Thursday, November 25, 2010

Random Thoughts Thursday - Thanksgiving Edition

Today is Thanksgiving, so I will confine my Random Thoughts into one area (making them significantly non-random, but that's okay): things I'm thankful for.  Also, no linky this week.

Today I'm thankful for a loving Father in Heaven, a wonderful family, and good friends.

I'm thankful that I have enough food to eat and a warm, dry place to sleep.

I'm thankful for books to read, music to listen to, and how easy it is to communicate with loved ones far away.

I'm thankful for family traditions, which, since 2007, have included bowling on Thanksgiving day.

Lastly, I'm thankful for an awesome neighbor, who brought over an unexpected pumpkin pie this morning, saving me from cooking one more thing today.  You rock, Julia.

I hope everyone else has something to be thankful for today, too.  May your turkey be juicy, your potatoes fluffy, and your pie crust flaky and just the way you like it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Just Keeping it Weird

We moved to Oregon from Utah about 5 1/2 years ago.  The weather here in Portland takes some getting used to.

It's not just the rain.  You get used to that pretty quickly, since it's pretty much constant from October to May.

Portland winters are interesting to us Utahns.  We're used to several feet before anyone even bats an eye.  You live in Utah for any period of time in the winter and you learn to drive in all kinds of winter conditions: blinding snowstorms, sleet, icy roads; you name it, we've driven on it.
But here in Portland, it doesn't snow much.  So when it does, the entire city shuts down.

And it doesn't take a lot, either.

Case in point:
This is what it looks like outside my house right now.

And school was canceled today.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Shameless Promotion

Shutterfly has a fabulous deal going on right now: 50 free cards for bloggers!

So, because I slightly overspent in one area of our Christmas budget (although the result will be awesome fun for our family), and am trying to make up for it in all other areas, I would love to get some fabulous-looking Christmas cards without having to pay for them!  I'm all over this offer.  Please bear with me while I tell you what, exactly, I like about Shutterfly's cards.

Last year we took our own Christmas pictures and had some cards made up quickly and cheaply at a local discount store.  They were nice enough, but after looking over the options available at Shutterfly, I'm really excited to give them a try.  While they do offer the typical photo greeting cards, they also have a selection of folded or flat stationery cards, which are printed on high-quality cardstock and therefore look more professional to me.  I'm excited to try these out.  With options for up to 6 photos, my biggest problem is that I don't actually have one decent picture of our whole family yet this year, let alone six.  I'm going to do some playing around with the camera in the next several days and see what I can come up with.  Hopefully I'll get some good shots in time to get cards out before Christmas!  If not, by New Year's, at least.  New Year's cards are good, too, right?

If you'd like a Holiday (covering all my bases) card from our family, send me an email (click the "contact" tab above) with your address and I'll try to get one to you.  Remember, though, I'll only have 50!  First-come, first-served, people!

Friday, November 19, 2010


As a side note, I realized yesterday that I have cleaned out under the oven once, 3 years ago, when we put in our new floor.  So I'm not a total slacker.

Here is what I found yesterday while cleaning out underneath the oven:

A lot of nasty dust bunnies
1 ballpoint pen
7 Legos
1 spoon
4 refrigerator magnets
6 cookie cutters
2 combs
1 package of dental floss
7 sheets of paper, some with artwork
3 ponytail holders
1 ant trap
2 rockos (as opposed to ordinary rocks)
15 toothpicks
1 crayon
1 M&M
assorted Cheerios, pretzels, and goldfish crackers
and one dime.

At least I got paid.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Random Thoughts Thursday

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This morning I held my tongue and made my daughter a peanut butter and goldfish cracker sandwich for breakfast. Choose your battles, people. Choose your battles.

I am finished with all the Christmas shopping I need to keep secret from the girls! Now I just need to finish up all the rest. Anyone know what my brother wants?

Our oven died last week. It’s amazing how hard it is to come up with a week’s worth of stovetop meals. The repairman should be coming today. Fingers are crossed.

The cookie dough we were going to bake when we discovered the oven was dead, and which we put in the freezer instead, is slowly disappearing, and no one will take credit for it.

I can levitate birds, but no one cares.

One day, when I’m rich and famous, I’m going to travel to all the places in Europe that I’ve been but didn’t care enough about when I was younger. I wish I could remember Madrid.

What is it about parenthood that makes brains fuzzy? I used to remember all kinds of pointless things, but now I can’t remember the pointless, let alone the useful.

I have discovered that while I really enjoy having a baby around for several hours while I babysit, I also really enjoy giving the baby back to his mom at the end of the day. I’m pretty sure I’m finished with that stage of my life.

