Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I haven't posted in a while. I have been sleeping. On top of the morning sickness I have a bladder and kidney infection. I've been sleeping a lot. Also, when I have morning sickness, life becomes very UNfunny.

I'm going to Women's Conference this week so I won't be posting for a few days.


Mr.Yuke(4): I have muscles. (flexes)
Me: Those are your bones; your ribs.
Mr.Yuke(4): BUT- I call them my biggest muscles in the entire world. ("flexes" his ribcage at me)


ThePinkiest(5): Mommy, Antarctica is at the tippy bottom of the earth.


Me noticing it has suddenly gotten quiet: What are you guys doing?
Me: Mr.Yuke(4), MonsterTruck(2), Come in here.
Mr.Yuke(4): What?
Me: What were you guys doing?
Mr.Yuke(4): Ummmmm.... Just looking at this. (Holds up the arm of a Star Wars figure.)
Me dubious: That's all?
Mr.Yuke(4): Yeah.
MonsterTruck(2): We dis' hidin' our pwetzels.
Mr.Yuke(4): GROAN!!!! MonsterTruck(2), why did you do that?
Mr.Yuke(4): exasperated sigh.


The next day-
Mr.Yuke(4): Daddy! Daddy! We got you birthday presents! Come in so you can open your presents of ties and chocolate!!!
TheRestofUs: Mr.Yuke(4), you're not supposed to tell what's in the presents!
Mr.Yuke(4): Oh. (Turns to dad-) I was just kidding. Open your presents and see what's in them.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thicker Than Water

I told you one of the reasons I hadn't posted in a while. Morning sickness. Well I didn't tell you the other, much more dreaded, reason: "Spring" Break. That's right. I said "Spring". I put those quotation marks there because I meant them. This is NOT Spring. This is a gross, second-verse-same-as-the-first repeat of winter. Only with more days of snow. Like today for example. The thick wet stuff has taken the last shreds of patience not consumed by my children and frozen it. Maybe someone will find it in like 50 billion years.

"Spring" Break was not the much anticipated end to our cabin fever, but 4 and a half days of mother nature mocking my pain. With all six kids. We had wonderful plans. We were going to go up the canyon and have a fire and roast hot dogs for lunch one day. We were going on a picnic to a really cool park another day. We were going to get donuts and go walk around ThatUniversityThatISometimesGoTo another day. It was going to be great. Instead, we stayed home. Inside. And tried to stay warm. How do you stay warm during a snowy spring break, you ask? Watch movies, of course.

We watched a lot of movies. I didn't even hold my kids to the normal rules about television usage. Normally, we have a very efficient system where the kids have to budget their media time. This is how it works: At the beginning of the week, usually during Family Home Evening, we give each of the kids 6 blue tickets with the date written on them. Each of these tickets represents 20 minutes of t.v./wii/computer/internet time. They may use them when their chores and homework are finished and can use them all at once or spread them out over the week. If more than one kid is watching a movie, the one who chooses the movie pays the tickets. At the end of the week the tickets expire. They can't be used the next week. That means if they didn't do their chores/homework, they might not get any t.v. time that week. They also have the opportunity to be awarded white tickets at any time. White tickets are given for any good/kind behavior that Husband or I observe. The kindness has to be done for the sake of being kind, not trying to "earn" a ticket. These tickets never expire. That means they can stockpile them and have a 6 hour wii fest if they want to. The white tickets have the kids names on them and we put all the spent white tickets into a jar. When the jar gets filled up we are going to do something really special as a family (trip, amusement park, etc.) and whichever child has the most tickets in the jar will also receive a treat (dinner and a movie, tea party, horseback riding, etc.) It all sounds very complicated but it's really quite simple. What it boils down to is that my kids don't spend a whole lot of their time on brain-rotting, and occasionally they feel slightly more inclined to do their chores and homework.

This is not our only system. We also have allowances and Saturday Fun. Allowances are simple: they are paid on a daily basis for completing their chores. Each day they get everything done, they get paid. Saturday Fun is an incentive program. Every Saturday, everybody who got all their work/homework done by dinnertime every day of that week gets to go to a super activity: Saturday Fun. This can be anything from a picnic/slumber party in the living room floor to Disney on Ice to Monster Trucks. It sort of depends on the budget. The vague idea behind it is "the family that works together plays together". All the family members who did their part in the overall work get to play. We have had some really good times, especially on those weeks when everybody gets Saturday fun. The thing I like about these two systems is that if you have a day when you don't do what you're supposed to and you have to miss Saturday Fun, you still get paid for all those other days.

So anyway, during "Spring" Break, I didn't require the kids to pay tickets for their t.v. usage.
After their normal after-school chores there was not much else to do for the rest of the day and I was feeling too sick to try to mediate art supplies or cookie ingredients for that many people. We watched A LOT of movies. Over and over. And over. One of the movies we watched several times is Herbie Fully Loaded with Lindsay Lohan. It's about Maggie Peyton, a girl who has just graduated from college and is on the verge of starting a new life outside of the stockcar racing world, much to the happiness of her father. Her family is a racing dynasty and more than anything, Maggie wants to be the next great Peyton. "Racing is in [her] blood." I think watching "Kirby" (as MonsterTruck(2) calls it) sleeping, and riding my kids to get their chores done were the only things I did the entire week. Oh, and a book report for MyOwnPersonalDharma (see my very brief review here).

