Monday, November 30, 2009


Well, folks, we had it. Turkey dinner for 16 people. And I'm fairly sure that no one died of food poisoning during the weekend, so that makes me pretty happy.

It was a great day. 2 big turkeys. One roasted regular style, and one deep fried in canola oil. Mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls, and gravy topped it all off, and it was delicious, if I do say so myself. We were treated to yams (sweet potatoes, whatever), jello salad, and 3 banana cream pies, too! Seriously, it was like a little slice of home right in my kitchen.

So thanks to all my peeps for showing up, and for not complaining that the gravy was a little greasy, or that the deep fried turkey was an hour late making its entrance. You guys are the best!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Daily

Okay, here goes nothing. This is tough to get through because I get so emotional, but I can do it, I promise.

The person I'm most thankful for today is..

dun dun dun..

My siblings.

Troy. He's the cool kid at school, you know the one, everyone knows he's a babe, and he's too cool to notice. He has the most friends, but he's humble, and likes everyone. That's my bro. He is also my mom's favorite. She even said so. And we all know it's true, but we don't mind, because he's our favorite too. Troy is a rock when it comes to life. He knows the right things to say, and he knows when to do the right things for people. He puts up with a lot in his day to day business (wink wink), and he deals with it pretty well. I love that he's so spiritual, and he's not afraid to talk about his feelings, but he can still be crazy and wild and down to earth. There may even be a cuss word slip out now and then, which I can totally appreciate. I love you, man.

Kelli. Teeeccchnically, she's not really my sister, but the heart says otherwise. When I think of my sisters, Kelli is one of them. I'm pretty sure the Lord knew what he was doing when she and Troy found each other. We need her in our family. She is wonderful, and sassy, and opinionated, and I love it! She does not like to be wrong, and will argue her point endlessly until she gets it across. Tenacity is not one of my strong points, so I can really admire her for that! She laughs with us, cries with us, and knows the silly quirks that make us all into one big family. Love you, Kel!

Jill. She is the former cruise director of the family. I only say former because Meg has recently promoted to Speaker of the House. A much more appropriate title for Jill. She is never at a loss for words. She is friends with everyone, and she can talk to anyone about anything! She is also very spiritual, and sassy, too, so she has a great mix of things to love. She is a rock when it comes to getting things done. Up at dawn, and going all day, she works tirelessly for her family. Throw in her morning bike rides, runs, swims, triathlons, and shopping, and it's no wonder she has the cute little body of a Nineteen year old. You go girl!

Meg. I have a very soft spot for my Mimi. My little sis, the one I used to practice up-do's on, and the one that I used to fight with incessantly. She has grown up to become a beautiful woman, and there are so many things I admire about her. She is strong beyond belief. She has dealt with a lot over the past 18 months, and she had to do a lot of it on her own. She can fix pretty much anything. She's like MacGyver that way. She has the best taste of anyone I know. She can be a leader without being bossy. But she's also soft and vulnerable, and a wonderful confidante. Even though we're 5 years apart, I feel like she is the age I am, so we understand each other perfectly. Miss you, Mimi!

My siblings have been there for me this last year in ways I never knew siblings could be. My love for each of them has deepened immensely, especially after seeing them, and myself, at the lowest possible point in life. As life takes us down our individual paths, I know that the one constant I have in my life is my family. The Lord put me in my family because he knew I needed to be surrounded by these smart, wonderful, spiritual people that would be willing to hold my hand and show me the way through life, because I'm a little slow and I don't quite get it on my own sometimes. I love you guys. I couldn't live without you. I miss you so much!

Have a great Thanksgiving!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Daily

Today I'm thankful for my parents. I don't mean I'm only thankful for them today, I'm thankful for them every day, but I'm paying tribute to them today. Does that make more sense? Okay, here goes.

