Monday, March 30, 2009

Mixed up Files...

Saturday started off a little "backwards"...

I forgot that the primary activity at church had been rescheduled to Saturday morning...
I guess I never transferred the change to my calender...(I felt bad when I found out later that we had missed it)--I like to support those events...I've been on the other end too many times of trying to prepare and organize activities...When people don't show up, it's discouraging!
We ended up going over to Millcreek Elementary for the spring fair...

I had never been to one of these spring fairs--
I brought along my camera and had big plans for capturing the massive fun (ahem!)--
This was the biggest (and most riveting) action shot I could come up with...(Does this give you any indication as to the amount of fun that was going on?--) Are you still awake?

Before leaving, the girls got to have their face painted and of course, tears were shed because I wouldn't let them have their hair spray painted--

Even though it was a bit lame, I was glad that we were able to help support the school and besides, it was a rainy day anyway, so it was a good activity for the kids...

Brian and I got a babysitter for Saturday night--(we just fed the kids pizza). Our tradition is always to have pizza and milkshakes or sometimes rootbeer floats on Saturday nights, but since I was scrambling to get ready, we just did strawberry milk in leu of the milkshakes...
We went made plans with my veterinarian friend, Jeannie and her husband, Jack to go to dinner at Chambers (formerly "19") in Doylestown...
For starters, we had caprese salad...Although the tomatoes were horribly out of season, it was still good and who could resist the presentation?!

We had a really great waitress who was kind enough to get a picture of us all together before we dove into our creme brulee'... (Can you see the drool coming out of my mouth?)

Ahhhh! Heaven! Nothing compares to this!

(except maybe eating this in the bathtub!)

**Have you ever been to a school sponsored "spring fair"?

**What do you think is better than creme brulee?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Five for Friday

1. Brian and I recently celebrated our 11th year anniversary...
He came home with these for me!! I swear they look like a beautiful sunset! Everytime I walked by them, I couldn't help but ooo and ahh! They really took my breath away!
He always buys his roses at Wegmans (the most awesome store in the world)--We are so fortunate to have one just down the street from us! Believe it or not, a dozen roses there only costs $10! I'll be sure to document this store sometime soon...

2. We didn't actually go out ON our anniversary because it fell on a Wednesday and he had scouts...I suppose I should have insisted that we celebrate that day, but it's hard to go out on a date during the week...
We went out last Saturday and he let me pick the restaurant...
In hindsight, I should have gone with something cozy and romantic and possibly "thai-ish", but I had been craving a good old fashioned juicy steak for months now and decided to make reservations at ...Texas Roadhouse! (Nothing says romance like a crowded chain restaurant that allows people to throw their peanuts everywhere!) Seriously, this slightly disturbed me...I think I'm becoming more and more neurotic each day!
I just had this overwhelming urge to just get out my broom and dustpan and go to town!
Anyway, even with the call ahead service, we still waited over an hour to get seated...I was so bugged and so by the time my steak came, I inhaled it! (It's always embarrassing to me that I finish my food long before Brian!) I've never been the kind of date that just picks at her food or just orders a salad!
Having such extensive waits everytime we want to go out to a family friendly restaurant is one of the things I hate about living in the suburbs--

3. I got my new rose gloves in the mail today! I'm not sure what happened to my other ones, but I am in desperate need of them--
My arms are completely scratched up and punctured from my pruning escapades the other day...
These are like buttuh! Seriously!--They are the best gardening gloves I've ever had!

4. Ca'mon! Tell me this isn't the cutest thing you've ever seen?!
I love these hamsters (even though I've got some serious bags under my eyes from all of the shenanagans they pulled last night on their exercise wheel)--I had to get up twice to move it away from the water bottle as it was scraping against it! ugh! We have them in a cage in Jake's room which is right next to ours. One of the many joys of having an old house is that there's not alot of cushion between the walls that connect our bedrooms...
I snapped this picture the other day of "Pip"--
Our little pet name for them is "mini mammals"

5. I'm slowly trying to update my wardrobe...
I found these flats in the junior section of Kohls the other day and thought they'd be perfect with jeans and capris--
The last time I owned a pair of Candie's, I think it was when I was sporting Love's Baby Soft and pegging my pants...
I feel so updated!
I also made a purchase to Land's End for a new swimsuit (this oughta be interesting as I bought a size smaller than what I actually am at the moment)--I'm hoping that this will prove to be incentive for me to lose weight...If I don't lose it by bathing suit season, I'm hosed!

