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

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

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bon Jovi broke my soup

Last night while I was sitting at home pouting because Josh was at the Bon Jovi concert and I wasn't (he was working, but still) I made chicken noodle soup for dinner.  Soup is comfort food and it seemed like a good night to drown my sorrows in broth.

So, I plopped the diced vegetables and chicken in the pot of bubbling water, then pulled out the bouillon cubes to add flavor to the dish.  I set a pile of cubes out, but was then interrupted by screaming in the family room (with six kids, that happens often...probably with two kids that still happens often). 

Anyway, so I went to solve the problem and when I came back the bouillon cubes were gone.  I checked the garbage for the wrappers to see if I had added them and I just didn't remember, but no, no yellow paper shreds there. 

What the heck!  Bouillon cubes don't just disappear.  They aren't pixie dust, after all.  I quickly stirred my flavorless soup only to see little shimmers of yellow from inside the pot.  Yup, I inadvertently dropped all 15 bouillon cubes into the simmering mixture.  What a dork.

I had to fish them out one at a time and try to unwrap the now soggy and steaming cubes so that I could redeposit them in the soup and it might taste a little more savory than it did before. 

In the mean time, this is what Josh was seeing and hearing.  And I was INCREDIBLY jealous. 
(He said this concert was MUCH better than Lady Gaga....I am not a bit surprised).

Monday, March 21, 2011

Our week...

This week has been pretty wild.  Josh has been working his 2nd job a lot so things here are more stressful than normal.  Besides, when he works a lot that means I have to do the dishes and there is no job that I hate more than doing the dishes.  Yuck!!

Ellie all decked out in her green duds.

Still, we did have a fun week.  We got to celebrate St. Patrick's day and we had a lot of fun with that.  Leprechauns came and dyed our food green all day, and our milk changed from white to green magically when we poured it in our cups.  It was crazy.  What a fabulous holiday.  I got to pinch every single child because no one remembered to wear green until they got pinched (Logan refused even after he got pinched...stubborn kid). 

A wonderful neighbor made us this awesome rainbow Jello.
I didn't have the heart to tell her that my kids won't eat Jello.
I tried to be sneaky and just put it out for snack without saying
anything, but one spoonful and that was that.  It sure
looked pretty and I know it took a lot of work...sorry Sherry.

At the boy's soccer game on Saturday Logan tripped and hit his head on a metal bench and got a really nasty gash.  It bled a lot and looked pretty nasty.  We ended up taking him to a nurse friend in the neighborhood who reassured us that we were right in dealing with it at home and not pestering the Instacare -- it didn't need stitches.  I was grateful she would take time for us. 

Logan did survive, and even felt well enough to serenade me later that day.

It is not always (or ever) fun that Josh has to work two jobs, but I am incredibly grateful that he does it.  He does it so that I can stay at home with our kids which is exactly what I want from life. 

We knew when we made the choice to pursue Josh's career as a high school teacher that financial issues would be a concern, especially with a plus sized family.  However, I would not change that decision.  We face our consequences... no, we embrace our consequences and stride on knowing that God will help us along the way and that even when life is a struggle, it is still very very good. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Josh worked the Lady Gaga concert here in Salt Lake last night. 

He spent the evening backstage in the wings with a direct view of the sexy star and her little starlets (don't be jealous, he had NO desire to be there).

But despite her scantily clad, perky, trim form (and all the dancers in her entourage as well) he still came home completely gaga for me.

Oooh, I love that man. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

S'more Sickness

I think we have spent close to $400,000 on copays at our doctor's office so far this year (those numbers may be slightly inflated).  I honestly think we have made the nearly 40 mile round trip drive to Dr. VanDenBerghe's Holliday office almost every week since the start of 2011.  Between ear infections, pneumonia, routine exams, kindergarten shots and now strep throat we have kept that guy in business (he deserves to be kept in business...I don't think there is a better doctor anywhere...I HIGHLY recommend him if you are looking for a pediatrician).

What a way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day tomorrow (strep throats are NOT green).  Still, I love this holiday.  It is so much fun.  I love playing little "leprechaun" tricks on the kids, making them green food and pinching them (guaranteed they will forget to wear green until I pinch them).  It is these little ridiculous, worthless to the world but priceless to my family moments that make life wonderful even in the midst of yuckiness.

