Monday, June 30, 2008

Christmas in Almost July!

Well, he's no Frosty the Snowman, for starters, he was warm. He had no stick arms, or carrot nose. But he did have an engaging smile.... And bright, sparkly eyes! And little green parsley flecks... wait, that's not snowmanesque!

This little man made a trip from the North Pole to grace my children's plates at dinner this evening. We sure appreciated his time, and his cheerful attitude. And how did my boys repay him for his efforts?

They ate him! That's right, ate him. They showed no remorse, no tears were shed. They even had the audacity to make yummy noises! What kind of person does that?

Poor little sauted squash snowman...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Outdoor Fun

Friday seemed like a whirlwind day. The morning went by fairly easy, but in the afternoon my dad called. One of the guys he works with invited everyone and their families to go camping near the base. So Dad wanted to know if we would like to go meet them in the evening and have smores. Mark said, "Let's go and suprise them by camping all night!" So we did!

We had no tent, no sleeping bags, a twin size air mattress, no food... Absolutely nothing was ready. And Oren had a t-ball party that I needed to bring a side dish for. AAAHH! I threw together a pasta salad, we headed to the party, had a potluck dinner which meant one less thing to bring camping. Mark went to go help someone move furniture and I ran to the BX with the kids to grab some gear. We ended up with a nice, big 5-man tent that is tall enough Mark can stand up and big enough to fit 2 double air mattresses. We think we will be going camping a few times this summer.... :-) We were able to get a double mattress, sleeping bags were atrociously pricey so I decided to pack quilts for the kids to sleep on.

Next stop was the commissary for meat, cheese, yogurt and ice. We ran home and packed backpacks for the kids, stuffed the cooler, threw together non-refrigerated food stuffs and equipment. When Mark got home I had everything loaded in the van: towels, backpacks, pillows and blankets, cooler, tent, lanterns... everything. So we took off.

Mom and Dad were so excited when we got there, and even more thrilled when we started unloading all our gear. She was very impressed that in a matter of a few hours I was able to get everything together, and go to a party besides. Thing is, we make lots of unplanned last minute trips to see his folks for the weekend. So I have gotten good at packing what we need, and doing it quickly. I make lists, and actually use them. I can pack lots of stuff in the small space in the van that we have. So an overnight camping trip was no problem!

We enjoyed ourselves, the boys went fishing with Uncle Morgan and Grandpa. Janelle entertained William. I fell off the innertube twice before actually getting on and staying there. Mom got pictures....

Smores with cinnamon graham crackers taste amazing! Marshmallows are yummy when toasted just right. And sausages are divine when camping and cooked over coals. Nothing beats a cold ham and cheese sandwhich on a hot day.

I only took a couple of pictures of one thing the whole trip. As we were setting up the tent we took it out of the box. Janelle thought it would be funny to see if William fit into the box.

He fit just right. Janelle started laughing and so we turned around to see what was so funny. There was this little top of a head, then he jumped up and did a little peek-a-boo thing. We cracked up! What a silly little guy.

We are exhausted today, but it was a lot of fun, and we are really glad we got to go spend time with family.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Picture Tag

I was tagged by Steph. This looks like fun. Take pictures of the things listed. Tag a couple of people.

A current project you're working on:

I just started this shelf/rack today. Our other was a lot smaller, with plastic hooks that all broke off. So I got this at Micheals Craft Store. I have a white painted shoe rack that will go under this, and I have a red and white crackled sign on another wall that says HOME. So I am painting the edges and the wood pegs red. I will put a crackle coat on the red, then paint the whole thing white. Only the stuff I painted red will be crackled. The red will show through the cracks. So it will match both the rack and the letters.

The oldest thing you own:

This is an antique oak table on wheels that I found at an antique shop. It was in pretty bad shape, the top was in 3 pieces, only one of which was attached to the table. And the front surrounding the drawer was broken. I stripped the old laquer, reattached the top, made a new front from plywood and custom-made stained to match the oak. Then I put a coat of acrylic sealer on it. I love how it turned out!

Your worst pair of shoes:

I bought these shoes when Oren was a couple weeks old. I was shopping in the mall with Steph and my shoes were really uncomfortable. So I bought these at the payless and wore them with her to Sizzler for lunch. These have seen a lot of abuse. Oren poured milk all over them once (they're leather) and it dried. I put them outside in the rain on purpose to get the milk out. I still wear them, although they're really beaten up.

Something from your childhood:

This bunny is made from golf socks! My mom made them one year for Easter. It has lots of mended holes, and you can see how my darning has improved over the years. The red on the ear is my first try. I got good enough that you can barely see the stitches. And the blue string around the neck is a yarn "leash" that I tied around it at one point, and would "walk" it around the house.

Your 3 favorite movies:

Okay, I couldn't fit these onto one picture where you could tell what the movies were. My first is a whole series. I love Friends, and before we could get the 2 public broadcast channels we get now, this was my "tv". Adult voices in the background kept me sane when everything else I heard all day was high pitched. I have all the episodes pretty much memorized now. I love the music on Phantom of the Opera! The first time I watched I spent the whole movie in goosebumps. It's great for folding laundry, because I hardly notice how long it takes. And Independence Day? Two words..... Will Smith. Enough said.

Your keychain:

Okay, we have starting from the top and working clockwise: My pocket knife that Mark laughs at until I pull it out to open something or cut something with the scissors, and it has the only nail file in the house; the key to the house even though we only lock the door when we go to Rigby for a week; the keys to my van; the remote door unlocker for the van; the remote for Mark's purple car; the key to Mark's purple car; and my mailbox key that is on a key ring that comes off so I can't lose it and I don't have to stop the car to check the mail.

Your favorite edible snack in your house:

I guess this isn't really in the house, since I ate the last one this morning for breakfast. Sad, I know. I don't know why I love these gooey things. Probably because they are pure sugar! And mushy! Notice the messy kitchen in the background? Yeah...

Something in your home that you are proud of:

Yes, another wood project. I got this chair at the DI for $5.00. It was half off, because it wouldn't sell. It was covered in an awful, stained blue velvety stuff. Chipped and laquer. I tore the back off, and pulled the seat off, leaving the bones of the chair. I stripped it down and restained it a little darker. Resealed the surface. I found the fabric for $1.00 a yard on clearance at Joann's, it i upholestry fabric that is usually quite pricey and is very sturdy. The foam backing on the seat was crumbling off, so I got more seat foam and redid the seat. There is heavy vinyl protecting the back of the chair, as it was basically a big hole, and new foam there as well. I did the back first and then had to match up the stripes on the seat with those on the back. The seat was then reattached to the chair. It is very comfortable, and I love how the back curves around. The wicker is somewhat "antiqued" but I love how this turned out.

Your favorite wall hanging:

Mark gave me this picture of the Idaho Falls temple. It is a pencil sketch, and I love the simplicity of it. He picked the flowers and pressed them himself and framed it. It was his wedding gift to me, and I am touched whenever I look at it that he went to so much work to give me something nice for our new home.

