Friday, July 31, 2009

I wish...

This is Miss Easton.
Miss Easton likes to go on rides that drop her two hundred feet, accelerate at ridiculous speeds, and flip her upside down and all around.
Miss Easton likes to sit in the backseat of rides because, "They go the fastest and the highest." And she says, "Big butterflies in my stomach is a good feeling."
Miss Easton is very brave.

This is me.

I do not like thrill rides.
For me being on a thrill ride is much like being in labor...
just breathe through the pain and pray for it to end.
I am not as brave as Miss Easton.

...but I wish I could be.

How brave are you?

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Too close for comfort...

"I don't want to scare you," Rick woke me in the middle of the night to say, "but Cora and Jamie are not in their bed."

"I'm sure they just snuck downstairs to play Wii with the older kids and fell asleep." I said, trying to convince myself as well.

Fortunately for me, I was stopped before making it downstairs where I would have discovered that the girls were not there, leading to my early demise from a heart attack and robbing me of the chance to turn forty, (I so want the chance to be forty) when Rick suddenly announced, "Wait, they're sleeping under the bed."

Sleeping UNDER the bed.
On purpose.

Crazy girls.

Though I would never, EVER want to sleep under a bed (in fact fits of claustrophobia kept waking me the rest of the night as I thought of sleeping with a bed inches above my face. Yuck.) I will admit that there is nothing quite as magical as spending summer nights with cousins.
Cousin love...
Is there anything better?

Monday, July 27, 2009


It's my birthday,
It's my birthday...

Oh wait, no it's not. It's Paige's birthday!

See, here she is with her birthday breakfast

And her new camera (I plan to steal this while she's at school).
Yep, it's her birthday alright.
So why'd I think it was my birthday today?
#1 because of all of the blog love I received from my last post. Thanks for all of your encouraging words. You've made me feel much better about spilling my guts to the world.
#2 Miss Easton found my long lost timer today.

I LOVE this timer. Love it, love it , love it! Why? Well I think Mary Poppins said it best when she told the little Banks children that, "Well begun is half done."

Since I've decided to go ahead and tell all on this blog (well, not really ALL. That might get me into trouble) I will admit that I am a terrible self starter. Terrible! Which is why I so very much LOVE this timer. I use it for what I call the five minute rotation. With this timer I pick a room to clean my little heart out in for five minutes then move on to the next room to do the same, repeating the process until the house is nice and spiffy.

It's just a trick to get me kick started really because most of the time I get caught up in the task at hand, forgetting about the timer altogether. Cleaning has been no fun without it, which is why I now sing, "It's my birthday, it's my birthday..."

I know, I know...

I'm not really trying to steal Paige's thunder.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAIGE! You are the most fabulous fourteen year old on the planet and I LOVE YOU!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Playing the fool...

It was my friend Holly who got me started on blogging, and my sister’s sweet email, telling me that she checked my blog everyday, that got me to post often (I love my sis and like to make her happy).

I have loved documenting the thoughts, ideas, feelings and goals of this time in my life and I know that keeping a record of our family fun times will be priceless to me someday, BUT…

I’m struggling right now (as I do periodically) wondering if I am a complete fool for publicly posting my life (especially my thoughts and feelings) this way. I think I’m feeling particularly unsure right now because I taught RS at church today as I do every month, and that combined with this here blogging gig is making me feel somewhat self conscious about spilling my soul the way I do.

So please tell me.

Am I a fool? Am I spilling too much of myself onto these pages?
Should I bid blogging a fond farewell?

OR… maybe it’s the fact that I AM a soul spilling fool that keeps you coming back for more. Perhaps my complete dorkiness makes you feel good about your undorkiness…

If this is the case… you’re welcome. And I’ll be back tomorrow.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

These socks say "good day" all over them...

