Friday, September 17, 2010

Extra Extra! Halloween Giveaway

Just wanted to invite all my favorite peeps over to my other for a fun Halloween giveaway. I'd love to see someone I know win. Here's what's up for grabs.

THREE collectable figurines by Lori C. Mitchell. I am totally addicted to these things.

I would love to see someone I know win.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Live and Let Die

I know I am not nearly as devoted to regular posting as I once was. I am trying to get back into a routine. The summer pretty much ruined me. Going to bed at midnight getting up at ten. I know...shameful.
Needless to say, the school year is kicking my can, but I'm getting back into the groove.
There's a lot that has happened that I never bothered to share. So, before I get to the point of this post allow me to sum up the last three months in three paragraphs.
In June the kiddies graduated from the sixth, fourth and first grades. We headed down St. George, to kick-off our summer vacation. While there, little Ro celebrated her first birthday.
In July Carter turned twelve and was ordained a deacon and Quinn turned ten. Later than month Chad and I celebrated our fourteenth anniversary.
In August not much exciting happened, except for the kids going back to school. It is always a bitter sweet time for me. I'm glad to have some time to clean the house, go to the grocery store, and use the bathroom without an audience... But, at the same time I am sad to see my babies leave me behind and act all grown up. Did I mention Carter started Junior High. I thought I might need medication, but I handled it in my own special way...retail therapy. Holla!!!
And well, now it is time for me to share a bit of sad news...which is the point of my post. Yesterday we lost someone dear. Squiggy Brendle has gone to the big cage in the sky. I found her yesterday in her igloo. She was in bad shape...barely moving. She's gotten sick once before which resulted in a two day hospital stay and I.V. treatment, oh, and a $250 bill. (I swear she gets, got, better treatment than my own kids). Yesterday she was acting the same way, so I put her a little box and headed down to the Vet. The doctor informed me that she was in critical condition and that they wanted to keep her overnight for observation. A few hours later they called to say that our dear piggie had "kicked it". (Not in those words)
I just got back from the vet where I paid them another $120 and where I was given, in exchange, a little cardboard box bearing the remains of our dear piggie. It was still cold from being in the freezer overnight.
I must say that I got a little choked up as I placed the small cardboard box in the passenger seat next to me.
We will have a small ceremony tonight and bury the ole girl in the backyard. I pray that the neighborhood scavengers will politely not unearth her remains. (We have a fox in the field next to our house). Afterwhich we will celebrate her legacy...her short eight month legacy, by having an ice cream cone in her honor.
And now, I leave you with,

An Ode To A Piggie Named Sqiggy

Squiggy, my piggie.
You were so very skittish.
Even so you never bit any of us as we tried to pry you from your igloo.
I will always remember your lovely red and white fur
And your very prominent front teeth.
And the way you would poop when you got nervous.
Whenever I see green peppers or romaine lettuce
I will remember how it was your favorite and I will think about you.
You were a good pig, Squigs
And we will never forget you.

Monday, August 9, 2010

When Pigs Fly

I have a bit of shocking news. The boy (my big boy) spoke in sacrament meeting yesterday. Of course when he volunteered he didn't realize that it was for sacrament meeting. I'm not sure what he was thinking actually. He must of had a brain fart and thought he was still in primary. Granted he's only been in Young Men's for two weeks.
Anyway, he stepped up and did it...raging nerves and all. He did awesome.
It's so good to see my young man blossom from a mini hellion who once upon a time found joy in replacing sacred church hymn lyrics with unsavory words, to speaking in sacrament meeting. Miracles do happen, methinks.
Well done, Carter. Keep up the good work.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Amazing, Beautiful, Wonderful Wife!!

"To boldly go where no man has gone before"... the inner sanctum, the society of the traveling trousers, the eclipsed twilight of dawn... the blog!! What drives any man to blaze into the frontier and attempt to conquer the unconquerable...? Insanity, of course. And I am CRAZY IN LOVE so here we go...

Over fourteen years ago, I made the most incredible decision--shocking, I know! I can't decide what to wear or eat in the morning but I knew that I wanted Erika to be my wife! Through sickness and less-sick, stupidity and less-stupidity, thin and less-thin, poor and less-poor, Erika has been my rock! I can't imagine living without her! Happy 14th Anniversary!


One LOVE... it all started with what I thought was love but now I know how little I knew and how much you have taught me about it. Thank you!
"Two" much fun! You laugh often and easily, which I love! I'm glad you find my frequent tripping so funny! :)
Three's Company! We have three kitchen tables right now, two of which are occupying my half of the garage, but I don't mind because I love that you make our home beautiful... on a budget.
Four Score and Seven Years Ago... (This is a stretch) Like Abraham Lincoln, you know how to write great (church) talks! (I told you it was a stretch! Couldn't think of anything that went with four!)
Five beautiful children! What more can I say?!
Six Pence None The Richer... I love our mutual love of music! You put up with my love of grunge and Guns N' Roses!
Seven times Seventy... You are quick to forgive me when I have been insensitive or idiotic which is unfortunately too often!
Eight Legs... I love that you get the spiders for me! Don't you like your man to show a vulnerable side once and awhile?! :)
Nine Lives... I love that you put up with my gaming! There are worse hobbies!
Ten-se... I love your hugs when I am stressed out!
7-Eleven... I want to "slurpie" you up you are so beautiful! Too ackward for public?! :)
Twelve Tribes... I love that you support our family scripture reading and prayers!
Ocean's Thirteen... I love that we share a love of the cinema.
Fourteen... Where do we go from here? I can only imagine! In the immortal words of Buzz Lightyear, "To Infinity and Beyond!"

Have a wonderful day, Babe! XXXOOO

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I'm Back.

