Tuesday, March 31, 2009

You May Play Rock Band Too Often If...

Our children's Primary at church is having a talent show this Friday. They will be sharing any and every talent under the sun with the residents of a care center in our neighborhood.

On Sunday I asked Princess (age 6) if she was going to do anything at the talent show. She said that she asked one of the teachers if she could sing "Dirty Little Secret". The teacher responded that "Pretty Little Secrets" sounded like a nice song and Princess said,

"Not Pretty Little Secrets, DIRTY Little Secret!"

The teacher asked if maybe she could think of another song.

I am just glad she didn't ask to sing her other favorite Rock Band song... the one she calls "Rock Sand".

I am a bad mommy.

Monday, March 30, 2009

And The Lucky Winners Are...


51 comments! Holy smokes, people - I didn't think I would get that many. Thanks for making me feel so popular! As promised, I have used the Random Number Generator at random.org to choose who will be lucky enough to claim my prizes. If I was really computer savvy I would have proved it by posting the actual pictures of the numbers that were generated but I have no idea how in the heck people do such things. So you'll have to take my word for it.

The first number generated was: 9!

Yay, Cari!! You get the gift card to See's Candy! Can you email me your address because I know the general area where you live but I'd probably take your prize to the wrong house. (gerbdonna at gmail)

The 2nd number generated was: 36. That was... me. So I decided that anyone in my immediate family (meaning myself and the 10 people I share a home with) were not qualified to win.

Then, wouldn't you know it... the next number was 26. That's Allen. He's married to me. I love him, but I already set the rules after 36 was chosen. Sorry Allen. I'll buy you a whole tank of gas whenever you like. Deal?

The next number generated was 49. One for the later commenters! And the winner is Martha! Martha, you said "No need to include me in your drawing...Not sure the prizes would apply in Ohio, or that the peeps would survive the trip...." Is there a Chevron in Ohio? Because you're the winner of the $5 Chevron gift card! (And of course the prizes apply in Ohio!) Email me (gerbdonna at gmail dot com) with your address and I'll send you an alternate prize if there are no Chevrons out your way.

And now for the prizes everyone REALLY wants... the Peeps! The purple Easter Peeps go to comment #42... Ryan and Crystal. So, Crystal. The choice is yours. Would you like to keep the Peeps or defer them to another commenter? Leave me a comment on this post if you want to defer them to another person (who I will coerce into eating these disgsting morsels of marshmellow and sugar while photographing themselves for use in a future post on this blog) or email me (gerbdonna at gmail) if you want me to get them to you (in which case I would still love pictures which could be titled "How We Eat Our Peeps").

One package of Peeps left! These are extra special because they are from Christmastime and are pepperminty! (and may or may not have been a part of a birthday gift.) And the winner is... (drumroll, please)...

#3... Sue-donym

Sue, you know the drill. Let me know who gets the Peeps - you? Or some other lucky commenter?

Thanks for playing, everyone!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Thinking Too Much

(photo from softpedia.com)

I am sitting here on my bed watching the fat, lazy flakes of snow swirling around as the frigid wind catches them and takes them on a roller-coaster ride. It makes me think.

A thought can get trapped in my brain and swirl around in there, growing larger as more ideas attach to it. I can almost feel some thoughts as they accumulate and grow heavier, taking up more space than I want them to.

Here is a recent example which grew increasingly larger over a few days' time...

I started with this thought: If I could have or do or be anything for an entire day, anything I wanted, what would I choose? Would I want time to myself or would I choose to have/do/be with others? Should I choose something selfish or something that would benefit those around me?

And then it grew: What if it was for a week? A month? A year? Would my choices be any different?

And turned into this: How about if it was for the rest of my life?

Which brought on this conclusion: Shouldn't that be what I'm choosing right now? Am I?

Sometimes I just think that I think too much.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Thanks A Bunch

Thanks to everyone for making my birthday so amazing this year. Thanks for the gifts, songs, cards, treats and comments!! (Did you see I used TWO exclamation marks? Yes, I did!)

It was slightly overwhelming to be so spoiled...

But I loved every minute.

Tune in on Monday when I announce the winners of my birthday prizes! (It's not too late to leave a comment on my birthday post!)

