Thursday, December 25, 2008

My Musical Christmas Card

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

This is the choir that I sing with. My dear hubby is the last one on the left and I'm right next to him. Sorry about the lousy video/sound quality (that funny ringing is bells that we're playing but you can hardly see them on this.)

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Black (eye) Friday and Chrismas Songs that Suck

I did the Black Friday thing again this's become kind of a tradition for my sister and me.

Lines were short, deals were decent, and all in all it was the easiest Black Friday spree we've ever had.

My dh got to Walmart at 4 , was about 75 in line and was able to get us a new tv with no problem whatsoever. In previous years, you would have had to have been in line at 2 am to be so close.

According to my friend, things were so easy for us because we didn't want a Ripstick.

I've never heard of these things, but it seems they are quite the hot Christmas item around here.

Friend took her 11 y.o. daughter with her to Walmart to get the hot deals. Daughter wanted a Ripstick, so she ran one way while mom ran the other to grab something else on the list.

Daughter gets to the Ripsticks and grabs one seconds before they are all gone. A minute after that, a grown ADULT WOMAN comes up to the 11 year old and TRIES TO TAKE HERS AWAY.

She even SCRATCHES the girl.

Now, if it had been one of my pacifistic children, they would have relinquished the toy and come crying to me. It seems that, in raising thoughtful, tender children, I have also created little doormats.

Not so with this child.

She kicks the mean old lady in the shin and takes off with the Ripstick.

She's TOTALLY coming with me next Black Friday...I'll block and she can tackle.


Back in my retail days, I developed a deep aversion to certain canned Christmas music that seems to play ad nauseum wherever Christmas goods are sold.

This is slightly ironic, since I spend 11 months out of the year practicing singing Christmas songs to perform 8 or 9 times during the month of December. sister and I were discussing the worst Christmas songs ever. The ones that make you want to hurt someone wearing red. The cloying ones that try to make you feel horrible for being happy when so many other people are suffering.

So here are my top five WORST CHRISTMAS SONGS ever:

5. "Wonderful Christmas Time." This one gets a spot on my list for having an annoying repeating chorus that can permeate your consciousness no matter how you are occupied at the moment. When I was working retail, I could be ringing someone up and all of a sudden notice "Simply..haaaving...a wonderfulchristmastime. Simply...haaaving a wonderfulchristmastime." and be so distracted I probably gave them way too much change. I guess then they WERE having a "wonderfulchristmastime."

4. "Last Christmas." Another annoyingly repetitive Christmas song. It sings the same chorus OVER and OVER and OVER. We get it. You gave away your heart. You regret it. Get OVER it already.

3. "2000 Miles." Yes. It's very far. You say so every other line. "2000 Miles. It's very far." Score a point for Captain Obvious. The song also asserts that if you hear singing then it must be Christmas time. Take it from me. There are people singing Christmas songs all freaking year long. Believe it. Sunday nights at 8.

2. "Don't They Know it's Christmas Time?" Not that helping others and being aware of others in the world is a bad thing, but this song wants us to feel bad because "there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time." Well, duh. It's AFRICA. They never have snow. They don't even miss it. If it suddenly started snowing in Africa, I'm fairly sure there would be riots and mass hysteria, which I'm fairly certain won't make the natives feel any more Christmas-y. There are plenty of reasons to "feed the world," but lack of snow on the savannah isn't one of them.

1. "Christmas Shoes." This is the king of guilt inducing Christmas music. Some pup-eyed moppet goes to the store and begs the store owner to sell him some shoes for mom before she croaks and then admits he can't even pay for them.

First of all, where is mom walking to in her dire condition? Apparently the pup-eyed moppet isn't even sure he can complete his purchase in time. Maybe he should actually be WITH his mom instead of buying her shoes she'll never use. But no. If mama is going to meet Jesus tonight, she had better be wearing brand new shoes. The entire point of this song is to make the listener feel horrible for the poor poverty stricken lad who has so little while you, the listener are out buying shoes wily nily without a care in the world. No Joy to the World for you. Hang your head in shame you lucky, capitalistic scum.


At any rate, I like my Christmas music fairly non-repetitive and non-guilt inducing. I have plenty of guilt left over from my overenthusiastic Black Friday shopping spree.

In which I did NOT steal a Ripstick from anyone.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm baaack....

Sorry for the delay in posting....tis the season :)

Collette! You are my blog challeng winner! We should totally go do lunch me and we'll discuss.


Right now my fingers are so cold that I'm having a hard time typing. Thank the drafty windows in my cold old house. The mornings and evenings have been chilly but the afternoons haven't been too cold. The leaves on the neighbor's ginormous tree have fallen and my boys have dutifully raked them up after being promised large sums of money. Today we were at the movies and my boys wanted me to take them shopping so that they could spend their new windfall.

"Boys," I said, "don't you think it would be a good idea to save that money so you will have money to buy your family Christmas presents?"

"UHHHH!" exclaims son #2. "I had to do all that work to buy OTHER PEOPLE presents?"

I stopped in my tracks, took a good look at my small son, and said, "Your dad does that EVERY DAY."

The irony, however, was lost on my children as they walked gloomily to the car.


My baby girl has become Miss Manners.

At the movie today, I sat her next to older daughter, who said, "Aww, mom. I thought you were going to sit by me!"

I replied, "Well, I thought your sister would like to sit by both of us!"

Small sister looks at big sister and says, "I'm sorry I made you sad."


She's been apologizing a lot and saying things like "Yes, please!" and "No, thank you," and "Please don't show that belly button!" (When a Victoria's Secret commercial came on the air...LOL!)

It's so cute to see her learn these things, but it's also a reminder that she's growing up waay too fast. And, since she's my BABY, that also brings some sadness. My last little one in kindergarten. Right now we still spend a lot of time together. Next year, not so much.

I love my little bug. And I promise to keep my belly button covered.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tags and an major award! (Also a blog giveaway for anyone who wants to play)

I lied. It's not major. But I love that quote from "A Christmas Story."

