Friday, July 30, 2010

Lots of happenings ... Since it's been about 14 days ...

Where to start?

Let's start where I left off ... Saturday, July 17.

  • Mom and Dad C came and picked up the kids for their cousin's birthday party (which we totally missed, since ...)
  • Michael and I went to the temple. We were the only people representing our ward for the EQ temple trip. Oops. 
  • Michael bought me a Slurpee. I got the Pina Colada flavor. Yummmm....
  • We missed seeing his J (my brother-in-law), T1 (my sister-in-law), and her husband, K, skydiving. Since we were driving home from the temple.
  • It was really, really good to be at the temple. I needed that.
  • The kids went down to their grandparents SATURDAY, instead of Sunday afternoon like I had expected. It was a good thing that I had them packed up. Still, I'd appreciate if, when there's a change of plan, I get something more than NO NOTICE. Oh well. I handled it. ...
  • Even though Mom C did get a look at my face when they were packing up the kids and gasped out, "Don't cry!!"
  • So, yes, even though my children have the ability to annoy the ever-loving whatevers out of me, I did miss them. 
  • But they had a great time with Grandma and Grandpa and their two oldest cousins.
Sunday, July 18 - 
  • People missed Bruise and Bucket at church. LOTS OF PEOPLE.
  • I found out that I no longer know how to pay attention to the speakers in church.
    But I did read the Ensign, so it could be much worse!
  • Michael and I barely knew what to do with ourselves, not having the kiddos around.
  • We didn't eat Macaroni and Cheese for lunch, though. That's the kids' thing.
    (Not that I mind Mac 'n' Cheese ... But it's not Michael's cup of tea. ... Not that he likes tea. Even herbal tea. ... Oh well, more iced Raspberry Zinger for me! ... Though, when the kids are around, they steal nips of mine. *sigh*)
  • I completed the last-minute packing for Girls' Camp.
  • We watched HOURS of Daria. Which was nice.
    And it kinda made up for the fact that our kids went to see Despicable Me without us. :P
Monday, July 19 - 
  • I got up and dressed, since one of our girls was going to be dropped off at my house early. Like around 7:30 ... and we weren't leaving until 10:30.
  • She and I had fun with each other, showing each other awesome videos on YouTube. Some of these videos were our little inside jokes for the drive to and at camp.
  • I was in the front, leading our little caravan of YW to camp. That was ... a bit of responsibility. At least I DID know where I was going. Out of the current YW leaders, I had been to our camp the most. And the most recently ... so ... Yay me, right? I didn't get us lost, though. YAY!!!
  • I had fun with our YW president, the Mia Maid Advisor (teacher for the 14 to 16 year-old girls)/Ward  Camp Director (We were setting up the camp, putting on plastic tablecloths. She loves "The Office," so I asked if she had an applicable Office quote for that. Which started a string of "That's what SHE said" jokes. I love my people.), and the past Primary president (She came because it was her daughter's first year at camp. And she'd been involved with Cub Scout camp for YEARS ... but never Girls' Camp. I think she had fun. ^_^), who used to SERIOUSLY INTIMIDATE me (Not hard -- But really! She's so professional and completely talented! But I got to know her ... and she is wonderfully fun and hilarious. Good times).
  • We had a great fireside that night. Sister Carlile talked about "Our Mission to be Happy" and her husband, our Stake President, talked about our potential and how dangerous virtual realities can be/inappropriate use of technology (Like sexting, but not in so many words). ... And that made me feel a bit better for giving up GaiaOnline ... though, thankfully, I do try to do the "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" ... Even my avatars look very much like myself (but thinner ... Since I am that vain. :P).
  • Earlier, one of the brothers from the stake ... He's a police officer ... Can't recall his name ... BUT he gave a very good talk/discussion about personal safety. Most of it was about using common sense and avoiding dangerous situations. And about places to hit someone so that you can escape ... and to NOT use these in a fight at school. Because that will get you arrested. 
  • After everything, a group of us went around to the YC's (Youth Counselor - the 17 and 18 year-olds who REALLY run the camp while we're there ^_^) camp and sang to them. Then we sang again outside the Stake Leaders' campers. One of the sisters came out and thanked us, telling us that we were an answer to prayer. That the leaders had just finished praying ... and then they heard us singing. That was very sweet of her to say. ^_^ And that started our habit of singing around camp every night. Very fun.
Tuesday, July 20 - 
  • I was the only leader from our camp who didn't go on a hike this year. I stayed and ended up helping Shana and a couple girls who couldn't do the hikes to tear up rags to use for flag football that evening. It was fun to chat with Shana. I really had enjoyed working with her last year, when I was an Assistant Stake Girls' Camp Leader (so far, it's the only Stake calling that I've had. And I was rather shocked when I got it).
  • I was calling to talk to the kids and to Michael every day. Mom C would give me a report and have the kiddos tell me about their day. I'd call Michael, usually while he was at work, and chat when I had a chance. For the rest of the time, except when K (my YW Prez.) needed to use it, I had my phone actually turned OFF. It did really help save my battery on it.
  • Unlike the batteries to my cute little Disney Princess flashlight. Which ran out TWO SETS of batteries by Wednesday. Oops. So I had to rely on the kindness of strangers my ward sisters. Who were awesome enough to happily shed light when I needed it. ^_^
  • H, our MM Advisor/Ward Camp Director, had some crafty things for us to do in camp. The official craft activities were very fun. But they took NO TIME AT ALL ... which was great in a way (that you could DEFINITELY do the crafts and still have time to swim, shower, do some archery, nap, visit with friends, etc ...) but ... well, it'd have been nice to have more things to do, too.
    I had finished my little magnet board (and glass magnets) and my cute little flower hairclips in maybe ten minutes. And I'm glad that we did those crafts, since I know now how to make those in the future. ^_^
    However, H also had lots of embroidery floss for making friendship bracelets. And, well, after I racked my brain (since the last time I had done friendship bracelets was ... eeps ... in SEVENTH GRADE ... back in 1992 ... Well, thankfully, it came back to me pretty well. I made four while I was there. I gave two away and I kept a couple.
  • We also did the ward skits Tuesday night. Ours went well. Since the theme of camp was "Campus Courage" ... like a University, using the sections from "For the Strength of Youth," and we were the College of Modest Dress and Appearance (complete with ADORABLE sweatshirts with Greek Lettering [Mu Delta Alpha] like a sorority), the girls' skit was like an episode of What Not to Wear ... except the immodest/extreme clothing were all parodies. One of the girls had a "bare midriff" -- a teddy bear strapped to her waist. Fishnet stockings were blue socks with toy fish on them. The mini skirt was a skirt with Hershey's Minis wrappers sewn to it, etc, etc, etc. Our girls are so clever. ^_^
Wednesday, July 21 - 
  • Bruise and Bucket were picked up by my mom to go up to her place. Where they were sufficiently spoiled by Mom, my Stepdad, and my Aunt J.
  • Wednesday was Bishop's Night. We worked so hard to get our dutch oven dinner and dessert done on time ... and it was still late. But I thought that it was good. We (meaning the girls, under K's supervision) made chicken noodle soup ... and we also had peach cobbler with ice cream that Bishop and his wife brought.
  • After/during dinner, Bishop gave a fireside ... sadly, I didn't write anything down, since I WAS listening ... and I don't recall what was discussed ... Wait ... PRIORITIES!!!! That's what he was talking about. And how our priorities should reflect our values (I gave that answer. Go me!) ... It was really good. And it made me want to reinvest in a new Franklin-Covey planner, since they are nice. ^_^
  • That evening we did Singing Trees. There's a grove of trees by one of the outbuildings. We arrange the girls by years and the YCs and the Leaders  ... and we all are are different sections of the grove. Each of the groups is assigned a hymn to sing. The groups sing one by one ... and then we all sing together. It sounds pretty cool.
  • As K and I were walking Bishop and his wife back to camp, he asked if he could talk to me a sec.
    "What did I do THIS TIME??" I asked (I was joking. And I'm so glad that Bishop GETS my sense of humor). And he replied, "Well, there are a couple stories going around ..." "Then it's probably the worse one. It's the most consistent." I rejoined. ... Yes, I adore our leadership. I'll be a little sad when Bishop P ever gets released. But it'll be SO NICE for him and his wife to get a little more time together again. (His wife? Is Bruise and Bucket's Primary teacher. And she's AMAZING. I love her to bits.)

