Friday, August 28, 2009

Yeah, yeah, I’m a big meany

That’s not news. If you don’t like it, move along. But before you go, if you can spare just a minute or two, I have to ask, does anyone else agree that a woman with the resources of Martha Stewart could, and dang well SHOULD, expect a little more of her stylist? Seriously?!

Is it just me or does she look a little….frumpish? Like someone’s Nana? Admit it, she does. To me, this cover looks like one of those decorating books from the 70's. I wouldn't be surprised if there were macrame tips inside. And maybe some recipes using something trendy like elbow macaroni and avacado.

Someday, when I'm filthy rich and I publish MY OWN magazine every month I can promise you, there will be styling, and photo shopping and airbrushing like nobody’s business. I bet I'll look something like this-

And while we are on the subject of "Style" click here...I promise you won't be sorry. You might be a little nauseated, but you will NOT be sorry. {thanks to michelle for the heads up}

Thursday, August 27, 2009

What’s your sick day policy

Barely a full week into the new school year my son tried to pull the “stomach ache” routine, not the best ailment to claim since I usually require vomit or a temperature before I even consider a day off. And vomit hasn’t been a sure thing since two years ago when one of my boys choked on a jawbreaker at school, causing him to gag and throw up a little, at which point the witnesses (a gaggle of 14 year old boys) convinced him (it was really hard I’m sure) that it counted as a real puke so he called me from the nurse’s office. Naturally I picked him up. I didn’t find out about the jawbreaker until his brother came home from school and asked if it was true that he’d choked on a giant Gobstopper.

Anyway, the stomach ache. I sent him to school. I told him if he came down with a fever, or threw up due to natural causes, he could call me from the nurse’s office. That’s when he told me he doesn’t bother with the nurse because she won’t let you call home unless you have a fever of “at least 300 degrees”.

Thankfully he doesn’t exaggerate, I’d never know how he was feeling.

So, I’m curious. I’ve been told that I just don’t care, that I’m heartless, and if people started dying around here I wouldn’t even notice—which could not be farther from the truth, my nose is VERY sensitive—Do you let your kids decided when they are sick enough to miss school or church or whatever? Or are you mean like me and do you make them suck it up and keep going?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

And this is why I like my husband again.

One of the biggest problems with our new house is that it's too small for our family. So we planned an addition knowing we would be moving in before it was completed.  My expectations of this project being finished in a timely manner were pretty low.  I think realistically that's just the way these things go.

Yesterday morning the lumber was delivered, my brother (who is starting to have an angelic glow) came over, and by the end of the day with just the two of them working, our addition had gone from this.....
to this...
....to this....TaDa! A wall.  A BIG wall.
Progress is a beautiful thing. 
PS~I'm writing a REAL post for tomorrow. No pictures and no construction talk. Betcha thought I forgot how to do that, huh? 

