Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, "Oh darn... she's awake!!"

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Time to Make a Change

Hello my bloggy friends,

After thinking and pondering and listening to my stake president, I've decided to make some blogging changes.

No, I'm not going private. I thought about it for about two seconds and decided that's not for me.

What I have decided is to go incognito. On this blog and my previous blog (on MSN) I used my own name and friend's and family's names. Also I haven't been exactly secret about the town where we live. Oh, I thought I was tricky enough about not fully disclosing my location, but it wasn't too difficult to figure out...

And that's not safe.

What I decided to do is create a new blog. This new blog has nicknames for all of us. I won't tell you here, what those names are. I'll save that little surprise for when you clicky over there. Also, I won't put the link to that new blog here. That would be counterproductive to my little plan to become "faces in the crowd." Eventually (soon), I will close down this blog and make it private, with only myself having access so I can print what I've written as a family journal.

Here's my plan to let you know the new address: Please leave me a comment here with an email address and I will email you the link. I will also ask, if you have a link to me on your own blog, please remove my last name. (All my former YW, please feel free to call me by my new nickname on the new blog. It's okay if you don't call me Sister ______ .)

I'm sure there is an easier way to do this, but my brain doesn't function on "easy". And I know that the only way to be perfectly safe is to go private. But let's give this a try.... it just might work!!!

With love,
Chelli

P.S. I will make the change and close this site down in about two weeks.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Saturday Shenanigans

If it's going to snow non-stop, we might as well have fun!





Thanks to our videographer, Aly!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Again I Have To Ask....

WHOSE KID IS HE.....?

Here's the story:
Christmas morning, Aly actually waited until after 7 am to get us up (we always try to get her to wait until 8:30 or 9, but she persists until we find a 7:30 compromise). Adam was pretty tired due to the lateness of the night before and we had to go into his room to wake him up (no sneaking out to peek this year!)

Aly and I walked into his bedroom and I gently whisper, "Adam, let's go see what Santa brought you."

No response from him but the heavy breathing of a child deep in sleep.

I lean in a little closer and say, "Come on Adam! I think Santa came. Do you want to go see?"

This time he wiggles a little.

"Adam, darling, it's time to get up! Let's go downstairs!"

And this time a little boy's voice sternly says, "You're annoying me!"

Aly and I had to bust up laughing. What 6 year old yells at his mom for trying to wake up and tell him that Santa came?!?! It would have to be the same boy that doesn't like M -n- M's, or Oreos and prefers carrots and celery... THAT boy!

It doesn't end there. It gets better.

Through our snickers and giggles, I say, "Adam, don't you want to get up and go look at presents?"

He is still completely irritated and he says, "I AM SLEEPING!!! LOOK AT MY EYES! CAN YOU SEE THAT THEY ARE CLOSED?"

It was too much. We were just dying with laughter. Obviously we had to try a different tactic, so we used that reverse psychology stuff and walked out of his room saying, "That's okay. Just come down when you're ready. We'll go ahead without you."

One point two seconds is all it took... he jumped out of bed and was running down the hall, his eyes only half open. I had to grab him and reign him in before he fell down the stairs and hurt himself.

This kid is a nut!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

12 Days of Christmas, eh.

Merry Christmas!!

I leave you tonight with one of my favorite Christmas songs.... ever.

(Don't think I'm a heathen, this just makes me laugh, eh?)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holy Cow Look At The Snow!!

I just posted these pictures on my private family blog and decided I'd post them here too. This is what I woke up to this morning, and what I had to clear out. It took me almost two full hours to finish my small driveway, do the sidewalk and 1/2 of my neighbor's driveway. I was wring-out wet by the time I got back inside because it is still snowing.

Oh yeah, it will be a white Christmas.

I blew out the driveway twice yesterday, the last time right before bed. This is the accumulation from last night.

We love the snow plows, but I wish they wouldn't bury my driveway! My little snow blower couldn't cut through this. I had to do it with brute strength and a shovel (and some help from my cutie-patootie neighbor boy).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wanna Be

Clark Griswold is my hero. Especially in the movie Christmas Vacation. It is my dream to one day decorate the outside of my house in the same manner as "Sparky."

