Saturday, May 31, 2008

Photo Meme Tag

What is a 'meme', anyway? I was tagged and since I have a camera and it was a little bit different I though I would go ahead and try to comply. So here it goes.

#1. Kitchen Sink

I don't feel too bad. Believe it or not less than two hours before I took this picture it was fly lady sparkly.

#2. Inside the Fridge - Kind of makes you lose your appetite.

#3. Favorite Shoes

Got these last summer after I lost a boatload of weight. My sister's Trenadoll, Sassy and Lyric came to visit and talked me into my first pair of heels in 18 years. I love em.

#4. The Closet

You'll have to use your imagination. I couldn't get into my closet it was so full of stuff.

#5. Laundry Pile

I'm about to make all of you readers feel a little bit better. I haven't been home much this week so here is the mountain of laundry I still need to do.

And here is a totally different mountain of laundry that needs to be folded, hung and put away. I feel it's going to be a long evening.

#6. What the kids are doing right now....

Hope is trying to scare the neighbors again with both of her favorite pastimes. Stripping and trying to make a jail break from her home prison.

Princess is climbing on Dad's Pride and Joy. A potential buyer actually came to look at the boat today much to Prince Erik's dismay. I think Princess wants to get as much boat time as possible while we still have it.

Lea's trying out the new Wii Fit Game we got. I have to admit it's quite the workout. Well it at least looks like it is with the rest of the family. I haven't actually tried it... Yet.

Evo-man's having the Robo - Whatevers go at each other in a literal smack-down.

T-rev saw me with the camera and did a good job at not holding still and avoiding me. After 10 minutes I gave up. But he's warned... I'll be back when he's not paying attention. And Abner's at work so at least one of my kids is doing something profitable.

#7. Favorite Room - It's the only one I let visitor's in. The rest of the house is a barn. It's also the only room with something other than a hard kitchen chair to sit on.

#8. Toilet ??? Don't know why you would want to see a picture of this, but it was on the list. Good thing my flash is on the fritz, and the picture is a bit hazy. Believe me you wouldn't want to see a high-definition photo with three teenage boys in the house.

#9. Fantasy Vacation - Sorry I don't have a picture of my fantasy vacation, cause I haven't been there yet. My fantasy vacation would be Disneyland with the whole Family! (Yes, I know I'm nuts!), Samoa and Merida, Mexico with just my Prince.

#10. Self Portrait.
O.K. I know this is isn't the real me. See, I'm actually a very hot, gorgeous, and fit mama. This is a picture of my mental me. When the modeling agency returns my proofs I'll let you take a gander at what the real me looks like.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

My Lucky Day!

For some of my more avid blog readers I'm sure you know by now about my guilty obsession with the Twilight Series. Well, I finally lucked out! Two days ago I walked into a store that didn’t know that they were supposed to wait until Saturday to release the Special Edition of ‘Eclipse by Stephenie Meyers. So of course being the good citizen that I am I purchased a copy to keep it out of the hands of some ‘Spoiler’ blogger, out there who would ruin the fun for everyone else.

No I’m not going to spoil it for everyone. However I will give a couple of hints about the upcoming ‘Breaking Dawn’ Release.

Cover Picture: Pompa’s favorite game to play. Only Prince Erik’s family will get this clue.

Chapter 1: Title is another word for betrothed.

Sorry I really don’t want to break any laws so I won’t say any more. But….

Oh my honkin heart, ‘Breaking Dawn’s first chapter was such a good read I won’t embarrass you with how many times I had to re-read it. But it’s ubber-funny. The kind where you laugh so hard tears might smart the corners of your eyes. But that’s only if you are super obsessed like myself. I’m sure if you have never read any of the Twilight Series by Stephenie then you won’t understand half of what makes the written scenes so funny.

The book also includes two tee-shirt iron on transfers. One says ‘Team Jacob’ and the other says ‘Team Edward’. I think I’ll just put them both on the same shirt along with a line stating that I suffer from a split personality. O.K. to be honest I suffer from a few other things but we won't go into that for this post.
Needless to say it was an awesome pick-me-up to a rather hard-to-handle two weeks. Seems little breaks like this give me the boost I need to keep me going. I'm really starting to appreciate the little bonuses that I too often take for granted, a beautiful sunrise, sunbeams shooting through the layers of clouds, lilac's in full bloom, and the occasional 'thank you' from my munchkins.
So I'm off to tuck the kiddo's into bed then I'll put on my giddy-girl smile and re-read that chapter again.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Less than 24 hours later...

