Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer Time Fun.

So summer vacay began on Tuesday of this week. Yesterday marked 12 weeks till we go back to school.  And homework.  Yuck.  So we had to add some order and plans to our 12 week vacay.  So the calendars went up.
We have June booked.  July holds lots of Scout camp and family trips and renuions.  August is our last chance for super duper fun.  The empty blocks will fill in quickly.  Just like June did.
And of course the order.  So we put these babies back up.  With new updated backgrounds even!
The everyday stuff like eating breakfast and getting dressed by a certain time.  And then the limitations to stuff.  There is also a log in/log out sheet with a timer by the computer.
Lunch and breakfast ideas and the fun that will come.  Oh it may seem like we're organized.  But each day will be a treat and a challenge.  We do have Lagoon passes again, but so far we have only gone once.  We also need to get our basement finished.  We'll see how much of a summer project that will be.  It may just be a super duper quickity quick autumn project.
Do you have fun Summer Time plans?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Missionary Experience.

Let me tell you a little story.  A few weeks ago I was in the temple and asking for guidance on what to do about my writing.  I had an answer come - write the mission story of the girl who thanked Heavenly Father for her shoes every time she prayed.  But to do it, I would need to get my mission journal out so I could make sure the information was correct.  And hey, how about a name for the girl?!  So I dug my mission journal out.  I thumbed through quickly and realized I couldn't even remember what area I was in.  So I began at the beginning.  Here is a glance at the thickness of the journal.   
That blue thing sticking out is a hospital wrist band.  I was in the emergency room before the terrible illness with no name took over.  Now I need to clarify some things.  It was 20 years ago that I left for my mission.  I have been back for quite a while now.  This is the very first time I have opened my journal to read it.  I have not read it because I have some memories that literally make my toe nails curl.  I'd get a stomach ache every time I would think of my mission. I didn't want to talk about it.  Or even think about it.

I began to read with the goal of finding this girl and all the correct information so I could write it and send it in to the Friend magazine.  What happened was very surprising.  I read.  And read.  And read.  And read.  And I remembered all the wonderful experiences I had.  I remembered all the incredible people I met and taught and laughed with and cried with.  I remembered all the wonderful missionaries, companions and elders, who I served with.  I remembered what an incredible experience it was to serve a mission.  I grabbed my mission photo album and put all the faces with the names and remembered the houses, the food, the kids, the smells, the spirit, the greatness of it all. 

I have had more than a week to digest all that I read and remembered.  And guess what?!  I don't get a stomach ache.  My toe nails have yet to curl.  I smile when I think back on those 18 months of my life.  I love my mission. 
It only took 20 years.  20 years and wanting to clarify details of an experience so I could write about it.  20 years and an experience I never even actually wrote down.  20 years and the cleansing of my memories of a life altering experience.  I received an amazing answer in the temple that day.  The power of a journal and the way it can clarify events from 20 years ago.  And leave me with a sense of Joy where there was once fear and muck.  Go ahead... ask me anything about my mission!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cute Quips.

We had just gotten home from a long camping/family reunion weekend.  I was getting ready to dry Ruthie's hair after long hot showers.  I told her to hurry and finish brushing it out.  She then said this...

"Mom! We do things so different now compared to when you were a kid!"

I have no idea what they do differently.  But got a good laugh out of it.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Day In The Life-Special Ridonkulous Edition.

