Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hygiene Fail.

Last night we had a family home evening (<--this is a Mormon practice where each monday night we set aside time to teach the kids life lessons. Or something. It ends with TREATS!)

So last night, Brendan, our ten year old gave the lesson.
It was on Reverence, and he did a fine job of pointing out how "No one in our family is quiet during church."
This is being taught by the boy who folds armies of tin-foil soldiers out of gum wrappers and battles every sunday during the sermon.
Then he issued the challenge of being quiet next week.

Incidentally next week is General Conference, and we watch all of our meetings on T.V.
I am not sure if he did that on purpose.
Brendan always finds some loophole.

I took a few minutes to add some learnin' to the evening.
I pulled out a diagram of some skin and gave a lesson on pimples.

My kids don't believe in washing their faces.
All of them, even the five year old have had tiny baby zits on their cheeks at times.
I explained it all, and I gave them the challenge to WASH.
Why do we even have to have these conversations?
Every night they are supposed to brush their teeth.
I am leery of that one going down.
Especially since the new toothbrushes they recently got are still in their blister packages.

They are also supposed to wash their hands and faces.
I knew that one was foreign when my nine year old said "Well, what if there is nothing to wipe off of your face?"

Correct bum-wiping techniques are often disregarded as well.
That is evidenced by the Lady Who Does the Laundry.

Sam's kids are gross.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Recently I have had this habit of ending my night sitting on the couch, watching The Biggest Loser re-runs while mindlessly stuffing my face with Cheetos and Milk Duds.

The irony is not lost on me.

I am also up five pounds.
I am working on that.

Tonight I was sitting on the couch drinking water, and avoiding the craving of anything calling to me from the pantry.

Sam works the graveyard shift tonight, so I was by myself, and I was dang glad.
I don't know what we ate today, but I have the worst gas ever.
And I confirmed via text that Sam does too.
(Sorry guys working with him!)
This is the type of gas that literally makes your stomach hurt, until it is released.

My couch companion tonight has been Febreeze Brazilian Carnaval.

I am glad Sam is not here, to witness, and also to be a contributor.

This reminds me of an age-old debate that we have had our whole marriage long.

I am in the camp that you can resist the urge to release gas, and your body will re-absorb the offending vapors.

Sam whole-heartedly believes that if gas is not released from the body, it can be dangerous, and can actually make you sick.

The only person Sam's gas has made sick is me.

So, where do you weigh in?
The NEED to release...or keep it to yourself?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Do me a favor?

My friend Michelle's daughter is a finalist in the Nick Jr. Super Fan contest.
It ends tonight, and holy crow...it is a close race, I mean close!
Your vote will definitely count.
If you go to the link, it will take you to the finalists.
You don't have to sign up, or type anything.
It literally takes a second to vote.
You can only vote once a day, and it ends tonight.
I would love to see them win this thing!
When you hit the link, scroll over to this picture, click on it, and then hit vote.
LINK IS HERE!<-------

Good luck Aliza!
Hope you get to meet Dora!

Thanks blog friends! :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Can you scoot down a little more?

I am overdue to go to the "lady" doctor for my annual check-up.

Truth be told, I am about 2 years overdue.
And last time I went, a certain test came back pre-cancerous.
Also, I was riding the line for a thyroid disorder.

Honestly though...one of the "symptoms" of thyroid disorder is "rapid weight loss."
What person in their right mind is going to make an appointment and go into the doctor to FIX THAT?
"Hey, Doc...I guess you should know, even with my diet of Cadbury Mini-Eggs and Batter Fried sticks of butter, the weight keeps melting off...I am worried..."

I don't have that symptom.

I get that I need to go in.
But I still don't want to.
Even after five children, and roughly 513 medical personnel seeing my bits, it still just makes me shudder.

With my newly unemployed status, I am trying to get myself organized.
Taking care of business!
Cleaning ovens!
Purging closets!
Checking things off THE LIST!
It is on my list to make that call.

Too bad they are closed until Monday.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Yesterday was a momentous day for me.

I quit all of my design teams.
Okay, I still kept Quickutz.

For the past year, I have been trying to keep it all together.
Scrapbooking used to be a hobby for me.
Something I looked forward to, and loved.
Then as I was asked to join different design teams, I felt so lucky---to get paid for my hobby.
As time went on, I started to dislike it.
And this year...I burned out.
I think it will be a long time before I want to scrap again.

