Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Kid's speech 2

Benjamin couldn't say "thank you" for a very long time. It sounded more like "nay-noo." Now we tell eachother "nay-noo" when we're feeling silly.

Rachel is such a girl. She loves princesses, fairies, and mermaids. The r's turn into w's of course, such as pwincesses and faiwies. The one that surprises me the most is how mermaids sounds like worm-aids. I have corrected her time and again, yet I know I'll miss it when she stops.

Makayla loves piggy back rides down the stairs and calls for "higgy back!" or even just "higgy!" Dominic caught me asking her if she wanted a higgy back ride the other day. I didn't even realize I said it.

Rachel feeds her goldfish fish flakes and algae pellets, but she can't remember the word algae. Instead, she feeds her fish allergy pellets.

Driving on a foggy day Makayla said, "The frog is creeping me out."
"You mean the fog?" I clarified.
"Yeah, I can't see through the frog," she complained.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Moms make everything better

Moms fix cuts and bruises
Every summer many neighborhood kids come to my house when they get hurt. They all know I'm home and I'll stop the bleeding. So in the Spring I buy a box of 100 band-aids. They are almost all gone by Fall.

Last week Makayla bumped her knee. She kept asking me to make it better. However, I really couldn't see anything wrong with it; it certainly didn't need a band-aid. I was busy and not thinking clearly, because I didn't realize what she wanted me to do. Finally, she kissed her knee. "There, I made it all better, Mommy." Boy, I felt like I failed as a mother.

Moms cheer you up
Recently Makayla was cranky. I couldn't figure out why. She whined and cried about everything. I began making silly faces and goofy voices and tickling her. She tried to complain but couldn't hold back her smile. She started having fun despite herself. Through her giggles she pleaded, "Mommy, stop making me feel better!" Too late - you're already happier.

Tonight Samuel came downstairs an hour and a half past bedtime, complaining about a scary part in the book he's reading (Fablehaven, when Seth meets the witch Muriel, who is really creepy). "Well," I said, "stop reading. Go to sleep. In the morning when it's light, it won't be as scary."
"I know," he said meekly. "But right now I need a hug from Mom." He sat down next to me, and we hugged. We hugged until he felt ready to go back to bed.

Monday, September 22, 2014

They Think They're Comedians

The boys try hard to get a laugh. Benjamin prepped me by saying, "Don't take this literally, Mom." Now I'm feeling apprehensive. "Roses are red, that balloon is blue, my legs are tired, I'm going to sit on you." He was proud of himself for that one. Ha ha ha.

Samuel works harder on making funny situational comments. I left my chair, and he sat in the same spot. He found a long, blonde hair. "Mom, I found your hair," he said as he held up a strand of my hair. "Do you want it back?" he asked sincerely. When I replied in the negative, his serious demeaner cracked. He laughed and laughed. At least he finds himself hilarious.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The power of suggestion on imagination

Elisa, at 7 years old, likess to talk about her imaginary world: Princess Land. She can talk on and on about who lives there, what they wear, random sounds that are actual words there, and the various rules governing the place. Of course none of it is realistic, but she loves to imagine how different it is.

The other day Benjamin had a little fun. I doubt he was trying to pester her, but it did. "What if zombies invade Princess Land?" he asked.

"No. There are no zombies in Princess Land," Lisy replied.

"But they found a way in. Then they started attacking and infecting everyone," he continued.

"Arg!" she exclaimed. "There are zombies in Princess Land! I didn't want any zombies in Princess Land!"

I tried to help, "It's okay, sweety. It's your imaginary land. Zombies don't have to be there if you don't want them there," I encouraged.

"It won't work, Mom. Ben said it and now that's all I can think about," she complained. "The zombies are in Princess Land and they're attacking the princesses."

Oh, Benjamin had fun with that.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Makayla is still adjusting to life as the only one home while everyone else goes to school. On the first day of school, she got herself dressed, put on her shoes, and found a play backpack. She started marching out the door with the others. When Daddy said "no, you still get to stay home," Makayla sat down and cried. Poor child. Plus, a mommy recovering from surgery is not the best playmate for an active and imaginative 3-year-old.

Throughout the day she has come to me talking about zombies invading our home or trying to eat her brains. She found a kindred spirit in Benjamin this afternoon. They are battling zombies with baseball bats and imaginary swords and ... my hair brush. Makayla occasionally puts down her weapons when she's dying or zombified. I "heal" her and off she goes, back into the fray. Benjamin doesn't die as often as he used to. I guess his increased experience has improved his zombie fighting skills.

