Friday, May 29, 2009

ABC's of Summer

I was reading a blog today about a mother and the anxiety she feels once school is out for the summer.  I feel the same way.  It's great for a for a few days, but then the kids are bored out of their minds and are on your nerves and usually each others nerves too.  

Many summers ago, I was feeling creative and came up with something that has been a great life saver for me ever since.  It's called the ABC's of summer.  The kids look forward to it and it gives us something to look forward to every day, once chores have been done.

My summer doesn't officially start until July 3rd, but for many others, summer has already begun or will begin next week.  So, I decided to get my list done early and share it with you in hopes that it might spark some ideas of your own if you chose to do your own ABC's of summer.

A is for art.  Lets make some art today!
B is for baking.  Bake something with mom today!   (My kids love to cook- and its a good learning experience for them!)
C is for car.  Help me clean out the car today and we'll go get an ice cream cone!
D is for DVD.  Lets rent a movie today from Red Box!
E is for exercise.  Let's get moving!- swimming, ride bikes, a run to the school playground to play- whatever gets our hearts pumping!  (E could also be for experiment.  My kids LOVE doing science experiments so this would be another option for my list.)
F is for favorite.  Today is favorite day.  Everyone gets to choose one favorite thing to do, eat, or go to today.
G is for games!  Lets play your favorite games today! 
H is for hot!  It's hot outside, let's make snow cones today!
I is for insects.  Let's see how many different kinds of insects we can find in our yard today.
J is for Jumpin Jacks!  Get your socks on and get ready to jump the afternoon away!
K is for King for the Day!  The boys get to go to work with daddy today!
L is for library.  Go to the library, pick out a book, and when you are finished turn it back in to me for a special treat.
M is for mountains.  Let's take a drive to the mountains and spend the day!
N is for notes.  Write a note to someone (a primary teacher, a friend, a neighbor) telling them something you like about them, and leave it on their porch as a surprise!
O is for organize.  Lets take some time today and organize your bedrooms! 
P is for picnic!  Let's go on a picnic today!
Q is for Queen for the day.  It's Nicole's day to decide what we do today!
R is for reading.  Let's have a read-a-thon- today!  Get your pillows and books.  I'll provide the treats!
S is for sleepover.  You get to have a sleepover tonight!  
T is for toys.  Go through your toys today and make a pile of the ones you don't want anymore.  We can take them to DI or you can have a mini garage sale.
U is for unusual.  Let's do something unusual today- you come up with an idea, or I will! He, he, he!
V is for vacation.  Today you get to take a vacation from one of your chores!  (Or, if you are going on a vacation, you can use this day to have the kids help you pack.)
W is for water!  Play in the sprinklers today!
X is for x-tra.  Try extra hard to be extra nice to everyone today....I'll be watching, and a reward will be yours if you succeed! 
Y is for yogurt!  Let's go get a frozen yogurt!
Z is for zoo!  What else?  Let's go to the zoo!

You can control how this is done, by choosing yourself what letter-of-the-day it is, or, you can let fate happen, by letting your kids draw out a letter each day.  (I'm a control freak- so you can guess which method I use.  Plus, some of these take some planning.)  Also, I have been known to change what the letter stands for (the kids never know the difference) as the summer goes on- especially if something comes up or if I see a need.  So what I am saying is that nothing has to be set in stone.  

Having this list in hand makes it just a little bit easier to face the 'school's out for summer!' days.  Hope yours is filled with fun and lots of happy memories!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Birthday Boy

It's Mr. M's birthday today!  He is 39 years young...oh my!

I thought I would share a little about him- only because there is nothing I like more than seeing him roll his eyes at me and give me that 'look'.  

When I first met him, he looked like a 16 year old boy.  But, looks can be deceiving- because he had just returned from his mission.  I wasn't the only one who thought he looked young either.  While on his mission, the whole Beehive class of young women in the ward he was serving in, had major crushes on him.  And one woman in the ward thought he and his companion (who also looked like a deacon) were on one of those "cute little missions", meaning the kind where young men pair up with Elders and serve for a few days with them.  He, he!

I was in high school when we met- and I knew instantly that he was the man I was going to marry.  I still wonder how I knew that.  All I can say, is that it had to happen the way that it did, which was that I fell head over heels in love- as did he.

A memory that I will always hold dear is the day of my Seminary Graduation.  It was held in the Assembly Hall downtown on Temple Square.  

Mr. M and his brother had taken a trip to California and had had some car troubles on the way home.  He called me the day of graduation and told me that it didn't look like he would be able to make it in time.  They were delayed not only by a broken down car, but after it was fixed, there was a terrible accident that closed the highway they needed to be on to get home.

