Saturday, August 30, 2008

Just For Fun!

I just found this fun personality test over here (thanks to Mama's Losing It --one of my favorite blogs)! I'm the "Guardian/Provider--Nurturer". Totally fun and surprisingly accurate! It is amazing to me how much I learn about myself from other people, even people who haven't met me. Check it out! This is some of what the folks at Myers Briggs had to say...

Guardian™ Portrait of the Provider (ESFJ)

Providers take it upon themselves to insure the health and welfare of those in their care, but they are also the most sociable of all the Guardians, and thus are the great nurturers of social institutions such as schools, churches, social clubs, and civic groups. Providers are very likely more than ten percent of the population, and this is fortunate for the rest of us, because friendly social service is a key to their nature. Wherever they go, Providers happily give their time and energy to make sure that the needs of others are met, and that social functions are a success.

Highly cooperative themselves, Providers are skilled in maintaining teamwork among their helpers, and are also tireless in their attention to the details of furnishing goods and services. They make excellent chairpersons in charge of dances, banquets, class reunions, charity fund-raisers, and the like. They are without peer as masters of ceremonies, able to speak publicly with ease and confidence. And they are outstanding hosts or hostesses, knowing everyone by name, and seemingly aware of what everyone's been doing. Providers love to entertain, and are always concerned about the needs of their guests, wanting to make sure that all are involved and provided for.

Friendly, outgoing, neighborly - in a word, Providers are gregarious, so much so that they can become restless when isolated from people. They love to talk with others, and will often strike up a conversation with strangers and chat pleasantly about any topic that comes to mind. Friendships matter a great deal to Providers, and their conversations with friends often touch on good times from years past. Family traditions are also sacred to them, and they carefully observe birthdays and anniversaries. In addition, Providers show a delightful fascination with news of their friends and neighbors. If we wish to know what's been going on in the local community, school, or church, they're happy to fill us in on all the details.

Providers are extremely sensitive to the feelings of others, which makes them perhaps the most sympathetic of all the types, but which also leaves them somewhat self-conscious, that is, highly sensitive to what others think of them. Loving and affectionate themselves, they need to be loved in return. In fact, Providers can be crushed by personal criticism, and are happiest when given ample appreciation both for themselves personally and for the tireless service they give to others.

William Howard Taft, Barbara Walters, J C Penney, Ray Kroc, Louis B. Mayer, Sam Walton, Dolley Madison, and Dave Thomas are examples of Provider Guardians.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday's Foto Finish Fiesta

These were taken a little while back on a hike we took on Sugar Loaf Mountain, in Maryland. It was an absolutely beautiful January day. Warm. Blue skies. We took the dog. On the way home we stopped at a little winery at the bottom of Sugar Loaf and I remember they let us bring the dog in. Gave him treats. Gave the girls goldfish crackers and Sprite. How good the wine was under such a blue sky.

What I really remember about this day, was how fearless my girls were. It took me by surprise. I remember thinking how steep the trail was. How big those boulders were, next to my little girls. The floor of the mountain was covered in thick, crunchy, dried leaves. I was full on Momma, watching my girls jump from boulder to boulder. Lift rocks up, looking for bugs. Run through the blanket of leaves. All I could think of was ticks and rattlesnakes and I was sure that they were going to fall off one of those boulders and crack their head open. Sure of it. I had to remind myself to breathe, to look at the view.

My brothers, sisters and I grew up in the desert and mountains of Arizona. We went camping, hiking and swimming in lakes. We walked around barefoot. Got sun burnt. My dad used to hunt rattlesnakes. And we always had some creature in our bathtub. A tortoise, a frog, a snake. We camped out under pine trees and the Milky Way. I always loved this about my upbringing. That nature was a huge part of it. It is in me. I want it in my girls too.

So what happened on Sugar Loaf? Where did all my fear come from? Did my dad feel all that when he took us out? Did he hold his breath too? He must have. But just like I did, holding my breath and all, he let us go.

