Tag Archives: things kids do

The Sneak

Our kids like to play a game called sneaking. Basically they creep around the house and try to see if they can get by us without being seen or heard. Personally, I think they’ve probably watched one to many spy movies or shows, heh. Anyway, James appears to be picking up this tactic with great flare.

Saturday morning after breakfast (General Conference doesn’t start for us out here until noon) I was preparing a stew to go into our crockpot for dinner that night. There was one cinnamon roll left from breakfast sitting on the stove beneath a clear plastic container/lid thing. I was paying it little head as I pealed potatoes until I saw, out of the corner of my eye, little James quietly tugging a chair away from the table. I had a pretty good idea what he might be up to, but I was far too curious to stop him yet.

I turned back to my potatoes and then turned to check on him a minute or so later. He was half-way between me and the table now with the chair. He stopped, looked at me and grinned. Seeing that he was refusing to move while I was watching him I turned back to my potatoes. I was beginning to chop them now. As soon as I turned my back, I heard the subtle sounds of the chair inching its way across the wood floor. I turned back around, and again he froze, grinning at me all the time with that all too innocent grin. You know, the kind that says, “who me? I’m not up to anything.” Holding back a chuckle I turned back to my potatoes and listened to the chair scoot past me. It became a game for a while. Me spinning around every few seconds, him freezing with a grin on his face.

About the time I was dumping the potatoes in the crock pot the chair was appearing at my side by the stove. I pierced him with mommy stare as he stood innocently by the chair, all the time smiling sweetly.

I snagged the carrots and began peeling. James inched his way onto the chair. He stood on the chair for a while, watching me, smiling with his hands clenched behind his back. He could have almost been looking around at the sky, bouncing on his toes, and whistling, such was the expression on his face.

I smiled at him and concentrated on my carrots, all the while, keeping him in my peripheral vision. As I started on my second carrot I saw little fingers begin to inch their way across the stove. I looked directly at him and the fingers snapped back to being clenched behind his back. And the sky searching, toe bouncing, whistling look came back to his face. We played that game for a few minutes, each time he inched his fingers a little faster and got a little closer to that tantalizing cinnamon roll.

Finally he touched it the plastic cover. I snapped a quick gaze upon him. His hands flew up to his face and he stood motionless peering at me from between his fingers. I could almost here him thinking, “If I don’t move she can’t see me.” Part of me knew I should put an end to the game, but I was having too much fun watching.

I shook my head no at him and started chopping my carrots. His little hand would shoot out, bump the plastic, then snap back to place in front of his face, his little blue eyes watching me from between his little pudgy fingers.

I was rather impressed at the patience he was exhibiting as he tried to sneak the cinnamon roll from under my nose – keeping that smile on his face the whole time. I had moved on to the celery by the time he had the plastic cover off and was inching his hand toward the glorious treasure. His finger reached out to touch it. Mom was obviously distracted as she chopped the celery. And just as he made contact, the knife dropped to the board and mom’s hand shot out. With a firm, but gentle, “No, James,” I moved the cinnamon roll to higher ground and sent him out of the kitchen.

Perhaps I was mean to let him get as far as he did. But I was having so much fun watching him inch his way closer and closer, freezing still and hiding behind his hands. I think I’m going to have to keep a close eye on him as he gets older… 😀

By the way, I LOVE stew in the fall. It’s simple and fast and oh so yummy. You can find the recipe and a photo under the Here’s What’s Cooking tab if you are interested.


Filed under Children, Humor, James

There’s my house, Mr. Policeman

It’s hard to believe its November already, and that I have a brand new Jacob adventure!

I was rotating between cleaning, writing, and playing with the boys yesterday morning. It’s NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month) again and I am trying to get into full swing of getting my newest book written (nothing has happened yet with the queries and such of the others, but writing is fun – so who cares if I don’t ever get published, I’ll just have fun writing anyway 😉 ). I wasn’t expecting anyone so I hadn’t bothered to do my hair yet or put my bra on. I was in my comfy sweats just working, typing, and playing away.

About mid morning I flipped a show on for the boys, they seemed very interested, so I felt safe in disapearing into the bathroom for a few minutes in order to do a little cleaning. I never heard the door open, and the fact that it was unusually quiet meant the boys were ingrained in their show.

