January 26, 2009

Good Report Cards (mostly)

Last week was the start of the 3rd quarter of this school year. That means that the kids brought home report cards. Not to be bragging, but I am pleased to say that the only negative comments that any of my kids have had are: Sydney needs to sit in her chair - 1st grade, and last year in the first quarter Abby and Rebekah each had about 10 tardies. (This was a surprise because we live 2 blocks from the school and they leave the house 25 minutes before school starts. Turns out that they were just really enjoying the scenery)

I will admit that I was concerned about Sydney's non-sitting chair issue, some how I felt that this reflected on my parenting skills. I am now older and wiser now and when I received the following note from Nate's teacher on his report card, I didn't feel the need to panic.

Nate writes uppercase and lowercase letters correctly, but he often writes quickly and carelessly. He has very nice handwriting when he takes his time - but he doesn't often do this. Nate also tends to work slowly - he sometimes distracts himself by fiddling with pencils and gluesticks. In spite of the above mentioned tendencies, Nate is very bright, very quick to leard and shows a very responsible attitude in most situations. He is a very good student for the most part.

January 25, 2009

Dadd's Birthday

We celebrated Kenneth's birthday yesterday (finally and mostly). We had a fancy breakfast and he opened his presents. (the mostly part is the present from the boys and me hasn't arrived yet) Syd and Bekah put together a treasure hunt for him to find his gifts. Sydney and Abby bought him a crazy smiley face tie, Rebekah got him a new watch band, Hazel bought him a boy Polly Pocket "Rick" who has a disco, and we had some nerf dart guns that Dejay gave him. The girls spent the afternoon playing Polly Pockets with him and later there was a nerf battle.

That really makes my day!

I often have notes on the whiteboard from my kids; reminders of activities, birthday invitations, permission slips, or grocery lists. It was a nice surprise to find this note this week!

January 23, 2009

Mr. Yuck

The boys and I were talking this morning and they were saying "we are going to open a store and call it "Dangerway", as opposed to "Safeway". Or maybe a store called ceiling-mart. HAHAHA We are going to pass out frowning face stickers. HAHAHAHA"

I suggested that they could just pass out Mr. Yuck stickers. (that means no laughter). So once again I found myself trying to explain something from my youth and having them not get it. Thank heavens for YouTube. I showed them this commercial and now they get it. (and then I had to show them the "Where's the beef" soviet fashion show commercial. They didn't get it. The Soviet Union means nothing to them.)


Rebekah's face paint set and Sydney strikes again!

I think I did a terrible job taking this photo, but you can still get the idea. I think Sydney could get a great summer job using her face painting skills! (someday)

January 22, 2009

The rest of us saw the Lion King too!

Here are the pictures of the rest of the kids at Gammage Auditorium on ASU campus. We all love d the show!

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January 21, 2009

Dreams Really Do Come True

Here it he is. Jan 20 2009 Nathaniel Lycurgus Welling achieved his goal of attending a Broadway Musical. I am sure that The Lion King is only the beginning of a long love affair with musicals. This is a picture taken from our triple nose bleed seats. But even still it was a great show. We all enjoyed it but Nate... I believe the term was enraptured. While we were waiting for the show to start we were reading the notes on the actors. I read the descriptions of the young Simba and Nala, where they go to school, how thankful they are to their parents, where they take dance lessons, etc. Nates eyes were aflame and he gasped "Mom, I am already doing those things. Mom, I'm really going to do it. I can be on broadway." I am impressed with his passion and that he has a firm plan about how he is going to get there.

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January 19, 2009

My Baby Is Growing Up

Today we went and watched Christian march in the MLK Parade. I think I might have been more excited about it than he was. We went to the parade 1 hour early to get good spots and I took some of the kids friends. We even bought a bag of cotton candy. I coaxed Truman into walking out into the street to get good pictures. Then Christian was on the other side of the street. So Truman crossed the street and ran ahead to take better pictures! I was really proud. I have such great memories of marching in parades. And the band even soundedd good!

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Nate: about the Lion King

"Nate is excited for the Lion King and I wish I was in the Lion King. And now I really is excited for it. I think the best part will be when the lion is gunna fall but then he knocks Scar from trying to hit him off. Then he got hit and then the people he is the king of were eating the Scar up. I'm so excited I don't know how to tell you how much I am excited."