It was a socks so dirty they stick to your feet, triple band-aid kind of day and we loved it.
We went to Rick's hometown of St Johns again today and enjoyed a parade, good food, great company of family and old friends, and carefree fun for all.
The kids played hard and (except for the moment when Waylon fell into a large hole, scraping himself up good) had a wonderful time.
In fact we had such a good time that I keep dozing off while trying to finish this post...
...Night all, hope you had a great day too.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I found a cute new (well new to me) blog with a fun new (again to me) mr linky party.

It's over at "Mama's Losin' It" and it's a Writer's Workshop linky party. To join you simply choose one of her writing prompts, post, link, leave comments for others... happy day.
The prompt I chose is: "What makes you Giddy"

Well it so happens that I just finished composing a letter to some dear ones who make me quite giddy indeed so read on and you will see the giddiness of ME.
Dear valley of the sun,

I love you. Thank you for welcoming me into your warm, well more like frying hot, arms every time I come for a visit. Each time I see you I feel alive. Your various buildings, signs and people (oh the people watching, now that’s entertainment) are as beautiful to me as the mountainous landscape I now call home.

And thank you for having stores, real stores, many stores. And to you stores, thank you for having sales, making it possible for me to partake of your bounty. Especially you dear Ross, thank you for having cute jeans for my kids for only three dollars. THREE DOLLARS! I love you.

And to said kids, thank you for being so good on our trip you are the best kids in the world and I love you, but keeping you clothed costs a small fortune, of which we no longer have. So please be gentle with your clothing this school year and try not to grow too much, there’s no telling if we’ll be able to buy you anything next year.

To Marlee and Paige, my right hand girls, thank you for all of your help especially at the swimming pool. I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for not being selfish or spoiled and for appreciating the value of a dollar, but don’t feel bad about the money we spent on you. We saved it up for this purpose, and you girls have earned it. A million times over, you have EARNED every bit of it.

And thank you for the money you spent on me Miss Marlee. You really didn’t have to buy me a birthday present even though it is my “Big Birthday” this year.

And even though you knew that I really, really wanted this you didn’t have to buy it for me and you certainly didn’t have to give it to me early so that I could dive into it right away, but I’m glad you did so thank you.

Dear life, you’re so good and you make me happy. Thank you for all that you offer. I love you.


What's in the bag? You ask. Tune in later and I'll tell you.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sugar, spice, and a side of snails...

"Why are you dressed like that?" I asked. And I wasn't referring to the fact that they looked like hoochie mamas. What I was really trying to get to the bottom of is why my SON was dressed like a GIRL.

"I'm teaching Waylon how to be a girl." Jamie explained. "Can we have some lipstick or nail polish to put in our purses?"

"No. Absolutely no makeup." I had to drawn the line somewhere.

"Okay." They said as Waylon sneakily grabbed something off of my vanity and headed for the door.

"You'd better not be sneaking makeup." I warned him.

"Sorry." He said with a sheepish grin, putting the stolen nail polish back where he had found it.

"Thank you for telling the truth honey. I'm very proud of you." I told him.

With pride of his own beaming forth he raced after Jamie and asked, "Hey Jamie, do girls do that? Do girls tell the truth?"

"Yes Waylon girls sometimes always tell the truth." She informed him. Then continuing her tutorship she explained to him that girls love to talk, "So we need to sit down on the couch and have a talk." she said.

"So," Waylon began, "have you ever seen a dead dog?"

"No Waylon." Jamie snapped in disgust, "Girls do not talk like that."


"And girls always sit with their legs crossed like this." Jamie modeled daintily.

Waylon sat copying her for a moment before announcing, "Yeah, but this squishes my penis a little."

Then after a picture and a request by Jamie to put it on my blog, "Girls always put things on their blogs." She explained. The two of them ran off to change for the "how to be a boy" portion of the evening.

I didn't catch as much of this conversation but I did learn, along with Jamie, that boys like to sit like this, that they always drink their sodas with no lid or straw, and when Jamie laughed too enthusiastically at one of his jokes Waylon informed her that, "No Jamie, boys do not laugh as much as girls do."

It wasn't until I learned from one of my older kids that Waylon was upstairs smashing one of my baskets because, "Boys like to break things" that I put a stop to their education and sent them to get ready for bed.

