Saturday, January 31, 2009

I am Special

Many are called, but few are chosen to have the coolest job in the whole church...ward bulletin editor. Each week I get to exercise my limitless power in what our ward knows and doesn't know.

Stake meeting I don't want Glen to go to....boom! It's out. The speaker mispronounced my name one time...boom! Intentional name butcher. There's some sin that I think the ward needs to work on...boom! Special message inside cover.

Truly my power rivals that of the Sunday School President.

And I have a key to the church library.

Please. Contain your jealousy.

Maybe, someday if you're all righteous enough you can have your own super powerful calling with a key too. In the meantime feel free to bask in my extreme awesomeness [and humility].

Day 31--My Kids' Favorite Calling

My kids think my ward bulletin calling is the coolest calling ever. Why?

Because every Saturday we have to go to the church to make copies.

That means they get to run, jump, play, shoot hoops, and in general just be silly for 45 minutes.

And they love it!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Day 30--Child Prodigy?

Ellie had the magic touch today. She beat both Spencer and I soundly at bowling and loved every second of it. On the other hand, my score of 94 was about as high as I ever get...maybe I should keep the gutter guard up on all my games. :)

All-Time Worst

I've got five kids and I'm a bad bowler, so it's no surprise that I'm regularly beat by a few of my kids, but today I've sunk to an all-time low!

Today Ellie outscored me by 9 points.

I was schooled by a three-year-old.

Next time, I'm just going to forgo the bowling and just go as a professional ball organizer (and onion ring consumer).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Doggone Genetics!

Dear Mr. Orthodontist,
I don't like to brag too much (hehe), but I'd like to think that in most respects that Glen and I passed on a pretty good gene pool to our kids.

Seriously look at all those semi-attached earlobes, brown eyes, and good strong fingernails...I mean we've really given them such a head start in life with their good genetics.

Look at our smiles. Notice how my teeth are crowded and reminiscent of Bugs Bunny's smile and how Glen's teeth are perfectly aligned. You'd think that together our kids would have like a 50/50 chance of some good teeth or at least that combined our kids' teeth wouldn't be quite as bad as mine.

Spencer started us off well. His teeth were worse than Glen's, but much better than mine. Two and a half years in braces and his smile is dynamite!

Then there's Cami. Congenitally missing two permanent teeth and pretty much destined to be visiting orthodontist's for the next 7-8 years.

So what's the damage for Cami? $5900!! Plus the special crowns she'll wear ($2500 each side) until she's old enough to have the implants ($firstborn). Of course dental insurance only covers a small percentage of it.

To add insult to injury: The orthodontist has now informed us that Emma will need braces twice starting in six months. Once to do a quick preliminary fix, to supposedly help other teeth to grow in straighter, then again when she's older. $300 bifocal glasses (every year since she was 2) and braces x 2. (who needs $$$ anyway?)

We were a little more hopeful that Adam's teeth would take more after Glen's since he looks the most like Glen, but alas he's only got two permanent teeth and they're both crooked.

Can Ellie save the day? Nope. She sucks her thumb!!!!

Day 29--Upgrading...

I think most of you know that I have a recipe blog where I get to share all of my favorite recipes with my family and friends. I was having so much fun with it, that I got this great idea from a friend's recipe blog...join a food blogging network. I thought it would be a fun way to get more people to find the blog {and hopefully enjoy it}.

So today, all the red tape of joining the network came through and has been one of the featured blogs for the day...ten people were looking per hour instead of the normal 10 per day.

When I realized that I was getting all this extra traffic I started feeling a little self-conscious that I hadn't done anything to upkeep that blog in a couple of weeks.

So my afternoon today was spent updating the header and trying to improve the overall appearance of the blog. Whenever I'm feeling a little techie with all my blogging, I get a quick slap of reality whenever I peek at the HTML code in it. I know nothing and probably never will.

Now go peek at the new look. What do you think? Is it improved? Was it an afternoon well spent? Do you have any more ideas? While you're at it, you can become a follower too!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

When's My Day Off?

  • I'm totally done with spending half a day scraping off our car!
  • I never want to ice skate down our front steps ever again.
  • I've discovered that having the kids out of school 9 out of the past 12 days is officially over my limit.

  • And I'm so done with driving on slippery, untreated roads with a whole bunch of idiots who have no idea how to drive in the snow.
Please don't let school be canceled tomorrow!Please don't let school be canceled tomorrow!Please don't let school be canceled tomorrow!Please don't let school be canceled tomorrow!Please don't let school be canceled tomorrow!Please don't let school be canceled tomorrow!...

