Sunday, June 29, 2008

Free Spirit???

I have just been informed that my child peed on the sidewalk today right in front of our church. And, of course, he did it right after church for all to see (all but me, I guess).

Luke, what am I going to do with you??? Never a dull moment with the Pillings around, huh?!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Icky-Sticky, Ooey-Gooey

Who is this poor little orphan child, covered in filth from head to toe? And I do mean toe, because as you can see, the poor kid has no shoes! Where are his parents? Does he have parents???

Wait a minute.....that kid looks vaguely familiar. It's hard to tell with all the dirt and grime, but I'd recognize that grin anywhere. Yep, that's my Lukey!

This is a typical looking Luke after a night of baseball games. This picture does not do justice to the level of filth Luke has achieved. His skin is a bit pale looking, because he is completely coated in dust. The filth is a mixture of icky-sticky candy, and dirt, dirt, dirt. He sits in the dirt, picks it up with his hands (yes, the same hands he uses to shove icky-sticky, ooey-gooey candy into his mouth), throws it around, etc.

Tonight I went to baseball determined to give my children no money for the snack bar, not even a penny. A penny, you may say, is worth nothing. But in baseball land, it will purchase one tootsie roll. And yes, one dollar purchases 100 tootsie rolls. (You should see Luke's face after eating a few of those 100 tootsie rolls!)

I took no money with me. None! So, no matter how much they begged and pleaded and told me they were starving to death, I would have nothing to give them.

But, to my amazement, my kids always manage to buy candy.....even when I bring no money. They make friends with all sorts of people, and somehow come away with money. Some moms train their children to be movie stars or models or athletes to make money. I'm just training mine to be good beggars. Actually, I think they come by it naturally. It must be a Pilling trait. They didn't get it from me!

Here's a close-up. Want a big kiss? That's what Luke likes to give....especially when he's feeling a little sticky!

Monday, June 23, 2008

It's Birthday Time Again!

Happy Birthday to Scott....a few days ago. Better late than never, right!

This was big birthday number 12 for Scott. No more primary (much to the relief of his primary leaders!) He is excited to be in Young Mens, and was very excited to receive the priesthood. Another special milestone in his life.

Here are a few things I love about Scott.

Scott always notices when I am feeling frustrated, worn out, overwhelmed, etc. He will jump up and try to help me out, asking what he can do. If that doesn't work, he comes up to me with a big grin and says, "I know what you need." Then he throws his arms around me, and gives me the hugest bear hug!

Scott can accomplish anything he sets his mind to. If I want something done well, I ask Scott. He can clean almost as good as me....but not quite.

He is one amazing piano player!

He is also one awesome basketball player! I love watching him play--in all sports, really. He is a little athlete. Anything he does, he gives it his all.

He has such a great smile and such a great laugh. He and his brother Josh have so much fun together. Josh loves to make Scott laugh. Josh is such a comedian, and Scott is his greatest audience!

Scott is so determined. Hmmm, sounds like someone else I know. Maybe his dad?! He doesn't procrastinate. If something needs to be done, he wants to do it and get it out of the way. Again, so much like his dad!

Scott tries hard to do what is right. He really tries to learn from his mistakes and work on becoming a better person. He is such an amazing kid!

We love you Scott!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

What Kind of Mom Am I?

Apparently, the kind that lets two of her children go to church with no shoes on!

Don't ask. They must have slipped under the radar. Maybe I need to start lining my kids up for inspection before we head out the door on Sunday mornings. You know, like on the Sound of Music.

Anybody know where I can get a good whistle?!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fun in Utah

The kids and I had a fun week in Utah. The boys went to a BYU basketball camp and had a great time. They were thoroughly exhausted when I picked them up. The four younger kids and I stayed with my sister Chelsie and her husband Eric. We thought we would get them ready for parenthood by doing such things as: throwing food all over the floor (thank you Ben), wiping gel all over the toilet seat (thank you Luke), and fighting in general over the Wii (thank you Syd and Maddy). I'm glad that all four of my children were participants in project Prepare Aunt Chels and Uncle Eric. Wasn't that nice of them?

