Sunday, August 31, 2008

He Ain't Got No Sole

Maybe someone can help me out here. Is it normal for a 15-year-old boy's shoes to go from this:

to this:
in 2 months?

Seriously, click on that last picture and see how destroyed they are.

And a follow-up question:
Is it normal for a teenage boy to not want to throw away shoes in this condition?
I mean, is "ghetto" the new look?

(Sorry, that was 2 questions.)

Please, enlighten me.

Friday, August 29, 2008

More NieNie Auctions!

The bidding is not over yet! Don't forget to bid on the gorgeous pieced-quilt I have up for auction (see post below). Click on the pictures to see the close-up details! It's totally worth the money - plus, how can you go wrong when it's all to help someone out?

Here are a couple of other AWESOME auctions I have seen that are not getting many bids:

A set of handmade cards and some beautiful jewelry

Orem Owlz tickets! (for those in Utah County/SLC area)

DesignMom said something we should all keep in mind:

I'm hoping people are in a public radio mindset. Like when you hear the NPR commentators say: "pledge your membership of only $75.00 and we'll send you this canvas tote bag with our logo on it." You know the tote bag is worth maybe $5. But it's not about that. You're looking for a way to be generous and supportive. And the tote bag is just a bonus.

Bid, bid, bid! Let's get spendy!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Quilt for NieNie Auction



(Quilt front)

(Quilt back)

Opening bid:$150

If you're wondering what's going on, read here.

If you would like to bid on this twin-sized, pieced quilt which was generously donated by my Aunt Eva and Uncle Barry (THANK YOU!) please leave a comment with your bid amount (for example: I bid $200).

Bids should be in whole dollar amounts. Please read any previous comments to be sure your bid is at least $1 higher than the highest bid. Also make sure your comment includes some way I can contact you at the auction's end.

This auction will run until Saturday (August 30th) at midnight, MST. The winning bidder will send payment to Stephanie and Christian Nielson's Recovery Fund via Paypal (see button below) and then send me a copy of the "payment confirmed" email from Paypal. All shipping costs will be covered by me - or if you are local to Utah Valley, pickup (or drop off) will be arranged.

Any other questions? Leave a comment and I'll answer it for everyone.

If you don't want to bid, but still want to donate, please do so by clicking this button:

Here are some close-ups so you can see all of the detail put into this quilt:
(click on any picture to enlarge it for more detail)
Thanks for coming!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's For NieNie

My friend Courtney's sister, Stephanie and brother-in-law, Christian were in a private plane crash in Arizona. They survived but are suffering serious burns and are in for months of recovery, which will be very expensive. So, many people who have come to know and love this family have decided to come together for "NieNie Day" (thanks to Design Mom) to raise funds and share memories of their friend.

Tomorrow is the big day and I will be auctioning off this beautiful twin-sized quilt which was generously donated by Aunt Eva and Uncle Barry. (THANK YOU!!)

If you want to bid, come back tomorrow! The auction will last until Saturday (August 30th) at midnight, MST.

If you don't want to bid, but still want to donate to the Stephanie and Christian Nielson recovery fund, please do so by clicking below:

Thanks! I hope to have you back tomorrow!

The Creative Genius

Yesterday was "Crazy Socks Day" at Thumbelina's middle school, and she had no socks crazy enough to meet her needs. I told her she could wear 2 different socks. Crazy!! "That's not crazy, it's just weird" she replied. (Apparently, ElemenoB is 'just weird'.)

"I don't know what you want, then, and I am not buying you socks you will only wear for a day" said I.

"I don't want you to buy me socks. I am going to sew strips of fabric together and make myself some socks." And that is exactly what she did.
Actually, she only had time to make one sock. So she cut up 3 of her holey socks (think legwarmer cuffs) and layered them to create the second sock.
I love how creative this girl can get. I mean, what 7th grader thinks about making their own pair of socks?

Apparently, mine.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Case of the Mysterious Black Button

Yesterday All-a-Boy left his math book at school. And he had to have his math book, because if he didn't do his homework he wouldn't get any "Brooks Bucks" from his teacher, and we couldn't have that now, could we?

So we went back to the school to collect his math book. And as we were leaving he said, "Mom, I am curious about an interesting little button in the vicinity of the plaque in the school's front entrance." (He really talks like that - I'm not making this up!) So I said, "Show me." And he did. And as much as the rascal in me wanted to push the button to see what it did, I suggested he ask about it in the front office. So he did.

"What button?" the secretary asked. "There is no black button in the front entrance."

"Yes, it is in the vicinity of the plaque," All-a-Boy answered. We all walked out to investigate.

