Sunday, January 29, 2017
And it's elementary school play time again! Actually, this play should have occurred back in November, but the teacher-in-charge realized that they had not had enough practice time for it to be ready at that time, so it was pushed back to January. Oh thank heavens!! I was sick as a dog during November with pregnancy nausea. Now that I'm feeling much better, I was actually able to enjoy the show.
Meriel was the drama star from our family for this show. It was actually the same play that Rheanna had done back when she was in elementary school, so I already had the poodle skirt made for her costume. Score! Meriel is seen in the above picture during her big moment with the spotlight upon her. She is playing a nerdy student ("Isn't it great that I have real glasses that I can wear to play a nerd, Mom?" "Yes, honey. When we got you those glasses, I thought to myself how wonderful it was that you were near-sighted and needed expensive glasses so that you could one day play a nerd in a future play with authentic glasses. Not like those other poser-kids with good eyesight who had to go and get cheap, fake glasses. I pity them."). She is rattling off a rather long Shel Silverstein poem with perfect precision to stand in contrast to the girl after her who plays a forgetful student who completely forgot her poem. This is the poem she recited which I don't necessarily intend for you to read, but merely scroll through it and be dutifully impressed by it's length:
True Story by Shel Silverstein
This morning I jumped on my horse
And went out for a ride,
And some wild outlaws chased me
And they shot me in the side.
So I crawled into a wildcat's cave
To find a place to hide,
But some pirates found me sleeping there,
And soon they had me tied
To a pole and built a fire
Under me - I almost cried
Till a mermaid came and cut me loose
And begged to be my bride,
So I said I'd come back Wednesday
But I must admit I lied.
Then I ran into a jungle swamp
But I forgot my guide
And I stepped into some quicksand,
And no matter how I tried
I couldn't get out, until I met
A water snake named Clyde,
Who pulled me to some cannibals
Who planned to have me fried.
But an eagle came and swooped me up
And through the air we flied,
But he dropped me in a boiling lake
A thousand miles wide.
And you'll never guess what I did then--
I wish I'd had the presence of mind to take a video instead of a picture. I was so unprepared! Unlike Meriel who recited the poem flawlessly. She also remembered to go to all of the practices this year. We've REALLY struggled with that in years past. Awwww...she can be so awesome sometimes.
In other news, Mitchell had a birthday this month...
And in other, other news I got to enjoy a women's church meeting with my mother- and sisters-in-law which featured Wendy Nelson, the delightful wife of Pres. Russell M. Nelson. Rheanna and Ian also got to hear the two of them in a youth meeting, along with other general authorities. We were told the doors would not open for the women's meeting till 6 pm, which was an hour before the meeting started. We were there at 6:06 and the chapel and multicultural hall were already full. We ended up in the Primary room. Hmmm...I'm suspecting foul play. Or we were being punished because I joked in a planning text to the afore-mentioned family members that I would trip a certain sweet 90-plus woman from our ward in order to get a good seat. Sorry to everyone who went with me. My wickedness held you back. It was still a wonderful meeting.
And in other, other, other news, here is a picture of my drama queen Meriel NOT being awesome and secretly stealing my phone in order to take funny pictures of herself. You brought this on yourself, Meriel....and you're probably pretty pleased about it.
Sunday, January 8, 2017
I think I would like to post some photos of my kids from this last year that make me smile for different reasons. My kids are average kids with average failings. I will not represent them as possessing any more gifts or goodness or potential than what I believe all children have. Their worth comes from them being the only one of their kind, anywhere. And as such, they have a unique purpose here and a place that can be filled by no other. This is just a peek at the place they fill in our family.
This is my wiggly fifth child. His wiggly-ness doesn't cause behavioral issues, but I felt it would still be nice for him to learn to direct his excess energy towards productive ends. So we've been putting him in different sports. Not with the intent to turn him into a sports superstar, but just to enjoy physicality with a purpose. This is a picture of his soccer game. His soccer team lost every game this season. The first one I went to was like a beginning scene out of the Mighty Ducks. The other team was there more than half an hour before the game doing precision drills. Our team was lacking a coach until 5 minutes into game time, and the players were filling the time by jumping on the bleachers and accidentally kicking balls over the fence into neighboring yards (our coach was good, he just experienced confusion about the game start time on this particular day). The other team's coaches (they had two!) looked like they should be coaching high school football, and one could be heard yelling throughout the entire game. Some of it was instruction, some was encouragement, but some made me cringe. They obliterated our team, and I wondered how Mitchell would handle it, but following their after-game talk from the coach, Mitchell came bouncing over like nothing disappointing had happened. In the car he even said, "I must be the luckiest boy in the world!" Insteresting declaration. I asked, "Why? Because you get to play soccer?" And he said, "Yes, and because our coach doesn't yell at us. He understands that we're still learning." That's Mitchell. He's very good at seeing the positives and just enjoying life.