(I know you all want the Peeps. I may give away an extra package just because I happen to have another one now. They're peppermint Peep stars. They may or may not be from Christmas. They may or may not be something I was given for my birthday and now plan to re-gift. You may or may not be the lucky winner.)

Until then, we're back to our regularly scheduled program.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

MY Birthday Is A Happy Day For YOU!

It's that time of year again. The anniversary of the day I was born.

I know what you're all thinking... "What can I give you, Gerb?"

How nice of you to ask.

You can give me a comment.

(Especially you. Yours is the one I am most looking forward to.)

Some of you already did this yesterday, likely thinking it was my birthday, and I think you're all awesome already.

However, I'm going to be selfish here and request another comment.

Why? I have presents for you! Well, three of you anyway.

I have a $25 gift card to See's Candy, a $5 gift card to Chevron and a package of purple Peeps. (Gifts are listed in descending order of personal preference).

On Monday morning I am going to give these gifts to three people who leave me a comment on this post. I'll probably use some random number generator (which could mean, "Hey Hubba! Pick a number between 1 and 8...") but regardless, three lucky someones will get a gift from me.

Please? Just one little comment?

It's my birthday. AND I'm giving away presents.

Whether you've commented before or not... it would really mean a lot to me.

Thanks.



P.S. If you win the Peeps you may defer your gift to any other commenter of your choosing and I will make them eat them. And take pictures.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

This Month Is Such A Special One

I was the star of the Primary on Sunday (likely because I was the only person with a birthday this week).

The kids (and teachers) all sang me the customary birthday song as I sported the 'birthday hat' and stood before them, encouraging them to sing louder.

I was presented with a small package containing one pink frosted Granny B's cookie before returning to my seat.

Super C immediately got my attention.

"Hey, you aw the best teach-o ev-o! And now it's yo birfday! That's gweat! And yo hat wooks amAYzing!"

"Thanks, Super C.," I said, smiling.

"So, anyway," he continued, "...aw you gonna shay-o that cookie?"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Need To Remember

(I love this picture of Coolister. It really captures his personality well.)

I needed to hurry and write this before the warm fuzzies went away. It's something I need to remember ...but I tend to forget.

As the oldest child (and a boy, to boot) Coolister's job is to torture his younger siblings. To push their buttons. To drive me absolutely out-of-my-mind crazy by doing these things. I remember well how my oldest brother had this same role in our family. No one liked it, but such was life.

However.

Today was the perfect example of how Coolister is NOT the typical oldest man-child.

He came home after track practice, close to 6:00 pm, ready to either eat or sleep for an hour before attending his church activity night at 7:00. He walked into the kitchen, got a drink of water, and was immediately bombarded with questions from his little sisters and brothers. ElemenoB wanted help with her math, as did All-a-Boy. Princess wanted someone to help her read her sight words and cut out her 'word worm'. Hubba wanted a train story read to him.

Coolister helped Princess figure out some of her words first. Then he sat down with ElemenoB and went over her math problems for 15 minutes. She wasn't getting it. "I'll just ask my teacher for help tomorrow," she told him. But he was determined to help her understand. Another 5 minutes passed and it clicked. She got it.

He moved over to All-a-Boy who was frustrated with fractions. "I just don't get it!" All-a-Boy exclaimed. Coolister knew what to do. "Rulers always helped me understand these better. Let's make you one," he stated like a true teacher. I was in awe. Actually, I was in (happy) tears, but my back was to the kids so they couldn't see. Coolister worked with him for at least 20 minutes before moving on to spend some time with the littlest kids.

This boy is a rare jewel. I need to remind myself often of what a great kid he is. It is so easy to become frustrated with his lack of enthusiasm for practicing the piano and getting chores done. It is so easy to overlook the amazing thing that is happening right before my eyes: a 15-year-old boy cares so much for his younger siblings that he takes the time to sit with them and teach them what he knows. He makes the time to bond with the littlest members of the family and truly enjoys it.

It even goes beyond this.

