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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pot calling the kettle.... and A Very Mayan Christmas.

This morning as I was perusing blogs I was getting frustrated because my blogging buddies don't blog anymore.

"Come On!" I thought., "You gotta give me something to read here, people!"  I'm sick in bed with some stomachy thing today. I need entertainment.

Then I realized it's been a while since I last posted. I am guilty.

So, here is today's post.

A Very Mayan Christmas

It seems many people I've talked to this year are going the direction of "Less is More" in their Christmas preparations.

My sister is using the cute idea of :
Something you want,
something you need,
something to wear,
and something to read.

I, myself, am simplifying things around here as well. I only put up one tree this year. The "Family" tree with all the old ornaments and cute homemade ones didn't get put up this year. I just didn't feel like the hassel. I also didn't put up all the knick-knacks and do-dads. Just one tree, and 3 wooden Santas my brother made. I felt guilty at first, but the thought of how quickly everything will get put away eases my mind considerably. 

It got me thinking: Did the Mayans cut back on Christmas before their civilization was wiped out? Hmmm...  Anyway, back to the post.

Then there's the whole Santa thing. Since it's not really an issue in our house anymore, *sniff sniff*,  I haven't done as much in that department. I promised my son, however, that we would never forget Santa comes and he will always get something from him on Christmas.

I've been in a good Christmas spirit, though. I've just been incredibly laid back this year. It remains to be seen if this is a good or bad thing at this point. Will neighbor gifts be made and delivered? Will shopping be finished? My sewing machine has been out of commission, so I haven't spent hours and hours in the sewing room. What is happening this year??? Your guess is as good as mine at this point!

One thing has changed dramatically, however. My husband.... now, hold on to your seats here.... ACTUALLY went shopping last Saturday for my Christmas present. He has NEVER gone before 5pm on Christmas ever... like, EVER!!!

Maybe the Mayan calendar is true! Maybe the world really is coming to an end! I didn't go crazy for Christmas, and the hubby planned something in advance!

What will happen next? The toilet seat will be left down??? Who knows???!!!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

And the "BEST Mom of the Day" award goes to....

This morning I woke up with the sun shining in my face. I felt incredibly rested. What a miracle, I must have slept so soundly I woke up before the alarm clock and I feel great! 

Wait a minute....  the sun is shining and I feel rested.... and it's not a Saturday????

Ya. I forgot to set my alarm and we all slept in until 8:30!!!!

Oh, that's not the best part. I run in to wake the kid up and see he is already almost dressed, realizing himself that I had forgotten to wake up. (Yes, he's a golden child.)

I run into my room to get dressed and realize... he's going to be almost an hour late to school, and what would be the point of taking him for just a few hours. So, I though-I'll be "Awesome Mom" and ran in to tell him "Hey, you get to take the day off!"

But, then I realized he missed Wednesday for being sick and he has tests today and... well, not the best day to miss. So I ran back in and told him "Never mind! You get to go to school today!"

Well, he didn't freak out, but he wasn't happy with me. I threw my arms up and said "Hey, I dont' know what the heck I'm doing, ok? Just roll with it."

So, ya, all my mom-credibility is blown.

I love being a parent sometimes.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Family time

I had a fantastic oportunity on Saturday to wake up at 5AM and drive with my dad and my brother and sister to Rexburg, Idaho for my cousin's wedding. (Ok, the waking up part wasn't fantastic. In fact, I only got about an hour of sleep that night. Fun!)

The coolest part was that we haven't been together like that for years and years... like, before any of us kids were married! It reminded me of what a wonderful family I have, and how we're all weird, and nothing every really changes! Well, my brother doesn't tease me as much, and my little sister now knows she really IS a girl, and not a boy like I always tried to convince her she was. (She's proven it by having 4 kids. I think she may be more of a girl than I am, actually.)

Thanks, guys. I love you!!!
 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I'm a lucky, bad mother!

The other day, I was having one of "those" days. You know- the kind where you are on the edge of insanity and just know you are going to snap at any moment. Nothing in particular makes you crazy, but everything makes you crazy. Unfortunately, being a mother, the offspring tends to become the scapegoat for all my irritations.

"Why do you have to eat your dinner by categories? Why can't you have a bit of this, a bite of that- enjoy the whole meal as it was intended?"

or

"Is it so hard to just do your math first and THEN your spelling?" (Ya, like it really matters what homework he does first, right? See, I told you I was going crazy!)

Well, on this particular day I was trying to get dinner ready. My son sensed my obvious verge of breakdown behavior and snapped into action before I knew it.  I turned to get the plates I'd set on the table and they were gone. My blood began to boil. SOMEONE TOOK THE PLATES ON PURPOSE!!! ( Hear twigs beginning to snap in my brain?)  Suddenly, a plate is thrust in my hands. It is full of food. Someone is pulling out my chair for me to sit. Someone is gently patting my shoulders to help me sit down, and my plate of piping hot food is placed in front of me. Then another plate is brought to the table for my husband. I realize no one was trying to drive me to an early grave. IT was just my sweet son trying to help calm his mommy!

I watched- probably with my mouth wide open in astonishment- as he dished himself up a plate and sat down. We said the prayer, and I was still sitting there with my mouth agape.

My son. My sweet, sweet boy-soon-to-be-man  was taking care of his mommy! My insanity melted away.

My husband says I never feel guilt. That, my friends, is not entirely true. On this day, the guilt cloud hanging over my head turned into a giant snowstorm. (We got 8 inches here! Seriously!) I felt guilty for ever snapping at my kid. For ever picking on anything he has ever done. EVER! He is a good kid. I am a bad mother. But, I am sure a lucky, bad mother!

Since then, I've been trying to look at all the little things he does that are so wonderful. There are a lot. And I am such a lucky, bad mother!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day 2012- May the Odds be Ever in your Favor!

This is new territory for me- actually caring, and not just a little, about the turnout of an election. (Ok, I cared when I voted agains Bill Clinton, but I was barely voting age back then. All I knew was I didn't like that guy, I wanted the other guy.)

I have very strong feelings about the candidates this time around.

I've prayed.

I've searched and struggled.

I've researched and read.

I've eaten a lot of chocolate. (Ok, that's no different than any other day.)

I've gotten angry, and worried, and excited, and worried, and angry and excited all over again.

And I've wondered how our nation as a whole compares to the people in Mormon's time. (Read the Book of Mormon if you don't understand this reference.)

Are we able to be trusted to uphold the standards The Savior, Jesus Christ, set forth for us? Are we still a majority of righteous people who believe in the sanctity of marriage and the value of every single life, no matter how small or new? Are we still a majority who believe in religious freedom and in the values set forth in the Constitution? Would our fore-fathers recognize our country today?

I woke up at 4:30 AM this morning, unable to go back to sleep. I looked in the mirror and found my face has broken out in a rash! I'm sure it's stress. I'm worried about the direction our country is heading in, and if it will change course today, or keep rolling to it's destruction.

I realized that worrying and negative thoughts aren't going to change the country. I cast my vote, and it is votes that will change the country. It is people that will be the real change.

So, I got up and made an election day breakfast any patriot would be proud of- complete with red, white, and blue pancakes!!! I'm thankful to be an American. I am sooo grateful for those who have fought, and are still fighting, for my freedom. And I am sooo blessed to be born in the promised land and during the time when the fullness of Christ's gospel is here on the Earth.

No matter what, I know that I can personally make a difference in the way I live my life, and how I treat others.

So, happy election day, everyone! May the odds be ever in your favor!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hurry up and have fun...

You know when you were a kid and you'd be playing at your grandparent's or cousins, and your parents would yell "We're leaving in 5 minutes!" so you'd hurry up and play as hard as you possibly could, trying to fit every last little bit of fun time in before you had to leave?

That's how I feel about this fall. The weather has been abso-freaking-lutely gorgeous! The October snow storm we had came early enough that the leaves hadn't all fallen off the trees, so we still have plenty of crunchy leaves to shuffle your feet through as you walk.  The weather has been quite warm, so long walks through the crunchy leaves and sunshine have been heaven!

