Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What Diana Needs

Okay, I'm in over my head with this Christmas business, so what am I doing? Taking a break and getting lost on the computer for a few minutes! :D I first saw this idea on Melissa's blog and I have been curious as to what mine would be. But it took my brother, Darrin, doing it too to make me curious enough to check and then I really had to post it! :D

Here are the rules if you decide to try it... you should! It's fun! All you do is Google your first name with the word "needs" after it and post the first 10 results. In other words, I Googled "Diana needs" and here's what came up:

1. Diana needs a wealthy husband. (Did we all guess that with my name the first one would be about Princess Diana? :D This one was about tabloids saying she needed to get married after she divorced the Prince.)

2. Diana needs a nickname.

3. Diana needs to come over and turn my charming studio into a warehouse loft!

4. Diana needs Facebook.

5. Diana needs you now! (As if that weren't funny enough, here's the rest of the tagline:) Finally, Diana is getting obedience training.

6. Does anyone else think that Diana needs to go this week ?

7. Diana needs... Pattie invited everyone to play along with this game and now I'm inviting you :-) The rules:All you have to do is Google your first name with the word 'needs' (As if Melissa and Darrin were not enough, I was also invited by Pattie to do this post! :D )

8. Diana needs help about NCS2001 amp (Aint that the truth?!) :D

9. Diana needs some RAM upgrade.

10. Re: What Diana needs to do about Ebay

This one was technically number 15, but well worth saying out loud... Diana Needs A Hug.

Number one is defnitely not true unless you mean Spiritually wealthy and that I've got! ;) Number two could be it's own post with room for plenty of comments and suggestions! :D I'm not sure how I'd go about number 3, but hey! there's a first time for everything! Number 4 is most definitely true! I heart Facebook! Yeah, like number 5 would help me now, everyone knows you can't teach an old dog new tricks! :D Nobody better answer number 6 unless it's to say I get to stay!! I don't know... Geoff, do I need numbers 8 and 9? You would be the only one to know! ;) What Diana needs to know about Ebay is that going to D.I. online can be very dangerous for your pocketbook! :D And I ALWAYS need hugs!!

Consider yourself tagged!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Guess what this list is...

One can of PediaSure
One dusty binky
Three socks
A stuffed fish
Seven receipts
A generic hot wheel car
Three lists
Two craft/fabric store ads
Two expired Medicaid cards
Three pens

Yep! You guessed it! This was what I cleaned out of my purse before filling it with books to entertain children at the doctor's office. :D I guess I have upgraded my purse to more of an activity bag with my planner/wallet thrown inside. It's a blessing and a curse... I can usually find something for someone to do, but that means I have carried it all around! Ever seen "One Fine Day?" :D

So, analyzing this list, what does my purse say about me? With that many old receipts, expired Medicaid cards and used up grocery lists, I'd say that I'm pretty disorganized... but I did attempt to clean it out, so maybe I'm only temporarily disorganized and I usually get around to getting things in order. :) Those 3 pens have been sorely missed! With budding artists in the house I can rarely find a writing utensil all to myself... I was pretty excited to find these. The binky, fish and the hot wheel car belong to the brudder in our family... who, I might add, is extremely easy to entertain! And obviously we have a blessing in our family that the Medicaid cards and PediaSure point to... Medicaid covers everything that regular insurance doesn't (just for her) and not every Mom can pump food straight into the belly of a difficult eater! :D

Even though the doctor was not fun (!!) we are hoping to get our Daddy feeling much better. And a big thank you to my Mom for the books that we brought and read together while we waited.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Invisible Mom

This is an excerpt from Nicole Johnson's novel The Invisible Woman (W Publishing Group, 2005) For more information, check out the author's Web site at www.freshbrewedlife.com.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?" Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please." I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this." It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Carol , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything. A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it." And the workman replied, "Because God sees."

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.
When I really think about it, I don't want my daughter to tell the friend she's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want her to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to her friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.


Thoughts from Diana: I can't tell you the times that I feel invisible, I felt invisible most of the day today. Pretty much everything I do goes unnoticed and unappreciated. I'm really only noticed for what I don't do... where's my clean pants? there aren't any clean spoons! BUT today Landon got back down off the fireplace (that was not running) when I asked him to- he's learning to obey. Gracie came and helped me clean up at Grandma's house- she's learning to do nice things for others. Emily read books every chance she got today- she's got my love for reading. Becca smiled when I changed her- that's pretty much all I need to feel good right there.

I know I'm making a difference. I can't see it right now for the most part, but the glimpses I get give me hope. I would rather be invisible and have my children grow up strong and good decision makers than to lose them in my shadow because I'm the only thing I think about. It's definitely the other way around most of the time and I'm working on not losing myself and doing things for myself that help me remember who I am and where I'm going.

I know that Heavenly Father watches out for me largely because of my children. He guides me to guide them and help them be who He sent them here to be. I especially could not be a good Mom to Becca without the subtle promptings I receive on her behalf. Same goes for Emily and Gracie and Landon!

Monday, November 03, 2008

10th Anniversary Present

Ladies and Gentlmen, let me introduce to you one of my favorite singers of all time...

Collin Raye!! From the second row!!!