Thank you Chelsie and Eric for letting us stay with you! We had such a great time!

We loved the warm weather (FINALLY) and spent our time at the zoo, swimming, swimming, and more swimming, being pampered at Chelsie's salon with a massage for me and pedicures for the girls, visiting the discovery museum, and finally, shopping. After all, what Utah trip would be complete without a little bit of shopping?

So, where are my great pictures you may ask? All those darling pictures of my children running with glee through the zoo, squealing at the monkeys and chasing peacocks? And all those great pictures of their happy faces at the discovery museum as they were, ummm, discovering? Well, I always seem to forget something when we go on trips (there is SO much to remember), and sadly, this time it was my beloved camera! At least I didn't forget one of the kids, right?!

Despite my love for Utah, I was reminded this week just how much I hate traffic! And I had forgotten how much Utah loves road construction in the summer. AND.....I discovered something new about myself. I hate underground parking garages!

Let me explain.

Upon entering the parking garage, I instantly become disoriented. Which way is north, south, east, west? I have no idea! I drive in circles, looking for a parking place. Finally I squeeze into some tiny little spot, hoping nobody dings my car. I unload everyone and we head for the exit.

But wait. Where is the exit? Which elevator takes me where? Where is an elevator?! I just head for whatever seems to be the closest escape from my underground lair, hoping to end up somewhere near my actual destination. Sometimes I get lucky. But other times, I end up who knows where!

After a while, it is time to leave, and back down we go. I try to retrace my steps, going in the same way we came out, hoping to find my car quickly. But, no such luck. I could have sworn we were parked on row P1B. But as we walk up and down row P1B, I begin to panic. Where is our car? Surely, somebody didn't steal it. Surely not....maybe not....oh crap! Where is our car??!! We wander all over level one of the parking garage, and finally, find our car. Where do we find it? In row P1B, of course!!! (Yes, I obviously have problems.)

I am frustrated by now, but glad to be in my car on my way out. But....does every sign in the garage say exit on it? I am beginning to think so, because no matter how many exit signs I follow, I seem to be getting nowhere. I feel like I am going in circles. Am I getting closer to the exit or farther away?! At last, I see a light. Go towards the light! At least, this is what I would do if there weren't 50 other cars in front of me!

Finally we pay our dues (literally) and enter the real world once more. It is like a breath of fresh air. Except, wait.....where am I now?!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

At the zoo

Madelyn (whispering in my ear): Hey mom, that giraffe is a momma giraffe.

Me (wondering what female body part she has spotted): Really? How do you know?

Madelyn: Because.... she has eyelashes.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Today is Father's Day, sooooo......what else could I do but talk about my dad! My dad is the greatest. He is such a generous, giving, fun person! He is always helping others. There have been many times when I have known someone in need of help and have called my dad. He always agrees to help, no hesitation. He has been a great example to me.

My dad is such a friendly guy! All through my life, I have watched him as he jokes with people, talks to them, puts an arm around their shoulder, etc. I went to a fireside with my dad one night (he was speaking and I was playing my violin), and watched as he stopped and talked to just about EVERYBODY! It took us forever to make our way out of the chapel. That night, dad earned the nickname "Mr. Congeniality".

My dad was always a participant in our home. And by that, I mean, he never sat back and watched my mom do the work. He cooked food, helped with dishes, ironed, did name it. I loved this about my dad, and was determined to marry someone who would do the same. I have great memories of Saturday morning breakfast, sitting up to the counter while dad made pancakes. He would dance around the kitchen, singing "Sun's comin' up, I got 'cakes on the griddle...Life ain't nothin' but a funny, funny riddle". It wasn't until years later (after I was married) that I learned this was actually a John Denver song! All those years, I thought my dad had just made it up! (Obviously, I am not a huge John Denver fan.) In all his cleaning, my dad earned another nickname--Felix. If you have seen The Odd Couple, then you know what I'm talking about!

