Sunday, December 29, 2013

Curtis Finds His Dream Job

We took the kids to Discovery Gateway yesterday. Even Curtis, who refuses to smile about anything, couldn't stop grinning while he was playing in the construction zone.

But that was nothing compared to his happiness working as a mailman. 

He spent at least an hour picking up the mail from the big, blue mailbox and delivering it to all of the little mailboxes around the museum--the market, the farm, and even the dog house. (Luckily, Paige was happy to keep retuning all of the mail to the big box, so he could just keep delivering and delivering.) 

And the fun didn't end there. When he got home, Paige dumped out every tupperware container in the house and turned them into mailboxes. With a grocery bag slung over his shoulder, Curtis delivered mail to our room, Paige's room, the family room, and the kitchen. Over and over.  

Today, when I got home from church, Paige had even made name tags for Curtis and his junior assistant. It looks like their company is called the Mailman Brothers. 


Watch out FedEx, the Sutherland boys are gunning for you.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Paige's First Solo

If you've ever been to a Mormon Primary Program (where the kids sing and do all the talks during Sacrament Meeting), you've probably noticed that there's always one kid who sings about twice as loud as all the others combined.

In our ward, that kid is not only loud, but sings with enough vibrato to make any opera singer jealous. That kid is Paigey

We've known this about Paige for a few years now, we just hoped that others wouldn't notice. Well, they did.

A few weeks before the Primary Program, Paige was asked if she would sing a solo. She was ecstatic about the opportunity. We were a little nervous about it, especially since she refuses to sing in front of us, which means should wouldn't practice at all.

Paige didn't seem to get nervous until the day of the event, when we were driving to church. "My stomach feels weird," she said.

By the time she was sitting on the stand, fidgeting uncomfortably, I could tell she was really nervous. But she still probably wasn't as nervous as Traci and I.

When she walked up to the microphone, all alone, my heart was thumping in my ears. The piano started, the chorister raised her arm, and give Paige her cue. After a small pause--which felt like a mega enormous is-she-going-to-do-it pause to her parents--a voice as big as a house excited our tiny daughter's body.

She did a wonderful(ly dramatic) job. We were very proud of her.

She was also proud of herself. As she went back to her seat to sing the remainder of the songs with the the primary, she was beaming. She continued to belt the songs out, louder than anyone else but now with her arms crossed proudly across her chest and her eyes closed like an R&B diva.

After the program, she was showered with praise from just about everyone. She, of course, let this go directly to her head.

After church, we had this conversation:

Me: Paige, you did a great job. Do you think you'd want to try taking voice lessons?

Paige: [Rolling her eyes] Voice lessons? What are voice lessons?

Me: It's like your piano lessons, but you practice singing.

Paige: Dad, I take piano lessons so I can get good at playing piano. I'm already good at singing.

Later that night, I left the kids in the car while I dropped some keys off at the Relief Society president's house. When I got back in, Paige said, "Let me guess, Sister Rickards told you what a good job I did." (No, Paige. I'm sorry to say she didn't mention it.)

It's good to have a confident kid.


On a related note, Curtis also refuses to sing. But not just in front of us, he refuses to sing ever. (Well, that's not entirely true. I have heard him singing C&C Music Factory in the bathroom.) He once again refused to sing during the Primary Program. But we had a few major breakthroughs. Not only did he stay on the stage for the whole program (with his lips pursed so no singing could slip out), but he actually said his one-sentence part into the microphone. (Last year, he walked up to the microphone and not only refused to deliver his line, but turned his back to the audience. Take that, crowd!) It was super fast and completely mumbly, but he did it. Another proud parent moment.

Jazz Game Night, Take Two

Last April, I attempted to take Curtis to his first Jazz game, only to have him decide at the last second that he didn't want to go.

Because I'm a resilient father (or maybe stubborn...or stupid), I gave it another shot.

