Tuesday, December 29, 2009


When I was 17 I was talking with one of my young woman church advisors and mentioned to her how I had been scrambling the week before to finish a gigantic Engish project (1/4 of my grade for the whole school year). The computer or printer had died at my house. Since my dad was the bishop of our ward, at the time, I left work early one evening to get a ride with him up to the church where he had meetings. While Dad conducted meetings and interviews in the bishop's office I sat in the clerk's office typing frantically and struggling with a dot matrix printer. BUT--I got the assignment done--and I pulled off an 'A' on it.

My leader quietly told me that procrastinators are really just people who love excitement. "We, procrastinors, know the thrill of being fully fueled by pure adrenaline." That is not the words I expected to hear from my advisor! But, I think it's a little bit true.

Over the years I have done some serious procrastinating. I've had a few experiences where whatever I was working on ending up looking, smelling, or tasting like trash. BUT, for the most part, I pull it off...like magic...from an adrenaline junkie.

I don't know why I procrastinate. Okay, with all the psychology I studied, I do know why. But, I am still sickened with myself that I do it! The Lord needs to punish me for it more by not making me have so many successes when I do it. For instance....

9th grade...we spent a week working on writing assignments for the PTA's Reflections contest--and for a grade. I dillydallied. Most kids were taking their work home to work on it. Not me, though. On the final afternoon that it was due, I frantically began scribbling. I wrote a poem. It was turned in with all of my classmates' submissions. Guess who won the school, and later, district contests and was invited to read her poem at a special luncheon with the mayor and city council? Isn't that just wrong?!

College. My husband and I took one class together--Anthropolgy 101. Grading was simple enough--read two assigned books and 1 of your choice on various cultures around the world. Write 10 page paper on each. One morning I awoke early to finish my book of choice and to write the subsequent paper. Class started at 8am. My husband shook his head in disbelief as he got ready that morning, watching my frantic attempt at starting/finishing. He had finished writing his paper several days before. I begged him to wait a second and let me finish so that he could turn my paper in for me. I would not be going to class that morning--not all nasty-haired and unshowered. A few days later we received our graded papers back. He got an 'A'; I got an 'A-'. He couldn't believe it (and frankly, neither could I).

You don't want to know how many lessons, talks, baked goods, and such that I have had similar experiences/results, far more than I want to recount. It's like an addiction! One that I really need to kick. So, guess what my goal for 2010 is?

Hey, it's not even 2010 and I've already started working on my goal! Go me! Maybe there is hope for this adrenaline junkie!!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Last day of school, 2009

In an hour the kiddies will be home for the rest of the year. Shocking!!!

My whole school year, thus far, has been pretty good with the exception of having an afternoon kindergartner. This has split my days in half and made a mundane task like getting the shopping done, awful! Either my child is cutting it close (or gets a tardy) or we leave with having visited half the stores I needed to go to (and later having to use more gas to turn around and go back to where I was shopping!) I had an afternoon kindergartner a few years ago but for some reason, this time around it is killing me!!!!! Just thought I'd vent to you....

I have, however, managed to buy the last Christmas item last week and almost everything is wrapped and hiding in the attic. Aw, bliss....

Hope your Christmas, preparing, partying, and presenting is going as planned.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Battle of the baristas

Seattle. When people hear that city's name they automatically start thinking of other things they associate with Seattle--rain and coffee--are amongst the top.

There are coffee drive-in shacks every half mile on our main roads. I think they look VERY tacky--all set up in a parking lot with their silly names and menus, "Cool Beans," "Big Foot Java," "Zipperdoodle," to name a few. They are drive-in style, like I mentioned. In the morning there are LONG, LONG, LONG lines of cars full of people with the pre-caffeine jitters. I know we are free to choose--so they are all free to choose their morning beverages. BUT, service is no longer good enough served with a smile. No, now many of these coffee shacks are sporting baristas.

Barista is an italian word for bartender. Baristas prepare and serve coffee with a smile. But now many of these baristas are serving coffee with hardly any clothes on!

I am married to a wonderful man. He told me about a new distraction on his way home from work. He was so disturbed by the outfit one woman was wearing (or hardly wearing) that he decided to not drive that way anymore. Her coffee shack was right up next to the street and the window faces traffic where everyone can see her. (I've driven past this place myself).

Yesterday my husband was talking with some of his employees. One of them is a single mom with four sons. She told everyone how embarrassed she was when she pulled in to one of the drive-ins with her 12- year-old and the lady walked over to take their order, and she was wearing a teeny negligee. The co-worker was shocked and tried to cover her son's eyes. She later told everyone that she had recently found a pornographic magazine in her house.

This led to further discussion on the matters of morality and my husband mentioned how much he didn't like all these baristas and that he'd even chosen to go a different route to and from work. Most of his co-workers are female and they thought he was so cute and sheltered. Oh, yes, a good little Mormon boy. My husband tried to explain to them the link between getting comfortable with viewing soft porn (baristas, for example) and that it's the same addicting path leading to stranger and more disgusting pornography (and actions).

They thought he was wrong, "Oh no!! Some people are just wired that way!" "You've lived a sheltered life," etc....

He disagreed. They expressed more opinions. He told me that they eventually ended the conversation, with everyone agreeing that they have differences, but that they are still considerate of each others' rights to their own opinions.

The scripture in 2 Nephi 28:21 reads, "And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell."

