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

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

Friday, November 30, 2012

Super Powers in the Hoooooouse...

Lately it seems that everywhere I turn I have been running into super heroes (or super monsters) and each is, in reality, a mild mannered member of my fam.
Take a peek.
Oooooh, my hero!
(He really is amazing and strong...even if he isn't quite as fast as a speeding bullet.)

Logan has been enamored with these super fabulous dinosaur winter duds and has been strutting around the house as a ferocious and powerful monster of late.  It's pretty awesome.

Ellie did not want to be left out of the picture taking fun so when I told her I would take a shot of her this is the pose she decided to strike.  Yup, she's got super diva power for sure. 

And just for good measure, here are a couple of additional cuties who aren't being overly powerful unless you count the power of cuteness and sweetness.  I DO count those so here you go.  I have one incredible crew.

Mostly, if you ask me, there is a nearly indomitable power in the beauty of family and I love that.  I have the best group of heroes possible (even better than the Avengers!). 
We fight evil (and messes although some of us are more on board with that battle than others). 
We rescue neighbors (not from deadly lasers and falling asteroids, but from fallen leaves and fallen snow and the like). 
We use our powers for good (most of the time, but sometimes some people bend that rule a bit). 
We are far from perfect.  We are far from impermeable.  We are far from all powerful.  Yet we have something amazing that so many people just don't get to have.  Yes, we fight.  Yes, we cry.  Yes, we struggle and argue and whine and pout and throw our hand ups in frustration and sometimes despair.  But after that we feel a power pulling us together and pushing us to move forward.  I think our true super power is our family.  (Maybe I should sew a big "F" on the bellies of all our shirts...only maybe not because being known as the "F" family might not be such a great thing.)   
Always we love each other even when things are tough and always we are grateful to be together.  We really do make a powerful team. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rain by Request

The other night Aubrey called me in to her room after she had gone to bed at 9:00.  She was giddy.

I came in to find the song "A Little Fall of Rain" playing on her radio (she listens to Show tunes Saturday Night on Saturdays and looks forward to it all week).  She was thrilled because she had written to the DJ that week and requested the song and here it was.  The DJ had even mentioned Aubrey on the radio as part of the introduction of the song.

But here's the good part.

Why did she request that particular song?  It's because she knew it was MY favorite song from Les Miserables and she wanted to dedicate it to me.

This is what she wrote in her email request.

"Hello my name is Aubrey DeMoux. I am ten and I love to listen every Saturday. I really like the music. My mom likes it to but she is always busy at night. I wish the music were on more often. Well it is my bedtime. I would like to request a song though. A little fall of rain is one of my mom's favorite songs. Sincerely Aubrey DeMoux."

I couldn't help but tear up a little when I read that.  What a sweetheart.  No wonder I adore this little princess.

So, Saturday evening about 9:30 found me sitting on my oldest daughter's bed with my arm around my girl as we both sang along to a heartfelt song that my angel requested for me.  I'm not sure I can think of a better way to end an evening.  I think we might should do that again sometimes soon. 

I love you Aubers.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tie dye milk for fun

We have a friend who is a scientist. 
A chemist, actually, I think.
He knows that our kids have a deep interest in interesting things pertaining to his field and he has encouraged our family to explore that.  He brought us the shell of a penny a while ago.  He had used a chemical to dissolve the zinc inside the penny but leave the copper shell intact.  That was pretty cool.  Bryce took that to school to show his science class.
Well, recently Bryce was learning about density and happened to mention that to this sweet man who gave me a great experiment to do at home that deals with surface tension and density.
Well, I never could turn my back on a fabulous experiment so over the Thanksgiving holiday we gave it a shot. 
Here's how it went.
First, fill a shallow pan with whole milk (the milk fat is important here, the fattier your milk the better this works).

 Next, let your youngsters squeeze a couple drops of food coloring into each corner of the pan.  You will notice that some of our kidlets were a little more liberal than others in their idea of what "a few" drops meant.