My bestest bud Kerri gave me my Major Award. And here she is.

(Be careful. It's frageelay. :D)

So, in accordance with the rules that go with winning a Major Award, I hereby pass this award to:

Amor (Her stories about her son make me laugh)

Collette (Who wins the award for still being my friend after 20 years)

Natalie (Who has to be the most creative person I know)

Shellie (Whom I wish lived much closer to so she could play with me ALL the time)

Teri (Who also lives way too far away....but always makes me smile when I get to see her.) to the tags:

Here's one that I missed back in October and found when I googled myself out of boredom! LOL!

In my blog surfing, I found another blogger who spells her name the SAME WAY I DO (no small feat) and also goes by "Mer." She tagged me back on October and somehow I missed it.

Five things that make me happy:

1. My family

2. Chocolate and Coke (Separately or together, it's all good.)

3. Scrapbook stores

4. Serenity (my favorite movie. "Shiny. Let's be bad guys.")

5. Books (loving Terry Pratchett right stinking funny!)

I was also tagged recently by Elizabeth to list

7 Facts about Moi

1. I have feet issues. I can't stand tight shoes or stuff touching my feet.

2. I have a very offbeat sense of humor that doesn't always translate well.

3. I sing, play the piano, and play handbells.

4. I have a high IQ. (or, as my dh probably thinks, a big head. :D )

5. I hate. hate. hate. country music.

6. I used to be fairly decent at shooting pool.

7. I like things to be done my way, but I hate being in charge of stuff. for the giveaway portion of our program: (and YOUR chance to win a Major Award...)

Tag yourself and post about it on your blog, then come back here and comment on this post. If you do one tag, your name goes in one time. If you do both, your name goes in two times. Name will be randomly drawn.

I give good prizes, (will be scrapbook related) although sometimes they take a month to arrive! The wait will be worth it though, I promise.'re it!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Channeling Joe Dirt

I had a opportunity come up where I had to go somewhere and do something and appearance was important.

So I said to myself, "Self, it's time to update the mommy hair and get all spiffied up so that you look nice and hopefully no one will notice that your muffin top goes clear to your nose. "

Anyway, I made my hair appointment. The gal did exactly what I asked her to do, but instead of looking cute and flirty like the model in the photo, I looked more like...


I went home and looked in the mirror and said to myself, "Self, I do think you are sporting a mullet!"

I called my sister, who is much more on top of things like hair styles and color and what to do if things go awry...and her advice to me was, "Well, go back and have her cut more off of the bottom! You don't want to go to your thing feeling like Joe Dirt!"

So I did. Both Self and I were much relieved.

Despite my de-mulleting, the next day at pre-school, one little *cherub* said, "Miss Meridith, you look SILLY." Same cherub responds a minute later to a classmate saying, "Miss Meridith, you're funny!" (which was fine, since that was actually what I was aiming for at the moment) by saying, "Miss Sara is FUNNIER."

49.7% of me wanted to look right at the little sweetheart and say, "Well, that's ok. Just so long as you know that Susy there...the one you're sitting next to? She's WAY cuter and nicer than YOU are. How do you like them apples?"

Fortunately, 50.3% of me was rational enough to realize that letting a 5 year old get your goat is NOT as big a deal as losing your job. So Self and I looked at the punkin and said, "Gee! Thanks for that!" and went on our merry way.

Besides, later, at the scrapbook store, a hairdresser asked me who did my hair and said it was "FABULOUS!" I didn't detect any irony in his tone or subtle smirk...and Self decided that he probably knew WAY more about hair than a 5 year old with boogers. I agreed and thusly, a self-esteem crisis of gargantuan proportions was narrowly averted.

No thanks to Joe Dirt.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

This, that, and the other.

Well, I lied about the normal blog colors. I decided on something more seasonal. But at least it should be easier to read than the black stuff.

This my my girl Bree. The layout is part of this month's DT gallery at Creative Express. (I just figured out how to do the link. DUH.)

She's 15 and man oh man, is she ever FIFTEEN.

Thankfully, she's not boy crazy (in fact, she's quite annoyed by all the attention she seems to get from the opposite sex.) We won't let her date until her birthday and so far that's been a convenient excuse. I keep asking her how she's going to dodge her admirers when her birthday hits but she hasn't come up with something yet....

Sunday Funnies
Ok, so I was actually really surprised by the number of Star Wars costumes that I saw at school this Halloween. Seems like more than I saw when the last movies came out. Maybe the difference is that the Star Wars movie this year was a CARTOON.

Here's a little Star Wars Humor for you...makes me laugh every time...

Speaking of Halloween, here's what we rocked this year:

Notice the ax sticking out of my Dh's back. He thinks it's funny to tell people I did that when I got sick of him forgetting things.
I think that if he keeps it up, he could be right.
(I jest, I jest.)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

We are the 80's. Like, duh!

First of all, for all of you that hate black blog backgrounds, I promise this is only temporary. It's just my Halloween Blog Makeover. Normal blog colors and music will be back soon. :)


The 80's. Oh MY. Where do I begin? This poster of Michael Jackson was hanging on my friend Shauna's wall so I took a picture of it. (Hence the big FLASH spot on the left. This was about the time (7th grade?) that I really started to pay attention to pop music after I heard one girl making fun of me because I had said I listened to my parent's radio station. I might even have owned my own M.J. poster, but I may have blocked out the unpleasant memory.

The above dance picture is my first official high school dance: Jr. Prom. I was a sophomore and my date was a senior! Whooo hooo! This is not long after my first official break-up with my first official boyfriend. (Mike Walker, shame on you! ;) ) He may have dumped me, but his friends didn't. I remained good friends with them all through high school and for many years after. Sadly, I've lost track of all of them now except Collette. She's married and has a bunch of cute kids.
The second picture is my Jr. school picture. This was right before I missed a quarter of school due to Mono. No, I didn't get it from kissing boys...because the boy I had kissed (yes, Dad, I know you read this...and yes, I did kiss boys...*insert chagrin here*)...the boy I was currently kissing didn't have it. And even though I ended up in the hospital, said boy never called or asked how I was. Just wrote a note in my year book at the end of the year that he "still really liked me."

