Thursday, May 28, 2009

Random Thoughts Thursday

Why are pretzels the most popular snack in my house? I like them okay, but I don't think I could live on them. But some of these kids around here...maybe I'm not using enough salt in my cooking?

And why did they have to make fishy crackers in unnatural shades of purple, red, and green? Kids will eat the regular orange ones night and day (they're second to pretzels around here), so why add the scary coloring?

I'm shopping for a new camera. It may just be wishful thinking, but I'm fed up with the one I currently have. Why can't they make one that fits my specifications perfectly? And that I can afford?

This picture looks like Saturday Night Fever meets Frisbee golf.
Ellie collects "Rockos". We're not entirely sure what distinguishes a Rocko from an ordinary rock, but she appears to have precise criteria. When she brings one home she gives him a soapy bath and then paints him with watercolors. Today she dropped a rather large Rocko on my big toe. I did not say any swears, but I thought them loudly. And Ellie said, "Mommy! You hopped on one foot! Great job!"

I'm considering buying a wagon to replace my double stroller. I only use the stroller anymore when we walk the girls to and from school on days I babysit (which, actually, is 4 days a week), but two 3-year-olds is a bit much for what was a piece of junk stroller to begin with, and sometimes they like to walk, but they can't make it the whole way there and back (it's 1 mile round trip). A wagon seems like a good solution. Anyone else done this or looked into it? Any thoughts, recommendations, etc.?

We have a possessed toy. I may have mentioned this before. It creeps me out.

The sound of rapidly running water combined with raised voices when there are two 3-year-olds in the house is usually not a good thing. Gotta run...

UPDATED: They were giving their hands a bath. Oh, well. The bathroom floor needed to be mopped anyway.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

I wish I was more creative with titles...maybe if it weren't past my bedtime...

We had a blast on Monday. I wish I'd been able to post these pictures sooner, but it has been crazy and will continue to be until school is out, I think. Nobody look at the time this was posted. I should be in bed.

Anyway, we tossed around all kinds of ideas about how to spend Memorial Day and finally settled on Frisbee golfing at Dabney State Park along the Sandy River. None of us possess any particular Frisbee skills, but we had a good time throwing the discs around anyway (and we didn't lose any!) We were easily the least talented people there, but quite possibly the most entertaining. Ellie didn't throw her Frisbee much (mostly she left it laying in random places and then panicking when we reached the hole and she didn't have it) but when she did throw it, she threw it overhand straight at the ground and shoted "Ka-pow!"

The next picture has nothing to do with Frisbees, golfing, or any combination of the two, but I love it and think maybe I should get it framed to remind them that they really do get along most of the time.

After we'd had our fill of frisbees (the rest of the pictures from that part of the day are "action shots", meaning the background is in perfect focus, but we golfers are all blurry), we went for a nature walk along one of the many paths in the park. I don't know why, but I love shots like this one:
And yes, it is really that green here. It's breathtaking.

Vicki found "buckwheat" and makes a cute farmer girl, don't you think?

Then we found...the beach! Or close to it - the Sandy River (now I know why it's called sandy.) If we'd known about it, we would have brought the girls' swimsuits, but they didn't seem to mind. We just rolled up their jeans and said, halfheartedly, "Try not to get too wet."

Yeah, right.

Look, Ma! Dirty hands!

Vicki spent forever working on this "warm water pool".

Ellie didn't want her picture taken.

The car is still full of sand. It was a great day.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Random Thoughts Thursday

For some bizarre and inexplicable reason I have had the songs from Little Shop of Horrors running through my head for the last few days. Mostly "Suddenly Seymour" and the Dentist song. Weird.

May is a really busy month.

I’m so glad swimming is over until summer. Now our Saturdays will be slightly less crazy. Hooray!

I told my co-leader I could throw together a slide show of pictures of the girls for our Brownie bridging ceremony, no problem. Turns out between the two of us we had over 300 pictures of the girls, over the course of three years. I’ve weeded it down to 170. And what started as a PowerPoint slideshow has evolved into a full-blown DVD project which we will give as a gift to each girl. I never knew I could do this cool stuff. Think you’re so special now, Robbie? Do you? Do you?