I'm constantly shaking my head with these two, but they do keep me laughing.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Like sands in the hourglass...

"Your thyroid is low." The doctor said casually.
"What does that mean?" I asked.
"Yadda, yadda, yadda...You have to take medicine everyday for the REST OF YOUR LIFE."
"Oh, okay." At first I complied, but being twenty-one I was at the tale end of the "invincible" stage of life and on top of that I had always been leery of taking pills so after only about a months time I decided, "Thyroid, schmyroid" and forgot the whole nonsense.
That is until five years later when my brain started to turn to mush, and feeling much like the walking dead, I went to my new doctor and said, "So doc, I was told a while back that I have a low thyroid. Could you please check that for me?" And I've taken my drugs faithfully everyday, ever since.
Well everyday except for the days, sometimes up to a week, that I forget to get my prescription filled each month. That's what's going on with me right now. I'm out of loot people. I have been for about a week and I'm really starting to feel it. So I must ask...
#1- Why do the months tick by so fast? I'm out of meds every time I turn around. Seriously what's going on? At this rate I will be ninety years old before I know it. Ninety.
#2- Why can't I order more pills BEFORE I run out? Or, because this simple task seems to be quite impossible for me, when I do run out why can't I get to the pharmacy before a weeks time has past? What is wrong with this brain of mine?
Oh yeah, I have a low thyroid.
That must be it.
I feel much better now.
No I don't, I need a hit of synthroid, stat.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming...

Perhaps the clearing of the closet helped to clear my mind. Maybe that's why I began to wax philosophical over the lyrics of each pop song that blared out of our intercom system. Poor Pink, I really hope she can get sober. She needs to learn that there's a Higher Power who loves her so much. I wish I could give her a big ole hug. And yes I am lucky to be in love with my best friend. So, so lucky. Then came the most profound song of them all. The one that made me stand up and cheer, "YES that's it!" The perfect theme song for my fabulous by forty.
What was it? You ask.
I don't want to say.
It's a song that I have only tolerated in the past for my kid's sake. A song that I always tuned out, praying for it to end, never listening to the words. But trapped in the trenches of my little girl's closet, wanting to tune out the mess that I had to tackle more than the song, I listened. I listened and I liked.
So really WHAT WAS IT? You ask again.
It was Miley Cyrus okay. Stinkin' Hannah Montana herself singing "The Climb". And it was good too.
I especially love the message in the chorus:
There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to loose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb
This is it people. This is exactly how I feel about my life, my goals, my fabulous by forty...everything. There IS always another mountain to move and the exciting part comes from trying to move it. That's where the joy lies. The truth is none of us will perfect everything about ourselves in this lifetime, but how fun is it that we get to try.
An example of this can be found in my goal to memorize a piano piece before my birthday. I know that the memorization part of that goal will most likely not come to pass (memorizing is much harder now that I'm old) but by making this goal it has pushed me to practice the piano everyday, something I haven't done in years. I'm playing the piano again which means I already win. How awesome is that.
And even though I'm not going to be bikini ready come August 11, I am working out everyday becoming stronger, healthier and ready for a brighter future. So I win again.
Because just as Miley says:
It ain't about how fast I get there...

It's the climb
(Man I'm purty. Why do I sacrifice myself as blog fodder? Why? And yes I do workout in my jammies. I also paint in my jammies, do large projects in my jammies, decorate, move furniture and any other task that requires me to jump up and do because if I don't I simply won't do. And how do you like my Shamrock milk crate exercise box? Whatever works, that's my motto. Don't over think, don't over plan, just make it work.)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mission accomplished...

Our trip to retrieve Paige's birthday present was a success. Especially because we were able to retrieve a few other things while we were there like these shoes. They were on super clearance which is a must for me. I get no joy from paying full price for something, but point me to a super sale and the endorphins go wild. And because I "needed" a pair of plain black pumps (Rick found that very hard to believe) these were perfect. Looking at this picture I see that another thing I need is a tan. And the sad thing is that it would have only taken me a quick minute to get one if I had used one of my favorite products, which I will take this opportunity to share with you.

