...and they all lived happily ever after...

...and they all lived happily ever after...

Monday, December 31, 2012

How to be a slacker blogger in two easy steps:

It's easy to become a slacker blogger.  Anyone can do it, it just takes a bunch of preparation and then a huge lack of effort.  In two simple steps you too can become a slacker blogger.

First, write new stuff on your blog several times a week for some number of years.

Then, don't write anything for like two weeks or something. 

Ta Da!!

Slacker blogger.  You can really go all out by also not taking more than a handful of pictures throughout the last couple weeks of Christmas so  you actually don't have much to show either.  Yeah, that's awesome!

Congratulations.  Slacker blogger extraordinaire!

Just kidding, so actually life has been wild of late, but that's true for just about everyone during the holidays so I'm not really trying to make excuses for not logging on so much as I'm just stating facts.

Life has been interesting, but to be honest, I have been loving this cocooned with my family feeling that is going on around here right now.  I love spending all day with my kidlets (although, as always, I could do without the fighting and messes).  I love having their friends over to play and listening to them chat about back to school and future plans and all that jazz.  It has been fabulous...mostly.

Anyway, so we've had loads of snow which has meant loads of frozen fingers and hot chocolate.  Logan has really taken to making snowmen on his own.  Here is one of his creations (this one took a lot of work because this was a really dry snow and didn't pack well, but he didn't give up).

We also celebrated the birth of our favorite nine year old on the planet!  Love you PJ!

Then it was Christmas (well, there were other adventures in there but since I didn't take pictures I really have no proof of our escapades).

  Everyone was very happy with his or her new treasures...

Except for Ellie who decided to be sick.  She woke up Sunday night (the 23rd) throwing up so that was fun.  By morning she was no longer throwing up (oh, that was a fun night, but Josh was amazing and daddied his way to fame in my book) but she was achy and tired and ornery as a wet hornet!  She sat on my lap most of the 24th and we figured she would be feeling much better by Christmas.  No dice.  She didn't willingly eat anything for three days (pushy moms will manage to get food in tummies one way or the other, but Ellie never volunteered to ingest edibles).
By the night of the 24th she was still feeling pretty rotten but no doctors are really open then.  Also, they aren't really open on Christmas day (and I don't really blame them...doctors are people too).  So we didn't get Ellie in to be seen until the 26th at which point we were told she had the flu (geez, good thing we got flu shots a month ago) (ok, that's me being sarcastic, it is actually a good thing because she could have been much worse if she hadn't had that injection).
She's slowly been making her way back to healthy for the rest of this past week, although she's made frequent stops at tired and even more at ornery.  Yeah, three year olds can get whiny and unreasonable when they don't feel well. 
Then we painted the living room.  That's what happens when your spare paint goes all gross and you can't seem to match the color right.  Nice.  Thanks to credit card point we were able to use gift cards to buy paint so we spent almost nothing on this project.  Happy Christmas to us!  Well, I love the new finish so I guess it all worked out in the end. 

With one grumpy littlest girl and a matching ornery littlest boy I'm sure New Years will be loads of fun tonight.  Maybe we'll all just go to bed early and start fresh in the morning.  Sounds like a plan to me.
Or, maybe we'll play games and watch movies and eat ice cream and just remember that we love each other and that we like to spend time together as we tip toe our way to 2013.  Yeah, that works too.
Slacker blogger, signing out.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Frozen Treats

