Saturday, November 2, 2013

Thanksgiving

November is a month of gratitude.  A little gratitude can soften the hardest of hearts. Why not add more gratitude in our lives?  I'll jump on that bandwagon.

Ian says, "I'm thankful for friends." (and then added "Can I go play with friends Right Now?")
Landon says, "I'm thankful for being nice." Then clarified, "I'm thankful for me being nice." (Me too kid.)
Charlie doesn't talk but he is thankful he gets Daddy and Grandpa time today building our wood shed.
I'm thankful for a husband and father in law who work hard in all aspects of life.
I'm thankful for resources and generosity of others that allow us to have what we need and live within our means. (Our wood shed when finished should hold 6 cords of wood and we'll have it all built for under $250 *hopefully* and there's a cool story about the shed that will be another post.)

Gratitude can change the tide of a day and give us peace when before there was turmoil and unrest.  Thank goodness for social media platforms that remind us to be grateful.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Publicly Personal aka Rude Questions

I know I have woefully neglected the blog.

Oh well.

Life happens.

I'm blogging today and that's good too.

It's not fun stuff today because I'm going to take a minute  (or 5) and stand on my blogbox.  (Like a soapbox only on the internet.) I will eventually get pictures of all the fun halloweeney stuff, but today I have an issue.

You see, last night at a Halloween party I overheard one woman asking another woman a very deep and personal question.  The fact that I could overhear it should suggest that perhaps it was an inappropriate place.  I mean, we were all sitting there.  Now this person is family to the woman she was speaking to but that doesn't actually make her question appropriate.

She asked, "Did you get the wish of your heart?" Everyone knew what she was hinting at because of the boisterous loud conversation previous to that about babies. But then another person clarified, "She's asking if you're pregnant."  To which the woman answered that she is not currently pregnant.

Wow. Can. of. worms.

(I will fully admit that I wasn't brave enough to speak up about it in that moment- but I have my own reasons that're nunya. And I'm speaking about it now because it's BUGGING ME.)

What a totally personal question to ask! I mean think about it for a minute: there's biology involved, perhaps the timing isn't right, perhaps the ph balance is off, perhaps one or both partners is infertile.  There's emotions involved, perhaps she longs to be pregnant and shared her longing and her sadness that she wasn't and hope that soon she would be (in a previous conversation where the family member learned about her "wish of her heart") in an attempt to be real and vulnerable, not an attempt at a popular status update or fodder for future party conversations.  There are relationships involved, namely between the woman and her husband.  Maybe there are issues and they're not having sex (back to biology here).  Maybe they're stressed out and it's messing with their chemistry (again, biology or chemistry or sciency stuff).  Maybe she wants a baby but her husband doesn't, or vice versa.  Maybe she longs for one physically but can't figure it out financially and is thus holding off.  Maybe she worries about her health and has crazy bad morning sickness for 9 months and is hoping to have a newborn even with all the sacrifice it means.  Maybe she's had miscarriages before and is scared.  Maybe she was pregnant last week and miscarried but isn't ready to shout from the rooftops her pain.  Maybe she started her period that morning and her hopes were once again dashed.

And maybe the questioning woman was feeling awkward and didn't have much to go off of and so she brought up the one nugget of information so she felt included.  Maybe she is naive and didn't think it would hurt her feelings.  Maybe she felt like because they are family its ok? (Family trees do not make you inherently privy to details in another's life. That's a soapbox for another day.) Maybe there's a whole can of worms that she didn't mean to get into, she just needed something to say.

Whatever the case was, my heart hurt for the woman being asked such a private question in such a public setting.

So let's all take a moment to think before we speak.  And on the occasions that our mouths vomit questions before we realized the damage, let us be willing to own our mistakes and say I'm sorry.


I'll step down now.  You can get back to your Facebook overload of cute costumes and sugar comas.

Happy November.
27 days until my birthday if you want to send me a present :)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Right about now...

Right about now...


Funk Soul Brotha

Check it out now, Funk Soul Brotha:

I'm hoping that hot pockets and microwave Cheese Wheels (macNcheese wheels) counts for a meal because that's what we had for lunch.  Don't judge.  It was a major decision between that and something someone else cooked (aka fast food) that costs a lot more.

Currently I am writing from a fairly swirly allergy med haze.



Wish I could truly enjoy it.  But I have to be psudo responsible until further notice.  Or when Sean gets home.  Whichever comes first.  "Sponsibility" sure is a buzz kill though.

It's a good thing days like today don't come around too often or I'd be 600 lbs with BBQ sauce dripping from my chin.  And one of my sons would be named Gilbert.  And they'd have to burn the house when I die. (Spoiler. Sorry. I wasn't myself.)

Boychild the first is walking home.

It's cold outside with a lovely, icy north wind a blowin'.  Knocked over our trashcans (which some dog enjoyed throwing about the contents on our lawn). Goodthing Firstborn has his big ol' coat.  No snow here.  I'm trying not to be grateful because we NEED the water, but I'm not ready for snow just yet.

The "ugly" wall is now simple, naked beams.  Don't have a picture.  They're on Sean's phone sorry.  What a mess that was.  Next time we start a home improvement/demolition job the first order of business is to look at the clock.  If it is after noon we'll save it for another day.  We started cleaning up the mess (of plaster and lath and DUST EVERYWHERE) around midnight and called it quits at 2 A.M. (Saturday/Sunday) I'm still finding things that we forgot (or didn't get to) wipe down.

Ok.  The urge to nap is winning. Catch ya on the flipside.  And go play the video one more time.  It's a good one.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Skiddamarinkydinkydink

Charlie's favorite song is Skiddamarinkydinkydink. 
A classic. 
 Makes me proud. 
 Passed on a priceless piece of my childhood. 
 Sharon, Lois and Bram. The elephant show. 
Learn it if you don't know it. 
Share it. 
Love it.
 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

House Update

Here are a few of my recent projects around the house. Please excuse the giant hole in the kitchen wall. It's on the list.