Now, put a drop of dish soap (seriously, a drop is plenty) a little bit away from the food coloring and watch your milk morph into a tie dye work of art.  The soap breaks up the fatty layer in the milk which breaks the surface tension allowing the more dense milk resting underneath the fat layer to move in and fill the gap and allowing young observers to see a beautiful convection action that makes the colors come alive.  It is a lot of fun.
Thanks to our science minded friend for keeping us up on fun ideas that let our kids see the way things work and get hands on opportunities to learn.
For a better explanation of what is going on here or for clearer step by step instructions take a peek at this website.  They also have lots of other fun science ideas that are great in your very own kitchen.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

In honor of this great holiday about gratitude and love I thought I'd share this lovely little video.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
(Ok, so I may have inadvertently had a video on here that was sort of PG-13 rated...uh, yeah...and I may not have totally noticed because the kids and I were laughing so hard in the first half that we didn't really hear the second half...uh, sorry about that. No worries, it's gone now.  Hope none of you were too tainted by it.  Thanks, honey, for pointing that out so I didn't further pollute the family blog readers of the world.  Lets just pretend it didn't happen.  Yeah.  Turkey.  Thanksgiving.  Good stuff.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Gratitude Attitude

About two weeks ago for family home evening we started a fun project.
I used my fancy dancy Cricut to cut a bunch of leaf and acorn shapes in fall colors and put them in a bag.  Then we had a lesson on the importance of gratitude (which involved the story of the 10 lepers from the New Testament and the learning of Hymn #242, "Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow" (which, incidentally, was my favorite hymn as a teenager because it ties as the shortest in the hymn book).
Anyway, so the point is, we challenged the kids to pay attention for the next little while to things they are thankful for.  We didn't ask everyone to do a certain number a day or anything like that, we wanted them to only jot things down when they honestly, seriously felt grateful for them.
It has been wonderful.
I love reading the things the kids are glad they have in their lives.  From books and grass to backpacks and chocolate it is all up there (the picture is from a while ago so this poor door is nearly covered now with leaves and acorns).
The part that pleases me most is that more than anything else up there I find leaves with the names of people that live in this house or just the word "family" scrawled across them.  I am thrilled and my little ones are thankful for each other (even if they sometimes torment the dickens out of one another).  This has been a wonderful activity.  I'm glad we did it and I think we just may make it a tradition.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Life by inches

Today life is back to normal.

That means that even though it is a Saturday our youngest banged her way into our room before 7:00 this morning turning on lights as she went so that she could ask us for breakfast.  Never mind that her older sister and one older brother were calling from the kitchen, "Ellie, come here, we will get you breakfast."  Thanks for trying guys.  You are awesome.  Somehow breakfast made by Mom is more better (yeah, I know, the fairy of poor grammar must have inadvertently landed on my shoulder, but somehow that phrase is the one that fits this scenario for me). 
After Ellie broke the ice two more small ones pummeled their way into our bed.  This is a regular, morning ritual (I just wish it would scale back its time frame on weekends...sigh).  Gavin and Logan carefully (ha ha) climbed into bed with Josh and I while barely making their presence felt. Psyche!   Ok, in reality they stomped all over us while they fought over the spot right between us.  Yeah, that's how we roll.
While being blindly attacked Josh queried, "Uh, what are you guys doing?" to which Gavin answered "We're trying to give you hugs."  Josh, in a smiling sarcastic voice said,"I think I could do without kids jumping on me, crawling on me, standing on me..." and Gavin added (as he walked sadly from the room) "Or hugging you."  Is it cruel if Josh and I had to stifle our laughs while he walked dejectedly away?
Poor, sad, boy.  Don't worry, we fixed it.  That's what we do.
When I dragged myself out of bed at 7:03 I found Aubrey cooking eggs for anyone who would allow her to cook for them and Ellie eating dry cereal with not a drop of milk in it (that doesn't sound appetizing to me but hey, whatever floats your boat).
Yup, it's a normal morning.
And I love that.
Some days are difficult.  That is just the way of life.  Sometimes tiny problems pile up and pile up and pile up until eventually they feel like a mountain that is hard to overcome.  But it isn't really.  We can climb over things like that the same way we climb over anything else...one small step at a time.  Sometimes it feels like our feet are sliding only millimeters by minutes, but if we keep plugging away it is still progress and that is something to be proud of.
I also think it is completely fair to be down from time to time.  It's normal (at least I think it is).  Thankfully, if we let it, life has a way of reminding us of what really matters and helping us keep things in perspective. 
And here's mine.  How can a mom be too down when tiny kidlets flock to her bed every morning because they just don't seem to be able to start the day without her.
Not me.  Not really.
Things will work out.  I may not know how, but they will.  And I'll smile (most of the time) as I continue on the journey.  Because it is a beautiful adventure even an inch at a time.