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Home Sweet Home

{this picture was taken the first time we looked at the house}
Lest you think I do nothing but complain all the time, today I present, for your viewing pleasure:
{3 days ago}
When we first looked at this house it was a wreck. And that's being quite generous. There were holes in walls and broken windows and trash and graffiti and a family or two of cats living inside. (A family or two of cats smell REALLY good, you should take a sniff sometime if you get a chance.) I wasn't sure it was something I wanted to take on. To be honest, I was pretty sure I did NOT want to take it on, at all, period. Anyhow, long story, boring details, this is this and that is that and here we are.
I know I have complained a little about the moving and the pace of the remodel and the lack of creative control, but today I am starting to see some light, and that, my friends, is a beautiful thing.
Thanks to my brother (who has come over EVERY DAY & double thanks to my sister-in-law for letting him) we now have cabinets in our kitchen~
Soon we might even have counter tops.
You hardly notice the tile work, right? RIGHT? Please say you hardly noticed it.
What was once a carport is now a garage thanks to my handy husband.
Not that I have ever been able to park inside any garage we have ever had. The point is, we have one and now my husband has a place for all of that stuff he brings home from here and there and everywhere. Oh alright, he has some tools in there too, he even used some of them to build the stinking garage.
LOOK! A place to do laundry. 20 years ago I would have laughed if you'd told me I get excited over such a thing, but today I'm not even embarrassed to admit it. I have a laundry room and I'm thrilled. So there.
That's my brother. He's such a good little worker. I seriously don't know what we would have done without him. In his real life he manages construction projects. Things being what they are in the world of construction he's had some time on his hands so he's been over here managing our project, I highly recommend him if you are in need of such a thing. Of course he won't be available until he's done bossing us around on our home sweet job site, but it won't hurt to get your name on the waiting list.
Now you're all caught up. There's a rumor that walls might be going up on the addition this weekend. I'll keep you posted, as I'm sure you are all on pins and needles wondering about the fascinating details of my life.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Yesterday was my 19th wedding anniversary.  My husband forgot, but then he got me these great flowers so I'm going to keep him for another year. Lucky guy.
This is my brother and his cute pregnant wife (he always dresses like that by the way. Not just when I offer to give him money).  Yesterday was their anniversary too, and tomorrow she's getting that baby removed.  Finally. Whew, it seems like she's been pregnant for almost a year already. Sheesh.    
Then in a week or so, while she's still recovering and all doped up on the pain killers I'm going to go to Virginia and teach these two all kinds of cool tricks, because I'm their favorite (it's true, ask them) and hold their new brother for hours and hours.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Last week I let my daughter see a naked man on TV.

That’s right, you heard me, NAKED.

See, we have cable now. We’ve never had children and cable at the same time so it’s quite a novelty. The kids have taken right to it, they’ll watch anything. I even saw one of them watching C-SPAN a couple days ago. You’d never know they’ve spent most of their lives deprived.

How did we end up with cable in the first place you ask? Funny story, when my husband called to have the internet service switched to our new house the sneaky “internet representative” on the phone offered him free cable for 6 months. Basically, in most situations, after hearing the word FREE, my husband will say yes to just about anything, and ta-da—CABLE. You should see our garage.

Anyway, you probably want to know more about the naked guy right? Okay, so there’s this show-Man vs. Wild, seen it? This man, who obviously has mental problems but still managed to land a sweet cable deal, goes around the wild world risking his life so my children and husband (he plans to enjoy every possible minute of his free cable) can sit in the next room calling for me every 3 seconds “Honey, you’ve got to see this!” or “Mom, look, this guy’s nuts!”. At one point a few nights ago they all insisted at once that I rush into the room because this lunatic who had just peed (ON TV) on his cross country skis was going to take off all of his clothes so he could cross a FROZEN river.

Between this idiot and that stupid I Dream of Jeannie with her fancy bottle, my daughter has been ruined in just a few short days. Thanks cable. Thanks a lot.

Normally I would have insisted they turn off mister naked and his frozen parts, but I had witnessed a miracle that afternoon and was still on a spiritual high so I let it pass.

Remember these? Like you could forget.

We“invited” a few friends over to help us with the moving of our most heavy and prized possessions. When we got to our bedroom I asked my husband if he was really going to take the speakers again. There were about 5 people in the room, so we took a poll, one I knew I was sure to lose as I was the only woman present. “Should we move these broken speakers one more time, or should we have mercy on them and take them to the dump?”

There was talk of coning (whatever the heck that is) and the original purchase price (20 years ago!!!!), but then, just when I thought all was lost, one brave and wise man stepped forward and asked “How long have they been broken?” A hush fell over the room as the other men tried to recognize this man they thought was on their team, yet he dared question the reason in keeping these "valuables" any longer. It was a glorious moment. GLORIOUS!!!

A look of defeat passed across my husband’s face as he replied “15 years”. And that my friends, is what is known as divine intervention.

I shall be submitting my hero’s name for canonization soon. I know you have to be dead to be sainted, but I’m sure when the Catholic Church hears how long and hard I prayed for this they will deem it a miracle.

And that's how my daughter got to see a naked weirdo on TV.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Like I was sayin' about snack time...

Who would've ever guessed I'd post twice in a lifetime, never mind twice in a ROW about Hot Cheetos? Thanks to a concerned reader I have been made aware of this NPR article about the Hot Cheeto problem that is ravaging our schools, not to mention our children.