    But, yeah, it was just a discussion about YW. Nothing huge. And nothing that I can talk about in detail ... for a little while. But it was flattering that he told me I was doing a good job in my calling as YW Secretary. I love my calling ... so it's great that I'm doing well in it. Makes me feel good. All special and everything. Especially since K tells me that I'm awesome at it, too. *preens* Hey, my slight OCD tendencies have to pay off somehow! (Since, you know, my house doesn't show it. :P)
  • We sang to all the camps, except one. All their lights were out and we didn't want to wake them. Turns out that they WERE awake ... and were sorry that we hadn't sang to them. Oops!
    We would have sang to the YCs again ... except they weren't in their camp. We did sit in their chairs around their campfire for a while, waiting for them ... but they didn't show. We practiced a few songs, though.
Thursday, July 22 - Last Full Day of Camp
  • Our big event this day was The Amazing Race. This is where (after the first year it was started, anyways) the girls are arranged into groups compiled of a pretty-equal number of all the years of campers (since each year learns new things in the Certification - survival skills, etc.). Each group has to race the others and pass off the requirement at each station (scattered around camp ... and found out through a clue they receive after passing off that requirement at the station) to be the first team to return to the amphitheater.
    This year, there was really a tie. H was in charge of one of the teams. She REALLY, REALLY wanted to win. Unfortunately, there were some issues ... So, even though H's team didn't get the cool prizes, they were still able to sign the winner's flag along with the other team. 
  • The girls also participated in a service project -- camp beautification. Some opted to clean the dining hall. Others cleared brush along some of the trails and areas. Others cleaned and painted at the other building in camp. The last group repainted the signs marking the campgrounds. ... And these girls came back with hands COVERED in bright yellow oil-based paint. Thankfully, there was some turpentine and paint thinner ... though most of the girls didn't know about it at first. Oops!
  • After dinner, we had our last fireside. It was about this year's Youth Theme:
    Joshua 1:9 - "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be though dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest." 
  • Our little group, after all the camps were settled, went to the one camp we had missed the night before and sang to them. 
Friday, July 23 - 
  • Before breakfast, we met in the other grove of trees for a testimony meeting. It was very nice. No, I didn't get up and bear my testimony. But I enjoyed hearing those that were shared.
  • Then we ate brunch and were dismissed to dismantle our camps. After we were done, we had to get checked by Shana and the caretaker. Then we drove home. I dropped a few girls off and headed home, where Michael was waiting for me.

