Thursday, December 28, 2006

Our Own Blue Man

Dallin is our troublemaker. He doesn't mean to cause trouble. He's just a very curious boy. And boy oh boy does he keep us on our toes.

Today Dallin got into the pantry and found the food coloring. That isn't necessarily a new thing, but today he actually opened the food coloring. Yellow and blue make green. In Dallin's case, a little bit of yellow and a whole lot of blue make a dark teal. Which he drank. And covered his hands in. I took him into the bathroom and immediately started the bathwater. I set Dallin on the toilet to take off his clothes. He turned, looked in the mirror, and started to laugh at himself. He pointed to his mouth and said "Mouth!!" I got him to stick out his tongue. He liked that, too. Ches got the camera and we got a few pictures, then threw him into the tub. The water immediately turned a very pretty blue color.

Food coloring doesn't just wash off. You can get some of with soap, water, and a bit of scrubbing, but with all the stuff Dallin had on his face and hands, it's just going to take some time. Until then, I will teach him to say "Mmmmm, Smurfs!" anytime someone comments on his new look.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Tell It Like It Is

From Kris we get to "Tell it like it is" today. The point is to answer each question with a short answer... the first thing that comes to mind, I guess. You just tell it like it is!! Here goes:

Tell it like it is...parenting edition

1) On Discipline
Please do, so I don't have to do it for you when you come with your kids to my house.

2) On Potty Training
Don't stress about it. Don't let yourself get talked into doing it sooner than your kid is ready because everyone else "knows" what is best!

3) On Circumcision
It was my husband's decision. Doesn't matter to me. But I found out it is ridiculously expensive!!

4) On Buying XBoxes/PS/Gaming stuff
I don't play video games. But Ches does, so whatever.

5) On Bottlefeeding
I breastfeed exclusively at first, but you do what you have to do. We're about to start formula, I think, with the baby.

6) On TV watching
My kids watch too much. So do I.

7) On Elective C-sections
Stupid decision!! I've had three c-sections now (none were elective. One emergency, one required as a repeat, and the last was a pre-emptive move so we wouldn't have another emergency), and wish I could have a baby the "real" way. Again, do what you gotta do, though.

8) On Division of Labor for Parents
Have open communication on expectations, and both parents better stinkin' do their jobs (says the lazy, bad housewife!)

9) On How Many Kids
We have 3, hope for 1 more, and that is it for me. Some people are good with a ton of kids, some are only good with a very few.

10)On "Natural" Childbirth
Why would you purposefully put yourself in that kind of pain when you don't have to be?? I may have had c-sections, but I went into labor with all three, and let me tell you, I was asking for the epidural when I walked into the hospital!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Counting Down

Hey folks... do you know what is coming up? No, not Christmas! I mean, yes, Christmas is coming up, but that isn't until Monday. Do you know what comes before that?? On Sunday??


Now, I know it's cutting it close if you haven't sent out gifts yet, so I will accept late entries. And if you have forgotten... chocolate is always a good gift. The darker the better. Or in liquid form. As in hot. Alright, so it's really a powder, but you get my meaning. Hot chocolate is great. One can never have too much dark chocolate or hot chocolate.

Oh, and in case you were wondering (and somehow didn't know)... I'll be 30. So I think the chocolate is needed. Besides, I've started working out (man, my abs hurt from Pilates!) and I need rewards. heh.

**note** You don't actually have to send me anything. This post is all in jest, in case you couldn't tell. I just had to make that clear. I'm not actually the kind of person who begs for presents. But I do like the attention you can get on your birthday. You know me... Little Miss Seeks Attention In All Forms!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Shut In

The younglings and Mr. Universe have been sick. Luckily, I have not. I don't know how much more I can take of this, though! All day long I am dealing with runny noses and scary sounding coughs. Dallin is just plain miserable. Parker sounds like he can't breathe half the time. Aiden is actually doing well, now anyways. Ches has had a sore throat for what seems like forever, and he's just miserable most of the time, too.

At night, the kids wake up coughing and crying. Actually, more like screaming. I get up with them and calm them down, and put them back to sleep. They never wake up at the same time. That is both a good thing and a bad thing. The good part is that they aren't waking each other up, and I'm able to take care of whoever it is that wakes up without distraction. The bad part is that as soon as I get one kid back to sleep, another one wakes up.

I'm so tired of runny noses. I'm so tired of being puked on by kids who are coughing and crying so much all that's left for them to do is gag. I'm tired of kids being on a weird sleep schedule.

I'm just tired!!

When will it end?? They aren't sick enough to stay in bed and get better, but they are sick enough to have short tempers and be really needy and clingy.

At least I haven't caught anything. Yet. When I am sick, who will take care of me? No one. I'll still have to run the household (even if I already do a bad job of it!) and take care of the kids. Oh, well. Isn't this the life of a mother?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

We've Got Ghosts!

A few weeks ago we went to the LDS Temple to see all the beautiful Christmas lights and to hear the outdoor concert of the evening (that night was a "flute choir", although I personally don't consider four flutists with no alto or bass flute a flute choir, but maybe that's just me. Oh, and they were sitting and playing. Since when do flute choirs sit and play? Sorry for the ramble.). Here is a good shot of the temple. Ches was trying to take a picture of Dallin, but then Aiden jumped on Ches' arm, and we got this crappy shot instead.

However, do you see that wierd white ball looking thingy? (Click on the picture to make it bigger so you can actually see what I'm talking about. Trust me.) It's a ghost!! Anytime on TV there are ghost hunters, on of the things they use as "evidence" is taking pictures and when there is an "orb" (and this is a really good orb here), they say it is a ghost. However, we were at the Temple, and since it is such a sacred place, I'm going to say it's an angel. Ha.

I don't know if I really believe that you can take pictures of ghosts or spirits. I do believe in ghosts, though. Anyway, I just thought the picture turned out kind of interesting. What do you think?? (Oh, and it is obvious that it's not a Christmas light because there aren't any right there and it's not a relflection of any, either. At least I don't think so.)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

World Class High Jumping

Last night was our ward Christmas party and talent show. Ches played a trumpet duet of several Christmas tunes (and they sounded awesome... even with Ches being so sick he looked like he was going to pass out!). There were several piano players, other instrumentalists, and a few singers. One family sang "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer", and another family did a little choreography to some music to lead up to all of them doing backflips. It was a great time.

And then there was Aiden. Aiden insisted I sign him up for the talent show, so I did. When it was his turn, he went on stage and I went to the mic to introduce him:

"When we were still living in Reno, Aiden's primary class had apparantly been learning about talents. When we got home from church that Sunday, we asked Aiden what his talents were, and he said, 'I'm really good at jumping.' Once he heard about tonight's talent show, he wanted to participate. We asked him what he wanted to do, and here he is. This is Aiden jumping really, really high!"

Aiden then crouched down, then jumped up. The audience went nuts! They clapped and cheered so loudly for him. Aiden had the biggest grin on his face and gave me a thumbs up, so of course I had to return it. Returning to our seat, lots of people stuck out their hands to Aiden for a high five. After the talent show, several people came to him and said, "You are such a good jumper, Aiden!"and then turned to Ches or me to tell us just how cute he is.

I'm very proud of my son for being able to get up in front of a very large group of people to share his talents. And yes, I think he is an awesome jumper, too!

Monday, December 11, 2006

To The Motherland

I have made a decision. We're moving to England. I just want to, okay? I found several good reasons for doing it:

*England has so much more history than the US does. I mean, "old" here is anything more than 100 years old. In Europe, that's still very new. There old is like, 500 years or more.
*The general architecture is different there, and I find it so appealing.
*Very low taxes.
*Very low unemployment rate.
*Lower crime rate.
*Free health care (although I know it's not really free. It's more like socialized medicine or something).
*Tons of culture. Especially if we leave in or near London (which is what I want).
*Travel to other parts of Europe is less expensive and very accessable.
*More tolerance for people of other races and cultures.

And the most important reason we're moving to England...
Because I want to.

Now, if I can only convince Ches...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Christmas Ornaments

Growing up, we had a certain Christmas tradition that I'm sure a lot of people have. However, it is one I always enjoyed, and when Ches and I married, I wanted us to keep this one up in our little family. Every year, we each get a new ornament for the Christmas tree. It can be something representative of the past year, something that has a special meaning to us, or just something we really like. Our tree doesn't have any sort of theme to it because of this mish-mash collection of ornaments, but it sure is fun to look at all the different things hanging on there. We have a glass ball from the Ohio State University, a "One Fish Two Fish" ornament (complete with a red fish and a blue fish!), Spiderman, Batman, Hermione Granger, a Santa driving an old car, a snowman holding an American Flag and wearing an Uncle Sam-like outfit, and so many more.

This year, the entire family has matching ornaments. They are different shapes, but all are made from beech wood. We got these ornaments from APO Industries, and you can find that link here. This company is a mom and daughter who wanted something that would make great gifts for parents or grandparents and would last. I think these ornaments really will. You get the ornaments in just their "natural" state: a nice, light wood, not painted. You have the option of painting them yourself, or leaving them as they are. I had a hard time deciding because I thought the ornaments look pretty good unpainted. Very simple and beautiful that way. I decided to make it a family project, however, so we painted them.

