"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Worship Me Day



It's a good birthday today because:

  1. I had a real date last night. We went to a really fancy restaurant I've been wanting to try since moving to this state.
  2. We walked around the MOA.
  3. Picked up something special for breakfast,.
  4. Then we came home, where the Man made me a milkshake (his are way better than any ice cream shop).
  5. It's all cold and rainy today and I just LOVE this kind of weather!
  6. The man let me sleep in this morning until 11! (Just ask my sister...she called and woke me up.)
  7. PRESENTS!
  8. I got a lot of mail, which included PRESENTS!, my bracelet, a prize, and a notice from the dentist that it's time for my next check-up. I love mail!
  9. We had Costa Vida for dinner (for those of you outside Happy Valley, it's like Chipotle...but better.)
  10. And? It's bedtime for the kids!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Eating Cookies...

And yes, I am eating cookies. Those Peanut Blossoms, to be exact. I watched a friend's daughter today and I like to make cookies with the kids whenever I do that (and I like to eat cookies whenever I am surrounded by lots of unruly children).

I am a little pouty right now. I went to book group tonight, where I am the only one not currently retired or with all my kids in college and that's okay. It's still fun. We read "Wish You Well" by David Baldacci and it was a good book. We were also asked to bring a favorite book to suggest to the group as future reading. I brought "Till We Have Faces" by C.S. Lewis, which I just read for my online book group. It's a re-telling of the Greek myth of Psyche and Cupid. And if you know much about me, you know that I really love myths, legends and folklore (so much so that I named my first-born after my mythology professor). So I really liked this book.

Not a single person voted to read it in the group.

Perhaps it's the fact that I haven't been able to get my happy pills (because our insurance hates me) or maybe it's because no one liked the last book we read on my suggestion (and if you didn't like "Five People You Meet In Heaven," please don't tell me as it may damage our friendship).

And my friend who wanted to take me to lunch tomorrow needs to reschedule.

So I'm sitting here, eating cookies and trying not to cry. Because crying breaks every rule of Birthday Week. Maybe the insurance company will read this, see just how much I need those dang pills and send someone right over with a Costco-sized bottle.

And in your comments, please tell me that I am a good and useful engine. And that I'm pretty.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

My Birthday Week

This is my birthday week. For an entire week surrounding my birthday, I try to do at least one fun thing that is Just. For. Me. This tradition started many years ago when my beloved husband kinda sorta pretty much neglected to remember that my birthday was fast approaching with the rising of the sun. So. I wallowed in self pity and held back tears for most of a day. Then the next day was better, so I took myself out to lunch. And the next day, I happened to be at the mall and saw a really pretty necklace that I normally would not have purchased but just this once...

So on Sunday, my birthday week began. But I had a lot to do, making dinner and such. Since I was the one making dinner, I decided to make something that I really, really like but hardly ever make (on account of it being possibly the most fattening thing you could eat): chicken cordon bleu. Still enjoying the leftovers!

Monday, it didn't happen. Da Boo's preschool was canceled and I had problems convincing the pharmacy of my dire need for happy pills. But we did have a fun FHE. Does it count that I sent in my wrist measurements for a really, really swanky new bracelet?

Tuesday, I took the kids to the Aquarium. Sure, this was disguised as a fun outing for all but really? It was all for me. Even got to spend time with a good friend who was instrumental in us not being homeless before our house was finished.

Today was a busy day. There wasn't much time for myself. The night is still young. I plan on sipping some Sangria while reading a new book.

Tomorrow is another busy day with not much spare time. Somehow I will find an hour to play a new game I discovered called Marine Park Tycoon...or I might dive head-first into my stash of chocolate and do some more reading.

Friday, a friend is taking me to lunch. Also, the Man is being all secretive about how I will be "busy" that night. I certainly hope he doesn't think I'll need the time to catch up on laundry.

Saturday I am breaking out my Halloween decorations and just having a good time. I promise to post pictures.

