Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Capes

I got the CTR Hero Capes finished in the nick of time--not a panicked last minute sewing (Thank Goodness!)--but I ran out of fabric paint and had to wait till I could go to the "big city store" to get more, so I finished them while watching a movie Saturday Night, so they could dry all night, then got them bundled up.

They seem to have been a hit--almost every child wore them for the rest of Primary.




The sweet little ones show off their "Hero Style"

Here are some Hero Girls with ATTITUDE!
(And, you could not find sweeter, better girls if you tried!)

(The big girls had to move their long hair out of the way so it didn't cover the CTR shields for the picture!)

I made (of course!) Red, Yellow & Blue capes (The Primary Colors!)--but the little ones overwhelmingly picked blue!


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Kitty Update

We have moved our last batch of kittens out to the barn/garage. They do not like this decision. The barn does not contain any of the things they like about the house—soft places to curl up in (favorites are whatever I am attempting to sew and the newly folded basket of laundry), or yummy things on the counter to eat (which is one of the reasons they are banished from the house!) The funniest thing has been trying to use the spray bottle as negative reinforcement for being on counters and tables. It works, and is very effective—except SmallDaughter LOVES to spray them, and whenever she can get her hands on the bottle, the cat is going to get it—which confuses them—“how is sleeping (on the floor in a patch of sunshine) naughty like being on the counter?” Less effective training, but pretty hilarious!

They are more pathetic than our other batches (or maybe I just forget the past!). Since the back screen-door screen is ripped, they can jump up and sit on the edge of the doorframe, just at the height to peek in through the glass window of the back door. And meow piteously. And occasionally, fall into the gap between the doors—always good for some amusing sound effects! It doesn’t worry me particularly, since the screen door doesn’t latch, and when they remember, they can just push on the right side of the screen-door to get out.

However, girl kitty (I think she is the one named Snickers) climbed through the mail slot on the front door last week, and got stuck between the door and the screen-door—which both latch securely and are much more solid! She will be too big for that trick very soon (I actually thought she already was!). They do keep things entertaining! SmallDaughter was just showing them her plate of scrambled eggs through the window. Very amusing from this side! Pretty darn pathetic from the other side!

I am in the finishing stages of sewing a bunch of capes for the primary kids. Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. The theme for Primary this year was “Choose The Right” At the beginning of the year, our Primary Presidency decided to have a “CTR Hero”, which is a child we spotlight, and tell about a few of their good choices. I made a really awesome, swishy red cloak, with a very flashy CTR shield on the back—outlined in really blingy gold glitter.

Since I have no personal dignity, each week I don this piece of awesome, and swoop around the seated children, looking for my “Hero”. After I give some clues and they guess the child, the chosen one gets to wear the cape (and a crown) for the rest of primary. It has gone over very well. So, we are giving each child a smaller version of the CTR cape as a Christmas gift. My living room floor is covered with Red, Yellow and Blue capes, now embellished with a sparkly silver fabric paint “CTR” Shield on the back. Last night, I put on a movie and applied fabric paint (to the CTR that I had already traced on the back with a stencil and a sharpie!)—after I had put SmallDaughter to bed and made sure there were no critters in the house! Then they got to peacefully dry without anybody touching or stepping on them, YAY! They look really good—I hope the kids like them.

The most exciting news (for me, at least!)—is that I got a Serger for Christmas! While this does not fill everybody else with joy, I have been wanting, wishing, lusting and pining for one since I was in college! And now, I have a really awesome, brand new machine! And it is great! They do such different things than a regular sewing machine; it is rather like asking if a can opener or a blender is a better/more important kitchen tool. I need them both to be as effective as possible. And, because of My Dear Sister’s brilliance, I have set up a little sewing room in the back hallway (by the attic stairs, at the top of the kitchen stairway). It took a couple of weeks and a lot of work to clear out all the detritus that has accumulated over the last 5 years since the top stair broke, but it is working great now!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My Christmas Post

Here is my (now) Annual Christmas Post.  I wrote it in 2011 for  Heidi Poppins, but the Christmas Music is back on the radio, and I am back on my Pandora and YouTube mixes.  Just an FYI--each word in blue (on the words "Truly great music of the ages")  links  onto a beautiful performance of a beautiful Christmas Carol.

I have stopped listening to "The Christmas Station" on the radio. I used to love to turn it on in the background to help me get into a Christmas-sy mood--but now it just enrages me, so I leave it off.

There is a simple explanation (and no, it is not my hormones making me madder than David Banner on a bad day!). It is that some of the greatest music ever written is about the birth of the Christ Child--and very, very little of that great music is played on the radio. Instead, we are subjected to the worst twaddle of the twentieth century (and yes, I am referring to Wham's nausea inducing "classic" "Last Christmas" or the electronic saccharine of "Do They Know It's Christmas").

Apparently 1984 was the bottom of the barrel, song-wise--or it would have been, except that was the year that Mark Lowry wrote the words to "Mary Did You Know" (although it took another six years for someone to set it to music).

In this song, the author, Mark Lowry cites a laundry list of disabilities and sorrows that the Savior miraculously healed. Most of us know or have interacted with people who were blind, deaf, crippled or lamed in one way or another. When I was young I wondered if being "dumb" or mute still existed, because I had never met or even heard of someone who was mute. Very few people have.

Now I am the mother of one.

Partially the reason we don't hear about it is that the name has changed. Now it is called being "non-verbal"--which is actually more accurate. My daughter can not speak, but she is FAR from being the silent creature that the word "mute" implies, and, while she has neurological and developmental issues, no one who has ever met her would consider her "dumb". Also, it is statistically quite rare.

However, that doesn't change the fact that she doesn't speak. I have never heard her say "mama" or tell someone her name or how old she is. She can’t tell me where it hurts, or what she is thinking about. I would give anything to understand what is going on in her head, what she wants and how she feels.

Which is why listening to "Mary Did You Know" invariably reduces me to tears, especially when it is sung (perfectly) by Kathy Mattea.




This song is not only beautiful, reverent and thought provoking, but when she sings (at 2:07) that "the dumb will speak the praises of the Lamb" I am reminded that the true meaning of Christmas is the birth of Him who heals all sorrows, including my non-verbal child. I know that someday, my funny, loving, adorable daughter will look into her Savior’s face and "sing his praises".

So, instead of listening to the radio, I made myself a playlist on YouTube, so I can listen to the truly great music of the ages.

May you have a wonderful, joy filled Christmas--and may you be aware of the miracles that you take for granted every day.

