Sunday, December 19, 2010

That Face

I really don't have much to say today... I was just messing around with some photos and loved the way this one turned out :)
This was taken in Idaho over Thanksgiving break.  She was SO excited to play in the snow!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


I have a decision to make... and I really don't want to do it.  So, you get to do it for me!   Aren't you excited?  I knew you would be.

This is a life changing decision.  Please don't take this lightly... ready??

With the stem....

Or without?

Okay... so maybe it's not life changing.  But I can't decide and I'd love your thoughts (just like the last time I made a baby quilt).  Ignore the ruffle and extra bits of fabric laying around and let me know... with or without??  

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Figment

I used to believe in mythical creatures... such as elves, dragons, unicorns, fairies, and children who made me look like a competent parent.

Red attended a meeting with his dad today for all the 11 year old boys at our church.  Our Bishop asked each boy to share something that they had learned from their mothers.  Now, I've had almost 12 years with this kid.  I've tried to teach him to be obedient, respectful, kind and happy.  I've taught him to pray, read his scriptures and to try to be the best he can.  Apparently I need a refresher course on how to teach these things because what he actually learned is to be to be silly, sarcastic and to go for the laugh instead of giving a real answer.

His response when asked what he had learned from his mother :  "She taught me not to kill people".  Which, in the grand scheme of things, is good.  Really good.  I'd rather my children weren't running around being serial killers.

But, now that we've got the "no murdering" thing down... I think it's time to move on to other things that will eventually turn him into a well-rounded individual.  Perhaps we'll start with "there's a time and a place for everything..."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Oh, hey... Hi

So, um, as you can see, I haven't written in awhile.  So, let's do a quick catch up post and move on, shall we?  Excellent!  Here we go...

July - Spent some time in Idaho with family and then came home to pack like maniacs!  We moved to Arizona on one of the hottest days of the year.  Oh yeah... some like it hot... or, um, something like that.  So anyway, we had such great help from friends getting out of our old house and a ton of people showed up to help us get into the new place.  We're settling in slowly (a.k.a. I'm still not done unpacking).  But the kids are adjusting fairly well.  We've had a few small bumps in the road, and I'm sure there will be more, but for now, we're good.

August - the kids went back to school and I was so scatter brained that I didn't get pictures.  Lame, lame, lame!!!  Hubby's birthday was in August, but, again, trying to unpack and finish things up in California and it ended up not being a big celebration... MEGA LAME!!  Sigh... I'll do better next year!

September - wait?  What?  Did we even HAVE a September this year?  Oh yes.  I had a kidney stone in September.  Spent most of the month feeling awful.  Let's forget September this year.  Moving on!

October - Busy.  Really, really busy.  First off we had Hubby's parents come visit.  It was so great to have them here.  We didn't do much... just relaxed and enjoyed their company!  I think everyone had a good time.
We had two birthday's in October. Baby Girl had a fairy birthday party that was a blast!
I decked the house out in lights and yards and yards of tulle.  Made skirts and got wings for all the girls instead of goodie bags.  It was a lot of fun.
Then we had an "October Birthday Beach Bash" with friends from California.  Between the two families we have 4 October b-days.  It was so fun to see our friends for the day!

Little Bug's birthday was more low key.  He doesn't like lots of people around. So we kept his day simple.
I gave him a book called "Wild About Books" and all present opening stopped.  He had to read it a couple of times before we could resume the rest of our evening.  He still packs it around the house reading his favorite parts over and over...
Alan surprised me with a vacation away from kids!  He plotted and planned with my parents... they came down and watched kids and we took off for a few days.  It was really, really nice!  The first evening was spent in Carlsbad, CA right on the beach.
The next two days were spent at Disneyland!  I love, love, love that place!  And I know it's a great place to take your kids, but can I tell you how awesome it was to go without kids?  No begging for over priced toys or treats.  No whining or crying because exhaustion had settled in.  No skipping rides or shops because the kids don't want to go or because we don't want to take them.  We were able to do anything and everything we wanted.  There were things that I know the kids would have loved, but they can go next time... maybe...