You may call us goodie-goodies. You can call me whatever you want. I will take all the name barraging you can throw at me because I am trying to avoid evil--in any form.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Jump on the bandwagon.

Yes, I waited in a long line last night.

Yes, I went with a group of female friends.

Yes, we screamed during the film.

Yes, I went to the 12:01am showing.

Yes, I spent 30 minutes just trying to get out of theatre parking lot.

Yes, I crawled into bed at 3:10am.

Yes, there was school for the kids today.

Yes, I am tired.


No, I am not so obsessed that I lust after Edward or Jacob.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Experimentation in my field....

Many people have jobs where they are required to do research. Some do more than others. In my line of work I do experimentations when I feel they are needed. Maybe this is because of my degree in psychology and my keen interest in that and of sociology. Who knows why, really.

Most recently I tested the overall and individual reactions to elivated household stress. The main focus was on lack of clean habiliment.

There were 6 test subjects. I will refer to them as:
1. Man
2. Woman
3. Child #1
4. Child #2
5. Child #3
6. Child #4

The trial period was over a period of 2 weeks, during which time the laundry facilities were left untouched.

After two weeks, these were my observations:
1. Man: Not too phased, seemed to not even notice improved space in dresser drawers .
2. Woman: Quite relaxed. Compared to the other test subjects, she had remarkably low stress levels.
3. Child #1: Highly stressed, quite irritable. Was prone to much screaming and yelling. Borderline dysfunctional.
4. Child #2: Adaptable. Never spoke on the matter, seemed quietly contained and satisfied to wear shorts and t-shirts, despite going outside in 40-degree weather.
5. Child #3: Also adapted well. Resorted to wearing and re-wearing dirty clothes.
6. Child #4: Maybe a little too young to have been tested. But, subject was found to be spending abnormal amount of time in pajamas.

While stress levels of individual test subjects varied greatly, the overall stress level was not too much higher than normal. Would like to have continued experiment for longer duration but found my own clean undergarment supply to be lessening. Would also like to try similar experiment with gauging stress levels in response to subject #2, Woman, not answering to the whiny call of "Mom." Will need to purchase heavy, gauge ear plugs, first.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The next decade....

I gave birth to a little girl in the fall of 1999. Fast forward to now. (Do you really think I could possibly try to cover the past 10 years here? TMI!!!!)

What do I have to look forward to in the next decade? Well, basically, I'll blink and my baby will be a sophomore in college! If she's like her mom, at that age, she will be just a few months away from meeting her future spouse. Oh my.....

We celebrated the momentous occasion of turning 10 with friends from church and school....

Wish I'd gotten a picture of everyone's--they all turned out so cute. All that time spent drilling holes was worth it.

Pass the Parcel

Balloon Stomp

We played a few other party games--one of them involved the girls taking a quiz about the birthday girl--just how well did they know her? (I should do one of those. Oh wait--that's what facebook is for).

Leaf print goodie bags.

She LOVES to read!

(The paper says: "Treats from some of _____'s favorite books")

Pumpkin tassies (Little Debbie pumpkin treats)---Harry Potter series

Knocker's listening stones (chocolate rocks)---The Ironwood Tree (Book 4 of Spiderwick Chronicles)

preserved crocodile tongues (Halloween gummy worms)---James and the Giant Peach

dragon's egg (giant jawbreaker)---Eragon

gold (chocolate coins)---Inkheart

Never bugs (Keebler graham bug bites)---Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg

dream trumpets (Oreo Stix)---The BFG

Well now...off to plan the next decade....

Friday, October 16, 2009

Someone's paying attention....

My youngest child still takes naps. All of my kids have had the same nap routine: read a story, go to the bathroom, sing a song, say a prayer, then in to bed. I usually rock them or rub their backs when I sing. Today's melody was "Rock-a-bye Baby." I've probably sang it at least a thousand times over the last decade.

As I put my youngest into bed he turned to me and said, "Did the baby fall in the road?"

I thought, "What?!?!" A second later I realized he was referencing the song. I told him not to worry, the baby fell in the grass. ;).

Friday, October 2, 2009

Psalms 127:3-5

The title of my blog is "Beware of Kids." Don't know if I ever explained this. I reference it to a few years ago when I was with my 4 kids at Target or Wal-mart. We're all walking down the aisle (a kid or two was probably in the cart) and this woman is walking towards us from the very opposite end. She looks at me, shakes her head, and snorts, "Very brave. VERY BRAVE. Four? I can't even handle one." From that point I've always felt that I need to walk around with caution tape surrounding us and holding a big sign that reads "WARNING: Children are present! Persons with pedophobia BEWARE!"

I am no super mom. I love my kids and try to do all I can for them and help them grow up to be good citizens and not fight and be gregarious, etc., etc., etc. I feel like I am constantly adjusting schedules, budgets, priorities, and car seats to keep up with the growing demands of our family. Some times I do it grumpily, but it gets done.

My kids fight. I find myself getting caught up in that at times. You know the children of prophets and other religious figures and how they recollect things about their childhoods? They always say things like, "I never heard my mother raise her voice." Yeah, my kids would never say that.

I just had my birthday. My husband was out of town. This meant, to me, it was going to be a yucky birthday. I don't know how women can fall out of love with their husbands and devote all their time and energy on their kids, because I love, love, LOVE my husband. He is my sun. Sappy, but true.