It's been a while. But I have really excellent excuses.  I've been super duper busy.  Like super busy.  And it's now the last week of school.  Busy.  And my computer has been on the fritz.  Daniel got my hard drive backed up just in case.  It's been fine since.  Then I broke my toe.  Not really. So what I thought I'd do is go through pics I've got in my camera and do A Day In The Life.  But not in any specific order.
Ruthie wanted make up on.  So I obliged.  We even did eye liner and mascara.  I don't think she ever wants to wear mascara again.  Plus dad needs to invest in a shot gun.  Isn't she beautiful?  She participated in her 2nd grade talent show and played the piano.  She was awesome.  When dad and the boys went on a father/son overnighter, Ruthie and I went to dinner and then to a movie.  We saw Mirror Mirror.  Will someone please explain the Indian stuff at the end???
Sam.  Oh Sam.  Sam went to This Is The Place monument on a field trip last week.  I got to go with him and we had lots of fun.  We got to square dance together.  Sam's teacher had called me earlier in the week and said that Sam was coming out of his shell.  He was really showing his colors.  So I waited for the snapper that would have me talking to the principal about letting Sam finish his elementary school career there despite his actions.  But all she said was that is was fun to see who Sam is.  He's been quiet all year.  Better late than never.
Isaac finished 6th grade and elementary school.  I can't believe he'll be in junior high next year.  Sometimes my skin crawls when I think of it.  Other times I just wonder what happened to my baby.  The 6th graders had a big BBQ and I went to help.  So fun.  They all went to a Bee's game for a field trip.  Isaac bought himself lunch, a snack and a bat.  A wise use of his mother's money.  I am going to try to set Isaac's teacher up with a nephew of ours.  At first Isaac was a little weirded out.  But now he thinks it would be cool.  Isaac gets his braces off next month!!
The week before Mother's Day I saw the commercial for this book on TV.  I immediately thought, Oh I would love to get that book for Mother's Day.  You see, I loved the talk.  Loved. The. Talk. And what do ya know? on Mother's Day Daniel gave me the book.  I told him he must be in tune with the Spirit of what Jennie wants for Mom's day.  He loves me.  He really loves me!  I had a terrific Mom's Day.  My kids are awesome and I love them so much.  And, of course, Daniel is my main squeeze.
Speaking of my main squeeze.  Daniel made a fire pit outside.  He also mowed much of the pasture so we can see the goats better.  We cooked dogs out over the fire and I sweated.  But that's not unusual.  Love ya babe!
What'd'ya know?  It's me.  I don't usually put me on here.  But Ruthie took a picture.  So lucky you.  We went to the demolition derby last Saturday.  Fun.  I am at the school almost every day these last 2 weeks for volunteer stuff, classroom stuff and PTA stuff.  I am going to be the PTA secretary next school year.  At least I don't have to head the Popcorn committee.  I'm so glad school ends tomorrow.  I'm tired.  Still have field day today.  I get to do popcorn one more time.
A demolition car. I just don't know what else to tell you.  Loud.  Crashes.  Exhaust.  Beer.  Bum cracks.  Tattoos.  Burgers and Dogs.  Lost my hearing....
We always
enjoy a great
demolition derby.
Tuesday Isaac graduated from the NOVA program that the 6th graders do.  Every 6th grader graduated.  I guess that doesn't always happen.  Isaac had won first place in the NOVA rocket building thing.  So he was recognized for that.  This is commencing from 6th grade.
He also commenced from elementary school to move on to junior high.  In 6 years it will be high school graduation!  Yikes!  This is receiving his NOVA rocket deal.
And then there's my toe.  Last Saturday I slammed my left baby and next to it toes into my dresser.  My dresser is hard.  HARD I TELL YA!  Right after I slammed it I thought, Oh.  I bet I broke it.  Sunday I wore heels to church.  By the time I got home I couldn't walk on it.  I've been taking high potency Ibuprofen ever since.  Daniel kept telling me to go get it checked.  No.  By Wednesday I was in so much pain that I canceled piano lessons, praised the calendar gods that I didn't have Cub Scouts and went to the Instacare.  They x-rayed.  It's not broken but sprained quite well.  So they put the ridonkulous boot on me.  She told me to wear it for at least a week.  Longer if needed.  So now my hips hurt because I'm off balance.  And yes, my foot is in there.  It's the smallest boot that had.  And when I put my foot on the thing for the x-ray, the tech said You have such small cute feet! I mentioned the sausage-like appendages thereon.  She said they were cute.  Whatever.  So my pained foot is ensconced in the boot.  I will probably tell you I broke my toe if you ask.  It just makes the ridonkulous boot seem more relevant.
So there we have it.  We leave tomorrow for a family reunion weekend of camping.  See ya next week.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Little More Of This And That.

Friday was the 2nd grade talent show at school.  Ruthie wanted to play the piano and practiced her little heart out.  When her name was called she got right up and strutted over to the piano.  You can see the smile on her face. 
She played most fantastically!  No mistakes and no pauses.  She was wonderful.
The kids helped make a head stone for Vegeta.  We got one of those cement kits that you can decorate and then set in your garden.  Or over your pet goat's grave.  We put pictures of him in some of the bigger bubbles. 
Today the fire pit was officially made. Daniel and I have been talking about it for years, but Isaac was ready to burn something.  So he made his own and started to burn paper.  So Daniel went out and made the official pit.  Now, for some reason, they all want to go roast marshmallows.  I don't have any marshmallows.  I guess I need to run to the store.
Several weeks ago Daniel and I went to the adult session of Stake Conference together.  It was wonderful!  Isaac kept texting me during the meeting.  He finally sent this one.  I "yelled" at him in the next text but he said it wasn't the same.  So we came home and yelled at them all.  Hee hee.
I am grateful I get to celebrate being a mom this weekend.  I wouldn't have such a celebration without my 3 hooligans! 

Have a wonderful Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Literary Prowess.

