Showing posts from August, 2010

For when you don't want to use your vocal chords to introduce yourself

Nunya cards.

These cards are for those folks who possess a sense of humor about themselves and who also like to define themselves in ways other than the norm. These cards are for people who like to carry around little rectangles of heavy paper. These cards are for people who like to give those papery rectangles to other people.

They kinda remind me of the magician/comedian we met at my sister-in-law's birthday party. He gave out business cards, which had on them his name, followed by "Magician. Comedian. Person." I still have the card because it gives me a good laugh.

If I got a package of these beauties, I might have to put on it:

Shoebox Princess
Cookies required


Shoebox Princess
Breather of a gaseous mixture of 78.05% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, and <1% other assorted gases


Shoebox Princess
I like shoes. A lot.


Shoebox Princess
I live in a shoebox castle

What would you put on a Nunya card?

And no, I wasn't paid to promote Nunya cards. I just happen to know the person…

Fun stuff that happened last minute

Yesterday afternoon, we got notice that Jim's brother-in-law Will was in town for a day. He drives a truck all across the country and he had a load to deliver in St. Paul.

Jim invited Will and his driving partner James to come over for for dinner. We couldn't not have them over! Unfortunately for me, I had a seminary kick-off to attend (and at which I had to present some items, since I'm one of the teachers), so I couldn't be there to help get the house or the dinner ready. But Jim was more than capable and he grilled burgers and brats.

I got home from church just in time for dinner to start and for the handle on the deck door to fall off. Will helped Jim fix the door handle--thanks Will! We had a good dinner and conversed about family and plans and all kinds of stuff. They didn't stay much longer after dinner because they'd been on the road for days and days and wanted to get some sleep before the delivery this morning.

We don't get to see anyone fro…

Head to Toe

A long long time ago at an elementary school about 25 miles from here, I busted up my left big toe somethin' fierce. The story is legendary among people that are me, so I won't go into it here. Suffice to say that it took the whole summer to heal and it was all my fault, not Jason's. Lesson I learned: Pay attention to the teacher, not to your neighbor who you think isn't doing what he is supposed to be doing. And don't get all self-righteous on your neighbor. Toes get broken, even smashed, as a result.

And now this same toe, thirty years later, is starting to give me fits. As in today marks the third time in the last few months that a blood vessel (perhaps the very same one because it always occurs in the same place) in this toe has broken for unknown reasons. I was sitting in church, minding lots of people's business--particularly Jim's business of making sure my back was being rubbed--JUST SITTING THERE, when I felt an odd but familiar pressure on the …

For Jenni, who complained that a picture was not adequately labeled.

There. I've done all the work for you, Jenni.

Over the river and through the woods...

a-cross-country running we go!

Well, Paul goes. I stood and watched. And took the occasional picture.

It was time trial day for the high school cross country running team. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you have already seen over the last two years a multitude of pictures of Paul running, but since that's the only thing that's going on around here, you gotta look at some more.

Here is a picture of the beginning of the race. Paul is fifth from the left. Take a good look at this picture. Compare it to the picture I took of the boys at the halfway point.
The halfway point (Paul is the one on the right. No he's not in first. The guy in first was several seconds ahead):
Did you compare? Did you notice a difference in the runners?

Yep, most of them at some point shed their shirts. We parents were standing at a corner a few hundred yards into the race and all of a sudden, the mass of boys underwent a group molting. It was almost dance-like in movement. And after th…


After being rejected by many major department stores (I've come to the conclusion that they believed I was too smart to work for them), I was hired on yesterday by the school district's childcare program. I get to work at the closest building to my house that is not a residence or a former Knights of Columbus Hall that is now a church or a city Parks and Rec building. I will work in the mornings for two hours at the local elementary school as one of a team that watches elementary age children before school starts.

It's only two hours a day, but I get a very decent hourly wage, which makes it almost as lucrative as babysitting one child in my own home. I will also be on the sub list for the afternoon shifts in the same program around the district.

I'm kind of glad to ease my way back into the workforce: I'm doing something that I've done for many years, and I have a regular schedule that doesn't interfere (yet) with my own children's after school sched…

Another summer activity with my kids

This time, specifically with my boys.

Get this: we (and by "we" I mean "the boys and I, but mostly the boys") are going to CLEAN THEIR ROOM! My part is going to be mostly saying "Are you sure you need to keep that? Really? Like five years from now you are going to wish you kept that box of cardboard cereal box cut-outs? No. Really. You are NOT keeping that."