It didn't happen this year. Our house is boring. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful that Calvin took the time to hang all those C-7's around the roof line, but there's no flash, no zing. I put some lights around the kid's windows, but that's not enough. I hung some extra lights around the garage, but that's still not enough. I'm going to get some lights for the living room window, and that will help, but it's not the full effect I'm looking for.
While we were in Utah this weekend we drove through some fancy schmancy neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights. I found two houses that made me drool with envy. This first house is located right next door to Chrissy's good friend. (Funny story: This girl is living in a basement apartment and has only lived there a few months. She went out of town for Thanksgiving and on her return trip, saw this house from the airplane. She knew it was in her neighborhood. She prayed all the way home that it wasn't her house.)
This house is just tacky enough that I found it appealing. There is even a big sign on the roof that pays homage to Clark (maybe if you click on the photo it will enlarge).


The second house was in a neighborhood where an Osmond lives.


The biggest thrill of the evening was driving to the hills and seeing the house that is programmed to music. Watching the trees and decorations light up to the pulsing beat of music was dang cool.

Clark would have been proud.

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's a Marshmallow World...

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas....


I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas....

Think of any Christmas song that mentions the weather outside and how it should be at Christmas time (except the Hawaiian Christmas songs).

Have you thought of any that I haven't listed? I'm sure you have. Did you think of "a picture print by Curier and Ives?" Did you think of "in the lane, snow is glistenin?" I could go on and on, but I won't. Let's just say that when I look out my window, that's what I see.

Finally,

FINALLY

I can get into the Christmas spirit? Why does it take snow for that to happen? I guess I'm an Idaho girl at heart. (Just looked out my window and there is more coming down!! Yipee!!)

******************

Had a great weekend in Utah. Aly's choir got to sing at Temple Square in Salt Lake. It was very cool seeing my daughter on the stage in the Assembly Hall (and Joseph Smith Bldg.). They sounded great. What a great choir and director.







********************

The weather turned bad while we were down there, so we opted to drive home a day later than anticipated. Chrissy was so nice to accomodate us. My original plan was to come home Saturday morning and get my Christmas baking done, so Chris suggested we just get it done at her house. Her kitchen is pretty cool and big (as opposed to my crappy one) so I agreed. We busted our rears and got 2/3 of our baking done (sugar cookies, festive cookies, Ohio Buckeyes and chocolate dipped pretzels). I only have two or three things left to make. YAY!!! Thanks Chris!!



*********************

Adam has a loose tooth. It's just about ready to come out. His goal is to keep it in his mouth until Christmas Eve. That way Santa and the Tooth Fairy have to come on the same night. "Wouldn't that be cool mom? Do you think they know each other?"

*********************

I learned how to use the snow blower yesterday. Calvin has kept that fun all to himself in the 3 or 4 years we've had it.

Shoveling snow = YUCK!!! Too much work and sore shoulders.

Blowing snow = FUN!!!! Too much fun than one person should have.

I got carried away this morning and ended up doing our driveway, the next door neighbor's driveway and several sections of sidewalk. I was mad when I saw another neighbor had done my other neighbor's driveway. I'll have to get up earlier next time.


***************************

Speaking of snow and neighbors, I have to end this by saying how lucky I am to live in such a great neighborhood. There are three or four of us that have the mechanical means to remove snow, i.e. snowblowers or 4-wheelers with a plow. When I went out this morning I saw that every one of us was helping out the other neighbors. None of the elderly people have to do their own driveway and all the sidewalks and mail boxes are dug out. People are pushing their snow blower up and down the street looking for a driveway that needs cleared. No one asked them to do it, it's just done.
I thought it was very cool. (It's another secret that Calvin has been keeping to himself.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Grinch Is Loose

Is it just my house...
my kids...
or is there a big
whiny
GRUMPY
Cantankerous
bug biting children as
Christmas draws nearer?
. . . . . . . . . . .
I'm thisclose to calling
Santa Clause and
telling him to skip our
house this year.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Playlist

I have never done a post about a "playlist" before because I don't usually have one. I'm a music idiot. I love listening, but I never know who is singing and I rarely know the name of the song. I focus on enjoying the music of the moment and then it goes away, until I hear the song again and I say, "Hey! I remember that I like this song."

Like I said, I'm a music idiot.

