Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Unintended Missionary Moment

Please take time to read this article about a woman who was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints after a misdirected voice mail. It's really neat!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Woot, Woot!

I think "woot, woot" is funny. It's something you don't say in every day life, just online life. I conducted an experiement on my kids, who have a shortage of short-term memory storage and wouldn't remember the following exercise in linguistics. So, in Scientific Method style, here we go.

Observation: "Woot, woot is only said online, not in person.
Hypothesis: "Woot, woot" is the online way to "high-five" and awkward if said in person.
Prediction: Saying, "woot, woot" in person would not be well-received.
Experiement: I celebrated an acheivement by saying, "woot, woot."
Conclusion: My kids looked at me like I had two heads. That look is why we don't say it. It's kinda weird. But perfectly acceptable to write in blogs. Or on Facebook. But not in line at the Post Office. "Sending a package to San Deigo? I LOVE San Diego! Woot, woot!" Again, the two-heads look, and the package is clutched a little tighter.

So let's have a "woot, woot." Just not in person.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

All I Want for Christmas...

When asking Pierce what he wants for Christmas, he's been pretty consistent saying, “A scooter and Bakugans.” Until yesterday. He's been playing with a rope we normally keep in our 72-hour kit but was taken out for a scout activity (I'm over the Webelos in our ward). He loves being tied up in it, throwing it around, tying up Caroline, tying up toys and dropping them over the get the idea. Dan told him to put his rope back in the garage- he was so sad! Later when Dan asked Pierce what he wanted for Christmas, Pierce quickly replied, “A rope.”

Consider it done, cowboy.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pete and Repeat

My CD player is stuck on repeat. It's not broken, I just can't figure out how to turn it off. There isn't an obvious button that says, "REPEAT." How did it happen in the first place? I have kids, remember? They touched something, and now one song will repeat. I've thought about having them mess around with it again, but that's inviting Trouble, an unwelcome guest that doesn't need to be welcomed with desperate and insane arms. Not yet. Just get the manual? Yes, well, that one is most likely in those boxes still sitting in the garage, waiting patiently to be unpacked. No, I think I'll just randomly push a sequence of buttons until the "REPEAT" goes off. It might be something really complicated like "push 5 while holding down the 'PLAY' button, while singing 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town.' Loudly. Ignore stares of confused and scared children. Repeat three times."

I'll get it figured out. I'll get it figured out. I'll get it figured out...I'm officially crazy. KIDS! I need your help...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Miracle

My laptop has been resurrected. After the milk dumping incident, I was beside myself, grieving for the loss of pictures and data.  And access to the internet. Mostly the loss of my pictures.  So I had the kids kneel down and we all said prayers asking Heavenly Father to restore my laptop long enough to retrieve and back up our files.  And He did. I'm still in the process of backing up files, but all of our pictures have been backed up.  Lesson learned on that one.  Ok, lessons.
                   1. Don't leave the laptop next to milk. Ever.
                   2. Back up all photos. Always.
                   3. Tie up Caroline Make sure children are not left unsupervised around laptop.
                   4. Prayer works.

If I suddenly go offline, it's because my files have been backed up. But let's hope, no pray, for the best.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tragedy Strikes

What goes on in the mind of a two-year-old I'll never know, but all I know is, my laptop is dead at the hand of Caroline. Did she see my computer and think, "It looks thirsty. I'll give it a drink," and that's when she poured milk over the whole thing? Or did my computer spontaneously combust and she put the flames out with milk? Maybe, oh, I don't know. I found my laptop dying in a pool of milk, with Caroline as the perpetrator.  No more computer.  No more camera, either, because I dropped it when we were moving. While we're on it, my piano has decided that the "D" note an octave below middle "C" needs to be 3x louder than all the other notes. These things happen in three's, right? I'm just happy it's not four's. Or five's. Counting my blessings...

*I'd like to thank Dan for the use of his laptop. I miss mine. RIP.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hold to the Rod

Warning! This is a serious post! Feel free to navigate away now...
Consider this my "Monday Morning Devotional."

