Saturday, June 27, 2009

I Love My Job!!

I took the day off yesterday! I don't know why, I just wasn't in the mood to "log on". I had a rough beginning of the month--didn't get my DSL until 3 weeks after we moved in--so I was way behind everyone else--bummer. So it's taken a bit to get back into step. Plus, my hubby had Monday and Tuesday off--and I don't work on the weekends--so, after 3 weeks off--and a 5 day hiatus...I'm back to work today! No boss to talk to, no write up, no ... nothing! But it is nice to be back!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

As Promised...The Elk!!


Ok--did I tell you they were cool--or did I tell you they were cool! These two were just right up next to the fence when we got there and gathered around them. There are signs everywhere not to feed them, and heck-you don't even need to--they are literally as close as you would want them!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

After School!!

Well, I am sad to announce that Field Day was rained out! I guess it wasn't too bad, all it meant was that they had to play all of the games in the gym instead of outside on the baseball field. The boys had a great time.

Grayson, self-proclaimed 'tortuga' (slow poke) was not only surprised, but amazed and terribly proud that he won the "cup stacking" contest three times. I think that takes some agility, so I was very proud of him.

Jake didn't say much--other than the fact that his team won it all for the fifth graders. He was proud, but was too busy getting his bike helmet on to take a ride around the block in the rain. Grayson didn't want to join him in that, but Blakelynn threw her helmet on and raced to her line with him.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Finally, A Backyard

Funny enough--we're talking about pillows in this post as well as the last post. Do I do that a lot? Anyway, the man and I stopped at Lowes today to look at fire pits. He wants one for the backyard and I'm fine with that, as long as we get pretty patio furniture. You know the kind with the "designer" outdoor pillows.

We've lived in the Chicago area for nearly 7 years, and we've never really had a patio we could use. We had a beautiful one in Phoenix before we moved here, but it was always too hot--and you get toads. So it is nice to finally have a backyard worth spending some time in.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Squishy Bedding

I cannot explain how badly I want a sleep number bed! Truly, it consumes my morning thoughts as I lazily stretch my way out of a bed I would rather spend another 3 hours in, but due to various aches and pains and a snoring husband--I can't bear another moment in.

My husband knows me pretty darn well. I'm a soft and cuddly kinda gal. He knows that I have no other desire for Christmas/Mother's Day/Birthday's ect--than a new down pillow. These babies are like $75 each--but oh, the heaven of sinking my head into them. Plus you get the added bonus of sound control. When the buzz saw next to me hits astronomical proportions, I throw one of these puppies over my head, and it nearly drowns him out!

So if a squishy pillow is such heaven, can you imagine how amazing I'd sleep with a whole squishy bed? My husband was in a car accident early on in his life, and has to sleep on a mattress that is as stiff as a board. Sadly--I share a bed with him, so there goes my dream of a squishy bed---unless, I can turn in all of my present holiday's pillows--and transform them into one amazing bed!! I just wonder what my true sleep number is???

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Giggles!!

My two little ones are awfully giggly today! It's my favorite kind of day with them. They take such joy in playing together, and everything they do just makes each other laugh. Of course, we are getting close to nap time-so me thinks, they may just be overly sleepy! These are the days when it's fun to lotion up their feet and give them little massages. It's so cute-they are so tickly on their toes, and to hear my 2 year old squeal with delight and say "Ig Iggles" is well worth taking a little break from the blogosphere for a bit!!

Back in a sec!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Accelerated Reading!!

I think it's funny--kids and school. All of my kids have loved school-pretty much from the moment that they could go to school. Grayson didn't want to go to school today because he doesn't want to be a part of the Accelerated Reading program anymore, and today is a test on his last book. I told him that since he didn't want to go, he would get a zero on the test because he wouldn't be taking it--so why not just take the test, and guess at the answers. Either way-if you are planning to take a zero-what does it matter if you take the test and fail? And with a multiple choice test-you may actually get one or two right even without reading the story. So then he tells me--he read the book in school, and could probably pass the test. I'm sorry, why were we having this discussion??? You read the book, you could pass the test...then go to school and pass the test! Goof Ball!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Vista Rant!!

