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

Friday, November 30, 2007

TGIO and TGIF!

WOOOOHOOOOO!!!
I'm done!

Come and gaze upon the loveliness that is 50,000 words. So pretty.

Some of the things that I have learned recently but haven't had time to blog about:

  1. The Man's genes are more dominant that mine.
  2. Sleep deprivation and too much sugar do not a feasible plot make.
  3. I used to think that I didn't have very many friends. After making my Christmas shopping list, I've decided that I have far too many.
  4. Red icing is hazardous to white plastic mixing bowls.
  5. It's amazing how creative one can be with outfits when one has not done laundry for nearly an entire month.
  6. Fleece tied blankets are so very, very comfy.

I promise to resume my regularly scheduled blogging in the days to come but please, I need to catch up on my sleep! (and my laundry)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

FHE: New Game

I supposed this could have been a lesson on obedience or feelings but I just did it for fun. The Man was asleep upstairs. He stayed home from work so you know he had to be nearly at death's door for that to happen.

Opening Prayer: Me.

Opening Song: I think it was supposed to be Give Said the Little Stream but mostly it was me singing while both kids ran around like crazy people.

Lesson: Have you ever played Don't Eat Pete? It's a cute game! So I decided I would teach the kids how to play. We are really on a "play games" kick lately. I taught them how to play with a barrel of monkeys on Saturday and they thought that was the Greatest! Thing! Ever!

You can find all sorts of game boards for this on the Internet but I made my own, because I'm crafty/cheap like that. I made a grid on a piece of paper and using markers, drew a face with a different emotion in each box. Unintentionally, I made the grid too big and I was running out of emotions. So along with happy, sad, surprised, sleeping, angry, scared and silly, they got bored, dead, and kissy face. We looked at all the emotions, talked about each one and made the face that went with it. I'm glad "silly" was the last one...I probably would have lost them on that one if I didn't break out the chocolate. Because I am a super cool mom, we played with chocolate chips. One chip is placed on each face. Someone gets to go first and someone else chooses a face to be Pete, without letting whoever is "it" know which one they picked. "It" starts with by choosing one chip at a time, pausing for just a second before eating it. Should "it" select the chip on Pete, then they must shout "Don't eat Pete!" Then we all giggle hysterically. We replace the eaten chips and start over, switching roles.

At first, they just weren't getting it. My kids are a LOT like me: when there's chocolate involved, nothing else matters. Not game rules, not weight loss plans, not store security. Nothing. Here's how part of the game play went:

Boo: I just don't know what to do.
Boy: Chips?
Me: Just choose a chocolate chip, Boo.
Boo: But I don't know which one.
Boy: Chips, Momma?
Me: Any one. Whichever one you'd like.
Boy: Chips, Momma!
Boo: I think I just want to eat the chocolate.
Boy: CHOCOKIT!!!

I understand, Boo. I really do. Sometimes I just want to eat the chocolate, too.

Eventually, the kids got it and ended up having a great time, even begging to play the game again the next day.

And we kinda forgot to close FHE...we went and got in jammies instead. Ooops!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Confession Time

Okay, I haven't been as good at this whole writing thing as I probably should be...
Instead of getting in some good word count this weekend, we put up the Christmas tree (the fake one), did some shopping with the Co-ed, invited friends over for dinner, and then played the Wii some more. I wish I could claim that some of my best work is done under pressure. I am running short of inspiration on how to fill in some of my plot holes. Anyone have any good ideas?

And then this morning, instead of getting on the computer and writing like a mad woman, I did this.

This is probably the first time I've made red icing and not gone completely insane trying to get it to go from hot pink to red. There's this really cool lady who does some awesome stuff and she liked my cakes. So we're trading: I make her a cake, she gives me gorgeous jewelry. Keep an eye out for more cakes for her next weekend!

Of course, that's all depends on whether or not I've killed myself trying to finish my book...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Bird Is The Word

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope you have a lovely day and got to spend time with people you care about.

My day started verrrrry early. I got up at 6 a.m. Why? Because I am positively wacko. And because I decided weeks ago that I would try something different this year. After all, I've been roasting my own turkeys since that one Thanksgiving where me and I my brother stayed home when the rest of the family went to Grandma's. No big deal. So this year, I brined my turkey.

