Monday, June 29, 2009

What am I supposed to do, think of everything? I brought the comb!

Last week and weekend were full of great happenings.

We had Liam here with us while his parents were on the Youth Conference Pioneer Trek. My kids had so much fun having him here. Liam is such a bright spot of sunshine, always smiling and laughing. We would take him anytime!

Christopher and Liam went to 11-year-old Boy Scout Day Camp on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Their fun included: swimming, making a catapult from scratch, trying to get President Dunnigan's hat and a grueling five mile hike. Christopher came home exhausted each day. I'm glad that the program was organized so well with such great leaders.

On Friday night, we drove to Toledo for a picnic with some of my dearest high school friends. I'm sitting here contemplating how to describe these girls whom I could always be myself around and who never made me feel silly for the church standards I tried to keep. Four of us made up our senior class presidency and I can't tell you how much fun we had working together. We did a skit together for an activity senior year, in which we flash forwarded into the future. I portrayed my future self as pregnant with baby #8. Even then, I knew what I wanted to do with my life! I'm only 2 away!

Between the five of us, there are 16 children with one on the way. The kids had such a great time playing. I was so glad they got along so well. We girls got to reminisce about old times like Senior Half Time Show with Thriller and our not so successful senior prank and Maggie did her great impression of Ghandi. We talked about our current lives and the joys and challenges we face. It was so much fun. Julia, you better be there next time!
All the kids!!

Colleen, Melissa, Maggie and I--Senior Year

Julia, Niki and I at Senior Prom

Niki, Me (with Lizzie), Maggie, Melissa and Colleen

On Sunday, we got a huge surprise. On the way to church, I got a text from Anna saying that the M Vickers were here. The only M Vickers that I know are the McVickers-Pat and Diana. And the only here I know is here. I raced into the church building and sure enough, there was Pat and Diana McVicker sitting in a pew next to Anna and Tony. It was like my dad was there! I love Pat and Diana McVicker! Pat was such a great friend to my dad, our bishop for many years and just one of the best people you will ever meet. They came here to deliver a state quarter collection to Anna and I that my dad helped him start 10 years ago. Very cool! They stayed for lunch and it was great to talk and laugh and remember. It really was like Dad was at my house.

My heart is full with joy and gratitude that I have made so many friends that will last my whole life through. I have dear friends that I see every week at church, friends a little farther away that I follow through Facebook and blogging, friends that I see only randomly yet I still hold dear. I long to hug each of you and talk and laugh and share. Thank you for sharing your life and your friendship with me. You have enriched my life beyond measure.

Weekly Top Five 6/29/2009

Top Five Favorite Guitar Intros

1. Metallica: One

2. Guns N Roses: Welcome to the Jungle

3. Led Zeppelin: Stairway

4. Jimmy Hendrix: Foxy Lady

5. Blue Oyster Cult: Don't Fear the Reaper

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thankful Thursday 6/25/2009

1. Liam

2. Plymouth 4th of July Parade

3. Pokemon

4. Lemons

5. Kids artwork

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

And You Must Be the Monopoly Guy!

My favorite board game of all time is Monopoly. My mom and aunts taught me to play it when I was 7 and I received my very own game for my 8th birthday. I LOVED it and played it all the time...with my mom, by myself...whomever I could convince to play with me. I learned to play in a very nice way. Once one person bought the property of one color, no one else would buy the other properties in that color group. Isn't that so sweet? And so not the way the game is supposed to be played.

When I was 12, my friend and her brother introduced me to the cruel reality that is a real game of Monopoly. It is ruthless and heartless and you actually TRY to get the properties others are collecting so that you can bargain with them to get the properties they own that you want. It took me some getting used to playing with them but I finally got the hang of it. I never won, of course, (I think Ephraim won EVERY game) but I still loved playing. It was a fun tradition, laughing and playing and eating snacks, fighting off younger siblings who longed to be a part of the action but were deemed too young to play.

In my house, no one really wanted to play. My dad H.A.T.E.D. board games. All board games. Anna was too young to play with so I improvised. I played myself. I assigned the pieces to friends and we all played "together." Eventually, I even did without the money and kept track on notepads. During high school, I usually had a game of Monopoly going on somewhere in my room. Does this fact about me scare you? It scares Chris a little.

Last week at a garage sale I found a Monopoly game all sealed in the box. The old version that I had as a kid. I couldn't pass it by and bought it. I went home and taught the kids how to play and they love it! I'm so glad. So now we have the tradition in our house...laughing (some fighting), playing and eating snacks and fighting off younger siblings who want to play too. For some reason, Christopher is the Monopoly champion of our house right now. He has won every game so far. You would think that all the playing I did as a kid would make me really great but I still stink at it. It's just fun to play.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wait til Christmas!

Summertime is officially here and it's starting out with a bang. We have only had one full week of Summer Vacation, yet it feels like a lot longer!

Last week, we went to Music in the Park on Wednesday. What a great tradition Plymouth has in this event! It is so much fun for me and for the kids. This performance was given by the great Guy Louis. He is my favorite performer and I try not to miss it when he is here. Cameron and Lucy seemed to love it. They listened and danced with the "Dancers." We had so much fun!

