Tuesday, April 29, 2008
She then proceeded to tell us how huge this mouse was and that it had an extra long tale. Hum, this doesn't quite sound like the little mice I grew up with. I then asked her to show me how big this mouse was. She proceeded to widen her hands to about a foot apart.
UGH! It was a RAT!
According to Lea, the Rat ran across the food storage jumped on top of the freezer, scaled the shelves and disappeared into the insulated duct in the ceiling. The evil thing has tunnels in our walls. I don't think I'll be able to sleep tonight.
Needless to say there is no way that Spooky will ever take on a critter as big as she is so I guess it's time to call the rodent exterminators. That and find out how much $ damage the pesky four legged menace and company has caused.
I'm now ultra sensitive to every little sound and movement in my peripheral vision and I've been jumpy all morning. Yuck, Yuck, and double Yuck!
It seems uninvited little creatures always happen to come calling at the same time we have company coming. A few years ago Spooky picked up fleas from the vets and spread them all over the house. Of course we didn’t notice them till Grandma and Co. had arrived and we were all itching our ankles like crazy. Fleas I can deal with, just a good cleaning and a couple of toxic spray cans. Very affordable. Rats however, Ugh, I don’t even want to think of what this mess is going to cost to clean up.
That and I just don’t know whether to tell the cousins or not.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Abner took care of the 3 girls at home for us and we dragged T-rev and Evo-man along for the ride.
Up bright and early before dawn so we could drive and make the Anacortes ferry ride to Lopez Island in the San Juans. Misty mornings are so pretty in the Northwest if your up in time to see them.
If you’ve never been to the San Juan Island’s in WA then you should add it to your list of places to visit. Beautiful!!!
Ferry rides are always fun the first few times you ride them. Here’s my friend Smiley and her family enjoying their second ferry ride. Can I mention that I'm jealous of the zoom lens.
They lucked out and drove on. Most of the bikers on the ferry walked on, including our family.
And Evo-man caught his Z's on the ride home.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Well it finally happened… our family got photographed for a magazine article on success stories for losing weight and living healthy. The thing is I don’t know if the pictures will be a success. I can always hope that after 45 minutes of an active shoot there will be at least one print-worthy shot.
Why the pessimism? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I scheduled way to much to do yesterday. Everything I did was rushed and some of it was out of the ordinary too.
When we filled out the questionnaire on family activities that we liked to do I tried to think of the things that Evo-man especially enjoyed doing. We didn’t suggest swimming because there’s no way on earth that I would allow a picture of me in a swimsuit issue, so we ended up saying that we liked to bike, run, and roller skate/blade as a family. I guess they have too many pictures of people running and biking so they replied that they thought the roller skating pictures would be perfect, and maybe some Frisbee stuff too.
Drat! I was hoping they wouldn’t pick that one. See I only mentioned it because it’s something the boys and Lea are good at. You put me in skates and they might as well make the song, ‘Another one bites the dust’, my theme. So the half of the family that aren’t klutzes already had their own skates. The ones of us that are gracefully challenged don’t. So I scrounged up a couple of extra pairs, from friends, so we all could participate.
The weatherman promised 50 degree’s and partly cloudy. Well he lied! It had to have been in the low 40’s or even 30’s with some continuous frigid Alaskan monster wind playing havoc with my hastily groomed hair. So much for the time I spent trying to make it look cute. I did make the super-human effort to wear a little make-up. Of course I had to hide the 5 new zits that had decided to make their appearance on a shoot day of all days. Adult acne stinks! Doesn’t it always work out that way?
Here’s the kicker – you know all about our fashion disasters. Well it was my turn- again. I had everyone’s clothes ready to go but mine. I was all prepared to wear these cute little Capri black pants with a darling mint and white stripe down the sides with a brand new mint colored tee on top. I even washed the pants last night so they would be ready to go, and set them aside so I wouldn’t forget them. I knew that if I had to wear my lavender jacket, because of the cold, it would still look o.k.
