Monday, December 6, 2010

Should I Be Concerned?


I heard this conversation in the car today:

Rachel: We all do different things.
Joseph is a poet.
I read books.
Skye is a storyteller.
And . . .

Adrie: I am the girl that goes to parties.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Yes

Why yes, my child does dress herself. Why do you ask?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Mourning

Malachi 3:10
Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Standing in my sister's kitchen, holding a pot of soup. There is not a place to put the soup. Every inch of the counter (and table and stove) is covered in love.

The same love we feel from an extended family who have cried with us and offered support. Love from our neighbors who show up with flowers (and much needed black eyeliner for the school Halloween parade).

Love and prayers that balance out the pain of loss. The pain we feel for the loss of a child that we wanted to see grow old. The pain we feel for a 16 year old boy whose life was also changed in an instant.

We have been doing hard things here. Things that I wish no parent (or aunt or grandparent) should do. And even though it does not help much with today (or the nights- those are bad), we do know where Allison is and we know we will be reunited.

"For the love of the Son of God pierces all darkness, softens all sorrow and gladdens every heart." -Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf


PS My brother Jared put words to all of our feelings:
Mourning a Loss

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Yes, you can decorate a few cookies.

I was decorating these cookies and Rachel and Skye asked if they could help. I helped them frost a few and then turned to wash some dishes while they decorated. When I finally looked at the cookies I had to laugh- can you tell which ones they decorated? If you were a child, which cookie would you want?!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Fun Letter


I got this email this morning from Japan:
Dear Mr and Mrs Seamons

Hello!! Thank you your message.

If possible I want to have a barbecue with you.

And If possible I want to see a starry sky in your city.

I hope to see you soon, thank you. ( ^O^ ) from Nobutaka

Next week we will welcome our Japanese exchange student. It has been an amazing experience the last few years. This year we will be able to share Adrie's Birthday and Halloween with our student! I think Halloween will be a confusing experience- try explaining the concept of Halloween to someone that doesn't speak English!! As a note, many of the students are excited to see stars- in Japan there is too much light and they don't see many stars. I think we can manage both a barbecue and some stars.

PS The image is Nara, the home of our student.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Please excuse my absence:


I am spending a lot of time making sure this child doesn't hurt himself.

video

PS Nathan's picture shot by my friend Nichole.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Harvest

I went out to pick my tomatoes today. I thought I would get about two dozen. They were hiding- and this is what I picked:
Now I will need to figure out what to do with them! Salsa, spaghetti sauce, juice? No matter what I decide, it looks like I will be busy tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Miss A, First Day


She has been waiting, Oh so long, and not very patiently for the first day. It is finally here and I am wondering (once again) where my sweet baby went. We will miss her brilliant energy- but not too much since she will be home in 2.5 hours!!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

To My Husband Near our 13th Anniversary (an odd number)


I have always thought that we are equally yoked-
A good team.
You build and I paint.
You dig and I plant.
You trim and I mow.
You listen and I talk.
You carry and I bear.

I am learning that we are not equally yoked.

Not equally yoked, but willing to slow down, or speed up, or pull
To stay yoked.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Falling in Love

Is it possible to fall in love with someone everyday? Each day a little more deeply? I feel this way with Nathan (and with all my babies). Nathan decided to walk a few days ago (he has had the process down for awhile- he has just not been motivated to switch over from crawling).
video
Whenever I see Nathan walking around the house- in that funny baby way- I just want to pick him up and give him a big squeeze and a kiss (and I often do).

I have fallen for him. Hook. Line. And Sinker.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Volunteers


Vol-un-teer: A person who voluntarily (unconstrained by interference) undertakes or expresses a willingness to undertake a service.

My favorite part of yard work is the element of surprise. There are many unpleasant surprises (snail shells, morning glory, and wasp nests), but there are also many pleasant ones. Every year I am amazed at the ability of the Earth to renew itself- in the spring I love to walk around my yard and see all the plants returning.
However much I enjoy all my returning plants (daffodils, roses, raspberries) and their wonders, the plants I really enjoy are the ones that surprise me. They are the plants that I did not plan on. The plants that although I may have at some time planted the mother plant somewhere in my yard- I really can't figure out how a seed made it way across the yard. They are my volunteer plants.

This year I have some really spectacular volunteer plants. Snapdragons, hollyhock, and columbine are a few volunteers that I enjoy. I always appreciate when anything beautiful grows without any effort on my part! I love my volunteers!

