Friday, January 26, 2007

Bad Karma House.

So, this whole remodel thing....wait! Don't leave! I know you are sick of hearing about my house, but really, this is a quick one....and, I will offer up a good crock-pot recipe at the end. Good?

Sam and I have been quite concerned that we may have built our home on an ancient burial ground, and somehow, those souls were okay with us having the modest home of seven months ago, but adding another addition, angered them.

Things have gone wrong. Starting with the snapping of the cable, and the near-death of my husband and dad. That was a big one. And then there have been little things. Many, many little things:

Like the leaking roof that flooded the entire kitchen, twice.
Like our siding not being manufactured in our color any longer.
Like the drywall dragging on and on, the workers feuding with their boss.
Like the drywall supplier leining our house because the installers didn't pay the bill.
Like the electrical, that would blow a fuse everytime we used the microwave.
Like the shower ceiling not ordered, then broken and re-run, and then cut wrong and re-run....that is still not installed.

And more recently, the jetted tub.

We bought it online, it was delivered (while we were out of town, and left in the yard). Anyway, it was installed. A week and a half ago, it was encased in marble. Beautiful swirled white marble with granite black trim.

Two nights ago, Sam decided we were tired of waiting for the plumber, who we have been calling for three weeks to come do the finish plumbing. Sam thinks, "how hard can this be." Off we go to Lowe's to grab a tub fixture. We browse, we read, we price things, and settle on your run-of-the-mill chrome handle/nozzle combo. He brings it home, and attempts to attach it. Nothing matches up. So, we do a little reading online, and figure out that tub fixtures are NOT compatible. Meaning, we have no choice but to purchase the brand of fixture that was roughed in when the tub was installed. I am crapping here, because the brand that our tub happens to be, is the most expensive brand of fixture out there. I REFUSE to pay $350.00 for a farking tap. I would rather rig one out of cardboard and washers. Again, the plumber will not return our calls to verify the brand. Finally we find out the brand that it was roughed in with. Lucky for us, it was a cheaper brand. So, we buy the tap and handles, and Sam goes to work.

He is pretty handy, and I guess it wasn't that hard. I left when he needed to use a hack-saw. That made me a tad nervous. He got it hooked up, and it actually worked!

It was a thing of beauty. The glint of the chrome under the can light, the warm water cascading into the tub, the steam gently rising up...the jets...NOT WORKING?

Yep. Nothing.

Sam checked the electrical panel. Everything was a go. Called the electrician (who answered, btw) he came over and checked everything out.

Come to find out...the GFI breaker needed to be re-set upon installation. Easy enough....except for the fact that it was installed UNDERNEATH THE TUB, that was now caulked into custom marble.

Long(er) story short, we had to cut a hole in the wall to access the GFI outlet. Pushed the button, and the jets sputtered to life.

Once again, victory over the spirits!

In celebration, we have taken 9 baths...and counting...

Oh yeah, since I spend all my time in the jetted tub now, dinner has been crock-pot delights. Or anything that doesn't require the microwave/breaker box.

We all really liked this one...even my picky eater.

Crock-Pot Enchiladas
2lbs ground beef
1 large onion
1 (20 oz) can enchilada sauce
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
4-5 c. cheese
1-1 1/2 pkg corn tortillas
1 can green chilies

Brown beef with onion. Add half can of enchilada sauce and can of chilies. Mix well. Spray bottom of slow cooker. Pour enchilada sauce to cover bottom of cooker. Being layering tortillas, meat mixture and cheese until ingredients run out. Pour remaining enchilada sauce, and tomato sauce over the top. Cook on low 3-4 hours. Serve on a pile of shredded lettuce.

Monday, January 22, 2007

"According to the rules... Each player of this game starts with the "6 Weird Things about Me".(about yourself)...People who get tagged need to write a entry of their own 6 weird things on their own blog, as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says 'you are tagged' in their comments and tell them to read your blog!"

Thanks a lot, Peg. This reminds me of those chain letters. But you forgot to add that if I don't respond to this within 10 hours, my house will burn down, and my left breast will fall off. I can't believe I am even participating, but I have nothing better going on, unless you count unloading the dishwasher.

Six Weird Things About Me

(1) I have a dent in my head. I was playing on some railing, and fell, landing on my left a dent. And it explains a lot of other things too.
(2) I can drink non-carbonated beverages through my nose. Possibly carbonated as well, although I am quite sure that it would sting.
(3) I can't eat blue things. It freaks me out to think of my mouth and teeth stained odd colors.
(4) I am very proficient with my toes. I can pick things up, or turn on the TV. They are like fingers. Totally grosses out...well, pretty much everyone.
(5) I got my first cavity when I was 28.
(6) I always lick my fingers when I open or close the blinds. Maybe subconsciously I think it gives me better "grip" on the blind-wand thingies.