Monday, November 19, 2012


While there are some people who would say my children are too old for story books, we know the truth:  You are NEVER too old for a really good story, and if it comes with great pictures--even better!

So, with that said, if you haven't been introduced to "Diary of a Wombat" by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley--go now, to your nearest library, and enjoy it STAT!
So fun and charming!  and such a fun introduction to an animal that lives far across the world from our family!

And, we were super excited to find that our good old friend Wombat has been joined by other friends!

AND



and then, moving on to something completely different:

"Always in Trouble" by Corinne Demas and Noah Z. Jones

and then something completely different in a completely different direction:


"Waiting for Winter" (hilariously) written and (gorgeously) illustrated by Sebastian Meschenmoser

This one may be my very favorite.  It is clever, thought provoking, and hilarious, and I love the illustrations!

Also,  if you happened to have missed the dynamic duo of Helen Lester and Lynn Munsinger, your life is sadly incomplete.  
Tacky the Penguin now has EIGHT books!

and don't miss their other beloved classics, such as:
"Me First" ("Would anyone care for a Sand Witch?")
"All for Me and None for All"
"It Wasn't My Fault"
and, 
of course
"A Porcupine Named Fluffy"


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Just a week in the life!


We had Sunday Seminary today after an excellent Stake Conference.  We are starting Luke, so we went through Chapter 1, with the birth of John and the miracles and prophecies that went with it.  Then we started Luke 2.  The most interesting part was the contrast of having LargeCousin, BigGirl & LargeBoy, who have heard the story every year of their lives, and Constance, who is not a member (her dad joined a year ago, she is investigating—I just LOVE her—she is awesome!), and their differing perspectives.  She asked such excellent questions, it was great.

My class is really excellent.  They are such great people, and they get along well—no conflicts or antagonism.  We also, besides our regular people, have BrotherC (the little brother of BrotherA, who is in the class), who is only 12, but loves coming—and I am not about to discourage anybody who likes to come and is burning up the Scripture Mastery!  He wants to have his 1000 days of scripture reading by the time he’s a sophomore!

 I had seminary inservice yesterday, which is always enjoyable. My main insight for today (I found it interesting, at least!)  is that when Christ was hanging on the cross, and he said  (in Mark chapter 15, verse 34 “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying,Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”  He was quoting Psalm 22.  And, he expected his audience (who had been trained in Jewish Scholarship) to know—and extrapolate—the entire chapter from that one line.  Look it up during your scripture study.  It is very evocative imagery.   

I got to drive my new car down.  It is so nice! 

We had a nicely busy week--lots of things, but not crazy. Last Saturday, (the day BigGirl went on her date) LargeBoy and I spent the morning at the “University of Scouting”.  We got a lot of good training.  The only thing that makes me sad is that just as I get this scout thing figured out, LargeBoy is out of that phase—I need more boys to use my new knowledge on!!

On Monday, I went to Norwalk in the morning and picked up the election supplies, then, in the afternoon SmallDaughter had riding (tomorrow-Monday the 12th is her last day this year—she will be so bummed!  She misses the horsies by Tuesday—let alone for 4 months!).    Tuesday was the election, which was nicely busy, but everybody was polite, and it was actually the smoothest election I have presided over.  We were very blessed!  For our little Township precinct (everybody in the area surrounding our town, but not actually in the city limits) we had GREAT turnout (85 absentee votes, and 265 live voters, out of 519 registered!).  It is always a long day, but I like the people I work with, and the people we see every year in our precinct. 

Of course, Wednesday was Scouts & Young Women.  The girls are getting ready for “YW in Excellence” next week.  SmallDaughter goes in to the nursery where the Faith in God girls meet, and she plays with the toys, and enjoys being near her friends.  The girls have adopted her—they talk to her, and watch out for her—it is SO sweet!

Thursday was Cub Scout Committee meeting.  Blessedly, our Committee has grown from my first meeting (which was just me and UberScoutMom!)  She was basically running the whole show single-handedly all last year.  Things are slowly progressing.  For quite a while, it was just four of us, then we added our representative from the Bishopric, and now (drumroll, please…) we FINALLY have new Webelos leaders—Scott H. is a new member of the Church, and he is gung-ho!  My dad has been called as his assistant.  I am really excited for this new year. 

My main job is generating papers—I do the monthly newsletter, and any other papers they need.  This week, I made a flyer for the bulletin, because we are starting a Uniform Exchange.  I also made invitations for the Ward Christmas Party, because the poor Sister in charge is basically doing it all by herself (I am not really a fan of having the Activities committee disbanded). 

I was looking all over for my purse on Thursday evening, so I could go to committee meeting, and I was going crazy, because I remembered hanging it up—but IT WAS NOT THERE.  I cleaned out the coat closet, and went room by room—no luck.  Finally, when I checked SmallDaughter’s room—mystery solved!  She is sure getting taller!

On Friday, we went to Wal-Mart and got the kids portraits.  They turned out cute, and I was very pleased.  BrotherA & BrotherC had another sleepover here, and BigGirl had a sleepover with her friend S, for her (S’s) 16th birthday.  The boys burned the sticks in the yard (everything that had blown down in all the wind and that I chopped in my crazed Nopper escapade!) and had a cookout (we picked up supplies while we were at Wal-Mart, and I got them the HUGE marshmallows—which are almost a fatal dose to an adult—but they had eaten the whole bag by the time I got home from inservice!)

On Saturday, LargeBoy and the boys watched SmallDaughter while I was at my inservice, and after BigGirl got home from her party, LargeBoy and I went to his Order of the Arrow banquet.  I am really proud of him.  He is also filling out a job application to work at Scout Camp next summer—which is great, because they are the one job that doesn’t mind if he takes time off to go to the Reunion and then more time off to go the National Jamboree!


SmallDaughter has been being super cute and funny—although BigGirl was pretty grumpy when she realized that after all the work she had put in making chicken soup and rolling and cutting out homemade noodles (she took The WonderDog over to Kelly’s house for a bath while the noodles dried)—when she got back, she found that SmallDaughter had poured a whole bottle of cinnamon on them, and rubbed it in!  (BigGirl just used store bought noodles in the soup, and deep fried the noodles, and rolled them in cinnamon sugar—they were good!) 

I am off to bed to get ready for another week of adventures! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

It's that time again...

My dear sister, a good friend and I were having a " virtual calendar party" (we were skype-ing together to fill in everything important on our awesome calendars for 2012 ( I recommend either More Time Moms or Amy Knapp).
Anyway, they were commenting on how great my Christmas organizing is, which, truthfully, surprised the heck out of me. I am organized the same way a 20 year veteran of AA is sober--by working at it every day! It is not my natural state, but I have found and implemented some great tools, and I guess it is paying off.

