Sunday, March 30, 2008

when fortune comes knockin'

We went to a family lunch & ate Chinese.  With the bill, the server brought the usual bowl of fortune cookies. Greg took the cookies and tossed them to each member of the family. Turns out, we each got one that is just right:

Stephanie: Soon you will be sitting on top of the world. 

Heather: You create your own stage. The audience is waiting.

Greg: You will gain adoration from  your peers. (Management training will begin soon for Greg.)

Andrea: You have a deep interest in all that is artistic.

Tony's fortune was just right for him too, but I didn't steal his.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

shopping with one

A few weeks ago I took Heather shopping with me. Taking one kid with me is never a problem. Two at a time can sometimes try every ounce of patience I have because they play games in the stores which means they get louder and louder, then make more noise than I'm ok with. Eventually they end up bickering about something which totally grates on my nerves. At some point they quiz me about how many more stores (even though I usually give them a full run-down on the places we will be going) or how many more items we need. To which I usually reply, "Until I'm done." Heather had mentioned how much fun she had that day so I thought I'd take her again. In fact, we were at a Mervyn's the other day trying to find some pajamas for me for pajama day (no luck there) when Heather and Stephanie were starting in on each other. When I told them to knock it off, Heather announced to Stephanie that she likes shopping alone with Mommy because she gets in trouble while Stephanie is there. Oooh, not nice. 

Today Stephanie was regrouping from a sleep over and wanted to stay home with Daddy, so Heather and I headed out to do our shopping. I asked her where she wanted lunch. She picked McDonald's. I tried and tried to talk her into something else, but she really wanted it. I gave in and had a belly ache all afternoon. We had a nice time shopping and she didn't complain once about how long it was taking.

When we got home she asked me to tell Daddy that she was a big girl in a "loud, clear, and nice voice." I did.

not you

It seems I am approaching a birthday that is really impossible because I am not that old. In my mind, I swear I am still 25. So there's no way this birthday can be upon me. It just defies the laws of the time-space continuum. It defies the laws of all that is right and just. I'm not really ok with it in case you can't tell. 

So, last night I went out with some girls from school. First we went out to dinner. I was urged to try this kiwi-melon martini. I've never had a martini before, ok, sure, why not. The server asks for my ID. Ah! Such sweet words! My friend tells him that he made my day, to which is replies that he checks everyones. Ok, grow up little boy, because that is not what you say to a woman approaching this age. You should let it go and encourage the delusional thoughts of the old hag.

Later we went to see a local band. They hadn't started playing so we just sashayed into the over 21 venue with no questions asked. Just before they started playing Charlotte, Silva, and I went to the bathroom. When came back up to the door of the room they were in, the security guard asked to see our ID (since before they are playing it's ok to be underage???). Obligingly I pull out my ID and so does Charlotte. We eagerly thrust them at him with smiles on our faces. To which his young punk, self-absorbed mouth says, "I just meant her," pointing to Silva. Dude, that's something you should have kept to yourself!

So, this is for you young boys who do not know how to stroke the ego of any female, not to mention the ones approaching this age.

come as you are

Yesterday was pajama day at school. So when I got the kids up to get dressed they thought it was funny that I said, "Get your pajamas on" (cuz they needed fresh ones!) instead of "Get your clothes on." Oh, they were so giddy about wearing their pajamas. They could also bring blankets and stuffed animals for reading time. I am always amazed that the simplest things give children such joy and excitement. Sometimes I think we are so focused on making the day or event so big with the 'wow' factor that we forget that it's the littlest things that make them the happiest. I've got to try to remember the little things.

I don't know what Stephanie's non-smiling face is all about. She must have missed the part where I said "smile!" She really was happy.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Happy 100

