The LDSF Society

While it’s true that I belong to the LDS church, some weeks, with the kids crawling on the bench, and the floor, and each other, and me, and the baby,  I feel more like a member of the LDSF society. Not to be confused with the fundementalist church, this is the Latter-day Sunday Fiasco society. In the LDS church, the family gathers for sacrament meeting and all listen and enjoy the spirit in the meeting. But in the LDSF society, kids jump on benches, and parents do sweet sixteens up and down the chapel, racing kids in and out of the meeting, wails drowning out any and all audio reception.

Just today I woke up about halfway through the meeting (yes woke up – It was a long morning for the parents of said munchkins), I woke and discovered marker markings on my hands. What the?!

That’s when I noticed my kids coloring with markers and eating cereal next to me. Where did they get markers? We don’t even allow those in our house, let alone at church! And cereal? We had oatmeal for breakfast because we’re out of cereal!

Then the culprits revealed themselves as the kids belonging to the family sitting next to us on the bench. Ah. Well, they’re a great family, so I guess it was okay, but it did help me realize the importance of staying awake at church… especially as I remembered the marker markings and got self conscious about my face…

I only had to take Tootles out once – well, I guess you could say it was twice, since we had to go back in after he calmed down in order to fetch the diaper bag, since his foyer tantrum had released an ominous unpleasant smell. I would have had Jenni fetch it for me, but by then, she was out with another kid.

Fun with Telemarketers 5: Trouble with Turtle Tails


They FINALLY called again!  Those wonderful telemarketer friends of mine, oh, how I love it when they call.  As with most of the other times, this was totally adlib – which is kind of obvious as I bumble at the beginning with useless displays of idiocy.  But when the kids started crying in the background, it sparked an idea…


Let Us be Men

Let Us Be Men

talltab1We know from the scriptures that “the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them…” but what about when even that is not enough?
talltab1When Alma went to preach the gospel to the Zoramites, he had great success.  But when all was said and done, there was still great wickedness among the people.  So Alma changed his approach slightly.  What did he do?

Alma 35:15-16

“Now Alma, being grieved for the iniquity of his people, yea for the wars, and the bloodsheds, and the contentions which were among them; and having been to declare the word, or sent to declare the word, among all the people in every city; and seeing that the hearts of the people began to wax hard, and that they began to be offended because of the strictness of the word, his heart was exceedingly sorrowful.

“Therefore, he caused that his sons should be gathered together, that he might give unto them every one his charge, separately, concerning the things pertaining unto righteousness. And we have an account of his commandments, which he gave unto them according to his own record.”

talltab1He went to his sons and taught them.  He went back to the Continue reading Let Us be Men

Making Moments: Adventure


TabToday Tootles and I went on an adventure! Jenni and Lunch Bucket went to a bridal shower, so Tootles and I went on an adventure while they were gone.

TabWe drove to a downtown area, where we stopped at a gardening store (my choice) and a candy store (Tootle’s choice) and bought some licorice. We also stopped at a music store (my choice), and a small park (Tootle’s choice). But I realized the adventure would be cut short when Tootles started emanating a suspiciously unpleasant scent. Unfortunately, I hadn’t brought a diaper bag.
TabSo we left after the park – but not before the part of the adventure where we discovered bear tracks! They were in the grocery store in the ice-cream section, so we took some home. Soon Tootles had bear tracks all over his face.

Tribute: I Love You, Mom!

Tis the season to feel guilty,
Mourning that the house is filthy,
Screaming kids and lazy father,
Makes me wonder why I bother,

Now that mother’s day’s approaching,
Listen to the old-folks’ coaching,
Think of all your rotten mistakes
Work, and just ignore the back-aches

Spare me.

Every year I hear the wonderful things about mothers, and I love it, but every year I hear mothers complain because it makes them feel so terribly inadequate.
I think it’s sad that mothers hearing about how wonderful mothers are makes them feel guilty.  Of course they feel inadequate!  They’re are inadequate.
Has any mother really been adequate to Continue reading Tribute: I Love You, Mom!

Making Moments: Mickey’s Ogre

Today with Lunch Bucket’s help, I brought Mickey and some of the other stuffed animals to life.  I helped Mickey, and Lunch Bucket helped Bree (my stuffed animal horse).
Mickey and Bree built a castle for Mickey, but then a humungous ogre came and crushed it.
So to defend themselves against the ogre, they put up a fort – which he was able to climb over.
So they got together as a team and attacked him full-on.  They were able to knock him over, but the ogre was resilient, and got back up and tromped through their fort and castle rubble.
mickeys-ogre1 But then Raggedy Anne (with Jenni’s help) came and explained to the group that their ogre was actually a cute little nice boy.  So they befriended Tootles, the “ogre.”  And played hide-and-seek with him until bedtime.