Well, as it turned out, ThePinkiest(5) did not get her chores done. At all. The entire week. Because she didn't want to. And because kids- like wolves- can smell weakness and know when their mother is not going to fight too hard or too long. (My first trimester is always a disaster.) I'm pretty sure ThePinkiest(5) was sneaking in to watch "Kirby" every single time I dozed off. Well, the kids know exactly what to expect when Saturday rolls around if their chores aren't done and because of this, ThePinkiest(5) knew she had less chance of Saturday Fun that week than we had of a warm, sunny afternoon.

Husband was getting the kids together who were leaving to go have dinner and ice cream sundaes at a restaurant when it started. The drama. Screaming/Whining/Crying/Begging, "Daddy, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaase let me have Saturday Fun! Pleeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaase!!!!!!"

Husband: I'm sorry, but you didn't get your chores done. That was a decision you made. Maybe next time.
ThePinkiest(5): But Daddy!!!!! Pleeeeeeeeeeeaaase! I NEED Saturday Fun.
Husband: No, sorry. Come on guys, let's get ready to go.
ThePinkiest(5) throwing herself at his feet: Yes I do!!! I NEEEEED IT!
Husband removing his feet from under her: Not this time.
Me: No one NEEEEEDS Saturday Fun.
ThePinkiest(5): I. Need. to have. Saturday. Fun. "It's in my blood."
Me: Is she quoting "Herbie"?
Husband snickers: Yeah.
ThePinkiest(5) as Husband and some kids go out the door: Saturday. Fun. is in. my. blood.!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My Conspiracy Theory: Credit Cards and Going Orange

Ok, it's not my usual type of post, but I'm going to say it.

The economy is in a nose-dive the likes of which has not been seen in decades. The cost of a barrel of oil from our infidel-hating neighbors has gone up roughly 7o cents in a year. Our economic "independence" is all but non-existent. The rising generation has no concept of work, saving, or waiting for anything. The cause of ALL these problems? Credit cards.

Yes. Credit cards. Let me explain.

How is the price of anything determined?
Supply and demand. When the demand increases, the price increases.

Why has the price of oil increased? Demand has increased.

How? I thought Americans were driving less because we're getting raped at the gas pumps?
We have a competitive buyer for the oil of the middle east.

Who? China.

China? Why China?
China has become increasingly industrialized over the last 50 years. They are building new factories every day. My cousin owns a couple.

How does China sustain all this new production?
We buy what they make. Do you know what you need to run factory machinery and to ship products that are made in China? Oil. We have, through a lack of self-sufficiency, created our own competition for middle eastern oil.

What do you mean?
I mean that those factories in China are making products that are bought by us. How do Americans pay for things? Most often, on credit. We are not self-sufficient. We rely on lenders to provide us with our wants and needs. America is either using imaginary money that it has no intention of ever actually paying back (we just transfer balances don't we?), to buy products we can't really afford, or is shopping at Walmart and Target.

What's the problem with shopping at Walmart and Target?
They get most of their products from China. That is why they are so cheap. I'm not saying I don't shop there. I do. I could scarcely afford to go anywhere else with a family this size. But, when we shop at Walmart and Target, do you know what is happening? We are killing the competition. The higher-priced American-based businesses are closing. The non-chains are dying out. We are cementing our dependance on China's production for us. We are driving up our own oil prices.

What happens when our debts get called in?
There is too much imaginary money "circulating" in our economy. When the debts get called in, the great depression is going to look like a short little recession. Due to outsourced production, America will be in the same bondage to the countries which manufacture our goods as its citizens are currently in to financial lenders. Presently, credit card companies routinely up their interest rates to around 30% or more when the customer begins to pay down a balance or stops making new purchases on the card.

What can be done?
Buy American. Shop at smaller/independent stores when you can. We SHOULD NOT outsource all of our production to other countries just because it's a little cheaper. That's called "putting all your eggs in one basket." Stop putting animals before people. All you Gaia hypothesis-tree hugging-animals are people too-folks need to realize that although plants and animals are special, we HUMANS have as much right to this planet as they do. We should not be stopped from drilling for oil in Alaska because there are carribou there. We HAVE our own oil. We do not NEED to pay what our infidel-hating neighbors are charging for it.

But what about global warming?
Yes. What about global warming? I'm all for responsible stewardship of the earth God has given us. I agree that we should not wantonly waste anything. I do not agree that fossil fuels and the use of electricity are making the earth hot. Ever play Sardines at night? When is it warmer in the hiding place? When you're the only one in there, or when 40 people have packed in with you? I say body heat is just as good an explanation for rising temperatures as "global warming". Think that sounds stupid?

The University of Arkansas's Assistant Director of the Center for Microelectronics & Photonics joins his voice with 400 other prominent scientists, disputing the myth that is global warming. Read it (and his links).

