Monday, November 24, 2008

8 Things (Must You Know It All?)

I've been tagged to do this very long (yet fun) survey by my beautiful Aussie friend, Dee--My Aussie Antics ! She knows how much I love these thingies!

My 8 Favorite TV Shows:
1. Ghost Hunters
2. The Big Bang Theory
3. My Name is Earl
4. 30 Rock (i just decided this is going to be one of my shows...Tina Fey is my hero)
5. The Office
6. King of Queens
7. Everybody Loves Raymond
8. The Hills (i don't really watch this, but i frequently get sucked into it, due to the fact that i can't believe people really live like this)

My 8 restaurants (our eating out days are kind of sad now, since we "met" Dave Ramsey):
1. Laurelwood (brewery and pizza)
2. Pietro's Pizza
3. Baja Fresh
4. Dogfish Head (brewery in Maryland)
5. Buffalo Wild Wings
6. Panera Bread (Veggie sandwich--YUM)
7. McMenamin's
8. Wendy's value menu

8 Things that happened yesterday:
1. Church
2. Olivia's choir practice
3. Went to Michael's
4. Went to my parent's house
5. Chris left for Idaho
6. The girls had a Wiggle marathon (amazingly I had nothing to do w/this)
7. I made a salad
8. I changed the sheets

8 Things I look forward to:
1. Coffee
2. The girls going to school
3. Picking the girls up from school
4. Comments (on blog and facebook)
5. Sleep
6. Ghost Hunters
7. Fall
8. Hubby walking in the door

8 Things I love about Autumn (Spring):
1. The colors
2. The crunch
3. The temperature
4. Fleece
5. Pumpkin Spice Lattes
6. Socks
7. Smelling smoke from wood burning stoves/fireplaces, in the air
8.The shows start up again...

8 Things on my wish list:
1. Raising children with big ol' hearts for others
2.Things to blog about
3. To stay in one place (house, city, school, etc...)
4. To have great legs
5. A good pair of jeans
6. Patience
7. Loads of Laughter
8. Hubby to be home *more*

Now I'm supposed to go on and tag someone else. But It's 7:06 and I'm late, which probably means O's gonna be late...(dang it). So I tag...YOU.

Thanks for playing...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wave to Your Neighbor

Happy Sunday! I just have to say that I'm so happy it's still Sunday and not Monday yet. I don't know, I just really enjoy the weekends immensely these days. The whole sleeping in, letting things go, the fact that my hubbs is finally home, if only for a minute. It's nice. I hope you're feeling it too wherever you are.

O's speech rocked! She did "excellent"! Total thumb's up. I'm so proud of her! I know it was maybe, tops, 3 minutes long, but you know in her little world, that is just an eternity. It was, what I feel like, her first real homework. That and the fact that her teacher, specifically told me what O needed to practice on. I'm so glad it's over. Should I be worried about that? I mean...that was seriously "nothing" in the grand scheme of homework, right? I seriously lost some sleep about it.

Did I tell you I'm now Room Parent for A's kindergarten class now? Oh yeah, it's a big deal. It's for all year. I'm basically the official Partaaaay Planner. I have "duties". I got a notebook. Her teacher called this week and asked if I'd be willing to do it. Who can say "no"? Well, I cannot. And her kindergarten class is so absolutely delightful. I want to live there. I get to help out regularly there and every time, I want to be 5 again and learn everything all over again. I love the little desks. The cubbies. Painting with my fingers. My own little glue pencil/scissors/glue stick/crayons. I want to hang my purse on one of those little hooks. Please. I totally should have been a kindergarten teacher when I grew up.

A-girl's harvest party was Friday. My first "duty" as partaaaay planner. And really, I didn't have to do much. Her teacher is amazing. I basically had to grocery shop and show up. She had all these stations going on--fruit kabobs, meat and cheese kabobs, cracker/aerosol cheese (yum--you know you love that stuff)/decorate a cookie/craft/pin the feather on the turkey/bingo stations. You barely knew there were 24 kiddos there. They were so busy and entertained. I've just learned SO MUCH. It was actually very relaxing. I KNOW. Makes no sense. But it's true, it's true. Maybe it has to do with the fact that little kids are flipping cute.