I must say my favorite part is the end, when the children tell you what might happen if you eat a whole bag.

My apologies to my daughter's teacher. I now see the wisdom in banning these evil snacks and appreciate her concern for not only my child but the entire class.

In conclusion I would just like to say, if that NPR story doesn't convince you, maybe this will, Youtube has more than 60 videos dedicated to the love of the Hot Cheeto.

The maniacal laughter was enough for me.

Friday, August 7, 2009

This honestly started out as a post about Hot Cheetos

My daughter got her school supply list in the mail.

I do not like the list. Not one little bit. Let me tell you why.

A. By the time you get your hands on "The List" Target is already sold out of the good stuff. Apparently I am the only parent in town who waits for “The List”, everyone else it seems, is either really good at predicting what their children will need, or they are just running around all willy nilly grabbing up all the Zac Ephron folders without even knowing if their little student is ALLOWED to have “popular character” supplies. HA! The last time I did that I got stuck keeping my tax receipts in a Pok√©mon binder all year because only plain were allowed at school. That is NOT going to happen again.

2. The supply list means school is about to start and I’ve never liked for my kids to be gone all day. I miss them. I would rather have them at home with me, fighting with each other and dropping dry Ramen noodles all over the place (Do your kids eat dry ramen out of Ziploc bags?). PLUS~and this is the best reason I’ve ever had for hating back to school~my oldest is a SENIOR this year and I am really really really wishing I could freeze time. (Because if I could freeze him just like he is, he would be a genius forever instead of getting older and gradually becoming stupid like his parents. Poor kid. He has no idea that the life he is so eager to start will turn him into someone old and boring like me.)

Anyway, back to The List. Healthy snacks made it on to the list again this year. Amazing, because I didn’t think they were really that popular last year. It’s fine with me, I’m all for children and other people eating healthy snacks as long as they don’t try to force their beliefs on me, but here’s what usually happens; at the start of the year the kids are excited about snack time and bring cool stuff, like fruit roll ups (which everyone knows are the KINGS of good nutrition), or s’more flavored granola bars, sadly it never lasts, the thrill wears off and by October the only thing the teacher has left is one of those giant bags of pretzels from Wal-Mart and my daughter starts hounding me to become the snack sponsor because she “will DIE if she has to eat pretzels one more time!!!”

I’m a sucker and I always fall for it and want to send something fun. Not only because I want to be everyone’s favorite, I DO want to be everyone’s favorite but that’s not my only motivation. The school day is LONG and every year recess gets shorter and shorter. Half the time you can’t even take a break to sharpen your pencil unless you’re able to prove the lead was worn away while you were writing an essay about recycling or something, if you broke that lead by accident or (heaven forbid) on purpose you can forget recess at all, you will be standing in line at the sharpener while everyone else is outside safely not running and absolutely NOT playing Dodge Ball (because the throwing of any object including, but not limited to, balls is strictly forbidden) but all the same having a really fun time without you (now that I think about it, maybe staying in and sharpening your pencil down to a nub is more fun than recess these days). The least I can do is send a snack that isn't boring. Besides, once they run out of snacks there are no more snack breaks, and well, the whole recess thing. Kids need all the breaks they can get. Just ask one.

Anywho(I am surely taking the long way around this morning) specifically mentioned, by name even, on the list of Unhealthy snacks NOT to bring, are HOT Cheetos.

Am I the only one who thinks that’s weird? Hot Cheetos must be really super delicious to be outlawed like that. I personally have never tasted them, though I have often wondered if it’s hard to get that yummy looking red coating off your fingers after you’ve eaten half a bag, I would have never in a million years guessed Hot Cheetos to be the number one threat to the healthy snack. Runts candy maybe, after all they are SHAPED like fruit, which can make things a little confusing, or vanilla wafers, since their boring appearance makes them seem like a healthy snack when, in fact, they are actually a cookie (though really, the vanilla wafer is an “accessory cookie” that performs best in tandem with another snack, like pudding or ice cream).

Holy cow! I’m just rambling now.