Friday, November 16, 2012


I have nothing really to say today.
It has been a rough week.
Actually it has been a rough couple of weeks.
Nothing too horrible.  Nothing that should be bringing me down.
But you know how sometimes things just weigh on you even if you want to just brush them off and move on.  This is one of those times.
I am incredibly grateful for family and good friends who support me and love me no matter how ridiculous I am being.
I am particularly thankful for my happily-ever-after true love (yup, that's you Joshua Kerr).  He is on my side no matter what and thinks I am amazing even when I think I am the biggest dork on the planet (and maybe we are both right).  I know if I have him by my side everything will be ok.  I may still feel burdened or lost or whatever else, but he keeps me tethered to happiness so that I never get too far away.  I can't imagine having to work myself through life without him...and thankfully I don't have to. 
Anyway, it's a sober kind of day. 
Some days are like that. 
Even in Australia (right Alexander?).


Monday, November 12, 2012


This week is snowed for real for the first time this season.
The kids were THRILLED!!
We broke out the boots and snow pants and bundled up to pillage and plunder in the white wonder of the yard.
It was a lot of fun.
I only got pictures of the little ones (don't worry, there will be plenty of chances for snapshots of older children as winter continues to play at our house) so here is a glimpse of the fun of first snow.
Logan building a snow fort (or making a pile of snow as the case may be).

No trip to the tundra is complete without hot chocolate
when you make it back from your adventure.

Every little snow bunny eventually gets tuckered out.
We had six tickets to the BYU football game last Saturday and had planned to take the four oldest children to Provo for some fun, but after much deliberation we decided it was too cold for little ones to sit on frozen metal seats for a game that started after the sun would already be down.  We opted to make the best of it from the comfort of our family room.  The kidlets were pretty disappointed, but it turned out to be a wonderful evening anyway.  Maybe next year.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Logan throws the smack down

The other day Logan tripped while running in the yard and scraped his arm up on a nearby bicycle. 
We've been wrapping his wound in orange gauze since then because while bandaids heal nearly everything at our house we didn't have a bandaid big enough for this owie.

So, when I picked the kids up from jr high yesterday his arm was all wrapped in orange and one of our cute female passengers kindly asked him what had happened.
Logan, without missing a beat, replied enthusiastically (and a bit proudly), "I got in a fight."
I chuckled from the front seat and listened to where this was headed.  This sweet girl then asked him who he had fought with to which he replied, "Oh, just one of my older brothers."
At that point I laughed out load and we softly corrected the story (can't simply overlook fibbing no matter how cute it is), but it was worth the momentary lie to hear Logan's dramatic (if imaginary) version of events. 
Here's my littlest boy belting out Halloween songs at his program last week.  I really do adore this little sprite.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Go Vote!!!

If you haven't already done it, don't forget to get out and vote today.  I don't much care who or what you vote for (please don't guess, at least take a moment to do a quick Internet search about candidates and issues and form an actual opinion) but don't miss your opportunity to exercise your right to help control government.  Not everyone in the world gets that chance, don't take it lightly.
We live in an incredible nation and one of the best ways we can show our respect and love for this incredible country is by taking the time to cast an informed ballot and help guide this people to greatness.
Seriously, go vote!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Encore...and DeMoux sing to the death (or not)

This little beauty...

is the new favorite game at our house.  We love to play games anyway, but this one is really up our alley.

For those who haven't played it, in "Encore" you divide into two teams then go back and forth trying to sing at least 6 words of a song that has a certain word in it.

For example, if you are assigned the word "dog" the first team might sing "How much is that doggy in the window."  Then the next team might sing "Me and you and a dog named blue."  And back and forth and back and forth until a team can't come up with an acceptable song (you get 30 seconds each time to try to think of something and your time is monitored on a sand timer by the other team).