Something in your yard that makes you smile:

I tore up the bark around the trees in my front yard and make little flower beds. This doesn't look like much now, but I love the colors in the pink flowers, they come back every year. The yellow ones will reseed and be back, and the daisy plant will get large enough to divide in a few years. On the other side of the tree are seedlings from a small daisy-like flower that I didn't know would reseed itself, and in the other wedge of the circle are some annuals I put out that are somewhat small, but they wouldn't fit in the picture. There is a lot of space still empty, but they will grow into it, and I love seeing the flowers. They welcome me when I come home and really brighten the front of my house.

I tag Calista, Kevin, and Cissalynn!

Another late night.

I have had quite a few late nights lately. Usually they are my own doing. A book I literally cannot put down until I have read it through to the end. A movie I agreed to watch with Mark who didn't tell me it was 2 1/2 hours long. Catching up on episodes online.

Last night wasn't my fault.

As tired as I am today, I am actually glad last night was such a late night. I was out at 10:00 watering the plants, because I had forgotten to for a while and they really needed it. I happened to remember so out I went. As I watered I noticed that a friend of mine who lives a couple doors down, not Amanda, was working with big tarps in the front yard. The tarp moving is what caught my eye. They had laid it out to dry earlier that day. She has been going through a very rough time with her family and a husband that has some serious issues. (not a good guy...) Being 10:00 at night I was just going to head inside and talk to her in the morning.

But something told me no. Something told me I needed to go say hi right then. (I thought I was going over for just a sec and so didn't tell Mark. Big mistake.) We stood outside and chatted for a bit, I helped with some stuff she was doing, and then she invited me inside for a bit. (I still thought it would be quick so didn't call Mark to tell him.)

We ended up doing some serious talking. We talked about the church and about drawing closer to the Lord. We talked about how he only gives us trials that we can handle with his help. About doing the best that we can do, giving it our all, and then letting him carry us the rest of the way. Trusting him to take care of us and our needs.

We talked about her situation and she was able to tell me some things that she has needed to tell someone for a long time. Her family is far away and her other friends have moved. Amanda is on vacation. I am the only one that knows everything and is here to talk to. And I feel that's why the Lord asked me to go do that. She needed to tell things, and needed someone to listen. I couldn't offer suggestions. I couldn't make everything go away. But I could listen and talk. I am so grateful that I have learned to listen to those small whisperings, those random feelings that come out of nowhere. Sometimes I don't know why, but other times I can see what it was I was needed for.

At one point I looked at her clock and it said 12:00. Wow, that's a long time. Too late to call Mark and let him know where I am. Surely he has put the baby to bed by now and gone to sleep himself. (William being up late is a whole nother story about missed naps and very early morning waking for the day. With long naps at the wrong time.) So I kept talking because she wasn't done. Even though I was getting very tired and her eyes were looking a little red. Finally it was 1:15. Her stomach was starting to get upset and we had pretty much talked all we needed to that day. So I went on home, a little suprised to see some of our lights on. Like the outside light on the side of the house. You actually turn that one on with a switch, it's not automatic. It wasn't on before. The house was quiet, Mark must be in bed. Nope. I turn the corner to use the bathroom, and there is a huge black shape standing there. What on earth is he doing with his work coveralls on? Was he doing garden stuff with his planters at this time of night?

No, he was dressing warmly to scour the neighborhood because I hadn't come back from gardening. As soon as the baby went to bed. I don't know how long he was out waiting for me and searching different areas. I felt so bad for my sweetheart! I didn't imagine that he would do that! And he has to get up at 6 am for work! But he was worried about me, and couldn't think where I had gone. He had just come inside himself when I came home. We went to bed and he held me so tight, poor thing.

So I am very tired today, my eyes are all scratchy, and I am not in the most patient of moods. But it was all worth it. And I won't complain because I know Mark is even more tired than I am....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Oh my word!

I think I need to take a new look at the words "prepare ahead of time".

We are trying a new thing for dinner. One night a week we will be cooking a meal from another country. An "Around the World" tour, if you will. Tonight was Austria. Not only did I have to thinly slice about 5 onions (seriously), but I forgot to make the cake ahead of time! So here I am slicing the bejeebers out of a ton of onions, pulling William off the table, melting chocolate in a double boiler that needed to be stirred, pulling William off the table, beating eggs, softening butter, yelling at Mark that I can't help him carry wood, pulling William off the table, cooking chicken, pulling William off.... you see where this is going.

Total chaos!

We ate a little late tonight.

A smart person would have been slicing onions throughout the day instead of folding laundry. A smart person would have remembered that a cake was part of tonight's dinner. A smart person would have looked at her ingredients and checked the cupboard, noticed that she didn't have unsweetened chocolate, and bought some at the store instead of mixing baking cocoa with shortening and melting the resulting paste. And would have had all the butter needed for tonight's meal sitting on the counter pre-softening.

But whoever said I was smart?

On a somewhat unrelated note, Mark has been working on plans in his head for a veggie garden in the back yard. A little late for seeds or small seedlings, but that's why nurseries sell bigger plants. He went to the base wood pile and found a huge wooden bin just dying to be cut in half. We have a friend that can get us a truckload of topsoil for $25 plus gas for him to get it for us. So we have our wooden bases set and just need to haul the dirt. Find ourselves a church member with some manure they would love to unload. He is very excited and I am hoping I don't kill everything... That's why he wanted help moving wood. Actually the conversation went something like :

"I need help moving the wood. It's heavy."

"Well, I need help in here! I am cooking 3 dishes at once because I am an idiot that forgot she was doing a fancy pants meal, and your kid keeps crawling on the table, and I burnt my finger on the stupid pan!"

"Never mind."

Poor guy. But he got his bin moved without help, and sawed it in half. Dinner got made and eaten. My feet hurt. Next week's dinner will go better...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Busy Little Bees

Oren had high aspirations today. He really wants to earn his special Crayola stuff I got for him. 25 cents at a time, for each chore he gets to fill in a circle. He's earned almost 2 dollars! He did a really good job: picked up all the trash in the living room; cleaned my closet; cleaned the mirrors and sink in his bathroom; cleaned the tv and living room windows; helped Daddy move bark in the backyard; scrubbed pencil and watercolor paint off the wall.

In the meantime I got 3 loads of laundry washed, dried, and put away. 1 load of dishes. Swept the living room and dining room. Scrubbed the boys' toilet. Cooked amazing banana bread (see my food blog) and seafood linguine (also on the food blog). Scrubbed the computer desk. Took out lots of trash.

You know what's sad though? You really can't tell that we've done anything! The living room still looks messy, the dining room floor doesn't look much cleaner now that the kids ate dinner. There's dishes in the sink again. And I haven't caught up totally on the laundry.

I did catch William in the act doing something funny. And a little nerve breaking. He has been climbing on the table lately so he can play with stuff, or eat crumbs I haven't gotten to yet. (Gross, I know) But he's a quick little bugger and can get up there faster than I can get to him. Every time I blink, he's up there, and I am just waiting for him to fall off and crack his head open!

What a ham! He was up there dancing around for the camera! I don't know why he gets up there, and I hope that's the highest thing he ever climbs. Or at least lets me see him doing it. It doesn't even matter if I push all the chairs in. He get under the table and scoots them right back out! :-)

Picture of the Day #45

William found Oren's birthday camera and kept handing it to me. He wanted me to take his picture with it. So I pushed the button and said "Click.", then handed it back to William. He took it, looked at it for a bit. Then he carefully pushed the button and said "Click." A budding photographer?

