Monday, July 28, 2008

First Day of School!

Today is the first day of school. I love school, and I love that there are people out there who's only job is to give my children age-appropriate things to do that enlighten and enhance their lives. Reading, writing and 'rithmatic.

We thought that we would keep Abigail nice and fluent in her addition/subtraction/multiplication facts over the looooong summer. Yep, that fell apart after about day 2 of vacation. She did one side of a sheet on Saturday. And she only did it to get out of doing another job. The Wii, however, did get lots of use. She can do lots of stuff on the Star Wars Legos game. After watching a couple of the videos she knows now to call "Chocolate Guy" by his rightful name of "Chewboka." We have also had fun making up our own Star Wars Jedi names. That's educational, right?

Benjamin too starts school today. He'll have his first day Preschool today, and he will be taking the bus. Unfortunately we are in a bit of a frenzy looking for the Lightening McQueen backpack. And then . . . and then! Mommy has already started the laundry, there will be a croc pot going before he puts his first step on the bus, and then I will only have ONE kid! For a couple of hours! I am 'bout giddy with anticipation. SO much to do, so much to do!

So, I gratefully hand over both children today to the schools, and their friends, and recess! Have a good day. Come home smart! Maybe I'll find time to scrapbook your First Day of School while you're gone!

Anatomy 101

We play this game at church in our family called "Tap Tap." You hide something in one of your hands, then turn your fists over to expose your closed fingers. The child points to a finger and says "tap tap" and you lift it up, and then they do it again until they can see what is in your hand. You usually choose something small, like an m&m that can be hidden under one of the fingers, and it's good dexterity exercize for your fingers.

Matthew tells me that he was playing this game quietly before church a couple of weeks ago with Abigail. In an effort to "educate while you play," he started giving her a bit of background on each finger that she "tap tap"ed:

M- "Which finger is that?"
A- "It's your pointer finger!"
M- "Yes, it is also known as the INDEX finger . . ."
A- "tap tap!"
M- "Okay, which finger is that?"
A- "It's your pinkie!"
M- "Right! Good job."
A- "Tap tap!"
M- "Okay, which one is that?
A- "It's the "SCREW YOU!" finger."
A- "That one, the tall one is the "screw you!" finger.
M- "Where did you hear that?"
A- "I dunno, it's just the "screw you" finger dad. Everybody knows that . . ."

After our caucus, we discovered that neither of us gave her the specifics on (nor do we use in front of her) the "screw you" finger, and wonder if there is anyone out there who could tell us where she picked this up!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

How Obedient are you?

From the Wolfers blog:Of course I have no idea what it does, but if you want to follow the link you can have some fun with the red dot, but remember that if you want to see it WORK, you have to follow this link here in red . . .

Oh, and if you get to the 7th ring of hell call me - I will confirm your diagnosis of OCD. :D

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hair Woes

I had noticed more-than-average hair around. On the floor, in the hairbrush, on the counter, in the car, wrapped around the vacuum roller etc. etc. and you might think, as I did, that having three young kids home for an Arizona summer would be enough to make anyone's hair fall out. It was when I brushed off a huge hunk from Abigail's head that I got a little freaked out.


Now, dear reader, look at the circumference of your pinkie, and just imagine that you brushed that much of a long stringy wad off of your child's head in just one swipe. The hair was there, on her head, and then it was in your hand.

"I don't knooooooow . . ."

I did a quick think. Was it just her? Nope, my hair had been falling out too. I'd wash my hair and just pull out strand after strand. The drain had been clogged. Sam's, predictably, was falling out. Maybe it was that flesh-eating virus that only attacks . . . hair.


I started brushing her hair vigorously to see the extent of the damage, and partially to prepare myself for what I would find when I brushed out my own hair. And then . . . how can I say this? There is a LOOK, a look that my child gives off, that betrays her quite effectively. She doesn't know that she does it . . . but I do. I stopped brushing and looked at her sternly:

"Abigail, tell Mama what happened to your hair."

I said it in that way that indicates, "I already know the answer, so just out with it - the jig is up." It was a total bluff, but it paid off.

"I wanted to look like a parasaurolophus (dinosaur)! I cut out a paper horn, and put it on a paper clip to stick it in my hair. But then it got nailed to my head and I couldn't get it off, so I cut it off . . ."

Ah. Yes. I see. She showed me the paper horn and the paper clip. Right. The cost of having a child with an active imagination. How the hair remained on her head until I brushed it is still a mystery to me. And now we have a shorn wad of hair, 'bout 2 inches long, at the crown of her head in the back. It sticks up no matter what you do.

