Thursday, July 31, 2008

More China pictures

New pictures from China today. KiKi is on the far left of the clarinets. She's standing back in the line and you can barely see her. She's the fifth one from the left. The one that you can just see because she's tucked in the line. She has on long green/khaki shorts. Exciting? It is for me. The other picture is of the Chinese performers that they got to see yesterday.

A Handy List of Snacks That Are Both Crunchy AND Juicy

Crunchy ice from Sonic

The combination of crunchy and juicy in a snack is very rare and very exciting for Superturd.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Email from KiKi!

Whoops, I forgot to post the link to the photos (thanks for the heads up, Matty). It is, just go to the tour photos link on the right top corner. The place looks so incredible. Sounds like it is from her email. Here is a copy for your reading pleasure.

dear family,
sorry it took me so long to communicate! apparently, my calling card doesn't have the option to call the usa or to call from china anyway, so this sucks, but someone might have found out how to use it. the weather in china sucks, humid hot and i can't stop sweating. we had a practice this morning outside and only two people passed out! and it's overcast, and it just rained. still ninety degrees out. the food is really weird but at meals they always have one western dish. our hotel is way magical, i feel like a princess. the pictures don't even describe the ginormity of everything. there is lots of security guards all around the country that we've seen so far(our drive from the airport was 1 1/2 hours) and there's lots of trees and stuff. remarkably it looks alot like our home, except it's really reallly overcast, i hope its sunny at home. the 12 hour flight was the worst thing ive ever had to suffer through, i had to go through 24 hours with no sleep at all. i was way grouchy (so was Sue!!!) the airport is huge, we had to take the monorail to get from one end to the other end. i miss you guys so bad! i got really homesick last night and brandee couldn't believe i was homesick already
i love you all!!
i miss you all!!!
kisses and hugges!
i love you!

I got a little choked up hearing from her. We've been going crazy wondering how it's going. Sounds pretty incredible, I hope she enjoys every minute of it and really soaks it all in.

Yet Another Reason I Make Out With My Son

As if he weren't cute enough already, he's started a request that renders me helpless with adoration and passion. In a loving mommy way, not a molester way. Really.

When Superturd wants a snack, every one of the 100s of times that he wants a snack, he now requests one of two things. He would like something Juicy or something Crunchy. I'm not sure how he decides which one he wants at any given time, but he's always certain which way he wants to go. He says, Mom can I have a snack. How about something Crunchy? That sounds like a great idea?! Right, mom? Then he smiles. Then I grab him and kiss his face off on the way to the kitchen.

After he receives his Juicy/Crunchy snack he eats it while remarking frequently on just how Juicy/Crunchy it is. This morning his grapes were VERY Juicy Juicy Juice Juice.

Don't you love when they make up for waking up repeatedly in the middle of the night for no apparent reason screaming at the top of their lungs, yet being completely incoherent, by being so fricken funny?

China pictures

The tour's webpage has some pictures from the kids' arrival. I didn't see Kiki anywhere, but they are updating daily and it's fun to see all of the things they can do there. There's bowling and laser tag and a water park and a golf course, all on their hotel grounds. This makes my chicken raising excitement seem really lame. No, it did not seem lame before now. Just now.
This is at the airport.

That's their hotel.

Hotel grounds

Not Kiki, but more hotel grounds.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Our Latest Addition

Look what I did!!! I got some 2x4s and with Kaila's amazing apprenticing skills we built a chicken pen. We spent yesterday hammering and framing and cutting chicken wire. We have now turned our shed into a chicken coop and purchased 10 lovely Rhode Island Reds from our friend. In a few short months they should provide us with lots of glorious eggs.
After finishing the project and standing back to appreciate our impressive handiwork I asked Chris if he as impressed with me as I was.
Does this do anything for you? Are you excited at all when I build something?
What? I love when you do build things, it totally turns me on. Aren't you at least glad that I have some talent in this area and can do this?
Oh, yeah, I am glad that you can build things, but I'm not the least bit turned on by it. At no point do I watch you doing something manly and think that it's hot and get all worked up wanting you to lay my quivering body down by the fire and take me...
I'll stop there, as you can see he's not impressed with my talents.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

And She's Off

We survived packing for China. Not only survived, but kept the scream fighting to a minimum. My family knows what a miracle this is for the type B mom and the Type A child. Anything involving any sort of anticipation or worry or preparation or stress turns my sweet perfect oldest child into a screaming, crying, devil child. Not this time, though, she says it was the packing two days ahead of time that helped her hold it all together. I'm so proud of KiKi, she's learning, she really is.