It's been awhile. I am ashamed. But, I can explain. Go here to see why I haven't had time for you, then you might understand.
I promise to post something soon. I have lots to share...bithdays, trips, etc. But just not right now. Soon though...I promise.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sweet Justice

I am happy to report that my purse thief has been caught AND ARRESTED. I know it is not very Christlike to relish in the misfortune of others, but I'mo do it anyway.
I only found out today, while I was chit chatting with my lady at the bank. In passing she asked me if I new that "our" thief had been caught. To which I responded with a very surprised no. How come no one told me sooner. Hello, it was my account she hacked into (among a bounteous others apparantly). She proceeded to tell me that it had been all over the news the past week or two. Okay, so I don't watch the news. But in my defense, all it is is sad and depressing reports on how suckish the economy and jobs and the housing market's are, intermingled with the occasional homicide and/or freeway accident. And really, who wants to go to bed with all that on the brain? Not me.
So, after bidding my bank lady adieu, I hopped onto ksl to find out what I had missed. And here it is for all you who, like me, don't watch the news. Enjoy!

Video Courtesy of

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mmm Mmm Good

So, it appears that Rowan enjoys her Oreo's as much as I.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Easter 2010. Part 2

I'm not sure how it happened, but I forgot to mention a couple of memorable hi-lights from our Easter trip.
First, I tried my first funnel cake. It was delicious, but a little overrated if you ask me. I gauge my YUM factor on how long it takes me to start craving *insert delicacy here* after eating it the first time. It's been almost a week and a half and I haven't even thought about the legendary funnel cake. Now the quesadilla...that's another story. I was craving another one of those puppies the following day...and frankly haven't stopped thinking about them.
Second, Beckham got married...well kind of. It is no secret that Beckham adores his cousin Ainsley. I guess watching her shake her groove thang on stage and galavant around the festival in her sparkly little rectial number was too much for him to take. Next thing we know she and he were in the middle of a gazebo kissing. When asked what they had been doing they both repsonded "getting married". Great. Looks like we'll be moving to Colorado City.
Finally, finding out that my TWENTY year old nephew had caught hand, foot and mouth disease. The notion just sorta struck me funny (not the part about his tastebuds being inflamed or their inability to perform their only job, or the sores in his throat etc. But the fact that Alex, my twenty year old nephew had succommed to a disease usually only tots contract. I think all of my kids have had it at one point in time and I am almost positive they all caught it from eating playground dirt. So Alex, I beg to question, have you been eating pee-pee, poo-poo dirt too?)
What's more, the poor guy (who is amazing mind you and performing in the musical Miss Saigon, currently running in St. George, which I would encourage all of you to buy tickets too if it hadn't already sold out...HOLLA) had kissed a female castmember during play practice prior to being diagnosed and had to call her up and tell her that she had been exposed to the ailment. It was quite the comedy of errors.
As always, trips to see the fam never matter how incestual or contagious they might be. Can't wait to see all you crazy guys again...hopefully sooner than later.
And now for your viewing pleasure, some pictures taken without my knowing by my wonderful hubby. Thanks love.

Some of the cousins. What a cute bunch of kids.

My little girlie...she's getting so big.

The happy couple.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Easter 2010

