Sunday, March 30, 2008

When all else fails - Eat Snow!

Saturday evening right after Abner left to catch a flick with some of his friends it started. That white stuff... big ole huge flakes and all, the kind you want to see Christmas Eve, not at the end of March. After a good strong hour of snowing we realized that there was no way Abner and his friends would make it home, hills and all, without some help, because it was sticking to the road real good.

I think the only time I’m grateful for our big honking, gas guzzling, 4 x 4 mud-spittin’, Tank-mobile is during a snow storm. After calling Abner’s cell phone about 20 times he finally answered and we told him we were coming to the rescue. Talk about embarrassing – Nothing like parents showing up in a bus to make you feel like a little driving dork in front of your friends. Two and a half hours, and 40 miles after P.E left to pick them up, they made it back home. Barely missing all the other crazy drivers on the road, I might add, nearly wiping out a few of them but luckily not.
Five minutes before they arrived home just before midnight, the power went out. It was out till nearly seven this morning. But being that I went to bed late and didn’t sleep to well because I worried that the kids might be cold, I woke up a little grumpy. I had let some of my preparations get behind so I was secretly hoping that they would cancel church. I know super hypocritical. They probably would have if we had the morning schedule, but this year we have the afternoon, so no such luck. And wouldn’t you know it as soon as I get my girls in dresses they are out in the white stuff making snow angels without any coats on.

My insanity must be rubbing off on Princess. What is she crazy?

Plenty of people decided not to brave the roads though and I really had to scramble to combine classes and find last minute substitutes for seven different primary classes whose teachers didn’t show.

Fortunately my grumpy mood did not settle on my children. Since it only happens a few times a year, and doesn’t last more than a day - Snow is magic for them. Turns them into little happy people and no matter how glum mom’s mood is, it protects them with freezing glory. So Saturday evening and all day today they were running outside barefoot grabbing handfuls of slushy snow and then running back into the house to eat it while warming up their little feet for future trips.

Of course I had to instruct my littlest ones in the finer points of eating snow like making sure you only grab freshly fallen snow from the top and by all means avoid snow that has any specks or heaven forbid, tints of color to it, especially yellow. After seeing them have so much fun it started wearing off on me as well. I even ventured outside a couple of times for some snow myself. Don’t worry I stuck to all the rules.

You know snow isn’t so bad, while it lasts. I deal much better with the kids dragging it into the house than I do the mud, which is what they will drag in most days and will probably be what they drag in tomorrow after the snow all melts.

Friday, March 28, 2008

This Proves It. I'm still a Kid.

blog readability test

At least it didn't say Pre-School, what with my mad-spelling skills, or lack thereof, and all. I guess it makes some sense since my day revolves around this age group. I was trying to have an intelligent chat about monsters over at Trenadolls blog. You know trying to defend my insane attraction to the Twilight series, and I quickly realized I was in over my head. I'm more comfortable with simple little thoughts. So I tried her blog and guess what...

blog readability test

By the way, Trenadoll called and thanked me for sending Susan to her. Finally she has someone she can have an intelligent chat with. I guess I am a bit comforted in the fact that, even though I'm just a big kid, at least I have the wits to surround myself with wiser more knowledgeable friends.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


200… Average Buck-a-roo’s spent on gas each week for the past 4 weeks. The Tank I drive is a Gas Sucker. And this amount is after my husband averaged riding the bus for two days a week so I could drive the more fuel - efficient car. I think a horse might be cheaper to feed than our vehicles. Maybe we should go back to the horse and buggy.
2… days left of Evo-man’s Fitness Class. After which the before-mentioned $200 should drop by over half. I hope?!?
4… hours of sleep I got last night.
2… how many loafs of bread my kids chowed today.
36… minutes it took to find Itchy (dog) after she ran away from home.
3… zits. I confess they are mine – when will I grow out of adult acne? Oh yeah, when I give up the blasted chocolate.
48… minutes it took all my kids to get in bed after they were sent to bed. And this was a good night.
7… loads of laundry completed today.
6… loads of laundry that I didn’t complete today. I lie not.
0… number of things I got crossed off my to-do list.
40… minutes spent on the exercise bike.
4… Daffodils that bloomed in my front yard today. I’ll spare you the weed count- only because it would probably take me a week to count them.
A Gazillion… blessings received from being a mom. Most of those I’m probably not really aware of.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sadie's Three Wishes

My Sister Sassy let me know that Sadie was on Utah's New's Last night. Make-A-Wish granted two of three wishes and the third came true as well. If you want to see just click on the link. Makes you really appreciate your kids, health and live.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Simply Easter

Well it’s here… Easter. And as always I scrambled at the last minute to try and make it meaningful. Whether I am a success or not will depend on what my children remember 10 or 20 years down the road. This year wasn’t one of my better ones.