I won't deny that bringing these babies into the world tested me in ways that I didn't foresee. I didn't and couldn't understand the sacrifice involved beforehand. But though I have moments of heavy doubt about my capability, or times I worry about their choices and future, or periods where I sincerely mourn the loss of my personal time and ambitions, it remains obvious to me that each of these children were meant to be here in our family. There are no regrets.
Sunday, August 3, 2014
If you will just look beyond the cute boy in the tree, you'll see the ground is covered in . . . DANGER!! Poison oak, to be precise. The little plants growing in front of the bushes are some of the poison oak that was spread throughout the entire campground that we recently stayed at when we went to the coast for a quick trip. When we learned what it was, during an exchange in which Rheanna bet Caleb $5 that it was poison oak and which he has yet to pay because he LOST, we felt we needed to instruct the kids how to recognize it so they would stay away from it. When we saw that it was literally everywhere, we gave up on the detailed instruction and told them they were not allowed to touch any plants, period. We seem to have come out unscathed. And we had a lot of fun in the process.
So first we spent an afternoon on Sunset Beach. Cassidi spent the entire time rolling in the sand.
After the beach, we went to camp to spend the night. Cassidi spent most of the time rolling in the dirt.
I shall fear no poison oak, for Tim is with me.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
That was not the purpose for the Law Family camping trip this last June, but . . . well . . . look what happened:
I don’t know if you can see it, but it’s hailing. This is what we encountered during our drive over the mountains and into Bear Valley where we were camping. And it kept hailing off and on while we were setting up camp and trying to make and eat dinner. My fingers instantly lost circulation while setting up the tent.
Someone managed to get a fire going. In between hail storms everyone would huddle around the fire. When the hail started, we would reluctantly pull ourselves away and huddle underneath a tarp we had stretched between the trees to cover the picnic table.
By the time we had eaten dinner, and though it was still light outside, I was done with the day. I grabbed Cassidi and figured I would huddle with her in our tent in my sleeping bag in order to stay warm and go to sleep. I had just gone inside the tent, decided I was too cold to change out of my clothes (and I wouldn’t change out of them for the next two days), and Tim was herding the kids to the bathroom when I heard exclamations and Tim saying, “Irene, you have to see this.” Through the open tent door, I saw the hail had changed to big, fluffy snowflakes. Great.
Cassidi had no intention of going to sleep. I don’t know what is wrong with toddlers, but they seem to be oblivious to cold, and all Cassidi wanted to do was run around outside. She squirmed and cried until Tim took her and strapped her into her carseat inside the van. Then she was immediately docile and sucked her thumb for an hour, but didn’t go to sleep. But she was calm enough to put into her sleeping bag. I worried a lot about both her and Declan being warm enough, but they seemed to sleep the most soundly out of the whole family.
My feet were icy all night, but I managed to sleep up until who-knows-when in the middle of the night when I realized that I had never used the bathroom before going to bed and now I had to. It took me FOREVER to get myself out of my sleeping bag and looking for my shoes. Everything seemed cold and wet. Throughout the night, each one of the older kids woke up and had to be helped because their sleeping bags had gotten wet and cold and uncomfortable.
While I huddled in my sleeping bag and tried in vain to warm up my feet and thinking how miserable camping could be when you’re cold and wet, I thought a lot about the Martin handcart company being stuck camping out in the snow for days and starving and freezing to death. I knew that in a couple of days, I would be back in a bed, and the thought of freezing feet would seem so remote as to be unbelievable. I would have preferred a quicker escape from the conditions, but I was in a tent which was relatively dry. We had food. And although I hated walking to an outhouse in the middle of the freezing night, at least it was there. With toilet paper. And it was designed not to smell if the seat was down and the door was closed—and it didn’t!
I didn’t experience anything close to what they lived through, but I got enough of a taste to think of them and sympathize heavily.
We woke up the next morning to snow on the ground. The snow you see in the picture below is merely a remnant of what was there before. And I’m sure you can tell that you are also viewing the remnants of my good mood. Cold, cold remnants.
Here’s a shot of it as we were driving to camp the day before:
This is a shot of Mitchell’s white belly, not the falls, which are just beyond that fence. Why on earth I took a picture of this and not the falls, I’ll never know. This is what cold does to a person’s mind.
So the day we left, all the storm had blown through and the weather was wonderful. Some of us even got to take off the coats that hadn’t been removed since we put them on two days ago.
Are you seein’ Ian?
Our cute nieces, Cati and Cari.
