Friday, December 24, 2010

Fairy Houses

This first house is on a tree outside in the backyard. There is a cute little window you can see on the side of the tree and a chimney. I'll post more pictures later of the bridge over the water.

This one is under a desk upstairs. Both houses have tiny little lamp posts that work and we just added a tiny piano to one. Haley is thrilled! She knows fairies like chocolate chips so she'll leave some by the door and check every once in a while to see if they have been picked up!

These fairy houses popped up all over my parents house. Dad is so great! The doors all open they are very authentic! He's planning on selling some custom made on the internet! Order yours today! I know I want one!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!

Yes, this is the play our Ward put on for the christmas party. The abbreviated version lasted almost over an hour! Little Marky was the main boy, Charlie and Haley was a baby angel. I was a gossipy woman on the phone and Daddy was a fireman. It was a hoot. We did get a video of it, we're working on moving it to a cd so I can post parts of it. It's too long to post the whole thing! Anywhoo, we forgot half the lines but if you remember the real play it doesn't matter. It all managed to look great in the end. My job was to get the kids on and off the stage and shuffle them where they needed to be, whisper an occasional line, and help dress the baby angels. We also we're slated to decorate a table with our christmas dishes. It was a completely full house and we even had chairs lining the walls. Haley remembered her lines and was adorable, Marky remembered his lines and even tripped for emphasis (not in the play, but it looked good!) Daddy was hysterical and when it was all over and we we're cleaning up I think Marky and his friend Kobe stayed in character. They we're teasing each other and Marky got angry and they started a fist fight in the foyer. Needless to say I was astounded, there we're a few people mulling around the halls cleaning (Including the bishopric) and I, not thinking, screamed at them to stop all the way down the hall of the church across all these people. This lead them all to laugh and titter at me. What other option did I have, here was my usually calm baby punching another boy in the church! Both boys we're scolded and Marky was severely grounded. His dad now plans a Father Son outing so they can discuss violence. And here I sit, feeling like the worst mother ever. Oh well, now we have to move!

love ya


I have technology on the way!

You will all be pleased to know that I have used my visa reward points to purchase a digital camera. Yes, applause is welcome. I will be posting more pictures after this! Tada!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Moving Forward? or Backwards?

Marky is 8 years old. I feel he is bright. He can work computers, cell phones, and DVD players. He can work my HDTV better then I can. I kept my old VCR and tapes because most of them the kids would enjoy. I asked him to put a video in and he couldn't figure it out. Does that make me outdated? I've shown him 4 times how to do it...still no dice.

We also lost our pencil sharpener and he insisted he couldn't do his homework. I admit this may have been a very opportune excuse. When I showed him how to use a knife to sharpen the pencil, and then explained that only adults can use knives he was astounded. Haley, the other day, said she couldn't play outside because there were no toys...when I was young you went outside to find toys (sticks, fairy houses in the trees, etc. )

What does this say about us today? We buy things, do things, to entertain our children, to teach them. But are we really giving them the opportunity to learn? Are they learning HOW to learn? Where have all the McGuivers gone?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Welcome to the wide world of blogging....

yeah mom! you did it! We're so proud of you!! Now let it go! Write it all!

love ya


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Heaven's Watching

So, my posts are usually humorous moments from the day. Today is serious. I want to share with you my personal miracle straight from heaven.

Today I had to deliver invitations to every primary child s house for our party on Saturday. I stuck Shawn in the jogging stroller and set out. The other kids we're in school. A few houses in our ward are on Antelope Drive. If any of you are familiar with this, you know the road is 4 lanes and VERY busy!!! Well, I hate going out there, and was hurrying to be done faster. Mistake number 1. I jogged to the final house and parked Shawn in the drive way. Setting the brake on the stroller I jogged to the front door to the house. I heard a car honking. I turned around to see what was wrong and my heart fell through the floor. Shawn, strapped in his stroller, had rolled out into traffic. I don't know exactly what happened, but what I saw was him parked in the road, against the curb. An angel of a woman had parked her car behind him to shield him from traffic. I screamed, ran, and ripped the stroller out of traffic. She rolled down her window and I thanked her profusely and cried. I'm still crying. I go over it again and again, I don't know what happened, but I will never trust my brake again. Feelings of inadequacy in motherhood, guilt for rushing instead of taking time to really think things through, and every other thought of what if.....what if he had been hit!!! It washed over me, and still does.

