Saturday, December 31, 2011

One More Christmas Post.

It's a bloggy day.

This is a tradition that began in 2002. Isaac was 2 and Samuel was 9 months old. I had gotten a plain red Christmas tree skirt. And I had some bottles of paint. Mwaaa haa haa. So I put their cute little paws in the paint and then onto the skirt. I had originally written it all with permanent marker, but you can't read it anymore. So I re-did the names and years with lavender paint.
These are all 3 kiddos' prints in 2005, Ruthie's first Christmas.
And here we are today. 2011. I think I can get a few more years of hand prints on it yet.
It's fun to look at it under the tree every year with their cute little hand prints. And it's fun to see how much they've grown.
You probably noticed a big question mark around 2007. I had just been called as the Primary president and Daniel had just been called as the Ward Clerk. I spent that week after Christmas praying and calling a presidency. So, um, like some carols, the hand prints were forgotten that year.

Oh Yeah.. I Almost Forgot.

I just realized that there are some Christmas moments I haven't blogged. First, though, you know I must do a goat picture. This is a game that Mama Cass and Vegeta get into a lot. They both jump up on the tramp and butt each other. It's quite entertaining to watch.
Okay. Back to Christmas. We went to see Santa (aka Grandpa) on Christmas Eve afternoon. Ruthie was the first to sit on his lap.
Sam likes to wear his hat. And if you look closely, you can see he's wearing his gloves too. Silly Sam.
And Isaac brought up the rear. Santa gives each of the kids a sack filled with candy, and an orange and some tic tacs. Fun!
And here are the kids with Grandma. Isn't she beautiful?!
That night at Abbie and Poppy's Christmas Eve gala, many of the kids participated in the annual Nativity. Poppy reads it and each of the girls takes a turn to be Mary. Ruthie was an angel this year. And my boys? Well, they decided to participate as audience this year.
After the Nativity we played a gift game. Everyone brings a 3-5$ wrapped gift and I read a story that has lots of "left" and "right"s in it. We then pass the gifts to the left or right until the story ends. Then we open the gifts. And the kids get to open their gifts from Abbie and Poppy. They each get a pair of jammies. This year Abbie made the jammy bottoms. Aren't they cute?!
And Ruthie...
Abbie and Poppy gave each family a family picture puzzle. We've done ours 2 times now!
Since the trend is forgetting things, I forgot about the gift from Grandma and Grandpa. They gave each family one of these Awesome Possum Blossom waffle makers. You can make 2 big German waffles at the same time. We've been eating a LOT of waffles!
Merry Christmas. Next..... The New Year!

Have You Ever?

Have you ever had to patch a fitted sheet?

Um. I have.

But then I got new sheets for Christmas.

I love new sheets.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dinner Is A Sacred Thing.

You know how as Relief Society sisters we band together to feed those around us? A baby is born. Dinner. A family member is sick. Dinner. A child has surgery. Dinner. A roof falls in. Dinner. It really is quite impressive when you think about it. When someone is in need, we feed.

When I was pregnant with Isaac I was terribly ill. Remember...pregnancy is my mortal enemy. And what happened? The sisters brought in meals. 3 nights a week we were fed by generous women in the ward. It was just Daniel and me and I wasn't eating much. Daniel was just as happy to make toast or go to Subway. I was so grateful for those meals. I was grateful for the meals that came when Isaac was born. When I was sicko pregnant with Sam and when Sam was born, I was grateful for those meals. I was grateful for the meals that came when we got home from China. I made sure thank you notes went out for every one.

I love making dinner for others. When an opportunity presents itself, well, make dinner. I've made it an art even. I have a few recipes that are used regularly. Not too spicy, not too bland, easy enough for kids to eat and interesting enough for adults. When delivering the dinner, use only disposable dishes. Foil ones work best to keep things hot. Then the family who has a new baby or a recovering surgery-ee or a grieving household, don't have to wash dishes and then return them. What a pain to have to keep track of what clear glass 9x13 baking dish, among the 5 in which wonderful casseroles have been delivered, belongs to whom. Never give a new mom, just home after giving birth, a dessert full of chocolate. Nursing babies don't like that. Nor do they like spices and onions and peppers. Keep it simple.