This week we took treats around to a few neighbors.  I'm sure most people do this so it really isn't anything fantastic, but this year we did something a bit different.
I was lamenting to my mom and sister-in-law that every year at Christmas it seems like there are just so many treats that the counter gets piled high with them and then you don't really end up enjoying many of them and I hate to make things for people just to have them thrown away because they have too many other sweets.
Well, my sister-in-law suggested that instead of taking baked goods or chocolate pretzels (like we have done the last bunch of years) we take cookie dough balls that people can cook when they want a treat.
I LOOOOVED this idea.  It was the perfect solution for me.
So the kids and I worked in the kitchen to mix and roll and freeze balls of dough.  Then we got a bit lazy and just zipped them into freezer bags, added a bow and a poem and we took them to a few close neighbors.
Our poem went like this:
"Find a place in your refrigerator
As your pile of confections grows greater.
With a counter of sweets
For your family to eat
You can smile and save this one for later.
Pop these chocolate chip cookie balls in your freezer until you have recovered from the holiday sugar high.  Then, one day when you need a little pick me up, pull these babies out, plunge them into the oven for 10-12 minutes on 350 degrees and enjoy a warm bit of love from our home to yours."
We had fun baking and delivering and it was fun to try something new.  We'll see what we come up with for next year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Here comes the band...

This week I got to attend a couple of band/orchestra concerts for my children.  All of our children play the piano (well, all of them 1st grade and beyond...it's a requirement in our home) and Bryce plays piano for his orchestra at the jr high.  Aubrey wanted to join the elementary school band this year and opted to play the flute.  She loves it and had done a great job with it so far. 

We are really proud that our children are taking an interest in music and that they have each worked so hard to learn their performance pieces.  Bryce, in particular, has had to practice extra hard because the pieces he has played are quite a bit more difficult than what he is used to.  He has stuck with it and really done well.  It's been great to watch.  After a mishap that left Aubrey fluteless for a couple of weeks she also scurried to add extra practicing so she would be concert ready as well.  Great job, kiddos, I think you are awesome!

WARNING:  If you watch these videos be aware that they show elementary and jr high band/orchestra concerts and that does come with a bit of occasional wincing, but when you are the parent you happily overlook (or overhear) that in favor of the many notes that are great.

(Aubs is playing the flute on the left of the screen in the black dress)
(Good luck seeing Bryce, he is hidden behind the piano at the back of the orchestra)

Monday, December 17, 2012


On Friday, while Josh was teaching one of his classes the kids kept pulling out their cell phones and staring at the screens.  There is a no tolerance cell phone policy (during class) at the school and Josh doesn't usually have much trouble with this issue, but Friday it was HORRIBLE!

Finally, he got really frustrated and scolded the kids asking why they were all being so rotten about this that day.  That's when he found out about the school shooting in Connecticut.  Having been teaching all morning, he hadn't heard one bit about it.

Of course, this incident really hit home for him as he is a teacher and he happens to adore his students.  The kids had loads of questions and concerns and the class ended up having an impromptu mini-discussion about what had happened.  Of course, they didn't know many details at the moment, but being a psychology class they talked about the event relative to some things they had learned in class.

One student timidly raised his hand and asked, "Mr. DeMoux, what would you do if someone was trying to get into our classroom to hurt us?"

Without blinking my husband said, "I would have to be dead before I would let anyone get near you."

And that is the truth.

I think it is the truth for most, if not all, of those that work in this capacity.  I think it is the truth for principals and office staff and custodians and anyone else who chooses to spend their day improving the lives of our children.

As much as my heart screams that I would want my husband to be safe, I know him well enough to know that when it comes between him and the people he loves he will choose them every time.  I have watched this happen time and time again in our lives (not with gunmen, but in other ways).  It is one of the things that I love about him, although there is a tinge of sadness in there too because I don't want him to be hurt.

I know if our family was in a movie theater or a mall or a stadium and someone came in with weapons I would scuttle our children to safety and my sweetheart would be headed wherever his help was needed whether it was assisting those who had been injured or tackling the person attempting to hurt people.

That's just who he is.  That's part of the reason that he does what he does.

Josh called home when he had a break in his classes that day because he just needed to hear the sound of our wild children playing after the shock of such tragic news.  There are no words for such sadness.  I ache for those left hurting, for those with loved ones who will never come home.  But I also rejoice in the heroic love of so many others who saved lives, calmed fears and comforted those who desperately need it.

