Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Yeah, I know it's bad when my MOM says to me, out of the blue, "So, just how long has it been since you blogged?"

A long time.
A DANG long time.

So, let's see what's gone on, in a nutshell, since then.


  • My mom had another birthday. She's 29 again, which makes it awkward ... since I'm older than her. I know, I know ... She CLAIMS that she's 39 again now, but that only gives me four years and a few months until I catch up again.
    (Joking, joking ... she admits to her age. And not just because she gets a discount at the bread store. I just like to give her some ribbing about her being younger than me.)
    (And you have to realize that this is coming from ME ... the girl who still claims that her Nana is 57. Since Nana was 57 for YEARS. When she turned 80, I even sent her flowers that said "Happy 57th Birthday, Nana!" which REALLY confused her for a bit. And not just because she has dementia. Once I explained that I really DID know that she's NOT 57, she did think it was funny.)
  • Bucket is worried about her Betta fish, Blue. His fins are getting really beat up. And he's not as active. But we've had him for a few years, so We're just going to make his end-of-life days as pleasant as possible. ... So I should probably clean out the fish tank.
  • I was caught up in doing the dishes for a little while. Not anymore. And I have laundry up the wahzoo happening here (I have underthings in the wash so that I'll HAVE underthings tomorrow. Yeah, that's probably TMI ... but I WAS concentrating on getting the KIDS' stuff cleaned first. Oh well.)
  • I was released from my calling as Nursery Leader in our ward (church congregation in Mormon-speak). I did FINALLY get that bulletin board (Apparently, they had installed a bulletin board MONTHS ago ... in some other room in the building. Ha! But ours was installed  on the 6th. And I busted my buns to get the bulletin board planned and put together before I was released ... which was officially done last week.)
  • My new calling at church is Sunday School teacher for the 12- and 13-year-olds. There IS a manual, but it's online and there's just GUIDELINES as far as topics go. I feel quite ill-prepared ... but we'll see how it goes. (Hide yo' kids, hide yo' wife, hide yo' husbands, 'cause Allanna's in charge of teaching the youths!)
  • I got together everything for Bruise and Bucket's registration for the local Strings classes. Bruise will be in the Beginners' level class again. Bucket has moved up to Intermediate. And I have their registration filled out, their scholarship applications done, the check written out ... so we're ready to turn this in before the due date!
  • I started doing Khan Academy more. I've mastered K-4 math and am 74% through 5th grade math. (I had originally thought to start with Algebra. HA HA HA. No. My skills are waaaaay too rusty. But y'all should be proud of me for persevering. Math was not my forte ... because I feel quite intimidated by it. But I'm working my way through it.
  • I'm also back into doing my DuoLingo ... but only German and Spanish. With my 15-day streak (so far), I got caught back up with all my skills and have even surpassed where I had been. It tells me that I'm 42% fluent in Spanish and 31% fluent in German. So that's nice.
  • I FINALLY got our Rosetta Stone program installed on the computer. The main problem that I had was when I tried to install from online, the language packs were ALL incomplete. So I had to have their Customer Service help me (She deleted the incomplete packs and let me reinstall them anew from the discs I have). Phew!
  • The kids FINALLY cleaned their room. FINALLY.
  • Bubbles is starting "Mutti Preschool" -- My mom is now working with Bubbles to make sure that she's learning the skills she'll need for Kindergarten. Yesterday, they made a poster with a picture. They concentrated on words with the letter "o." Mom was actually impressed by how much Bubbles has already learned (huzzah!) ... though, little Homeskillet there really likes to make poop-jokes. So there you have it.
  • I'm determined to change my hair again. People like the light blonde ... but, well, it really just doesn't FEEL like me. And the upkeep is a little crazy, since I don't like having visible roots that much. But it was a good experience.
  • We went to the local Renaissance Faire last weekend. Bruise came home with a new wooden sword and shield. Bucket adopted a new "pet" dragon (I've taken to referring to her as "The Babysitter of Dragons."), and I got some perfume oils. Bubbles didn't make any requests, but she did wear her cloak from last year nearly the entire time.
  • After the Faire, the kids went home with Mom C (who watched them) while Michael and I bought LEGO Minifigs (I totally have the banshee now. And she's awesome!) then went out to dinner with our friends Mark and Lacey (who are finally moving a lot closer than they've been!). It was lots of fun to get together with them.
  • My van died on Thursday morning. Bubbles and I had driven (not far) to go shopping (Bruise needed a new watch -- and I got one on clearance for only a couple more dollars than just getting a watchband cost ... and I had bought and returned TWO watchbands by that point ... and I needed flour after having made 5 batches of playdough for the Nursery cupboard [If you really care, here's the rundown: Pink/Vanilla-scented, Orange/Wild Orange-scented, Blue/Peppermint-scented, Green/Lime-scented, and Purple/Lavender-Vanilla-scented]) ... so it was good that it was within walking distance and that I did have a stroller in the back. I locked up the van and left it in the parking lot and waited for Michael to get home from work to jump it so we could get it home. ...
    Friday, we took it to Les Schwab (after jumping it AGAIN) to see if it was the battery (which was under warranty) ... AND IT WAS. So, $3.55 later, I have a BRAND NEW battery in my van WHICH RUNS. I had such a crazy amount of relief running through me that it's a wonder I didn't faint. I know that it's totally a first world problem and all ... but I'm glad that it was fixed before I have to run the kids to Strings lessons (and, eventually maybe, LEGO Robotics in Bruise's case) AND that it was such a cheap fix. SERIOUSLY, it was awesome and I'm really thankful, since we'd been PRAYING a lot.
