Then Kaleb was offended.

Remember our new favorite game? It's called Telestrations - the combination between Pictionary and Telephone. Anyway, so we're all playing a round of the game when Heidi brings up the fact that our dad trained us all to be right handed, even if we had left handed tendencies to begin with. All of us except for Kaleb, that is, who kept his left handed ways and made them permanent. We then began to playfully joke with Kaleb about him being the only one in the family that was left handed. Kaleb, however, didn't laugh with us but instead became angry. Feeling bad, we told Kaleb that being left handed was fine and that we were just kidding. In response, he angrily mumbled "it's a trait I'm enjoying".

What a choice of words. He's just barely nine, might I remind you. Kaleb then laughed, and we all joined in as well.

Then Josh REALLY hated school.

As we were sitting in the family room just after having dinner, Josh was complaining about yet another day of school he would have to go to tomorrow. Trying to give him a positive outlook about school (the kid is only in first grade) we started talking about how much we loved reading and writing while we told him favorite memories of ours when we were in first grade. Heidi then asked him what he loved most about school.

"Recess" he flatly said. We could have guessed. Trying to get a different response, I asked Josh what he liked most while he was inside the classroom, not outside.

"Indoor recess".

Even though it wasn't helping the situation, we then laughed. That kid is a keeper.

Then Gabe turned to the dark side.

A long time ago, in a home not so far away....
Episode lV, V, Vl
and Episode I, II, and II
were introduced to three adventurous and imaginative little boys during the tax season of 2009.

As the residential film/literature critic in the household, (Heidi here), I thought it only natural to appease my parents during their financial stress-overload, whilst providing enthralling comic-con culture to my three youngest brothers- Kaleb, Josh and Gabe. A movie marathon was born, and needless to say, Star Wars was well received. There is a reason these movies classify under obsession (ranging from classic quotes, "I am your father!" to intricate costumes, mystical and varying powers of the force, and let's face it- cool weaponry) and our babies gravitated towards every geeked out stereotype- nicknaming everyone in the family according to the characters they resembled/favored the most. But no one took it so far, as our Gabe.. uh excuse me, Darth Maul. Before long, Gabe would only respond and obey to the name of the most terrifying Sith apprentice, idolizing EVERYTHING about this dark villain. Keep in mind readers, he was only two at this point; a very young age to turn to the dark side. The illusion grew with our elaborate Halloween costumes pertaining to each of our Star Wars nicknames, leading to intense battles of good vs. evil, and continued through Christmas morning where Gabe was immortalized with an official Darth Maul cloak and double-edged red lightsaber. I suppose looking back on what I created, you can't blame the kid for the following event....

My dad Mike, had taken Gabe and my four other brothers to a local High School basketball game, and being Dad, he arrived an hour before warm-ups to "scout" the players if you will. As Dad was discussing strategy, and techniques with the two oldest of the five boys, the stands started to fill up, and an older lady sat next to Gabe. She was kind and friendly, and was seen asking him a question (who could resist an adorable toddler?), to which Gabe gave an inaudible reply. She appeared to not have heard Gabe correctly, and tried again, leaning in closer, to which Gabe gave the same inaudible reply, leaving her evidently bewildered. Her puzzled expression quickly changed to confusion, dismay and then stress as she turned to face my Dad. Looking from the face of our innocent Gabey Baby, to my perplexed father, she increduously asked,"Is his name REALLY Darth Maul? I keep asking him what his name is and he keeps saying in a low voice .... 'Darth Maul' ." Out of the mouth of babes ... and then we laughed.

Then kisses became a bad thing.

Josh should be a teenager. That six year old has so much attitude in him, it's almost scary. It's not bad attitude (most of the time) so don't get me wrong, but it's sarcasm to the max.

Today, Josh was holding Westin and laughing about how "cute and fluffy" he is. Caught up in the moment, he went all the way and planted one right on Westin's kitten face. My dad saw this and was appalled. "Don't kiss the cat!" he told Josh. Confused, Josh asked my dad why not. "Because it has germs. Kissing him just gives those germs to you".

In return Josh laughed and said "Dad! You have germs!". He giggled to himself and walked away like he was a man with a plan. I followed him into the kitchen where he promptly went to my mom, tapped her on the leg, and hinted to my mom with much confidence "Don't kiss dad he has germs".

Goal accomplished.

Josh then kissed Westin again (yuck?) and left with his head held high causing me to laugh. When a little kid does things like that, who wouldn't?

Then we played Telestrations.

Telestrations: a new game that our family just bought. It's basically a combination of pictionary and telephone where you draw a picture, pass it on to the next person, they guess what the picture is, pass again, and then another person draws the guess. Sounds complicated, but its a simple and fun process.

So, Ashley was supposed to draw "onion rings." Easier said then done. First, her drawing was interpreted as a "stinky band", not onion rings. Then, after a few rounds of passing, guessing, re-drawing, and guessing again, the drawing of the supposed-to-be onion rings ended up with Matthew. His guess?

"A skunk with bongos and a broom." Apparently Ashley is no artist.

Looking around at everyone else's ridiculous drawings, we then all laughed and started another round of our new favorite game.

Then he liked them big.

My grandpa (my mom's dad) is musically talented beyond belief. From performing the most beautiful song to composing his own, he has done it all. Sadly, he has become very sick very quickly and is currently in the hospital, but that hasn't stopped his rich sense of humor.

