Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Innocence of a Child

I was at my mother-in-law's house on Monday helping her with a few household things and we got to talking about the economy and how rough it has been on so many of us. She was very sweet and kindly offered to let us live with her if we ever had need to. I don't foresee that in the future, but it's always nice to know you have loved ones who will help you out during those inevitable crunch times.

The drive home left me with a lot of thoughts and I considered how our lives would change if we ended up needing to stay with Grandma for a few months. When the kids got home from school, I asked Allison what she thought about moving in with Grandma Bean. Immediately I heard Gavin holler from the other room, "No Way!" (He has no problem with Grandma, just the thought of living anywhere other than here). I asked Alli again what her thoughts were. She sat there for a minutes and then asked me if she would get her own room. I assured she would have the middle room upstairs. She mentioned it might be too small to fit all of her stuff in it, but she continued to ponder. She considered, "Grandma might need a lot of help. She will need me to take her groceries upstairs for her and I might even miss some of my school". I asked her what her final thought on the matter was and her response came through a very solemn and concerned face, "Sure, mom. I can move to Grandma's, but I would miss you guys SOOO much! (on the verge of tears) Do you promise that you'll come and visit me everyday?"

I was so shocked by her reaction...I quickly went through the conversation to see where the misunderstanding had come in. Then I looked over at her sweet and willing face, gave her a big hug and promised her that I meant we would all move together and not to worry because we weren't going anywhere.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The New Emma...FABULOUS!!!!!

It's exactly midnight. I spent my entire evening finishing this series and I LOVED it! There are six episodes and if you are a Jane Austen fan, I guarantee you'll enjoy them all. I liked the Emma with Gwenyth Paltrow, but I choose this version over the previous one. There is more time to develop the characters. Watch it soon and tell me what you think!

This is the only place I have found that has posted this series, since it has only recently been broadcast in the UK on BBC. I can't wait until we have the DVD available!

Videos - Tudorphiles

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

No More Spankin's

We have trouble "encouraging" Allison to keep her room clean. She can have it completely cleaned up and the next day it looks like a tornado hit it. I honestly don't understand. We have tried just about everything. We have threatened extra jobs, groundings, and this last time Richard said he'd spank her for every item left out. Yeah, that didn't really stick because he's developed a hatred toward spanking his kids. Well, this afternoon inspiration came to me. She can pick up dog poop. There seems to be a never ending mess in her room and we have a constant supply of "punishment".

So, that's exactly what she got to do today and after her little experience, I think we found a cure to a her incessantly messy room. She came in from outside completely grossed out.

It's been raining the last couple of days and well, you can imagine. In the process of cleaning up, the bag broke on her and covered her hand and arm. She came running in and practically poured liquid soap all over all exposed skin, while freaking out about the liquid state of the mess she was cleaning off her arms. Poor thing...I was no support. I just chuckled inside and thought to myself, "this is definately going to do the trick!"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I Think This Is Gonna Be Good!

I just learned of this and am terribly excited. Check out the link to the new BBC's production of Jane Austen's Emma. Tell me your not as ecstatic as I am!

Friday, June 26, 2009

It's Marketable...Maybe

Allison had this great idea..."let's make REAL fruit snow cones and sell them on the street corner!" Her mother said "no" to the street corner, but "sure" to the making of snow cones. She chuckled to herself when she thought through the process of how much work it would take to get enough juice to make even one snow cone. Allison's original idea included bananas, but when it was explained how you can't juice a banana with a citrus press, she moved on to other fruit.

So, here's what happens when cousins get together on a "hot" (70 degrees) Seattle afternoon.

Mushing the watermelon with a citrus juicer because the blender was off limits.

The goal: nine, not ten, snow cones.

Awestruck by the perfect cone-top created by Gavin with a kitchen funnel.

Yup, folks. That's almost half a watermelon and nearly an hours worth of time.

Grapefruit proved to be much harder than watermelon and Josi looks...well, done.

They roped off the front porch to inhibit any toddlers from entering the work zone.

Each snow cone was hand selected and flavor was carefully added with a turkey bulb syringe.

There you have it. Three flavors to choose from: Grapefruit (pretty sure that is more than the "one" grapefruit their mother said they could use), Lemon/Lime Gatorade and Watermelon.

After 3 hours of work, they are finally ready to eat! They offered one to the mother, and after sampling them, she'd have to say they were the kind of good only a labor of love can enjoy. (And an hour later, the mess is still on the front porch).

- You might have to zoom in to catch Duncan's expression. He had already eaten his when I went to take the picture. He still wanted to be in the photo so he told me he'd pretend he still had something to eat. This was his re-creation of the experience. Priceless.