Dad. My dad is the hardest worker I know. My entire childhood he worked day and night to provide for us. Whether it was working out of town, or stacking wood in the lean-to, or stirring paint in the shop, he was always working. This usually meant that we were working along side him, too. Sometimes he would take us to work with him, those were the best times! I got to go to Montana with him once to do work on a hospital there. I remember I got a chocolate milk, and he and I talked a lot about towns we passed through. One town in particular was Monida. It took me about 45 minutes to figure out it was a town on the border of Montana and Idaho, but he never gave me the answer, he just kept throwing me hints. I was probably like 8 or 9, and obviously not the brightest, but I figured it out eventually. The best were the times he let us pick up rivets with a magnet after he installed lockers at a school. Being alone in those huge hallways was a little creepy, but it was so liberating to have the whole place to ourselves. And those magnets were awesome, and to see how many rivets you could load up before you had to empty it was always a treat.

Dad taught me a lot about working hard. Those lessons have stuck with me. He has taught me that others come first, whether it's serving in Church, to neighbors, or to my kids. Sharing the blessings we have with those who are lacking is a top priority. So thanks, dad. I love you.

My mom. How can I express the thanks I have for my mom? I know so many of you never knew her, except from this blog and her cancer blog, but grew to love her just the same. There are just so many lessons she taught me that I'm still figuring out. But lately, the lesson that has been resonating in my life the most is to let my kids make their own mistakes. I was never a bad kid, per se, but I was mischievous. I was naughty. So many times I made my mom sick with worry, I'm sure, but she never tried to force me to act a certain way. She let me carve out my own way, and then she was there to comfort me when it blew up in my face. She never said "I told you so", she only said "I love you". So mom, thanks for loving me unconditionally.

My mom also taught me to love others despite their choices. My mom had so many friends. She had friends from high school that were still her besties. She had friends from elementary school that she still met up with on a regular basis. She had friends from friends from friends. She knew every one, and every one that knew her loved her. Because she loved them, without judgment. Now, don't go thinking she didn't have strong opinions about people, because she totally did, but she kept them to herself for the most part. That is one trait I need to work on, for sure. So thanks, Mom, for teaching me to love others.

Stay tuned tomorrow for an extra special tribute to the person (people?) for whom I'm most thankful. It will be good, I promise.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Daily

This week, I'll be posting things I'm thankful for. Cause you know, it's almost Thanksgiving, and that is my most favoritest holiday of all time.

Oh, and this post is wrought with made up words, so just bear with me.

So I guess I better start with something easy.

I'm thankful for my family. But I'm not going to cop out and leave it at something as simple as that. I have a lot of family to be thankful for. So I'll start with all the "extra" family I have.

How could I forget my in-laws? I love them! My mother-in-law is the sweetest, kindest, givingest person I know. I call her mom, because there is no other word to describe our relationship. My father-in-law, he's pretty cool, too. In his overalls-wearing sort of way. He will drop everything and help anyone out, just because he can.

How could I forget my Aunts? Julie is a clone of my mom. The way she writes her emails, the way she wears her watches for each season, her enormous holiday sweater collection; I could close my eyes and hear my mom's voice, too. It's such a comfort to know that Julie carries on through life like my mom wishes she could have. And Suz. Suz is a rock. She is dealing with her own family cancer crisis, and despite being as busy as I know she is, she takes the time to send out email updates to the prodigal niece. She is a planner, and a doer, and a take-charger. I sincerely doubt much gets past her without a stern look over. And all the other aunts and uncles that are so wonderful! I love having a great extended family. There is something comforting knowing so many people are behind you.

One thing my mom taught us is that where you come from is as important as where you're headed. These wonderful people have shaped me in ways they will never know. The memories of Christmas parties, Memorial Day parties, 4th of July parties, and parties for who knows how many weddings, babies, farewells and homecomings. Each one of those times we were all together I learned more about the past, and it has helped me plan and embrace my future.

So thank you, family. I wouldn't be me without all of you! Don't worry, that's not passing blame, it's a compliment.

Happy Thanksgiving Week.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Fun For Friday

Maybe I'm just a grammar snob.

And in case you were wondering, the answer was C.

Happy Friday!

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Really? Really?!?

Maggie's bus driver got fired. Yep, fired. From driving a bus. She didn't crash. She wasn't late. In fact, it wasn't anything like that. According to the school principal that I talked with this morning, the kids were never "in any kind of danger".

Unless you count pornography as danger.

I do.

