Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Picture Tag -- "Magical Salon"

My sister-in-law Priscilla tagged me. The tag goes something like this: Open your 4th photo file and put the 4th picture on your blog. Unfortunately my computer with all my folders of pictures is presently boxed up safe and sound, along with most the rest of my worldly possessions, in a storage unit; and all I have on this laptop are the few photos I've recently loaded and probably already put on my blog, so there is no 4th folder or 4th picture. Still, I hate to shun a tag, so how about this picture:That is my hair as it was the other day. Goldie and Daisy were obediently playing with my hair (as I for some reason love them to do), when suddenly I was involved in their made up world of "The Magical Salon." In the Magical Salon, you get loads of things in your hair, and some baby lotion rubbed on any exposed skin, along with Vaseline and bandages on any spots that could possibly be considered "owies." And, the next day, when the salon has a sign made out of a paper plate advertising that it is officially "Open" as well as a sign telling you the cost is now ten cents (which Abe thought was outrageous -- what kind of daughters would force their own mother to pay ten cents!? -- I assured him it was well worth the price) you also get the special pampering of two different girls each applying makeup to one of your eyes -- lots of makeup.

And the thing is, I actually thought this "salon" was dreamy and happily let them do what they would with my face and hair because that is pretty much the only salon like pampering I have been lucky enough to receive. Maybe I'll ask Mike to get me a real certificate for a facial or some such someday . . . of course then the pulling and tugging of "The Magical Salon" might not seem quite so relaxing which would be a shame for its poor young owners.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Politically Incorrect

Today Abe asked Daisy if she had seen Mike's new hunting knife (he was eager to show it to her -- at least to show the case to her. "Dad probably wouldn't want me to get it out of its case," he explained). But Daisy only replied in a tone of much drama, "I would NEVER go hunting." Abe shrugged. "That's because no girls would."

Speaking of hunting, Mike isn't necessarily a big hunter, but he does view guns and knives as things of exquisite beauty. In fact, when he showed me some Utah centennial gun (or something celebratory like that) the other day, I had to admit that the carvings on it were quite intricate. I wondered aloud if it was "real gold plating." I hardly even mentioned whether or not the temple carved along the side seemed an appropriate adornment for a weapon. Perhaps if one calls the weapon a "peace maker"?

AND, speaking of that hunting knife. Mike regularly pulls that impressive item out for me to admire. It was only the other night (as the blade of that lovely knife was glistening in front of my eyes) that it occurred to me -- I bought Mike a "beautiful" hunting knife for his birthday last year. Where was that knife? Why wasn't it being swept from its scabbard (OK, I think only swords have scabbards) for me to appropriately and appreciatively "ooh" and "ahh" over each and every night? I asked Mike about this.

Mike: "Don't you remember? We had to return that one."

Me: "We? When did we return that one? I don't remember returning it? I think it was the very hunting knife you told me you wanted. Yah, I remember now, I got it at Big 5. You loved it."

Mike: "Yes, I think something was wrong with it," he says, kissing the blade of this new hunting knife, "so we returned it."

First the "potato fork" and now this? I am feeling less and less bad about those slippers (see post if confused) every day!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Dream Home

Last night we found the most dreamy home in the world. It was, much like Mary Poppins herself, practically perfect, perfectly practic, practically perfect in every way. We'd seen it online and I'd merely hoped, but the minute we pulled up, I was certain -- this was my little heaven.

Of course, we aren't really technically looking to buy a house right yet, or maybe we are, it is sort of unsaid at present. Still, houses are out there -- I mean you can't go a block with out seeing houses, and a good pair of eyes certainly must look (though actually, my eyes can't technically be considered a good pair since with out my contacts I am a bumbling, stumbling idiot).

Anyway, this house was somehow boxed in the middle of an area of normal new homes -- which to me means, other kids for my kids to play with. Only it was a sprawling acre completely and privately surrounded by trees. We spotted where it must be from far down the road because we could see the lush square of trees in the middle of all these other homes. The yard was perfect, the house was -- although perhaps a tiny bit small for a family who seems to be on their way to having 300 children, as Mike and I seem -- darling. It was only ten or so years old, but looked like a big well cared for cottage. It was actually, unbelievably, in our price range (well -- not exactly . . . but maybe . . . in the range of our price range? Surely they'd negotiate). There was a firepit in the backyard, and, just as we arrived, a family was basking in the luxury of their secluded and beautiful backyard. They were roasting marshmallows and laughing with friends as their children ran about happy and carefree nearby.