"So it is." Mrs. Secretary said. "I have worked here for 11 years and I never knew there was a black button there." She asked the other secretary, who had also never seen it, then told All-a-Boy "I will ask someone what it is for and report back to you tomorrow afternoon."

"By the way," All-a-Boy added, "there is one of those black buttons at every doorway in the school."

I wondered how many things I have right in front of me everyday that I don't notice - or take for granted. As I looked a little closer at things today I realized there are more than I care to admit.

All-a-Boy found out today that the mysterious black buttons were an old intercom system built into the school that were never used, so they are now disabled.

I found out that I have a very observant kid - but what's new?

Thanks for changing the world, All-a-Boy - one adult at a time.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Show Me A Sign

I will admit, I went into this with fairly low expectations. Generally when I am asked to teach a sign language class at church it is frustrating because everyone's expectations are different than mine. Or someone will have already taken a class somewhere and they like to tell me I'm doing a particular sign incorrectly - which leads to my lecture on the varying dialects of ASL (I won't bore you here) and the burning desire to sarcastically ask that person to go ahead and teach us the real way to sign the words I have used my entire life and they have known for 2 semesters.

But not tonight. Oh no, not tonight.

Things began casually with a review of what they had learned last week - various foods and the like. And then I told them I didn't have anything planned for my first class as teacher - but did anyone want to learn anything specific?

Did they ever.

It started innocently with signs for feelings - happy, sad, tired, bored... and the importance of using facial expressions to convey the extent of each emotion. I think the word "sick" is what started us going.

"How would you say sick - as in, sick to your stomach?" "And what if you feel like you are going to throw up?" "How about diarrhea?"

You can see where this is going. And going, and going... We even covered some medical terms. (One of the ladies is a nurse, so I felt justified...)

I swear, it was like we were at Scout Camp.

And so, this is how I came to enjoy one of the most enriching church enrichment classes our neighborhood has ever known. We had ladies of all ages and different walks of life having a grand old time laughing and learning together. I have never laughed so hard in my life while teaching ASL.

Ladies, thank you for destroying the stereotype. I am looking forward to next week.

Sweet Sixteen

Tomorrow marks the 16th year of our marriage - can you believe it?
SIXTEEN years!

I know what you're thinking... how did she score such a hottie?

Lots of hard work and stalking, my friends. But it sure paid off.

I consider myself one very lucky girl.

Happy Anniversary, Allen!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I was out in our garage tonight and kept noticing dragonflies all over the place. In fact, I couldn't help but notice them since they kept landing on my arm (which, in all honesty, was seriously creeping me out).

Whenever I see one of these oversized insects I am reminded that my kids believe dragonflies have a lifespan of only 24 hours. So I started thinking, why in the world were they bugging me (get it? Bugging me? Ha!) when they only had 24 hours to be alive? I mean, couldn't they think of anything better to do?

And then I started thinking on another level. If I only had 24 hours to live, what would I do? My initial thoughts were of the places I have always wanted to visit: Australia and New York. And of foods I love: donuts, pumpkin, chocolate... then I started delving deeper. If I could do anything - I mean, the sky's the limit, what would I do? After I indulged myself with a few multi-million dollar ideas, I realized this:

Money really couldn't buy my happiness. It all comes down to relationships.

I would want to spend the entire day with my family - and the friends who are like family. What we do would not really matter, as long as we were together and happy.

(And no dragonflies were landing on my arms.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Note To Self...

The next time you decide to be thrifty and make your own barbecue sauce instead of paying $1.59 for the stuff at the store, remember not to grab the measuring cup in such a way as to spill 2 cups worth of ketchup all over your socks, kitchen rug and floor and down the crack between your stove and counter.

Just thought I'd mention it in case you could possibly forget how fun that was to clean up.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

CTR = Choose To Run

I try not to live vicariously through my kids. Really, I try. But when Coolister got a call from a friend who invited him to a meeting about running cross country at his high school, I couldn't help feeling excited about the possibility. I mean, cross country! That's my sport!

OK, so it was my sport over 2 decades ago. But it's a sport I understand.

Imagine my elation when he wanted to sign up. Oh, the joy! My boy wanted to be a runner! (This partially made up for the fact that he is a traitor when it comes to taking a foreign language class - he signed up for Spanish instead of ASL. Who helps him with homework? Who gives him rides? Who carried him in her womb for 9 months? But he takes Spanish classes, the language his dad speaks. Not ASL. I'm still getting over it.) {end rant}

He ran his first time trial this week. He ran 1.5 miles in 8:53:10 after training for less than 2 weeks - he's a natural!

And here's the best part: I think he realizes that I actually know more about running than he does at this point. He listens when I give him advice on the matter and that just makes me giddy.

Hey, Coolister...

Eat carbs the night before a race!



Pace yourself!

