Sunday, November 30, 2008
We've entered a season of tradition, our decorations, schedules, food, attitudes, and beliefs all influenced by the traditions of parents, grandparents, friends, religions, and advertisers. In all this traditional stability and pleasant familiarity it's easy to switch on the auto-pilot, cruise along at altitude not fully engaged in any activity accepting the fun and peace of traditions with out fully savoring each. Perhaps, we're even aware that traditions can cut both ways and some may have us locked in a destructive cycle rendered unchangeable by complacency, "Ah well it's always been this way and there's not much I can do about it."
It's all too easy to let the experiences of our day to day life slip past year after year as do many of our Christmas traditions. We live at a distance, each event to expected and accepted to enliven our senses, pluck our heartstrings and impact us the way our life moments and this season of Christ should, or perhaps, could is the better word.
Let's shake it up a little this year, if not for our sake, for the sake of our little ones who's characters and lives are molded and shaped by the lessons we provide. Let us fully live each tradition, deeply, passionately, experience each of our old familiar traditions. It might hurt a little, as we find the courage to let go of a few whose pain was unrealized; but, we may also find an untapped well of life defining joy in really tasting, touching, smelling and living with our whole being. Perhaps we will discover, as Tevye did, which traditions mire us in the thick, cold, mud of an unexamined life and which traditions keep us rooted in the fertile soil of growth, family and God.
Friday, November 28, 2008
We came home from our Thanksgiving feast last evening with three extras, two cousins and a friend. The more the merrier this time of year.
Christmas has been in the stores, if not in the air, since before Halloween. Here in Boyville we don't, "Spit in Thanksgivings' face by decorating or playing Christmas music before the last piece of turkey and pumpkin pie is eaten," rather traditional and passionate is our #1.
With the last bite of pumpkin pie came misty, wintry weather for my morning walk. #1 put on Christmas tunes to digest our turkey by, so...
Welcome Christmas, we did not forgot our resolve to keep you always in our heart. Yet your presence is renewed as lights beckon, snow falls, bells' ringing start .
This year as we decorate, bake, shop, worship and party. We'll try really hard not to, 'spit in your face' by worrying about January. We pledge not to make a single goal until New Years Day. Nor entertain yearnings for warmer weather and sunny rays.
We will bask in nature, laid bare, then cloaked in crystals, moist and white. Gaze through wonder filled childhood eyes, smell, taste, pray, sing, hang a star, bright. We will relinquish our hold on having and doing, receive the spirit of being. That your abode in our hearts may grow a bit, your message, our joy in every season.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
May nothing make you blue.
May your pilgrimage lead to joy, or pumpkin muffins at least.
May you live in harmony with all that is native and beautiful.
And, may you get whatever you aim for.
From Boy House to Your House, warm Thanksgiving blessings...and turkey.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
"Hello Frequently Visiting Neighbor Boy, the computer, I mean, Game Cube...oh.. uh...my Wii, no wait, I'm the only one around here without a Wii... oh The Nintendo Wii, umm... #5 is still sleeping?"
"Oh, um... ok, I'll come back later."
Fifteen minutes later, Ding Dong, "Hello Frequently Visiting Neighbor Boy, everything... er, I mean one, is still asleep."
Nearly every afternoon there are six or seven extra boys hanging out at Boy House. As I fix dinner most evenings another neighbor boy, we'll call him, I'm Hungry I'll Start With This Bag Of Chips While You Make Me Two Ham Sandwiches Without Mustard, Oh and My Brother Wants Some Too, comes in the kitchen and opens the fridge.
"I'm Hungry I'll Start With This Bag Of Chips While You Make Me Two Ham Sandwiches Without Mustard, Oh and My Brother Wants Some Too, would you mind terribly staying out of the fridge while I'm fixing dinner?"
" Oh and have your brother call your Mom and find out what she's fixing you for dinner." Notice my subtle hint.
He runs to the play room, yelling, "Hungry Brother, Boy Mom just invited us to eat dinner here, will you call Social Life Mom and tell her we're staying for dinner." Adorable Hubby is right, boys don't do hints.
Then there is 16 Going On 11 Year Old who has adopted Adorable Hubby as the dad he's never known, nearly every night he shows up to watch a show and get invited to dinner. He often needs a Mom hug, I can always tell when things aren't going well for him at home because I get a big pimple faced hug. Guess what, as seen on TV product, 16 Going On 11 Year Old is getting for Christmas from his adoptive Mom and Dad.
I often walk past the toy room to find, Frequently Visiting Neighbor Boy and I'm Hungry I'll Start With This Bag Of Chips While You Make Me Two Ham Sandwiches Without Mustard, Oh and My Brother Wants Some Too, watching TV with 16 Going On 11 Year Old. They're all sharing a box of crackers which looks suspiciously like the one I bought this morning at Costco, can I get a boo-yah for Costco.
