Monday, April 29, 2013

My Epiphany

What a dream I had, that woke me up, and made my day!  In my dream, I was teaching history to high school kids, and there were behavior problems I was trying to solve, and problems with parents about how I solved those behavior problems, and at one point I was saying things that I knew were true, but I didn't have the facts and quotes memorized and on hand to prove it, so I was a very poor teacher and I should have been more prepared.

After this dream I just felt that I would really enjoy teaching history, perhaps to older kids.  It was the epiphany I wish I'd had when I was back in college and trying to figure out what to study.  But the dream also warned me of the difficulties in teaching older kids.  That I needed a good education first because kids always know when they have a good teacher and whether they're in a worthwhile class or not.  I've been teaching my kids history for years, and I read history books for fun, but I'm not that good.  I hate memorizing dates and names only.  I want to understand people.  I want to be like David Barton.  This guy comes as close as one can to knowing everything about everything (history-wise, that is).

I started out wanting to be a teacher, but college didn't go so well because I had to work full-time to support myself and was already making more than a starting teacher salary anyway, so it seemed kinda dumb back then.  Plus seeing the government and unions hand in everything made me sick.  I didn't like watching what my mom had to go through with them always forcing new curriculum training and then finding out later that the curriculum sucks.  And with California's extra two years to earn a credential, I crossed off teaching.

So after my mission I started leaning toward nursing or being a paramedic since the schooling was less time and the starting pay was higher and it seemed like a really useful career that I would enjoy.  But the hospital had given me my job back after my mission and same thing- I couldn't live at home and had to work full-time to support myself and I wasn't good at working and going to school.  It wore me out, and I may have been having a bit too much fun in my early 20's to care about it anyway.  Don't think ill of me.  My 20's were honestly the first time I was really happy. 

I am thankful that at least I got a taste of nursing and emergencies working at the hospital for years.  I was usually in Labor and Delivery and Pediatrics, and volunteering in the NICU.  Babies and children.  Doesn't sound like things I care about at all does it?

But overall, I think I have more of a gift for teaching, and I love history, so when I get a chance I will go back to school for that.

I also love music, but I wouldn't want to major in it.  I just would be happy to sing and play an instrument and be in a music group. Why else would I start my own music group?

Anyway, I'm grateful to finally have clarity more and more about who I am and what I want to become, and that dream helped a lot.  I'm not saying this dream was from God, but He has given me callings at church that have taught me so much about who I am and what I need to learn.  I'm currently being forced to learn the computer again(blah), and joyfully(!) get to work with the youth and I think they are amazing and love them so much!

I'm kind of in a pickle since my time is past and my kids come first now, and also there's the money that I won't have for years.  But as I wait for my turn, I can learn the computer again, and I can learn the gospel, and read good books, and help my kids learn who they are so they can hopefully figure it out before they're in their 30's!    And maybe one day I can wear this shirt!


If I could decide to be one musician/music group ever, I would choose Simon and Garfunkel.  I love all types of music, but they are the most like me I think.  I have loved them since I was very young.  I love their poetry and perfect harmony- they are so talented.  I love their quiet way of singing but their fun songs are awesome too.  And I love the guitar work.  I only ever wanted to play guitar like that.  I was kinda good at guitar in high school with my great teacher Kenny, but I was working to pay for the lessons myself and eventually I couldn't afford them any more.

I can go for years without listening to S and G, but when I get back to it, I can't stop listening for weeks.

I love their popular songs like Scarborough Fair immensely, but I also love their more obscure songs like:
A Poem on the Underground Wall
The Dangling Conversation
The Only Living Boy in NY
I am a Rock
Kathy's Song
Keep the Customer Satisfied
Leaves that are Green
El Condor Pasa
April Come She Will
We've Got a Groovy Thing Goin'
Wed 3am
Song for the Asking
For Emily...What a dream I had...

I guess it's more telling that I've never heard a song of theirs that I don't like.