I was heart broken.  I wanted him there.  I wanted him to meet my friends and to hear the Acapella choir, which I belonged to, sing.  I wanted to be able to look out in the audience and see his handsome face looking right at me.  I know you are gagging right now, but I was just an 18 year old girl after all.

After graduation was over, I visited with some friends for a few minutes then found my parents who were patiently waiting for me, ready to leave.  

I was feeling a little down as we walked out the gates of Temple Square and headed towards the cross walk.  As we started to cross, I looked up and just about died!  Mr. M was running across the street, dressed in a SUIT, with ROSES in his hand.  Our eyes met and we did one of those run-in-slow-motion-towards-each-other kind of things, you know, the kind that only happen in the movies.  Only it really happened to me.  I SWEAR the world stood still.  It was amazing!  I started crying, he picked me up and hugged me right in the middle of the road!

It was the coolest thing that had happened to to me up to that point in my life.

Mr. M has always been there for me.  From the beginning of our dating experience to now, 18 years later.  

He's an amazing person with so many layers- like an onion, as they say.  And for all the years I have known him, I'm still discovering things about him all the time.  He cares deeply, hides his emotions a little too well, is a man of few words when it comes to how he's doing, is a wonderful listener, has tons of common sense, has an amazing business mind, is a wonderful father, and is my best friend.

Happy birthday Mr. M!  Happy birthday to you and all your many layers!  XOXO

Friday, May 22, 2009


Last night I had this crazy idea to try sponge curlers in my hair and asked Nicole if she would put them in for me.

We sat in my room, watching The Office, while she gently rolled the curlers in my hair.

After awhile, Nicole said, "You used to do this for me."  And memories of my little girl and many Saturday nights came flooding back to me.  

I must admit that she had it much easier than I did.  She would squirm and whine the whole time I was rolling her hair, while I on the other hand sat still and silent.  What she didn't know was that there was a tear rolling down my cheek as I reflected on those days that seem so long ago when she was a little girl sitting at my feet while I put curlers in her hair.  

Someday she'll have the experience of doing her own daughters hair, but for now, I am thrilled to have her all to myself.  She did a great job!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Remember these?

We are in the early stages of our basement being finished.  We had to move all of the 'stuff' that was deposited down there when we moved in 4 years ago.  Things we haven't used or really thought about in all of those years.  

As I was going through boxes, deciding which items would go to DI and which things we could still use, I came across my old typewriter.

It was a gift from my parents when I graduated from high school.  So let's's 18 years old, if my math is right.

Back in the day, it was the next best thing to having a computer.  It has a word processor that you could type your whole paper on, correct any mistakes, and then hit print.  It would even save documents.  Pretty high tech, at least I thought so.  

I imagined myself sitting in my dorm, typing many college papers on it.  And I did type papers.  Just not for me.  I typed many of Erik's college papers during our early years of marriage.  (Which is what I chose to do instead of attending college myself- get married I mean, NOT type papers.)

So I found my typewriter hiding among the boxes of odds and ends that were thrown in as we moved from our last home.

It did not end up in the DI pile.  It's one of those things that I just can't bring myself to get rid of.

It was the last gift my parents gave to me before I moved away to start my life as a young wife.  I am sure it was a bit of a disappointment to them that I would not be using their gift as they had intended- which was for my own college education.  I hope they know that I used it to help Erik get his.  Which has been a huge blessing for our family.

It was an expensive gift back then and maybe that's why I feel that getting rid of it would be wasting their hard earned money.  Who knows why we keep things like this.  Sentimental value goes a long way, I guess.  Besides, it still works!

And it has provided hours of fun for Ian tonight!

In fact, Ian came running out of the tub when he heard the strange noise coming from my bedroom.  "What is that?" he asked.  "A typewriter." Nicole explained.  "That's weird." Ian said.

I'm feeling a little old tonight.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Quote of the Day

I read a quote today from a favorite magazine, that was attributed to Elsie de Wolfe.

It reads:
"Be pretty if you can, be witty if you must, but be gracious if it kills you."

I thought it was beautiful!  And so true.  One of the most important things one can do, is to be gracious.  Something I need to work on.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Syttende Mai

This weekend, our family (thanks to a school assignment of Nicole's) attended the annual Syttende Mai celebration.  

'What is this celebration that you speak of?  However do you pronounce those words?  If you aren't Norwegian can you still attend such an awesome event?'

No need to worry, I will explain everything!  First off, you pronounce Syttende Mai as follows:
Sooten-day-my.   It's as simple as that.  You have just learned how to say, the 17th of May in Norwegian.  Good job!