It all made sense. As for me, I had forgotten that lots of your hair falls out after you have a baby. Oh, it's all coming back to me now! It's not a virus at all, it's life.

As I look around at my poor family, I realize that most of us are having hair woes. Matthew doesn't want any of his "distinguished gray's" pointed out, mine is falling out in heaps, Abigail now has a . . . a set of bangs on the BACK of her head, Benjamin's grows relentlessly forward, and Sam is going bald as he loses his downy baby hair. Its enough to make you rip out your hair! If you had any! But, as Igor said in Young Frankenstein, "Could be worse . . . could be raining!" *thunder clap*

New Prophet Song

Okay, I am TOTALLY stealing this from Kelly Girl. It made me laugh. And, it's a lot easier to memorize than, "Latter Day Prophet's are . . . NUMBER ONE!"

Okay, now that you've seen it, see if you aren't tempted to watch it again! "L. Tom Perry is 6'3" that's my favorite part. Although getting "folks" to rhyme with "Oaks" is pretty funny too. :D Tee HEE!

Second Verse, Same as the First . . .

Rotten! I'm unique, just like everybody else . . .
LogoThere are
people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

I thought I might better my odds by using my maiden name. And I did. Oh yeah, I'm one of a kind now!
LogoThere are
people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Salt, Pepper and Cinnamon

When my brother Logan heard that Samuel had dark hair, he said, "Well, now you have Salt, Pepper and Cinnamon for kids!" Every one thought that was pretty clever, including Matthew's dad. He made his own version of the humor and put it in this comic. It just makes my day to see my family in the comics. We've been in twice this year! Banner year for the Matthew Crane family.

Reagan pointed out that we also have Neapolitan kids. So, thanks to Logan for the spice, Reagan for the sweet, and Grandpa Crane for the nod. Either way, they're both spicy and sweet!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Going, going, GONE!

"All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!" It comes to mind these days. We have had a lot of wiggly teeth with Abigail for the last little while. She's had some bottom teeth fall out, but it seems as though the front teeth are what really take you from, well, "kid," to "watch out! You got a kid that is on the brink of being a big person!"
I have been telling her that she really REALLY REALLY! needs to take care of these teeth, because they'll be the ones that she has - even if she lives to be 100! It's a weird thought for both of us. But, we kinda knew that this was coming - she's 7, and a lot of her friends have not only lost their front teeth, but had the new ones grow in.

You can tell a few things from the pictures; you can easily tell from her gums that the new teeth are ready to come down. They're up there like two big chicklets, and if you look in the last picture, you can see a little bit of white already peeking through the top.
It is also one of those weird things where I can truly put myself in her spot - I remember looking in the mirror when I was her age, and watching my front tooth teeter in place before I yanked it. It was fascinatingly weirdly gross thing to see a part of my body just kinda hanging there.

I didn't even give a thought to the idea that I might one day have a little girl of my own who would be doing the same thing. Rites of passage and all that stuff. It just goes to show that life rolls on at a predictable pace, even if you are not ready for it. I am tempted to stop the clock and rewind with this one because I just wasn't quite ready for this - yet. :/ Luckily for her, the tooth fairy was!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Did You Know These 99 Things?

