Monday, December 10, 2012

For you, Mom.

Dear Mom,

Moving has been such a blast!  I can see that you have been busy so I've done my very bestest to help you out.

I hope I spread the vegetable oil all over the floor just the way you like.  Those Costco-sized bottles really get the job done, don't you think?

Did I open the fireplace doors often enough this past week?  Gotta keep that living room ventilated properly you know.

Also, I've been making sure that the cord is always unwrapped from the vacuum cleaner, so it's ready to use at a moment's notice. And thanks for letting my practice my tight-rope walking skills on it every time you go to vacuum!

The peanut butter lid was especially tasty to suck on the other day.  I put it with my shoes to save for later, but I guess you found it?

Now that I've figured out how to open the piano lid I've been checking that the keys are in good working order and I think that you should probably get the piano tuned soon.  Do you like all the beautiful songs I've been playing for you?

It looks like you could use a little more help around here so it's a good thing that you're giving me a little sister in a few months.  I will make sure to teach her the ropes.

  Your little toddler :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Goodbye and Hello.

So, we've left Washington and are now in California.  Not in my own home yet, but we're working on it.  In the mean time, a little goodbye and hello....

* goodbye pine trees...hello palm trees (but really, there's more scrub oaks than anything).

* goodbye rain...hello sun.

* goodbye green...hello brown.

* goodbye being in the racial majority...hello being in the racial minority

* goodbye no state income tax...hello state income tax.

* goodbye people-who-accepted-my-family-of-7...hello people-freaking-out-about-my-family-of-7.

* goodbye expensive housing...hello ridiculously expensive housing.

* goodbye known...hello unknown.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tender mercies...

We are in high-stress mode at our house.  With moving this weekend and not having a specific home to move to yet, things are a little crazy. 

  I just had to steal a moment away and share some of the tender mercies of the Lord I've experienced recently:

* Wonderful family in San Jose to stay with until our home is ready.

* No rain the entire three hours I worked on the yard on Monday, yet it has rained nonstop since then.

* Discovering two extra rolls of packaging tape in the office supplies/school supplies box.

* Happy, easy-going toddler who is content to play by my side as I pack.

* Dear friends always there for me.

* The children finding Halloween costumes on their own and without spending a dime.

* Discovering that a school district, that I wanted to move in to, cut all their transportation BEFORE moving in to its boundaries.

* Getting a sound sleep last night.

* Easy-prep meals and plenty of food.

* Music.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ho hum....

Waiting and waiting and waiting....

Our home is up on the rental market and it's exciting to have potential renters look at our house.  The kids are even excited about it and are doing a fabulous job of keeping the house clean.  Hope someone bites soon.

While I'm waiting I have plenty to keep me busy: packing, packing, and packing! 

I actually like packing--it's like tetris (or 3-D tris) where I get to fit everything in snugly with no gaps.

As for unpacking, one of my sister-in-laws loves it and compares it to unwrapping presents.  I wish I felt like that, but I don't.  So, you know I'll be having a blast with unpacking in a few weeks.

Until then, please feel free to take my little survey, to the right, if you'd like.  :)


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Choose Your [My] Own Adventure

The "Choose Your Own Adventure" books have been around for a long time and they're still around.  Let's have some fun--why don't you help me with mine...happy clicking!

SuburbiaMom has just discovered that life is not busy enough with her family and their various activities. 

"Hmm...what can be done to complicate things more?" she finds herself always thinking.

Whilst minding her own business, one day, she actually grasps the meaning of a recent conversation with her husband: he is going to start his own company and is anxious to put some of their hard-earned savings into it. 

If they invest in his dream and it goes awry, turn to: business failures

If they invest in his dream and things turn out as planned, turn to: start-up successes

SuburbiaMom's husband is busy with emails, texts, phone calls and meetings from two different businesses: the company he currently works for and the one he is building.  He and his lovely, wonderful, supportive, not-to-mention-awesome, wife have come to a crossroads: they must stay in WA with his current occupation or move to CA to take on responsibilities with his new company.

If they stay in WA, with his current job, turn to: Stay in Washington

If they uproot all their five children's lives, sale/rent their current home and head to a higher cost of living [ahem, again] turn to: Move to California

Preparing to move takes patience and hard work and knowing how to plan and excute the plan.  Both SuburbiaMom and her husband are hard workers, but only one of them knows much about patience.  SuburbiaMom's head has just about exploded with all the waiting and timing of events [she is not the patient one, in case you couldn't tell]. 

Not wanting to sit around doing nothing while waiting, she presents another plan to her husband.  In this plan, he doesn't have to do to much, initially.  She, on the other hand, would have to willingly gain weight and lose sleep.

If they say, "Nah," to SuburbiaMom's plan, turn to: My House if Full of 7

If they say, "Yes," to SuburbiaMom's plan, turn to: 8 is Great

And, they lived happily ever after.....


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What I Do in the Summertime.

Did you know that there is actually a children's song about the summertime?  Summer is my favorite season hands down so I remember this little song from my childhood. 
"Oh What Do You Do in the Summertime?" (play button is at top left)

I changed the words below to fit my summer...

