Monday, December 29, 2008

New Favorites

Some new favorites that I discovered recently:

Brand new scriptures-although I am scared to touch them for fear of ruining them already! Can you tell which ones are new and which ones are falling apart? I am looking for a cute scripture tote if you know where I can find one, but I made one in the meantime.

Snowcake-I don't know what drew me to this movie. Maybe Alan Rickman. But both Boyfriend and I loved it!

#1's new haircut-it is short, short, short. But so cute. It makes her look so much older though. And I guess I am proud that I cut it. (She just woke up, so it is messy!)

Sleeping in-with no school and no work we are all able to sleep in a little bit (some of us more than others-she is still in bed!)

My new Bed-Buddy-that's what I call it at least. My sister made me one for my birthday. It is filled with rice and when put in the microwave for a couple of minutes stays nice and toasty. I put it in my bed right before climbing in, so the sheets aren't freezing. Then I wrap it around my toes as I fall asleep. (Can you tell I was not made to live in cold weather?)

Getting an A in my "Family Finances" course!-One class down, 16 more credits to go!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tom Kha Gai

Thai chicken coconut soup.

Boyfriend and I made some for our dinner last night. The kids? They got mac & cheese. We usually do this on Friday nights. We LOVE to cook together, after the kids are in bed, and eat in peace. Just the two of us.

It is especially fun when we make something we have never made before, and maybe have a few laughs over our mistakes and the gross food we are cooking (see below). And we have become more adventurous in our dinners, too.

Our Sunset magazine came earlier this week and we found a recipe for Tom Kha Gai. I have had it before and was able to talk Boyfriend into trying it (not too difficult these days).

Although we grossed out as a couple of the ingredients (I almost lost it when we opened the fish sauce), it was most delicious (and not terrible as far as calories go). I thought it would be more time consuming and/or difficult, but it was actually really easy and fast. We will definately make this again!

1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk
1 can (14 oz.) reduced-sodium chicken broth
6 quarter-size slices fresh ginger
1 stalk fresh lemongrass, cut in 1-in. pieces
1 pound boned, skinned chicken breast or thighs, cut into 1-in. chunks
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce (nuoc mam or nam pla)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Thai chili paste
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fresh cilantro

In a medium saucepan, combine coconut milk, broth, ginger, and lemongrass and bring to boil over high heat. Add chicken, mushrooms, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and chili paste. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is firm and opaque, 5 to 10 minutes. Discard lemongrass. Garnish servings with basil and cilantro.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per 1 1/2-cup serving.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 357 (63% from fat)
Protein: 29g
Fat: 25g (sat 19)
Carbohydrate: 7.2g
Fiber: 0.5g
Sodium: 484mg
Cholesterol: 79mg

Friday, December 5, 2008

So Far

Well so far 30 year old Summer...

...still has zits! to buy new clothes.

...will learn from her stupid and humiliating mistakes! And not do that ever again!

...enjoyed not picking the older kids up from school (Boyfriend took sick leave for my dr's appt and picked them up for me).

...watched "A Christmas Story" for the first time this season (too, funny!) a new cookbook and some cute and comfy jammies.

...had an excuse to eat cake!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

You Would Cry Too...

Guess what! I am turning 30 tomorrow! And I have to say, unlike most people, I am actually pretty excited. Not necessarily about getting older, but about what I have to look forward to in the coming years.

As another decade draws to a close I am remembering two other similar birthdays. When I turned 10 and when I turned 20.

The day before my 10th birthday Dad took me to Disneyland (not an uncommon occurance, but one I ALWAYS loved.) Unfortunately I got food poisoning which I discovered the next afternoon during Primary as I was throwing up all over the place. I spent all that day sick in my bed (when I wasn't running for the bathroom.) I couldn't even enjoy my birthday dinner or cake. What a bummer.

My 20th birthday wasn't THAT bad, but still not spectacular. I was ill with morning sickness. And as miserable as can be. I think all I did was go to work briefly and then sleep that entire day. Yuck!

So, here's to hoping tomorrow brings no nausea!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Nostalgia-The Food Edition

I have had a busy and crazy week this week (thus the lack of posting). So to make myself feel a little better I let myself indulge in a couple of food items that remind me of my childhood.
First let me tell you that I am not really enjoying food right now. Maybe it is because I have tricked my mind into not craving food so much. Maybe it's because I have to record and keep track of and report what I eat. Maybe because of the HUGE guilt factor if I do eat something that is high in fat or calories. Whatever the reason food and cooking are just a burden I would rather forgo.

