Saturday, February 28, 2009

62 memories I have of my mom and 1 to grow on!

My mom and I have been through alot together...I feel so blessed that we have shared so many wonderful experiences ...In honor of her 62nd birthday, I came up with 62 (plus one) memories that I have of her...

1. our trips to the library in Bryan, Tx

2. Saturday trips to Woolworths for doll clothes and grilled cheese sandwiches

3. making me a playhouse out of a refrigerator box

3. giving me that fabulous pink desk!

4. buying me Aggie mums and orchestrating special moments for me and my dad

5. bringing icecream sandwiches into my kindergarten class

6. our summers together in Fredonia at Grandma and Grandpa's house

7. introducing me to you wild bird "Polly"

8. the blackbird flying into our living room on North Avenue

9. sleeping beside me on a chair all night when I had my tonsils out

10. the horrendous trip to Sunnyvale, Ca.

11. getting caught in the rain on the way to see the Statue of Liberty & laughing till we cried!

12. seeing "How to Succeed in Business, Beauty and the Beast, and Wicked together on Broadway.

13. meltdowns!

14. years of having faith that I would become active in the church again

15. advice on which cut of meat to get for my potroast before my first date with Brian

16. being there with me when I got married in the temple

17. understanding that it wasn't my candles that needed organizing that one time...

18. our long talks on route 80

21. being there for me when I had my children and caring for me during those first few weeks of "new baby"
22. baby blessings

23. freezer meals

24. painting my kitchen cabinets and various other pieces of furniture

25. gang grafitti challenges!

26. teaching me how to make spritz cookies

27. spending wonderful Christmases together and the most recent Thanksgiving!

28. the "itchy" trip to Balmat

29. staying in the hot hell hole with lace canopys for the longest night of our lives!

30. eating dinner in wingback chairs

31. cracking up about the "winning button" for the Balmat centennial celebration

32. thrifting in Cape Cod

33. canning our heads off! (peaches, applesauce, beans, chicken, tomatoe sauce)

34. the year we did the Christmas cookie business (never again!)

35. instilling in me the need for naps

36. our trip to Palmayra when Katie, Seth, Joanna and Nella were younger

37. steak on the grill, swiss chard, creamed asparagus on toast

38. being able to finish each others thoughts...

39. Brimfield Flea Market!--that whole weekend was a dream! Remember our sweet little room at the bed and breakfast that we stayed in!

40. chik-fil-a runs before we even leave town

41. you being the queen of desserts

42. your 50th birthday..."Day of Booty"!--"what you really need is some cream for those bags under your eyes"

43. working on the scrapbook for your 60th birthday and feeling honored to be your daughter

44. the best dinner we ever had at Red Lobster?!

45. the smell of Chantilly, gardenias and lilacs will always remind me of you (even though you haven't worn Chantilly in 30 years!)

46. murals

47. "mr. clean green"

48. so many selfless acts of service to others...such an example to me

49. 11pm..."do you have any laundry?"

50. Time Out for Women!--what a memory!

51. making stepping stones with my kids

52. making us all our very own sock monkey--you really do have angelic hands :)

53. giving you a hug and kiss goodnight every time we're together

54. sending me care packages when I was living on my own

55. a wedding train size piece of toilet paper dragging from my pants at the Arby's on rte. 80 (laughing until we almost threw up)

56. you giving Sheri Dew a tussy mussy

57. Country Living excursion in Central Park (meeting Katie Brown, Rachel Ashwell & the Junk Girls)! and taking 4 hours to drive home from NY!

58. the tongue scraper...your never-ending quest for fresh breath

59. your idea of a "fun vacation"--painting a friends bathroom and donating blood at a blood drive

60. your "warbling whistle"

61. being my "beard" for every good idea "I've" ever had

62. raining on my "songs with stories" parade

63. always making my birthdays so special

Happy Birthday, Mom!
I've loved every minute of our time spent together...
Here's to 62 more memories!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Four for Friday


1. Yesterday morning started off with a phone call at 7:20am from Brian calling to make sure I was awake. (He had to leave early and I was still dead asleep when he left). There have been times when I've overslept on a school day...

After talking with him, I hung up the phone and then a few minutes later, I heard Ellie walking up the stairs talking to someone (the phone was on speaker). I heard a man's voice and wondered what the heck was going on because I had never heard the phone ring.