I'm not sure what order they will be in: this phone posts faster than our poor computer. Fruit basket. Heavy duty. Now in red. Pots and pans. Black upgrade from in laws (thanks again!). Like to hang around. Mantle pictures. Need to be hung on the wall. Wall-O-pictures. Added to. Still awaiting the ones on the mantle. Little projects. (not pictured are as follows) We now have a working dryer. We were waiting on a breaker. Breaker is in. No one got electrocuted. Win. One more sheet of drywall on the South wall. Master bedroom green accent wall. Trees trimmed. Fort built from said tree limbs. Two loads of wood cut and hauled. Two to go. Lots of work, but there has been some progress. Just no pictures till now.enjoy.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Reminders

When I went out to check the mail I found this note on our door. It was a nice reminder that we are doing good things. I don't know who left the note because they didn't sign it but it sure brightened my day.Thanks neighbor.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Words of Wizzum

“I don’t know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. But what I learned to do many years ago was to forgive myself. It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes- it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, ‘well, if I’d known better I’d have done better,’ that’s all. So you say to people who you think you may have injured, ‘I’m sorry,’ and then you say to yourself, ‘I’m sorry.’ If we all hold on to the mistake, we can’t see our own glory in the mirror because we have the mistake between our faces and the mirror; we can’t see what we’re capable of being. You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one’s own self. I think that young men and women are so caught by the way they see themselves. Now mind you. When a larger society sees them as unattractive, as threats, as too black or too white or too poor or too fat or too thin or too sexual or too asexual, that’s rough. But you can overcome that. The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself. If we don’t have that we never grow, we never learn, and sure as hell we should never teach.”-Maya Angelou

I love Maya Angelou.  She is such an inspiration.


And now after those wise words how about something completely ridiculous: (I heart Sons of Provo- cracks me up every time)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Charlieno

I never intended to be a parent that always says No. Rarely yes. I try to remember to say yes.  But most of the time around our house it is "CHARLIE NO!" that you hear.  I'll often answer the phone with "Charlie NO!" due to the inevitability that when the phone rings he thinks it is time to rip books, or flip over the back of the couch or whack his brother in the head with a train.  He doesn't talk and I think that is part of our frustration.  He is frustrated that he can't communicate what he wants/needs and I get so tired of charades and guessing.

Maybe it's our fault for nicknaming him Menace.  But it seemed to fit and he's grown even more into it now.  Don't get me wrong here, I love my kid. DEARLY.  And the thought that he is likely the last baby in our house saddens my heart so I try to hold on to the little bit of babyhood/toddlerhood before full blown boyhood.  He's so sweet. Always wanting to give hugs and kisses and ugga-muggas.  He loves to play with the trains (when his brothers let him).  Loves to read (which warms my heart).  Loves to snuggle. *sigh* I know it won't last.

But I'm not so sure I'm going to survive this phase.  I hope it's a phase.  I hope we have language soon, perhaps something more than Charlie No!  I'm pretty sure when he goes to write his name in Kindergarten he's going to tell his teacher his name is Charlieno.

That is, IF we make it to 5.  I know it's a blink of an eye.  "The days are long but the years are short." No kidding.

Till then- please forgive me if you hear "Charlieno" instead of "Hello?" when I answer the phone.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Too. Much. Testosterone.

Flowers.
Pink. 
Clippies.
Skirts. 
Barbies. 
Nail Polish.

I would probably get sick of these things if it was all consuming. 

Right now- they sounds heavenly. 

Instead I get talk of 

Guns.
Trains. 
Legos. 
Guns. 
Guns.
Spy Stuff (excuse to use guns).
Bodily Functions.
Cars.
Guns. 


I need some frilly estrogen.  All this testosterone is killing me. 
Even the neighbor boys come over and that's the first thing everyone talks about. 


I love every single one of my boys. 


But THIS girl can only handle so much. And that much was about 2 days ago. 

I'm longing for a getaway. No way we could arrange one of those spur of the moment trips- eh Missionary Sistergirl and Mom? Dang. Thanks anyway- I think I'll go get some bubble bath, earplugs and a good book.  Perhaps tomorrow I'll drop in on a friend or two.  


Till then.

Real life discussion just now as I'm formatting to post this:
Son1: Mom, can we play inside?
Me: Sure. 
Neighbor: With guns? (I previously took all the toy guns and told them they couldn't play with them today.)
Me: Nope. Find something else to play with. 
Neighbor (as the kids all mope into the boys' room): Like what...?
Me: **Sigh**

(Luckily Ian did quickly come up with a whole list of things other than guns to play with.) 

I'm sure they'll just make guns out of Duplos now but whatever. Sean should be home any minute now and then I'm out to go get bubble bath. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Abby Birdy Two Ewe


First day (of second week) of school!


AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY WEE#3!!!

He's 2 today. 

Old man. 

Really just not a baby anymore. 

But he'll always be my baby. 

Oldest brother is in First Grade now and it's not as bad as I feared. He likes riding his bike to school- but Mommy got sick and couldn't pull two kids in the trailer.  Middle brother is a little too fond of his brakes to make any sort of decent time to school. Thus the trailer. 

Middle brother is starting Preschool again tomorrow. We are all excited.  He has missed Ms. Melissa all summer! And this year he gets to make a few new friends. It'll be great. 

Wee#3 is 2. Where has the time gone? He's a little firecracker for sure.  Loves to be with the big boys, he thinks he's one of them. Jumping. Riding bikes (though he's mostly content to ride in the trailer for now).  He loves his helmet. Duplos. Cars. Any thing and Every thing he can get into he does.  Sometimes I feel like I live on the east coast or something because Charlie calls me "Ma!" Kind of funny. He doesn't really talk much other than that but he can sign "More" and "Please" and is proficient at charades.  (It's a good thing I'm pretty good at guessing charades.)  Pretty cute and you can see how some actual signs evolve.  This morning we were talking about running and he started dancing.  Well he wasn't dancing he was acting out what arms do when running. Fun. 