Geoff took me to see Collin Raye at the Desert Star Theatre. It was amazing! I'm trying really hard to get past my speechlessness and find some words to describe this night for me, but I wanted to get some of it out while it is still so fresh. The first person I saw was a dear friend who just happens to work there! Bonus! I tried to describe the experience to her afterwards and could barely speak! We're in the 'Moms of kids with disabilities' club... we don't need mere words! ;)

If you've heard Collin Raye's songs you know he has a huge heart. Songs like "Love Me" and "I Think About You" (both of which he sang tonight!) have big meaning and a lot of emotion behind them. He also has fun songs like "That's My Story" and "That Kinda Girl" (he also sang those!) that aren't as heavy. He sang a cover song of the Beatles song "Here Comes the Sun (Little Darlin')" (I thought of you, Dad! ;) ) and the one written by Charlie Chaplin "Smile." He also sang "I Can Still Feel You" and I probably forgot a whole lot more! :)

Speaking of smiles, this guy has such an infectious smile!! I mean he's all teeth and happiness just radiates out of him! The man sitting next to us said he'd heard he's coming out with a Christian album, which doesn't surprise me at all. His faith in God comes out in so many of his songs. Faith, God and Country (as in the U.S.A. ;) ) are what so many country artists are all about. One of his songs was all about how Heavenly Father answers our prayers with what we need, not what we want... it's called "What I Need." :) iTunes has already been raided for that one!

There were a couple of songs that I didn't know that were from an album he called a 'collector's item.' Apparently, he was with Sony when he made it, but they disagreed about a lot of things and he was leaving Sony and was going to market the record through someone else. Well, Sony put it out anyway which means he didn't promote it since he wasn't with them anymore and he couldn't put it out the way he wanted to with is new company and Sony only put out a few of them. It had some really cool songs that I hadn't heard, so I think I may be surfing iTunes for those, too! ;)

A long time ago, in the early 90s, is probably when I fell in love with Collin Raye's music and when he was pretty much at a high point in his career. He did a video for his song "I Think About You" that was used by abused women organizations and things to earn money and stuff. In it, he talks about how when he sees women in crisis, etc. that he thinks about his little girl. At the time, his daughter was in the video with him when she was 8 years old... she was there tonight and sang a couple of songs with him... very cool! She's beautiful and has a very pretty voice.

If you've talked to me and let me ramble on about this famous man I've never met, you've heard me tell you that he has a granddaughter with disabilities. Tonight he said she has an undiagnosed neurologic disorder that basically took her away from them slowly. She was developing normally and then she just slowly started losing abilities, etc. She is 8 (I know, huh?!) and doesn't speak and uses a wheelchair, etc. He sang a song that he wrote for her and I of course cried all the way through it! I think it's called "She's With Me" and it will be on his new album. It starts off talking about how it is to take her in public and have people stare and he says "she's with me" and includes her in things anyway. He talks about how happy he is when "she's with me" and it ends with her being there to usher him through the gates of Heaven because "he's with me." My mother's heart sang right along with him and it was neat to hear words put to so many of the same emotions I feel.

It was an incredible night for me! This kind of music has always "spoken" to me and it was pretty amazing to be sitting only a few feet away and singing along and clapping and cheering. What an awesome 10th Anniversary present, Hubby! Thank you so, so much! I know, a thank you in a blog post... what could be better? I hope you know how much this meant to me and it was even better to be able to share it with you!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Tagged by Paula

Rules: Put your answers in 'google image', pick from first three pages

First name: Diana

Middle Name: Darlene
Maiden Name:
Robert E. Lee
Last Name: Sagers
That's my baby Becca! She came up on the first page because this picture is on the Early Intervention site. My father-in-law also came up on the first page. ;)

Bad Habit: Messy House
What are you doing right now?: Getting ready to go to a movie
Grandmother's Name: Ethel
Past Pet: Sadie the black Cocker Spaniel

My first job: Fry jockey
Where I grew up: White Mountains, AZ
One of my favorite places: Sheep's Crossing, AZ
If I went back to school, I would: become an Intervener for Deafblind kids
Isn't this a beautiful picture? I got it from: http://www.helplaurenlearn.net

Place I would love to visit: Ireland
My favorite color: Neopolitan
Favorite Food: Cheesecake!
That was way fun! I'm tagging: Geoff, Mom, Angela, Kelly, Darrin, Melissa M., Aunt Colleen, Danica, Heidi, Christina, Melissa C., Nancy, Sophia, Kathryn, Jenny, Lisa and Cammie.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Hey, hey, Boo Boo!

I have an 8 year old daughter with disabilities, I'm always on the lookout for things that are going to help me be able to do everything I need to do for her. I've recently discovered a way to protect my back and keep it strong and healthy for all of the lifting I do day in and day out. Let's be honest, though, it's not just Becca, Mr. "Just because I CAN walk, doesn't mean I do it ALL the time!" plays a hefty part, too! Pun most definitely intended! ;)

I do Yoga!

