Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Get Out of My Uterus

On the same day that I post on Facebook about the miracle that after a run of five girls, we are having a boy, a friend posted (on his own status, not on my thread), "Is it wrong to tell people of this generation who have more than 3-4 kids to stop effin breeding?  Just wondering . . ."

Several of his other friends commented before I saw it with remarks such as, "You could just punch 'em!" or "Do It!"


The same group that wants to limit the population is the same group that wants me, as a tax payer, to pay for another woman's birth control and abortions all over the world.

Maybe those who profess to be pro-choice aren't as pro-choice as they profess.

If what happens in a woman's uterus is really her choice, then why is my choice to have many children available for general discussion?

I'm not going to go into the fact that the world needs good families who raise good children.  I'm not going to expound on the population crises countries like Japan and France.  I'm not going to address the faith factor and the commandment to do the very thing I am doing.  I have passionate arguments about all of those points, but I'm not going to make them today.

Today I am going to ask you nicely to Get Out of My Uterus.  I'm not asking for your money to raise them.  I'm not taking food from your table to feed them.  I'm not even going to ask you to babysit (well, except Mom and Mollie).  There is a good chance that my child will be paying for your healthcare when you are old and sick.  My child may be the one to change your tire on the side of the road while the rain is pouring down.  My child may be the one who comes up with an idea to make your life better or easier.  At the very least, my child will be the one who says the kind word when you are having a bad day or shovels the snow from your sidewalk without request or pay or who befriends your child when he moves to a new town.  On that day, you'll be glad you didn't have as much control of the population as you once hoped.

And if one more person says that having children is selfish, I'm gonna start shooting burning arrows.  How. In. The. World. is having children selfish?  My nice things are broken, my bed is shared, my paycheck is exhausted, my house is full, my sleep is relinquished, my body is stretched and decidedly not svelte, and my number one focus is on the small beings themselves.  Please look up the word selfish, because you obviously do not understand its meaning.

Okay, I'm done.  Go back to whatever.  :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Twenty Weeks

We are at a pinnacle moment of this pregnancy.  A moment I've been worrying about since the first thoughts that maybe I was expecting.  You see, we lost our precious Eowyn during this week of her gestation.

I've been doing fairly well--only a few more panicky situations, though there have been countless quiet thoughts and prayers for a healthy baby.

All my experience, unwanted but mine nonetheless, told me that this week was going to be difficult.  I've put on a brave face and tried to be only happy for the ultrasound today.  Inside, however, I was feeling much less brave.  I crawled up onto the table and pulled up my shirt.  I've been feeling the baby move a lot, so I knew there was life, but there was life before.

The technician glided her instrument over my jellied belly.  She took stills of the kidneys, brain, stomach and limbs.  She measured the head, the heart and femur.  We watched the blood travel correctly through heart and umbilical cord.  She checked the spine, the placenta and my cervix.  The gal had many years of experience and though she may not be able to spot everything, she would notice if some things were off.  I asked if she was allowed to tell me and she said she could, for the most part.  If something was seriously wrong, she would get the doctor right away.

Toward the end of the ultrasound, she still hadn't gotten a good profile picture.  I assured her that that was less meaningful to me than most of the other shots.  Here in my old age I am more concerned that the spine is covered, the cord is functioning, and that all the pieces are parts are where they should be.

The ultrasound doesn't uncover all problems and there are some problems that can come after a completely healthy-looking ultrasound.  I knew all this and yet I still hoped and prayed for this child.  I will trust in the Lord even more now because I can no longer rely on naivete for protection.

The verdict?  All is well, all is well.

Oh, yes.  One more thing.  Though the odds were only 17% in his favor, Mr. Y chromosome won the race.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Paper Bag Turkey

 I have been teased a lot about this method--until someone tastes the turkey it produces.

It requires no brining, no basting, no deep-fat frying, no unusual ingredients, no injected butter or other ingredient, but this baby is moist, moist, moist.  And without all those steps or extra ingredients, it is easy and healthy!

You may think this is crazy, but you need to try it. 