Introducing Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs. L-O-V-E it. This is my Sunday morning best friend. No more pasty white legs sticking out of my dresses. Did I say I love it? My mom and I happened upon this product a few years ago at a yard sale. I never asked her how she felt about hers, but I fell in love with it right away.
I love it because it's instant and only semi-permanent meaning that it washes off with soap and water (or the next time you shave your legs). I also love that it's very easy to distribute evenly. I just spray a few stripes of it around my legs then rub it in until I get the perfect coverage. If it gets too dark say around the ankle or knee area I just rub it in and problem fixed. Just be sure to wash your hands when you're done because they get crazy dark and messy from the process.
I like to wear a very subtle amount just to tone down the blinding affects of my natural legs, but you can also put it on pretty dark if you want to. It's fabulous, fabulous I tell you. Up here on the mountain I've only been able to find it at Walgreen's, but I'm sure you valley folks and other city dwellers will have a few other choices. Go get some today and tell me if you L-O-V-E it too.
P.S. I get the dark kind or "Deep Glow" even though I'm fair because I think it works the best. And DON'T try to spray it on in true airbrush fashion. It works much better if you spray a few stripes (front, side, back) then rub it in.
In celebration of his birthday, which is today, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY LOVE (no it's not snowing here in July but the only other recent pictures of him have me in them and I don't want to be in the picture) while in the city Rick and I also went out to dinner. We had a wonderful time together but I must say that I much prefer little "Mom and Pop" eating establishments over the large chains. I can taste the love in the food at the small places I really can. I mean, you never see the large chains featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives and other such shows now do you. And it's not just because they happen not to be Diners, Drive-ins or Dives, it's because there's no LOVE baby and I need the love I just do. But the food was edible and I got plenty of love from my dinner date so all was well.
In the end we returned to a houseful of happy children, eager to dive into the new goodies we brought home from Sam's Club (I swear they kept Paige's present on purpose so we'd come back to spend more money).
I love the city
I love my family
And I L-O-V-E that birthday boy of mine.
Man with all of this love oozing out of me, I think I should go cook something.
Which reminds me, I haven't even begun to think of the perfect birthday dinner yet. OOPS.
Any ideas?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Modern pioneers...

(Waylon refused to get in the picture)
Ahh, camping. What could be better? Well I’ll tell you what. How ‘bout camping in your own backyard so you can sneak out round midnight to the comforts of your very own bed. Now that’s bliss baby.

Our backyard camping trip did start out quite lovely with all of us (minus Landon who was out with friends doing what 18 year olds do) cozied up together in the tent. We told very scary stories then very funny stories (to repair the damage caused by the scary ones). We laughed, squealed, screamed… it was pure family fun. But when the dogs, neighborhood farm animals, and creatures of the night would not be quiet and my almost forty year old back started complaining that sleeping on the ground is for crazy people, I left my snoozing family and made a break for the house.

No I’m not a party pooper. I stayed for the party. It was only the pointless torture part of the festivities that I ditched out on. I dare say many of you would have done the very same thing (or at least have wanted to).


While cleaning up the next morning I had the strangest sensation that I still lived in the valley and that I could jump in my car and go shopping, to REAL stores. So I asked the sugar daddy if we could please, please, please spend the day in Flagstaff (not as many real stores as the valley but MUCH BETTER than here). He thought that was a great idea so we took the fam and made the hour and a half (well actually a little over an hour and a half but who’s counting) trek to partial civilization and had a wonderful time.

One of the highlights was going to Sam’s Club (all of you who take Sam’s Club and Costco for granted… Shame on you.) the variety, the bulk, the little tasting stations…now that’s living I tell you. We also found the perfect birthday present for Paige there, HOORAY. But the cashier forgot to put it in our cart, BOO. So Rick and I have to take another trip to go pick it up. Is that a Hooray or a Boo?