President David O. Mckay said, “If you have lived true to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and continue to do so, happiness will fill your soul. If you vary from it and become conscious that you have fallen short of what you know is right, you are going to be unhappy...”. My first experience with following the influence of the Spirit occurred in my youth and actually happened to my sister. We were on our annual fishing trip to Henry's Lake in Idaho and it was my sister's turn to take the fishing pole. As she was fishing, she related to us that “something said, 'Hold on,' so I did,” and seconds later she reeled in a fish. I was really struck by that incident, for several reasons, one being that Heavenly Father was aware of us; two, that he sent the Holy Ghost to speak to my sister; and three, she listened. It seemed so insignificant- a small girl fishing- but as I was reflecting on this experience, I realized that my sister was told to hold to the rod, which she did, and was thus rewarded. And so it is with all of us. We have been told to hold to the rod in order to receive our reward of eternal life, and if we listen, the Spirit will continue to point us toward our heavenly home, and give us reminders to “hold on.”

Follow the influence of the Spirit, and as you do so, do not doubt. Remember the scripture from Doctrine and Covenants 6:23, “Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter?What greater witness can you have than from God?”. The Lord will lead us on the right path, and as we follow that great compass, the Spirit, we will feel a happiness and a peace that we would not have had we chosen not to follow. We must live as Nephi did, who said, “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded...”. As we are led by the Spirit, we will ensure our taking the right path to return home, for that is our goal- to receive the gift of eternal life, to live in the presence of our Father, with aid from the Holy Spirit. I know that as we follow the Spirit, we will be filled with light, knowledge, and love from on High. And in those moments when we begin to let go of the rod, the Spirit will be there to whisper, “Hold on.”

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I have a confession. I've been listening to Christmas music.  In my defense, it has been on the radio.  If it wasn't played on the radio, I wouldn't listen to it.  But I do.  And it makes me feel...happy. There! It's out! Now I can go on with my day, and listen to "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" guilt-free. Almost. It's still a smidgen early, since my Christmas tree is tucked away in our basement until next Friday. Wait! Next Friday? I'm only a week early? Turn up the radio- I think I hear "Sleigh Ride" playing.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Organ Nerd Gathering, uh, er, Organ Recital

I had a busy weekend and had no time for blogging. I am an organ nerd taking organ lessons and Saturday was my organ recital (I know, when you picture "organist," a little old lady with curly gray hair comes to mind, right? Well, I'm breakin' the norm, baby!).  I played Bach's Prelude and Fugue in G minor, which only took me about 8 months to learn. That's right- 8 months. That's a long time to practice a piece. I forgot how awesome it sounds because I've heard it so many times.

Me in all my organ nerd glory.

The awesome organ I played on.  It's a bit intimidating at first,
 but once I got used to it, I was ok playing it.  The inscription on the organ says, "Glory to God in the Highest." I love it! As I was listening to the pieces being played, I read that inscription over and over again, feeling grateful for the men who were inspired so many years ago to compose works dedicated to God.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Princess Booty

Potty-training is going better for us. I did buy more Princess panties because I was washing underwear everyday and always running out by the end of the day. I upped our panty count to 15. When I gave Caroline Sleeping Beauty panties, she excitedly said, "Wear Sleeping Booty!" "No, Be-au-ty." "Sleeping Booty!" "No, Be-au-ty." "Booty!".

I give up. The toddler booty is covered by Princess Booty.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Faith as a Grain of Mustard Seed- and a Child

I walked outside to find Pierce (5) staring at the mountains with a perplexed look on his face.  I asked him what was wrong, and he replied, "The mountains aren't falling down." What? So when I asked about that, he said, "I prayed to Jesus to make the mountains fall down 'cause I want to see that." 

Thank you, mountains, for not obeying the whim of a five-year-old boy. Whew.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Ivory and White are Both White

As I was piecing an outfit together for Charlotte, I was matching brown leggings with a skirt that has brown in it.  The browns were a close match, and as I thought that, my mind immediately reverted back 7 years ago.  I was working as a bridal consultant at the time, selling gowns and accessories.  One winter afternoon, a bride's mom came in looking for a cape to go with her daughter's wedding dress. All we had left in stock were the cream capes, since white dresses are more popular than cream ones.  When we told this woman that all we had left were cream, she replied, "That's ok, cream is just another color for white." Huh? She walked out the door with a cream cape for her daughter's white dress.  Glad I missed that reunion. Unless, of course, her daughter thought the same way, then one oblivious mom + one oblivious bride= happiness, because ignorance is bliss.

