Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Why does this sound familiar?

I've always loved Calvin and Hobbes, I've even included some of the comics in the Blog before, if you recall. But it wasn't until I was just looking through one of the books today, that I realized that I'm living it! My boys Ben and Nick are totally Calvin and Hobbes, and I'm terrified for Nathan & Miles to  get a little older and pick up on the habits of their brothers! Just like in the book, I get no rest with these kids. She had it easier with only 1 boy, I must point out.......

This is the comic that started it all:

I swear, if B & N aren't drawing people being blown up by bombs, they are drawing them being murdered in various, creative ways. Is this normal for boys? This complete fascination with death all the time? The have had drawing books taken away for drawing these things, because Ben was drawing them in school, and I got the talk about "What is appropriate, and what isn't" from his teacher during one of his conferences. Yikes. Now mostly I don't want them to draw them, because I really don't want to sit through another of those talks. You feel like a bad parent, because your kids are drawing things that would tend to make some teachers believe they are going to be future serial killers. All it tells me is that Alan lets them watch his shows behind my back, more times than he gets caught.

What is weird, is-while I am concerned about them being so young and being preoccupied with death, I kind of find the different things they come up with humorous. I won't let them know it though. My boys are by no means lacking in creativity. Sometimes I have to turn away so I can laugh-undetected-because I don't want to encourage them. Totally hypocritical, right?

"Don't do that!" *turn away....giggle, giggle*

Mostly I'm astounded with the things they come up with. They are constantly building things with random stuff around the house, straws, sticks, tape, wood, nails....anything they can find. They make these contraptions, and tell me what these random things are used for. They have built a few time machines, wooden airplanes, and wooden kites-fully expecting them to fly. I tried to explain aerodynamics to them, but 5 & 7 year olds just don't get it. Strange, huh?

Today, they packed some backpacks, because Ben made a "bomb" that was set to go off in 10 minutes. Then they proceeded to run around the house, showing real concern that they would be blown up any time. They didn't understand why I wasn't concerned. As soon as I made sure they hadn't touched the propane lantern from camping, and saw the bomb was really just a foil covered thing, tied to a Kleenex box, I went back to what I was doing. They were counting down the time, and when it got to the end of the time, and the bomb went off-they flopped around on the floor like dying fish, screaming. I know some people are like "That is insensitive to people blown up by bombs." To them I say, these are kids and as long as they are getting along, they can play whatever they want. Plus, it was pretty funny. If I had been feeling better I would have had them re-enact it on video.

This is my life people. I am living in a Calvin and Hobbes comic book! I suppose there could be worse things to live, especially since this is a highly entertaining strip. I just would like a break every once in a while from the high energy, rambunctious boys I have. It takes an awful lot of mental awareness to answer all of the questions posed everyday by these kids, and a great deal of  strength to not kill them for some of the stuff they do. It would be nice to be able to close the book sometimes, and go to sleep.

Oh well, at least life will never be boring.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I'm glad to be back.

Camping. It seemed so easy when I was a kid. I thought it was easy to just pick up and go, spur of the moment-and have a ton of fun. Little did I know the preparation, planning and money that are actually involved! I have years, and years of camping under my belt-all kinds of situations and variables thought out, but I still wasn't as prepared as I could have been for this past weekend.

Nick with cousin "Speedy". Nathan in background.
We got there Friday, and I quickly set up the campsite, since my hubby had never been camping in his entire life. I know! I got everything set up pretty fast, then I had to cook dinner, since apparently cooking hot dogs on a fire grill is too complicated for my man. (The second night he tried to do it, put lighter fluid on the coals while he was cooking the hot dogs, and asked if you can still eat them with it on them. We threw all 6 of them away. Then I took over the cooking, and managed to drop 2 hot dogs into the dirt. I also washed them, and put them back on the plate. What? We were camping, and nobody knew-shhhh!) Then we visited family for a while. We were all pretty sleepy, so we thought we'd put the kids to bed early since it was dark, and they had been in the car for a while. We figured they would be out in no time. We were so wrong! We laid in with them for almost 2 hours, trying to get them to sleep. By the time they all did finally pass out, everyone else had gone to bed.

"Oh, well, " we thought. "we'll hang out, and play games tomorrow."