**What's your favorite color rose?
**Have you ever been to a Wegmans?
**Would you have gone to a more intimate restaurant for your anniversary?
**Did you ever own a pair of Candie's, wear Love's Baby Soft or peg your pants?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

When we're helping, we're happy!

Today, my friend Heather and I went over to Suzanne's house, (the friend of mine who's house I staged a few weeks ago), to help her with mulching her flower beds...
She's moving to Switzerland officially at the beginning of April, so we were helping her with a few final touches...Apparently, the feedback from people coming in to see the house has been that her lawn looks abandoned...
P.S. Whose lawn DOESN'T look abandoned in March!

Here's Heather looking tre' cool whilst mulching! Seriously!--WHO looks like that when they're out in the yard roughing it?--She always looks glamorous...(Those were her "I just threw these on" clothes!)

Suzanne and I loading up the wheel barrels with steaming mulch...Ahhhhh!

The finished look--after we added pansies and mulch in between the stepping stones...

This was our reward after a morning of hard labor!...Hard liquor!... Yeah baby!
(Suzanne divvied up this rum between Heather and I. She's been keeping this for the times when she makes banana's foster for her husband--it's his favorite dessert!) I've never had it before, but she's coming to dinner on Monday and has agreed to whip it up for us!--Can't wait!

(A bit of trivia that makes this picture even funnier is that she is Bruce R. McConkie's granddaughter!)

We posed for a quick SP before leaving...
She will be soooooo missed!

I was so inspired by the feeling of accomplishment this morning at Suzanne's house, that I cancelled a therapy appointment that I had for Ellie and spent the rest of the afternoon doing spring cleanup. My goal the other day was to put out at least a garbage can full of garden clippings twice a week...(So much for pacing myself!)--5 carpenter bags and a trashcan full later, I'm realizing that my word for the year of "Balance" isn't working out too well...

This is so typical of me--I go into everything with too much gusto!--When I get a vision in my head of what the end product will look like, there's no stopping me...It has been both a blessing and a curse.

Every bone in my body aches...and I haven't even gotten to the 10 yards of mulch that I've got to spread yet! eee--gads!

I'm exhausted!--I even went to the "Relax Shop" tonight...(Jake's little service shop--i.e. foot rubs, tickling my face with a paint brush, etc.)--He usually only charges 50 cents per foot but tonight he did it for free!--What a guy!

I took a hot bath a little while ago and read a bit of my book club book for this month, "The Girl With the Pearl Earring" (loving it!), but could barely keep my eyes open...

I wanted to make sure I got a post written for tonight before another day went by--I hate to get too far behind--so in between American Idol commercial breaks, I've been typing away...

**Do you do your own mulching?
**Have you ever had bananas foster?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

It's a Boy!

(this was a favorite poem of mine that I found when I was pregnant with Jake...I was reduced to tears everytime I read it...)
"The Ninth Month"
Being a duplex
I have been happy, my dear,
To loan you half the house,
Rent Free and furnished
As best I could.

You have been a good
Tenant, all in all,
Quiet, yet comfortably there,
Tapping friendly on the wall.

But I hear
You have outgrown the place
And are packing up to move.
Well, I will miss
The sweet proximity,
But we will keep in touch.
There are bonds, my dear,
That reach beyond a block,
Or a mile, or a hemisphere,
Born of much love and labor.

I approve the move,
And gladly turn from landlady
To neighbors.

Carol Lynn Pearson

Nine years ago today, I became a mother when Jake Parry Monson was born!

It was a thrilling day! After my water broke in the middle of the night (just a trickle so I thought it was just the usual "incontinence"), we hopped in a cab about 6:15am (thank goodness it wasn't rush hour), and headed over to the west side (Manhattan) to St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital. Labor pains ensued as well as a few moments where I roughed Brian up a bit and for whatever reason kept yelling "SHAKAKON"--(what the?!--no idea where that came from!) He was born at 1:03pm...

I couldn't believe how much joy one little person could bring!

Nothing says "welcome home" like bars on the window and a collection of pigeon dung! (that picture makes our old brownstone look like a ghetto!)

I heart NYC!!!

  • Jake is very artistic and loves to play soccer and baseball...
  • His favorite food is shrimp! (why couldn't it be something cheap like mac and cheese?)
  • He loves to read (especially Harry Potter and anything written by Roald Dahl)
  • He knows everything there is to know about animals!--
  • When he grows up he wants to be an animal rescuer--(a boy after my own heart!)