It hasn't been cleaned since the Great Room Switch and I'm sure the dust bunnies have multiplied beyond my mind's capacity to comprehend. That and there are ants on the floor.


It's nearly the end of August and I haven't done many fun things with the kids. Some of them, because of their advanced age, don't care. I wouldn't care much either because I am not of the mind that a mother (at least this mother) has to provide constant entertainment for her children. But I do like going to the beach, and I've missed that this summer. So we went. And I brought the camera along in hopes of taking pictures of my cute little kids playing in the sand with saggy diapers. Too bad I don't have any cute little kids with saggy diapers who play in the sand anymore. I had to settle for taking pictures of a teenager and a pre-adolescent, both of whom don't do "cute" things anymore.

They either stand there silently criticizing the general populace with a faint smirk of self-righteousness:

Or they blow raspberries at their parents:
And then they torment each other with games like "I'm going to attack you and you're going to scr…

Hot cross buns

The summer is almost over and I haven't gotten out to the lake once! Hopefully I'll rectify that this afternoon. But I have to exercise and go grocery shopping first.

And yes, this is a very short post.

Absolutely nothing!

Although that's not quite true. I do have a towel on my head, which usually brings out the deep thoughts (which is why I try not to have a towel on my head for very long. Deep thoughts are tiring).

I've just made a tuna pasta salad. But while I love me some tuna salad with peas, celery, purple onion, Hellman's Light Mayo, Lawry's salt, and dill, tuna is not a food to be dealt with in the morning, unless you are a cat. Then it's like cake, which a body can tolerate at any time of the day.

So now I smell like fish, and I have to go to a cross country picnic (the running season starts soon for Paulie) smelling like I've been digging around on a whaling vessel (or, if you're Chekov from Star Trek, a valing wessel. I kill me)

And speaking of killing myself with laughter, I almost died yesterday (in a similarly figurative way. Not literally) because I took three teenagers shopping for clothes. Paul and Hayley were fine. They spotted things they liked and spen…

Nature that is pretty is also awesome!

This morning when I woke up, I thought to myself that if Albert doesn't come out of his chrysalis today, I was gonna chuck his obviously dead carcass off the deck. He's no good to me if he stays in his room forever. When I went to check on him, I was mightily pleased, for he was not the brown and tan color he was of the past week, but a definite black. And I could see that there was some air pockets between Albert and his former skin around the tip of his back end. And I saw him spasm a couple of times. For the next hour and a half, I watched the chrysalis. I saw only a couple twitches, so I thought he'd be a long time emerging. I decided to keep myself busy with wiping down a few counters. With back turned on Albert, I set to work. He must have been embarrassed while I was watching him because he came out when my back was turned. I swear I had only taken my eyes off him for 10 minutes! And this is what I found when I checked on him:Crumpled wings and a desire to …

Drumoll please!

Albert is out!

I'll replace this post later with a longer post with pictures. Currently Albert is unfurling his wings while hanging onto a spongy paintbrush that I am holding.

There are ten apps for that

I don't have one of those phones where you can get all kinds of cool apps. I don't have a data sharing plan that lets me browse the internet on my phone. I don't really need all that stuff. Mostly I use my phone for asking Paul where he is, what time will Jimmy be home, and telling Katie that so-and-so got kicked off "The Next Food Network Star." (We were both sad that Aarti won. I liked Herb better.)

But when my brother Mike whipped out his phone to activate his cricket app (the sound of awkward silence) when my mom told a joke (he was layering his joke on top of her joke), I started to think I wanted app capabilities.

These are the applications I would be interested in:

1. An app to tell me when critical food items in the fridge are running out (heaven forbid I should actually open the fridge to check for myself or that anyone in the family would tell me that they just used the last of the milk, eggs, or bread).

2. An app that will point out the exact location …

La Quinceañera

I'd do this whole post in Spanish, but you don't read Spanish, do you? My brothers might, but they aren't here. And all they'd do, if I wrote it in Spanish, would be to point out my many and egregious mistakes. Nevertheless, I will write a little bit in Spanish. Brothers, hold your criticisms til the very end. Submit any error reports in triplicate using bullet points and please reference all mistakes by quotation so I know what to revise. Keep your laughter to yourselves.

Buckle up your eyes, for I have many pictures to share with you. Skip the boring ones if you want.

