Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Difficulties with Decor

My living room has been giving me fits.

The curtains, which have been there since we moved in, are dated, really frou-frou, and a style more suitable for a couple living in a retirement community- not the young, hip, thirty-something couple that Richard and I happen to be. (Don't laugh, I can hear you.) Not to mention they are moss green- a color that is no longer in the room's color scheme.

And then there are the "man heads". You may know them as "busts", but I like to call them what they are- the replica of the head of a man. I might also mention there is no "bust" attached, which for our shirtless George Washington man head, is a good thing.

Now really, I like having historical figures as role models as much as my husband, but a room full of decapitated look-a-likes, feels museum-ish and a little creepy.

Okay, I have to admit there are only 2 man heads, but that is two extra pair of eyes I don't need watching my every move. Plus, I don't know about you, but I don't really want to be judged by George Washington and Joseph Smith. Sheesh, talk about pressure! Even if it is only a bronze version doing the judging.

So needless to say, I've been looking for a change that I can really appreciate and approve of and on Monday a big truck delivered some new items to our house and I thought I would ask for your honest opinion. So here it is......

How do you think the "warehouse" look is working out?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Baptism & Chocolate...or is it A Baptism by Chocolate?

On Saturday, our friends the Rubows, invited us to their son, Levi's baptism. Levi is quite the special kid and because of his sheer excitement at the prospect of being baptized coupled with his exclamation of "That was fun!" as he was raised out of the water, there was a sweet spirit in that room packed with friends and family that was undeniable. It was such a sweet feeling that I think many on looking eyes couldn't help but become damp at the grin that spread across Levi's innocent face. It was one of those moments you feel blessed to have been there to witness such complete joy.

Thank You Rubow Family, for allowing us to be part of such a great day.

Following Levi's baptism and confirmation, the Rubows also treated everyone to lunch- and man, did they put on a spread! Specifically so, because there really seemed to be quite an emphasis on the dessert course- my favorite...and apparently Benjamin's too.

It was our turn to dish our plates and even though Richard had a plate to fill  for Ben with lunch items such as the BBQ pork sandwhich, chips and veggies, Ben had his own plate and a different idea what his lunch should be.

He bypassed the lunch table and headed straight for the dessert table. Now, I'm not sure how it happened or who even dished it for him, but he wound up with a huge piece of Texas sheet cake, a gigantic slice of chocolate cake that could only be described as "Death by Chocolate," and a sliver of a chocolate cheesecake that filled the entire void of a 9 inch dinner plate! I think I gained 5 pounds just by looking at it!

He didn't even bother to get a fork or spoon, he just sat down and started licking! Fearing the onslaught of a "show me how the piggies eat" moment, I quickly got him a utensil and he proceeded to shovel chocolately dessert heaven into his mouth, but not before he got it on his chin, cheeks, nose and new Easter church outfit.

It was funny.

I have to admit, I should have been repulsed by his manners or lack there of, as I think the older lady who unfortunately had the misfortune of sitting across from us was, but I couldn't resist seeing the utter enjoyment on and all over his face.

We did give him a napkin and I wished I had captured his freckled face smeared with chocolate before it was wiped somewhat clean, but of course, I had left my camera at home. That's when I remembered seeing my friend Jason, there with a bag slung over his shoulder. Since he is a photographer and not exactly the type to carry around a man-purse, I was hoping that bag contained his camera and he would be willing to snap a shot of Ben for me. 

He readily obliged and even took a break from his own dessert to not only snap one shot, but a series of Ben eating his chocolate cake.
He even got him to grin so big that choclately goo was spilling out from where Ben's front teeth should be and between his lips- absolutely adorable!

Perhaps, it's a smile only a mom could love.... and perhaps not... because the unfortunate older lady was smiling too... until Ben regurgitated the chocolate mass back out onto the plate.

I guess it's time for a Family Home Evening on manners or we'll never be invited to eat in public again.

 Thank You to the man of many names- Jason, Mr. Z, or Backroads Photography photographer- for having my back and always being so willing to capture the moment.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Its is now officially Spring in my book. I don't go by the calendar or what the wacky weather is doing, I consider it spring when I see these...