I feel a sense of panick as I try to fit all my fun in before snow falls and I have to stay inside. Don't misunderstand me, I love winter. I love snow. I love donning sweaters and sipping hot cups of cocoa or peppermint tea and watching romantic Christmas movies. I love cozy socks on my feet and heating pads around my neck; piles of blankets surrounding me and my hubby as we snuggle together.  But I also love, love, love the fall.

Fall, to me, is the beginning. The crisp evenings with the smell of dried leaves and wood-burning stoves electrifies my spirit. I come alive in the fall. I go on more walks outside, and breathe more deeply the fresh, cool air. I was married in the fall, just before Halloween. This time of year is about re-living memories of childhood with my own child as he shuffles in his Halloween costume through the streets, going from house to house getting candy. Some things never change. The fall never changes. It is the same every year. You know the leaves will die and fall to the ground. You know they will be crunchy beneath your feet. You know the smell of fall will always be the same. You know when you stick your nose into your Halloween basket of candy it will always have the same smell.

Last Saturday my husband and I went on a bike ride through our neighborhood. It was a warm, sunny day. People were out finishing up the last yard work of the season. We had done that the Saturday before and had small, gloating smiles as we passed by the toiling workers in their yards. This day was all ours.

My thighs began to ache as I rode my pink and white cruiser up the hill above our house. "Now don't you wish you'd gotten a bike with gears?" my husband asked like a broken record every time we rode our bikes up this street.  "Nope," I replied. I love my pink cruiser. The seat is cushiony and bounces over every little rivet and bump in the road. The brakes are in the pedals so my hands don't get tired from breaking. And the tires, being a bit wider, tend to make the fallen leaves crunch just a bit more as I ride my bike through the piles of them in the gutters. 

My husband rode on ahead of me up the hill, then turned around and, sticking his legs out like a little child, he coasts down the hill. I know if I did this I'd break something. I'm not known for my agility, or quick reflexes. I turn around and coast, feet on pedals, until I catch up to him. Then, standing there, we turn our faces up toward the sunlight pouring down on us. The man blowing his leaves has gone inside. There are no noises but a few birds chirping in the trees nearby. I breathe deeply the smells of fall, the sunshine, the love from my husband.  This is the time of year I love best. This is the beginning, and I'm going to play just as hard as I can until it's over!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween 2012: The year of the Sand People

This year, my son insisted on being a Tusken Raider from Star Wars. "Sure" I thought. It's a simple robe, right? Ha! Wrong! The mask... how could I forget the mask!!!! (The picture above is the creation of the mask. We used plaster strips you dip in water. They dried rather quickly so we didn't have to leave it on his head until he turned blue! And yes, he could breath!)

This is the finished mask. It turned out pretty well. HE really loved it, although he couldn't see a thing! (I had sunglass lenses in at first, but after our churchs trunk-or-treat, and me having to hold his hands and guide him to every car I decided he needed to be able to see, so we removed the lenses. MUCH better!)

Carving the spider man pumpkin the night before Halloween.

 This is Spider Man's eyes all lit up. You can kind of see the lines of his mask, but the light was a blinking light and I couldn't figure out how to take the picture with the lights fully lit up.
 We went to my brother's house again this year to trick-or-treat. It's so nice to have cute kids to go with rather than your boring old mom and dad like he has in the past. They sure had fun! And boy, did they get a load of candy!
Happy Halloween, 2012!!!! (I'm going to go take a nap now from all that sewing!)

Summer Vacations part 3: Summer hikes and various other things

We really tried to get out and enjoy the beautiful summer this year. We took a few hikes up near Silver Lake and Twin Lakes, by Brighton Ski Resort.

IT was very hot in the valley, but so perfectly cool at Silver Lake.

We saw a fox about 10 feet from the walkway. It was so cute, and not the least bit scared.

This was on our hike up to Twin Lakes (on a separate occasion.) Looking down on Silver Lake.

 My son took this shot of my hubby and I kissing in the sunlight. Kind of romantic!

 
 Did I marry the right guy or what? And there's no question that poser kid is my child!


Perfect, perfect weather at Twin Lakes. And what a great shot, huh? It seems I can get some great pictures if I'm not actually holding the camera.


I took my son and some friends from school to play at Trafalga fun center and this is them climbing the rock wall. I would never be caught doing that!

 
We also had a fun extended family camping trip at Spruces campground. These are all the cousins. It was rainy, but they still had lots of fun!

                                                      
                                                        My son being goofy, as always!


We got some tickets to go see the Gipsy Kings at Red Butte Gardens. What a fun concert! We got up and danced and danced and danced. My son thought we were crazy at first, but he soon joined in and had a blast! (Don't be fooled by the picture. They really are having fun!)


My mom and Step-Dad invited us to go camping at Hyrum State Park with them in their new trailer. It was such a fun time. This is the kid getting his dirty feet washed in the sink.

In the water at Hyrum State Park. It was a gorgeous day, and he got to fish with his grandpa a lot. We had fresh fish more than once on that 3 day trip!
 

Summer Vacations Part 2: St. George

We took our usual trip to St. George and Zion earlier in October. Due to getting over some pretty nasty colds, and me forgetting my camera, we didn't really spend much time in Zion, and I didn't get a picture of the short time we did spend there. But I got some fun pictures of the rest of the trip.

By the pool. We spend a LOT of time by this gorgeous pool! Loved it all!

 We took a fun hike through Snow Canyon on the petrified dunes.


Grafton is a tiny little ghost town near Rockville, by Zion. This is looking through the wondows of an old school building there. Such history!

Hubby's favorite place in Snow Canyon. Climbs it every year!


Looking through old doorway at old building in Grafton.


The guys found a little cave and thought they'd go exploring.

He couldn't be more thrilled at finding the cave!

 Hmmm... this is tighter than we thought! But kinda cool!

Got a perfect shot on the petrified dune! Thanks, flat rock, for letting my camera sit on you while taking our self-portrait! This may just be on the Christmas card this year.

Summer Vacations Part 1: Yellowstone (warning: This has LOTS of pictures!)

I hate uploading pictures, so when I do, you get like a whole year's worth!

This is a post about all our Summer fun this last summer.

First, a fun trip to Yellowstone.
This was at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. What a gorgeous view!

We met up with some friends for a fun, but very windy picnic by Yellowstone Lake.

Yes! We finally saw some Bison!

Gotta pose by the falls.

 We found this cool mineshaft looking thing from the road and decided to hike to it. Turns out it was an old abandoned railroad tunnel. What a fun hike, and a cool find!
Inside the shaft. The smell of old oil was so strong, and awesome!

Old Faithful!


We went to a drive-in movie in Driggs, Idaho called The Spud. This is us in our car before the movie started. Fun, fun night!
Outside our quaint but cute motel room in West Yellowstone


                                     Beautiful view of river from outside the old railroad tunnel.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Stuck like glue! Good, name-brand, lasting glue!

Let me just say one thing.

No. Never mind. I can't say just "one" thing.

Let me say two things. Three things.

1) Our Wedding Anniversary is on Monday. Monday's are the worst days to have birthdays and wedding anniversaries.

2) My hubby and I are PATHETIC at planning anything!!!!! (example: "We need to plan our anniversary. What have we done in the past?" "Uh, dinner and a movie. Except that one year we actually went to a bed and breakfast." "Really? In 13 years we've only gone to dinner and a movie every time?" "Yep. Pretty much.")

3) There are always problems when one person loves to get presents and give them, and the other person views gift giving as an example of consumerism gone awry and abhors the very idea of having to spend money on meaningless tokens of material idolatry.

Good thing my marriage is based on much more than a yearly celebration of our love and we've weathered 13 years pretty darn well!!!!

I adore you, sweetie!!!! Thanks for bringing me cold medicine all those years ago as an excuse to get closer to me! And thanks for never leaving my side since then!!!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Plentiful Bounty of Mountains of Blessings

Have I told you what an abundance of tomatoes my garden produced this year?  Well, to give you an idea, I weighed the tomatoes every time harvested a lot for canning.

