Friday, July 18, 2008

Ketchup Part Two

Songer Family Reunion
Every year around the Fourth of July the Steve and Pat Songer Family gets together for two or three days of fun. Generally we are required to put on a talent show. Usually we do some fun craft for the kids. And always, the guys build a waterslide.
It has gotten taller every year. This year the platform was ten feet up in the trees on one side of the yard and the plastic reached all the way to the other side of the yard. It was about 150 feet long. (Only the very best bellywhoppers managed to get all the way to the end.) The kids slid down and then ran around and climbed up again non-stop for 3 or 4 hours the first day. And the second day. They took a break for Sunday, and then did it all over again on Monday. I believe Lissa was the most dedicated slider of all, even after she broke her arm and had to have a cast on.
The Platform

The Slide

Anderson slip slidin' away

Lissa coming down, Meredith headed up

Lissa getting too much air.

Bonked ma chin.

Did you say ketchup?

So it's time to play catch-up:

The French Connection: When I was fourteen or so my family hosted Ludovic D'Anchald, a foreign exchange student from France, for the summer. Later, my parents visited his parents' home in Lille, then my husband and I visited Ludo and his wife, Brigitte in Lyon (back when they had only one baby.) Still later, my parents visited Ludo and Brigitte who then had four children. And finally, Ludo's parents and cousin (with her husband) came to visit us in Utah. They were sorry to miss my parents who are on a mission in Mexico. And it's just a shame that my sister Kate and her husband Caleb (who speaks French from his mission to Montreal) were gone that week to look for a house in Pittsburgh.
So it was basically up to me to host them and I was nervous because I never was fluent in French and it had been years since I used it at all. So I invited over Casey's sister Jenny. She lived in the French house at BYU for a year and is much less self-conscious about speaking in a foreign language. They hit it off great and I basically turned them over to her as a tour guide for a day in Salt Lake City. She loved it--she got to show them all the Mormon history sites like Temple Square, the Beehive house, and the Great Salt Lake. And I stayed behind to take Lissa to the doctor with a broken arm. I was relieved that Jenny was willing to help me out this way. Not that I wouldn't have loved to go along, it's just tricky when you have a baby to drag along.
The only down side of their visit was that we promised to show them buffalo (technically bison) and then couldn't find the herd that is usually pastured half a mile from here. When next I see them, I'll have to get a picture and send it along.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Thems the breaks.

So I don't have a picture of her lovely red cast to show you but Lissa broke her arm last Sunday falling off her bike. It was one month to the day since she broke her finger and had to have seven stitches. This makes three broken bones in five months! We had been saying that it was Anderson's turn next. She totally took his turn. I hope he doesn't want it.
My parents called from Mexico today to get some financial stuff worked out. There were the usual questions: How is everyone? How did it go with our French guests? (Will post on that later.) Any more broken bones? (Yes.) Hit any deer lately? (Yes. One hit Casey on the side of his car two weeks ago.) They asked all the right questions. I mean, what do you say when someone asks "How are you?" You say "Fine." You don't really want to tell them how you are, they'd go into shock. I've tried being more honest. I sometimes answer "Okay" or "Tired." Whenever I do that, the person's eyes glaze over and their facial muscles twitch. They are already dealing with their own lives, they don't want to deal with mine, too.
That's what's nice about my parents; they'd willingly deal with my life if I'd let them. But I'm a big girl now, and we're coping, just like everybody else. And there have been times (like during my first few postpartum depressions) when they did deal with my life for a while. And they did a good job of it. But still, it is my life and I want to deal with it myself when I can.
How I do go on. You probably didn't want to know any of that, you've got your own life to deal with.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Paying attention in Church

Sometimes I get so frazzled sitting through Sacrament Meeting with all five of our kids. It's not really sitting; it's getting up and down with a screaming or stinky baby, leaning sideways to break up an escalating argument between kids old enough to know better, or bending myself in half forwards to recapture dropped crackers, papers, shoes, pacifiers, ad nauseam. (Really, I sometimes start to feel a little dizzy. It's more exercise than I get all the rest of the week.)

And, inevitably, I start to wonder if any of us are getting anything out of it. But I realized something must be getting through to my three-year-old daughter the other day. She's been going through a stage lately where she is constantly noisy. She bangs thing, taps on things, but mostly just makes mouth noises all day long. Some of it is in English, but mostly it's just noise. But during a piano solo of "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" she sang along (to her own tune and before I could shush her), these words, "I got it open myself. Oh! My fruit snacks!"

And then I had to bend forward to help her pick them up.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Last Favorites for Now

Morning Glory


Make me.

Free Ride