Thursday, January 31, 2008

Purely Supportive

My local girl scout stopped by my house last Saturday.

I was ... well ... ecstatic.

I will rue the day when that door to door 8-year old accepts a major credit card.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tub Time

There's too many kids in this tub.
There's too many elbows to scrub.
I just washed a behind
That I'm sure wasn't mine,
There's too many kids in the tub.
- Shel Silverstein

Monday, January 28, 2008


I'm not sure why I was so shocked last night when I heard of the death of President Gordon B. Hinckley. This dear, 97-year old man, finally passed away after an amazing life of service. My BIL, Brian, called and I just knew what had happened by Steven's side of the conversation and I couldn't help but cry. All day today I've been catching myself thinking about the great legacy he has left behind (-and then cry some more) which then lead my thoughts to my life ... and lots of inadequacy.

I'm so thankful for such a wonderful leader, teacher and prophet. I can only imagine his reception in heaven. I'm grateful I had the opportunity of meeting him on occasion, and I'm eternally thankful for being a member of this wonderful church. The truthfulness of its gospel is what keeps me going on some days.

Video added 12/12/2008

Friday, January 25, 2008

Feelin' Grateful

Kids at Sebastian Beach 12/29/07.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Christmas Cards

A few days ago when I was blogless, a few of you gave me some winning ideas. Thanks to Melissa's, today we'll be talking about Christmas Cards.

I'm getting more and more Christmas cards emailed to me every year and let's face it, I paid

  • $ 30.00 for my friend to take our family picture (thanks, Mylie)
  • $ 0.15 for said family picture to be developed - 100x over
  • $ 4.00 for a box of 12 cards (only because I got them on sale last year and stored them with my Christmas decor ALL YEAR LONG all the while annoying my husband for doing such an insane thing), oh ya, x8 ... $32.00.
  • and a blasted $ 41.00 on stamps. STAMPS!

What are we up to now, $120-ish? (I don't pretend to do math in my head.) Granted, I send out 100 cards, which is a crazy amount. But I'm mormon, I have like 700 cousins. Okay not really, I can't really say that because only about a dozen of them actually get cards from me.


I absolutely L-O-V-E getting the mail in December. Every day I go to the mailbox not worrying about all the bills or countless credit card offers or the annoying Little Caesar's Pizza flyer (we get it, you sell cheap pizza!) I go out there looking forward to the different colored envelopes with the words "Happy Holidays" stamped on them from the post office. I get all sentimental when I see my friends' kids growing up (though don't get me started on the family letter) and displaying the cards in my home makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, like proof that I DO have friends. My therapist* says that it may be that recognition once a year I need for my self esteem to know I have friends and family out there that love me!

What do you think? What do you do?

Do you enjoy getting cards as much as I do?

Should I continue to "invest" that money into the physical cards instead of virtual ones?

*I don't actually have a therapist - yet - any recommendations out there?
I'm sure after this post you may think I need one...

Monday, January 21, 2008

New Jeans

I've lost almost 10 pounds since the beginning of the new year (whoa there, don't give me props yet. I gained that much weight during the holidays). So I went shopping for a new pair of jeans. My last pair was $19.99 (God bless Target) and were bought in the Fall of 2004. Yes, they've lasted me that long (again, God bless Target). They are still in okay condition, but they are getting a little white in the knee and the hem is starting to fray a lot. And come on, people, it's been over three years, I deserve a new pair, right?

Since I'm at Target 2-3 times a week, I went shopping for more, And feeling thinner, I bought a size down. And as many of you know, shopping with kids merits taking home clothing to try on rather than a wrestling match peppered with death threats inside the dressing room while your daughter plays peek-a-boo with the poor woman in the next stall.

When I got home, I excitedly tried on the pair and had to start sucking in at the knee.

I guess with that 3 1/2 years of wearing those jeans 2-3 times a week, they've stretched a bit.

Stupid, dummy stretch jeans. I guess I'll be returning to my original size.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Mitt Takes 4th

Steven's walking around in a tizzy, saying things like, "what does this mean?" and "who gets the delegate votes if so-and-so drops out?" While I continuously tell him, "calm down, there's nothing you can do about any of this."

Tonight Mitt took 4th in South Carolina. We've been known to pay close attention to presidential elections in the past, but now that we have someone in the running representing our faith, we seem a little more glued to cnn.

So I'm throwing out a dirty little idea out to my LDS readers:

Throughout this campaign there's been a lot of media discussion about leaving religion out of the picture when you go to the polls to vote. (If you don't know about this, move on to a different blog.) While you hear in the distance, members of the church saying, "Ya, why should it matter? Religious freedom is what founded this country!"

But may I venture a guess that you may be voting for Romney merely because he's mormon?

Is there a difference?