Yep, the bus driver, we'll call her Miss May, got fired for allegedly showing kids on the bus pornographic images on her cell phone. Go Miss May. How completely awesome of you to think that innocent minds awaiting an influx of knowledge from the days classes would instead like to fill that space with rotten images of, and I'm speculating here, your 300 pound butt and probably acne scarred cleavage.

You rule.

And just so you know, Maggie will not be riding the bus anymore. I don't care who the bus driver is. I'm obviously leery about letting any adult be alone with 6 Kindergartners on a big vehicle for approximately 20 minutes of unsupervised time. Call me crazy.

And I'm just putting this out there, call me crazy or not, whatever. I'm totally considering Home School. I know, but this is just one of many catalysts that has turned my thinking in that direction. If Sean was on board, I would do it in a second. But let's not debate that here. I'll do another post about that.

Let's focus on the slime ball Miss May that took it upon herself to make parents like me worry even more than they had to 1 day ago. Thanks for that.

Post edit: Here is the link to the story. Oh, and you get to see her lovely face!

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Because I'm Cheap Like That

So I just ordered my Christmas cards. Yes, I did. I'm so on top of things. I am not a lover of Christmas, but I do enjoy sending out and receiving cards, so I do it each year. Usually I use Sam's Club's photo center to create and print my cards for a pretty decent price. No complaints. Not the best, fanciest, or trendiest cards, but they're cute, and they get the job done, only to get thrown away a couple of weeks later.

But this year, thanks to miss Lacey Fay, I found a great new thing. It's a way to get free Christmas cards. Yes, free. As in no tax, shipping, nothing. So free, in fact, that you don't even have to enter a credit card. Totally, absolutely, undeniably free. You should try it. Click here for the link to the site with the promo code. It's so easy, I did it in 10 minutes, including signing up! And I'm an idiot at 8:00 in the morning.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This One Time, At Band Camp

Emma had her first ever band concert last night. I'll admit, I had pretty low expectations. But I was pleasantly surprised! She has a natural musical gift, for sure, you should hear her sing! I just have no idea where she gets it. Sean and I sing casually, not soloist quality, and I play the piano, but not well, not even well enough to accompany the Primary adequately. But Emma definitely has it. It's a great feeling seeing your kids excel. Can you tell I'm proud?

The program.

Her name in print!

And here she is, at the ready. The director had them do a great thing. At the very beginning of the evening, he had them show us what they sounded like the first time they tried to play their instruments. It was a loud, horrible, ear splitting sound. So of course, every note they played after that seemed much better in comparison. A sly trick to show us parents how far the kids have actually come in the 6 short weeks they've been practicing.

Emma did a great job. She looked so beautiful sitting up there, and you could tell she was proud of herself, which makes a wonderful sight. She got a new skirt, courtesy of my mad sewing skills, and new black shoes just for the evening. She's a wonderful young lady, and I am so proud of her!

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Monday, November 16, 2009

For Sale, One Garage

So I did it. I had my first ever garage sale. It wasn't too bad. Luckily, for a day in mid-November, it was quite pleasant outside, getting up into the high 50's for most of the day. I put out a comfy chair, a little side table, procured a Coke and some tunes, and proceeded to make myself a hundred and fifty bucks. Not bad for 6 hours of work, huh? Except for that really I worked all week getting stuff ready. So that $150 isn't much considering I worked about 20 or 30 hours on the sale. But still, it's a little cash for Christmas, so I can't really complain.

Here are some shots from the day.

All my junk spread out for the world to see.

A different angle to give you a scope of how long the driveway is, and that it's totally filled with stuff. Why do I have all this extra stuff? Ick.

So now I'm left with the dilemma of what to do with all the leftover junk. The crib and changing table, a perfectly awesome Kelty KIDS backpack, a brand new Ogio golf bag, all stuff I was sure would sell, are still clogging the arteries of my garage. I guess I could Craigslist them, but then I have to take pictures, and blah blah blah. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow.

I'm glad it's over, and even though I swore I would never do a garage sale of my own, it was nice to see some of the stuff go to good homes.

