Friday, April 24, 2009

Why do I bother? My house is like a daycare center with kid things everywhere, but I try. I really do. I want a touch of something nice now and then, here and there. One of my (very) few luxuries is Bath & Bodyworks lotion and soap. Last night I came in to my bathroom to find the almost-new wallflowers (air freshener) glass unit completely empty and the oil all over the counter. I cleaned it up.

Ten minutes ago I knocked in the hall bathroom door to see what S was doing in there. She guiltily answered, "nothing," so I opened the door. She had the entire bottle of peach hand soap mixed with a sink full of water and was dipping a bath towel into it. So much for that nice bottle of soap. I don't have anything left to put in there except a bar of soap so I guess that's what the girls will be using. Until they dissolve it in a sink of water, I guess.

Then as I was typing this, this is what popped into the office:

For me. ~sigh~ And as my favorite line in "The Best Two Years" goes: "That's why I'm here . . . that's why I'm here."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Britain's Got Talent

I hate how condescending the moderators are to Susan Boyle as she takes the stage. I'll admit she acts a little goofy, but I'll chalk that up to nerves.

Reserving judgment is probably a good idea in most aspects of our lives.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

The rhubarb in my garden is up! I had some cut-up strawberries that needed to be used and I made an obvious pairing. Can you guess what we're having for dessert tonight?
P.S. Sorry about the blurry pictures. I don't know what my camera was trying to focus on.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Holly's wedding--more details

The plans for the wedding didn't come easily. As of last Monday no one was sure where or even in what city the wedding was going to be. Over the weekend Holly's stepmother finally couldn't stand it any longer and called some hotels in Albuquerque to enquire about wedding facilities and blocks of rooms. She got a lead on a nice one at a reasonable rate (Hyatt). We talked about all the options and she called ones in my town which is where Holly and her dh live as well and got some prices. Finally, finally Holly made her decision to have the wedding at the Hyatt in Albuquerque. I'm not really sure why they decided to have it there when most of the family and friends are here in our town, but that's what they decided.

I think she was getting a lot of "feedback" from her dh's family about the wedding. Weeks ago I offered to host it here in my home which is not a large home, but is very nicely arranged for such a thing as a wedding. We've had both a wedding and a reception here in the past. Eventually I was told that the groom's mother was not comfortable with the idea of being in my home. Supposedly it harks back to when my dh paid a little visit to Holly's then-future dh and told him to stay away from his daughter. I guess his mother didn't understand why a father of a pregnant 18 year old would be concerned when a 28 year old tatoo artist with a LOT of "history" starts showing interest in his daughter. Whatever. I also think his family has been fed quite a bit of other information about my family that is incorrect. I'll leave it at that.

Dh, the girls, and I drove to Albuquerque in plenty of time to arrive by the 1:30 wedding time. We easily found the hotel. There were chairs set for about 40-50 and it was just the right number. The minister was a friend of a friend, no one we knew personally. He did a nice job with the ceremony, then we were all ushered out to the lobby while the hotel staff set up the room for the reception.

During that time something interesting happened. I was standing a few people away from Holly, her new dh, and his parents. Suddenly his mother went storming in front of me saying in a loud, mean voice, "I'm going to go find your parents and tell them what you did!" I looked down and there was my four year old dd S, the object of her anger. I stopped her and said, "I'm right here, is there a problem?" "There certainly is, your daughter kicked my husband in the shin!" I apologized profusely and reprimanded S. I never did find out why S kicked him ("twice," according to him), and of course it is wrong for anyone to kick anyone else, but c'mon, the child is four years old for goodness sake. This is a weird situation for her and things happen. The mother's reaction was way out of line for the magnitude of the incident, IMO.

After that we were let back into the room and enjoyed heavy hors d'oeuvres and soft drinks. We had heard the groom's father was pouting because the hotel didn't allow alcohol in its public areas. I wonder if he hosted his own reception at a bar somewhere? That's the obvious thing to do instead of complaining when someone else is footing the bill.

Oh, one more funny to show you how things went. I offered to cut the wedding cake as I had a job a number of years ago in which a key aspect of it was to cut wedding cakes. IOW, I know what I'm doing and how to do it. The cake was a lovely "All American Chocolate Cake" from Costco. Three of them, in fact. It was about 12" in diameter and four layers, so for a cake that size you cut all the way through from top to bottom parallel to the outside edge, but half way between the middle of the cake and the edge. You cut a ring, in other words, as you work your way around. Then you cut pieces about 1" wide all the way around, then cut the remaining center like a birthday cake. One of the punks there (a brother of the groom, I think) gave me grief about how I was cutting it and the size of the pieces. I offered him two pieces right then or to come back for seconds and he still ragged on me. WHATever.

