Saturday, February 27, 2010

Stuff I Saved Money On, Saturday

So I notice in the blogosphere that there are theme days.  Days like Wordless Wednesday, Frugal Friday, Tortured Tuesday and Morbid Monday (Okay, the last two I made up).  So I am feeling a bit of self-imposed pressure to come up with a theme.  I find one very common theme among bloggers and womankind in general is saving money and finding bargains.  I am no exception.  And yesterday was a particularly good day.  So without further adieu, introducing..........Stuff I Saved Money on, Saturday.

Clearance Clarence

I have never met a clearance rack I did not like.  From across a crowded room they beckon to me.  I know where and how to find them, and how to dig through them.  I know how to take 30% from an already reduced 50% (okay maybe not without a calculator). And don't even get me started on thrift stores.  They are like one big clearance rack. Now I am mostly talking about clothes and accessories here.  The clearance tables at the grocery store and AutoZone are not quite as appealing to me.  I never buy anything at full price.  The only exception is Target and Wal-Mart because hey, it's Target and Wal-Mart.  

So after the morning I had yesterday I needed some serious mall therapy. I headed to my local stomping grounds that has a Macy's, Dillard’s, Payless Shoes,  Hot Dog on Stick  and Sees (A shopper has got to have sustenance).  Now, a fantastic thing takes place at the change of seasons.  Along with blossoms blooming are clearance racks bulging with the previous seasons clothes.  So if you are like me, and are not afraid to  make a fashion statement in LAST seasons clothes (gasp), then these racks are the place to be.  

Now yesterday was a particularly good day because at Macy's and Dillard’s there was an extra 50% off already reduced stuff.  I heart that a lot.  You have to do some math in the head but the answer is happiness.  

So you ready for some clearance envy.....

(Haha! You thought I was going to model it didn't you.  I am not that brave at 10am on a Saturday morning)

This was on the clearance rack at Macy's.  It was originally $80.  It had been marked down a couple of times and was now $20 and had another 50% off, or so I thought.  I made a little stink when it rung up at $20, pointed to the clearance sign, was taken to someone else in charge and voila' it was $10.  
Can't wait to wear it with leggings and my new flats (see below) or black tights and my black boots.  

This adorable black dress I bought for my (soon to be) 15-year -old daughter, also at Macy's.
It was originally $32 and marked down to $10.  So yes, I got it for $5!! I could not get it for that at the Goodwill.  It still makes my heart twitter just thinking about it.  

These I found at Payless, where they must have just got a memo on customer service because the ladies there were WAY to kind and attentive. 
 "Be sure to look for the red tags"
"Oh those look beautiful on you"
"Your hair is so pretty"

Seriously.  Leave me alone with my bare feet and your shoes.  So I found these cute flats that were originally $22 and on clearance for $8.  Now I have not bought flats in a long time and was forcing myself to get out of my comfy clogs comfort zone.  I wore them last night and they gave me blisters.
But as I try to teach my girls from a young is pain.  And so are flats apparently. 

I also bought a pair of straight leg "skinny" jeans at Dillard's for $7.  They were originally over $40.  I hope they live up to there name. 
"So what if I ate my weight in hot dogs and chocolate.  These jeans are supposed to make me look skinny!" (Jeans buying is a WHOLE other blog)

So I saved over $140 on my mall therapy day. 

 Because everyone knows you have to spend money to save money. 

Friday, February 26, 2010

So, I hit my husbands car this morning...

I wish I could say it wasn't true.  I wish I could say we were all buckled in, on our way to school and pulled out of the driveway without the sound of crunching metal.  But I can't.  I did not even make it six feet out of the driveway without incident.

It was going to be a good Friday. All the kids were going to be in school all day and I had a date with the MAC counter at Nordstroms.  The kids were actually in good moods.  There was no WWF going on and "show-n-tells" were stuffed safely in their backpacks.

I was pulling out of the driveway, looking in 12 different directions when my bully of an SUV decided to pick on a car half  it's size. (Note the way I shift responsibility to the car).


I think I just hit Dad's car.

His baby car started wailing its car alarm while mine sat astonished.  I slowly backed up and unhinged the kissing bumpers.  While leaving my engine running I surveyed the damage.  Yikes.  I don't know much about cars but I do know bumpers should not hang like that.   Several pieces of it lay sadly on the ground along with some of parking light to keep it company.  And then there was the dent.  Double yikes.