I love Easter, but have the hardest time finding anything in the stores that I can give to my kids that really help them understand what Easter is really about. We don’t have the Easter Bunny come – The Leprechauns take care of that fantasy realm giver. But if you do have the tradition of giving Easter Baskets then here are some great ideas for next year if you want to avoid the sugar/sick high your kids experienced this year. My kids didn’t get the sugar but I was very aware of all the kids at church that did.

In the past we have had a family Easter week that includes a Passover meal, Scripture Stories of Jesus each day of the week, Easter cookies, a family Easter egg hunt as well as Easter Dinner. But with two family birthdays and St. Patrick’s Day this year our Christ-centered Easter wasn’t up to my usual brilliant standards.

Yesterday I went last-minute shopping for possible Easter egg hunt goodies that didn’t include sugar. Let me tell you – my creative juices were stymied and I ended up wanting to give up on the whole egg hunt idea. But I didn’t, it just was a lot smaller without the candy.

After church, we had Lea hide between 4 & 6 eggs per child. Each egg was marked with their names except for one each that was blank. The blank eggs contained different amounts of $. I know those are always my favorite. Those blank ones were up for grabs – but only one each. The other eggs contained scriptures to look up and as soon as they looked up the scriptures and we discussed it then we gave them the corresponding gift.

Ephesians 6:11 = Little Knight Figures
(you know the whole armor of God kind of stuff.)

James 4:8 = Big Clattering magnets.

The kind that when you toss them they keep bouncing together. And they are big so they aren’t a temptation for Hope to put in her mouth.


Deut. 14:1 = Little Princess’s Figures

(Because they are the children of a king)

· A personalized charm bracelet with some of the symbols of Easter on it.


· Moroni 10:3 = Scripture marking pencils

· Matthew 7:25 / Helaman 5:12 = Pop Rocks

Comparing the tingling of the pop rocks to their testimony. That and I can never find Pop Rocks so when I do I get them for my kids.

Hope can't get enough of them and is trying to eat them by the handful.

I know it’s not much, but there are a few other things we did too. The boys each got a new white shirt, the girls did not however get new Easter dresses. I gave up after visiting no less than 5 stores and not being able to find anything cute enough that wasn’t sleeveless. Who are they kidding? It’s still freezing outside and all the Easter dresses have no sleeves. Last year I bought 4 dresses and had a friend take the extra material from the fourth dress and make sleeves to set in the other three. But when all was said and done it probably cost me the same as buying 6 complete dresses. They were adorable, but after a couple of wearings the material around the sleeves started to fray. This year they had to deal with the matching Target dresses I got last month.

Favorite Passover Movies: Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments
Veggie Tales ‘Moe and the Big Exit’

Favorite Easter Movies: Ben Hur (Maybe I just have a fascination with the young Charlton Heston). Note: We don’t watch both the Ten Commandments and Ben Hur in the same year. Every other year. Otherwise I might get mixed up and think Moses was in a Chariot race of something.
Veggie Tales ‘An Easter Carol’

This year was our year to enjoy Ben Hur.

So all in all it was a very simple Easter this year. I myself probably didn’t get what I should have out of it. But only because I was wallowing in the fact that I didn’t live up to my usual standard. But I think the kids still had fun. Can’t wait for some sleep myself. Whew, I have two whole weeks to plan for the next family birthday. I guess it serves me right for having so many kids –

No sleep and lots of reasons to Party!

Happy Easter!!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Well, Slap My Face!

I had a huge reality check this week. My oldest turned 17 years old and I up until then was thinking; O.K. I have two more years with him to teach him the rest of what he needs to know before he goes out into the big ole’ world to carve his own path and probably serve a mission. Nope! Wrong Again. If he leaves for college right after he graduates from High School then I’ve only got a smidgen over 1 year left. That’s It! It was one of those...
Slap-My-Face Kind-of, Moments.


As a mom have I prepared him adequately for life on his own? Will he be able to make and stick to a budget (something I still struggle with)? Will he keep up his grades, remember to set his alarm, frequently change his underwear, date good girls, find a career path, go to church and make more than waffles to survive on? I think so.

That’s just it. I think he will be o.k. but I don’t KNOW it. What did I miss? So I’m going to be racking my small brain trying to figure out what I can cram into what little time I have left with him. I’m sure this will make for one of his more annoying years with Mom moments. As if getting ready to be a Senior wasn’t bad enough. Better a leach now, than calling him every-day at college and reminding him to do whatever.