(BTW - World of Color is absolutely AMAZING!!)
Last day of the trip was in San Diego.  We went to the temple and then headed for home.  It was a fantastic trip!  (thanks again for watching kids Mom and Dad!!!) 
Halloween was awesome!  I had asked Baby Girl what she wanted to be for Halloween back in September and she said "Alice from Alice in Wonderland".  And I said, "Oh, that will be fun!  We'll get you a blue dress and some black shoes and..." she interrupted and said, "No mom.  Not that Alice.  The Alice from the new movie.  In armor with a Vorpal sword to kill the Jabberwocky."  Ah... yeah.  Her costume turned out pretty good though... here's what it looks like in the movie and what we ended up with (yeah, that's the best pic I got of her alone...)
Not too bad, if I do say so myself.  I got up Saturday morning and decided to be the White Queen... so I made a costume that day.

 Then we had "Return of the Jedi" (he was a Jedi last year too)
 Our rather reluctant farmer...
 And the crazy weird guy...

November - not much so far.  And I'm glad!  We'll have a few things later in the month, but for now, it's been peaceful... well, as peaceful as we ever get.

I don't know if anyone will even see this post or care.  But I'm going to try and get back to the blog once a week.  Yeah.  Try.  I'm not making any promises... but, it feels good to write again.  We'll see how this goes!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Huffin and Puffin

Many of you may remember my friend Marissa's unfortunate hiking experience last year.  Well, I had the opportunity to go on that same hike with some friends awhile ago.  Needless to say, I went to the bathroom before we left.  Never let it be said that I don't learn from my other's mistakes.
But, before I tell you about this latest adventure, I need to explain a few things.  First of all, you need to understand my definition of "hike".  So, if everyone would please open their copy of "The World According to Melissa" to page 245.  Let's see... ah... yes!  Here it is...
hike - verb - mindless wandering while eating snacks
I like to stop and look at flowers.  Check out crazy bugs.  And, of course, eat while I go.  Another thing you need to know about this hike - all of the gals I went with are runners and are in fantastic shape.  (Technically, I'm in shape too.  Round is a shape.)
Anyway, I had gotten up early, dressed comfortably and then loaded my backpack full of snacks.  My good friend Shannan was our lovely driver and away we went.  Chatting, laughing, and me, totally expecting to "hike" in my own special way.
So, you can imagine my surprise when we get to the trail head and I hear the one of the gals say, "Let's see how good of a workout we can get here!"  



They weren't there to "hike", they were there to race up the canyon!  Everyone took off at a pace that Olympic sprinters would envy.  And I brought up the rear... huffing and puffing.  After awhile I asked for a break so I could eat a snack.  I was feeling a bit dizzy... which may have been from lack of food (most of my family has some sort of blood sugar problem) or lack of oxygen.  Either way - I needed to rest for a minute.  The other gals weren't even winded.  Not in the slightest.
I was a little embarrassed at making everyone stop for a little while, but it was either have them stop and wait, or I could pass out and then they'd have to carry me back to the car.  Which, of course, wouldn't have been embarrassing AT ALL.
But, after awhile, I got my second wind and started to feel less self conscious about myself and I really enjoyed the last part of the hike.  Too bad I had been a crying whiner for the first half... well, a breathless, dizzy, crying whiner.  
And the best part?  I didn't get a sliver in my butt!  WOOHOO!!  (Don't know what I'm talking about?  Go read Marissa's account and it will all become clear...)
The End
(What?  You were looking for a moral?  Some life lesson learned about persevering or having a good attitude or loving who you are no matter how awesome everyone else around you is?  Well, too bad.  I got nothing... I'm just grateful to be splinterless!) 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Great Reread

I think I've mentioned once or twice that I love to read.  Lately I've read a slew of mediocre books that have left me feeling kind of ... well, kind of meh.  Nothing interesting or entertaining about them... actually, that's not totally true.  In the last book I read I created a kind of game where I counted how many similes and grammatical errors I could find.  That's not usually what I do with a book, but when you have errors as blatant as "The children was playing in the clearing" (not a direct quote, but close) then you just have to start paying closer attention.  My grammar isn't perfect, but I also don't have an editor or a slurry of people read everything I write before I "publish" it.
Anyway, I'm tired of these bland and boring books and I've decided to take a couple of months to do some rereading.  I want to read the Percy Jackson books again.  I can't wait to get lost in the Chronicles of Narnia.  Who wouldn't love to walk the halls of Hogwarts with Harry Potter?  I have a stack of books from the library, but I think I'm going to take them all back so that I can revisit some favorites and maybe find myself really enjoying reading again.
Do you ever reread books?  Or are you the type of person to read something once and then be done with it for good?  If you do reread, what are your favorite books to pick up time and time again?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Deep Breath