So, I decided that I will share some of the things I have learned, with you, my dear readers. I hope it helps you have a blessed, peace filled Holiday Season.

First is the Christmas Countdown. Yes, already! It is the key to a peaceful Holiday and Christmas Season. Everything comes down to a firm foundation.

SO...

The Big Holiday Countdown:
Schedule these on your calendar, and work on them for 15 minutes every day.

Get Organized Week
Week 1:
Next to last week of October
 Make or update your Christmas Planner.

Reality Check Week

Week 2:
Last Week of October
 Take a long, hard, realistic look at what you want, what you need, what you can afford, and what causes you stress. Make your plans fit your reality.
 Make a holiday budget.
 Set up a holiday housework plan.
 How are you doing Christmas Cards? Do you need to schedule a photo shoot?
 If you are mailing cards, you can divide the Christmas card list into five groups. Write and address one group this week.
 Decide how you will shop for gifts. Will you divide entries on the master gift list into five groups, and buy one-fifth of the gifts each week? Will you do most of your shopping online? If you know what you are buying, you may want to set aside the money and do most of your purchases on Black Friday. Even online merchants have great deals (and you don’t have to fight crowds, weather or car seats!)
 Conduct family wardrobe check/size inventory.
 Take inventory of your gift closet now, before you shop for holiday gifts.
 Make sure you are focusing on Flying, and good health habits to cushion you and your family from holiday stresses.
 Make a tabletop check;. Inventory serving pieces, table linens, china and flatware.
 Schedule family haircut appointments.
 Inventory stocks of wrap and mail supplies.

Gifts and Giving Week
Week 3:
First Week of November
 Reevaluate your gift giving priorities and budget. Plan gift shopping accordingly.
 Will you do your main shopping in brick and mortar stores, or online? If you are making gifts, do you have a realistic plan for getting them finished in time to ship, wrap and give?


Get Cooking Week
Week 4:
Second Week of November
 Make a realistic plan of what you will have time, energy and money to cook.
 Plan and calendar special holiday cooking times (remember that less stress=more fun, so don’t get all freaked out perfectionist on this!)
 Plan to purchase a few special ingredients each week to ease the budget crunch!
 It’s also time to get out/plan advent calendars, and to make your decoration plan (so next week’s activities will go smoother!)
 Family Home Evening Activity can be an Advent Calendar Kickoff!


Decorate Week
Week 5:
Third Week of November
 Plan to do your decorating in little bits. 15 minutes a day is a life and sanity saver! Plus, it really makes it more exciting for the kids. And, as always, less stress=more fun!
 Since this week is Thanksgiving, plan your Family Home Evening Activity to be a Gratitude Activity.

Celebrate Week
Week 6:
Fourth Week of November
 We start Candle Time
 This is the time to really focus on Family Read Aloud time with special Christmas Books (our Favorites are: A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, by Dr. Seuss, and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, by Barbara Robinson. They are all short enough that you can read all 3 aloud during the next few weeks).
 Make an effort to collect and play the best possible versions of great Christmas Music. There is so much incredible music available for Christmas (both secular and Holy). Don’t waste your brain with the crap available on the radio.

After you have cruised through the first six weeks, you should have everything (mostly) under control, so you can focus on the celebrating!

Candle Time is a tradition that was shared with my family when I was a teenager. Some dear friends gave us a beautiful taper candle and a sheet with a devotional reading and scriptures for each night of December. Now we light a WHOLE BUNCH of candles, and gather together each night (I had to reassemble my own list of scriptures and devotionals, and I am still trying to perfect it!)

Week 1:
Baking Cookies & making simple candy. This actually extends through most of the week, but we try to keep it fun and enjoyable, not stressful and dictatorial!

Week 2:
Taking Cookies to the Neighbors!
I hate to admit how long it has taken us to get to know all of our neighbors—but anything is better than nothing, so don’t beat yourself up for past “less than perfects”!

Week 3:
Drive around town looking at the lights.
It is nice to have a deliberate, planned time to do this! Then we come home and have (urgh, gag!) eggnog (which my children & Hubby LOVE). And maybe some of the yummy cookies we have made!

Week 4:
We always go to my Dad’s house on Christmas Eve for the Nativity. This is a family tradition that goes a long way back—there are pictures from the 1940’s of my mom’s siblings (and cousins) dressed up as angels, shepherds, etc. The youngest baby is always cast as the baby Jesus (which means we have alternated between tiny, sleeping infants and toddlers who were ready to jump out of the manger and mug the wisemen for the gifts). After Grandpa finishes reading the Christmas Story from Luke and Matthew, we all gather and sing Christmas Carols.


More details to come!

I got most of the inspiration and ideas for this from OrganizedHome.com
and FlyLady.net

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Weekend Update (NOW--completely Dennis Miller Free!)


The promised update on the less-than-fun happenings on Saturday. I was hoping that My Favorite Gentleman would be able to come home on Saturday night at least. (Having him arrive home at 8 or 9pm on Saturday, and leave again at 3 or 4pm on Sunday is less than ideal. However, it is nice to be able to spend a little time together--maybe get to go out on a quicky date (we go to Walmart, usually—or sometimes the hardware store!)

BigGirl and LargeBoy got to go to a Stake Youth Activity at on Saturday (I am not totally sure of everything they did, but they reported they had a good time, and I know they had pumpkin carving, and used 100 pumpkins!)

SmallDaughter and I go everybody dropped off where they needed to go, then went grocery shopping. When we came home, I realized I could not put fresh groceries into that manky fridge, so I started cleaning it out. Sadly, I managed to break one of the glass shelves (who thinks glass refrigerator shelves are a good idea, anyway!?!), and since it was safety glass, it exploded into thousands of sharp little pieces, all over the kitchen!

While I was trying to clean it up, SmallDaughter was trying to cook herself some food (in her stocking feet!) and when I wouldn’t let her use the stove or be in the kitchen (the kitchen that was covered in tiny shards of broken glass!), she had a HUGE tantrum. (FYI—I had already cooked and fed her 3 eggs—she was not really hungry!). There was a huge amount of screaming and sobbing, then she got quiet. I went to investigate, and when I got into the bathroom, I found her standing on the toilet, holding a bottle of red nail polish! (!!!!)

She took one look at my face and held the bottle out to me! I put it up high, but realized that I could smell polish, so she had probably unscrewed the lid. I reached up and grabbed it, but only got the lid, and the bottle part dropped, hit the lid of the toilet and bounced, sending sprays of nail polish everywhere! (so, technically--I did it to myself!) It looked like a murder scene. Even more infuriating—I was wearing my brand new ($4from the thrift store), very cute shirt, and my brand new $40 pants—which were both “hosed”. Urgh.

