Monday, December 22, 2008

Japan 101- the slideshow

Thanks to my sweet hubby who put this all together- it is the pics from Japan- and we took a LOT, so just know it is long. We were also experimenting a little with our camera, and to be honest the colors and sights of Japan surprised me.

I hope you enjoy it!
I also hope you are enjoying the snow, the music, and the countdown to Christmas as much as I am!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Surprises in Japan

I know that nobody wants an entire recap of my recent vacation, so I have whittled my 300 photos down to just a few of the best for you to enjoy or hate. After that I may need to blog about Christmas, because I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED!!!!!!
Yes. This is a public toilet. I dreaded these squatters so badly.....I have no idea how those little Japanese women in there high heels and tights and miniskirts even handle these things. If you were lucky, there was a bar to hang on to as you squatted....but that makes wiping...well, nevermind.
Funny thing, though, the regular toilets were DECKED out with heated seat, bidet squirters of nice warm water, and even musical flushing sounds so no one can hear you tinkle. I loved those toilets, man, Just loved them!

Mr. Sammy took this picture at a quiet park just across the street from the Olympic Arena. The colors were so great, I was amazed! We packed heavy coats, but really didn't need them. This was such a nice place, I wanted to share it. The parks are all so serene- a big contrast to the squished buildings and neon signs.
This is the Landmark Tower, the tallest building in Japan, where the hotel is located. Turns out my husband had been working around this area on his mission, but didn't know it because the area had changed so much in the past 20 years. The metal art was in the courtyard outside the mall, which linked to the hotel you see behind it. Yep-it is 70 stories high, and sitting in the window was enough to make you dizzy and your hands sweaty, but it was gorgeous.
Not an uncommon thing, my kid in a picture with complete strangers....but the kids were especially fascinated with his looks and hair. I love this picture because of the kids in uniform and all the peace signs. You better throw a peace sign if your in a photo in Japan!
This little barber shop behind me is very special....above it is the apartment my hubby lived in for 7 months while serving his mission in Hachioji. The town was amazing- with a great street of sidewalk sales and quaint shops (well, some not so quaint, as the vendors yell out strange things to try to get you to come shop)and we toured the small LDS meeting house and visited with missionaries who happened to be there, and met up with a local member who was a friend during the mission. I have never seen my hubby giddy over anything....but he was giddy this day. I also call this my "take a picture it will last longer" day, because I left my hair curly, and I was stared at, double takes, and watched all day. Weird. I felt like Angelina or something.
This was taken at a shrine that had a flame burning (in the metal wing) that has been linked to the flames of Hiroshima. Around it were strings of various origami, and a history board was posted nearby. It was kind of a somber feeling here, but my son was fascinated with the story and ended up really loving this site.

I realized I have barely made a dent in my favorite of favorite, oh well, more later to come..... I hope there is something here of interest or beauty.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What Vacation?

SO don't go around thinking I am so lucky and spoiled.....real life awaits us all and is ready to greet you whether you are ready or not.


This is little Masty G on the table at the clinic waiting for stitches......if you look close enough, you will see a few pink-ish areas on the right side of the gash in the middle of the wound. That would be his SKULL with a bloody film over it.....Let's just say he took a snowboard to the head (fluke of a story, total accident, just a plastic cheap snowboard, so GO FIGURE!)and it gashed open his forehead. Hubby gets queasy over this stuff and had to wait in the waiting room...I was sick and shaky, but come on, can you really show how nervous you are when your child's skull is visible? I think not.

Here he is after the 3 layers of stitches. It is still weeping a bit of blood. Ouchy.

Man. I think I need another vacation!
Thank heavens for Insurance and Health Savings Accounts. This little boy is proof that plans like this can save a family's budget!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Notes from my Vacay

Wow.... you know December is busy anyway, but add an over sea trip to the mix and I am really just a bit behind. I will be posting about this surprise vacay over the next few days.... enjoy!

This is my honey and Masty G enjoying their Bento Boxes for little guy was so cute working with the chopsticks (I sucked, and my hubby was embarrassed to ask for a fork and knife for me). I took this picture because they looked so happy and cute. I, on the other hand, was recovering from a small breakdown of sobbing and starving. Apparently in Japan you don't just eat find a proper bench or table to eat at respectfully. It took us a LONG time to find this little sitting area, and I was tired and hungry, and well, I am kind of like a toddler like that. Sorry honey...I promise I will do better next time.

At the Giant Buddah, in Kamakura, this was one of my favorite stops. The courtyard was empty so we had lots of time to roam and take pictures and sniff the giant pots of incense that were burning. Yummy. (seriously, I loved it). Surprisingly, my son said this was one of his favorite stops as well. You can go inside it, and it looks like the Statue of Liberty from inside (just smaller, but same material). The overall feeling of this shrine was just beauty and peace......I was so glad I got to see it.

At the mall, it was the 15 year anniversary and Christmas all rolled into one. I kind of got a kick out of the Christmas "I Love You" theme of the reminded me of Valentine's Day, but hey....who's going to say anything? Another thing I saw was "Happy Merry Christmas" which struck me as funny. (But more on the English signs later). This was on the last night, as we were heading out to dinner (the best Katsu and Tempura ever!) a bittersweet night. I was anxious to get home and see my 2 boys, but so sad to see my Japanese adventures end.

