Our first ever family nativity play with the kids in charge of the whole thing. Hmmm... somehow my kid seems to think he's in charge... wonder where he got that from!
|Make a Smilebox slideshow|
Our first ever family nativity play with the kids in charge of the whole thing. Hmmm... somehow my kid seems to think he's in charge... wonder where he got that from!
|Make a Smilebox slideshow|
Posted by Erin at 11:42 AM
Ok, ok... it's only been a month, but I thought I'd better post some pictures of our cruise to Cabo so you can all pretend you were there enjoying the warmth of the sunshine and smelling the salty sea-spray gently tickling your face. Don't we all need a little escape about now as we look around at the Christmas decorations we've yet to put away, the piles of wadded up wrapping paper hastilly tossed in the corner and yet to be taken out to the trash, and the plates and boxes of chocolate and candy and goodies we know we shouldn't keep eating, but can't seem to get rid of?
So, Merry after-Christmas to you. Enjoy this brief escape from reality!
|Make a Smilebox slideshow|
Posted by Erin at 10:36 AM
Well, he came! I saw him with my own two eyes!!!
And here he is in our family room putting the last present under the tree:
is it wrong to perpetuate the lie another year???? This was just too hard to resist! Anyone want one that doesn't have a color printer? I'll print it for you if you email me your pictures!
(in case you want one too, go to: CaptureTheMagic.com )
Posted by Erin at 11:52 PM
I decided this year to do something a little different in addition to traditional neighbor and friend gifts. (Which, by the way, we haven't made yet!) I made a big crock pot of yummy soup, mini loaves of bread, and sweet rolls, and we took them around to some of the single widows and widowers in the ward tonight.
I hadn't planned on the 20-30 minutes we would stay at each house visiting, but it was really nice to sit and visit with them. It must be hard this time of year to be alone, without your loved one by your side. I did it with the intent of bringing some holiday cheer to people, but I think I was the one who was lifted up the most.
I am thankful for the reminder of what this holiday is really about. Giving to others and doing service for others is far more valuable than anything money can buy. I am grateful I had the chance to be reminded of that tonight!
Posted by Erin at 10:23 PM
I have ALWAYS wanted to make a gingerbread house from scratch. You know, where you make your own pattern, roll out the gingerbread, cut it out, bake it, decorate it...
Boy, it is sure harder than it looks! Nevertheless, I, and my fearless son, attempted our first homemade gingerbread house the other night. I must say, I am quite pleased with how it turned out!
We melted candies in the windows, and even put a light inside so it glows! My son had the brilliant idea to cut a hole where the chimney goes so it looks like a fire is burning in the fireplace. He also suggested we put a frosting rope draped from the boat to the dock so it doesn't float away. Doesn't this scene just make you want to go inside and get eaten by a wicked witch? I think it would be worth it!
Posted by Erin at 9:17 AM
Sewing lots and lots of these:
Making a gingerbread house with my son, enduring the cub scouts... barely, making Christmas cards- still not done, Christmas gift shopping, and nursing myself and my hubby back to life after a nasty bout of some stomach ickiness.
Just so you know I haven't been sitting on my heiny eating bonbons and staring at pictures of Robert Pattinson all day, k? (for my hubby who is just sure I am!) (just kidding!)
but, just for your enjoyment: (or not, if you think he's gross I don't wanna hear about it!)
Posted by Erin at 5:48 PM
"Mom, how come some children don't get Christmas presents? I thought Santa went to everyone?"
"Well.... uh.... parents need to help pay Santa for all the presents he gives you. Maybe those children's parents don't have much money for presents."
"Well, what is the point of Santa Clause if the parents buy the presents?"
Kid, when are you going to just figure it out on your own, huh???? I don't want to be the one to break the truth to you, but all these questions are really starting to stump me!!!! I don't think I put this much thought into Santa Clause when I was little!
Posted by Erin at 11:50 AM
Today I gave myself an early Christmas present: a black and a colored ink cartridge for my printer!!!!!
What? That doesn't sound exciting to you? You thought it was going to be a gorgeous sweater, or a new DVD, didn't you?
No, my friends. This ink is special. It comes from deep in the forests of Madagasgar, from the juice of the irredescent Ugai'i berry that can only be harvested by the light of a 3/4 moon on the 6th night of the 8th month after a total lunar eclipse by blind dwarf children and squeezed between the thighs of a woman who is exactly 99 years 364 days 23 hours 59 minutes and 2 seconds old, and who has/ had one blue and one brown eye- the brown eye preferably having been lost sometime due to an unfortunate incident with a wild boar- this brings a higher quality of ink, apparently.
This can only be where the ink came from because it cost a freaking $53!!!! So, Merry Christmas to me! Nope, I don't need a gorgeous sweater, thanks. I got my ink, I'm good.
Posted by Erin at 12:53 PM
Today I am excited to sew aprons! I found this fantastic fabric and I can't get enough of it! (Yes, I am a little deprived of outside contact, what of it?)
Today, I am happy to have a break from cub scouts. Ahhhhh......
Today I am going to tackle the pile of laundry that has been neglected since I started my obsession with sewing aprons again.
Today I am happy my husband didn't pass out last night when his blood sugar went down to 38. (yikes!)
Today I am loving Christmas music,and a snow covered lawn (hiding the leaves I never raked up. Raking is overrated, really!)
Today I am grateful for my blessings- every single little one! (and glad I don't have any zits for my husband to try to pop!)
Posted by Erin at 9:20 AM
Ahhh.... I just babysat my little 2 year old niece. What a treat girls can be! She was so polite, saying thank you every time I helped her. She daintily touched the Christmas ornaments, gently patted the dog, spoke quietly, didn't make a mess... I say again, what a treat girls can be!
Thanks for the girl time, cutie pie! Let's do it again soon!!!!
Posted by Erin at 11:17 AM
My son called to me in tears from his bed just now. (he actually does that alot- he gets the blues at night. He's always been that way.)
He is sad that he has never had a brother or sister to play with or talk to at night in bed, or get into mischief with. (well, he didn't say that part, but I know that would be inevitable!)
It breaks my heart to hear him say that. There is absolutely nothing I can do to change the situation right now. It's out of my hands!
A lot of things are out of my hands right now, which is probably the best place for them to be. I know Heavenly Father makes better decisions than I would. I know He sees the big picture. While we sit down here and throw our little "I want, I want..." tantrums, He sits quietly up there and says, "Just be patient!"
I don't know when or if he will ever get a brother or sister to play with. I don't know if we'll ever move out of this little house. I don't know what is going to happen this week, or the next, or the next. But I know it's all in good hands, and I just need to trust in that.
Posted by Erin at 9:08 PM
Ever since I found out I was having a boy, I've dreaded in the back of my mind the day when I would be put in as den mother of Cub Scouts.
You see, I am a very girlie girl. Growing up I liked tea sets, and dressing up as a princess ballerina- (yes, a princess ballerina), doing my doll's hair, wearing make-up, talking about boys, doing my nails, etc.
Boys are, well, loud, dirty, messy, unrefined, fart and burp alot, like video games and fast cars and making gun noises... things I can't relate to.
Being a den mother exposes you to all this and more! Yes, I have a boy myself, but he isn't like that all the time around me. When the cubs are around I get it in triple, and lots of it!
Have you ever heard someone burp consecutively, non-stop, for five minutes? I nearly tossed my cookies when I heard it!
I find myself stressing every single week about cubs scouts, and it doesn't ever get better. I just don't know what boys like! But, this is where I am right now, so I might as well deal with it. Maybe next week we'll have a burping contest. If you can't beat em, join em, right? On second thought, I KNOW I would toss my cookies if we did that! Better find another science project or something, instead!
Posted by Erin at 9:00 AM
Why? Why? Why?????
Why did he have to ask "THE" question today?
Why when his dad was nowhere in sight did that particular question have to be asked today????
Why couldn't I remain all calm and collected as I had always envisioned in my mind rather than bust out in the giggles????
Why did he have to get that look on his face when I revealed the truth???
Why??? Why??? Why????????
Posted by Erin at 5:16 PM
These are things I learned over my Thanksgiving break:
-NEVER go Black Friday shopping in Cache Valley!!!
-If it looks like poop, and it's on a kid, best not question it!
-Not all men in tights are created equal!
-There is such a thing as too much chocolate almond torte
-sleeping in the bed your grandpa died in will not conjure his spirit, (no matter how hard you try!)
-I don't love turkey as much as the rest of the world, apparently.
-You can never see "New Moon" too many times.
-I reeeeeeeeeeeally like driving my mom's big black SUV!!!
-you can eat Fritos and M&M peanuts indefinitely
-there are consequences if you do the previous statement
-girls can't drink pickle juice from the jar because it's not ladylike
-if someone doesn't show up where and when they said they would, they've most likely been arrested
Posted by Erin at 10:00 PM
Yes, Thanksgiving is approaching.
Yes, everyone is posting the things they are thankful for.
So, lest ye think I am ungrateful, here is my "normal" list: (the un-normal list will be tomorrow- things that I am thankful for that most people may not think of.)
-a steady income
-my husband's warm hands on my cold feet
-the part after the trial is over when you feel that sense of "Ahhhh...."