There is no eloquent ending to such heart wrenching happenings.  But this week we squeeze our sweethearts just a bit longer than usual and pray that as God receives the innocent spirits of those who moved toward Him too soon He will also rain down peace and love and some measure of comfort on those left here trying to get through this disaster.

May the strength of our Savior and the blessing of his Atonement bless lives when no other relief can come.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Oh Brother

I am the oldest of five children.  That means I'm bossy and controlling (which sometimes comes in handy as I try to raise my brood of spirited youngsters).  My younger siblings all happen to be male so I grew up as a bit of a Tom boy. I've never been sad about that.
Anyway, that's not the point.  The point is that I have four younger brothers who are AMAZING!
On Tuesdays since Thanksgiving my oldest younger brother, Josh, has been coming to my house to pick up my two oldest boys.  He takes them to his house where they are working on a project to make Christmas gifts.  I have no idea what they are making (I do LOVE surprises!), but I think it is incredible that Josh has taken them on as his little protegees so that they can learn from him and feel his influence and share his insights.  Josh is incredibly talented, but a few years ago he discovered he has a talent working with wood.  He has made some pretty amazing things from clocks to decorative backyard benches.  One of his latest creations now resides in my living room.  It is a wooden manger that he built for me so we can put straw in it as we do kind things for each other (if you have no idea what I'm talking about you should read this fabulous Christmas story to get the idea).  Josh and his wonderful wife (I do love that my brothers pick fabulous girls to be my sisters) have been an incredible blessing to my family and I can't thank them enough for that. 

Josh (my brother, not my husband) helping Aubrey with a kite.

My second oldest younger brother is named Brian.  Despite being the brunt of much (seriously, much) harassing and teasing while growing up (sorry Bri-Guy...I guess that's the nasty benefit of being the middle child) he has grown up to be an incredibly well adjusted and gifted adult.  Brian created an awesome program, now called Canvas, while he was working on his masters degree and decided to turn that idea into his own company, now called Instructure (I told you he was fabulous).  But more importantly, Brian is the father to a precious trio of children, one of which is a patient and beautiful sweetheart named Becca who has a severe form of Autism called Rett Syndrome (meet her here).  He and his wife are amazing and tender parents, but they still find time and energy to look out for others.  Brian recently worked with his venture scouts to make their own kayaks from wood and canvas and then took them on a river trip.  Seriously, who does that?  Not long ago Brian gifted our family an expensive piece of electronic fun that has become an integral part of our lives and he did it just to be nice -- no praise or return favors required (not that we won't try anyway).  I just adore that guy.

Next in the line is my brother Kevin (or Kephin as I like to call him).  Kevin went to school to become a chef and makes some of the tastiest things you can believe.  While working at one bakery he also wrote a fancy computer program from scratch to better track the inventory/expenditures/recipe needs because he knew it would make things easier.  Pretty impressive to me.  Kev is my "Top Chef" companion because I am addicted to the show and he is the only other person I know that watches it. One of my favorite things about him is that he makes me laugh.  He does so in real life, but also, every day he sends me things he finds on the web (often from Failblog) that are hilarious.  That means every morning I have a crew of kidlets gathered around when I check my email because they want to see what funny bits Uncle Kevin has sent us.  He and his wife have a couple of the cutest boys ever and I'm grateful for them all. 

Last but not least (well, maybe least weight wise these days) is my baby brother Joel.  I used to tote Joel around with me when we were growing up.  I am 13 years older than him so when I would take him to the park or the store with me I would often get told what a cute son I had.  He is pretty adorable.  Joel returned from an LDS mission just less than a year ago and I am forever grateful for the example he set for my boys who adore him.  He is closer in age to my three oldest kids than he is to me and they have grown up goofing off and wrestling with him like he is a bigger brother.  He is currently attending BYU (go cougars!) and working to determine who he wants to be when he grows up.  I'm awfully glad we have him around.
There is something forever comforting about being surrounded by siblings who love you, and I'm lucky enough to know that feeling.  Thanks, boys.  I love you, too.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

This is our life...

