Thursday, February 24, 2011

Random Thoughts Thursday

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Still here, still thinking randomly.  Apparently I have fans.  (Or Random Thoughts Thursday does.)

I love how the city of Portland reacts to the forecast of snow.  Watching the news last night, you would have thought the Snowpocalypse was coming.  There's maybe an inch of snow on the ground, but just to be safe all the schools are closed and the snowplow (all one of them) is on patrol.

Maybe I'll get that laundry folded today.

Chris took my camera to California this morning (I'm assuming because I haven't heard otherwise that he's actually in California now, and not stuck at the airport because of ALL THE SNOW.)  I had to borrow Vicki's to get pictures, because by the time Chris gets home it will be too dark, and possibly gone.

Lexi just spent an hour grounded to her bed for an infraction at bedtime last night.  She set her alarm clock so she'd know when the hour was up, and she just came and told me that, and I quote, "It wasn't that bad.  I just played with my fake nails for a while and everything was fine."  Oh, my.  She so did not get that from me.

We have a stuffed gorilla that scares children.  It's one of my favorite toys in this house.

If I were ambitious, I think I'd use today to put my children to work.  Instead I think we'll bake junk food.  Wait, banana chocolate chip muffins aren't junk food, are they?

Your turn!

If you do a Random Thoughts post on your own blog, I'd love to know about it!  Leave me a comment and I'll come read!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

You Should Move to Portland

The main reason we chose Portland when Chris was looking for jobs is its close proximity to EVERYTHING.

Not only is it a big city, but it's just two hours from both the ocean and the mountains.  Today I want to sell you on the mountains.

Some of our best family friends invited us to join them in a President's Day snow hike around Trillium Lake.  Given the choice between spending a day on Mt. Hood and spending a day folding laundry, I had no problem choosing Mt. Hood.

If you move to Portland, neither will you.

You could go on a snow hike around Trillium Lake, and enjoy scenery that is breathtaking in all seasons.

Mt. Hood is back there, but it's too cloudy to see.

You'd probably have to stop a few times for snacks. (Girl Scout cookies are excellent incentives when it comes to hiking up a steep, snow-covered hill.  Just FYI.)  Maybe you'd even find an igloo to eat them in.

You could have a snowball fight.

I think I have at least one snowball fight picture of these two from just
about every year that they've known each other - it's what they do.

Watch out, he's going to throw a 'nowball at you!

Or make snow angels.

If you move to Portland, and go on a snow hike, you'll discover lots of fun places to explore.

Look how deep the snow is!
Also, Ellie thinks she can fly.

Or to just roll around.

If you're under six, you'll probably get to ride some of the way.

This is the life.

And this is a good thing, because there's an awful lot of walking involved.  4.5 miles' worth, in fact.  Although if you're like us you may not discover this until the end of your hike.

The stick seemed to help when she was forced out of the sled.

You should definitely move to Portland, because if you did, you'd probably make wonderful friends, like these:

Johnny, Ellie, Anna, Lexi, Vicki, Daniel, and Noah (in the sled)

And if you moved to Portland, not only would you get to see a beautiful place like this in the winter:

But you'd be here to see that in the summer, it looks like this:

Yes, you should move to Portland.

Friday, February 18, 2011

How They See Me

In the interest of full disclosure, these pictures are nearly a year old and this post has been hanging out in "drafts" for almost as long.  I felt like posting but couldn't think of anything interesting to say.

These two pictures were drawn on the same day:

So, according to Lexi and Ellie, I have no ears, giant lips, a shocking lack of neck, and very little hair.

I love my children.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Random Thoughts Thursday

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I'm losing my enthusiasm for random Thursday blogging.  Sad, but true.

This morning we had an unfortunate incident involving ants, lunchboxes, unwashed applesauce containers, and our entire coat rack.  Isn't it a little early for ants?  I thought they were only bad like this in the summer.

Later, while Ellie and I were driving around, the song "Blowin' in the Wind" came on.  And Ellie said, "The ants are his friends?"

My house is slowly being taken over by Girl Scout cookies.  When Chris walked in the door last night after being in California all day, the first thing he said was not, "Hi Honey!  I missed you!"  It was, "There's more?"  Patience, my love.  It will all be over by the middle of March.  Until next year.

I have three loads of unfolded laundry and an extremely untidy living room and kitchen calling me, and I'm debating with myself over whether or not it can sit a little longer while I watch Tuesday's episode of Glee on Hulu.  I think I need to prioritize my priorities.

Even though I haven't posted a new picture for several days, let it be known that I still haven't missed any days this year!

Your turn!

If you do a Random Thoughts post on your own blog, I'd love to know about it!  Leave me a comment and I'll come read!

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Funny Valentine

Our Valentine's Day was unprecedentedly low-key this year.

