Monday, December 21, 2009

what the HECK has that girl been doing with her time???

12 hours of sewing
11 days of coughing
10 foot tall tree falling
9 yards of fabric
8 schools to visit
7 trips to Target
6 hours of film editing
5 kids at home
4 different doctors
3 dismissed ideas for a funny blog post
2 boxes of Kleenex
and a partridge in a pear tree....

sorry all - Have a wonderful Merry Christmas, remember what it's all about and trust that one of my New Year's Resolutions is to be here often enough that people STOP Un-Following Me!!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

sunday shorts OR just how much therapy are my kids going to need?

I was raised in a theatrical family. We're not WAY weird... really. As a matter of fact I think the only way to tell is that we all pronounce our words as if we've just taken the voice and diction class that when I finally DID take in college I had explanations for WHY I said certain words differently than most of the population...

an orange sounds more like Our - anj
envelope? to me it's an ON-velope

(sorry, we're not discussing tomato/tomahto, OR potato/potahto - I'm not THAT weird)

the biggest one that gets noticed (because really, how often am I talking about oranges and envelopes?) is when I say Aunt (not ant)... some of my nieces and nephews will say Aunt the "proper" way when referring to me - and just say Aunt (ant) when referring to the other aunts in the family...

Why this whole set-up... why is this funny at all? Well, my sweet little M said her prayers last night and blessed members of the family... Grandmas, Grandpas, Mom, Dad, Cousins, Uncles, Aunts, and Ants...

or maybe she's just showing concern for all those little buggers as they begin to freeze?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My shoes are two sizes too small?

I think I relate to the Grinch now... Thanks to a conversation I had with my boss this morning I no longer think of him as just the sourpuss that lived above Who-ville.

The Grinch wants to stop Christmas from Coming... yeah, I'm TOTALLY on board with that - I'm not ready at ALL!

The noise was stressing out the Grinch - ditto.

The Grinch snuck into all the houses and stole the presents, trees, who-hash, etc. - me, I think I just need to sneak away to a few stores and I'll pay for whatever I come out of there with... and hope the kids like it?

The Grinch lied to a little girl just because she got out of bed on Christmas Eve... ummm... I'm not above that either.

of course... in the end the Grinch got into the spirit and there was the miraculous moment when all the whos loved their Christmas anyway. I'm counting on that happening for me too... really!

Friday, November 27, 2009

An open letter to everyone at the BYU game... okay, well... some of you at least...

Dear guy behind me to the right: No matter how many cute names you come up with for the refs - they still don't care what you say. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure that neither Baldy, Buzz-cut, OR Zebra even heard you. On the other hand, I did... I think I still can :)

Dear supporters of the opposing team: We're sorry that you guys went home disappointed. (well, okay - not REALLY sorry, but you know...) Engaging in a shouting match outside under our victory bell didn't exactly make you look brilliant.

Dear cheerleaders for the other team. Ummm... weren't your midriffs cold?

Dear guy in front of me. Ummm... the bench is only so big - and bringing a stadium seat that is BIGGER than the bench does not give you the right to shove it back as far as you can. Your knees do NOT need to touch the bench... as a matter of fact, when they do - that support you are feeling on your hindquarters is no longer the chair but my FEET. My feet which felt very uncomfortable providing such support. I suppose this may not be your fault... as my brother in law so nicely pointed out the stadium WAS built back in 1972 when the fans were less "huge"... I myself have gained over 100 pounds since 1972 so I can understand.

Dear guys who set up the "name that tune" game at half time... ummm, pitting husband and wife against eachother doesn't exactly inspire in me the spirit of "fair competition" - oh, and seriously - you should have mocked the guy a LOT more for mixing "brown eyed girl" up with "under the sea"...

Dear guy sitting right next to me that didn't grab that T-shirt... ummm... M.O.T.H. - it's okay to be a little more aggressive :)

okay - that's all. It was SO my kind of game because I like a nice close game that keeps me on the edge of the seat. Well, normally it would have kept me there... this time it just kind of kept me anxious because being at the edge of my seat would have made my knees be in the back of Mr. Foot Sitter - and there had been PLENTY of togetherness!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

it's Turkey time again - that day of the year when I remember how desperately I need to renew my desire for a healthy diet.

Also that time of year when I take a few minutes to reflect on how many things I am thankful for... last year (if I remember correctly) I did a whole ABCs of thankfulness.... that was a lot of things.

You know what - I don't need that many this year. Not that I'm having bitterness and resentment or anything. I think I'm just as thankful this year....

I've just learned (remembered) one important detail:

It's all thanks to God. Every little thing I have that is good - Every person that touches my life - Every personal achievement - Everything. It's all thanks to Him.

This Thanksgiving I'm going to focus on seeing His hands and how they have touched my life. How they have brought me to where I am, who I'm with... and you know what - I'm pretty happy with all of that. I might whine - I might complain - I might annoy you as much as Bella Swan annoys any guy that tries to read those Twilight books... but I like life - it's been pretty good to me all around.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you - with the sincere hope that life is treating you well also!

Monday, November 23, 2009

another book review or two...

since I'm having a hard time coming up with things to tell you about my life that don't involve doctors and boredom... I'm sending you over to the book blog where I've reviewed a few books this month. (waiting rooms are a good place to read)

special attention should be paid to the books there by Kathi Oram Peterson (a good Christmas gift for hard-to-buy-for people on your list) and Mark Shurtleff - WHY these ones? Well, because they mark the first two books I've reviewed for a new publisher and I just love that sometimes I don't have to pay for the joy of reading - it's such a deal! Maybe when I grow up I will be a full time reader? Maybe that doesn't pay so well... and maybe it will give me a severe case of "couch-bum" - but it sure sounds good to me.

Okay, that's all... go off and read about what to read - I'll tell you all about my crazy life later... when it's not so crazy?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm not one to run off to the doctor... really. So over the years I think I've had to fill out a few new forms because the prior ones have been shredded by an office trying to keep their shelves free of unnecessary clutter.

Why? Maybe it's because I'm just inherently healthier than you. (coughing into fist) ... or maybe it's because I'm not so sure that most doctors really have the "answers" I need.

Case in Point: I sucked it up and made an appointment last Friday. Symptoms: Recurring earaches and some dizziness... kind of like I'd been on the tilt-a-whirl recently... for a day or two... I'm thinking this is a Slam-Dunk ear infection. Hand me that prescription and I'm OUTTA here!

but wait... apparently my dizziness is called "vertigo" (I actually knew this word before, but being an old film fan... Vertigo just means tall towers and falling to a certain death...) and btw - how is it that Hitchcock has gotten TWO mentions on my blog recently??? After quite a lot more time in the doctor's office than I would have preferred I walked out of there with prescriptions for allergy medicine (gotta get those refilled before spring!) and a motion sickness medicine... and a referral to another doctor.

The BEST part - the doctor told me (and you might want to sit down for this one...) - he told me to go home and search the internet for suggestions about how to deal with vertigo... in his defense he also said to rest for a few days and drink a lot of water and hope it went away. He even suggested I go to to read about vertigo and... what was that other word... ummm... labyrinthitis... (this name ALSO reminds me of a movie... but not a very well-made one You want to know what it said????

(you can go look if you'd like... I'll wait...)

Like EVERYTHING else on vertigo is a possible symptom of a brain tumor. Yep, I could be dying right now... but wait, don't plan the funeral yet... it could also be a whole PILE of other things - some of which I can pronounce. For now all I know is that I don't trust any doctor who wants me to get my medical advice online. If this "specialist" tells me to check out a website I think I'll walk out of there without paying my co-pay... THAT will show him!

(and just in case you are all worried about my health - I am 99% sure that it's not a brain tumor... but I haven't ruled out ear infection still!)

Thank goodness I can blog without having to walk around... or uncover my ears... :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The question of the hour (and a teensy tiny favor...)

Okay - apparently there are some of you out there wondering how my new job is going. Coming out of "retirement" after my SAHM years has been... an... adjustment. I will say though that I'm glad that I'm doing what I do!

So what DO I do??? well, sometimes I am driving around between schools, sometimes I am sitting IN schools being a literacy tutor, sometimes I am sitting at my office chatting with the other people there (and sometimes I'm even getting WORK done there). The BEST part of what I do though comes after school - our team goes to a number of the local elementary and intermediate schools to run an afterschool Media Literacy Lab... where we help the kids write scripts, take pictures, etc... Can I admit that I've learned WAY more from these kids than I've been able to teach them??? Remember when I was trying to cram PhotoShop and MovieMaker and a few other programs into my head in a short time period???

yeah... didn't work so well... but I'm getting the hang of them now!

