Monday, March 30, 2009

Now There's a Mental Image You Won't Soon Forget

I know some of our more rural friends and relatives will find this hard to believe, but our backyard is teaming with critters after dark. We've sat in the hot tub late at night and watched opossums cross from one side to another and seen a whole family of raccoons walking along the fence. Of course, the coyotes (outside the fence!) are the reason we're no longer cat people.

Anyway, this is what happened Friday night. You will have to use your imagination. No video, sorry. We've already sent it to Amercia’s Funniest Home Videos. Our $10,000 check is surely in the mail.

It's 2:44 a.m. Sparky is outside (oops). He starts barking his "how dare you!" bark. Lisa sits straight up in bed, grabs cheese from the fridge and sprints outside, turning on all the yard lights. Sparky's got something cornered in the yard and is not interested in cheese. Barking. Hissing. An opossum lunges at Sparky and he yelps like he's been bit. Lisa screams and inexplicably throws the cheese in the pool (somehow finding the time to think: "Great! That was dumb-now I'll have to fish that out later...") Amateurs

Lisa moves to plan B: the hose. She just gets it turned on when, from out of the doorway, appears her hero! Jeff (in underwear) staggers from house bearing a 3' Maglight in one hand and "tire-knocker" (whatever that is) in the other. Dah-duh-duh-dah! Jeff studiously avoids the opossum. "It has teeth!" he yells and goes for dog. Meanwhile, Lisa has finally gotten the hose untangled and blasts the water but has unfortunate aim. Cold water. Everywhere, including our hero. The combatants separate and Jeff captures Sparky. Opossum, Sparky and Jeff all wet. Opossum saunters off. Jeff towels down. Sparky gets hugs (not from Jeff). No harm, no foul. Return to bed. 2:58 a.m.

And the boys slept on….

Most people don’t know that Opposums have the most teeth of any mammal. 50.

(mostly written by Jeff with edits by Lisa, because she just can't help herself)

Friday, March 20, 2009


I have been informed by Bryce that his lawyer will be contacting my lawyer, that I had contracted not to use his likeness in any blog without his permission. Technically, he only told me I couldn't use the video I have from the talent show so I don't think he has a legal leg to stand on.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Many Faces of Bryce

Bryce was very busy last week.

This is Bryce the Orator. So it's Thursday (the week before last), and Bryce mentions, casually, that he has a speech tomorrow. Me (with surprise): "Oh?" So he slaps some notes on a few cards and gives me his schpeel. It's rough. The data is thin. I say, "Dude, it's a little weak." He sheepishly agrees. But, hey, he's in 6th grade, he's getting all A's, and it's not like he's gonna flunk out. AND, did I mention, his speech is the next day? OK, well, he works on it but we agree there's not enough time for a total re-write. (I think I have senior-itis too)

Well, guess what. He comes home the next day with a 40 out of...40! Really? Who's grading these things? AND, he has earned one of the two spots from his class in the school wide competition to occur the following Tuesday (now, last Tuesday). Now, his teacher (who I think is AWESOME) did say he got in on the strength of his presentation and he'd need to beef up the content for the competition. His dad's DNA is paying off in a big way! Incidentally, his topic was solar power (another nod to the pop) and my favorite line was:
"So, be the first to save some green, and I don’t just mean money!"

He did great with his new and improved speech (although some of those nasty facts did get in the way of his natural spontaneity with the crowd). However, he got beat out by a 5th grader who seriously scared me out of ever drinking bottled water again!

While this was going on, he also was an MC for the talent show two days later:

He was practicing at least 2 hours 2-3 times a week for this gig! I guess all those lessons in sarcasm are really paying off because many people remarked on how funny he was. He really was quite the showman.

This is Bryce the Phantom. (great costume, don't you think? OK, I missed that picture, but he looked REALLY similar!)

This is Bryce as Frenchy from Grease. In another scene he played a Valley Girl (OMGosh! I'm glad the brothers didn't see those!)

This is the entire MC group...

But this one's my favorite!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Rocks, Princesses & Fish

The youth in our church have been working on a "roadshow" for the last 6 weeks. This is a 9 minute original production put on by each ward (congregation) which we performed last Saturday in two locations (perform, drive to new location, perform again). We have spent many hours peparing. Our show was written and directed by the incomparable Lincoln Hoppe, music by our very own Bishop, Alan Williams, and costumes by the multi-talented and generally amazing Janelle Dahl (she, unfortunately, does not have her own website...), and general nagging by me and the other young women leaders. At one point I heard: "Sister Peacock, you're scaring me!" and "Sister Peacock, you should try St. John's Wort. It can do wonders!". Hmm...I wonder what that means? I'll have to look into that...

