Showing posts with label Jenna (things). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jenna (things). Show all posts

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Trading Treasures and Wheelin-Dealin’

Randy has always been charismatic.  Often he has conned others out of favors based on his charm.  One time in fifth grade, someone dared him to wear a dress onto the playground.  Of course Randy needed incentive and said he’d do it for five dollars. 

Randy wore the dress for the entire recess – but there had been a commotion about it.  Roland was called in and learned all what was involved.  Randy ended up having to give back the money on Roland’s orders.

When the boys were older, we had a family home evening on the talents.  To each boy we gave 20 dollars and told them to go multiply. 

Randy purchased 20 candles the following day.  He took his 20 candles from door to door and sold his one dollar candles for three dollars each.  And he would use his profits to purchase more candles until he had doubled his money and had made 40 dollars with the twenty.

Jenna was a cute baby.  People would melt whenever she would smile.  Many thought she was so cute, they would give her money – mostly elderly looking grandparents, but there had been a few that were obviously not old enough to be grandparents.  I remember hoping that it wouldn’t last – as it somehow felt inappropriate when she became older. 

Like Randy, she has charm and charisma and is somewhat of a wheeler dealer.

My Jenna left the house with a bag of rocks – most of them had been given to her several years ago by the neighbor next door.  She came home with a bag of toys.  Some surprised me.  In her collection were two bracelets, a bendy flower, a care bear, two plastic animals and a Barbie.  She had gotten the care bear for her cousin, Anna.  But why on earth would she want a Barbie?  We had given those up because she never really enjoyed playing with him.  She said she got it so she would “fit in” with her seven year old friends.

The thing I have been most surprised about is how much time she has spent playing with Barbie and combing out Barbie’s hair.  And this morning she brushed her own hair.

Okay, who are you and what have you done with my daughter?  Jenna’s favorite Disney princess is Merida.  Merida has unkempt hair – or so it seems.  Merida is not typical of girly stereotype.  She admires Merida for not giving into pressure.  And there she is on the couch combing her Barbie and setting her down so that they can both watch television together.  Interesting.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Joe Boxer Made Sock Sorting Easier

I’ve seen three socks and five socks in a package entitled “mix and match” I remember purchasing two five packs of the same prints so that I would have mates.  Selling socks by odd number seemed more foreign to me than mismatching.

         They actually work out perfectly for Jenna, who doesn’t pay much attention to whether they are even the same length or color.  I think she started a fad when she wore her mismated owl socks that I mention in this post

         So I’m sorting socks this morning and since the Joe Boxer socks can be mated with whatever I decide that I can mismatch whatever other socks I can’t find mates for.  I tried to make mine match but took all the left over printed socks and mated them by length and didn’t worry about the print.  I put all of the foreign pairs into Jenna’s drawer.  And she’ll not even care.

         She decided to turn the mismatched solids into sock puppets.  I caught her drawing on an outgrown sock (very white and clean) with a marker and decided to give her most of the solid ones I’ve had around for some time but have still not found mates for.  

She had quite the creative and artistic mind.  When she was three, she decided to make knee and elbow pads out of socks.  Her mind never stops thinking of ways to invent and recycle.  I LOVE my little girl.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Biff has always kept his body in great shape inside and out.  I wish I could say the same for his room.  I don’t have a picture of how it looked before I started cleaning.   

These pictures truly represent half-way done.  

Anyone who has been in Biff’s room can tell you that this is the cleanest it has looked from the day we moved in.

Actually it was clean one other time.  I took a picture for evidence.  But somehow I have misplaced that evidence.  Doesn’t matter.  I told Jenna that when David moved out, she could move into his room.  Not that her room looks any better

I had eight garbage bags FULL of Biff’s stuff (clothes mostly) I think three or four full of garbage.   

And four loads of towels.  FOUR LOADS.  This is a fraction of what I washed   

Jenna’s room was fine when we moved in four and a half years ago.  She was smaller then. Still in kindergarten.  We painted her room pink.  You’d think she would have learned to clean so it wouldn’t have crowded her out  

We’ll probably repaint it as it is going to be our computer/book room.  What will we do with all the extra space?

Jenna now likes the color blue.  We let her pick out her own paint color.