The word volunteer is such a positive, warm, fuzzy word. A person that will give up their time to help other people! or an organization! or save the whales! However, I have noticed that the definition of the word is changing. Phrases like "mandatory volunteer time" and "court ordered volunteer" are becoming common. I don't know if the semantics of volunteer are changing, but most of those phrases sound like an oxymoron. This summer we have had several interesting experiences with "volunteering."

Joseph is on the swim team this summer. It has been a fantastic experience for him and we will definitely be doing it again. They have a really strange approach to parent volunteers. At the very first meeting the coaches said there was a mandatory volunteer time per family to help with the swim meets. Now that swim season is almost over, the coaches are sending out threatening letters "volunteer or we will fine you for your lack of volunteer hours." I am not quite sure how they plan on collecting the fine. Although we will put in our total volunteer hours (and we actually enjoy helping!), I am a little perplexed why they feel the need to be so threatening. I certainly don't feel like a volunteer- at least by my definition!

Joseph has been working on his Citizenship in the Community merit badge. The one requirement keeping him from finishing the merit badge is the "8 hours of volunteer time for a non profit organization." He is 6 hours into the volunteer time and I am finding it is like pulling teeth to get him to finish. Do you remember when you were little and you were about to do your job (empty the dishwasher or sweep the floor) and then your Mom or Dad said "Becky do your job" and suddenly all the fun went out doing the job? This is the feeling I am getting with Joseph except I am on the parent side. He actually enjoys the volunteer time, but being told to do something almost always takes the personal satisfaction out of the activity. "So stop telling him to do the volunteer time," you say. Aye, there's the rub. If I stop nagging- I mean reminding he may just never finish the merit badge, get his Eagle, get into college, get a job, and be a productive member of society. I jest. However, I do feel like I am walking the fine line between nagging and helping my child reach his potential through a productive activity.

So here's a few questions!

Do you feel less inclined to volunteer when the work is required?
Does anyone have a great method to get a 11 year old scout to be self motivated in scouting or anything for that matter?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Family Reunion

What Happens When You Spend a Week With 42 of Your Nearest and Dearest Family Members:

video


It was a lovely week. I think we all may be a little tired and in need of a nap!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My New Best Friend or Maybe My Worst Enemy

Sorry for the blurry (stolen from the Internet) image!!

I bought one of these a few weeks ago. A lady in my ward brought her steam cleaner when we were cleaning the church a few months ago and I was impressed with the way it cleaned the grout between the tiles in the entrance. After potty training 3 children in this house, no matter how much I clean the grout in the bathrooms I still wonder if it would be better to tear it out and start over.

Along comes Mr. Steam Cleaner.

Grout in bathrooms. Check
Crayon off the wall. Check
Scary stuff dried on the wall. Check
Exterior of refrigerator. Check

I should love it, right?!

Except that I really don't enjoy cleaning that much (does anyone?!). I love to dejunk. I love a clean house. But the everyday wipe the counter for the three millionth time does not inspire me. I would much rather be reading a book or digging in the dirt. When we moved into this house someone told me that I would be a slave to my baseboards and crown molding: "You are going to spend your life cleaning that crown molding!" However, I haven't been a slave at all. On the contrary, I have largely ignored all my molding except for the few times a year I do really, really deep cleanings (are you horrified?!).

Now, the bar has been raised by this simple little machine. I started to clean my baseboards today. I was amazed (or horrified) how dirty they were and how much better they look. So I spent a large part of the day crawling around cleaning baseboards. I love it- areas that have bothered me and that I always ignore are now looking the way I would like.

But I am left wondering. Was I better off living in ignorance? Now I am spotting so many places that I can clean so perfectly and I am faced with a choice: to ignore (and feel guilty because I have seen the higher road) or to be a slave to my baseboards.



PS I think I need to get out of the house. Did I just write a whole post about my steam cleaner? ;-)


PPS No, I did not pay that much for the steam cleaner!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Just to Make Your Day

This makes up for a lot of the hard parts of being a parent:
He may be the cutest baby ever.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Skye!

Our sweet Skye turned 7! Here are some interesting facts about Skye:
*Skye can climb anything (you can often find her up our Sycamore, on top of the playset, or climbing the basketball standard).
*Skye has a loving heart. She is my biggest helper and takes better care of Nathan than I do;-)
*Skye is an artist.
*Skye is joyful.

A few weeks ago Skye wrote several poems. They have great illustrations, but I thought I would just share the text.

The Lemenad

How much
is that lemenad.

I hope it is a nekl.
Yes it is
Then here
it is.

The Shoe Stor

I want hiy hels.
no you can't.
I want sparkly shoes.
no you can't.
I want flip flops.
no you can't.
I want sandls.
no you can't.
I want snekers.
yes you can.

