January 30, 2010

The More You Know

I must be getting older. I must be, because time keeps passing and I am not dead yet. (insert British accent)"Not dead yet!" And one thing I am noticing as time goes on, is that the more I learn about any given subject the more I realize that there is a ton of stuff I don't know out there. When you are young and cocky sometimes you take on a know-it-all attitude about things. I experience this almost daily with my teenaged son. He's pretty much an expert in his own mind about most everything out there. It's tiresome.

I remember when I was a teenager and I took French at Provo highschool from Miseur Burnah. I learned fast and the vocabulary came easily. I was feeling pretty spiffy with my new French words. Then when it came to verb conjugation I realized how much harder this was going to be. The more you know- the more you realize how much you have to learn. A little bit of knowledge in one certain area is sometimes a dangerous thing. That is one thing my husband is always saying. Patients see a commercial for a new drug on TV, or watch an episode of 20/20 and come into his office acting like experts.

I used to think that people were often too open minded. If you are open to every idea than you are sure to fall for a lot of bad ideas right? But that was surely the old me who was too shut off and not listening to anything that didn't come out of my own brain. I was constantly using my shut down button. Listen to anything and you'll fall for anything was the way I saw it. I still see some of my family members thinking this way. We all learned it from the same place. Now I feel like my eyes have been opened and I listen before judging too soon. It's not like I compromise my standards. I don't. I just realize that I don't know it all and so the only way to learn more is to listen. I just thought I should share that with you. What? You shut down before reading to the end? Poor you!

January 26, 2010

What We Learned..

I suppose you are getting sick of hearing about my trip to Orlando with the family by now. I promise I will make this the final entry on the subject. I do have other thoughts in my head.

Here's a list of some things we learned while we spent so much quality time together...

1-Separating the male siblings from one another in the car made the trip much more peaceful.
2-Baby Girl can go longer between bathroom breaks than her 13 year old brother.
3-Middle Boy can down a lemon Gatorade in one straight shot!
4-Middle Boy has no problem peeing in empty plastic bottles.
5-Piggy Back rides in the hotel room are highly rated on the fun list (esp when parents join in).
6-The tooth fairy does come even when you are on vacation.
7-I should never wear a fanny pack- it's not a good look for me.
8-A big black puffy coat hides a multitude of sins though.
9-We like to laugh together.
10-I love spending time with my husband and children.

January 25, 2010

The Happiest Place on Earth

Unless you are a teenaged boy forced to watch a princess performance.....

January 17, 2010

Orlando:part II

(Yes, we were all decked out in winter gear in Florida)
Well I better blog about the rest of our vacation before the memories all slip away. In fact I am scratching my head a bit now thinking how do I start. The second day we hit a new spot called Gatorland. Our high brow, well paid, semi-famous (we saw she's played for 2 presidents on her website), violin teacher recommended it to us. She's classy like that.

The park bragged that it had over 1000 gators to view. I found that after about 60 they all seem pretty much the same. Except the albino alligator of coarse! What I did like about this park was the atmosphere. It was all gritty and down-home. Maybe you could say back-woods... I don't know, but when we read the sign pulling into the parking lot, it said 'speed limit 4.7 mph' we knew that someone here had a sense of humor.

It was a family owned establishment and that meant that the guy taking tickets was also the guy driving the rusty train. Oh, and he was also the guy in both the gator jumping show and he helped his friend out in the gator wrestling show. He navigated the line of children waiting their turn to sit on the gator's back for 10.00 a pop. It's call "rookie wrestling" and I talked Big Boy out of wasting his money on that (saving us 50.00, because if one kid gets to sit on 'Leonardo', then you know the rest will want a piece of the action.) I feel like revealing a piece of information for those of you out there who need to know about a bit of deception in their photo staging. They have the kids put their hands around the gator's jaws that are taped shut with electrical tape. But to make things look scary in the picture, they have the patron place their hands over the black tape so it won't show. I felt it was pretty dishonest and I could not contribute to the overall deception of it all.

T said something funny while we were standing there watching all the lucky kids sit for a photo on the gator's back. He said to all of us "hey, what's that sound? Do you hear it? It sounds like cha-ching cha-ching cha ching... (long pause) Yeah, I hear it every time one of those kids sits on the gator's back..." Really not worth 10.00.

The best part of the whole thing was that there was a relaxed atmosphere where we just hung out and didn't rush to each ride worried about lines and crowds, etc. We had a great time there. Great being-together, family time. Here are some awe inspiring photos for y'all to enjoy.

Next stop... my favorite- Magic Kingdom!