Here are some of the friends that I made when I dated that first official boyfriend. The Mike in the middle was called "Ked" (part of his last name) so we didn't confuse him with "my" Mike. My best friend in this group was Rob Stirling. I tried to find a picture but so far no luck. He and his first wife lived next to my hubby and I when we were newlyweds for a while...but I haven't heard from him in years.
This would be the guy who didn't give me Mono but also never called when I missed a whole quarter of school and rumors floated around that I almost died. (Incidentally, the only person I knew who had Mono was the guy who made the ice cream at the Leatherby's. (My first official job.) We were hardly even on speaking terms let alone kissing ones. I've always wondered if there was a rash of Mono outbreaks due to tainted ice cream.....

That's me my senior year. My official 80's BIG HAIR is in full bloom. I'm rocking an $80 dollar spiral perm and one of those dropped waist dresses with those lace collars that were so common then. Next pic is actually from 1990 after I had graduated...I'm at a dance with a college friend and we decided to do this tux and short thing. I have NO idea why. I'm displaying the official 80's side ponytail with the requisite scrunchy. Awww....

Right above is the prom I went to after high school (who does that???) with my good friend Terry. He was kind of crazy but always made me laugh. Both he and I enjoyed creative writing and absurd humor. I wonder what he's doing these days....
Next pic is a dance I went to with one of the many Daves who walked through my life. The first Dave I had a crush on from 9th grade clear through my senior year. We went out once or twice, but he always seemed to choose someone else. I guess I must have been a glutton for punishment. The above Dave was one of two that I dated in college. We even talked marriage at one point. From what I know now, that would have been a disaster. Crisis averted. The other Dave was one that I really liked whom I dated casually for a while...but that was also around the time I started dating Reed...and you know the rest of that story....

One last picture from high school. My senior year I went on a drama trip to San Francisco for a drama tournament. (Debate team also went.) It was over my birthday and my mom made cute little notes for each day of the trip. I still have them somewhere. Krista (whom I'm standing next to) and I did a clarinet duet in 8th or 9th grade for a band concert. She was much better at playing it than I was. I gave it up but I think she still played it. Oh...and see Ryan there? I always thought he was hot...
There you have it. Your 80's flashback for the day. How can something seem like so long ago AND like yesterday at the same time?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Drumroll please....

My First Blog Award! Ta Da!

Lynette, who writes gave me this cute little award not because she likes my witty banter, but because she likes my blog music. :D

Which is OK by me. I'll take 'em any way I can get 'em.

Lynette, if you're stopping by to listen to my song player, I have been trying MADLY to comment on your blog. For some reason, everytime I try, it pulls up the same page with NO comment blog window thingie. So here's what I would have written if I could have commented:

"Why THANK YOU for your cute blog award! It made my day to read your kind words and to know you enjoy my blog. I must also commend you on your stellar taste in music! I stop by your blog often but haven't been able to comment on the last several posts. :( I'll keep reading and trying until some day the Gods of Blog smile upon me and pull up that dang comment page."

So...with honor comes much responsibility, and it falls upon my shoulders to hand this blog award to five other bloggers. So this little blog award goes to:

1. Anna Lefler at One of my new blog reads. The girl is funny...check her out!

2. Kerri at because she's my oldest and dearest friend. Maybe this award will get her to CALL me already!

3. All the girls at I love all their creative ideas, and I've also had the pleasure of meeting a good number of them in person. If you're into paper crafts, this blog is a must read! They've also started a online community. Lots of friendly people and great ideas.

4. Robyn at Not only is she a fun, happy person to be around, she's an amazing crafter. Check out her blog to see her beautiful work.

5. Laurie at This site is one of my new favorites....and was a great resource when I had to plan some crafting activities for women at church. Everything from recipes to crafts to decorating, she's got it all.


A little giggle for you that I recieved from my friend Heather:


Apple announced today that it has developed a breast implant that canstore and play music. The item will cost from $499 to $699, depending on cup and speaker size.

This is considered a major social breakthrough because women are always complaining about men staring at their breasts and not listening to them.


My high school friend Lisa posted lots of fun pictures and memories from high school on her blog recently. There's even one of me. I'd link you, but her blog is set to private. (psheeww!)'ll just have to imagine me with big 80's hair in some weird sweater I don't remember and rolled up jeans.

If you're a child of the 80's you can participate in "We are the 80's" day hosted by the blog "Where are my Angels." If you post a memory or pic, let me know, I'd love to check it out. Meanwhile, I'll be digging through all my boxes in my basement to try to find a photo or two. Try not to laugh too hard, k?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Random Meanderings of a Distracted Mind

1. I've been a bad blogger. But in my defense, for three whole days I was here:

With these fun gals:

Working on this:

And making these:

The CX Crop was a blast. Amy and crew did a wonderful job and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Here's a shout out to my girl Shell who drove me all over the place even though she drove here from Colorado...what an awesome gal! Can't wait until I get to see my new friends again.

2. U.D.O.T... aka the Utah Department of Traumatization.

UDOT has decided that all the freeway overpasses in my neck of the woods need to be replaced.


While UDOT has been receiving praise on their "low-impact" method of tearing up every freaking on and off ramp I use, it has been getting increasingly hard for me to get anywhere. Not only are many of the on ramps now closed, the alternate side streets that I would use are also under construction. If (rather WHEN) UDOT closes the on ramp that I am now using, my 12-15 minute commute will instantly become a 30-40 minute disaster.

I know that what they are doing is important, but for people who live where I live and work where I work, I'd hardly call it "low-impact." Certainly, doubling my commute time isn't "low-impact, particularly when I can't leave earlier as I drop off children at school on my way and they are only allowed to be on the school grounds 10 minutes before school starts.

Sigh. Low-impact isn't a term that should ever be used for road construction or Sweating with the Oldies.

Seeing Richard Simmons prance around in nylon shortie shorts has impacted me for life.

