Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I might be part Pirate.

I will neither confirm nor deny that
I have more than 50 full-size candy bars in my possession.
Chocolate Treasure.
X does NOT mark the spot.
Aarrrgghh!!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dear Noah,

It's still raining.
The weather man said there is SUN! coming later this week.
But I'll be honest:  I'm worried.
Thinking of you today.
Love,
Jenny

Monday, March 29, 2010

Just GOing with the Season

The view from our back window.
I think we've had something ridiculous like 20 inches of rain this MONTH.
I feel bad for all the people living with leaky basements and in flooded areas.
We continue to think about trees and Spring and baseball and playing outdoors...
..and puddles
while we participate in all INdoor activities fully protected.
It's never a bad idea to wear a helmet at our house.
(seriously: this thing does not come off for much)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Message to the Young Women

"You are NOT alone."
Especially if you live in our ward.
The ratio of adults/leaders to young women
at our Young Women General Broadcast acitivity tonight:
5:1
Sweet Mesquite and her YW presidency and I had
Taco Salad and
Sundaes with homemade PB and chocolate sauce.
It was DE-lish.
A cozy view from the couch for the live broadcast with my own sweet young woman was the perfect way to spend the evening.  Elaine Dalton's secret for achieving DEEP beauty was my take-away for tonight:  See yourself as a daughter of God, live worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost and walk in the paths of virtue.  Now that's a secret I can wrap my arms around.
Thanks, Mesquite, for being so sweet!

Didn't love it

6 out of 10 stars.
William Pene du Bois was awarded the Newbery Medal for this story in 1948.
It's clever, scientific and full of modern technology... for the 1940s.
This just wasn't my favorite.  If you're more of a balloon enthusiast than me, you might really get into it.  The main character is Professor William Waterman Sherman, a retired math teacher who leaves San Francisco in a hot-air balloon he intends to fly across the Pacific.  Instead, he lands on Krakatoa, an island with strange inhabitants and goings-on.
I couldn't wait to finish, so I could get on to something I would REALLY enjoy.
meh.

Enrique en jam mode

I had the privilege of chaperoning a segment of a lock-in at the HS last night.  All music groups and ensembles gathered to practice and perform for each other, followed by a crazy night of activity which includes a lot of noise, gross amounts of junk food, music, gaming, movies and general teenage chaos (during which I went home and slept).
Enrique is in the Accappella group, and they're working up this piece for their concert in May:

He's also part of the Jazz Band, and this is one of the numbers they performed.
He has a crazy solo at about 1:08 into the recording, and it lasts for about 30 seconds.
I know I'm the mom, but dang he's good.  You decide:

Friday, March 26, 2010

Combatting Clutter

One day at a time.

It's not perfect, but it's better.


























Closet Orphans trimmed down SIGNIFICANTLY.
Baby steps.

And thanks to a visit from the lovely Christine Vick of Store and Style , I'm one step closer to crossing something off my list, and having my cluttery spaces de-cluttered.

Go me!

Meal Math


Made a muy delicioso grilled steak dinner last night... fresh rolls, oven roasted red potatoes, squash, and spinach salad on the table set for 13.
Then Leeli went off to soccer.
Dub drove her.
Teenage boy, who wants to be known as Enrique went to a HS meeting.
We picked up, cleaned up and kept the food warm until Mr. Dub got back.
Forty-five minutes after our guests were supposed to arrive, I decided to call and see if they got lost.
Turns out I missed the call while I was teaching piano lessons. An unexpected trip to the doctor forced them to cancel our dinner date, and I didn't get the message.
Dub went back for soccer pick up, and Rooney joined him. Tired of waiting, I set out the food. Mesquite, Morning Boy and I barely made a dent in the spread.
The good news: We're having another steak dinner tonight. And there will be no prep!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Off to School
















Leeli and I had a lunch date this week.
She's pretty great to hang out with.
I like third grade.

What the morning looks like

when you're under four feet tall and surrounded by females who live in chaos, multi-task, give orders and groom on the go:

video

Footage courtesy of Morning Boy.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Today

I woke up,
exercised,
read my scriptures
and ate breakfast.

The rest was gravy.
And rainy.

And now I'm going happily to bed.
xo

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The KEY to getting home from church

Patience.
Communication.
Family Cooperation
A keen mind
(food storage in the car)
and
a quick wit.

