Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Sad Story Resulting from Balancing My Checkbook

I was in the process of balancing my checkbook and going through receipts and itemizing various purchases on our monthly budget so there will be no mystery at all as to why we can't afford anything considered 'luxurious' (like a canopy bed--I've wanted one since I was a child), when I had one of those strange morbid thought processes. I started imagining my dead body being discovered by police and when they are looking for clues as to my identity all they find are the contents of my wallet. My driver's license only reveals that I take horrible pictures and am slightly delusional when listing my eye color as 'green' rather than 'hazel.' But the saddest thing ever is when they check my receipts and for a whole month the only places where I had purchased anything had been from Wal*Mart and Smith's! I then imagine the police looking at each other sadly and saying,"Well, this dame didn't really get out much did she?" And that's when the thought process starts to deteriorate since I don't really think any of my current city cops would say dame.

But back to reality---for a whole month the only evidence of me leaving the house was to buy things from Wal*Mart and Smith's! How sad is that? Granted, I am sure there were some online purchases that would make me look a little more exciting (like the wild purchases from but I don't print those out and shove them in my wallet for the cops to find. Should I just make it a goal to have some exciting receipt in my wallet to make me feel a little more adventurous? Or should I just accept the fact that I am going to make one boring dead body?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My First Political Defeat

I have joined the ranks of the great Ronald Reagan who lost the Republican presidential nomination a couple of times before actually being elected. Last night Yours Truly was nominated to attend the county convention and Yours Truly did not win the vote.

For those of you who have forgotten how fun politics in Utah can be, we have precinct caucuses to elect delegates. These delegates then are supposed to represent our interests when they vote at state and county conventions for who actually goes on the general ballots.

I find these caucuses very enjoyable for many reasons. Mainly, it is always nice to leave the home and have hub in charge of bedtime. Also, I enjoy anything political. And lastly, it's fun to see all the political animals that are hiding in your neighborhoods.

But back to me losing. I hadn't planned on running for a spot since it does seem like many more aggressive male animals attend the caucus for that purpose and I don't want to deny them their prize. But a nice neighbor man nominated me and it's not very patriotic to decline. Then a bunch of other people got nominated or nominated themselves (which I find funny ). Then it was time to vote.
I just don't know where I went wrong. Maybe I should have come with my posse and had my votes ahead of time as did our new precinct chair. Or maybe I should have been better prepared with my 1 minute 'get to know you' speech in which I forgot everything I learned in my Public Speaking 101 class I took at BYU. It might have been my personal appearance. I hadn't bathed in awhile. No, actually I was heading to aerobics immediately following the meeting and was dressed like a gym rat as opposed to the polo-shirted and khaki-pantsed men who were my opponents. Perhaps it was because I had been offered the very exciting role as treasurer/secretary and therefore the crowd didn't want to overwhelm me with responsibility (joke--as you do absolutely nothing in that role. Of which I am not complaining) But whatever the reasons, I did not win.

I cried myself to sleep last night, cursed the system for not allowing me time to create a darling slogan and buttons to pass around, and started thinking of conspiracy theories that involved men feeling inferior to an intelligent woman who wears coordinating Reebok yoga pants and shoes to caucus meetings. But today I am over it. I can vote for whomever I want come the primaries and the general election and not feel guilty if it's not what my precinct wanted. I can also attend the conventions as a volunteer as I have in the past. And like the great Reagan before me, I shall rise again. Only hopefully it won't be to become the treasurer/secretary for the third time.
(This does remind me of when I would make my cousin Steph play elections with me and I always told her to call me Ronald Megan. I was a very fun child)

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Noelle, Isaac, Mitch and Ethan in their Easter fineries (we took it after church which explains the untucked shirts)
Easter weekend. Loved it. Glad it's over. Things got off to a bang with no school Friday so we partied like we never have before and had a picnic at a playground with some cousins. Since the sun was out we thought it meant it would be warm. But it wasn't.
Then we had our Easter baskets on Saturday morning and all my hard work shopping at Dollar Tree the night before paid off as I heard Ethan squeal with delight, "I got sidewalk chalk! YAY! I got sidewalk chalk everybody!" It was like he'd won the lottery. I love three-year-olds. So easy to please.
Then we took off to Thanksgiving Point with about 5000 of our closest friends to fight for a few pieces of Laffy Taffy at their Easter Eggstravaganza (isn't it great how the word 'egg' gets abused so much this time of year?) Hub had scored these tix from a guy at work so we didn't feel guilty leaving early. It was just too cold to wait in line for events my kiddos weren't too excited about. Like face painting. And sidewalk chalk drawings. (Hello! Didn't they know that Ethan got his very own sidewalk chalk??)
Isaac and Ethan at the fishing event. They waited in line for 15 minutes to get a very nice Easter sticker and tattoo. Which promptly got thrown into the bottom of the stroller only to be seen again when I get around to cleaning out said stroller.

