Monday, December 29, 2008

Oh-8 was really great!

It's hard to stay away from something you love for too long, things like chocolate, soap &, of course, blogging (also, mouse traps. Those would almost make my list if it weren't for the purpose they were intended.) Besides, there are just so many things that I've been thinking about lately, good things which 2008 has brought us, that I just had to share.

By now, you know me & my lists, ooh - that's another thing I love - lists! (If I wasn't already making one then I would go make one about cute men & the cute things they say.)

So, this is my list of favorite things in Oh-8 (trust me - this list is much shorter than it's nemesis. Who wants to read about things like darling {devil} children vandalizing your neighbor's garage with kitty litter, mouse infestations & hurting someones feelings & going into a depression over it? Hmmm. If you even know what I'm talking about then I guess you do.) Well, I'm not going there, this is happy list time & that's what I'm giving you. Happy. Now, shut up & read.... {Sorry, I can't believe I just said that, that's a bad word in this house - I totally belong on the naughty list - but for the sake of time & the gross misuse of parenthesis' which has already taken place, I won't go there either.} Here we go...

MEMO'S TOP 8 of Oh-8:

8. The birth of MEMOS (aka- blogging). Besides it being fun & meeting new people (in a not-weird way) it has been a great way for me to work on my writing skills, or lack thereof. It's an outlet for my own personal, public therapy sessions (also, in a not-weird way), & more importantly it is seriously helping me learn to balance my time & my undiagnosed OCD better. It's been very difficult these last few months, but I'm getting there..... my chillens are not nearly as neglected as they were 3 months ago.

7. My Publisher. com. This is one of my favorite finds of the year, thanks to my sister Jen. It's the perfect alternative for non-scrap booking, picture taking people like me who still want a nice way to display our pictures. It turns your photos into a book of art (I'm keeping my fingers crossed for some sort of endorsement prize). I'll be back.

6. The White Hornet:

{Please refer to You Know You're a Cheapskate When... for more details into the naming of the van & why I'm still in awe over driving a quiet, non-rattling van.)

5. Preschool. Need I say more?

4. Cost Rica. (side note - the pictures from this trip are now displayed in a beautiful hardcover coffee table book, thanks to My{sorry, I couldn't resist.}) Manly & I visited C.R. in June. This is where he lived for 2 years, while serving a mission for our church. I got to meet some of the people he worked & lived with there, 16 years ago. Also, some of the beaches we visited were simply too gorgeous for words. I didn't expect to fall in love with the country like I did, but I simply love it there. The Spanish they speak is so clear & easy to understand, the people are genuine & the food was absolutely delicious. We'll be back!

3. This Christmas. This has been one of the best Christmases our family has had. Not that the others were bad, but this one has been different. It's been relaxing. I did my Christmas shopping the week before the big day with Manly & without stressing about how late it was. Instead of spending too much time shopping & worrying about shopping, I spent the time reading Christmas stories & watching movies with the kidlets. We didn't go anywhere Christmas day - we stayed home in our pj's, watched movies & played all day. It was also a more modest & more Christ centered Christmas for us. Nothing exciting - that's what was so great about it.

I think the best part of it this year was watching my 11 year old try her hand at being Santa, as she gave all of her siblings & parents unexpected gifts. She gave me her MP3 player, I checked & double checked to see if she really wanted to give it away & she was positive. She gave her dad some of her favorite sea shells from her collection & she gave her siblings things of hers which she knew they wanted. I was so proud of her as I watched her being thoughtful about the gifts & trying to make her family happy.

The other best part was later on in the day when my 7 year old, Epee, was sitting on my lap holding his new, big 'ol Nerf gun as we were watching a movie, & I asked him if he loved that gun. He turned around to look at me & said, "Yes, but not as much as I love you." Then he kissed me on the cheek. You can probably imagine how my heart melted & how that moment is burned in my mind forever! What more could I want (maybe a hubby who will learn to schmooze like his son...... hmmmm.)?

2. The adoption of Rocket. He has been a blessing to our family this year. It's amazing what a big, lazy, sweetheart of a dog will do for an angry 11 year old, & the rest of her family.