Shed No More

While I hang out in Washington enjoying my nieces and nephews and visits with Jenny and Todd, Richard stayed at home. I think he'd rather be with us, but couldn't take a whole week off of work. To bide the time, he decided to tear into our summer project - the removal of the old, original shed is the first step on the list.

I can't imagine the exhaustion since I am only part of this transition via email and phone. Gavin and Allison helped a bit the first day, but then we left for Seattle and Richard finished the rest. I believe Ben Bird came over to help him get the roof off, which,
apparently, was the only thing holding the walls up. When the roof came off the walls jiggled like jello.

We are hoping to use the brick to make an outdoor fireplace and in place of the shed there will be more concrete poured to expand our patio. The walls were actually two brick thick...I think my fear of not having enough brick for our project is dispelled.

We removed some boards and discovered there were windows behind them. Very cool. We are guessing they are probably original, which would date them back 100 years or so. The number of wasp nests were amazing! The old coiled metal looks like it might have been used to make a wagon wheel rim...who knows, I'm totally guessing. Maybe it's not too far fetched considering the family who built our home were Blacksmiths and we found the tool that might have been used for wheels.

The lilac bush is very old. Richard tried to chop it down a few years ago and it just grew back. We are hoping to take starts from it and make a hedge of lilacs to separate the patio from the backyard and new shed.

Maybe we'll use some of it for a path, or wall...or something decorative. That's more brick than I thought there would be!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


What is insomnia good for? Absolutely nothing!...except perhaps blogging. At this particular moment, it beats Spider Solitaire, again. If only this insomnia bout would leave my brain functioning on a somewhat normal level so I could formulate my thoughts for a blog entry.

As many of you may have noticed, I have fallen off the Blogging Band Wagon. I think I fell so long ago that I am no longer even choking on wagon wheel dust. My feeble attempts to stay connected through this medium get weaker and weaker and yet, I still hear a distant sound that calls to me from my blog page beckoning me to do something with all it's wasted, outdated space. So here's what I have to say while I wait for my sleep "enhancers" to kick in.

California Speed. The card game my daughter and I are currently hooked on. She talked me into it last Sunday and we have played every day since. It's nice because I try my hardest to win and she still kicks my trash 80% of the time. She giggles a lot.

Robert's House. Currently, my son is lending his muscles to his uncle for some home repair projects. He left last Sunday with a quick goodbye and a big smile. As he walked out the door I hollared for him to call me when he gets homesick. I waited for his call that very night. I waited the next night and the next. Finally, today I called him. Oops...he was too busy and he didn't remember. Uncle Robert works them hard for the morning and then they spend their afternoons watching movies and eating at buffets for dinner. When I talked to him today, I mentioned he should call me before he went to bed that night even if he didn't miss me, because I missed him. 11PM. He called. We were almost sleep. Now I am on my second round of trying to get my brain to shut down.

Relief Society. I spend one hour a day and that's it. I can't do anymore. If the Bishop needs more he's going to have to bring down the powers of heaven and ask for a miracle. Now that I have set my guide, I am still trying to abide by it or if I am obeying it, I'm trying hard not to feel guilty for not doing something more. Oh, and I just got the new changes in Visiting Teaching taken care of and Richard informed me tonight about another family who's moving. It's not too bad, it just zaps the hormones right out of me. Ask Richard how he feels about that.

Hormones. Levels are too low to be considered hormones anymore, they are more plasma and flesh. I love that I am no longer breaking out like a teenager, but feel the insomnia and hot flashes might go away if I could get these babies back in sync. So, here goes another trial run at what works best with C's body!

Yard Work. Overdone, overestimated and overpaid. It appears nobody wants to work for nothing no matter how bad the economy is looking. We need a lot of concrete and fast. The weeds are making us looney and we simply don't have time for them. However, the garden is already the apple of our eye. We still have our fingers crossed hoping the little green shoots coming through the ground are actually going to bear fruit of some kind. We over-planted watermelon if anybody is interested.

Allison. Grew 1 3/4 inches during her fifth grade school year and she is only one size behind me in shoes. Ahhhhh! Not too mention and maybe I shouldn't, but we had to upgrade some of her undergarments to accomodate for growth. This is not happening. NOT happening. My baby is entering her last year of elementary school.

Gavin. He's The Man. That's all he requires and it's easy really. All we must do to get him to function in our family and do the work that needs to be done is to stroke his already, rapidly growing ego, by telling him "He's the Man". He smiles and does what he's told. Seems pretty simple to me. Do you think there are going to be any long lasting effects from this method of parenting? Guess we won't know until it's too late!