My dad is such a fun guy, and was always making us laugh. He always stands out in a crowd. One of my favorite memories of dad involves his debut in an Indiana Jones show at Disney MGM. He was selected out of 300 people (why does that always happen?) to go on stage and be an "extra". They asked him to pretend he had been shot. He gave quite the performance and had the audience busting up! What a guy!

I loved spending time with my dad when I was younger, playing catch in our backyard, playing No Bears are out Tonight, shooting hoops, or having movie nights with lots and lots of popcorn.

My dad is such a great grandpa. He loves his grandkids and would do anything for them. He cheers them on and supports them in all they do, even if it means sitting in a hot gym for two hours waiting to watch his granddaughter do a few back handsprings.

Love you Dad!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Welcome to the Fam

First, let me say, I do not like cats. So why then, you may ask, do we have TWO kittens??? I'll tell you why. It's because I'm a big, fat push-over.

Either that, or I have a hard time remembering that cute little kittens always grow up to be cats--yuck!

Did I mention we have TWO kittens? Perhaps my children thought the kittens would have a higher mortality rate if we started out with two. You see, kitties have a hard time surviving at the Pilling household. They either get hit by cars, or they turn into great big, mean tomcats and run away.

Every summer, Grandma and Grandpa Pilling show up with a kitten, and every more kitty. So this time my kids begged and pleaded....Please mom!! If we get two kittens, they won't be lonely. They will always have a friend to play with. Please, please, please mom!!!

And I caved. It is so unlike me to be a push-over. But yet, I caved.

So, the question is this....If I dislike cats so much, why agree to have one (or two)???

The answer is simple. I dislike cats, but I HATE mice!
(And, just between you and me, they are kind of cute....from a distance!)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hooray for me!

I just ran six miles, and survived!


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Luke!!

Today my little Luke turned 3! My how time flies. I love this little kid so much! He is such a bright spot in our home. He is always making us laugh.

I love Luke's big hugs and kisses.

I love the way he talks. Today when I asked him how old he was, he said 2. I told him he was 3 now. So later when I asked him how old he was, he said I'm not telling. Then he added, I'm not 2.

I love Luke's smile. It is infectious.

I love to see Luke bouncing on the tramp with his curly, crazy hair.

I love watching Luke dance. His sisters like to turn music on and dance around. Their latest favorite is dancing to songs from the The Chipmunk Adventure. Luke is right in the middle of them, showing off all his hot dance moves!

Luke loves to read books and play with his brothers and sisters. He loves being outside. His latest and greatest is to find a golf ball and golf club, go out on the front lawn, and whack away! I just pray he doesn't actually smack it one of these days, or I might have some angry neighbors! (Although, who could really be mad at Luke....unless, of course, he's coloring on your walls and doors with permanent marker.)

I love Luke's enthusiasm for life. Yesterday he wanted to help me plant flowers. I found a little shovel and gave it to him. He was so excited, he instantly started singing, "Dig-a-dig-a-dig-a-diggity-dig-a-dig-a-dig-a-diggity-dig". He and Maddy were quite the team, digging holes, putting flowers in, then "covering them up" as Luke would say.

I love watching the way other people light up when Luke's around. The neighbor kids love him. His grandpas adore him.

Everybody loves Luke. In fact, I think I will dub Luke 'Mr. Popular'. Some frequently heard comments in my house as of late are, "Hey Luke. Am I your buddy?" or "Hey Luke. Who do you like the best?" or "Am I your best pal Lukey?" Everyone is constantly seeking for Luke's attention. To be liked by Luke is to achieve status in the Pilling home, I suppose. I have had to
ki-bosh (spelling??) this because it is driving me crazy!! And how did I ki-bosh it you may ask? By informing them all it was useless to try being his best bud, because he likes me the most!!

(Just kidding...sortof)

Happy Birthday little buddy! We all love you so very much!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Summer is here....I think

I love, love, love flowers! My yard is so much work sometimes, but I just love to look out my window and see pretty flowers. I love pulling up to my house and seeing pretty pots and flower beds.