From 4:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. each evening, on the street in front of our house there are 6 to 14 boys playing a rowdy game of street football. They reluctantly move to let cars pass once the down is finished. They brag, argue, trash talk and swear a little, they jostle and push and slap each other on the back, male bonding hovers over the street like a testosterone fog. Everyone knows where the first-aid basket is, unless it's arterial bleeding or a compound fracture, neo-sporin and a band-aid is all you need.
Everyone knows it's cookies on Friday if I quadruple the batch they might last until Saturday. At noonish on Saturday and on school breaks many sandwiches are made, many, many sandwiches. Usually PB&J sometimes, if it's on sale, ham and cheese. If you're here you're invited just don't ask for special orders, "Do I look like the Burger King? "No, then you don't get it your way."
From time to time one or two pink and gigglys show up. They're pink and well... giggly I'm not always sure what to do with them. The one doll we kept on hand for such events has long ago disappeared. They seem adaptable though and soon find, as I have, that boys for all their loud and rowdy ways want to be noticed, need to be talked with and love a hug.
One day I came out of my bedroom laughing at the fit of a new t-shirt I'd bought. It looked fine on the hanger at the store but, turned out, it was way to tight. #1, #2 and two of their friends stood in the hall and wondered what the laugh was for. "This t-shirt is ridiculously tight, guess I'd better start that diet" I said.
After a cursory glance my sons mumbled something supportive like, "Don't worry Mom, once you're married no one expects you to look hot" then headed down stairs.
The two friends stopped on their quest to be the first to the video game dual and gave me the reason I love all the male madness around here, "Mrs, Boy Mom," they said sincerely. "You shouldn't talk bad about yourself, you are a really beautiful women, really." Their unexpected sincerity was touching and teaching.
What makes a women beautiful to boys is love, tolerance, humor, generosity, confidence and vulnerability. I'm learning that from all these wonderful, beautiful boys in my life, may I learn it well.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
1. As the oldest of eleven children it is impossible for me to make a single batch of mini muffins. I ended up with 7 loaves of pumpkin bread, 12 big muffins, and 40 mini muffins. Nature or nurture, don't know what caused compulsive baking...I need therapy.
2. I was ready to go for my morning walk so to avoid being covered in flour and end up exercising while covered with powdered carbohydrates, I took my shirt off. Uhh yeah, I made Pumpkin goodness wearing my bra and sweats. We're classy around here?
3. I started at 8:45 a.m. my children need to be dropped of to school at 9:15 a.m.... the concept of time management is elusive, even evasive to my mind.
4. I strongly suspect that I only lost myself in this pumpkin baking madness to avoid bills, laundry, cleaning...sigh!
5. All I've heard all afternoon, "Mom, can we open another loaf of pumpkin bread?" "Can we have pumpkin bread for dinner?" "He had more pumpkin bread than me!"
Ah well, domestic bliss and good mamas are bound to have issues though none that can't be resolved over an ice cold glass of milk and a warm slice of pumpkin bread.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Musings is to deep a word for a women who is woken Monday morning from her bed on a five foot high pile of laundry by a thirteen year old asking if he has to go to school.
Musings is way too profound a word for the foggy jumbled thoughts that spurt randomly from the brain of that women as she stares blankly at the ruins of Fridays' Maniacal cleaning frenzy wondering who forgot to sound the tornado warning.
Monday Musings is way to brilliant literary alliteration for someone too hung over from overeating Sundays' dinner to remember which school and which drop off times are assigned to each of the seven laddies shuffling through the kitchen looking for weekend homework and Pop Tarts.
So my beginning of the week posts are duly dubbed, 'Mondays' Muddled Mutterings', I realize that mutterings doesn't appropriately describe things written; however, keeping my muddled, random thoughts in my head for a post is better for the many men in my life who seem put off when I do actually mutter.
It also occurs to me that some of you amazing writers out there may rightly surmise that I'm attempting to disguise my Moms' and, come to think of it, every English teachers' I've ever had, failure to instill grammatic principals into my head despite obsessively correcting everything I ever wrote, by out alliterizing you. Actually my cover is making up new words and calling it poetic license.
So here is my muddle for this Monday post:
Thursday as Adorable Hubby and I returned from our day trip I glanced out the car window at the truck next to us, all I saw was a hubcap, a wheel and some springy things which I am told are shocks. To say this was a big truck would be significantly understating it; by craning my neck and pressing my nose against the glass I could just make out the driver.
You know what they say about men who buy BIG trucks; if you don't I'm certain a man in your life would love to fill you in.