Abner, has been the rock of my kids. I couldn’t have asked for a more dependable first child. All of his siblings love him and look up to him. I kind-of wish I had a big brother like him. At seven – he encouraged us to read scriptures as a family so that he could make better choices. He’s one of those one in a million kids who recognizes a need and helps out without being asked too. I’ve also never, ever gotten lip from him. I get more smart mouth from my two-year old than I’ve ever gotten from him.
So, somewhere deep in my heart I guess I know he’ll be o.k. But darn-it if I don’t miss him already, and Thank God for the blessing he is in my life. And double-darn it if my stupid emotions just didn’t kick into high gear and start me blubbering like the village idiot. So, slap my face, wake me up, I’ve still got things to do.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Top Ten Reasons to Clean-Up

After reading the Parental Advisory Warning over at Surburban Correspondent. Yes I fit every criteria on 'How to know you have enough kids.' I had to come up with my own top ten of something. Being that the clutter monster has attacked again I though this would be as good as any.
Top Ten Reasons to Clean-Up your Mommy Act.
1. All your dishes are dirty and your feeding your kids off Tupperware lids.
2. There’s a funny smell in the boys room and after 10 minutes of investigation you still can’t find the source.

3. You can’t get out of your vehicle without three or four things falling out as well.

4. Your reduced to wearing exercise shorts and a non-matching Harry Potter Tee-shirt because all of your other clothes are dirty.

5. You can faintly hear the phone ringing but can’t locate it.

6. Can’t find matching shoes for any of your kids.

7. You have a picnic on the floor because the table and chairs are too cluttered to eat at.

8. Can’t find your calendar and you just got a phone call saying your son missed another
orthodontist appointment.

9. Every blasted room in your house is an obstacle course and can only be navigated by following a little trail.

10. You can’t find your car keys for the third time in a week, and have to stay at home anyway so why not clean it up.

and that's what I'm doing today.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Don't mess with Leprechauns...

Or they might mess with you...

I don’t know how I offended the wee folks but this St. Patrick’s day they were full of more mischievous mischief than normal for our home. Poor Hope got the brunt of their tricks.
Starting Sunday night while I was gone to my older son's choir Easter devotional, the wee folks temporarily cast a charm on Prince Erik so that he would forget to wake up Hope from her afternoon nap. Over three hours later at 7:30 p.m. they released the spell, Prince Erik came to his senses, but the damage was done. Hope wasn’t even remotely tired until midnight.
This of course came back to bite the little people and they became a wee bit cranky because they couldn’t collect their boxes when the moon’s light (through thick cloud layer and pelting rain) was brand new and brightest. Since they had to wait until after Hope went nighty-night they didn’t have the energy to leave a trail of leaves for the kids to follow. I don’t know how they managed to come at all because Hope got up several times during the night. She must be more sensitive to their soundless noise than I am. Regardless I was one cranky big person by morning.

My little ones were able to find the treasure regardless of the lack of trail. See Lea and Princess had no problem finding Princess's box.

And their goodies were stellar as always.

I still don’t know how the wee ones hefted up Evo-man’s box and hid it in the microwave. They must be packing some pretty magically powerful muscles and managed just the same.
But the mischief was just beginning...

They clogged my sink with food bits of leftover corned beef and cabbage.

They possessed Hope to decorate her body with Celtic scribbles.

They made my babysitter’s kids sick at the last minute so I had to take Hope with me to see my Young & Gorgeous counselor.

And get this while I was meeting with Y & G they decided to do the unthinkable and sabotage Hopes diaper so that she would leak all over the comfy couch. UGH!!!
Other than that they were very nice and I still love St. Patrick’s Day. However I need to do something to appease the little flaming wee folks so that next year they will dole out more good luck than bad.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Multi-task holiday

I’ve never met a mom who didn’t know how to multi-task. Even if they didn’t do it very well they still did it out of necessity. There are some things that I multi-task very well like being in 10 different places at the same time, wiping noses as well as other ends and throwing pirate puffs into the open mouths of my little kid’s yappers. Of course there are some things I absolutely fail at. I don’t multi-task cooking very well. Something is bound to burn when I try. Maybe that’s why my husband feels more comfortable in the kitchen. Honest truth - I have never been able to make a batch of cookies where I didn’t burn 2 out of 3 sheets, and that is even with a timer. I plead guilty by reason of distractions.

