Thursday, December 31, 2009


I'm sitting on the couch in my parent's living room. My feet are resting on the chair in front of me. Wade is sitting on the chair, and he keeps jumping up and making my feet fall off the chair. Annoying. I'm sitting next to Laura, who is also blogging, and Kate, who is reading "Chasing Redbird." Adam and Emily and Isaac and Wade and Brynn and Kaylee and Victor are playing "The Great Dalmuti." Charly and Kirsten and Rosie are playing "Sorry." My Dad and Dennis and Mark and Brian are in the kitchen watching basketball. Anja is rocking Hazel, and Heidi is feeding baby Adam. Mark has to go home because he has to go to work at 3:00 in the morning. Matt and Paul and Alex are downstairs playing ATARI. (Seriously. Atari.)There are people everywhere. People that I love.

This is our annual New Year's Eve party. We are eating and playing games and talking and trying to stay up to greet 2010.

I am thinking about my New Year's Resolutions. The giant plate of homemade fudge that just wandered into the room is making me rethink one of my resolutions...

I don't like New Year's resolutions. I don't like to think that I'll only try to improve myself at the beginning of each year... I like "make it when you need it" resolutions. See a need, make a resolution. No planning ahead for this girl!

Actually, I believe that I am on a constant quest for self-improvement. The people I live with may not agree, but that's how I think about it.

Anyway, it's hard to blog when the party is raging all around me. Plus the laptop is making my lap HOT. So I'll go join the festivities. I'll eat Phat Cow Fudge and my mom's world famous caramel pecan logs. I'll drink Grammy Shirley's egg nog and watch the "Settlers of Catan" game. I'll apologize again to Paul for smacking him with the empty wrapping paper roll and leaving a mark on his arm. (I was blindfolded, and he was pinching me. I couldn't help myself! You would have done the same. Wouldn't you?) And at midnight I'll go out on the porch and yell, "Happy New Year!" and bang two pan lids together. Then I'll come inside and fall exhausted into the nearest empty sleeping place and dream my way into 2010.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Feeling Blessed

Last night, after Isaac had been the Birthday King all day,
and a bit of a tyrant,
and my camera died again,
and Paul's missionary stuff was scattered all over the living room,
and Isaac's Lego Chariot kept falling apart every time he picked it up,
and he cried about it four times in fifteen minutes,
and Wade dropped his rocket cup on his toe and nearly died,
and it seemed like everyone was yelling at me,
we managed to gather for a few minutes for (what we wish was regular but sort of isn't) scripture time.

We read for a while about murmuring and complaining and not being grateful, and how someone can be totally and amazingly blessed and somehow not recognize the blessings they have received. And with my sweet husband and my four healthy children, in our messy but warm home, snuggled together reading the scriptures, I got a lump in my throat. Because I DO THAT. I am often ungrateful and selfish. And I murmur.

And I shouldn't.

I am a lucky girl and I know it. Yeah, life is busy and I get stressed. But that's no reason to threaten to smash the birthday Legos with a hammer if you don't stop crying, or to stomp out of the room and slam the door when you won't let me look at your pinched toe. Or throw the phone on the floor when you're late coming home.

Perhaps a little more sleep? Perhaps a bit o'exercise? Perhaps my heart is two sizes to small.

How do my children know that I love them? That I adore them? That I would do anything for them, and I wouldn't really smash the Legos? How does my husband know that I appreciate him and that he is the love of my life? How does Paul know that I am so proud of him and that I will miss him so bad that it hurts already? How do they know that they are the greatest blessings and joy of my life?

My heart brimmed over a little bit last night. And I prayed for help to change.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I've been a very good boy. I want a castle made out of LEGOS and a wii. Make shure the castle is BIG! About 80$ plees! Wii games too! Lick wii ski plees! A sel fon! New home fons too!



Daer Sata,

This is Isaac C. Again. this is my secin list. I plees want some air Heds. I want 1000$. I relee want fishing stoof. crismis decarasuns. Magic grow anamls. Wii ultimate alliance II. Koolaed jamrs a lot plees.


Dear Santa,

this is My Christmas list. the Thor action figure. Ulitmate Alliance 2 on PlayStation 2. 2 more NFL balls, some tools, a toolbox. The bionicle Legends, 20 dollars, some new fishing gear, a wii and football gloves.

To: Santa
From: Wade C.


Dear Santa,

Please help me find the Thor action figure and a BIG castle made out of LEGOS. 1000$ would be nice, too.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fun with Wyatt and Jana and Vaughn

Wyatt and Jana stayed with us last weekend. It was AWESOME. Except when Jana started running a little fever. Good thing her Mommy came the next day to get her and find out that she had an ear infection. I digress...

