Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Our new blog site

We have moved and we want you to move with us :)
Join us, it should still be tons of fun.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

How I Spent My Weekend

For many of you experienced Internet users, the terms SQL, MySQL, DNS, LINUX, FTP, domains, webhosts, and many other strange and unusual acronyms make perfect sense. For all I know, I just wrote poetry to you. As for myself, I spent my weekend figuring out what the heck this all means so that I can make our dear little blog here into a real live grown-up website!

I waded through many websites. I googled acronyms. I read what I can only guess must have been English, but didnt' understand one bit of it...bandwidth, uplink, backup, POP, RDBMS, GUI...ok, I understood the 'and's' and a few other random verbs. And if there were numbers....

After many hours and much research learning this new and completely foreign language, I felt I was ready to make my move. The first thing that happened was a bit anti-climatic. I signed myself up, and now I have to wait for them to do something. Who knows what? I looked up the phrase they used, and about half way through found myself laughing like a maniac. My husband thought I was reading a funny blog, or watching a funny baby on YouTube...but no, I was in a technologically induced hysteria. I couldn't stop laughing. It all seemed so funny all of a sudden.

There I was standing on top of what I perceived to be 'Understanding'. What I was really standing on...somewhat precariously I might add, was the tip of a Very Big Iceberg.

I closed the computer. I decided to finish up later. When my head is ready for more of these new-fangled connections. I think I may have overheated my myelin...there may have been smoke.

I'm hoping to have us all moved into our new spot later this week. It'll be the same address, with some fun new pages, and crap. Crap. That's about as technical as I can get this minute:)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Deciding what's for dinner

Today I just could not decide what we should have for dinner. Sunday, I didn't have to make dinner, my brother-in-law brought over chili. Monday was easy--PI day meant chicken pot pie and cherry pie for dessert. Tuesday, I tried making porcupine meatballs, the family loved them. Wednesday we had tacos with homemade tortillas. Thursday was St. Patrick's day, easy again, boxty potatoes and Irish soda bread.
Now it's Friday. I take the sweet 16 to the store with me. She is full of helpful suggestions, spaghetti, tortellini, pancakes, sandwiches, cereal, hot dogs, fish sticks.....her list was endless. WE could go out to eat she suggests, or get take out.
The problem was me, I did not feel like any of those. Who knows why, I just didn't. We walked up and down the aisles hoping I would feel inspired. I could tell I was driving her nuts. But at 16, she is too cool to say so. Finally I say let's just get frozen pizza. She throws it in the cart and heads quickly for the checkout. Probably to avoid me changing my mind. So we are having pizza and salad tonight, not very original, but very easy. Unless of course I change my mind.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Leprechaun Traps

Okay, I know I am risking the scorn of a certain sister who disdains almost all holidays but I have to share this.
Apparently, unbeknownst to me until yesterday, there is a growing trend among children. A trend to build leprechaun traps. Miss 6 came home from kindergarten with a partially built one. Miss 7 came home irate because her teacher had promised her they would take time to build one and they didn't. And how on earth was she going to catch a leprechaun the night before St. Patrick's Day if she didn't have a trap? *gasp*

I told both girls they could work on their traps after dinner. After assuring Miss 4 she could also build one, the cutting and taping began. They were so involved they cried when I mentioned bedtime and I had to give them an extension.
Here's what they came up with:

Notice the round golden balls.

After watching this flurry of activity my husband and I realized we needed to do something. We thought we could go pick up some gold coins to leave by the traps. Dear, sweet husband searched store after store, only to discover that you cannot actually buy gold coins anywhere the night before St. Patrick's Day, but luckily he is creative. He bought "gold nuggets."

We woke up this morning to three very happy girls, with hands full of "leprechaun gold," excitedly explaining to us what happened during the night. It was like Christmas!

So, maybe it has nothing to do with the actual history of St. Patrick's Day, and maybe we've started something that could get out of control in years to come, but this was really fun. Especially watching Miss 6, who doesn't believe in Santa Claus, but is completely immersed in leprechauns and is absolutely dying with belief that she is actually going to catch one.

Happy St. Patrick's Day! (Don't forget to put on some green so no one pinches you.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Journey of a Chair

When we first moved into our house, in 2000, we didn't have enough furniture for there to be some in every room. Entire closets were completely empty...we just didn't have enough stuff to put in them. We had one couch, which was in our family room. We had beds. We had a kitchen table with chairs.

Quite a few neighbors came over to welcome us, and we had them sitting in our living room on kitchen chairs, a piano bench, and a lawn chair. I had determined that I was not going to fill that room until I had the means to do it right. I pictured a couch and two great chairs.

Our Bishop at the time had heard that we were furniture-less and offered us money to go buy a couch at the local thrift shop. No, thank you, we told him.

Fast forward to 2008....I now had a couch for the living room, and closets stuffed to capacity. What i didn't have was the 2 chairs I'd always dreamed would accompany my couch. we were broke, and so began perusing classifieds for 'previously owned' chairs. (Sounds so much more sophisticated than, 'old crap') We finally found two beautiful wing back chairs in a lovely yellow and green striped material (Picture to the right shows original chair material and sleeping daughter...hopefully she doesn't mind). We had seen similar chairs retail for over $800 a piece and here were these being given away at $150 for both! We called, jumped in the car (ok, it was a Previa, but I hated that thing and don't like to admit to it) and drove about 20 minutes to the home of the lady with the chairs.

Her taste in furniture was....interesting. Her home was....well, expensively done is one way of nicely saying she had no taste and spent a LOT of money proving it...:)  She thought the chairs were old and grandmotherly. We bought them. Blair packed them into the Blue Bean and we carted them home. They looked great!

In 2009, in the early hours of a Sunday morning, our son Timothy cut his lip and climbed onto a chair. We were still in bed, but could hear him happily playing in the living room. When we got up and went into the living room, it looked like a crime scene! The chairs, more one than the other, were COVERED in blood. A little blood and a lot of saliva go a very LONG way. (We did not take pictures)
Most of the blood came out, but the chairs were not designed to stand up to that sort of disaster and the material had now sustained water damage that no amount of cleaning would fix.

I decided to reupholster the chairs. Turns out, I loved it! New hobby I am crazy about! I only had time to do the worst chair quickly and the other one had to wait about 6 months. They look great and have a fringe around the bottom. Which the cat hates....or loves...either way, he has eaten/shredded/mutilated quite a bit of it and I just spent my morning replacing it. Of course, now the couch, it being 11 years later, is done. I'm dying to reupholster it, put it downstairs to replace the flood couch and buy a new couch for the living room.   Of course, by the time I get all this done, something else will have happened to the chairs...and then there's the piano which has had most of the varnish chewed off of one side....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pretty Food

Yesterday in honor of pi day (yes, we know it was pi and not pie) two of us decided to follow the recommendation of a friend of ours and make a delicious dessert called Clafouti. We found it on her blog (http://fivetdsisters.blogspot.com/2011/03/liberal-arts-majors-imperfect-tribute.html?spref=fb).

We loved, loved, loved it so now we must pass on the recommendation to everyone we know.

I made mine with marionberries.

Admittedly, my picture doesn't do it justice. I baked this and then turned off the oven to go for a walk. When I got back, the berries were a tiny bit dark, so my dear husband tried to help it look better for the picture by adding a little whipped cream, but seriously it tasted really wonderful.

My sis made hers with peaches. When I doubled checked with her, before posting this, to ask if she liked it, she was very clear that she loved it.

Now that looks appetizing, doesn't it?


Trust us, Clafouti is worth trying.

And it's fun to say too. (kla-foo-TEE).

So, click the link, get the recipe, do a little baking, and enjoy. In the words of my little Miss 1, this is "pretty food."

Monday, March 14, 2011

Costco and Books

So, I was at Costco on Saturday, and there was this guy promoting his book. Normally, I would try to avoid eye contact in this situation, but I had a feeling I should meet this person. If you know me, you know I'm about following my instincts. I'm hardly ever wrong when I get a 'feeling' or 'prompting' about something.
So, I met him. His name is Jared Southwick, (a link to his website) and he wrote a book called 'Marysville'. Yesterday, I read it (I read very fast) and I LOVED that book! It was exciting, fast paced, and had a fun sense of humor. If you are in my bookclub and reading this...(HI Charlene!:) I choose this one, instead of my other pick. Go buy it at Costco. Seriously.

My other thought today is, Why Are There So Many Days Off Of School? I like my kids a lot, and I enjoy holidays, weekends, weeknights, summer breaks, spring breaks, and fall breaks. Are you seeing a pattern here? In addition to these days, we have Teacher Comp days, half days, partial days (not the same thing, I've been assured) early out days (again, not the same thing) and now we have the 'Snow Day'. Are you kidding me? Snow Day?  In the history of my living in this fine state, I have never seen these people cancel school for weather. Ever. But here we are, home again, using up an unused 'Snow Day'. And I am here, with um, let me count...one...two...three, four, five...six..and the two in the play room..some downstairs..oh wait, there's the door.....ok three more plus the one asleep...and the baby....(me counting silently)  for a grand total of.....SIXTEEN KIDS AT MY HOUSE!