Apparently, it is customary to post 100 things about yourself for your 100th post. So, go grab your coffee or soda to keep yourself awake during the read. Here we go:
  1. I love crafts (no surprise there).
  2. I have one awesome husband (polygamy just isn't my thing).
  3. I have two daughters. They are precious.
  4. I am a teacher.
  5. I had many unofficial 'majors' in college before declaring anything: accounting, marketing, fine arts, English, and finally elementary ed.
  6. I didn't become a teacher because I couldn't do anything else - I really wanted to be one.
  7. Teaching is the hardest, most rewarding job I've ever had.
  8. Of all the subjects, I think I teach writing the best.
  9. I may change my mind about what I really want to be when I grow up.
  10. I don't always feel grown up.
  11. I think I am pretty smart.
  12. I had always wanted to be a teacher, but thought that was an unacceptable notion.
  13. I decided to do what I want.
  14. I am a rule follower.
  15. But I don't like to be told what to do.
  16. I cannot stand licking popsicle sticks or those wooden ice cream spoons. I can't even watch other people do it. It makes me cringe and cramps my tongue.
  17. But I love wood - the smell of it, the feel of it, the way you can move a saw through it, sand it, and paint it.
  18. I moved out of the house in April before I graduated high school.
  19. My mom says I ran away. I didn't. I was 18 and gave her the address & phone number of where I was going. That's not running away - that's moving out.
  20. I love Dr. Pepper (diet Dr. Pepper is not the same).
  21. I love ice cream.
  22. I could eat Mexican food a thousand times a week.
  23. I have one brother, Brent, who is two years younger than me.
  24. I sometimes have the feeling he is older, though because he is taller and has seen more trouble in his life than me.
  25. I can fit into almost any social situation.
  26. However, I rarely feel like I belong.
  27. I often feel forgettable.
  28. One of my high school dance teachers told me I was so quiet she hardly knew I was there.
  29. When I was student teaching I was told that I needed to speak louder.
  30. I was always told by my family that I was too loud.
  31. I have perfected the teacher voice and can be heard across a very noisy room.
  32. I have perfected the "teacher look" -- or is it the "mommy look."
  33. My favorite color is pink.
  34. But I think that is unfair to all the other colors.
  35. And I don't always choose pink things because I like so many other colors as well.
  36. I have seen U2 six times.
  37. I would see them again.
  38. I have a varied range of music tastes. 
  39. I've been halibut fishing in the Gulf of Alaska twice (once while pregnant with Heather).
  40. I was "rescued" in Alaska by helicopter (I was not alone). That is a whole story, right there.
  41. I never worked in the food industry.
  42. I worked in offices through high school and college.
  43. I moved out of my parent's house, got fired from my job, and totaled my car in the span of 4 days. Not a good week for me.
  44. I didn't go to college for the first three semesters after I graduated high school.
  45. I wasn't ready and didn't want to waste my time or the money.
  46. Despite all protests from others that I wouldn't, I did start and finish my degree. Ha! to all you naysayers!
  47. I have part of a Master's that I haven't finished yet. I stopped when Stephanie was born.
  48. I will finish someday.
  49. I don't like to get up early.
  50. But if I do, I think the morning is a nice time of day.
  51. I'd rather stay up late.
  52. I have lots of hobbies -- painting, scrapbooking (paper crafts), sewing, reading.
  53. But, spending time with my husband and children is the best time spent.
  54. I love to collect things that have to do with my hobbies - paper, fabric, paint, things to paint on, embellishments - you name it.
  55. I also have a love affair with office supplies.
  56. I always treat myself to new school supplies every August.
  57. My kids also get all new school supplies.
  58. I think the atmosphere of starting a new school year is exciting. I guess you'd expect that from a teacher.
  59. I have always liked school.
  60. I have worked a lot of different places -- 2 dentist offices, 2 mortgage companies, a real estate company, a construction company, a marketing company, 2 different departments at ASU, a computer software company, and the school district. Oh, and I babysat regularly from age 12 to 18. So I know just about enough of different kinds of information to be dangerous.
  61. I am full us useless trivia. For example, did you know it's impossible to lick your elbow? Go ahead, try it. I'll wait. Couldn't do it, could you? There are also no nerve endings in the skin on your elbow. Pinch it and see. Don't ask me why I know this much about the elbow - I told you, useless trivia.
  62. I am a perfectionist, but can easily let some things go (like housework).
  63. I always feel the need to "measure up" to expectations - both mine and those of others.
  64. I sometimes do not ask for help because I think that someone else will not do it the way I would.
  65. I hated this trait about my mother.
  66. I am a procrastinator.
  67. When I am procrastinating, I think a lot about the project is so when it comes time to do the project I have a better handle on it because it's been well thought out.
  68. I iron every day.
  69. I cannot wear wrinkled clothes.
  70. I iron my clothes, the kids' clothes, and Greg's if they need it. Luckily his uniforms wash so nicely that if I pull them out of the dryer promptly they don't need ironing.
  71. I hate housework.
  72. I was never taught how to do housework - I had to learn on my own.
  73. I never developed much self-discipline for housework.
  74. I pause before getting on or off an escalator to be sure of my footing. 
  75. I'm afraid of bridges -which includes high, free-standing freeway connections.
  76. I have to drive on one of those freeway connections twice a week from dance. 
  77. I love every minute of getting my hair colored, washed, cut, and styled at the salon.
  78. I love manicures and pedicures.
  79. I love to have new purses.
  80. When I lived in Arizona I sang in my church choir for years.
  81. I hardly let anyone hear me sing now.
  82. I need to touch things to connect with them. 
  83. Museums are a challenge for me because of this.
  84. But I do love museums.
  85. I'd still like to be an artist one day.
  86. I am a good cook.
  87. I'm self-taught there too. Trial and error, cookbooks, and cooking shows helped me out.
  88. I'll try new recipes on company without a second thought.
  89. I have never had a cavity - ever.
  90. I am a strict mom and make no apologies about it.
  91. I balance the strict with lots of love and spoiling.
  92. I am a sucker for the happily ever after. I like books and movies with romance at some point.
  93. I also like books and movies that include comedy.
  94. I'll stay up nearly all night to finish a book if I'm close enough to the end.
  95. When I finish the book I will wish it weren't over.
  96. Then I kick myself in the morning when I have to get up to go to work.
  97. I am usually late where ever we go, though I can manage to be on time to work most of the time.
  98. I think I can do a bunch of stuff in a small amount of time. I sometimes think I am Super Woman. Then I join the rest of you in reality.
  99. I am thankful for the people in my life. I realize how fortunate I am to have who and what and I have in my life.
  100. I'm sure there's more to know, I just can't think of it right now. :)
Whew! See you on post 101.