  • Bad news - one of my aunts has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
    Good news - Her MRI showed that it's just that one bit and it should be taken out and treated and stuff soon. Another answer to prayers. Phew.
  • Bubbles is a bit low in her iron-count, so I need to be working to get her to eat more iron-rich foods. But she's 28 pounds now (at 3 1/2 years), so that's good.
  • Bruise had a few Cub Scout meetings. Last week was the bicycle rodeo. ... Bruise and Bucket have outgrown their bikes. Looks like Santa knows what to get them, huh?
  • Michael got another promotion ... "But it doesn't come with a pay raise," he told me. And that was ... okay. I mean, it's great that they can charge more for his work and it's more responsibility ... then we learned that, no, it does have a raise. Which is nice. 
  • We went to a friends' house for dinner Monday night. Another family in the ward who we like and have worked along with the parents in different callings. We had a BBQ and talked a lot and it was fun. The kids (theirs and ours) were jumping on the trampoline. Their 14-year-old son and I talked a bunch.
    (He's a joker, which is fun. I went to shake his hand and he finagled it so that I grabbed his forearm instead. Which made me laugh like when Robert Gere shuts the necklace box on Julia Roberts' hand in Pretty Woman. You can watch that on YouTube, that clip, if you don't know the reference.)
  • Did I mention that Michael's spoiled me with LEGO?
    He bought me the Mystery Machine and the Big Bang Theory set. They're sitting on my printer right now. ^_^
  • I was feeling so chipper friday, after the van's battery was replaced, that Bubbles and I baked Orange and Raspberry Sherbet cookies (it was out of a boxed mix). She had lots of fun. And I did, too, with my cute sous chef.
  • Other, further back catch-ups: We met with my friend, Brooke, for lunch; we went to Pioneer Days in my hometown with my stepdad's nephew and his wife (both LOVELY people. Jeff, my step-cousin, REALLY wanted to buy "the princess" [Bubbles] cotton candy ... which he did. And, golly, that cotton candy was GINORMOUS. Jeff would have bought more than one, and I'm so glad that he didn't! It was big enough for our family to share ... I have a picture of Bubbles "helping" to hold it and ... well, it looks nearly as big as SHE is!); we went swimming at the local outdoor pool a bunch; Bruise and Bucket finished up their swimming lessons with Bob at the indoor pool ... We went to the Art and Air Festival (no henna tattoo this time). The kids and I went with Cousin Kathleen and her son to the Air and Space Museum in McMinnville. We got to visit Nana and that side of the family. We now have Nana's other couch. I had a PTC meeting (I have this month's coming up TOMORROW evening) where we met the new principal. We went to the kids' Open House at school and met their teachers. The kids have started school (Fourth graders. I have TWO fourth graders!). I got Visit Taught, which hadn't happened in a LONG time. We had a playdate over at Robyn's -- Bruise and Bucket played with her kids (Bubbles did for a bit then played on my phone) and Robyn and I got caught up and worked at setting up a shelf for homeschooling ... which is bittersweet, since Bruise and her son are besties and have always been in the same classes ... until now *sigh* ... It just means that I need to be more proactive about setting up playdates, right?
    Michael and Bubbles and Bucket also went to the Stake Daddy-Daughter camp-out last month. They had a great time.
    And Bruise had fun staying up late and getting to eat ice cream OUT OF THE CONTAINER, which was pretty awesome. ^_^
  • We're working our way through The Chronicles of Narnia (saying that always makes me think of that SNL music video, "Lazy Sunday"). We're now into Prince Caspian, which means that (since we started with The Magician's Nephew) we're nearly halfway through the series.
  • Michael and I are reading through the rest of L.J. Smith's Forbidden Game series. We just started the third and final book last night ... so, in a few more days, I can actually TALK to him about it. (TBH, he's still waiting for me to read through a few books [*cough**cough*The Scorch Trials, The Death Curse, The Kill Order, Hollow City, Jackaby, The Westing Game, etc *cough**cough*] so we can talk about THOSE.)
    He's also reading Code Name Verity and Ready Player One (we started that one together, so he's nearly halfway through it).
    I still need to also read The Night Circus before it's due back at the library. And I have, like, a metric ton of other books in my TBR pile. #BibliophleProbs
  • I've been working to be better at reading my scriptures and praying and all ... so I have a prayer journal going. It seems to help me focus a little more as I'm writing my prayers down. I still say prayers, too. In case you were worried.
    I'm getting close to finishing Numbers in the Old Testament. Doctrine and Covenants were harder to get through, since it's not at all in chronological order. But, if I keep with this reading schedule, I'll be through the Standard Works by next fall.
    And I'm also more than halfway through the 40-day General Conference reading challenge. I try to stay a day ahead ... so when I got THREE DAYS behind, you know that I fell off the wagon there for a bit. BUT I'm caught up ... just need to get a day ahead again.
And so, you see that between taking care of kids, taking care of the house, trying to stay abreast of studying scriptures and foreign languages (well, just two for now), and getting sucked into Facebook and the internet, I didn't MEAN to neglect you. It just happened.

Now, I should do some math, German, Spanish, and then go shopping and drop off the kids' Strings registration and application for scholarships, then get Bubbles fed and down for a nap and read my scriptures and conference talks and pray and write in that journal and .... maybe take a nap, too.

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