I better go, I just heard a crash...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My DI (destination imagination) team

The DI (destination imagination) competition was today. For those who don't know, DI is a creative problem solving program for kids. I have had the (sometimes dubious) honor to be a team manager for my sons team for a couple of years now. The team manager is not allowed to solve the problems or make the props, costumes, or backdrops. The kids do all of that with no adult help. I get to provide my house, my food, my patience, encouragement and love.
As the competition gets closer my life gets crazier. The kids meet more often and longer. This year there was balsa wood, foil and glitter everywhere in my house. There was glitter even in the fridge! Last year is was newspaper and glue. My boys love DI and not to brag, but they are pretty good at it. They have won 1st place a couple of times and 2nd once. They have also won awards for extreme creativity.
Well today the boys and their team performed. The skit was amazing, the best they had performed it yet. It was funny and cute. You could actually hear them speaking! The downside, their challenge was a structure challenge. They labored over this structure for weeks! It had to be made of aluminum foil, wood and glue. They had a great structure, they tested it, it held over a hundred pounds and weighed only eleven grams.
Today when they were putting the very first weight on, it slipped out of the boy's hand. So instead of being gently and slowly placed on the structure to be sure it held, it crashed down and instantly caused the structure to break.
As my heart was breaking for them, I was so impressed with them. They didn't even stop or break stride with the skit. They just kept going! And after their skit, they hugged each other and complimented each other. No one blamed anyone or got mad. They thanked the judges and their parents.
Tonight we will go to the awards, and we may (most likely) will not win. And although that will be hard for them, I know they will handle it with poise. For our team this year at DI was a success. The growth and maturity in them has been amazing. And I remember why I help the kids with this program. And why, crazy or not, we will be back next year doing it all again.
P.S. They got 6th which was amazing considering they only got 12 points out of 140 for the weight held by the structure. Still very proud and as we were leaving they asked can we do this again next year, and win?

Her Other Life

Sister number 3 is busy busy busy! She didn't have time to post yesterday because she is the coach of ther children's Destination Imagination Team (you can click on this link for more information) Their Competition is today and depending on how well they do, they will go to Regionals and *gasp* maybe even World! Last year they did go to Regionals and it sounded to me like a pretty freaking big deal.

The funny thing is how crazy our sister gets over this stuff. She is not a half-way kind of gal, generally. If you've managed to get her on your train, you can expect to go full-tilt, full throttle, full speed. She does it ALL, or not at all. She's a good person to have in your corner.

Once the whole DI thing is over, she'll be on to the next thing, which, is always fun to watch.:) Good luck, sister, let us know how it goes!:)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Shopping with four children

I am never afraid to grab all my girls and head to the store. I am fearless in this one thing. They are reasonably well behaved little kids, they don't run in the parking lot, or throw tantrums for candy in the check out, and everything usually goes just fine.
Yesterday I ended up going to the store twice. The first time, I was plagued by the feeling that I was forgetting something, but could not figure out what it could be.
Hence, the second time.
I was planning fajitas for dinner and discovered I had no onions. In my defense, we planted an overabundance of onions in the garden last summer, so I am out of the habit of buying them. Anyway, we headed to the store.
As soon as we got to the store, I realized I was in some kind of fog. (Probably pregnancy induced, but that is a topic for another day.) My brain was scattered and I felt like the girls were hopping around me like popcorn. We only needed onions, and I grabbed some apples for Miss 7's lunch, too, but even in that brief time I felt like we blocked every aisle we went down and the girls were everywhere.
When I went to check out, helpful store employees kept ushering me toward shorter lines. (Maybe the girls looked like popcorn to them, too.)
I got shuffled from the "family friendly" line, to the express line, and then finally, a checker walked over and offered to help me check out my produce in the do-it-yourself line. I don't know why I kept following these people, probably because I was in the weird brain fog. But follow I obediently did and finally got myself rung up.
While I was paying, the girls continued hopping and circling around me and I thought I lost two of them but luckily, they were just right behind me dancing. I managed to located them all, and started heading out of the store.
On the way out, Miss 4 started crying that her shoe was falling off, so I was pushing the cart and half dragging her to the side so we wouldn't block the other people coming in and out of the store, when I realized I heard yelling behind me.
Another helpful store employee came chasing me out of the store, and yelling in a middle eastern accent, "Mother of four, mother of four! You forgot your apples!"
ha ha ha ha
I am so glad he caught me- I would've had to make a third trip and I seriously don't think we would have survived it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

No Problem, I've Got Just The Thing

So, Monday got a little crazy. The afternoon especially. After dinner, which with 7 kids at the table, got a little wild, Blair got up and said he was going to the store. "You wanna go?" he asks. "You look like you might need to get out of here for a bit."

I know exactly what that looks like...eyebrows frozen in the 'up' position, clothes spotted and askew, one sock on (the other one wiped up a spill in the kitchen accidently. I meant to go get another pair, but it was so busy!) hair standing up, mascara under eyes...you get the picture. You have probably even *been* the picture.

So, I brushed my hair, changed my shirt, wiped the mascara off from under and applied some to my actual eyelashes. And we left. We went to the grocery and bought milk. When we were back in the Jeep (the Jeep is Blair's actual sweetheart, someday I'll tell you a story about it) he said, "We should do something else, that didn't take very long and you sounded done back there."

We determined we would go to the furniture store.  I love the furniture store. Really love it. Not that it's such a nice store, or cheap store or anything like that. It's so Clean. And New.  In this store are miles and miles of nice furniture. It's all clean, the cushions are all right where they are supposed to be and there are no boogers on anything. The coffee tables, called 'occasional tables' where I live, all have things on them that do not include the book Green Eggs and Ham, half eaten crackers, or chocolate milk dots. The truth is, I couldn't actually *identify* half the crap on those tables...dried, fuzzy, pointy, multicolored crap-ola. There was a book, but it was fake.

The drawback to this store is the salesmen. They are determined little people. Impossible to unload. So I usually make them work. Today's guy is named Mark. He asks what we are looking for. I am truthful, "Well, Mark, we're not ready to buy today, but we are starting the search for the perfect couch." (What Mark doesn't know is that it took Blair and I two years to find the last couch we could agree on and we've stuck by that couch for the last 12 years.) Mark asks, "What kind of couch?" I answer, truthfully, "The kind that doesn't care that it's been barfed on, and then doesn't tell everyone afterwards." He laughs. Good for him. He asks how many kids we have, and I explain that we have a few kids and some daycare and he starts in with the whole, 'I-could-never-do-that-but-you-must-be-a-saint' speech. I get that a lot. I also understand that lots of people aren't cut out for daycare, but I can tell you, not many of us are cut out for sales....or teaching....or sitting at a desk searching for dead people (hi Debbie!)....or doing a lot of what we each do. I mean, seriously, except for the money, who wants to sit around staring a guts all day? (surgeons) or sick and naked people (more doctors) or arguing and dealing with paper and crap all day ( lawyers) I do my job because I like it, and it may be the only thing besides talking and writing I can stand to do for any length of time:)

You see, this is why it takes me so long to say anything, I get sidetracked...

Mark the sales-guy starts taking us around the store showing us great couches. He really was a good couch salesman in that he knew what he was talking about (I have seen a lot of couches and had a few of them apart and I know about couches, too) and he was actually showing us stuff we could afford. That was where Mark won me over as a salesperson. Usually, I am let to the most expensive stuff, or the stuff they are trying to unload or if it's the end of the month, the exact couch who's commission will just meet the sales goal. This is how to tell: The sales guy shows you a thing and you act interested. Look around and pick something just $100 dollars less. If he's still good, go down again. Pretty soon, he will start leading you back up, and when he does, the piece he takes you to is the one:) If you are planning to buy, be nice and get this one, or one better:) I like to help them out, when I can.

I cannot help Mark today. I am not ready for a new couch in my house and while I am thinking about it, I am very picky about the couch and it is a lot of money and I don't want to have to stare at an $800 thing I can't stand in my very own living room. Mark give us his card, and we say goodnight. I am ready to go home.

By the way, the best time to visit the furniture store if you want a salesman is Monday night. That store was deserted. The best time to visit if you don't is Saturday afternoon, they are too busy to care about you:)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Find something you love and do it!

What do you do when you find yourself frustrated and mad and just can't quite get out of your rut?
Yesterday and possibly for a few days before that, I was feeling very crabby.
Frustrated. Slightly Mean.
I tried the usual methods. Seriously. If I caught myself thinking that it was a bad day, I tried to replace it with a positive thought. I admit I am not a pro at this, but I definitely tried. Yesterday I really, really tried. I woke up and read my scriptures. I usually do this, but yesterday, I even stayed in my room an extra few minutes, reading more because I could tell I was still feeling grouchy. I thought I would be better because I had a great Sunday the day before at church, but no. I realized I was tired, so I laid around a bit. Then later, I walked on my treadmill for exercise, because that is a good way to get out a bad mood. Usually.
Nothing worked.
Until this morning. Now, I am not usually one to buy into the "take time for me" philosophy. Sure, you need a little time, but that line of thinking can really get out of control and lead to a lot of selfishness. But this morning I accidentally stumbled onto just what I needed.
Tonight I am supposed to be participating in a church talent show. Sometimes I like to write music, so my wonderful husband suggested I should have someone else sing one of the songs I've written and I could accompany them on the piano. I am a little nervous about this, so this morning after breakfast, I sat down to go over the song. It turned out to be exactly what I needed! For just a few minutes, the little girls played in their rooms and I was able to concentrate just on the music and the song and really, really enjoy playing. Plus, I was able to work out a few parts of the accompaniment I was having trouble with.
I really think it was the cure for my frustrated mood.
And so I suggest to you, today, to find something that you love doing. One of those types of things that when you do it, you lose track of time and don't even know where you are. We all have something like that, that totally engrosses us. For just a little while, we don't have to worry about the chores or the children or anything else. Trust me, it will make you feel good.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Long Boring Weekend With No Dogs.