And I love it! I have a pregnancy yoga video that I used to use, but I'd really only pull it out towards the end when I was way uncomfortable and trying to find a way to help sore muscles. A while ago, we were at Ross... yes, the dress for less one, and saw a yoga video for a few dollars. I LOVE IT! I always feel so good afterwards. It's very relaxing and slow, yet I end up pleasantly sore the next day because I really did get a workout. I am enjoying it more as I go and I can do the poses by listening to her instructions rather than having to try and look at the screen. My girls love to do it with me! Don't expect any video, though! I think I look pretty silly and we have a no poparazzi zone during yoga time! :D

I've talked to other Mom's with kids with disabilities and a lot of them have used and liked yoga, too. The whole point is that if you strengthen your core muscles... abs, etc.... then your back has the support it needs and all of the muscles work together to give you more lifting power! I don't care if I have washboard abs... I have 4 kids and I'm proud of my "Mommy body," but I've got to stay strong to be able to lift Becca for years to come. :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Zip! Bong!

Every day I'm reminded of how fast time flies! Today I read Sophia's blog and realized that little Ethan is not so little any more. I can remember like it was yesterday finding out what had happened to our precious angel Becca before she was even born. She was supposed to be safe and warm inside of me while she was growing... but, she wasn't. Right after she was born, we found out about a nasty virus that had damaged her, taken away some of our dreams, and left her in a body that didn't work right. Right after that, Sophia told us she was pregnant and I was scared to death! I didn't want to be the reason someone else's child had to be this way. Sophia, I cannot describe the strength you were to me because instead of staying the heck away from me, which is probably what you wanted to do at first, you educated yourself and then you kept on being such a good friend to me. You still held Becca and you still loved her and you kept on loving us. I don't know how hard that was for you, it probably wasn't because you have such a big heart, but it made ALL the difference to me! Thank you for not ditching me. Thank you for still loving Becca and holding her and snuggling her- even when she had to fit around your great big Ethan-belly. :D Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for accepting her and us for who we were and who we were becoming at that time.

I am truly grateful for you in my life! I found a bunch of pictures from that era in our lives and chose a few to share. :) I love you, Sophia!!

I have this picture tagged with your maiden name! :D
Our first pic of our new little friend. Remember how I begged you to call me, even if was in the middle of the night, when you went into labor? You did! I was so excited, I could barely get back to sleep!!
There is one happy kid!!
Here's Ethan at about a month old and Becca at about 9 months old. :D It's dated October 15, 2000
This one is dated January 14, 2001, which means that Becca had turned 1 the day before and Ethan was 4 months old!

Friday, September 12, 2008

One Hundred Things I Like (In absolutely no particular order)

1. Geoffrey
2. Rebecca Diana
3. Emily Danielle
4. Gracie Darla
5. Landon Geoffrey
6. Raspberry Lemonade
7. Walks through the cemetary
8. Babies!
9. Fixing other people's hair
10. Cheesecake
11. Dancing like nobody's watching
12. Sign Language
13. Hollyhocks
14. Puppies
15. Frank Sinatra
16. Doris Day
17. Colin Raye
18. SheDaisy
19. Church
20. Sewing for my kids
21. Writing
22. Hammon Family Reunions
23. Fresh cut grass
24. Chocolate Chip cookies
25. Vintage buttons
26. Board games
27. Email
28. Apple butter
29. Shoes without laces
30. Gardening
31. Fresh peaches
32. Fantasy/Romance novels
33. Pottery Barn Kids catalogs
34. Homegrown tomatoes
35. Parents magazine
36. Riding bikes
37. Typing really fast
38. My Mom
39. Going for walks
40. Painting my nails
41. Facebook
42. Reading Blogs
43. People magazine/website
44. Bleeding hearts (the flower)
45. Fruit pies
46. Sam's Club
47. Being an Aunt
48. Sitting around the camp fire
49. Old Navy
50. Peonies
51. Book stores
52. Relief Society
53. House hunting
54. Neighborhood sidewalks
55. Keeping in touch
56. Really long jeans
57. Brady Bunch re-runs
58. Lord of the Rings
59. Stephen's hot chocolate
60. Harry Potter books
61. Harry Potter movies
62. Brownies
63. Microwave popcorn
64. Beauty and the Beast
65. My new house
66. Backyard Basketball
67. The dollar store
68. Naps
69. Hanging out with extended family... ALL of them!!
70. Grandmas
71. Grandpas
72. Sisters in law
73. Brothers in law
74. Babies from above unions; i.e. Nieces and Nephews!!
75. D.I.
76. Brand new fabric
77. Serger thread
78. Yoga
79. Babies learning to walk
80. School
81. The Sims; Original and 2
82. Chicken and Stuffing casserole
83. Peanut butter and chocolate
84. Reading with my kids
85. Snuggling
86. Happy endings
87. Wet hair
88. Sour patch kids
89. Pajamas
90. Hugs
91. Blogging
92. iTunes
93. Machine Embroidery
94. Baby grins
95. Bean bags
96. Palm pilots
97. Baby kisses
98. Vanilla perfume
99. Curly hair
100. Freckles

You should try this! If you feel like being tagged, consider yourself tagged! ;)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Organized Chaos

I'm terrible at keeping this thing updated! I think of several blog posts I want to write every day, but finding the time is harder than it looks! :D Of course, my kids are fed, clothed and happy and that really is more important. ;)

We just started school again this year and so starts the battle of the bus. Probably for the next 13 years, as long as Becca is in school, we will have to battle with the bus. School starts for everyone the same; 9:00 am. Becca rides the bus in her chair and I can't leave the house until the bus gets here, but Emily needs to be at our neighborhood school by 9, too. I would LOVE to walk Emily to school (it is SO much cooler in the morning!), but generally the bus doesn't get here in time. I usually have to back the van out and park it around the corner so we can run to it as soon as Becca is on the bus. I've asked nicely and I'm sure she tries to get here a little earlier, but oh well. A morning or two, Geoff has stayed long enough to put Becca on so I could leave early enough to walk with the other three. But then he's home that much later. *shrug* We do the best we can! We always walk in the afternoon and come home dripping in sweat with headaches and everything else that goes along with getting overheated! At least I'm getting exercise!