Syttende Mai is a celebration in Norway similar to the United State's Independence Day.  Erik's family happens to be Norwegian.  In fact our family name is Mjelde- but when his great-great grandfather came to America, he decided it would be easier to drop the 'j'.  I agree.

Every year the local Norwegians gather together to celebrate this day of independence.  There is singing, authentic food (we tried some crunchy hotdogs that have a white center, wrapped in some type of tortilla and Solo- a fizzy orange drink- sounds delish doesn't it?), a spontaneous parade that everyone gets to participate in (we all waved flags and marched around the International Peace Gardens) (Ian kept asking me if we were in a circus.  I said yes.  He said that he was going to walk on the high wire and kiss a monkey!), fishing booths and scooter races for the kids, and last but not least, many displays of Norwegian pride which make for some great photo ops.  

What a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. 

OK, who am I kidding.  It really felt like we were barging in on some family reunion.  We didn't know how to speak the language, did not know the words to the songs, we were not dressed in authentic costume, nor did we bring our own Norway flag to wave in the parade!  Oh well. We'll be better prepared for next year's celebration.  

The Mjelde and the Bean families enjoying Syttende Mai!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Nibble, nibble like a mouse

Isaac has picked up a strange habit.  He is eating his school papers.  Just a nibble at a time. 

He carefully pinches off a little piece and pops it into his mouth.

Is he missing something in his diet?  Hmmmm.

All of his school papers come home looking like the papers in the picture above.  His school teacher seriously thought they had a mouse in her classroom until she realized that it was only Isaac's papers that had nibble marks on them.  Funny.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I Believe

I read these the other day and thought I'd share....

I Believe... That you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I Believe... That it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I Believe... That you should
always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I Believe... That you can
keep going long after you think you can't. 

I Believe... That either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I Believe... That sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I Believe... That maturity has more to do with what
types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated. 

I Believe... That it isn't always enough, to be forgiven by others. Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself

I Believe... That no matter how bad your heart is broken the world
doesn't stop for your grief.

I Believe... That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become. 

I Believe... Two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I Believe... That your life can be changed in a
matter of seconds by people who don't even know you.

I Believe that the happiest people in life don't have everything but they make the most out of what they've been given.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Isn't she lovely?

The following is an assignment (for Shakespeare Day) where Nicole had to write a description about her dress to be read during today's fashion show. I thought it was too cute and wanted to share....

Lords and Ladies of the land,

This lovely gown was designed by the new “Antony and Cleopatra Line”. Tis’ being modeled by Lady Rose. It comes with the elegant rope to show figure as well as transport needed items. You can see the long trailing sleeves which are great for attracting the attention of that special person with 7 pigs. The dress is made of soft, silky velvet which repels food and other unwanted items.

The gown keeps your body warm in the cold months but also cools off during the warm. The fabric is temperature smart! It also comes in 12 different colors and various styles so you will have a new dress for the first night, the second night, all the way till the “Twelfth Night”.

Selling at only 30 pounds, you can buy this fashionable piece at various shopping centers near you!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Why does Mother's Day come but once a year?

Still reveling in all the pampering, chocolates, and kind words that were bestowed upon me yesterday- all because I'm a mother!  Be back soon!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

You're just too far, from where we are

It's been a long week.  

I walked through the door on Monday after taking my final and Mr. M walked out the door to go on a business trip.  It's been me and the kids ever since.

I have not had one minute to myself.  I usually have time, while my little man is in preschool, to myself, but this week it didn't work out that way.  

I spent Tuesday's preschool time with Colie, Wednesday's preschool time in Isaac's class, and today's preschool time at lunch with a friend.  All really good things.  But these good things have not allowed me any time to myself.  And I am the kind of person that really needs some time alone every now and then.

Mr. M was supposed to be home today, but because of bad weather back east, his flight has been delayed.  He is stuck there and I am stuck here needing a break.

I reached a point today where I just needed to get away for a minute.  I shut myself in my bathroom and locked the door.  Not two seconds later, someone tried the door.  I didn't answer.  'Maybe they will just go away', I thought to myself.  But it never happens that way.  The knocking came, then the banging.  It was Isaac.  He was upset because his new latch hook kit that we just bought is broken.  He was in tears.

I want to cry too.  

Come home soon, Mr. M.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

No rest for the wicked (or mothers of middle schoolers)

This week I had dreams about sitting on the front porch, sipping lemonade, reading a great novel- but the Middle School decided that they would rather have me learn to become a seamstress instead.  My bedroom has been turned into a dress shop!


The dress on the left is for 'Medieval Days'- where all the students must dress as if living in Medieval times- and as most families just happen to have this type of clothing lying around, it's no problem at all!  Thank heaven for friends who have every costume imaginable and thank heaven I know just enough about how to alter a dress to fit a tiny daughter.