I'm having all sorts of problems with my new computer today! I'm not very happy about it! You spend a ton of money that you've skrimped and saved to buy a new computer. All that is offered out there are computers with the most AWFUL Vista as it's operating system--so bugs and all--you take it home! I've been using the new computer for about a week, and finally--there is a birthday post that I want to make today--and I need to use the scanner than came with the computer. NOTHING BUT PROBLEMS!! Why?? Because the scanner software isn't compatible with Vista. In order to download the patch you have to follow the directions on the screen--fine--but by the time it's finished it's uninstall and restarted the system-I can't get back to the screen! So now I have to install it wrong-again--get the screen--copy it down ('cause I can't print) and then uninstall it only to install the patch and reinstall it!!

Sounds like fun doesn't it? I HATE VISTA!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Birthday!!

This picture was taken 36 years ago today! And I just have to say--it is one of the cutest hospital pictures I've ever seen! I must admit--I was a cutie! Out of four kids--I got one that looked just like me! His hospital picture is absolutely beautiful as well--So I guess it's just the genes!

36 Years is a strange year to turn! I remember when my mom was 36-and it wasn't that long ago! 18 years ago--I turned 18--and 20 years ago, I had my first date.

My earliest memory is my 4th birthday!
All my life I thought I had a memory of my third birthday party-I remember a balloon was put in my parents room to wait for my older brother to get home from school. So with the proper math--it would have had to be my 4th birthday. I remember the party itself as well. We sat in a circle to open presents and my next door neighbor Kirk,gave me a book in the shape of a house. I have another memory around that same time. There was an earthquake in the night, and I remember that. I remember the jammies I was wearing, and according to a Christmas morning picture where I'm wearing the same jammies--I would have been 4 for that too. I don't have too many memories. I do remember my Aunt Peggy's dog Buttercup. She was a Deer Chihuahua with a little tiny head. I remember sitting on the floor with her and her little round top of her head fit in the palm of my hand perfectly. Now that is a tiny dog! I also remember sleeping over at Peggy's and she made grits or mush in the morning and they were AWFUL--so I went outside of her house and hid behind a short little fence between her house and her neighbors!

When I was 4 we moved to Bountiful and in with my grandma. We moved in on Valentine's Day and I remember being downstairs putting paneling up in what would be our bedroom. The doorbell rang and there were two Valentine's on the front porch. One for my big brother, and one for my little brother. Heartbreaking as it was at the time--the neighbor didn't know there was a little girl in the house, I think it was remedied later--but I don't remember that part!

We lived with my Grandma Code for just over 5 years, until my mom met and married my sweet daddy! I have to call him that--mainly because it is so fitting. We moved to Salt Lake, then to Sandy, and then after our house was finished we moved to Farmington, Utah where I lived until I got married! I went to Davis High School, and that picture right next to me--was my first date, my first school dance, and my 16th birthday! 20 years ago tonight--I was on my first date--oh, the memories of that night! Actually--I'm still kicking myself for so many dumb things that you do on your first date! My date was a Senior--and I'm sure it wasn't the most fun final dance of his High School career!

Here is my Senior picture. You know--ever since it was taken--I never thought it was really cute of me! You know how you look at pictures or video's of yourself and you just don't see that you are so cute! That's me, in all of my pictures! Well, 18 years later I can say--I was really cute!! I never wore make up--nope, there isn't any in the picture at all! I never wore jewelry-it was the diamond anniversary of my high school the year I graduated, so all of the girls had to wear a necklace with a "D" with a diamond on it! My ears aren't pierced--I was definitely a very GOOD girl! Man, I miss those days! I graduated with the Class of 1989, and then started college at Weber State University.

Ah--this last picture! This was taken the summer before I met my husband. We met and started dating in November, and I'm in shorts--so it's definitely summer in the photo! I'm 24 in this picture. A lot more grown up than the one above it. I had lived in Japan for 18 months, I had moved to Provo, Utah to go to school, and I had been engaged. But honestly, if you want to see what I looked like the first time my husband ever saw me--this would be it! Man--he married a "hottie". Then that hottie had kids and had her body totally messed up! I'm thinking I need to get back down to my wedding weight--so my hubby can have a little bit of his wife back!!