You're smiling aren't you. How could this NOT make anyone smile?!

Crazy Horses = Lots of laughter & good, clean family fun. This has been, by far, my favorite thing this year! Thanks to an unexpected email from my good friend, Jaeme, earlier this year. My family & I have spent a lot of time watching this over & over & over again, laughing our heads off {including the angry 11 year old.}. Can you guess what is now downloaded on my new MP3 player? Yep. My new goal is too learn the smokin choreography & make my family learn it too so we can perform it at the next ward talent show. Yes!

That's my list & I'm sticking to it. I hope you've had a wonderful year too. See ya next year!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tis the season

Hello all of my fellow blogging & non-blogging more like stalking friends! It's been a while. I've had to make some changes in the last little while to get my life back to normal, to get ready for Christmas & to combat this seriously gross mouse problem we have.

I know.

That last post I wrote about the mouse..... well, the mouse apparently wasn't a loner looking for some love ...... or food. It, & when I say it, I mean it in the most inflammatory, derogatory mouse slandering way possible, came with not only a family, but a whole neighborhood of mice camped out in various places around our home. I guess this is all part of living in the country (with fields all around you, which people decide to dig up to build homes on) & not having a cat. We've had mice before, but nothing this extreme & it's really getting on my nerves. You know it's bad when you walk out of the kitchen & one of your kids screams from seeing another mouse run across the floor (this has happened more than once) Why are they avoiding me?

Anyway, now that my life is feeling back to normal, Christmas is ready, we've caught about 10 mice & my house is so clean I hardly recognize it, I've decided to officially take a holiday break.

I'm giving myself permission to not blog for the next couple of weeks & not feel guilty about it. I know that sounds ridiculous, but seriously, you know you do it too. There's something about making a commitment to do something & then when you don't do it you feel guilty about it. That is so NOT what any mother, wife, woman, person needs in their life, & yet here I am doing it to myself.


I'm not going to post for the next couple of weeks unless I really want to, & I won't feel bad about it. Hooray! That's my Christmas present to myself this year. I only wish I had thought of that years ago when I was feeling guilty for all of the other things I said I would do & didn't. Oh well.

I also want to wish each of you a very beautiful & Merry Christmas. This truly is a beautiful time of year. A time to reflect on the birth of our Savior - the best gift we could ever receive, a time to serve others with more gratitude in our hearts & a time to spend with our families. Isn't it wonderful?! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. A line from my MIL's birthday song comes to mind...... "May you have God's blessings through the coming year!"


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thankful Thursday myspace graphic comments

I am Thankful it's Thursday. Thursday is my favorite day of the week. I love the anticipation of the upcoming weekend, which means no homework or activities to run children to. Friday would probably be my favorite day of the week because that's the day when there is actually no homework, the bedtime routine is a lot more relaxed & it's date night, but Friday ends so quickly. It's usually over right after it starts. That bugs me. So Thursday is my day, it lasts longer than Friday & The Office is on.

Oh, The Office. I'm thankful for it too, as I've mentioned before, that show makes me laugh- that's the only show I watch these days. Around here t.v. has mostly become a thing of the past. I admire people like my husband & sister & bil who actually stop watching shows like T.O. because they get kind of crude at times.

It's true.

I'm just not ready to take that step yet, "...and the only way that I would ever let go of my *show* would be if you came over here right now and tried to pry it from my dead, lifeless fingers, okay? If you can get it from my kung-fu grip then you can come and have it!" (movie?) Until then I'm not giving it up. I so look forward to Micheal & Dwight, Jim & Pam & all the others with their crazy antics each week. That show almost makes me want to go out & get a job in a totally dysfunctional work environment.

Speaking of crude, I'm thankful that when I was in Barnes & Noble yesterday with my two little munchkins waiting for our lunch, we didn't have to sit there & look at a rack of dirty magazines (like you do in the grocery store when you're waiting in line). We only had to look at the dirty man sitting near us looking at his dirty magazine. BTW, why was he so jittery? Hmmm.