We received the "Jack" collection of ornaments: a tree, a bell, a star, and a rocking horse. We also received a special 2006 ornament of a dog sitting in front of a fireplace mantle. We left this one unpainted because I like it just the way it is.

The boys each picked which ornament they wanted, I handed them paint brushes, and set them free. When they were done, I added a couple of little "embellishments", and wrote their names and the year. Aiden got a hold of the paint marker (while I was busy washing paint off Dallin's stomach) and wrote his own name. Ches is still in the process of painting his.

Let me tell you why I like these ornaments so much. It made for a fun project for the kids. We just used craft paint, so I know it was safe and would wash off our skin easily (hey, I have boys. You think the paint is going to stay where it's supposed to??). They are so pretty. Did I mention the simplicity of them? You can get away from all the too-shiny stuff and have a beautiful tree with these ornaments. Not going to happen in our house of the Mis-matched Christmas Tree, but it was a nice idea. Anyway, back to the ornaments. They also smell so good! As soon as I took them out of the package, it smelled like fresh air, outdoors, the woods, and Christmas, all rolled into one.

I also think, because of their size and light weight, that the ornaments would make cool gift tags. Just paint on the name of the recipient. Add a nice little ribbon, and just tie it on to a gift basket or bag or whatever. Like I said, you don't have to paint them. Perhaps you like the gold or silver foil? Go for it! I was thinking that if I had some cool, shimmery paint I would try that. I'm definitely getting another collection next year, and maybe I'll buy some special paints for it.

The ornaments came in the mail really quickly, so you still have time to order them for this year! You can hang them on your own tree, or make them for Grandma and Grandpa who live far away. Seriously, check it out. I think you'll all like it a lot. I did.

**note** I have pictures, but Blogger is making things difficult again. Check out my Flickr account and they are there. I'll keep trying to post them here, though.

Friday, December 01, 2006

What I'm Doing Right Now

I should be in bed, asleep. But I'm not. Instead, I'm sitting here, wasting time at the computer as I wait for the dryer to finish drying the blankets. I will then switch the load of darks from the washer into the dryer, and put a load of whites into the washer.

I'm sitting here at the computer, eating from a bag of chocolate chips, and listening to the song "Blue Moon" that is on the movie "Gross Anatomy" on the TV in my bedroom, across the hall from where I am sitting. Mr. Universe put the movie on, the turned on the sleep timer on the TV. Sure enough, he's totally out, but the movie is still going.

It's 10:58 pm, and I'm sitting here at the computer with a slight headache, wondering why Aiden is still awake. At least he's in bed now. Dallin went to bed hours and hours ago. He would. He woke up at 6 am. I didn't get up until 7. Thank goodness for a Wiggles DVD. Dallin took a nap in the morning, from 9:30 until noon. Usually he naps about 2 pm., so going to sleep before 7 pm wasn't a big shocker. I fell asleep on the couch this evening, cuddling with Parker, about 5 pm, and didn't wake up until after 8. Wow, that nap felt good! But now it's 11:01 pm and I'm not really all that tired. So it'll take me forever to go to sleep, I'll have a hard time waking up again in the morning, I'll be super tired all day and probably take a long nap and a wierd time, and will not be able to go to sleep tomorrow night until really stinkin' late. It's a vicious cycle.

At least I know that I'm not completely wasting my time because I have to get this laundry done. I need clean underwear for tomorrow, so this load of whites has to get in the dryer tonight. I would have done it sooner, but Mr. Universe was being an awesome husband by doing some laundry himself. He didn't realize, however, that I needed a load of whites done. Oh well.

And that is what I'm doing right now. Bet you're excited to have read this ery interesting post, huh?

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year... For Credit Card Companies!!

Have you seen the commercials for Sam's Club lately? It shows all these different people with huge, goofy smiles on their faces and huge, often goofy purchases they have recently made. I can't remember what song is playing in the background as the go from one shot to the next. However, the commercial shows a shot of a woman standing on top of a man's back as he lays face down on a massage table. Then there is the shot of the sorority girl in a cheerleader's uniform with a large, pointing-arrow marquee that states, "Don't Mess With Muffy." The last shot shows a couple standing in front of their house with one of those insanely huge, blow-up snowglobes in the front yard. Then comes the big statement:

"Sam's Club now accepts Mastercard."

Mr. Universe and I have had memberships to Sam's Club for just over 4 years now. We really like buying certain things in bulk (hot chocolate!!), and you can get some good deals on other things, too. Previously, Sam's only accepted cash, check, or debit card. Or if you qualified for and got the Sam's Club credit card, you could use that.

It doesn't bother me that they now accept Mastercard. That's great. Whatever. I don't care about that. What I care about is the commercial that essentially says "Hey, we take credit cards now, so why don't you come in here and buy a whole bunch of crazy expensive stuff. You can put it on your credit card, so you can afford it! Sure, you'll just rack up a bunch of debt, but who cares? You'll be happy once you get that giant plasma screen TV, fake fireplace, pool table, and 25 pounds of chocolate chips."

We have a major problem in this county with debt. Most people live beyond their means. My generation does not know how to "make do" with what they've got until they can save up and buy it straight out. When I first got married, I knew a girl that worked at a bank. She was saying one day that her boss said you wouldn't believe how many 25 year olds are coming in to declare bankruptcy. They are coming in after they have bought a nice house, filled with new furniture and a giant TV, and they are driving these huge, expensive SUVs. They don't know how to budget or how to save.

I know that bankruptcy laws have changed, so it is actually harder to declare bankruptcy, and that's great. Too many people bought and bought, then when they couldn't find a way out, they took the "easy" way. I mean, heck. It's only on your credit report a few years, right? And we still get to keep the house, honey! Wo-hoo!

Yes, I'm happy that you can't be so irresponsible anymore. Or at least you can't get out of being irresponsible quite so easily. However, back to the Sam's Club commercial.

I am not a perfect person. Mr. Universe and I have big hopes for our family, but first we need to get out of debt. We have made some stupid decisions (who hasn't??), and we have moved a few too many times. We're kind of stuck right now, but we have a plan and we're working on it.

I am concerned about this commercial only because it encourages the irresponsible use of a credit card! It's ridiculous. The whole "Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die" bit just doesn't cut it. Sam's should be encouraging their customers with financing adn rewards for paying off big purchases early. That would be more likely to make me shop for the big items. I would still end up paying more for the product throught the interest in financing, but at least I won't have it sitting on my ridiculously high-interest-rate credit card and only paying minimum payments. Then I would only get it paid off after what? 40 years? And I will have paid for the item probably twice by then, but I haven't used or seen that item in at least 30 years.

Please, Sam's Club, let us encourage people to be financially smart, not irresponsible!!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Backyard

For those of you who have seen what my backyard looked like when we moved in, I wanted to show off what a little grass can do. I tried to find the picture of the backyard as it looked, but I guess we got rid of it. You only get the "after" shot. Sorry. I was also mainly testing out our new camera tripod. We just got it on Friday, and I love having it!!

We planted seed and faithfully watered everyday. We chased birds out of the yard because they were eating the seed. After only a week we saw green start to sprout up out of the ground. This picture is about 2 1/2 weeks after the initial seeding. You can see we left the some big areas surrounding the grass unseeded. I'm not quite sure what we are going to do with it yet. Our main concern was to get in some grass for the boys to play on. I want to plant some flowers and stuff, but we'll see. I also want to put in a firepit. I think we could have a lot of fun with that.

I love it! Now my boys have a grassy area to play in. They love it! Now Ches has something to mow. I'm not sure that he loves that, but you do what ya gotta do.

Monday, November 27, 2006

You Say Toe-may-toe, I Say Toe-mah-toe

I've been thinking about how differently we all pronounce certain words. (I don't know why. Just roll with me here) I often wonder why it is, really, that we DO pronounce them differently. Why is it that here in the US, when we want to apologize, we say "saw-ree" and you up in the north say "sore-ee"? We aren't all that different, are we?

Then you get people in the same country... take a certain kind of pie that (most) people seem to like. I pronounce it "pe-CAHN", whereas my friends down south pronounce it "PEE-can". Then there is the word pie: I say "pyee", and Southerners say "paaah".

Sometimes it doesn't seem to matter where you are from, you just pronounce it however your family does. Take the word creek. I am usually adament that it is pronounced "creek", not "crick" as many people will. However, when I am talking about a certain small community in southeastern Idaho, it is most definitely Mink Crick. Even if it is spelled Mink Creek.

The town I used to live in during my high school years has a nice name: El Dorado. A beautiful, Spanish sounding name, right? WRONG!!! In that town, it is not pronounced "Elle Doe-RAH-doe", as it is anywhere else in the world. Here it is "Elle Duh-RAY-doe".

When I lived in Maine, you knew who the tourists were because they would call our little city "Bang-urr". It is spelled Bangor, and it is pronounced "Bang-GORE". Or, if you had a really thick, Down East accent, it is "Bang-ah". Here in Arizona, the out-of-towners (or out-of-staters, really), pronounce Prescott wrong by saying "Press-SCOTT". When you come visit, you will sound knowledgeable because I am telling you it's actually pronounced "PRESS-kit".

In Nevada, we say "Ne-VEH-duh", NOT "Ne-VAH-duh". Just to make that clear. When we moved East, we had to constantly remind people it is "Ore-e-GUN", not "Ore-e-GONE", and I don't know why so many people can't understand that the "s" is silent in Illinois.

