Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Time For Three Pictures

After the concert on Friday, we bought a CD and got it autographed by the fabulous group, Time For Three. Did I mention how much I love them? This is Ranaan Meyer, the double bass player. It is really fun to watch him play his instrument.

Elizabeth, Dwan, and Grace W. came as well. Grace is getting her CD signed by the band also.

Nick Kendall and Zach De Pue are the violinists. My Zach made sure to tell me that he and this Zach are just alike. They both have the same name, spelled the same way, and they play the violin. But I think he liked Nick more because he said that he wanted to be just like him.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Chronicles of a Terrible Two-Year Old

Did I ever mention that I have a two-year old? His name is Eli and for the longest time he was like this...

Then he turned two and he seems to know the "terrible" reputation that he supposed to fulfill. By the way, he is doing a mighty fine job of it. So nowadays, he looks more like this...

This is actually a more accurate picture of how he looks most of the time these days. In other words, the kid is a major pill right now. He gets very frustrated because he can't communicate as well as he would like, does not take naps anymore, and goes for the eye gouge when he has a clean shot. Do you know that it really is not very much find trying to wipe the butt of a defiant two-year old and then spend the next 5 minutes trying to get the clean diaper back on him? It also is a tad bit exasperating to then spend the next 10 minutes trying to put pants on the kid. Of course, this is all while you have two screaming infants begging to be held and fed.

Like I said, he is a major pill!

To top off our wonderful interactions today, I had to end the night trying to put him to bed while, you guessed it, two screaming infants desperately wanted to be fed and held. I continually put him back into his bed and he would promptly get right out and scream at me.

"BED!" I would yell at him.

"WHAAAAAAAAA!! NO, NO, MOM!", all while he was emphatically wagging his finger at me.

This went on for at least 30 minutes. He would sneak out of his bed and down the hall and I would march him right back in. I would throw him in his bed, turn off the light, and close the door. I finally decided I would give him a spank on the butt and then put him back in bed. That would show him. This is unheard of for me, because I never, ever spanked Raef or Zach. I was desperate. It seemed to keep him at bay. After three spanks, he seemed to settle down.

I finished feeding the babies and started to put them to bed.

But look who had the last laugh.

That's right. My little "angel" fell asleep outside of his room, in the hallway, with the door open, and the light ON!

Oh well.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Time For Three Weekend

We had an eventful weekend. On Friday, Rinar's parents and sister came down to our house. Rinar's parents went with us and Raef and Zach to see one of our favorite groups, Time for Three. They are a dynamic "classically trained garage band" if you will: two violins and a double bass. It is tons of fun to watch them perform and I was certain that the boys would love it. They totally did. They were laughing and enraptured in the stellar performance. Rinar's parents also enjoyed the concert and it was fun to be able to share this with them.

Julia really liked the feel of Grandpa's beard.

While we went to the concert, Aislinn and Dustin babysat the little ones for us, which was so kind of them. Aislinn brought down her kids and they were able to spend time together with the cousins. It is always fun to play with cousins. Jayde was the best babysitter of all.

All she wanted to do the entire time was hold the babies. She would carry them around with her. When she got tired, she would put them down. But that never lasted long. It was quite sweet. She is obviously a little mama.

We had Raef and Zach do a little concert for the family with their latest piece. Zach is playing a Seitz concerto for everyone.

Rinar also had a surprise for his mom. He had been practicing a special piano duet to play with here. You see, Rinar's parents both served an LDS mission in Denmark. That is where the met. More specifically, Rinar's mom was asked to play a piano piece entitled "Canadian Capers". It is quite difficult and she was trying to find someone else who could play it with her. Yep, you guessed it. Rinar's dad was the man for the job. That is how they met. They still play it together all the time. Well, Rinar was at their house a few months ago, and found the music. It was deteriorating, so he got it recopied and found the official cover picture. Then he practiced it so that he could play it with her. Here you go.

There are two versions. The first one has video of my kids and an interruption with Eli. You see, Eli really likes to play the piano. Ever since then, he is quite a little pest. But it is cute.

The second video has it without any major interruptions.


