Friday, December 9, 2011

Black Socks

Jarvis hated Chrismas. He didn’t even know who Chris was, but whoever he was, the guy couldn’t have been that great. What was the point of it all?

Jarvis trudged through the snow, his teeth chattering. Off to finish up his Chrismas List. He tried to remember what was on it… ah yes, some black socks. Well, now was a good time for new socks, that much at least he acknowledged.

He entered the store, the bell ringing as the door shut behind him. A salesperson grinned at him, “Last minute shopping, sir? We have all your last minute Chrismas needs and desires! Let me know if you need any assistance!”

Jarvis just shrugged the salesperson off. He stared at all the silvery, sparkly, glimmering, annoying decorations that snagged at him and fluttered against his forehead and blocked his way through the narrow aisles. Why was he here again?

Socks. Black socks.

He found the menswear aisle and grabbed the first pair he could find. They looked warm enough; most socks were this time of year. After scanning the purchase into his phone, he clicked ‘complete’ and closed down his Chrismas List for the season. Then he headed to the gift-wrap counter.

On his way home, he was half-tempted to open the box he had just purchased and put the new socks on his feet over the ones he was already wearing. It was so cold and his boots just didn’t keep out the moisture. But he didn’t do it. What would his Significant Other say?

When he reached the house, he stomped his feet at the door.

“Hey, we’ve all been waiting for you!” said Lorreinna after yanking the door open with excitement. “You ready to celebrate Chrismas or what?”

She just laughed when she saw his tired, resigned expression. “Lighten up, Jarvy. Everyone loves Chrismas but you, you silly man.”

They all gathered around the Chrismas tree then, ready to sing. Lorreinna went first.

“I’d like to sing Jingle Bells,” she said. Everyone laughed and then started singing together. Jingle Bells was always the easy first choice.

Lorreinna’s mother, who was sitting on the other side of Lorreinna, was next. “Oh, I pick Santa Baby,” she said. Everyone laughed again. Another easy one. Jarvis realized that he would be the very last person to choose. Why did this always have to happen to him?

To his growing discomfort, every last Chrismas song he knew was being picked, one by one. Baby, It’s Cold Outside, White Chrismas, Walking In A Winter Wonderland, Last Chrismas I Gave you My Heart, It May Be Cold But You Keep Me Hot, My Day My Way, Spend Spend Spend

And then suddenly it was his turn. One of his cousins smirked at him and he heard someone snicker. All eyes were on him. And he had drawn a blank.

“Just pick a song, Jarvis,” Lorreinna said impatiently. “We all want to open our presents!”

Jarvis blinked. “Frosty,” he finally sputtered. “Frosty the Snowman.”

As everyone joined in, speeding up toward the end to finish quicker, Jarvis sat back and mouthed the words. He couldn’t believe no one had picked that one yet. Off the hook.

Then, it was time for the Gifts.

“I’ll start,” Lorreinna called out.

“No way,” called Jarvis’ friend Melville. “It’s my turn. You started last year.” The bickering was beginning. Just another part of Chrismas that Jarvis hated.

He tried to tune it out until someone yelled, “Enough!” It was Lorreinna’s daughter, Kylinesma.

“I’ll go first since I’m the youngest,” she said, ripping the wrapping paper off of one of her gifts before anyone could argue. Inside was a sparkly pink necklace.

“Thanks to me!” she called out gleefully. “I finally get to wear this! I’ve had it for months and you can’t even imagine how much self-control it took not to open it a moment sooner! Oh I love it! Don’t you love it?”

She turned to Lorreinna with a satisfied smile and Lorreinna helped her clip it on.

“It’s beautiful, darling,” Lorreinna said. “You have great taste. But then, we all knew that.”

Kylinesma beamed and then it was the next person’s turn.

Stevenson, a friend of the family, opened a long box to reveal a new golf club. “So glad I finally get to use this!” he crowed. He stood up to swing it a few times and show it off to everyone. “It took me months to save up for it and I can finally go to the Greens now and show off my best swing!” Everyone laughed and clapped him on the back, congratulating him.

When it was Jarvis’ turn he opened his gift.

“Black socks,” he said sheepishly, holding them up for everyone to see. “They look warm.”

A few people murmured approval but then it was on to Lorreinna’s turn. She was much more showy and fun to watch than Jarvis ever was.

“Eeeee!” she squealed as she ripped open the smallest package in front of her. “A DIAMOND RING!” The room was full of shouts of congratulations and excitement as she slid the mass of sparkly diamonds and gold onto her finger.

Lorreinna glanced at Jarvis with an affectionate smile. “Everyone knows how much I’ve wanted this ever since Jarvy and I got together 5 years ago. Well, I finally have it. I’ve saved for sooo long and I finally have it.” She leaned over and gave Jarvis a long, meaningful kiss before getting up to show it off to the females in the room who were drooling all over themselves.

Jarvis sat back, watching. The ring was so big. He should have known her ring would look like that, and yet for some reason he was a little sad now that he had seen it. He thought a smaller ring, with a simple round diamond to crown it, would have been much more beautiful. But he was glad that she finally had what she’d wanted for so long.

Jarvis was now, thankfully, eliminated from the circle of gift-openers since he’d only bought himself one gift. He got up to get a soda and watch from afar as the others continued with their merry-making. He finally wandered outside, despite the fact that it had started snowing again, and gazed out into the street behind the house.

No, he really couldn’t get the hang of Chrismas. The holiday traditions of everyone he knew, carried on the shoulders of the department stores, sports stores, entertainment stores, and toy stores, just sickened him every year. At least his family and friends weren’t religious. He knew that in some of the smaller villages, people still worshipped the ancient Snow King, Santaclaus. That would have made Chrismas truly unbearable.