My big bully of a car however, maintained only a small scratch and slight dishevelment to the bumper.

In my defense, his car was parked backwards and his bumper was sticking out. (Responsibility shift #2)
And, his car was usually not there in the morning (and #3).

So with my husband still in the house, I did what any loving wife would do after she hit her husband's car.  I drove away.  I drove away fast.  Hit and run.

With the 12 year old saying "dad is going to be mad", I called him.

Hi honey.  You know how much you love me and how when you put things in perspective the little things don't really matter much in the grand scheme of things.  (Kids are giggling in the backseat, waiting in anticipation, to hear mom get chewed out).

Get to the point.

I hit your car.


He did not yell. I kept saying I was sorry.

I have been in accidents before. I once rear-ended a lady, who was so mean, the policeman told her to shut up.

At least I can sleep with this guy and maybe he won't call the cops, or my insurance!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

WWF in my backseat...

In this corner we have five-year-old Bam Bam, weighing in at 39 lbs.

And in this corner we have 8-year-old Big Bully, weighing in at 45 lbs.

The match begins in the house and continues to the back seat of the car where the goal is to sit quietly in seatbelts, and the referee will then turn on a movie for the 20-minute ride to school.

Let's get ready to rumble!

Bam Bam quickly has Big Bully on his back for no apparent reason, other than he can.  Big Bully then lays quiet,  face down, as Bam Bam storms away triumphant.

Big Bully:  I can't walk.  He broke my back.

Referee: Walk it off and get in the car.

Words are slung on the way to the car.

Bam Bam: Poop head
Big Bully: Dumb Butt
Bam Bam: Poo Butt
Big Bully: Shut Up
Bam Bam: You shut up
Big Bully: You shut up
Bam Bam: YOU shut up

 In the rearview mirror the referee can now see leg and arms flailing.

Bam Bam:  He is kicking me for no reason
Big Bully:  I am kicking you for a reason.
Bam Bam: Shut Up
Big Bully:  Put on your seatbelt we are near the police station. (Yes, the referee has taught them it is most important to obey the law when law enforcement is nearby)

Referee:  You want me to pull over this car?  (She really needs some new material)

After one more round of the same,  the seatbelts are on. There is silence. The referee calls the match for unsportsmanlike conduct and potty talk.

Cue movie.  Today's feature, Snow Buddies.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why I Should Replace Simon

Unless you have been living under a rock or just don't care (which is way more likely) you know Simon is leaving American Idol after this season.  Say it isn't so!  Well it is so.  He has made his money and he is out of there and onto his next high  paying gig.  There have been some names floating about to replace him and they make me squirm.  So I have thought about it and I am willing to sacrifice my stay-at-home-mom-armchair-idol-critic title for the sake of the show and good reality TV.

I have watched Idol from the first bad audition to the last.  I have watched Paula speak incoherently and clap like a seal.  I have watched Randy praise his  "dogs" and wondered why he is considered cool.  I watched them bring in Kara who has not really added much but a talent for chair dancing.  Then there is Simon, the Dalai Lama of Idol whose good opinion is considered the first step to fame.  Besides the bad crew cut and English smirk, is Simon irreplaceable?  I think not.  There are many reasons why I could be the one.

1. I can wear more than just a black t-shirt and jeans.  While it has become his trademark look, for a bizillionare he can spring for a new color.

2. I can drastically change the demographic of the judge's table.  We have the "dog", the married but no kids songwriter and the comedian/ well, you know what else.  I think the married mom of six, who lives in real life, on a budget, uses coupons,  shops at Target,  would make it a well rounded crew.

3. I can be brutally honest when I need to be.  Just ask my kids,

You going out looking like that?

When is the last time you showered?

Girls like it when you brush your teeth.

Don't  pick that. It will scar.

Blow your nose.  I can see your boogies.

4.  Just like Simon I can use metaphors (is that what they're called?)

That sounded like my 5 year old doing karaoke to the Doodlebops

That sounded like my daughter crying because there is pee on the toilet seat and toenails in the sink.  