I  tried to learn from last season's mistake. This time around, we left straight from our house so the allure of grandma's house or cookies or toys could not distract him. Traci was not allowed to speak of what she, Paige, and Tate were going to do while we were gone. We were only focusing on the game.

We successfully made it into the car (which I know isn't true success; I still remember when I took Curtis to Monster Jam and he didn't start bawling until we were all the way to the arena) and he was still pretty excited about the game.

At the Gateway before the game
We made it to the arena and he was still happy. It was free t-shirt night, so Curtis and I put on our matching shirts--me in a Men's XL and Curtis in the smallest size available, a Men's L that went down to his calves--and made our way to our seats.

It only got better from there:
  • We had aisle seats on the eighth row (thanks, New Job)
  • The Jazz Bear slid down the stairs on his sled right next to us
  • The Jazz dancers danced right next to us (Dad like this part)
  • During a timeout, the Jazz Bear played Curt's favorite sport, human bowling, and got a strike (with the help of Little Jazz Bear)!
  • Curtis and were on the Jumbo Tron for like 15 seconds (me shaking my keys and whooping it up for the "Show us Your Keys" contest; Curtis refusing to acknowledge the camera) 

Curtis, being Curtis, did not allow his emotions to get the best of him. I don't think I saw him smile the entire night. (But I did spy the half-smile he does when he wants to smile, but doesn't want you to see it.) But I knew he was having a great time.

In our matching shirts
On the ride home, I asked him what his favorite part of the game was. In classic Curtis fashion, he said it was when I bought him a bouncy ball out of the vending machine by the parking lot. But when we got home, his true feelings were revealed.

He ran straight up to Paige and said excitedly, "Paige! We got shirts and the Jazz Bear rode on his sled and Dad was shaking his keys and the Jazz wore their green jerseys but they didn't win and the Jazz Bear knocked down all the pins and I got this cool bouncy ball."

The night was a success. He's already asked when we can go to another game.

And that makes my heart happy.


Friday, November 29, 2013

Our Own Baby Moses in the Basket

We've created a (red-headed) monster. We learned long ago that kids like non-toy toys way better than toy-toys (have you ever seen a kid choose a toy cell phone over a real one? and what's more fun than playing with the remote?).

Every time Traci folds the laundry, Tate clamors to get in the basket. He loves it when I push him around the floor in the basket or shake it (like a Polaroid picture). A couple of weeks ago, he realized that he could transform the laundry basket into a relaxation station. He got his blanket, his bottle, and a pillow. You've never seen a happier kid.

I jokingly asked if he wanted to sleep in there. Stupid question. Of course he did.

"Sorry, kid, you can't really sleep in the basket."

Paige--ever the helper--chimed in. "But dad, he really wants to sleep in the basket. Why don't you just let him?"

"Because I don't want him all scrunched in there and because I don't want him to tip over in the middle of the night and get trapped under the basket." And, for good measure, I added,"And suffocate and die."

But it was too late. The seed had been planted. Every night before bed, Tate asked if he could sleep in his basket. And every night I'd say no. Until one particularly crappy night where Tate was (again) refusing to go to bed. I gave in and put him in the basket. Problem solved. He went to sleep.

Problem created.  Now he'll only sleep in his basket.

So every night, we go through the following routine:
  • Put Tate and all of his accoutrements (blanket, pillow, stuffed monkey, books) in the basket
  • Hoist the basket into his crib
  • Wait long enough that he's asleep - but not too long that I fall asleep - before going into his room, taking him out of the basket, and putting him in the crib
There have been a few nights when I've forgotten that he was still in his basket, only to be awakened by a screeching two year old at 2 a.m. Luckily, you just have to rescue him from the tipped-over basket and he goes right back to sleep. 