Total: 265lbs. (well, more if you count all the green ones.)

Yes, you read that correctly. 265 lbs of red, ripe tomatoes. That I canned.  I even took a bunch up to my moms so she could enjoy in the bounteous harvest.

I made red salsa, more red salsa, even more red salsa, spaghetti sauce, more spaghetti sauce, and delicious garden tomato soup with veggies and pasta spirals.

Then yesterday my hubby helped me pull out the plants and I harvested a bunch of green tomatoes. So, today I've been making the best ever green tomato and chili enchilada sauce!!!! (It really is the best ever. I promise.)

I am sooo grateful for the HUGE amount of tomatoes my garden blessed me with this year. I didn't want to let any of it go to waste, even if it meant canning until I can't stand it any longer.

And I can't stand it any longer.

So after today, I am DONE!!!!! (Until next year, anyway.)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Thanks Cleon!

I love to read. I mean, I REALLY love to read.

However, the books I usually read are complete fiction- usually historical fiction. I like something that takes me out of all reality where I can completely forget the dishes and laundry and home renovations and church callings and kid's homework.

Last week I picked up something completely different, though. I don't know what exactly prompted me to do it. I was at my mom's house canning tomatoes and needed something to do while I waited for the cans to process.  I walked over to her bookcase and pulled out "The First 2000 Years" by Cleon Skousen.

Cleon Skousen was my best friend's grandpa. I sang to him at one of his birthday parties. He was a funny, cute old man with a big nose. I figured, guess I might as well find out what he wrote about, so I began reading it.

I have not been able to put it down this whole week. It is deep. It has some intense stuff in it. But I absolutely devoured it! I finished it last night and was so sad that was the end! I will be borrowing the next book tonight.

Without going in to huge detail, it talks about the first 2000 years of the world from creation, through
Adam and Eve, Noah, and Abraham and Isaac.  It explains ALOT about things that are unclear to the average bible reader, such as myself.

All I can say is, my testimony has been further strengthened this week while reading it. I highly recommend it! I was surprised how much I loved it, but not surprised at how much better I understand Heavenly Father's plan for his children here on earth. And I definitely feel- more than ever- that every person has an important part to play on this earth, and we have a right to divine help and inspiration!

Thanks, Cleon! I'll sing to you again next time I see you!

 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Should and shouldn't....

What I *should* do here is write a lengthy blog post about what we did this summer, complete with pictures and cute little captions.

I've been thinking I should do it for a few weeks now.

But, you see, my camera with the SD card is all the way in the living room. That's like... 10 steps, at least.  And my laptop is clear over on the other side of my bed, which is a good 5 steps. That's 15 steps right there! Then I have to take the card out of the camera, insert it into the laptop, upload it all, think of a folder name to save it in, log on here and decide which pictures to put on...

Well, you see why I haven't done it yet?

Actually, I am blogging today for a very important reason.

See- I cleaned my kitchen the other day. Like... totally, spotlessly cleaned, as in scrubbed-the-toaster-and-soap-dispenser clean!

And I want to keep it that way.

So I am concentrating REALLLY hard on not messing up my clean shiny kitchen.

Except that I really *should* go out and pick all the ripe tomatoes and make salsa today before they go bad.

And if I do that my kitchen will be messy again.

And my pictures won't get posted for yet another day.

But, I had already decided this post wasn't going to be about my summer vacations.

So I guess it will be about making salsa while trying not to mess up my clean kitchen.

Or.... it should be.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Is it time yet??? How about now???

Have you ever tried to cram a comforter back in the bag it came in? Or a freshly washed down pillow back into its pillow case? Or better yet, a wiggly baby's foot into a too-small sock?

Yea... that's how I feel this week trying to cram every....last....little....thing  into the last week of summer before the kid goes back to school.

And it's too dang hot out there.

And the kid has FINALLY reached the point where he said to me "Mom, I think I'm ready to go back to school. There's nothing to do."

I am ready for fall.

And peace and quiet.

And chocolate.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Some help for the hopeless...

Last night I was browsing the internet at all the self help books there are out there. Man! There are books about how to overcome the loss of a loved one, how to find love, how to get your ex back, how to leave your spouse, how to find a spouse, how to find multiple spouses! There are books about finding your inner self, becoming one with nature, speaking to your "goddess"...whatever that is. And there is even a self-help book about finding the right self-help book.

Why was I looking at these books? Well, what else is there to do late at night when you can't sleep? Maybe I should have been looking for a book on how to fall asleep! But, it made me think. Yes, I have issues. But, apparently we ALL have issues, or these books wouldn't be needed, right?

I think we all judge eachother way too much based on our observances of eachother's outward appearances. We see women at church who appear to have it all together: perfect hair, makeup, fat to muscle ratio, wardrobe, children... you name it! Of course we are all trying to put on an outward appearance that things are great, right? We don't leave the house without making sure that last hair is in place, or that we don't have anything in our teeth.  We women use wrinkle creams to appear younger, we get our hair done to appear that we take care of ourselves, we don't scream at our kids in public because we want to appear that we are calm and in control of our children, and ourselves.

However, there is a big problem with judging ourselves based on our perceptions of other's appearances. Why? Because appearances can be deceiving! (Have we ever heard this before?) Those "perfect" people we are trying so desperately to compare ourselves to are reading self-help books on depression, or how to save a failing marriage, or how to overcome eating disorders, or a miriad of other things. Because, we are ALL messed up!!! We all need help from Heavenly Father in multiple areas of our life! Isn't this great news????

So, I should go out and write a few books myself, right? It sure seems like we all need a little help.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The zoo!

Last night, my husband's work hosted a summer party at the zoo. (The irony of it all was NOT lost on me, I can assure you. He leaves the zoo to go spend an evening at the zoo... I wonder if anyone else caught it.)

We ate a leisurely dinner, and I drank all the Dr. Pepper I could! It tasted sooooo good in that heat, let me tell you! We took a train ride, which my husband so generously sprang for. (He was funny, pulling out his wallet like "Hey, I got this, babe!" )

The zoo had closed to the public at 5, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves. It was sooo nice not having crowds and such. It was way too hot to be patient with a lot of gawky people, anyway.  I was worried at first because it seemed the animals were not interested in entertaining us "after hours" people. The otters had already said "It's quittin time, and I'm not getting paid enough to hang out after 5!" I was sad because I really wanted to see the otters. :(

However, the seals were putting on a hillarious wrestling match for us! They rolled and tumbled and tried to bite eachother's hind flippers/fins/whatever they are.  The polar bear was out, which I was soo happy about because we couldn't see him last week when we went. The poor thing, though. He looked like he was being bothered by allergies or something and he kept scratching and rubbing his face, and keeping his eyes half closed. He finally found a big dead tree branch to scratch his face on. I felt so bad for him!

The brown bears were splashing and having a grand old time in the water as well. But the best part was the show the tigers were putting on! They were in the water as well- who wouldn't be on that hot day! They were also play-fighting, but it was right in the water, right in front of the glass! They were smashing eachother up against the glass and water would splash all the way up and over the top so we got sprayed! It was sooo cool to see the power they had, their huge paws and dangerous, shiny teeth!

What a great evening with my little family!

Monday, July 9, 2012

You know you're getting more mature when...

- people "unfriending" you on Facebook doesn't faze you at all.
(Of course, you know you have reached the height of maturity when you no longer need Facebook. I'm still working on this!)
-You can watch "The Avengers" without drooling.
(again... haven't quite reached that point yet.)
-You are happy to let  your husband have the very last chocolate chip cookie, and your son have your last, perfect bite of pie, because their enjoyment is far more rewarding than your own.
(did I mention I haven't quite reached this point yet?)

You know what? I'm beginning to feel less and less mature as I go, so maybe I should just stick with the first one, and be proud that I am not fazed when I am unfriended on Facebook! Ya! I'm mature!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The conundrum



They say exercise makes you happy.

They say depression makes you spend more money.