I stayed up WAY late on the eve of my birthday to can tomatoes. They'd been sitting on my counter for a few days and they weren't getting any fresher so I canned! I also made some peach butter. I went to bed at 2:30am. I groggily got out of bed 4 and a 1/2 hours later to start the morning routine. I was surprised to see the beam of a flashlight shining around the kitchen. One of my daughters gasped when she saw me and the other one said, "Oh no!" It took me a few seconds and I realized they were making me breakfast! I saw a little bottle of orange extract out and asked them what that was for. "We couldn't find the orange juice so we were going to make some."

I quickly explained what orange extract was for and then pointed them towards the freezer. I went back upstairs to take a shower. When I came downstairs this is what I saw:

Please understand that I don't let them use the stove, yet, since they are just above eye level with it. I am 32. We have no "2" candle so they put 2 regular ones in its place. Frosted mini-wheats, orange juice with all the trimmings, and that little bowl is Haagan Dazs--I've always wanted to have that for breakfast!

It is hard to surprise me, I'm a hard one to trick. But, the girls did this time! It really made my day. They were angels, shining before me.

So, about Psalms 127:3-5--verse 5 is missing a footnote "b" which should be in front of "quiver." Footnote "b" should read: "And you are doubly blessed if you get daughters."

Sunday, September 13, 2009

in retrospect....

I meant to post this on Sept. 11, but didn't make it to the computer that day. I did, however, manage to remember to fly the American flag.

I can't believe it's been 8 years since 9-11. I will never forget that day:

I was at home, then, Provo, Utah, and caring for the new demands of my 4-day-old baby. My sister-in-law called me from Portland, crying. I could barely make out what she was saying. She did manage to get out, "Turn on the news." I did and saw the shocking images of plane crashes and buildings and clouds of debris.

Already a whirlwind of post-partum emotions, this news of the twin towers caused me to gaze at the new baby in my arms and tearfully say to her, "What have I done? What kind of a world have I brought you in to?" I was scared for her. That famous image from Time magazine of that female refugee fleeing with her fellow countrymen, all the while clinging to her nursing babe, flooded my thoughts--would that be me in a few weeks/months?

My mother was planning to fly out the following day from the D.C. airport, to come help out with us and the new baby. I feared for her safety and called her to tell her not to come--it would be too dangerous. She said that we couldn't live in fear and that she was coming. She had to arrive at the airport like 5 hours before her flight and was given the search of searches, but she made it to us safely.

Now my baby is 8. I still fear for her safety but not so much from terrorist attacks. I worry more about attacks from peers and child predators, and the demoralization of America, in general. A lot has changed in 8 years. The greatest, for me, would be my capacity to love. My family, and the world, need that love now.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My summer....

Ask yourself, "Do I have a lot of time right now?" Because the following is a marathon of a post--no kidding. I figured I'd just kill all my birds with one stone and post everything all at once. (Forgive me for using ABC's again--it just made it easier for me to organize my thoughts).

(Random picture that my 3-year-old took a month ago. Decided I'd

better post it since the following pictures are ugly shots of me).

Anyway, the chronological ABC's of my summer:

Acclimation: To prepare my lungs from 1,200 ft. elevation to the 8,000 ft. elevation of the Utah Wasatch Back, a Ragnar Relay http://www.ragnarrelay.com/index.php, I ran with weights on. Four weeks before race day I started with just 3 pounds. I gradually increased the weight until I was running with 12 pounds extra weight. I also ran the monstrous hills near my home (8-10% grade) with the weights on, of course! So, I missed my kids' last day of school (June 19) to fly out and run my race, but I'm happy to say that my lungs were ready and I was able to breath just fine!

B.O. 188 miles from Logan to Park City--this distance was shared by me and my 11 teammates--Go team Lightspeed! I was runner #12 and thus ran legs 12, 24, and 36. I only knew 3 of my teammates, prior to the race. We were in the same ward in San Diego. They were in vehicle #2, with me, as well as two other teammates. We were runners 7-12. Vehicle #1 had runners 1-6. (Everyone's total individual mileage ended up being between 13-18 miles).

We had all communicated prior to the race via phone, email, Facebook, and IM. Still, it's something else to all wear electric lime t-shirts and spend 30+ hours together in a van. We bonded, as only runners can, cheering each other on over tough terrain, a pitch-dark night, and inclimate weather. Since there were only two girls, our team was classified as a men's team. Yes, I was in a car with 5 men for 30+ hours. At one point I asked someone for my sweaty sweatshirt, to which he picked it up from the seat handed it to me while commenting, "Woah, you smell like one of us guys." Uh, I'll take that as a compliment.

Contacts: I was in very few photos during our race. I'd like to say it's because I'm so fast that they couldn't catch me, but in reality it was that one of my contacts had broken a week prior to the race and the new ones hadn't come in yet. I don't like wearing glasses, let's just say that.

Here I am all dorked up--glasses, reflector vest, headlamp, flashing LED lamp.

Anyone who ran between the hours of 8pm and 6:30am had to wear this stuff.

(Excuse my even dorkier expression--this was after I had run).

Decorations: Here's how we decorated our vehicles.

Other teams went all out with things like scarecrows, millions of flashing lights, mannequins, medical equipment, etc....

Exhilerating: Being greeted by this sunrise in the sleepy town of Coalville, UT.

And, how it felt to be at the top of this mountain on the hardest and highest leg of the race, cheering for my teammate.

Fatigue: What happens when your first leg looks like this:
(Yes--three miles uphill the whole way!)