At the train station- please note the CROWD of people pushing their way onto the train. It was not unusual to see a few small school children running to and fro on and off the trains alone- that freaked me out. I was so worried for them. Then we stepped into the middle of this mess to ride a train to Tokyo, and I was worried for US! It was JAM PACKED, and I tend to get a bit anxious and claustraphobic, so this took some effort to remain calm, but it was so funny, being squished in this train, where not a person spoke or whispered (well, except for me, the LOUD AMERICAN). They were so polite they even wore a doctors mask if they were feeling under the weather- which looked weird and took some getting used to also, like being surrounded by a bunch of Asain Michael Jacksons or something. It was all a bit of an adventure- and I would never had made it from one place to the next without my hubby and his Japanese skills....
Well, enough for now. I am off to an Activity Days field trip. Be PATIENT as I try to catch up on blogs. I swear, I will be a nice bloggy friend once again very soon!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ko nee chi wa

Little blog, and all big blog friends.... guess what. I am sitting in a hotel in Yokohama and it is 4:30 on the morning here (about 12:30 in afternoon at home)and it is so cool!

I am overlooking the bay out of the window (67 stories high) and this hotel is connected to a mall with an amusement park under it, and it is bustling and happening. I am snapping photos like mad , of course, but oopsy- forgot my bridge cables to connect to the huuby's lap top. I will tell you all about it when I get home. For now thanks to sis for holding down the fort and babysitting (we brought the youngest son with us....I think we are wearing him out, though!) and I really should try to sleep more....I can't believe the strange state of jet lag that is taking over with this time difference!

But I can say this....Japan is amazing, bustling, well lit and twinkling, and everyone's movements are small and voices are pleasantly soft. I feel large and loud! Even my son is matching the height of little old ladies and adults and children alike are staring at his bleached tips and following him around in stores. be a strange foreigner! What a great feeling!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The day is really here.....

It happened. My phone beeped with a text...."Have U read the Ensign?" is an article on caffeine sodas and energy drinks, both of which I am currently consuming at an alarming rate.

I tell myself.."I will just read it, then ponder it for a few days (while finishing off my fridge packs of Diet Coke and Dr Pepper)". Then as I am reading it, I think....well, why not? Why just stop this insanity? What if....just WHAT IF my poor meager soul is missing something in the process of chugging down caffeinated beverages, and what if....just what if, this is part of my heart racing when I get angry and my shortness with my kids.....and my sluggishness in the morning? JUST WHAT IF?

So I have officially begun my souls decaffeinated experiment. Aren't we to "experiment on the word"? Can I do it for six months and just see if I feel better...maybe my spirit will be stronger or my kindness will be kinder or my heart will be softer.

That is not a bad thing. Can't I just follow the little feeling in my heart as I read could do this it and it could help you feel better......

can't I do that?

Monday, December 1, 2008

I did NOT.......

I am copying this post idea just because it is the best one I have seen in a while....and because..

I was not the crazy lady who jumped amazingly high to grab the free king size candy bar they were tossing out at the midnight showing of Twilight. I did not get so excited about Hershey's with almonds that I fell on the arm rest and my leg got squished in the cupholder as someone else did not land on top of me. It did not hurt like a mother and make me blink back tears and so it looked like I was weeping for Edward.

I most certainly did not burn my hand because I grabbed a candle that was burning for hours, to blow it out. I have been lighting/blowing out candles for like, 30 years or so, and I am sure I would never do that. I also would not swear and drop the hot wax when my thumb didn't sizzle against the glass.

I swear I didn't skip breakfast and then count down the minutes until McDonald's serves lunch to go get a Big Mac. I would not eat something so huge, gross, and unhealthy, and I really wouldn't eat it and think it tasted great and wolf it down in a matter of of minutes. And that would never make me skip down the aisles of the grocery store because my belly is happy and full.

I also did not spend $12.00 on two ornaments that I had to have. I would never get suckered in to walking down the Christmas aisle and actually falling for the most expensive ornaments on the shelf. Never. Even if they would look great on my tree I am sure I would save that money for canned corn and butter.

I also did not decide to just SIT after Thanksgiving dinner and let all the other valiant volunteers wash all the dishes. I know I would never feel relieved that someone else started cleaning up first and I would NEVER tell myself that too many people in the kitchen is chaotic.

And I also should make it clear that I did not just get stuck on the neighbors roof while trying to knock my son's ball out of the big tree in our back yard. I did not have a gathering of neighbor kids cheering me on, and then realizing when it was time to climb down that I was scared to death. I did not make such a spectacle of myself and would never do such a silly thing.

That goes for all of the above.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Tools of Vanity

I wanted to call this my Favorite Oprah, you know, but I was afraid that you might think I was giving things away. I'm not. We are on a budget. BUT if you want to know my favorite tools of my vain self, here they are. Enjoy.