the 80s are over

In fact, so are the early 90s. So tell me why, when I was searching under the sink for a clip for my bangs tonight, did I find these beauties things? I never even wore them much when they were all the rage. Apparently during several different shopping moments I felt like they were needed accessories.

kid art

I thought I'd share a little more of Heather's artwork. This has been hanging on our fridge for a little while. She has apparently been influenced by backyard events plus the shows Daddy watches on t.v. According to her label, this is a "Tractor for Dirt." Evidently it's a lovely day because the birds are saying, "twet, twet, twet."

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

spice things up

This was yesterday's picture, but I couldn't post it because Suzanne might see it before she was supposed to. We had a shower for her at school today and this was part of my gift to her. It turned out really cute, I think. I was a little nervous about it because I've never scrapbooked on tin before. I used my strong glue and it was more simple than I thought it would be. 

We threw her a SPICE SHOWER. It works like this. Write out one of your favorite recipes (easy, super delicious, whatever). Include a jar of one of the spices or herbs used in the recipe. Also include a tool or dish used to prepare the recipe. For example, I gave Suzanne my chicken noodle soup recipe with a jar of sage. I also gave her two soup bowls. 

Well, you need to put those recipes in something, now don't you? So I made her this recipe box as well. Inside there are subject dividers.

Monday, March 24, 2008


After four weeks of being barefoot, tennis-shoed, and flip-flopped, these were no party for my feed today.


Pastry Cutter B Awkward/Alone Wooden Tag C k 
T O 
Pewter Ransom Font s C coloured card disc letter h O - glowing O Wooden Tile L

Today I have to go back to work. I really could stay home a little longer. I still have many more projects. sigh. 

Sunday, March 23, 2008

easter grass

This afternoon we noticed the first little blades of grass in the backyard. Woohoo!

eggs, hunts, and choo choo trains

Much to Heather and Stephanie's delight, the Easter Bunny showed up again this year! Stephanie left him a sweet note. They loved going through their baskets with new books, new dance outfits, and eggs fill with candy and coins. Stephanie, not being a rise-and-shine kind of gal, had a hard time smiling for pictures while going through her basket. She perked up for pictures outside during the egg hunt, though. 

The EB hid the eggs just a little harder this year. He apparently tried to camouflage them into their surroundings. There's no fooling Heather, though. She found the brown one in the rocks right away. We always tell her she's the best finder. If you've lost something around the house and employ her help, she will probably find it before you. 

This year the EB also worked his way down the side of the house, almost going into the backyard. But, alas, no grass yet. Next year, EB there will be lots of grass back there.

Here they are displaying all their eggs.