And when it's not your vehicle's turn to run and you pull over to sleep and there's a snorer in the bunch and you get no sleep. Less than 2 hours of sleep in a 30 hour race = fatigue.

Glory: I wanted to be runner #12--not because I'd get to cross the finish line, but because it meant my first leg would be my hardest, my second one would be a tad easier, and my final leg would be cake.

HA! Before I started my 3rd leg I was deliberating if I should bring my jacket. The weather was cool and misty, but the runners before me stayed plenty warm. I knew I didn't have any hills but I was planning on booking it to the end. Last minute, I decided to take my little jacket.

So, around mile 2, I stepped stepped in a puddle and said to myself, "Darn--now my sock is wet!" 30 seconds after this thought the sky cracked open and I found myself in the middle of a torrential downpour. It was the kind of storm that if you were driving a car, you would have pulled off to the side of the road to wait out, due to lack of visibility. It was INSANE! Gallons and gallons of water in 40 degrees and I was only wearing my little running shorts, team jersey, and my very thin jacket. The last three miles I ran with one goal in mind, "Must get w-w-w-aarmm--m--m."

As we runners neared the finish, race officials were radioing our numbers to the finish line. Officials there would then announce the incoming runner and the rest of their team was able to join in the final few hundred feet. My team was there and we streaked to the finish. They were so proud of me, all teams were proud of their final runners at this point--that was INSANE!!! Seriously!

Here's our team: we're arranged in running order, front row left to right, then back row, left to right.

I'm not wearing my team shirt because immediately after we received our medals at the finish line I ran to the bathroom to take off all my wet clothes. The water in the toilet bowl doubled after I was done wringing out my clothes, shoes (yes, shoes!) and hair. (A teammate had brought me my bag of dry clothes but I was still shivering 5 hours later).

The race was AWESOME. The finish line was ready for the 500+ teams of 12, but the rain spoiled what would have been a really sweet party. What a shame. But we still had fun!

Holy Cow: 5 days after I returned we left for a family reunion at BYU's family camp for alumni and families, Aspen Grove in Utah. I love the Cascade Mountains here in western Washington. We drove a different route than usual and saw views like this:

14 hours later we found ourselves surrounded by views like this. In the middle of this scenic sandwich we had:


Okay, okay, I know there are scenic parts of Idaho, but we didn't go near any on this trip.

Juggle: There were many fun things to do at Aspen Grove. It was fun to cram as many activities as possible in to every day. And what a true vacation for me because all of my
Kids were watched all day long. They were put into groups with kids of the same ages and basically had summer day camps all week long. They loved it!!

(Not the best picture of us, but Stewart Falls was sure pretty!)

Losers: There were sport tournaments amongst all the different family groups staying at Aspen Grove all that week. Me, my hubby, my bros, and my dad participated in 3 on 3 basketball, 5 on 5 basketball, and volleyball. I didn't play in the 3 on 3 games, but I was there in case someone got injured. The other team was shocked to see a girl (me) walk out on the court. I even made 1 of our 10 total points! (We played to 21-single scoring).

Three of my brothers and I are all within 1-2" of each other (5' 7"-5' 9") and the others aren't much taller. With the exception of my husband, our basketball and volleyball team was on the short side. This proved to be a downfall for us. We didn't win a single game--it was closer in volleyball though (We won the first game of our first match, but lost the last two). We watched the rest of the volleyball games in the tournament and realized that we were the most challenging team the winners had played. Even with our shorter team, we managed to block the guy on the right--he was like 6' 6". (My bro is going up for the block in this picture. Excuse my bum in the foreground). Even thought we lost I even blocked the tall guy once, ahh...it felt good!

My hubby, a few of my bros and I are pretty competitive and it stank to lose all those games. Most of my family members didn't really care. I've seriously been playing in competitive leagues too long, 'cause that really ticked me off (the losing, not my family). Oh well....

Muscle: Several of us did the ropes course. No one took my picture but I really did do it! This is one of my bros making his way across the high wires. Before that you had to climb up a log with some notches cut in the sides, then a climbing wall. After the wires you got to repel down. Fun stuff!!

Neighbors: We can't go anywhere without running into someone we knew beforehand. One of the other families at Aspen Grove was none other than our neighbors from the apartments that we lived in 10 years ago--it's a small world after all!!

Obsession: Most people don't know this about me, but I am obsessed with the game Dance, Dance Revolution (DDR). My husband bought it for me for Christmas a few years back (xbox 360 version). We sold the xbox and games a few months ago and I still need to get DDR for the wii. However, one afternoon at Aspen Grove--they had it!!! Yea for Dance, Dance Revolution!!

Pottery: They had a very cool pottery shed--it's built over a stream. You can sit at your pottery wheel and hear the running water below you. It's very tranquil and lovely. In such a setting you'd think that nothing in the world could go wrong.
Well, three hours in the pottery shed and after about 50 tries I still was unable to shape my clay into much of anything. This was a bit humiliating for me, being a half-decent artist and having my family there. I can shape clay, but not when it's on a spinning wheel!! Myhusband rubbed salt in the wound when he produced a practically perfect pot first time around. And yes--it was his first time ever!

Quiver: I did discover a hidden talent during our week at Aspen Grove (not pottery). My dad, uncle, one bro, my sis, and my hubby, and I attended the archery workshop and competition. I hadn't shot an arrow since I was 14. We were all having a good time. My hubby and uncle were consistently scoring high. I was half-messing around, trying out both compound and composite bows, even shot a few times around using the bow for lefties (I'm a righty).