Geoff sent me an article the other day that said that a study proved that it is better to be fat and healthy than thin and unhealthy. Geoff rides his bike to and from work every day and is losing inches even if muscle pounds are replacing fat pounds and he is in much better shape than I am. I get winded way faster than someone my size should. See? I've been telling you guys all along that being skinny is not all it's cracked up to be! ;) My endurance is way less than it could be. I have strong arms from lifting my heavy kids, but I get worn out walking or biking for too long. I'll get there!

I think my strongest gene influence must come from my Hammon family line. My Great-Grandpa Hammon was a farmer and a very hard worker and tall and lean. It came through him, his son and my Mom. I have that Hammon tenacity, too. :D I don't give up until the job is done right. I think that's why Heavenly Father sent me Becca. :D He knew I wouldn't give up! As my kids were running in and out this morning watching for the bus and getting ready for school, I got frazzled. I felt like there were so many of them and only one me! This happens a lot, I'll be honest. But, I just took a step back and located each one and gave them a charge that would keep them safe and where I knew where they were and took small bites until it was all managed. Survival some minutes, true enjoyment most minutes... that's sums me up mostly. :D

Well, there you go! A nice, random post to catch me up a little. :D I really do love reading the blogs of family and friends and I hope you enjoy mine once in a while. :D

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Skort it!

My girls love to wear dresses. My girls love to run and play and climb and dance. To keep them modest while they do all of the above, I invented these skorts. They have shorts sewn in underneath and they turned out pretty cute. So, without further ado, here are my adorable girls in their adorable daywear. :D

Thanks to my Bro for the awesome pictures!!

High School Me

If you had told the high school me everything I am doing now, I'm pretty sure my jaw would have suffered a rug burn! I look into the face I had then and it's different enough from my now face that I mostly see what it lacks. It lacks the understanding of true sacrifice and suffering; experience and true empathy; the inexplicable joy that comes from enduring inexplicable pain. The then me didn't know how good she had it! Mom to fix meals. Dad to earn money. Sisters and brother down the hall or down the stairs. Family Home Evening with Mom, Dad and siblings... oh! what I wouldn't give to have that again!! Sadie. Oscar. Grover. Homework that seems so much easier than the questions I now get asked by a curious 6 year old. :D Even having a lunch all to myself would now be a welcome change, rather than popularity suicide.

The then me worried so much about not having a lot of friends. If I could, I'd tell her not to sweat it. Lasting friendships don't always happen when we think they should, but they are worth the wait. High School me wouldn't have liked to hear that very much, I don't think. There was a lot of drama and friends that slowly became acquaintances, however, as with all things in life that do not kill us, it made me stronger.

Cheers to High School Me! We made it through and lived to tell the tale! ;)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Haphazard Notions

We turned the sprinklers up to 45 minutes instead of 30 to give our plants a fighting chance in the hot, hot sun. We only water twice a week to save on water and help our plants be tough!

Gracie's hair cut fits her already even though we cut off like 8 inches. She started the process and the hair stylist helped us out in the end, but it is really, really cute and I didn't think I'd like it. She reminds me of my Mom. :) I don't know how we knew looking at a purple, wrinkled newborn, but she is so aptly named! It's like we were psychic. :D

I have had a REALLY hard time with Landon turning one. It's like he's not going to be a baby anymore soon and I'm struggling with that.

It is so hard to watch people you love go through tough times and not be able to do anything about it.

Harry Potter rules!

I love to write, but I don't feel like I have the time to devote to it what it needs to become great. I really think it's in me, but I don't feel like I can do it justice right now. Which really bites!!

Hubby rides his bike to work every day and I am SO proud of him!! I wish I did anything that ambitious!

I'm a wimp about going anywhere with all of my kids by myself. I should just do it, but I usually talk myself out of it. I can do it, don't underestimate me, I just don't. Maybe I should.

I did my Visiting Teaching last month! Yay me!

Seriously, have you re-read Harry Potter lately? It rocks!

I'm behind on so many things! Is it due to the previous random gem? Maybe. But really, I just like to make things last longer, it's more fun that way. 8) (That one means my eyes are rolling, somebody was so clever!)

My kids watch too much TV. I try to make them play outside and they come in exhausted and pink because it's so hot. Maybe I'll make them run laps around downstairs. :D Heehee, that made me laugh!

If I spent half as much time doing the things I think about doing, I'd get so much done!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Contest Winner!!

Oh, Man! It's Saturday and I didn't announce the joke winner! Snap! I have had a very "Bad Mommy" week. I missed kids' programs and picked them up late from school... the last week of school really threw me for a loopety loopety loop!

I laughed heartily at all of the jokes! It was very hard to choose, as "funny" is such an objective quality that you all possess in droves! In the end, I know I'll do stuff like this again and I love you all and I know that you love me!

