Showing posts from 2010

2010 was a boring year

In 2010:
Number of times I was arrested for disorderly conduct wearing nothing but a scarf and a giant stuffed Oreo: 0

Number of trees I chopped down illegally while blindfolded with my favorite quilt: 0

Number of karaoke bars that gave me a standing ovation for singing "Copacabana": 0

Number of marlins I caught off the coast of Cuba: 0

Number of babies I birthed: 0

Number of times I committed self-immolation using a blowtorch and kerosene: 0

Number of bananas I ate while on an all-banana and Chiclets diet: 0

Number of times Jim had to rescue me from a flooded basement storage room containing twelve alligators and one soaking wet capybara: 0

Number of times I played floor hockey: 1

So 2010 wasn't a total wash.

Here's to 2011 (clink!) (hiccup) (I don't know why I just hiccuped--I don't drink alcohol. Maybe that's the problem; perhaps my year was boring because I maintained a continuous state of sobriety) (Oh well)

Happy non-alcoholic New Year!

Moderation in moderation

Did you know I have two 6-packs of Hershey bars in my sewing room? They are right out in the open and in easy reach. I know they are there too. This isn't like last time when I forgot I had them.

I bought these two 6-packs to make oatmeal cookies for Christmas, but I ran out of time (besides Dave said he'd bring them to the dinner we had on Christmas). So now the Hershey bars are just...sitting there.

I'm amazed at my will power. I've only eaten two bars, one a day yesterday and the day before. This newfound fortitude and resistance deserves a celebration.

Break out the Hershey bars!

(Also: OJ starts college in less than a week. We leave in two days to take him out there. To quote a niece of mine, this is mind-bottling.)

Loose end from Christmas

I don't believe I ever displayed the 2010 children's picture ornament for some to see (like Katie).

There. Now you've seen it.

I like to play a game every year after I've hung up the series of ornaments with the kids' picture on it. After the ornaments have hung on the tree for a few days, I like to go back and find each ornament in order. Matt made sure I did that this year.

And when I take the picture ornaments off the tree, I have to spread them out and look at them, like this:
Matt likes to look at them with me. He thinks it's strange that there were picture ornaments from before he was born, but even more strange that there was an Evans family before he was around.

I'm treading dangerous ground here...some of you might think I am waxing nostalgic and getting sentimental, especially with the impending departure of OJ. Not so. Just last night, I was talking to a friend and telling her that I was looking forward to the day when I could make....a HALF-SIZE CAS…

Two stories

First story:
On Christmas Eve, we had dinner with my dad and his wife. We told some jokes, and Matt wanted to join in. He said he wanted to tell the stupidest joke he had ever heard. We were game, so he told his joke, "How does a dinosaur come out of the water?"




We couldn't guess.

So he gave us the answer: "Wet."


We rolled our eyes and the conversation continued on to other things.

After a few minutes, Paul chuckled and said, "Oh, I just got that joke."

My dad and I laughed harder at Paul than at the actual joke.

'nother story:

This morning, I accompanied the Kids' Co. kids on a field trip to the local rollerskating venue. The place smelled like stale pee, but I managed to survive. The kids were excited, the music loud and energetic, and the atmosphere (except for the smell) party-like. I was suddenly whisked back in time to those years when I went rollerskating with Jenni and Julie. I distinctly remember being able to skate wel…

Try again next year

Things I must remember for next Christmas:

1. When mysterious people fill the van up with balloons on Christmas Eve, it's best to empty the van out that day instead of leaving it for Christmas day when you are already late to a gathering.
2. Set an alarm to go off at 11 p.m. or so if you lie down on the couch to watch a movie on Christmas eve so that you won't wake up in the wee hours of the morning and put all the presents out when you are super tired.
3. Make a treasure map of all the places you have hidden presents so you aren't stumbling around the house in the middle of the night, saying, "Where in the Grapes of Wrath did I hide that stupid (insert name of particular gift here)!!"
4. Leave yourself a note to remind you of where you put the treasure map.
5. Because you WILL lose it.
6. Remember to pack the paper plates when going to Mom's for a Christmas gathering.
7. And the cookies. Please double check the container to make sure you have COOKIES and not LEFTOV…


I had it all worked out. Three presents per child this Christmas. One, two, three. Fifteen total. Katie's were shipped; everyone else's gifts are waiting patiently in the closet for wrapping time.