Warning this post is very, very long. Proceed with caution.
The fam and I headed south for Easter this year. I was none too sad about leaving the four inches of snow that had accumulated outside. In fact, I was so over winter and so ready for spring that I didn't bother packing pants or long sleeved shirts for the kids. I probably should have checked the weather first, because a sweatshirt or two might have come in handy...whatever, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger right?
Really, it wasn't that cold. I mean it was a little chilly in the shade, but the temperature was great in the sun. Consequently, we all ended up with sunburns.
This trip south we were able to squeeze in some extracurriculars too.
Friday morning we took the kiddies to the Arts Festival. I can still remember as a kid, wandering the festival...not so much amongst the artwork, but in and about the food court rather, admiring all of the delectable delights...scones, snow cones, gyros. I have always loved food probably moreso now. So, it came as no shock that I found myself slowing as we walked passed the food court; taking in all of the savory sights and smells. This time my attention was focused on the navajo taco stand and the authentic mexican stand next to it. Lunch was going to be a difficult choice.
We passed on the food for time was only 10:30 and continued to a grassy area where a stage had been set up. We met up with other family members to watch some of my cute nieces, Macie and Ainsley, dance. It was fun sitting in the sun and relaxing. It made me nostalgic for the days of my youth, which consequently reminded me of a shirt I once sported that read "sunkist in St. George". It was nice getting "sunkist", well "sunburnt" in St. George again.
After the dancing we headed over to the food area where I had finally decided on a quesadilla from the little mexican stand. It was a difficult choice, but I felt good about it.
Some of you may wonder why I settled on a humble quesadilla, but I assure you it wasn't your average quesadilla. This monster was filled with peppers and onions and cheese and so much goodness...and by goodness I mean lard. I salivate just talking about it. Chad was seduced by the delicious quesadilla too...the kids had no choice in the matter and were given a slice of pizza. We hung out with the fam and nibbled and chatted and listened to the live entertainment. Really, life doesn't get any better than that...good company and good food. It was also pretty fun watching the ecclectic mix of people the Arts Festival brings out.
The kids ran around like a herd of crazies and wore themselves out and I'm convinced that by the time bedtime rolled around we were all suffering from heatstroke. Every one slept soundly and no one woke til ten the next morning.
Just to backtrack a bit, before leaving the festival, I took the kids to a little place I used to frequent back in the day, Judd's store. It's like walking back into the past what with all the nostalgic candies, gums and sodas. Anyone remember Razzles or the wax soda bottles filled with colored liquid? My favorite from the day was black cows. We've taken the kids to Judd's a time or two before this trip and it is fast becoming a staple.
Saturday morning was conference and we caught most of the morning session. I quite enjoyed President Monson and was happy to get a glimpse at his sense of humor.
Afterwards,my sister Michele put together a special family zumba class for in between sessions. We met at the school where my other sister works and danced it up in the gymnasium. Imagine trying to zumba with rubber recess balls and kids on trash can rollers flying at you from every direction. Oh, and one ginormous cage ball too. This event kinda epitomizes my family...relative organization with a bit of chaos mixed in with it. It was a good time, and it helped ease my mind about all of the poor food choices I had made and would continue to make while on vacation.
Later that day we returned to the school for a family picnic and Easter egg hunt. Everyone ended up ordering Durango's... mmmmmm. And the egg hunt went off without a hitch. All the kiddies seemed satisfied with the number of eggs they found and thankfully no fist fights broke out. Last year at the family picnic/egg hunt a freak mini tornado blew through; pelting us with rocks and sand and bespeckling all of the festive cupcakes with dirt. Thankfully we were able to bypass this little adventure, although the wind started picking up just as we were packing up.
Again we managed to spend adequate amounts of time out in the St. George sun and the kids slept soundly for another night.
Although it was Easter morn, no one woke up before nine to see if the goody bearing bunny had found us. Avery was a little concerned about not being at home, but I assured her the bunny knew where to find us.
Carter was the first to wake, and was so overcome by excitement that he ripped Chad's covers off and screamed "Easter". Needless to say, Chad did not share in Carter's excitement, or at his revealing gesture.
The other kids awoke and deliberated as to where the elusive bunny might have hidden their baskets this year. A few years ago, while spending Easter in St. George, the Easter bunny hid all the kids' baskets in the bath tub. The kids still talk about it and I think that the anticipation and excitment of the search is more fun than the actual basket of goodies. Sadly this year, the Easter bunny was tired and possibly suffering from heat exhaustion so he/she just put the baskets in the living room. The kids didn't complain too much about Mr. Bunny's lack of imagination or ambition.
After giving the kids a minute to look through their loot, we reminded them that it was time to watch conference, to which Avery responded "what, but it's Easter".
Aye, that girl gives me fits sometimes.
We finished the morning session and headed up to meet the rest of the family at the care center where my hundred year old grandma is living. It had been awhile since we had seen her last. And though she doesn't remember our names there is a sense of familiarity between us. She can't do much on her own anymore, but she sat and took in the craziness that is our family. Afterall, it's all her fault, right.
There was a lot of visiting and laughing and finally before leaving I had all the kiddies sing. Grandma has always loved listening to the little ones sing. When Carter was little I can her remember asking him to sing to her everytime we stopped by. Thankfully Carter had no problem obliging. This time we had the whole clan of cousins sing: Families Can Be Together Forever, I Am A Child Of God and the grand finale, Follow The Prophet...disco actions included (the song leader in our ward taught the kids some disco moves to the chorus of the song and it is absolutely hilarious. I'll have to tape them doing it and share it sometime).
I have to mention too that during our visit it was lunchtime and grandma's food was sitting on the table. Carter gently pushed her wheelchair over where my dad proceeded to help her eat. Quinn took the spoon from my dad and began feeding, well shoveling, the food into grandma's mouth. It was sweet to see my little ones being so tender and attentive.
The rest of the day was spent eating...naturally, and visiting and playing and getting ready for the trip back home the next morning.
We were sad to have to pack it in and return home...where winter was awaiting us, but I must admit that I was quite excited about the prospect of sleeping in my own bed that night.
I think already the kids are planning our next adventure south and I must admit I've been looking for a reason to head back down again soon too.
Here's the part where I say, here are some pics for your viewing pleasure...except I didn't take any. I had good intentions really, but the sun must have gone to my head, cause I didn't whip the camera or camcorder out once. I'm a horrible mother. Oh well, better luck next time.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

If Adolf Hitler were a puppet...

So, Carter just finished up his class rotation of biography reports. He was given the choice of picking someone famous, or infamous in his case, to research and report on.
He chose...Adolf Hitler. Shocker!!!
Frankly, I was a little concerned at first, that he would CHOOSE to research someone so...well, horrible for lack of a better word. And then I remebered back to when I was in sixth grade and preparing for my sixth grade oral report.
The morning of, I recall my mother handing me a felt swastika and black eyeliner pencil to put in my backpack for later use.
When I got to school and it came time to stand before the class, one by one, and share what we had learned, I pulled out the felt, swastika armband my mother had made for me and secured it appropriately around my upper, left arm. Then I removed my mother's black eyeliner pencil and drew on the tiniest of moustaches above my upper lip. Voila!!! There I was...Hitler incarnate.
I remember feeling slightly uncomfortable standing before the class...not only reporting on pretty much the worst human being to ever grace the earth, but looking like a miniature version of him to boot.
I couldn't tell if Mrs. Wright's smirk meant, "look at the little cute Aryan, Adolph Hitler wannabe", or "what a horribly atrocious sight" and frankly it didn't matter. All I wanted to do was finish my report and abandoned the swastika and "stache".
Thankfully for Carter, no dress up was involved...only a creepy puppet.
His assignment was to make a puppet resembling that of Hitler, which he would then use to deliver his report in front of the class. As I said, creepy. But atleast the boy wasn't having to dress up like the dude.
Anywho, here he is...Adolf Hitler, puppet style. I've also included a few facts Carter shared during his report for your edification.

Adolf Hitler
Born April 20, 1889 in Braunau Austria to Alois and Klara Hitler
Was a bright, intelligent and popular child.
Considered becoming a monk at one time.
Wanted to go to art school which his father did not support.
Was rejected by two art schools which humiliated him greatly.
Volunteered for German army and was a great soldier, receiving several medals.
Was a great and influential speaker which propelled him into a life of politics.
Became the leader of the NAZI party.
Believed in a "master race"...blond hair and blue eyes.
Killed many people and died by suicide.
Will forever be remembered as a tyrant and the guy with a teeny moustache.