Okay.... Drumroll, please!! Our very distinguished panel of judges, consisting mostly of this most magnanimous blog owner :D laughed the very hardest at the Crider Clan joke about the ice cream and scrambled eggs with honorable mention going to my Mom because she made the winning joke even funnier! :D I love you, Mom! And I tell you every day so you'll never forget! ;)

Thanks everyone for playing!! Oh, by the way, the winner receives a matching pair of pillowcases with their names embroidered on them. Congratulations, Melissa!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thursday's the Day!

Thanks to everyone who has submitted jokes! I hope you are laughing as much as I have been! I expect to announce a winner tomorrow, so play 'em if ya got 'em! ;)

I'm so Proud of my Hubby!

When we first got married, our bodies settled as much as our minds did. My weight has fluctuated with babies, but it goes right back to the same weight not too long after. I can't help it, I don't do anything different, it's just the genes I have in me, I guess. Geoff, however, has struggled with it and has to fight a lot harder than I do. I have changed my cooking to involve a lot more applesauce instead of oil and 98% fat free soups and things like that and that leveled him off, but then we hit one of those ever-present plateaus. And so now today he has added more movement into his life by riding his bike to work. I could not be more proud! If T-shirts had buttons, mine would be bursting! It is not the easy thing to do. The easy thing to do is to continue cajoling Mr. 1993 to start every morning and drive up over the overpass to work. I mean, it takes SO much less gas than it did when Mr. 1993 was put-putting from Tooele to here. But imagine taking NO GAS! Imagine! I think there are FAR more people that could walk or ride bikes to work that don't because it is not the easy thing to do. And we all know to effect change, we cannot just do the easy thing. We have to bend, we have to stretch, we have to do it even if it's hard.

Our weight loss heroes are Josh and Ingrid. They get up early (sometimes not even sleeping after a night shift) or get away in the middle of the day and they work out at some point every day. Talk about the opposite of easy! But they look good! They feel good! They ROCK! Just because my body doesn't hold onto weight like some others' do, doesn't mean I don't appreciate the value of hard work and I think it's especially hard when it's to lose weight. You can't turn your back on it for a moment, or it comes sneaking back in. As one who has lost more than one person so dear to me due to weight issues, I am SO PROUD of these people and what they're doing to lengthen their lives and improve their confidence and to be healthy! I may be the world's tallest cheerleader, but I'm here... waving my pom poms... You can do it, Geoff!! Way to go, Josh!! You go, Girl, Ingrid!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I Hereby Declare a Joke Contest!


All jokes must be clean. All words contained in the joke must be words you would say in front of your mother. ;)

Bonus points for original jokes. As in, jokes I've never heard before, which isn't hard to do! :D Even if I've heard it before, I often can't remember!

Leave your joke as a comment and scatter laughter wher'ere we go!

Whomever makes me laugh the hardest wins a glorious prize... this is me, people. It will involve sewing and you will like it, I nearly promise! :)

I'll start by recounting one of my Dad's jokes... Sorry, Dad, if you want to participate, you'll have to come up with a new one. ;)

Once there was a scientist. He took a frog and placed it behind a line on a table and yelled "Jump!"
The frog jumped 5 feet! The scientist was impressed and recorded the data in his journal.

Next, he cut off one of the frog's back legs, placed it behind the line and again yelled "Jump!"
The frog jumped only 2 and a half feet this time and off to one side.
The scientist recorded the data.

Then, he cut off the frog's second back leg, placed it behind the line and once again yelled, "Jump!"
The frog didn't move, so he raised his voice and yelled louder, "JUMP!"
The frog still didn't move.

The scientists' conclusion: When you cut off a frog's legs, he can't hear.

Friday, May 16, 2008

House Warming

Our house was so warm today, we actually did something we've never been able to do before... we turned on the central air! You know those first few days when Spring is thinking about turning into Summer and it's sunny, but cool. The first time your chapstick melts in the car because the windows did that "greenhouse effect" thing and trapped a bunch of heat in there even though the breeze is still cool outside.

Emily said to me, "Mom, isn't the air coming out of the vents supposed to be warm? In our other house, it was always warm." :D It was a very different experience, but I kind of liked it. I'll probably do it again. ;)

I am just so loving this whole yard business! I cannot get enough of just walking around and looking at (and talking to) the things planted in my yard. I am so stinkin' proud of my raspberries, I cannot even tell you! Watch, now a frost will take them all. It is just so amazing to me that you plant this little dry seed, or in the raspberry's case, a dry-looking stick, and with enough care and water and sun, a whole plant will come out of it. Do you remember the movie Ferngully? Yeah, it's like that. "Help it grow," that's what I do. Now if we could just fix our sprinkler timer so I had a little help in the growing business. The sunlight is so covered! It really is warmer down south. I think I made it to at least June last year before I begged for cooler air... no, wait, I was WAY preggo with Landon, I'm sure I begged for it MUCH sooner!