I don't even know what to say. I know that particular situation is unusual for me, but nothing zany, embarrassing, or eyebrow-raising happened to me this weekend. No dogs, no floods, no taco trucks, no bad words. I had a nice quiet weekend.

Friday was nice and quiet. I went to my Girl's Friday Chat Fest and ate 2 donuts. I cared lovingly for small children during the day.  My husband and I went to dinner with a very nice couple that evening. We were planning to see a movie, but all the movies at the dollar theatre where we hang out were sold out so we went home early.

Got up on Saturday and cleaned the bedroom for the mattress to be delivered, oh, yeah, and I got my haircut!

That's interesting only because I am always changing my hair, and this time, I went from pretty long to sort of short.

The mattress was finally delivered around noon, we took Rachel shopping for running shoes, and window shopped alone for a new swingset. (p.s. this is one of those instances when it is extremely difficult to get Blair to spend any money. We will probably spend the next several months 'comparing' swingsets while he works up the nerve to spend that much money...which pretty much includes any purchase over about $20) We went grocery shopping and picked up new bed pillows for the daycare babies to nap with.

We went to see the movie we were planning to see Friday on Saturday (The Tourist, with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, very nice) then picked up a pizza and went home.

Finished the grocery shopping after that, and went to bed after that. (The new bed is very comfortable!)

Sunday wasn't any more exciting...went to church, came home. Read a book.

You see, I can live a quiet life. I can spend time doing regular, non-embarrassing, non-interesting things like shopping for food, and seeing a discount movie.

Even my hair is very normal looking, cute, even. I attribute this to my excellent judgement, and the fear of having 'Billy Idol' hair again. (long story, ended with me, very bleached, very short hair...1 1/2 inches short, and a LOT of hats) But that was a long time ago and I am a retired nut.

Ok, maybe not retired, just took the weekend off.:)

Come back next time, I'm sure to have had something horrifying and at the same time hysterically funny happen to me....it's really only a matter of time.

Friday, March 4, 2011

My love affair....with cleaning products

I love cleaning products, especially new ones. I love to try new products to see if they work better than the old ones. I almost look forward to running out of cleaning products just because I enjoy finding new ones. Some I love and recommend to my family and friends while others are a total waste of money. But I love the adventure of trying them to find out.

I have some favorites that I rarely detour from. The only laundry soap to use is Tide. I have tried different varieties of tide including the stain release, but regular Tide is the best. Downy is the best fabric softener. Bounce is okay if you can't get Downy. Oxi-clean is good for a lot things, but Tide is still my go to for laundry needs even stains. I have tried every stain remover, a little Tide goes a long way. I love spray starch and I own bluing (to make white shirts pop!)

I love bleach pens even though they are expensive. The Mr. Clean magic eraser is just awesome. Store brands don't match up, the original is the best. 409 is the only cleaner I have found that gets rid of kool-aid, jell0, food coloring, etc off kitchen counters. Dawn is the best liquid dish soap. Cascade is the only dishwasher soap I ever buy. I tried the rest and would say don't bother, Cascade is it.

Window cleaner doesn't seem to matter, they are all pretty close. Microfiber cleaning clothes are wonderful. Feather dusters are lame, no matter who makes them. Pledge is good.

Spot shot is a good carpet spot cleaner but Folex instant carpet spot remover is better. I like Oust for deodorizing smells, but Febreze for couches and chairs. I use Bona wood cleaner on my hardwood floors and Mr. Clean on the tile. I use Clorox brand products in the bathroom.

I own a different mop for the hardwood and the tile. I own a bag less vacuum but I do still covet the Dyson. I have a Dustbuster a rug shampooer, and a shop vac. I do not like the Swiffer but am dying to try the Shark. How cool does that look! The price has been my only slow down. It is a lot easier to buy new toilet bowl cleaner to try for 2.99 than $100 electric mop. But one of these days, I will own a Shark and hopefully a Dyson.

So now my secret is out there, I love cleaning products. Buying them more than using them. Probably because I am secretly hoping someday a magic fairy will hop out of that spray bottle and do all the work for me! Now that would be FANSTASTIC!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Just so ya know, I was right this time and Miss 1 does have strep throat. Poor condolence for having a sick little babe but I'll take what I can get.

But this blog isn't about the doctor, believe it or not. It's about something much nicer.

Last night when I was helping Miss 7 with her spelling words, we came across the word idolize. So, I was explaining what it meant. I asked her, "isn't there someone you look up to and think is almost perfect and want to be like?"

She looked at me for a minute and said, "it's kind of embarrassing because you're standing right here."

*So sweet.*

I am writing it down so I can read it to myself every night through her teen years.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I am not a 'dog person'. I will definitely put up with other people's dogs, going so far as to pet the dog. I don't hate dogs. I just don't want any. Ever.

Yesterday, when the bus came to take Timothy to school, I opened the front door. That way the bus driver knows we know she's there and that we're going to school. As I led Timothy to the door, I smelled a 'smell'. He can't ride the bus if there's a 'smell' so I peeked into the back of his pants to confirm. He was resisting the check and tried to make a break for it.  Nicholas was standing in front of the kitchen door, and Tim and I had our backs to the front door, when Nicholas let out a blood-curdling shriek! He starting screaming in terror! I quickly looked him over and he's fine. No one is by him, he's standing there alone, obviously not hurt. I feel worried tho, and say, "Nick, what's wrong with you?" His arm raises and he points to a spot behind me. Ok, now i'm worried.

This happened very quickly, but I swear I thought, "What in the world could be BEHIND me?" So being the big brave girl that I am, I turned around to see what could possibly be the source of the abject terror of my 4 yr old.

It was a dog. A big, black hairy dog who's nose was suddenly in my crotch. Nick was screaming by now and I admit, I screamed too. It was a very Big Surprise to find a very Big Dog in my house with his nose pressed against me. I quickly recovered and grabbed the dog's collar (he had one, with tags, AND a telling length of rope he had evidently chewed through) and directed him out of the house. The dog did not want to be out of the house. He wanted to be in the house. He pretended to comply until we reached the end of the sidewalk when he bolted for the front door again. I dove for him (breaking a nail, I might add) but missed. I ran up the stairs to the door and grabbed the dog's trailing frayed rope just as he reached the tile entryway. Nick was still screaming his head off, Tim had taken this golden opportunity to eat cereal out the bag on the table and was making a huge mess, and the only daycare child in attendance thus far, a 12 month old little girl, was just standing there, open mouthed, not crying for the first time in 2 weeks.  I led the dog back out of the house and down the stairs. I gave him a stern talking to and a swat on the rear. He ran off up the road.

I jogged back into the house, changed Tim, and finally got him on the bus. The bus driver's mouth was open too....

About an hour later, my heart rate was back to normal.

Here's an interesting question: Where was Blair through all of this? Where was my Knight in Shining Armor while I was screaming, and Nick was screaming and a DOG was running through our house?

Asleep. In our bedroom. About 6 feet away. When the excitement had died down, he actually poked his head out of the door (not coming out because he wasn't dressed) and said, "Everything ok out here?"

Ummmm. Yeah.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

to the doctor, part 3

Life seems to go in cycles, doesn't it. Awhile ago I posted that I couldn't get out of the kitchen- everytime I turned around there was a need for baked goods. Birthdays, bake sales, parties, you name it, I baked for it.
Well, now it seems is the doctor phase. If you recall, I took Miss 4 and Miss 7 to the doctor last week. Today I will be taking Miss 1.
Let's diagnose her. Her symptoms are throwing up every morning and a fever all day. Toss in family history: her big sis just had strep throat. I'm thinking she could have strep throat. Maybe, maybe not, but I have to check right? So off to the doctor I go.
And I was just thinking maybe next week will be Miss 6's turn, but then I realized. Next week I already get to go again because it will be time for Miss 1's check-up eye appointment. And the week after that is my monthly pregnancy checkup.
So, if you want me, I guess I'll be filling my van with gas on the way to the doctor. For the month.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Post That is NOT About Jimmer, but IS about Mattresses

(My husband is a very, very big BYU fan and completely in awe of Jimmer Fredette, and thinks I should post about him. SO not happening. I couldn't care less about that kid, I'm sure he is a nice boy, but I am not wasting a blog on some 10 yr old basketball player, not matter how good he is. Now, if he were my son, maybe, but no...sorry honey.)