This one is for Bagel. She requested it, so there are quite a few memories that involve her. I should TOTALLY be getting dinner ready, but for the masses who thought they knew me, here is 99 things that you may not have known.
99. I remember weird stuff. Like my first address: 335 E. 1000 N, Orem, UT, 84057. Ph. 801 224-3873
98. My favorite place on earth, to just "be" is the rooftop of my old apartment on Sao Miguel, Azores. Nuthin' but blue sea all around, and perfect weather.
97. I would love to retire to a beach house in North Carolina.
96. With very few exceptions, I have kept in contact with all of my girlfriends throughout my life.
95. When I was young, my mom would do up my hair in pig tails, or pony tails, and put these cotton-candy looking rope thingies in for ties. We had lots of colors.
94. I had few toys as a kid, but I did have a flat-footed princess Leia doll, Strawberry Shortcake and Lemon Meringue dolls, and a "My Friend Jenny." My mom made me a Cabbage Patch doll that I named, "Brittany Raquel" because I thought those were pretty exotic names that were not used near enough.
93. I learned to ride a bike all on my own, using the neighbor's little blue, banana seat wonder. My own first bike was a hand-me-down Schwinn, olive green with a squarish seat.
92. My first job was to babysit at the age of 12. My first job that needed my SS# was for cleaning a dental lab at the age of 15.
91. The dental lab had a typewriter with big print, so when I was done with work I would put pages of my scriptures in, and type the clues to scripture chase scriptures, then color code them according to book so that I would be the fastest, and most awesomest scripture chaser. Pretty much worked!
90. My favorite class in High School was orchestra. It was the best way to start out the day. Even though I had to sit at the back, nearly all four years, in the second violins.
89. When I hear "Stars and Stripes Forever," I can't help but hear/play the offbeat due to #90. It has ruined that song for me.
88. I remember the talk given by my brother's high school class president about how great the number 88 is. "It's the same standing up, and on its side, frontwards and backwards." Terry had great political aspirations, and I ended up working with him at a radio station.
87. I truly hate selling things to people. I'm good at it, but I hate it.
86. My brother JOEL made me wear a girl scout uniform to help him with his Eagle project because of #87. I like hanging out with him. It was a pain to raise money by painting house numbers on streets, but I secretly loved that he needed me.
85. I married over my head, in many ways, and cherish my marriage because of it.
84. I worry that Matthew will die before me, and I will be lonely.
83. I don't appreciate my thick hair or big boobs. I feel that it's like prom. It seems like a wonderful thing, but in the end, it's not. After a bit, you just want to get out of the nylons and the heels and the dress and be comfortable. Same idea.
82. The worst part of every day for me is coming up with dinner. I hate that. I have no imagination when it comes to coming up with meals. I rotate the same 9 dishes - which are easy, and pretty fattening. I ought to get new ones.
81. I'm pretty good with a spreadsheet.
80. The last pair of tennis shoes I owned took 8 years to wear out.
79. The first pair of name brand shoes I got were light blue Nikes - I felt so cool.
78. I got in trouble with my little brother Logan once. We were smashing bottles in an unfinished basement.
76. My brother Joel showed he loved me, when I had the chicken pox, but putting on "Little House," instead of "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe." I still love him for that.
75. I started playing violin because I loved to watch blue-grass fiddlers. It looked so cool and fun. I learned to play the violin, but never did any heavy blue-grass.
74. I love that my sisters play violin too. Each one plays better than I do, but I don't know if they enjoy it as much as I do.
73. I got in to Law School, but didn't go. I don't regret it one bit.
72. If I came into a ton of money, I'd love to set up a Humane Society in Portugal.
71. After I bought a beautiful, brick, Tudor home with a turret.
70. I am never bored.
69. My brain doesn't turn off. Matthew talks about a "nothing box," which mystifies me. My brain is always on - makes it hard to go to sleep.
68. Matthew says that my brain would be a scary place for him to be. He's probably right.
67. I'm not as cool a mom as I thought I'd be. I scream faaar too much, and enjoy my kids far too little.
66. If I had a choice between a clean house, or a night at a fancy hotel, I'd take the clean house.
65. I love compliments. I try to look like I don't need or want them, but I really thrive on praise. It's one of my shallower qualities.
64. I love that I have a red-headed little girl. She is a hoot, and the envy of many.
63. Sometimes, when I pray, I think of myself with my head in God's lap while I tell him all my problems, and he brushes my hair.
62. When I die, I hope that I meet God, and he says, "Well, welcome back! It hasn't been the same since you left, and we're so glad you're here!"
61. I want my headstone to read, "I'm not here, I'm busy watching out for you!"
60. I think that Deja Vu is just God's way of saying, "I told you I knew it all . . . you are right where you're supposed to be."
59. The few people that I hate know that I hate them. I figure that forewarned is forearmed.
58. I tend to get along with most people. Everyone has a story to tell.
57. I love the tradition Matthew and I have of getting an ornament at places that we visit. When Christmas rolls around, and I start to feel stressed about finances and deprived, I put up each ornament and realize anew how very very blessed I have been in my life.
56. I feel lucky to have each of my kids. I wanted seven, but have three. Ultimately, I think there are 4 kids meant for my family. I knew this when I was 17.
55. I used to need glasses before I had RK surgery.
54. I have a gift, which is pretty useless to me; I can identify people who are pregnant, but who haven't said so yet.