Life gets crazy in December.
I just have to plan on that. 
Even though we work hard not to overload our kids with activities and events, there are just so many things going on this time of year that we are absolutely kept on our toes.  With six kids running around this place, even if they each only have one or two things going on it really adds up especially when you top the mix with family activities and ward fun.  It can be a little bit hectic, but we do our best to make sure everyone has time to enjoy things.
Here is some of what we've been up to this past week.
Basketball practices and games for two of our boys.
School chorus concerts.

Making rice crispy treat coal for a fund raiser (I LOVE how this stuff looks, so fun).

Children's weirdness...it's just a given (of course there is plenty of adult weirdness too, where else would they learn it?).
Trips to the zoo (on cloudy days it is the best because no one else is there and the animals are often very active).

Packages in the mail.  Ok, make that singular, package in the mail.  After a mess we had to order Aubrey a new flute and she was pretty thrilled when it arrived.

Musical theater concerts at the Festival of Trees, several ward parties, the Cultural Celebration Center and the Dicken's Festival...and many more to come.

Mostly this is what I look like lately as I shuttle kids here, there and everywhere.

And this is what I miss, lots of relaxed moments soggy with sleep.  Oh, wouldn't that be lovely (this moment courtesy of Ellie who is all knotted in the blankets of her ladybug bed).

December gets crazy, for sure, but I love the thrill on the faces of my sweethearts as we circle the wagons and chat about our adventures every day.  It is great to see their smiling eyes and exultant smiles as they explore all the fun of the season.  Even if it gets a little wild sometimes, I wouldn't trade it.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Aubrey lights up the stage...

Since it is Christmastime again we find ourselves plunging into the calendar full of dance performances for Aubrey's dance class.  It is lots of fun to watch her perform and see her have such a good time on stage. 
We have the best musical theater group ever because the leader of this group is AmAzInG!   She adores these children and teaches them much more than just singing and dancing (If you are interested in signing up your youngster visit the Miss Margene website.)  Margene is incredible.  She expects the kids to take care of each other and to set a good example for younger kids in much  more than just performing.  I can't think of a better atmosphere for my little girl.
Anyway, Aubrey can't get enough of this and I love watching her stretch out and grow as she learns to blossom  (bit by bit) on stage.  I am awfully proud of this girl.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Happy immunosupressed holiday!

In late June I started my current Crohn's disease treatment.  I am on Humira, which is fun little drug that I inject into my belly every other week.  I am pretty much in love with this piece of medicine as it has tangled up my disease in a sticky string of mostly-remission so that it's nastiness only breaks through on occasion instead of almost all the time. 

Well, on top of the Humira injections I also take a daily dose of an oral medication called imuran (or azathioprine).  These pills are immunosupressants which in essence weaken my immune system (did you know about 70% of your immune system functions in your intestines?) so that my gut stops attacking itself.  This medicine does have some side effects, but nothing too horrible on a daily basis.

The problem with having a suppressed immune system is that your immune system in suppressed (duh!).  That means that it is not as capable of warding off bacterial and viral invaders as it used to be.  That means that whenever people present me with germs my body has more of a "Heeey, come on in and lets get to know each other...whoa, wait, you guys don't seem very nice, I think we're going to ask you to leave" response instead of "Go away or we'll torture and kill you you nasty fiends!" sort of response.

So, it seems that whenever someone brings home an illness I am very likely to get it.  Thus far I don't seem to get the full blown, entire thing, but I get bits and pieces of symptoms and feel really tired and achy and it takes a few days for my body to take charge and start to get rid of the unwelcome guests.

This was particularly apparent when our family went to get flu shots the day before Thanksgiving (what the heck, who is crazy enough to schedule flu shots for their family the day before Thanksgiving...oh wait, I did that).