As the light changed and the truck pulled away I noticed a doggy face barely peering out of the bed of the truck.
Does this breed of dog seem short, wrinkled and well... funny looking, for the image a guy with a really big truck is trying to create?
See doesn't even come close to a brain wave pattern as developed as musing. Feel free to use the title 'Mondays' Muddled Mutterings' as it applies to your attempts to overcome weekends.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Perhaps as we strive to be as loved as we saw people love our Daddy. Or find ourselves listening to the intuition that tells us our child is ill as our Mom did for us. Finding the power to love a rebel without judgment, reserve or restraint because a friend loved us that way when we were the rebel. As we becoming a gentle giant who can do anything for our three little boys just like their granddad did for us. Maybe this is how we truly find someone who is lost to this world.
All the children spoke of their Dads' amazing hugs, the rebel learned well. The hug I got from someone who had just lost their Dad was powerful, comforting, peace... for me the intended comforter.
When we become a follower of God we have the opportunity to find Him in ourselves by living as he would live among us. Mosiah 18:9-11
and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;
9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—
10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?
11 And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts.
It is the desire of my heart that I may find a part of God in me and that by so doing I'll live a life worthy of someone finding a part of me in them.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
And the winner is... Yes! we won the High Def Peanut Butter Bars (since I'm to dorky to figure out the link thing check out Rob and Amy on my family blogs list, the comments are the best). I suspect this contest may have been a clever trick where my Brother-in-law invited himself over to watch the BYU vs U of U football game through subtlety and contest trickery; however, a win is a win and I'm the big winner. The Peanut Butter Bars were definitely Hi-Def or at least Hi-Cal Cal, if alas, the game was not.
A fine time was had by all.
Friday, November 21, 2008
"Um, sure, I'd love to!" Hey, I was folding socks at the time, love was the right word.
"So, do you need me to watch your kids?" Between us we have 11 boys (one in heaven) and 1 girl.
"No, I need you to keep me calm. I've seen too many messed up necks from the Chiropractor." She works in CAT-Scan at a local hospital.
"I thought your hip was out, I'm no doctor but I'm pretty sure that the neck bone is not connected to the hip bone."
That led to a conversation about a visit to another Doctor, with the doctor, a tech and a big, big guy all pulling and tugging to no avail.
Later at the doctors office, after chatting on our cell phones until we arrived in the parking lot, we sat close on the couch oohing and aahing over yummy, complicated Thanksgiving recipes that we both know we'll never try. Too soon, for an appointment that lasted two hours, the Doctor came in, "Hi, I'm Doctor So and So, let's see you're Suzie and you are?" He looks at me.
"Susan." I smile
"Suzie and Susan?" he looks at us like were a couple of school girls messing with the substitute.
"That's us!" we say in unison, laughing. When we're together we feel like school girls, fun, happy, and carefree.
"I think I'll call you the Suz's." The doctor announces.
I like that, it's not often you find a kindred spirit especially one whom you share a name with. I'm glad we found some time to slip away, hang out, be a little silly and delight in the joy of being girls.
If it's been awhile since you hung out with a girlfriend...well, what are you waiting for.
PS If you need a girlfriend to get silly with call me, one can never have enough friends and I have a lot of socks I'd rather not fold.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Love this picture of the burr plant I grew this year. It was replaced by a Butterfly Bush, thanks Mandi, but it had it's season in the sun thanks to my amazing gardening skills.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
So I'm sitting supervising three intense matches of war, listening to this little thing next to me sniffle, wondering if I'll catch her cold and how I'll fit sick into all I have to do for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my new job home schooling. The little girl suddenly stands up, turns to me and says in all sincerity, "Can you pause the game I need a tissue."
It got me to thinking, wouldn't it be nice if I could hit the Mommy Pause Button?
Dinner cooking? Pause...Mommy needs to chat with a girlfriend and it's the only time we both have a minute.
Doing dishes? Pause...Mommy wants to cuddle up and read Green Eggs and Ham for the 300th time with #7.
Running errands? Pause...Mommy wants to stop at the park because it's a sunny day and swinging is so much more fun than groceries.
Paying bills? Pause...#3 needs a counseling session and a thirteen year old who'll talk to mom is priceless.
Laundry? Pause...who in their right mind wouldn't pause laundry.
Sick Mommy? Pause... Mommy needs a nap.
3:00 in the afternoon? Pause...Mommy needs a shower.
Kids in bed with parents? Pause...Daddy needs some lovin'.