All in all it's been a great 36years. Somethings I would definitely change if I could go back and change it--somethings I wouldn't change for the world. The one thing I know--this first 36 years went really fast--and in that same amount of time I will be 72 years old! I wonder what I will look back on between now and then and wish I had done differently! hmmmmmm, I wish I knew!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Eating, Eating & More Eating!

Do you know what I'm realizing I really need in this battle of the bulge?? I need appetite suppressants! Honestly, is everyone as hungry as I always am? Am I boredom eating? I don't think so, but honestly just gimme the beef!

It's craziness. I made dinner tonight, it wasn't the greatest, but holy cow...you'd think I hadn't eaten in days. I'm ready to go for round two. No wonder I'm frumpy (read fat)! I mentioned a few posts back that I have a big high school reunion coming up this August and I'd really like to look good for it, but I'm honestly questioning my ability to pull it off.

I guess tomorrow I should stock up on some healthy snacks, because apparently, I'm gonna be hungry 24/7!

School Pride

I got in trouble tonight. You know, I wasn't expecting it. I really didn't think I'd done something wrong, but apparently it was the end of the world to my 9 year old. You see, at his school they earn "paws" for good behavior. After you've saved up enough paws, you can take them to the "Paw Trade-In" store and get something cool. They have everything from custom water bottles to various school supplies and unopened Happy Meal prizes.

Well, Mr. 9 year old chose a yellow water bottle with the school name painted on it. Came home and used it, and deposited it in the sink. Where I ended up putting it (innocently enough) into the dishwasher. Oops...my bad! When it came out (sparkling clean) it was missing a TINY portion of the blue paint that made up the school name. You would have thought I'd cut off his baby toe...hissy fit! I promised him that tomorrow, when the Hobby Lobby opens, I will march right in and purchase a blue Sharpie so that I can fill in the blanks!

Luckily...that did it!

Colon Fun

Tonight I had to watch the Farrah Fawcett documentary on the internet because we were out on Friday night. Oh my heavens...how sad was it! I have never been a huge Farrah fan. She's quite a bit older than I am, and I never even watched Charlie's Angels. But after watching her battle with this debilitating disease, it just broke my heart.

It's been 2 years since her diagnosis, and it seems like she's tried every form of treatment, but has been unable to beat it. I don't know how much longer she has, but it certainly made me try to rethink my life! Colon cancer flows rampantly through my family. I lost my aunt to it 4 years ago and my uncle has had his colon removed. My grandma died in 1987 from a tumor, but she refused to even have it tested to find out what it was. After watching her kids, I'm almost sure it was colon cancer.

My mom has done all she can to keep on top of it in her life. From Colonix to yearly Colonoscopy, she's trying to change the tide in her favor. She does suffer from minor diverticulitis, so she has bulked up on fiber in her diet. Sadly, she is sticking to me on this too. I just turned 38, and she's let me know that once I hit 40...a yearly Colonoscopy will be required (yuck)!

I don't know if any of these techniques would have helped Farrah in the early stages, but my heart certainly went out to her family at this really sad time!

The Drive

I have been looking at rates for rv parks and extended stay motels around the Salt Lake area for our summer trip. We are spending 2 weeks with my mom, but I really don't want to drive 20 hours one way to only stay in town for 2 weeks. It's a very long and miserable drive.

We spend the night in Kearney, Nebraska. The hotel there has water slides that my kids love, so that portion of the drive works for them. It's just the other 19 hours of the drive!

People think I'm crazy for driving alone with four kids across the country, but with airline prices as high as they are, there is just no other choice. So we'll pack up the portable DVD player and the laptop and hope to make some good time. This is the ONE portion of the trip that I'm not excited about!

U.T.A.H.

Three more weeks of school!! Three more weeks of school! Normally I am not the type of mom that looks forward to summer vacation. My kids tend to get awfully bored and just don't seem to enjoy the summers like I remember when I was a kid. I'm not quite sure what has changed.