And then Jim had to go and mess it up. He bought a fourth present for one of the children (I won't say which one, but I will give you a hint. This child looks like his dad and is named like his dad) without consulting the LIST. It's a big present too; granted, it is something he will need for his upcoming future (which isn't all that futurous. Very very soon this future will become the now) but the addition of a fourth present has thrown me off.

I don't like unfairness. I am able to set aside the lack of fairness with regard to price, but I don't like that one child has four presents to open, and the others have only three (although Katie may have gotten four, but she doesn't quite count because she won't be opening them here).

Now I gotta go out and get thr…

Is something from 2004 retro yet?

Because I spent the weekend in a mild state of hysteria over an activity, today's post will simply be ornamental.

We have a tradition in our family: every year, I add a family picture ornament to our tree. This is the one from 2004.
Sometimes I make the ornament, and sometimes I buy a ornament frame, like I did for the one above. The tradition started because back when Katie was not yet one, someone gave us a "baby's first Christmas" ornament:The year after that, I had a cute picture of Katie and put it on the tree. When Other Jim arrived, I had to add him too. Of course he would be sad if Katie had her face on the Christmas tree and he didn't. Now all the kids expect a new family picture ornament and they start asking me in November if I'm going to do one.

I haven't done the one for this year yet, but I do have the picture for it. The last two years, Katie hasn't been in the picture, but this year she will be because she was here for the picture-taki…


I canNOT get enough of Matt and Hayley saying to each other (in low throaty voices) "Where are you Troy? We know you have the map."

I just had to get that off my chest.

Love that stays piping hot for HOURS

I love my Thermos.

Yesterday I had a 7 hour shift to work as a sub at the preschool/kindergarten and I had only minutes beforehand to make my lunch. I decided to try something new. I boiled water and filled my Thermos (it was about 10:30 a.m.). I put a cup o' ramen noodles and a packet of cocoa mix in my lunch bag (and lest you think I pack unhealthy lunches, I also had celery, yogurt and a clementine) and went to work. An hour later at the school, I made the ramen noodles with the still-boiling-hot water. Four hours later and still at the school, I made hot cocoa with the still-boiling-hot water.

When I got home at 6:15 p.m., I dumped the remaining water out of the Thermos. It was still very very hot--hot enough to scald my hand.

The Thermos works. Paul was impressed. Now he wants a Thermos.

I also love my crockpot, even though the rice in last night's dinner did not cook properly in the crock pot. At least there was edible chicken and gravy to serve to the family when I go…

I need the fainting couch again. And a pen.

Another 9-hour work day.

That means that I have to put off Christmas cards again. Sigh.

This weekend. I promise I'll do them this weekend.

(Where has December gone?)


How to play "Go Germs, Go!" (for K-5th graders):

Depending on the number of children playing, there will be 4-7 "taggers." Each tagger has a ball which they will throw at the other kids--the "germs."

The germs line up on one side of the gym against the wall. The taggers wait on the other side. Taggers must stay on that half and not cross the middle line until all the kids have made it to the other side or been tagged out.

The taggers yell "Go germs, go!" and the germs then try to run to the other side of the gym without getting hit by a ball thrown by a tagger.

If you get hit by a ball, you must sit out the rest of the game on a side wall of the gym.

Most importantly, you must complain loudly and ferociously to the supervising staff members that the game is unfair and the taggers are all ganging up on you and they can't go after you three times in a row and it's not fair and he didn't hit me and I was safe and all the taggers are 5th gr…

Can I borrow a fainting couch?

I have to WORK 9 hours today. Wah!

With preschoolers and kindergartners! Wah!

Actually it won't be bad at all. I'll just be tired. I'll have to go to bed right when I get home.