Monday, June 23, 2008

A new member of the family!

The doorbell rings. Kids thunder down the hall. Who could that be? Someone to play? No. Mommy picks up the plain, brown envelope and opens the seal. Children like mail, and gather round. She pulls out a green box and turns it over. It's......

our newest Veggie Tales Movie!

The kids really like Veggie Tales, and it's one of the few things I will let them watch on a Sunday. We have a sadly small collection, just a few videos, and I decided to get a new friend for the ones we already own. Suprise, kids!

Oren and Nathan immediately clamored to watch it and I, wanting peace and quiet, agreed. They sat on the couch quietly absorbed for not one, but two whole viewings.

We should be getting an Elmo's World collection tomorrow for William, who loves Elmo. I am hoping for the same enthralled, sit and watch it quietly, that I got today.

(In justification of my TV babysitting: the TV didn't even get turned on yesterday, and this morning we watched an hour of news. So they deserved it. After the second time, it got turned off and they went outside. I got some recipes chosen for our "around the world" tour during this time- see my food blog for more details!)

I'm still here.

But man am I tired. Mark's uniform has to be taken out and hung up or it will wrinkle. It's a new kind, designed to be "wash and wear" with a perma crease in the leg and arm, so you don't have to iron it, but it will wrinkle if left to sit in the dryer. I just want to go to sleep!

It's my own fault I am so tired. I got some Anne McCafferey's Pern books at the library, and wanted to finish them. That's probably partly why my house looks the way it does... Hmm...

Not much happened this week. I went and cleaned lots of snake cages. K called Amanda, who wasn't going to answer, but her helpful children picked up the phone for her. Amanda is still pretty mad which is why she didn't want to answer, so she wouldn't say something she'd regret. K tried to play dumb blonde (sorry to all the blondes out there, but she really is...) about miscommunication. Ha, not listening is more like it. So we still stand at K not being allowed in Amanda's home since it is locked and I have the key and it is what Amanda requested. K thinks I am not speaking to her because I was "rude" ( not true, I just told her the facts and didn't play nicey-nice. I could have been worse but held my temper) when I told her why the house was locked. She saw me in the library, gave me a look, and turned around and walked off. No, I am not going to chase her around the library with three already anxious boys who have been looking forward to the kid section all day. I nodded my head in greeting and got pulled away! Whatever.

I thought all this "melodrama" was supposed to go away after high school. Seriously! We are all adults here! I like K, she's just not someone I would call in an emergency. I don't hang out with her anyway! This is just ridiculous though... drama queen-ish and too high school for me.

We actually made it to church today. Mark had an early meeting I didn't know about until he was kissing me good bye nice and early. So I had all three kids to wake up and get ready. They were very tired and moved like molasses this morning. We were a 1/2 hour late to church, I felt a little bad. But that was as fast as I could get them to move, so I think I did pretty good. Everyone had breakfast, matching socks and shoes, something besides jeans and a t-shirt on , and I was actually wearing makeup. The diaper bag, my relief society bag, and the church entertainment bag were all packed with all I needed, minus chalk which I ended up borrowing. The kids took it out of the bag, and I didn't know. Yep, a pretty good job.

I cooked this weekend. Actual food! I attempted a garlic sauce for pizza Friday night. Not bad, but I am looking for something a little less floury, and a lot more garlicky. Maybe cornstarch to thicken and more white wine? Saturday was Salsa Verde burgers. They would have been better on buns instead of sandwhich bread, but they were very juicy! And baked flounder today. Yum! One of my new favorites. My family likes fish, but they ate this up quick, and then asked why I didn't make more of it! :-) Awesome! I will be posting recipes later, I really need to get to bed. The uniform has only a few minutes left.

The kids and I are going to tackle the house. Oren requested a special packet of wonder-paper, and the crayola markers that draw on it. I bought it, and told him that he is going to do chores to earn it. 25 cents a chore. Like, wash a window, earn 25 cents towards your new thingy. He is so excited! So tomorrow I am going to sit with him and decide what kind of chores he can do and make him a little check off chart. He loves lists and charts, just like his Momma. Plus, stuff will get done! Nathan will help too, he likes to do what Oren is doing. So hopefully the house will be a little cleaner. Or, at least it will smell like cleaners!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Not a Bug-Free Zone

The boys and I have been a little stir-crazy this week. We really don't have any sort of routine at all. I remembered that I had a prescription that was filled last week at Walmart that needed picked up, so I packed up the boys and headed out.

Our library doesn't open until 11. How sad is that? We got there at 10:30, unloaded everyone, held hands down the sidewalk, and had to turn around and get back in the van. My kids didn't like that one bit. I promised we would go back after we got done in town.

Normally a drive to town takes about 20 minutes. Then they started working on the main gate and rerouted traffic out the back gate. Now it takes 30 minutes, if you don't go during rush hour. Today it took nearly an hour. They are graveling about 7 miles of road, so you have to drive 35 instead of 65. And a good 1/2 mile was one way traffic because they were doing something with black sticky stuff. That was not fun. They had finished whatever they were doing so it didn't take nearly as long getting home, it was 2-way again.

Our library doesn't have the best kids section. A couple big bookcases for younger kids, and another couple for bigger ones. A couple tables and some computers. But the kids were so excited to get to pick out some books that they didn't really care. And William likes to sit at tables (usually on the kitchen table. Notice, ON, not AT) So he enjoyed himself. As we were leaving to check out our book, I saw a sign on top of some shelves advertising their summer reading program. End of June through the end of August, 2 months. One day a week the kids come to listed to a book about bugs and then do a craft. We signed up the for 2-6 year session. William will just chill in the stroller, since he just misses the cutoff, he's not 2 until Oct.

I signed up for that pretty fast, I'll tell you what! Something to do! Yay, a scheduled activity! Now, what do I do with them for the rest of the week? I need to sit down and plan activities, like a zoo day, and a day to go to the kids science museum thingy they have somewhere near the zoo. Maybe a picnic in the backyard day... Like, one special thing a week, because gas is expensive! We all do best when we have a routine, and maybe that will help me get through the summer...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Picture of the Day #44

Poor little guy. I always feel bad when they fall asleep on the couch, sick. I think a bed would have been more comfortable. I guess when you've got all your friends with you, it doesn't matter where you nap! Look at those eyelashes though, he got those from Daddy...

And the Verdict is in.

I got dinner finished and on the table. We served up the plates. We prayed over our food. They took a bite, and.....

Success! They loved it. The kids even ate up the red pepper and avocados, and tomatillo salsa! Every bite gone off their plates! Except for William, but he doesn't like food like sandwiches or tacos, where everything is rolled up or mashed together. Oren was the same way, we had to separate everything into little piles when we made casserole. I posted the recipes, head over and take a look. The trifle is a beauty, if a bit on the huge side.

I was up quite a bit earlier than I would have liked. When Mark came out before 7:00 this morning to put his boots on, Nathan was on the couch. His tummy was hurting him. Sure enough, by 7:15 he was in our bathroom crying and throwing up. This probably doesn't seem early, but Mark's alarm had woken me up at 6:00 and I had barely gone back to sleep. I took care of him, settled him on the couch, and the noise woke up William. So he was up at 7:30. Oren got up around 8:00. I guess compared to the school year it's sleeping in, but lately they have been sleeping until around 9:30. *Gasp* I know...