Now take a good look at that photo. 

When we moved here to Blanding Ian was 4 (almost) and Landon was 2 (his birthday was a week after we moved here
See??

And we waited and waited and WAITED for Chollie Tortoise. 8 days past my due date when the other two were 3 and 4 weeks early.  I thought I'd be pregnant forever.  Then he came.  It was a whirlwind labor- and that should have been my first clue.  He was going to cook until he was good and ready and then hit the ground running.  We haven't slowed down since then.  

Love you Baby Boy. My Charlie Curtis. 


Happy Birthday Chuck.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Dear Grandpa

Dear Grandpa,

It's been almost two years.  I still think about you all the time.  I did before you died too, just didn't call as often as I should have. I'm sorry. I'm trying to learn from that.  I see pictures that Mom posts of the cosmos and my thoughts turn to you.  Gazing up at things bigger than we can comprehend and the wonder of it all.  I think you you every time I see the vast amount of stars in our clean, clear, thin air.  It still surprises me.  You'd love it here.  The sky at least.

We just got a chalkboard from my father in law and put it up in our dining room.  It reminds me of the happy hours drawing on the chalkboard on your porch and you and grandma doling out the chalk one piece at a time so they didn't all make it through the cracks in 2 minutes.  I hope my kids will have those kind of memories.

I think of you every time I see my little Charlie Curtis.  He's almost two now. He just woke up from his morning nap and is now dragging his blankie and elephant to see what his brothers are up to. It breaks my heart that you don't get to be here to see this. I know you're here with us in spirit, but it's not quite the same. Ian is almost 6 and mastering riding a two wheeler.  He'll be starting first grade in a few weeks and hopes to be good enough that we can ride bikes to school.  He has his first loose tooth but I think it'll be a few more weeks until it really falls out.  Landon is quite the artist.  He draws very detailed and meticulous drawings.  They are all such sweet little boys.  (They do know how to throw a tantrum with the rest of them but overall their sweetness wins out.)

Sean is reading Treasure Island with them before bed.  They soak it in. Ask questions. Sometimes I'll read them the Pokey Little Puppy. They love that naughty little puppy.

We have lots of little (and big) home improvements and they make me think of you. All that the things you made with your hands.  I'm glad I can look up at night and think of you.


Love you,
Maggie

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Home improvements

We are so grateful grandpa thought of us when he saw the free chalkboard! We love it (and so does our neighbor friend) bonus: it covers a lot of the ugly wall.

Monday, July 29, 2013

I'm no Annie Oakley or Julia Child

These are just some things i was thinking about today. The future. Dreams. Goals. Things I'd like to do. Someday. And yes i know all about planning and wishing and how I'd i don't move forward they won't happen. A list is a good place to start though.

My own little second hand store. I'd love for it to work in conjunction with the family support center or women's shelter. Something bigger than just me. There is one in Logan Utah called Somebody's Attic and I love it.  It makes me want to take business classes. Weird.

I'd love to learn how to play the piano. Which means I'll need to acquire a piano someday. I think it will go perfectly where the computer is right now. It may be 10 years from now before i can really start on that one because of time and money, but I'm not the only one to do things later in life. Julia Child anyone? (no I'm not looking to be a musical Julia Child.) I may never be great but just plunking out a tune with both hands would be pretty cool.

Europe. Germany. England. Scotland. Ireland. Italy. Switzerland. One or all would be great. Germany first though. I do also long to see ancestral homelands. Isle of man. The area formerly known as Prussia. And more I'm sure. Maybe some genealogy is in order to do a big trip like that.

That with raising my sons to be good people and kicking my husband's butt at the shooting range (which can only be done with a handgun and happened on Wednesday) should be more than enough to keep me super busy for the next 30 years.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Currrently:

Just a quick update:
We had a marvelous vacation to California where we spent almost as much time in the car as not.  My kids aren't really letting that one go anytime soon. New cousins to play with.  Great memories made.  I'll write more another day.  But for now it is enough to know that I am immensely grateful for my family, the one we made and the ones we come from.  They're pretty great people.

My baby sister is getting ready to go on a Mission.  Lots of excitement there! I'm loading up on stamps so I can send snail mail.  I'm sure I'll look forward to whatever day is email day like when little brother was in Germany on his Mission.  But snail mail still has trump power.  So be ready seester.

First born headed to ALL DAY first grade this year. The bottom of the totem pole (because kindergartners are basically segregated from the rest of the school)- the real beginning of mommy growing up.  ALL DAY. I'm nervous. WAAAAAY more nervous than I was sending him to 3 hour kindergarten last year.  Gone all day. For 6 years that's all I've done is be his mommy all day.  Last year we had a mild separation with 3 hours for kindergarten.  That was just enough time to get maybe one errand done.  Then it would be time to meet him and make lunch and the rest of our day.  But now- I won't see him until 2:50 every day. And I have to pack a lunch for him. I dread packing a lunch.  Hopefully I can find a way to make it less painful for both of us.  The worry (despite how useful it is) is starting to build.

Second born will be in preschool again this year. Afternoon this time. We're all looking forward to it- not because we're needing the break (as desperately as sometimes) but because he truly enjoys it.  I'm glad my kids like school (in whatever form).  I hope that sticks.

Wee #3 is living up to his nickname, Menace.  He's almost 2 going on 12.  Moody and FIERCELY independent.  He wants to do everything HIMSELF! Buckle things, open water bottles, dress, color, everything.  It's exciting to see this step and frustrating for both of us.

Food in our house either disappears in seconds (if they like it) or sits in the fridge until Mommy or Daddy eats it for lunch.  Ian is on a growth spurt. Landon just wants to play, not eat, which is weird for him. And "Chuck" grazes whenever he can.  Which is yet another great motivation to get out of debt.  There's no way we can afford to feed them as teenagers unless we free up cash. We're doing well on that front. One step at a time.  One student loan gone.  A few more and a credit card to go (credit card is next).  We can do this.