So, pretty much, I'm thinking of place names more than other words. Hmm. What common mispronounciations do you hear where you are? Or what major differences have you heard (with neither actually being "correct", just different) in your many travels?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Some Things I've Learned

Here are some important things I have learned since becoming a mother:

1. A timer is everything. I should carry one in my diaper bag.
2. If you call it a reward rather than a bribe, then you are a good mommy.
3. Sometimes you have to talk to the toy to get answers from the 4 year old.
4. When going to the zoo, don't expect your child to be fascinated by all the "cool" animals (ie, lions, zebras, polar bears, monkeys, etc). Instead, be prepared to comment that yes, those ants crawling in the dirt really are special.
5. No matter how cool the toy is you bought for a birthday present, your child will still be happiest playing with the box, your makeup brushes, and a piece of tinfoil.
6. You really do turn into your mother because you have found yourself using phrases like, "Because I said so!" and "Look with your eyes, not your hands!!"
7. Your husband must really love you if he is still attracted to your saggy, stretched out, flabby, scarred body.
8. A child's sense of humor is amazing. I find myself laughing all the time.
9. Mealtimes are major affairs, not to be handled with delicacy. Going out requires research, a bag of stuff to do while waiting for the food, extra clothes (especially if you're planning on going somewhere after dinner), and plenty of cash for a good tip for the understanding server.
10. Mothers really do have super powers. They call it "intuition". I don't know what it really is, but I can tell exactly what my baby needs, can feel the emotions of a toddler as they feel them, and can move with super-human speed at the playground when it looks like someone is going to fall backwards.
11. I am tired, can't think straight, feel like the ugliest, fattest person ever, and just wish for a day of complete silence with the chance to do nothing but indulge myself, but I couldn't give up my children for anything in the world. Even in that wishfulfilled day, I would miss my kids after just five minutes. Okay, maybe more like 10.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble

To all of us in the States:

Happy Thanksgiving! May your turkey be delicious, your pumpkin pie perfect, and your after-dinner nap satisfying.

To everyone else:

Happy normal Thursday that really isn't different from any other day! May you enjoy Survivor and CSI on TV tonight, shopping for Christmas gifts, and going to bed at a normal time because you still have work and/or school tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Close To Home

An incident was reported on last night's news broadcast that an 8th grade student had written a "hit list" of other students' names on his notebook. These were students who had bullied the 8th grader. Also on his notebook was written a list of some students and teachers who would be spared because they had been nive to them. This incident happened last Friday, and it happened at the middle school that Mr. Universe teaches at.

Mr. Universe expressed surprise that it was reported on teh news because he didn't see it as a big deal. No one seems to believe the student would actually do anything. The student was suspended, and the principal has talked to the students involved (which included two of Mr. Universe's students) and to the parents. The principal was shown on TV to say that he is keeping an open mind in judgement on this, so this student may be allowed back in school. Mr. Universe said he doesn't know this kid, but he did hear about the incident on Friday.

I just about freaked out. As I'm watching this TV report and realizing where exactly this happened, I start to have a panic attack. Mr. Universe kept saying it's no big deal and not to worry about anything. The only thing that kept me from having a full-blown panic attack was that I was starting to get angry at Mr. Universe for not realizing that it was a big deal to me.

You see, I still vividly remember that day in April several years ago when I was home early from class. I flipped on the TV, and there were all these reports... on every station... images of kids in lines running out of a school with their hands on their heads... so many kids crying... kids and parents on cell phones...police cars with lights flashing... adults in full riot gear...

I think we all know what I'm refering to. Columbine. I was still a newlywed, and for the first time I really started to feel mortal. Worst of all, I realized my husband was mortal. We were both studying to become teachers, but we hoped to have a family one day. Once we had children, we both wanted me to stay home and be the full-time caretaker. Mr. Universe would be teaching.

I was horrified at what I was seeing on my television screen. How could two kids do this? How could they kill their fellow students? No matter how angry I was at other students for picking on me or my friends, it never occured to me that this kind of violence was an option. I believe most of us feel this way.

I called my mom. "Have you seen what's on TV?" I cried into the phone. My mother is a teacher. I wondered if she was ever afraid of students like this. Mom tried to calm me a bit, and that when I said to her what has stuck in my mind since that day.

Someday, some student may be depressed and angry, and that student is going to come to school with guns and bombs and who knows what else. That students isn't going to care what happens to anyone else, and my husband could be a teacher at that school, and my husband could get shot. I will never see my husband alive again because some kid is having a bad day.

I know that it is a silly, irrational fear, but a fear it is. When this incident happened on Friday, all those fears from 1999 came back. It hit just too close to home this time. I don't know if this student really would do anything. I'm sure many of us have made at least a mental hit list at one time or another, but would never act on such thoughts. It could be true of this student. He may just need some professional counseling and maybe some anger management courses. I don't know. This particular incident really may be just nothing. But it still scares me.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Time Waster

If I'm not doing what I should be doing, it's because I went and got myself addicted to this. Pretty simple, but I keep playing anyway. What do you do when you are wasting time on one thing instead of doing what you should be doing?

Random Friday

Yes, I know I'm writing this on Sunday, and really it's only going to be Sunday for one more minute, so maybe this will show up as Monday. But that helps this become more of a Random Friday, right? Because it's random. You expected it on Friday, and instead you get it now. It's random.

Justification works sometimes.


I am sending out Christmas cards this year. I don't get to it every year, but I'm bound and determined to do it this year. SO... email me your addresses, my friends. You are on my list. If you are family, well, 10 bucks says I already have your address. If I don't, I'll call you.

Included in the Christmas card may or may not be a family picture (depends on if I can get all of us to look decent and sit still long enough for the timer to go off on the camera!), and will most likely have the Dreaded Yearly Update Letter.

I know most people complain about these letters and how they just brag and brag. However, I actually enjoy reading them from other people. Yes, I do get a bit envious at other people's lives, but I enjoy knowing about the good things in their lives. I enjoy hearing that little Bobby Joe was on the honor roll for the third year in a row as well as achieving a record number of Boy Scout badges and winning the little elementary school track meet. Really I do. Because I know I am sending YOU a letter bragging about Aiden's amazing reading skills, Dallin's amazing verbal skills, and Parker's amazing head-lifting and smiling skills. We all take pride in our kids. It's allowed.

Of course, all of you already know what's been going on because you read this blog. So you can toss the letter and just enjoy the card and (maybe) the picture.


When I was in college, I started dying my hair dark colors (because I think the natural color of my hair is just a plain, boring brown with nothing to it). Mostly I went with a dark auburn, but sometimes just a dark brown. I really like the red in my hair, but it doesn't look very natural on me if I go too carrot-y. So I stick with the auburn. I would often get compliments and, in the same breath, I was asked, "Is that your natural color?"

I wondered how much of a compliment it really is when people are questioning you on something as personal as your natural hair color. I could be wrong about that. It may not be personal at all.

Anyway, so they would compliment and ask, and I would answer with, "It's the color I was born with!"

Hey, it was honest! I was born with lots and lots of dark, auburn hair. When I was a preschooler it was bleach blonde. It went to a mousey brown in elementary school, and that's pretty much where it stayed. Although when I got my hair cut this summer and the blonde highlights were finally all cut out, I found my mousey brown hair had gotten darker. I like it darker. But it was still a boring brown.

Last week I got my hair trimmed a bit (got rid of most of the layers that were growing out horribly, so now it's slightly layered and more of a long-ish bob) and colored. It is a dark auburn again, and I love it.

Sure enough, I have gotten many compliments and questions: "I love your hair! It's so pretty! Is that your natural color?"

I'm back to my standby answer. "It's the color I was born with."


Christmas is approaching. Which means... my birthday is coming! Do you know how old I'm gonna be this year? Thirty. That's right. The big 3-0. Will I now finally be treated more as an adult? Not some twenty-something punk who doesn't know what being an adult really is? Not some teenager who has yet to grow up? I doubt it. Because they are saying things about how people live longer, and 40 is the new 25 or something. Who is "they" anyway? Where do we get these things from?

So anyway, I guess I'm still just a kid. Or, as Ches likes to say, a spring chicken. Or maybe he says chick. I haven't heard him use the phrase in a few years, so I suddenly don't remember.

I should delete that last paragraph because that is just verbal vomit.


I'm trying so hard to get Eragon read for the Book Club, but things just keep happening at our house! I pick up the book and seriously only read abouttwo paragraphs when Parker needs a diaper change. Or Aiden is screaming at Dallin to get off his bed and go away. Or the phone rings with a call for Haseem Muhommad yet again. I am normally a freakishly fast reader, but I just can't seem to get this thing read. Hopefully in the next couple of days it will get better. Because I'm actually starting to enjoy it. I wasn't sure what to expect because it's fantasy, and that isn't normally what I enjoy reading. That's Ches' thing. However, if it's a well-written, just plain good plot, I'll read anything.


It got up to 88 degrees today. Yes, you read that right. 88. Eighty-freaking-eight. Thanksgiving is this week, and I'm still wearing shorts and sandals. Crazy go nuts.