Day 28--I Need a Day Off Too!

The kids have sure been loving these five days in a row off school, but I am exhausted. I am so done with entertaining and chauffeuring and junk food and chauffeuring and cleaning and chauffeuring and calming and chauffeuring. When is my day off?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Our Wait is Over...

Welcome to my entry way:
An entry way of these disastrous proportions can only mean one thing:


After a snow drought that had left my kids salivating every time a flake fell from the sky, they were thrilled beyond belief to wake up to a couple of inches of the white stuff this morning.

That may not seem like much snow to all you Utahns and Minnesotans out there, but it was plenty enough have the whole neighborhood over to take advantage of our famous hill!

Spencer and his friend Taylor aren't complaining about the $178 they earned from shoveling driveways in the neighborhood.

And I won't complain when all of my kids sleep like logs tonight from playing outside all day.

Although I might complain just a little if I wake up to find school canceled tomorrow. After two four-day week-ends in a row, I was really looking forward to getting back into my groove tomorrow.

Alas, with this as the forecast for tonight, things are not looking hopeful for my return to routine:

Wintry Mix
Wintry Mix
27° F
Precip: 100%

But at least there's snow. And I definitely did ask for it.

Day 27--At Long Last...

Hip hip hooray! At long last the skies have opened up and given us snow! It was already a day off of school, so they just got to play, play, play all day! Yay!

Now they're just hoping the stars align and that school will be canceled tomorrow to make it a five day weekend!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Oxen Welcome!

Do you know what today is? It's the Chinese New Year! Usually we don't pay too much attention to this foreign holiday, but now that Glen has many Chinese colleagues we pay a little more attention...or at least enjoy the fact that he won't have any late night conference calls all week.

Although we don't usually celebrate or anything, this year I'm doing a little happy dance to usher in the new year! We are SO done with the year of the rat! SO, so, so glad that it's over and that it will be another 12 years before it comes again!

Why do I care?
Illustration A: Christmas present caught in sticky mouse trap.

After mice got into our attic and ruined all of our good Christmas present hiding places...we were a little grossed out, but were still quite thankful that it was only in our attic.


Illustration B: Squirrel chewing a hole in our kitchen window screen. Several more squirrels were simultaneously clawing and chewing on various other screens around our house.
When squirrels started climbing the sides of our house and chewing holes in our screens I was perturbed!


Illustration C: Our garage door AFTER Glen had to replace the damaged panel.
Then when rats chewed two holes THROUGH our garage door and made themselves a nest in a bag of potting soil and defiled our garage with their filth I was officially enraged!


All this in one autumn when we've never had any prior rodent issues in the 7+ years we've lived in this house.

So, what's going on? Well it turns out that in addition (or maybe because of it?) to it being the year of the rat that there's also a mysterious acorn shortage that has plagued our area and driven these rodents to desperate measures. You can read all about it here. While somewhat sympathetic to their drive for survival I am not happy that they've taken to defiling/destroying our property to do it!

And that is why I say good riddance to the year of the rat and welcome oxen!!!!!

I'm feeling so much better about this whole year of the ox.... long as there's not some mysterious ox food shortage that drives them to ram people's cars and stampede their gardens, then I think we're going to get along just fine!

Although, knowing my luck I should probably be prepared...does anyone know where we can buy an ox trap?

Day 26--Why Can't I...

We're in the midst of ANOTHER four day week-end for my kids (yes that would be two in a row), so today was spent doing the chores that didn't get done at Saturday and then entertaining the kids' friends for the rest of the day!

Ellie normally gets dressed up in her fanciest dress within 5 minutes of waking up, but I guess the laid back mode of the house this morning kept her in her pajamas until well after lunch time. I took this picture of Ellie at 11:00 this morning and it just got me to thinking....if I added a few fashionable accessories, you know like a necklace and a cute scarf, could I get away with wearing my pajamas all day?

I Heart Faces-Week 3

"Joy is not in things; it is in us"

I love this photo of Ellie enjoying a beautiful autumn day.

Be sure to check out the I Heart Faces website to see this week's entries or to enter your own.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Day 25--My Handsome Hubby

I really didn't take much in the way of pictures today, except for a few of Glen taken merely to settle this bet.
So today's picture is Glen looking quite dashing in his GRAY suit (thanks for backing me up everyone). I have to say that despite his obvious color identification issues, I married a pretty cool guy. He's smart, handsome, kind, gentle, hard-working, and thoughtful...what more could I ask for?

Help Prove Me Right...

