Monday, June 25, 2012

You've Got Mail

You know what?  Life's actually been pretty good lately.  Turns out spending family time together does quite a lot of good for a family--a world of good for our family.  And if you want to maximize the benefits, you spend that family time OUTside.  It's seriously amazing.  You know why?  Because there is nothing to fight about--plenty of space, and bugs, and sand, and water, and discoveries for everyone. Yeah, so I think we've spent more fun time as a family in the last couple months than we've probably ever spent before---or at least that's what it seems like.  For whatever reason, Brian decided to start actually giving himself Saturdays off.  And it has been so, so wonderful.  Since the weather's been nice, we have planted a garden (in Brian Holmes's garden spot which he graciously offered to us this year), gone camping, enjoyed many family bike rides, done yard work, had barbecues, gone to the beach...

Oh, and the kids and I followed Lindsay's lead and created a summer bucket list.  The kids had a blast just making the list, not to mention actually checking things off it.  So anyway...we're enjoying our summer.
Looks like wrinkles are the least of my worries.  How 'bout adult acne?!

Hey.  Remember that post where I told you how wonderful it was to feel pretty for Brian?  Well, lately I haven't been feeling so pretty. You know why?!!  Because I've become really discouraged by my aging face. It's certainly not that there weren't plenty of issues before.  But I seriously have more wrinkles than anyone I know who is around my age.  I'm not just saying that.  I have been counting wrinkles on others' faces for the last several weeks, and so far, no one trumps me.  And I just couldn't figure it out at first.  I mean, I know I spend time in the sun occasionally--but not more than any other normal person.  So where in the heck did I get all these stinking wrinkles?!!  Well, I think I've figured it out.  For most of my life I have not worn sunglasses.  They were just hard for me to get used to for the longest time, and then I would lose or break them every time I got them, so I just never really got in the habit.  Well, I'll tell you what.  I'm paying the price now, baby.  I look like I'm ninety.  So last Thursday morning, I headed straight to the Grocery Outlet and picked myself out a really nice pair.  Well, maybe not super nice.  :)  Better late than never, right?  Besides, a girl can't have everything.  I do have a long(er) eyelash, after all.

And that reminds me...You know what saying I hate?  That saying, "She wants to have her cake and eat it too."  My whole life, the little subconscious me has sat timid in the corner wondering, Is it really too much to ask to actually want to take a little bite of my cake?  I mean, it sure looks pretty on my plate, but my belly would sure enjoy a little taste...  I'm pretty sure my mom and I discussed this one of the last times she was visiting and she agreed that the saying is ridiculous.  No, we understand what it is supposed to mean.  It's just that as it is stated, it just doesn't make sense.  We think it should be stated, "She wants to eat the whole cake and still have it too."  Better, don't you think?

You know what else is funny?   I think when we are describing something unfavorable to us, most of us will say, "I could care less if ...."  When the correct sentiment is really "I couldN'T care less if...."  Right?  I notice myself constantly correcting myself on that one...  So dumb.

Anyway--get this.   So Janey has this little tin Christmas mailbox.  Every now and then I will see it on the floor in front of her doorway with the little red thing sticking up, indicating there is mail inside it.  Beside it, there will always be a little tag with the name of the person for whom she has written a note.  Well, the other day, Janey and I got in a little tiff and she stomped down the hallway and slammed her bedroom door behind her.  Before long, though, the mailbox was out--the red flag and fallen down--with a note by it letting me know the mail was for me.  I opened it up to find the following note:  

Can you tell what it says?  I will love you forever...I love my mom and she love(s) me too and that is how it will olwaze dee (always be).   Oh, man.  It just doesn't get better than that.  I, of course, told Jane how much I had loved her notes and since then, it has become a "thing" that I tell her, "I will love you forever, Gain Goo."

I seriously have the most awesome kids.  Yesterday, Danin came up to me while I was cooking and said, "How's the bacon shakin'?"  So funny!  That girl.  Have I told you how social she is?  While we were out at the beach on our camping trip, she made friends with another little girl whose name she told me she couldn't understand.  I was thinking it was probably because the girl didn't speak English.  Seriously, that wouldn't have deterred Dan.  She LOVES to make friends.  The other day in church, we had some visitors sitting in front of us.  Immediately, Dan was introducing herself and asking the other girl's name again.  Her name was Dannika!  So perfect.  So she and Danin exchanged crayons and coloring pages and whispers throughout the meaning and then skipped off to class together afterwards.  A couple weeks later--break my heart--Danin was telling me she doesn't think she is as pretty as the other girls.  I immediately became paranoid that she was struggling to feel pretty like the other girls because of her lack of long flowing hair-- a struggle I endured my entire childhood.   I told her she was the most beautiful 4-year-old in all the world.  She told me she would feel prettier if she had a yellow gemstone necklace like Dannika.  Ohhhh, I see.  That would do the trick.