Today there are so many things I could blog about.  But I won't.  Last night I brought up a huge box filled with stuff from the basement. It is filled with pictures and papers and letters and stuff that needed to be thrown away.  So I went through it.  I found this paper I'd written while in elementary school.  Possibly 3rd grade.  I am assuming that because of the great use of cursive, yet sentence structure is greatly lacking.  So this is what I'm blogging about today.  My paper.
In case you can't read it, this is what it says.  I will write it as I wrote it.

"I think we have too many recesses.  The reason I think this because we need to get everything done.  And people always come in hot and breathing hard.  Another reason is because people never hardly finish their work in just an hour.  That is why I think we have to many recesses at school."
My teacher wrote "Good." underneath my great literary prowess.

It's the hot and breathing hard that gets me.  As an adult, I sure wouldn't want to have recess if they all came in hot and breathing hard.  Especially if we could hardly finish our work in just an hour.

Monday, May 7, 2012


So here's what we believe happened to our Vegeta.  He was sick a few weeks ago and had antibiotics and got better.  Done.  He was perky and happy again.  So this is totally unrelated to that illness. Today, because of some signs we saw on his body and mouth, we believe he had a strain of pneumonia that strikes fast, like 5 hours fast.  And the last hour is when the internal organs shut down and they die so fast you hardly have a chance to realize they are sick.  There is a vaccination for it, but you have to know the goat has it to save them, or give it to them in advance so they don't catch it.  So we are sure Vegeta didn't suffer long.  He was buried today and tomorrow the kids and I will make a marker to honor him. 

And this Saturday will be vaccination day for our remaining goat herd.

Goodbye To Our Friend.

Yesterday afternoon Isaac went out to visit the goats.  The next thing we knew he was running into the house, crying, and saying that Vegeta was dead.  We are all very sad.  We have an idea of what happened.  A pneumonia that acts quickly.  Within hours and without much warning.  So I thought I'd put up some of our favorite Vegeta moments to remember him.  
Born March 24, 2011 under our deck.
The boy and his goat.
Grass smorgasbord in the backyard.
Playing tough with his friend Mama Cass.
What's up chicken butt?
Ruthie's driveway message.
We love you Vegeta.  We will miss you terribly.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Trigger Bruise.

I just took the wrapping off.  It's bruised and stiff and hurts.  I have been on heavy duty ibuprofen for more than 24 hours now.  Last night Daniel took me out to dinner for our anniversary. I was doing fine until the server put my dish in front of me and I picked up my fork and tried to cut into my food.  Then I cried.  Daniel cut my food for me and I ate.  When we got home I put my jammies on and got into bed and only got up to go to the bathroom.  Trauma I tell ya.
So now it will be bruised and stiff and sore and swollen.  I hope it will get back to normal soon.
Anyone wanna cut my food for me?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Trigger Fix.

Do they make cameras for left handed people?  I had my "surgery" this morning.  It is 9:15 and it's done.  He super numbed my thumb and hand.  That hurt like heck.  If heck hurts, that is.  Then he put some cortisone in to help with the pain.  Then I had to lie down while he dug into my thumb.  He used a needle to scrape the casing (like a sausage) around the tendon.  As he did it he had me "click" my joint so he'd know when he got it all.  Then the nurse cleaned up all the blood and wrapped it up.  As she finished putting the bright pink wrapping on, I finally looked over.  Bright pink.  Oh yay.  So I'm on some heavy duty ibuprofen so I can get through the day better as the numb wears off.  I need to keep it wrapped for 24 hours.
Daniel and I are going out to dinner tonight for our anniversary.  I'll be stylin' the bright pink wrapping.  I will have to pick a dish that I can eat left handed and not cut. At least it's done and hopefully I won't suffer the trigger anymore. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Popcorn Popping.

The popcorn rock experiment was concluded yesterday.  The vinegar is completely evaporated and there appears to be popcorn on the rock.  Let me take you through the process...
We began with the rock in a bowl full of vinegar.
Please read the instructions carefully.  Don't ever get hungry while doing this experiment.  The popcorn rocks could break your teeth.  Did we really need that particular order?
After just a short matter of days, popcorn began to grow.
And grow.
And, wow!  Look at that.  It's really growing now.
And here we are today.  A dry rock with beautiful popcorn all over it.  I still think it resembles cauliflower more than popcorn.  But still.  I'm just so happy it "popped".
In case you were wondering what the bowl looked like after this little dealio, there is popcorn growing all around the edges.  And a bit on the bottom, too.  I just hope I will be able to use this bowl again for real food.  No more of this popcorn that will break your teeth if you eat it stuff at our house.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dreams And Triggers.

I've had this recurring dream for years.  I am going about my business as usual when, out of no where, my back left side bottom molar crumbles.  I spit out the pieces and hold them in my hand as I try to figure out how to get to the dentist to get it fixed.  Meanwhile, the tooth continues to crumble in my mouth.  I keep spitting pieces out and run my tongue over it, ever so gently so as to not crumble it more than it is.  It's disastrous.  It just keeps crumbling.  Now, it doesn't hurt, mind you.  It just falls apart.  And I never make it to the dentist. 

