Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Day Lecture

As I was driving the kids to school this morning, James was looking out the window and all of the sudden declared, "The world's gonna end today." I was appalled by this (and to be honest- a little pissed that parents were feeding their kids this crap, and that their kids were passing the bull onto my child). I immediately kicked into Mommy Mode and started explaining How Things Work and Why People Are Stupid. The discussion went something like this:

Oh, honey, no. The world is absolutely NOT going to end today. That's bull crap; I promise you. People said that the world would end when President Obama was elected President, and guess what- is the world over? Nope. The President is neither God nor Satan, and people are idiots for thinking they're either.

In the United States, people are sort of split into two groups. One group is called the Democrats and the other is called the Republicans. These groups got started because people had different ideas of how things should be done. Both groups want what's good for America, but they disagree on how to go about it. For example, they disagree on what to do with money, how to help our economy. The Republicans think that you should give money to the rich people who will then give money to the people who work for them and the money will work its way down to the poor people that way. The Democrats think that you should give the money to the poor people first, and when they buy things and spend money, the money will work its way up to the rich. Both groups are trying to help the economy, but they have different plans.

The two groups are both Good Guys - one is not bad and the other good. Don't listen to people who say otherwise. Donald Trump is the President pick for the Republicans, and Hillary Clinton is the pick for the Democrats. Trump and Hillary are both kind of stupid and have each done some stupid things in their lives, but they're both running for President because they want to help our country. People are just idiots who would rather fight and say mean things about people than be kind and learn to work together.

You'd think that when people grow up, they'd learn how to get along and be kind to others, but unfortunately this isn't the case. Some grown ups are idiots. ((Jolie: Mommy, you keep saying the I- word. Me: Sorry, Jo.)) So these dumb-dumbs think that if someone doesn't agree with them, they should fight and argue and throw a fit, just like babies who scream, "Mine! Mine!" And the Republicans are saying that if Hillary wins, the nation will be ruined. And the Democrats are saying that the world will end if Trump wins. Both of these claims are crap. Your friends' parents are likely saying stuff like this, and they're dummies if they tell their kids that stuff.

Don't tell your friends that I said their parents are idiots, but when they say dumb stuff, I want you to know that it's wrong. Hopefully people will stop fighting and learn to get along and work together. But I don't want you worry about it one little bit. The nation's going to be fine, no matter who wins. Because the President is not the boss of the world; God is. And He's going to take care of us no matter what happens today in the polls.

James: Okay. Hey, mom. I have a joke for you...

Oh, geez. Lol.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


We had just dropped Jolie off at school today and were driving home. I let Cora borrow my chapstick for a minute, and when I took it away she got really mad at me. She started angrily crying, and I tried to put on music for her. She didn't like that, so I turned it off. Then I tried to hold her hand, and she got mad and hit me away. I said, "I love you." And she stormily retorted, "No! I no not lub you!" Whaa??! That little brat!

All About Me - By Jolie, age 6

Jolie had a birthday spotlight at school the Tuesday following her birthday. It was so fun to see how well she's doing in school and how much she adores her teacher and classmates. I especially loved the answers she gave to the prompts in her All About Me book.  I thought it'd be fun to record them and gain a glimpse into her precious little thoughts. Here you go.

All About Me
By Jolie, age 6

This is me. I have blue eyes, caramel hair, and I am 46 inches tall. I am special because I am a child of God.

This is my family. I have five people in my family.

My favorite food is Ramen noodle soup. My favorite dessert is cake.

My favorite color is pink.

This is my house. My favorite thing to do at my house is play with my friends.

My favorite vacation was when I went to the place with coconut trees (Las Vegas, last March).

My favorite animal is a bunny.  And a giraffe.

My favorite things to play with are my dolls: Lucy, Ginger, Baby Waa and Grace.

My favorite thing at school is Teacher!!

This girl.  I sure love her.  xx

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Tea for Two

Oh my goodness. Where do I even begin? Today was my Jolie Girl's 6th birthday. Six. Bittersweet, I know. It was a busy but relaxing and practically perfect day. 

Her day began with some breakfast in bed courtesy of her daddy, followed by a pre-party gift (a fancy new dress for her party). We had several things to get done this morning (frost the cake, decorate the clubhouse, etc), but it actually wasn't too hectic. I was actively trying to breathe and relax, and I think that helped. I genuinely love throwing parties but tend to get all sorts of stressed and anxious about them; I'm trying to nix that latter part.

^^ James was an ornery cuss all morning but actually did great once the party was underway. Little punk.

^^ The frosted cake. It was easy and quick and turned out beautifully, I think.

We had the most delightful tea party at eleven with a few of her close friends. It was a Dolly & Me tea party. The little girls all came in fancy dresses and accompanied by their favorite dolly. Jolie of course brought Lucy, her American Girl doll from Santa who honestly inspired this whole theme. 

