Kiss’n In Kindergarten


It’s time to proudly display the shotgun above the mantle with a large box of bird shot next to it.

“How was your day, Izzy?” I asked as we trotted across the parking lot, away from the morning pickup line. “What did you learn?”

“I don’t know.” Her usual non-answer to my usual question. “I have a new friend but it's not a girl."

"That's okay, you can be friends with everybody."

"He's a boy. He kissed me.”

“Where?” Trying not to sound so shocked while imagining a full-on, slobbery smooch from a fellow five year old over a bottle of Elmer's and a colorful pile of construction paper.

She was very matter of fact about the ordeal. “On the cheek,” there was no hint of a blush.

My daughters' been kissed and the next pathetic question that came to mind was, “Is he cute?”

“I don’t know. He has long brown hair and glasses. He’s shorter than me."

"That'll change." I chuckled, remembering how short the boys were in elementary school and how much they've changed by high school. “Why did he kiss you?"

"I don't know." Miss Iz shrugged, "It was gross though."

Phew, dodged that bullet. "What's his name?"

"Hmm," She had to think about this one for a while. "I don't know. I think it's Malachi."

'Oh, a biblical name' I thought, 'sounds promising'. Then again I do have a David and a Daniel. "Do you like him?"

"He's my friend, Mom." Maddy might have well said 'Duh, Mom... What do you think?'

For now, boys equal cooties as they should, until she reaches her mid-twenties. Okay, maybe we can at least put the ammo away.

Just Peachy

Peach Pretty

Yesterday the Relief Society got together and canned peaches from the church orchard. Twenty-some odd sisters blanched, peeled, sliced, poured and processed nearly seventy quart jars in three hours time. The Stake President wanted each family to can just one jar of peaches, to learn the process of canning and add to their food storage. “Everybody knows you can’t make just one jar of peaches.” Mission accomplished for those who attended.

If that wasn’t peachy enough, in the evening we took the Farmers back to the orchard to pick two bushels (about 90lbs) to can for our family. Even after thinning, the trees were loaded with fruit.

So guess what I’ll be doing Saturday? Canning isn’t so hard, especially with a large, three burner, gas camp stove and patio space to spread out on. Hosing off cement or moping the floor, counters and cabinets? Not a hard decision. Just remember, after you've been burnt several times, sliced a finger or two and you're brow is damp with sweat, they're bottled blessing.

The Last of Summer

Payette Lake

I had a migraine, I really did but a Sunday drive turned into a micro-vacation to McCall, ID for a picnic lunch on the shores of Payette Lake. It was absolutely beautiful; the drive, the destination, and the return trip. Of course, an almost unhealthy dose of Excedrin helped – a lot.

The kids played in the sand. After missing Kalaloch this year, it was their another opportunity to build castle-forts and townships to later flood and destroy with god-like power. I interjected some gospel principles and mentioned the Old Testament story of Noah. One less lashing for skipping out on church.

Maddy Digging Closeup

Devin Rock

DJ pose

D.J. is such a poser lately. I think he watched a Captain Morgan’s Rum commercial, what do you think?


boys beach

Kids rock 1

We stopped at a park provided by the local Kawanis Club which was very nice. Just up from the beach were tables and play structures for the kids. I think they watched too much of the Olympics, Maddy raised her arms in the air after her dismounts and then turned to the side, beaming, cheesy smile included. The boys were no exception.

Maddy top of structure

Maddy playstructure

boys looking down 2

boys upsidedown3

Rightside up and upside down

I *Used* To Be Cool

Having been out with the rest of the moms and dads getting ready to send their children off to school, I’ve noticed a few things that I can’t quite decide how to feel about. For instance, while hunting gym shoes for Devin, I came across multi-colored, neon shoes and a pair of white, neon-paint splattered, high-top Con’s. I turned to Devin and told him that theses were cool when I was his age in Junior High.

colored shoesn shoes

Would you wear these first-grader-with-a-crayon designer shoes? Never again. I should say that if it were the Second Coming and we all had to walk halfway around the world then maybe. Otherwise, forget it. Some things just shouldn’t be resurrected.