53. I am OCD about keeping my ears cleaned, and my nails filed.
52. I can scrapbook pretty well because I took a calling at church to do the ward bulletin. Everyone was sad when I was released, including the other wards who picked up our ward programs.
51. I hate doing dull work, so I try and streamline everything as much as possible.
50. I have the best friends in the world - and I find that they like each other once they meet.
49. My sister Reagan got me blogging. I had no idea how to do this at the beginning of this year. I figured that it would be an audience of one, but it turns out that there are a few people out there who don't mind peeking into our life!
48. I've had more than a few dreams where my teeth kept falling out, and I couldn't spit them out.
47. I'm a dog person. I loved the dogs we had growing up, Freeway and Crosby. Miss them too.
46. I, like Will Ferrel, find inappropriate behavior funny. So does Matthew, but most wouldn't guess it. The pig hand puppet knows better.
45. I believe that if you have to speak or do anything at church, that it ought to be educational and fun. People put on hose and ties to listen after all!
44. I'm terrified that any of my children would get hooked on drugs or porn. I want them to be wonderful, like their dad.
43. I have an iPod, but mostly only listen to it when we are doing the blitz.
42. I'm a quilter. I started doing it when I was 16, with no help. It turns out that it runs in the family. My great grandmother Katherine Brigetta Nielsen did it as well, and I own a few of her quilts. Now, all of my sisters quilt. We have one more sister-in-law to convert.
41. Raspberries are my favorite fruit.
40. I love chocolate in many many forms, but if I can get the good stuff, I will. Especially the Godiva chocolate covered mandarin orange truffles. Yuuuuuuum.
39. Life has not turned out the way I planned it as a kid. Some of it worse, but most of it much better.
38. I'd like to go back to college some day.
37. I hate senseless destruction and man's inhumanity to man. It seriously bothers me. I don't like to watch the news.
36. My family was robbed on my 7th birthday. They were still in the house when we got home, and likely someone who knew us.
35. I think I have a sucky birthday. January 18th is about the date that all of the holiday credit card bills come in.
34. I don't like cranberry juice, cantaloupe, coconut, or diet drinks. Or exercise.
33. Once, Reagan and I went to get a tattoo, but the parlor was closed (on a Saturday), so we crashed a wedding at St. Pat's instead. She threw her arms around the bride and said, "It was just beautiful!"
32. I went to visit Spain on the high school French trip. I got off at the wrong train stop, speaking NO spanish, and had a cab driver take my bag, and drive me to the right stop. During that drive I was terrified that I would be turned into some sort of prostitute.
31. I have no gift with cooking. Like Solierie, I have desired the skill but always lacked the talent.
30. I don't fear getting grey hair. I have one or two, but am not freaked out by it.
29. I love the traditions I grew up with, including the Blitz, the Family Quiz, and Birthday "I Remember When's."
28. #29 would be useless without, what I consider to be, the best brothers and sisters. I love them. Each of them. They have so many wonderful qualities that I have every reason to feel blessed.
27. I made my little brother cry once. I broke a shell necklace he was wearing over a fight, and I have felt bad for it ever since.
26. The best my legs every looked were on my mission. We had to climb hills on the Island of Madeira, and they looked fantastic. They were also covered up. Ironic.
25.I have had no less than four proposals for marriage. One was written in a letter from someone I barely knew, but promised a back massage every night!
24. I enjoy doing genealogy. There are many that I would love to meet and interview.
23. Vern Yip is one of my favorite decorators. I like his style, and love of storage. My kind of designer.
22. Two of the things I use most in my house include the shredder, the automatic pencil sharpener, and my calendar.
21. I don't think I can buy my kids happiness, but I do try and get them the things that their hears desire. Even Lightening McQueen "Crocs" for my boy.
20. My favorite compliment of all time came from someone who told my boyfriend, "Your girlfriend has the best [butt] I have ever seen!"
19. I did the most stupid things of my life at the age of 19.
18. I fell off a haystack and split my lip open, all because my brother told me, "No! You can't, you're too little . . ." I think I was, like, 6.
17. I broke my collar bone when I was 3. My dad slammed on the brakes of the camper,which sent me flying onto the aisle floor. I still remember looking at the huge laundry room as we went through the hospital.
16. I used to run up and down concrete ditches for fun.
15. When I was small, I would look out my window when I couldn't sleep and look for "my" star. I thought that there were so many, that no one but me probably knew that it was there.
14. Fourteen was a very awkward age for me.
13. I actually liked Jr. High okay. Elizabeth Dickinson and I used to hang out and put copyright logos on the Health Office door sign.
12. I have been known to wear the same pair of earrings for years.
11. I am incredibly sentimental.
10. I love to make people laugh.
9. I love magic shows.
8. I love ballroom dance, doing AND watching.
7. Buttercream frosting is my favorite - the more the better.
6. I used to be incredibly vain about how good my hands looked.
5. Robin Williams is one of my favorite comedians, but I don't like him in drama.
4. My whole mission in Portugal had people recommending that I get a tan. Even after 1 1/2 years out of doors.
3. My three kids amuse the heck out of me 1/2 the time, and drive me to my wits end the other 1/2.
2. "Summer of my German Soldier" by Bette Greene made me cry when I read it.
1. If you've made it this far, I suspect that you are either a relative, or my very good friend! You have probably heard much of this over the time you've known me, but at least it's here all together. So, thanks for reading! :D