And that brings us back to Sunday. Once again, making a favorite dinner (since I'm not doing much cooking during the week) and I get to decorate a baby blessing cake.

I'm not 30-something. I'm 29.95 plus shipping and handling.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

FHE: Stranger Danger

Last night was an interesting Family Home Evening. Da Boo was in charge of the lesson. Normally, this isn't so bad. But lately, she's had this thing about keeping secrets. She tried this last week, when she was in charge of treats. Since she can't make or purchase anything by herself, it was pretty much crucial that she tell me what she wanted for treats so I could plan accordingly. She cried. She really did not want to share her secret. I finally got it out of her (as gently as possible, letting her whisper it in my ear while we were in the closet so no one else could hear). She didn't want to tell me what she wanted to do for the lesson. Yeah, that's a problem. I tried the telling a secret by whispering route and finally she agrees to tell me. Turns out...she had no idea. Oh boy...

Luckily, I have this great resource in a Yahoo! Group specifically for FHE. We started browsing and she found one she liked. We were good to go!

Opening Prayer: Although it was the Boy's turn to pick, he was wandering around the living room sobbing (I forget why, but do toddlers really need a reason?) so the Man said the opening prayer.

Opening Song: Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree (yes, I was trying to win the Boy over with hand motions).

Lesson: Stranger Danger. Da Boo had several pictures and held them up one at time, each time asking if this was a stranger in the picture. There were pictures of both kids, Crazy Grandparents and Uncle Don, who were correctly identified as 'not strangers.' Then there were the others: two teen girls, a homeless person, a well-dressed man (who turned out to be David Beckham) and a smiling woman holding a baby. These were the 'strangers.' Then da Boo asked the Man to read the definition of a stranger which is as follows: "A stranger is a person you do not know. They can be dressed nice and have a really cool job. Or they can be dressed yucky and have no job at all. It doesn't matter. A stranger is always someone you do not know. If you have not met someone or you do not know their name, then that person is a stranger."

Next, I read through some situations with two kids and various people they come across. We talked about which of these people were strangers (the guy at the park, the very nice lady, etc.) and who were not (their older brother, their friend's mom, another teacher at their school, etc.). I liked these scenarios because they also said what the kids did in response to strangers (ie: turn away, don't go with them, don't let your little sister play with them, etc.). The lesson had more to it than that but I prefer to keep them short and sweet because my kids don't have the longest attention spans.

Closing Song: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (finally got a smile out of the Boy).

Closing Prayer: da Boo offered since the Boy didn't want to.

Treats: I made this Slow Cooker Pumpkin-Apple Dessert for Sunday dinner and we still had some leftover so the Man selected that with a big scoop of ice cream for treats. It's pretty good! Although if I make it again, I'm doubling the apples.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Now It's Her Turn

Da Boo likes to look at the pictures on my blog. She'll climb up on my lap, giggle at each one and ask me to read her the words. So I showed her the last few posts and instead of laughing she looked a little perplexed.

"But, Mommy," she says, her blue eyes wide, "Where are the pictures of me?"

Uh oh. We have been a little heavy on the Boy news around here so this post is for her.

Since I've been working on those purses, da Boo has been asking to do a craft. So I found her a simple little thing that she could make herself with virtually no assistance. Then I snuck in to take her picture while she was hard at work.


And the Boy has been receiving rave reviews on his new haircut. So da Boo wanted a haircut. First, she wanted short hair, like her best buddy, Abbie. I said no. Then she asked me to cut off four inches. I said two. She started to screw up her little face like she was going to cry. I sighed, and cut off four inches.


I'm already regretting it!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Roller Coaster of Love

Due to popular demand (a whopping two comments), here is our beloved roller coaster:



It stays in my rather empty front hall. While you're admiring the coaster and imagining yourself riding it, please give me some ideas on how to decorate such an odd space. I'll have to take a picture of it during Halloween. The whole thing gets covered with spiders...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Difference Between Girls and Boys

Don't worry...this isn't going to be like that embarrassing class in the 5th grade where the girls talked with the teacher and the boys talked to the gym teacher.