There they were today in a neighborhood I ran through; not many, but enough to make a decent bunch of spring cheer.
They made me think of one of my favorite poems, that at one point in my life, I had completely memorized. Since my feet felt like blocks of cement and my breathing was akin to the day that I tried to watch the end of Nicolas Spark's, "Nights in Rodanthe," while running on the treadmill (sobbing and running don't mix well), I tried to recite it in my head as a means of distraction. But as Wordsworth's words tumbled through my mind in incomplete phrases, I could only come up with the last stanza-
For oft when upon my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood;
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

And so I trudged on.
How could I not, with  sprightly heads that bobbed ever so slightly in the breeze, cheering me on in their own jocund way?
I had to;
 its finally Spring!

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine,
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed - and gazed - but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Making it Me

Last week Richard came home from work and found me in my usual spot around dinner time- the kitchen. He said hello to the kids and then came to me for his welcome home hug. As I went to move away, he moved in closer and I realized he was trying to stick his hand in the back pocket of my jeans. I wondered if that perhaps Richard, was having some kind of Kitchen Moment of his own. 

My back pockets were a no go since they button shut, so he sighed, pulled away, and walked out of the room. Figuring he was just frustrated with a failed attempt at trying to get frisky, I went back to making dinner.  It wasn't until later that night I found out that some cash had been sneakily slipped into my front pocket and that apparently, my husband is good at the art of distraction . When I asked him about his sly deposit he told me it was my "bonus for being a good wife and mother".  Figuring it is also rude to tell someone that they are delusional, I didn't argue and accepted my bonus.

But what to spend it on?

It is not often that I have a sum of money to spend solely as I wish, so I knew I had to choose wisely. There was one thing in particular that I knew I wanted as much as I needed it, so I made a trip to the appointed store to buy me one of these...
...since mine is the one I have had since I was 8 and now looks like this...
...but they were all sold out. 
Richard had bought me a new little compact set before we moved to Canada, but within the first month of living there they were stolen out of our van.

I hope the thief read them and was called unto repentance.

That or at least, I hope they felt badly they had stolen someone's scriptures! So I am still waiting for and patiently anticipating brand new, unmarked scriptures to read and mark up all the verses in that pertain to my life now, and of course, all of my old favorites to make them mine. Until then I guess I better find the duct tape.

Also, do you remember my friend Julie's purse, the one I loved, but it wasn't me? Well, while I was out and in the shopping mood, bravery struck and with the encouragement of some of my friends through Facebook, I purchased this-
Doesn't it look pretty hanging on my banister? Yeah, I think so too.

I did it! I bought the bag that wasn't me; not in black, not in brown, but in RED!
And I love it.
And just so you know, it has seen the light of day. It doesn't just hang on my banister and I haven't stuffed it in the back of an unused closet never to be seen again, in fact, I have taken it to the store on a number of occasions.

And I even received some compliments.

So maybe it was me after all.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I'm a Winner After all.

Do you remember the contest where I begged all of you to submit a comment saying that I sent you? You remember....the one that I bugged you about through my blog, e-mail, and Facebook for a week? The one where I was trying to win this-
"Farm Morning" from Backroads Photography
(Check out the website to see it and other amazing prints. You'll be glad you did.)

Yeah, that's the one!

Well, I lost.

Sort of.

Because this afternoon I was doorbell ditched. This was a different type of doorbell ditching because when I opened the door I found this package laying on the porch.

Inside of it was the very print I had been trying to win; a wonderful surprise delivered by a mysterious friend.

So I am a winner afterall; not because I now own the print I coveted, but because of the thoughtfulness and generosity of a friend.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Feelin' Lucky.

At first I thought it was a Leprechaun....

...Then I just realized it was my silly Mr. Ben with not a stitch of green to be found.
Not very lucky considering today is St. Patrick's Day.
Unlucky, unless you are me.
Because if you are me, you get to pinch that little mistaken Leprechaun all the day long.
And with that too long tousled hair, toothless grin, and just a hint of snow white legs sticking out between turquoise soccer shorts and one of a kind firefighter boots, who could resist?

