Tag Archive: Fun


Facing Your Fears

This past week, I was privileged to travel with a group of about 30 youth and a few adults to Jackson Hole Wyoming for a youth conference.

In my mind I tell myself that I am an adventurous soul, but then some situations I get in I truly ask myself, “What were you thinking?”

Our first day we embarked on a river raft trip down the Snake River. I was all stoke for this until we actually got to the river. All of a sudden, I remembered the time I almost drown as a kid and I started getting really nervous. Not to mention that the entire boat contained young girls between the ages of 12 and 18. Then there were four women and on guide. In my mind I kept thinking, “Shouldn’t we have at least one more guide so if I fall in someone can help me back in, while the other guides the boat?” No, no more guides just Alex.

As we started off down the calmer part of the river, Alex was good as relieving our fears and told us he hadn’t lost anyone yet. This particular sentence wasn’t very comforting because I had a doctor tell me he had never had any problems with a certain surgery and guess what…I was his first problem and nearly died. So I kept thinking to myself, I will be the first of Alex’s “losses”.

I realized that as we conquered each wave, how I relaxed more and actually started enjoying it even though the water was only 48 degrees and I had lost all feeling in my right foot.

I came on this trip with three of my children, one daughter and two sons. I knew two of my children were the adventurous type, but my one son really surprised me. You could get a bracelet for jumping into the river at a certain point. He actually jumped into the water. My daughter was the first on our boat, which was not surprising, to jump in and my other son… He had to do it three times. I am not sure I would have been that adventurous at their age.

At one point my “safe” son was actually “riding the bull” at the front of the boat through the waves. This really surprised me. After we got on the bus, my younger “crazier” son informed me that he had ridden the bull through the lunch counter. This almost gave me a heart attack. I guess he figured it was better to do it and then ask for permission later. This kid will be the death of me.

By the time we ended the trip I was really wanting more river to conquer as was most of the girls. The whole trip was designed to get us out of our comfort zone and try new things. I was definitely out of my comfort zone and would in fact do this again. It was very fun.

That night we drove in to Jackson to play night games at the high school. I actually found this to be more out of my comfort zone than almost anything else we did just because of what happened there.

I am an extremely jumpy and paranoid person. Because of experiences growing up, I am extremely cautious when put in some situations. A couple of weeks before coming on this trip, we had a retired police officer come and speak to the girls about being safe and how to avoid bad situations. It was very informative and added to my paranoid nature.

While we were playing night games, I started to get really thirsty. I noticed a building by the football field where we were playing. I decided that I would walk over and see if there was a drinking fountain. Now it was dark and the only light came from a couple of street lights and some flashlights the kids had.

When I got to the building and noticed it was restrooms, I decided I was use the facilities while there. As I approached a door to see which bathroom I was at, a voice came out of the dark asking me what we were doing. I nearly died. I couldn’t see anyone and could only tell in what direction the voice was coming from. I knew the voice was not attached to anyone I knew so I was extremely startled. I explained that we were playing capture the flag and the person asked a couple of more questions. At this point I had a few red flags going up in my head. I decided to leave the conversation and continue on to my destination…the lady’s room. When I got to the back side of the building, I started getting more and more nervous. I realized that I had just put myself in an extremely volatile situation. I was behind a building, in the dark and a stranger knew I was there and I was pretty sure that a few or anyone even knew the stranger was there.

I decided to go into the bathroom anyway because at this point I really had to go and couldn’t wait. When I entered the bathroom, the light automatically came on, which kind of scared me because I was already on edge. I got in the stall and did my duty and as I was getting ready to go out of the stall, the lights went off. I nearly had a heart attack. I kid you not, I thought I was about to get involved in a smack down and no one would a hear a thing that happened. I stood there with hand on handle listening and waiting to see if I could hear anything.

After a couple of minutes had passed, I knew I couldn’t stay in the stall all night and that I had to come out. I slowly opened the door and tried to look in the dark for any movement. Because the stall door next to me was opened, it blocked any dim view I had of the exit. I stood there for what seemed an eternity before I finally shoved the stall door next to me hoping that if someone was on the other side of it, I would knock them out on impact.