What about the rising generation?
The rising generation has been raised in an era when everything they've seen purchased has been bought on credit. Even those of us who have the money, use credit for major purchases because we need it to help our credit score. The young people of this country have no concept of saving money for a future purchase. They feel a strong sense of entitlement to whatever they want as soon as they want it. WE taught them this and it is NOT good character development. Money problems (which often arise from the errant use of credit and overexpenditure) are a leading cause of divorce. Divorce leads to lack of quality parent-child interaction as well as lack of supervision by parents when children come home from school. This is "related to adolescent drug use. Moreover, a lack of supervision and guidance can lead youth to seek acceptance from their peers, often plunging them headlong into delinquent behavior. “Increasing numbers of lower- and middle-income children are growing up with little or no adult supervision… Without hope for the future and a stake in society, they often turn to peers for attention and guidance; to easily obtainable guns for protection, security, and status; and to sex and drugs for comfort, relief of boredom, and sometimes for subsistence” (Stephens 1998:197). " Credit cards are one of the reasons our kids are killing each other. There are many factors for this, including video games and violent television/movies (which are often purchased on credit....) but I believe that credit cards definitely play a role.

We are an impatient, entitled, consumer-driven nation with little but a failing economy and an ever-increasing dependence on countries that hate us, to show for it. Use of imaginary "money" is weakening our country and is taking away our soveignty little by little. There is only bondage ahead unless we change things, become more self-sufficient, and only buy the things we can trully pay for.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Fortune Smiles On Me Today

Bubba(7): Mom, do you want to know a secret?
Me: Um, sure.
Bubba(7): [LittleMommy(9)] has 9 pots of gold.
Me: She does?
Bubba(7): Mm-hmm.
Me: Did she tell you that?
Bubba(7): She caught a leprachaun. An Arbor Day leprachaun.
Me: Do you mean a St. Patrick's Day leprachaun?
Bubba(7): No. There's Arbor Day ones too.

Pot O' Gold by "No Matter" Project


I have a bad habit. Ok, fine. I have more than one. But there is one that is particularly problematic. I say a few bad words. Not any of the ones that get a movie an R-rating, mind you; more the type that are on evening television. Nonetheless, they are bad. I think it is wrong to say them. They never sound bad coming out of my own mouth. It's always when they make a debut appearance on the tongue of one of my children that I cringe and kick myself for ever having uttered that word. Case in point: SUCKS. This word is everywhere. I use it frequently. It barely crosses my mind that it is inappropriate. That is, it didn't, until Bubba(7) also started using it frequently. Only then did I realize how ugly that particular word sounds to the listener. I have tried suggesting to him that it may not be the nicest word to use but well, the boy has heard it a few too many times for that to make a difference. As sad as Bubba's(7) use of the word "suck" is to me though, it is LittleMommy's(9) language that has always been a source of embarrassment to me.

The first time was in Nursery. (Nursery at our church is the class for 18month-3 year-olds. They sing songs, have a short lesson and a snack, play toys, color, and blow bubbles. Oh, and cry. Usually.) So there is LittleMommy(20m) in Nursery and the leaders start singing the clean-up song. LittleMommy(20m) turns to the other toddlers in the room and says, "We need to cwean up dis cwap." Fortunately, the Nursery leaders thought it was funny and didn't shame me for it- too much. I wanted to die. I went home and prayed that day that the other kids didn't learn a new word to take home and demonstrate for their parents.

The next time I remember was at Sunday dinner with the in-laws. Sunday dinner at the in-laws' house is a proper, formal affair, complete with china, crystal, cloth napkins, and napkin rings. LittleMommy(3) came to the table, climbed up on her knees in her chair and peered into the serving bowl in front of her. Motherinlaw had made Stroganoff as she had many times- (one of the best things she makes. Mmmmm)- and the bowl in front of LittleMommy(3) was filled with noodles. After looking at them for a moment while everyone else seated themselves, LittleMommy(3) asked, "What the hell are these noodles?". Motherinlaw registered a look of something like horror. Fatherinlaw nearly had an aneurism stifling his laughter into his napkin. Husband and I both tried to keep straight faces while Motherinlaw chided LittleMommy(3). I thought I would die.

A couple of weeks later at yet another Sunday dinner, partway through the meal, LittleMommy(3), using her best manners, said sweetly, "Pass the damn beans." That time Husband and I were both stifling laughter while simultaneously getting the stinkeye from Motherinlaw. Fatherinlaw was unusually quiet. I think he got in trouble the time before. Moneybags jumped in and told LittleMommy(3) not to talk that way. I think I did die.

And so it went. Every few years at inopportune times LittleMommy would insert new and colorful vocabulary into her dialogue, always to my shame and horror. Then last week, her Primary teacher (Sunday School for kids) posted this story on her blog:

"This past Sunday we were teaching our 9 & 10 year old primary class all about Abinidi and evil King Noah. [A story from the Book of Mormon. Don't be hatin', just keep reading.~Aberjaber] Brett was giving some background info on King Noah's dad, King Zeniff. He told them that King Zeniff had been a good King but that his son did not follow in his foot steps. The kids wanted to know why King Zeniff had allowed Noah to be the next king since he was so evil. One of our sweet primary kids offered this suggestion.
"He was probably a kiss ass to his dad." "

Now, I happen to know that this particular term has been a favorite around this household for a month or two, thanks to "Night at the Museum". (No, they don't learn all the bad words from me, thank you very much.) In spite of my t.v. woes, and the fact that my kids aren't even allowed to watch PG-13 movies until they are 13, they still manage to pick up the choice phrases in our video collection. I confronted PrimaryTeacherFriend and she would not admit whether it was LittleMommy(9) or not. I'm afraid though, with her colorful history, there can be little doubt. : )

I am working on breaking this bad habit. Hopefully I'll have kicked it by the time Kryptonite(1) goes to Nursery. It's the advantage of having big families. Eventually, you're bound to stop messing the kids up. I hope. : )

P.S.- Sorry it's been so long since I've posted. I bet you're SICK of checking back here and finding nothing. I've been SICK too. Morning sick, that is. Wish me luck this time around.

