Sunday, November 6, 2011

Halloween 2011

Anika went as a windy day. Puppies ears kept coming unpinned.

Rosalie was several different versions of Belle. (She wore something new under the tutu each day for a week. Tutu by

Meredith went as a box turtle. Get it?! That's the kind of costume you get if you tell your mom you want to be a turtle 3 days before you need a costume.

Clarissa went as Medusa.

Here's a close up of her snake hair.

Anderson went as a ninja. He made the ninja stars and the sword out of paper, foil, and duct tape.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Peer Pressure

Rosalie recently made friends with Isabelle. Isabelle has baby goats at her house. And baby kittens. And a beautiful playhouse in the yard. In four-year-old's terms, Isabelle is cool.

They both wanted to get in the safety swings at the park. I lifted them in and gave starter pushes.

Rosalie has never liked swinging high. In her own words, "Not too high, Mom. I freakout when I get too high."
But Isabelle LOVES to go high. And higher. "Again! Push me higher!"
Never have so many underdoggies been given in so little time to so little a kid. At least, not by me.

Rosalie said, "Okay, Mom. You can push me a little higher."
Isabelle yelled, "This is fun!"
Rosalie, through clenched teeth, "Yeah, fun! But not too high or we'll fall out. Right, Mom?"
When I contradicted that fear, she loosened up a little more. Pretty soon I was doing a full circle--underdoggie to Isabelle, turn and underdoggie to Rosalie.

What we'll do to be "in" with the cool kids.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mesothelioma Awareness Day

Most of you who read this blog are already aware that my sister-in-law, Sarah Songer-Smith has Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma. And the reason you are aware is because my family on both sides have posted it on their blogs. (See here and here and here and here.) If you are one of the few readers I have who is not part of my extended family, here is a blog my s-i-l Katie started for Sarah.


Today is Mesothelioma Awareness Day.

And if you read that page you can see this is serious.

Sarah is 30 years old. If she was exposed to asbestos she must have been just a little girl. None of us knows when or how it could have happened. This is usually an old man's disease.

Why did it take me nearly five months to post about it? I have sat down time after time to write about this and drawn a blank every time. Apparently, I am a wuss. My brain veers sideways whenever I try to think about it.

In contrast, Sarah and her husband Shaun are tough as nails. They are in New York getting Sarah treatment because this cancer is rare enough that no one here knows how to treat it. That they are able to maintain their upbeat, "kick-mesothelioma's-butt"-attitude is a testament to their characters. Especially in the face of all the invasive and painful things Sarah has had to endure so far.

We're pulling for you, Sarah. Even the wussiest of us.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

On the 3rd

Anika said, "Hey, Rosie, tomorrow is the 4th of July!"
Rosalie answered, "I know that."
"But do you know what that means?"
Rosalie paused a half-second, then said, "Candy."

Anika couldn't deny it. Because it's true.

"Well, yeah, but it also means we live in an awesome country!"

And tomorrow, we will wear our awesome t-shirts that we made at our awesome Songer Family Reunion.

Friday, June 24, 2011


We've had the rainiest spring on record. Some of the plants here are very happy about it.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

the sudden stop at the end

Have you heard the saying that goes "It's not the fall that kills you, it's the sudden stop at the end"?
Our van was killed on Wednesday, June 15.

(This is an example of what our van looked like afterward. I didn't have a camera with me.)

But the important thing is that those of us riding in the van at the time are untouched aside from a little welt on Rosalie's shoulder from her seat strap, and a few small bruises up and down my left side. And the man in the other car had only a scratched arm.

I was heading east on a straight road when a small truck drove south across the intersection. He had a stop sign and had thought it was a four-way. He couldn't see me coming because of a semi to his right. I was looking straight ahead and didn't see him until it was too late. We hit his passenger side nearly head on. I had just enough time to swerve slightly to the right. (In retrospect, and after talking to the paramedics, it would have been safer to hit him straight. At least for those of us in the van.)