After the door stopped swinging, I listened for noise and didn’t hear anything, so I decided to head for the exit. I took about four steps when the light came on. I stood there with a deer in the headlight look thinking I was going to see the perp in front of me who had shut off the light, but there was no one. After my heart slowed to 300 bm I realized it was possible that the lights were automatic in some way. This did not remove the fear I was feeling. I stood with hand on the exit door handle for about five minutes trying to figure out what I should do. Do I slowly open the door and look side to side or do I just bust out like the flippin’ john was on fire. I came to the conclusion that if someone was out there, they would be surprised by my bolting out of there and thus giving me an upper hand.

It was probably about 5 minutes before I had the guts to bust out. I swung that door open and flew out of there like there was no tomorrow, not looking what was behind me.

I later found out that this guy ending up being obnoxious and thus ending the kids’ night of fun. Which confirmed my suspicions of the guy to begin with. I shook for quite a while afterwards.

The next day of our adventures took us to a ropes course at in the middle of nowhere in Idaho. Here we would be facing our fears on a rock wall and zip line. I was really stoked for this and thought it would be fun. When we arrived, I soon noticed how secluded it was and how some of the trails were hard to see.  Now we had been seeing bear warning signs along the road, so in the back of my mind there was a small thought of perhaps running into one. As we were walking along this trail to a hidden pavilion, all of a sudden I see a giant brown head. I nearly dropped dead right there until I realized it was a brown lab. I told myself what a stupid idiot I was to get so scared and the chances of seeing a bear would be slim to none.

Well that fear was intensified when the advisors of the course told us that a black bear had just come through there earlier that morning. Geez! Are you kidding me? Now to add to the anxiety of the zip line, I was freaked out over seeing a bear. My mother’s cousin was mauled by a bear in Alaska and the story was published in a book. I had been reading this book earlier this year and decided that I would never come within 100 yards of an Alder bush. This whole book was about grizzly bears coming out of Alder bushes.

When we finally got to the rock wall, I was nervous but I had done a rock wall a couple of times before so it wasn’t too bad. It was when I got to the top and realized that the only way down was the zip line. I don’t know how I had ever talked myself into this, but me and heights have never been bff’s and it wasn’t about to start this day either.

I stood there in almost a frozen fear of how high I was and how it was intended for me to get down. I shook as the advisor hooked me up to the zip line, thinking how stupid I was to agree to this. We were at least 30 feet in the air and one had to walk out on this plank that was no wider than 2 feet and perhaps 2 1/2 long. It looked like 4 inches square from where I was standing. I climbed out on the plank holding on to the telephone pole behind me like a stinkin’ cat. I stood there with everyone cheering me on and trying to get up the nerve to go. I just could not get myself to jump. I kept telling myself to do it and just get it over with, but I couldn’t. Then I looked below and there stood my two sons, yelling at me “You can do it Mom!”. I knew at this point, I had to jump. They had to see that their mother was not a wuss.

I truly believe I passed out on the jump because it was a blur and then I am pretty sure I woke up the entire community of Driggs from my scream. I screamed, and screamed and screamed. Was it fun? In a sick sort of way. Would I do it again? Not entirely sure. As we were leaving the course to go to the cars, it was getting dark and I realized I was on a trail that was surrounded by what looked like Alder bushes. I nearly plowed over those in front of me trying to get to the cars. If there was anything that scared me more than that dang zip line, it would be something coming out of those bushes and getting me. So did I face my fears? I felt like I was the entire trip. Do I think I handled them well? Perhaps some of them, others not so much so.

So my first two children were girls. Girls were so much fun.  I could dress them up and they got along most of the time. Rarely did I have a smack down between the two of them. My next two children were boys.

Boys are an entirely different species all together. When my boys were younger, they got along great together. Better than the girls. As they grew into teens, I started noticing BIG differences in their behavior. I am not sure where in the genetic code of humans that the burping and farting in public gene mutated in males. This is hard to understand as a female and one that I will never understand. For some reason the teenage…and I might add, older aged male, seem to think this is the best way for impressing the babes.  Let me put that myth to rest right now. That would be no.

