Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good-bye, 2009. Hello, hello 2010.

I can totally admit to the fact that I tend to live in the past. I can AGONIZE over choices that I could have (maybe SHOULD HAVE) made at various points in my life. ... I still get VERY peeved when I see all the changes that have occurred in my hometown. I know, I know. The world does NOT revolve around me and my inflated sense of nostalgia ... I'm trying to come to terms with this fact.

I also cannot believe that it's been a year since I was flitting around town, scrambling to find edible glitter and the correct food colorings for Bruise and Bucket's birthday cake and cupcakes for their third birthday.

I also can't believe that it's only been a matter of months since the recession started. THAT, my dears, feels like it's gone on FOREVER. The bad kind of forever (as opposed to my feeling like Michael and I have been married for forever. That forever makes me happy. And almost wipes out how I agonize over what COULD have happened if I HAD kissed K in that play during the Ren Faire when we were sophomores. Could I have had a date for Prom my Junior year ... and then P and I wouldn't have had our friendship go all weird there for a while. But then he (P, not K) and Rox wouldn't have gotten engaged ... and he wouldn't have cheated on her ... Yeah, I don't know. Would things have been better? Or just different. And I probably wouldn't have liked myself all that much, since I WAS dating F right then. Not that he had a problem with my stage-kissing boys. Which was good, since I was in theatre ... But he and I really didn't suit. We didn't (and still don't) have all that much in common. (Truly, we have even less in common now. And I still think about the fact that I owe him a form punch in the nose for taking advantage of a friend of mine ... But that's neither here nor there, now is it?)

We should take down the Christmas tree soon. I need to get a picture of it. I feel bad that we really didn't get presents for the kids this year. Stupid recession hitting us hard. But, hey, they really didn't notice that at all. They got their yearly ornament (or, in this year's case, a set of ornaments each) and they received more than plenty from their family who loves them very, very much. (Costumes, dolls, Transformers, pajamas, lightsabers, cars, Lincoln logs ... good stuff. Yes, my babies are SPOILED.)

We bought their birthday presents today. Nothing really huge. I'll post what they got on their birthday.

Michael's getting a new calling. Glad that it's not me. I freaking LOVE my calling. I'll be so absolutely depressed and dejected when I have to give it up. So, yeah, we'll have a few changes happening around here ... even in our family schedule. Nothing really, really huge ... just different.

Bruise and Bucket start Primary this Sunday. What's nice is that one of their Nursery leaders is now their teacher. And I get the other in YW with me. I love them both ... and I'm so excited to have one with the YW. She totally makes me laugh so hard. (Seriously, you have not LIVED if you haven't played Scattergories with her. HILARIOUS!!)

In my YW Presidency meeting yesterday, it was brought to my attention that I had accidentally moved my birthday to be the same day as our president's. She and I have a couple days in between our birthdays. I played it off, citing that (1) I'm quite fallible and (2) that I wanted to be her TWINSIE!!! We had a good laugh about that. ^_^

I should use the pasta maker that I got for Christmas. It'll be a good thing. Get me off the computer more. And fresh, homemade noodles will be yummy and healthy and (most importantly) CHEAP.

I've been reading (Dexter in the Dark, Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog, Shakespeare's Landlord ...) and proofreading paper for a friend of mine. (LOVE the "Track Changes" in MS Word. Makes it easy to proof papers online.)

Michael and I went to the temple. And saw Sherlock Holmes (GOOD. Liked it a lot. I'm ready to own in on DVD.) Boxing day, we went with Michael's family and the kids to see "The Princess and the Frog." First time taking Bruise and Bucket to the movie theater. They did really well. Phew! Maybe we can make more of a habit of this. ... When we have money to do so. ^_^

BUMMER THING: My daughter, who takes after her mother in the area of childhood tact ... well ... My mom emailed me last night, letting me know that Bucket was talking about my mom's rear. And using the words "really, really big." Which had really hurt my mom's feelings.
If Bucket hadn't been asleep, I think I would have dragged her out of bed and raked her over the coals, vented my spleen, read her the riot act, and really have let her have it. Since she was asleep, we waited until we were all up and awake and had a DISCUSSION. And touched on this DISCUSSION repeatedly. We DISCUSSED using KIND WORDS and what is and is not appropriate to discuss.
(I can say that she takes after me because, as a child, I kinda offended/hurt my Pop-pop by getting after him and his smoking habit. ... I'm sorry that I hurt his feelings. But, deep inside, I really was right. Because he died of lung cancer. ... I really would give near anything to have been wrong. Sucks, huh?)
But, hopefully, Bucket will stop "trying to be funny/silly" and treat my mom with more respect. (And my mom felt like maybe SHE was being too sensitive. No. My daughter just needs to learn tact and how to filter. STAT. She's not allowed to hurt my mommy's feelings. That's that. Or else I'll be SORELY TEMPTED to handle it how my mom handled it back in the day when _I_ questioned why her posterior was the size it was. ... She slapped me across the face. I learned REAL FAST not to ask THAT question again. ... I don't want to do that, though. It's kind of my last resort. Let's pray that I don't have to resort to it.)

That's mostly the whole catch-up ...

I should, like, I don't know, write down goals or crap for this year. (Hope for more goals and less crap. ^_^
  • Really, for real, make a steady habit of personal prayer and scripture study.
    This shouldn't be such a struggle. But, for me it is.
  • Make a steady habit of exercise. Because _I_ am tired of being out of shape.
    And, really, how am I supposed to be a good example to my kids if I'm not making exercise a priority? ... Yeah, that's what I thought. Thanks.
  • Back up all my stuff to the external HD once a month.
  • Review the guidebooks and stuff for YW (Our YW Pres recommended this)
  • Attend the temple at least 1x/month.
  • Maybe start doing FLYlady again ... it'd be nice to have a consistently cleaner house.
  • Plan meals out at the beginning of every week (or, even better, every MONTH) -- so that I will have an idea of when to start dinner and what to shop for and all that.
  • Get my computer up and running again. *sigh*
  • Maybe do that 365 picture thing ... Just maybe.
  • Be prepared for NaNoWriMo this year. ... Since I lost all my previous work, do you think that I should restart the plot that I had going this year? Since I'll have some time and all, I could easily revamp and make an outline and, I don't know, have NAMES PICKED OUT FOR CHARACTERS and stuff?
  • Finish Bruce and Bucket's baby books. BECAUSE THEY'RE GOING TO BE FOUR. THEREFORE IT'S DEFINITELY TIME FOR ME TO GET THAT STUFF DONE.
  • Finish the two books I have from Thomas Nelson publishing and review them. So I can get another free book to review, and so on and so on and so on, worlds without end, Amen. (Was that sacrilegious? Or blasphemy? I'm not TRYING to be so, just so you know.)
  • Get my girly-bits examined and a general check-up. Since that'd be a good thing to do. Not enjoyable, per se. But good, preventative medicine.
  • Make a little marker for Gingi-cat's grave.
  • Update my address book in Gmail ... get everyone's physical addresses added into that, so that, should anything happen, heaven forbid, I will still have people's addresses.
  • I want to get my visiting teaching done every month. Not just for the numbers ... but because I feel better when I know that I've done what has been assigned to me. I hate feeling like I've dropped the ball.
Well, I think that's enough for now. *sigh* We'll see how well I do. And, hey, since I've shared these goals with you, you get to help keep me accountable.
If I fail, don't rub my nose in it, TOO much. Just enough to keep me humble. Not so much that I'll be calling every doctor I know, trying to get a prescription for Valium or anything.

Happy New Year's, everyone! Let's hope and pray for a year of health, love, and some material wealth. ^_^

Or, at least, that things will be getting better and better ... as opposed to the contrary.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

In which I talk about a dissapointment ...

So, yesterday, I was so thrilled that FINALLY my hold on TrueBlood came in at the library.
I've really enjoyed that series by Charlaine Harris (and the other books of hers that I've read. I really like her style. It's fun!)

So, Michael and I pop in the first disc. I think we watched maybe a half-hour before we're all, "Um, no."

I was taken aback by all the cussing. Harris' books aren't like that. Sure, there's SOME. But nothing like what the screenwriters put. And I do NOT need to see a couple of people totally going at it nekkid to know that Sookie's brother is a total player.

I know that they always say, "Show it, don't tell it." But, my dears, that's for LITERATURE. I don't have to know EXPLICITLY what sexual acts a character does to know that s/he gets around. You could have a narrator or another character or two mention it. Which Harris does.

Yeah. Total disappointment.

As I muttered after I switched it off, "At least I have ice cream." Because Michael's awesome and brought me home a pint of Ben and Jerry's Brownie Cheesecake. (He almost grabbed me the AmeriCone Dream, since it's made to support Stephen Colbert's charities.)

So, yeah, the night wasn't a total waste. But, grrrr. It really ticks me off that HBO did that to the Sookie Stackhouse books. The books are quite a bit tamer in language and ... stuff. For the most part. I mean, yes. There's some steamy stuff. But people aren't throwing around the f-bomb willy-nilly like in the show.
(I understood it in Dexter, since I watched the pilot after LOVING the first book. THAT, now, was faithful to the book. There IS language in there. And Jeff Lindsay, the author, does explain why certain characters use the language that they do. So I'm okay with that. ... Still, it's why I don't watch the series.)

[RANDOM FACT ABOUT ME: While I really don't like hearing vulgarities or profanity in shows, I don't care so much if I'm reading it. ... I seem to auto-edit. Unless it's really vital to the content/meaning of the statement. I don't know why. But it's what I do. I'll notice if there's language in written media ... but, overall, I don't mind it so much as I do when I HEAR it.]