I will be tagging: Laura, Shantay, Debbie, Jennifer, Amy, and Mimi.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Almost finished.

So, the cabinets are all installed as of twenty minutes ago! Makes everything look a little smaller, but like a house....a real house that people can live in. People that no longer have to rifle through cardboard boxes for their underwear. No, there aren't counter-tops yet, but the measuring guy is coming Monday. We like to drag projects out for as long as we possibly can. Keepin' the remodeling spirit alive.

This is a sneak peek of the Maternity line that Karen Foster is releasing at CHA. That is my darling friend Heather, who was 8 1/2 months pregnant here. How would that be? To be that cute when you are pregnant. I certainly wasn't that cute. I think my belly now is bigger than hers was in that photo. I don't know why I 'fessed up to that. I should have just let you all think that it is me in the picture. But Heather reads this blog... Hi Heather! Thanks for letting me use the gorgeous photos.

This is from the Karen Foster Nurse line. I have been up to my eyeballs in paper and stickers. I completed 30+ layouts and cards for CHA. I am almost finished! It has been fun. This time around it has been especially fun, because my good friend Wendy Inman is on the Karen Foster team with me. We have been IMing back and forth while working with the same lines. What a difference it has made to bounce ideas off of each other.
Man! I love the internet! And Wendy. And bacon.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Stop touching my things. (A G-rated post)

Why is it that everything that has any value or importance to me has been chipped, lost or broken by my kids?

I grew up with four sisters, no brothers...which is a whole 'nother post in itself...

My mom loved dolls, still does, and is an avid collector. We grew up getting a doll religiously for Christmas each year. Even as a teenager, and not really wanting the annual vinyl baby, I still got one.

Mom took a porcelain doll-making class. I think she really loved it, and did a good job on the babies. She was meticulous about painting the eye-lashes perfectly, and making the brush strokes curl around the temples like the sleep dampened hair of a real newborn. She made a doll for each of her girls. They were big baby-dolls, and they were sized perfectly to fit the little dresses we each wore on our blessing day. I loved this doll! It was a cherished keepsake.

Did you notice I said "was?"

When I started popping out kids every nine months...which is a whole 'nother post... I put that doll on the highest shelf in my closet, cause I didn't want to risk it being touched.

My daughter, just shy of four, who was training to be a monkey in the circus...scaled my closet shelves, and pulled on the doll. It came crashing down, hitting every shelf in the closet before landing on the floor. I was too stunned to cry. I couldn't even say anything. I knew it was an accident. I think my expression alone must have been devastating, even for a pesky three year old.

"I sorry, Momma! I so sorry!"

I didn't want to tell my mom, but my daughter did, in her guilt. My mom took it well, because I know she understood. She had us, and I am sure that we all did our share of damage to her special things too.

I stuffed the doll, and the broken pieces back up into the top of the closet, and forgot about them.

Then last week, we moved everything out of our room, to move into the new master bedroom. I found the broken baby again. Shianne was there, and saw me pull it down.

"Oh, Mom...I remember when I broke that special doll. I am so sorry!" And then tears...she cried, and chanted, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry..." Four years later, and she still feels so awful about it. I hugged her and told her it was okay. It was just a "thing." And things break. Little girls hearts, however, break too. And I wish I would have been a little more forgiving that day four years ago.

The question still remains...Why me? Why not Sam's stupid bird statue he bought in Ecuador? Why don't the kids break their own things?

I think that next time I get something valuable, that I love, I am going to call all the kids together and let them watch ME stab it with an ice pick, like a crazy lady.

"HA, HAAAAA! I beat you to it!"

Thursday, January 11, 2007

An Idea

I have been working with some themed scrapbook lines from Karen Foster for CHA, and by the way, there are some really fun ones this release. But I was thinking of all the themed lines that have not yet been done by a manufacturer, but should be done....

The Stay at Home Mom Line:
Soft heather gray color (think sweat pants), with a subtle collage of the words “Not caring is FUN!” Sticker sheet that includes “What Was I Thinking” “Prozac Rocks” “Pizza Again” and shaped brads including a pony-tail, a mini-van, and diaper-wipes.

The Expletives Line:
Bright, albeit clashing colors. Colorful words, used for any occasion. Chipboard characters that contain a whole lot of @&#% and extra !!!!

The Extended Family Line:
Stickers that include: “My mother-in-law can BITE ME” “My Sister Married a Moron” and “Your Family Parties Suck.” This line should match the expletives line, just for good measure.

The Ex-Spouse Line:
Which apparently would sell out according to the latest threads on 2ps. Stickers would include “You rotten...(insert sticker from Expletives line) “See You in Court” and “eBaying Your Stuff Bought Me Some Nice Jewelry.” Coordinating epoxy brad toppers that say “Got Alimony?”