-people I look up to
-my fuzzy socks
-my clean, fluffy dog
-a great looking outfit
-early morning after Thanksgiving sales
-being with family
-when your favorite song comes on the radio
-hugs from little kids
-hitting the high note just right
-engrossing myself in a good book
Posted by Erin at 9:43 AM
I am fed up!
Seriously... I've had it!!!! I'm sick to death of the disgusting fodder thrown in our faces from commercials, billboards, television shows, awards shows, random texts, emails, pop up ads...
There is no escape! I've stopped watching regular television because of this. I can't trust that some awful commercial won't just pop up while my family is watching "Sound of Music". It used to be that you were safe watching television during family time- from 7pm to 9pm, but not anymore.
Case in point, the American Music Awards. I have stopped watching awards shows because of the disgusting humor people think is funny to put on the stage, and the ridiculously unclothed moviestars and supposed musicians parading their annorexic bodies around as though that is the beacon to which we should all clamor. However, I did catch a small moment of the music awards the other night as I was searching for a program about ancient Egypt, and have been regretting it!
I see two lovely blondes walk out on stage: Nicole Kidman wearing a very sparkly long form fitting dress, but what set my jaw agape was her co-host, Kate Hudson and her twins (you know what I mean) falling out of their slings. Even Nicole looked in shock as those puppies nearly made their prime time television debut. Kate had to keep pulling the top over so the inevitable would be postponed, and she looked absolutely ridiculous! Seriously! Didn't she look in the mirror before she went on stage? Didn't she say, I feel a draft?
Luckily, I spared myself from seared eyeballs by flipping the channel quickly, and found out later what I really spared myself from: Adam Lambert evoking the powers of evil onstage for all to see. Now, if this isn't a commentary on how morally skewed our society has become I don't know what is. I read about it this morning- having NO desire to see a clip. I won't even go into detail as the mental images are just as damaging, but it was NOT wholesome. He did it for shock value, plain and simple. He is gay, and felt that he should be able to do what "straight" men and women do on stage. Ya.... if your name happens to be Madonna, or Brittany- not really two role models to rule your actions by, I'd say!
His comment about people's negative reactions: "That's a form of discrimination, and it's bad."
And the sad thing is many others agreed with him!
My gripe is this: do what you will when people are paying to see what they know you are going to present. They want to dirty their minds with it, they know what they are getting. However, do NOT air it on prime time television for innocent channel surfers to stumble upon and suddenly have blaring in their living rooms! What happened to respect for people's sensitivities? What happened to modesty? To civility? To privacy???
If the world is going to scream lasciviousness at me, I am going to speak morality back, very firmly! I will not cower to the spiritually deranged!
I will now step down from my soap box, but I will not diminish into the dark!
Posted by Erin at 9:07 AM
I'm back from the cruise!
We had such a nice time! I loved being on the ocean, smelling the salt water, being in the warm sunshine, not having to cook or clean! It was a wonderful week!
Here is a list of things I liked about the cruise:
- kids' adventure ocean (you check em in, then forget about em! Yeah!)
-fish and chips whenever I wanted
-my room attendant Anthony. I've been calling out to him to come help me clean my house, but he is gone.... forever!
- the waiters and waitresses were soooooooo super friendly!
-eating whenever I wanted, or didn't want!
-not having to cook the food when I wanted to eat it!
-playing on the beach in Cabo
-eating super spicy curl-your-toenails tacos in Ensenada
-bartering. Yes, bartering! I loved it!!! I rocked at it, actually! Who knew???
-driving through Ensenada and knowing I don't have to live like that. What a blessing!
-Seeing my son up on the stage doing a juggling act with Wild and James in front of hundreds of people! (more on this later)
-laying on the deck and reading for hours
-waking up at 6 AM and sitting out on my balcony watching the ocean
-standing on the very front of the ship in the dark with only the stars above me! It was freaky, but exhilarating as well!
-laughing at the old women in strapless evening gowns with their wrinkly flabby leathery overly- tanned skin hanging out.
- watching drunk people try to walk down the halls with the boat rocking
-trying to walk down the halls with the boat rocking and knowing I look just as bad as the drunk people!
Well, I'll post some pictures of it all later- after I uncover my camera from the pile of stuff I have to put away.
Oh, what I DIDN'T like was coming home to find my dog had diarrhea and had used our bedroom carpet as his bathroom (5 times), and the couch, and the living room floor, and my son's bedroom floor.... we spent the entire night Saturday scrubbing the carpets and bathing the dog!
Anthony, were are you? I need you????
Posted by Erin at 9:33 AM
Alright, powers that be... Why, when I was in high school and big permed hair was in, did I have to go to the salon more often than most people because my hair grew so fast and was so thick it had to be permed frequently to keep its poofy-ness. And why, now that big permed hair is NOT in, do I have seemingly increasing natural curliness causing my hair to become bigger and bigger, making me look like I have permed hair?
I guess my mom was always right after all: Life's not fair!
Posted by Erin at 8:46 AM
Ok. I am going to admit some hard-learned things here. Why? Because I have a self-diagnosed illness called "vocal exhibitionism" which means: One who cannot refrain from exposing their thoughts to the world. These new-found truths are:
1)I get so nervous when I have to see old friends or family members I haven't seen in a long time. Scratch that- ANY friends or extended family members, period.
2) My hair gets progressively worse the more I stress about something.
3) I will NEVER be able to get through a song at a funeral of someone I was close to. It's just not gonna happen, no matter HOW experienced a singer I am!
4)Not all jell-o is created equal.
and 5) NEVER wear red to a funeral. Just don't do it!
Ok, number 1: Yes. I get very stressed out when seeing old friends and especially extended family. I don't know why. I think it may stem from the fact that I have always felt I don't "fit in". I'm a dork, let's face it. I may paint myself like a normal person, but the dork is always going to peek through at those inopportune moments and say something stupid or completely ridiculous, revealing the "real" me.
2)I have visions of hair grandeur- it just never translates into real life. Especially when I have something important to be to. Why is it my best hair days happen when I don't have anywhere to go that day???
3)I did better at this funeral than I thought I would, but I still didn't make it completely through my duet with my sister. She was the rock, once again. However, I did make the last note, so that's something!
4) Why is it that well-intentioned relief society women striving to bring comfort to grieving family members coming to partake of a generous repast after the difficult ordeal of burrying a loved one have to do strange things to their jello salads, making them look freakishly disgusting and inedible, leaving the grieving hungered ones to stare in puzzlement at the quivering greyish mass with cottage cheese lumps in it sitting in front of their plate and questioning why?
5)Well, this picture should explain why one should just NEVER wear red to a funeral. Even in Utah where not everyone wears black. (wonder when that inner dork reared its ugly head? Ya... can ya tell?)
Posted by Erin at 3:54 PM
I am such a dork!
I went dress shopping yesterday. I had in my mind the exact look I wanted, and I was determined to find it.
I found it. A cute little retro-styled black dress. But, I also found another dress I loved. I didn't want to love in... in fact, it scared me.
You see, it is was a wrap dress. I have NEVER been able to figure out wrap dresses. I have often fallen in love with a dress only to discover it was a wrap dress, and I would leave it longingly behind knowing I would end up trapped in it if I dared try it on. I could see the headlines "Woman trapped in dress... took 5 men to rescue her." Ya, me and wrap dresses.... not a good combination.
Yet, I found myself yesterday staring at that lovely moss green wrap dress with the pretty ruffle down the front. I should have just walked away, but it drew me closer. "Try me on.... try me on...." I already had the dress I came for, what was I thinking??? But, I found myself wandering into the dressing room saying "Yes, I have two items, please," taking my little number two, my two dresses, and venturing into the dressing room.
I put on the first dress- the one I came for originally. Cute. Love it. Just as I thought it would be. I'll get it. I took it off very slowly because I knew what was next. The wrap dress.
I took a deep breath and put my arms through the sleeves- all good, nothing wrong. Then...I held out the two waist straps in complete confusion- what to do with the super long straps??? I found a hole in the waist and figured a strap went through there, but which one, and how? I put the wrong one through. I found myself completely twisted up in the straps as I noticed the sign that said "dressing room are monitored". Great, some security guard is getting his laughs right now. I made a face at a screw hole in the wall... hey, you never know if that's actually a camera! (yes, I actually did this... like you don't???)
Anyway, I was so angered by the whole experience I bought the dang dress just to see if I could figure it out. I mean, heck... every other woman in the world can do this, why can't I??? (Ok, most women can make great buttermilk biscuits, too, but I make hockey pucks.)
In desperation, anger,and a bit of shame, I googled "how to tie a wrap dress" when I got home. This great web site walked me through the steps one by one and I saw immediately where I had gone wrong. I put on the dress and it worked! I had done it! AND, I love it!
So I now have two nice cold weather dresses to wear, and I can hold my head up proudly knowing I, too, know the secret to wearing a wrap dress. Thank you!
Posted by Erin at 3:02 PM
I love spontaneous dates with my little guy.
Yesterday I was at Gateway to get some movie tickets as a gift for someone and saw they were having a 10th anniversary special- big popcorn and drink- refillable- for only 2 bucks. Oh, and yummy birthday cake, too!
