Thursday, March 31, 2011

I’m Always in the Middle of a Mess

My desk has been a mess for months.  Having a goal to continue getting organized hasn’t made a bit of difference there; this mess persists while the house around gets cleaner. 

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The desk has been such a mess that my computer hasn’t touched it for months.  Instead I’ve used it in the family room,the living room, my bedroom, and mostly at the island in the kitchen.

Well today I woke up inspired.  (And believe me, I have to seize those inspirations when they happen!)  I was feeling better and that desk was getting cleaned.

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I was feeling pretty darned good about myself.  <patting self on shoulder>

 

Until I happened to glance at the island.

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How can I get away from this?!?

 

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In Which I Rant About the Electric Company

I do not feel well today.  My sinus allergies have morphed into a nasty sleep-stealing cough that hurts my throat and head.  I am tired, lethargic, and ornery to boot.  (I actually have no idea what “to boot” means, but it seemed to fit in the moment.)  And I need to call the electric company.  But first I will rant a while.

I normally am a fan of the electric company.  I used to be only neutral about utility companies in general, but then in the winter of 2002 our electric company (henceforth referred to as PayMore Electric) came through for us in a significant way.  During the now legendary Ice Storm of 2002 (spoken of reverently, and in capital letters) we were without power for only (I say ONLY) 24 hours.  Just one small half-block in our subdivision is serviced by PayMore Electric; the rest of our neighbors (including the other side of our street) are customers of the larger and better known Duke Power.  (No affiliation with Coach K or his basketball team.) 

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Anyway, back to my story.  In the winter of 2002, Rachel, Jenna, and Jared were an adorable 2.5 years old.  They were so cute. 

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And still entirely without rational thought.  Which made it hard to convince them that they should be dressed inside our dark-as-a-tomb house as if they were going to play in the snow.  We piled on the clothes; undershirt, regular clothes, footie pajamas, coats, and hats.  But still they were cold and difficult to live with in our 50 degree home.  (It is possible that it was me who was difficult to live with…but for the purposes of this narrative we’ll stick with my version.)  You know how a power outage in the spring feels—like a mandatory campout, a chance to roast marshmallows over the grill and play Uno by lantern-light?  Well a power outage in the frigid winter holds none of those charms.  And a power outage with three toddlers was a very special misery.

That is why, when our power flared back on at 9:24 that evening (not that anyone was watching the battery operated clock, or anything) we rejoiced.  REJOICED.  We loved our electricity with a previously unknown fervor, one that could only have been understood by those who also suffered through the Ice Storm of 2002.

And then, once our toes were warm and our dirty dishes were washed, (because it turns out that having a well means a power outage=water outage, also a misery) we started making phone calls.  We called up our nearest and dearest to see if they had power yet (no!) and then begged them to come and camp out at our house.  (yes!)

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Which turned a natural disaster into the world’s biggest slumber party, one that has had a book written about it, is re-enacted faithfully each winter, and is talked about fondly (in capital letters) to this day. 

 

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I’m sure you could see why this feat of power-restoration, this salvation from misery and at the same time provision for partying on a hitherto unknown level was enough to endear PayMore Electric to us for many years to come.

 

But this year the warm-and-fuzzy feelings end.  And it’s all because of level pay.

 

Each year PayMore Electric (theoretically) looks at our past year’s electrical bills and calculates a total, which if paid out over the next eleven months, will just about cover our electrical bills for the year.  The twelfth month is the ‘settle-up’ month, in which PayMore refunds any money we’ve paid above the total of our bills (unlikely unless we switch to candlelight and pumping well water by hand) or we pay PayMore the difference between what we’ve already paid and what we still owe.  For many years this system worked fairly well, (keeping those warm-and-fuzzy feelings alive) but I must assume that they have replaced their computer with a trained monkey who now does their accounts. 

It started several years ago, when settle-up month found us needing to pay a significant amount to PayMore Electric.  Much to my surprise their calculation for the next year’s monthly payment was even lower than the previous year!   So I called them and requested a higher payment.  Their trained monkey was surprised but amenable and that year’s settle-up month went more smoothly. 