A little back story.  I go to church an hour and a half early each week, to attend early morning meetings.  We therefore drive two cars to church on Sunday.  After church, we juggle any post-church meetings, who's going home with who and first one in their PJ pants wins.

Here's the story:
AFTER church today, I was coordinating some details for a baptism.
Teenage boy asks me for the car keys.
He needs them to get something out of the car.
I give them to him, then go to play the piano for the baptism.
My memory cuts out.
After baptism, clean-up and locking the church, Dub hi-jacks the small car and leaves me to drive the Ark.  "Who wants to drive home with Dad?" he yells cheerily in the parking lot.
Rooney and Teenage boy hop in, and they're homeward bound.
I'm still wondering how I got hi-jacked out of driving the zippy little sedan home, as I'm staring up at our cargo plane.
I climb in the driver's seat and start fishing through my bag for keys.
Nothing.
I dump contents of ridiculously over-full bag onto floor of Ark.
In my head I'm wondering about the potential this dump could have yielded if we were still in Sunday diaper bag phase.  A moment of recognizing the good.
Still no keys.
Memory kicks in.
"Hah!  I gave my keys to Teenage boy!" I remember.
"Dang."
Back into the church to make the call.
I think I called Dub's cell phone 27 times and left two messages.
The Bishop stopped by to wonder why we were sitting casually in the parking lot in our portable cattle stall working on Personal Progress requirements.
He called Dub's phone and left a few more messages.
Then we waited, and I explained to the kids that if we went into survival mode, we had half a bottle of vitamin water, two apples and one mint for the four of us.  It was going to be okay.  We would probably make it.
We let enough time elapse for Dub to reach home (but hopefully not enough time for the PJ pants transformation) before we let ourselves into the church to call again.
SUCCESS!! He answered.
"Ask Teenage boy what's in his pocket" I said.
"Teenage Boy! What's in your pocket?!" I heard him yell.
"WHAT?!" TB replied.
"Mom's KEYS!" Dub said a little louder.
"No they're NOT!... I gave them to Sweet Mesquite!" he yelled back.

"Sweet Mesquite?!" I mutter in the phone...
She's the Personal Progress Enthusiast I mentioned earlier, who is sitting shotgun in the ark.
"Dang."
I go back to the Ark and ask Mesquite "What's in your purse?" and play that whole game again, after which she catches on and says "I gave them to Rooney!"
(Are you getting tired of this yet?  Because I was kind of feeling woozy at this point myself)
This time all four of us get out of the van and go in to the church to look for they keys.  Because IF indeed Rooney did have them, the four of us agree that they could be ANYWHERE.
As we're making our way down the dark hallway, the kitchen phone starts to ring.
"MY KEYS!" I yell, and start running towards the sound.
Sure enough, it's Dub on the other line, and the keys have been located.
Turns out Sweet Mesquite did not actually give them to Rooney.
She put them on the piano.
Rooney, seeing the keys, thinks to herself that somebody might need them, so she picks them up and quietly slipped them into Dub's suit pocket while he was having a conversation with someone.
So Dub got to drive an extra 60 minutes to and from church this afternoon.
And we had a spirited conversation about keys at bedtime.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I'll be brief.

TODAY WAS PERFECT.
The end.

Be counted

All the hoopla preceding the arrival of our 2010 Census form has been palpable.
They've been talking about it in the schools, on the radio, and on the TV.
Yesterday, the eagerly awaited envelope arrived in our mailbox.
Rooney spotted it on the kitchen table, and excitedly whispered
"Can I open it, Mom?"
"Sure" was my reply.
Then the elated dance with full body sway of
"I got to open the envelope that comes only ONCE every TEN years!"
went spiraling around the house,
followed by the audio version of the message from the Director of the U.S. Census Bureau. 
Then an audible sigh when she got to the part that reads
"Do not count anyone living away either at collge or in the Armed Forces."
Yonder will not count in 2010.  Sad!
Dear Yonder:
In OUR records you still count.
xo

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Oh Boy.

Because these guys are three of my faves, and they say it MUCH better than we do it over here.