I've made this many times over the past fifteen years (I make turkey more often than at the holidays).  It has never burned and is always beautifully golden.  My mother was taught to cook a turkey this way from my great-grandmother.  (Helen, for those of you who happen to share a great-grandmother.)
Secret family recipe about to be shared!

Step 1:  Obtain a regular grocery store paper bag.

Step 2:  If it has handles, rip them off.

Step 3:  Grease the bag.  
Pam spray is the easiest way (you can use any flavor), but I've also used plain old vegetable oil many times.

Step 4:  Open up all the folds to make sure the entire surface is oiled.

Step 5:  Make sure the whole bag is greased.  
Rub the oil around to make sure you don't have any dry spots.

Bing!  Shiny, breathable (unlike plastic) paper bag.

Step 6:  Prepare your turkey.  
Make sure you get all of the parts out the turkey (ie: the bag of organs and the neck).  Besides that, I am a purest.  I don't add anything except stuffing.  

After you've stuffed the neck, fold the excess skin under the turkey.  Bend the wings backwards to hold the skin (and, therefore, stuffing) in place.
Yes, I've seen the pins on Pinterest on how to make my pans look like new again.  Frankly, I don't care.  They aren't new; they are well used.  :)

Step 7:  Slip the stuffed turkey into the paper bag like a pillow into a pillowcase.  
If you buy the most humongous turkey you can find, like I always do, get help for this part.
Step 8:  Put the bagged turkey in the pan.
I have this inexpensive roaster that I use, but I used a regular 9 x 13 for many years before I got it.  The only disadvantage of the casserole pan is that it sometimes doesn't have enough room for the juices.  Put another pan under it to catch drips.
Make sure the bag is tucked in.

Step 9:  Bake at 325 degrees for however long your package suggests (so long for so many pounds--it will be different with each turkey.)  Make sure your rack is low enough that the bag won't touch the upper elements (this is true with whichever method you use!).  Sometimes it will smoke a little.  
Don't panic.  Totally normal.

Ta-dah!  Pull out a perfect turkey and let everyone oooh and ahhh over its beauty and deliciousness.

Be sure to use those happy juices to make the gravy.  Homemade gravy is so much better than the packets!

There you go.  
The paper-mache turkey.  
Should you need to make a second turkey after Thanksgiving so you have enough "left-overs," consider this time-tested way.  
You'll be amazed.

The Great-grandaughter
Passing on the Secrets

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Working on My Attitude: A Thanksgiving Message

I hate my house.  There.  The plain and grumbling truth.  It stinks, there is no storage, it is about three bedrooms shy of the need, no dishwasher and a crappy kitchen sink to boot, it is cold and breezy, the stove is temperamental, the windows are often covered with foggy condensation so I can't see outside, it is ugly and there is no place to unpack my books.  I can't take a bath in the shrunken tub.  I stub a toe, bonk my head or whack my hip at least once every day as I try to navigate around the too big for the space but not big enough for our family kitchen table or our make-shift storage solutions.

Yesterday, one of my daughters was throwing a record breaking tantrum.  She was asked to clean her room;  it was admittedly bad and was that way mostly due to her youngest sister.  I was as patient and understanding as could be . . . for the first hour and forty-five minutes.  Then she started screaming about how much she hates this house!!!  Now, her bedroom only has two and a half walls because it is not really meant to be a bedroom; it is supposed to be a dining room.  Since we couldn't shut the door to attempt containment of her fit, we were all forced to listen to the unrelenting screeches.  When she started in on the house, I had a moment of brilliance.  Okay, the truth is that I had just had enough and couldn't listen to her for one more minute!  I told her that she didn't need to be in the house since she hated it so much.

I put her outside.

It was about 60 degrees and she was wearing short sleeves.  I did not lock the door so she could have come in at any time.  She decided she would rather continue with the tantrum outside and stayed on the back porch for about five minutes.

I brought her inside and wrapped her in a blanket.  Her tears had switched from uncontrolled to sad and hurt which meant I could finally talk with her--reason with her.

