Monday, May 25, 2009

Cougar Country

Evelyn and Johnny have worked hard to help me with my masters degree at Brigham Young University in Youth and Family Recreation. They help me try to apply all that I'm learning. Our blood definitely runs BYU blue in these veins! Nigel is happy to be holding Ev (or as his dad calls her - villain as in eh-vill-ain).

Look familiar?
The boys

The girls

We've got a comedian on our hands

My nephew is so cute. He is a constant source of hilarious comments. For example:

There was a leak in his house and it was stressful because the bathtub on the top floor had overflowed and was leaking into the living room on the main floor. The twins were running around still in their towels and catching the dripping water in their hands and splashing their fingers in the bowls that were catching the water. In an attempt to get everyone to settle down so as not to add to the chaos, I explained, "This is not fun. Let's go sit on the couch, guys."

Perplexed, Isaac looked at me and asked, "How is this not fun?"

Fast forward to carpool day (why oh why did I not take a picture of the SIX children in carseats?) and my Johnny boy was poking his neighbors a little bit too much. So I'm singing verse after verse (FYI all the verses are the same) to How much is that doggie in the window? Arf! Arf! The one with the waggly tale. How much is that doggie in the window? Arf! Arf! I do hope that doggie's for sale. After singing through quite a few times in my futile attempt to distract my son, Isaac looked at me and answered my question.

"I think about sixteen bucks."

Well, you can tell by the way he uses his walk

That he's a woman's man

No time to talk

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Beal's School

Today was Johnny's first day of school. I was completely unprepared because we decided the night before that he could go, so Johnny boy, I'm sorry there are no pictures of you with a lunch box standing at your bus stop with a side ponytail. Wait a minute, that was me, not you. And wait another second, you don't go long enough to eat lunch at school and I drove you, not the bus driver.

Since Johnny is 18 months old now (we start nursery next week and will report) Camille said that Nonny (Nigel's name for Johnny) could come to Beal's school. What is Beal's school? you might ask. When we were little kids, mom sent us to Montessori school with Mr. Veenop and he taught me how to pass scissors politely and how to carve a turkey and he had a little tiny toilet for kids. It is a fond memory of mine.

So fast forward from the time warp to a few years ago when Millie (aka Camille or uncle beal) was teaching at a Montessori school and she certified to be a Montessori teacher. Camille has just the right personality for how Maria Montessori believes adults should act in the lives of children - with love and empowering them to be their best selves. Listen to what Maria has to say...

Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.

The greatest sign of success for a to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist."

Now for a pretty deep one...
If we have neither sufficient experience nor love to enable us to distinguish the fine and delicate expressions of the child's life, if we do not know how to respect them, then we perceive them only when they are manifested violently.

Camille has sufficient experience and oversufficient love which is one of the reasons she started Beal's school. It is based on Montessori principles and has stations where the children can choose their work and feel loved. It is a great thing.

And now Johnny can be a part of it this fall. Thank goodness beal is full of love and has a digital camera so we could record this momentous occasion.

Thanks to the men for mother's day meals. I didn't lift a finger except to hold this cute girl.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

She died with her boots on

I want this to be said about me when I die. I died with my boots on.

Meaning I worked hard to the end.
Meaning I was doing meaningful work to the very end.
Meaning I was helping others.
Meaning I was a part of the team still in my own way even if that way had to morph a little bit because my abilities and capabilities and agilities had changed because of time.
Meaning I try to metaphorically put my boots on every day and do the hard things so I will be in the habit like I imagine Marjorie Paye Hinckley and Grandma Dahl.

Meaning I made my sweet Ev this blanket at our annual sisters trip (thanks for hosting us, Callie and thanks for teaching me how to sew this, Beal) because John Deere tractor logos in pink with hearts and brown plaid represent what I mean when I say, "She died with her boots on". Now I just have to learn from little Ev what it means to be born with your boots on. I CANNOT wait to put her hair in pigtails and put her in cowgirl boots.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Prom 2009

We got to be around when Jake hosted Prom dinner 2009. Johnny grilled up some excellent steaks and the moms of all the other boys dropped off the rest of the meal. It was a great evening. Jake matched Melia's dress perfectly.

While the girls were freshening up

The boys were playing ping pong and pool.

It was a great night. I wonder if Johnny would have asked me to prom if we were in highschool together? I hope so.