Our story follows poor Jeff as he tries to figure out what he wants to be when he grows up for a school project as he deals with the common problem of having a ninja following him at school.

In order to help him, his father tells him as series of nonsensical stories. The clip below shows two of the three stories--the first one about rocks and the second one about princesses.

(you may recognize the "Sarjent" and the rock in line next to him...) I worked mainly with the princesses. Trust me, you'll be singing this little ditty for days!

Then there is a story about fish with only "bubbling" and swimming. The next day Jeff is at school and finds that each story helps him face his ninja, using moves he learned from each of the stories. Of course, they all live happily ever after!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Failure No More

I need a new challenge. Bryce and I FINALLY attempted the bread thing again, with much improved results!

I included a picture of myself ONLY to prove that it was actually me making it, and I didn't buy these perfectly browned loaves at the bakery! (Note to self: Do not wear black while baking bread.)

I couldn't wait to see how we did, so we had to cut into a loaf right out of the oven. We had a lot of testers (see below re: BYU housing applications).

I think it went down pretty smooth because... This is what was left 2 minutes after slicing! Now Jeff thinks we need to purchase our wheat in bulk so that I can bake bread every week. I'm thinking we better see how it goes. Four loaves does not a baker make.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Ready, Set, ERROR!

BYU housing opened up for applications 7am California time on Saturday. Justin and 3 other friends are hoping to share a 4-person suite in the dorms, so their place in the queue will determine the order in which they get to pick their rooms. In preparation, they all stayed over at our house on Friday night, armed with laptops and their net id's. Despite playing video games until the wee hours of the morning they were up at 6:30 logging in and getting ready to log in the application at 7:00 sharp!
So they're in! Each one has a different place in the queue but all is well. Until....

Error! Illegal operation! Log in again! AAARGH!

The frustration level was high as each one got various error messages. Do they wait for the server to catch up? Do they log out and then back in? What to do? Justin was the first one in at 7:09, but then it froze up as he was finishing his application so he had no idea if it submitted or not. Mitchel was the last to get in about an hour and a half later and then at that point they all started getting their confirmations... Keep your fingers crossed!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Look Like an Egyptian

Our elementary school has a tradition. Every spring the 6th graders study Egypt and make plaster masks of their faces. You start with a clean face and schmear it with vaseline.

Then, the designated parent (me) starts covering that lovely slippery face with wet plaster strips.

Wait. Here's the best part:

Yep. Nagging problem solved!

Now there are two!

President's Day in St. George

The boys had a rare 4-day weekend over President's Day in February.
So here's your practice SAT math question: Our nephew Jackson had a baseball tournament in St. George so Jeff had a brainstorm that we should go see him play and we could stay with the grandparents in their rented 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house along with Jackson's family (Kaysville Peacocks) of 7. Only, 5 of the 7 Kaysville Peacocks could not make it, but Jeff talked his sister Michelle's family (Lindon McGills) of 6 into coming. They never take much convincing, they're always ready to party. What is the total body count for the weekend?
I'll help:
5 Valencia Peacocks +
2 St. George Peacocks +
7 Kaysville Peacocks -
5 Kaysville Peacocks+
6 Lindon McGills =
15 total bodies in 3 bedrooms and 2 baths.
AND, Grandpa Bruce didn't want Grandma Joyce to worry about the arrangements so he told her about the addition of the Valencia Peacocks and Lindon McGills THE DAY BEFORE we arrived ;)
AND, even though it was Jackson's party and his family held seniority in the queue, this is where he and his dad slept:
Course, Jeff thought it would be funny to wake them up by pushing the panic button for the car, but he settled for just opening the garage door on them one morning. His brother Brad is apparently used to his antics, I guess, cuz it didn't even faze him.
Brad professed to be quite comfortable in the garage.
All of the close quarters did alert us to the fact that Justin sings in his sleep. Yes, sings. (Fortunately there wasn't a question about that on his BYU housing application, or Pat might change his mind about rooming with him!) Apparently he goes to sleep with his iPod on and spontaneously breaks into song throughout the night!
Anyway, back to the festivities. There were lots of games...
Jackson's an amazing ball player and his team made it to the finals on Monday after we had gone, but unfortunately lost to a team from Las Vegas that we're sure had faked their birth certificates to shave 5 years from their ages.
In addition, we...
played golf (how did they talk Zack into this?),
ate (a lot. Remember the previously oft discussed bread?),
visited Zions,


and had a generally splendid time with some of our favorite people!