Monday, March 22, 2010

My own "purse"onal CSI

So, about a week ago my purse was stolen. I'm not sure how, or when exactly. I was at Wally's getting some groceries, and I remember paying for the goods and putting my card back into my purse. After recollection.
Initially I thought that maybe the kiddies were up to their regular shenanigans and had hid it from me. But, when each child was pulled aside and asked of the purses whereabouts they all responded with a unified " I dunno"!
After finally accepting the fact the my dearies were not responsible for the missing purse, I headed back to place of it's last sighting...Walmart.
After checking several times, the customer service employee informed me that no BRIGHT YELLOW PURSE had been returned.
I was a little irritated by the news...mostly becuase it meant I had to go to the DMV and get a new license. Little did I know that that was just the beginning of my problems.
Though still not fully convinced my purse was missing...or more specifically stolen, I hesitantly notified the bank of my missing debit card, cancelled my account as I had a empty book of checks in my purse and got a new account number. I called all of my credit card companies and notified them of the situation and alerted all of the merchants who I have on auto withdrawel and gave them new account info. I also called the South Jordan police department and filed a report with them at the urging of some concerned and very knowledgeable friends (thank you, thank know who you are).
I headed down to hell on earth aka the DMV and got a new drivers license. Ironically, the lady standing next to me was there getting a new license because her purse had been stolen. I was eavesdropping...that's how I know.
Or so I thought.
When I got home from the DMV I noticed a voicemail on my phone from what looked like a toll free number. Normally I would just delete it, thinking it was a solicitor or the dang creditors calling for the dude who once used my current number. But, I went ahead and listened. It happened to be Target's fraud department calling to inform me that there were some suspicious charges on my Target card. I immediately called them back and found out that there had been three charges made to my card, all totaling approximately $150, and all made at various gas stations in the south valley area. I confirmed that the charges were fraudulent and filed a dispute with Target. Good. Done. Finished.
Not so.
After I got off the phone, Chad informed me that the bank had called to notify him of some suspicious charges. At this point they knew about the missing debit card, as I had just been in there to close the account and get a new one. Chad disputed the charges made (including the $75 dollar charge at a it just me or does it sound like someone's planning the mack daddy of keg parties?) They told him they would notify him of anymore suspicious charges that posted to the account. Okay. Done. Finally.
Fastforward to today, Monday. I was leaving the gym, high on life...and vitamin water, when I noticed a strange number pull up on my phone. Again, I wouldn't normally answer a call from an unrecognizable number, but in lieu of the stolen purse ordeal I answered.
It was the bank calling to inform me that they had had a woman stop at their drive-thru, who tried to present my I.D. for making a withdrawel.
I immediately informed them that my purse had been stolen a little over a week ago and that the woman was not who she said she was. The lady from the bank said that the imposter-thief woman had already hit up two banks prior to theirs and withdrawn $800 from the account...the new account...which I had just set up. She informed me that they stalled her for as long as they could in the drive-thru, long enough to call the police and have them arrive. However, when she saw that the jig was up she laid on the gas and jumped the curb and her brand new pearl-white, Audi A6...which I believe I helped pay for...well Chad paid for (ironically an Audi A6 is Chad's dream car. Although, when it came time to purchase one I think he imagined it for himself and not for some scuzzy, scum bag, liar, cheater pants, fugitive, vigilante.
I told the bank lady I was close and could stop by. She said to come in because the policeman was still there and I could talk to him.
When I arrived, the officer was waiting. He took my information and gave me back my confiscated drivers license and wrote a few notes before leaving.
The rest of the time was spent setting up yet another account and filing yet another dispute, this time for the $800 withdrawel.
I did learn that the driver of the car had long dark hair, and was on the plumper side. She was also sporting ginormous sun glasses so as to conceal her lying, thieving cheater-face.
Before leaving the bank I also learned that the said cheater-face had ran a red light on 106th south. It sounded like she had been pulled over, but I don't know that for sure. I also don't know, if she was in fact pulled over, that the officer citing her knew she was in the process if fleeing a crime scene. I hope that news travels quickly amongst police departments and that she's currently sitting in a police station somewhere receiving a very rough cavity search.
But, if she wasn't caught this time, I hope that she will be soon. I'm hopeful it will be soon. Fingers crossed.
I'll be sure to share the dramatic conclusion...if there is one.
In the meantime keep your purse close and your eyes peeled for a bright yellow purse being toted by a hefty, dark-haired, large be-spectacled woman. And if you chance to meet her feel free to elbow her in her Adam's apple...cause that's what I'd do.

Friday, March 19, 2010

This n That

I go through these phases where I have to have two or three projects going simultaneously. This past week was no exception. Here's what's been going on.

I started and completed my teacup clock. I took the artistic liberty of funkifiying it a bit. And I love it, love it, love it. It's hard to see it in the picture, but there is an ever so subtle white pattern on the inner blue circle of the clock. And then, in contrast, a black pattern around the outer rim. Here's to hoping that none of the kiddies are under it when the thing decides to rip out of the wall...that's one hecka heavy clock.

I painted ginormous polki-dots on the nursery wall. It might be a little over the top...the Big Top that is, but the walls just needed a little extra something. Besides, I broke a freaking blood vessel in my wrist painting them on so they are going to stay there for awhile. (No joke, all of a sudden I felt a weird ache in my right wrist and when I looked down I could see a bulge. The next day I had a massive purple bruise where the bulge had been. Who knew there were so many risks involved painting circles?)

I re-did the girlies bedroom. Initially I had been going for a shabby chic look, but somehow channeled grandmas bedroom instead. The girls are pretty wild and crazy, so I decided while they were at school yesterday, I would change their room into something that sorta reflected that. I went with a bird-ish theme.? I painted tree branches on the wall. And adorned each branch with a bright, long-legged birdies. Threw up a few brightly colored bird houses. Changed their ruffly, overly-girlie sheets for bright, retro themed sheets. Replaced their geyser-ly quilts with bright, youthful green comforters instead. And done. It turned out okay...for a school days work. And what's more, it only cost me about $150 to redo everything.

Now, I wonder. What should I do next? I do believe it's the boys' turn. Time to turn their Star Wars themed room into something TOTALLY INTERGALACTIC AND OUT OF THIS WORLD. Suggestions glady accepted.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Tea cup clock.

Okay, this is totally off the subject, and quite possibly way too much info, but I'm gonna tell you anyway.