I have a total of 2 birthday and 2 holidays to pull off within 11 days. I might need to take another brain vacation soon but for now I’m holding it together, but just barely. I like it when Easter is in April instead of March because then I can do justice to both St. Patrick’s Day and Easter. When my holiday traditions overlap that’s where I don’t feel comfortable, and my multi-task button get’s a little frayed.

Usually one week before Easter we do this whole Palm Sunday Celebration, go on a nature walk and try and pick out things that remind us of the Easter Story (thorns for the crown of thorns, wood rails for the beams of a cross, Palm fronds. Etc.). Or we watch the movie The Ten Commandments to help my kids learn about the first Passover and why it was celebrated. This year we did - Pause for effect – None of that. Our only real activity is watching Abner and T-rev participate in a special Easter Musical Devotional. Love hearing youth choirs, especially when my sons are singing. Get the shivers and always get hormonal blubbery, but it’s worth it. I just have to remember not to wear mascara that will run, and ignore the embarrassed looks of my younger kids when I start squeaking.

The Leprechauns are coming tonight as well so I think tomorrow our Easter week will have to take a little break for some totally Irish jiggy-shindig. Look what I found in Target’s $1 bin.

My girls loved their little leprechaun socks. I couldn’t pay my boys enough to wear them so I didn’t get them any. Their loss, well not really because they didn’t have any this cute in larger sizes.

Yesterday after some mad spot cleaning we celebrated Evo-man’s birthday, with some of his friends.

I made some ooey gooey chocolate brownie cake with the mint filling that I mentioned before and everyone devoured it. However, I think most 12 year old boys will devour just about anything containing sugar. Then my husband took the kids to or local skating rink for Retro night (70’s & 80’s Disco plus). I kind of skipped the opportunity to go so I could stay home with Princess and Hope. There wasn’t quite enough room in our Tank with all the party guests. That and no matter how powerful my imagination is I can’t fake skating like I can fake dancing. So when they play the oldie but goodie song called, ‘Another One Bites the Dust,’ well lets just say that it wouldn’t be an understatement if they dedicated it to me.

My big highlight of the weekend was seeing Evo-man become a deacon. I can’t believe he’s that old. I about fell over when I realized that he was the same age that Abner and T-rev were when we had them start babysitting. I don’t think he will get the experience to babysit for a while yet, but it was still a shock.

Guess what he got for his birthday.

A light saber! See how happy he is about it. It isn't one of those Wal-Mart fall-apart type but the really cool ones that cost five times as much. T-rev had to go out the next day and buy his own. So all weekend the boys have been impromptu sword fighting. T-rev even brought his to the Easter Devotional but I made him leave it in the car. And I thought they would grow out of the whole sword fighting thing when they left grade school. I guess I thought wrong, but hey, it’s easy to think wrong when you have to multi-task and take care of a half dozen plus 1 kids, a dog, cat, and my imagination.

Now I’ve got to get them off to bed so the leprechauns can make an appearance.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Dancing In the Stars!

Usually my husband is the definition of techno-geek and I think he will be one of the first to admit that. But tonight he did something that is my definition of romance. I’m sure some guys would still call it geeky, but they are guys who aren’t willing to go out on a limb to make their sweetie’s feel special. He get’s bonus points because, crazy as it sounds, the whole thing was his idea.
What romantic move did he pull out of his bag of tricks? Dance lessons. Now mind you, this magic bag of tricks is getting a little small and doesn’t get that much use, but every now and then he can find some real magic and pull out just what I need. He signed us up for Ballroom dance lessons at our Saved-our-Bacon, in more ways than one, Pro Sports Club. So we will get two lessons this month and two next month.
Tonight we learned basics in the Foxtrot, Waltz, and Swing. I think Prince Erik and I had a little bit easier time than some of the other couples due to the fact that we took a similar class back when we were in college. And even though we figured that it was a smidgen under 20 years ago, those old moves seemed much easier to grasp the second time around.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all thumbs and left feet and as klutzy as they come. My feet grab carpet more than the normal person. But I’ve got a little bit of rhythm and more importantly, my soul can dance beautifully. I don’t know if my soul will ever get my body to follow along and look as good, but it still feels good to be in the arms of my Prince and bust a groove. I just remember not to look in the floor to ceiling mirrors surrounding the Studio where the classes are. I’m sure that would be humiliating, especially with our lack of fashion sense added in to boot. However, my imagination provides a much better and more graceful picture of how I feel we look while dancing.
So Dancing with the Stars, Eat your heart out! Because when I dance I’m Dancing in the Stars. Oh, how corny sounding can I get? I’d better go to bed soon before I embarrass myself. And thanks Prince Erik for a little magic every once in a while.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ups and Downs

Here are some of my ups and downs for today. I guess it's good that there is opposition in all things. That way we can really appreciate the great things that happen, no matter how little.

