Showing posts from 2011

1000th post

Seriously, I'm at 1000. I should have dressed up to blog today.

In honor of 1000 posts of meaningless drivel (except for that one week before Christmas 2009 when I blogged daily my thoughts about the Nativity), I'm going to do a ten things list.

Ten things for no reason, about nothing in particular

1. I saw a craft idea for a family motto board. The craft itself is cute, but I cannot take the family motto idea seriously. I can't. My children wouldn't either. We all would ignore it and go on with our lives in whatever way we chose to live it, and when we got bored, we'd make fun of it and change the words around to mean stupid things. If I were forced at gunpoint to come up with a family motto, I think I would have to go with "Aspirate." Maybe I'll make a family motto board with that on it just for fun.  Heehee, I just thought of something: I hate those signs that say "Live, Laugh, Love" (no apology from me if you have one. I don't hate e…

Sing the praises of pants!

I'd offer points for people who could give me the reference for my post title, but I don't think any of you would get it without googling it.

Here, I'll link to it.

Singing the praises of pants

I particularly like the line near the end: "Dolphins, one of the smartest mammals on earth. Do they wear pants? No, but they wish they did, that's how smart they are."

Then there's another episode of MST3K where Pearl and Observer are in Roman times and they want to have a toga party, but the Romans don't get it. So Pearl comes up with the idea to have a pants party and they all dance around with pants pinned to their togas yelling "Pants party pants party!" but I can't find a clip of it on youtube so you'll just have to imagine it.

SO on to pants.


Pajama pants.

Kate made some yesterday. First day home, and she's raiding my fabric stash. She found some fabric with planets on it but there wasn't enough to make both legs of pajama …

Chicken Run

We made a run for the MN/SD border this weekend. My office had their annual Christmas party this Friday and I wanted to be there. We brought Hayley and Matt along and they babysat the boss's kids while we went off and partied at Lunker's in Watertown.

We decided to make a weekend of the trip and are staying with Mike and Jen at their chicken hotel. I love their chickens! Hayley and Matt liked them too.

I don't have a picture of Hayley holding a chicken (well, I do on my phone, but Matt is using my phone to play Fruit Ninja so I can't access the picture at the moment), but I have one of Matt. Hayley took to chicken holding quite easily, but Matt needs a little practice. He's not afraid of the chickens, but he is a little flustered when the birds get to squawking.
I like hanging out with the chickens and much as I hate to brag, I'm pretty good at catching them and holding them so they don't freak out. Jim wouldn't touch the chickens. Chicken!
Matt was fa…

Larry's not white; Larry's clear.

17 points if you can tell me where the post title came from. -2 points if you googled it to get the answer.

Just because I'm about to complain does not mean that I want consolation. First of all, you don't know what I'm going to complain about yet, and second of all, I'm complaining in more of a I-wanna-blog-about-something-but-this-is-all-I-came-up-with kind of way.

I'm going to complain about a facial feature. Because I once poked fun at myself in a very early blog post and people thought I was either depressed or they didn't like the tone I used to do it, I'm going to say early on that if you think I am hating on myself, keep your comments to yourself. Laugh at me if you will, complain about things you find annoying about your own physical appearance, etc, but I'll thank you not to assume that I need therapy and/or hugs. (I might need therapy, but not about my personal appearance)(as for the hugs, unless you're Jim or unless you have issued forth…

The Jim I didn't know existed

It used to be that my husband could be taken at face value. What he thought, he said. And what he was going to do, he mentioned. 

Or so I thought.

He has carefully crafted this deception over the course of 23 years. He acted like he couldn't wait to give me presents that he had bought so he made me receive them early. He would let things slip so that I would guess surprises.  He pretended that he wasn't spontaneous and plan and plan and get my input on every detail for upcoming events. 

But today, I have learned it was all a lie.

He surprised me by bringing donuts to seminary for the whole class in honor of my birthday.
And then when I went out to my van, he had left a bouquet of flowers on the driver's seat.
And he knew that some ladies were going to come over and bring me lunch, and KEPT IT A SECRET.

I had no idea.

I'll never trust him again!  But in a good way.

Sudden realization

I never posted a sampling of Paul's senior pictures.

Would you care to see a few? Jen took these pictures WA-A-A-A-AY back in July when it was close to a million degrees outside. We were uncomfortably hot during the photo session, Paul most of all, because in a couple pictures I made him wear his heavy wool letter jacket.

But now that is all a distant and faint memory, hardly worth recalling.

