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."