Friday, November 28, 2008

New Hat

Alli got a new hat from her aunt. Unexpected and very loved. She has worn it almost everyday for a week.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Twelve Year Olds

It's Sunday and I'm sick. I made it through the first hour of church and then had to head home. The good thing about my loss of energy is that I have time to slow down and catch up on my blog reading, which of course, prompts me to post.

A word of caution - this will be the very random thoughts of a mother.

Gavin is almost 12. I remember my neighbor commenting about her twelve year old and stating that she cracked her up all the time from the things she'd say. I don't know what it is, maybe it's a switch in their cognitive development, but it's so true.

He teases our neighbor, a little five year old girl, all the time. He claims he's going to marry her just to make her mad. She responds negatively to this attention, which only prompts Gavin to continue with more diligence. She usually "breaks up" with him and makes him walk the school halls alone. Secretly, I think she likes this attention. We were all at her house the other day when the kids came home from school. They were whooping and hollering that this little girl was pinching Gavin's butt all the way up the stairs. When her mom got after her saying that isn't something we do to the neighbor boys, Gavin smiled and piped up, "It's okay...she's just showing me how she feels."

He was also teasing the sister of this five year old. She's Gavin's age and is over at our house all the time to hang out with Alli. She had an otter pop, which Gavin stole and held high above his head. Despite all of her attempts, she wasn't tall enough to reach her treat. I told her a sure-fire way to get that otter pop was to threaten to kiss Gavin if he didn't give it up. To my surprise, she actually did threaten Gavin with a kiss, to which he responded, "Pucker up!"

It must be the age, because this same girl was with Allison picking up some thread for me at the nearby fabric store. I sent them with my cell phone in case they had any questions. Ten minutes after they had left, I got a call on my phone. It was Alli's friend pretending to be an associate at the fabric store. And I quote: "Hi, this is Jo-Ann's Fabric Store. We have a couple of girls here who claim an acquaintance with you. They have been caught shoplifting and we'll need you to come pick them up as soon as possible." I don't know, maybe it was the way she said it, but I laughed and laughed.

The other day Gavin came home from school quite upset. I had substitute taught for a fifth grade class. One of the kids had been bad mouthing me after school about how mean I had been to his class. This particular kid was a real punk. Gavin warned him to stop, but he proceeded to get worse and worse. At about the point when the kid called me a B****, Gavin swung back his fist and hit the kid between the eyes, on the bridge of his nose, knocking him down and making him cry. Gavin was the hero at our house that day and even the principal supported him on that one.

I was tickling him a few nights ago to try and cheer him up. When I moved to his arm pits he yelled out, "Mom, not my arm pits! Those are private and I NEED my hairs for P.E.! I gave him a puzzled look. "What? They make me manly."

Between the off-the-wall comments and the quirky jokes, or even the notes from girls I continue to find in pants pockets, twelve years old is an age to look forward to.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Last weekend we stole the kids from school and took them to California. The idea was to surprise their Aunt Barbie for her birthday and in return, surprise the kids with a trip to see their aunt in Northern Cali. Saturday was spent at Six Flags, a definate highlight for Gavin and true to Allison's instinct, she stayed planted firmly on the ground most of the time.

It started with a clue, followed by nine more with the intent to have them try and guess where we were going. Each clue had a letter or two that was bolded and capitalized. At the end, they had to unscramble the letters to spell out "AUNT BARBIE". We made it to Reno with Gavin still thinking we were headed to Mexico.

Gavin was slightly embarassed to ride the kiddie rides with his sister - they were the only rides we could get her on and even at that, she only tried out half of them.

I think I have a picture of this from every trip we take. I can't help it!

This is Medusa. Apparently it's the fastest roller coaster in the States (at least that is what Gavin said he read in the World Record book. Needless to say, he was VERY excited about this ride). Richard said he'll never ride another roller coaster unless he's on the front. Apparently, it's THAT good.

Another favorite ride, Velocity. And no, we did not turn this picture around. That is in fact, Gavin smiling while hanging upside down before he shot back down. They actually talked me into this one and I screamed myself hoarse and deaf. Won't do it again.

Yeah, I hated this one too. Gavin and Richard sat in front of me and laughed at me the whole ride.

The kiddie whale ride.

Aunt Barbie has a pool and despite the fact that the tempurature was around 70 and the water around 60, the kids insisted they be allowed to swim. They froze to death! Here they are getting ready to jump in together.