The counselor in charge had stuck an arrow through a Coke can and then stuck that on the bullseye of one of the targets. When I shot at that target I hit the Coke can!! I was pretty excited and decided to take this archery thing a little more seriously. A few rounds later I was tied with a guy for 1st place (the competition was us ongoingly keeping track of our scores). We both scored 48 points out of a possible 50! A little later he shot a 49 out of 50. I never did get a 49. I guess it was impressive because I'm a girl and we were all shooting with the same bows--I didn't get a handicap or anything!

My sister snagged this shot of me; we didn't get any of me with bow fully extended.

Move over Emma--I got the "Joan of Arc" award at the end of the week!

Reunion: It was fun to have all of us together--2 parents (my mom and dad), their 8 children, 5 daughter-in-laws, 1 son-in-law (my man), and 17 grandchildren. We haven't all been together for 3 1/2 years. It was a treat.

Supplies: After driving back home I had a few weeks to prepare for girls' camp. I was to be in charge of 19 fourteen-year-old girls. I was busy buying snacks, making camp decorations and preparing little daily devotionals and cute things to put in the camp mail box for each of them every day.

Third-years: Girls' camp is for girls ages 12-17. I had the third year level girls (in there 3rd year).

Unpack: That was a lot of stuff to set up. Took me about four hours to get everything in order at our campsite. (We put these little "Toto" dogs up on all the girls' tents--aren't they cute?!)

Volume: What we added to our hair on 80's dress-up day.
Wizard of Oz: That was this year's theme. We focused on "The Power Within." Just as all the main characters in the story came to the wizard only to discover that deep inside they had had what they were seeking all along. Of course, we paralled going to the Emerald City with going to the temple, and the Lord with the wizard of Oz. We third years were Dorothy. One day we all did our hair like Dorothy and some girls had even brought cute dresses to wear. (Some Dorothy girls playing human foosball).

X-tra: Camp had about 100 girls and around 25 leaders. All that estrogen meant x-tras: x-tra silliness, x-tra hugs, x-tra kindness. Really, just a great bunch of kids--what a pick-me-up--I felt x-tra special.

Yearning: Before I met my group of girls they were just a list of names, phone numbers and email addresses. It was so wonderful to get to know each one of them as the week progressed. On the second to last day I learned that two of our girls were not baptized members of our church. They each came from a family where one parent was not a member of the church and forbade their daughter getting baptized. I heard each of them bare their testimonies on our last night of camp. Each girl bore her testimony and of their strong desire to be baptized. It made me realize that having the gospel in my life truly is a great gift. I pray that their parents will change their minds one day soon.

ZZZ's and Zucchini: A week at girls' camp got me pretty tuckered out. I was in a tent with 3 other leaders and we were staying up 'til 1-2am jabbering and laughing, just like our girls were. When I returned home I was happy to see that my hubby had kept up on watering the garden and that the zucchini plants had suddenly become very prolific and gave us about 15 new babies (all in one week--and they haven't let up since!!!!)

Whew. So, that's my summer in a nutshell (you should see the length of my journal entries!) School starts in a couple of weeks. Oh summer, I'll miss you....

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Not cool....

More proof that we are getting lazy and flabby in America. I don't care how hip this is, I won't ever encourage it! Men (and women) fight against this evil!!


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Over and Out...

I'm off to a week of no modern-day technology! Wish me luck at Girls' Camp, in charge of nineteen 14-year-olds!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Consider this...

The next time you see a man (be he your boss, religious figure, professor, etc.) and he has red marks on his collar, consider this:

Maybe he is not having some risque affair. Perhaps his wife discovered that his dress shirts had been washed and dried with the same load of clothes that included a child's pair of pants with a pocket containing an overlooked red crayon. Thanks, again kids!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Y is for youthful

How to stay youthful:

(The following tips are tried and true).

1. Don't earn higher than a bachelor's degree. If you tell people you have a masters or doctorate that automatically labels you as "old."

2. Exercise regularly. Hey--a firm, old body looks younger than a flabby, old body.

3. Get married young and have children right away. If you do this right people will think you're your kids' older sister.

4. Be genetically predisposed to have no chest. People will think you are just entering puberty. Thanks to my english, danish and asian progenitors, I have found the perfect mix.

5. Make friends with older people, staging is everything. I knew I'd made a friend for life when I met a mother of two who'd had her oldest when she was 45. I thought she was their grandma. Oops--I hope she isn't reading this.

6. Even though you may have followed tip 3, above, you should try to have shopping trips without the kids, maybe when your husband comes home. This accomplishes two purposes: 1) You'll actually get your shopping done and 2) You'll be at the mall a couple of hours before closing time, you know--when the teenagers are out. Remember to keep your head down so that you look like a loner, a shy kind of gal. Don't walk with confidence and for heaven's sake do not actually talk to any teenagers. You might be tempted to use the dead givaway saying, "When I was your age...."

If you must go to the mall accompanied see to it that your shopping companion is in accordance with tip #5.

7. Keep up-to-date on the latest electonic devices. Technology--it's happening, at least make an effort at it. *Bonus* Learn current text abbreviations: http://www.netlingo.com/acronyms.php (warning--not all are PG rated)

8. Smile. Smile lines are the best kind of wrinkles you can get. Smiling may also trick the rest of your body into feeling happy, go-lucky--youthful!