My kids also got a hold of the camera. They thought it was hilarious to dress Julia and Harry up in a silly hat. It is kind of cute.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wonderful Things

I have been doing nightly spring cleaning chores around my house. Isn't it a wonderful thing when you can look at a corner of your house and it is sparkling clean? Everything is in it's place and the dust has been vamooshed for a while. I reclaimed two rooms of my house and a corner of my kitchen. It is like a breath of fresh air, my soul feels lighter and it builds momentum. With one corner done, I find the courage, desire, and energy to take on more decluttering tasks. It is great. Of course I am saying this while I am sitting at my desk where paper and junk is about to fall on top of me. But I will come out conqueror soon enough.

The boys have been participating in Cub Scout camp this week and it has been so much fun for them and me. They get to do lots of activities, crafts, and sports for four hours every day and I get a mostly quiet house. Plus, when I clean something up it actually stays that way for a while. Wonderful.

And in other news, Julia made a big step in life today. She rolled over from her back to her stomach and then from her stomach to her back. She is a very content baby girl so most of the time she is fine just laying on her back and looking around. Tonight I put her and Harry on the floor while I dealt with getting Eli to bed and Raef and Zach. She was not happy. I laid her on her back and she starting crying. The next time I came in she was on her stomach. Then when i was finally able to start feeding both of them, she was on her back again. Bravo, Julia!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Craziness Hits the Road

Rinar went to Boston last week so I decided to take a little road trip. By. My. Self. Oh yes, with my five little angels. Rinar helped me pack everything up on Sunday night and we hit the road at 10am Monday morning. I headed south to Laughlin, NV and we made a little stop at the Colorado river so that the kids could throw rocks in the river, and I could feed the babies. There was also a free boat ride to the casino on the other side of the river so we gave it a whirl. The kids enjoyed it.

Then I decided to drive through Oatman, Arizona which is a chintzy little tourist trap off of historic route 66. There are wild burros that roam the streets, terrorizing the tourists. Okay, they don't terrorize tourists unless you are the lone parent with little ones to look out for, then they charge right in. As I was unloading the kids, which takes me about 10 minutes to do, the white burro in the picture came up and gave Julia a kiss. I guess he decided she wasn't edible. Thank goodness. I can't say the same thing for Eli's shoe. He took a swipe at the shoe, but luckily I had a good grip on it.

We walked around a bit and took some pictures on this old tractor. Jubilation that we are out of the car!
Here is that nasty burro. I only say that because as we headed down to the end of the street, he thought he could pilfer something out of my pocket and promptly bit me on the hip. Grrrrr! They were going to do a gun fight and I didn't want to get stuck in town, so I hurriedly stuffed the kids in the car and tried frantically to get the three burros that were congregated in front of my trunk door to move. Annoying!! Luckily I was able to depart from Oatman with all kids, body parts, and shoes.

Route 66 is a treacherous, windy, slow road to take. I got stuck behind a guy pulling a trailer. Doesn't that always happen when you are taking a road trip?

But the views were spectacular. Take a look. Don't worry, I held up the camera but my eyes were firmly on the road Grandma. Plus we were going a whopping 15 mph.

As you can hear from my conversation with Zach, he is obsessed with the inner crust of the earth and lava and he really has no concept of how far down it is.

We arrived in Williams, Arizona about 4 pm and got some pizza and then headed to the hotel. I was hoping the kids could go swimming, but the pool was outdoors and closed. That might have to do with the fact that it snowed rather vigorously after we checked in.

Did I mention that I packed clothes for the hot part of Arizona, not the snow part. Zach only had flip-flops, Eli had no socks or pants that were clean, and Julia had adorable summer dresses to wear. I was a little anxious to take the kids to the Grand Canyon due to equipment issues, but I forged ahead.
We made it! No wind but it was 38 degrees outside. This is what we saw. These are all the pictures I took.

Okay, so 10 minutes later we were on the road again. But not before we got a picture in front of the official Grand Canyon sign.

Then it was about 1.5 hours to Flagstaff. It was very pretty. There were wildflowers everywhere I looked on this entire drive.

Do you know what movie that was in the background? I am testing your movie knowledge. I am not going to give it away. Leave a comment with your best guess.

This is when my sanity really went out the window. Okay, so we stopped in Flagstaff and played at a park for about an hour. The kids had a lot of fun and the weather was superb. Then it was on to Phoenix. Heather had class till about 10pm, so I decided to get her key at work and then go to my other sister's house in Maricopa. They say it is a suburb, but whatever. It was in the middle of friggin' nowhere. And my sister's house is on the other side of the city in friggin' nowhere. I limped to the "finish" line. The kids played with their cousins while Christi and her husband Thomas and I went to dinner. I had to go to Joe's Farm Grill, which was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. It is in Gilbert, which is practically next to Heather's place. Then I had to drive back to get my kids and then drive back to Tempe. I almost rotted in that car.