Whoever Chris had been, and for whatever reason this holiday had started so many, many years ago, Jarvis was ready for it to be over.

At least he had some black socks now. He went back inside to put them on.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Which one is best??

p.s. my favorite is the middle one, but jr.'s hand is blurry.

p.p.s. thank you Cam and Ryan and dinah. we love you.

Monday, November 14, 2011

why my floor looks so good.

this is seriously how my floor gets cleaned.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


what be bringin' ye here to me tavern table, BlackBeard Ben?

it surre be good seein' ye after all these years, matey.

i'll be cuttin' right to th' chase
and give it to ye straight, Long Junes.

i be givin' up me pirrate ways and
be turnin' meself in.

ye've got t' be jokin' me.

'tis no joke!
i be mendin' me ways and be leavin' 't all behind.

i be givin' up the sword farrever.

and what be more--
i be turnin' ye in as well.

aye, it be high time ye--

not s' fast thar,
ya yella-bellied landlubber!

didja really think i'd let ye turn me in?

i should send ye to Davy Jones' Locker without farrther ado,

but fer olde time's sake i'll give ye a moment
t' remember arrr glory days and reconsider.

don't ye remember the time i saved ye
from a martal wound on the deck of th' Merrily Roger...

or when we dug up th' booty
buried deep for a hunderrd years?

what about when i took over night guarrd duty for ye on Head-hunter Isle
so ye could lay down that lily-livered head o' yers?

or (shiver me timbers) when we fought the drreaded
ghouls o' Jack's Lagoon side by side?

aye, join me again and i'll let ye live, me hearty.

we'll be gentlemen o' farrtune again!
treasure, gold, all the ginger ale ye ever desired,
robbin', plunderin', adventure on th' high seas!

what say ye?

look, will thar be merrmaids?

aye, matey, aye.

that thar will be.

oh, put the gun away, LJ.
i'll join ye fer sure.

t' high tides and treasures!
and t' every--

i be hearin' somethin'!
who be thar?

and just who be YE?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Nice to know.

So this is something I've been wondering about for a long time-- did Jesus Christ suffer the pains of all the miserable women who have lived since the beginning of the world when he atoned for us? Does he know the agony of childbirth?

And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam. (2 Nephi 9:21 emphasis added)

Well according to this scripture I read last night, he did and he does. Nice to know.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Teacher, teacher

So lately we've been doing something I'm really excited about.

I don't have a car during the day so I can't take jr. to preschool anywhere. He's now 3 1/2 and I was feeling like he was really missing out. We did the preschool co-op thing in Utah at the beginning of the year, but that always stressed me out so bad when it was my turn to teach! (I would stay up until 2 a.m. cutting things out and preparing things perfectly, and the next day the kids would be running all over my house like crazy little chickens and just getting them all to sit down at once was a nightmare.)

So it just kind of happened-- a few weeks ago, jr. and I started having our own "preschool" together every day. I don't know why it never occurred to me before that I have all the tools I need in my own home. For some reason I thought that it only counted if it was official and someone else was doing it!

All morning we suggest things to each other that we could learn about in preschool that day. Then, when I put Bennett down for his nap after lunch, we have our little class together. Jr. calls me "Teacher" and is very attentive. We've learned about Africa, ducks, magnets, ladybugs, the jungle, keeping our body healthy, and many more fun things!

We have a little notebook where I write the date and the subject we are learning about, and then jr. tries to write the letter it starts with over and over again until it looks pretty good. He also has to write his name up on the right hand side.

Then we read a book about the subject, if we can find one on the bookshelf, and/or look at pictures of it online and read about it. For example, when we learned about bats we found a fun little web page with basic facts about bats and little pictures to go along with each fact. When we learned about snakes, we found some videos online of what snakes really look and act like.

Finally, we do a project. This part has the potential to be stressful or something but so far it's been really fun. We've made a mobile with glow-in-the-dark stars, done leaf rubbings, made our own book about dinosaurs, made jellyfish out of pipe cleaners. If I can't think of a fun little project to do, I go online and look. I got the idea to make a little bunny-ear hat there when we learned about rabbits. Or, if I'm beat and can't find anything we can always print off a coloring page and color it together.

All of this usually only takes a half hour or so and jr. absolutely loves it. After we do our little preschool, I let him watch a movie or a show, and we usually try to make it loosely match what we just learned about, if possible. If we don't have any applicable movies sometimes we can find something on Netflix. Then it's my time to relax but I don't feel so bad putting him in front of the t.v. because we've had our one-on-one time and worked hard together for a little while.

I know he's not getting the social interaction of preschool, which is something he really loves, so it will be great when he can be in school with other kids. But for now, this is working perfectly for us. Jr. really thrives on routine and repetition so it's fun to see him actually concentrating when I want him to-- it's easier to coax him to sit down and try to draw letters than it was before, for example.

So if you can't afford preschool or don't have a way to do it right now, I would totally recommend doing something like this! It's easier than you might think and really rewarding.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

a little announcement.

dad, can we get a shark?

You'll have to ask your mother on that one, boys.

please, mom? we'd take good care of him.

Guys, we're not getting a shark. No way.

ok, then can we get a lion?

lions are so cool!

No lions. Haven't you read our housing contract?



can we AT LEAST get another brother, then?

Another brother?

come on, mom!


Well, okay. Since you asked nicely.
Let's have another little boy around leap year day next year.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

the benny and junes show: just buzzin' around

to infinity... and beyond!
*rocketship noises*

i love Buzz.

*more rocketship noises*

hey joshy, wasn't there something else? another cool toy we had?

nah. Buzz is the ONLY cool toy.

no, wait, there was something else... i just know it...

oh yeah! Legos!