Friday, January 18, 2008


I'm stumped, at the current moment, on what to blog about. I can't be sure if it's because I've been stuck inside with this cold, wet weather listening to Emmy watch Barbie's Rapunzel on a daily basis, or if it's because I actually catch myself watching it.

I know what you're thinking: How in the world can you be bored? You have three kids for cryin' out loud ... and one of them is still an infant!

But it's not that I'm bored or that nothing is going on in my life. I just don't know if you want to hear about me blogging about kids' school, laundry, beginning of year clean-up, drawer reorganization..... or worse, my confusion on what I should blog about.

Any suggestions?

Any issues you have that you need me to explore?

I'm dying for something!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tryin' Out Etsy

Remember this post?

Well, I finally decided to do it.

And in honor of Olivia turning 8 months old today, I've decided to announce my little etsy shop.

Thanks, Brian. It wouldn't look nearly as nice if it weren't for you.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Spoil Islands/St. Augustine/Pensacola

Days 6, 7 & 8

Day 6:
If you'll be so kind to utilize the map below, it will greatly aid in what I'm about to TRY to explain to you. Florida has these causeways (a new term for a gal like me - we call them bridges where I come from ... I'm not even sure that's how it's spelled) that go over these rivers (not so much rivers as they are the Atlantic Ocean separated from Florida by a teeny tiny road called A1A). Well in these "rivers" are these little islands with sandbars that have been around for several decades. They're great little places you take a picnic on a nice, sunny day.

Here are pictures from such a picnic on such a day.

Thanks to Travis and his dad for taking us out on their boat. We all had a blast.

Day 7:
St. Augustine is the oldest European city in the nation. It was quite a scene. We were all very excited to be amidst some of the oldest structures in our country. One of the coolest sights there is the Castillo de San Marcos; an enormous fort that actually took 23 years to build (from 1672 to 1695). Fabricated of coquina (limestone made up of broken sea shells and coral), the walls of the fortress remained impenetrable through 300 years of enemy fire and Mother Nature's many violent storms. It exchanged ownership 16 times yet never lost a battle. They still fire their canons daily. Here are the kids preparing themselves for the blast.
Bradley climbing its walls. Pretty sure it's not allowed.
The fam with Travis and Katie.

Day 8:
The morning of Day 8 we were on our way home. We had stayed the night in Pensacola. I wanted to see me some clear, turquoise water. And I gots me some.
I just forgot to adjust the camera settings. Gah!
On the way home we stopped in Louisiana. I HAD to get some beignets and Steven was dying for some gumbo. We found an awesome little place off the side of the road that had delicious food. This place had a couple of antique shops, and a little place out back where you could go see two alligators hanging out. Which reminds me ...
Meet the chef.
So we made it home safely and happily and all I can say is a HUGE THANK YOU to Travis. We would have never come out to Florida if it weren't for you. You not only gave us an excuse to come out there but you saved us a couple hundred dollars - like 6 or 7 to be exact. The kids are already expecting us to go there every year. Since you've done so much for us, we figured it wouldn't be a big deal if you gave them the bad news.

Thanks, again.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Disney/Epcot/Seaworld Pics

Days 3, 4 & 5

Day 3 - What is there to say about Disney World and Epcot Center on Christmas Eve?

Insanely busy.
Waiting (oh-so-patiently) to get on the ferry.

I loved the Christmas decorations!
Later that night they had fake snow going through Main Street.
It made it actually feel like Christmas.

Bradley wanted a picture next to his favorite ride: Splash Mountain.

...Until he rode Atlantis at Sea World a few days later. Then choosing his favorite ride became a frustrating toss up.

Emmy quickly became very interested in the Captain Jack Sparrow. He even asked her to help him with his little show and she thought he was talking to someone else and she sat down thoroughly disappointed. Aw, young love.
She quickly forgot about ol' Jack when the parade chock full of princesses strode by. It was hard enough to hold her on my shoulders, but she was waving frantically at each and every character.

And, here we go, everybody, say,
"ooooooooh ..... aaaaaaawwww."

We won't forget Epcot,
though we only spent about an hour and a half there.
Shocker this one didn't make it into the Christmas card this year.

Day 4:
We spent most of our days tearing at wrapping paper, lounging by the pool, playing with new toys and eating our stocking candy ... but we also checked out Universal Studios.
And we had Christmas dinner at Hard Rock Cafe Orlando. Has anyone else done this? Are you willing to admit that sort of pathetic-ness? Just kidding, it was totally fun and delicious. Here we are in front of it.

Day 5:
And Sea World
Their faces before ...
... and after.
The ladies waiting for the big boys to ride their big-boy rides.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Trip to Florida Begins

I'm back-tracking a little so I can document some of our Christmas memories.