But dinner was great and it was fun to spend time with Christi and Thomas.

I vowed not to drive at all on Wednesday. So Heather took the day off and we walked to the park near downtown Tempe. It was great except for the fact that they were doing construction on the playground, so it was closed. We walked through downtown Tempe and got some yogurt and diapers. Then Heather stayed with the kids while they ran around the park, while I ran back to get the car.
Eli had fun but I think he was tired. Take a look at this documentation of an Eli temper tantrum. Enjoy!

He went home and slept for about 5 hours without moving. We hung out and the kids went swimming.

Don't worry, I made it back just fine. And except for the fact that Eli figured out how to unbuckle all parts of his car seat the last 100 miles of the trip, it was all fine. But I was never so happy to be home.


Eli is just a funny kid with a big personality. My favorite little quirk is the fact that when he sucks his thumb, the pointer finger finds a nice resting place in his nostril. Ew.

Here is Princess Julia. I just fed her some sweet potatoes for the first time. She was ambivalent to the experience. She is not rolling over yet, but she does go to her side. Actually she did roll over on the bed last night, but has not done it on a solid, flat surface. When we go to church, everyone wants to hold her. They fight over her. Unfortunately, I can't say the same thing for Harry.


He is just growing up so fast. He can now roll over stomach to back, back to stomach. In other words, he can get to where he wants to go. I have also tried to feed him some solids, and with every bite it looks like I am feeding him motor oil. Priceless.

This is the happiest little kid with the biggest smiles. He lights up my life.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

St. George Arts Festival Trip

We had a fun weekend in St. George for Easter. Rinar didn't work on Friday so we headed up to spend time with the family and to go to the arts festival. St. George has a wonderful arts festival. I really enjoyed perusing the booths and I even indulged in a few prints for our house. We drove over there with Grandma. We were hungry and headed to the food court and she just cruised the exhibits. The only problem was that we couldn't find her later on. We looked and looked. Finally my cell phone rang and it was Grandma calling from home. That's right, people. She walked home. My arthritic-ridden Grandma couldn't find it and hobbled home. I know I will be getting the granddaughter of the year for that, huh? She also lent me her cute blue sweater and I forgot to give it back to her. I hope it doesn't get too cold up there. I am just racking up the brownie points with her these days, I tell you.

At least I have cute kids that she can squeeze.

Eli had fun at the festival also. He has a cute little habit of holding beverages in the crux of his arm. He will walk around for hours holding it just like that. What a sweet little thing he is...most of the time.

Here is Zach in a silly picture.

We can't forget Raef.

Then we had dinner with Rinar's parents and the whole family. They have a pecan tree in their backyard and Raef went to town collecting pecans. He gathered an entire grocery bag full of them. Then he was cracking them and eating them.

So the only logical thing to do would be to make a pie...pecan of course.

I have to tell you what happened on our way home. We left unusually early on Sunday, around noon. I was anxious to get home and it is a pain to load and unload five kids all the time, so we pulled into Vegas around 2pm. I happened to look at the caller id and I noticed that there was a Hawaiian phone number that called two times in three minutes. I wasn't sure who it was, but I figured it could be a family member passing through at the airport. It happens all the time. If they have a big layover, we will go get them so they can hang out with us since the airport is very close to our house.

I call the number, which I usually don't do, and it was Beth, Rinar's cousin. Yes, she was really stuck at the airport... 16 hour layover due to a little miscalculation on her part. Just remember that Hawaiian Airlines uses military time! Anyways, we rescued her and she was soooooo happy. It was fun hanging out with her. She even got to take a three hour nap on our couch. I took her back to the airport at 12am.

There you go, Beth. Now you have made my blog as well! Make sure to tell your mom.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Okay, at the risk of offending every writer out there, here I go...

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Some poems rhyme
But not this one

I went with my wonderful husband to the Nevada Governor's Arts Awards at the World Market Center on Thursday. We sat with the Nevada School of the Arts people,

There we are, the rabble in the back. Seating chart people were wise in their placement, as it muffled my mocking tone. My leg is still sore from my husband's constant knee in my side trying to get me to shut it up.

