Friday, September 30, 2011

Rare definition of Excitement

My life is exciting and joyful.
I know.
It's like that commercial:
"Don't hate me because I'm beautiful."
without the "beautiful".

What makes my life so much more exciting than the average persons,
you're wondering?

Well, it ain't easy.

Last night, around 4:55pm as I was headed home from work,
mentally going thru the list of things I needed to do before
our usual Thursday craziness began:

*Eat dinner (mmm pulled pork made by our meal-sharing gal, Jen)
*then get the yahoos ready for
-Activity Day Girls--
yup, it's mid-week youth activity night at Church.
It takes a little hustle to get everyone fed and to their meetings
on time.
But, hey, I got outta work a few minutes early,
so I was feeling on top of things.
Which is the recipe for a perfect storm, dontcha know?

Just as I pulled around our street corner,
I noticed the garbage bin was still street-side,
and I saw Joseph on his roller blades
making his way up the driveway to the garage--
I tapped the car horn to get his attention--
then I was gonna point at the garbage bin and
mouth the words "get that"--
my life is way more exciting than that.
As I pulled up into the drive,
Joseph turned and faced me.
His mouth was bloody,
tears streaming,
he was hold one arm with the other
and blood was dripping down his leg.
I threw open the car door
and jumped out
"Oh My Gosh, Joe! What happened?!" I yelled.
His buddy came up from behind me on his roller blades--
"Joseph got a rock stuck in his skate and he fell on his face."

I quickly knelt down and pulled the skates off of his feet
then rushed him to the sink in the kitchen--
worried about his teeth,
his bloody arms and knees too,
but mostly his mouth.

"Did you chip or break your teeth?" I asked, feeling like crying myself.
"No, but this one, (his front permanent tooth) is loose." he cried.

So we finished washing the blood away,
and I got a good look at him--
oh he looked awful!
His chin and nose scraped,
his lips hugely swollen.
Just awful.
I put ice packs on everything,
rubbed some Arnica into his knee
gave him some Tylenol,
loved on him for a few minutes until he calmed down
and then made the call to our sweet dentist, Dr. Todd Rogers.

Well, that plan changed because he'd closed his office
until Monday because his family was headed over to Salt Lake City, Utah
for the LDS Conference over there.
The answering machine allowed me to leave a message for the dentist covering him,
so I did that.
Then, I called a pediatric dentist we just started taking Arianna to,
Dr. Kirkham.
I called the emergency number and got him, but he was in his car
ALSO on his way to Utah for the LDS Conference.
Dang. I thought. Are all the Mormons leaving the State of Colorado this weekend?
Dr. K said he'd have one of his partners call me back.
Within minutes,
the anticipated call came--
only it was Dr. Rogers' partner, Bishop Platt/ Dr. Jeff Platt.
We made arrangements to meet at the office
after his son's soccer game, in about 45 minutes.
Okay. Good.
Then, the phone rang again--
it was Dr. Houser who said "Jeff just called me and asked if I'd meet you at the office. He was with his boys and ..."
"Wait." I said. "Bishop, I mean, Dr. Platt can't meet us? Well he was at the soccer game...Oh, that's okay.
Which office am I going to now?"
"Dr. Platt? You mean, Dr. Kahl. Jeff Kahl."
"HUNH?" I responded.
"I'm with Pediatric Dentistry. This is Dr. Houser."
Now I was really confused.  What happened to my meeting with Dr. Platt in 45 minutes?
How did Dr. Houser get my call?  What does this all mean? Will I have the chicken or the fish?

I made an Executive Mom decision--
"Dr. Houser, you're going to meet me at your office at 6:15, right?"
"Okay, I'll be there."

because this was all too much fun--
the phone rang again--
it was Dr./Bishop Platt!
"I'm at my son's game, it's taking longer than..."
"It's okay" I answered, "I just got a call from Dr. Houser, and I am headed over there in a minute.
Don't worry about it. I thought you had called Dr. Houser (they do all know each other personally and professionally.), so when he said "Jeff" called him, I thought it was you--anyway, he's meeting us at his office. So we're good!"

We both hung up a little confused.  And ain't that believable?!

Turns out,
going to a peds dentist was the right move.
Joseph's tooth has a slight fracture in it,
he has to eat a soft diet for two weeks,
and while we were there,
Dr. Houser pulled a baby tooth that was barely hanging on.
The visit ended with a popsicle for Joseph
and a new patient for Dr. Houser.

To make this short,
after a run home and a run to the store,
I finally came home three and a half hours later
from the moment I left my work.

Reminds me of that song
"I'm so excited. I"m about to lose my mind n' I think I like it."

These yahoos are gonna be the death o' me.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Books That Stink On Ice

Instead of a post about books I love,
I'm sharing the books I hated reading...
because we all have those too!

First off,
the required reading books of my high school years:

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.

I hated the book so much
that I've managed to entirely block out
what the mental guy killed with his bare hands--
a kitten? a puppy? a chicken? a mouse?

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
There wasn't a single character I could relate to,
care about, or think about
once I closed the book.

She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
Okay so I read this because Oprah told me to.
I don't remember a thing about it,
but just that I didn't care for it
and I thought I'd give Oprah one more chance,
so I read the next icky book:

Deep End of the Ocean 
I started reading it days before I left on a business trip
to Las Vegas.
It started off pretty good,
but about mid-way,
it was painful to get thru each page.
However, I was determined to get through it--
because, gosh-darn-it,
Oprah said it was good.
I read on the airplane,
in the shuttle,
and just as we entered the hotel in Las Vegas,
I finished it,
saw a trash bin near the entrance,
then I dumped the whole book right in
grateful to be done.
Michelle Pfeiffer starred in the movie version.
I didn't go see it.
N' I like her.