Nathan fell asleep on the couch around 9:00, and slept until noon. Guess he needed it. I was very impressed, the other 2 were being very loud all morning, William kept sitting on Nathan because he wanted to play. :-)

Whatever was wrong this morning went away because he was just fine the rest of the day. I just hope he falls asleep tonight!

Chef Boy-It's-Yummy!

I don't have the faintest idea why, but I have been in a cooking mood the last couple of days. I even sat down and planned a menu up to Sunday night!

Tonight, after browsing through tons of recipes, I have chosen to make slow-cooked carnitas tacos. It's not an authentic recipe, you cook it in a crock pot. But it sounds good! Pork roast, slow cooked with spices and shredded. Serve on tortillas with avacado and red peppers and salsa. Or whatever your family likes. There will be olives on our table, you better believe it.

And of course, I need to make at least one dessert this week. So I am right now baking the cake for an Orange Dream Trifle! The fun part is that I am taking the basic concept from an orange cake dessert, and changing up the cake recipe, and layering the whole thing in a bowl. Steph has inspired me to take a recipe and put my own twist on it.

So I will be posting those recipes later tonight, with photos, and the family's review.

Also on the menu for this week: homemade pizzas with the works, and Grilled Turkey Salsa Verde Burgers. Something with sauteed red cabbage on the side, and flounder fillets with some sort of creamy sauce. I also have scallops I may toss with garlic - red pepper linguine, before they get freezer burnt. I found them in the back of the freezer while putting the flounder away!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I think I like pork. Pork, pork, pork. Bacon, sausage, ham, tenderloin, chops.... Pork is yummy! I wouldn't last very long being Jewish.

I made a really yummy dinner today. I made french baguettes, just so I could have fresh bread crumbs for a crusted pork chop. The crust was a spicy mustard, bread crumbs, and butter... and the pork chops were spread with mustard and left to sit for a while. Oh, it was good! Mark raved, the boys chowed, I savored. I did it up with some honeyed carrots, which the kids thought was neat. I posted the recipes on my blog for any interested in a divine pork chop recipe.

On a side note, I think I need to keep my house neater. Today some people from OSI (Office of Special Investigations), sort of base detectives, came by. They are investigating a case involving a family in the neighborhood whom I happen to know, and happen to know what it going on. They were kind of going door to door asking questions, and when they found that I knew the family a bit, they asked if they could come in and talk with me. Well, of course, anything to help my friend. I hadn't swept in a couple of days, there were crumbs on my couch, my dining room looked like someone tried to feed the birds and the birds weren't interested in the leftovers they were throwing. Clothes on the floor, shoes all over. I mean, it's been worse, much worse, before. But this was OSI! They were really nice about it though, and were impressed that I have 3 young boys, and still could find time to bake bread. It was just embarassing... I can keep things nice and clean, organized, caught up, for a couple of weeks and nobody will come by at all except Amanda. The second I let it go, that's when people want to come by on short notice or unexpectedly. Why!?!?!?!?!?

A Brand New ME!

Okay, as promised, I got up and did my hair this morning so I could take a picture of it. So I took about 5 of the back and 7 of the front, but it's important to get a good picture. I will be taking these with me for future trims and cuts. It just seems like a good idea and I wish I had done it the last 12 times I went with a short cut.

You see, when I say short, I mean SHORT! I love this length, because I can play with the back. I can lay it down for a "sophisticated" (boring) look, or spike it up for a playful one. I like to use a shine serum while the hair is wet, that's why it looks all glossy. Plus I cut all the dry damaged stuff up.

And there is a front view. I even did makeup this morning, because I was going to snap pictures. I can't really use the front fringe as regular bangs, they are designed more as a sideswept look. Because of the round face, I can either have hair below my chin, or above my cheeks or it emphasizes the roundness. This way I have volume on top which makes my face look a little longer, and it also helps elongate my very short neck. I loved how easy it was to blowdry this morning, and I have been all smiles today, because this cut is what I usually go with. It makes me happy, and I know what to do with it. I love it!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Chop Chop!

I finally got tired of my hair. I "try to grow it out", but that lasts until the hair starts falling in my face when I bend over. Plus, when it is long I only wear it in ponytails, and I go 3-4 days between showers because I don't have to do my hair... Yuck! So I made an appointment on base and said "chop it off!" I even showed her some pictures of the general idea, I have had enough short cuts that I know what works with my face. And I don't mind short. Really short. Like, not even over my ears kind of short. I like to spike the back and stuff...

I told her to have some fun with it, because it is curly which hides a multitude of bad haircut sins, and because it is just hair and it will grow back! So she did. Hurray, a stylist that doesn't mind playing with hair. Who does a haircut based on what would look good on the client, and not just what she likes to do. I am very pleased. I don't know what Mark thinks, but I have kind of past the point where I do my hair for him. I am the one that has to deal with it. And he is usually pretty sweet about the short hair. He is happy if I am happy, because when I feel good about myself, I am less crabby with everyone. And I always get lots of compliments with the short hair, which is nice.

It felt so good to chop it all off, very freeing. I will be cooler now, which is great because it got up to 105 last summer. And it will cut my morning routine time down by a good 10 minutes, because it will dry so much faster. She even paid attention to how the hair curl pattern lays. Which will make it so much easier for me to get the hair to cooperate.

Sorry I am rambling, but I am just so glad I got it done. I am a short hair person. And after I style it tomorrow I will take some pics, and probably update my profile shot.


That right there is the sound of my heart beating again.

You know, being a mom there are a few things I can think of that would terrify me. Things that would make my heart stop for a minute or two. One of my children getting life threatening cancer... one of them getting hit by a car.... one of them wandering too far from home and I can't find them. Can you guess which one happened today?

Oren had been asking me all morning if he could ride his bike. For some reason I really didn't feel comfortable letting him, we had somewhere to be this afternoon and I didn't want to have to track him down and risk being late to our WIC appointment. (we really needed the checks.) So I told him no.

When we got home he didn't ask because he knew we were headed straight for T-ball, so he got his stuff ready and we all took off. But when we got home from that Mark had a church meeting to run to, and I started dinner. He started asking again, and I still really didn't want to say yes. Finally I gave in, the constant asking was getting annoying. I told him he could ride his bike 3 times around the circle, we live at the end of a culdesac, and then he was to come back in because dinner would be ready. Several minutes went by, he didn't come in. I looked out the front door and saw there were kids at the big park at the end of the street, so figured he had taken off down there and he would be back in a few minutes. I put William down to bed, sat Nathan down with a movie, and went walking to go get Oren, his dinner was cold. Not at the little park by our house, not at the big park down the street, not at the park at the end of the next street, or the street across from our street. There's lots of parks.... Not on the bike path that winds down behind our house. Peeved....Panic.....Praying.

I woke William up, threw him and Nathan in the car, checked with a neighbor if she had seen them, she sent her son around on his bike, and I drove up and down every street in our neighborhood. Not a sign of him. I thought I would have to call the police and have the patrols search the neighborhood, because the sun was starting to set and visibility would soon be low. Then the thought hit me that he likes to ride way down to the school with Daddy, and to some parks in different neighborhoods. Part of that "daddy special time", the part I don't really like because it might make Oren feel like he has permission to wander that far by himself. I turned out of the neighborhood toward the school, and pulled up at the first park on the way there. There were some kids playing and I asked if they had seen a little blond boy on a red.... And there he was. Not a clue he had done something wrong. I have walked that far from my house and it takes at least 15 minutes. I would say that is beyond voice range, and way to far for my particular 6-year old.