Here comes the bride, all dressed in varying colors of white...

This might sound crazy, but I couldn't find a picture of someone
wearing a white dress with a cream cape.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


We own a cat. I am not a cat person. It was not my idea to get a cat. But we own a cat.  We named her Bagley, and Dan we got her so she would eat the mice that live in the field behind our house.  Bagley lives in our garage.  The garage smells like kitty litter. Today the girls and I checked on Bagley, and that's when I saw a mouse.  I like cats more than I like mice. I saw the mouse, Caroline saw the mouse, but Bagley did not.  Really? You're a cat, you know, with incredible reflexes, including incredible vision.  Or not. We kept yelling at Bagley to, "Go get the mouse, Bagley!", but Bagley continued to calmly drink from her dish.  Then the mouse crept silently behind the oblivious kitty and sat there, waiting for the strike that never came.  I think it was testing Bagley, and Bagley failed.  Or passed, if you're the mouse, because the mouse kept darting back and forth behind the cat's back, either taunting or celebrating. Maybe both. Bagley then went on to attack a piece of paper laying on the floor. Paper. Not the mouse. So now we have a mouser who doesn't mouse. It will come with time, right? I sure hope so. 'Cause right now I have a mouse and a cat living together in our garage with all of our stuff I have yet to unpack.  That creeps me out.  A little mouse sniffing around my possessions? Ew.

Go get the mouse, Bagley.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Mankie is missing.  Mankie is Caroline's beloved blanket that used to be pink and is now a dingy, uh, well, a dingy pink, despite my best efforts to clean it and restore it to its original color. Mankie (called so because Caroline cannot say "blankie" yet.  Mankie has actually evolved over the last year.  It started out as "Mamie," morphed into "Mankie," slipped from "Manket" back to "Mankie." I still miss "Mamie." Back to the point). 

When Mankie disappears, it is usually at the hand of Pierce who likes to see Caroline fall into hysterics when she can't find the used-to-be-bright-pink-but-is-now-a-dingy-pink-and-sometimes-smells blanket. Update: Mankie has been recovered.  It's location came after a confession from Pierce, who stashed it in the TV console side door. I have also found Mankie tossed in the linen closet, wadded up behind the couch, and tucked inside a kitchen cabinet.  Shelves and doors seem to be the common denominators when it comes to hiding spots.  I'll keep that in mind for next time.

When Mankie goes missing, chaos reigns. When Mankie gets washed, crying ensues.  When Mankie gets taken, hysteria abounds. This delights Pierce to no end. To. no. end. Sigh. The reunion between Mankie and Caroline is always the same: girl hugs blanket, girl rubs the material that used to be silk, girl calms down. Immediately.  Is this cause for concern? Not yet. It could be a problem, yes, but we're not there yet. Why? Because I think that Mankie will slowly deteriorate into nothing but a thread of silk.  Hard to console yourself with just a thread.  Until then, hide-'n-seek will continue, as will the tears and screams.  Lots of screams. 

I better buy some earplugs. 

The Mankie thief and Caroline

                                   Mankie, in the lap of a younger Caroline.                                                   

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Say What?

Learning the English language is difficult.  I know this because I have kids who sometimes dangle, twist, and confuse words.  Two examples:

Pierce: Mom! There's a peasant in our yard!

Peasant? Did your mind immediately shoot back to the Middle Ages? He meant pheasant.

Pierce (while making sugar cookies with sprinkles): I'm going to shake this to get the sprinklers out.

Even after that correction, he still insists on calling "sprinkles" "sprinklers." Sigh. In the meantime, I hear "sing" for "thing," but "something" is "something," so I know he's getting there.  And of course, Caroline still wants to "open it door," but Charlotte can clearly say, "oh-oh" and "mama." I hear "oh-oh" a lot more than "mama."