In order to keep him entertained in the hospital, my sister Ashley transferred a playlist of only classical music onto an old MP3 player for him to listen to. Early this morning while my mom was in my grandpa's room watching over him, he suddenly said "shoot!". Thinking that something was seriously wrong, my mom hurried over to the side of his bed to address my grandpa. "It started going boom bitty doom bop" he exclaimed. At first my mom was confused as to what he was even talking about. Then she held the headphones connected to the MP3 player up to her ear. Expecting to hear Mozart or Beethoven, she was instead greeted by a loud beat and:

"I like 'em big.... I like 'em chunky..."

Across the screen read "Big and Chunky", the hilarious hip hop song from Madagascar 2 by Apparently, my grandpa didn't find the song as hilarious as I do. However, my mom couldn't help but smile. Tomorrow we'll show him Ke$ha - then we'll laugh for sure.

For some extra entertainment:

Then she became obsessed.

If there was a show that described my sister Ashley, it would be called "Spunk on Ice". Entertaining is just one of the many words used to describe her. Anyway, rocking sister, she's a party, we love her, life is grand

Once upon a time she married Matt (stud on ice) and they had a baby named Jake. When you combine somebody as bright and happy as Ashley with someone as adorably cute as baby Jakey, you get obsession. She's his mom, so of course she's invested, but sometimes it's too much to handle for the onlooker. For example, today Ashley was discussing plans for Jake's 1st birthday this coming September. May I remind you, he's only just barely 5 months old...

"I already picked a theme," Ashley happily said. I asked her what she meant, already thinking to myself that a theme other than a 1st birthday party was overkill. "I'm thinking milk and cookies. Get it? Because milk is his favorite thing!"

Oh really.

And then I laughed at her, but was quietly to myself looking forward to the party.

Then Josh hated school.

Ever met a 6-year-old who hates first grade? Let me introduce you to Josh, who thinks school is "booor-ing." So when Josh came down with an ear infection and got to miss a few days of school, he started to get his hopes up that this could be a long-term solution. If he could just stay sick a little longer, he could miss school next Monday, too!

That Saturday morning, we dished up our pancakes and waited for Gabe to say the breakfast prayer. Then just as Gabe was about to begin, Josh blurted out,

"Don't bless me! I don't want to get better!"

Because the last thing Josh needs is to wake up healthy on a school day.

And then we laughed.

Then she called me a killer.

Every now and then we all go through hard relationships. What's a better way to start fresh and new after a sour relationship than to buy a fish? That's the genius idea my sister invented while in high school. Jimmy, a goldfish, then became Nicole's love interest and best friend for time and all eternity - or so she thought.

They did everything together, even traveling. Nicole would come home from her college apartment on weekends and wouldn't leave Jimmy behind no matter what. Each week she protectively drove that little fish in his bowl to and from her apartment and our house. Yeah, excessive much? Not to her it wasn't.

Anyway, after years of them being together, I decided that it was time Jimmy needed new friends. Luckily, I had a couple of goldfish left over from some random high school spontaneous action with my friends. I willingly dumped them into Jimmy's little bowl - they all looked so happy together.

Fast forward four hours when Nicole comes home: "Christian! What have you done?!" Nicole was screaming at the sight of the intruders. I explained that Jimmy was lonely, it was a good service. She then angrily made me remove the "evil" fish from the now "polluted" bowl. Fast forward to a day later: Jimmy starts tilting to the left. It hit me that fish carry diseases and that it's against all basic rules of raising goldfish to mix old ones with new ones. Pardon me for not thinking of this before. Fast forward to four hours later when Nicole comes home again: "You did this! It's all your fault! You KILLED Jimmy!!". Poor Jimmy, he had no chance. His goldfish belly was beginning to swell and he was totally on his side now - however he was still breathing. Frantic, Nicole searched online about how to save a goldfish from immediate peril. She found that feeding the sick fish a half of a pea would save it. Whether that is fact or fiction, I know not - but it sounded like crap to me. Nicole however took it seriously. "Hurry! Get a pea!" she screamed as she was running the fishbowl and half-dead Jimmy down the hallway to the kitchen. My mom, Heidi, even the little boys were all laughing at her - Nicole didn't find it funny. After I realized that this was all my fault, I took pity on her and attempted to save the fish by shoving the cut up pea down its throat. Difficult process, let me tell you. Quite funny to watch as well. I was unsuccessful, nonetheless, and Jimmy passed on within the hour.

I guess the fish was more than a mindless and pointless creature to Nicole. He represented a time in her life that she needed a friend; someone to rely on. Who am I kidding, he was a fish. The bowl was emptied, funeral services were offered, then we all laughed - except for Nicole of course.

Then I bought a cat.

Once, to prank the family, I bought a kitten on my birthday as a present to myself. However, the joke quickly turned into reality when I realized that the animal was not returnable - and the fact that he was too cute to get rid of. Gladly, Gabe and Josh adopted the little cat into the family - falling in love with its "fluffiness". After a family wide vote, his name became Westin.

Just recently, Gabe was holding the tired cat in his arms. "He looks so cute and sleepy! Almost like he's dead!" Gabe squealed. He then softly closed the cats eyes and quietly said to him "Westin peace". At first, I was about to correct Gabe and tell him that it's "rest" in peace, not "west" - then Gabe exclaimed "get it?!" with a huge proud smile on his face. Since when have 5 year olds been so clever and witty?

And then Gabe and I laughed together.