(he was an impressive gator wrestler with a witty script to follow)

(We had a train to catch)

(a legendary train)

(What great camera skills eh? T got this guy eating a hot dog someone tossed in)

January 15, 2010

Things I Hate!

I have quite a few pet peeves. I am sorry to admit my obvious lack of tolerance but if I am being honest here, I do get bugged too much. I am working on it. I hate it when someone leaves something on the dash board of the car and it rolls around while I drive. Hate! I hate it when people leave lights on all over the house. I hate waste. I hate inefficiency. If you are going somewhere take something with you on the way and put it back -less steps are better!

I don't particularly like practical jokes. Two jokes have been pulled on me in the last two days by my 13 year old son. One of them got him a swift punch in the arm. It was like I had absolutely no time to even think about what I was doing before my fist had a mind of it's own. Hate the water down the front of you when you take a drink gag. HATE! I hate balloons bobbing around my head. I hate picky eaters (although I was one). I also hate that the garbage job has now become my job. It used to be T's but now somehow I inherited it. Even the bringing in of the cans is no longer on his radar. I hate ingratitude. Spoiled behavior and expecting us to do stuff without being grateful is a big no no. That is why Big Boy had to ride the bus this morning instead of getting a ride from me since his final didn't start until 10:00. "Three hours of my life- wasted!" He wailed, I lost no sleep over it.

I am sure there are more things that drive me nuts but it will have to wait for another time. Baby Girl needs me... So tell me what you hate? Nails on a chalkboard hate.

January 14, 2010

No words

I am so saddened by the news in Haiti. I found this link on Fresh Mommy's blog today. It's worth looking at with a box of tissue, and an intent to donate what you can...

January 13, 2010

When You Turn 3

It kinda sucks when all the siblings get in the way.

It's a good thing she has no idea...

Farewell Miep, you were the bomb!

January 12, 2010

Two Things

This morning two things happened. A big spill and a frustrating seat belt situation. When things like this happen during the 'hurry-we-must-be-out-the-door-soon' time of the day my reaction is typically not what it should be. Not surprisingly the way usually I react doesn't ever improve the situation. Next up is the guilt and remorse and sometimes the apology. Sometimes not...

Today was different, and I am glad to report it here. When Little Boy spilled so much milk that it soaked the table, his pants, and the floor I was pleasant and helped him by moving his cereal to the other side of the table while I mopped it up. I had a clean pair of pants for him in a minute and we were on our way. Something inside me told me this was the start to a good day for him.

That same happy calm-under-pressure spirit followed us, when after I gathered my chicks into their coats and we said a quick morning prayer we headed out to the garage. Big Girl's car seat is in a new location due to vacation seat shuffling and she is not as adept at buckling herself in the no man's land of the 'way back.' She struggled and I encouraged.

"I believe in you! You can do this thing!" I called back to her as I started the van..... 30 seconds later I heard her hurrumphing and showing that buckle who was boss. "I DID IT! I knew I could, I believed!" was her reply. I wanted to shout to Little Boy "Can I get an amen brother?!" But I just smiled to myself.

Something as simple as spilled milk and a seatbelt situation started our day out right when it just as easily (and more likely) would have gone the other way.

Please help me to learn and recognize the power of a mother's reaction in the future. At least for the rest of today.

January 08, 2010

Orlando: Part 1

We have returned... with honor. Just kidding there is nothing honorable about a trip to Florida. I am not complaining either though. It was a 14 hour drive each way. The fact that no one killed anyone during the drive is honorable I suppose. We found that separating the boys allowing no more than one boy per row in the van really helped keep the peace.

The weather cooperated with us. There were clear roads. However the temperatures were not friendly. We had to keep re-wearing our cold weather outfits. Never touched the shorts or swimsuits. The temps were in the 50s the entire trip. Oh well- we still did everything we wanted to and next time I will pack lighter since we got along fine.

The first part of the trip was devoted to Sea World and Gatorland. Both were great. Sea World is a fan favorite for me. I love the shows and the slower pace. There are some killer roller coasters that (when they were in operation mode) were very fun! I thought it was interesting that during the line for the coaster called 'Kraken' the announcement recording kept saying that you should make certain that your artificial limbs were securely fastened. I guess that is what 8 years of war will do to a population.

The Shamu show has gotten pretty touchy feely and almost made my 15 year old puke. However if you are into that stuff you may just change your life to fit your dreams after coming out of the show. Either that, or take up whittling and make yourself a whale-tale necklace. The dolphin show brings tears to my eyes when those parrots swoop overhead. I could do without the princess visiting the world of the dolphins theme though. Here are some photos of Sea World for you. I will have to save Gatorland for another post because ...it was just that special.

Just look at those suckers! And the Octopus ain't bad either...