Monday, October 20, 2014

Lady Harriet

Timothy tonight at the conclusion of FHE: "Harriet, would you say the prayer please?"

Harriet, thoughtfully: "I'm done for today."

Hee hee.  I wish I could get out of things that easily.  Oskar's throw-up on the carpet??  Oh, sorry, I'm done for today.  Someone else can take care of that.

Oskar Is One of the Big Boys

 Last week we moved Oskar downstairs to the boy dormitory.  He appeared to be a little puzzled by the whole thing, but Cowen and Eli were excited enough for all three.  In fact, the excitement level was so high that very little sleeping took place for several hours that night.  It reminded me of the song, "We Got Annie!"  Just dub in Oskar over Annie and that about sums up the boys' feelings on the matter.

We got the crib for $20 on ksl.  We were a bit premature in giving away our second crib.  Sometimes you have another baby when you thought you were done.  Sometimes (like after this baby) you don't.

These last two pictures have nothing to do with Oskar moving downstairs.  They just highlight WHY Oskar is always covered in bruises.  It is impossible to keep him off the counter and kitchen table.
Oskar, I am your mother and I am telling you that you are growing up too fast.  Slow it down, buddy.  You're only my baby once and it is flying by!  Enjoy it!  Relax a little!!  You don't have to learn new words all the time (diaper was last week's new word).  You can just sit around, smile a bunch, laugh at your crazy siblings, and snuggle with mom.  You'll like it!  You don't have to stand at the back door squawking until someone lets you go outside. You don't have to climb up and down the stairs standing up instead of on your knees.  You don't have push the water dispenser on the fridge on a daily basis.  You don't have to roughhouse with your brothers and push away from me when I want to snuggle because you are oh, so, busy.  Just stay little a little longer.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Love kids

Me: "Where's Oskar?"

Harriet: "Probably he disappeared.  Probably he's magical."

Sounds about right.

Awhile Back, Emeline Turned 8!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Emeline wanted a giant s'more cake.  I was lazy and didn't partially freeze the cake so I had way too many crumbs.  Oops.  This picture doesn't show the chocolate oozing out the sides either.  Regardless of my issues with the cake, Emeline thought it was awesome.

 Beautiful birthday girl!

 I love the sibling excitement.

 She got a hedgehog treasure box (she adores hedgehogs) filled with books and a Calico Critter turtle family.  She was pretty thrilled.

Happy birthday, Emeline!

Emeline's Favorites:

Color: Yellow

Book: Ronia, the Robber's Daughter

Song: Reverently, Quietly

Food: Stuffed Peppers

Treat: candy

Activity: playing on the computer, watching tv, reading books

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Harriet Makes Me Laugh

Today Harriet curled up on one side of me while Eli snuggled on the other.  Eli was reading to me for school and Harriet wanted some attention.  She grabbed my arm and said, "Where did this come from?" in a perplexed voice.  Then she giggled and said, "Oh, from a human!"  The girl makes me laugh.

Today started out a little rocky.  I went downstairs and found more chaos than I can tolerate.  This is not an unusual experience but some days it is harder to remain calm than others.  I tried to talk to Kayli on the phone when she called but eventually I was too mad at the kids and had to hang up.  Sorry about that, Kate.  After a *short* moment of hysteria when I found brown sugar on Miriam's pillow and realized she'd opened her second bag of brown sugar in the past week, I pulled myself together.

Miriam practiced her piano (it always settles my nerves to have the most important part of the day checked off my list) and then she proceeded to vacuum the entire downstairs, edges and stairs included.

Cowen and Eli, meanwhile, scrubbed the walls up and down the stairwell because they had gone into the store room and made a mess.  I was not pleased.  Emeline finished all her school work while the other children scrubbed and vacuumed, and Harriet and Oskar played happily outside.

By noon, the downstairs was completely reformed into habitable living quarters and the stairwell looked fantastic (comparatively speaking).  My mood much improved, I allowed Emeline, Cowen, Eli, and Patsy to head to the hills for some aggressive rock hunting.  I even allowed a rock pick to be taken.  Be still my heart.

Miriam worked on school and managed to take an hour to complete her language arts (grr), but was so friendly about it that I didn't mind so much.  She got everything done she was supposed to and even took the littles and Mr. Wilson on a walk.  Awesome.  Less awesome is the big bruise on Oskar's head from an unfortunate stroller accident involving a certain three-year-old who always wants to help.  Since she was just trying to help, she will remain nameless.

There were leftovers for dinner so I didn't have to cook (yay!) and instead I helped Cowen with his capitalization practice while finishing baby girl's stocking.  It took me a gazillion hours, but it is entirely finished except for writing her name at the top.  And the elves rejoiced!  During that time, Emeline had a friend over, so that made her happy.