But, growing up in my family, well, lets just say things revolved around food. As many occasions do where we gather with family, friends, ward members, etc. There is usually a treat, a meal, a cake, an excuse to get together and share good times. I loved when my older brothers and sisters, their spouses and children would come to my home (the grandparents house) and enjoy games, laughter and food. So that food took on meaning to me. Well, maybe that's enough self-disclosure about my food issues.

Anyway, I treated myself to a few memorable foods this weekend.

1. Artichokes- I know they are not really in season. But I wanted a yummy vegetable for a nice dinner with Boyfriend after the kids were in bed. And I love that I can boast that I know how to cook and eat an artichoke. It isn't easy, but totally worth all the work.
I know what you are thinking "a vegetable as a treat?" Come over and I'll make one for you sometime and you'll see!

2. Toasted Bologna Sandwich- Not in the least healthy. And I usually hate bologna. My mom used to make these for me when I was a little girl (I think her piano teacher made them for her), so they bring back memories and comfort. I taught #3 how to make them and he loved them too.
3. Chex Mix- Not the icky stuff the sell at the store. The real stuff you make yourself with Worchestershire sauce and butter and yummy spices. Dad would make this every Christmas. The smell and the taste (along with the Christmas music playing in the background) really got me in the mood for Christmas. Just watch those calories! (sigh)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Favorites (yes, more!)

Okay this week are a couple of my favorite favorites!

#1 Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser-it actually got permanent marker off the top of my desk! I gave it a try (but was very skeptical about it) and it really worked! I was amazed. You see #3 was bored the other day and I was busy working on a lesson when he found a permanent marker on my desk and wrote on a sticky note with it. Well it bled through the sticky note as all good perm. markers do and made a mess on my desk. I gave him a good 5 minute long lecture (and a few mean looks along with it).

#2 Papers!-A store here in ABQ that sells the best (and the most expensive) paper. I got a few sheets to start my Christmas card project (yes, already). Beautiful papers (even real Origami paper) and more. In fact I have to go back in the next couple of weeks for stocking stuffers! Want to come with me and check it out? We can eat at a great pizza place near the store, too.

#3 Unexpected visitors-my sister and her husband stopped by while passing through today! Yea! They couldn't stay but we had a nice little chat anyway.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Day In The Life

5:45am- crawl out of bed, make bed, brush teeth, check bank online.
6:15am- wake kids, have family prayer, encourage children to get dressed while breakfast is being served.
6:30am- finish kids' lunches, eat my own breakfast.
6:45am- help all kids get ready for day/school (incl. brush teeth, get dressed, change diapers, make beds, pack backpacks, comb hair, etc), separate and spray dirty laundry, put in first load.
7:15am- leave to take kids to school.
8:00am- arrive home from drop off, switch laundry, can't walk today since walking partner just moved :(, work out.
9:00am- shower and dress (finally), switch laundry.
9:30am- snack for little boys.
9:45am- take #3 to preschool.
10:00am- back home, recite "Good Night Moon" to #4, put #4 down for nap, switch laundry.
10:05am- eat protein filled snack.
10:15am- study lesson 8 (investing), work on assignment I find out later didn't need to be done (no wonder I was so confused!)
11:45am- read scriptures and study for RS lesson, switch laundry.
12:15pm- wake #4, leave to get #3 from preschool, pay for preschool.
12:40pm- call Boyfriend
12:45pm- make and eat lunch with boys
1:15pm- make orange juice pops with #3 for FHE treat
1:25pm- change a diaper
1:30pm- leave to pick kids up from school.
2:00pm- get caught in conversation with #2's teacher.
2:30pm- leave to go home.
3:00pm- home, get kids started on homework.
3:05pm- get call from Boyfriend
3:10pm- get snack for kids set out, switch laundry, eat apple and crackers.
3:30pm- get ready to make dinner, prep for homemade tomato sauce, pick fresh basil from garden, realize we don't have enough eggplant for eggplant parmesan (I need 2).
4:00pm- prep for new dinner, make vinegrette for yummy Cranberry Spinach salad, take sauce off stove, switch laundry.
4:30pm- Boyfriend home, kiss him.
4:40pm- Chop, dice, pour and toss dinner.
5:00pm- eat dinner, have nice conversation with Boyfriend while trying to ignore rude comments from children about how they hate dinner, threaten to make them cook dinner some night.
5:30pm- take Advill for headache, leave for PTO meeting at school (WHAT!? time by myself?)
6:00pm- sit bored during PTO meeting.
7:30pm- PTO meeting (finally) ends.
7:50pm- get home, too late for FHE (we'll have it Tuesday night instead), family prayer, get kids in bed.
8:00pm- crash on couch with Boyfriend to watch SNL and eat a few Oreos (bad I know, but headaches need sugar!)
9:00pm- finish cleaning up kitchen, finish folding laundry (Boyfriend did most), get ready for bed.
9:50pm- climb into bed, finish book, go to sleep.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