So, TGH and I went mattress shopping on Saturday aftenoon (after the BYU game of course). We thought at first that we would just go to Costco and buy their set, a Sealy, for a pretty reasonable price. But, we realized, we had no way to bring it home, and no friends with pickups (don't we have any redneck friends?) We only have the 15 passenger van, which, while excellent for taking the entire population of small towns on field trips, is no good for furniture bigger than  about 4 ft wide. Now, to be fair, TGH would love for us to have a twin bed to share, and it would fit in the van....it would probably fit in the Toyota... He is a cuddler. I dream of a California King...we've comprised at Queen.

TGH is also a very serious comparison shopper. Sometimes, we've spent so much time comparing, that we never actually get to the part where we buy the thing we are comparing. Not this time. I am determined to buy a mattress with our tax refund.

Alright, just a minute, we are having some technical difficulties...TGH is here, and he is taking offense to the G' in his pseudonym. I told him it meant 'Gorgeous', but in truth, it means 'Graying'...which he has figured out and now does not want to be associated with my blog. How sad would it be if my own husband didn't follow my blog??

So, here it is, TGH's real name: BLAIR. There it is, his real name, out there for anyone to see. His name is actually the second thing I liked best about him, right after his nose...he has the best nose....

Back to the story...um....what was I saying? Oh, yeah, the mattress. I remember! We drove over to a furniture/mattress store here in town and laid on one of the mattresses lined up for this purpose. (Lied on one? No, that makes me sound like a fibber) The salesmen said we would only get confused if we laid on more...and he said the mattress had a 10 yr guarantee, $50 delivery, AND if we tried to return it, there would be $200 fee, because the government is really cracking down on used mattress trafficking. OOOOKAAAAY....

Next store #3, just a hop, skip and a jump away. It really was next door, we just walked over. It is a local business, owned and operated by a family. I have actually bought mattresses there in the past, for the kids. The owner/salesman encouraged us to lie down on several different selections, and offered us free delivery and a 'previous customer' discount. Nice!

(It did feel a little weird to be laying, er, lying...um...hmmm....to be flat on my back on a mattress, next to my husband, BLAIR, who was having fun making double entendres, in the store. Just a titch. Lol, I guess it would have been weirder to be lying next to someone else's husband in a mattress store, which, coincidentally, is what BLAIR did at the next store...)

So, we got this guy's card, and went to store #4. A BIG furniture store where you can buy anything for your home, including flooring, and the strangest looking centerpiece for a dining table I have ever seen. It seriously looked like something you scraped off the forest floor, put on a bluish metal plate and stuck a fake rodent/cat/thing in the middle of. $199.00. No kidding. I fight to keep that kind of crap OFF of the kitchen table, but, hey, that's just me. Apparently.

We were immediately assaulted by a salesman who confidently assured us he could find our mattress. We gave him the brush-off and, I'm not kidding, he totally stared right at us the whole time we were in there. I tried giving him a dirty look, but he was very serious about his whole Jedi-buy-a-mattress-mind-thing, and my piddly look had no effect. We tried out a few of the mattresses, and this is the part where BLAIR and another guy both laid down on the same mattress at the same time. I said, "Get out of bed with that man." And the guy said, "It's ok, he can stay." Um, no he can't. Jedi-salesman finally decided he'd penetrated our minds, and jogged over to see how we were doing. We carefully took back control of our brains, and beat a hasty retreat.

Back to store #3, where we took a few more minutes to lay/lie on our first choice for a few more awkward moments and then made the purchase, which will be delivered, free of charge on Friday. AND if we don't like it, we have 30 days to get our money back or make a trade, on our new mattress with it's 15 year warranty.

A productive day, I thought, until we got home and BLAIR said, "Wow, you were getting a little friendly there on the mattresses, don't you think?"

Him: Eyebrows waggle. Me: EYEBROWS UP.

I can assure you, I was the picture of propriety whilst mattress shopping. I should have told him the 'G' stood for Goofy:)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mt. Laundry

How do you tackle Mt Laundry at your house? At my house it is often like trying to shovel a sand dune with a teaspoon.

I would like to pretend I am that woman, the super woman who never lets an item of clothing hit the floor. Whose children always have clean clothes, who always folds or hangs up the clothes right out of the dryer. The woman whose clothes are always ironed. Who never has unmatched socks. I am sure she never runs out of laundry soap or dryer sheets. Who always has a full linen closet and plenty of guest towels for company. Her brother in law has NEVER had to go get his own towel out of the dryer when he came for Thanksgiving. She has never had the someone ring the doorbell and have the living room covered in laundry piles.

For the record...this is not me. There are almost always clothes that need to be washed. I always have a basket of unmatched socks. Children often get their clothes straight from the dryer. Jeans can and should be worn more than once and so can pajamas. I encourage the kids to use the same towel for at least three days. I have moved laundry piles to make room for someone to sit on the couch and my poor brother in law had to go and find his own towel.

Laundry is not my forte. I am terrific at helping at school, doing homework, understanding math, and running a zillion miles an hour a hundred different directions. But not so great at laundry.

Well my dryer is broken and the repair person cannot come until after the weekend. I know I have choices, I can go to the laundromat or hang out the clothes. Or I could go to my bro-in-laws house and dry the clothes there. However I hate the laundromat, it is 30 degrees outside, and my brother-in-law's house is always a wreck.

So Mt. Laundry will grow and hopefully not turn into an avalanche that buries us all before the dryer gets fixed.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

the docs office part 2

I would have named my last post about the doctor's office Part 1, but I didn't actually expect to be going back there so soon. . . .

Let me begin with an update on Miss 4. She did have a rather nasty ear infection, hence the "bubbling" and is now thriving with the help of antibiotics. She told me her ear was still "bubbling" a little, but isn't hurting, so I can only assume the the bubbling will end after a few more days on the medicine.

Anyway, when I was at the doctor with Miss 4, everyone (all-knowing big sister, doctor, and front desk receptionist) kept encouraging me to go ahead and have Miss 7 tested for strep while I was there. But since I have tested my girls for strep with every sore throat they've ever had and they never have it, I declined.

I must add a note here that every single time I really, really, really feel like I'm right and I know what I'm talking about: I'm wrong.

So, yes Miss 7 and I had to go back to the doctor and take the strep test, which was of course, positive because I was sure she did not have it.

Then we had to go back to the super slow pharmacy. I have never visited the super slow pharmacy during evening hours, but they were open and I was hopeful that maybe they'd be quicker.

Miss 7 and I actually had a nice wait. Because of some poor planning on my part, she had not had dinner yet, so we ate at the in-store fast food joint and it was kind of like a nice little mommy/daughter date.

*please excuse the fact that I germed up the place with her contagiousness, she was certain that she was starving.*

When we went back to super-slow pharmacy, they were of course, super-slow and told us to wait a little longer. So we extended our date to include a quick stroll over to the clothing section .

*I really tried not to let her touch or breathe on anything, I promise. Besides you should all be sanitizing your hands after any trip to the store anyway, right. . . . .*

After all the waiting, we finally got the meds, arrived home safe and sound, dosed Miss 7, and sent her off to bed.

As I write this I am vowing, once again (and this time publically) to always take the advice of all-knowing big sister and cram as many children as I can into future doctor's office visits.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What the H***?

So, the other day, the daycare child we all know as 4 yr old boy came to daycare saying, "What the Hell?"  He was mostly using it correctly (if you accept that there even IS a correct way to say this, which I do) for example, when served his lunch: "What the H is this?" And later when he couldn't find his shoes, he muttered, "What the H?"

Hmmm. Ok, A) I don't need daycare kids saying bad words in front of each other because B) the 4 yr old girl's mother already said something to me about her dainty flower using the word, 'balls'. And she meant what you think she meant, only she was under the very mistaken idea that she had them. Which, of course, she does not. Her mother said, that the previous evening, her little princesses (she has 3) were wrestling (a very princess like activity) and when it became a bit vigorous, 4 yr old girl hollered, "Don't kick me in the balls!" Nice:) And funny:)

She told her mother she learned it from 4 yr old boy (who actually does have them). Her mother said to me, "We don't talk like that in our house". Hmmm. Really? So, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga lyrics, "yes", "balls" no. Got it.

My guess is that 4 yr old girl's mom doesn't want her saying "What the H?"

When I told 4 yr old boys mom he was saying this, she insisted he hadn't heard it at home. Are you kidding me? That dad takes that boy home every afternoon and plays Call of Duty with him. My guess is, that's not the only adult style video game this kid plays. Plus I know they are big TV watchers. PLUS, if he didn't hear it at home, then she is implying he heard it HERE.


I love my daycare and I love these kids. The daycare provides for my family. I'm just saying, when my career as a Writer and Motivational/Public Speaker takes off, I might not miss a few of the more colorful pitfalls:)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Miss 4 has been complaining about an ear ache for a couple days. She has also been running a low fever off and on. Last night I decided that today I would take her to the doctor and get this figured out. I was hesitant to do this because Miss 4 is turning out to be a person who really likes to mention and emphasize her aches and pains, but when she started saying her ear was "bubbling," I figured that was my call to action.

Of course that means that this morning she woke up and said her ear was all better. And hopeful mom that I am, I believed her and put off calling the doctor. In another hour, she told me it was hurting again, and "bubbling."


