Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Onset of Old-Timers

Have you ever felt like you have a blanket of fog over your brain? Sometimes it is just plain hard to think. Christmas stress (should be an oxymoron, but it's not!), a non-stop chattering five-year old and a bought with insomnia, have left me a little bit hazy. My mind will be racing a million miles an hour trying to process everything it's being taxed with, then Chase will jump in there with questions that no well-thinking human being should have to be subjected to. It rattles me and makes me feel old.
This morning, Chase and I were finishing a project for a Christmas present for Daddy. Chase asked me a question that left me like, "Duh, uh, mmm." To sound intelligent and like I could field the question thrown at me, I said, "Well, Chase, I don't know. Let me think about it." To which he responded,

"But you can't think, Mom, remember?"

"What do you mean I can't think, Chase?"

"You can't think anymore, Mom. Remember, you're getting old."

I thought that children were supposed to help keep you young. Not remind you that you are getting old. It's all down hill from here. Heaven help us.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Symbols of Christmas

I think the symbols of Christmas are amazing. One represents peace and calm. One represents stress! Our bishop strategically placed the chair for Santa's visit to our ward Christmas breakfast, beneath a picture of the Savior. I thought that was clever. The picture before is of a live nativity held in a historical barn down the street from our house. I have to say, it was pretty neat. I wasn't sure what I would think of it, but it was done really well. You got the meaning. Chase was riveted. He sat on a hay bale in front of the manger and reverently stared, without moving. If you know Chase, that's a miracle in and of itself.
Chase was not that much less reverent when he sat on Santa. He was so funny. When asked that question that Santa asks best, he carefully put his arm around Santa's neck, pulled him slowly down and whispered quietly in his ear, "A remote-control speed boat".
I am thrilled that Chase was more in awe of visiting a stable and the manger. It is hard to have Christmas with children and not involve the man with the bowl full of jelly. You have to have a few of your young years dedicated to believing. But thank goodness we have opportunities during the Christmas Season to bring us back down to earth. It helps when Chase starts talking about Christmas presents, he reigns in his excitement, keeping it in check by saying,
"Let's remember, though, this really is about Jesus' birth day".

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Happy Birthday, Chaserooni

The birthday bike

Things I love about this boy:

I love that he starts chanting, Oh Dear, when I come at him with tickle fingers blazing

I love that when I stub my toe (50 times a day) that he stops what he is doing and asks if I'm okay

I love that he is in the habit of making his bed every day

I love that he is creative enough to choose popsicles and crayons for costumes, and penguin and gingerbread men for birthday parties

I love that he is crazy enough choose Jamba Juice and Lucky Charms for his birthday dinner

I love that Chase's prayers literally melt your kneecaps

I love the fact that Chase's favorite place to eat out, is my kitchen

I love that he loves me enough that he tries to promise me that he won't grow up and quit being my little boy, then at least telling me that he will love me forever if he accidentally does grow up.

I love that he honestly thinks that getting married will mean abandoning his parents

I love that he is already looking forward to his baptism and saves money in a mission jar

I love that he is my boy and that we have had 5 WONDERFUL years being his parents

We Love You, Chase!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Honest Dishonesty

In my last post, Pearls of Wisdom, I forgot an important one: How to loose your standing in the Celestial Kingdom...Have children. I always thought I was doing okay on my way to the Pearly Gates, with the normal, not so incriminating offenses. Then, I became a mother. I have become a professional liar, coated with the excuse that, it's for the best. So, not only do I lie, but I justify it. You know the saying, you can justify yourself right into.... Well, I tried a stunt the other night that had a hilarious backfire.

Chase is great friends with his cousin Zach, who lives a couple hours away. They were coming to spend the weekend with us. They left their house about suppertime, which would put them here at bedtime. I am a stickler about bedtimes. It is one of the weaknesses that is leading me off the straight and narrow. I am a beast when I am tired, dealing with a child that is tired. I like bedtimes. I was torn between letting Chase stay up late to greet Zach, or having him asleep when they got there. I wanted him to be rested and fun the next day. I decided against both ideas, and went right to lying to my child. There is only one clock in our house that he can read right now. So, when eyes were averted, I took the clock down, set it forward an hour, and put it back. Magically, it was now 7:30 pm! I announced to Chase that it was time to get ready for bed. He looked at the clock, checked the time for himself, and said, okay. Guilt, guilt, guilt. I was actually pretty okay with my dishonsety, except for the fact that he took it so well, and my husband shaking his head every two seconds asking me if I felt okay about what I had just done.