The girls and their dolls each received a pretty "pearl" necklace when they arrived. Then we read a couple of darling little tea party books (Fancy Nancy and Madeline).  
After that, we practiced walking gracefully while balancing pretty pink plates on our heads, sang I'm a Little Tea Pot, and "Queen Julianne" taught the ladies how to properly curtsy. It was so cute.  

The girls were then seated at the (humbly speaking) adorably decorated table, to be served along with their dollies. It was delightful. James refused to dress up (dang kid, ha) but still served as the little ladies' waiter, bringing out each course as I called for it. The girls were charmed and polite and just ate it up (see what I did there). We served pink "tea" (actually white chocolate hot cocoa with raspberry syrup), little tea sandwiches (baguette slices topped with Vache Qui Rit cheese and a half cherry tomato), fresh strawberries, cake balls (courtesy of Aunt Ashley), and dipped strawberry wafers. Then, because they hadn't consumed enough sugar already, we sliced and served the cake. 

After the ladies were all done eating, Jolie opened her gifts. She was given such generous and lovely gifts. She (and Lucy) were thrilled with all of the new pretties. When each girl's parents had come to get them, Jolie sent them home with their very own tea cup + pitcher set and a fork + spoon pair of teeny silverware for their dollies. 

The party was a hit, but the day was not done. Once we had cleaned up the clubhouse (which went quickly, thanks to some help) and dropped the party remnants off at home, we headed for the mall.

And my little girl got her ears pierced.

She was so, SO excited. Because it is Valentine's Day weekend, the shop workers were dressed up as royalty (one the Queen of Hearts and the other as Elsa-ish). Jolie was in heaven.

I made them take a good while getting her marks straight (you can't really scooch over the hole once it's in!). Jolie chose some beautiful crystal butterfly earrings. Then they prepped the guns (each girl used one so Jo would have only one jolt of pain, not two). And then...  BAM! Done and done.

She cried. And looked so betrayed and hurt. It was heartbreaking. But it only lasted about a minute. By the time she had picked out her suckers, she was ok. And by the time we left the store, she was skipping. That's my girl. (It should also be noted that she has since mentioned several times how very happy she is to have her ears pierced. And she claims they don't even hurt at all anymore. Let's hope that lasts. Stay clean, little holes.)

Jolie was so happy, all day. She absolutely loved her birthday and all the things in it. I love how very feminine she is; it's so much fun. She reminds me of myself as a little girl (just much more beautiful... Thanks for the gene contributions, Daddy!). She really is an amazing girl. I'm so, so glad she's mine. 

Happy birthday, Jolie Girl. I love you.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Our Family Lineup

My sister Dena lives in Mexico- like, legit Mexico (not New Mexico, which confuses my kids), and we haven't been down there since her wedding. We also are well overdue on a visit to see my dad, Tori, and my grandparents, so... a spring break road trip it is! Because we're going to be leaving the country for said vacay, we needed to get passports for the whole fam. This grown up business has been intimidating to me, but like laundry- it must be done. So we have an appointment this afternoon with the passport peeps, and we're doing our best to take care of business and prepare for the trip.

As part of the passport process, we needed to get appropriate photos of the five of us. We could have gone somewhere to have them taken, but the average cost was $15 a pop, so I thought I'd try to save a bajillion bucks and do it myself.  I bought a big, white posterboard, borrowed an SD card from Derek's work, borrowed a DSLR (aka fancy pants) camera from my neighbor, and set up shop in Cora's room where the lighting was best.  The rules for the photos were many.  Besides the size and positioning specifications, we were not to smile, not wear jewelry/glasses, have nothing in our hair ponytail-wise, and more. Yikes.

After several outtakes and a bit of Photoshop editing (brightness/contrast), these were the photos we came up with. I thought they deserved a blog post. We'll call them our 2016 family photos, a la mugshot.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Heavenly Father's Plan -- A Talk

My sweet boy James volunteered to give a talk in Primary this coming Sunday. Apparently he won Rock, Paper, Scissors. Ha. And last night, he and I worked on it together. I figured since he is now a whopping 8 1/2 years old, he probably doesn't need me to just write something for him but instead should learn how to write one himself.  This is, as any parent knows, much more work and time intensive, but I hoped it would be worth it. ((Spoiler alert: It was.))

His topic was: Heavenly Father has a Plan for Us.  And the scripture given was Moses 1:39 -- "For behold, this is my work and my glory -- to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."

Derek and I explained the general Plan of Salvation to him. I used visual aids and explained what he had already learned but may have forgotten. Derek delved into the difference between immortality (to live forever) and eternal life (to live forever with God). He also broke down the concepts of this goal being God's work and glory, and what each of those meant (the kid's only eight, after all).  Then I made James do the work.

First we brainstormed. I had him make a bubble chart and had him write any of the words that came to mind from all that we had discussed. He wrote things like: veil/birth, Jesus, earth, plan, people, spirit, Heavenly. Then we made an outline. I wrote Plan of Salvation = Plan of Happiness and then listed the three questions.  He told me things to write underneath each one, and I jotted down quick, incomplete thoughts.  After that, I told him that I would write out anything he said, and he dictated what the actual talk would say, looking at his notes for guidance.  I did help a little (i.e. He really wanted to end with: "And then you live happily ever after... or sad ever after, depending on your choice." Lol.  Maybe I should have let him, but I told him we should end on a more uplifting thought, to empower people instead of depress them.  Haha.  So funny.)  Anyway, here is what he ultimately came up with. I'm so proud.

