Monday, October 27, 2008

Laughter and Solitude

I asked the girls to tell me their favorite jokes. Olivia's friend, Sydney, was over. Here is what they told me (verbatim):

Kelsey: Knock-knock. Who's there? Why did the squirrel cross the road? Why? Because he gots no eyes.

Sydney: What did the Pink Panther say when he stepped on an ant? What? Dead-ant, dead-ant, dead-ant, dead-ant, dead-ant, dead-ant, dead-aaaaaant.

Olivia: Why didn't the skeleton cross the road? Why? Because he had no guts.

Kelsey: Why did the turtle cross the road? Why? Because he gots no shell to protect it.

Sydney: Why didn't the skeleton climb the mountain? Why? Because he had no guts.

Olivia: How do you fix a broken Jack-O-lantern? How? With a pumpkin patch.

You know, this morning was one of those melt-down days. I slept badly and not enough, Connor wouldn't settle down, and Kelsey was having issues. We had an appointment that Kelsey needed to go to at 10:00 about a mile away, and I hadn't even been able to shower. I hadn't kept the car so we had to walk, and at one point all three of us were in my front yard crying (or trying not to). My wonderful neighbor came out and tried to help, and we eventually got on the road and to our appointment only five minutes late. Around 1:30 this afternoon I finally got Connor to sleep so I could take a shower, and I found I didn't want to get out. I kept turning the water hotter and hotter and just enjoying the heat and solitude. And then it hit me.

Laughter and Solitude. These are the salt and pepper of life. Without them life is just kind of flat. Laughter enhances and adds flavor to the good things in life, and solitude brings a contrasting flavor that makes the others more enjoyable. I miss my solitude. I know the time will come again in my life when it comes more easily. But I am in the season where my solitude comes mostly on the days I can pull myself out of bed at 5:00 a.m. to read my scriptures. Maybe that's part of why I enjoy it so much.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

ABC's of Moi!

Well, I meant to do this the day I got "tagged" by Kristi, but the baby started fussing and I never got back to the computer! So, here we go for those of you that might be interested... and even those of you who aren't.

The ABCs of M-E.

A. Attached or single? Attached
B. Best friend? I have 2: Ben is my best friend, but Becky deserves a very honorable mention. We've been friends since 8th grade!
C. Cake or Pie? Pie. Especially if it's rhubarb, pecan, or something chocolate
D. Day of Choice? Holiday
E. Essential item? Sleep!
F. Favorite color? I'm not sure any more
G. Gummy bears or worms? Worms
H. Hometown? Edmond, OK!
I. Indulgence? Dark chocolate
J. January or July? Neither - give me April or October!
K. Kids? Three
L. Life isn’t complete without? Laughter
M. Marriage date? September 24
N. Number of brothers and sisters? 2 brothers & 3 sisters originally, but it's grown to also include 3 sisters-in-law and 3 brothers-in-law
O. Oranges or apples? Apples
P. Phobias? Roaches. Especially big ones.
Q. Quotes? "We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams." Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
R. Reasons to smile? A good Scrabble partner!
S. Season of Choice? Autumn
T. Tag some people: Ginger, Amy S., and Amber W.
U. Unknown fact about me? I'm a nerd. It's probably not unknown, but I do try to hide it.
V. Vegetable? Artichokes are my favorite, but I love almost all of them
W. Worst habit? I'm a stress-eater
X. X-ray or Ultrasound? Ultrasound

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Funnies and Pumpkins

First, let me say "Thank You" to Suzannah and Dad who both enlightened me about the tree with the crazy "brain-fruit". It is an Osage Orange (aka Hedge Apple) tree.

There was a story I meant to post here a week or so ago, and I forgot. So, you get it now. About a week ago Kelsey, Connor, and I were walking to the post office. It's a little over a mile away, but Kelsey was riding her bike. (She actually rides it just about everywhere we go!) To help the time pass more quickly, we were playing "I Spy". We had gone through the usual "I spy something blue" items, and had moved on to the "I spy something triangular" part. At this point it means we're really starting to get tired of this game
and we're about to move on to something else. All of a sudden, on Kelsey's turn, she says, "I spy a really, really ugly house. It's right there, Mommy." It was so funny! And it really was an ugly house. It was rather decrepit and some of the windows were boarded up. I think it was even abandoned. I should have taken a picture of it - you'll just have to use your imagination, I guess.