Oh what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?
Do you leave children home?
Not call on the phone?
And go off-duty for a week?
Is that what you do?  You are sleek.

Oh what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?
Do you go on a cruise?

Avoid all the booze?
But eat ten desserts every day?
Is that what you do?  Hip-hooray!!!

Oh what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?
Do you see Alaskan views,

water white, glaciel blues?

And count all the salmon upstream?
Is that what you do?  Like a dream....

Oh what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?
Do you shoot baskets at morn--
next to the ship's fog horn?
Do zumba, bocce, card games, too?
Is that what you do?  Play hard--do!

Oh what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?
Do you fish an inlet?

Catch your salmon limit?

Then have it all shipped to your home?
Is that what you do?  Who wants some?

Oh what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?
Do you hear John Bytheway?

Jenny Oaks Baker play?

And ponder these things so deep?
Is that what you do? Who can sleep?!

Oh what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?
Do you sing karaoke,
Get massages, then see

movies under the stars on deck?

Is that what you do?  What the heck?!

Oh what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?
Do you dress up real nice?

Hang out with a Tice?

And eat yummy food-again?!

Is that what you do?  Don't weigh in.

Oh what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?
Do you join the pop choir?

Sing the part that is higher?

Get standing ovations and encores?

Is that what you do--when you have no chores?

Oh what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?
Do you try on some bling,
$30,000 bracelet, $15,000 ring?
Just to say that you tried them on?
Is that what you do?  We da bomb!

Oh what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?
Do you see gardens grand?

Fireworks at the end?

And ride tour buses all around?
Is that what you do?  Sight-seeing bound!

Oh what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?
Do you come home from sea?
Body still unsteady?
And try to stop dizziness?
Is that what you do?  Try and rest? 
 (With 5 kids--ha, ha, ha)....

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

His and Hers -- 14 Years of Marriage --

Making arrangements to take the whole day off to celebrate your 14th wedding anniversary includes:

--His hard-earned money to fund an entire romantic, day-excursion to the beautiful San Juan islands

--Her few precious, uninterrupted minutes to plan an entire romantic, day-excursion to the beautiful San Juan islands

--His using up one entire day of his few, precious 10 vacation days of the year (pathetic vacation time, I know!)

--Her making arrangements for all 5 children to be watched from 6am to 11pm

--His patience in coming to a complete stand still, for 30 minutes, on I-5 due to a 5-car accident

--Her insistence that he drive like a maniac once they could break free

--His compliance to drive like a maniac once they did break free

--Her pleading with the agent on the phone to hold the boat

--His disbelief to pull up and see the boat just leaving the dock

--Her brief thought to jump in after it

--Their shared agreement that they should just spend the day together in the city because they already had the time off and the kids were being watched for the whole day.

--Their shared realization that they've both loved the past 14 years with each other because, just like their 14th anniversary plans, some times things don't work out exactly like you planned, but because you have each other-- you can find a way.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dance Festival 2012 -- Arise and Shine Forth!

The Saturday before Memorial Day was a six-stake youth dance festival.  That ended up being over 1,100 youth, ages 12-18, from six stakes in the Seattle area.  It was held at the Showare Center (the arena where the Seattle Thunderbirds play).

They began having practices in January and by May dance practices were held in place of all weekly youth activities.  Plus there were Saturday practices.  Youth ages 14 and up were able to participate in couple dances as well.  So, they had even more practices than my daughter. 

There's my little beehive--the cute blond on the left!  (Girls ages 12-13 are in a class called beehives).

Dance Festival began with the dark arena.  Then a light as the north doors/curtains were opened and youth came running in waving flags.  It was an amazing sight to see all these bright, noble young people pouring in and filling up the dance floor.  There were so many of them--the Spirit hit me hard as I beheld them all.  I thought of this scripture:

"21   How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings; that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good; that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth;" (Mosiah 12:21)

I felt like all those feet were there to bringeth good tidings.  You could tell those youth were happy to be there and excited to share their testimonies of the love the have and feel from Heavenly Father.  I just can't find words to describe being there!

There were several dances, but I only have pictures of the Chinese Fan Dance.  The other dances were (let's see if my brain can remember): cha-cha, hula, country western, russian, tininkling (sp?), JaiHo/indian, polka, swing, hip-hop, some New Zealand warrior one, and I'm probably forgetting the rest :). 

Can you tell she's 1/8 Chinese?

Here's the dance:

Lots of fans!

They seemed to travel the most of all the other dances. 
We are still figuring out our new camera and so this is the best we got :).

The last dance with all the youth waving their lights.  This type of shot WAS intentional :).

Those youth worked so hard and it payed off!  You can actually view several of the dances here:

Monday, June 18, 2012

Always be prepared...with a song?!?!

A few weeks ago I was able to go as a chaperone on my daughter's 4th grade field trip to the capitol, Olympia. 