So we killed some time at Cabela's before the next hunt. There is nothing like watching trout swim in those aquariums and seeing lots of dead animals mounted on a store wall.
Then we had our last hunt for the year at Grandma M's. After the kids had found all the candy eggs and money, Grandma remembered that she had boiled and painted 3 dozen eggs that she forgot to hide. I didn't tell her that my kids never pick up those eggs anyway, so there was nothing lost.
Mitch showing off his bag of goodies

Then Hub helped someone move in to the ward because that's just what he does best, I guess. And I got to go to dinner and our local beauty pageant with my friends and we had a rollicking good time. And in the middle of the night I got sick but had to get better fast since I had to play the piano for our Easter program and absolutely nobody wants to substitute for the primary chorister on half an hour's notice. So because I girded up my loins and went to church I was miraculously healed. I am calling it the Easter Miracle. THE END.

This is what happens when you let your 7-year-old take pictures. Sorry hub.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Three Things To Cheer About

My last list was so fun to do, I just might go crazy and do another. Hold on to your pantyhose (as Hub would say it since he's so refined) and here we go:

  1. I'm cheering about the wonders of everything you can imagine being on the Internet. Even our piece of swearword dishwasher that is so old and cheap and probably not worth the imported plastic it was made with had a diagram and instructions for repairing it on the web. Though Hub was starting to get very excited about purchasing a new one (he is not extravagant when it comes to buying nice treats but he does appreciate nice appliances) I convinced him it was more economical just to order the 15 dollar part. I am very good with numbers that way. And hopefully in 3-5 business days I can stop handwashing everything.

  2. I'm also cheering about the fact that after years of my groaning and skipping pages at bedtime reading, Mitch figured it out. I overheard him telling Ethan during the book selection process that since dad wasn't home they had to pick a 'story' book since moms don't like the science ones. Sadly this is true. I have had my fill of all books dinosaur, insect, rodent, reptile, space, World War II airplane and military. Hub hasn't. In fact, he has been known to put the kids to bed and then return to the book for further enlightenment. So I am content reading the good fiction and he gets the facts.

  3. My last cheer for the day is that basketball shorts no longer look like this:

We have been watching a lot of basketball at our house lately and I don't think I could handle it if there wasn't that extra four inches of length. On a side note, Isaac had a moment of grief as BYU lost their game tonight. He realized that meant several months of being BYU sports-less in our home. He was mildly comforted knowing the Jazz seem to play year round, every night, sometimes twice a day (or maybe I just feel that way?) but it isn't quite the same. Maybe he can take up knitting or something?

And this is all. May you find more substantial things to cheer about in your lives!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Week in Review

  1. Monday---paid $369.00 to have our furnace fixed.

  2. Tuesday---squared away the humongo dentist bill.

  3. Wednesday---took apart the dishwasher to try and clean it (don't ask) and couldn't quite put it back together again.

  4. Thursday---Paid for Ike and Mitch's summer baseball program. As I wrote out the check I silently prayed that I wasn't paying for lots of public temper tantrums when we don't hit as far as when we're practicing at home....

  5. Friday--Ignored the invoice from the auto shop where it said we needed a new water-something and we needed it quickly.

  6. Saturday--Family Easter egg hunt where Noelle's enthusiasm at being in the midst of the mayhem was priceless. (see pictures below)
  7. Sunday---listed my arms and legs on ebay to pay for all of the above.


What Noelle was trying to convey to her Mother (who was really only wanting Noelle to get her fair share): "You can't make me put this chocolate in the basket, Mommy. No, you can't make me pick up all that candy that is just sitting on the ground. I just want THIS ONE so LEAVE ME ALONE!!"