We're great parents. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Paige Bailey, 8 Years Old

For the most part, Traci and I started having kids the same time as the rest of our friends. So, that means our kids have reached milestones at about the time--off to nursery, off to preschool, off to kindergarten. Each of these landmarks have been important for sure, but also incremental and manageable. (Well, off to kindergarten was pretty scary for mom and dad.) Age eight--the one where they get baptized and start making that transition from little kid to big kid--always seemed so far away.

But now it's here.

We are the parents of an eight year old.

Paige is ready to be eight. Actually, I think she'd feel just fine being 13, the way she bosses us around and makes it clear that she knows everything.  She's incredibly smart, often very sweet, and more often very stubborn. And we love her.

Age eight seems like a good time to look back at how she's grown (and to wonder where the time has gone).

After a pretty scary emergency C-section, this little baby came out perfect.

At age 1, Paige kind of had the shape of a bowling bowl. (And the hair of Beavis and Butt-head--completely missing on the sides.)

By age two, Paige had inherited her mother's curly hair, which she twirled in her fingers incessantly. 

By the time she was three, Paige had become a big sister. (She liked Curtis a lot more then than she does now.)

By age four, to her mother's chagrin, the curls started to disappear. 

The five-year-old princess spent her birthday at Disneyland.

When  she was six, Paige had to share the house (and the spotlight) with Curtis and Tate.

Age seven was when the teeth started falling out. 

And here we are today. We're pretty lucky to have her.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Why I Never Want to Drive the Carpool Again

Yesterday, I had the singular privilege of driving the carpool. I had Curtis and three seven-year-old girls riding with me in the minivan. Within minutes of our departure, they started playing the "raise your hand if..." game. It started like this.

"Raise your hand if you've seen Monsters University."

And, logically, went to this.

"Raise your hand if you've seen Despicable 2."

I wasn't too surprised when it took a more aspirational turn.

"Raise your hand if you wish that you could live at Disneyland."

"Raise your hand if you wish the sky was made out of cotton candy."

Then Curtis added his two cents.

"Raise your hand if you want to punch Santa in the head and take all of his presents." (That's my boy!)

From there, the conversation devolved into the most random collection of thoughts I have ever heard.

"Raise your hand if you want a giant red star to explode and destroy the entire earth."

"Raise your hand if you want California to slide into the ocean." (From the "red star" girl.)

"Raise your hand if your great grandpa is Russell M. Nelson."

"Raise your hand if you want to kiss Abraham Lincoln." (From Curtis.)

"Raise your hand if your mom voted for Mitt Romney."

"Raise your hand if Barack Obama made your dad lose his job."

"Raise your hand if you want to become the president so you can make everyone in the world kill themselves." (More "red star." What are they reading at that house?)

Does anyone know where you get one of those limousine windows that's between the driver and the backseat? I'd like to get one installed in the minivan.

Sunday, November 10, 2013



Here's the problem with cleaning out the basement during daylight hours. Your kids wander down there to see what you're up to. When they see boxes full of stuff, they of course want to see what's in there, and then instantly think they need to get it out of the box, take it back upstairs, and make things messier than they were before you started cleaning in the first place. 

A couple of weeks ago, Curtis saw a box in the basement labeled "board games." He implored me to get it down and reveal the contents. They were all grownup games--Scattergories, Cranium, etc.--so I didn't think he'd be too interested. But one caught his attention. My most loathed game. Monolopy. (Or monop-you-ly, as Curtis calls it.)

"Dad, let's play." 

"Sorry, buddy," I said. "If we get that out while Tate's around, you know he'll destroy everything."

"Can we play it when he takes his nap?"

"Sounds like a great idea." It did sound like a great idea. (Because Tate hasn't started to grow out of taking naps, to Traci's endless chagrin.)

Every few days, Curtis would bring it up again. 

"Dad, let's play Monopoly."

"We will...during Tate's nap."

This actually worked for a couple of weeks. Until Curtis had finally had enough. 

"Dad, I want to play NOW. "

So I gave in. I thought he'd be bored by the time we got the game set up (which takes forever, one of the many things I hate about Monopoly). Nope. He loved it. (Even with the non-napping Tate destroying everything.) 