And I had (what I'm still hoping is) a breakthrough with Camp.  He struggles, at times, to control his temper--not too unlike myself, I'm afraid.  And I've been really struggling to figure out how to discipline him appropriately when he loses control.  So I had been praying pretty earnestly about it when one day I had a thought come to me:  Maybe instead of punishing him when he loses control, I could set up a little reward system for when he maintains control.  I had never thought of that before.  So I started a little system with him where every time he is in a situation where he is likely to lose control, he has the opportunity to take a deep breath, keep his mouth shut and his hands and feet to himself, and earn a point.  Every time he earns 10 points, he earns the privilege of staying up late with me for one hour after bed time.  He was thrilled with the idea, and I feel like it is definitely a step in the right direction.  If nothing else, I feel like Heavenly Father was helping me to change my focus--reminding me of the importance of acknowledging when Camp had chosen well--and also the importance of spending quality time with him.  He really is a good, good kid.

And Skip. He is speckled with chicken pox currently, but darling and perfect, of course.  He says "Ma" and "Da" now and loves to make us laugh.  He is terrified of standing on wet surfaces but loves to splash in puddles, cannot be separated from his stuffed lion, pushes anything that rolls, and  generally brings an added measure of joy to all of us.

Brian is busy with work.  Busy with work.  Man, what a blessing.  And he's still running and biking and stuff.  A week or so ago, he and I ran the Cape Mountain Trail Run.  I use the term run loosely.   It was  mostly uphill upmountain, so we walked a good bit of it.  But we're cooler for it anyway.

And I've been decorating!  Did I tell you I got a part time job?  A four-hour-a-week, just-enough-time-to get-us-a-little-moolah-to-save-and-a-little-moolah-to-decorate  part-time job.  Once a week, I clean the dental office of some very generous friends.  So anyway,  I'm working on my first set of roman shades for the girls' room and I got a new pet recently.  Well, it's actually a zebra rug, but mark my words--it's the closest thing to a pet my home will ever see.  It sheds, so it's practically the real thing.   I mentioned on Pinterest that I was wanting a rug like this for my room, and it really would look great there.  The problem is, when it arrived and I rolled it out in the front room, I couldn't bear to move it.  I think I'll just move it from room to room periodically, just like I do everything else in my house.  That's how you decorate on a budget, you know.  You just rearrange things.  And I just ordered those Ballard mirrors from my Pinterest board, too.   So exciting!  Maybe when I have them up in my room, I will take a picture and finally show you my painted armoire, too.  I moved the filing cabinet, finally.

Until later....


Berklee said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one that's mildly bugged when I hear "I could care less." :)

Lisa said...

Ann - it's so fun to read your blog again! That's all!

Topsy said...

YES! I love it when you post! Your hair is so long and beautiful! It looks incredible.

The kids are so cute.

"I could care less" bugs.

Yes I do want my cake and to eat it too, thank you very much.

I'm leaving the house right now to go buy some sunglasses.

Her Royal Highness said...

I love reading your blog!!!
As I was looking at your pictures, I noticed all of your kids squinting in the sun, too. You might want to pick them up some sunglasses as well - save your daughters the same heartache you're 'enjoying' now. :D
I LOVE your new 'cake/eat' quote. Makes much more sense, I think.
I'm so glad that you're enjoying family time together. Yay you for having a parenting breakthrough with Camp.

Sarah Collett said...

you just made my day

Heather said...

I love the way you write, like how you talk.=) I have always thought you were very pretty!! And skinny too! You are just a happy and cute person. And I know we all have our evil demons, but you hide yours nicely! My Spencer has temper issues too and we did a chart for him. It's worked great. One thing at a time! =)

Audge said...

I can't believe I haven't commented yet! I have looked at this post a trillion times with a huge smile on my face, and then I was reading the comments and realized I hadn't left one!

Once again, I love the post. I love the rug, I love your kids, I love your hair, I love your writing, I love it all. And I love you and miss you and can't wait to see you again!

Ryan & Brooke said...

I love all the new decor I see! There is so much you didn't tell me when we talked on the phone. Maybe that's because I was potty training ranting so much, huh?! Looks good and the kids are getting so big!