* And if you look closely, you'll see Bebe on the driveway up by the garbage cans. I tried to give her away free with purchase, but alas, no takers. I also tried this with my screaming 2 year old.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Super Poke

Today I have to go to the doctor. Again. I hate sitting in those germ filled waiting rooms. Ick. But luckily today is only for a quick blood draw. Nothing major.

See, I've had thyroid issues for like, oh, 15 years. It's nothing major, a little pill every day and things are right with the world again.

Until bad things start happening, like my hair starts falling out, and my goiter starts coming back. Yes, I had a goiter. Like an Ethiopian orphan. It's not pretty.

So I head off to the Endocrinologist. Simple blood work should make things apparent, and then after a small adjustment of meds, I'll be fine.

But the Endo was a jerk. He told me I needed to lose 50 pounds, and that then everything would work itself out. Basically he didn't want to do his job. I explained I had already lost 30 pounds, and that things were still not good, my hair and skin were totally out of whack, and I didn't feel right. That last one should have been all he needed to hear, but some doctors are jerks, so what can you do?

You can get another doctor, and tell them the same story, and they'll realize that you not feeling right is reason enough to do blood work. Especially after dealing with symptoms of thyroid disease for 15 years.

So today I get to get a super poke in my arm, and get a whole bunch of blood work done. I've been off my thyroid meds for like 5 months, and I feel okay now, but I know that things don't fix themselves, so I'll be starting from 0, which is actually okay. Nowhere to go but up.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

November Is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

I hate cancer. I really do. I can't tell you how many times in the year and 4 months since my mom died I have cried for people who are battling this disease. Any cancer sucks. But Pancreatic Cancer holds a special place in my "I hate cancer" arsenal. I could put all the facts down here, but I won't. I could tell you my story about my how my mom and her dad both died of Pancreatic Cancer within weeks of being diagnosed. I could tell you how horrible it makes you feel to watch a loved one die. But I won't. I won't bore you.

Instead, I will send you here, and here. Meg's page has a place for donations to the Pancreatic Cancer Research fund. Donate.

Sara's page gives the facts about Pancreatic Cancer. You can donate there, too.

Odds are not good for me, or my siblings. With such a strong family occurrence, there's a good chance one or more of us will get it. And we'll most likely die from it unless money can be raised to help with early detection methods.

Just remember all the people that have died from Pancreatic Cancer this month. It's a staggering number.

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Solutions For Christmas

I'm ordering our Christmas cards today.

I'm in denial that Christmas is as close as it is. I'm not ready. I mean, I'm never ready, but this year I'm really.not.ready.

I think we should move January to come between November and December. That way we get more shopping time in for Christmas, and we can just skip the dreary monotony that January represents.

See? Win-win.

Problem solved. You're welcome.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Fun For Friday

No picture today, sorry.

But I do have a story.

My friend Heidi, whom I love and adore, for she does all the things I only think about doing, has a post on her blog that reminded me of a great experience I had growing up. I actually started commenting on her blog, but then I realized I should just post it here. So here you go.

And to my sibs, please, fill in the gaps, for I'm sure my memory fails me.

When I was younger, say 12 or 13, my dad got this harebrained idea to raise live turkeys for Thanksgiving. The ultimate goal was to raise them to adulthood, then give the live turkeys away to the neighbors as gag gifts. Mean, I know, but my dad has that sort of personality.

So my dad and my brother fashioned the turkeys a little house out of metal, and we made them a cage that sat positioned between the shed and my dad's shop. It was a little swath of land, about 4 feet wide by 7 or 8 feet long. A cozy place to grow, if you're a turkey.

As I recall, we started out with maybe 10 or 11 turkeys. They were cute little chicks. (Is that what baby turkeys are called?) But then they started to grow. They grew fast, and they grew ugly. Turkeys are so weird looking. They get all matted and covered in poop, and their tiny heads are oddly out of proportion to their burgeoning busts. After the first few weeks, they quit being our cute pets, and became annoying stink bombs covered in feces.