And the first mental lapse occurred at just the wrong time. Silly me forgot where I set aside my pants, and I was running late. So I throw on option two which was another pair of Capri pants in a kacki color with a salmon colored tee. Not too bad to look at but didn’t really go with the lavender jacket. That’s o.k. I thought, ‘I’ll just take the jacket off when we get to the park to meet the photographer.’ Once we got to the shoot location do you think I remembered to take off the jacket? Mental lapse #2 – Nope - I think the freezing wind drove the thought out of my head. So now when they look at the picture proofs they are going to wonder…
‘Who dressed that lady?
‘Is she color blind?’
I can only hope that with eight differently hued bodies in the same picture it won’t stand out as much.
Due to the monster cold wind we only tried a couple minutes of frisbee pictures, before the photographer mentioned that he thought now would be a great time to put on the skates. So I quickly handed out the skates to everyone in the family. Of course I put mine on last. The pair I borrowed for me had to be a couple of sizes small but I wedged my little tootsies in them nonetheless. It’s really hard to smile when you’re trying to constantly suck in your gut and you’re in pain.
Princess, who is scared of everything (including skating), then decided that a look of sheer panic would be the expression glued to her face for the remainder of her time in skates. It didn’t matter that someone always held her hand. So I’m not expecting any picture she posed for to actually represent her cute bubbly self.
And Hope, well she loved it but is still new at skating and was kind of an inchworm, so our progress was super slow. Good thing she is still in diapers too because she needed the extra cushion for her little slips. Hopefully it will look like we are moving in the picture instead of inching forward. I guess the wind was good for adding motion because our hair was flying. Maybe with hair flying everywhere it will give the illusion of moving.
The good thing is everyone, except Princess and the occasionally grimacing me, was having a blast and natural mile-wide grins were everywhere. So cross your fingers and hope they got a couple of pictures that look o.k. Of course I’ll post my favorite when they let us have copies.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Being without my cyber friends and family has sent me into major grumpy mode. I found myself checking the computer 10 to 15 times a day hoping they had fixed the problem; all this while knowing that the only time they would be working on it was overnight. Pathetic! A full grown lady sitting staring at a blank computer screen is not a good thing. And I found myself spacing off several times willing the computer to suddenly fix itself.
I have a hard time remembering how anyone survived before the internet, emails and blogs came along. Oh yes, there was the phone, backyard fence, clothesline or parking lot of the local post office where people would meet to discuss the latest gossip. And I guess they got their news from the radio or newspaper. But still, most of that would require actually getting up off a chair and moving.
So I guess this was my wake-up to how dependant I’ve been lately about spending time in front of the interactive box. I guess it wouldn’t hurt to actually pick up the phone, or send a real letter every now and then. But the computer is so much faster and faster is good when you are busy with a large family.
Still was a nice wake up call on my dependence on computers. I guess now I just need to add email, and the internet to my growing list of addictions.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Nothing like virgin pina colada's on a cold day. Brrrrr!
Thursday, April 17, 2008
What better way to tempt fate in a muddy tulip field than to dress the girls all in white. Hummm?
To my surprise the only one to stay spot free was Hope.
The only downside to visiting the Tulips is coming home and seeing all your weeds. At least Hope still looks cute.
Can I tell you that I was really happy with how it turned out?
Nice and Noticeable.
The kids are now all sketching out different fairy door designs because they all want one too. I promise the next time I make one I’ll take pictures and provide step-by-step instructions on how to do it –and even how to include kids in helping so they feel like they were a part of the process.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
He told me he was a little uncomfortable because everyone addressing the Dalai Lama said, ‘Your Holiness.’ It was a good chance for me to explain that while we don’t have to agree with certain aspects of other religions, it is wonderful to show respect and acknowledge others with compassion and realize just how much good they are doing. God loves all his children on this earth.
So the whole Mission of the conference was to nurture kindness and compassion in the world, starting with children and all who touch their lives. Evo-Man brought home a tee-shirt that mentioned the Three R’s, Respect for Self, Respect for Others, and Responsibility for Ones Own Actions.
Now, any way I can get these messages to sink into Evo-man is good. What a neat experience he had.