Parker is such a happy baby. He smiles a lot now. I mean, he smiles a LOT. And it's postitively adorable. My boys have inherited their father's extremely long and beautiful eyelashes (yes, you are allowed to complain about the fairness of all these males getting such great eyelashes). As babies, whenever they would smile I would notice the same thing that is happening now with Parker. I swear that when Parker smiles, his eyelashes grow an inch. It's just beautiful. Also, his whole face lights up, and you can't help but smile back at the wide open grin he has. I think he's going to have dimples, like his brothers. SO CUTE.

I have to say, Ches and I make the cutest, most adorable babies in the entire world, hands down.


Quote of the day:
We are often mistaken about art. Art is not emotion. Art is the medium in which emotion is expressed.
--Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Millions of Fingers! Millions of Thumbs!

This month is Drum Month. I don't know why, or who says, except that on my newsletter from Cool Mom Picks it said November is Drum Month. So...

Dust off your Remo heads, my friends, and beat the heck out of something! When changing the tire on your vehicle, compare tightening the lugnuts to tightening the screws on a drum rather than the other way around. Dig out the cool black t-shirt that says Zildjian on it. Talk about the advances in musicianship that Ringo Starr brought to the Beatles through his visionary rhythms. Have a debate on whether there is a difference in sound quality when using traditional grip or match grip. Carry a stick bag on your shoulder, or just have a couple of sticks in the back pocket of your jeans. Find your felt and yarn and have a mallet wrapping party. There are so many things you can do during drum month.

Dum ditty dum ditty dum dum dum.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

My Sunday I's (12 for the 12th)

1. I love to take a Sunday nap for hours on end

2. I enjoy watching other people struggle with their kids a bit at church because it makes me feel like we're actually normal

3. I think I became the answer to someone's prayer today

4. I like the warm, fuzzy feeling that I have by being that answer

5. I am going to watch some kids after school next semester

6. I hope to make some money off of it, but if I don't, oh well

7. I need to reorganize my drawer in the filing cabinet

8. I have really wierd dreams sometimes

9. I wake up confused and can't tell the difference between reality and my dream

10. I made a wish list on titled "Stuff I Can't Afford"

11. I really can afford some of the stuff, but not all at once, and some of it just seems silly to go out and buy just for the heck of it

12. I love that the weather cooled down a bit today and yesterday

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Gettin' My Vote On

I voted on Tuesday. I'm quite proud of myself, but it was really stressful. I mean, how hard is it to make a few small decisions, right? Ha.

First of all, I have now voted in states and in three different ways. In Idaho I filled in a little circle (like a standardized test or something) with a pencil. In Nevada I pressed what looked like a button on an electronic screen, then reviewed all my choices before saving it, then got a little print-out verifying my votes. Here in Arizona I was given very large pieces of paper, given a "special" pen (seemed like a nice felt pen was all), and was told to connect the back line to the front arrow so it looked like one long arrow. I guess if I made a mistake, well, tough luck. No one ever told me what to do about that.

Second of all, I took all three kids with me to vote. I had meticulously gone through the sample ballot sent to me in the mail so I would know what proposition was what and I would be prepared. I had talked to Aiden about how blessed we are to live in a country that allows us, the people, to pick our own leaders, and this is how we get to pick them: we go vote for who we think is best and good and true and hope that everyone else feels the same way. I made sure I had my ID ready to show at the polls. I piled the kids in the van, and we were off. We made up a silly little song to sing about voting: "I get to vo-o-o-o-ote today! We're going to vo-o-o-o-ote today! Oh it's so fun to vo-o-o-o-ote!" Aiden and Parker were perfect during the voting. Well, Parker slept, so he really wasn't a problem. Dallin --my beautiful, innocent-looking devil child-- decided that this was the perfect place to run around, screaming and laughing very loudly. It took me forever to get the voting done because I had to keep chasing after Dallin! It was so embarrassing. I hope I voted for who and what I wanted. You never can tell when you have to leave the table 40twelve times to chase after the little monster.

Third of all, I really and truely tried to research the issues and the candidates, but it was really hard! There should really be a link on your sample ballot to a nonpartisan, completely objective and neutral website that says, "So and So is running for Blah Blah office. He believes this and this. Such and Such is the also running for Blah Blah office. She believes that and that. Proposition 10hundred is really saying la-dee-da and is supported by these High-falutin' groups." Wouldn't that make life just perfect? Which is why, of course, there is no such website. Maybe I could start working on one for the next presidential election. Uuuuhhhhh, NO!! Am I nuts?? (Don't actually answer that, please).

Fourth of all (good thing I wasn't counting on my hands, huh? 'cuz then I'd be a four-handed freak), I just plain stress out at the idea of voting for something and maybe I don't actually know who or what it stands for and I just helped vote in something I am completely against. And what about these measures that are like they are about one thing, but they have a million other hidden agendas in them?? That scares the heck outta me. I don't know if I just voted to raise the minimum wage or if I really voted to let someone come into my workplace and steal my identity!! (I don't know how those are connected, but there was some commercial about it).

Here are the good things about my voting:
1) I did my Civic Duty and now feel like an Upstanding Citizen
2) I am now allowed to complain about the state of affairs in this country because I voted. I just won't let you know if I voted for something that actually made it worse and I am now complaining about it
3) I got a cool sticker (they even gave me one each for Aiden and Dallin!) which I proudly wore the rest of the day

And now I'm ending with a gratuitous sentence so... well, Karen sounded better when she said it. Never mind.

Here We go Again

Okay innernets... do you like this one better than the face with no nose? I do. Although I really liked the eyes on the last one. Anyrate...

Trying this out for size. I don't actually meditate or do yoga like the cool girl here does (I'm pretending she's me), but I should. I'm holding a contest, too. What do you think is going on in her (my) head? Come up with a good sentence or two, and it could be my next tagline!! :)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

And Then The One Penguin Yelled To The Other... "Hot Chocolate!"

I love hot chocolate. It's my favorite drink, I believe. Between my sister, Lura, and me, we keep the hot chocolate business from ever going under. Seriously. I mean, here I am, drinking a nice big mug of hot chocolate, and it's freakin' 90 degrees outside!! However, the last time I looked at a calendar, it said November on top. November means cool weather, warm sweaters, pretty red leaves falling from trees, and a very yummy mug of hot chocolate.

You got a problem with that? Doesn't matter. I'm the one overheating myself to enjoy the silky delight being poured down my throat. You can go drink your ice cold Coke or something. I'm keeping my hot chocolate.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Testing 1-2-3

Well, I'm going for a new look. And figuring out how to personalize stuff, too. We'll see how it goes. So far, it's very slow-going, especially since I can only work on it for a couple of minutes before the kids go nuts... which they are right now.

So... what do you think? Is it me, or should I keep looking? I'm debating in my head.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Joke of the Day

What is the difference between a large pizza with everything on it and a high school band director?

A large pizza really can feed a family of four.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Friday Friday Friday!!!

Yes folks, it is Friday. I have gotten confused every single day this week as to what day it was, and even today I was unsure. But now that I have it in my head, I am SO hapy for it to be Friday! Friday means tomorrow is Saturday. Saturday means Mr. Universe doesn't have to go to work, so we get to hang out. Saturday means we get housework and yardwork done, and we get ready for Sunday. Sunday means after the stress of getting to church on time (which never happens anymore), we have a relaxing day of rest, peace, learning, and worship.

Then Sunday evening comes and we start to think about Monday, and I don't want to think about Monday yet, so I will stick to the issue at hand which is...



Driving home from Wal-Mart the other day I saw a school bus which looks a lot different than what I normally see. Usually I see the standard "Blue Bird" model. I remember when that was the "new" kind when I was in high school. We always wanted the Blue Birds for our band trips. They were bigger and roomier and just plain looked nicer. However, if the football team had something going on, you can believe we didn't get the Blue Birds. We got the old, crappy busses. Oh well. We had an awesome semi-trailer for band (named Big Bertha, pronounced Big Berfa) and the football team didn't have that. I wonder if I can find a picture of Big Bertha.

So anyway... this bus I saw the other day...

It looked like a huge, pimped out kind of bus. It had a fancy black top, looked like it sat higher than the Blue Bird, had a deeper yellow with black trim, and just plain looked awesome. Anyone else seen the tricked out school bus in their district?


We went Trick-or-Treating Tuesday night, with just small success. Most houses in our neighborhood didn't have their lights on. It was pretty disapointing to be out walking for an hour and get so little candy.

The first house we went to (about three houses down from us) gave the kids cans of Pepsi. I drank Aiden's Pepsi yesterday, and I have to say that I don't like Pepsi. Yuck. I mean, I'm not a big pop drinker anyway, but colas just aren't that great to me. I can handle a Coke every now and then, but I prefer Dr. Pepper. Or Vanilla Coke. If I'm going to drink pop, it's usually Sprite or Dr. Pepper. I remember liking the Pepsi One when it came out while I was in college (some promo people were passing them out on campus, so I drank a few... I didn't hate Pepsi back then). I wonder what happened. Anyway... I don't like Pepsi anymore.


Being the reality TV junkies that we are (okay, so actually I'm the one who watches all the crazy little reality shows like Laguna Beach or My Super Sweet Sixteen), we have been following Survivor quite religiously since the very first season. We only dropped out during the third season (Africa) because it was so flippin' aweful. B-o-r-i-n-g! We started up with Season 4 again.

This season there is a contestant name Parvati. Being a Harry Potter fan, I immediately recognized the name. However, in the wizarding world, the name is pronounced Par-VAH-tee, and on the Survivor island it is pronounced PAR-vuh-tee. It bugged me for the longest time, but now I'm used to it. Except every now and then it sounds like someone is calling her Poverty.