Now we have to play it every day, multiple times a day. 

From now on, I'm only cleaning the basement after the kids are asleep. 

Saturday, November 09, 2013

If You Need Me, I'll be Sleeping in My Shed

"It'll take a Saturday." That's what the girl at the Lifetime store says when I ask how long it should take to assemble the shed I was about to purchase.

Before I let her swipe my credit card, I probably should have rephrased the question--"How long will it take me to assemble this shed?"

If she could have seen the future, she would have replied:

"It will take me 15 minutes, with the help of a forklift, to get the shed loaded in the back of the truck that you borrowed from your dad..."

"Your tailgate won't close, so you'll be nervous about driving home, so you won't take the freeway, and it will take you like an hour to get back home..."

"It will take you a couple of trips to Lowe's to buy wood and gravel to build a base for the shed (only to give in and just decide to put the stupid thing directly on the ground..."

"Then it'll finally be time for that "Saturday," so you'll have to invite your brother-in-law over to help you (he put his together all by himself in an evening)..."

"It will be going pretty well, but then he'll have to leave for his kid's football game..."

"And then your parents will come over to help. Your mom will see you taking pictures and threaten 'If you put this on your blog...'"

"The pieces will only almost-fit and it will be a hugely, hugely frustrating experience, but you'll get so close to being done...and then run out of daylight..."

"And then you'll have to wait until Monday and the last piece won't fit and you'll run out of daylight again..."

"And you won't be able to stop thinking about what in the world you're doing wrong..."

"And your brother-in-law will come over again and notice you forgot a piece from page 8 of the 150 million-page instruction book..."

"But he'll know how to fix stuff..."

"And you'll finally get it done..."

"And notice that it sure looks a lot smaller than you thought it'd be..."

But instead, the girl at the register says, "It'll take a Saturday."

And I fall for it.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Held For Ransom...By a Five-Year-Old

Curtis hates sleeping in his bed. Paige was sick the other night, so he jumped at the chance to sleep on the couch in the family room downstairs. (Who could blame him? He sleeps on the bottom bunk. I wouldn't want to be in Paige's splash zone, either.)

Now he doesn't want to go back upstairs.

Me: Curtis, you need to go back in your bed tonight.

Curtis: No.

I left it that.

Five minutes later...

Curtis: Do you know when I'm going to sleep in my bed again?

Me: When?

Curtis: Never.

Two minutes later...

Curtis: Do you know what you'd have to do to get me to sleep in my bed?

Me: What?

Curtis: Give me five dollars.

Me: [No response]

Curtis: And I want it in one dollars. Five of them. Or a dollar bill that's a five dollar bill.

Me: [Silence.]

Two minutes later...

Curtis: And I won't take coins. It's got to be dollars.

One minute later...

Curtis: And if you don't have dollars, I'll just take your wallet.

That's when I walked away.

I don't negotiate with terrorists.

I still have my five dollars.

Curtis is asleep on the couch downstairs.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Trip to Jurassic Park

For months, we'd planned to take our kids to Dinosaur Land over UEA weekend. There was just one problem. Dinosaur Land is technically called Dinosaur National Monument. And as we all know, our beloved Senator Mike Lee decided to close down all national parks in order to prove to President Obama that Americans shouldn't have healthcare coverage or access to fake dinosaurs. Or something like that.

Right after we officially decided to pull the plug on the trip, the government--and the park--reopened. But it was too late for us to turn back. Luckily, we had a backup plan.

Instead of driving three hours to Vernal and staying overnight, we just hopped in the car and drove 45 minutes to the Dinosaur Park in Ogden.

It was a perfect fall day for looking at giant dinosaur statues (surrounded by blowup Halloween decorations), digging for bones, and playing on the Jurassic playground.

