Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mercy Me

Paul has been getting into trouble lately for not turning in his homework. It is actually very unusual for him. Tonight, just as I was about to walk out the door for symphony rehearsal, he said, "Mom, do you know what mercy is?" I said, "Yes, but you tell me your definition." He said, "Mercy is when you don't turn in your homework again, but instead of grounding you from playing Webkins, your mom takes you to Dairy Queen."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Science Fairs


You know what the hardest part about having six kids is (besides cooking for eight, cleaning for eight, laundry for eight, shopping for eight, and noise)? Science fairs.  

Our kids start school in July since we have year round school here. Starting around August, we get these giant science fair packets for each child. Each packet has its own rundown of due dates for each component of the project: the big question, hypothesis, research, bibliography, experiment, materials, variables, results, graphs, conclusion, and display board. First off, honestly, how many BIG QUESTIONS do kids have that can be tested? My kids' big questions range from what boogers are made of to how the Holy Trinity works.

For five school years now, we have had the painful task of coming up with good science fair questions. We have had plants listen to classical music. We have had our cats eat those plants before the results were charted. We have had memory tests. Tests on which food makes tortoises gain weight faster. Tests on how much 8th graders know about the dangers of crystal meth. Tests on how much 6th graders know about the dangers of cigarette smoke. Tests on which type of leavening makes the fluffiest chocolate cake. Tests on how our sense of smell determines our ability to guess the correct flavor of a tic tac. Tests on how quickly beans grow if you read them different types of literature. Our cats ate the beans, too.

This year, Ashton tested which brand of diaper holds the most liquid. We started pouring in about 10mL at a time, but those things would NOT leak. Finally we started pouring in about 30mL at a time. They held 900mL in the end! On the DAY BEFORE Ashton's display board was due, he forgot the money to buy one from the school office. I drove the $4 over to him. He bought the board but then forgot to bring it home that afternoon. Unbelievable! We bought another one, finished it up, and turned it in yesterday. So ends the 2009-2010 science fair season.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Positive

Last night, we decided to have a family tournament on MarioKart (Wii). We just got the game system, so none of us were very good. When Micah and Ocktober were facing off, Micah kept running into walls. Noah started jeering and laughing every time Micah messed up. I could tell Micah was getting annoyed, so I said, "Noah, knock it off and keep your comments positive." Noah then said, "Ok. I am POSITIVE Micah is going to lose this game."

Saturday, January 23, 2010

American Idol

Last night we were all watching American Idol on the DVR when this guy sang "Saved By a Woman." After the song was over, Noah said, "Did he just say he was saved by a walnut?"

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A typical morning

The alarm went off at 6am. Ashton came upstairs to tell me that his finger stick was 447 and he was throwing large ketones. I told him the usual- insulin, lots of water, eggs for breakfast, stay home until we can get it under control. One kid down, five to go.

Paul and Hannah got into a huge fight over the fact that Paul had not brushed his teeth. Hannah: "You didn't even brush them last night. Your friends are going to hate your breath. You have terrible hygiene." Paul: "I'm not going to brush them just because you told me to. And you don't even know what hygiene is. Just look at your hair."

Noah came into my room with broken glasses in his hand. I asked him if he can manage a day at school without them. He said, "Yes, I'll try, but my whole world will be fuzzy."

Paul asked me to sign a note from his teacher acknowledging that he had been disruptive in class yesterday. Noah said, "BUSTED." Paul then teased him about his broken glasses. Noah replied: "You keeping PUSHING ME and PUSHING ME, Paul. One of these days, I'm just going to POP."

Noah came running into my room about three minutes before the bus left. His four seasons report booklet (still blank, thankfully) was partially eaten. He was sobbing. I told him that we could get another one from his teacher. He asked me to "shoot her an email about it." The culprit, I believe, was a certain naughty bunny.

Hannah's ride pulled up. We yelled our goodbyes from different floors of the house, and she left. She then called me from her cell phone to tell me she had left.

I don't know how Tober and Micah made it to school, because I dozed back off and they were gone when I woke up.

Scott just got home from work and dropped Ashton off. His blood sugar is back to normal (or normal for Ashton, I should say). Total time getting all six kids to school: 4 hours, 11 minutes.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ghosts of Christmases Past

Some family photos going back to the beginning, for your viewing enjoyment.