I was jost using the powda room (for some reason if I say/write it in an English accent it doesn't seem as W.T.) and my ickle Beck-i-kens snuck in and stole all of thee Shaw-min wall I wosn't looking. Whot a little boogie. Guess I shall jost sit hee-ya til he retuns. Ooah I could get on with whot I wos gonna say befoe thee shenanigans began. Try to fo-get that I am writing while ohn the pote. Thank you, kindly.

Shoosh, that was hard writing in an English accent.

Okay, what I meant to say, before being so rudely pranked by a three year was...
I found this totally awesome, totally cute idea for a wall clock out of teacups and saucers. I had imagined putting a cool, funky plate collage on the kitchen wall, but when I saw this picture, I thought it might be cool and sorta bohemian too.

Tea cup clock.

Or...plate collage.

What's a girl to do? I can't decide which I like best. I don't know...what do you think?

P.S. Don't go stealin' my i-de-ah (supposed to sound nicer with an English accent. Hope it worked).

**You know what I just realized. Tea (cups) and England totally go together. It's like I planned this post, or sumthin'...even though I didn't.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oh...and one more thing.

I failed to mention one more highlight from my glorious Reno trip.

See these babies. Guess how much they cost?

FORTY-FIVE FAH-REAKIN' DOLLARS! And I had to by two pair.
Ninety dollars spent ski gloves...NINETY DOLLARS!...ON SKI GLOVES!!! I knew that I was a skiing amateur, but I had no idea that ski gloves were so expensive. Do you know what I could buy with that kinda cash? Oh! Well let me tell you.

1- Three months of dance lessons.

2- A weeks worth of groceries.

3- A gay old time at Tai Pan or Rod Works.

4- A litter of zhu zhu pets.

5- Ninety-five songs off I-tunes.

6- A new pair of much needed jeans, perhaps even two.

7- A few new, very much needed bras...the nice pushy-uppy kind from V.S.

8- A ten year supply of very, very, very much needed "G's".

9- Eighteen caramel apples.

10- Forty-five cheeseburgers from In-n-Out.


Reno- The biggest little city in the world...whatever that means.

Just got back from my little vacay to the biggest little city on earth. Wasn't too thrilled initially as I'm not much into the casino/gambling scene. But, when I got into the room and realized that I had the run of the place for the entire day...I finally got it.

A vacation...a real vacation, where I could take a bubble bath...alone, and I didn't have to worry about washing and folding any of the towels I tossed onto the floor. Or laying on the bed reading, and watching a little T.V. ...Keeping up with the Kardashian's, Eighteen Kids and Counting, Little People, Big World, The Doctor's, Dr. Phil without interruption. Dreaming about what I wanted to eat and knowing that my tummy's dreams could be fulfilled with the touch of a dial.
Yes, I realized, it truly was a vacation and I loved it.

Here are a few highlights:

1- Not crashing on the airplane (I realize my fear of flying is totally nonsensical, but I can't help it...and I am very grateful we didn't go down, Buddy Holly style).

2- Finishing a whole book in the three days I was gone.

3- Eating out = Not cooking.

4- Corn tomatillo from Chevy's. I cannot stop thinking about it.

5- Rotisserie chicken from Boston Market.

6- Sleeping in.

7- Ski lessons.

8- Crashing through a mesh net fence during said ski lesson.

9- Not breaking or fracturing anything (except my pride) during said ski lesson.

10- Going to the bathroom in the hotel room and hearing the unusual sound of snoring coming from the hotel bathroom above me...must have been some night!!!

11- The plentiful domestic altercations from our next door neighbors.

12- Pulling my first slot and losing five dollars.

13- Chad pulling the slots and winning back my five dollars.

14- Reno temple.

15- Thirty-seven phone calls from Avery the first day we were gone.

16- Spending time alone with the hubby.

17- Having a break from being mommy.

18- Hugging my babies when I got home.

Thanks to a husband who can see when I am in need of a break and MAKES me take one.
Thanks to a grandma who still showed up even with a kid who had strep, a kid who had double ear infections and a kid who was puking. No amount of See's candy can say thank you enough, but hopefully it will help repress the memories.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wanna go on a date?

A few weeks ago Chad and I told the kids that we wanted to start taking them on dates...just one child at a time and us. (I've watched enough Jon and Kate plus Eight and 400 million Kids and Counting to know that kids in larger families often feel a bit invisible. So in hopes of giving each child their own identity and special time with mom and dad, we adopted the one-on-one date idea I stole from Jon and Kate plus Eight actually.)
The kids were thrilled when we introduced the idea and told them they could pick whatever they wanted to do...within reason.
Beckham's date was first and all he wanted to do was go to the store. We tried urging him to choose something else, but then realized that our efforts sorta went against the purpose of the date...which was giving the child all creative control.
So, to the store it was. Now, I know that the only reason Beckham wanted to go to the store is so he could mull around the toy section for an hour and a half. I suggested that instead of going to plain old Wally's or Target that we go to the mother of all toy stores...the mother of all toy stores that Utah has to offer anyway, Toys-R-Us.
I'll spare you all the boring details by saying that there was a lot of wandering that took place. We told the boy he could pick out one toy. He finally settled on a Fisher Price pirate island play set.
One down, three to go.
Next it was Avery's turn. She's been begging to get he ears pierced for I don't know how long and she jumped on the chance to plan her own date to the Piercing Pagoda. She was totally calm and collected until she saw the girl pull out the piercing gun. Even then she maintained her composure but became visibley nervous. When it came time for the actual piercing she sat as still as could be an took it like a true woman of pionner stock. I was so proud of her. And...she looked so stinkin' cute her pink diamond studs.
Then Chad, on a whim, suggested we get Rowan's ears pierced...since we were already there. I hadn't really given it much thought, but then Chad reminded me how often strangers assume she's a boy...even when she's wearing pink, and I was totally game. I picked out a cute pair of diamond studs and we were set. All we needed to do now was the actually piercing. I tried to stifle all the anxiety and guilt I was feeling as I pinned Rowan's head against my chest and LET the girl shoot the unnecessary earrings through her pure, virgin ears.
She freaked out, naturally. It was a cry I have never heard before...not even when she's gotten her shots. This cry was different. It was as if she knew I'd been overcome with the world and put her through this torture all for the sake of "looking cute". There was a moment of regret, then Rowan stopped crying and I got a good look at her perfectly pierced ears...and I didn't care, because the kid looked fah-reaking adorable.
When we got home and Quinn saw Avery and Rowan's ears, she was set to get hers done too. I know the kid to well and suggested pedicures instead. She was happy with the idea, and frankly so was I.
When it finally came time for Quinn's date she changed her mind last minute (wonder who she gets that from?) and decided she wanted to go the the Hello Kitty store at the mall instead.
We walked through the door and Quinn had half the store picked out. We finally narrowed her purchases down to two ridiculously over priced items...a set of smelly markers and a wallet.
The date concluded with a ride on the carousel and a quick stop by The Red Balloon.
Finally, Carter's date.
He chose to go to the movies. He's read all of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books and wanted to see it played out on the big screen. Sadly I did not get to go on this date as I was unable to find a sitter, and also because the younger kiddies had been sick and I felt like I needed to stay with them. In my defense, I had surprised Carter at school by picking him up and taking him to lunch a few days earlier. According to Chad, Carter loved the show and they had a great time on their dude date.
Now as I consider the dates we took each kid on, they seem like no big deal to me. But, I'm pretty sure that they meant something more to each of the least to Carter and Avery. Sadly, those two are the ones most often overlooked simply because they are older and more independant. I was happy to give them the opportunity to be the center of attention, because they are super, great kids and they deserved it.
And while I am happy to have completed our first date rotation and think that we will shoot for a second cycle (that is once we've SAVED up enough money to do it again) we may have to rethink a few things. I think a less expensive date might be on the agenda next time as it has become quite evident that these kiddies know how to spend money. But that said, they were worth every penny. Time with my babies, while they are still young, is priceless.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Guess who I saw last night...