I WAS feeling pretty proud of myself, until my sister-in-law called, en route to our house. She mentioned that it really would be nice for Chase to stay up and see the kids. I hemmed and hawwed and finally decided to relent and let Chase stay up. While I was still on the phone with Birgitta, I grabbed the clock down and changed it back to 6:30. Chase, as if he really knew what was going on, froze in front of the clock, dropped his jaw to the ground, said quietly,
"What the?", then ran into my legs, hugging me while exclaiming, "Thank you! Thank you!! Thank you!!" So, in one fell-swoop, I am being sung as a hero, hailed for my magic ability to turn time. Chase knew nothing of my infraction. He only knew that his mother had somehow bought some precious time for a five-year old to stay up late to see his cousin. Wow. If he only knew. As I said in my post before, the only thing that will make him feel better about all of the lying and hypocrosy that seems to flow from well-meaning parents, is the fact that when he is the Dad, his turn will come!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Pearls of Wisdom

Over the years, I feel that I have received a lot of really good tips, advice and pearls of wisdom that have helped me live a generally productive and happy life. Some great ones are:

Cleaning a caked-on microwave: Cook a bowl of water in microwave for 3-4 minutes, everything then just slides right off.

Hard water stains: Vinegar is a miracle cure for hard water, including running washing machine and dishwasher, empty, with one cup of vinegar.

Making friends for life: take someone a loaf of hot, homemade bread

Down in the dumps: get more sleep, increase the intensity of your prayers, read your scriptures.

I could go on an on. I have had some really smart people in my life. I have decided now, that it is my turn to impart my wisdom; to share my wealth of knowledge that I have accumulated with life experiences and mistakes made. So, here are my tips for you.

How to bump into someone you haven't seen for a long time: Go to the store without makeup, a wet, frumpy hair-do, while wearing the most ill-fitting dirty clothes you can find.

How to increase your vocabulary: Learn a new word today. It is almost guaranteed that you will hear this new word that you have never heard before several times over the next several days.

How to enjoy the taste of crow: use blanket statements like "I always" and " I never".

How to ensure a great Sabbath (aside from the obvious): Make sure you have lots of chocolate, milk, toilet paper...and a good nap.

How to attract visitors to your home: Don't clean for several days. Wait until you have an explosion of toys, laundry, groceries and projects. Then, they will come.

How to ensure you have no visitors: Clean your house.

How to give your children hope for the future: Give them phrases like, "Don't worry son. When you grow up, you can be the hypocrite. But for now, it's my turn."

How to learn to love a photo of you that you can't stand: Gain a few more pounds, return to the photo, then hear yourself say, "Wow, I wish I looked that good again!"

Passing Gas: It is greatly suggested that you do not try and eek one out in the presence of a child. They have big ears and highly under developed filters, which allow them to say anything that they want, very loudly. Your "infraction" will no longer be a secret.

And finally:

Learn to laugh at yourself. It makes it so much easier when you find out that we are all laughing at you as well.

I hope you all feel enlightened, encouraged, and hopefully even a little smarter. Please feel free to pass along your little gems!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

So, uh, what are you trying to say?

After our Sunday dinner tonight, we hopped in the car and drove around our neighborhood and neighboring streets to look at all of the newly flipped on Christmas lights. As we were concluding our drive, we had a very hilarious conversation with Chase. It goes as follows:

Mom: Look at the Freemans, Chase! They have a lot of lights up this year. Kim got her husband to put up their lights!

Chase: Oh, Mom! She is so lucky! You are not that lucky, Mom.

Mom and Dad: Giggle, giggle, giggle

Mom: Oooooh, Chase! Look at the Poulsons! That is so pretty!

Chase: They went crazy with the lights! Does she have a husband?

Dad: So, what are you trying to say, Chase?

Mom: BAW HAW HAW HAW HAW!!!!!! Hohoho, heeheeeheeeeee!

Even after all of the guff my husband took from a percosious 4-soon-to-be-5-year-old, I am betting that I still won't get lights put up this year! It's okay, really. Jeff made us our own full-fledged, decked-out, no-trimming-spared belated Thanksgiving dinner today. He did this ALL by himself, while I napped and went to choir practice. So, I may not have lights outside, but I got my weeks worth of turkey leftover that I wanted, without having to lift a finger. It's all about the compromise!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Where'd ya go?