Okay, I have to preface this last one
with the fact that my mother is a prolific reader--
she always had paperback books around the house
The National Enquirer.
(Yeah, she treated that like it was written by 
Walter Cronkite.)
SO while she enjoyed reading,
her choices never included classics.
Thank goodness for public school,
otherwise I'd never been exposed to anything that resembles literature--
such as Mr. Steinbeck's offering and the like.
One of the books floating around the house

"The Amityville Horror".
I was 17.
It freaked. my. guts. out.
so bad that I threw the book across the room
and couldn't even touch the book for a couple of days. Had nightmares and to this day,
look upon ceramic lions with suspicion.

And lastly,
I had a Mother-In-Law that liked to send me books
on Mothering/Parenting/Wife-ing.
Apparently, I needed help--
maybe she knew I'd been raised by wolves?
Or just that I was married to her lunatic son.
In any case,
I always read the books,
circled or underlined the things that appealed to me
and in general, liked them.
Except for one.

"Families Are Forever: if I can just get thru this day!"
First off, it didn't read  like a comedy.
There was little to no humor in it.
The funniest thing about it was the title.
it made me feel like a troll of a mother--
the woman had her kids sewing their own wardrobes
by the time they could tie their shoes,
for crying outloud!
Basically, she had aliens for children.
Her kids' intelligence was other-worldly.
I bet they didn't even eat chicken nuggets
or mac n cheese
unless they grew it themselves in a raised garden
they'd built the previous spring
out of reclaimed lumber and hand-made nails.
I read it,
highlighted it,
amazed at this Super Woman who makes Tiger Mom look like a stinkin' pansy,
and then, years later, I put the book in a giveaway pile ceremoniously as I was going thru a divorce.
That was not my reality.
Just to prove this,
here are some excerpts from conversations at my house this morning:

Momza to Dara:  "You look cute this morning all dressed up. What's the occassion?"
Dara: "Thanks. Nothing really. I'm just running out of clean clothes. Gotta do laundry soon!"

Boofus: "Mom, I need that seven dollars for that Math book today!
Momza: "Do you wanna go with me to the ATM and get some out? I'll give you my number and you can do it."
Boofus: "I've never used an ATM in my life."

Momza to Arianna: "Do you know what the angel's name is, that's on the top of the Temple?"
Arianna: "Edith?"

Clearly, I need more books on parenting/mothering.  Perhaps I'll email my former MIL. Bet she has a list for me!

What about you?
What's on your 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


While Monday was a no good very bad day,
Tuesday was better. 
I woke up and the fog had lifted.

I did what Dr. Mr.Wonderful prescribed--
I laid low and rested
and when that wasn't quite enough
I asked for and received a blessing
Monday night.

Yesterday was so much easier.
I felt normal. Ha! well, normal for me.

Our designer and her talented sister 
have revamped the Showroom again...

It's always fun to come to work after they've been busy in there.

Karen won Best Designer and People's Choice awards for the Parade of Homes this year.
She and her sister are undoubtedly very talented.
I finally put my name on the list to come out to our new home
and give me some ideas.

If you have questions about any of the things pictured, 
leave me a comment and I'll answer it.


It was my turn for the Meal Sharing Group last night.
This is what I brought:
London Broil.
I made 4 of these and ours was really good.
Served it with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and fresh Corn on the Cob.
And I don't have to cook tonight or tomorrow night!
Oh and I didn't have to make dinner on Monday night
when I was feeling so lousy either.
I tell you, I'm really liking this Meal Sharing Group.

London Broil:
2 lb. London Broil
Rub into meat:
Minced Garlic
Salt & Pepper
Fresh cilantro
Red Onion
Set covered in fridge for a few hours.
Then broil for 7 minutes on each side,
slice thickest area to check for slight pink in the middle.
Overcooking London Broil will make it tough and dry.
Some obligatory pics of my favorite boys:
 Garrett with the Boofus at his Cross Country meet.
They have a mutual adoration. 

 Dressing himself.
Yes, that is the bottom of his shirt around his head.


Baby Isaac when he was feeling "yousy".
He's better now.

It's supposed to get up to 85o here again today.
I know, right?!
We had snow not long ago on the mountains,
but it's toasty this week so far.
Just one more thing I love about Colorado Springs!

and I'm off to work today!
Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I'm Over Here Today!
Just blabbering about my yahoos is all...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fog in my Brain

Lots of it today.
In my brain, I mean.
When the fog rolls in,
my brain gets spark, no ping, nada.

I called Mr W at work this morning
and asked him if I have plans today.
He says I don't and I should stay home and sit still.

I'm trying to push the fog away
by reading and looking for other's sparks and pings.
But there's none for me.
Not today.
Happy for spellcheck.

I think I'm just tired.
But I feel anxious.
If I'm supposed to be doing something today with someone,
I can't remember it.

Friday, September 23, 2011


It's Friday!!
And while I am still a viable human being,
I am plum wore out.

*Baby Isaac is doing better.
*Dani and her boys spent the week at our house,
where there was no shortage of:
*chicken nuggets
*spinach smoothies
*happy screams n' tiny tears
*messes in every shape, content and size
and snotty noses.
* I helped serve 19 brand new missionaries dinner! loved loved loved that!
* got to visit teach one sister--forgot about the appointments that were set for the other two though! dang.
* Ran carpool 3 times this week for Arianna
*Made 10 trips to Daisie's school
*4 trips to Joseph's school
*And his cross country meet--where I did in fact, take pictures.
*Made chicken enchiladas for my day in the Meal Sharing Group I'm part of.
*Had an overdue visit with sweet Mama C.--my most recent doula client. Where her baby's blue eyes sucked me in and held me hostage, and watched her 3 yr old goldie-locked girl dance while I sang. Bliss.
*Gave kisses and hugs to Dani as she took her boys home to Golden last night.  It was hard to let her go.
*Slept in this morning until 7-freaking-a.m..  YES!
*Finished a little calligraphy project for a friend.
*Took a yahoo to 2 different doctor appointments.
*Made this delicious Paula Deen dessert for la familia.
*Gave kisses to Mr. W to keep me going!

And now, I'm going to bed.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Defining Mother-hood-ness

Every morning of every day,
I make two calls...
to Nana on her side of the Rockies,
to Dani up in Golden.