I started to clean things up with my ½ bottle of nail polish remover—which quickly revealed how many tiny, not noticeable until you get remover in them cuts I had acquired on my hands! That stuff stings!

Then I got a phone call from My Favorite Gentleman, saying that he wouldn’t be able to make it home after all. That was the last straw. Lots of bawling ensued. I took SmallDaughter to the Dollar General, where we bought 3 bottles of nail polish remover, 2 rolls of paper towels, and a box of Little Debbie Fudge Rounds. I got everything cleaned up (and in the case of the Fudge Rounds, polished off!) (except the shirt, which just went straight into the trash), and felt very glad the day was over!


The Halloween Update: I am making my 4 cute nieces Smurf costumes!

(I believe the order will be Cute-Niece J = Papa Smurf, Cute-Niece N = Brainy Smurf, Cute-Niece A = Handy Smurf, Baby Cute-Niece L = Smurfette AND I found an awesome robe for their Daddy to be Gargamel today at Goodwill!).
LargeBoy is doing his own costume, and BigGirl is still trying to come up with an idea!
It seems likely that SmallDaughter will be…Mike Wazowski (because when you have a perfect costume, why mess with it?). However, I will need to do a little mending on the costume, and superglue the hat, because they have both had some hard usage during the year!

This morning, I forgot to set my alarm clock and totally slept through seminary. Much more embarrassing when you are the teacher!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Depressing moment of the week--NOW with even MORE Depressing!

Yesterday (Monday), I was in the Thrift Store, buying 4 smurf blue shirts for my niece's Halloween costumes (wanna' guess what they're going to be?)--and when I got to the checkout the cashier asked me if I had a Golden Buckeye Card. Yep, the seniors card that I have 20 years until I am eligible to receive!

Sigh. The weekend must have showed on my face.

More about the weekend soon. It will make you grateful for whatever you dealt with!

Wednesday Update:

I just got a call:

Voice on the Phone: "Mrs.________, I would like to let you know that we can supplement your Medicare Plan, and provide diabetes care supplies and incontinence supplies directly to your home with no cost to you:!

Me: (in my head: What the crap!?"), out loud: I'm only ___ years old! I don't qualify for medicare! And I don't have diabetes! (I am not even going to discuss incontinence with a young whippersnapper over the phone!).

Big Sigh.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Busy, busy, busy!

Blogging has gone out the window because I have been so awesomely busy. I spent most of a week working for the Board of Elections, mainly stuffing absentee ballot envelopes. (It wasn't as exciting as it sounds!).

Then, on Thursday we got SmallDaughter off of her school van and drove into town where we rented a car (since I do not trust the green van, and it has been making a suspicious “clonking” noise—more on that later!). We loaded everything into the rental in the pouring rain (the rental was boring, except that it was a “ key-less push button start” which was pretty weird!), and drove over to Pennsylvania (about a 4 hour drive), where My Favorite Gentleman has been working for several months.

We got to stay at his motel with him, where SmallDaughter had a GREAT time, because they had a pool—perfect for her, only 3 feet deep all the way around. We had breakfast (also perfect for her, scrambled eggs, sausage, hash-browns and toast—she ate every morsel, and scrounged bites from the rest of us!) BigGirl and LargeBoy really liked that the diner in the motel (where we had breakfast) had a jukebox (3 songs for $1), so we ate to the strains of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”, “Sultans of Swing”, and “Duke of Earl”. Then we went to run errands, and when we came back SmallDaughter swam for 4 hours. I did My Favorite Gentleman’s laundry. After we got some lunch, she went swimming again!

After My Favorite Gentleman got off work, we drove for an hour to the cute town where my dear Aunts live, and went to our Family Reunion. It was really fun to see and spend time with so many Anderson Cousins.

On Saturday, the whole group of us went to “Living Treasures Animal Park” which is a nifty cross between a petting zoo and a zoo. You can feed almost all of the animals, and you are close up and personal (and it is clean and well designed, too!). Because we took The WonderDog, all of the big predators came REALLY close to the glass to check us out! Literally “Lions (a male and a female), Tigers (an orange and a white) and Bears (just one, but he was big!), OH MY”!. Also, alligators, boa constrictors, llamas, camels, ostriches, goats, ponies and lots of different monkeys. And what was the scariest? The peacocks (of course!).

Afterwards, various other grownup types stayed with the little kids, and the other adults went to a State Park to see the historic mill and do some hiking. It also happened to be the Heritage Festival, so we got to go on a hayride, (with Abraham Lincoln!), visit with reenactors, see (and hear!) the cannons, etc!


On Monday night, my sister M and her hubs (with the 3 cutest little boys) drove in from NY, and we had a fun day on Tuesday (mostly cleaning and getting things ready, with some YouTube mixed in!). My sister A and her hubs and 4 cutest little girls got here around 6ish, just as we were leaving for the park. It was a truly perfect evening. The leaves are all turning beautifully, but it wasn’t too cold, we had the entire playground to ourselves and all the cousins (and dads!) had a riot!

On Thursday, I took the big girls on the “Metro Amish Country Fieldtrip”. We went to Planktown Hardware, which is the store that sells all of the lotion & soap making supplies. I bought: cocoa butter (yum!), coconut oil, kaolin, essential oils, and deodorant tubes and I am going to try making my own deodorant. Then we went to Planktown Market, and got nice bulk type things, and then to Country Fabrics, which is always fun!

We got back about the same time Friend Lisa showed up with her 2 boys, and shortly after that Friend Vanessa and her 2 girls arrived! We played for a little while, then loaded everybody up, and took them to ride the carousel. SmallDaughter was in heaven! She rode a bunny and a kitty, but we got there just before closing, so they only had time for 2 rides!

Next we went to the Harvest Festival that they had at the Assisted Living Facility where our sister V was dancing. She is always a hoot to watch. It was a perfect festival—very low key and mellow, totally handicap accessible, and nothing scary for the little kids. SmallDaughter really liked the maze, petting 2 alpacas and the cake walk. The bigger kids liked the giant rubber band catapult to shoot apples at targets!