I yelled the whole way home, grounded him until he grows too big for the bike (or at least 2 weeks...) and sent him to bed without dinner. I have never been so afraid. I was crying a good part of the way home, and it is hard to cry when you are yelling. I know Mark will be mad because I let Oren ride his bike by himself, but I had set clear boundries where he is allowed to ride, and I am not the one that has been taking him all over the place! Usually I can trust him to stay where I say, but this one time is it. Daddy is not taking him on those bike rides for a good long time!

It got me thinking though that I am so grateful we are on base. There is only so far he can go before hitting a fence, although the fence is pretty far out there. People aren't going to kidnap him, or strangle him on base. I know there are still bad people on a base, it's not totally safe. But the world has changed so much from when I was that age. I rode everywhere! But I can't let Oren. There are cayotes (spelling?) and wolves around the base borders. There are still child molesters out there. There are cars that drive fast and don't watch for small children on bikes. Base isn't totally safe, but it is better than living in a questionable neighborhood outside. I hope I scared him enough that he doesn't do that again, and I hope that I will be able to let him go when he is ready...

Outside Delight! (Pics of the Day #43)

Or, I should say, I delight in the light outside. Bright and sunny, and I have flowers. Perfect for picture taking! The kids have been banished to the back yard for a while, it was getting too noisy in here for my comfort. Nathan is superman today, complete with the red cape!

I love how kids have the imagination to be anything they want to be. Have you ever watched your 2 year old hold an entire conversation with a toy phone? Such free spirits should be able to soar!

When we first moved here, it was October. A dismal, brown and grey month. Nothing is growing, and we had no idea what the promise of spring would bring. The people here before us planted a few perennials, including these yellow daylilies. I have 5 bushes of these bright yellow flowers in my backyard, and would love to put some in the front as well. When they started popping up it was like Christmas in the yard! New suprises every where. Now, in our third summer here, I still look forward to the first flowers blooming a brilliant yellow.

And, my roses are beginning to shine. The last family planted this pink rosebush. The flowers are large, and smell divine. I love to have the roses floating in a glass bowl on my table, so I can smell them. The bush is nicely grown now, and so I planted a new bush last summer. Dark burgandy roses, a bit smaller, but still beautiful. They have begun to bud, and will be in full bloom soon. I think I want some red ones for the front yard, big and bold, but still delicate.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Late but Yummy, and Snake Sitting

We ate dinner tonight at 9:30. Seriously.

I would feel a little bad, but it is Mark's fault. About 7:00 he got his shoes on and rode off on his bike with Oren riding his little one too. I had no idea where they went, but figured I may as well make those chicken pillows I talked about so I could post the recipe. Since I was sure they would be gone for quite a while, you know, why the heck not.

I was already feeling grumpy today, just a generally bad mood and such. So when I got yelled at for having dinner so late I did a little yelling of my own. Then I got told I should be taking a higher dose of those meds.... Lovely. Anyway, I made the pillows, they ate the pillows, the pillows were yummuy, and the recipe has been posted on my blog.

Why was I already kind of grumpy? Because Amanda is out of town, and I am looking after her house, her rats (one of which had 9 babies) her cat, her fish, her guinea pig and her plants. That is actually the easy part. I am also supposed to keep an eye on her 7 snakes. (That's right, she got rid of 2, so we are down from the 9 she had before) I didn't have to do anything but check their water and see if they messed in their cages. If they did I was supposed to call another of our "friends" to come clean it since I don't handle snakes thank you very much. So I checked them Saturday. The 5 foot male and the 9 foot male had messed. Yay. I called our friend, we'll call her K. Left her a message. She calls me back on Sunday afternoon that she can't come do it until Wednesday because she is sick that day and won't be coming to base until Wednesday. She doesn't want to make extra trips... So I told her to call Amanda and let her know her snakes would be sitting in their own pee and poop for 3 more days. See how she takes that news, you know? She called that night, but Amanda wasn't quick enough to her phone, and barely missed her. She called K back right away. K didn't answer. 2 seconds after calling Amanda and she didn't answer! So Amanda had no idea until I called her today to make sure somebody else had taken care of the snakes. Nope, she had no idea K didn't do it. Needless to say we were both pretty mad. She does this all the time though, flakes out. We just didn't know anyone else Amanda felt comfortable having in her home by themselves that knows how to handle snakes!

At this point I asked her to give me a crash course in snake handling over the phone. I couldn't just let them sit there in the mess until Wednesday, they could get really sick from the wet newspaper, and these things are expensive! Plus, they're living things, albeit reptiles, but they are someone's pets! She talked me through it, and I was able to do the little male with no problem. The big guy likes to escape, but he proved easy enough to shove back in. He needed a full cage change, so I had to move him from one side to another, like changing the sheets on a bed-ridden patient. They have an 11 foot female, who likes to hiss a lot, and she scares me. So of course she had messed since I had last checked. She has never struck, so I went ahead and started cleaning that. She did hiss a couple of times, but stayed relatively quiet. That's a good sign I gather. I will be taking over the snakes from K, we are both pretty upset at her, and I was requested to lock the door behind me so no one else has access to the house.

Amanda is funny though. She told me she was planning on bringing me back something nice from her vacation since I am housesitting all those pets and stuff for 2 weeks. She said that now that I am doing the snakes too, I get something REALLY nice. She asked what I wanted.... I told her chocolate and a puppy. :-) Mark would flip out, so it's a good thing she wouldn't actually bring one back for me.

I am proud of myself though. I had never handled a full size snake before. A baby hog-nose yes, but not a large snake. This isn't something I would do all the time, I won't be asking to hold their snake (well, maybe the baby 1 1/2 foot king snake), but now I know I can keep them clean and healthy until they get back.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Because we did a massive, combined anniversary, birthday, mother's and father's days night in Boise, I was off the hook as far as a present goes this year. Mark took the boys to church while I stayed home with William, who wasn't feeling well the last couple of days. They all came home intact, so I am guessing it went okay... :-)

He has a new counselor in the elder's quorum, so they got together for a meeting. I decided it would be easier for them to work if the kids weren't bouncing on them and sent us all outside. The weather today was gorgeous, a little breeze, nice warm sun. The boys thoroughly enjoyed playing, especially since Mommy was there to watch them all be silly. Just when we were all done being outside, they finished their meeting and we were allowed back in. I guess they got lots done, they said it was very productive. He is really doing a good job, stepping up and being in charge. When we were doing scouts, he was the cubmaster and I was a denleader. I usually ended up running everything, he just got up and welcomed people to pack meeting. I did everything else. But here I can't do that at all for him. He is on his own, and I am pleased to report that he is doing wonderfully, despite lots of self-doubt on his part.