I finished what I was doing and went to play with the boys again, I had been in there maybe about 5 minutes or so. Partway down the hall I heard the front door open. “Whose at the door?” I asked myself out loud and sped up a little wondering if Jacob was playing with the door. A second later I collided with the little rapscallion.

“Police here!”

“What? The police?” I ask, very confused. Why would the police be here?

“Yeah! Police here!” He was very excited.

I went to the front door and sure enough there were two policemen waiting patiently one my front step. “Hello?” I asked rather tenatively.

“Hello mam, we recieved a call from a concerned neighbor who saw your son down at street x.”

I felt the color drop out of my face as I looked at my energetic four-year-old who was peering out the window in facination at the police car. “Street x?” I asked. My mind was racing. It wasn’t a very busy street, but busy enough and a good 2 blocks away.

“Yes mam. And when we arrived he was running back and forth across the road.”

“I had slipped into the bathroom for a few minutes to do a little cleaning, I never even heard the door open. We have a lock up high on it, he must have undone it.” I was panicked then, trying to figure out what is going to happen. I look down as James toddles into my legs. To my dismay he had stripped out of his pajamas and found a purple marker. He had beautiful streaks running all up and down his chest and tummy. I pick him up and realize, with much humiliation, that I am standing there conversing with police officers in ratty sweats, messy hair and no bra! Jacob is bouncing around me try to talk to “Mr. Policeman!” And I am feeling like a guilty criminal. We talked some more and they suggested childproof locks, and I explained, I’m sure in desperation, that our houdini boy could undo them all.

The other police officer pipes up and says. “You have four children don’t you?”

“Five actually.”

“That’s right, I was here last month for the 911 hang-up call.” *(More on that call after the post).

I think I would have fainted if it weren’t for his amused smile. “I have a son like yours. We put locks on the doors he figured them out. I put high locks on the doors, he started going out the windows.”

Ah empathy. Perhaps I wasn’t going to be hauled away as the bad mother of the year after all. They proceeded to assure me that all was well. They just had to report that a neighbor called in and the little boy had been returned. No DHS or anything would be notified. As they left, and Jacob was energetically waving the first police officer (not the father of the escaping boy) looks at me and says, “Try to have a good rest of the day, mam.”

I managed a week smile and thank you. Went inside, scolded my Jacob, burst into tears and began looking for chocolate. Sigh. It’s a wonder I’m not gray yet. And from now on, I will be sure my bra is firmly in place no matter how empty of a day I am planning to have and dress James in only clothes that button up from behind (maybe I’ll just put his pajamas on backwards).

I can see the humor in it now…. I think….

*So, Back when I wrote about the retreat I mentioned that there had been a 911 call in my absence. Our oldest was on babysitter duty and Paul had slipped out for a little while to help a friend move into their house. While he was gone Jacob dialed 911 and then hung up. The police, of course, came over to the house. Our oldest was super smart, asking who was there through the door and being very grown-up and all. Everything was fine and she handled it very well. She explained what had happened, gave their names and birthdays, and asked a few times if we were in trouble because Jacob had accidentally dialled 911. They assured her everything was fine and we never heard anything more.


Filed under Children, Humor, Jacob, Parenting

Summer of the Jacob

It was a great summer. We were busy had a ton of fun and by the beginning of August everyone was chomping at the bit for school to start. In short the kids were quickly becoming rather sick of each other. I didn’t get much blogging done, or writing, or anything really. Just tried to keep the kids from killing each other (or themselves as the case may be) and entertained until school started.

I was successful – barely. Let me give you the run down of what Jacob, in just that last month of August, did.

Part 1: The Tooth

It was a rare moment in time when I had managed to sit down and snag my laptop in hopes of at least checking some email when my son came running in screaming. After a few tries I was able to calm him down and discovered he had been jumping on the trampoline and fallen off into the ditch. I started the not so panicked where are you hurt questions – not so panicked because he had managed to walk in here, gesticulating wildly with his arms, so I was fairly certain nothing was broken.

“My mouth,” he manages to say in between shuddering sobs, holding his hand over his lips. “I hurt my mouth.”

I have him open his mouth and sure enough one of his front teeth looks like its missing a piece. With it being Saturday I call to Paul and the inspection begins. Not only is he missing a piece off his tooth, but it is cracked in two places going all the way up in a V disappearing into the gum. Out dentist is out of town and the on call dentist can’t be reached. After extensive dental advice via phone with Paul’s Dad, we decided to give him some Tylenol (he wasn’t acting as though he was in a ton of pain) and tough it out until Monday.