However, I bought some new Christmas CD's this year and I'm really excited about them. My first and favorite CD is Kristin Chenoweth. You know, she plays Olive Snook on Pushing Daisies (stupid network that cancelled it), and Mrs. Gornicke on RV as well as a gazillion other wonderful parts. (I'm a fan.) I listen to this CD 20 times a day and it hasn't gotten old yet. L.O.V.E it.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKjDPl1x98I

I finally broke down and bought Josh Groban's Noel this year. I've wanted it for a couple years and I thought with the economy in the tank, I might as well do my part to give it a boost. After all, my favorite Christmas song of all time is his version of O Holy Night. Sure, that song isn't on this CD, but there are many songs on this CD I enjoy and he sings with MoTab. Can't beat that!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIFH0TUWcBA

The third new CD I got this year is Christmas Number Ones. I got it as the music selection from BMG. It's just a collection of popular Christmas songs by popular artists -- both new and old. Gene Autry is the best....


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFtOQfuNZLA

And that's what I'm listening to this Christmas.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dude, You're Soooo Grounded!

I read this story in my local newspaper today and found it amusing: (I have deleted local names)

**************************

Juvenile Fakes Kidnapping To See Movie
Published: Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Police say a reported kidnapping of a young man Monday evening, which turned out to be fabricated by him, interfered with responders' duties.

Because the person who made the false report is a juvenile, the information about it has been referred to the county prosecutor.

The incident occurred around 9 p.m. when police and ambulance crews responded to a 911 cell phone call from a young man who said he had been kidnapped and then locked in the trunk of his car.

(Police) said the teenager said he had been hit on the head before he was put into the trunk.

The boy told police that he initially didn't know where he was, but after officers told him how to manipulate the trunk latch from the inside, the boy was able to get out and let them know his location behind the (local) Kmart store.

When police arrived at the car, they found him sitting on its bumper.

(Police officer) said ambulance personnel who checked him over could not find anything wrong with the boy.

And under further investigation, the police determined that the story didn't appear credible and the "victim" then admitted the story was untrue.

(Police officer) said after police interviewed the boy, they concluded that he had fabricated the story as an explanation for not being at a family event at his home, when he was actually at a movie with a friend.

"What we found was that he had left a family home evening and went to a vampire movie without permission," (police officer) said, "This fabrication of being kidnapped tied up six officers, the dispatcher and a number of medical personnel who had other duties to fulfill."

**************************
Only in this town (and possibly Provo/Orem) can the newspaper print "Family Home Evening" and not have to explain what it is.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

O Tannenbaum

Christmas time is a time of family traditions. I'm sure your family has many, as does ours. Yesterday we partook in the merry tradition of tree decorating. This is how it played out:

**We are one of five families in the whole world who still purchase a fresh tree. There is nothing pre-fab or synthetic in our tree stand!! We like to drive 1/2 hour to the big city south of us to purchase from the YMCA lot at the mall. No, we don't have a membership there, we just like their trees. (the only place here to buy a fresh tree is at the grocery store, along with some canned beans.) This year, we switched up the tradition. Aly was in school when we left, so we didn't bring her. The usual tradition is that she comes along and sits in the car complaining about how cold it is, constantly repeating, "Can we go home now?" Even though we were in jackets (Calvin was just in shirt sleeves) we knew she wouldn't miss the adventure.

**After living in Oregon for a few years, I grew quite fond of Noble Firs. They are the most gorgeous Christmas tree you can have. Also, in Oregon, you can go to a farm and cut your own Noble for $5-$10. Not here. Nobles cost around $100, which makes them slightly out of my price range. I have switched my allegiance to Fraser Firs. They are almost as beautiful and quite aromatic. The three of us (Calvin, Adam and myself) sequestered ourselves in the Fraser section of the lot and had a healthy debate over which tree was best. I wanted the 7 foot, Calvin wanted the 6 foot (it's cheaper) and Adam just wanted to pick it. We started a new tradition: Rock/Paper/Scissors determined who got to pick the tree. Lucky for the men, I won. Yet, suspiciously enough, when I pointed to the tree I wanted, Calvin kept pointing at another saying, "I think you want that one." Suspiciously enough, we ended up taking home the tree Calvin kept pointing at (the 6 footer).

**It's an interesting tradition getting the tree home: It is tied to the roof of our car and I spend the half hour on the highway looking at it through the rear-view mirror, making sure it isn't moving too much, or that it will unexpectedly flip off the car and impale the driver of the car behind us. I end up with a crick in my neck by the time we get home. (I never trust that the guys get it tied on securely.)

