Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Reduce, Reuse, ReOxygenate

Bradley's been learning about recycling and other nuances of enviromental issues. The other night he came downstairs just after bedtime and told us he couldn't sleep because he was worried.

Bradley: Mom I can't sleep.
Me: Why? Have you been having nightmares?
Bradley: No. I'm worried about deforestation. (EXACT QUOTE)

I did not realize he even knew this word let alone the meaning of it.

Me: Why are you worried about it?
Bradley (with a trembling voice): I'm afraid that if all the trees get cut down we won't have any oxygen left and we'll all suffocate.

There was some explaining done and promises made; like we'll cut back on our use of plastics and paper and begin investing in oxygen tanks if he'll go back to bed.

What would you tell your 7-year old?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Lounging with a Twist

I caught my children watching television like this.

Don't believe me?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Once Again

I wasn't going to do it.

No one had mentioned it until today.

I thought I had killed you all off.

But I now know I still have some takers.

Who wants in the contest?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Piano Recital

The piano recital was a hit. I'm surprised we crammed so many people into our living room and up the stairs. We never did a head count, but I'm pretty sure there was over 60 people in attendance. There are two more rows not seen.

Growing up, my piano teacher never played at the end of our recitals. I was unaware of the normal tradition until our last recital it was requested of me to play. This time I was prepared until Steven told the students that they could hover around me since I'm always hovering over their shoulders.

Even as I made the program, I didn't realize how many students I have. I'm blessed to have such wonderful people come into my home every week.

Kind of makes me choke up when I see all of them.

L to R: Jen D*, Diana N*, Michelle H*, Spencer H*, Sadey N*, Jesse N*, Mairzey N*, Ben M*, Nikka D*, Luke D*, Brody N*, Joseph D*, Bradley M*, Steven M*, Ethan S*, Emily S*, Madison H*, Madelyn N*, Lupita B*, Emma C*, Alison T* (not pictured: Emmy M* - who had retired upstairs to her room and fallen asleep in her dress).

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Drip Drip Drop

About six months ago there was a rumor that LDS church officials were going to implement an elbow bump greeting rather than a traditional handshake to aid in the hindrance of disease spreading.

Really? The elbow bump? I can only imagine the elderly doing this. Luckily it was only a rumor.

Again, REALLY? If we think handshaking is a problem, we need to look elsewhere. Like many other churches, the Sacrament is offered to us every week. And I believe we've come a long way from sharing a communal cup...

until Olivia started partaking.

Now, my kids are relatively healthy, but that doesn't keep me from being super grossed out when she insists on discarding her cup. The problem is that there is always a drop (or 3) left in the cup and when she puts the cup back, it always manages to tip and pour into another cup along the way.

All I can say is "ew" (not to mention my apologies to whoever sat behind us).

Don't worry, I now discard her cups for her. I just don't know about the snot-nosed kid two rows up from me.

When your ward has chronic swine flu, you'll know why.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Not Close Enough for Comfort

Here's the deal, putting lights on a two-story house is really, uh, high.

Anybody need a half dozen boxes of icicle lights?

Does anyone else feel dizzy?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dream Mediocrity

I realized the other day that [perhaps like many of you] it would fulfill a dream of mine to sing on stage.

But only as back-up vocals.


What is wrong with me? It's like dreaming of being sous-chef, vice president or winning the silver medal. I don't know if it's because I like singing harmony or if I don't like the pressure of being center of attention. Either way, apparently it's not my dream to "reach for the stars."

So go on America, teach your kids to reach for the...clouds.

Okay, maybe a satellite. But NOT the stars; way too high.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cynthia T. Rickelson

We live in, what I like to call, the Bedazzled Buckle of the bible belt. That being said, when you don't have a cross around your neck or tattooed to your ankle or on the back of your jean jacket in rhinestones, people start to question if you really believe in Jesus Christ.

The other day, my neighbor informed me that if you work for the school (any government owned school for that matter) you weren't allowed to wear any religious paraphernalia. I thought of Bradley's teacher and her ginormous chain of about a dozen crosses that she wore every once in a while.

I said, "I think that's why we [LDS] stuck with the CTR ring."

She responded, "you can't even wear that."

I nicely argued that for all she knows CTR (commonly known to stand for: Choose The Right) has nothing to do with Christianity. It could be a crazy right-winged republican ring, or maybe it's reminder because I forget which hand I'm supposed to use when I draw, or it's my deceased grandmother's initials and green was her favorite color!

What do you think?

Is a CTR ring appropriate?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pumpkin Carving

The 3rd Annual Contest took place a few weeks ago. But because we were moving and the what-nots of excuses, I didn't get around to posting pics.

But before you get all mad/relieved that you didn't get invited. We have very strict rules: we have to like you.

Just kidding! You have to live in our neighborhood (either SO or MR).

John & Hayden S* (We missed you Tiffany & Hudson!)