On another note, my opposable right thumb is in shambles.  Remember my trigger finger?  It's back.  I got that cortisone shot back in October and within a week it was gliding along like a normal opposable thumb should.  But then a couple of months ago I painted Ruthie's room.  That's what triggered it.  Get it?  Ha ha.  I triggered the trigger finger.  I just crack myself up.  But it was just a little sore.  So I thought I'd wait it out and hope it went back to a normal opposable thumb.  It didn't.  It just got worse. 

So I called my hand surgeon, who is my close and personal friend he's done so much on my poor little hands, and made the appointment to just do the surgery.  He suggested that if it came back I just do the surgery.  Another cortisone shot would just be another band aid.  So I made it.  Then they called me back and said that the surgeon isn't working that day.  So I had to change to another day.  He only does surgery on Friday, every other Friday, and only in the morning on every other Friday.  So my options were limited. 

The appointment is set for this Friday.  I am so glad.  My whole hand hurts because of the uselessness of my opposable thumb that doesn't work right.  I haven't dropped anything yet, but I did have a box drop on it just where the ligament is tight.  Triggered.  I cried when that happened.
My appointment is early in the morning.  They said it will be really fast and I don't need anyone with me to get me home after.  I have all of Daniel's family coming over on Sunday night for our monthly get together.  Because of my triggered thumb, my house has been horribly messy for about a month now.  I can't grasp a mop.  I can't effectively clean the toilet.  It's really sad.  Doing dishes isn't bad.  The hot soapy water actually makes it feel better.  So I'm saving cleaning for Thursday so I will just suffer worse for one night. 

Wish me luck.  And a clean house.  And a non broken back left molar.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Make A Meal.

Hey!  It's Make A Meal.  On a Tuesday even.  You know, until last week my kids had never had a tostada. Sad.  I know.  So I made some for dinner.  And then we had them again last night.  I love them.  So I thought I'd share.
Here are the things you need...
Corn tortillas, salsa, taco seasoning, refried beans, pinto beans, diced chipotle tomatoes, Greek yogurt, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and then a few things I didn' have in the picture...ground beef, oil and olives...and CHEESE! Duh.
First, brown your ground beef and then add the canned tomatoes, juice and all, and the pinto beans.  Add some taco seasoning to taste. Heat through and keep warm.
While that's cooking, get all your toppings chopped and sliced and stuff. Here I have our cheese surrounded by chopped tomatoes, lettuce, salsa, olives, Greek yogurt (my new sour cream) and then the avocados diced up with a great sprinkle of garlic salt and a splash of lemon or lime juice.
And yes, I buy the taco seasoning in bulk.  Necessity!
Heat the oil on the stove top and then drop the corn tortillas in one by one. Let them bathe for about 30-40 seconds on each side.  The longer you leave them in the crispier they will be. 
Then you just make up your plate.
This is for my quesadilla child.  Yes, I know we are making tostadas.  But this guy needed a quesadilla.  Hey, I had all the makings for a great quesadilla.  Why not?
This one made what she called her secret recipe.  A taco.  She put all her toppings in the tortilla and then folded it over.  No need to try to get the flat tostada in the mouth.  Just roll it up.
I know her bangs are long.  The bobby pin was gone for the day and, well, I miss her eyes.
One boy didn't want anything to do with our second tostada night.  He preferred the yummy hot pocket.  I just don't understand.
With some extra tortillas, I cut them into triangles and made some chips.  I put too much salt on them when they came out of the oil.  So they didn't get eaten.
Tostada-aaah  Here is my finished product.  Oh it was delicious.
1 pound ground beef
1 can diced tomatoes (chipotle flavor)
1 can pinto beans
Taco seasoning
Brown  beef in large skillet.  Drain fat.  Add tomatoes with juice and pinto beans.  Season with taco seasoning to taste.  Heat through and keep warm.
Stack of corn tortillas
Heat oil in skillet.  Add tortillas one at a time to hot oil.  Turn after 30-40 seconds.  Remove from oil after another 30-40 seconds.  Let drain on paper towels.
Diced tomatoes
Shredded cheese
Avocados, diced with lemon juice and garlic salt
Shredded lettuce
Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
Refried beans
Meat mixture
Lay out one tortilla. Add refried beans, meat mixture and then any of the yummy toppings in any order you like!

I usually have meat mixture left over.  I use it the next night for Cowboy Casserole.  Put the mixture (if you need to bulk it up, add another can of beans (pinto or black) and some salsa) into a baking dish.  Top with shredded cheese and then crush tortilla chips on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.  Serve with Greek yogurt and salsa.