When my youngest son turned 13 something changed. Not only did he change, but he passed whatever he had on to my son that was 15.  My polite 15-year-old son suddenly started farting wars with the 13-year-old.  Two years later despite my constant nagging things have not changed.

This is not the only problem with teenage boys.  The burping and farting they are constantly doing seems to drown out common sense or deadened it.  I am still not sure which.  I truly believe they will do anything to embarrass me even if it isn’t on purpose.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my boys and they make me laugh everyday. They are hilarious, but they come with horrible side effects sometimes.  Take my trip to town a couple of days ago.  We came to a store where they were selling newspapers outside of the door.  I am sorry, but I hate this.  I hate being  jumped at a store door without an exit route.  I have told these guys over and over that I do not want a newspaper.  As I sat in the car looking at the front door and trying to figure out how to get into the store without getting a sales pitch, my son says this “I got an idea, I will just go up and “pants” him and then when he is distracted you can go into the store. I bet he will never want to sell anything to you after that”.  After I recovered from envisioning this scene, we opted to go through the garden area and avoid him altogether. I wasn’t sure my son wouldn’t try something.

Amongst my purchases at this store was a toilet plunger. As I am getting into the car, I find that my car has a new hood ornament which took some doing for him to get it off after he put it there.  I seriously counted my blessings that I saw that before I got going down the road.  Once we get going down the highway he then proceeds to stick the plunger on the roof of the car to pretend it is a police siren, you know like in the movies. I had to put up with this for 7 miles.  With my neighbor driving right behind me the whole 7 miles.  Then he has the nerve to tell me that he wants to make a bow that will shoot one. Guaranteed, I will be the first to get it in the face.

Then the other day we went into a store. I was stuck there with him again despite the many times I have told him he is not coming with me ever again.  We came out of the gardening area and started down an aisle where we both saw this really cool green glass looking ball. We both reached for it at the same time to feel it. After touching it we realized it was plastic and that is was a toy ball.  My son quickly  grabbed it and started reading the label.  “Hey”, he says “this says this ball can bounce 150 feet in the air, I don’t believe it”.  As soon as the, “I don’t believe it” came out I knew he was going to see if the claim was true. The first words out of my mouth was, “Don’t do it”.  He must have turned off his “hearing aids” and decided that not only was he going to bounce it on the floor, but he better make sure he gives it enough power that it will do what it claims. He was standing at the top of one aisle and I started down another aisle just as he bounced it.

I looked up to see the ball go through the ceiling tiles.  This was a good 30 feet up.  The ball hit those tiles just right that it lifted them up and turned them enough that they fell out of the rim they were sitting in and came down on his head.  I personally did not stick around for the whole thing to play out.  When I saw the sky falling, I wasted no time in disappearing.

My first thought…”Dang it, they just saw everything on security cameras”.  My second thought, I am getting out of here before they realize he belongs to me.

When my son finally caught up to me, he begins to complain about the paper cut that one of them gave him on his face.  No, “sorry mom, I should have listened to you”.  No, nothing.  It has been 3 days and still no apology. Perhaps someday when he has a son I will get an apology. Because despite my hopes for change, I think the gene will mutate in his future sons also.

So after a few busy weeks, I am back. My life has been chaotic lately.

I also started a new blog called “Where In The World is Jay”.  A little bit about how it started.

To understand how funny I find my husband, I have never seen anyone as tenacious as he once he starts mowing. We live on a five acre piece of land which gets covered with field grass.  One day he was out mowing our regular lawn and he disappeared. I found him clear out in the field mowing. He is the kind of guy that once he starts going, he will find anything that needs mowing down and go at it.

A couple of years after we were married he was out mowing with the riding lawn mower and I looked out to see nothing but a giant ball of dust.  All of a sudden I see him running toward it and in the middle of this dust ball was the riding mower climbing a fence post. I stood there with mouth open trying to figure out how the mower got up the fence post without my husband on it.  I still to this day don’t know and neither does he.  He is as tenacious with the weed whacker as he is the mower. Many times I have seen him in the field chopping away at anything that looks like a weed.  I have lost many of flowers and plants to that thing. May they rest in peace.