In the end, however, Holly got married and that is what this whole thing was about.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Quick picture from Holly's wedding

Just a picture here and I'll update more later.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A strange, strange experience

Dh was visiting my parents a week or two ago and brought home a video for me. I made it around Christmas/New Year 1990-1991 at Comiso Air Station, Sicily, Italy and sent it to my parents so they could see my children, my townhouse, and a few things in town. I hadn't seen it since I sent it to them, so 18+ years.

On it I saw a friend I very recently reconnected with via Facebook, along with her two tiny children who are now in college. I saw how I looked with chiseled facial structure vs. the soft and saggy face I have now. I saw myself with a 25" waist. Won't even tell you what it is now. I saw my now-married son when he was still having minor speech articulation problems due to being only 4 years old. I saw my dd who is a mother now as a baby who gallumped across the floor because she didn't yet crawl. I took a tour of my old townhouse that was virtually identical to my memory of it.

Ds2 was not even imagined at that point and certainly none of the other life-changing events that came after that. It's easy to say, oh, those were the good old days, when I was so young and my children were so sweet, but to tell the truth, my life is a lot more complicated now than it was then, but it is ever so much happier.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The last ham dinner

This is the last night of eating a ham dinner. The Easter ham has gone a lot faster than I thought it would, but then it is a really delicious ham and we keep snacking on it. Tomorrow I'm going to make split pea soup and put the ham bone and the bits of remaining ham into the pot. Should be delicious.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Pictures

Today the girls finally got to wear their new dresses and new shoes outside for the first time. This picture shows the dresses although no one is actually looking at the camera!
Here is my favorite because they all have such cute expressions on their faces. Dh had them make silly faces, then I caught this one.

I thought having fast and testimony meeting on Easter would be kind of the pits, but it was nice. I liked hearing the ward members (members of my congregation) express their love and gratefulness for Christ's death and resurrection and for His atonement.
After church we came home to a delightful ham dinner. We had ham, mashed potatoes, cranberries, fresh bread with butter, then a mincemeat crumble for dessert. I just now remembered I forgot to prepare the asparagus I got a couple of days ago. No problem, we'll just have it with the leftovers.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I love Fridays!

Next weekend Holly is getting married and ds1 and his wife along with her parents and two brothers are going to stay with us. My ds2 is also going to be here as well. As long as a bunch of teen and young adult guys don't mind sleeping on couches, we have plenty of room. This room below, however, was in need of a bit of straightening. It's a small room that has been used most recently by Holly and also for storage as you can see. Since we are moving soon I didn't want to do too much with the boxes, but they really couldn't stay where they were.

Here's the other part of the room. It is adjacent to the girls' playroom so the guest room has been played in extensively and there was all kinds of "stuff" all over it. The part that took me the longest was putting several games back together after they were taken out and the parts mixed. Let's just say Cranium has a lot of parts. I should have taken an "after" picture but I forgot. The room is plain, and there is a certain pile of boxes under the window, but it is very clean now and will be fine for ds1 and his wife. Her parents are going to have S's room because it has a trundle bed in it. I moved the toddler bed that was on the left side of the picture below back into the big girls' room where it used to be before we gave S her own room. She insisted on sleeping there tonight as I figured she would.

Holly was over with her wedding dress for me to alter a bit. It's a size 6 but honestly, it could have been worn by a 6' woman and still have dragged on the floor a bit. I ended up serging off about 6" of the underskirt, then pinned the lower part of the skirt up to match how the upper part came from the manufacturer. This seems to be in style right now. After I pinned it up we sat on the couch and chatted while we both tacked the skirt up each place I'd pinned. We managed to get it short enough (along with her 4" heels!) to not have to cut the outer layer.

She tried it on over her camisole. Won't she make a pretty bride?

I couldn't miss an opportunity to post a picture of my little darlings, could I?

After all that it was time to color Easter eggs. I think we did them two years ago and the girls didn't really get into it so I was wondering how they'd do this time. I wish I'd had more than the seventeen eggs I had boiled! We had our neighbor over and each one had four eggs to color and I had one. On the other hand, everyone was satisfied, so maybe it was just the right number. I'll have to say most of them were cracked by the time they were settled back into the cartons to dry. :-)
It was a fun day. I love Fridays.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Annoyed and a gold star

I'm annoyed because this is what happened when I tried to make a nice lunch for my daughters: they didn't eat it. I know eating bag lunches five days a week can be a bit boring, so when I was at the store on Monday I bought some tissue-thin roast beef at the deli counter, along with some pre-sliced cheddar cheese in the deli case. C doesn't like American cheese and has convinced the other girls it is not edible, and I didn't want to cut up regular cheese and have little pieces falling out of the sandwiches, so I sprang for the expensive stuff.