A very close second would be the Wiggles.  Yes, I would love to be in a band where I make kids happy and can act crazy silly.  I would seriously love it!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Thank you speech

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank whoever gave my baby pink eye.  And now for the opportunity the rest of us have to have it as well. We've never had pink eye before, so we get to experience something new!  Charlie has also moved onto his third medication for thrush, which we have been treating since he was a week or two old and it has never fully gone away.  I hate this!!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

In no order or sense's what's been going on lately.  First of all, Pat and I got married.  I can't believe you missed it.  You should have a whole bunch of kids like I did.  It makes you look years younger.
Actually, these are my best wedding pictures and since it was during the archaic age of negatives and film, I just wanted a picture of this collage in case it's destroyed someday.
 This is me telling the boys to pay attention to conference.  They are seeing how long they can balance while listening.

This is Charlie looking at us.  We're used to carrying him around and he doesn't pay us any attention, but now that he can see and turn his head, we often look down and notice that he's staring intently at us.

Evan had a school dance a month ago and it was there that we saw he had learned to dance a bit in P.E. when Pat looked over and saw him dancing with a girl.  They totally knew what they were doing.  He's also had girls calling him.  What the heck?  First grade!

Evan and Leia dancing.
Perhaps the girls are crazy for his unique style.  I have too many pictures of him with his socks like this.

I didn't even know Dallas was paying attention to conference until it was over.  I mean he sat through the whole thing, but at the end he surprised me with these.  It's like on a flip chart/key chain thing and on one side it shows the order of the speakers, and on the flip side what they spoke on.

If only this was a beach. -Charlie

This is me catching her with her hand in the cookie jar, or in this case with her hand in my bag grabbing the gum.  She will eat an entire pack at once which I think is terrible!  And she gets in big trouble, but here she is doing it again.  She got in SO much trouble for this.  She pulled her hat down over her eyes as I yelled at her so she didn't have to look at me.

I'm sure having a new baby is hardest on her, and she gets neglected more than I would like, but I have been trying to spend time bathing/dressing/brushing her every day so she looks nice and gets used to taking care of herself, and reading and singing to her at night.  Her song is 'Cockles and Muscles'.  During the day, she often copies what I do.  She has been so sweet and cute lately that if I didn't have Charlie, there would have been a whole bunch of posts just about her, but unfortunately I keep forgetting or not being able to jot it down on a quick scrap of paper for typing later.  Sometimes she just really wants help and is crying big tears and I say I'll help her in just a minute, and she smiles through her tears and cries, "O-tay!" in her sad/happy patient way.  What a sweetheart.

And as soon as Charlie vacates his seat, her baby gets strapped in!

Charlie got this blanket amongst other cute gifts in a box from the Paz and Thorne families.

Last night for family night I had the activity.  We played the incredibly complex game of "if you guess what I'm thinking I get to throw water at you".  So I said I was looking for a color, and then stood in front of each person in turn with a cup of water and a spoon in hand, as they guessed which color I was thinking of.   Whoever guesses it gets a spoonful of water hurled at them from close range.  The only rule is you can't repeat what someone has already said and I only get one spoonful of water to throw.  It's my own fault if I miss, so I have to be fast.

Next I did a number between 1-10. That was funny because no one guessed my number until it was the only one left and it was Dallas's turn, so he had to say it and take the water in the face.  Good times.  But then he got to be "it" and walk around with the water.  You could do anything: rooms in the house, states, continents, items in the fridge, animals at the zoo or in a pet store, etc.  It was fun.  We used to do that on my mission when we played with our wards.

Then we planted seeds in cups to sprout indoors.  Way too late, but we hope it's partially worthwhile.
We are so tired.  It's been almost 2 months now since anyone got a good nights sleep.  But we're surviving.
Our neighbors Toni and Jose gave us plants as well, which was a great kindness!  I love growing things but often don't have the time or money, and we weren't going to do it this year, and the kids were sad since they had already weeded and prepared the ground, but now we can!
Speaking of neighbors, Mike and Jennifer gave us this HUGE gift bag full of all sorts of things for the baby and for the rest of the kids.  It was so thoughtful and kind of them!  They are over-the-top awesome!  Sometimes I just want to kiss people, so I look down quickly and act normal before I do.

I just finished reading Holes to the boys, and we all loved it and laughed out loud.  Then we watched the movie on Saturday which is fun too. (Or as Leia says, "Too too!") But Dallas said the book was better, and we all agreed.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Charlie Bear

Sam and Charlie sleeping together.