When da Boo turned 3, friends gave us a roller coaster. It wasn't at all like I expected when they first asked if they could give this contraption to our toddler. It's about ten feet long with two small hills for the little roller coaster car to roll down. It's not more than two feet high. When we first got it, we always knew when da Boo was awake because we would hear it going. In all the many months that she's had to play on it, the only time she ever tried anything risky was when she saw an older kid do it first.

Then comes the Boy.


He loves the roller coaster just as much as his sister (believe me, there are endless fights over it some days and then the roller coaster has to go in time out just so we can get some peace around here) but he mostly loves the little yellow car. He scoots along the floor from the kitchen to the living room - back and forth, back and forth - until he runs over my toes too many times and I make him stop. He chases his sister (whether she wants him to or not) until he nearly runs her over. I tried to get a picture of them doing this tonight because it was so darn funny - the Boy propped up on the back of the car and da Boo running away, waving her arms in the air - but all the shots came out blurry. (I sooooo need a new camera.)


But lately, the Boy is trying new things. Look at that picture up above. Notice how his little bum is *not* safely in the seat? And that's one of his more conservative positions! He loves to balance on the back with only his belly resting on the car! Gives me fits! I'm back on my happy pills, but it still makes me cringe. Da Boo does not do this! She sits quietly in the provided seat, rolls herself down the ramp and perhaps squeals or giggles a little but the whole time, she's holding on with both hands. Not the Boy. I think he would use the car as a surf board if we'd let him.



The Man is thinking that we might need to put the roller coaster away for a little while. I am okay with that. Afterall, I'm too big to ride it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Before and After: The Boy

Have you seen my son lately? He's very cute. Here's a picture from our trip to the zoo.



Awwwww...ain't that sweet? He's trying to share his half-melted popsicle. But doesn't he look a little unkept? He closely resembles those monkeys that he adores. So Saturday night, I took the shaver to him. Remember my last efforts to give him a haircut? Not too pretty. This time, I oiled the blades so they worked. Also, I decided to just use one blade-guard-thinger for his whole head. None of this "graduated trim" stuff. He was getting a buzz-cut.



Voila! Looks much better. And for the record, this is not a picture of the Boy. He did not want his picture taken. This is a picture of Bob, his new favorite toy (thank you, Grandma Alice). So if he asks, tell him that Bob looks great, okay?

Monday, September 17, 2007

FHE: Helping

Welcome to another exciting installment of the FHE saga! Prepare for a whirlwind adventure starring our beloved family members as they journey into the unknown reaches of the FHE manual! Tonight's escapade begins in the ancient heart of the living room...

Opening Song: Once There Was A Snowman (believe it or not, this was the Man's choice).

Opening Prayer: I called on the Man to pray.

Lesson: It was the Boy's turn to teach the lesson. He came home from church on Sunday with a picture that said Happy Helpers. That was my inspiration. The Boy's job was to sit on the couch next to me and hold up his picture. He did this for about three seconds. Then the oven beeped (treats were done!) and we lost him. The rest of the lesson was basically me and da Boo discussing how we help.

I started with an example. After dinner, da Boo helped me make cookies for the treats after FHE. We talked about how she helped (by pouring in the flour and sugar, getting the eggs), how Daddy helped (by taking the cookies out of the oven and tasting the batter to see if it was good) and how the Boy helped (by licking the batter off the beater so it would be easier to clean later). Then we talked about how each person in our family helps her. After that, I asked her to name how she helps us. She did a pretty good job of that but started getting a little silly (cookie fumes can do that to ya) so we moved on. I talked about how Heavenly Father helps us so we can be happy and do what is right. Also, how sometimes we get help from other people because they feel that Holy Ghost telling them to help. I ended by asking the kids to try to find ways that they can help others this week.