I'm the luckiest girl in the world.

(This is was his outfit of choice which was decided upon while I was at the school collecting Box Tops, so I will not be held responsible. I like to think I have better fashion sense than that of a 5 yr old boy. Most days anyways.)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Arrow of Light

Upon entering the 'tween years there is another rite of passage that occurs in a young scout's life before advancing from Cub Scouts into Boy Scouts, that is earning the Arrow of Light.

 Ashton received his Arrow of Light along with his friend Jared, at our Blue & Gold Banquet held at the end of last month.

No more goofy award cheers or building derby cars that may or may not win.
Nope. No more of that silliness.

He is now on to serious court of honors, camp outs, and eventually, Scout Camp; long with a multitude of other activities that no doubt will put gray in my hair and etch worry lines in my face. I wonder if I'm really ready for all this more grown up stuff.

Thank heaven we have a year of being a Tenderfoot to practice. 

And I am glad to see he's not ready to grow up quite yet either.

More B&G pictures clockwise from the top left- 1.  My BSA birthday cake creation. 2. Dallin & Richard enjoying dinner. 
3. Receiving my 3 year service award. 4. Ashton pining on my Arrow of Light mother's pin.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Why Is That?

On Saturday, I went to lunch for a girlfriend's birthday. While taking care of our lunch bills, I noticed my friend Julie's purse. It was big, dark purple, shiny, with a big round ruffled flower on the front.

And I LOVED it.

I commented on how much I liked it and she told me I should get one.

I inwardly laughed.

My problem with purses is that for most designer or even designer looking purses, you have to shell out a fortune...So by the time you pay for something to carry your money around in, you no longer have any more money to put in it. And Julie's purse looked expensive.

Julie is one of those friends you can ask how much things cost without being nosy or offending her, so I did. And I was surprised. I would pay that for a purse, especially one like hers.

But there was still the matter of the color and size. I have always been a small purse kind of gal, the smaller the better. In fact, in high school I was famous for my small purses. And Julie's was big...It wasn't really me, yet I still loved it.

As for the color, dark purple? It's not really me either. I'm more a conservative black or brown person, yet I loved Julie's purple one.

I told my friends if I brought home a purse like that Richard would wonder if I had gone crazy, because it's just not me.
Why is that?
If I love it, isn't it me?

I read about this book in the paper one day.

It intrigued me.

So I went to the was checked until the umpteenth of forever, so I put my name on the waiting list. I waited for 3 weeks. Then on Tuesday, I received an email informing me that it was finally my turn to get my little fingers and eyes on the long awaited novel. I couldn't wait, so I picked it up Tuesday evening and started reading. I finished it on Friday.
I was engrossed.
I was enthralled.
I read it every chance I could possibly get.
I told Richard that there was nothing that could compare with reading a good book and getting lost in its pages.
The author used words like avuncular, elegiac, and assiduous; and for someone who as a young girl read the dictionary looking for new words to expand my vocabulary (Yes, I'm a nerd & you still love me.), I was in heaven. That was until the author felt the need to add a scene or two of some very unnecessary content- not a lot, but enough to taint the rest of the book for me.

I was disappointed & discouraged.

I had been enjoying the book with its interesting plot and unsuspecting turns and even though the ending did fall a little flat for me, I can't or rather, I won't recommend it...Simply because the author ruined a fascinating tale when she made the decision to make the addition of needless content.

Why is that???

I don't really expect an answer to my quandaries. I'm just tossing them out into the void, thinking out loud, and perhaps, venting a little.

Thanks for listening.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Small Stuff

My husband is not a morning person. And since he is the other half that donated genetic material to our offspring, it is no wonder that half of our children are the same way. This equation makes the 9:00am church schedule virtually impossible to be on time to.

We try. We really do. It is even one of our family goals for the year with great rewards promised at the end...but we are failing.