Michael, bless his dear heart, was really taken aback by TrueBlood since he misunderstood which book series it was about. He was under the impression that it was based on L.J. Smith's Vampire Diaries series (which is a YA vampire series published when I was a girl. I remember reading Smith's books as I walked home from school in Jr. High. Or during classes [when my work was done, of course] in high school. Her books are one of my guilty pleasures. And, truly, I love her books. Whereas, I tolerate Twilight.) ... No wonder he was shocked.
(You have to give him points, though, for knowing that there is a show based on those books. It's on the WB CWTV. And called "The Vampire Diaries." ... I've heard that it's good. But that it doesn't stick to the plot lines in the books. I'm willing to give it a shot.

So, in my opinion, TrueBlood = EPIC FAIL.
If I can't even make it through a pilot without having to turn it off ... well, you've lost any chance of me watching the show.

It ticks me off something fierce, too. Because I was really ready to LOVE it. If it didn't have gratuitous sexxxins and tons of cussing. (I can handle a few sh**, maybe one f-bomb every couple episodes, ... I can totally handle "crap," "hell," and "damn" ... If you're gonna cuss a bunch, though ... Either don't do it or be cool like Firefly and do it with different words (C'mon, we TOTALLY know what they're saying when they use terms like "gorram" or "rutting.") or insults in Mandarin (I totally used "gosa" ["crap"] in the shower this morning).

So ... yeah. I think that you get my point. That I was not impressed with TrueBlood.
And I really, really wanted to be!

(Just like how I wanted to LOVE Mad Men ... and, truly, the costuming and props are DIVINE ... but, DUDE, EVERYTHING's about sex. sexsexsexsexsex ... Meh. We didn't even complete the whole season before losing interest. And it even had YoSafBridge in it!!!!!!!! And I love her!!! ... If you don't know who YoSafBridge is, you have not watched all of Firefly. Go forth, do so. Love it. Those are your commands.)

Now, I'm giving HBO one more chance. I'm going to check out season one of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Because I love, love, love, love, love that series.
(Seriously, this is a book series without swearing and sex scenes. I feel uplifted and happy when I read any of the books. This book series is a total GEM, I tell you,. It's really different from anything that I've read before. And I love it. Have I mentioned that????)
So, HBO, if you've screwed this one up, you are dead to me.
(Signed, Allanna -- who wishes that all movies would be PG-13 or lower. 'Cause I don't need to be seeing people in their altogether or hearing the f-bomb, well, EVER. Thanks, smooches, bye!)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

In which I step in a wet spot on the carpet ...

So, I woke up as Michael was getting ready (a time which I refer to as "the butt crack of dawn," which has a kind of poetry to it. ... Not really. The poetical-ness-essence. I DO refer to the crazy-early part of the day as what I said above.) and I couldn't fall back asleep.

So I went online and looked at ornaments to see if there are any that I really, really want to get for Bruise and Bucket. Since I try to make sure that we buy them an ornament every year. Relating to something that they like. Hallmark has NO Transformers ornaments. LAAAAAAAAME. Bucket likes enough things that I can find her an ornament just about anywhere. And Hallmark's a little out of the budget right now. So I may just scrounge at Target.

But, since I'm up before the kids are, Michael talked me into getting a shower before I have another chance to replay the fiasco that was yesterday afternoon. *rolls eyes* If the kids had just LISTENED and taken that nap, everything would have been fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine.

But, yeah. I get my shower. The kids come in while I'm taking it and belting out Disney songs. I get dried off and dressed. We watch the Charlie Brown Christmas special (in which I almost fall asleep, since I've been awake since around 5 AM. TOLD YOU it's the butt-crack of dawn) ... which takes up to about 8 AM.

The kids get to eat burnt cookies for breakfast, since I really don't care. I go and start making the big bed and Bucket's bed in the kids' room (washed the sheets on the guest bed ... and Bucket had an accident a couple nights ago, which necessitated washing HER sheets again. *sigh*). And, as I went to put the fitted sheet on the big bed, I stepped in a spot of wet carpet.

I ask the kiddos what this is ... Is it pee? Is it water? And, of course, I get two different answers. Both blaming it on the other sibling. Joy. So, I turn off the show they're watching, make them lie in bed for a timeout, make the beds, and have a TALK about LYING.

Bucket eventually caves -- the wet is pee. From her. From last night. Because she was mad at Mommy and Daddy. Because we didn't read to them from The Silver Chair (which, coincidentally, was part of the punishment for the folderol that was yesterday afternoon).

Yup, this is my life, ladies and gentlemen. This is my life.

I have errands to run. Do I really feel like going out and getting gas, going into town to get my library book and a few presents, heading to Target to get ornaments, or even staying home and baking with little liars in tow?

Hells to the NO, my loves. Hells to the NO.

What I really would love, love, LOVE to do is just grab a bottomless mug of Irish Creme-flavored steamed milk, wrap myself up in a cocoon of my down comforter, and read and do crossword puzzles.
While my children leave for a prolonged trip on a space shuttle.

Although, truly, in real life, after about two hours without them, I'd start to miss them and regret sending them into deep space without a cell phone or long underwear.
So, I suppose that I really shouldn't partake in this fantasy.

Though a steamer made with Irish Creme-flavored syrup does sound utterly divine. Perhaps I can make that my reward after I clean the house and get my errands done.

I don't like being this mean, unhappy parent. It's not something I enjoy.

Why can't my children just LISTEN to me for a change? It wouldn't be half as irritating if I didn't love them and KNOW that they are really decent kids.
*sigh*

Yup, listen to me, everyone. Then call the WAAAAAAAAAAH-mbulance. Yes, I know that I'm being whiny. I'm totally aware of this. It doesn't make me any happier than it makes you.

Today would be a perfect day for a zombie uprising. Too bad that I'm too much of a wimp to use the shotgun well. (Hey, it HURTS. Especially when you don't hold it positioned properly and the kickback gets you right in the boob. OWWWWwwwWWWWwwwww. ... Not that I speak from experience or anything ... *shifty eyes*)

Okay. I better get to baking and doing the dishes and putting on a clean, dry pair of socks (to replace the pair I had to throw in the laundry. Ew.) and getting the kids ready to brave the wild outdoors. And make dinner. And get ready for the holiday. And get my Visiting Teaching done. And read my scriptures and say COPIOUS, MYRIAD PRAYERS that I'll get through this, that life will be all happy-fun-times-with-rainbows-and-unicorns ... and that I won't be tempted to throttle my dear. Little. Darling. Children.

(Ha. When I was typing "darling," I accidentally typed "darnling." Freudian slip on the keyboard, you think?)

Maybe I should be all crazy and go buy the soundtrack to Glee and sing along. It might help.

Monday, December 21, 2009

In which I say "gorram" a lot. And then I lick the spoon.

Don't get me wrong. I love the holidays.
Like, I tear up when I sing songs about the Baby Jesus. I LUV da Baby Jesus something fierce.

So, today, after the folderol that occurred this afternoon, I manage to start cooking. I made the batter for chocolate crinkles. I made the centers of the peanut butter balls (Buckeyes) with the recipe that I STOLE from my dear Dorie. I'm making the brownies from Black Apple... I have a few things going on (and, all the mean time, I'm yelling at the kids' door for them to just take a dang nap!!!!!).

I am NOT Martha Stewart. Not in the least.
  • Martha does not do her cooking in an untidy kitchen.
  • She doesn't do it wearing sweats.
  • She has her hair properly coiffed. Not uncombed like a savage heathen.
    (No offense to any heathens among you. I'm using hyperbole. Please don't be offended by the use of cliches. You know that I love you.)
  • Martha has a proper double boiler for when she's dipping the PB balls. She doesn't just place a random glass pie/casserole dish on top of a saucepan and hope that it works.
  • Martha also doesn't say "dammit" or "gorram" every gorram time she burns her arm with the steam coming up from the makeshift double boiler.
    (Which in my case is rather often. The cussin' and the burning of my arm. It's a Christmas miracle that I have any skin left on that arm.)
  • She also isn't a complete flub at putting parchment paper into glass baking dishes for the brownies (At least the recipe is easily doubled and only really dirties one dish in the preparation. And they're soooooooo good).
Yes, it's a good thing that my children are mostly in their room so they don't hear me say gorram about eleventeen gorram times.

And then, as I'm getting the brownies in the oven and licking the spoon (BECAUSE I CAN!), I try to think if I've eaten anything today besides the tidbits of cooking, (Oh, yeah, I had a very good sandwich earlier) (But the fact that I have to HAVE this conversation with myself is what brings me to the inevitability of my future where I will contract Type II Diabetes. )

And I then I lick that spoon some more. Because if I'm gonna suffer Diabetes, I might as well enjoy my life (and all the sugar, sugar, sugar, simple carbs, sugar, simple carbs, sugar) as best as I can.

Before it's all ripped away from me ... leaving me alone and senseless. Like Bertha Rochester, but not so violent, I hope. More forlorn, I think.

Pitiful, huh, that my future will be that of some crazy woman in a Gothic novel.

If I wasn't so spent what with the spider that was in the sink this morning as I was doing the dishes (BUT IT WAS THERE!!! AND IT COULD HAVE BEEN A BROWN RECLUSE AND THEN, IF IT BIT ME OR THE KIDS, WE'D HAVE ULCERS OR SOMETHING ICKY ON OUR SKIN!!!!!!), the aforementioned folderol, and the fact that my children APPARENTLY HATE ME BECAUSE LISTENING AND OBEYING IS JUST TOO MUCH TO ASK OF THEM!!!!!!!! ARRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

I can't wait for Michael to be home so he can pet my hair and call me his pretty little tulip and I can pretend that I'm dainty and sweet and lovely. And then he can bake all the cookies, so I don't have to look at any baked goods for a good hour or so.

I'm tired of yelling. I'm tired of my kids not napping. *sigh* I'm tired of spiders being in my house. EVER. If I wanted them in my house, I'd go out and buy engraved invitations for them. Have I done that???? NooooOOOOoooooo. Why don't those dang arachnids get the point? *sigh*

Though, I do feel a little self-righteous that spellcheck didn't know the word folderol (I did have to check the spelling. I was wicked-close. So there!)