I do have some big news--REALLY BIG NEWS! You are now looking at (in a blog land sort of way) a HomeStyle Specialist for AtHome America! I have added my link to my website (over there to the right) so you can see what it's all about! I'm in business, people! I'm selling wonderful/cozy/country/sweet home wares and decor! You've got to see this stuff! My mom's been selling AtHome America for a couple years now and every time I see one of the new catalogs, I'm get all melty and gooey with the love for all things inside it and want one of everything! It's just my style. And it's affordable--which I looove (Dave Ramsey would be proud of me)! And it is a good company--I feel good representing.

I used to do the independent consultant stuff a couple of years ago. I did it for four years and loved it. Then the hubbs went to Iraq and it took a backseat. Well, now I'm giving it a go again. So feel free to check it out and shop off the website (check out The Attic), have a partaaaay and get free/discounted goodies (you can do a catalog party w/me, from anywhere in the US) or ask me about what I do. I'll let you know how it goes.

So there's that. OH! On a completely other note, I wanted to share this lady with you and all her skills! Meet Angela over here at Frugal Living. You will be amaaaaaazed at what she does and is showing you how to do as well. You will want to immediately add her to your blog roll (and put her on speed dial). I'm not kidding. and then come back here, cuz I'll miss you.

Let's see...what else? I played Skip-Bo last night. With Angela. We had Peppermint ice cream. It was delicious. Her hubby won both games. You can do a happy dance for him, cuz he never wins and he was pretty excited. Angela--tell him I put him in the blog. He'll be so happy.

Then there's Thanksgiving. Love this time of year. Mainly the food. Also, the family. Somehow, we are able to get both sides of the family together and have a good time. I'm always prepared for it to change into a Ben Stiller/Chevy Chase/Steve Martin movie though. That *would* be good blog material (hmmmmmm....).

I have my AtHome America debut partaaay this coming weekend. I've seriously invited EVERYONE. Cuz, that's what you do. Funny story. So yesterday, I took invites/catalogs to ALL my neighbor's on my street. I thought this would be a good way to get to know them. I will bribe them with food and drink. We know most of our neighbor's, but most not enough that we've been in each other's homes. It's probably a good thing to know your neighbor's. So I'm being bold (which means totally stepping out of my comfort zone) and knocking on all the doors. So I get to one of them and this guy opens the door and I introduce myself (and point to my house) so he doesn't think I'm a freaky solicitor, tell him about my party and that I'd like to invite his wife. He laughs and says he doesn't have a wife. Ha ha!! And *that's* why I'm inviting all my neighbors. I should know this already (he did have like 4 cars in his driveway). He lives like 3 doors down. So I invite him to come over and Christmas shop for his girlfriend/mom/grandmother/sister/boss, etc...we get a big laugh out of it and I secretly ponder how I can hook him up with my sister (if he's single), cuz he was kind of cute.

Well, you're good and caught up. My goal is to write...MORE. I need to get back on the blog wagon. I might have to make some drama happen. I'll see what I can do.

Thanks for playing.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Well, I AM Enthusiastic

I'll try to keep this short and sweet (for me), as Monday's are full and rushed and I'm sure I should be doing something other than this right now, but it's been a week and my fingers need to type and do this thing called, writing. Lately I've been "waiting for it". Inspiration. Something outside the norm. But we're pretty normal around here, so it can take a couple days.

I know I'm ready to blog, when I'm blogging in my shower. Shampoo, repeat, blog. It's pretty much my only quiet time, when I can actually hear my thoughts. Put words and ideas together. Think. There's quiet time when the girlie-o's are sleeping, but I'm usually this close to hitting the pillow myself. So the shower it is. And this is the brilliance that comes out of quiet time...

I've been occupied with nothing more than being the mom and wife. Running the business of the house and the things that fill it up. Trying to help the hubbs de-stress. Pretty much what a good chunk of all of you are doing. Same thing. The days are full. I really could use a couple more hours of daylight, thank you very much. It still wouldn't be enough.

Our latest has to do with a 2nd grade speech, a soccer game, prepping for the holidays, and a date night. Does this sound like your life, or what?