I think the pressure of constant deadlines, and time spent in my studio on weekends, while my kids entertained themselves with a Redbox flick, finally took its toll.

This was my life for five years.

They say there is a time and season for everything.

I might pick it back up sometime.

I am not going to lie...I am going to miss the money.
I am going to miss the freedom of just buying a new couch, 'cause I want one.
And having extra money socked away to take a family vacation.
I will miss the brownie man (UPS truck) dropping off big boxes of new product.
The smell of fresh ink on brand new paper...sigh...

But last night, after I had sent my resignation e-mails out, I started picking up the studio, and thinking about what I was going to do this weekend, without anything to work on...

I was giddy!
I thought about taking the kids to the dollar movies, and impromptu dinner sandwiches at the park, and reading scary stories by flashlight, snuggled up in a quilt...

There are things that money can't buy.
And boxes of free product just aren't worth.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Nauvoo in pictures.

Here is a pictoral review of our trip to Nauvoo.
I noticed when I downloaded the photos that they are pretty craptastic. Really grainy, a lot of them, I think cause I was shooting indoors without the flash.
Oh well.
This was probably one of my favorite photos in the batch.
This is my dad, and Mikayla.
My parents had five girls...me, and my four sisters.
As a result of all of us girls, as a matter of survival on sunday mornings, my dad is no stranger to a hair-dryer or curling iron.
He's still got it.
Here is is getting Mikayla ready our first morning in Nauvoo.

We started out in the visitors center, and they suggested a Conestoga wagon ride around Old Nauvoo, to get a feel for where everything was located.
It was pretty cold that morning.
They provided everyone with quilts to snuggle up in.

Did I mention it was cold?

When the ride was finished, we were happy to go inside.
Our first stop was a Living Center, where they demonstrated a lot of the day-to-day tasks the early settlers in the area would have performed. They had a lot of hands-on things for the kids to try.
Here we learned how to card wool.
Now my boys are fully capable of making their own socks for the next winter scout camp-out.

Then, we learned how to make rag rugs on a loom.
In all of the homes we toured in Old Nauvoo, these rag rugs were on the floors. Colorful, yes? I liked them.

Then the kids learned how to make rope from strands of jute.
Later, we used those ropes to hog-tie them in the trunk of the van.
The irony of them making their own ropes...and they look so happy...

Then we watched this man...who was at least 107 years old, hammer out a horse-shoe right in front of us. Yep. Iron in the fire...red poker hot...my boys were completely fascinated.
Forging your own weapons!

The smoke from the forge made pretty sunbeams, and I also thought it was funny that they grew a butt-load of Aloe Vera in this particular house.
Second Degree burns anyone?

We got up early the next day and drove to the town of Carthage.
This is where Carthage jail still stands.
This jail was where Joseph Smith (the first prophet of the restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) was martyred in 1844.
There are bullet holes still in the original door to the jail.
There is such a sad, reverent feeling in the jail.

This is Mikayla sitting in the very window that the prophet fell out of, after he was shot and killed.

Here is our token group shot, in the jail room. See the pretty rug?
I could totally make that. HA!

This photo is of the Smith family cemetery, where Joseph, and many of his family members are buried.

The rest of the photos are highlights from some of the houses we were able to go through in Old Nauvoo. They are original to the 1800's and the architecture was very cool. Thick walls, wide plank wooden floors, and antique furnishings that were true to that time period.

Here is a potty chair:

A hand pieced "crazy" quilt:

A spice tin, and other kitchen implements:

Oh, and one of my most favorite things...this rocking bench, that had a place to lay a baby, so mom can rock the baby, but have her hands free for the remote!
Okay...I think they actually had to knit or something.
It was still genious.
I didn't get a photo of it, but in one of the houses, they had a similar rocking bench with a butter churn on the bottom, so you could rock the baby, and churn butter!
Old fashioned multi-tasking!
And quite possible the precursory to driving AND talking on a cell-phone.

Here is Shianne in one of the nurseries of a fancier home.

We took another wagon ride that went further into town, and had beautiful views of the Mississippi river:

The poor draft horses that took us, really got a workout. It was muddy, and the pullin' was rough.

Look how sweaty these guys are!
It was like horse boot-camp for them.
I hope they got extra carrots, or whatever.

We were able to attend the Nauvoo temple while we were there too.
It was beautiful!

And that pretty much sums it up.
I am going to hurry and post this, because blogger is being weird, and it took half the afternoon to upload the freaking pictures...
Also spell check isn't working.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Gearing up for an epic blog post...

