Showing posts from November, 2010

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…

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you have adequate tastebuds to enjoy the dinner on your table, brotherly (and sisterly) love in your heart to enjoy the people at your table, and ample footspace under the table. And someone else to do the dishes.

I have been reminded that under blogger rules, I must post pictures of recent trips within 4 days of the end of the vacation. Rules are rules and I must bend to accomodate. And the consequences of noncompliance are too terrible to even think about. The stuffing can wait, I guess.

So back we go to California.

Jim at the Walton Lighthouse in Santa Cruz. And yes, it was cold enough to wear a leather jacket. It rained most of the time we were there.
I am at Pismo Beach. You see my barefeet? I waded in the water. Jim and I are on the Pismo Beach pier.
Here I am in a changing room on Morro Bay Beach. Morro Rock is behind me.
OK. That's probably all I can do today. Got to get back to preparations. More tomorrow.

Santa Cruzin'

First of all, happy anniversary to me. And to Jim. Being back in CA sort of erases the 22 years of marriage. We spent yesterday in the town (San Luis Obispo) where we spent our first and second anniversary, and where we welcomed our first child. We visited the two apartments we lived in--not much has changed so I felt almost like my 21-year-old self again while we walked around.
We checked out Pismo Beach and Morro Bay while we were down on the central coast. Not much has changed in either place. The ocean still looks the same, and is just as wet. And it has the same clarifying effect on my brain. I walked down to the beach in Pismo and felt instantly calmed by the white noise of the waves. I rolled up my pant legs and waded in a few feet. The water was chilly, but not as cold as I thought it would have been for a November day. I could see surfers in their wetsuits by the pier and an old man with his metal detector digging in the sand. I wanted to stay there for hours. Maybe e…

(I really should be packing)

(but instead I'm gonna post about Paul's last marching band concert)

Yep, it's the last time I get to see Paulie in a marching band uniform. He'll still play the French Horn next year, but he says that marching band and Cross Country conflict--and he's sort of right. A few times this year, he's had CC meets on afternoons when he is supposed to play in the band at football games. And he wants to go to his meets. I don't blame him. So next year, for band, he will sign up for the Fall Concert band instead. The only extracurricular requirement for that is one concert in November. Plus he doesn't have to wear the marching band uniform (I think he is mistaken in not liking the band uniform. He looks so awesome with a yellow feather duster sticking out of his head. I'm sure if they had brass helmets with a broom-style mohawk--like Morgan's band does--he'd be much more attached to it. Maybe not).

Anyway, here he is for the last time as a march…

How to be lost

Matt was lost for about half an hour yesterday, but it was the lamest "being lost" ever. He was just sitting in the atrium by the middle school office waiting patiently for his sister and his mother as they looked everywhere in the two middle schools--that is, they looked everywhere but where the mother had told him to be. (I actually called a teacher on his personal cell phone to see if Matt had attended an after school band class because I couldn't find Matt. And Hayley had looked everywhere in the school twice--obviously except right in the entryway of the school)

Geez, if you are going to be lost, you have to do it with flair; don't just sit there like a bump on a log waiting for your mother to find you.

I should know. I am nearly an expert at being lost, particularly at big, meandering, heavily populated venues, like the MN State Fair.

So, for those of you who do not know how to be lost adequately, here are a few helpful hints.
1. Run around, flailing your arms,

White-itude, now with pictures!

Look at that! Isn't it pretty? 8 inches plus of good old fashioned snow! What makes it REALLY pretty is that I don't have to drive anywhere in it. My workshops were canceled because road conditions were bad.

The snow is still coming down. I've gotten more stuff done today than I have this whole week. I will be baking squash buns in a little while.

Bonus picture:
Other Jim doesn't have to work today (a rarity, and an especially good one because of all the snow. He'd be a miserable cart pusher today). Instead, he researched college classes and came up with a workable schedule. Now we just have to hope the sections he selected don't fill up before he is allowed to register on Wednesday. Keep your fingers crossed for OJ.

PS I complained so loudly about losing my camera battery charger that the camera battery charger fairy brought me a new one. So now I can use my camera because I have a charged-up battery! California, here I come!! (on Wednesday)


It's snowing! There is about 4 inches on the ground. I'd take a picture, but alas, I still have not found my battery charger.