I'm Dreaming of a White Birthday

Ten things on my birthday in visual form (in progress. I will add to the list as the day goes on):
1. Bright sunny and COLD
2. The deck is one big drift of snow

3. The driveway glacier was removed with four shovelers and one snowblower. Jim was able to walk on the top of it and it was probably three feet wide and just as deep. Even if church hadn't been canceled, we would not have made it until after the snow was cleared. Just shoveling would have taken several hours.4. Cake! Jim made it, kids decorated it with leftover fondant from the turkey cake.
5. Matt added this bullseye
6. and this "planet"
7. The cat celebrates by sitting in the box that contained my present (a food processor/blender)
8. OJ gave me this birthday card:

9. CLICK ON THIS to see what happened to the Metrodome on my birthday

10. OK, no more images or videos. Just imagine a happy me.

Got snow?

Cuz I have extra. Lots of extra, in fact.

We are in the middle of a blizzard here in MN. I love blizzards! I am forced to stay at home, which is great! We have plenty of hot cocoa (although we are running a little thin on marshmallows) to drink. and Christmas movies to watch.

So far this storm has conferred upon us 13 inches, and the clouds seem to be working overtime to produce still more.

The only bad thing is that Other Jim had to work. He was supposed to work at 11 a.m. but because the roads were terrible, Jim drove him and they didn't get to Mart of Wal until noon (a 7-minute drive took them 45 minutes). And since no one is out and about today (unless they have a death wish to get eaten by ferocious snow banks), OJ probably gets to sit around at an empty store.

Katie is spending a day in St. George and she called us to ask about the snow. She's looking at palm trees and I'm looking at this:
And I'm fine with that.

Decorating the blog

Because I fried my brain yesterday this week with working extra hours and can think of nothing to post about, I am resorting to posting pictures of my Christmas decor.

I finally have an entry way display that looks classy. The advent is from my sister, who does some awesome cross-stitching. I got the candle sticks at a white elephant gift exchange. I don't think the person who brought the candle sticks totally got the idea of white elephant; I snapped them up quickly and hid them behind my legs so no one would steal them from me.

Anyway, Jim took the day off today so that we could go to lunch. Happy Friday!

Tis the season of family photos

SIL Jen and I have been in negotiations over my Christmas card layout for this year. She has something against me liking blue and wanting it for a background two years in a row. Actually, I don't think last year's card was blue. I don't remember sending out cards last year. The year before that had a navy background though, I do know that.

Anyway, cards are coming this year. Really awesome cards. The only thing I regret about this year's photo shoot is that no one took a picture of my mother sliding down the stairs on her butt while we, the Evans family, were sitting for our portrait. My mother--ever the scalliwag, even in her "dotage."

No I won't show you the picture that I finally chose. But I will show you a few that I didn't choose.

This picture was actually taken as a test to see if the basement room offered enough light. But I liked how it looked and kept it. I fiddled with it too, to make it look "artsy."

I fiddled with this picture …

Making memories that MATTER

Thursday afternoon, Hayley came home from school. I had gotten out a few holiday decorations and put them up. Hayley looked around the room and said, "Didn't we used to have more decorations?"

I said, "I've only put out one box. There are still more in the garage."

She said, "Oh good. I like it during the holidays when I have to watch where I walk because of all the stuff you put out. I like Halloween too for the same reason."

Just goes to show you, you can never have too many decorations.

All good trends come to an end

Matt. The child I cried about most when I found out there was going to be a fifth child turns out to be one of the best rewards ever. He was a fairly easy baby, he got along with his older sister to the extent that they kept out of my way because they played together all the time, and he tickles my funny bone daily.

But let me tell you a different kind of Matt story. This past Monday, he came home from school in a panic. He had lost his school library book, which had his reading log in it. He said the book had been gone for about a week. He needed to find it so that he could turn it in on Wednesday. He looked everywhere in the house for hours. I helped some but not for hours. All for nothing, even after offering up pleas to the library book fairy, the homework fairy, the dust bunnies under the couches and several spiders who know the nooks and crannies of the house better than I do. (and I offered up many silent prayers to the Almighty) All I could offer in the way of comfort was t…

Continuation of trend

Hayley's turn.

My little girl of the long fingers (well, long in comparison with my fingers).

Sometimes I call her Peaches. She asked me a few times why I call her that when she doesn't even like peaches. I told her I didn't know.

She is an answer to a prayer. When I was pregnant with her, I prayed very hard for a girl so that I wouldn't have three boys in a row. I'd seen what three boys in a row could be like with my younger brothers and I thought, if at all possible, I'd like to have a girl instead.