We might play phone tag
before we get through,
but eventually,
we get through.

This morning was no different.
I called Nana,
no answer.
I dialed Dani,
whose voice on the other end
"How ya doin', Sis?" I ask.
She relates that her crummy sinus infection
is clinging on for the eleventh day,
and not only that,
but the Golden child has a snotty nose,
and isn't sleeping well,
the 3 week-old Isaac is now sick too
and from what she can remember,
she thinks she's had about 3 hours of sleep
in the past 24 hours.

I ask her
-what kind of medicines she's taking for herself
and what, if anything she is able to give her babies?
-has anyone brought a meal in recently?
-does she want to come down to the Springs today and stay for a couple of days,
so I can care for the babies while she rests.

She says she's able to take Sudafed,
and the doctor gave a Rx for Garrett's ear infection,
but nothing can be given to baby Isaac.
Noone's brought in dinner...which doesn't surprise me
because they're in a Student ward.
And she would love to come down,
but doesn't think she could make the hour-long drive
by herself.

We finished chatting,
then I had to go run a kid to school or something
so I said my "goodbye" and "love you's"
and just as I hung up,
heard what I can only describe as complete mommy-misery
in my girl's voice as she said good-bye to me too.

I walked to the fridge to get a glass of milk,
with Dani's voice ringing in my ears,
and before I could even get a cup out of the cabinet,
I made the decision to run up to Golden.
At first, I wasn't going to call her--
I thought I'd surprise her
BUT then, something told me to call her
and let her know
I was on my way.
She didn't answer, so I left a message.

I jumped into the shower after making that call,
and mentally made notes of what I wanted to bring
to her and the boys--
once I was dressed,
I gathered things from my fridge and pantry
chicken nuggets and mac n' cheese for Garrett,
some leftover chicken salad and sandwich thins
for Dani and I to have for lunch,
some scented baby lotion for colds for the boys,
a gatorade for her,
and a coke for my breakfast.
Then, just as I was ready to leave,
I called her back--
"Hey" I said "I'm on my way up there."
"Really?" her voice shook.
"Yup, I'll be there in a bit."
"Thank you so much, Mom."

I lightly knocked on her door
in case her little ones were sleeping.
As she opened the door,
her very tired face lit up in appreciation.
Baby Isaac lay in her arms,
with only a diaper on--
" I just made an appointment with his doctor." she informed.
"He has a fever and congestion."
I opened my arms to him
and enfolded his little body close to mine.
Within seconds, he settles in
and relaxes into a deep sleep
before I've been there 10 minutes.
Dani says I've got "the Granma Touch".
I just smile at the sweet boy in my arms.

She unpacks the bag I brought in with me,
and Garrett's face beams a toothy grin
when I ask if he'd like some chicken nuggets.
He does an enthusiastic dance of delightful anticipation.

Dani made her self something to eat
while Garrett dipped his nuggets in ketchup
with both hands.
I listen as she describes the past few days
of snotty noses,
coughing fits,
changing clothes and bed linens,
and little sleep.

I remember those young mothering days of my own--
they were so hard for me.
Lack of sleep makes any day harder,
add to that sickness and babies
and those days feel more like nightmares.
I didn't have a mother that would come over
and relieve me for an hour or two
so I could sleep.
It just wasn't my reality.
Maybe that's why my mother-heart responds
so quickly for my own daughter.
I know how hard it was and how I craved relief
in the form of a mother.

After lunch,
I kissed his noggin and put Garrett down for a nap.
Dani and I visited a little more
while I unloaded & loaded her dishwasher,
put away the food
and picked up the toys--
all the while she is saying
"Oh Mom, you don't have to do that."
-- about 16 times.

She decided that she didn't need to come to the Springs with me.
Maybe she'll come tomorrow.
Just having me up to visit was good for her.
It was enough.

It was time for me to leave,
as I had carpool in the afternoon,
so I loved on her n' told her I'd call later.

That's what Mothers do.
We call and check on our kids.
We sometimes drop whatever it is we're doing,
and we go hold babies,
or bring food in,
or unload a dishwasher.
Because being a Mother has no deadline.
Once a Mother, Always a Mother.

It's after 11pm here,
and just as I was writing my first lines,
the phone rang...
it was Dani.
She and Brad are at the ER with Baby Isaac.
"Can I come up there?" I ask.
"Do you need me?"
"Will you call me in a bit once you know if the baby is going to be staying the night?"
"I'll come and sit in the hospital with you."
"I can go to the apartment and relieve your friend who is caring for Garrett."

She says they've been at the ER for a couple of hours already,
and they didn't want to call me,
because they knew I'd want to come up
and help--because that's what I do.
But they're okay and if they end up staying overnight,
then yes,
they'd appreciate it if I could come up.

So it's 11:25pm and my night will be long
until I hear that our little baby is fine.
Because that's what Granmothers and Mothers do.
We just do.

Try This You'll Like It!

Ikea's Lingonberry Sauce/Jam.  
On meat, toast, waffles, pancakes, ice cream, out of the jar on a spoon.
So stinkin' good. 
When you go to IKEA to pick one up, here's a tip: BUY TWO.  
 Sandwich thins are awesome.  
Better than regular buns, regular bread. Wondering what to pair it up with?
 Right here:
Trident's Alaskan Salmon Burgers.  
I started making them in the summer, for a light easy dinner, and I'm thinking of buying stock in the company.  I will eat these until I die.  Throw them on a cookie sheet for less than 10 minutes and then put 'em on a sandwich thin, with a little something-something on top--could be cheese, or italian dressing, ranch dressing, tartar sauce, add some veggies if you really wanna dress it up, but seriously, I eat it plain and love every bite.  N' so do the yahoos in my house.  I get them at Costco.
Anything you've discovered that makes your life a bit sweeter?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My Prayers

Last night,
as I closed my eyes and said a prayer,
I could only think of one thing
to ask for...

Just one.