The Couch Potato Line:
Reminiscent of Cheetos and stale farts. This line would include a patterned paper with a TiVo menu collage, a remote control montage, and a random collage of info-mercial advertisements. Stickers would include “3 Easy Payments of $19.95” “I Heart Mindless Drivel” and “Practicing Selective Hearing.” Epoxy brads toppers with a photo of my husband, and all my boys.

The Weight Gain line:
I can see this one being hot. Especially for those vacation photos that are taken by someone else, without your knowledge when you haven't had the opportunity to suck in, or put a kid in front of you. Stickers would include: “Diets Are For Suckers” “Baby NOT on Board” and “Body by Mountain Dew.” Additional embellishments would include a metal “Wide Load” street sign, and a “Cattle Crossing” icon. I would pre-order this one...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Holy Chips.

The carpet is coming tomorrow morning. It is after midnight right now. We are tearing up the old carpet in the hall, getting ready for it to come. Maybe its the paint thinner talking...but I feel giddy!

We told the kids that when they get home from school, we can start the arduous process of situating everyone into their new rooms. They were almost as excited about this, as they were for Christmas. It is a good thing we saved the good Martineli's Sparkling Apple Juice from New Years. Gonna be some celebratin' going on here!

As a side note, our Christmas gift from my parents was a keyless entry for the front door. It has a touch-pad, that you can program a number into, and it locks and unlocks your deadbolt from the keypad. It is pretty stinking cool. There is also a key to it, so if you are like me, and can't remember anything, you can still get in and out.

It is cool, too- because we aren't big "lock the door" people. We live in a great neighborhood. We have a watch-guinea pig that would really *weet, weet* the dickens out of an intruder. And frankly, we have never felt like we had anything worth being robbed for. We have often joked that a thief would walk in, look around, feel so sorry for us, that he would leave his own wallet on the counter.

But recently, with the new addition to the home, I feel more invested. We don't own anything new. But, I would actually be angry if someone broke in. What if they scratched the paint? I would have to re-tape! And if they broke a blind, or mucked up the carpet....

Anyway, the is the novelty of the neighborhood.

"Hey, Jayden; will you go get the mail?"
"Sure!!" (whoosh, beep, beep, beep-beep, beep,

Because apparently, the long walk from the porch to the mailbox requires the deadbolt to be in place...

Pretty soon, all the neighborhood kids are trying it. And then it dawns on me...

"Hey, guys. Did you tell all the kids what the secret number is?"
"Well, yeah, they wanted to try it out."

So much for the whole security thing.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Wanna see?

The floor is installed in my scrap studio. Notice, I changed it from a "Scrap-room" to a "Scrap Studio."
*That's* got to make me more productive, yes?
Sam and my Dad have two of the three bathrooms TILED. That's right folks. Tiled. And the other bathroom, the backer board is done, meaning the tile will go quickly. I admit, I thought Sam would procrastinate this bad boy for a few weeks, if not months. Pleasantly surprised...and also, it didn't cost me any *special favors* to expedite the process. If you know what I mean.
Carpet is in, calling to schedule an installation date. Odds and ends need to be wrapped up, but I am thinking we should be living in our new space in a couple weeks, if not sooner. (cue Choir of Angels!)
Already life is more liveable.
Of course, we ran out of money for things like furniture and electronics. But we do have blinds, so no one on the street can see us enjoying our new space sitting on the cardboard boxes the bi-fold doors came in.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

My morning conversation

Brendan comes in and flops on my bed:

"Good morning, Brendan. Did you have a good night?"
"Yeah, pretty much."
"Good. Did you find something to eat?"

He crashed and burned early tht night before, while the rest of us stayed up and played "Apples to Apples Junior" and watched "Angels in the Outfield" so, as a result, Brendan was up and going before the rest of us hit our REM sleep. He hung out by himself, waiting for the rest of us slugs to get up.

"Yeah, I had a Hot Pocket."

For breakfast? Whatever.

"So what else have you been doing?"
"Playing with Legos."
"Can you gather up your laundry for me."
"What are you planning to do today?"
"I wanted to maybe go to Walmart and get some more legos with my Christmas money."
"You need new church shoes too, remind me..."

Walking out the door...

"Oh yeah, Mom..."
"I flooded the downstairs bathroom this morning, the toilet clogged, and there wasn't a plunger."
"I think it is still flooding a little..."

Thursday, January 04, 2007

With apologies to my male readers...

I need a new bra.

Truth be told. I only have one right now in working condition. The back-up-bra is in sad, sad shape. I hate bra shopping! You can try on 5,000 of the same size, and they all fit differently. There are the ones that squish you together and make you have a uni-boob, and on the opposite end of the spectrum, the kind that separate and place your girls one under each armpit.