Then I remember how many times I've said "gorram" ... thus cementing my place in Hell.
(I joke. Repentance is still possible. Thanks be!!! ... And that's one reason we celebrate this season.)

But, yes. I think I'm ready for a nap. Or some brownies. .... Or eggnog. Yum. I think I need some posthaste!

Sometimes my life is ... insane.

SOOOOOOO ... My mom-in-law's friend was going to drop a package by our house for us to take down to Michael's folks.

I FINALLY get around to getting a shower. The kids are not quite napping, so I am singing and not listening for the door.

Next thing I know, as I'm putting a robe on over my bathtowel is that someone's in the hall.

Turns out that MIL's friend is worried since my daughter (who doesn't want to take a nap) is crying in the window (next to her bubbly and happy brother) and calls my MIL, who lets her know how to get into the house since I'm not answering the door (being in the shower and all, of course).

Michael calls and is like "FINALLY, you've answered the phone. Mom's worried! Grandpa and Grandma are going to check on you."

So, I respond full of maturosity and poise (read: with cursings and threats to our strong-willed daughter) and assure him that I'm okay as I throw on any quick clothes that I can, since I've finished entertaining my mom-in-law's friend in two towels and a robe.

I call my MIL, to assure her that I'm okay and to give her the backstory. Then I proceed to give my girl-spawn a FIRM talking to, involving raised voices and ending in the too-calm, icy, hiss that you dread ever hearing from a parent.

My children are hunkered in their beds waiting for the other show to drop.
My tears of anger have not spilled over.
I'm wearing sweats and haven't combed my hair.
I may never take a shower again.
I may invest in an extra-large pet carrier for my children. And keep it in a deep dark basement.
(note to self: buy a basement. Preferably one that is deep and dark. And somewhat soundproof. ... Those baby monitor that we got when the kids were born will come in handy.)

As I told my MIL, "There go my chances for getting karaoke installed in the bathroom."

The kids, after my copious amounts of yelling/talking/hissing, are pretty quiet.

Yes, my life is awesome.
And if this scenario appears in any movies, I'm totally suing for that. This is MY life. If I'm dealing with this amount of crazy, I'd better be compensated for it. I'm just sayin'. It's not like I'm going to say, "No, you can't use it." But if you do, I'm not going to say no to receiving tens of thousands of dollars when you sell your manuscript. ... And that fee is per instance of my life. Just so you know.
(Swiper, no swiping!!)

Now, I would stick my head in the oven. But we have electric, so it'd just ruin my hair.
I think I'm going to take some drugs (read: a couple of Tylenol) ... since I have a wild headache.

(Seriously, people without children, kids are the BEST birth control. ... I do mostly love my hellacious devil-spawn *gritted teeth* little angels ... but sometimes I could envision myself gleefully dancing over their prone forms. A sailor's hornpipe, per se.)

(This is why the Lord, in His infinite wisdom, made kids so funny and cute and sweet. So that, on the occasions when they fail to be ANY of the above, we don't kill them. Like hamsters do.)

(This is also why God created the intertubes. And Tylenol. And chocolate. And books. ... As rewards for not killing our children. :P ... I really do love them. I just wish that I could have children AND what small semblances I had left of my sanity. At the same time. ... but you can't have everything. Where would you PUT it?)

*headdesk*
*headdesk*
*headdesk*

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ten days later ...

I'm doing better on being in the holiday spirit. I read The Little Book of Christmas Spirit by John Hilton III (it was a free download over at DeseretBook.com). Today, I read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever to the kiddos.

The blue truck (the work truck) was running oddly on Wednesday, so Michael took the van. Mom and I went into town with the kids, ate at McDonalds (with the INDOOR PlayPlace), and while I did my volunteer stint, shelving holds, Mom took the kids to ANOTHER indoor play area (and the kids had a BLAST - Even though a CERTAIN CHILD had a poo incident. ... NOT the same child that had a pee incident after the Christmas parade. They take turns, so it seems).

What else have we done? We went to Storybook Land (lots of little displays of Christmas scenes and vignettes from stories and nursery rhymes ... and SANTA!). Mom and I renewed her Costco membership (and bought lots and lots of good food!) ...

Mom and I wrote replies to the kiddos' letters to Santa. Bruise and Bucket liked that Santa wrote them back. ^_^

I colored my hair today. It was getting ... weird-looking. To me, anyways. So, instead of being the light marmalade shade that it was getting to be, I colored it to a chestnut hue. And I like it better. I do keep thinking of trying to get it a real medium-type brown. I've never really been a brunette ... We'll see.

Read some books. I just finished Souless (Gail Carriger). THAT was a fun little read. Supernatural/Regency era/steampunk/romance/mystery. (Jenny and Cynthia, I think you'll both really like it. Aubri, if you have time, you'd probably enjoy it, too. ^_^) ... There are a few steamy scenes. I wouldn't be letting my almost-four-year-olds read it. But I really enjoyed it. There are some laugh-out-loud bits in there, too.

I've been wasting spending a lot of time on Facebook. Dang addictive games. I think I'm going to have to quit some. Even though I really like them.

Haven't gotten an OS loaded onto my computer yet. If I can't get it done this weekend, I'm not going to get to it until after Christmas. And then I might borrow Jenny's husband. Since Jenny DID offer the use of Joseph's mad skillz. ^_^

My mom bought me new jeans last week. I am still TOTALLY STOKED. My old jeans ... well, half of them have HUGE, GAPING HOLES in the right knee. And I felt kinda shlubby wearing them. My new jeans look so nice. And I don't have that nasty ... issue ... where the zipper and seam ... are really tight ... and it looks tacky... and it's embarrassing and kinda gross. (camel toe. ew.)

So, yeah, that's most of what all is going on here. Reading and facebooking and wearing new jeans and sporting a new hair color.

I should paint my toes. Like, RIGHT NOW.

Oh ... most of my nails have broken. Occupational hazard when shelving carts of books. Oh well.

Also, we're almost through The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. We should be starting The Silver Chair on Sunday night.

Oh ... in other news, this week, Bucket got through all the word cards in her "Magic Word Box." I was impressed. She'll be reading this time next year. Crazy, huh?

Monday, December 07, 2009

Getting into the Groove

Things are mostly going well. (I mean, we have a house, we're pretty healthy ... my computer's still not up and running ... But still.)

Friday was a little busy. We got up, went out to get a Christmas tree (and I made sure to put up a note for the UPS guy to leave the package (my new hard drive)) and a wreath. We stopped back by the house in order to drop off the tree (since we couldn't close the van all the way with it sticking out like it was. ^_^) and I ran around to the front of the house to hang up the wreath ... and intercepted the UPS man with my package. He seemed pleasantly surprised that I wished him a "Merry Christmas."

Then we took the kids over to the dollar store so they could pick out a gift for each of their cousins ... to help them remember that Christmas is about GIVING, not getting. (Also Michael had the kids send me an email telling me what they wanted to get for me. Bucket would like to give me a princess. Bruise wants to get me a light saber. ^_^). Bruise had a little trouble figuring out that he was getting something for his cousin that SHE would like. And Michael didn't want ME to choose what she should receive. So we made a compromise: I would give Bruise an option, "Would ___ like THIS or THAT?" And he'd choose. And we did this a few times. And I think that, yes, she WILL like what Bruise picked out.

Then we went home and put up the tree. And had the kids attempt to take a nap. Some of our attempts are more successful than others, get my drift? :P

That evening, we took the kids to the Creche and then to the lights set up at the local Pepsi plant. Bruise was rather a pill (putting it mildly) at the Creche, but after grocery shopping, he cheered up.

When we got home, the kids refused to get ready for bed until we had decorated the tree. So we did that with "help" from the kidlets. (And some "help" later from Diana-cat ... who thinks that the God's eye I made about eight years ago is put on the tree especially for her to knock down and chew on. *glowers*)

Saturday, we tried to load XP on my hard drive (and FAILED. Repeatedly. Oh well. I'm sure that I have some wonderful techie friend who'll come save this damsel in distress. Sometime. ^_^) and picked up the house and eventually bundled up the kids to go downtown to the holiday parade (and the lighting of the community Christmas tree).

It was cold ... but not absolutely freezing. And, as we were about to get back in the car (skipping the free holiday concert, since the kids were tired and cranky), a certain little child had an accident and peed through his/her clothes. At least this said child wasn't IN his/her carseat when it occurred.

Sunday was ... pretty normal. Our Bishop has strongly counseled us to start (if we haven't already BEEN ... *shifty eyes*) praying EVERY DAY for those who we Visit- or Home teach. (Along with the people whom we serve in our callings -- for me, that means praying over the Young Women by name every day. And, I'll admit that I've been horribly lax about it. Because, face it, I can be lazy. But I'm doing MUCH better). And, as part of our Visiting Teaching, we have been assigned sisters (who don't have/do not want Visiting Teachers) to pray for.

The two sisters that my companion and I have been assigned ... I don't know them at all. But I do hope, like I've prayed, that they'll feel the Lord's influence in their lives and know that He loves them.

I still don't totally, totally feel completely in the holiday groove ... but I'm getting better. I'm almost finished with reading Shepherds, Why This Jubilee? by Jeffery R. Holland and that has helped. I've dug out all the Christmas-y Children's books to read with Bruise and Bucket. I'll read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Barbara Robinson) and The Forgotten Carols (Michael McLean) this week. Those always help. Even if they make me cry. But it's a good cry. And it's usually just what I need.

