Friday, May 27, 2016

No Joking

We were sitting at Will's seminary graduation(more on that later) and Olivia pointed at a scratch on my arm.

"How did you get that scratch on your arm?" she asked me, ever concerned for the well being of all around her.

"Oh, from a unicorn," I answered.

And then the proud mom moment begins.

Without missing a beat, she asks, " Oh, a black one?"

"No," I said. " A pink one with sparkles in the tail."

She nodded knowingly. "Oh, those are the worst."

My little girl is growing up.

Also, Duncan said something about Will that was so sweet. Will was downstairs practicing piano and Duncan and I were upstairs listening.


"Mom, do you know what I think Will is going to be when he grows up?" he asked.

"What?" says me.

" I think he could be an artist, or a composer, or even a genius," he said.

He loves his brother.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Holidays and Holy Days

A few days before Mother's Day, I received on my front porch a large package.
I hadn't ordered anything, wasn't expecting anything. Couldn't imagine what it might be. 
It was a gigantic box of PEEPS from Alisa and Erwann.
BEST GIFT EVER.
Now, if I could just stop eating them long enough to let them get stale.

 The night before Mother's Day, Mitch came and took me to Iceberg for a rocky road shake, We failed to obtain a picture, but that's okay. We had a great time, and I felt so lucky to have him to myself for an hour or so. I don't get enough time with that boy.

Then on Mother's Day morning, I was awakened by this crew, bearing blueberry scones, gifts, chocolates, cards and even a poem, written by the lovely and talented Audrey.


Audrey also spoke in church later that morning, which was a gift in itself, even though she outed me to everyone as a rebel.

Then we went to Grandma's for a dinner of KFC and pie. And Mother's Day portraits while we patiently waited to be served.


 This was the view from the kitchen table. Look at all those guys in there.

Me and my girl

Later on, Audrey and her brothers cooked a delicious late dinner of chicken alfredo. They colored the sauce lavender, which was a unique and slightly odd twist on Mother's Day dinner, but hey, I'll take it.

The morning after Mother's Day, we woke up to the sad news that our little friend Gideon had passed away.  He was diagnosed with leukemia six months ago.  Gideon is five.  His family are dear neighbor and friends. They are a beautiful family of five boys and one little girl. Gideon was their fifth child and youngest son. I have always thought they were the best kind of people, and the best parents, and with everything they have been through, now I know for sure that they are. We have taught their older sons in church in other years, and Gideon was in Dan's primary class this year.  When I first heard he had leukemia, my first thought was, "oh, thank heavens it's leukemia. They can cure leukemia. Kids don't die of leukemia anymore." I thought they would have a few rough years of chemo and then he would be fine.  I was so so wrong.  Gideon had a mutation that has never been seen before. He never even got to remission, in spite of some of the best medical care in the world, parents who fought hard for him to have every possible treatment, and the prayers and faith of hundreds of people.  I will be donating to curesearch.org in memory of Gideon, and if you read this, I hope you do too.

 We launched blue and white balloons after his funeral today.

One of my Mother's Day gifts was a lilac bush. We finally got around to planting it today after the funeral. I think this little bush will always remind me of Giddy.


Friday, May 6, 2016

Star Student

Today I bribed my boss with chocolate chip cookies in order to break away from work for a two hour lunch so that I could go to Olivia's school and be a part of her Star Student week.  On a Friday around your birthday, you get to make a poster with pictures of yourself, and stand up in front of the class and tell them all about you. Your mom comes in and tells some things about you that the class might not know, then everybody asks questions, and you pass out treats. The poster stays hanging up in the class room for the whole next week.

Since Olivia will be off track the week of her birthday, she got to take her turn today. She was very concerned about what, exactly, I would be telling about her.  And she was super nervous to stand up in front of the class and talk about herself. I can totally relate. When I was her age, my biggest fear was that I would be the spolight kid in Primary, and have to stand up in front of everyone while the Primary president talked about me. I even got my mom to talk to the president and tell her  to never spot light me because I would be mortified and die right down dead on the spot.

So I was very proud of Olivia when she stood up and told all about herself, and confidently answered the questions from her classmates:

"Why do you want to go Hawaii so bad?"
"Because I love the beach."

"If you had a younger sibling, what gender would you prefer?"
(it took me a minute to grasp what in the heck this kid was asking)
"A sister."