And after I closed my  prayer,
I lay there thinking
how much my prayers have changed
over the years.

Things I wanted God's help with--
more strength,
more patience,
less stress,
less trials.

And truly, Heavenly Father has answered my pleas.
Every one.
And I do have those nights when
my petitions are more developed and refined--
asking for specific things for specific others,
at specific times.
But not last night.

Last night,
it was simply:
I love my Heavenly Father.
And I want what He wants
for me
for my children.
Whatever that is,
I want that.

Please take care of my children,
keep them safe.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Cost of Kissing

We've been talking awhole heap about this wonderfully mushy topic
in our house lately.
That happens when you have a daughter over on the West side of the Rockies
in Provo, Utah...aka "Happy Valley"
and she has the attention of young men there.

She's trying to figure things out--
young men mostly.
What she's trying to figure out is
if there's an exception to the rule that states:
"If you give your kisses away like free samples at Albertsons,
they will be worth as much as free samples at Albertsons."

(many thanks to John Bytheway for that wisdom.)

She's been testing that theory out over there.
And I've been backing up John Bytheway's thoughts on the subject.

You see,
there was this "boy"
and he liked the kissing part.
But she was wondering if kissing his lips
led to his heart.
Turns out,
his lips aren't talking to his heart
the way her heart was talking to her lips.

So there will be no more free kisses for him.

Cause while kissing is fun,
it ain't meant to be Free.

Friday, September 16, 2011

September Morn

See?  Told you. Yellow.  That means "FALL" in these parts.
I'm all sorts of giddy this morning.
It poured down rain alllll dayyyy longgg yesterday
and we woke up to this:

Pikes Peak covered in Snow.  Oh yeah.  
Had to pull over and take this when I drove Daisie to school.
Had to.
 I love Colorado Springs.
These kind of days just feeds my addiction to the place.

 This is the view out of the top floor of our house now.  
If only that house across the street was bulldozed over, 
we'd have an unobstructed view.
Nevermind the light. Pfft. I'd take that down too.

 My front door.  
Instead of a wreath, it's just a "Welcome"basket.  

What's cookin' today--
Rotisserie Chicken
Cucumber salad
Corn on the cob

What about your September morn?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sweaters, Meals & Missionaries

It's that time.
Oh yes it is.
Broke out the sweaters today.
The rumor is there's snow on Pikes Peak today
but I can't see it for all the rain/fog/clouds.

I'm also burning cinnamon and spice candles
I can.
Also, Mr W and I watched a new sitcom,
"Up All Night"
starring Christina Applegate and Will Arnett (sp?)--
it was "laugh-outloud"  funny
because it's written very real and authentic.
If you haven't seen it,
try getting it on HULU.
So so stinkin' funny.

My meal sharing group is up and running.
We're into Week Two.
I did tell the other gals the first month
would be a trial run for me
to see if it's a good fit for our family.
So far, it's kinda  very nice to not have to cook dinner
two nights a week.

Tonight after work,
I am headed over to the new Mission President's house
to help serve dinner
to departing missionaries.
I'm so stinkin' excited about that.
I just know their mommas are thrilled
to get their arms and hearts around them again.

I love missionaries.
Their example inspires me.

Next week,
I've volunteered to serve dinner
to the incoming missionaries...
those young men and women who've just left
their mommas behind,
hoping with all their hearts that
someone in Colorado Springs will love their kids
and take care of them.

It's a hard thing to be a Missionary Mom.
We worry.
Not being able to talk to your child except on
Mother's Day and Christmas for two years (young men)
or eighteen months (young women)
is a hard thing.
Hearing from them via email is a blessing akin to breathing
for Missionary Moms.
We just want to know they're alright.

And for my Momza's House friends who are not LDS,
may I just ask a teensy favor of you?
That regardless of your faith,
when you come across our young men in white shirts and ties,
or our young women in their Sunday dress,
with those black name tags attached--
will you be kind to them?
Will you offer them a drink of water and/or a smile?
Their mommas are at home,
praying on their knees,
that their missionaries are being care for,
and are safe and happy.
You would be the answer to a prayer.

And one more thing to make your day!
Have you heard of
If not,
go here

There are 6 episodes,
this one is #4 and it's my favorite.
Now, Go!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Clankin' Around

This post could be described as a "Brain Dump"--
you've been warned.

It's mid-September.
The leaves are starting to turn yellow on my elm tree--
at least I think it's an elm...
I gotta look that up when I remember.
Cuz' really, I have no idea what kinda tree
 is in my front yard.

Whatever it is,
the leaves are starting to turn
and that gets me excited for Fall.

On the homefront,
I am thisclose to parking my Sub in the garage.
Seriously, if it snowed today,
I could squeeze it in--
I wouldn't be able to open my door to get out--
I'd have to crawl over all three rows of seats
and go out the rear cargo door,
but, hey, if it's snowing,
I might be willing to do that.

In the midst of cleaning out the garage on Saturday,
I came across boxes that have been packed for 5 years.
Some that I packed in 2006
because we haven't had a home big enough since then
to open and unpack all of our things.
I'm not kidding.
And this house,
this wonderful house that I am so grateful for (eyes heavenward),
has but one linen closet that is so small,
I'm surprised the builder even wasted ink on the blueprint
to draw it in there,
much less the supplies to make it.
Right now,
I can store 6 towels, 2 hand towels, a washcloth
and a bar of soap in there.
Kinda ridiculous, hunh?
I know.
I cannot just go willy-nilly over linens anymore.
I must use what I have 'til they're plum wore out,
forever and ever
I must exercise self-control at Target--
averting my eyes at the proper moments
so I do not tempt my homemaker weaknesses
for season-themed hand towels.
No can do.

Whilst unpacking those old boxes,
I did in fact,
back-up the Sub, fill it,
and take a trip to Goodwill.
Which is as near a "high" as I can get in my old age
without causing permanent damage.
Plus, I'm a Mormon
and since getting "high" by any other means
would cause a whole heap a' trouble ,
I'll stick to unloading crapola to Goodwill.