Like today.
8:00- I am ready. I make the rounds softly speaking to all sleepy heads that it is time to get up and get ready for church and for Ashton: he needs to shower and now is the time to do it.
8:15- All church clothes are laid out, but there are no bodies awaiting them to clothe, so I make the rounds again, speaking loudly now, and gently shaking blanketed bodies. Frustration is setting in.
8:30- I have Emma ready and start getting her breakfast. Dallin is almost ready. There is no movement from the other bodies. I start speaking very loudly now, giving time frames, and urging them to get a move on.
8:45- Church bags are in the van. Dallin and Emma are ready to go.
8:46- I am yelling now and my frustration is increasing.
8:50- Ashton passes me in the hall on my way to dump Ben out of bed, he tells me he is heading for the shower. I tell him, "I won't be here when you get out because I got up and got ready on time and I am not going to be late."
8:51- I start to dress a 5 1/2 year old rag doll Benjamin amidst his protests and whines making me increasingly more & more frustrated.
9:01- We are late. And now I'm mad.
9:15- We arrive at church, sit in the foyer, and listen as we miss the last of the passing of the sacrament.

When we finally file in to take our seats in the overflow, I am hardly in the mood or have the spirit being in church requires. My foul mood is only increased by Ben's complaints that he is hungry. I probably not so nicely told him if he would get up when he was told to he could have had breakfast. But being the good mother I am, suspecting that this might happen, I pulled out the pretzels and Reese's Puffs in baggies I had packed. Realizing that this was the only food available he had a meltdown and proceeded to scold me for not bringing any bread for him. Perhaps, I'm not as good of a mother that I thought I was; I can't even get church treats right.

In the middle of his berating speech, Emma & Ashton spotted the Reese's Puffs, only Emma didn't want to share with Ashton. Trying to shut out Ben's incessant and scolding whine, I calmly tried to tell her that she needed to share them with Ashton. She didn't like this sharing idea, so in true 2 year old fashion, she swung her arm in a wide sweeping motion sending the cereal flying in a 4 foot semi-circle across the shiny gym floor starting at the base of my chair.

I had had it.

Richard looked at me and I looked back at him. I would pay money to be able to see the expression that was on my face.

Embarrassment, anger, defeat, frustration, or caution: volcano ready to explode. Whatever it was, Richard quickly took Emma away from me and out into the hall for a time out. One down.

But there was still Benjamin and that whine.

I wondered why I even came to church.

I tried to explain that the pretzels were all I had now and that I had come to church to listen to the speakers, not to hear him whine, so to please, for the love of Pete, STOP.

But the whine continued.

It continued through most of Sister Randle's testimony and then became spotty through Sister Giles. It was spotty enough that I heard Sister Giles testify that she knew that "Families are Forever".

Forever felt really long this morning. And frankly, not that tempting.
An eternity of whine about Wonder Bread?
No thanks. I think I will pass.

But then Brother Stephenson got up to the podium and I found my reason for being in church today. He talked about being overwhelmed with all the little things of life and finding perspective in the scriptures. He said that they helped him realize the big things that seem to matter so much now are really small in the scheme of things.

Kind of like this morning.

One really bad morning in the middle of so many other good things that my family provides for me is not worth wishing it all away. I was struck with the saying, "I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it."
So I've decided maybe forever sounding like a long time really is a good thing.

Just as long as there is no whine involved...

... and Reese's Puffs are still welcome.

Monday, March 1, 2010

#11 is Heaven...

...Especially when you are spoiled like Ashton!

And you choose steak & broiled shrimp for your birthday dinner followed by a Pepperidge Farms chocolate cake, receive a new air soft gun and a new game to play on your DS, and of course, some clothes which an 11 year old boy is very excited about- let me tell you.  (I'm sure he would be very excited about them if he were faced with the possibility of going to school naked!)

And then a week later, you have your friends over for a late
night where you receive MORE presents, eat Cookies & Cream pie, and have a fantastic time bowling at the BYU Rec. Center. Then to end it all, you come home to play Runescape and run around sounding like lunatics with a volume that would wake the dead (or at least neighbors that are trying to sleep) playing night games outside.
In a word-

Happy Birthday Ashton!!!
We love every spoiled inch of you!

Oh, and speaking of bowling...This is what I had in my head the whole time we were knocking those pins down. I thought you might enjoy it.