3. My Boy Josh

is TWELVE. That's pretty huge around here and I feel like we've let him down a little. For Isaac's birthday, we were able to take the boys to lunch and pick out Isaac's gerbils, which was a really big deal. It didn't work out that way for Josh's birthday...and the lack of photos here also means I forgot to take my camera.

I suck.

Here's to my little man. He is AMAZING. He is smart. He is kind. He is always willing to do what I ask. He is sensitive and thoughtful. He is intuitive. He is good at so many things and has many, many talents.

Here's to you, Joshua. I love you to pieces.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

All's quiet on the western front.

And it's cold. Very very cold.

Seems we went right past fall into winter. Snow and everything. Even the trees were caught off guard as many of them still have all their summer green leaves.

Fall is my favorite time of year. There's something about the colors, the sky, the smell that just....I don't know. Makes me feel all mooshy inside. (All together now....ahhhhh.)

Some of my most vivid memories are of the fall or of Halloween. I distinctly remember those network Halloween specials that they used to run. "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" was an annual affair. I remember watching some corny special while my mom made homemade donuts (the long, labor intensive kind, not the refrigerator biscuit kind that I make do with.) I remember pumpkin carving and roasting pumpkin seeds. I remember trick-or-treating in the rain wearing a long black wig and my gypsy costume from the ward road show and thinking I looked kinda hot. I remember that Halloween candy used to be smarties and marshmallow peanuts, and if you got chocolate you SCORED!

When I was out of High School, I still got to play dress up for two Octobers in one of those spook alleys. The first year I was a gypsy (maybe that's a karmic sign of my wanderlust) and had to wear this necklace made of REAL chicken feet. The spook alley was designed by Pat Davis who was a big wig in theater around here, so instead of the standard shock and scare production, there were scripted parts and mini plays. And my part went something like this:

"Have you ever seen a geek?" (Why yes, they have! Looking back, I was probably a prime example right at the moment...) "A geek is a fellow who eats LIVE CHICKENS...picks 'em clean. Started out addicted to his mom's southern fried...then moved to rare chickens...then to raw. Now he eats them chickens live, feathers and all!" (And then there was some screaming and rattling of my "gypsy caravan" while I uttered some warnings about how they'd better hurry along before the geek got tired of eating chicken. Lots of people came up to feel my chicken feet necklace thinking that it was fake only to freak out when they felt the skin slide over the bones. (And even though I was a geeky gypsy, I was still hot. I've got a picture here somewhere to prove it.) Pat apparently really liked that little bit of script, because I saw it years later in another one of her spooky productions. It even landed me an audition for a commercial, which I didn't get. C'est la vie.

The second year I did the spook alley, I got decapitated. I was up on a wooden cart dressed in medieval dress while some guy yelled about how I was guilty and the punishment was death. Then I knelt behind the guillotine and stuck a horrible fake head through it (that didn't even have a wig that matched my hair) and dropped it when the blade when down. Then I got to peek through the hole and squirt the crowd. One fellow just about jumped up on the wagon after I gave his leather jacket a good soak. (bwaa haa haaa.)

Every year, just smelling the autumn air at night will bring back these memories.

Except this year. Because it's COLD. And it SNOWED. NO pretty leaves, NO beautiful sunsets and NO leafy, smoky smell.

The weather man has promised that things will warm up soon. I really, really hope so, because I've discovered that I need Autumn.

I need the moody orange skies. Need the walks in the warm, fragrant evenings. Need to look up to see the mountains swathed in bright oranges, reds, and yellows.

Need to be transported back to a warmer, safer time where the world is colorful and smells like donuts.

The homemade kind. Not the ones in the refrigerator cans.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Sound investment advice from my father.

It's no secret that everyone is quite nervous about the state of their retirement investments. I haven't seen a recent report on Reed's 401 K, but I'm quite sure it will make me cry.

My dad often sends me great emails filled with advice and today I received one about investments. I thought I would share.

Subject: Retirement Investment Info

Here's a little retirement info for you:If you had purchased $1,000.00 of Delta Air Lines stock one year ago you would have $49.00 left.With Enron, you would have had $16.50 left of the original $1,000.00.With World Com, you would have had less than $5.00 left..But, if you had purchased $1,000.00 worth of beer one year ago, drank all of the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling REFUND, you would have had $214.00. Based on the above, the best current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle.

It's called the 401-Keg.


(Actually, neither my father nor I drink, but I thought this brought on the LOL's.)

Perhaps this investment strategy can be applied to Cherry Coke. It will make me happy, (which in turn makes my family happy,) is good for the enviroment (I'll be saving all those cans for recycling and who knows...maybe the person who WOULD have bought the cans had I not would be a Coke-guzzling litterer) and would provide a solid nest egg for maybe the first 15 days of retirement.

Plus, I'll be helping provide jobs for all those Coca-Cola bottling employees. That helps the economy, right? Maybe we should get everyone on this retirement plan! The 401-Coke!

Of course, my husband's brother-in-law works for Pepsi. If I get everyone drinking Coke.....

Maybe I haven't thought this plan all the way through.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Hindsight doesn't need contacts

Have you ever just had a rotten day, and looked back on it and wondered what the #$%&*#$ was I thinking?

Friday was one of those days.

First of all, I love teaching. Pre-schoolers are a riot. A challenge, yes. Often. But a riot all the same. So, while teaching often tires me out, it doesn't necessarily stress me out.

But often times other stuff at work does. Stuff that I should just let roll right off of my shoulders. After 6 years (this is the 7th) years at the same place, you'd think that, at least, I'd never be caught off guard by anything that happens.

Here's a big honking *pffftt* to that.

Anyway, something happened that probably wouldn't seem like a big deal to anyone else, but it made me mad. Made me grumpy. Ruined my whole day and only because I let it. And because I was frustrated and in a bad mood, I snapped at someone else who avoided me the whole rest of the day. And I vented. To anyone who would listen. And BOY, do I regret THAT.

