Rachel is Not an Ant

Last night, Rachel and Lucy got sent to bed early for fighting.

At 9:00 pm, I got a text message from Rachel that said:

Look at the note under the basement door it is true

My favorite part is where it says, "I am not an ant I can carry more than my own body weight".

It is still making me smile this morning.

I love these notes from my kids. (And, of course, I happily obliged and let her come up and have a snack and read scriptures with me.)


I think I am going to start a foundation:

Parents Who Love Television and Video Games

Either of these two boys could be the poster child:

While stuffing clothes into the washing machine. . .

Adam: Hey, this is like playing a video game!
Me: Oh, yeah?
Adam: Yeah. Doing laundry is like playing video games.
Me: How's that?
Adam: At first it's hard, but if you do it over and over again it gets easier, and then you win!

Driving home from preschool the other day, after slamming on my brakes. . .

Isaiah: That's inertia?
Me: What did you just say?
Isaiah: That was inertia?
Adam: What's inertia?
Isaiah: When the car stops fast but your body keeps going.
Me: Where did you learn about inertia?
Isaiah: On Sid the Science Kid.

I'm not saying you don't have to be careful WHAT your kids watch and WHAT your kids play.

I am saying there is a lot of television watching and game playing going on at our house. And I think my kids (and nephew) are smarter because of it.


Day for Kids

Last Saturday, the Boys and Girls Club in Weber County sponsored a "Day for Kids".

Our neighbor, Soniya, spent the weekend with us while her mom was out of town and filled us in on all of the details.

Participating locations included the Ogden Nature Center, the Eccles Dinosaur Park, The Ice Sheet, Papageorge Dairy, The BSA C.O.P.E. Course, and Fat Cats.

Rachel and Lucy were funny. They timidly asked if there was any chance they could "please, please, please" go to something. Hmmmm. Don't I always choose playing with my kids over other activities? Almost always. Especially when it is free.

We made our game plan and assumed that Fat Cats and the Dinosaur Park would be really crowded. Since a lot of kids wouldn't even know what the BSA C.O.P.E. Course was, we figured that was our best bet to avoid the craziness.

Sure enough, when we arrived at the Boy Scout offices, we were the only ones there for the Day for Kids.

Rachel, Lucy, and Soniya had a fun time climbing on the rock wall, but they were too young to ride the zip line or do anything else on the ropes course. We were about to leave, but a photographer from the Standard Examiner came, so the girls went back up the rock wall again. Rachel (and Lucy's) foot made the Sunday newspaper.

We took a break to attend a baby shower and then hurried over to The Ice Sheet. I anticipated lots of kids and lots of lines, but there were very few kids and no lines. (It made me second-guess our prediction about Fat Cats.) Some of our neighbors and cousins came and joined us, and the kids had a fun afternoon ice-skating.

I sure love Ogden and all of the family-friendly activities available in our community, yet I am still amazed how poorly attended many of them are. If something like this were to take place in Logan, it would have been a zoo. Hurray for Ogden, and lucky us. We will continue enjoying all of the fun things Ogden has to offer until everyone else catches on and decides to come join us in this fun town. Did I mention the houses across the street and next door to us are both for sale?


A Visit From the Flowerdays

Derrick's former bishop from South Africa (who was fundamental in the process/miracle of bringing Derrick to the United States) came to visit us with his wife last night.

We had a wonderful time hearing updates about the people in East London and other happenings in South Africa. At least it was wonderful in between Lucy jumping off the coffee table and Adam shoving my phone in their faces to show them the games he was playing. Glad I got a babysitter for the rest of the night.

Our Pilot was full of car seats so we crammed into their rental car and took them for a drive around Ogden and through the canyon to Pineview Reservoir. Stephen Flowerday even managed to stay on the right side of the road.

And then we went to Sonora Grill, where Steve ordered half the menu for them to eat. Seriously.

Fresh Guacamole
Auga Chile de Camarones
Tropical Swordfish (possibly my favorite thing on the menu)
Chipotle Seafood
Chile Rellenos (another favorite)
Pozole (my first time trying it. . . would never had guessed it was so good)

And those were just our appetizers.

Stephen told us about some of his experiences as a former member of the stake presidency. Funny stories of first-generation members the church in South Africa and nearby countries:

The man whose friend was asking about the church, so he gave him his temple recommend so he could go check it out. (Yes, the nonmember went through a session at the temple.)