Looks like a little patients patience is in order while they get this language sing figured out.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Book Recommendation

I have been introduced to Skippyjon Jones and LOVE him, so I am passing it on to you (although I suspect I am WAAAAAAY behind on this one so you may already know about this great-o book). My keeds love theese book, and eet's fun speeking in a Mexican accent. And it's fun to say "Skippyjon Jones." So if you are in need of a fun story, you got one (I feel like I need to end my endorsement with something like, "Head over to your local library or bookstore to find this great book; you won't regret it," but I won't.). Enjoy-o your new book-o.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Forced Teething

If the teething process for your baby is taking too darn long, here is an idea that willl speed up the process (a process that has been tried, tested, and proven through an extensive clinical trial). Have your child stand on a step made entirely of tile, have her (or him) fall and hit gums-first on the tile floor. There might be a little (ok, a lot) of blood, but that stubborn tooth that's been hovering underneath the surface will be forced to show itself.

Too violent for you? I guess you'll have to do it the old fashioned way and just wait.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pet Sister

A little background for this post. Caroline adds "it" in front of nouns, like "Open it, door," or "I don't want it, plate." Yesterday, we were getting out of the van when she walked over to where Charlotte was sleeping in her seat and started rubbing Charlee's head. I turned around in my seat to tell her to be gentle when I noticed that she was being gentle. Then she said:

"Pet it, sister."

Cue barking or meowing, please.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


We are moving next week (just up the street- but IT'S STILL MOVING!), so my posts may become more irregular.  Not in content, mind you, just frequency. So forgive me if my voice is absent for a little bit.  Thank you.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Oh, Shoot! Where's the Chute?

As I was lugging my laundry down the stairs to the laundry room, I thought, "whatever happened to laundry chutes?".  Really? The installation of laundry chutes is a dying art.  Or maybe dead already. I was going to launch a "Save the Laundry Chute" campaign, but I fear I'm too late.  So I'll hold a funeral instead.  Which is ok with me because the more I think about it, the more I can envision my children throwing toys, snack, and each other down the chute. Not to mention the yelling games from floor to floor. Yes, laundry chute, there is reason behind your disappearance: safety and sanity.  Humph. Well, I guess I will just have to keep hauling my laundry baskets up and down the stairs. And mourn for the loss that will never be. Sniff, sniff.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Where, Oh Where Has Our Little 'Mote Gone?

Our remote went missing yesterday. I sent Pierce on a hunt, but that turned up nothing but whine. We gave up, knowing that I would find it in some random place like in a heating duct or in the tupperware drawer. I was wrong. So wrong.

Later that night, as I was cleaning the kitchen, I opened the dishwasher to unload the dishes. Do you know what happens to a remote when it goes through a cycle in the dishwasher? I do.

The batteries revolt. They make you think they are working, giving you a false sense of relief that you don't have to replace the universal remote, only to discover that the buttons on the remote are slowly losing their function. Like the "channel up" button not working. Then it was the "volume" button. Next came the "power" button. I held my breath as I replaced the batteries, hoping they were the culprits and not the water damage in the remote. And? It worked. The remote is back to 100% functionality, and as an added bonus, is very clean. Cascade clean.

Moral of the story? Keep the remote up high. Very, very high. Unless your remote is dirty and you have extra batteries on hand. Oh, and don't leave the dishwasher open.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Water Sense Nonsense

An actual conversation with Pierce:

Pierce (upstairs, should be brushing his teeth but the water is just running, yelling downstairs to me): Mom! I need help with brushing my teeth!
Mom: No, you don't! You can do it!

Pierce (three minutes later, water still running): Mom! I need help! I'm wasting water!
Mom: Then turn off the water while you brush!
Pierce: Awwwww...Why?

Welcome to my world.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"I Just Like the Frosting"

As I was serving Pierce a piece of Charlotte's birthday cake, he asked, "Did you remember that I just like the frosting?". And I thought, "Yeah, I remember seeing bowl after bowl with an intact piece of cake, sans frosting."