O has a speech coming up this week. One that she is full of anxiety about. See, she has two personalities--the one at home and the one at school. Total opposites. At home, she is loud (so very loud) and quite the little confident leader to her little sis (and by that I mean bossy). At school she is a rule follower, a quiet mouse, a lover, not a fighter. A joy for both personalities, but so very different. She is her mother's daughter. I was the very same. I think I probably still am, as I am feeling the 2nd grade anxiety along with her. See, we both love the stage--the lights, the drama, the laughter, the applause. We have to be on the stage, just not the center of it. We are both dreading speech day and willing it to hurry up and get here to get it over with. I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday we went to the University of Portland Pilot's soccer game against Northern Arizona University. NAU is kind of my old stomping grounds as I spent a good chunk of my life growing up in the northern mountains of Arizona. Not Flagstaff, but "in the vicinity," so to speak. So it was a little extra exciting. There was a girl on the NAU team that had on these sparkly, very golden shoes. Totally not even their school colors or anything. Totally standing out. She was a bully too. A bully with golden shoes. Fouling all over the place (and of course not getting called on it). She wasn't even good. Someone from the stands yelled out to her that you have to be pretty darn good to wear gold shoes and that basically she wasn't very good (I'm rephrasing what they said nicely). She gave them the bird. Classy. And that's where I come from. Not really. I would never wear golden shoes.

U of P won. It was exciting. It really was. I like going to games. I forgot. I used to love watching sports back in the day. I had to razz hubbs, cuz we dated 3 out of the 4 years he went to University of Portland and he never took me to a soccer game (they are kind of known for soccer--kind of a big dealie). I'm so disappointed. I'll make up for it when my girls are in Middle School and High School. I will be one of Those Moms. You should see me (hear me) at their dance recitals

On a side note--after the game, we were walking to our car and all of sudden we heard this horrendous crash, followed by a blood-curling scream. It was close to us, but we didn't see what happened. It seems that a car hit a young girl. From just looking at the scene, we think she was getting into the back of her family's car and the car that hit her was backing out of a parking spot--way too fast. The car hit the girl so hard it pushed the girl's car into the next lane as well as a car next to hers. The impact pushed two cars into the next lanes. It was horrible. Of course she was hurt very badly. We had to pray right then and there. I've been trying to find out if the girl is okay, but haven't been able to find any articles about it. Totally scary. Such a sad and scary ending to an otherwise exciting night.

Saturday I spent the day knocking out some major Christmas shopping. We have a huge family, but thankfully draw names. I totally recommend drawing names, if you have a large family to shop for. It helps. But I'm almost finished. And it feels great. I am never, never this organized. We'll be eating beans and rice for the next two months, but I'm organized! Oh, and did I tell you I'm having 16 people over for Thanksgiving? I think I have a little crazy in me. You should start praying for my hubby right now, cuz the werewolf is sure to come out next Wednesday--crunch time--as I do the freakout, cuz I'm having 16 people over! It will be nothing but chaos until the door bell rings. They will have no idea, cuz it will be PERFECT. The only thing that might stand out is the gray hairs I have just added to my hubby's head. Pray for him. I really do love this stuff though. I do. I do.

Next year though, I think I'll start a new tradition and we'll just have everyone meet at a restaurant. Say, somewhere like here--

Hubbs and I had a date night this weekend and went there. It's an old elementary school that McMenamins turned into a hotel (McMenamins is good about this sort of thing) and they have all kinds of things going on there all the time...bands, etc...It is such a fabulous atmosphere. I just want to live there. They have a theater there that you can watch like $3 movies and eat while you watch it ( It's such a great idea. So relaxing. Hubbs and I cozied up on a love seat and enjoyed some delicious handcrafted beverages and some calzones, while we watched Tropic Thunder (a very romantic movie--not so much, but still). I'm telling you--it was good for my soul. Best date in a looong time. We took a couple pics of the evening. They have all these cool paintings and art that line the halls. Some of them are down right creepy looking (I'm sure this place has ghosts), but most of them were whimsical and sweet. I loved them. Ahhhh, I want to go back right now.

Well, so much for short, but I really tried to be sweet. That felt really good to finally sit down and write. Does this mean I'm a writer? I read something the other day that questioned if I (not really ME personally, but whomever was reading it at the time) was a writer or just an enthusiastic hobbyist. What? Whatever. I don't want this to just be a hobby. I want to be an enthusiastic writer. I'm pretty sure I'm still a wanna-be. But this *is not* a hobby. Dang it.