But I'm telling you these kids are AWESOME! They have come up with some amazing photography, claymation, live action, paper animation, etc...

So here's where I'm asking a favor... because these kids have a crazy goal in mind... and because I luv them SO much I'm willing to give it a go... there are a number of places to view their work - but for today we'll focus on Facebook because that's what the goal is all about!

THIS should take you straight there... I hope.

you can also subscribe to the free monthly podcast - because that makes the kids smile... but there are FAR more videos up on facebook... and these crazy kids have it stuck in their little heads that we can get 1,000 fans by the end of the school year. and no, I didn't type an extra zero!

SOoooo... I promise not to stalk the "fans" of media literacy lab - and I'm probably giving up ALL sorts of personal privacy since I'm one of the admins of that fan page... but do a girl a favor. Better yet - do a girl and those passel o' kids a favor :) just click the "become a fan" button... but, as long as you're there check out a few funny videos - I can only claim credit for the Monster Mash one - but hey, I'm new to this insanity :)

All in all, I love my job... it's keeping me UBER busy and has probably forced them to remove my name from the "mom of the year" nominees for the 14th year running - but we do good work - and we make kids happy - and SHOCK - I learn things :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Embarrassing Moments in recent history...

My life is full of embarrassing moments - some of which nobody knows about and so they really shouldn't be categorized as "embarrassing" because I got away with that...

I'm one of those slip and fall and bounce back up people though - minor things do not embarrass me much. Maybe because I slip and fall so much? The bruises on my posterior prove it.

I won't go into all the dumb things that happened in High School... the best of which revolve around wisdom teeth, pain medication, and orchestra pits... but I think I told that one before... if you missed it you'll just have to cope... or go back in bloggy time and read it yourself. Here.

The fun thing is I work with a bunch of people now who do embarrassing things ALL the TIME - like sitting in complete strangers' laps at a concert because you wore shoes with no traction... or jumping into the car after a quick run into the convenience store and complaining about all the crap on the floor before you realize this is not your car - and not your Significant Other in the driver's seat...

See, with all of this fodder nobody teases me at ALL about the conference we went to and they had to hold up a missing phone. I look and that's MY phone - so I admit to having lost it in front of the other 40 conference participants and because I'm a little embarrassed I babble (hey, that's what I DO) something about that being my cheap piece of junk phone - I'd recognize it anywhere... only not long after I realize that MY phone is actually still in my pocket so I have to stand up and announce that this is actually someone else's cheap piece of junk phone.

Funny - nobody else claimed it...

but whenever I'm feeling stupid I just start to razz my co-workers about their exploits and I feel much better!

So... who's willing to fess up with their most recent embarrassing moment - I don't want BEST here - although if it's worth a really good laugh go ahead and share :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Confessions of a Halloween Seamstress...

I like to pretend I can sew. Why??? yeah, I wonder myself sometimes - but I think that in my heart of hearts (or maybe it's the spleen?) I equate sewing with being a good mom. When reality breaks back in I remember that buying my kids clothes is MUCH much MUCH more time efficient and (dare I say it?) "cheaper" than making them myself! Yes, I've made a number of dresses for the girls and before M.O.T.H. forbade it I even made a cute outfit or two for those boys (when they were much younger)

Now that the girls are getting older my dresses don't quite cut the mustard...

Why? you ask??? (you did, didn't you???)

It's because I am what is affectionately called a "Halloween Seamstress"

There are three things you must understand about your typical Halloween Costume:

1- it's going to be worn ONCE, maybe 2 or 3 times if you're really lucky... how good do those seams have to be??

2- if you live somewhere North of... well, me... when those kids go out to trick or treat they are going to need something to wear over the costume... light jacket, heavy parka... whatever - the point being that you could probably skip the costume entirely and just do a funky hairdo, maybe a little make-up - and ta-dah... grab that pillow case and get out there!

3- it's dark when you're trick or treating - nobody is looking closely at your seams - and especially nobody is checking out the uber-crooked zipper on the back of the Cinderella Dress that you slaved over.

See - when you're a Halloween Seamstress you can get away with a TON of little errors. What? you say you made the puffed Cinderella sleeves out of backing fabric??? Pshaw... it'll make it through the night right??? Heck yeah - it actually made it through the next year too!

So there you have it - I'm a Halloween Seamstress... I sew, but only enough to make it look good for a day or two. You want REAL skills??? yeah, talk to Sue Q or Tracey... because if I ever want something that will look nice, I'm going to get THEM to do it :)

(and this is where I USED to have the description of the kids and their costumes... it was very witty... but it disappeared into the ether...)

To sum up: #1 - The Waffler - from Mystery Men... yeah, nobody at school knew either...
#2 - Road Kill... same as last year - no skill involved in driving over some stuffies and shirts.
#3 - Draco Malfoy - made that costume when Harry Potter 3 was released!
#4 - Pirate - picked up that costume 3 years ago on a 90% off after Halloween sale - ch'ching!
#5 - a cheerleader - proof that borrowing is better than sewing - a neighbor had this costume in her costume box completely unused... and it fit perfectly! (well, after a tuck here and there because little M is such a skinny-mini!

and thus begins our holiday season... I'm not ready at all... are you???

Saturday, October 24, 2009

a cute little M story - because I'm not up for the theatre reviews I was planning...

First off you have to know that when M is asked what she wants to be when she grows up she tells you a doctor. Then she amends that to being an animal doctor. (we've taught her the word veterinarian, but she mangles it pretty badly so we just stick with animal doctor)

Of course, being an animal doctor is not good enough for her - her plan is to be THE animal doctor for Animal Planet. I don't know where she got this idea - but she DOES watch an awful lot of Animal Planet... it's her new favorite channel. (hey, we don't have much in the way of cable...)

So... the other day M was drawing a picture of Mrs' Claus. She had written "mommyadadddy" on it - so I asked if that was mommy or daddy... silly question I guess because then she pointed out all the curly blonde hair beyind the hat and her high heeled boots.

We had a good laugh that Mommy was going to be Mrs. Claus when I got older - but then things got serious. Somehow she pieced it together that if I was Mrs. Claus then ManOfTheHouse would have to be Santa - and that the current Santa would have to die... this concerned her quite a bit but not as much as the fact that if we lived at the North Pole that:

"I will never see you and then you and Daddy can only watch me on Animal Planet!"

I told her I didn't want to be Mrs. Claus after all - life is much better now :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mr Hitchcock, I think you're missing a bird...

The finally flu free family and I enjoyed a day at the reservoir yesterday - sea-doing here and there, wave-running about... soaking in those last few hours of sun and warmth before we pull out the winter clothes. It was lots of fun. Well, minus those horrendous bugs that met us on our arrival - but the wind quickly vanquished the critters and we were able to eat our lunch without the additional protein. I personally don't think my vanilla zingers needed any more protein, they're perfect as is!

At one point I was walking up the sand to chat with my S.I.L. and the others who were congregating near the food (that's the place to be I tell you!) when one of the kids pointed out a big black bird on my car in the parking lot. and when I say big I mean BIG.

I told one of my sons to go chase it away - and didn't think much of it, aside from wondering what on earth it was doing pecking at my windows.

Well, I'll tell you what it was doing - it was getting me back for my post/rant against animals!

After loading the machines on the trailer (which required me to be nearly submerged in the getting colder all the time water) around dusk, I finally saw the front of the car. No windshield wiper - the bird had torn it to shreds. Little birdy droppings everywhere. Scratches galore on the hood and roof and window glass. I was planning to take a few photographs but last night there was no decent light and this morning the ManOfTheHouse drove the car off to return the machines... you'll just have to imagine the mess because I'm sure he's doing his best to clean it up... as a matter of fact I'm pretty sure that's why he hasn't returned yet... there's a touch-up paint out there with our name on it!

So Dear Mr. Hitchcock - that movie scared the b-whozits out of me when I was a kid... great, you did your job - now will you call back your little possessed prop and let me know where I can send the bill???


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Whine Flu

the kids aren't whining. The two oldest want to go back to school... but the school doesn't want them back yet. Sore throat/cough/headache/fever has morphed into runny nose and earache today for W. T Jr. is still battling the same old low grade temp and cough... and how H has spiked a temp to go with her cough...

it's me that's whining!

along the lines of "what the what am I going to do about my hours at work?" and "how the hey-ma-whozit are we going to celebrate our anniversary with sick kids" and "hey, didn't you know we are supposed to spend Friday on the sea-doos with the cousins??!?!?!"

sickness never has spectacular timing.

so boo-hoo, whine whine whine, and all that jazz... now it's time to suck it up because I'm the mom and that makes me an expert at sucking it up. I even have a bronzed straw to prove it! (okay, I don't actually HAVE a bronzed straw - but we've discussed it...)

not to worry - all is well... I'll spend tomorrow getting school assignments for these kids so that they can all return to the land of learning as soon as possible - and until then we will make sure we drink plenty of liquids (M.O.T.H. pointed out it would be hard to drink solids) and get plenty of rest. Health and prosperity is just around the corner.... or at least Health is, I think I saw prosperity sneaking off to find a new hiding place...