I decide I will call the doctor. Our doctor is an old family friend and we have had nothing but good experiences at his office, until today. Today I called and they had no record of Miss 4 ever visiting their office. Her sisters, yes; her, no. Apparently the appointment-maker-lady I was talking to could not conceive how it could be possible that I would not realize that all of Miss 4's sisters have been to see this doctor and she hasn't. (Maybe appointment-maker-lady has no children and or only one child, so she never makes mistakes.) Whatever the reason, appointment-maker-lady let me know that I was a real pain by not realizing Miss 4 was not in the computer. Ahem. Needless to say she quickly became an unhelpful-appointment-maker-lady and would not fit me in until tomorrow.

I scheduled for tomorrow morning, but when Miss 4's ear started bubbling again I decided the better idea would be to take her to a quick clinic. I loaded up the van with all the girls (and I do mean all, Miss 7 is home from school sick today, too). The quick clinic was not a quick drive, especially when I discovered the road there was closed, but we made it. And they were so nice. And Miss 4's ear infection was diagnosed.

We grabbed our prescription and headed to the pharmacy. I have had very bad luck with this super-slow pharmacy in the past, but I believe I have outwitted them by dropping the prescription and not going back for hours and hours so there is no possibly way they won't be done with it. Cross fingers that this plan will work today.

The only thing left to do was cancel Miss 4's appointment for tomorrow with our regular doctor. As I was waiting on hold, I felt a little nervous about talking to appointment-maker-lady again, but that is silly, right? Wrong. When I cancelled the appointment, she was even grouchier, and reminded me again that when I called for Miss 4 in the future I needed to tell them right away that she was in the computer but had never been seen, so they wouldn't have to go searching for charts that didn't exist. Wow. I don't think she went on any big "search" in the two minutes I'd had her on the phone earlier. Geesh.

I will have my revenge. While I was on hold, they mentioned that I can fill out surveys on line about my experience with them. I am not usually the type to fill out surveys, but this one must be done. Unhelpful-appointment-maker-lady is going to have to learn to be more polite.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

RV show

TGH and I went to the RV show in town on Saturday. I've been thinking, camping is not my number one favorite and there are a couple of reasons.

1. Dirt. There's so much of it! Seriousy, it's everywhere! And even if you get it off, two minutes later, you are covered with it again.

2. The bathrooms. You all know what I'm talking about. If the word 'pit' is involved, I'm not.

3. The food. TGH thinks everything tastes better camping...stuff he'd never eat at home, he'll rave about when he's camping. Chili dogs? We never have them at home, because no one likes them. But serve them camping, and their everyone's new favorite food. Me? I think everything tastes better in a nice restaurant, served by men in white shirts and ties.

4. The trees. Like dirt, they are everywhere. And they all smell. ugh, like pine. Why does everyone think pine is this great odor? Plus, the trees are full of...

5. Wildlife. I'm pretty sure the main reason humans moved into houses was because of wild animals. My feeling is, a human in a sleeping bag probably looks like a delicious burrito to a bear. Chipmunks, bugs, deer, birds, foxes, moose, bears, beavers, racoons and skunks are all prevalent out there and EVERY single one of them looks better through glass.

Hence, the RV. Perfect for me. No smell, no dirt, no animals. Yes to linoleum, mattresses, and flushing toilets (ok, sort of, but still better than a pit)

I saw the perfect one! It's so great, it's not even called an RV anymore, it's a COACH (this is a link to the most fabulous thing you ever saw). And we all know who gets to ride in a COACH. The Princess:)

I gotta get me one of them things...

Friday, February 18, 2011

The volcano...and the rest of the day.

So as my 12 year old boy is leaving for school yesterday morning, he casually says "I have a volcano due tomorrow and it is worth half my grade." Then he hops in the car with his dad and is gone. I meanwhile am standing at the front door with my mouth hanging open in a combination of shock and disbelief.

The whole day yesterday was that kind of day. I am sure you have had those kind of days. The toy bucket got tipped over in my living room at least four times. Two different children dropped full cups of milk on the kitchen floor (at two different times). I dropped a full box of rice krispies in front of the pantry. One toilet overflowed, and the washer refused to run without me staring at it.

I tried to go to the bank to deposit checks, only to discover I had no wallet. Ran home to get the wallet and drive back to discover I have no pen. (luckily the bank had plenty) I went to the post office but discovered I didn't have the letters to mail with me (they were in the other car). I went to the library to return books and realized I left the overdue ones at home. I went to the store to pick up volcano supplies (along with the camping trip snacks, the beauty supplies for the daughter, medications for the m.i.l, and of course more milk and cereal ) only to discover at the check out I have no debit card in my wallet.(it it is still in the van with the bank receipt).

I tried to pick up the 13 year old from school, but he wasn't ready...he was staying after for tutoring (forgot to tell me). I did pick up the 12 year old who was loudly skeptical about the volcano supplies I bought. I went to pick up the 16 year old, who is not waiting only to have a text from her ( sorry...got a ride home with a friend.) I did pick up the 7 year old but with three extra friends.

Dinner was supposed to be chicken and noodle casserole, it burned and we had hot dogs and popcorn. My husband took the 16yr old to a meeting (a 30 minute drive away) at 6:30 only to discover it had been rescheduled for 7:15.

Eventually everyone got home, the volcano got built, the floor got swept again ( by my sweet husband) and I went to bed at 9! Thankfully today was much better!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Where did we go? What did we do? Questions Answered!

So, once we are sitting in the Jeep, we have to decide, a) sit in the Jeep until Daughter lets us back in, or b) find somewhere to go in this town that is not mobbed by people in love. We decide to go to the bookstore. There is a Border's down the road from us with a sort of outdoor 'mall' you can walk around. There are restaurants and stores and what-have-you all about. The bookstore is full of loser's pretending they don't care one bit about love and what day is it again? Yeah right.....LOSERS....WE are secure in the fact that we don't have to pretend to be in love or not because we are married. That didn't come out right, I mean we ARE in love, but we don't have to PDA all over the place. Which is what we spotted one young couple doing outside the bookstore. TGH was like, "Did you SEE that?" I had been leafing through the book we bought and had apparently missed a young man trying to find the tonsils of a young girl, with his tongue. Nice. Also, apparently, his hands were, well, busy. I was all EW! But of course, TGH thought it was nice and offered to look for MY tonsils. I declined. He said, "They are probably young married's." I said, "Probably not, otherwise, they'd go home to their bed." He said, "Maybe they haven't been married long enough to remember they have a bed." Hmmm.

After a walk around the mall, we decided to give up and head for home. As we were pulling into the driveway, TGH had a flash of inspiration (or desperation) and suggested we go for a treat. We found ourselves at a local restaurant where we ordered an appetizer and chocolate shakes. We talked for a long time, held hands, and did not go tonsil searching. Finally, we decided, FUN and ROMANCE had been had and we went home. To our bed. If you get my drift:) Yay for Marriage and Romance:)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Miss 6 has a kindergarten crush. He has announced to her that he has a crush on her and she has reciprocated. Drawings have been hidden in work cubbies, phone numbers have been exchanged, and now a box of chocolate has been gifted. They are planning to introduce each other to their mothers.

Really? Is it really time to bring in the families? In kindergarten? It all seems a little soon doesn't it?

I am thinking about this in terms of just finding out yesterday that we are having our fifth daughter in June. People are always saying to me, "oh just wait until they're teen agers. All those girls. . . . ."

But doesn't it really all start much earlier than that? They are already in tears throughout the day. They already seek chocolate to ease their pain. They already get emotional over what outfit to wear and whether or not someone has borrowed their favorite whatever.

And apparently, they are already well equipped to deal with the boys they like.

I know those of you with older kids will still shake your heads and say,

"just you wait,"

but I'm just saying, I think it starts early. And I'm pretty sure that all I have to do is blink a few times and I'm really going to be meeting "the mother."

How Our Daughter Saved Our Marriage, I think....

So, I bet you're all dying to know what a V-day hater does for fun on the actual day. And the answer is: Nothing. Ha! TGH and I haven't gone out on the actual day for years! Our plan was to do nothing. I had made a lovely pot roast for dinnner, and then TGH and I retired to to the living room to do nothing on Valentines Day. I got the book I've been reading and plopped down on the couch for some serious 'bum-sitting' and TGH sank into a chair to play a game online with the laptop. My 17 yr old daughter marched in and stiffly sat down in the chair across from me. I look up, to see her glaring at me. "What?" I ask. "What are you guys planning to do for Valentine's Day," she asks, sternly. "We did it, already," I answer. "Dad gave me flowers, I gave him a card, we ate dinner, now it's over." "WHAT?" she asks, incredulous. "That's IT?" "Um, yeah, " I respond, calmly. "Where's the date? Where's the romance? You have to DO something!" she insists. "No, I don't." I state. She jumped to her feet and insisted that I follow her. So, I did. I am led to my own bedroom, where she hauls me in by the arm and shuts the door. Once she has me in, along with my other daughters, I am given a lecture on marriage, romance and how to keep a husband. (Which I am probably confused about, having only been married for 22 years) Then, she marches me out the door and back into the living room. "Put your coat on," I tell TGH, "We're going out." He peers up over the edge of the laptop, "What?" "We're going out," I say," for Valentines Day." "Why?" he asks. "Because our marriage is in trouble," I say tiredly, "and we have to save romance." Too his credit (I think) he got up, shut the computer, and found his jacket. "Where are we going?" he (justifiably) wants to know. "I have no idea. Let's go." We head for the door, collecting TGH glasses, my purse and keys. As we are heading out to the Jeep, our daughter called, "Don't be home early! Have FUN! Be ROMANTIC!"  And we headed out into the night, to save our relationship.