For the last few years I have had a mantra... something that I've chanted to myself when things were a little crazy with kids/work/life in general.  That mantra is : It will be okay.  
I know.  It's very profound.
I can't count how many times I've told myself this.  Told my kids this.  Told anyone with a problem this.  It's my go to answer for everything.  And now... well, now that mantra is being put to the test.
Let me ask you something... how many times have you moved in the last 12 years?  If you were to ask me that question I would probably say "One too many".  How many moves do we have exactly?  Well... that depends on how you categorize a move.  I count it if we moved all of our worldly possessions from one location to another.  So, let's start at the very beginning... 
  1. January 1998 - moved into our first place together after we were married.  
  2. April 1998 - we moved out of the first apartment and in with my Grandma for the summer.  We ended up putting most of our stuff in storage... but we did move it all.  So it counts.
  3. August 1998 - moved into a teeny tiny apartment.  I was pregnant with our first baby and had to back into the shower.  Really.
  4. November 1998 - got accepted into government subsidized housing (Hubby in school, baby on the way...).
  5. August 1999 - moved to Moscow, ID to further the education of afore mentioned Hubby.
  6. September 1999 - got accepted into government subsidized housing about 2 days after I had finished unpacking.  Now, technically while we were in college, we moved home each summer... but we didn't move all of our belongings.  So, I don't count it.
  7. June 2002 - moved for our first job to a house in Murtaugh, ID.  Got almost everything unpacked and then...
  8. June 2002 - got offered a cheaper, nicer place to rent by our landlords.  And it wasn't just a little nicer... it was A LOT nicer... and it was on a lake.  Couldn't resist.  Packed all our junk up and moved again.
  9. September 2002 - we moved to Irrigon, OR for another job.
  10. June 2003 - moved to Hermiston, OR to be closer to said job.
  11. June 2004 - bought a house in Hermiston, OR and thought we would live there forever until....
  12. September 2006 - moved to our current location here in Southern California.  But this summer....
  13. June 2010 - Yuma Arizona... here we come.
We've been married for 12 years and will have 13 moves under our belt.  Yes, we are insane.  Yes, we are incredibly tired of moving.  Yes, the kids are fairly upset with this decision.  Yes, we think we're doing the best thing for our family.  But that doesn't mean I'm happy about it.
I'm tired of starting over, finding new friends, figuring out how to fit in, getting the kids into school... just everything about moving makes me cringe.  I like where we are at.  I like our friends.  I like the school situations for all of my kids. I'm not looking forward to moving.  At all.  And yet... I know it will all work out.  
Now.  That being said... does anyone know anything POSITIVE about Yuma?  I've looked on the internet a bit and everything I can find is negative.  EXTREMELY NEGATIVE!!  For example... they don't have a Costco... which, in my opinion, is a crime.  But if you know anything good about Yuma, I'd love to hear it.  If you don't know anything good about Yuma, well, pat me on the head, commiserate with me for awhile and then, if you don't mind, please tell me that it will be okay.  Because every time I start to give myself "the mantra" my voice quivers and my eyes start to get all watery... 
At least I get to take you all with me.  You won't mind going to Yuma inside of my computer, will you?  

Friday, February 05, 2010

Unfinished Business

I like to create.  It's fun to sit down with a few pieces of fabric and see what I can throw together.  Sometimes it's a mess and other times it turns out a-okay.  Unfortunately, I have a bad habit of starting a crafting project, but not finishing.  I thought about taking photos of all my items in progress, but decided against it.  First of all, I don't have the time to take that many pictures.  Second, I don't want to waste your time looking at that many pictures. Suffice it to say, my projects are varied and many.
But I've set a goal for this month.  I'm going to finish at least one project - Red's quilt.  I started it last summer when he complained that his old quilt was too hot.  It has a fleece back and it's a tad toasty for the summer months.  Unfortunately for my oldest child, he's like his mom.  He wants to sleep with a blanket of some kind.  I can't sleep unless I have some kind of fabric tucked all around me... he's the same way.  But when the desert summers hit... it can be a tad uncomfortable to be swaddled in fleece.
So I'm going to finish it.  He's enjoying the fleece for now, but it won't be long before the heat settles back into the valley and he'll be sweating it out.  This is what I have done so far... hopefully in a few weeks I'll be able to show you the whole top!  Wish me luck.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