After a breakfast feast of boiled eggs and candy (hey, breakfast of champions), we prettied up and headed to church with with Danny & Paulette. For various reasons (yard, yard, and oh yeah, yard), we haven't been to church since Christmas. 

Then we headed over to Papa Robinson & Grandma Tona's for lunch and more egg hunting. The girls were so excited because they love looking for eggs in their huge back yard. Grandma Tona spoiled them with 75 eggs total. Wow! Papa had to go to the store to get ice and Heather asked when the hunt would be. Tona told her when Papa got back he and Daddy would hide the eggs. No sooner had he returned and sat down outside did Heather bring him the big bowl of eggs and plop it on the table in front of him. There was no hinting around here, she wanted an egg hunt. 

The girls were in a full sprint at times, rushing to find the eggs. They had such a great time. Other years, there are other cousins over for the hunt who seem a little more aggressive in the egg hunt (well, they're boys). This year it was just the two of them so they had the run of the yard to themselves. Pure delight, let me tell you. 

Heather and Stephanie both reached for the same egg at the same time. Heather was slightly quicker!

This is a rare picture of Jim actually smiling nicely. Usually when a camera comes his way he makes goofy faces. 

After the egg hunt the kids gorged on candy, then we ate lunch (wrong order? oh well). We had some delicious ham, au gratin potatoes, beans, deviled eggs, and strawberries. 

Greg and I were were in the house doing something on the computer with Tona. Papa played croquet with the girls. At one point I went out back and saw this:

All aboard! They were playing train. Papa was no doubt the engine. A few minutes later he came in, looking worn out, only to be followed by the two beauties wondering when the next train was leaving the station.

All in all it was a great day. Quiet, relaxing, and full of so much joy. 

all dolled up and places to go

Aren't they gorgeous?!  We shopped for new Easter dresses and the girls picked these out (with a little direction from yours truly). This picture is just outside of church. More Easter details to follow.


Last night we decorated eggs. But before that, the girls each made diagrams of how they planned on decorating their eggs. Heather simply drew the egg as she envisioned it. Stephanie drew the egg, then added step by step instructions. Once they got started, they deviated from their plans, but still referred to them now and again. Heather checked off the ones she was able to complete. 

This was a wonderful, low key night. The girls are at the age where we (really, me) don't have to worry too much about spilling the dye all over the place. They have definite ideas of what they want and how to accomplish it. We gave them the eggs and let them have at it. This is a great age! Check out the concentration on their faces.

Look at those gorgeous eggs! I took a couple of their eggs and wrote messages with the invisible crayon for the girls. The bunnies are not my artwork, but the kids. 

Egg dying has been somewhat stressful in the past. So much potential mess! Not so much this time. I purposed ahead of time I was going to be as laid back as possible. It worked. Greg probably would not like for me to tell you that it was him who spilled the blue dye on the sheet while we were cleaning up. Let's not mention it to him. Deal?

Throughout the evening Stephanie burst out in sheer excitement that she might not be able to get to sleep. She was so excited about the Easter Bunny coming. It almost rivaled the excitement about Santa. Holy cow!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

in case you were wondering

Was anybody wondering where I was yesterday? I fully intended to post and even had Stephanie take the daily picture for me. However, after a fun filled day of errands and working at school when I didn't want to, I found myself with a migraine. The headache started before I left the house in the morning and just got worse. It was one of those where you have yourself convinced that crushing blows to the skull with a hammer would be ultimately more pleasant than what's currently going on in your head. So I ate some soup and put myself to bed with a cold pack before anyone else in the house. Those of you who know me well, know that I've got to be hurting for that to happen, since I love to stay up late!

On a positive note, my new glasses were ready well before they were supposed to be. How do they look? Don't mind the many chins because of the pose angle!

I was at home, in the same room with Greg, and conversing for over an hour before I asked him if he noticed anything different. He said he did notice but didn't think much of it. Ok, that's good really because they must look natural on me. They are the boldest frames I've ever had. I usually try to get the ones that disappear on your face because I didn't want to draw attention to the fact I was wearing glasses. I even had some clear frames once (it might have been the 80s). This time I decided to be bolder with my choice. 