Then I noticed that Claire’s worked some voodoo magic on a Rainbow Bright doll and have the audacity to sell these evil, blindingly-beautiful torture devices. *squeee* “Like those are so totally, awesomely cute! Do you think Joey will notice me in them?”

neon earrings

Next thing you know, Swatch Watches will make a comeback and Hypercolor, which was never really a good idea to place in the hands of a randy high-schooler, will glow like a nuclear waste facility highlighting sweaty pits and rolls of fluff too hot to handle.

swatch watch hypercolor

Esprit tote bags can come back. They’re handy and my mother would never let me have one. Instead of shelling out an Andrew Jackson for these ultra-preppy bags from the Bon Marche or Nordstrom, I got the knock-off in blue. I stuffed my mongo, late-80’s, blue, sky blue and white pom-poms in them… I was cool, well I pretended to be cool then. Nowadays I would choose a black or white tote and stuff it with fifty pounds of church crap – oops, binders and such – and relive the glory days that weren’t.

Esprit tote bag

Anyway, what got me on the dusty trail of memory lane is this treasure I found at Savers. I had one just like it and used it more than girls just wanna have fun, Cindy Lauper. For those of you too young to remember, too old to care, or too nerdy for high fashion– this is Vidal Sassoon’s model of a Crimper. The color is a dead giveaway to its age, though this particular styling tool happens to be in perfect, working condition. Obviously the previous owner fell into the too nerdy category and lacked the courage to climb the teenage social ladder and join the other crimpers at the top.


So this morning I plugged the puppy in and grabbed hold of my daughters hair. “This will look pretty, Is.” The lies I tell my children.

Crimping Maddy's Hair

Ten minutes later and behold, hair-nirvana. She vaguely reminds me of Madison, the 80’s, live-action version of The Little Mermaid in the movie Splash with Daryl Hannah and Tom Hanks. (Maybe that’s why we pretended to be mermaids, Ity.)

Maddy Crimped Hair

Maddy told me that her friend, Haley, from Kindergarten said it was pretty and that another little girl thought it was cool. Maybe I can bring crimping back, one head at a time. Maybe I can find a fuchsia checkerboard, button-down, suspenders over the kazoobies, pant suit from Jay Jacobs or a muli-pack of multi-colored, fingerless lace glove-lettes…. wait, those licorice bracelets or striped leg warmers over skin tight stirrups, zippered parachute pants, excessively big hair bows and scrunchies, the Claw, AQUA NET!!!!!

Yeah, I used to be cool. Not so much now after this post.

Daffidol Parade 1989

Daffodil Parade, Puyallup WA April, 1989 Lakeridge Jr. High

The Black Spot

The Cub Scout Regatta was held last night and D.J.’s ship The Black Spot, blew in to a victory. Listening for instructions, D.J. and Conner waited at the start.

DJ Racing

D.J. won the first race, his second and third outings sailed into some rough waters, though each was lost only by a slim margin.

DJ Winning Race

It was a photo-finish for The Black Spot. D.J. named his ship after watching Disney’s Treasure Island on Sunday. Doomed pirates would receive a piece of paper with a large, black spot on the front and the time or instance would be scrawled on the back. Death was coming for them.

DJ Boat

It was a fun night, D.J. enjoyed himself and cheering on the other boys.

Oh, What A Beautiful Morning

Sunrise First Day of School

I’m not really a morning person, but since I have a child old enough to be in Middle School who has to be up at the crack of dawn, I’ve gotten used to it and have decided that it ain’t so bad. I get to see this out my back windows and have the opportunity to enjoy a moment of relative peace and quiet. Yesterday morning, it was especially beautiful. Five minutes after this shot, I woke up said Middle Schooler.