OK, a pause button is an innovention of our fast paced technology driven society; it gives someone playing a game or lost in some other super important technological pastime a chance to pause, do something that has to be done then return to playing. Let's face it there will never be enough time in the day for everything we busy Mommy's feel we have to do; but, just maybe God gave us a pause button in the gift of free agency. Some things are just more important than others. Our little ones don't come with a pause button they just keep growing and growing and one day playtimes will be few and far between. Friendships don't come with a pause button yet they keep us grounded and connected to the playful fun person we really are. Husband's don't come with pause buttons and, after all, playing around with our spouse may be the most important play ever.
So, thanks snuffly, cold sharing, strawberry blond, five year old, for a life lesson, I guess you really do learn everything you need to know in kindergarten. This season of THANKSgiving and CHRISTmas I'm pausing so I can live, laugh, love and play. Because, while a technology pause gives you a break to do what you have to do so you can get back to playing, in the real world the playing happens when we pause.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Since I seem to have hit a nerve with my last post on what to expect when you tell the principal you want to home school, I thought I'd share a little home school story.
When # 1 was in sixth grade he was home schooled and it occurred to me that he was missing out on the joys of the sixth grade Maturation class. One day I sent his brothers out to play, drew a few pictures of the reproductive systems of males and females then explained the girl stuff, I figured I'd leave the boy stuff to Adorable Hubby.
After what I thought was a lovely little explanation of the journey of an egg through the female reproductive system ending in pregnancy or menstrual cycle; I sat back with a satisfied smile and asked #1 if he had any questions.
"So is it a bad egg if it doesn't fertilize?" He asked confused concern in his voice.
"Oh no sweetie!" I exclaimed horrified that I'd given him that impression.
I went back over it all explaining that all eggs couldn't be fertilized and that a menstrual cycle was a beautiful, natural part of womanhood, what? it's natural. I assured him that an egg wasn't bad just because it didn't become a baby. I suggested that it was however an emotional time for a women because of the hormones that accompanied the process and that he could help out by keeping an eye on his brothers while I took a nap.
I settled back in my recliner with the warm glow of being a Mom and teacher pleased that my thoughtful instructions had successfully prepared my little boy to become a young man.
The screen door slammed shut and #1 yelled, "Brothers, Mom's trying to pass a bad egg! We've got to play out here and leave her alone!"
Maybe the Principals is right...
Monday, November 17, 2008
Educating our children has seen many approaches in our family. I've had all of my children in public education, all of them home schooled and part public/ part home based on my needs and the needs of my children. Each grade level, each decision has been approached with prayer and contemplation and the needs of each child in mind. Recently Adorable Hubby and I made the decision to pull #5 out of public school and work with him at home for a while. Each time I pull a child out of public school I groan inside. Could any process make you feel less intelligent and concerned for your child?
For those who haven't experienced this process here is a primer on what you'll be told and what I thought, but kept to myself, I realize this is a difficult process for a principal and teacher as well we all want children to succeed. I have also experienced this same set of questions before when we've transitioned a child out of school so I was prepared.
In a futile attempt to preempt the questions, I offered my experience and reasoning. The secretary had already warned him what I was there for so the atmosphere was similar to what I imagine the Dr. office feels like when a patient is told they have stage 5 liver cancer with like 37 minutes to live. I explained that I had children with similar learning patterns that I was an experienced home schooler and that #5 was exhibiting extreme anxiety, was not functioning at grade level and was expressing feelings of hostility towards other students. I also mentioned I wanted to coordinate with his teacher and keep him working on the same spelling words and math program, and that # 6 and # 4 would be staying in school.
Principal: Good morning Mrs. Boy Mom how can I help you?
Boy Mom: Oh I'm just here to offer myself as an example of 'Parents and their crazy, whimsical parenting philosophy.
Principal: Pulling your child out of school is a big decision have you thought this through?
Boy Mom: No, not really this morning I looked at my To Do list and thought, only 101 items I must have one or two more...hmm let's see... I know, I'll pull #5 out of school and teach him myself.
Principal: Will you or your husband be able to supervise his home schooling?
Boy Mom: No, we both work full time and spend our evenings prowling the mall looking for mannequins that remind us of people we know... Duh.
Principal: This is a really big challenge for parents are you sure he'll get enough one on one instruction?
Boy Mom: Hmm...If a school has 30 teachers and 500 students what is the ratio of students to teachers? Show your work.
Principal: I'm really concerned for each student I just want to be sure you've taken #5 needs into consideration?
Boy Mom: At some point as his watermelon head was being squeezed out of my body it occurred to me he might have a need or two. Sheesh what does this guy not get about extreme anxiety, not functioning at grade level and hostility towards others.
Principal: What curriculum will you be using to keep him at grade level?
Boy Mom: Uh, didn't I just mention, HE'S NOT AT GRADE LEVEL!
Principal: Maybe you could keep him in his literacy block so he'd be with his classmates.