Then of course, I get all deep and compare cake and frosting to life. Ready? Here we go. Metaphorically speaking, we have life, which is a lot of cake, topped with only a little frosting, to help the cake go down easier. Those moments in life that are good, the sunset-is-beautiful moments, the kids-obeyed-on-the-first-command moments, and the best-vacation-ever moments, when you can truly say you're happy and all is well. That's the frosting. The life-in-the-trenches moments, the I-can't-wait-until-bedtime moments, the why-are-we-having-this-trial moments are the cake. But do we really only want the frosting? My teeth ache just thinking about all that sugary sweetness in bite, after bite, after bite. Then I would want some cake in there, to shake things up. And some cold milk, too. But not on top of the cake, the way my husband likes it, because my cake would be soggy. So cake, a la milk. Or something like that. Mmmm...

Back to the point.

It's nice to have both to balance each other out. Cake without frosting is just...cake. Frosting without cake is...a root canal in the making. Combine the two, and you have created a yummy dessert. And a balance at the dentist's office. Oh, and the perfect blend to

So eat your cake with frosting and your frosting with cake. Or, if you're my sister, eat your scrambled eggs with ketchup. A lot of ketchup. That makes the "eggs edible." Whatever food you like, eggs, cake, ketchup, frosting, it's all the same. Think of them as "food complements." But not all together, because I couldn't stomach frosting on my scrambled eggs or ketchup on my cake. Ew.

Final thoughts? Let them eat cake. With frosting. And a little milk. On the side. Without the eggs. Or the ketchup.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I Quit!

Pierce has told me several times that he wants a brother instead of sisters. After I caught him sneaking into the chocolate chips, he told me he "needs a brother to keep me from eating chocolate." Another time he told me "I quit!" when he got mad at Caroline. Usually he just sighs, sags his shoulders, and sadly says, "I want a brother." So I came up with this poem:

For Sale or For Barter

I'm a five-year-old boy in search of a deal;
to sell both my sisters, or trade is ideal.
All I want is a brother;
two for one (please don't tell my mother).

No more dollies and skirts or sparkly shoes;
it's wrestling and dirt and trucks that I choose.
I'm tired of pink and purple, and hearts on the wall;
I'm ready for black and blue and a lot of baseball.

I need a brother to keep me in line;
from eating Mom's chocolate he'd help me decline.
He'd keep me from telling my daddy white lies;
from hitting my friends and giving 'evil eyes.'

I'd make sure he's happy and clothed and well-fed;
I'd share my big room and he'd have his own bed!
We'd throw out the cradle and purses and rings,
and get bats and mitts and other boy things.

We'd play at the park and ride on our bikes;
then fishing and running and taking long hikes.
We'd tell funny stories and laugh through the night;
then clean up our room and never, ever fight.

Yes, having a brother is sounding quite pleasant;
Getting a brother would be the best present!
Is there any such brother out there just for me?
Oh, please, oh, please respond to my plea!

I have two sisters, for sell or for barter;
Living with them gets harder and harder.
Please come take them off of my hands,
and drop off a boy, according to plans.

With much thanks and appreciation,
from J. Pierce {last name} (thanks for the donation).

Monday, September 21, 2009

Land of the Lost

I'm pretty sure there's a travel agent living in my house, selling one-way tickets to my stuff to journey to the Land of the Lost. Where's my pump for the air mattress? Or what about Caroline's shorts that mysteriously disappeared from her laundry basket? I'm thinking they got together with Dan's recipe book for P90X, Caroline's hair bows, and some of my forks and spoons and took a permanent vacation. With my retainer from the fifth grade. But not with all those missing socks from the washer. Or is it the dryer? Anyway, they have their own exclusive relocation program that only socks know about, 'cause once they're gone, they're gone.
I also think that the stuff must get bored in the Land of the Lost, because sometimes they come back. But not right away. They like to show up when you have to search for another object. Like when I found Charlotte's pink pacifier looking for Pierce's transformer. In the meantime, I will patiently wait for my air pump to resurface. And Caroline's hair bows.
And my silverware.
All aboard.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Counting Sheep Doesn't Work