  • I got a shower and collapsed into a THREE HOUR-LONG NAP. (I had been taking a nap nearly every day at camp. It was nice. And I had missed taking a nap Thursday. Obviously, missing that nap and all the late nights had caught up with me. Oops!
  • Then we called up the kid and checked up on them ... And we got packed for driving down to pick them up.
Saturday, July 24 - 
  • We drove down to my mom's. We went out to dinner with the family (and my Aunt J). Yummy Chinese food. The Lo Mein was really good. J didn't like her Hot and Sour Soup ... so after I had eaten my Egg Drop Soup ... and Bruise had given Bucket and me HIS Egg Drop Soup, I ate the rest of hers. ... What? I LIKE soup!
  • C, my stepdad, had given Bruise and Bucket some money. And Bucket was DESPERATE to do some shopping. So, Michael and C drove home in Mom's car while Mom, J, Bruise, Bucket and I went to the grocery store where I worked in high school in my van.
  • J was teasing Bucket, asking her "What are you going to buy me? Are you going to buy me a candy bar?" And Bucket said that she would. I asked her if she'd also get something for Mutti (my mom). After Bucket answered in the affirmative, Mom and J told her they had been kidding. And Bucket (SUCH a funny girl) declared, "I'm going to do what I WANT to do!"
  • She picked out a toy white tiger (immediately named "Batgirl") for herself. Bruise picked out a yellow stuffed dinosaur. He tells me that it's named for him. Well, that's one less name for me to have to know!
  • We discovered that Bucket had left her sunglasses somewhere ... that she didn't have them when she and Bruise came up to Mom's. I was pretty sad. Because I LOVE her Hello Kitty sunglasses. (If you have access to my Facebook, those are the sunglasses she's wearing in the pictures of them playing in the fountains.)
Sunday, July 25 -
  • We didn't make it to church. So the kids haven't been to church in two weeks. Oops!
  • We were going to go to my Family Reunion (for my Dad's side of the family) along the coast. But we were very tired and Michael's back was hurting really badly ... so we just headed straight home.
Monday, July 26 - 
  • What DID I do? ... I think I just made sure that the house was ready for my mom to come up ... 
  • And we determined our plans for this weekend. It's going to be legen -- wait for it -- DARY.
Tuesday, July 27 - 
  • Took the kids to storytime at the Carnegie Library (it'd been a while since we made one of Doris' storytimes).
  • Mom, Bucket and I worked to put pink streaks in our hair in support of Cami (one of the girls I grew up with at church). She has cancer. Again. If you want to do pink streaks, do!! Then send me picture and I'll send them to Cami.
    (Bucket's pink streaks didn't show up ... except in JUUUUUUUUST the right light, at the right angle, you can ALMOST see some pink.  My mom's hair turned out really cute! She has a pink streak in the front, along her forehead, and one in the back. When her hair's pulled back, it looks SO AMAZING. And I'm loving my streaks. mine are under the top layer, so they're not completely obvious ... well, except for the fact that I had to bleach my hair to get it done. And bleaching my hair was so easy. So I have a few chunks on the side and one big one in the back. And I feel wonderfully adorable. ^_^
    What do you think? ... It looks a bit more vibrant than that ... As nice as it is, taking pictures with my webcam, it's not always true-to-life color. *shrugs* ... And if you look carefully, in front of that pink streak, you can see some of the bleached strands. ... Again, if you check out my Facebook, I have LOTS of pictures on there. Including pictures of my cute, gorgeous momma!
Wednesday, July 28 - 
  • We went to storytime, then to McDonald's in the next town. The kids love going to that McDonald's, since they get to play on a HUGE indoor play structure.
  • I volunteered at the library. After a two-week absence. It was good to be back. 
  • While I volunteered, Mom took the kids across the street to the park to play. They were out there for nearly 1.75 hours. They drank lots of water. Thank goodness there was a good breeze going through the park, since it was a warm day.
  • We attended one of the Summer Reading Programs -- Mad Science. It was all about water facts. And he showed the kids cool stuff about dry ice. They loved it. And I got to sit by one of my friends from college (Also, she and I had attended a few years of Girls' Camp together. One year, we were in the same cabin. How funny!), which was nice.
  • We went to the grocery store for ice cream and non-iodized salt.
    The salt is for my neti pot. Yes, I got one for free ... and I've started using it. It's not nearly as bad/scary as I was worried it would be. I don't even make such weird faces when I use it as I do when I swish my mouth with peroxide (Srsly? That stuff FOAMS up! And tastes SO WEIRD! ... But I'd like whiter teeth. And I'm cheap.).
  • Then we picked up dinner at Baja Fresh, since we were running late.
  • Then we watched SYTYCD after the kids went to bed.
Thursday, July 29 - 
  • Had to say goodbye to my mom. C misses her lots when she comes up. *sigh*
  • Went to storytime.
  • I established my "GOOD MOM" rep by taking the kids to play in the water feature on the riverfront in the next town (since we were there for storytime).
  • Cleaned off my desk
  • Made dinner - Chicken and rice doesn't sound so exciting ... Until I tell you that it was Chicken Tikka and Coconut Rice (Use coconut milk for 1/2 the liquid. And I used my new rice cooker. It turned out SOOOOOOO GOOD!!!).
And here's where I warn the menfolk that they might want to avert their reading eyes ... or to take notes ...