This brush was bought on a whim, because I left my trusty wooden round brush of 8 years home on vacation. I needed something cheap and quick. I had no idea what a great brush I was getting. It has a cool squishy gel handle that is super easy to twirl and grip (even if it does snag a hair) but stays cool. The metal center gets HOT and now my hair dries in 5 minutes or less- as opposed to 10-15 with my old brush. I am in LOVE with this brush, and it was around 5 bucks. (Great stocking stuffer for yourself)

Now my silly secret. Avon's ANEW products ROCK my world. I have used one form or another of this stuff for over 10 years now, and my skin cries when I run out. I have tried others, thinking there MUST be something better out there, but even Clarins and Lancome , or Oil of Olay for bargain shoppers, doesn't do the trick. I break out like a teen.....this feels great, smells great, and goes on sale often enough to let me afford it. If your skin is thirsty, feed it this.

Again, I bought this because it was a deal (even had a coupon), and it is the BEST! My sister gave me a Lancome bag with their Defencils mascara in it (top selling mascara in the world), and I think this is so much better. I wish I could marry this, because a nice thick dark mascara is a necessity in my vain shallow world. Since daily application of false eyelashes is totally out, I need lushy mascara. This stuff does not disappoint.

These shirts have me running to Seagull Book to find the latest color. They are long enough to cover your not-so-high in the back jeans. The sleeve is not so short that people can see deodorant flakes and armpit stubble, or my less than perfect arms giggling around, and the neckline is perfect under dresses and jackets. They look great alone- especially with a chunky necklace (like the one I won from Jillene) or scarf. I have 4 of these, and want more. Is that okay?

Last, but not least.......

This is essential. Bags under eyes and fatigued induced crankiness are not becoming. Again, I have used Unisom, Advil PM, and even Excedrin PM. I hate getting in bed tired but feeling back aches or headaches and not being able to sleep. ONE tablet and you are resting in minutes, and by the time morning rolls around you are really feeling good. The best part is after I wake up and get going I feel completely normal (unlike Unisom, where I am groggy for hours.)

I hope you enjoy my favorite things of the year. I had a few more, but this is so long- I will save them for another day. In another lifetime (if I believed in those) I am sure I was a panel member for Allure or Marie Claire. Thanks to this blog, I can enjoy my own reviews NOW.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Even if you didn't miss me.....

......I surely missed my own musings about the random ordinarnary-ness that is MY LIFE. I even SEWED an apron (miracles never cease) during my holiday of thanks.

But guess what..... Santa visited me a little early, and so I now have a computer tower that actually works.
I *heart* Santa so much. He is such a nice guy, and usually a jolly fellow....and I tossed and turned with excitement all morning (yes, a Saturday morning on a holiday weekend) and finally got up at 7:00 a.m. to play with my new toy.

Thanks Santa!

And to the all the rest of you- of course my life has been fabulously normal, but still satisfying none the less. You will hear all about it soon! Please don't be sad if I can not catch up on your past posts. I will do the best I can.

If you have anything that you are sure would make me laugh, get jealous, or feel better about myself (this means you have are admitting stupidity), please feel free to include it in your comment. I have missed all of the above.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Power of the Osmond's

So here we are, me trying to sneak in a bit of blogging while the kids are getting ready for school. They are bickering.

"You are uglier"

"no, you are."

"Hey , I just looked at your face, and I know the monkey that wants his butt back."

They both laugh.......

I am not laughing. (Suddenly I realize the wisdom in my parents banning of the word 'butt').

Then the football stealing begins..... with the "give me that it's MINE!" and laughing as one runs from room to room. My pleas are ignored. SO are my threats of grounding, no playing, money minused off their chore charts.

What's a mom to do? What every parent does this time of year.....switch on the Christmas music. HOORAY it's the Osmond's singing "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas". Footballs are returned, jackets are pulled on, and voices begin singing. It's a Christmas Miracle.
I smile and remind them.... "Santa is watching you."

I love Christmas music. Too bad my hubby is such a SCROOGE he won't let me put up the tree until after Thanksgiving. *sniff sniff*
If you own the Osmond album you know exactly what I am talking about.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I hate to say I told you so


An e-mail from a relative today really got me thinking. He was venting about his financial struggles and the frustration he is feeling. He even sent a letter to the President saying, "Where is the help for the little guy?"

While I understand what it is to struggle, and I hate to see anyone suffer, I am so grateful for the goal me and my hubby-sammy made almost two years ago to BE WEIRD and start paying off our debts. The recent financial pain has not hurt us as bad, and we have been able to remain calm in crazy times, and hopefully we have taught our kids who to do so also.

We have sacrificed (hello cruise I missed!) but also been blessed (unexpected trips, anyone?) and I have not regretted ONE DAY of putting my extra money towards what matters...the future.

What is so great about having something now? The only things I need now are my family, my health, and my ability to believe. I hate to sound all sappy and preachy, but please....if you know are digging yourself deeper, just stop. I is easier than you think.

this picture was taken the day we gave back our Honda Pilot and quit making a car payment. Man, I love that extra cash flow each month!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I never woulda thunk it...