Dallin is becoming quite a little talker. He is learning how to put sentences together. When we were at the park yesterday and on a walk today, he loved to point and say, "Look! Clouds." or "Look! A tree." I'm also impressed at his usage of the word "I". He uses it correctly! He says things like, "I cry" and "I fall". When he dumped a bunch of food off the tray of his booster seat, he said, "I mess." He is identifying more and more things, and you can tell he is proud to show off all the words he now knows. He's very good at pointing things out to us. A crayon. A bird. Grass. Aiden. Parker sleeping, sssssshhhhhhhh.


I am currently reading Teacher Man by Frank McCourt (who also wrote Angela's Ashes and 'Tis). It's really good. It's all about his years teaching in New York City. I love how honest he is about everything. He acts as if he never had a clue of what to do and how to handle the kids. These were not easy kids he had to teach, either. This is a story about a teacher and his experience in the classroom, and it's real story. There's no real feel-good moment like in Mr. Holland's Opus or something (which yes, I know is a movie, but I'm making a comparison of the story, not the method in which the story is told). This is what it's really like to be a teacher in the city in the US. His narrative is like it's straight from his head, not a carefully planned out scripts of "and then she said...". I highly recommend this book... if you don't mind a bit of swearing. There's plenty of that.


I downloaded a new Barenaked Ladies song yesterday. It's from their new album, Barenaked Ladies are Me. The song is called "Maybe You're Right". I like it a lot. This album in general seems more mellow and less, I don't know, "schizo" than past albums. I love their high energy songs, but this doesn't have that. It's being described as more mature, and I guess that it. Anyway, it seems like a good album over all.

Erica got to see BNL the other night. I'm insanely jealous. That was her second time to see them in concert, and it was her second concert of the semester (she got to see the Rolling Stones earlier this semester). I have neber been to a rock concert. Ever. I want to go! BNL will be here in December, but we don't have money to go. Erica said she is going to sell her plasma or blood or something and give me the $50 so Ches and I can go. Even though tickets start at $35. She said I'll just have to buy them form a sclaper, like she did. She got a $60 ticket for $20, she said. Lucky.


I've decided to make myself a t-shirt with this slogan on it:

Yes, I have my hands full.
Thanks for noticing.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Is That A Mark On Your Forehead, Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

It was Labor Day weekend, 1997. Ches had taken me to Calgary to meet his family. (Perhaps I should spell it Labour Day then??) We had been dating for about 6 months, and in that short time I knew I wanted to marry this man. So I wanted to make a good impression on what I hoped would be my future in-laws. Ches' mother was able to get us discount tickets so we went with Ches' parents, brother, Tim, Tim's then-girlfriend Alyson, and their little sister, Rachel to go up the Calgary Tower to the observation deck.

Previously in the summer, the extended family had their annual family reunion up in Calgary, and this was one of the places many people had visited.

It was quite a view up there. It was a perfect day, to be sure. You could see really far. We were having a great time together, all of us telling jokes and stories. Tim and Ches were telling us about the family reunion as we took in the view.

"Remember when we came up here in June? LaDawn leaned over and smacked her forehead right against the window! It was sooo funny!!"

It was at that moment that I leaned out a bit, and I smacked my forehead against the window. Ow.

"Yeah! Just like that!" Tim exclaimed. It took him (and Ches) a moment to realize I didn't do that on purpose. Everyone had a great time laughing at me.

The window was slanted out, and it's actually really hard to tell exactly where the window is! Honest!

Several minutes later, Tim and Alyson were talking about it, and Alyson smacked her forehead on the window! A few minutes after that, I did it again! Oh, the laughter. I was pretty embarrassed, but glad that Alyson did it, too. I didn't feel quite as stupid.

To be fair (to Alyson, LaDawn, and myself), there were a lot of marks on the windows. I doubt we are the only ones to smack our foreheads on the windows of the Calgary Tower.


We were reminded of this story tonight as I was looking out the patio doors tonight. We have the sliding glass doors, and I was looking for a toy on the patio. Somehow, I leaned in and smacked my forehead on the door. Hard.

Ches laughed and said, "It's not even slanted! How did you do that?"

I can't believe I actually did that. And now I have a small headache.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Here's Lookin' At You, Kid

I had promised Erica to write a post just for her, because I was "messing up" her "blog checking schedule." I'm supposed to write about her "awesomeness". Okay. Here goes.

Why My Little Sister, Erica, Is Awesome

1. She lives in Boston.
2. She now uses the word wicked, as in "Erica is wicked awesome."
3. She has naturally curly hair, which is something that those of us with board straight hair that barely holds a curl always wish we had.
4. She is a hockey goalie.
5. She can cook.
6. She sends cool stuff to her nephews.
7. She knows all sorts of wierd, random facts.
8. She has pretty good taste in music.
9. She plays (played??) the trombone.
10. She is an amazing writer.
11. While it drives me absolutely insane and I just want to kick her in the head, Erica is opinionated and sticks to her guns.
12. She is interested in all sorts of cool things.
13. She likes the color orange.
14. She has a cat named Fleury, who is apparantly a really great cat (I wouldn't know as I have never met Fleury, or his brother Todd. They live in Ohio with my parents and brother).

Erica, who's favorite number is 41 but her back up is 14, I bow down to you and your awesomeness!

Death Becomes Her

'What will your obituary say?' at

Prepare to Die Earth Scum... I'm Going to Make Sure They Put That On Your Tombstone!!

Take this quiz at

Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween Meme

Edit: Thanks, Kris, for pointing out that there was no #7. Somehow I skipped that! It's in there now.

Sariah in Vancouver tagged me, and while I seem to have taken forever to actually do this, it looked like fun. Here goes!

1. What's the scariest movie you've ever seen?
I actually scare very easily, so I tend to not watch scary movies. However, Scream freaked me out a bit (I didn't want to answer the phone for a few days), and The Blair Witch Project had me sleeping with the lights on for a week. Oh wait, no, I spent hours the next day online just making sure it wasn't real. What kept the lights on was, I believe, The Sixth Sense. I enjoy that there is closure in that movie, so it's not too bad. And I actually screamed in the movie theatre during What Lies Beneath. Oooooh, a very scary Harrison Ford!! I have never seen any of the Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, or Poltergeist movies, nor do I plan to.

2. What was your favorite Halloween Costume from childhood, and adulthood?
I remember being Maid Marian one year, and that was really fun. And I was a witch one year and I got to spray my hair black and wear really long fake nails. That was really exciting for this little 4th grader! As an adult, I always want to dress up, but don't have the cash. A few years ago I was Homestar Runner, and that was fun (even if only a select few teenagers knew who I was), and in college one year I just dressed normal so when anyone asked what I was, I replied, "I'm a serial killer. They look like the rest of us you know." It worked.

3. If you had an unlimited budget, what would your Fantasy Costume be for this Halloween?
I would go all out with a period costume... like Scarlett O'Hara or a Renaissance Princess or something. That'd be so fun. I've always wanted to be a pirate wench, but those costumes tend to be so slutty looking, and that is SO not what I want, so I would have someone make me a really cool costume with that theme. And I would make my family all dress up in the same themes as me.

4. When was the last time you went Trick Or Treating?
Wednesday night. It was the ward Halloween party! And we're going for real tomorrow night. But then again, that's not for me. It's for the kids. Last time I went and got candy for just me? I honestly don't remember.

5. What's your favorite Halloween Candy?
Anything chocolate!! (with no nuts) Once again, the darker the chocolate, the better. And candy corn (because that is a Halloween staple, right?).

6. Tell us about a scary nightmare you had.
I had one a couple years ago where someone had broken into our apartment and did something to me where I literally couldn't move (and also couldn't wake up from the nightmare, and when I did, I still couldn't move my body for several minutes for some reason) and I had to watch as they killed Ches and went after Aiden (I was pregnant with Dallin at the time). I couldn't even scream to Ches for help before he was killed.

7. What is your Supernatural Fear?
Anything to do with ghosts. I seriously believe in them, and they scare me more than anything. Oh, and I'm a little nervous about vampires (I've watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes waaaaaay too much to be healthy for me!).

8. What is your Creepy-Crawlie Fear?
Any bugs crawling on me and through my hair. EW!!! I had a cockroach actually do that once, and I'm still completely freaked out about it.

9. Tell us about a time when you saw a ghost, or heard something go Bump in the night.
Well, thankfully I haven't seen a ghost (that I remember), because that is one of my biggest fears. However, one summer Ches and I were driving from southern California to Utah, and we got to stay in a friend's condo in Mesquite, NV for the night. In the middle of the night I woke up, completely freaked out for some reason, and I couldn't settle down. I felt like either something was there or something really bad was going to happen. I finally woke Ches up and said, "We have to leave, now." He was so confused, but indulged me. We got some donuts and drove around for a little bit until I was calmed down, then went back to the condo. I felt fine, and we went back to sleep.

10. Would you ever stay in a real Haunted House overnight?
Heck no!! I've seen those programs on TV, and that scares me enough!

11. Are you a traditionalist (just a face) Jack O'Lantern Carver, or do you get really creative with your pumpkins?
Pretty much just a traditionalist, but I think next year we're gonna do all sorts of crazy stuff!! I really like Sariah in Vancouver's pumpkin from last year, and I'd like to try that out.