A package arrived in the mail. From a company that I'm aware of and even a little familiar with. But I knew that I hadn't ordered anything. And it had Michael's name on it ... So I just waited until he got home.
Since, who knows? Maybe I ordered some freebie but with his name ... I love freebies.

Well, when he got home, I mentioned it. And he was all, "Already?? ... You didn't call me to ask me about it?" 

And he had me open it.

My husband bought me lingerie! A very pretty bra and panty set from Bravissimo. And the bra's the right size (the panties are a little snug ... More incentive to work out, right?), since he looked through my drawer while I was at camp.

Seriously, he ordered them the day before I got back from camp. They arrived in a week!! 

Did I mention that they're so pretty? And, well, I've never had a bra that lifts and separates like this! The underwire actually rests against my breastbone! ... It kinda feels weird, since I'm not used to my bra actually being where it's supposed to be. (And the fact that my other really good bras aren't underwires. Though I do really like underwires. Good support. ^_^)

And it's sooooo pretty! He's got excellent taste.

(If you're wild to know the style, it's the Broderie. In pale violet. ... And I really don't look like the model. Not that I'd mind getting into shape again. ^_^)

But, yeah, if you're ... rather well-endowed. I'd totally recommend Bravissimo. The package was small enough to fit into our mailbox. Upon opening the box, the garments were wrapped in tissue, fastened with a Bravissimo logo sticker. Very nice.
And they have quite a few styles. They also sell sleepwear and shirts, dresses, and jackets.

It's just too bad that they don't have any stores on this side of the pond. All their stores are in the British Isles. *sigh* So I've just ordered their catalog for ... about two years now and dream about going to London or thereabouts and shopping in one of their brick and mortar stores.

No, I'm not receiving anything for singing Bravissimo's praises. Although, if they want to send me some swag, I'd be glad to review it! (I'd give my honest opinion, of course ... but if it's anything like what I've gotten, I'm sure that I'll love it. ^_^)

But, yeah ... I've got the bestest husband. I'm totally spoiled.
And I feel so pretty and special in my new pretty, pretty underbits.
If I'd have known what a confidence booster cute underoos really are, I think that ... well, I'd have more debt, really. ^_^

Okay, gotta close up. Need to read to mah baybees instead of waxing poetic about how excellent my man is and what good taste he has in knickers and such. ^_^

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Ennui ... Gargh.

No, "gargh" isn't a real word. It's the sound you make when you're trying not to headdesk.

I'm just about all packed up for Girls' Camp on Monday. I have the kids packed up, except for toothbrushes. And pillows. And their booster seats. ... But, yeah, most of everything is done. Yay me.

I'm peeved at the kids. I was getting out of the shower and they asked if they could go out and see Daddy (Michael was working on the yard. Weed-whacking and such), I told them no. They went outside anyways. I didn't go after them since, you know, getting out of the shower ... I'm not dressed appropriately.

Pretty much, I told them that they're dead to me. Okay, I told them that, since they don't listen to me, I'm on strike. They can get their own food. They shouldn't talk to me. I really don't want to interact with them right now.

Yeah, I'm such a loving and Christlike mom.

I feel especially sucky, since this is the last day that I'll really see them for most of the day.

It's not like I don't have enough to think about today already ... we're going to get the oil in the van changed (about time! We keep putting it off since our budget still doesn't have tons of room for things like that), and I need to vacuum the inside of the van. It could be washed ... but after driving to camp, it'll be all covered with dust again. I have books to finish and books to return. There's our niece's birthday party ... and Michael and I are going to the temple.  ... At least the dishes are almost all done. *phew*


In other news, when Michael and I woke up Wednesday morning, Bruise was in bed with us.
We have no idea when or why he climbed in. He had to climb in over one of us (usually me), so I'm a little disturbed that I was sleeping SO deeply that I didn't feel/notice him get in bed with us.

And he was asleep when Michael left ... and I was too tired to remember to ask him why he came into bed with us. So it's a total mystery. And it kinda weirds me out. Because I like to be aware of what's going on around me.

Okay. Closing up. Not like I feel excellent or anything. Oh well. But I figured that I'd share. I know you're so thrilled.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Writing Style ...

Well, according to a website,

I write like
David Foster Wallace
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

And I put in a few different posts of mine to make sure.
Same result. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

So ... I'm not Shakespeare or James Joyce or Stephen King ...

But ... um ...I haven't read any Wallace. So ... yeah, I really don't know. Hm.

Things that make me go, "Awww" ... for "awesome"

I finally got around to watching the video of people dancing at Holocaust sites.
Here it is:

Now, until I actually watched it, I didn't realize that (1) there is a Holocaust Survivor in it and (2) this is a three-generation family project. That's right. The sweet old man is in there with his daughter and grandchildren.

And, if you look at the captions, you'll see all the places that they're dancing. One of them is the Maisel Synagogue in the Czech Republic. The next subtitle reads "(Hitler's Intended 'Museum of the Extinct Race')."

