Monday, January 28, 2013

Poverty vs. Puberty

Tonight at dinner, Briggs asked what Poverty meant.
With his little hands waving in a matter of fact way, Ty said, "You know, it's when something changes."

The rest of us looked confused until Briggs said, "No! That's Puberty!"

We would have never connected those dots.

The Rober's Are Getting a Pet?

 The other evening the kids Shanghaied us. They had us sit on the couch while the three of them stood in front of us with a board filled with lists. The first words our of their mouths were, "We are proposing that we get a hamster."

Brian and I were silent.

 They then proceeded with their presentations, which consisted of a list of necessary supplies, cost and Owner Household rankings telling us that Hamster owners are number 8 on the list.

Who does this?!

 All of this was done completely on their own and a total surprise to us.  At the end of the presentations they raised their right hands and took an oath in unison (see the above picture). The gist of it was that they pledged to care for the hamster and feed the hamster and pay $5.00 of their own money towards the purchase of said hamster. "We Promise!" they chimed in together.
 It's kind of hard to say no to that. So we told them we'd think about it. They were smart to ask for a hamster and not go straight for the dog (because the answer would have been "No"). So on Saturday, we took them to PetCo to pick out supplies, all in preparation for the purchase of a hamster in a week.

Ty Plays the Piano

 Last fall we signed Ty up for soccer.  He hated it. We thought his aggressive nature would benefit him on the soccer field. It didn't.  Because he couldn't care one lick for soccer.  He use to say, "I don't want to play soccer! I just want to take piano lessons!"

 He did a little fist pump when I told him I had signed him up for lessons a couple of weeks ago. Then when the day of his first lesson arrived, and we were all puking our guts out, I had to cancel the lesson for the day. His response was, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!".  He was a little bummed

When the day finally arrived he was so eager and excited. He told everyone that he was taking piano lessons. At one point during the lesson, after the teacher had asked him a question and he had answered correctly, she exclaimed (like any encouraging adult would) "That's right! You must be the smartest kid in your class!" He locked eyes with her, paused for a moment to figure out if she was a mind reader, then stated matter-of-factly, "I am." As if to say, "How did you know?"

Right after the lesson, he came home and immediately practiced and showed everyone his books.  Since then he has practiced every day.

Now, I know this eagerness is probably short lived, and the day will come when I have to bribe him to practice, but the fact remains: This child has never been excited to do any kind of work! And he is excited to do his piano homework!

I'll take it!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Mid Winter Flu

This was my Facebook status at 3:30 am Tuesday/Wednesday morning. Yes. It was that kind of week.:

 It's 3:29am and we just hit the jackpot with the flu bug. 3 kids throwing up- all 3 kids reacting exactly like their personalities. One is beating up the toilet because he's so angry, one gets sick and quietly goes back to bed, and the girl is screaming at the top of her lungs that SOMETHING IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN! News flash: you're about to puke. If Brian and I get sick, there aren't enough toilets in the house. Fingers crossed!
 So the fingers crossed superstition didn't work. I ended up getting sick in the afternoon. Luckily the kids were all laying low so I was able to rest myself. I didn't have to feed a single person all day Wednesday! That's a bonus, right? I just kept saying, "Have you taken a sip of Gatorade yet?" The kids didn't even know Mom was puking upstairs.

The worst part was we were planning to go to San Luis for the weekend and Brian was headed to Texas for the Digital Dudz trade show and we were all afraid our flu bug was going to keep us from our plans. I was actually glad when I got sick because then I knew it would be over before the weekend and I didn't have to worry about going out of town, then getting sick when I wasn't home. Or spreading germs to all of our friends. Brian was a different story. I did not want him getting sick on the plane and I didn't want him to miss this big event he had been preparing for. I told him Wednesday night to not even come home. But he did and help clean up the house a little bit. Which was nice, because as you can see it was kind of a mess.
 We rested Wednesday and Thursday and felt all better for school on Friday. I was able to pack and get us ready for our trip and Brian at least made it through the plane ride to Texas without getting sick (he eventually made it through the whole weekend without getting our bug. How did that happen? because he was the one to clean up Ty's mess in his room when it looked like a horror movie. What do you get when a 6 year old throws up in his sleep and doesn't even know it? An Epic Mess, that's what you get.)
Here's me trying to stay hydrated and realizing my lemons look pretty in my turquoise bowl.