5.  I would work for much less than Simon.  It all goes back to the coupon and Target thing.

So, you get the point. When all is said, I would rather be on the stage than judging but I would have to be 20 years younger, 20 lbs lighter and sing 20 times better than I do in the shower.  So for now, while I am waiting for the Idol people to call,  I will settle for the stay-at-home-mom-armchair-idol-critic status.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Comic Relief

 I was in the dentist chair for two hours today.  So I don't feel very funny or amusing.  I just want to take some Advil, eat something that is not cold and watch Gilmore Girl  reruns.  So I will share some of my favorite funnies  today.  They are both about relationships.   Guess that is a Freudian slip....

I love to laugh out loud.  I love comics, greeting cards, movies and TV that make me laugh.  I send my sisters and friends funny cards when I find them.  I think if it made me laugh, then I need to share it.  The very first card I sent to my husband was a Far Side cartoon.  I figured if he liked it, then he would "get"  me.  I guess it worked.

 The Far Side (all time favorite, may it rest in peace), Argyle Sweater, Bizarro are a few of my favorite.  Reading the comics on Sunday is now a tradition I have passed down to the next generation.  I love it when we are all sitting around reading the Sunday paper and my kids will laugh and say "oh you have to read this one".   They have definitely inherited the warped sense of humor of their parents.  

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Get to Know Me!

Wait no longer!  Since most of you are meeting me for the first time here is some pertinent information.  I did this list for Facebook awhile ago.  Enjoy!

1. In college I was voted the biggest flirt at church.  I still like boys a lot and stick to loving the 5 in my house!

2. I served a mission for the LDS church for 18 months in  Oklahoma  when I was 21.  One of the best things I ever did and still love to say ya'll and fixin' and love all things fried!

3. I kept a journal consistently from 6th grade through college. It was my therapy. I have a well guarded list in this journal that some of you may be on!

4. I love to write and have aspirations to be the next Erma Bombeck. 

5. Despite what they may think, I love having 3 teenagers in the house and enjoy helping them through their ups and downs

6. Going into my 21st year of marriage this spring.  I am happy to say I am still madly in love with my husband. We met, got engaged and married within a 5 month time period and he still makes my heart skip a beat and I still love holding hands and making-out!

7. I love "boy" movies like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars series, Transformers, Independence Day, etc... (I like chick flicks too, so I am the perfect date!)

8. My secret to staying sane while raising 6 kids is knowing when to take a time out, lock my door, sit by the fire and drink hot chocolate. And a few girls get-aways every now and then doesn't hurt!

9. My 3 favorite inanimate objects are my iPhone, my TIVO and my IUD.

10. I am often known to share too much information.

11. I don't love to clean house or cook and do just enough to keep us from starving and keep neighbors from calling Child Protective Services.

12. I love to laugh and make people laugh. I am known to have a quick wit and have secret desire to have a stand-up act.

13. I have anger issues when I drive.

14. I collect certain kinds of Barbies. I have over 25 of them in a curio. My favorites are my Wizard of Oz set and my Scarlett O'hara.

15. I was on the Varsity Swim team for 3 years in high school. I would love to do a triathlon sometime but I don't like to run, nor do I own a bike.

16. I used to be a good speller and now rely heavily on spell check.

17. I really believe I can still fit into my wedding dress.

18. I cannot go a day without eating some sort of chocolate.

19. I have had 3 of the same best friends since childhood. I love that they know everything about me and still love me.

20. I was born in Hawaii and my middle name is Leilani. The North Shore of Oahu is one of my favorite places in the world and holds many amazing memories!

21 I think my parents rock. They are the coolest people I know, still love me unconditionally, and are among my best friends.

23. I am a closet Target addict. I love being able to buy lingerie and toilet paper in the same place.

24. I adore my extended family on both sides and love hanging with them more than anyone else!

25. Certainly last buy not least, my faith and my testimony of it, and teaching it to my children is my most important priority.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Shout out for Scouts!

I have always loved a man in uniform and lucky me I now live with four of them.  The Boy Scout bug runs deep in my family and I had no idea how important it would be in raising boys.  It allows all of them to go and be "boys" somewhere other than my house.  Knot tying, shooting things, lighting things on fire, building and tearing down things can all be done under the great umbrella of Scouting.  Week long camps in the mountains or on the beach, where it is acceptable to wear the same clothes all week is what my boys live for (and when I say boys, I am of course including the 46 yr old boy I am married to).
Doing silly skits and songs about bodily functions is also part of the adventure.   They come home smelling of campfire and covered in dirt and happiness.