Because I wouldn't be surprised if it comes back to bite me in the nether regions.

I suppose I'll find out tomorrow, when I go to work.


I've always worn my heart on my sleeve. And I've always, always hated that about myself. Hated that I can cry at the drop of a hat. Hated that I'm a lousy liar. LOL! Hated that I let other people have so much control over how I feel. Hated that I care so much what other people think when in the long run, it doesn't really matter.

Recently I registered at a website that's dedicated to my graduating class in anticipation of our upcoming 20th reunion. While it's been fun and interesting to see what people have been up to, I've been suprised at some of the bad feelings it brings up as well. I didn't hate high school, and had a lot of good friends and good times, but you know there's always at least one person who didn't like you or was mean to you at some point. And 20 years later, I found that it still hurts.

And only, only because I let it.

You'd think being self aware would give me some means to remedy the situation, but if it does, I haven't figured it out just yet.

So tomorrow I go to work. Crossing my fingers that my friend isn't still mad that I was snippish and hoping madly my mouth won't have gotten me into trouble. Venting about work AT work is never a good idea.

That's hindsight for ya. Wishing madly that you could change the past while at the same time praying that you never repeat it. Wondering why you can't see as clearly during the moment as you can a day later, after you've run headlong into a tree.

Maybe one day I can get some emotional contacts. Until that happens, I just have to learn to keep my mouth shut. ;)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Sunday Funnies

I am stuffed up. My head hurts. My eyeballs feel like they're being squooshed in a vice. All I want is chicken soup and my mommy.

Sometimes it's hard to get sympathy for a cold when you're a mom. Moms don't have time to get sick. Moms take CARE of sick people. Moms tough it out.

It's times like this when I'd like to be a man.

Watch below and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Floating Ice Cream Store at Lake Powell

At my pre-school, there's this little guy named Jonas. Jonas is the younger brother of a child I had several years ago who used to crack me up. He'd sit in a chair during playtime, staring at nothing...and when I'd ask what he was doing he'd say, "I'm on a plane watching a movie."

Well, Jonas (whose name I can't even think without going..."My name is Jonas! bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum--you Guitar Hero addicts know what I'm talking about....) seems to have inherited his brother's imagination. And then some.

And he's also my special buddy at school. He'll spend the entire playground time telling me his stories.

One day he regaled me with a unusually detailed description of his future business venture. I think it would make an awesome children's book!

Here it goes:

"Do you know what I'm going to do when I grow up?"

"No. What ARE you going to do when you grow up?"

"I'm going to have an ice cream stand. At Lake Powell."

Me: "Ahhh. What kind of ice cream are you going to sell? Chocolate? Vanilla?"

"It's going to be hard ice cream. On a stick. It's going to be cherry and shaped like a heart."

"That sounds nice!"

"And it's going to have a DINOSAUR PLANETARIUM!"

Me: "Wow! I've heard of space planetariums but never dinosaur planetariums."

"You know what a planetarium is? They have toys that they sell. And I'm going to have one with my ice cream stand."

"I see."

"And you know what my ice cream stand is going to be in a big tent. That floats. And you can drive the houseboat and I will drive all the other little boats."

Me: "Well, thanks!"

" will have a WATER PARK!"

"That is SOME fancy ice cream stand you're going to have."

"YEAH! And some of the slides will go like this!" (He proceeds to trace different slides in the playground gravel, with me appropriately ooh-ing and ahhh-ing after each one.)

"And, it's going to have a BIG mountain that you can go down right in the middle." (Which he demonstrates by creating a huge pile of rocks.)

He goes on to tell me about the different slides and things for a while. Then a little girl in my class comes up to help with his growing Ice Cream Stand Mountain.

"Hey!" he tells her. "Do you know what? When I grow up, I'm going to have an Ice Cream Stand!"

And it starts all over again.

I think it would be a terrific children's book...with the pictures getting increasingly elaborate as the story does. I can see it all in my head.

And so, it seems, can Jonas.


This is for Jill...I tried to keep the color in the leaves and rocks while lightening the shadows on Kadence's face. It's not perfect, but I think you can see her better. :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The girl who cried wolf...and deleted her history.

*side note: Have you ever had a something happen...or a heard a funny story and thought, "Gee! I think I'll blog about that!" only to totally forget it five minutes later?

Happens to me ALL the time.


Ok. I officially have a teenager.

An adorable, sweet, smart STINKY FIBBING TEENAGER.

And it all has to do with the computer.

First of all, when it comes to computer internet use, I am the Mother From Hell.

NO Myspace. NO Facebook. She has an account on Gaia, which she claims is highly moderated and safe for young 'uns. But I still don't like it.

And I have very specific, tough, mean, socially debilitating rules about computer use.

NO use without permission. Period. I don't care if you're just going to watch the Numa Numa song as danced by Napolean Dynamite. I don't care if you're showing your brothers Poke the Bunny. You do NOT get on the internet unless I say you can...and you certainly don't do it when I'm not home.

(Have I won Computer Nazi of the Year award yet?)

Well, darling daughter has decided that the rules don't apply to her. And she's being sneaky about it. Deleting the computer history. LYING to my face about whether or not she's been on.

And it breaks my heart.

One night after DH and I got home from a date, we saw her peek out of my bedroom window (where the computer is.) When we got into the house, she had run into the living room and was pretending to watch her brothers play Guitar Hero.

Me: Were you on the computer?

Her: No.

Me: We saw you.

Her: Well, I was for a little bit, but I just needed something for my homework.

So I go into my room and check the history. She's been busted before this way and it seems she's learned her lesson. She deleted it.

So, I go to her Gaia account, which she doesn't realize I know the password to. (OK, I admit it. I'm a paranoid parent when it comes to the internet. There are some scary people out there though, and I'm not going to let her get hurt if I can help it.)

And she had sent and answered messages during the time we had been gone.

So I call her into my room again and asked her if she had been on Gaia.

She looks me right into the face and says, "No."

So, I tell her, "I KNOW you've been on Gaia. And you deleted the history."