Speaking of him ... This article (from Neatorama) makes me love Groucho Marx even more: "Dancing on Hitler's Grave."

Two very different dances. Both just touch me.
And they make me remember last year when Alter Wiener came to town and spoke about his experiences. I still need to read his book. I listened to him for around an hour. I was able to shake his hand and give him a hug. I love this man. I really, really do.


Other things that are neat/cool/awesome:

via Neatorama - Maggie and Mildred - A film (short) made in cross-stitch. It's quite cute. And, oh, it would have taken me .... well, if it were up to ME, it'd never have gotten done. Because I don't have that patience.
Holly Klein, however DOES have it. And creativity and talent, to boot! She spent NINE MONTHS stitching ... after that, she did the filming. Total time? TWO YEARS.

There's a new fashion movement -- for modesty. And I'm thrilled about this.
(1) My religion encourages a modest appearance.
(2) Nobody (except my husband) really EVER needs to see all of my body. (Okay, maybe my doctor.) And, really, I can't think of anyone who'd really, really want me to be letting all of my ZAFTIG curves be all hanging out/squeezed into tight/short things.

So, there's a blog. For Tznius-istas. Tznius is the Hebrew word for "modest." It's not active YET. But I'm eager for it to be.
And, if you're interested in what it's about, go to the article about it over at Modestly Yours. (Hint: FASHION SHOW!! ... Which outfits did you like best? I especially like #2, #3, #7, #8, #11 and #12 -- if the first image is #1 ... since they aren't numbered). ... I thought it was great that they had modest outfits that I'd WANT to wear. ^_^


Lastly is "A Bovine Gift From the Heart" from the Mental_floss blog.
This brought tears to my eyes. Both when I read it to myself AND when I shared it with Michael.
Empathy and love FTW (for the win).
If only all the people in the world could show the kindness and caring that the Masai village of Enoosaen did for the United States, to help comfort us after the tragedy of 9/11 ... Bless their sweet, sweet, wonderful hearts.
They are a lovely people.

... Really, the more I learn about Africa and its people, the more I love them. I know that Alexander McCall-Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is a fictional work, but it is based on the people of Botswana. And, as in the book, not all of them are moral and upright citizens ... still, I really, really want to go to Botswana someday. I read those books and it feels ... like home. Even though it's wildly different from my home of temperate rainforests, with desert on one side and the coast on the other. (Oregon is a lovely place.)

But I am grateful that there are such good and wonderful things in the world. I'm grateful for survivors, for a return to modesty, for selfless and generous people in the world, for books and the internet (that tell me about such excellent things) ... Life is pretty good. And I'm glad for it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I'm blogging a second time in a week?? Whaaaaaaaat???

This post will have bits of TMI. Just warning you.

So, like I mentioned, Thursday featured me getting out of the house, sans children. (If was after their bedtime, anyways). I had a great time with a few friends, including one who's moving. D: ... Still, a great time. It was small and not planned much in advance.

I had posted on Facebook that I had a great time at the Girls' Night Out, and gave credit to the two gals who had hands in the idea for it.
One mututal friend had posted that she was sad she wasn't cool enough to get invited. She was joking. Another friend (on vacation) also posted that she wished she could be there.
One of the friends who planned it commented that she was uncomfortable calling it a "Girls' Night Out," since there were people feeling excluded.

I, being on my period -- read: being a hormonal mess, really--, suddenly went through a cycle of self-doubt, self-pity, and general crapishnessessence.

So I deleted the original post about how much fun I had ... and posted one about how I felt stupid because I referred to a spur-of-the-moment gathering of gals outside our homes as a Girls' Night Out, but I'd been told that it wasn't. And that I seem to specialize in alienating and offending people. And that I don't have a social life. And I started crying. And Michael comforted me, telling me that I'm not offensive or alienating; that I wasn't trying to hurt anyone's feelings; that I needed to concentrate on the fact that I did get out of the house and had a good time.

And my dear friends (including some of you) did comment and tell me that, no, what I had gone to did fit the definition of a Girls' Night Out. Which does help me feel a bit less socially-awkward and stupid.
(Though, I'm REALLY good at feeling dumb. And I'll confess that I did cry a little as I typed this whole stupid incident out. I should go take some Valerian. And my fake Zyrtec.)

But, yeah. So, that's that. Now I just need to overcome my tinge of Agrophobia a bit more and plan a Girls' Night Out and make sure to invite a few more people. Sometime after Girls' Camp.


In other news, we're battling fleas. Diana-cat had a bath, is back in her flea collar (removed for that bath), and we sprinkled the carpet with Natural Defense carpet powder, which does smell kinda nice/kinda funky. And has removed any lingering odor from when Diana decided that peeing on the dining room carpet was the BEST. IDEA. EVER. (It wasn't. At ALL. *glowers*)

Since that, we keep finding some baby fleas on Michael and the kids. I think there's been ONE on me. Two on Bucket, three on Bruise, and about a gazillion on poor Michael. (He is a sweet man. Even though he's rather heartless. Never cries at movies or anything. Seriously. I've been married to him for nearly a decade. He's cried ONCE. ... If he didn't laugh and have a great sense of humor and all, I'd worry that he might be a psychopath. :P [Love you, Honey!] ... But, yeah, the fleas swarming him is total proof that he's really a sweet man. ^_^) SO, I'm pretty sure that this is the new generation of fleas hatching. Grrr. I HATE fleas.