Wanting to prove myself to my boys I once accompanied them on a 12 mile hike down into Havasupai Falls in Arizona.  And when I say down, I mean down.  Which means after enjoying the gorgeous waterfalls for a couple of days, we had to hike back "up."  The last few miles my husband carried my backpack on the front of him while his was on his back.  I told him it was to make up for the six times I carried the load of his babies (But he only had to do it for a couple of hours so he still has months to make up for).  The last mile of the hike I was singing 'How Great Thou Art', could not feel my toes and my knees refused to work.  Each step up the last mile of switchbacks was an new sensation in pain.  Meanwhile, most of the Scouts were at the top waiting and cheering.  I was so proud of myself for finishing and so proud of my boys.  It was their third time doing the trip and it seemed effortless to them.

My husband is now the Scoutmaster of our troop and the master of fun.   And because it seemed only natural I am now the Wolf Den leader of the eight year old Cub Scouts  That means I get a wear a uniform just like my boys.  While khaki is not my best color, I like matching and having something in common with the other Scouts in my home.  

In Cub Scouts we do not hike and camp.  We do however do silly skits about bodily functions.  Good thing I know some boys who are experts at that.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I smell a rat.

I have come face to face with the enemy, and the enemy is a rat.   Not a cute, animated rat like in Charlotte's Web or Ratatouille.  He does not help me with my cooking (though, that is a thought) and he does not have big family that does not appreciate him (oh, I hope not!).  He is a real live, grey, whiskery, long tailed rat that likes my kitchen.

So, a couple of weeks ago we noticed a weird hole in the side of one of the bananas on the counter.  I have seen stranger things in my house.  I have a daughter that eats apples with a spoon so it did not immediately cause alarm.  We accused the teenagers and little kids.   We thought someone was doing it to freak us out.  It was denied by all and we continued to see strange hallowed out spots in our bananas.  But it was not until we saw the half cantalope on the plate with a hole dug out the side that I got creeped out.

So the ideas started flying.  We thought maybe it was a chipmunk coming in from the doggie door, which is in the kitchen, and having a snack.  I could handle the cuteness of that.  Then my dad suggested a raccoon.  Not so cute.  So we decided to do what any family who has been watching America's Funniest Home Videos for 20 years would do.  We set up a video camera.  We propped it on the counter and pointed it at the bait, the already eaten cantalope.  We left one light on over the kitchen sink, pushed record and went to bed.

The video tape was only an hour long so we thought the likelihood of something appearing in that hour was slim.  When we awoke we  did notice something had visited the cantelope again.  As we scurried around getting ready for school and work my husband watched the tape on fast forward.  Then I hear a squeal from him and the words "it's not a chimpmunk."  I could feel nausea in my stomach as I looked at the tape.  There on my counter helping himself to our fruit was a RAT.


 So creepy seeing an actual live rat on my granite counter top.  And we don't think he was coming from the outside either.   I watched for about 5 minutes and that is all I could take.  The five year old now calls it the "scary video" of the "monster" that is eating our food.

So now, I am knowingly living with a rat.  A rat my daughter and I have named Ratzilla. And I am so creeped out by my kitchen right now.  Just opening a cupboard I am in fear there will be two beady eyes looking back at me.  This house is not big enough for the 9 of us.  Somebody has got to go, and I prefer it be the rat.

So here are the ideas for project "Ratzilla Elimination".

1. Let the dogs sleep downstairs one night and have at it.  My daughter said no because then there would be rat guts everywhere.  Gross.

2. Get a cat for one night.  I am allergic to cats and think we would have the same grossness as the dog idea.

3.  Get a bigger snake than the corn snake we already own.

4. Buy the rat a chef's hat and see if he knows how to cook.

5.  Get an exterminator.  But I have seen the movie Mouse Hunt and don't like the thought of the house being leveled in the process.

6. Get a regular old mousetrap. Snap. Yuck.

7. Get a "humane" trap and take him to the dessert to commune with nature instead of my cantalope.

I am leaning towards the last one but it turns out they are not easy to find.  So we may have to go with something less dignified.  Snap. Yuck.

Ratatouille anyone?  (Does not actually contain rat meat but still, yuck.)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Things I

Just a list of a few of the things that I love, today.  The list changes daily depending on how much sleep I get.   Yes there a few things that remain static like the love for my family, husband, kids, (though the  "like" quotent  can vary).  But these are the things I feel love for right now, this instant, on Valentines Day. And yes a lot of them pertain to food.