And if that wasn't enough, we were able to eat dinner with our Dutch friends, the Koots, on our way home. They made us delicious pannekoeken. These Dutch pancakes are superior to the American kind because they can be filled with cheese, or apples, or ham, or whatever. Curtis topped his cheese pancake with dark chocolate syrup and whipped cream. I ate my ham pancake straight up. Dee-lish.

Sorry, Mike Lee. You can't hold the Sutherlands down.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Another Season of Soccer

I didn't mind coaching Curtis' soccer team last season. But since I'm still finding my place at New Job, I decided I'd just be a bystander this go round. 

It just didn't work out that way. 

"Organization night" (which is always highly disorganized) happens a couple of days before the first game of the season. The kids meet their coach and get their uniforms (the most important part of the entire season), and the parents pass around the treat sign-up sheet. 

When we showed up at organization night, we didn't see any coach or any uniforms, just a bunch of parents looking awkwardly at each other. After a few minutes, someone from the rec center came over and said, "Uh, are any of you the coach?" 


"Yeah, we had a guy say he'd be the coach, but he's obviously not here. I've tried to call him like a hundred times and he never answers or calls me back. So does anyone else want to be the coach?"


Everyone looks awkwardly at the ground. Since I was the only dad there (not that it takes a dad to be a coach, just ask my own coach/mother), and one of the only folks that spoke English as a first language, I volunteered. 

Today was the last game of the season. Curtis had another good year. It was a little harder to score goals with actual goalies (there are no goalies in the Pre-K league), but he still managed to be quite the little Cristiano Ronaldo (just with more army rolling; Curtis spends more time diving and rolling than any kid on the field). 

Because it was the last game, I figured we needed some action shots. Traci was working today, so I had to sneak some shots while I was coaching. As I was running down the field with the team, I took. Curtis, the boy who hates pictures, was not amused. 

At this point he turned and said, "Dad, what are you doing?"

Every kid loves to be the goalie. Not only do you get to touch the ball with your hands, but you get to wear this cool dress.

I finally got a great action shot without Curtis noticing; but I blew it with my fat finger

i tried again, but Curtis was not having it
Maybe we'll have better luck with pictures next year.

The Best Part of General Conference

Young little families are supposed to make traditions, right? For the second straight year, we decided to spend the two hours between the Sunday sessions of General Conference walking around Silver Lake at Brighton. We figured it would be the perfect time to see the fall leaves in Big Cottonwood Canyon and also give us a chance to enjoy the mountains for the last time before winter.

Once again it was a minor disaster. 

Last year, we left sunny and warm Salt Lake City only to arrive at a Brighton that it was much colder than we had expected--or dressed for. But this year, we were ready. We got all bundled up and loaded into the van. 

Curt was upset about something to do with his gloves, so he screamed, whined, and cried the entire trip up the mountain. Once we got there, he was fine. And, as it turned out, we didn't need all the warm clothes anyway. The temperature was really nice, but there was quite a bit of snow on the ground. 

That was great news for Tate and Curtis, who were ecstatic about throwing snowballs. The only problem was that a warm day, combined with melting snow, equals a muddy mess. This was reason enough for Paige to be upset the entire time we were there.

Grumpy Paige, grumpy Curtis, muddy Tate (who couldn't manage to stay upright on the icy paths), and hungry parents made for a great trip. 

Disgruntled family time. An annual tradition.

Here are some pictures of us pretending to have a good time.

Curtis, refusing to smile

Tate was the happiest of the bunch

Paige, refusing to have any fun

Smile, Curtis. I'm gonna take a picture of us.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

October Boys

Today Curtis and I worked on fielding ground balls for the first time. 

It's good to be a dad. 

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

We Raise Healthy Children

We've always had trouble with Paige and food. At any given time, there's only about three things that she's willing to eat. Usually it's nuggets, pizza (but only gross pizza Little Caesars or Totino's; I brought home The Pie the other day and she refused to eat it), and cottage cheese. But she's never had trouble with candy. 