Monday, April 14, 2008

No Longer In Progress

I finished my painting! Actually, I did about a month and a half ago, but I keep forgetting to post the new pictures. The cell phone photos really don't do it justice but here is

"Amiable Companionship"
Detail: Sun on the grass

Detail: Lumen

Friday, April 11, 2008

Just So There's No Confusion

I stole this from a friend who stole it from a friend who....
But honestly, I couldn't have put it any better myself. And I apologize if any/all of these photos are copyrighted. I got them at

I have wondered how many people are confusing my church with the FLDS church plastered all over the news because of the raid in Texas.

Some Mormon women sing...

Some Mormon women dance...

Some Mormon women write scary stories...

Some Mormon women have a lot of money and really great hair...

I know hundreds of Mormon women. They do all kinds of different things and live all different kinds of lives.

This woman served as a leader in the Mormon church. She recently spoke to teenage girls worldwide. She encouraged them to stand up to peer pressure, strengthen their families and serve others. (Click here for more.)

None of the Mormon women I know look like this...

None of them are marrying off their teenage daughters and-- although some may joke about wanting a sister-wife (preferably one who is really fat & ugly, does bathrooms and changes diapers)--none of them really want to share their husband with anyone.Furthermore...

Some Mormon guys can throw a ball...

Some Mormon guys can make scary movies...

Some Mormon guys have a lot of money and really great hair...

I know hundreds of Mormon guys. They do all kinds of different things and live all kinds of different lives.

This is one of the leaders of the Mormon church. Last Sunday he spoke about honoring women, especially mothers, and gave advice to husbands and children about how to treat the women in their lives. (For the whole story, click here.)

None of the Mormon guys I know look like this...

The Mormon men I know are honest and hard-working. They don't cheat, smoke, drink or gamble. And TRUST ME....the last thing any of them want is another wife.

Max Gets Abused

Last night it snowed (yet again) in This Place That I Live. In the midst of the snowstorm which had winds gusting at least 40mph (and I'd say it was more like double that from the sound of it), SOMEONE(S) came to my house and abused Max.

There were several LOUD CRASHES, but I first attributed these to the wind and then to the teenagers who frequently assail my kids' playground equipment in the night-time. I was wrong.

Y'all are lucky Husband was so absorbed in taxes. Any other night of the year you probably woulda turned around and had a gun in yo' face. Not that we can't take a joke. I'm just sayin' is all.
The question is- were the perpetrators the Notorious SMM (Soccer Mom Mafia)? Or just some pathetic wannabees? If you haven't gone through the rigorous initiation, don't be doin' our moves. (And if the SMM did this, why wasn't I invited? You think I'm above saran wrapping my own car?) : )
MonsterTruck(2): A Ba'Guy Tied "or" car up. Why a Ba'Guy tie up "or" car? It's dis' a ba'guy. Or Daddy. Jis' a Ba'Guy or Daddy. Iss dis' a Ba'Guy or Daddy. (then decisively:) Or Daddy.
Husband- Why are you tying up Max?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Modern Art

Ode on a Monster Truck

"Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter"

Crash of the Monster Truck- The boy goes full-speed without ever stopping to rest until his body can't handle it anymore and then the MonsterTruck(2) crashes. Wherever he happens to be at the time. Like in front of the refrigerator.

"Ah, happy, happy boughs!"

Yes, MonsterTruck(2) is happy. For this is one of his recent art projects. I call it- The Boon of Easter-Sunday Parental Napping: A Study In Chocolate

"Who are these coming to the sacrifice?"

That would be me. This is another recent art project. I call it-
Fingerpaint: A Study In You-Don't-Want-to-Know

"O Attic shape! Fair attitude!"

What can I say? The boy is just special. : )
MonsterTruck(2) wearing nothin' but Bubba's(7) skate helmet while he sits at his computer munching some snacks.
Hey, I just discovered this is my 100th post! I think in honor of that occasion, the first person to leave a comment is going to win a prize. : )

Friday, April 4, 2008

A Series of Unfortunate Events

First off-

a.k.a. Deaf Girl
Sorry, ArtisticallySpecificTastes. The video clip is of an amazing rendition of the National Anthem, hence all of the basketball players in the background. They sound like professional singers in their 30's and they're singing a lot of really tight harmonies. It sounds similar to that Christmas cd your sister MoneyBags likes so much. You know, the one with the family of girls singing, some of whom she knows? Only, these harmonies are more complicated and jazzish than that. Oh, and please tell your deaf friends not to send me those emails. Thank you.