And she looks me right in the face without blinking and says, "Mom, I PROMISE I wasn't on Gaia."

Oh, man.

So I lay all my cards out on the table and show her how I know. And the whole time I'm looking at her and wondering who this stranger is who can sit there and lie to me so convincingly and completely.

Last night DH and I went out to run errands. When we got home, Ike comes up to me and says, "Breanna showed us this thing on the internet..." and goes onto explain about some harmless, silly thing she showed them. I'm annoyed that she was on the computer, but wasn't going to say anything about it, until he says, "And then she started deleting stuff."

Not only was she on the computer, but she KNEW she wasn't supposed to be, AND she covered her tracks IN FRONT of her brothers. This upsets me more than anything.

I call her in again and say, "You were on the computer again."

Her: I only wanted to show them "Poke the Bunny."

Me: "You're not supposed to be on the computer without permission."

Her: "I know. I'm sorry."

Me: "You deleted the history."

Her: "No I didn't."

Me: "YES you did."

Her: "NO, I didn't.


Her: "What makes you say that?"

Me: "I was told you did."

Silence. Her: "Fine."

What does a mom do? I know she's at the age where she needs more freedom, but she's also at the age where she doesn't fully appreciate the repercussions from her actions.

Thinking back on it, I don't think she was trying to hide "Poke the Bunny" but was probably on the computer before she called her brothers in to see it. I think she was probably trying to hide what she did before that. (I think this because when I asked her about the internet, she said, "I only went to "Poke the Bunny." Check the history." Which means that what she deleted was something else.

Hubby thinks I should change the password on the computer so she can't even get in. I don't know if that's overreacting or if it's my only option, now that she's decided not only to lie but to cover her tracks. I being unreasonable? Should I allow her more access? (Though, most peopel who deal with computer predators say never to have your child on the internet unattended. And, as I found out before I changed some settings, a simple google search for "animals" can bring up a WHOLE bunch of unpleasantness.)

It's like the boy who cried wolf. He lied so many times that no one believed him when he told the truth. She can lie straight to my face and I won't know. How can I trust her as she gets closer to the age where we allow her to date and drive?

If there's a manual that comes with this whole parenting thing, mine got lost in the mail.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Random Ramblings....

1. Fair food isn't what it used to be. We took the family to the State Fair last night. It was family night and just about half the cost. Unfortunately we more than spent what we saved when we decided to eat there. I remember the fair having unusual offerings that you can't get other times of the year. Now most of the food is chain food, with the exception of things like deep fried twinkies and deep fried pb&j's....which we didn't get. Still, Sadie loved the animals and I got to show off my mad scrapbook skills. We got home at 10. On a school night. Which, to my kids, was worth the price of admission.

Here's a few pics from the fair...including a big surprise for me!

2. Things are starting to move for the CX DT. Paper work is being filled out, details are being explained and we're getting to know each other. It's exciting to get started!

3. I'm watching this crazy game show called "Hole in the Wall." Basically, there's a big foam wall with holes cut in it in varies shapes, including people shapes. The wall moves towards you and you have to fit your body through the shape without breaking the wall or being pushed into a pool of water. My kids think it looks like fun. I think that unless they have a big 'ol BALL sized hole, I wouldn't have a prayer.

4. While I was flipping channels during the commercial, I happened on an awards show where Dennis Leary was wearing a J-Lo, cleavage-to-the-belly-button gold lame dress. That's one image I won't be able to scrub from my mind.....

5. Funny little retail story:

At the LSS I work at, we literally have thousands of sheets of paper. Thousands. Each individually hand priced. I often feel like I'm doing well just to know generally where each manufacturer is (and there's still some that are "lost" to me...) and what papers we have in stock. We often have customers that come in and ask if we have a specific piece of paper...and if they know the manufacturer, I can usually find it if we have it. If they want a specific type of paper, I can usually offer some suggestions.

But yesterday, I got stumped.

A lady walked in and says, "I'm looking for a specific piece of "plain" paper and I know you have it."

Oh oh. Usually when someone says that, it precedes us NOT having it for one reason or another. Just because a manufacturer website lists that we carry their products, we don't necessarily carry ALL their products, and just because they STILL list it on the website doesn't mean we still have it.

So she says, "It's 8 1/2 by 11 and it's plain paper."

I have NO clue what she's asking for. A plain white sheet of paper?

She says, "It's LD-23 something."

Of the thousands of papers in the store, she wants me to find one particular piece from an item number...a PARTIAL item number. Our LSS is very low-tech. We don't have a computerized inventory system.

"I know you have it," she says. "It said so on the website."

"Do you remember the company's name? "

"No, but the paper is LD 2...something."

Needless to say, I couldn't find it. Not even sure we had it. Not even sure how she thought I could help her. But I tried anyway.

6. I got tagged by Elizabeth, one of the gals on the CX DT. I'm supposed to list 6 quirky things about myself. It's kind of funny, because I found this out after I had to use 3 words to describe myself for my CX DT bio, and quirky was one of them!

* I have feet issues. I can't stand tight shoes, or anything that makes my feet feel squished. I also don't like Reed's feet touching my feet when we snuggle. It weirds me out.

* I talk to myself. In the car, when I'm figuring something out at work, when I'm alone in the house. Don't know why, maybe it helps me think?

*I harmonize to everything. I once saw a you-tube video about the most annoying people in a car pool...and there was the "Harmonizer..." the person who sings harmony to the songs on the radio. It showed some guy in the backseat singing falsetto harmony while everyone else in the car winced in agony. Yep, I'm that guy.

*I'm a Sci-fi geek. I think that's self-explanatory.

* I have an odd sense of humor. Usually people end up laughing AT me instead of wit

* If I'm around someone with a strong accent, I have to CONCENTRATE not to start sounding like them. Sometimes if I'm not careful, it starts to slip in a little and then the person probably thinks I'm making fun of them.

All right...I'm IT, and you're tagged!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Growing Up

This week is a week of growth.
Isaac turned 10. Double digits! It doesn't seem that long ago that he was in preschool with me.