Heavenly Father’s Plan
Talk by James Anderson, age 8 ½

Heavenly Father has a Plan of Salvation for us. It is also known as the Great Plan of Happiness because it is His plan for us to be happy for eternity. The Plan of Salvation can be explained with three questions and answers.

#1. Where did I come from?

Before we were born, we were spirits in Heaven. This is sometimes called the Premortal Life. We were very happy. We lived with Jesus. Satan came up with a very bad idea. His idea was, “I’ll make them be good.” Jesus had a better idea. He said, “I’ll give them a choice.” Jesus won. So we went through the veil (or were born) and came to Earth.

#2. Why am I here?

We are here on Earth to get a body and to choose good from evil. Life is a test to show that we’re worthy to live with Heavenly Father again.

#3. Where will I go after I die?

When we die, our bodies stay on Earth and go to the grave. But our spirits go to the Spirit World in Heaven. When Jesus Christ comes again, we will all be resurrected. Anything that was hurt or damaged will get better. After our resurrection, we will be judged by God. This final judgement will decide if we go to Outer Darkness, the Telestial Kingdom, the Terrestial Kingdom, or the Celestial Kingdom – which is the best because Heavenly Father lives there.

Heavenly Father wants us to return to Him. He wants us to be happy. He sent Jesus Christ to us to make all of this possible. He calls this His work and His glory. He is working hard for us. We should work hard too.

In the name of Jesus Christ,


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Resolutions and Stuff Like That

Geez Louise.  2016.  How can it be 2016 already?  Time speeds up every year, I think. Especially now that that means my babies grow up faster and faster, I'm not really okay with it.  Just this morning, I was noticing how Cora is losing her baby belly.  She's getting long and lean. This is heartbreaking to me.  What's next? No more baby cheeks?  Waa.

My babies won't be babies much longer.  Because of that, the new year sucks.  But besides that, it's looking to be a pretty positive 2016.  I realize it's only the fifth now, but I'm already making and keeping my resolutions.  And I was suuuuper sleepy last night after a Star Wars film outing, so that's saying something.

My resolutions are three:
1. Do Yoga, at least a little - every. single. day.
2. Speak more kindly. So long, sailor! I want to clean up my language and lower my tone. I can't say I haven't sworn at all or raised my voice, but I'm working on it.
And 3. Read from the Book of Mormon every day.

I bought myself an 1830's replica Book of Mormon (like the initial printing back in Joseph Smith's day, without verses or footnotes or any of that), and I've been loving reading it.  It reads more like a novel, which allows me to get into it more like a novel.  I'm really enjoying the stories and burning through them much easier than I ever did the verses, etc.  I hope this continues to be the case.

So there you go.  Resolutions.  Derek has been doing push ups and crunches every night, so maybe that's his resolution.  James is working on being more positive/happy, which I'm thrilled about.  He's the sweetest kid but can get so serious and negative about things.  I think it's the Type 4 in him.  And Jolie is working on sleeping with Baby Waa snuggled up on her chest. Ha. We aspire to greatness, we Andersons. Cora isn't working on anything, pretty sure.  But hopefully she'll work on going to bed without a humongous fight. This is new, and it majorly sucks. Last night I threatened to take away Mew (her blankie, no idea why she calls it Mew, but that's its name).  That seemed to do the trick.  We may have to go that route in the future.

I really want my girls to learn how to happily and quietly get to sleep.  Jolie plays and sings and is just overall a pretty bad sleeper.  She always has been.  It seems to have gotten worse and not better as she's aged.  Some nights she's up until 1am, crying and frustrated by not being able to sleep.  Her anxiety/insomnia is inherited from me, pretty sure, and it stresses me out big time.  I need to talk to her doctor about it.  For Christmas, she got a Hello Kitty boombox (CD/radio). We found a Christmas harp CD that sounds very lullaby-ish, and she's been playing it quietly at night.  I think that's helped. She's also finally learning how to read books (she's been dying to for years now, especially due to her bookworm brother). I snagged a stack of those I am Sam primer readers that she should be able to read on her own without much trouble and gave them to her to keep in her bed.  Listening to happy harp music helps keep the scary monsters away, and reading helps tire her little brain. The combination may be working.  Fingers crossed.

Well this rambling's been fun, but I should probably go.  Ashley, Elli and Nora are going to come play for a while.  And Ashley's going to shellac my poor, damaged fingernails (stupid Star Wars). I love that they (Jon and Ash, not my fingernails, ha) live close by again. We always say that we live in the valley to be close to family but then rarely see family at all!  We're working on fixing that. Resolution number four??  Okay. Time to go. Adios.