This Week's Favorites

#1 Penicillan--yea for not having strep throat any more! For some reason I get it EVERY year. Anyone know why?

#2 Greek Yogurt--This stuff is yummy and loaded with protein. You feel better after eating some, but boy is it pricey!

#3 Jeans--that are two sizes smaller than what I wore a couple months ago! But I still won't tell you the size!

#4 My new boyfriend--okay, it's really Hubby, he heard a caller on Car Talk refer her to husband as her boyfriend and thought it was very romantic. Now he wants us to start referring to each other that way. Which is very confusing since from the sound of things I have two husband already (one named Roy, the other named David). So we are back to being boyfriend and girlfriend again. Maybe he'll even hold my hand!
#5 Daylight Savings--yea for not waking when it is pitch black outside! And for getting a little more sleep than I normally would have last night!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Laundry (yet again)

Laundry day:
15 pairs of pants
17 shirts
10 pajama bottoms
8 pajama tops
20 unmentionables
23 socks (23?!?)
7 towels
2 bibs
1 bath mat
5 loads altogether
1 smashed finger from the box of laundry detergent (mine, by the way)
$0.41 found in the washing machine
getting to do it all over again in a couple of days: priceless

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

AHHHHH...I've Been Tagged!

5 Things I was doing 10 years ago...
1. Enjoying being a newlywed
2. Finding out I was pregnant with #1
3. Working at Von Curtis Salon
4. Taking a break from BYU
5. Living in Utah

5 Things on my "To-Do" list today...
1. Work out at the church building
2. Laundry
3. Take kids to the library
4. Pick up #2's prescription
5. Study

5 Snacks I enjoy...
1. Dried cranberries
2. Nuts
3. Fruit
4. Greek yogurt
5. "Fiber One" granola bars

5 Things I'd do if I were a Millionaire...
1. Pay off my mortgage
2. Build an addition onto my house
3. Invest a ton (nows the time to buy!)
4. Save for kids college, weddings, missions
5. Travel, travel, travel!

5 Places I've Lived...
1. American Fork, Utah
2. Simi Valley, California
3. Provo, Utah
4. Albuquerque, New Mexico
5. Isn't that sad...there isn't a fifth!

5 Jobs I've Had...
1. Mother's Helper (Part time nanny)
2. CSR at Blockbuster
3. Receptionist at hair salon
4. Dish washer at the Cannon Center (does this really count if it's for one day?)
5. Sandwich maker at Easy Pickin's in the Cougar Eat

5 People I tag...
1. Laurel
2. Chris
3. Cheryl
4. Sarah
5. Mom

Rules: Each player answers the question themselves. At the end of the post the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blog and leaves them a comment letting them know that they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person that tagged you know when you’ve answered the questions on your blog.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Best Medicine

Let me back up a bit so you understand...

A few weeks ago all the boys in the family were passing around some nasty illness with fever, a little vomit, and one ear infection (#4). #2, however, also had a little dizziness (but Mr. Dr., who we never saw before, checked his ears too and gave them the okay).

Three weeks later he has still been dizzy at times. I got an appointment with Real Dr. this time.

After asking #2 and me some questions he said "Sounds like he might have some fluid in his ear."

Yep, that's exactly what it is! Yea for Real Dr!

So he wrote a prescription for Flonase (once a day for 2 weeks) and...

...blowing up balloons!

Isn't that hilarious?!

Apparently blowing up a balloon forces air into the eustachian tube and helps to get rid of fluid.