I had been worried about getting home in time for Rosalie to use the bathroom because if we stopped, the ice cream for Clarissa's birthday celebration might melt. In the first seconds after the impact, with broken glass everywhere and a haze of smoke from the airbags, I first made sure my girls (Meredith and Rosalie) and I were physically okay. Then, of all things, I thought of the ice cream again. My saner side had to remind my perpetually worried side that if the ice cream melted before we made it home, it would be OKAY.
Someone who witnessed the crash told me to just stay in the car, but with a 4 and 6 year-old panicking from the chaos and shock, I felt we needed to get out. My door wouldn't open so I unbuckled the girls and went through the passenger side door. It turned out to be the only door that would still open.
Once outside several witnesses rushed up to us and asked if we were hurt. One woman told me she'd never seen a crash before. Another woman was an off-duty paramedic who checked over my girls while a policewoman took my information. And there was a Polynesian man who just kept asking me if we were hurt or if there was anything he could do for us. He asked us so many times, I wondered if he was in shock.
So the paramedics had to check us out. They gave my little girls a stuffed animal each. ( Rosalie pulled off her rain boots in the ambulance, dumping safety glass fragments on the floor.) The police gave us a report for our insurance. The tow trucks came and took both cars away. And my mother-in-law came to drive us home. Luckily, she was in town and not far away.

Later Rosalie was telling Lissa what happened. "We bumped into something BIG! I think it was a tent."

Casey and I had been talking earlier that same day about needing to get a newer van, and how much we both hate shopping for cars.

Two final notes--
Yesterday we ate cake and ice cream for Lissa's birthday--the ice cream made it home just fine. It had melted just a little so I kept it in the grocery bag when I stuck it in the freezer. When I unpeeled the bag yesterday, there were some blobs of shattered safety glass frozen to the drips.
Usually we are the ones getting our car registration done the last few days of the month. I was so on top of it this year--our registration stickers arrived in the mail on the 17th.

(For future reference, may you never need it-- If they ask you what tow company you prefer, don't say "Whatever." Say "Anyone located close to the center of town." Or they may send it out to the boondocks because that's the next company on the list.)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Potty Humor

It was time to get our septic tank pumped.

Monday, May 30, 2011

I looked out the window and what did I see. . .

Happy Memorial Day!

P.S. Sarah, are you guys still going swimming today? We think we'll pass.

P.P.S. When Anika came upstairs she said, "Snow! Again!"
That's right. Because the pictures we took this morning are identical to the pictures we took yesterday morning. This will probably also be gone by noon, but somehow I can't face getting out the swimsuit just yet.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Head Trauma Week

1--Anderson startles too enthusiastically when Lissa grabs him from behind, propelling his own forehead into the corner of the newel post. He is sad that his hair keeps people from easily seeing his newest bruise.

2--Rosalie tries to scale the climbing wall at cousin Mckays' house but gets discouraged two-thirds of the way up and lets gravity get her down. With a severe head bonk she lies on Aunt Wendy's bed surrounded by female relatives who bring her pain-killer, books, blankets, and frozen hash-browns (to ice the bump) until she falls asleep.

3--Lissa gets up in the night to use the bathroom. With a sleepy sense of vertical she smacks her head hard against the door frame.

4--While removing rodent corpses from the window well, Casey comes up for a breath of fresh air. The overhanging corner of the widow well grate punctures his scalp even through his thick, knitted ski-cap. Instead of stitches, we use the time-honored method of pulling the hair together around the gash and holding it in place with an elastic.

5--Anderson learns that hanging upside-down from the bar stool can result in the bar stool falling over and landing on your face. With blood gushing from his nose he screams, "SAVE ME! I'M GONNA DIE!" The small puncture wound on the outside of his nose (where his glasses were pressed into his face) continues to ooze all through our visit to Mckay's house to see Hudson open his mission call. Lissa regrets that we didn't take a picture of all the blood on the floor before we cleaned it up.