For years, I've been worried about Paul's senior pictures. Paul has been notoriously difficult to photograph in a posed state. He has always looked stiff and unnatural and has strange looks on his face. But I should not have worried. He seems to have come to grips with photographic technology and can manage a handsome smile in the face of the lens. 

And now,

pictures of Paul.


Hey, I was just looking at my blog overview and noticed that I am closing in on 1000 posts. I'd better make my mille post a special one (or not).

I would post pictures from last night's Honor Band concert, but Matt sits in the back of the band, is very short, and sits behind a very tall girl. So no pictures of him in the band. Mr H, one of the directors, mentioned that this is the 5th year of Honor Band, and I thought to myself that there has been an Evans in the Honor Band every year. First Paul, then Hayley, now Matt. I'll be a little sad when there is no Evans in the Honor Band.

Matt has another concert tonight for his regular band. I'll try to get a picture of him fiddling with his trombone.

Hayley has a pep band event, which I am not going to because I am going to the band concert. I probably wouldn't go to the pep band events anyway. And no, that does not make me a parent who does not care. It does make me a parent who does not care about the high school hock…

I promise I'm NOT complaining

It's just past 6 a.m. on a Saturday...and I've been awake for an hour.

On a Saturday.

Younger me would have said, "THIS IS SO NOT FAIR!!!"

Mid-40s me says, "Meh, I had my sleep. I'm fine."  Besides, it's kind of fun to be up when no one else is. I can do what I want without worrying that I'm getting in the way or hovering or whatever.

Yesterday was a busy day at work. I'm still not quite used to a desk job (even though the desk is in my sewing room) (and keep in mind the headline of this post). There are phone calls to be made and software program fields to be filled with data.

Wednesday and Friday, I actually said to my husband, "I'm really busy at work." And I meant it. I really haven't ever experienced this before: sitting at my desk, doing something that needs to be done, and then suddenly I realize that two hours have passed while I've been sitting there, my brain buzzing along.

I know many of you have and can sa…

Should the title of this post be "Fallen Arches" or "Arch Angel?"

Every so often, I'll drive by a chain fast food venue while hungry, and an argument will break out.

Me: Mmm, fast food! I wanna stop and get some.

Other Me: I don't.

Me: But the food is so yummy!

Other Me: It is not! The last ten times (at least!) we've stopped there have been incredibly disappointing, remember? We pulled out of the parking lot all the while kicking ourselves for having gone there because the food was gross.  We wasted our money buying it.

Me isn't listening: Mmmm, french fries! With ketchup!  Come on, you know you love them.

Other Me: Maybe the first three fries. After that, it's like eating cold, salty glue sticks.

Me: How about the hamburgers then. You love a good hamburger!

Other Me: Yes I do, but fast food hamburgers are not good hamburgers.

Me: Soft bun, meat, chopped onions, ketchup--it's all there!

Other Me: All there in the most depressing arrangement ever.  The sandwiches always come out squished, and the chopped onions are plopped in …

I care very deeply

I am still here, people.

I'm just popping in to tell you that I saw a headline of a blog post on a blog I occasionally pop over to read. The title was, "Who cares about the Periodontal Ligament?"

I want to go on record by saying: I care! I care deeply about the periodontal ligament!

There. I said it. Thank you for listening (reading). Back to everyone's regularly scheduled evenings.

How well can I type at 6:30 a.m.?

I'm up again at an unholy hour of the morning, although sleeping until 5:19 was technically sleeping in. Thank you, seminary, for skewing my perception of time.  If I had told my college age self there would come a time in my life when sleeping until 6 a.m. would be enjoyed and even considered heavenly, I probably would have shot myself for thinking future me was an alien in disguise. As a teen, I never could understand how in the world my mother could get up at these weird morning hours (when technically it wasn't even MORNING yet because, hello, there was no SUN peeping over the horizon) and do housework (and really all I can see now is getting up early isn't so bad; the actual doing of housework I still don't understand. How can I do housework when I have to catch up on emails, cute kittens, and people of walmart? I'd be willing to bet if facebook existed when my mother was in her 40s, she'd have been parked in front of her Apple 2e instead of downstairs gri…

Thanksgiving abundance

This year I get two Thanksgivings. Yesterday we ate with friends. Today we eat with family.

No, I don't celebrate Black Friday.  All the pushing and shoving by the thick angry crowds repel any thought of even setting foot in a non-food related store on the Friday after Thanksgiving. EJ got home from his shift at Boxmart and said it was a people-filled night shift. The customers were cranky, and he is used to working in a quiet store. The sales started at 10 p.m. last night, and customers getting to the store at 10 had already missed out on the deals they were there to cash in on.

