Friday, December 15, 2006

Lucia Morning

I apologize for the long pause in my those few loyal readers. On December 13th we celebrated St. Lucia Day for the second year in a row. This is a Swedish tradition we celebrate because although my parents were both born in the U.S. all 4 of my grandparents immigrated from Sweden when they were young adults and met and married in the states . On Sancta Lucia Day the oldest daughter dresses in a white gown, red sash and a crown of candles (ours were battery operated) and lingonberry leaves(ours were plastic). She brings Lussekater buns (we just used cinnamon rolls), pepperkauker (ginger snaps) and drink to those in the house early in the morning. There is a legend about Sancta Lucia who brought food to the starving and it celebrates that the days will soon start to grow longer instead of shorter...a celebration of light.
We added a few special touches of our own. We decided to make it the day we put lights on our christmas tree and decorate it. It helped celebrate the light theme even more. Lastly we tried this special drink that is part of the tradition...Glogg. I wasn't terribly impressed. Tim said it tasted like grape juice. with a kick. I disagreed. I like grape juice.
Elisabeth loves being our Santa Lucia and she makes a beautiful Saint.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I'm Cooking!

Sam has always shown an interest in cooking. When Joe was about his age, he got into books, he is now a geat reader and loves to do it. Elisabeth just talked, she was never into digging into stuff. Lincoln, loved to dig into my make up and Elisabeth's shoes. We will see where that takes him. Sam digs into dishes. First he was pulling out all of our plastic food containers which drove me nuts because it was always a mess. Then he started digging in the pots and pans (which is nice because we have less of those. His most recent habbit is to pull out our biggest cooking pot first thing, climb in and sit in it. It is like clock work. He does this every day while I am making dinner. We are trying to decide if he is saying, "I'll make dinner" or "When you find out what I just did, I am going to be in so much trouble", "I am so cute you could eat me up or perhaps it's "I am ready to be potty trained!"

Child abuse and Neglect Class

I am currently taking a class in Child abuse and neglect and Domestic violence. Very interesting class. Very sad too. My husband is taking art classes. He gets to come home and create works of art. I get to come home disgusted and disturbed much of the time. I do find it very interesting, as a future counselor and as a current mother, to see how abuse and neglect are defined, why it happens, and how it is treated. It makes me look more closely at how I treat my kids. I may not meet the actual standards for neglect or emotional maltreatment, but I can't be making my minimum my maximum. Just because I am not considered abusive or neglectful by the state does not make me a good parent.

Since I have started this class I find myself asking questions like: Am I patient enough with them? Do they know they are important to me? Do they feel loved and liked by me? Do I yell at them too much? I am also constantly wondering if too many weak moments make me neglectful. If I don't give them a bath twice this week, am I being neglectful? Is my house clean enough? Do I feed them adequatly? If I am not constantly following my 18-month old around the house and he gets bumps and scrapes because I am not there with him to catch him every time he I being negligent?

Two comforting things I have learned are that I really don't have much to fear. I am doing just fine according to their standards (and more importantly mine). Knowing the system is pretty comforting too. They are not watching our every move just waiting to snatch our children away at the first sign of abuse or neglect. The most helpful thing this class teaches me is just to be constantly be thinking of my childrens welfare. I feel like I am thinking more about my parenting. I am trying to be slower to act and speak in anger and quicker to give attention and hugs. I am not a perfect parent by any stretch but I can always improve. I think I have found this class as impactful in my parenting skills as my parenting class was.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Joseph Stanley on the Sattelite of Love

I am a big fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000. The only person who I can say likes it more than me is my son Joseph. I think he watches an episode a day on average. Many more if I would let him. He knows everything there is to know about the show. He is obsessed with every thing there is to know about Tom, Crow, Mike, Joel and TV's Frank. On one hand he makes me proud and pleased that my son shares my sense of humor. On the other hand, I hear so much about the show on a daily basis, I can't keep up with his enthusiasm.
I find it ironic that we both warmed up to the show after much resistance. I would watch the adds for it when I was 19, thinking "That looks SO DUMB! I know I would hate it." One time it was on after another show and the tv just never got turned off. It took less than 10 minutes for me to be converted and I was recording ever episode I saw. Many years later, when I watched it as a mom, Joseph would run screaming in the opposite direction every time. so I stopped watching them except for special occasions. It was one of these special occasions that Joe fianlly was able to watch it in a way that didn't scare him. He has been converted, ever since.
Joe's greatest regret is that the show is not still on the air. His goal is that if the show hasn't returned by the time he is an adult, he will bring it back himself. I am behind him 100%.
Hit the button Frank!