Qwelts (Quilts)

Qwelts Qwelts
Why do I have to
have Qwelts?
They make me
ich
They make me
Snes.
So why
do we have
to have qwelts.

The Old Old Hat

Why do i have
to were that
old old hat
Isn't it old?
I no but your
school is having a
old old hat party.

My Baby

Your having
a baby. you can't
you can't. you will
ferget about me
no I won't.

Flower in the Garden

I have to plant
flowers in the
garden. Planting
stuf is so much
fun.

Amerjensy Exit (Emergency Exit)

Where is a amerjensy
exit? There is
a fire so where
is the amerjensy
exit?

I wish I could include the art for this poem. It shows a streak of black humor. There is a picture of an emergency exit with a big fire blocking the door. When I asked her to explain her picture she said "I wanted to make it funny."

Did I mention she is prolific?

Note: Skye is reading this post as I write and is quite pleased that she is now published on the web:-) I asked her about the meaning of her poems (My baby is quite disturbing!) and she said "I just make them up."

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Deep Thoughts By Rachel

Rachel has been saying the funniest things lately. I can tell she is thinking very hard about many different topics. Some of the questions she asks are just hilarious. The hardest part is that I can't laugh because they are serious questions!

This morning:
"Mom, if you were a living piece of bread what would you do if someone was going to make toast?"

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby!


Nathan is one! I remember holding him when he was tiny and new and knowing that before I knew it he would be turning one. Sure enough, here we are a year later! Nathan is a sweet boy. We had fun celebrating his Birthday, although I don't think Nate knew what to think of everything!
video

Friday, May 14, 2010

Joseph Concerto

video
Joseph and Rachel took part in a Concerto festival in early May. It was really fun to see them both do so well on their songs. Joseph was selected to perform at a concert a few days after the festival and he did great! Even though it is hard to tell- there are two pianos performing- Joseph's amazing teacher is on the other piano. I will post Rachel's performance soon- but I thought one was enough today!!

Note: This post took me forever to publish because I couldn't figure out how to resize my video.

Nathan

This is Nathan's newest trick. He has been standing on his own for a week or so. I haven't been able to catch a picture of him standing because he always starts crawling towards me when I have the camera. I had to bribe him with a cracker to get this picture. He is so very proud of himself.

Nathan got tubes in his ears this week. He has been battling ear infections and fluid in his ears for the last two months and so we decided to go ahead with the process. It is too early to tell if it will help. Many people say "Oh, but he is such a happy baby- I would never know he is sick." He is a very happy baby during the day- not so much at night! Hopefully this will help our nights be a little better!

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Funny Duck

Little Miss A has an amazing zest for life. Her sparkly personality matches her bright blue eyes. The other day we went to visit the Salt Lake City Cemetery and stopped by President Hinckley's grave. She was thrilled to be there and wanted to have her picture taken. It was a nice little trip.

I love my girls and I am glad that they are becoming good friends that take care of each other. Yesterday the girls were playing out back after dinner. I was cleaning up the kitchen when I heard them SCREAMING. Which is not unusual. However, the screaming was approaching the house and I was hearing the word "blood" (that will get your heart going) so I started running out back. Once I realized that nothing serious had happened the scene was quite comical.

Adrie had bumped her nose on Rachel's knee and her nose was bleeding. All four girls were running for the house screaming "Don't get the BLOOD on your shirt! Bend over so the BLOOD doesn't get on your shirt" Yes, in the midst of crisis, my girls are mainly concerned with preserving fashion. I guess we will work on how to administer first aid in a crisis;-)

Friday, April 16, 2010

As Much as I Love Costco

I joke that every piece of furniture and art in my house came from Costco. While this isn't strictly true (we shop at IKEA too!), it is pretty accurate. I won't bore you with a long discourse on why I don't like furniture stores and why I don't really enjoy decorating. At this stage in my life, I am extremely practical when it comes to home decorating. Decorating, (unless it is forced- a child needs a bed or that blank wall is driving me insane) doesn't even make my to do list. However, recently I came across this wonderful little business:


I must admit that I am in love. When I found out they are a local company I was ecstatic! I have already told Paul that nothing short of a natural disaster will keep me from their spring sale. Now I just need to figure out if I need any furniture;-)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Disneyland and Beyond

