Friday, February 28, 2014

Things I want to remember

J likes to make up his own words.  One of my favorites is "versing" as in "We were versing the red team in soccer."  He also likes "battling" as a soccer term.

M has bad dreams often lately.  Some of them involve dragons:  A dragon came into her room and said he was hungry, so she went down to the kitchen and brought him a cookie.  One dream apparently was just her having to take a shower.  That's it.  Next time she had a bath, she made me promise never to make her shower.

C got a motion detector socket for Christmas and startled us repeatedly by setting it up in unsuspected rooms.  You would walk in and lights would come on automatically.  It burned out already though.  :(

S and J rarely play video games, but they like to play with their babysitter - our neighbor who is 17.  S came upstairs the day after they'd played with him and said, "I have to call Joseph."  And he did!  To my knowledge, S has never made a phone call before, but I showed him the number and he just called him up, told him they were stuck, and invited him to come over and help them.  And he did!  Thanks, Joseph!

J likes to sing along when he's practicing the piano.  It's very fun.  He sings in the bathroom, too.  I'm careful never to mention that we can hear him.

M loves the movie Cinderella but when she pretends, she's never Cinderella, she's always one of the mice.  Sometimes I get to be Cinderella but usually, I'm one of the mean stepsisters or Lucifer the cat. :)  I also get to be the mean old witch and she's my cat (from a Joy School Halloween song) or I'm a pirate and she's the pirate's pet.  It smooths over a lot of pretending games because she's the only one who wants to be the pet!

C set up his own radio station a couple of weeks ago.  He took over all the radios in the house and spent days broadcasting, including weather reports and news blurbs.  It was pretty fun, but he needs a broader repertoire of songs....

Thursday, February 27, 2014


Having recently gotten in trouble with my mom for not keeping her and Dad updated on what's going on, I am doing my penance with this post.

C:  He is well into his first year of middle school and doing great!  He likes the greater freedom and he's doing fantastic in his classes.  We've been challenging him lately, though, to actually talk to other kids outside of class, and he's slowly warming to the idea. :)  He loves being in Boy Scouts now and will participate in his first merit badge Pow Wow next week.  He had his first middle school orchestra concert last month and can I tell you how much I appreciate his teacher who only had them perform 4 songs and the concert was over?  Thank you for that, Mr. Kim.

J:  He is loving 3rd grade.  He and his friends spend most recesses playing soccer or trading Pokemon cards.  He started with none, and the other boys started giving him cards and now he carries them to school in a little box every day.  He did a project last fall where he built a bridge.  He really liked that.  He's looking forward to soccer starting up again soon.  Me, too.  I'm not sure our house can stand much more indoor soccer, indoor wrestling, or indoor running-flips-on-the-couch.  Our poor furniture.

S:  Is in 1st grade this year.  He's also doing awesome!  It's nice to have a school year where everyone is really doing well, and I'm not worrying too much about teachers/classes/friends/etc.  He really likes school and has a couple of best friends, one of whom is on his soccer team and the other goes to church with us, so that's nice.  He started speech therapy a couple of weeks ago to work on his annunciation, and he really likes driving in the Mini-Cooper with just me each week.  :)

M:  Can you believe she will be 4 years old this weekend??  I can't.  It is making me a little sad.  She is so excited, though.  She wants to invite everyone she knows to her birthday party.  I hope she's not too disappointed it will just be family.  She loves Sunbeams.  She loves Joy School.  She loves that she gets the most turns in the Mini-Cooper.  :)  She will have a post dedicated entirely to her soon, so look for it.

G:  He is now into his third year of serving as our bishop.  He has been sitting on the stand so long that M has no memory of his ever sitting with us.  In fact, when we were on vacation in South Carolina this summer, he sat with us at church, and she looked at him and said, "What are you doing here?"  :) 

Me:  What am I doing?  Besides wrangling everyone, I'm trying to figure out what to do with my life, now that my children are growing.  I had thought to go back and finish school, but it hasn't worked out as yet and I'm not sure that's really what I want to do anyway.  Any suggestions?  :)  I did get a "day off" this week as a belated Christmas gift.  I went to see an exhibit of Byzantine art at the National Gallery.  It was amazing.  I wish they would have allowed photography.

There, Mom.  I hope that we're no longer in your black books!  :)

Thursday, February 13, 2014


 I've always liked Velasquez and his series of portraits of Margarita Theresa, the daughter of Philip IV of Spain.  This one was done when she was about four: 
As I was browsing through an art book recently, I realized she reminded me of someone....
Maybe it's just the hair.  Or the name and the hair.  :)
Too bad my photography isn't as good as his painting!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Window Seat

So as long as I can remember, I've wanted a window seat.  They're just so cozy.  Early 70s era ranchers, like I grew up in, weren't really architecturally compatible with window seats, but when we moved into this house, with its lovely bay window, I saw possibilities.

Seven and a half years later, we still hadn't done anything about those possibilities until I came across a window seat tutorial on Pinterest.  It was just the look I'd been dreaming about -- and the author of the blog said it only took them three days!  The perfect project for a long weekend!

I was only semi-serious about it until I showed it to C.  He immediately started measuring and writing out lists of materials we'd need.  I figured if he was enthusiastic, we should do it.  He could learn some skills.  We could bond.  Initially, I figured C and I could do most of the work and wouldn't have to involve G too much since he's so busy, and it was all my idea.  He's unfailing gracious and patient with me, but I think he sighs to himself when I come up with projects like this that are supposed to be so "easy."  :)

Of course, we didn't have all the right tools.  Materials were harder to find than we anticipated.  The walls and floor weren't even close to level, so that required a lot of shimmying and fudging.  (Sometimes I wonder if the workmen who built this house were even licensed....)  The windows were lower than the tutorials we read so we had to pull off extra trim.... It took a little longer than three days.

I had only the vaguest idea what I was doing, and G had to jump in and work with C on most of it, but I did do all the demolition and helped C cut boards and drill the holes for the pocket screws.  It was fun.  It reminded me of why I took shop in jr high.  Power tools are empowering.  :)  C did a lot of work on it too, and it was so good for him to see the difference between reading about making things and how the work actually goes. 

But here we are with the finished product (almost, since I need to give the top one more coat of paint and make a cushion for it...) and it is AWESOME!  I love that it allows more light into the room, now that there's not a couch in front of the window.  I love that the kids can still peek out the front window, even though they don't get to hang over the back of the couch any more.  And once we get the cushions on there, I think it will be a nice spot for a little reading and dreaming.