We drove home from the friends' house at around 10 last night and saw the long line of cars waiting to get into the parking lot. When 10 p.m. driving is more backed up than rush hour, I'm not participating.

Anyway, we had a good time with the friends. The husband is a friend of Jim's since high school and he and his family moved to MN almost two years ago. They have children roughly the same a…

Thankfulnessability or gratitudinous

Ten things I am grateful for (and I'm gonna try to be honest and serious, instead of being silly, like being thankful for children who misbehave because then I can meet the recommended daily allowance of yelling for 10 minutes at 110 decibels, which allows a parent to operate under the illusion that they are really in charge)

1.  ...........

It's hard to be serious.

Really. Everything I come up with devolves into some sort of joke. Either that or what I'm thankful for sounds trite.

Of course I'm thankful for my family. Most everybody is. They bring happiness and joy and (and here I start to think "and blah blah blah, it's all been said before, even though it's true")...

I'm grateful that the big boys got up and went to play football. Why? Because they are doing something they will remember as "having had a good time" for the rest of their lives. They are practicing being adults, living without their parents. And I am practicing letting t…

We Wang-Chunged to a different tune

There were no board games on our anniversary overnight because we forgot to pack them.

But Friday morning, I saw a link on one of my favorite websites (Satellite News--which is a fan site for MST3K). The site announced that two of the guys from MST3K would be appearing on a radio show on MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) called Wits and that John Hodgman (the PC guy from the Mac commercials) would be there too. The link said "If you happen to be in St. Paul this evening..." and I thought WHOA. I'm going to be in St Paul this evening! (That's where we stayed overnight) We had nothing planned but board games and movies. I got to thinking about going to this show, and then obsessing about it. When Jim came home, I cautiously presented the idea, not knowing what his reaction would be. I didn't know if he would really care to go to a live performance of a radio program that had little to do with music, which he loves, and focused so much on personalities that I liked.

I sh…

Everybody Wang Chung tonight

Hey, Paul just came home in the middle of school. He says this quarter he has an open period and lunch right together AND a hybrid class that meets only three times a week. So on Mondays and Fridays, he has classes until 11:30 and then not again until 2. Lucky dog. He came home with a big old smile on his face, saying, "It feels really good to not have class for a few hours. I'm gonna go for a run." And yes, as I have been typing this, he has put on his running gear and has just left the house. Strange child. If I were off school for a few hours, I surely would NOT go out and run around.

On to my plans for the weekend: Tonight is DATE NIGHT! Jim took the night off of his pizza job.We're going to spend the night not going to a dance club. (sad face. I want to go dancing)

Because Jim won't go dancing with me tonight, I'm making him go walk underground with me tomorrow to look at geological formations.  We are going to a place that I have always wanted to go t…

22 years and 363 days

...and counting.

It's almost anniversary time here in the shoebox castle. On this Saturday, Jim and I will have been married 23 years.

In 23 years, we've:
Lived in 5 states
Lived at 13 different addresses
Had almost as many landline phone numbers
Raised 5 children
Bought three mattresses
Had 4 dining room tables (all used, by the way. We don't go buying new dining room tables left and right)
Owned 8 vehicles (all used. All of them. Two we drove to death. One almost to death. Another back on to the lot for a trade-in and got $200. Three are still with us and one is with Kate. Kate's and one of ours are nigh unto sleeping in the vehicle junkyard)
Bought 3 new couches (and had 4 used ones). We're tough on furniture.
Owned three electric skillets (I still miss the first one)
Repainted the bathroom of our current living space once
Taken many many road trips together.
Cleaned up 12 feet of vomit at 2 a.m. on New Years Day once (thank you EJ for giving us that experienc…

Teenagers have the power to make or break the day of the parent

I was feeling curmudgeonly this morning, if not downright cranky.

But Hayley has the ability to turn a phrase just right to make me laugh and forget that I was feeling mean and poor and lowly of spirit.

Taken out of context, the words she uttered seem so preposterous, which is why I laughed.

She said:

"When I talk to him, I talk to him facing the chickens."

and most recently, she said:

"Let's keep the breath clouds outside the house."

Thanks Hayley for making me laugh.

West Side Matty

I'm behind with the blogging. Again I have to blog about events from last weekend.

The kids participated in a church activity called "Saints on Broadway." Each group did 1-4 dances to songs from a Broadway musical. Our ward picked "West Side Story."

The 12-13 year old boys got to do a dance all by themselves to the prologue and I found it very entertaining to
watch Matt "dancing."