This summer, however, is different! It's my high school reunion and this frumpy mother of four has found one of the top rated diet pills around...and I plan on looking HOT!! Mind you, it's not until the 15th of August, so there's still time to get myself reeled in!

So we are heading to Utah...and I still can't wait!

Horses & Bulls

This past Friday we headed out to a local dining establishment that offered dinner and an amazing show. My in laws took all six of us out and honestly, I was thrilled that my kids enjoyed it as much as they did. Half way through the show, my oldest leaned over and said, "This would be great as a video game!" I laughed and replied, "Video game...I wanna horse!"

Not that we have the room for a horse or bull at our house, and especially not the horse & cattle supplies that go along with them, but there was something deep within that actually longed to care for these beautiful animals. My 9 year old wants a black stallion, but I was mesmerized by the bone white mare with a silky white mane.

It won't happen in this lifetime, but oh to dream of the freedom that comes with riding a horse.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Funeral!!

Today is the funeral for my older brothers and sisters mom. She was married to my dad, before he married my mom 26 years ago. She died earlier this week and had been looming with a terrible illness for a few months. My older sister and her family came down from Spokane for Thanksgiving so that their kids could spend some time with their Grandma before she passed away! I felt bad that I wasn't going to have the opportunity to attend the funeral--but with 4 little kids--they really wouldn't have wanted me there! But I feel so bad for all of them. I can't imagine the loss of my mom--it would kill me!!!

Friday, May 08, 2009

100,000 Mark!!

I'm battling Cyber Ghosts today! I have posted this post three times--and it shows up for around 3 minutes and then disappears! Hmmmmmm, we'll try it again!

As many of you know--my husband just went through an opening of a new restaurant! He has been putting in a ton of hours - and his poor body just really isn't geared for it! Well, they have been open for 3 weeks-and they have nearly hit the $100,000 mark in sales! That is just mind boggling to me! I've known they are always busy--but I guess I didn't fully translate that into sales!

I'm very proud of him! He's working so hard--and honestly he is loving "nearly" every moment! Leaving the house before the sun comes out being one thing he doesn't enjoy--coming home after dark--is the other! Unless he steps outside for a minute--he doesn't see the sun at all!!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Perfect Attendance!!






Today was the first awards assembly of the year. They have one after each grading period. My boys worked so hard and earned perfect attendance ribbons. They have talked about them for months, so it was nice for them to finally get to take them home. They did great on their report cards as well. MJ got an A+ in spelling, and A in math, and a B+ in both reading and penmanship. DG got an A+ in reading, an A in penmanship, and an A+ in math. Next week, he will start the advanced reading program. He currently is reading at a third grade level--so he's really doing great!

It's fun to see that they both really enjoy school, and love to go everyday. This year has even been an exceptionally easy year in getting up on their own and getting their homework done! Great job guys!!!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Going Home

Summer is coming! Summer is coming! Normally I don't really get excited about that, but this summer the kids and I are heading home to Utah! My home! My Family! My SPOT! My kids love it there, and they haven't been home in 2 years. My parents have a huge park in the back yard with a couple of gazebos, swings and a huge climb on toy. What kid wouldn't love that!

Mostly I'm excited to take them to Lagoon. It's a huge amusement park that I worked at when I was a teenager, and full of so many memories. Plus, here in Illinois, there really isn't much chance of them getting to experience too many roller coasters. So I plan on getting them season passes, so we can run over as often as we want to!

I can't wait!

Colon Cancer

We have colon cancer running rampant in this family. I lost my aunt to it and mostly likely my grandma. My uncle has had his colon removed and my other aunt has pre-cancerous polyps removed every year. I don't know if this is something that an herbal colon cleanse would help with...but I can tell you, I'm not looking forward to turning 40! Not only do mammy's click in, but a yearly colonoscopy doesn't sound like a day at the beach either.

But with 4 kids, it must be done. I have to stay healthy for them!