Last night I laughed so hard I cried at a book Chris and I are reading together. It’s called Bonk by Mary Roach. He picked it up at random in an airport bookstore and it’s absolutely hilarious. However, I wouldn’t recommend it to the easily offended.

I’m out of chocolate. This is not good.

So You Think You Can Dance starts tonight! Woohoo! It’s the only TV show I watch regularly. I almost didn’t know because I haven’t watched a single episode of American Idol this season and that's when they always advertise it. Luckily I glanced at the TV listings in the paper this morning. Yay for brain-rotting activities!

Yesterday Ellie wore a flower on her head and made us call her “Princess Lily”. She wouldn't call me "Mom" or "Mommy", but rather "Mother", and Chris was "Father". She cracks me up.

Chris is, as I write, taking #5 of his 7 licensing exams. Wish him luck!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

So cute it hurts

Ellie's dance class had their pictures on Saturday, and they got to wear their big poofy tutus, which have been hiding in closets so they don't get wrecked before the recital next month. Ellie's class was the last group, so my friend and I hung around a little longer and took some pictures of our own. This is Ellie and her best friend Katie, posing their hearts out. Aren't those costumes to die for?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lots of fun (and a litle bit of running)

Yesterday was the annual fun run at the girls' school. Ellie and I decided to go cheer the kids on. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, perfect for being outside. Note to self: wear sunscreen next time. But the kids had fun and no one else seemed to get as sunburned as me.

They split the school into two groups so that the track wasn't too crowded. Lexi's class was in the first group. She had a great time running the first lap or two.
Then she took a break for a few minutes to cool off and cheer on a few friends.
She ended up running (well, probably more walking than running) five laps and is proud of her mile and a quarter accomplishment.

Vicki's class was in the next group. Neither girl is a big runner - they take after their mother in that way. But she gave it her best shot as well and managed six laps.
Afterward the big thing to do in her class was pour their water over their heads rather than drink it.
It was cold, but it seemed to help a lot.

Ellie and I even did a lap with each group, and she's proud of her own half mile run. My feet hurt today - one more note to self: don't run in flip-flops.

Monday, May 18, 2009


The girls in Vicki's Brownie troop have been begging to go horseback riding since they were 1st graders. But, being the cruel leaders that we are, we've never let them because we didn't think they were old enough to get anything out of it. But this year the girls won. As part of their bridging activities we took them to Short Acres Farm to be cowgirls for a day.

They learned basic horse safety and how to care for a horse - brushing, cleaning the hooves, feeding, etc.

They painted horseshoes for souveniers:

And best of all, they got to ride a pony!

The pony that Vicki rode, King Arthur (Artie for short) was the victim guest of honor at a pony party earlier in the day, where apparently the kids were turned loose on him with paints ("Now that's a horse of a different color!") He was a very patient pony.

Unfortunately (yeah, right!) the ponies we had saddled up were too small for my co-leader and me to have a ride. I haven't been on a horse since I was 13, so I was okay with not making a fool of myself. Vicki did a great job, though (riding the horse, that is, not making a fool of herself!)

We're winding down the Girl Scout year right along with the school year. One more meeting, and a Rose Festival parade, and these girls will be Juniors!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Random Thoughts Thursday

Thanks for all the birthday comments! It made my day (and the next one, and the next one...)

Ellie informed me this morning that pull-ups aren't magical, but her sparkly jeans are.

We have (and have always had) a rule about toys in Mom & Dad's room: they are not allowed. So why does it appear that the Legos are slowly taking over?

Each year since 2004 we've sent Chris on a treasure hunt for his birthday presents. I write the clues in rhyming couplets. It is really cheesy and also totally awesome. He's in California this week, so we didn't get to do it on his actual birthday (yesterday - yes, we're back-to-back and he married an older woman), but he'll get a fun surprise when he gets back. My creativity in hiding places and my rhyming skills (or would that be skillz?) get better every year.

I think I need to post more pictures of the girls. It's been all about me lately.
I wish I could sleep that soundly.

I just like the personality in this picture.

And this one.

I'm this close to joining Facebook. Give me three good reasons why I shouldn't. Okay, give me two.

Why can't I find cute denim capris in my size? Or shorts, for that matter?

Yesterday I borrowed my friend's Twilight DVD and watched all the special features on disc 2 while I "folded laundry". The rabid screaming fans in the Comic Con Phenomenon bit (what is Comic Con, anyway?) kind of scare me.