I like to do special meals on special days, and Father's day is a pretty good day. And I was actually in the mood to cook something yummy. So I did up some barbeque beef ribs, garlicky mashed potatoes, and a delicious Apple Upside-Down Bisuit Cake. All went over really well, and all are now posted on my recipe site. I highly recommend the cake, it's like cake, caramelly monkey bread, and apple pie all together. The potatoes weren't too shabby either. The boys were thrilled to get dessert, it's a rarity here because it requires prepping ahead of time. And Mark enjoyed having a real homecooked meal that did not involve a box or can at all. Hurray for me!

And we are now trying something new at bedtime. This is day one... The boys have a tendency to play at bedtime, so we sent Nathan to bed after our song and prayer. Oren will get to stay up (the priviledges of being the oldest, hee hee) for 20-30 minutes more. So he goes to bed in a little bit, hopefully Nathan will already be asleep and the house being quiet will make Oren more sleepy. I am crossing my fingers, because I am getting tired of yelling "GET ON YOUR BEDS NOW!!!!!" through the wall every night. I guess we'll see how it goes for the next few days, until they get used to it.

A Day At Home

William, having thrown up several times over the last few days, has stayed home from church. Mark is the only one left from Elder's Qorum, the others deployed a few weeks ago, and therefore has to give the lesson. So I was the logical choice to stay home with munchkin.

Happy Father's Day, Honey! Now take the kids to church....

And of course, William has seemed fine so far this morning, but Nathan was complaining that his stomach hurt a bit earlier. We sent him anyway since it could just be stomach cramps from the Milk of Magnesia we gave him yesterday. It's hard to say. But William still has the runs so we thought we'd err on the side of caution just in case. It has been really boring. I actually get to sit and enjoy church now with the kids being older. I even get to listen to the talks occasionally! So I am missing being at the meetings this morning. I like leading the songs.

Steph, I don't know who gave what to whom. Amanda was sick a couple days ago too with the same thing! :-) Sorry, just in case.

Plus, not being at church throws my whole Sunday off. I am not hungry at the usual eating times, because I end up grazing all day. And the kids will be harder to deal with later because my routine is off.

But, at least William will not be throwing up or blowing out in Nursery, or getting some other poor little kid sick. And he is being very snuggly, which I love, because all too soon he will be taller than me and won't fit on my lap any more.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I think my hips just got bigger....

Mmmm, mmmm. I love going to baby showers, the food is always so pretty and delicious. Fruit salad, veggie tray, "chicken pillows", cake, and punch. I posted the cake pictures on my blog. I had 2 plates of food, and a slice of cake. The punch was grape juice concentrate and sprite, not exactly low cal.

And of course the hooded baby towels that I do for new mommies was ooohed and aaahed over. I use the nice big fluffy towel, pleat the center, and a hand towel for the hood. A cute ribbon combination or fabric and ribbon is sewn to the hood. I use the same ribbons to make a matching washcoth, and wrap it all up with the ribbons. These are big enough for kids to use until they are 4 or 5! Moms love them. I actually have sold a couple, which is nice. I have done so many that it only takes me about an hour if I am not interrupted.

These chicken pillows are so yummy! I make a slightly different version. It's chicken, green onions, cream cheese, mozzerella, garlic.... All wrapped in either croissant dough or biscuit dough and baked. I'll make them sometime and post the recipe.

I was exhausted when I got home, had a late night sewing the towel, and the kids let me take a short nap. That should do me until bedtime. I should be cleaning, but I think I'll take it easy and enjoy and piece of cake!

I love the weekend!

We had a whirlwind of a day yesterday. I had an appointment in Meridian in the afternoon, so decided to go really early and run some errands. Boise has so many more stores than here in town that it isn't funny! So I got the kids up and ready and headed off. First stop was Michaels, a crafting store, where I drooled over some cake decorating stuff. I found the perfect unfinished shelf for my entry. It has wooden pegs for my purse and Mark's hat... I am not sure what color I will paint it, but I am very excited!

We headed over to DI, where I found a swimsuit for Nathan for $1.00. He has one, but ripped a huge hole in it. And let's face it... am I really going to get it fixed? Probably not. Some school pants for Oren for the fall, and a way cute shirt for me.

We had some stuff of Mom's from when they were here last weekend, so we ran over to Caldwell. We got there just as they were eating lunch, so Mom fed us, which was so sweet of her. We did an eat-and-run, because I was running a little behind, and made a mad dash for my appointment. I was coming from a different direction than last time and missed my street and had to backtrack. Luckily I was only 2 minutes late. They are pleased with how well the meds are working so far, but are still going to build the dose a little higher. That's fine with me.

Mark asked me out on a date earlier this week. Tops in Blue was performing on base and would I go see it with him? Oh yeah! We scouted around for a sitter, because my friend is out of town, and found a young man who is perfect! He is the oldest of 9 kids, and pretty mature for 16. He loves to babysit, and brings little kits to entertain the kids. He cleaned up the living room and cleared the table after dinner. After the busy day I had, I didn't want to cook, so now he thinks we are the coolest people ever because we left a check for the pizza guy that was bringing the food! :-)

The concert was really neat. These are the BEST musicians Air Force wide. They try out and only the best are selected. They tour for 2 years and then another group is selected. They dance and sing, with backup musicians. They were really good. They had a "Tina Turner", "Cher"... the theme was classic songs like "The rythym is going to get you", "Footloose", some Boys to Men, a couple of latino pop, Beauty and the Beast. A bunch of others, I don't remember what all there was. Super fast costume changes, lights and smoke, a battle of the drums! I want to go see what they do next year!

We weren't quite ready to go home, so we drove into town and went to TCBY, for some Italian sodas and a white chocolate mousse sundae. Yumm. We grabbed a couple things at Walmart and went back home. Mark took the sitter home while I whipped up a baby towel for a baby shower for today. Blue, with brown and blue ribbon. It was a pretty late night, but lots of fun.

I had to get up early today to decorate the cake for the shower. I will be posting that on my cake blog later. Death by Chocolate. Or as Steph calls it, "the best darn cake in the world". Chocolate fudge cake, with chocolate pudding mix, chocolate chips, and sour cream. Oooooo. I know.... I am going to throw some clothes on and run over to the shower. I think I will need a nap later!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

How true...

I got this off Rachel's blog. My friend laughed when I read this to her. It is very much like me. I think I would make a very good lawyer, I can talk my way into just about anything!

You Should Be a Politician

Confident, assertive, and dedicated - you know what you want in life and how to get it.
Stubborn and opinionated, you can stand your ground... even if it's unpopular.
And while you have strong views, you never overwhelm people with your opinions.
A true charmer, you subtly influence people into seeing things your way.

You do best when you:

- Work according to your own rules
- Can change the world with what you do

You would also be a good lawyer or talk show host.
What Should You Be When You Grow Up?

Someplace between here and there

That's what it feels like this week has been. I am either going to someplace or coming home from someplace. I have neither a messy house, nor a clean house. I am not completely bored, but I am not very stimulated either. Today is the first day of this week that I don't have to go all the way into town to go to an appointment or run errands. I try to combine things in town when I can to avoid extra gas consumption - it's $3.95 here. But it made for some busy days.

My laundry is not overflowing, but I am not completely caught up with putting it away. My garden has some flowers and few weeds, but it is not the beautiful, and full, garden I would love. I haven't resorted to eating out this week, but what I have cooked is things like corndogs or cheap pizza or whatever Mark pulls out of the cupboards. No culinary heights for me.