And happy Anniversary to that ManOfTheHouse - congratulations on putting up with me for 16 years without ever once telling me that your mother's meatloaf was better :) Love you!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Animal Magnetism - among other things...

If I'm in a room FULL of people and the family cat or dog walks into the room, guess who it always comes to? Each - and - every - time... ManOfTheHouse gets a great kick out of this phenomenon because in a world of cat people vs. dog people - I am neither. Does that make me a people person?

Awhile back I was enjoying my morning walk and about half way around the park a cat came to join us. This cat had either a death wish or brain damage because it spent the next 10 minutes or so walking either immediately to the right or left of me... the most exciting part of this was when it moved from right to left - then left to right... I'm still shocked that I didn't trip on it... or step on it... or drop kick it into the volleyball court. (For old college friends that are reading this - I promise, it's not considered animal cruelty because I knew the cat would land on its feet!) That same week I was in a neighbor's home and their huge dog the size of Marmaduke must have thought I was his best friend... too big to drop kick, but I did give him a shove or two in the opposite direction and finally the owner locked him in the garage.

Why is this funny? I've often wondered myself why the M.O.T.H. is so amused... but here, I'll tell you why HE thinks it's funny. I REALLY detest most critters - besides the fact that my allergies send me drinking benadryl out of a paper bag on street corners - the animals themselves just annoy me. With apologies to those of you who love little Fido or Mittens like they're your children - I just don't see it... I mean, do you look forward to the day when Fido or Mittens graduates so that you can turn their room into the sewing room? (yes, I'm feeling a bit cynical this week... sorry!)

Not only are animals attracted to me - apparently so is every BAD driver in town. Or maybe it's just the folks that I have been driving with... could that be it??? A co-worker (commonly known as the boss-lady) accused me of driving around in stealth mode after being nearly side swiped TWICE in one day.

The very first time I was nearly smashed in a round-about... and if your city doesn't have these "innovations of transportation" I want you to do something right now (well, after you finish reading my blog) - Write a letter to your city planner and thank them profusely. Seriously. The concept is fine, but the actual use of these things is like icy roads... not everyone should be allowed to drive on them! Thankfully my other co-worker R.L. was in the backseat and took care of instructing the offending driver in where to go... or at least that's what I inferred from the reaction of the other 3 passengers - I was too busy freaking out to listen. Unfortunately R.L. has not been with us for all future near-death car trips - prompting the new office phrase to be "where's R.L. when you need her?"

Other than being attacked by stray felines and nearly driven off the road by their stray-brained owners... life has been, well... "normal"??? By normal of course I mean "ironic" because as I was having all kinds of fun at physical therapy (for a long ago ankle injury) I got a phone call from my son at school... he'd just sprained his ankle! Yikes!

Funny Story - or at least sort of funny, I'll be laughing about it in a few weeks I'm sure: T Jr. rolls his ankle in his weight training class - then hops up to the teacher (a substitute) and tells him he's hurt his ankle and asks what he should do? The Sub: "well, work on your arms"

not kidding. wish I were.


The REAL coach - he was out with the swine flu. We were a little annoyed with this tidbit of information since he's also a neighbor of ours... then in the last week we realize about 6 of the neighbor kids are down with the swine flu... make that 7 because now W is hacking up a lung. Ugh. The joys of motherhood!

and yes, I DO realize I'm supposed to be calling it H1N1 - yeah, right - when pigs fly...

thanks again to all my wonderful blog readers/friends/family/neighbors/angels in disguise for all of the support and words of comfort - it's meant the world to me... I'm trying to be a better bloggist this week... hmmm... maybe I should have split this post up a tad instead of hitting you with it all at once??? Thanks for sticking with it :)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A little gratitude:

So... we're doing the Thanksgiving thing a little early this year. Why? Because I said so and I'm bigger than you. Hmmm... yeah, okay - so any of you who know me won't buy into that one, how about "because I said so and this is MY blog and SO THERE!" Yeah - that works for me...

Today I'm super grateful for:

Sleep - it refreshes, it centers... someone was playing a game recently and had to stop because their "stamina" was low... I think the character had to eat some pie to refresh their stamina - I tried that yesterday - but sleep is what ultimately did the trick.

Friends - I had SO many messages recently from old friends just offering their support for my family... All of your comments here and facebook (and e-mails) just brightened my day and reminded me why blogging has been such a therapeutic thing (see, I'm laughing now at the ridiculous way the word "therapeutic" looks... what's not therapeutic about laughter?) I even had a dear friend come seek me out at the funeral (seriously, that one hug was worth whatever crazy arrangements you had to make - thanks)... I met new friends who I think might have thought I was a little strange (but hey, you DO know that I'm a part of that one family)...
Speaking of Family - seriously, couldn't have gotten through this without them. From the phone calls at all sorts of ridiculous hours and the shared retail therapy that has resulted in the most comfortable shirt I think I've ever owned - and ESPECIALLY the pie breakfast... I'm so glad to come from a family where my tendency to heal with laughter is not looked upon as evil and heartless.

Laughter - seriously... it's my favorite. Sometimes the tension is just WAY too much and I think we're all about to break in two. I come from the sort of family that someone (not me... I can't claim this one) can say to my sister who is hurting like I can't quite grasp - "honey, just think - that would have been harder to get through if it were in Klingon" and bring a smile to her face... and really - I think the whole world would be much harder to get through if we spoke Klingon... (I think I'd just stay home)

Pie - no explanation.

Gospel truths - I know some of my readers don't come from that little world, and I'm not trying to be preachy, but the faith I have in the teachings of the LDS church regarding death - those have been essential to getting through the past week. I'm not sure how others cope. Knowing that someday - after the ordeal of this earth life - that we will have the opportunity to be with her sweet son. Knowing that we all will have the opportunity to be re-united with those we have lost in life, and knowing that we can be together as a family... that gets me through these hard moments in life... that makes me strive for more of the good moments... that keeps me from going ballistic when my kids make cookies and leave the kitchen a splattered and sticky nightmare... I need to endure, I need to smile, and I need to remember that it's all worth it in the end - and that God's "got my back".

Thanks. Really.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Without going into detail...

there's been a loss in my family - and because I'm not completely "coping" right now I'm just letting you all know that it might be a few days (or more) before I get back to the point where blogging seems necessary. Or at least where I don't feel guilty for doing something "normal" in my life. Funny thing - some of the first names that popped into my head to look to for support and love... were fellow bloggers...

so thanks - I appreciate your support. Prayers for my sister and her family - and for my sweet parents and siblings - and for me... all of those would be welcome. We will get through this trial just like we always do - by coming together and supporting one another. that's what families do darnit.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Hourglass Door - Lisa Mangum

this is a first novel for Mangum - but I'm sure it won't be her last. There were a few "slow" moments, but never for long.

I don't normally classify books as Girl Books or Boy Books - but I have to say that this was a little more girly than I'd normally give my oldest son (although he did read it... he called it a chick book). There are lengthy descriptions that bored him to tears... how Dante pours a drink, how Dante forms his letters... as I've learned through the years of marriage, men just don't care! Seriously - women can appreciate the cute fruit snacks and agonize over whether our kids want to have Barbie Fruit Snacks or Dora Fruit Snacks this week... men? They just want to know which box is on sale and usually shovel them all into their mouths without knowing if they've consumed a tractor, a shark, or a super hero... So yeah - kinda girly - but hey, turns out I'm a girl so I liked it just fine!

Okay, less about my life, more about the book: S bought this one - making me wish I'd picked this up instead of another HORRID book that I'm still trudging my way through... you'll hear about that later when I enumerate how badly I regret that impulse buy...

THIS book - it's worth the sticker price!

Think Twilight meets Time Traveler's Wife meets Dr. Who with just a dash of Harry Potter and a hint of Monster's Inc... wait, maybe don't think that... that might just be too weird!

The fact is, this book has a freshness to it that is... well... refreshing -- yes, the beginning is pretty typical of a lot of teen lit, and yes, it DOES smack of Twilight more than once... but no, not in the uber-steamy way that will send pre-teens clamoring to buy Team Dante t-shirts.