I told her that I hated the house, too.  But then I asked if she had been cold outside.  She nodded yes.  I reminded her that as much as we hate this house, we need to be thankful for it because without this despised shelter, we would be desperately cold.


Do you ever say something to someone else that was really just the thing you needed to hear?  My lecture was of more benefit to me than to any kid mad because she had to clean up after her sister.


I love my house.  I can sit in my pajamas in front of the computer and stay warm.  I can go outside to enjoy the beauty of nature, but that I can come in and have a cup of hot chocolate when I am done.  My children are still small enough that they can all squeeze onto one side of the kitchen table.  There are six people in this house to help share the burden of hand washing the dishes. There is a lock on the master bedroom which is a feature we have never before enjoyed.  I love that this house is paid for . . .

so I can effectively save for a new house.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Shopping for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is in less than a week.  

I'm writing that, in part, as a reminder to you in case you are like me and the holiday has sneaked up on you.  The only reason I knew we were close is because all of the ads offered discounts on things like yams and cranberries.  Those are not usually big sellers, I'm guessing.

I am not a big-time couponer.  I don't have time to haunt e-bay looking for the right coupon, I refuse to dumpster-dive searching for unused coupons and I don't want to buy more than one paper.  I'm not going to drive around to fifteen different stores and spend hours finding the perfect deal on the item I may never use.  In other words, I don't want to make couponing a part-time job.  However, I am a big believer in coupons!

My small local newspaper costs $3 per week.  Each Sunday and Wednesday paper comes with all of the information I need to be a smart shopper.  My modest goal is to be smart (plan meals around the sale items, use coupons on items I would have purchased anyway) and to save at least as much as the paper costs; even if I'm only saving by being aware of the deals before I go to the store, it is a sum total cost savings.  After living here for a while, I've gotten to know which ads are worth my time--in other words, which stores seem to have the best deals on the groceries I most often buy.  I only check those favorite store ads now.  Thirty minutes a week clipping and writing a menu.

Parenthetically, if you think you are getting the best deals by going to Walmart, you need to start getting a paper.  This week's ads, for instance, showed the glaring price differences between Walmart and practically everywhere else.  Walmart is good if the thing you need is not on sale anywhere because it is probably a pretty good price--three to ten cents cheaper than the non-sale price everywhere else.  BUT, if it is on sale, you'll find a better deal practically anywhere.  In this week's ad, for example, showed Cool Whip for $.97, but it was on a Thanksgiving sale at my regular store for $.28.  That one example was indicative of the whole ad.  Yes, they price match, but who wants to shop at Walmart if you can get the same deal in a much nicer environment?

Anyway, tonight I did most of my Thanksgiving shopping (you know how long it takes a turkey to thaw!).  I saved over $100 dollars.  No, the store didn't give me money back.  No, I didn't get anything for free.  No, I'll never be on a TV show, but $100 dollars is certainly worth the thirty minutes I spent on my couch clipping coupons this morning.

There you have it.  An entire post dedicated to something that matters to you not at all.  Sorry.  It's really early in the morning (insomnia) and it was what was racing through my head.  I wish I could guarantee better content in my next post, but I'll probably be writing that in the wee hours of the morning as well.  Have a great Saturday anyway!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Choosing Names

For every expectant couple, one essential task must be done:  they must choose a name for their child.  As a young girl, like many unmarried young girls, I had the list of names I would bestow upon my children long before I was even dating.  When I got married, I expected that my husband would love my list just as much as I did.

It didn't turn out that way.

Everyone, I was to learn, had some negative name associations.  Everyone has some names that don't resonate with them and everyone has a few favorites.  The naming of our first child wasn't too difficult and even our second, our first girl, didn't take long.  After that, however, each successive little girl has become harder and harder to name.

Once there are siblings involved, the choosing of the moniker becomes even more challenging.  First of all, the names need to have some kind of symmetry.  You can't have David, Joseph, Mary and Beth and then throw in a Crystal.  You can't have Finn, Sawyer and Scarlett and then pop out, and this is Bill.  In our case, our children have very traditional names and so, even though I think Stone is a cool name, six traditional names and one cool name don't necessarily jive.