So I made roast beef and cheddar sandwiches on whole wheat sunflower seed bread. I made sure to tell them it was cheddar cheese, just like our normal cheese, NOT American cheese. And they put their sandwiches right back in their bags and brought them home. ~sigh~ At least they brought them home so I could see what they didn't eat before I threw them away.

So much for trying to make something nice.

I did get a gold star yesterday though. I was over at the store again (see the post below) and the local police were having a car seat check in the parking lot. I think I'm pretty good at installing the girls' carseats, but I've never had a chance to have them officially checked so I pulled in. I filled out various bits of paperwork and they checked my carseats for recalls. Then they checked my installation. Let's just say that when they tried to wiggle the seats the whole car rocked. :-) The seats were installed absolutely correctly and tight. I got a gold star.

Easter basket for Zachariah

I've never been a fan of overboard Easter gifts and baskets. Our Easter celebration consists of . . . remembering Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection. Imagine that! Okay, and we usually color some eggs and have an egg hunt with those eggs, some plastic ones with treats inside, and some candy. Depending on the weather the hunt is in the back yard or in the living room.

HOWEVER, this is my first Easter to have a grandson so I decided to make a little basket for him. Since I have no sense of decorating and creativity, it is rather plain, but, I hope, practical. Don't most Easter baskets have disposable diapers in them? LOL

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Christmas in April

What is this you ask? Why of course, it is the pattern for the last Easter dress. Last night I was looking for the pattern pieces so I could psych myself up for cutting out E's dress. The pieces have been all over the family room where my sewing machine is and I didn't want to lose any of them. I asked the girls to look for them with me and S sheepishly handed me the two now sitting on the bodice piece. She had crumpled them up, put them in a glass of water, then chewed on the left one. I tried teasing the right hand one open but you can see it was really hopeless from the beginning. I was unbelievably ticked off, but all I did was speak very, very firmly to her and send her to her room. No yelling, certainly no spanking.

I really didn't know what to do--just not make the third dress? Give S's dress to E? Try to use another size from the same pattern to make the right size for E? Buy another pattern? I decided I'd better sleep on it and in the morning I decided to buy another pattern if one still was available and if not, try to approximate the right size from the existing pattern pieces. In the end Walmart still had the pattern in stock and I bought another one. I finished the hand work on the second one while I watched General Conference on TV today, so now I just have to make the last one. I still have no idea what possessed S to think dunking and chewing on the pattern pieces was a good idea.

Yes, it was like Christmas in April at Walmart this afternoon. There were a stunning number of people in the store, 98% of them locals, which is normal on Saturday afternoon and it was like a weekend in December in any other Walmart. I almost never go on Saturday afternoon because of the crush of people, but I wanted to get there before Sunday and I couldn't go earlier. Almost every one of the 36 checkout stands was open and each had a line 4-5 carts deep and those carts were PILED. Luckily we happened to get in a quick-check line that "only" took about 10 minutes to get through. It was crazy and I thought I was used to how our Walmart is.

Other than getting the pattern, the other reason I wanted to go shopping was because I needed to prepare for the semi-annual sundae bust at the A house. I always get sundae fixings for the guys to have after the Priesthood session of General Conference and although the situation was a little different this year I decided to do it anyway.

We received an ad from Baskin-Robbins a couple of days ago and the girls wouldn't let me throw it away because they've been enjoying looking at the ice cream concoctions depicted in it. They wanted the ice cream cake roll that is decorated like a rabbit and they wanted the chocolate M&M sundae. I wasn't about to get into making an ice cream roll, but I could oblige with the M&M sundae. I don't have a pretty parfait glass, but you can see what I did for S's M&M sundae.

I bought waffle bowls and the rest of us had our sundaes in them. Nice and crunchy and very tasty.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Scary choir rehearsal

Scary because we are doing a boatload of pieces from the Messiah and . . . we've kind of forgotten a couple of them, including the final number. We started off with the final one our very first week back in the middle of January and have practiced it again here and there, but not in the past few weeks. It wasn't horrible, but there were a couple of places where the whole choir kind of stumbled along. I can see the director hitting that one hard next Tuesday at our last rehearsal. She was stressed.

The other one is No. 26 "All we like sheep have gone astray." Lots of difficult sixteenth notes in that one. Again, one we started off with but haven't done for a few weeks. I'll be practicing with an online Messiah tutoring site this week.