We have disappeared from the blogging world for a few days! We have just had life going on around us for the past couple of weeks. We have been dealing with Pretty Crappy Ovary Stuff (okay, PCOS, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), croupe in a four-year old, doctor visits, depression set in by the BYU Cougars losing to Utah, and just the overall sense that I was getting too addicted to all of this blogging stuff! Why is it so fun to snoop into other peoples lives?! In all reality, I think I generally do get excited to keep up with cousins and friends that I don't get to see very often. Does that rational sound better?

I will make a post about something clever or creative later on. Right now, I have to go mop my floor. Doesn't that sound fun?!?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Grandma

Sometimes I feel really old. Life is changing so quickly. But, then, I remember I have a grandma. I know this doesn't seem to make sense, but I feel young again when I remember that I still have a grandma. Yeah, I know, my logic is a little loose!

My mom was visiting Grandma and needed a way to get to Utah. Chase and I were more than happy to take the job and go get her at the farm. We were able to spend some short, and I mean short, visits with my grandma. We were also able to explore the farm, which is a little bit of a heartbreaker. Things that were so fascinating and so much a part of the farm in our childhood are just not there anymore. It is definitely an end of an era, which doesn't help with this whole starting to feel so old thing! While we were waiting to be able to go see grandma the next morning, Aunt Cynthia entertained us by taking us to her friends farm, which in contrast to Great-Grandma's, is a living farm. My brother Clark, Chase and I had a great time with all of the animals.

We were able to get our priceless 4 generation picture, one that we will cherish. Chase, who likes to say that he has a shy heart sometimes, and who is very picky at to who will be the recipients of his hugs and kisses, was very willing to show affection to his great-grandma. I was very proud of him. Here are some pictures of a trip down memory lane.

Special time with Great-Grandma Jensen

These are the trees that we used to play on, all chopped down...sup sup sup

This pit used to be the potato cellar, a landmark of the farm...sup sup, again

Chase, exploring in one of my favorite childhood spots

My cute mom

This pig really wanted some lovin'.
Chase threatened to eat these guys.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Out of the Mouth of Babes

Life was so much easier when we were little. Our decisions were so much less weighty. Our biggest decisions were which friends to play with on the playground and which cartoons to watch on Saturday morning. Life was no different for Chase today. We had "election day" for him. His ballot consisted of choices of what to have for meals and snack, activites to fill our day, and clothes to wear for preschool. The cute ladies at the voting booths today gave me an "I voted" sticker to give to him. He displayed the sticker and his ballot proudly. We have been talking with him a lot about the privledge it is to be able to vote and the serious decision it is to decide who is going to be our President. I didn't realize how seriously he had been taking the voting process and how much he has been listening in on our conversations until he said the prayer at dinner tonight. Just before we sat down for dinner, we turned off FOX news where we had been watching the election results. The election was fresh on his mind when he began his prayer. His prayer for our country was astounding,

"Please bless our country. Help us that the blue guy doesn't win. Help us to have a new, good President tonight. Help us to have the red guy win."

Chase summed up all of our feelings at the end of the night when we mentioned to him that the "blue" guy was going to win. He said,

"Well, I guess we will just have to ignore him then, huh?"

Oh, if only it were that easy. Life is so much easier when you are little.

Monday, November 3, 2008

BYU Blues

Jeff had one of his employees cut this out on the CC at his shop. We painted it and hung it in our sports room downstairs. I am not sure we didn't curse the Cougars. The day we hung it, BYU lost their first game to TCU...horribly. Pride cometh before the fall, right?

We sure have a lot of fun being BYU Cougar fans smack-dab in the middle of Aggieland. A few years ago, the USU Aggies mascot, Big Blue lived across the street from us. Talk about some good natured ribbing. I take a lot of heat for having my degree from USU and not remaining loyal. Sorry, the blood in my veins is just a little bit of a different shade of blue! I was a Cougar first and will remain a Cougar. Don't get me wrong, we are not anti-Aggie. We will cheer for the Aggies to do well...just not if they are playing BYU. I am not a closet Cougar fan. I display a Y proudly on my van, I wear my BYU t-shirt on game day, we huddle around our computer to watch the BYU games (thanks a lot for that one, "The Mountain"!!!), we stop and congratulate members of our community brave enough to venture into stores wearing BYU garb. But I think I took my loyalty a little too far on Halloween. We stopped to trick or treat at a member of our ward's house as he and his son were heading to an Aggie game, decked out in Aggie appearal. I burst out..."That's the scariest costume I've seen all night!" I completely shocked these poor Aggie fans! Chase and I were nearly abandoned by our entire trick or treating posse. Have they not seen my "Y"? Have I not made my loyalties clear? Oh, well. Go, Gougars!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Color Me Orange