There's something about the experience of having your first's hard to recreate that again...I guess because with your first, you don't have other things distracting you and no other children are demanding of your time...Your focus can solely be on that child...

We celebrated Jake's 9th birthday with his favorite dinner (shrimp)--I actually made the same thing that I make for Christmas Eve (shrimp, rice, & Junior League salad)--Always a big hit!

Boston Creme Torte (I bought this--I know! it's lame, but I had a busy weekend and knew I wouldn't have time to make a cake)--It turned out better than anything I could have come up with, though...

He got to invite his best buddy (and neighbor) Brady over to celebrate with us...

Bakugans are Jake's biggest obsession right now...(similar to Pokemon as far as money and time waster) but that was what he's been asking for, so he's got quite a collection, now. (Look how wound up he is!--good grief!)

It was a low key birthday this year, but nice...(we're still recovering from last year's birthday extravaganza where we had a traveling zoo come to our house!--) Holy festivities! I don't have the energy (or budget) for that again! We splurged last year because it was his 8th birthday, and that was a big one...

**Isn't that a sweet poem?

**What toy do your kids like that you would consider a money waster?

Sunday thoughts...

We had our stake conference today and the announcement was made as to who our new stake presidency is...

Jordan Peterson, stake president; Steven Coltrin, 1st counselor and Leon Schwab (our builder!), 2nd counselor...

The visiting general authoritiy today was Elder Teixeira and Elder Matthew J. Eyring who was the Area Authority Seventy.

Elder Teixeira gave a wonderful talk--one that I won't soon forget...He geared it toward the youth, but the message was for us all--

He told the story of The bird and the traveling man...

There once was a traveling man who carried with him a can of worms. There also once lived a bird who happend to be hungry and was in search of food.

One day, while the bird was flying, he spotted the traveling man with his can of worms. He flew down and asked the man if he could have one ...

The man agreed under one condition--that the bird give him one of his feathers. The bird reluctantly pulled one of his feathers out and gave it as payment for his meal.

The next day, the bird, in his hungry state, saw the man again and requested another worm. The man agreed but only under the same conditions as before...that the bird give up one of his feathers.

This trading of sorts went on for many days until one day, the bird realized he had only one feather left.

It wasn't until after giving up his last feather that he realized that he was a captive to the traveling man.

(How's that for an image?!)

The question is "how often do we give up our feathers?"--

When we only pay 8% of our tithing? When we only live a part of the word of wisdom? When we pick and choose which commandments we are going to follow because some might not be as convenient as others? Are we aware that these online social networking sites (Facebook, blogs, etc.) are not private but public and that everything we say or do represents who we are and what we stand for?


He made reference to 3 Nephi 27:14 "And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil--"

He concluded by counseling us to stay firm--say "no" when you need to and "yes" when you need to...

The Lord needs us to be strong--

This is no time to relax--

This is the time for us to step up to another dimesion--

It was a great talk!

**What did you think about that story?

**Any thoughts?

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Day of Spring--(the rest of the story)

I was the "mystery reader" in Jake's classroom today...I enjoy being able to go in and be a part of his world--It was funny to me to hear some of the girls tell me about how he's so nice and how he's such a good student...

Isn't it interesting that at such a young age they already know about buttering people up? I think I was a ham at that age as well...

Girls are such social beings...

I read a few Aesops's Tales and also Dog Breath which is about a dog named "Halli"who has horrible breath and lives with the "Tosis" family...the kids got a real kick out of this little play on words...

After school, I took the kids to Rita's for the "first day of spring" free water ice...
It was freezing!--but for the sake of a tradition, we carried on!

I asked each one of them how they thought water ice was made...

Here is their response:

Ellie: "First they put water in it and squirt lemon and that's it"

Reilly: "You crunch up the ice and then crack open the lemon and put water in it and put it in the freezer."

Jake: "Take the chemicals from the rootbeer and smash up some ice and put the chemicals and the ice in a cup and add coloring."

**How did you celebrate the first day of spring?

**Do you have a Rita's or a Rita's equivalent near you?

Five for Friday

Spring is here!... Officially!!...Today!!... At least that's what the calender says...

1. To honor this great day, I had a date with these babies!--don't they look sharp?!
I started to cut off the dead foliage from some of my herbs and perennials--there's already growth starting underneath which excites me to no end! A promise of greener days to follow! My goal is to have a full trashcan of clippings twice a week...that way, when the mulch arrives, I'll be ready for action!