Anyway, I played this game in high school when we borrowed it from a lady in our ward and fell in love with it.  Then the other day while I was perusing the aisles of DI (local second hand store) I saw it, unopened on the shelf in its plastic wrap glory and everything so I snatched it up and brought it home (but first I paid for it...a whopping $2).

We have loved it (we are big music fans here) but my kids have gotten pretty upset about it because I totally ROCK this game!  They can't beat me (yet).  We have contests where it is the whole family against me...and I still kick their trash! 

(Does this seem like bragging, I don't want to sound overly prideful or anything...oh wait, I actually don't mind rubbing their noses in this a little bit...just not enough to draw tears.)

Anyway, we have played it 10-15 times in the month or so that we've had it and I am still unbeaten and it makes my kidlets frustrated, but they just keep trying and I LOOOOVE that.  I revel in their determination and perseverance...even if it is a lost cause (chuckle chuckle). 

No, seriously, I am not generally the kind of mom to just let kids win without good solid effort because I want the win to mean something to them (not that I am one to crush small hopes and dreams either, and I am very willing to play down so that no one gets smothered).  I honestly think it is good for children to learn that they can't win ALL the time and that they often have to work at something before they become the champion.

I imagine it will not be too much longer until my little brood will be able to beat me and then we will all cheer because their victory will be real and that will make it very very sweet.

Anyway, it's a fun game, I think you should try it.  Why don't you come over and we'll play together (that way I can extend my winning streak beyond the walls of just my home)...(just kidding).

Friday, November 2, 2012

Kids cooking....sort of

Before I tell you what I planned to share about cooking, I just had to share this little tidbit.  The other day I opened the fridge and found this well preserved paper airplane lounging around.  I didn't know these things could spoil if not stored at proper temperature.  Surprising.

Well, here's the real story.  One evening a week Aubrey has dance class. The class is just far enough away that I can't drop her off then come home and go back to get her.  I have to wait in the parking lot which is actually a great time to be able to read or prepare lessons or whatever without interruption. 

Anyway, I've been trying to teach our oldest son about cooking and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to have him help with things.  He is 12 and we've always had him (and everyone else as age allows) help with cooking jobs like peeling potatoes, cutting chicken, cooking pasta etc but he's always had mom or dad right there. 

Since I am now gone during the pre-dinner hour I thought it would be perfect to set things up and then allow him to put his cooking skills to good use and help put dinner together.  Josh or I usually get home to help finish things up, but this gives Bryce a chance to really do some food prep without relying entirely on Mom and Dad.

Honestly, so far it hasn't gone too well.  We had unintentionally blackened chicken one evening.  We had really really tender pasta another (ugh) but I am willing to deal with mishaps while he learns.  I think it is good for him (and we had a sweet neighbor across the street constantly available just in case he sets the kitchen on fire).

This past week I put chicken in the crock pot in the afternoon so all that was there for Bryce to do was to cook the rice.  I explained that he needed to measure 3/4 cup of rice four times and put it in the rice cooker and then needed to fill the pot with water up to the #4 line on the side of the pot.  He said he understood.

When I got home this is what I found.

The pot was full almost to the brim with rice because he had filled the cup four times...but instead of using the 3/4 cup cup (?) that came with the rice cooker he found a measuring cup and filled it but it up; it bears nearly 3 cups when full.  Since he couldn't see the #4 on the side with almost 12 cups of rice loaded in the pot, he slid the rice away from the measuring side and then poured the water in until it filled to the correct line.  He started the rice cooker and went to do homework (ha ha, in my dreams).

So, when I got home there was a steaming vat of crunchy, gross rice on the counter.  It wasn't exactly appetizing.  We laughed about it and then promptly measured out rice together with the big measuring cup (so he'd know for next time for sure).  Round two of rice was great and dinner went off without a further hitch. 

I expect we will have more mishaps as time goes on. But I also expect that by the time this little guy heads off on his own he will have a pretty good feel for kitchen workings.  He may not be a master chef, but he will be able to put together a meal or two so as to impress his lady friends and win himself a wonderful wife.  At least that's what I'm going for (chuckle, chuckle). 

What things do your kids like to help with in the kitchen?  
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