Monday, November 30, 2009

I guess he made it.

If you were astute enough to recognize the change to the blog banner, you will have realized that this is the defining moment where we officially welcome Miles into the Elmer family. After a 3 month trial period where he had to endure all sorts of obstacles to be considered vigorous and strong enough to be considered an Elmer such as the "laundry basket on the head" challenge which he passed with flying colors, or the "roll off the couch" obstacle which he again completed so flawlessly that we have unanimously decided to accept him as a True-Blue Elmer. Needless to say most of his challenges were overseen and carried out by his now two year old older sibling Bennett who also had to endure the same "hazing" process as did Miles and so he felt that he could carry it out without parental approval. So, Miles, because of your bravery in facing such daunting challenges and overcoming them with grace, poise, and sheer determinacy, we have awarded you a spot on the official blog banner. Congratulations and watch out for Bennett, he still thinks that the testing needs to continue.

In other news, last tuesday we decided to drive all night down to Floyd's Knobs, IN for thanksgiving to be with the Porters. However, a few hours before we were supposed to leave, Porter thought it would be a great idea to throw a bungee cord around our indoor fire sprinklers and they promptly went of drenching everything in our living room with gallons of water and fire suppressant. The TV, Couches, Chairs, Books, DVD player and all of Dad's games where soaked not to mention the 3" of water soaking the carpet and draining down to the Management office below us. Amanda grabbed the kids and bolted to tell management who came up and began the clean up process. Luckily most of the books, games, and couches could be dried out, but the managers said that the chemical that comes out with the water isn't great and we'd probably have to throw everything out. So what's a family to do when their apartment is soaked to the bone and their much needed vacation is looming just hours away? We just spread things out in the dry areas of our house and left them to dry while we made the 18 hour drive to Kentuckiana. We had a great Thanksgiving visit with the Porters launching rockets, eating turkey, and watching Brad propose to Jessica.

Since I only have 17 days left of class and deadlines for my projects are looming, Amanda decided to stay with the kids so that I could get my work done without having to feel guilty about coming home late. I guess she didn't realize that she and the kids are my anchor in this crazy world of academia and how much I rely on their presence to keep me sane, but hopefully I can get my work done and stay focused. Well, day two down and 17 more to go. I hope I make it. I love you Amanda.

"Wha'd You Say" Chronicles

In order to Chronicle all the funny things our children have said or done over the past few years, we've tried to chronicle them so that they will be able to look back and see how much fun it was to have them as kids. There were very few dull conversations in the Elmer house.

Maya "Porter was our first baby, then me, then Bennett, and Miles was our last baby."
Porter "Miles isn't the last baby we're going to have 17"
Maya "How do you know that?"
Porter "I can just feel it"
Maya "I'm going to have 100 babies when I grow up."
Porter "MAYA, 100's a lot"

Bennett (pulling on his onesie) 'uh off' (I want off)
Me 'you want your clothes off?'
Bennett 'clothes off'
Me 'why do you want your clothes off?'
Bennett 'uh pee on floor' (I want to pee on the floor)
Me 'No we don't pee on the floor. Do you want to pee in the potty?'
Bennett 'uh pee on floor'

Casey 'Where does Brad live?'
Porter 'With Jessica'
Cassey 'No he doesn't live with Jessica'
Porter 'Why'
Casey 'Because they are not married'
Maya 'But I saw them KISS'

Everytime we pass someone on the street, at the store, or wherever, Bennett says "HI" (sometimes repeatedly). Usually the person will say hi back, but sometimes they don't realize he is talking to them and don't say anything. I don't want him to feel bad so I say "Bennett, you are so friendly". Now he says "HI" then looks at me and quickly says "FRIENDLY".

Porter and Maya "ALERT! ALERT!, Bennett is getting out of his bed." (we put all three of them in the same room and now)

Maya "Mom, I saw grampy when he's carving and guess what, he first cuts it and then blows on it so it doesn't get hot."