Making Moments: To the Park!

I love this time of year.  It’s getting lighter in the evenings, and the weather is significantly warmer.  Jenni and I took the kids to the park.  That was a lot of fun.  There were other kids on the playground, so I was a little shy to get up there with Lunch Bucket, but soon both found it fun to dig in the sand with me.
We built a couple of miniature castles with dragon caves and roads.  Very simple, but very fun.
Jenni had a great time with Tootles on the playground bridge.  He could hardly stand up unless he held the side bar, but he seemed to love it.

Making Moments – 4 and 5 November

Making Moments

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

I used to love sitting on the heater vent when I was a kid, so when the heater started up tonight, I grabbed a large blanket and called Lunch Bucket into the room.

Using my head to hold up the blanket, I sat and created a tent. Lunch Bucket loved it. She’s small enough that she had room to move around.

We pulled Toodles in for a moment, but being surrounded by blanket is not Toodles’s idea of a good time. Then Lunch Bucket suggested we get her tent.

Jenni’s parents built a tent for the kids last Christmas. It’s made of cloth and PVC, built just like a teepee.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

I got to babysit tonight. Lunch Bucket insisted we get out the warm tent again, so we did. As we lay back on pillows, we somehow we started talking about Jesus. Though I can’t recall the exact wording, the conversation went something like this:

“Jesus is nice, huh?” I said.

“Yes. Jesus is nice. Jesus is wearing big white.”

Her pronunciation of white could have meant light, since she usually pronounces Ls like Ws.

“Does Jesus have a lot of light?”

“Jesus has a white dress.”

“When did you see Jesus?”

“I saw Jesus… last night.”

After this she changed the subject and wouldn’t go back to it. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lunch Bucket did see Jesus yesterday. I wouldn’t be surprised if most tiny children see Him often.

Kid Friendly Gardening


My 6 month old loves the out-doors. Sometimes we get out a blanket, lay him down, then kick back and enjoy the weather – that is, until he makes his way to the edge of the blanket and starts vigorously sucking on the cheese-weeds. We grab him, place him back on the center of the blanket, and hand him a toy to divert his attention. Next thing we know, he’s got his face in the crabgrass. After two or three more attempts to reposition and distract him, we finally give up and decide he’d be better off gnawing on the living-room carpet.

My two year old thinks every plant below her eye-level is a flower. One of her favorite outdoor activities is running around the yard, picking “flowers” to give Momma. Few things cheer my wife more than getting a toddler-fist size bouquet of dandelions, morning glory, and clover. The trouble occurs when her fist is full of squash-seedlings, lettuce, and bean-sprouts.

I’ve decided that I’m not really trying to raise a garden at all. I’m raising kids, and if I can use the garden to help me raise my kids, then the garden is worth my time. I’ve decided that if a plant can’t take a few kicks, stomps, and picks, it’s probably not worth the effort. Kids aren’t usually strong enough to pull a plant up by the roots, but they can sure mangle leaves, so root-based vegetables will probably be able to pull through. Things like lettuce or swiss chard will grow so bountifully that however many times you rip out the leaves, they’ll keep growing.

I also decided to make my garden circular, with a grass-strip down the middle, like two half moon gardens. The path allows the kids to run up and down the middle of the garden without stampeding the veggies, and the circular shape makes it easy to water. It also makes it so I can easily put the sprinkler in the middle of the two gardens. If I turn the sprinkler on high enough, it provides a liquid force-field to keep out toddlers for a short time. As much as they like running through the sprinklers, few are brave enough to venture anywhere near the center of the spray.

Most kids over the age of one have lost the burning desire to stick every existing object into their mouths, but a few go through withdrawals and try it while playing in the yard, so it might be wise to research your vegetables before planting them to make sure there are no other parts (stems or leaves especially) that might be poisonous.

For some kids, the real fascination is with the raw dirt. This might be remedied by making a sand-box. If you’re worried about cats, get an under-the-bed storage container with a lid and fill it with sand. The lid will keep out cats, and your kids will get their fill of dirt.

Kids love outdoors, and gardens make the outdoors more exciting. Let them be involved in the gardening process, and they will grow up finding yard-work a fun family experience. And don’t go bananas over the quashed carrot-tops and the prematurely picked pumpkin “ball.” After all, your kids may enjoy them more that way than they would eating them off their dinner plate.