To participate in Friday's Foto Finish Fiesta (and you must, you must), go to:

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Autograph (sorta)

Hey...lookie what I did! Thanks to Jenny over at Bits and Pieces for the instructions and where to go! I don't know how I figured it out cuz all of this computer stuff is like a foreign language, but trust me, if I can figure this can! Here's the link--

if you want to go get a neat-o siggy for yourself!

A Plane, A Baby & Ear Muffs

Whew! It's been a while since I've been on here! I guess we've had a busy week. I appreciate those of you that pop in here. I absolutely love seeing you.

Well, here's what's been going on. Last weekend we went along with hubbs to do his evreseR (spelled backwards--Thanks Tiffany for that grand idea) duty up at the esab (spelled backwards). It was family weekend up there, so we even took the kiddos. Plus there's the yrasimmoc and the XB (spelled backwards). While hubby is working, the girls and I can shop. Now I know some of you may find this exciting. Just the word alone--shopping--gets you all giddy. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law are good at this. I however, do not get the goosebumps when I think of shopping. Especially shopping with my girlie-O's. But not even by my lonesome either. I don't know what's wrong with me, but that's me. Now, shopping for books, and little primitive, country, home decor mom and pop shops--that's a whole other animal. But food and clothes--not so much. So I might have grumbled a little (a lot) about doing this. I was kind of, maybe, a little, not so excited about going up with hubbs for this. I envisioned a lot of hotel room time with the kiddos, while hubbs was at work. I can only be inside so long and inside a small space with my kiddos for so long too. Oh and this was the hotel we stayed in the first night--

Charming, isn't it? Yes, it was gross. The esab (spelled backwards) lodging was all booked, so this is where they put us. Hey, it was free. Free for one night, cuz you can bet the next day we moved to something a little (a lot) cleaner.

I had a quick attitude adjustment after hubby could only take my grumbles so much and shared with me how he did this with his own family all the time growing up (his dad is yratilim too) and it was a fond memory for him. I knew this, but did not realize that it was something he got all sentimental about. How sweet is it that he was envisioning the very same for his family? And I was so not making that possible with all the grumbling. Yes, I know. I hear y'all loud and clear. So I straightened up real quick and all was good.

Hubbs had something planned for me (I know, I know, I know...I do not deserve this). A ride in a 17-C (spelled backwards). Yeah, he do rock. It was family weekend at the esab (spelled backwards) and that was a perk for spouses. An hour and a half ride down and up the Oregon coastline. Beautiful. I took a bazillion pictures, but figured it was maybe not such a good idea to post them. I looked so cute in those headphones too, but safety and security and all, probably not a good idea. That plane is flipping huge. It's like flying a building. Seriously. Very impressive. And that whole men in uniform didn't hurt one bit either. On a serious note's a very, very important plane too. Very. I can't imagine what those people see and do daily. But I will say, it's very, very much needed. And appreciated in a very big way.

So that was cool. I love the idea too that while I was flying, the girls were with dad at work. A bring your kid to work sort of thing. Though hubbs was the only one doing it. The girls were so excited to see all the sreidlos (spelled backwards--sorry). Though they've been living the yratilim (spelled backwards--sorry) life all their lives up until this last year, we never lived on a esab (spelled backwards--sorry) with them. So seeing all those uniforms was pretty exciting for them. Plus I think they are both old enough now to notice and comment on it all. They were cracking me up pointing to everyone everywhere we went. And being with dad at work was just about the coolest thing--ever. Momma is so not cool next to this.

Funny little story here...when we were going in the esab (spelled backwards--how annoying is this?) my daughter was taking pictures with her little (pink) Fisher Price camera. She wanted to remember everything for when we went back home. At the gate she was taking pics and the gate guard got very serious and asked me if that camera really took pics. So we got into a little trouble. Delete-delete-delete--so yeah, I'm so not lying about the pics. That's why I'm being such a freak about not putting pics up (which is just killing me, cuz I literally took like 100 of the plane--and I loooove the pics!) and spelling everything backwards.