12. How much do you decorate your home for Halloween?
Not much... yet. We are slowly getting things, and someday I'll have the coolest house in the neighborhood. After we have our debts paid off.

13. What do you want on your Tombstone?
Beloved wife, mother, friend.

Okay, I tag Alyson, Dana, Kris, and Laural. I won't be hurt if you don't do it (since tomorrow is Halloween and all), but all y'all would sure be fun to read!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

How Beauty is Made

Wow. Check this out and let me know if you can think of anything to say besides "wow". (Guess I'm not the intelligent one in the group if that's all I can think of!! heh.)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Making Cookies

I seem to have some kind of cookie deficiency. I mess them up almost every time. Today Aiden and I made chocolate chip cookies. Mmmmmm. I even added extra chocolate chips just for the heck of it. Heavenly! They turned out great... until the last batch. I forgot to set the timer, and I forgot I even put them in the oven. Luckily, I remembered before they turned into hockey pucks, but that is a rarity. Usually the last batch is always black and hard as a rock.


When Ches and I were first married (like a few weeks), one Sunday afternoon I felt like being all domestic and stuff, so I decided to make some cookies. Ches had gone to take a Sunday afternoon nap (aren't those the best??) and I opened the cookbook and started to pull out ingredients. Then I decided to go to the bathroom. When I was finished with my business, I returned to the kitchen for my cookie making. I was going down the list and following the instructions. I thought some of the ingredients a little odd for chocolate chip cookies... like, cinnamon. I didn't know you put cinnamon in chocolate chip cookies! But maybe this was a recipe I had never used before. So I kept going.

Then I got to "One can pumpkin." Wha--??? Pumpkin?? I looked around the cookbook, and that's when I realized I was not making chocolate chip cookies! I was making pumpkin bars!!! Somehow, while I was in the bathroom, the page had flipped in the cookbook, and I never checked the title of the recipe, assuming I was still in the same place as before.

HOW was I to fix this? I didn't have a can of pumpkin. It's May, for Heaven's sake! I can't go to the store to buy any because it's Sunday and A) I don't go shopping on Sunday for religious reasons, and 2) this is Rexburg, Idaho, and the stores aren't open on Sunday anyway (because just about everyone in town has the same religious beliefs and not only won't go shopping, but won't work on Sundays). What was I do DO??

I looked at the recipe some more, and saw that you could substitute the can of pumpkin for a jar of applesauce and make applesauce spice bars (although it turned out to be more of a cake than bars). Luckily, during my grocery shopping trip the day before I had bought a jar of applesauce.

I finished the applesauce cake and put it in the oven. I went into our bedroom and flopped face down on the bed. I was so MAD! I wanted chocolate chip cookies, after all, and I felt pretty stupid for the mistake. Ches woke up and said, "What's wrong?"

"I'm making chocolate chip cookies," I replied very angrily.

"And what's wrong with that?" my dear, new husband asked, quite puzzled (and understandably so!).

"You'll see in about 30 minutes."

The cake came out, and Ches said it was very good. It looked and smelled good. But I don't think I had a single bite. I was still angry at that cake for not being cookies.

I have made the applesauce cake several times since then, and enjoued it every time. We call it Sariah's Chocolate Chip Cookies.


My last year at Ricks College, I was on the Band Council. I helped plan the parties and such, and for one party we had assigned everyone to bring cookies or desserts or something. Treats to eat at the party. I decided to make Snickerdoodles. I don't know what I did wrong, but every single cookie was hard as a rock. I was runing late to the party and didn't have time to make new cookies or even go to the store and buy something (especially since I didn't have a car!!), so I brought my snickerdoodles anyway. I put them on the table and explained the problem, not expecting anyone to even try one. I figured we could find another use for the things. I mean, get a bunch of Mormon band nerds together, and who knows what could happen! We go crazy!! Seriously!

Candi Cannon, bless her heart (could I BE more southern?? heh), felt bad for me and proceeded to eat my snickerdoodles, claiming they weren't that bad! She ate several of them. She said "I like my cookies a little overdone."

She has always been close to my heart since then. I mean, I knew she was cool before, but this was the clincher. Candi is the coolest person I know. Or one of them, anyway! :)

p.s. check out the Recipe Exchange for the recipes for Sariah's Chocolate Chip Cookies and for Snickerdoodles. I made snickerdoodles a couple of weeks ago, and they were very yummy. Not a hockey puck among them.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Zufälligen Freitag

We have termites. Blech! We discovered something weird growing from the ceiling in our bedroom. Ches took down the weird looking things, and discovered some gross bugs. He went online, and sure enough... termites!! This house had just been treated in January for termites, so we called the company and someone came out yesterday to have a look.

Turns out there's a lot I didn't know about termites. You see, these are subterrainian (?) termites, so while they are traveling up a beam in the back patio and into our ceiling, they have to return every 12 or 24 hours (I forget what he told me exactly) for food and water. When they sprayed the poison in back in January, it killed off the colony of termites. However, these little buggers leave a pheremone trail, and a new colony of termites moved in and followed the eaxact same path as the previous inhabitants. Luckily, the poison is still working, and this colony is dying off, too.

The things growing from our ceiling are their little tunnels that they build. Termites are really quick, and once you take one down they will immediately start to build another and you'll see it within a few hours... and it won't be just a little spec of a tunnel either. Our tunnels took them a while to rebuild after Ches took down the initial ones. Also, the termites keep their tunnels moist, and these were very dry. They almost turn to powder when touched, so we know the termites just aren't surviving. The termites have been crawling through this poison without knowing it and spreading it to one another, so now this second colony is almost gone. Yay!

So much I didn't know. I'm still so grossed out, though!


There is this song on Noggin that the character "Moose" has been singing lately about Halloween. It talks about all the great things Moose likes about Halloween, but then he sings, "But I don't like candy corn." It's a really cute song, and Aiden has taken to singing along.

I think it's sad that Moose doesn't like candy corn. It's such a Halloween candy must-have! You knew it was fall and almost Halloween when you saw the bags of those delicious litle bits of orange and white. It seemed like you could only handle eating a few at a time, but would find yourself popping more and more in your mouth.

Now that candy corn comes in pastel colors at Easter and Christmas colors at Christmas, candy corn doesn't seem quite like the Halloween treat it once was. If I eat candy corn at other times of the year, I feel like I'm being unfaithful to Halloween. It's the same as Peeps. Peeps are for Easter, so why do they have them in different shapes and colors for other holidays now? Soon we'll be seeing candy canes in red, white, and blue for the Fourth of July, and maybe the red, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates that you get on Valentine's Day will turn to purple hearts for Veteren's Day. Okay, that's going too far. I sure hope that doesn't happen!!


Last night I was awake about 1:30 am (any guesses why? Just kidding). We have turned off the air conditioner about a week ago and have a window fan in our bedroom window. It's quite nice and cool. The only problem with sleeping with your windows open and a fan bringing in the air is that it also brings in other smells from outside. Our neighbors were hanging out in their backyard, smoking. I'm pretty sure I smelled some pot, too, but then again I was half asleep, so what do I know? The cigarette smoke smell gave me a headache, but what can I do?

"Hi, I know you are in your yard and there is nothing illegal about smoking cigarettes, but could you stop? I really hate the smell. Thanks."

Yeah, I'm sure that'd go over well.


Yesterday afternoon Aiden wanted to go check the mail, so I walked out with him. At the same time, a woman and her son (who looked to be about a year younger than Aiden, maybe) were out checking their mail two doors down from us. The little boy was wearing a full-on Batman costume. He was running around, swishing his cape, and making funny sounds, which I assume were swishing, Batman sounds. I chuckled to myself and thought, "Boy, does that look familiar!"

Aiden, of course, noticed Batman, and got kind of excited. We may have to make some cookies and meet them.


The school year starts so early here (Aiden started Aug. 7th, Ches' kids started Aug. 16th) that in October the schools give a Fall Break. You know... like Spring Break, but in the fall, not the spring. (Can I state anything else more obvious for you??) Aiden's break was this week, and Ches gets a few days off at the end of next week.

Maybe Ches will have some time and we can do something about getting some grass in the backyard!


You know what I hate about election time? It's not so much all the ugly signs everywhere saying thins like, "Vote YES on Prop. 103!" when you have no idea what Prop. 103 is (I figure that can't be too hard to look up). Well, it's kind of annoying, but I'll get over that.

No, I really hate all the ads on TV. None of the ads actually tell us anything about the candidate. The are all attack ads and rebuttal attack ads on the candidate's opponant. Everything is half-truths and statements taken out of context and/or twisted in so many ways. We aren't learning a thing about the candidate. It's no wonder so few people vote anymore. We're too confused about who stands for what.


I want to see the movie "Man of the Year", starring Robin Williams. The idea of a comedien becoming the next President is highly amusing to me.