Up: Receiving a surprise St. Patrick’s Day package from Trenadoll.

Thanks, I think I’ll wear the shirt every other day until the 17th. That will give me at least evey one day in between to throw it in the wash. Makes me want to put on some Irish Dance Jiggy Music and start attacking that clutter monster again.

Down: Oh, that's right the clutter monster has made a roaring comeback during the later-end of February when the kid's creativity kicked into high gear. Also still craving my exiled novels but glad they're not in the house to distract me.

Up: Finding this amazing package of Ooey Gooey Chocolatey Chewy Brownie Mix that is almost 100% more healthy than any other brownie mix out there.

Just Substitute the 1/3 cup oil that it calls for with applesauce and you’ve got the perfect birthday treat for you kid to take to school. Less than 90 calories and less than 2 grams of fat per serving.

Which reminds me... Here is my first revised St. Patrick’s Day recipe and it involves the above mix. Make the brownies with applesauce of course in a 9 by 13 pan. Cool. Mix together 1 sm. container of plain yogurt, 1 sm. pkg. of sugar-free vanilla pudding, 1/2 cup of skim milk or plain soy milk, ½ tsp peppermint extract, 2 drops green food coloring. Smooth mint layer on top of brownies and chill in the fridge. Opt. If you want to add extra calories then slowly melt ¾ cup chocolate chips mixed with 3 TB butter. Spread chocolate mixture on top of chilled mint layer. Of course chill again.

Down: It costs over $6 buck-a-roo's a package. Drat it’s still chocolate and I still can’t have it. Double-Darn those tremors. At least I don’t feel too guilty giving it to my kids. Just a little expensive lick please.

Up: Bought tickets to an upcoming book signing by the author of the Twilight series.

Down: The book signing is over four hours from my home and I have to wait until May. I still can’t believe I did that-I know this means I'm officially insane.

Up: My son hit All-Star status (goal weight) at his 20/20 kids program. Ya-ho!!! He has done so awesome. The sports club even wants to feature him in their magazine. Look out Hollywood here he comes.

Down: Watching him pig out on carbs this evening and realizing that I can’t police his food. This has to be his choice. It’s still hard to not try and step in. Still hard to see my kids making my same mistakes.

Up: Getting ready for my Favorite Holiday’s St. Patrick’s Day and Easter. Today I pulled out my favorite Easter book that is chuck full of a week’s worth of Christ-centered Easter Activities for the whole family. Love it!

Down: My favorite Holidays are next week and I’ve still got a ton to do before they arrive. Wish me luck! On second thought, maybe the little people will bring some my way.

Up: All the kids in bed before 9:00 p.m.

Down: No they aren't, and it's after 10:00 p.m. and they still keep getting up. I guess I'd better go hog-tie them so they won't get up, and read them an ubber scary story about the haunted hallway. Kidding, of course, or maybe not.

Prayers for an Angel

Just a reminder to hug your children and tell them how much you love them. I finally got B.A.B. Priority mailed to my awesome Sister Sassy. It will be going to this sweet angel and her family. Here is Sadie's blog. Stop by and let her know there are people everywhere praying for her and her family. Thanks again to Susan for giving away her win.
And remember this Easter the greatest gift ever given. Our Savior's Atoning sacrifice. He knows exactly of the suffering experienced in this life and he alone can make those wounds bearable.
Yesterday, Sadie's baby sister's nine month old well child check revealed her blood test was super low on iron. She is also undergoing tests at Children's today. So please keep this whole family in your prayers and thoughts.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Inviting the Wee Folks In

How do you celebrate Easter without the Easter bunny? EASY – You just invite some little leprechauns over. Here goes me again with the whole anit-commercialism/pro-imagination stuff.

I love St. Patrick’s Day. Have since I was a kid myself. Don’t know why I loved it back then because I hadn’t yet met the gift bringing leprechauns. Maybe it’s the 1/100 of my blood that’s Irish? Could it have been having a very young Sean Connery melt my heart in the old corny Disney movie ‘Darby O’Gill and the Little People’? Maybe it could even be that it is one holiday that hasn’t been hijacked by commercialism. Whatever the reason, I’ve always like it. Fast forward to me being a mom with my own wee ones. I read a cute little article in Family Fun way back in the 1990-something- I think. It could have been the early 2000’s as my memory isn’t the keenest. I knew my boys (when I only had boys or maybe 1 baby girl) would dig it with the whole treasure hunt thingy-ma-bob. But being the insanely creative & crafty wanna-be that I am I decided that I would have them decorate the little wooden boxes from our local craft store instead of shoeboxes mentioned in the article.