January 18, 2009

Home Depot Stimulus Package

Well it is official, Kenneth is back at work! He is working on enclosing my laundry chute. I keep telling him it is in his own best interest, because if I could control the flow of clothes I wouldn't keep bleaching his black church socks. In the meantime it might be wise to invest in Home Depot stock. We already made one trip and have a return to make!


I'm not sure if you can tell but Truman tells me that he needs a new bike. For comparison purposes here is Nate on his new (to him) bike and Truman on his (alleged) too small bike. I think Nate's bike might actually be a hair larger.

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I Wonder

Sometimes I find pictures on my camera that make me pause and wonder "why did someone take this picture?". This is the first time I have thought "Why the grapefruit?"

January 16, 2009

4 more days

We are taking most of the kids to see the Lion King on Tuesday. After I bought tickets, I realized that I have been a rather neglectful parent and haven't shown my kids the Lion King movie. They laughed themselves silly. Nate is thrilled to see his first Broadway show. He is so excited that he actually has a count down chain, and he tears a link off every morning. Another evidence of his excitement is that when I sing to him at night as I put him to bed he has been requesting that I sing Broadway show tunes. The best part of that is that he often has to correct me "Mom, you skipped a part" or "Mom, this is the next verse". One of my friends was shocked that we were going to take him to see the play, "Isn't he a bit young? I would think he will be bored." She doesn't know Nate very well.

January 11, 2009

Who do you know?

Here is the list of famous people I know or rather have met (or may have stood near). I skipped school my senior year one day to hang around the state capitol building while Madonna was there filming a movie (not because I was particularly fond of her but it was a good excuse to skip school). I once got chewed out by Lavell Edwards while working at cougar stadium because I asked Rex Lee for identification. I grew up across the street from the Hollywood Bank robber. I was at the fireside when Cody Judy threatened President Hunter. A couple of years ago I shook hands with Alan Alda at the Phoenix Airport. I (and my family) got to sit in at a rehearsal of members of the Boston Brass and the Canadian Brass (and we talked to them). So it is obvious that I am a well connected girl.

My little "Hottie"

Nate came to me yesterday and announced "Mom, I am a hottie!"
"What does that mean to be a Hottie"
"Girls really like me"
"What do you do that makes girls like you"
"I'm handsome, and I play with them at school, and I don't be rude or mean to them. So I am a hottie."

Nate is different about clothes than Christian and Truman ever were. He prefers shirts with a collar and likes to accessorize, "which shoes look good with this" "Brown belt or Black today." He has a little Tuxedo jacket that a friend gave him that he wears to church (with a red cummerbund).

He dresses like this a lot, and I am glad that he likes an obscene amount of mustard on his sandwiches because then he has to wait for me to wash the pink shirt before he can wear it again. I guess that maintaining that reputation as a Hottie is a lot of work.

Leaf jumping, the new Olympic sport

Saturday I took some of the kids to my friend's house to rake some leaves. We were done raking in about 15 minutes. So we got to the serious business of leaf jumping. The kids jumped, burrowed, tossed, rolled and giggled for another 45 minutes. Another small reminder that sometimes the best things in life are free.

January 10, 2009

The Indian Fort

On Thursday, I was so overwhelmed by my indoor duties that Hazel and I just stayed outside all day. We took down some Christmas lights and then we trimmed the lemon tree, peach tree and cut back the grape vines. I was feeling lazy and didn't clean up the branches right away. The kids came home from school and used the branches to build a great fort. Hours and hours, they played outside with no fighting. I am thinking of planting more trees that will need pruning!!

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January 9, 2009

Aunt Annie Or Auntie Anne

I always thought that the fancy rice I like to buy but that Kenneth doesn't like is called Basatmi rice and I was talking to some of my friends and said Basatmi rice out loud for the first time in my life and they laughed themselves silly that them being men and I being a domestic goddess would not know how to pronounce Basmati. Oh well you live and learn.

So here is the confession of the week I always thought that the pretzel place at the mall was Aunt Annie. My friend gave me a recipe for Auntie Anne Pretzels and the font was different than the sign at the mall and I noticed that I have been pronouncing it wrong since my earliest experiences with mall pretzels.

We did try making the pretzels and they were pretty good. I don't care for the cinnamon sugar topping but the one time I had that at the mall I didn't like it either.