Then last summer we got a new heating/cooling system.  I didn’t know what to plan.  Would the more efficient cooling system result in a dramatic drop in our electric bill?  Would the dual fuel heat pump/propane furnace result in a dramatic increase?  I finally decided we should just go with PayMore’s calculation and consider this year a electric bill experiment.

 

Ouch.

 

Last month was settle-up month, and PayMore Electric drafted our bank account the painful sum of well over 500 dollars.  Let me just say that again.

 

Ouch.

 

Yesterday’s mail brought next month’s electric bill, with it’s new level-pay total.

Can you guess?

 

It’s $50/month LOWER than this last year!!!  What is the monkey thinking?!?  Or perhaps a better question, what is the monkey smoking?!?!?

And that is why I will be calling PayMore Electric’s trained monkey and raising our level pay amount again.  Although I’ve now spent enough time writing about it that I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to do the calling…

 

 

PS—I guess I should elaborate for those of you not fortunate (or unfortunate, depending on your interpretation of the events) to live through the Ice Storm of 2002, that for most poeple the power was off for 5-7 days, and in some cases as long as 2 weeks. 

 

PPS—just in case I wasn’t clear enough about how darned cute 2.5 year old triplets were, here’s another sample.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Strawberry-licious!

Tonight we were having guests for dinner and I wanted to make a nice dessert.  But in keeping with the experimenting-in-the-kitchen mood I’ve been in lately, I wanted a new recipe.  And because of the cartons of beautiful strawberries in the refrigerator needing to be eaten, I wanted a strawberry recipe.

Thank heavens for Google, who directed me to a Better Homes & Gardens page of strawberry desserts.  After browsing the options and considering what ingredients I actually had on hand, I settled on Strawberry Chiffon Pie.  And let me say, I was not disappointed.  Yum, yum, yum.  Perhaps not yum in the way of the crack brownies I made for book club a few weeks ago (and couldn’t stop eating), but yum in a way both delicious and not terribly guilt inducing. 

Just in case you have some strawberries sitting around needing to be made into a dessert, here’s the recipe.  And if you don’t have some strawberries, go get them.  You won’t regret it, I promise!

strawberry (not my picture—doesn’t it look yummy!)

 

 
Strawberry Chiffon Pie
Ingredients
  • 1  recipe  Baked Pastry Shell
  • 1  envelope  unflavored gelatin
  • 3/4  cup  sugar
  • 1/3  cup  water
  • 3    egg yolks, beaten
  • 3  tablespoons  lemon juice
  •   Dash  salt
  • 2-1/2  cups  fresh strawberries, crushed (about 1-1/2 cups after crushing)
  • 3/4  cup  whipping cream
  •     Halved fresh strawberries (optional)
Directions

1. Prepare Baked Pastry Shell; set aside. In a small saucepan combine gelatin and sugar. Stir in water, egg yolks, lemon juice, and salt. Cook and stir over medium heat until boiling; remove from heat. Transfer gelatin mixture to a large bowl; stir in crushed strawberries. Cover and chill for 1 to 1-1/4 hours or until mixture is partially set (consistency of unbeaten egg whites), stirring occasionally.

2. In a chilled large mixing bowl, beat the whipping cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into strawberry mixture. If necessary, cover and chill about 20 minutes or until mixture mounds when spooned. Spoon filling into cooled crust. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or until filling is firm. If desired, garnish with halved strawberries.

3. Makes 8 slices

 

 

PS—I chopped my berries in the food processor because I wasn’t in the mood to crush them.  I also used graham cracker crust because I knew that’s what my kids would prefer, and it was good.  But I can tell that next time I make it I’m making it with a regular crust, because I like those better.  Yum, yum!  (Did I already say that??)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bipolar Spring

When I woke up this morning (and yes, this will tell you that I totally slept in this morning, and I feel not one shred of guilt.  Well maybe one small shred, but I’m dealing with it just fine!) it was snowing.

SNOWING.

Remember how last week it was beautiful and sunny and 80 degrees?  Well this morning it snowed.