I'm Sorry

I can't remember how many times I've ranted and raved over the comment verification on blogs.  It's always a frustrating thing for me to have to type all those letters in... usually I have to type it in 3 or 4 times before I get it right.  My fingers mover faster than my brain.
But, I'm afraid that I've had to cave and put it up here.  I'm not getting nasty comments.  No haters or anything like that... just spam.  Lots of spam on my older posts.  And it annoys me to no end.  This is my place!  I don't want you to write about your "helpful, cheap, medical supplies" on my blog.  GET YOUR OWN BLOG!!
So, I'm sorry, but you'll have to type in those crazy little letters from now on to read my blog.  My deepest and humblest apologies.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

That Extra Incentive

There is a 5K this May in Del Mar - just north of San Diego.  And, since I am insane, I've decided to run in this race.  Actually, I use the term "run" rather loosely here.  What I mean by "run" is actually more of a fast walk/slow jog.  I haven't run on purpose since I got out of high school.  My expectations for this race are fairly high - I want to finish and I don't want to puke.  Reach for the stars my friends!  Reach for the stars.
Unfortunately, my desire to do the race hasn't been enough to keep me motivated in my training schedule.  I've had really good excuses for not running every day... things like "I'm going shopping.  I'll do lots of walking there and that will count as my workout." or "Meh.  I don't wanna".  And so, oddly enough, I'm not progressing.
I decided that I needed to find something to motivate me to get up and get moving.  Apparently having good health isn't enough.  Meeting my goals for the race doesn't keep me moving either.  I thought about rewarding (a.k.a. bribing) myself somehow.  But, the only rewards I could think of were edible, fattening and therefore, highly counterproductive.
But I think I have now found a motivator that might actually work.  Three little words that for some reason strike fear into my heart: high school reunion.
I graduated in 1995 and there is a group trying to get a 15 year reunion put together.  Why is it that the thought of seeing people from high school makes me panic just a bit?  Are these people really going to judge me and my life?  Possibly.  Should I really care?  Probably not.  But I do.
And so, I'm going to attempt to loose a little weight.  And hopefully preparing for this race will be a good way to do it.
Have you attended any of your high school reunions?  Did it make you nervous?  Or am I just being weird??  (that's always a possibility...)

Sunday, January 31, 2010


This last week has been stressful.  Too many decisions to make.  Too many decisions made by others that have affected our lives. Blah.  Blah.  Blah.
Some friends invited us to head to the beach Saturday and I wasn't going to go.  Baby Girl had been sick and I wasn't sure if her cough would get worse in the cool, moist air.  I didn't want to drive over there.  My back hurt.  Whine.  Whine.  Whine.  Cry.  Cry.  Cry.
But when Saturday morning came around I decided we should all go.  We loaded the car and headed out into crazy Southern California traffic.  We had never been to Crescent Bay and we got a bit lost at one point... but, it was worth it...

Lots of playing on the beach.  Then, because it was one of the lowest tides of the year, we were able to really explore some of the tide pools.

At the end of the day the kids were finally done climbing on everything.  No one was throwing rocks, playing where they shouldn't, or fighting over toys.  And that's when it happened.  Just for a moment... really, less than a minute, I felt peace.

Unfortunately, screaming children pulled me out of my reverie.  But I was thankful for that brief moment.  There is just something about the beach...
Do you have a place like that?  A place where you can go and just feel peace... even if it's just for a moment?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

It's been a bit wet here in the currently not-so-sunny Southern California.

One moment you think it's letting up...

And then it really starts to come down...

Which, of course, means that I'm taking lots of pictures...

I want to remember that once upon a time we saw rain here in the desert.  It has even been kind of cold... for Southern California.  (38 is cold for here!)  I wish I could absorb this coolness and take it with me into the 120 degree weather of July and August...
Unfortunately the rain starts to gather in areas that don't have great drainage...

People aren't taking their time as they try to get from one place to the next and there have been accidents because of the rain.  Many of the roads are closed due to flooding.  I watched some ducks swim in what used to be a grassy spot (much like the one in the photo above).  We've been leaving early for everything and getting home late.  School buses are off schedule.  We were supposed to go to Disneyland this week... but it was a little too soggy for our tastes.  Everything just feels a little off kilter with this downpour.