After I healed her from one death, she asked for her imaginary sword back. I obligingly returned it to her. Then she asked for my brush back. "Is it another sword?" I asked.

Her face held a strange expression as she said, "No, it's a brush, for brushing my hair." Then she started brushing her hair. She is such a girl that good-looking hair is important in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Eager to learn

Rachel is ready for school. She was ready last year but was too young. She finally gets to start kindergarten this year. Our school district does something a little different with the kindergarten schedule. In an effort to save money, kindergarten is a full day for half the week: Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday, and every other Wednesdays. Rachel is on the Th-Fr schedule and begins school on Wednesday, 2 days after the older kids start school. When I explained this to her, she did not take the news well. "But Mom," she lamented, "I've been so patient. Can't I go to school on Monday instead?"

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

She looks fabulous

Bedtime can be a bit hectic. All the children still need me to one degree or another. Tonight I was running around trying to get everyone ready for bed. I told Makayla to put on her pajamas so I could carry a sleeping Rachel from the couch to her bed upstairs. When I returned she had on her pajama shirt, a hat, and she was playing with a belt.

"Makayla, put on your pajama pants," I reminded her as I tucked in Rachel.
"Mom, isn't this a pretty hat? I need help putting on my belt," she said.
Then I said something I never expected to say. "It's time for bed, not time to accessorize."

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Car game

Dominic: "What has ears but can't hear?"
Kids in unison: "Corn!"
Dominic: "What has eyes but can't see?"
Benjamin: "Blind people!"
Dominic: "Well, yeah, but I was thinking of potatoes."
Benjamin: "But blind people makes more sense. I mean, potatoes can't even blink."

Friday, July 25, 2014

Positive Peer Pressure

Makayla is a thumb sucker. She took a binky just fine as a baby, but as soon as I weened her off the binky, her thumb went right back in her mouth. The dentist is beginning to express concern about her teeth. He suggested we point out people who she admires and don't suck their thumbs so she will want to stop. It usually helps for a moment. Yesterday Makayla was a bit tired and cranky. She lay snuggled in my lap and sucking her thumb.

"Hey, thumb out," I said gently, then asked, "Do you want to be like princesses and fairies?"
"No," came her instant reply.
"Do you want to be like your sisters and brothers and parents?" I tried again.
"No," she answered sullenly.
A thought occurred to me. Recently we watched Mulan so, "Do you want to be like Mulan?"
"Yes." she said.
"Does Mulan suck her thumb?" I pressed on.
"Yes!" she grinned around her thumb.
"What?! No she doesn't," I said. And Makayla giggled with her thumb firmly stuck in her mouth.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Canyon County Fair

Summer time is fair time. We got coupons for free admission to our county fair. Score!

Dominic liked petting the calves, or little moos as we call them, the most. Yep, he's the reason we visit the fair every year.

The vendors and exhibitors hall is always a favorite. Each stall has a bowl of candy. My kids basically run from one candy bowl to the next. By the time we left the hall, they were a bit hyper.

Benjamin liked the rabbit area best. He kept pointing out the rabbits that looked like our brown, floppy-earred Freya. She died a couple of months ago, so each reminder made him sad. He also liked to point out the gray Netherland dwarf bunnies like our own little Isis. The only way to get the kids out of there was to remind them that they could play with our bunny at any time. 

Elisa enjoyed the reptile show best. She kept raising her hand to pet the snakes, alligator, or giant snapping turtles, but unfortunately was never chosen. Rachel hid behind the bleachers.

Samuel walked past a magician, who recruited him to help with a card trick. The guy borrowed Samuel's hat, where the correct card suddenly appeared. Samuel gasped in delight.

Every year they have an ag tent. We spend a lot of time there. The tent had a model cow, and people could "milk" the cow. All 3 girls enjoyed it.  They spent a lot of time milking that cow. I had to keep herding them away so other children could have a chance, too. At one point Makayla broke the udder. It gushed water until the person in charge could fix it. She immediately started milking the cow again. Maybe we should get a dairy cow ... or not. I'm sure it would quickly turn into an unwelcome chore.