The bottom line is; who eats Hot Cheetos anyway and this is not another cranky rambling post about moving and that must count for something, right? You’re welcome. Please enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lions and Tile and Bears

Oh my.

I think I’m usually pretty good at seeing “the forest for the trees”, pretty good at being realistic and pretty aware that a large portion of people in the world have it far worse than I do, pretty good at not being a big ol’ drama queen, basically, pretty good at the whole “perspective” thing. At least that’s what I think, I could be way off. It could be that I go around making something out of nothing on a regular basis and am just in denial about it. It could be, but it seems unlikely.

My problem is that lately, in my neck of the woods, the trees and whatnot have been kind of thick and I haven’t been very good at seeing anything except what I’m bumping into all day, then I complain about all the little scratches I’ve gotten and basically I’ve turned into the biggest baby EVER. I’ve been letting it my emotions roam freely, and instead of being my usual emotionless robot like self; I’ve been a cranky mom, an angry wife, and a whiney friend. Barf.

The trees are starting to thin but I’m still feeling a little overwhelmed. It seems that every time I see a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel it only illuminates the fact that the end of the tunnel is just a little bit farther away than I originally imagined.

Yes, this too shall pass, but I’m afraid it’s not going to pass quickly enough, and when I say “not quickly enough” I mean, I think I saw one of my sons looking at a straight jacket catalog.

Cry for me Argentina.

The house we are moving into is a “fixer upper”. Long story, but it’s kind of a joint project we have become entangled (oops! Did I say entangled? I meant, um, oh yeah, entangled) in with another couple. The arrangement has given us creative control in some areas, while limiting it in others.

This is our kitchen. Nice isn’t it.

This is our living room, where our kitchen cabinets currently live. I hope they’re not getting too comfortable in there
This is the mosaic that will be a spectacular view for anyone using the sink. Reason #58 not to cook. Reason #72 why dishes will not be my chore. Reason #1 to NEVER give up creative control.
Why yes, those ARE handmade tiles. Oh no, not made by MY hands mind you, but handmade just the same. They surely are unique aren’t they?
Are you crying yet?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I know you're sick of hearing about it..

...but the moving continues. We are smack dab in the middle of moving out and moving in and building walls and installing kitchens and basically losing our ever loving minds day after day after day. Its FUN. I have TONS of things I would LOVE to write about, but I'm tired yo. The odds of my being able to zero in on one topic are seriously slim.
So, here are few things, you can discuss amoungst yourselves. Enjoy.

A friend of ours thinks Julia Child was really a man. The basis for this argument is that she/he liked to wear scarves (you know, for hiding the old adams apple) and her/his unnaturally high/fake voice, and let us not forget the "man hands". What think ye? I hadn't thought much about it before, and to be perfectly honest I haven't thought much about it now, but I would LOVE to know what you think. So, spill.

Also, because dangit I can so do EVERYTHING you just watch me and don't even bother trying to tell me otherwise, I went to Girls Camp for a couple of days over the weekend. Contrary to what you may have heard, the ultimate goal of Girls Camp is not to stay up until the wee hours of the morning perfecting your dance moves, nor is it to gain 5 pounds on the light and healthy meals they serve up there. The bottom-line purpose of Girls Camp is Spiritual Saturation, as evidenced here. What you see before you is the stall door in the bathroom (yeah, yeah, we have stalls AND doors in the bathrooms at camp, AND I sure did take my camera in there and take pictures, get over it). If you click on the picture you will notice that beneath the rules for Sanitary Item disposal is a spiritual thought. Maybe I'm the only one who thinks this is funny, or overkill, or whatever. I like camp, I think it's a good experience and I think the powers that be in our stake do a really great job making it a place the girls want to be. But scripture stories in the bathroom might be just a little much, that's all I'm saying. What do you think? Too much? Just enough? If you keep pounding them hopefully something will get in?

Lastly, even though my attitude has been much improved lately (thanks, no doubt, largely, to my time in the stall at camp) I seem to find myself several times a day with Clark W. Grizwold in my head telling me that things could be worse. Or not. Anyone else have an inner Clark lifting them up when times are rough?