Here - let me just get rid of some of the parallels between the books to begin with:
Abby seems more intellectual than Bella (not to mention more coordinated)
Dante, good looking - yes... "vampire hot" - probably not (PLEASE if this is ever a movie let ME do the casting!!!!) I envision him as quite a catch, but accessible.
The attraction between the two is immediate - but not described as intensely... or as deadly... still - I always get bothered when fictional teens are willing to change their entire lives around for someone they've known for a few months... you might want to have a chat about THAT issue...

Okay - so here: Abby and her friends all live in a close knit CA community -- they do stuff together like drama club and hanging out at the local dance place. Then Dante shows up - he's rumored to be dangerous, but he and Abby become friends. Really, just friends... and then some other "friends" come to town and it goes a little crazy from there.

Things I love: Abby's family is fairly normal. Too often in teen lit. with have to begin with a kid who's already been messed up by their family somehow... kind of nice to have a kid that the "normal" kids can relate to!
Abby epitomizes "sweet 16 and never been kissed" in the beginning - shoot, she makes the good girls look bad... and even when the kisses finally come - the descriptions are good without being "steamy"
I love figuring out a book -- not the predictable ones, they're no fun... the the tough ones with lots of twists and turns, I LOVE when I can figure them out. Guess what I love even more? NOT being able to figure them out. As I was reading and got to page 275 I suddenly yelled "Omigosh" and my husband thought I'd hurt myself... nope, I just thought I'd finally figured it out... 3 pages later I was doubting myself... 10 pages after that I felt like a moron for ever thinking it in the first place - but that was okay because I had a NEW brilliant theory (which also eventually proved wrong...).

For keeping me on my toes when I'd had only 4 hours sleep - Lisa Mangum gets my thumbs up of approval - and I will SOOoooo be waiting on the next installment The Golden Spiral next summer.. because I just HAVE to know what's happening next year at this weird college... and what's up with Valerie, and what about the Ex-BF/BFF situation... and...

Language... shoot, don't remember any issues - maybe if I hadn't read it so quickly and at such odd hours?
Violence... yeah, there's some - but nothing gory or unnecessary...

and I'm looking forward to some additional comments from S - but right now I've REALLY got to get to work!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Finger Foods...

So... the $64,000 question... how IS that new job of mine going???

just Peachy Keen... as long as by "peachy" you mean stressy and by "keen" you mean ugh...

okay, so it's really not all that bad - the schedule is getting solidified - I have actually managed to work in a twice weekly lunch with my kindergarten girl... which is technically what I'm doing right now... except she REALLY just wanted to watch Wishbone... whatever.

I do work with some fun people... some of whom might actually drop by here so I can't compare anyone to characters from The Office... I don't even really HAVE to compare them myself since we can all take that facebook quiz... I'm pretty sure our office is fully of Ryans and Michaels... with a Pam or two... Oh - and definitely one poor Phyllis and Andy type...

great - now I'm going to get in trouble...

oh well, since I'm in trouble let me just tell you that last week I grabbed a Wendy's Salad and headed back to the office where I finally got to eat my lunch at 2:00... only the Fork part of my salad had not made it all the way to the office... being the resourceful person I am I made sure my hands were clean before declaring to everyone present (Phyliis and Andy included) that chicken strips, lettuce, and mandarin chicken slices are now finger food. I'm sure there were a few snickers amongst those in the office but can I mention how annoyed I was later when I was putting away stuff in closets (that I've never before opened) and found a bag FULL of forks... so I ask *phyllis* about them... and get this response:

"oh yeah - I wondered why you were eating with your fingers, but I didn't want to insult your intelligence..."


oh well, now I know, and I can forget my fork about 144 times before I have to stress about it.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

insert Title here

seriously - I'm going to be blogging soon... really, I have some great ideas... just no TIME! As in NO time... as in I should currently be making birthday party invitations for my soon to be 10 year old and his rockin' party which I have yet to plan... I should be delivering a card to a neighbor that I still haven't finished... and I should be... well, let's be honest - my life is CHOCK FULL of "should be" and "ought to"s...

for today - let's just offer a Happy Birthday to my morning therapy walking partner and you'll just have to trust that some future hilarity is coming. Not only does she help keep me sane and not judge when I want to kill a certain kitty - she is a faithful blog reader that actually knows me in real life and STILL thinks I'm funny

I'll tell you about the Kitty later. Really - I even made notes for what to blog about today (including the kitty story) while I should have been doing something else...

Anyone have a great idea for a birthday party invite?

Friday, August 21, 2009

standard of living... and eating... and cleaning...

it's been one C-R-A-Z-Y week. I've gotten a lot done, the kids have all had a good week in school. They've only missed the bus ONCE (luckily on the day I'd scheduled myself to be home at that point!).

So here's the thing... Man Of The House is camping. He left Thursday. We ate frozen pizzas for dinner Thursday night. Frozen individual pizzas which were purchased specifically for hungry teenagers who come home from school when they've refused to pack a lunch (not cool) or eat the school food (not appealing). I ran to the store today and bought replacements. I also bought generic PopTarts... a dollar a box - usually PopTarts are a vacation luxury, but a dollar a box? yep, I gave in and the kids have already cracked open a box... following April's suggestion they also had some fruit and milk... and one of them had a bowl of cereal...

Lazy Dinners? How often are they acceptable? Daily? (please just say yes) I was chatting (in real life guys - my internet at work is out... it's killing me AND making me a little less dependent) with a friend who says that as long as the BRAND of pizza isn't the same there's no problem with serving pizza repeatedly during one week. I'm personally TOTALLY on board with this - of course... notice I don't pull the Uber-Lazy Dinner nights unless M.O.T.H. is out of town... :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I can do anything better than you...

hey, don't take offense, I'm just quoting my favorite "Annie Get Your Gun" song... (whoa, two posts involving Annie in one week... weird...)

We went and saw that musical this afternoon and it was every bit as fun as I remember from 20+ years ago when I last saw it and some of the innuendo went flying WAY over my head. Gave me hope for all those little children whose parents had dragged them along to the show!

So now I can't sleep because I've got "there's no business like show business" and "You can't get a man with a gun" running around in my head.

But seriously... you GOTTA love the classic "I can do anything better than you"... it reminds me of the old days watching Sesame Street when they'd play that cute little "Everyone Makes Mistakes" song... and my sister and I would re-write the lyrics a tad bit...

"If you make a mistake while counting up to ten... well, you're a dork so go away and don't bug me again... Big people, small people, matter of fact ALL people, everyone makes mistakes except for meeeeee"

and yes, I do realize that the "me" didn't work when it was "us" singing it... so sue me, we made a mistake...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

with apologies to Annie

My CPR certification expired awhile back... hmmm... yep, that's absolutely true as long as by "awhile" you're willing to think in terms of 8 years and not... say... 8 weeks...

Before this I had stayed currently certified and frequently took classes well before the expiration of my prior card - just because it was convenient... So I noticed a few changes over the years... # of breaths per # of compressions has changed, changed again, and is now MUCH easier to remember (and BONUS - I no longer have to ask my unconscious victim how old they are!)

Did you know that the dummies are SO much easier to use these days???? Seriously... SO much easier! (hmmm... maybe it's because I find myself more at ease with dummies these days Crash?) No, but really - the process just felt faster and cleaner! We didn't have to keep passing the dummy around and wiping it down - we each had one!

I still felt stupid asking a Dummy if they were okay... and asking an invisible bystander to run and call 911 (and request that they also get and AED - yes I DID remember) - but at least I no longer had to say "annie, annie, are you alright?" Of course, the one thing that hasn't changed... my poor little hands are bruised from doing hundreds of compressions - which if I'd saved someone's life wouldn't bother me in the least - I think.

The highlight of my day?

My test - they were giving each of us a scenario (darkened street - downed bicyclist - what do you do?) to re-enact... but when I come up they tell me that I'm in the school district offices (big stretch, I was...) and I walk into this very room (seriously guys - I'm an actress, give me SOMETHING to work with!) and find MAX (who is our school superintendent) laying on the floor non-responsive. Seriously? I know this guy - I don't want to be envisioning myself giving him mouth to mouth next time I run into him in the halls... this is potentially problematic!!! But rest assured - I passed... even though I neglected to tear the invisible clothing off of Max... somehow, I think my subconscious wasn't going to allow me to do THAT!

Gotta love being prepared for the worst - it really does create lots of fun...

OH! and just so you all know - if any of you plan on collapsing where I'm the first responder, could you please lay down on a bench... my knees are killing me...