I refuse to believe he is going to have his first birthday in only a couple of months. Today he taught himself to climb. He just started cruising along furniture, but if I leave him downstairs with the girls while I throw a load of dishes in or something, he would occasionally cruise the bottom step back and forth trying to figure out how to get up. Today we ate lunch on our new little IKEA picnic table outside on the grass and after everyone was done and I was on the deck hanging out more laundry, he figured out how to climb up and sit on the bench. I asked Emily if she had done it, but I could tell by the way one of his legs hadn't made it all the way up on, that he had done it himself. :D After that, he got up onto the bottom stair downstairs. I am so in for it!! :D In an absolutely good way. ;)

I love Springtime!

A few of Geoff's work pals came over tonight to see our new house. I'm actually getting to know some of them pretty well. They are so nice! Geoff loves his job and a big part of that is the people he gets to work with. We talked babies a lot tonight as one was expecting and one is expecting to be expecting soon. :D They're both newlyweds and I just so totally remember being there. I don't know where the time goes. That's why I don't want Landon to grow up so fast and I want to watch my plants grow slowly and relish it.

Life goes so quickly!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Celebrity Morph by MyHeritage

If Jack Black were an accessible person, I could see he and Geoff being friends! They would make each other laugh all the time! :D It makes me laugh just thinking about it!! :D

MyHeritage: Family tree - Genealogy - Celebrity

Celebrity Morph by MyHeritage

I wouldn't say there's an especially strong resemblance here, but I just HAD to see this one! I'm not so young, I don't enjoy a little Puppy Love now and then! :D

MyHeritage: Family tree - Genealogy - Celebrity

Celebrity Morph by MyHeritage

Just call mine Thievery Monday! I found this on my cousin's blog and just had to try it out! The one that made me laugh the hardest was Geoff morphing into Jack Black!! :D And by the way, Melissa, you do have a strong Katie Couric resemblance! ;) Geoff says I look like Liv Tyler, but she wasn't among my options. :D Go ahead, try it! You know you're curious! Or in Melissa's case, she was Courious. :D

MyHeritage: Celebrity Morph - Family album - Family pictures

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Front Flower Garden Re-visited

In case there is anyone out there interested and for my own historical reference, this is a breakdown of everything in the front flower garden. Starting at the far left, we have some decorative stepping stones to catch the drips and steps that fall into that area. The cement one with the tulip was here when we moved in, but it was covered with lots of debris and leaves. The other one was a gift and it carries my personal mascot- ladybugs!

Around the barrel isn't all the way cleaned out. I left a token tuft of sage in the front to remind myself of the hard work I accomplished and also of Thanksgiving Dinner! :D lol Inside the barrel is a Dianthus wearing a moss rose necklace. :) Moving along, there are some tulips that came with the house with another ladybug adorned rock from my aunt in front of it. Around the window well are planted some "gladi-lolas" as Gracie calls them, which of course you can't see just yet. There are one of my fun favorites- snapdragons- in front of the window well.

In the middle of the windows are of course a row of hollyhocks that are not up yet and then pansies and marigolds that are! I'm not sure what the next plant is. It was hiding under the edge of one of the gray bushes and had dead sticks of some other plant or possibly spent blooms from itself sticking up out of it. I clipped off the dead part and we'll see what it is and if it has blooms. There are also some green patches that I think might be daisies around in this area.

The far window well also has gladi-lolas all the way around it and cosmos in front of it. Cosmos are our "Shell Station" flowers from Arizona. ;) I got the one that had the most different colors of flowers in it all together! :) The far end of the garden, I didn't change very much. It has tulips and daffodils and of course some lovely grape hyacinths that were all there already. I'm in the school that decides to call grape hyacinth 'flowers' since they're so hard to get rid of! :D lol I also sprinkled in some more glads in between the other bulbs... the more stuff that comes back on it's own, the better!! :D

Green Thumb

I'm determined to have a green thumb if I have to break out the spray paint! I have been looking forward to a great yard to work in so much that I have convinced myself that I am a good gardener. Now, given my own pedigree mixed with my horticulturally gifted hubby's pedigree, I should be good to go! I have been out in the yard working on it every day, except Sunday starting last Saturday. So, if you mix a bunch of really great gardeners as relatives and a whole bunch of really hard work, this is what could happen!

Saturday, the doom of the Spiky Bush!

BEFORE we took out the dreaded Spiky Bush, this is what lurked around the corner of the house. The driveway behind Emily is the second driveway on the side of the house that has a basketball hoop on it. This bush is the kind of bush you'd plant in front of your house if you didn't want people to visit you. It's spiky and dry and undesirable... at least to me. The tools we had to work with were basically: a shovel, a pick ax, a garden rake and a leaf rake... oh, and all the muscle we could muster! We didn't even have a hose to moisten the soil! After much toil and strife, we prevailed!

We found 3 basketballs, a golf ball, an unidentifiable dirt encrusted bouncy ball, 2 sprinkler keys (the huge metal T-shaped tools you use to reach down into holes to turn sprinklers on and off with) and some other random pieces of metal. We also accidentally chopped through the wiring for the sprinkler "brain" that is on the wall inside the garage. Ooops! There were also an innumerable amount of pine cones as that huge stump you can see was obviously a pine tree in its earlier life. It's awfully close to the house for as big as it must have been! There are 2 other bushes just like this that will soon come out of different places in the yard.

