Monday, July 28, 2014

Really old photos...

Cole and Eli both made the district level of the Pinewood Derby this year - Cole for speed and Eli for design.

district pinewood derbydistrict pinewood derbydistrict pinewood derbydistrict pinewood derbydistrict pinewood derbydistrict pinewood derby

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Durham Science Museum

on our way to the science museum
science museum
science museum
science museum
science museum
science museum

Michael's turn


Michael at 35 Years Old
  • favorite color: yellow
  • favorite food: Guasaca arepas
  • favorite dessert: sea salt caramel gelato
  • favorite thing to do: Cannot be written on this family blog.
  • favorite game: Settlers of Catan
  • favorite subject in school: It was math.
  • favorite book: Currently...The Name of the Wind

What is the meaning of life?
  • Love

What do you want to be when you grow up?
  • Peter Pan

What makes you happy?
  • A good book

What are you afraid of?
  • My wife dying

If you had one wish, what would you wish for?
  • To be 15 years younger. Or maybe just 10 years younger.

What is the funniest word?
  • offal

What is the hardest thing to do?
  • get started

What is the easiest thing to do?
  • never start

What is the best thing in the world?
  • love

What is the worst thing in the world?
  • hate

What makes you mad?
  • stupidity

What is the meaning of love?
  • Can I cop out and say "life"? Since the meaning of life is love.

If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it?
  • Buy my wife the house she wants.

* Interview questions from Crappy Pictures

Eli Turned Nine...Two months ago!

Eli b-day

Eli at Nine Years Old
  • favorite color: red
  • favorite food: burritos
  • favorite dessert: chocomint chip cookies
  • favorite thing to do: draw
  • favorite video game: Lord of the Rings (Gameboy)
  • favorite subject in school: writing
  • favorite book: Percy Jackson and the Mark of Athena

What is the meaning of life?
  • .The meaning of life is to get rich. That's what everyone wants.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
  • a professional soccer player

What makes you happy?
  • When I hear a funny joke.

What are you afraid of?
  • Cannibals. Spiders.

If you had one wish, what would you wish for?
  • Infinity more wishes.

What is the funniest word?
  • Foot.

What is the hardest thing to do?
  • A one-handed handstand on a fifty pound barbell with an elephant standing on your feet.

What is the easiest thing to do?
  • To stay alive for 0.0000000001 seconds.

What is the best thing in the world?
  • my parents

What is the worst thing in the world?
  • being in jail for the rest of your life

What makes you mad?
  • When Cole insults me.

What is the meaning of love?
  • getting married

If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it?
  • Give it to family.

* Interview questions from Crappy Pictures
Eli's 9th birthday

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Small Memory for Remembering Purposes

I am the choir director at my church. I hold choir practice every Sunday directly following our church meetings. Two Sundays ago, my pianist couldn't be at church, but I decided we really needed to have choir practice anyway. I dragged Cole to a piano, put the music in front of him ("Ye Elders of Israel" straight from the hymnal), and said, "Can you play this?" Lo and behold, four and a half years of piano lessons are starting to pay off. He could only play one hand at a time, but it was enough to practice parts. I was a very proud mother.

From here:

To here:

Friday, March 7, 2014

Cole Says...For posterity's sake

Cole informed me the other day that I can't post "Cole Says...," "Eli Says...," or "Rylan Says..." posts anymore because they are all too old now.

I said, "Does that mean you don't say funny things anymore?"

He said, "I still say funny things. Only I say them on purpose, not on accident."

So in memory of my children's lost innocence, I'm going to post all the funny "my kid says..." posts that made it on Facebook but not on the blog.

Eli says as we're driving past a cemetery, "Why do we put rocks on dead people?"

Cole: Pardon me.
Me: Do you have any Grey Poupon?
Cole: What's Grey Poupon?
Me: mustard
Cole: What's regular poupon?

Cole screamed because he lost a game. 
Me: Go to your room. 
Cole: No
Me: Go to your room and calm down.
Cole: No
Me: Go to your room or we won't play again. 
Cole: Fine. I'll go to my room...but I'm slamming the door!

Rylan is walking around the house singing, "Give it to me baby. Uh huh uh huh. Give it to me baby. Uh huh uh huh." You can thank his father..

How seriously do my kids take me? I said, "I only have this much patience left, and when it's gone, you're all going to bed early." Cole says, "Is it gone yet? Is it gone yet? Is it gone yet? Is it gone yet?"

Something Cole said to my friend Jessica: "I'm thinking of a word that stars with f and ends with k." Jessica: "Uuuuhhh..." Me: completely mortified. Her 11-year-old son knew the answer. (fire truck)

Rylan says, "For dessert, I want some frosting with cake on it."