This is the kids violin/viola teacher, Jennifer

Governor Jim Gibbons is speaking. The quality of my photography astounds me sometimes.

since my kids take their violin lessons there. It was a fun night and they award stuff to different people involved in arts from all walks of life. One of the recipients was a writer who has written a lot of books, poetry books for young people. The books looked really thick in the video montage and when she stood up to recieve her award she shared one of her lenghty "poems" with us.


Oh, I am sorry. Yeah, so anyways.

Yes, okay now I come clean. The poem didn't rhyme and I think I am prejudiced against poems that don't rhyme. I like to call it fauxetry. It is not really poetry. Now, I know there are many of you out there that like this type of stuff, but I don't. There, I said it! If you write this kind of poetry, more power to you. I am not trying to discourage your form of expression. I just think it is the road more traveled (ha ha, get it!) and so much easier to craft than a poem that is interesting AND rhymes. Rhyming something in a non-cliche sort of way is not easy to do. It is like trying to sit down and compose a Bach-esque counterpoint piano sonata. You can't just bang it out.

I compare fauxetry to certain kinds of modern art. No, I am not talking about the great artists like Kandinsky, Chagall, and Dahl. I am talking about the guy that takes a stuffed panda bear, sets it on top of a free-standing ladder, throws hot pink packing peanuts on the ground, and shines an over-sized spotlight on it and expects me to be amazed and moved. I think it is lazy. Can you really compare this to a Delacroix or Picasso? Really? Seriously?

In the same vain, fauxetry is just the easier way to go. I think about myself and my brief stint as a poet in 10th grade English class.

"Oh crap, I have to write a poem and it is due by fifth period!"

Now, grant it wasn't as thought provoking as the great William Carlos William and that glistening red wheelbarrow sitting beside some white chickens or anything, but it was impressive. But deep down inside I knew that it wasn't really impressive and I did a lousy job, even though I still got an A+.

I have been studying poetry with my kids for the last 3 years and I have developed a deep appreciation for the great poets and their poems.

"Oh, Captain my Captain", "The Charge of the Light Brigade", "Jabberwocky", "The Touch of the Masters Hand".

I could go on and on. I remember sitting in a Geography class in college and being very impressed by the professor and how often he would recite beautiful language that would roll off of his tongue and mesmerize me. I wanted to be able to do that. The cadence and rhythm of the poem would pull me in and soothe my soul.

Even now, I look at the difference the written word affects my two-year old child. He will be still and completely enraptured in "How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight", a clever and wonderfully written poem for young children. Soon, he will be ready for masters like Dr. Seuss and Robert Louis Stevenson.

I love the way all of these poems have affected my 8 year-olds and their intellectual and moral development as well.

"A child should always say what's true, and speak when he is spoken to..." or "If you will have your learning stay, be patient, don't learn too fast; The man who walks a mile each day, may get round the world at last." etc. etc.

Wonderful! And they will remember it.

Now, I think we have become so lazy in society and focused on "the test" that we don't expose children to master poets. Then you expect them to be creative and just whip out a poem for some assignment. How could they possibly know how to rhyme something when they have never read or memorized a well-crafted poem? The only poetry that kids or society gets these days, for that matter, is on the radio. The great poets today are Brad Paisley, Jon Bonjovi, Gwen Stefani....oh, you get the picture. Most of that stuff is stupid stuff, written for stupid people, but we remember it. Yes, there is the catchy beat, but also the catchy rhyme. It just sticks to you, what can I say?

Here is the beginning of the poem from Barack Obama's inauguration by Elizabeth Alexander...

Each day we go about our business, walking past each other, catching each
others’ eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. All about us is noise. All
about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din, each one of our ancestors on our
tongues. Someone is stitching up a hem, darning a hole in a uniform, patching a
tire, repairing the things in need of repair.
Someone is trying to make music somewhere with a pair of wooden spoons on an
oil drum with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.
A woman and her son wait for the bus.
This is a poem? Really? I mean it just really grabs you and pulls you in, right?
Oh, I am sorry about that again. I just can't help it. This is a fauxem, not a poem. Fauxetry, simply put.
If you don't believe me and you think I am full of it, then prove it. Write a poem that rhymes and is not a cliche. Then write one that doesn't.
Good luck, and remember that it is due by fifth period!

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