Random Bits of Randomness


Life in the "real" Brady Bunch is not so peaceful. Don't get me wrong... we do have this down to a science, and we run a pretty tight ship here. Despite our best efforts, however, chaos routinely wins. Here are just a few tidbits that you've missed out on since 2005.

Noah became obsessed with Nacho Libre for about a year. He was only 4. He saw the movie twice in the theater and memorized every line, accent included. I made him a Nacho costume for Halloween, and he wore it for many months. The cape lasted over a year.

Paul tried to turn off the ceiling fan using the string while it was running on full blast. He sliced the bridge of his nose open. The doctor stitched it up very quickly so we wouldn't miss the Harry Potter premier that night. The funny thing was that the trail of blood led from Paul's room, down the hall to his bathroom, and then across the house to the master bedroom where he quietly and calmly informed us he was bleeding (as blood literally spurt out onto the doorjamb). Our house looked like a pick axe murder had taken place. It was perfectly Paul to first examine his wound in the mirror before telling anyone.

Last Christmas, Scott dared Noah to sing "Jingle Bells, Batman Smells" at his school musical. He offered him $5. A full month later, the kindergarteners got to the second verse of Jingle Bells, and Noah belted out the Batman version at the TOP OF HIS LUNGS. The whole audience could hear him. Afterwards, he yelled, "Where's my money, Scott?"

Paul came home crying and told us that a playmate had said he "sucks monkey balls." Scott's fatherly response: "Well, do you?"

I was just about to take a shower one morning and heard the dogs getting into the trash bins below my window.  I yanked the window blinds open to yell at the dogs and realized it was my new neighbor in his side yard making the noise. He saw me naked.

Ocktober drank out of Ashton's glass. When Ashton protested, Ocktober said, "Oh come on. We have the same genes." Ashton seriously replied, "No... you wear Tony Hawks, and mine are Levi's."

Paul and Noah got into a fight. Noah came crying to me that Paul hit him. Paul said, "I didn't hit him, Mom. I just pushed his face lightly."

Ocktober got bored in church and decided to see how much pressure a communion cup could take without breaking. He shot a stream of grape juice straight up into the air. Five minutes before, Micah had fumbled the bread plate and scattered hundreds of tiny pieces of bread all over the pew and floor.

Noah was waiting for Jabba to saunter in the patio door, and he said, "Come on, you fat bastard."

There is a hole in my kitchen ceiling, 10 feet high. We have no idea where it came from, and no one will admit guilt.

Baby Jesus went missing from our nativity scene this year. He was held in captivity for several days. Scott posted a "WDJG" (Where Did Jesus Go) sign until the oldest boys fessed up.

Our kids believe we hire a hidden camera company each year to monitor suspicious activity around our Christmas tree. We put an old computer microphone in one of the ceiling vents (pointed at the tree) and then print out a fake invoice. The kids think people sit in front of screens all day watching their activity around our Christmas tree to prevent snooping, so they put on skits and such. Last year they created a huge light saber battle for the computer microphone to watch, and they hoped for weeks it would show up on YouTube.

Paul hit his head at school. He went to the school nurse and asked her to check if his pupils were "equal and reactive."

Noah: "Would you please call me Commissioner Gordon for the next few days?" Me: "Sure, why?" Noah: "That is on a need-to-know basis."

Paul to Noah: "Our Lego house can only have 7 stairs." Noah replies: "I thought we were doing 17!" Paul (after a long sigh): "It was just a dream, Noah. It wasn't realistic."

Tober to Micah: "Did you hear me laughing on the bus? I couldn't stop." Noah butts in: "Maybe you're becoming the Joker." Micah: "Yeah, now you might start killing people in creative ways."

I noticed one night that Noah had put his favorite Bakugan inside a tiny Rubbermaid container on his dresser. I asked why, and he said, "It's the sleeping place of honor."

Me to Noah when he handed me an ibuprofen: "How did you get the pill out of the bottle?" Noah: "I just pressed the lid firmly and turned counter-clockwise."

Ashton to me: "Why did Dad buy all of those shovels?" Me: "To hide the bodies." Ashton: "Oh." (then back to normal business- no questions asked)

Noah to Scott: "Why do Micah and Hannah need so many shots for school?" Scott: "So they don't give anyone rabies." Micah: "I do NOT have herpes!!!"

Noah: "I have a hard time believing God made saltwater. He made it fresh, then people made it salty a long time ago." Ashton: "God DID make saltwater. He made the oceans." Noah: "Well how do we know the oceans were salty?" Ashton: "Just friggin read GENESIS, ok???"