Happy St. Patrick's Day Y'all!
(Thanks, Yankee Girl!)
xo

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Good day, Sunshine

When the day starts with blue skies and laundry on the line,
A. It is no longer raining,
(yesterday I was paging Noah)
and
B.  It HAS to be good.
When it ends with wet, stinky socks drying in the car,
it means fun was had by ALL.
I love hanging with my women friends.
Morning boy didn't seem to mind either.
I trekked to the other side of the hemisphere to get my hair done.
(..neither rain, nor snow, nor twelve flooded road detours...)
Not only was my favorite hair LLady at the top of her hostess game,
I was happily surprised by a visit from mi hermanita bonita of the frozen north!
Ole!  (lunch was from Cancun)
And of course she brought Ben--he's always up for a party!
There were Chick feet, sick feet and fuzzy fuzzy fur feet.
(There were also feet named after Jacob and Esau, but not everyone knew THAT bedtime story)
If today were a meal, I'd take seconds!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Caucus. Not carcass.

It's Monday night, sports fans, and around here that means another night of
family home entertainment.
Tonight we chose to attend our Town Caucus instead of our usual stay-at-home variety of FHE
Field Trip!
This time to the Middle School, where we participated in the democratic process of nominating candidates to fill open positions in our town government.  Some of the conversation you could have been part of if you had gone along:
(imagine a noisy chaotic van full of people
driving through the rain and across flooded sections of road)
"What's a caucus?"
"A carcass?"
"No, a caucus."
"It's a dead body."
"We're going to see a dead body?"
"Dear, you just told the kids we're going to see a dead body."
"Oh.  Umm, you better explain."

After which we had a few minutes to explain the process of nominating members of the community to fill vacant spots for positions like selectman, board of health, school committee, cemetery commission, constable, parks commissioner, library trustee, etc.  There were 23 vacancies in all, and it took a grand total of about 17 minutes of motions and "ayes" until we cast our ballots and climbed back in the van. 

Since we were the only family (read: if we had not come, the youngest person there would probably not have been younger than 40-something) in attendance, it will probably not be hard to figure out whose ballot was covered in stick figures and scribble. 

On the way home, we tried the return-and-report method:
"So, did anyone learn anything?"
"Yes.  That was really boring."
"That no one wants to be on the sewer commission."
"That they really should call that thing a Town Carcass."

Fifty Nifty United States

Here is some brain food for your Monday.  My score was a 94.11%.
Top that.  (I dare you)
My fifth grader got a 96.07%.
Are you smarter than a fifth grader?...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sacrifice and Snickerdoodles

In order to be able to endure losing one hour of sleep tonight
we baked these beauties:
More sunlight, more sugar.
It's a win-win.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Insert blissful sigh HERE.

So today wasn't actually as beautiful and warm as some of the earlier days in the week, but it did NOT rain.  For that wonderful non-occurrence I am truly grateful.  I was able to do this:
and some of this:
While I danced all around my pumpkin jugs doing the happy-pumpkin-growing dance
I decided I might want to check on my charges, who were frolicking in the Spring weather with some other neighborhood children.
Imagine my surprise, when I found their footwear on our lawn [yes, our lawn is still that horribly gray and brown and dormant and in no way resembling the Spring grass that should be appearing any second now] in the lovely 46 degree weather.  I followed the happy noises.
HERE is what I found:
We're all just so thrilled there is no longer two feet of frozen precipitation on the ground, that we have momentarily forgotten how to dress appropriately for our climate.
But we're HAPPY.
(Then we came in and had some hot chocolate by the fire.  The end.)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wishing for one less dimension in my 3-D mess

You should see my house.
Seriously.
I don't know what happens, but in the blink of an eye, we go from homey and acceptably-clean to wondering if we missed the twister that swept through the house when no one was looking.
Dub was travelling this week, we had some out-of-town guests, more than the average amount of Relief Society and visiting teaching visits and before you can say "Bob's Your Uncle," I'm looking through glazed eyes at the mountains of laundry and the overturned storage locker that used to be our mudroom, wondering if I should even try to make it better because it's highly likely that if I do, the same thing will happen all over again.  My forumula of hope:  E=mc (squared), OR Energy=mudroom cleaned (might last twice as long as it has in the past...)

Last night at the New Beginnings program for the young women at church, I sat next to a woman who often sits behind us in church (that phenomenon of reserved pews that somehow seems to happen, despite the fact that we don't pay for our benches).  I was thinking how amazing it is that Rooney is entering the Young Women Program this year.  So grown-up... then she reminded me of an unforgettable Sacrament Meeting when the Swedish Princess was three, and the chapel was extraordinarily quiet as the speaker mentioned the Holy Ghost.
In a horrified voice, Rooney exclaimed VERY loudly "The Holy Ghost?!... I HATE the Holy Ghost!"
It was a proud moment.
Ranks right up there with the Sacrament Meeting in which Yonder, at the same age, in an equally LOUD voice, at an especially reverent moment shouted "Dad, you have BAD breath!" not once, but even louder the second time, because he thought he might not have satisfactorily communicated his message.  Good times.