Then the rain storms came. This was back in the day when it actually rained in Utah, and we didn't have the perpetual drought like we do now. Or maybe it was because I was a kid, and we only remember what we want to remember. Anyway, the rain came down. Not to worry, for the turkey's had their little piece of shelter in which to hide from the rains. We thought it no trouble. We had been out to dinner, Su Casa, if I remember correctly, and when we returned home, we had to do our duty and check on the turkeys.

The turkeys were dead. All but 1. There was no blood, no guts, no buckshot, nothing to lead us in the direction of their death. Until it started raining a little harder as we stood there. Then we realized the turkey house was near the down spout of the rain gutter. Now, a normal brained animal would think to run uphill, away from the water. The turkeys, however, stood their ground, and merely looked up at the torrent that poured down upon them. They looked up so intently, that they drown in the rain.

Yes, people, they died because the couldn't look away from the rain. They drown in the rain.

There was one lone remaining turkey, and it lived until Thanksgiving. We then boxed it up, put a bow on it, and gave it to the neighbor. Certainly this wasn't as funny as if the entire neighborhood had ended up with live turkey's on their doorsteps, but one was all we had to work with.

I forget who the recipient of the turkey was, so if it was a reader, please let me know. I owe you an apology, at the least.

So this year, when you're cooking up your big turkey feast, think about how many other turkey's had to die in the rain so your one could be saved.

Stupid bird brained turkeys.

Happy Friday!

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Is It Thursday Already?

I don't know what the deal is with me lately, but I cannot seem to type normally. I mean, I know how to spell, and I know how grammar works, but for some reason I find myself backspacing to delete whole sentences that make no sense whatsoever.

Oh, and by the way, this post has absolutely nothing to do with the title, in case you haven't noticed already.

But while we're on that topic, is it really Thursday already? This week has really gotten away from me. Thursdays bring dance, and band practice after school pick up. Today I also have a doctors appointment, which I'm not excited about, only because I don't want to sit in an office full of flu-stricken sickies just so I can get a refill on my happy pills. But you gotta do what you gotta do, right?

So that's that. Nothing profound. Just random thoughts. You know, the usual.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Recently one of my blogging buddies, Sara, whose mom also died of Pancreatic Cancer, had her daughter's room featured here. It's absolutely adorable.

It got me thinking about my kids' rooms.

I don't "do" kids rooms.

I think it's a waste of money because sooner or later, and probably sooner, they will want it changed, and then the whole process has to start over. I think the most effort I've put into my kids' rooms was a coat of paint and some repositionable adhesive circles. Big woop.

But, in the last few days as I've started dejunking, I've decided I might just submit Maggie's room. The stripes were already there when we moved in, but she has done a fabulous job of decorating it herself to show off her personality.

What do you think? Is it worthy?

Now, I'm totally embarrassed putting this picture up there, but if any of you have never seen your kids room like this in your lifetime, you're a way better parent than I am. Her room is usually pretty clean. But like I said, we've been dejunking, and I've found so many clothes that have been saved from Emma, that suddenly I have an overload of clothing, and not enough drawer space. I might just have to start using the closet shelves, which I don't like to do because the drawers keep things to a manageable level, and the closet could just add up and up, and I don't want to go there.

So for now, things will just have to stay a little messy. Not to this extent, of course, I do have my standards, but they certainly won't be as organized as I'd like. Thankfully, and I never thought I'd say this, Maggie goes through about 3 outfits a day, so there is always a big pile of "dirty" clothes, which helps to keep the drawer space accessible.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Weenies of Hallow

Here you go. The required Halloween pictures.

Emma was a ghost. Maggie was a witch. Gretta was a princess. They were all freezing and ornery.

Aaaand the group shot. Noel and Gary totally had their yard decorated like crazy people. Gretta had to plug her ears to walk up to the front door because of the scary music playing. There was even a fog machine. Sort of puts my one little Halloween decoration to shame. But the yard makes for a great backdrop for the pictures. Good job, guys!

The kids all scored loads of candy, with a noticeable absence of Snickers this year. What is that all about? No Snickers on Halloween? My mom would have been so disappointed. And so am I.

After doing our door to door duty, we met up at Cottrell's for a party. It was so fun, and the kids had a blast. The food was delicious, of course, and despite a little end of night drama, it all came out okay, I think. It's good to have good friends.

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