I think the birds were confused too.  They were thinking “hey wait, wasn’t it just spring?”

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Or perhaps they were just thinking that the seed is almost gone from the feeder and they’re going to have to go in after it.

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Whatever they were thinking, I noticed this guy didn’t show up until the weather had calmed down…

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When will spring come back?!?

 

(Seriously, we put down a lot of gra$$ $eed on Saturday, so I’ll be just as happy if the weather doesn’t get really hot right away.  But snow?  Sheesh!)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Horse Camp Fun


Rachel and Jenna have begged to go to horse camp for years. They know that horse camp is a reality because they remember that when they were little (six)

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Josh went to horse camp.

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I was sure it would never happen—horse camp x 2 was just financially out of reach. And then in the fall there was a groupon for 1/2 price horse camp. I was pretty sure we’d never find a better deal than that, so we bought them for the girls’ BIG Christmas present. They had to be used by April, and I promise you there has not been a week since the beginning of January that they have not begged to go to horse camp the next week. If they’d had their way they would have gone as soon as Cindy Lynn went back to Idaho, and they would have frozen the whole week. I made them wait until the weather was going to be decent and until there were a few other girls going for the week as well.

In the end it worked out perfectly. (Except for the driving, which as you know almost killed me!) They were excited beyond belief to pack their lunch and snacks every morning and go off to spend the day with the horses.

The farm also had lots of other animals. Guinea hens, which roam around and eat ticks. (Yum.) Turkeys, which roam around and show off their plumage.

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(I promise you the turkey’s heads look just like Darth Vadar’s head in the final Star Wars, when he finally takes off the mask. I’m pretty sure that’s where the makeup artist got his inspiration…)

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The farm also had a miniature horse which the girls were enchanted with.

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But mostly the farm had horses. Horses, horses, and more horses. I wish I’d thought to take some kind of picture to show all of their (muddy) pastures. Many of the horses on the farm have been rescued from abusive or neglectful situations, and right now they have 95 horses! (That’s a LOT of horses!) The girls each bonded with a horse early in the week and rode that particular horse the rest of the week.

On Wednesday Jared and I dropped the girls off, spent the morning in Raleigh with our friends, and then went back to the horse camp to take pictures when we knew the girls would be getting ready to go for a trail ride. When we got there they were grooming the horses and saddling them.

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Rachel was so proud that she had learned how to tighten and tie the girth strap herself.

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Here they are ready for their ride.

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After they were ready to go Jared and I walked down the road a little to a place that we could see them after they were walking. We were standing near a (muddy) pasture with several horses in it and Jared was grossed out when the one nearest us started, well, relieving itself, and then the one next to it!

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Finally the girls rode by, looking so happy.

Horse camp was definitely a success. I’m thrilled that they had this opportunity!

video

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Paying it Forward

 

Last week I had an interesting experience.  One morning after dropping the girls off at horse camp Jared and I went to visit a friend that I’ve known since college.  My friend is a year younger than I am, had her first child a year after I had Cindy Lynn, and had her tenth child a year ago.  Yep, you read that right.  Ten children.  She is amazing, and more than a little busy.

When I arrived at her house she was still upstairs with little kids.  I found a washcloth and started cleaning off the table, figuring that I could help out just as easily as sit around and wait.  Later I found a broom and swept, and then even (miracle of miracles) mopped the floor for her. 

 

The week before I’d been thinking about this new phase I’m in.  This new phase that includes a mostly clean house, laundry that is more often folded and put away than not, (well except for horse camp week!) and dishes that get washed by me every night after dinner.  One night as I was washing the dishes I thought of the last 10 years of my life, years when I was too exhausted by dinnertime every night to even consider doing the dishes before morning.  I can’t tell you how many times our friends Ken & Alisyn came over for dinner and cleaned up the kitchen both before and after dinner.  I will never be able to thank them enough for all of their acts of service in our kitchen.