So after that adventure we did a lot of this--

The second coolest thing--ever--next to going to work with dad--hotel swimming pools. And yes, this was the clean hotel. This would have never happened at the charming, free hotel.

And yes, I made my mother-in-law proud and spent a good chunk of change at the yrasimmoc (spelled backwards) on groceries and "essentials". It is amazing how much money I can spend when I don't even want to.

So there's that. Then the rest of the week up until now was spent taking care of Baby Girl. I took care of her full-time last year and though we're not taking care of her this year, we've gotten a little attached to her. So you can bet the girls and I were thrilled that her Momma needed us to take care of her for a couple days. I totally want one. Shhhhh, don't tell hubby!

She is completely lovable. And she is totally attached to us too. Oh, I love that! I'm getting all melty thinking about it. I mean--look at her!

(Meeeeelt). And she and Miley-girl were good buds.

And she helped me out with my girls--

She really got a kick out of this!

So it's been a pretty good and fun week. Hubby and I had a good laugh last night after putting the girls to bed. You just never know what our kids are going to do. I think that's good and true for all kiddos. We like to joke that's it's a good thing our kiddos are so darn cute with all the challenges they give us. You know, there is just always something going on when you're a parent. And of course all the good out weighs all the um...challenging. So it's great when you see the way cute.

So I know a lot of your kiddos out there have like a little security thing they need when they go to bed. A little lovey. A stuffed animal, blankie...I have a girlfriend whose son's security thing was a firetruck. A big ol' honkin' metal firetruck. Bigger than he was. And yes, he slept with it in his crib. I flipping love that. Now, my kiddos didn't really have that. We tried and tried to get them to latch onto something other than--me, a.k.a. Giant Pacifier. When my oldest was a wee babe, she actually got quite attached to my hair. At first I thought it was so cute how she would take my hair and rub it up against her cheek, as I bounced (and bounced and bounced) her to sleep. So precious. Then I realized how very, very attached she became to that. My hair. She had to have my hair to go to sleep. I have another girlfriend whose son got attached to her ear. He had to rub her ear. So yeah...always choose a blankie or something not attached to your body, if at all possible. Even if it's a firetruck. Truly makes life easier.

But like I said, my girlies never really got attached to something like that for the long run. They are all about the night lights and music (my oldest prefers country) to lull them to sleep now. But once in a while they surprise us. Insert pic of A-girl last night...

Heeelloooo, Hello Kitty ear muffs. Yeah. How flipping cute is that?

Okay, you're good and caught up now. You can thank me later. I feel better now. I seriously get the itch to be on here now in a very big way when I can't be. That's good, right? Thanks for bearing with me and my rambling ways. I really do try to keep it short and sweet, but it just might not be in me. So if you stuck with me through this, I thank you from the bottom of my long-winded heart. If I could, I'd reward you with um...chocolate cake. How about chocolate cake?

But for now...until we meet again.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday's Foto Finish Fiesta

Meet Hobbes. Our rather laaaarge cat. I took this picture the other day, cuz it is only recently that we have a cat again. He's been living in our laundry room, most of his days sprawled out over the dryer, for the last eight months now. He's been a sad cat. Eight months ago he lost a good friend, Calvin--our yellow lab. They were buds. They ate together, slept together, Hobbes even groomed Calvin. Growing up with a dog, Hobbes had no idea he was actually a cat. If he could bark, he would.

We lost Calvin last New Year's Eve. It was very sudden and sad, sad, sad. I still cannot bring myself to really talk about that day on here. Awful. We miss him terribly, terribly. He was the first thing hubby and I got after we were married. We didn't get furniture, we got a puppy. We got him when he was 5 weeks old. He was our dog child for 11 1/2 years. He was Hobbes' dog for 7.