Last night I bought five tickets to Harry Potter. Tomorrow, Vicki is having the birthday party of her dreams. And it’s entirely possible that I’m even more excited than the four 10-year-old Harry Potter nuts I’m taking to the movies tomorrow evening.

And now, I have to go clean out under the oven. I haven't done it once in the five years we've lived here (I can't believe I'm admitting this), but now that someone is probably actually going to see under there, I'm afraid of what he might find.

May the Force be with me.

Your turn!

A bit of advice for the linky tool: please link directly to your Random Thoughts Thursday post, and not to your entire blog. To do this, simply click on the title of your post. This will take you to that post's page, and you can then copy and paste that url into the linky. This way people linking from my blog won’t have to scroll through any other posts you might put up to find your randomness. Thanks!

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's Not the Same Thing

Last night at dinner, Ellie was wondering something.

She wanted to know if we had "the princess diarrhea".

Having never heard of that particular ailment (and, as a side note, I'm thinking diarrhea is one of the most un-princess-like things a person can experience), I asked her to repeat herself.  While trying desperately not to crack a rib from holding in my laughter, because she was quite serious.

She still wanted to know if we had "the princess diarrhea".

But this time she clarified for me.  She was wondering about that show, where the girl doesn't know she's a princess, and then her grandma tells her.


She meant The Princess Diaries.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Random Thoughts Thursday

If you're new to Random Thoughts Thursday, click here for details!

To get a copy of the above image, click here!

A big thank you today to all who serve or have served in the armed forces.  And a special shout-out to our friend Mike, currently serving in Afghanistan.  You are awesome!

Also, a very happy 90th birthday today to Chris's Grandma Ebert!  She's an amazing lady with a killer sense of humor, and we named Ellie after her.  When I grow up I want to be just like her!  Yipee!

I am so very, very cold.  Time to turn on the heat, maybe?

We spent the morning at two different Target stores so Vicki could spend her birthday money and Lexi could spend her allowance.  We came home with a pillow pet, a Harry Potter Lego set, and a Webkinz ZumBuddy.  And a $1 packet of markers for Ellie.

I'm stressing about Christmas shopping.  Every year I think I'll plan ahead and get my shopping done before November, and every year November rolls around and I'm just getting started.

Why don't stores have what I want in stock when I have the coupon to buy it?

While I am enjoying the extra time with my children, it sure seems like they haven't had much school lately.

I would like to thank Jen from Epbot for bringing this colossal waste of time to my attention.  It's incredibly pathetic that, after at least 15 years, I can still remember where the warp zones and hidden extra lives are.

Why, when it's against the law, do people still talk on their cell phones while driving?  It may have just been the Target parking lot, but you still ran a stop sign, buddy.  Hang up and drive.

Most random comment ever uttered by one of my children: "It would be hard to spray-paint a bald eagle."  Um...yes.  Yes, it would.
Your turn!

A bit of advice for the linky tool: please link directly to your Random Thoughts Thursday post, and not to your entire blog. To do this, simply click on the title of your post. This will take you to that post's page, and you can then copy and paste that url into the linky. This way people linking from my blog won’t have to scroll through any other posts you might put up to find your randomness. Thanks!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Talking the Talk

About three weeks ago, while on our way to Lexi's dance class, we somehow got to talking about twins.  It was just Lexi and Ellie in the car with me, and they wanted to know the difference between identical and fraternal twins.  We're trying not to sugar-coat anything in our family, so I explained that a sperm comes from the dad and the egg comes from the mom, and when they meet, sometimes the egg splits into two.  When that happens, you have identical twins.  But sometimes there will be two eggs, and if they each are met by a sperm, you'll have fraternal twins.

By this point, we were at the dance studio, so I thought the conversation was finished, but as we got out of the car, Lexi said, "Mom, I was wondering.  If the egg comes from the mom and the sperm comes from the dad, and the baby grows inside the mom, how does the sperm get to the egg?"

Oh, boy.

Considering the fact that we were about three steps from the door of the dance studio, there wasn't time to go into any sort of detail.  Besides, I'm pretty sure the parents of any of the other girls in the class (who range in age from 6-8 years old) wouldn't have appreciated me going into that sort of detail, anyway.  So I told her that that was a really good question, but there wasn't time for me to answer it right now, and could she remind me later when there was more time?

Of course, she didn't.

But we knew it was time anyway.

Time for The Talk.

Such fun.

We had The Talk with Vicki when she was about Lexi's age, and it went fairly well, all things considered.  After sitting in serious silence through the majority of the discussion, her only real reaction was, "Ew."

