The Purple Cast that Wasn’t

30 11 2008

Rainbow did indeed break her foot last Sunday, and I also promised to post a photo of her in her purple cast. Here it is:

20081129_d200_08880As you can see, it isn’t very purple. It also isn’t very cast-y. Stan took her in to the orthopedic’s office the next morning, and they decided that splinting would be sufficient. Hooray! We love baths around here. (You remember the Bellingham Brady Bunch Bubble Bath fiasco, right?) It should also heal faster than six weeks–probably in two to three, as a matter of fact. Double hooray! Currently, she’s crawling around and being carried, along with using Colby’s walker (since he’s not using it anymore–triple hooray! [This post is so full of cheer!])

Special thanks to Roberto, my brother-in-law, who took this great picture. I’ve got a few more of them up my sleeve, too. But it’ll have to wait. We’ve got to ratchet down from party mode and get some rest–it’s back to work tomorrow. (Sorry. No hoorays.)





Fourth Picture in the Fourth Folder

30 11 2008
I was tagged by my friend Mandy to post the fourth picture in the fourth folder. I wasn’t sure if that meant the fourth from the bottom or the fourth from the top, so I’m posting both.

I also had a hard time getting this to work with my laptop, and now it’s entirely out of commission.  (Superstan is fixing that for me this week if he has the chance. And after the part gets here from Singapore. Details.) All this means is that there are two different pictures than originally planned.

This is my brother. He's tough.

This is my brother. You can see from this picture how tough he is. This picture is from the folder fourth from the bottom, even though it wasn’t very long ago. Who knows what’s going on with my picture organization.

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This is Rainbow at Kids’ Day–check out that arm! Even though this was back in June, I’ve been uploading everything to my laptop since I got it. Hence, the fourth picture in the fourth folder from the top.

I’m not even sure why I threw this post in here now. I have a lot of pictures and stories from Thanksgiving (including a great one that is eerily similar to this), but I guess this was just an easy out. Possibly more later, depending on if I can get my kids to go to sleep.

(And now I’ve just looked at it and the formatting is all crazy. Rats. Maybe I’ll fix that later, too.)





Saying a Prayer (or two)

24 11 2008

We’ve had an interesting day in the Jones household. Rainbow tripped over Zack’s hand last night while they were messing around, and she still wasn’t putting any weight on it this morning. After visiting the doctor and getting x-rayed, we found out it was broken. (Pictures of her and her purple cast to come!)

Anyway, amid all the everything going on today, I had this idea for Family Home Evening. We own the game “Cranium”, and Zack has wanted to play it for a long time. There are a lot of pop culture references (not to mention spelling backwards) that the kids completely would not get, but still they want to play. I realized all the activities in Cranium could be done with a gospel twist (which, you know, is kind of like a twist of lime in how it makes things zestier and more exciting). I spent about an hour writing questions and other stuff on the kids’ level so we could finally play Cranium together and even possibly learn something in the process. (Looking back, I probably made it too easy. Stan did learn how to spell immersion, though.)

This was supposed to be a short story. Sorry.

We finished playing the game, with the entire family reaching Cranium-heaven. Rainbow was called upon to say the closing prayer. Recently, she asks for help whenever this occurs, in spite of the fact that she’s been praying since about age three. But whatever.

“Whisper it in my ear, Mom.”

I whispered, “Thank thee that we could play such an awesome game for home evening.”

None of the kids got it.

Stan started laughing, though. Really hard. We had to stop for a minute to compose ourselves. (Breathe in. Breathe out.)

We began again. This time I was serious. We were grateful for a lot of things, like our family and the gospel and temples and home evening (no mention of the game this time). And then we asked for blessings on a lot of things, like Grandma and sleeping and Rainbow’s foot and–

Right here, Zack leaned in close to me and whispered, “That’s enough, Mom.”

We finished the prayer.

I guess that could almost be considered three prayers, couldn’t it?





The Place Where There Are A Lot Of Hams

24 11 2008

Stan had business in Memphis all last week. We really missed him (especially me). Things had been clipping along at a barely contained simmer for awhile when I decided it was time for a mini-vacation. We took off Thursday afternoon for Bellingham–as Rainbow said, “This must be the place where there are a lot of hams.”