Brian showed Baby Megan how to carve this one by herself.
I'm sure Kevin & Heather S* were somewhere close by.

Danielle, Joe, Izzy & Madison H*
holding their well-deserved prizes...

The H* Family and their pumpkin that Jarom poured over making us end the night around 2 am (also pictured, Kristy, Cole, Shayla, Cooper & Brynn).

Crystal & TJ J* used this as their candy jar.

Showing off my great photography skills with Bryan, Nicole & Tyson V E*.
It's really not blury, it's a soft lense.

The C* Family: Keith, Loriann, Avery & Addy
Avery's the violent one that stabbed the poor pirate's head.

Mr McMonkey & myself with Olivia, Bradley and
Emmy - our daughter who auditioned for The Ring

My one action shot. Is that kid being accosted?

Can I just point out the winners?
The mummy (front right) won Scariest.
The Trick or Treat (front left) won Most Creative. (see picture below)
The JACK (middle right) "won" Most Pathetic.
Can you see the "TREAT" reflected on the back wall?

It was oooooober fun. And there was lots of food, lots of costumes & lots of boxes of stuff (as we were moving a week later). We'll see what next year brings.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

A House Warming Gift

...that made my day.

Thanks, Shel!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Halloween Catch Up

Since I was without you for a few weeks, you didn't get to see my monkeys in their 'stumes.

I forewarning:
they are NOT emotionally abused.

Bradley was The Count. "Mwah ah ah!"

And, my 5-year old, Emmy,
who should want to be a princess/ballerina/fairy/angel
has, instead, chosen a different route.
If you just peed your pants, don't worry.
It's a very normal reaction.
She was playing the role well and refused to smile for the camera saying, "Zombies don't smile, Mama!"

Ahh,Olivia. The one I still have at least minimal control over.
Except that it started itching her like crazy and she ended up in...

Was it Lincoln that said, "Whatever you are, be a good one."?
Well, my kids would have made him proud.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


Holy cow! It’s not like I feel I rely heavily on the internet, it’s more like I couldn’t breathe and my heart stopped for the few days without it.

In all honesty, it was nice knowing no one could call, that I had no obligation to answer emails, that my life continued on (and is, in fact, more productive) without phone and email.

Television on the other hand…

Can someone update me on SYTYCD and PR (and if you don’t know what those stand for, you’re not worthy of updating me)? And more importantly, when can I come over because we’ve decided to [dramatic pause] NOT get cable/dish [GASP!].

Don't freak out.
It's not like I'm going to start homeschooling and put Liv in cloth diapers.
We're just experimenting. I'll just buy the
Glee soundtrack this month.

Have you ever gone w/o TV?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


While this sounds like an appropriate new nickname for me and my new friends Chin 2 and the Love Handles, it’s what Steven and I called ourselves for an entire week.

For seven days we lived in an un-resided-in home. The owners had moved and were in the process of selling it (to us) but closing had yet to occur.

And we lived there.

For a week.

I feel like I can truly relate to homeless people everywhere. I know how hard it is to not call something your own – even though we still had occupation options for our rental house and we were pretty sure closing was going to go fairly smoothly, not to mention we have plenty of food and clothing – but don’t you think I am more whole now and have a certain sense of kinship with transients everywhere ‘cause it’s pretty much the exact same circumstances?

Ya, me too.

Pictures to be posted soon.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Two Turtle Loves

Wanna hear the cutest story ever? ... Mkay, I'm gonna tell you anyway.

I was coming home from my friend Nicole's house and I nearly ran over a turtle.

That's not the cute part, duh.

Let me first say that about a block from our house is a giant pond. I knew this turtle had strayed a little too far from home. While this is the second time I've almost hit a turtle, we thought we better bring him home. We tried to give him a bath in our backyard with the hose and our ghetto/yellow/plastic swimming pool with every intention of taking it back the next day. This thing had so much moss on its shell, we named it Hairry Potter (from here on out, it's now a boy for convenience's sake). Also, now that it was named, it was destined to stay with us forever, ... or at least the weekend.

Anyhoo, he liked to hide amidst our overgrown trim. Occasionally, it was hard to find him. A few days later Steven was out back grilling when Emmy complained that she couldn't find Hairry. Steven jokingly said, "maybe if you whistle, he'll come to you."

Some lady, just on the other side of our fence heard Steven's comment. She yelled through the fence, "are you guys looking for a turtle?"

This surprised us. We didn't think there was any way through the fence and we didn't think he'd be able to dig his way out because he was an aquatic turtle. Even so, Steven went out the gate and grabbed the turtle that this lady and her barely-restrained dog had found.

Funny thing, it wasn't Hairry.

This turtle was bigger.

Steven went back to where this new turtle had been found (just outside our backyard) and looked directly on the other side of our fence (in our backyard) to make sure he had, in fact, not crawled underneath the fence. Low and behold, there was Hairry hiding in our overgrown grass.