So a couple of days ago he was mowing the lawn.  I went to the kitchen sink to get a drink. I looked out the window and saw him mowing the lawn in shorts and snowboots.  Earlier that day we had been hauling stuff to a recycling place and he had stepped in a horse size pile of dog poop.  We don’t have dogs that size, nor do our dogs ever go in the front yard. So stepping in it was an unpleasant surprise. So he put them on to mow the lawn to keep from getting dog poop on his good shoes. It was nearly 80 degrees outside, I don’t know how he could stand it.

I was on the phone to my sister and told her that she needed to see what he was wearing.  She wanted me to upload the picture to my facebook page for her to see.  Well I decided that that was too boring so I was going to have some fun and I Photoshopped him into mowing The White House lawn.

It started from there that we decided to start a series called “Where in the world is Jay?”.  We started coming up with some really funny ideas of where one would find my husband and his mower.

So click on the link on the side under “Family” on  “Where In The World is Jay” and it will take you to the site.

Can I Embarrass Myself Enough?

I grew up in a family that enjoyed having a good time.  My brothers were constantly pranking us five girls.  Of course we would always pay back. One particular week stands out more than others when one of my brothers was off work and made our lives miserable.  In the process we all started pranking each other something terrible.  My father even got in the action.  Which was out of the norm.  Usually Mom was the one who would go toilet papering with us kids and other “various activities”, all good and legal fun (at least it was legal back then). Toilet papering was our favorite thing to do. If you got toilet papered, you were the coolest people on the block. I remember my friend and I saving up tons of paper towel and toilet paper to get a boy’s house that I had “liked”.  I remember one buying spree prompted the store checker to ask us what we were up to….we just smiled.  Admitted nothing.

This  particular week off for my brother was a nightmare for the rest of us.  We would find the neck and arm holes of our pajamas sewn shut when we put them on.  We found the legs of our nylons sewn together.  My mom found her clothes missing (that was my dad), my brother found a brazier in his gym bag while he was in the boys locker…(this was a  good one).  My sister found a fake snake in her bed and we found fake spiders (that looked very real) hanging from our ceilings.  We were renting this home and the basement was unfinished.  My father had been in the military and somewhere my parents had picked up military cots for us to sleep on.  We came home from school to find all of these nailed to the beams on the ceiling. We came home and found our beds outside..this was in the winter.  We got my brother back by hanging all of his clothes off the roof of the house, including his tidy whiteys.  We put vinegar in his cologne….(I think this made my extremely patient brother upset) At this point, things were getting out of hand. We knew my father had had enough when we built a snowman in the front yard and instead of using a broom, we used a toilet plunger.  This did not sit well with him.

One prank that went bad was my sister had put shoes above a door that led downstairs hoping that she would nail someone in the head when they opened the door.  Well she did alright….the telephone repairman.  Nailed him good she did, then she blamed it on the younger, less-defensive siblings.

Anyway..this  is kind of the way my family is.  One of my sisters imparticular will call and give any child of mine that answers the phone…including my husband….a good teasing about one thing or another before asking for me.  I pretty much do the same to her children or my other sister’s children. There have been times when she or I or another sister will pass on the street and pull the old “finger up the nose” gag to be funny.  These types of things are just normal for us.

The other day, my sister called asking me to help my nephew do his taxes.  She gave me his cell phone number and I gave him a call.  I was half way through giving him crap about how I work cheap, etc…when the voice on the other end told me I had the wrong number.  Well…that was embarrassing.  If we weren’t always trying to pull one over on each other, then things like this wouldn’t happen.  Take today for instance:

I went to help my sister do something for my father.  She left before I did, but I came upon her at an intersection.  As I came closer, I decided I was really going to get her good.  She was directly behind a truck that was waiting to make a left hand turn.  There was no one in front of me and I was going straight.  I went really slow and stopped right by her.  I stuck my finger up my nose as far as I could get it and put the stupidest look I could conjure up on my face.  I sat there right next to her knowing full well she would see the color of my car and turn and look.  Sure enough, when I turned to see the look on her face half expecting her finger to be up her nose too…I came face to face with an irate looking woman who did not resemble my sister at all.