Notice the lipstick in the picture? I had just freshly applied gloss only. The lipstick is Cover Girl Outlast - something new. This picture was taken after eating lunch. I used a napkin as usual and the color was still there! In fact, when I woke up this morning, it's even still a little bit there. It comes with a color and a gloss. You just reapply the gloss periodically. But you'd put gloss, chaptstick, or more lipstick on anyway, right? Colors that stay all day are usually dry and cakey. This one is not too dry and not cakey at all. Go right out and buy yourself some. Kim, don't you go get any. The first color I bought was all wrong for me, so I sent it to you (one errand yesterday was the post office). 

Thursday, March 20, 2008

how many times

a day can a girl go to Target?

Today, the answer is two. First, I took the kids earlier in the day so they could possibly find white sandals for their Easter dresses. Mission accomplished. Of course, two pairs of sandals turned into so much more.

Then I had to go back later because I forgot to return a movie and the receipt was about to expire. While I was there on my own, I took care of a little "bunny magic." ;)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


is it that when I asked the children to bring me all of the towels in their bathroom yesterday to be washed, I go in there today to find two bath towels hanging from the hooks? These are not fresh towels either. 

burping in style

I listed these on Etsy today:

They are boutique burp cloths. You might as well be stylish while coaxing gas out of a baby! When I was visiting Kim in January for her baby shower, she showed me some she received as a gift. Of course, I thought, hey, I can do this! And I did! The pink fabric soooo soft and delicious! You want to just wrap yourself in it naked. Please don't tell me if you do it.  

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

it's perfect

The house isn't done. It will probably never be done. We will always have one project or another to work on. It's just the way we are. When we finally do finish the house, we will probably start all over. 

When we first moved in this house I told Greg I wanted to do the kitchen in roosters. I sort of promised (maybe with my fingers crossed) that the roosters would stay in the kitchen. Then I saw the lamps. One is a greyish rooster with a lovely red gingham shade. Awesome! The other is a small whitewash rooster with a darling shade with beads. They are the perfect accessories to allow the living room/front entry to mesh with the kitchen with the open floor plan and all. I bought them and sold Greg with the explanation I just gave you. Just these. No more except in the kitchen.

That said, I have this cute little black table between the entertainment center and the window by the stairs. It has a spot for books underneath. The rooster lamp with the red gingham shade is on that table (see above). All the table needs is a chair to sit by it. A simple kitchen chair, painted black. I'm not going to pay a lot for it, so I've never bought one. The ones I found that would be ok are lots of money. So I've decided to go looking at garage sales and such, then paint the whole thing black myself. I can do it because I'm handy that way. 

I haven't gone to the garage sales yet, but I have to soon because I found the perfect fabric to make a cushion or pillow for the chair. It's gold with reddish/rust colored roosters scattered throughout. Oh, it's so wonderful, so simple, so chic. I told Greg about it and he repeated my promise to keep the roosters in the kitchen. I don't believe we pinky promised way back then, so I may be able to get out of this one. I'll have to check with my lawyer brother-in-law. I reminded him that it's very simple, not big huge roosters all over the place. "Oh, not like the gigantic 3D rooster that's in the kitchen?" he asked. Whatever! No, nothing like that one!

I need to make a move on this project because if I wait too long, the fabric will discontinue or be all bought up by all the rooster loving decorators out there!

Monday, March 17, 2008

some stuff

I went to the eye doctor today, so these glasses that you've seen me in for the last, oh I don't know, several years are soon to be no longer. I have not had my eyes checked in an embarrassingly long time. Good news, my prescription hasn't changed too much - just a little in my right eye. The left is virtually the same he said. I picked out a very stylish pair of glasses and some nice sunglasses. Actually, let me rephrase that. The nice boy who doesn't know he's gay yet helped me pick out my glasses because my fashion buddy (Charlotte) was unavailable. The kids tried to help also, but they kept picking out a) ones just like the picture or b) ones that had hideously thick arms. Uh, no thanks. The nice boy told them I was not an Italian diva (that just proves it right there). When it was narrowed down to three, they were more helpful. Of course the nice boy was helpful as well. 

Then I went to school to do lesson plans. I got little done because there was so much to do I got a little overwhelmed. I tend to just throw up my arms at the beginning of a track break and vow to deal with the accumulated mess later. Really, not a good plan.

At the beginning of track break I told  you that my #1 goal was to keep up on the dishes during my break, hopefully cementing a positive habit for when I go back to work. Well, I didn't realize I was going to spend so much time outside, so I didn't do as well as I would have liked. I would give myself a C on that project. Not fabulous, but considering I was earning an F before, much improved.