I just uploaded the pictures I want on here and DANG there are a lot of them. I don't blame you if you fall asleep halfway through them.

Ok. Here is the family table at the head of the room (for those of you who are LDS, the room should be very recognizable). The chambelan de honor sits next to the quinceanera (when she's done getting her food) for the dinner portion of the fiesta. (This is…


I love having carrots in the garden. They are relatively easy to grow (the only bad part is thinning them a week or two after they sprout. It's back-breaking labor and I usually squish one row as I'm thinning another). But the best part is that sometimes I get these in my carrots:I found this guy/gal a little over a week ago. We fed him/her many carrot leaves. He/she even escaped the jar once but didn't go very far.

Last Saturday, the caterpillar finally pooped out (literally), climbed up on the stick I placed in the habitat (jar), and he apostrophized.

He/She (Argh. I hate not knowing the gender. From now on, it's a "he" named Albert)--Albert--stayed like this for a day. He'd twitch when jostled, but that's about it. I wondered if he'd died because I couldn't remember how long these caterpillars stayed punctuated before they went to this:
But Albert reminded me it only takes a day. We went to bed with Albert being a brightly colored pu…


Someday these will be orange and sitting on my front porch. I can't wait!

Skirting the issue

I need more skirts if I'm going to teach seminary. And skirts or dresses in my size are hard to find in stores.

While I was out in Wisconsin last week, Jen and I stopped by a fabric store and we both purchased some knit fabric so we can make skirts and be twins. We started cutting out and sewing while I was still in Wisconsin because I knew if I took the material home without having done anything to it, it would sit there staring at the ceiling in my sewing room while time raced by in great big chunks.

We picked an easy style to sew up and one that is flattering on any shape--A-line--and without a pattern, we cut.

We didn't finish them while I was there because she had no black cone thread and we had to go to church, so I took the skirt home to finish it. And I did!

It's a very comfortable skirt.

I am morally obligated to post today

And I'm happy to do it because OJ is EIGHTEEN.
I can't quite reconcile that little boy with the young man that he has become.

This is his cake. We had his birthday dinner and cake last night (even though OJ's birthday is actually today) because he works tonight. Yes, he is officially an adult, as evidenced by him NOT complaining that he has to work on his birthday.
Other Jim wanted a reference to his future at college on his cake, hence the BYUI. I realize the blue is too light, but I ran out of blue food coloring and didn't have time to get more. I like working with fondant (even though it's nasty-tasting). It's not as scary or difficult as I thought it would be.

This afternoon Jim and I will be taking OJ to his restaurant of choice for our traditional birthday date with the birthday child. OJ picked Chipotle. Then we will be picking up OJ's birthday/graduation present at Best Buy--a laptop for college. OJ and I picked it out yesterday. He's excited…


That's what it should be at least. I don't know many men who have their nails done.


In preparation for the bank teller interview last week, I had a manicure including acrylic nails for the second time in my life. Normally my nails are a shoddy mess because they are thin and brittle so they break and flake and rip all the time. I did manage to grow them out a couple of times and I discovered also that my nails curve and bend in a most unattractive way. (we will not even be discussing my toenails. You are not prepared for such hideousness. Especially of the kind presented by my pinky toenails) So for a situation where I have to look my best, my natural best is best covered up.

So we have fake nails.

Why is it that whenever I have fake nails, my body breaks out into continuous itching? These acrylic nails SUCK at satisfying any kind of itch. It's like trying to scratch something with the edge of a ceramic dinner plate.

So for today's post, I have a list of ten thi…

Lots o' pictures

So I'm delinquent in posting pictures of our trip to visit Mike and Jen. My reasons for the procrastination are as follows:

1. I have mosquito bites all over my legs and ankles and they itch like CRAZY. I feel like stabbing my shins with the scissors (or any other sharp implement) so they will be just merely incredibly painful instead of tormentingly itchy.
2. Frustration with the job search. I was declined for the bank teller job. So I had to sit and stew about that for a day or two.
3. Driving the kids around

Here is the main reason I wanted to visit Mike and Jen: Vi is a darling. Jen tried to pretend that UV was not a nice baby so that I wouldn't steal her. I don't believe a word Jen said about UV crying or not wanting to wean (Jen pretended the whole weekend that Vi wanted to nurse to try to make me believe Vi couldn't leave her mother).

It's GIANT BABY and Mike the Strongman!

We went to the Jelly Belly factory. Hayley asked about it even before we left Minneso…