Mother’s Day

Today’s post is going to simply consist of a run-down of Hoob’s birthday happenings.  It has to be a quick one because I am committed to spending the day with her.  So far today we have…

*Gone to breakfast at IHOP (her choice).  Just the two of us.  She is the only one who gets to choose between breakfast or lunch for a one-on-one meal with me on her birthday.  All of the other kids have birthdays during the school year and so are limited to a one-on-one lunch so that they don’t miss any school.

We both “heard” crepes calling our names.  She tried the Danish crepes, and I tried Swedish.

*Went birthday shopping.  She requested art supplies and cake decorating supplies this year, so we were able to do all of the shopping at a craft store.  She chose some fun stuff and seems excited to expand her hobbies.

*I surprised her and took her shopping for new shorts and capris.


For her birthday lunch, Hoob has requested spring rolls and for dinner she has requested spaghetti.  Mack, who is on meal prep this week, will be making the spaghetti and the birthday cake. 

The other big thing to accomplish today is to go get Hoob’s Learner Driver’s Permit. 

I feel the gray hairs starting…


Not sure I’m ready for this.


Happy birthday baby girl!  I love you.

On Friday evening my girls and I completed our first “girl time” with my mom.  Since it was the first one, I was the one to choose the activity.  We made it simple and went to Applebees for dessert.  My all time favorite dessert is an Applebees Blondie.  My mom had never had one before so she decided to try one too.  The girls all opted for a Chocolate Meltdown. 

We ate our desserts, talked, and people watched.  As we were heading back to our car Hoob spotted a sticker on the back window of one car and busted out laughing.  Of course the rest of us had to go over to see what she was laughing at.  The sticker showed some cartoon muffins and the words, “Muffins are just ugly cupcakes.”  The others got a kick out of the sticker too and took pictures of it with their camera phones so that they could share the laugh with their friends.

When we got back to my mom’s house we were all enjoying being together so much that we decided to play a game of Morph with my mom and my brother and his girlfriend who were there watching tv.  Again, much laughter, especially when the sentence “Grandma J is a closet Ute fan” morphed into “The Chinese Mexicans took over all the construction jobs.”

It was such a simple thing to spend time with Grandma J.  We are all looking forward to next month.  Hoob has opted to be in charge of the activity that month because it is her birthday month.  She threatens to make it be a shopping spree for her.  I don’t know which is worse, the shopping spree, or her original idea of toilet papering two uncles’ homes.

I think this is the best Mother’s day gift I’ve ever come up with.  🙂

Ever notice how much food can be an extra part of family life?  Examples:

*We were in Moab over Mother’s Day weekend.  Because we had renters from Tennessee coming to our condo later Sunday afternoon, our morning consisted of church and then packing/cleaning up to be out by 11:00  so that the cleaning people would have time to get the condo ready.  I didn’t get my traditional “breakfast in bed.”  Once we were home Hub and the kids secretly started making me breakfast–for dinner.  When I innocently walked near the kitchen Yawlin said, “Oh, hi Mommy!”  as a warning to the others that I was there. 

Hub immediately grabbed my elbow and with a smile said, “You need to go sit on our bed for a while.”  I was a good wife and did what I was told.  I was treated to a dinner/breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, fresh blackberries and strawberries, and orange juice–all in bed.   Hoob even brought me the Sunday paper to read while I ate.  🙂

*One day last week Mack’s history class decided they were hungry.  Mack called Hub on her cell phone and asked him to bring three pizzas to the school.  And he did it.

Notice she called her stepdad to do it, not her mom.  She knows that she would have gotten the third degree from me about why I would need to bring three pizzas to the school.

Apparently the class and teacher were all very grateful that Hub did Mack’s bidding.  🙂

*On the same day Hub was delivering pizza to a highschool history class, I was volunteering in Yawlin’s class.  Yawlin quietly came to my side and whispered, “Mom, can you bring me a cold lunch today?”

“I don’t know if I will have time today, Yawlin.  After this I have a lot of prep work to do for the next art lesson that I teach.”

Yawlin’s eyes filled with tears.  “Okay.”

“What’s wrong?”  I whispered. 

“I don’t like what is for lunch today.  I tried calling your phone while you were at your crossing, but you must have been turning off the lights cuz you didn’t answer.”

“I see.  Well, I’ll have to see what I can do, but no promises, okay?”

The tears were still there.  “I already told the teacher ‘cold lunch’ for the lunch count.  If you can’t bring me a lunch, I won’t get to eat today.”