The west side of the house was hot from the sun. They spent more time flayed out against the stucco then then they did in the pool.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bedroom Makeover

I wish I had better before pictures of this project, but regardless, I think it turned out pretty cute. I have wanted to paint Allison's furniture for a few years now and FINALLY got around to it. The dresser and nightstand used to be a yellowish stained color with gold drawer pulls. The cedar chest I got for free from a friend that was sending it to D.I. and it used to have a checkered, dark brown pad on top and was a dark stain with those old fashioned, big cover-plate type handles.

All in all, I am very pleased with the results. The cost: $26.00 on new paint brushes, spray paint for turning gold drawer pulls into silver ones and fabric to recover the cushion. (I already had the paint in the garage waiting to be used on a fence, but even if the cost of paint were added, I only used half a gallon for the entire project.)

Now I am working on a few accent pillows and some curtains. I know. Very homemakey. Who would have guessed I had it in me?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Road Trip to Miami!

As some of you may know, a couple of weeks ago I drove with my sister and her baby to Miami, FL. Her little family is going to live there while her husband is in Med. School.

It was fantastic fun and even the 2 1/2 hour backtrack to Macon for a forgotten purse wasn't a damper on the event. We made it to Miami in four days, speeding at 80mph almost the whole way (unless construction was an issue - which it was about 50% of the time. Florida is much worse than Utah when it comes to orange cones and speed signs. Thankfully, no one pays attention to speed limits there either).

And of course, due to the time crunch we didn't have much time to get out and take pictures. Bathroom breaks and a nursing baby were the only allowances we could make. Not that we let that stop us from trying to capture our memorable trip on camera. It's true what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are a few highlights:

Kansas, our first stop for the night.

Umm...not sure. Captures our scenery well though.

Just outside Chatanooga, TN. Restrooms we desperately needed
but were off limits to passers by. The sign said we'd be prosecuted,
so we moved on. I know, I should have risked the prosecution, but Big
Daddy's Fireworks was just around the corner and I'll be honest,
I felt a little squeamish about the whole area. Like maybe a guy in
faded blue overalls and missing teeth was going to come bounding out
of his trailer with a shot gun and stop me midstream. You'd think
all the plastic yard ornaments, tree whirlies and silk flowers in the dirt
would have put me at ease...

A bridge for trains.

This guy was with us for most of the trip. I think we named him Bud.

Georgia Peach.

Expensive and famous art.

Road from Macon to Savannah, which we took twice to retrieve
a purse from Zaxby's.

Savannah, Georgia (historic district). Yup. I ate grits.

Miami, FL in all it's glory and the final destination of our trip!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Stinging Mad

Gavin called me two days ago because he had been stung three times by a wasp...inside his shoe. He ended up coming home because he claimed his foot hurt too bad to walk. Upon closer inspection, it seemed completely fine to me. I kind of gave him a hard time for being "a wuss" because it has always been my experience that bee stings aren't that big of a deal.

But, the next morning, Gavin's foot had puffed up so much he could barely put his shoe on. Now today, it's red, hot and the swelling has gone up to his knee. Even the little wart on his ankle keeps bleeding because it's been stretched beyond it's capacity and it's hard to tell where his ankle should be. He was pretty embarrassed by it, telling me his foot looked like a "hobbit foot".

Apparently, it's the genetics of the situation and we can even go back to Grandma Bean and blame her. Over-reacting to bee stings is just what Richard has always done and now, it's my kid's fate too.

Alli's hand when she was stung by a honey bee.

Richard's hand when he was stung by a yellow jacket.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Smurfs


FFA - Saturday Morning Cartoons

As a kid, our Saturdays started at 6am or earlier. Of course, if we woke up too early, we'd get nothing but colored bars on the tv. Not that it mattered. We'd sit and stare at the bars until that eventful minute when the clock struck six. Nothing was better than Saturday Morning Cartoons.

We, my siblings and I, would plan out exactly what we were going to watch on which channel and would have the whole morning of cartoons laid out before Saturday ever even rolled around and the line-up usually went until 11am. By then the "grown-up" shows were on and we had to finally get our work done. We lived, breathed and existed for Saturday mornings.

Some of the favorites, Rose Petal Place, Rescue Rangers, Monchichi's, Fraggle Rock, Gummi Bears, Smurf's, Wuzzles, Jem, She-Ra and Pound Puppies. Of course, Bugs Bunny or Tom and Jerry ruled them all.