Don't you worry...when I get a block of time, I am preparing to post a big one.
We snuck away on an impromptu vacation.
Nothing dramatic. Just went to Nauvoo, for a few days.
For my non-Mormon blog friends, this is an area where the early Mormon settlers lived in the 1800's.
Very historical, I loved seeing the homes.
And the temple.
Photos and re-cap to come...

Sam is playing this week in an Alumni basketball tournament at the high school.
I have never been in an enclosed space with that much ego-driven testosterone.
My chin hair grew an inch and a half in the first game alone.

We won our first game!
TAKE STATE!!!! (eyeroll)

Also, after being on vacation for a few days, here are some random observations:

Holy crow! Black furniture collects a lot of dust.

When you don't exercise for a week, dropping and cranking out 30 measly push-ups will render you incapable of putting on your bra without assistance the next day.

No one else in this house will do laundry, no matter how long it sits.

Cadbury mini-eggs cannot be in this house. Ever.

Nothing feels better than your own mattress and sheets. And toilet.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Ode to an old friend.

Sam and I rented an apartment in the ghetto of Provo for six months, right after we were married. It was a couple of months into our marriage when it dawned on me that we could afford to build a home...and oh yeah, my dad was a contractor.

So we built our home in 1995.
We still happily live here.

Back one day in 1995, on the way home from work, I drove past this furniture store, and outside, in the tent sale in the parking lot of the store, I laid my eyes upon the most perfect couch/love seat set that I had ever seen.

I brought Sam back to look at it.

I was a little upset at it being outside, in the elements, and my concerns were validated when I brought Sam back, and a whole family of Mexicans was sitting on MY! COUCH!

Sam hated The Couch.
(Incidentally, a few years later, he chose a horrible navy blue car seat fabric covered sectional and I let him win on that purchase. We still have it.)

Anyway, back to The Couch...
I had my own money, so I kicked the Mexicans off of The Couch and love seat and bought them.
Our first furniture purchase for the new house!

Oh how I loved them!
Floral tapestry. Navy, maroon and greens. They matched everything.
When we brought our first-born, Jayden, home from the hospital, and he was a floppy plaything, I took roughly 5,126 photos of him propped up on The Couch.

As babies do, Jayden spit up on The Couch many times.
The Couch cleaned up well, and hid stains.
It was perfect.
It was also comfortable for afternoon naps.
Pretty soon, Brendan joined the family.
And The Couch.

This is Brendan on his blessing day.
Sam woke up with the flu, and chucked all day long.
You can see from the photo how happy I was.
And yes. I am wearing Khaki overalls.
This was 1998.

By this time, I had around 8,798 photos of various shots including The Couch.
Sometimes The Couch cropped up in family memories of say...

Or tender moments, such as the father/son nap:

And as a scrapbooker, I was getting tired of looking at The Couch.
Have you tried to match Floral Tapestry to a paper line?
It is very hard.

But...The Couch was in great shape!

I was pregnant with the twins, and secretly wanted a new backdrop for my photos.
I actually considered trading couches with a neighbor, for the first few months after bringing the babies home...just for something new to look at.

But alas, that didn't happen, so I just covered The Couch with blankets.
You can see The Couch still making an appearance in the top left corner.

(Hello, Couch!)
And here was our most recent family photo.
Taken with a tripod.

Well, I know you can see it coming.
After FIFTEEN years of faithful service...
I replaced The Couch.
Sam didn't think they needed to be replaced.
"They are still in great shape!" he said.
And they are.
I believe after many years of him sleeping on The Couch when we would fight formed a strange sort of man-bond.
Perhaps the comforting smell of his own trapped farts?

But I was so sick of looking at The Couch, and I was willing to concede that maybe...just maybe they were a tad bit out of style?

I had my own money. And, had found the perfect replacements.

So, Sam went with me, and I bought the new couch and love seat.

We placed them, in all their new leathery smelling glory--into the living room.
"You have some pretty big shoes to fill," I said to the new couches,"I just thought you should know that."
Sam carried The Couch out to the truck, and I can't be sure, as it was a pretty windy day, and it could have just been dust...but we both may have shed a tear or two when we put 'em down.

They were very good Couches.
The best! (sniff)

So, without further ado, I present to you, The New Couches:

And just to prove that I am not completely heartless, and severely lack in sentimentality, you can clearly see that we kept the throw pillows to The Couch, to live in honor on The New Couch.

And hopefully The Couch will find love in a new home.