Boy Mom: Sure since he wants to "Choke" his classmates for teasing him I think that'd be a brilliant idea.
Principal: How will you ensure he is properly socialized?
Boy Mom: Are you kidding? Here's another math problem for you? If seven boys have three friends each and those friends each eat two sandwiches and five cookies when they are hanging out at boy house three hours a day six days a week how many social skills will #5 develop?
Principal: I really feel that keeping him enrolled and having him repeat 2nd grade might be a better option.
Boy Mom: So have him finish out 6 months of 2nd grade this year then do it all again next year? The perfect answer to it's not working= more, it's not working.
Principal: It seems your mind is made up I think it would be a good idea to coordinate with his teacher.
Boy Mom: Sigh, at Principals school they must teach a course called How to make Parents feel they are incapable of intelligent educational choices.
So #5 began his homeschooling today. He's an amazing child and I'm looking forward to the closeness home school brings.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
D & C 88: 40-41
40 For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom recieveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgement goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things.
41 He comprehendeth all things and all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things; and round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever.
I love that as we make a portion of Godliness ours we respond to and resonate with those who have also become that virtue. May I cleave unto intelligence; receive wisdom; embrace truth; love virtue; cleaveth unto light; be compassionately claimed by mercy; and leave to God judgment of myself and others. That He may be in me, through me and round about me forever and ever.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
This will be short but that's OK because something else came perilously close to becoming short today so this is a short post about short and shorts...I really need to wrap this up and go to bed.
A little earlier this evening #7 came in for a cuddle wearing the pajama shorts he'd worn all day cause I'm just that kinda Mom. Only something about those pajama shorts set off my Boy Mom radar so I gave them a closer look.
"#7," says I,
"Did you cut your shorts with the scissors?"
"I can fix it, I'll tape it up!" He says, while trying to cover the evidence by grabbing two handfuls of shredded shorts.
Upon closer examination I am just grateful that the shorts were the only thing, err... shortened.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Boy Mom's Famous Cookies
4 cubes (2 cups) of butter
4 cups Brown sugar
Four cups flour
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups oatmeal
1 cup Coconut, flaked
3 cups chocolate chips
Blend well, drop by teaspoon fulls or tablespoon fulls or gigantic hand fulls with dough bites out of them... uh hem, bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 mins. Yield: not enough
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Yesterday Boy Mom wrote what she thought was a hilarious post on the symptoms of that whole monthly business you women endure so graciously. She was rolling on the floor with laughter thinking of Willy Wonka sharing his passion for confections with a PMS'ing women.
She may have missed a funny bone or two because at 8:30 this A.M. she got a call asking if she was pregnant. That began a frenzied editing process which was only interrupted this afternoon by a pint of Starbucks, Java Chip ice cream.
I personally didn't find the post that amusing but, I don't find anything about the subject amusing. I told Boy Mom I might have missed the humor since I don't find her overly grumpy during her time, I'm clever that way. Then I installed the dishwasher that's been acting as a lovely end table in our oh so classy living room for the past several weeks. For my efforts Boy Mom rewarded me with yet another reading of her much edited post and pigs-in-a-blanket for dinner.
Thanks for all your comments of late. Boy Mom has been challenged by this silly goal of posting every day in November, your comments make her life and mine sooo much better. A word of caution... It might be best not to bring up yesterdays post, a little Midol, a lot of chocolate and she'll have forgotten which is best for everyone.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The howling begins, the gnashing of teeth, the shrieking at silly little things, "Mom just totally freaked at me for spilling the new family size bag of Rice Krispies all over the kitchen, rude."
Your house cleaning fantasy man goes from, sexy vampire, or movie star to Willy Wonka beckoning from the banks of a chocolate river singing strains of Phantom just for you...
You have come here
in pursuit of
your deepest urge,
in pursuit of
which till now
has been silent,
silent . . .
I have brought you,
that our passions
may fuse and merge -
in your mind
succumbed to me
dropped all defenses
completely succumbed to me -
now you are here with me:
no second thoughts,
decided . . .
Past the point
of no return -
no backward glances:
the games we've played
till now are at
an end . . .
Past all thought
of "if" or "when" -
no use resisting:
and let the dream
descend . . .
What raging fire
shall flood the soul?
What rich desire
unlocks its door?
What sweet seduction
us . . .?
Every women, and wise man, knows. Hide the kids, unlock the chocolate, stock up on Midol, and cower in fear, cuz it ain't gonna be a pretty week.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
1- Yesterday there was an unfortunate incident involving a, semi-clad snitching teenager, a dorky Dad, a nipple and a pair of hot tongs. Don't ask , all is forgiven.