Grace and hum, that's right. Grace and Charity made an appearance last night.
FHE plans changed last minute when Quinn brought home a note from school saying it was Silver Mesa up-Chuck-E-Cheese night. She was super excited about it, so I decided to postpone my wonderful and inspired FHE lesson for another time.
BUT, on the way to Mr. Cheese's I asked for the kiddies to simmer down for moment so I could say something.
I told them that I hadn't been very happy with the way they'd been speaking and treating members of the fam and even their friends. I explained that people are naturally drawn to individuals who are happy/positive/complimentary (may have a little over their heads but...) and that I would like to see them trying to be a little more "gracious". I mentioned that if I saw any noticeable improvement by next week there would be an award. And...I left it at that.
We headed into "the Cheese" and the kids took off. I sat myself down at a table and took in the surroundings...sreaming children, flashing lights and obnoxious bells and whistles...all the ingredients necessary for a substantial headache. And aside from the stimulation overload things were...nice. They became even nicer when number one came and sat by me at the table and said he needed to tell me something. Here's how the conversation went:
Carter: Mom I need to tell you something that I did.
Me: Oh Crap!!! What happened now (only I'm not saying this out loud, just yelling it in my head. Carter must have sensed my angst as he quickly followed up with this statement).
Carter: Don't worry mom, it's good.
Me: *sigh*So, what's going on?
Carter: I just gave all my tickets and tokens to a little boy in a wheelchair.
Me: (initially I wanted to ask him if he knew how much CEC tokens were, but then I remembered...grace, so instead I said:) Wow Cart, that was really nice of you.
Carter: Ya, I saw him sitting by the air hockey table and I asked him to play with me. Then I gave him the rest of my tokens and my tickets.
Me: Carter I super proud of you. High fives.
I really was proud of the kid. He's always had a particular soft spot for kids with disabilities and I was happy that he treated that little boy just like he was a "regular" ole kid. I could tell that Carter was pretty proud of himself too.
The night continued on without a hitch. When it came time for Avery to turn in her tickets for prizes she made sure to get something for her siblings as well as herself...another gracious act, I thought.
I left Chuck's place feeling like the kids were on the right track. Either they are really determined to be better people, or they really want their reward. Either way, I happy at the positive change. I hope that our new friends...grace and charity...come back to visit soon.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Anyone seen Grace or Charity?