Who woulda thunk it?

It was a good thing I bought 75 of those bad boys for #3's halloween costume, eh, Hubby?

So Hubby and #2 had a blast this evening blowing up and deflating balloons. They were flying all over my bedroom.

If this gets to be a nightly ritual I may have to start wearing a clown nose to fit in around here!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

You Know You're Doing SOMETHING Right When...

*Your child helps you make a dessert/treat and asks "Is this for us? Or are you making it for someone else?" (He hates it when I do that!)

*Your child, who fought for days about saying his line in the Primary Program, actually says it and it makes you cry (just a little though!)

*Your child wants to take a nap with you, play games with you, cook with you...or just spend time with you.

*Your child, the one who doesn't usually want to spend time with you, wants you to sit next to them during scripture reading (yea!)

*Your child, who doesn't like to be kissed, reminds you to kiss him before going to bed.

*Your child wants to hold your hand.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

"Maybe ALL the Rulers Are Wrong!"

(Yea for you if you got my obscure Friend's reference!)

In other news...I finished sewing Allyson's Halloween costume yesterday. When I measured her to figure out which size (7/8 or 10/12) she was right in between. I figured the 7/8 would be too small and the other too big. Somewhere in the middle perhaps? So I adjusted where I cut the pattern and sewed till finished. Boy, was it cute!

So, she tried it on and it was HUGE! It turned out to fit ME! And if I didn't have a grotesque experience with a poodle skirt when I was 13 ("Here, you're already awkward and uncomfortable why don't you put this on and dance [literally] in front of hundreds of people. That will boost your self confidence!"- man I HATE road shows!) I would gladly wear it for Halloween.

I know I measured everything correctly! What happened?

So I am re cutting and resewing today (I hate doing things twice!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Books Glorious Books! And The People Who Write Them

So I love books. That is pretty obvious if you know me or have ever even talked to me. So I thought I would share some things I have learned about books and reading with children, along with some suggestions of books for appropriate ages, over several blog entries (I won't bog you down all at once).

I'll start by suggesting some of my favorite authors of picture books (along with a couple of their best books-in my opinion of course-after all my blog is just a practice in narcissism!)

In no particular order:

Anita Lobel -fantastic artist and storyteller! Her books are beautiful! I have never gone wrong with any of her books. A couple of the best are "Allison's Zinnia," "Pierrot's ABC Garden," and"Sven's Bridge." She is also the illustrator of books by other authors including...

Arnold Lobel -husband to the author above. They collaborated a couple of times. She illustrated and he authored one of my all-time favorite books "On Market Street," as well as "The Rose in My Garden." He is also an artist and he wrote and illustrated all the of the "Frog and Toad" books (more of the easy-reader category). Another great book of his is "The Great Blueness and Other Predicaments" we still talk about that one around our house.
Any age child will love the Lobel's books!

Patricia Polacco -I stumbled across her books by accident and fell in love! She is another author/artist (their books seem to be the best of the best). Her artwork is beautiful. I have read all I have been able to get my hands on. A couple of my favorites are "Thank You Mr. Falker" (be prepared to cry), "Pink and Say," and "Rechenka's Eggs" (the artwork in this one is especially fantastic!) Some themes and the lengths of the books are more appropriate for older kids maybe ages 6-9.

Pat Hutchins -So much fun to read her books and see her elaborate artwork! Some good ones are "Rosie's Walk" and "Ten Red Apples." Great for young children ages 2-4.

Kevin Henkes -I am sure many of you have read some of his books. He is very well known. A couple of my favorites are "Chrysanthemum" ( I love the language he uses in this books!) and "Kitten's First Full Moon." Several ages can enjoy these, probably more 2-6.

Tomie DePaola -another very well known author/illustrator. His artwork is very distinct. I love "Strega Nona" and "The Art Lesson."

William Steig -He has won numerous awards for his books. I have read several and recommend all, but I always go back to "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble" and "Dr. DeSoto."

Chris Van Allsburg -Most well known for "The Polar Express." I also love "The Widow's Broom" and "Z Was Zapped."

I hope this small list helps when looking for great books for kids of all ages.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

About An Apron

Why is it when I put on an apron I feel like I can do anything?

I can bake anything (and not get messy).

I play with the kids more (and better).

I am more kind and gentle.

