Sunday, January 31, 2010


I'm trying not to be too sappy here, but this video was captured today, almost ten years to the day that my first child took his first steps. I know I have that video somewhere, and someday when my time and energy isn't otherwise engaged, I'll find it. For now, enjoy!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rain Rain Go Away

Rain, rain, go away...
Oh how I wish you would....

I'm not sure if I can handle another day of lego sorting...which for some reason has become our rainy day activity of choice... many lego Jabba the Huts does one family need?

I did take a break to re-learn my lost skill of crocheting...
(Although taking a picture of my own neck proved to be even more challenging)

And ate about two big bags of peanut M&M's before I actually put this project together...

Come on Spring...I know it's only January, but we Californian's can't take much more of this!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Transformation

Sometimes, my older children get a bit ignored on my blog. The things they do and say aren't "cute" in the way the little ones are. But this week I witnessed a milestone in the life of my eldest, and feel it is necessary to commemorate it.

Joe started to play basketball last year. He's a tall boy, and has that advantage...he's also left handed, so he's got that in his corner. What does he not have in his favor?


We are not exactly athletic or competitive people. I can remember countless times in Junior high and High school gym, just hoping that the hour would pass before I had to touch the ball or be depended on to help my team in some way, no matter what the sport. I don't know a whole lot about my husband's athletic prowess in his early years, but I DO know he was in the band. So, there's that.

At any rate, Joe seemed to enjoy the game of basketball...both playing and watching. He's a very analytical boy and would spend hours with his dad, dissecting the Laker's moves and analyzing their plays. But his time on the court was at first a was painful. At least for me to watch. I would cringe as I watched his skinny arms try to dribble the ball, or his lanky legs run the length of the court. I'm sure like many parents have felt, it was just hard to watch.

He had a good year last year, and picked up a lot of skills. He worked hard and practiced often. He went to a camp over the summer and continued to improve his game. He also grew a couple of inches and came into his gangly body a bit more. And, lo and behold, it's true....practice really does help! He got better...I was able to watch without cringing...I started to relax and even enjoy watching him play.

His team this year practices on Friday nights. Maggie and I dropped him off last week and continued on downtown for some errands. We finished up early, stopped at Cold Stone for a quart of ice cream and two spoons (our new favorite...Cheesecake ice cream with Raspberries and Graham Cracker Pie crust mixed in) and headed back to the gym to watch his last fifteen minutes of practice. As I sat there on the steps of the stage, eating my ice cream from the carton, I saw a completely transformed young man. Gone was my skinny, gangly, uncoordinated child. In his place, I saw a young man making definite strides toward becoming an excellent basketball player. He can dribble, he can do lay-ups, he can play defense and make free throws. The other kids on the team pass to him...he makes baskets! As I watched, I remembered all that time in gym class, when I was just waiting for the time to end, and I kind of wished I had practiced a bit more, and tried to learn how to enjoy the camaraderie of a team sport....being dependant on others and depending on others too. What excellent life experience a team sport can be!
So, while I never learned to enjoy it myself, I'm so happy that this boy, I mean this young man, has learned about the joy of being out on the court...just running and shooting and most importantly having fun.

Here are a few shots of him last week when his team played during the Cal Poly Men's Basketball half-time.

Watching his team....showing his concern....

Running back up court...

Playing defense....

And finally, getting a shot off. I'm not sure if he made it, but I do know he had a great time trying!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

One Year Older and Wiser Too

Birthday parties for one year olds are stupid. I know that. I secretly snicker at all the first time parents who throw elaborate parties for their one year olds. But everyone does it...I did it for Joe, and Maggie, and maybe even Harry before I came to terms with what parties for one year olds really are....a lot of work for virtually no payoff except the pictures you can one day show your children to prove that, "yes, I really was a good parent," at least in all the ways the world could see.

Nonetheless, Jack is now one year old. And depsite my said feelings about it, we had a big, elaborate day to celebrate his first year of life. There was a theme and everything. We had guests with hats and cake and decorations. We even had a circus clown and ringleader for entertainment.

From january2010

We had a good time.

And someday I'll be able to show Jack these pictures, and he'll know how much I loved him as a much I enjoyed his perfect smile and toothless mouth and baby clapping hands.