Paul and Hayley participated also, but that video is much longer and I didn't get good views of either one. So you only get to see Matt. My favorite part is where the four "bad boys" hassle and bully two much older and much tougher guys. In real life, those two "pushovers" would have pounded these four little punks into the ground without even breaking a sweat.

All the kids had a great time, including those, like Paul, who have never ever desired to be on stage.

Gol' Daggit

Let's get in the ol' time machine and travel back to last Sunday. Why? Because that's what I'm gonna blog about today. Nevermind that I did not actually witness what I'm blogging about. The reason I was not in attendance at this particular event was that I went and signed myself for a work-related conference the next day without consulting my calendar. When I realized that I would be traveling to attend the conference when Paul's Cross Country end-of-the-year banquet was scheduled, verily, I was distraught.

Jim went to the banquet with Paul, under strict orders to take photographs and keep me posted on all goings on so that I could feel like I wasn't such a loser mom. I also knew that one of the other parents would be taking pictures so in case Jim forgot or couldn't figure out how to use my camera, I could still be assured of seeing some form of printed evidence of Paul at a banquet.

So to pictures.

Here is the CC senior boys table. One of the guys is …


I have two lasts to post about: Paul's last high school cross country race, and his last first high school band concert of the year. 

I like watching the start of these races.  All the boys are in one mass, like migrating birds. It's cool to watch them undulate across the golf course.

Then they spread out a bit as they move through the course.

This is Paul at the end of his last CC race. I am proud of this kid. Four years of running a lot is not something most kids find enjoyable, but he did. He was good enough to be named captain, and smart enough to remain captain (three boys lost their captaincy because of poor choices on their part).

And here he is two seconds away from the finish line of his last race. He completed the course in 17:50, not too bad of a time. He's had better twice, but considering the previous two races, he ran over 18, he was glad to go sub 18 for his last race.

It's time to hang up his spikes. *sniff*

Then we have his last first band concert. A n…

Halloween: Return of the Wax Hands

Another cheesy B movie title!

It's the story of a young woman who goes to a carnival and makes two wax hands at a booth. Unbeknownst to her, the wax hands were made from cursed wax. Her parents wake one morning to find her strangled in her bed.  Her distraught boyfriend realizes the wax hands are gone. He hunts them down and melts them with the very last match in his pocket that he'd been saving for a special bonfire date with his girl. Then he dies when a bear eats him.

Think I can pitch it to Hollywood?

Anyway, Jake asked for pictures of the wax hands mentioned in the last post.

Here ya go:
Here's a movie of my wax hands:
I like the flickering effect.

Happy Halloween! Enjoy the last day of Octobery goodness!

Adventure Time with a couple of swashbucklers

Just got home from the ward chili cook-off and costume party.

Hayley worked hard all morning and afternoon to finish up the costumes in time. Matt helped for about 5 seconds. I refused to do any of the real work of the costumery, except for the hoods. I did those. But the eyes and nose on the dog costume were mostly by Hayley.

Lots of people of all ages at the party recognized the characters.

During the fashion show portion of the party, when Gabby, Hayley and Matt came out, they got a huge round of applause. Then the three yelled out, "What time is it?" and everyone yelled "Adventure Time!"

EJ asked me to make him a costume for the ward party. This is what he wanted me to sew for him:
Then there was Paul. He came up with his idea five (5!!!) minutes before he had to leave. He originally wanted to sew a vest, but we convinced him to let us cut up an old shirt of Jim's instead.
Jim refused to dress up.

I had a black dress and a witch's hat and some green m…

Hayley's musical idea

Hayley came home from school today with the news that there is a viola in her band class. She said, "I wish we had orchestra in our school. Then we could combine the two groups into a big group and call it bandestra."

I tried to tell her that there already exists a combination of band and string instruments and it is called orchestra.  And then I laughed.  And then things just got silly.

Parent-child conferences

This has nothing to do with school. I don't go to parent/teacher conferences anymore because (at least at the middle school) the teachers are not part of the process. Seriously. In fact, there was an email recently from the principal at the middle school that read:

"To best accommodate the greatest number of parents with concerns, we suggest that you consider only visiting teachers in whose class your child is struggling or those with whom you as a parent have a question that needs to be discussed in person."

