Thursday, July 31, 2008


Good thing she is in gymnastics, don't ya think!?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Todd Story #248

Stuff happens to Todd. Crazy funny stuff. Ridiculous stuff. Moron stuff. Its attracted to him. He can't help it. The only other person 'stuff' happens to, is my sister. It's true.
My favorite Todd story is #4. The condensed version--in high school, a girl asked him to a girl's choice dance 4 months before the actual dance (because she really wanted to go with him), by the day of the dance, said girl was pregnant (by someone else of course!), and they still went to the dance together!

Todd Story #248 occurred this morning--
  • Todd takes the bus to work because gas prices are insane, and so is the length of his commute. He jumps on the train once he hits downtown.
  • So, while he is on the train, he realizes that he has left his lunch from the previous day, in his work bag.
  • As he exits the train, he pulls his lunch (which is wrapped in a Target sack) out of his work bag and he tosses it into the trash can. As the heavy sack hits the bottom of the trash, it makes a loud 'thud' sound.
  • Aggressive Policeman is standing directly by the trash and in reaction to the sound, his hand immediately moves to his gun.
  • Todd freezes and looks at the Mr. Policeman.
  • "Sir, can you tell me what you just put in the trash."
  • "Uh, my lunch that I forgot to eat yesterday."
  • Todd is then retained while Mr. Policeman inspects the Target sack that he threw in the trash. Once confirmed that it was actual lunch material, he was allowed to be on his way.
I'll say it again, stuff just happens to this man. Some might find this story amusing. I find it as karma for calling me a jolly green giant.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Honey, Sugarplum, Homeslice

Have you ever thought about all the names you used to refer to your spouse when you were first married? They were such nice names. "Hey honey, can you come help me?" Terms of endearment. Expressions of love and affection.

Then children come along. The names you use now change (insert your own examples here). Once you have kids, you are simply fighting for survival. Who can think about using terms of endearment when you don't even have time to take a shower?

Todd has a special ability to make me feel oh so...well, special. His terms of endearment are....well, special. Last night he called me, 'the jolly green giant'. I was wearing a green shirt. How fascinating that when he looks at me, this is the first thing to come to mind. See....there's that special feeling. I filed this new name into the slot in my mind that holds all the other endearing names he uses for me--'chia pet', 'grumpy gilda', 'martyr'. My heart just feels warm all over when I think about it.

So, the next time you're feeling, well....not so special, just call Todd. He has a talent. I mean, seriously, how much better can you get than 'jolly green giant'? If he doesn't answer when you call, it's because I smothered him in his sleep.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Taffy and Travel

I thought I would be a way cool mom, and make taffy with the kids. Uuuhhhh, next time I will just stick with cupcakes. All the sticky-ness got way out of control. But, at least it tasted good.

Our field trip this week was to the Sam Houston Museum. He was the first governor of Texas. It took us an insanely long time to get there (the website gave the wrong directions), but it was fun to see. This is the house where he and his family lived.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


All of my life I have celebrated July 24th. Pioneer Day. Its the day the saints arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. They sacrificed all they had to obey. I come from a pioneer heritage and I think about that fact often. At all cost, these men, women and children listened to the Lord and followed with exactness, even when the price required of them seemed too steep.

I know a lot of pioneers today. Those who sacrifice, obey and keep moving forward in spite of the price required of them. My Bethie is one such pioneer. And truth be told, so is the rest of her family. Bethany is 16 yrs. old, and she is my girls second mother. While we lived in Utah, she took better care of them than I ever could. She and her family have sacrificed and listened to the Lord, and trudged along the path. Over the last year and a half, they have faced cancer and all the trials it spreads onto your life.

Bethany wrote a poem about their family's experience. She entered it in a Pioneer Day contest. She won second place. For me, she deserves a lavish throne in heaven. In her honor, and on this holiday, I offer her poem:

The Handcart

By Bethany

Over a hundred years ago my ancestors pulled handcarts across the Mormon
Trail to get to Salt Lake City. I'm sure they were heavy, and many of them were
made with green wood that broke easily. Many of these people pulled them
through blizzards, across hundreds of miles with little to no food. Sometimes
the husbands pulled, sometimes the wives pulled. I'm sure the children did
their share of pulling. I know it was hard, because my family has pulled
a handcart this year.

Sometimes Andrew pulled the handcart. He pulled it and the rest of us pushed.
When he got too tired we let him rest and my Dad would pull. When Daddy
pulled he'd give it everything he had until he needed a break, and then he'd
rest. Then Mommy would pull. I don't know how she did it but she pulled
hard. She pulled her sick son and four girls and Daddy and somehow she
was pregnant too. She could pull and give comfort at the same time.

Sometimes I would pull. If there is one thing I've learned from cancer it's
that Heavenly Father will never leave me alone, and He will never make me
pull alone. He helped me pull the handcart when my brother was in pain
and my Daddy was at the hospital and my mom was either driving to the
hospital or coming home, and my sisters needed homework help.