After the sun started to go down, we went over to dear Aunt A’s and celebrated my nephew’s 5th birthday. We made a super cute cake, with cookie crumb “dirt”, and sister M found such a clever technique—we printed out a picture of a dinosaur skeleton, put it in a protector page, then traced it with melted white chocolate. After it set up, we just popped it on top—and it looked amazing! (We broke it into pieces to look more "fossil-like").
Nephew informed EVERYBODY that they would be super surprised—because his cake “was all chocolate on the outside (the frosting)—but banana inside! And everybody will be expecting chocolate—but it isn’t!” We were suitably surprised.

On Saturday morning, BigGirl left with Vanessa & crew for the Renaissance Festival that is south of Columbus. They met up with our friend Megan and her family, and she came back with them (Vanessa just went back home). It was fun to see Megan and her super cute kids! We had a good time with them. While BigGirl was wowing the Middle ages in her elf ears, the rest of us set up the movie screen and projector and watched General Conference.

It was really fun watching it with my Seminary Boys—they were really into it. Sadly, we had technical difficulties at the beginning, so we didn’t get to see Pres. Monson’s announcement about changing the mission ages live (we had to go back and watch it afterwards). That means BigGirl will be able to go on a mission in 3 years!

One of my former Beehive girls (who is now at BYU) posted on Facebook: “That moment when President Monson changes your whole life with 1 sentence”. Which I thought was pretty cool. I love how technology is allowing us to truly flood the earth with the Good News of the Gospel and Jesus Christ!

We played fun conference games*, and I sorted pictures as we listened, and it was great until the end of the last Sunday session, when I moved wrong and threw my back out! So instead of all the busy cleaning and catching up I planned to do on Monday, I spent the day in bed, alternating heat and ice packs! I did get in to the chiropractor in the afternoon, so things are better; I just have sore muscles now. SmallDaughter got to go to riding, and we stopped at Kingwood Center to see the ducks. She would NOT go by herself, and kept pushing me ahead of her towards the scary peacock place, but he was not there, so we just got to feed the ducks in peace!

My biggest job this week (besides trying to get the house recovered from a vacation AND a huge visit) is that I have to go buy a car. All of our minivans have reached the point of no return, and a replacement is in order, so by this time next week, you should get more exciting news.


*We had several really fun games, as well as our Conference Notebooks. The most popular by far was having 2 candy dishes (peanut M&M's and Skittles, since I am the candy purchaser!), and each person picked a word (before the session started). Then, each time that word was mentioned over the pulpit, you got a candy. We also played Conference Bingo (I printed off the boards from here), and I printed the smaller children coloring pages and Conference Packets for the middle sized children . We will be playing this excellent Conference Game for Seminary.





Monday, September 24, 2012

Exciting times

Back in the day (mid August, that is) LargeBoy had a little incident involving gravity and a skateboard, which resulted in a very sore hand. Turns out, on examination by a specialist, it is not actually just badly bruised, but actually has a weird broken bone. So he now has his arm in a cast for the fourth time. He did switch arms, though!

SUPER CUTE MOMENT:
After SmallDaughter finished up her Horse Riding Therapy (the high point of her week), she asked if we could go see the "ducks"--she clearly remembers going to Kingwood Center (which we drive right past), and I decided to stop and let her. Our parking space was close to the entrance, and she headed off to the duck pond by herself, which was fine, since I could see her, and there weren't any other people around. I rummaged around in my purse to find a quarter to buy corn for the ducks (she loves the little "bubble gum" vending machines that dispense bird food!). Just as I was walking over, she came RUNNING back towards me (which is very out of character), signing "scary, scary". Turns out, the peacock was right by the vending machine, but the tall grass had hidden him until she came around the corner! And since he is as tall as she is--freaky! He and the peahen kept trying to get all the food she wanted to throw to the ducks--it was pretty funny! She kept telling him "shoo"--but he was persistent!

I am trying to get ready to go to PA for a family reunion, and then have a bunch of awesome people here and a party for General Conference. And I am sewing a bunch of change aprons for the Boy Scouts for selling popcorn. Well-six, anyway. And (much cooler) I took 3 stuffed animals apart (a racoon, a hideous rat in a dress, and a much loved, worn out old bear*) and turned them into an Akela headdress for the Cub Scouts. I am about half done, and it seems to be coming together.

And, today I got a call for a temp job with the Board of Elections--starting tomorrow. This week should be really exciting! I am off to bed--it is way past the seminary teacher's bedtime!

* I realized as I took the bear apart that it was stuffed with shredded paper, (which explained why all the stuffing ended up in the limbs, with very little in the torso). In possibly the most surreal moment of my week, upon closer examination, it wasn't paper, but but a clever recycling of the shredded up byproducts left over when they manufacture sanitary pads--the cotton fluff and the very distinctive "always" plastic overlay. Weird, but rather clever (I guess!).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Summer Happenings

I've been to busy to post (yadda, yadda, yadda, we've all heard that before!)

However, I have been really busy!

We are firmly back into the swing of Seminary. In years past, my seminary class has had either 1 or 2 students. However, I am very excited to announce that THIS YEAR I have 4 or 5 students here at the house every morning (depends on if somebody's car is running!), and 1 or 2 on the phone. Then, on the 2nd and 4th Sundays we have a 2 hour class at the chapel with all of those, plus 2 or 3 additional students. Yay! They are a really awesome class, too—they all like each other and like being together.

This last week was full of fun and adventure. SmallDaughter’s riding therapy has started back up again, so FINALLY when she asks if we are going to the “horsies” I can say yes! (she asks every time she goes in the car, or gets off the school van!—I think she likes it!)

I had great karma at goodwill and got her 5 new long sleeved T-shirts (mostly pink and lavender, but the one she chose this morning is red and white stripes, a la Waldo!), PLUS several dresses which she desperately needed. I also scored 4 pairs of pants for LargeBoy (including a pair of really nice official Boy Scout pants, which are just a little big for $4!). WIN!

Speaking of LargeBoy, he went on a Camporee to our (reasonably) local Nuclear Power Station and got his Nuclear Science Merit Badge! He said it was really interesting—and (unlike in the movies!) the Uranium Cells do not glow Kryptonite green . They are black when they go in, and then they glow cobalt blue! He says they are under 34 feet of water, but the water is so pure you can’t tell it’s there!

Over the past couple of weeks we have also had BigGirl's 16th Birthday, and Birthday Party! She had 8 girls for a sleepover, which went really well--Although, both "slumber party" and "sleepover" are oxymorons! From the evidence, "all night giggle-fest" seems pretty apropos! It had a “book” theme, and everybody dressed as a character from a book.