Lexi's turn, yesterday evening, also went well, but it was more fun.

We couldn't get her to say any of the names for private body parts (which I am purposely not naming here, since I can only imagine the Google searches that would end up here if I did) - she preferred to keep her face buried in her hands during that part of the discussion, even though we teased her by saying things like, "nostrils", "elbows", and "armpits" to try and make her understand that we were just talking about body parts.  Didn't work.  At one point, while we were talking about how boys have a [certain body part], she said, "This is just disturbing."

But she was really interested in the location of ovaries, and how that whole process works.  I got to stand up and do a lot of pointing through my jeans.  And she was somewhat relieved, it appeared, to understand that the eggs inside of moms weren't the size of chicken eggs.

It will probably be about three years before we'll have to have The Talk again, but I think it will be even more fun with Ellie, since she's already shown us that she has absolutely no problem with saying the names of boy or girl parts.  She announced to us at the dinner table one night, much to her sisters' horror, that her friend Timmy* has a [boy part]!  And she's seen it!  While they were going potty!  Isn't that cool!?!

Being a parent is fun.

*name has been changed to protect the innocent.  Although I'm fairly certain the innocent's mother will read this and know exactly who I'm talking about.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ten Years of Vicki

Ten years ago today my life changed forever.

Ten years ago today, Vicki was born and I became a mother.

While the rest of the nation was trying to figure out who would be the next President, Chris and I were instead trying to figure out how on earth we were supposed to be responsible for this tiny, helpless little creature that was suddenly a part of our family.

And now, even though it doesn't feel possible that it's been that long, she's not so tiny or helpless, and she's ten years old.

A whole decade.


You've come a long way, baby! (We didn't get a digital camera until 2003, and our scanner broke about 4 years ago, so it was slim pickings for the first couple of years, but I made do with what I had.  Besides, she's cute no matter what.)

Blessing day, Dec. 31, 2000

In the comfy chair, 2001

Hiking in Snow Canyon, St. George, Utah, 2002

2 years old, 2003

Camping with Dad (and Dizzy Bear!) 2004

Indian Beach, Oregon, 2005

She did her own hair, and was so proud to show it off at school! 2006

Gap-tooth grin, 2007

Hiking in Forest Park, Downtown Portland, 2008

True Vicki style, 2009

Birthday girl! 2010
(She would like me to note that the crown was not her
idea.  Ellie insisted.)
Vicki's natural cheerfulness and self-assuredness make her such a joy to be around.  I'm so proud to be her mother, and I can't wait to see what the next 10 years brings for this amazing girl!

Friday, November 5, 2010

I Have an Idea, and It Involves You

If you've read this blog for any period of time, you're familiar with my other blog, Project 365.

If you haven't and you're not, you should take a look.  Go ahead; I'll wait.

Are we all back now?  Alrighty...

Last year around this time Chris mentioned that, while browsing Flikr, he'd come across some groups of people who were taking a picture every day for a year and sharing them.  He thought it was a really cool idea, and since he knew I liked to take pictures, he thought I should give it a shot.

So I did.

And I almost gave up on the second day.

See, I decided to document all of 2010, but we were on vacation and January 2 was spent packing up so we could pull out and head home extremely early in the morning on the 3rd.  It wasn't until we crawled into bed close to 11:00 on the 2nd that I remembered I hadn't taken any pictures that day, because nothing interesting had happened.  I almost just threw the towel in right then and there (we were sleeping in the basement of my in-laws' house in Utah, and it was COLD!)  But Chris knew I'd regret it if I did, so he convinced me to get out of bed.  I figured if I was already out of bed, I might as well go outside, which is why my picture for Day 2 is this one.

Today is Day 309 and I've only missed three (assuming I take any pictures today, since I haven't yet.  But I will, dang it!  I will!)

But I'm not writing all this to brag about it.

I've noticed that people actually seem to think this is a really cool idea.  It's fun to document a year in this way.  I take a LOT of pictures, and I don't always post the one that tells the most about my day, but I will always be able to look back at this project and see what was going on in my world on any given day of the year.  And I think my photography skills have improved considerably, at least as far as composition is concerned.  (Although I still maintain that if I had a nicer camera, my photography skills would be nicer, too.)

So I'm proposing an idea, just to get a feel for it and see how many people would be willing to participate.

I want you to join me.

Yes, you.