"What is your favorite food at your favorite restaurant?"
"Drumsticks at KFC"

"Do you like any sports?"
"Swimming"

"What do you want to name your first baby?"
(huh?)
"Catherine"
(wow. She has thought about this)

"Are you a Ute or a Cougar?
"Uh I''m an Aggie"

  



So then I told them all about how Olivia is the youngest in our family, and all the blessings and curses that go along with that, and how she has four names and what a great sculptor she is.

I think I did okay. She didn't seem too embarrassed. The night before, when she asked me what I was going to say, I told her that I was going to tell everyone how she was the most amazing, wonderful, awesome child ever to exist. She smiled a little, then said,"No Mom, you have to tell them something they don't already know."

I love that kid.



Olivia and Mrs. Lewis, matching shirts.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

BUT, I Have a Clean Pantry

I couldn't sleep last night.

Woke up to a dead battery in my car.

Will's car was stuck in park.

Tried to jump start my car.

It didn't work because

The Google videos lied.

Cruz dropped out and now I'm pulling for Bernie.

Found a large animal jaw bone on my family room floor.

Yes, a JAWBONE.

Spilled olive oil all over my kitchen floor.

The cat peed on the living room floor.

Got stuck in the slowest checkout line in the history of checkout lines.

Ran all over town looking for the secret ingredient to make bath bombs for teenagers.

Fought with Olivia about triangles. and cat euthanization.

She is for, I'm against.

Euthanization that is, not triangles.

Duncan worked on onions all day at the mill.

He hates working on onions.

Now he smells like onions.

I need a dishwasher.

I need a water heater.

I need an oven.

I need a new car.

I need

A day off.

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Bachelor

Mitch thought this day would never come, but it finally did.
He is officially a bachelor.
Of science, that is.

There were some days in his junior high career when I wondered if he would make it through eighth grade. I never even dared to dream of college for that kid.
But one day, he grew up, and started remembering to turn in his homework.
And here we are, four or so years later, proud as parents can be.

We all got up at five in the a.m. this morning to make it to Weber State's graduation at the ungodly hour of eight a.m.

We were all on time, even Mitch.


Here he is on his way into graduation, being greeted by one of his professors.









 And here he is with the lovely Ria, who has put up with him the past couple of  years, while going to school herself.


That is the face of a guy who is slowly realizing he has no more papers to write or projects to complete or stupid gender studies classes to sit through.


 We were glad that Grandma and Grandpa got up early and came too. They helped him out so much through the years, when his car broke down, and with many encouraging words and steak dinners. Between the university ceremony and the department ceremony, they took us to breakfast at Sills. 




And Grandpa Dan made an appearance at the department commencement. That was a great surprise, and a long drive for him.






Because we are dorky parents, and because he loves us, he obliged us with the traditional tossing of the cap












After all the pomp and circumstance was over, Grandma Sally and Grandpa Dee were pooped and headed for home. Grandpa Dan took us diehards out for dinner at the  Prairie Schooner. We had our own covered wagon to eat in, and the best steak I ever had.


Sadly, we also had a bloody ketchup massacre at dinner when a ketchup bottle attacked Grandpa without warning. Somehow, flying ketchup got all over Grandpa, all over the canvas wagon cover, and even all over the buffalo hide that was hanging up outside our table, about five feet away.


There were no survivors.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

TJOA Day 28 Are We Done Yet

In all honesty, coming up with something to say about autism every day for a month is hard.
Some days, the only thing that fits is a well placed "dammit!"

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

TJOA Day 27 Empathy

Normally on our morning drive to the mill, Duncan is very quiet.  Today however, after a few failed attempts on my part to get him engaged in a conversation, he said, " I'm sorry, I'm just a little depressed this morning."

Well, THAT was more intimate conversation than he had made all week. I asked him what the bad news was, nervous about what he would say.

" The new Zelda game for Wii U, that was supposed to come out in 2016 has been delayed until 2017."

Oh good. Nothing earth shattering. I mean, oh no. Totally devastating from Duncan's view.  So I empathized with him and asked a few pertinent questions. He was totally engaging and animated all the way to work, telling me how frustrated he was, and how angry the situation made him. Because HE was invested in the conversation.

Today  I learned that we both need to work on our social skillz.