**Once we're home comes the fun part. Debating whether we need to cut the end off again (has it been longer than 1/2 hour since the guy at the lot cut it off?), getting the tree in the stand and getting the lights on. I'm very lucky that Calvin takes care of all this dirty work. (Give it a year or two and Adam will be out there with him!) This year was fun. No matter how he tried, the tree is crooked in the stand. But, if you hold your head at an angle, it's okay.

**This year Calvin worked for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes making sure all the lights work and getting them on the tree. After it was finished and with sweat streaming down his face and dripping in his eyes, he plugged them in. Half didn't work. Of course, it was the half in the middle. I was quickly dispatched to Walgreens to purchase new lights.

**600 brand new lights on the tree. Who needs a lamp in the living room?

**This year brought Aly into the living room with us as we decorated! This, again, is new and much enjoyed. When she was a finicky 14 year old, she sat on the stairs, frowning and not helping. (She still insists that she won't carve pumpkins with us.)

** For as many years as I can remember, Santa has given me a new ornament from Hallmark on Christmas morning. I'm kind of old, so I have a lot of ornaments. Santa started bringing them to Calvin when he married me, that has been almost 21 years, so he has a lot of ornaments. Santa brings ornaments to my children, which adds to the numbers. I have two Rubbermaid boxes filled to the brim with Hallmark ornaments. My job is to go through the boxes, pull out the ornaments, remember whose they are and give them to that person to hang on the tree. I love that job. Adam wants to take it from me. I won't give it up willingly. Aly, actually hung her ornaments on the tree. That is 17 ornaments!! YOU GO GIRL!!!

**Finally, the lights are on, the ornaments are hung and we read our scripture and story from the 24 Days of Christmas. Family prayer and everyone heads to bed. Everyone but me. Now I get to move that huge mass of ornaments that is eye level to Adam and in one place in the front of the tree to create a more aesthetically pleasing balance. I pour two more pitchers of water in the tree stand, remind the dog and cat that the water is for the tree NOT them, turn off the lamps and bask in the glow of fresh pine scent and multi-colored lights twinkling at me.

It's soooo worth it!!
(Hold your head crooked and the tree looks straight)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Who Me?

When did I get so old?

It's 12:17 in the morning and I'm sitting up waiting for my daughter to come home from her date. She's not late... I forgot to give her a curfew. My bad!!! But then again, I probably would have said "Be home by 10:30," even though he picked her up a little after 9:00. It freaks me out to have her out with some boy...

Okay, he's not even "some boy." She's with the boy that drove 5 hours from Utah to our town to take her to the Homecoming dance. I've met him a few times. He's nice. His dad even drove him to Orem from Payson so he can take Aly out (we're in Orem for the Thanksgiving weekend). Man, that is a dedicated Dad!! (He really likes Aly and likes his son to take her out.)

I just wonder... how in the heck am I old enough to be sitting up waiting for my daughter to come home? Didn't I just go out on my first date a month ago?

No?

Well, it seems like it.

And I'm still sitting here, getting older while my daughter still isn't home. (It's 12:23 now!)

I need Father Time's phone number. Maybe he can go on a vacation for a while so my kids will stop getting older.

(I just got a text from her. She's finally on her way home.)

**Heavy Sigh**

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy

Thanksgiving!!




(If you don't hear from me for a couple days
it's because I'm busy stuffing myself,
shopping and painting ceramics at Color Me Mine.
Look out, Orem!! Here I come!!!)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Team Charlie

To begin, let me say....

I really love my daughter.

It may appear that I am a crazed Twilight fan.... you know the whole Edward and Bella background on my blog and all....

I did it all for Aly.

She is the crazed Twilight fan. I enjoyed the books. I thought they were entertaining and fun to read and I have read them a couple times. But I don't live for Edward, or Jacob, Esme or Carlisle. But my daughter does, so I ride the Twilight wagon with her.

On this wagon I went with her to buy the tickets to the movie two weeks in advance and kept them in a special place in my wallet. With her I went to the mall and helped her pick out the perfect Twilight shirt from Hot Topics. With her I got to the movie theater more than an hour and 15 minutes early to stand in line.

And it wasn't bad. I enjoyed the time with my daughter and I enjoyed the camaraderie we enjoyed while the anticipation was building.

The movie wasn't bad. They had a lot of book to cover in two hours and I think they did okay with what they had. I didn't walk out of the movie hating it, and was pleasantly surprised. Yes, it was a little choppy and I'm not sure there was much character/relationship development, but what can you do?

