Monday, March 24, 2014

Rubber bands

If you didn't know how to shoot a rubber band in my house while growing up, you were in trouble.  Rubber band fights were a common occurrence and how to shoot a rubber band with zing was an important life skill.  I'm not kidding.  A rubber band gun is no match for a rubber band shot by my dad.  Fortunately, I was a quick study.  I could shoot those things with some serious precision, and still can just ask Ian...he got a rubber band to the forehead last night after the fifth request to pick up Legos was ignored.

When I was in 7th grade, I was annoyed by a boy named Bill.  I finally had enough and luck would have it I was sitting a couple seats behind him and had a rubber band with me.  I let it rip.  It hit him so hard it bounced off him and onto the floor near where the teacher stood.  Bill got in trouble for shooting the rubber band and I sat quietly in my seat pretending not to notice.  To his credit he took the entire lecture and never implicated me.  I should have said thank you.  I never did.  Poor Bill.

Last week my dad was here visiting and saw with horror the sad state of my offspring's rubber band shooting abilities.  He quickly rectified that situation.  In the days since he left, I've tried to explain to my husband how the weaponizing of rubber bands occurred.  But really, I think it is just in the genes...or the jeans.  I just pulled fifteen rubber bands from my washing machine)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Repelling and Shot Guns

Sometimes I wonder if it is wise to let Dad's be in charge of their own children.  A Dad's definition of safety is different from a Mom's for sure.  When I was a young girl, I remember a time my dad was in charge.  We climbed to the top of the roof.  Then my dad rigged up the chimney to be our belay and we proceeded to repel off of the roof and into the sandbox below.  Rumor has it that my mom received a phone call the next morning from a neighbor asking if everything was alright.  I imagine that it was quite a sight to see four little kids jumping off the roof, scrambling back up again, and begging for more.

I remembered repelling off the roof when Jared brought home this video of Eric shooting a shot gun for the first time.  I tried to remember how proud I was of myself when I was repelling, how I felt like I could take on the world, and not judge Jared's parenting.  I hope Eric felt like he could conquer the world.  However, I doubt Eric was begging for more.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Eric's Best Birthday, Ever

In our house, ten is the best birthday, ever.  On Tara's 10th birthday, she got tickets to a Taylor Swift concert.  It was a fun experience for Tara and me.  Eric has been worried for a while that he would have to go to a Taylor Swift concert for his birthday too, or worse a Justin Bieber one. The suspense was killing him and pretty much all the other kids too as they tried to guess what Eric's best birthday ever would be.

The day finally came and he got to open presents and find out what his birthday gift was.

That's Eric holding a ticket.  A ticket that gives him permission to fly in a WWII airplane.

The next weekend Eric went to the Texas Air Museum.

He was able to be the copilot of a 1953 Beechcraft T-34A aircraft.  How awesome is that?

He got to fly the plane for a little bit too.  He was happy to inform me that you don't turn an airplane, you tilt it.  And he was able to tilt it right and left before turning the joystick back over to the pilot. He also let me know that he was happy to be on the ground too.  His stomach was feeling a little crazy.  His words not mine.

When he was back on the ground, he was able to help fix another aircraft.  The aircraft was having issues with its landing gear.  They wouldn't go up after take off.

He helped repair the plane by putting the body pieces back on after the mechanics made their adjustments, and then got to watch it make a test flight!  Pretty awesome to see something that you have worked on fly through the air!  His engineering mind was in hog heaven.  Seeing how things work, building stuff, and flying a plane.  Yep, best birthday ever.

He came home happy and tired.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tastes like Kit Kats

"Mom, Mom, MOM!  I need to eat a bug," Ian declared.  Not one to interfere with the needs of my children, I told him to go ahead and find one in the back yard and eat up.  "No, Mom.  It has to be a clean bug."  No problem.  Just catch something in the back yard and come wash it in the sink before you swallow it down.  "No, Mom," his exasperation growing by the minute.  "You have to give me permission!"  I just did, Ian.  Eat a bug.  I don't care!  Obviously we are not on the same wave length.  "I need to have this experience in my life, Mom.  You have to write a permission slip so I can eat a bug in science class."

I wrote a permission slip that basically said I don't care what my child eats.  And then I waited.  When he came off the bus the next day I asked if he ate a bug.  Nope.  Ian let me know that 11 kids had to sign up before the eating could begin because that is how many bugs come in the package.  I asked how many other kids had brought permission slips from home.  Only 1.  I figured it would be a while if ever for Ian to eat a bug, and so it left my mind.