The rest of the reunion was spent in comparative bliss at the homefront. Food, movies, late-night chats, and cake (we had two birthdays). Oh, we picked lots of cherries too. But my most lasting memory of it all will be when I gained a better understanding in the middle of a freezing night of why pioneers are amazing.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
But back to the subject at hand. Keller is very good about staying on top of his responsibilities and he has been independently working on his Faith in God award. So occasionally he'll come up to me with his Faith and God book and say something like, "I'd like to pass off number 4 in Learning and Living the Gospel." I'll say, "Ok," and then he'll tell me what he did to pass it off, I'll say "Ok" again and send him on his way while I congratulate myself on my excellent parenting skills.
So about a month ago, he came to me saying he'd like to pass off one of the requirements where you are asked to learn about the Creation and then do a play, or a picture, or song or something of that nature about the Creation. Keller studied the Bible version of the Creation and then chose to write a poem, and I thought it was cute, so I'm going to share it with all of you. Enjoy!
Sunday, May 25, 2014
So your first question probably is, "Just what IS National Irene Day?"
Well, for my birthday, my husband asked me what I wanted. His memory isn't good, so I made a list. I started with things like:
--gift cards to Lowe's or department stores
--parsley, sage, (already have rosemary), and thyme (these are vital for my sausage-making escapades)
--I actually mentioned jewelry and clothes, but with no serious intent
Then after that I started getting creative and just a tad ridiculous:
--a non-toxic, effective sedative for Declan
--a sick day all to myself
--extra doses if vitamin P (patience) and Q (quick-thinking)
--someone to stand beside me at all times and say, "You can handle this. You are a strong, confidant woman."
Not being ones to take the easy way out, my in-laws all got together and decided to give me a day all to myself. And they didn't even require me to be sick. They each took responsibility for watching 2 or 3 of my kids for the entire day, even picking them up from school and feeding them dinner. Thus, I would be left to my own devices till dinner time, which would be made for me by Timothy. The hard part after that was actually scheduling a day for all of this to occur.
So a month and a half later, we arrived to May 16th which will forever afterward be hallowed as National Irene Day. It also happens to be another family member's birthday, unfortunately, but as I said, the forms have been filled out and submitted. Along with a NON-REFUNDABLE processing fee. I might let them have their birthday back next year.
So now you're probably saying, "National Irene Day sounds so awesome. How did you celebrate it?"
Well, it only seemed fitting that it should include hammers, screwdrivers, a garbage bag, a staple gun, dirt, a venture into the unknown, and calluses. I decided to rip apart this chair:
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Way, way back on New Year's Eve, a certain grandaughter (*cough* Rheanna *ahem*) tried to wheedle her grandparents into coming to visit for New Year's so she wouldn't have to go to Avila Beach with her family till after attending the Stake Youth New Year's Eve dance and the super-girly dress-up party preceding it. Then said grandparents could drive her to Avila Beach to join her family. She was unsuccessful, but did receive a consolation prize. They promised to come see us during Spring Break. And thus, from such humble beginnings, the planning began.
We first traveled to Uncle David and Aunt Lizzy's house to join up with all the fam' and hob-knob. The next day we moved the hob-knobbing to the grounds of the Sacramento temple.
Below, Grandma is pondering whether anything will entice Grandpa to leave the comfort and solitude of the minivan to enjoy a picnic with the rest of the family. Lizzy looks doubtful.
Grandma will tell you she was just enjoying the view of the beautiful (and large) park in front of the temple. Again, I am not fooled.
While Meriel climbs a tree, Cassidi fills up on vitamin Dirt.
Luckily, I am fluent in Moon Language, so I translate for her.
We continue to explore . . . .
|Tim directs traffic.|
|David and Lizzy|
|That kooky Mitchell. He's always huggin' trees.|
|Believe it or not, Ian actually wanted to push the stroller.|
|She kept these on long enough to get the picture--then I think she broke them.|
|Rheanna is strill trying to be taller than everyone.|
|Keller puts up with it all.|
|So does Grandpa.|
|I'm sure that Sarah is laughing at my children's discovery of an ant's nest full of super-friendly ants.|
It seemed like we were parked so far away from where we needed to be, but it turned out to be a small jaunt down a hill and through the historic pioneer village. Then they had free shuttles running every 20 minutes that picked us up and drove us to the trail head. Very convenient. Sarah is very grateful for the shuttle too because she was also very worried about how we would get all the way to Mariposa Grove. But again, I wasn't worried at all. I never worry.
|Rheanna is kinda mimicking quite a few of the tourists we saw. They sure do love to pose for the camera.|
|"I once saw a tree trunk THIS BIG." This is the bottom of the Fallen Monarch.|
|Declan thinks everything Grandpa does is the coolest. Especially the way he sits on wooden fences.|