I found another good thing about memory loss though--
finding things I haven't seen in so long
reminded me of Christmas morning as a child:
"Oh my! I forgot I had this!"
"I wondered where that went!"
So that was actually kinda cool.
I'm thinkin' that this coming Saturday
will be THE day I get to actually
make my goal of parking in the garage.

See? I'm such an easy woman to make happy.

What else?
Oh, who wants a former "best dog in the world"?
Aside from digging out under the fence
each and every day to run amuck in the neighborhood,
Riley has impeccable manners.
He does not jump up on you,
he never barks,
he's house-trained,
never chews up things,
and is just as polite as he can be.
But he's an escape artist.
I know just about every neighbor on our street
and down the road
because Riley has introduced us--
he's social like that.
He's just trying to make friends I guess
as he bolts from the yard and trots over to a neighbor,
sits at their feet while they read his nametag
then calls us to say us they have him.
"Oh what a wonderful dog!" they say.
"Yeah, he's really sweet. Just won't stay in our yard. Thanks for calling." I answer.

We've (and by "we've", I mean Mr. W and Joseph)
have tried all kinds of reinforcements
at the digging lines--
chicken wire,
stakes in the ground,
dog poop in the holes--
gross, I know, but we read it might help,
which it did for a couple of days.
And now, poor Riley has to be on a lead
when he's outside,
until we replace entire fence slats
because HE HAS EATEN the bottoms completely off.

Great dog.
AKC registered golden retriever.
If you live at Fort Knox or have a brick fence,
he'll be the best dog you've ever owned.
(The pick-up will have to be after 11pm, so none of the kids are awake,
as they do not share my anxiety over meeting all the neighbors,
or chasing a dog around the corner.)
Oh, I have a new calling in the Church.
Teaching Arianna's Primary class of 10 year olds.
Mr. W and I are team-teaching--
which is as near-painful to Mr. W as a root canal.
We have 8 kids in the class.
Three boys and five girls.
The girls are dolls. Easy peasy.
Two of the boys are normal, well-behaved.
However, the other acted like he's at Club Med the first Sunday--
kicked off his shoes,
laid down on the floor...
acting silly,
yammering a mile a minute
thinking he had a novice as a teacher.

I made him get off the floor,
and wouldn't let him participate in a game we were playing
until his shoes were on his feet
and his ears and mouth were ready to cooperate.
I figure if a child goes to school
then they know how to sit still and follow rules.
So I pointed that out to him
to which he replied
"This isn't school! This is Church."
and his classmate responded,
(without prompting from me)
"This is Heavenly Father's house."
I coulda kissed that kid on the noggin!

So this past Sunday,
it was Mr. W's lesson--
now, he's never taught Primary
and I was pretty sure those kids
were going to eat him

The rowdy kid was trying out a new routine--
he had decided that his chair was actually part of
an invisible space ship that was preparing for Lift-off.
I know.
I know.
I put my hand on his shoulder from behind,
and whispered all the things nice teachers do--
"Listen. This is important."
"'re disturbing your neighbor."
"Shhhh...Brother Anderson is talking."
"Shhhh...before I clonk you."
No, I didn't really threaten him with that--
what I actually said was,
"If you can't do your part, I'll take you to your Dad."
That actually perked his 10 year old ears up
and his mouth sat silent for 13.5 seconds.

The bell rang,
the kids left
and Mr. W looked like he'd been run over by a semi.
He said nothing,
just glazed over eyes,
shaking his head,
wondering what he's just signed on to do.

Then, we went to Sharing Time.
Sharing Time is when all of the Primary kids
get together in one room,
and one child says a prayer,
another offers a scripture,
another shares a 3 minute talk,
then the entire room
plays a game,
learns new songs,
I don't know why we have this experience in the Church--
akin to letting the monkeys rule the zoo,
but we do
and it's often painful.
Mr W and I have to sit strategically between two rows
with our class.
He sat with the girls, next to Arianna
and I sat smack next to the rowdy kid.
He tried to move around to different rows
different chairs n' such,
but I let him know, he'd be sitting right next to me.
In short, I was his babysitter.
He was disruptive and rude throughout the whole hour
and try as I might,
nothing I said made a difference.
Arianna said, "That's just how he is, Momma."
If one of my yahoos behaved like a nutball at Church,
I'd clonk them for sure.
So, I'm thinkin' of calling this rowdy kid's mom n' asking her straight up
what I should do with her son come Sunday morning
as he's preparing for Lift-off again in his bare feet.

Other things clankin' around my noggin:

Christmas. It's beginning to look alot like it at the stores.
I saw candy canes already.
They're leftover from 1987 you know that, right?
Yeah, candy makers just put so many preservatives
in their treats that they only have to make a fresh batch every
40 years.

OoVoo...David Scott and Tisha ooVoo'd with us Sunday
and let us know they're making plans to move back to Colorado
when he graduates next Spring.
This, from the yahoo who said, at 17 years old,
that he was going to live exactly 600 miles away from me
so I could never "just drop in" on him.
I told him at the time to make it 800 and we'd both be happy.
Turns out,
he misses living by family.
mwah hah hah.

That's it. The clankin' is down to a "click"
so I'm turning it Off.

But hey, I'd sure like to know what's clankin' around your noggin today.
G'head. Spill it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Homecoming 2011

Daisie went to her first Homecoming Dance
with her first official "date" this weekend.

 As you can see, these were very shy, reserved teenagers.

Daisie invited friends over for a potluck dinner.
She made sushi, while others brought side dishes and desserts and drinks.
 Yeah, it's not pretty, but there were no complaints about the flavor.

 The hostess with the mostest.

 Her first real date. He was an absolute gentleman--pulled out her chair, opened the car door, and was attentive in all the ways young women appreciate.  His momma raised him right!

Pictures before heading out to the dance...

It was a fun evening and so nice to have her friends in our home.

