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).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sappy Sunday

Well, since I did not have a copy of Brittany's Bingo to get me through Fast and Testimony meeting, I had nothing better to do than recall the past month and some of my experiences.

I had a sappy moment of reflection on the gift of marriage....

Mike and I were shopping at LL Bean where couples of all ages flocked through the store looking for comfy outdoor wear. Mike was having a hard time picking out shirts, when I noticed a cute elderly man slip on a sweater- much like the ones Mr. Rogers used to change into.
As he pushed his arms through the sleeves, his bony wrists dangling awkwardly like a puberty stricken boy, he looked to his little wife and shrugged and shook his head. He was completely overwhelmed.
She hobbled over and quickly straightened the shoulders, pulled the sleeves down gently, and smoothed the sweater around down his chest. He was fine.....

This little moment of tenderness caught me off guard, and I found my eyes filling with tears (thus, the sappy Sunday story) and I quickly vowed to be nicer while I helped my husband shop.

I will never forget the vulnerable look on that sweet old man and the way his wife 'fixed him right up.' I hope to be shopping and smoothing sweaters with my hubby for many, many years.

BINGO! (travel log, sight seeing, marriage, senior citizens, and free space)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Desperate Times call for....

Desperate measures.

I have waited 10 months to do it, and today is the day. It is up to me to complete the assignments of young children that will have parents and grandparents alike beaming with joy and pride.

That's right, it is time for our Primary Program.

I thought I would work a little on this every month, making it one easy thing to tie together at the end of the year, HOWEVER in true Burton fashion I have waited until the last minute. We are reviewing the program as a presidency in church on Sunday. (Molly, don't tell anyone I am such a procrastinator !) SOOOO..................

I am armed today with a 44 oz Diet Dr. Pepper (am I not drinking soda?), croissant sandwiches left over from last night, in my Jimmie Johnson pj's (much to Mike's dismay- he is a FORD fan) with unwashed hair and traces of make-up clinging on. I am at the computer and cannot leave until I am done. (oh!!! the blogging and Facebook temptations. Wicked wicked world!!!)

I am messy and focused.

It is how I work best.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Expect the Unexpected

You may have noticed the lovely new very braggy pics in the side bar. Of course you have seen the photos of the Sacred Grove below.....but the next few photos will leave you green with envy, and you will surely see this was the vacation of a lifetime.

This is a piece of cake I acquired in Downtown Boston. They had a huge old marble building , complete with rotunda and balcony, that was filled with food vendors of every sort. All I cared about was the cake. I wrapped it up so I could sit down and enjoy in the car.
Are you jealous yet?

What about if I show you my moment of personal growth. Yes, these are the shoes.
I bought the cool Merrill boots you see on my feet (so comfy- like walking on weatherproof cloud, if there is such a thing) and couldn't bear to throw my old clunkers away. They sat on the backseat for days while we drove around. On our last day I noticed the very charitable option for myself. I found the courage to scream "Stop!" and we pulled to a halt.... the rest is history. I hope they like clunky shoes in Africa because these are special to me.

Last but not Least......

We used the self timer and a nearby bench to capture the quaint beauty of this Adirondack Lake, only to find a surprise waiting on the bench with the camera.

Yea. that's right. Someone's teeth were left here.
I am pretty sure there is a tour bus full of cotton-heads somewhere in New England that has one disappointed passenger. That sour dough bread is going to be tough to bite into now. But it sure makes for a fabulous vacation.

Am I just the luckiest girl alive, or what.

You guys should all come on vacation with me next time and you, too, can experience such fabulous moments.

Palmyra New York

IN honor of our Conference weekend...... a few religious photos from vacation.

The first is taken in the Sacred Grove. I will be in big trouble if I don't inform you MIKE took this picture. I loved walking through the grove.... I learned some amazing things while pondering there. Maybe someday I will be inspired to share them here, but for now let it be said... I am so happy to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Second photo was taken of a display in the HIll Cumorah Visitors center. The Hill Cumorah was beautiful, too. I would love to go back to see the pageant someday.

We went to the temple in Palmyra that night (after the Mona Lisa chocolate cake). It was so small and intimate- with gorgeous stained glass sparkling windows of the grove in every window. Mike and I were called as the witness couple- which is always fun on a trip (except for the time I passed out in St.George during the session while kneeling. That wasn't cool.But I did get free crackers.)