I don't know the details of what happened, but I do know what really happened. The Lord saw my rush, and lack of brains at the moment and sent an angel to protect my baby in my moment of chaos. I thank him over and over. Every way I look at it he should have been hit. He is here by the grace of the Lord, and I will always remember that.

So remember, when your rushing and under stress. Take a moment to breath and really think. One small mistake can mean the world. And the Lord is always watching. To teach you. To help you. To Love you. Even if you make a big mistake.

Love you all.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

And Now it's time for...a Cliff moment!

Yes, It's finally here, my Cliff Claven section. (If I spelled this wrong forgive me, I'm impaired and don't e-mail me. It's not nice to make fun of impaired people!) Anyway, from time to time I will post some interesting, useful (or useless depending on your point of view) and completely unrelated information that will make you say, What? Huh? and HOLY COW!! Though not in that order....

...but i digress....

Here is todays useless piece of info:

6 Alternate Uses for Your Freezer

6 tricky problems your freezer can easily solve.

Eliminate unpopped popcorn

Don't you just hate the kernels of popcorn that are left at the bottom of the bowl? Eliminate the popcorn duds by keeping your unpopped supply in the freezer.

Remove wax from candlesticks
Grandma's heirloom silver candlesticks will get a new life if you place them in the freezer and then pick off the accumulated wax drippings. But don't do this if your candlesticks are made from more than one type of metal. The metals can expand and contract at different rates and damage the candlesticks.

Extend candle life
Place candles in the freezer for at least two hours before burning. They will last longer.

Unstick photos
Picture this: Water spills on a batch of photographs, causing them to stick together. If you pull them apart, your pictures will be ruined. Don't be so hasty. Stick them in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Then use a butter knife to gingerly separate the photos. If they don't come free, place them back in the freezer. This works for envelopes and stamps too.

Clean a pot
Your favorite pot has been left on the stove too long, and now you've got a burned-on mess to clean up. Place the pot in the freezer for a couple of hours. When the burned food becomes frozen, it will be easier to remove.

Remove odors
Got a musty-smelling book or a plastic container with a fish odor? Place them in the freezer overnight. By morning they'll be fresh again. This works with almost any other small item that has a bad smell you want to get rid of.

How's that for a Cliff moment? Completely Useful, or Useless? You decide!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cold, Cold Blizzard

There is a cold, cold, cold, cold blizzard on the warpath today. They tell us not to leave our houses unless completely necessary. There are lots of reasons to dislike blizzards. So I thought I'd list some reasons I like blizzards, cold snow storms, and winter in general!

Chicken noodle soup, I love it!

Hot Chocolate, kids just bought marshmallows shaped like snowmen for ours today.

Books, who doesn't love to curl up with a book on a stormy day? My kids LOVE to read, and this gives us an excuse to read more!

Christmas movies....always seem better during a storm...I don't know why? Today is a Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Two of my favorites. Maybe we'll watch the Muppet family Christmas where they go to fozzies mom's house for Christmas during a blizzard...hmmm...I LOVE Christmas movies!

Board Games! I don't like to run electrical devices during a storm, I am not confident on my houses power surge capabilities. So Board Games it is! We love to play, and this gives us another excuse to play!

Warm Blankets....snuggled on the couch with the books and the kids is how I spent my morning. Yumm....

What do you like to do when it storms?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Life, and experiences, and living.

I thought I'd just let you in on some, um, well, funny? Is that the word we'll use? Okay, funny things that have happened this week.

Item #1. Shawn wakes up every morning stinky. No surprise. However, he also heads straight for the refrigerator and pulls out the cheese. Not just any cheese, colby jack every time! As we're cutting the cheese...hehehe....he will squeak "CHEESE!" So we've taken to calling him the stinky cheese man. If you've ever read the book with the same title you'll laugh.

Item #2. Haley melts to pieces once a day on a regular basis. We're working hard to prevent it, and cut it off before it's out of control. One particular day she wanted to watch TV and she needed to do her chores. She started melting, and screamed, "I want to watch Monsters Impersonated!" I couldn't help it....I melted in a pile of laughter.

Item #4. Mark and I were driving home from Bountiful yesterday. In a funny mood. I'm loosing my voice and am very tired. Haley and Mark in the back seat are poking and prodding and playing a game where someone is going to get hurt and start screaming. They are loud, and my head can't handle it. I squeak, "Hey! Let's have quiet time!" Of course, no one can hear me. So Mark bellows, "Hey! We're having quiet time!" That lasted all of 3 minutes. We're still in a funny mood, they start at it again. Mark bellows, "Hey! There will be punishment!" and I reply, "Punishment will include but is not limited too time on a chair, in a room, or away from the TV. " Mark, "Side effects of continuation may include tears, grumpiness in situation, soar bottoms and death." We cracked up and the kids just stared at us like, What? So, I'm sure they think we're nuts.