Monday, August 10, 2009


this morning as I limped along on my morning walk we were talking about juggling. and yes, I really was limping - probably shouldn't have walked on that darn ankle, but I NEED the therapeutic conversation more than I need to walk the rest of the day right?

anyway - like I said, we were talking about juggling... and having actually learned HOW to juggle back in the college days (can't do it now - don't ask) the analogy was hitting home when we were discussing how we juggle all the things in our lives...

The honest truth? Some days I grab the little juggle-balls labeled "family" and "sanity" and hold on for dear life.

Seriously - if the ones labeled "work", "exercise" and I'm ashamed to say "blogging" get dropped on the floor, they'll still be there when I get back around to them won't they? Shoot - the "exercise" one will be even bigger and squishier and thus easier to juggle right????

See, I can manage - you just may never KNOW that I manage because the "blogging" ball was dropped that day...

unless... my OTHER juggling strategy gets put into play - in which case you'll see me on the 5 o-clock news with the teaser line "local Mom throws juggling balls at students, children, teachers, and anyone else who dares to think she should take any responsibility for anything other than her own nailpolish"

Thursday, August 6, 2009

one old dog...

so here I am - taking a break from my efforts to learn MovieMaker and PhotoShop today... yep, Today... I don't see why I shouldn't be able to master 2 new programs in one day - some may call it insanity - but for the purpose of today's "discussion" let's go with the friendlier and less psycho term Determination.

I need to learn these... I need to use them in my work... so why are they so danged HARD? I know, I know... .they're probably not hard, I'm probably just hung up on why MovieMaker isn't more like iMovie... and PhotoShop should certainly be more like what I'm used to... scissors, crayons, and my endless artsy skillz.

I had to laugh when one of the people helping me taught me the "old school" way of doing something... "old school"? shoot, Old Schools didn't HAVE computers people!!!

Don't get me wrong, I love my computer... we have a very tumultuous relationship at times and the neighbors might report a tiff or two that they've wanted to intervene on... but the passion is still alive and we'll never be parted. Ummm, wait, let's drop that metaphor right now - I'm actually typing this on my work laptop :)

Anywho - I'm apparently an old dog who can't learn new tricks... I WAS going to have this amazingly photoshopped picture of myself RIGHT HERE to show you how much I've learned... it didn't turn out so hot... as a matter of fact... the only photo I got very far on at all was an iris... which quickly turned into a blue blob... which I then deleted out of impatience and unwillingness to make a complete fool of myself...

so, I will apologize in advance to any of the children I will help with these program in the months to come... I'm sure they will be teaching ME far more than I am teaching THEM!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

I might just be losing it...

wish "it" referred to all the poundage I've put on in the past few months... but no... "it" is apparently my sanity.

I probably shouldn't claim to have ever had "it" in the first place... but it's all going downhill from here. Why? Hmmm, not sure... I look around me and see lots of people who cope with stress - thus I should be able to cope with stress right? Right? And my "stress" really isn't all that horrible really... it's maybe a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10... 1 being my life between marriage and the birth of my first children and 10 being my life when my third child was born and the other two were sick with pneumonia and chicken pox...

See, life is GOOD - I've got no complaints!

Shoot - if I've got no complaints what on EARTH am I going to blog about today????

The boys' "mini-mission" is almost over... a few hours until their "release" fireside - and can I mention how proud I am of their adherence to the rules and willingness to participate??? When I heard the rules about no TV, no internet, no radio, no video games, and no "gasp" iPod I fully expected to hear a lot of groaning. Not so... although I should tell them NOW that when they are gone for 2 years I will NOT be willing to log in to their game of "Crazy Planets" each day to collect their resources... sorry guys - you'll just have to deal.
I should also mention how grateful I am to my recently returned missionary brother who spoke with my older son at the very beginning of all of this - about the choice to either dedicate your life in full or waste time and effort in looking for loopholes. Good timing. Wish I could say that the house has been uber-quiet and spiritual all week as a result of the computer and TV being off... but I'm sure nobody will buy into the fact that children 3 through 5 "caught the spirit" or that their mom shunned technology for the week in support. (I did cut back... for instance, right now they are upstairs baking cookies so that I can get my blogging fix... when the cookies are done I will have to shut off the computer... in support. Maybe a tiny bit because I don't want to get crumbs in the keyboard... but mostly in support.

School starts soon... too soon. I need to spend a day making the kids try on every stitch of clothing in the house and assembling "outfits" so that we can determine how many pairs of jeans need to be purchased... and let me just tell anyone out there who is currently working on their family planning... HAVE YOUR KIDS IN THE EARLY FALL! Birthdays are a great time to get all new school clothes - really. My 3rd son (Po) has an early September birthday (although I would recommend early August...) and as much as I'd love to give him all his new school clothes for this celebration I can't really get away with it because of those "other" children who loudly point out that they got new school clothes for "free" and got fun toys and games for their spring birthdays... somehow Po sees this as some sort of injustice? Go figure...

My hair is growing out. I'm not sure I like it... however I do know that ManOfTheHouse likes it... or maybe him "liking it" is his nice way of saying that he didn't like it short? Here's the thing... it's MY hair, on MY head, and MY sweat that runs down MY neck during MY morning walks... and it grosses ME out. Let's see how long this lasts... Shhhhh... don't tell him, but I liked his hair better when it was a different style too... and he won't (ummm "can't") change it back to suit me so why am I worried about how he likes mine?

Mmmmm... I think I smell cookies... Guess I'd better go and "taste test" the wares... and if you've EVER wondered - Yes, I frequently DO just sit down at the computer with no idea what to type into my blog :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Holy Week from... well, okay, still from Utah... but crazy!

First off - no, I don't know WHERE all my time went... really.

My Mom came to town with my recently returned missionary Brother whose english language skills have returned quite nicely. Maybe even better than BEFORE he left for Santiago... or maybe he's just not afraid of me anymore??? Also in tow were Grandma B (because that distinguishes her from the OTHER Grandma... whose last name also begins with B...) and Uncle Mike. Just two of their in town nights were spent at my house since they'd rented a Condo for the week - which means that while my house was clean for their arrival (well... reasonably so... they arrived the same day I got back from the family reunion... I had a wonderful excuse for that pile of laundry!) it was not so clean during the week... shoot, why bother - it was just my sister (who flew in from NY) hanging at our place!

But wait, that's not all!!!

Also visiting (but not staying at my house... except for brief drop by and cool off visits) Aunt P, Cousin S + baby, Cousin K + 6 kids, Aunt P (the other one) and her grandkids, Uncle D & Auntie H and 5 of their children who we got to see before they up and move to England in... ummm... 4 days? Did I miss anyone? Oh, well... Uncle R, Aunt C and their assorted children/children's spouses/children's spouse's parents/and children's children that we mostly saw at plays but convinced at least a few to come eat the amazing amount of food that was prepared here Saturday afternoon. Seriously, our menus are always the same fare: Meat of some sort, potato salad (with too much celery in my opinion), pink fluff, etc.... but what we lack in creativity we make up for in sheer VOLUME! Do NOT ask me right now how my diet is going... you REALLY don't want to get me started... I'll let you know when I'm back within 10 pounds of goal again... but don't hold your breath. (Hmmm... come to think of it, maybe if I DID hold my breath I could lose a few ounces?)

a little swimming, lots of card playing, and a few shows at the Neil Simon later and my entire week has passed... and what have I got to show for it? ticket stubs... dirty towels... scrawled scores on notepads showing that I won... (I threw away the ones where I lost)

Oh - and I have two new t-shirts...

The first: a nice blue shirt with a cute smiley that says "I'm in Charge" - because our reunion theme was all about us being in charge of our own happiness and attitude. I love it... even when all 66 reunion attendees were wearing it... kind of felt like we ought to march on Washington right then and there!!!

The second: a vivid illustration of the difference between the families that Q and I come from... His produced the "I'm in Charge" shirt... and mine... a yellow shirt proclaiming "I'm just one big freaking ray of sunshine aren't I?" Seriously... his family could be an afterschool special... mine? We'd be more likely to show up on Jerry Springer :)

hey, I'm not complaining - we have LOTS of fun in the meantime :)

So, there it is... my official apology for missing out on all your bloggy updates - for ignoring your new recipes and tips on how to simplify my life... I think the only blog I managed to stay in touch with was Shelle's - which reminded me how petty all the little things are... so my heart goes out to her family - and I hold my own a little closer. or a lot closer.

I'll be around again... sometime...