David decided to play hookie from work and shuffle the kids to and from school; he’s never done that before, but with his Princess starting Kinder… well we know who’s wrapped around her finger.

It was surprisingly easy to get them all up and going. No grumbles or complaints despite the late hour when they finally fell asleep. I did have an episode of “I don’t have any socks” that was taken care of in an instant. “Raid your brothers sock drawer.” Lo and behold, three pairs of green Hanes socks tossed in with the blue.

Devin Before

My Devi the Sevie!

Devin Going

Later Longhorn! One down, two to go!

DJ Before

D.J.’s missing tooth makes this picture… interesting. He’s only minutes away now!

Maddy Before (2)

Miss Is was ready - really, really, ready and thought the whole picture taking was a for the birds.

Going to School

Time to go!

DJ at School

“Cheese. For the last time, Moooomm!”

Maddy at School

“Class, Mom. Or I’ll be late my first day and I don’t even know where my desk is!”

Maddy was the first to class. Everything was changed the day before school, after Meet the Teacher day. A new teacher, a new classroom, new desk – no worries. She settled in and said good-bye without a second thought. For all my excitement of having all my Farmers in school this year, I couldn’t help but get a little misty-eyed leaving her behind.

Maddy putting away backpack All done with backpack getting started

FREEDOM!!! ( like Mel Gibson in Braveheart) Sort’a. From a five to thirty-five year old, Hubby was my shadow for the day. “Just pretend I’m not here.” Yeah right, like I would expose my full-fledged membership to the Secret Society of Extraordinarily Awesome Moms?

The morning went by in a flash and it was time for Miss Is to be picked up. She was bouncing across the parking lot, singing “you got to move it – move it.” It was the best day ever.

Maddy Afterschool

We took her out to lunch; she graciously let us choose the restaurant, humbly asked if she was nice for letting us pick and answered herself with “I’m such a nice girl.” Sticky Fingers filled the belly, we escaped Costco only twenty dollars lighter and Devin was due back.

Devin Home

Homework? No. Trumpet? At school. Happy? Yeah.

Devin had a good first day, which is pretty important considering. New school, some new faces and six new teachers. Three different locker combinations to remember and three classes at the opposite end of the school. He likes his Language Arts/Advisory teacher and has a friend in every class. Hopefully that won’t be an issue. After last years scheduling/agenda fiasco, this year’s goal is to pick up where he left off. Devin’s binder will be ORGANIZED!

DJ Home

D.J. and Tyler, his new classmate, neighbor and walking buddy.

I walked down to the elementary school to pick up D.J. and spend some special one-on-one time. Apparently, I wasn’t needed or wanted for that matter. He had found a walking buddy and morphed into the boy who’s too cool for his mother. It was either him or I who lagged behind, at least until the buddy turned the corner. D.J. loves his teacher and is very excited to start third grade. Being able to watch over his sister is, I’m sure, an added bonus. “I know the rules of this school. Maddy. I’ve been going here for three years now, I’m an expert.”

And that was just the first day…

“Oh what a beautiful day. I’ve got a wonderful feeling, everything’s going my way!”

Sunrise First Day of School

The Last Day of Summer... Vacation

These are some pictures I took at the pool this summer. It was such a relief, not only from the heat, to have the liquid playground in our neighborhood. My kids are swimming like fish, even Is, who throws a fit getting her face wet, can go under the water for a couple of seconds. Yesterday she decided that she could swim with only one water wing and proudly paddled herself around the pool, though slightly lopsided.

D.J. demonstrated a perfect belly flop, causing momentary pain but gaining props from the other boys for looking like Superman. Both Devin and D.J. are in and out and back in the water more times that I can count. I'm sure we'll make it to the pool before the season ends but for the most part, the everyday trips are over.






Lemmings on the Ledge.


Into the Drink.


D.J.'s artistic interpretation of the Michelin Man.



So long summer, see you next year!