It is heartwarming to watch him at cross-country or track meets. Not only does he cheer for all of his teammates, he cheers for the 'underdogs' on the other teams. At the last meet I attended we were on the sidelines, cheering for his school. Once they had all passed the finish line there was still one boy, far behind, who was putting in his best effort to finish. "Keep it up, man!" Coolister yelled to him despite the lack of cheering from the boy's own teammates. "You're almost there, kick it in to the finish! That's it! Yeah!!" he cheered, clapping and motioning him in to the finish line. Then he turned to me and said, "Man, kids like that - who you can tell aren't natural runners - when they race and really put in their best effort, those guys are my heroes. That's got to be tough." Again, tears. Thank heavens for sunglasses.

Not to discount my mothering skills, but I swear to you he came to me this way. He was born with a tender heart and genuine love for others.

Like I said, he is good at the typical teenage boy stuff. But it is when I make the time to remember all of these other rare qualities that I realize how very lucky I am to call him my son. Because beyond the fact that we are family, there is this:

He is my hero.

You Make Me Happy

Dear Mother Nature,

Yesterday I woke up to dark clouds carrying the promise of rain. I waited all day and not one drop fell. I'll admit, at first I was a little disappointed... until I realized what you were doing.

You knew the rain would turn into snow because of the chill in the air, and you remembered how much I would love for these same clouds to shower me with big, fat, exploding raindrops on Thursday, so you held them back.

Thank you for being so generous. I'm glad we're friends.

I'll meet you outside on Thursday. Please remember to bring some rain.

Sincerely,
Gerb

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Making The Best Of It

(photo from flickr.com)

Today I was at WalMart getting an oil change. The wait? 1 hour, 15 minutes.

No problem, I thought, trying to make the best of it. I can go to the bank, purchase some groceries and eat a small container of Cherry Garcia all by myself.
I finished my business at the bank. Bought groceries, including Cherry Garcia. Sat on a bench and consumed my treat. Checked the time: only an hour had passed.

Close enough, I assumed, heading back to the automotive center.

"Your car has not even come into the garage yet. It will be at least another hour," the boy with 2 humongous holes in his earlobes told me.

"I was told an hour and 15 minutes," I replied (sweetly).

"You were told wrong. It's at least another hour," Earlobe Boy answered (teenagerishly).

I decided to peruse the electronics section.

Then the music aisles.

And then the toys.

I wandered aimlessly, scanning the Legos and action figures and trains and princess clothing before I came to them: the Littlest Pet Shop figures. And suddenly I came alive. Remember this post? Well, my birthday is THIS WEEK and I had forgotten all about the little doggy who came with his own potty training accessories!! I totally deserve it I convinced myself as I rummaged through the LPS animals.

Another lady came along and joined me.

"Looking for a certain one?" she asked. "My daughter has almost all of them," she told me with a smile.

"Actually, yes, I am looking for a certain one..." I answered, continuing my search. Turtles, cats and fish (oh, my!)... but not the doggy I was looking for.

"I can help you find it," she continued. "Is it a bird? Some of those are tough to find."

Me: "It's a dog."

Lady: "What comes with it?"

Me: "Um, a newspaper... and a shovel... and a little plastic (trying to keep my composure and be mature...) poop."

Lady: "What?"

Me: "A plastic pile of poop."

Lady: "They don't make one like that."

Me: "Actually, I saw one at KMart a while back. I wanted my daughter to get it but she thought it was disgusting."

Lady: (knowingly) "Okay." (looking up and down the aisle) "Is there a camera somewhere?"

Me: "What do you mean?"

Lady: "You know, like, Surprise! We got you!"

Me: (seriously trying to suppress my laughter) "Nope, no camera. I'm really looking for a little dog that comes with its own pooper scooper and poop."

Lady: "Hmmm." (continues to look, quietly)

I investigated every single package (to no avail!) before hearing Earlobe Boy announce my name over the intercom. My vehicle was ready. No toys for me today.

"You have a good one," I told my fellow LPS toys-peruser as I turned to leave.

"Plastic turd toys. Leave it to KMart," she said under her breath.

I haven't stopped smiling yet.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Share Your Two Cents (Please)

I am going to diverge from my usual blog content today, I hope you don't mind.

I'm going to be a little... disconcerted.

You see, we got a letter saying we were being audited by the State Tax Commission. It said that they thought it would be fun, after 3 years, to compare our State Tax return with our Federal Tax return. Their comparison indicated a discrepancy and possible corrections.

We dusted off our copies of the 2006 returns and could not see the discrepancy. In fact, it appeared that all things were in order.

