Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Monday morning was clean air and bright blue sky and shining flecks of silvery snow blowing about, as Grant and William kicked and karate'd through the drifts.

The big kids got off to school happily, and seemed relaxed after our long weekend.  We were all grateful to spend Thanksgiving day with Aunt Judy and Uncle Jeremy. We hadn't seen the cousins for a while.

Grandma Martha came with us.

Sophie's first Thanksgiving and first taste of  mashed potatoes.

I spent a lot of time trying to apply to this and that, and trying to get life organized over the weekend.  The kids were fairly patient, and agreed to take on some cleaning projects to keep busy.  Friday would have felt like cabin fever, had it not been so cold in the house.  Waiting for the furnace repairman was another less than exciting priority.

So Saturday we made plans and it felt great to get out together. First we went to the dollar theatre.  Sam and Grandma Martha went to Inception and the rest of us saw Despicable Me.  I missed most of the movie because I had wandering William to watch.  I thought, if this movie can't keep him still, its no wonder we can't sit through sacrament meeting.

After the movie we did some shopping for more winter gear. Preparing so many for the cold months is kind of a daunting and expensive task. 

Next was dinner at the Pizza Pie Cafe.  Kyle and Olivia both had coupons for two- kids- eat- free that they earned through reading programs at school.

Pizza Pie Cafe is sure to be one of our new favorites. The kids love to be let loose to the buffet tables of pizzas, pastas, and salads. 

Ben's an eat-desert-first guy,  so he went straight to the Oreo pizza.  I'm not always in to sweet pizza, but I was impressed by the variety, so I had to try a few. I loved the raspberry and couldn't stop eating what was supposed to be just a "sampling."  I thought the cookie dough pizza was particularly picturesque.

Good for Olivia for eating her peas.

Sophie had formula.

After Saturday's fun, I felt a kind of renewed hope in big families. The others seemed equally buoyant, so I suggested that no one say "I hate my life" for at least a week.

Sunday snow fell again. Mary gave the scripture in Primary. She chose Psalms 92:1...It is good to give thanks to the Lord.  I was proud of her for her enthusiasm about practicing it all week. She read it beautifully Sunday morning.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

happy, hallows, holy

Friday, November 19, we started off the weekend with pizza night.  Back to Pier 49 Pizza.  Sam wanted to try the Fisherman's Wharf.
Shrimp, crab, tomatoes and green onions, Alfredo sauce, all together an amazing concept.  I wished that the shrimp and crab had been more fresh and flavorful. I imagined how wonderful it would taste to have the juices from the seafood actually seep out and flavor the cheese and sauce. I wished that the tomatoes and particularly the green onions had a stronger presense. They could have cut them thicker.  It's like they had a great idea but then backed away from what could have been a beautiful thing.  I'm getting a little carried away now.
I love this incredible cheese. What tenacity.

 Sam and I both agreed that Pier 49 Pizza's pepperoni is particularly savory. Grant seems to like it too.

Saturday morning the big kids walked to the movie theatre nearby to see the new Harry Potter.

I sent them with my camera and the assignment to document the experience.

Sam's been talking about this one.  I'm always up for Matt Damon.

Expecto Petrolum.

Sunday was cozy.  Kyle made his first batch of chocolate chip cookies.

I couldn't keep the others back from their snow worship.

I was grateful for a happy weekend.

Monday, November 22, 2010

under rested

So you wouldn't guess from all my talk of the ten, the transitions, and my general neuroses that I lose sleep from time to time.  Sophie slept through the night at least twice last week.  I was grateful for that. But Thursday night I went to bed with the house so messy that I couldn't sleep.  I woke up about three a.m. thinking about the disaster downstairs and just questioning if I had anything in my life in order.  I thought about my parenting and how I do a lot of blogging about my myriad of weaknesses, but could I do something about them? Could I make our house more functional, calm, predictable?  Well you just have to start where you can start, so I went downstairs and started with the dishes, and moved throughout the house until the sun came up and it was time to wake up the kids. That was Friday morning.

But back to Monday morning, November 15.  We had kind of a late start.  Sunday night had been filled with our kind of regular irregularities.  It started to snow in the evening so the kids went out to play in it.  Then around scripture time Bethany opened the front door to check on the progress of the precipitation.  Just like out of Jan Brett, there was an unpredicted, four legged, guest at our door.  Roxie was her name and she looked cold and confused and insisted on coming inside.