I offered to make dinner for a family who had a baby just before Christmas. What a great opportunity to share and provide a great meal for a nice family. I had Daniel bring some cinnamon bread over along with the offer. They accepted for the following night. So I planned and cooked and picked up some things from the store. As the meal cooked in the crock pot and cookies were baked, the house smelled yummy. Then at about dinner delivery time they called and said they were out of town and having dinner and how about dinner the next evening. Of course. So I served the dinner to my family and put the rest in the fridge. But then I had a thought. As left overs, the meal just wouldn't be as grand. So I decided to make a simpler, faster, non crock pot meal tonight. I had the salad, the bread, the veggies and the sauce made. All I needed was for the family to be home. So I watched. And watched. And finally around 8 pm they got home. So I put the water on to boil and got the other items out to heat up. Daniel went to tell them dinner would be there in half and hour. Then he came back in the house and said they already had dinner and that I don't need to make dinner for them anymore.

With that, dinner became a sacred thing. When I offer to make dinner I mean it. Gosh golly! I will have dinner ready and hot and delivered at 6 pm. Unless you ask for it earlier or later. But when you go to eating somewhere else while I am making you a splendid affair, well, you're messin' with a woman who holds dinner making and delivery up there with delivering a baby! Don't mess with dinner. It's sacred!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

And Then It Was Christmas. 2011.

It began Sunday morning with breakfast. Then Sacrament Meeting. Mom and Ruthie sang in the choir so we left a bit early. Wonderful talks and beautiful music. A snappy 10 year old Zach played O Holy Night on the piano. Holy Night Batman. Could'a ended there.

We came home, got our jammies back on, let Santa come and got on with it. This is the before...
And...the after...
The best part of Christmas morning was when the kids saw their journals. When I was a kid my parents would give us each a journal and write a special note inside. I love that. I wasn't the greatest journal keeper, but I still love those personal notes from my mom and dad. So this year I got each of the kids a "real" journal and wrote a special note. Then stopped in the middle of the mayhem. And then they read their notes...
And read their notes...

And got embarrased because mom started taking pictures while they read their notes...
And the award for funniest gift goes to mom for this gem....
We hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Some Christmas Stuff.

I thought I'd share a couple of pre-Christmas fun we've been having.

Every year my mom, Abbie, does a Christmas Cookie Party for the kids. The past couple of years she's been sending the cookie stuff home with each family to do when we can. We did ours a couple of weeks ago. Here they are...
Look at the frosting on his mouth. I love it!
Prettiest smile winner. See Daniel on the couch behind her? He was sick! Sick I tell ya!
Very much concentrated on the work at hand.
Thanks Abbie for a fun tradition.

We got to have Grandma and Grandpa over for Sunday dinner last Sunday. After we ate Grandpa got out Pick Up Sticks to play. Ruthie and Sam sat the longest and played over and over and did very well. Even for older kids, this is a great small motor skill game.
Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!

Last night we all got on the Front Runner and went to Salt Lake.
We told the kids they could take the DSs to keep them busy on the train. Prettiest smile winner again. And don't be bummed that there isn't a picture of me. I'm right there in the window.
We had dinner and then went FAST over to Temple Square. We walked in one entrance gate and each of the kids did the ooooh and aaaaah like I instructed them.
Then we high tailed it out another gate and ran to the Trax line and got to the Front Runner, which was already jammed packed, and stood in a little corner. We had loads of fun, even though we were rushed.

Tonight we get to go see a live Nativity. Tomorrow? Ohhh, tomorrow we get to go to see Santa at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Then we get to go to Abbie and Poppy's for dinner and gifts.

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I keep coming to this "new post" page. Then I just look at it. Then the timer goes off because the bread is done baking or something starts to burn or something spills or or or. Or maybe I have mono again. I can't get into the blog thing lately. My hips still hurt. Mostly from standing and dipping cinnamon bears in chocolate or sprinkling cinnamon on cinnamon bread dough or making candy cane bark or wrapping presents. My feet hurt. Speaking of wrapping presents, you can't see my tree skirt. I am putting everything under the tree this year. Well, except for the one Santa gift they each get. And what's in the stockings. Which were never hung by the chimney with care or anything else. We light the fire place and it gets too hot. So they are under my bed. But don't tell my little people that. My house is a mess. Especially my kitchen. I've baked several thousand loaves of cinnamon bread and have made many many pounds of candy cane bark. On the day I crushed candy canes the bottom of my socks were sticky. My floor is sticky. And cinnamony. And there's other stuff there too. But I'm not looking too closely. I did laundry today and will probably to it again on Friday so I don't have to do any on Saturday. Did you know that Saturday is Christmas Eve? Holy hotcakes! Are you ready? Believe it or not, I think I am. Except I need to make like 8 more loaves of cinnamon bread. But I'll wait until Friday to do that. I'm excrutiatingly tired. I haven't been sleeping and then Daniel told me I have been snoring and when I snore I wake myself up. So I just started wearing those nose strips again. Sexy!! I happen to know I don't have mono. I'd guess I was just really bored. But after all I've been doing lately and what more I still need to do and having spent much time at the school the last couple of days (and NO I will not be going to the dumb sing along!) I think it's something else. When I find out what I'll let you know.

