Monday, September 29, 2008

Aargh.

You know what I hate? When I can't really tell if my kids are sick enough to stay home from school or not. And my regrets when I make the wrong decision. It's bad either way. Either they are too sick to go to school, so you lose if you send them, or they're not sick enough to stay home, but you're not sure at 8:00 am, and you keep them home, only to find out that they're just grumpy as sin and ready to make life miserable. They're apparently fine enough to play all day, but when you ask them to do their practicing, they act like you just asked them to climb Mt. Everest. "I'm SO SICK. MY WHOLE BODY ACHES. I just feel AWFUL."

Can you guess which way my day went?

Grump grump grump grump grump.

There. I feel better. Next time I'm sticking with the house rule: If you don't have a fever and you're not puking, you're going to school.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Our Adventure. Or Elephants and Emergency Rooms

I had a bright idea yesterday. I thought it would be a fantastic idea to take Kate and Ben and anyone else I could rope into going with us to the Gateway to see the Circus Elephant Parade. It's always around noon on the day the circus starts, so this will be the last time Kate will not be in school at noon. (Sad, isn't it? Why do they have to grow up so quickly?)

I convinced Christina, Will & Ezra and Kate's playdates Eliza and Briana to join us. But first, we had to have some lunch.

So I fed all the darling little people (and Christina and me, too.) But uh-oh, because by the time we were done eating, we were in serious jeopardy of missing the parade. (I hate I-80 construction. It has fouled up my travel plans too many times.)

When we were driving past the Gateway in search of parking spaces, a friend called to let me know the elephants were passing her at that moment. We were stuck at a stoplight, and what do you know, the elephant parade turned in front of us. I opened the van door, shooed out the kids and told them to climb the ES Arena stairs so they could see better.

You must understand, this is a Typical Kerri Event. I have grand ideas, generally spur of the moment, and not always plausible. I think I can fit in more than I actually can. I rush to try to accomplish what I think is still, just maybe, if I'm lucky, possible. And way too often, I'm given moments of grace like this one. The kids got to see the elephants. I even took Ben out of the carseat and he sat in my lap, happily making elephant-like noises. We didn't have to fight any crowds to find a spot on the sidewalk. Kind of win win, in a lame way.




Briana's mom happened to be at the parade, too, and offered us all passes to the Discovery Gateway Children's Museum. Fun! We had a wonderful time. Except for the clowns terrifying one of our group. And of course, the unfortunate incident invoving Ben's chin and an exhibit that landed me at Primary Children's Medical Center for three hours.

And I'm not actually being sarcastic. We really had a wonderful time, even poor little wounded Ben. Can you tell he's going to get 8 stitches in a couple of hours in the following pictures? I bet you can't even tell which pictures were taken BEFORE he was shoved into the garden area and which were taken AFTER.

(Before...)


(And after...)




So it was a pretty good day. Except for having my baby sedated and stitched. But I must say, I am utterly grateful for the fantastic staff at PCMC. Every unfortunate time I've had to be there, I've been super-impressed with their kindness and professionalism. And every time I've had to be there, I've been grateful for my children's good health. We are very blessed.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Love These Moments

Ben patting me on the back when he hugs me.

Sophie and Kate playing piano duets together.

Josh putting his hand on my shoulder when we're looking at something on the computer.

Kate reading Junie B. Jones books out loud.

Ben bringing me my running shoes when he sees me putting on my running clothes.

Josh playing with Ben.

Sophie playing with Ben.

Kate playing with Ben.

Watching the kids love David when he gets home from work.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Grandview 2nd Ward 50th Celebration

Our ward turned 50 this year. We had a party at Evergreen Park last night to celebrate. It was fun to see some of our friends who have moved out of the ward. We've made great friends in this ward over the years. I'm grateful to have such a wonderful group of people to worship with.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fantastic

I can't believe I'm posting a link to a Daily Herald article! Wow! Who would have guessed after all those Daily Herald jokes I've made over the years. But this guy is remarkable. After serving a mission in Ghana, he saw that most schools were dark places without any electric lights. He saw a need, he figured out a beautiful solution, and he's blessing the lives of hundreds of children, both with play and with learning.

I want to help with things like this. Only problem is that I don't have a spare $7000 lying around. But if you do, this could be a great place to put it!

Read this article.

Make sure you watch the short video. I love when the forty kids jump on the merry-go-round with face-splitting grins.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Family Stuff. In which I am a Domestic Diva.

It's been a busy week. I say that, and then I must type the truth. It's been a busy week in my new post-teaching life. In my teaching life, this would be a piece of cake week. Teaching complicated my life. But that's a conversation for a different post.

Sophie turned nine. Nine years old. Wasn't it just yesterday that I was giving birth to her without medication because she decided to come so quickly? (I always wanted to give birth naturally, but I seem to become a wuss around 6 centimeters. "Just GIVE ME THE EPIDURAL." Thanks to Sophie, though, I got my wish. Natural childbirth. Way to be one with nature.)

Here is my sweet girl, and my sweet girl with my sweet husband:


I could go on and on about Sophie, but let me just say that she makes me happy and she keeps life interesting. I love her very much.

We went out to dinner on her birthday, then had some family over on Thursday for dinner and cake. Now she wants to have her friend party. I offered to pay her $50 if she'd skip the friend party. No go. I upped it to $60. No go. Drat.