I don’t think I have ever covered my identity as fast as I did at that moment.  I sat there thinking to myself…”idiot, idiot, idiot”.  How could I mistake that car for my sister.  I ran through my head where the car was exact make, model and color.  Her big hair looked like my sister’s big hair from the back……yada yada yada..

If I was not constantly trying to pull one over on somebody, stupid things like this would not happen to me.  Next time, I will be more cautious.  I will drive up slowly take a good look to make sure it is who I think it is…then I will shove my finger up my nose.  Problem solved.

Why I Love My Kids

Today was a very stressful day.  In the area we live in, we have been receiving a lot of rain instead of our usual snow.  It made for some very scary roads.  This morning the sun had come out and the roads were wet, but not icy. Or so we thought.

My daughter came home from school yesterday telling her father that her car acted like it was overheating.  So this morning he put some antifreeze in it and took it for a spin to see if the problem was taken care of.   He hit an unseen patch of ice and totaled her car.  He is O.K., but the car was not.  My husband was so broken hearted to have to tell his daughter what he had done to her car.

Kids have this ability to be so resilient when as adults we worry ourselves into the ground.  I happened upon the following entry that my daughter wrote in her blog.  I have to share it with you because it brought a huge smile to my face during an extremely stressful time and put what is really important into perspective.  My family.

Arianna’s Entry:

RIP, Sparky

BENSON, Utah- 1996 Dodge Intrepid “Sparky”, 16, met his demise Jan. 20, 2012 after sliding across an icy road and slamming into one heck of a mailbox post. His bumper was torn to shreds, his lights were shattered, and both of his airbags were ejected. Due to my family’s inability to pay for his medical bills, he was euthanized at Cache Valley Metals the morning of his accident.Sparky left us with a rich legacy of driving into ditches and growling like a hungry grizzly bear. He was a morose individual, always snarling unhappily when his engine came to life, skittering across the road when the snow was falling. Sparky hated winter and winter hated Sparky. He would be glad to realize that he no longer has to deal with snow again.Sparky was adopted my junior year in high school after my parents’ Intrepid exploded on their way to get him, thus, forcing them to bring him home. He was a carefree car at one point of his life, his power steering ripping you across the asphalt, his engine a gentle hum.

The day that he first drove into a ditch and had to be pulled out by a tractor was the day when part of Sparky died. He’s never been himself since.

Sparky and I had many adventures together, such as driving to BYU on the freeway for the first time and that time when I ripped off his BYU tramp stamp with a spatula. He got the nickname Sparky after his battery died at Steve’s house and the jumper cables nearly electrocuted poor Steve. His battery failed him two times that night. I thought I would lose him.

How Sparky could have looked in his glory days.

He is survived by me, and I don’t know how I’ll replace him. We’re all as broke as the Sphinx’s nose around here, but we’ll find some way to make do.

The world will be a lot more quiet without Sparky around to growl at it.

Here’s to you, my dear friend. May your axle be straight and your engine a proud roar in car heaven.

Game On!

For Christmas every year, we buy one or two boardgames because we love playing games as a family.  Every Sunday night we have what we call Family Home Evening and we have a lesson on gospel topics and then we plays games and have treats.  Everyone takes turns doing different things.  Family Home Evening is not Family Home Evening with the games.  We take turns picking a game and spend the night laughing or fighting if it is Pictionary.  It never fails, something about Pictionary brings the worst out of at least one person.  If you put my two daughters together on a team, guaranteed you have your work cut out for you to win.  It is like they can read each other’s minds or something.  The family joke, “Hey, I feel like fighting…let’s play Pictionary”.   Pit is also a family favorite.

This year for Christmas I found one of the funniest games.  It is called Redneck Life.  I bought it at www.newegg.com.  That was the cheapest place I found.  They also offer an expansion pack which is worth the extra cost to buy right off. This game is based on The Game of  Life only it is in redneck version.

You shake one or two dice (depending if you are using expansion pack) to see what grade you graduated from.  Then a payday comes with that education and a job i.e. Monster Truck announcer, bouncer, bass fishing guide…etc.  You roll the dice to pick your spouses name.  i.e. Big Belle, Corndog Pete….