I admit I get a little competitive for these hunts. We have several practice sessions at home. But it's because we have lots of cousins, therefore lots of competition. These are my boys with their 'game face' on. Pretty scary, huh Bigger Cousins?

And thankfully the snow waited until the hunt was over to descend.

Friday, March 14, 2008

It might be just me...

...but am I the only who loves American Gladiators??

We are spending lots of money on special cable channels just so Hub won't accidentally miss a BYU game. But there has been little benefit to me to have that luxury. HGTV--BORING. Food Network---BORING. Mostly because they have like two episodes and just rerun them all the time. But then I found my salvation. It's called ESPN Classic and it was airing all the old episodes of American Gladiators!
I loved this show when I was a kid. And I don't know why! I love it now and I still don't know why! And I am so excited just talking about it and using lots of exclamation points and I still don't know why! There is just lots of competition and cheese-ball commentary and really ugly spandex and that combination just must work for me.

Gladiator Justice, still managing to look fierce despite his outfit

They updated the show on NBC and the new version is fun too. The main difference is the gladiators look like they've used more steroids. Also, instead of looking like the show is filmed in an old gymnastics studio like the original, the new one has really cool lights and you fall into water a lot.

The whole fam can watch this show and we've come up with our own home versions of the events to play in the basement. My gladiator name is Blade and Isaac and Mitchell fight over who gets to be called Mountain.
So there you have it. A confession and obsession all in one. I think I could take on any of the old gladiators (why do I think I am so tough? Something to bring up with my therapist..) but I admit I am very afraid of this gladiator. Her name is Hellga. Or should I say his name is Hellga?

Hellga's stats say she is 6'1 and 205 lbs. But doesn't she look dainty in that skirt?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

All You Wanted to Know About that Trip I Took a Few Months Ago

Five months ago I went on a trip. And I have never felt like I got to do justice to my journey. Whenever I started sharing the good times your eyes glazed over or someone threw something in the toilet and cut the conversation short. But that is the beautiful thing of blogging. I get to share as much as I want and I can't even see if you've fallen asleep and your kids can't interrupt me.

Necessary background info: My youngest sis, to protect her non-blogging identity we will just call her D, lives in a faraway place called New Jersey. My other sis, E, and I knew she was in desperate need of some familial love and decided to visit her out of the goodness of our hearts and a crazy desire to just get out of our houses for a few days. We have very good husbands who knew this meant that it was time to take some vacation days off of work and stay at home with the kids so some good bonding could be had all over the place.

Necessary background info deux: E and I had taken a similar trip a couple years earlier to visit D. The timing happened to work in my favor since D and E were prego on both trips and therefore slightly ornery making me seem even more patient and easygoing than usual. This also meant they are larger in pictures than their vanity would like them to be. But let us move on to the highlights:

E and I on the front row of the Regis and Kelly show! I don't know why I have a horse mouth, but maybe it was due to the fact that we had just come in on the red-eye and I can't sleep on a plane--making my photogenic reflexes way off. Also, I was next to a large man who was drinking liquor the entire flight. Mix that with his overpowering garlic breath and I'm amazed I didn't need the doggy bag for relief. I was nice enough to let E have the window seat since she was the one great with child. And it is just smart to let your hormonal traveling mate have those little luxuries.

We pretended like we use mass transit all the time and rode the subway to Chinatown where I haggled myself some souvenirs. The picture doesn't show it well but there was a rat on the tracks. That was very exciting. We don't get rats on Trax in SLC, do we?

You can't visit NY without going to Times Square. Now we've done this a couple of times and maybe we can change the rule to 'If you've done Times Square once that's enough'.

Next up was a jaunt to Hershey, PA. E did a report on it in 5th grade and ever since felt like she was the chocolate expert in the family. Chocolate World was a fun place and it did truly smell great there. This is D and her lovely fam holding up the world's largest candy bar.

While in PA, we visited some Amish country. I feel like the Mormons and the Amish are very similar in certain ways. Only Mormons get to dress better. This is me and my cute nephew getting some loves in front of a buggy. If the picture was a little closer you could see the rapture on his face as he is getting squeezed by his favorite aunt.

We also spent some time at Princeton University where I pretended for a minute that I was smart enough to go there. D's hubby is Smart and he works in the chemistry lab. He gave us a tour and tried to explain what he does and we tried to pretend like we had any idea what he was talking about. It was a beautiful campus and there was a sense of history that you don't get on our campuses out west.