When I answered it, it was the 9-1-1 operator asking me if everything was O.K.
Apparently, Ellie had called them on accident, and they were just checking with me to see if everything was alright!? What the?!...How did she "accidentally" call them? We have a new phone system, (we actually have 3 phones now, versus the 1 from before--thanks to me losing 2 of them on the hood of our car). Twice, I've stuck the phone on the car when I'm out gardening, have forgotten that I put it there, and later driven off with it still on the car...Both times the phones were lost!
Anyway, all is well...The 9-1-1 operator didn't seem to be bitter...If anything, it gave him a good laugh for the day...

2. Reilly is really "into" doing hair these days...She keeps telling me that when she grows up, she wants to be a "barbara" (barber)...How funny is that?!

She and Ellie spent an hour or so playing "barbera" today! I love it when they are engaged in creative activities...

I got a call from the school nurse a few hours ago saying that Jake had just thrown up and I needed to come pick him up...

I'm still not sure at this point if it was just something that he ate that didn't agree with him or it it's the flu...

Until I get more evidence, this green bowl is staying close by him!
Oh-please...let this not be the flu!!!!
4. For two weeks, now, I've been going to spinning classes at the YMCA...They've been challenging and exhausting, but I've gotten really into them...
For whatever reason, I'm more motivated to push ahead when I know I'd look like a complete slacker to the 20 other people in the class if I stopped peddling! I've never been much of a gym-goer--but so far, so good! I'm just so sick of not feeling confident about my weight! I don't have the money to go out and buy a new wardrobe, so I'm determined to make this work.
P.S.--that is just some random spinning image I pulled off of flicker--no one in my class is that hard core...
**Have any of your children accidentally called 9-1-1?
**Did you ever want to be a "barbera" when you grew up?
**Did you get a flu shot this year?
**Have you ever taken a spin class?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

SPT--week 4

"I'm saying I love you when..."

I could spend hours making a gourmet meal, but if I serve Jell-O instant pudding for dessert, I score big points with Brian! Apparantly, nothing says lovin' like puddin'--

I also show I love him by being cooperative when we go through the finances discussion and not grumbling when he goes to his many church meetings...

P.S.--I would rather stick with serving pudding than the last two...But hey! it's not all about me...right?!

**What's your love language?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

beans, beans, the musical fruit...

Our ward had our annual chili cookoff tonight...

It went pretty well considering that the chili that I made bombed! I should have just stuck with the recipe from last year (I won 1st place), but I thought it would be fun to try something new...

I called my chili this year..."rebel chili" as the recipe called for beer. My neighbor happened to have 2 cans of imported Puerto Rican beer on hand that she gave me.

The best way to describe the taste was that of dirty yeasty feet! (I tried adding a touch of liquid smoke but it just didn't work!) The sad part of the whole thing was that since I won last year, everyone kept coming up to me asking me which one was mine! How embarrassing!
We sat next to Susan and Fred and they were good sports about eating my foot locker tasting chili debacle.

Is it just me or do my eyebrows look like those belonging to a whooly mammoth?

Kids just kind of do their own thing at these ward dinners...this was the healthiest thing that Ellie ate the whole night...a white roll!

This was the judging table--I thought they looked so cute!

Jake brought his buddy, Brady...

Susan said that she heard them both talking about how if I opened a restaurant, everyone would come...(they are always very complimentary to my cooking) I sometimes think Jake is just buttering me up for more time on his DS...

Here is a picture of some of the varieties of chili that were brought in...

I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed the evening...Ward dinners and just parties in general always seem to leave me feeling more like an agraphobe. It was nice being able to catch up with Susan...Since she's in primary, we just don't see each other much anymore...

It's getting late, I need to still do my lesson for the primary class that I'm subbing for tomorrow...

TOOTles! (no chili pun intended)

Good Stuff

I've been going through a slow period since Valentines Day..
nothing really to document or to speak of...just pretty routine.
I like referring to these times as being
"uneventfully eventful"--
Yesterday evening brought a bit of spark, though, as I opened a "good mail" package from Michelle. (I am never anticipating good mail, so I haven't been even getting my mail in the day--Brian has been bringing it in when he gets home.)

Imagine my surprise when I opened up the envelope, and found these darling note cards inside with my name on them! And they are chartreuse, too! I was giddy to say the least, and just couldn't get over how awesome this whole "good mail" thing is! There's nothing like receiving a little "just because" package...
I've been feeling a little blah lately, and this was a perfect pick-me-up...The whole concept of receiving "good mail" is magic! When you get something out of the blue in the mail, you immediately start to think about who you can pay that forward to...