Well a Hooray of course, this is me we’re talking about. If there was no such thing as gasoline I’d take a trip to civilization, partial or not, EVERYDAY. Besides, the sugar daddy loves to buy me shoes (or any other gift, he just knows that I prefer shoes) when we’re alone together in the city. He says it’s “what he lives for”.
Pinch me, I’m married to the best guy in the world.

In church yesterday there was a musical number about how families are the greatest part of God’s plan, and after our lovely weekend together,
I couldn’t agree more.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thanks for the push...

I've been thinking about my Who wants to be like wolverine anyway post and hoping that I didn't offend anyone with my desire to strut bikini clad on my birthday. I want to make sure that y'all understand that my working out everyday honestly has nothing to do with wanting to be a hoochie mama, "look at me everybody" crazy lady. It's really about setting and achieving a goal.

I've never been that great at accomplishing goals (never got my young women medallion) and to prove that life doesn't end at forty (in a lot of ways it's just beginning) I figure now is as good a time as any to push myself for success. I want to work on my body because it's difficult and so important. It's showing me that I can push beyond my comfort zone to become the best me possible (I'm working to become the best me possible in other areas too).

I want to thank Jessica for telling me that I already look good. Blogging friends are the nicest people. I know that I'm already at a healthy weight and as not to scare anyone into thinking that I want to be "skinny" (that word still makes me cringe) I will share a story with you.

Once upon a time there lived a very SKINNY young girl...

Just look at those legs, those arms, THAT HAIR (oh wait, the hair has nothing to do with the story) she looks like she's from a third world country the poor dear.
This girl hated being skinny and would try to stuff herself each time the scale read under 100 pounds. It never worked. The weight gain shakes never worked either (yes we had a large can of weight gain powder at our house and my sibs and I would drink it regularly). She hated her body and was quite pleased when finally, as she got older, she was able to hold on to an extra ten to twenty pounds. It was a happy day when people started referring to her as "nice and thin" instead of "SKINNY" (said in a shrill, "oh my gosh you look like you're about to die" tone).

Because of this, "skinny" is not my goal. I never want to be "skinny" again. What I do want is to be toned and shapely, healthy and strong.
Much like this body here...

I look at this magazine cover for motivation. I want these shapely arms, flat stomach and toned thighs (the boobs would be nice too, but I'd have to buy those). This is my goal. I probably won't reach it until my forty first birthday but that's okay. The fact that I'm trying is good enough for me.

And I blog about it for accountability. Heaven knows I need accountability because I want to QUIT everyday. I HATE working out. But because I've announced to the whole world (or at least to the five people that read this thing) that I'm going to do it, I have to do it. The same can be said for cleaning out my closets. I could easily skip that horrible task and pretend that I had never said I would do it at all if I hadn't publicly said I would do it. Now I'm stuck dang it, and I only have a month to get it done (guess what I'll be doing August tenth).

So there you have it. Me in a nutshell (well not really, there's so much more to me that I won't share because then you'd think that I belong in a nutshell).

Thanks for being such good friends even to a nut like me.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wonder Woman Westie...

She locks the doors and tugs on each window.
She feels secure as she goes to bed.
Peering eyes from an opened field,
See the vulnerability of her fortress.
In silence he enters.
Creeping past her naive slumber,
He feasts on her spoils.
She is awakened.
Her movement stills his.
He hides in the shadows.
She unknowingly enters,
A step away from where he waits.
He, now intruded upon, shows himself.
She screams.
He flees.
She tiptoes through her shattered sanctuary.
Walls of brick and mortar seem as thin as paper.
She sleeps with the lights on.

I hate rodents. Hate them with all of my soul. Two years ago a little family of mice decided to colonize behind my dresser. Their endless scratch, scratch, scratching was enough to nearly send me screaming to an asylum. And when one of them decided to dart across my foot during a late night bathroom run, THAT WAS IT! I took out the whole lot of them. First with traps (there's an interesting story with that, but I'll spare you the details) then with poison.
Thankfully I have not seen any since. And now that I have my trusty little Westie here I may never see them again.