Day 1:
We drove through west Texas on into Louisiana. Now I can't be sure, but I'm fairly certain we were still in Texas when we saw this car. I need to make this distinction, just so I can boast that this person was in my state of residency.

Just like us, he was rollin' .... and in a rag top, no less.
Now, I'm sure you don't know why this car was important enough for me to pull out my camera. It's a little difficult to see. Let me zoom in for you.
Now, I don't know about your computer, but I can see it on mine. Yes, folks, the license says "DRE DAY". Steven didn't believe me as we passed him on the freeway. We sped up just for this treasured photo. We had ourselves a pretty good chuckle over this one.

This is the car we rented for the venture. It served us well. We paid less for this car than we would have on a round trip plane ticket.

We would have braved it in the ol' Accord, but we feared it wouldn't make it all the way and, as you can see, we packed that sucker pretty tight. There's NO way we would have fit it all into our trunk.

We drove to Mobile the first night (making sure NOT to stop inside the Houston city limits - that was an innocent little jab at my friend, Johnny). The next morning (Insert DAY 2 here), we took advantage of being in such a beautiful place and went to look at some really cool historic homes.

Here's the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion

And this is the Oakleigh Historic Complex
(everyone needs a grand staircase like this - even if it is on the outside of their house)

I can't tell you how these pictures don't do these "homes" justice. The trees cover how massive these homes are. The depth of the house isn't visible in these photographs.

We made it to our hotel that night and immediately set up our table top Christmas tree (as pathetic as it was, the kids had just as much fun decorating this one as they did the ones at home), and took pictures in our new Christmas PJs. A strict family tradition that I just can't help but to keep up for a long time . I mean, who doesn't need new Christmas jammies every single year?
The first two days is enough for now. More later.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Some Change, Again

If you've followed my blog for a while, you know I like to change it, well, often. And now that my ranting and raving is over (for a short time), I made my blog look a little happier - since its 78 degrees here, it's hard to call it winter. This time I updated my recipe blog as well. Hope you like.

I think I need to complain more. I get way more comments that way. I'm sure I may lose readers, too.

Hmmm, what to do?

I could talk about big hair.

Nah, I'll stop at footwear for now.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Shoe Pet Peeves

My good friend (really she's only an acquaintance, but I can call her my good friend if I want to), Leah just made a pet peeves list. I've done my own pet peeves list in the past, but as my winter pessimism is coming to its climax, I thought I'd throw a couple out there regarding shoes.

First of all, if your older than ten and not a nurse, a sailor, or a professional gardener, you shouldn't own Crocs. They are hideous. I really don't mean to offend, but you might as well be wearing jelly shoes. Not attractive. Nothing about them is flattering; the spastic colors and the shape (really did you want your feet to look like a hobbit's?) make me cringe every time I see someone in them. On children, it's one thing, but you're an adult, wear adult shoes. My friends have even seen an adult man where them to church. AUGH!

Which brings me to my second shoe pet peeve. Whatever happened to "Sunday best" wear? I don't care if you live in the Bahamas, don't where flip flops to church (and puh-lease don't wear Crocs!). Its okay to look decent when one goes to worship their Savior and (or) God. Dress up. It's entirely inappropriate not to. I'd rather see mis-matched leathers or black and navy together than sloppy flip flops. Again, don't mean to offend.

I think that's all.

Oh my gosh, I almost forgot. STOP WEARING SOCKS WITH YOUR SANDALS! That's the point of sandals, duh! It's like me having to tell you not to cut your hair into a mullet. It just shouldn't have to be explained.

Do you have a shoe pet peeve?

Do you disagree with mine?

Sunday, January 06, 2008

New Year Resolution

Every year I come up with pointless resolutions that make me feel like I've been living my life even more inadequately than I actually have been. My yearly list usually includes some or all of the points in the following list. Here are my usual resolutions in no particular order:

  • Lose 5 - 15 lbs (based on how I performed over the holidays - this year, it's more like 15)
  • Read B of M (since we're studying it this year in sunday school it might be easier for me - seeing how I only go to sunday school every other month and even then, I have Olivia to "deal with")
  • Throw stuff away (or donate it) - even if "we might use it" someday. I'm wholly afraid of turning into my "prepared" parents.
  • Be a better mom
  • Organize stuff - drawers, time, photos, cleaning schedule, cupboards, hair, family, blog, shoes, family history, loose change, etc etc etc
  • Spend less .... that one only lasts but a few moments.
Which brings me to this year's resolution ... or more appropriately, this year's goal:

I realize we're in a house, but we're renting. I mean OUR house. Something that I own. At least something that the bank owns and I pay them regularly. Steven doesn't think it will happen. I do. I'm giving up all the others. They will only slow me down and make me lose my concentration on the real prize at hand.

Wish me luck.

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