I am more patient and tolerant.

Does the apron hide who I really am only emphasizing those good qualities?

Or, maybe, am I just channeling June Cleaver and Donna Reed when I don the "housewife" attire?

Monday, October 13, 2008


I don't like talking on the phone.

I never know who is going to pick up. Or if I have to come up with a witty message to leave on a voice mail/answering machine. Then I have to wait for that person to call back...

Or sometimes I forget altogether who I am calling (please tell me that I am not the only one that happens to!), especially if I am calling several people.

But tonight I had a different experience.

I was waiting for the other person to pick up, listening to the slow, rhythmic sound of the ringing when I realize I am completely dazed and have to snap out of it. But I didn't care. I just enjoyed being lulled and mindless for a few brief moments.

It was a good thing she didn't answer.

And I was able to leave a message. Even if it wasn't so witty.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I Can't Figure It Out!

I readily admit I don't know everything. Can anyone help me with these?
1. How do they make those t-shirts that don't have seams on the sides?
2. How do they make those slits in hot dogs? Or make pita pockets when the pita is closed?
As you can see I am curious about the important, relevant things in life that will further my education and develop my intellect and furture prospects!
Why do I dwell on such silly things!?

Saturday, October 11, 2008


I love to create...

Be it children (although that is not going to happen again), bread, sewing projects, art, decor, food, quilts, something useful or just plain pretty. I love to see the process of growth and change that happens as something is coming into being. And I love being able to be the one who instigated the changes and growth.

So I loved, loved, loved President Uchtdorf's talk at the RS broadcast a couple of weeks ago and have been pondering about it constantly since. He talked about our inherent need as daughters of Heavenly Father to create, because He is the ultimate creator. And that creating will help us be happy.

I learned that to create doesn't necessarily mean making something like a project. I can create a peaceful atmosphere in my home, I can create feelings of appreciation in others by serving them, etc.

So everyday now I have been asking myself questions like...As I am teaching my children, am I creating an understanding in them? Am I helping them to create a testimony? Am I creating fun and meaningful experiences for them?

This persepective has helped me teach my children better, and helped me have the desire to serve those around me more.

Don't you just love those leaders who are close to the spirit and wise in their teachings!?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Those Are Some Nice Melons...

...Green River Melons!

Mom and Dad brought one when they visited this last weekend and we were so busy enjoying all the food and treats ABQ has to offer, that we never got around to cutting it open.
This afternoon, after a long drive in the car, I needed something refreshing. A couple of slices of watermelon did the trick.

But then it took me back in time about 20 years to a summer I spent with my aunt and uncle on their farm in Utah.

Isn't it great how things we think we forget come rushing back to us from just a smell or a taste?

I think I ate watermelon that entire summer.

I was reminded of sleeping in the hay loft...

... sitting on the porch during a summer storm...

...playing with tiny kittens...

...the sound of trains going by during the night...

...the noisy peacocks roaming the farm...

...collecting peacock feathers...

...weeding in the corn field, with feet ankle deep in good old fashioned mud...

...and, being chased by a big ornery pig!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Like VS Love

I like it when #4 waves to all the people around him now.

I love it when he runs up to me and gives a big fat hug!

I like it when #3 falls asleep in the car.

I love it when he cuddles up with me to read a book!

I like it when #2 plays with Hubby.

I love it when he wants to spend time with me!

I like it when #1 goes straight to her room and does her homework.

I love it when she wants to do girly stuff, like paint toe nails!

I like it when Hubby comes home from work early.

I love it when he gives me a massage! (Hint, hint!)

Monday, September 29, 2008

I Dare You Not To Giggle...

So every once in a while I need a little boost. We all have those days. You know the ones I'm talking about, so I won't even bother to elaborate.
But, I have recently found a blog that just makes me laugh so hard I forget about all my worries and feel lighter and more joyful.
Try it out I am sure you will be as delighted as I am.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Yummy Rye Bread!

When Hubby and I got married two of his aunts went in together to get us a bread machine. We loved it! It was so much fun to set it before we went to bed and wake up to those delicious smells that would make our tummies grumble in the wee small hours.

Early this year our bread machine broke! Granted it survived ten years of our torture. But we missed it. And we were planning on getting a new one this Fall.