Here's what she looked like to William.
And what we looked like to Roxie.

So bedtime was predictably delayed with all the excitement of a new dog friend, who by the way, found her way home Monday morning.

So Monday I was driving Sam and Ben to school, imagining to myself that I was right on time for a change, when Sam started to panic...only five minutes to the bell. I started to smell stressed out teenager. How to diffuse? No Nacho Libre lines came to mind so I just said "Come on Sam, You gotta look at the half-glass full."

"Half-glass full? Okay, fine, but how's that supposed to apply to this situation, Mom?" he responded.

And I said, not wanting to be dismissive, just defusing, "It doesn't apply at all Sam."

Because now and then, when I'm trying to be a parent, things just come to mind randomly, and in this case it was Jon Stewart's Daily Show segment about Dick Cheney. Check it out...


I said," You know Sam, Some people say the glass is half empty and some say it's half full, but George Bush say that its a  "half-glass-full."

So then a miraculous thing happened... my van-full of stressed out middle school-ers started to laugh at my random interjection. That's when I thought that it was a moment so beautiful, so triumphant that I had to write about it.

Laughter is everything you know. I think everything is falling apart, and then two of my kids get together and laugh together, and it's all worth it again.

So I dropped the boys off at middle school and it was Caitlin's turn to get on my case. "Now we're late for my school," she said. "But don't drive too fast or we'll get under rested."

Just one more incidence of under rested. As part of my commitment to helpful blogging, and part of my desperate attempt to make up for some (ahem) overspending.  I am going to personally investigate the topic "Can you earn money taking surveys at home?"  So the other day I came across a new blog via blogfrog.  Here it is http://www.wahm-solution.com/  and from there I linked on to what seemed like a fairly credible review of work-at-home Internet options.  Did some reading.  Did some buying-into. Stayed up past two am Saturday night (fortunately we're on the eleven o'clock church schedule) Grossed one dollar.  Won't admit what I invested in case Rob is reading.  But I haven't given up...so more on this later.  I will let you know when and if I find something more remunerative...because I think we're all wondering.

That's all for now, since it's late again and I start to admit to things that  shouldn't.  Next post...the Deathly Hallows...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

classic skate

Last week Caitlin approached me in the kitchen with somewhat of a reprimand. "You need to stop thinking about the Jonas brothers," she said.

I wasn't aware that was one of my neuroses.

This week I felt like I wasn't keeping up so well.  The laundry room was nothing to celebrate and the general clutter seemed to reproduce spontaneously.  I was grateful for Grandma Martha's help.  I was busy with parent teacher conferences, birthday celebrations, and three great nights of Ben's middle school musical, Alice in Wonderland Jr.

Friday after school Bethany had a skating party with her friends at the Classic Skate.

Sophie was invited too.

 I was grateful for the fall colors. I took this from my bedroom window.  Didn't realize I had such a nice view of the park bathrooms.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

bethany's birthday

Wednesday morning my thoughts were memories. Nine years ago. Of a rainy Saturday night. Making myself a track around the perimeters of a Wal-mart in Waterville, Maine, waiting for just the right time to go back in the rain, and cross the parking lot to the little hospital, and become mother to a daughter.  And as I was making my circles, a woman and her son noticed me and judging from my  hobbling and wincing, the woman said to the boy, "Ten years ago I walked around this Wal-mart when I was in labor with you."  

Maine is one of my ancestral homes.  My great-grandfather preached in little white churches and lived with his family in parsonages through the state.  My grandpa and great uncles, whom I now call upon as my guardian angels, grew blueberries and dug for clams, and generally believed, as I do, that Maine was Heaven on Earth.  And so when Bethany came into the world in Waterville, Maine, and as we drove our new baby, the twenty miles, give or take, back to our home in Augusta, I felt as if I was making my offering to my ancestors who had been there before me.

I was grateful for that memory.  Here are some pictures from Bethany's birthday.

Before school.

Present time...right after school, as per request.

Something especially from her dad.

In the evening I took the girls to get haircuts.  Bethany wanted her hair cut to chin level. She loved it.

                                         I love you Bethany.