(Where did we go? What did we do? Did we save our marriage? Check back tomorrow for the thrilling conclusion to this harrowing tale of a marriage saved! Romance rekindled! And Valentine's Day observed...)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The results are in!

In case any of you were dying from anticipation, we are sorry to announce the duck did not win the second grade "valentine receptacle" contest. Apparently, it was beaten by a football field (people in this town are crazy for the local college team), a penguin made from an oatmeal container, and a giant caterpillar made of tissue paper. Miss 7 and the duck are doing well, spirits are still high.
The duck did receive honorable mention from Miss 7's teacher, who especially liked the "insert valentines in the hind end of the duck" feature.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day Post

Happy Valentines Day!:) If you think you know me, you probably think I love this holiday. I'm happily married to a great guy, and what could be nicer than having a Valentine on Valentines Day? On the other hand, if you don't have a Valentine, this holiday could be somewhat awkward. hmmmm....

I don't love this holiday. I don't normally go around admitting it, but I don't love a lot of holidays. They've all got problems as far as I'm concerned...

St. Patrick's Day?  What the heck are we doing? Some of us may be Irish, I admit, but seriously, who in the world thinks wearing green, drinking green beer and pinching each other constitutes a holiday?

April Fools? Are you kidding me? (no pun intended)

How did we end up with a Bunny for Easter? And if I somehow can buy the whole bunny thing, is the next logical step actually a bunny who delivers Chicken Eggs and Candy? Oh yeah, that whole thing just screams "rabbit-like". And if that's not enough, we form their cute little images in chocolate and gobble them up. That's not wierd? And gross?

I make no secret of the fact I'm not a Halloween fan. Let me sum up my feelings: We're decorating with two of the most ghastly colors on the planet, scaring the crap out of each other, mutilating innocent squash and begging for food in disguise. Hmmmm.....

And then we have V-day. Last year my daughter, Jessica, came home from school a few days before the day and announced that she would now be home-schooled as she was unable to attend the elementary school any longer. Being a mom of girls, I am used to dramatic declarations and have become immune to them. I said, "ok". She said, "I mean it Mom, I'm not going back!" "Ok, " says I. A few silent moments pass. She tries again, " You'll homeschool me, right?" "Right, " I agree. She looks at me a minute and then announces, "I was embarrassed until death, today!" AH ha! Now we are getting somewhere.  Turns out, she and a boy in the class have been good friends and wanted to exchange cards they had made for each other. They did it before the Day, in a quiet ceremony before school. Word got out. The teacher, later in the day, asks the children to please bring a Valentine for everyone in the class and not exclude any classmates.  A girl (jealous?) raises her hand and blurts in a loud voice, "What about Jessica and X? (not his real name, I don't actually remember his name and I'm not asking) They already gave each other Valentines they MADE!" The class is shocked by the declaration. The boy in question did not speak to Jessica for the remainder of the day and Jessica's friends had the audacity to giggle about it in front of her face, apparently thinking the whole thing a funny joke.  This year, Jessica is playing it close to the vest. One store bought Valentine for all.

I bought my Valentine a card and a small gift. I happen to know (because he admitted it) that he did not buy me a card or a gift. He'll probably pick one up when he goes for milk tomorrow.

My POINT is, that he loves me, whether or not there is a Holiday for it. Easter is a Christian holiday, whether or not you tack a rabbit to it and there is no such thing as St Patrick's Day. (altho I do advise wearing green on March 17 so as to avoid pinching) AND I know I cannot convince anyone about Halloween...it's only me defending the defenseless pumpkin and protesting the begging of sweets off the neighbors.

P.S. I love the 4th of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas and I don't mind Flag Day, or Memorial Day. I do not get Labor Day, but it must be important, we get the whole dang day off and that doesn't happen with V-day, OR Halloween!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Blond Jokes

I know, blonde jokes have so little to do with anything really. However I love them. I love sharing them and hearing them. My family and friends call and e-mail them to me whenever they hear a new one. I have a friend on Facebook who has been posting them lately and I have been stealing them to re-post. I like to think she is posting them just for me. In college I actually bought a poster and hung it on my dorm wall so I could read it over and over. My kids love to tell me blonde jokes too.

I don't know why I love them. Maybe it is because I am blonde....and usually pretty smart. I do have a college degree, I have never painted a porshe instead of a porch. I have never locked myself out of a convertible with the top down and I have never gotten a ticket when stopped by the police (probably because I am blonde). I just love the idea of blonde jokes. So here are a few of my favorites...

How do you know if a blonde has been using your computer? There is white out on the screen.

There was this bar and in the bar there was a magic mirror.

If you told a lie it would suck you in.

One day a brunette walked into this bar. She walked up to the mirror and said 'I think I'm the most beautiful woman in the world' and it sucked her in.

The next day a redhead walked into the bar. She walked up to the mirror and said 'I think I'm the most beautiful woman in the world' and it sucked her in.

Then the next day a blond walked into the bar. She walked up to the mirror and said 'I think...' and it sucked her in.

Why did the blonde get fired from the m&m factory? She kept throwing away the w's.

Blonde jokes are awesome. For the record, blondes are not dumb, but the jokes are and that's what makes people laugh.

Feel free to share your favorite blonde joke. I'll be laughing. :)

Date Night, Cause That's the Way We Roll

Friday! Today, I am going to demonstrate, "How to Go on a Date With Your Husband You Have Been Married To For 22 Years". I'm sure everyone will benefit from today's lesson. Today's installment will NOT feature ridiculous amounts of children. That is NOT the way we roll....Whew! Unless you're disappointed, and then, I'm sorry.

Tonight is Date Night. And, like the recently released movie starring Steve Carell and Tina Fey, TGH and I are often concerned that our date nights lack a certain.....um....spark?  Don't get me wrong, nothing more romantic than looking into one another's eyes at the Panda Express over Orange Chicken and Pepsi's but sometimes we wonder. Are we missing something here? We're not quite ready for New York and a government sex scandal (maybe next week) but maybe we ought to branch out. So far this week, we've had the following conversation, about 10 times:

TGH: Did you wanna do something this weekend? (A note here, TGH and I have gone out every Friday night for the last 15 years)
Me: Sure, what do you want to do? (note: with few exceptions, every Friday night for the last 15 years we have gone to a budget based dinner and then seen a movie)
TGH: I thought we'd have dinner, maybe see a movie. (see above 'note')
Me: Ok, sounds good.
TGH: Where should we eat?

Here's where the real excitement is. We eat at LOTS of different places! Seriously! We do! We eat everywhere, Chinese Buffets, Steak Houses, Thai shacks, Taco Huts, Burger Joints, Mexican Fiesta-rants, and Italian (I'm dying to say 'bistros' here, but that would be an outrageous lie) places (way more truthful). We've eaten at Chili's and Appleby's and Fuddruckers (the most carefully pronounced restaurant in these parts). We really pull out all the stops in choosing our pre-dollar movie eatery.

Then the movie, again, there is no limit to the kind of movie we will choose. If it's playing at the dollar movies, we will see it!

You know, I take it back, our date nights ROCK! Cause we are Mr and Mrs Date Night and that's the way we roll!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Dad, a Daughter, and a Duck

Here's a math problem. What do you get when you cross a dad, a daughter, and a duck with Valentine's Day?

This creation is the result of Miss 7's classroom project/contest to make the best Valentine "Receptacle." Miss 7 and I were thinking something in a star shape with glitter, maybe made out of paper mache. Then dad stepped in. Dad is a duck hunter. An avid duck hunter. An I-can't-stay-home-for-a single-Saturday-morning duck hunter. So, naturally he offered Miss 7 the use of one of his decoys for this project.

Look at the way they cut the tail feathers, so you can put the Valentine cards inside.

(Right where the sun don't shine.)

I am speechless. Is it cute? Is it hideous? Should I let her take it to school?

There is no choice really. They are so proud of the work they have done.

I kiss them both and say good job!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I said No!

I said no today. A woman, a perfectly nice woman I have only met once, called today and asked me to fill in for her at chess club at the elementary school. Normally, usually I would have said sure, yes, or no problem. No matter that I have to pick up my own four kids from school at three different times, plus 4 after school daycare kids. No matter I am watching a friends toddlers who just had surgery. No matter that I have like a zillion loads of laundry to do, prescription to pick up for my mother in law and dinner to cook. No matter that it will conflict with the DI team I am running or the Scout troop I am helping chair. All of those things can wait, I normally tell myself when someone calls.
On a typical day I would have said yes. Then I would have scrambled to make it work, all the while cursing my inability to say no. But today for no explicable reason when she called, I said no. I feel like saying it again and again. At first I did think the guilt might kill me, I almost called her back. I even picked up the phone but then I looked around at the laundry I was trying to fold and the chicken marinating on the counter and thought I am a strong woman. I can say no once in while. Not every time, this one time I said No.