We had two options.

1. Agree with the discrepancy and pay additional taxes.

2. Disagree and send in complete copies of both tax returns from 2006 including all schedules and forms, copies of any letters from the IRS regarding our 2006 taxes, a copy of the letter I am summarizing here, our daytime phone number, one package of press-on nails, a gift card to WalMart, and our 3 favorite children. A pay-your-own-postage envelope was enclosed, for our convenience.

We decided to create another option.

3. Call the Auditing Division and figure out exactly what they were looking at since everything looked hunky-dory on our end.

The auditor was very nice. He pointed out that we had entered a big, fat ZERO on line 5 when we should have entered a big, fat $2009. I looked at the copy of our return. No ZERO. It said $2009. Every i... dotted. Every t... crossed. I told him as much.

I heard frantic typing through the silence from his end of the phone as he pulled up a copy of our actual return.

Okay, now they had it. It seemed that, back in 2006, someone on their end had entered our return in their system incorrectly. One of their State Tax Commission employees had looked at our nicely filed return, saw $2009, but entered a big, fat ZERO.

Their mistake. End of story, right?

Oh, no. It was just the beginning.

Because we were refunded $141 more than we should have been (due to their mistake) they would bill us for it. Plus interest, please. (I told you, Mr. Auditor was very nice.) I asked why we would have to pay interest on their mistake. Mr. Auditor informed me that the interest could likely be waived if we appealed it.

"Wait. Let me be sure I understand before I go crazy on you," I said to Mr. Auditor.

"Certainly!" he replied.

"We filed our taxes correctly. Everything was written in the exact amounts, on the right lines. And then someone in your office, whose job it is to enter information from our forms into your system, made a mistake. And now we have to pay for that mistake as well as going through the trouble of appealing the interest we are being charged on your mistake?"

"Exactly!" Mr. Auditor responded happily.

I passed the phone over to Allen as he is much better at confrontation and not crying when he is frustrated than myself.

They had a conversation where Mr. Auditor maintained his smiling voice and used lots of phrases like "not necessarily" (as in, it was not necessarily their mistake) and "I can understand your frustration".

End result? The State Tax Commission is not in the wrong. We are.

I would really, really love to hear your opinions on this.

Please. (See, I can be very nice, too.)

Are we crazy here? What would you do?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Something Like That

A conversation with the Princess this morning...

Me: After we drop you off at school we are going to see grandma at work.

P: There's something I don't understand about grandma. It doesn't make sense.

Me: What's that?

P: If she's Deaf, how can she understand what I'm saying all the time?

Me: She can read your lips.

P: Like we read books? She reads lips?

Me: Yup.

P: And she talks with her hands, right? Using sign language?

Me: You got it.

P: Okay, mom. Let me get this straight. Grandma uses her hands to talk and her eyes to read lips. Is that what you told me?

Me: Yup, that's what I said.

P: So, we talk with our mouths and grandma talks with her hands. And we read books but grandma reads lips.

Me: Well, grandma can read books, too.

P: (incredulously) She can?!

Me: Of course she can. Her ears don't work like ours but her brain works just fine.

P: I'm totally confused now, mom. How can grandma read books if she's reading lips?

Me: I don't think she would read them both at the same time.

P: So she doesn't read lips?

Me: No, she does read lips. But reading lips just means she sees the shapes your lips make when they say certain words and she knows what you're saying by watching the way your lips move.

P: So she doesn't read books?

Me: No, she does read books. Reading books means your eyes find the words on the page and put them together to make a story.

P: What are you even talking about now, mom? Because I was talking about grandma and you're talking about stories. And now I want to know stuff like are there pictures in the stories? And how does grandma read lips when she's reading stories? But you just keep talking about stuff that I didn't even ask you about. (exasperated sigh) So just forget it.

Me: Are you sure you don't want me to try to help you understand?

P: I do understand. It's you who doesn't understand and keeps making it all confusing.

Me: So you understand now?

P: Yeah, I understand. Grandma's ears don't work, but her brain is fine. Since your ears work, maybe your brain is not working right.

Me: Yup, you got it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Memorial Day (Green Edition)

(Grandma and Grandpa Royce in 1986)

For me, St. Patrick's Day is not so much a holiday as it is a day of remembrance. It's the day I always think of and remember my paternal grandfather. He was as Irish as they come.