Leaving church yesterday, Bucket had quite the bloody nose. Like, it was on her jacket sleeve, cheeks, and FOREHEAD before I realized what had happened. She looked like a car-accident victim there for a sec. We ran the kids out of the church to the car as fast as we could, as I cupped my hand under Bucket's nose to prevent any blood spots on the carpet. THEN, after I got her wiped off a little and some Kleenex in her nose, she had to go BACK INSIDE to go potty. *sigh*

I finally watched Romancing the Stone last night. It wasn't bad. But, golly-gee, there's quite the amount of language in there!! And, for parts of it, the kids had gotten up from their nap and were watching it while cuddling with Michael and me. So I'm all, "So kids, are those NICE words or MEAN and NAUGHTY words? Do you want to use nice words or mean words?" No, I'm not mentally unwell at ALLLLLLLLLL. NOOOOOOOOOooooooooOOOOOOOO. Where'd you ever get THAT idea?

Today, I HAVE to do the dishes and laundry. And clean up the tornado-aftermath that is our living room.

Also, I think that Charlaine Harris is one of my new favorite authors. I'm almost fully caught up with the Sookie Stackhouse series (the ones that are the basis for TrueBlood ) and I read Grave Sight (the first of another of her series) this weekend. I really like them. Yes, they do have sex in them ... but they're much better than Twilight (to me, at least). If Twilight's like bubble-gum, Harris' works are more like .... dark chocolate hot cocoa. Or something.

Okay. Now to go be productive (on those Facebook games ... :P)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Not feeling it ... yet (Feedback PLEASE)

Now, I'm going to confess something: We are living in a material world ... and I am a material girl.

I shouldn't be. I know that there are many, MANY things in this world that are better than what money can buy. ... But, sometimes, I just feel a little bad that I don't have a trust fund/money tree/ something.

Right now, I've done NO Christmas shopping. Because we haven't had the money to do so.

And I HATE not giving gifts. I love to give gifts. Giving gifts at Christmas makes me happy. If I were in a financial situation to do so, I'd spoil my family.

And, at this moment, since I can't do that, I feel a little down ... and not very Christmas-sy at all.
Which is really stupid. I mean, did Jesus come to earth to give everyone a gift card? I think not. He didn't come to give material legacies. And, therefore, I shouldn't feel like a loser because i don't know what to get for my grandfolks, parents, and nieces and nephew ... let alone for Michael (Though, really ... for him? I have a very easy, inexpensive option. Hurr hurr. <-- Michael, you didn't read that. And if you did, just act surprised if that's all I get you.)

I'm having a little trouble finding a quick, easy solution to this dilemma of feeling a bit Scrooge-like and off this Christmas season. (Every other year, I've HOPPED to on the day after Thanksgiving to crank up the Christmas tunes, since Michael is STAUNCHLY against Christmas music before Thanksgiving's over. Every other year, you can find me gearing up for decorating and getting a tree put up and gifts bought [and wrapped sometime before Christmas morning] ... But this year? I know that it's only three days into December ... but I'm ... just not feeling it so much. And it kills me. I know that, yeah, most of my music is on that other hard drive ... but i might have a good chunk backed up on the external. So, perhaps tomorrow, after I install the new hard drive and get it running, I'll be able to crank up the Christmas tunes. And, if I can't get them playing THAT way, I do have Pandora or last.FM, which would work. ...)

So ... I am asking, what are you doing/what do you do to feel the Christmas spirit?
What are some favorite Christmas songs? (I, personally, prefer the less secular ones. I know, I'm a snob. I put up with Rudolph, Frost, and the Chipmunks for the kids' sake. Snoopy, at least, has that whole "Peace on Earth" message. But, if I'm listening to Christmas music, I want to hear about Baby Jesus ... or, at least, about that warm feeling inside. And if you try and tell me to listen to "Christmas Shoes, " I will give you the TEACHER LOOK that I've perfected by student-teaching and being a mother.

THIS is that look, as done by Tommy Lee Jones:

I don't want to give that look. Please don't make me give that look.

(FYI: Other "Christmas" songs that will incur that look are "Last Christmas" by Wham! and ... oh, I don't remember, since I've spend the last 330-or-so days trying to rid it from my brain. And, for the present moment, it's seemed to have worked. Thanks be. Let's not mention those songs. Let's do pretend that they've never existed.)

But, please, please, PLEASE -- Give me some good ideas of things that I can do to get out of this funk (this funk that I can only hope to attribute to that evil ***** Mother Nature. [Dear Mother Nature, I hate you. Stop making me a crazy, heinous witch every month. Stop making me be all bloated and overly-sensitive. Also, if it's going to be this FRAKKIN' COLD, let it snow. just enough to make a snowman. Thank you. Sincerely, me.])

Here are the things that I HAVE done:
  • drank chocolate-mint Rooibos tea (YUM. Dianne, you have awesome friends. Since they are how I ever learned that such a wonderful creation exists.)
  • Set up the Nativity scenes that I have -- my Playmobil one, my Calico Kittens one, and the kids Little People one.
  • let the kids watch "Frosty the Snowman" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."
  • Put up TWO Advent calendars (so what it we used one last year ... it's about the NATIVITY. So it should totally be used again!)
  • I sat and sang some songs with the kids. But they weren't very amenable to that. Impatient little hellions. (Good thing I mostly love them, right?)
  • I've talked to the kids about WHY we celebrate Christmas.
  • I'm gearing up for St. Nicholas' Day ... Dec 6. Put out your shoes!
  • We're going to go to the Community Nativity Festival this weekend. (If you're in the area, you should totally go. Seriously.)
  • In our town, there'll be a parade, lighting of the community Christmas tree, and a concert on Saturday.
I mean, I have some good things to do to help me get into gear. I even plan on making some cookies for our neighbors. Even the ones that we haven't really met. Who is going to be sad to receive cookies? It should be a good thing, right? I hope.

But, really, if you have some secret formula for feeling all warm, fuzzy, and full of Christmasosity, pass that knowledge on my way. I'd appreciate it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Countdown to Turkey Day ...

Yesterday, Bucket read for the first time. ... Out of the Dick and Jane reader that I have. Good stuff.

Bruise is closer (sosososososoclose!!) to writing his name by himself. If he's motivated to do so.

I have most of the Thanksgiving fare that I'm responsible for in order
  • A pecan pie from scratch
  • An apple pie (filling is storebought)
  • Potatoes have been mashed
  • Turkey is brining/being brined/whatever in preparation for being roasted tomorrow.
  • Bread is chopped and lying out to get a little stale for the stuffing (homemade cornbread and storebought French bread)
  • Cheesecakes were made and have set/are still setting in the fridge.
  • Pumpkin bread has been baked.
I have ingredients for Spanish green beans. My mom brought up a broccoli-rice-cheese casserole (YUM!) (even though she had to head back right after I got back from volunteering). I need to bake the rolls that I've made the dough for.

I got most of my Christmas present from Mom today. She bought me a new hard drive (which will arrive Monday) and new RAM (which I already installed). So, hopefully, by next week, my computer will be up and running ... even if I have to start from scratch for the most part. But, hey ... at least Michael won't have to give up his laptop every day. That's a good thing, right? (Yes.)

I still need to do another load of dishes and fold laundry and put out towels for everyone ... But most everything is coming together. Even if I need to wake up crazily early tomorrow morning in order to start the food and get things ready about the time I want them to be. ^_^

Funny thing: Yesterday as Bucket and I were making pumpkin bread (while my mom, bless her heart, picked up last-minute supplies) and Bruise was whining. Bucket asked him, exasperated, "Is THAT how you talk to your MOTHER??" (Not that I would know at ALLLLLL where she'd ever hear THAT. *shifty eyes*)

Okay, I'm kinda done now. Phew. Wish me luck getting up insanely early tomorrow morning!! And wish me luck that I'll get a nap, too. *sigh*

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Do1NiceThing

Today I registered to be a potential bone marrow donor. (Honey, I hope that's okay. Sorry that I didn't ask you first. I'm headstrong like that. :P)

But I was reading last week in an old Readers' Digest magazine that my mom had passed onto us ... and there was an address for Do1NiceThing (www.doonenicething.com).

And, well ... to put it bluntly, I can feel guilt for having nice things. I mean, I really have a LOT to be thankful for. Things that I really do take for granted: a wonderful husband, great (usually) kids, a healthy family, I don't have to work outside the home, we have a house, we have two vehicles, we have running water and electricity, we have a working computer (just the one for right now, but STILL!) ... I mean, compared to, what, 90% of the world's population, even though I can't just go out and buy a new wardrobe at the drop of a hat (or a debit card), I'm sitting really pretty.

I have a family that is healthy. My kids don't have cancer. I have not outlived any of my children.

That's a huge blessing.

And ... well, like nearly any American woman who grew up during the 90s, I've read Lurlene McDaniel books. I KNOW that not every child is healthy. Heck, there are adults with cancer or other diseases ... And I'm healthy.

Even though sometimes I feel a bit guilty because, compared to lots and lots of other people, I have things ... easier.

And, because I really am grateful for the things that I DO have, I feel ... not OBLIGATED, per se ... but that I SHOULD and DO need to help out in what little ways that I can.

If we had more money, I'd definitely be doing some of those kiva.org loans. I'd give a larger fast offering. I'd donate to the Perpetual Education Fund. I'd love to buy some families a cow or something awesome from Heifer International. ...

But, since I do not have all those funds at my disposal, I do try to do some cool things. And, over at Do1NiceThing, they have a list of some that I really like. TheHungerSite allows you to click daily, and for each click, the sponsors donate money or food to those in need. (There are also the sister sites for breast cancer (donating mammograms), literacy (books), animal rescue (food for animals), child health (to cover costs for kids' healthcare), and rainforest (to help conserve that resource).) FreeRice will donate 10 grains of rice for each question (in the subjects of art, geography, languages, chemistry, and math ... you choose your subject) you get right. Xerox has jumped on the wagon of doing cool things with their site, LetsSayThanks, where you can select a postcard and message to send to U.S. Military personnel who are serving overseas.