I suffer from sporadic-episodal-insomnia. Or, every once in awhile, I can't sleep for about one to two hours. Last night was such a night. Charlotte slept in our room in the pack and play (a necessity when Caroline is your sister and delights in throwing books, clothes, and toys in your crib while you are trying to sleep) and cried out in her sleep, which woke me from mine. That's when the epsiode began. I ran through my day, planned the next day, wrote a talk for sacrament meeting that I don't need, wrote this blog (all mentally. I wasn't actually up writing, although that can and does happen), and thought about some upcoming changes in our life (announcements that will come after they happen so I know that they actually will happen!).

Then I heard a noise. It startled me, and I wanted to investigate, but then I thought about those scary movies where the babysitter, or whoever the female is that's home alone, hears a strange noise, goes to investigate, and the whole time you're screaming at the stupid girl to not do it. I didn't want to be the stupid girl, so I stayed put. And nothing happened! There could have been a masked man hiding in the stairwell, and had I gone down, he would have nabbed me and I would have experienced all sorts of unspeakable atrocities. Or, I could have seen Sasquatch and been traumatized for life. I know, I know. Thank goodness I stayed in bed! No stupid heroine here! So now you can see why I couldn't fall asleep. And until someone develops a cure for sporadic-episodal-insomnia, I will just have to suffer through. And keep a notebook nearby. And maybe some snacks.

Just in case.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

To Kill a Fly

Flies are hated at our house. No, I mean ha-ted. Dan calls them "flying pieces of crap," because you are what you eat. Dan can go from happy and content to angry and vengeful in seconds as soon as he sees one. And of course, the flies scatter at the exact moment they see the fly swatter. You didn't know flies had intelligence, did you? A creature who sits on poop and feasts has enough intellect to scram when they see plastic mesh attached to wire. I don't get it.

So here we are in the middle of canning the abundance our garden has produced when the little fruit flies appear. How do they materialize out of thin air? They multiply like, well, like flies. Maybe our tomatoes have been harboring these fugitives, who only come out when they outnumber the humans 400 to 1. Safety in numbers, you know. I have been scrambling to get the kitchen clean and destroy the source for which these little nasty flies live for. And I'm always afraid one will get close enough to my nostrils that when I sniff, well, you get the picture.
So I'm doubly motivated to see the poop fliers gone.


Back to work.
My fly swatter calls.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

That Mom

I realized today I'm that mom. The mom who allows her kids to (occasionally) run around in nothing but a diaper, the mom who yells at her kids across the grocery to put the Pop Tarts back, the mom who lets her kids scream from the other side of the locked door while I get ready for the day. I'm that mom. Sometimes when I do, or don't do, things, I'll think, "If something happens to my kids, and I end up on tonight's news, everyone will be asking, 'Where was the mother?'" That mom. Like the time Girly-girl took off all of her clothes, slipped out the back door in nothing but a diaper, ran around to the front steps, removed her diaper, peed on the middle step, then took off streaking down the sidewalk at 3 in the afternoon. "Where is the mother?" Two steps behind my exhibitionist toddler, trying to convince myself not to bring harm against someone who says "akeekee" instead of "drink," and ignoring the questioning glance of my neighbor who pulled up in time to see me haul Girly-girl into the house by her upper arm, naked body flailing behind.

But I'm not always that mom. I think we all have that mom moments, but aren't completely that mom. Most days, my kids are dressed and I don't take all the kids to the grocery store. Most days, we dance and sing, make cookies, and read books. Most days, I really like my job. And when I find myself being that mom, I try to remember that that mom moments are ok because I won't always have little kids. One day, my kids will grow up and I will no longer be changing diapers 12 times a day, or wiping food, snot and goobers off chubby, smiling faces. I won't always have food dried and crusty on my shoulder. I won't always have a sweet baby to cuddle or little toe nails to paint. I won't always have to clear toys from my bed or find a granola bar in my jewelry box. I won't always have children fighting over my lap or asking for a hug and a kiss at night. No, I won't always be that mom. But I'll always be their mom, and I wouldn't have it any other way.