Yesterday I bought Hope a cute butterfly, flower decked white sandels. Don't ask me what I was thinking getting white. You would think I would know better by now. I was hoping it would match the little white eyelet dress she has.

Less than 24 hours later...

Hope found Abner's War Hammer painting supplies and was impressed at the speckling effect she could make with the can of black spray paint.

Regrettably the sandals were casualties of her creative efforts.

As was the floor.

We lucked out with the floor however, because it's nothing the magic eraser and a lot of elbow grease can't take care of. I shudder to think how things might have turned out if she had been on the carpet when she tried her latest experiment.
No, I don't make this stuff up. I'm too tired chasing a half dozen kids 24/7 to be creative enought to come up with all these wild creative urges.
Random thought: What in the blazes is elbow grease? Does anyone know the root of the term, and why it's related to hard work? I've never in my life known an elbow that produces grease.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Random Nuggets of Reality

I'd like to think these are musings but in reality they are random pop-ups in my already scattered brain.

1. You can take the dog off the farm but you can't take the farm out of the dog.

Here's itchy remembering the good ole days of chasing my brother Speedy around the farm. Hint Speedy - you really want Itchy back right?

2. The kids will generally avoid and ignore you until the phone or doorbell rings then they will absolutely regale you with the loudest, most chaotic ruckus your ears have heard all day.

3. They will also develop temporary and selective deafness which seems to only apply to sounds that come out of your mouth.

4. I have proven this theory. So I guess that means it isn’t a theory but a fact. Your husband will go about the day perfectly fine until you sit down at the computer to do something - then all of the sudden there is an emergency that needs your upmost help – right away! Hence, I get my best blogging in after he’s in bed. I pointed this out to him the other day and he had no idea that he does it so I think it’s a subconscious thing.

5. Go ahead and plan for the worst thing possible to happen with whatever the situation. Then no matter what, you’ll either be pleasantly surprised or prepared.

6. Homework will always be delayed until the last possible Second…

7. As will the dishes…

8. And the laundry.

9. Reading the scriptures will get you out of doing chores if your a kid.

10. When you suggest exercise to the kids they are not interested, but if you offer to take them to the Skating Palace – they are hopping up and down to go. I think next week we are going to offer some upper-body strength training in the form of canoeing.

11. Every time you are running late for a meeting the family tank mobile will be empty and in need of an emergency trip to the money-sucking gas pump.

12. When the kids, cat or husband decide to get sick and hurl – you can guarantee they will never make it to the bathroom, but will find the most inconvenient patch of wall, carpet, furniture, or vent duct, or parent on which to get sick upon.

13. Outside allergies hit you the hardest at the precise time you want to be out of doors doing yard work.

14. If there is an important piece of paper that you really need – you’ll never be able to find it until you are no longer in crisis-mode while looking for it.

15. No matter how early you intended to go to bed, you’ll probably fall into it exhausted a mere 2-3 hours later, after you folded laundry, reloaded the dishes and helped everyone with their homework.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

When things get tough...

When things get tough, and it seems like this has been an exceptionally tough week... I do this...

1. I run. Well it’s more like a slow-mo jog – and I’m not very good but running helps me think. I never listen to music because I’m constantly surrounded by noise. I run quiet and use that time to try and sort out what’s going on.

2. I pray & read scriptures. Of all the things that I can do, it’s the one thing that gives me the most Hope that no matter how dark the day is it won’t last and it will get better.

3. I get busy. It helps so that I don’t dwell on what isn’t working right and helps me be grateful for what is going o.k. That and the second I mention that I’m going to go weed the kids scatter so I know I’ll have some uninterrupted time. I took some of my aggression out on a corner flower bed this week.

O.K. I took a lot of aggression on it.

And once I was done with the weeding I got a great dream of what I’m going to turn it into.

I realized that it’s a reminder of the Home I grew up in.

The Lilac bush is actually from a start my younger brother and mom started for me from the lilac’s at our family farm. The farm was sold but I’ll have the bush as a reminder of where I grew up. This is the first year that I’ve gotten more than just a couple of flowers on it. Lilac’s are truly on of my favorites. The red rocks around the flag pole are also from the farm. They remind me of the rock hauling and rye pulling I did with my family in working in the wheat fields. And we had to have a flagpole, although it took me years to find one. My husband, for a while, had been in one scout calling or another for almost 16 years straight, and I’ve served a load in Cub Scouts in various positions. It’s in our blood.