Wrong again. I woke up around 1 am to a tap, tap, tap on the tent. I was in a half sleep stupor, but awake enough to know I was hearing rain. "Oh, crap!" I thought, "All the chairs are out there!" But since I wasn't dressed, I did the next logical thing-apart from actually getting up and moving the chairs. I prayed.

"Please let this rain stop, so the chairs don't get wet. Please let it stop so we can have fun with everyone tomorrow, and have a dry place to sit."

And it did. I was so proud of myself, for my apparently strong connection with the Man Upstairs. So strong in fact that it stopped raining while I was saying it! I was so happy, and I dozed back off to sleep. But, because we all know that pride is one of the 7 deadly sins-I really should have known better.....I should have known that by stopping, it was really only building itself up for the downpour it was about to unleash on us!

Poor sister in law (in purple), and cousins sitting around the fire cooking in the rain, trying hard to warm up. (You can't see it, but there was a huge tarp hanging-that was purchased in the afternoon, so that cooking would be possible!)
I woke up around 2 to TAP, TAP, TAP!! This time, I hit Alan to wake him up, and inform him that it was raining. Then I jumped up, threw clothes on and ran out of the tent barefoot to throw the now soaking wet chairs in the car. Miles' baby seat was out there too, and seemed to take the brunt of the water. Grr! I wrapped that up in a towel, to hopefully soak up some of the water before putting that in too. I grabbed the charcoal that was hanging out in the open, and set that in a spot next to our tent that was miraculously still dry.

2 of My favorites! My niece, Lisa and her Hubby Calvin. (I am younger than them, it's a long story, but a wonderful, loving family!)
Then I got to go in and try to warm up. The cousins were all running around too, but unfortunately for some of them, it was because their tents had flooded, and the rain was getting their blankets wet. We, luckily enough, had chosen a perfect spot under 2 huge trees, so we were just getting the tree cast-off rain. Our tent was huge-nice! But the sides were mesh-not so nice. We had a rain cover for it, but that didn't keep the damp air out. We were dry-ish. Our blankets were damp from the humidity in the air, but we escaped pretty much unharmed. We were not prepared in clothes though. We were expecting warm to hot weather-not rain, so we had brought a few pairs of pants, but we only brought sweaters. Sweaters that soak up the rain like a sponge. I felt so bad, because the kids kept coming up and asking to change, but we had nothing dry for them to change into. I was ringing out their sweaters, and holding them over fires, even laying them directly onto the rock stoves at a few points to get them warmed up enough for them to continue wearing.

Nathan showing off his "Not-very-effective-but-highly-adorable" rain gear.
Oh, out of order, but I thought it was cute-Nick woke up wanting to go to the falls and the beach to go swimming. He had been looking forward to it the whole day before-but when he woke up, he seemed deep in thought for a second, then a look of utter disgust came over his face, and his first words were "PLEASE tell me it's not raining!" When informed that yes, it was really raining, he flopped back into his pillow dramatically, "DANG IT!"

They were already soaked, I don't know why I didn't just let them go in. You can't see the rain drops in the water, but they are there.
We hung out in the car, with the heater running and movies playing. A few times there was 9 or 10 people in, trying to warm up.  About half way through the day, we packed the kids up and took them to the beach. It rained the whole time, but it was still fun.

Nick, Nathan, and Ben in front of the McArthur Burney Falls.
Then we went to the Falls, with some cousins. Later on, we went fishing when there was a small break in the rain. It lasted about 15 or so minutes, and started again. Poor Miles was stuck in the tent so much this trip because the ground was so muddy. It continued to rain pretty much until we went to bed. Then we had to get up early and pack up. Thank you cousin Dave, and sons for helping to take the tent down! Dave tried to get Alan to help take the tent down, but he kept messing up. After about a minute or so, Dave told his son to take over doing it, and told Alan to stick to turning wrenches. We all laughed pretty hard. Dave had asked me earlier why I was the one setting the tent up, and not Alan. I told him Alan had never camped, I had, so Alan was holding Miles. He scoffed and made fun of Alan a little bit, but I think he saw in the end that some things just aren't worth it!