Second sibling problem:  If you thought it was hard to get two people to agree on a name, try getting the siblings to all agree!  I'm not suggesting that the children will get to decide and if Justin and I absolutely love one particular name, we'll use it regardless of the complaints filed.  However, sometimes the children have a legitimate concern that we hadn't considered.  Suddenly the name that was so cute is now too close to a swear or a body part or an old lady with no teeth.

The last week we (I) have been a bit consumed with the baby name discussion.  We will find out next week whether we are having a girl or a boy.  The boy name has been chosen for the last eleven years.  The girl name, well, we've been through the gauntlet.  Two of our top favorite names have, in the last few years, gone from obscure to top 15.  While I want people to recognize the child's name and I don't want her to have to slowly pronounce it for everyone for the rest of eternity, I also don't want to her to always have her last name initial hooked to her first name.  Isabella S.  Emma S.  Sophi S.  (These are all beautiful names, by the way!)

You know what I mean?

All of our children have two given names.  One is an important person in history.  I've always liked the idea of being named after someone good and virtuous.  Who knows but that person may become a hero to our child--someone to emulate   The second name is a family name.  Somehow all of our girls are named after either me or someone on my side of the family.  I am determined that this next child be named from my husband's family tree.

What a darling little Dutch girl!
The issue is that my husband is Dutch.  Talk about throwing in unnecessary letters!  J's and K's all over the place!  While I think some of the names are beautiful, no one in this country would ever know how to pronounce Greetje (GRAY-tya) or Aaltjien (ALL-te-yen).  But I am determined, so we kept looking.  We came up with this list of semi-finalists (in no particular order):

  • Beatrix
  • Gretchen
  • Cornelia (Corrie)
  • Brigitta
  • Gretel
  • Henriette
  • Greet/Griet

Some of these are a form of the family name and some come straight off the family tree.  We've actually agreed on a name and we are both enthusiastic about it.  We have not yet shared the chosen name with the children, though they have seen the semi-finalist list.  I do hope they like it!

And after all this, our sweet baby will probably turn out to be a boy.  Well, better to be prepared, I suppose.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Precious Afternoon Nap

With my pregnancies comes weird sleep patterns.  The slightest noise or worry and an easily filled bladder wakes me up all too easily through the night.  Once awake, it is often hard for me to fall back asleep.  In addition to my wakeful nights, I'm growing a whole human body inside of mine.  That takes a lot of energy so I need sleep more than usual.

Also, I like naps and pregnancy is a great excuse.

Afternoons are usually the time when the household chores are done and the dinner process hasn't begun just yet.  School work is should be wrapped up and the children are enjoying their free time.  When we don't have piano lessons or other afternoon commitments, the afternoon is when I get my reading done.

Afternoon + Reading + Pregnancy = Nap.  Every time.

My favorite spot--turning the ringer off.
My kids are older now, so I don't have to sleep on the couch with one eye open, like I've had to do with most of my other pregnancies.  It is snowy and cold here in November, so I turn on my heated mattress pad, pull out my book, crawl between my sheets and have a most marvelous me time.  I can usually get a good chunk of reading done before my eyelids get heavy, but then, I slip happily into sleep.  When I wake up, I am happy and nice and really thirsty.

If were playing the gratitude game on Facebook, today I would be grateful for afternoon naps!

Monday, November 12, 2012

On Teaching

Yesterday, a fifteen year old young man was giving a talk at the pulpit.  (In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, members of the congregation give the Sunday Sermons and youth play an active role in that.)  In it, he mentioned that he had a testimony that coming to church was important, even though "it is three hours of boredom."  Yikes, I thought, what a stinging indictment of his teachers!

I'm not suggesting that his teachers are bad people.  It could be the fault of this young man that church is boring, but it is just as likely that the blame could be shared with his teachers.  (I'm really not trying to ignore  or make light of the fact that we as students MUST come prepared to learn.  That includes our personal preparation as well as our attitude.  This facet is essential.)

