Slideshow Image 1 Slideshow Image 2 Slideshow Image 3 Slideshow Image 3
Sunday, December 14, 2008

The first true sign of winter

Dear Family and Friends,

The first official sign of winter is not the snow, Taylor's cold, the wet clumps of snow all over the kitchen, or even Christmas music playing - its my thumb cracking open. It happens every winter, doesn't matter if I put lotion on or solar oil or whatever else the pharmacy suggests. It cracks and then shortly afterward my other fingers start cracking and its a perpetual cycle that lasts till spring.

Yesterday and through the night it snowed and it stuck. This morning I thought how nice it would be to send the kids out to shovel the driveway while I got Taylor ready. I need to rethink my idealistic dreams of having the kids shovel the walks before we leave for school this winter. "Where's my boots? Where's my gloves? Robyn is wearing my shoes, make her take them off. Mom this is my shovel and no one else can use it right (while waving around a snow encrusted, gunk flying off shovel inside Taylor's room), wahh, my feet are frozen, why didn't you tell me I should wear boots/socks" and so on. I am sure we will get the routine down but this morning was laugh or cry time at the chaos. Robyn got into the spirit and was down on her knees (in her church clothes) using an ice scrapper on the walks.

This weekend was full of festivities. Friday night was Jeremy's work party was is always a very fun event. They did the shopping spree again where we had to buy something frivelous for ourselves in 1 1/2 hours, spend all the money and then show the party what we got and our receipts for judging. Somehow I never have a problem doing this and had a great time getting some new clothes and running shoes. Jeremy had a hard time figuring out what to get - must be a guy/girl thing. I can always buy clothes! Then we met up for dinner, talking and riding in a trolley around Thanksgiving point. They gave all the employees an ipod touch for their company gift so Jeremy is psyched about that. What a great company. Makes me feel like we have an excess of blessings in our lives every time that Jeremy has a good job right now that is generous to our family.

(Right now Jeremy is running a random slide show of all his family pictures. Makes me realize how despite being far apart how much family has been with us throughout our married life. We have pictures of all our siblings doing stuff with us - Daniel digging our sandbox, Peter hacking at trees, Mimi hiding easter eggs, Christina playing with Taylor in the ocean, kids asleep at my Grandma's and it goes on. Really neat to watch. Does strike me how often visiting family has been stuck with manual labor at our house - trees, stumps, sandboxes, gardens, playhouse, I too abusive?)

Saturday morning was our ward Christmas breakfast. Kids loved running around and visting with Santa Clause. Robyn got a very concerned look when Santa Clause came in and could not stop staring at him. But she hopped right into his lap and stuck her hand out for a candy cane and asked for a pink princess. Allison brought a picture along to make sure he knew she wanted an American girl doll. (We had a talk about how sometimes Santa Clause thinks of something even better than you asked for!) Saturday afternoon Jeremy took pictures of our friend's daughter's wedding. 17 year old with a 4 month old baby marrying the father - a tough road ahead. Then I showed up with the kids for the reception. The parents are trying hard to be supportive and make this work for her.

This week was a pretty good week. It might be because we made a massive amount of fudge so there were constant infusions of chocolate! Jeremy has his own container in the fridge with a sign saying for dad only on it. The kids all know not to touch it. Dad there is a similar container for you next time you're down! Robyn was feeling a little puny this week with a cold and was happy for a few days to sit and play with barbies so I just stayed in the next room wrapping up presents. Mostly done now! I handmade some presents this year so I need to finish a few things up still. Its been fun to make some presents this year, adds a lot to the enjoyment of the season.