My children have had some fun, played with a friend, gone to the park. But I have not made crafts with them or taken them to the zoo or taken them out to buy their own flowers for the garden to care for.

I am someplace between here and there.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Exhausted already

It is only 3:30, and I am ready for bed! We swung out of here and journeyed down to speech therapy. With the main gate closed, it takes me 15 minutes to get off the base, and another 15 to get to town. Yuck! But it's better than the hour + to get to Boise, where we went for 9 months. I got smart this week and brought an Aladdin video and our portable player from the car. I have an AC adapter so I plug it into a socket in the waiting room. Can we say "child friendly office"? That kept Oren from bugging me out of boredom, William only unplugged it once. But William wanted to keep stuffing his face and laid there kicking a door when I told him he'd eaten enough. I was trying hard not to laugh.

By the time we got out of there it was after 12:30, so we grabbed a cheapo lunch from McDonald's dollar menu and headed off to a local park. The boys thought that was the neatest thing, a picnic! It would have been nicer if it hadn't been only 60 and windy, but they didn't care in the least. William discovered you can go up the slide, and had a blast in the swing. Nathan and Oren wouldn't take off their hoods for some good pictures and they didn't' want to stay in one place very long. So I only got pictures of William. They ran around for a good long while before Mommy got too cold and dragged them back to the warmth of the car.

By the way, I love the fact that my phone has a camera. It's not the best camera ever, but often it is the only one available.

Then it was off to the store for chicken. They didn't have any more leg quarters but I wasn't in desperate need of them. So I looked to see if there were any other good deals. I got a few things, and loaded them back in the car. William fell asleep halfway home. We didn't get home until after 2:30. So it was a very long day. Oren has T-ball tonight too, and I have to bring all the kids because Mark has a church meeting. It is cold and windy and I am not looking forward to being out there for an hour. I am not even sure what dinner is going to be! Something using day old french bread bought for $0.75 on the bread sale shelf... (I love a good deal.) Maybe a nice, warming soup that won't burn down the house if left unattended in the oven on low...

A lucky break

I was looking a local grocery store flyer on Sunday and noticed that chicken leg quarters were on sale for $0.66 a pound. That's a pretty good price and we use those quite often. So I wanted to go and get some. Monday is military discount day at the store so I wanted to go, but I couldn't think of anything else that I really needed to get while in town. So I decided not to go, because the cost of gas is too high to make an unecessary trip all the way to town, about 30 minutes away.

Monday morning rolled around and the phone rang. Nathan's therapist will be out of town the end of the week and was wondering if I could reschedule one of his days to Tuesday morning. Sure, why not, I don't have anything else going on. Then it occured to me, the sale goes through till today and I will be in town! I won't get the military discount, which basically equals sales tax, but I still get the good price on the leg quarters. Thank you Miss Gayle!

So in a bit I will be going down to town and partaking of the good deal before me. Then we might go down to the library and find some good books and have some quiet time. I gotta find something to do with the little guys before I go stir crazy. It would be nice to do a zoo day or something.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Peace and Quiet

It has been a long weekend. Fun, but long. I never thought of our house as quiet really, until you put about 20 people in it all talking and kids running and screaming... That was noise! My folks came and brought kids, Steph and Jeff and family came, Mark's mom and sisters, and my friend Amanda and her girls. Boy, am I glad I cleaned.

But everyone is gone, the kids are playing quietly in the backyard. (Halfway through that sentence I had to rescue Nathan from a big bad garden spider... ) And I am left in semi peace to write about the party.

We had a blast! My family got here about 11, while I was making an emergency run for more cake decorating spray. The kids played; Mom, Steph, Jeff (a little), and Marie helped get food ready; Morgan ran various errands for paperware from my closet; Dad went to the store to get mustard. Mustard is essential when you are eating hotdogs! I think I would have freaked out quite easily if Steph hadn't taken over the veggie prep and fruit salad making. They were great, and it was nice to have all the help. I was working on the cake, like I thought I would be doing at that time. Darn fondant palm trees didn't want to cooperate.... We took a million pictures of the cake, I will post on my cake blog after this. We had lots of different salads, yummy lemonade with cherry juice mixed in, juicy beef hotdogs... I ate too much, although I think everyone else did too.

Then we had cleanup, thanks again to my wonderful family for doing that for me. Mark's mom showed up and Oren was so excited! We had told him he was having a special suprise visitor for his birthday. When she walked into the backyard, he was off like a shot and jumped at her! :-) Amanda wandered over and we started the party. Like Steph mentioned we had "pin the x on the treasure map", "cannonball" toss, a treasure hunt with puzzle pieces, and a parrot pinata. Zaylee really was adorable hitting that parrot... We had little door prizes like cheapo sunglasses and silly putty, and we had put together little loot bags with eyepatches and pirate pencils, stickers, fake jewels. The kids had a blast!

Marie wrapped streamers around him, it actually looks pretty good.

Candy Grab!

Blowing out the candles.

Today was one of the few times we have been early to church this whole year. We don't really like 9:00 meeting time. Mom Willford and the girls spent the night, so I had help with the kids to get ready. It was a very pleasant morning, good lessons, nice and peaceful. We ate all the leftovers for lunch, so I don't have a really full fridge. Still plenty of cake left though! They took off around 3:00 to head back home, it's a 4 hour drive for them. We enjoyed having them here, it's always nice to see family.

But now I can sit back and enjoy the quiet. I don't have to talk, or clean, or cook. I would love a nap, trying not to be hyper in a noisy and busy social situation is exhausting for me. Unlike Oren, I don't have meds to keep me calm.

Now, what do I do for Nathan's birthday in August?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

I am so excited! I will finally get rid of the monstrosity that I have put up with for 4 years. It looks like shelves and pipe... But it fit our tv, and was cheap, so we used it until we could find something that looked better, fit our tv, and was still cheap. This was at a local thrift store, and I was so excited, it looked big enough. I wasn't sure, so I set up transportation just in case, and went back today in the hope that it was wide enough for the tv. YES! Mark and my friend's husband took their truck and got it for me this evening.

The color is close, but not an exact match to our other wood bookshelves. The top is flat so we can put the rabbit ears on top, camoflauge them a little bit.

I really like the detail work on the front. There used to be doors on top, but they are missing. That's fine, my kids would destroy it in seconds anyway.

I didn't get a whole lot done today, inside the house anyway. I did get some flowers at Walmart to brighten my patio. I got bright pink geraniums. And I mean bright pink. And a hanging basket of some pale orangy flower. I am sure Mark is not happy that I have good friends that are good gardeners and have me hooked on pretty flowers! I still have more perennials I would like to put out around my tree beds in the front, and roses I want out in the backyard. We'll see...

So tonight I will be folding umpteen batches of laundry, while watching a movie on the tv sitting in the beautiful new piece of wood in my living room!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

My List

Okay, so today was pretty much spent cleaning. I wanted so badly to go to town and see if the entertainment center I saw at the thrift store was still there, but I resisted. I'll be going down in the morning anyway, so I'll check then. If it is there and it measures big enough for the tv, I'll be buying it and then I can finally pass ours off to Steph and Jeff! I am really crossing my fingers....