And so, today I am feeling lucky.  I feel lucky that I have a fabulous doctor who does so much to take care of my family.  I feel lucky that our biggest health concerns are walking pneumonia and mild strep throat and nothing more serious than that.

I feel lucky to be surrounded by munchkins of my own even if that does mean lots of rotten clean up and very little personal nap time.  I feel lucky to be married to a man who cherishes me and who I cherish right back (cheesy, I know).

This world is not a perfect place, but it is a good place and I feel lucky to be on it.  Even while treating strep throat and doing laundry EVERY day, and scraping food off the bottom of the table (GROSS!!), I'm going to try to enjoy the ride.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ring Around the Rose

One of the benefits of writing for the Deseret News is that occasionally I get to attend incredible events so that I can write about them.  Today I got to take three of my kids with me to watch a sensational performance by Repertory Dance Theatre.  
RDT hosts several events each season geared toward kids and they are awesome.  It is called the "Ring Around the Rose" series (because their theater is the Rose Wagner Theater).  This particular event was "Draw, Dance, Design, Discover" and it was FABULOUS.
The kids LOVED it.  As we arrived, we were invited up onto the stage and the kids were encouraged to let their creative minds run wild while they drew on gigantic sheets of paper that lined a section of the stage. 
The dancers did perform several pieces, but they were created for kids so they were vibrant and dynamic and really entertaining (not to mention short because no child has much of an attention span).  They danced a baseball game, pretended to be controlled by magnets, and created line, shape and energy.

But the best part of all (at least to my little sprites) was that several times throughout the performance, all of the kids were called out onto the dance floor to experiment with creative moment right along with the dancers.  My kids loved being able to boogie and laugh with these talented performers.  It was a really wonderful afternoon.

So, "Ring Around the Rose," I HIGHLY recommend it.  If you want something fun to do with your little ones here in Salt Lake (and it is inexpensive, $5 per ticket), take a look at the children's events RDT will have in April and May.  I promise, you will not be sorry. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Throwing Up

Logan (age 3): "First you have the hip-ups (hiccups).  Then the food jumps out.  That's how you throw up.  And then you are sick."

Well, there you go.

(FYI we haven't been having up chucking here -- super hooray -- but the boys have been talking about the logistics of it anyway...oh, boys).

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Stinky Days

Monday was a rotten smelly day.  I know you know what I mean.  Some days just stink.

I was feeling really worthless and stinky too.  My poor husband had to hear me whine about it all and my poor kids were much more ignored than usual (at least I wasn't yelling at them, I guess that is something, of course you don't yell at people when you have locked yourself away in your bedroom). 

Nothing particularly horrible happened.  I can't tell you what the problem was.  I just felt awful and depressed and all that jazz (the depressing "I lost my dog and my baby" kind of jazz). 

At one point I sat down to try to read a book for a minute.  I am currently reading this.  The authors of the book are parents of eight children.  I didn't really read much that day, but I got to thinking how glad I was not to have eight children at that moment.  It was all I could do to handle the six that I have on that day.

Then that got me thinking how grateful I am for a Father in Heaven who knows me so personally.  There is that scripture in the New Testament that says "God will not tempt you above what you can handle" (1 Corinth 10:13) and I laughed to myself and thought, "Yes, but he will definitely push you right up to the limit." 

But that is how it should be (easier to say now that I have some distance from Monday).  How else would we grow?  If life were always comfortable and easy we would never stretch and become something more.

That is not to say that stretching is fun.  At least, I don't always love it, but in the long run I am thankful for the growth I have managed and I hope to grow more...although (aimed at the ceiling) I'm not asking for trouble!

I am also thankful for a Savior who understands my feelings perfectly.  When He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane it wasn't some nameless lump of pain that was dumped on Him and He muddled through it.  He suffered for me personally.  He understands not just heartache, but MY heartache.  He knows not just grief, but MY grief.  He knows how sadness feels to ME.  And because of that He knows exactly how to help me through it (and he sent me Josh which is the greatest gift He has given me in this life...I adore that guy!!). 