Now, I have a new goal. (One at a time, please.) Greg was just told that he has a new responsibility at work. He's the deck captain. It involves helping with the unloading of the cans in the morning and printing reports, making sure things are running smoothly and according to numbers on the deck. That said, he will have to go to work earlier than normal. So, you know what's coming next - he'll want to go to bed earlier. And if he wants to go to bed earlier he will want to eat dinner earlier. I grew up eating later. So, it just seems right to me. I'd do well in Europe. (Maybe I am that Italian diva afterall.) It's hard for me to make dinner at a reasonable, or even early, hour of the evening. It just seems, well, wrong. Today I had dinner ready at 6:30. It was still nice and sunny out. Heather found out it was ready and said, "What? (looking out the window), it's not even night out." Yeah, I hear you, sister. New goal #2 - dinner at an earlier (oh my) hour.

Today is St. Patrick's Day. Did you remember to wear green? Did you get to pinch anyone? The only people I would have been allowed to pinch are the ones I dressed this morning. I gave them green to wear. See how nice I am?


Yesterday the boys from across the street stayed over for a long time. All 4 of the kids got along well and had a nice time playing, then watching a movie. There was some debate about which movie they would watch. Stephanie wrangled the 3-year old on her side and ambushed Heather. (The other boy had gone home for a little bit.) The children had a gourmet lunch of chicken nuggets and macaroni & cheese. Hey, I aim to please. Greg and I mostly stayed out of their way and spent a long time in the computer/craft room. He worked on the computer and I made some scrapbooky projects for Etsy. Just when I started taking pictures - poof! - no more camera battery. So there was no posting and no listing last night. All in all it was a very calm, jammie day. 

Saturday, March 15, 2008

hanging with my peeps

Greg declared that today and tomorrow were rest days. He said even doubted he would make it out of bed except to pee, and maybe eat. But eating could be done in bed. Fair enough, the guy has worked hard lately. Yeah, well, things change. Not only did he get out of bed, but we took the kids to see Horton Hears a Who and to lunch. The movie was great! The kids loved it and there were moments of adult humor thrown in as well.  It was a great family day.

While we were at lunch, Greg decided we'd go to the Depot to get some seeds for some more vegetable items for the garden. Since we got home he's been reading about the vegetables and preparing more drip tubing for them. He'll plant seeds tomorrow. He just can't stay away from that yard!

The girls just invited two of our neighbor boys to spend the night. Yikes! What started out as a very calm, relaxing day may have just escalated into frenzied. We'll see.

dear pesky flies, free-loading birds, and unwelcome alley cats:

Apparently the invitations have gone out and were well received, because every fly known to mankind is now in my backyard experiencing the kind of euphoria that only freshly laid steer manure can produce. Even though the weather is nice, my back door will not be opened until the spa weekend is over for you flying pests and the aroma has dissipated to the rest of the neighborhood. I understand (not really) your need to get your poop fix, but let's be clear on this - you are not invited inside my house. 

For any bird who thinks you have also been invited to the spa weekend with the All-You-Can-Eat Seed Buffet, think again. You will be promptly chased away should you try to crash this poopy party. The seed is for germination, not charity.

Lastly, to the cat who insists on inviting himself in our yard, get out. We've had enough of your nightly visits and the little "gifts" you've been leaving in the sand pile. Your efforts are not appreciated. 

The Management 

Friday, March 14, 2008

watchin' the grass grow

We planted grass seed today! Hallelujah! Let's stop for a moment of silence.

Ok, thanks.

The manure was disgusting. I thought I might lose my doughnuts (breakfast of champions!) a time or two while Greg was loading the spreader. 

Now, we wait. 

Are there blades yet? 

No. So we wait some more.

The backyard is actually not quite done. There are still 3 rows of planters and the island still waiting for plants. We already put 30 plants in the top & side tiers. But rest of the plants are gonna have to wait. 

