mine and, looking straight in my eyes, asked: "Mom, you wanna know why always I pick my nose?"

I had to bite my lip so I wouldn't laugh in his face. "Yes," I said, poker face on.

Wide eyed and innocent: "It's cuz I just wanna see what cowor [read: color] dey are." 

Euw. That's gross. But at least it's honest.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Reading

For months and months, reading time has been tantamount to pulling teeth for Ethan.  He usually resists; he would rather be playing computer games or watching a cartoon or playing outside.  Tough.  I make him read anyway.

And then last night, the payoff. 

Each boy usually picks a book to take to bed with them.  And about 10 minutes after tucking them in, Ethan rushed into the famiy room holdling an intermediate Dr. Seuss book, excitement abounding. 

"MOM! I read ALL the way through this book! To the end! So now I need another one! Reading is awesome! It's like every time I start to read a book, I go there! To where the book is! I don't ever want to stop reading!"

Welcome to the club, Ethan.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Happy Day for Lincoln

Lincoln has been waiting for this day for a very long time.  And I'm counting my blessings. When I signed him up for preschool last spring, I was hoping against hope to get him into a morning slot, being that we're morning people and, since we thought Greg would be overseas, I wasn't expecting to still be working mornings. He didn't get one. But now that we're starting afternoon preschool, it works out perfectly because Link is home to play with PJ in the mornings while I work, and since they often keep each other consumed in imaginative play for hours, I am grateful for his a.m. presence.









Lincoln will be the perfect preschooler.  He loves people.  He loves to talk.  He loves to color.  He loves to read books.  He loves workbooks and homework.  Oh, and he loves his teacher, which makes all the difference in the world.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back to school

We were sad to go from full-day kindergarten to half-day when we moved from Pinedale back to Utah last year, but we adjusted well.  Now Ethan is back in full-day school as a first grader.  I might be more excited about it than he is, but not by much.  Seriously, how cute is this kid? 


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Crawdads

Just a few pictures from our annual crawdadding trip to Strawberry Reservoir.  This is the first year we camped, and it. was. magical.  It poured on us during the drive up and the first 30 minutes we were there (while I scrambled to get our tent set up), and then the sky cleared and the weather couldn't have been more perfect.  The kidlets played in the towering grass, tubed behind the pontoon boat and - the highlight - hauled crawdads in by the dozens.  Two years ago we brought home over 800 crawdads and decided it was a little excessive.  This year, we stopped before half that number and still had more then enough.  Admittedly, for me at least, the fun is not in the eating; it is in the catching.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Granny and Grandpaw

Do you see anything here besides pure, unadulterated joy? Nope - me neither.


We're having withdrawals at my house. Grandparent withdrawal. My parents arrived at our house on the evening of June 16th. Dad stayed the weekend.  Mom stayed for 2 weeks while she babysat Neal's kids in Saratoga Springs. We kept the kids occupied with the Highland Splash Pad, Kangaroo Zoo, sprinklers and trampolining, bike riding, otter pops and sunshine.  We spent every. single. day. together.  It was marvelous.

Then, when my mom went home, I decided to follow her to Tahoe for our annual summer trip to the lake.  Our 2 weeks at Tahoe were filled with hiking, graham cracker houses, fireworks, good food, swimming, kayaking, crawdad fishing, rock hopping, good food, shopping, playing with cousins, good food and complete exhaustion.  And did I mention that there is nothing but good food at Granny and Grandpaw's?  We had a ball.

My boys. On top of the World.
Knock Your Socks Off Rock.

video

We came home last Saturday night, July 16th, tan and happy. And yes, that's exactly one month following my parents' arrival at our house in June.  I have been trying very hard to keep my boys busy and entertained, but it's not easy.  How do you compete with a month filled with darling cousins and attentive grandparents?  It's simple: You don't.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Snoring?

We are eating dinner on our last evening with Granny and Grandpaw last night. Porter, who prefers to talk always, whether his mouth is full of food or not, looks up and tells me, while chewing:

"I have to eat aaaaall my food, because if I don't, when I go to bed, my tummy snores really loud and scares me!"