With so many memories in that little plot of dirt I’ve decided to make it my little heritage garden and only put plants in it that remind me of my childhood and family. My next additions will be Shasta Daisy’s (my Mom’s wedding flower), Snapdragons (Because they surrounded Grandma Big Hearts home when I was little), and Tulips (To remember my Grandma Royal Farmgirl). I’m actually really excited to see how it turns out. But I’m already enjoying the memories.

4. I try to Love. Sometimes it’s hard to love a child who is bent on pushing every button ever created, but no matter how hard that love is, it’s still there. And if I seek for help from above sometimes I can get a glimpse of the divine love that our Heavenly Father has for each of us no matter how messed up we get.

I also try to show myself a little love, like doing something I really, really, want to do (Like Portland), or reading, or surrounding myself with awesome friends. And I try not to love myself with food because when I do that usually turns on me and backfires.

5. I keep chugging along. Sometimes the best thing to do is to keep going through the motions. Curling up in a ball never worked well for me. I may give myself a super tiny pity party excuse but it never lasts long.

It’s putting one foot in front of the other, even when you don’t feel like it, that will get you to your desired destination.

How do you get through your dark times?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Housewife turned Twilight Obsessed

My trip down to meet Stephenie Meyers on Tuesday wasn’t going to happen, and I had come to depressing grips with it. I even went so far as to offer my tickets to some of my friends because I was having a little crisis with one of my kids. Then it turns out that the kid crisis got postponed for another day and I suddenly had a free afternoon in which to go.

My travel partner changed from Prince Erik, to the super willing T-Rev (who’d have thunk he was a vampire/werewolf fan), to kind of but not really interested Evo-man, and finally to Rkimedes.

Erik begged Rkimedes to go with me saying that he needed a vacation. I think she replied to the fact that he had just came back from a vacation in the San Juans.

'Well, yeah, but I need a vacation from my mental wife.' he replied. So Rkimedes agreed to accompany me to Portland.

I went to Prince Erik’s royal work station to drop off Evo-man and pick up Rkimedes to begin a very long adventure. I was a little worried that I would get too tired to drive since I hadn’t gotten more than 4-5 hours of sleep on Monday night. Thankfully Rkimedes was able to provide enough sparkly and thought provoking dialogue to keep me going. It is so weird to actually talk to another adult for any length of time. I’m so used to the babble of princess talk or game system talk, so it was a welcome refresher.

Right as we got to Portland the wires pulled out of my GPS system and left us in the dark as to how to arrive at our destination. Yes we had an address but we were clueless as to which direction to take. Fortunately Rkimedes pulled down the instructions from her cell phone and we were soon back on track. We then noticed that her cell phone batteries wouldn’t last much longer so we verbally read the directions and tried to memorize them before we were left in the technological darkness again. And we were about 3 turns from our final destination the cell phone gave up the ghost. Luckily our fried brains retained enough of the vital information to get us the rest of the way there.

Since my cell phone was blinking a battery warning we ran into Fred Meyer and bought a charger. Nothing like not having an emergency communication device with you when you have a 4 hour drive looming on the distant horizon.

It was about 6:05 p.m. when we noticed that the Marquee with Stephenie’s name on it had the start time of 6:00 p.m. even though our ticket said 7.

So we quickly scooted to the end of a two block long line. I was misinformed into thinking that we had reserved seat numbers. Nope – first come – first serve. I think we were in the mid-400’s out of a little over 500 people allowed into the theater. So much for buying my ticket on day one and arriving 50 minutes early. The wait never seemed too long and my excitement was mounting as we ran into more and more giggly, bouncing middle-aged women. Prince Erik missed out!

As soon as we were in the theater and got our signed copies of ‘The Host’ I immediately spied a familiar face – could that be the actor Solomon Trimble who will be playing Sam Uley in the upcoming ‘Twilight Movie.’ Oh, my Honkin Heart’, No I didn’t scream even though my thoughts were. Poor Rkimedes graciously took our picture. There were about 5 people ahead of us in line and 20 behind.

I told him I was very appreciative for him to go out of his way to deal with a bunch of crazy ladies. He gave me a big smile and (be still my pounding heart) put his arm around me. ‘Sigh, float, look like a stupid idiot, whatever you do when you’re on cloud nine. He was really sweet and I tried super hard not to be the giggly groupie.

We sat next to a Grandmother from SLC, and her daughter and her daughter’s teenage daughter who introduced them all to the twilight books and gave them all a common subject to talk about. It was a sweet trio and I had to fill them in on all my Twilight browsing expertise about the film, books, whatever they asked.