In the meantime, have a.....


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Hips Hurt.

So last night I was in the midst of reading volume 9 of a 9 volume set of historical fiction. I'll stop right there and breathe for a sec. Because 9 volumes is a lot of reading. Okay. Ready. I was finishing a chapter where they were talking about northern California and Sutter's Fort. I then went back to my childhood growing up in northern California and really not appreciating the rich history there. There are missions all along the California coast line and many inland as well. I wish I could just go back and enjoy the history. Then my thoughts went to an old TV show Daniel and I have been watching called Psych. It's on Netflix and we stay up late every night watching 2 or 3 episodes and I'm truly exhausted. But the show is set in Santa Barbara, California. And in a recent episode they were at one of those historical missions. And then I thought about Santa Barbara being in my mission and I never got there. I served in 4 other places. 2 coastal and 2 inland. I like the coastal areas best. Not that I got to go to the coast because water is a missionary's enemy. But they were beautiful areas! Stopping now to think about the beauty of Oxnard and Santa Maria. Aaahhh. Okay. Ready. So then my thoughts go to when we drove through Rancho Cucamonga in So Cal where I lived many years ago. We got off the freeway there so we could get breakfast on our way home. As we drove through I realized I had no idea where we were. It has grown and changed so much. And I wanted so bad to drive through and find where I lived and where I worked so I could show the kids. But we got a late start and needed to go. But it really had changed and I really didn't recognize it at all. And then it occurred to me that it was 22 years ago that I moved there. 22 years. And so I got Daniel's attention and told him that I feel old and then went through all of what I just shared with you. And then, in some weird way, my hips started to hurt.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Thought For Thursday.

When I was in the Young Women program many years ago, there was always a spiritual thought before our Sunday meeting began. One Sunday I was asked to do the spiritual thought and had nothing! Absolutely nothing! So someone gave me this thought to share. I think it speaks for itself.

* * * * * * * * *

You have to have a really good memory to be a good liar.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mom's Maid Service.

As a mom do you ever feel like a maid? And then feel you don't get paid enough to be a maid? I decided if I am going to be a maid, I needed to charge for my services. This whole motherhood thing isn't a cash cow, you know! So here's what I just laid out for my kiddos. It's called Mom's Maid Service. And for whatever they happen to leave out, not put away or clear or just plain don't do, I now will gladly do it. Only they will pay me for my services. Here is a list of my fees...
I even have a jingle...

I also wear the most ridiculous apron I own. That's how they know I'm out to make some cash. I dared them to keep me out of business. We'll see just how lucrative this business can be.

Monday, December 5, 2011


"Life seems nothing more than a quick succession of busy nothings."

(Fannie Price Mansfield Park)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

She's Baaaack.

This isn't "she", but it's funny. My kids always go out back and get on the trampoline. Vegeta wanted some of the action. So one day, after my kids came in the house, this kid jumped up onto the tramp. He does it regularly now. Silly goat.
Here "she" is! Cass is back and she's gettin' fat and she'll be a mama next Spring. So the words once coined by the Mamas and the Papas are fitting. No one's gettin' fat 'cept mama Cass.
Now we have all 3 of our goats back. Next March or April we'll see just how many more we have.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cute Quips.

I had put a collection of little boy halloween costumes into individual sacks and then all of them into a large garbage bag. I'm taking them to my mom's tomorrow to show to my sister in law so she can see if she wants them for her cute little Joshey. I put that bag in the laundry room so it would be easy to grab on our way out tomorrow.

I also got the trash completely full and took it out of the can and set the large trash bag in the laundry room so it would be easy to grab on our way out tomorrow.

I began getting things put together for tomorrow and noticed that both large trash bags were gone! GONE! I yelled to Daniel! Daniel! Did you take both trash bags out to the trash?? Yes. (Proud of the fact that he had taken it out!) I told him he took costumes out and needed to go get it out of the garbage and back in the laundry room. He rolled his eyes and got it. Then he pointed out that it looks like trash and he always takes out the trash when it sits in the laundry room. Point taken. But one bag was obviously not trash! It was costumes in little individual gracery bags inside the large trash bag. DUH! Not Trash!