A funny about "All we like sheep": the director pointed out we were singing it as though it meant, "We all like sheep" as in mutton. This area is heavily Navajo and many Navajos, especially the older ones eat a LOT of sheep. I'll remember that the rest of my life every time I sing that song. :-)

Did I get it?

That April Fool's Day virus, I mean. My computer is acting wacky today. I should make a note here: Mom--you can't get any virus I might have by reading this online.

I took all three girls to the dentist today. He's fast and good. All three girls had clean checkups which makes me very glad. They are awash in new toothbrushes, new dental floss, new toothpaste, and loads of big stickers. No wonder they like to go.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Top 10 reasons I don't have my food storage

10. My neighbors have a TWO year supply! No, they don't. They don't have any food. Did you know that 85% of the members of the church don't have any food storage at all? If your idea of food storage is to eat someone else’s food………..this is a really bad plan.

9. I've paid tithing for 20 years...the church can give me a little food. Many members believe that when the times get hard, the church is going to come through like Joseph in Egypt. Absolutely not true. All the church storehouses and welfare farms across the country would only feed 4% of the members of the church. The church has been asking YOU to store food for 75 years. They're NOT storing food for you. Thus, another bad plan.

8. I'm moving in with my children/parents! Really....that’s just a bad plan all by itself. But it points out that most members don't have a year's supply because they're PLANNING on eating someone else'sf ood! Of course, since no one HAS any food, we have yet another bad plan.

7. I have a year's supply...and the bullets to go with it! I've heard time and again, "How dumb is that to go to all the time and expense of getting food...just to have some guy with a gun come and shoot my family to take it away?" Here's a better question. Are you afraid of the guy with the gun? Or are you more afraid of BECOMING the guy with the gun? What would you do if your children were starving to death? Would you lie? Cheat? Steal? Would you shoot your neighbor for his food? I guarantee....if you were watching your children starving to death, you would do anything you had to to keep them alive. If you don't have your year's supply, you are putting yourself in danger of losing not only your temporal salvation, but your spiritual salvation as well. So far, all the reasons we don't have our food storage involve eating someone else's food. Please, don't put your family's temporal salvation in other people's hands. No one is storing food for you. Not your neighbors, not the government...not even the church.

6. The boat and the 4 wheelers are taking up all my storage space! (priorities!)

5. 3 letters....Y2K. Ok, that's 2 letters and a number....but they're always making way too much out of everything! This is never going to happen!” (Every prophecy that has ever been given WILL happen.)

4. If anything DOES happen, the government will be here within hours! (insert laughter) Did you know the government has been telling us that we need to have food storage? They're actually CALLING it food storage! We now have the government telling us to store food, water, medicines...whatever we will need to be able to stay in our homes for several months.

3. I can't afford scrapbooking AND food storage. The average food storage can cost as little as a dollar a day. We live in the richest society in the history of the world, and while there are cases where money may be a problem, most of the time it is a matter of priorities. We have chosen bigger homes, nicer cars, more tv's, computers, vacations ...everything is more important than our food storage. If Iasked, "Who has a cell phone?" most of you would say yes. You pay at least $30 a month to have a cell phone....that's about a dollar a day...the cost of one year's supply of food for your child. Is your cell phone really more important than your child's temporal salvation? You have to make food storage a priority.

2. I'm waiting for the cannery to sell Papa John's dehydrated pizza! Food storage has always had a stigma attached to it. If it's not wheat, beans and powdered milk, it's not food storage. With the system I use, food storage can be sweet and sour chicken, tamale pie, chile and cornbread, beef stew, shepherd's pie, minestrone...even chocolate chip cookies! Your imagination (and your pocketbook) are the only limitations you have.

And the #1 reason why I don't have my year's supply of food? A year?? I thought it was 72 hours!!

This is a joke of course. I actually do have food storage and in fact have been living mostly on the in-house (vs. long-term storage things like wheat, flour, macaroni, beans, etc) storage for months. My husband was unemployed and not having to go to the store very often was very helpful for our budget. Once the unemployment period was over we knew we'd be moving and I don't want to have to transport any more food than I have to, so I'm continuing to use up as much in-house storage as I can.

The Christ of Church of Jesus Latter-day Saints has recommended its members store food, water, and other items, including money, against future problems such as an economic downturn, natural disaster, trucking strike, or anything else that could limit our ability to take care of our families. There is a webpage that gives lots of information and suggestions as to how a family can do that. Lots of good advice there.

My family doesn't have everything it could have, but we could definitely go several months without going to the store and without hurting too bad. We could go at least six months with a limited diet, and probably longer with a very limited diet.