And thanks for playing.

Monday, November 10, 2008


I got this lovely award from my good friend, Dee (over here--My Aussie Antics ), in Australia. We started a friendship a couple years ago via the Wiggles (doesn't it always go back to the Wiggles?) and a bunch of postcards. Yes, we were actual, old school pen pals. Someday, I will make it to Queensland and hug her neck.

Here are my question answers .

1. Do you have the same friends since childhood?
Just one, really. We've been friends since we were 11-yrs-old. I absolutely love that and love her.

2. What do you value most about your friends?
The thick and thin part of it...the sisterhood...the help...the LAUGHTER...

3. Are your friends sounding boards?
Oh yes. All the time.

4. What is your favorite activity to share with friends?
I love to go to my favorite store--Simple Folk--with my soul friend, Shannon. It's my favorite. But basically sitting around taking up space on the living room floor, or couch with a steaming cup of coffee, and some kind of food, chatting and laughing is wonderful, wonderful. And Wiggle concerts are pretty awesome too...

So now to pass it on...... I'll give it to one person, spread the love bit by bit....

I'd like to pass this on to Miss Hill (Hillary's Hmmmmmmm... )--another neck I need to hug as soon as possible.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

They Say It's Your Birthday

No, it's not my birthday. That would be in May, so please send chocolate then. It is my beautiful sister's birthday today! She refuses to come over here, to blog land, to prove a point to me, which is totally just a whole other blog post, but I come out not looking so hot, so I may tell it and I may not. Aren't you intrigued now? See how I work that? sis is pretty awesome, despite her avoidance of my blog (which she will not be able to keep herself from today, because, there are *pictures* of her on it--she'll be curious). We are ten years apart and yes, I'm...(gulp)...older. But we're close. Tight like that. She is me, ten years ago...minus the marriage, and plus the guts to travel to Thailand for a year all by herself and teach for a year (that would never have happened in my little world back then). Oh and she's a blondie, so I'm pretty sure she having more fun than I did at 26. I've heard the rumors, anyway. Like me, she likes to shake her tooshie (and dance) and she's funny (a bit on the sarcastic siiiide--it's in the genes) and she introduced us to High School Musical, and I thank her for that. (I *heart* Zac)

Anyhoo...Happy Birthday, Rachael!! You didn't buy Twilight yet, did you? I'm just saying. I am now going to share some awesome pics of you...and me, cuz that's just what I do. And I'm sorry about the picture quality of some of them. Some of the pics are like 26 years old and upon further investigating about our scanner, I have found that we need to buy the software to hook the baby up. So thanks to Dave Ramsey, I've got to save up for that, which is so not a priority right now. So, enjoy my awesome photo skills. And most of all, Rach...this one's for You!

This is Rachael in the middle all fancy pants for her baptism. She is surrounded by sis, Star (left) and moi (right). We love her.

This is probably my fave pic of Rachael and I. She totally loves me.

See..she can't stop hugging me. I was even awesome then.

I'm pretty sure she was inspired by her Rainbow Brite doll back in the day. OMGoodness, she's cute. And that's our bro, Josh, in the back--which you will meet at another blog post.
This was about a year and a half ago. We are still so very, very awesome!

Auntie and my girls. They love her too.

It's so hard to say goooodbye. This is right before she left (me) for a year to teach in Thailand.

This is her getting home from Thailand, just the other day.
And this is Rach, looking like a doll. And yes, this is what she looks like every day. Everyone dresses like this in Portland. Just kidding.

So yeah, Happy Day, sis! Can't wait to see what 26 has to bring you, but knowing you, it's gonna be pretty darn good.

Who loves ya? (me, me, me, me, meeeeee)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Something About The Lining Of The Planets...Or Something Like That

Happy Saturday night. Well, I'm happy. My kids are in bed, which is a nice change as opposed to last night. We had a sleepover, so we added two more little girls to the mix last night. It was our first non-family sleepover at our house. It was fun and the girls were really awesome--for four little girls under the age of eight. They just wouldn't go to sleep. It took a very...very long time for the last little eyelid to shut. So you can imagine just how much I am enjoying the quietness of my house tonight.