Maya said "Mom, lets pretend we're cowboys and we live in a cabbage" (I think she was thinking cabbin)

When Porter jumps into the swimming pool he yells "Geranium"

I was talking to Casey on the phone and before I hung up I said "Ok, I'll see you in a bit" Porter asked "Mom, who's comming over?" I answered "Dad" and before thinking (assuming it was my sister) Porter quickly replied "Is she bring her kids?" (age 6)

Maya walked into the room and started singing "I want that boom boom pow" (age 5)

As I was giving the kids popsicles I asked Bennett "Do you want a popsicle?" and he started singing "Bi - sickle, bi - sickle". I think we listen to too much QUEEN. (18 mo)

One day as my sister was changing her baby's diaper Bennett walked over, pointed and said "Ooohh, gross". (18 mo.)

While playing at a fast food play place my niece got hit by another kid and her lip started bleeding. Later Porter was telling me about what happened and said "Addie had blood on her face (after a short pause he started singing QUEEN) 'she had blood on her face, the big discrace, kickin' her kind all over the place, WE WILL WE WILL ROCK YOU!'(age 6)

Me: "Do you guys want ants on a log for snack?"
Porter: "YEAH!"
Maya: "Uh...I just want the log"(age 5)

Maya "Momma, I just really want to stop sucking my thumb, but thats how Jesus made me."(age 4)

Brad (Porter's uncle): "Porter you're getting old."
Porter: "I'm not an old man sitting on a toilet reading a book!"(age 6)

Maya and I were sitting outside when she told me (in a questioning sort of way) "Mom, if I lay down in the road a car can't run over me?" I said "I think it could still run over you" and she said "oh yeah cause my head, heads are so fat."

One of Maya's friends mom's told her she had cute pig tails, and Maya said "they are not pig tails, they are poodle ears!"

Porter "Mom, why do your hands smell like THAT?"

Mom "Like WHAT?"

Porter sniffing furiously "I wish I had a dog, cause I cant tell"

During a discussion about how Porter is too young to have a girlfriend and how he can't have one until he comes back from his mission, he stood up on the couch and emphatically announced "I ALREADY HAVE A GIRLFRIEND" I asked who his girlfriend is and he yelled "NANNA"!

To keep the kids occupied during sacrament meeting, I gave Maya a bag of pretzels which she dutifully shared with her two brothers who were obviously starving, as well as the kids in the rows in front of and behind us. She turned to us and said in a kind of exasperated voice, "Everybody wants pretzels, but I don't have three arms."

Today in sacrament meeting a young man gave a talk and wrapped up his talk by saying, "In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." Maya looked at Amanda and said, "Mom, that sure was an interesting prayer."

Maya lying on Amanda: "Mom, your heart is beeping real loud, you must really love me a lot!"

Maya was having a play date with a friend when she started telling the friends mom about something Brad had gotten her for Christmas. The friends mom asked "Oh is that you uncle Brad? Where does he live?" Maya answered "he lives in Nana's house." The mom then asked "oh, does he live in Louisville?" Maya looked at her confused and she asked "Does your uncle Brad live in Kentucky?" and Maya said "no I SAID he lives in Nana's house." Then the friends mom asked "where does your Nana live?" Maya thought about it and said "I don't know but she surly lives on this earth."

Maya (in a whiny voice) "how come you guys always get to stay up late?"
Casey "we don't always stay up late"
Maya "yes you do and watch movies and eat junk!"
(Oh, how true it is, she must have been snooping around the plethora of junk food wrappings on our night stands.)

Porter was saying our family prayer and kept thanking Heavenly Father for sending Bennett to our family "because we didn't have any blondies in our family and now we do."

Porter asked Maya "when will you stop playing with horseys?"
and Maya answered "I don't know, maybe when I die."

Maya had drawn a picture of a blob with one eye and showed it to Dad. Casey said 'That looks like Bob' (a monster in a new movie coming out). Maya quickly told him 'Noooo, it's a Cyclopes.'

Porter was pitchin' a fit about having to take his "Red Eyeball" drops. He said 'I don't like drops, they hurt my eyes'. Casey then told him they are the same as tears, and Porter said (in a duh dad voice) 'yeah but tears come out of your eyes!'