I made really cute menus for Dinner and Brunch.
The final Dinner menu (for Friday Night) included:
Ravioli (from Twilight)
Stew (from the Lord of the Rings)
Bread & Cheeses (from the Hunger Games)
Jiggler Bats (from Vampire Kisses)
Blue Birthday Cake (from Percy Jackson)
Butter Beer (from Harry Potter)

The Brunch menu (on Saturday mid-morning) was:
Green Egg and Ham Puffs (from Green Eggs & Ham)
Bread & Jam (from Bread & Jam for Frances)
Cucumber Sandwiches (from the Importance of Being Earnest)
Chicken Salad Sandwiches-Just because they are So Yummy!
Scones (from Five Go Down to the Sea)
Lemony Snickets (from A Series of Unfortunate Events)
Herb Tea
Raspberry Lemonade

It was all really fun and delicious! She received lots of GREAT gifts—including a game of Guillotine, which was played, to much mirth! We also played the Candy Bar Game, Scattergories and our newest acquisition, “Snakeoil”.


I was a busy girl, too. Besides my thrift store awesomeness, I returned the 10 hens I was “chicken sitting” for my friend (they moved, and it took a little while to get a coop built!)—hers were pretty, but much meaner than mine are!

On Wed, I decorated the RS room for a wedding open house the RS is having for a couple who just got married—however—I got the date wrong and it is NEXT Sunday! That’s ok—they just kept the decorations up!

I also acquired 3 bookcases from my friend’s shed—and she is just as thrilled to have them gone as I am to have them! One is short and fat and it will store Seminary stuff in the dining room. The other two are tall and skinny. The plain one goes into LargeBoy’s room, and the pretty antique one goes into mine, to corral the mess of books that always end up by my nightstand! Yay! BigGirl already got 2 nice bookcases in her room, so things are definitely looking up in the “place for everything” category!

I was supposed to say the opening prayer in Sacrament Meeting, but it seems to be a rule that the only time I am late to church is when I am the opening prayer! I have been rescheduled to closing prayer, next week!

In one of the weirder things, LargeBoy got inspired by a combination of SmallDaughter's sidewalk chalk and this favorite video:

and the result was when I came downstairs in the morning, I was confronted by THIS on my dining room carpet!




Our kittens are now at the peak of funny cuteness. They attack each other regularly (and bottle lids, cords and ribbons, shadows and anything else!) In epic cuteness, their favorite place to sleep is curled up in the WonderDog's water and food dishes! However, one day (after apparently boning up on the “kitten cuteness manual”) they all fell asleep in a large, very decorative basket I had in the dining room!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Potentially life threatening encounter for me!

This week has been busy, trying to get things back in some form of order, and trying to get ready to start our Homeschool year. I also had to take SmallDaughter for her neurologist checkup at the Children's Hospital (1 1/2 hour drive), and had to go to a Library Board Meeting at our farthest library Branch, so each day this week has had an adventure. Yesterday, we had a really fun seminary kickoff. We met at a Racquetball Club and had "Seminary Olympics". Each student was issued a "mission call" that told them which country they represented, and then we had games that involved introducing the 25 New Testament "Scripture Mastery" scriptures they will learn this year as well as playing games--volleyball, tennis and water polo. Good times!

The kittens have decided they are bold explorers, so they are now "out and about", and you have to be very careful not to step on any! Yesterday, we had a bit of excitement when a bat was flying around in Big Girls bedroom.


AND NOW FOR THE DRAMA:
I like bats (outside the house, of course!)--they are cute and they eat 500-1000 mosquitoes AN HOUR, which makes them heroes in my book! I am also fine with mice, snakes, spiders, tarantulas, frogs, toads, and most other critters. My nemesis, however, is crickets. They are horrible, gross creatures, with nasty scritchy legs and basically a fattened cockroach body.

And there was a HUGE one on my bathmat when I stepped out of the shower. Somewhere between 3/4" and 4' long. And it kept walking toward me!

I am fine now.

Thank you for asking.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fair Week

Well, we have survived another year of the County Fair All three of big kids (BigGirl, Largeboy & LargeCousin) did great on their 4-H projects. The girls both got blue ribbons on their clothing selection projects, but couldn't place in the overall competition because they (due to a conflict with Church Girls Camp, which they WOULD NOT MISS) had to have absentee judging which disqualified them. That was ok. Largeboy also got a blue ribbon on his electricity project, and placed third overall. We looked at all the animals (and felt grateful that we didn't have any entered this year!) We ate fair food. We rode rides. We physically carried a screaming SmallDaughter back to the car, because she NEEDED more carousel/car rides (after all, she only got SEVEN HOURS of continuous riding!)


We also have a DIFFERENT group of fun small people here visiting. There is a whole lot of kitty love going on at our house. The adolescent kitties are finally getting smarter and starting to run away when they see short people coming, but they are still willing to put up with almost anything for attention and love, so it works out great!

On a "happy for them, but not so much for us" note--some dear friends are moving back to Michigan this weekend. Town won't be quite so much fun, and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles DEFINITELY won't be! We will miss the Osko's.

Friday, August 10, 2012

End of the first round of visits!

Here's what summer looks like at our house:

filled with food, and kittens and small children!






(This is the kitten deprivation face!) TRAGEDY!



Also, in major happenings: LargeBoy got his hair cut!


Before:





After:



All the cousins we had at our house this weekend:

(It was MUCH harder than you would think to get this picture taken!)




Some people are better at "helping themselves" than others!

It was a great week--I am so blessed!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Excitement Central

Things are really exciting here--which (along with a complete lassitude caused by unseasonal heat) has made me VERY slow to blog.

We have the cutie boy nephews this week, who will be joined for the first few days of next week by the cutie girl nieces! The Nephews are ages 4, 3 & 2. It is very fun to have littlies around again.

The plans for playing out on the grass have had to change, since all of my grass is brown, poky and dead. Sister Rachael, who reports into the Missionary Training Center in Provo TODAY, reports that Utah is greener than Ohio & Indiana--which means the whole world has been turned upside down!

Our mama cat thoughtfully provided us with 3 brand new kittens the day before we picked up the boys--and, instead of hiding them way back in a closet like last time, she had them in a corner of the Living Room, where the boys can lean over the arm of the couch for a great view--but no touching!

Last night we went on a field trip to see some goats, which was pretty darn exciting. We are doing lots of crafts and projects so we stay really busy, and nobody has time to get homesick. It's working so far! Tomorrow I am decorating a wedding, but I have BigGirl and LargeCousin, who are SO SUPER good with the boys (and SmallDaughter)--and they have planned a day full of pirate-y goodness!

Monday, July 2, 2012

My toothbrush is a thing that haunts me...