Closing Song: When We're Helping We're Happy (but we seriously bungled the words and tune so we gave up after the first verse).

Closing Prayer: Me.

Treats: Freshly baked cookies! Oatmeal chocolate chip, the Man's favorite. Mmmmm...in fact, they're calling my name right now!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ice Cream for Dinner

Tonight, it was the Man's turn to cook. He served ice cream.

Well, there were other things on the table, too, like chocolate chips and powdered sugar. Then there were bananas (*gagging*) and syrup. We drank mugs of hot chocolate.

When it's the Man's turn to cook (probably once a month) we have either steak, pancakes or waffles. Tonight, he made waffle sundaes. This is a dish he picked up when we stayed at a local bed and breakfast.

And besides, what better way to win Parent of the Year besides serving ice cream for dinner?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Chocolate Research

Chocolate Calendar for September 14th:
"Tell people you are working as a consultant for a chocolate company, and your chocolate consumption is actually research."

Ummm...fell down the stairs again. This time it was in the garage and I nearly landed on the Boy. I caught myself on my knee instead of hurting my shoulder so I'm not hurt. Well, my pride is pretty bruised. So I am eating some chocolate today as part of my research. I'm attempting to see if I can move my center of gravity down lower (by enlarging my butt).

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Beware of Casual Remarks...

Last night, my m-i-l and I were just chatting, having a relaxing evening (well, it was relaxing after the kids went to bed). She asked what I had planned for the next day and I replied that I had nothing, my day was wide open.

"Maybe we should do something fun with the kids," she suggested.
"Well, da Boo did say she wanted to go to the zoo..." I joked.
"Hrmmm, the zoo..."

The zoo is an hour away. I wasn't serious. Turns out, my m-i-l had some family matters to attend to in the big city and the zoo wasn't far away from there. So this morning we packed up the kids and headed north to the zoo!


Now before you freak out, we aren't actually in the cage with the lynx but it really looks like it! We're in the viewing area and the big kitty is sitting in front of us. That was pretty cool.


The gorilla was the kids' favorite. Why? Because he picked his nose and ate it...right in front of us...repeatedly. Then the Boy decided this was a good idea and picked his nose. He proceeded to hand me what he found in there. Ewwwwww...


I liked the zebras. These guys are just cool looking! So are they white with black stripes or black with white stripes?

We have not been to the zoo since the Boy was an infant so it was fun to do that! And because the kids were so good, I let them pick out a toy from the gift shop. They both picked tigers. Da Boo's is a mommy tiger carrying a cub and the Boy chose a really soft stuffed tiger. For those of you who know the Boy, you can understand the significance of this purchase (and just how funny it is). After the zoo, both kids fell asleep on the drive home. I almost did, too, but I was driving.

And only one more "wake-up" until the Man is back! Yipppeee!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Update

Pain is pretty much gone (but don't ask me to do jumping jacks).

My mother-in-law is here. She let me sleep in until 10 am this morning! I think she's gunning for sainthood.

Went shopping today. Instead of one pair of jeans, I now have four. And they are not all the same color. But seriously, what is this country's obsession with bootleg or flared jeans? Not everyone wears boots or likes the look of flares, people.

I had a brownie about an hour ago. Very tasty.

And tonight, I'm not cooking (unless you count making chocolate mousse as cooking).

Life is good!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

FHE: Anger Giants

We didn't really have FHE last night. Now, before you pelt me with broken crayons from the bottom of your sacrament totes, I have a reason: I was on drugs. Yup. Was all light-headed and nauseated, too. Well, the light-headed stuff kinda goes with being an airhead but it felt like I was always leaning to one side which is just...weird! And the reason why I was on drugs? I fell down the stairs. No big deal, right? Shoot, the Boy does that once a week and it doesn't faze him anymore. But the boy also does not have a metal shoulder which he shouldn't use to try and catch himself should he ever start to fall. So I hurt my shoulder, my bum, my left shin, and my pride. Mostly, it was the shoulder. Couldn't speak clearly for about five minutes for fear that I would start swearing.