I was so glad that we added this to our trip- we did not include it in our original plan, but my traveling man was sure he could get me there. I am so grateful that he did.
The whole feeling at the Smith family farm, the grove, and the hill is so serene and solid. In today's times, I found that extremely invigorating.

You Really Do Love me!

Wendy gave me the fine honors of this big time award. Now my coolness comes to you in the form of short answers- which is really hard for me. If I cheat and use more words, forgive me.

Here are the rules: I have to answer the following questions with one word answers and one word only! Then I must pass it on to seven others!

This award comes with a list of questions:
1. Where is your cell phone? bookshelf
2. Where is your significant other? Reno
3. Your hair color? Darkbrown
4. Your mother? Complicated
5. Your father? Burtoni
6. Your favorite thing? Chocolate
7. Your dream last night? circus
8. Your dream/goal? joy
9. The room you're in? Dining
10. Your hobby? Reading
11. Your fear? Obama
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Debtless
13. Where were you last night? Eating
14. What you're not? Organized
15. One of your wish-list items? Kindle
16. Where you grew up? Elkridge
17. The last thing you did? Massage
18. What are you wearing? jeans
19. Your TV? DVR
20. Your pet(s)? missing
21. Your computer? dying
22. Your mood? tired
23. Missing someone? painful
24. Your car? minivan
25. Something you're not wearing? rings
26. Favorite store? Ikea
27. Your summer? lazy
28. Love someone? intensely
29. Your favorite color? pink
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? today

Easy enough- and don't worry. I haven't forgotten about the vacation. I am sure it is killing you all to see the unexpected happenings I can't wait to share- but a tag is a tag!

I tag Calvin, Shannon, Cami, Afton, Mary (she already did it, so just go read her answers for fun) and who ever else is dying to do a tag. Wait- only two whoever elses. That makes seven.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

If you ever travel with Mike

Before divulging the has beens of my vacation, I want to give you all a few travel tips for traveling with my husband. (Janna- this is especially for you and your Amazing Race hopes with Mike).

1~ Forget about "what time it is at home". It doesn't matter if your two hours ahead, so getting up at 6 is like getting up at 4, there is no 'home' time. The time is what is, no excuses. Even if that means curling up in a fetal position for a nap on the back seat while you drive across 3 get up and get it done.

2~ When you have a chance to eat, take it. If you are not a 'breakfast person' you are now. You sit down at that hotel breakfast and get your fill. You do not know for sure when the next meal may be. Hunger is no excuse for bad attitudes or crankiness of any kind. Adding a huge breakfast to my daily meals has always meant gaining an instant 5 lbs on every trip we have gone on. Oh well.

3~ Try to stretch the bladder. Even though your bladder may be naturally small, and you get a little antsy when the urge hits, you have got to buck up. Somedays are better than others for this, but it seemed easier this time since I was not downing Diet Cokes all day.

4~ Know your geography. Don't even embarrass him by suddenly clapping for joy and exclaiming "I think I finally get it! The Atlantic Ocean is on the EAST and they are both the closest to A in the alphabet!" Even if you have no idea what state (or country, for that matter) you are in, just pretend like you do.

If you can get these few little helpful hints down he will take great care of you. This includes impromptu stops at the local bakery, free reign while shopping for new boots, and cute souvenirs that everyone will drool over later.

And on top of all that....he will show you the world. That's a deal I'm taking.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Just a bit of heaven

Oh. My. Gosh.

On a whim I ran into this little adorable cafe in Webster New York....Mona Lisa Cafe (website before heading back to the hotel to get ready for a temple session (Palmyra, folks.....yes. It was very awesome). You should have SEEN the cakes and pastries and gelato..... oh, wait, I took a picture. I will show you when I get photos uploaded.... but take my word for it.
Lots of frosting, thick fudgy chocolate layers, little pink flowers- and all this delivered in a white box with a Mona Lisa sticker on it. LOVE IT. Am I trying to lose weight? I hope not.

It was the best. When we got to the hotel we were UPGRADED (yay Priority Club) and I got to soak in a huge jetted tub while knowing my cake was waiting at arms length.

Now come on......does life get any better than this?

Oh yeah. I am seeing sights on va-cay, too. But the cake....well that just couldn't wait.