So I didn't even go. Why bother when all I do as a parent is sit across a lunch table from my own son who I see every day after school and talk about his grades for 2 minutes? Instead, I logged onto the gradebook (which is available online), looked at Matt's grades, decided they were good, searched for missing assignments (none), and asked him how he thought he was doing in school. He said fine. I did that all without leaving my house. I wasted neither gas …

Halloween preview

Hayley has been bugging me to put pictures of her Halloween costume on the blog. She finished it last week and we got a wig to go with it. This is the cartoon character she is trying to look like:

And here is the dress:

Here is Princess Bubblegum Hayley with the wig and crown and the stuffed Peppermint Butler she made a while ago:

And one last picture because we found it funny. See if you can guess why:

Do you see why we found it amusing?  Here's a hint mixed in with some labeling requested by Hayley:

Did you guess Paul's face on the computer is what made us laugh? Cuz that's what it was. I'm still chuckling.


I have plenty of words in my life. I like most of them ("moist" is one I do not like. My children know this and like to use it whenever they can to annoy me. Matt's friend, Colton, even likes to use it around me just to see my pained reaction). I like to say them, write them with a nice pen on nice paper, type them on a keyboard that makes little clickity sounds. I like to turn them inside out, use them in unconventional ways, and add suffixes and prefixes that don't really match just to keep things interesting.

Matt and Hayley share my enjoyment of words, and a few days ago, Hayley and I had a usage discussion about three words (actually one is a phrase) and the various situations in which they should be used.  She had asked about the difference in "dawdling" and "fiddling."

I explained that when I say "dawdling," I mean someone is purposely making us late to church (or another outside-of-the-home activity) by moving very slowly, not do…

Sew Awful

One of the perks of my job is that I have a sewing machine in my office. If I'm facing my desk and I want to get a bit of sewing done, all I have to do is swivel in my wonderful office chair and say the magic word and my office chair turns into a sewing chair and I am seated at my machine.

I haven't done much sewing until Monday, when I began on EJ's Halloween costume. He had gone to the local Renaissance Festival twice this season and wanted his costume to be like the clothes he saw at the Ren Fest. (Honestly, I don't know what he needs a costume for; he certainly isn't going trick-or-treating. But I actually kind of wanted to sew and this seemed like a perfectly legitimate excuse to exercise my sewing muscles).

I got some muslin and a peasant shirt pattern and got to it.

Unfortunately, on Monday, my ring finger on my left hand was in a tetchy mood and picked a fight with the sewing machine needle. The machine chunk-chunk-chunked to a halt and I had to extract my …

Hall of Ween

I can't let October get away from me without posting something related to my favorite holiday.

Matt was home by himself for a little while on his birthday while I was at Paul's cross country meet. Matt saw that I had forgotten to take my camera with me (I felt naked without my camera during the whole race. I had to tell myself that I have LOTS of pictures of Paul running and I should just enjoy watching him and his team run without having to get a good shot of him legging it down the chute at the finish line).

So Matt had some fun with my camera while I was gone. This is what I found on my camera when I got back:

One last picture that I took. I haven't had much time to do my own Halloween crafting, but yesterday when I took Hayley out to get her pink wig and a few more items for her Halloween costume and a costume for EJ (who made a request that maybe I will tell you about later), I saw this: And I knew I needed it. I had noticed recently that I have been suffering under a…

Birthday fever

Poor Mattie is still suffering from a fever (four days and counting). He was ok yesterday, but he didn't have much of an appetite--he was not in the mood for eating cake, but he did enjoy blowing the candles out and making faces.

Jim took Matt to see the pediatrician today and all she said was that he has a viral infection and that it should go away in a couple of days. He had blood drawn and the nurse tested him for strep, but the strep test was negative. He hasn't been too keen on being sick for his birthday, but I told him it happens.

It happened to me once. I was diagnosed with mono on my 17th birthday. I came home from the dr with my mom, blew out the candles on my cake while wrapped in a blanket, then I went to bed without eating any of the cake. My siblings then ate all of it while I slept for a week. I eventually forgave them.

Hayley has been busy preparing for Halloween. She's sewing three different costumes (one for her, one for Matt, and one for her friend Gabb…

I can no longer in good conscience call him Lovey

I don't even know how I got to calling him Lovey; maybe it was a bastardization (yes I can say that. And type it) of Lurvy. Or maybe Lurvy was the bastardization of Lovey. I can't remember. In any case, no respectable teenage boy should be called Lovey.

I can still call him many other things: Smack, Smacky, Squibb, Squibber, Smatt, Batt, The Budgie, Scrufty, L'il Man, Boy Wonder (although Boy is starting to mean less too), and other words or vocalizations that come to mind, including Lurvy.

But not Lovey.

He's 13, for crying out loud.

Matt is 13 today.

This little thing that was really too small for a car seat is now GROWING A MUSTACHE.

And his voice went south.

Happy birthday Matt. Cake pictures will come later.