I even had a dear friend that found some real 4 leaf clover shamrocks that we could sticker on to the outside of the box for extra luck.

That first year I think the leprechauns brought little gold-foil covered chocolate coin candy and some marbles. Our family has been hooked ever since. And I think that the Leprechauns spoil us a bit more now since they know we prefer them over the Easter Bunny any day. So much so that we don’t have the Easter Bunny visit our home in an attempt to really emphasize the religious importance of the holiday. So St. Patrick’s Day is our way of involving a little spring magic into the lives of our children.

Hopefully the leprechauns will still like me this year even though I’m not letting them bring in all the sugar that I’ve allowed before. Some of the things I have suggested that they bring are…
Real $ (Like maybe the new gold colored President $1 coins or the old Sacagawea one),
Real & Costume jewelry for girls and boys.
Mini toys and craft kits.
Marbles or smooth glass nuggets.
DS games.
I even found some plastick clover coins once.

And more, as long as I (I mean the leprechauns) can cram it into their little treasure boxes. Most of the stuff I (they) can find at the local $1 store and party supply outlet.

I can’t tell you how excited my kids get on the evening of the 16th to leave their boxes in the windowsill for the leprechauns to find and hide. Of course the moon’s magic can still make it through our ever constant cloud cover here and the wee people haven’t missed a year.

The leprechauns used to leave trails of confetti shamrocks along with dead-ends for my mini-munchkins to follow to find their boxes. But, with a half-dozen kids the confetti got to be a bit much. With my clutter talent I was still sweeping and vacuuming up clover in June and July. Now they might leave a confetti hint like ‘What a mess’ spelled out (which meant the boxes could probably be found in or nearby where assigned chores were located. Or maybe the wee folk were just commenting that our house is a mess. Or the word ‘Talent’, which meant that maybe these kids, ought to develop some but they could find their boxes next to what ever represents their talent. My favorite is the no-clue route because there is no shamrocks to clean up. We have had the boxes turn up in the bag of dog food, dryer, and microwave oven.

My favorite Leprechaun movie is still the corny ‘Darby O’Gill’, but we also watch the ‘Secret of Roan Inish’.

Favorite book is the children’s story by Teresa Bateman, ‘The Ring of Truth’.

Favorite Music, anything Celtic, Irish, or Celtic Woman, and Enya. I embarrass the ba-geebers out of my kids when I start fake Riverdanceing right along with the beat. At least I lost some pounds so the house won’t shake as much when I do. It’s great upbeat cleaning music as well.
As for the Corned Beef and Cabbage. We love having an Irish meal every 17th. I’m in the process of re-working some of my favorite recipes so that they are more figure friendly. Hopefully they will turn out. If they do then I’ll be sure and share them with you. I’ll be sure and share my favorite Easter traditions as well in the coming week.
Meanwhile I’ve got to attack my clutter again because I didn’t like it when the Leprechauns left the, ‘What a Mess’ message.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

B.A.B. Accountability Contest Winner & More

And the Winner is....... Susan!
Which means because Susan was feeling extra generous that she passed her win onto Sassy, who really doesn't want it for her munckins but is passing it on the her Friends Family who's daughter was just diagnosed with brain cancer.
I swear I was totally honest in how I had Hope pull out the winning name and I was secretly rooting for Sassy's to win because now I know that by giving up my addiction to her; I can also benefit this sweet little girl and her family. Susan, you can tell you kids what great and wonderful kiddo's they are for giving this B.A.B. win to a family that really needs any pick-me-up they can get right now. From what Sassy told me things really don't look to good for this little 5 year old right now. So keep her and her family in your prayers.

I would have taken pictures of the name drawing but Hope had banana in her scary hair and she had also stripped down to get ready for bed, and you could see the markers she had decided to paint her body with from earlier today evident all over. But you lucked out - I couldn't find the camera. Hum, I wonder if Abner and T-rev are secretly filming yet another stop-motion movie with it?
I'm proud to announce that for the first time in two weeks I haven't picked up any of the Twilight books for the past 26 hours. Of course it's because I had Prince Erik take them to his work and hide them from me. I wasn't strong enough to resist when they were in the house. But darn it if the author didn't post a chapter from the vampire's point of view on her website that I've read three times already. Ugh, with myself. I've never had a problem with Soaps, or romance novels of any kind whatsoever. I don't know why this series has sucked me up like it has.

