Sunday, February 28, 2010

Patience is a Virtue

The elementary school focuses on a positive character trait every month, and then awards certificates to the kids whose teachers select them for modeling that trait. These are called the Kid With Character awards. January's word was patience. In January all three of my little kids were independantly chosen to receive the Patience award.

Ironically, January had so much snow that the monthly assembly was cancelled. The kids had to be patient and wait until February's assembly to be recognized. When Beth was called to the stage for her award, she could hardly contain her excitement and was beaming from ear to ear.

After passing out the awards, the principal commented on how impressive it was that all 3 of the Wellborn kids were chosen for the patience reward, particularly since the teachers don't discuss their selections with each other. She said something about asking Jack and I how we raised patient children.

I suspect it has more to do with having so many brothers and sisters than it has to do with any one thing we have taught them. With six siblings sharing everything (bathrooms, bedrooms, vehicles etc) you pretty much HAVE to learn to wait your turn. Add to that a zero tolerance policy for hitting/kicking/wrestling and you have a pretty good recipe for raising some fairly patient kids.

As proud as we are of all of them though, we had to laugh when they were all chosen for this award. It is obvious that none of their teachers have ever seen them have to wait their turns for the video games.

Congratulations, my little ones. We are proud of you and love you!

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Sweetheart Dance

A week or so ago, Faith's classmates elected her the queen of their class for the upcoming Sweetheart's Dance. I think Faith had mixed feelings about this. She was flattered and excited to be chosen, but it meant she would have to wear a dress.

Getting Faith to wear a dress these days is a struggle of epic proportions, but we went shopping last week and found a very pretty dress that we could both agree upon. I couldn't get her to curl her hair, though. I don't know where that stubborn tomboy streak comes from.

When she got home from school today she got ready to go.

While this picture doesn't do her justice, she was stunning. Simply stunning.

Chet came home and announced he had a date for the dance. After dinner I loaded them up and drove my youngest teens to the dance.

The first part of the night consists of introducing the court. This boy was Faith's king.

Faith was an extremely nervous girl during the entire time they walked to the stage.

In fact, she never really smiled during the whole ceremony. She pretty much looked like this the whole time.

You know what calms nerves? Friends. Best friends.

Chet introduced me to his date, and we had pictures taken. She is a very sweet girl.

His friend Sheldon was there too.

After the court was introduced and I had taken pictures, my sweet docile (cough) children told me I had to leave.

What? Leave? Why?

Apparently they thought it could be potentially embarrassing to have your camera happy mom running around the junior high dance. So I left, but I made plans. I called Jessica to see if she wanted to come with me when it was time to pick them up. If a mom is embarrassing, surely a mom and an older sister could make some toes curl!

We got back and found Faith dancing with somebody else's king.

And one of our weekend kids was dancing with her boyfriend. This picture cracked me up.

Apparently our presence wasn't too embarrassing. Chet danced with Jessica.

Then Faith danced with her.

This just might be my favorite picture of the night. I love the big smiles on their faces.

After Chet's date left, Faith convinced him to dance with her friends.

That must be one of the pros of being friends with somebody who has a cute big brother.

You know what makes school dances so fun?

Friends. Best friends.

And a camera happy mom who knows you'll be glad I was blinding you with my flash when you look back on these photos years from now!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


When I was very little, my parents managed movie theaters. At one point we lived in Tuscon, and there was a huge (to me) park with millions (or maybe just a flock) of geese.

Big, huge geese. With big huge bills. And teeth. I am sure they had teeth.

We would take bags of leftover movie popcorn and go to the park to feed the ducks and geese.

I have very few memories of those early years, but I clearly remember one particular day of goose-feeding.

I somehow dropped my bag of popcorn all over myself while feeding the geese. Geese aren't particularly friendly anyway, but they saw this as a cue to throw any semblance of manners to the wind and descend upon me in a ferocious manner. I don't remember anything else about that day. I only remember being covered in popcorn, with geese surrounding me and pecking me to what would surely be my death.

I didn't want to feed geese again for years. Ducks were always okay, but mean, loud, honking geese with a hankering for popcorn-flavored little girls held no appeal to me.

We have lots of geese around us now, but they generally prefer the neighbors' larger ponds. They tend to fly over the top of our house and honk rudely at me as they settle in the bigpond across the road. Today, though, a big gaggle of geese decided to cruise around our pond for a while. I slipped on my jacket and with my feet barely covered in walking shoes that are definately NOT water-resistant, I trudged across the 6 inches of snow covering our property to take their picture.

Just as I got nearly close enough to get a good shot or two, the whole flock decided they didn't like me and took off to another pond. They were askeered.

You're not so brave when I'm not covered in stale popcorn, are ya goosies?

The four ducks that were swimming with the scaredy-geese weren't bothered by me at all, though.

But then again, ducks have never tried to turn me into a mid-day snack.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Joy of (not) Cooking

A couple of months ago I decided it was time to teach my kids to cook. They can make basic things, like mac and cheese, scrambled eggs, toast, etc,but it was time to move them onto the next level.

I started out by having one kid in charge of dinner each night. With my supervision, they have been learning to braise meat, season sauces, cook rice, etc. Now I just have to let them know which meal they are making and they can pretty much get it made on their own.

This is working out really well for me. I have six kids at home. I cook dinner on Tuesday nights at the church, and then one of them is in charge each night for the rest of the week. And so far, they think this is FUN and argue over who gets to cook. I have the younger ones paired up with the older ones, and I still supervise, but my workload has dramatically decreased.

Our church had a chili cook-off a couple of weeks ago to raise money for the youth group to go on a mission this summer. It was Todd's turn to cook, so I let him make our chili.

He made chipotle chili. He opened all the cans, cooked the meat, and added all the spices.

Boy, did he ever add the spices.

It was great chili, but you have to be able to take the heat if you wanted to eat it.

Jack said Todd's chili was the best tasting chili there, and I agreed. We are biased that way, and we like spicy food. The chipotles gave it a true Southwestern flavor. It was incredibly yummy.

Sadly, Todd didn't win the chili cook-off, but if there had been a burn-down-your-esophagus-and-make-a-beeline-for-the-lemonade category, he would have cleaned house.

Better luck next year, buddy!

Monday, February 01, 2010

I can laugh about it now.

Jack was on some very strong pain meds last week. He was in so much pain that they really didn't touch the pain, but they did make him extremely loopy.

He would have a conversation with us, and five minutes later start the same conversation again. I can't tell you how many times he asked if Jessica's broken pipes had been fixed yet. One time he told me there were broken shoulders everwhere. I still don't know what he thought he was seeing.

He would be in the middle of a sentence and start snoring. Then he would suddenly wake up and start his conversation all over again.

And he didn't really think much about what he was saying.

One night Crystal-married-to-Nathan had the kids call to talk to him. Jack had been dosed about ten minutes before this conversation, and the delirium was kicking in a bit. Kyle got on the phone and at some point asked Jack what kind of tests they would be doing the next morning.

Without a second thought, Jack said, "They are going to stick a camera up my butt and see what is in there."

Poor Kyle. I heard him say "whaaaat????" and then he was gone. He never came back to the phone.

The only camera he really sees much of is my big 50d. I can only imagine what he was thinking.

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