As a kid I remember thinking he looked like a jolly ol' leprechaun - only much taller. Because this sweet man adopted my dad I suppose I can't claim any real Irish blood. However, I choose to believe that once a child is adopted into a family and loved like a natural-born child the family's history seeps into their blood as if it were always there. (So Ireland, I claim you as part of me. I'll try to make you proud.)

I remember speaking to my grandpa on the phone one year on St. Patrick's Day when I was fairly young. He sang me a little song that still brings memories flooding back when I hear it - When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.

The summer I graduated from high school my friend Suzanne and I went on a road trip to Northern California. I stopped in for a day to visit Grandma and Grandpa Royce in their little apartment in Sacramento. They served me boxty and smoked sausage. Along with the smell of sweet pipe smoke, smoked sausage still makes me think of my Grandpa to this day.

Later, when my kids were old enough to care, I decided to make a proper St. Patrick's Day feast to celebrate March 17th. I got a book from the library on Irish cuisine and was surprised to find there were no recipes for corned beef and cabbage. However, I did find a recipe for boxty - along with this poem that made me smile:

Boxty on the griddle,
boxty in the pan,
if you can't make boxty,
you'll never get a man.

I had forgotten about boxty! And although I already got myself a man I figured it would be a fitting tribute to Grandpa Royce to prepare these little potato pancakes along with some smoked sausage. And the kids loved it. (By the way, if you serve homemade applesauce on boxty your tastebuds will thank you. And you'll thank me. You're welcome.)

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!


And Grandpa, I'll never forget your smiling Irish eyes.

Monday, March 16, 2009

20 Years Was A Long Time Ago

Photo of Wayfarer's Chapel from panoramio.com

I have always loved to write. From the time I was 8 years old until I got married in 1992 I was a dedicated journal writer, recording all sorts of mundane life events. This post is taken from the journal I kept for the year 1989, when I was 17 years old.

Today I bought my prom ticket for $85.00. I asked Mike to go with me but he hasn't given me an answer yet. I feel kind of stupid being the one doing the asking but it's better than waiting around for someone to ask me and feeling sorry for myself. The funny thing is, I guess I'm waiting around waiting for his answer and feeling sorry for myself that he might say no anyway. If he can't go I'll just take Chip and probably have a better time anyway.
(Oh, how I wish I had followed my gut feelings on this one! That was about the worst date of my life and I had no one to blame but myself.)


I drove to Wayfarer's Chapel today. It was so peaceful there, tucked back in the hills. I thought about how stoked I would be if I was ever inside this building during a rain storm. I sat on the stone steps and started to write a song and then I walked over to the cliffs and just looked at the waves crashing on the rocks below for awhile. The sky was a burst of oranges and reds with a tinge of pink on the underbelly of the clouds and the tide was high. So I'm moving on. Thank you, Blondie.
(I hope that at least some of you can appreciate the awesome wit of 17-year-old me.)

School today. I hated every minute of it. Trish and I were laying out on her roof in our bikinis yesterday and we got burnt. I would never wear my bikini in public, in case any of my kids in the future read this. Even though my dad says I should wear one now while I can still get away with it. He cracks me up.

(I'm not sure which is funnier - the disclaimer to my future kids or my dad's approval of my bikini.)

I can't imagine ever not having music in my life. Today I am listening to my favorite tape filled with songs that I got off the radio. I hate when the DJ has to talk right until the singing starts because then I don't get the whole intro. Why do they do that? Anyway, "Just Like Heaven" from The Cure just finished and now the Cowboy Junkies are singing "Sweet Jane". The next song is REM's "You Are The Everything" which is probably my favorite song in the world right now. It is one of those songs that puts me in a mood. I don't know how else to describe it. Music is such a powerful force.

(Some things never change - except maybe my favorite songs. Those change daily.)

Someone burned down the Ivy House. I wonder who it was? I also wonder if the lady who lived in there was really a witch with somewhere close to 50 cats. That's what everyone says. You know what I think? If I lived in a house with 50 cats I would burn it down, too, straight to the ground. I would never tell anyone this because they would think
I was a mean witch for hating cats so much.
(The funniest thing about this snippet is that I am completely serious.)