I looked at Yawlin.  Bummer of a problem.  “I planned my day around the prep work that needs to be done.  I planned on being at the school for quite a while.  I’m not sure if I will have time to run home and fix a lunch.  I will see what I can do.”  I hugged him and sent him back to his seat.

After finishing the work for his class I went to the workroom and began measuring and cutting construction paper for the art project.  This particular art project required a lot of paper and cutting.  I kept my eye on the clock as I worked, hoping to finish in time to fix Yawlin a lunch.  There was just too much that needed to be done.  I had an idea.  Just as it was time for Yawlin’s class to go to lunch I went to his classroom and told his teacher I was taking him for lunch.  She smiled and told him she would see him when he got back.

Yawlin came back to the workroom with me and helped me finish up the prep work.  With his help I was able to finish quicker than I would have otherwise.  The two of us then went to Wendy’s so I could buy him a kids meal of his choice and took it home so he could eat it there.  I ended up checking him back into school about 10 minutes later than his class returned from lunch, but he hadn’t missed much, and the two of us had a great time together.  Plus, I didn’t have “mom guilt” about my son going hungry at lunch.  🙂

*Since we live across the street from Hoob’s middle school, she usually brings a couple of friends home at lunch time. She fixes herself a lunch while her friends eat the lunches they brought from home.  This morning, before she left for school, she said, “How ’bout fixing me something for lunch today, Mom.”  The smile on her face told me she didn’t really expect me to do it.

The fact that she didn’t expect me to do it made me decide to really do it.  I was going to fix her mac-n-cheese but discovered we were out (a common happening in a house of teenagers) and settled for making Ramen noodles.  When Hoob walked in with her friends at lunch time I handed her a steaming bowl of noodles and she said, “You really did it?!  Thanks Mom!”  She gave me a hug, and I felt all sorts of Mommy joy.  🙂

*Huh has such a crazy work schedule that sometimes her home chores get put aside.  Yesterday when she got home from work she plopped down on her bed and was instantly asleep.  It is her week to help with meals.  I decided to let her sleep and fixed dinner on my own.  When she got up I proposed an idea I’d had while she slept.  “Since you didn’t help me fix dinner–yes, I let you sleep–how ’bout if you fix the dessert.  We will have it after Family Home Evening tonight.”  Hub had bought an insane number of apples in Moab and we needed to use them up, so I gave Huh the choice of making apple cobbler or an apple betty.  She chose to do the apple betty and did a darn good job of it.  She now has one more dessert “under her belt” that she knows how to make when she eventually leaves home.  🙂

*We are all in the process of helping Juju break her Dr. Pepper habit.  Whenever she mentions that she wants one someone in the family will tell her that her bones are rotting.  It usually works.  🙂

The food thing…somehow it brings family closer.  🙂

Stuck on what to give Mom for Mother’s Day?  Here is what I’m giving my mom this year…

We typed up a simple note that said, “Our gift to you?  Girls time–once a month!”  We rolled the note up and stuck it in a new pair of socks (no significance to the socks…we just wanted a different way to “wrap” the note). 

We gave the gift to my mom at my niece’s birthday party on Saturday because we will be out of town over Mother’s Day weekend and won’t be able to see my mom.  We explained that, beginning with this month, my girls and I are going to take turns choosing an activity for all of us to do with my mom.  

Some ideas include:  Going out for dessert, playing mini-golf, having a cheese tasting party, visiting the zoo, relaxing and eating ice cream, movie night, making homemade cards, going on an easy hike, taco bar, using the backyard grill, making s’mores over the fire pit, going to a new restaurant, an outdoor concert, going for a walk, visiting the aquarium, having a puzzle night, a game night, and Hoob keeps suggesting we take Grandma toilet papering at two uncle’s homes.

Since it is “Girls Time” Yawlin gave my mom a 1,000 piece puzzle for the two of them to do together sometime over the summer.  They both love to do puzzles, often spending hours on one while at the cabin.

My mom loved the gifts and is excited to see what activities my girls and I come up with.  We are all looking forward to our monthly “Girls Time” with Grandma. 

Who knows, it might become a tradition that extends beyond the year!

This morning I wore the new slippers Mack gave me.  Yesterday, after church, I wore the new flip-flops Hoob gave me.  Before I leave the house today I will put on the new necklace and earrings Huh gave me.  And this afternoon I will “pick a flower” that has a popsicle stick stem and see what chore Yawlin is willing to do for me.

Something that I’ve noticed is that my kids notice when I use and appreciate the gifts they give me.  I will always treasure the memory I have of Huh getting a big grin on her face last Christmas break when I put my hand near her nose and said, “Smell how good the lotion you gave me smells.” 