But she sure isn't a girly girl. She is comfortable around boys--she's the only female in her jazz band and counts many of the boys in jazz as her friends.

Hayley loves to laugh as much as I do. She also likes to find the little absurdities so prevalent in the English language. She likes to ask, "whoever came up with the phrase 'good grief?' Grief isn't good, and whenever someone says it, they usually aren't talking about something goo…


So Monday I showed you a picture of Katie, and yesterday OJ. That means today I get to show you the alien.
Some of you might think I'm being mean when I call Paul an alien, but I just can't escape the sneaky suspicion that he is not from around here. His mannerisms have always been just slightly off. No matter. I like him anyway. And he seems to have friends.

Mike's Jen took some pictures of our family on Thanksgiving for me to use as Christmas cards and in one of them we caught him awaiting instructions from his mothership.
Let's give Paulie the Vulcan hand sign ("live long and prosper") along with an Orkan "Nanoo nanoo" verbal greeting.

Moving down the line

Yesterday, I posted a picture of Katie. Today I will make a trend out of it. I'll post a picture of Other Jim.Isn't he adorable?

This is what OJ does most of the time when he's home and I'm awake to see him--he lapses into a coma. Working two jobs takes a big chunk of energy out of him, although he seemed to be in optimal form last night at 11 p.m. when I was trying to sleep (his telephone conversation woke me up).

He has less than a month at work. He will take a leave of absence from Le Wal du Mart, in hopes that when he comes back next July, they will have an opening for him and he can get right back to work. OJ is looking forward (very much so) to having a break from working. He wants to exercise his brain for a while.

Jim and I are finalizing the plans for delivery to college where we will bid good-bye to another dependent.

Wave to OJ.

December is coming up to the plate

Who is letting December in the game so early this year? Seriously, December, you're arriving this Wednesday! Couldn't you wait until Monday of next week? I still have turkey leftovers in my fridge! Stupid calendar--it's flipping pages on me.

I think for a blog post today, I'll post a picture of Katie. She made vegetarian chili for us last Friday. Normally I don't like meals that rely so heavily on tomatoes, but this wasn't that bad. In fact it was pretty good! My daughter has turned into a cook! She asked the boys and Hayley how they liked it, and all answered positively, but then added, "But it would be better with meat in it." I had to physically restrain my own hands so they didn't go around thumping snarky kids on their heads. Anyway, I appreciated the meal she cooked for us.

Kate is now back in UT, after an early flight on Sunday. Jim, Other Jim, and I will see her in just over a month when we deliver OJ to college. Kate already has p…

You don't eat no meat?!

Yes, Katie is a vegetarian. When she first told me, I asked her, "Then why are you coming home for Thanksgiving?" It's the most meat-centric of all the major American holidays! Her response was "For the squash buns." Aaaaah, yes, I can understand. Squash buns are fairly incredible.

But she did want to be able to tell her friends back in UT that she ate turkey, so we devised a plan: a turkey cake.

I wouldn't make it on the actual Thanksgiving day because there was too much going on. But Black Friday, one of two days in my calendar that I refuse to leave the house (the other being Dec. 26), was much less busy.

So she and I baked. Kate also wanted to experience the use of fondant, so I incorporated some fondant into the decoration. And this is what we came up with:A turkey Katie would eat. It was yummy.

Just a few more pictures from the trip and some from Thanksgiving

Seeing family was the main reason for our trip to California.

Since I'm so rarely on the West Coast, I had to stop by Yuba City to see my grandparents and my aunt and uncle. We had lunch with them and my cousin Emily's family. Do I look like my Aunt Laurie? I think so. I hope I have some of the same personality too because she is a wonderful person. Grandma and Grandpa were lively conversationalists.

We spent a lot of time with Jim's family, but I didn't take many pictures. These next two pictures are from the last night we were there and I finally had to insist on at least a couple of pictures.

Jim and his sisters:Jim and a few more members of the extended family. Jim's dad is in there and three of Tammy's children and a daughter-in-law.
And now some pictures from yesterday, Turkey day.

OK, this first one. I thought I would take a picture of all five of my children together. Katie's home for the week and I need to get at least one pic. Can you guess why I…