Once it was finished, we had purchased new curtains (well, new for her) and the decals she had received from Randy and Carrie for Christmas

Moved in most of her furniture  but also Biff’s old bed and dresser

She continues to add her personal touches

Though not all of her belongings have left the pink room, she has spent the last two nights in the blue room - her room which will NEVER EVER look like the first three photos on this post.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Thank You, Barbara Park, May You Rest in Peace.


In this post I mentioned the ability that Jenna has to create book projects to share about what books she has read.  One of her reports was a letter to the author of Junie B. Jones.  This is a letter which Jenna created for a grade.  We wanted to share it with the author who passed away in November.  We didn't realize that she had passed until we started searching for an address to send the letter to.  This is what Jenna wrote:

Dear Barbara, 

i’m a girl in 4th grade at [Vantana] Elementary in [Tannersville], Utah.  My name is [Jenna].  I absolutely love your books Junie b. Jones.  I’m going to tell you why.

First, Junie is like me: lonely but enthusiastic. 

Secondly, I’ve almost read the entire series of Junie b. Jones just not BOO . . . and I mean it and The Thanksgiving Light. Now I’m reading Cheater Pants

Thirdly, is Junie B from your childhood?

Lastly, Thanks for reading

From Jenna

It does seem a lot sweeter in her own print and mispells and charm.  But you get the jest.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Obsession for Pokemon: Really?

Shortly after Roland and I became engaged, he wrote me a mushy letter filled with sentiment and quotes.  One of the lines he had written was: “. . . as Pikachu say, “I choose you””

I had absolutely no clue what that even meant.  Pikachu?  I figured it must be a quote from some movie I hadn’t seen.  Not only had I never seen Pokemon, I had never even heard of it.

According to what I’ve read (or rather my understanding of what I’ve read) Pokemon started out as a video game before it became an animated cartoon that somehow made its way into the boys hearts.  The three knew all the Pokemon characters by name and site.  At least one of the three boys seemed obsessed.

I don’t know where Roland may have found the time to sit down with his boys and learn the names of each character and whatever quotes.  But Pokemon has done absolutely nothing for me.  And after learning somewhat of its origin and based on a video game I have a better understanding on why it’s never appealed to me.

I remember my eldest checking out the animated series from the library and asking Jenna to sit down and watch them with him.  She’d take him up on it, but would stare at the television and then look at him with curious eyes – are you serious?  You would rather watch this than Oobi or Oswald? Where is this going? Why do you find this entertaining?

After a while she would become bored and either leave or create stories in her head and pretend she was watching just to be with her oldest brother.  When he asked her if she liked it, she would say, “It’s Okay” That was being kind.

Biff would continue to share his love of Pokemon, but she was never really interested – until lately.  I am quite floored by her behavior.  But I know my daughter.  I know it is only a phase and will get old within months (at least that is my prediction)

Apparently one of her friends (a boy) gave her a Pokémon card and then another boy gave her three more.  Suddenly boys were interested in her (suddenly?  Boys have been after her since before pre-school.  I don’t know why she hadn’t noticed it before) and so now she’s on this big Pokemon kick collecting and trading cards and learning the names of all the characters (wish there were math problem included on each card – have her memorize the times tables or division while she’s at it) 

She continues to show me the cards with great enthusiasm and I return with fake enthusiasm – trying to be excited for her but finding in hard to care because I really don’t.  Nor do I plan on memorizing the names or how much they’re worth, etc.  But if she will take care of them and treasure them I guess it’s a start.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Communicating In Code

Jenna has always had a fascination with “secret codes”.  She enjoys translating and sending coded messages.  She has rewritten the alphabet and created characters for each letter.  
For a while we were doing picture characters, but drawing an octopus got tiresome after attempting to draw it the last six notes or so. I am okay with stick figures and symbols – but when it comes to drawing, many of my animals end up looking the same.

So I changed some of the characters from the code that Jenna had and wrote a note and told her to translate without using the key.  An early introduction to cryptogram.  More clues.  More puzzles.  How fun!

Jenna’s last code was symbols drawn at random – but it’s something I can/could learn.