So, I took my little guy back last night to see "Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs" in 3D. IT was sooo adorable!!! And cool to see the food flying at you! I only bought one $2 deal, but it was more than enough because it was refillable!
So, if you are interested- go to the Gateway tonight!!!! (I think Jordan Commons may be doing it, too, but I'm not certain.) Parking was only a dollar with validation, and you can't beat $2 all you can eat popcorn and drinks!!!! And, of course, I had the cutest date there.
(Did I mention we were the only ones in the whole theater??? I love it when that happens!)
Posted by Erin at 9:13 AM
Long title... I know. But I've often felt I was born in the wrong era! Yes, I do love modern conveniences like flushing toilets, instant hot water, microwaves (although mine is in the upstairs kitchen and its such a pain to go up and down the stairs to use it I've resorted to warming things up the old fashioned way), television, and chocolate whenever I want it. (I'm pretty sure a hundred years ago chocolate wasn't as readily available. Women had to fit into those tiny corsettes anyway, so they probably didn't eat much chocolate, which is another good reason why I should have been born back then... but that's a whole other topic.) However, a hundred years ago there WERE flushing toilets... in rich homes. That, among other reasons, is why I've decided I should have been born back then.
Why am I thinking about this now? Well, as it happens, I am going to be taking an ocean voyage to far off lands in a few weeks. (see, I'm already speaking the lingo!) I shall be embarking on a large vessel with my husband and son where we will be enjoying a week of peaceful respite and enjoying the many offerings of other cultures. As I think about what this would have entailed a hundred years ago by way of preparations, I can't help but think about my wardrobe.
A woman of the "ton" would not simply throw her old things into her trunk and head off without a thought. No. She would make sure she had new things to adorn herself with so as not to offend the eyes of those she was fortunate to travel with. The latest styles would be carefully selected, fitted, and gently placed between paper to minimize creasing on the voyage. She would also bring along her ladies' maid to help her with dressing and doing her hair for all the gay parties she would attend.
Alas, I have not been able to find my ladies' maid anywhere! I will also not be buying new things. There will be no placing of paper between my cotton/poly blend Old Navy off-the-rack dresses, shorts, and t-shirts. I will be doing my own hair- forever more- and the word "ton" in this day and age is a weight measurement, not a class distinction, and I certainly hope there won't be any gay parties on the cruise ship. This is supposed to be a family friendly ship!
Still, I am freaking excited to go. (Ok, I never would have gotten away with saying "freaking" 100 years ago. Strike one.) I'm also excited to have a whole week to just relax, sun bathe, swim, read, do whatever. I'm really looking forward to just hanging out on the ship. (Although hanging out was probably NOT a good thing 100years ago. Strike two.) And, you can be sure I will not be wearing a corsette, so that's strike three. So much for belonging in the early 1900's.
*Still, I think I would have done well with a ladies maid.
Posted by Erin at 9:05 AM
My wise, sweet, gentle, loving, generous, kind, funny, goofy, strong, spiritual, intelligent, perfectly white-haired grandpa died this morning.
He has been living with my mom for several months now. Its been so great to be able to see him when I'd go visit her. Although his body was failing him, he still had witty comments to throw out. He kept me on my toes while I was growing up, and still did near the end of his life!
I had the privelege of growing up just a few blocks from my grandparent's house. He would come and take me and my brother and sister on early Sunday morning walks. We'd eat dinner at their house often, and he would ALWAYS quiz us about things as we sat around the table. I dreaded that part because I wanted him to think I was smart, and I didn't always know the answer to his questions. I think that's where I learned to have a witty retort back... at least I could make him laugh if I didn't know the answer!
He did things in ways only grandpa could. He'd open the carton of ice cream and slice it, placing large rectangle shaped pieces in each ice cream cone. Who else does that?! His favorite ice cream was always maple nut. When he'd immitate a dog barking, he wouldn't say "ruff... ruff..." He'd say, "Booo Woooo Woooo". He was always quoting poetry he'd learned in school growing up. I don't know how he could keep so many words in his brain! I sure couldn't! He didn't even whistle like other people. His whistle was more a tuneful whisper, but he was ALWAYS doing it while working in the yard or fixing a broken part. I will forever hear that in my head.
One Christmas Eve he and grandma stayed at our house. As we hung up our stockings we laughed at his and grandma's- they were REAL socks. Long ones! And grandpa's had a big hole in the toe, under which he'd placed a large bowl. "Grandpa! Your stocking has a hole in the toe!" I'd exclaimed. He responded, "Yes. You see, when Santa fills it up, he will just keep filling and filling and filling it because it will never get full!" Always so clever!
I never EVER heard him raise his voice in anger. He loved singing "The Bluebird" and "Ring, Ring Happy Bells". He was an accomplished jeweler, and patiently helped me learn how to change a watch battery. He was always helping people in need- bring "strays" home for dinner often. My grandpa was such a good example of how a Christlike person should live.
I will miss him so much. His favorite game was "touched ya last." He'd try to touch us just as we walked out the door and say "touched ya last", then get away so we couldn't touch him last. What a wonderful grandpa I had. I will miss you, Grandpa. I love you! Say hi to Grandma for me- I miss her so much, too. And remember, pick out a good one for us, K?
Touched ya last!!!!
Posted by Erin at 8:44 AM
This morning my kitchen window looked like this:
(yes, I know... why on EARTH did they make it so freaking big, you ask? It spans the entire width of that wall, and almost the entire height. And it doesn't open. Ya... wonder why we're replacing it?)
It is now 8:16 pm, dark outside, and it looks like this:
See, I can stick my hand outside to feel the temperature without even having to open a window! (wait, I guess that arctic wind blowing in my kitchen because there is no freaking window there to open would probably let me know what the temperature is!)
"That which does not make us stronger, kills us."
- E. Taylor
Posted by Erin at 8:15 PM
As the den mother in cub scouts, I am in charge of coming up with activities the boys can do each week to pass of things in their scout books. Up to now, there have been lots of crafty things to teach them, and field trips to take them on- it hasn't been too bad. However, yesterday I was faced with the reality that there are things in that book- BOY things- things that boys are supposed to inherently know- things girls don't EVER learn, and may not even know exist! And that I am supposed to teach them these things! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I came across one that said "build a simple electromagnetic machine". Simple??? Lucky for me I speak Google. I was able to pull up a web site where a guy had video'd himself making a simple- yes, simple- electromagnetic engine out of a battery, safety pins, copper wire and a magnet.
The first few I tried didn't work. I couldn't figure it out- I had followed the directions step by step, but it wasn't working. I sat and thought for a minute: although I had no idea WHY it was supposed to work, I knew that it WAS, and that it couldn't be that hard to figure out. I knew the battery was new, and I had gotten everything else on the list exactly as was specified, so why wasn't mine working? I finally figured out I didn't have enough magnetic power, so I added more magnets, and Voila! It worked like a charm!!! I went to the craft store and bought some super strong magnets and they worked perfectly! (the video here is the day after, and all the boys had kept playing with it, so it isn't spinning as quickly and steadily as it was. The battery is dying I think-)
The boys really loved doing it, and I looked like the awesome Den Mother I am supposed to be! (at least in my head!) Girls never learn this stuff!!! I was proud of myself for even attempting it, although my husband made fun of me for not having a clue WHY it worked. "Aren't you supposed to explain to the boys how it works?" Uh... no! I'm just the den mother, duh!" When the boys would ask how it works, I'd just shove another piece of candy in their hand! Yay for cool projects- and for Google! IT saved the day!!!!! (and for me figuring out how to get a video of it with my camera- albeit a little blurry!)
Posted by Erin at 9:47 AM
This snow is confusing me!
Do I listen to Halloween music or Christmas music?????
I had two Halloween parties last week and I think Halloween is over! I am surprised the stores still have Halloween stuff- I keep thinking its come and gone, and they should be selling Valentines stuff already! (yes, I said Valentines... you know how stores like to get a "jump" on the holidays. Oh, actually, they are already selling Christmas stuff for 2015 now... I forgot.)
So, I listened to a Christmas song this morning, and now I have "Thriller" on. I'm going to watch old Halloween movies while I fold mountains of laundry, then make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and homemade clam chowder. Hot chocolate with candy canes will top it off, and our mega-confusing day will be complete!
Posted by Erin at 9:11 AM
Last week was crazy. I mean, with my 10th anniversary party, the ward Halloween party (back to back), school Reflections stuff, getting the kitchen ready to remodel- for real, and Gilda to frame for it....
Well, I was pretty.... done.
I was looking forward to this week being leizurely and restful. You know, a load of laundry here, a bit of light dusting there...
Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!
Ok, so, I might have been in my little pretend world where my house didn't get completely neglected while planning and working to a frenzy getting everything ready. I might have been pretending my house didn't look like Hurricane Katrina moved right in and took permanant residence in my living room. I might have underestimated the amount of time it would take to get it all back in order again.
And then, we had to move the kitchen table into the living room because we are reframing a kitchen wall and putting in a new window, and my entire living room looks like a disaster area! (No, I haven't figured out where to put the Halloween costumes away yet. No, I haven't even picked up that stray sock that landed in front of the couch sometime last week.)