I know that these are small things. Little things. And most of them only take a minute (though I have, at times, spent about an hour at FreeRice). But ... it makes me feel a little bit better. I like knowing that even though these things barely cost me any time or effort ... they will help someone to feel better or get well.

Speaking of, I need to donate blood the next time the blood drive's around. Yes, it does take more time (and planning ... now that I have my munchkins. I don't know that they'll be quite ready to sit with me as I lose about a pound. Though, come to think about it, when they CAN sit for that long, I should just bring them with me. ^_^) ... but it isn't hard (unless I almost pass out again. I hate it when I do that. *sigh*). And one pint of blood can help up to three people. I mean, that's pretty cool, right?

(Besides, I have some kinda funny donating-blood stories! If you really want me to relate them, just let me know, okay? I'm willing. Some are slightly more ... not quite embarrassing ... but they are kinda funny.)

I mean, it'd be pretty awesome if I WERE a superhero and could totally change the world so that everyone had clean water and enough money to ... I don't know ... keep a roof over his/her family's heads. And take a family vacation or something. And never have to worry about how to pay for their food or bills.

(Or heck, if I could just be all, "Okay, you evil-doers! You are going down! And all your resources are belong to us!" And then I could redistribute everything more fairly. But that's not how it works. Because, face it, I might use part of my portion to buy shoes and books before paying off the credit cards or something like that. ... Okay, I'm not quite giving myself the credit I deserve ... but people shouldn't be FORCED to do good things. They should do it because they WANT to. I'm just sayin'.)

Yeah ... that's most of what's going on around here. Some good things with a large serving of guilt on the side. Hey, that's how I roll. :P

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Gratitude Challenge - Days 20 and 21

Assignment: As the challenge winds down, write a thank you note to yourself. Thank yourself for taking the time to stop and focus on all the little things for which you feel grateful.

Okay, self, you heard 'em. Thanks!
Now get back to work.

KIDDING!

I am glad that I've done this challenge. Especially this year. It's good that I kicked myself into gear and did this.

Day 21 Assignment: Reflect on the 21 days of the Gratitude Challenge and what this process has meant to you.

I think that it's been a read godsend that I did this project when I did. I don't really know how else I'd handle the truck and my computer breaking down during the same week without going stark raving INSANE.

I mean, I could focus on the fact that my children seem hell-bent on sending me to the mental ward (or perhaps Hell. Just sayin'.) ... But doing this challenge has helped me to look past most of the daily crap and see some of the really good stuff. (Gosh, I'm so eloquent! :P)

Today hasn't been my best of days ... I'm VERY irritated that the kiddos will not take a nap. And they haven't for a few days. ... And don't try and tell me that it's because they don't need it. Believe me, THEY DO. You should see how cranky they are when they don't take it. ... My home isn't a very serene place at present.

But there's always tomorrow. And, from doing this project, I'm better able to focus on the fact that the crap-stuff is temporary. And that it will pass and things will get better. And all I really have to do is to just get through the bad stuff. Like in Firefly (Wow, I really quote Firefly a LOT, don't I?), "You're stronger than this thing, honey ... This is a moment in time. Step out of it and let it happen."

And, yeah. ....

So, I've done it. I've made it through the Gratitude Challenge. Let's hope that it made me a better person and all that.

I'm tired, though. Really tired today. I'm gonna lay down and read now.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gratitude Challenge - Day 19

Assignment: Have confidence in all the choices you have made today and be grateful for being able to believe in yourself.

I'll have to work on this one. I don't always make the BEST choices. But I am very glad to have the option and opportunity to be able to choose.

And it's nice to think that my choices today will bring opportunities in the future.

I was reading my email and this was one of the quotes that I received today:

"For those who are discouraged by their circumstances and are therefore tempted to feel they cannot serve the Lord this day, I make you two promises. Hard as things seem today, they will be better in the next day if you choose to serve the Lord this day with your whole heart. Your circumstances may not be improved in all the ways which you desire. But you will have been given new strength to carry your burdens and new confidence that when your burdens become too heavy, the Lord, whom you have served, will carry what you cannot. He knows how. He prepared long ago. He suffered your infirmities and your sorrows when He was in the flesh so that He would know how to succor you."

--Henry B. Eyring, "This Day", Ensign, May 2007, 89–91


Isn't that neat? I LOVE Elder Eyring. He's completely awesome.

And, really with how the blessing that I asked Michael to give me last week ... this really is hitting home. Since I've CHOSEN to try my darndest to do what Heavenly Father would want me to do ... since we work hard to pay our tithing and be honest and all that good stuff ... when we can't make it on our own, we'll receive help. And, yes, I don't necessarily expect to open the door and find that someone's left a $50k check made out to yours truly (Though, really, wouldn't that be NICE? Nice, yes. Realistic? Maybe not so much.) ... BUT we'll be able to get through our trials. That's good to know. Reassuring and all that.

It kinda reminds me (in my Whedonistic- Firefly-addicted way) of one of the quotes from "The Message" -- "When you can't run anymore, you crawl. And when you can't do that, you find someone to carry you."
(Gosh, don't I love it when the Gospel and shows that I absolutely adore AGREE? It just makes me feel squishy inside. In a nice, geeky way.)

But, yeah, with this challenge, I can work harder at trusting myself to make good decisions. And I can work harder at actually MAKING those good decisions. Like making sure that I find a time and DO my personal prayers and scripture study. Or start having regular prayers before mealtimes and in the morning with the munchkins. And, like, making healthy snacks for the kiddos. All good things. All good opportunities which I should take advantage of. ^_^

So, I have two more days of the Gratitude Challenge. ... Let's hope that I stay this well-adjusted days 22+. :P

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gratitude Challenge - Day 18

Assignment: For the past three days, you have focused on appreciating what makes you unique. Write about all the things that make you so lovable. Take a moment to appreciate your personal style, talents, and charm.
  • I laugh easily. I find lots of humor in life.
  • I can cry easily, too. But I much more prefer to laugh.
  • I try to be honest ... but I also work not to hurt people's feelings.
  • I'm really good at shelving books. Fast. And accurately. This is one reason why my people at MY library love me so. (That and I have cute kids that I bring to visit them. ^_^)
  • I write with inflection ... just like how I talk. Sometimes that doesn't always work in my favor. (Darn those writing standards essays in high school!)
  • People find me creative. I don't neccessarily agee ... but I do have a rather singular view on life.
  • I can quote movies. LOTS of movies.
  • I can sing. I have decent pitch. I don't mind singing in public ... I prefer singing in a choir (especially now when I don't sing nearly as often as I used to).
  • People tell me that I give good talks. That's usually because I use LOTS of quotes. Because lots of other people have said things better that I would. ^_^ And I don't mind THEM getting the credit. They deserve it.
  • I'm very sentimental. I have acute attacks of nostalgia.
  • I eat my vegetables.
  • I have a nearly-insatiable sweet tooth.
  • If given the chance, I would easily stay in bed all day, reading.
  • I'm better at paying attention to books than to movies nowadays. Why is that?
  • I try and consider other people's feelings.
  • I like to dance. And to watch dancing.
  • I'm rather good at baking, if I do say so myself.
  • It appears that I have a good memory ... sometimes.
I'm pretty alright, if I do say so myself.

And, hey, you can always jump in and comment. :P

Gratitude Challenge - Day 17

Assignment: Write about something you feel grateful for in your life today.

Just one thing?? It's been a really good day! (And, yes, I'm writing this Wednesday. But, so what?? That's how I know what a good day it's been!)

  • My mom came up. AND she's staying until THURSDAY (usually, she's had to take off as soon as I've gotten back from volunteering. Bonus time with my mommy? AWESOME.)
  • Michael's company is allowing him to drive one of the company vehicles. This allows us to be a two-car family. I'm going to be able to take my kids to storytime! I'm going to be able to do my VISITING TEACHING, y'all!! This is GOOD NEWS!!
  • Mom and I went grocery shopping and Bruise and Bucket were well-behaved in the cart.
  • As we went shopping, we got a turkey for Thanksgiving ... 15 lbs = $3.37. YES, REALLY.
It's been an AWESOME day!!

I mean, really. A good day. Also, we had pizza. Yum! And REALLY GOOD apple cider! And we paid the cell phone bill. Good stuff.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gratitude Challenge - Day 16

Assignment: Stand in front of the mirror for five minutes and focus on at least five things that you love about yourself. Write them down in your journal.

  • I have nicely-shaped eyes. And they're a cool color. ... And bonus -- no unibrow! I lucked out there!
  • I have shapely ankles ... especially when I wear heels.
  • I have pretty nice skin ... especially after that round of Accutane when I was a Freshman in college. (Stupid inflammatory acne.) But I don't have lots of wrinkles or anything. And my dimples can be cute. ^_^
  • I have nice, long fingers. And the ones that still have long nails make me especially happy. I've gotten used to my stubby, little thumbs. I'll never be a concert pianist or anything (but mostly due to the fact that I hated practicing, so I never really did).
  • I have very straight teeth ... and, no, I never had braces. When I was little, I thought that EVERYONE got braces and glasses at some point. Like a rite of passage or something. I mean, it's like ALL my friends did. And I never did. I kinda felt left out for a while (I'd still like glasses. It'd be nice to look smart and all. ^_^ ... And, really, how weird is that -- Blind man begets daughter with strong eyesight? Okay, he wasn't ALL the way blind then, but still!) I've had dental hygienists ask me if I had braces when I was younger, so that's flattering (my bottom teeth are a little crooked, so don't get me wrong. It's not like my teeth are perfect or anything.)
So, yeah, there are five things that are awesome about me, physically. I am grateful for my body. it may not always be what I wish it were (oh to be bird-boned and dainty! Makes finding clothes a LOT easier! Especially cute vintage-y things!) ... but it's strong for its size and it works. I can incubate feti, nurse, carry heavy things (like Bruise and Bucket at the same time), type, do bits of yoga or dancing (when I'm motivated to do so ... which should be a lot more often, truly). I can see, smell, hear, taste, and touch. I can walk, run (a bit), leap, carry, and lift. I can type, thread a needle, make a bed, wash dishes. I can scrub a bathtub or toilet or floor. I mean, overall ... besides some idiosyncrasies in the packaging, per se, it's a great body to have!