In an effort to get my mind off it my sweet husband took me to see the movie Penelope last night. Cute, clean girly show. but then again it doesn't take much to impress me. If it's clean then I'm usually satisfied. We don't usually go out on dates that much. We'd love to, but it totally depends on the mood of our O.D.D. child. If he is feeling o.k. and happy then we might try. But before we have had to cancel at the last minute several dates because we didn't want the other kids to have to deal with his bad mood.
I'm not looking forward to trying to start getting my kids up an hour earlier tomorrow. It won't be fun. Thankfully our church doesn't start until in the afternoon. Whoever, suggested all this time change nonsense didn't have children like mine, or they wouldn't have dreamed of the whole spring forward idea. I think it's Ironic that they call it Spring Forward; it's more of a lathargic, drag yourself out of bed, after you've hit the snooze alarm for the 10th time.
I think my middle name is ramble, so anyway -- Congrates again to Susan and Sassy and Sassy's Friend.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Brain Vacations

I have a love/hate relationship with my imagination. I’ve been relying a little bit too heavily on it for the past couple of weeks and even had to bring it up with my young and gorgeous counselor when I last saw her. See the problem is that not only does my imagination supply me with a fairly consistent creative list of things to do and try, but it also, I think is the source of some of my biggest addictions.

I know, you are probably sick and tired of hearing about all the weird things I’m addicted too, Food, chocolate, de-cluttering, B.A.B, and most recently reading. How in the blazing’ bowling balls is imagination related to those you might be wondering? Well I finally figured that out with my Y & G Counselor’s help. It was one of those Ah-Ha, Wow, Bulls-eye, Light-Bulb, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding moments for me.

We figured out that I rely on my imaginary comforts when things get a bit stressful at home or with certain people. And when you’ve got a house of eight active and loud human beings, who wouldn’t want some inner peace and quiet every now and again? I have also never been a conflict/confronter type of a person. When things headed south for me as a kid, which was rarely, seeing as I came from a very functional family; I would escape to the world of my imagination. Heading south meant someone in the house was arguing or I would see neighbor’s go off to play with their friends but not me. I was, I think, a quiet kid and I never had a best friend until I met my husband. I had friends but not the close let’s-share-clothes and talk-on-the-phone-all-night-long type of friends. Let me clarify something; no I don’t share clothes and talk on the phone with my husband all night long. He’s better than that type of friend. So anyway, as a child, I made up some imaginary friends. Now most of these friends were created by someone else I just let my imagination borrow them for playtime. Like swinging through the huge willow tree with Tarzan or building a tree-house out back by the chicken coop with Fritz from Swiss Family Robinson, or creating a cardboard cockpit in my bedroom with Apollo from the original Battlestar Galactica, my friends all kept me company when I was a kid if it got lonely. And if they couldn’t play then I would pick up a Black Stallion book and forget everything and get lost in that world.

Fast Forward twenty plus a bit more years and I’m a much larger version of myself but something’s just don't change. I still don’t like conflict or confrontation. As a mom I can’t really walk away when things go south with my kid’s. I get to be the referee, the decoy, the lawyer, judge and jury, counselor and sometimes jailer. There isn’t really the opt-out option when the kids brawl. But when the crisis has passed and things calm down I really don’t want to think about what happened and that’s when I turn to my comfort zone. My problem is once I turn on my imagination world it’s really hard to turn off.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life, my family, my husband and even the rainy Northwest weather. But sometimes it’s great to focus on something that has nothing to do with any of the above. I call it my brain vacation. In the last month my brain has taken an extended vacation to a delicious place called Chocolateville, Build-A-Bear and most recently to the Twilight Zone. Well not the actual Twilight Zone but to the Twilight book series by Stephanie Meyers. I got sucked in after it was recommended by some family members, (THANK YOU VERY MUCH with a load of sarcasm). Darn-it if I didn’t read all three books within four days and if that wasn’t enough I enjoyed them (Very GUILTILY, I might add) so much, I did what? Insanely I re-read them all again. Now come-on!!!, there is something definitely wrong with a sleep-deprived, do-it-all, mom of a crazy half dozen, who would rather stay up until 2 a.m. to re-read something she just read less than a week ago rather than re-charge. Not only was I reading the series but I was taking mental notes of trying to take a field-trip to my backyard of Forks, WA, and La Push’s First Beach to visit locations mentioned in the book. So label me hopeless and pathetic with a Capital P.