2- #7 is a wild Indian! Who knew, ha!
3- #1 ran out of gas while shuttling many teenagers home from school. A rescue mission headed up by Boy Mom was successful.
4- I think the made up word uber is incredibly dumb. And yet I use it anyway...
5- The yeast is strong in this one, Master Jedi. Candistroy, ultimate whole body wellness.
Monday, November 10, 2008
#2 isn't a big fan of cake, he gets that from me. Frosting good! Especially that ganache stuff, cake...not so much. So we didn't do a cake for his birthday and instead I planned to surprise him with a Jello Chocolate Pudding Desert. This is the favorite of #2, he gets that from Adorable Hubby who adores anything instant chocolate pudding. It's also a top 5 favorite desert for everyone but me so I have to make A LOT.
At the store I noted that the boxes of Jello Chocolate Pudding Desert mix, which consists of a package of Oreo crumbs and a package of chocolate pudding, was $2.69 I needed three of them. "That's expensive!" Thinks I, thus my plan for thrifty chocolate pudding desert domination was born.
I check out the packages of Oreo's, gasp $4.69 I can buy a whole box of Oreo's at Costco.
Clever me buys 3 packages of $1.19 pudding total cost $3.57
Next, thrifty me, spends a gallon of gas $2.30 to head across town to Costco.
At Costco I buy a three pound box of Oreo's for $5.54.
Now, after twisting apart Oreo's crushing the plain side and putting the frosting sides together to form a double stuff Oreo which I eat rationalizing that I won't be having any of the pudding desert, I have
A package and a half of double Stuff Oreos $6.72
The equivalent of three Jello chocolate chocolate desert mixes. $8.07
A grand total of $14.79 for Chocolate, Oreo Pudding, double stuff, goodness.
Subtract$5.54 for Oreos.
$3.57 for pudding.
$2.30 for a tank of gas.
$2.30 for another tank of gas to go to the gym and burn off the double stuff Oreo calories .75cents in the 'cussing jar(those Oreo's are a royal pain to crush into crumbs).
Equals a Thrifty and Clever savings of .33 cents
Hmm, maybe I need to start clipping coupons.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Here is my part:
On behalf of your children and each of us blessed to learn with them, welcome to the Primary Program.
The doctrine that each of us is a child of loving heavenly parents is perhaps the most profound message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
How amazingly beautiful is the knowledge that each experience we have is watched over by our loving heavenly parents just as we watch over the activities and growth of our children.
How peaceful is the understanding that our mistakes are forgiven and forgotten as easily as we forgive and forget the mistakes of our children.
How incredible that Our Father gives us the opportunity to become like him by participating in, “His work and His glory” as parents to these precious children of God.
Brothers and Sisters, your children…
Saturday, November 8, 2008
My doctor is a nice enough guy but his office is criminally short of decent reading material. I do not want to lose myself in a church magazine while my suddenly symptom free children dismantle the slide-the-bead-thingy and leave germy little hand prints on the fish tank glass.
On a recent visit I grabbed a pink brochure by the American Cancer Society entitled How To Do Breast Self Examination. I wasn't anxious to improve this under appreciated self diagnostic skill but I sure as heck wasn't going to read a two year old issue of Popular Mechanics.
If I thought the American Cancer Society was going to offer up a boring yet informative one page guide on Breast self exams, I was oh so wrong. Yes it was the usual stuff about using your finger pads to circle the breast tissue looking for lumps or differences but two little suggestions caught my attention:
" Try to copy the way your health care provider uses the finger pads during a breast exam."
"You might want to do a breast self-exam while you're in the shower. Your soapy hands will glide over the wet skin making it easy to check how your breasts feel."
So I'm in the shower sliding my wet soapy finger pads over my wet soapy breasts thinking about my Doctors hands on my breasts... I'm sorry American Cancer Society but, that's just naughty!
Friday, November 7, 2008
I have three huge trees in my backyard, I've blogged about them before. My feelings for these trees are way beyond a crush it's love, love, love. They are my three guardian angels, always there caring about me, talking with me, we've already established that I believe I can here the voices of non-sentient creatures. They house my birds and my boys, cooling, protecting and beautifying.
My favorite time of the year is Autumn one of the reasons is because all the bright yellow leaves on my tree suddenly fall in a two hour period, "Hey I know, lets all drop. Ready! Set! Go!'
It's simply amazing to watch, a sunlight, golden snowstorm. I've lain in the backyard during this yellow shower, feeling the gentle caress of leaf after golden leaf wondering if I could be buried alive in gold. Mostly I wash my dishes, gaze out my picture window and marvel at the beauty of my trees in every season, ache a little knowing how many wet spring weeks it took for my trees to go from a barren tangle of twigs and branches to a leafy green canopy. No easy come just easy go.