Who picks the design? The fabrics... I mean, what good does that thick heavy lace crap do anyone? It is bulky and never looks good under anything. Detachable straps, and detachable push-up pads. Gel filled, water filled, racer back, shoulder pad added straps. And the ones adorned with cheesy flowers or dainty bows....please. Not one that is actually comfortable. Give me helium filled cups, and massaging straps and you would have yourself a bra.

I am not endowed. Which is fine, being the stomach sleeper that I am, but bra shopping is a nightmare. It seems, that to have the circumference I do, what with the coughcoughbackfatcough that I have, my cup size should be a whole lot larger than it really is. This makes the padded cup either dented in, or horribly sagging. Which leaves me the option of going a size smaller to get the right cup size, and therefore being cinched off....all the time.

No wonder I had gallstones.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Thank you to Sophia for the Year End blog challenge. Here is mine:

1. What did you do in 2006 that you had never done before? It's funny how God prepares you for things step by step. I did some travelling with Paperkuts magazine before they went under, and at times I had to make a connection, or grab a shuttle all by myself. I was terrified at first, because I am so handicapped when it comes to directions or bearings. I slowly gained confidence. And now, with Sam working for an airline, and our family getting (stand-by) flight benefits, I am okay being stranded in a strange city with my five kids, because I have the confidence now.
2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions and will you make more for 2007? I usually fail pretty miserably. This year, I only have ONE resolution. And I am not telling, or it will surely jinx me.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes, my sister Hollie.
4. Did anyone close to you die? Luckily, no.
5. What countries did you visit? Puerto Rico
6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006? A car that is reliable.
7. What date from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? The day we took our roof off of our house to add another level. It was a day I witnessed a miracle. By all rights, it should have killed my husband and my dad.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I had a lot of little ones, nothing stands out specifically.
9. What was your biggest struggle? Weight. Balance. Peace. Patience.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Small normal illnesses, stomach bugs and colds. Pulled *something* in my knee while running, that occasionally bothers me still.
11. What was the best thing you bought? My camera lens (Canon 28-135), my iMac, my iPod.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? I think my daughter, Shianne. She struggled this year with self-esteem issues earlier this year, I really worried about her. With daily praise and extra love, and finding things for her to be *good* at, she really blossomed.
13. Whose behavior appalled you? No one comes to mind here.
14. Where did most of your money go? To the new addition to the house. To vacations. To Pepsi-Cola.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about this year? The UPS man making such fun deliveries from my design teams. That never, never, never gets old.
16. What song will always remind you of 2006? "You had a bad day."--Daniel Powter. They sooo overplayed that sucker on American Idol, and on the radio. And my kids would sing it to me on the days when I was "cracking" it make me laugh in spite of being so mad at them.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: much happier, nicer or richer? I think I am waaaay better looking. But I guess that wasn't a category.
18. What do you wish you had done more of? Acknowledging kindness. Exercise. Playing with the kids.
19. What do you wish you had done less of? Over-eating, spending time on the computer.
20. Did you fall in love in 2006? On a daily basis. When my kids are good. When my husband is helpful. When the cookies are warm from the oven.
21. What was your favorite TV program? American Idol and "How It's Made."
22. What was the best book you read this year? Gosh, I haven't read a lot this year. And I forget things almost *right after* I read them anyway.
23. What was your greatest musical discovery? Josh Groban. (<---don't judge me)
24. What did you want and get? My iPod, Sam bought it for me, for my birthday.
25. What was your favorite film of the year? Pirates II, Nacho Libre, Cars, good family movies we watch over and over as a family. (Translated: the kids watch, I scrap without guilt.)
26. What did you do on your birthday and how old did you turn? I spend the morning at a scrapbook focus group (lots of fun!) and the afternoon shopping. Ate lunch at Cafe Rio (Pork Salad) and that evening went out with Sam, watched a movie (I forget what it was). I turned um, 34? I never remember.
27. What one thing would have made your year more satisfying? I have the new addition finished.
28. How would you describe your personal fashion statement this year? Total SAHM. Track pants, tee-shirt, running shoes, and pony-tail.
29. What kept you sane? Scrapbooking and caffeine, online friends.
30. What celebrity did you fancy the most? Angelina Jolie (girl crush) [fancy?? Who says that?]
31. What political issue stirred you the most? I am not political.
32. Who did you miss? My grandma's.
33. Who were the best new people you met this year? I met such awesome people travelling. Putting faces to online friends was so cool. If I had to single someone out, it would be my Wendy. (Hi, Wendy!) We went through the whole PK fiasco together, and I can't help but think it was all worth it to get to know her, and call her my friend.
33. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned this year. To go with your gut. If you feel like you should avoid a situation, avoid it. If you feel like you should thank someone, thank them. You can't please everyone and you won't, but if you go to bed at night, and know in your own gut you are a good person, that is what matters the most.