Simple understanding.  Simple interpretation.  Simply darling.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Say What?!

Ethan is informing Lincoln that he is Lincoln's elder. And you should always respect (read: obey) your elders. Sibling manipulation at its finest.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Redirected

Our plans have changed...but don't they always?

The great news is that Greg is NOT going overseas anymore and we couldn't be happier. And the other great news is that he is enrolled and has already started his summer classes at Utah Valley University.  He is currently on track to have his Bachelors degree in Public Relations by Christmastime next year.  As for the rest of our family life, we are happily plugging along. 

My mom has been in town for almost 2 weeks, scheduled to drive home tomorrow. On Saturday afternoon, the littles and I will load up the car and make our annual trek across the Northern Nevada desert for another 2 weeks with Granny and Grandpaw. The 4th of July and two weeks on the beaches of Lake Tahoe? I'm pretty sure summer doesn't get any better than that. Oh, except that soon after we return, we will pack up again and go "crawdad camping" with our extended Kemp family.

It's true. Life is good.

Friday, June 17, 2011

They hear what they want.

Lincoln loves his Aunt Meredith. Luh-huvs.

And Ethan is officially a kindergarten graduate...with all the trimmings.

Exhibit A: We are driving as a family earlier this week and Ethan begins to chant from the back seat:

Mama and Daddy sittin' in a tree
K-I-S-S-I-N-G . . .

This song is a kindergarten development, but it is not the first time we've heard it.  He sings it regularly around the house . . . and Lincoln has been listening . . . kind of.

. . . Back in the car, Lincoln chimes in:

First comes love,
Then comes meredith
Then comes the baby in the baby carriage!

Seriously. I still can't stop laughing about it. But it's true.  Lincoln luh-huvs his Aunt Meredith.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Playing Dress-Up - Rosie the Riveter

My kids have a big costume box in the playroom.  They dress up every day.  For them, it's normal.  Donning costumes for me, however, is not a very regular occurrence.  Even Halloween is kind of a fly-by-the-seats-of-our-pants occasion.  So, when my ward planned a dress-up activity for the adults, assigning specific decades to groups of couples, I jumped at the chance.  Greg and I were assigned to the 1940s group.  Now, let's be clear here.  Greg does NOT dress up.  I learned long ago that if I wanted to do something, I just had to do it, whether he was on board or not.  So Greg didn't dress up, but I did. 

My neighbor let me borrow a vintage 1940s dress with a real fur shrug, nylons with the seam up the back and a 1940's hat.  It was marvelous, but not for me.  I still had to be me, right?  So I went digging through Greg's 50-gallon tub of work clothes in the basement, located a hankie I've had for years and bought me some seriously red lipstick.  This is not that last time you will see this costume. When you find something that works, you've got to wear it out.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bedtime Discipline

Bedtime has been a nightmare for the past few days - something about late evening summer sunshine. Last night, after 45 minutes of battling sleep, PJ meandered into the family room, put his hands on his hips and said, "I think we need some spankins in here cuz we are NOT sweepin."

Gutsy kid.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Fun Run

I went with Ethan to run his first race today.  His elementary school sponsors a 5K/Fun Run for the community, and I decided months ago, since Ethan is always begging to go running with me and can't, we would do it together. I signed us up for the 1-mile fun run and he's been talking about it for weeks.

This morning we woke up to 2 inches of snow. As soon as Ethan saw, he was resigned to staying home.  No way. We bundled up and headed to the school.  By the time the race started, we had already shed 2 layers.  It turned out to be a lovely morning for a run.  We were kind of stop-and-go, but mostly because Ethan found a buddy from his class and held his hand, trying to keep him motivated.  We crossed the finish line in 17 minutes 10 seconds...and because he crossed just before me, he has been telling everyone all day how he "totally smoked" me. We had a great time.  I love the idea of running with my kids as they get older. Maybe if I work on them now, they will still want to run with me as teenagers...and talk about life. Ambitious? Yes. Realistic? We'll see.  But for now, I'll take what I can get.