I have to say, however, that I am now a fan of Charlie, Bella's father. In the book, Charlie doesn't have much to say and that stayed true in the movie. Without dialogue, it's hard to build a character, and I think the guy who played Charlie did great. I was rooting for him from the minute I saw him on screen. Facial expressions, body language.... he had it all.

Aly thinks I'm Team Charlie because he's old and so am I. grrrrrrrrrr......

I do have a couple gripes about the film: I'm still not certain Robert Pattinson is the right guy to play Edward. He's just not cute. There were a couple times that I thought, okay, now he looks cute, but for most of the movie I wasn't feeling the Edward love.
The first time I saw Carlisle (and Aly agreed) we thought, WOW!! They really over did the white face make-up. It seemed more toned down as the movie moved on, but that first time it was INYOURFACEWHITE!!!
And the part that bugged me the worst was: What's with the tree climbing? "Spider Monkey?"
HUH?!?!

It was a fun night. I'd do it again. And I probably will when New Moon opens.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I heart Hugh

Well it's about time!!
(Nothing against Brad Pitt or George Clooney, but
People needed to bring some new
blood to their Sexiest Man cover. I give
all my support to this year's pick.)
**sigh**

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Confessions

Today I have a couple confessions to make. You may be shocked at what I'm saying, but I feel I need to clear the air and get them off my chest:

** I am done eating pizza. I never want it to cross my lips again. It's not because it's not a healthy food. That doesn't stop me from eating anything (obviously). To me, pizza is as disgusting and foul a food as.... fish!! And we all know that if it swam, or breathed air through water, it won't cross these lips. Uh Uh. No way. And now, pizza has gotten to be that disgusting to me. Sad isn't it?

**Until two weeks ago, I had never seen a full episode of The Office. I realize that there will be members of my extended family who might disassociate themselves from me because I said that. HOWEVER, before you go crazy, please let me say that I regret that I hadn't seen it and I hope to get back in your good graces by saying, I AM A FAN!! I watched three episodes (on DVR) last night and laughed my butt off. I can't wait to crawl in bed tonight, pick up my crocheting and watch more. I have many seasons to catch up on, and I look forward to each and every moment.

**My son shocked me last night when he announced, "Mom! I don't like M-n-M's!" (He was mad that it was the treat in his kid's meal from Arctic Circle.) If I hadn't given birth to the boy I would seriously question his parentage. Well, that and the fact that he is the spitting image of his father. BUT HIS DAD LOVES them!! As do Aly and I.
Here's my theory: Six months ago, Adam was abducted by aliens and they injected him with a serum that alters his genetic make-up. He's mutated into a child that likes carrots and celery more than chocolate. Soon, he'll be in the forest hugging trees and doing nature dances.
Totally weird.

**I do not watch Oprah. Yes, I'm an American woman who does not worship the ground she walks on. I've said it and I mean it. 'Nuff said.

There. I feel better, like a big load has been taken off my shoulders. Thanks for letting me vent.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

No Laughing Matter

For my Thankful Post today, I'm going to copy Yvonne and say I'm grateful for my sense of humor.

I'm the kind of person that laughs easily and often. I love to tease people and be teased by people. I like helping people laugh. If situations get too serious, I try to find humor to lighten the mood. Granted, there are times to be more restrained and/or reverent and I have to work hard to restrain the goofiness that wants to burst out of me. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't.

Today, I realized what a blessing it is to be able to laugh at one's self:

I was at choir practice. We were in the middle of a song and a choir member who came late was looking for music. I saw a folder on the bench next to me and, thinking it was extra, picked it up to hand to him. (There are usually several folders of music just sitting on the choir benches when we get to the chapel. No one's names are on them.) The lady sitting next to me literally yanked that music out of my hand, held it up and away from my reach and then hid it on the side of her where I couldn't see it or reach it.... like a two year old claiming her favorite dolly. And no, she isn't young.

Me, being me, smiled and in my light voice said, "Oh I'm sorry!"

She wouldn't look at me.

I touched her lightly and in a serious voice said, "I'm sorry. I thought it was extra music."

She ignored me still.

WHAT?!?!

She was so completely unforgiving of me touching her choir music that I actually went home in tears. At first, and for a long time afterward, I was M.A.D. Why doesn't she grow up? It was an honest mistake!!