There are very few moments as nasty as realizing when you hear the toilet flush, that the only other person at home is SmallDaughter (who has no business being in the bathroom, since she is not potty trained!). Upon entering the bathroom, things took an immediate nosedive, when I saw she was A) brushing her teeth, B) with a toothbrush she had just removed from the swirling potty water, and C) That it was MY toothbrush. My former toothbrush, that is.

We have been having a very quiet life this week, because she can't regulate her body temp. She doesn't sweat, and these high temps are really dangerous for her. I find it slightly ironic that my only child who would LOVE to be outdoors 24/7 can't be allowed to, and the other two have to be shoved out physically!

I am working on my plans for having an awesome "summer camp" with the various small fry who are coming to stay with me during the summer. I practiced today, by making up "surprise bags" for the 3 grandchildren of my friend Miss Pat, who have come to stay with her. There is one bag for each day.

Some of the coolness included:

Supplies to make ice cream in baggies
Bubble Blow
Stuff to make Jello Jigglers in the shape of Nascar Race Cars
Little Squirty fish
A jar of cookie mix
A chocolate book and a board book for each child
sidewalk chalk
supplies to make "drawing pads" for tidy fingerpainting:

just make pudding, and put 2-3 tablespoons in a gallon ziplock and let them "fingerpaint" on it. Really fun, actually!

Friday, June 22, 2012

The blessings of family


I have been sorting through boxes of old family photos. It has been so much fun! I have such a great family, and such a legacy of love. It is also really fun to mock the fashions my cousins (and I!) wore! I am so sad that we will not be able to attend our family reunion this year. It is hard to explain to people who didn't grow up the way I did. I am the luckiest person in the world!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sorry for the complete lack of communication--but I have been at Cub Scout Day Camp this week. I feel like I have been beaten with a bag of bats (Louisville Sluggers, not Little Brown Bats). I swear, they just suck all the energy out of me.


Also, on Monday, I asked BigGirl (just in case) if she had opened a bag of chicken feed and made a mess all over in the garage (which didn't seem likely as the bag looked gnawed open--not her usual tyle!) So, I set the trap in the garage, bated it with half a can of corn, and voila! this morning, there was a masked bandit/demon in the trap. ( I am not a big fan of raccoons).

Friday, June 1, 2012

Rainy

I am laying in bed with the laptop, paying bills (the best way to do an icky job!), listening to the rain outside. Most of this week was unusually hot, so the rain is a blessing.

Yesterday was crazy busy, but full of fun surprises--especially a surprise visit from my cousin Ryan. We are only about a month apart in age, and didn't get along very well as children (it was all his fault, he was a pill--I was perfect!--hey, it's my blog!) He lives clear on the other side of the country, so many years have gone between visits. Anyway, it is fun to get to know him as a grownup (he is quite delightful now, I am happy and relieved to report!) I am always surprised and delighted by how charismatic and charming all of my cousins on that side of the family are. Even the ones that are screwups are fun, charismatic screwups!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Book of Mormon Talk

I gave a great talk in church today. I'm not bragging--since all the remarks, and the way to put them together were all given to me. It is pretty interesting to be a tool, sometimes. A tool in the hands of a master--awesome!

This talk was the preparation for next week: the kickoff to the Summer Book of Mormon Reading Program. This year should be AWESOME! I have some great prizes and incentives, and the whole focus has changed from "racing" to see who can complete the reading to helping each other so EVERY SINGLE MEMBER is strengthened and enriched. Even SmallDaughter. And--as I pointed out in my talk--if she is participating--nobody else has any valid excuses! (since she can't read!)

I have to go let out Miss K's dogs--since she is down in the city, awaiting a grand-baby at any second!

If you are interested, here is the outline of my talk:


Where we are:
Our ward has 383 members
Average 30% attendance

VT 85
HT 33
Endowed Members:
E.M who don’t have an active Recommend: 41

Callings that can’t be filled


What we WANT:
Return to Heavenly Father

Inactive Members are OUR Brothers & Sisters
Look Around:

Who’s missing?

We NEED them
We LOVE them

Our Goal:
A ZION People

Moses 3:18
And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.

Our Problem:
The gap between

KNOWING and DOING

What happens when we close that gap?

4 Nephi 1:16
And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.

Satan’s Deceptions—
“If I can’t do it perfectly, why bother trying?”

The Lord’s Plan:

Isaiah 28: 10
For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

Baby Steps—
Do we spank a baby when it falls down?—NO! We cheer every effort, every improvement. That is how the Lord feels about us!

Our Problem:
Comparing Ourselves/Judging Others--Flip sides of the same sin.

Quotes from Elder Uchtdorf:
Comparing Ourselves
I want to tell you something that I hope you will take in the right way: God is fully aware that you and I are not perfect.

Let me add: God is also fully aware that the people you think are perfect are not.

And yet we spend so much time and energy comparing ourselves to others—usually comparing our weaknesses to their strengths. This drives us to create expectations for ourselves that are impossible to meet. As a result, we never celebrate our good efforts because they seem to be less than what someone else does.

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses.

It’s wonderful that you have strengths.

And it is part of your mortal experience that you do have weaknesses.

God wants to help us to eventually turn all of our weaknesses into strengths, but He knows that this is a long-term goal. He wants us to become perfect, and if we stay on the path of discipleship, one day we will. It’s OK that you’re not quite there yet. Keep working on it, but stop punishing yourself.

Judging Others
This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:

Stop it!

It’s that simple. We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children. God is our Father. We are His children. We are all brothers and sisters. I don’t know exactly how to articulate this point of not judging others with sufficient eloquence, passion, and persuasion to make it stick. I can quote scripture, I can try to expound doctrine, and I will even quote a bumper sticker I recently saw. It was attached to the back of a car whose driver appeared to be a little rough around the edges, but the words on the sticker taught an insightful lesson. It read, “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.”

We must recognize that we are all imperfect—that we are beggars before God. Haven’t we all, at one time or another, meekly approached the mercy seat and pleaded for grace? Haven’t we wished with all the energy of our souls for mercy—to be forgiven for the mistakes we have made and the sins we have committed?

Because we all depend on the mercy of God, how can we deny to others any measure of the grace we so desperately desire for ourselves? My beloved brothers and sisters, should we not forgive as we wish to be forgiven?



YSA Ward Sermon:
“Everybody Sucks at first”

When you learn to walk, learn to play the piano, learn to drive—you don’t expect perfection at first. Why do we expect more of ourselves where the gospel is concerned?

Alma 37: 7
And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.

Our Problems:

Hesitancy, fear & Procrastination

Alma 37: 40-41 (about the Liahona)
And it did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day.
Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey;

Ways to Overcome them:

Prayer

Good Tools

Support

Start where you are—Don’t wait!