Well, what happens when you are depressed, so you start exercising a lot more, and you spend more money on exercise stuff which doesn't seem to be helping as much as you'd hoped, which makes you depressed, so you spend money on non-exercise related stuff which makes you more depressed because you spent money you shouldn't have, which makes you not want to exercise because you're so depressed?

Anyone?




Thursday, June 7, 2012

Narrow squeak!

Well, we've been anticipating a lay-off at my husband's work for a while now.
Today they layed of 30+ people.
He survived.
Phew!

We are heartbroken for those that were laid-off, and I sincerely hope they will be able to find good jobs in a short time. I know how difficult it can be. My husband went through 9 months with no employment a few years ago and it was awful.

But we were reminded today of how very blessed we are.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Being active, or actively being?

I am trying to turn over some new leaves. Or some old leaves that have been turned but turned back again.

1) I am trying to be more physically active. I've always been a "doer"- you know, I'm always puttering around doing something, but I am trying to be more aggressive in the somethings that I do.  So, I've gotten out and gone on lots of bike rides with my family, or even by myself after the kid goes to bed. I love the feel of the breeze on my face as I ride my pink cruiser around the neighborhood and through the park. I just need a basket on front to make it complete. I want to feel I am out there in the world enjoying it as much as possible, without it feeling like work.

I am exercising every day, either jogging or "Insanity". And I've been the gardening queen this spring. Yay, me! I have sore muscles and back to prove it, too.

2) I am trying to get my son involved in projects and activities that make him work and stick to something that might be a little hard, but is rewarding. The other day we built a bamboo pole teepee on our lawn and planted green beans along the base of it so he will have a beautiful and lush green covered teepee to play in. Well, we HOPE the green grows up around it. I've never been very successful at growing things from seeds, but we are hopeful. If it doesn't work, then we will just put a cover over it and have a real teepee. My son did most of the work and I "supervised" most of it. I wanted him to have the satisfaction of doing something on his own, but I did help here and there. He was very proud of his work. (I'm to lazy to post a picture. Sorry.)

The last few days we have also been making a garden fountain. I've always wanted a fountain or pond with the sound of trickeling water that I can listen to as I sit and read a book or enjoy a bbq on our patio. It took a few days, and sever re-tries, but I finally got it to look good and work well. (Well, "well" is a loose term. It still has a leak I can't seem to fix, but I will conquer, dang it!) I did more of the work on this one, though, because there was lots of moving of very heavy rocks and it was too much for the kid. (Too much for me, too. I dropped a huge boulder on my foot. Not such a good idea.) But he got to see what hard work can get you.  Now to find only 61 more weekday projects to do! (Yikes!)

Here's to a great summer, and a productive and active summer! And a sane mommy.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Happy Memorial Day... and stuff!

First of all, and most importantly in this post, let me say- Grandpa Evans, thank you for serving our country! He was a sharp-shooter in WWII in New Guinnea. He rocked! He was a decoy for the Japanese troops getting too close to the Americans and he led them to chase after him. He came to a big cliff, and jumped down into the ocean below, thus becoming a hero. I can't wait to get to Heaven where I can ask him all about it and what he felt as he was running away toward a cliff.

I also want to thank my other relatives who fought in the Civil War. I saw the handwriting on your enlistment papers. You were so young! And brave! (And you fought for the right side!) Thank you for doing something so difficult for a better country!  And to all my other relatives who I don't know, but I am certain fought in other wars. (Especially the Scottish ones who had to wear dresses while doing it!) Thank you!

Now that has been said,

WHY ON EARTH DO ALL PATRIOTIC CELEBRATONS HAVE TO TAKE PLACE WITH LOUD CANNON FIRINGS AT DAWN?!!!!!

Yesterday morning I was sound asleep at my mom's house, and was awoken by 2 loud cannon shots at 6:00 AM!!!

Can't we celebrate and honor our heros at, say, 9:00? Or even 2PM!

There. I've said it.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day: Part 2

Mother's Day: Post #2

Saturday, the day before Mother's Day, I spend madly cleaning the entire house, and then completely de-junking and hosing off the back patio, (with the help of my husband). I can honestly say I worked on my feet from 7:30 AM until 7:30 PM. Boy, was my body exhausted! 

The cleaning the house bit was just going to be de-cluttering, but ended up being a total spring-cleaning by the end. I even cleaned and polished the leather couches! So now we need to find somewhere else to live so we can keep the house spottless.

The back patio was just swept the other day, so I thought- oh, a quick hose-off and we'll be good. Again, we did way more than we bargained for. We moved all the junk out of the corners, cleaned off the freezer of death, (called thus because the dang freezer died a few years ago, and I feel like dying every time I think about trying to fix it, and it's where odd tools and things go to die because they stay there until they rot), and ended up power-washing the whole back of the house as well.

End result: A beautiful (well, as beautiful as crumbling cinderblock walls and cracked, uneven concrete can be) patio for our huge Mother's Day and Birthday Extravaganza to be held the following day.

Mother's Day morning: My hubby and son slept in. I got up to make the taco meat for the big family dinner that night. Then hubby and son got up and made me crepes for breakfast! IT was sooo cute to see my son teaching my husband how to make crepes properly! He was actually a very good tutor.

The crepes were delicious! Then I madly scurried about getting ready for church, pressing everyone's clothes, and hurriedly tying up loose ends of my lesson before hurrying of to church. My lesson went well, with huge thanks to my mom for putting together a DVD of church videos for me, and my hubby for setting up the T.V. before my lesson. He even came in and heard the whole thing!

After church was working to finish getting things ready for the party, then playing entertainer extraordinaire to the family and some friends.

I collapsed in a heap last night and don't remember actually getting ready for bed. But I woke up in my p.j.'s so I must have at some point.

Mother's day was a success, albeit not a restful one. But I am sooo glad to be a mother, and that I have the sweet memory of my son and hubby working together in the kitchen. And the crepes really were delicious!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mother's Day... not a day of rest!

Do any of you mothers out there feel the same about Mother's day... it's not much of a day of rest and pampering.

Let me clarify.

My son came in the other day asking what breakfast I would possibly like on Mother's Day. Last year I was awoken to my sweet boy and his dad rummaging though all the cupboards looking for pans and bowls and who knows what just to make me an egg and toast. Now, while I absolutely adored the egg and toast, and it was cooked rather well (surprisingly), it was driving me absolutely crazy that they couldn't just find what they needed. My kitchen is about 9 feet by 9 feet. It's not that big! I do have to hand it to them, though. They never once came in to ask me where things were!

So, when my son asked me what I wanted, I had to think long and hard. See, what I would really want is homemade crepes with strawberries, Nutella, bananas, whipped cream, nuts, and a cherry. Or a crab omelette with hollandaise sauce, steamed asparagus, and a delux chocolate muffin. Or my all-time favorite, eggs benedict with a side of pecan pancakes. Mmmmm.... my mouth is watering. But, can my men make any of this??? Absolutely not! Nor can they just go buy me a nice breakfast because it will be Sunday, and we don't shop on the Sabbath. So, I'll probably get the old standby- eggs and toast. But, I do like eggs and toast, and I know they can make that. It'll be fine.

Then comes the rest of the day. I have to teach the class lesson in Relief Society, so no rest there. Then my family is all coming over for dinner, so... no rest there. Don't get me wrong, I am excited they are all coming. See, our birthdays all fall within the next week, so we celebrate them all together. I get to see my mom on Mother's Day, so that's good. It's all good, just not a day of rest.

Then, comes the fact that my birthday falls just 6 days after Mother's Day. It is right around mother's day every year. What does this mean? IT means I usually get ONE present from the hubs that says "Happy Mother's Day, and Birthday". Granted, one year it was a shiny red car. That definitely counted! This year it will probably be a Kindle Fire, so that will count, for sure. But I sure would love to be pampered on two separate days, you know?

So, enough of my pitty party. It's rather pathetic, actually. Me moaning about not getting the day off. Whatever. I am just blessed beyond measure to have a husband and son who try their best, and love me always! That, right there, is the best present in the world!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Little devilish angel...