Ben catches a fish with the help of Dave, and crew.
It was a lot of fun seeing the family that we haven't seen in 3 or so years, rain and all. I wish I got pictures of them, I only have pictures of a few, since I couldn't take many pictures in the rain. I would love to do this again, but if the Weather Channel gets it this wrong again, I swear, I might sue. 85 degrees on Saturday, indeed!! Jerks.
Nick and Nathan saying a sad goodbye to one of their favorite cousins for the weekend. Nathan was attached to him at the hip.
I love this picture of Lisa's daughter, and little Jada.
My sister in law, Dolores, and my cousin Steffan.
Lisa, her daughter, and son.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Regrettably yours....

I have been slacking on here lately! I swear! I started this totally gung-ho, like "My goal is to post something worth reading everyday!" Then it moved on to, "Ok, this is harder than I thought, maybe something mildly entertaining every other day, will do..." Now, it's all like, "Crap! I forgot to write in the Blog last night.....again!" Usually thought the morning after I have passed out while putting the kids to bed. I plan to do better, just probably not his week, considering there will be camping involved the next few days, and I will be out of touch.

(I can pretty much guarantee that this is how it will be.....)

I have tried very hard to live my life without regrets. I don't believe in doing things to test the waters, and see how it turns out. I think things through, watch other people's trail and error, and either scrap the whole thing based on a "what if" possibility, or proceed with extreme caution. You may think I'm missing out on things in life....I don't see it that way. I have done plenty of things that I thought were rewarding, and I don't feel like I have missed out on anything noteworthy. None that I can think of, at least.

But I still did it. I still did that 1 thing that I do regret. It wasn't a really bad thing, particularly, but I regret it none the less. And being as I have put quite a few years in between me, and said regret-I guess life thought it was time to throw one at me again. Something I thought I would never do-I did. I am not proud, as this is worse than the previous one. I really get the idea of wishing I could rewind time, so I wouldn't have done it to begin with.

Like before, it's not like I killed anybody, or anything, but still.....it is one thing I always thought I was above doing. (Don't try and guess, it's not what you're thinking. =) Plus, I will never tell.)  But, this made me think....

It is so easy to judge people! I have always looked at people for what they were, and regardless of their faults, I have tried to love them for them. I take a little bit of pride in the fact that I don't outright judge anybody-especially before I hear both sides. It's simply not my place.....I will not hate "Sally" because she said something that offended you. Until "Sally" does something to me, that is really bad, and without reason-"Sally" is still good in my book. But, I find that is somewhat dangerous territory.
I stole a soda once. I was walking home from school one day, and was soooooo thirsty! I was with a friend who had money and bought a fountain drink. I didn't have any money, so I asked for a water cup. I got water, but the soda was there taunting me-so when the cashier walked away, I got some soda and left. Let me tell you....I barely slept that night, or the few that followed it until I was able to gather up my change and go back to the store and pay for the large size drink. The water cup was really smaller than the "small" size, but I felt such guilt with what I had done. I was in high school, so I was definitely old enough to know better. I paid the cashier for my large soda, and when she handed me the cup and walked away, I put the cup back and left. I know I should have told her, but really in my mind, what I did made up for it. It taught me a very valuable lesson. One I carry with me today....Do not steal. I can't sleep if I do. I try and teach my kids this, probably to the extreme. I won't let them eat things in the store that are paid for based on weight, because they are stealing from the farmers who depend on the money for those fruits/vegetables. Now, I really don't know if this is how it works but, it makes sense to me-and seems to for them.

All my mistakes that I have made are great big lessons to me, and I remember them as that. So why would I think somebody that chooses to make a bad decision is therefore-a bad person? I make bad choices! It's when you start to get comfortable with things, and start to slide into that "I would never do that! That is so stupid!" attitude, that life is going to come up and go, "What?!? We'll just see about that!", and then get you...big time.

I am still trying everyday to take each person at face value, and not judge on appearance, wealth, race or religion (even lack thereof). These are some of the most interesting people I have met. Who wants to only be around people the same as you?!? Not me. That would be boring!! I am just going to continue to accept people, with a little more caution, realizing I could just as easily be the one that people are talking about. Shoot, my family was always being talked about behind our backs growing up because of the different colored hair, piercings, tattoos, or whatever else people saw going on-yet I have one of the most well balanced, loving, fun families that I have ever met! I know how it feels to be judged based on what others perceive as different or weird. It doesn't feel good. And the one you are talking about does, in fact, know that they are being talked about. No matter how smooth you think you are. It's a no-win situation, that I choose to take no part in. 