We discussed this little tidbit for a while. Joshing each other and flirting with each other. Then Isaac came up with a brilliant idea...

"Why don't you put a "T" for Trash on the bags with trash in them and "NT" for Not Trash on the other bags. Then you'll always know which is trash."

Now that sounds like a solution to me!

With Grateful Heart.

On this night before Thanksgiving I thought it necessary to share my gratitude. First, to my Heavenly Father for His eternal love for me. Second, for the blessing of my family who are a distinct reminder of how much Heavenly Father does love me.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Enjoy every moment of it.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Late Last Night.

This is the surprised look of a boy out of bed when everyone else is in bed, including mom and dad, because we are tired, who is making himself a scrambled egg and got caught by his dad. By the way, when Isaac got home from school yesterday he had two certificates from the science fair. One was for participating. The second, well now the second only had his name on it because they didn't have my name available to them. "Excellent Display Board" I curtsied and took the applause graciously. I thanked my adoring public and will be hanging it on my wall. I just need to figure out how to get Isaac's name off and mine on! Thanks for your support.
(P.S. Isaac really did do a lot of work on his project. And he did a great job. The board was mine because I cut the paper and glued everything together and made sure this young son of mine got the work done. So he does deserve much credit and praise. But so do I!)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Science Fair Project...DONE!

Breathe a sigh of relief. But first...Just a look at what's living on our deck lately. We now have a "poop deck" again. Cass will be home next week!
Science fair was today. Here is Isaac after getting his poster put together. I told him I better get a good grade for all my work on the poster. This look is usually the one I get when I talk like that. But it's the truth. What can I say?
And just to prove that dad was there... We really enjoyed walking through all the projects and looking at all the really cool things these kids did. Lots of really great ideas proven and reported.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I Like To Look For Rainbows...

Today was a very beautiful day. This chicky pie was baptized.
And by her dad. Despite the rain that later turned to snow, all of our family on each side came.
Isn't she gorgeous? She was so excited and just a little bit nervous.
She was baptized with 2 of her sweet friends, Tally and Brooklyn. Aren't they all just divine? Can you see the glow? This is right after their confirmations. Tally's mom gave each of the girls flowers.
And with mom and dad. I think she looks like a princess. A very clean and pure princess.
We came home and had some lunch. Here is Ruthie with Abbie and Poppy.
And here is the pretty girl with Grandma and Grandpa.
And here she is with Meme, my Grandma. She brought Hummingbird cake. I got to keep the leftover cake. I'm a happy gal.
And here is the princess up close.
We are so proud of Ruthann and her decision to be baptized. She received a beautiful blessing when Daniel confirmed her a member of the church and gave her the gift of the Holy Ghost. All of my children have entered the path to return to their Heavenly Father and they each of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. My heart is filled with Joy!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Thought For Thursday.

The time change is still getting certain little people, and a certain bigger person, out of bed early. Early! Do you hear me? This morning my boys were flipping the channels on the satellite and stopped on a TBA. It happened to be one of those silly shows from the 80s. Remember Family Matters? Remember Steve Urkel? Yep. I hear Urkel's voice and cringe. I remember all too well. That laugh. That dumb humor. This morning's episode has Urkel at the dentist and on laughing gas and my boys are laughing hysterically. Like serious gut bustin' laugh out loud I'm gonna hurt someone because I'm laughing so hard. Laughing hysterically. Who knew? Funny boys.

On now to more serious things. The other day I had Ruthie's baptism dress hanging on my closet door while I removed tags and organized shoes, socks, headband, bracelet and slip. I looked at the dress, just overwhelmed by how beautiful it is and a thought occurred to me. Not too far from now (30 years at least!) we will have another beautiful white dress hanging there. I teared up a little at the thought of my baby girl one day wearing a wedding gown. Then Ruthie came in a I showed her the dress on the door and started to tell her about when we will have another dress hanging there. It will be white and beautiful and a little longer and... She cut me off in a flat voice and a roll of her eyes with "my wedding dress". I sniffed back the tears as she shot me another look of "please!" and so I sent her on her way. I did remind her as she ran off that she can't start dating until she's 30!! "I know mom."