So on to the pumpkins! Today we went to a Parkhurst Pumpkin Patch in Arcadia, OK about 15-20 minutes away. This place had a petting zoo, corn maze, hay bale fort, and hay rides. We also each got to pick out a pumpkin to bring home. The petting zoo had a number of cute and cuddly animals, and a few not-so cuddly ones, too. Like a possum. And there were a couple of pigs, too. I suggested to Olivia that she pet one, and it rubbed it's nose all up her arm. Did you know that pigs' noses are covered in mud? We had a much better time with the roosters. Olivia and Kelsey both got to hold a small one. Great for Olivia, but Kelsey's hands are a little small still. She kind of squashed it, so we had her put it down. And of course there was the bunnies, goats, ponies, and even a tiny donkey. Here's some of our pictures for the day!

Me and Ben in the corn maze.

Kelsey and Olivia playing with the ponies.

Kelsey & Olivia climbing out on the dead tree branch.

Then on the way home, Connor started fussing. Olivia and I switched seats so that I could try to keep him quiet and entertained while we drove. This is a cute video of him and me "playing" during the drive home. He's turning into quite the chatter box. As Ben put it, "Imagine: a talkative male Ervin."

Friday, October 17, 2008

Go Huskies!

Olivia participated in a Husky Spirit and Pom clinic last Saturday. Last night, they got to perform at the football game at the stadium up the street from us. And let me just say that the Huskies got slaughtered. When we left at the end of the 3rd Quarter the score was 35-0. Yikes. Anyhow, here's the video of the 3rd graders' parent's performance. Olivia is in the middle in black shorts with her hair pulled back in a braid.

Note: I promise that is NOT my goofy laugh you hear in the video. It was some mom sitting next to us.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What the...?!

I can't believe it!! I have ANOTHER thumb-sucker! Connor started sucking his thumb on conference weekend. We got a picture of him in his stroller sleeping with his thumb in his mouth. I'm fighting it hard, though. I keep sticking the pacifier in his mouth when he does it and hope for the best.

After conference was over on Sunday, we had dinner and then went for a nice walk to this crazy-looking tree.

There is, of course, the obligatory statue that graces many if the corners in Edmond. I have no idea what KIND of tree it is, I just know that I don't want to eat the fruit.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I Am Superwoman!

We moved in August 14th. Since then, every time we have had to open the garage door, it was like moving heaven and earth because one of the springs was disconnected. So, a couple of weeks ago I drug Ben out to the garage to try to fix the dang thing. This is a heavy-duty spring that's about a yard long and 2 inches thick. And the tension on that thing was so strong that Ben and I together couldn't get the thing stretched out more than half the distance it had to go. So I got this idea that a rope was what we needed. Tonight I bought a blue nylon rope for $1.88 at Wal-Mart, and drafted Ben out again. He told me he would do it, but it wouldn't work, etc. etc. etc. What a fantastic "I TOLD YOU SO!". It took several tries, but with me pulling and him hooking, we got that baby fixed! I just opened my garage almost one-handed!! YES!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Edmond is a city of parks. There are 26 city parks in all, and they are very well-maintained as far as I can tell, but I have only been to about 4 of them. There's one less than half a mile from my house that I often go to with the kids, but the other day I was out running/walking and found another one about a mile from my house. It is so cool, because it's got all these tunnels and pipes running through artificial hills. So as soon as we had a free night I loaded up the kids, Ben, and even got the neighbors to come along! Those "pipes" the girls are standing in in the picture only have sand on the bottom and don't connect to anything else. When the girls stand in them it reminds me of the Whack-A-Mole game, and I think if I but had a giant cushioned bat, I could play "Whack-A-Kids". Also, the girls REALLY wanted to put a video up on the blog since Connor got one, so we got a video of them playing in the tunnels. The blond boy running around with them is none other than Buddy, our neighbors' son.

Speaking of our neighbors, I should mention that a new couple in our ward moved in next door. Their names are Danny & Amber and they have 2 kids - Buddy and Kenneth. They are such a great family (and I promise that I'm not just saying that since I know Amber will probably read this post). I love having LDS neighbors, especially since the shared wall of our duplex is REALLY thick and blocks a lot of sound so she can't hear me when I lose my temper with the kids... Which of course I never do because I'm a perfect Mormon Mom...

This past Monday Kelsey, Connor and I went to the Oklahoma City Zoo. I was thoroughly impressed. The set-up is so different from what I'm used to with Riverbanks in Columbia, and there were different types of animals as well: buffalo, rhinos, seals, meerkats, and even an anteater, just to name a few! And the way it was set up often gave us a great look at some of the animals, like this tiger that was cleaning it's paws just a fe
w yards from us. Isn't it amazing?

Last night I took a bunch of pictures of the family to use in some collages, and I thought I'd share a couple with you.