This is a perfect picture, on so many levels. =)
And, no-I still do not regret getting a tattoo, Mom. That is not, and never will be on my list of things "I wish I didn't do". Strange as it seems-some people actually like tattoos.  Weird, I know.

So, in conclusion, (since I feel like I'm giving a church talk or something)  Even perfect people, like me, can slip up and do something stupid every few years. Life-alteringly stupid. Which mine wasn't, but really could have been. So, don't look down on people in situations you think you would never get yourself in. Because you really never know what is going to happen to you in life, or how you will react to it. But, believe me when I tell you-if this situation ever comes up again, I will honestly react differently! Hear that life? Leave me alone for a while, I'm good. Lesson learned. Maybe in another 10 or so years, I'll forget, but right now, it is crystal clear-okay?

Amen. =)

Monday, August 23, 2010

This weekend, in a flash.

Wendy turned 28 on Friday. She is my youngest sister, (number 8 out of 9 kids.) and a ton of fun to hang out with. This is her all dressed up for the special day.
Wendy wearing her Birthday headband we got her from the dollar store, happy about getting this fantastic movie!

These are the steaks that were for dinner. *I AM the "Grill Master"!
*along with Wendy. =)

The craziest red sun I have ever seen coming through the smoke filled sky. It doesn't show the literally "blood" red color that the sun really was, but is gorgeous anyway.

My oldest, Ben trying-and failing-to be screaming in pain. No academy awards for this boy....he couldn't help smiling. This was the severed foot that Nathan got for Wendy as a present. I have no idea why. I kept trying to get him to pick something else, but he wasn't having it. He really wanted her to have this foot. The kids put Ben's sock and shoe on and were cracking up, doing things like this.

My youngest, Miles passed out from a sugar coma, while having his first powdered donut. I think he's wearing most of it! Adorable, dirty little boy.

Family Fun Night!

Ok, I'll do a quick rundown of my family in order for you to know where each kid falls, oldest to youngest.....this will help in future posts as well, I'm sure.
Aaron (lives in Indiana) + fiance, and daughter
Jason (lives in Washington) + wife, and 2 daughters
Julie (lives in Louisiana) + husband, 2 sons,  and 1 daughter
Jeremy (lives in California) + wife, and son. Daughter in Idaho.  
Tammy (yay, me!) + husband, and 4 boys
Holly (lives in Louisiana) + husband, and 1 step-daughter in Utah.
Travis (lives in Texas) + wife, 2 boys, and 1 daughter
Wendy (lives in Oregon) + 2 daughters
Adam (lives in Oregon) + wife

Ok, so we just had Wendy's Family birthday party on Friday-which we usually do on Sundays, but this time we went ahead and actually did it on her Birthday. I love family parties! Ken and Leanna (Adam's in laws, who just happen to be friends of the family now) came over and helped us celebrate Wendy, and her day. Lots of craziness, gifts, and fun ensued. Wendy's friends Joanna, Jesse and their 2 children came over in time for cake. Screaming sugar-high kids ran around for the next hour or so, until we left. Jason made his way down from Washington, but arrived too late for the festivities, since he couldn't leave until he got off of work. Sad.  

But, then last night we made up for it! We had a "Family Fun Night" for the the Woodsworth offspring, and Mom. Alan watched the boys at home, while I got to escape over to my mom's house where she, Aaron, Jason and I  played Apples to Apples while we waited for Wendy to come out from putting the girls to bed. Aaron, who had never played it before wiped the floor with us. When Wendy came out, we played again. Hilarity ensued. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. I laughed so hard, a few times I pulled out my "Roy Biggins" laugh. For those of you who I just lost, Roy Biggins is a character from the TV show "Wings", who has a noiseless laugh. It's when you laugh so hard, your body is shaking wildly-yet there is no sound coming out.  It is a laugh reserved for pure enjoyment, which happens often when I am around my siblings.

After we got killed by Wendy, the 4 "kids" went in and watched "Kick Ass", which is a comic book type movie, that has one of the better openings to a movie I have ever seen. We laughed out loud throughout the whole movie, which is pretty rare for me. I will definitely be watching this one again. I highly recommend it! Thanks Aaron and Jason for getting it. =) I stayed over until almost 2 am before finally getting my butt into the car to leave. It was like old times, growing up in my awesome family, and I didn't want the night to end.