So last night we were having a little Family Council, Sometimes we call it, ‘The War Council,’ or ‘Family Fight Night,’ just because discussing family issues isn’t always the funnest thing to do. But our subject was a light one… ‘What are some of the activities that we can do as a family that you guy’s would enjoy?’ How hard of a topic is that? I also mentioned that it would be nice to try and mention the things you want to do but it wasn’t appropriate to tear down other people’s suggestions. Once we started it was clear that Evo-man’s O.D.D. was in full bloom. I couldn’t say a thing without super negative feedback, ‘That’s not fun… that’s really stupid… I don’t want to do that… and so on. I wanted to rip his Dalai Lama shirt off and shove it in his face. Of course since that would be un-motherly of me, I refrained.
Our counselors have mentioned that reacting with anger is absolutely the wrong thing to do when things go south. I don’t know too many ‘Seeds of Compassion’ that are angry seeds. But it is really hard not to get emotional. So, instead of losing it and destroying the discussion I simply walked out, hopped in the car and drove to the local supermarket to get some WW ice cream treats. By the time I got back home Evo-Man was all apologetic and had to give me a hug. The rest of the evening went well.
So I learned that I need to work harder at cultivating seeds of compassion with my kids. I immediately thought back to the little lesson I was trying to teach him earlier about tolerance. I’m glad I didn’t give into my natural reaction to lose it, however I need to make a greater effort to acknowledge the good things that my kids do, and praise them for it. Too often I’m all about correcting the mistakes they make, and that isn’t really compassion.
“The more we care for the happiness of others the greater our own sense of well-being becomes.” Dalai Lama
Saturday, April 12, 2008
This morning he made an extra effort to get up early to pump up my tires, adjust my chain and add a cadence/mileage counter to my bikes frame. Good as new, I had no choice but to join some of my awesome 20/20 Biker-babe girlfriends on a little ride. Twenty miles later, and a little ice I decided that I need some serious hind-end, bike seat breaking in to do before I attempt a 31 miler San Juan Bike tour in 2 weeks.
It was the perfect day however. Perfect for me is high 60’s and low 70 degree weather and I got just that. The bright glowing orb in the sky didn’t even bother me because I had on some snazzy sport sunglasses. And if the weather wasn’t perfect enough the route we took was beautiful. Want to enjoy some scenery? Hop on a bike. How’s this for a blind shot? You try riding a bike on a road with hardly no shoulder while taking a picture over your head.
This was a rarity however, usually I was the tail end of our threesome and my view was more often than not of my friends off in the distance ahead of me.
But they were kind enough not to let me know that I was slowing them down. So I get home and TaDa, Jell-O Legs set in and I was basically a useless bag of moan.
So Prince Erik came to the rescue again and loaded up the girls in the car and told me to go have fun with them and not worry about the house. So off we went, to buy some of that glowing orb in the sky diffuser that you can put over your eyes.
They come in very handy when said burning ball of gas makes an appearance after especially long periods of rain and clouds.
And they make impromptu head bands too.
I have to embarrassingly include a kitchen clutter picture someone took of my kitchen.
Hope it doesn’t send you to therapy. Because this is what Prince Erik did with his time at home while we girls were out playing?
Not bad for a guy. More than a guy, I lucked out because only a prince would clean clutter like that - without being asked. You can actually see the cabinets and the floor too.
I don’t know when I’ll be able to grace you, I mean terrorize you with more pictures because tonight Lea was trying to do some sneaky photography and ended up running around a corner with the camera the same time that Evo-man was coming around the same corner from a different direction. The camera then came in contact with a couple of hard heads and promptly broke the lens. UGH!!! Of course Lea was devastated as was I. So now the only camera (with broken flash) I have is the one that can take pictures outside during the daytime.
Until then I'll just let your imagination take over, and hope my San Juan Bike ride isn't too cloudy for pic's.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
It’s the day we celebrate Christ’s birth. I know you’re probably thinking, ‘What, we thought that’s what happened in December around Christmas time. Well we celebrate it then too. But our family has a special April the 6th tradition that started in the year 2000.
Why April the 6th? Most Biblical scholars agree on the fact that December the 25th is not the actual date of Christ’s birth, even though it is that date most of the world celebrates it. I did some Google searching and found there are a wide variety of dates, with varying reasons that many different people believe are it. One of the more interesting ones is September 11th. However, myself and the members of my church believe the date is April the 6th, 1. B.C. The date is also of interest because it was the date that our church was organized.