Even though we were in the 400’s we were able to get our books signed in less than 2 hours.
All too soon we were there. Stephenie Meyers’s hand was a beautiful blur. She must have some vampire speed blood in that hand of hers. She was kind enough to make eye contact and thank us by name for coming. Then it was over, well the signing was at least. We had dinner at a nearby cafĂ©/pub and were pulling out of Portland around 10:00 with my GPS plugged back in.

I found our drive home to be even quicker and easier than our drive down, except for the two exits that I almost missed while being euphorically tired. It would be wise to apologize to Rkimedes about the crazy driving there at the end. And I think she is a Saint for putting up with me and my bouncing kid-like giddiness for the entire afternoon and evening. That and supplying, like I said, wonderful conversation.

So, I’m proud to introduce my complete collection of the Stephenie Meyer’s autographed library. Wahoo!!!

If I would have had the time I would have made this tee-shirt to wear it would have said this – with a cool logo and font

Front of shirt.

I got my
Mythological Beings Association

Through The Stephenie Meyer Academic Library

Back of shirt

Courses completed...
X Vampires
X Werewolves
X Alien Invaders
__ Obsessed (but still functioning) Housewife

And if Trevor would have gone with me his shirt would have said.

And still worth loving.
Since we were in the balcony section of the theater I was not able to video the question and answer portion with Stephenie so if someone else does I'll link it here.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

My children are Doomed!

My children are Doomed, Doomed I say. They have no hope! What with their Dad's genetic's running through their veins and my klutziness. Heaven help them - cause they're gonna need it. I can't complain too much about their destructive tendencies because they learned everything they needed to know from me. The only difference is I don't do it intentionally.

I grew up in a home with no Barbie dolls - No one should be put through the torture of seeing her without clothes it might give you a body complex. Or at least that's how I was raised. Cover your eyes.

So I avoided the doll's as well, but my kids would get them as gifts. I eventually relented and even purchased a few Disney Princesses because my mom had taught me a nifty trick. Just piant a swimsuit on the doll that won't come off using, get this, Fingernail polish. I had to as soon as my boys started noticeing them and saying Ewwwwww, whenever the girls forgot to dress them.

So this morning I was attempting to give Jasmine a little top -

- and no, I would never wear that shade of green on my nails. I bought it purely for the doll. I've got quite the assortment of wild colors that match the different moods of my girls Barbies. Somehow I accidently knocking it off the night table onto my carpeted bedroom floor.

This is what you call two feet long PURE HORROR!!!
No magic eraser for carpets. This picture is taken after I downed two whole bottles of polish remover directly into the stain.

I guess we will never move now, or complain about my kids messes. Mine are much more expensive. Remember the hole in the wall. Well it's time to re-arrange my bedroom furniture.
From now on, I'm painting outside!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Boating with Dad

Prince Erik took his Pride and Joy (Boat) up to the San Juans this past week ...

to help out with Evo-man's school. They were camping on a private island that didn't have ferry service.

On Friday I embarked on an all day adventure taking Lea, Princess, and Hope up to meet him and pick Evo-man up.

It was Princess and Hope's first ferry ride and they couldn't sit still.
It seemed like we went from sitting and looking out the window to running all over it to see the view from in front, then in back. In the end they were pretty tired.
So I dropped them off with Dad and came home with Evo-man's school.

As much as I don't like the boat for obvious upkeep, storage, cleaning and monetary reasons (believe me I could go on and on), the one and only thing I do love about it is the adventures the kids get to share with their Dad. Since our family is so large we don't stay over-night on it all together but we will break up the kids and let them all have different turns. How's that for some quality time with Dad.

Prince Erik took them to Jones Island...
which is a state park and also not accessed by the Ferry System. So you get a State Park all to yourself with local deer, bald eagles, otter's, sealions, and various other wildlife all to yourself.

He kept them there Friday night and they made for home today.
With little sun-kissed faces, grins a mile wide, a boat-load of Dad memories, and a bag full of shells and rocks for our fairy garden.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Host Winner Is...

Evo-man covered his eyes and pulled out of our one clean kitchen bowl a crude slip of paper – identical to all the other crude slips of paper, but for one word. And the winner of the personalized copy of Stephanie Meyer’s latest book is Susanne! I wish I had one to give to everyone who entered. That's the only bummer about contests. You can only make one person's day. Someday I'll find a contest that everyone can win.