Elisabeth is 6!

September 23rd was Elisabeth's 6th birthday. She is growing up which I have mixed feelings about. I started the day by
giving her a manicure and pedicure. Tim made Strawberry Pancakes and I took her to get a haircut which is totally adorable on her. I kept it a surprise until we walked into the salon and the smile on her face when she realized what we were going to do was worth the wait. She jumped up and down and everything. She is always jealous when we take her brothers to get a haircut but not her. When the stylist asked if she wanted about the same length or to go shorter, Elisabeth exclaimed without hesitation..."Shorter!" I got my hair cut too at the same time so it could be a mommy-daughter outing.
We didn't plan on throwing a big party this year but her friend had her own party on Elisabeth's birthday. She got to do all the fun party stuff, hang out with her friends, AND we didn't have to put on the party. Kind of nice. But, I feel like a slacker mom and feel guilty about it somehow. After the party she opened all of her presents. She recieved some money from her Grandma Judy and she went to the store to spend some of it.
We took her to Fuddruckers for dinner but they didn't have her favorite dish anymore (Mac and Cheese) and they brought her birthday sunday before they brought the dinner. They didn't sing "Happy Birthday" to her either. Kind of dispapointing, but she was a good sport about it all. This is one of the many reasons we love her. We came home and had cake and ice cream.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

School rituals

On Joseph's (my first child) first day of school 3 years ago, we started the tradition of sitting down after school and letting him show me everything he brought home from school. Joe would always hold the bag in his hands and pull each page out,showing and explaining them to me, one at a time. He has had a a lot of fun surprising me with fun things like his book order deliveries and school photos. He often amazed me with his ability to keep the secret from me until it was time for the unveiling.
This year my daughter began kindergarten. I have been anticipating this a long time. Before we had lunch after her first day, I insisted we look at what she brought home from school. I don't know what I expected but it wasn't what happened next. She pulled all of the papers out of the bag at once and plopped them on the table. "Here they are mom." I was thrown for a second trying to figure out what was different in this picture. Why was I thinking something was missing? I then realized that my two kids who seemed similar in many ways, each had their own little style of playing out this simple little daily ritual. Maybe, she was always annoyed with the way Joe made us wait. Perhaps food is a higher priority to her than my attention. Whatever it is, it represents how each of my kids make my life interesting, by being unique from eachother.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Wisdom of Wiz

Here is an amusing quote by my 5 year old daughter. We were reading the book "Call it Courage" We were reading the part when he is in his canoe in the ocean and very thirsty. I asked my kids, "So..if he is so thirsty, why doesn't he just drink the ocean water? He is surrounded by it." Joe said "Because it is unhealthy, it will make you sick" I asked "Why is that?" Elisabeth answers "Because of all the sea monster pee that's in it"

Monday, August 07, 2006

What I did on my Summer Vacation

We had two trips this summer. The first was to St. George to visit Tim's Grandpa Nix. Tim's mom was helping to take care of him while his wife was on a trip so we were able to visit her while we were there too. We had fun in Zion National Park one day we were there. The other excitement was Tim wearing shorts, t-shirt and tennis shoes to Sacrament meeting (we didn't think we were going to church so we didn't pack for it). Lincoln ended up yelling "HUZAH!" in the middle of a talk and yelling "MOMMY!" across the room another time. Thank goodness it wasn't our ward at least, but poor Grandpa. He has to go back to these people every week. It was fun visiting with them.

Our other vacation was to Laughlin Nevada for a Nix Family Reunion. We spent half a day and a night in Las Vegas on the way. While in Vegas we ate at In-n-Out Burger which is always a treat. Even more exiting than that however was riding the Star Trek Experience. We went on both rides. We did the parent swap where I went with Elisabeth and Tim went with Joe. If you ever do the parent swap with your children on this ride, go on both rides and let the other parent wait outside of the attraction. Trade after you are all done or you will end up waiting in line the whole time with restless kids. You are stuck there. The rides were pretty fun though.

The next day we went to Laughlin Nevada and joined the reuinion already in progress. We stayed at the Edgewater Hotel Casino. While we were there we had a lot of good opportunities to catch up with aunts, uncles and cousins, nephews and neices. We also had my whole husband's family together except unfortunatly Amber's husband Sandi.