Glen and I are having a little disagreement and just can't seem to get past it, so I'm hoping all of you can lend me a hand and prove me right (or wrong) once and for all....
Look carefully at these pictures of Glen...
I've provided several shots from different angles to give you the best chance for accuracy...

Glen had to close his eyes in this picture to hide the fact that he was rolling his eyes at me...

A close up...Even closer...

So now for the important question for all of you...what color is Glen's suit?

Don't use flowery color words, like diamond dusted mauve or anything like that...just a basic color or simple combination.

Can you help me out here?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Day 24--Guided Tour

At our school's Spring Picnic we won a guided tour of the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum with our favorite teacher ever...Mr. Stephens! He was in the Air Force for 27 years and took us on a personalized tour today.

We've been to the Air and Space Museum (this one and the one downtown) a gazillion times over the 12 years we've lived in the East, but we learned more about airplanes and the history of flight in 2 hours today than we ever learned in those previous dozens of trips! It was a fascinating and informative tour and we were so grateful for his kindness and patience with us and our myriad of questions.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Day 23--Taking Advantage of a Warm Day in January

We just couldn't resist the 60 degree day in the middle of January, so we spent the afternoon at Carderock, Maryland so Spencer could get some rock climbing in!
The only time that Spencer lets me freely take pictures of him is while he's rock climbing, so I took full advantage of his willingness (and the good light) and took a gazillion.

Then I stretched my luck and asked him to pose with Ellie for me. I think he was so happy I'd taken him rock climbing that he reluctantly agreed. Of course smiling was too much to ask of him, but still I think it's such a sweet picture of the two of them.

I decided to turn the tables on him and ask him to take a few shots of Ellie and I. He wasn't crazy about that idea either, but he did take a couple of really cute ones. I just loved how this one turned out.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Lazy Streak

I hate to admit it, but I have a lazy streak. *sigh* That was hard to admit, but now that I've said it you all know the truth about me.

For most every day things there are some built in incentives that keep me motivated. For instance in order to have clean clothes I have to do laundry. In order to save money and eat healthier, I have to spend time making menus, shopping, and cooking. To prevent injuries and illness, I have to force the kids to pick up their rooms once in a while. But for any "extra" task I have to have a darn good reason to expend that extra energy!

Cleaning my oven is a task I detest, so I just don't. Occasionally when a some unknown crumb catches fire in the bottom I'll do a quick job brushing it out, but otherwise those blackened chunks don't bother me, so I don't bother them. The fridge is the same. It keeps my food cold whether it's clean or not, so why bother? In fact, the last few times it's been cleaned have been right before the repairman is coming to fix it or when my college age sister AnnaLisa comes to visit and can use an extra $20...although I'm pretty sure we underpay her.

Further proof of my lackadaisical ways of doing chores, is the fact that I NEVER do as good of a job on any household task or creative project unless I have a good reason. Somehow just trying to impress myself with a super sparkly bathroom just doesn't do it for me. I need someone to come to visit before I'll kick into high gear and raise my standards of cleanliness any higher. There's something about hearing that a visitor is coming that gets that adrenaline to kick in where I can see more clearly what needs to be done and move much faster while I'm doing it.

Afterwards I stop and admire how sparkly my toilets can be and how much better I like my mopped floors. Then I always wonder why I clearly am capable of meeting those higher standards of cleanliness, why can't I just try to impress myself and Glen? Why can't I get that focused, efficient feeling that the adrenaline brings every time I do the chores?

I know it has nothing to do with my blogging habits, because I'm totally in control of all that.

Those five little distractions I have running around undoing things faster than I can do them might have something to do with it...either that or I really am lazy!

Day 22--Self Imposed Stress

I'll be the first to admit that 80% of my stress is self-imposed. I've always thrived on a project with a deadline. This photo shows my self imposed stress of the day...making cards for card club! I always dread it before I do it, then once I start I remember how much I love creating things.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fast food alternative...

Next time you're tempted to do a Golden Arches run, consider this super easy alternative instead...
take a warmed flour tortilla...

sprinkle on some shredded cheese (we used pepper jack)...

make a Caesar salad kit and add 1/2 cup to the center of the tortilla...

add some chunks of a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken...

Roll up into a delicious Chicken Caesar Wrap. Serve with fresh fruit.

VOILA! A much healthier, cheaper, and tastier alternative to dinner at McDonalds!

*Note: I got this idea from my new blogging friend, Lolli's recipe blog. It looked so easy and intriguing I had to give it a try. The kids loved putting them together as much as they loved eating them. I'm definitely filing this one away for our Tuesday night dinner crunch when I get home from the kids' piano lessons at 6:00 still wondering what to make.

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