Lately I have become very hypersensitive to my kiddies and their behavior. I wouldn't ever call them ill-behaved (okay maybe sometimes) or bad children...because they are simply that, children. They are still learning tact and manners and etiquette. And while I wish that I could instruct them once on how to be proper and they would remember, I have to realize that these are things that take time and practice to learn.
Fast forward to yesterday. I had to stay home from church with two of my "pukers" while the rest of the fam went to church. The house was eerily quiet, but I decided to take advantage of the peace and silence and just sit down and think...about random things like: how good a double/double from In-n-Out sounded, and how awesome this family tree/picture frame ditty from Rod Works would look on the wall down the hallway, and why, for the love, I haven't been able to trim off the unsightly fat pockets on my hips after weeks of working my buttocks off at the gym (or apparently not working off). Ya know good sabbath day thoughts, but...then I was struck with an idea. At the time I wasn't even thinking about the kiddies or this issue with their behavior, but for some reason the idea popped right into my head.
I don't know if you mommy's have these kinds of problems at home, perhaps it's just us. But I've become quite fed up with them and the stroke of divinity yesterday helped give me perspective.
My children are, to put it bluntly, LOUD. Just generally loud. They WALK loud, they TALK loud, they even SLEEP loud sometimes (just the occasional sleep talking/laughing). And I finally explained to them that there has to be moments of quietude, not just because momma will have a nervous breakdown, but also because it's hard to feel the holy ghost when the walls are shaking from all the noise. I've tried to make them mindful of this by simply saying "useless noise" when things get too loud. And, surprisingly, the decibal levels have tapered down a bit. It could still use some improving, but we are working on it.
The next big issue (and probably the bigger of the two) I have been addressing, but not making much progress on is "graciousness" in thought and deed. And it's got me a little concerned. I have caught my kiddies saying some very... "not nice" things to each other and it kind of hurts my heart to see that kind of interaction take place. Sometimes it's not even what they are saying, but how they are saying it...their tone of voice as it were. I mean, where did my kids pick up such sarcasm...uh hum?
As I was saying, the way my kids say things leaves a lot to be desired. And I have been wracking my brain on ways to help encourage more grace, both in speech and action. I've tried quiet, loving, little reminders like saying "be gracious" when I would see something rude or verbally clumsy take place, but I was just not getting the results, or the response I wanted. Which brings me to my heavenly little moment yesterday.
While I was sitting...pondering yesterday, I had the idea that for FHE tonight we would have a lesson on charity. We would talk about Jesus and how he was the perfect example of unconditional love...and grace. (I mean when you think about it, Jesus had a lot he could have complained about or gotten angry over...and not dumb things like who gets to use the yellow plate at dinner (you'd be surprised, but this little issue has resulted in many a shouting match...and even the occasional UFC fight) or who gets to watch the T.V. next).
We would discuss how many people said and did mean things to Him, yet He remained "gracious". Though He was surrounded by negative people, people who hated Him, He still found the positive in them.
And then, after discussing Christ and His perfect example we would all take turns telling each other what we like about each each other compliments. (I know it sounds ridiculous, but I don't think my kids have ever learned how to pay someone a compliment. I never thought it was something you needed to be taught, but apparently it is). The point of this activity being that everyone has something good and positive to just have to find it. Be positive, uplifting, gracious. And though it may be hard you do it any way becuase it's what is's what Jesus would do.
In my mind I picture the perfect conclusion to our FHE...with the kiddies little halo's restored; shining brightly and perfectly above their little heads. I know that isn't can't actually SEE people's halo's.
And, as a final test, I will challenge them to try and see the good in everyone they meet. I will encourage them to practice what we've learned by saying and doing only things that are kind...gracious.
AND...if I see any noticeable improvement by the time we have FHE again we will all go out to FUGI...and practice using our newfound grace (that part wasn't inspired...well, it was inspired by me, or my tummy rather).
I hope it works, cause it's all I got. I'm hopeful. I think they will be motivated...if not to be a better person, than to go out to dinner at least. I'll make sure to post the results.
And, if any of you wise souls have any advice or suggestions that might help my cause, I'd love to hear em.
By the way, have I told you how lovely you look today!!!

A video I found on that will also be part of FHE. It tugged at my heartstrings...I will not lie. Be prepared to shed a tear...or two.
Example of the Believers

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Time Flies.

It just dawned on me that my little Rowan is already eight months old and has been alive for almost as long as I was preggers with her. I also just realized that I haven't bothered commenting on any of her milestones these past months. It's amazing to me that a few months ago this little person only knew how to suck, cry and poop. And to look at her now, eight months later, and see her interacting, and moving and "talking" is really amazing.
So, in honor of my little darling I thought I'd share a list of some of her more notable milestones and newly acquired no particular order.

1- Grunting with inflection. This kid can really make a statement with her grunts...there's her "I'm done" grunt, and her "hey, look at me grunt" and her "I'm pooping" grunt. So amazing how she can communicate without using any words.

2- Snot bubble blowing. Note: this is a seasonal skill, and while it may be quite the attention grabber, I'll be glad when it's over.

3- Snot wiping. While many of you might not consider this a noteable ability, I beg you to many eight month olds do you know that can wipe their own nose? The only problem is that my shirt usually serves as the tissue...and what's more, I don't usually notice the unsightly boogie streaks til I'm out in public with no means of tidying up.

4- Human vaccum. This kid has a way with finding all the stray crumbs and awol food bits that fall onto the, uh hum, sanitary floors I allow her crawl upon. But like I always say, better her than the mice...ha, ha, ha...uh hum. And to be honest, the help in clean up is always much appreciated.

5- Melinoma detection. I don't know if this kid has a future in dermatology or what, but she has an uncanny knack for finding all the molies on my body. Then again, they might just look like little chunks of stray food stuck to my skin (refer to number 4).

6- Lip sucking. Occasionally I will become so consumed with adoration that I have to kiss my little nugget on her dainty little lips. And, almost every time I do the kid latches on to my mouth like a leech...albeit the cutest freakin' leech. It's so should really see it. Anyway, it's just amazing how well her sucking reflex has developed over the past few months.

All right, enough bragging already. I could think of plenty more but I hate to make you all jealous.
I will conclude by saying what a joy the past eight months have been. I will admit that I found myself wondering what I'd gotten myself into before the dear made her grand debut, but having her around has been wonderful. She is such a happy and content baby, which is great because, frankly, she wouldn't get the attention if she needed it. I mean, she would get the attention...I do pay attention to her...I mean it's not like I make her feed herself with leftovers off the floor...wait, I mean...
Anyway, it's been a pleasure having Rowan join our family. I can't believe it's already been eight months. Which can only mean one thing, that time really does fly when you're having a good time.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What's In A Name

A few days ago Quinn's teacher sent home a paper explaining how they would be learning about "famiy heritage" in class. Their assignment was to make a poster explaining a little bit about their ancestry.
Now I will admit that I was quite tickled by this task. In my old age (I'm thirty-three) family history has become more interesting and the quest for information on my predecesors sounded quite adventurous (I don't know why, but I always think of Braveheart). I was excited to scavenge the net and explore the old family records to see what important nuggets of info I might come across. Never in my right mind did I think my greatest life question would be answered...a question I'm reminded of more often than I'd like...on a daily basis almost. That question being, "why are my boys so freakin' violent and turn everything they grab into some kind of weapon (just last night Carter hucked a cork hot pad through air like it was a Chinese star...whatever).
And here's what I uncovered: origins of the Anglo-Saxon name ASHMAN come from its first bearer, an ancient Saxon name which meant WARRIOR OF THE SPEAR. Ash, saxon word meaning spear, and man, meaning man, put together equals, "spearman".
All this time I thought Ashman was referencing the pasty, ashen complexion of my ancient peeps but no...I am decended of something greater...something nobler...something fiercer.
Now suddenly the clouds have parted and the world has become clear to me. No more feeling embarrased about my boys' disturbing affection for all things weapons. No more frustration over them using random, household items as killing devices. No more guilt over believing that I had done something wrong in the upbringing of these, "assertive" boys,'s who they are, it's in their blood, for they are Ash "men"...(at least that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it).