We had our Primary Program this sunday, whew, that's over! During the program we had several children answer a simple question instead of memorize lines they didn't understand completely. One boy was asked what he knew about Joseph Smith. His reply was, he was a boy that listened to several different religions talk and went bonkers, so he prayed and saw a vision. Another little girl asked how she knew the Holy Ghost was real, she answered, "Because when I throw snowballs at peoples faces I have a feeling this is a bad idea." Kids are so honest! I didn't do much for it. Haley, my 1st counselor was in charge. I can honestly say it was the best program we've had. And I've never heard a choir of kids sing so loud.

Well, that was our week. Let us know about yours!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Things My Mother Taught me...and she didn't even know it!

My mother turns 50 in January. (What a great opening line! Keep reading mom! Don't kill me yet!) She has brought me up with my 5 siblings through heck and back. I have never proclaimed to be the perfect child. In fact I was a terror! However, she taught me many lessons in life. To celebrate her 50th year on this earth, I have made a list of lessons I learned from her, that were taught by example....ehem....

1. Always double check the gas pump is put back before driving away. (love ya mom!)


2. Never give a toddler an entire candy bar. (Lesson learned with help from Joel, age 2)

3. It's a bad idea to leave a 12 year old in charge of her 5 younger siblings in a torrential thunder storm. ( We all recovered physically, except the baby birds. I still hate thunder)

4. You can do anything with duct tape. (including car maintenance, thanks dad)
5. You can clean anything with Simple Green.
6. You don't need a dish washer...that's what the Lord gave you 2 hands for!
7. Sometimes the dog is your smartest kid.

8. It doesn't matter if a house is haunted or not. If the kids believe it... it is. (I swear to this day, there is something unnatural about that house!)

9. If you keep a close relationship with the Lord, he will help you. Even if you don't think you need help.

10. Always follow through with your promises (and threats) no matter how outrageous, it helps your children. (I remember a certain mother throwing the van door open and confronting a certain unruly teenager that had snuck out in front of her entire group of friends. * embarrassing* Thanks mom, you saved my life.)

11. Your mother is usually right about the boys you date. (Saved my life again)

12. Don't ever stick anything in your ear, it may sprout. (With the help of Jodi)

13. Be careful what you say around your very smart toddler, it may come back to haunt you! (or the rude lady next door)

14. Yes, we have rules for a reason. (remember the riot downtown?)

15. You will survive this, and be better for it. (Still with us mom?)

16. Kill an enemy with kindness...they never died...but I have less enemies!

17. Your mother is generally right about parenting.

18. Yes, you can fit 6 kids into the back of a subcompact car. (though they may come out bruised and scratched up)

19. Pay attention to everything, you never know what knowledge could do for you. (Thank you girls camp first aid courses, and Jodi's leg thanks you too)

20. You can't microwave forks.

21. If you wake up in the middle of the night with an insatiable desire to buy water and fire wood....follow through! (If you meet the entire ward at the store at 3am, you know where it came from)

22. You can do anything you set your mind to, or the minds of your children.

23. The Lord has a sense of humor. (Lesson learned over, and over, and over)

24. A Mothers Intuition is real, so listen to it.

25. Just keep learning, just keep learning....learning...learning...what do we do we Learn.....

Thanks mom! Love you! You have been an incredible mother!

Most of you understand the meaning behind these...Have a Great Day!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's been a while...

So, here's why...

mark's father, David, came out from Missouri for a week to help us start our basement remodel. We worked like dogs for an entire week, up early, up late....we ran into problems and still we succeeded. We managed to almost completely finish the bedroom to the sanding down of the drywall phase....and the bathroom needs a little more drywall work, and i have to pour the cement shower basin, but it shouldn't take too long as I get down there to do it!

Halloween, what happened?! I don't tell me!!! We we're up early and worked straight until trick or treating time. The kids, in thrown together costumes went to Grandma's Party, thanks to Sara and then trick or treated in Curtis and Mary's neighborhood. It rained, but not too much...they seemed to have's all a blur. Then we came home, put them to bed, and fixed a major plumbing problem until about midnight. We don't know much about electrical and plumbing...and very little about mudding and taping so we tried to get as much done as we could before David had to leave. I hope he recovers well...he worked so hard!