Pink M&Ms

My big Farrah Fawcett hair.  If I could get my hair to do this in high school,
 I would have been way more popular.

Sunday afternoon naps.

67 degree weather.  If you live back East and are reading this, I am sorry, 
but I served my snow bound time.

Listening to my college cutie sing in church, though I am hours away.  Big heart for technology

My 16 yr old man/boy asking a girl out for the first time.  Oh such cuteness.

Chocolate shaped like roses.  That kills two birds with one stone.

Badge Magic.   Sticks merit badges to uniforms without sewing a stitch 
and saves my sanity on the day of the Court of Honor.  

Chocolate covered strawberrys. 

My husband who helped clean up the sand the little boys poured in the carpet. 
(it's the little things)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Chocolate Justification

I always love it when I feel justified in my weaknesses.  So when I read this morning about a new study that says eating chocolate lowers the chances of a stroke, I was so happy that I popped another Kiss in my mouth and washed it down with a peanut butter cup.  So if a chocolate a day keeps the doctor away then 5 or 6  (or more) should make me Wonder Woman.

Chocolate and I go way back.  My earliest memories with my mom are in the kitchen making our favorite desserts; Chocolate Upside Down cake (which has been crassly referred to as Better Than Sex cake, but the jury is still out on that for me), No Bake cookies, Chocolate Chip cookies, and our yearly chocolate Christmas candies.  I think I sense a theme here.  I have never met a chocolate I didn't like.  But then I met my husband.

The first time he came to my apartment I lovingly offered him some homemade Chocolate Chip cookies.  Because that is what a college girl did to woo a college guy, without being too forward.  And what should have been a big red -flag, but I just thought was odd, was when he politely said no thank you.  Who refuses cookies?  Turns out he was living a very healthy lifestyle at the time.  A lifestyle I did not know existed until then. But I guess it did not bother either one of us enough to keep from falling in love.  I have since turned him to the Dark Side, of chocolate that is! But it has been a tall and hard mountain of tofu to climb.

When we were first married and I so desperately wanted to please, I would buy candy bars on campus, devour, and destroy the evidence.  Or so I thought.  More than once he found wrappers in my pockets.  I felt like a little kid getting caught.  One day, when I was truly desperate I did something that today makes my even my chocolate tooth cringe.  I was several months pregnant and could not deny myself any longer.  While my husband was at school I baked a Chocolate Upside Down cake, ate half of it, then dumped the rest.  I washed everything up and he never knew.  What a chocoholic won't do.

I do not try to hide it anymore.  In fact, I am pretty blatant about it.  Ther is chocolate hidden in tall cupboards and sock drawers that everyone knows about.  Like air, my iPhone and Gilmore Girls, I have to have it everyday.  And the hubby does not say a word.  He knows it keeps me from teetering of that precarious edge I tend to hang around.  It is cheaper than therapy and now prevents strokes.

Now if I found out that shopping at Target prevents cancer,  Facebook prevents Alzheimers, and yelling at my kids burns calories,  I am all set.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

THAT kid.

Okay, my kid is THAT kid.  My kid is the one that spits at his classmates.  My kid is the one that hits first, asks questions later.  My kid is the one that put the pretend doll in the pretend kitchen oven to bake it.  My kid is the one that cuts in line.  My kid is the one that has been sent to the office so much, they have me on speed dial.  And my kid is the one who looks at the principal through his glasses, with his sweet blue eyes and blonde spiky hair, and says he is sorry and will make better choices.

My kid is the one that had this conversation with the pre-school teacher (they call it Jr. Kindergarten but until they keep him all day, everyday, it is just pre-school):

Other kid in class says,  What the hell?
Teacher over hears other kid and asks a rhetorical, What did you say?
My kid, thinking the teacher really did want to know, answers,     He said 'what the hell'

My kid is only five and the youngest of six kids and his entire life goal is self-preservation.  He fights with his brothers, the dogs and to get the fruit snack bag open.  But being the baby, he gets away with a lot.  I am tired.  His dad his tired.

 Just  give him what he wants so he'll stop screaming!

Even the teenagers, who give their opinions freely, think they could do a better job raising him. Some days I think maybe they could too.