Last week, Calvin had Cub Scout Day Camp. I was lucky enough to get to go with him for one of the days and we had fun doing archery, catapults, bb guns, stool ball and come crafts. I forgot my camera and my phone battery died, so the pictures are not very good. The boys really had a lot of fun...even if they got their heads licked.

Today we made a fun visit to the Plymouth Township Park Sprayscape. Watching Lucy enjoy herself so much was the best part. She loved it! Lizzie tolerated getting wet and then liked being snuggled in her towel. The older kids gathered other kids there and played a fun game of "Dump Water on Each Other." It was a great afternoon.

Two weekends ago, we went to our Elders Quorum Barbecue. It was fun and the food was good especially the sweets and some really good cookies by Melissa Farnsworth. SOOOOO great!! I had to laugh at Chris in the creek with the kids trying to catch a crayfish with them. I had to laugh harder at Chris when he got drenched by the cooler of leftover water. It was hilarious!

I love summer and I'm so glad that we have 11 weeks left to enjoy!

Weekly Top Five 6/22/2009

Top Five Things I'd Wish For Given Five Wishes From a Genie but Genie Says I can't Wish For Money. And I can't wish for more wishes. And Can't bring People Back From The Dead. (He Don't Like Doing It.)

1. A family trip to Disney World for 10 days in the Grand Floridian Resort complete with Breakfasts with the characters and all the bells and whistles. And Anna and Tony and Lucy get to come too.

2. A mud room and a first floor laundry room and two washers and two dryers.

3. One of those dishwashers where you can put the whole cake in on the cake plate and everything comes out sparkling clean.

4. A Cat that is litter box trained and doesn't shed and loves me.

5. An additional car.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

To my favorite men:

I love you.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I'm so glad I married a Man

Weekly Top Five 6/15/2009

Top Five Things I Like To Hear:

1. Yes

2. I forgive you

3. You did such a great job on that.

4. This tastes so good.

5. It wasn't your fault.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

No Bette Midler!!

Anna and I went to see the musical "Grease" on Thursday night at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit. We had a great time. It was fun getting out, just the two of us, for a night on the town. We got to have dinner out without kids meals!

The production was really great...even better than St. Ursula's. :) We were slightly dismayed that an understudy was performing instead of Taylor Hicks but we got over it. The understudy looked just like Zach Morris from "Saved by the Bell." "Beauty School Dropout" was my favorite number. It was great the way they did it. There was a lady with very crazy hair in front of us that was so distracting. She looked like the mom from "Beetle Juice." I just couldn't take my eyes off her.

I've loved "Grease" for a really long time. As I was sitting watching it, I realized that I pretty much disapprove of everything that happens in the play/movie. I guess it's one of those guilty pleasures that you overlook the bad stuff in because you've seen it a million times. But I know I wouldn't feel comfortable with Emily seeing it and there were children her age and younger in the audience.

I rewrote the words for "Sandra Dee." Just one verse so far:

Look at me, I'm Lizzie V
Lousy with a poopy
Won't go to bed til I'm properly fed
I can't, I'm Lizzie V

More to come...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Like Peas and Carrots

My sister gave me this little note when she was in high school. I love it so much that I read it all the time. Whenever I feel low or yucky, it always cheers me up and makes me feel better. I have the best sister ever!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thankful Thursday 6/11/09

1. Conan on The Tonight Show

2. Other people's free food storage

3. Possibilities

4. When Emily gets babysitting jobs

5. Sims

"Lloyd, See you around maybe."

Today was Christopher's graduation from elementary school. It was so enjoyable to watch Christopher during the ceremony. He sang enthusiastically, he loved watching the video about his class and he graciously accepted his certificate from his teacher. I love how Christopher is so willing to love just doing what he does. He's a great son.

One of the mom's there was crying buckets. I wasn't even close to tears. He's not leaving...he's just going to a different school. See me in 8 years when he goes on his mission. I'll need the buckets then.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

You know who I am? In the field of local-live-home entertainment, I'm a god!

Today, Chris did a magic show for the kids' school assembly. He did an amazing job. I love watching him perform. Even though I have seen the tricks a million times and know how they are done, I still enjoy watching and I laugh at all his jokes. Watching his shows reminds me of some of the first times I saw him perform magic.

Chris and I met at the LDS Living Center in East Lansing. I lived in the girl's building and he lived in the guys. My roommate and I had just moved there from BYU and we didn't know anyone, so we decided to throw a little party and invited all the residents and hoped that we would get to know guys people. It worked. Lots of people came and we had fun and danced and ate snacks. It was a great party. This guy, Chris Vos, came too and brought some "magic tricks" with him. Being the snotty 19 year-old that I was, I thought "magic tricks" were about the gayest thing you could have at what was supposed to be a really cool party. I didn't go over the the "magic" corner of the living room where Chris Vos was wowing and amazing our guests. I stayed in the safe, ungay, cool part of the living room with the music and the dancing. But pretty soon I was all alone. Everyone was watching Chris Vos. I slunk my way over to the crowd to get a peek and couldn't believe what I saw. He totally stunk! He couldn't remember how to do the trick and kept screwing it up. I was so embarrassed for him to fail like that in front of all those people. And then...WHAMMY...he does the trick and amazes my socks off. Then I felt like an idiot..the not remembering and screwing up are done on purpose. I know now that it's called a "sucker trick" cuz the magician is suckering you in to believing that he can't do it and then he totally blows you away. Chris is awesome at it!