6--While at Mckay's house, Meri tries to show cousin Chloe that she can pick her up. Chloe tries to help her by jumping. Both girls fall over and the back of Meri's head hits the tile floor with a loud thunk. She wants to go home and go to bed. In the morning her vision is no longer blurry.

While talking over the spate of injuries, we realize that only Anika and I have not sustained any head trauma recently. Should we worry?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Revisited

In Preparation For Valentine's Day:

Meredith and Lissa wanted to do their own homemade Valentines this year. This one is Meri's.

And these are Lissa's.

(Anderson hated the ones we bought for him but they turned out to be cool after all-- "Mom, even the girls were like, "Do you want your bug tattoo? Can I have it?"")

Rosalie left me a cup of fresh squeezed monkey.

Valentine's Day:

Anika, who no longer has to do a Valentine for every kid in her class, decided to do one for every one in her family. She left us a card and a plate of heart-shaped pink pancakes for breakfast. There was a rhyme inside for each of us.

Is that my hair? Is that my hair?

Clarissa dressed up all fancy for the 6th Grade dance. (Ah, the 6th grade dance, such memories. Mostly awkward and yucky ones.) She had a great time. So did the other moms and I as we circled the floor taking pictures and remembering back when we learned the same dances taught by the same teacher.

Boy's choice

Girl's choice

I dropped in on Anderson's class. They were playing "minute to win it" games--balancing dice on a popsicle stick held between their teeth, etc. I just missed seeing Anderson hold four dice without moving. So he showed me how he looked when he did it.

Meredith wore her most pink clothing and her tights with hearts on them. She's actually wearing little sister Rosalie's skirt. (Rosalie has sworn off all clothing but her brown butterfly dress. She's been wearing it for three weeks now.) On the tray--our family night dessert, provided by Grandma and Grandpa Songer.

As always, Rosalie told me she loves me several times during the day.

What did Casey and I do for Valentine's Day?
Me: I didn't make monkey bread. And I gave away all of the sugar cookies we baked so that we could avoid temptation. Wasn't that nice of me?
Casey: Said to me, "Don't you look valentine-y!" What I heard: "Blah blah blah tiny!" (Aw, thanks, sweetheart!)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Rosalie threw herself on my lap and announced to cousin Ellie, "I found another one!"
Ellie squinted at me sideways and then said, "Okay."
"Another what?" I asked.
"You're in the game!" announced Rosalie.
"What am I in the game?"
"You're in the game with us," she said, patient with my apparent slowness.
I asked, "Am I your mom?"
"Yes, " she said, "Our new mom."
"What happened to your old mom?"
"We killed her." Ellie stated, "Cuz she kept us in a high tower."

I wasn't sure I wanted to be the new mom. I knew I didn't after I related this conversation to Casey and he told me he'd overheard them saying that not only had they killed the old mom, they'd eaten her.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Songer Family Update

Here's our most recent family photo:

Anika, Rosalie, Casey, Clarissa, Edith, Anderson, Meredith

Some random facts about our life in 2010--

Birthdays celebrated: 7
Total ages combined by the end of the year: 115
Number of inches added to our total height: 13
Number of pounds added to our total weight: Classified
Number of broken bones: Zero! (aside from Casey's annual Church Ball rib re-cracking)
Number of stitches:6--all on Anderson's head
Number of haircuts done by a toddler on herself: 3
Number of haircuts our son allowed on himself: Not nearly enough
Sets of braces put on a 13 year-old girl: 1 (trust me, they're there)
Years of marriage: 15 (otherwise known as the appliance replacement anniversary)

A couple of cool things we did this year--
Casey and Clarissa got to be extras in a movie made locally by the LDS church.
Casey and I got scuba certified and dived in the Caribbean during my parents' 50th wedding anniversary cruise. That was cool.
Lived through it all--you know, everyday life multiplied by 7 people over the course of 365 days=1 truly astounding experience. Can't wait to do it again.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Rosalie says

Rosalie slouched up to me, and in her most pathetic voice said, "Mom, my heart is broken!"
I asked, "What happened?"
"Meredith bit it. And kicked it."