I just finished reading a borrowed copy of the same book this very morning and I have to admit that it’s probably even a better written story than the Twilight series. I'm not obsessed about it like I am with the others, probably won't re-read it a gazillion times but it was a very engaging tale. It did take me a good hundred pages and a whole day to get to the point where I was so sucked into the story that I couldn’t put it down unless my eyelid’s hurt too much from the toothpicks propping them open. So it did take me a whole two days to read. It is not the girly-girl swoon-fest that Twilight books are, but it deals much better with seeing people overcome or understand prejudices, and discover what love means to them and what’s it worth.

And it's a Sci-fi that doesn't feel like a sci-fi. Don't know what that's worth? Maybe it means that it will appeal to both Sci-Fi people like my Trekkie Husband or non-Sci-Fi people like me.

Like I said before, it doesn’t take a whole lot to please me. Of the two books I’ve read recently, Twenty Wishes (Which I like the premise of, but not so much the delivery.) and The Host – I like ‘The Host’ ten times more.

So if you don’t already have your own copy, borrow one, check one out or better yet buy one.

They are out right now, but Stephanie Meyer’s often gives signed copies of her books to sell at her local and favorite bookstore in AZ. Here is their website. Changing Hands Bookstore. If you really want signed copies and are not willing to do the fanatical extreme like drive four hours and pay to be surrounded by a bunch of screaming ladies, (Poor Prince Erik) then you might want to keep checking back with them so see when they will have more signed copies available for sale.

Now I’m off to clean the house after my sewing and reading sit-in. I’ve got one more day until
P.E. gets back with his boat from the San Juan’s. I think I’ll start with the dirty dishes.

Who else has read ‘The Host’ and what do you think?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Return of the Dinosaur.

I'm attempting to post this from an old ancient computer in the back room of our home. I ended up loaning my husband my laptop since his was swiped earlier this week. Currently my little brain is with him in the San Juan's relaxing on 'THE BOAT', which leaves me the Dinosaur.

The sun came out today so I retreated to the shadow's of our home. Squinting gives me headaches and until it decides to shine for more than a couple of days it's hard to adjust to so much light.

So while inside I attacked the mountain of laundry that built up during the sewing episode of last weekend and I did some reading.

I couldn't wait to get my copy of 'The Host', by Stephenie Meyers at next weeks signing so I was graciously loaned a copy from a friend. I figure the best time to read is while Prince Erik is away. I'll then furiously clean the house Friday night before he comes home Saturday.

So just a reminder of my Free 'The Host' Giveaway. Contest ends tomorrow. Everyone who enters the contest will have a chance to win. Just add a comment to the above highlighted link.
I'll probably choose the winner tomorrow night after the munchkins are in bed which might not be until around 9:00 (If I'm crazy lucky). But I will post the winner before midnight just so I can keep my streak of A-Blog-A-Day-In-May going.

Wow! I think the fossil is actually going to let me complete this post. Yippee!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Books, Books, and More Books.

They're Everywhere.

Well I took advantage of Abner and had him watch the girlies so I could go off and spend my Mother’s Day Gift Certificate at Barnes and Nobel’s Bookstore. I love books and I have a whole room in my home full of them. How many homes today have library’s. Sure we have three boys in one room and three girls in another room and the Books get a room to themselves. Somehow this sounds way off.

So I end up getting a couple books to continue series that I’ve started with the kids and a couple of books for me to read.

I know I’m busy beyond reason but I still make time to fit book reading into any spare second I can find. Like when I’m waiting for kids at an extra-curricular activity. I suppose it would be good to interact with other parents but no – I’d rather visit la-la land.

Remember how I promised my Young and Gorgeous counselor that I wouldn’t read the Twilight series or listen to them in the house anymore. Well she gave me permission to suspend that promise while I was sewing boat cushions. I must admit that it did make it much more enjoyable while picking out seams sewn wrong. However the boat cushions are done and I’m determined to kick them out of the house again.

So I after all that work I thought I could indulge in an afternoon of reading without guilt. I deserved it. But as I sat down to read I decided instead of letting the house fall apart even further it would probably be more beneficial if I actually tidied up a bit first. So I’m back on the How-full-can-I-stuff-my-garbage-this-week plan. Then I’ll read.

As I walked out of the store today with my armload of books I started thinking about the 40 or so books at home that I’ve bought with the intent to read and haven’t gotten around to doing it yet. What am I doing getting more? I guess I stumped myself with this revelation.