After he used his magic on me and won my heart, he would do magic all the time for money for us to live on. He worked for a talent agency in Detroit and would get gigs at the country clubs down here all the time. I would drive down here from East Lansing with him and sometimes I would sit in the car and wait for him. Sometimes I would go in and sit with the coat check girl while he would perform. In those days, putting together his show took FOREVER and I was really impatient. It would make a huge mess in our apartment. I hated that part of the magic. I once broke one of his tricks by playing with it too much until it just collapsed in my hands. We laugh about it all the time because I am always breaking stuff accidentally.

Every apartment and house that we have lived in has had a playing card stuck to the ceiling after Chris did the "Card on Ceiling" trick. It is a great part of our house. I love that our kids love his magic and that he is teaching them how to do the tricks so that they can have a great talent like him. Chris, you bring magic to my every day.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

In simplicity, charity I follow

When I was little, my next door neighbor had the coolest flower in her backyard. I absolutely loved it. It was called a Columbine. The flowers are so beautiful and dainty. I imagined that they were fairy homes. We didn't have a Columbine in our yard, but I would go over to her yard and visit her Columbines and make up stories about the fairies that lived in them. I would tell my parents all the time that I wanted my own Columbine.

The summer of 1985, I went to a week-long camp at Miami University. I missed my mom and dad so much. When they picked me up, they told me that they had a special surprise for me when we got home. I couldn't wait to get home to see what it was. When we pulled in the driveway, my dad said the surprise was in the yard. I went into the backyard and found that they had bought me a Columbine and planted it in the yard just for me. It was yellow and so beautiful! I loved it.

Over the years at home, we added a few more Columbine to our collection in Toledo. But, when we moved to Plymouth, there were no Columbine in our yard. I was sad because the Columbine was such a reminder to me of the love my parents had for me. For several years, our yard went Columbine-less because I couldn't find one at the regular greenhouses. Finally, I went to Mrs. Gray's Greenhouse to see if she had one. Mrs. Gray has all kinds of interesting and unusual plants. (Someday I'll have to post about the string of pearl plant.) Luckily, Mrs. Gray had one Columbine plant. I took it home and planted it and it lived for several seasons until someone thought it was a weed and pulled it this year.

I wish I had a whole Columbine garden just bursting with Columbine.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Happy birthday to my darling bunny boy(s)

Today is Chris and Cameron's birthdays. Chris is 37 and Cameron is 3. Every year on Chris' birthday, his mom calls up all our phones-home, cell and work-and leaves a personalized song by Captain Kangaroo on the voice mail. I think she has to fire up the turn table to do it. It reminds me of the phone call that Billy Crystal gets from his mom on his birthday in "City Slickers." I love it that she does that because it seems like something I would do.

Cameron got to have a fun party with his friends during which we played traditional party games. Anna made the best Pin-the-tail-on-the-Donkey game. Cameron got to blow out his candle in a blueberry muffin. The kids had fun and the moms did too, I think.

It's hard for me to believe that my tiny Baby Cameron is 3! Even harder to believe is that my dear Christopher is 3 years from 4-0.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Random Thoughts by Jennifer Vos

I'm way behind on my blogging. Most of what is happening here I deem unblogworthy. I read other people's blogs and they seem so relevant and sophisticated. Mine seems boring in comparison.

What's happening here?

Last month, Emily was awarded first prize for 7th graders at her school in a writing contest by the local Rotary Club. We got to go to a ceremony where she received a certificate and $100 savings bond. Great Job, Emily!

I went with Calvin's class on their field trip touring the Ren Cen and a boat ride up the Detroit River. It was super informative and I really enjoyed it. It seemed especially fitting to be touring the Ren Cen on the eve of GM's bankruptcy announcement. Calvin and I had a good time together looking at all the sights of Detroit and eating at the food court in the Ren Cen.

Poor GM. Poor Detroit. It's very sad. I feel like the maitre-d' in Ferris Bueller. I weep for the future.

Anna and I got all the plants planted in our garden. It is growing very nicely and we even have blossoms on our tomato plants. I read somewhere that animals will stay away if they smell human urine near the garden. My boys have loved going out and "watering" the perimeter of the garden. It seems to be working so far.

I spent 20 minutes last night in my van at the church watching two church boys jump from the back of our Bishop's pick-up to the top of their Ford E Series full size van. Then they would jump all the way to the ground. Sometimes they would vary it by jumping back into the Bishop's pick-up. I found it quite amusing and I was thankful that it would never occur to my boys to do something like that.

A dear friend turned 30 last week and I was able to participate in her surprise 30th birthday party. Surprise parties are my favorite. I love them.

Lizzie is scooting backward and loves being able to move herself around and find treasures on the floor to put in her mouth.

Only 7 more days of school. It's about time!! Love summer!
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