That a Whopper with Cheese (yes I have ordered that before) has 220 more calories and 18 more grams of fat than a Big Mac. Huh?
I also didn't know that Burger King has the worst mayo of any food chain, and that Chick Fil-A is the overall best place to grab a bite at in the mall. Orange Julius???? Never again! Plus I will never again sneak a bite of that Awesome Blossom at Chili's. No No!
I was Christmas shopping yesterday (I even wrapped a present... I am so excited.... I had on the Christmas music and was dancing around my house.....but don't tell anyone I am just like a big old elf in disguise) and passed this, and I had heard it was a cool book. After peeking at it I could not put it down. So I will be the lady in the mall/grocery aisle/parking lot who is crazily referring to her eating book before she orders.
Be patient with me. Plus, how can a guy who even kind of likes Diet Coke be bad? I am just saying, you guys........

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Door Busters

As you know, I am a coupon clipper, and Sunday night is my night to gently browse the ads in search of the next great sale item. Ummmm, FOUND IT! K-Mart (don't dis, ya'll, once in a while you can find something there!) a super cool MP3 (on Hammy's little Christmas list) with TOUCH SCREEN- SLASHED from $99 to $49.

This was the exclusive Black Friday prices BEFORE Black Friday. Yippee! I got some cash burning a hole in my pocket for Christmas, but being the GOOD LITTLE ANGEL that I am I decide to go on Monday. (This is a 3 day sale starting Sunday).

Monday I RUSH down there...... I am so on top of this, you know...and NOTHING. The shelf is empty. I ask if they have brought them out yet..... a woman who looked like she was struggling, and also avoiding eye contact, makes a phone call or two and tells me there are no more. She sold the last ones a bit ago....and NO RAIN CHECKS on exclusive sales items.

"How many did you have? Didn't this sale start yesterday?" SHe answers....."Well, I think on this we got TWELVE" (This she says like 12 is the best number ever and I am crazy for not getting there fast enough.)

Wait a sec...... TWELVE for an entire 3 day sale that was listed in the paper, the SUNDAY paper sent to thousands of Utah homes, and this being the only K-Mart in some 40 mile radius? Really ?

That means I had as many kids in my family than you have of MP3 players. I get the same amount of donuts as you stock for a big sale..... I see the same amount of roses as you buy to sell hundreds of customers....that just kind of sucks.

SOOOO this is my official K-MART IS STUPID post. I know, I know, you guys already knew that, but I guess my faith in the humanity of the retail world is just a bit naive. NO MORE! I doubt every ad I see from now on.

(ps, it took me like 20 minutes to write this. I miss my computer. Wahhhhhhhhhh!)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hey, girl....You just won!

Yes, I know I am a day late on this, but I am using my husbands mini-tough rhino lined laptop designed for outdoor jobs and it is not so easy......PLUS totally had the primary program today, complete with all the unessecary breakdowns that comes with, so just cut me a little slack\!

Anywho, I just wrote up all the names (quite a few of you had 3 entries, and I thank you for the shout outs) and put them in a big old bowl....and out I pulled..... BRITTANY. You won fair and square, well, maybe not so fair to those who entered 3 times, but it was the one that magically stuck to my fingertips. Please contact me thorugh my profile e-mail and send me your address and I will get this baby in the mail.
......and yes, you can totally tell people YOU made it if you want, unless, of course, ou are embarassed.....then just say you found it in the garbage. But you better not re-gift it to another blogger or we will ALL know where it came from.

For everyone else I just gotta say it may have not been fun for you, but it was fun for me.I will do it again soon.

BIG NEWS- we have two new kittens to replace the last batch that ran away and left us. My kids want to chain these to the ground, so they can't ever leave.....I am not really an animal person, but when your kids respond like mine do you just gotta suck it up and deal. It literally changes our I sacrifice. But I won't let them do the chain thing, because I am almost sure somebody on here would call ths A S P C A on me, and that doesn't sound very fun (exciting, but not fun).

Sorry to say you may not see much of you....I miss my blogging friends. More later.......

Friday, November 7, 2008

My Computer Hates me!

I went without a while computer sort of went into a coma, and now it has died again. It has out right died. It will not start up (same ting as last time) although the blue screen of death has not hit yet..... I believe it is time for a whole new hard drive and just see if I can get by for a bit longer....

I so don't want to spend my money on another stupid computer ! Aren't these things supposed to last more than a few years, or I am so naive ? Ugh Ugh Ugh. So easy, even a caveman could be frustrated....

ANYWHOOOOO I am posting from my hubby's laptop, so my fabulous drawing and all future post are completely relying on HIM. Wish me luck.

In the meantime, remember this little bit of advice. Diet Coke and chocolate make a great dinner, too. The chocolate cake is bye bye now.

Soooooo Saaaaadd! booo hooo.

I can not say it better

....than a prophet.

As a prophet reveals the truth it divides the people. The honest in heart heed his words, but the unrighteous either ignore the prophet or fight him. When the prophet points out the sins of the world, the worldly either want to close the mouth of the prophet, or else act as if the prophet didn't exist, rather than repent of their sins. Popularity is never a test of truth. Many a prophet has been killed or cast out. As we come closer to the Lord's second coming, you can expect that as the people of the world become more wicked, the prophet will be less popular with them.

Ezra Taft Benson

I was inspired by Rindee to post my feelings today, and I will keep it short. Then tomorrow you may enjoy a happy charm drawing free of any political stance.