The Circle of a Woman's Reach

So I'm thinking about the women in my life.
I have so many to be thankful for that tonight
I decided to say it outloud!
The women I knew as teachers
when I was younger...
Miss Peck, Mrs. Gaye, Mrs Stafford,
Mrs. Franklin, my fourth grade english teacher, who looked like a princess
always smelled good, and made me want to learn how to spell!

Mrs. Dornan, the neighbor who taught me how to macrame,
and the neighbor I ran to in the middle of the night when
I was just 10 years old and found my own mother
swallowing pills to take her own life.
You were soft and warm & always comforted me.

Mrs. Crosby and Mrs. LaHew, also neighbors
who sewed for me--
Mrs.Crosby made me a light green wrap-around skirt,
and Mrs. LaHew sewed a blue and pink plaid skating dress,
just like the one she made for her daughter,
my best friend, Jackie.

Mrs. Bartlett, who always lent me a pencil and paper in school
when I had none. Which was nearly every day of 5th grade.

My Aunt Joyce who taught me to sew my own clothes in eighth grade
and always had a listening ear...I used to wish she was my mom.
Then we moved away from Florida
and away from family.

Gratefully, there were other women
who, for whatever reason,
chose to bless my life--

Sarah Anderson, thank you for caring for me
when my own family asked me to leave the house
with the clothes on my back that snowy February day.
Thank you for sewing me that special dress for the
Valentine's Dance so I could go.
Shirley Carlson, thank you for opening your closet
and pulling out brand new clothes and shoes for me
when I had none.
Rosalie Kieth, thank you for taking me in,
when you had four other children of your own to care for,
and for teaching me scriptures while we stood in line at the grocery store,
and for sharing your Book of Remembrance with the cute little cut-out windows
of all of your friends in it.
SuzAnne Brothers, thank you for letting me sleep in your grandmother's special
iron bed and use her special hand-made quilt with the tiny pink roses on it.
You made me feel special too.
Thank you for teaching me your recipe for cod fish and marinara sauce
with mozzarella cheese.
And for teaching me to clean the house on Mondays.
And washing the floors on my hands and knees--
I still make that recipe, and I still wash my floors that way.

Laurie Madsen,
Thank you for taking me into your family
when my own asked me to leave again because of my faith.
I still make your recipe for cheesegrits and our family prayers
are sweeter when we kneel like your family knelt.

Shelly Sorenson...thank you for being an awesome Visiting Teacher.
For coming to my house when my first baby was born
and encouraging me along.
I was so sad that you died in childbirth.  But I thought of you every time
I went into labor and was reminded to be grateful for the miracle of life.
I miss you.

Karen Barg, I love you.
Thank you so much for giving me a wonderful hug
and saying,
"Congratulations" when I found out I was
pregnant with number three
alot sooner than I wanted to be.
I needed someone to celebrate it with me.
You were that person.

Candy Rice: Thank you so much for going to aerobics with me
and cheering me on to lose that baby weight!!
Just knowing you were going to be at my door
every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
kept me motivated to move my buns!

Dr. Eileen, at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix,
thank you for meeting me and Dean at 7am
every morning for three years
so he could have physical therapy.
Thanks for all the stickers you gave to my other children,
who were sitting patiently waiting.
We put all those stickers in their journals...
well the ones that didn't get stuck on their clothing,
or inside the car windows.

To our sweet neighbors in South Carolina,
Leslie Rufus and Leanna Butler,
thanks for making our very sparse Christmas
a beautiful memory.

Lisa Parry, thank you for being a loving Visiting Teaching Companion.
I learned so much from your dedication.
Thank you for sharing so much of your self with me,
that when I suffered post-partum depression,
I could talk to you about it and not feel judged.
And thank you for teaching the Primary kids my favorite song,
"I'll Walk With You" honor of Dean.
Your love helped me so much.

Sister Mathers,
Thanks for meeting us at the hotel,
and driving me around to find a place to live
when we arrived in South Carolina to go to school there.
I'd never met you before and there you were!
Thanks for showing up in the pouring down rain
with a crockpot full of delicious chili when I had
Number Four...even though you weren't my visiting teacher.

Dorn Fox, thank you for that beautiful sweater you bought
me for the baby shower...
your card said the baby had lots of gifts,
and you wanted to do something just for me--
I loved the sweater and I still have that card, twenty years later.

Mary Gwinn, thanks to you, I was able to use my
calligraphy talents to help support my family
while we were in school!
By your word of mouth and your Aunt's bridal shop,
I was always busy!
I still do wedding invites all these years later,
and I always think of you and your sweet family.

Nan, you are more than my friend,
you have become my sister.
Thank you for laughing at me,
crying with me,
praying for me and just being there.
I so needed you.

My SIL, Stacie--
for letting me and my yahoos drive down to Atlanta
every six weeks (during midterms and finals)
and hanging out with you and Keith and the kids.
We loved the eggrolls and the memories!

Dottie, thank you for letting me work with you as
a Midwife Assistant.
You let me love your clients and do something I've always wanted to do.
You were an answer to my prayers.

Stacey Durrant--thank you for that first plate of cookies
you brought over the day we moved into the house on
Coberd*le, and for welcoming us into the ward so warmly.
For sharing your painting tips! And for organizing a wedding reception
in Salt Lake when we knew noone else there!
You are such a generous sister and I am blessed in knowing you. are a trip!
Thanks for the late night talks,
the early morning walks,
the laughs and giggles and sharing your testimony of
God's love for all of His children
in a thousand different moments.

Kelly McKamey and Tami Lynard, thank you
for coaching me to be the best doula
I can be!  You both have shared all you know
so graciously, I am confident going into births
because I know I've been trained by exceptional women!

Lorna...thank you for seeing in my heart
the quiet emptiness
of missing my son,
and bringing him to me as a surprise!
Noone has ever equaled that joyous gift!
I love you to infinity!

Robyn Baird and Rhonda Cazier--thank you for helping me
get my homestaging business going in Idaho,

and Kelly W. thanks for being my partner in crime now!
We are sisters in every sense of the word. One day, we will
have to go to Las Vegas to see Donny Osmond!