On April the 6th of the year 2000, I participated in a special temple dedication service that was broadcast around the world for our church. The significance of the date had me thinking hard all day about my testimony of the Savior. It was an especially quiet day for me, which doesn’t happen very often, but which is great for thinking. I reflected back on the events of Dec – Jan 1, 2000 and how I had watched the news casts showing the whole world celebrating the end of a thousand years and the beginning of a new millennium. Parties with elaborate firework displays dazzled all who saw as countries vied for the best show. Parades celebrated something wonderful and momentous. Everywhere, Huge Celebration.
I couldn’t help but compare it to that day on April the 6th, 2000 which to me was so much more significant and meaningful knowing that the Savior’s true birthday was mostly forgotten by the billions of people his life had touched. Granted most of the Christian world celebrates his birthday on another date and don’t share the significance of the date with me. Still the silence bothered me and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
There was no celebration, party, anything. That evening I was watching the evening news of a very quiet and slow day and something touched me significantly. One of those things that make you go, ‘WOW,’ and send shivers all over your body. In a quick, blink and you almost miss it news blurb, they mentioned something was happening that doesn’t happen very often. The planets in our solar system aligned. I don’t know how often this happens – but it can’t be that often. So there it was, my special moment when I realized that even though the world was largely silent the heavens were paying homage to the Savior.
Starting that night I quickly pulled together a meal that represented to me the Life of Christ so that I could share my thoughts about the Savior with my children.
I based the meal on foods mentioned in the scriptures. Since then I’ve added various dishes, to make it more authentic. Replaced the Swedish Candy Fish with real fish (kind of, if you count fish sticks), and tried to make even how we ate the meal more traditional. So I’ll share with you some of the different things we do. You can have this meal at Easter or Christmas time and it would fit right in as well.
Bread and Fish - Matthew 14:15-20 - Miracle of the 5 loaves and bread and 2 fishes
Water to Wine (If you’re LDS – grape juice) - John 2:7-11 - Miracle of the Water to Wine
Water - John 4:6-15 - Jesus at the well , Living Water
Figs - Luke 21:29-31 – Parable of the Fig Tree
Honey - Matthew 3:4 - John the Baptist
Others: Chicken - Matthew 23:37, Corn - Matthew 12:1, Mustard - Matthew 13:31, Wheat (Couscous) - Matthew 3:12 or Matthew 13:25, Grapes - Revelations 14:18.
Other foods mentioned in the scriptures, butter, salt, olive oil, lamb.
More foods eaten during the time of Jesus from that part of the world: Barley, Rye, Millet, Sesame seeds, Dates, Pomegranates, Cantaloupe, Lentils, Peas, Beans, Garlic, Onions, Leeks, Carrots, Cucumbers, Greens, Fish(those with scales and fins), Beef, Eggs, Milk, Butter, Cheese, Yogurt, Nuts, Dill, Cumin, Coriander, Mint, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Saffron, Anise, Parsley.
There are also the foods from the Passover: Unleavened Bread, Haroset, Beitzah, Maror, and Zeroa.
We eat this meal on the floor without utensils. Over the years I’ve collected a boxful of wooden bowls and baskets, a stone pitcher and mugs and linen napkins that we can use for our special dinner. The kids love eating by candlelight as well. I've even gone to the extreme and wood-burned scriptures onto some of the wooden serving spoon handles.
We used to dress up in Nativity clothes but the older boys kind of out-grew that part of the tradition. I even calligraphied a scroll explaining the event and our reasons for celebrating it. Each year we re-read the scroll and remember why and what it is we are celebrating.
How do you Like Abner's food warming source?
During dinner we talk about the moments of Jesus’ life as we pass the corresponding food around our little blanket. After dinner we give one gift to the Savior. The Gift: Everyone writes on a piece of paper one thing that they will do over the next year to draw closer to him. We then save those papers to read the following year when we have the dinner.
It’s our special birthday dinner and my favorite of the year. I grow more touched every year as I see how it affects the kids. They love it too.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
For instance, I took much longer to fall asleep last night due to the fact that our bathroom scale finally broke. Who loses sleep over a bathroom scale? Me, that’s who. Maybe, I should explain?