Thank goodness I held onto my Young & Gorgeous counselor even after my 20/20 weight loss program had ended. She always makes me feel great about myself. After I tell her about my O.D.D. child and everything going on in my life she thinks I could definitely benefit from some needed brain vacations. Wa-hoo! However she is making me schedule them so they don’t get in the way of self-care: sleep, exercise, you know the basics and of course, eating right (Sigh, I guess that means no more visit’s to tremor inducing Chocolateville).
I’m doing a lot better with avoiding Chocolate and I haven’t been to B.A.B. in almost two weeks and if you haven’t entered my B.A.B contest please scroll down and help me avoid that place. I think I might make my husband take the Twilight books to work and get me the Book on CD so that I can only take a brain vacation while driving my kids to and fro. My, doesn’t that sound safe? Hopefully it won’t encourage me to drive more because I can’t afford too many trips to the gas station when it costs me $146 to fill up my Tank-mobile’s tank. Ugh!
Now I just need to figure out how to get my brain to stop advertising those appealing and welcome brain vacations while I’m on the job.
Hey and thanks for reading about Me and my insufferably long brain vacations.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Creativity = Clutter

So February is over and you know what? Believe it or not I’m a wee bit glad I can plug my kids into electronics occasionally. Our non-electronic-entertainment month was as always, an eye opener. Every year we do it we learn something new. This year, yes the kids benefited from many things like ah, more frequent human interaction (both harmonious and non-harmonious), more physical exercise time (wrestling with siblings, running, playing tag), Etc. But the biggest breakthrough this last month was creativity.
I’ve concluded one thing about creativity. It equates with clutter.
People have told me that I’m very creative. However my creativity is also a clutter problem for me. And guess what my kids have inherited this creative gene from me.
Over mid-winter break I came home from an afternoon of classes with my O.D.D. child and found that Abner and T-rev in my absence had made a quick trip to a local home improvement store to buy a couple large sheets of foam board. I headed into our home-school /library room and found our lesson table covered with a nightmare clutter filled landscape looking like a miniature war zone.
Here's T-rev working on his mini Coliseum.

The floor didn’t fare much better and was covered with thousands of static cling foam kernels that had been shaved off from the main project. Even though my eyes were assaulted with the mess I couldn’t help but be impressed with their imagination.
Abner explained that they were making a movie with little miniature pieces, and they only had a few measly days to complete it because they wanted to enter it in a contest. Wow, I was impressed that they were doing this on their own and I didn’t have to make lists of different things that they could do to keep themselves from being bored. Since it was a school break I allowed for mess. They locked themselves off from the rest of the family for probably a good three days and then they were done. I never saw the finished project until they posted it on U-tube. Abner was having trouble with his email so he used someone else’s address but they got it on within minutes of the deadline. I didn’t think too much of it until last night. My husband and I were upstairs and all of the sudden the house started vibrating and there were some strange noises coming from downstairs. I guess they were strange to me because Abner isn’t too vocal with his excitement normally. This time was the exception.
Yeah, we are proud parents. T-rev and Abner made a mini-movie and out of over 30 entries they won. Wa-hoo. Unfortunately winning means a prize. $500 dollars worth of mini-plastic figurines and accessories. Oh, thrill more clutter. I can always hope they might want to turn around and sell the stuff on E-bay, if not then we will have to negotiate the clutter rule of more-out-than-in and see what they are willing to get rid of before they acquire their award haul.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

B.A.B. Accountability Contest

Want to help me overcome one of my addictions. PLEASE! Then enter for your chance to win $70 worth of Free Build-A-Bear Stuff. I have a $60 Gift Certificate and a $10 off coupon that I'm willing to give away in order to keep me honest. I really have no more room in my girls room for more clothes or pets, and I'd be too tempted to use them if I even venture within 10 miles of the B.A.B. store. So if you're Trenadoll, who is disgusted by the cost - Think of taking your Twiggy, Girly-Girl and Little Man there just for the experiance and it's all free. They would worship you for life. Or if your Arrow's Wife on a tight college budget this would be a great way for fun kids birthday presents. And DaringMom, aren't you all about overcoming consumer motivation - can I tempt you with a store I don't think Magoo will slobber on everything. Am I mean or what - trying to give away my addiction by tempting others with the experiance?
Anyway, leave a comment on this post and on Saturday March 8th I'll let one of my munchkins pick a random winner, out of this finely decorated B.A.B house.
See how creative my kids got with their time last month. It will be this house's last hurrah, before being sent to the recycling retirement home for B.A.B. Houses. Please, please help me so I don't tempt myself again. Your odd's of winning are pretty good since I'm not an ubber famous blogger with a gazillion hits a day - Yet.