For FHE, we didn't have an opening prayer or song but I did put in a video for the kids, ordered pizza and let them eat it while sitting on the living room floor. Daring, I know, but remember -completely drugged.

The video was Junior's Giants. I've seen it at Desert Book and it looked cute. This one was checked out from the library. It's "a modern David and Goliath...kinda." Junior keeps having temper tantrums and can't control his anger, which starts to manifest as a Scottish giant (and is highly bewildering to one on pain killers). Whenever, Junior loses his temper, the giant gets bigger. Finally, Junior's mom and dad sit him down for a "talk" about his temper. They read him a couple scriptures, one about how the things of God are patient, kind and loving. That's when Junior decides he can defeat the giant not with his fists but with kindness. And it works! The giant is too small to have any effect on Junior. There are also side stories about girl scout cookies and a toilet.

The Boy got a little scared during the video but da Boo really liked it. We talked about it afterward, and about how throwing tantrums doesn't help but talking about our problems and showing a little kindness can really go a long way. Today when da Boo started to lose it over something trivial, I asked her how big her anger giant was and that completely threw her. She forgot to be mad and instead asked if she could watch the video again.

In other news: the Man left me. He's riding a mountain bike with his dad somewhere down in Moab. And he took the camera so I can't post any pictures of the Boy on his tricycle until the weekend. That should give you something to look forward to, right?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Failed Experiment

You know how you have a recipe and you're supposed to follow that recipe in order to get the desired results? Well, sometimes I like to go against the grain, swim upstream, march to the beat of my own drum and many other cliches. Sometimes, I don't wanna do what I'm told.

For Sunday's dinner, I made a special effort. My in-laws are back in town and my Beloved is leaving with his father to go on a week-long bike trip down in Moab. I show love through food. The menu: BBQ brisket, garlic mashed potatoes, homemade rolls, lemonade, green salad, and chocolate cloud cake for dessert. Are you licking your screen yet?

I'd made the rolls before but we were hosting a large crowd so I wanted to double the recipe. My breadmaker is rather large so I figured it wouldn't be a problem. Then with 20 minutes to go on the dough cycle, I notice this:


Hrmmm...it's not supposed to look like that...Or like this -


Uh oh...maybe doubling the recipe wasn't such a good idea! My father-in-law was highly entertained by the fact that the dough was rising out of the machine. Me? Not so much.


This is what it looked like when the dough was done...time for the true test: baking the dough into rolls.


They turned out really good! No problem! But next time? I'm not doubling the recipe.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Latest Project

Sorry for the lack of regular posts lately. I've been busy. Wanna see?




I made this one for someone special (so don't tell her, okay?) and liked it so much that I'm making another one for me!




It's also my first try doing pockets inside. It worked pretty well. Next one, I am going to try a magnetic closure. This pattern I got from a HFPE class I took on making purses. Originally, I made an oriental-themed purse with a beautiful gold silky material, embroidered with butterflies.




I loved that purse so much that I made three more for my sisters. And da Boo asked if I would make her one so I made a little purse for her. And yes, that is the new green color of my kitchen. My parents painted it for us while we were in London as a surprise. I love it! It's so nice to have color on the walls around here!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

First Day of Preschool

Yesterday was a big day for the kids. It was the first day of preschool for da Boo.




Ain't she cute? I switched her to a different preschool this year. The main reason for the change was because none of the kids in her old class would be going to kindergarten with her. Her new class is much more academic and highly structured. I hope it will help get her ready for school.