And this is what the house looked like all week and even how it stayed when we went out of town. It's not how I usually leave the house when I travel, but we had an excuse.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

You Say You Want a Revolution

Ashlynn came home from school the other day with news. At her school, they don't have full time PE teachers. Each teacher is responsible for the PE curriculum for their individual classrooms. At the school there are 2 male 6th grade teachers and 2 female 6th grade teachers. Apparently the female teachers have been teaching gymnastics and rhythmic dance for PE and the male teachers have been teaching the more classic soccer and basketball for PE. Ashlynn has a male teacher, so you can imagine how she feels when she sees that she is required to play baseball while other kids are doing gymnastics. "Girl Sports" vs. "Boy Sports". So much for our feminist girl power talks.

So she came home the other day with news that the girls in her class signed a petition stating that they wanted more girl sports. I could tell she was dancing around some info. So I asked her casually if by chance she had written the petition herself.

"I might have!" was her reply, with a proud twinkle in her eye.

I told her I supported her in her movement as long as she was being respectful to her teacher. Then I wrote a little note to her teacher.

I hear my daughter has been involved (read: instigating) a little political activism. I hope she is being respectful while starting a revolution in your class room. Please let me know if she isn't, otherwise I'll stay out of her Sixth-grade, anti-feminist, reinstatement of gender- stereotypical movement.

Kate Rober

His reply:

LOL - she brought her signed proposal to me and left it on my desk.  In addition, she pleaded her case during PE.  I will talk to Mr. F. regarding gymnastics - it's been a lot of years since I attended Byers but I'll see what we can do. :)  I admire her "spunk" and willingness to speak up - it's one of her greatest assets.

Thanks - Nate

My response:

She has never been lacking in the spunk department, sometimes she can take things a little too far though. That's why I wanted to check with you. And I like how, single-handedly, she is setting the feminist movement back 20 years. I guess all of those "girl power" talks we've had have made her confident enough to use phrases like "girl sports"
and "boy sports". Thanks for understanding.

And if your gymnastics is a little rusty, might I suggest ribbon dancing, aerobics, interpretive dance or square dancing...

Or better yet, make her teach the class some of her clogging skills.

Just a thought...

Only Slightly Joking,
Kate Rober
A couple of days later I kept her home from school, sick with the flu and received this email:

Ashlynn sick today or is she protesting? (joke)

Things are never dull with Ashlynn around! Boom Baby!

Everyday news

 Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to attend the temple.
At 9:00 am on a weekday.
By myself.
While the kids were at school.
And be home in time to pick them up at the end of their school day.

I've been looking forward to this season in my life for a while. I'm grateful we live where we do and that it allows me the opportunity to spend a morning in such a way. Here's to more similar Tuesday mornings!

 A friend introduced us to these chips. I'm obsessed. I can only find them locally at WinCo.
Finally found a salon I'm comfortable with and got myself a haircut.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Baby It's Cold Outside!

 It's been a little cold outside lately. The fireplace has been on non-stop and I've had to slip away as often as I can to thaw out in a hot bath. It's a good thing we only live in Northern California! The other night Ashlynn was even cold. This never happens. She curled up in front of the fireplace with a book and a down blanket and promptly fell asleep. Jealous!
And we've been doing a little bit of growing around here. Just to put some scale to this picture, Ty and Briggs have grown 1.25" in 9 months and Ashlynn has grown 1.25" in 7 months.

And she's taller than Briggs.

There were cartwheels over that one.

And our budget for jeans has had to stretch a little bit!

Happy for healthy tall(er) kids!

Digital Dudz tables

 Behold! The Digital Dudz light table! Brian and Mark have been working hard on these and I think they turned out awesome.  Brian created a stencil for the logo with the use of an exacto knife. Sand blasted the acrylic through the stencil to create an uneven surface that will catch the light of the LED's. Wire up some really cool color changing LED lights on a strip around the acrylic table top and under the wooden part of the table. Line the bottom of the table with grey felt. Make sure it's assembled in such a way that you can do three things:
1. Load all 5 tables into a 4x4 pallet to be shipped to Houston for the show.
2. Assemble them once they get to the show.
3. Load up the tables with Digital Dudz gear and make sure all of the hardware is safe beneath the acrylic table tops.

NBD! (No Big Deal.)
And the homemade pallet and crate awaiting the freight truck in our garage. Let's hope it looks like this in Houston!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hide and Seek Laundry

Last night for Family Home Evening we played Hide and Seek. It's been a while since I played. So when I was asked to hide for the first round, I didn't feel like cramming into a tiny, cramped space. So I hid under my covers in my bed.