Girl Scout cookies came in on Saturday, and with the stress surrounding that I just didn't have it in me to plan anything for today.  Chris bought each of us girls a bouquet of cake pops that the youth at church were selling, and he quickly folded printer paper in half and made us each a card to go with them.  Fortunately, not knowing he was buying us the pops, I bought some, too, so that's what he got from me.

We're pathetic, I know.

After reading all the blog posts and Facebook statuses talking about their Valentine's Days, I was starting to get a little depressed about our lack of celebration, and my lack of initiative to even fake one.

Then Vicki asked me to check her homework.

Here's what I read when she handed me her notebook:

Dear Mom,

I appritate you becuse you are nice.  You are kind and caring.  You have a positive and good attitude.  You alwas bake dinner and help with homework.  You are loveing and I love you.  You help me with evrey thing and remind me to do: homework, piano, bathe, and put on deoderent.  You help evreyone.  So I love you.

My day is suddenly much, much brighter.

Happy Valentine's Day :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Evil Genius at Work

We're all about responsibility around our house.

We like the Love and Logic parenting method.  We give a lot of choices, mostly things along the lines of, "Do you want to wear your coat, or carry it?"

Under no circumstances do we carry the coat for them.

I volunteer at the girls' school a few days a week, helping make sure kids are in their uniform, and providing them with acceptable clothes to change into if they're not.  We have a clipboard that we use to write the names of the students who aren't appropriately dressed each day so the school secretary can call their parents.  Ellie comes along for the ride.

Yesterday morning we were finishing up and ready to head to the office.  Ellie bounced toward the stairs, grabbing the clipboard on her way and announcing that she'd carry it.  So, realizing that it would complicate my life (and it's all about me, isn't it?) if I made her put the clipboard down so she could put on her coat, I told her I'd carry the coat upstairs.

She stopped mid-bounce and looked at me with a shocked expression that quickly turned to one of triumph and glee.

"Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha! [imagine, if you can, the most evil laugh a five-year-old is capable of] I got you to carry my coat!"

Wearing the coat instead of carrying it

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Random Thoughts Thursday

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Thanks to everyone who left me a comment when I shamelessly begged for one!  It's good to have a little validation every now and then.  I tried to reciprocate, but if I somehow missed your blog, be sure to let me know!

I was reminded that I need to be better about commenting on other people's blogs, too.  Sometimes I worry that if I comment too much I'll just come across as weird.  But I never think someone's weird for commenting on my blog, so I guess I need to get over myself.

This is mostly for Pamela (see this post) but you can all enjoy it:

"In Portland, you can knit a cozy for a bicycle stand and call it charity."
Portland is truly awesome.  If you don't live here, you should come visit me.  But don't all come at once.  My house is really small.

I want a nicer camera.  I wish it was a need, but, sadly, it's not.

I also want a nicer cell phone.  Fortunately, this is not far from becoming a need.

If everything goes according to plan, I'm going back to school in the fall.  This both terrifies and delights me.

The frustrating thing about watching Lost years behind everyone else is that there's no one to discuss all the crazy stuff with as it's happening.  Chris and I spend half an hour after each episode trying to digest it all.  It's a good thing he won't let me watch it without him, because otherwise I'd never sleep.

Your turn!

LinkyTools has switched to a subscription-only service, so I will no longer be using it (what can I say - I'm cheap!)  If you do a Random Thoughts post on your own blog, I still want to know about it, so leave a comment and I'll come read!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Kids These Days...

The other day I came across my old camera.

Unfortunately, I came across it during a fit of early spring cleaning, during which I was getting rid of anything I hadn't used in the past six months.  The only exception to the rule was things that I hadn't used in the last six months but knew for a fact I would be using again soon (summer clothes, for example, fall into this category.  Maternity clothes do not.  FYI.)

I haven't used this camera in probably the last 8 years.

And it seems highly unlikely that I'll be using it again anytime soon.

I got this camera for Christmas during my freshman year of college.  It came with me to London for Study Abroad in 1998.  Together we went through 12 rolls of film in three months.  It has held, quite literally, a lot of memories.

I waved it excitedly at everyone in the room.  "Look!  It's the camera I took to London!"

Chris said, "Throw it away." the big meanie

And Lexi said, "Cool!  Does it have any pictures on it?"

I guess a roll of film is a hard concept to grasp for a person who spends all her time with a camera taking pictures like these:

What are some other things kids these days will never understand?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Shamelessly Begging for Validation

Did you know that January 14 is National De-Lurk Day?

I did.  But I forgot.  Again.

For the past three years I've been trying to remember, so I could do a post and encourage all my lurkers (people who read blogs but never comment - it's less creepy than saying "blogstalkers") to leave a comment and say hello, but I keep forgetting.

So I'm declaring today, February 7, my own personal De-Lurk Day.

See, blogging creates insecurity.  It's sad, but true.  I started this blog back in 2007 as a way to keep far away family up-to-date on the girls.  But it didn't take long before I discovered that I really like writing.  I like having this creative outlet, and I also really like having a way to tell crazy stories about my children, for which they will probably hate me one day, and need therapy.  It's what being a parent is all about.  And it's fun.