Actually, we didn’t see any hams at all. We really just went up to visit my friend Elizabeth.

But before we saw her, we got to stay in a hotel. The kids were ecstatic.

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That’s right–a king-sized bed. Oh, baby–living the high life! I haven’t really wanted a king-sized bed before (especially as I just bought new linens this year) and Stan and I are on the smallish size ourselves. However, when kids climb into bed with you . . . well, let’s just say I’m reconsidering. Besides, king-sized sheets are always on sale. Anyway . . .

I found the hotel online for what I thought was a pretty good deal. Then I noticed the next entry was a king suite with a Jacuzzi tub for only ten dollars more. I was happy to pay the extra $10 and get out of putting my swimsuit on. The kids were happy to swim in the room. It was a win-win.

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See the joy:

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The next morning after breakfast in the lobby, I told the kids they could get back in the Jacuzzi (Zack kept calling it the “Jazzuki”) while I packed everything up. After turning on the water, I started gathering the bathroom items to put away when I noticed a small bottle of bath and shower gel I had thrown in. “Should we add some bubbles?” I said. Really, though, did I even need to ask?

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I headed out of the bathroom and began getting things together and getting Colby dressed. About five minutes later, Eden called out, “Mom, would you come and turn off the jets, please?”

“Just a minute–I’m putting on Colby’s shoes.”

A minute or so passed.

Eden called out again, a little frantic this time, “Mom, please come and turn off the jets! The bubbles are overflowing!”

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Sure enough, the jets had given those bubbles a mind of their own, ala Brady Bunch.

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WAY more fun than the pool, right?

It took longer to get packed and get the bubbles under control than I expected, but that’s what is so great about a mini-vacation: no schedule. So we took our time and followed my mapquest instructions to Elizabeth’s place.

Here we are, invading/overwhelming her apartment:

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Note Colby on the right hand side, screaming his head off. Elizabeth’s mom held him while I took the photo. He doesn’t take too kindly to strangers, that one. Also note the giant exercise ball; all I’m going to say is it’s lucky Elizabeth only keeps viola music stashed in the corner and not expensive vases.

Here’s one where we’ve got a little more camera attention:

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She lives in this great old building in downtown Bellingham. Someday, I’d like to walk around and just take photos–but this was NOT that day. Colby, as you can see, was not in the best of spirits. The older kids were really excited to meet Elizabeth and see the pictures they drew for her hanging proudly on her door. Elizabeth even drew some pictures for them, which they were also excited about. We love you, E!





Five and Fabulous!

22 11 2008

Rainbow just about had the best birthday EVER. She was cheery and happy almost all day, chirping to anyone who would listen, “I’m five today!” Stan came home in time to join the festivities before leaving the following morning, so things were pretty much perfect. That night, as she was readying herself for bed, we overheard her talking to herself (or possibly to one of her stuffed animals), “It was a good birthday. It was such a good birthday.” A few pictures:

 

We love you, Rainbow! A sweeter soul there never was; we are so glad you are in our family. Happy Birthday, darling girl.





A Preview

20 11 2008

Someone turned five this week.

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More birthday pictures along with a few other tidbits coming soon. Today, we’re going on an adventure!





Pictures of the Family

17 11 2008

I haven’t had a camera for a week, so my posts have been pretty boring visually. I wanted to link to our family pictures awhile ago, but I didn’t want to spoil the Christmas gifts for those of you who are getting the limited edition Jones Family Refrigerator Magnets this year. I decided, however, that you’ll just have to act surprised when you open them, okay? Okay.

My friend Tami is a wonderful photographer, and she took these for us before the rainy season started. Peruse and enjoy: here’s the link. And here’s a preview:

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Gypsy Jazz

16 11 2008

I don’t know about the rest of you, but in our city we get little fliers from the Arts, Parks, and Recreation Department with our sewer and water bills. I always toss them, but occasionally an upcoming event will catch my eye. Thus it happened with “Hot Club Sandwich”, billed as a gypsy jazz band. “Gypsy jazz band?” I thought, intrigued. “We are so going to that.