The first time we played we were all depressed because you automatically go into debt.  You have to buy a house and a car etc.  Throughout the game you have “accidents” that make you loose teeth.  The object of the game is to see who has the most teeth at the end.  There are factors that determine this at the end.  You can gain some teeth back through various ways.

The worst part of it for me was that I ended up with 34 children and 31 of them were all named Darryl and had red hair.  This forced me to buy enough vehicles to get this family around.  There is a space you land on where you can take the kids to the babysitter (babysitter being whatever player you choose) and “forget” they are there.  Then the babysitter adds that many more kids to their kid list.  By the way, each kid you have takes away $10 from your payday.  So if your payday stunk in the beginning, it really stinks if you have a ton of kids.

We have laughed so hard during this game.  Tears streaming.  The first time we played, I landed on a square that said, “Your parents didn’t want you when you were born and left you at the hospital, start over”.  This pretty much sucked, but I did get even at the end.

This is a hilarious game.  I had to edit some of it for my kids (they are 14-19) just because I didn’t feel it was appropriate for our home but it is stuff you can work around.  The cars and houses that you have to buy are actual pictures of real homes and vehicles.  I would hope that people don’t live in things like that or drive things like that, but I have an uneasy feeling that they do.

If you want a fun game to play, this is it.

So with yesterday being the last day before everyone went back to school, we wracked our brains trying to find something to do as our last “hurrah”.  After a lot of thoughtful contemplation we decided to have a Nerf gun war.  Feeling like I do today, I wish I wouldn’t have suggested it. We got all of the guns and ammo together and found a place for the war.  We sat up the bunkers and made up teams.  After the first round we decided that the teams weren’t working for us so it suddenly became a “free-for-all”. I realized after about 45 minutes why they suggest you wear protective eyewear.  I was hit in the face 4 times.  I nailed my son right between the eyes once and just as he turned around his sister shot him in the forehead.  Ears were impaled, and heads were shot.  Nothing was sacred people, nothing. One thing that has been a problem with me for years is that if I get laughing, I quickly become immobilized.  I lose all strength in the body and can do nothing to protect myself.  This is a huge weakness of mine and it has been used against me many times. Yesterday was no exception. Some of the Nerf ammo has velcro on one end.  I shot my daughter in the butt and the ammo was just hanging there.  She could not deny I hit her, the proof was there waving to the world. I started laughing so hard that I couldn’t pull it together.  In my moment of weakness, my son shot and hit me in the tooth.  That was it.  I fell to the ground unable to move because I was laughing so hard, tears flowing.  It took me a good 10 minutes to get myself back in the game. Not once was I able to be “King of the Ring”.  I never could get everyone out so that I was the last person standing.  I seriously need to brush up on my skills.  I have to admit I pwned on loading.  I could load and shoot faster than you can say “Bob’s Yer Uncle”.  I had to, I was an easy target for everyone, which pretty much sucked. It has been decided that the war must have a second, third and fourth round at least.  I have to admit, despite the pain…it was pretty fun.  Next time…game on.  I am showing up looking like Rambo.  There will be NO survivors. Someday I will have to decide to grow up…but today is not that day.

Ultimate Alliance

When the world’s evil combined against them, they united to form the most powerful team in the universe. There was Batman, who brought his money and his toys. Spiderman, who, though he had let himself go over the years, could spin one heck of a web. Bat Girl, brave enough to wear spandex at her age. Captain America, who brought his military prowess. Word Girl, whose vocabulary and quick wit could get anyone out of a sticky situation. And Robin, who started working out every day for six years. Together, they formed…The Defenders of Justice and Awesomeness!” – Arianna Rees (by the way, the spandex cut was uncalled for)

Well the Rees family favorite time of the year has arrived.  We seriously start planning what our costumes will be for the next year, the day after Halloween.  Our tradition of family themes started about 12 years ago.  Not sure how it happened or what, but it has been something that my kids will always  remember and hopefully cherish.  Not only that, in Halloween tradition we pick a store to go shopping at at the end of the day, yes…in full costume.  That tradition started the year we were all dressed up as Star War characters and I needed milk.  We were right by the store and my husband asked if I needed anything while we were in town.  At first, I was too embarrassed to go in, then I thought….no one will know who I am anyway and besides I wasn’t going to waste gas.  We all went into the store and got a standing ovation by the employees.  This just fueled the flames more.  We have already been invited to a store this year.