 But I am not worried about him.  This is also my kid with the softest kisses on the planet.  This is the kid who loves to cuddle and read books.   This is the kid that loves to watch the old Pink Panther cartoons and laugh his head off.   This is the kid that likes to draw pictures and give them to people wrapped like presents.   This is the kid who sticks  his tongue out when he concentrates on anything.  And this is the kid that prays for our dead dog and sleeps with his baby blanket to the sounds of Veggie Tales.

THAT kid is my kid.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cold Cereal

The other day I declared myself the best mom in the world in my facebook status.  A bold statement? Yes.  But I have the cereal boxes to back it up.

I was planning the shopping list and meals for the week and asked my 16 year old man-boy, what he would like to eat that week.  He said he wanted a cold cereal bar.  My hankering for Fruit Loops thought that was a great idea.  You see "sweet" cereals are a treat in our house.  They are not an everyday occurrance.  They are for special occasions  like  Valentines Day, Birthdays and Mom's hormonal mood swings.  We often have pancakes and eggs for dinner, but not cereal.  It's expensive stuff and who can afford it such a luxury for two meals a day?  So I decided to give the people what they want.

I went for not one or two but three different cereal choices for our "cereal buffet".  The selections were   Lucky Charms, Capn' Cruch Berries (got to have the berries) and of course Fruit Loops.  And to add to my  children's joy, I bought real milk, the kind that comes from real cows.  It is also a luxury in our house.  Because of allergies and asthma in our house we live on diet of rice milk.  The kids are used to it but would much rather have the milk that previously "mooed."

So to make this meal look semi-nutritious I cut up some oranges, that remained untouched, but kept my mother guilt at bay.  I also added some muffins, which we all know are just bald cupcakes, but with blueberries in them they pretend to be healthy.

And thus the Cold Cereal Buffet was born at my house.  It was a big hit.    So besides pizza, I found one more meal that the entire family, ages 46 to 5, enjoy.

Bon Appetit!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Dear Monday,

Well Monday, you knew how I felt about the weekend and it's like you didn't even try.  No, you did not have much of a shot with two Dr.'s appts. and loads and loads of laundry.  I will give this to you, my hubby came home for lunch.  Just us two, and three dogs.  It was very nice.  But then he said we should go to the gym together later. 

Oh that would be great honey.  (while inside I was thinking I would rather stay home and eat chocolate)

I will now prepare for the onslaught of kids in the next hour.

Where are my Cherry Cordial Kisses?

Sunday, February 7, 2010


20 years ago today on February 7, 1990 I was proposed to and engaged to my Knight in Shining Armor.  With one ring and one "yes" I committed my life and eternity to this man.  (funny that the word "commit" also refers to what you do when you put someone in a mental institution, I don't think that is a coincidence).  I knew we were meant to be together.   Besides the fact that we had the same curly, mushroom shape hair-do and our "hips met", ( it was a fact known among me and my college roommates that couples of varying heights could never be married because their hips didn't meet), we were perfectly suited for each other.   But did I know what I was actually committing myself to?  At that moment I knew for certain of a few things I was committed to.

I was committed to a wedding.  I was committing to wear the most beautiful, expensive dress I had ever worn.  I was committing to wear that gorgeous marquis diamond on my hand to show off to everyone I knew.  I was committing to at least one big party for all our friends and family to come and congratulate us for being so wonderful.  I was committing to a honeymoon!! (tee hee) And at that point I actually knew I was committing myself to at least a few cute babies.

But I think, perhaps, that is all I knew for sure.  Oh the things I did not know.  Robert and I like to refer to ourselves at that time, as "young, dumb and in love."

So as for the things I did not know I was committing to?

I did not know I was committing to ...

...7 moves in 13 years.
...supporting my husband in over 20 jobs in 20 years
...over 10  more  years of education for Robert
...figuring out how to raise a growing family on a meager income
...the absolute joys of bringing six babies into  our home body forever changing after six babies, never to return to its former glory.
...changing over 3,600 diapers
...being happy when my husband got home, even when I was not.
...the adventures of living far from home in amazing places
...the loneliness of living far from home in amazing places
...the love and friendship of five new "sisters"
...finding something to feed kids and husband everyday!!
... loads and loads and loads and loads of laundry.
...bringing reptiles in my home that eat dead mice and live crickets.
...wearing so many hats. That of wife, mommy, chauffer, nurse, tutor, girlfriend, sister, counselor, referee, jailer, cook, maid...