Also, Christmas is only 14 days from today, 2 weeks people, & I don't have any shopping done yet. I'm so thankful for that because I'm not worrying about where to hide the presents in our small house & wondering if the kids have found them yet (in our house, it's only a matter of time). It's so refreshing to be winging it. In years past I always made the goal to have my shopping mostly done by Thanksgiving. Why did I do that to myself? That was dumb. I'm grateful that there are only 12 shopping days left & I have the whole 9 yards to go. Woo Hoo!

Another thing I'm grateful for is a cute, gentle, sweet tempered, big dog. Big enough that other animals & small humans should be scared of him. He is the most laid back, patient creature I've ever known. Even when there's a mouse that runs across my bedroom floor & under my bed, he doesn't mind because that's just how he is. He doesn't let anything bother him. He only barks when he wants to come in & he never complains. I wish I could be more like that. Do you think I've been able to kneel down to say my prayers since that happened the other night? All kneeling & praying is done on TOP of the bed now. I'm trying to be more like Rocket, the dog. I think if I could let some of these things go then I wouldn't have so many weird dreams like the one last night about kung-fu cats. Weird. myspace graphic comments

Really though, I am thankful for getting pulled over twice last week because I have seriously slowed down (figuratively as well). My driving has been so good that my 11 year old daughter has started telling me that I can get pulled over for going TOO SLOW! Good. Then, I'm doing something right.

Finally, I am thankful for a hubby who doesn't read my blog.
It's not just mine, it's everyone's. The whole blogging world is foreign to him. But, this way I have the freedom to say whatever I want, like how much I love him, how handsome he is to me, how proud I am of him, what a good example he is to me & other gushy, somewhat disgusting things like that. Also I don't have the pressure to do a big blowout birthday post when it's the week of his birthday, like this week. So, I'm not going to worry about writing, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MANLY, I LOVE YOU! or posting about the things I would have gotten him, like a cool gun & awesome hunting gear, if he wasn't such a cheapskate. Just shirts, ties & books for you my dear (okay that's an exaggeration, it was more like a shirt, a tie & a book). Nope. I don't have to worry about any of that. Thanks hon, you've given me a lot to be thankful for!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Year Ago....

My 3 year old (almost 4) daughter decided she wanted a new look. Who needs to make an appointment at a salon or with any of our many family members who cut hair, when Mom's scissors are, unfortunately, so easy to get to? There was no wasting time..... while Mom was in the shower.

When I got out, this is what I found, & when I say found I mean I had to follow a trail of white hairs around the house to her hiding place:

I don't think she was very pleased with her look.... What? Not the look you were going for, my little angel? I don't know, I kind of like it. The early'80's mullet is coming back...... if you're living in the woods in the deep south & married to your cousin. It's a good look.

Or maybe she was just worried about whether Santa was actually going to come to her house this year. This incident may have been the one that tipped the scales in favor of the naughty list.

Alas, my heaven sent hair-cutting family.....

Okay, my little pixie. You win. How can Santa resist that sweet face? You made it back on the nice list by letting Aunty fix it..... but don't do it again!

A year later.
Honey, I've got some advice for you, this look is working way better than the mullet. Keep it. Also, if you ever do it again, you will realize the reality of the naughty list.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thank Goodness for Home Teachers

So, this week I have been running around crazy, like a chicken with it's head cut off. Since Monday, morning at 8:00 am I have been busy with Christmas Tree Fantasy. UGH! - (ugh - in a good way.) It's a great community event that raises $ for needy organizations around the county, like the senior citizens center, the crisis center, the developmental center & so on. It's a good cause.

But. I'm on the board. The board being a group of lady's who plan this big fundraising event throughout the year & pull it off by the skin of their nose the week after Thanksgiving. We ask everyone & their dog for donations & volunteer hours & it's a huge deal. After it's finished (this Saturday, thank heaven above) & CTF has raised like $50,000.00, then we get together a couple months later & have a big cat-fight type meeting to decide which organizations are the most needy.

That big disbursement meeting & all the planning meetings up to this point are the kind of meetings where if you want to make a change to something you have to call it an 'amendment' & then you have to make a motion to do it & someone else 2nd's it & the board votes on it. I know. It's way above my head - like I've ever made a motion to do anything except go to the bathroom (& I only make those motions in my head).