My little son... well... not so little anymore. He's 11 now! He woke up this morning and asked:
"Mommy... did you read the note on my t.v.?"
"No, I didn't see it."
"Well don't read it yet, k?"

He then got up and got dressed. I made his breakfast and when he came in to eat he asked if he could go outside and check on his spider. (He'd been playing with a spider all day yesterday.)

I told him he could, but that he needed to hurry. He went outside, but quickly came back in claiming he needed to "check" on something in the laundry room. Then he went back out again. I figured he was up to something, and better not scold him for dawdling before school, so I waited.

A few minutes later he came back in, put something back in the laundry room, and washed his hands, then sat down to eat.

I asked him if he would be willing to put the weeds I had pulled yesterday in the garbage after school today and he tried really hard not to laugh at that. (I now knew what he'd been doing outside.)
He said, sure, and we went out to get in the car.

"Oh, mom... would you show me what you are talking about with the weeds? I'm not sure what you want me to do."

I walked him over to the garden where there had been a huge pile of weeds, but they were all gone!

"You little stinker!" I said as he beamed from ear to ear!

"I wanted to surprise you! Did I do a good job?"

I just hugged him and told him he'd done the best job ever!

What a blessing to have a child "sneaking" around doing good deeds. IT was an early  mother's day present! I sure love that boy!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mid-Day Dating Service

Yesterday I got a phone call.
"Hello. This is the Mid-Day Dating Service calling to inform you there is an interested party who wants to take you on a mid-day date."
(Of course, it was my husband's voice, but I love it when he does stuff like this!)
"Why, yes, I'd love to go on a Mid-Day date! With whom will I be going?"
"He prefers not to give his name, but goes by 'Ardent Admirer'."
"Ok, well, should I bring my son to lunch with me, or leave him home?"
silence....
"Ummmm.... maybe it's best not to mention you have a son on the first date. You want a second date, don't you?"

Ha ha ha ha ha!
My hubby surprised me with a lunch date to Spaghetti Factory. We met at the entrance, like we were really on a blind date. It was fun!

I really needed that little get-away. Last week was hard, and we've all been struggling with an irritating cold, among other stresses. I was really down on Monday, and feeling so depressed. I guess my hubby picked up on the cues and rescued me beautifully.

Then, last night after we put the kid to bed we went for a long walk around the neighborhood, hand in hand. It's nice to know that after 12 and 1/2 years we are still in love!

Thanks, Mid-Day Dating Service!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Book of rememberance... or torture?


Yesterday I compiled all the pictures I could find of my little dog, Nappy, and uploaded them to Walgreen's website.I carefully added the pictures, wrote cute little captions, and arranged them so they'd look good in the book. I wanted it to be a surprise for my son when he got home from school. I was so proud of myself when I finished it. I drove to the store and picked it up a half hour later. It looked great! I was so pleased with myself.

My son came home from school and he looked at it and....cried.

"Mom, why did you have to do this? It makes me so sad."

Pththththththththt......... (balloon deflating)  So much for that idea!

We sat on the bed and looked through it together, and talked about the happy memories with Nappy. We both felt better. And now we both want to look at the book constantly.

Last night when we went to bed, we looked at it one more time. Then, my son wanted to take it to bed, but I wouldn't let him because I wanted to look at it myself. Bad mother? Well, I hung pictures of the dog up by his bed so he could look at them as he fell asleep, and he wouldn't crush the book in his sleep. See? Good mother!

But my husband pointed out last night that I forgot to add two of the best pictures in the book. I looked, and sure enough, they were missing! How could that happen? I had put them on the website myself! They even had funny captions! I guess in my haste to hurry and finish before my son got home I moved them off the page on the template and forgot to put them back. Grrrrr.....
            

So, the book isn't perfect. I'll have to paste those pictures in myself. But at least I have something I can look at that makes me smile....most of the time.... and comforts me when I'm weepy. My sweet little Nappy's face. Oh, how we will miss it!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Napoleon "Nappy" Fritz Taylor

Napoleon "Nappy" Fritz Taylor March 4, 2000 - April 21, 2012 Nappy came as a surprise for my birthday 12 years ago. He was a tiny white puffball, and I adored him. He has always been my little friend- always by my side. He would always greet me at the door wagging his little white tail whenever I come home, no matter how long I've been gone. He used to snuggle up to my legs when I watched television, or rested his head right on the laptop keyboard when he wanted more attention. He'd even lay on fabric I was cutting out on the floor to let me know I was neglecting him. He howled at music with lots of trumpets and brass, or when I sang a particularly high aria. I think it was because he liked it, but we could never be certain! He absolutely adored M&M's peanuts, and he would stand up on his hind legs and "dance" whenever he wanted anything- especially M&M peanuts! He always barked at the UPS truck passing by, and absolutely could not contain himself when the mailman came by. The neighbor's cat also drove him batty. He would just dream of getting free and getting a shot at that cat- until one day when he actually was able to get the door opened. He went tearing after that cat, and then the cat turned around to face him. I think there were actual skid marks on the sidewalk where his feet screeched to a halt when he realized that cat might come at him! It was the funniest thing I've ever seen! He loved to sit and watch out the window all day long. I always knew when someone was coming because he'd let me know before the doorbell rang. I'll probably miss a lot more visitors now that I might not know they are here! About a year and a half ago he started to be in pain. He had arthritis and it was slowing him down. WE got him on medication and he was back to his old self again. But over this last winter he began to slow down. He couldn't jump up on the bed anymore. He had to take several tries to even get up on the couch. (It was pretty funny to watch!) About 3 weeks ago he woke up shaking. HE was clearly in pain, and just went downhill from there. He just lay around all day and looked depressed. Pain pills weren't helping him anymore. Then a few days ago his back legs started to give out, and it only got worse. 2 days ago I took him out for a little walk. It took us 45 minutes to get around one block. I think he knew it was his last walk, and he did not want to come back in the house although he was clearly in pain, and exhausted. I let him walk as far as his little legs would go. Last night was his worst night. He couldn't sleep. He couldn't lay down- it hurt too much. He just sat and panted, and nudged his little nose into my hand everytime I fell asleep on the floor in his room, or stopped petting him. Finally, after a large dose of pain medication, he was able to relax and sleep. Then, today, we loaded him up in the car and took a beautiful drive to Logan where the vet put him to sleep. I held his little head close to mine and whispered to him as the drugs went through his little body. He suddenly became very calm and peaceful. IT was so fast. It was over. I don't know what I will do now without my little Nappy. I hope he knows how much he was adored. I sure will miss him. Thank you for sharing your wet kisses, Nappy. I love you.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Feeling sorry for myself...

My poor Nappy dog is not doing well. He's had arthritis for the last year or so, and his medication has really helped up until now. However, a few weeks ago he started really struggling. Now, he has a hard time walking, he's skittish and yelps whenever you make any sudden moves around him, he puts off going outside for as long as possible, and dreads going up and down the stairs. He's not his normal, happy self anymore. He just lays around all day long, and just looks depressed.

I'm having trouble coming to grips with the fact that it's probably time to let him go. I don't want him to suffer anymore. But I've had him for over 12 years, and I've become quite attached to the little guy. I love that he greets me whenever I come through the front door with a wagging tail- as though I've been gone for a long time, even if I've only gone out to water the flowers. I love how he would snuggle up next to me while watching television. He would always seem to sense when I wasn't feeling well and just lay near me, quietly content and not bugging me for treats or to be let outside. He loved it when I would "tuck him in" at night, taking him to his bed in my son's room and petting him before I left the room. (Now, all he wants to do is be at my side at all times. He even sneaks into our room after our light is out and lays on the floor next to my side of the bed.)

So, we're saying our goodbyes. I don't know how much longer we'll have him, but I don't think it will be long. I'm just struggling right now with the temporary nature of it all. Is this our last Thursday together? How many more times will I get to pet his soft little head? Do I even order his next prescription of pain meds?