I love many people who choose not to do right, but it does not force me to pass laws in their favor. I do not understand how this comment is less brave than one that supports abortion, same sex marriage, or any thing else the world wants me to believe has no consequence. I do not write this to persuade you to follow my beliefs, just to let you know where I stand. I remember raising my arm to sustain a prophet, and I will continue to do so. I also believe that we can live together, we can build a country, we can raise children without fighting about it.

Don't get mad....just think about it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Breakfast of Champions

I have shopping to do, laundry to fold, coupons to clip and 3 clients scheduled....

This breakfast has never failed me yet!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Let's Play "I Spy"

This for all of you haters out there that said "Wow. Your house is so clean. I can never do this photo tag!" (which is laughable) HERE YA GO.

First- my vanity. It is supposed to be a cute little place to nestle together my lotions and jewelry for me to enjoy. It is this.......................

I spy a string cheese wrapper, ( or two, my favorite in bed snack), a gray wrestling t-shirt of my sons (his bedroom is 10 feet from mine. Why is this still there?), a lotion bottle that is magically balanced in an empty drinking glass, curling ribbon (what if I want to wear that? Just what if!!!) and a mall receipt from last years Christmas. What I don't spy is my cute Shabby Chic vanity. I am going to get rid of this whole thing because it is such a clutter magnet.

WAIT there is more! This room has potential to be a bedroom, possible laundry and storage room, or even a crafter's dream! Instead it is this:

Please note the blue tote that is our 'dress up' tote. It is almost empty, but the dress-ups are strewn around on the floor. The drum set is my sisters- my kids insisted they could play it and start a band. It is too big for a bedroom (and a junk room). I need to take it back. You can also see my Living Scriptures VHS collection (instant Family Home Evening- stop your coveting NOW)and the sheet rock that should be on the walls is leaned agianst the side making and INSTANT SHELF for my junking pleasure! The best thing about this room is the brick chimney you can see behind the movies. When we ripped down the trailer court paneling to start on this room I was so excited about this. Now it is the only saving grace of the room. Bonus points if you can spy the heating blanket (that now longer heats) and the monster truck toy. It belongs to my husband, not my kids.

Don't worry. I have already sent pictures to Oprah and In a Fix, and I am sure they are on their way to help.

Now me......

I love my wet curly stringy hair, don't you? The best part of this photo is the robe I got at Dillard's on clearance, for 9 bucks. I will admit this; I took a few shots before I got this one, which I can deal with. I wasn't smiling in the others and the lighting wasn't right, so I kind of looked like a convict. This shot reveals the true size of my nose. (large)

Hope you enjoyed seeing a couple of my messes. Take my word for it, there are plenty more. I hope I will have them cleaned up before my kids move out.

Now quit blogging and go vote (but don't tell me who you are voting for. I don't want to know!)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

There are ow TWO fabulous ways to celebrate my birthday.

1- Enter the etsy artsy give away below. If it goes well, I will do it again at some random later time. I am turning 38 and would be so heartbroken if I get anything less that 38 in comments on my giveaway, and I can't type them all to myself!

2- Click on this link provided by my sister Shannon (Happy Birthday Mona) which will show my hotness from the 70's AND the early 90's. This brought to you by the same girl who put up the family movie of me being attacked by a giant spider. I made this movie as a grown adult, and of my own free will. I blame it in the children.

Now, I must toodles because I am meeting my friend for lunch and spending the day with Hubby Samy. You won't want to miss tomorrow! Not only will my posts be one year older in wisdom and wit, but you will see my messy house vote winners!!!!

Oh my gosh! How will you all sleep?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Birthday Blog Give Away!

I was so inspired by Teresa's birthday bash and Jillene's giveaway (which I won) , plus many more tokens of blogging love, that I had to copy, copy, copy. Combine that desire with kind of a crappy Sunday (that means I for sure lost my temper, ate way too much chocolate, was an hour late for church, and drank a Diet Coke well before 10:00 am)
and a need to feel creative, and that equals my GIVEAWAY!

I sat surrounded by copies of Somerset Studios and
Sally Jean's Pretty Little Things

and in spite of my rotten, terrible, horrible,
no good very bad day,
I felt happy
(take note crafting haters!)
Now you can cash in on my joy and my birthday
(which is all about presents, right?)

Here is the prize, in honor of cupcake lovers everywhere, as well as those of us who love our life, even on the kind of sucky days. One handmade charm for your jingling pleasure.

The front features a proper lady, much like yourself, about to partake of her cupcake. It reads The sweet life. The back says "don't forget to lick the bowl" (also known as my advice to grown women across the world).
Comes on a ribbon, but you can hook it to a chain or cord, if you like. These are great on a chunky necklace, hanging from your rear view mirror, or tied to your handbag, but stay away from key chains- the glass has been known to shatter when tossed to and fro. Hand made by ME so imperfections are considered artsy. (that's what I tell myself).

Just leave me a comment to have an automatic entry for this lovely charm. If you think this deserves a little more than one feeble entry, then in your next post or sidebar link up to a post of mine that you think others might enjoy. That will earn you 2 extra entries.

I know people think this is mere bribery, and even though it kind of is, I was so excited when I got my necklace from my winning entry that I had to share the love. Plus, who else would enjoy my creations?