This is from when Maya was a really young, but twice she ate something and responded with 'I thought it was candy but it's YUCK'. Once it was a bouillon cube, and once it was a paintball (like from a paintball gun).

Casey bought a bounty of junk food at the store one night. The next morning the kids were all lying in our bed and Casey said go downstairs and see what I got you. They rushed downstairs and came back up with doughnuts. Then Porter said "Dad, I saw that you also got a nut pie!". (in case you couldn't guess it was a pecan pie)

While trying to pry information from Porter I asked him if anyone had gotten in trouble at school that day. He quickly (and maybe a bit proudly) said "Yeah, me!"

After explaining to Porter that dead people are buried in Cemeteries, Maya asked us "why don't the animals dig up the bones and chew on the skulls?" (YIKES)

Upon seeing a homeless man Maya asked me about him and I made the mistake of telling her he didn't have a home (thinking this would make her grateful that we have a nice warm home to live in). She quickly said "Why doesn't he have a home?" I said I wasn't sure and she said "he can come live at our house", then she said "I know, he's a pioneer".

Maya told Addie "I love you Addie" and Addie said she loved Maya also. Maya then looked at Sarah and said "My favorite is actually Jesus and Heavenly Father, but I DON'T love Satan!"

After being told not to tease Maya, Porter told her "You have CRAZY eyes"

I was in a rush trying to get out of the house so I could go to recipe group and in my hurry I did not read scriptures with my children. I put them in bed and headed out the door. The next morning when I was waking them up the first thing Maya said to me was "Mom, guess what? Me and Porter read our OWN SCRIPTURES last night. I read one and he read one" Sure enough they had a bunch of scripture story books in their beds.

Bennett had a little bit of drool on his chin and Porter said "he had a little drip beard"

I lost my voice and when I was talking to Maya she kept trying to look into my mouth. Finally I asked "what are you doing?" and she said "I'm trying to see the frog"

As we were driving we passed a dead skunk and got a car-full of stink. A few minutes later we were still saying "Pew wee" and Maya asked "How the skunk still stinks?" Casey told her "well the stink just doesn't go away" to which she replied "but our stink goes away!"

I told Maya "I love you so much, you'll never know how much I love you" and she said "Mommy I love you more than a pony". I felt so happy because there is nothing Maya loves more than ponies, until she said "I love you one hundred and a pony only loves you one". She doesn't love me more than she loves ponies but she loves me more than a pony would love me.

I asked Maya who she played with today and she told me "that girl with the Dora 'pack-pack' she was just little but I made her my friend, and that rascal boy from Porters class"

While learning to ride her new bike Maya screamed as the bike tipped over, she then said "Yikes my bike is wobbly and I screamed like a little human"

As we were getting ready for church we were sitting around eating breakfast. Everyone was dressed except casey who was still in his pajamas and Porter said "Mom you look very beautiful, Maya you look very beautiful, Dad (pause) you look very undressediful)

Bennett had a stinky diaper and Casey kept calling him stinky butt. After changing the diaper Casey said "ok there you go stinky butt" and Maya said "It's not nice to call humans stinky butt"

As we got into a boiling hot car after church, Porter said "Is this how a bacon feels when it gets cooked?"

While discussing why people have all different skin colors (again) we got onto the topic of albinos, when Maya (in a that’s not fair voice) says "how come we're not albinos and Bennett is, cause he has white hair?"

Maya : "You know what chubby means?"
Me : "What?"
Maya : "It means your not fat you're cute. Mommy you're chubby"

Who Says You Can't Learn Anything from Cartoons (Part 2): While driving down to Nana's house in Louisville, the kids watched 3 hours of Looney Tunes. When we got there we went swimming and Porter took a diving ring, placed it on his head and said, "I'm from Heaven."

Maya was talking in here sleep after a long day of playing and catching frogs at Nana and Grampys house and this is what she said: Oh, I really want a froggy but my mom said NO

Someone's been listening to a little too much Johnny Cash. While listening to the song In The Jail House Now on the best of Johnny Cash CD I had this conversation.
Maya: "Momma, why's the little boy in the jail house now?"
Me: "I don't know why Maya, I'm not sure what he did to get put in the jail house"
Maya: "Maybe it's because he brunged his guns to town"
(I'm sure all you Johnny Cash fans know where she got that idea from. We'll just call her the gal in black)

While discussing where bees come from Porter told me "I know where they come from. First bees are mosquitos, then...then...then" He never decided what they become after they are mosquitos and before they become bees.