For your enjoyment, here are two scream fights we had leading up to her departure:

Thursday night she had a few last minute things to get before she flew out the next day. Instead of taking her and going to Walmart, I took Chris so we could get her a few birthday things for the next morning. Taking Chris required waiting for ALL the little ones to be ALL the way asleep or else they'd wander out and find us missing and wreak havoc on KiKi, who really didn't need that right then. Waiting, as it turned out, was the right thing to do, since Superturd kept getting out of bed until 10pm. Leaving that late meant that we didn't get done and home until after midnight. I was so glad that KiKi had just gone to bed and not waited up. Usually we hear from her when we're gone so long...

Oh, I thought you were in bed....are you CRYING?


Oh, honey, maybe our cell phones don't get reception in Walmart. I'm sorry. See, we're fine and we got all of your stuff for you...


So, we were dead and you were angry at us because you wouldn't get to go to China and you'd have "these kids" to worry about? That's sweet, here's your new underwear.

Ok, so that one wasn't even a fight. She was just very tired and we missed her calls. Still, I found it amusing, as I'm sure she won't when she reads this.

Then, the morning of the much anticipated departure, we needed to be at the neighboring High School at noon. The buses were leaving at 1pm. We needed to stop at the Post Office to grab our mail (it's on our way, and we don't get in line or anything, just grab the mail) and Costco for me to run in and get her an International Calling Card (our Costco is small, no big lines). I tell her that leaving at 11:30 should be fine, because both stops are on our way.

How about 11:15, I'd feel much more comfortable with 11:15.

Fine, honey, 11:15.

Well, 10:15 comes and she is a bundle of Type A nerves and starts to really lose it and demands that we leave NOW. I did it. I actually left my house two hours before we needed to be somewhere 20 minutes away. That's how clear it was that she was right on that very crumbly edge of sanity and might slip over any minute, then who knows how long before she pulls it together, I certainly didn't want to have to smack her in the face like right before she went on stage in ANNIE and she couldn't get the back stage door open to get her change of costume and she was in, for real, hysterics and I had to do that thing they do in cartoons where they scream PULL IT TOGETHER, MACKENZIE, and shake the person really hard. Clearly, getting her to the school was all that was going to relax her. Much like my oldest sister, BECKY, she's always sure that THESE DARN LITTLE KIDS or her SLACKER MOM are going to make her late, and how embarrassing is that?! and she'll probably miss out on something amazing, because they all suck so bad, and life will be SO MUCH BETTER when she's old enough to get herself where she needs to be, and even better than that when she's at college and not here.

About 6 blocks from the school we hit a slow light and had to wait through three light changes. She went into some sort of shaking, rocking, murmuring thing. Poor kid. I screamed at her that theschool was RIGHT THERE, YOU CAN ACTUALLY SEE IT. We got there so early that by the time the buses pulled up those darn little kids and I where hot and miserable and crying and I couldn't even stick around for the next hour and a half to put her on the bus. I really was sad about that, even though half of our Ward was there with her, I still wanted to wave goodbye.

I'm proud of us. We both realized some things and I normally wouldn't have taken her that early, because that would just be crazy, and normally she would have lost it many more times, but it was way more pleasant than even finals week, or packing for Girl's Camp.

She's really pulling it together. Good girl Kiki!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Happy Birthday KiKi! We love you and we'll miss you!

I tried to find a nice balance of funny pictures and cute pictures, since 15 year old girls might be sensitive about funny pictures. Yesterday you might have been fine, but today you're 15 and I just don't know what to expect. I know that you're technically old enough to get a driver's permit. I know that you're a year closer to dating. I hope that I know that you won't go crazy at 15 and become my worst nightmare (me at 15). While I'm sure Grandma thinks I deserve a "me at 15" I bet she wouldn't even wish that on me. I know that each thing you accomplish is better than the last and you never stop amazing me with your talent and ambition and beauty. You're a wonderful example to all who come in contact with you and your depth of integrity is unmatched. You are becoming a beautiful woman which only adds to your intelligence and charm. You're a wonderful child and I'm so blessed to call you mine and your siblings are blessed to have you to lead them and set the bar so high for them. Thank you for your testimony and your desire to do the right thing always, you have been such an easy and perfect child for 15 years, what do you say we make it 15 more years of this easy stuff, shall we?

