Saturday, September 28, 2013

Angels or Abduction: you decide

This evening I was out by myself, attending the Church's semi-annual worldwide women's conference.  It was lovely and wonderful.

When I got home, however, the real lovely and wonderful started:  Cora called from the open upstairs window that she folded her laundry.  That right there, ladies and gentlemen, is a feat.  Like the-world-just-paused-a-little-turning-on-its-axis feat.  Lee was rinsing the dishes.

Of course, that did my Mama heart good, but it got better!  Riah told me that Alex and Cora sat there folding laundry (Alex finished his 2 days ago, so I have to presume that he helped with hers), having a deep, detailed discussion about Idon'tknowwhat.  I wish I did.

Then.  THEN I walked into the kitchen up next to Lee at the sink.  Abby, Miss LeeIsTheThornInMySide Abby was just behind him to the left, and said, "Look in the mirror--I mean the window reflection."  He did, and she proceeded to make a goofy face.  He glanced back at her, and she instantly morphed back to normal.  When he looked at the window again, she did it again--only more silly!  Again, he turned to her and the crazy face disappeared.  At this point I just had to laugh, spoiling the fun.  But Abby--ABBY--was playing--PLAYING--with LEE!!!!!  I made sure to point it out, and praise her up one side and down the other for that little tidbit of goodness!  I swear, the heavens opened for that 30 seconds.

One more:  Cora does everything to avoid housework, but after she excitedly told me about her laundry, she got the vacuum, "plugged it," and vacuumed her assigned parts herself.  While she was vacuuming, Alex was telling me that "Dad said if we got all our stuff done we could watch a movie."  And over the din of the Dirt Devil came Cora's cutie pie voice: "But not until I finish vacuuming!  And then I have to bathe."  Sure enough, after she dumped the vacuum--literally, it's still on the floor--she ran the bath, got in long enough to get wet, jammied herself and headed downstairs in record time.

I had a little chatty-chat with Riah about the miracle that is our home this evening, and we discovered a few factors.  Mostly it was a little of this, a little of that, and just a pinch of something else.  It had to do with expectations, parental play, then parental cooperation, praise, a group reward, and frankly, a large dose of angelic intervention.

Whatever it was, I'd like to bottle it.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


Shel Silverstein wrote a little poem years ago about the 4th of July.  It goes something like

of July!

And although last month contained exactly zero fireworks, this poem still sort of sums up my August. Except mine might look more like


Hm.  I'm not quite as eloquent as Shel.

But no matter.  I've wanted to blog and blog and blog about my August, overloading the world with photos of our fun-filled month, but so many things have taken priority.  Like feeding children.  And washing their clothes.  And starting Music Time, homeschooling my preschooler, starting to babysit a little girl Wes's age, hold down the fort (quietly) while Riah starts a weekend-night shift LPN job (PS--we found out in Canadia that he passed his LPN test YAY YAY HOORAY!!!), cleaning, organizing, etc etc etc.

My one concern is that I'll forget.  I'll forget how in the "No Parking No Waiting in the Airport Drive" area of the airport, Abby unbuckled Wes, then he crawled out of his carseat and over his brothers in the back seat so he could hug his dad, who'd been gone for 2.5 weeks working on a project at his dad's house in Utah.  And how even though we weren't supposed to park or wait, that little boy kept hugging and hugging and hugging his daddy.

I'll forget how amazing it was to go to a family reunion full of people that I only know a little (thanks facebook for helping to establish commonality ahead of time) and be welcomed so thoroughly.  And how doubly amazing it is that there were so many people (1 Grandma, 5 children + 2 spouses, 19? grandchildren + 15? grandspouses, I don't know how many great grandchildren there were) and no crazy drama.  Just everyone wanting to have a fun time with everyone else.  PS--Riah is one of the grandchildren, and his Grandma is something else! 

Besides the agenda filled with model rockets, shooting stars, cup dancing, lake swimming, playing Pick, hiking, pool swimming, going to a hot springs, swimming in a different pool, boot camp twice, a slide show featuring twin belugas named My Thighs, immersing (not swimming) in a glaciery river, glow in the dark bowling and foursquare, sitting in pools fed by a different hot spring, getting eaten alive by mosquitoes, roasting marshmallows, sandcastle competitions, and Holy Cow I do not even know what else...

Yes, that really is Grandma back there in her wheelchair watching the fun.

Yeah, besides that, I love how Riah's mom's family is close-knit, yet welcoming and non-judgemental.  No gossiping, backbiting, icy stares or stupid exceptwedon'tsaythatword stuff.  Just fun.

I would, however, like to forget the 2 weeks that it took for my right hip and back to regain some sort of painless normalcy after I slept a very comfortable and sound sleep on a fully extended recliner at my brother's house.  It would seem that I am no longer 15.  Bah.

And I would like to have a do-over about the call from the friend who was guinea pig sitting to let me know that just a few hours prior, one of our cute sweet rodents had met her end after a little too rough of play.  Poor Chocolate. 

And how the friend graciously replaced her with another who is nice and cuddly and beautiful, but is very very mean to Honey, the remaining half of the hairy duo.  At least she used her really nice camera to take some pictures of them at one point during the week!

But I don't want to forget the weird foggy, slightly breezy but still warm day at the beach.  We went to the spot we usually do, but there was a big sandbar that blocked the waves until the tide got really high, at which point they simply spilled over the top, creating a perfect shin-deep pool for the kids to play in.  

So we ate, played, read and occasionally glimpsed the water through the fog.  It's back there, I promise.

Wes was amazing, for his first beach trip.  My Ninja Vanish boy defied all logic and stayed put.  He didn't move.  Well, he moved, but he didn't leave.  And that's the amazing part.  He's usually all over everywhere into everything he can reach.  But I guess he just needed my sister's new puppy, sand, a shovel, food, and whatever else within the vicinity of the cars.  Until near the end of the day when I showed him that there's water at the beach.

Cora, however, was another story.  She spent the day in her own little imaginative world.  She lay on her belly scooping wet sand with her feet, letting it plop onto her bum; hopped up and down the beach; crawled sea turtle style up from the water, over for a while, then up to the cars; and gave herself a lovely exfoliating sea scrub.  On her face.  With handfuls of sand.

It fills my heart with love and contentment just thinking of the way she played happily by herself with simply her creativity.  The older three were running around having way too much fun in the water, sand and grassy dunes with their cousins.  I sort of forgot to take pictures of them, and it's too much work to save my sister's facebook photos to my computer.  Lazy.

That was Saturday.

Then on Tuesday school started up again and all of a sudden, summer was gone.  I think next year I'd like 2 Augusts if you don't mind.  

Just no tummy bugs that hit the second day of school.