L 7 O £ ÷ © ∞ π × " # % + \ [ ^ ] ¦ ¤ ◊ ∂ √
for example

I am so grateful for her enthusiasm and her desire and willingness to learn and create. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Good-bye Fort (shed a tear)

          Jenna has outgrown the fort which I mention here. I was hoping to save it for Anna and Garrett whenever they would visit but the slide broke and the idea of having Anna tromp around  with so many openings did not thrill me.  The slide would have been Anna’s favorite part, but we took it off after it broke.

            Bill and Kayla don’t exactly have a place for the fort right now – though we did offer it to them.  Jenna really doesn’t play much with it anymore.  Especially since we got the trampoline.  But lately, the tarp to the tramp has been so hot, the trampoline itself has been neglected.  I thought if we pushed it back to where we have the fort that it would get a little more shade.  

            I posted Jenna’s fort for free in the classified.  The ad had only been up ten minutes or so and we had several calls on it.  I couldn’t believe it!  It was crazy.  We now have a place to move the trampoline.

           I hope that the family who took it down and hauled it away will get as many years of enjoyment.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Bread Box and the Coveted Cowboy Cup

After the pathetic attempt of a yard sale, I loaded the trunk of my car with a few items that hadn’t sold.  Two of the items I brought home with me were: the practical bread box and the fun cup full of memories.

When I was younger, I remember getting bread out of a white tin box with copper trim.  The box could hold up to four loaves and then some. 

Mom also had two canisters that held sugar and flour.  I don’t know if the three came together, or if it was just coincidental that there was a very similar appearance.

I don’t remember what happened to the tin bread box, but I remember it had to be replaced.  I remember mom and I had to hunt hard to find one – and then the only ones we could find were less than half the size and made out of wood.  This one holds only two loaves at best.

The bread box is quite a practical item for me as we live in this cracker box house in which all the furniture and appliances are squashed together.  Our back door does not open all the way because the dryer is in the way, next to that is the washer, next to that is the stove.  Our loaf of bread seems to move from counter to stovetop to table to washer – it really needs a more stable home.  (I hope the breadbox will be able to stay put)

I took the cup to give to Jenna and hoped she would find as much pleasure as Ellen and Kimball had.

The cup itself is not all that special, but the memories are.  The cup is plastic coated with silver and the initials WJW are engraved in fancy letters.  I don’t know if at one time it belonged to someone with those initials or if that was the manufacturing company or what.  I have no idea where it came from or why it was in my mom’s cupboard.

The bottom was clear – and so you could see the consumer’s face as he/she drinks – and likewise the drinker can see you.  I don’t know who it was that told us (maybe it was my mom) that the reason why it had a clear bottom is so that the cowboys who were playing cards could spy on their opponents while they drank.  Patrick and Sunny’s oldest two thought that was the coolest thing ever. 

I remember my mom and I had hunted around to find at least one other “cowboy cup” so that each child would have his/her own.  Alas, we searched in vain.  If we did come close, the price was just too outrageous.  So Kimball and Ellen took turns using it.

Jenna’s enthusiasm isn’t near what was expressed with Ellen and Kimball.  Never has been.  But we still have Anna and Garrett to explore the wonders of this “cool cup” - and watching the excitement on the faces of my dad’s posterity is mainly why I took it.  Because the memories of the cup far outweigh the bread box. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Trading Earrings for Marbles

          Jenna has worn earrings almost everyday since collecting them “from grandma” but I think the novelty has worn off.
          There are girls at school who see her earrings and wish they had earrings too – even if they are the ear-pinching clip-ons or twists.  Parting with her earrings has not been a big problem – especially when there is one who is trading her for marbles – well, that’s what Jenna calls them.  To me, they look like the shiny rocks that go into bottles or vases or line the bottom of the fish tank.  But Jenna loves them.  She sorts them in the same manner that she has always done with rocks

          Yesterday Roland called to see how we were both doing.  I informed him that Jenna had gone to school.  He asked why and I told him I thought it was mostly for the earring/marble exchange.  He laughed.  Yes, now there’s an important reason to go to school. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Journal Jars

I once attended a Relief Society enrichment meeting where we made “journal jars”.  What is a “journal jar”? you may ask.  It is a jar containing questions that will hopefully provoke thought to get written answers one may record in his or her journal. 