While looking up into the sky Porter asked me "Mom how could you get to the moon? In a car or an airplane?" I told him neither and he said "But an airplane can go in the sky". I told him that it can go in the sky but not to the moon and he said "Well if you told the driver it could!"

As we were walking the other day Porter walked up to my friend Elaine and out of the blue asked "Elaine, why do you always have a smile on your face?"

While walking back from visiting the horse stables Maya looked up at me and said "Mom what if a jaguar lived here with the horseys?" I said "I don't think the horses would like it very much because jaguars eat horses." Maya laughed and said "MOM jaguars don't eat horses they eat REINDEER!"

Maya had a dental appointment where they put her to sleep and when they were doing the pre-screening Maya said to the guy "excuse me" he said "yes?" and she said "the other day when we were getting ready for church I put a hair tie in my ear" I though to myself what a weird child I had and we continued the appointment. A few minutes later Maya started shoving her finger in her ear saying "I want to get that hair tie out so I can see what color it is" I asked her if she had a real hair tie in her ear, and after checking I discovered she really did! (the anestesiologist fished it out for us)

I walked into the living room and Maya was sitting in a chair rubbing a cheese grater on her stomach. She looked up at me and said "mom I'm cheesing myself!"

We were watching Weird Al videos on you tube the other night and the kids really liked the video of Fat. So the next night Maya was wanting to watch it and asked Casey "Can we watch the one with that fat guy with crazy hair like mine?"

Porter to Maya
P: Maya don't suck your thumb cause if you do your teeth get all crinkley and you have to go to the doctor and the dentist will put on bracelets and use special glue. That's what Hanny told me when she got her bracelets.

I hardly ever wear my glasses but put them on today and Maya looked at me and said "Mom, you look like a teacher, cause teachers have glasses!"

While eating dinner at Sams Club Maya excitedly said "Look what that girl is doin'" I looked and saw a woman sweeping the floor and thinking that couldn't be so exciting said "What?" Maya then said "She's sweepin' off the floor (Maya then paused and looked around) she could sweep this area because it's all dirty wordy"

The gospel has led to some recklessness in the Elmer household as of late. Driving in the car, we saw a biker and the following is the conversation that ensued:
Porter: I can't wait to be a dad so I can ride a motorcycle.
Dad: Porter, Poppy doesn't like motorcycles, they're dangerous.
Maya: Yeah you can get hit and fall and break your body open and your bones and your blood.
Porter: That’s okay, i'll be resurrected.

Porter had some keen observations at General Conference today. When Elder Bednar started talking he said, "He kind of looks like Obi Wan Kenobi when he fights Darth Maul". When Elder Ballard got up to speak, he said, "Elder Ballerina? Ha, That's Funny!"

While driving in the car Bennett was pretty fussy, and after a few minutes of trying to ignore it Maya yells "Geez Loueez child, you're being noisy!"

The other night while reading scriptures we read the story of Christ’s birth. We were reading the Scripture Story Books so there were drawings to go along with the story. When Porter saw the drawing of Mary he said
P: Is she alive or dead?
M: She is dead, why?
P: Because she is Beautiful.
M: What is so beautiful about her?
P: When I look at her face it makes me feel like I want to marry her.

"Awwww, Bennett's being so patient so I can get his boogers. He's just waiting and waiting" (Maya-after picking Bennett’s nose for him)

Maya (while licking the lid to the tub of laundry soap) "this tastes salty."

While at a friends house for family home evening, Maya who had been sitting on my lap sleeping suddenly sits up, looks at the mom (who was sitting next to me) and says "Excuse me." The mom says "yes Maya?" To which Maya responds "I'm not wearing any undies under my pants".

Maya fell asleep on the way to church this evening and when I woke her up to get her out of the car she said "mom I'm sleepy. (then angrily) You pestered my sleep!"