Because one of the fine qualities of Westie dogs is that they are designed for rodent control. That's right rodent control. Can you think of a better quality? I can't. And let me tell you, this little girl does her job well. She just recently took out a ginormous gopher, prairie dog type animal. Not really sure what it was, but it was large and our dainty Miss Lily took it down.

And having a child (backed up by cousin support) who is willing to dispose of Lily's latest kill, makes it all the better (I didn't want to see the beast. Dead rodents scare me almost as much as live ones. There's a story there too, but I'll spare you again).

I guess one of the perks of living in the country is that you can chuck undesirables over the fence without disturbing the neighbors. And when a little neighbor boy did happen by, he wasn't disturbed by his "lucky" dead rodent find at all. In fact he was quite delighted to kick it around, poke it with a stick and smash it with a rock, causing my sweet little girls to squeal in horror.
It was good times for all.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Who wants to be like Wolverine anyway...

My daily self torture ritual has increased to an hour now (not including the crunches I do before bed). I literally torture myself for an hour a day. Why? Do I really need a hawt, healthy body? My husband already thinks I'm hawt (always has) and who else cares? Does anyone else in the whole wide world care if I have a killer awesome body? And as far as being healthy goes, well, there are a lot of stout, happy old people running around. I know, I've seen them. So why do it? Why work out?
It's simply because, when I fantasize about it, nothing says fabulously forty more than being able to prance around bikini clad at my birthday party. Am I going to prance around bikini clad at my birthday party? Um that would be a big... NO WAY! But knowing that I could without embarrassment if I wanted to is enough to keep me going (I've actually threatened myself with posting a picture of my bikini clad body on this blog come birthday time, but I'd never really do that either).
So I guess what it comes down to is vanity. My vanity drives me to enter my family room torture chamber every morning in hopes of being able to wow myself (because no one else will see) with my new and improved birthday suit on birthday day. That's all. Let's hope it works.
In the meantime I think I need to turn my vain eye toward my children for awhile. After all, can one really be considered fabulous when her child is walking about the neighborhood looking like this...

YES she did go to her friend's house dressed like this and YES she IS wearing one penny loafer and one Mary Jane. It was a proud moment I tell you. A proud, proud moment.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

And it ended with GOOD cinnamon rolls...

BBQs, rodeos, an amazing fireworks show, I LOVE BEING AN AMERICAN. We had such a great Independence Day weekend, and though I'm not really a "country girl" I have to admit that I really like rodeos. I went to my first one while living in Idaho and loved it, of course I LOVED cowboys back then too.

(sorry my scanner is broken)

No we weren't "dating" but we did go on some dates. He lived in apartment 11 (yes I remember the number) with a group of his other HOT cowboy friends. My roommates and I were quite obsessed with them, yes we were. And he ended up liking me a lot too, but sadly I had to break his heart because I had my eye set on a certain Mr. Rick back home, not a cowboy but EVERYTHING else.

I also love rodeos because my dad, a cowboy of sorts, was a bull rider for a time during his single years. When the bull riders come out I love telling my kids, "Your grandpa used to do that." Their grandpa lives in our stories now and you've got to admit, that's a pretty cool story. Cool enough to make me think I should add bull riding to my fabulous by forty list, but then I thought maybe that might be a little extreme. I mean I still haven't even cleaned out my closets yet, who has time for bull riding?

And though I don't generally like country music, I have to say that I love the patriotism of country music. Listening to patriotic country music while watching fireworks brought tears to my eyes. I love my country and pray that we are not the last generation to know TRUE freedom.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hello happy happiness...

Faster than a speeding bullet... It's a bird, it's a plane, No...

It's my mother-in-law's wedding.
After a very BRIEF courtship, these two little lovebirds just couldn't stand to be apart. So off to the temple they ran, becoming man and wife.
Their wedding was on Thursday and so far they seem very happy together,
so we're happy too.