Then I realized that not every one has the ability to laugh at stupid situations. Obviously this woman has some issues in her life or in her past that makes this sort of thing serious for her. Maybe she didn't hear my apology... I doubt it, but I'll give her the benefit of the doubt.

Then I thought of myself. If someone accidentally grabbed my music folder to hand to someone else, I would have laughed. The choir director would probably stop practice to bring me back in line. I certainly wouldn't have let that person go home feeling horrible and awful, crying their eyes out.

Life is short. Life is good. Laugh once in a while. You'll feel better and the people around you will like you better. (And you can bet I will sit by someone else next week!)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hieeee YAH!!

My little Kung Fu Panda graduated from his Tae Kwan Do class tonight. The graduation ceremony included the breaking of a board.

(The first attempt)

video

Second and final try!!!

video


Aly and I discussed this experience on the way home: You can't see it on the video, but Adam was pretty danged proud of himself after he finally broke that board. It wasn't vain pride, it was "WOW!! I did it!!"

We decided that if every person in the world could have a confidence booster like this once a week, the world would be a better place. This is our analogy: If we could all take a task that seems almost impossible (these were 1" boards and Adam is six years old) we might try to succeed but will probably fail a few times. Then, like Adam, if we sit down and think about it -- instead of giving up (Adam was thisclose to tears when he sat down after his first attempt) -- and face it again, we will probably be like Adam and succeed! Sometimes we have to change our approach to the task (Adam had planned for several weeks to break the board with his foot). Oftentimes we need a cheering section.

But most of all, we need determination and a drive to accomplish our goal.

(Look at his face in this picture!)


And sometimes, we're just as stunned as Adam was when we finally reach our goal.

**Note: This class was offered by the city and was held in the lunch room of the middle school. They often overbook the room, so another group was moving in on top of us as we finished breaking boards. That's what all the background noise is.

**Another note: Aly was the videographer and I was the photographer. She did a pretty good job!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I Heart Jacob

Have you bought your tickets to Twilight yet?


I have!!


You'll Thank Me. Your Family Will Thank You.

I know I just posted a yummy recipe, but I have found another new cookie recipe. I thought the first recipe was easy, but, this is possibly the easiest cookie recipe I have ever found.... EVER. And believe me, I've made a few cookies in my life. (Melanee, I think this would be wonderful for your and your roommies.)

This is a perfect recipe for autumn.

(Are you ready for this?)

One spice cake mix
One small can pumpkin
chocolate chips

Drop by spoonfuls on to a greased cookie sheet.
Bake 350 for 12-15 minutes.

Yup. That's it.

I baked a pan of them last night and they turned out pretty good! They taste just like you think a pumpkin cookie should taste! My only disappointment was that they didn't spread much. They pretty much stayed in the same shape they were in when I put them on the cookie sheet.

Again, I don't have pictures... sorry. I still have to finish baking the batch I made up last night, so maybe I'll add it later. I must stop baking cookies on Tuesday nights. I get busy trying to get to mutual and always run out of time.

****************************
Speaking of mutual, my slide show was last night. I was a basket case right before. Calvin (Mr. Technology) wasn't able to be there to help me set up. My technological experience includes; the ability to blog, to download pictures and create slide shows. I can also email. But that's about it. So attaching a laptop to a projector gave me cold sweats, shallow breathing and a rapidly increasing heart rate. I followed his instructions to the "T" and when I hit play.... you guessed it.... nuthin' showed up on the screen. This produced more rapid shallow breathing, heavier sweating and buckets of tears surfacing, threatening to pour out of my eyes. I had to break down and see if Calvin had a break in his interviewing to see if he could pop over to the church and help. He had an exactly 5 minute break. (Good thing we live here where everything is close, huh?)

He arrived at the church approximately 1.5 minutes after I called. He walked into the R.S. room, walked up to the laptop, pushed one button and it worked. He walked out after spending a total of about 3 minutes with us.

Isn't that always the case? I spent about 20 minutes trying to get that darned projector and laptop to connect and work together. Calvin walks in, clicks on one little thing and it works. Honestly, I think it worked just because he walked in the room. We play this game at home too. I try to print something, the printer doesn't work. I hate asking for help, so I work and work, trying to fix things. I can't. I finally call for help. Calvin walks down the stairs, looks at the computer and without pushing a single button the printer initializes and starts printing.