The wood of this bush was especially unique. When we chopped into the roots, we discovered that it had a bright yellow... and I mean neon yellow... core. It was like nothing I've ever seen in nature besides maybe the color of tropical flowers or something. I mean it was really, really yellow! I'm glad to have it gone and I'm glad to find something pretty and/or edible to put in its place! Slowly, but surely, I'm turning from being all thumbs to having green ones!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Lock your car doors!

A slight spring breeze blew the smell of freshly overturned soil ahead of her as she dustily stepped in out of the sun. Earth clung to her clothes, her hair, her skin. She brushed her hands together and placed them on her hips. There she stood, triumphant. The task had not proved too big for her muscles, thin but strong. She wiped a dirty hand across her brow and collapsed onto the couch... a champion!

Today I ripped out a bunch of spent plants in my new front flower bed. There were some big gray, dead bushes right in the middle and lots of scruff everywhere, if you know what I mean. First, I went through with a little rake and attempted to get some of the leaves and dead stuff out from in between things. There was a bunch of sage growing in there and it had of course spread all over as sage does. As I'm raking, it started to smell really good! They say that smell is the strongest sense tied to memories and as I'm raking, I have this memory and I had to pick up the phone and call my Dad at work! I was smelling him making Thanksgiving Dinner Stuffing! It's no secret that his stuffing is my absolute favorite dish at Thanksgiving and I can still remember HIS Dad making it the same way... sprinkle in the sage, stir, taste... sprinkle some more sage, stir, taste... sprinkle in some more sage... :D I pulled most of it out of the front garden because there is a bunch more in a little herb garden in the back. I wonder how you would use it to make Thanksgiving Stuffing? I'll have to study up on it before November. Wouldn't that be fun? Homegrown sage. Thanks for the memories, Dad! ;D

My Mom came out to visit me today and bought me a bunch of really awesome plants for my birthday! I am jump up and down and up and down excited!!!! :D The one I'm most looking forward to are the Raspberries!! Oh, cross your fingers that they live and grow and grow and grow!! And there are SO many pretty flowers!! So far, I only planted a long row of Hollyhock seeds right up against the house right in the center between the windows! I LOVE Hollyhocks! They're tall and they've been around since the pioneers and I'm sure before! I had to stop because Landon woke up, but after dinner, I'm going right back out there and get everything else in the ground!! I've already got daffodils and tulips coming up and starting to bloom and I'm pretty sure I discovered some daisies, too that all came with the house! :D

Another thing I'm super excited about is my soon-to-be vegetable garden! My neighbor from across the street came over today and as I was talking to him and he was telling me what they've done in their yard, he reminded me about raised bed gardening! I had forgotten all about that! That's what I was going to do in our last house. It's better on the Becca-lifting-back and the grass doesn't creep in and less balls are kicked into them! I can hardlee wait! I have a list as long as my arm of things I want to plant AND I now have birthday seeds for! There's already a corner on the opposite side of the yard that I want to put vine veggies in... pumpkins, zucchini, cucumbers and summer squash! Aren't you excited to be my best friend! ;D LOL Have you ever heard the old LDS addage that warns you to lock your car doors at Church during zucchini season? Otherwise, you may end up with a bunch of stowaway bags of the prolific vegetable!

When I used to look forward to a yard to work in, I hoped it would be like this. Look at me go!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ponytail Challenge!

I found this great inspirational blog that you have to go and see if you feel like an invisible maid at your house like I do. Things just magically get cleaned, folded and placed in drawers, dishes magically clean themselves and meanwhile, we feel we don't have the time for ourselves and pretty soon our hair goes Swoosh! up into a ponytail! As well as all of the other moments and feelings that swoop themselves into oblivion. It used to take at least an hour to get ready for school in the mornings. What happened between now and then that made me quit caring about how I look during the day? This Blog's author is actually related to me... our Grandpas are brothers. :D Go check it out and join in on the fun!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

7 April 2008

7-ish am - Get up and feed, clothe and hug all of my family members.
8:45 am - Drive Emily to School. Go back home to finish getting Becca ready.
10:00 am - Take Becca to school to deliver the rest of the packet of papers to get her started and give her teacher some idea of how to deal with Becca. :)
11:00 - At home in the driveway with barely a half an hour before it's time to get Emily... not enough to grocery shop or get my Driver's License renewed... pack up some of Becca stuff I forgot to bring (diapers, pediasure, etc.) and we are the first ones in the Kindergarten queue.
11:30 - Pick up Emily and drive straight to the grocery store. We bough Lunchables to eat for lunch and got what we could remember from the list because it got lost somewhere. (I found it later in the pocket of a different pair of pants from a day I thought I had enough time to go) We ate our Lunchables, after some hand sanitizer, in the van.
12:30 - Drop off Becca's diapers and Pediasure and find out that she ate a great lunch! Blended chicken and veggies and mashed potatoes! She ate really, really well for them and was playing a game in a bean bag with the little boy next to her in another bean bag on the computer. She looked like she was really having fun!
1:00 - Filled out the application for a new license, got my number (#273) and sat in a semi-crowded waiting room with Landon in the stroller and Emily and Gracie on chairs next to me. They were actually really well behaved and bided their time, saving their big fight to come at the exact moment when they took my new picture.
2:15 - We got done at the DMV and high tailed it to Becca's school to pick her up. Mondays are early days and Becca gets out at 2:30.
2:40 - Chilled inside my house for the first time all day!! I took an on and off nap while the girls watched a movie.

