Saturday, April 26, 2014

Volume X, issue iv, April 2014




Nobody’s Fool
We have several petite Picassos who produce random artistic renderings throughout the day and then leave them strewn about the house, making my counters and floor into a museum (which sounds a lot better than “a recycling bin"). On the first day of April, I discovered a whole theme-based art show on the kitchen table. Marie had been busy. I looked through the drawings and found myself intrigued and just slightly horrified. The angrily toothy, seething personas were something I would expect to find at a psychiatrist’s office rather than my kitchen. I tip-toed carefully up to my budding artiste and softly asked, “Marie, are you mad at Eve?”

She unblinkingly gave me her trademark look of pure sweetness. I showed her the drawings and she cackled loudly and said, “Oh! Those are for April Fool’s Day! I was trying to draw April Fool’s Day faces.” I was the one who was clearly taken for a fool. . . and that girl needs to harness her ability to project emotion and become a famous actor!

The innocuous pranks at our house mostly included balls dropping from doorways, which feels fine until one of them happens to be rather heavy hoppity-hop ball (see Marie's drawing below). 


Mother Nature couldn't bear to be left out of the pranks and dumped enough of the white stuff on us to allow our ever-gender-aware Eve to create this impressive snow-woman. 



For the Priesthood Session of the LDS General Conference, Eric was able to take a trio of handsome tagalongs with him to dinner and the meeting. My Musketeers looked so dapper that I almost made them late with my nagging picture-taking. I set my camera to "sports mode" to capture their collective leap into the air and it made the whole thing even more fun. 
                                        



During the photo-shoot before the Priesthood Session, Eric suggested they take one photo that looked like a "boy band." When I asked him what their boy band's name would be, Eric said, "Charcuterie," which means "Butcher" or more appropriately "Meat Shop." It was too perfect not to inspire a few of his birthday presents. Now they're ready for the tour with their album cover and t-shirt.                              Now they just need an album.

Breaking Bad
When spring should have sprung at our house, it came “not with a bang but a whimper.” The kids’ spring break came during the end of our college semester, and our weak two-day break between semesters landed on school days for the kids. I was left a bit melancholy as I watched our poor kids dutifully do their chores and practice their instruments during what was supposed to be their break. (The only evidence that they were having a break was the fact that they stayed in their pajamas all day. When Eve was asked about this she replied, “Wearing pajamas is a sign of giving up.”)

I finally realized, “Hey! I’m the MOM! I can do something about this pathetic excuse for a spring break!” I concocted an uncharacteristically mischievous plan that consisted of letting the kids play hooky from school for the day so we could pack as many vacation-esque activities into it. (Eve actually went to school for the first two hours because she couldn’t bear to miss out on her hard-earned perfect attendance certificate for this year. Such a good girl. She reminds me of me before I became corrupted this month.)

It was actually a little intoxicating for this particular nerd to live on the social edge this way. I found myself snickering as our answering machine slowly filled up to its brim with messages from schools all around town, sternly informing us our child was absent. We cheerfully listened from the kitchen table, smiling at each other and stuffing ourselves with German Pancakes and homemade buttermilk syrup.

The Littles and I had a tournament of games at home including Go Fish, War, and Matching with our d’Evegnee Family Cards, puzzles, and some rambunctious Duck, Duck Goose while the older kids played basketball with Eric. The Littles and I joined the bigger kids a little later and I had the chance to see Eric’s untarnished basketball skills in action.

After lunch at our favorite authentic Taqueria, we surprised the kids by taking them to The Lego Movie. We couldn’t stop giggling at our luck at finding ourselves alone in a ginormous theater, so I asked one of the theater’s employees to snap a few shots of us.

We ended the day by driving to the thriving metropolis of Ririe, Idaho (population 639) to try a pizza place several of our friends had recommended. Our 36 inch pie was cooked in an 800 degree vintage wood-burning pizza oven and was one of the best we’ve ever tasted.

We all gave one satisfied collective sigh as our vacation ended at the end of the day and it was a unanimous decision to make this an annual d’Evegnee deal. 


Miracle Marie turns 6
On April 21st six years ago I was breathless, panicked, and laboring at 33 weeks pregnant. April 21st is my day of miracles and remembering that the power of the Priesthood gave us a baby girl who shouldn't have survived.


How does our miraculous Marie know she is six? "Hey! I can tell I'm six because I can zip up both of my boots!"

After her requested birthday dinner of “homemade macaroni n’ cheese and salad” (I wish you could hear her say it), we had the dessert Marie wanted which consisted of “a layer of chocolate cake, a layer of ice cream and then another layer of chocolate cake.” After opening her pile of presents, she put her elbows on the pile, rested her chin in her hands, sighed contentedly and said, “So. . . now what?”

Marie was asking us what her nicknames are, so we told her “Mariebees,” “Rie-Rie,” and “Petite Marie.” She thought for a second and said, “I think I would like to called Marie the Younger.” 


Peter was contentedly munching on one of Marie's feline-shaped birthday cupcakes and I said, "Hey! Cat got your tongue?" He looked at me blankly so I said, "Don't you know that expression?" He responded, "Expression? I thought it was an idiom."

Here's Eve's birthday card to Marie:

"To the kind, marvelous, pretty and smart Marie from your loving sister Eve. Marie I'm so glad that I have you as a sister. I love that you're funny and always try to have those wonderful parties! Your future is bright! You will always be my sister."
I found Marie's to-do list taped to the fridge. When I asked her why she had to take two naps, she said, "Because I'll get tired doing all that stuff!"

After I took some birthday photos of her, I caught her "walking" back to the house. This video represents how Marie moves through life.

video
Go (and go and go and go) Fish
Peter's school program was this month and even though I've been to a lot of school programs (and I mean A LOT), I can say with certainty that I've never seen anyone as excited as he was for the program. Every day he gave us the countdown on the number of days until "Go Fish" and our straight-faced thespian didn't even allow us to tease him. On the day of the program, I told him I was sorry but we had to go to Idaho Falls for the rest of the night and wouldn't be back until after bedtime. He didn't even smile. 

We invited/coerced all of the kids to come with us because we knew it would mean so much to Peter and the nine of us lined up in the "standing room only" gym at the elementary school with the rest of what Holden so eloquently called the "cesspool of helicopter parents and bloggers extraordinaire." (I couldn't resist snapping a shot of our "captive" audience. To be fair, this was our FIFTH family member to perform in "Go Fish.") 
I love the expression on our dear friend Daniel Dewey's face as well.  (His son is their fourth family member to perform in "Go Fish.") 

I was quite impressed with Peter's dancing during the rap number about sharks.
video


Prince Caleb
My sweet Caleb and I attended the Middle School Mother and Son party, and he swept me off my feet with his charm and chivalry. He offered to share his food with me, scurried around during the games and picked up after me, kept me engaged with lively conversation, and stayed by my side the entire night. (Either he thinks I’m really, really old or he is actually that much of a gentleman.) 

For his 12th birthday, Caleb wanted cheese and vegetable soup with breadbowls and cheesecake balls for dessert on the menu. This was my first time attempting homemade breadbowls, but after watching my crowd wolf them down with grunts of happiness, it won't be the last.