The dress on the right is for this same daughter's Ballroom class performance (an assembly for the students and a show in the evening for the parents).  Her class is doing a waltz and it is required for them to come dressed in a ballroom gown.  So grateful for DI and for girls who never wear a dress twice!

But we couldn't just wear the dress as it came- no!  It was too long for starters (Nicole can barely see over the counters :) ) and it was too plain.   So we started pinning up the ends (I should have taken a picture before we did that!) and adding this and that......


And this is what we have now!  Not too bad for someone who has no idea what she is doing, huh?


Is there anything else I can do for anyone?  

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Flowers in my garden....sort of

It doesn't take too much to bring a smile to my face these days.  Have I told you that I am done with anatomy?  Smile.

I was trying to pass the time this afternoon while Colie was at the orthodontist.  I found myself among some beautiful flowers in a little place called Wally World.  Some people call it WalMart.  You may have heard of it.

I pushed my cart up and down the isles looking at the many varieties of flowers that they have to offer.  I stumbled upon this beauty- called, Campanula Get Mee.  So I did.

Isn't it lovely?  I think so.  Smile.  

Monday, May 4, 2009

Why I love weeding with Ian....

I spent the afternoon with my hands in the dirt.  It felt so good!  Ian was right by my side the whole time.  He is a great worker- in fact I am thinking about hiring him out.  He is the best room cleaner that I have ever seen- he puts things right back where they belong- no shoving them under the bed.  And now I can add weeding to the list of chores that he has mastered in his short life.  

We have a small jungle growing in our back yard that gets more unruly each day.  So today, after all the rain that we have been having, felt like a good day to 'get to it'.  When I work in the yard, I love to have music blasting.  But when you weed with Ian, you don't need to turn on a radio at all.  He sings little diddys which are quite entertaining and if he is not singing he is asking questions or making comments.

He became fascinated with worms half way through the weeding adventure we were having.  He found a few and decided they were 'gross' because they were dirty.  He turned on the sprinkler and washed them off.  He laid them out on a rock.  He studied them closely.  He exclaimed, "Mom!  I think my worm's heads fell off!"  I asked him why he thought that and he said, "Just look at them!"  He showed me one worm- up close- and I tried to explain what I could about that worm and why he looked like he had no head.  That was a hard thing to do.

Anyway, after awhile, he moved on to other things, leaving me with explicit instructions that I was to yell "woooheee" if I saw another worm for him to add to his worm 'family'.  Every other second, he reminded me of what I was to yell if I saw another worm.

After some time, I yelled, "woohee" and he came running.  He picked up the worm, and lovingly carried it to his new 'friends' who were now stiff and dried out.  'Poor little fellas', I heard him say as he looked down at the pieces of worm jerky laying on the rock.  

He came up to me after a few minutes and said, "I probably miss my worms."  That's another one of his unique ways of saying things.  Then as he looked down at his only surviving worm, he said, "I wish I could have a sleepover with my worm."  "You do?  What would you do with your worm at a sleepover?", I asked.  "Play with my DS.", he said.  "Do worms know how to play DS?", I asked.  "I don't think so.", he laughed.

We had many other fascinating conversations while weeding today.  I will spare you the details, I just wanted to share why I love weeding with this boy.  Pure entertainment.  Plus, he is a hard worker!  We filled up our green waste garbage can with weeds today- most of them thrown in by Worm Boy himself.  It was a great day!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Finally here!

Tomorrow, I shall taste freedom.  It will come in the form of no more school, no more homework, no more studying (at least not for a few blessed months!)

Finals are tomorrow morning.

I have been counting down the days and planning all of the things I am going to do with all of the precious hours I will have in my day.

Here's my running list:

Paint my toenails- I do have priorities!
Weed the flower beds
Grocery shop
Read my three new books that are waiting for me
Do something fun with each of my kids- individually
Go on a date with my hunny- one that he has my undivided attention!
De junk the basement and the kids rooms
Balance the checkbook
Blog every single day (unless my brain ceases to function after my final)
Read other people's blogs
Email people who have been waiting for a response from me for several weeks- sorry!
Go to lunch with friends
Call old friends
Make new friends (this is something that has suffered since starting school-I am totally lame and have lost most of my friends)
Deep clean the house
Go on an amazing vacation with my family
Visit my parents at their home
Get my hair colored and cut

Well, the list just goes on and on.  All of these things have been put on hold for several months and I am thrilled that I will have the time to accomplish each and every item on my list in the next few months before school starts up again.

Yes, tomorrow after 9 a.m. I will be a free woman again!