1 1/4 cup warm water
1 TB plus 1/4 teaspoon yeast
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 2TB powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 TB baking soda
1/4 cup butter, melted
kosher or pretzel salt
Bath: 4 cups warm water

Salted: Kosher or pretzel salt
Cinnamon Topping: 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon

1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a small bowl or cup. Let sit for a few
2. Combine flour, powdered sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add water with yeast and vegetable oil. Stir with a spoon and then use your hands to form dough into a ball. Knead the dough for 5 minutes on a lightly floured surface. (Dough will be nice and smooth when ready). Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover
it, store in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until dough rises to double in size.
3. When dough has risen, preheat oven to 425 degrees.
4. Make a bath for the pretzels by combining the baking soda with the warm water
and stir until baking soda is mostly dissolved.
5. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into 8 even portions. Roll each portion on a flat non-floured surface until it is about 3 ft long. Pick up both ends of the dough and give it a little spin so the middle of the dough spins around once. Lay the dough down with the loop nearest to you. Fold the ends down toward you and pinch to attach them to the bottom of the loop. The twist should be in the miiddle.
6. Holding the pinched ends, dip each pretzel into the bath solution. Put each pretzel on a paper towel for a moment to blot the excess liquid. Arrange the pretzels on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. If you want salt, sprinkle pretzels with kosher salt or pretzel salt. DON'T salt any pretzels you plan to coat with cinnamon sugar. You will likely have to use two baking sheets and bake them separately. Bake the pretzels for 4 minutes and then spin the pan around and bake for another 4-5 minutes or until the pretzels are golden brown.
7. Remove the pretzels from the oven and let them cool for a couple of minutes. If you want to eat some now, brush them with melted butter first before serving.
7a. If you want the cinnamon sugar coating, make it by combining the 1/2 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl. Brush the unsalted pretzels with melted butter. Sprinkle a heavy coating of the cinnamon sugar on the pretzels over a large plate.

Makes 8 pretzels.

Tuba and Timpani for Grandparents

Most people probably don't think really care to watch this. It is a bit long but I am posting this because I am very proud of my boys. Here is Christian and Truman playing in the Metropolitan Youth Symphony last night for the Arizona Music Educators Convention. (And Dejay practicing his concert manners) Christian is straight back playing the Timpani and Truman is just in from of him, it is possible to see him under the string bass player's stand.

Old News

Rebekah got a fun face painting book and a new camera for her Birthday in November. She had me download the photos from her camera. Here are some of the fun face painting things the girls did on each other.

Here is a demonstration of her camera's favorite feature, adding graphics to the pictures. I personally love it when they put pig noses and viking helmets on everyone!

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January 7, 2009

Joy Ride

Our neighbor, Breanne came over yesterday to see if Hazel wanted to go ride in her new Mustang. I think Hazel looks pretty good in a convertible, and it gives her an excuse for why her hair looks like that all the time.

Hazel took Nate for a drive.

Typical man, he doesn't like her driving and has to take over!

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January 4, 2009

Let's go ride a bike

I never imagined how much bike repair I would have to do as a mom. On Friday we went bike riding. We were getting ready to go and Sydney pointed out that he bike had 2 flat tires. So I while I was repairing them, Nate brought his bike to me. 2 flats. I hate fixing the little 12inch tires. We have 7 kids but we own 10 kid bikes. So I told Nate, uhh you look big enough to ride the "Mud Shark" bike. Have Truman take it out front and see if you can ride it. They said it would work. I underestimated the size of Mud Shark( 20 inch wheels). Nate could straddle the bar only on his tiptoes, but by golly he was determined to ride it. He needed someone to stabilize the bike while he got on and then he was off. He rides much faster now and only crashed 3 times in the mile and a half to the library. He is a great sport, he jumps up and says "don't worry, I'm OK". The girls started complaining "Nate has a bigger bike than me".

My Sister in Law Kami posted this for me. I had to laugh, I wonder how much fighting it would cause.


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January 2, 2009

Another Day in Paradise

Today was perfect day. I slept in until 7:30 and we had scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast. I went out in my PJs and picked a grapefruit off my tree. All the kids finished their practicing early. The house was clean still from the night before. The weather was beautiful, so we all rode our bikes to the library (in our short sleeves) and played on the playground for an hour. After dinner the kids set up a tarp and sleeping bags on the back lawn and "went to bed" at 7PM. Then Kenneth and I took Dejay to the bookstore. We got home about 9PM and told the kids to go to sleep, and they did!
You just can't ask for anything more.