I hope.


I forgot to update on Sean and me.  This weekend Sean hits the big THREE-OH.  I'm kind of excited.  I think 30 is a cool milestone (and I might be the only one).  It's right in the thick of living.  The midst of crazy.  (though 40 will be when the kids are in middle/high school and even more insane).  But other than the clock moving forward, as it always does, he's crazy busy at work.  They're down a guy and the 3 left are working to pick up the slack until someone else can get hired.  Which means he works from 7-5:30 every day. (It was more like 6pm yesterday).  There are weekends already scheduled.  Now on my end- it's not much different because he'd leave at 7 and get home at 5:30 but had a 45 minute commute both ways.  Now those extra 90 minutes are spent working here in town.  We do get to see him for lunch which is nice.  And then on call 24/7. So grateful he has a good job that he enjoys. These times are just hard on everyone when you're understaffed.  So he's a little more stressed and worn out when he comes home.

I'm working working working.  I'm itching to do some painting before the nasty weather sets in.  We're getting the front trees trimmed in about a month and I'm excited.  It will help with my stress that these trees have been neglected- I don't want them dropping limbs on our house or cars. Now we have to address the ants.  We have ants EVERYWHERE and come to find out- if they're nesting in the tree roots they can kill the tree.  Which is likely that they are nesting there. It's always a battle.  Our garden is very lush and green but I don't think I pruned it enough because we don't have a lot of veggies.  Some. Just not a lot. But most of it is still alive and I call that a win! I got a new sewing table.  It is HUGE and perfect for all sorts of crafts.  I think it needs some personal touches (read paint and modpodge) and soon.  Our house is coming together. Slowly.  But it is.  And that is very satisfying.

So there you have it.

Not so quick.

Not so little.

But an update.

Catch ya on the flip side.

PS- why can't netflix get Fresh Prince of Bel Air on streaming??  I'd like to see some more of THAT and less of Family Guy or whatever.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Honor for ALL

Can't vent on Facebook so I'll vent here.  

You know what bugs me. 

LDS Eliteism.  

The idea that because someone belongs to the same church I do, they are somehow better than someone else.  (Please forgive me if I've ever done this.) 

See, because here's the thing: WE ARE ALL HUMANS.  We all occupy the same Earth and breath the same air and while we may have different individual goals I think innately we are all striving for the same thing, live, learn, grow, and hopefully leave the world a little better than we found it.  (Terrorists and rapists are not exactly in the same realm- but that's a topic for another day. For now we're going with my idea- however Pollyanna it may be.) 

Recent tragedy struck a team of elite firefighters.  19 of 20 of the crew died when winds increased and things just got out of control (like we can control fire! but they were trying to trench it and stop it from going that direction...) The one that survived only did so because he was moving the truck at the time.  Talk about weight to carry.  Survivor's guilt.  It wasn't his fault by any means- but the thought that I am left and all my comrades are gone. Ugh. Gut punch to think about it.  NINETEEN.  19 families affected.  19 GROUPS of friends, acquaintences.  It is exponential. There are not only 19 people affected by this tragedy.  

And yet my reason for ranting. 

On Facebook this morning I saw a post of a friend of mine (and yes I would say we are actually friends in real life not just in Facebookland) who posted an article from Deseret News (again a whole other post-Deseret News) that ONE of the 19 was LDS (Mormon) and that she was sad for the children he left behind.  

I understand wanting details.  I understand wanting to connect so the grief we feel has reason.  I understand that the loss for his family is insurmountable. The pain and grief and loss are deep. 

But I was totally turned off at the attitude that left 18 families unaccounted for.  That said HE was worth mentioning because of his religion.  You want to see the names and faces of those who died? HERE.  There are families and friends and communities aching.  FOR EACH ONE.  Not just the Mormon guy.  For the kid that followed in his Fire Chief Dad's footsteps.  The guy that was going to be his best friend's best man at his upcoming wedding.  Try to watch this video clip.  Honor them for just a moment.  

Because there were NINETEEN.  And EACH one deserves a moment of respect.  

So there's my rant.  
It just hit me sideways the way some things do.  

Thank you to ALL the firefighters who are working to keep others safe.  Whether it is your summer job while in college, life time chosen career path, your first season, or your 23rd.  Thank you.  


Friday, June 28, 2013

My Hero

As a dad, when you have little kids, it is very gratifying. In there eyes you are the strongest thing in the world. There is nothing you cannot accomplish. You can pick them up in the air, throw them up (eww!), etc. This has been a great perk of being a dad; however, I knew at some point this would wain and disappear. Sadly, because of them watching The Avengers (animated series available on Netflix), that time has come to an end. Despite me trying to convince them otherwise, they now know that “in real life” The Incredible Hulk would be stronger than their dear old dad. Sigh.

The real kicker is, that they don't realize who the real Super Hero is, because her disguise is so great. She is also so close to them, that they can observe and learn from her daily. How lucky are they? She does have super powers and they are listed here:
  • Energon\Arc Reactor: No other way she has the energy to keep up with all she does.
  • Super Strength: Used to wrangle three boys, as well as to carry wet laundry and haul boxes (including unpacking and organizing the contents).
  • Super Intelligence: Comes up with ways to keep boys from being “bored.” Also comes up with schemes to help them do chores, take naps (I mean “quite time).
  • Super Creativity: Related to the Super Intelligence, but also used to scheme up all kinds of other things, zoo shirts being just one of many.
  • Super Vision: She somehow can see through walls and know when the boys are up to no good.
  • Super Hearing: She knows when they are not napping (or having quite time), even when she is attempting to do the same.
  • Super Smelling: No this is not super stinking, that would be different all together. This helps to locate poopy diapers, dirty toilets and other such undesirables.
  • Super Comforting: Very useful for bumps, scrapes, and other boo-boos and makes it where nobody else's non-Super Comforting is near enough. Also useful for relieving stress in significant others.
  • Super Snuggling: This helps with previously mentioned super power.
  • Super Frugality: Allows us to live off limited budgets, in order to accomplish other mutual goals.
  • Super Sexiness: I'll leave this one blank. Oh wait, I typed something, so I guess it isn't blank.
  • Super Fun: Makes this super hero enjoyable to be around, and makes me look forward to the future.
As most of you probably guessed, this is person is Maggie. Most don't know her super hero name though, and it is too long to write here (and much too difficult to spell), but it starts with a “Schn”. Here's kudos for her, for all she does to make our relationship and our family successful.