I feel like a dork.

But I'm used to it by now, and I'm comfortable with it.

Oh yeah. I was talking about the slide show. (I get distracted easily.) It was a HUGE hit. The girls really look forward to it and I think they enjoyed seeing themselves in their different activities. I'm glad it's finished. Now I get to start preparing for next year's!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Stomp, Stomp, AAUGH!!!

My house is full of little boys.

I love it!!

My friend went on a two week trip to Europe and I have the opportunity to have her children for a few of those days. The boys are 6 and 4, which is perfect for Adam. He is loving having built in friends... 24/4 (cuz I only have them for four days.)

(Okay, I guess three boys in one house doesn't really constitute a "house full of boys," but for me... it certainly does.)

We also had their big sister (age 8), but she is extremely homesick and became inconsolable last night. The poor girl. She was practicing the piano while I was in the kitchen making dinner, and bawling while she was playing. I couldn't hear her over the music, my dinner cooking, etc. It broke my heart when I found out. I talked with her, held her and hugged her, but she misses her mom and dad just too much. Luckily, she has a very close extended family that lives in town, so I called her aunt who said, "BRING HER OVER!!" It made me sad to take her over to Stephanie's but it was for the best. The minute she walked in the door she was over run with cousins and she ran away smiling... not a trace of a tear in her eye.

The boys, however, are doing GREAT! Our toys are still just new enough for them that they aren't bored. It's just a fun sleep-over. I let all the boys sleep in Adam's room last night, which was AWESOME for them!! I don't actually let my kids have slumber parties, so it's a nice treat for Adam.

As I sit here writing, I'm listening to the boys running upstairs. There's a scream and BIG LAUGHTER. They're on a quest to find the hiding cat, who is great at hiding from over enthusiastic boys. It will keep them occupied for about half an hour.

We're having a good time.


Carson & Adam: Best buddies
Harry

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Today I'm grateful for...

... the fact that in about 5 minutes I get to hit "finish" on this year's Young Women slide show.

And none too soon, either!!

Our YW in Excellence is Tuesday and it will be shown then. I've worked on it -- off and on -- for approximately two months. I don't begrudge this opportunity. It's something I volunteer for each year. I take oodles and gobs of pictures of the girls (no exaggeration) and compile them into a sort of digitally scrapbooked "masterpiece." (Masterpiece is used loosely.) Add some music and a little video of each girl and VOILA!!!... we've got 25 minutes of memories packed into a sweet little DVD for each of them to take home.

However, every year when the deadline approaches, I start to sweat.

Will I finish it?

Is the music okay? Should I use a Jon Schmidt song or a Kurt Bestor song?

Did I use the correct the grammar? (Very important because of the many university English teachers there are in the ward.)

Will I finish it?

As I said, in about 5 minutes I'm saving it and preparing it to burn. There's no looking back...

I'm grateful that another one is finished.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Giving Thanks

A lot of my friends in bloggy land are participating in "The Giving Thanks Challenge."

http://southbreezefarm.blogspot.com/2008/10/thankful-month.html

I have resisted doing this... not because I don't have a lot to be thankful for, but because I'm not the most articulate person in the world and I'm not the best at expressing my feelings using the written word. Actually, I kind of stink at it. Also, some things are just too personal for me to share with the general public.

But last night, as I was enjoying a nice, scortching hot shower, I realized that I am thankful for simple things as well as profound items. So here it is:

I'm thankful that I have HOT water in my house and that it's readily available.
I'm also thankful when I can shower at night when there is no one
waiting for for their own hot shower so I can stand there, enjoying the heat
and the steam... warmth sinking to my bones.
I stood in the shower for about 30 minutes last night.
Ahhh.... it was heaven.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

You MUST Make These

Whether you're in mourning over the election results or whether you're celebrating (wink to my favorite Uncle K2) I have just the item to help you with your emotions. This new recipe I have found is just what we need to mend the partisanship that has been raging through our wonderful country for far too long. I implore you, make these bars... Savor the peanutty goodness... Take a plate to your neighbor and deliver it with a smile and a handshake of peace. (Also because this makes a HUGE pan full and it's too much for just one family to eat. Believe me.)