I'd guarantee that I'd catch up this week... but the boys are participating in a missionary week... which means no TV, no internet, no iPod, etc... I'm not sure if I will be more help being "supportive" and joining them in their ban - or if I should just send them upstairs and enjoy the fact that I won't be battling them for computer time :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

My morning therapy sessions

Each morning I wake up at 6:30 - eager to start my day. Wait. Strike that. Let's say "anxious to take on the day"...

would you believe "willing" to get out of bed?

Folks - 6:30 is a beautiful time of day. The neighbors and their dogs are all still resting. My kids are usually still asnooze in their beds. There is no game systems on and being yelled at by impatient boys whose names shall not be mentioned... but his initials are PDC...

The best part of my morning routine are my therapy sessions - my walking partner and I have decided that we don't walk to lose weight (good thing because it is SOOOO not working out that way) but we walk to save our sanity. There is something therapeutic about being about to vent in the early morning and then come home refreshed!

Well, Monday's therapy session had a little bonus moment as we walked around the park - lapping a sweet little ole lady *(SLOL) who was slowing down to miss the sprinkler. It's hot - I wanted a little spritz by then... but apparently SLOL didn't because when that water hit her in the face she used a SLOE (sweet little ole expletive) that sent me into hysterical laughter!

So sorry SLOL... I'd been thinking of you like my grandmother while I was walking - and the very idea of my SLOG (sweet little ole grandmother) saying D#@N was just too hilarious :) I hope you will forgive the hysterical laughter... someday...

Thursday, July 16, 2009


nope, not a scripture reference, try again...

not even close... well, maybe - because perhaps we could call it a spiritual experience ;)

"after missing out on the lunch last week I was lost - but now I'm found, was blind... bu-ut now - I see...."

17:03 is how long I spent chatting with the Crash Test Dummy on the phone this morning - just moments ago :)

I can see why there was not much in the way of breadstick consumption over at the OG - because there is just SO much to talk about with this gal!!!

we managed to cram politics, weather, and the state of the economy into our few minutes... so I guess I've reached the "acceptance" stage of my lunch-missing grief - because I'm not sad at all... We've got some plans in the works for the next time Crash hits St. George - so all of you in the surrounding counties better be blocking out some serious breadstick time in September!!!! Of course, with all the conversing, maybe it would be better if you ate first?

And now I REALLY have to run off to my meeting - not with Crash... because we're both swamped busy... but apparently they need me to fill out all sorts of paperwork for my new job... Yikes, the work force is demanding... time cards, etc...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

On my honor...

the family reunion starts tomorrow...

I should mention that this is a GOOD thing - really, we always have lots of fun. It's amazing to me that we can pack 66 people into one home for fun and games - and there are no Jerry Springer moments!

The reunion has always happened on the same week each July - to coincide with M.I.L.'s birthday partly - but mostly because it's a good time to plan for because M.I.L. doesn't every let us make a big deal out of her special day!!

The Problem? Okay - the first of the problems...

Harry Potter books have been released on that same week - TWICE - so I tend to be an anti-social aunt. I've read and hiked, read and bowled, read and gone out to lunch... The movies tend to have the same release date - what's with that?

I'm being good and waiting... all the way 'til Monday - so SHHHHhhh, please don't tell me you hated it/loved it/were disappointed by X or thrilled by Y... I really don't want to know. It's killing me!!!

Which brings me to my second problem with the scheduling...

The Neil Simon Festival always starts that same time... which (because my uncle is HIGHLY involved with the festival) brings relatives to town... which means I come home from the reunion to a houseful of folks... including my mother whose birthday is right on the heels of M.I.L.'s birthday... which THIS year - means that it will be HER special day I'm ignoring if I zone into Harry Potter Land...

Yes, I'm a little obsessed - I won't go into detail, but I have been known to take a few notes while reading... and maybe I HAVE made a chart of the characters and their relationship to eachother... but On My Honor - it won't get in the way of my REAL relationships anymore!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Convenient Memory and Parental Perspective...

many Many MANY years ago - in the pre-offspring years I was hanging out at my in-laws house and they had picked up a movie to watch. Based on our recommendation. OOOOOPS! We hadn't seen it since its theatrical release and only remembered the funny laugh out loud moments - I'd claim innocence/ignorance but the truth is that "So I Married An Ax Murderer" just didn't set off our "mute button sensor" back in the day... until we tried to watch it with parents in the room.

This keeps happening to us now... a funny movie from our youth that we think the kids will appreciate turns out to be something that should have been rated PG(boiysiitl5ywtpp) - and for those of you not in the motion picture industry and therefor unaware of this particular rating it's Parental Gguidance but only if you've seen it in the last 5 years with the parental perspective...

You see, we've forgotten things... and APPARENTLY have become a little more aware of what is being shown to little eyes.

We pulled out the old standard "Mrs Doubtfire" last night - after a wonderful family night of Karaoke (to get them ready for the reunion)... and I'm just thrilled that we started it late enough that most of the kids fell asleep!

I won't go into detail - but let's just say that I have a copy of this movie if anyone else wants to subject their kids to a little too much of Robin Williams' early humor and give their thumb a good workout on the Mute and FF buttons.

okay... so THAT part was HiLaRiOuS...

HOWEVER - another thing we've recently been allowing them to watch has given them only WONDERFUL lessons in life... that lesson being that "special effects" were a little less special and a little less effective back in the seventies when they filmed the original Land of the Lost Episodes... can anyone remind me WHY I loved that so much as a kid?

Oh wait - I remember... because it was the ONLY thing ON! Yes folks, I'm showing my age because I grew up in the pre-cable era... I actually remember waking up early on Saturday morning and having to WAIT for programming to begin because there was not a channel just for cartoons in my day and age...

you know, way back when before dirt was invented...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

all those other bloggable things - in no particular order....

Mr Bendy Hop Along Bill took our trip with us... and made his way into MANY of the road trip photos. Mostly because I turned camera duties over to my oldest son, who shall hereafter be referred to as T Jr. (so as to avoid confusion... he IS quite manly and all boy... and he's not REALLY named after me...)

Remember these Shoes??? Yeah, well T Jr. is growing out of them. So, let's begin again - he got a lot of good art from family on this trip and should be able to get them completed by the end of the OTHER family reunion... as a matter of fact, he might need a whole other pair!

We went to see the amazing fireworks - had to enjoy it because usually it's so amazingly HOT that we have to watch from the safety of an air conditioned vehicle... T Jr. and I traded off the camera trying to keep it nice and steady - until we discovered that it was MUCH more fun to just shake the heck out of it and get some interesting shots!

Great, blurry AND sideways... but my point is that my friend Shelley makes some awesome goodies which she brought for the whole crowd when we got together. If you're a Coloradoan you should check her out... if you're not, don't make fun of Coloradoan, because REALLY... Utahn is FAR worse (just the word, not the people)...

Ha - don't we look luverly? more friends - this time at the park... we did take more attractive photos - but with my habit of making weird faces in all photos - it was much more flattering if everyone else was too! Luv you girls for playing along... and in case you didn't recognize quilter extraordinaire there on the right - check out her blog here.

all the cousins - you might recognize my little rugrats - but if you don't the tallest two are mine... and the boy inbetween them is mine too... even if he doesn't look thrilled about it! That little cutie on the right is mine... and the one second from the left is my CLONE so if you've ever met me you probably didn't have to be told THAT! The rest? well, they're just darn cute too... and even though this picture is less than 2 weeks old it's already outdated as my sister had another baby a few days ago... so just imagine a little newborn tucked in there somewhere.

some old friends and I met at a Karaoke bar... where I chickened out but had a grand time visiting with high school friends. Now when our 20 year comes around (in oh... say... 19 years... because of COURSE I'm that young...) I'll be able to recognize them all at first glance!! This one is K - who has always had an incredible singing voice and a wicked sense of humor - love her. (and everyone else too... but my pictures all turned out sucky... gotta go scour facebook for more!) (and... lest anyone worry - like my kids - I drank two tall glasses of ice water and had a yummy sandwich!)

One of the hidden gems in Colorado - Swetsville Zoo - no animals at all, and probably a grand place to hurt yourself if you run around crazy - but I love it! The entire place (every 40 foot dinosaur, snoopy, and humpty dumpty) are made from old car parts, gas cans, and assorted other junk that is now not cluttering up a landfill somewhere! If you're ever near Loveland, CO - this is worth a quick stop, really!

sideways again???? grrrrrr... okay - well, bonus points to anyone who can tell me what credit card company used this guy in their national ad campaign... or at least I THINK it was a credit card company... it's keeping me up nights!!!

seriously blurry on this one... just proving that the true bloggist in me had my camera out even at lunch... and apparently my sis has gotten into the photo spirit even though I've never seen a single photo over at her blog...