(And by idiosyncrasies, I mean the fact that I'm ... zaftig. I have very healthy curves. I'm a little bit FLUFFY. I carry my food storage supply on me. I could be skinnier ... but, really. Put Paris Hilton and me out in the desert and see who survives longer. Hands down, it'd be me. ... Unless i cave and start sharing the inside-the-cactus water and grilled snakes and bunnies with her. Because I might do that. Just sayin'.)

Why my kids are cute ...

Since Mother Nature and I are not on speaking terms (the little harlot with her little gifts ... like INSOMNIA), the kids and I are watching DVDs in bed while I work at garnering the energy to make breakfast.

Bucket had checked out My Little Pony's Biggest Tea Party Live! (Exclamation point included), which is a recording of a stage show with people in costumes. The ponies look like giant marionettes, but without strings and with someone inside the front legs.

When she had picked out the DVD at the library a few days ago, I had remarked that the ponies looked scary. So, as I put it in the player this morning, she said, "Oh, we get to watch the scary show, Mom?"

And just when I thought that my kids didn't ever listen to me!

Also, yesterday, when the kids went down for a nap, I went to bed to read and sleep (since, as I mentioned, Mother Nature has blessed me with that monthly gift which includes a crapload of insomnia ... which is very annoying to my dear husband. Truly, I'd like to fall asleep earlier. *sigh*) and, when Bruise woke up before his sister, he watched the newer (live-action) The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe with Michael. And, when Michael asked him about the story, Bruise actually showed good recall of the story.

... Except when Michael asked why Aslan went to the stone table. Instead of saying that he was making a sacrifice or something, Bruise's answer was, "'Cause I SAY so."

Also, Bucket tells me that I'm a princess. Very sweet of her.

And, yesterday, when I was putting their clothes away, Bruise told me, "Mommy, you NICE."

(cue: Awwwwww!!)

It's stuff like this that makes up for some of the stuff I deal with. ^_^

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gratitude Challenge - Day 15

Assignment: Take the time to focus on yourself. Appreciate and give thanks for your unique personality, skills, and talents.

Well, this is a bit harder for me. I don't always think of myself as anything all that special. And it's not anyone's fault but my own. I think I'm all right, you know ... but I'm not as amazing as a lot of other people that I know.

Let's start with things that I get complimented on, I guess. And I'll try not to feel WEIRD for talking so much about myself.
  • Michael tells me that I'm one of the least judgmental people that he knows. True, I take most people at face value. So what if you're skinny or not, gorgeous or less-than? Doesn't matter all that much to me. You're still a person and everyone has something cool about him/herself. I know great people that are not Christians or heterosexuals or stuff. Don't really care so much about that. The Lord loves them all, so why shouldn't I?
  • Michael also tells me that I'm really good about not saying mean things to or about people. I mean that's good and all. I LIKE to be nice. And, hey, it's often EASY to say mean things. (Heck, I think plenty of things that aren't near as nice as they should be.) But it's better to be nice. There's enough cause for hurt and sadness around. I think we should all start just complimenting people to counteract it.
  • Dianne told me that I'm good at digiscrapping. Which made me feel quite pleased with myself, since she's a whiz at scrapping in real life. Digiscrapping is much better/easier for me since I can't get frustrated and throw it across the room. :P
  • People think that I'm funny. It's always nice.
  • Some people even think that I'm clever. That makes me happy.
  • I know a lot of elephant jokes.
  • I read aloud well. I use inflection and everything. Reading aloud is fun for me. (And, when I get words wrong, can be even more amusing than usual. ... Like the one time, in front of my theater group -- with one of my big high school crushes -- when I accidentally read that a character had ... well, it was SUPPOSED to be a "speech deficit" ... and I SAID "speech DEFECATE." Yeah ... I can laugh about it now.)
  • I can usually look back at my past mistakes and laugh ... it's taken me a while to get to that point.
  • I draw stick figures with attitude/personality. I have a collection of sketches that I did for when Michael and I were teaching Primary. The kids seemed to pay better attention when they had those visuals to deal with.
  • I can do crosswords ... I prefer the ones in Women's World magazines. They're kinda easy. Usually.
  • I learned to do Sudoku (Thanks, Nintendo DS and Brain Age and Brain Age II!)
  • I bake well ... and can experiment with a recipe.
  • I remember some of my friends' birthdays and phone numbers from high school (I used to be better ... but then I got a cell phone. :P) ... Don't ask me my locker numbers or combinations. I'm not so good with those.
  • I can be good at being snarky ... which is fun when I'm watching a movie with Michael ... I don't think it's all that fun for other people around me, though. Sorry!!
  • I enjoy talking to people. I like to learn about them.
  • I seem to be able to talk to lots of different people. Like different age groups. Maybe since, because I'm an only child, I tend to adopt people. I don't know.
  • I'm kinda flexible. I used to be more so.
  • I like to dance ... and used to perform a little. Swing dancing was the best (and Lindy Hop).
  • I don't mind being on stage. I loved being in theater. I don't get bad stage fright.
  • I seem to do well enough at public speaking. I am more nervous when I'm giving a talk than when I would perform in plays, though. Hey, when I'm talking in church, it's MY words that I'm saying. Not someone else's!
  • I do well when I play along as I watch Jeopardy! ... Sometimes people think I'm smart because I know trivia-stuff like that. I don't feel all that smart, since I know that I don't know TONS of stuff. But it's flattering that people think that I do know stuff.
    ... Did that even make sense?
  • I read quickly. Probably because I like to read and because I've had a LOT of experience reading.
Yeah, that's most of what I'm coming up with right now. I mean, if there's anything GLARING that I've forgotten, you can feel free to jump in there. :P No pressure, though. I don't want to get a big head about this or anything. :P

I mean, yeah, I'm not the MOST AMAZING PERSON ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET or anything. But I'm getting more comfortable in my own skin. And, you know, I'm not a bad person to be. I'm a decent friend, a decent computer-geek (I could be LOTS geekier), and a decent mom. I leave room for improvement ... which is fine. I don't have to be ABSOLUTELYPERFECTOHMYGOSH right yet. Just working towards being better and better. Baby steps. And I can handle that.

Gratitude Challenge - Day 14

Assignment: It's been two weeks wince you started The Gratitude Challenge. Write about how The Challenge has changed your perspective thus far.

I do think that accepting this challenge has helped me ... especially with all the ... hullabaloo that's gone on this month. ^_^

It has truly helped to be able to (to have a reason to) focus on the GOOD things, the NICE things, the HAPPY things in my life, rather than just seeing all the things that are going wrong.

Truly, this has been the calmest that I've EVER been about my computer not working. Really. The last couple times that I've lost information on or access to my computer, I've been pretty inconsolable for DAYS. This time, however, I was kinda surprised at how easily I was able to take this in stride.

The "check engine light" coming on in the van? Meh. It's still working (and, after taking it to Auto Zone -- great place, by the by -- it's nothing that'll cause the van not to work. It should turn off soon, since it's just from the gas attendant not tightening the gas cap enough after pumping the gas) and it'll continue to work.

I feel ... more ... mature/calm/capable. It's strange. I mean, I'm still ME. But I'm a better me. i'm less focused on myself and what all is WRONG right now. I mean, yeah, I really could use more money, a working computer, cars in better condition ... But those are not the be-all-end-all in life.

I'm realizing that some of the things that I've used as a distraction from life are really time-suckers. When my computer's up and running again, I think I'll be giving up most of my Facebook games. I also need to work LOTS harder at creating that habit of daily prayer and scripture study (and not scripture SKIMMING, which is what I usually find myself doing *sigh*).

But I'm glad that I accepted this challenge. And I'm glad that I waited to start it until the first of this month. It really was the right time. Even though I could have started it earlier, this is really the right time for me. ... I still have another week of this to do, but I highly recommend it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Gratitude Challenge - Day 13

Assignment: Pick three friends or family members you see regularly. View their actions and gestures through a positive lens, assuming their goodness and witnessing their best intentions.

This is a little hard, since - for the most part - I already DO try and see the good in people and give them the benefit of the doubt that they're not TRYING to be mean or whatever ... It's like that saying, that one that's to the point of "Never attribute to malice what could be caused by stupidity."

I only learned that one in the past couple years ... and it's helped a lot (except when I'm driving and it seems that a person is just TRYING to cause an accident. *sigh* Sometimes I really hate driving. Bring on the teleportation!!!)

First, I'll go with the family member that I've had the ... roughest relationship with. My dad. Don't get me wrong, I love my dad ... It's just ... different. I know that most kids know that they can count on their dads to give them lots of advice and guidance. Whereas, for me, I found a good deal of my early teenage years distancing myself from my dad. Because I felt really betrayed that he had divorced my mom ... that he was willing to turn his back on her and the Church ... and me. or, at least that's how it FELT.

My dad, Lord love him, can be such a people-pleaser that he'll TELL you what he thinks you want to hear. Sometimes, that can drive me a little crazy. I try to be honest ... and, if I think it's going to hurt someone, I'll change the subject or really pad what I think. But I try to tell nothing but the truth.

It killed me when he was with his first girlfriend after my mom. He hadn't even waited for the divorce to be finalized ... so that felt like even more a slap in the face.

