Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Peter's Toy Story Party

The invitation:

I felt so much pity for Woody when only one boy chose the "Woody Side" that I actually made a couple of them make the switch without their knowledge (as in "Here, let me fix your cape for you, Buddy!"). How can you watch Toy Story an estimated gazillion times and not have your heart-strings pull for the cowboy?

When I was pregnant with Peter and found out I was having boy #4, people asked me if I was disappointed. Are you kidding me? My internal organs get all soft and sappy when I think of little boys and I could never get enough! I could have just squished all these boys together and made a little pie of cuteness and eaten the whole thing myself. (I don't know exactly what that means, but you get the general gist, right?)

I had been wanting to do a Superman Party, but finally gave in (and you can plainly see how I still stubbornly used some of my super-hero ideas in the planning).

The green grapes were a must on the Pizza Planet menu. Every time we're in the produce section and Peter sees them he yells delightedly, "Look! Buzz Lightyear grapes!"

Just looking at this busty creation makes me feel slightly sick, like a mandatory nap is around the corner. This fellow bordered on confectionary deviance. I was insanely determined to master a 3-D Buzz cake, so I planned out my strategy for days before the party. I ended up using THREE cake mixes, two pans, about six hours of after-hours labor, and absolutely no common sense. When I finally tucked my frosting-covered, obviously stupid self into bed some time after 4 AM, I had to get up again and take about twelve pictures of the cake because I was sure it would somehow be magically destroyed by morning.

When we were chowing down on the cake, Caleb looked at me between sweet mouthfuls and said wryly, "Well, it looks like this is the last party this Buzz is going to!"

No, you di-unt. Yes. We did. We just used a butter-knife as a party guillotine and lopped the poor guy's cranium clean off. It was too funny to watch Peter's expression as we served it up on a platter (I will refrain from making any inappropriate Biblical allusions here. Sorry, Mr Baptist, for even thinking of it.)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Volume VI, issue viii, August 2010

Caleb's Big Day

Even though Caleb's 8th birthday was in April, he chose to wait until July to be baptized so that his cousins could be there (with the exception of his only cousin on the d'Evegnee side, who was still too little, having just been born a few weeks earlier--HOORAY for MATTHEW!).

When I leaned close with my proudly glistening eyes after the big moment and reverently him asked how it felt to be baptized, expecting spiritual pearls to spring forth, he said, "Everyone has been asking me that."

I chuckled (which makes me sound really old and matronly and like I'm wearing a mandatory floral jumper, but that is what I did) and prodded a tad, "So. . . how DO you feel?"

My newly purified offspring looked back at me and said, "How do you think I feel?"

* * *
(On the sweeter side)

A few weeks before Caleb's baptism, we were having Family Home Evening and I was giving the lesson about choices and consequences (sound familiar?). I told the kids that I always wanted them to make good choices so that we could always be together as a family, sort of like on the same "team." I told them that we need to plan now so that when they get older they will still be able to feel the Spirit in their lives. I asked them what we could do as a family to make sure that happens. The other kids gave some great responses, but Caleb was quiet as he studied his folded hands.

As the others stampeded into the kitchen for the treat, Caleb stayed behind and whispered, "I know what we can do to help us always be together."

"What, Caleb?"

He softly answered, "We can always try to feel the way we feel when we are holding Marie."

(I can't even write about it without getting several lumps in my throat.) That's when I sure he was ready to be baptized.

All Petered Out
(Spoiler : This contains my favorite story in a good long time. And THAT is saying something!)

Peter has been a man of few words for a long time. We've tried to encourage him to "use his words" and we've even helped him pray for "more words" during his bedtime prayers. Perhaps there was no need for him to talk with Caleb the "Peter Whisperer" around, or perhaps he didn't want to waste his words on those of us who wouldn't appreciate them. However, during the last few months, both Peter's personality and sentence structure have blossomed into an irresistible mixture of humor, charm, and sincerity.

Peter's Sunbeam teacher from Primary tracked me down last week and said she had a "Peter Story" for me. I said, "Oh no." She said, "No. . . it's funny."