You see, my scale and I go back a little over a year. It has been super dependable and would even save the weight for me so that I could see the progress. 5, 10, 25, 50, 60 plus, It’s all there. And it was rather accurate, and kept within 1 lb. of the scales at Pro Club. Can you start to see the attraction? If I get rid of it, well, that would be equivalent to painting over the children’s height milestones marks on the wall.
I had been so afraid of the weight creeping back on once I finished the 20/20 program that I visited ‘The Scale’ every day, sometimes twice a day. Enjoying the fact that I always weighed around two pounds less in the morning, than in the evening. Why is that? Go to bed, wake up and you’ve lost two pounds. Maybe I should sleep all the time. I’d hit goal weight a lot faster.
So regardless of the frequency, (maybe a compulsive disorder would be a more accurate description) visiting The Scale helped keep me accountable with myself. And I need (with a passion) to be accountable on the big dreams that I have.
So yesterday when Prince Erik excitedly called me into the bathroom to see his new weight low – I grudgingly went. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited that he has done so well and hit goal, but every time he checks in it reminds me that I’m not where I want to be yet. He was excited because he had hit a new low and wanted me to see. But when he stepped on in front of me all of the sudden he was five pounds over. We tried getting on the scale several times with wildly different results. Needless to say, his excitement rapidly faded as he and I both realized that our accountability friend had flown the coup.
I couldn’t stop thinking about the scale all day long. Worried that the weight clutter was creeping back in every minute that I stayed in the kitchen.
The good thing is that I meal tracked yesterday. I’ve been trying to for weeks but with one check point out of action, I needed something to keep me honest with myself.
I can’t replace the scale anytime soon. Because I wouldn’t want to settle for anything less than what we had, which wasn’t cheap. I guess if I was to see the sweet part of the whole ordeal, then I could imagine myself going to the gym more often to weigh in there. And maybe while I was at the gym I could actually workout.
So that’s my sad little focus. Have a great day. Now I’m off to mourn Charlton Heston, and see my clutter.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Somehow my blog decided to throw a temper tantrum and put all of my side info at the bottom of the screen on the outside of the layout. More likely I did it, but I've yet to remember my mis-step. Seeing that I'm not computer savvy guru like my husband, it may take me a while to figure out. So if you see things are a bit out of wack - I apologize. Just realize that it is an actual representation of my daily life. Something is always a little helter-skelter!
Now where did I put that brain of mine again. Maybe it is true and I don't have one. Here are the facts that point to the demise of my grey matter.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
So here is what I’ve noticed. Normally I see this when I look out my front window. I know – not fun – a bunch of weeds, a lot of work.
But if I take a little extra time to notice the small things… WoW the Sun actually came out of hiding. Well, I guess that isn't a small thing it's a big thing, especially here in the NorthWest. And here I am talking about small things. How's this for noticing a little bit of sunshine poking out of a pile of weeds.
And even though I loath weeds I couldn't help but notice my girls precious flowers as well. Of course I like them even better when my little wee ones hand them to me after they are picked.
I know you might be wondering about the simple joy I find in this picture. Well it's the simple little For Sale sign still on my husbands Pride and Joy.
That and seeing my little ones having fun with their Dad even on dry ground, Pure Joy!
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
So I tried the whole April Fools on Evo-man when I went to wake him up. Usually waking him up is a very time and labor intensive activity.
‘Evo, Hurry and get up we need to leave for CA.’
‘Wha, What?’, his eye’s popped open, and he groggily sat up. Usually it takes 10 minutes to get him to the sitting up stage so I was pleased with the quick progress.
In the next room Prince Erik was caught off guard, being half asleep as well. ‘Huh, what is happening?’
I quickly said April Fools and Evo-man was immediately depressed until I suggested that he could tell me about the spider in my hair or the dent in the car later on and blame it on April Fools. This seemed to perk him up a little.
Princess had overheard the conversation and then regaled me for the rest of the day with, ‘Mom, Lea wants you,’ followed immediately with a smirk and, ‘April Fools.’ Or, ‘There’s a monster behind you – April Fools.’
Now I’m off to make meatloaf cupcakes with mashed potato frosting for my kid’s dinner, and grilled pound cake with cheese colored frosting sandwiches for dessert. I'm sure I won't fool the kids in the least but at least I tried.