I Forgot My Shirt
No, I'm not sitting here typing in the buff. I forgot my shirt last week. Let me back up.

Phone ringing yesterday.
Me: Hello?
Caller: Hi [Aberjaber], it's Angie.
Me yay! but weird, she's never called me before: Hi! How are you?
Angie: I'm fine. I'm calling because I was wondering if you know- Is the bus going to pick up the kids for the field trip tomorrow, and do you know what time?
Me Huh? Field trip? I didn't know she had a kindergartener. I thought her sons were either older or younger than that. Field trip! Crap! I forgot! I guess maybe the Two Dollars fiasco before had its advantages: Ummmmm. Field trip. Right. That's tomorrow. Yyyyyeah. Welllll, I don't know if the bus is coming or at what time if it is, but I'm actually going on that field trip. (Crap, I have to get a babysitter!) (Thank you Valenzoo!) If you want I could just take him with me when I go.
Angie: Are you sure you don't mind?
Me hey I could get my shirt back at the same time: No, it's fine. Also, I accidentally left my shirt in your car last week.
Angie: Your shirt?
Me: Yeah, the black commando one (I took with me when we were behaving like juvenille delinquents) that I never changed into...(?) I left it in the back of your car, I think...(?)
Angie: ???? My car?
Me understanding dawning: Wait, which Angie is this?
Angie: This is Angie _____.
Me: OHHHHH!!!! Yeah. Different Angie. Different car. You sounded like Angie _____. Um, I can still take your daughter to school if you want.
Angie: Ok. I was going to say, I don't think you've ever even seen my car.
Me: No, you're right. Sorry about that.

Ange- when you read this, I left my shirt in your car. Thank you.

There's Just Something About Field Trips

A few years back, LittleMommy's(4) preschool class attended a field trip at the fire station. I had attended the same field trip the previous year and knew I would be attending it again the following 2 years. Yep. The Bunch didn't overachieve when it came to spacing 'em out. So anyway, when I discovered that Husband was going to have the day of the field trip off from work, I asked if he would pretty please take the kids so I could have a little break. He agreed and so I set off on my little break. ArtisticallySpecificTastes and I were going to Target to spend my birthday giftcard and ooo and ahh over the jewellry. I love earrings. I think I'll say that again. I. LOVE. EARRINGS.

So I went and picked up my favorite AZ shopping partner. I hung out and ate her mom's Lucky Charms for a long time while she got ready to go. Just after we got into the store, a storm began as they only do in Arizona, and we discussed how lucky I was to NOT be on the field trip. I said it was a good thing the field trip was almost over. After about half an hour of "perusing the merchandise" (read it with a Brooklyn accent- threw that in there for you, Kretha)- there was a roll of thunder so loud that ArtisicallySpecificTastes asked me what it was. (Did I mention she is DEAF? Well she is. Completely, all the way, she-don't-hear-no-thunder-deaf.) I told her what it was and her eyes got really big. One of us- and I can't rightly say who it was now, but I think it was me- remarked, "I hope the lightning didn't hit anyone's house." (At certain times of the year, lightning is a pretty common starter of house fires in Arizona. I think it comes from the fact that they plant these stupid trees:

All the photos I found of them were copyrighted so I couldn't embed them. If you were too lazy/in a hurry (and what mom isn't?) to click on the link, I'll sum it up in two words: lightning rod.)
So anyway, I felt bad for the inevitable catastrophe that some poor family was experiencing. We left the store about half an hour later and I went home. Imagine my dismay when I discovered that, sure enough. One of them dern trees was struck by lightning and started a fire. In my carport. And apparently the firetrucks had just left. The tree was burned and the roof on that side of the house was a little charred, but when all was said and done, the neighbors and Husband had all acted quickly, hosing down the house to keep it from igniting and everything was ok. (ish.) The firemen put out the fire, my carport was flooded with mystery foam which had come from their hoses, and my kids were shaken up, but thought it was cool to see the firefighters in action so up-close-and-personal just ten minutes after their trip to the fire station. After a little while, Husband proceeded to tell me how, when the children were permitted to walk through the firetruck, LittleBoyBlau(4) took off the emergency break and put that puppy into gear. The firetruck started rolling. In a crowd of twenty 4 year-olds and their parents and younger siblings. Husband acted fast and scooped up two kids who were inches away from getting squished under the big red truck. So many brushes with death, all before 11 am!
Today, The Pinkiest(5)'s kindergarten class had a field trip to both the grocery store AND the fire station. Apparently the school in This Place That I Live takes a one-stop shopping approach to field tripping. There were about 100 kids and roughly 1 adult for every 4 kids. There was also a teacher on each bus, and two buses went. (4 classes went on the field trip. We have half day K here.) One bus went to the fire station first, the other went to the store.
We went to the store first. We got there, the store took a group photo of all the kids to print out and give them at the end of their tour, and then they divided us into three groups. Each group was given a tour guide and sent to a different area of the store.
Now, before I go on, I would like to say I am well aware of what normally happens on these sorts of trips. MyOwnMother taught kindergarten and did this trip every year for almost ten years. Also, I worked in 2 different grocery stores for a period of three years. I've got the 411 on kindertrips to the grocery store. Normally, they show the kids the loading docks, the area where the produce is washed and banded before it is put out, the trash compacter, the area where the meat is processed, the fryers for the deli counter, and the area in the bakery where the ovens and proofers are. They give the kids a cookie, answer questions, and send you on your way.
Let me tell you how our tour went.
Our group was sent to the Pharmacy first. There, a store manager told the kids how they should NEVER take medicine that they find. Or take more than one vitamin. Or take their siblings' antibiotics. (All good info, but not quite sure why we had to come to the store to learn that.) Next, she walked us over to the section with all the cosmetics and showed the kids the c.c.t.v. cameras in the ceiling, and admonished the kids NOT TO STEAL MAKEUP AND STUFF THAT COSTS MORE THAN FOOD (Things less than food are fine?! Food is ok?!) because there are cameras all over the place in every store you ever go into and they will see you if you steal. See them? There they are? You can look at Walmart or Sears or anyplace you go and find the cameras that ARE WATCHING YOU. (I thought about how although I know those cameras are there, I still occasionally pick a wedgie if it's really bothering me and I'm in an aisle alone. I've got to stop doing that. THEY. ARE. WATCHING. YOU.) The lady was super cute and perky and good at talking to the kids. BUT- after her anti-suicide/theft speeches, she "turned [us] over to Carolyn" for the rest of the tour.
Carolyn was TheSurlyTourGuideWhoHatesChildren. She was mean to the kids and reminded me of the teacher on Pete's Dragon. Seriously. And when the little 5 year-olds didn't make 2 perfect lines in front of her, she clapped her hands real loud and looked at them like they were tomorrow's muggers and rapists. She took them into the refrigerator and the freezer and snapped at the kids, then explained to the adults which products were on sale. She took us to the seafood section. There BrianTheSeafoodGuy told us about how there are farms where they grow sea creatures so as not to deplete the ocean's resources and if we go home and search on the internet for "Aquaculture" we can learn all about it. (This was the interesting part of the tour. I thought I should tell you, since I doubted you'd figure it out on your own.) Then TheSurlyTourGuideWhoHatesChildren regaled the kids with the tale of how she had never had KingCrab before in her life until last year when she went up to Alaska on a fishing boat and they caught crabs (don't go there) and prepared them and ate them and EVERYTHING...! Then she got even grumpier because the expected reaction of awe and wonder was instead blank stares that said, "Whats a Laska?" and "My Uncle has a boat." and "I need to go potty." She stomped over to the bakery section where the baker guy was going to demonstrate to the kids how they decorate the cakes. He opened a mylar package, pulled out a pre-printed, thick, leathery-looking, sugar thing and plopped it on the cake. Then he did a real fancy job of putting a seashell border around two cakes in two minutes flat. And that is why I don't buy cakes at Said Grocery Store. They always appear to have been completed in two minutes. And that is not a good thing. (And how come you have to order your cake a week in advance? He did TWO cakes in two minutes. What are they doing for the other 604,798 minutes of that week? Just wondering.) BakerJose was actually very nice to the kids and talked to them on their level, but his demonstration was ruined somewhat by the constant peppering of comments from TheSurlyTourGuideWhoHatesChildren. Things such as, "DON'T TOUCH!" "STOP TOUCHING!" "BACK UP!" "YOU KIDS NEED TO BACK. UP.!" and my personal favorite, "YOU MAY NOT COUGH ON THE CAKE!!!!" After the cake decorating, came the highlight of the trip. TheSurlyTourGuideWhoHatesChildren took us to the produce section. And this is what she said:
SurlyTourGuide: These are fruits and vegetables. You need FIVE servings of fruit and vegetables each day. Right? Now. There are two kinds of food. Living food and DEAD food. DEAD food has been cooked. Living food has not. Living fruits and vegetables are good for you. I'll tell you- if you eat DEAD food all the time, you ARE GOING TO GET CANCER. If you eat LIVING food, you'll NEVER get cancer.
Kids: !!!! : O
Parents: !!!! : O
SurlyTourGuide: Green vegetables have chlorophyll. That means it's good for you, if you don't turn it into a DEAD food. This is cabbage. These are strawberries. You need yellow vegetables for your eyes. What color is this cantaloupe?
FiveKidsWhoAreStillSortOfListening: OR-ANGE!!!
SurlyTourGuide: Uh, right. So you need yellow vegetables for your eyes. And orange ones. (Walks over to the carrots, picks one up, breaks it in half.) You can always tell which part of your body something is good-for by what it looks like. See the end of that carrot? It looks like your eye.
Kids and Me: ? : o
SurlyTourGuide: See? Right here?
Kids squinting: ???
Me: I wonder which part of your body potatoes look like?
SurlyTourGuide: You want candy, eat peas. That's God's candy right there.
Me: Please let this end soon.
SurlyTourGuide: This is a red pepper. This is an orange pepper. Isn't that beautiful? This is a jalepeno pepper. It cleans your blood.
Kids: : O
SurlyTourGuide: Yup. Them Mexicans use this and cilantro. Cilantro has wonderful, wonderful properties. That's how they stay healthy.
Me: I wonder if she thinks no one in Mexico has cancer?
SurlyTourGuide: This is broccoli. What does broccoli have?
Kids afraid to answer her at this point: Leaves? Little bally thingies? Rubberbands?
SurlyTourGuide: Chlorophyll.! I TOLD YOU. disgusted sigh of exasperation See this orange? Is it cooked?
Kids meekly: Noooo.
SurlyTourGuide: That's right. It's not DEAD food. It's Living food. AND THAT MEANS it's good for you. You remember that.
As we left the store for the fire station, I wondered how many 5/6 year-olds were going to refuse to eat their vegies at dinner tonight. Certainly more than last night. Then I wondered what sort of craziness was going to take place during our fire station experience.
At the fire station we learned to STOP. DROP. AND ROLL. Then, Alex (a kid in ThePinkiest's (5) class), gave a ten minute dissertation on how to check your bedroom door to see if it's hot and then throw a fire ladder out your window and climb down- complete with miming. The fire safety instructor ended with how "houses in [this city we live in] almost never catch on fire because they are built so safely these days." On our way from the fire safety room to see the fire engine, they firemen got called out to a house fire. So much for "almost never catching fire". Luckily, they had double-scheduled firefighters today just in case this happened. I'm thinkin' maybe house fires aren't quite as unusual as he was letting on.
I watched the kids go through the cab of the firetruck, keeping an eye on them to see that nobody put it into gear. After we saw everything in the truck and got the explanation of why firefighters carry Costco-size buckets of kitty litter, we went to Corbin, the EMT. Fire Fighter Corbin showed the kids all the stuff in the ambulance and even took the pulse-ox. of every single kid there. By then we were freezing because, it is NOT balmy out today. And fire station garages make great wind tunnels.
When we finally got home (with Angie ____'s daughter, not Angie ____'s son), I got to see that the call they got for the house fire was NOT for my house. What a relief! I guess the trip to the fire station was uneventful this time. Thank goodness.
I don't know what else to say, other than I'm ready to swear off field trips forever.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Patience My Sweet