I never had an opportunity to tour the state capitols of any of the states I lived in as a child.  It was a neat trip and our state capitol is beautiful!  The tour guide was fabulous and my daughter and all her classmates were so entranced with the beauty and all the history and all the politics.  I'm so glad I got to go!

I loved all the marble everywhere.  My daughter took at least a hundred pictures of all the many fineries--drapery, chandeliers, carvings, bronzework, etc.

They gathered the entire 4th grade and their teachers and chaperones in the ballroom and showed us some neat pieces of history in there: the first Washington state flag, a 42-star American flag, chandeliers made by world-famous, Louis Comfort Tiffany, himself, and, my favorite, a 119 year-old grand piano.

Our class's tour guide asked the crowd who took piano lessons and several hands went up.  She asked a child how long they'd been playing.  After he answered her she asked, "Would you like to play something for us?"

She asked a few more students the same things.  And none of the students wanted to.  She then said, "Does anyone want to play?"

I waited a few seconds and all hands shot down faster than they'd gone up.  So, I put mine up!  Play a 119 year-old grand piano in pristine condition in a room with marble walls and perfect reverberation?  YES, pick me!  Oh--pick me!!

And she did!

I haven't memorized a song in years, but I managed the first 12 measures or so of the last song I ever memorized.  I played a few measures of a couple of other songs.  But, really--I haven't memorized a song in years (though I play the piano just about every day) so I grinned at the audience and finished with a loud, 8 finger chorded, "Shave and a Haircut."

So, from now on, I'm either gonna carry around sheet music in my bag or commit some more songs to memory--because you never know when the opportunity to play piano, for others, will arise!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Things I Could Live Without, but Thankfully, I Don't Have To!

Finally!  I will begin posting about, well, things that I could live without, but thankfully, I don't have to!

Less is more for me, especially in my kitchen.  I like having tools that can do many different things, that have several functions.  My husband and I saw a device, at a store the other day, that is used for shelling and deveining shrimp.  Yup, that's it.  Things like that don't wind up in my kitchen (c'mon people--isn't that what hands are for?!) 

For years I have been rinsing my vegetables and fruits in a colander.  See, I could use the same colander for draining pastas.  Making salads, in a hurry, were hard to do; the lettuce just wasn't draining all the way, so in order to really make a good salad I was either starting it a few hours beforehand so that the lettuce could drain enough or do lots of blotting with paper towels right before preparing the salad.

Costco had the Kitchenaid salad spinner a year or two ago, for super cheap, so I bought one.  Salad spinners have been around for years, but again, I thought of them as things that just take up wasted space.

I'm glad I "took a chance."  Ooo--so risky, I know--ha, ha!  Anyway, I LOVE the spinner!!!  I can now make salads in a hurry!  Hooray! 

The one I have (see above) is not the best kind out there, but for now, it's doing its job and I am happily making salads in very little prep time--YES!!!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

A first and a last... (I hope)...

I love spring (though not as much as summer).

I love gardening.

I love yard work.

I do not love the dead possum I found in my backyard.

I did not love having to scoop it up with a shovel and put it in black garbage bags.

I sort of love that I found it before my kindergartner, who plays outside almost every day.

I love the thought that I maybe I won't have to do that ever again.

~ ~ eek ~ ~

(No, I didn't take pictures--do you really want to see a dead possum?!!?!?!!)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Rite of passage....

Now that she is of age, I took my oldest to Salt Lake City, Utah to attend General Young Women's Meeting--held annually every March.  Young Women's is the program for girls ages 12-18 of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  The members of the General Young Women's presidency all speak, as well as a member of the First Presidency (the prophet or one of his counselors).

The meeting is broadcast all over the world so we could have watched it at our local stake center, but my hubby and I wanted to start another tradition, so we decided we'd take each child, when they were twelve, to attend the YW (Young Women's) meeting or the Priesthood Session of General Conference (held bi-annually).

ANYWAYS....  it was so neat to be able to make a quick weekend trip--just us two!  We were able to walk all over Temple Square and see a lot.  She is only about 4 inches shorter than me now, so she was able to keep up with my crazy-fast walking pace.  Walking double-time meant that we were able to visit several places and go on a few tours.  I love being able to zip in and out of crowds!

We used to live in Provo, UT back when my hubby and I were students at BYU.  I've only been back to UT twice since graduation.  Only one of those times did we visit Temple Square but that was just to snap a few pictures in the North Temple Visitor's Center.

The last time I really toured anything here was back when she was 14 months old (when hubby and I were still students).  Which means, I didn't see anything because I was keeping track of her.

 At the Conference Center and restless, restless, restless!

11 years later, she is relishing every tour and listening to every word and asking intelligent and deep questions.  She is a life-long learner for sure.  We had several moments to ponder and feel the Spirit.  So precious.

We even had time to squeeze in a quick run through the brand new City Creek outdoor mall (SWARMS of people--whew!)

And see my brother's recent theatre performance,

have brunch with my siblings, who live in Utah (no picture) and their families,

and catch "The Hunger Games" with Effie (my sis).

Looking forward to returning when child #2 hits the mark.