Our little turtle lovers had found each other and just didn't know how to reach each other through the fence.

[a collective "aaawww" from the crowd is now appropriate]

Meet Marge (L) and Hairry (R)

Emmy wanted in this next picture,
though she's only holding a lowly frog.
L to R: Emmy (w/ prince charming), Jason B* (holding Marge), Bradly (w/ Hairry), Zed B* ('cause he couldn't get enough of the turtles).

They were so far (relatively) away from their home. Had to be miles (or something) in human steps.

Olivia with her new playmates.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

School Photog Day

My school photo from 1st grade

My kids took there school pictures last week.

As I was doing their respective hair(s), I mentioned to them how lucky they were that their mom did their hair in the privacy of their own home.


I explained to them that my mother found out what time our class' pictures were to be taken, showed up at the school with brushes & hairspray (just short of extensions, glitter & self tanner) so she could primp us up just before the flashes began.

And, yes, she stood behind the camera man smiling and pointing to her exhausted cheeks simultaneously.

School photo from 3rd grade

Now that I'm written out of her will, I might as well tell you that until Junior High, I was required to wear a dress every time we had school pictures. Another piece of information my kids responded to with, "WHAT?!"

While I was never in a beauty pageant, she would have made an excellent stage mom.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Olivia's Two

...and that's not a birthday announcement. It's more like a behavior announcement (but, we'll still accept gifts).

Her entourage:
(Tyson V*, Logan O*)

Her unwillingness to wear clothing (and her magnetism to dirt):

"Soooo Preeeetty, Liv!"

Even grubby, she's still kissable!

Her uncanny ability to let you know you need to go change an unflattering outfit with just a simple expression.
Love you, Liv.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

"For the First Time...

.... I feel ... WICKED."

Friday, October 02, 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Indoor Soccer

Last night was my last game of the season.
[enter frowny-faced emoticon]

Yes, those socks are from high school. It was a pleasure, ladies.

L to R: Kari, Heather, Becca, Jill (#1), Sheryl, Jill (#2), Me, Kristy
(not photographed: Lezlie)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Super Glue

While trying to fix her glasses, Domie got herself into a sticky situation.

But seriously, who travels with super glue? Only SUPERMOM, Janese!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Move Over

Our house is on the market (to rent).

If you do some 1st grade math, that means we're moving. Don't worry, not far.

In fact, if you have really good aim, you can spit and hit it from our front porch.

I'm giddy about the whole thing. In fact, I catch myself giggling out loud while I'm walking around doing mundane tasks in my home. And while it will be furnished with our hand-me-downs in most rooms, and completely unfurnished in others, I can't help but think how much fun we'll have when you come stay with me (even if there's nothing for you to sleep on, yet).

ECD: October 29th.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


It was 72 degrees this morning when I asked my children if they wanted a jacket.

We've acclimated to Texas weather, I think.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


There are WAY too many dancing shows out there for me.

Dancing w/ the Stars

So You Think You Can Dance

ummm, Ellen

It gets a girl to thinkin' she's got moves. And then she tries them out in front of her bathroom mirror. And yes, even though I was all by myself, I was abhorrently embarrassed.

Stop. I know you've done it, too (danced in front of the mirror). And if you haven't -- well, everyone should.

I had no idea I was that awkward looking. For a moment I felt obligated to call my mother and have her demand her money back for the 10(!) years of dance lessons.

Except, it all begins to make sense. As I recall those years, I bounced year after year to different studios. Hmmm. Maybe my mom failed to tell me something....

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Thirst Quenched

It's raining outside.

It has been since Tuesday.

If you live in the area, you know this is a really great thing.

If you live in my stake, you know it's a miracle.

God is good.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Rock Camp

I'm catching up on some summer blogging since I don't have any fiery conversations to start up. Feel free to throw something at me.
The monkeys took a rock climbing course at our local gym. They loved climbing. Well, mostly they loved falling.

Emmy at her most graceful.She could hold her own (literally).

Bradley on his way up.
He's such a show off.

Monday, September 07, 2009


I found my long lost twin.

Shhh, don't tell her she's going gray.
I think it's all the stress of being reunited with her sis.

Friday, August 28, 2009


It'll only take one more person to join to get the pot at $2000.

Any takers?

Come on! Someone out there has a muffin top, love handles, a wedged wedding ring or back rolls that they are trying to get rid of. You know, if you lose feeling when you're wearing spanx and the red lines don't go a way for hours, you need to join us.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


My sister, Holly, just returned from her mission in Connecticut. That was one major reason we went when we did (thanks to the Micks for accommodating my side of the family).

It was great to see her. She's amazing.

Now, if I could just get her to take us ladies on a trip back East.

BTW: why are the phrases always "back east" and "out west"?
Any of you a linguist?

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