Tooth Fairy, Meet Tooth Monster

Ethan is 6-1/2 and almost ready to lose his first tooth. Yes, we're late bloomers around here. So in anticipation of the great tooth-falling-out event, I found a fun idea online for a tooth monster. The boys love it, and Lincoln and Porter have been reassured that he was not created for Ethan's sole use.  Here's the official plan:  This monster will heretofore eat every tooth that falls out of any GEmKemp offspring's mouth. His mouth is the pocket where the Tooth Fairy can find and exchange teeth for cash.  I hope she doesn't lose an arm in the process.



Tuesday, April 26, 2011

10 Years Later

Wow. We look like we were 15.  I guess 19 isn't really that much older than 15, but what's your excuse?  When I met you, as is typical of teenage-hood, I was terribly naive.  And I really wanted to get married.  I remember being counseled when I was younger to date good people because you "marry who you date."  Not the case for me.  Every person I dated before you came along gave me a better idea of what I didn't want; hence the reason I snatched you up so quickly. 

I'm not entirely sure I knew who I was when we got married.  But I did know what I wanted.  You were an Eagle Scout and a Returned Missionary.  I liked your family a lot.  And you were good looking and funny and really nice to me.  I was overjoyed to be the object of your affection. 

In the last 10 years, you have helped unearth the real me.  I have discovered who I am; who I want to be.  You have encouraged me to become independent and confident, helping me understand the things I can and cannot do alone.  We have tempered the twists and turns of life together, and even though some days I can't admit it aloud, I really wouldn't change a thing.  You have always been, and still are, exactly what I need, whenever I need it. And even though you don't always love my hair, I'm grateful you're resigned to an understanding that being openly unhappy about it doesn't get us anywhere. 

I love you.  A lot.  Thank for letting me be me and loving me for it...and in spite of it.  Here's to the next 10 years of our crazy adventure...whatever they may bring.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Muscles

Prepare yourselves. You are about to be visually assaulted with more muscles than you may have ever witnessed in one place at one time. 



Now, try to contain yourself. I know it's hard, especially in the face of so much masculinity...

Nevermind. Go ahead and swoon.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, PJ!

It's official.  There are no more babies in this house. Sure, we've been out of diapers for 6 months and sleeping through the nights since forever ago, but there's something about the baby of the house turning 3 that makes it certifiable.

This kid is seriously cute. He is happy and easy to please. He loves to be a big boy and hates to be left out of any activity his older brothers take part in. He has the BEST kissy lips of any child I know ... and he really loves his daddy.

His brothers gave him a Betta fish for his birthday. Porter named him Mr. Fish.  He died within 24 hours (don't buy your fish at Wal-Mart, people!).  We bought a replacement from an actual pet store, this one named Rockly, who is thriving questionably. We don't have great luck with fish so far, but we keep on trying.

Porter's 3-year-old favorites include:

Color:  Green
Food:  Hot dogs
TV Show:  Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
Movie:  How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Animal:  Dog
Game:  Puzzles
Superheroes:  Batman and Buzz Lightyear
Place to Visit:  Granny's House
Outside Activity:  Jumping on the trampoline

You are a joy to us, Porter. We are grateful for you and your sweet disposition. You bring a lot of love to our home, and if I didn't know you would just be more fun the bigger you get, I would wish you to stay this size forever. Happy birthday, big boy.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Monsters

PJ and Link were playing "bedtime." Lincoln tucked Porter into bed in a play tent and then warned him continually  against getting up because the Booger Monster was waiting to snatch him.

Eewww. The Booger Monster is WAY more terrifying than the Boogy Man.

Enforcer, meet your new bedtime tactic.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Almost 3

PJ will turn 3 next week. Baffling.  We are all, however, very excited.  In anticipation of our upcoming celebration, I asked him what he wanted for his birthday. He hmmm'd for a moment and then said, "If nobody sings me the birthday song, then I will NOT eat any of my food!"