Vicki, thank you for sharing the secret to your happiness:
the Gospel.
It changed my life
and brought all of these fine women into my realm.

 There are several other women who've taken time
out of their lives and reached over to touch mine.
This list is just a small sampling of the good women
in my life who've served and love me so.
Women are good at that.
We are the nurturing souls on this earth,
the ones who weep with us
and for us
and lift us up when we are low.
How we need one another to get thru this life
in joy and sorrow.
I am who I am
because of a multitude of women.
Because of them,
I am a better Wife and Mother,
a better friend and sister.

What about you?  Who is on your Grace-full Women List??
Today's a good day to be thankful.

*this is a re-post from 8/2010

Holy Rollin' Cousins

My Dad has one sister, Patricia. 
She is considerably older than him, like 8 years, I think. 
And she married a Pentecostal Minister, Uncle Milton. 
Together they had three daughters. 
They lived in Channelview, Texas and had their own church, Truth Tabernacle.
They never cut their hair, 

always wore long dresses, 
and were the picture of Minister's daughter's. 
I secretly envied them...they always looked like they were going to a Party.

So the one and only time they ever ever ever came to visit us was when I was in 6th grade. My Mom cleaned the house like President Nixon was coming to stay. 

It shined like a new penny.
We were all so excited for their arrival. 

We kept looking out the front door and down the street until 
they pulled into the driveway and we all ran out to meet them.

Now, Lila (named after Granma Lila) was older than me by at least 6 years. 

Nina was closer to me, but still older by about 3 years and 
BonnieBeth was younger by about 3 years. 
So Nina and BonnieBeth were ready to hang out with us kids, 
while Lila wanted to keep company with the adults.
My brothers and I had a favorite place to go to not far from where we lived. 

It was a sandy cliff,
that you could actually project yourself OFF the cliff, 
catch some air, and fall into the soft sandy bottom near a running creek.
We somehow managed to talk my cousins into going there with us. 

Oh sure, they were reluctant at first..."we can't mess our hair, our dresses are new-- blah blah blah" . 
We told them that the didn't HAVE to jump, they could watch us and hey, if they changed their minds, they were welcomed to it!
Well, we were gone at least an hour,

jumpin' and catchin' air and sand, 
before Nina had a moment of clarity as  she looked at BonnieBeth. 
Who was a Mess and looked nothing like a Preacher's Daughter. 
Her long blonde braids had twigs and sand in them. 
Her dress pockets were full of sand and pebbles. 
Her socks were tossed in the dirt on the cliff, feet and hands covered in sand. 
Head to toe.
Nina wised up, and started frantically wiping, shaking, brushing her sister down to clean her up.
Then she took stock of her own appearance. 

And started laughing. 
It was not a "hey ain't this funny laugh" (that's what my brothers and I were thinking),
 it was a mildly maniacal, 
"Oh crap, my Mom's gonna kill me!" laugh. 
We didn't know any better, so we just laughed along.

Well we when arrived at the house, Nina told us all to go in as quietly as possible so she and BonnieBeth could get to the bathroom and clean themselves up before Aunt Pat saw them.
I wish I could say that happened. 

It didn't. Hey, I have 4 brothers. Boys are anything but quiet.
I dashed into my parent's bathroom, 

and all I know is that by the time I came out, 
Aunt Pat and her three daughters were in their car pulling out of the driveway. 
And my mom was breathing fire out of her nose.
Still, what a sight it was for me to see my prim and proper cousins just having fun and sharing a day with us. 

I loved them for being normal.

I have over 2 dozen cousins.  
I have seen only one of them in 30 years.  
Altho, thru facebook, I've reconnected with a dozen of them! 
I think I'll look for Nina, Lila, and BonnieBeth today.
My own children have 18 cousins--and haven't seen any of them in a decade, and some
not at all, due to the fact that we live far away from where I grew up, and divorces.
I wish I could fix that. 
I hope my own children stay close enough that their children have tight relationships with their cousins.

What about you?  Best memories of your cousins?

P.S. I found Lila on FB a couple of weeks ago.

Friday, September 9, 2011

My Young Mothering Days

I had three yahoos in two years.
That's right,
I brought home from the hospital,
Number 3 child
on Number 1's Second Birthday.
Get that?

I know no other woman who has done that,
so I figure that's the reward right there--
being able to say
I had three yahoos in two years.

I learned a few things that helped me survive
the early years:

Diaper Service.
It came twice a week
and delivered over 200 cloth diapers each time.
Back then,
disposable diapers offended my senses--
they were rough, leaky and went straight to the trash.
So I didn't compromise on cloth diapers,
even if I did have three yahoos in them at one time.
By the time child number 4 came,
six years later,
Luvs were created,
and I changed over and loved it.
Just keeping it real here.

The yahoos got up at 7am
and I'd look at the clock thinking
"It's just twelve hours. I can do this."
After breakfast,
there were baths,
getting dressed for the day,
and getting out of the house
for all of us.
Because my husband was a FT student,
there wasn't alot of disposable income,
so for the most part,
I became a Mall Rat.
Pack the diaper bag full,
and Go!
I'd pile the kids into the two seater stroller,
and put the other carrier on the top,
and walk and walk and walk
around the Mall.
It actually helped me to lose weight,
and stay sane.
I learned where all the mother-friendly bathrooms
were in the Mall,
so I could nurse the youngest
when needed,
and then after lunch,
we'd head home.
For naps.
All of us.
I'd get up before they woke
and start dinner,
do some laundry,
and the rest of the afternoon was spent at home.
Dinner time was around 6,
bedtime was at 7.
And then I could watch TV,
do crafts,
or do nothing at all.
I needed that time to myself
after they went to bed to just BE.
And I didn't stay up late either--
I was in bed by 9--10 at the latest.
And, like Groundhog's Day,
it started all over the next day.