Now, onto a shallower topic...

Can I just say how much I love these clay pigs?!...I've had them for years and everytime I see them, they make me smile...look at their simple little grins...

They're one of those things that if there was ever a fire, (after my family and pets had been rescued), I'd grab these along with my scrapbooks and quite possibly my new notecards! :)

It actually bothers me sometimes that there are so many material things that I've become so attached to. I always get a little panicky when I hear the scriptures referring to not holding your worldly treasures in too high an esteem.

I think my problem is that I live so passionately--

I love food! (and that includes slutty candy like fun dip and nerds)

I love good scents!

I love nature!

I love all things polka dotted and cute!

I love gourmet cleaning products

I love my ribbon collection

I have a hard time refocusing sometimes on the things that are of true worth in life...I guess that recognizing that I have a problem is the first step to growth, eh?

I am definately someone who appreciates what I have and what life has to offer--

**What material item would you take with you in the event of a fire?

**Do you live passionately?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Valentines Day is the new Halloween...

This is on average the amount of candy wrappers that I've been finding daily in the dryer over the past few days. This was what was in there today. I finally decided to document it. There's been alot of sneaky business going on around here. And I found more stashed upstairs under a book (the culprit(s) will remain nameless)...ahem!

My kids got a gross amount of candy this year for Valentines day...Normally, I'd be feeling the "candy love" but I'm seriously trying to lose weight and being the food addict that I am, I have zero self control when it comes to chocolate (especially dark) and things like nerds and fun dip!

I swear, this weight will never come off as long as my kids are living at home. All they do is eat all day long! I can't seem to get away from thoughts of food. Whether it's me trying to think ahead of what to pull out of the freezer to thaw, or requests for morning snacks, afternoon snacks, lunch, dinner, desserts (my mom has everyone programed to eat dessert after lunch and dinner). Is that normal? Plus, it doesn't help matters much that I am an emotional eater...

Anyway, what I'm saying is that I'm doomed at the rate I'm going. Looking at pictures of myself recently of what I looked like 10 years ago was shocking and left me feeling glum.

It didn't help that I just renewed my drivers license today and I looked so haggered compared to 5 or so years ago.

Why do I always get this way in February?! I need some serious time in the garden! That always heals my soul...

**Am I the only one with the February blues?
**Are you an emotional eater?
**Do you eat dessert for every meal?

Monday, February 16, 2009

A welcome sight...

Could it be?...the first signs of spring already peeking through?
How did I not notice this sooner?
I love the freshness and the vividness that spring brings after a gray winter...
It's like natures little gift of thanks for hanging in there and braving the cold temperatures...

I always get giddy when I see this each's like a little preview of what's yet to come!
**Do you have anything popping up?
**Are you ready for spring to be here?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Crab Apple

Unfortunately, my day at church today consisted of a series of unfortunate events...

1.-- I was late getting to church to begin with. (I hate being late and this is the second week in a row). All three of my kids were poking around, fighting with each other, and downright not cooperating.

2.-- The high councilman drowned on for days (english not being his first language), and lost me at "Hello."

3.-- The upcoming Enrichment Dinner that I am in charge of as enrichment leader was originally scheduled for March 12. It's been on the calender for months, now. I spent a good portion of yesterday making up handouts, a mini poster, arranging to have the information put into the ward bulletin, and composing an e-mail with the information attached to be sent to the RS secretary for her to forward to everyone.

I found out today that March 12 is the same night that the Stake is having it's Auxillary Training Meeting! What the?!...When the?!...

I don't recall ever seeing that stake meeting listed on the calender at the time we were scheduling this night! I'm so frustrated. I ended up putting a big "X" over the date on the little poster I made. (That disturbed me! It looks like a GIANT oops and I hate it!) No one else in the presidency remembers seeing the date scheduled either.

We figured out another date and switched our Dinner Club night around and then I found out just a little while ago that Heather (my friend and enrichment counselor) is going to be out of town that night! Changing dates around has such a trickle effect! Now we have to change it again!

I hate that the stake takes precedence...I understand that that is the way it is supposed to be, but I can't help but stick up for the wards who do so much of the grunt work. I feel like so much more time is put in on a ward level...I know I should probably be recording these thoughts in a personal journal and not where it can be publicly read, but this will just have to do...Forgive me if I'm offending anyone....