Unfortunately, my favorite date was still out of town. By Thursday, though, I knew I needed the night off. I emailed my friend Erin and plans were set. I got a babysitter and Erin and I planned our outfits (Stan never does that), which included big earrings because, you know, the whole gypsy thing.

Still, walking into it on Friday night, we didn’t really know what to expect. I was a little worried we wouldn’t be able to get tickets, but that wasn’t a problem–the theatre was only half full. Erin and I chatted a bit while she crocheted some glittens (this prompted a long internal dialogue where I mused that of coursethey couldn’t be called “moves” [pronounced “muvs”] because there’s already a word with that spelling. {You know, “moves” [pronounced “moovs”].} It also prompted much admiration for Erin’s crocheting–that gal’s got some ske-ills.)

Hot Club Sandwich took the stage after a brief introduction, and immediately jumped into their first song.

Erin and I glanced at each other. (We have a sort of brain meld thing going on, she and I.) We said (not out loud, only in our minds), “Wow. This band is smokin‘!”

I’m currently trying to figure out how to put a crappy picture from my cell phone up, but I’m sure it won’t do the band justice. There were seven of them (7!), all playing acoustical stringed instruments–except for the one gentleman whose guitar was electric. Besides him, there was a violinist, a bass violinist, a ukulele player (“ukuleleist” isn’t a word), a mandoliner (okay, I made that one up, too), and two guys playing gypsy guitar.

Now, I’m pretty partial to big band. I’ve always enjoyed it, and there’s something about all those instruments playing crazy-hard licks as one that thrills me. However, after hearing some of the crazy-hard licks these guys played–well, I’m now a gypsy jazz fan.

There’s no percussion, like in a regular jazz band. For rhythm, the bass is there, of course, and then the guitars (if they aren’t soloing) strum. And not just strum–strum like crazy. If you’ve ever been in band, you’ve probably heard the term “boom-chuck.” This is a technical musical term, so I’ll explain. In a regular song, the boom is the downbeat, and the chuck is the offbeat. Take the song Yankee Doodle, just as a for instance. It goes like this:

YANkee DOOdle WENT to TOWN a-RIDing ON a POny.

The capital letters are the syllables that are stressed. The downbeats. The smaller letters are the offbeats–or “chucks”, if you will.

What was I talking about again? Oh, yeah–gypsy jazz.

So this band, Hot Club Sandwich, didn’t have percussion, but the back-up guitars strummed. The cool part about the strumming, though, is that it emphasized the offbeats. It’s a great sound, very toe-tapping and EXCITING! (Yes, exciting enough to write in all capitals with an exclamation point! Seriously!) Instead of (and you have to read this fast, because most of the songs were fast): BOOMchuckBOOMchuck, it was: boomCHUCKboomCHUCK. I’m not explaining it very well. But it was awesome.

All seven of the band members were incredible musicians. They took turns and improvised and it was simply amazing. And then–

AND THEN–!

The sort-of leader walked up to the mike and said they had a special treat: a maraca virtuoso was going to play with them on a couple of tunes. I looked at Erin and one of us said (I can’t even remember which one, but we were both thinking it), “I didn’t know they had maraca virtuosos.” Maracas, if you aren’t aware, are those shaky thingys that are often utilized in Latin-type music. So this fellow comes out, a largeish guy with a big smile and dark-rimmed glasses (he’s from Venezuela originally, the band leader says) with a gig bag for his maracas. He takes them out and I’m ready to hear a little shake-shake-shake along with the boomCHUCKboomCHUCKboomCHUCK.

I was completely blown away.

Turns out, there is such a thing as a maraca virtuoso. I know, because I heard one.

Amazing, incredible, fabuloso–insert favorite superlative here. He played rhythms on the maracas that I didn’t even know were possible. Seriously jaw-dropping.

What a great night. The band was tight, and they enjoyed playing together. Stan would have loved it. I’m going to check the band’s website to see if they’ve got anything else scheduled close by. If they play here next year, sign me up.