I went through a period where I really didn't know if my dad really cared for me. It wasn't until I was in my car accident (and I called Dad to let him know that the truck might be totaled -- and he wasn't upset about that. In fact, I was a little shocked when he told me, "We can replace vehicles. We can't replace you.") that I really KNEW that he loved me. He's not the type to readily show his emotions. (Sure, he can gripe with the best of them. However, those other emotions ... you have to really know how to read him.)

I was recently looking over pictures of Bruise and Bucket as babies. And I went through the ones of when Dad and L and my Nana came up to meet them. And, as Dad's holding Bruise and Bucket in his arms, he really looks as if he has no idea what to do with them ... and such a bewildered look as he's trying to smile for the camera. It's really cute.

I know that my daddy loves me. I know that he's working to be a good grandpa. I also know that it's really hard for him. But I know that he's trying.

I think I've also figured out that he tries to please people so much so that he'll have someone to talk to. Like I've mentioned before, with his declining vision and his hearing loss, I think he's really lonely.

The other family that I can write about will be my children. Because, as much as I love them, I sometimes find myself getting a little annoyed with how NEEDY they are. But that's MY issue, not theirs. It's not their fault that I was born an only child and am still learning how to be less selfish with my time and privacy. ^_^ (I could write about Michael, but, really, he's just too easy to live with. I'm spoiled. I know.)

And, I know that someday sooner than I'm ready for, they are going to want to distance themselves from me. And then I'll be so, so sad and miss them so terribly.

Besides, truly, it's a little flattering that I have my little entourage that WANTS to hang with me, watch shows with me, tell me (not-quite-right) knock-knock jokes, and things like that.
Even if they're always begging me for food. And won't eat a bite of the dinners that I make them. Good thing they're so cute. ^_^

I could focus on how dramatic Bucket's tantrums can be or how much she whines ... or I can say that she's got a strong sense of self and remarkable amount of empathy for others.

I could gripe about how Bruise never eats dinner (unless it's Mac & Cheese) and how he uses that darling grin of his to try to get out of trouble ... or I can choose to think of it as his being very aware of whether he wants to eat THOSE calories ... and that he exercises a vast amount of charm.

I'm still working at being better. ... And I'll try to work at not getting irritated at other drivers who don't watch where they're going or who don't seem to possess the slightest amount of knowledge about basic road etiquette. Because, I'm sure that when they're not in their cars, they're most likely very lovely people. (I hope. :P)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gratitude Challenge - Day 12

Assignment: Today, make the effort to live life with a positive outlook. Restrain from criticizing the people around you. Dare to see the glass half full. Listen more than you speak. Give freely of yourself. Practice kindness at every opportunity.

I think that I actually managed this rather well. My computer died. I was grateful that the pictures of Bruise and Bucket are on the external hard drive. So, they're safe. PHEW.

I was grateful that on our walk to the library today that we (1) made it on time and (2) didn't get rained on and (3) that we made it at all (you never know when you're taking the kids on a walk that long without a stroller. They did really well. Not that it's ALL that far away ... but still!)

I was grateful that I got to check out books. That I got to watch the episodes of NCIS (Season One) that I wanted to see (HELLO!! Have you seen some of the guest stars?? Adam Baldwin!! TJ Thayne!!! ... and there are others, but those were the BIG ones that I got excited about. And it's really weird to see the guy who plays Jubal Early playing someone ... not Jubal Early.)

That the kids were interested enough in watching "Hello, Dolly".

That when I accidentally overheated my homemade chicken soup (with STAR-SHAPED NOODLES -- HOW CUTE IS THAT?!?), I remembered (since I couldn't look it up online easily -- the Palm TX isn't really made for web-browsing *sad*) that I could temper the ... CHIPOTLE-like flavor with lemon juice. There's still a ... smokey flavor to it. But Michael and J (my bro-in-law who came over to see if he could help fix the computer) both said it was good. (Even after i accused them of lying -- see how well I can take a compliment? Yeah, you only wish you were as smooth as I am. :P)

I was grateful that the kiddos like playing with me (and I worked at finding it as wonderous as it is ... instead of a little cloying, like I usually do).

I LOVED how Scott, the children's librarian joked around with Bruise. And how Bucket has bloomed into being an active participant in storytime and giving him a high five afterwards.

I feel a lot calmer ... it's good. ... "I am a lone reed." or "I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar." It's almost Zen-like ... it's kinda cool.

Now, it'll be good when I really start eating again. I haven't been doing a whole lot of that (at least not healthily) lately. Today was better. I finally ate lunch. And I was grateful for the leftover burger from Tuesday night's dinner and the last of that addictive salsa from the Tupperware party. ... Maybe I'm really going to have to buy a salsa maker. And then I'll have to also buy tomatoes and some peppers and fresh cilantro ... Seriously, it was SO good. I'm starting to drool just THINKING about it. *sigh* Good stuff.

Gratitude Challenge - Day 11

Assignment: Try to see the world through the eyes of a child. Think about the things you take for granted on a daily basis, and then express gratitude for everything down to the basic necessities that sustain your current life.

I know, I know ... I'm a little bit behind. But I did try to manage this one with some forethought.

Things I was grateful yesterday:
  • My family (snuggling and watching the old animated version of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe with Bruise and Bucket first thing in the morning).
  • The fact that we HAVE TLTWTW on DVD ... since that version is a BIG part of my childhood.
  • Having food to make for the missionaries for dinner.
  • Having most of the dishes done when the missionaries came over.
  • Getting dressed and doing my hair (and having had a shower) before fixing dinner :)
  • Being able to correspond with friends and family via the Internet
  • Being able to look up ANYTHING, information-wise, online.
  • Snuggling with Michael.
  • Being able to get any channels (so we can, say, watch SYTYCD)
  • Having a working vehicle (so Michael had a way to get to work, even if we didn't get to drive anywhere. *shrug*)
  • That, when I cut my thumb cutting some bread for the kiddos, it wasn't too deep and it didn't get blood all over the kitchen or anything.
  • That I'm BREATHING, that my blood flows in my veins, that I feel discomfort -- they all mean that I'm alive.
  • That I have hair.
  • That I have a Diana-cat to snorgle with.
  • That my children like to spend time with me.
  • That I have awesome, awesome, awesome friends (and that's a total understatement).
  • That I have a loving Heavenly Father who knows me better than I know myself ... and that He will not give me trials that I can't handle ... though, sometimes, I think that He may be overestimating my abilities. ... I'm just sayin'. (And if Mother Teresa says it, I can, too.)
  • That the world didn't end.
  • That what's left of my family (you know, my grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins and all) are relatively healthy and ALIVE.
  • That we have people who sacrifice so, so, so much so we can enjoy the freedoms that we have. (Happy belated Veterans Day!)
It's a good time for me to be doing this Gratitude Challenge ... with all the crap going on.

Did I mention that this morning my computer pretty much died? Yup. I'm able to borrow Michael's laptop ... but somehow, I was actually able to take it in MUCH better stride than I've ever managed before. (Thank goodness, though, that the kids' baby pictures are on the EXTERNAL hard drive. *phew*) But, hey, if you want to pray that we'll be able to be a 2-computer household again SOON, I'd totally appreciate you!

And it looks like an unexpected blessing will help us handle the truck-situation ... More on that in the future. But, just saying, your prayers (and ours) are working. Thank you!!!!

Also a funny thing: Yesterday, Bruise and Bucket were having an epic light saber battle which ended with Bucket dramatically bestowing the coup de grace of cutting off her brother's legs. It was ... legendary.

Yup ... things are ... crap, but looking up. Doable, even. *phew*

We walked to the library today for storytime. I checked out books. Bruise threw a tantrum. We made it home ... it was misting a little when we were walking to the library. But we didn't get rained on. Nice blessing. Since my ONE rain jacket-type coat was in ... of course ... the car. Oops. ^_^ But, hey, I was appreciative.

And I found when I'll be serving jury duty. November 30 - Dec 11. That's my term. I won't find out until the evening of the Friday prior if I'm even scheduled for any of the days that first week. We'll see. (I wonder if Joseph's scheduled for that term. It'd be nice to have a friend on the jury. Or, at least, at the courthouse at the same time. ... I still think that Michael's flabberghasted that I have never been summoned to jury duty before this. ... Okay.)

And, since it's so late in the day, I'm ready to do day 12's assignment ... so I'll start that ... NOW.

(And, let's not talk about NaNoWriMo, since my first 11,000 are completely inaccessible. *sigh* As are most of my bookmarks. And most of my YW files for church. *sigh* I'd like those back. It'd be a perk for my righteous living, right?)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gratitude Challenge - Day 10 ... and other news

Yes, yes, I KNOW that I didn't blog yesterday. Bad me, I know. I just was BUSY

I woke up, cleaned out my PILES of magazines (well, PARTS of those piles), did dishes, cleaned the table, cleaned the laundry room (just in case anyone LOOKED in there and judged me based on that room alone), vacuumed, finished doing the dishes, took the kids to storytime and turned in books, checked out books for them, let them watch a show, made lemonade for my Tupperware party ...

Then Mom C and Aunt Ann came (since Aunt Ann's the consultant) with B, Ann's baby granddaughter. And ... yeah, that really was my party. My mom wasn't able to come up, since she was sick. Another friend had to cancel since her family's sick. The other maybes didn't come ... Oh well. It was nice to see Ann and Mom C ... and the kids had fun with B. The chicken that Ann cooked was tasty. And I'm still craving the salsa that we made with the chopper-thing. Yum. It was just a couple tomatoes and half a red onion with some dried cilantro and some salt. Yummmmmm.
And I got a GINORMOUS shopping tote as a free gift for hosting a party. Mom C and I each got a free citrus peeler. (The ones that I had growing up was an opaque yellow. This one's a translucent purple. VERY pretty. And, as host, I got another little free gift. I chose a scoop, since I remembered how dang HANDY my mom's was when I lived at home and was baking.