For some odd reason there was no "For Sale" sign to be seen (I'm sure you all know where this is going), but I wasn't to be deterred. I left Mike and the kids somewhat out of sight in the front yard whilst I boldly went to interrupt the family's joyful party (what party wouldn't be joyful in such a dreamy setting?). I wasn't sure who to head towards or even address in the group, but eventually found myself face to face with one adult. "Sorry to interrupt your party," I said (sure they wouldn't mind at all once they knew I was there to take their home off of their hands), "I just saw your home for sale online, but didn't see a sign out front. It is still for sale, isn't it?"

And then, with no further explanation, he crushingly responded, "No, I'm sorry, it's not." And that was that. I was left to mumble some apology and make my way back to my sad little family to tell them we were homeless, and would likely remain homeless forever now because how could I ever find anything to be as happy with? It would be like if your own Prince Charming died on your wedding day and you were then supposed to just marry the Earl of Someplace or Other. Boring.

We went to one other house after that, it might have been fine. Maybe lovely, but all I could think was, "This is pretty much the worst house ever."

The End

Friday, September 19, 2008

Field Trip Day

Yesterday we took a fieldtrip to the Zoo. I know, you are all laughing, thinking, "Field trip? You homeschool. What's a fieldtrip? Just a day you don't want to do their lessons?" Well, yes, pretty much, but k12 is constantly sending out info. for various fieldtrips and seems to like the idea of your kids still getting them. I think it has been fairly taxing on my kids having all this learning forced upon them each morning and we all needed a "fieldtrip." Plus, we did try to make it as fieldtrippy as possible. Mike bought them little snacks and lunches the night before. We dropped him off at work early in the morning and headed to the This is the Place Monument.

I have been to the Hogle Zoo a million times in my life and never once walked across the street to the This is the Place Monument. What kind of a Mormon am I? Anyway, I was impressed and my kids actually did learn a little History -- I had no idea there was stuff about all kinds of early explorers up there! I even got a little choked up as I read the plaque to them about Brigham Young sitting up in the wagon after being very ill, being lost in a vision for a few moments, and then simply saying, "This is the right place. Drive on." It was very moving reading that as I looked over the valley and I couldn't help but wonder if he saw it as magnificent as it has now become. Being there made his words seem so . . . well, prophetic.

We were the first ones in the zoo, and remained the lone zoo goers for the first 45 mins. or so. I was so enjoying our quiet little zoo adventure that I felt almost a bit resentful when other mothers and bus loads of children began showing up to intrude on our private little zoo (see, that does prove though that it is a legitimate fieldtrip!)

We did learn a few things. Apparently the Howler Monkey is the loudest animal. "What?" You ask. Well, me too. All I know is, Abe recognized the very ordinary little monkeys long before we got to the plaque about them, and it did indeed say they are the loudest and can be heard from three miles away. Weird. We also liked the warthog looking animals that scientists had long believed extinct until finding them in the Chaco in the 70's.

Lastly, I am pretty sure the cheetah tried to kill Abe. I'm not kidding. We looked and looked everywhere in his big savanna like area but could not find him. The girls and I walked over to the giraffes while Abe still looked. Then Abe began heading off towards the next exhibit. We turned to follow him when I heard sort of a very low whishing sound and a quite rumbling growl. I turned just in time to see the Cheetah streaking full speed towards Abe before the fence stopped him. It seriously reminded me of watching them go after a gazelle on a nature show! I could just picture him -- crouching quietly in the grass as we looked for him, inching closer and closer until the moment Abe's back was turned, and then, the sprint. For a little minute I had an image in my head of this happening in the wilds and I was very happy to have the tall fence between my son and that cheetah!
My fluffy headed Penny, as you can clearly see from these pictures, did not one bit enjoy her first visit to the zoo.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Mean Slippered Wife

Something nice about my husband is: he picks out really great stuff for me. Really, he has great taste. For example look at this cute PUMA cap or beenie or whatever you call it that he recently got me. I love little beanies and usually just wear some old Bonfire one of his, but now look at me! Pink even! See.