I love you Maggie. You are my Super Hero.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Don't be shocked when half dressed children answer the door.

It's a good day (or part of the day I should say) when Wee #3 keeps his diaper on for a nap.  Lately he has become a ninja and figured out how to undress himself.  Yesterday he mastered the trick of pulling off his diaper while keeping his onesie on.  I fear it's going to get worse.  He sits on the potty but doesn't know what to do.  I'm not pushing, just encouraging.  But man oh man- I just don't get it.  Why do I have to wash/hang dry/fold/put away 5 bajillion loads of laundry if my children insist on running around sans pants? I think I'll keep a few outfits (for going out in public) and church clothes and the rest will be given to other needy families.  If there are other moms out there with the same problem our family could single handedly clothe dozens of families of naked boys.  And think of the saved time and effort and money of doing laundry.  I could waste time on pinterest blog more.  

In any event the mountains of laundry are waiting to be folded/put away so I'd better be getting back to it.  



Also (somewhat related as I like to watch shows while folding laundry) I'm not a fan of this new Doctor on Doctor Who.  I like the 9th and 10th Doctors. But this 11th?
 I'm only a few episodes in and he's NOT growing on me.  Though I remember the same feeling when the 10th Doctor came on the scene.  (I love the 9th

...and now the 10th but the 9th will always be the one that got me hooked.) Are there other Whovians out there who feel similar?  Do I just need to give it more time? 

Anyway, like I said, back to my normal scheduled chores because guess what?! OMA IS COMING! YAY! We're all so excited and looking forward to the 4th festivities! Yay for Independence Day!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Pool Days

We love Summer.
We love the pool.
I love the cheesy smiles. 



Thursday, June 13, 2013

Bees walking on knees

Last time I wrote a bit about all the loveliness of Summer.  

Does anyone else suffer from allergies? 

It kind of puts a damper on everything else.  I have good days and bad days.  The last couple have been doozies and I am either cotton headed from the allergies or doped up on various allergy medications.  (Various because one works better but makes me pretty loopy the other seems to have a delayed loopy reaction) I've tried everything.  The only thing I remember (but remember loopy? it makes memory difficult too) is that Chlor Trimeton works.... but I can't find it.  Apparently it's not as popular.  I feel like I spend a fortune in allergy meds because I waste time and money on ones that just make me drowsy (read: make me fall asleep 30 minutes after taking them).  Really I'm just complaining because I have nothing else to blog about in my cotton-headed-state.  Sean commented the other day that he associates me and summer with cotton-headed fuzzy and/or drowsy drugged.  Sad. I'll find something that works.  But in the meantime, 
"Stand back!" said the elephant, "I'm going to sneeze!"

Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer

Summer:
Swimsuits
Sunscreen
Towels
Water
Cold soda
tan lines
Sandals
Ceiling fans
Popsicles
Hats
Sunglasses
Laundry lines
Warm
Bright
Lovely
Fun fun fun!

I spy with my little eye something RED!

And check out the sweet shades my sister sent me (PS I don't always wear these but needed something today and thought why not? I got a lot of looks but nobody dared to say anything. I love them. Not the red ones I found in a drag Queen store but that's a story for another day. And hot pink is so the next best thing! Thanks Christie!)

Friday, May 31, 2013

Pop and Flair!

Our house is still far from "finished".  We're in a holding pattern while we have a few fun summer adventures and then we'll get back to our regularly scheduled fixing up.  So I've been trying to be methodical about what I want in my home.  What things make me happy.  It's not what I have.  Though I'm working on it.  I have a billion pins on my pinterest boards all with somewhat conflicting tones.  Some say "I wish I were grown up and elegant" while the ones I really love are bright and flashy and bring a POP of color. I want to be more towards the POP side.  That's who I feel I really am.  Not the Pottery Barn or Anthropologie knockoff.  I more of IKEA meets 8 year old meets old stuff painted hot pink.  It probably hearkens back to a day in high school when I had this "brilliant" idea of spray painting this HUGE and HEAVY mirror frame florescent green.  I think my mom is still scarred from it.  While it didn't really turn out the way I WANTED it to look (probably because I didn't even take the time to get nice even coats- just taped and sprayed), it met a need. I needed different and I needed loud and bright not boring tan.  I guess I'm finally coming to terms with being loud and bright.  Kind of.  At least loud.  Here are some of the things I would LOVE to see smiling at me in my home:

12x36 - See You Later Alligator...Painting
Hakuna Matata doormat. The Lion King. Custom door mat. Possitive message
Another Etsy Shop
(Original site has relocated: but if you want to find it go ahead: HERE)
Because let's be honest- this is SO ME! You can find it on Amazon.
(doesn't link to this picture but you can probably find it in a few days of searching the site.) I'm thinking maybe I made a mistake with a dark blue door. But it's staying for now.  

THIS is just Brilliant.  Both smart and brightly hued. 




And then.....


We have painted furniture....


oooooOOOOOhhh....aaAAAAHHHHhhhh!

And cute fabric on the inside to boot! Here's the LINK.
Brown to lime green?! THIS is what the mirror was supposed to look like...
Old and Dated to new and chic.  Though I'm not good at the "antiquing" where you sand bits of the paint back off... 
This is too much purple/pink for me (did I just say that?) but I love the BOLDNESS of the paint. 
Black and Blue. (This is the link from the picture watermark- the site it links to on pinterest is broken.)
Crib rails: I don't think our crib will be passed on or down. I think we will repurpose. 