Sometimes Chloe and Emily would pull. They're a great team, and they were
always there when you needed them. They did a lot of growing up this year.
They are strong girls and they are going to be strong women.

I don't know how she did it but sometimes Abby would pull. She has
sweetness and sensitivity and such great faith. One day we were all in the
car and Andrew was talking about how he was developing some very painful
sores in his mouth that are a side effect of chemo. Abby said, so pure and
strong: "We need to pray right now." And so she did, and that pulled our
family through that day.

In his own way, Nathan pulled. He didn't know he was doing it of course, but
when he turns his head and smiles a huge, sincere, toothless grin you can't
help but feel good. When we got to the bottom of the huge hills, such as an
infection or a failed skin graft, I wanted to sit down and stop pulling. How
were we supposed to get over this? But then our family, our neighbors and
our friends came and pulled, and kept pulling and are still pulling. They
brought in meals and prayers and hugs and service and countless other things
we didn't know we needed.

So here we stand, almost at the end of our journey. Our hands are blistered;
our legs are tired. We've braved the blizzards and the hunger and the aches
that come with pulling a handcart. It has been heavy, and it has been hard, and
it has been worth it, and now we stand stronger and better because of it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Can't breathe....feeling faint....hysteria is near......
This is simply the most amazing discovery EVER! Thank you to Addie Ashton for linking me to this story, we are now soulmates.

Frosting Shots.
Oh, the glory.
It appears that several cupcake stores across America are now offering Frosting Shots. For $.75 you can taste a piece of heaven. There is even a bakery in Georgia that offers a "Cupcake Happy Hour" on Friday nights! This news is simply divine. I think I have been waiting my whole life just for this moment. A Frosting Shot, people!! You can get liquored up on frosting!

I've had a vision that I am going to open up one of those little booth-like houses that are normally for drive-thru coffee, but mine will be filled with Frosting Shots. Purchase a Shot and you can receive my free brochure, "How To Successfully Hide From Your Children". I think my busiest time will be the afternoon rush of moms to get a quick Shot before they pick up the kids from school. Everyone needs a little help to make it through the evening hours. I will fill that need.

This news will keep me happy for at least 3 days. I am going to spend this time looking for a cupcake bar and a frosting happy hour....

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I'm Normal

I had a doctors appointment yesterday. Blood work results. He showed them to me on his computer. "You're normal", he says. I tilted my head and stared at him. "Take a look. Normal."

A few months ago my liver numbers were high (whatever that means). So, I had to go to a specialist, and pay a higher copay and have a lot of blood drawn. But now I officially know that I'm normal. This is information that I already knew, but now I can scientifically prove it to those who live with me. I mean, doesn't every mother grab her camera when her child's head gets wound up in the beaters? Oh, and I'm sure I am not the only one who stops the microwave on an even number because odd numbers are bad. See....normal.

I called my mom to let her know how normal I am. Her response, "you should get a second opinion."

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Note to self--never lean your head over the bowl while you are mixing.
Yes, those are most definitely the beaters hanging in her hair.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Our Recent Excertions

Painting Ceramics

The first fire station in Houston

Afternoon at the movies with friends

The Houston Arboretum

You would think that all this fun-ness would make them ooze with love and affection for me. But according to Sam, who told me 8 minutes ago, "you know, sometimes you treat me like I'm 7. I'm a teenager now, and I'm independent. You should be letting me do things by myself." Oh, OK--how about you vacuum the family room by yourself.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Woo Salad

This is Todd's salad. He used it to 'woo' me. You know, lure me into marriage. The salad is delicious, and so is Todd. He made this the other day, and it brought back so many fond memories--all of which didn't include children. Ah, sweet and peaceful times. Todd's talents even reach beyond salad making, he can pick stuff up with his toes. Oh, and he can stick his entire fist in his mouth. What a catch. Good thing the woo salad worked. I now get to spend all my days with someone who told me my teeth look like corn. Bliss.

Salad: on top of a bed of lettuce--chicken sauteed in a raspberry/balsamic dressing, cheese tortellini, fresh raspberries. Top with dressing.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Can You Strangle A 5 Yr. Old?

This work of art was accomplished in 20 minutes.
Where is the mother of this household while this is occurring? Hiding in her bedroom while she talks on the phone and folds laundry.....after viewing this picture, you now know why she hides. Don't fool yourself into thinking that the mess is contained to the area shown in the picture.
  • 22 decks of cards
  • 11 board games
  • 11 puzzles

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pits Lift

A couple of days ago, I read in a magazine that you can now get Botox injections in your armpits. Your armpits!! Who knew that the skin in this region needed a facelift!? Its a 'pit lift'. This is fantastic news.