Greg has no doubt carried the majority of the burden in the backyard. He used most of his vacation days and an endless number of weekends over the last few years working in the backyard. But let's review things I've done in the backyard (this is my blog, afterall).
  • I learned how to drive a bobcat. Oh, yeah, there's a hilarious story. Like the time I was backing off the curb and nearly tipped the whole thing backward. I screamed bloody hell.
  • I carried brick after brick after brick for the planters.
  • I shoveled dirt, dirt, and more dirt.
  • I carried buckets (ok ~ only half full) of dirt I didn't think I could carry, then lifted them onto the 4-foot wall.
  • I lifted wood beams for the pergola above my head and prayed I wouldn't drop them.
  • I helped stain the pergola. 
  • I made buckets and buckets of Gatorade for Greg.
  • I swept and and vacuumed mountains of dirt that was constantly trekked in the kitchen.
  • I heaved bags of poop out of the back of the truck. Then heaved 30 of them back in because we bought too many.
  • I painted the stucco.

The rest of the trees are beginning to bloom.  

Thursday, March 13, 2008

whose kid is this?

I took Stephanie to school for drama club practice this afternoon. I came home to find this.

Maybe you can't see clearly how filthy she is. How about a close up.

Holy street grime, Batman! What have you been doing? Turns out, she was under the influence of the neighbor boys and can balance standing on the skateboard while careening rolling down the slope of the driveway.  Good to see those dance/gymnastics lessons are paying off in the balance department. She was quite proud to show me this. Don't be fooled, however, by the dirt, skateboard, and desire to hang out with the boys next door. This gal is no tomboy. Her next trick was to put the skateboard on level ground, stand on it, and do a booty shake in her very girly way.  There may be dirt on the outside, but there's pure girl on the inside.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Several summers ago I took an oil painting class. This was my first and only exposure to oil paints. The technique of the class was something quite different than what I had been used to with the acrylics that I use for my tole painting. This class required me to approach the painting from a different perspective. Instead of thinking about highlights last, I had to think about them first. Instead of going with the flow, I had to have a definite plan. I did not finish the painting in the 4-week class (we were not expected to finish in that amount of time.) I was paralyzed at home with the work - scared to make a mistake. In class I was confident and felt like I was doing a pretty decent job. So needless to say, I worked on the painting once after the class ended and here it sits.

I am afraid of the thing and this painting has been sitting half of the scrapbook part of my tables, along with the tote of oil painting supplies. It's in the way! It takes up lots of room. I am thinking of putting it away. For years now I've thought that if I put it away then I will for sure not work on it. Did you get that? I said YEARS - with an S. Hmm. It's been in my way for years. I look at it every time I come in the room and think wistfully that someday I will finish. I'm sure I will...someday, but not today.

That leads me to my other confliction. I love to paint. I love to scrapbook and make paper crafts. I am finding sewing enjoyable again.  I want to do it all. There are so many ideas and possible projects in my head right now. I tend to do one hobby and ignore the rest. But I'd like to find a way to divide my time evenly and give each hobby a little attention. Ha! That's so funny because we all know I'm a horrible time manager. Sometimes I even feel so overwhelmed by it all I cannot actually do anything and waste time watching t.v. or on the computer.

Oh, and let's not forget the other things in life that need my attention: Greg, the kids, the house, the laundry, my job. 

Anyway, that's my conflict today. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

anything you can do, i can do too

That's right, not to be outdone by her big sis, Heather is now officially sans training wheels. Sunday, Travis started teaching her how to ride his bike too. I was sewing in the front room with the door open and heard such comments as, "you've got to believe you can" coming from that little guy. He was very patient and encouraging, just as he was with Stephanie. This morning Heather asked to have her trainers removed. As you can see from the picture on the right she is feeling quite comfortable with the whole situation. She likes to go fast and even stand up. I couldn't really get her to cooperate with the pictures. She just wanted to go fast! Way to go Heather! 

Monday, March 10, 2008

ta da!

Remember that stack of material? Well, the first project is finished! Whew! I picked kind of a tough pattern for jumping back into the sewing realm. It's done. It's cute. Stephanie likes it and agrees to wear it. Now onto the next one ~ same pattern, different material, Heather -size.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

springing forward

I love springing forward! Oh, sure, the extra hour in the fall is a nice touch. But what really matters more to me is springing forward. That extra light at the end of the day makes me happy. The days getting longer eases my soul. I could care less about the amount of light in the sky in the morning when I get up for work. More light or less light doesn't change the fact that I have to get up for work. However, when my day is done and there's still some light, that makes me feel ready to conquer more (that does not mean house cleaning). It makes me feel like I still have time left for something other than work. It makes me feel like I haven't wasted all the good daylight. It makes dinner a little bit later ~ much to the dismay of my family.

So, raise your glasses and toast the light!