All I can say (and have many times) is "Holy Training Meetings"! Are people being trained to be in the CIA or something? We could be leaders of nations at this point! Didn't they JUST have one of these auxillary training meetings?! I'm getting totally worked up but it just irks me to no end. I guess I'm extra hyper-sensitive about the amount of meetings that take place because Brian is Young Men's President in our ward and he goes to a ton of meetings already...

Anyway, when you look at the big picture, I let a few minor details get to me I have no "uplifting" Sunday thoughts to share...This is reality...not every Sunday is filled with rainbows!

However, one very fabulous thing did happen to me today...!

When you get one of these tangerine bags...BE VERY HAPPY!--Good things are in store!

My sweet friend Susan showered me with goodness!...(a belated birthday gift)

A beautiful little glass compote filled with moss and quail eggs, a wonderful little mesh bag with bulbs, a beautiful little silk fern, and an awesome book about making the most out of your outdoor space (she even tucked a feather inside that is either from a quail or a guinea fowl--as a bookmark!)

As you can imagine, I was amazed by her generosity...and equally grateful to have received such a bounty on a day that was going down the crapper quickly...

We seem to have gotten in the habit of having breakfast for dinner on Sunday nights...
Tonight, I made "Breakfast Pizza" per the kids' request...It's always a big hit in these parts!

Here is the recipe if you are interested ...

Breakfast Pizza
The basic recipe consists of a flour tortilla, topped with an egg and cheese, then baked until the egg has set and the cheese melted. However, it is the very simplicity of this recipe that allows you to cook free form. You don't need to stay with the mexican theme...try your eggs cradled in swiss cheese, mushrooms, and ham and baked on tortillas spread with Dijon mustard--or cook your eggs with mozzarella, roasted peppers and Italian seasoning...


4 flour tortillas
nonstick cooking spray or cooking oil
4 eggs
2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1/2 c. chopped fresh tomatoes
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. paprika
cilantro sprigs for garnish

Preheat oven to 400. Lightly coat 2 baking sheets with non-stick spray or brush lightly with oil.

Wet your hands with water and generously rub the flour tortillas on both sides with the water to wet them. Set 2 flour tortillas down flat on each baking sheet.

Use 1/4 of the ingredients listed for each tortilla. On top of each tortilla, sprinke the cheese in a ring, leaving blank a 1/2 border around the edge and enough area in th center to hold an egg. break 1 egg into the empty inner area. arrange 1 or 2 spoonfuls of tomatoes on top of the cheese. Sprinkle the green oions over the cheese ring. Finish by sprinkling the ground cumin and paprika on top of each tortilla and egg.

Place the baking sheets on two racks in the oven. Bake 6 to 8 minutes, or until the eggs have cooked to your preference. Using a large spatula, transfer the tortillas to plates and serve garnished with sprigs of fresh cilantro. Top with sour cream and salsa if you like.

**Don't you just hate schedule conflicts?

**Am I going straight to hell?

**Doesn't Susan rock?

**Have you ever tried Breakfast Pizza before?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentines Day Festivities...

Brian brought home these pretty gerbera daisies for Reilly and Ellie...
they were so thrilled to have their very own flower!

I was the lucky recipient of these beautiful roses! Aren't these fabulous?! I'm not a fan of red roses (even I know they mean "I love you")-- I prefer something a little more uncommon.

I never cease to marvel at the beauty of nature!
For breakfast, I made "fox in the hole eggs"...Valentine style!
This has become one of my signature breakfasts--
My mom used to make us these...We used to fight over the little toast cutout!

Some friends of ours from our ward are moving today. I told them that I'd take them dinner, so I made up these heart shaped rice krispy treats and brownies for their dessert. My kids were happy to know that I saved some for them, too. (They always claim that I always give the good stuff away--and never save anything for them)

I went to get more straw and duck pellets today at Davis Feed Mill, and this is what they gave me! I swear! I love this place. I always pretend that I'm a farmer everytime I walk in-- (minus the skoal in my back pocket)
For dinner, we all went to Five Guys...They supposedly have the best burgers in town. I don't know who was more excited to try them or the kids.
I didn't take any family pictures (Brian gave me a huge eye roll and a "You gotta be kidding me!" just for taking this one picture)...I decided to just leave it at that.