I think we can manage that.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Family Portrait


Samples from my newphew's 'Stache Bash birthday party...and maybe one of our best family photos to date.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"The Double U"

I am about to talk about my chest. I will not be graphic or inappropriate, but I offer this as a warning: If you are feeling uncomfortable, find something more productive to read because this post is about breasts.

First of all, let me just say that I have never really been overly conscious about my body around my children. There is no nudity in my home, mind you; we are meticulous in our efforts to remain modest at all times, especially when there are littles around. But I understand more every day that my children are ever observant and aware, even when I am not.

As previously established, Lincoln LOVES to draw portraits of me. Every new day brings several new renderings.  His drawings have always been a little abstract, but he is diligent, always bettering his skill through practice, and continues to improve. This last weekend during our weekly family pizza and movie night, he was drawing away when, satisfied with his end product, he presented his offering to me.

The first thing I noticed was the heart; Lincoln's first identifiable heart, I think. That's a very good heart. And then after a very brief appreciation of his improving aptitude in drawing dresses, I got distracted by another part of the picture...


The nervous laughter snuck up on me; I broke into a fit of giggles and passed the drawing to Greg who asked with a sparkle in his eye "what is this right here, bud?" Link gave me a shy glance via his peripheral gaze, and then, as discretely as can be expected from a 4-year-old, bolted over to point at my chest and then sprinted back to bury his face in Greg's shoulder. We were hysterical. There were tears in my eyes. Lincoln was confused. And proud, I think. And confused.

After the boys went to bed, Greg and Dale and Elaine and I would break out in spontaneous laughter. The newest anatomical code word in our house is "The Double U."  Admittedly, I was absolutely unprepared for this. I thought I had at least a couple more years before female anatomy discussions demanded such attention in my home. And I must say that I am much more conscious these days of my chest in relation to my boys' heights and hugs.

But let's bring it back home, folks. While it looks like I may have stopped in to visit my local witch doctor, you have to admit, those are some seriously fabulous heels.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Who Jesus Loves

From Grove Creek 5th Ward's March Newsletter:  "Overheard in the nursery:  The lesson was on how Jesus loves everyone.  One nursery child said, 'Jesus loves Buzz Lightyear, but NOT Captain Hook!'" Now, I have yet to receive verification that it was my 2-year-old son who uttered these darling words, but my confidence is high. In this house, we know who the good guys are...and who they're not.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hands

Lincoln played in the bathtub for 45 minutes - at least.  When he finally got out and I was clipping his nails, I exclaimed, "Wow, Link! You have really raisiny fingers!"  He examined them thoughtfully for a moment and then said, "Yeah...like Grandma Great's before she died . . . [another thoughtful moment passes] . . . And we really miss Grandma-Great, don't we mom?" Yes sir, we do.


Friday, February 25, 2011

By The Way...

...yes, Greg is home. My boys are overjoyed; it took less than 2 minutes for them to readjust to having him back. And almost immediately, the wrestling matches ensued.

Stick Figures

Michelle, Kassie and I each take a 3-hour turn with all the kids once a week, allowing the other mommies 6 hours of uninterrupted time for errands, cleaning, running, napping or whatever. Last week during Michelle's designated babysitting hours, Lincoln (who absolutely LOVES to draw stick figure portraits of mommy and daddy and has a strong appreciation for all things lovely), asked Michelle to draw for him.

Link: "Aunt Michelle, will you draw my mommy?"
Michelle proceeds to draw a stick figure with girl hair.
Link:  "Okay. Now she needs a shirt ... like mine."
"Okay, now a skirt."
"Now mommy shoes."
"Now a pretty necklace."
"And earrings."
"And a beautiful bracelet."
"And now her sparkly ring."
"That's good ... now can you draw my daddy?"
Michelle draws another stick figure, simple, no hair.
Link:  "Okay, that's good!"

Portrait of mommy and daddy, by Lincoln

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Love of a Boy

Porter was up a little late with me last night because he had an incidental nap during the afternoon. We were sitting together on the couch and he looks up at me with his blue, blue eyes and says in his sweetest little 2-year-old voice, "Mommy, do you miss our daddy?"