Ever heard of brining a turkey? Basically, you make a tasty salt bath for your bird and then let him soak until his fingers get all pruney...well, if he had fingers. If you want more of a science class explanation, go here. I got up early so I could start my turkey's bath - then I went back to bed.



Looks comfy, huh? He soaked in those juices in a big 5-gallon bucket for six hours. Then he was hosed off and stuffed in a bag. (And all those little black flecks are not bugs...they're thyme leaves.)



I am all about using those oven bags for turkeys! They make things sooooooo much easier (and a lot less messy). I have never had a bird go wrong in one of those.



See? Doesn't he look yummy? And he was! Oh my, was that a juicy, tasty, tasty juicy turkey! Just ask the Co-ed! Or Aunt Denise! I'd say ask the Boy or Da Boo but they were much more interested in the fact that I let them drink out of goblets. Plastic goblets. Da Boo turned her into a horn while the Boy decided to go the pirate route and wear it on his hand.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I Saw Someone Famous!

Today, we picked up the Co-ed and headed to the mall to do a little shopping. Aunt Denise joined us for lunch. We went to Jason's Deli. It was mighty tasty.

Toward the end of the meal, a guy walks into the restaurant and heads towards the bathrooms, walking right past me. I did a double take!

Me: Was that Robert Redford that just walked by?
Aunt Denise: I only saw his back but it could be...
Co-ed: Who's Robert Redford?

The lady at the next table heard us and said she thought it was him, too. So we all stared at the restrooms until he came back out. Sure enough...it was him! The Co-ed had her camera with her but didn't get it out in time. Shucks!

Now, I don't mean to brag but this was not my first encounter with a celebrity. Oh no, I've had a few more.

I was sitting in the movie theater, waiting for Lord of the Rings to start. Theater was packed. The Man had gone for drinks and popcorn when who should head up the aisle right past me but Donny Osmond! He was there with his family so we didn't bother him. Well, that and the movie was starting. Couldn't miss those exciting previews!

But the big one...that was meeting Vanilla Ice. Oh yes! Feel free to envy me in all my coolness. Of course, I met him before he was famous. But he was totally flirting with me! Well, I was still in junior high so that's kinda sick and wrong but still...Oh, and I thought he was pretty lame.

Then there was the time I rubbed elbows with the Quorum of the Twelve, even shaking hands with President Monson. But that, my dears, is a whole other blog post!

What about you? Any brushes with celebrities?

Someone I Plan On Stalking...

I just started reading this really funny blog. And this post has me laughing so hard, I had to go to the bathroom - twice! You must read the comments!



P.S.
If you are wondering why I am posting so late/early, I have two reasons:
1) It's November. Writer's block cannot tell time.
2) Waiting for the dang traditional Thanksgiving cheesecake to finish baking in the oven so I can go to bed!

Monday, November 19, 2007

FHE: Alphabet Blessing

Okay, we actually got to have FHE tonight, despite the tears and tantrums (and that was just me). Just kidding. It was actually kinda nice.

Opening Song: Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam (da Boo's choice but the Boy is learning this is nursery and it's pretty cute to watch).

Opening Prayer: the Boy (with Mommy's help).

Lesson: I got this from my awesome fhe4children group. To start, I read a story from the Friend about seeing that you are very blessed. During this, both da Boo and the Boy had a meltdown of some sort, although thankfully not at the same time. Then I had a paper with the alphabet on it. We went down the whole thing, taking turns saying a blessing we were thankful for that began with that letter. Daddy got to go first. (Hint: if you try this, have an adult go first because they end up with almost all the vowels and hard letters!)
A - apples
B - baths
C - the Boy (his real name begins with this)
D - diapers (the Boy's choice, with da Boo's help)
E - elevators
F - family
G - Grandparents
H - hair
I - ice cream
J - da Boo (real name)
K - (had to skip due to tantrum)
L - lunch
M - Mommy (awwww...)
N - night time
O - olives
P - Pop-pop (the Boy's favorite person, my dad)
Q - quiet (as the Boy screamed)
R - restaurants (because I don't have to cook!)
S - suckers
T - trains and trucks (the Boy couldn't decide which he liked better)
U - unicorns (da Boo's suggestion)
V - Valentine
W - water
X - xylophone
Y - You!
Z - zippers

Closing Song: Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree

Closing Prayer: Daddy.