(Author's note: at some point I realize these tips may become obsolete in our lives. If I ever opt for evasive anti-aging treatments I'll be sure to list them).

Friday, May 22, 2009

X is for e"X"treme

The letter "X" is a racy letter. All words that begin with or have the "x" sound in the first syllable just seem more dangerous than other letters of the english alphabet. I could write lots about risky "x" words. (Hee, hee--side note--say "risky 'x' words" 5 x's fast). Anyway...this week we have had a first--an eXtreme--in my household....

Well, to begin, western WA is wet, off and on. It doesn't really turn all the way off until July through October. Whenever there is a warm, rainfree day, I have learned to drop everything and go outside and do yard work. There are many people here who do yard work in the rain, but I don't like to.

Last weekend was gorgeous. On Saturday, after attending 4 hours of soccer games, I came home and knew that I needed to plant the rest of the garden, otherwise I wouldn't have much of a harvest come harvest time. Mind you, Sunday was supposed to be an equally pristine weather day, but I don't work on Sundays (except for maybe washing a dish).

My hubby had taken one child to a birthday party so I had 3 kids to tend to. I pulled out all sorts of water toys, had 'em get on their bathing suits, and do a free-for-all in the backyard. They played and I succeeded in ignoring them for 4 hours while I pulled newly-grown weeds, fertilized, and put in new plants and seeds. During that time my hubby returned home. It was getting late and I knew the kids were getting hungry. I asked him to whip us up some vittles.

He went to the store and then brought the kids in and fed them whilst I still tended to the vegetable garden. When I finally came in, they were getting ready for bed. I scrubbed my hands and arms. I enjoy gardening and I always work up a good appetite. Dinner was take-out chinese food. The food was great! And there was a LOT of it.

In fact, there was so much food that we have been eating it for five days (we made something different for Sunday dinner). It's lunch time right now and I'm eating cashew chicken. We've, along with some pasta already in the fridge, been eating leftovers for 5 days straight!!!!

I can't stand to throw out perfectly good food, so we continue to eat it. Tomorrow I should be able to polish off the sesame pork, I think I'll cook them a real meal tonight. This is eXtreme for us--leftovers for 5 days?! This lovely, fattening, chinese food, has really helped me in my running this week. Good thing my race isn't for another month....

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Happy Blog Giving Day!!!

Just a quick post to show what my dear friend Christy gave me for Blog-giving day. She made me some homemade coconut marshmallows and they were so extremely good that I: 1) Didn't remember to share some with my family until I'd eaten half the bag and 2) Snarfed almost all of them down before I remembered that I should take a picture to post on my blog. (Imagine a neat, not-torn-into package with at least 4 dozen snow white marshmallows). Thanks so much Christy!! How did you know that I liked coconut--did we talk about that once during one of our many conversations in the Wymount stairwells (when our husbands' were in Starcraft land)?

Friends are so great--thanks, Christy!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

W is for Wireless

A little over a month ago, I switched to wireless. Can I just tell ya--what a difference it's made in my life--an every day difference! Now I can go from room to room and all over, stretch out and enjoy the freedom of being, well, wireless.

When I was considering wireless options, the saleslady I spoke with was super helpful. I had more questions than I think she was used to answering but she handled it great. I was surprised at one of the answers I received. I asked her if large people opted for wireless, since they were, well, large, and often not moving all over the place like their slighter counterparts. She said that actually, it's a matter of taste. Some of our heavier peers opt for wireless--I was totally baffled!

So, if you are considering wireless options I have a great recommendation: the Very Sexy bra from Victoria's Secret. It comes in a wonderful variety of colors and prints and you can get it padded or not padded. I love being wireless!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

V is for Virtue

For all my LDS chaps out there, you may or may not know that the YW Personal Progress Program has an 8th value now: Virtue. http://www.lds.org/pa/display/0,17884,6884-1,00.html

A copy of the actual insert with the value experiences and project: http://www.lds.org/pa/yw/pdf/YW_2009_PersonalProgressVirtue_08255_eng_.pdf

I've been serving as the secretary in our ward YW presidency for a couple of months and it's been great to learn more about virtue and I wish that we had had that as a value when I was a youth. It fits in so well with the Young Woman program.

So, just when I was getting comfortable and feeling so uplifted about virtuous things and such, and loving hanging out with all the girls--I was released! They reorganized the RS presidency in my ward and I've been called to serve as the 2nd counselor over enrichment.

I was only in that YW calling for 2 1/2 months--the shortest time I've ever had a calling! While I'm excited to plan awesome activities to enrich the lives of my fellow sisters I am also sad to not get to be with the young women anymore. Well, the Lord left me with a swell consolation prize: I've been asked by the stake to be the leader of the 3rd year girls at Girls' Camp this summer. Yup, me and twenty-two 14-year-olds in tents for a week. This is gonna be fun.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

U is for Uncalled-for

Well, of course that previous posting was an April Fool joke! My kids never talk back to me--do yours? For real?!?!?!

Just kidding again....yes they talk back.

Oh yeah, and I am NOT pregnant. Don't y'all remember how I announce my for-real pregnancies? If you don't remember it's because I never announced them :). Now you may be wondering if I really am since I wouldn't tell you anyway....Seriously though, no pregnancy news. We may be done at 4. When we were first married, my hubby used to say, regarding having children, "As many as you want." After the 4th one was born he then said, "We're done, right?" So, I've turned the tables on him and said, "As many as you want," and I added, "but I don't want to be pregnant after 33 or 34." We've got a 2-3 year deadline. I'll let you know, in a non-April-fool-joke-blog if he decides he wants more kids.