This last picture is of our layover at the Phoenix Airport on the return trip. We were very glad to make it there as there was a slight miscommunication about our travelling arrangements. We had flown in to JFK but were returning home from Philadelphia and somehow that nugget of info didn't get processed. Something about the East coast and no mountains to tell me which way is west makes my sense of direction kaput and I didn't realize D and her hub were taking us to JFK for our return flight. We had a panic attack of being in the completely wrong state with our actual flight being due to take off in 45 minutes.....Thankfully D married a man who is not only very Smart but also drives very Fast. We miraculously made it onto our flight with seconds to spare. The downer (besides all that and ending up in the wrong gate) was that I got some Hershey's syrup and Amish jam confiscated but that is for a different post about the NTSB and their stupid rules.

That was the bullet version of the trip. More good times were had and D and E didn't even complain about their huge bellies very often. D and her fam took very good care of us and even had treats and fine food awaiting us. I highly recommend visiting sisters who live far away. Thanks for listening. Now that I got that off my chest I am feeling a little robbed that I never got to tell anyone about the trip to Yellowstone I went on when I was 10....

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Noelle's Hair Update

This is the side view of her thickening tresses. I had to include the action shot to show off her nice pout. Look out Angelina, there are some new lips in town!
I have received an onslaught of emails, phone calls, and prayers regarding this post and feel it is socially irresponsible to leave you all constantly wondering how Noelle's hair growth is going. The good news is that our version of acupuncture (really tight hand squeezes daily administered by Ethan) and a steady diet of Tootie Frooties and whatever discarded Halloween candy she finds under the couch have really worked wonders for her mane. We still don't have a lot of length, but there is a definite thickening. I am sure she will be doing Pantene commercials in a few short months.

I no longer am worried and can focus on more important issues like whether or not to buy myself a new pair of flats or espadrilles this spring. Maybe both? Rest assured, I will keep you posted on the results as I am one of those socially responsible people.

Noelle, looking very concerned about the state of her hair

Thursday, March 6, 2008


The very next morning Ike witnessed the same spider crawling on the wall. It was not a smart spider and didn't know it was supposed to go back outside with its family. Anyway, Ike really got a paper and squished it and threw it away. Just like a brave person would do! I even checked his garbage for the carcass to make sure it wasn't just pretending to be dead like some of them do. (I didn't get out the magnifying glass, but this crumpled spider didn't look like a wolf spider--so much for Ike's classification skills.)
So there was a happy ending to this tale of dread. No more spiders and I don't have to avoid going in the room. Plus I am so proud of Isaac now. Who would believe that my brave Spider Killer was the same boy who took 11 months to go to Sunbeams without physical force? They grow up so quickly.....

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


doesn't this picture make your skin crawl just looking at it?

Isaac had spied a spider on his bedroom window earlier today. In his cavalier daytime voice he told me he had left the room to get a piece of toilet paper to squish it, but upon returning to his room it was gone. (First of all, I can't imagine him squishing the spider---hasn't he learned from me that we capture spiders in empty baby food jars and wait for dad to come home to properly dispose of them?)

That was the last I heard of the spider until tonight when Ike was in bed. Then, the big 7-year-old started to sound a little less brave and said, "What if the spider comes in my bed and bites me?" I too, had forgotten about the spider and didn't want to start thinking about it NOW since it was already 12 minutes past bedtime and this was my time, dangit! But I am really a good mom so I started using all those motherly reassurances that probably aren't scientifically true like, "Spiders are more scared of you than you are of them" and "Spiders don't like beds because it's hard to walk on soft surfaces with eight legs." Then I told him the spider he'd seen was probably quite harmless.

But my boys check out too many science books at the library and Ike told me that the spider he'd seen looked just like a wolf spider! Well, I knew that no matter how much I love my child I ain't hanging out in the dark when a scary wolf spider might start crawling on me. So I kissed him good night, told him the spider had gone to bed himself and got myself out of that spider den. That doesn't make me a bad mom, does it? It's not like it was really a wolf spider, right? And Isaac is safe in bed since we all know spiders don't like crawling on soft things. Or had I made that one up? I'm getting all itchy thinking about it. Good night!