Our Tagline for 2009

Last year Joey started a New Year tradition for our family.   We make up a tagline for the upcoming year.  This year was “2008:  The year we’ve always waited for!”  Starting next year it will be…

“2009:  THE YEAR OF INNOVATION!…(it’s the wave of the future.)”

(note:  must be said while doing robot arms.)


Ginger Tech House



Friday was Joey’s Christmas work party.  I love that his work parties always invite the whole family and are very kid friendly.  This year they had a Christmas decorating competition between the departments.  Joey and his friends, the Tech department, won with their ginger “tech” house made with PVC pipe and brown paper over their cubicles.


ginger-tech-016My dad!ginger-tech-017

We visited my in-laws in Saint George, Utah this last weekend.


Had the traditional talent show.  Isabel played Jingle Bells.ginger-tech-022

Luke played Silent Night.ginger-tech-024

Sylvia sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and I told a Christmas joke that Isabel taught me.ginger-tech-028

To keep the very strange tradition going, Joey once again read The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert Service this year.

This is More Like It!


Do you think she’s just a little bit happy?




Credit for this large snowman must be given to the boys…sorry girls.  Although the girls had fun moving his carrot nose around on his body.


I know these sure are a lot of pictures, but it doesn’t snow here very often so I am too excited to choose between photos.  Today was a great day!  I read to them about the symbols of Christmas while they made Christmas books.  They also painted some wooden gingerbread men which relieved my guilt since Sylvia has been asking me if she can paint for a few days now and my response has always been, “later.”  By the time they got finished with school it started to snow. Then by the time they were finished with lunch, there was snow on the ground to play with.  A couple of my friends came over with their kids and while us moms had hot chocolate inside, the kids either played outside making snowmen and having snowball fights, or else played toys inside.

A few days ago while I was getting their school lists written, I found on a page in the back of Luke’s workbook with some very angry pencil writing:
“This book is a dumb, horrific, weird, crazy, stupid, big bad, bunch of bad, bumm, rubbish, which nobody should have ever, ever, written in all history of the universe.  You should never ever listen to anything inside this bad and horrible book.  It can kill you.”
Have I mentioned Luke is our emo kid?

Luke has been dictating a supposed never ending story to me.  Check it out on the Super Luke page.  Very creative (and random) writing.

At the library on Saturday I picked up a couple of American Girl books for me to read to Isabel.  We are now reading Meet Kaya.

Snow, Conducting and Tablecloth dresses


Maybe you can’t really tell from this pictures but it snowed yesterday…a lot.  It only stuck a little though.


I had asked our very musically talented friend, Lacey, if she could come over and teach us all how to conduct music.  Last night our two families got together and she gave us a fabulous enthusiastic lesson.  She brought her own music, she had chopsticks for us to conduct with, and signs she made to show us 2/4, 3/4 and 4/4 time.  Once we had become pros at it (yeah right) she let each of us pick our favorite song and conduct while we all sang it.  Luke chose Silent Night, Isabel Christmas Bells are Ringing, Sylvia Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I picked Jingle Bells and then Joey had to be difficult and pick some Dashboard Confessional song.  We then had cookies!

tablecloth-dresses2My grandmother’s World War II account got me wondering what those cute little tablecloth dresses looked like.

What I Remember About World War II by Emmeline Kay Bittle Stockseth

What I Remember About World War II

By Emmeline Kay Bittle Stockseth

I had graduated from high school in 1934 and was having fun going to dances and dating boys.  What did I care about what was going on in the world? I was, however, aware of a new leader in Germany in 1935, Adolph Hitler. Germany was across the Atlantic Ocean .  What happened there didn’t affect me, I thought.

I met Stephen Stockseth in 1939.  Stephen and I married in 1940.  His parents had come to the United States from Norway .  They always had loving feelings for the land they had left.  When I first met Steve’s mother she was quite upset and crying because Hitler’s army had invaded Norway .  That was the first time I realized the war across the ocean was closer now and the Stockseth family had concern and fear, but it didn’t concern me until one Sunday morning on December 7th, 1941, the radio news was that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.  So America was in the war.  Steve’s four brothers Rudy, Harold, Joe and Vern were drafted into the war.  Steve’s sister’s husbands, Russ and Vere were drafted also and all went overseas to fight.  Steve was not sent to war because of his health problem, Narcolepsy, and also he had to work and support me and our two girls, two year old Jean and baby Carol.

Life was changing.  There were food shortages and so many government regulations.  We received ration stamps (government papers that allowed us to get only limited amounts of sugar, flour, meat, shoes, gasoline and other commodities.) Clothing factories changed to making parachutes and army clothes for the fighting men.  Automobile companies began to make fighting machines.

Our little family was fortunate.  Stephen worked at a food market and we always had enough to eat.  I could not buy yardage and clothing.  We made underwear out of cloth flour bags if we could get them.  I cut up a tablecloth and made two little dresses for my little girls.  We saved tin foil, wound string into balls for future use, and collected bottles and newspapers.

Almost all countries were in the war.  Even women joined the armed forces and put on uniforms. We wrote to Steve’s brothers on one page of paper called V letters. Rudy fought in Guadalcanal, Harold was a paratrooper in Europe, Joe served in Alaska , Vern was in the United States Navy.  They all came back safely and none were wounded.

I remember the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and that ended the war.  A lot was kept secret and so I had no idea of all the damage done:  92,000 people killed on August 6th in that bombing, people tortured in prison camps, starvation, etc. I was just pleased to know the war was ended and on that day we celebrated with out neighbors.  Auto horns were honking and people were dancing in the streets.

While reading about my grandmother’s experiences, Luke and Isabel were amazed at the idea that things like string and foil had to be saved and rationed.  I explained that to this day “great-grandma Kay” STILL saves and rations…(a little too much.)  Isabel commented that she sure wouldn’t want Adam to drop his bomb on her.  Luke and I had to explain the whole atom Adam thing to her.  I would love to see what those cute tablecloth dresses looked like.

This account from my grandmother is such proof to me that history text books don’t work.  They are very cold, unfeeling and forgettable.  Biographies, autobiographies, and even historical fiction are far better at helping you be there.

It Wont Always Be Like This

I have been getting in a good five to seven hours of broken sleep each night which is great for having Hazel in the house.  She is actually a very good newborn and doesn’t cry very much, but even good newborns are pure evil.  Okay okay, maybe not pure evil but I’ve always thought that even the good part about newborns (that they are so teensy tiny and cute) you can’t even enjoy because you are too tired, or worried that you will pop their flimsy arms off when trying to shove them through the arm holes in the onsies, or you are just too busy doing all of their vomity laundry.  I am actually very happy and love my new little baby, but my point in saying all of this is that with a newborn in the house it is quite busy.

Last night I went to bed late partly because of a puking incident from the little angel.  I told Joey not to get the kids up and going on school in the morning since I didn’t have their lists ready and knew I wouldn’t be up and going.  This morning the kids played in the backyard while I worked on showering, feeding Hazel, cleaning up the dishes (yes from last night) and making their lists.  After that I had a talk with Luke and Isabel to make sure that they know that little babies need to eat every few hours and so they are up in the night.  I explained to them that there will probably be days where I am not as organized as I should be but that it wont always be like this.  I was obviously more worried about it than they were, but I do fear that Luke is concerned about being on a schedule and doing enough.

Luke and Isabel did most of their lists but will probably have to finish everything this afternoon or tomorrow.  Right now they are at their Social Studies class that they have with their friends and conducted by another homeschooling mom (phew, some structure in their day today.)