Happy Halloween everyone! Here is a picture of Chase in his costume. This is my once a year attempt at being Holly once a year dusting off of the sewing machine. Thank goodness it is only once a year! It pushes my abilities and talents to the limits! This costume was Chase's idea, of course. As soon as we came in from trick or treating last year as a homemade red twinpop popcicle, Chase announced that he wanted to be a crayon for next year. I have been planning how to do it ever since. The original plan for Chase to be yellow. However, on a visit to Moses Lake, Chase and Grandma brought home orange traffic cones from the dollar store. The idea light bulb went off over my head, and the orange crayon costume was born. Go, Grandma!! Chase is very clever when it comes to costumes. I am really afraid for his next idea! I think I may need to learn to sew...for real!
We had a blast trick or treating tonight. The weather was unbelievable! After 2 and a half hours, we called Daddy (who was home passing out candy) and he came to pick us up on the 4-wheeler. Jeff really knows how to play, eh?
Chase in our leaf pile before trick or treating

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

More on the Mission Front

We have been really proud of Chase and his comprehension of sharing all things gospel, being a good missionary. He planned a fun FHE on Monday, inviting our non-members friends across the street. The Demlers, Cameron and Chavonne, and three kids, Chloe, Caleigh and Casey, were very fun to host. We carved pumpkins, ate orange popcorn balls and drank Swamp Juice (thanks My Girls Kitchen for the recipe!) And to note, to carve pumpkins with Jeff in his garage/woodshop means carving with power tools! Thanks for a fun night, Demler Family!Here are some pictures:
Chase and buddy Casey

Everyone hard at work, seriously...look at their faces!

Popcorn balls and Swamp Juice

Chloe with a saw, Cameron and Caleigh with a drill. Go Jeff!

Pumpkin Heads, modeling their work!

Monday, October 27, 2008

An Amazing Look Into the Future

You ever wish that you could look into a crystal ball? That is how I feel when I look at this picture. Chase was asked to play the part of a missionary in sharing time yesterday. The lesson was on serving others. There was a policeman, a doctor, a teacher, an army officer, a mom, and then Chase, a missionary. He took the honor very seriously and was incredibly adorable in front of the primary. The fun thing about Sunday was that it was also the Primary program in Sacrament meeting. He looked fabulous in the suit coat while speaking his part. His heart didn't even freak out! And you can definitely tell that he is my boy...he sings with great gusto, loud enough to be heard over all of the other kids. Hmmm. Cute for now, right? Many of our ward members had great things to say about him.

They say to think it the way you want it (yeah, I know...who's they?!). For now, we will hang this picture up in his room, next to his missionary savings jar, as a reference for this great goal to become a great missionary!

PS If you get a chance to set this picture a little more closely, you will notice that the name tag says "Hermana Perrins". We couldn't find one of Jeff's old tags!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My Heart Says, "I Love You"

Chase had his Primary program practice this morning. When I went to pick him up, I asked him how it went. He told me they practiced their songs and he practiced his part in the microphone. As he continued to explain his excitement over speaking into the microphone in the chapel (every kids dream!) he began to giggle as he said,

"My heart was totally freaked out!"

Chase uses his heart to explain a lot of his emotions. He will say things like,

"My heart tells me that I need to stay up a little later tonight." or

"My heart tells me that it wants to watch a movie with lunch today." or

"My heart felt shy today, but I didn't."

Well Chase, cutie, my heart is telling me "I Love You!"

Friday, October 24, 2008

Well, I am jumping in the pool. I figure I will give in to peer pressure and get my own blog. I figure I have so much to say all the time that I better get my own space to blab in, and then not feel so guilty about spending so much time talking about me and my family. I will make it all about us! Good justification, right? Well, we will see how it goes. Or as my family so eloquently says, I will run it up that flag pole and see if anyone salutes.