(Is your heart melting like mine did?)

Of course, I told him I did and that Greg loves him so much and can't wait to come home and wrestle and snuggle with his boys. 

Again with the sweet little voice:  (sigh) "Yeah. I love all my guys."  Because in this house, besides mommy, there's no one to love but all our guys.  And boy do we love them.  A lot.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Heavy on the Prayers

It seems like most of my posts have been on my children's prayers these days.  Not an apology by any means, just an observation.  In fact, I have become keenly aware of my children as three "tender mercies" while Greg is away.  They ground me, inspire me, make me crazy, and bring me joy each day.

I mentioned to my boys last week, after listening to a prayer in which we were "grateful for this day" and then proceeded to begin asking for things, that we should focus on being more grateful in our prayers. They listened. They are grateful that snakes and monsters and bears and bugs stay away while we are all sleeping.  They are grateful that "our lives don't have any problems." And this morning, after I said the prayer at breakfast, Ethan reminded me that we needed to express more thanks during our prayers. I then proceeded to begin naming things we could be grateful for: the beautiful snow-covered mountains, the Gospel, knowing that Heavenly Father and Jesus love us, the warm weather we have this week, strong bodies, a happy family, people who love us, a daddy who works hard, brothers who are friends ... and "no matter how many times we move, we always have a comfortable home."

Ethan then added:  "And no matter where we go, we're in the Promised Land."

Amen, Ethan.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Where the Wild Things Are

These are the most darling temporary tattoos I've ever seen. Application, however, was tricky.  If only my children understood the meaning of "be still."  They were magnificent, if only for 5 minutes before the wear and tears began to show. 


Happy Valentine's Day to the wild animals at my house. Love, Granny and Grandpaw.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tough

Ethan has been gnawing on a piece of our Sunday roast for 10 minutes. He resists swallowing, claming he simply cannot. "I just can't get it past my uvula!"

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Child's Prayer

Porter has just begun requesting that he say his prayers without help.  The result? Some of the most darling prayers I've heard to date.  This morning's:

"Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this day. Thank you that we got to go to bed and then the sun came to warm us up. InthenameofJesusChristamen."

It made my heart flutter.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Prayers

Greg has been gone for 2 weeks (and has 2 weeks to go) in West Virginia.  He is there training with the company for which we hope he will be doing private contracting work overseas.  His. Boys. Miss. Him.  Little do they know (yet) that this is just a small taste of the 3 months away/1 month home schedule that is looming. 

Anyhow, Ethan prayed at bedtime tonight and it went a little something like this: "...And please bless that daddy can come home soon, and come really fast when he comes home, but please don't let the police get his airplane because it is going too fast. Just bless him to come home fast...and safe."

It doesn't get much better than that.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Where barfing boys are bed

Porter has had a rough couple nights/days of constant throwing up.  Because I absolutely hate scrubbing carpet, this is my nighttime solution.  Don't judge me.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Looking Ahead

We were sitting around the dinner table tonight eating creamy potato soup out of our homemade bread bowls (a first for me - success!). Flashing forward, Elaine and I started talking about "in 10 years..." Greg chimed in with, "Ethan, in 10 years you'll be driving a car!" And as I'm gritting my teeth at the thought, Ethan hollers, "Yeah! And dating a girl, too!"

Oh my.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Family Rockstar

We're driving along the other day, listening to one of our favorite kids songs Ninjas in My Room. Ethan has a full-body groove going on in his seat. Then I hear him say - to no one in particular: "I wish I could sing this song in a microphone ... in front of a huge crowd. It would be totally awesome, and they would give me huge cheers." Ah, a budding rockstar.

And ... because he hates when I tell him I'm going to put things on the blog, he begged desperately for me to put something really funny - that he said - on, too. So here goes:

Another kids' song goes on to say something about "the guys in the orange pants."
Ethan: "Orange pants - put THAT on the blog! That's hilarious!!"

[insert convincing courtesy laugh] "BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!" Thanks, Ethan. That was a good one.