And today, I am not even sure if my kids have options on Saturday morning. I seriously wonder if my poor kids will be able to live normal lives and grow into good, upstanding adults despite their deprivation! I mean, if it weren't for Gummi Bears and Jem Star, I wouldn't be who I am today.

Gummi Bears Theme (Orginal)

Fraggle Rock Intro

Monday, September 15, 2008


Memories of Jr. High

I am going to start off by being brave, and I mean very brave. Pictures often speak more clearly than words, so here's to bravery.

7th Grade: (the days of pink, foam rollers. Only this particular time, I tried a whole head of small braids and then rolled those into the curlers. Quite the look - lumpy, wavy, sort of curly. And the bangs, gotta love the feathered bangs!)

This is the year where my love for Cute Boy began.

8th Grade: (The Scottie Dog pin was a must for this photo - I LOVED it. And who doesn't love the Modified Feathered Bang?)

I developed a love for the mall where I spent many, many hours walking the halls hoping to conveniently bump into Cute Boy. And I remember so clearly the after-school dances (held directly after school) where they played classic songs like "With or Without You" from U2 and everyone stood on the sidelines in tight, huddled groups making it very difficult for some daring boy to break the circle and actually ask a girl to dance.

9th Grade: (I call this my "Kelly Martin" photo - who decided that those abnormally large spectacles were the "in" thing? This is where my bravery takes a peak. This photo has been hidden, stashed and confiscated for the last two decades. I still can't believe I'm posting it on the world wide web, however, it takes a confident soul to finally put something like this on display for all to see - or perhaps I'm just full blown crazy. Yeah, that's probably it because my confidence level just dropped a notch or two since posting this. Poor girl.)

Okay, it's right what they say about Jr. High. It is a never-ending road down to Loserville where the cute, popular boy never speaks to the nerdy girl in saucer glasses.

Despite an obvious indifference on his part, I had worked out a method to my madness by calculating where our classes were and just how slow or fast I needed to walk in order to conveniently pass by him on the way to our next class.

On one particular day, the last bell had rung and the student body was coagulating through the giant, main hall as I was timing my steps just perfectly. It was late in the semester so I'd gotten real good at maneuvering myself within a few feet of him for our last walk out of the school building. I was cranking my neck around to see down the hall behind me to make the needed adjustments in my pace and sure enough, there he was, closer than I thought he'd be and this time he was actually looking back at me! - as if he'd known I was going to be there, as if he were waiting for me.

Our eyes met and for the first time, he didn't turn away. I continued to proceed down the hall without averting my gaze and then...BAM! One of the four giant pillars that kept our school from caving in, jumped out in front of me and stopped me dead in my tracks. It was no small structure, maybe thicker than six of me put together. Not real easy to miss and yet I managed to run right into it, knocking off my glasses and bending them so badly they couldn't be worn. I smacked into it hard enough to send my head ringing and as I bent down to pick up my glasses I looked up to see that Cute Boy was gone, but some other gawking boy was staring at me, laughing. I guess seeing some random boy getting a kick out of my pillar wreck was better than looking up and seeing Cute Boy getting a good chuckle on my behalf.

Ahhh, Jr. High. The Good Ol' Days!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

One More...

DeAnna requested this one be posted as well. It's pretty cute too.

Oh, and she is home from the hospital today. She still has to go in tomorrow for another procedure and who knows how many check-ups, but she should be on the real road to recovery this time!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Cracking Up!

Lauren was cracking us up, I had to share.

She was coming off the drugs they had her on for a procedure she went through and had everyone rolling with laughter. She kept seeing double doors and when she'd look at her thumb she'd exclaim, "WHOA!" At one time, she was seeing blue airplanes under her eyelids. Finally, her mom grabbed a video camera so we could all enjoy!

In the first video, she has a popsicle and must have tried a couple of times to actually get it in her mouth. In the second video, she sings a song for us that we tried to get her to sing at our reunion and it was like pulling teeth. With narcotics, we couldn't get her to stop.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


This my neice, Lauren and her grandma (my mother). I am sitting in a hospital room next to Lauren while her parents are away. Lauren had an accident and subsequently got a severe infection that required a 6 day stay in the hospital. Discharged and on the road to recovery, we thought this stress was over, but her symptoms returned.

Now, on a second visit, Lauren is here a minimum of 7 days while they help her body heal. She ended up having a little surgery to take care of an absess and where they found an unhealed wound and added a few stitches.

She has been quite the trooper and there are only a few things that compare to the chance I get to sit with her and watch Toy Story or Anastasia or read Sleeping Beauty to her. What a sweet little girl! Lauren, get better soon!