In February we adopted another dog. Hobbes was more than a little mad at us. This is when he moved into the laundry room. He was one confused, sad and po'd kitty. He did not take to our new dog at all. Also around this time, we realized he had something wrong with his toe, and he had to have one of his toes amputated. So there was that too. He was completely traumatized. Grieving, confused, one toe less, and mad, mad, mad.

We prayed for him. Took turns visiting him in the laundry room. We wanted our kitty back. Our new dog wanted a kitty brother. She's all about the cat. In a good way.

Somehow...eight months later, Hobbes left the laundry room. Just like that we have a cat again. He pretty much thinks he's top dog again, and even our new dog knows that Hobbes is The Boss.

To participate in Friday's Foto Finish Fiesta (and you must, you must), go to:

Hobbes. No, I did not photo shop his itty bitty head on that big ol' body of his...that is really ALL him.

Calvin. This was last Christmas. This was totally Calvin. He had no idea how big he was. Totally thought he was a lap dog!

Calvin & Hobbes. The boys having a little snuggle...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Aaaand...We're Home

Back to the va-cay...This is what I said last we talked about it--Legoland--and if you keep on keeping on reading, you'll find Keanu Reeves somewhere in the mix. No lie.

So after San Diego, it was time to head out and up...back to Oregon. Home. But first! San Francisco! Again, never been, so we were totally looking forward to seeing it. Hubby's grandfather (mom's side) was born there. True Story. He was in the Navy. Hubbs grandmother met him when he was in the Navy. I like to picture that it was just like one of those post cards you see of the guy in the navy uniform (just after he got off the ship) embracing his girl, his "doll", and laying a very romantic kiss on her, cuz it's been six months since he's seen her. And they are soooo iiiin loooove. So romantic. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Where am I?

Oh yes, San Francisco! So as we're making our grand entrance into SF, we have to cross a bridge. We're totally excited, cuz we think it's the Golden Gate. It's huge. I'm not a fan of bridges. Okay, they're just fiiine from far away, but driving on them, not my favorite. This one is a toll bridge too. we have quarters? We are so prepared. Hubby goes in the carpool line and stops to put the money in we've scrounged up at the very last minute and we actually get honked at for stopping. Our first honk of the trip. Hubby's trying to figure out where to put it and there's no place to put it. We get honked at again. Stressed, he just takes off. Doesn't pay...this is where I start to freak out. You didn't pay! Are they going to let us off the bridge? (it's okay to laugh hysterically at me here, cuz this is real life people! These ARE my thoughts) We're going to jail! I can't believe you didn't pay! We're chopped liver! All the while hubby is ignoring, even though I can see that vein popping out on his forehead. That little warning for me to zip it already. So instead of talking, I sweat and wait the next four miles of the bridge. I'm thinking the Golden Gate bridge ain't so hot.

Turns out, we didn't have to pay, a perk of the carpool lane. And that wasn't the Golden Gate bridge. It was one of like four we drove over before we went on the Golden Gate. So it was of much relief that we didn't have to spend the night in jail. Instead we stay downtown. In the city. From where we are, all you see is city. No bay. Like I said, hubby has coordinated where we stay so that it's within walking distance of the nearest brew pub. So instead of the bay, we got brew. I'll give this one to hubbs though, given what an freak I was on the bridge.

I've decided I am just not a city girl. Sorry folks. I try. I really do try. I know there are many, many of you out there that are, but I prefer wide open spaces. Grass. Water. Horses. Cows. Trees. Big red barns. God's Country. Even though I live in suburbia, it's my dream, mmmk? As cool as the girls from Sex & The City ain't my thing. I'm a flip flop...preferably barefoot kind of girl. Not a good idea to walk around without shoes in the city.

So we took pics from our hotel room of other buildings. For a second there, I did try to think how cool it would be to be Carrie Bradshaw for one day. A single writer living in the coolest apartment ever, forever dating Big, great clothes, great hair and a major love of high heels, with the legs to go with them. I did think that for a second or I tried. What we did do was walk three blocks to, 21st Amendment, hubby's brewery of choice for the evening. Good times, good times. They have watermelon a can. It's the new thing.