When I have a little more time I'll post pictures of Mark's baptism...halloween...and a few other things!

luv ya


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Update on our carrot chunks...yuck...

So it's 7pm and I just laid down in bed. I can't even sit up anymore. Mark is off to a bishopric meeting and we probably won't see him until close to 10 tonight. the kids are all asleep, except for shawn that keeps yelling from time to time "it's hungry!" pointing to his mouth. Though, after our experience yesterday I have learned that feeding "it" creates messy problems. So, Pedialyte and crackers today, we'll try oatmeal and rice tomorrow and see how it goes from there. Haley and Mark stayed home from school and rested. After their initial episode this morning, however, they seem quite improved! They even begged for toast this afternoon and we had a small bowl of oatmeal for dinner. 7up all day today, and we'll try toast and eggs in the morning, if they keep that down for an hour I'll let them go to school tomorrow. I have done more laundry today then I ever cared to do. I also have scrubbed more surfaces then I care to remember. I am toast. Goodnight!


Carrot chunks, and other things you find in....

So, Shawn Sunday morning woke up throwing up. Here we go, I thought, but he felt better the rest of the day. Then that night he started crying and the diarrhea started. Yesterday he looked good again, then last night, blah. You get the picture. Anyway, Little Mark came up in the middle of the night and said he had to throw up. I jumped up and yelled, "In the Bathroom!" Knowing I don't have a carpet cleaner and Shawn's lovely display on the living room carpet yesterday was almost too much to handle. So he obediently went and let it go in the bathroom....sink. Yuck. Haley was gracious enough to do it in the bath tub. at least there I can wash it down the drain. Suspiciously carrot chunks are always there, though I can't remember feeding them any yesterday...hmm....yuck. I know, this is your favorite post right!

Well, now my minions are on their 3rd disney movie. Laying on a sheet, and blanket with a bowl in their own little area in the living room. I have a mind to roll up the rug for safety. Hmmm.... hopefully we'll survive the day. Love you all, go get some lunch!


Monday, October 4, 2010

Photo Contest...

Hello all!

We've entered a photo contest for Parents magazine, there we're Thousands...of entrants. We we're picked to be a finalist! There are still over a hundred photos! To win we need your votes! Here's the link! If you received my e-mail before I don't believe you need an account, you just have to click on the link and then the button below the picture that says VOTE FOR ME!! Thanks!!


Conference Cinnamon Rolls

Several people wanted my cinnamon roll recipe from conference this weekend. Here it is, stolen from the Pioneer Woman, (you can find her website using the button on my sidebar) She has some great recipes!

This particular recipe was altered for my sissy's severe reaction to milk. The great thing about this dough is it can be refrigerated for up to 2 day! Also, omit all but 1 tbs sugar in the dough and you have a great pizza dough!

Warning! Make sure you READ the directions first! This isn't a normal recipe!

Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls

Added by Ree on September 3, 2009 in Breads, Sweet Rolls

Prep Time 2 Hours
Cook Time 30 Minutes
Servings 8Difficulty Easy


  • 1 quart Whole Milk (I used Soy Milk)
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 packages Active Dry Yeast
  • 8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
  • Plenty Of Melted Butter (I used Nucoa)
  • 2 cups Sugar (I used 1 cup white sugar and 1 cup dark brown sugar, you will probably need more then this, just make it again)
  • Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon (I mixed this into the sugar for easy application of the two)
  • _____
  • 1 bag Powdered Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
  • ½ cups Milk (again I used Soy Milk)
  • ¼ cups Melted Butter (Again, I used Nucoa)
  • ¼ cups Brewed Coffee (I left this out completely and added another 1/4 cup of soy milk)
  • ⅛ teaspoons Salt

Preparation Instructions

Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in both packages of Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

After rising for at least an hour, add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down).

When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1/2 to 1 cup melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.

Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.

Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.

Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 400 degrees (see note below) until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.

For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls. Go crazy and don’t skimp on the frosting.

Note: My rolls don’t work for me at 400 degrees anymore. I now bake them at 375 degrees.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie...

Have you ever read that childrens book? It's adorable, with a cute little mouse....

Mice are not cute. If you give a real mouse a cookie it will come back for more!


If you give a mouse DIES!!! AAAHHH ha ha h ahahahahha......(evil laughter)

I digress..