I was kissing Noah goodnight and said "You'll always be my sweet baby boy." To which he replied: "Well, until I'm a senior citizen, and then you'll probably be dead."

I took Paul to work with me one morning. I introduced him to a coworker, and he said, "Isn't she the one who wants to throw you under the bus?"

Noah


Noah is the life of the party in The Brady Bunch. He is 7 years old and in first grade. Noah lives in his imagination, without breaking character, sometimes for days, weeks, or even months at a time. It all started when he was 9 months old and became attached to a ginormous rainbow clown afro wig. He wore it for months and would only take it off to sleep and bathe. So far in recent months, Noah has referred to himself as Indy, Bruce Wayne, Night Bat, Dark Wing, and Arrow Master. He will sign his school papers with these titles as well. Noah's outlook on life is very interesting and very hilarious. He has an amazing vocabulary and was reading at a solid fifth grade level in kindergarten. This makes for some really funny conversations. 

Paul


To describe Paul in a couple of paragraphs is pretty impossible. Paul, age 9, is scary intelligent.  He is intensely serious and sees the world in black and white. He has a hard time not correcting adults, and even his teacher admits that he is usually right. That makes parenting a serious challenge. Paul's favorite hobby is studying the human body and outer space. He also loves to study the Titanic, US Presidents, and world flags. His biggest fear is getting sucked into a black hole. His favorite thing to draw is human organs.  When Paul was 7, we took a family vacation to a lake. Brain eating amoebas were all over the news at the time, so I naturally took precautions by making my children wear nose plugs in the water. I explained the necessity of these precautions before we left. Unfortunately, Paul decided to use the topic for his turn giving the "morning report" in first grade. He stood in front of his classroom of 30 innocent children and said, "Today I am going to talk to you about the BRAIN EATING AMOEBA. While you are swimming, it will travel up your nose and LIQUIFY YOUR BRAIN WHILE YOU ARE STILL ALIVE." His teacher said that she could hear a pin drop and that she was certain no child would ever enter a swimming pool again. More on Paul later.

Ashton


Ashton, age 10, has got to be one of the easiest kids on the planet. He is, by nature, a sweetheart. He loves collecting Hotwheels, Bakugans, Webkins, and various little knick knacks. His worst fear, or so it seems, is getting into any kind of trouble. Therefore he does a pretty good job of staying in line without much direction needed. My favorite Ashton story (and perfect example of his personality) was when his grandpa, Scott's dad, was visiting here from Montana. He leaned down and said, "Ashton, may I ask why you are always such a good boy?" Ashton lowered his head and said, "Sorry."

Ashton does struggle with being a complete space cadet. I tell him to put his shoes on for school, and five minutes later he is wandering around the house with one sock on. I tell him to pick up his room, and ten minutes later, he asks me what I asked him to do. He embarrasses very easily and can go from giggling to sobbing without much warning. Ashton is also a type 1 juvenile diabetic which presents its own challenges, but he has a positive attitude about it and adapted to his diagnosis quite quickly thanks to years of watching his big brother deal with it. Despite Ashton's quiet nature, he is an incredible dancer. Never underestimate this kid... turn on some Lady Gaga and then wish you were as awesome as he is. 

Hannah Rose


In the village of drama queens, Hannah Rose stands alone. At age eleven, she believes she has undergone more trauma and stress than the average decorated war veteran. Although very bright and articulate, Hannah has inherited the mother of all blonde genes when it comes to simple common sense. An example: While filling out a quiz about herself recently, question #19 was "What famous person from history would you like to meet in person?" Hannah's answer: "Anne Frank." Question #20 was "What would you ask #19?" Hannah's answer: "Why aren't you friends with #20?" When questioned about her ridiculous answer, Hannah said, "Sorry, I just don't know what one number would ask another number."

Hannah, to her credit, is the only girl out of six children. She has a right to be dramatic at times. Having said that, she has it pretty good. No hand-me-downs, her own bedroom, her own bathroom, and sympathy from every person she ever meets.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Micah


Second in our list of spawn: Micah. Micah is 14 years old and a freshman in high school. He towers over everyone but Scott. He's over 6 feet tall and wears a men's size 14 shoe. Micah is very creative, artistic, musical, and emotional. He is eager to please and always willing to help. Micah can be difficult and moody, and he doesn't seem to have an internal gauge letting him know when it is time to stop being obnoxious. He means well, but his joking around can drive his siblings (and us) a little nuts.