Rylan says, "We need to do the hula poops because you're a very good hula pooper."

I said, "Martin Luther King Jr is one of my heroes."
Cole said, "My hero is the guy who invented Nintendo."

Cole: Which do you think is better, the Malevolence or the Super Star Destroyer?
Me: I don't know what those are. 
Cole: What??? From Star Wars.
Me: Sorry.
Cole looks as if he has just lost all respect for me.

From Eli, the king of puns:
Cole said, "How many periods are there in high school?"
Eli replied, "It depends on how many sentences you write."

I was showing Rylan a picture of the planets and said, "But Pluto isn't a planet anymore."
Rylan: "Yeah, it's a planet of dwarves."
(He meant it's a dwarf planet.)

While reading scriptures this morning, Eli read, "Father, save me from this whore." Michael corrected, "Save me from this hour. The h is silent." I couldn't stop laughing. Completely different meaning!

Rylan: I can't eat my oatmeal. I don't like raisins.
Me: Then why did you put so many in your oatmeal?
Rylan: I just learned that I don't like raisins today, Mom.
Me: Well, I'm not making you something different, so your choices are eat it anyway or go hungry.
Rylan: I choose go hungry. That's my choice.

Continuing the doodling conversation, I suggested that Cole doodle on scrap paper, and he said, "What if I consider homework to be scrap paper?"

Cole: That doesn't make any sense.
Me: Your face doesn't make any sense.
Cole: Where did that come from?
Me: Earth. Where did you come from?
Cole: Uranus

Rylan's reasoning for why he and his "girlfriend" are meant to be together: "We both have five letters in our name."

Eli says, "I always thought that when you had a baby, your stomach opened up and the baby popped out and shouted, 'Cowabunga!'"

Me: What do you think would make a party really fun? 
Cole: Getting to watch a movie that we're not allowed to watch.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


I'm sure that at some point, this is something I will regret having written, but I'm going to write it anyway because right now this is how I feel: In the Mommy Wars, working moms win.*

Being a working mom is kicking my butt - not the working part but the mom part. For two days in a row the first week I worked, I only saw my boys for an hour each day. On a third day, my school was having an open house in the evening, so I left for work at 6:00 that morning and got home at 8:15 that night. I didn't see Rylan at all that day. If I didn't know that I will get a couple months in the summer every year to be home with them again, I probably would have called the school and quit that day. Even so, I have a constant mental debate going on in the back corners of my mind about whether or not the pros of working outweigh the con of not being home with my boys all afternoon.

To this train of thought, let me add the "on the other hand" that I kept meaning to write about last semester when I was a "stay at home mom" for four months to three kids who were in school for seven hours out of every day...

On the day I dropped Rylan off for kindergarten the first time, I drove home, sat purposelessly in a silent kitchen for an hour, and said to myself, "Now I get The Feminine Mystique." After a week of waking up every morning knowing that the only thing I had on my to-do list for the day was laundry, I said, "If I thought this was all my life was going to be, I too would start drinking at 10 in the morning."**

You know that saying that having a child is like your heart walking around outside your body? During my nine years as a stay at home mom, I had one or more kids with me nearly every moment that I was awake. Three pieces of my heart walking around outside my body, but with me all day long. Then one day, the last piece of my heart joined the other two at school, spending seven hours of every day away from me, and I was left alone. And it really did feel like I was missing pieces of myself for part of every day. My heart was off at school while I sat at home.

So yes, being a working mom is hard, but when I struggle with the question of whether it's worth it to work, I remind myself of that low place I was in last fall. For now, it's worth working through.

If you've been wondering how my job is going, my answer would have to be, It's too soon to tell. The nice thing about working at a high school on block scheduling is that they start new classes in January. I only had my first semester classes for one week before the second semester started, so I was able to start fresh with the students and not have to clean up some other teacher's mess. But then we had class for three days followed by four snow days, so at this point I don't really know how things are going. Ask me again in a week.

And now, about those snow days...

snow day
snow day
snow day
snow day

*The Mommy Wars I'm talking about here are the ones where we argue about whose lives are harder, not the ones where we argue about who is a better mother or who loves their kids more. In those Mommy Wars, everyone is a loser because that's a stupid thing to argue about.

**This is a reference to a chapter in The Feminine Mystique where Friedan relates how some women used alcohol to overcome the boredom of being home all day. I wouldn't really start drinking. But I do have a bottle of vodka in my kitchen. (For making vanilla.)
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