I can't really say I am grateful for horrible, stinky days ( I don't love feeling worthless and awful...does anyone?).  But I am grateful for days that are better than that and I guess I wouldn't know the difference if I didn't have rotten ones once in a while. 

Here's to getting through the stink to maybe smell the roses. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

...Hi, my name is Melissa and I am a bibliophile...

Ok, I'll admit it.  I am a bibliophile. 

I am a complete addict when it comes to books.  I am horrible.  It makes my husband crazy.  He cannot understand how it is that no matter how many hundreds of books I have, I ALWAYS WANT MORE!!!

Sad books that no longer live at my house
That is what made this weekend incredibly difficult and even somewhat painful for me. 

We were going through some adjustments in the arrangements of the house because having our two girls who are nearly eight years apart share a bedroom just isn't working out.  This meant I needed to retire my beautiful book room (aka the office) and hand it over to my older daughter.

More sweethearts currently homeless
That meant that I had to find a new home in my house for the three bookcases that were screeching beneath the weight of too many volumes.  There was a lot of groaning as we removed the books from the shelves.

One of the small bookcases stayed in the room to house Aubrey's collection of stories and a bunch more that were now vagrants, one shelf was beyond repair after too many years of dedicated service and had to be retired, and the third shelf is still eeking out an existence in the hall.

I moved what I could fit to the two living room bookshelves and filled up the bookshelf in the boy's bedroom, but there were just too many.

This brought me to the really hard part. Josh told  me (in a kind but firm husbandly tone) I needed to go through the books and get rid of some of them.


Does he realize what he was asking!  This is torture.  I have spend years amassing the hundreds of beautiful tales that now live with my family.  From classics to new fads to picture books and everything in between, I love my books. 

These guys didn't even get a box...is that torture or what
I love Aesop's Fables that I remember reading in my grandmother's kitchen when I was young.  It was one of the only kid's books she had.  I used to read stories in the Reader's Digest because I couldn't stand to read nothing (some of the jokes in those things are no good for ten year olds...oh well).  I love reading Junie B. Jones and Amelia Bedelia with my little ones for a good laugh.  "Tuesday's With Morrie," "Twilight," Anything Jane Austen, "Phantom of the Opera," don't even get me started...I can't stop.

So, I nearly cried as my husband packed two huge diaper boxes loaded with my beauties that didn't make the cut and carted them to D.I. to abandon them.  Hopefully someone will love them as much as I have.  I lost just over 200 books.  Heartache!

Thankfully, there are hundreds of favorites left.  Sadly, there are no empty bookshelves available. 

I'll have to work on that. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

...Growing Pains...

The summer before I started sixth grade I had a job.  A lady that lived up the street from me needed someone to watch her children while she was at work, so she hired me.  She had two kids, a five year old girl and a three year old boy. 

Every morning I rode my bike to her house so that she could leave for work about 8:00 am and she got home about 5:00 or 5:30 at night.  I fed them breakfast and lunch and took care of them all day on my own. 

Now I have an 11 year old (or I will in just a couple months).  He is pretty responsible and very obedient and just a really good kid.  That said, I am terrified to leave him home without me.

Once in a while when I am running errands or doing visits in the neighborhood I will leave him in charge.  I almost always take the baby and usually the three year old with me, but I worry a lot about being gone even when it is just around the block.  I make sure my cell phone is fully charged so the kids can call me if they need to (and they do..."Mom, Parker won't share the G.I. Joe guys!!"...that is not what I meant by call if you need anything)

I know that this is ridiculous and my kids are growing up and I need to let them learn to be responsible...but it is REALLY HARD!!

When I was in 2nd grade my mom used to let me walk my dog to our neighborhood school all by myself to play at the park.  Just last month I allowed my three oldest kids to ride around the block on their scooters for the first time without me.  I made them promise to stay together.  I checked the time when they left so I would know if they were gone too long.  I stayed in the living room so that I would be able to see them from the front window the second they returned.  Yup, I am that lame.

I have friends who are good parents who trust their kids to spend the time between school release and getting home from work without them every day.  I know people who hire ten year olds to babysit their little ones for short periods of time.  I do trust my kids.  They are wonderful people.  I just worry.  I am an excellent worryer. 

I guess growing up is just as hard for grown ups as it is for kids.
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