And the Boy learned how to ride on his tricycle all by himself! He can pedal, although he goes backwards as much as he goes forwards. Da Boo has a bike helmet so he insisted on wearing one. Ended up with the Man's helmet on sideways. Then he fell off the bike. Went head first, of course. I think the helmet actually helped but he still got a bump on one side of his forehead. And just like a boy, he wanted to get right back on his tricycle! No fear in that kid!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Must Be Stressed Out

So when I get stressed out, I bake. Perhaps this is the reason why I can't seem to lose much weight...

Last week I made these amazing Peanut Butter Layered Brownies for my neighbor. See, she's had three kids and is still stick thin. I felt sorry for the poor girl, never knowing the joys of plus sized clothes. Just had to take her some brownies.

We usually have Sunday dinner with Aunt Denise and now, with the Man's youngest sister (who I have yet to think of a nickname for...any suggestions?). I try to make an extra effort on those days. All four food groups are represented (and probably covered in butter) and there is always dessert. This Sunday, I decided we needed a layer cake so I made the chocolate cake from the recipe on the can of Hershey's cocoa powder. Mmmmmm...so chocolatey! I even frosted it all pretty and served it on my nice cake stand. Sorry, but it didn't last long enough for me to take a picture.

Then for Labor Day, we got together with some neighbors for a BBQ. Aunt Denise was there and so was the Man's sister with two of her friends. After burgers and hot dogs, we sent the kids upstairs with a Thomas the Tank Engine movie. The adults got to play the Wii. And while the men were distracted, I cut into the strawberry cake that I made. Because it wouldn't have been me if I couldn't provide a dessert. I guess they liked it because there was only one piece left.

Since I've been feeding everyone else my goodies, I didn't get much. Now I want to make something and hide it so only I get it! Mawahahaha! Okay, not really. I don't think I could eat a whole pan of brownies by myself. Since I've made most of my special recipes, I was wondering if you have something you make when you want to spoil someone or something that you could eat the whole thing and not feel the least bit guilty...wanna share the recipe?

Monday, September 3, 2007

Top 11 Pet Peeves

Just have to even out the happiness with what drives me completely bonkers!

  1. People saying "I could care less." It's "I COULDN'T care less." Meaning you cannot care any less about the situation. Arrrgggg!
  2. Cutting in line.
  3. Having to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Mostly a problem when pregnant but annoying all the time.
  4. One of my kids throwing a temper tantrum in a public place when I can't immediately remove them and correct the behavior.
  5. Overly concerned people who give me unsolicited advice on parenting issues (usually happens right after #4). Seriously, mind your own business, people!
  6. Being completely out of chocolate. It's a potentially fatal situation.
  7. Having to hurry because I have a terrible sense of time management.
  8. When something goes wrong with a cake and it's completely beyond my control...there's nothing I could have done to prevent it.
  9. The way Utahns talk. They drop their vowels. There's not a "sale" at the mall; it's a "cell." They don't drink "milk." It's "melk."
  10. People who are mean just for fun or to look cool in front of their friends. Grrrrrrrr...
  11. Door-to-door salesmen who won't take "No, thank you" as an answer. I don't want to be rude and shut the door but I really don't want to buy their stuff. And the "No Solicitors" sign does nothing to deter them!

What makes you batty?

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Happiness In The Little Things

Here are 11 simple things that make me happy:
  1. The first sip from a freshly opened, ice cold can of soda.
  2. Finding one last piece of chocolate when I thought they were all gone.
  3. Chubby-armed hugs from the kiddos.
  4. Reading a scripture and really understanding what it means.
  5. Having a book that is soooo good, I can't put it down; not to fix meals, wipe noses, or go to the bathroom.
  6. Being able to put my perpetually cold feet on the Man's nice, warm legs.
  7. Gladiolus blooming in front of my house.
  8. Finding a really cool geocache.
  9. Ordering dessert when eating out.
  10. Hearing the Man tell me he thinks I'm beautiful.
  11. Having someone call me just to say hello.

What makes you happy?

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