The tent also had hand-cranked wheat grinders. Apparently, every Idahoan would have to eat 221 slices of bread every day if we kept all the wheat we harvested in the state. The display had a bucket of wheat grain, a bucket of flour, and 8 wheat grinders. The kids had a blast grinding the wheat. Even Benjamin got into it for awhile. What really surprised me was Rachel's reaction. I was pulling her away so we could go eat dinner. With one hand holding mine and the other hand still turning the crank, she begged, "I want a wheat grinder for my birthday!" Her birthday is in 10 months.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Conversations with Rachel

Genetics are very interesting. Mine and Dominic's genes have mixed in unexpected ways in our children. Samuel, Elisa, and Makayla all have blue eyes like me and smile dimples like their dad. Benjamin and Rachel are dimpleless like me, but Benjamin has green eyes like Dominic's uncles, and Rachel has brown eyes like her dad. Our children's sun tolerance runs the scale between Dominic's tan and my sunburn with freckles. Rachel, at 5 years old, can see that she looks different from most of her siblings (except for Benjamin, who doesn't seem to notice or care).
L-R: Rachel, Benjamin, Makayla, Samuel, Elisa

One day when I was in the kitchen making dinner, Rachel came up to me and asked, "Why do I have to have brown eyes? Everyone else has blue eyes." I love her brown eyes. I thought all my children would have brown eyes like my husband, so I am very happy that at least one child does. Plus, I think her eyes look like melted milk chocolate - just gorgeous. So I explained that she's special because she's the only one with eyes just like daddy's, and I love his eyes. Besides, the world would be a boring place if we all looked the same. She agreed and skipped away.

Rachel with our first rabbit, Freya

This summer we put up a pool in the backyard. Half the neighborhood children spend every afternoon in the pool. I make sure all the kids that go into our pool wear sunscreen. Despite that, Rachel has gotten very tanned. Last night she was the last one brushing her teeth in the bathroom. She put down her toothbrush and asked, "Why do I look so different from everyone else?" as she looked down at her very tan arm. I explained that she has some of both Mom and Dad in her. Her skin looks more like Dad's. She remembered what I've said before about how she has Mom's cheeks (meaning no dimples). Then we looked in the mirror. I pointed out that the shape of our eyes are the same even though they're different colors. We also have the same shaped lips. We smiled at that, and our smiles match, too.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pool games

I don't often get in the pool with the kids, but they love it when I do. The last time I went swimming with the kids, Makayla said, "Let's play harks and minnows. I a hark." She put up her hands, waded towards me, and sang the Jaws theme song, "Na, na. Na, na. Na, na."


Benjamin came in, soaking wet and crying. "What's wrong?" I asked.
"They're playing marco-polo," he wept.
"Okaaay. Why is that bad?" I asked.
"Because they kept saying 'marco!' " he bemoaned.
"Uh-huh. Why are you so upset?" I pressed.
"You just don't get it! I keep asking them, 'What is marco-polo,' and they just say, 'marco, marco, marco, polo!' "
"But that's how you play it," I explained, trying not to laugh at his indignity. Then I told him how it's like hide-and-go-seek in water. He calmed down, but sulked into his room. Poor kid. I guess some things aren't intuitional.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Family Home Evening on Animals

Elisa loves animals. A lot. She likes to hold them, pet them, and love them until they are ready to run away. When we gave her a fish for Christmas, she tried to pet it and was disappointed when Daddy told her that she can't pet fish. Our cats, guinea pig, and rabbit have bitten and scratched her when they've had enough and she didn't let go. More than once we've noticed a distressed furball and told her to "put it down. Let it go... Now leave it alone."

Tonight Lisy gave the lesson on animals and how we need to be nice to all animals. I asked, "Why do we need to take care of animals?" And she answered, "Because God created them, just like us." Very good. Then I asked, "How do we take care of animals?" She immediately said, "Leave them alone!"

Dad laughed so hard that Lisy had to take a break until he calmed down enough to continue her lesson.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Samuel's new thing is saying, "Meep" a lot. He says it in answer to questions, when the conversation dies down, or any time that strikes his fancy.

Just now Benjamin walked into the kitchen to get some juice. Samuel was standing in the way and said, "Meep," when his brother tried to go around him.

Benjamin reached for the juice anyway and replied, "I don't think that word means what you think it means."

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Brotherly love?

Benjamin came to me while I was in the kitchen making dinner and Samuel was on the couch in the living room. 

"There are 3 things I like and 3 things I don't like about Sammy being a bookworm," he said. "The things I don't like are:
"1. He doesn't want to go outside.
"2. He doesn't want to play with me.
"3. He doesn't want to talk to me."
(Samuel's rebuttal: "That's because he always wants to talk and play at night when we're in bed, and I'm reading to help myself fall asleep!")

"The things I like about Sammy being a bookworm are:
"1. He's too busy reading to notice that I'm playing with his sticky hand. (Sam: "Hey.")
"2. He's too busy to notice that I'm playing with his stuffed animals. (Sam: "Hey!")
"3. He doesn't see me take the toys off his bed." (Sam: "HEY!")