Treats: Daddy made everyone hot chocolate in Mommy's CocoMotion. We sipped this while playing the Wii. (Can I just say that I am a waaaaaay better cook in Cooking Mama than in real life?)
So what are some of your alphabet blessings?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Chocolate Calendar says...

"A true friend will give you half his chocolate bar.
But a true love will give you the bigger half."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Times Flies When You're Wasting It

Soooo...whatcha doin'?

Me? Oh, I'm just putting off writing on my book because I am completely out of ideas. I got nothing. Decided to update my blog instead. Wheeee!

And now for some randomness:
  1. What do you think of the new look? I was just messing around (read: stalling) and thought it was time for a change.
  2. Tonight, I went to a quilting class and a friend asked me why I was dressed up (I have on a skirt and my favorite high heel boots). My answer? "It's laundry day and I washed all my jeans."
  3. If you haven't been to Sonic lately, it's time! I hadn't been for ages. Da Boo got a free "Wacky Pack" coupon from their birthday club so we used it today while running errands. You can get any soda and add all sorts of flavors to it! I got a diet Dr Pepper, then added vanilla and cherry. Heaven!
  4. My book is getting kinda dull. I might have to kill someone in order to make it more interesting...
  5. I seriously need to trim my toenails. I about sliced off the Man's foot the other night.
  6. So back to my book...because I am obsessive...I already know what I'd like on the cover. There's this perfect scene just down the street, waiting for me to take a picture of it . Today, I was heading that direction and was thinking "Hey! Carpe Diem!" So I grabbed the camera. Batteries were dead.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The FHE That Wasn't

Every now and then, things just do not go as planned. It happens.

Monday evening, the kids were having multiple issues. The Boy didn't take a nap, preferring instead to lay in his crib and sing random songs. Da Boo was frustrated over her new game (birthday present) not working properly. And apparently I'd given them far too much candy in an attempt to get some writing done. So. Dinner was a struggle. The Man was fighting a migraine. My ankle was killing me (total klutz, remember?). I could just tell it wasn't going to happen.

After breaking up yet another fight and putting yet another child in time out, the Man and I just looked at each other. Then I announced it was time for bed, half an hour early. So we dragged screaming children upstairs, stuffed them in their jammies, managed to quiet them down enough for a prayer and then tucked them into bed, ignoring the whining and tears as we left their rooms.

Ahhhhhh...peace and quiet. So lovely.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Smile, You're on NaNo!

This is from Will Write for Chocolate.

Noveling continues! I realized that none of my main characters had children so last night I elevated a minor character who is a SAHM with a baby. Found myself putting a lot of my own experiences into her...

Friday, November 9, 2007

Dreamweaver Part II: The Nightmare

Hey, that title kinda sounds like a cheesy horror movie that was so bad it doesn't deserve a sequel.

When da Boo was four weeks old, I had a nightmare that scared me so much, that I still cried about it over a year later.

In my dream, I was a Secret Agent (cue thematic music). I was so good, in fact, that I was given awards and accolades galore. People would clutch my hand and sob about how I had saved them.

I go on my next mission. All does not go well and I am captured. I am then imprisoned in a dark room. There is a window on the left and a door on my night. And the bad guys are standing in front of me. They tell me that because I've ruined their plans for world domination, my family will be taken and used for biological weapons testing. I can hear the Man, sounds like he is in another room. The more he talks, the more agitated he becomes.

What happens next sends me into hysterics. Through the door floats four orange balls, at about eye-level. The balls are attached to my infant daughter. The bad guys are laughing at me. My husband is getting upset and my baby is floating out the window.

When the Man was finally able to wake me up, I was clawing at the window, frantically trying to open it as I sobbed.

While the dream was never repeated, it still haunted me. Then, the following year, while driving to the other end of town to do some Christmas shopping, I heard a radio program for a guy called the Dream Doctor, Charles McPhee*. I have heard to his show many times before. He listens to your dreams and then explains what it means. But not in a Freudian ("You think your grandma might be a good kisser.") or an astrological ("Scorpio is invading you moon.") kinda way. Just straight up stuff. So I called. I had just gotten a cell phone so I called the show right there is the mall parking lot. I didn't expect the phone to ring because it's a national show but not only did the phone ring, but it was answered by a woman who asked about my dream. Then she told me to wait. Who came on the line next but the Dream Doctor himself! I re-told the dream (in my usual, overly-dramatic way).