A little while ago I purposely wore a “pearler bead” necklace that Yawlin made me last year.  It was fun to be running errands with him and have him suddenly say with pride, “You’re wearing the necklace I made you!”  

My fingernail polish is housed in a salt dough bowl that Hoob made me a few years ago.  A portrait that Mack drew hangs on our magnetic door that leads to the garage.  I have three different sets of slippers that I can wear when my feet get cold and lots and lots of homemade jewelry.

One of the best ways to boost a kid’s self-esteem, and an easy way to show your love in return, is to use and appreciate the gifts they give you.  So wear that stretched out bracelet.  Drink from that lopsided mug.  Hang up that colorful picture that makes you look like you are an alien.  Eat those runny eggs and the burnt toast with gusto.  Gifts were meant to be used, and the love our kids show us needs to be appreciated.

They will notice.

Thursday night is our date night.  It is the night all of the kids are with their “other” parents for a little while, so it’s a great time for Hub and I to have some “couple” time.  This week Hub suggested we stay in on Thursday “since we have been going to dinner a lot and should probably cut down on that.”  I was fine with staying home and just cuddling in front of the t.v. or fixing a meal together and eating it on the patio.  I even suggested to Hub that we take a walk along one of the local trails.  He seemed to like that idea.

Then I got a phone call on my lunch break from Hub.  “What are you doing tonight?”

“Um, spending it with you.”

“You don’t have anything planned?”

“Nope.  Just our date night.”

“Okay.  I have a surprise for you.  We’re going to go somewhere.  Be ready by 6:45.”

Cool.  My husband had a surprise for me.  With the upcoming Mother’s Day weekend, I figured he’d come up with something that he or the kids could give me for Mother’s Day and he wanted to make sure I liked it before he bought it.  At home later in the day I asked Hub if I was supposed to dress up for wherever we were going.  He stopped what he was doing and got a thoughtful look on his face.  “I suppose we could dress up.  But, no not this time.  We’ll keep it casual.”

“Okay.  Can I eat now or do I have to wait?  I’m starving.”

“No, you can go ahead and eat here.”

Hmmmm, I could eat at home, which meant we weren’t going to dinner anywhere.  Maybe I was right about it being a preview of a Mother’s Day gift.

At 6:45 on the dot we said good-bye to my kids who were still waiting for their dad to pick them up and we drove away.  As we drove Hub asked me if I had any ideas on where we might be going.  Looking around I asked, “Is it to Engh Gardens?  They were having a flower show a couple of weekends back that I wanted to go to.”

Hub grinned and said,”Yup, that’s where we’re going.”

But, at the intersection, instead of continuing north towards Engh Gardens, Hub turned west.  Hub was smiling from ear to ear.  I found myself thinking, West?  What’s down this street?  The theaters are down this street.  Ah ha!  “We’re going to Star Trek!”  I blurted out. 

Hub laughed out loud and I knew I was right. 

I am married to the biggest sci-fi nerd on the planet.  I have endured many sci-fi movies being married to this man.  He even made me go with him to see  The Clone Wars (that animated Star Wars turkey of a film), in the theater, instead of waiting until we could just rent it.  When we sat down in our seats to watch The Clone Wars I said, “You owe me a chick flick for this.”  Hub readily accepted the debt.

Halfway through that movie Hub leaned over and whispered, “I owe you two chick flicks for this.”  Three quarters of the way through the movie he leaned over and I heard, “Okay, three chick flicks.”  And, believe me, I made him pay up!

Thursday was opening night in select theaters for the new Star Trek movie.  Hub just couldn’t resist seeing it on opening night.  The man was downright giddy.  Sometimes Hub will use Netflix to watch the old Star Trek t.v. series.  Whenever he does that, the rest of the family slowly sneaks out of the room until he is all alone watching his show.  Sitting in the theater waiting for the movie to start, I couldn’t help but laugh about the sneaky way Hub had gotten me to the show.  I reached over and grabbed his hand.  The important thing is that we were on a date together.

And now I’ll just say that I was pleasantly surprised about the movie.  I was entertained throughout.  I was a little lost when all of the Trekkies in the theater would laugh at certain things that were said, obviously things that were a part of the original series, but not knowing the history didn’t keep me from enjoying the movie.  I won’t hesitate to recommend the movie to others.  It was pretty darn good!

As we left the theater we saw some people dressed up like Spock.  Hub said, “Now can you see what I meant when I said we could dress up, but wouldn’t this time?”  I just shook my head and laughed.  I’m glad he didn’t make me “dress up.”

Date night.  It was his activity of choice.  We held hands.  We were entertained.  It was perfect.

And so, as the world’s favorite Vulcan would say, “Live long and prosper!”