So, I've vacuumed almost all of the house. I'm getting caught back up on the dishes (and, once those are done, I'll clean up the rest of the kitchen) and the laundry. The bathrooms are nearly clean. I'm feeling rather productive. ... Oh, AND I'm getting books finished!! ^_^ (Some of them. There are others that are due and I haven't even cracked open. D: ... *sigh*)

Bruise did his cutting and pasting work that my mom brought up for him last week. And he wrote his own name. That was pretty awesome. And he's getting lots better with the scissors.


Found a teacher from high school on Facebook. My old Biology I teacher. I knew that he had moved to this area about 15 years ago. He's still around. Which makes me happy. Especially for his current students. He's a really awesome teacher. ... As you can tell, since I still am very fond of him ... and it's been over a decade. ^_^


I helped the kids organize their boxes of toys. Again. After THEY had cleaned their room well. It does look much better in there. Phew.

I also got some songs back on my iPod. That'll make driving nice.


The kids have a birthday party tomorrow. We have a present for that. Thank goodness. ^_^ And we need to buy another present for their cousin's birthday this weekend.

Michael and I get to go to the temple. It's been a while. When it's been longer than a month, I really lose track of when I last went. ... One of the things I miss from the pre-kid days is going to the temple once a month. (Well, that and not having to vacuum under the dining room table. Or wonder WHO didn't flush the toilet. Or going out and buying books every payday. ... Oh well. They're worth it. Really.)


I think that is everything that really is pertinent.
It's nice sitting in a mostly-clean house.
It's nice that my kids love each other.
It's nice that Bruise did his cutting and pasting with a minimum of whining (this time) ... and that I was able to unload/reload the dishwasher as he did it.
It's nice that Bucket is not such a picky eater. She asked for a cracker/nut mix. Specifically, "the one with the little green balls in it."

Those "little green balls?"
That's my girl. ^_^

Now, if Michael's back heals up quickly ... and if we get more money ... life will be pretty darn perfect.
For the most part, anyways.

That and if I can stop kicking myself in the butt for things that aren't totally and completely my fault.
Even though I'm really, really good at it. :S

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Independence and such ...

Our Independence Day was rather quiet. Just sparklers and some small fireworks outside our house (because doing them inside would be really, really stupid, right?). The kids got to stay up later than usual. Which they always enjoy. ^_^

Best quote of the night?
Bruise: (regarding the Black Snakes after they were done) "Dey wook wike dog POOP!"
Heh. He's too funny.

Monday was spent cleaning up the house.

Tuesday, we finished cleaning up the house and my Mom came up. We went to Costco and had a good time. Bruce is now OBSESSED with playing LEGO Batman on the Nintendo DS. It was only $15! (I really now need to get the LEGO Harry Potter. ^_^)

Wednesday, we went to storytime, McDonalds, and then, while I went to volunteer, Mom and the kids went to the park by our house. The power went out during SYTYCD. (BUMMER), so we went to bed early. At least we only missed the quickstep and the African Jazz numbers. But I found them online later. Phew.

Thursday, Mom went home and I took the kids to storytime. In the evening, I got to go to a girls' night out. And it was within walking distance, so I walked. And I had a great time, even though it meant that one of our friends was really, REALLY going to be moving away on Monday. :( But there was good food and great conversation. It's nice to get out with the girls. ^_^ I should do it more often. ^_^

Yesterday .... we mostly stuck around the house. Michael was supposed to help a gal get furniture from St. Vincent's to her house (since he's Elders' Quorum president in our ward/congregation) ... but there was a lot of ... well ... a LACK of communication between St. Vinnie's and the lady. Poor lady. Poor MICHAEL. He drove out there TWICE and neither time did he get anything accomplished. Through no fault of his own.

Today, Michael went to help a family move (and his back is feeling it now. NOTE TO .... EVERYONE: Don't be the only person picking up one side of a piano. Ever. Okay? Just remember that. You'll thank me.). While he was doing that, the kids had a Primary (church) activity. I got to drop them off at the church ... and then figure out what to do with myself for the next couple of hours.

I had some options. I didn't want to be in the house, since I'm at home so often, anyways. And, also, since I had washed the cat and sprinkled the carpet with flea-repellent stuff.

So, instead of going home and playing LEGO Batman on the DS, I went out.
I went to a used bookstore in town and picked up Danny, Champion of the World, Coleman (Monica Furlong), Summer Switch (the sequel to Freaky Friday), and C.S. Lewis' The Pilgrim's Regress.
Then I went to try to go to the OTHER used bookstore that I like in town. But since it's a special occasion for our downtown, there was NO WAY that I was getting through there.
So I went to St. Vincent's. And their children's/YA paperbacks are (for the most part) 50 cents. SCORE!
So I got The Phantom Tollbooth, A Royal Pain (Ellen Conford -- Blast from the past. I don't think I've read this since I was in middle school), Five Children and It (Nesbit), and Cold Comfort Farm.
Then I went to the library, since it's not too far from the church. And it's air-conditioned. And I wanted to return some books and pick up one hold (Leap Year, with Amy Adams, if you are really curious. Or even if you're not). And I checked out the parking lot sale. Bought a Cinderella dress-up dress for Bucket (since her Cinderella dress is starting to show its age) ... how could I NOT? It was $3!! And it's in good shape. And, if I bought one new at Target, it'd be around $25.
Then I went back inside the library and read until it was time to collect my munchkins.