So Saturday evening we had Wyatt and Jana and Vaughn, and Chinese food, and Wyatt LOVED the egg drop soup, and we loved watching him try to eat and mostly drop the egg drop soup. He figured it out eventually. We had so much fun having Vaughn with us, even for just a few hours.

We tried to take a lot of pictures, because Vaughn and Wyatt and Jana don't get to see each other very often. Come to think of it, I don't get to see Vaughn very often, or Wyatt and Jana for that matter!

When Jana is done eating,
she is done eating.
This is how you know she is done eating.

Paul and Jana love each other
very much.

Wyatt and Uncle Vaughn and Jana

That's the "Give me a kiss!" face

It wouldn't be a visit from
Uncle Vaughn if there wasn't

And more DANCING!

Jana and Uncle Vaughn and Wyatt

Wyatt and Aunt Marianne

(We're laughing)

A group photo before Uncle Vaughn
had to leave

And then, Uncle Vaughn told the boys,"I know a word you can say that will make any boy between the ages of 2 and 50 laugh." And Wade and Isaac were intrigued and wanted to know what the word was! And Uncle Vaughn told them the word. I hesitate to write it on my blog...But I will anyway. The word is PooButtFart.

Then they were saying it all night.

And I told them to quit.

So they abbreviated it to PBF.

Here were are, all yelling PooButtFart.
Except Dennis, he got stuck on the "F."
Good times. Good times.

And then Vaughn had to go home.
And I was sad.
And Paul was a dork.

Bein' Proud

On November 21st, BYU football played Air Force in Provo. The way I heard it, several months ago, BYU called the Air Force Academy and asked if they would provide a fly-over for the game. Air Force called whoever they call to get that kind of thing arranged, and it ended up on the desk of one Major (soon-to-be Lieutenant Colonel) Pyper at Vance AFB in Enid, Oklahoma. You may ask why I'm telling you all of this...

I'm telling you because Major Pyper is my little brother (and a BYU alumni). And he was in the lead jet that day. And he flew right over Provo, where Isaac and Wyatt and I were standing out in the front yard and running down the street, and where Paul and my Mom and Dad and their neighbor Victor were watching from the parking lot at the mouth of Slate Canyon, and where Dennis and Kate and Wade and Wade's friend Gideon were in the stadium. And where we all jumped up and down and yelled and waved (like he would be able to see us or hear us!!) and were really proud of him.

After they flew over the stadium, they flew back up to SLC International Airport and landed there, then hopped in their cars and drove back to Provo, just in time for half-time where they were invited out to mid-field and honored and given sideline passes for the rest of the game!! How FREAKIN' AWESOME is that??!!

Here are a few photos of that awesome day:

Lead jet. My brother.

See that big Pyper smile?

There they are.
Right on the field!!

Kate came to say hi.
That's Dennis Pitta's helmet sitting there.

Wade and Vaughn
(notice Wade's awesome sweatshirt...
he's been collecting signatures for about
three years)


Gideon, Max Hall, Wade, Dennis Pitta
You will not see Wade this happy again
until his wedding day!

Harvey Unga and my little brother.

And then...
Coleby Clawson comes out, and says,
"Hey, can I have my picture taken with you?!"

Yeah, it was a great day for them all, especially since BYU won that day. People around here get pretty grumpy when BYU doesn't win. In a near future post I will regale you with photos of the fun we had the rest of the day.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Highest Honor

Wade has earned Cub Scouting's highest award--The Arrow of Light. He and his buddies, Tanner and Baylen, all received their Arrows of Light on the same night. Our Cubmaster makes a really big deal out of it, and she dresses up in her Indian outfit and does a special face-painting ceremony for them. Each different color she puts on their faces represents a different quality that the boys have developed as they've worked. Honesty, Responsibility, Faith, etc. It's a special night for the boys. Wade was pretty happy, and we are pretty proud of him.

Here they are getting their stripes.

Don't they look cute?!

Just another shot of the painted boys

Wade and his special Arrow of Light plaque.

Congratulations, Wade!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Horrible Mutants

Last week we went down to the Elementary School for the annual Reflections Open House. You know, the Reflections contest run by the PTA? Art work, literature, photography, etc. Our PTA does an open house where all the students and their parents can come and see all the Relfections entries displayed. (And the children, because the open house is held in the gym, can run around and slide on their knees and throw paper balls at each other and spill their water and generally annoy their parents and all the other parents). This is also when the students find out if their entries were selected to go on to the district level of the competition.