Half of my kitchen is clean, the half you can see as you walk in. The other half...well, just don't turn around if you walk into my kitchen. Organization is so not my middle name.

Is it wrong that I want the stuffed elephant Vicki got as a Girl Scout Cookie sales prize for myself? He's so cute and fluffy and floppy and soft.

I can't wait to "fold laundry" tonight while eating the Udderly Chocolate ice cream I bought for my birthday. ice cream. ever.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Happy Birthday to Meeeeeeee!

Yep, today is my birthday. I'm 32.

That doesn't make me feel old, but I think it does make my mom feel old. She's not, though. Look at her:
People think we're sisters. The picture's almost two years old, but she hasn't changed a bit. Nope, definitely not old.

Since my Mother's Day post was all about me, I decided it was only fitting that my birthday post be more about my mom, since she brought me into this world (and never once threatened to take me out of it!)*

On Sunday one of the talks at church was about how mothers show charity (charity being, of course, the pure love of Christ.) Well, my mom is the embodiment of charity. She "suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, and endureth all things." (Moroni 7:45) I don't think my mom has an unkind bone in her body. She is always willing to help those in need with no thought for herself. She puts up with all the teasing my dad and us four kids give her without ever complaining (so I sure hope she knows we do it out of love!) She raised us to choose the right and has always taught us by her good example. She has had a lot to deal with lately, and she has hung on and endured the ride, letting her faith in God hold her up. I have no doubt that my mother is one of His choice daughters, and I'm so grateful she's my mom. Love you, Mom!

Now, because it's my birthday and I'm far less charitable than my mother, I am going to demand a present from anyone who has read this far. Wait, don't leave now! It won't cost you a thing. What I want is for everyone who read this to leave me a comment and say hello. I like validation and I like to know who's reading my blog. I promise after this you can go back to lurking in silence and we'll all pretend that I never saw you here (although if you were looking for a good excuse to come out of lurk-dom and be a "reader" instead of a "stalker" - that's how I classify you all - then here's your chance!) Humor me, please, it's my birthday!

*The rest of my family should watch out, because I plan to blog about each of you at random, and possibly at seemingly inappropriate times. Consider yourselves warned.

Monday, May 11, 2009

More recipes of total tastiness

As promised, here are a few more recipes from Lexi's class cookbook.

You can tell some of the kids observe just enough in the kitchen to know that certain ingredients have to be just right.
Circle cheese clearly won't do. And triangle cheese is right out.

For some, it's all about the simplicity
Forget the preparation; just get the cookies and put them in the oven already!

This one looks like it has potential:
But really, I'm just confused.

This kid's family clearly pays attention to nutrition.
All those calories must taste better cold.

And some parents just aren't huge fans of cooking.
The good food indeed :)

This one, though, is my favorite (sorry, Lexi!) As we all know, the very best recipes include those special little touches.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

I have an awesome family. I just have to state that right off the bat.

Somehow a few years ago a tradition was started, in which I get to enjoy breakfast in bed each Mother's Day. This year they served me a plateful of lemon pancakes with raspberry syrup and a baked egg with sausage. Mmmmmm...

As you can probably tell from the picture, I was also presented with a variety of cards and gifts, nearly all homemade. And an impromptu song, written especially for me by Ellie. It went something like this: "A-B-C Mom! La-la-la! D-E-F Mom! Ohhhhhh...A-B-C Mom! Ohhhhhh...I love you, Mama!"

Vicki gave me a coupon book which doesn't expire until 2020 and is entirely reusable. It includes things like "Mom! A once in a lifetime chance to have Vicki cook dinner for a week! (doesn't have to be a week straight)" and "Mom! One free dessert (with extra hugs)" I look forward to reusing those well into her teen years.

From Lexi was a Mother's Day cookbook, written and illustrated by her class at school. It includes the disclaimer Try recipes at your own risk!

(I promise to do a post tomorrow featuring more recipes from this truly priceless cookbook!)

Chris got me a subscription to Bookmarks, a book review magazine (he says he feels bad for me because I'm always reading the same books and the same authors over and over again) and a necklace. Neither has actually arrived yet, but that only means I have more to look forward to!