This morning I had just finished the dishes, swept the kitchen and all was silent for a second. That's when I heard it...a kind of scratching, shuffling noise. Behind the stove. My first thought was the plug was faulty and it was sparking. so I pulled the stove out of the was fine. That's when I got a flashlight! Remember when our house flooded last summer. Well, when they we're restoring it they dried it out and then drilled little holes in the walls to make sure it was dry. Apparently they didn't fill the holes behind the stove, which we're about an inch across. A mouse had made a home and was trying desperately to drag a part of a cookie that had been kicked under the stove into it's hole, to no avail. the cookie was too big. I was MAD! Some women may have run in fear or screamed, I wanted to throttle that mouse! So off to the hardware store, and a phone call to my mom for advice and soon I was ready. Armed with a whole box of decon, I shoveled decon into the hole as far as I could get it, then put a patch on the wall and mudded it. Decon makes mice thirsty and I am positive it will have to go outside for water, as there is no standing water in the house. I will give it 2 days, then I am going to climb under the deck, where I'm sure it's getting in, armed with expanding foam and steel wool. If I find a hole I will plug it with steel wool and fill it with expanding foam. THERE WILL BE NO MORE MICEY FRAT PARTIES HERE! Shawn was very interested in what I was doing all day, following me around saying, "What doin'?" I explained I was killing a mouse, and hoping it didn't die in my walls and smell. He looked at me and said, "What is kill?" Oops! I asked if he wanted to watch Thomas the Tank engine, that did it. Off he went!

Later, I went downstairs to the unfinished part of the basement and dismantled half of it, swept well and vacuumed for good measure, hiding pallets of decon in deep recesses where i KNOW my kids can't find it, and wouldn't dare go anyway....deep underneath very low shelves and behind the freezer. Tomorrow Sara is going to come out and help me unload the other side. Great time to clean it out and get rid of stuff eh!

So the moral of the story!

If you give a mouse a cookie...he will go call his friends and eat holes in your walls!

but if you give a mouse decon....he will go crawl for water and DIE!! AAHH hah ha ha h ah ahahahahaha....... oh, ehem, excuse me.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Go Joe!

I know, I know, another news story...I'll write more later when I'm not frantically trying to get the Primary to run right, clean out my storage room, potty train a little terrible two and do homework with my kids. I know what your thinking...NEVER then....It'll happen! Don't worry.

This story is great, I'm so proud! Go Joe!

Police chase Warrenton man through Astoria yards

The Daily Astorian

A Warrenton man led police on a foot race through Astoria yards Sunday afternoon.

At one point, Nicholaus Allen Lindermyer, 26, had two Astoria police officers and one retired LAPD officer chasing him as he raced up Grand Avenue near 34th Street. An Oregon State Police trooper also joined the hunt.

Lindermyer was arrested for eluding a police officer, second-degree criminal trespass and first-degree burglary. He also had two warrants out for his arrest on original charges of obstructing police and first-degree burglary.

Astoria police had initially gone to stop Lindermyer as he drove northbound on 33rd Street. He was driving over the speed limit in a residential area and police also noticed he wasn't wearing his seatbelt. When Astoria Police Officer Joe Symonds turned around to stop Lindermyer, the man made a hard turn onto Franklin Ave.

Symonds followed and arrived just in time to see Lindermyer run from the car.

On Grand Avenue, a retired LAPD officer, Keith Butenshon, was walking his dog in his yard when he saw Lindermyer near his garage. Symonds yelled out that Lindermyer was under arrest and the retired officer entered into the chase.

Lindermyer was eventually found hiding in the basement of a residence on Harrison Avenue. Police charged him with first-degree burglary because he entered the basement without permission and had no right to be there, said Astoria Assistant Chief of Police Alan Oja

Friday, September 24, 2010

Reason number 452 to grow zucchini

This is great. It speaks for itself. From the Deseret News.

Montana woman fends off bear attack with zucchini

Published: Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010 10:43 p.m. MDT

HELENA, Mont. — A Montana woman fended off a bear trying to muscle its way into her home Thursday by pelting the animal with a large piece of zucchini from her garden.

The woman suffered minor scratches and one of her dogs was wounded after tussling with the 200-pound bear.

The attack happened just after midnight when the woman let her three dogs into the backyard for their nighttime ritual before she headed to bed, Missoula County Sheriff's Lt. Rich Maricelli said. Authorities believe the black bear was just 25 yards away, eating apples from a tree.