So, with that said, I was a bit surprised when, for Christmas two years ago, he gave me a certain pair of black slippers. I'm not saying anything particularly bad about these slippers. Oh no. In fact, I had really been wanting a new pair of slippers, so it was great that he'd known that. And black is great. Who doesn't like black? All I'm saying is -- I was surprised. I was surprised at the giant satiny leaf and lady bug as fancy as they could be on the toe of each slipper.

Anyway, I thanked my sweet husband and wore those slippers faithfully for an entire year before one day, as I looked down at my warm and snuggly ladybug slippered feet, a giggle escaped. Unfortunately Mike noticed this giggle and became immediately suspicous. With that, the dam was broken, and I couldn't stop giggling.

"What?" He questioned. "Are you laughing at the slippers I gave you?"

"I love my slippers," I insisted, "I just think it is cool that out of all the slippers out there these are the ones that caught your attention."

Well, Mike expressed his dismay with what a terrible wife I was (which was certainly true at that point) and insisted he would not be buying his ungrateful wife anything in the future. All the same, I couldn't stop chuckling.

I penitantly continued to wear those same slippers until just the other night when, apparently, Mike decided my penace was through and gifted me these:The picture doesn't do them justice, but they are pretty much the slipper of all slippers. Who could be anything but in love with them!

Thanks Mike. I only can feel slightly less guilty by the fact that you took back the "pitch fork" I gave you because I'd accidentally gotten a "potato fork" -- I thought it looked a little odd when I bought it. I love you even more than I love my new slippers -- which is a lot.

Three Cheers for Marzee's Blog!!!

OK, so all of you who come across this post, whether you know me or not, must immediately go to my friend Marzee's new blog www.womenafire.blogspot.com and then, you ought to comment and tell other's all about it as well because it is destined to be a very good thing for us women and some of you are destined to make your own great contributions on her blog. Here is why, it isn't really "Marzee's blog about Marzee." It is a blog she has created for women to share inspiration. Read her introduction and you will know what it is all about.

I got to be good friends with Marzee when I lived in WA and we served together in Young Women's. She is an amazing person. Funny, talented, spiritual, beautiful, etc. I have even commented before how amazing it is that I only love her instead of feel horribly jealous of her. Of course, as you will see if you go to her blog, she doesn't always see these things about herself (just as most of us don't see those things about ourselves).

Anyway, awhile back she felt really inspired to start an online women's magazine -- a place where people would contribute nothing but varying and inspirational messages, a place where we could see other imperfect women like ourselves and see that we and they are more than just our imperfections. Of course, she keeps waiting til it is perfect and worrying about all the details, plus, she is going to school (as is her husband), raising three very young children, etc. etc. Finally, her husband made her start it as a blog -- a place to start. I hope you all will go leave a little comment of inspiration and stay tuned because some of you may end up being the next post of inspiration for all of us!! I'm so proud of you Marz! I know you will turn this into what you want. Now, all of you go see her place and keep going there often!! www.womenafire.blogspot.com

Friday, September 12, 2008

Home + School = Home School

Many of you have asked about (or expressed shock over) the fact that we are homeschooling at present. I wrote a post about it last night, but it was like two pages long -- you know, just detailing all the likes and dislikes thus far, etc. You know how I like to ramble. Anyway, I couldn't bare to put two pages of home school on my blog. I could only imagine how lengthy it would be in this skinny long format. So, you will not get all the details. If any of you care to know my many thoughts, I will happily email them to you. In the mean time, here is the quick and easy version:

Home school was always for very odd sorts growing up. Still, it seems that some people who do it are strange or just view it in a fanatical way, but up where we were living in WA it was really huge. People seemed quite reasonable about it -- it wasn't a religion. They used it for some of their kids now and then depending on their needs. Plus, I discovered that most of them used this super organized program that sounded very impressive. I had one or two years of school that were seriously awful growing up, and I liked the idea that if I had a kid struggling with a particular year of school down the road I could give them an alternative.

My kids have been in public school for the past two years and, despite the normal frets that most mothers have when sending their little ones into the world, I have been very pleased with their experiences so far. Still, when we found out we would be moving a few months ago, I knew that we might not be settled in a permanent (or semi-permanent) place for awhile and I really hated the thought of possibly moving my kids in and out of two or three schools in one year. I am sure they would have survived as many of your kids have probably had to do that and been fine, but I had been wanting to become familiar with the program anyway, so now seemed like a reasonable time -- particularly while I still had connections with so many people up in WA who had used it and could answer questions, etc. My plan is to put my kids back in school just as soon as we are in a home or at least know where we will be for a steady length of time.