Last night, my husband went to a Stake Priesthood meeting (a meeting for all of those in our area who hold the priesthood).  The Stake President talked about our Young Men and addressed the fact that we lose many of them right at the time they are coming into manhood.  The facets of this issue are multitudinous  but one area he mentioned was the level of teaching happening in the classrooms.

"What message are you sending when your students see you flipping through the manual just minutes before you are supposed to teach the lesson?  Do you think they don't notice that you don't crack open the scriptures?  Why do we joke about the fact that the members of the Elder's Quorum don't prepare for lessons or even bother to bring manuals to church?"

He said that, in effect, the brethren are not taking the teaching of the doctrine of Christ seriously, so why should our young men turn to that doctrine during times of searching and need?

When I was a college student, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend school for a semester at the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near-Eastern Studies.  It was a marvelous building, built into the side of the hill on the other side of Kidron Valley.  Because it was built into the side of the hill, every classroom looked out over the Old City of Jerusalem, a breathtaking sight to be sure.  Every classroom, in fact, had one entire wall that consisted of beautifully arched windows with that amazing view.

When they were building the center, some were concerned about the windows and the possibility that they could prove to be too distracting to the students.  The simple reply from the brethren was that the teaching would have to improve.

I am a teacher at church, as well, so this lesson is just as much for me as for anyone who teaches that bored young man.  Our students have many distractions that can easily draw their focus away from the lesson.  What we must do, like those professors who so aptly held my attention despite the glorious display just outside the window, is improve our teaching.  I am the first to admit that I have taught so many primary lessons that sometimes I don't pray about it, ponder it and work on it with the degree of seriousness my position demands.  This work is too great, the consequences too grave for me to do any less than my best.  Who knows how many fragile testimonies are relying on the Spirit in the classroom to teach them the thing they need to hear?  If I give my calling a half-way effort, I could be robbing that student of the moment they were seeking, even praying, to have.

Incidentally, this applies to Family Home Evening lessons as well as those Primary, Young Women, Young Men, Relief Society, or Sunday School lessons.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The First Snowy Day

November 8, 2012.  The first snow of the season started in the evening.  By morning, we had 5 1/2 inches.  It continued throughout the day, not hard, but consistent.  The girls and their happy puppy were outside and inside, then outside and inside--five times.  Play, hot cocoa, play, warm bath, play, watch a movie while huddled together under heaps of blankets . . .  and so on.

I am so thankful that we were led here.  Yes, it is a small, cold, breezy trailer and I have complained about it some.  BUT, look where we get to live!  I hereby vow to stop complaining and show my gratitude more readily.

I'm not really a world traveler, but I have been a few places.  Nothing, nothing compares to winters at home.   Even the cold can't take away from the beauty of the individually coated twigs, limbs, branches and cones.  

I am so glad to have this gorgeous weather, I'll even hold off my griping about snow clothes for a few months!

Well, weeks, at least.

A Perfect Autumn Evening

Our land produces quite a bit of yard waste.  Tree trimmings, dead tree removal, branches and twigs that fall out of the trees and other organic waste.  Most of those things are too big for a compost pile, so since we live in the country, we have a periodic bon fire.

Since Isaac was in town and there are few things teenage boys like better than a huge fire, we had a party.  We invited my sister and her family, my parents and the brothers.  

I made home-opened, canned chili and cinnamon rolls.  When we moved several years ago, I tried every cinnamon roll in town and none compared to Cinnabon--which was hundreds of miles away.  I made it my business to create a perfect recipe.  For a few months, I made cinnamon rolls at least weekly until my recipe was refined to perfection.  Kevin, my brother-in-law, gave me the key to the city.  I'm not sure he has that authority, but it was so graciously offered that I had no choice but to accept.

The weather was crisp, but not frigid.  The food was good.  The entertainment was delightful and the company was top notch.  (I am so glad that my kids love my sisters kids and vice versa.  It sure makes for fabulous family time!)  Sweaters, flannel, stocking caps, hands clasping warm bowls.

It was, all told, a perfect autumn evening.