Two of the dogs sensed the bear, began barking and ran away, Maricelli said. The third dog, a 12-year-old collie that wasn't very mobile, remained close to the woman as she stood in the doorway of the home near Frenchtown in western Montana.

Before she knew what was happening, the bear was on top of the dog and batting the collie back and forth, Maricelli said.

"She kicked the bear with her left leg as hard as she could, and she said she felt like she caught it pretty solidly under the chin," Maricelli said.

But as she kicked, the bruin swiped at her leg with its paw and ripped her jeans.

The bear then turned its full attention to the woman in the doorway. She retreated into the house and tried to close the door, but the bear stuck its head and part of a shoulder through the doorway.

The woman held onto the door with her right hand. With her left, she reached behind and grabbed a 14-inch zucchini that she had picked from her garden earlier and was sitting on the kitchen counter, Maricelli said.

She threw the vegetable. It bopped the bruin on the top of its head and the animal fled, Maricelli said.

The woman called for help from a relative staying with her. They found the collie outside, unable to move, and took it to a veterinarian.

The dog appeared to be fine on Thursday, but the vet was keeping it for observation, Maricelli said.

The woman did not need medical attention for the scratches on her leg, though she got a tetanus shot as a precaution, Maricelli said.

Fish and wildlife officials were searching for the bear on Thursday.

Maricelli interviewed the woman, but said the sheriff's office was complying with her wish not to identify her.

"She was very, very shaken, and it kind of took the humor portion out of it for me," Maricelli said. "She said it had this horrific growl and was snarling.

"(But) she can see the humor in it, and she wanted the story put out so the local residents can take precautionary measures," he added.

Today's post is entitled, "How to tell if he's a runt." Otherwise entitled, "He's how short?!"

I have always wanted a small baby. That, I believe, is the wish of every mother who has babies 8.5-10 pounds. We just want one little one. Shawn was 8lb 13oz, not small at birth, but that was the culmination of his hugeness. He just decided he was going to slow down, and not get any bigger. So, in a way, I received my wish. His 2 year appointment yesterday revealed the one pound he gained last year. ONE POUND. That's it. I looked at the doctor and asked, "Is that normal?" She showed me his chart that revealed he is still growing, last year he was in the 40th percentile, now he's in the 30th. When I told Mark his reply was, "How do we fix that?" I don't know. Daddy was smaller in his childhood, so I assume he just takes after his father. Huge change after my Ginormous older children, who we're all off the charts the other direction. Well, runty shawn, we Love you...and your smallness.
Last night, Marky chose to go to Boondocks for his birthday instead of having a friend party. There is go-karts, mini golf, arcade games, bumper boats, and many many more things to do. Because it was his birthday I had a coupon to get him in for free, even better! (sign up for their birthday club online!) I think he had a great time. Half way through, after the go-karts, he jumped up and down screaming, "This is the best birthday ever!" What a cute kid.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby....

So, can someone tell me what you do when your baby turns 8? Yesterday he was crawling! How is this fair in any way?!

But I digress...

My baby, and yes I will always call him that, is 8. I have to accept that. Here are some pictures from the past year.

Just so we have proof he turned 8.

Have I ever told you Mark's love of babies? He has a baby cousin that he LOVES to hold all the time, when we go visit he always asks if he can hold her.

Okay, I don't know why the long face. Maybe it's because the first day of school, maybe it's the sun in his eyes. Or maybe it's because mom is crying, again.

Okay, how cute are these two! They are adorable! That's right, agree with me! You know you want too! This was last fall, one year ago. *sniff* he was little, right?

Okay, he's never been little, even as a baby he was HUGE. But he still is darn cute! This is the first day of First Grade! Oh, all day school.

Okay, I have to say, he is the most adorable, I mean tuff looking, cute ummm...... Strong! Kid I know. Oh, this is embarrassing.

Love you all! Especially my birthday boy.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Recipe Time!

Here's one our family LOVES!!! I stole it from Rachel Ray and tweeked it for good measure!