Here I am again, sitting on the bus stop bench in front of our apartment building. Somehow the sound of the occasional passing car clears my head and helps me to think. And here's what I'm thinking tonight: I am an idiot.

(No use trying to lie to myself, I suppose.)

That's all you get. The remaining pages are a jumbled mess of my obsession with various persons of the male species which honestly serves no purpose and should be burned.

Kind of like the Ivy House.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Little Bites of Happiness

(photo stolen from Jason's blog)

Have you ever had a treat that was like putting a little piece of heaven in your mouth? One that could transform a lousy day into a day worth smiling over? I have. They are called Chunk-a-Poo cookies.

Don't let the name fool you. As deceivingly disgusting as they may sound, they are pure cookie bliss surrounding a chocolatey-caramel surprise center.

Did you click on that picture up there and take a look at all the goodness up close?

Yeah, that's what I'm talking about.

It's always a great day when I have myself a nice, warm Chunk-a-Poo with a glass of cold milk.

What? You want some too?

Good luck.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Taking A Deep Breath...

I'm sure you've all heard of this book. It's one of those classics that every woman reads and LOVES. Well, almost every woman.

(Ahem.)

First let me apologize in advance to all of the intelligent, funny, wonderful women I know who love this book.

I have a confession to make. I have a really hard time with Pride and Prejudice. I read it because I wanted to know what the big hoopla over it was but I have never had a more difficult time following a story in my life. I had to go back and read some parts a second and third time to try to get what was going on. And I get it (the story) but I don't get it (the hoopla).

Let's just get it all out there...

I am COMPLETELY okay with never reading it again.

I know, I am a disgrace to the female gender. I'm sorry... really, I am. I wanted so badly to finish this book and have some understanding of why everyone loves it and why women everywhere swoon over Mr. Darcy but you know what? He's not real. There is NO Mr. Darcy. He's a fictional character and he does not exist. Kind of like Edward in the Twilight books. (Put down your pitchfork! I'm just saying!!)

Well, I've come clean.

(exhale)

I hope we can still be friends.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Reunited


...and it feels so good!

This one's a long story (longer than a blog post should be) so I'll just sum it up:
  • I gave up playing the guitar and gave it away.
  • I missed it a little. (Maybe a lot.)
  • I got it back today.
  • We're happy to be together again.
The End.

(Don't you love happy endings?)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Heroes: The Typo Eradication Advancement League

I may have mentioned previously that I have some issues with bad grammar, spelling mistakes and misuse of punctuation.

When I say 'issues' I mean I will print out an email with mistakes and fix the errors with a red pen because it makes me happy inside.

I take pictures of spelling errors that I find in public places in order to torture myself over them in the privacy of my own home. For example:
While waiting at the dentist's office last week I read an article in the May 2008 Reader's Digest about a man after my own heart. His name is Jeff Deck, and his partner in truth, justice and typo eradication is Benjamin Herson. (Go ahead, click on that blue link and read the article. I'll wait here for you.)

I was excited to come home and look up T.E.A.L. on the internet.

I found this mission statement and wanted to join their cause:

...we, sworn members of TEAL, will be taking a road trip around the country to stamp out as many typos as we can find, in public signage and other venues where innocent eyes may be befouled by vile stains on the delicate fabric of our language. We do not blame, nor chastise, the authors of these typos. It is natural for mistakes to occur; everybody will slip now and again. But slowly the once-unassailable foundations of spelling are crumbling, and the time has come for the crisis to be addressed. We believe that only through working together with vigilance and a love of correctness can we achieve the beauty of a typo-free society.

However, as is the case with many superheroes, their valiant plan was thwarted and the blog which chronicled their journey across America was closed. All that remains is A Statement on the Signs of our National Parks and Public Lands.

I felt slighted. I had finally discovered a worthwhile cause that I could really get motivated about only to discover that they had gone underground. Like many superheroes, they had been silenced.

I eagerly await the return of the Typo Eradication Advancement League.

I don't know about you, but I have been inspired. Rather than looking the other way when I notice the typos around me, I am going to make a difference! I will create a typo-correction kit and carry it with me at all times to preserve the language that I hold dear. Those of you who know me well know I will do this.