I made the mistake of introducing my kids to the old game of "hold your breath through the tunnel" What? you didn't play that game??? oh, you must not have every driven with my parents who would do ANYTHING for a few seconds of silence... it didn't work so well with my kids - because they'd all gang up on W and try to make him laugh. and then there was the Eisenhower tunnel incident...

Next (well, actually first, but I'm guessing you can't tell while reading this that I'm writing the post in reverse order... it's just easier that way) - I may have mentioned that T Jr. was in charge of the camera during the car trip???? I had to go twice around a roundabout in Grand Junction for him to snap a photo of a big dinosaur... and then he did this... creepier than the money guy from the Geico commercials any day!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

one of the 13 bloggable things...

okay - not much time (yikes, I think that's getting to be my mantra... maybe I'll print it on a t-shirt) - but I had to share...

I cheated.

Not on M.O.T.H. (hang your head in shame if you even THOUGHT that!). Not on my diet... well, not really - because I'm starting that later... but on my beloved Cozy...

Truth be told it was a brief and tepid affair (okay - it was WAY too hot) and really the pictures were just for Kristina and now apparently Shelle who even after reading THIS wonderful expose don't believe me... There - photographic evidence that I've tried the competition (and a very fancy version of the competition at that!) but I still prefer my Cozy... if it will ever forgive me for straying.

(more bloggables to come...)

Monday, July 6, 2009

An addition to the family... ?????????

Okay, so we're home. Along the route I ran into at least 13 things that I thought were "bloggable" ... and yet, when I got home, I was met with something the trumped ALL of that!

Yep - I get home to a card - addressed to "the C family" - which is our name - at our address... so the ManOfTheHouse opened it of course..

Imagine his surprise!!!!
I mean... when I left town I only had the 5 kids he knew about... so is he expecting me to bring home an extra?

The card was signed by "Tom and Cindy" - which are the names of my aunt and uncle - so he's thinking that it's either legit or an honest mistake and they meant to send it to another niece? I think by this time M.O.T.H. is afraid I've been keeping a secret even better than his sister Megz! (who prefer to wait until the blessing day to announce that she's prego)

Okay - so really, the explanation is quite simple as there is ANOTHER Q.C. in town... we've received a number of phone calls for them in the past... if we were EVIL we might have been able to capitalize on this... or at least have chosen a really bad granite color for their counters when those people called... but NO, we've politely told them that they had the wrong number...

I get it - not everyone wants to be called constantly and asked if you're THAT Q.C.... right? I get it... well, mostly because now WE get those phone calls instead of you!

But this time... ummm... well folks:

I'm holding THIS hostage :) (nah, just let us know where to send it... I'd leave contact info, but hey - we're in the book!)

but really - there's a time limit here... because my curiosity will eventually get the better of me you know!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Old Home Week

For those of you who haven't figured it out by the fact that I haven't shown my face in the blogosphere, I'm out of town. I'd post a bunch of pictures and all that to keep it interesting, but the fact is I'm dead tired and since I'm on a borrowed laptop I'm not sure I could figure it out without a good nights' sleep!

The kids have been great. Seriously - maybe it has something to do with the fact that I NEED them to be helpful... or maybe it's just that they don't want to embarrass themselves in front of too many relatives? That's not to say we haven't had our "moments" but they've been blessedly few and brief!

The drive was good - MUCH better than I had feared. Last time we attempted this trip all 5 kids came down with the flu AND I had a tire blow out in the middle of a cell "dead-zone"... not that it would have mattered much because I didn't actually HAVE a cell phone at the time! With that as my "reference point", it had to get better! I've been monitoring the kids' health (and that of their friends) for weeks, I've been to Discount Tire to have the tires checked, rotated, and balanced, and I've been holding on to my cell phone like it was the Iron Rod of scripture!

Why make this insane trip? Good question... and just because you asked I'm going to tell you!!!

My youngest brother came home from his mission (for the LDS church) last week - I would have been here when he arrived, except for that darn scout camp. After two years we were all eager to see him and see if he'd forgotten all his english. Amazingly enough - he still qualifies as a native english speaker even after two years in Chile!
My older sister is also here - from New York - so I just had to make it... otherwise my mother might have photoshopped a picture of me from less flattering days into the family shot we finally took!

And (thanks to Facebook) I was able to connect with a lot of friends! Dive Bar Karaoke anyone? THIS I'll go into more detail about when I get home...

Well, pray for a speedy return trip - we're heading back Monday and looking forward to seeing M.O.T.H. again - and I'm sure he's looking forward to us being home. I talked to him a few minutes ago on the phone and he admitted that he's eaten a peanut butter sandwich and a TV dinner today. If anyone local is reading this could you look in on him?

See you all soon, I'm not abandoning the blog-reading... just taking a break!

Monday, June 29, 2009

days of ease and comfort...

the oldest boys spent the better part of the week at Scout Camp... when I first wrote this on the calendar I was looking forward to it... looking forward to Po not having anyone to fight with... looking forward to not have to BEG certain children to join us for morning prayer... looking forward to only having to cook for 3 picky eaters instead of 5.

It seemed like a great plan!

and then... the reality hit. I had to get the tired rotated. If the oldest boys were here it would be simple:

"Hey eldest child - gotta run an errand, I'll be back in an hour - call if there's an issue" and I'm OUTTA THERE!

without them here?

"hmmm... let's see... #3 can hang with his friend... #4 and #5 will have to come along. Did you know that the tire place is REALLY stinky? and also not so good for the developing latex allergy... so we walked over to Sonic Drive In... luckily you don't have to be in a car to order... of course, having to take our time turned out to be a good thing because otherwise we might have been 67 blocks away before realizing that #4's "kids grilled cheese meal" was minus a grilled cheese sandwich. Twisty straw, check... Banana (really), check... Drink, check... Sandwich?

I chose Sonic over Red Robin because I could see the garage from our table... and as soon as they took the car down we began to walk back... of course then we had a few more errands to run... so I was reminded pretty quickly that shopping WITH children is much more time consuming, expensive, and frustrating than shopping alone.

So boys - hope Scout Camp was fun... glad that it doesn't last longer!

Friday, June 26, 2009

I wanna be an Avatar...

Some mornings I wake up and look in the mirror... I see a few wrinkles, the same old eyes, the hair that I would cut weekly if I could be assured that it would grow back quickly (remember that cut 'n style Barbie thing? - that's what I want my own to be like)... I have debated the merits of colored contacts because as much as I love my brown eyes - change is fun right?

I like myself - I really do. If I weren't me I'd want to hang out with me... If I weren't me to the tune of being a guy not me I would SO want to date myself. See, I'm self obsessed even - so this isn't a lack of self esteem thing, it would just be SO CONVENIENT!

If I were a HUGE game player (which I am not... really) I would know all that stuff about creating a cool avatar - according to it is very important to have a "stylish avatar"

Well the fact is... I kind of wish I were an avatar... want a tan? click here. New clothes? bing! what? weight issues - begone! Want your eyes to be a different shape? there are 59 to choose from! and eye color? okay - let's see... brown, green, blue, hazel... okay - they have 24 to choose from, maybe they're not so concerned with reality.

Did I just say Reality? of COURSE they're not concerned with reality! Because in reality I can't just try on 80 hair styles in 24 colors to see what I want to look like today. Of course, if I could... I probably would. True story - I'm just like that! I would tell you how many hair colors I experimented with in the HS days... but my kids sometimes read this :)

in just SECONDS, I could be ANY of those people... maybe...

F.Y.I. - in the amount of time I wasted trying to find a site where I could create an avatar (free was crucial) and actually be able to keep it to post... I could have gotten ready for a grand ball... of course, I couldn't have grown my hair out and changed my eye color...

with nods of acknowledgement to - even though I couldn't save my pouty looking girl with the 3-D glasses, - even though they don't like Macs, a bunch of others that didn't seem to work... sorry, for now you're stuck with Audrey :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

so, what gives anyway?

My oldest got his braces off. He looks kind of strange to me...

and not just because this is so super close up - it's kind of weird to see him minus all that metal and signature green bands...
and before I got a chance to get used to the "look" he headed off to scout camp. I guess it will be awhile before we find out if he's MORE of a hottie now that he's got straight teeth? Remember the hussies at Lagoon who stalked my boy (who is ONLY 14)... at least I scared them off...

Last weekend we rented the wave-runners and spent some time at the local reservoir. The parents and older kids took those things up to top speed on the choppy waters and the kids... dug in the dirt...

but that IS some pretty cool digging they did! (for the record, I told my kids not to bring the garden shovel - they did anyway - little boogers... but it was fine in the end...)