Bath time with his signature O lips.  That birthmark on his forehead is supposed to fade after 2 months or 2 years- can't remember.

Helpful brothers.  It really has been nice having older siblings.  It gives me the chance to shower or cook dinner!  Sam is amazing with him.  He just knows how to handle him really well.  And Evan will always sing to him if he's crying.
Here's a funny:  At the dinner table I mentioned to Pat that my friend has to take her daughter to school in the evening for a special night all about puberty.  I think that's so weird.

I said, "Isn't that weird?  Puberty?"

And Evan said, "No Mom.  LIBERTY."

Crazy Daisy

Can you tell I've been a bit preoccupied lately?  Man, this has been a difficult recovery. Too bad for you all that it's not stuff that's fun to share about.  I'm sure you were dying to know.

Daisy is always asking for help and I'm always having to tell her 'in a little bit', which can stretch to hours depending on me and Charlie.

I tell her I don't have any hands.

She nods her head up and down and says, "Yes... oo af ands!", and then she points them out to me in a reassuring way.

She's been having to take eye drops, and she say, "Mom, I on't ike eye dwos."

The eye drops didn't work, so now she's on an oral antibiotic.  She would say, "I on't ike medicine", and I used to have to fight her like crazy to get it all in her mouth twice a day, but one day Dad told her that her medicine was good, so now she takes it.

She sings songs at the piano about how mama is so pretty.  And when she sees pictures of herself she says, "Mom!  I so pretty!" We like being pretty girls.

Although when she saw the picture below with the pacifier she said disapprovingly, "Mom- no pacy!", because she knows she's not supposed to have one anymore.  But at nap time I tell her no pacy, and she crys and say, "Mom!  I really need my pacy!  I do!"

She dresses herself all the time now.  This is because she is usually peeing in whatever outfit she had on, and I have no hands to help her.  After Charlie was born, we just decided we weren't buying her anymore diapers so we went into full potty training mode in addition to full newborn mode which has been fun.  Most of the time she puts shorts over pants or tries to put a shirt on bottom and sometimes I'm so occupied that she walks around awkwardly like that all day.  Her brothers have gotten good at feeding her and helping her though now.

There's one thing about Daisy that is different from all the rest of us.  She is loud.  Her voice is constantly waking up Charlie.  "Mom- I'm hunwy!", is her usual cry.

One day I said, "Well, go get some food!", and almost tacked on, "I'm not your mother!", until I realized I was.

Here she is begging me for beans and hot chocolate. 

The back view of her headband.  She figured out how to open the fridge and loves to eat cottage cheese followed closely by yogurt.  She also eats bell peppers, and apples and peanut butter a lot.  Of course there are the more unhealthy choices she makes such as dumping a whole box of sugar on her bed to eat today.

She does not like being left in the house if all the brothers are outside swinging.  When I open the door for her to go out, she yells, "Hi brothers! I'm coming!", in a super cheerful voice like it's their dream come true, and they can hear her across the whole yard which is like an acre.

I finally got a bit of a hairstyle!  But all the front hair still doesn't reach yet.

When I let her watch a show, she skips through the house shouting in her high pitched voice, "Ipee!"  She still can't make the "Y" sound so she still says ES for Yes too.  In fact she's going to need speech therapy just like D did and still does, but we can't do it.  She can still really only talk in vowel sounds.  She can hardly do any consonants.  She talks a lot though and it's really frustrating when no one can understand!  Yet being her family, we understand her better than anyone else would. :(

Last night at the dinner table Sam said, "Girls are disgusting!", and we all just ignored him and kept eating, but then, quickly rising in volume at the injustice of it all, Leia replied, "No! Mom! No! No they not! Mom! Girls nice!", as she nodded her head up and down smiling, which is a signal for me to back her up.  And I did.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


The sun was really bright!  But not for Evan.

When did she grow up?

The kids really liked their books.  I LOVED them all, except the green one was just okay.  The same author did the other three, and we have never been disappointed with any of his books.  They make us laugh out loud.  Too bad many of his books are out of print!