2. Another sign that spring is in the air is this...!
Every year, some poor cardinal spends hours on end slamming her beak into her reflection on my window! You'd think that after doing this day after day for hours on end, she'd get the point that this is just an illusion. (Is that where bird brain comes from?)

My solution (although not very effective, is to stick the dryer sheets on the ledge)--I'm hoping to discourage her from this self destructive behavior. I'm pretty sure it's not working very well.

3. I found something new at the produce stand today...celery root! I'd never tried it before, so I asked a woman standing in front of me what it was. She knew right away and told me how to prepare it (just like mashed potatoes)...

It was actually quite good--it had a bit of a mashed turnip texture but with a celery flavor...
I'm always up for trying new foods ...

4. I can't believe that I'm actually posting a picture of this Lucky Charms box--(again!) but there is a story behind it...(and not one that I'm proud to admit)--but for the sake of 5 for it is...

I let my kids each have one bowl of these for St. Patrick's day...which left about a half of a box left...

I got the munchies later on that afternoon and decided that maybe one bowl of these might really hit the spot...(and how!)

I ATE THE REST OF THE BOX!!! What the? is right! What is WRONG with me? Have I no self control? I guess this is where my kids get it from! (they tasted sinfully good--but then again, I like junky kid food like fun dip and hot pockets--)

5. That's right, folks...You saw it right! It is indeed a half eaten shamrock oreo that was partly consumed before 7:00am...(Reilly has become a total sneak lately and has been coming downstairs in the morning before anyone is awake and snarfing down food)--

The bigger issue here is that she ATE IT IN THE LIVING ROOM! (which everyone knows is off limits!)

Did you ever see Mommy Dearest with Joan Crawford when she discovers that her daughter had wire hangers in her closet?--Remember how she freaked? That was sooooo me the other day when this cookie was discovered!

**Do you have a love affair with your clippers?
**Have you ever had birds slam into your window like that?
**Have you tried celery root?
**Do you have a no eating in the living room rule?
**Can you believe that I ate the rest of the Lucky Charms?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Happy 11th Anniversary, Brian

If you knew that...

My feet were so rough that it felt like I was wearing boots to bed

I project human qualities onto animals

Pringles make me gassy

I'm not cuddly

I am impatient

I require a mini pillow fort to sleep

I am a non procrasinator

I get bent out of shape when you don't say bless you after I sneeze

I am not very experimental with my hair

I am clumsy and constantly stub my toes

I lied about wanting to hunt pheasants with you someday

I have an unhealthy addiction to chapstick

I can tease you right back

Would you have still married me?

Thanks for being such a good egg!
I love you...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Top O' the mornin' to ya!

I had one of these lame conversations with Brian the other night...
He was teasing me about my love for blogging (he was insinuating that it was a big time suck)

I told him that it was a wonderful way to record my personal history, connect and be inspired by other people...I've loved every minute of this blogging journey so far...

Here is an example of one of the many great inspirations that I have gained through blogging--(Take THAT, Brian!--Let's hear some of YOUR festive ideas?!)
I was reading 2 clever blog yesterday afternoon and found some really cute ideas of some fun things to do for the kids for St. Patrick's day...

Dyeing the toilet water green! --check!

Make up a special green lunch--check!

Make up little green treat bags--check!

Wow the pants off of my kids by serving them Lucky Charms! (this is only a 1 day thing, guys--so enjoy it while it's here!)--check!

Rearrange the dining room furniture and blame it on those pesky leprechauns!-check!

Still left on the list is to short sheet the kids' beds--(I'm not sure if I have the energy or patience for this)

I did a "mini" version of a family night this morning...(I have my bookclub tonight, so I knew I would be pressed for time). We just talked about some of the history behind this day...

Here are a few things about St. Patrick's Day that I didn't know...

  • The bit of green is a reminder of the beautiful green countryside of Ireland. In fact, this island nation is so green it is often called the Emerald Isle.
  • Green is also the color of a shamrock, the national flower of Ireland. In Ireland, St. Patrick's day is both a holy day and a national holiday, in honor of Saint Patrick the patron saint of Ireland.