Benjamin (L) and Samuel (R) showing off the awards they received at the school's annual awards ceremony.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Just telling me what I want to hear

While cleaning up her messy pull-ups I asked Makayla, "Are you going to poop in the potty next time?"

"Yes!" she said, a little too quickly.

"Did you just say that to make me happy?" I asked suspiciously.

"Yes!" came her enthusiastic reply.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What's in a name?

"Mom, I like how you say my name. Elisa. It's so pretty when you say it!"

"Thanks. That's why I gave you the name - because I like it."

Friday, June 13, 2014

Kids' Speech

I love kid-speak! It's very cute to me how Makayla says gingky for stinky. Our neighbor's daughter calls hamburgers hamgurbers. When Lisy was telling me about her adoreable freckles the other day, she actually said a-doe-able fweckles.

As a toddler Samuel couldn't make the s sound. He called himself Yammy, earning him the nickname Sammy Yammy. And Dominic had a blast when Samuel substituted his j's with d's, often asking him to say jam and jam-nation.

Speaking of replacing letters with ds, my older brother would get out of the bath and say that his dingers were dinkled (translation: fingers are wrinkled). We still chuckle about how my nephew Spencer used to call himself Der-Der.

Benjamin called Fruit Loops cereal Oot Oops, a term we still use. At the grocery store recently I said, "Let's get Oot Oops," and then put Fruit Loops in the cart. Lisy is a great reader and said, "That's not Oot Oops. It says Fruit Loops." She was upset that I had grabbed the wrong cereal.

The other day Makayla asked for a lolli-hop. I thought it was so funny that I kept saying lolli-hop, too. She corrected me saying, "No Mommy, lolli-hop." (Hee hee hee) She used to call her older sister Waychel but now says Baychel. Rachel even answers when we call for Baychel.

I love it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Can't get past pull-ups

Makayla's interest in potty training is sporadic. She can be very successful peeing in the potty when she's in the mood for M&Ms, but she has rarely pooped in the potty. Often when I'm cleaning her up, I tell her that she should poop in the potty because it's easier to clean and she won't stink. Today our conversation went something like this:

"Remember to pee ..."
"... in the potty."
"And poop ..."
"... in my pull-ups."
"What?! No. Poop in the potty, not your pull-ups."
"Ohhh," as if it was a big revelation.


On a quick little side note, I've discovered that the M&Ms I use for Makayla's potty treats are helpful for encouraging her siblings to get things done. From finishing chores to helping me get things done more quickly to helping their siblings, all of my children work faster and more willingly in order to get an M&M or two. I am not above bribery.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Love Those Freckles!

I'm making breakfast. Elisa is wandering around the kitchen and chattering.

"Mom, I have lots of freckles," she states.

"Yes you do," I say.

"They make me adorable!" I look up and see her grinning from ear to ear. Freckles are not the only adorable thing about her.

Monday, May 26, 2014

My son, the poet

Benjamin is such a ham. Tonight at dinner he came up with this gem for Lisy:

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Give me all your money,
Because I'm robbing you.

"Help! The fridge is eating me!!"

Friday, May 23, 2014

Cute Makayla Day

Sometimes there is a day when one child is just so cute and steals our attention. Today it was Makayla, who is now 3.

Makayla is snuggling with our bunny, Freya
We went on a walk, but I carried Makayla a little when she grew tired. I put her down shortly before we got back. She said, "I'll take care of you, Mom." Then she pushed her hands out while saying, "Pshh, pshh, go away!" She then said to me, "I saved you from the big monster, Mommy."

Our bedroom light is connected to the clapper. I was trying to clap on the light, but it wasn't working. Makayla was talking non-stop and interferring with the sensor. When I exclaimed in frustration Dominic said, "It's not working because Makayla is yammering." So Makayla started saying, "yammy yammy yammy yammy."

The window was open. The wind picked up and blew around all the loose papers in the room. Makayla ran to the window and slammed it shut. She proudly proclaimed, "I saved everyone!"

Friday, May 9, 2014

What will they think of next?

"I have an ear here," Elisa said as she raised her arm and pointed at her armpit.

"You have an ear in your armpit?!" I asked incredulously.

"Yes," she said matter-of-factly.

Dominic called from the kitchen, "You mean you don't?" Very funny, dear, I thought but didn't say.

Then Benjamin ran up to Elisa, lifted her arm, and screamed into her armpit.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Made-up Lyrics

If you haven't heard it yet, there's a popular song that says, "What does the fox say? Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!" Tonight Lisy came up to me singing, "What does the mom say? No-no-no-no-no-no-no!"