But I have since discovered that I LOVE making homemade bread. I love putting all the ingredients together to make something that my family can eat. I love having that yummy yeasty smell in the kitchen. I love being able to get my hands dirty in the dough. I love getting my aggressions out by kneading the dough for 10 minutes. And, who doesn't love the smell!?

I have made white, wheat, German rye, French, etc.

So I thought I would try making another rye bread. The recipe was for a traditional deli or Jewish rye.

Very easy to make. It was a little time consuming-you make a "sponge" with bread flour, yeast, water, and honey first and let that sit at room temp for a few hours till bubbly on top. Then you add the rest of the flour (both bread flour and rye flour) the caraway seed (it gives it that yummy flavor!), a little oil and a little salt. Knead like crazy. Then it has to rise a few times and shape, then, finally, you can bake it.

And everyone loved it (especially Hubby who is enjoying that I have been making so much bread lately.) We ate it for dinner with Hubby's homemade vegetable beef soup-mmmmm.

It wasn't as smooth as other breads, though. Kind of lumpy. Is that just the nature of rye bread? Does anyone have experience with rye?

I think I would like to try a sourdough if anyone has any advice. I'll have to get that starter going. Is it better with all-purpose flour or bread flour? I'll have to get some books to help me out with this!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My Latest Project

Because I have been such a proctrastinator lately, even to the extent that I am procrastinating changing my behavior, I have not worked on several things that I really should be working on.

But, yesterday I wanted to accomplish something. So I came up with a cute idea for my table.

I wanted a fall-themed table runner. But knowing my children I knew a table runner would be out of the question (same goes for a table cloth). Can't you just see the mess that would be pulled on to the floor?!

So I came up with this instead:

It is just a simple little centerpiece, well out of a toddler's arms reach.

I cut some muslin, and hemed the edges. Then I dry brushed it with a soft brown paint. I painted on the two pumpkins. And sat a real pumpkin in the middle. I thought it turned out pretty cute and have decided to make one for each season.

By the way, it does look better in person.

Friday, September 26, 2008

My Laundry Room

I have a dream...

Of a grand and beautiful laundry room with windows, and shelves, and baskets, and a deep sink, and a large table in the middle for folding, even an ironing board that I don't have to put away (maybe that's my problem with ironing!)

But that is just a dream...someday...maybe.

Right now I have a 5x5 room. But I still love it. Doing laundry has got to be my favorite chore. Especially when I can stand in the room, all the clothes sorted into piles around me, good clean smells filling the place, the washing machine going at full blast while I stain spray ALL the kids clothes. With all the noise from the washing machine other noises are drowned out and I can sing at the top of my lungs without anyone caring whether or not I hit that note. I am in my own little world.

I don't even like it when Hubby does the laundry (he does it in this very interesting way!)
I have made my laundry room beautiful so I can enjoy being in there more.
When I was pregnant with #4, I needed a place to get away. I chose the laundry room. I sat in there for hours...on the top of a ladder. I painted a clothesline with hanging clothes. (I took pictures when it was done, but I can't find them, and I am too lazy to take more, so if you want to see it, come on over!)

I also have my first oil painting (shoes) hanging and the comic strip I posted above (which is scary how true it is) to remind myself why I am doing so much laundry, whenever I start to complain.

It isn't huge and spacious and there certainly are no windows, and no room for any more baskets or shelves (let alone a table), but it continues to serve as a sanctuary.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I've Got A Pocket - Got a Pocket Full of Sunshine

Some moments of happiness over the past few days:

Seeing how much my kids LOVE playing with each other.

Baking homemade rye bread that Roy really likes. Baking bread in general actually. It calms me.

Babysitting one of the cutest little girls in our ward. We had a blast playing. Maybe, babysitting other people's kids in general, cause I get to give them back.

Seeing #3 fall asleep in the car after throwing a fit. I always know why he has fits, even thought he won't accept the reason. Also, jogging behind him at the park while he rode his scooter and him yelling the whole time "Don't catch up!"

The afterglow of finishing my ironing (that's right I put it off for a couple of months).

Being tackled by #4 in a big bear hug as soon as I sit on the floor with him. Plus his new pig noises, and he made up some sort of sign that I have no idea what it means. I was trying to teach him cookie on Monday during FHE treat. Maybe he just keeps asking for cookies.

Being able to have a nice conversation without any high-pitched whiney noises with #1.