It was fun to have a lot of other Mommies with strollers. When we went to see "Cars" I knew I would be in the hallway in no time but I knew I wouldn't be alone. I wasn't Spencer and Samuel are the same age and 1 year olds and movie theaters do not mix. Mom's of small kids have a different experience on vacations and I knew I was in good company.

The highlights of the trip were the Apples to Apples midnight game and our trip to Oatman Arizona. This ghost town is named after Olive Oatman, someone in Tim's geneology. Neat story. We also went to Casino College that was interesting and fun. Now I know what I am seeing when I watch James Bond movies. Hopefully noone becomes addicted to gambling now that we know how to play the game.

Post Vacation Blues

Here it is, the Monday after all the vacations of the summer are over and after the highlight of my son's baptism. (I will talk about what we did on a different blog.
I have mixed feelings right now. I have post vacation blues. I feel very relieved it is all over, since family vacations are never vacations for Mom really. Especially things like family reunions can be hard. You end up doing things you would never do on your own just because you don't want to be a spoil sport. It turns out being fun, but a lot of work.

I also feel sadness and emptiness because the things I have been looking forward to are now over. They have kept me going for a while now. Now I am just at home, the highlight of my day is that if I work hard, I can get my house in order again. Not as exciting as a road trip and a family reuinion, but a lot less stress.

The summer is coming to an end. That means my favorite season and favorite Holidays are around the corner so now I have new things to look forward to.

Monday, July 31, 2006


So many things my kids do and say crack me up. They get away with and struggle with things that grown-ups just don't.

When was the last time you were at a family gathering with all adults and one of them just falls off their chair in the middle of a conversation (assuming no one is drunk)?

When was the last time you saw a grown up stand up on a pew, looking back at the congregation and drinking a cup of milk. Or lying on the floor rolling under the pews?

When is the last time you hit your head on a door knob because you bumped into it as you walked out of your room?

As an adult you cant scream and cry at Walmart because things aren't going your way. Believe me...if it were acceptable I would scream and cry EVERY SINGLE TIME I am there. I envy my kids that they can express their frustrations more openly, while I just have to bottle them up inside and die just a little every time I am there.

My husband was holding our sleeping baby in Priesthood and the elder next to him said "remember when you could get away with that in church?" Then my son passed gas at that very moment. My husband replied "Remember when you could get away with THAT in church?"
In some ways, kids really do have the easy life.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Wit of Wiz . . .

Kristin added me as a contributor, so I better throw my two cents in.
All of our kids are wonderfully conversationalists, and have great alternative perceptions on the world around them. Elisabeth, in particular, has startled and amused me in the past couple of weeks.
The other day we were walking across the Shop-Ko parking lot. Elisabeth noticed a shaved ice stand on the other side of the lot. She asked innocently enough, “Dad, could we get some shaved ice?”
I replied, “You don’t really want shaved ice, do you Elisabeth? It is raining! Shaved ice
is best when it is hot and sunny.”
Elisabeth looked at me with a scowl that barely concealed what appeared to be a surprisingly mature decade of teenage angst.
“Dad,” she said, pausing dramatically before dispelling my ignorance, “SOME people just really like shaved ice!”

Elisabeth episode two:
Kristin had built a tasty make-shift treat for the kids---Fresh Strawberries and Vanilla yogurt---with a bit of granola bar crush up on the top. Elisabeth tasted it an asked Kristin, “Mom, what is this stuff called?”
Kristin replied, “It is kind of like a parfait.”
“You know what I think would be a better name?” Elisabeth flatly stated, “Yogurt and Strawberries of Goodness +2”
That’s my girl!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Swim Lessons for Lincoln

This year I have three kids in swim lessons. It is at 4:30pm (because I signed up so late) which is not a good time for Lincoln because he is either sleeping by then or grumpy because he hasn't taken a nap yet. I signed him up for Pre-school 2 which means he should be comfortable with the water. He has decided that this is his "I am afraid of the water" or "I am afraid of the teacheer" summer.

He usually is ok with people he doesn't know that well, and with water. I guess it is the combination of water and stranger that makes him sit on the side of the pool refusing to do anything the class is doing. The teacher keeps stretching his arms out to him, encouraging him to join. He just shakes his head and remains stubbornly on the side of the pool sucking his thumb and twisting his hair.