Why do I do this to myself?

I have to admit, it's fun. I love serving & volunteering & working with people & getting to know the public. I'm a people person. I don't have a problem saying 'No' to things - good heavens, no one asked me to do it, I volunteered to fill this post! My problem is that I want to do everything & forget that I still have young children & a husband & home to take care of. This simply isn't the right time in my life to be doing these things. There is a time & season for everything, I believe it.

So, I've decided that this year is not only my 2nd year of doing this, it's also my last year.

Anyway, back to my original reason why I felt the need to take this time out of my crazy schedule (besides this being CTF week, 3 of my 4 children have rehearsals all week for their play on Saturday, seriously, I hope to still be alive by Saturday night - at this point I have to schedule breathing just so I don't forget to do it.) to post. For one thing this is like therapy for me. The other thing is, I feel the need to bear my testimony about good cops right now.

As I have been running around like crazy my speedometer keeps increasing. Hm, funny how that happens. I'm not normally a speed demon, but this week I have thrown all caution to the wind. It's not like I'm speeding on purpose, I just simply haven't been paying attention. I have to be everywhere, right now, so I'm just on automatic pilot mode, which unfortunately is set too high.

Last night as I was coming home from CTF at 9:30, I just wanted to get home & go to bed, but I still had some papers to print out & calls to make. I was going through the to-do list in my mind when I saw the lights flashing in my rear view mirror. Whoops! Also, those red & yellow flashing lights - Freak. Me. Out. Officer Friendly approached my vehicle in his extremely cautious way, we went through the drill, & he took my info back to his car. From the tone of his voice & the way he walked I thought for sure I was going to get a ticket. Sometimes, I can sense these things. And then, miracle of miracles, the kind officer gave me several warnings for things he could have ticketed me for, apparently speeding wasn't my only problem, whoops, again! But he didn't ticket me. Oh, sigh, THANK YOU, dear, sweet law enforcement man!

Then, this morning as I was headed back into CTF after dropping the twins off at preschool, I saw the lights again.

Are you kidding me?

I've just realized, I have a problem & no amount of denial is going to take it away. Speeding isn't my problem (clearing throat, & cough, cough), paying attention to what I'm doing, specifically my speedometer, is my problem.

This time, you can imagine my joy when I saw the officer get out of his car & it was a former home teacher of mine. It's been a few years since he visited us & since we go to the Spanish branch in our stake, I wasn't sure if he'd remember me.

Please. Please. Please.

At first he didn't. And then I saw it click. He was so nice! He didn't even take my stuff back to his car & even though I live here in this neighborhood & should know the speed limit by now, he just gave me a warning. Oh, sigh, where do I even begin?

Do you think someone is trying to tell me something?

If so, I got the message. I don't care how far behind I'm running today & from now on, I am going under the speed limit, just to prove I can.

Thank you police officers, I know the speed limit is true. I am grateful for it & both of you - I don't know where I would be without it, or you ..... probably in jail. I say these things in the name of law enforcement, Amen.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Getting home

Hey, everyone! We're back, I've missed you....... (although after more than a week of not reading blogs, I'm kind of scared to check my google reader).

After my last post, I've got another question for you.

What's the worst thing that could happen to your home while you're away on vacation?

It burns down.

Yeah, that would be bad.

What's the 2nd worst thing that could happen?

A flood.

Yeah, that would be bad too.

What's the 3rd worst thing?

A family of skunks move in while you're away and make their love nest right in the center of your living room.


How about the 4th worst thing?

The fridge & freezer get turned off just before you leave on your trip, right after you stock it with 3 gallons of milk, several bags of various frozen meats & veggies & a variety of other fresh veggies, dairy & other delicious food.

Yeah, that's bad.

I'm sure glad #1, 2, & 3 didn't happen to us.

As for thing #4, all I can say is, my van story was almost nothing compared to it, although, the stink hasn't lasted as long this time. Unlike the stinky van, I didn't have an automatic fridge wash to drive my fridge through to magically clean it - Manly & I had to do it ourselves.

Double Ew.

But. We have an extremely clean fridge now.

Just one more thing to be grateful for.