Benjamin used to replace random words in a song with condiments. Ketchup and mustard were his most often used substitutions. For example: "I am a child of ketchup, and he has sent me mustard." He doesn't sing this way anymore, but he still likes to surprise us with it occassionally.

Rachel loves Frozen and all the songs on it, "Let it Go" being one of her favorites. The other day we were playing outside in the garden. Instead of singing, "Let it go, let it go ... the cold never bothered me anyway," she replaced it with, "Let it grow, let it grow* ... the flowers never made me sneeze."

*Correction: When I read this post to Rachel, she corrected me. She actually sings "Let it bloom..." Oops.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Sweet Hour of Prayers

Elisa: If I read in the afternoon, I fall asleep. The other afternoon Elisa asked if she could read to me, and since I wasn't going to do the reading, I thought it would be alright. Nope - I fell asleep pretty fast. I vaguely remember snuggling up to Lisy, but she was gone when I woke up. That night Lisy prayed, "Thank you that I could read to Mommy, and thank you that I could be Mommy's teddy bear."

 Rachel: I'm trying to transition Rachel from repeating everything I say during her bedtime prayers to thinking about what she wants to say. I ask questions like, "What else are you thankful for?" Her usual response is "wainbows." Lately when I ask if she wants to pray for anyone, she responds with "Please bless Mommy to get enough sleep." Then she smiles at me and whispers, "that's for you." 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Monkey Song

Makayla's nickname is Monkey. For Christmas we gave her a new bedsheet covered in monkeys with bubble gum. Dominic made up a song, which all the kids like, to get Makayla excited about her soon-to-be present. Now it's her:

Monkey Song

There's no gum where the monkeys come from
(Not even Dentyn!)
There's no gum where the monkeys come from
(They live in the jungle)
There's no gum where the monkeys come from
(They like pink :)
So when they come here they always ask you for some


Friday, March 21, 2014

It's all a matter of perspective

 Me: "Why do you have a dishrag on your head?"

Makayla: "It's not a dishrag. It's a hat!"

Mom: "You're getting so big, Honey!"
Makayla: "I not big, I little."
Mom: "Don't you want to be big like your brothers and sisters?"
Makayla: "No."
Mom: "Do you want to be small because everyone else is big?"
Makayla: "Yes. I little."

Makayla will be 3 years old on Monday

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Don't beep the nose!

When Samuel was a baby, he would stick out his tongue when we tapped his nose and say, "beep." It became a thing with all the babies and has persisted as the kids have grown. They like to beep my nose, too.

During family home evening we were discussing the ancient apostles after Christ's ascension. I asked a tricky question, and Benjamin got it. "Beep beep beep! That's right!" I said, as I stretched my arm out and pretended to tap his nose.

"Here, I'll beep him for you," offered Dominic, who was sitting next to him.

As soon as Dominic tapped his nose, Benjamin said in a robotic monotone, "You have activated the self-destruct button."

Friday, January 17, 2014

Global Observations

Rachel sat down in front of our old globe. "So," she said, "this is what the Earth looks like, but without all the words and letters."

Elisa's turn, and she was carefully looking over the globe. She stopped spinning it and pointed to the Galapagos islands. "This is where the mermaids live." I don't know why she chose it, but that seems like an appropriate place.
"How do you know?" I asked.
"Ariel told me," she answered in all seriousness.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Conversation with Makayla

Makayla: *sneeze*
Mom: "Bless you, Makayla."
Makayla: "I didn't sneeze. You did."
Mom: "No I didn't, you did."
Makayla: "No I didn't, you did."
Dad: "You sneezed, Makayla."
Makayla: "No I didn't, Daddy. You did."
Dad: "You sneezed, silly girl."
Makayla: "I not silly! I Makayla!"

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Q and A

Benjamin: "Samuel, I have a question."
Samuel: "I have an answer. Let's see if they match."
Benjamin: "What are you doing?"
Samuel: "Crazy. Oh darn, they don't match."

Monday, January 13, 2014

Where does she come up with these things?

Makayla walked up to me and said, "Look. Ow, ow, ow," as she hit her head.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"I'm ow-ing." Of course. How obvious. I should've guessed that.

"Ow, ow, ow," she continued, thoroughly amusing herself.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Lucky Girl

I was in the kitchen cleaning up dinner. Rachel came in and asked if she could have the last biscuit. "Sure," I said, glad I didn't have to save just one biscuit.

A minute later I heard Dominic laughing from the living room. He came and told me that Rachel walked right up to him, leaned in, smiled mischeivously, and whispered conspiratorially, "I got the last biscuit, Daddy."