 

Cleaning floors isn’t the only way I’m paying it forward right now.  The first month that the triplets were home from the hospital Russ’s parents stayed with us.  After they went home my sister Andra came for three weeks.  She brought her two younger children with her and left her two older children at home.  It was hard for her, and I will always be grateful for her sacrifice that helped me so much.

andra

Several months ago my youngest sister, Laila, found out that she was having twins.  They were born two weeks ago, and at the end of April I’m going to go out and help her for a couple of weeks.  I always said after our experience that when I grew up I wanted to be a night nanny for people who had triplets, but I never thought my first chance to help would be with my own nephews.

noah and preston Noah & Preston  (Or Preston and Noah?)

I will miss my own kids and of course my wonderful husband, but at the same time I’m so excited to be able to go out and help her.  I’ve lived this experience, I know how difficult it is to bring multiples home from the hospital, and I know what a difference it makes to have someone to help. 

 

I like this new stage, and I’m excited to see all of the ways that I will get to pay it forward.  And every time I do have the opportunity to help someone else, I know that in my heart I’ll be thanking all of the people who have helped me.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ya Gotta Love Visual Voicemail…

 

Vonage rolled out visual voicemail a couple of years ago and offered it if we wanted to pay a little extra every month.  It seemed convenient but not worth any more money, so we passed.  Recently they announced that they were just going to include it in their basic package.  I love it—being able to quickly read a voicemail message rather than having to go through the steps of regular voicemail & then listen to a message.  But every now and then the message that comes to my email bears little resemblance to…well, anything!!  Here is today’s message from my new doctor’s office:

This is Margaret calling from Dr. Hart's office. Your car is gonna send you in love with the rocks and 112 microgram one tablet a day and she said that you would need to have follow up lab work in 6 to 8 weeks…

Good thing I can go and listen to it to find out what on earth she actually said!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Perspective

I know that sometimes you may feel like your life is hard.  I think this article can help you have a better perspective on how good your life really is, and how terrible someone else’s problems can be…

Friday, March 18, 2011

Magical Layered Brownies

 

When I was dieting recently and so restricted in what I could eat I loved to look at food blogs and fantasize about what I would make when it was over.  Yesterday I needed to make a treat to take to book club and so I went through my list of bookmarks to pick something new that would hopefully be amazing.  I almost made mint brownies in honor of St. Patrick’s day, but I finally decided instead to make these Magical Layered Brownies.  AKA “Crack Brownies.”  Cause seriously, they were that good.  And I cut them into really small pieces, so you sort of felt like you had to eat more than one.  (And probably more than two…or three…)

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What makes these unique is the layer of browned butter frosting in between the brownie and the chocolate glaze.  Yum, yum, yum!  Here’s the recipe, which is from the blog Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  (And don’t ask me how I found it—I have no idea!)  I didn’t make my own brownies—I just used a mix I had in the pantry.  Imagine how much better they could be with homemade brownies!?!

 

Magical Layered Brownies

*Makes 9X13-inch pan of brownies

Brownies:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Browned Butter Frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Glaze:
3 tablespoons butter
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch aluminum pan with nonstick cooking spray and cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan. Lightly grease the parchment paper. Set the pan aside.

For the brownies, in a small saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, eggs and salt. Mix with a handheld mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture has lightened in color and is very thick. Fold in the warm (not hot!) chocolate/butter mixture. Stir in the flour and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing evenly.

Bake the brownies for 25-30 minutes until the sides pull away from the pan just slightly. Remove the brownies from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 1/2 hours).

For the browned butter frosting, place the stick of butter in a small saucepan and set it over low heat. It is best to not use a non-stick or dark coated pan in this step because it will be difficult to tell when the butter has turned brown. Let the butter melt over low heat and turn a caramel brown color, about 15 minutes. Watch carefully so the butter doesn’t burn. Once it has turned a nice medium-brown color, remove it from the heat. Pour the butter into a medium bowl. Immediately add the powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla. Mix well with an electric mixer until the frosting is smooth and thick.  [At this point you will notice that the butter has separated and there are solid bits in the bottom of the pan.  I first strained these out to make the frosting but then decided that it didn’t have enough flavor and added them back in.  I figured because I was going to put a glaze on top of the frosting it wouldn’t matter if you could see little specks of butter solids…]

Spread the frosting over the cooled brownies.