So in the LDS church we have what we call Family Home Evening.  It is where once a week we gather as a family and learn about Christ and then we have activities, treats etc.  Usually the kids are assigned different aspects of the evening whether that be teaching the lesson, making the treat, deciding the activity, etc.  Last night along with the activity we decided in the spirit of Halloween to tell scary stories.

I pulled out a couple of Edgar Allen Poe’s classics and then a few ghost stories that I heard as a kid.  One son decided it was not for him and put on headphones.  According to my children, the stories were predictable.  Of course they had heard the Tale Tell Heart.  Anyway, no one really acted like it spooked them.  I wasn’t even rattled or so I thought.  Grossed out maybe, but not scared.

We decided to play Uno and my daughter had the cards in her car.  It was dark and I had to go out to get them.  As I stepped out into the dark, clear night I turned to see a white moving object off to the right that was not part of my yard.  I jumped about 3 feet and screamed only to realize it was the neighbor’s dog.  Of course, my son happened to be standing at the door and eyewitnessed the little event.  So much for keeping that one quiet.  That one will be laughed at for about 1 week.

I was more creeped out than what I thought.  It is amazing how fast the adrenaline can pump through ones veins when fear is present.  Had that dog been any closer, it would have probably been suffering from a roundhouse kick to the knees and an upper cut to the jaw.  I don’t do scary.  I do not like being scared and when I am the whole body becomes a weapon.  That is a fact.  If I have anything within reaching distance, it too becomes a weapon. My husband works weird schedules and even he is afraid to come into the house unexpected during the night.  He is afraid of what I might do to him.  As a child I was scarred by people trying to break into our house many times and it has messed me up.  We moved around a lot  and I know of ten times someone tried to break into our house.  Some of those houses had repeat offences.  Then people wonder why I am the way I am.  Sheesh.

Anyway, here is the rest of the gang in all their glory.  From our “Ultimate Alliance” to yours.  Have a great Halloween and don’t do anything illegal.

Spongebob Stupid Pants?

Well I just found out my problem.  According to an article in Fox News this morning, I have a hard time paying attention because I watch Spongebob.     Researchers from the University of Virginia found that the learning ability of four-year-olds who watched nine minutes of “SpongeBob SquarePants” was severely compromised compared to four-year-olds who either watched the slower-paced TV show “Caillou” or spent time drawing.

Have you ever watched Caillou?  Makes me want to hurt myself.  Yes, I was the type of mother that would watch these TV shows with my kids.  I needed to know what they were watching.  None of us could stomach Caillou.  They need to research to find out just how many kids actually watch this show.

Yes, I am saying that sometimes I act like a 4 year old.  I enjoy Spongebob.  He is always so happy no matter what happens.  Of course he is also as dense as a field of rocks, but who cares.  Sometimes I think if we were all more like Spongebob we would get offended less by what other people say.

I grew up watching Looney Toons.  Now what does that tell you?  My daughter tells me that Looney Toons is educational.  She said she learned all of her classical music from these cartoons.  I am not sure that is entirely a good thing.  Some of my favorite Looney Toons was Road Runner and Coyote.  Now if that isn’t dangerous television, I don’t know what is.   Somehow in my child’s mind I was able to discern that nothing could survive what the coyote could survive,  why?  Because my mother watched them with us and would tell me so.  She taught me instead of letting the TV teach me.

The article goes on to say, “It is possible that the fast pacing, where characters are constantly in motion from one thing to the next, and extreme fantasy, where the characters do things that make no sense in the real world, may disrupt the child’s ability to concentrate immediately afterward.”  Is there any cartoon that exists that makes sense in the real world?  That is why they are called cartoons.