The weather has been perfect.  In all respects, a welcome gift. There were Lucky Charms in the pantry this morning, which meant that everyone fixed their own breakfast, and I was able to apply a little bit of make up and smooth my tresses before we left the house.  The stars have aligned and there is nothing on the calendar tonight.  Life IS good.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Parable of the Potty

For Family Home Evening, Dub took us on a field trip.
To the bathroom,
for a visual explanation of how the innards of the toilet work.
On nights like these, it's extra fun to have company.
My brother from NC, his wife and their three darling boys are up for the week.
Lucky them!  Family Home Evening AND a lesson on toilets.
We learned about the flapper, and what happens when it doesn't work properly.
Then we talked about ways to fix flapper problems,
followed by a retreat to the backyard for our first campfire of the year, where "Fixing your Flapper" was likened to the principle of repentance, and how to fix things that are "broken" in our lives.
The perfect ending to a campfire FHE is, of course, a round of S'MORES.

People I love

It thrilled me to know that some of my very favorite people were together enjoying themselves in the warmth of St George this weekend.  I love you!  Thanks for sharing the fun via phone technology... your happiness makes me happy.
Two of my favorite things about this picture (besides the people I love) are seeing the temple in the background, and a bright orange Lunenburg Soccer t-shirt.
xoxo

Friday, March 5, 2010

Growing Season

I've been reading my seed catalog, planning my garden and yesterday we got the first of our crops into the soil. 
The soil is in the music room, but nonetheless, it's in the soil.  Pumpkins in the jugs, tomatoes on the left, and marigolds on the right.  Grow - grow - grow!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

SEW fun!

BEHOLD:
(the fruits of my labors)
Recycled CapriSun juice drink pouces become a cute tote/purse.
I wish I could claim this idea as my own (I can't) but I can thank Bob* who made one of these for my own Sweet Mesquite for her birthday last year (or was it the year before?).  There are two more of these on the table waiting for handles.
The List!  (#14) And something fun to show for it.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Looking for Lift

I planned to devote today solely to sewing.  And making sure I had a shower and brushed my teeth, and the 63 other daily things that need doing, but my brand-y new copy of Lift came in the mail today, so I read, instead. 
I'm not a Kelly Corrigan follower, nor did I read her memoir The Middle Place.  I might check it out from the library at some point now, though, as I really enjoyed reading this book.  I found the recommendation for Lift at Basic Joy, which is a blog that I like visiting.  Kelly writes to her two young daughers, which is a format that appealed to me 

"My default answer to everything is no.  As soon as I hear the inflection of inquiry in your voice, the word no forms in my mind, sometimes accompanied by reason, often not.  Can I open the mail?  No.  Can I wear your necklace?  No.  When is dinner?  No.  What you probably wouldn't believe is how much I want to say yes."

I think, as a mother, much of what she writes about connects with my experience.  I also think, however, that if you have any sort of connection whatever with ANY mother, you might enjoy Lift.  Which is to say, of course, that life originates with motherhood, therefore we all have an intimate link right from the start  Daughters?  Yes.  Sisters?  Yes.  Aunts?  Yes.  Husbands, brothers, fathers and hang-gliders?  You should try it.    As a last-minute bonus, I throw-in the page count:  82.  And there are pictures.  Maybe this will be the go-to gift for Mother's Day this year.  I got my copy early.

Outside it's snowing

And inside I'm SEWing.
(Another true story)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

True Story.

I wasn't feeling well this weekend.

Monday after lunch
the good man that I married
called me from work
to check on my well-being.

He asked me how I was feeling.

"Okay" was my reply.

He was concerned.

He wasn't home,
so the best he could do
was to pass along
some comforting phrases.

"Sit down. 
Relax. 
Put your feet up. 
Have a strawberry daiquiri"

were some
of his words of advice to me.

While he was listing them off,
that snarky voice
in my head
started talking  
and it said

"Go drink out of the milk jug."

So I did.

the end

Sure sign of Spring

Next winter's wood has arrived!


And we can see
patches of grass
in the yard.
Excellent.