Next week we start the BofM Challenge.

EVERY member is included.

There are rewards and incentives. Not Bribes, blessings—Which I get to give!

There is NO WRONG WAY TO DO THIS!

You are welcome to listen to it on your ipad or computer.

If you miss a day, pick up where you are, and keep going—we stumble, we don’t fail.

Commit to help someone else.

Special Prize for sharing a copy of the BoM



Our Goal:
Every Member reading the Book of Mormon

Stake President’s Challenge (for each of us to get a new copy, read the entire book and mark in red all of the Savior’s teachings).
SmallDaughter was invited by her class and included in their reading challenge.

What is your excuse?

There is NO wrong way.

We are not racing to be first,
we are working to be Zion

Help someone else—class, HT, VT

A good time to restart.

Our Problem: Panic at how big the job seems!

“By the yard, Life is hard—
By the inch—it’s a cinch”!

The Savior never asks us for the Grand Gesture—He already did it!

He lived a perfect, sinless life.
He wants us to do small things--repeatedly.

He paid for all of our sins
He wants us to keep trying—every day, and to encourage the people around us.

The Result:

All of us commit and work together, as individuals, as families, as organizations, as friends, to focus on 3 small things this summer:
Pray
Read the Book of Mormon
Report our Progress

Miracles will happen
In our ward
In our families
In our lives

The Spirit will teach us the small things we need to do to bring back those that are missing, to heal our hearts, and increase our Ward Unity.



Thursday, May 24, 2012

So Beautiful

I am really having good success with my 15 minutes at a time jobs. My yard looks better than it has for 2 (or maybe 3) years. I am slowly but surely getting things planted and mulched. The unusually warm weather continues--it is hovering around 90 degrees. May I remind the weather that it is MAY not August! However, that means all the trees are fully leafed out, and everything is beautiful and summery.

Tonight, as I went out to take care of the chickens it was so beautiful. There is a tiny crescent moon, the treefrogs are singing and the air felt like warm velvet. I do love life!

The busy big childroon are having a babysitting/sleepover adventure at Miss Jenny's, so I have SmallDaughter and a quiet house. I think I will go to bed to celebrate!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Day 30: a picture of yourself this day and 5 good things that happened since you started the challenge

OK, I am totally bagging the picture of myself--the camera has wandered again, it is past my bedtime, and I keep looking fat in pictures (I have NO IDEA why, just hand me those Oreo's, ok?).

Five good things that have happened since I started this challenge:

1. I got t0 see or talk to almost all of my siblings. It was MARVELOUS!

2. My dear hubby and I went on an awesome weekend date. We had fun together, and (wise man that he is) ate good food (I am MUCH nicer when I am well fed!), and went to see The Avengers (at the 12:20 showing--12:20 in the afternoon, cause that's how we roll!).

3. I got to go to the Columbus Temple with my youngest sister as she received her endowment. My sweet hubby and I were the proxies to seal his Grandparents together for eternity.

4. LargeBoy went on a 3 week trip, and while he was gone, he went from 1/2 an inch shorter than his mom, to 1/2 an inch taller! When I asked what they put in the water, he told me "concentrated awesome!".

5. My life continued in it's busy, crazy, fun, blessed way. Lots of tiny miracles occurred. We got a particularly gorgeous early spring. I actually got most of my garden planted. Also some mulching of flower beds has happened. My wonderful children spent time with excellent friends. My husband got a new job. Beautiful babies were born. Life is very good.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Day 29: 3 Wishes


Hmmm....

This one actually takes a whole lot of thought.

1. I wish we could get a really nice, big swingset for SmallDaughter. She needs the stimulation of swinging, climbing and sliding.

2. I wish I could travel more. I have an incurable wanderlust, which is only slightly assuaged by reading and watching travel stuff. There are very few places in the world that I don't want to visit. However, right now my life is constrained by caring for SmallDaughter, and she is REALLY hard to travel with. I would not trade her for the opportunity to travel--it just makes me wistful.

3. I wish I could make who I currently am/how I behave fit more fully into what I want/desire myself to be (hint--the house would be cleaner, and I would actually enjoy exercise. FaceBook & StumbleUpon would not be major players. Just sayin').

Monday, May 7, 2012

Day 28: Something that stresses you out

Most of the things that really stress me out are actually consequences of my own choices:

I hate being late, but I don't plan enough time or I try to jam too many last minute activities in. I like a beautiful, calm, tidy house, but I would rather sit and read a book (or six) than do housework.

Other drivers on the road stress me out, and I am very vocal about my road rage--commenting on the other driver's habits and lifestyle choices (which makes LargeBoy tell me I need to be kinder and less judgmental).

But, all in all, I try to be pretty mellow.

In other, completely unrelated stuff:

I got to go to a beautiful temple wedding this week. I cried, even before the Bride & Groom came in. I also decorated their reception for them:

I didn't get any good pictures of the decorations, but here is an idea:







We had a great weekend staying with friends and not getting enough sleep!

Also, today BigGirl and I went to the eye doctor, and got our new glasses ordered! Yay! Let there be vision for all.

My Favorite Gentleman has a new job. Yay! Yay! For those of you who heard me rant about his previous employer--rejoice with us! For everybody else--trust me, this is a GOOD THING!

In sadder news, one of the orange kittens passed away. We aren't really sure why, it just started having problems one morning.

PS--it seems to be taking me an extraordinarily long time to cover 30 days! Sorry!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Taa Daah!

I now have the cleanest chicken coop in the county! I also (for completely unrelated reasons) have a very shiny clean, fresh smelling Wonder-Dog. Also, for reasons that are TOTALLY related to having to clean out the chicken coop by myself, with my weak, totally out of shape muscles--I finally sewed myself the nice heat pack filled with wheat that you heat up in the microwave (and my house totally smells like overtoasted wheat). Yay me! The back and shoulder muscles should stop protesting eventually.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

BREAKING NEWS!

My youngest sister, Rachael, just received her Mission Call (finally!)....(drumroll...) She will be serving in the Salt Lake, Temple Square Mission (English Speaking)! She will enter the Missionary Training Center on August 1st!
She will be SO AWESOME! I am super excited for her!






Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day 27: Original Photo of the city you live in



Yep, once again a nice idea...which has been struck down by the computer gremlins! I have some really cute pictures of my town, which, sadly are in my computer--the one that is sitting over there on my desk, flashing the same darn boot up screen it has shown for the last 36 hours. The computer guy is pending.

So, sorry--maybe later!
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