Getting up this morning was painful. I skipped church, since Jason was leaving in the early afternoon, and we went over to spend time at Mom's instead.

I love when family comes to visit! It is never often enough, and always goes too fast, but I wouldn't trade it for anything!

All of us sitting around the playing table. Wendy is checking out her sweet cards. Fun fact....Mom is the only one at the table who doesn't have a tattoo! Represented here are 4 of the 5 Woodsworth kids that are inked. Interesting.....
(Also, I should have put the camera up some more as this is apparently, not a flattering angle. (Never shoot up......always down-it slims the face.......) Always good advice.)

Giggling like crazy over the many things said. My family knows how to have fun.

Action shot of Aaron and Jason!

Aaron having a hard time deciding which card to pick....us making fun of the choices.

Spicy Mama's hand. We were laughing pretty hard at the cards she kept getting, and the cards she was putting down were rather surprising of her too. She's usually so reserved, then the Apples to Apples cards come out.......not so much anymore!

Aaron=Fantastic, Crazy, Tame and Useless

Wendy's winning hand=European, Cold, Pure, Cheesy, Dreamy, Cowardly, and Realistic

Jason's cards were smart, and something else. This hand was his from the first game that were funny in the way he kept getting them. After getting Chunky, Puffy and Lazy he decided he needed Glitzy to spice up his image-and ended up getting it. Cool and Handsome soon followed. I guess the Glitz did attract good things!

Tammy=Shocking, Rough, Exciting, Delicious, and Ancient. I guess that depends who you ask.....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

If this is what passes for home security....

Beware...if your a stranger. This is the sign my 5 year old came up with to make sure nobody breaks into our house. He told me, "Don't worry Mom, we have an alarm now." I really wasn't sure what he was talking about, since I was sitting down making my Trans America building ornaments out of sculpty. (That's my ornament this year, since the guys are all getting a Chicago landmark, I thought it only fair my old stomping grounds are represented. Plus, my Grandpa Teigen was Vice President there in the 70's or 80's. I really wish I had done the research (phone call to mom) before putting this in here.) Anyway-I just kind of went, "That's nice.." and went back to what I was doing. A little while later, I remembered I told Tracey I would post pictures of the porch swing online, so I grabbed the camera and headed outside. This is what I found on the front step. Maybe he has been watching Home Alone too much........

I love that he made sure to add "if your a stranger" so as not to offend any friends that may stop by. If only this kind of thing actually worked! I admire the effort, and thought he put into it. Way to think of your family's safety, Nicholas!

My boy. I had to document what he walked into my room this morning wearing.
Yes, I did take him to the store in this later too.

Times I have wanted to scream as a mother, but picked up the camera instead...

Not the best picture, but this was taken from my cell phone as I drove the car. I assumed my husband had strapped the car seat into the car instead of just "placing" it in. I assumed wrong, and Nick tipped over on the way to Grandma's. This was taken between fits of laughter. I couldn't help it.
This is what his brothers did to him, when left to play outside together while I went to the bathroom.
This is what happens when little boys get a hold of mascara, and think the "caveman" uni brow is flippin' awesome.

Ben let Nathan draw on his face right before bed.
Ben was helping Alan work on our car. This was nasty grease, hard to get off a squirmy little boy.
This doesn't show the whole thing. They all dumped and entire bag of Cheerios all over the floor. Child labor was alive and well in our house that day!
Note to self-NEVER EVER buy a cake with black frosting on it again. It won't come off for about 3 1/2 weeks.
Miles sucking on a nasty, soapy sponge like it was a lollipop. Gag!
Nathan got nailed with cement powder by his brothers, after his bath. I was not too happy, but I couldn't help laughing.
This is what happens when you leave your chip dip out where a very determined baby can reach it.
Birthday cake horror.
Birthday cake horror pt. 2
Decided to "get pretty" with permanent markers.
You should have seen the rest of the walls. I had to scrub so much crayon off those walls when we moved.
Shasta kept licking Nick's mouth. Excuse me while I puke......
This is when I found the bloody, hairy band-aid inside my can of mandarin oranges. Needless to say, I haven't eaten them since. I still gag just thinking of this.