Friday, July 30, 2010

A Compliment

I made a new dinner the other day. Victor sampled it and pronounced it very tasty. Then he added, "Thanks, Mom. I didn't even have to say it was yucky."

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Car Conversations

Victor talks while he play cars. That is, the cars talk to each other. They have contests, too.

For example, right now, a red Beetle, a white VW, and an huge old red boat of a Cadillac are conversing. Imagine screeching noises and "ert"s every sentence or so: "Oh Cadillac, I think my engine is broken. Let's try again. Whoa, how'd you do that, Cadillac? Engine little fire things. I'm mistaking my wheels and some tall things and the little tiny windows and the shiny muffler and another one and another window and one fire machine and one piggy engine and one small buffer that's looong. How'd you do that? Watch.

[More screechy vrooming noises than usual.]

"Here I go. Go as fast as we do. Watch! On your mark, get set, go. [Racing noises.] Go! This is the most spectacular place I could ever see the white car. I'm too short. There you go. [nosies] Great, guys! Here's what to do. Do you think you guys could try? Come on, Cadillac, you haven't even tried. What is that guy doing? I think he's going to his home for the rest of the day. Or for a nap.

"Oh, crazy! That's what you have to do. I'm a little long. Uh, wow. That's pretty darn cool. Now you try. Whoa. Pret-ty crazy. What is wrong? I'm stuck behind this big bump. This big bump is hard. That is why you jump. Hey guys, look at this! Cadillac, I mean, fire car, how did you get that high. It's in this cozy warm thing. Oh. Is there anywhere for us to sit? Yes, over here. Come on, fire car. Come on Cadillac. There are two ways.

"It's scary to go over and try again there. Oh, right. I have my own place that is darker. (He's now playing with a rolled up sleeping bag.) That is the darkest thing I've ever heard, Cadillac. It's too dark in here. Let's scare him. Boo. He can't hear us. It keeps its eyes open. Boo. Almost there. Almost. Almost there. Boo! Aaaah! I only have a motor. Boo, I said. Boo. Aim close to his friends. Aim close. Almost there. Is he really hiding?

"Excuse me. Excuse me, I thought you were a monster. This is our house. This is OUR house. Knock knock. Come it. It's a monster. It's me, Mr. Blackie Car. Where is Cadillac going? He's afraid. Where did he go? A-ha! Nope. Not in there. Where's the rest? I could try to dig in to there.

Whew. Those are some busy cars. I just realized that he won't play like this with me in the room as he gets older. That will be sad, because I love hearing what his cars are up to.

Also, today he added time phrases while his cars played in the sink. I kept hearing, "some time later" and "not long after" and such things.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Good Society

If you haven't seen the latest adventures of Elizabeth, Fanny, Emma, et al., may I direct you to Jane Austen's Fight Club.

Power Fun

Today we journeyed to our friends' home in the country.

Their boys have a power wheels truck, which filled the Swindle boys with joy. They were even happier than the kids in Fisher Price commercials.

And Victor surprised us all with his remarkably adept driving skills, including perfectly executed three-point turns.

Zeke did not surprise us with his exuberant but alarming driving skills, which landed him in the neighbors (thankfully fallow) field.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pioneer Day

The Primary sang a pioneer song today in Sacrament Meeting.

Victor's participation was much the same as on Mother's Day.

He mournfully trudged to the front of the chapel and onto the stand. His face reddened and tears appeared as he faced the congregation.

Then he sat down on the steps, completely out of sight, for the duration of the song.

At the end he trudged back to our row.

"I just sat down and did not do anything," he confessed (loudly).

That's okay. I praised his excellent walking to and from.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Yesterday, after I was dressed and almost ready for the day, Victor looked at me and said, "Mom, you are not wearing any earrings."

"No," I replied. "I have not put them on yet."

"I will choose them for you!!!" he said. And he dashed off.

(Normally, my jewelry box is off limits, but oh well.)

He came back with a favorite gold pair that has small dangling baubles.

"Oh, Victor," I said. "These are very nice. Dad gave them to me when you were just a baby in Mommy's belly."

He nodded. "When I was a baby in your belly, I said that I liked them. What sound do the ding dongs make?"

A faint tinkling sound, it turns out.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Zeke Sings

Zeke delighted me this afternoon with a rendition of If You Chance to Meet a Frown. Not to be outdone, Victor told me that HE likes to sing in Primary. His favorite song goes like this:

I have a pretty little garden
with fourteen flowers.
I'm going to pick some for my mom.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Wolf Control Strategy

Last night Victor asked me to tell him the story of Little Red Riding Hood. I can't remember the Grimm details, so my version is mostly from Into the Woods.