They were pretty quiet/shy. They had fun. And (maybe more importantly) they listened well. ^_^

We met Michael back at the house. Then we went to get a gift for one of the munchkins' friends from church. His party is this coming week. Can't go to a party without a present!
Then we went to A&W, since they had a special on their slushies -- 99 cents for a small.
HOWEVER, they ran out of sugar and couldn't make them. So they gave us our money back.
And I made strawberry-lemonade slushies at home. And they were good. (Helps that I have homemade strawberry syrup. Yum. And a blender.)

Then we watched Monsters vs. Aliens with the kids. ... Until I started blogging, anyways. ^_^

And, yeah ... for the most part, that's been our week.

Any questions?

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Scammer Alert!

So, we were cold called (depsite being on the DoNotCall registry since, oh, WE BOUGHT OUR HOUSE THREE YEARS AGO, say) by a company.

I picked up the phone and got the opportunity to speak with a quite nice, albeit HEAVILY-ACCENTED (Seriously, I couldn't understand most things he said, bless his heart) man ... who was VERY, VERY interested in making my computer run faster.

I talked with him as he had me open my computer's EventViewer (eventvwr.exe ... who knew? ... Not me, obviously.) and scroll through and start COUNTING the errors and warnings. For an EXACT COUNT.
(Since I practically LIVE online, there were TONS of things to scroll through.)

Michael was suspicious (as was I ... calling across the room, "Hey, honey? Does this sound suspicious? No, I DON'T KNOW who's calling. Should I hang up? Oh, OKAY!!! *click!*) ...

And, after I hung up, they called back. We let it go to the answering machine.

And they called back AGAIN!

So, I let Michael deal with it.

Best part of it? Michael made the dude give him his contact information ... and the best quote from Michael, "That's what I'm TRYING to do. Now, are you going to tell me your number??"

Love that man of mine.

SO, if you get a call from Online PC Care, don't trust them. We checked out their website (easy to find, really) and it doesn't look very ... trustworthy.

However, the best part of that search was finding this story:
Quite entertaining. ^_^

Now, the question really is ... where did they get our number?

And WHY IN THE BLOODY FINGERS OF THE ZOMBIE BALLERINA NATRILLA did they think that calling people with an iota of intelligence (or, merely, internet access) would result in anything good for them?

So, if you need some fake phone numbers for the creepers in bars or something, let me know. I have a couple you can use. Especially if you pretend to be from New York. *significant look*
(Since, if you're going to be giving out a fake number, you might as well have a good cover story. And a number that you really want to be used. Heh heh heh.)

But, yeah. Thought you should be aware.

(Though, I'm sure that poor Torrus is a very nice man who has found himself in a very bad situation -- telemarketing. ... Which, if you're bored and don't mind some ... worldly humor, there's a game on AdultSwim's website where you play a telemarketer. I'm not wild about it. I prefer the Amateur Surgeon. Although it's HAAAAAAARD and frustrates me to no end. *sigh*)

In which I attempt to catch up ...

Yes, it's been way too long since I last posted (notice a pattern? Grr. I sure do. Blargh.).
I apologize for that.

I really should make more of a schedule about blogging.
(However, I won't be near a computer for about a WHOLE WEEK, really, later this month. HOW WILL I SURVIVE???)
(Answer: I'll be surrounded Monday-Friday by amazing Young Women and their leaders. Then I'll be with Michael, getting MAH PRESHUSSSS BAYBEES, and we'll take my Nana to a family reunion [My Dad's side, obviously. ^_^] ... so I'm going to be a busy Llanna.)

So, what's gone on since I last blogged?

For bedtime stories, we've gotten through:
  • Esio Trot
  • The Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • The Twits
  • The Magic Finger (all these are by Roald Dahl)
Now we're getting through Beatrix Potter's stories (which actually makes sense to follow Dahl with Potter ... he was quite a fan of hers). Looks like after this, we'll move onto Treasure Island. Which I've never read. Then we'll read Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-glass ... which I personally love. 

I've been reading books. If you really are interested in which ones I'm getting through, just look at my Goodreads account. ^_^ 

What else have we been doing ... We've gone to the coast one weekend. Always fun. Finally got to the new Swampland exhibit at the aquarium. It's nice. I still miss some of the Oddwater exhibits (seahorses, clownfish, cuttlefish, horseshoe crabs, and being able to pet baby sharks and skates), but the kids did enjoy it. Thank goodness, since it'll be here for a while. ^_^

We went and visited family and went to the Umpqua Valley Summer Arts festival near my hometown. I bought a pound of Garlic Lover's Garlic from the Oregon Spice Rack booth (this company makes GOOD stuff. Mom and I have been loving their garlic mix for the last ... FIFTEEN YEARS? Oh. Em. Gee. I'm OLD.) and Bucket had fun in the Children's area, decorating a crown.
The kids were a little cranky, so we didn't stay all that long ... But we were there long enough to look at all the booths ... and for the kids to pet a tortoise and a ball python at the Wildlife Safari booth.