For the glaze, melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave or on the stovetop until it is smooth. Pour the warm glaze over the frosted brownies. Tip the pan from side to side to even out the glaze over the frosting (or carefully spread with a knife or offset spatula). Chill the brownies until the glaze is set and the brownies are chilled through, about 1-2 hours. The brownies taste best cold.

Feeling Squirrelly


My war with the squirrels continues.  They are determined to eat me out of house and home.  Or at least eat every last bit of black oil sunflower seed they can get their little paws on.

They are really hysterical to watch.  So agile and strong, and always entertaining as you can see from the following sequence of pictures that was shot within about 3 minutes.






I just thought this was a great shot.


 I wouldn't mind so much if they were always like this--eating for a minute, and then getting back down in some entertaining way.  But far to often they manage to get their whole body onto the feeder, and then they just sit there and eat and eat and eat.  They can eat an entire feeder full of seeds in one day that way.

The other day I was fed up (I vacillate between fed up and entertained based on how fast the seed is disappearing and how amusing their antics are) and decided I would have to do something about it.  I took the PAM outside and sprayed the pole, from the deck up to the level of the feeder.  A few minutes later I was back inside and happened to look out the window--just in time to see a squirrel slide down my PAM-greased pole as if he was a fireman going to a fire!  I could not believe it, and grabbed a camera hoping to get a repeat performance.  But the two squirrels out there were smart--they did not touch the greased part of the pole again.  Instead they leaped from the deck to the dry part of the pole above the feeder, then tried to figure out how to get from the top of the feeder down to the part with the seed.  They tried over and over again but weren't able to get down to the seed.  But then I saw one of the squirrels fall off of the top of the feeder, and I got an attack of conscience.  I don't want them eating all of the birdseed, but I also don't want them falling 15 feet to the ground below and leaving me with a yard full of little paralyzed squirrels!  I was also a little concerned about any of my beautiful birds getting PAM on their wings, so I wiped it all off. 

In the last few days they've had a new position to get food.  I hope they enjoy it, because one of these days I'm going to figure out a way to keep them out altogether!



(Please notice the hole in the feeder.  This is courtesy of Josh, who was shooting at the squirrel with his bb gun to scare him away.  Not sure how scared the squirrel was, but the feeder has resolved to turn over a new leaf...and Russ says if the kids kill a squirrel they will have to skin it and eat it for dinner.  Yum, yum...)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I Feel SO Validated!

 

You may remember that in January our family went to see the Lion King.  At the time I was so moved by the scene where Simba’s father appeared to remind Simba of who he was.  But I also wondered if I was thinking too hard about things, feeling such rich symbolism from a child’s story.

I’ve been listening a lot to Sheri Dew over the past few weeks.  Deseret Book recently had a sale on a collections of her talks/books on cd, and it seemed like a good way to work on New Year's Resolution #25, which was having things to listen to in the car so that my driving time is edifying.  I’ve listened to 2 1/2 talks so far (these are long talks, and I’ve ended up listening 2-3 times to each one) and guess what?  In the first two talks (Famous Last Words & This is a Test) she talks about the same scene in the Lion King.  The SAME scene.  BOTH talks.

I feel so validated.

 

It really is profound. 

 

Speaking of profound symbolism…Jared and I were going to go see Harry Potter yesterday afternoon, but when they got there that theater was having problems and it wasn’t showing.  We decided to go see Voyage of the Dawn Treader instead.  Can I just tell you that I love CS Lewis?  Like really, really love him.  I thought the end of the movie was so beautiful:

 

Aslan: In your world, I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.

 

It made me cry…

Double Rainbow

I don’t know if you usually read Cindy Lynn’s blog, but you should really check out the 2nd video that she posted yesterday.  You don’t have to watch the entire thing, though the emotion at the end is heartwarming.  Or scary.  One or the other.  Then after you've watched at least part of that, come back and watch this.



And thanks to my brother Jeff, who enlightened my world by showing me these...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I Love My REGULAR Life

Isn't that a nice positive post title?  I chose that over other titles I was considering, like

I Hate This Week
or
Horse Camp is Gonna Kill Me
or
We'd Starve if We Had to Live This Way Very Long.