I'm planning on continuing the project for another year (because I'm determined not to miss any days this time), and I'd love to have some company!  I thought I'd plant the idea now so you can be thinking about it for a while.  If there's enough interest, I'll organize some sort of "Project 365 Central", so that everyone participating can enjoy everyone else's pictures, too.  Of course, your project doesn't have to start on Jan. 1, but it's a good, easy date to remember.  I have a friend who started on her 33rd birthday and is documenting a year from there, and another friend, a teacher, who is documenting a school year.  Whatever works for you is great.  But I'll be starting over on Jan. 1, 2011, and I invite anyone who is interested to join me!

Think about it.  Let me know.  Have your people call my people; we'll do lunch.  Or something.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Random Thoughts Thursday

If you're new to Random Thoughts Thursday, click here for details!

To get a copy of the above image, click here!

I hate the new PBSKids Cat in the Hat show.  Whose idea was it to turn the irresponsible and irascible Cat into a role model?  It's the most obnoxious half-hour on my television.

Yesterday Ellie informed me that she was going to name all her girl babies, if she ever has any, after flowers: Daisy, Rose, and Dandelion.

Someone needs to come to my house and take away all the Halloween candy.  Ellie is turning into a monster.

I am lazy.  There's just no getting around it.  I have all these noble intentions, but I find things I'd much rather be doing, and those intentions go right out the window, where I never seem to miss them at all.

I think this picture would make a great "engagement pictures" submission to Awkward Family Photos:

Chris and I watched So I Married an Axe Murderer last weekend.  We quote it all the time, but it's entirely possible that neither of us has even seen it since we've known each other.

I read an article the other day about how there really aren't any quotable movies being made anymore.  Maybe it's just because I don't go to the movies much, but I think everything I quote is from the last century (which sounds a lot farther away than it really is, huh?)

Yesterday our car was dusted in pollen, and Lexi and Ellie were worried it would be attacked by bees.  How do you reassure your kids when you're laughing to hard to talk?

Your turn!

A bit of advice for the linky tool: please link directly to your Random Thoughts Thursday post, and not to your entire blog. To do this, simply click on the title of your post. This will take you to that post's page, and you can then copy and paste that url into the linky. This way people linking from my blog won’t have to scroll through any other posts you might put up to find your randomness. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Extra Shiny

This evening Chris took the older girls to their church activity.  This is our usual mid-week bath time for Ellie, since her big sisters are gone and she can play in the tub for a long time, instead of having to hurry so we can get everyone clean before bed.

Once she was in the tub, I decided it would be a good time to sit down and read.  I could have been doing the dishes, but that's no fun.

I got a little caught up in my book, apparently, because the next thing I knew the water was draining from the tub.

"Wait!" I hollered.  "Don't drain the tub yet!  We still need to wash you!"

And she hollered back, "It's okay, Mom.  I already did everything you usually do in here."

Somehow, I didn't think her doing it was going to be as effective as me doing it, but she was clearly so proud of her efforts that I knew it was going to have to be handled delicately.

"Um, how about I just do it over again, just to, um, make sure..."

"Oh, okay, Mom, you just want to make sure that I'm extra shiny?"

Yes, that's it!

She's extra shiny

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Stuff That Dreams Aren't Made Of

I love my bed.

I mean, really love it.  I will sleep in other places if I have to, but I'm most comfortable snuggled up on my own comfy mattress, under my own comfy covers.  Maybe I'm a bed snob, but at least I'm a comfortable one. (I suppose now would be an appropriate time to admit that my in-laws actually bought a memory foam mattress for their guest bed after I mentioned to them that the ultra-firm one already on there wasn't all that comfortable - hey, they asked!  I still feel kind of bad about that, but I do enjoy sleeping in that bed more now.)

My children, though...well, I don't get them.

They actually like sleeping on the floor.

Back before we bought all the new shelving for the girls' room, Lexi had so much junk stored on her bed that she couldn't fit.  Rather than clean it off, she slept on the floor for two weeks.

Ellie...well, to be honest, she can sleep anywhere.

And tonight Vicki announced that she was going to sleep in the "hiding place", which the girls created by hanging towels down from Lexi's loft bed.  Upon this announcement, the other girls clamored for a chance to sleep in there, too.

Now, I get the desire to have a fort-type place.  I totally do.  My friend and I used to turn my canopy into a covered wagon, back in our "Little House on the Prairie" phase.  It was still my bed, though.  But my kids have this all worked out: from now until forever, Monday night is Ellie's night to sleep in there, Tuesday is Vicki's, and Wednesday is Lexi's.  They're calling it "the comfy place".

I say it doesn't matter what you call it.  It's still the floor.

They say they don't care, they're sleeping there anyway.

My children are strange.
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