But, back to the Oregon Spice Rack, I know I'm going to sound like I'm trying to make you buy their stuff ... but, really, it's GOOD. I especially like the Garlic Lover's Garlic (duh), the Cajun Spice (GREAT on fries!), and the Cinnamon Toast Sprinkle. We've also tried the Caribbean Sunshine (it's like a relish/dipping sauce But GOOD. Since I don't really like regular relish), the jalepeno relish (I like to mix it with cream cheese and eat it with crackers. ^_^), and the Cajun catsup.

If you're interested in buying in person (especially so you can sample the products), the website lets you know where their booths will be. Which makes it nice. ^_^

But, yeah, enough about the AMAZING, BESTEST garlic mix ever ...

Last week, we had the missionaries come over for dinner. I made pizzas. A BBQ chicken and a taco-style (which Michael did the work on). And Michael made pudding for dessert. The elders were scheduled to come at 7:30 ... which is later than we've usually served them dinner. But, this time, they were late. So the kids went to bed SO LATE. 

Which meant that they were quieter than usual when my mom was up. They were so tired. Poor kiddos. But they had fun. They got to go to the VERY LAST part of a library-sponsored picnic/concert in the next town. Then we went to McDonald's for lunch, where they got to play. And Bucket got the EXACT TOY that she REALLY WANTED (well, after I exchanged the first one). Bruise ... well, he wasn't wild about his toy at first. But after we talked about it (since he'd ripped open its package, so we couldn't exchange it), he likes it. ^_^ Then they got to play at the park with Mutti while I volunteered. I left a few minutes early, since I had nothing left to shelve at the end of my shift. Which was perfect since I met Mom and the kids, coming back in, as I was ready to check out my holds that I'd picked up.
Then we went to T.J. Maxx and got the kids shorts for the summer (since Bruise had, what, ONE PAIR LEFT that still fit him. Oops. And Bucket needed some, too.) and I found a pair of capris that I can wear (and take to Girls' Camp). Then we went to the Farmers' Market. We picked up some fresh pastries (the kids got a blueberry scone to share. I opted for a Cherry Cheese pastry. Mom got Cream Cheese-swirled brownies for herself and Michael), some salad, and some berries (this time we're trying Golden Raspberries, along with some fresh strawberries). And some Kettle Corn. Yum.

I got a new rice cooker. It looks small, but it's really cute. It's red. And it's supposed to hold 10 cups of cooked rice. ^_^ AND it's NON-STICK ... which isn't really the case with my older rice cooker.

Thursday, Mom and I got some smell-good stuff at Bath and Body Work's sale. I got lotions and body sprays in Forever Sunshine (the new scent. I really like it), Cucumber Melon, and Twilight Woods. And I feel a little dirty for buying something with "Twilight" in the name. Because, really, I don't care for "Twilight" all that much. Yes, I've read the books. Yes, I have friends who are Twihards (I also have friends who HATE Twilight with the passion of one thousand burning suns) ... I'm somewhere in the middle, really.
(Personally, "The Host" had stronger writing. ... But I've liked vampire fiction since I was in, wow, JUNIOR HIGH ... And I think that L.J. Smith's "The Vampire Diaries" --all four books-- are better. I'm not all that into Anne Rice's vampire books. But I do like Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series [actually, just about EVERYTHING that Harris writes, I've enjoyed] ... along with some others.) ... I rather like to make fun of Twilight.

If you haven't seen the HISHE for Twilight, you MUST WATCH IT!!!

It never gets old. I could watch that over and over. Though it is missing the awesome Muse in the soundtrack. ^_^

I'm feeling fat again. Big surprise. But I'm trying to handle it ... and work up the motivation to actually make time to work out. So far, I haven't had much success. Besides walking down the street to a restaurant to pick up something they'd forgetten to give us (and they were so, so sweet about it).

Last weekend, we went to a party for a friend of Bruise and Bucket -- the son of one of my besties. They had a pool party. Bruise barely got out of the water -- paddling about in his water wings. Bucket's water wings had a hold in one of them, so I had taken her out. She went underwater, NOT of her own volition, and spent some time cuddling with Michael, getting her courage back up. She did swim with me ... clinging like a spider monkey with a DEATH GRIP. (She's a strong little munchkin). But she did have a great time, too. Then we went to our friends' house for a BBQ with the BEST POTATO SALAD (It had dill pickles in it. I really hate sweet pickles. They taste so gross to me. I know that I'm a freak of nature. So this potato salad was GREAT). And there was a really good broccoli salad. Strips of tomatoes, crumbles of bacon, and some vinagrette. SO good.

ANNOYING THING: The kids' spring horse (like a rocking horse, but on springs? Did you have one of them as a kid? I did. So did Michael) broke. AGAIN. And the company that originally made it went bankrupt and was bought out by a DIFFERENT company ... which doesn't make them any more ... and is out of replacement parts. Because the parts were made of plastic. Ugh.
So Michael -- my big, strong, Mr. Fix-It man -- is figuring out some way to fix it. With I-bolts (or is it eye-bolts? I wouldn't know). 

Yes, I don't deserve him. I know. I'm aware.

So ... yeah ... that's just about everything really pertinent that you might have missed. If you really care. (Which you must, since you're reading this. ^_^ Thank you. You know I love you. ^_^)

At least, I THINK that's everything.

If you have any questions or whatever, do feel free to leaven them in the comments or something. ^_^

Counting ...

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