Last week we went on a family vacation to Southern California. We went to Disneyland, the San Diego Zoo, and Sea World. It was a fun trip, although Paul and I may need to go on vacation to recover! I have great memories of Disneyland. We went a couple of times when I was young and it was always so much fun. My family would sometimes wear matching shirts.
Here we are in matching BYU sweatshirts- I was about 15. We are in the line for the newly opened Star Tours (you can barely see me looking thrilled in the back- I was thrilled- but I was also 15!). I remember that after waiting 1.5 hours (ahh, the days of Disneyland without fast pass!), the ride made me violently sick. The memory is strong enough that I "let" Paul take the kids on Star Tours while I waited with the baby;-)Following tradition, I found matching shirts for our children. I quickly discovered that even at Disneyland 6 children stand out. Furthermore, 6 children in matching shirts really stand out! However, it was easy to keep track of the children and I figured that if someone got lost we would know exactly what they were wearing (luckily we didn't need to test this theory!). This is a picture I took of the children waiting to leave the hotel in the morning. They are watching TV- can you tell?! The title for the picture is "One of these things is not like the other" (click on the picture and you will understand why!).

We let Joseph carry the camera for most of the Zoo and Sea World. We ended up with a lot of pictures of animals. However, the pictures were not of zoo animals; we now have 527 pictures of every duck and sparrow living in the San Diego zoo;-)This is Shamu. Hi Shamu. Joseph did not zoom in to take this picture because we were sitting very, very, very close to Shamu. Paul saved us good seats for the show. We got wet. Very, very, very wet. And by the way, in case you have forgotten like we did, Orca live in the ocean- the water is cold and salty;-) I don't think any of our children will ever forget the experience, although some of them may need to attend therapy later in life!We decided to visit Sequoia National Park on the way home. After visiting Disneyland with 5 million other people, it was good to get back to nature and do some tree hugging- literally.
Just as a note, the man in blue was more intrigued by our family than the tree. Another man was so intrigued that he felt the need to take a picture of our family (you can see the camera on the right side of the picture)!
This is Adrie minutes after she threw up on our drive down the mountain from visiting the Sequoias. She and Katie are proving once again that 9/10 children are perfectly happy playing in a pile of dirt.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ditto!



Except the joke is on us! Even though I knew the storm was coming, it still is painful to see this out the front and back doors. The part that doesn't show in the picture is that it is still snowing- sideways (extreme wind!).

Note: This is my post from last year. Does it always snow April 1?!!!! Does anyone have any good jokes planned today? I forgot to make my classic "cardboard down the middle of pancakes" this morning and so I am scrambling for a good joke.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter and a Birthday

We celebrated Easter early this year. This may be last time the girls get matching dresses (unless I buckle down and sew them myself!) because Rachel is wearing the top size they sell at Costco! Our sweet Katie turned three. She makes us laugh everyday. Is there anything better than a three year old? She had the best time blowing out the candle on her cake:
video

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

But I Don't Want to Take a Nap!


I just found one very tired little girl asleep, waiting for laundry to finish (she wanted to help me load it into the dryer). Why don't they believe me when I say a nap would make them feel so much better?!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mikarose giveaway at Nurture Mama!


Check out this very cool giveaway at Nurture Mama! I love the Mikarose dresses! All their little girl dresses are on clearance right now.
Where was this dress when I needed a nice, modest, black dress a few years ago?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Definitely a Creamy Girl


Skye: Do you like creamy or chunky peanut butter?
Me: I like chunky peanut butter.

Looong Pause

Skye: Well, people can be different and you can still be friends.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Few Pictures

Rachel turned 9! She went with the wedding cake theme my girls seem to be choosing, but I said "no!" to white flowers and a statue on top- she can wait a long time for that! I copied a great cake I saw here (thanks Jenifer!). Rachel is an obedient child. Who can ask for anything else?!
Yesterday was beautiful! I took advantage of the great weather and finished my canning from last summer;-) I had our raspberries frozen just waiting to become jam. I also decided to try out grapefruit jam (thanks to my sister who brought us back some yummy grapefruit from her trip home to AZ). The grapefruit jam tastes remarkably like . . . grapefruit jam!
Adrie catches some air!We had our annual sledding party in Logan a few weeks ago. It was so much fun and I actually got to go sledding for the first time in years!
Last of all, Katie tried on Skye's ski helmet. I thought she was quite cute sporting her blueberry mustache.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Up in the Air

Up in the air, Junior Bird Man!
Up in the air, upside down!
Up in the air, Junior Bird Man!
Keep your little feet off the ground!
Up in the air, Junior Bird Man. Uggg.
Up in the air, upside down. Groan.
Up in the air, Junior Bird Man. Uggg Groan Uggg.
Keep your not so little feet off the ground. Thud.