So I’ve a new dream. Spend less money on books and actually do some reading. I will not allow myself to buy a new book until I’ve read at least 7 of my previously purchased treasures. I think I can get through seven before August 2nd when the next Twilight series book comes out. I’m not counting ‘The Host’ which I’m picking up next week at Stephenie Meyer’s book signing in Portland because I purchased those before I made this new commitment.

Do you think 7 is enough or should I make it more? I don’t think I can say I won’t buy a new book until I’ve read them all, because there’s too many huge books coming out that I’ve been waiting years to get. I just know that I’ve got to be more realistic about my library. I am comforted by the fact that I’ve very, very selective of the books I purchase. Lots of oldies but goodies mixed with some great new page turners. That and usually they are referred by a reputable source or two. And on the rare occasion that I obtain a book that doesn’t live up to my standards – off it goes to the thrift store.

O.K. enough typing, I think I go read a chapter or two or ten before bed.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

To Blog, Or Not to Blog, There is no Question...

I’m gonna Blog.

When I started last fall I didn’t know if this would be something that would be a lasting fascination or a temporary whim. But it has turned into way more than that.

So for my 100th Blog I thought I would tell you my top 10 reasons for blogging.

1. It helps keep me connected to our extended family – The closest of whom live a mere 13 hour drive away. Since the gas price has been limiting travel plans, at least they can still visit our family via my posts.

2. It’s given me whole new gaggle of blog friends and family.

3. Keeps me Accountable. If I say I’m going to do something and I know other’s know about it, then by-darn-it I’m gonna do it.

4. Let’s me look back and see the goofy, fun, enjoyable things that my family gets to do.

5. Gives me a feeling of accomplishment. You know the whole Before/After stuff.

See I finally finished the boat cusions.

Here's a tiny glimpse of the old cushions, brownish, of course they were covered with stains, (Hello, I have kids!) so the normal wear and tear.

Here's my nautical after. At least I like it. Well to be honest, I have to like it because these darn cushion only took me through 5 days and approximately 17 hours of sewing. Half of that time I was unpicking mistakes. Groan.

6. Seriously, this blog helps me maintain my cool when the kids decide to create abstract works of art on walls, furniture or themselves, or demolish something valuable. Something that used to bring me to bouts of screaming insanity now gives me the calm to ask, ‘Can I take a picture? ’

7. Somehow typing my ideas down helps clarify my muddled, chaotic thought process. So if you don’t understand half of what I’m typing – just think of what my family has to deal with without the editing.

8. Blogging helps me focus on some of the ‘Good Things’ in my life. Like noticing the rainbow after the rainstorm. And believe me we get plenty of rain here.

9. It’s a me thing. A time where I can do something I want to do instead of something I have to do.

10. Helps me Dream of things I still want to do.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Angels Among Us.

It was the Best of Days. It was the Worst of Days.

Worst because someone nicked my husband’s work backpack containing his laptop, cycling shoes, wallet, and smelly bike clothes right out of his personal office at work. Of course he talked with security who said they rarely have anything like this happen – so signs are pointing to the temporary painters and carpet layers who have been working in the building lately.

You can guess that his afternoon was occupied with calling around canceling credit cards and all that fun stuff.

Best because of our Angels.

I got a phone call mid-day from our sweet friends Delbert and Michelle and they wanted to join us for Family Home Evening activities and were wondering if it would be o.k. if Delbert brought his good friend the Tractor. I think I had mentioned my secret garden to Michelle not too long ago and she passed the info. on to her sweetie. And since he loves his tractor and has so much fun on it they were hoping that he could come have fun at our home…

Before they came I had T-Rev help me pull up the old planter boxes out of the garden.

'The Gardens before shot.'

Then out of the goodness of his heart and his overwhelming urge to play with his Tractor, Delber attacked our Secret Garden in a good way.

It could be because he was embarrassed at the state of disrepair our little food store has fallen in to recently.

However you'd have to know the real reason is because Michelle and him are those one-in-a-million, down-to-earth, most amazing neighbors who are so Christlike that they would give the shirt off their backs to help anyone.

Another Before: Notice that you can barely even see the planer boxes through all the weeds.

Their generosity probably saved me a good month's worth of yard work. I now might actually have the opportunity to plant a garden before it's too late to plant.

Prince Erik enjoyed some fresh air while drooling over Delbert's toy.

And if Delbert playing with his Tractor wasn't enough, Michelle attacked with a fervor, another front flower bed.

It seems no matter where we have lived there have always been some kind people, angels, friends who for no reason other than to be nice give up an evening or valuable block of time to touch our lives in a Christlike manner, with nothing expected in return.