Wade does not like to enter the Reflections contest. He only does it when he is required to do so. But Isaac could NOT wait to make an entry. He made it the very first day they announced the contest, and he sat himself down with the special piece of paper his teacher had given him. I asked him if he wanted a scratch paper to practice on first, and he said, "Nope. I don't need that." He then proceeded to draw the most beautiful picture. It took him about five minutes, and he used his very special box of 120 crayons, that he only uses for very special occasions.

Well, when we went to the Reflections Open House, he quickly looked to find his own picture, and GUESS WHAT??!!!

It's a WINNER!!

The PTA ladies didn't realize
that the picture needs to be rotated 90 degrees
to the right.
The tree trunk is supposed to be on the left.

Isaac needed me to explain to him what "Judge's Choice for District" means.

As he ran around the gym, more excited than I have EVER seen him, he was telling all his friends that his picture was "Judges Choice for District," but that (unnamed child)'s picture was a "Horrible Mutant." He told me there were lots of "Horrible Mutant" pictures. I was perplexed. I asked Isaac to show me what he meant, who was a Horrible Mutant?

The light dawned when he showed me the pink awards that were placed by some of the pictures. They said, "Honorable Mention." Not "Horrible Mutant." I hope (unnamed child) doesn't feel too bad!

Wade found a blue marker on the floor of the gym. On the way home, in the dark of the car, he put that blue marker to good use:

Paul determined that Wade needed
a bit of help filling in his sideburns.

Isaac just thinks the whole affair is hilarious.

Now we're all watching.

What do you think?
Family Christmas Card picture??

And yes, Wade's face had a slight blue tint the next day at school.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Head Over Heels

Tuesday evening Isaac was jumping on his friend's trampoline. He did something that hurt his hip, and his buddies called me in a panic that Isaac was injured. I ran up the street, leaving my flute student doing her warm-up exercises. I found Isaac, limping down the street, crying his little eyes out. He could walk OK, but he couldn't sit down, and he couldn't rotate his hip at all. I calmed him down and let him rest while I finished teaching, and by the time I was done, he was feeling much better, so I thought I'd just watch him overnight and see how he was in the morning.

At about 2:30 AM he came stumbling in to my room, crying about his hip hurting, so I snuggled him for a while and he fell back asleep. Dennis and I decided that we'd better take him in to the doctor first thing Wednesday morning.

In the morning, we got everyone ready for school. Kate had already left, Paul was still asleep, Dennis and the boys were finished eating, and I was rushing around trying to finish getting ready. Isaac was complaining that he couldn't walk to school, and I was worried that his teachers wouldn't believe him that his hip was hurting and that they would make him sit on the floor, which was the one thing that REALLY made his hip hurt. So we decided to drive the boys to school and Dennis would run in and explain to Isaac's teacher that he would need to sit on a chair on not on the floor until we could get him in to the doctor. Dennis and the boys were just getting ready to walk out the door, and I was coming down the stairs to give hugs and kisses.

I got about halfway down the stairs when the right heel of my awesome suede boots got caught in the cuff of my left pant leg. Next thing I knew I was airborne, and then I was mashing my head against the wall and my right knee against the floor and then, oh my goodness it hurts to even remember, I landed with my full weight on my left hand.

Dennis heard me yell when I fell, so he turned around (he was standing at the kitchen sink for those who are familiar with the floor plan of my house), just in time to see me come flying out of the stairwell. From the way my face hit the wall, he was sure my neck would be injured. Isaac was also standing in the kitchen doorway, and he saw the disgusting wreck as well. He did the only sensible thing for a six-and-a-half year old boy to do--he burst into tears. Which is also what I did. Only Isaac was softly crying, and I was yelling and sobbing like a demented banshee.

Dennis, my hero, rushed to me and spoke softly and told me to hold still. He got me straightened out checked all the damaged places, then brought pillows, then Ibuprofen, then ice. I told him to take those @#$% boots off my feet and throw them in the trash. He took them off and said he liked my boots and that they were very cute. But I should probably get rid of the pants. Through all this, I could hear Wade in the kitchen reading Isaac a book about starfish. What a great big brother to step in and take care of his little buddy.

I was 100% positive that my wrist was broken. It was swelling and red and my whole arm hurt. I couldn't move my fingers without pain, and I couldn't move my thumb at all. I was thinking about the rehearsal I had that evening, and the concert I have next week. I was thinking about my day at work and the things I still had to get done for our department review that was beginning the next day. I continued to cry because that is what I do best. Dennis brought me a blanket, and Paul came up to sit with me while Dennis took the boys to school.