This one shows off the sheer size.  It took a while to burn down!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

John Adams

After I finished 1776 by David McCullough, I had questions.  The book was informative and was an interesting read that I couldn't put down.  However, it was exactly what the title suggested:  it was about the year 1776.  Anyone who knows anything about American History knows that the Revolutionary War was not over at the end of 1776.  The book began with a synopsis of Bunker Hill (which occurred near the end of 1775) and ended in January 1777, just after the surprise Christmas crossing of the Delaware and subsequent defeat of the Hessians.  Pretty much everyone agrees that that particular battle was the turning point in the war, but it was not the end!  Besides a brief epilogue, McCullough didn't tell us what happened after 1776.

In the author's notes, he mentioned that he wrote 1776 to fill in blank places of his biography of John Adams.   Having read the "blank places", I wanted to read the rest of the story.

I picked up John Adams by David McCullough at the library yesterday.  I've already connected with this man and let me show you why.  From the first page of the book,
"He was John Adams of Braintree and he loved to talk.  He was a known talker.  There were some, even among his admirers, who wished he talked less.  He himself wished he talked less, and he had particular regard for those, like General Washington, who somehow managed great reserve under almost any circumstance."
That's me!  She herself wished she talked less!  In fact, she talks so much she started a blog so she wouldn't wear out her family.

A little later, he describes me again:
"John Adams was also, as many could attest, a great-hearted, persevering man of uncommon ability and force.  He was honest and everyone knew it.  Emphatically independent by nature, hardworking, frugal--all traits in the New England tradition--he was anything but cold or laconic as supposedly New Englanders were. He could be high-spirited and affectionate, vain, cranky, impetuous, self-absorbed, and fiercely stubborn; passionate, quick to anger, and all-forgiving; generous and entertaining.  He was blessed with great courage and good humor, yet subject to spells of despair, and especially when separated from his family or during periods of prolonged inactivity."
Obviously we're aren't totally the same, but we share many attributes--both the good and the ill.

Since I am unhappy with current political events, I'll go hide in history.  It may not have been wholly better, but at least it was moral.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


I had a much better day today--a great day, even.  After I left you last night, I was happily embedded in my grump-fest.  We had a baptism of a niece and a nephew.  The church building where the service was to be held is about an hour from our house so I picked up Justin from work to save time.  As soon as he got in the car I warned him that I was queen of the jerk world right then.  He gave a little I-am-familiar-with-this laugh and asked why.  For the next fifteen minutes I blurted out every big and small, significant and stupid reason that I was bugged.  When I was through and he had given his feedback, I took a deep breath and exclaimed so all of the Suburban could hear, "This is why I love your father!  He let's me get it all out then goes to work to get me balanced."

After the baptism, we stopped at his work to pick up his car.  Needing some quiet time, I grabbed at the chance to be alone.  I told him I wouldn't be coming straight home. I searched all over town to find a place that was still open to get my toenails done.  They were all closed!  There were no good movies in the theater so I picked up a cheap DVD from Walmart, bought some shiny new polish for my toes and headed home.  I cleaned the living room, cleared the table, sent everyone to bed and watched my love movie.

I'm not sure what part of that formula was the key ingredient, but with them together, I was healed.  Because of the time change, we had an extra hour before church.  Justin and I had some quiet time together before the noisy pods woke up.  I had plenty of time to get ready for church, find shoes for all of my kids, feed the small ones, fix hair, brush teeth and get out the door without any lost tempers.

Church went pretty well, considering we are preparing 85 children for the Sacrament Meeting Presentation and today was the first practice.  Also considering the fact that there were three infant blessings and I still struggle with my own loss during those tender moments.

We had waffles for lunch and then I took a nap.  A whole nap.

After the nap, we went outside for a fire and had some good family discussions and retelling of old stories.

Everyone wasn't all happy all the time, but my patience was back and I was able to put out the fires without losing it.