This year I was cheated out of my favorite fall event, we woke up Wednesday to 4 inches of leaves and bare trees, I was disgruntled all morning. In the afternoon my two little ones grabbed some snow shovels and began shoveling leaves. Watching them play I over came my snit and grabbed the camera to take a few pictures. Happy Autumn!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Yesterday was #2's birthday, by the way I do get that #2, is maybe not the best nickname for a child and that the acronym for Adorable Hubby is AH. Trust me, they both live up to their blog names from time to time. Ok, enough ADD, back to task. So yesterday to celebrate #2's birthday Adorable Hubby and I decided to clean our bedroom, really clean, really, really. Whenever I get Adorable Hubby involved in a project it goes way beyond dusting and waving the shop-vac hose under the bed for a few minutes, then of course I have to throw in my two cents and say something like, "Wouldn't it be fun to rearrange the whole room?"
We've also been on a quest to get #6 and #7 to sleep in their own beds and make it through the night dry. The combination of wet nights and our bed is taking it's toll. We thought maybe if we changed some things it would help.
What a project! The dust bunnies had reproduced, virtually unchecked, for 6+ years they did not go without a fight. I managed to get a 1/4 inch splinter in my finger which I then got to dig out by myself because no one else in the family has such skills. After 1/2 hour, left handed with a needle and tweezers I finally got it, go doctor Mom! Then Adorable Hubby sliced his thumb wide open on a picture frame, of course, all the band-aids had been used as placebos for hysterical youngsters who magically shut up when the barely visible red mark is covered with a band-aid. We made do with athletic tape and gauze from the dentists office, go doctor Mom!
Every piece of furniture was moved, dusted, vacuumed under and then positioned in multiple locations until it met our interior decorators (my) final approval. The movers complained and made snide little comments like, "Isn't this where it was in the first place?" Next pictures that had been unframed for two years were framed, each knick-knack was dusted and placed, finally Adorable Hubby took all the bedding to the laundry-mat, washed and dried it then came home to help make the bed and hang the pictures. I still need to hang curtains and we need a new blind to replace the one we cut to fit the window air conditioner; but, all in all we're pleased with the results and excited for the change.
So let's review what you didn't need to know yet now do.
*I get that the acronym for Adorable Hubby is AH.
In case you ever wondered as you chuckled to yourself.
*We cleaned and rearranged our bedroom.
Because you can never know enough about another couples bedroom.
*Band-aids are a great placebo for childhood boo-boo hysterics.
If that was news you obviously aren't a parent.
*It was #2's birthday.
I know #2 is a potty term and yet I use it anyway.
*It's BlogGoNovPo or whatever.
So I expect to see lots of lame posts from all ya all every day in November.
Low maintenance pets for 100 dollars.
*My children pee my bed.
Not so proud of this one really.
*Pictures purchased for Christmas presents may languish in dusty corners for years.
I'm such a thoughtful gifter.
* I have adult onset ADD.
I also have Adult onset Turretts Syndrome.
*I can dig a sliver out of my own finger.
I so tough.
*About enough of this.
Here are a few after photos, no before pics, the world doesn't need photographic evidence of my crappy housekeeping skills.
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Wednesday, November 5, 2008
November 5th and #2 is sweet 16 though I believe he may have had a kiss or two. For his birthday he got a wool overcoat and a cap. Very stylish! He was looking gooood! as Frank Sinatra for Halloween.
No mom could ask for more incredible sons then I have been blessed with.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I must confess that I'm not a fan of pigs, they scare me and they're not much fun to love on, it seems that the piggly little parts which aren't bristly are slimy, dirty and really stinky. Pigs however seem blissfully unaware of my reticence of love and push their little snouts over the fence and snort happily as I pass.
I've wandered across both a skunk and a porcupine in the wild and after assessing each other, from a surprisingly close distance. We exchanged a loving smile, sighed, for ours was a love destined to last only stolen seconds, then ambled on our respective ways. I'm sure they each treasure the memory of our brief encounter as do I.
Yes, I'm a regular Eliza Doolittle I know, I'm mixing my literary references.
Another fun little thing I like to do with animals is give them credit for human thoughts, and emotions. I'm certain animals have distinct thoughts of admiration, excitement, cynicism, etc. and am happy to interpret for those unfortunates who can't hear their little voices. I'm told that animals don't have an internal dialog imprisoned by an underdeveloped voice box, perhaps that's right since I also attribute thoughts to plants, cars, really cool rocks, vegetables and other non-brained creatures, whatever, as long as everyone is cooing and purring it's all good, right?