Hope you weren't too annoyed by my silly joking. I love April Fool's Day.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

T is for Trouble

Yesterday was one of the worst days of my parenting years, regarding my eldest child. She is not a trouble maker, per se, but gets herself in to trouble with the way she has been bad-mouthing me and her siblings. I HATE IT WHEN KIDS TALK BACK! I want to bust out singing "R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Find out what it means to me...." Maybe I'm just emotional because I just found out that we will be parents of 5--can I handle another kid?! "Well, we got trouble! Right here in River City!" to say the least :(.

Monday, March 23, 2009

S is fo $aving$

I am only 100% passionate about a handful of things: my husband, my kids (okay 85% here, they're still growing on me), healthy eating, exercising, religion, the power of music, and saving money.

Recently I had such a great experience saving money that I just have to share it!

Our middle garage door, and I park in the middle spot, has been having problems since we moved in a few months ago. It was inconsistent in opening and closing with the garage door openers (all 4 of them)! Imagine me, in a hurry to leave (which is stupid because I'm already 10 minutes late to wherever I'm going) and I pull out of the garage, push the button and it doesn't close! This happened many times so I usually had to physically get out of the car and walk right up close to the door and only then would the sensor receive the signal from my opener(s). We knew it wasn't a problem with the openers because they opened the first stall from anywhere!

To get the dumb door fixed was in the back of my mind. I would haughtily remember to do it for only those few frustrating seconds when I had to keep getting out of the car to close the door.

Well, soccer practices have started, as well as school musical practices. My coming and going has increased by 212%. So all this past week I've been fuming about the stupid garage door.

On Friday, there are no practices. I actually had a moment to breath and I remembered that I needed to get the door taken care of ASAP. I had even laid aside a couple of garage door repair coupons over the past month. I never called to make appointments because of the cost. The coupons were advertising things like $50 dollars off garage door repairs and I thought, "If I'm getting $50 off then how much is the final bill going to be?!?!?" Ugh...my stomach lurched.

Well, I kept having this crazy notion to try something that worked for me when I was 11. I had a classy Soundesign brand radio/cassette player (a brand probably carried by drugstores) and I wanted better reception so that I could get the FM stations clearer. (Now you know why I sing the words to "Karma Chameleon" wrong). I wrapped aluminum foil on the antenna (just like people did to their tv rabbit ears, back in the day).

So, yes folks--for 5 cents I fixed my garage door. Again, that's, FOR 5 CENTS I FIXED MY GARAGE DOOR!!!!!!!!! I can't express the elation I feel every time I push the opener button and my door responds! And I'm even more thrilled because of the money that I didn't have to spend. HALLELUJAH!!!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

R is for Radical

Just a quick post to say I'm still alive, here!!! So, the word "radical...." This word was very popular lingo amongst my 6th and 7th grade peers. A quick walk down memory lane....

You know people send around all those forwarded emails about being children of the 80's and growing up in the 80's? Well, I was around in the 80's but the 90's stick out more.

In 6th grade, being a "skater" was cool. Caucasian boys had what we called "Pee-wee" haircuts (whole head is shaven except for your bangs which hung, slyly, over your eyes) and African-American boys often sported the "Gumby." If you were not considered a cool skater, you were called a "poser" which meant you were a wannabe skater. Some kids dressed nice--wearing stuff like expensive rugby shirts and penny loafers or Eastland dock shoes--they were called "preps."

We often used words like "radical," "gnarly," and "bodacious" to describe anything remarkable to our junior high minds. I loved to see all the Reebok pumps shoes in their varying colors--the little "pump" basketball on the shoe tongue is so cute!

For fun, at school, we enjoyed hitting lockers and listening for the clunks of fallen locker mirrors. The hallways smelled like Love's Babysoft. Everytime I smell that stuff I am immediately transported back to those days. Weird....

Why do I bring up "radical?" I guess, I just can't believe, sometimes, that I am a wife and a mother of 4, and paying bills, and doing fundraisers, and talking politics, and... and doing what grown-ups do! Does anyone ever really feel "grown up?" Guess I better fake it 'til I make it!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Q is for Quirks

The first definition in my dictionary describes "quirk" as "A personal peculiarity, mannerism, or caprice."
So, a few quirks about me, that you probably didn't know:
1. I don't like eating grapes. It all stems from one of my earliest memories, eating wild grapes from my backyard in Texas; they were sour and seedy. I buy them often for my family to eat, I just usually grab some carrot sticks to snack on instead.

2. I almost always run up stairs. Don't know why, I guess I think it's fun.

3. The kitchen has to be spotless before I can go to bed. (Since I spend 90% of my time there I like it, my workplace, to be tidy and in order when I arrive there for work the next day).

4. I'm not usually picky about other people's grammar and speech, but when someone says "We was..." I think it sounds as ugly as nails on a blackboard.

What are some of your quirks? I would love to know!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

P is for Pain in the Patella

No, I don't have any literal pain in my knee (thank goodness). Just a general pain, an annoyance....