This new information has led me to wonder how the 'pit lift' came about. Who was the first person to realize that their pits needed a little TLC? Maybe someone wanted to have their boobs done, but couldn't afford it, and thought that their armpits were the next best thing. Hmmm. I might have to look into this. Maybe I can get Botox in my underarms and see what it does for my self confidence. I'll start wearing tube tops and walking around with my arms up in the air to show off my younger looking pits. The more I think about it, the more promising this sounds....

Anyone else who is interested in this new 'lift' should contact me. Maybe we could get a group deal and then have a 'pit party' where we show off our new goods. I'll make sure to serve only light finger foods that you can eat with your arms raised. Botox. Good for the soul.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

E-I-E-I-Oooo We're Sweaty

Today's field trip was to Old MacDonald's Farm. Lots of fun, with a serious amount of heat added in.

Train ride around the petting zoo.

Sam feeding the very aggressive sheep.

This is the only animal Makell would touch. She went ba-zerk when Sam and Addie would enter the cages to feed the animals. She would scream at them, "its not my fault if you get eaten!" Baby goats and pigs can be oh so scary.

Addie feeding the baby goats.

Sam loved this little goat and carried it around. It even tried to eat her shirt. Maybe a goat would be a better pet than a dog. I could just keep it in the backyard and feed it old clothing.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Good Teaching Moment

Todd is a medical show junkie. The more trauma and graphic scenes, the better. The girls have dived right in to this obsession. You should see the four of them sitting with rapt attention in front of the TV, while the woman who was mangled by an alligator is stiched up. It's bizarre.

Yesterday, I could hear my kids and two friends upstairs playing 'emergency room'. I heard someone yell, "take her to trama 1!". Hmmm. Next, I heard Addie crying and gasping for breath, both at the same time....then I hear Sam scream, "Makell, you have to have training to do that!!" I investigate.

It appears that Makell tried to do CPR on Addie. The 9 yr. old is massively pushing on the 5 yr. old's chest as she lays on the ground. Good glory, are you kidding me!?

I later had a lengthy discussion with Makell. I explained, that at the age of 9, she simply can't do CPR on her sister. "Why not?", she asks. "Well, because its dangerous. You could have really hurt Addie, maybe even broken one of her ribs. Then she wouldn't be able to breathe very well." Makell then raised her eyebrows, tilted her head, and said with a glimmer in her eye, "but then she wouldn't be able to talk so much."

Whew, a sigh of relief, good lesson learned. I'm sure this will never happen again....

Monday, July 7, 2008

Explosive Fun

I swear, I swear, I swear that my offspring had nothing to do with the removal of this fire hydrant cap. That's my story, and its safe if I stick with it....

Sunday, July 6, 2008


I went to church today with a heavy heart. A lot going on in my mind lately. I sat in sacrament meeting as the usual activity occurred around me. Then, for a brief moment, I caught the sound of a hymn being sung in another room of the church. Muffled singing, but I heard it--and a short phrase seemed to spread out in my mind, "in seasons of distress and grief". This phrase seemed to repeat itself over and over, as if I could almost hear the words being spoken to me.

This phrase has stuck with me all day. 'Seasons' is plural. Distress and grief aren't a singular experience. They grab at us over and over. Doesn't it seem to feel like a majority of the time is occupied by distress and/or grief? Some 'seasons' carry a lighter load, while other 'seasons' feel too heavy to carry. Some 'seasons' coast along, and others feel as if you just might unravel.

Today I was reminded about something I have always known--the Lord sees me. Just me. He sees my heavy heart and all that is on my mind, and He finds a way to tell me He knows. Does it change my 'season'? No. Does it take away any burdens? No. But knowing that my Heavenly Father is intimately aware of just me, makes my 'season' feel a little bit lighter. In the small moment today that I heard a muffled song, off in the background, I knew that someone had just picked up a corner of my burden to help me carry it.

He sees us in our 'seasons', and does all that He can to help us muddle through our distress and grief. May we always be in tune to hear His song in the background.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Flaming Fourth

What a nice red, white, and blue holiday. Lots of good food, fireworks and sibling fighting. Ahhh, how much more American can you get....

The holiday just wouldn't be complete without flaming balls--that shoot, no less. Good thing a warning label was attached, because I then had to tell Todd to take his flaming balls farther away from the children.

I hope you're fourth was just as flaming as ours.....

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Our Latest Happenings...

An endless supply of snowcones....to try and save us from the heat!

Bowling Fun.
I don't want to brag, but I beat the 5 yr. old by 8 points.

Swimming Lessons.
I wonder if these goggles help or hinder her eyesight?

The Nature Discovery Center

Some gross reptile that Sam was was too excited to hold.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What Would You Do For A Million $?

The girls and I are driving in the car:

Sam: "What would you do for a million dollars?"
Makell: "I would eat a brain.....or drink some blood."
Makell: "...or I'd eat half a shoe."