According to the story, Saint Patrick was born of wealthy parents, in England, about 385 years AD. Patrick was sixteen years old when he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and sold as a slave. He worked as a shepherd in Northern Ireland for several years and it was during this time that he decided to devote his life to Christ and teach the Irish about his faith. After much hardship Patrick escaped from his captors and fled to France. He soon returned to Ireland where he taught the Irish people to read and write and also about the Christian faith. It is believed that Patrick brought the shamrock plant to Ireland where he used the leaves of the shamrock to explain about God. This small green plant, which looks like clover, has three leaves on each stem. Saint Patrick told the people that the shamrock was like the idea of the Godhead--that in the one Godhead there are three different persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Today the shamrock is the national flower of Ireland.

**Do you have any St. Patrick's day traditions?
**Did you already know the story about how St. Patrick's day came to be?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Honesty Tag

I got tagged by debilyn (a very witty and clever girl!)
to do a 10 Honest Things about me list:

I had to revisit my top 100 things list to jog my brain a bit, but I managed to come up with a few new things as well:

1. I really really hate jazz music--it makes me edgy and nervous

2. I used to wear my tight Jordache jeans under baggy jeans so my mom wouldn't see and then change on the bus.

3. I should have used this one the other day for the other tag on most embarrassing date experience...One time, my date got tickets for Cats when I was living in Pittsburgh. It was for a Thursday matinee--I spent the entire morning dressing up for this and showed up in a black velvet evening gown. Our seats were in the nose bleed section and everyone sitting around us had on jeans and sweatshirts. I looked like such goob! (P.S. that show sucks!)

4. Once, when I was working a flight, I pretended my name was Peggy to avoid being written up for being rude to a passenger. (I'm sure if they really wanted to, they could have gotten my real name) but it just seemed like a good idea at the time. (Nothing ever happened, thank goodness!)

5. I don't like taking showers (I always feel so unorganized whenever I take one!)

6. I used to think that all cats were girls and all dogs were boys (I just recently found out that my sister, Katie, thought the same thing!

7. I used to look forward to the lice checks in grade school. The feeling of someone lightly rummaging through my hair felt sooooo good!

8. I let my cat eat tuna out of my mouth when I was 7 years old (I'm not proud of this!)

9. I don't like to put my face in the water when I swim--it makes me feel claustrophobic

10. I used to be very label conscience to the point where once I glued a Steve Madden label back onto the insole of my shoe...what the?!

**Can you come up with a top 10 list, too?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday thoughts...

Our Sunday school lesson today focused on D&C 25
which talked about the trials that Emma Smith had and how she was able to bear them without murmuring.
"Murmur not because of the things which thou hast not seen, for they are withheld from thee and from the world, which is wisdom in me in a time to come." D&C 25:4
"And verily I say unto thee that thou shalt lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better." D&C 25:10
We talked about we can be a comfort to each other during trials.
(specifically as husbands and wives)

We divided into groups (men on one side, women on the other) to discuss ways in which men and women can be a comfort to each other:

This is what each group came up with:


  • homemakers
  • support
  • feel loved and supported
  • food
  • offer corrections in love
  • wisdom and kindness
  • give yourself to each other
  • sex


  • priesthood blessings
  • living righteously
  • listens and understands (not always giving us a solution)
  • love us for how we are
  • encourage
  • be equal/evenly yoked
  • service (especially when heavy lifting is involved)
  • help discipline the children

(notice that sex was not on the women's list--just thought I'd point that out!)

Anyway, I thought this was an interesting parallel between what each side really needs to feel supported...

I liked both of these quotes:

"If the husband and wife agree with everything all the time than the one is unnecessary"(Billy Graham)

"Happiness is not the absence adversity, but the presence of the Lord."

**Are you a murmurer?

**Do you have anything to add to the list?

**What are your thoughts?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Dream Come True...

Last spring, a local magazine came to take pictures of our house...
I thought they were going to just focus on the garden and landscape, but it turned into being more of a focus on the house...

It was so stressful trying to remove any sign of children and clutter! It's an uphill battle to begin with, but to make it "picture ready" was a bit of a nightmare!

But nevertheless, it's here! My neighbor called me this afternoon to tell me that she had just gotten the new issue with us featured in the mail. The kids were so excited to see our family's picture! We were all jumping up and down and squealing!

Anyway, here it is...I tried scanning the pictures, but I wasn't able to enlarge them--so I took actual photos of the pages themselves and loaded them onto smugmug. The images are a bit blurry because I didn't use my flash, but you can still get the jist...

This is the ultimate souvenir for me from a place that I simply adore!

P.S.--If only our rooms were actually as huge as these pictures are depicting! I can't get over how distorted they are--(for those of you who have actually been in my house, you'll totally know what I'm talking about)