Monday came and we got him in to see out dentist. I explained what happened as they took the x-rays and the dentist nods his head in knowing confirmation. Then he looks at the films and his eyebrows furrow and look of slight shock crosses his face. “And it doesn’t hurt him?” I shook my head no as he continued. “He had to have hit HARD in order to shatter his tooth like that.”

I looked at my little guy with not even a bruise and thought about how lucky we were and how this kid has someone watching over him.

The dentist proceeded to extract the tooth and was amazed at how well Jacob handled it. It came out in three pieces and he really had to dig to get the last piece out – there was so little to grab on to. So now we affectionately refer to Jacob as our Hillbilly boy. 😀

Part 2: The Gum

It was a week later. Poor kid had come down with a nasty cold. He was barking something fierce and I suddenly out of the blue one afternoon he is crying inconsolably about his ear. Turns out he had a major ear infection so we snagged antibiotics for it. Two days later he is sitting on a bar stool at our kitchen counter eating lunch. He is messing around with one of his sisters and falls off, catching his mouth on the way down. Proceeds to scrape his gum literally off his tooth (happens to be the tooth beside the extraction site). We can see his tooth going all the way up and his gum all bunch together – once we get the bleeding to stop that is. Again, it is a weekend, and we didn’t want to bother our dentist. Paul’s dad was in Mexico this time, so we pestered a church friend who confirmed out suspicions that there wasn’t anything to do and just watch for infection. I’d never been so grateful for an ear infection before. With him on antibiotics, infection was hardly even a thought. And once again, I was grateful for this lucky kid we had.

Part 3: The Van

Jacob loves all things vehicular. His favorite movie is Cars. The kid is going to be a menace. Actually, lets change that, he already is! Some time ago (over a year now) I made the mistake of leaving the car running while he was in it to run in and grab the babysitter. In the two minutes I was gone he got out of his car seat and put the van in neutral so it started rolling down our steep driveway. Luckily the babysitter stopped the van before it got too far. Since that point we have been careful to always do two things: Never leave it running and lock all the doors. Well, I forgot to lock the back end.

The kids were all, except James, outside playing and riding bikes with neighbor kids. Liz was under strict instructions to keep an I on Jacob. I was playing with James inside and had just sat down to check email before getting dinner ready. The door bangs open and Elizabeth comes tearing in, absolute panic written all over her face. “Jacob is driving the car!”

My first thought was, “He got my keys.” Because, honestly, I wouldn’t put it past him. I went sprinting out the front door. There was no van sitting in the driveway. I looked down to the road and there a little ways down the road sat my son in the front seat of our van on his knees in the driver seat. The window was rolled down and he was wailing at the top of his lungs. I charged over to him and immediately looked in the ignition for my keys. They weren’t there!

Turns out something is wrong with the transmission and it doesn’t lock in place anymore when it is in park and turned off. You can pull it out of gear. So Jacob climbed in the back end – being sure to close it after him of course – and yanks the car out of gear. It flies backwards down the driveway. All the kids, including neighbor kids, manage to get out of the way in time. He hits his bike (the real reason for the wailing) and runs over it. He turns the steering wheel so he neither runs into the house across the street or Paul’s pick-up. He is dragging the bike now out the front of the car and it slows him down enough to stop before he hits the curb and fire hydrant. Our usually busy street, on which cars never go the speed limit, is strangely empty. He hit no cars and no cars hit him.

After I get over the shock of it, I can’t find my keys, so I call AAA and they help me push it out of the way until Paul gets home. I found my keys once the van was safely out of the road and I could actually look for them.

I now know, beyond any shadow of a doubt that that kid not only has an angel looking out for him, but his own personal army! (and this all on top of what I wrote about back in July… it’s a wonder I’m not gray yet!)


Filed under Children, Jacob, Miracles

Like Father Like Son

Between the years 1976-1977 in the grand city of Billings, Montana there lived a little boy (being between the age 2-3). This little boy was a resourceful fellow who had grand ideas that only he saw the logic or reasoning behind.  This little boy once wanted a jug to play with. Not any  jug though, he wanted the glass jug that was full of purple Portland Punch concentrate. A nice big gallon size jug perfect for all sorts of little boy shenanigans.  The only problem with this spetacular glass specimin was that it was full.  The little boy decided that he could simply empty the jug, though he was loath to waste such a perfect purple concotion. Thus he spied his father’s brand new lawnmower, unscrewed the gas cap and poured the  purple punch concentrate into the gasoline tank of the shiny new mower.