The dynamics of a family--everyone moving in different directions at different speeds. It sure can get crazy. To prevent future headaches in your homes, please read the following true story:

Once upon a time a little boy turned 5. The night before his birthday his mother was driving around frantically in the dark trying to find the nearest Toys 'R' Us. (She had waited til the last minute because 1) She couldn't very well take her son with her to the store during the day--he'd see his gift and 2) Due to a ridiculous amount of unexpected snow for the area, many roads had been closed prior, due to severe flooding). She knew exactly what she needed: a remote control car, more specifically, a replacement for the one that the little boy had received at Christmas, the same car which his sister had thrown down the stairs and destroyed. He had wept over its loss for many hours. Mapquest had missed one little detail in the directions and the poor woman was nearly rear-ended while realizing that a road she was on suddenly turned sharply into a freeway on-ramp. When she finally got to her destination (after many, many turn-arounds) it was 2 minutes to store-closing.

The unable-to-tell-time Toys 'R' Us employees had already locked the doors and had the nerve to pretend not to notice the woman pacing and tapping at the doors. (Oh yes, they saw her!) The woman drove home feeling horrendously frustrated and upset. She was even crying so much that she had to pull over the car at one point to "have it out." Calling her husband made her feel a little better; he was happy that she hadn't been killed. After saying their "goodbyes" she sucked it up and drove home (surprisingly without having to turn around at all--stupid Mapquest).

The woman and her husband decided that even though he was pulling long hours working at his new job, the next day he would have to leave early to go to the Toys 'R' Us near his place of employment. He would have to get that car before cake and ice cream time. He did get that car, as well as a few other things. Unfortunately, for those who don't like long stories, this one doesn't end here.

Those few other things have been giving the woman a headache for the last couple of weeks. When a toy's packaging has the words "ages 6-16" it should be taken seriously. The man, though, sincere in his efforts, had no idea that his casual overlooking of these words would prove to be a nightmare for his beloved wife.

First, some things to be aware of: 1) The woman stays at home and is therefore around the little boy about 10-11 hours more than the man. 2) The boy is awake during this entire time and, being a child, does tend to play with toys during most of this awake period. 3) And like any kid, the boy was bound to ask for someone, let's say the woman who's around him most, to "help" him put his new "ages 6-16" toy together.

The instruction manual was 25 pages long. And it had an annoying fold right down the middle that kept the manual from laying flat. There were 61 parts, 20 of which were moving parts, and 13 of which were smaller than 1/2". The woman extracted every brain cell that remained after carrying and birthing 4 children, and somehow managed to build what the boy affectionately named, "Dude."

Dude looked tough, with his spinner shooters and light-up cranium and ability to roll up into an orange wrecking ball. Dude had an even smaller dude, also rolled up like a ball, that he could shoot out of his chest. Little dude even had little dude guns. Dude was the Dude of Dudes.

Unfortunately for Dude, and the woman, it is hard for 5-year-olds to play with "ages 6-16" toys. Just because you can be rolled up into a cool, rolling boulder of destruction doesn't mean that a 5-year old can roll you up without making parts of you come off. And, this particular 5-year-old boy happened to be quite good with putting things together, just not as good as a 16-year-old (or even a 10 year old). I mean for crying out loud, he just learned to tie his shoes--and now this?!? What happened to something transitional, like a perfectly harmless Transformer?

Poor Dude, spending several hours of each day as an amputee. Poor 5-year-old boy, unable to mend his beloved, suffering toy. Each effort seemed to leave Dude in worse condition than before. Poor woman, unable to get any household chores done, seemed to be constantly rebuilding Dude.

In exasperation she said to the 5-year-old two days ago. "This toy is recommended for older kids, I don't think Daddy knew that it would be such a frustrating thing for you [and me]." She even made a side comment about maybe putting it away for a while until the boy was older. Usually the boy would have loudly protested to words like that. But he didn't. He got a thoughtful look on his face and just walked away.

Yesterday the boy approached his mother as she was checking her email. He handed her a pen and paper and asked her to write a note. "Dear Dad," he began. "I kind of like the big toy you gave me, but I'm putting it somewhere safe. It keeps on breaking. So, when I'm bigger, I'm going to play with it. Love, ______." The sweet child had thought about it for a day and even considered how the man would feel about him not wanting to play with the toy he'd been given.

So, Dude is now put away for a time, with all parts intact. The woman is now free to do her homemaking duties. The little boy has managed to be happy with just the memory of Dude. And, hopefully the man has seen the error of his good-intended ways.

May you be blessed with wisdom in your toy selections.

Monday, January 12, 2009

O is for over-abundance

I was recently reading someone's personal account of their life during the Great Depression. It was a very saddening thing to read about, but it also made me wonder if we are heading towards the same tragedy with today's economy. That has been on my mind over the last few months, what with my husband resigning, interviewing, and being offered jobs. I feel so blessed that he received job offers, not just an offer, but offers.

It never fails, whenever I'm feeling down I count my blessings, just like that hymn says, and I find myself immediately lifted up. It works so well that my family has incorporated it into our daily life. If someone is complaining or whining about something or someone (including him or herself) he/she is then told to now find 5 good things about the situation or person. My husband and I will throw that at each other too and boy is it humbling and boy does it really work! Try it and I think you will be surprised!!

If you are sitting at your computer reading this and are, too, feeling blessed and have a few minutes to give--check out this website http://www.freerice.com/ Grains of rice are donated to the UN World Food Program. When you feel blessed you are more ready to give. Try the site and see how many people you can help (and test your vocab!)