And being as it was a downer day for my husband, this was the perfect pick-me-up to help restore our faith in the generosity and kindness of others.

So Thank Heaven for angels, especially Delbert and Michelle!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

There's no place like the barn

Today in church one of the Primary ladies drew a sweet looking little house on the chalkboard and asked the kids what it was. They of course responded, “It’s a house.”

“And what is another name for a house.” She asked, seeking for someone to mention the word - Home.

Raising her hand and waving it frantically with the actions Pick-Me, Pick-Me trembling all over her body, Princess innocently and angelically replied, ‘A Barn.’

Fortunately they will only have to endure the barn squalor a couple of more days while I’m finishing up the boat cushions.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

What's a Mom's work worth?

I saw an interesting article in the paper today saying that if a stay at home mom drew a paycheck it would be worth an average of $117,000 Buck-A-Roo's per year.

You can check out what your paycheck would be worth here. Mom's Paycheck

It even lets you personalize it. Once I'd added in some of my extra duties it said I could command $130,992 a year. Somehow I don't think Prince Erik could afford to keep me if I demanded that much.

I did find their list a bit lacking. No where on it did they have...

* Law Enforcement Officer - Think of how much money we save the judicial system by being the Cop, Lawyer, Judge and sometimes Jailer to our little kiddos.

* Hazardous Waste Removal Expert - Maybe they tried to hide this under the title of janitor. But sometimes I think a Haz-Mat suit would be a better fit for the kind of messes most mom's clean up. At least this would apply to the messes around my house.

* Personal Trainer - Who else would get their little tushes off the couch and out into the yard to play.

*Seamstress - I wonder why some of the oldie-but-goodie homemaking arts are not listed anymore. And with these blasted boat cushions that I've been sewing for 3 days straight I'd be garnering some serious overtime mullah. That and I know how much they would cost if I had to have someone else do them for me.

* Dictator - I've heard they make good bucks and I know my children would agree that I fall into this category. Not the making good bucks but acting the part.

*Professional Negotiator - Who else can resolve the conflicts that the family member's dredge up.

* Detective - Mom's have to be a good detective. Who else can solve the Who-Done-It-This-Time Mystery.

*Physic - I know exactly what consequences will happen to my children and gladly tell them their future if they continue to push certain buttons.

*Teacher - For their benefit the Salary Site did mention a Day Care Center Teacher but I found that title lacking since I home-school and what parent isn't the main life/coach teacher to their children.

*Actor - I should win an Oscar for my calm performances when other's are totally losing it. Should I also mention that my evil eye and menacing stare has no equal.

Other titles could include : Pest Controller, Construction Worker (Drywall specialist), Veterinarian, Gardener, Painter, Court Jester, Movie Theater and Arcade Operator, and so many more.

So as I see it I personally think I'm worth way more, and so are most mom's I know. We are lucky in a way that we don't see a paper paycheck. I can tell you every time Evo-man doesn't Sass back, Hope gives my neck a squeeze or crawls into my lap my heart melts and I wouldn't trade that experiance for all the money in the world.

So Happy Mother's Day all you underpaid Priceless mom's.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Consumed by Sewing

So I haven’t sewn anything in years. Except for Halloween costumes, but even then it’s been a couple of years since I’ve really pulled together some hum-dingers.

Anyway I’m now torturing myself thinking that we will save Bu-Co Bucks if I reupholster the seats on my husband’s boat. Last year we priced out someone else doing the job and it came in a $2,000 for just having half of the cushions re-covered. Or $4,000 for the whole thing. No Way!
I thought it would be something I could contribute since I have some buried skills in the sewing category. That and my mom is the world best sewer. So I’m expecting I’ll do o.k. if I even inherited just a smidgeon of her sewing prowess.
How hard could it be?

Let me tell you that upholster material isn’t cheap and I felt lucky to come away with some at $19 per yard.

So I pulled out my ancient and cheap sewing machine and got to work. Well so far I’ve spent two whole days unpicking, cutting out and sewing together just two of the boat cushions. Of course I chose the most difficult ones to do first – that way I could get them out of the way.

Cushion 1 = 5 ½ hours for one cushion - are you kidding me? Piping is a pain and I've never liked zippers and these cushions even have internal zippers.