On a more serious note, I am determined to be optimistic about the election. Yes, I had a moment of despair last night when I finally turned the results on (around 10 pm), but a new day has given me hope. I will give Mr. Obama a chance. America is too great a nation to let this tear us down. I remembered that a few years ago, when my town elected a new mayor, I did not want that person leading our town. I was so disappointed that he won. To my amazement, he has done a terrific job. You should know that when election time rolled around again, I voted for him. I like to think that I vote for the person rather than the party. (I have voted for the other party more than once in my life.... yes, it's true.)

So without further adieu and no more moaning and groaning about politics, I give you:

American Peanut Butter Bars

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup softened butter
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 cups oats
2 cups flour

Mix together (wet ingredients first) and spread into LARGE cookie sheet (I used the silver jelly-roll pan). Bake 10-12 minutes at 350*. Let it cool and frost with chocolate icing.
-0r-
to be fancy, instead of using plain 'ole chocolate icing from a can, why don't you: put a bunch of chocolate chips on the top of the bars, right after you pull them out of the oven. Wait for about 10 minutes and then spread them all around. Then take some peanut butter icing that you made up while the choc. chips are melting and swirl that into the chocolate. I tell you, after about two bites of this, EVERYONE can be friends!!!

(Sorry no pictures. After I made them I took them to my YW activity and they were eaten up.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yay Me

Now that we have a new president, I'm so excited!!

Calvin's going to quit his job.

We're thrilled that we don't have to pay our mortgage or gas bill ever again. We'll let all the rich folk take care of that for us. There certainly is no incentive for us to keep working and trying to get ahead when there are others out there who are going to foot the bills.

Yay for us.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!

First of all: I finally replaced the camera lens that got broken at Disneyland and I'm so happy to be able to use my Nikon again!! Yippee!!

Second of all: Adam felt like his shirt was getting gooey from pulling the pumpkin guts out so he took it off. He always takes his shirt off. We can't keep it on him. Even when he was a baby he ran around naked or mostly naked. That's who he is.

I have tried not to post shirtless Adam pictures here. Now you can really see exactly how skinny this kid is... just skin stretched over bones is all there is to him.

I will answer your questions before you ask them: Yes. I do feed the boy. Yes. He does eat the food I give him. No. He doesn't get his skinnyness from me. Yes. He is the spitting image of his father (who's stomach was concave when we got married).
Adam designed his pumpkin himself. He told me what he wanted and I helped him draw it out and get it on the pumpkin. We worked together in getting it carved.
Just Adam and Calvin carved pumpkins this year. Aly never does. She can't stand the smell. And there just wasn't time for me to do one on my own. (Calvin free-handed his. He carved with no pattern on the pumpkin.)
Introducing the New Indiana Jones. (He's definitely cuter than an old Harrison Ford, isn't he?)
Adam and Devyn have gone trick-or-treating together every year since they moved to the area. Devyn's mother created an amazing costume for her this year. She's "Tigress" from Kung Fu Panda. Jackie is so amazingly talented. She made the costume with no pattern!! (I have to brag on my friend because she never would.)
In this picture Adam poses for me and Devyn poses for Jackie.

Oh yeah! We'll be on a sugar high for weeks!!

I Love Yellowstone!

Another amazing trip to Yellowstone today!

We found a hike we hadn't been on before. It's called Monument Trail. It was grueling hike straight up the mountain. The views, however, were stunning.

You can see the road next to the river. That's where we started.

It only took one mile to get this high up.

Yes, this is the man that had a terrible case of vertigo less than a week ago.

This is where we were climbing.

There were plenty of elk (with glowing eyes) at Mammoth.


We only saw a few bison, which seemed weird to me. Usually we see a gazillion herds of them!

The one, lonely buffalo that we saw on the road was in the dark. It was in a narrow canyon and luckily I saw its eyes glowing in my headlights before there was an accident. It was a little threatened by our vehicle, however, and charged us. Maybe because my lights were on bright and it didn't like that... I don't know.

(Note to self: next time you almost hit a buffalo in the road, dim the lights!!!)

Before the buffalo could make contact with the car, I swerved out of the way and it backed down. I guess you could say I blinked first. I'm sure the buffalo was uninsured, so I was happy to be the wimp in that situation!

Yellowstone closes for the season tomorrow, Nov. 2, and we were very happy to be there before that happened! Thanks Dave, Jackie and Devyn for a great day!

**(Aly is 16 and sick of all the fabulous drives through Yellowstone we make, so she stayed home and cleaned her room. That's why you don't see her in any of the photos.)