And then there are chairs:
Here and the site is in Catalan.  I'm globally inspired. 
Here. Now Spanish. 
Here. Again- broadminded design I guess.

Last one for today:
I think it's the pink and yellow that get me. 




And here I'm working with neutral tones. Or at least that's what I have.  What do you think about all these?


I think my hubby is wishing he had sunglasses. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ah! Ah! LOUD!

For the family reunion this year it looks like we'll be taking our monkeys to see the kids at the zoo. In honor of that (and to give us all a project-summer vacation anyone?) we're making animal shirts using mostly stuff we have on hand. (i say mostly because i had to buy freezer paper and i didn't have black paint already, but I'm sure they will come in handy door future projects as well). Ian used to say the peacocks said "ah! Ah! LOUD!" He requested a peacock tie dye shirt 3 years ago. I've spruced it up for Chollie Tortise this year. More projects to come.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

To do, to do, to do.

To do list for Thursday May 2nd 2013 goes a little something like this:

-hang laundry
-do a few more loads (if the sock situation has not remedied by just doing whites)
-make rice krispy treats
-fix baby tux 
-pack
-sip soda
-feed munchkins
-enjoy that tomorrow is roadtrip day


Thank goodness I took some Excedrin this morning to ward off the headache. I feel much better now. 
Hope we have no meltdowns this afternoon. 
I'd be farther down my list but I stopped to visit some friends who were passing through town on their way to a new adventure.  So glad I did.  I love good friends.  

May today be productive and tomorrow be fun. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Ninja Socks.

I know that time will eventually tick itself down and Friday will in fact be here.  But it feels that time is stuck to the side of the jar.  Killin' me Smalls. 

Our house has exploded.  The walls are still here but the inside needs a good purging to get better.  We got all of our stuff out of storage the other day.  A swift reminder that we (by which I point the finger mostly at myself) have yet again over indulged and have WAY TOO MUCH stuff.  Things.  Time.  Energy. Space. Money. Wasted.  And now all of that stuff is clogging my brain and spirit and it just NEEDS TO GO. Which it will (Cue yard sale next weekend). But for the next two weeks we will be wallowing through the mire of bad choices and over spending.  So getting ready for an quick overnight trip to SLC is putting me on shutdown.  I can't find socks.  Heaven knows I have washed and dried and even folded (some) socks.  Lots of them. ("Some" referring to the number folded, "Lots" being the sheer quantity of socks washed and dried by this person.  Just to clear that up.)  But they are hiding.  Somewhere.  And this tired Mama who stupidly took allergy meds this morning to keep from sneezing 5 bajillion times a day is now regretting THAT choice because I can't find the socks.  The wee one wants to snuggle to sleep but he wants to do it on my face.  He gets that from me.  I have to toss and turn 50 times or so before I'm perfect and can sleep ala Sid.  Knowing where he gets it doesn't help the face that we both need a nap.  So instead we'll go for a short drive. (Don't worry Mom, I said SHORT drive.  And the worst of the allergy med side effect drowsiness is over.  Which means my nose is tickley now too.)  Look at some elk.  And maybe the socks will have come out of hiding.  

Dear Family,
Please be ready to go when Friday spontaneously shows up.
Love, 
Mom

Dear Friday,
The gas pedal is the long skinny one.  Or so I've heard.  Drive safely but get here ASAP. 
Love,
A Mom looking forward to a roadtrip

Dear Missing Socks,
Joke is over. You win.  
Love,
We'll all embrace SANDALS

Monday, April 29, 2013

Airplanes and Tutus

We go together like.....

...Peanut Butter and Jelly.
...Fries and a Frosty.
...Bert and Ernie.
...Airplanes and tutus.

Did that last one throw you off? Sorry.  Life of an almost 4 year old deems that airplanes and tutus do in fact belong together.  So much so that he freaks out if is airplane is missing its tutu.  It all began rather innocently. We're trying to teach the kids about money by giving them an allowance.  They pay a %10 tithe and then the rest they can spend how they choose (though Mommy tries to talk them out of buying goodies with them because Mommy already buys/makes too many goodies as it is). So what do they set their hearts on? Toys of course.  Because they don't have too many of those yet.... We were at our "local" (local being the next town over) secondhand store a few weeks ago and the boys were insistent that they NEEDED to spend their allowance.  So I let them.  They fought over who got the train.  Ian did because he really did see it and claim it first.  Then Landon was left to choose something ELSE.  And he found a stuffed airplane.  He loves it and now sleeps with it. 

Fast forward to a little over a week ago.  I ordered some tulle for my sister in law's wedding this summer. I offered to make outfits for the nieces and nephews if she desired and she found what she wanted me to make. For the little girls she requested something akin to THIS .  So I set out on a rather large and daunting task.  I've never made a tutu before.  Or a tutu dress.  I ordered the tulle from Etsy.com. (I love Etsy.com) And then it came in the mail.  Mail days are like Christmas.  CRAFTY mail days are especially awesome. Whip out the tulle.  Check my supplies for elastic.  Dang. One piece left about 10 or 12 inches.  Not enough to make a mockup.  But enough for a bear tutu.  Red and white with yellow ribbon around the top.  (A picture here would be lovely wouldn't it?  The problem with upgrading to a sleeker smaller camera is that I often can't find it.) Ian graciously let me put it on Teddy (his beloved bear) and I even added a bow to his ear.  Very chic. Very cute.  When Teddy is dressed up in his tutu ensemble he is to be called "Cutie" not Teddy.  I was informed.  In walks little brother.  Green with envy.  HIS bear did not have a tutu.  Well Teddy was done with the tutu after a day or so.  Remember the allowance money stuffed airplane?  It now proudly wears the tutu and is no longer complete with out it.  At least the airplane is ok with still being called Airplane.  