So ... yeah, if you want to put in an order, just contact me and I'll get you Ann's number. We're going to close on the 16th, I think.

My NaNoWriMo project isn't going well. I'm stymied.

Michael's truck broke down on his way home last night. So, we're down to just one car right now. We'll get it towed maybe Friday. I'm trying not to worry about this. I hate being without money. I hate not being able to fix things immediately.
Once he got home (after, thankfully, his brother [who, with his family, just happened to be here] went and picked him up and got the truck pushed into a parking lot and not just along the exit ramp), I excused myself to go to the bathroom to "freshen up" (translated to be: sob and pray and TRY to put myself back into some semblance of order before reappearing before anyone.)

After C, A, and their kids left, we got Bruise and Bucket ready for bed and I had Michael give me a blessing. And it was just what I needed to hear. Gosh, I really, really love having Michael -- and that he's worthy to hold the Priesthood.
But, in the blessing, I was told that I am loved and that Heavenly Father is aware of my/our needs. That I didn't need to worry over things that I can't control (and, truth be told, if given the chance, I could be quite a micromanager) and that things will work out.
I just have to have faith. More like, I just have to KEEP the faith.

Truly, the blessing really did help. It was just what I needed. Afterwards, I wiped my eyes and dripping nose ... and I felt ... calm. It's like how people describe how meditation feels -- where you aren't aware of all the tumult around and all you hear is the sound of the air rushing in and out of your lungs and the beating of your heart -- it's kind of like that.

It's not the BEST situation to be in ... but ... I'm adapting. Slowly, of course (hey, this IS me that we're talking about. I'm not all that great at dealing with change at the best of times), but I am adapting.

Worst case scenario, the truck's transmission is completely out (or something else HELLA-expensive) and we're down to just the one car until we (and by "we" I mean "Michael") get a substantial raise. I can walk the kids down to the closest local library for storytime. Mom will lend me her car (or we'll all drive together to my library) so I can keep volunteering ... or I'll just have to move my volunteering later in the day to when Michael's home, so I can take the van.
Visiting Teaching, though, is going to be rather sticky. I can walk to one gal's house ... but my companion doesn't have a car, so that rules out any weekday-daytime visits. If we just do later evening visits, it could work ... but not so much with the OTHER sister-we-visit-teach's schedule. *sigh*

I guess it's rather fine that I'm such a homebody overall. *sigh* Thank heaven for small blessings, right?

Which brings us to ...

Day 10 Assignment: Pick one of your five senses to focus on each day. Take note of how many gifts come to you via that single part of entry. Write about this experience.

Well, since I was so busy yesterday, I didn't even LOOK at the gratitude challenge calendar yesterday. But I'll try to recall ...

Touch
  • During the bedtime routine last night, Bruise sat on my lap while Michael read the Scripture story (this was about some of the miracles that Elisha did -- like the widow's oil replenishing so that her sons wouldn't be sold into slavery ... 2 Kings chapter 4). While tears rolled down my face, he peered up at me and traced the tear-lines very gently. It was very sweet of him.
  • My children seem to think the FUNNIEST THING is to give me kisseskisseskisses on my cheek and then blow a raspberry. Slobbery, yes. But I can't actually get at all upset about it. Could you?
  • Snuggling into my warm husband ... and how patient he is with me when I put my dry-ice-cold toes on him. Seriously, I don't deserve him. I'm aware. But I'm glad that he loves me regardless.
  • How soft my skin felt after I took five minutes to pamper myself (and get back at that harlot, Mother Nature) and did a little microdermabrasion (I really like the Olay home kit. For, what $25, it seems to work well. ^_^)
  • How good it feels to get a warm shower and put on clean clothes.
  • Michael's hands on my head as he gave me that blessing of comfort that I very sorely needed.
Since I didn't go INTO the day knowing that I needed to be aware of all these things, it's a much shorter list than it should be.

I'll post today's Gratitude challenge in a few hours. After I've thought about things for today. ^_^

I also want to give a shout-out to my awesome friends. Yesterday evening, I posted on Facebook that the truck broke down and that I didn't know what to do ... and immediately I had a few friends comment that I was in their prayers and that everything would be all right.
It brought (and still brings) tears to my eyes to be reminded that I am so loved and so blessed. At times, it seems like everything's stacked against us ... but if I can look past all the crap, life is really, really good.

I have some incredibly sweet friends, some hilarious friends (like my Ty-bro who made me choke with laughing) and all lovely, lovely people. And that helps so, so, so much.

Monday, November 09, 2009

You like me! You really like me!!

So, my friend Katie IMed me to let me know that one of her friends gave me an award!

Wow! I'm really flattered ... and bewildered (but in a good way!).

Her friend, presciousmama, recieved the Kreativ Blogger award...

(see? Here it is! Pretty, isn't it??)

... and I was one of the bloggers that she passed it along to. Wasn't that totally sweet of her?
(Answer: YES. I'm so tickled about this! ... Seriously, I just TILTED MY HEAD to try and wrap my brain around the idea!)

Here are the rules for this award:
Recipients-You are charged with completing certain guidelines once receiving this award.
  1. 1) Copy the pretty picture and post it on your blog. [Check!]
  2. 2)Thank the person that gave it to you and link to their blog. [In progress...]
  3. 3)Write 7 things about yourself we don't know. [This will be below the rules.]
  4. 4)Choose 7 other bloggers you would like to pass the award to. [Also down below...]
  5. 5)Link to those 7 other bloggers. [Ditto.]
  6. 6)Notify your 7 bloggers. [As soon as I post this! Hold your horses! :P]

But, like I mentioned above, I'm ... a little overwhelmed that preciousmama (CUTE name, by the by) elected me to have this award. I can't stop grinning like an idiot. Thank you. Thank you very much. What a sweet way to brighten my (already wonderful but now even nicer) day.

Okay ... now for the rest of the requirements ... Seven (hopefully new) things about me.
  1. I don't eat green olives. Mostly because I THINK that I ate one YEARS AGO (we're talking DECADES) and I remember not liking it. I also tried a purplish-colored one at the Camas Room (the only gourmet restaurant that I've been to). It wasn't very good.
  2. I don't remember learning to read very much. But I remember shocking my poor mom by picking up a romance novel off of the piano bench and starting to read it out loud to her. (Thinking back on it, she was probably just reacting mostly to the reading material. It was a bit different from "Bad Bear," I'll admit.
  3. I think that yeast (when it's active) smells AMAZING. Which is why it's GREAT when I bake my own bread or cinnamon rolls. Because it just smells SO GOOD.
  4. I like to bake cakes and things from scratch when I have enough time. It doesn't take that much more time, really ... and you get to totally customize the flavor. Though, sometimes, raw Betty Crocker (or Duncan Heinz) cake batter just tastes SO GOOD.
  5. I don't think that I do all that well at making frosting, though. Maybe I'm just too used to all the chemicals in there. *shrug*
  6. *returns from changing loads in the washer and dryer* Sometimes I like doing laundry. When there's a stain, it's like alchemy -- a little bit of Zout, some OxiClean, some color-safe bleach, scrub it all in with an old toothbrush, run through a load ... and VOILA! No stains! (Okay, it's like chemistry, really ... but without the possibility of ending up with any gold. And sometimes, really, I'd take the stained clothes and some gold nuggets.)
  7. sometimes I fart. And I really, really wish that I didn't. Because farts are kinda gross. ... Even though it's kinda hilarious when my kids do it.
And now to pass the award forward... I hereby elect these bloggers to receive the Kreativ Blogger award!
  1. My Bri - My little sister from another mister (No, not biologically, though her family is AWESOME, too). She scrapbooks, does photography, paints nails, and does hair like nobody's business. (Well, except for that fact that, really it IS her business ... the doing hair-stuff). And she's on the radio ... Yup, she's amazing.
  2. My Pie (LaDonna) - No, really. Pie is her real-life nickname. My funny, funny Theater-major friend from college ... and my words, y'all, you should have SEEN her personification of a cockroach costume (think teenage trailer park pregnancy posterchild. It was GENIUS!). ... If you go to her blog, go look at her family's Halloween costumes. Oh, my. Too funny!!
  3. Since there's no rule AGAINST double-dipping, I have to nominate my Katie. Seriously, she's awe-inspiring. She makes quilts, cooks feats, AND dresses with such style, I'm almost ashamed to show my face out of the bathroom. She's a freaking powerhouse. AND with double the amount of children that I have!! (However, she has the right to only post about her first nomination. Because, face it, she's got plenty on her plate. ^_^)
  4. My ARTIST friend (her works are in GALLERIES!), the ever-wonderous Cristall. Not only does she paint gorgeous pictures, but she's a good cook too! (Another reason I miss being her neighbor *sad face*) She also has great taste in music and is an excellent walking buddy. Just so you know. ^_^ You should seriously go to her blog and see what she's been painting recently. (I <3>
  5. My Cynthia. Just go look at her Jack-o-lanterns! She's just so fun! And if you haven't experienced the joy of passing notes with her, you're really missing out! And she makes some mean Belgian fries, too. ^_^ And she can give GREAT book recommendations, to boot! (Speaking of boots, she's got EXCELLENT taste in shoes, too!)
  6. Dianne, of course. She's killer with her Bosch mixer (try her cookies!! Yummmmm!) AND she makes cards and scrapbooks that are gorgeous! AND she takes great photos, too! (She took some GORGEOUS ones of our family ... so pretty! If you have a hankering for some pretty pictures and you live locally, I think that I could get you her number. ^_^)
  7. Sandra. She's another of my neighbor-friends from when we were living in our apartment. Sanda's out there achieving her dream of being a fashion designer. And, hey, you could go check out her blog and (if you want) buy something she's designed. She's a lovely, lovely person and I miss her and her cheery nature. But she's married and working, so that's much better, right? ^_^
Okay, now to post this bad boy and notify my peeps!

Counting ...

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