This is her creation from our last trip to Yogurtland. Cheesecake yogurt, covered in gummy worms and Reese's Pieces. She ate every bite. 

We're good parents. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

First Trip to the Conference Center

For this year's regional conference, our stake was invited to the Conference Center. I took Paige and Curtis and Traci stayed home with monster Tate (or rather went to the stake center where he could do less damage). Our kids had never been inside before. They seemed to be impressed, first by the size of the auditorium and later, when Curtis conveniently needed to go by the bathroom, by the general echo-ey-ness of the halls.   

After we left, I asked Curtis, "So, what did you think of the Conference Center?"

"It was boring," he replied. 

It was kind of boring. But most educational experiences usually are. 

We stopped by the State Capitol after. They were much more impressed.

When we walked inside, Paige gasped," Wow, somebody really rich must live here."

Even Curtis enjoyed it.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Two Months of New Job + Can I Borrow a Spoon?

I've officially been at new job for just over two months now. Things are going well. I like the people I work with and I'm starting to find my way around--both literally and figuratively. I'm no longer getting lost on my way back to my car (but still sometimes on my way to different conference rooms around the building) and my job tasks are becoming more clear. But it's still hard. I still have no idea what I'm doing a good chunk of the time and I definitely miss my friends at Insurance.

Speaking of Insurance, I had lunch with the old crew a couple of weeks ago. I told them about some of the little things that are different about my new job.

Me: They have a lunch room, but no plates or utensils like they do here.

Them: So what do you do when you bring lunch from home?

Me: Well, you bring your own utensils. Which is fine. Unless you forget. Which I do.

Them: Hmm.

The next week, one of my Insurance friends came to lunch at my office. We ate in the break room.

Friend: [Dumping a pile of the plastic on the table] I brought you some utensils.

Me: Thank you.

We left the utensils on the table while we went to the microwave. When we came back, an unfamiliar coworker was waiting for us.

Coworker: Uh, hi. Um, I brought clam chowder for lunch today. But I...I...didn't bring a spoon.

Me: Do you need a spoon, my friend?

Coworker: Yes, please. Thank you. Thank you.

New job. Things are different.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

McDonalds' Deepest Secret Revealed

We were at McDonalds when I overheard Paige telling Curtis something very important.

"Curtis, do you want to know what the secret ingredient in McDonalds' fries is?"

Curtis, intrigued, nodded his head.

 Paige leaned in close and whispered, "It's potatoes."

Curtis' eyes got big, and he responded, "Whoa."

Sorry, McDonalds. The code has been cracked.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Costco Exacts its Revenge

I admit it. I'm a horrible father.

Going to Costco with three kids is incredibly difficult. Paige likes to wander off. Curtis likes to get in and out of the cart about a thousand times. Tate only likes to get out of the cart and is happy to jump right out if I'm not paying attention.

The only way to have anything close to a good experience at Costco is to promise the kids a treat at the end--a berry smoothie.

Unlike Traci, I make the kids share a smoothie. I do this for two reasons: 1) I'm cheap and 2) I don't think they each need their own giant cup of sugar.

This inevitably leads to more fighting and bad behavior than if I would have given them any treat at all. I know this.

Last week, Costco karma caught up with me.

While Traci was at work, I took the kids to Costco by myself. We only purchased two items: a $36 pack of diapers and one berry smoothie. (As usual, lots of fighting ensued.)

About two days later, it was time to bust out the new diapers. I couldn't find them in Tate's room, so I checked the van. Nope, not there. They also weren't in the closet or the kitchen or the garage. Where were they? I'm pretty sure they were in the in the bottom of the the parking the blasted Costco.

You win, Costco, you win. Next time, I'll spring for a second $1.45 smoothie. (Tate still has to share.)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

What Makes Reading Hard?