I included pictures of you starring in Annie and in a Tuna Christmas, two of the many goals you've met so far. We're so excited for you to star in next years play and to go to China and for everything else that your future holds. WE LOVE YOU!

Love, Mom (and the rest of the Circus)


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Date Night, Batman, and a LONG walk

We survived the weekend without going to Batman. Chris nearly didn't make it, but persevered and took me (briefly) to my family reunion instead. I got to see my favorite people and some complete strangers that I'm told are blood relatives. I'm so glad we made it.

We got a call from his brother on Saturday night, saying that him and his family and my mother in law were on their way here from Boise. I'm glad it was a surprise. That way I couldn't stress about my messy house. I just cleaned what I could (meaning the upstairs didn't get touched) and it is what it is. If I had more warning it would have still been messed up by the time they got here, but I would have had more time to let it bug me.Their visit was short, but fun. You can't beat Dusty and Chris together. It's something every one should see once. Just once. I'm glad we don't live close to each other or I might die, they're alot to take in. A lot of noise, a lot of jokes, a lot of wrestling and crotch shots and calling each other fag.

Now that our company is gone and Kenzie is leaving soon for China we knew we needed to get our date in before it was too late. Getting our date in quickly was a priority, but filling the red wagon with gas should have come first. FYI: 1997 Ford Taurus Wagons are not joking when their gas light comes on. They are serious and they don't have that nice warning cushion letting you wait until you are in the vicinity of a Costco before you get around to filling up. They are really saying that you need to stop and get gas now or you will be walking and explaining to your husband that you thought it was just a warning, not for reals, and you can still go to the later showing of Batman, and it's not raining or even too hot, and we like to go on walks anyway, so isn't this lovely. It was a long way to the gas station. It didn't look like a long way. I could see the stop light in the distance. Distance can be deceptive and when we finally got to that light and figured out that it was actually the NEXT light Chris gave up and asked some people in their yard for some gas. Good thing he can talk to strangers, because I didn't have my friends and family masks with me for them to put on before I talked to them. They had gas and we made it to the 8 o'clock show and it was a great movie. Disaster averted. Date night successful.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fine, I'll post something

Today I'm watching KaiKai's other sister. Not "The Other Sister" like the movie where Juliette Lewis played the retarded sister and we started calling Leanna "The OTHER sister" because we're mean B-words and Chris made the movie unbearable by mocking every thing Giovanni Rabissi said. Not like that. Just that she's her sister from her other family. So, the 15year old isn't here (girls camp, I'm jealous) and me and 11yo tried taking the four toddlers to Walmart for school supplies. Beck, you remember Avery in Walmart. Picture four of that. Picture me grabbing the nearest sharp object and jabbing deep into my neck and smiling as I faded away into a forever nap. Not even KaiKai doing her magic Grandma Janet impersonation with the crazy song and dance numbers to entertain small children and some adults worked. Not even that. That's pretty bad. We barely got through the checkout process without doing bodily harm to one of them. We do owe Walmart a few bucks for the school supplies that got partially eaten and put back on the shelf. Do I need to tell the Bishop about that? I blame the children, it wasn't me eating the glue sticks. To make my day better I still hit Sonic for a large Diet DP and a garage sale on my way home, screaming kids and all.

PS thanks for being my faithfulest poster, Lauriann, you rock way more than my sisters.

Stupid Irish Skin, etc

I'm still bright red and stinging from LAST SATURDAY and now I'm peeling and itching on top of it. I didn't even know that it was possible to have both happening at the same time. I guess my skin is really really angry about that little no sun screen thing.

I still love my red wagon car. It's so awesome. The only thing I don't love is that there's no A/C in the very back, so anyone sitting back there under the big bubble, cancer causing, magnifying glass like, window bakes in the sun and dies within minutes. Other than that one little issue, it rocks.

I learned that you should always wear long pants (and goggles, duh) when using the weed eater. I love the gas powered weed eater it cuts right through our 5 acres of stupid black berries.

Having 10 kids here all day is way easier than 5. If I didn't have to be pregnant again and I could talk Codo into it, I would totally double our brood.

I hate the summer slow down on the blogs. What am supposed to read, people? I'm in need of updates!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Just a small taste of the Baby Plankton/Teradactal Screech

Here's the noise that Baby Plankton makes whenever she wants something. This includes any time that she doesn't want to be in her car seat, including but not limited to, the whole 2 hour drive home from Salem stuck in traffic. It might be a tiny bit better if it was one long screech for the whole two hours. Instead, she gives you two or three minutes of silence followed by several ear piercing shrieks that makes the driver swerve into oncoming traffic with the suddenness and severity of the horrible noise. It really, really sucks bad.