This is the last party I'm planning on having for a one year old, and I wanted to celebrate it properly...not just for him, but for me as well. This past year has been a tough one for me. My body kind of gave out on me, or at least declared itself ready for a nice long break...from childbearing and everything else I've always asked it to do. And I didn't like that...I'm used to my body doing everything I want it to do...from being able to clean my house to being able to craft and sew and paint to just having the energy to stay awake the entire day. When my body protested, my spirit did too...I just didn't feel like me. And it made me mad, and sad, and everything else inbetween.

The one year mark is important to symbolizes to me a step forward. It's a marker I can use to look ahead, to a time without diapers and bottles and carrying children on my hip. To a time when first steps are taken. To a time when all my children will be in primary or nursery when I go to church! (Only 26 more Sundays of walking the halls!) But it's also a time to reflect... on what a wonderful and fulfilling experience is it to mother a child through his first year of life. To bond with him and watch him see him develop his own distinct personality, even if he looks almost idendtical to every other male child I've ever had!

So while I've enjoyed these last ten years of one year old parties, I'm starting to look forward to parties for older children...where all you have to do is set out some food and videos, stay out of the way, and worry about an entirely new set of problems than whether or not your cake really looks like a circus tent. But I will always treasure the time when "Mom" is the most important word in a child's vocabulary...where Mom can fix anything and make anything better, just by being her. So here's to being one year older and perhaps a little wiser too.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Banner Day At the Brundage House

It's a banner day when John actually outgrows something. Too bad we only got these Frosty Jammies out of storage two weeks ago! Notice the safety pin. The only remedy for this fiasco is to wear them all day long!

Side note to my brother Darin: When I was in Oregon, I found some pictures of you at about John's age. The resemblance is uncanny. I didn't have time to scan them...maybe I can convince Mom or Dad to dust off their scanner and upload them.

Thanks to Julie who immediately responded to my request! Here are a couple of the pictures I was thinking of:

Uncanny, right? (cool word, uncanny is)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Doink Video

As requested, the "doink" video. Really only funny if you were there, but good for us that were there to remember.

From december 09

Friday, January 1, 2010

Our Last Two Weeks in Photos

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this post is going to be about 43,000 words long. I hope these pictures will give you a glimpse into our busy lives during the last two weeks:

First, Harry turned seven. We celebrated by taking him out of school early and having a family lunch. In the evening, Joe's bank had a huge party for him...where all the employees and their families came to celebrate Harry turning seven (or Christmas, depending on your perspective).

Two days later we made a VERY last minute decision and put the kids in the car for an Oregon Christmas. We had so much fun...

Staying up late and drinking diet coke,

Making treats and toffee bars,

Decorating Chrismtas Sugar Cookies with cousins,

Going to the mountain to play in the snow. Some of my kids had never even SEEN snow before!

Throwing snowballs at Cousin Jake (what a good sport he was)

Joe humored me and "sled" down a small hill so I could take his picture:

Charlie after a long day of sledding....A Christmas Story anyone?

Aunt Chelsea was a good sport the entire time...she put up with 11 kids the whole week and never once lost it with them (more than I can say!)

Some more shots enjoying the snow...because we seem to see it only once every six or seven years,

Back at home, Dad and Chelsea got serious one evening,

And my kids got to spend some time with their Great-Grandparents...not every kid can say that!

Of course, we had to have a turn on the famous elephants!

And a group shot with everyone.

We had fun making some last minute Christmas Decor.

Learned to play Shang with Grandma LaRue,

Enjoyed Grandma Lark and Grandpa Steve,

The Christmas Eve Guest list prepared by Harry...all 26 of us showed up!

Acted out the nativity,

And had a great time with the cousins on Christmas eve, listening to stories and opening the traditional Christmas Eve Jammies,

Christmas Morning came a bit too early for our late riser John, but we weren't about to let him miss it,

He wasn't quite awake for the trational hallway family shot,

Or the traditional "sit in front of the presents" shot,

But he figured it out pretty quickly,

Saturday we made the trek back to California, and met Uncle Nate and Aunt Kate in Sacramento for a late lunch. John and Will became instant friends,

These guys are pretty good friends too,

And finally, we made it back to California in time to celebrate another Chrismtas with the Brundage family,

It's just not Christmas without a puzzle,

Well, that's all I got, folks!

We're excited to start a new year and a new decade, and looking forward to all the things our family will accomplish. In the next decade, I will hopefully see four of my boys recieve the priesthood, four of my children be baptized, one of my boys go on a mission,three of my children graduate from high school and go off to college, and five of my children become teenagers. Uh-Oh....I'd better go back to bed for a while!