Cushion 2 = 12 hours. Because I had a lot more distractions like babysitting, pausing to take kids to and fro etc. Chasing Itchy the Dog down 2 days in a row as he tries to make a break for it. Chasing Hope down probably 4 different times as she tried to make a run for it to the neighbor’s house. I swear she’s trying to run away. My friend Smiley picked up her son from having me watch him today and as she was walking away and waving good-bye. She said, ‘Have a nice day.’ Well little Hope followed her right out the door and turned and waved to me and said, ‘Have a nice day.’ She then proceeded to try and climb into Smiley’s car. She has also emptied my pin cushion all over the floor a couple of different times today.

Can I say that I’m really dreading the other 5 cushions? Fortunately I have until Tuesday to finish them. That’s when my husband is taking the boat up to the beautiful San Juan’s to help out with a class field trip for Evo-man’s school.

Big Projects like this mean an extremely messy house. And judging by my pace it’s going to look like a war zone before I’m through. Hopefully it and the kids will survive.

And if the cushions look anything like they should of course I’ll post before and after pictures.

My hidden motive for all this pain-in the-patushie sewing. The boat will look even more presentable to potential buyers.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

'The Host' Give-Away

Stephenie Meyer's new book is out and no I haven't read it yet! But I get two of them for buying tickets to her book signing in Portland. I don't need two. I'm planning on getting both of them signed and giving away one of them to you?

I guarantee that the winner will get a copy of the book 'The Host'. Of course, I can't guarantee that it will be signed because she may have writer's cramp by then. But there is a very good chance that it will be. I bought the dang ticket's for that purpose, didn't I? You may even luck out and get it personalized.

How do you win?

Just comment on this post. Everyone who enter's will have their name put in whatever clean container I have handy and I will pick the winner. Or better yet I'll have Hope do it for me because she can't read and is therefore unbiased. So the winner will be chosen on Friday, May 14th. Edit: I mean Friday, May 16th. (See this is what happens when you post at 11:30 at night)The winner can then tell me if they want it personalized(within reason) or just signed.

Best wishes.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Consequences DUH!

Well, what did you expect would happen when you hit the can of spray paint with a Hatchet?

5 School Uniform Shirts down only 1 to go. Sigh!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Blah Blog Day

I was going to try to attempt a Blog A Day In May – because it sounds fun but then today happened. And today was anything but interesting. If fact it was downright blah. I didn’t sleep well so I was grouchy and tired and very unproductive all day long. Fortunately for me these days don’t happen too often. Thank goodness.

My only note worthy news was Lea mowed her first lawn. She’s been begging me forever. And no I didn’t make her mow the backyard jungle lawn. She got the front lawn that had been mowed a week ago so it was very manageable. She’s a natural and takes after me. As a child I favored outside chores over the inside ones any day.

Nothing else – except the house fell apart because I sat like a lump on the couch feeling tired. It's amazing the damage a half dozen kids can create when mom is out of action - physically or mentally.

On the mental note, I watched the Twilight Teaser Trailer a gazillion times. I had promised my Y & G counselor that I wouldn't read or listen to the Twilight Book series in the house. And that I'd only listen to them while driving or read while waiting at different functions for my kids to finish up. And I've stuck to it, and actually read some other books. I also limited my computer time. But I didn't include Twilight new's updates in my Not-In-The-House deal. So my whole hour of computers was all dedicated to watching the same clip over and over again. See I was so tired today that I didn't realize how pathetic I was until this evening when I started blogging about it. Sigh!

Anyway. I've got to get some more sleep so I can be my chipper, productive self tomorrow. Yeah right. At least I now think I'd better limit my Twilight surfing to once a week instead of once a day.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Enchanting the Vermin

So my girls have been wearing out our DVD of the movie Enchanted and they’ve got all the songs memorized. Even little Hope can sing the songs and she surprisingly can keep the tune better than her older sisters.

However, I am wondering if there is a bit too much magic in the melody of the cleaning song. Can my girls really call critters from the far corners of our city by la-la-ing the tune to the Cleaning song?


However these critters I don’t think know how to clean. Maybe the wicked queen cursed them to destroy instead. So last week we discovered the rats. This week Carpenter Ants – The Bain of the insect and rodent worlds have conspired to drive us nuts.

Throw in an enchanted amphibian...

And we’ve almost got the makings of a zoo. I stand corrected; we already have the makings of a zoo without the vermin, insects and slimies included.

It’s called kids.

On a bright note. Lea fixed ole’ Toro...

with just a teny, tiny help from Prince Erik. Amazing- who’d have thunk she could do that.

So it’s back to mowing the backyard forest.

That and picking a different song to sing.