But I wanted to try to keep a positive mental attitude, you know.

The girls are going to Horse Camp in North Raleigh this week.  I knew when I bought the groupons for this adventure (aka the big Christmas present) that I'd be doing a lot of driving to accomplish it.  I knew it was the only way we were going to ever be able to afford horse camp x2.  But the reality of it is more tiring than my optimistic brain had expected.  In a few minutes I will leave to drive to Raleigh for the 4th time in 3 days.  Russ has been picking them up in the evening, but that means that I get to pick up Josh from lacrosse practice every evening, and tomorrow from his game an hour away.  It means way more time on the road than I can do and still do things like cook dinner, and the laundry is piling up in the laundry hall of shame.

In the end we'll all be glad this week happened.  The girls are thrilled with riding.  (Pictures to come soon, hopefully.)  Jared is getting to have some fun adventures on his own.  (Harry Potter at the dollar theater is on our schedule for today, thanks to Diana!)  And I'm sure we'll all survive a week of fast food/rotisserie chicken/breakfast for dinner. 

But when it's over I'll be glad to go back to our regular lives, grateful that normal means time to make and eat family dinners, time to fold and put away the laundry, and time to actually sit down and read my scriptures. 

(And that I don't have to gas up the car to do any of those things...)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Growing Up

The girls have been dying to get their ears pierced.  I wouldn’t let Cindy Lynn get hers done until she was 12, but when she said it was ok with her if the girls had their done a bit early, I said it was ok.  She took them and got it done right before she went back to Idaho after Christmas.  So for the last two months we’ve been cleaning ears and twisting earrings x2. 

Last week was the big day…they could take their studs out!  Both girls had done some extra work to earn money so that they could buy their own earrings.  While the boys were freezing at Josh’s lacrosse game, the girls went to the mall.  (Much better choice!)  They were so cute choosing what they wanted.

In the end Rachel chose a pair of silver horseshoes, and Jenna chose a card with lots of colors of gummy bear earrings.  (I am so not kidding!)

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They were very earnest when it was time to count out their money.

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And then we took the studs out and put in the new earrings to wear to Girl Scouts.

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By Sunday I’d found two pairs of hoop earrings that I don’t wear anymore, and I told them they could wear them just to church.  They were so excited.

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I can’t believe they’re so grown up!

 

 

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Just Par for my Week

I have had a hard week.  First one thing and then another, a heaping spoonful of fatigue sprinkled on top, all sitting on a foundation of pms.  Lovely.

Yesterday fit in just perfectly.

Several weeks ago I scheduled a doctor's appointment for yesterday, my search to find a new doctor taking until the last possible moment before my thyroid prescription ran out.  Then last week when I was getting my teeth cleaned (I can't believe it's been 6 months since I got my teeth cleaned--I've spent way too much time at the dentist's in the last year!) the dentist said that one of the problems I was having was happening because I need some old fillings replaced.  Sure, I said, let's do it.  And I made the appointment for yesterday morning.  There was plenty of time between the two appointments.

At least that was what I thought.

Instead, the dentist was overly busy, chatted overly long (because he was so excited to hear that we're spending a weekend at Zions & Bryce Canyon this summer), and had more problems with my fillings than he expected.

I'd thought I would finish at the dentist and have an hour to shop at Costco before heading to the doctor.  Not so.  I walked out of the dentist's office with just enough time to drive over to the doctor's office.

[A side rant here.  Although this was a new doctor's office, both they and I are in the Duke healthcare system.  The receptionist verified my name, date of birth, mailing address, phone number, email address, and several other pieces of personal information.  And then she handed me two pieces of paper and asked me to write all of those things down again on both!  Ugh!   I totally refused.]

Fast forward to me meeting my new doctor, 3/4 of my face and my tongue still entirely asleep and feeling twice their normal size.  I quickly introduced myself and explained that I had just come from having a lengthy dental procedure.