Later the little boy’s father was not very happy when the older brother hadn’t mowed the lawn.  The older brother stated that it wouldn’t start and said, “I think Paul did something to it.”

“What do you mean it won’t start?” sounded the rather upset father.  He walked to the mower and finally managed to fire it up – it didn’t last long as purple Portland Punch began oozing out of every nook and cranny of that poor lawn mower.


During the year of 2008 in the grand state of Oregon there lives another sweet little boy. This little boy was in love with telephones and mesmerized by the brand new sleak shiny black ones that his family had just purchased, as the old ones had finally died.  They were portable, they were small, and apparantly they were perfect for dunking in milk.


I think I have my work cut out for me – don’t you?


Filed under Children, Humor, Jacob, Parenting

A Sweet Boy

I have such a sweet little boy, and on Monday last week I found out just how sweet Jacob really is.  I was nursing James and Jacob climbed up to the counter. I wasn’t worried when I saw him eating there out of the corner of my eye, after all he hadn’t quite finished his ceral from breakfast.  Once I finished feeding the baby and saw Jacob was STILL at the counter I got a bit concerned – “Exactly what is that boy up to?” I thought to myself as I walked over to where he was perched on a bar stool at the counter.

My foot landed in a mess of grainy sticky stuff before I saw what he was doing.  That spurred me to his side at top speed, and this is what I saw:

Jacob, spoon in hand over a giant tupperware of sugar and cornflakes. He had sugar all through his hair, all over his face, all over his clothes, all over the counter, and all over the floor.  With the sugariest grin I have ever seen he pointed to the sugar conatiner and proudly proclaimed, “I did it mommy!” 

He had indeed done it.  He had gotten my sugar container out of the cupboard, confiscated the cornflakes and dumped all of the cornflakes into the sugar container.  Mixed it up with his spoon and was sitting there happily chowing down.  He was the happiest, stickiest boy I had ever seen.

I was the unhappiest, stickiest Mom – though I did find it quite humerous, trying to clean up the mess was NOT humerous – I swear that floor is STILL sticky.  I went to clean him up and ended up just dumping him in the bathtub – he even had sugar in his pull-up and coating his skin under his shirt – it was almost as him he had played in a vast of white sticky sweetness.  What a sweet silly boy 🙂


Filed under Children, Humor, Jacob

Like Father Like Daughter

Sometime in the late 1970’s to early 1980’s Paul’s mother recieved an unexpected from the school nurse. It seemed that everyday as he walked to school little Paul managed to get himself quite filthy. After numerous days of showing up to school dirty and unkempt the nurse decided to pay a visit to his home to see what things were like there. She of course found Paul’s mother rather surprised (and a very clean home to boot) and Paul’s mother found out that her little rascal was goofing off on the way to school. We still joke about the story.


I just walked in the door and was working on getting dinner ready. We are expecting the missionaries for dinner this evening so I was putting a roast in the crockpot when the phone rang. I washed my hands and answered the phone, motioning for Emily and Jacob to keep it down.


“Hello, this is — the school counselor. I was calling about Dorothy’s shoes.”

“Dorothy’s shoes?” I was very curious as to what was happening to Dorothy’s shoes.

“Yes, she said that she had to wear her little sister’s shoes today because she doesn’t have any-”

At this point I began laughing and she broke off, then continued. “Ahh, I see you are laughing. So she does have shoes that fit?”

Midst gales of laughter, “Oh yes.”

“She said they were all lost or too small.” The counselor was chuckling herself now.

“Actually she didn’t even tell me this morning that she couldn’t find her shoes, and I didn’t bother to look at her feet. She has an issue with putting her shoes away sometimes, they are probably in her bedroom, its rather messy.” (It made total sense to me, she would much rather cram her feet into tiny shoes than clean her room looking for ones that fit, heh) I was broken off by a piercing scream from Jacob. “Oh, sorry, that is my son, he screams when something is funny, I promise I am not torturing him.”