So, I did my list up last night. I took the rooms that people would actually be in and broke them down into each job that needed done. The front, the back, and the front of another page. Yikes. But that doesn't stress me out as much as looking at the whole house, so I started this morning. Now, I have the best friend! She called me this morning, and I mentioned my in-laws are coming. So she offered to come help tackle some stuff with me. I generally keep my house pretty clean. 5 days of the week it will be fairly nice. The other two are disasters, and that's always when people come over... Of course. So she came by and grabbed a broom. We have found cleaning goes faster with two, so next week I will go help her get her house in order before she goes on vacation.

I got done:
Living Room
Declutter shelves, entertainment center, and magazine rack; Dust living room; clean off piano and polish; vacumm floor and hide-a-bed; sweep and mop living room.

Dining Room
Clear off dining room bar and wash; clean fish tank; clean table; sweep and mop dining room

Wipe down cupboards, dishwasher and fridge; wash dishes and dishdrainer; wipe down microwave; clean off and wash countertops; wipe down appliances; sweep and mop floor.

Bathroom; clean off sink; wipe down walls; clean off mirrors.

I did have help with the sweeping and mopping between Mark and Amanda. And Amanda's daughter did the bathroom stuff for a dollar. She's 8 and loves to earn money. I pay her to magic eraser the walls sometimes! I am about halfway done with my list, but some of the stuff will go really quick, like stack shoes on shoe shelf. I love when my house is clean, and all these little jobs have been depressing me. These are all things that I do regularly and would have done in the next week or two anyway, but now I have motivation to get them done sooner.

Now if only I could keep them clean...

"Start your Engines"

I really shouldn't be blogging, but I am sort of reving up for a really busy day. You know how you want a clean house when you have family coming over? What about Family, Family Friends, and In-laws?

That's right, my mother-in-law called and said she had this Saturday off, could they come visit? Sure, why not, the more the merrier. (note- this makes about 24 people coming for lunch on Saturday) They don't have to rush back, so they will be spending the night. AAAHHHH! I wasn't going to stress, but that many people, I need to have a clean house. This isn't for Oren's birthday party. This is my parents coming to bring Rheanna and Samuel to the party and bringing the other kids and having lunch. Then family friends heard they were coming down, who haven't seen my folks for 2 years, and I invited them over for lunch. So they won't be there all afternoon, just a couple hours of socalizing. And then my mother-in-law and 2 sisters-in-law have the day off and want to jet over and see the kids. Oren's "party", invited people, are only a couple kids.

But, that's still a lot of people over the course of a day.

Now, for some reason, if I look at the whole house, and think, "It needs cleaned", I stress out really bad. I freak, it's too much to look at. Some people break it down by room, and that works. That can even be too much for me. I need lists. I break the house down by room, and then detail a list of chores for each room. That way I can say "I have 20 minutes, not enough to clean the dining room, but enough to tackle the fish tank." Then I can check something off the list. With a list, I breathe easier. Odd, but it works.

So, I 'm off to clean. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A little cleaner at least

Well, I can't say that I have had anymore energy today. Or that I cared anymore about the house. But I did get up and clean anyway. The floor got swept, and I attempted to vacumm. Unfortunately the vacumm wasn't sucking anything in. I tried the hose, that worked fine. SO I took off the cover, the spinner brush, and another cover and tried to clean out the Mark hair from his last haircut. And the powder he used to dry the water off the boys floor. And a hundred other assorted things that got caught in the intake. I thought I got it all. Nope.... So I had to take the hose off and pull things out that way. But I finally got it working, I didn't break anything, and I didn't lose any screws. So the floor got vacummed after all.

I also got a small break today. When Mark came home I took off with Nathan to the store. Oren got time with Daddy yesterday, so today was Nathan's time alone with a parent. I restocked some stuff, and bought some stuff for Oren's party this weekend. I am having lots of family for lunch, so I got LOTS of hotdogs. I think six packages ought to be enough. For this weekend and a couple lunches afterward too. Bun length of course.

My family was so excited for dinner. I didn't get home until almost 7:00, so I grabbed a take-and-bake pizza from the store. Papa Murphy's is better, you truly get what you pay for.

All in all, a slightly more productive, if not exciting day. At least I am actually a little tired today. :-)

Monday, June 2, 2008

A ho hum day...

It would be nice if I had anything interesting to report.

Oh, Nathan fell outside and bit the inside of his lip hard enough that his mouth was bleeding quite nicely.

I don't know, I spent most of the day here in front of the computer. I did the same thing yesterday uploading all my cake pictures to my blog. Today was watching movies. I guess I cleaned a little. I did figure this evening that I needed to use some of the fruit that I bought this weekend, so I did a crostata. I don't have a picture because it is still baking. It's like a pie without a pie tin, the crust is folded over the filling. A tart/pie. Peaches, nectarines, and raspberries. With cinnamon and mace. Should be interesting, since I improvised most of the filling. I'll post the recipe on my food blog.

I have discovered that the medication they have me on is causing some slight insomnia or something. I stayed up until 2:30 am Saturday morning finishing a graduation cake for a friend, and I wasn't even tired. I made my self go to bed, but kept waking up. I am usually dead without at least 7 hours, but I was running on less than 5 all Saturday. And I didn't get tired until after midnight again. So Sunday night I had to make a run to the shoppette at 11:30 for some sleeping pills, and was still up until 1:00 am. What gives? And I am not exactly tired today, but I have no real energy, just kind of sitting here. I guess I am having the blues a little today. This whole summer vacation thing is throwing me off.

I think I will be taking the sleeping pills again tonight, maybe a little earlier. I know my body needs the rest, it just doesn't think it does. But I have managed to catch up on some tv episodes online of shows I like. And desert should taste yummy once it gets done baking. I just hope I have more energy tomorrow, or at least care what the house looks like by this weekend, since most of my family and some family friends of ours will be here for lunch and then Oren has his party...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A little chunk of heaven

As Steph has mentioned, we all gathered together for Samuel's baptism. I missed everyone's since Morgan, whose I don't remember. So I was determined to make this one. Luckily, Mark didn't have to work this weekend.

We ended up being late, and snuck in the back just before Samuel's turn in the water. We would have been on time, but I discovered as we were walking out the door that my diaper bag was missing. Mark had hidden it from the children and couldn't remember where he had put it! I frantically searched for several minutes, and then gave up and threw some diapers and wipes in a tote bag I had lying around, and ran out the door. I think Mark went 90 down the deserted road to get to the freeway, and at one point said he hit 100. In a minivan... I was not happy. He was in heaven.

Afterwards we all went back to Mom's house for lunch. Grandma and Grandpa Danes joined us, which was nice, I like chatting with them and we really don't get to see them very often. Mom did the yummiest barbeque pork, on Steph's homemade buns. Green Salad, Fruit Salad, Potato Salad.... I had put together some pretty good Red Velvet Cupcakes, for pictures and the recipe click here. I took 2 dozen cupcakes, and I brought home 4. And Oren ate one of those on the way home, since he didn't get one after dinner.

We left pretty late and so got home really late. The kids were nice and tired, Nathan and William slept the whole way home, and Oren sat very tiredly and quiet. It was a nice afternoon, and we sure enjoyed spending time with everyone.

Janelle also talked her boyfriend Lloyd into coming, so it was nice to meet him as well. He seems like a really nice guy, and she is very happy. YAY!