Ugh. I am just having a hard time right now. :(

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Embrace the chocolate...

I've come to accept some things about myself that I cannot change. Ok, well...I'm trying to accept these things.It doesn't come easy for a stubborn girl like me. Things such as- The size of my house, the fact that we are not moving any time soon, my thinning hair, we only have one child, I'll never be fantastic at housekeeping, I'll never be tall and thin, and I'm closer to 40 than I'd care to admit.

I am also trying to do something about the things that I never thought I could or would change, but I actually CAN do something about with a little (or a LOT) of work and planning. Things like: organize my closets and laundry room, make and STAY on a budget,Stock my food storage, get fit and healthy-ish, make weekly menus and stick to them, have great looking cuticles. (Ok, that last one really should go on the "cannot change" list. It is completely unrealistic for me to expect the impossible.)

So far I am working on the fit and healthy-ish goal. I started this insane workout called, of all things, "Insanity". It is kicking my heiny across the floor and back again, but I feel great after I've done it. (Ok, well, a while after I do it I feel great. Right after I do it I feel like puking my guts out and lying prostrate on the floor until next week.) I'm not going for any particular "size" goal or weight loss goal, except that I fully expect that all this butt busting will at least trim something off. But I do want to be able to hike and ride bikes and enjoy life when I am much older. I want to be that 40 year old woman that people say "No! There's no way you look 40" and they really mean that they think I look younger, not that they're astonished I'm not older. (Although, I have learned that it really matters what kind of bra you buy. Really! The higher the girls are, the younger you look. However, if you're 60 and wearing a push-up... well, that's just sad.)

The biggest problem with getting fit and healthy-ish, is the "ish" part. I do love food, I won't deny it. I absolutely love eating healthy- I love veggies, lean meats, fish... love it all. But I also love chocolate, and cake, and warm chocolate chip cookies on a rainy day. In comes the "ish" part. I just don't know if I can give up the yummy stuff altogether. So, eating smaller portions and fewer "treats" is my goal for now. I did, however, finally resort to putting all the leftover Easter candy in the dark recesses of my pantry today in an effort to stop snarfing all the whipped chocolate eggs in one sitting. Now if I can just make myself forget they are there... hmmm..... how to do that, I'm not sure....

As for organizing and budgeting? Well, I can't expect perfection all at once. And that, my friends, is something I know I cannot change. I can't be perfect. Period. So I will embrace my faults today. With chocolate. Now, where did I put that again...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My thoughts on being a Mormon...

I've read a LOT in the news recently about what the "Mormons" are all about- good and bad. I guess I'm glad the world is learning more about us "Mormons"- or more correctly named members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. There have been many articles and interviews, books written, by people who "were once Mormon, but have since left the church". Obviously these people will have a slanted view against this religion. But I want to add my voice as one who is FOR this religion, as an active member, and one who hopes others will see the "Big Picture" as the positive fruits of the members who belong to and love this church.

So, here is what I have learned while being a "Mormon":

1) Belief in, and love of my Savior, Jesus Christ, of the old and New Testaments. I am a Christian because I believe in Jesus Christ, the literal Son of God, who taught people how to serve and love others; who died on the cross and was resurrected 3 days later; and who appeared to the people in the Americas after his resurrection as is accounted in The Book of Mormon; another testament of Jesus Christ.

2)Service: I learn in church to serve others. To take food to the sick and needy, to help those who cannot do for themselves, to love and serve all without judgement. (It doesn't mean I am perfect at these things, but this is what I am taught each week in church, and I try my best to do them.)

3)To treat my neighbors and everyone I meet with respect and love. This includes those not of my faith. (Most of my son's friends in our neighborhood are NOT members of my church, and I view them as no better or worse than anyone else in my church. Period.) And I am TAUGHT to do this in church! (I am not, nor have I EVER been, taught to treat non-members any differently. Any non-members who have been treated poorly by other members of this church must understand this. Those people were acting of their OWN accord, and NOT according to the way they are taught in church.)

4)Family is IMPORTANT!!! I am taught in my church that family is central to God's plan for our happiness and progression. I do not work outside of the home because I have chosen to focus on making sure my home is a happy place where my husband can come after a hard day at work to feel love and peace, and where my son knows his mommy will always be when he needs me. I am free to be home when he is sick, I am here when he has friends over, my home is my job. I don't always "love" it,and it isn't glamorous or well-paying by any means, but I know what I am doing is important, and worth it! And I know that many mothers outside of my religion feel the same way about their families. It isn't just a Mormon thing.

5)God loves us today just as much as he did people in the days of the Bible. Therefore, why would he NOT give us modern guidance and direction during these incredibly difficult times? We have a prophet who receives revelation from Heavenly Father that helps us today. The things he counsels us to do are good, wise, and helpful. I have NEVER been unhappy in my life when I have heeded the prophet's counsel.

6) Sexual purity is IMPORTANT! It really DOES matter when and with whom you choose to engage in this deep kind of intimacy. Sharing the most intimate part of yourself should be just as God has commanded it: between HUSBAND and WIFE- and none else! No one has ever regretted saving that part of themselves for after marriage. And adversely, who ever has regretted sharing that part of themselves with someone they were not married to? That question is easily answered! Too many to count!

Well, I could go on and on, but I've said enough for today. I am a Mormon. This is what I am taught in my church. This is who I am.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hidden camera?

I watched a little movie on Youtube today about funny stuff Mormon Moms say. Over to the right were several other clips having to do with "Mormons". One of them said "secret video of a Mormon sacrament meeting with smuggled in camera." It caught my attention, so I watched.
Aside from the whole thing being a video of the back of the person's head in front of the camera, and not one shot of the actual podium where the speakers were, you could barely hear what was going on at all.
Do you know what I thought?
Well, I just wanted to laugh, for one thing. Seriously? "Smuggled in camera"? Then I had to laugh because I got thinking of how boring the speaker sounded in this "secret" footage. You know- the times when you are just sitting there looking at the clock hoping the meeting ends soon? Yes, you know those times because everybody has them!!!! (Don't pretend you don't!) And the kids in the congregation just can't sit still and be quiet, and the man a few rows back is snoring as loudly as an engine, and the Bishop is falling asleep on the stand, and the little kid behind you is running his little truck back and forth across your seat back...

Well, I want to say the the world: Go ahead! Come! See for yourself without having to smuggle in a camera. There's nothing "secret" about it. This is a place where families come to learn of the Saviour. Trucks, noisy kids, smashed cherios and all. We are a bunch of imperfect people trying to be better. So come! And leave your camera phones at home!

To learn more about who we"Mormons"are, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints- go to this website: www.mormon.org

Sunday, March 4, 2012

getting organized...

My son saw the title of this blog and said:
"Organized Chaos?! Wow, mom. They should totally see your desk!"
He was promptly sent to time out for the rest of his life!
Ok, well, maybe not.
But, organized, I am not. So I am turning over a new leaf and am starting to get organized.
I will be starting with my storage room. OR maybe my pantry. Or perhaps my hall closet.

Maybe I need to organize what I am going to organize so I can start organizing, huh?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rest in Peace, little "Rupert"

My little blue parakeet, Rupert, died this morning. I wrote his obituary posted below. My husband came home from work at lunch and we held a funeral for him. My husband played a beautiful prelude song by Alexander Gretchaninof called "Nunc Dimittis". My son read the obituary and we all reminisced about our happy times with "Rupert". I played "Going Home" at the end and we took him out under the pine tree for his final resting place. (I am glad my dog is not a digger!)

I have had that bird for 13 years (minus several months when he lived with my sister while we moved and got re-adjusted). I will really miss him.

Goodbye, Rupert.

*obituary*

At 11:42 am on Thursday February 16, 2012, our sweet "Rupert" bird left his little red cage to fly with the birds in Heaven. He was a good bird, and lived a full and long life- over 13 years. He liked to talk to himself, immitate the telephone, and sounded like R2D2. He couldn't fly straight. He loved chocolate cake and sitting on your head while watching television. He is preceeded in death by Argh Matey (bulimic, and had only one eye), Chirpie (killed by cat 30 minutes after we brought him home), Chirpie 2 (crooked beak), Paul (didn't chirp the first year of his life), Sherbert the Bird (had a song written after him) and those two finches I can't remember their names but sounded like a squeeky bed.
He leaves behind our loving family, and his ex-wife, "Lollie", who will miss yelling at him.


