Showing posts from October, 2011

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.

Ten things not about EJ or Tijuana

(Although I could post a lot about EJ's preparations)

1. Matt is home sick for the second day in a row, although he doesn't have a fever anymore. I'm keeping him home because last night at 10 p.m. his fever was 102, and I want to make sure it's gone for good. He's still looking a little peaky and he says he has a sore throat.
2. Jim took the day off work yesterday
3. so he could drive me to South Dakota
4. probably because he doesn't trust me to drive by myself
5. or maybe he was jealous that I get to do all kinds of driving when I have to go into the office.
6. While in South Dakota, I got to show off what little I know about my job to some people who have several years experience doing what I do.
7. But they brought cookies, so I was at ease.
8. Mike and I talked a lot during the visit from the other dental office (not to each other, mostly to the visitors) and the two PRE assistants didn't get a chance to get a word in.
9. One of the visitors commented t…

Mining EJ's heritage to help with the future

EJ is excited to start preparing for his mission. He has started listening to some Spanish lessons on his iPod. He let me listen to what he has chosen to familiarize himself with the language....and I had to do a little forehead slap.

He found a radio program from SCOTLAND that supposedly teaches Spanish to listeners. Yes, there is a thick layer of Scottish brogue mixed in with the Spanish.

Oh dear. I hope EJ doesn't totally mix himself up.

(Regarding the title of this post, yes, we have ancestors heralding from Scotland, namely my wonderful grandmother, who was born in Scotland)

The wait is over

I have been too busy waiting with Other Jim for his letter that I haven't blogged (plus not much has happened round these parts).

Well, we don't have to wait anymore. The letter came when Jim and I and Hayley and Matt were at my mother's house for piano lessons, and OJ--although perhaps I should start referring to him as EJ (as in Elder Jim)--and Paul were home by themselves.

OJ said he was a little nervous opening the letter, so he took it to his room to open it up by himself. He didn't even know we were gone. Anyway, he opened it, then called us when he decided to read it.

He had to spell it to me on the phone, because he wasn't sure how it was pronounced: Tijuana, Mexico!

We are very excited! He really wanted to go Spanish-speaking.

He checks into the Missionary Training Center on February 8th. And he has a ton of stuff to do to prepare.

Wish him luck!

I'd write a longer, more Mexican-detailed post, but I'm tired and I really don't know a whole lot a…

Hasta la pasta

I had a good time hosting the pasta dinner on Wednesday. Too bad this was my last time, because I think I have this pasta-dinner-hosting down to a science. We had plenty of food and the cross country kids are good kids with good manners and a lively presence. The parents are friendly too.  

The day after the pasta dinner was the cross country home meet. The team has gone to a lot of big races that draw 15 to 30 teams. The home meet is very small, with only 5 teams on the field.

I will miss the next race because I am going to work in the office for the next two days. If anyone would like to go see Paulie run, the meet will be at the Chaska golf course and he estimates that his race will begin at 5:30.