Oh hey...a celebrity was "in the house" too--a famed record producer and D.J. (can't remember his name--sorree), but I guess back in the day he worked with Notorious B.I.G. and P. Diddy. Back in the day. I tried to Google his name and everything, but I don't have skills. Anyhoo...we saw him. How cool was that? I'm sorry I have no idea...I'm just a wanna-be country girl.

So next day...we actually did go over the Golden Gate bridge. It was pretty cool. Huge. No tolls. And once we got out of the city, I could actually see the bay and the little bay communities surrounding and the hills and San Francisco was actually really pretty. From the other side of the bridge. I would totally have a vacation home there (i laugh). I have a thing for the beach life too. Little beach towns too. The city looked really pretty, from far away too. The bay was never ending blue. Next time we travel a-this-a-way, we are staying someplace on the water. That's all there is to it. We didn't go down to the Fisherman's Wharf, or be tourists or anything, cuz we were in "going home" mode by this point. Totally different from "going on vacation" mode. We were in the zone. On that mission to get home. Only stopping for bathrooms and food.

We did pass San Quentin. I'm kind of surprised a prison is right next to something so absolutely beautiful. But I guess, the bad guys don't really get to experience that beauty right on the other side of the wall. That has to be pretty hard. Goes along with the whole prison philosophy. See where my thoughts go? Totally needed to get out of the car, didn't I?

So our next stop was Medford, Oregon. Dinner at the Wild River Brewing and Pizza Pub. I know. It's ridiculous, right? Well, it's way, way, way better than Mc'D's and Subway. We basically had dinner, swam in the hotel pool and off to dreamland. Cuz that's what we do. A real bang at the end there, right? Way to end the vacation. Honestly, it was just right for us.

The only thing that stands out to me driving from Medford to Portland the next day was how very loopy and anxious we were getting to get out of the car already. I don't mean, just out to walk around and stretch the legs, but out of the car--for days preferably. Coldplay took us home too. And again, with the High School Musical soundtracks...gotta please the girls in the back seat. There is one point where that song, "Bet On It"--yes, again with the "Bet On It" (see Bet On It, Baby!) comes on and hubby is driving and all of a sudden, I see him banging on his chest and totally acting like a gorilla. Cuz this is what this song reminds him of now. He's totally acting like a monkey...flailing his arms over his head, making monkey noises to the beat of the song. I know you TOTALLY had to be there. But this is what being in the car for almost two weeks does to you (We all do this, right?). It was great. And from now on when I hear this song this is what I picture. Good times. Good times were had by our car. Good vac-ay.

San Francisco Pics

This is where I imagined being Carrie Bradshaw...

You needed to see this, right?

Stop looking at my wrinkles...

Smiley #1...

Smiley #2...

I'm pretty sure I'm reading your blog...

This is our tour guide...aka...hubby...

Room with a view...

In the city...

More...buildings...oooh and a street!

The Golden Gate Bridge...I know, every time (every single time) I take a pic I say I need a new camera...

The Golden Gate's kind of more red, wouldn't you say?

This was way more exciting than it looks...

"A" for effort, babes...

My girls loving on each other...gots to love that!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I Gots Kids

This week I spent a lot of time with the kiddos. Mine (of course). Baby Girl (little sweet pea I took care of last year full-time, who I had the pleasure of babysitting this week). And my gorgeous little niece and nephew. It was exhausting, but worth it. Kids are fun.

Baby Girl playing in the house. So darn cute!

My girls, taking a break from our walk in the park...

My gorgeous little nephew, thinking I'm pretty awesome...

A-girl and me working our magic on baby boy, nephew...

My girls on a sunny walk...

Cooling off in the pool with their cousin...

Snack time...

He is only 10 months old, and can drink out of a sippy with a straw! He's a genius.

Baby Girl and I enjoying some buttery noodles. Yeah, she's flipping adorable.

Love this one of the cousins...

Making a whirlpool...