New families moved into the nieghborhood. Nice people. All of them. They like yard work and green seems to be their favorite color for a lawn too. They should fit in nicely. PLUS, they all go to church every week. I hope our goo goo's and gah, gah's over functioning members didn't scare them away.

The more I site the MORE i FEEL RELAXED. tHIS bLOOGGING HAS BEEN JUST WHAT TEH dOCTOER ORDERED. i THINK MY BRAIN IS FINALLY FUZZY ENOUGH FOR DREAM LESS SLEEP.LDFFKKKKKKKKKK JFFFFFFFJFFFFFLS FJJF EJ JF AS ....................................My legs feel like jello when I stand up and my up wants to be flat on the ground. I think they're working.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I LOVE Spring!

After a long and yard-work filled summer last year, I wasn't really in the mood to plant bulbs. Despite the overwhelming desire to cozy up and hibernate for the winter, I bought 250 bulbs of all sorts. I didn't enjoy the work then, but I am fully enjoying it now!

We also planted about ten new trees last fall, just before the frost came. The excitement over our baby bloomers is almost embarrassing. Richard and I walk the yard almost every day to check on the new fruit trees and goo-goo over the daffodils!

What is it about Spring!? Whatever it is, I love it!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


After 4 weeks, 1 day, 21 hours, and 39 minutes we finally finished our bathroom (aside from a little touch-up painting to be done on the baseboard and walls). I am so excited to have my bedroom back! It's been a construction/war zone for way too long.

We love the new bathroom so much, we're thinking of sprucing up the other one as well. Not quite the same overhaul as the other, but maybe we'll replace the sink and faucet, re-grout the tile and have the tub re-glazed. Not too much since we'll probably end up re-designing that bath into a half-bath/laundry room. We have re-done every other room in the house, it seems a shame not to do something to the only room left to be messed with.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Title Page

Friday, February 13, 2009

I've Been Bit By the Bug!

In my de-stress from the Bathroom Construction Zone, I have found something fun to do. I'm trying my hand at very simple. It works for now. I am just excited to have "booked" a whole trip worth of photos. It's been nearly eight years since I could claim that one!

(I am taking the photoshop class from the city's community school, but I have yet to learn a whole lot more than what I already had learned from online tutorials and a sister with great tips. Next week's class will be on Quick Masks, which I know nothing about - so I'm really looking forward to that one. And I signed up for the advanced class which I'm sure will teach me a lot of new techniques and know-how. The instructor is very good and knows A LOT.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A New Layout or Two

I have been taking a Photoshop class and it has inspired me to do a few layouts. Keep in mind, these layouts don't represent the typical digital scrapbooking you'll find on the web. You'll find more than one photo on these pages and not much by way of ribbons, buttons, flowers, swirlies, lace...(the list goes on and on), but they were fun to do regardless.

Here are some from our trip to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone. We went in October of 2007 with my parents and spent most of our time taking pictures. It was gorgeous!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Political Candidate In The Making

Last night we watched the Governor's State of State Address. I was so impressed that my kids actually stuck around and listened to what he had to say. I couldn't help but think about how old they're getting and the new stage of political awareness they were heading into. (I'm sure the sandwiches I was feeding them and the fact that the tv happened to be in the kitchen where they had to stay to eat those sandwiches might have had something to do with it, but I still got the feeling they were actually listening to what the governor had to say.)

Then, at the peak of my Mother Pride, Gavin matter-of-factly pipes up during a moment of delayed applause..."They took a while to finally clap on that one...they're faking it." And from that point on, throught the rest of the address, he deciphered whether or not each applause was sincere or not.

At least he got something out of it...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bathroom Remodel

What?! A New Post! I know, I shock myself sometimes, too. This post is for those of you who have been visiting and wishing the owner of this blog would do something besides...whatever it is she does during the day that isn't blogging.

We are currently under renovation at our house. Last weekend, we impromtu decided to tear into our odeous Master bathroom. It's needed an over-haul since we moved over six years ago. It didn't take more than three hours to disassemble, but it's sure taking it's own sweet time to come back together. Here's a few photos of the demo. I better have the "after" photos to post soon or you'll have to check my sanity levels. I am getting pretty sick of constant dust and sheets over my bedroom furniture!

The bathroom was a full shower and not a tub. We are ripping out the tile and the fiberglass shower with it's really gross glass doors. The new and improved bathroom will include new tile floor and tub surround, a big, deep soaking tub, a new vanity and top, new fixtures, a can light above the tub and of course we'll have to repaint and add new baseboard. It is sure to be fantastico!

Yeah!!! A new can light above my shower/tub.
Yeah, I know, disgusting!