Glam versus Gross

In my mind, I'm glamorous and beautiful. Elegant and graceful. I am gliding through life with the whisper of rose petals following my diaphanous self.

In real life, I've got boogers on my shirt. They were placed there by a child who had them oozing out of their nose and ran up to me as if to give me a big hug. I, being a moron, fell for it and now have the offensive bodily whatever stuck to my shirt. Oh, sure I wiped off what I could. And sure, I could have changed my shirt. And sure, while I was in the bedroom with the door shut, changing my shirt, I could have just kissed the house goodbye... AND how much laundry can I really be doing? If I changed my shirt everytime something happened to it...boogers, spit, peanut butter, graham cracker goo, milk, formula etc, I'd be in my bedroom all day long and while that is one way to live, it's not exactly what I'm paid to do by trusting parents who drop off their drooling darlings into my experienced care. 

In real life, (which by the way I do not recommend generally, Denial* being a way more glamorous place to hang out) I am round, given to embarrassing myself in public, and smell of Obsession and Diet Pepsi, when I do not smell like peanut butter. I'm not too bad to look at, I suppose, especially if you're 4 and you see me making cookies. I think it may be my best look.

So, until my book sells, and Kelly Ripa calls me up to be on her show, I'm not worrying about my shirt in real life. In my mind, however, I have my elegant, diaphanous outfit all ready to go.

*Denial: A lovely, warm vacation spot with nice hotels, handsome cabana boys who bring you cold Diet Pepsi, comfortable chairs and not a booger in sight.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

There are reasons for staying married. My current number one reason? Chili Rellenos.

Delicious chili peppers, stuffed with cheese, breaded and fried.

When my husband took his first job after law school and we moved to a new place where I didn't know anyone, I was in a bit of a slump. I actually really like moving, but it always takes me a little while to warm up to a place-- hence the slump. After we had lived in this new town for a little while, my husband, knowing how I love Mexican food, took me to a little restaurant named Mama Inez. My first bite of chili relleno was heaven. Seriously, it was the perfect taste. "Oh, now I can be glad we moved here!" I said between bites. Somehow, it became the turning point, where I began to love our new home.

So, my husband went on a business trip last weekend, back to this town. It was a quick trip. He had a couple of meetings, lunch with his old boss, and he was back on the road. He called me when he was about half way home. To tell me he had something for me in the car.

Chili Rellenos. From Mama Inez. Ohhhh, Yummy!

And that is why we are married.

Monday, February 7, 2011

My Super Powers

Every one has a Super Power. Not everyone can fly or deflect bullets or jump over a speeding building, but we all have something. For example, I have a sister in law who can catch barf. Seriously. If one of her kids barfs, she can catch it BEFORE it hits the floor. Wow. I have another sister in law who can stretch a dollar so far, there is no metaphor for the phenomena. My mom could make a meal, any meal, out of a pound of hamburger. Pizza, tacos, spagetti, fried chicken...ok, i'm kidding about the pizza...:) My friend Leslie's kid is so smart, I'm actually considering sending her my kids... And if you think these things aren't powers, go ahead and try them. For myself, I have never been able to stop my kids from throwing up on carpet, my dollars do whatever the heck they want and while I'm good with hamburger, I'm not 'fried chicken' good.

But I do have a Super Power. Two, actually. The one I'm going to tell you about is my ability to clean anything off of anything. No freaking kidding. If I can't get it off, it's not coming off. Ink? I know 3 ways to get it out of clothing, and 2 more ways to get it off the wall. Blood. For beginners. Grease? Child's play. Crayons? Lipstick in the dryer? Gum? I can get them all. Out. Of whatever you got them on. I've removed gum from hair (without cutting), carpet, and clothes. I've gotten  lipstick-in-the-dryer stains out of khaki pants. I can get bodily function stains out of ANYTHING. Poop, barf, blood, you name it, I can remove it.

Just yesterday, I removed 3 quarts of cooking oil from the floor, two chairs, a cabinet door and a skirt. I once removed a gallon of white paint from dark brown carpet. As in, you cannot tell where it happened.

I appreciate this power, for the obvious reasons, but I don't love this power. I wish mine was the Power of Prevention. How much nicer would it be to have stopped the oil spill, or the paint disaster.  Or the great Poop Catastrophe of '05. (I thought we would have to move....) But if you can't be the ounce of Prevention, you can be the pound of Cure. That's me.

Just think for a minute, what is your Power? You know you have one. Maybe you are a skilled organizer of drawers and closets or an expert iron-er. (I have never, and I mean never, ironed without burning myself) Maybe you keep your temper or you never go shopping looking homeless. These are powers, people. Own them, use them, brag about them. And tell me so I can be jealous:)

Friday, February 4, 2011

How to Take Kids To Scrapbook Club

This is the first in what I expect will be a series of "how-to's" involving ridiculous amounts of children. If you don't have children, or ridiculous amounts of children, you may consider me a warning. Of what? I'm not sure yet....

So, step 1. Announce in a loud and excited voice that you will all be 'going for a ride!' Children will promptly race out the front door into the freezing cold sans shoes and coats.

Step 2. Herd all children back into the house, hoping that your neighbors do not see you.

Step 3. Start putting on shoes. Start with the baby. She is 18 months old and apparently just learned how to take off shoes. Put her shoes on again. and again. and again.

Step 4. Switch the shoes on all the 4 yr olds feet. They are all on the wrong feet. No one is wearing socks.  Put their socks on, then their shoes. Put shoes back on the baby.

Step 5. Find keys. Good luck.

Step 6. Take the baby, and her shoes out to the van. Open the van with the spare set of keys. Buckle the baby into her carseat and put on her shoes.

Step 7. Go back into the house. Tell 4 yr olds it's time to go. Start out to the van. Stop boy from throwing 'missiles' (aka expensive landscape rocks) at passing neighbors. Stop girl from filling mailbox with grass, dirt, flowers, snow, whatever. Put 4 yr olds into the van, Buckle. Put shoes back on the baby.

Step 8. Go back to house. Start out to van with 2 yr old, but  there's a smell. Change 2 yr old, head out to van. Buckle 2 yr old. Unbuckle 4 yr old who needs to use potty. Crap. They ALL need to go potty. Unbuckle. Back to house.

Step 9. Go potty.

Step 10. Back to van. Buckle everyone, put shoes on baby. Realize you don't have your purse. Back to house.

Step 11. Get purse. Back out to van.

Step 12. Smell a smell. Unbuckle baby and take her in for diaper change. Back out to van.

Step 13. Wonder if you might be in the wrong profession. I mean, how hard can rocket science BE? And it's GOT to be less stressful.

Step 14. How can there even be 14 steps? Even recovery programs for ADDICTIONS only have 12. And you're not even to the stupid Scrapbook club yet. AND you haven't gotten a Pepsi yet.

Step 15. Serve as a warning to others. Eat a donut.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I want to post about my new van- but I have to say I hate to update my sis's last post because it is the most hilarious thing I've ever read. So, go ahead and read my post- but check out my sis's last post about mood swings, too. Because, like I said, *hilarious*!

That said, about the van.
Sometimes you have to get a new van before you want to.
I am a huge fan of the 'get an old car and drive the wheels off' philosophy. But sometimes, accidents happen and philosophies change. ahem. Like when you kill your old 93 Astro van that you love. I recently and unintentionally totalled my dear Astro van.
Wrecked. Gone. Adios. Vaya con Dios.
So, Saturday, my not-even-angry-though-I-wrecked-the-van husband and I went shopping for another van. Let me just say that if you are not ready for an SUV, a Suburban, or a van the size of a small school bus, a mini-van that seats 8 passengers can be hard to find. There are only a few out there. We are expecting baby 5 and plan to drive carpools of children, so there is no way we can go less than 8. We could go more, but I am not quite ready for the size of the above mentioned behemoths.
We started out optimistic in the morning, following a good lead, not understanding the elusive nature of the 8-passenger minivan. At the first dealership, we were told the van sold the night before. Rats.
Eight hours later, after a marathon search across our state, we found one and only one used 8-seater Toyota Sienna. We lifted our weary heads in joy and bought that van immediately.
Thank you, thank you, Toyota for making a minivan that seats 8. Keep up the good work.
And please, please, new van, don't be a lemon and die before we pay for you.

Define: Mood Swing

As a woman with hormones, I have found that I often hop on a fun ride called the 'Mood Swing'. I probably ride this ride because it is free.