I will keep the entries open until Friday night, November 7, or Saturday morning when I stumble out of bed. Good Luck!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Hos

Just as stated in 'Mean Girls', Halloween is a great opportunity to let the Ho in you shine. How about some HOT Halloween Hos from the family party!

As for me (the devil woman on the right, since me and my sisters kind of look alike), this was my THIRD dress purchase of the day. Stupid costumes with rips and faulty zippers....grumble grumble grumble.... I also had no idea the front panel in my dress was so mesh like, so my white bra was pretty much shining for all the world to see all night. *oopsy!*

Is my family full of Hotties or what? Even the sister-in-laws played.

Now the kids....

my nephew (Fred from "Scooby") and my oldest in my cheer outfit (it is finally good for something, seeing as how it never had the Rachel affect on men for me)

Masty G and Hammy are getting in the spirit (yes- they found these costumes in the bin, I paid them to come up with there own thing this year!). My Ham boy started out as a Mad Scientist, but that merged into a Zombie Face..... I guess that's his prerogative!

And finally....the annual cake

Major thanks to the CAKE WRECKS blog for listing this idea as overwhelmingly tacky and gory.....sounds perfect for my family party!

Happy Halloween!
(stay tuned for your Messy House winner pics....)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Vote for a Mess

Well fine then. Everyone acts all amazed and mad that my pictures of my house looked.....well, clean. I took them as is, but as I said earlier- I strategically placed my camera.

Now, to make you all feel better I am letting you PICK A MESS and I will photograph it. I will let you see my mess...... and you will all think I am the biggest slob ever and you can even bash me anonymously if it will make you feel better. Make your voice heard! Rock the vote! Peace, Love and Blah Blah Blah!

- dirty kitchen floor/70's ripped linoleum
- my closet crammed with clothes, piles of shoes, and other un-used items
- our extra 'junk' room, including the stack of sheet rock for the room 'make-over' that is still waiting to happen (has been waiting for 10 years)
- our mud room half of the laundry room- AKA the bottomless pile of shoes
- the grow-your-own clothing, magic piles which line my bedroom wall and foot stool
- my Un-vain Vanity, better known as the catch all flat surface free for garbage and rubbish sprinkled with lotions and jewelry and magazines and Tylenol PM
- kids bedroom- they clean their own, so it is usually slightly chaotic

Just leave a comment saying which mess intrigues you the most! VOTE NOW, two choices maybe, if you can't make up your mind, and you may just be lucky enough to see the other side of my sweet old house. The messy one.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fight and Make Up

It is a quiet Saturday. I am sitting at the computer wasting time in one way or another, when I notice fighting in the next room. There are words, screeches, tears and tossing of game paddles. My usual threat comes first, "If you can't work it out, it's off."

More fighting, accusations and name calling. I stand up, walk in, and turn off the TV. "I warned you," is all I have to say. That begins the blame game, finger pointing antics. I have learned to ignore these antics years ago, so back to the computer I go.

I hear a tearful child (my middle) run to the bathroom and close the door. I see the eldest and youngest whispering, and hear papers being passed under the door. I pretend to ignore them, but laugh to myself, wondering what they are up to.

Suddenly Hayden emerges, saying softly he is sorry for yelling and crying, and can they play if they agree on the guys...(what the???). I give in, and give them one more chance. They resume game play, but after about 15 minutes decide it would be more fun to go play dodge ball on the trampoline
( miracles never cease.)

I find this note in the bathroom, ripped up, but lying flat on the floor with a sharpie nearby. I have taped it together for historical purposes.

"Dear Hayden we are terribly sorry for making fun of we will make it up to you by ....getting your guys swim up to Tosha's Chang...all you have to do is convince mom to let us play
Yes or No circle"

Man, I wish the worst thing I had to worry about in my life is whether or not my guys were swimming up to Tosha's Chang.
Whatever the freak that is.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Photo Tag- I'm It!

I have seen several versions of the photo tag, with photo subjects ranging from one thing to the next- and it is my turn now! I am taking inspiration from Mary and Teresa. Enjoy!

Take a picture of your BATHROOM. NO Cheating- take the photo as is, don't clean! (this goes for all photos). I got lucky on this, because I do wipe down my bathroom every morning, so it usually looks pretty clean. What you can't see is ME standing on the edge of my tub to get this shot. My bathroom is tiny!

The Kitchen Sink. Again, I am surprised by this picture because my kitchen is kind of gross. I blame it on living in an old house. You can't see the brownie pan that is 'soaking', and I really have no explanation for the fact that there are 2 hand towels and 2 wash cloths stacked up. Isn't one of each enough?

Your Fridge. (Again, as is- but if you get down a little while shooting you can't see the shelves and any drippings that may be lingering there- not that I have any!). Yes, you can see TWO fridge packs of Diet Coke. I just gave in yesterday and bought them. It is a great thing, and I strongly suggest everyone go OFF Diet Coke just so you can happily go back ON. One of life's few pleasures..... As you can see I am also stocked well on Sour Cream and Eggs. Just in case......