As for how it is going -- It really is a commitment. I have to be far more there, prepared, and involved than I'd even realized. There are things (mostly fun things) that I see they clearly miss out on by not being in school, but it doesn't worry me too much since it is temporary. As for what they are learning, it is pretty amazing. I think they learn more each day than they generally did in a week or more of school just because it is so learning intensive and so one on one. One on two?

Anywho, hope that answers some of your questions -- no, I have not become a home school fanatic. Yes, it is pretty hard and some days I think it is way too crazy. Yes, they will be back in public school again, BUT I am very happy to know so much about how this particular program works now, and I amazed by the curriculum, and a good deal of it is pretty rewarding. I think I will use it down the road with a kid here or there if it seems like something they need. Whew, I tried to be brief, but I hate not really expressing my thoughts fully!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Very Random Thoughts

As I sit here for a few rare minutes with nothing I need to do -- Penny and Goldie sleeping, Abe and Daisy's last lesson of the day done, and sadly knowing there isn't really enough Penny nap left for me to do anything serious; here are a few of the random thoughts I find floating through head:

-- Wouldn't it be nice if I didn't hear Penny beginning to stir, and I could have a little nap myself? But I can't complain since she finally has switched herself to a later morning wake-up time.

-- What was that nail polish my friend Jessica's little sister mentioned loving? I want to try it. (I know I could find it on your blog Jocelyn, but if you see this just tell me to make it easier).

-- Why does that creepy baby-cry-sounding cat like to be right outside my window all the time?

-- I hope Abe and Daisy really will turn the TV off when their half hour is up and all on their own start doing something quiet.

-- What will my baby be named if it is a girl? What if the name I am most loving of all everyone else in the world probably thinks, "weird"? How sad if they don't realize how CUTE it is!! I'm not saying it though, so who knows.

-- What if baby is a boy? I have no idea where in all our boxes Abe's baby stuff is or even what I have. Someone will have to bring me a baby boy outfit to the hospital.

-- Why on my laptop do I always accidentally push "delete" when I mean to push "backspace." And why do I stare blankly at the screen for a few confused moments, as things I didn't mean to delete vanish, before I realize my mistake?

-- Being here at my parents and doing school stuff with my kids makes me miss being here at my parent's studying my own school stuff like I was long ago.

-- Funny how Mike bought this laptop for me as such a frivolous nice thing to keep me connected during these months, and now, in the twist of all twists, it has become my absolutely necessary companion for all of our homeschooling stuff. It was more fun when it was for frivolity.

-- Speaking of Jocelyn's nail polish, does anyone else have any make-up they adore? If so, please share. I am particularly in need of a blush to love.

-- I am in love with Clinique's color surge super shimmer eye shadow in "Strike it Rich." I am also quite fond of Loreal's little round HIP eyeshadow in "Flare." Orange is fun.

-- Why did Almay quit making my eye liner I love. Now what?

-- Being in this studio like apartment at my parents seems to cause my children to eat crackers on my bed every chance they get.

-- Ohh, why was I so so in love with that neighborhood where I found a house yesterday that will really probably not be our house, but can there be such another perfect neighborhood? Mike says something else good always comes along, but is he right?

-- Should we even buy a house right now?

-- I want to buy a house.

-- I want to buy my dream house with dream land, but that isn't maybe a really realistic goal. It would be fun if it was. I'll still have something wonderful. Quit being so selfish. Things look much less bleak than they did a month ago.

-- What the heck? I turned the monitor off so Goldie wouldn't hear Penny and wake up. Then I somehow assumed that meant Penny was back asleep. Bad mom. (OK, it has only been two minutes. Still).

-- I wish Mike could be here by early Saturday so we could have the weekend with him.

-- Funny how us two non phone people find ourselves so often on the phone when he is gone so long!

-- I almost wish I wouldn't have stopped that raccoon from getting my mom's just purchased bag of corn last night. He looked so hopeful.

-- Why was the corn on the back porch anyway?

-- Oh, probably because we were going to husk it there and forgot to eat it altogether.

-- Don't worry, Penny is on my lap now -- happily calling flowers "bobbies," and yelling, "Mommy!" in the most demanding of ways as she points for anything she wants.