Dream Doc: Have you changed your life in any big way?
Me: Well, yes. I became a mom for the first time.
Doc: What did you do before?
Me: I worked for a financial planner.
Doc: Were you good at it?
Me: Ummm...I thought so.
Doc: Because when you're a secret agent or a spy in your dreams, it usually means you've changed roles in your life, becoming something that you've never done before.
Me: Oh.
Doc: And since you went from being awesome to getting captured, it means you don't think you are succeeding in your new role.
Me: Whoa.

He totally hit the nail on the head. I went from earning a paycheck and having an active role in society to being a mom who thought everything she did was going to permanently damage her child in some way.

We talked a little bit more about the dream. I don't know if I made it "On the Air" because I went into the mall and spent a whole bunch of money. But I have to tell you, I slept so well that night.


*In trying to find his website, I learned that Charles McPhee has canceled his radio show due to his diagnosis with Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Dreamweaver

**Posts are going to be a little scarce during November due to National Novel Writing Month. This is the fourth time I've participated and the first time I've gone into it almost completely cold. Usually I have pages of notes and lots of ideas. This time? Nada. I've had some inspiration, though, and am already over 11,000 words. That's not a bad start! Just hope I can keep it going.**

I've always had very vivid dreams. They are a good source of material for my stories, too. But every now and then, I have a dream that is a little too real.

When we were still newlyweds, I had a dream that the Man was flirting with another girl, right in front of me, trying to make me jealous. I was so mad at him, that I almost punched him when I woke up! He was more than a little confused.

Even now, I will still have dreams like that. Just recently, I had a dream where, for some unknown reason, the Man and I were no longer married. We were seeing each other only to hand off the kids (which, by the way, we had several, da Boo and the Boy remaining the same age they are now...that was odd). There was a lot of tension between us and I felt tremendously hurt. When I woke up after that dream, I went through the whole day convinced that the Man was mad at me, simply because he had been angry in the dream.

Perhaps it's because I am a very emotional person that my dreams are so full of strong feelings. I don't necessarily think that these dreams are a true reflection of how I am feeling towards the Man or how I think he's feeling toward me. But then again, I also lack self-esteem so maybe this is how my insecurities manifest. And I do occasionally have good dreams, where I wake up giggling.

Next post, I'll tell you about the nightmare that scared me for an entire year after I had it. But in the meantime, tell me some of your dreams.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Cowgirl Boo and Her Posse

Since she is currently obsessed with horses, da Boo wanted a Cowgirl theme for her party. And that's what she got! This was to be her first all-girl party but when she told her buddy Jacob this, he was very upset. We made an exception.

The invitation was on brown cardstock with red bandanna print paper on top. On that was a two-toned brown cowboy boot. A white "Howdy, Partner!" block was outlined with tiny rope twine. Party information was printed on the back in Western-speak. The invited cowpokes were asked to wear Western clothes.

Upon arrival, the kids were given a cowboy hat (if they didn't already have one on) and then informed that they were being made deputies. And what do deputies have? Why, a badge, of course! So I gave them star-shaped sugar cookies, yellow icing, candies and sprinkles to decorate their badges.


When finished decorating, they were instructed to eat the badge. Some of the girls looked horrified. That was kinda funny!

After badges, came Lasso Practice. It was very much like Hot Potato, only they passed around a coiled rope. I didn't get any pictures of this because I was too busy running the music and consoling those that were out. Winner received a bag o' gold. (Really it was yellow bubble gum in a cute little bag.)

Now that they were deputies with lassoing practice, it was time to wrangle a varmint! Here's the posse giving me a big "YeeeHaw!!" before we started this game.


Wrangling consisted of tossing a hula hoop around a toy riding horse. The kids loved it! Winner got a little trophy.

At the end of this game, I noticed that we were running well ahead of schedule. I suggested we play the games some more and they were all for that, especially since I had more prizes (ie: stuff left over from putting together the loot bags).

Then we had cake.


They loved the cake.