We CAN have a typo-free society, and I can help make it happen!

I can make a difference!

(cue superhero exit music)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Careful What You Ask For...

...because you just might GET IT!!

Pam, you will now and forever be my most favoritest cousin.

I mean, you already were.

But now your #1 position on my "Favorite Cousins" list is guar-an-teed.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

You are so very kind and generous and thoughtful and all those other really nice words that describe an awesome person.

I love it.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Not For The Squeamish

I do not consider myself a picky eater.

However, I can not understand one food: cream of celery soup.

I will never use it when preparing a meal. Why would I? What in the world is its purpose? (I submit that it has none except to disgust people the whole world over.)

Who came up with this stuff? Does anyone really use it? I mean, seriously - when we have cream of mushroom and cream of chicken available - why use something called cream of celery?

Don't get me wrong here. I have nothing against celery itself. Top it with peanut butter or cream cheese and it makes a great snack. Dip it in ranch and it tastes like crunchy, stringy water dipped in ranch. Which is not all bad.

And celery in soup? I do that all the time. I buy the fresh stuff and chop it up and it makes my potato or chicken noodle soup mighty tasty.

But cream of celery soup? The words cream and celery and soup were just not meant to be together.

Period.

Can we still be friends?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Onion, Where Art Thou?

Today my fridge has a distinct onion smell
Yet nary an onion is there.
What could be causing this lingering scent?
Is there a ghost onion somewhere?

I searched and I sniffed and I shifted some bowls
Not a scallion came into sight!
Perhaps I'll bake cookies, put them in the fridge
And hope it smells better tonight.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

There Is Beauty All Around

As I was waiting for the kids after school one day this week I looked outside my window and noticed how beautifully blue the sky was. But even better than that were the white cotton candy clouds stretched across the endless expanse of azure. There was a gentle breeze pushing the billowy clouds along like a roller-box story, constantly shifting and changing.

I could get lost in that sky, I thought, finding new pictures in each cloud as they blew past.

Today as I dropped Princess off at kindergarten I noticed again how stunning the skies were. I went straight home and got my camera so the magic of this day would not be lost - the heavens were filled to capacity with brilliant white clouds set against the infinite blue.

I live in one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places on God's green earth!

Just had to say that, for the record.

It's a Beautiful Day.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Everything I Need To Know...

...I learn from my class of 4 and 5-year-olds on Sundays.

Take last week for instance, when I learned 3 valuable lessons.

The teachers of the other 4-5 class didn't show up so I had some extra little students on Sunday. I asked a question and one of these new kids immediately raised his hand. "Great! What do you think, N--?" I asked, excited that he was so willing to participate.

"I need to use the BATH-room!" he responded.

"OK", I said, buying time, "we'll all go to the bathroom as soon as we figure out the answer."

N--'s hand shot up again. "Did you KNOW that if you don't go to the TOI-let right away when you need to go to the BATH-room you can get a INFEC-tion?"

Lesson #1.

After the bathroom break was completed, hands washed and the water fountain visited, we made our way back to the classroom. Once everyone was seated I began again.

"Do you guys know that Heavenly Father can speak to us today? How do you think he does that?"

Again, N--'s hand. "HERE's what I know! If you are STANDing by a VOLCANO and it starts a-RUPTing you better run FAST or the LAVA will melt your SKIN off and you'll DIE!"

Lesson #2.

"That's awesome, N--!" I begin to whisper, another tactic in keeping their attention. "But can I tell you guys something else? It's a really important thing about prophets. Can you all hear me?"

SuperC jumps out of his seat, stands beside me and whispers in my ear, "Can you hea-o me? Becawse guess what? You aw amazing!"

Lesson #3.


I can't wait to see what they teach me next week.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ready To Fly

A couple years back Allen and I went to a Richard Marx concert with some family. We saw it advertised and thought it would be fun to relive the memories of those classic 80's songs! It was also fairly inexpensive as it was held at a smaller outdoor venue that was just one city over.

We went with almost no expectation except for the hope that he would play a good number of the old songs we had all known as teenagers. We were not disappointed - his rapport with the crowd was amazing and he played every song we could remember as well as a few of his more recent compositions.

One of his newer songs, Ready To Fly, struck a chord with me. It speaks of the power we each have inside - one that often goes untapped. I loved the message in the lyrics as well as the music that accompanied it.