They had been having a lesson entitled "I am Thankful for Food" a few weeks ago (they like to tackle the deeper issues of theology in the Sunbeam class). The teacher asked the kids what foods they liked to eat and Peter raised his hand and started squirming with excitement in his chair. His teacher called on him and he bounced up and down on his little behind as he started to talk.

He took a deep breath and said, "I went to Gamma and Gampas. . . . and. . . . there was FIRE!. . . . and there was. . . .CRACKERS!. . . . and there was. . . MARSHMALLOWS!. . . and there was. . . . CHOCOLATE!!! And. . . and. . . (by this time she said he was wiggling so much in his chair and speaking with so much passion that she was on the edge of her seat) . . . . and it was. . . it was. . . . it was. . . .LOVE!!!!"

As he reached that climatic last word, he sighed and sunk down into his chair with the pure emotion of his story, and grinned with satisfaction.

All Things Bright and Back-to-School


Eric: When is it time for me to spank your butt?

Eve: My butt is too adorable to be spanked.

* * *

Eric was spread out daddy-fashion on the couch when Eve came up to nestle her way into her usual spot in his arms. He looked at her, raised his eyebrows and said, "Why?"

Eve responded, "Because you love me. . . and you MUST."

Eve got to cheer for the good ole' Madison Bobcats (WAHOO to Jon, Dave, Tom, and Cheer-Queen Auntie Em!) after attending the cheerleaders' fund-raiser/cheer camp/booty-shake-fest. (I don't know what the Madison High Cheerleaders are called, but you MUST believe me when I tell you that in the 80's the drill team used to be called the Bob-Cadettes. But there was a minimum bang-height requirement, so I never would have made it. Luckily we moved before I had a chance to seriously consider it.)

During half-time, as Eve clapped and smiled coquettishly at the crowd, I leaned over to one of the other moms and said, "I am just a little ashamed with myself for how cute I find this." I was simultaneously haunted and pleased when someone said, "Wow. Eve is really good at that!" The Eleanor Roosevelt in me huffed a little at the anti-feminist display, while the Kathie Lee part shrieked drunkenly and struggled to get up on the field and shout out Eve's name and perhaps join her in a few hip-gyrations (luckily Eleanor was there to restrain me).

A Shout-Out to Gregor Samsa

Holden has an enviable social ease that has been present since he was a baby. During my hours of piano-lesson teaching and otherwise bringing home the proverbial bacon for my student-husband, Eric used to take Holden on long walks around Provo to survive the stress of speeding his way through school while working at his early morning janitorial job and dealing with a pregnant wife. Even before he was a year old, Holden would wave his bechubbed fingers in such a cheerfully diplomatic way as he hailed any passer-bys within the sound of his high-pitched, "Hi!" that Eric dubbed him "The Senator." Heck, I'd vote for him.

Holden isn't phased by the blowing social winds of middle school, being content with whatever clothes or hairstyle his Mom chooses. For school pictures, we (meaning I) decided to try a new coif that was short around the back and sides, but just a tad longer in front--that sort of "I-just-gelled-my-hair-and-then-ran-into-a-wall look." I cut and styled his hair that morning, telling him how handsome he looked and how much I liked the tween-o-centric style (although I didn't use those exact words).

Even Eric got in on the praise (with a side of teasing, of course) telling him how much Ally Rigby (a heart-breakingly cute blonde in our ward) would like his haircut. Holden shrugged it off and rolled his eyes. But as he put on his jacket to leave and Eric started to put his hood up, Holden swatted his hand away and said, "No! My hair!"

Uh-oh. This scares me much more than Kafka ever could.

I Can't Believe I Didn't Have to Use Butter!

I had to jump on this photo-op before her calves came springing out of the boots and the skirt went zinging off into the trees. I'll probably have to erase this when she's old enough to understand it, but for now, we can exploit her chubby-kneed-ness. When I pack her into little skirts like this, Eric starts to sing a little "Big Legs, Tight Skirt!" Thank you, John Lee Hooker, for not discriminating against the clothing-challenged.

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