But even with all the craziness... I'm still loving the rain!

So, what's the weather like in your neck of the woods?  Are you seeing rain?  Snow?  Blue skies?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

And the Winner is...

I didn't know. No, really. I had no idea that my children could be so devious. Apparently they've been planning this for a long time, but I'm just barely catching on. They are having a contest amongst themselves to see who can be sick the most days this year.
So far Little Bug is in the lead with 10 days.
Baby Girl has 4 days - including today.
And Red is seriously lagging behind with just 1 day- that would be today.
I'm afraid I'm going to have to step in and be the "mean mom" and put a stop to this little game they are playing. The fevers, the coughing, the hours in the bathroom... I'm putting my foot down. No more contest!
I'm sure that they will whine and complain, but I'm okay with that (as long as the whining and complaining isn't accompanied by germs). A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do! Right?

Photo: a feverish Baby Girl and a completely exhausted mama.

Monday, January 18, 2010

All Weird
I love having one on one time with each of my kids. It gives me a chance to talk to them... see how they're doing... and play around a little bit. I usually walk away from these moments feeling pretty good. But, every once in awhile I hear things that just don't sit well with me.

For example... Baby Girl and I were conversing the other day and I made a some silly comment. She gave me a rather puzzled look and this was the conversation that followed...

Me: "Baby Girl, you should know by now that your mom is a little weird."
Baby Girl: "Oh no, Mom. You're not a little weird. (At this point I thought she was going to defend her wonderful mother... but then she continued...) You're a whole lot weird. You're all the way weird."

All the way weird? Really... I thought I had a few normal traits... but apparently not. I wonder if she realizes that by having an "all the way weird" mom that the possibility of her being "normal" are slim to none? Poor kid. She never stood a chance.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Parable of the Squished Frog
Once upon a time there was a mom. She was a fairly typical mom. Nothing too amazing about her, and yet she wasn't a total slouch either. But things began to pile up for this mom ... as it often does for most mom's. The kids had been sick for a long time - taking turns, sharing germs... you know the drill. This mom had also been sick. Lack of sleep was piling up, as well as the laundry, dishes, and the muffin top whenever she put her favorite jeans on.
One day she decided to change everything. She got all the laundry done. She vacuumed. She got dressed for the day. She spent some time doing Wii Active. The only dark cloud on this day was the fact that one of her kids was sick and had been sick for over a week. He was entertaining himself quietly while she went about her business.
While she was working out she had the thought, "You should really go check on your kiddo... see what he's doing". But this day was about HER and she was totally in the groove doing lateral shoulder lifty things. So she waited. Once her workout was done she tracked her sweet boy down only to to find that this little guy...
an aquatic frog (read: has to stay in the water or he dies) was on the kitchen table. He wasn't moving and her little guy was kind of poking him. Trying to get him to jump. There were water marks all over the table where he had been previously jumping.
Now, you need to understand that this sweet boy was not being mean. He wasn't torturing the frog - he just wanted to play with him. He didn't understand that his actions would actually hurt the little guy.
But mom... well, mom kinda freaked out. It was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back. Because, you see, she felt a lot like that frog. Lifeless and kinda squished. She put the frog back in his tank and watched him float there. She began to cry. She sent her son to his room before she said something that she would regret (it's a bad habit she has). She called her husband and he tried to comfort her, but she was a little too busy wallowing in self-pity.
Depressed and just a little bitter, she watched the dead frog floating in his tank. She berated herself for not checking sooner. Which led her to examine all the other ways she felt like she had failed. The list was long and varied. But then... something happened. The little frog moved.
At first she thought it was a trick her eyes were playing on her. But no, he moved again. Slowly, but surely, he started to swim. Soon he was zipping around the tank. And the mom was amazed.
Somehow this frog had fought his way back. He had been unintentionally tormented and squished. His chance of survival was nil. And yet... he did it. And it occurred to this mom... she could still be like this frog. Yeah, he's still a little squished looking... but he was alive and moving.
And so, I'm here to tell you... I'm still alive. I feel a little squished and like I'm being tormented by things beyond my control. But, in the ever so wise words of Dory, from "Finding Nemo", I'm gonna "just keep swimming".