Just in case you can't quite figure out what I looked and sounded like, you can get a pretty good impression from Bill Cosby at about 2:15 into his dentist routine.

Isn't that's awesome?  Just try giving your health history to a new doctor sounding like that.  I'm hoping that she will believe I'm reasonably educated on thyroid issues in general and my thyroid issues in particular.  I'm hoping that because of that she'll be willing to try things my way.  But after yesterday--I'm just not so sure!

That's the last time I schedule the dentist before anything other than a long nap!


PS--there was one really great point in the day.  Getting on the doctor's scale in all of my clothes, later in the day, not fasting, and being absolutely unconcerned about my weight!!!  It was pretty sweet...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I Was Almost an Urban Legend!

 

Saturday morning I started to unwrap a can of crescent rolls, so that I could make our favorite crescent cheesecake.

I pulled the little paper tab on the can of crescent rolls, and then

BAM!!!

The package totally exploded, spraying me liberally with chunks of crescent roll dough, and even hitting Russ who was three feet away.

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Needless to say, I did not make the cheesecake.  I figured if they exploded there must be something wrong with them!!

 

If you don’t know the urban legend I’m talking about, you can read it here.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I’m Proud to be a BYU Alum

 

byu

Last week, as the entire basketball-watching world is aware, BYU suspended one of their star players—because he admitted to having premarital sex with his girlfriend, which is in violation of the BYU honor code.  The public comments I read were derisive and incredulous.  They ranged from outrage that BYU would attempt to regulate such a personal choice to shock at the idea that anyone believes that it’s possible to choose not to have sex before marriage. 

My friend Lindsay expressed her opinion about the situation very eloquently. 

And, about the comments that are furious about premarital sex being a personal decision: that's just it - we don't believe that premarital sex is as simple as a personal decision...we believe that it has major consequences in the eternal perspective and that those consequences go against everything that BYU is fighting for their students to attain.  Going to class is a personal decision, dating this good boy or that good boy, taking chemistry or child care - - - these are simple personal decisions that will most likely have no eternal consequences, but when the choices start interfering with the eternities, it gets more complicated.

 

The attitudes of the commentators, on the other hand, were different.  Almost every author expressed admiration for the fact that BYU had placed principle over the possibility of winning the next game.

I join with Philadelphia sportscaster Vai Sikahema, a former NFL return specialist who played for BYU while Russ & I were there.  "Sorry, I'm choking up a bit here," he said,  "It's just hard for me to express just how immensely proud I am of my university."

 

Exactly.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Holy Flammable Christmas Tree, Batman!

You know how you always hear about how dangerous Christmas trees are, yada, yada, yada? 

Last week we told the kids that if they would pick up sticks that were down all over the yard from the windstorm that we would have a fire.  I thought we could roast marshmallows, but I forgot to get them.  So I found some marshmallow creme and chocolate chips and made fake s’mores. 

When I got outside Russ had the fire going.

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He had put our Christmas tree back by the fire pit after Christmas,  and the kids were ripping off branches and putting them into the fire.  I was astounded--I seriously couldn’t get over what happened to the little fire when they put in the dry Christmas tree branches. 

The fire went from this

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to this

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in about 10 seconds!

 

It was very exciting, but I’d really hate for it to happen in my house!  I think I will take those warnings more seriously from now on…

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Got Dirt?

 

Last week I orded 6 (6!!!) cubic yards of topsoil mixed with compost.  I was so excited when it arrived!

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As soon as the truck pulled away I couldn’t resist grabbing the shovel & wheelbarrow.  I had a brand new raised bed (made by the awesome Russ) waiting for some dirt and I couldn’t wait!  I have never moved dirt before, so this was a big deal for me.  I quickly learned that I was much better off when I didn’t fill the wheelbarrow too full, because then it just ran away with me.

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I couldn’t stop, even when my arms and back got tired from the exercise.

 

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As you can see, there is a tree in my garden bed.  I was going to cut it down (we really have so few places that get enough sun that we really have to use what we can) but then I decided that we’ll try an experiment.  I’ve planted some lettuce & spinach under it and we’ll see if they will grow.

 

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I am so ready for spring!