I can tell when I'm on this interesting ride when I look lovingly at my family, and I'm thinking, 'I love these people!' And I'm full of good will and happiness. And then I look again and I think, 'Idiots.'  This is a swing. You go up up up and there is sweetness and light and happiness and good will and we love♥ one another and people pitch in to work together for family unity. And then there is down, down, down where people are stupid, messy, goofy, dum-heads who wreck my house and eat my food and never appreciate one stupid thing I do and I do it all and they never even say thank-you....oh, they said thank you. This is because they are wonderful, loving, helpful, cute smart, good children, and I have a wonderful husband....who just ATE THE LAST COOKIE and didn't even ask if I wanted it and he knows how much I love those things and if he really loved me he would care for one minute about my feelings and I'm just a slave to him. I don't even know why I married this dork in the first place, when it's obvious he's a greedy pig....who just offered to go get pizza. How I love him. Just when I'm ready to go mad, there he is, offering to get pizza and get me a diet Pepsi and he is so good looking. I 'm so lucky to have this wonderful man in my life, My life rocks!:)

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a fun ride.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Science Project Week

Two kids had Science Projects due this week. Which means that I had two science Projects due this week. We all know when a teacher sends home a "Project" that what they really mean is, "Here's a test of your abilities as a Parent. You will be graded and then made to feel guilty based on that grade".

If my "Project gets an 'A', I can feel guilty about doing the Project FOR my child, thereby depriving him or her of valuble learning opportunities. If they get a 'B' I'm obviously not that smart AND I've deprived them of an opportunity to be mediocre. A 'C' means not only am I not the brightest bulb in the box, but I didn't find out about the project until the night before. A 'D' means I did not even know there WAS a Project due, and when I did discover the crumpled assignment stuffed into my child's laundry as I was frantically washing clothes for the following day, I had no idea what the teacher was talking about. An 'F' means I sent a cup of dirt and hid in my room with Pepsi and Chocolate until the child advanced to the next grade level.

I have done Bug Collections at midnight, Science Projects, Sewing Projects, Cooking Projects, Book Reports, News Reports. My diorama skills are legendary. I have diorama-ed every ecosystem on Earth, every food chain, every time period, most of outer space and filled enough posterboard to wallpaper a large house. AND I know most of you have been there.

I can't wait to see how we did:)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Makeover night

So, last night, my girls and I went to a 'makeover' party with a woman selling a popular brand of skin care/makeup (I'm not going to mention it was Mary Kay). I wasn't too excited about the whole thing, I had my name given to her by a 'friend' who actually is not my friend exactly, but someone I do daycare for. I may not have a business degree, but I know the difference between a business acquaintance and a friend. Anyway, I'm thinking I have a pretty good defense against salespeople and how it might be fun to see some of the new trends in makeup. Also, sometimes it's good to have a person-not-their-mom tell your girls how to wear makeup appropriately:)

We went, and it started fine. The woman was friendly and funny. She's been in the business for a long time and knows the product well. BUT. Right away, she makes an error, in my opinion. I wanted my girls, especially the two who wear makeup, to sit closest to her so they would feel pampered and have her attention. When I made the appointment on the phone, I had mentioned how I would appreciate her giving them some good makeup advice. But she had set up so that I was closest. Well, I am the one with the money, so I could see her point, but  Jessica (12 years old) was farthest away and not by me, which I was irritated about.

THEN, she starts in on my age. Now, I'm 40, but I don't need it mentioned every 5 minutes for an hour and a half. And she couldn't stop bringing up Rachel's acne. Now tell me what teen ager isn't sensitive about her face? So, for an hour and a half, she went on and on and on about my age and Rachel's acne and how to fix them both.

Finally, we went home. Melinda (17) cried, because she had felt ignored and passed over. She is a beautiful girl and has thankfully not had any acne, but wears makeup and had been looking forward to a makeover. Jessica cried, because she had been looking forward to a makeup lesson and instead had been told she's too young to wear any. Rachel (14) cried because she has acne and had to discuss it for an hour and a half. I should have cried, I mean, who likes to be told their skin is going downhill in a fast car?

Now, you are maybe thinking I should have said something. I feel like I did say, and kept saying things all evening to redirect her, but she was a go-er. And everyone knows I talk a lot, so if there's someone I can't talk under the table, that person is a TALKER. There was basically no stopping her. So, live and learn. I told the girls to ignore her. They are beautiful and we don't need her to tell us how old we are or what's wrong with us.

 We are going try some of the acne stuff MK puts out. I do like their stuff, just not this particular salesperson. I love Oil of Olay, and will probably have to go buy some kind of anti-aging-facial age-reversal goop to shore up my fallen face and ego, but other than that....

I had this weird dream...about a house that kept falling down and I kept tryin to brace it with crazy household items...whatever could it mean?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Neighborhood

In my neighborhood, you have to make sure you lock your house up. And never leave your car unlocked. And never, never leave your purse unattended. Seriously. It's not that I live in a bad neighborhood.  Let me explain...

*A few years ago, on a Sunday afternoon, I had gone to the hospital nine months pregnant to 'get checked'. Once there, it was determined that I could stay and have a baby. Our children at home had been given their lunch and were in the care of my responsible (then  12 yr old) son and his 10 yr old sister. A lovely neighbor heard from a friend that we had gone to the hospital and headed over to the house to make sure everything was ok. My kids are not supposed to open doors to anyone while we are gone, but this kind lady had no problems, as the door was unlocked. She went in, cleaned the kitchen and folded multiple baskets of clean laundry.

*A few years later, while I was having yet another baby, a team of industrious and Christlike women coerced the garage code out of a dear friend, let themselves in and cleaned the ENTIRE house.

*When we leave our van unlocked, we don't come back to find the stereo missing....we find the van loaded with garden produce and bags of gently used clothing.

*When I leave my purse unattended, as was the case a few weeks ago, IN CHURCH, I came back to find $20 tucked in my wallet.

*Gifts have been left, monies tucked, groceries produced.

The latest of these 'heavenly-magic-miracles' has left me speechless. It's true TGH is out of work, and we have 7 children. It's true that we are never in what people would call a stable financial situation. But I just looked in my previously empty wallet and found generosity that astounds me.

I am the exact and utter opposite of robbed. We are watched over, spoiled, and cared for in so many ways.

I need a new scripture for this one....Psalms 23:5-6

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely agoodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Thank you. I hope I live my life in such a way as to someday deserve and return to others the blessings that spill over the edge of my cup.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I have been baking and baking. . . . and baking for the past few weeks. Everytime I turn around there is a reason for baking something. First, I had little 6's first friend birthday party. So I made princess cupcakes. Then, little 7's school had a bake sale. A very successful bake sale. So successful, in fact, that they ran out of muffins and sent an emergency email to parents asking us to bake more muffins. How could I say no? So I made a bunch of muffins.
Then we ran out of fish crackers and snack time became a problem, so I made cookies.
The next day, I realized that little 6's actual birthday was coming up and she had requested an Ariel cake. Baking again. And decorating.
Then on Sunday we had another cookie craving. Yes, we ate them all, but my love of cookies goes without saying, so I made more.
Yesterday I remembered that little 6 was also having a kindergarten bake sale and I had signed up. Awhile ago. Before all the other baking. So, I thought I would make cookies. I made a huge double batch of white chocolate, cranberry. They tasted delicious, but did not look delicious. In fact, they did not look "sale worthy" to me. So, last night I baked again. If you can call rice krispy treats baking.
And today, even though we are still munching on leftover cake, our cookie jar is overflowing, and there are even a few cupcakes still drifting around, I happen to know that my dear husband would like some of those rice krispy treats that I sent to school for himself. So, if you want me, I'll be in the kitchen. Baking.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cheese and Scriptures

I have two things on my mind today, cheese and scripture. They are not related, except that in the course of a day as a mom, they tend to actually be in my mind together frequently. First, the cheese. My 4 year old is very bugged with me today, because I have no cheese in the house. I knew we were low, but somehow forgot yesterday when I was at the store (for the 40th time) (I'm exaggerating, I was only there 3 times...4 at the most). So, today, when he went through the fridge looking for a cheese stick, there were none. He sighed, opened the pantry and saw tortilla chips. "Cheese?" he asks me. What he wants is this canned stuff called Que Bueno that comes in a #10 can from Costco and is also known as 'Nacho Cheese'. Well, we're out of that too. He's bugged with me. If I were a different person, I would have gone to the store today, but our family doesn't shop on Sundays. So here we are, cheeseless. No sticks. No bricks. No sauces. No slices. No cans, bags, boxes, or any other kind of package cheese could potentially come in, either as an actual  cheese or cheese product. The 4 yr old is sitting at the table, eating plain tortilla chips and giving me death looks.
As for the scripture, my dear friend Leslie was empathizing with me over the very recent job lay-off of TGH. (you may all feel sorry for me now) when she mentioned the scriptural account of Job. (ironic...now that i think about it, we were talking about jobs and Job) She said,"The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."(more or less, Job 1:21) She said it in such a funny way as to make me laugh,which was just what i needed. Both emotionally and scripturally. Which reminded me of my good friend Melody, who always says when something breaks and has got me saying it too: "Lay up not for yourself treasures on earth where moth and dust doth corrupt (and where children break your wedding gifts) and thieves break in and steal...."(Matthew 6:19-21) So, my point is, that God appears to be well acquainted with the human condition and addressed these conditions in the scriptures. Which makes me think, that if I really went looking, I might be able to find a verse or two about cheese...or how to deal with a 4yr old death look.

p.s. check out sahmsistersread.blogpspot.com:)