In our school district, teachers do home visits once a year to better understand their students' families and home lives. On one particular Saturday, Hannah's teacher came over for a visit. Micah had been playing a particularly rough game in the rec room which had resulted in another child being smacked to the floor with an empty trash can (don't ask me). I sent him to his room upstairs just to diffuse the situation and quiet things down. He argued with me and started flipping out about how unfair I was being. I told him to shut the door and that I'd talk to him about it after he had calmed down. As I worked on the dishes downstairs, listening to the delightful sounds of Micah's muffled slander as he yelled into a pillow about me, I noticed our 33 pound cat, Jabba, running around the backyard like he was on fire. Jabba NEVER runs. The dogs were chasing him, and Jabba was making noises that no cat should make. I ran outside, caught Jabba, and noticed that his face was covered in some kind of reddish slime. I wasn't sure what it was, but I ran him back into the house and tried spraying it out of his eyes with the kitchen sink attachment. He proceeded to draw blood from my stomach by clawing at me, and he urinated all over me and the kitchen counter. I got him cleaned up as best as I could, and then I went outside thinking I'd find a rattlesnake or something similar. They can shoot venom, right? That was my thinking... I really had no idea. As I tiptoed around the yard with my torn up, bloody, urine-soaked clothing, Micah decided to start protesting his detention by yelling down from the second story window about how unfair I was. We were pretty new to the neighborhood and trying to make a decent impression on our neighbors, and here I was, stained with blood and urine, yelling "STOP TALKING, MICAH!!!!!!" at the top of my lungs to his bedroom window. I came inside after finding nothing, calmly said hello to Hannah's teacher, and marched upstairs to Micah's room.  While NOT using my quiet voice, I read him his rights, left him dumbfounded, closed his door, said a sweet hello again to Hannah's teacher and asked if I could offer her a refreshment, changed my shirt, and finished the dishes. Micah hasn't ever pulled that kind of attitude with me again, and I'm sure Hannah's teacher thinks I am completely insane or at least bipolar. And the red gunk in Jabba's eyes? Horny toad spray. Hope he learned his lesson.

Ocktober


First in the line-up of kids: Ocktober. Where do I begin with Ocktober? He is 16, handsome, precocious, and full of himself. Ocktober is a self-appointed expert on every topic under the sun including parenting, relationships, marriage, music, books, movies, modern technology, rocket science, spirituality, and quantum physics. Tober has been a juvenile diabetic since he was three years old. It is a constant strain, as he knows this is one area of his life he can control (or choose not to control) and either consciously or subconsciously use against authority. Aside from his faults, and we all have them, Ocktober is a very likeable, sweet kid. He is getting to be quick witted like his dad, and he is generally easy to please.  One of my favorite stories about Ocktober is when Scott was helping him get ready for baseball season in 8th grade. They were tossing a ball in the yard when Scott was coaching him about where the outfielder would likely throw a ball during a certain scenario. Scott said, "You know he's not going to throw to home plate because that's too far of a distance." Ocktober replied, "Yeah, that would be impossible, unless he was taking Altoids or something." Hey, they are the curiously strong mint, but I think "steroids" was the word he was looking for.

Rachel and Scott


First on the introduction list: me (Rachel) and my adorable husband (Scott). We are a giddy-in-love couple in Tucson, Arizona.  I've never known anyone else who can read and understand me like Scott does, and life is good as long as we're together. We share a mutual love of movies, music, reading, hiking, and roller coasters. We both have very dry and quirky senses of humor. Our goal in life is to survive the next 11 years and warp our children into very unique, healthy, and happy adults. 

The Brady Bunch Lied... an Introduction.


If you've ever seen an episode of The Brady Bunch, you should be able to remember a few things: a harmonious and happy home of afros and bellbottoms, a maid, no real mention of ex-spouses, and six stepsiblings sharing a bathroom peacefully. Well let me clue you in to something. The Brady Bunch lied.

I married the love of my life on October 13, 2005. We each came into the marriage with three children, and we have sole physical custody of all six. I'll introduce each child in subsequent postings, because they are all extremely unique. After over four years of living the real-life Brady Bunch, I can speak with authority when I tell you that The Brady Bunch lied. If you take the time to keep up with this blog, I'm sure you'll agree, and hopefully you'll be wildly entertained along the way.