Alas, the 'fly in the ointment', fly as in fishing that is. Sadly fish don't seem to care much for me. If I press my nose against the glass of Shamu's tank Shamu suddenly remembers a pressing appointment at the windowless end of his domicile. When I hold a dead stinky bait fish on my hand and stick it in the touching pond... nothing, just a cold, wet, handful of stinky bait fish. Don't even get me started on swimming with dolphins, I'd love to; but, I can kill a carnival gold fish in twenty four, or less, hours, can't even imagine what I could do to a lagoon of hapless dolphins.
"Erph, erph, can't breath Porpy not since she got in the water!"
"Moko, No! Dude don't belly up on me dude, erph, erph!"
So, last Christmas break when my, working towards Eagle Scout, sons came home with a Betta fish to create a habitat for the Environmental Scientist merit badge I was less then thrilled. They found and filled the fish bowl which had been stuck under the bathroom sink after 10 fancy goldfish had bellied up in two weeks. 10 because we started with 3 and kept replacing them until I accepted that I'm some kind of fish plague. They added some glass rocks a couple of water plants then dumped Mr. Beta out of his plastic transport bag and dubbed him Knuckles because of his spiky, red fins which reminded them of a cartoon hedgehog by that name. I accepted his eventual swirl with fate by thinking of seven Eagle Scouts and hoped that Knuckles would at least survive the two months that the merit badge required.
Knuckles and I approached our relationship carefully. I knew he had a reputation for being mean and aggressive, to others, thus no bowl mates. I planned to keep my distance, except that his tank was on my bathroom counter, so, not that much distance. But, I could avoid contact and feeding, he was my boys project they would change his water and feed him, right? For a day or two we just gazed at each other five or six times a day as I answered the call 'o nature.
Then the inevitable occurred, one day I heard him say "Lady, I'm hungry."
"You weren't going to get involved" I chastised myself as I fed him.
In my mind Knuckles responded, sounding a lot like Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lechter, "No one can resist my fatal charms, Clarice."
I was hooked, he was a territorial loner, I a plague to his species. Perhaps it was danger that drew us together; or, maybe my longing for acceptance in his fishy world. It could of course be that my, would be eagle, sons had pretty much abandoned him and his bowl was stinking up my bathroom. Whatever, we're involved and 10 months later Knuckles is alive and my boys are environmental scientists, though not Eagles.
The story could, perhaps, should end here. A sweet little tail of an animal lover sans fish who finally found aquatic acceptance in the company of a cold, fishy, loner. But, as fate would have it, there was an elementary school safety carnival, a gold fish was awarded. I sighed and prepared myself for tragedy. But wait, Knuckles! I rejoiced the plague was ended I was free to bond with fish.
We took him home we found a mayonnaise jar, Knuckles' bowl had broken during a cleaning so, to his furious chagrin, he was in a similar jar. We set the jar on the bathroom cupboard, Knuckles ignored the prisoner in the next cell he maintained a coldblooded silence, he offered his genius help in keeping fish alive by bargaining for new accommodations. "I can help you Clarice but I'll be needing a bowl with a view"
"Quit calling me Clarice, you know I keep meaning to go to Petco." I would answer.
Fish (his name) flirted outrageously with me, flitting his fins and eating Betta flakes enthusiastically. "Gee, your hair smells terrific! He would say eagerly, as I toweled off after a shower.
Then it happened, less then a week after Fish arrived he was floating belly up in his jar, Knuckles swimming smugly in the jar next to him. "Knuckles, what have you done?" I moaned
"I didn't like the way he talked to you Clarice, I had a little talk with him." He gloated.
I dumped Fish in the toilet and tossed his jar in the garbage. "You knew this would hurt me Knuckles. I have been hearing the silent gasps of dying goldfish since I was a child." I cried, desperately.
Knuckles laughed wetly.
So life moves on. I still love animals and, though I still regret the whole fish plague thing, I am strangely comforted knowing that Knuckles loves me.
Knuckles still swims in his jar, occasionally taunting me by asking for a fishy companion and some fava beans.
Monday, November 3, 2008
It's my favorite because of caramel popcorn, sugar cookies, taco soup, chicken chowder...oh, and friends and family coming over to share it all. Some new friends came by this year hopefully, they will return for many years to come.
A funny thing happened as one of the families who was staying for soup came to the door. The family came to the door with a family of trick-or-treaters, I handed out treats to all the kids then ushered in who I thought were the visiting family and their friends. Our friend introduced his children to some of our other friends when he was done there were two boys who no one knew. Turns out I had ushered two strange kids into my home, they were happily planning to grab food with everyone else while their Mom waited outside on the sidewalk in the rain. Oh dear!
As usual my camera skills are lacking and I only got pictures of 1/4 of the fun. Oh well, enjoy.
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