And this week is turning out to be not-so-leizurely. We were at a viewing for a few hours last night and have a sad funeral to go to today, I still haven't gotten the ok from the wisdom tooth study people whether I can get it done or not, and have to get another blood test done. Geeze, people! I'm healthy, ok?!!! I have some major fires to put out for Reflections by tomorrow, an activities committee meeting this afternoon.... I'm going crazy!!!!
Calgon.... take me away!!!!!! (if you don't get this, you're tooo young!)
Posted by Erin at 8:43 AM
Last Saturday we took a drive over Guardsman Pass. The day was beautiful! We got out and found a little dirt road we hiked up to see the view.
What a beautiful day to spend outdoors, smelling the pine trees, the falling leaves, picking up pretty rocks...
I adore Fall!!!!
Posted by Erin at 9:30 AM
Went to the dentist to find out what was causing my son's tooth pain.
Found out nothing is causing his tooth pain.
Total cost: $50
Went to the pediatrician to find out what is causing his tooth pain and possibly get an antibiotic for a sinus infection (which could be causing the tooth pain.)
Found out the doctor has no idea what is causing the tooth pain, but he does have a sinus infection.
Total cost: $35
Went to the pharmacy to get antibiotics and pain medication.
Total cost: $14 (not as bad as I thought, at least)
Put drugged up kid to bed last night complaining of a major tummy ache. Found out tummy aches are a side effect of both medications.
Kid will be staying home from school again today.
I'm not cut out for the sick bed! I wanted to be an interior designer or an opera singer- neither of which have time for sick people!!!! I never in my wildest dreams wanted to be a nurse. I guess I didn't realize that the role of "Mom" IS being a nurse!
Posted by Erin at 7:43 AM
Anyone with children knows that having them sick is NOOOOOO fun! (And that dad's are just not equipped with the patience to be around sick kids.)
My kid has been complaining of hurting teeth for a few days now. I'm certain he doesn't have cavities because he just went to the dentist and he brushes well. Besides, what are the chances of 5 teeth on one side of his mouth having cavities all at once? (I'm not that bad of a mother!)
Finally I saw he had a molar coming in and his mouth is already crowded as it is, so I figured that must be the culprit. I medicated him all weekend and it helped.
However, at about 3 AM on Sunday morning, he woke me up- guess what? Fever of almost 102!!! And swollen gums- like, seriously swollen! He had a sinus infection the size of Texas, and a sore throat to boot.
So, what do I do? If I take him to the doctor, they will probably refer me to the dentist for the teeth problems. If I take him to the dentist, they will probably refer me to the doctor for the fever and sinus infection! Argh!!!
Maybe I can call the doctor and the dentist, have them meet me in the middle somewhere and they can both do their thing at once- wouldn't that be great!
Alas, I finally decided on the dentist: he can x-ray the teeth, probably determine it is due to the new tooth coming in, OR a sinus infection, and prescribe antibiotics. The doctor can't do the teeth x-rays. Pretty clever, huh?
Well, that's why I'm called "The Mom". (incidentally, my husband seemed unusually eager to flee the house and get to work today. I think he's had it with being around sick kids all weekend.)
Posted by Erin at 9:10 AM
Don't you just love those bumper stickers you have to stare at while waiting at an extremely long light- the ones that say "My kid is an honor student at such-n-such school" or "My grandkids are better than yours"? Well, truth be told, they are better than the "Nuke the world" or "That burger you're eating once looked like this" and they have a picture of a cute, big-eyed baby cow staring at you. Actually, I see those and I think, Yumm! (Ok, not really, but once I was craving bacon and happened to be at the fair looking at the pigs at the time. I don't know if it was a coincidence, but bacon was sure sounding good, and I NEVER eat bacon!)
Anyway, back to the bumper stickers. Yesterday, my son had the very best parent/teacher conference EVER!!! I mean, I was beaming from ear to ear, and ready to go out and get me a bumper sticker that said "My (insert school name here) student ROCKS!!!" I knew he'd been doing fantastic at reading, and he awes me with his math skills. (His numchuck skills are pretty good too!) But when his teacher pulled out a standardized test he'd taken a few weeks ago and said he got the best score in the class, and his score was several points higher than the score they would like to see on the end of the year test.... well, I could have kissed her!
Then I thought back to that lovely first grade experience...when the-one-who-shall-not-be-named had him in tutoring for his reading and I was completely flabbergasted. (don't you just love that word? It gets used far too seldom in my opinion.) I was sure he was top of his class in reading, yet she had him in tutoring! Whatever! I wanted to bring her in to this P/T conference and say HA! Take that!!! But, I'm not that vindictive. Its enough to know that I am right in my own mind, no matter what anyone else thinks.
Anyway, I am just so proud of my little guy! Good job, Bud! Yay for you!!!
"My *bleep* elementary student ROCKS!"
Posted by Erin at 8:57 AM
It's true. I am now a number... one of those "...of the 5000 people studied, 78% claimed they felt no pain after...." people.
I "auditioned" for a wisdom tooth study, and got the part of lab rat.
I think the word that scares me the most in that last sentence is the word "study". (Rat is also worrisome, but for this particular instance, study seems to be scarier.)
According to dictionary.com, one of the definitions of Study is: research or a detailed examination and analysis of a subject, phenomenon, etc.: She made a study of the transistor market for her firm.
This means, they want to find out what a particular drug does to a person after a painful surgery, such as wisdom teeth removal.(or what it doesn't do!)
Ok, so I absolutely MUST have my wisdom teeth removed within the next 6 months. They've overstayed their welcome. They have become too big for their breeches. I read about a "study" being done where I could get them removed for free, and get paid! Ya, sounds great, right?
But when I went in for the initial exam yesterday, and they poked me, drew blood, made me pee in a cup, weighed me, took my blood pressure, made me take a breathalizer test... ("oh, you know... this is what the cops use when they pull you over on the road." Uh... no I don't know! Which, by the way, I had to do twice because I didn't blow correctly- how the heck do they get drunk people to do it right?), made me answer questions about EVERYTHING under the sun, made me lie down in a dark room because I was anxious and my BP was elevated, took my BP again after I'd told myself people don't generally die from wisdom tooth extractions and calmed down a bit, then finally passed me and scheduled me for a butt-crack-of-dawn appointment where I actually play the role of the lab rat, well... I was beginning to have second thoughts.
So, early Monday morning I get to go have all that stuff done again- (because the government needs duplicate tests of everything so they can lose the paperwork twice, I guess.) Only this time I get to spend the night after the surgery in a small room with a bed ("bring your own pillow and blanket"), have no cell phone, no visitors, no outside contact with the world, reading a book while hoping I didn't get the placebo pain killer instead of the actual study medication. Wait at least an hour after I start feeling "intense" pain before they give me a real pain killer. (Oh, I sure hope I don't get the placebo!!!!) I think I'll wear a t-shirt that says "No Placebo for me!"
Wish me luck! I hate all things dental! I wish we all had no teeth and had to gum our food. But, as I said, I must get the darn things out, so I might as well get it done for free, and get some extra cash in the process, right?
So, until I survive the process and return to my normal, albeit wisdom tooth free self, just call me Algernon. (Only, I really don't think I'll become super smart as they are removing my wisdom teeth. *sigh* oh well.)
Posted by Erin at 8:54 AM
My son loves to help out in the kitchen. He loves to hover right in front of me between me and the counter- watching intently whatever it is I am making, and trying to grab the measuring cup from me to dump it all in himself. (yes, he is 8... yes, 8 year olds still want to do things themselves!)
This morning I was making crepes- my son requests them at least once a week, if not more. (I only have the patience and time to be the perfect warm-breakfast-making mom 2 days a week- Fridays and Saturdays.) I've finally agreed to do them on Fridays, and no more! He was getting in my way as I was hurriedly trying to whip up the batter, so I gently moved him to the side, getting flour all over his school shirt in the process. I told him to hurry upstairs and change his shirt. He protested- of course!
"Mom... why can't I just wash it off?"
"Because it will make a pasty mess... now go change your shirt."
a few minutes later, he comes down in the same shirt.
"There, how's that?"
"Uh... (turning him around) there is still flour all over, and now there's paste. I told you to change... go do it, please!)
a few more minutes later- crepes are ready, but no kid in sight. He finally comes downstairs again...still in the same shirt!
"There! Better, right?"
"No..... (me beginning to get really angry) There is STILL flour on your shirt, AND lots of paste now... "
I finally threatened to take video games away if he didn't have his shirt changed and back down to eat breakfast in 3 minutes. (I dont' know why I always default to 3 minutes. Maybe my mom did, who knows? But it is always 3 minutes. "go brush your teeth and put your jammies on in the next 3 minutes....")
I'm trying to think at what age they actually start to believe their parents know what they are talking about..... I'm pretty sure it isn't until college.... maybe.
I'm getting a headache just thinking about it.
Posted by Erin at 9:01 AM
Yes. This IS about what you think it is about.
But, tell me, when it applies to an 8 year old, doesn't that creep you out???
My son was playing with two other friends the other day. They were sticking the hose down their pants and letting the water flow out the legs. (They're boys.... somehow playing with the hose in 50 degree weather doesn't seem strange.)