For his birthday, his dad gave him the choice of a new fuzzy pet (he got a sweet mouse last year that died after a month, leaving him heart broken) or Rock Band for the PS2.
We were at Toys R Us when Reed called him, and the poor guy couldn't decide, so I told Reed to let him sleep on it. The next morning Isaac still didn't know what to choose.

The next day, Reed and I surprised Isaac at school by bringing donuts for his class and a birthday balloon.

School was almost out, so we got the boys out early. I told Ike we were thinking about gerbils and his face just lit up. "Yeah! I'd like the gerbils!."

"Instead of Rock Band?"

"Maybe I can get that later."

So we headed off to Petsmart. The thing that frustrates me about Petsmart is that I don't think the people really know what they're talking about. I did some online research about gerbils, and one of the things the American Gerbil Society says is to NOT get them a wire cage. They will spend all their time chewing on the bars and rubbing their little noses raw.
So we're looking at the gerbils (they only had two, and you need to buy them in pairs) and the girl says, "we've got some great cages over here!" and points right at the wire cages. At that point, I know she doesn't really know much about gerbils, and she confirms that when she pulls one out to show us and she's holding it in her hand by the tail. You never hold a gerbil by the tail because breaks easily.
Undaunted, we start looking around the store for supplies and find a nice 10 gallon aquarium, but they're out of wire lids...a necessity. So another employee calls around and tells us that we've got one on hold at a different store. After she leaves, I ask Reed which store. "The Bountiful one, I think," he tells me. He asks the girl if it was Bountiful and she says off we go.

When we get up there, everyone's hungry, so Isaac chooses Pei Wei for his birthday lunch. I get a fortune that tells me my judgement is flawed, and Reed gets one telling him that his finances are in trouble. Suddenly we're wishing Isaac had wanted McDonalds and a Transformer for his birthday.
Anyway, we get to the Bountiful Petsmart, and can't find the wire lids anywhere. Reed asks an employee about the one "on hold" and...wouldn't you know it but no one at that store remembers talking to anyone about an aquarium and wire lid.

Grrrr. I realize that the girl probably called the Fort Union Store, which happens to be 40 minutes in the opposite direction.
However, the manager probably sees my eyes going red and offers us the Critter Cage (which is basically the exact same set up, but at almost double the price) for the same cost as the aquarium and lid would be. Score!

So we went over to the small pet cages...and can't find any gerbils.

The girl says, "Oh, we don't have any to sell right now."

You have got to be kidding me.

"But...we have some adoption ones in the back."


"Well.....can we see them?"

"I'll have to get them down," she says. Get them "down?" Where are they storing these poor gerbils, anyway?

Apparently, if someone mis-sexes a gerbil and they end up in the wrong cage, babies ensue. Who knew? And since the babies aren't part of the store inventory, they don't sell them, they give them away. Which saves us $20 dollars. Take THAT, fortune cookie!

I'm a little concerned because the babies must not have had a lot of human contact, but they're young enough (5 weeks) that I think it won't be a problem.

So, we left with two black and white baby gerbils named Whiskers and Benji. Benji, amusingly enough, is named after Benji Schwimmer from the first season of So You Think You Can Dance because my son thinks the gerbil is hyper, just like him.

We get home and get the gerbils set up in their new abode, and then head to Grandma Nancy's for dinner and (cheese)cake. My mom always does fun party decorations when we have birthdays at her house. Prior to Isaac's birthday, she called and asked me if he liked any superheros. The only ones I could think of were Transformers, but apparently Transformer Birthday supplies are impossible to find. So she settled on animals, which fits my cute boy to a T.

Reed tells Breanna that if she wants to pay for half of Rock Band, we'll go get it anyway. (It was on sale for $50 off at Toys R Us.) My dear husband is a Rock Band fanatic, as is Bree, so the deal is struck and we run out to pick it up before they close. But first we sing "Happy Birthday" to my sweet boy, who picked cheesecake for his birthday cake, and Caramel Stampede for his ice cream because he thinks it's cool that it has little caramel-filled chocolate cows in it.

Happy Birthday Isaac! We love you!

In other news, Sadie started Kindergarten today. I held it together, but just barely. My little bug was so excited to get there, that when we were waiting in line to have her get unloaded from the car, she kept saying, "Why aren't the cars MOVING????"

Here's some picks of my bug on her first day of school.

Yep. There's been a lot of growing up at my house this week.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Well, I finally have some beans to spill.

After 4 years of trying to get on the design team for my favorite website they.....

picked me. :D

I'm really excited...I just have always felt weird about tooting my own horn. Although tooting comes naturally with beans.

So I hear. At home. From my husband. And then I make him go outside.

Congrats to all the other gals who made it...I'm so thrilled to be on the team with them! What's especially nice about the team this year is many of the gals have been trying along with me the last four years. I feel like we're the "Little Team that Could." (I think I can I think I can.)

If you run your train into the mountain enough times, you're sure to make a tunnel, right?

And for the gals who wanted so much to be on the team but didn't get the call...I've been right there and it stinks. I think I actually had a little hissy fit the first year. (SO embarrassed about that....) Know that you're all important to the community and that I'm sending big fat woman cyber hugs your way, k?

Onward and upward!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Pessimism in the Dark Knight, Optimism in the Olympics, and the Upcoming Elections. AKA Deep Thoughts 101

Dh and I saw the Dark Knight on Saturday. All in all it was a fast-paced, well-done film. The performances were good, though I thought Christian Bale was underused. Plus I hated the gruff voice thing he does when he's in costume.

And I left the movie feeling like crap.

You've got Gotham City which seems to be the cesspool of the universe. Scattered amidst the thugs and mobsters you have a mere handful of people who are trying to make things better.

Enter Batman. He's got money. He's got toys. He's got MISSILES! And he's pretty much got NO support. Most of the cops are crooked. The people are intimidated. So, he's got an uphill battle, to say the least.