More laughter, “No, no, I can tell it was a happy scream. Well I just wanted to check because we do have money that we can use to help out if a family is in need of such things.”

“No worries, I appreciate you checking. And now I will check to be sure which shoes my daughter is wearing when she leaves.”

The counselor also mentioned that Dorothy was very proud of the fact that “my feet don’t hurt one bit!” and described that the shoes looked so tiny and when she felt them her toes were all bunched up at the end. I took a moment to run backt to the school with a pair of shoes for Dorothy – of course they are a very worn pair of shoes, so it may not raise the counselor’s hopes much. 😉


Filed under Children, Dot, Humor, Parenting, Things Kids Say

Heatin’ it up

Almost every morning in the winter I wake up and shuffle out side and bring in a load of wood. I crumple up a bunch of paper and shove it into the wood stove, pile some kindling on top and proceed to get the fire started. This year I have had an interested little boy looking over my shoulder and often sitting beside me offering to help. But, as it is fire I gracefully decline his offers and tell to “keep away” and “not to touch.” Rather dissapointed he will often shrug his little shoulders and shuffle off with his head down to find something else to do.

Yesterday we had some friends over for dinner. They have five children also so we decided the best thing would be to grill up some hamburgers and hotdogs. Paul went out onto the deck to fire up the grill and found this:



Maybe he got cold one day and thought he could warm things up out there, or maybe he had a hankering for a hotdog and mom just wasn’t getting it. I have a feeling I better keep the matches hidden for a looooong time! 🙂


Filed under Children, Humor, Jacob


I love Butterfingers – but not quite like this: (though I definitely do love this particular butterfinger, no matter how much trouble he gets in… ahh, those glorious twos. He must take after his father, because we all know what a perfect angel I was as a kid….um really, I was… stop snickering!) 😀

Butterfingers 2

I had gone back to use the restroom – I wasn’t gone for long, but apparantly it was long enough for him to unwrap three sticks of butter. He even got a measuring cup to put two of them in – not to mention a butter knife. While I knew he was going to get a good scolding, I couldn’t resist sneaking a couple of photos while he wasn’t looking…

Butterfingers 3

Then just as I snapped the last photo he looked up – I don’t know about you, but that face to me is a definite “Uh, Hi Mom, I can explain everything,” face.

Butterfingers 1

Oh, and if you are wondering, we do have a gate across the kitchen entrance. A tall dog gate – it doesn’t even phase him, he can be over that thing in two seconds flat. *sigh*


Filed under Children, Humor, Jacob, Photography

Who’s In That Box?

I had a series of errands and miscellaneous appointments today – everything from getting my teeth cleaned (yay! It had been like 5 years or so since my last cleaning and it felt SOOOOO good) to returning mail at the UPS store.  Most of the little errands were ran with Emmy and Jacob in tow.  At one point we were waiting in a small lobby that had a little fun mirror attached to a wall.  One of the wavey ones that distorts your body and makes you look all funky.

Jacob’s attention was caught and he cocked his head to one side and peered at his reflection with a puzzled gaze.  I turned to speak to a lady and then turned back to see Jacob.   His face was pressed against the wall, his nose right up next to the wood box side of the funny mirror.  I started laughing when it dawned on me what he was doing.  He was tryin to see through the minute crack between wall and mirror to figure out he the funny little man was in the box.

He forgot about it a moment later and just had fun laughing at his crazy reflection.  But I wonder if he is still thinking about who was in that box. 🙂


Filed under Children, Humor, Jacob


Being a toddler, Jacob has a way of copying everything you are doing. Sometimes, as things are a bit hard for him, it can create some marvelous innovations on his part.

It was Christmas time and we had just finished decorating the tree. The house was full of an air of jubilation and frolic fun as joyous music wrapped its arms lovingly our home. I bounced lightly and snapped my fingers as the children danced about my legs. Eager to join in, Jacob began turning circles and bouncing to the music. Then he raised his little hands above his head and began to rub his fingers together. He stopped a moment and looked at his fingers, trying to puzzle out why there was no sound coming from his fingers, when there was from Mommy’s. You could see him mentally shrug his shoulders and continue to rub his fingers together.

But, this time, he was clicking his tongue as he rubbed his fingers. So now, whenever we snap our fingers, he clicks his tongue and rubs his fingers together. To me that is adorable genius. 🙂


Filed under Children, Family, Humor, Jacob, Parenting