Yes! the burger was tasty...Not "the very best I've ever had in my life", tasty, but I'd definately go back again...

All in all...a good I'm off to my favorite part of the day--a hot bath!

**Do you have a "signature" breakfast?
**Can you believe that they were handing out roses at a Feed Store?
**Do you like red roses?
**What's your favorite burger?

Friday, February 13, 2009

"Good Mail"

I really like the idea of documenting "good mail"...

My blogger friend, Jill, has been my inspiration in doing this...I think it's a wonderful thing to be able to look back and see the kindness of others..
I noticed that on Jill's blog, she actually has a place that you can click on and see pictures of all the good mail she's ever gotten! I'm going to do the same thing, I think.

I've been meaning to document this stuff sooner, but kept forgetting to take pictures of things...

a note from Jill...with good mail labels!--she actually made a card out of a picture that I had on one of my posts! What a clever idea!

A thank you note from Jill...she took a picture of some "good mail" I had sent her!

I mentioned to her recently that I always feel like a superstar whenever I see my name mentioned in her blog...(I'm a simpleton, I know!)

A birthday card from another blogger friend, Patsy! So cute! How did she even know it was my birthday?...I don't think I made mention of it until the actual day...I was very touched--
My favorite thing to get on my birthday...Pajamas! My friend, Caroline bought
me these new "digs" that I really "dig"! Pajamas are never something that I can justify buying for myself, but is always a treat to recieve them.

My friend, Angela, always comes up with these creative themes...and color coordinates everything down to the tissue paper! She knows that I collect white/creamware so she came up with a "got milk" theme...(small milk containers, cow, handmade tags...) and cute recipe cards that she ordered from Etsy...oh! and sweet tarts!--my favorite!

Kelly and I are starting a new thing this year where we are only exchanging cards on our birthdays...and they have to be mailed. (I failed her this year) but she came through for me with this funny card and sweet message written inside...

Jill sent me these fabulous note cards with a great garden quote on them...I've used almost every one of them...What a great idea!
Heather spoiled me with bubble bath, lotion and chocolates...(need I say anything else?)Pure Heaven! She also gave me a Borders gift card...I'm saving that for a rainy day!
Check out the bubble bath card...isn't that great?!

A card from my friend, Christine...
We have an inside joke about donuts!

My stepfather, Paul, sent these beautiful flowers...the little daisies all had smiley faces on them...very thoughtful...(he also had the florist send a box of Saltine Crackers...I guess to represent "Quackers"--(for my ducks) (I'm sure the florist thought he was crazy!)

My friend, Tina, sent me these adorable rubber clean-up gloves...The picture does not do them justice! Now I can clean in syle!--She also sent a silicone hot pad and cute polka dot napkins! Have I mentioned how much I love polka dots?!

My friend, (and veterinarian), Jeannie, sent me this book on raising ducks (just in case I decide to get more ducklings in the spring) and this cute plush duck...(Ellie promptly "traded" me that for one of her less loved stuffed animals)-- I think the duck is in good hands as long as she stays away from the scissors! (Mr. Boon, our cat, had the tips of his ears snipped off one time thanks to Ellie's handywork!)

Jill (NYC) sent me these cute notecards...I love receiving stationary! It inspires me to write notes!

My blogger friend, Michelle, sent these cute, cute, cute handmade tags! I can't get over the thoughtfulness from these friends that I've made through blogging! I told her that I was so excited to see the "good mail from Michelle" label that I practically opened the envelope with my teeth!

I don't know if this qualifies as "good mail" as it was given to me by my mom when she was here visiting...but I wanted to document it, anyway. She gave me a solar lighthouse that will go outside in my garden, and this cute little swan change purse...I really love how she keeps her change in an old fashioned change purse...I'm going to start doing the same. Hot chocolate and a cute monkey card topped it off...(I have the card sitting on my nightstand, still)-- I smile everytime I see it.

Here's another thing not received through the mail but I wanted to remember it...Jake made this little cat picture for me...(I think it was originally supposed to be a Christmas gift but he didn't get his act together in time)

And finally, a cookie package from Patsy! She recently found out that the company that makes the original white and pink circus cookies is going out of business. She sent me some of the ones that Keebler is making now. (I think they are just as good, Patsy!--what do you think?)--So thoughtful of you to send these to me!

**Isn't "good mail "the best?!

**Do you do a happy jig whenever you receive a note or package from someone?