Now a close up of my magnets......
First my Anne Taintor Favorites..."Stop Me Before I Volunteer Again" (this is for real, people) and "The Secret Ingredient is Resentment" (my friends think this is funny, my mother and husband don't quite get it...) and of course, "I finished your laundry....the ashes are in the fireplace". Also seen is my magnet from Kristina P "I'm kind of a big deal on my blog".
I can not explain how much happier my life is with these magnets greeting me everyday.

What are your kids doing right now? Don't be impressed by the productive nature of this photo. They would usually be sitting at the TV while playing their Nintendo DS. The reason they are raking is to earn NEW games from dad, who bought them off for a steal. Our tree drops hundreds of horrible chestnuts that become the punishment and reward opportunity every fall. One child (who is not raking) is the neighbor. The other is in the next picture.

The Laundry room. More of a closet, in my case. I really hope these piles of laundry baskets ( there is another one waiting to be folded by my dinner table) spilling over make someone out there feel better about themselves, because it killed me not to move these before I took this picture. Laundry is not my strong suit, but I try most days. Also pictured is my youngest child, who is crying because of the above task (raking and picking up the yard). He is pretty sure he should not have to help. He loves to cry, so I am always willing to give him a reason.

The Self Portrait. I took this in my PJ's but look kind of okay because I haven't washed my face yet. I am clutching my bedside reading, Allure, In Style, and Redbook. My Ensign is there on the floor, but I hate to say I reach for these first. (Don't judge me, Earl!) I am super happy because I just got home from a date night with the man.

What you can not see is the pile of garbage on my vanity, including dried up face wipes with mascara on them, and the laundry piles that magically grow all week until I force myself to hang up/sort/wash/put away. What you can see is my new dark panels from IKEA (love them! I can nap anytime of day now) and the cool Moulin Rouge piece my hubby bought from a restaurant owner in Japan on a business trip. He literally took it off the wall and walked out with it, all for me. Yay Hubby!

Okay- I tag anyone who has the patience to follow through with this tag. I would love to see every body's day to day life. Mine is now a moment in history.

What do you think? Do you still love me in spite of my laundry?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Just because I want to laugh

Mad thanks to my niece for sharing this last night and making me laugh

You deserve a laugh today.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Curls......

The youngest child.

He is the self-proclaimed "Masty G" (don't ask), the nickname that has stuck for years.

Right now his pride and joy is his HAIR. He splashes it, just so. He gels it, just so. He even sprays a little hairspray and shakes his head to let it all settle into place.

At dinner the other day I said, "Hey bud- are you ready to cut your hair short again?"
He stared at me in disbelief and said to me, like I am completely clueless,
"Mom, the curls get the girls."
How do you argue that?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Quick Call for Mommy Help

Okay, all parents and teachers out there I need help. I know I already posted today but I am so sick about this and don't know where to turn.

My sweet 9 yr old is struggling in school. He tested in the highest for his grade and qualifies for our gifted and talented group, but can't go because he is so behind in class. His teacher said he will sit and look around, stare off, or just do nothing during work time. He is now at 50% of his class work being done. I spent a long afternoon visiting with his teacher yesterday, and she is so impressive and cares about him, but she is also frustrated because he isn't responding to her prompts to help him get back on task. She is an amazing woman, and I can tell is sad about this,too.

When he takes a test he almost always gets 100%, so I know he is listening to lectures and comprehending things. When it is time to follow the instructions on the board and complete tasks he just stops. He freezes. He gets distracted.

I am open to suggestions, and if you know someone who has experience with this please send them to my blog ! I will read books, I will buy games, I will try almost anything. This child has NEVER had a problem in school before. Now he has just stopped, and my heart is breaking over it.

I should say, my husband is not excited about medications, neither am I. But am I hurting him by saying this? Ideas, websites, ANYTHING you have ...... I need it!

How do you teach a child to FOCUS?

Not My Morning

I slept so GREAT last night, I swear I did not even move the entire night. (that Tylenol PM really worked!). Then I rolled over and stretched, yes, all cute like the girls on the movie, and looked at the clock.

7:37 am

What the......

My oldest son leaves at 7:35. He was already showered and gone.

Do I suck as a mom or what? In my own defense I will say that I made pancakes for my kids in elementary school. Yay! But my oldest didn't get his kiss goodbye. I think he made a breakfast drink (Carnation deserves an award for that product) and left.

When is Daylight Savings? I need some help here!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Encouraging Gore and Creativity

To say that Halloween is a pretty big deal around here is an understatement. We usually spend weeks planning our costumes and buying the best of treats for family parties and trick-or-treaters. Storage boxes are pulled and I deck the house with as much decor as most use for Christmas. Even my husband yields to my evil wishes and wears a costume with a bit of convincing.

Here we are, inspired by the "Exorcism of Emily Rose". What a lovely couple.

Anyway..... every year my kids rip through the catalogs and ads, picking again and again what costume looks the coolest. I fork out 40 bucks or so, per child, and I am done with it. But every year they wear their new costume to school and realize it stinks, or fits funny, and the plastic is sticky/itchy/gaggy. So they come home and change into an old, used, tried and true costume for Trick-or-Treating.