Then tonight, Kate had her first recital in her new studio. She admitted to some nerves, but played well. She was also darling. Five year olds playing the piano are very cute, with their short little legs resting on a stool, and their sweet little fingers with dimples instead of knuckles. I'm really enjoying this experience with Kate, can you tell?

Here is Kate and Kate with her wonderful teacher:


And the Domestic Diva part? Let's just say that Sophie requested orange rolls for her birthday breakfast. On a school morning. And Amazing Mother that I am...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My kind of politics



If you haven't already seen this, enjoy. Tina Fey is brilliant.

(Thanks for the link, Megan :) )

Friday, September 12, 2008

Yeah, Whatever.

I so tested Fate with that last post. That very night, when we said our "Bests and Worsts" of the day, Josh said his worst was school. All of it. And tonight he threw a fit about being the Only One In The School (except for maybe four others, he conceded) Without A Cell Phone. Royal. Fit. Screaming. Throwing Things.

Very unlike my relaxed Josh.

Oh yes, the demons of junior high have begun their evil work...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thinking about Junior High

Josh is having a great time in junior high. This is a relief. I did not enjoy junior high. It was a very tumultuous time for me. Wasn't it for you?

"The seventh and eight grades were for me, and for every single good and interesting person I've ever known, what the writers of the Bible meant when the used the words hell and the pit." Anne Lamott said that in Operating Instructions. I laughed very hard the first time I read it. (Don't feel bad if you liked junior high. I'm sure you're still good and interesting.)

But man, kids are just plain mean, aren't they? I was mean. I remember being mean, even to one of my closest friends, when I decided I needed to be cooler. And I was raised in a nice family, with great parents who tried to teach me about kindness and right and wrong, and I still wanted to be cool rather than be nice.

Maybe boys are just different. Josh is enjoying his hard classes and his easy classes. He apparently has no angst about changing in front of other junior high boys for PE (don't even get me started on locker room drama. Seventh grade was Horrible.) and has many friends. He doesn't mind that he's probably one of the two or three smallest kids in the whole building, and although he doesn't like that loud, rowdy, obnoxious bus, he's not throwing a fit about taking it. So is it a boy thing? Or is he especially resilient? I don't know, but I am truly grateful.

I know that junior high (I mean, the pit) helped create the person I am now...both good and bad. I have empathy for the underdog formed over all those times I was pushed to the ground during the mile run in PE. I have an ability to forgive based on how I learned that I needed to BE forgiven, when I was the one creating the pain for someone else. But I still hope Josh comes through these next two years and doesn't even begin to understand Anne Lamott's quote. Maybe he'll say, "I loved junior high. I learned so much and made fantastic friends." Ya think?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Two Pictures are Worth Two Thousand Words

Before...

After...

Need I say more?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Politics

So those of you who know me well know that I'm politically independent, with a slight lean to the left. How far left I lean is in the eyes of the beholder. My super right-wing brother-in-law (who i love) thinks I'm a total liberal freak (but he loves me anyway.) I like to think of myself as being willing to research the issues that matter most to me, and making decisions based on the facts. That may not ALWAYS be true, but it's my goal.

So I felt as though I should give time to the Republican convention tonight and allow myself to listen with an open mind. I'm also very interested in Sarah Palin. I mean, props to a woman with five children who is running Alaska. I think that's pretty remarkable, considering that I can't even keep teaching piano with four children. I wanted to like her. I really did.

My opinion: Palin is a strong, charismatic woman. Her speech was intelligent and exciting, and she certainly knew how to grab her audience.

But man, my open mind has been closed off a lot more after her relentlessly negative speech. Governor Palin, I don't care how much you dislike Senator Obama. I care about what YOU think about the nation. I care about how YOU think we can take care of the myriad and enormous problems facing our country. I DON'T want to hear about how terrible you think Obama is, how little experience he has (and by the way, WHAT? She's been a governor for two years, and OBAMA is inexperienced?), how high he wants to raise taxes...I just don't want to hear it!

This is why I'm an independent. We need less division in our country, not more.

The First Day of School...Times Three

Kate had her first day of kindergarten today. School has officially begun...again!

Josh started last Monday. JUNIOR HIGH! My goodness. His school has a uniform, but it's rather relaxed...white, khaki, any shade of blue or green. No jeans except for Friday. Collared shirts without patterns or logos larger than a quarter, or a school t-shirt. It took us a while to figure out what he'd be comfortable wearing, but as long as he can wear khaki shorts, he'll be happy.

Sophie started third grade last Tuesday. She has a wonderful teacher and lots of friends in her class.


And my baby Kate is a kindergartner? She has been so anxious for today to come. We talked about it all summer long, and I can hardly believe the day is here. She has the same fantastic and experienced teacher Josh and Sophie both had. Her good friend Eliza is in her class, but unfortunately, Will is in the other class.


But we met up with Will after school and went to lunch together. I'm sure they'll have fun on the playground and that we'll have plenty of after-school playdates. I still pinch myself that they're actually at our school! What a treat!



We're also excited because our buddy Chad is doing pre-K at the same time as Kate's kindergarten. He has a fall birthday, so just missed the deadline. We're sad about that, but glad they can hang out on the way to and from school.

Life feels a little more quiet. Maybe I'll be able to get organized now! Oh wait...I say that every year...