My kids like to pretend they are going to "New York-a" (I think they call it that because all the other place names they know end in A so why not New York? ex. Philadelphia, Indiana) and they say it all the time. So I asked them "What town would you like to visit?" (trying to get them to say New York-a for Casey) and Porter yelled out "Radiator Springs".

Maya: Ruff, Ruff, Ruff, Ruff, Ruff Ruff Ruff (in a high sing song voice)
Mom: Maya be quiet, Bennett is trying to sleep.
Maya: But the puppy is in the shower and he's singing a song.(holding up a toy puppy)
Mom: Tell the puppy to be quiet.
Maya: But you terrify him!

Who says you can't learn anything from cartoons? Today Porter told Maya "If you're blue, you're cold".

This is what Porter just asked me when he saw I was looking through all your blogs instead of getting PBS kids set up for him "Mom are you just looking at dot com and not setting up our game?"

Porter was trying to put his video game on two players so Maya could play with him but he kept clicking past the screen where you choose the number of players and every time he'd pass the screen he'd say "Oh no I’m such a FOOL"

As we were listening to the music on the blog the song "Right there waiting for you" came on and Porter and I had a conversation that went like this
P-I like girl songs
M-Is this a girl song?
P-Because it makes me think about girls (Pause) it makes me think about you actually.
M-Oh really
P-It makes me think bout when you're getting married with dad

Maya just said "Mommy give me a kiss and I'll give you a treat!" So I gladly kissed her and she pulled her hand from behind her back and rubbed my forehead with her finger. I said "what was that?" and she said "SNOT"

We had to go have a new battery put into our car and as we were standing in line (forever) the kids started playing "eye spy" Standing in line in front of us was an older lady and her grand daughter (who was probably 20). Maya was trying to find something and said "eye spy...." while looking at the people in front of us, and Porter quickly said "two beautiful ladies?" (The ladies sure got a kick out of that. What a charmer)

On the way home from a busy day and shopping we were listening to a Disney mix and the song "A whole new world" came on. Porter said "I hate this song. It makes me feel in love"

Today Maya was laying on a pillow and Porter took another pillow, placed it on her head and said "Oooh yum a head sandwich" As he lifted the pillows to take a bite she pulled her head out and ran off saying "Yikes I’m not the cheese" He then began chasing her around saying "Come here meat!”

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Rainy Day Update

Most days this is what we try to prevent from happening on a minute-to-minute basis, but Bennett loves smothering his little brother and quite often we hear Miles crying after he's been napping for a few minutes and this is why. Bennett has crawled into his crib with him and well, Miles doesn't like to share the covers.

So we try to get them outside to run their batteries down a bit and I even tried putting them all up in a big Ginko tree and leaving them there, but that backfired when they started throwing "Poopberries" down on me. If you've never smelled a ginko tree in the fall, it's the same smell you smell when you're trying to pinpoint the stink at the dinner table and you realize one of the kids has stepped in dog poop while outside. Utterly pleasant.

But sometimes if your timing is just right, you happen to catch a glimpse of a rare squirrel up in a tree storing nuts for the winter and the sunlight bounces off her fur just right and you realize, she really is a beautiful squirrel. (No, you can't over winter in the tree, I don't care how many nuts you've collected.)

And finally, if you set a trap in the sandbox using only your leather belt and dollar bills as bait, you might just catch a raving 6 year old who happens to be the richest 6 year old I know after selling his used transformers for $58 dollars. I think he's mostly worried he might not get to count his money, again, for the 35th time. (No you don't have enough yet to build a money bin Scrooge McDuck.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Guess who's two

The party is over and life with a two year old is keeping us on our toes. Bennett is really digging trucks so we had a little truck party for him.

Here he is sporting the cute birthday hat his friends Quincy, Allison, and Baby Aubree made him.
Can you see the excitement in his eyes? Fire and Yummy Carrot cake, does it get any better than this?

Notice how in the second picture his fork has migrated from his plate to the pan. Silly kid.