There you have it.  Reality from in a nutshell.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


I'm irritated.  Really irritated.  I've reached the point where I need to get out of the house.  Right now.  Without children.  I need to go to a movie.  A funny/sweet/love kind of movie.  There are no movies showing right now that fall into any one of those three categories.  Teenage hormone movies?  Check.  Sicko pervert movies?  Check.  Horror slice 'em up movies?  Check.  Corny kids movies?  Check.  Funny/sweet/love movies?  NOT ONE!  Rather than take it out on my family, I'm going to take it out on you.

  • How did we let the LGBT community hijack rainbows?  I like rainbows.
  • When people show their weight-loss before and after pictures, why are they in their underwear?  And why are the after pictures always seductive?  No one carrying a little extra is sexy?  I know a few husbands who would disagree.
  • Why are there so many pictures of eyelids and fingernails on Pinterest?  Who has the time to take eighteen steps to cover one eyelid?
  • How is it possible that it can take the entire day to clean the house, but it can be completely demolished in under fifteen minutes?  
  • Who said it was a good idea to teach teenagers that it is a bad idea to pop their zits?  No one wants to look at the pus-filled boils.
  • Does anyone really eat beet or kale chips?  Why are we buying the myth that everyone else is eating healthier than you?
  • Why is there not one sharp pencil in my entire house?
  • I am so sick of Queen, Harry Potter, Cell Phones and Computers.  I love my children, but sometimes they sound like a broken record.  Please talk about something else.
  • While rolling out cinnamon rolls yesterday, I banged my head--twice!--on the upper cabinets. And, you know, I was rolling aggressively as is required so I really hit hard.  I hate this house.  
  • Stop swearing.  Learn a new word.
  • The dog keeps eating everything.  
  • My pregnancy hormones are in full swing.  I cried on Halloween when a seven year old boy came trick-or-treating in his homemade robot costume.  Who cries over some other kid's costume?  Why am I tearing up right now?
  • The hot water tank in our trailer doesn't provide me with enough hot water to get really warm in the shower.  Plus, the tub is too small for a regular-sized body (much less one in a rapid growth scenario  to take a bath.  I hate this house.
  • I hate how the movie industry has ruined so many amazing stories.  If it was a book first, don't make it into a movie. . . unless you are Peter Jackson or Emma Thompson since you have a talent for it.  The rest of you, stick to new ideas.
  • I want to go back to Disneyland.  By myself.  Or Hawaii.  Either would be fine.
  • Why is it so hard to close the lid and flush?  
Okay, I'm feeling a bit better.  I'm going to go to a baptism now and I'm going to be nice.  It might be just the thing I need.

No.  I think throwing this little hissy fit is what I needed.

Thanks for listening.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


A little dolly.
Happy Day-After, everyone.  Err . . . Happy All Saints Day!

Halloween was a wonderful holiday this year.  Our church had a big shebang and I was in charge.  I had a lot of help and it went off without a  major hitch.  We had the traditional Trunk-or-Treat (trick-or-treating the parking lot) which we have found more necessary since we live in a more rural area.  It would take an hour for the kids to reach 25 houses if we trick-or-treated the neighborhood.

Our visitor from China.
Once the kids were done in the parking lot, we brought the whole family inside for a Halloween dance.  The gym looked so fun!  My analysis after we finished decorating was, "If I was six years old and I walked into this room, I would be thrilled!"

We arranged for some refreshments, but tried to keep the food on the table healthy (vegetable trays, crackers, pretzels) and had hot cocoa and cider to warm us up. It wasn't a terribly cold Halloween--and it can get terribly cold around here.  

Princess Leia.
The best part is that there were no tears . . . not even from the mama!  Justin was working the whole time.  The children were wonderfully helpful getting things ready and the older pitched in to help the younger which is usually my job.  They were fun at the dance and we all had a great time.

Paul Bunyan.  Sadly, no axes in the church.
I came home totally exhausted, but happy.  The whole thing went off, the food was fine, the decorations were great, my children weren't totally neglected and all were costumed, except me.  This is the first year in a long time that I didn't dress up.  I just plain ran out of time.  I did feel a little bad about it, but felt better about the darling party we had.  Thank you to all of you who helped!

Yes, that is her real hair.  

On to Thanksgiving!  Yeehaw!