That's just how it was those first few months
after Number 3 was born.
As the kids got older,
we did different things--
go swimming (we lived in AZ) alot,
went to movies,
visited friends,
the park (in the winter!)
Joy School,
day trips to Prescott to escape the heat,
working out at the gym,
Mommy playdates and lunches,
But I knew that we all needed to get out of the house
to stay sane,
and we did.
In hindsight, I am grateful that I had a husband who encouraged me
to get out of the house.

I had a SIL who had kids and was never seen again.
Her house sucked her in,
and she rarely left it.
It didn't help with her depression.
She didn't answer a ringing phone
or the door when you knocked on it
if she could help it.

I also learned that some days the kids just weren't up to being out.
So trips had to be cut short and naps were sooner than later.
I didn't take sick kids out of the house at all.
I learned my limits as well as my yahoos' limits.
We all learned to compromise.

Take lots of pictures.
N' write in journals--
I wrote in a baby journal for each child,
so that I can go back and recall their childhood
in my own words and they can too.
Try not to rush the days you're in,
because "these days" turn into "those days"
much sooner than you can possibly imagine.
Make sure that "surviving" and "enduring" doesn't suck up
"living" and "enjoying".
There is much joy and discovery in young motherhood--
if you had a less-than-good childhood,
teach yourself how to be the kind of parent you wanted
by reading parenting books by people you trust,
talk to other mothers in your circle at church or playgroups,
glean ideas from other sources and try them out your self.

Be patient with yourself, young mother.
The journey is long and the way is exciting!
Be prepared to learn and stretch mothering muscles
you never knew you had!

Cultivate the seeds of motherhood--
nourish your mind with knowledge,
fill your heart with understanding and compassion,
keep your hands busy with teaching
and your ears open for guidance
your eyes will see beyond the veil,
and in time,
those seeds will come to fruition.

You'll be the "Mother of the Groom"
or the "Mother of the Bride"
and sooner than you realize,
you'll be "Granma"--
snuggling soft cheeks
and sneakin' goodies into small hands
that fit inside of yours perfectly.

Those young mothering years
are long past
and I miss them so.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The First Snow's Flyin'!

ya know, when we moved into this house,
one of the things I was bent on doing was getting
at least one of the three garage bays cleared out
before the first snow fall
for my BMW aka my Suburban--
cuz' there's fewer things that makes me crankier
than havin' to scrape snow and ice off
at 6am.

But I've been lazy.
I've let the summer days get away from me,
ignored Mount Heap O' Crap
as I've played 'til my bones ached--
and by playing
I mean,
mostly playing
and mostly working
the whole live long summer season.

Well, those days are over on this side of the Rockies.
It's been chilly with 54o and rainy in the foothills,
snow falling in the mountains!
Not even kidding.

That put a fire under my tush yesterday--
forget that I stayed up late the night before
tapping out a "just so you know" letter to my boss
and was so tired that all I wanted was a nap!
Nope, I gulped down a cola
and bribed Daisie (hey, she's working off her Homecoming dress)
and we got

No longer was I using my best scrutinizing eye
or Compassionate-Mom heart
as my hands went thru boxes of random stuff--
I pulled out what looked valuable
shut my eyes to the rest
and shoved it all into the trash.

Within 20 minutes a good-sized-dent-of-space
was made in the garage bay that I want for my BMW
and I was one happy Momza--
Like I'd lost 20 pounds of unwanted fat!
yes, it is THAT good to toss out stuff!

When Mr. W came home,
I put on my best "come-look-what-I-did-today!-smile,
(with  "mwah-ah-hah" undertones)
and anxiously waited for him to change his work clothes
to follow me to the garage and see my accomplishment.

Now, you know what he was thinking--

"where's my stuff?"
I watched as his eyes scanned the garage:
skis...skis...cross-country skis...CHECK
hik-ing gear...poles...tents...packs...CHECK
My father's old White tractor that hasn't worked in 10 years...CHECK

"Looks good, hun." he offers--like I work for him. sheesh.

"ANNNDD, I'm gonna finish this by the weekend!", I reply.

"Oh. Oh. Well, be careful not to toss good stuff out."

Yeah. whatever.
If I'm doin' it, I get to decide what's important, right?

Come that first snowfall in my driveway,
my car WILL park in that garage,
even if I have to drive over stuff to get it in there.

Cuz' there's snow on those peaks
and I had to turn on the heater in the car this morning.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It Takes Alot of Work to Celebrate Labor Day Weekend


Mr. Idaho

and three young men from Provo:
(all aka names, fyi)

Lots and Lots of

Best Moments:

Getting up at 2:30am to welcome Nana home,
seeing Joseph run down the stairs
and into her arms;
watching Ari do a full-on jump

Then, going back to bed
so happy she was home.

Watching Garrett
*hang onto Nana
whenever she was in the same room.
* Do JUST DANCE with the Provo boys
*Scramble up rocks with the Provo boys at Garden of the Gods,
yelling and pointing "UP!"

The hike, altogether was so what I needed.

Late night chats with Nana...
I've missed those mucho much.

The Menu for the weekend:
Green Chile Roast for tortillas
Chicken Fettucine Alfredo Florentine
Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Pancakes, Fruit (for breakfast)
Ice cream and Strawberries w/ chocolate sauce

It takes ALOT of food to fill that many tummies.
Arianna challenging the Provo boys to JUST DANCE competitions--
winning as much as losing
n' loving it.
She amazes me with her confidence.

Our family circle of hugs and tears
when it was time to say "goodbye" to Nana...
that stunk on ice.
The trip was over before we knew it
and none of us was really ready to let her go.

Packing up Dani's things and driving her and her babies
back to Golden,
unpacking her boxes and setting up her new apartment--
as she and Mr. Idaho begin his senior year at Mines.
Again, it was hard to say goodbye,
as she's been with us for a whole week
and we've been loving on her babies like nobody's business!
But, I'll see her this Friday,
so I might make it.
Waking up this morning to a quiet house
with a heart full of memories of a very busy weekend.

*Yes, there were pics taken,
but the camera is MIA right now.