Hearing #2 discuss probablity. It cracks me up!

Monday, September 22, 2008

What A Riot

I have been laughing nonstop today all because of adorable, clever #3! Here a a few things that made me laugh:

Kept referring to Oliver Twist as Oliver Swirl.

Said OCTAGON about 17 thousand times on the way home from preschool. All in different tones, pitches, etc.

Dressed up like a super hero (cape, headband, and "sword"). And named himself Zion. When asked "why Zion?" He said "Because of the song 'We Thank Thee O God For a Prophet.'"
The last line says "the wicked who fight against ZION will surely be smitten as last."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What's In A Name?

When I was growing up I was endlessly teased for my name (by kids at school and brothers and sisters at home). Because I hated that so much I ended up not liking my name (which I am sure made my parents feel bad now that I know how much time, thought and love goes into naming a child). It was too unique, too different. I never even knew another Summer until high school.
My plan was to change my name when I turned 18. I never did figure out what I would have changed it too.
As it turns out I like being the only Summer around. In fact it was a pain when I was in a ward at BYU with another Summer (I even visit taught her).
I think I grew to like being unique in name and person.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Okay, So I'm A Little Selfish

I am. There is no denying it any longer. I want things a certain way, for my convienence. I discovered this the other day at the dentist when I was upset that my regular hygenist wasn't there and it turns out she is pregnant and only working one day a week. Yeah for her, but come on, what's up with that? Instead I got stuck with the worst hygenist ever (who tore up my gums like you wouldn't believe-I still have scars!).

I will also put the kids to bed early when I just can't stand it any longer. They may not go to sleep right away (okay, they never do), but they are out of my hair and I can finally hear myself think!

I dislike giving up the radio in the car. Do you know how many times this week I was forced to listen to one of the "Magic Tree House" books on CD? Too many! Granted I did give each of the kids a specific time of day that they could choose what we listened to, but I just wanted to pull my hair out listening to those innane stories. I don't recommend them.

I am also very selfish about my time with the kids. I sometimes wish the boys didn't want to spend all day playing "Lego Racers" with Hubby. Why don't they want to do something with me?

Most of all I am selfish of my time with Hubby. I loved it when he got the full-time gig with a real office to do his work in rather than bringing it home just to ignore me (although he still sometimes had to bring work home). And when I am on the phone with him, oh, watch out! I will not tolerate noise of any kind.

Sorry that you have to occasionally get a glimpse into the negative side of me. Maybe someday I will have the wisdom and strength to put off my "natural [wo]man."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Where's My Pillow?

Not much to write about tonight. I have no thoughts today except that I am sick of this headache! I have had a killer headache for four days straight now. In fact Hubby just got back from the store with some migraine medicine (nothing else has worked). I will be heading to bed early tonight.

Maybe I am going through withdrawel, not having had real, good, old-fashioned sugar in a couple of weeks. My body doesn't know what to do.

Monday, September 15, 2008

You Are My Friend

I am missing Mister Rogers. Where am I going to get that good feeling about myself that I need so often? Watching him was like having a therapy session the way I always felt so calm and happy about me afterward.

I don't want a world where we can't watch Mister Rogers' Neighborhood on PBS. It saddens me that there are some people out there who don't appreciate him and his advice, knowledge, and understanding ways. That they think all these other dumb shows are worth more than the affirming, loving, musical, simple teachings of my friend Fred.

And even though my kids have seen so little of him, they know who he is, they know his songs (we sing a few of them around here), and they know there was once a man who appreciated children for who they are.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Good Idea? Bad Idea?

I sure give a lot of my opinions! So this time I am asking for yours. Simple questions, so don't worry (just be honest).

Orland as elf

Orlando as pirate?

NKOTB back in the day

NKOTB today?



Long hair

Short hair?
(common, don't even tell me you don't love Nelson!)

David & Mattie fighting

David & Mattie in love?


flip flops?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Where Have I Been?!

I can't believe I haven't posted since Sunday! I was just too busy all week studying for my midterm (I felt very nervous and unprepared for it). So since I haven't done any blogging all week I will make a list of what I loved about this week (in no certain order). You don't want to know the things I didn't like about this week.

-Walking for an hour every morning. It gave me so much energy for the rest of the day plus all those good feelings I get when I take care of my body.

-Hearing #4 making tiger noises. Can he get more adorable and lovable? I have a hard time believing it.