While doing all this beachy fun - A few girls came up to me and asked for my sons' phone number... seriously. Is that bold? and no... I didn't give it to them... ummm, when I was that age I would have DIED before telling some boy's mom that I thought he was hot... ugh, what is the world coming to? (but for the record, I knew this family... good people, seriously... give me a few more years and you're more than welcome to call the boy... even if he does look a little weird to me...)

Aside from that, we had lots of fun... as long as you don't count the fact that the wind picked up and we were constantly pelted with little pieces of sand biting into our skin... ruining my contacts... making all the food a little gritty (is that good for digestion?)... and especially getting into H's bandages.

Oh yeah - suppose I should mention that H gave us another parental first last week - I was driving the 14 year old T home from a party lecturing him about how his actions (not calling home) affect the whole family... when the phone rang and Q lets me know that H has cut herself pretty badly (on a bed frame in the guest room) and we decided to meet at the hospital.

Did you know that they won't reserve a spot in line for someone who hasn't actually GOTTEN to the emergency room yet? Apparently they actually have to do the whole triage thing... blah, blah, blah... don't they know that we neurotic parents aren't ALL crazy?

Do yourself a favor and don't imagine that uncovered and gapping an inch wide... really. Here, this is plenty gross enough - she wouldn't let me get a pic of the injury prior to stitches... and I can't say as I'm real upset about it!

Anyway - after 6 stitches (including one ironically called the "mattress stitch") we were told we could go. Of course, it then took a few more minutes while I made sure I was in drivable condition. You see, I fell apart a little when Q first called - then pulled it together quite nicely when H arrived, while we waited in the waiting room, throughout the triage process, during the next waiting room phase, and sat with her laying in my lap through the whole irrigation/numbing/stitching process offering words of love and encouragement. (wondering all the while how my GIRL ends up with the only broken bone AND the only stitches in the family...)

I was a perfect mom. and then... they said we could go.

I didn't puke. I didn't pass out. Really. but I WANTED to do both of those things. Apparently I looked pretty bad because the guy (nurse/aide/whatever) offered ME cookies and juice... and handed my son a barf bag "just in case".

Haha - yeah, hilarious - laugh at my expense, it's fine... adrenaline makes me woozy, what can I say?

and then, in addition to all of this fun and floozy avoidance - I got a job offer. I've been a full time SAHM mom for... ummm... (Po, how old are you?) okay - almost 10 years. I wasn't looking for a job, really. and then BAM! I got approached by a friend/neighbor/pretty awesome chick who has a job that just might be ideal...

almost all of the hours are school hours - I'd actually be AT the schools some of the time - and those that aren't school hours I'd actually be able to take some of the kids with me for some of them, letting them participate in a pretty cool media literacy class... It'd be flexible enough that I could be there for M when needed, although it would be an adjustment for us all...

I've debated back and forth, and forth and back - and back some more... and forth once again... I've made it a matter of prayer - of fasting and prayer - and although I was "this close" to calling and saying "thanks but no thanks" at one point... it didn't feel right... Q and I discussed it again yesterday and had both had the same thought... so I'm giving it a go. I'm a working mom (well, I will be come August) and will give it a trial run... we'll see how it fares with the family and go from there... because unlike Jon and Kate, my kids REALLY do have to come first!

What else... I'll assume you don't want to hear about my new recipe binder? How about my new pedometer that I'm happy with when it's inaccurate by over counting but which I want to stomp into the ground when I realize I've just walked over 3 miles and it has only credited me with half that? The shopping trip for Q's new suit and the shirt I purchased on same trip that makes me look 3 months pregnant? How about the fact that kids tend to obey signs as written regardless of what they KNOW should be done?
And the fun that the kids had swimming in the pool, visiting with, and having a yummy dinner at Paula's with their grandparents?

I can't complain really - I've been a parent for over 14 years and this was the first time I took any of my kids for stitches... I've been bragging that it's the first ER visit all week but JUST remembered the time when Q had to run T-boy in for an asthma attack in the middle of the night... oh yeah... I guess we're not quite living THAT perfectly after all...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

more library wisdom...

it's amazing what tidbits of wonder can be crammed into a two page newsletter stapled together by librarians!

Since we spent the weekend praising the husbands and putting them up on pedestals - if you're like me it's about time that the pedestal was stored back in the garage... but it will probably sit there for another week until I can convince M.O.T.H. to haul it out of here...

while it's still out, and before we forget WHY we were being all sweet and lovey dovey in the first place - let me present the library's version of...

Man Rules

#1 - Men are NOT mind readers.

#1 - Sunday sports - it's like the full moon or the changing of tides... let it be.

#1 - Crying is blackmail.

#1 - Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one. Subtle hints do not work! Just say it!

#1 - "Yes" and "No" are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

#1 - If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant it the other way.

#1 - Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

#1 - Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.

#1 - Men see in only 16 colors. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what "mauve" is.

#1 - Anything we said six months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after seven days.

#1 - When we go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine... really!

I think if I can keep these in mind M.O.T.H. and I should be getting along fine indefinitely :) I might mention however in regards to #1 (the second one) that I'm thrilled that my Sundays rarely involve sports!

and... as a final word of wisdom - from Garry Shandling... "They should put expiration dates on clothes so we men will know when they go out of style."

(and yes... for those of you who know how crazy our life has been lately - I will EVENTUALLY get around to blogging about something besides the library newsletter... eventually!)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

the library is a place of learning... bizarre things...

In honor of Fathers' Day - the "library lane" (their monthly newsletter) has the following info to share:

Men are Just Happier People
What do you expect from such simple creatures?
Your last name stays put. The garage is all yours. Wedding plans take care of themselves. Chocolate is just another snack. You can never be pregnant. Car mechanics tell you the truth. You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too "icky". You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt. Same work, more pay. Wrinkles add character. Wedding dress $5000 - Tux rental $100. New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet. One mood all the time. Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat. A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase. You can open all your own jars. You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness. If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.
Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack. Three pairs of shoes are more than enough. You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes. Everything on your face stays its original color. The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades. You only have to shave your face and neck. You can play with toys all your life. Your belly usually hides your big hips. One wallet and one pair of shoes--one color for all seasons. You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look. You can "do" your nails with a pocket knife. You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache. You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes.
No WONDER men are happier!

okay, so not ALL of that applies to my man...

but Happy Father's day to M.O.T.H. - and all of those other men out there who work themselves ragged to support their families even though their kids usually save the majority of the hugs and kisses for Mom... thanks for all you do, for all you are, and for all you give!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Career Planning

no, not my OWN career  - I'll save that post for when I have put more thought into it...

I'm talking how we guide our children in their career choices.

P planned on "pirate" as a career plan until he was 6... at which point he decided that was too much work (and he couldn't swim) so he switched to being a robber.  His kindergarten teacher tried to convince him that he meant policeman... so I think now he's planning on being a corrupt cop.  (I'm getting worried about this one)

When H was younger she wanted to be a mermaid... she's a little more practical now and is thinking artist.

Just 2 years ago M was sure that she wanted to be Zoe - and now she wants to be a doctor.Zoe the Ballerina

Of course, that was the year I was teaching preschool and one of the little boys told me he wanted to be a "pumper truck driver"... I of course didn't know what a pumper truck driver is so he proceeded to explain (with great enthusiasm) how these lucky guys get to drive around emptying the contents of the port-o-lets... and he was totally SERIOUS about this career path! A few weeks later I got to see for myself a pumper truck driver in action - thank you          "Dirty Jobs" Mike Rowe works as a worm rancher for an episode of 'Dirty Work'
(seriously, I can barely contain my heaves WATCHING that show...)
on my morning walk yesterday there was much discussion between S and I about our children - both of our eldest children (14 and 13) are thinking toward something in the medical field.  When I was 13 I was thinking how cute that boy in math class was.  Why do they push so hard in school for them to choose something now?  Did ANYONE know back then what they were going to do?  And are we being bad parents to push them toward well paying fields instead of... well... pumper truck drivers?

Went swimming with my family last night.  Swimming with children between the ages of 5 and 14 is interesting - as I like to keep an eye on all of them, but I am required to spend the majority of my time in the shallow end entertaining M.  Lots of other adults are there doing the same thing so it's always interesting to people watch.  One man was entertaining his two toddlers (who were LOVING it) by laying there pretending to be dead while they pulled him through the water.  I wondered for awhile what he was thinking - but then I realized:  He's training them for a career with greenpeace - they will be singularly qualified to save the whales. 
(note - the man WAS overweight - but not huge...  but he was a great dad, because those were the happiest kids at the entire pool!)