Love my kids, but this is still pretty
true (even though they are super
sweet and do often ask if I am ok and stuff).
I am telling you, the day after that shot I was in rotten shape.  I felt like I had been hit by a truck.  I am incredibly grateful that I had Josh with me that day because nothing would have been done if he hadn't been there.  He prepped the dishes we needed to take to family dinner and made sure the children were semi-presentable (let's face it, he isn't the mother, he doesn't worry about those things as much as I do). 

Well, the point is, I think this winter will be an interesting one.  I've already had more "colds" than I think I've had the previous five years put together.  I am super grateful that I started out with a pretty rockin' immune system so when it was suddenly and unceremoniously suppressed it is still not too shabby.  Let's say most people have 40 of immune system points well, I think before all of this I was probably at like 50 or 55 of immune system points so now with a 20-25 point depletion I am still in pretty good shape (maybe this would make an awesome video game..."Battle in the Bowels" or "ImmunoWars"). 

I'm grateful that even on a bad day I seem to be ok enough to be the mom and get through the day without too many troubles. 

Life is definitely interesting...no matter your situation.  But it is always a wonderful adventure.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Oh Christmas Tree...to me you are so tasty!

Well, our first holiday craftsnack(ish) activity of the season was nothing particularly revolutionary, but it was still a lot of fun.
We used waffle cones (Walmart was out of regular sugar cones) coated with tinted green frosting as Christmas trees and decorated them with candy.  I know, I know, it's a wonderful old standby, but it was still great and my kids had never done it before so to them it was new and exciting.

At first Ellie was all upset because the frosting kept getting on her fingers and she was bothered by that, but she got over it and very meticulously garnished her tree with sweets.  It was fun to watch her find just the right spot for every single piece of candy.

My boys, on the other hand, pummeled their trees with M&Ms in a much more random pattern and a much more flippant way.  Parker also decided that wasting his spare frosting would be unacceptable so he broke off some bits of waffle cone and used them as a utensil to scoop and swallow his spare sugary cream.

But the favorite part by far was the eating at the end.
And that makes sense.
What a fun afternoon.  It's always great to hang out together and when you slather the activity in frosting and sweets you really can't go wrong.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Too Soon...

On Saturday evening I got a call from my mom.
She wanted to let me know that my dad's youngest sister had passed away.
It didn't seem real.
Her name is Polly and she was not quite two years older than I am. 
Suddenly, I am feeling very very mortal.

This is my Dad (sitting to the left in the suit jacket with the half smile because -- very seriously -- he does not know how to smile in a picture, but I love him anyway) and his parents and siblings.  Polly is on the left end of the back row with the dark hair.

Polly was working with her family to put up Christmas lights on Saturday when she had a heart attack and passed away.  I cannot imagine the depth of despair her little family must feel to have watched their wife and mother move so quickly from one life to the next.  I like to think my Grammie (my vivacious great grandmother who died just before I got married) was there to meet her and show her the ropes as they now stride into the next chapter of living.

To be honest, I don't know my Dad's family as well as I should.  Most of them live a couple of states away, but the times I have spent with them over the years are good memories.  Since I was so close in age to Polly I remember playing with her the times that we were together growing up.  I remember that she always seemed to be smiling and laughing; she just seemed to shine.

And that didn't change when she was all grown up (I wonder if she didn't really feel adult enough to be called a grown up like I do?).  She married a sweet man and had a beautiful quartet of children that we saw occasionally, particularly when they spent some time living here in Utah.

This lady was a happy bit of life who wasn't afraid to let people know she loved them.  Probably we should all be more like that.

I am aching for her husband.  I am aching for her children.  I am aching for her parents and siblings. 

But I would bet that even though she is concerned about those she has left behind, wherever she is she is still smiling. 

We love you, Polly, and we'll miss you.  We all look forward to the day we can see you again. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...