-- I should write a post about homeschooling since enough people have asked about it. Don't worry yourselves. It is temporary. Maybe soon I'll have the energy to write about it.

-- I am so glad I seem to be mostly over whatever crummy allergy, head coldy, bronchitisy whatever I had.

-- I miss when naptime used to be my time. Now I generally save History or Science for a portion of that time. Oh I love their little History lessons though. Seriously the best part of homeschooling.

The thoughts continue, but now there is stuff to be done again. I just re-read these thoughts, and it is rather disappointing that there is nothing with a little more depth or insight fluttering out of my brain. What a pity. Well, I'm off.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Penny, Penny, and Baby

Oh my goodness! Look at how Penny looks with pigtails! She looks so much older . . . almost old enough to be a big sister. Almost. (Unfortunately I won't be doing pigtails again any time soon as it made her as angry as anything ever has when I tried). She looks much less ready to be a big sister when she has just fallen off some deck steps at my mom's right onto the cement. I hate when my babies get hurt because they just cry and thrash back instead of letting me snuggle them better.
Here is a picture of Penny with her great aunt Penny (who we named her after). My Aunt Penny, Uncle Brad and cousin Thatcher were up from CA this weekend. I am so glad Penny got to meet her namesake. My aunt Penny is . . . I'm not sure how to describe her . . . she almost has a magical quality about her. She has the ability to make you feel like the most interesting spectacular being in all of creation. She also has this way about her that makes you certain she understands something deeper about what you are ever thinking or going through than even you do and perhaps even knows a little something about how it will all work out.
Lastly, speaking of Penny being ready (or not ready) to be a big sister, here is a new pic of little new baby. Yes, that is a FOOT right up there by baby's face! And to think, he/she still has three more months of increasingly cramped conditions!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Eggy Shaddy

Goldie: Mom, did you know I have an imagination friend?

Me: You have an imaginary friend?

Goldie: Yah. I have three of them.

Me: Really?

Goldie: Yah. The first one is my shadow. It's like creeping where I am. It's named Egg-Egg. Ummm, how about Eggy?

Me: Eggy is a good name.

Goldie: And the next one is Jam-Jam. It's a dog. It's not really like red. It's blue or brown -- actually brown, and it's big like Clifford.

Me: Wow!

Goldie: And another big one is named Stripey-Stripey because it has so much rainbow stripes. And that's all of 'em I've seen. . . . Oh and there's baby ones . . . but they're not big like Clifford . . . yet.

-----------A moment later-----------

Goldie: Mom, actually that one's name is Shadow. No, Shaddy. Well, that's its middle name. Actually, its last name.

Me: So it's Eggy Shaggy?

Goldie: No, Mom, Eggy Shaddy.

Me: Oh, Eggy Shaddy.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Ghost Blog

Poor lonely deserted blog. Does anyone come to see you anymore? Why would they when you have so clearly been abandoned by even your once faithful caretaker? When they can hear the wind whistle past them and see the tumble weeds blowing by sending a chill of loneliness to their core?

Perhaps it is with the same pull that compels one to dare themselves up the creaking slivered steps of a dark and, for reasons long forgotten, abandoned old house to peak in through the slats of a broken shutter; smell the odd, damp, musky odor; and jump at some unknown in the shadows.

Or, perhaps you have even lost that appeal and are looked upon instead with disappointment and a small sense of some loss as one might gaze upon the tattered, thistle and dyer's woad infested remains of what must have once been a well tended garden with pathways, stone benches, climbing roses and delicate small petaled flowers. One might wonder what had become of the clearly once beloved spot, why the stone bird bath now lay cracked on the ground, and who might have long ago sat in the shade of such a quiet and now sadly unappealing spot.

Worst of all, you may now go unnoticed entirely -- a small house that once had children and laughter with in your walls, a fire in the fire place, or a breeze blowing through spring print curtains; a rope swing in the backyard, a mother calling little ones in for bath time and a father hammering a nail in the wall to hang his wife's newly purchased painting. And now, forgotten; surrounded by large buildings, paint faded, left by your loving occupants and viewed simply as a cheap and temporary place to live by your present ones.

Poor poor blog, how could I have dealt with you thusly?

You know I could have only written something this kooky late at night as I pine for my far off husband and should be getting some sleep. All is well and we are well. Far from settled and quite in limbo, but still quite well. Someday soon I will reenter the entertaining world of blogdom.
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