Questions like:

“Do you remember your grandparents?  What special memories do you have?”
          “Did you have a favorite radio or TV show as a child?”

          “Tell about the changes you have seen in your lifetime: society in general, technology, fashion, politics, laws, inventions, etc.”

          Jenna absolutely LOVES to explore these questions – or my answers rather.  Often she can answer for herself, but many ask for detail on things that she hasn’t experienced yet such as marriage, parenting, high school, dating, etc.

          The idea of the journal jar is to record memories.  But Jenna loves to use it as a conversation piece or in place of playing games.  And I like that she likes it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

the assistance of a shoehorn

This morning I was helping Jenna to get the knots out of her shoelaces and adjust the shoes back to her feet.  She tugged at the heel of the shoe and stomped on the floor in attempts to get it to fit over her own heel.  It reminded me of the convenience of the shoehorn.

          I had worked at a daycare only briefly.  The children were required to take naps.  All shoes had to be removed before naps.  After the naps, all shoes were to be returned to feet.  This was not always an easy task.  Some of those children had really tight fitting shoes over really fragile feet.  Thus  I started bringing the shoehorn to work.

          Funny about the different reactions I received from the kids.  Suddenly I had this long line of children who would wait their turn to be fitted properly into their shoes – while others would go out of their way to find another teacher so that they would not have to deal with that “scary” shoehorn.

          It is actually a great invention.  I used to have several of them.  I don’t recall ever having seen one after I got married. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Incentive Charts

          Trying to get Jenna to pick up after herself has been a chore.  I just don’t understand why it is such a big deal to remove clothes from one’s body and not put them away or put them in the dirty clothes as soon as they come off.  Granted, to take them off and discard them to the floor does take less time at that given moment – but when it builds up – it does take much longer than it would if initially put away.  She’s a smart girl – but she is also very lazy about certain things.

There are actually four or five charts I would like to incorporate – but not
all at the same time.  That would be overwhelming for both of us.  I did have the “Go to Bed on time” chart up, but as there are just a few weeks of school left, and it is her whining that is really grading on my nerves right now, I have changed the incentive chart to “I will go an entire day without whining” I hope there will be enough incentive there.

It helps that her dad is currently enrolled in furthering his education.  He told me that he has to be on the Net at least four times a week to get credit.  So Jenna decided that I needed to make a chart for Roland, also.  And actually it has worked to my benefit – for Roland has already earned six stickers.  Jenna’s competitive.  Her goal is to beat him.  I sincerely hope it works out.

I was familiar with the idea for incentive charts before.  I had used them on the boys when they were in junior high.  I wouldn’t think a junior high student would care so much about stickers – but for some reason it appealed to them.  And it appealed to them to each get more than his brothers.

Ooki certainly didn’t care about the stickers – but I had a chart for him initially so he wouldn’t feel left out.  Tony was jealous of Ooki and jealous of the amount of stickers which Ooki had earned – not because he was competing – it was just his nature to do things – mostly without being told.  So that gave Tony incentive to do more than he would otherwise.

We will be continuing education during the summer.  More charts.  We have to read, write, practice cursive, practice times tables and she really ought to brush up on her Spanish (I’m going to need help with that one) and will put checkmarks or smile faces or something each time we have put in 20 minutes or so on whatever it is.  None of her friends are early risers, so I do not foresee it being a problem.
Hopefully by the end of summer ALL of the incentive charts will be full.  I hope so anyway.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Jenna's Fort

          Roland and I purchased a playground set for Jenna the year that she turned three.  The set included two swings, a glider, sandbox frame, picnic table, slide and fort.  I must have taken at least a hundred pictures of Roland and our boys putting it together.

          Jenna loved her fort.  When we moved, we dissembled it and put it back together about five months after we moved.  We like the yard here so much better than in our first house.  But she doesn’t seem to spend near as much time there as she used to.  I suspect she’s just outgrowing it.

Over the years I’ve repainted at least twice.  And the wind has torn away the green nylon roof.  On the lawn itself one can find pieces of board that were initially attached to the play set. 

When (if) we ever leave this house and move again, the fort will stay for the new owners to deal with.  Hopefully they will have little ones who will love the fort as much as Jenna has.  They will have to buy some new sand.