Good thing we had lots of helpers for the unwrapping. Bennett was pretty much clueless. He got a bunch of wooden trucks (from us) Some homemade cookies (from his friends Bella and David), a Mickey mouse club house DVD (from Quincy, Allison, and Baby Aubree), and tub of chocolate cat cookies (for people) from his friend (Emmie). What a great way to kick off the terrible twos!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Just this side of October.

It's been fall for a while now, but I thought you might enjoy what we've been up to as the air cools, the leaves fall, and the kids lose teeth.

Someone thought that Miles could use a small snack of Goldfish. I think his 2 yr old brother is the perpetrator of this thoughtful act.

Amanda convinced Porter that he could make some money on Ebay if he sold his Transformers that he never plays with anymore. So of course the money man is excited to get "$100" as he thinks there will be a bidding war over his battle damaged toys. Dad and Mom are not as certain as he is. We spent the better part of yesterday morning rounding up all the pieces we could find and unsurprisingly, only a few of them had every single piece.

Bennett was not happy with his big brother's plan to get rid of all those toys that he so desperately wanted to play with while we were trying to put together a million transformer pieces.

Amanda gets the kids outside almost everyday, especially when the weather is nice, and the kids love it. They usually just go to a nearby park and run around, and once in a while, pose for mom to let her know how happy they are that she is their "Teacher".

I think this was part of their Biology 101 class, or maybe it was Entymology 101. Either way, Bishop Gibb would be proud! I'm surprised he held that Katydid as close to the big ol' gap in his teeth as he did, it could have just crawled on in.

Bennett takes his trucks very seriously. Almost every morning he comes running into our bedroom and climbs on the laundry baskets to look out the window at the garbage truck that comes most mornings.

Maya loves showing her little monkey brother the ropes when it comes to climbing trees. Most days when we go outside, she can be found scurrying up a small tree or bush. I think she's a squirrel, or possibly an owlet.
But she also does well on the ground when she's frolicking among the leaves!

Most times when the kids are given apples to snack on, we'll find whole apples with a few nibbles out of them hiding under a couch cushion or rotting under the bed which initiated "Public Law 9002341. No Whole Apples for Children" which the president quickly signed off on. However, since they were outside and the President was in a generous mood, they each got their own apples. I think Bennett's face says it all, "You mean I get this whole thing to myself?"

The lot seems pleased by the Presidents leaniency. What a rag tag bunch!

Friday, November 6, 2009


A lot of people ask me how homeschooling is going, and although it's a complicated relationship (love/hate-maybe) I love my kids and enjoy having them around (most of the time). Here are a few of the moments I had time to grab the camera and snap a shot of the learning taking place around here.

Maya was going to the aquarium and was bummed that her daddy couldn't go, but he told her to take "Mental Pictures" and to come home and draw her favorite one so he could see what she saw. All through the aquarium Maya was holding up an imaginary camera and clicking pictures, then when she got home, she colored this beauty of a stingray, a turtle, and a starfish.

Nana got us these cute little chalk boards and we've had tons of fun with them. I don't know if you can tell, but Maya is showing her picture of a sand shark. They would draw pictures and try to guess what each other had drawn. It was a nice quiet activity:)

Play dough is always fun also. I gave in and actually bought play dough (I usually make my mother-in-law's recipe, it's great). Here is Maya showing off her "OWLET". Isn't she adorable?

One of the hard thing about homeschooling is all the stuff there is out there. I want to buy it all!

But sometimes we have to settle with what we can find in the recycle bin. Here are our tin can phones. We had talked about walkie talkies and the kids wanted some so bad. Casey told them about tin can phones, and we made them the next day. I think they were entertained for just as long with the tin can phones as they would have been with actual walkie talkies.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Can you believe this sweet baby weighed 10 lbs. 5 oz. at birth?

And instead of 'chockie meelk' he use to eat feet.

I always thought he was a really beautiful baby (even with splat-o all over his clothes)

So tell me how my sweet angel turned into a...TWO YEAR OLD?

Two year olds get busted lips,

have mischievous grins

And are always demanding something, but we love him non-the-less. Who can resist a face like this?

p.s. we will do his cake on saturday so those pictures are still to come.