Sprint for the finish!

Make your mom proud.
(Oh, wait - you already did that.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Once Upon a Time...

I love to read, and today was no exception. I found a book I hadn't read in a long time and sat down to enjoy some quality reading time. Only, the story was different than I remembered.

The main character of the story was really starting to annoy me.

She was shallow, inconsiderate and dense. She made stupid decisions based on nothing. She hurt people without realizing it. She was a complete jerk. All unbeknownst to her.

I was screaming inside! "Are you really that stupid?! How can you NOT realize what you're doing!!" I wanted to pull her out of the pages of the book and give her a serious talking to about the reality of her situation, to turn back time and undo all the things she did that were driving me insane!

I had to put the book down. It was torture to read it.

I started thinking... how often do we do things and make decisions without realizing the impact it has on others? This girl, this silly teenager with a head full of dreams and plans, was so clueless (yet in tune) with what was going on around her! At least, she was aware enough to record these things in her journal - yet still remain removed from the truth of it all. How? How can that be?

As the girl grew older and more mature, the memory of these things was much more rose-colored. And then, as an adult, she wanted to read the pages of her journal once again - to read about what she remembered as fun times and funny stories... only to discover the truth of who she really was.

I prefer my story the way I remember it, not the way I recorded it.

We're supposed to write in our journals, right? And keep them for our kids to read someday?

It's a good thing we don't have a fire pit in our backyard or this notebook would be ashes by now.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Service (With a Smile): Sunday

It's the last day of my serving (with a smile!) week. It has been fun. And hard. And I won't ever publicly proclaim my awesomeness again, so I hope you enjoyed it. I also hope you don't all think I'm a big bragger. That was the hard part.

I'm counting a bunch of simple acts of service for today... wiping tears, holding little hands, singing quiet songs, making smallish people smile in the nursery at church. There was also breaking up fights, cleaning spilled drinks and wiping runny noses, and I'm still going back next week and the week after that and every week until someone tells me they want me to do something else. Plus I volunteered to teach a weekly sign language class at church that lost its teacher to the National Guard. Ok, toot, toot, toot and all that. Enough already!

To end this week on a thought that is right up my alley, let me tell you a story. I was driving Coolister and another scout to pick up food for their food drive this week and as the back of the vehicle began to fill with canned goods I asked, "Doesn't it make you feel great that you're doing this? A lot of people will benefit from this food you're collecting." Coolister responded, "Yeah, it's like that quote we learned at scout camp. Serving others is like peeing your pants. Everyone can see what you've done, but you're the only one with the warm feeling."


Saturday, August 2, 2008

Service (With a Smile): Saturday

First off, let me share with you a service that was performed for me. My older kids get asked to babysit often and I am so appreciative of their willingness to do so. I sometimes have to assign each older child to a younger one so no one is completely ignored. Last night Allen and I went to see the late show of Prince Caspian at the dollar theater, and Coolister was assigned to tend Baby O. He took his responsibility seriously, because when we returned home, we saw this:

My oldest and my youngest. So sweet.

Today was fun. I got my hair cut in the afternoon.
If you ever wondered what I would look like with straight hair, it's your lucky day. It only happens when I go to the salon because I don't have the time or patience to do it myself. The next time you see me, it will be curly again.
The person who did the haircut is a cousin on Allen's side - someone I love to chat and laugh with. She really liked a shirt I made for our family reunion auction this summer but was not the winning bidder, so I decided to make her one since I'd be seeing her this afternoon. (service complete!)
After I got home, Cowgirl asked if I wanted to join the 7-Up Club. I asked her what I would be committing to and she said, "A water party at the beginning, a water party at the end, and sometimes we will drink 7-up." That seemed simple enough, so I signed up. After she convinced everyone else to join Allen suggested we have the first official meeting TODAY. So, Cowgirl and I went to purchase some 7-up and then the kids got their swimsuits on and ran through the sprinklers!
I think that allowing Cowgirl to act on her whimsical club was a service she much appreciated. And everyone else had some fun, too.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Service (With a Smile): Friday

I realized something grand today. We all do small acts of service daily without even thinking about it! I came to this realization while racking my brain over what to write for today. Here are a few small kindnesses I thought of:

  • I gave up a great parking space to a cute old lady at the grocery store, and she didn't even realize it
  • I did some of my kids' chores so they wouldn't have to
  • I did laundry, made meals, and went grocery shopping (all things I don't particularly enjoy) for my family
  • I made time to look at every picture the Cowgirl drew today
My point is that we are all service-minded, I think. We just don't realize that we are!

The kindness I intentionally performed today was to bring dinner to a friend who just had a baby. That's sort of cheating because I already knew I would be doing that this week, but I'm counting it.