"The wolf liked to eat little girls," I said.

"But not boys," Victor interjected.

"No, not boys," risk-averse me replied.

Victor then explained that a wolf would not eat him because he would throw a stick and the wolf would chase it. Then the wolf would be wherever the stick was, i.e. not near Victor.

It was like those Sunday School lessons that urge you to decide now how you'll respond to temptation, but more focused on physical safety.

Friday, July 16, 2010

One Win, One Fail

Win: Weav-its, the Harris Teeter-brand substitute for Tricuits.

Fail: The Locked Garden, a depressing youth novel that doesn't go anywhere or accomplish anything. It's like the author read the first chapters of Jane Eyre and thought, "I'd like to duplicate this feeling of hopelessness."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

James Wins!

This summer, three of my cousins got or are getting married.

I'd like to announce that JAMES is my favorite! Besides being a spectacular guy, he sent me an announcement! (With a very attractive picture enclosed.)

Thanks, James!

Monday, July 12, 2010


Hard up for an FHE lesson tonight? Here are some of my past favorites:

  • Whatever Victor learned about in Sunbeams yesterday;
  • Shaking Hands;
  • Our last name is SwindleFun;
  • How to sit when the home teachers visit;
  • Answering the telephone;
  • These are scriptures.
Each of these lessons takes three minutes, tops, excluding time for practice.

Fun Game

Yesterday we had some time between meetings for a fun game.

The game is called "I Like," and I invented it myself.

You play by asking each person in your family, "Person, what do you like?" And then the person says "I like X." Repeat as necessary or until interest wanes.

Zeke likes cars, monster trucks, sandwiches, and barbeque.

Victor likes heavy trucks (but not the exhaust), dump trucks, birds that turn red, and Dad's Beard (boo).

Jeremy likes hot dogs, swimming, going to church, and birds.

I like birds that sing, crepe myrtles, and zucchini.

Dish Soap

After a number of experiments, Jeremy got bold and tried dish soap.

It worked!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Help Needed

Victor scribbled on the new LCD monitor with a pen.

He says he didn't know it was a computer and that sometimes he doesn't know what a pen is. We've discussed it, and I'm sure he knows now.

But now I need an ammonia-free and alcohol-free cleaner, and nothing in my house at the moment (Pledge multi surface, Windex with vinegar, eyeglass cleaner) fits the bill.

Will vinegar work? What's the water:vinegar ratio?

If you know of such a product, please help!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Today three of my requested books were waiting for me at the library.

Elantris, by Brandon Sanderson

Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades, by Jonathan Phillips

Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices, by Mosab Hassan Yousef with Ron Brakin

(The principle author of this last one was the subject of a fascinating immigration or homeland security hearing this week. Fortunately, he prevailed.)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Zeke's Future

Me: Zeke, what do you want to be when you grow up?

Zeke: A rabbit!


Jeremy: Zeke, what do you want to be when you grow up?

Zeke: A princess!

Victor's Future

Many moons ago, Victor decided he would some day marry his friend and neighbor and church-compatriot. We'll call her Gwendolyn. Victor plans to marry her in the temple. (No word on the length of festivities he prefers, for those of you who read The Aery Beat.)

Yesterday he told me that when he had a family, he would have two children. "Ethan, and Gwendolyn. That way we will have a girl Gwendolyn and a wife Gwendolyn. That's two Gwendoylns."

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Potato Fun

It turns out that Mr. Potato Head is a fun toy!

You can put his arm in the middle of his face!

He can wear a mustache on his ear!

He has a funny hat!

But our Mr. Potato Head is a bachelor. If you happen to see the Mrs. on sale, please let me know.

Family Fun

We had a lot of family fun this past weekend. Some of it, like sleeping in a tent in the back yard, was experimental fun. That is, I experimented with it because it sounded like something a fun mom would do. It was only sort of fun.

But Toy Story 3 was lots of fun. So was sending Jeremy to the grocery store with the boys and taking Victor to the mountain bike area at the park. He had lots of fun acquiring bumps and scrapes.

Letting Zeke ride his tricycle around the walking trail (another experiment) was fun except for the last 20 minutes.

Spending three whole days with Jeremy was the most fun of all.