One of the boys, we'll call him "Ralph" ( another 8 year old who my son doesn't play with very much due to the fact that I think his parents don't like us... long story.) pointed out to my son "you wear underwear?"
"Uh.... yea.... doesn't everybody?" (my son, thinking this kid is strange for even asking.)
"Heck no! I haven't worn underwear for years!"
Ok. Creepy! What parent doesn't put underwear on their kid?! Haven't we all found ourselves repeating the same phrase we heard as a kid more times than we can remember "don't forget to wear clean underwear!"? Not to mention, everyone knows how thorough an 8 year old can be when wiping. (sorry, a delicate subject, to be sure, but relevent, nonetheless.)
So, it poses another question: if the kid isn't wearing underwear, are his parents? I don't even want to think about that. I know people walk around "commando" all the time, but those are creepy people who live in trailer parks and wear suspenders to hold up their "breeches" so they can have both hands free to hold a beer and a drumstick, right? Not my neighbors!!!
I certainly hope it isn't very common, this "commando" thing. I know I may have been a bit sheltered as a child, but I was in high school gym class- girls just don't do that! It makes me not want to sit on the chairs in public places! (I already have an aversion to this after my unfortunate DMV experience a few years ago... too horrifying to go into again.)
People.... put underpants on your children. Put them on yourselves! Afterall, we're not apes! Afterall, If we were meant to go "commando", Adam and Eve wouldn't have donned the fig leaves in the first place!
Posted by Erin at 10:30 AM
My real post is after this one, but I've been meaning to post these pictures for weeks now.
This is what I've been keeping myself busy with the last several weeks.
And I'm done!
Our garden is now all fallen over, tomatoes rotting everywhere. I tried to give them away! I just couldn't keep up with it all. And now the frost has come.
I will make one case of green tomato salsa, and then that's IT!!! I mean it!!!
But what a GREAT crop this year!!! Yay!!!!!!
Posted by Erin at 9:34 AM
We've reached another milestone with my son.
Does this give you any hint?
(it says "keep out" if you can't tell. He'd nailed two blocks of wood together, then stuck it in the hanging ironing board on his door.)
We've now reached a whole new level in parenting. And this was due to the fact that my husband wouldn't let him have a second rootbeer float ice cream bar.
This morning he stormed off to school because he had left his scooter at a friend's house and I wouldn't let him go get it, and took video games away for the day because he argued with me about it.
Ya.... things are gonna be GREAT today!!! Maybe I'll borrow his sign and put it on my bedroom door!Saturday I went to see "Julie and Julia" with my little sister. I'd already seen it, but it's a movie about cooking, so I was obligated to see it again, right?
On a completely different note:
My sister and I went to see "Julie and Julia" on Saturday. I'd already seen it before, but it's about cooking, for heaven's sake... how could I not see it again?! (I've dubbed it a "culinary drama" but it's really funny, and I cry a few times in it. Who wouldn't cry at that beautiful boned duck?!)
Anyway, we were sitting in the theater (one not near my house, mind you. We wanted to go at an earlier time, so we found a theater further away. It felt like a mini vacation! Can you tell I don't get out much?) when I looked up and saw my mom and step dad walk in! They live in Smithfield, but were staying the weekend in Park City (neither of which are close to this theater!)
What a fun, totally random thing!!!
Posted by Erin at 8:57 AM
Usually I'm pretty good at sucking it up and dealing with what life is throwing me. Really, I am. (Ok, I may pout for a few minutes, but I always deal with it and make the best of it!)
Today, I am just feeling needy. Selfishly needy! And since I'm not putting anyone's needs before mine right now (because my son is at school and my hubby is at work) I am going to indulge in a little selfish neediness!
What I need:
-Ben and Jerry's "Everything but the..." icecream
-An entire day to walk lazily around an art gallery and really study the paintings without having to leave at a certain time to be home.
-to not have to fix breakfasts for an entire week. (I will get this in about a month on my cruise! Yay!)
-For my dog to be able to let himself outside to pee!
-the weather to turn cold so I can snuggle in a cozy sweater and drink hot chocolate.
-A really fantastically good novel I can get lost in for a few days.
-Someone to come and take complete charge of my kitchen remodel so I don't have to make any decisions!
- A tiny chimpanzee with a diaper on that will snuggle up to me.
-A muzzle for my mouth to stop all this whining!!!!
Thankfully I have the two best guys in the whole wide world who love me and give me what I REALLY need! (No.. not a chimpanzee with a diaper.... silly!) I think I'm the best loved mom and wife in the whole universe!
Posted by Erin at 9:21 AM
I don't think I can do it all!
PTA reflections, singing, baking for various functions, painting basement, overwhelming household to-do list a mile long and growing, gardening, parenting, laundry, dinners, breakfasts, cub scouts, budgeting, decisions....
Sometimes I look at where I can simplify my life and I can't find anything I can cut. Do you ever feel like that?
I guess I'll just tackle this pile of laundry and quit complaining!
I'm grateful for my husband who works so hard and puts up with me, for my darling son who is so good and smart, and makes me laugh all the time, for owning my own home, for talents that keep me going, and the gospel that gives me perspective and keeps me grounded, and for those rare days (like today) when I get to go to lunch with my hubby for no reason, just to be together in the middle of the day.
Posted by Erin at 5:25 PM
The very name sends shivers through my spine.
The sight of her tanned, skinny face makes me shudder and immediately begin searching for places to hide. Many say she is pretty, but I know differently- there is something lurking behind that plastic smile.
I had an experience with her that will forever have my stomach lurching at the very mention of her name.
Yes, I attempted the Jillian Michaels workout on Comcast On Demand... and I had a near death experience I will never forget.
First of all, let me just state that negative reinforcement is a contradiction in terms, and has NE-VER worked for me. Especially when I'm working out. I need to hear, "You're doing great!" or "I know its hard, but keep going!" These are positive phrases that get a positive reaction from me. Something that doesn't work so well is, "Come on... I have 400 lb clients who can do these jumping jacks, why can't you?!"
Ya.... doesn't work so well for me, ya know?
But, I was determined to stick it out through the whole 45 minutes. I mean, how hard can it be, right?
Ha ha ha ha ha!
After about 15 minutes I was glaring at her boney body on the screen and wishing ill things for her. At 20 minutes I was looking for something to throw- (only the rationalization that I wasn't prepared to fork out several hundred dollars for a new television over her stopped me from hurling my hand weights at the screen.)
"This is not a workout for someone who doesn't want to be fit! Move it, people!"
"If you think you're looking for the 'easy' level, you're not going to find it here!"
"If you can't do these jumping jacks, you're in the wrong place!"
At 25 minutes I was in tears and finally collapsed onto the floor in a heap. I was convinced I had no purpose walking upright on this planet. She had me questioning my own humanity- maybe I really DID derive from apes, and haven't finished deriving yet.
Suddenly, I saw a tunnel with a light at the end. It beconed me to come. My body began to feel lighter as I wafted through the tunnel toward the light. It wasn't until I reached the light that I looked down and found myself pushing the button on the remote control. I felt guided by some otherworldly power- "Turn the channel... turn the channel..."
I found myself looking at a woman- nay, an Angel- in black workout pants. She was smiling and saying, "You can do it!" Her voice was sweetly melodic as she spoke words of encouragement to me. "Don't worry if its hard at first, it will get easier, I promise." She was pulling me up, urging me back on my feet. I stood up and began walking in place, slowly at first- tiny steps. My injured self esteem not yet ready to come out of hiding.
"You can do it! Come on, feet... keep moving." I found myself moving more quickly, and soon I was up to pace with the goddess on television. Before I knew it, I was wiping the tears from my cheeks, and smiling. I could do it, just like the angel said. I WAS doing it!
I finished my workout. I vowed never again to listen to that devil, Jillian. I will follow that sweet angel from now on! I still wake up in the occasional cold sweat with visions of Jillian standing over my shivering heap on the floor, cracking a whip and saying "If you can't do this, you're in the wrong place!" It doesn't happen often, but it does happen. Last night she suddenly appeared on the television, and I know she was giving me the dissappointed evil eye, but I quickly changed the channel and chanted, "I AM good enough!" Then I closed my eyes and pictured the angel lady in her black workout pants, urging me forward,"It will get easier..." and all was well.
Posted by Erin at 9:11 AM
I had the wonderful opportunity to go to a women's conference this last weekend. I had never been to anything like it before, and didn't know what to expect. Many of my favorite speakers were going to be there, but some church musicians as well. (I abhor all things cheesy and church-music-y!) So, I was just a little curious as to how much I would like it.
Friday night my mom and sister and I went to a delicious Thai restaurant before the show started. It was so nice to sit down with them and chat and bond. Living in a house full of males, I tend to feel less then feminine at times. Being in a large auditorium filled with females was refreshing! I really enjoyed Friday night's speakers, and one of the musicians I'd never heard before- Cherie Call. I really liked her, and even bought one of her cd's. (The other one, we'll call him Michael M.... well.....let's just say I have often been found poking fun at his music. I endured, though.)
My sister and I stayed up way too late chatting, which is what sisters are supposed to do, right? I got to know things about her I'd never known before. She's all girly and miss culinary arts and a singer now.... not like the little "brother" I used to tease with china dolls and headless barbies. I missed her when she lived in Virginia and I am soooo glad she's back!