Sometimes I think that the “real world” is shoved down our kids throat so much that they don’t know how to imagine, or to pretend.  They wonder why kids have lost their ability to be creative anymore.  Kids need to be kids when they are kids. We need to quit trying to make adults out of our toddlers.  Society does not allow them to enjoy childhood anymore.  We start kids in school earlier and earlier.  I am waiting for Womb Preschool to show up someday.

Has the desire to have more educational shows for kids on TV come about because we as parents don’t want to “man” up to our responsiblity to teach them their ABC’s and 123’s?  Have we become so busy in our lives that we rely upon television to be a surrogate parent in our absence? 

My kids knew their ABC’s and 123’s before ever entering kindergarten because I sat and taught them to them with books, flashcards, while driving down the road and whenever I had the opportunity to do so.

I think the problem lies in too much TV.  We wonder why kids have behavior problems, etc.  Take a look at how much TV they are watching and perhaps the degrading content in them.  Take a look at how much time is spent playing video games.  We as parents have taken their ability to be creative away from them by constantly feeding them with entertainment until they cannot think for themselves.  

I watched an episode of Spongebob that truly depicts what is going on in our society.  It involves a big box that Spongebob and Patrick use to pretend they are many things.  It drives Squidward up a wall because he lives in “reality” and their box is completely stupid.  Finally Squidward succombs to the curiosity of the box and finds out how to pretend and finds just how much he enjoys it.

Spongebob harming kids?  I think not.  Sometimes it is healthy to be taken out of reality for a little while even if it is only for 9 minutes.  That is what keeps us sane.

Wheelchair Chronicles

I have two children that I don’t worry one bit about if I have to be away from home for an extended period of time.  My other two children………….(insert awkward pause).  My oldest daughter and oldest son are pretty safe kids who don’t do anything stupid to hurt themselves.  My second daughter and second son are exact clones of Evel Knievel.  The things these two children come up with that they call “having fun” is about to put me in my grave at a very early age.

Yesterday, for instance, I had to take my dad to a doctor’s appointment.  It was a two-hour drive.  It was the children’s last day of “freedom” so they say because school started today.  My daughter informed me, before I left, that she and her friend were going to have a day of fun before school starts.  I inwardly cringed.  My internal thought was, “Great, the cops won’t be able to find me when something happens”.

Later in the day, I called to make sure that the house was still standing and that no one was in need of medical attention.  My daughter wanted to talk to me.  When she got on the phone her first words were, “Oh my heck Mom!  You are never going to believe what happened to Kristen and I”.  (Insert awkward, “I don’t want to know” pause here).

The university in our town has a hill called Old Main.  Many things have happened on this hill.  Tubing, ice blocking, water sliding.  It has such a steep slope that it is useful for many activities requiring a hill.  Some legal…..some maybe  not-so-legal.

My daughter and her friend did something on it this hill that #1.  Probably wouldn’t have been approved of if they got caught.  #2.  Dangerous  #3.  Pretty much insane #4.  Glad that my son was not with her.

These two lovely young ladies “borrowed” one of my son’s most prized posessions….his wheelchair he bought at a garage sale.  My daughter does not want him knowing  for fear of suffering “death by unicycle”.  They took it to Old Main hill and thought they would ride it down while videotaping it.  The first couple of times went uneventful and then came the third….

My daughter sat in the seat with the video going, while her friend stood on the pegs in the back.  As  they started down the hill, the wheelchair started popping a wheelie.  This set off a chain reaction of events.  In attempting to correct the problem they lost control of the wheelchair.  My  daughter was thrown off taking a huge patch of grass with her.  Rolling uncontrollably down the hill, while the wheelchair and friend both did an endo and ended up on top of each other.

These two did not realize that the wheelchair had brakes. Not like it would have done them any good at that rate of speed anyway.

This performance was done in front of a live studio audience of onlookers.  Why do something stupid if someone doesn’t see you do it right?  I just hope and pray that when my “safe” daughter goes to her college newspaper staff meeting that she doesn’t find her sister as a topic of discussion.  If this happens and the Editor finds out they are sisters……(This is where my “safe” daughter inserts an awkward pause.)

View Video In my links: “Joyride”