When Dennis came back from driving the boys, he had already called the doctor's office. They would be waiting for both me and Isaac as soon as we could get there. So Dennis helped me put on some FLAT shoes (which did NOT hide the red Christmas socks I was wearing like my awesome high-heeled suede boots did), and brought me a bowl for my severe nausea. Dennis and Paul bundled me out to the car, helped buckle me in, and off we went.

We picked Isaac up at school, Dennis called my boss (I was still crying too hard to talk to him), and I cuddled with my barf bowl. Since this story is getting way to long and the good part is over, I'll just cut to the chase. The doctor diagnosed Isaac with a pulled groin muscle, and not the dislocation we were afraid of. She touched and wiggled my arm a little, and I cried enough that she quit and just ordered some X-rays. We went to the hospital, where they wouldn't let Isaac come in because of precautions for Swine Flu, so I cried some more. Dennis took Isaac outside, and I took myself in for the X-rays. The X-ray technician was very nice and cheerful, and he took good care of me. I felt better by the time we left the hospital.

The hospital people said that it would be a while before they would get the X-rays read, and then they would call the results in to my doctor. So we took Isaac back to school and got him settled, and then we went to work. Dennis had an appointment with a student, and I figured I might as well see what I could get done at work. So I took my make up-free face and my fuzzy, unstraightened hair and my red Christmas socks with black pants and my pillow and my dish towel and my bag of ice and went in to work. I sent some one-handed emails and ate birthday pizza with one of my co-workers, I checked on all my business for the review, and I got some things ready for the next day. Dennis came up to pick me up about an hour later, and while he was there, the doctor's office called with the results of the X-ray.

NOT BROKEN. Just a bad sprain. Take ibuprofen and ice it. Well, I guess that's good news, right? But I still felt like crap and I had done the things I needed to do, so I took my pillow and my ice and the rest of me and just went home. I spent the afternoon in my bed with my arm on a pillow. Isaac came home from school feeling mostly fine, and although he continues to favor that hip a little, he is doing much better.

That was Wednesday. Now it's Saturday, and I'm typing with two hands, but I still don't want to hold a pencil. I can play my flute a little, but it hurts and I can't move my fingers very fast. The wrist is very tender, and if it was a weight-bearing limb, I would be sitting around a lot. But the swelling has gone down a lot, and can you even believe it?!! I don't have one single bruise on my body. Anywhere. My neck is a little sore, and my right knee is a lot sore, and of course the wrist, but other than that, I'm fit as a fat fiddle.

And I have a new pair of black, cuff-less pants.

Six Little Pumpkins....And Other Things

Halloween has come and gone. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Kate is, right this minute, listening to MoTab Christmas Music. We are feeling festive around here, and I wanted to post some pictures of Halloween before Christmas gets here!! So strap yourself in, here we go!

These are our six little pumpkins
all in a row...





(it's a cyclops)


Isaac the cowboy
at the school Halloween Parade

Wade the Ghoul
at the school Halloween Parade
(make up by Mom)

Paul the big-eared goof
messing around at home

This is right before they went
Isaac is wearing his black
Spiderman suit
with cowboy boots
and his dog bone neckerchief
and his Captain America mask
and a cowboy hat.
Wade is a very scary ghoul
(make up by Dad this time).
Dennis is his worst nightmare....

Issac is such a unique little man!!

Wade's very creepy make up...
Dennis discovered while trying to wash Wade's face
after the school parade
that the black face paint looks REALLY cool
when you're trying to remove it.
So that's how they did his make up
on Halloween night.
Plus a little white
and some fake blood.
Ya gotta have fake blood.

So Dennis took the boys Trick-or-Treating, and Kate was at Lagoon with her friends, and Paul was out with his friends. So I kept the home fires burning and passed out the candy. I folded some laundry, I popped some popcorn, and I cuddled up with a good book. It was the most pleasant Halloween I've spent in a while.

When Dennis and the boys came home, Isaac dumped out his candy and started sorting it into piles. All the Snickers in one pile, all the Three Musketeers in one pile, all the Smarties in one pile. Yes, he sorted his candy. And then he put each little pile into a baggie, and then he put all the baggies into a big Ziploc. He likes to be organized. Wade thought it was a good idea, so he did the same thing. It was pretty cute, both of them huddled on the floor in the living room, counting their little piles of candy. I never, ever did such a thing. I dumped my candy out for my parents to inspect, and after they took their "taxes," (usually the Butterfingers because they knew I didn't like them), I stuffed my candy back into my sack and ran for the hills. And feasted in PRIVATE.