Quote of the day:
You don't have good grammar when you type with your fists.
--C.F. Payne, as quoted in the October 2006 Reader's Digest

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I Have Work Enough To Do

If you didn't do the job you have now, what would you do instead? Or what are things you have seriously considered for jobs? Or maybe not seriously considered, but thought for a fleeting moment that it'd be cool? Here are some of my "dream jobs", or just "heh, that'd be fun" jobs:

1. English literature teacher in honors classes in high school
2. Sign language interpreter
3. Flight attendant
4. Undercover cop in a high school
5. Waitress at the Hard Rock Cafe
6. Famous columnist
7. A writer for the evening news
8. Studio musician for Disney
9. Broadway musical pit orchestra member
10. Conductor of the Boston Pops
11. Novelist
12. Extra on a movie set
13. Cake decorator
14. Wedding planner
15. Choreographer and instructor for a drum corps' color guard
16. Professional dancer
17. Model
18. Artist
19. Graphic design artist
20. Bass player in a really cool band

**Edit** Here are a few more that I forgot to put on here. Don't ask me why I forgot. I guess I needed a little memory jog and I got that from talking to some of you or reading your blogs and comments.

21. Studio photographer
22. Professional student
23. Something in a bookstore
24. Interior designer
25. Photo journalist

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Are you bored? I won't admit it if I am... I don't have time to be bored, what with three little boys to chase after and a house to clean. However, if I ever had the chance and might end up a little bored, I would check out this site. Lots of fun. (Not that I would know. I'm too busy to be bored!!)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

More of The Wisdom of Aiden

Aiden and Dallin were watching "Blue's Clues", and Aiden came to me with this observation:

"Mom, if this were in Spanish, it would be Azul's Clues. But it's not. It's Blue's Clues."


Aiden had a bad dream the other night about two scary boys that took Grandma's birthday cake. Last night he was talking about the scary boys again, and Ches asked what the scary boys looked like:

"The scary boys look scary. And they have big, funny heads. And when they come to me I said, 'No! You're really scary!'"


A local radio station is giving away $10,000 in cash, but you have to fine the "fugitive" that is holding the money. They said this fugitive took the van that was delivering the cash to the radio station, and when the van was later found, it was trashed but missing the money. The fugitive called the radio station and said he would call at certain times with clues. If you found him and asked him if he is the fugitive, you get the money. Aiden heard all this information on the radio, and was quite concerned:

"Mom, the man with the scary voice took the van and all the money! We have to chase him!"

Later, Aiden was a little worried for the sake of our family minivan:

"Will the man with the scary voice take our van and all our gas and all our money? We need our money. I'm going to go to college someday. When I'm grown up."

Monday, October 09, 2006

News Story

I am so completely appalled by this news story that I don't think I can write an actual post about it. It just makes me so upset, and I can only say the tired cliche of Some People should never have children. Ever. I mean, honestly, does this woman have any kind of common sense, or does she even care for her child?? That baby is the same age as Parker. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the best mom (in fact, I left him in his carseat in the living room because he's asleep and i didn't want to deal with getting him out and probably waking him up and I wanted to eat lunch in peace... so he's still strapped into the carseat right now. At least I didn't leave him in the car, right???). However, as bad a mom that I think I am, I can't imagine using my own tiny, fragile baby as a physical weapon!! I hope this woman never gets to see this baby -- or the other 4 children taken out of the house -- ever again. I hope all five children will find people who truely love them and care for them and would never consider putting them in danger. That, my friends, is being a parent.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Rnodam Fidary

Okay, so you know how I said I could have sworn there was another pack of diapers but I couldn't find them and then Mr. Universe showed just how awesome he is by going to the store for me? Well, there was another pack of diapers!! I found them yesterday. Sitting in my room. Just not where they belonged. I showed the pack to Ches, and all he said was, "And you blogged for nothing then." Hmph. I can blog about your awesomeness any stinkin' time I want, Mr. Universe. So there!! It wasn't for nothing!


Aiden got this for his birthday. His cousins loved it, he loves it, his little brother loves it. Dallin knows how to turn it on now. He asks for it by saying "stars?!?!" and once you turn it on, he looks up with a huge smile and whispers "Wow!" This was a great present. The boys don't need a nightlight anymore and Aiden hasn't once asked us to leave the hall light on since he got this. It's a lot softer of a light than it looks in the picture. Once both boys are asleep, we turn the light off. I highly recommend this product to anyone with children.


I haven't looked at Karen's gardening blog in a while, but I took a few minutes to look yesterday. I saw all the before and after pictures of your backyard, Karen, and now I'm wondering how much it'll set me back to have you fly out here and help us landscape our backyard! You did such a gorgeous job. I mean, I've seen pictures, just not quite all that you have on there. So I guess I'm saying I'm super impressed and I want to be Karen right now.


Hey, so what every happened to the Weekly Anemesis (did I spell that right??). I never participated as a writer, but I enjoyed reading what my friends had written. It seems like all of a sudden it just stopped. Do you need a new prompt? Because I'll give you one. Like, uh...


Yeah, that's a good one. You have one week to write from the prompt word "First". Good luck, have fun, and all that jazz. Or, just ignore my prompt and let me know why you aren't writing these anymore. I'm just curious.


Did you all hear about the Utah bride who was kidnapped by her parents last month right before her wedding so she wouldn't get married? Crazy stuff. ABQ and I were chatting about it the other day. Seems like her parents are a bit confused about things, especially if the reason they didn't want their daughter to get married had nothing to do with the groom. Oh, and I don't think the link I gave you mentions it, but the couple did get married on Aug. 8th, and they are already expecting their first baby in May. Talk about your honeymoon baby!! Wow.


Does anyone know why my sidebar (with my picture, profile, and list of links, etc.) is now down at the bottom of the page? When I did my "Love Thursday" post a week or two ago, it suddenly changed where the sidebar went. I figured that since it put itself there, it may fix itself, but that hasn't happened, and I don't know how to do it. Yes, I am a computer dunce. So if you could let me know how to fix it in easy to understand instructions, I would appreciate it! :)


I have gotten a little addicted to the show Project Runway. Wednesday night was their "reunion" show for season three (the finale is this coming Wednesday night on Bravo). There were some arguements and such, as there is in any of these reality show reunion episodes. There was also the regular joking around, and the cast was teasing Tim Gunn (this really talented fashion guy who helps the contestants here and there) about his use of language. They said he uses all these "big" words that no one understands. Now, not all of the words are ones I am familar with (faux bois), and one phrase he used (sturm and drang) I am only familiar with because of my music history courses, but for the most part they showed clips of Tim using these words that just confused everyone and I didn't think they were such odd words. Words like "mitigate". Or "caucus" (although I guess some people might get a little confused when it is not used in a strictly political sense). And "consternation". Hmmmm.

It seems that as a whole, our society does not use these "big" words anymore, and people just don't have a wide vocabulary. I'm not a good example of a large vocabulary, and I know that, but I understand a lot more than most people, I guess. I didn't think I did until I watched this and realized that no one had a clue what this intelligent man was actually saying. It's nuts!


I just got the call from Laural... Congrats to Laural and family on their new baby girl, Sophia!!! I can't wait to see pictures!


Quote of the day:
Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for, because you can never predict when they're going to do something incredibly... stupid.
--Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) in Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I've Said It Before...

And I'll say it again...

I have the best husband ever. Seriously.

I had to change Parker's diaper at 2 am, and that is when I discovered that we were out of diapers. I searched the house high and low (and without waking up another person!!) for a pack of diapers I could have sworn I had, but apparantly did not. I finally went to the diaper bag to steal one from there... and there was only one left. I changed Parker, hoping against hope that he could make it until morning and I could run to the store and get more diapers.

About 4 am, in the middle of feeding Parker, I heard that horrible sound coming form his bum, smelled that horrible smell, and knew I had to find another diaper. You know when your child has outgrown one size of diapers and you move them up to the next size, but forget to use up the one or two diapers buried in the bottom of the diaper bag? Well, I found a stack of diapers of various sizes, but there were no Newborn sizes. I found two Size 2 diapers, and one that wasn't labeled, but looked a little smaller than the 2s, so I thought perhaps this is a Size 1, and since that's just up from the Newborn size, I'll try it.

After I changed Parker into his way too big but clean and odor free diaper, I found my Post-it notes, wrote a message to Ches, and left it on the bathroom mirror for him to see when he got up an hour later. It read, "We are totally out of diapers for Parker. Please wake me up so I can run to the store for some more (after your shower, that is)."

A little after 6 am I awoke to the sound of the door to the carport opening. A minute later, there was Ches, handing me a pack of diapers, and saying, "I'll see you after school."

He wouldn't wake me to get the diapers because he knew I had been up several times during the night. Instead of waking me, he hurried through his shower and went to the store. He didn't get to spend time eating breakfast and making a lunch and getting ready for his school day because he wanted to let me sleep. While at the store, Ches bought some Pop Tarts so he could eat in the car on the way to school.

I love my husband. He lets me sleep.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


I kinda forgot to put a picture of just Parker up so you all can see him. Sorry! So here's a couple.

Our Weekend

As many of you know, we had quite the full weekend this past weekend. My brother, Vince, came down from Idaho with his wife and daughter (Tanya and Chloe), and my sister, Lura, came out from San Diego with her husband and son (Jesse and Jago). My mom came back with Lura, and my father was even able to fly out from Boise. It was a really special weekend with Aiden's birthday on Friday, lots of fun family time on Saturday, and Parker's blessing (as well as my mom's birthday!) on Sunday. We took a lot of pictures, and I will share a few here (and hopefully get the rest on Flickr some time today). Here are some of the pictures to give an illustrated version of the weekend:

Uncle Jesse and Aiden

Aiden opening the last of his presents

Jago is such a cutie!!