Fast forward about two weeks and Ian came bounding off the bus.  Running full steam until he collided with my legs nearly knocking us both down.  Then he pointed proudly to the pin on his chest.  "I ate a bug club"  And began talking at the speed of light.  "Mom, I ate a bug today.  (A chocolate covered cricket).  I was the very first kid in my class to eat it.  Everyone watched as I took a bite and started rubbing my stomach and saying, 'mmm, mmm' It tasted just like a Kit Kat.  Oh, and I made another kid throw up."  Wait, what?  Apparently the other little boy was so grossed out by the idea of happily eating a bug that he tossed his cookies.  Much to the pleasure of Ian. 

Oh and for additional proof, Ian brought home the packaging.  I laughed out loud at the content label.  Awesome!  One oven roasted cricket.  That makes it so much better.  But only 30 calories, I'm guessing that is a lot less than a Kit Kat, so maybe we will all be snacking on chocolate covered crickets soon.

Monday, April 15, 2013

I Double Dog Dare You

One thing I love about the holidays is spending time with family. I love the late night discussions and reminiscing about old times. It is so much fun to sit around sharing stories. It is great fun when some of those stories create a feeling of shock from your parents. The high pitch squeal of a mother, "I didn't know you did that!" is priceless.

It reminds me of the time that Jared finally fessed up to being the kid who cut the phone wire. Everyone in the family thought it was Brent...including Brent. Jared managed to cut the wire, cover it up, convince Brent to dig in that area, point out the cut wire and convince Brent that he was the one who did it. Twenty years of blame accomplished in a few short minutes. Shame on Jared!

You know what? As fun as those conversations are, it really stinks to be on the parent end. I thought I had twenty years before I understood that feeling. I was wrong, and here is the story that created the high pitch squeal of "I didn't know you did that!" that escaped from my mothering lips.

We were in the car as another wave of quiet hit. The one that indicates it is time for a subject change. "I've tasted pee!" confessed Ian. "What?!" I exclaimed as I tried to focus on keeping the car in the correct lane of traffic. "Why?  Why would you do that?" I gasped.  "Oh, Eric dared me to drink my own pee and if I did it without making a face or throwing up he would pay me $20 bucks," Ian cheerfully volunteered.  "Eric, is this true?" I questioned while desperately hoping that it wasn't. "Yep." "Well did you at least pay him?"  You know, like that would make it better somehow.  Ian quickly interrupted.  "Naw, I made a face so you know, no money."  I managed to catch a glimpse of Eric in the rear view mirror.  He was smiling the Cheshire cat grin.  Shame on Eric!

I've decided we need a family home evening lesson on why not to take dares, especially from your brother.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Family Olympics

We were invited to participate in a night of Olympic competition, family style.

Showing our muscles before the competition began.  I especially love how Keeks is practically shaking and how bored Eric looks.

Kyra and Amy show our team uniforms.  Nothing but the best or at least the best we could do in 30 minutes before competition started.  What can I say; I'm a procrastinator.

The cheering section getting into the spirit.

Ian and I compete in the discus.  He did better than me, by a lot.

Jared getting some last minute coaching from the referee before he threw his javelin for a GOLD medal!!

Ian cheers for Eric after his BRONZE medal throw in the javelin.  The Shannon's ruled this event!

Amy is going to rock the chariot race. 

Kyra didn't want to run because her horse wasn't pink.  She and I ran the race together with her crying the whole time that she needed a pink horse to race. 

Tara ran hard in the short sprint

Rocking the face paint
Even the boys liked the paint

Then we all ran the relay.  Our family ran 13 laps to make a mile.  It was super fun with lots of cheering and some healthy competition.

We had a great time.  And we all got medals to prove it .

Thursday, October 4, 2012


I called to Kyra, "It's time to get in the car and get the big kids from school."  She asked me to wait so she could get her things.  You never know what things will be important for a four year old to bring on a trip around the corner.  A toy, blanket, umbrella, who knows.  On this day she came carrying her Book of Mormon. 

"Keeks, are you bringing your scriptures today," I asked.  "Yep. They tell you the way to go.  That means they're a map," chirped Kyra

The simple faith of children is a remarkable thing.