But we bloggers start to worry when the comments are few and far between.  Is anyone actually reading this?  Do they like me?  Do they *really* like me?  There's something about getting comments on a blog post that make us feel validated, like what we're sending out there into the blogosphere is at least being enjoyed by someone besides ourselves.  I know some people view their blogs as an online journal, but that's not how I see this one.  So it sort of feels like a waste if no one's actually reading it.  Pathetic, I know, but true all the same.

So humor me.  Leave me a comment and say hello.  Let me know how you found this blog (especially if we don't know each other in real life), and why you read it.

As an incentive, if you have a blog, I'll visit you and leave you a comment!  Chances are I'm lurking there anyway.

And if you don't have a blog, still leave me a comment and I promise I'll love you forever!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Friday, February 4, 2011

This Post is Alarming

We have a lot of alarm clocks in our house.

This is Chris's alarm clock:
Ooooh, "dream machine".  That means it's extra fancy.

It goes off every morning at 5:23am.  Why 5:23?  Because then he can hit snooze and go back to sleep until it goes off again at 5:30.  And 5:37.  And sometimes 5:44.  Most of the time I sleep through all this, but not always.

It used to be my alarm clock.  I got it right before I left for college, and it was the awesomest alarm clock ever for two reasons: 1) it had two alarms, so I didn't have to change it on the mornings my first class was at 10:00, vs. the mornings my first class was at 8:00, and 2) I could set it to wake me up by playing a tape, instead of the annoying beeps or the radio.  How cool is that?  But after we got married, Chris took it over, and it's his clock now.

This is mine:

It goes off every morning at 6:15am.  And also 6:23.  And then usually I get up.  Either then, or at 6:31.

I like it because it's little and easily portable.  I got it sometime before Chris and I got married, and after he took over the big clock, it became my permanent alarm clock.  I think it might be dying a slow and painful death, because sometimes it doesn't actually go off at 6:15, even though I checked and double-checked it the night before.  Although, now that I think about it, this problem hasn't recurred since I discovered that it was actually set for 6:15pm, so maybe it's okay after all.

This is Vicki's alarm clock:
Lego Hagrid, yay!

And this is Lexi's:

(Yes, I know they're the same, but it didn't feel fair to show a picture of one and not the other.)

Santa must've known I was tired of the grouchies every morning when I went in to wake them up, because he left these in their stockings.  They're simple little clocks.  They run off a single AA battery.  All they do is beep, with increasing loudness and frequency, for an entire minute or until they get turned off, whichever comes first.

Lexi has decided to just wake up at 6:30 every morning, without the help of an alarm clock.  Often she gets dressed and eats breakfast and is pretty much ready to go to school before I'm even out of the shower.

As for Vicki...well, Vicki's alarm goes off at 7:00.  Each and every morning.

And this is what I find at 7:15.  Each and every morning:

Dead to the world

Clearly, sharing a room with your little sisters for pretty much your entire life is great training for being able to sleep through anything life throws at you.

This does not bode well for middle school mornings.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Random Thoughts Thursday

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After a friend mentioned in passing why her Christmas decorations were still up the last week of January, I've decided to be less judgemental about people who still have lights up outside, and trees still twinkling in their windows.  You just never know why people do the things they do.

I tried this morning to apply the above sentiment to the woman who used the giant multi-child-seater shopping cart for her one child, but it didn't work so well.  Not that I needed the cart (I refuse to use them unless I have multiple small children with me), but it makes it hard to explain to Ellie why we're not getting one if someone else with just one kid is.

I can't even begin to explain how in love I am with the sunshine right now.  It may be freaking cold, but there is blue sky peeking through, and that's all that matters.

This may quite possibly be the cutest Darth Vader I have ever seen.

I just started a random thought that became so long, and which I was so excited about, that it will now be its own post.  I now have five posts started, some of which I may actually finish and post.  And one of them is controversially political, so that should be good.  I bet you can hardly wait!

I hate it when I find something I think is hilarious, and I'd love to share it with others, but everyone and their grandmother has already posted it on Facebook.  I don't want to be Lady Redundant Woman.  So, instead, I post it on my blog and pretend that most of the people reading this didn't come here from Facebook in the first place.

Year 2 of my Project 365 is going well!  I made it all the way through January without missing a day!  My goal is to beat last year, which means I can only miss 3 days.  And I'm really enjoying seeing all the pictures from the people who have joined me this year.

I'm so excited for my book group tonight!  We read The Help, which I absolutely loved.  I can't wait to discuss it with a bunch of friends!

*This will be the last Random Thoughts Thursday using the linky tool below.  The company is switching from free to subscription-only in order to cover their operating costs, and while I completely understand and respect that, I have no interest in paying for it.  So if you've always wanted to link to RTT but haven't gotten around to it, today (or tomorrow) is your last chance!*

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!

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