Funny things Landon says (who will be 4 in just under 4 weeks, oh my!):

"I'm taking my Turkey and my Airplane to bed with me."  (and now you can envision the WHOLE picture- complete with tutu.  
"Three for Partycakes."  What's partycakes?  I don't know but apparently three of us are waiting for them.  
"We don't have Mop." Meaning he wants to mop.  Why? Why not?

(those last two were just while I was typing). 

And to those of you still reading: I leave you with a treat, a la Blackmail: 

I got my mockup dress done with the help of my fantastic model. 
 I hope he's not scarred about this later. 
And yes- it's a little too long. It'll get a trim soon. 

TTFN

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Red Dirt and lots of it!

Small town life.

Con: Stores close at 8 or 9 or 6pm. Shop early. 
Pro: This means you're forced to get everything done and then can have actual FAMILY time. 

Con: Middle of "no-where".
Pro: Within a couple hours of Arches, Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, Canyonlands, Natural Bridges and other NATURAL wonders.

Con: Less People. 
Pro: You find a few good friends and ya stick with 'em.  Also traffic? What's that? 

Con: One stop light.
Pro: Out of town-ers mistake it for an actual stoplight instead of a blinking red.  Nobody knows when to go. Thus providing a good laugh.  Unless you're from here- in which case you grumble about "tourists" and "it's a 4-way stop buddy".  But I still think of myself as a transplant and thus smile when they're stuck waiting for a green light that will never come.  


While coming home from taking Ian to school this morning I was thinking about how much of living in a more populous area doesn't mean you actually know more people- generally we know people based on where our kids go to school and what activities they're involved in- at least that's how I know people.  Usually.  Here we have one elementary school, one middle school and one high school.  And you know the people in your district because you go to work with them and go to church with them and see them at the grocery store.  Given- there is a lack of choice (home school or public school) but I don't think it's all that bad.  And living "in the big city" (read: more than 20,000 people) you have access to more shopping options, more entertainment options and more places, in general, to spend money.  Here, we have less easy options to spend money.  Usually we have to make our own fun.  Though we are getting our first ever bowling alley and are all pretty excited about it. So make our own fun we do. Like yesterday.  Sean had the day off of work for Navajo Nation Sovereignty Day.  I thought we'd go to a National park since this week is National Park week and we're so close.  (It also means FREE this week and free is good.)  But instead we worked together at our house. 

We have no end to projects at our house. No really, I'm pretty sure they'll NEVER END! Gearing up for summer there's talk of gardens and yards and water (because we're in a drought and NEED water badly-praying, fasting, hoping for it.)  Our yard is.... large. But also very sad.  It's been neglected and abused and used as a dump for the last seven years.  Thus our biggest job right now is CLEAN UP.  People often comment on how nice our yard is looking and I think, "But all we did was spend an afternoon cleaning up garbage." Yet that's how big the impact is.  I don't think our ground will grow anything but weeds.  And red ants.  We have oodles of them.  But there are no worms.  Just red dirt and alfalfa where grass is supposed to be (though we won't be putting in much grass- remember desert?) So we mow the alfalfa and pretend we have grass (though I think I'm MORE allergic to alfalfa than grass- and that's saying something.) Back to all this talk of gardens.  I feel like we need to try and grow something.  Self-sustaining. Kid teaching.  Good things gardening teaches us (as Master Yoda would say). Purpose. Direction.  But I don't grow things well.  Sean does.  Which is why I'm glad he's part of this whole operation.  And our yard is icky.  I wanted to CONTAIN the garden so it doesn't get overwhelming and so it might actually stand a chance.  After much discussing we decided on making a box in which to grow our salsa garden (because that's our favorite thing about summer).  Sean made the box out of remaining lumber.  we put a crappy sheet down to allow for drainage but also to block weeds out- no buying the fancy stuff for us (it's an experiment of sorts- to see if buying the fancy black fabric stuff matters or if we can do the same thing with regular ol' fabric I have on hand.) Then the dirt.  Oh my the dirt.  We have to shovel it from what will eventually be the lower terrace and wheelbarrow it over to the box.  It's maybe a quarter to a third full. (the rocks are to help the gaps-because the ground is not level yet) But we had good help.  See?






The handprints are butterflies...sorta.

We'll be busy the rest of the week filling it with dirt. 

All in all a good day off from the office I'd say. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Stop. Eating. My. Deodorant.

 "Stop eating my DEODORANT!" I cried for the billionth time as I wondered if I should feed my kids more often.  Which of course led to a lovely round of mommyguilt. (Note: My kids get 3 square meals a day and snacks inbetween that do NOT include deodorant.)

Then I found this blog.  And I feel much better.  

Laughed so hard I cried. 

My kids looked at me like I'd lost it. 

Maybe I had. 

Just a little. 

If you're a mom- please take a minute.  Your sanity is worth it.  

You're welcome. 


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Currently

Dan, a blogger, wrote a post a while back "The Disease Called Perfection".  It's worth a gander.  We get so caught up in appearances that we forget to be real and forget those we idolize are real too. 
So here's a glimpse at my real life (mostly so *I* remember to give myself a break). 