And that is just to name a few.

 I definitely did not know I was committing to the comfort, security, and pure bliss of sleeping with, dating, parenting, budgeting, traveling, crying, arguing, kissing and making-up with the same man for 20 years.

Now I know.  And I would commit to it all over again.

Here is to 20 more baby.  I love you.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dear Weekend,

Thank you for always coming right when I need you.  Thank you for letting me start off with a Friday afternoon (okay, mid-morning) nap.  Don't know why I was so tired.  I guess that comes with being a mom and all the years of missed sleep.  It's my body saying, "remember the night of June 10, 1995 when the baby didn't sleep  all night? Well, you now get to make up for that." 

Weekend, I had a to do list for Friday, that never got done, and I realized that it was okay.  It was more important for me to take four giggling teenage girls to the movies in the afternoon.  And I got to meet my sister-in-law there (more like sister and best friend) and eat Peanut M&Ms out of her purse and drink diet Coke until my bladder was so full it hurt to walk to the bathroom.

And, my Friday was not over.

Weekend, thank you for my husband, honey, hubby, who sent me a text asking me on a date.

Let's go to dinner or movies later, 6ish?
Okay :)

Ahhh. Now I tell my sons and daughters to never ask for or accept a date by text BUT... After 20 years together a text is perfectly acceptable.  I just love that he thinks of me, wants to date me.
We found the most awesome Italian restaurant with a live jazz band and lots of ambiance.  Ambience is good because it fills in what words cannot.  Our neighbors down the street were there and they bought us dessert.  Weekend, you know how to finish off a night.  Free dessert. Nothing better.

Saturday morning has greeted me with rain as I sit and blog.  It has also greeted me with a quiet house (except for the teenage son at the computer next to me, but he is quiet so it's okay).  The best daddy in the world took four kids to the snow.  I did not go.  The magic of snow wore off for me sometime during the winter of 2000.  I imagine it to be as cold and wet as I remember it.  And I imagine they will have a great time.  And I imagine that I will have a pile wet clothes, muddy boots, hungry tummies and cold noses in a few hours.

So Weekend, I will go take advantage of the few more hours you have given me.  And please come again, as I know you will.

Your adoring fan,

Thursday, February 4, 2010

100 times...

Today my kids celebrate (lament) their 100th day of school.  So usually the younger classes do something to commemorate this day, like bringing in 100 of something.  Colton's 2nd grade class were all supposed to bring in 100 pieces of cereal and then they are going to combine them all to make the greatest monster bowl of cereal of all time.  So when I awoke he had already counted and bagged his choice of cereal, Rice Krispies.  This probably would not have been my first choice.  Have you ever actually seen 100 pieces of Rice Krispies counted out and in a baggie? 100 pieces equals roughly a teaspoon.  One teaspoon of cereal.  Any kid could fit about 300 pieces of this cereal in his mouth at once.  Who knew?... Let us hope the rest of the class brings some shredded wheat or they are going to be hungry.

So when driving the kids to school today I thought "wow, I feel like I have done this 100 times."
Then I got to thinking (yes that is a lot of thinking before 8:30am)... What I have I done 100 times this school year?  Not a glamorous look into the past...

100 times I have set my alarm for 7:00 am knowing that I would hit the snooze until 7:20.

100  times I have have had to make someone a lunch and find something that resembles one of the four food groups to put in it.

100 times I have asked Jared and Colton where their glasses are only to get blank looks on their glassless faces.

100 times I have told the boys they can't wear the same socks two (or three, if it got past me on day two) days in a row.

100 times I have had to slick down cow licks, rooster tails and any other little boy morning hair disasters named after  farm animals.

100 times I have stopped at the same red light.

100 times I  have hid in my car at the kids school, under my sunglasses, uncombed hair and stained sweats hoping no one will see me.

100  times I have prayed for no phone call from the school office about one of my angels not being angelic.

100 times I have come home and thought, I should go to the gym, and then facebooked the feeling away.

100 times at 3:30 pm I have greeted my tired, dirty faced, happy boys with hugs and kisses and breathed in their little boys smells and said "how was  your day?"

And I will do it all (at least) 100 more times.  And 100 more times I will be truly blessed.

The Librarian's daughter...