After waiting what he deems an interminably amount of time to go with Husband to the store for a treat as a reward for doing a particularly nasty job in the backyard-

Mr. Yuke(4): Come. on. Dad.
Husband: I need you to just give me a little bit of patience.
Mr. Yuke(4): I already gave you all the payshens I have.
Husband: No, I need you not to stretch MY patience.
Mr. Yuke (4): Well I only stretched it a little.

Then as they're heading out the door-

Husband: Come on. I'm going to get you a girlfriend.
Mr. Yuke(4) thinking this over: Hmm. a GIRLfriend? Will she have GIRLscout cookies?

Makes Me Cry Every Time

There are few songs that can elicit tears from me every time I hear them, but this is definitely one of them. I am sad they didn't include the other two verses for once, but hey- what can you do?

Adventures In Blogging, (cont.)

So remember before, when I told you about the guy who googled comic loogies and ended up here at A Bunch Without Alice? Well, that's nothing. Someone today googled (and I still can't believe this even as I'm typing it-):

"Give this heart to everyone you don't want to lose in '08 including me if you care. "

and got to my site. (There were pages and pages of results by the way.) I don't know whether to laugh or to just feel bad that once the person got to the Guess What? post they were made fun of.

Sorry, you strange Googlers!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

GOOD News!!!

Guess what?
You're "IT". No, just kiddin'. For reals- guess what? Flour Girls & Dough Boys artisan bakery and cafe (my favoritest place in Utah-) sent out an email today to let subscribers know that they have newly extended hours. They are now open
Monday-Saturday until 8:00 p.m.!!!
Go there. You can thank me later. Or just bring me a "rustic country loaf" of bread. Mmmmm....

Guess What?

You're it!

If you are unfamiliar with this game it is because you are lucky enough not to have gone to Disneyland with my Brother and Slugger Jr. and a bunch of other family members year before last. While we were there, Brother and Cute Sister took one of my bunch to and from the parks in their car each day, (because everyone knows that the only thing better than Disneyland is NOT riding there with your mom). Well apparently on these drives, Brother taught them all a little game I like to call "Next-Time-I-See-Him-I'm-Going-To-Hurt-Him". (My kids call it "Guess What?".)

Essentially it goes like this:

The Pinkiest(5): Hey Mommy!

Me: What?

The Pinkiest(5): You're-It!!!

Saying the word "what" has been all but banned from our household for the last year and a half because no one wants to be the dreaded "IT". My main problem with this game is that once Husband or I am "It", we are bombarded with little wannabe "Its" ALL trying to make us be "It" again, because we have stopped the game. Yesterday The Pinkiest(5) declared Husband "Quintuple IT!!!!". (Does explaining the vocabulary words like "quadruple" and "quintuple" qualify this as an educational game? Because if so, I should be on the payroll for the Board of Education in This Place That I Live. I'm pretty sure it's more than Bubba's(7) teacher is doing. Good thing he is really smart.) Anyway, there are many irritating things about this game, but the hands-down worst part is that everyone- even Monster Truck(2)- participates in this NottheBradys pasttime. And it. is. annoying.

In spite of my daily attempts to forget the whole thing exists, I thought of it ("IT!") today because- you guessed it.
I'm "IT!"
I've been tagged by This Guy. You should go to his blog at least this once. I normally don't care for cutesy animal pictures, but his pets will make you laugh out loud. Just scroll down to the cute doggies.