-Having 3 children out of the house and one peacefully napping so I could study effectively. Sigh.

-Being sent to the library by Hubby (he even made dinner) so I could do even more studying.

-Cleaning the garage (finally). Just how many bug corpses do you think were in there?

-Losing almost 3 pounds.

-Finishing Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with #2. And, consequently, starting the next one with him.

-Getting the newspaper. We finally subscribed and I love it!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Harry Potter Is My Hero

I avoided reading any Harry Potter books for years. I thought it was ridiculous, and suspicious, the way everyone took to them so quickly and ate them up like they were gorging.

I saw the movies, yes, but casually (not in the theaters or even the dollar theaters). Hubby and I would rent them or borrow them from the library. I thought they were pretty good. I didn't see what was so great about them. And I couldn't imagine 7 (well, now 8) movies coming from this series!

But last year I took a children's literature course (I know, I know, I talk about this course ALL the time to EVERYONE, so if you are sick of hearing about it, OH, WELL! it was the BEST course I EVER took [and that's a lot of capital letters]) which changed my opinions about a lot of things.

I was required to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for the class. I did it grumbling a little, and sceptically reading everything. But I grew to love the story, the message, the characters, and the phenomenon that is Harry Potter.

I went on to read it with the kids. And from there reading the whole series (this was after all 7 were published so I had them all at my fingertips and didn't have to wait for the next one.)

The story was spectacular! The fantasy amazing! The characters endearing (or easy to hate depending on who they are)! My emotions were a rollercoaster (I even threw the 6th to the floor when I finished it at 2am and vowed not to read the 7th!) I was amazed to learn that JK Rowling had the WHOLE story figured out from the beginning. It was intresting and complex. The way the books weaved together was beautiful. The good vs evil plot will never get old because that was life is about. We relish in the fact that it is more obvious (more physical in nature) in literature though; that almost makes it a little easier to deal with than our own spiritual struggles.

I appreciated (as all C.S. Lewis fans do) the gospel related aspects (righteous vs evil, resurrection, love, sacrifice, change and repentance). These will always ring true.

But what I think I admire most about the series is the way it changed children's literature.

It was a surge of life for a dying area of literature. Children just weren't reading the way they used to. Harry Potter made children WANT to read, like they never read before (10 year olds reading 500+ page books!)

Before Harry Potter children were most likely to read realistic fiction books. Stories that are true to life were more appealing. Children (and adults) need to know they are normal and that their circumstances, situations, desires, feelings, trials, etc. are similar to others'. And realistic stories gave us all that confidence and normality (come on, who didn't feel better about themselves after reading about Ramona Quimby?)

Now, children seem to be more likely to prefer fantasy. And who wouldn't in our world today. I don't want to read about real life anymore. After dealing with nonsense around me all day long I want an escape to a world where things can be cleaned up. A world different from our own with strange people, strange animals, new languages, new rules. It is an adventure and a relief.

Harry Potter paved the way for other fantasy stories. If you've read the Twilight series (which I haven't), that probably wouldn't be around if not for our favorite wizard.

The birth of Harry Potter was an important event for the world of literature. I hope you have read them and seen that we all need a little Harry Potter in our lives.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

In Memoriam

Our diaper bag died
The zipper can not be fixed
We are sad and lost

Friday, September 5, 2008

This Weeks Favorites

This week I have three new favorite items to share.

1st- Goo Gone- I don't know how many of you out there know about this spectacular product. I keep it in the laundry room (although you can use it on other things too). I can get out grease spots on clothes with it (even after they have been through the dryer) and this week I got tree sap off a shirt (without the yucky terpentine smell!) with no problem at all. I was amazed!

2nd-My new lip gloss-I lost a lipgloss somewhere in the blackberry bramble in Washington over the weekend (I am sure the wildlife look lovely now). So, of course, I had to go get another one! I went to The Body Shop and found a lovely pink lipgloss, that smells like pink grapefruit (Hubby, with his citrus obsession, loves it, score for me!) It was also part of a line that donates money to the "Stop Violence in the Home" campaign. Yea for looking pretty and doing good at the same time!

3rd-Imperial Dragon Seseame Seed Oil-so yummy for oriental dishes, I made teriyaki chicken. It tastes terrific and even the kids enjoyed it. Try it!