Mmmmm! Dallin loves the birthday cake!

Grandpa, Jesse, Ches, Parker, Vince

Lura, Vince, Sariah

Friday, September 29, 2006

rAndOm frIdAY

Happy 4th birthday, Aiden!


Dallin got a hair cut again on Wednesday. He looks like a boy again, which is nice. I get tired of people saying how cute SHE is. Yes, because I would dress my little girl in total boy clothes... for church! Anyrate, I know that he is very pretty. He got his dad's beautiful dark brown eyes and long eyelashes. Combine that with long, soft hair (long for a baby, anyrate), and he looks like a girl. However, he is most definitely a boy!! So the haircut is nice.


My favorite number is 3. I'm not sure why. When I was really young, I played soccer. My first year was on a team in Southern California, and we were called the Grape Apes (don't ask me why we chose that name. I don't really remember, but we liked it at the time. And we wore purple uniforms). We actually were a very good team... we got second place in our division. Or something. I don't remember how it works! When we got our uniforms, however, we were allowed to pick which number we wanted, and for some reason I felt I had to have number 3. When we moved to another state, I had to fight for it, but I got number 3 when I joined a new soccer league. If you make me guess a number, any number, between 1 and 10, I usually pick 3. It's my favorite number. Maybe because it's sacred in nature. Maybe because it symbolized the close relationship between my brother, sister, and me. Maybe because I couldn't count any higher (not really!!). I still like 3 the best of all.


Why do some people feel it is necessary to play their car stereos so loud that you can clearly understand every single foul word coming from the rap song and you can feel the bass shake your house windows and even make your heart beat a little faster? And why does it usually happen in the middle of the night?


I have family in town, so I can't spend a whole lot of time on the computer right now. So this is pretty much all you're getting for Random Friday today. Sorry. Stay tuned for next week... it might be better. Then again, it might not.


Oh, no one told me any of their favorite songs that I should add to my Required Guitar Repertoire List (please see last Friday's RF post). So go back and read that little bit, then let me know what you think. And don't suggest "Stairway to Heaven". This is not an electic guitar. It's an acoustic. Well, a classical, but same difference.


Quote of the Day:
The world is a difficult world, indeed,
And people are hard to suit,
And the man who plays on the violin
Is a bore to the man with the flute.
--Sir Thomas Beecham

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Short One

I feel like I'm constantly writing these really long posts. It's just like the way I talk. I can't shut up. I ramble.

However, I wanted to prove that I can, indeed, write a short post about something. So here it is.

I can write a short post, and I just did. So there.

The Hardest Job I've Ever Had

Right after I turned 17 I decided that babysitting wasn't going to be a good enough income for my needs. I decided to get a job. My friend Ashley, who drove me home from school everyday, took me to the local Shoney's restaurant, and I filled out an application. The manager talked to me right then, and I was essentially hired on the spot.

The next week I started orientation. It seemed so silly, learning how to cut lemons and how to hold a tray, but I guess it was important to the company that their servers knew how to do these things. I was given my uniform, but since I was so small, they had to order a skirt for me. I would have to make do with what they had. I pinned about two inches on either side of my waist in and I never did get that smaller skirt. I looked like a little girl playing dress up.

I learned to have a great, fake smile, to flirt with people, and to act as if the customer was always right... all for a tip. I had to work weekend nights and several weekday nights. I didn't mind too much. It was my junior year of high school, and I felt abandoned by my friends who had graduated the year before. The only time it was really bad to work was the night of the Valentine's dance at school. A large group of students (who weren't really my friends because they were the popular kids, but I had classes with all of them) came in and guess who got to be their server? I had to endure watching everyone having fun with their dates and answer questions about why I didn't go to the dance and then get a lousy tip from them in the end.

As soon as I found another part-time job, I quit. I hated being a server. However, I can still hold a very full tray of food with the best of them.


I have worked for two movie theatres. One was a small, family-owned theatre in our town. The owner's daughter and I had a mutual best friend, and the daughter and I became really close from that job. Of course, it helped that she was also in band, so we got to see each other a lot. I really liked working at that theatre. Everyone was friendly and like a family in many ways. We had a lot of fun at work, too. When Arkansas won the NCAA basketball tournament in 1994, we also happened to be showing the Flinstone's movie. We listened to the game on the radio, and when Arkansas won, we (like the rest of the state) were ecstatic! We talked to our boss, and someone ran to Wal-mart, bringing back red Arkansas Champions t-shirts with Fred Flinstone playing basketball on the front. We got to wear those to work for a while. Later, we talked the boss into letting us order polo shirts with the name of the movie theatre and our names embroidered on them. We had them dyed the same green as the new carpet. We all liked wearing those shirts rather than a white button-down shirt with a vest and bow-tie. I still have my shirt.

The second movie theatre I workd for was part of a very large chain. There were a lot more people that worked there, and we even had several managers. It was a bit different from the first theatre, but I still enjoyed it. I made friends quickly, and had lots of people to hang out with. It was the summer after my sophomore year at Ricks College... the summer I was living with my aunt... the summer where I was dating my future husband, but he was living in a completely different state and working, so I didn't see him for almost four months... the summer I took to really think about how I am and what I wanted. At the end of the summer, Mr. Universe came out to visit me. I still had to work for a few days, and I didn't want him to be totally bored. He got to come to the movie theatre and watch movie after movie... all for free. Usually I could only get people in for free movies if they were accompanying me. However, the managers had become good friends of mine, and after we were married and came back for visits, these guys still offered free movies to us. It was fun working there.


I worked as an early-morning janitor my first fall semester at Ricks. I was assigned to the Hart Building, which was the physical education building. I could often be found sweeping the floors of the racketball courts, the dance studio, and the main gym. I worked from 4 am to 7 am, and my first class was at 8. I hated that job. I had blisters on my hands from the push brooms, which made my flute playing harder and learning the piano almost impossible. I was exhausted and falling asleep in my 10 am algebra class. After a few weeks of total misery, my mom and stepdad said I could quit my job and focus on my studies. My new job was simply to get good grades.


After Mr. Universe and I had been married about 2 years, we spent a summer in Utah to find jobs. He had one from before we were married, and I found a job working for a telemarketing company. I was "Corporate Quality Assurance", which basically meant I listened to the recordings of the calls the telemarketers made and had to make sure they followed their script word for word. I had to write a report on every single call (actually, it was more of filling out a form), and we were expected to do a certain number of calls in an hour. We listened to the calls on fast speed. Let me tell you, even on this so-called "fast speed", some of the telemarketers would read sooooooooo slowly, it would take them forever to get through one simple sentence! I hated it! One day, as I was clearly frustrated and leaving after a day of listening to a bunch of idiots try and sell stuff to people who could care less, a manager asked me, "What do you think would make this job better?" I quickly answered, "Give reading tests to the telemarketers before they are hired!"

"Ummm, we already do that," the manager said quietly.

"Well, does it count for anything??" I quite that job and worked for a few weeks at a temp agency instead. I ended up working at a factory that makes bows and arrows. It was noisy, but satisfying. I liked that job so much better.


After I graduated from university, we moved here to Arizona so Ches could do his student teaching. I was to find work. I ended up subbing for the Mesa School District, and I mostly loved it! I was a little scared to sub because it really hadn't been all that long since I was a student who would do things to subs. Okay, I didn't do things, but I didn't stop them, either. Anyway...

Shortly after I started working, I had a miscarriage. It was a really rough time for me, and a really rough time for our marriage as we dealt with our grief in totally different ways. One day I got the call to sub at a special school. This school is for pregnant and ntewly delivered teen mothers. I would be teaching English literature and history. I loved the subjects, but since I was still grieving I wasn't sure if I could handle seeing all these pregnant girls. I felt it so unfair that I was doing what I deemed "right", and yet I had lost a much wanted baby, and these stupid, irresponsible teenagers were not only able to get pregnant, but they were all keeping their babies. I was bitter at the situation. I was unsure about taking this job, but I needed to work. So I accepted and went to sub the next morning.

I loved it. These girls found out about the miscarriage and they were so kind. They were not stupid and irresponsible. They were smart girls who had made a "mistake", but were continuing to get their education and do the best they could for their new situation. I left a message at the front desk saying I would sub for this school anytime.


I currently don't get paid for the job I have. I don't get vacations. I don't even get a lunch break. I am always on duty. I have to learn and do things I never thought I would do (mainly cooking!!), and I have to answer questions that I would never have thought of asking in the first place. I am exhausted constantly, and I have to take medication for depression. I'm constantly on the go. I don't have family near by to help out in a pinch. I am a mother, and parenting is the hardest job I've ever had. Facing hungry, angry customers is much easier than facing a 3-year-old pitching a huge fit in the middle of Target. Listening to a 20-year-old who can't read attempt to sell Disney books to a 75-year-old widower is much easier than watching the same Blue's Clues DVD 4 times in a row... everyday! Facing teen moms and trying not to take out my bitterness and grief on them is much easier than facing a two year old who has just colored all over your bedspread with permanent markers and then NOT beating them to a pulp.

Yes, all of my previous jobs had some really hard days, but you know what? I wouldn't trade my job right now for anything in the world. Parenting is hard, but there is nothing like raising these three boys and wondering what kind of men they will turn out to be. I love it.