Plus, it creates work for my kids to do. Sometimes I feel like it is so much work to teach my kids how to work! But I guess that's why they pay me the big bucks. Oh wait, did I say big bucks? Silly me.

These beautiful flowers have been sitting on my driveway for a good week or two, waiting for the weather to cooperate! You would think in June we wouldn't be wearing our winter coats, but not so. I wore my down winter coat to baseball just a few days ago.

But today, FINALLY, I planted...and planted....and planted. My back is sore, and my legs are sore, but my flowers are planted. Hallelujah!

And now my husband informs me that tomorrow it may snow. Are you kidding me?!

I hope so.

Friday, June 6, 2008


Do you ever feel too tired to go to bed? Yes, weird I know, but here I sit at my computer, even though I am SO tired! But going to bed would require standing up (which takes energy), walking to my bedroom (more energy), and brushing my teeth (even more energy)!

On the bright side, I don't have to take contacts out, because I can see! Thank you LASIK!

Gardener Extraordinaire

This is Madelyn....yes, the same one who wants to be a weed picker when she grows up. However, she has now decided she would rather be a gardener. Perhaps this is due to the fact that she actually had to help pick weeds the other day and was reminded that it's not all it's cracked up to be! Or perhaps it is because she is dying to help me plant my pots....all those beautiful flowers sitting in my driveway waiting to be planted are calling out to her!

Madelyn loves planting things. She has planted many apple seeds, plum seeds, apricot seeds, etc. in random places around our yard, in hopes of growing a fruit tree! Recently, I was out weeding in my yard (a HUGE task!) and discovered a pretty little something that had been planted by Madelyn. It wasn't exactly the kind of plant you would expect to find, but it added a little color none-the-less!

Apparently they made little trees at school out of sticks and crepe paper. These were just the first of many such trees to be made by Madelyn. In fact, I had to forbid her from breaking any more branches off my plants! She LOVES making things!

So, if you're looking for a little something to spice up your yard, just give Maddy a call....she would be happy to help you out!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Family Night

Don't you love how 2-3 yr. olds talk? It is so funny to hear them repeat things they have heard and picked up on. For example, tonight Luke came up to me (at baseball, of course!) and said, "Can I have some more money.....please?" Now where do you suppose he's heard that before?!

Last night, Ben went to bed before Luke. So, when I took Luke up to bed we were trying to be quiet. I walked into the room to get his jammies, then turned around to see Luke walking on all fours behind me. He peeked up at me and whispered, "Let's be neaky mom."

In Luke language, neaky = sneaky. Just like Nydee = Sydney, or Cott = Scott. That kid sure knows how to make us all smile!

On to a different subject...Guess where we had home evening tonight? I will tell you this was definitely a first for us!

OK, I'll tell you, because you'll probably never guess (no fair guessing Lana!)

Home Evening tonight was held in my bathroom. Why you might ask? We had baseball games and I had to get slightly cleaned up, since I had been working for HOURS in my yard! So the kids all gathered around while I straightened my hair, and Josh gave us a lesson. Now, as far as home evening lessons go, this was on the quick, have home evening to be obedient side of things. But nonetheless, I bet my kids will remember for quite some time the night we had home evening in mom's bathroom!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Blast from the Past

Last weekend we went to church in Utah with our friends. As I was sitting, thinking and pondering on the things being said during sacrament meeting, a note was passed down the aisle to me. Those of you who went to junior high when I did will probably recognize how the note has been expertly folded in the oh so popular way of folding notes....back then anyway!

When I opened the note, this is what I read:

In case you can't read it, here it is:


I can't believe it's almost summer. I wish I would have gotten to know you better, but I hear you are awesome. I hope we can have some classes together next year.
I hope you have a RAD summer!!! Stay out of trouble with Brek. Don't do anything I wouldn't do. (smiley face)
Do you want to be locker partners next year? Do you think Brek would care? Let's go do something this summer. Call me!
URAQT! I would like to be your BFF.

Stay cute, cool, crazy

Love Always,
Ryan #8

U Rock!

Ryan always knows how to make me laugh! Stay cute, cool, and crazy y'all!