The next round I was chosen to be "It" (by way of my name being drawn out of a hat by Ty). The person who was "It" was assigned to count to 60 in the laundry room. The laundry room because there's not really any good hiding places in there. So I went and started counting loudly to 60...

It was at about 5 that I realized the boredom of standing there for 55 more seconds doing nothing was going to drive me nuts (curse you iphone! You have destroyed my ability to wait. Patiently.)

It was at 6 that I realized I had put a load of white rags in the wash earlier and never switched them to the dryer. A classic Kate move, as my college roommates can attest to. So I moved the laundry over. Then I sorted some laundry. Then I looked at my pretty catchall bowl of items I collect from pockets.

Then, before I knew it, the 60 seconds was up! It's amazing what you can get done in 60 seconds!

(FYI: the tennis ball was not found in someones pocket. I put it in the dryer to speed up drying times. It really works. As long as your tennis ball is clean.)

PS. Ashlynn was behind the kitchen curtains, Briggs behind the living room couch, Ty I looked over at first in between the living room bookcase and the wall, and Brian, lastly, in the loft, next to the toy shelf, with the candle stick...


Been felling creative lately and had to gather some inspiration. Not sure if it will actually come to fruition.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


The cashier at Michael's today told us our total was "Farty-two dollars". I guess she's Irish. And I guess my kids think that's Really Funny. They couldn't make it out of the sotre without giggling. I guess it's time for some sensitivity training...

I'm pretty sure they were thinking of this skit.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Family Goal Completed

Last year, in September, we started reading the Book of Mormon every day. We figured we try and get through it as a family. In January, the Stake Presidency challenged the stake with the goal of reading the Book of Mormon. So we kept going.

Every night, we'd pass the book around. Everyone would read.(Bonus blessing: everyones reading fluency improved like crazy!) Whatever we read, we'd color in with a crayon. Different colors all year.

Sometimes we would fall behind. Sometimes Mom and Dad were too tired. Sometimes the kids had to remind us to read. Sometimes we would listen to an audio version if we were traveling long distances, or on our way to church. Sometimes just because, sometimes because we needed to catch up. We read the last chapter on Christmas Eve.

What we ended up with was a really colorful Book of Mormon (why did we choose pocket size?! That thing was small and hard to read!), three kids who can say they read the book of Mormon cover to cover before they are 12 and who, 2 parents who can say it is possible to accomplish a reading like this with small children, and a pretty good bedtime routine.

But mostly we ended up with a family of individuals who can say they understand the conflict between the Lamanites and Nephites and other ancient inhabitants of the Americas a little better. A family who talked more about the importance of family records and the dangers of the pride cycle. And first and foremost, a family who can testify that the Book of Mormon truly is another Testament of Jesus Christ. That it's main focus is to bring people to him and his teachings. I think we've felt that.

We have so much more to learn and grow. We've only scratched the surface of what we can learn from it's pages. But it's a pretty good foundation and start for our family.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Brian's Building project

Brian's brother, Mark, asked him to help with a "little" project for Digital Dudz. Later this month is a Halloween trade show/convention in Houston... and Digital Dudz will be present...and accounted for. So they need display tables. And just any old table wouldn't do! It had to stand out. So with Marks vision, Brian has been building these tables, made to display Digital Dudz products and the logo, brought to you by LED lights, shining through acrylic that has been sand blasted. NBD (No Big Deal). All 5 tables have to be built, then shipped to Houston. I think Brian has enjoyed the project. It's been a nice distraction from work.

P.S. The tables aren't even finished yet. This picture is only what we have "so far"! More pictures to come later!
LED's on a strip!?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Years Eve

 We met up with Annessa and the kids on New Years Eve in downtown San Jose at the Tech Museum. The kids favorite part was the MythBusters exhibit.
 Ty submitted a myth.
 Natalee testing out the swing held up by phone books
 I wish I had these little stations around my house, for when the mood strikes to create!
 Ty checking out the blue prints
 Briggs nails the "table cloth and dishes" exhibit. All the (plastic) dishes were left standing!
 He's fast!
 the boys playing with magnetic color changing toys.
 Ty, writing his name in binary code. He was so fast, I couldn't keep up with him.
 A tsunami survival pod. It reminded me of the Jaredite boats.
 a mini rover you could drive from a control room.
 Briggs driving the jet pack. you had to move the chair around so that a red light lined up with a target on the ceiling. Briggs got all 3 in the 60 second time allotment.
 the chair was a little big for Ty.
 Ty trying to focus the power of light onto a solar panel.
 Love Big Bang Theory

 My little Hobbitses!
The cousins enjoying their ipod.