Saturday was even better than Friday! One speaker spoke about the dangerous effects of pornography. It was jarring, and blunt, and hard to hear, but so worth it. I feel empowered, not afraid. I will write a post on that talk later, it's well worth thinking about.
I was so refreshed and spiritually filled. I cried way too much. I was an emotional basket case on the way home! Then, to come back to the reality of my imperfect little world... well, it's like going back to school after Christmas vacation. (although, I didn't forget my locker combination!) But I hugged my family close... against their protestations... and savored the moment.
I am going to do that more now- savor the moments. Life is about enjoying the little things as well as the big. Little things happen every day. Thanks, Mom, for the wonderful weekend. I feel armed and ready for the week!
Posted by Erin at 8:38 AM
Sunday was the anniversary of my Grandma's death. (I think it was the 5th anniversary.) Not the type of anniversary I would typically celebrate- but the whole extended family was going up to the cemetery to honor her memory. (Thanks to my aunt for helping me remember how to spell 'cemetery'!)
I love graveyards! They have always held a certain fascination for me- the hundreds and hundreds of lives, stories, loves, heartaches, bravery, hidden longings, talents- all gone from the earth. I have often gone to walk around and see which is the oldest headstone, or find who had the strangest name. Of course, there's a certain spook factor as well that accompanies any good cemetery. I even wrote a story once about a kid who plays a deadly game in a cemetery. (It was called "The Fate of One So Innocent"- it was destined to be a best seller, but it was way ahead of its time. I was 12, I think.)
I've always wanted to live next to a cemetery, too. How cool would that be- your neigbors would be totally quiet! I guess I've always had a certain fascination with death in general. I was dragged to more funerals as a kid than I can even count. My brother and I would dare eachother to touch the body- I was the only one who ever actually did it. (Hey! I think my brother ows me a dollar, come to think of it!) I used to have a little play organ and I would play funeral music on it- just for fun. Ya, I know... kind of creepy!
However, looking at my 95 year old grandpa at the cemetery the other day, watching him alone, without his sweet wife who's headstone was 4 feet away, and who painted a beautiful rainbow above us to let us know she was watching- well, it was almost too much for me. I want him to go. Is that bad? I want him to be able to die and be with my grandma again. I want him to be able to see, to read, to whistle... (ok, well, half-whistle... he never could actually whistle), to chase grandkids, to fix things, to quiz me on what I learned, to be my grandpa again. I will miss him dearly, I already do. Most of him has already gone, I think. He so longs to be free from his failing body, but when his body is gone- then he'll really be gone! I'll be going back to that same spot of ground in the cemetery and seeing two death dates on that stone. I'll be grandparentless.
I know they live on. I know I will see them again. I hope when grandpa goes he will find some sweet spirit up there to send down to me. Then I can say, yes, you knew your great grandpa- he picked you out! (I think my grandma is having too hard a time deciding which one to send! Either that, or she started telling them a story and hasn't finished yet!)
I hope I will make them proud while I muddle through figuring things out down here.So much of who I am I owe to my grandparents. The funny thing is, though, I probably won't visit their graves much at all. I know they aren't there. I know they have better things to do than hang around old graveyards waiting for people they knew to come visit. Most people don't love cemeteries as much as I do. Heck, when I die I won't hang around my gravesite either. I'll be checking out all the other tombstones and comparing!
Posted by Erin at 9:25 AM
I took my son to the fair yesterday afternoon. I LOVE the state fair! I grew up just a few block from the fairgrounds and we would walk there every year on opening day. (it's always cheaper! Only $2 yesterday.) I love the strange people, the delicious smells of cinnamon almonds, roasted chicken, indian fry bread, and popcorn as you walk down the fairway.
I adore looking at the beautiful art and seeing the hard work people have put into their craft projects. I actually got weepy looking at the art done by incredibly talented children. My son was entralled with the man that was painting in the art building- he didn't want to leave!
I used to be so scared when walking through the building with the bulls and cows- and I still am! I think- the only thing holding them is a measly rope, what if it breaks? Some don't look too happy there, what if they go postal and we all get trampled? My son, however, has no fear. One cow had just been hosed down and they were trying to get it back into this gate thing to brush it down and it did NOT want to go back in. My son just walks right up next to it as its pulling and tugging against the guy holding on to him. I finally grabbed him and made him stand back- having visions of a smashed kid on the floor!
I let my little guy ride the ponies, grateful for having just the one kid for once because it cost $4 to do it! He loved it, though. I loved watching him love it!
We were only there a few hours, but it was such a nice time, and my kid really seemed to enjoy the art and craft exhibits more this year. Sometimes its just nice to get out and enjoy a day at the fair!
Posted by Erin at 9:25 AM
Ok. If you can't tell from the title, I was surrounded by boys all day long yesterday!!! I felt like a lone fish swimming in a sea of testosterone!
Firstly, I made lunch for 40 missionaries and then they serenaded us 4 kitchen ladies afterword. At first I was in heaven, I mean, who wouldn't be when you're completely surrounded by super-cute young men singing just to you? It was one of my life's dreams.... until I got thinking about how much older I am than they are, and how long it's been since I was that age, and how old I must look to them. I mean, technically I COULD be their mother! That... is a freaky thought! (by technically, I mean, if I was a total HO at age 15.... that kind of technically.)
Then, last night was cub scout pack meeting, and yes, I am the den mother AND mother of a cub scout, so I had to be in attendance. And Yes, I was the ONLY female in the room! The scout leader kept saying "you can have your dads help you in this part," and then awkwardly say, "and your mom, too, if she wants."
I proved I am woman hear me roar, however, when we had the tool guessing segment. He held up several tools and we had to guess what they were. Out of about
20, I only missed one! Yay me! I actually didn't really miss it, I just didn't know the technical name for it, but I knew what it was for. I was sure glad when my husband came in from Young Men to visit, though. He is the testerosterone half of our union, although it is quite possible I've used more of those tools than he has! (Ok, that's not fair, he did take wood shop in high school, and I was home-ec queen.I didn't start my do-it-yourself home repair job until I lived by myself in college.)
Needless to say, I am feeling quite de-feminated, if that's even a word. I think I need some serious craft store time, and maybe even get my hair colored. I may even watch "Princess Diaries" or "The Prince and Me" or.... ok, it's always going to be "Pride and Prejudice", who am I kidding?! So don't bother me today, I'm being a girl.
No Boys Allowed!!!!
Posted by Erin at 8:52 AM
What better way is there to spend a lazy Labor Day morning than eating crepes, snuggling with my family watching "Stargate"?
We're off to the Conference center to see the art exhibit, and then back home to rest. We're all nursing colds and ickys, so we don't want to overdue it too much. I guess the hike will have to wait for another day.
Oh. I dreamed we were on our cruise to Mexico, and the captain of the ship kept trying to catch sharks on the nose of the ship by jumping giant waves and then letting the nose dip way down in the water to scoop them up. He was laughing and thought it was just wonderful while the passengers were all running for their lives.
I think maybe I can liken it to the stresses I've been under lately. Someone up there thinks it's great fun to watch while I'm down here struggling to keep my head above water!
It's nice to have a day off!
Posted by Erin at 12:55 PM
I'm exhausted, and its friday.
Its been a busy week- school starting, PTA planning, tomato canning, zuchini bread making, salsa canning, floor mopping, parent-teacher conferencing, dentist going, cavity finding, Avon selling.....sheesh!
I am NOT superwoman, nor shall I EVER be... EVER!
I've been feeling discouraged about that today, how some women can juggle a million things and still be vibrant and vivacious. I wish I could be like that. Oh, I can put on a happy face and perk up for company, but you don't see the closets stuffed with the dirty laundry I didn't have a chance to get to.
I've decided, however, that I can only be who I am. I can wish I were taller, thinner, naturally blonder, wittier, more organized-er, but no matter what I do, there are things that will inherantly always be me. I can put on heels, but I'll always be 5'3". I can dye my hair, but I'll always have those sneaking grays lurking. I can watch Audrey Hepburn movies 'til the cows come home and wish I was that elegant, that refined, but I really am limited by nature. I am who I am. All I can do is be the best "me" that I can.
I used to love it when I'd catch a deep chest cold. My voice would get deeper, more sultry. I loved that! I always wanted a deep sexy voice I could drip all over people while wearing a curve-hugging red dress. I was born with a high soprano voice- pure and simple fact. I can't go around licking doorknobs and hoping I'll catch a cold so I can be the sultry one again. Nope- I'm born to be a soprano. But that's not so bad.
So, I can feel sorry for myself, or I can say "This is who I am- take it or leave it." One person took it, and he's a fabulous husband- so patient and loving, and he makes me laugh. He loves me for who I am, and I think he knows who that is better than I do sometimes. He reminds me that I am all he needs, or wants, and that I am enough.
I'm glad for that- to be "enough". Short, mood hair, chipped nail polish, disorganized, speak- before- I- think, little me.
Today, I am enough- imperfections and all.
Posted by Erin at 1:46 PM
Well, I've done it.
I've signed up to sell Avon.