 I proclaimed my ignorance recently in a blog,  in not knowing the differnce between  lay, lie, laid, lain and every form thereof.   So, leave it to my dad to set me straight.  Not in an obnoxious way, but in a dad way and in a reference librarian way, that I am sooo used to and have come to expect.   I got the following email under the title of "a little help."

I loved your blog.

Lay or Lie?

Lay means "to place something down." It is something you do to something else. It is a transitive verb.

Incorrect: Lie the book on the table.Correct: Lay the book on the table.
(It is being done to something else.)

Lie means "to recline" or "be placed." It does not act on anything or anyone else. It is an intransitive verb.

Incorrect: Lay down on the couch.Correct: Lie down on the couch.
(It is not being done to anything else.)

The reason lay and lie are confusing is their past tenses.
The past tense of lay is laid.
The past tense of lie is lay.

Incorrect: I lay it down here yesterday.Correct: I laid it down here yesterday.
(It is being done to something else.)

Incorrect: Last night I laid awake in bed.
Correct: Last night I lay awake in bed.
(It is not being done to anything else.)

The past participle of lie is lain. The past participle of lay is like the past tense, laid.

Examples: I could have lain in bed all day.They have laid an average of 500 feet of sewer line a day.

Layed is a misspelling and does not exist. Use laid.

So I read it and thought, thanks for the little bit of help Dad.   Those definitions are clear as mud and are why English is the hardest language to learn, apparently even for English speakers like moi.

And that email is one of the reasons I love my dad.  He is a retired college reference librarian (Fresno State-Go Bulldogs!) and an avid reader.   He knows everything and always has.  And if does not know it, he knows where to find it.

From my earliest memories, my favorite thing to do with my dad was go  to the library.  He would check out his dozen books, that he could read in a week (no exaggeration). The fun trips were to the college libray after hours and my brothers and I would run through the stacks.  Dark, scary, creepy.  A little sisters worst nightmare which my brothers took full advantage of.

It was  in about Jr High I really discovered how to take advantage of my dad's  job.

Hey dad, I have this report due... and I would have a dozen books on the kitchen table by dinnertime.

Then there was watching Jeopardy with him or playing Trivial Pursuit.

How do you know that?  
I just do.

 He could have made us millions on Jeopardy and today everyone would be saying Ken Jennings who?
But he said he would be too nervous to push the clicker.  Which, if you have seen Jeopordy, can be a real issue for even the smartest person.

And now in 2010 he has easily brought his skills into the digital age.  He is now a  Mac, iPhone, techno geek.  So now he can get the same info, just way faster.

And it is a joy to see the system being worked, in the next generation.
Mom, I have this report...
Call your Grandpa.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Guilty Pleasures...

These probably don't really cause a lot of guilt as much as they are not always easily admitted too.  They are not very exciting but's the little things.

Watching The Bachelor and caring about who he gives a rose to
Cherry Cordial Kisses
Watching every Gilmore Girls  for the upteenth time and texting my favorite lines to my sister-in-law
Listening to my kids music and enjoying it (yes, I know who Lady Gaga is)
Cookies for breakfast
Buying and reading Peoples Sexiest Man issue
Facebook quizzes
Walking into Target without a list
Being the fifth judge on American Idol
Turning on the fireplace in my room just to brush my teeth
Singing loudly to "big hair" bands in my car
The Dollar Store reading glasses
Greys Anatomy (Ahhhh McDreamy...)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Just 30 hrs...

That is all it takes to renew this mom.  Just 30 hrs, with my husband, away from home, kids, dishes, dogs, laundry, whining, bills, cooking... (you get the picture)  Even if nine of those hourrs were spent in the car driving to LA and back.   They were good hours.  Quiet hours.  Relaxing hours.  Sleeping hours. Reading hours. Hot tub hours. Movie hours. Breakfast buffet hours.  Ahhhhh.

The key to being able to relax  while away from home is this....  Don't call home.  Leaving a 16 year old in charge for 30 hours could be scary.  But, what I didn't know, did not hurt me.  I did not want to know who was fighting with who, where the dog pooped, or  who was eating cake for breakfast.  Texting is a great form of communication for during quick get-aways.  Short, quick, questions and answers fulfilled my need to know.

How is it going?

You get Tanner to his soccer game?

You go get pizza?

Time for the boys bath.

You make it to church?

You at Grandma's?

And with that, I was completetly satisfied.  My renewing hours could remain renewing.

Where should I go this weekend?


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