My van likes to surprise me, or maybe more accurately, play tricks on me.

The van started up just fine this morning and we had no trouble on the way to seminary. All was well.

When seminary was over, I went out to the car to start it, but it just sat there, ignoring the key turning in the ignition. We tried jump-starting it to another car, but that didn't work either. One of the teenagers who rides in my van from church to school noticed that there was a severed hose leading from the air filter to the engine. Jim drove the white car to the church and drove us all where we needed to be. I was half an hour late to work. Sigh. Jim then went back to church to see what he could do with the van replaced the broken hose and the van started right up.

Now because it is November, the month where we consider those things for which we are grateful, I have decided to be more like Pollyanna and am going to list the "fortunatelys" in this situation.

1. Fortunately, there were still peo…

Five captains, a complaint, and Hayley

I finally was able to download the picture of the five cross country running captains for 2011. So there is Paul in the middle.

I am a bit frustrated because I can't find my camera battery charger again (I lost it earlier in the year). Our trip to CA is coming up soon and I going to NEED a camera battery! Alas!

Last night was the Evening of Excellence for the young women at church. Every girl was supposed to bring a project to show off. Hayley brought the bass guitar. It was kind of odd to see all these sewing projects (there were a lot of them) and scrapbooks and then to see a bass guitar and an amp. Hayley is just not a typical girl. But she's Hayley and doing just fine with the things she likes to do. After the program, some of the adults pestered Hayley into playing it for them. I wish I had had a working camera battery so I could have taken a little video.

Is there a captain in the house?

Yes there is!

Last night the cross country team had their end-of-the-year banquet. Part of the program was the announcement of next year's team captains and Paul is one of them! I'd post a picture, but I didn't take one (too far away and the room was big and dark--I'm waiting for the person who took a picture to post it on the cc photo gallery. When she does, I'll download it and post it here). There are five boy captains and they've all come through the program together for the last three years. All of them work hard and have set a good example for the younger team members.

Paul told me that one of the responsibilities of a captain is to drive to the cross country camp in August. Oh, really? (this is Paul trying to weasel his way into getting his license and a vehicle for his personal use)

Driving with Matt

Today in the car ride home from Grandma's for piano lessons, we saw a car with a license plate that read "MEOW." Jim meowed a few times, I suggested the driver was probably a crazy cat lady, and Matt said, "When I grow up I'm going to get a special license plate for my car that reads 'HWX 962.'" I asked him what that meant and he said, "It doesn't mean anything--I want to get a special license plate that no one knows is special."

So he would get a vanity plate that looks ordinary, just to fake people out, even though they wouldn't know they've been faked out.

I can't wait to see how he lives life as an adult.

Grand parents

I scanned another album-ful of pictures a couple weeks ago. I took a lot of pictures of Katie when she was little, and this was that album.

While looking at all the pictures, I was again very grateful that I had taken so many pictures. In the pictures are people who are not with us anymore. I'm also grateful for the grandparents (some of whom are still around)--my grandparents, Jim's grandparents, and Katie's grandparents. There's an awful lot of happiness in my life as a direct result of my grandparents. And Jim's grandparents and parents contributed positively to my good relationship with Jim. I've never felt unwelcome with Jim's family.

I decided I would post some tributary pictures. I don't have all the grandparents, but I have some. I might have the missing ones in the next album. So if you don't see yourself, you might have to wait til the next tribute post.

And this is a bonus tribute for Katie, since she's in all the pictures. She…


PSA: Elect some people!

Got that out of the way.

I'm supposed to be exercising, but I couldn't sit another minute on the bike. So I'm taking a wee break.

10 Things to occupy the worry center of my brain now that Halloween is over:

1. Exercise. Too many Snickers.
2. 4th time in six months (rough estimate) that a blood vessel has popped in my big toe. My toe seems to be falling apart.
3. Engagement ring lost a piece that holds the diamond in place, and for fear of losing the diamond, I have taken it off. (Envision me with a sad face--see that picture of me in the upper right corner? The one with the deranged grin and feral eyes? Well, turn that deranged grin upside down in your mind. That's what I look like when I remember that I can't wear my engagement ring (Yes, the same ring that mysteriously got bent in September. I'm beginning to think that either the ring is sick of me and so it's contorting itself into unwearable situations or someone else is sick of me …