In the end, I walked out of the theatre with two Hot Club Sandwich cds and a new found appreciation for gypsy jazz. And an even greater desire to learn how to play the guitar.





I like them, by gosh

13 11 2008

We’ve had a stressful week.

There was a family emergency, Stan went out of town, and I just feel like I’ve been through the wringer the past few days.

Some people eat when they’re under stress.

I don’t.

In fact, I have a hard time eating at all when I’m stressed, most likely because my stomach is all tied up in knots and forgets it’s hungry.

Apparently, I shop when I’m stressed.

Case in point: after a rousing game of Glow Golf (which was quite fun except the whole time I was running interference with Colby, who particularly liked to crawl up and down any hole with an incline, nevermind the poor shmoes who were actually trying to play) on Veterans’ Day (thank you, veterans, for getting us out of school), I took the kids to the Osh Kosh store. All of Eden’s skirts are getting a bit, shall we say risque for church. (But, you know, for school they’re still okay.) So a church outfit for Eden was on the list, along with some un-jeans for Zack (don’t ask).

This particular store and I have a wonderful history. I’m pretty sure none of the clerks recognized me (I did have a gigantic wad of toilet paper covering 2/3 of my face the last time I was there), but they may have recognized my kids. Still, they didn’t kick us out. And aside from Rainbow’s refusal to leave (in perfect melt-into-a-puddle-of-complete-despair-and-will-not-move-without-force form) because I wouldn’t buy her some sunglasses, the trip really went well overall. But I spent a lot of money.

Not a lot a lot, but, you know, enough.

While I was there, I just remembered all sorts of other things the kids needed–Colby has crawled the knees out of most of his pants, Zack found a coat he really loved and he’s been needing a new one, and Rainbow had to get a shirt because everyone else was getting something. The pile on the stroller kept growing.

One of the things I love about Osh Kosh is their clothes are cute and easily washable. I don’t have time to sort out “cold gentle”s. Seriously, folks, I’m lucky to get the whites, darks, and lights into separate piles. And clothes just don’t seem to get clean in cold water, say what you will about saving energy and all that. I’m pretty much a failure at stain fighting, and with warm water things don’t seem to actually stain as much in the first place. Bless you for your “warm normal” washing instructions, Osh Kosh. Obviously, one must stock up when one has the chance. They were having a pretty good sale for Veterans’ Day (thank you, veterans, for clothing sales).

It’s not how much you spend, it’s how much you save, right? My dad used to say that all the time, and he’s a very wise man. I try to follow parental advice whenever possible. I totally lived by that particular adage on Tuesday. (He might have been being sarcastic when he said it, but kids don’t really understand sarcasm.)

And guess what: if my total had been, say, $300, I saved the equivalent of $200! How do you like them apples?

Join me tomorrow, when I renumerate the trips to Fred Meyer and JoAnn Fabrics.

Wait. On second thought, don’t. I’m starting to have buyer’s remorse and that’s not going to help my stress level any. Perhaps a quick stop at Pier 1 will help . . . kidding, kidding. (A lot of it is Christmas stuff. . . and Stan didn’t really want to get a sports car, did you honey?)

Oh, and one last thing: thank you, veterans, for freedom. I’m so grateful.





A Familiar Cadence

10 11 2008

Stan and I met in high school marching band. I played all through high school and even one year in college marching band. (One year in college was enough. I’m not that dedicated.) Every year our city holds a marching band competition, and every year I’ve wanted to go. It’s the perfect thing for us not-really-sports-fans: halftime shows without having to sit through the football game!

 

I realize I’m in the minority of the population with this assessment, and that’s okay. Anyway, I ditched Stan and the kids the other night (originally, we were all going to go, but I’m glad we didn’t. The kids aren’t quite ready to sit through marching mania for several hours.) and took hundreds (yes, hundreds) of pictures and laughed and cheered and felt like I need to invest in a fold down stadium seat. You know, for next year, when we get a babysitter so Stan can come, too.

 

Feel free to skip looking at the pictures if you aren’t into marching bands (like my brother, Tyler, totally is). I won’t be offended.

 

Roll step a little while today. It’ll make you (and me) smile.