I love the makeup, really I do! But the memory of my mom's Avon "man" haunts me to this day. He (yes, it was really a man! I know!) used to come to our house and plop himself down on our living room floor, spreading his wares out all across our floor. He also sold Amway, and Jaffra... and... well, I can't remember it all. But I would stand there staring in complete confusion whenever he'd come. A guy selling Avon??? However, he did have TONS of mini trial lipsticks which I just loved. But should your Avon representative have plumber's butt?
Anyway, I signed up because I love the makeup and I figured I might as well get the seller's price. That's it. And, no, I don't have plumber's butt!
So, if you're interested in trying Avon, or love Avon and don't currently have a rep, go ahead and click here. I promise not to spread my wares across your living room, or flash you my moon!
Posted by Erin at 10:04 AM
My little buddy left me this morning at 8:15 for school.
3rd grade! I REMEMBER 3rd grade!!!! I was way older than my little guy when I was in 3rd grade! (Ok, not really... it's not like I was held back in kindergarten until I was 12 or anything!) But, in my head I was older.
I found out his old girlfriend is in his class this year. They have been "together" since kindergarten, except for a little bump in their "relationship" last spring when he accidentally hit her in the head with a ball at recess and they broke up. (this is insane! I never did this when I was a kid! Ok, there was that Eddie Fisher incident in 3rd grade when I screamed out over the kick-soccer field that I loved him and wanted to be the mother of his children. He avoided me after that for some odd reason. Hmmm..... can't think why.)
After the ball incident he wasted no time asking another girl to be his girlfriend. When they saw eachother during the summer one day she shyly whispered "are we still... you know?" to which he replied coolly, "Ya. It's not over until I say it's over." Kinda freaky, actually. Like that afterschool special when the boyfriend doesn't want his girlfriend to leave him so he threatens to kill her. Still, I wanted to laugh, but couldn't let him know I had heard, you know. I want him to feel comfortable coming to me someday to let me know he is interested in a girl and may want to.... hold her hand. (I expect that won't be until he's at least.... 30... but it's good to be prepared, right?)
So, who knows what drama will unfold today when Kristin finds out he's "with" the other girl, or if he'll just toss the new girl aside. This is WAY more interesting than "Days of Our Lives" ever was! Well, except for when Marlena got amnesia, or was it abducted by aliens? I can't remember exactly. I missed a lot of Psych 101 because of that, though.
I will wait on the edge of the couch for when my little guy comes home today. (Yes, He has asked me if I will please let him walk home alone. He didn't say it was too embarrassing to have me pick him up yet, so that's good. And he even gave me a kiss when I left him at school today, albeit a very short one, and he took off running after his friends as soon as it was finished. I think they understood, though. They also had moms not ready to release them from their duty as a good son. They gave him a look as if to say- "Ya, dude- we got at least another year, too, before our mom's can make it through the day without a goodbye kiss. I hear ya-"
So? What will I do with my new-found solitude? Well, I've got 15 tomato plants overflowing with ripe juicy tomatoes, and a pile of ironing I've put off for about 2 weeks, so there'll be no sitting on the side of the bathtub with my head in my hands sobbing over the loss of my baby to the jaws of that great and spacious building down the street. Not this year.
There is a bit of peace that comes from knowing I won't have to entertain, give orders, remind not to do somethings, remind to do other things, poke, prod, and generally lose my patience all too early in the morning anymore. That doesn't come until 3! For now, I think I'll just enjoy the peace and quiet- and then get back to work.
Posted by Erin at 9:03 AM
We decided to spontaneously take a trip up north to Providence over the weekend to spend some time with my husband's family, and a little with my own. They were all going to Bear Lake on Saturday which sounded like a great way to end the summer. So, we packed up the car and went up Friday night. That's when things started to go south!
We left much later than we had originally planned- I know, what's new? Traffic wasn't too bad, though. We were going to go straight to my mom's house to spend the night, but we ended up stopping off at the in-laws and we stayed, and stayed, and stayed... until I finally called my mom and told her we'd be sleeping at the in-laws instead. I had no problem sleeping there, but I HATE when things aren't planned well, or plans get suddenly changed. IT really drives me crazy!
We woke up at 8, and were supposed to go out to breakfast, but my hubby had a raquetball game planned for 9, and by the time we were all ready, it was 9 and he had to go play raquetball with his dad so that blew breakfast. I ended up taking bagels to my mom's while he was "supposedly" going to play raquetball. An hour and a half later I got a call from him saying they were ready to go to the lake and to come home quickly. WE were going to leave at 11:40. OH, and incidentally, they never went to play raquetball!
I immediately stop what I am doing at my mom's and race home to be ready to leave by 11:45. But, wait! We get a phone call from the rest of the family- everyone wants to have lunch first, so we aren't leaving for another hour! We decided to leave anyway and do some browsing in the little gift shops by the lake. Just as we get out to go into the first gift shop, we see the family all drive by! They call us- Time to go to the lake! They ended up not taking as long at lunch, so we piled into the car again and headed toward the lake.
Bang! Swooosh- swoosh-swoosh-swoosh..... we hit a pothole and blew our tire out! After changing to the donut, we tried to find a tire place but there were none. My son and I got dropped off at the lake to play while hubby went to get the tire fixed. And hour and a half later he finally shows up to play at the lake.
Ugh!!!! We did end up having fun at the lake, I'll admit it. But I never even got into my bathingsuit, I was so upset from how the day had gone. Everyone else had fun, though, and I enjoyed the relaxing time, and chatting with my sis-in-laws. When we finally left the lake, we went to go get the famous shakes they have there and the line was over an hour wait! Every shake place we went to was the same so we had to bag it! Boo!!!
All in all, would I do the weekend over again if I knew it would go that way? Probably not. I prefer things to be well planned. Yes, I can handle a little hiccup in the schedule, but I don't like not knowing from one minute to the next what is going to happen.
However, since I am not a fortune teller, or a member of the Dion Warwick psychic friends network (although a lot of good it did them!) I will just have to go with the flow and take whatever the universe dishes out! But, so help me, if anything goes wrong on our cruise to Mexico I'm throwing in the towel!!!!
Posted by Erin at 10:32 AM
Want to know something?
I am a complete psychotic freak! Yep. It's true. Oh, you say you already knew that? Well, then this post will not be anything new to you.
I am self-diagnosing today. The topic for my contemplation is "Why I internally freak out whenever I have to leave home for any extended period of time". The fuel for this question is my upcoming cruise to Mexico. It all became clear to me while observing my adorable niece the other day. She always gets sick whenever they leave town. I realized she is exactly like me- It is prompted by anxiety!
When I was a little girl, whenever my friends would have a slumber party I would get so excited about it. However, after being there for a few hours I would begin to feel sick to my stomach. Every time! Eventually it would get so bad I would call home and have my mom come pick me up. I think I actually spent the entire night at someone else's house less than 5 times total. I know, pathetic!
Whenever my family would take trips anywhere when I was a kid, I would inevitably end up getting sick on the trip. Yep- every time! Even when I went on tours with my high school choirs and college choirs I would get sick. It would manifest itself differently when I got older- I would ALWAYS lose my voice- ALWAYS! But the result was the same- I was always sick.
It seems I've gotten over my physical display of symptoms when I go on trips now, which is a relief, but I still have some real issues with leaving home. Last year when we were getting ready for Europe, for about 6 months I was thinking of ways to get out of it. Even up until the day before we left I was panicky and jittery and nervous. My stomach was doing flip-flops, and it wasn't until I actually got over to England safely that I began to feel a little better.
Now, as I am looking forward to my cruise to Mexico, I am finding myself exibiting the same signs- anxiety, nervousness, jitters, icky stomach. I love going on trips, but for some reason it freaks me out.
So? What does this mean? Well, I haven't gotten that far yet. No, I will not cancel my trip. No, I won't stop going out of town- I need to face my fears head on and be a man! (I mean, a woman!)
And, no- it doesn't mean that I will be going up very tall buildings and looking down to overcome my fear of heights, too. What do you think I am? Crazy???
Posted by Erin at 9:19 AM
I am a big list maker. I make lists for everything- groceries, things to do, places to go, errands to run- I even make lists for lists I need to make! (This is sad, but true!) It's the only way I can stay remotely organized. (I said "remotely", so don't go thinking I'm that organized to begin with!)
My list of things to get done around the house is ever-growing as well. In fact, some things I've gotten done I never got around to putting on the list so I can't cross them off to feel better about myself! Then, if I put them on the list to cross off, I just feel like I'm cheating.
My house to-do list is as follows:
take down kitchen cabinets
order kitchen window
clean off back patio
dig up tree in yard and replant
cut down trumpet vine taking over our house before we are all consumed
finish making couch cover before what I've already done needs to be re-re-done!
install shelves in laundry room*
paint living room
paint basement (all rooms)
tile basement kitchen
put new kitchen counters in both kitchens*
*denotes jobs someone else will have to do!
I would have put "get new windows" on there but we already did that and, like I said, it's like cheating. Also, I would be able to check off "get dishwasher", but that was also done before it made the list.
Now I'm off to make a grocery list, and a back to school list. I think I need to make a list that says "stop making lists and go start getting them done!"