A short memorial service will be held in the Taylor back yard today at 12:30 pm.



Fly straight and true, little "Rupert". Fly straight, and true!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentines Brag session...

Yesterday was...well...surreal!

I got home from taking the kids to school to find a pathway of little paper hearts with little love sentiments written on them, leading into the kitchen where there sat a box of nuts and cream chocolates and a big heart with a love note! I was shocked! Soooo unlike my husband to plan ahead for a holiday he despises with his whole heart and soul. (In fact, I wondered if, indeed, there really are "body snatchers" that can take over a person's body!)

Then, I found out he counseled all his friends at work to go get their wives a box of chocolates at the Fernwoods down the street. His one friend said he had already taken his wife out a few days ago and figured he was done. My hubby told him to think like a woman, so he bought her a box of chocolates. Sure enough, when he got home his wife had a valentine gift for him and he was soooo lucky he had one for her! He told my hubby he "saved his bacon"! (Now I KNOW he has been replaced by an imposter, but I"ll keep him!)

So, my day was pretty much great from the get-go. I spent the whole day getting ready for the candlelight dinner I make for my hubby and son every year. On the menu this year was:

shrimp coctails in wine glasses
crusty bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dipping sauce
mixed green salad with prosciutto and gorgonzola cheese
4 cheese ravioli in an asiago cream sauce
pan-seared garlic and herb sea scallops
Shirley Temple drinks
Coconut cream cake with lime curd filling

We indulged ourselves in the delicious food all evening, and listened to beautiful french music. We danced in the tiny kitchen and it was a little slice of heaven. (except for the fact that I had been so busy and hurried I forgot to shower and make myself look pretty...or even presentable...or even smell decent. Well, better not set the bar too high, I'm only getting older and, well... let's just say Botox is not going to be a part of my regular regimen and maybe the hubby better get used to this imperfection that is me. Ok, a shower isn't asking too much, but I just didn't get to it, ok? I can't always be perfect!)

Sooo lucky to have those two perfectly wonderful men in my life! They are worth every grey hair I have!!!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Saturday night, the unthinkable happened. I convinced my husband to watch "Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt. 1" with me.

I think he was feeling guilty for leaving me all day to go to work and meetings, and then taking the kid to play laser tag that evening. I was alone most of the day. So, he didn't put up much of a fight when I suggested it at 10:30 pm. I did, however, tell him he could make fun all he wanted.

Well, make fun, he certainly did.
And rightly so. It was pretty laughable, some of those ridiculous scenes. I admit.

However, last night he voluntarilly watched pt. 6 of "Downton Abbey, season 2", and there was no sniggering or fun-making. And at the end said in a mocking tone, "Ooooo.... I bet you can hardly wait for next week's episode! How are you ever going to manage???"

But, you know what? I think the excitement was more for him than me! There just may be a soft core behind the rough, action-movie, blast- all- the- aliens- with- super- machine- guns, exterior.

It helps that the daughters are all pretty good lookers, too.

Friday, February 10, 2012

I'm a brilliant and perfect mother!

Ok, I just had to say that for my own benefit. (We all know it's not true!)
However, I have found a solution to my daily drama I'd like to share.
(Ok, one of my daily dramas- I can do nothing about the tantrums I throw when I have to fold laundry or wash a dirty pan. And the drama with trying to get my hair to do anything remotely resembling something other than 80's ratty poof will never end, I fear.)

I am referring to the daily drama such as this:

"Moooooommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm..... I want to play a video game before my homework today, is that ok? I PROMISE I will work really extra hard after I play and get all my work done really fast."

"That's what you said yesterday, and I had to prod you 15 times to focus on your math."

"Mom, that is SO not true! I did my math. And I especially promise I will work really hard today and not lose focus if you just let me play...."

blah blah blah... you get the idea.

People... this scene is NO LONGER an issue!

I found this fantastic web site HERE, and it has this point system online. (Along with printable charts for getting chores done, homework, goals, etc. Just click on Points System at the top of the page.) You set up a list of rules and assign points to each. Your kid then goes online and enters what they have completed and submits his points for approval. You then go online and see what they have done, and approve the points or deny- (I have had to deny a few when I had to prod several times to get something done, but talk about a great motivator! They HATE to see their points being denied!) and then they get to "purchase" their reward.

I set up rewards like:
1/2 hr. video game= 10 pts
Netflix Movie= 8 pts
1 piece of candy from pantry= 3 pts

I also set up bonus points such as:
1/2 hr. creative play (playdoh, dominos building, crafts, etc)=5 pts
Bonus Initiative (taking the initiative to do a chore not asked to do)= 5pts
1/2 hr. exercise= 5 pts

and I've set it up so he has to do all of his homework, AND at least one bonus thing to get enough points for an hour of video games. (heh heh heh) and he is usually so busy doing his crafts or "creative playing" outside, or roller blading for exercise he rarely has an hour left to play video games! (That's where my cleverness comes in.)

Now, he is able to get all his piano practice in every day (which wasn't happening before), exercise, homework, reading, and creativity in, and he feels like he is getting "paid" for it all!

Now, you tell me: Am I not a genious parent, or what???!!!!! Thank you. Thank you! No, really, thank you!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Don't be afraid to dream big!

This morning my husband said he had this awesome dream last night that we moved to a charming little town in the French countryside. He described the beautiful old house and rolling hill we lived on, the babbling brook, the village people (not THOSE village people...duh) who were all so kind to us.
Then he said, hey, let's move to Panama.

What???? (record player screeching to a halt)

"Well, it's a LOT cheaper there than France."

Ok, babe. He certainly can't be accused of dreaming too big.

Monday, February 6, 2012

One week...Poof! Just gone!

Last week was a lot of this:

Cough, cough, ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, cough, zzzzzzzzzzzzz, blow,cough,cough,zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, cough, cough, blow......

You get the idea. I feel like an entire week of my life was wasted! I didn't get my son up for school, didn't cook dinners, didn't welcome my hubby home with loves and warm baked dishes, didn't do a stitch of laundry or cleaning,didn't let my son have friends over... nuthin!

So this week I have a goal to be the best mom, best wife, best housekeeper, best laundress, best organizer, best budgeter, best exerciser, best grocery shopper, best cook, best listener, and best sleeper (making up for all the lack of sleep last week) I've ever been. (And just typing this makes me feel overwhelmed already.)

Well, at least I'm going to try to be better, anyway. It is amazing to me, however, how 1/3rd of our house was sick in bed all week, yet the entire house managed to get 3 times dirtier than when that 3rd is up and around. It's a puzzlement....

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Boring post about fantastic laundry soap. Confused?

Ok. Happy housewife moment, here. I am shamelessly plugging my new favorite product: S20 All-In-One laundry sheets (found here) http://home-solutions.hsn.com/s2o-110-all-in-one-laundry-sheets-fresh-scent-autoship_p-6649302_xp.aspx?web_id=6649302&sourcemailid=EMSHIPWEB201201&cm_mmc=Email-_-Transactional-_-EMSHIPWEB201201-_-purchaseditem

I was watching HSN one night. I guess I was at a vulnerable moment, or feeling the need to be clean, or something. Anyway, they were pitching these laundry sheets. They are actually used in place of laundry soap.

Well, I bought some. Heck, I thought I'd try it and see if it really does what they say it does. It is supposed to be really good at getting grease out, even set in grease. Also, it is apparenty a very good fabric softener, color protector, and non-irritating.

I just got my first load out of the dryer. I had one shirt that has had two huge grease spots on the front for months now. No, I don't wear it in public...very often. My usual way to get set in grease stains out is by spraying the stain with WD40, rubbing it in but being careful to not get ANY of it on any other part of the shirt. Then rubbing in dish detergent with grease fighter, and letting it sit. Most often this works, but not always. It didn't work on this shirt.