Later, we went to the 50 cent movies and saw Alvin and the Chipmunks. It was very cute. :) Matt and Denise drove all the way out to our house to share some ice cream with us and we all tumbled into our beds very happy campers! Thank you for all of the phone calls, voice mails and emails! I really do feel very loved. :D

So, this is 31? I can live with this! ;)

Saturday, April 05, 2008


My Mom always said, "You know you're moved in when you can find everything you need to make cookies." Well, look what I just did!! :D

American Forkers

Tuesday 25 March 2008

The first night in our new house

We can't find the screws and bolts to any of the beds, so all of the kids are on mattresses on the floor. Geoff and I's bed frame doesn't require bolts, so we slept higher than the rest. We started out the day with 3 very full portable storage units from Pack Rats (1-800-PACKRAT) and ended the day with 3 very empty storage units! My sister and my Mom came and helped during the day and our men all came that night and we got all 3 emptied out! One of them was due back in a couple of days, so my hopes in the morning were to get that one emptied... the other 2 didn't need to be back for a couple of weeks. Near the end, more things got sat in the garage than the house, but they're all empty! Wahoo!!

Some of the negatives that were discovered today:
The fridge doesn't fit in the place it should go. It is literally a couple of millimeters too wide!
There is no cold water in the kitchen because it is hooked to the "water in the door" feature of the fridge.
My vacuum picked up way more dust than I thought it would for vacuuming carpets that had been cleaned the day before.
They didn't wipe out any drawers or cupboards.

Good things that far outweigh the bad:
Aunt Carolyn came, steamer in hand, and helped me power clean and sanitize nearly every surface in sight!
I found sheets, pillowcases and pajamas for everyone before bedtime!
The kids have been playing outside in the very nice weather and have stayed out from under our feet.
Nobody got hurt while unloading. (Though there was an unfortunate "almost injury" involving the water softener and the fridge.) I cannot account for the certain soreness we are all experiencing as a result of unloading, however!
Geoff opted to pay the $5 fee and snipped off the plastic zip tie on the gas line so we could heat the house tonight.
We are all together, we are safe and warm and oh so happy!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Aunt Carolyn's Bed and Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Hello from a basement in Taylorsville!

I have some great pictures to illustrate my comments today, but the cord that gets the pictures off the camera is unavailable at the mo. So, imagine a very decently sized basement apartment, squeeze 6 people into it, and you'll get a sufficient mental image for now. :D

We are so blessed to be living here with Aunt Carolyn. She treats us so well! We really do fit in here quite nicely. It will be nice to sleep in separate rooms one of these days, but I cannot come up with a better scenario for a place to live for 3 weeks after we had to be out of our old house and before we could be in our new!

Since we have been here, I have finished 3 pretty little dresses for my girls to wear to my Brother's wedding and 3 skirts for 3 women for the wedding. My girls have had tons of fun doing school things and learning from Aunt Carolyn, a teacher by profession and talent. We also had the unfortunate experience of visiting the Emergency Room with Geoff for which we still do not have any satisfactory resolution.

Becca loved sleeping with her sisters on the futon. On the night they decided to try different sleeping places, she cried until they came back to snuggle with her. :) They switched around every night and enjoyed the good dreams that come from being loving sisters.

Good times!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Holy Hecka Windy!

You know there's a storm coming here at our house in Tooele when the wind kicks up... kicks up cardboard, trampolines, small children...

There's an icy patch at the bottom of our driveway and when I went to help Becca off the bus, I nearly went ice skating involuntarily. It feels like you're one of those big metal braces that the football players use to practice against. I mean, it is really, really windy! Well, after I got Becca safely in the house, I went in search of the second garbage can. One of them was on its side by the bus, but the other one was nowhere nearby. Dutiful Geoff paid the bill last night and shredded it, so I had to call the city to get the numbers of our cans. He picked a great day to be on top of things! :D LOL Of course, ours was the furthest can held only by a curb and some dirty snow from continuing its trek out to Erda! As I started towards the "cul-de-sac," I use the term loosely because there are no houses down there, the wind was at my back. I finally started jogging since that's what the wind seemed to be trying to get me to do! Every few seconds I'd get that "Wheee!" feeling as it pushed me up and forward.

The walk back wasn't so fun. The thought of what a picture of me would look like out there makes me laugh! I was dragging the trash can with both hands behind me and I bent into the wind pushing with all my might. Just before I got to my own driveway the wind really decided to have some fun. I stopped in my tracks and closed my eyes and I distinctly felt my cheeks quiver backwards. You know those "America's Funniest Videos" you see with someone blowing an air compressor at their face? Yeah, it felt like that! Then suddenly my coat burst open and blew backwards as the wind rushing into it was too much for one zipper to hold. I was laughing as I turned and hiked up our impossibly steep driveway with the wind now trying to knock me over sideways. When I finally made it in the house, I felt lightheaded and extremely disheveled. The thought of the little icon I saw this morning in the weather section I checked before dressing my kids for the day makes me laugh now. It was a little tree with white streaks coming off of it to represent a tree blowing in the wind. If that had been a real tree and it had been in the middle of my street and I'd been in the tree wearing a big, baggy sweatshirt, I'm pretty sure I'd be in the middle of the Great Salt Lake by now!!