When Timothy got home he tried to cajole me into writing Badgerina's name on the stocking to make absolutely certain he gets the name he wants.  Since I'm only 90% convinced, I told him the name stays off until it is written on the birth certificate.  (We're currently thinking her name will be Annabel Mildred but like I said, the name is not set in stone.  Timothy would really, really, really like it to be set in stone.)

Now Timothy is at the store getting some milk because I have been without my van for another long week and haven't been able to take care of little errands like that.  Timothy has been taking the van to work because Gus needed a new fuel pump.  Argh.  Hopefully this will be the end of the vehicle hospitalizations until after another tax refund.  Does everyone else look forward to tax season as much as we do??  Our vehicles are definitely hanging in there on a prayer.

Timothy is also purchasing prizes.  Emeline won first prize in our weekly competition.  She improved her last week's score by 12 points--a house record.  Miriam came in at second place with a 10 point improvement.  Cowen was a bit disappointed that third place doesn't get a prize because he was third with an 8 point improvement (usually high enough to win first place).

Timothy is also getting prizes for the boys.  Cowen finished reading Ivanhoe so he gets a Reading Reward and Eli passed off his phonics Level Two (a big deal because he had to pass off 27 books).

Funnily enough, on the list I wrote out for Timothy the last item said, "Chocolate for the wifey."  Hmm.  Who could have added that??

While the day did not start out perfectly (Miriam, sorry about the screaming banshee interlude), it ended up being quite lovely.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Thanksgiving Pointe Renaissance Faire 2014

 If you can recall, Kami made all my children awesome medieval Scottish outfits last year.  We went to the Renaissance Faire, last year, wearing them and were SNOWED OUT.  It was freezing.  This year we all got lovely sunburns.  Sigh.  It was worth it though as we had a marvelous time.
 Lads and lassies.  (Oskar's outfit was too small and so was Eli's shirt--these costumes were made for them an entire year ago, after all.)
 The birds of prey show was awesome.  We sat on the front row and were able to see all the birds up close.  My favorite was the largest owl in the world.  I've long since forgotten what it is called, but it is big and beautiful and not pictured on this blog.
 Dance of the Macabre.  I thought this was so clever!  The kids in black are, obviously, the dead dancing.  They should have had more living children dancing with the dead.  If you don't know anything about the dance of the macabre, read Neil Gaiman's Graveyard Book immediately.  Or, better yet, listen to it with your kids.  It is a fabulous Halloween choice.
 Barn owl.  So pretty.

Queen Elizabeth holding Oskar!!  I asked her if I could get a picture of Oskar standing by her (my other children had disappeared) and she said, "Absolutely not.  Give me that adorable redhead!!"  I guess she would be Princess Elizabeth here since she's with King Henry VIII.  Bloody Mary was also there, in a black dress, and one of the wives was there too.  I loved their costumes.

 The jousting field.
 My kids and some Nielson kids.  Our friends met us there which greatly enhanced my enjoyment of the day.
 The main jouster.  He's the reigning world champion.  He was extremely annoying to listen to, though.  He thought he was funny but wasn't and he took the opportunity to talk about numerous issues that he cares about that in no way pertain to jousting.  Lame, lame.  The jousting, overall, was a bit of a let-down.  I guess without the music and Heath Ledger and all, it just isn't very dramatic.
 This potter was way cool though.  He does authentic period potting and he showed us the difference between medieval pottery and early Colonial pottery.  Pretty sweet.
 See, we were all interested.

 I'm 96% sure this is Sebastian.
 Next to the potter was a bold knight that the kids could dress up and fight.  Cowen was all over that.

 There was a line so we watched several boys (probably around 10 years old) "fence" with the knight.  They were all a little hesitant about it.  Then Cowen went out there.  The boy is fierce and "aggressive" feels like an understatement.  Plus, Cowen did take fencing lessons for a year.  The knight backed up quite a bit at the first onslaught because it caught him off-guard.  If I'm ever attacked forget my useless dogs, I want Cowen around.
 Emeline was less fierce, but still fun to watch and certainly no pansy.
 Eli had to hold his shield upside down so he could make the left-handed thing work.  He has definitely grown up around Cowen because he didn't pull any punches (sword thwacks?) either.

 The knight "died" for all the kids.  He was nice.
 Miriam, oh Miriam.  She is a pansy.  :)  She mostly giggled.

We did lots of other fun things.  The kids played on a ship, had their faces painted, engaged in many more bouts of fencing, and did a May Pole dance.  I gave up taking pictures after I lost Harriet for the third time.  She takes after Miriam and never realizes she is lost, so she doesn't cry or in any other way alert helpful adults.  Therefore it is really hard to track her down.

Kami's outfits got lots of compliments and we appreciated the family friendly nature of the Faire.  Awesome.  Can't wait for next year!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014