A couple girls didn't want to eat it but once others starting calling dibs on various parts, they got into it eating horse flesh. Strawberry cake served with strawberry ice cream and strawberry lemonade. And yes, da Boo likes strawberries. Why do you ask?

When almost everyone was done with their cake, I ran into the kitchen. All the horses had escaped! I needed my deputies to hurry and help me find them. Small plastic horses were hidden all over the front room. There were enough for each kid to "capture" two. Still with plenty of time left, we wrangled more varmints. After killing some time, we opened presents!


And yes, she is trying to smell the Strawberry Shortcake doll. Only half of her friends gave her Littlest Pet Shop.

After presents, with still a good 15 minutes before parents arrived, we watched the Wonder Pets. If you've never seen the Wonder Pets, count yourself fortunate. We watched the episode where the Wonder Pets save a baby cow that was stuck in a tree when a twister blew through. Interesting how they have very little understanding of physics...

As parents started arriving, Cowgirl Boo handed out the goody bags. These were a knotted red bandannas that held a bag of gold (chocolate) coins, horse stickers, a horse finger puppet and candy with bandanna-print wrappers. And after a couple kids left, we remembered to hand out the balloons, too.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Little Something

I'm still not feeling that great (AND it's Day 4 of NaNoWriMo and I haven't even broken 1,000 words!) so I'm just posting the cake picture here.

See those silver canisters on my counter? I have a set of four. Love 'em! But my mom got a big kick out of what I keep in them. The two biggest have white sugar and flour. The two smaller have powdered sugar and chocolate chips. Hey, it's what I use the most!

Ugh

I had every intention of posting yesterday, giving you all the frosting-coating details from the party.

But I got sick.

I woke up feeling horrible, sick to my stomach, but had a cake to do and a group of 5 year olds to entertain so I soldiered through it. Shortly after the last kid left, I laid down on the couch...and then didn't move for nearly an hour as my body stiffened up. About 4 pm, I went to bed and almost immediately fell asleep. I woke up this morning as the Man was leaving for bishopric meetings. I felt better, although weak and my muscles felt like jello. Nothing some food and a hot shower can't fix! But now I'm starting to feel it again.

Let's all keep our fingers crossed that this is due to morning sickness!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Birthday Boo

Today is da Boo's birthday! I cannot believe that I have a five year old...whoa... So far, for her birthday week, she's gotten pink Rice Krispie treats, a new craft (loves crafts), went to work with Daddy, had a friend over to play, and got an extra cookie. Tonight, we're going out to eat at her favorite resternot with Aunt Denise and the Co-ed. That would be IHOP. The smiley face pancake is her favorite because - and I quote - "Mommy, that pancake looks just like me!" Ah, yes. How could we forget her chocolate chip smile and cherry eyes?

So in honor of my beautiful Boo, here are some of my favorite pictures of her from days long gone:

From her first Christmas. Not quite 2 months old. I loved that outfit!

And here is the Princess, wearing her crown. She had to wear this helmet because she would only look to the right, causing her head to go flat at an awkward angle. Now, she is perfectly formed.

About a year old, da Boo is mastering the stairs.


It appears that she likes chocolate...I wonder where she gets that from? Also, this is one of the first photos of her with her new glasses that she got just after turning two.

Before her third birthday, da Boo took a toddler cooking class and this is the peach pie she made.

What kind of a mother would I be without at least one bathtub picture? Here, she's 3 1/2.

Last summer, we went to Moab and toured Arches National Park. Here, we're locating a geocache and of course da Boo had to hold out GPS. That's Balanced Rock in the background.

Taken just a month ago, this is da Boo riding Danny, the Horse. With the hat and bandana, I was trying to replicate a picture of my mother at age nine, riding a minature horse. Da Boo loves horses. So much so that her birthday party this year is Cowgirl themed. Should be fun! Look for those pictures to come in the next couple days.


If you've never met da Boo, it's hard to help you understand just what kind of person she is. Just ask Crazy Grampa about his little granddaughter. She is very talkative and will often crack me up with the most innocent comments. In fact, just minutes ago, she returned from preschool, carpooling home with her buddy, Jacob. While chatting with Jacob's mom, I noticed she had gum in her mouth so I asked if her teacher gave it to her as a prize. She said no, she got the gum from Jacob while his mom went inside their Grandma's house. Busted!

Happy Birthday, Boo!

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