Early Autumn Stew

  • 2 pork tenderloins, silver skin removed (you can have a butcher do this for you) and cut into 2-inch cubes (sometimes it's cheaper to buy thick chops, watch the sales and get a good cheap piece, with the browning and boiling it will be plenty tender!)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), divided
  • 1 large Spanish onion, cut into 2-inch dice (we cut ours to 1 inch, so it will fit in the kids mouths!)
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch dice (again ditto)
  • 4 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch dice (Yep, here too, except cut in half lengthwise, then in 1/2" slices)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 4 McIntosh apples, peeled or unpeeled and cut into 2-inch dice (These I'd keep at least an inch, or they'll fall apart in the cooking!)
  • 2 pinches allspice
  • 1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups cloudy apple cider (You can use organic, or pressed cider the kind with the stuff on the bottom of the jar)
  • 3-4 cups chicken stock (depending on how thick you like your stew)
  • 1 loaf crusty bread

Pre-heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over high heat with two tablespoons of EVOO, about two turns of the pan.

Place the pieces of tenderloin onto a sheet tray (You can also put the flour, salt and pepper in a gallon zip lock and throw in the meat to toss. It's less messy and you can throw it away when your done!) and season them with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss with flour until well-coated.

Once ripples appear in the oil and it starts to very lightly smoke(make sure it's good and hot first! If you do this in the large pot your cooking the stew in you can deglaze it with the applecider and stir up the brown bits for flavor), add the pork to the pot and sear it until well-browned on all sides, 7-8 minutes (lots of brown bits will remain on the bottom of the pot). Remove the meat to a platter and reserve.

Add the remaining two tablespoons of EVOO to the pot along with the onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf and thyme, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook the vegetables until they begin to tenderize, about 6-8 minutes then add in the apples, allspice and cranberries, and cook until the vegetables are quite tender, 3-5 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with the cider, scraping up the brown bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add in the chicken stock and toss the pork back into the hot tub. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Pull out the bay leaf and thyme sprigs from the pot and discard them.

To serve, line the bottom of six bowls with chunks of bread. Ladle the stew on top of the bread and enjoy! (We don't eat on the bread, but serve it on the side. We like the stew thick and don't have too much juice to spare for the bread!)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Oh, heaven in my mouth

In Armenia, they have produced the worlds largest chocolate bar. They make good chocolate over there too. Here's the article.

Armenia produces world's biggest chocolate bar

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) - Anyone looking for huge amounts of free chocolate should book a flight to Armenia's capital next month. That's when the world's largest chocolate bar will be up for grabs in Yerevan's main square. The Guinness Book of World Records certified the 9,702-pound (4,410-kilogram) chocolate bar at a ceremony Saturday.

It was made by Grand Candy factory and contains all natural ingredients, including 70 percent cocoa mass. The chocolate bar is 224 inches (560 centimeters) long, 110 inches (275 centimeters) wide and 10 inches (25 centimeters) thick.

The factory owner, Karen Vardanyan, said that the chocolate bar was produced to mark the 10th anniversary of the company. He said it will be divided up and handed out Oct. 16.


So, I'm already looking for tickets to Armenia. How much can I justify to fly out and eat the worlds largest chocolate bar?

and have the worlds largest hips....

Hmmm....then I'll have to spring for new jeans.

Unless I get lypo...oh too much...I digress.

Don't roll your eyes, you all knew I was nuts.

Love ya.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

leaky faucets and broken sprinklers....

What a week! I woke up early monday to a gurgling noise. The sprinkler box is under our window. Outside in my robe at 3am I discovered one of the valves was gushing water...yuck. So, determined not to pay 150 dollars to have it fixed, I took a look. The valve box is unfortunatly located on the side of the lower deck next to the house, wouldn't be a problem if the upper floor of the house didn't extend over it! So, I took a quick cell picture and ran to the sprinkler shop up the street. Showing the man the picture I explained what was happening. He explained how to disconnect it and told me to bring in the assembly so he could outfit me with the replacement pieces. Getting it cut out wasn't the hard part. The hard part was the replacement parts were slightly larger then the originals, so they would be stable. That was fun! After 2 hours of pulling, pushing, blowing with a hair dryer ( not I'm not crazy, it makes the pvc more pliable to work with, which is great when your cramming a nozzle into it with a hose clamp!) and finally realizing I could detach the rest of the assembly fairly easily, I laughed. Pulled out the entire assembly, screwed it all together and put it back in. boy, if I had known that in the first place!