Monday, July 14, 2008

That state testing is so flawed

Every year when we had to take those dreaded fill-in-the-bubble-perfectly-with-a-number-2- -pencil-and-if-you-mess-up-just-a-little-you'll-be-sent-to-special-classes type tests in school the results would claim that I was smart. This lead to the assumption that I should do well at my grade level, this assumption lead my parents to ground me for not doing well. Ok, Mom reads this, so I'll include that I had bad grades because I never ever did homework, not because I struggled with the assigned work. Nonetheless, I was raised constantly hearing how smart I was and how I JUST NEEDED TO APPLY MYSELF. I'm starting to doubt that whole assertion. I'm starting to realize that I'm clearly borderline "special needs". Not full on, get government help, kind of special needs, just really not bright. At all. Here's just on small example of my "intelligence" being proven fictional.

I'm not sure how I managed to get this burned. I'm in my 30s, I'm no longer laying out on the roof with baby oil slathered on my body, believing that it would somehow magically make my white skin the perfect shade of bronze. I'm just stupid enough to stop and reapply sun screen to my kids and not to myself. Not even once. For a whole day on the river. Dumby Dumb Dumb.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

How cool is this?

We just got an email from the China Olympic Orchestra people announcing that Kiki's band will be playing in Tienanmen Square! They are the first and only foreign group to ever gain permission to perform there. There will be very high security and a limited access to the performance (which is reassuring as a parent), and it will be televised live internationally. Besides being the only foreign group, they are the only non professional group allowed to perform during the Cultural Celebration of the Olympics in China.

Kiki makes history for the first time of many.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Mmmm Dog Food

What's that saying? Something about thinking it's a chuck wagon, or a mother that's not it...something about thinking it's going to be a great deal and the money will come flowing in?

I think you mean "The gravy train".

Yep, that's it.

You were probably picturing those commercials when we grew up for Chuck Wagon dog food...or was it Gravy Train...anyways, that stage coach thing was running through the house, you know? and when you added water to that dog food it turned the water to gravy and it looked so good, better than whatever you were having for dinner, and you always just wanted to try it yourself. My mom never let me try it. She sucks. Now I want some gravy.

I never ever wanted to try it. I hate gravy AND it's dog food. You make me sick.

Just had this conversation with the hot husband and it left me wondering if there are any foods he doesn't love. Even dog food, that's just not right. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure we were talking about two completely different dog foods. One was Gravy Train and one was Chuck Wagon. I'll probably need to point that out and tell him he was wrong. First I'll Google it to cover myself. I hate when I correct someone and then I'm the wrong one. So embarrassing.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

She's So Sweet

Mom, what IS that?

It's my sausage loaf, it's getting bigger, I need to diet desperately.

Yeah, it's bad, but not as bad as it was last night in that other shirt when the missionaries were here for FHE and it was, like, totally hanging over the top of you pants. Maybe you should try sitting up straighter, that might help.

Thank you so much, you're oh so very helpful. The only way that sitting up straighter will help is if I'm sitting up straighter in a doctors chair getting lypo to have the loaf removed. Or possibly sitting up straight repeatedly in a sit-ups type motion. Neither one is likely to happen, so I may need to invest in some elastic waist band pants.

Girls are so drama

MoMo: Abby, will you always be my friend?

This is the first time Abby and Mo have EVER played together.

Abby: OF COURSE! We'll be best friends forever. Why wouldn't we be?

Mo: Well, I had this friend at school and she didn't...

Abby: Didn't want to be friends anymore?

Mo: Yeah

Abby: Well, I guess no one ever taught her that there's nothing more important than friendship. Somebody should really explain that to her.


Mo: Mom, we aren't going to catch snakes and bugs any more because we realize that they are part of nature and that nothing is more important than friendship, so we'll just play together.

I dare you

KaiKai was walking around in high heels and when we were leaving for the store she asked if I dared her to wear them to the store. Sure. That caught her off guard, but she went through with it anyway. The realization of how funny she looked and how uncomfortable heels are hit her right about the time we got to the store. Here's a video of her walking in and telling me she hates me.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

I am "Pro-not choosing who has a right to live and who doesn't", Who am I (or you) to decide?