At church we heard some excellent talks on mothers, and the Primary kids sang two songs, one of which they also signed in ASL. Even Ellie knew the signs! After Sacrament Meeting each mother and potential mother was presented with the traditional plant.

Mine came with a pet:

To the girls' dismay he has moved on to more permanent quarters in the dirt somewhere behind our house. But we took plenty of pictures, so we can always remember him. Ellie named him Pulo; I have no idea why.

I hope the rest of you mothers had a great day, too!

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Story of Ross

Once upon a time there was a girl named Allison. She fancied herself something of an actress. And she was, but not a very good one. But I digress... In 10th grade she got a (very small) part (or three) in her school's production of Macbeth. Due to the overwhelming lack of boys willing to say things like "doth" and "methinks", and the overwhelming number of girls who were willing, her character's name was Angus. There was another girl who played a character named Rosse. These two were Scottish nobleman (if memory serves correctly) and were often in scenes together. Because both Allison and this other girl had long, dark, bushy hair, it's understandable that some people might confuse them if they didn't know either of them well. A boy named Edward (but he wasn't sparkly), who either didn't mind saying "forsooth" or else had a crush on a girl in the play, took to addressing everyone involved in the play by their characters' names all the time. However, despite being friends of sorts, he couldn't keep straight which character Allison played. Was it Angus, or Rosse? More than 50% of the time he got it wrong, and he finally gave up trying and just called her Rosse and the other girl Angus. It's sort of like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, anyway. As long as the lines got said, whether it was Angus or Rosse saying them was frankly irrelevant. Well, long story short, Allison's best friend, Pamela, who was not in the play (right? if you were, forgive me!), found this hilarious. It got shortened to Ross when written (who needs the silent "e" anyway?) and thus, a nickname was born.

Alas, Danielle, you know me too well! Email me your address and favorite candy bar, and then watch your mailbox!

Also, if anyone else has a unique nickname story, I'd love to hear it!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Random Thoughts Thursday

Sometimes I feel like a complete and total nerd because I take every single note the girls bring home from school and edit them for grammar. Yes, it's that bad. At least I don't send them back corrected. That would be going too far.

I think from now on I'll have to wish Chris "Happy Falker Satherhood" on Father's Day. It has a nice ring to it. "It's like a word journey..."

Why do my children find it so difficult to flush the toilet?

I think I may be developing blogger-brain-block. I just can't make this post as long as my normal RTT posts. Hmmm...

I was thinking this morning about nicknames. We're big on them around here. My family and some of my friends call me Allie. Short for Allison - makes total sense. Chris is of course short for Christopher. Vicki, Lexi, and Ellie are all short for Victoria, Alexis, and Elizabeth. We also call them Bugga, Lou-lou, and Magoo, which are just cute and have reasonable explanations (Vicki-bug, Lexi-lou, and Ellie Magoo.) My siblings all go by shortened forms of their names at various times. Most of the time people's nicknames make sense. But my BFF (I just wrote the term "BFF" and didn't even cringe - what is the world coming to?) Pamela calls me Ross. Maybe you've noticed it in comments from her and wondered, who is she talking to? Where did that nickname come from? Well, because this is Random Thoughts Thursday (and in honor of my blogger-brain-block), I want your random thoughts on where that particular nickname came from. I'll send you a candy bar if you come anywhere near the truth. I promise.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Necklace

Last night I opened up my jewelry box to put my earrings away, and sitting on top was something I was positive I had not put in there: a metal washer on a thin red wire. I had no idea where it had come from or what it was supposed to be so I did what anyone would do upon finding junk in their jewelry box - I threw it in the trash and didn't think anything else of it.

Until this evening.

We had gathered everyone in our room to call Grandpa for his birthday when Ellie suddenly remembered something. "Mom!" she shouted, "I have to get you your new necklace that I made you! It's in your jewelry box!"

And the lightbulb turned on and the heavens opened and the choir sang, "Allison, you messed up!"

By this time she was hollering that she couldn't find it, so I sent her to check in another room (she's 3, this still works) while I dug frantically through the garbage can. Fortunately it wasn't very deep in there. She asked me if I liked it, and the grin on her face when I said, "It's perfect!" made the garbage can search so worth it.

So this evening I'm wearing a lovely, one of a kind Ellie E. creation. Like it?

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