In comes the new stuff. I grabbed a laundry sheet, rubbed it right on the dry shirt with the grease stains, then tossed it in the wash. Did I think it would work, absolutely not. Did it work? Absolutely!!! Not only did it work, but my clothes are softer then they've ever been, and they smell good, too.

So there you have it, my shameless advertisement. I will state it claims to get out grease stains, but doesn't say anything about other stains. I assume you have to treat those like any other stains you treat. However, I seem to get more grease stains than anything, and this worked great. And I love how soft my clothes are!

One container has 110 sheets. You use about 2 sheets per large load. I usually cram every stitch of clothing into one load I possibly can, and 2 seemed to work great. You can choose autoship and choose how often it is shipped, as well. (I chose every two months- there's only 3 of us here.)

Well, that's all I got to say about that. Take it or leave it.

If I am dreaming, please don't wake me.

I didn't have to drive the carpool this morning.

My hubby quietly told me to turn off my alarm clock when it went of...the first time, (I have it set to go off every 9 minutes and I know I can let it go off 3 times before I absolutely have to get up, and I always let it go off the full 3 times, and hubby hates it) and offered to get the kid up and ready.

My son was so quiet getting ready I never heard him leave.

My hubby was so quiet getting ready I thought he had left, but he hadn't yet.

I lay like a slug in my 4 pillows (yes 4, every girl needs several pillows) until guilt took over and I made myself get up.

My hubby came in and kissed me goodbye.

Son off to school without a hitch,(with his science project, I might add- which is a miracle in itself!)
Hubby off to work.
Mommy got a full night's sleep.

This day is starting off like a dream! Reality: I hope you take the day off.

Monday, January 23, 2012

My uber brilliant billion dollar idea!

My husband is always looking for ways for me to make us our millions so he can quit working. Well, I should say, he encourages me to look for ways to make millions- he doesn't do much "looking" himself.

Well, the search is over. I have found the answer.

Ever since movies have been made with sound, it seems there have always been movies made about teenagers desire to dance and how misunderstood they are, right? I mean, you have "Flash Dance" (which I've never seen, but my husband has- several times, though he would never admit it in public. Sorry, hun. In his defense, it was when he was very young at a slumber party with a friend and he wasn't allowed to watch it at home so it was kind of a kid-rebels-against-parents-by-watching-a-teen-rebel-against-society kind of party. You get it.) Then there's "Footloose" which I watched over and over about 7 times in one crazy night at my own slumber party with a bunch of screaming girls and their mom who was absolutely in love with Kevin Bacon, which was kind of Creepy since her husband was just in the other room shushing us to be quiet. Then there's "Dirty Dancing" which will forever be one of my favorites because it was filmed at my most favorite place on earth- Lake Lure, in North Carolina. I won't name all the others- there are way too many, and I think I've made my point: Kids want to dance, and adults just don't understand.

However, there is a HUGE missing piece in this teen-angst, forbidden dancer drama genre. What about those poor kids who desperately wanted to dance the new and scandelous waltz when it first appeared? Thus enters my brilliant idea. Are you ready for it?

Picture this: satin-toed feet rushing through the dewy wet grass behind a large and sprawling estate. Giggling and hushed laughing. Anxious suitors await in a secret hideaway for the ladies to arrive. A violin begins. The partners bow. The forbidden waltzing begins!

Isnt your heart just pounding with the anticipation of it all? Will they be found out? Will the girls' reputations be ruined forever? Will their fathers demand pistols at dawn to any young suitor caught waltzing with their prized daughter?

My husband looked at me like I had worms crawling out of my nose when I told him my idea. Apparently pistols at dawn isn't enough of a draw for the male population's attention. Or maybe it was the satin-toed shoes that turned him off.

Well, I think it is a gripping idea, and I am going to call Robert Redford and pitch it to him right now. I'll even let him play one of the angry grandfathers, if he so wishes.

Let the waltzing begin!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Yearnin' for the land o'the green...and needing the green to go.

This morning as I went to take my son to school, the weather was absolutely beautiful. Now, when I say "beautiful" I don't mean your usual sunny, warm, birds chirping kind of beautiful. No, to me beautiful is rainy, not too cold, misty. It made me think of the weather in March. (Yes, it is January, but we're having freakish end-of-the-world weather in Utah right now. IT's kind of creepy, actually.)

The weather made my bones yearn. My ancestral bones from Ireland, Scottland, Wales. They yearn for this:


I've only been to Wales, but I felt I was going home. Really! It was kind of strange, actually, but I really felt like I belonged there.

So, today I am listening to celtic music, loving the rain, and dreaming of greener places.
Oh, this is a picture of my ancestral castle in Scottland. Buchannan Castle- pretty cool, huh?

Erin go Bragh!!! (my name does mean Ireland, you know.)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My list of what I haven't done this whole year

What I haven't done yet this year:

-taken down the Christmas trees and decorations
-made any new year resolutions to better myself
-gotten rid of all the nasty junk food laying around since Christmas
-gotten on the treadmill (since 2 days before Christmas. eek!)
-felt guilty about any of the above! (for the most part...sort of...)

I have decided I am not in a race, so why feel rushed? Let's face it, the junk food will either go away because it went to my hips, or go away because I eventually decided to toss it. My trees will eventually come down. I will eventually do something to better myself whether I make a goal to do so on paper or just keep it floating around in my head. And I will eventually get back on the treadmill because my guilt won't let me sit and do nothing for a whole year. See? There's hope already!

Friday, January 6, 2012

I am a good mother, dangit!

I hate making breakfast most mornings. I mean,I want to be a good mom and not just throw a bowl of sugar cereal at my kid with some milk and call it good, but getting up, prodding my kid over and over to get out of bed, figuring out something healthy and filling to make for breakfast, actually making it... well, it just a little too much for me most mornings. So, I decided to solve my problem once and for all.

So, today I am cooking up 30 sausage patties, 30 scrambled egg rounds with cheese, and 30 toasted english muffins. I will put them together and Voila! Instant breakfast sandwiches with eggs, protein, dairy, grains; I am a good mom again! I'll just freeze them, and zap them for a minute every morning. My kid will be happy and well fed, I will be happy and not have to cook every morning- it's a win/win!

Yes, I AM a good mother!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The longest run-on sentence of the year... so far.

The funny thing about being a parent is when you have to give your kid a pep-talk about jumping back into school after the long Christmas break, and how he will get back into the groove of things in no time, and how great it is to be back on a schedule; when all the while you are on the verge of breaking into tears and having a nervous breakdown because the pile of laundry you didn't do the week after Christmas is growing by the day, the dishes need to be done, the Christmas trees are still up and you curse yourself for insisting you needed two up to begin with, your resolve to toss out all leftover candy and junk food from the holidays the day after new year's day has turned into purchasing a package of oreos and consuming 1/3 of it in one sitting with a cold glass of milk while watching Dr. Who and avoiding the mountain of laundry mentioned earlier, and the only reason you have gotten out of bed at all is because you have to put on the facade that you have jumped back into normal life with both feet and are doing just fine so your kid can continue "getting on" with his normal life again without having his own after-holidays melt-down, and you realize you aren't fooling anyone when your kid throws his arms around you and tells you you'll be ok soon and it'll all be back to normal in no time- the very words you used his first morning back to school as you both climbed into the cold car before the sun was up for the first time in two weeks, and you dread getting on that scale in the bathroom knowing it isn't going to say kind things to you, but that you need to face reality sooner or later if you are going to attempt your new year's resolutions sometime in the near future when you have really and truly faced the fact that the holidays are over and life really has to get back to normal, and there really is no other way than to do just as you have told your trusting 10 year old and jump in with both feet, facing the new year head on with eyes of steel and an unwavering resolve, just as soon as you polish off the last of the cherry chocolates and triple cream brie cheese, and that last 2/3rds package of oreos. Yep. It's pretty funny.