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Avery

Today is my third "fruit's" birthday. I'll keep the salutations and reminiscing brief by saying only this. Avery life with you started out...painful, frankly. Your delivery still hurts me to think about it, BUT it was totally worth it. And I'm happy to report that you've caused only minimal pain and anxiety since that time (nothing extraordinary...just the usual child rearing stuff). And although I will never be able to walk the same way again, or be able to jump on a tramp without wetting myself again, the sacrfrice was worth it...because I have you. I love you kid, minitude and all.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My new fave.

So, I have a little preoccupation with music. I'm always searching for new artists, songs etc. to add to my library. Anywho, I was on the way to Target the other day and the song currently spinning in my playlist came on. I loved it from the first chord. I had no idea it was Mika, but since I already love him...
Hope you enjoy. Try not to snap your fingers or tap your foot whilst listening...I dare ya. Oh, and it does drop a teeny, little "h" bomb (hope that doesn't affect our friendship).

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Heavy, yet humble heart.

I saw the saddest thing yesterday.
As you are all aware Haiti was recently shaken by a massive earthquake. Consequently the place is utter chaos; I mean how does one really prepare for a disaster like that?
Nevertheless, with sadness in my heart, I was still able to go about my day and function normally. That was, at least, until yesterday.
Last night as I was lying in bed, I started watching news coverage of all the goings on in Haiti. The destruction was unimaginable. Then the news coverage turned to a physician from the states who was holding a fifteen day old infant He was commenting on the newborns condition whose house had collapsed on her, killing her mother. At that moment my heart was broken. It hadn't really sunken in that people, of ALL ages, were affected by this earthquake...even little babies, too young and innocent to comprehend. And at that moment everthing became real for me.
I'm not sure why it took the image of this precious little child to "wake me up". Perhaps it's because I have a little ones myself and a particular soft spot for any newborn. But, at that moment my heart sunk.
I must admit, shamefully, that up until last night I had been more concerned about Simon Cowell leaving American Idol and the hideous headband Victoria Beckham sported while guest judging on said show.
But now I realize that there are so many things going on around me that I do not give proper notice too.
Granted, there's not much I can do for the survivors in Haiti but offer my prayers, but at least it's something.
And I have found comfort in knowing that I am part of a church that is always prepared to help those in need...even in an event as catastrophic as this. I am grateful to be able to pay my tithing, because I know that in my own meager way I am helping the efforts in Haiti. I wish I could do more, but I am comforted to know that I have done something.
I hope that this post doesn't put a damper on your weekend. That was not my intent. I do hope that it will help everyone (myself included) remember just how fortunate we are and how grateful we should feel for our health, our safety, our lives and our ability to serve others...especially those in need of it most.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Zumba-ha ha

So, the old man gave me a gym pass for Christmas. Not the most romantic or personal gift...perhaps even insensitive but I accepted it graciously. Truth be told, I am feeling a little like the hippo from Disney's Fantasia, and after today looking like her too...apparently.
Today I went to Zumba. For those of you who are not famililar with the term allow me to's essentially dirty dancing, but with just yourself...AND I LOVED IT. Just kidding...but really I did. (Imagine lots of rump shakin' and pelvic thrustin'...movements I am not accustomed to using...but I had fun trying.)
I did my reasearch before attending and sorta knew what I was getting myself into and I wasn't too worried. Back in the day I used to dance and felt quite at home on the dance floor. I was an "enigma" to behold. However, that was a long....long, long, long time ago. So, I tried to prep myself as best I could...channeling my inner J-Lo and I felt ready and up for the challenge.
I had a little bit of nerves in the beginning, but that was mostly due to the fact that I was the fattest one in the class. I pretty much knew my moves could trump everyone in the room, except for maybe the instructors and my friend Deni...but that was only a matter of time.
Anywho, the music came on and I could hear the heavy, rythmical, latin beat
and immediately found myself moving. Things were good...I was doing good so far.
Then the instructor hopped up front and start marching DOUBLE TIME to the beat...squashing my confidence with each hellishly quick step she took. I figured I had nothing to lose (except for a few pounds) and threw all caution to the wind and let loose...trying my best to not look like SYTYCD reject. I have to admit that I did a pretty good job keeping up. Better than some of the seasoned Zumba-ers if you ask me. I didn't pass out once and caught on to most of the movements fairly quickly. I was pretty darn proud of myself for being so daring.
And I'll admit, the thought did cross my mind..."man I wish Chad could have seen me shakin' it just now. He'd be so impressed".(I failed to mention that Chad was actually at the gym with me...not in Zumba thank heavens, but working out elsewhere).
The class ended and I was ecstatic and relieved that I didn't collapse in the middle of a bunch of gyrating women...skinny gyrating women as it were. And I left the class feeling saucy and successful.
I met Chad at the car with my newfound attitude...even adding a little hip action when I opened the door. I hopped up on my seat at just looked at him with my sweaty, smouldering eyes. And then he dropped the bomb..."you're not very coordinated are you?"
I wiped the sultry looked on my face and just stared...real, real hard.
What? Did you not just see me sassin' it up on the floor a few minutes ago, I wondered.
"What do you mean", I asked.
"Well, I stopped by your class a few minutes ago and watched you dance" he shared.
I snapped back into reality and realized that what he had said was maybe a little bit true...okay, probably a lot true. I might have looked a little more like the awkward hippo from Fantasia than a steamy back-up dancer from a Shakira video, but it was only the first day.
So to Chad I say...just you wait, buddy. Just you wait. Pretty soon you'll have your own personal "latin luvva" and you will love it.
And I'm gonna start by having me some chips and salsa.