Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oprah’s Not the Only One With a Secret Sibling

Oprah made news yesterday with the fact that she had a secret sister.  Well, she’s not the only one harboring a secret!  There is a 4th Jonas brother.

Yes, that’s right, you’re hearing it here first…

He’s not deformed or anything, if that’s what you’re thinking.  In fact, he’s arguably the best looking one!  He’s got mad guitar and vocal skills too!  Maybe that’s why they don’t talk about him…he’s TOO good.

For the first time ever, pictures of Joshua Jonas, or “JJ” as he’s affectionately called by his family, are being released:

Joshua the 4th Jonas

Only recently have we been able to PIECE it all together…


Here’s JJ going incognito with the family he often hangs with…


Monday, January 24, 2011

George Gains a Major Award

A family tradition


Played out this Christmas.


Proof that my baby brother was the instigator (sorry mom!)


Complete with a crate marked fragile (pronounced FRA-GEEEEE-LAY), so I’m sure it came straight from Italy. Oh look, you can see he knows what it is! Look at that happy face!



(who deserves it more?)


Denice admiring the hardware…Mom peeking around the gam, thinking about where she left her feather duster.  It MUST need dusting (oops! I can’t think WHAT could have happened!!!)


Dad!  You shouldn’t be looking up the Award’s shade like that!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Exceptionally Agreeable

I have noticed that as I have aged, I have become increasingly specific about how I think things should be.  As I have been wont to tell my mother,

“It is such a BURDEN

to have an OPINION


I do realize (and have had it pointed out to me) that this makes it difficult to help me do things like grocery shop, cook and other tasks that can be typically delegated.

Jeff and I were looking forward to a few “staycation” days as his work had shut down for the holidays and the boys were going to be off on a youth retreat.  We resolved to act like we were away by ignoring the phone and computer and any jobs we needed to do at home.

I made my own personal resolution to be EXCEPTIONALLY AGREEABLE.  That is, I was going to be pleasant and malleable on all matters inconsequential.  Mellow as the month of May (is May really mellow?).

It worked like a charm.  I felt peaceful and happy and I know Jeff noticed the positive effects (especially when I pointed out how exceptionally agreeable I was being!)

This is great!  Why don’t I live this way ALWAYS?  What a RELIEF not to care about whether he salts the water BEFORE it boils or AFTER it boils!  How PLEASANT it is not to care that he took the LONG way to get home from the grocery store where you have to make TWICE as many left turns or that he bought GALA apples instead of PINK LADIES!  And, I think he LIKES me better (he always loves me, but I think I can be, well, a little, um, exasperating at times…)

It was a great experiment.  I knew my time of being EXCEPTIONALLY AGREEABLE had come to an end when this came out of my mouth:

“So…did they not have any GREENER bananas at the grocery store?

Well, it was good while it lasted!  *SIGH*

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pancake and Pumpkin #6


This is Lexie, aka Pancake.

She is our niece (cousin to the boys).

She lives in Utah so we don’t see her as often as we’d like and when she was little she was a little shy (not in general, as we’ve come to find out, but just of us…)

One time when we were visiting her house, Jeff came upon her eating pancakes and thus christened her “Pancake” and the name stuck.  He worked and worked during that trip to make her fall in love with him.  She liked her new name and she was sold.

But it didn’t stop her from toying with us—making us work for her twinkle every time we came back.

We visited again this year over New Year’s.  Pancake took a shine to Tyler (it must be his new cologne, he’s been getting that reaction a lot lately:)


It was rare to see one without the other for 6 days.

The other day, Tyler got a call.  Ya, a real one where they SAY words instead of TYPE them.

“Hi Lexie!”

Lexie had “borrowed” her older sister’s phone while she was napping so she could call Tyler.

Of course, there were long periods of silence interspersed with words here and there.  She still makes us work for it.

Her sister found her with the phone and informed Tyler that he was “Pumpkin #6”.

Apparently, Lexie has a list of things/people she likes (kind of like Santa, I guess…) and Tyler’s made it to #6!

Maybe if he works really hard in the coming year he can move up in the rankings!!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

But Did I Mention…?

That when Bryce called in to report his success (see below), he was informed that they (the scouts) had failed to actually collect mistletoe to sell and so would not be needing the arrangements with the store after all.

Heavenly Father has such an interesting sense of humor sometimes.

Winking smile

PS.  And for those of you patting me on the back, I don’t feel all that full of myself since this is the third and last kid and he’s already 13.  SO. It took me a long, long time to figure this out.  Too bad for the first two kids!  Somehow they seem to be surviving despite my somewhat haphazard approach to parenting.

Friday, January 14, 2011

She Can Be Taught!

In the course of my church job, we have been counseled to let the youth run their own program.  To really lead. To gain experience for themselves. This, in turn, is what we’ve been preaching to the Young Women (YW) leaders.  In all truth, it is NOT my strength.  Leading me to remember, randomly, one of our favorite quotes from that classic movie, “School of Rock”:

“Those that can't do, teach, and those that can't teach... teach gym.”

So far I have not been relegated to teaching gym.  Yet.

As a YW leader I always tried to give the YW opportunities to lead.  But, I consistently found myself taking over, doing it for them, and basically enabling.  I always justified… these girls have sooooooooooo much to do.  Church needs to be a safe haven from the stress of the world.  I can do this faster, easier, better  (oh yeah, there it is, the ego! OUCH!).  Much easier to teach than to do.

Bryce is in the presidency of his age group at church.  The Young Men have also been coached and mentored to step back and put the responsibility for the success of the program on the youth.  He was given the assignment to call three area grocery stores to see if their scout troop could sell mistletoe on a few selected Saturdays.  I groaned (inwardly).  I HATE asking for free stuff from stores.  More than I HATE going to the dentist.  My stomach is knotting up even recalling this. However, he seemed fine with the assignment and had a couple of weeks to accomplish his task.

Week 1 he writes out a script of what he’s going to say.  He emails it to his leader who gives it the thumbs up.

Week 2 nothing.  I consider calling for him.  As much as I HATE making those requests, it is tearing me up that my son will be exposed to chasing down the right person, stumbling over his words, and then possibly being rejected.  I’m projecting every fear I have on him.  But, in the end, I ignore it.  Maybe it will go away.

Week 3 Bryce asks me to remind him the next day to make his calls after school.  Each day we forget until we get to the day before the sale is supposed to happen.  He knows today is IT.  He gets on the computer and locates three victims stores and their phone numbers.

Then he got nervous.  He didn’t want to do it.  He was nervous.  What should he say (suddenly the script seemed drastically insufficient!)?   He was agitated.  I was agitated.  He laid down on the floor lamenting.  I had to physically leave the house to escape the overwhelming urge to do it for him.

I went and did some errands.  I had every expectation that when I returned I would find him in the same position on the carpet as when I left, perhaps softly snoring.

Instead I found an exuberant youth.  “I did it!  I did it!  I called all three! Two said ‘no’, but one said ‘yes’!”  At that moment, he was his very best self.

There is power for doing for yourself.  I would have robbed him of his power by doing for him.   I thought I understood that before, but now I know it and I will be stronger so that they can be stronger.