About one branch who had a girl passing the sacrament. They were told that girls can't pass the sacrament because they don't hold the priesthood. So they were surprised when they went back six months later and she was still passing the sacrament. They had just gone ahead and given her the priesthood.

And how the temple in Johannesburg has workers monitoring the celestial room to make sure things aren't stolen. People like to take home souvenirs and think they can swipe something to take home with them. . . . right after going through the temple.

Lots of food. Lots of laughs.

Made me even more excited for our upcoming trip to South Africa.

Sixteen more months.

The kids have been working hard to earn money.

They are up to $307.


Craft Day: Duct Tape Flip Flops

The other day, Rachel and Lucy spent the afternoon making duct tape creations with the neighbors, and I remembered that I never posted the pictures from our Bonus Craft Day (planned around Karen's visit to Utah) last month.

Maybe I was subconsciously trying to suppress the memory. With thirteen kids and four adults, it was a bit chaotic. (I really do need to add something to help absorb the noise in my kitchen. Curtains should be on my to do list. What else would work???)

You can find instructional videos on how to make duct tape flip flops all over the internet. They tell you to trace the bottom of your shoe to create a template and then to make your flip flops out of cardboard.

But we like to do things easy, so we just covered old flip flops up with duct tape. (This was timed perfectly. . . at the end of the summer, when all of the kids' flip flops were getting old and dingy.) You can buy Duck Tape with cool prints just about everywhere now: Target, Walmart, Staples, Home Depot, Lowes, Michaels, Shopko, etc. And I saw on the Duck Tape website that they just came out with College Team Duck Tape.

We cut lots and lots of strips of duct tape (about five inches long), stuck them to the edge of the kitchen counter, and let the kids get to work. There might have been a couple of kids whose mothers insisted on expressing opinions/helping/taking over their project.

This is what they/we came up with:

Can you guess whose feet are whose?

This one should be easy. . .

I'm curious to see if Karen asks to attend Craft Day next time she visits :)


The Day Without Labor

It's a pretty rare thing for my husband and my brother (two of the hardest-working people I know) to take a full day off work. It is even more amazing that they spent the weekend in a location with limited internet access and spotty cell phone service. . . the perfect way to celebrate Labor Day. (It should be noted that at one point, Sam was the one lecturing some of the women folk to put away our computers and focus on the conversation!)

Now that our Malouf Family Labor Day Weekend has become a tradition, the kids know what to expect. And boy, were they excited:

Sydney didn't let her broken arm stop her from enjoying the wave runners:

Talmage was a good sport. He wore his drysuit and spent most of his time on the beach:

And Kaleigh wasn't afraid of the sand this year. She was all over the place. Eating my gum:

Playing with anyone who would talk to her (including other visitors on the beach):

Hanging out with her dad:

Watching the seagulls:

And drinking approximately 27 Capri Suns:

Rachel and Derrick enjoyed some lounging on the beach:

Or at least they tried to relax. Until BAM! Kaleigh snuck up and jump on their backs:

We ended up with lots and lots of pictures of Lucy and her cool hair. Imagine that.

Almost all of the photos were taken by Rebecca and Kacie. Because I spent the afternoon enjoying a nice nap on the beach:

Oh, yeah. And because they are great photographers with fancy schmancy cameras.

There were only a few kids brave enough to ride the tube:

If Adam looks scared on the wave runner, he should be. I went out for one last ride with Steve and Adam, and all three of us ended up in the water.

He felt a little safer on the beach:

Finn had a good time on the beach too:

And so did Talmage:

I guess everyone had a good time on the beach:

Day Two was spent at Snowbasin:

We had a picnic lunch on the patio and then rode the gondola to Needles Lodge:

The views were spectacular and the ride provided plenty of chances for picture posing:

And potty jokes. I can only imagine what Sam just said:

When we got to the top, the lady handed us a chart with pictures of wildflowers for us to look for on our hike. It felt like springtime up there:

The weather was perfect; the short hike was perfect:

It was a good thing Uncle Paul was there to protect Adam from the bees:

Can you tell what's going on in this picture? That's Rebecca, laying down in the gondola. On a ride all by herself. I could go for that right now.

The gondola is open on Saturdays and Sundays and is a must-do for anyone near Ogden.

Maybe I shouldn't let Lucy wear these sunglasses in public anymore?

The End.