Without any help from us, Paige started reading when she was three. When she brought home her schoolwork today, we noticed a worksheet called "Background Survey On Reading." It's a little survey to score your confidence in reading.

There are questions like "place an X on the face that shows how you feel about reading" (Paige X'd the smiley face) and "what is your favorite book for reading by yourself?" (Magic Tree House.)

I loved Paige's answer to "What makes reading hard for you?" I'm sure some kids wrote, "It's boring" or "There are too many long words."

Not Paige.

Her response? "If the pages are ripped out."

She's right. That does make reading hard.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

And Now We Have a Kindergartner

Today Curtis became a kindergartner.

Because he goes to the afternoon class, I wasn't around for the first day drop off. Here's the report I got from Traci.

Traci: Curtis, are you nervous?

Curtis: No.

Traci: Are you excited?

Curtis: No.

Traci: Are you scared?

Curtis: No.

Traci: Do you think it will be fun?

Curtis: No.

Despite his (always) stoic exterior, it sounds like he went into the class, sat down on the rug, and got right to being a kindergartner.

(Traci then went back to car and cried a little bit.)

When I talked to him tonight, he gave me a pretty succinct review. Story time. Recess. Puzzles. And a treat consisting of both gummy bears and a cookie. Plus, he met two friends--Jordan and Jack (or Jake, he couldn't quite remember which).

Sounds like a pretty good day.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Paige Starts 2nd Grade (and It's No Big Deal)

The first day of school is hard...for parents.

I remember being nervous the day Paige went off to preschool (looking back at the photo, I can't believe how little she was). Would she be scared? Would she listen to her teacher? Would she be nice to the other kids?

Sending her off to kindergarten (on the bus!) was even harder. How would she do at lunchtime? Who would she play with at recess? Would she scared to be on the bus by herself?

Then she tested into the advanced learner program for first grade, so we sent her to a new school. How would she do with the tougher curriculum? Would she still be smart when surrounded by a bunch of other little nerds?

Of course, there was probably never a need to worry. She loves school. She's smart. She's made friends. She's a nerdy teacher's pet.

So this year, I didn't worry. I just gave her a kiss and sent her on her way. She'll be just fine.

Now Curtis on the other hand...he starts kindergarten on Wednesday. I'm nervous. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Real Navajo Tacos with a Real Navajo

When Steve, my Navajo friend, told me that he'd come to my house and teach my family how to make real Navajo tacos, I thought he was just kidding. No. He was was serious. Very serious. 

He came over--arms filled with all of the necessary supplies--and not only told us how it was done, but showed us. And we weren't allowed to just sit back and watch. We had to get in there and get our hands dirty. 

I thought the kids would act like they do when the home teachers come--stick around for 30 seconds and then disappear into the basement. Nope. Steve totally kept their attention as he walked us through the intricacies of not just kneading the dough, but thinking positive thoughts while kneading the dough. The kids were enraptured. 

We've known for some time that Paige is less of a worker and more of a manager. She didn't want to get her hands messy, so instead of doing any actual cooking, she spent at least a half hour talking with Steve about possible price points for her eventual Navajo taco stand. (Steve: "I think you could charge $2 for a piece of fry bread; $3 if you add a Shasta and an Otterpop." Paige: "Uh, yeah. But if you only charge $1, more people would want to buy it.")

Curtis, who never talks to anyone, spent the whole night chatting with Steve about the dough, and basketball, and the rules to playing HORSE. Of course, that doesn't mean he'll smile for a picture--even when he's surrounded by a mountain of fry bread that he made himself. 

It was a pretty great evening with Steve and Tami. (Before they came over, Curtis asked Traci, "Mom, who's Tom and Jerry?" Traci replied, confused, "Uh, a cartoon cat and mouse." Curtis shook his head. "No, the Tom and Jerry that are coming over tonight." The light bulb went on for Traci. "Oh, not Tom and Jerry. Steve and Tami.")

We're lucky to have such great friends.