So back to annoying games of tag. I'm "IT". I don't know why anyone bothers to fill these things out in the first place. Does anyone actually read them? All right, I admit it. I skim them. But only if I REALLY like the person. In general though, if I see a meme posted I just move on to the next blog in my bookmarks. Why do people pass them on? I will tell you why. Because they, like some of my family members, don't have an inherent spam filter in their brains. I know that brain-inherent-spam-filter-deficiency is a problem because I know someone who forwards sappy-Christian-chain-emails. You know the emails I am talking about. Well actually, I hope you don't. Let me describe. They are the emails which curse you to remain outside the pearly gates and be selfish and not care about kids with leukemia and hate animals and small children and the person who so obviously loves you that they sent it to you if you don't immediately forward it to 15 people. Also, you should forward it back to the person who sent it to you as if they didn't actually read it before forwarding it to you. (This is entirely possible, come to think of it, because I think if they DID read it they would've done the same thing as the rest of us and deleted it when they saw the title:
"Give this heart to everyone you don't want to lose in '08 including me if you care. Try to collect 12, it's not easy!"
(I swear to you I did not make that up.) I receive these type of emails so often that at times in the past I have actually had to enter my own family members into my SPAMblocker. True story. And there you have it.

Well, I will fill this out. I am going to do my part for the earth (thus filling my go-green quota for the year) by NOT tagging anyone else. But I will fill it out- if only because I feel honored to have been tagged. And I think I have just stumbled onto the answer to my own question. People fill these out because IT IS AN HONOR.
Hee hee.

Without Further Ado-

4 Things

4 Jobs I've Had
1. Poop Patrol... I worked as a CNA in a nursing home for a couple of years. Funny how some people find their callings early in life. Excuse me while I go change [another] diaper.
2. Begging For Money... I worked as a fund-raiser for That College I Sometimes Go To, calling Alumni and continuously asking for donations until they finally caved and pledged something.
3. Grocery Store Checker
4. Executive Assistant/Customer Service Training Course Developer... because of my excellent people skills.

4 Movies I Watch Over and Over
1. Tommy Boy... "We're family! We're going to be doing lots of dumb stuff together."
2. Multiplicity... "Hi Thsteve! Come on up! I'm thspittin' on bugs."
3. Fools Rush In... Don't ask me why. I don't have a good answer. Mostly because I don't have to "watch" it to watch it. I get a lot done with that one on.
4. Elf... "And now I'm here...singing a my dad...but you didn't know that I was born...but I'm here now...and I love youIloveyouILOVEYOOOUUUUU!"
"Call security."

4 Places I Have Lived
1. This Place That I Live In
2. That Place With That College I Sometimes Go To
3. Arizona (It's the armpit of the country. Really. Smell IT.)
4. Oregon (Do you hear the Heavenly Choir singing?)

4 TV Shows I Watch
1. I don't have T.V. cuz I live in what Technogeeks refer to as a "shadow". That means it is a sucky vortex of all signals of any kind except for one-spanish channel-kind-of-fuzzy-and-that's-only-if-you-have-bunny-ears. Not even AM radio makes it here. I do watch The Office on DVD with Brother whenever I go home. Good times.

4 Places I Have Been
1. Hawaii. LOVE.IT.
2. British Columbia, Canada... toured there. It's beautiful. I liked the ferry rides. Buchardt Gardens is awesome, all tacky billboards to the contrary.
3. Tombstone, Arizona... If you like the movie, don't go there.
Mr. Yuke(4) just said: Guess what mom?
Me (like an idiot that hasn't just been sitting here blogging about this): What?
Mr Yuke(4): You're IT!!! Miss Preschool Teacher said it's April Fools and we have to go home and play a joke on our moms and dads and that's a good joke. Smug smile of satisfaction.
4. Stuck in an elevator in the Tacoma Sheraton for 3 hours after it had dropped about 50 floors

4 People Who Email Me Regularly
1. My Own Personal Dharma... okay, well maybe not regularly. But really, I'm more of a phone person.
2. Blogger [New Comment on...]
3. Previously Mentioned Family Member
4. Father-in-law

4 Favorite Things to Eat
1. Anything with lots of cheese and garlic. Olive Garden is very good for this.
2. Bruschetta from La Vigna- SO.GOOD. Get some.
3. Stir-fry anything that won't kill me
4. Soft, chewy cookies

4 Places I'd Rather Be
1. Getting a massage at a spa
2. Accepting my winnings from a drawing for a million dollars
3. That College I Sometimes Go To
4. The Bookstore

4 Things I Look Forward to This Year
1. Camping. Actually, WARM WEATHER. THAT STAYS. Then Camping.
2. Husband's family reunion. I always enjoy that. He has roughly 63thousand cousins, all of whose company I enjoy immensely.
3. Losing the baby-baby-baby-baby weight before getting pregnant again. (Hey, I can dream, can't I?)
4. Teaching Steve how to count to four.

4 People to Tag
1. Not
2. Gonna
3. Do
4. It

If you actually read the entire thing, consider yourself tagged by default. Just leave 'em in the comments or else put a link to your own post there.