Today, I got smarter, we've had a leaky bathtub faucet. It started as a drip and has gotten progressively worse. It's driving me nuts, so I hard can it be? I googled and searched for tub leaks. Bingo! A play by play video from a plumbing shop in Salt Lake! With lots of play and pause clicks I managed to get the right tools, get it all apart, and run to the plumbing shop for the replacement parts...not cheap! Why, a bunch of rubber can't cost that much! Anyway I replaced one entire assembly that had corroded pretty badly, and replaced the washers and seats on the rest. The diverter, (to turn the shower on) still drips in the tub a little when turned on (from the faucet) But if the waters off there are no leaks. And I wasn't about to pay 20 more dollars for another post! So, as long as it doesn't drip while I sleep I'll call it a success! So, productive and crazy, I still don't understand why we will pay a plumber 150.00 just to come out and change a valve!

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day! Yeah!

Is it me, or is the first day of Kindergarten harder on the parents then the kids? Haley has Mrs. Strawn, she is very sweet. She put her backpack away and went right to her name tag on her desk and was as happy as a clam! Yeah!

Of course we had to have pictures before everyone left! Shawn grabbed a toy backpack and lined up to, not to be outdone by everyone!

Here is Haley in her "school dress" as she calls it! I'm so glad it fits still! It was what she wore last winter too!

Mark is very studdly in his outfit, I told him that and he turned bright red! He wouldn't smile because the sun was in his eyes!

Ahh, here they are in their natural poses, with a stink eye and clothes jumbled! Just how we do it. They had a great first day! Hopefully it continues!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Please Excuse my toddlers profanity...

So, Shawn was sitting in the kitchen with me the other day and looked me square in the eye as I was washing dishes and let it fly..."mama, #@!%" I nearly wet my pants! Shocked I just stared at him, probably thinking I was insaine he repeated himself. "mama want &%$#" I'm sure he was starring at me thinking, Mama, why are you so pale? Realizing he couldn't mean what he was saying I picked up a small truck toy, "Truck?" I asked? Anyone who has children knows the look I saw. The, "you obviously have no idea what I want" look. "No Truck!" He answered. "Book?" I tried. "NO NO BOOK! %$#@!" Now, the word he was using can't be said in polite company and rhymes with Truck. Having NO IDEA what he wants I tried to change the subject. "Let's go swing!" That did it. He forgot. Good.

Next we're at the grocery store later another day. Serenely shopping with ease, rrriiiiggghhht... Okay shopping with ease as much as you can with 3 children who are all running, fighting, talking and screaming. I must say, I savor shopping alone. but it doesn't last long, soon I am running home wondering why I left my children behind. No today, today I wish I had left them! There he goes again, "Mama want @!!#" huh? "MAMA WANT $#@!" Then, exasperated he starts screaming the 4 letter bomb over and over and over again as I run through the store wondering what I had come for in the first place. Women all over we're giggling or scowling, men outright laughing. Shamed and scorned I left the cart and took them all home. Now I'm exasperated, exhausted and ready to put my feet up. So we put on a movie. "PLEECEE and #@!$, YEAH!" I look at the case in my hands, The Princess and the FROG! Frog, who knew.



Monday, August 2, 2010

Potty Training Day 1

So, because my son is prone to diaper rashes that rival leprosy, or because he has gone on the potty from time to time before and tells me when he needs to be changed, I have decided to potty train him this week. Call me nuts, call me crazy, call me shirley. Either way, here we are. Armed with several full sippy cups I derobe him and let him roam, "free range" about the house. I followed him like a hawk, asking if he needed to go. Running him into the bathroom every 10 minutes. After 3 sippy cups of fluid I'm nervous, he's cranky, and we're both ready to put the diaper back on before his little bladder explodes!

I decide to change my tactics! Always surprise the enemy right? Shawn loves Thomas the Train. So here we are, in the bathroom with the little DVD player and Thomas chugging away, hoping that if he sits there long enough he'll explode in the toilet, and not the carpet. Well, now he's screaming on the, as a last resort I pull out the mini marshmallows, I promised myself I wouldn't do it! I made myself a vow that I would reward with food. But here they are and my son is peeing in the toilet...what can I was always a good motivator for me...look where I am (15 lbs overweight!)

Who knew they made toddlers smarter then you now? Shawn has figured out that he only get's 1 mini marshmallow when he goes. So what does he do? Bladder control of steel....he goes one tiny little stream and gets one, then when he's done with that one goes one tiny little stream again and asks for another. Give me an hour and we'll have gone through a whole bag! Mommy can counter that! Now I insist on twice before the marshmallows come out.

Wish me luck! I'm going to need it. Pretty soon he'll get tired of marshmallows and this little game and Thomas and then I'll be in trouble!

Love ya all, from the trenches....