Alli Had A Birthday!

My "little" girl just turned 10! I am still in shock over how fast the last 10 years have gone. I hate to consider how fast the next ten years might fly. Actually, with our plan of action, it should be fairly painful...for her.

We'll refuse to let her talk to boys, DEFINATELY won't be allowed to date them. If she is thinking about getting a driver's liscense...she can think again, because it ain't gonna happen. She will have to deal with the fact that she won't be allowed across Center or Main Street and her phone talking time will be on constant surveillance. Hopefully at this rate, the next ten should slow down considerably because I am putting my foot down and refusing to let her grow up. Sorry, Chica!

Monday, August 25, 2008

A New Olympic Sport - Hair Hacking

Yes, I finally asked my sister to oblige me and cut all my long tresses off. It was time for a change (and I was still doing all the laundry). So, after a few nice photos of the long hair, I cut it all off.

(And don't mind the real stupid, cheesy photo. I stayed home from church and decided while I was all alone to try the timer on the camera. I spent over 30 minutes timing, clicking, running from camera to spot, reviewing and starting all over again because the color was wierd or my head was chopped off. To wait for somone to come home from church to take it would have required a little patience. Not my virtue.)

Allowable comments:

You may tell me how adorable it is.
You may tell me how I look way skinnier now that it's short.
You may tell me how my eyes sparkle much brighter without the hair distraction.
You may tell me how great it is that I'll be saving a bundle by using less shampoo.
You can even tell me how wonderful you think it is that I can feel the breeze on my neck.

You may tell me pretty much anything, except:

Why on earth did you do that!?
You look fat.
Why would you do such a thing?
You cut off your one true beauty.
I hate it.
For the love, WHY?
It's out of style. (you all know I've never been "in" style, but I still don't want to hear it).

I'm sorry, but I get way too much grief!

And There You Have It

Goals. Goals are good. Triathlons. Triathlons are good. They fit right in with the whole goal thing. What doesn't fit in to this scene is getting a head cold. A serious, achey all over the body - like don't try to be sweet and rub my back because I'll freak out due to sensitive back skin, sinuses too clogged up to allow for blowing and yet seem to drip uncontrollably, sore throat ripping through to your ear drums, and drain all energy from the mother ship, kind of head cold.

Thursday. Wake up with Fire Throat and energy wavers off and on throughout the day. Still able to function.

Friday. Fire Throat still lingers past nine a.m. and energy is almost completely depleted, but that's okay because the bed catches my fall and I don't move until one o'clock in the afternoon. Even then, the only movement is from my bed to the bathroom and back to bed. By Friday night I am feeling a bit better. At least I manage to emerge from the sick bed to do the dishes.

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008. The day I have been waiting for all summer. The big day that I used to push myself under water over and over again. The day I remembered in the back of my head when I felt like bagging the whole swim thing and biking for the rest of my life. The day that haunted me for the entire summer and the day I actually began to look forward to...

And, the day I didn't show up for a triathlon due to inflamed sinuses, lack of mobilization and a head-cold hangover! AND, the day I forfeited a $40 registration fee.

Don't talk to me, I'm still really, REALLY mad.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I have been stressing about this race, especially the swimming part. I got online to check the rules and such, since I am only days away, and wouldn't you know it...I was wrong in my calculations! I have been swimming 1/4 mile swim for the last couple of months to get ready for this and discovered I only have to do half that! I couldn't be more relieved. I will still look funny, but at least I am only going to look funny for 1/8 mile instead of double that. Yes!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Triathlon Update

Some of you have asked, and for those that are interested, here is an update on how my triathlon training is coming along:

Biking Part - I have always loved biking and could go all day. I timed myself the other day and on a gradual incline, facing a head wind, on a mountain bike that slows me down, I made it just over three miles in 12 minutes. I'm sure that's not much to the pros, but I'll take it.

Running Part - I don't love running that much, but I have finally conquered being able to run 2 measley miles without collapsing and gasping for my life. I know that isn't real impressive, but I only have to run 1.7 miles for the race.

Swimming Part - I am going to drown.

I am pretty sure that when this race is over, I'll stick to bike tours and NO races. I don't mind training for the Speedy Spaniard, but I would be surprised if I ever signed up to actually do it. Who needs the pressure? And as far as swimming goes, I am just glad to say when this summer is over, I can stick my face under water without invoking sheer panic. Mission accomplished.