The first day of class I decided maybe I could help. I made it much worse and learned an embarresing lesson that day. So, I remain up in the observation room cringing every time he shakes his head at his teacher. If I had signed him up for the class he should be in, (the one where the kid is supposed to be afraid of the water) I wouldn't be half as embarressed or concerned.

I really should be more patient and understanding since I can't swim, This is because when my brothers learned to swim in their swim classes I freaked out and my mom couldn't bring herself to force me to do it anymore. So, I hope that by allowing him to sit there by the pool he is learning something. Maybe he is getting more comfortable and by the end of next week he will have made $35 worth of progress, even if it is all in his head. Next time I will sign him up for the morning and for preschool 1. To his credit, every day he goes willingly to the side of the pool and is excited for his class.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

10 Things I like about You!

1. He is thoughtful and seems to think before he acts or speaks
2. Sensitive to others feelings
3. Likes to learn new things,
4. Likes to teach others these new things
5. He is a good student, works hard and respects his teachers and peers
6. A good friend to his sister and to everyone in the family. A fun guy to have around.
7. A good example to his brothers and sister
8. Has broad and adventurous tastes in food
9.He wants to please his parents, he seems to honor and respect us.
10. He is a little reserved, but not too shy to play the piano for his school class or make new friends

1. She is all girl. she likes to play princess and dress up and loves the color pink
2. She can be one of the boys too
3. She is matronly and likes to take care of people, especially Sam
4. She is very affectionate and loveing, full of hugs, kisses and "I love you"s
5. She is artistic. She has an eye for design and color.
6. She is great company. I will often take her with me even if I don't have to..just because I want to.
7. She is a good friend and makes new ones easily
8. She loves to have fun and is full of smiles.
9. She is a great conversationalist. Loves to use big words
10. She is a drama queen. She isn't afraid to be the center of attention but admits to being shy too.

1. He is a prankster. He often has a mischevious gleam in his eye.
2. Life is a game, he likes to have fun doing whatever he does. When he is happy, he shows it very well.
3. He often thinks of the comfort and happiness of others
4. He is eager to be helpful and please others
5. He laughs easily
6. He is very determined when he wants things
7. He is independent but not too independent
8. He is a little dancer and comedian, he makes us laugh a lot
9. He is all boy with his love of cars and trains
10. He makes friends with others easily, old and young alike

1. He loves to adventure. With each step of independence he seems to relish in his new freedom
2. He has an adorable smile that comes often and easy.
3. He is very affectionate
4. He has interesting taste in food. Dislikes things all the other kids loved (bananaas and cheese) and likes things the other kids didn't (almost anything, but most specifically meat)
5. He likes to be held by other people making him fun for everyone
6. He is my only blond baby, a different color hair then any of my other kids....a change
7. He is cautious and careful
8. He is pretty happy anywhere we go. especially if we do anything outside of the house
9. He is an esecape artist and keeps us on our toes
10. He is a mild mannered, content, and easy kid

Monday, May 01, 2006


Today is the first day of the month of May. This is my favorite month of the year. That is because this is the month I (and I assume Tim as well...I hope...) celebrate the meeting and marrying of Tim Stanley and Kristin Sandberg. Every year I get senimental and read my journal entrees of those early days. Our time together has been happy and something to celebrate.

We met May 7th, 1995..then again on May 10th. We went on our first date May 13th and many more followed that one. We started dating more seriously on May 29th We were married May 11th the following year. That makes this year our 10th anniversary! These 10 years have been the best 10 years of my life. Tim has something special planned and I can't wait. He always puts so much thought into these special days. (a little of the reason these have been such great years)

My part has been to wean Sam at least enough so we can leave him with our friends over night. So far he is being very stubborn and is pretty unhappy with a bottle or sippy cup. He has had a few second thoughts about it when we fill it with melted vanilla ice cream or chocolate milk, but these second thoughts don't last very long.

My baby is growing up!

Sam just turned 1 on April 28th and weaning does not appear in the near future. His attitude about it appears to be . "If you are weaning me..that makes you the weaner and me the weanie and I want nothing to do with such things." He just started crawling quite proficiently this weekend. That is pretty fun. He seems to be enjoying the freedom it gives him. Much like a 16 year old with his new drivers license. Just watching him sleep in his crib it is appearent he is no longer an infant, No more snug little bundles. He is sprawled out in his crib...blanket far from him. His favorite sleeping position right now is folded if he fell asleep sitting up.