This year I gently persuaded them to stop the insanity. For 15 bucks (that's right folks, 15 bucks!) I will pay them to make their own costume. I, of course, will provide gory make-up and colored hairspray, but I want them to dig, plan, mix and match with all the joys of Halloween's past. They all agreed to this idea and got paid on Saturday (and spent, might I add, every penny). I also decided to only put up a small, select few of my decorations. Just a small NOD to Halloween, rather than a house wide salute.

Now I will just sit back and let them discover for themselves the joy of making a disguise worthy of candy by the pounds. That is what this holiday reminds me of the most. And I have to say, this has been a nice October so far.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tween Torture

If you do not have children that are in the 'tween' age and obsessed with all things tweeny-Disney, then lucky you. But for everyone else, please hear my cry. Someone has got to stop this woman.

I have tried for years to ignore her as the worst actress ever to grace the Disney channel as Zach and Cody's suite life mom, but last night when I laid down by boys and they insisted on the latest Disney Halloween movie I was horrified myself- once again, here is Kim Rhodes as the mom. Complete with her nasaly voice (she sings in the Suite Life! Sucky!) and obnoxious smirk.

No longer could I blame her annoying presence on the role- she was the same over acting, too tanned, and over styled woman on this movie as well. I just want to make it official. I am not a fan.

When I see people like her on the screen I seriously wonder why I didn't go for it and try to break into acting. Am I the only one annoyed by this woman?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fortunately / Unfortunately

I used to have a book by this same title that I adored as a child. Something really good would happen, but then something bad to offset it. It was strange and random, and I have never forgotten it. So today I am playing for myself......

Fortunately- it is fall break! Yay! Unfortunately, hubby had to leave town, so we are not having the AWESOME clean up I had planned (or overnight getaway, for that matter). Fortunately, I decided to make brownies. Unfortunately, I decided to leave a little extra in the bowl to lick, and made myself sick.

Fortunately, that motivated me to go running. Unfortunately, I had major cramps. (thanks a lot, Eve.) Fortunately, a REAL runner passed me on the trail and waved (does that mean I am a REAL runner, too?). Unfortunately, I still had cramps.

Fortunately, today I WON an instant prize playing off my McDonald's drink. Unfortunately, that means I will be eating McDonald's again.

Fortunately I got on Jillene's Blog and she is having a great giveaway! (link here to enter )

Unfortunately, in all my blogging days I have YET to win a prize.... but that's okay. I will keep trying....

Now if you'll excuse me, I think a bath full of hot bubbly water and a true "Chick Lit Book" is calling my name.... how very fortunate, after all.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Reasons to Feel Sorry for Me

I know that it seems like I am crazy traveling woman, but the truth is, most of my family in on a CRUISE this week. I have never been on a cruise. Ever. (did you get that? NEVER)

After we budgeted our vacations for the year, and swore we would stick to it, my sister announced they were going on a cruise and all are invited. Much of my large family (12 siblings total) and my parents signed up. I did not.

Mike consoled me, and I got over it. We have traveled and it has been wonderful, but THIS IS THE WEEK, and THEY are all gone, and I am kind of bummed about it. Now for fall break we have decided to stay home and CLEAN our house (closets and stuff I usually pretend don't matter) and use our cash to buy the boys new beds. YAY. Doesn't that sound fun?

I mean who wants to be on a stupid boat and lay out all day and let the kids play with their cousins in the kid's clubs , and eat endless chocolate and food, and see shows, and swim on the beach, and see cool cities in Mexico and hang with the fam? WHO in their RIGHT mind thinks THAT sounds FUN?
If you'll excuse me, I am also catching up on laundry this week. (Huzzah!)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ode to Bloggers

Now I just couldn't stand the thought of slapping any old photo from the Meet and Greet up, especially since I almost wet my pants in fear the whole drive up. So after having such a lovely time putting actual human faces to the profile pics I see every day, I fancied us up a bit for your viewing pleasures.

First on left is ME- I added wings because I have a thing for angels. Not Precious Moment types, but gothicy, crafty, whimsical and classical angels. I want to be one!

Next is Kristina P- one blogger described her as the Prom Queen of Blogging, thus the crown. She is like TAMN, but without the invisibility cloak of a fake-o name. Which I think is pretty cool. She can talk celebrity trash with the best of them. My hero.

Brittany is next, with her halo and all. For those of you who don't know; she wrote a book for women preparing to go to the temple. I was raised not knowing what to expect (sssh! don't talk about that!) and wished to the high heavens I could have had something like this for me back then. Perhaps you have a daughter or friend on niece who could benefit from her wisdom, if so- go to her blog (in my links) and click away. The best part is she is REAL! Don't let the halo fool you- she is snarky and funny, and I love that mixed with righteous!

On the left is Mary- who gets the party hat because of the party that is; her blog. From boogers and snails, to dead flower give aways, this girl knows how to shock and awe on the web. And she is cute as can be in real life. And she has really cute kids too. It may make you a little sick.

So there you have it- my official first bloggin buddies met in real life. I met quite a few girls, actually, at the luncheon, but because I hadn't stalked them quite sincerely enough in the past few months didn't dare get photos with them all.
Next time.
(if the radioactive waves from the Chinese government's mind sucking technology doesn't get us all first).