Ready To Fly by Richard Marx
I've been trying to open the door To the secret of my destiny
And every new road I think is the one Seems to lead right back to me

I've looked for a way to be wiser A way to be strong
Now I see the answer was hiding In me all along

Chorus:
And I'm ready to fly Over the sun
Like a rocket to heaven And I'm ready to soar
Right through the sky Never dreamed I'd find something to lift me so high
I've always had wings But I wasn't ready to fly

Restless, hopeless, and misunderstood
Like so many others I know
So busy tryin' to keep holdin' on When I should've been letting go

I was given the gift to find it The spirit inside me
But I never really imagined All I could be

Chorus:
And I'm ready to fly Over the sun
Like a rocket to heaven And I'm ready to soar
Right through the sky Never dreamed I'd find something to lift me so high
I've always had wings But I wasn't ready to fly

The answer to all of my wonder Was right in my hands
Now it's time for me to discover All that I am

Chorus:
And I'm ready to fly Over the sun
Like a rocket to heaven And I'm ready to soar
Right through the sky Never dreamed I'd find something to lift me so high
I've always had wings But I wasn't ready to fly

I've always had wings Now I'm finally ready to fly

Monday, March 2, 2009

CSI: Buddy Edition - The Final Conclusion

If you're not sure what this is all about, read HERE (my last post) first.

The story continues...

I searched every inch of the basement for our fine feathered friend, to no avail. I searched every corner and possible spot upstairs and still couldn't find Buddy anywhere. I decided to face the inevitable: Buddy was no longer with us.

As I washed the breakfast dishes I thought about how to break the news to Cowgirl. Perhaps a note from Buddy? Maybe we could just get another blue parakeet and she'd never know the difference? Or there was always telling her the truth. I wasn't sure what to do... and then I heard it.

Little parakeet noises. Chirping that sounded like it was coming from inside somewhere. I searched the cabinets. I looked inside the dishwasher and stove. I investigated the kids' cubby beneath the counter. Nothing. But I kept hearing him sing.

Was it a ghost-Buddy?

Was I going crazy? (Don't answer that.)

I called Allen at work and told him what I was hearing. He offered suggestions as to where I might look and then decided to come home to help in the search.

I pulled the dishwasher out from its space in the cabinets just as Allen arrived. The chirping grew louder.

"He's in there, I know it!" I said, pointing to a cavity between the sink cupboard and the dishwasher. And then, as if on cue, out he jumped.

Mystery solved. He was playing hide-and-seek.

How did he get in there? Here's Allen's guess (from his comment on my first entry about this whole adventure) :

I think he landed on the kitchen floor and was drawn to the warmth of the heater vent under the sink. Upon closer inspection, he found that he could hop up into the overhang of the cabinet and hang out in the cavity between the dishwasher and the compartment under the sink. Once there, he couldn't get out because he didn't know how.

So, as much as I hate pets and threaten to get rid of him, welcome back to the cage Buddy.

And P.S... You better not do anything stupid like that again.

CSI: Buddy Edition

THE FACTS:

  • I woke up this morning, as usual, and began to fix lunches for the kids to bring to school.
  • I made tortilla roll-ups, which are a welcome change from the usual PB & J.
  • As I began to layer spinach atop the ham I thought of Buddy, our bird, who loves spinach.
  • I looked to his cage. It was open, as usual. But no Buddy.
  • I was nervous that he may have died in the night and was now resting (forever) at the bottom of his cage. I checked. No Buddy.
  • I listened for his happy chirping. Nothing.
  • Buddy rarely leaves his cage. Strange.
  • The older kids helped Allen and I scour the house - under couches, over cupboards... no Buddy.
  • Everyone left for school or work and now I remain in the house with the 4 smallish members of our family.
  • Cowgirl is not yet aware that he is missing. (He is kind of HER bird.)
  • Where, oh where, could our little bird have gone?

POSSIBLE CONCLUSION(S):

  • He is playing hide-and-seek.
  • Alien abduction.
  • Spontaneous combustion.
  • Birdnapped!
  • A planned escape (in the same manner of the fish residing in the tank in Finding Nemo)?

Stay tuned for new developments...


(What do YOU think happened?)