Here is the gorgeous baptism dress she'll get to wear on Saturday! The picture doesn't even come close to the reality.
When gorgeous girl Ruthie is in the dress Saturday, the pictures will be way better!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Since February.

So let me tell you what's been happening here since February. Not that it affects you. It doesn't. But it does affect me. So here it is. Since February I have steadily gained a couple of pounds. I have had pre-cancer stuff removed from my arms and legs. I thought I was having a heart attack. My hair has gained more gray. The wrinkles on my face are more noticeable. To me. You may have been able to see them just fine. But my contact prescription has gotten a bit stronger and so I can't see the stuff on my face. Like stray eye brows. Oh, and wrinkles. Sorry about the stray eyebrows. But I do see them when I choose to look closely. My back hurts more. I've grown far more cranky than I've ever been. I get heart burn easier. I need more sleep. I have a bad attitude and it affects my ability to get along swimmingly with certain things. I also lost a 5 year hope for another child.

But one thing I've noticed since February is that I am really happy about being 40. I turned 40 in February, in case you weren't aware. Now that you are, I am really happy about it. I love being 40. I love being in my 40's. I love being able to say “now that I'm 40” or “so now that I'm in my 40's”. And so I've been trying to put a finger on why I am loving it so much when there is so much of the undesirable going on. And I got it! I know why I love it so much.

You see, when I was 12 I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. And with that came years of being told and reminded and whispered to of the things that I couldn't do. Have babies. Be healthy. Live long. Seriously. I took the “you won't live long” to literally mean I wouldn't live past my 30's. If I even got to my 30's. I knew I would die in there somewhere. Why? Because that's what they told me. Back before my bad attitude had me question and then research things people told me. Anyway, I made it. I survived my 30's. I can easily say I did it. And now that I'm 40, or, in my 40's, I rejoice. I actually have great Joy in that. Weird? I guess. Just wait til I get to my 50's. Oh, it'll be grand!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Economics Fair.

6th grade is killing me. To you parents of 6th graders, especially at our school here, does it seem there is a project of some kind or other every time your kid comes home from school?? A friend of mine who has one in high school now says that junior high is way easier than 6th grade. To be fair, they are learning. I mean, do you see all that homework and stuff? And do they understand that parents have to be directly involved in some of this stuff? You can't just send a 6th grader home to make or build 100 somethings for the economics fair telling them it's their project, mom can't help, and expect him to get to it. I have to purchase things. I have to help in the assembly line. It's only the beginning of second quarter and I'm beat. Ready for summer vacay. Okay. Done.

So let's look at the Economics Fair fairly. The assignment was to make or build 100 somethings to sell at school. Then the money they would bring in would be used through the year to pay for things such as field trips and parties and such. So Isaac takes in a few ideas and one was accepted. Jack O Lantern suckers. Easy. So we got all the stuff and cut stems and put a line together to put them together. We wrapped each sucker with orange napkins and wrapped and tied brown yarn around it. Then I hot glued a stem on top of each and then Isaac and his siblings drew faces on the things. 100. Did I tell you it had to be 100 things? The day of the fair I went in to check it out and see what everyone had done. I have to say I was disappointed. Some of those kids had only done something like stick a paper saying "witch's brew" on a soda can. C'mon. That's building or making something?! Here is my sweet boy. He did work hard. But he had a sore throat and couldn't yell over the ruckus around him. But he did sell a few.
They did turn out cute. He sold 36 of them. So guess what we handed out to all of our trick or treaters? Yep. 2 Jack O Lantern Suckers each. So now we just eat the rest of them whenever. There are so many. One mom spent waaaaay more for supplies than the recommended amount and did tons of work to help her son make these really cute steel wool spiders. But in the end he sold fewer items than Isaac. She asked if I wanted any spiders to decorate my house. I suggested a trade for some suckers. She suggested next time she'll just donate money and keep her kid out of it.
The bigger issue for me right now is the stupid science fair. Another teacher is having every student do it. The other teachers don't know what's involved with it so you have to either fend for yourself or go see that other teacher. I've done both. And it ain't pretty. By next Thursday I'll have pictures and a smile again. Until then I just remind myself that it's only 6th grade. It's not a Masters program. It's not do this or die. It's just 6th grade. Speaking of 6th grade. I had to retake my 6th grade yearbook picture. So I dolled up. I'll let the picture speak for itself...
Never mind. I must speak. I was the coolest person in the world with that head band on. My mom didn't like that I wore it in the picture. At least she didn't have to sweat a science project.