Here's a link to a great article about a Pro-"choice" woman who, while studying ancient Greek cultures, learned that if you "couldn't afford it" or "weren't ready" or "this wasn't planned" in that culture, you waited until the baby was born and then left them to die. As she studied more, she realized that their view of these "choices" was not any different than her rationalization of abortion. None of us can say when the soul enters the body, thus none of us can say that abortion isn't murder.

"One night I was discussing the topic with my husband, who was re-examining his own pro-choice stance. He made a passing remark that startled me into reconsidering this issue: “It just occurred to me that being pro-life is being pro-other-people’s-life,” he quipped. “Everyone is pro-their-own-life.”

His remark made me realize that my pro-choice viewpoints had put me in the position of deciding whose lives were worth living, and even who was human. Along with doctors, the government and other abortion advocates, I decided where to draw this crucial line. When I would come across Catholic Web sites or books that asserted “Life begins at conception,” I would scoff, as was my habit, yet I found myself increasingly uncomfortable with my defense. I realized that my criteria for determining when human life begins were distressingly vague. I was putting the burden of proof on the fetuses to demonstrate to me that they were human, and I was a tough judge. I found myself looking the other way when I heard about things like the 3-D ultrasounds that showed fetuses touching their faces, smiling and opening their eyes at ages at which I still considered abortion acceptable. As modern technology revealed more and more evidence that fetuses were humans too, I would simply move the bar for what I considered human.

I was lured into one of the oldest, biggest, most tempting lies in human history: the enemy is not human. Babies had become the enemy because of their tendency to pop up and ruin everything; and just as societies are tempted to dehumanize their fellow human beings on the other side of the line in wartime, so had I, and we as a society, dehumanized what we saw as the enemy of sex.

I suspect that as those Greek parents handed over their infants for someone to take away, they remarked on how very unlike their other children these little creatures were: they couldn’t talk, the couldn’t sit up, and surely those little yawns and smiles were just involuntary reactions. I bet they referred to these babies with different words than they used to refer to the children they kept. Maybe they called them something like “fetuses.”
She goes on to become Catholic and her complete view of contraception is changed. She points out that over time our society has carefully taken the point of sex out of the equation. It is no longer considered primarily a God given blessing, meant for procreation. It is now considered a recreation for us to use as we wish with no consequences or repercussions. Especially not an unplanned pregnancy.

I loved this article. I believe that abortion is murder. I also believe that those who have made that choice have the opportunity to repent and move on with their lives and sin no more. The article is worth reading if you agree. Or even if you don't.

I Love Craigslist

Dance(stripper) pole for sale - $125 (Vancouver, WA)

Date: 2008-07-03, 8:21PM PDT
nice stainless steel, strong construction, beautiful chrome finish, 9 foot tall(can be shortened), 2" diameter. Top flange is articulated to fit either standard or vaulted ceilings. Built for my wife, but she won't use it!
Cost $250 to build. call Ed at (360)921-7194

Thursday, July 3, 2008

New Niece

If anyone hasn't heard, Leanna's baby arrived last night. Her name is Emery Louise and she weighed in at 8lb 4oz. Darker hair than her others. I'm headed out to see her now and I will ask for permission to post some pictures.

Amy Homemaker

I made strawberry jam yesterday AND babysat a friend's two little boys. I know, I know, I amaze myself. The strawberry jam was so delicious that Baby Plankton sat at dinner last night (waffle night Wednesday) with a spoon and ate it right out of the jar. You can see in my picture of her making her angry eyes that she's covered with jam and waffles. I don't even like jam and I wanted to eat it up. I guess I'm just so used to store bought stuff that something fresh is very exciting. My kids eat PB&J everyday, so I hope I can make enough to last us through the winter without buying any.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tired little Plankton Baby


We are raising Plankton, a maniacal little dictator who will stop at nothing to get what she wants and screams until she gets it. Even her grandmother called her a little monster. Isn't she so precious, though? Maybe she knows it and that's part of the problem.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Dear Mom

I just spoke to Beck. She was calling to tell us all about meeting Dieter Uchdorff. Braggart.
She did explain that she started the "put it in your private place" dealio. She confirmed that it's a jokey type thing and that you're not just so dense that you didn't know what you were saying. That's a relief. I thought you were for reals not aware of the ick factor, but in reality, you are just using an inside joke on someone on the outside, since me and our others sisters aren't aware of the private parts joke. Now we are all in the loop and we may or may not decide to use this term ourselves. I'm thinking not.