Oh, I need to add to my shopping list "get more shopping list paper".
You see why I'm insane???
Posted by Erin at 9:17 AM
Last night we were browsing through an adoption website. Oh, don't freak out. You know how you click on one link, and it leads you to another link, and before you know it you're not looking at shiny new pots and pans anymore but cute pictures of kids who need a home? Ok, well, it happened to me last night, ok?!
Anyway, as my husband and I were (was? were?) browsing we came across this picture of this little kid who'd been adopted by a loving family, and his name was my husband's name. Strange because his name isn't very common. Stranger, because the kid looked freakishly like my husband did when he was that age.
I exclaimed, "You were adopted?!" and he looked at me with this horrified look like, "I was?!"
Wouldn't that be freaky, though, if you found out you were adopted from some random website that had posted your picture?
It's like that after school special where the girl looks on the milk carton one day and finds out she was missing, do you remember that one? (If you EVEN dare say, what's an after school special, I'll scream!)
I still look on those little milk cartons to see if my face ever shows up. I've often thought my family was way too strange- I couldn't possibly be related!
Posted by Erin at 10:28 AM
I took my son to the park today.
It was so nice and sunny, not too hot. I sat on a bench in the shade watching the kids playing and having fun, and reading my book.
I got very melancholy. School starts in 2 weeks and I don't want to let my little guy go! He is my little miracle- my best buddy. It's been nice to have a friend to do things with every day, nice to have someone to help around the house, too!
It's hard to see him getting so big and getting older. It's hard not to have had a second chance at chasing around little chubby legs, wiping sticky cheerios off chubby cheeks. It all went by so quickly. I did everything wrong the first time. Most parents get more than one chance to get it right- to not be the neurotic, hovering 1st time parent. I don't know if I'll ever get that oportunity again, but I know I'm lucky to have had the chance at all.
Still, there is joy in watching my little guy (not really little anymore!) grow and learn. He'll be in 3rd grade this fall. I remember 3rd grade. I had my first real crush. I wrote my first story, "The Case of the Missing Head." I hope my son has a very good year and that he enjoys himself.
Although it is hard for me to let him leave me, I will be glad he is having great oportunities. And I will be waiting at home with hugs, the occasional plate of warm chocolate chip cookies, and a listening ear.
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for giving me my little buddy. I couldn't have asked for a better person to be entrusted with. Thank you for letting me help shape and mold your precious spirit. (I hope I don't do too much damage!)
Oh, and thank you for the beautiful sunny day at the park!
Posted by Erin at 4:22 PM
My husband and his sister used to do this thing when whey were little- they'd get really close to the other's ear and whisper "You don't know what I'm feeling..."- kinda creepy, I know! (so is my random punctuation- I just can't seem to remember exactly where to put commas and dashes with quotation marks... but that's another blog for another day.)
But, it's funny how often I want to do that to people I think might be judging me. Don't you ever feel like people might be judging you? Well, maybe I'm just paranoid that way. Oh, I don't feel the need to change my behavior or who I am for fear someone won't like me, but sometimes I do feel like I'm being judged wrongly. I just want to lean over and whisper "You dont' know what I'm feeling..."
Of course, then I might be judged as really creepy, which.... I would be!
Posted by Erin at 8:53 AM
It's funny how my life has changed since blogging and Facebook. People I haven't spoken to in years and years suddenly comment on my daily activities, and there are even some who've friended me on Facebook I didn't even know I knew! (Luckily, they can't tell on Facebook that you don't remember them at all! You just have to click "Accept", or not.)
Conversations at church no longer begin with "How have you been?" or "What have you been up to this week?" Rather, they go more like this: "So... I totally agree with you about such and such..." or "So... Mexico, huh?" However, I can't complain, I do it too.
It drives my husband crazy, though. People know all sorts of things about us, and when they approach him in the same manner, with no preemptive nicities... well, it throws him off guard. "How did you know we were thinking of going to Mexico?" "How did you know my son said that?" Then he remembers... oh, ya... the blog.
He refers to my blog as "The Blog", as though it were something vile and embarrassing... like the looney aunt everyone tries to keep hidden from the outside world, but who waves her bra out the bedroom window to let eveyone know she's there. (Ok, I don't actually have an aunt like this, but I often wish I did! Would I be the aunt in this analogy? Is my blog the dangling bra? Hmmm......)
My husband still speaks in the old fashioned way- "What's going on in your life?" He doesn't yet know people don't do that anymore. I don't even think the same as I used to. I think in terms of short phrases I can post on my Facebook page, or in interesting stories I can write about on my blog. Doing dishes, I'm not thinking about mundane things like what am I going to make for dinner, or what to do about my son's habit of holding his breath. No! I think in terms of, how can I word this on my blog to make it sound more interesting!
There are a lot of fictitious blogs out there as well. The trouble is, you can't always tell if they're fiction or not. I got totally caught up in this blog once- read it for hours and hours, wondering if this girl was going to end up with this guy, or another. I was completely sucked in! Then one day I happened to read her profile, which I'd not bothered to do before. I was completely taken in... it was a fictional blog! Completely made up! I am often tempted to make up stuff about my own life-- pretend it's much grander than it is, but that wouldn't let anyone down but myself. And when people started asking my husband about our trip to the Bahamas, or my new 3 karat diamond ring... well.... you can see the problem.
Ok, so maybe I think in "blog" terms, and maybe I daydream a bit... don't we all? But it's nice to know people are interested enough to read about my mundane life, and allow me to peek into theirs. Maybe someday I will become like the crazy aunt, and my blogging will become much more interesting. How long will that be? Well... I don't know yet, but I'll keep you posted!
Posted by Erin at 8:56 AM
(kind of long post, but it's what's been on my mind.)
I've really been thinking a lot lately about the image we present to the world. Having a blog, many more people see a bit of me than probably normaly would on a daily basis. (sorry, all you people out there who think I'm a psycho, unbalanced woman.... it's sort of true!) And often, things we write can be completely taken the wrong way.
When I taught the Beehives in Young Women, I really grew to feel kind of like they were my own girls. True, I didn't have to tell them to clean their rooms or get off the phone, but I was in charge of their spiritual guidance every Sunday, and had to be there for them during the week any time they needed me. I really started to think about the image I was presenting to them. Was I overly concerned with my appearance? Was I spending too much on clothing- trying to be hip and trendy? Was I watching television shows that weren't uplifting? Was I listening to music that helped to welcome the Spirit? Was I writing things on my blog that showed I was trying to rise above the dirt and filth of the world?
When I was in High School, I was on the seminary council. (I know... me???) I truly loved every minute of it, although I felt I was unworthy to hold such a responsibility. I was a good girl in high school- never drank, never partied too late. But I made a poor choice in retrospect when I went to prom. After the dance a bunch of us got a hotel room and hung out for the night. True, there were something like 5 couples in one room, how bad can that be, right? But when word got back to my seminary principal- well, he was less than thrilled with my actions. He told me some people had come to him concerned that I had done something bad. It made me really mad that someone would think that of me, and who's business was it anyway??? But he reminded me of the position I held, and that- although I felt it was ridiculous that anyone would, there were people that looked up to me and watched my actions.
I left that meeting feeling very low- like I had let him down, but angered as well. I didn't ask to be watched and judged, yet people felt it was their right to do so. However, through the years following, I've realized that, although I hadn't technically done anything wrong that night, the image I portrayed was not the best. I should have done better.
Having a blog has been really fun. It's kind of cool to be able to spew your thoughts onto the screen and have people comment on them. You get cheered on, patted on the back, probably glared at as well, but that's the cool part too--- you can't see or feel the glares! However, my husband was reading it one day (wonder of wonders!) and he was concerned that I was complaining about a particular thing too much. I told him of course I was being sarcastic- as I always am- and not to worry, no one would take me seriously. Well, a few days later someone said something to him- they had taken me totally seriously! At first I was shocked that they could have gotten that idea from my blog, but then my husband's words came back to me. I realized, I can't control what other's think about me, but I can control how I present it.
One day in our Young Women's class, the YW president talked about the music we listen to. She played a song that was a popular song on the radio at the time. It felt sooo wrong to listen to that in church. It was base, and degrading, and left me feeling dirty and guilty. Then she put on another song- this one was uplifting, spiritual, soft, and acted as a cleanser to wash away the icky feeling the other song had left. She then threw the first cd in the garbage and said, in front of all the young women, that she had loved that cd and had listened to it all the time, but she realized it wasn't good and she didn't want to have any part of it in her life anymore. I was so impressed that she would do that- show the girls that she had a weakness, but was willing to throw the disk away to help herself.
I am not in the Young Women anymore, but I still have a few of them come to me for advice from time to time, and I am in charge of 3 cub scouts every week now. I realize I am being watched without always being aware of it. I hope I can try to be a strength to them, and a good example of how Christ would want his daughters to live and to act. Oh, I'll probably always give someone the wrong idea about me in some form or another, (it seems to be a gift with me!) but I hope that I can try to be more mindful of what I put on my blog, what I watch on television, what I talk about when I'm with others.
Thanks for sticking with me through this! And remember, almost never take me seriously- unless I really want you to! (which, of course, would be now!)
Posted by Erin at 8:44 AM