Thursday was a day to make me appreciate Jeremy. I had a Relief Society board meeting/Christmas party that night so Jeremy was taking point. I loaded up the truck cinnamon rolls and handouts and left a little early so I could drop Spencer off at karate. I realized that the dresser I had picked up for Robyn earlier that day was in the bed so Jeremy and I hurried to unload the massive box. I was really struggling to keep it up and at the doorway I gave a last shove to get it up the stair just as Jeremy paused to readjust his hold. Ended up smashing his hand against the doorjam. Then I had to leave! Jeremy text's me that his hand isn't broken he thinks just really swollen and stiff. Then 30 minutes later he texts me that Robyn was wearing 'practice' underwear and had pooped all over. 2 hours later I get home to find Spencer back home from his karate party and kids in bed. Jeremy's hand is swollen to twice its size. He had his Osmond book's proofs spread throughout the family room because Robyn had spilled a drink all over them. He still was almost smiling. What a tough night and he made it through!

I worked hard on Robyn's room this week. All the stuff that was in the old office is now all over our bedroom. Jeremy commented that he had no idea that we had so much stuff cramed in that room! So the painting is all done now except for some touch-ups. We even have her dresser in there and Jeremy hung up her closet rods. The dresser caused us to curse the Chinese manufacturers as Jeremy had to cut away wood and drill new holes to install the mirror. Allison is just a little excited about Robyn moving out. As we are setting up the dresser Allison is running in and dumping all of Robyn's stuff as she happily rearranged her room without Robyn's clothes.

The rest of the week was made up of our normal chaos. Had an hour long wait at the dentist for him to tell Spencer that his crooked teeth had all turned so there was nothing more he needed to do except keep wearing his retainer at night. Of course Spencer has now decided he likes wearing it all the time so he still does. Robyn and her friend Luke have spent the week accessorizing the barbies. Allison has been busy with her play at school and crying over the smallest things. I keep trying to get her to bed earlier to see if that helps. If she thinks she looks or has to do something different than her friends she looses it. The last girl in her class besides her not to loose a baby tooth, lost one this week. So now Allison is the only first grade who has all her baby teeth. We told her about Peter literally pulling out a baby tooth before it was ready and I think it gave her ideas. So there have been lots of tears as she tries in vain to wiggle her front teeth.

Taylor has been under the weather most of this week and just happy to curl up in a blanket. His last favorite sippy cup permanently broke so we are stuck with using this new ones that spill easily. Makes feeding him something that requires a lot of attention right now.

Robyn managed to pee in the toilet this week. We made a huge deal about it and now she is convinced she needs to wear underwear. Unfortunately she has been unable to repeat that performance leading to lots of lysol being sprayed.

Last story of the week is about Spencer. He was very excited when he came home from cub scouts. Jeremy was teaching the young men so I was on my own. Spencer had made a candle decoration and wanted to give it to Allison for Christmas. So he was looking around for a box and I handed him one I thought would work if he laid the decoration on its side. As I am saying that he puts it in the box and slams the lid on breaking the candy cane glues on the back that was sticking up. Major tears. Tried to glue it together - glue and sticky tear fingers and peppermint doesn't mix. More tears. I found another candy cane that someone had given us. We glue it on. The glue doesn't dry very fast so we hide it in a cupboard while he goes to take a shower. He comes back down all excited that it is dry and grabs it, misses it and it falls to the counter shattering all three candycanes glues to the candle. Lots of tears. So he is sent of to bed and told not to reappear because I am done with the drama. So that night I am up finding more candy canes, gluing it together and finding a better box. Next morning he is up an hour early so he can wrap it before Allison wakes up. Reminds me of a saying from Shrek's video "Christmas ain't Christmas unless somebody's crying".

Love to you all. Bunch of pictures below, Heather

Allison told me that Robyn's room was pretty except for the poop colored brown. I am afraid that phrase is stuck in my mind now.

The curtain fabric I picked out is leaning against the window.

Kid's attempt to shovel. As always Allison works hard, Spencer poses. But Allison gave up after 5 minutes and Spencer worked for 30 so I guess it all comes out even.

Rocky took off to go run in the snow.

Our bedroom was clean of all stuff for a month there. I keep reminding myself that this is temporary!

Robyn's usual attire. I tell everyone that for 30 minutes in the morning she looks really cute. Then its anyone's guess what she will be wearing.

Spencer's bed head.

Robyn's face when Santa walked in the room.