Enter the Symbol Of Hope, aka Harvey Dent. For a while it looks like he's the man who can galvanize the forces of good, or at least let them think there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

Well, without giving too much away, let's just say that hope isn't a Welcome Thing in Gotham.

The message of this movie seems to be that no matter who you are or how good your intentions, you can be corrupted. That it's possible, if not probable, that we will face a future where evil is so prevalent, so pervasive, that the forces of good are unable to bring forth the winds of change.

Here's a movie that made millions and millions of dollars, not all of which can be justified by morbid curiosity over Heath Ledger's death. A movie that got near universal approval and reviews. A movie that seems to shout, "Mankind sucks!"

A movie with a message that seems to resonate deeply with the disaffected populace.

I'd feel worse about all if this...if it wasn't for the unexpected success of something with the exact opposite message: The 2008 Summer Olympics.

All discussion about China and human rights aside, there's something hopeful about the way that the Olympics this year seem to have captured our optimistic side.

I don't think you can chalk it all up to Michael Phelps and his Amazing Medal Collection. I don't think there was anything extraordinary about the way NBC covered the Olympics either.

I just think people wanted to feel good about something. To see and feel excellence. Unity. Sacrifice. Kindness. Persistence. Hope.

Which brings me to the current election.

Sometimes I feel like I'm living in Gotham City. I feel like no one can fix the things that are wrong with our country. That no matter who gets elected, we will have the same problems, the same concerns, and the same fears. I feel like hope is audacious...that promises that are made during elections are hot air and hope and trust built on such promises are as fragile as a soap bubble.

But I still hope.

I hope to see the the strength we saw in the Olympians. The desire for excellence. The completion of the task despite the odds. The unity of the spectators that defied boundaries and cultures.

I hope for a better tomorrow.

Against all odds, I hope.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Optimistic or sadistic?

So I decided to try for the CX DT. Again.

Maybe the FOURTH time's the charm. ;)

These are some layouts done with some of the pics from the 24th of July. I need to quickly do a layout for Josh...I think he's feeling left out.


I read Breaking Dawn. I still think Jacob is hotter than Edward. In my mind, anyway. I hope the Twilight movie is good.


School starts in a couple of weeks. It's the last year of elementary for! Where did the time go? Sadie will be in kindergarten...and I'm all torn up. I will really miss seeing her little face in the halls of the preschool and enjoying her quick hugs or watching her make new friends. Bree will be a sophmore! and will be taking DRIVER'S ED!

*aside* So...I didn't want Bree's first time behind the wheel to be in Driver's Ed...because, how embarrasing, right?

Well, my SMART, BRIGHT, INTELLIGENT a total spaz behind the wheel. She's been bugging me to let her go get her learner's permit. I don't have a problem with soon as she demonstrates that she knows enough to pass the test. I don't want to wait in the lines at the DMV for nothin'.

So, anyway, I pull into a large, deserted church parking lot, put the car in park, and tell her to slide over.

The chick FREAKS out.

"Oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh...I'm gonna crash the car, Mom!"

I believe her since she doesn't know to push the brake as we creep closer to a fence.

Here's me: "Brake, Breanna. Push the brake. The brake. Push. the. brake. THE BRAKE!"

Bree: "You're freaking me OUT, mom!"

She hits the brake and I almost hit the dash. Apparently she can't get the hang of driving with one foot, so she's got one on the gas when she hits the brake.

After a minute we get the steering thing down. It's good as long as we don't put on any gas. So we're doing figure 8's at..oh, 3 m.p.h.

She starts to give it a little more gas and there's giggling and freaking and hands MOVING OFF the STEERING WHEEL. She's learning to stop...but still is using both feet.

I let her 3 m.p.h....down two empty streets to our house. As we head down one street, we see it's blocked by a big dump truck.

WHoo hooo! Three point turn! Score!

I have to help take the wheel,''s a THREE POINT TURN.

That's got to be, like, 3rd time behind the wheel material or something.

Anyway, we make it home. I think I was remarkable calm and unjudgemental, Bree swears that I was nervous and that's what made her all...loopy.

Yeah. This year's gonna


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fun and Family on the 24th

Here in Utah, the 24th of July is a bigger deal than the 4th in a lot of ways. One thing I love about where I live is that we're right in the middle of everything.

This year I woke up the kiddos with the grandiose plan of walking to Liberty Park to see the floats as they arrive at the end of the parade route. I thought we could get there at, say, 9:30 or so and see the majority of the floats as they arrive.

At 11:15 we walked out the door.

We live close enough to the park that we can walk there, but far enough for it to feel really miserable in the 100 degree weather.
Still, the kids were troopers and off we went.
Here's some of the fun stuff we saw:
By this point, the kids were hot and tired and Sadie kept asking me when we were going to have fun.

So, like the good mom I am, I made them walk through the Native American festival.

I would have loved to have taken them to the pow wow, but one good look at the shadeless circle (and the admission prices) made me change my mind.

We plopped down in the shade and I took some fun portraits of my cuties:

Tired, hot and hungry, (and not really excited about spending 8 dollars a plate for fair food,) we start towards home when Josh says, "The Aviary is free today!"

So, not one to pass up a bargain even if my kids melt into sticky sidewalk blobs, we make an Aviary detour.
My cutie pies (especially Isaac and Sadie) really love animals so we had a lot of fun. I even got to take some birds home with us!

Hot and tired and REALLY done now, we head back home via 7-11 for Slurpees. I get a little souvenir of my own as I get to do the walk of shame with a huge read spill of cherry slurpee all over my light blue shirt.

The kids have enough time for a little nap before we head to Reed's parent's home for dinner and fireworks.

Here's a picture of Marlow, my nephew. Isn't he a cutie?

Liberty Park has a nice fireworks display for the 24th. All we have to do is walk a block or so and can get a decent view. I've been trying to get the firework picture thing down, and I STILL don't have it down (I think I've got the shutter open too long, and for some reason I'm not really getting the right color.) Anyway, here's my attempt:

At the end of the night, Sadie climbed on my lap and said, "Mommy, I had LOTS of fun today!"

Mission accomplished.