I don't know what the connection is--which there probably just isn't--but I totally had a math dream last night too. Is this what sleepovers are going to bring for me--crunching numbers all flipping night? I hate being stressed in my dreams. It is a place for good things to happen. Rainbows and boys with Australian accents, kinds of things to happen. Not math. I must have anxiety over something. I don't know what it could be. Unless it's just my cycle, the moon and the lining up of the planets or the tides or...or...sleepovers.

On a completely different note--I miss my dog. My Calvin. My little buddy. It's approaching the one year mark of his passing and he is on my mind so much. I don't talk about that day much, and I don't think I will tonight either, cuz it was awful. I feel the frog forming in my throat right now as I'm typing this. But there has been constant reminders of him lately.

Yesterday my sister brought over two letters I had written her about 12 years ago. Basically my letters were all about Calvin. Which is why she gave them back to me. Funny, given how much the boy has been on my mind. See, the letters were from my pre-kid days. I was the very proud mother of a yellow-lab pup. He was my baby dog. I had a lot to say about my buddy in those letters. My poor family back home, getting all these letters from me. All the puppy talk. All the puppy pictures. Here's Calvin in his Halloween costume. Here's him opening his first Christmas present...Here's a video of Calvin saying, "Mama" (He seriously could say it--we totally should have had him on Letterman)...It's amazing my family is still talking to me.

Yesterday I caught a few minutes of some reality cop show. You know where they are videotaping from the cop car's dashboard? This particular part highlighted how this K-9 dog/partner saved the day and chased down the bad guy over a four-lane highway. After that chase, they retired the dog and honored him for being such a great "partner"--for 13 years. He was 13 when he chased down that guy. All full of guts and glory, with one blind eye. Calvin was 11. It just made me sad. It brings back a certain memory of that day, a look that Calvin gave me. It's a picture I have to squeeze my eyes shut to push away. It's too hard.

And of course I'm reading this wonderful book by David Wroblewski called, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. It's not primarily about dogs, but it has some good ones in it (which remind me of Calvin-boy). It's a book that literally gave me a smile, on page 30. I'm pretty sure it's going to make me cry too. It's a story that I know I'm going to hate have to end. I'm going to read slower toward the end to slow time down. I'm not going to want to leave. I can already tell. Kind of like the last book I read by Audrey Niffenegger called, The Time Traveler's Wife. Thanks to the recommendation of this lady--Bits and Pieces . I wanted a book that would make me cry in the bathtub, and I got it.

Wow--I went a few places tonight, didn't I? I started off happy and really, I am. But I've got this tiny bit of me that's trying to be sad. Again, I blame my cycle. The moon and the lining up of the planets. The tides. I think I'll just go ahead and blame the sleepover.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

And Now, The Jumping On The Couch...

Again, it's been a while since I've been here. I would really love to get here every day and write. I'd also like it to be "good" writing. Mostly funny. And if I could squeeze out entertaining, I'd be a happy camper too.

I don't know if today is going to fall under those categories, as I am forcing myself to sit and write. We'll see where it goes.

So the election. I was going to get on here and write a big old tah-dah about it. Cuz it is exciting. I was caught up in it. I followed. I soaked in all I could. I went beyond the news channels to get my info. I dug. I felt very informed and involved in the whole process. I laughed at my 5-yr-old hooping and hollering for "her" candidate. I felt proud of that, even though we were on different teams.

I was "one of those" in the middle. There were things I could pull from both candidates (and VP candidates) that I agreed with, that excited me. I've noticed that since I've had the kiddos and the big faith, I've become more conservative. Maybe 12, and counting, years in the military has a little something to do with it too. I didn't always used to be that way, but now, finally, at the age of 35, I know what I want out of life (and after) and I know my own personal values. I prayed and kept looking at those values.

And now, I will continue to do that. I have to admit, I'm excited. Still. Looking forward to the future. It's more than a huge moment in our country's history. I will admit to you that after we found out Obama won, I found myself smiling (and not just because my 5-yr-old was doing the victory dance on the couch). I mean, I'm happy for him. It's not what I wanted. I know a lot of people were mad, mad, mad. But I'm not one of them. I did my part. This is how it turned out. I will still keep praying. I will still hold my own values. I am very proud to be part of all of this. Just to be given that opportunity. I know what a gift it is. And I will look to our future with hope.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

This Is What Halloween Looked Like

And here we are (and yes, it *was* fun)...