Currently:

-We are trying to get out of debt.  Which means we drive cars that are 20, and 17 years old. Which means they break down occasionally.  Like this week. (Wheel bearing) So I don't have a vehicle and will be walking to help at Ian's class today.  Not a big deal and better for my health for sure.  But it's COLD outside.  My ears hurt when we got home from walking Ian to school. Blessed to live close enough to do that but still kinda bummed my easy option is gone.   
-We also live in an unfinished house because we're being frugal.  Now, we do happen to have shelter from the storm and for that I am intensely grateful.  I just wish that we had more to show sometimes. Though I'm grateful beyond words that our mortgage is %13 of our take home pay.  Which is why we're trying to get rid of the student loans and credit card debt so we'll have more moolah to spend on our house- or say, a new car.  
-I have these headaches that I'm beginning to think are just a part of life.  They're not a big deal but it's annoying.  I thought it was caffeine.  So I cut that out.  Nope. I thought I needed more water.  So I added more of that.  Nope.  I thought it was sleep.  It still could be that.  I've tried a bajillion different pillows and some help more but none is quite on the money.  I wake up with neck pain. Which leads to a headache.  And allergies mean my sinuses are continually congested- again a possible reason for the headaches.  So not a big deal to anyone outside my head.  But real. 
-My three year old (almost 4) is putting tiny hair rubber bands into the sheath for my sewing scissors.  Weird? Maybe.  But benign. And kinda cute to see the intent look on his face.  He has also started calling me Ms. Frizzle.  I take it as a high compliment.  
-I finally have a rocking chair again.  The day I got it I cried.  Just a little.  I've wanted one so badly since I sold the one I had to make the move.  It was just before Mother's day 2 years ago and I hope the woman who got it rocked her babies in it.  (Her husband was going to surprise her).  Though it was sweet and I'm glad it went to a good home I have longed for one ever since.  My baby is a year and a half and he never had the peace of Mama rocking him before bed.  He loves it. And I love that he loves it.  (I did also try rocking him to sleep at church a few times but he knew that something was up and would NOT settle down to even enjoy it.) Sometimes we just sit and rock for a minute.  
-I also have a scalp condition that makes my scalp and neck so itchy sometimes.  It's like severe dandruff and is mostly under control but flares up now and again.  It's in a flare up stage again right now and makes me want to chop off all my hair (which would help) but I've worked so hard to get it long that I'd hate to give that up.  We'll see which side of me wins out.  


Things you never knew you never knew eh? 


And now for an awesome joke that Sean told me last night:

-What do an Eagle and a Mole have in common?








--They both live underground........except the eagle. 

Thank you and goodnight. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Love Trumps All

In light of a trying week I'd like to share with you a few things I know that bring hope and comfort in my life.

My sister in law and her husband lost their nephew this week to an accident.  A baby left in a draining tub for a few minutes.  He was 3 months younger than Charlie. My sweet little Charlie.  Their sweet little Kayj (pronounced Cage).  So much hurt. Pain. Longing. Loss. Hope.  Hope to see him again. To hug him again.  To see his smile light up a room.

I know there is life after death. That we go on.  That our spirits commune with others.  That we are not alone.  I have always known this.  It speaks truth deep down to my soul.  And that gives me hope.  Purpose. Direction.  I believe God puts us on Earth to learn a few things.  Mostly love.  And sometimes with that love comes pain.  Sometimes unbelievable pain.  When we are swallowed up in sorrow we are surrounded by love.  Which is odd when you feel so incredibly alone.  Love of perfect strangers who hear your story and connect.  Love of community members who mourn when you mourn.  Love of family who ache with loss.  Love of a Father in Heaven who hears our pleas in a bathroom.  To ease the burden.  To send love and comfort.

I firmly believe that LOVE TRUMPS ALL.  Even in pain and loss and suffering.  As a high school sophomore I remember hearing about all the problems around the world and how simple it seemed that they could all be solved with love.  And yet, I'm not cynical enough to discount that solution yet.  Life is complicated. It's true. And Love? Love is powerful.  

"To love another person is to see the face of God." 
-Les Miserables

Hold those you love a little closer and be quick to forgive.  We never know how much time we have with those we love. We might as well spend the time well.  Spend the time loving each other.  Dishes can wait. Laundry will be there.

Love to you all.






If you're at all interested in sending love to a family who could use it here is a little more info (courtesy of Facebook):

As many of you know, Tye and Laici Shumway lost their little boy Kayj last night in a tragic accident at their home. The Shumway's are fairly new to the Vernal area, having moved from Blanding, but in the short time they've been in our neighborhood, they have been such a blessing and we consider them dear friends. We can't imagine their heartache in letting Kayj return to his Heavenly Father. We feel lucky to have had the opportunity to know Kayj for a short time. He brought so much joy with his sweetness and stunningly handsome little face.

Unfortunately, the loss of Kayj is not the only thing the Shumway's are dealing with right now as Tye was laid off only a few days ago. That's why we have set up a Paypal account to assist the Shumway's with the expenses they are facing. If you would like to donate, please 1) go to paypal.com, 2) log in (or create an account to log in), 3) click on "Transfer", 4) click on "Send someone money", 5) enter "tyeshumway@gmail.com" as the recipient, with your email as the sender, along with the amount you would like to donate. If you do not have a Paypal account, and do not wish to create one, we would be happy to arrange other means for you to assist.


If you'd like to help but don't want to do the paypal account- send me a comment with your email.  No one sees the comments until I approve them and I'll keep things confidential.


Again, give someone a hug today. Spread love. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Blessings:

Sunshine: that dries the laundry, soothes the soul and brings with it hope of brighter days and longer hours.  

Children who still want me to hold them and read with them and enjoy life with them.  We had some "Mommy time" in the last weeks spent painting and creating and enjoying.  It was lovely. 

My baby who is still ok with being called my baby, despite his intense need for independence.  

A dear sweetheart who spontaneously tells me often that I'm wonderful. 

Music: singing with the church choir speaks so deeply to me and I am grateful for our great director who gives countless hours and challenges us with music that is amazing and difficult.  

Color: to be blind would be an awful loss in my mind. 

A month that brings family and celebrations of milestones.  



When I was having a difficult time with homesickness working 2000 miles from home, a dear friend told me to count my blessings, find 3 things every day to be grateful for.  So here are 6 for a Monday that I wish all of the laundry was magically folded and put away and a cold Dr. Pepper in hand and green grass to lay out on in the lovely sunshine.  As it is I'll take what I can get: A cold water bottle, a pile of laundry and Netflix (Psych!) And sleeping kids for about 10 more minutes.