It's Creeping Up

Have you heard about all of the hoopla over Hydroxycut?? My husband knows that I take a diet pill everyday, so he had to stop and ask me if that was something I was using. I hadn't even heard of the problems, but I was happy to let him know that I was not using that particular product.

On the side of weight loss, however, I'm happy to say that it's going slow...but it is at least, still going. Which is great, because that 20th high school reunion is creeping up pretty quick. There is no way I'll look like I did when we graduated--but hey, I'd like to look better than the frumpy mom of 4 that I turned into!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

More Addiction!!

After the boys got home from school and finished their homework, we headed to Schaumburg to a Cigar Shop! Yep, smells as yucky as it sounds!! But he also carries the addiction my children suffer from---Basketball cards! So they went in with Dad and found their treasures. It's fun to watch them get excited over their purchases and then sit and quiz each other all the way to our next destination about the colleges a certain player played for, what team drafted him, how much does he way--what's his shooting percentage. It's so fun to hear them talking sports with each other. It just comes so natural to them.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Go Walmart!!

Wow--it's in the headlines! Walmart beats out Exxon on the Fortune 500 list! Good for them! I really don't understand why people hate Walmart. They hire a ton of people--they bring thousands of jobs into areas that need them, they bring low prices and great quality at the same time. I haven't been to a Walmart in a while--because I don't live really close to one--but if I'm near one--they would be my first stop shop for EVERYTHING! I have heard an argument against Walmart--that being that they aren't Union. Well, in Walmart's defense...they've put it up for a vote for their employees and their employees have turned it down! Bummer for all you "Pro-Union" folk! As for me--huge applause and accolades!! I HATE anything union! I will forever and ever be Non-Union! It had it's need in history--and possibly in some areas today it may still be necessary--but they are out of control--and quite honestly--against everything American! Which is why I guess the Liberals hate Walmart so much. If you don't like America--why would you like a store that is American in everyway! Go Capitalism!! Go America!! Go Walmart!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Moving Is On!! Again!

Ok--the house hunt is on again! My excitement was kind of dampened last week when we found out that the next restaurant will most likely be going toward the city. That's east of us--and I'M NOT MOVING EAST!! Everything in the suburbs east of us is just like us--no driveway, no garage--no big back yard for the kids to play in! So I kind of gave up. But now, after talking to the husband--I think we will still move west--and just put him on the train in the morning! So I've pulled up my Illinoisrealestate.com website-and I'm picking out my favorites!!

When I find one I can't live without--I'll let you know!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday!!

Today is Friday! That would normally mean Pizza Night--but we had pizza last night. We stopped at Little Caesar's for their "Hot & Ready" $5.00 pizza--but let me just say--they were neither Hot--nor Ready!! I'm not sure we will ever go back, to that one at least! When I was in High School I worked at Little Caesar's. That was back when they were pretty new--they had the best sandwiches--and their Pan Pan pizza was fabulous. They don't do any of that anymore! Too bad!

Every Friday night we have Pizza and watch a movie with homemade popcorn. It's just a fun tradition--so we may have to have Pizza Bread (how to's to follow on Cheffin'It!) I'll have to see what movies are available on Pay Per View--and we will 'veg out' for the kids last week night of Spring Break!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Just Blah-ging!!

Ok--I just updated my day and my drive over on the Cheffin' It blog!! As beautiful as my house is---I NEVER want to drive to Rockford again! But I will let you read about that rant--over there!

Other than the miserable drive--I have to say--today...well, today stunk! I'm sick again! I'm exhausted for lack of sleep! And I still have 4 kids to entertain for the day! Tomorrow is the last day of Spring Break in this house. Yes, we still have the weekend-but we always have the weekend--so I look at it as just ONE MORE DAY!!

I'm not sure what tomorrow will bring! I'm thinking I will bribe the older two with PS2 to watch the younger 2 so that I can lay down! Honestly--I can't even remember what it is like to feel good, and to have the energy to do fun things with my kids! Wow, I guess I really should go to the doctor!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I Found The World One!!



create your own visited countries map

Ok--a couple of days ago--I put up the map with the states that I have visited--it's really fun to have found a country one!

I just found out tonight that my mom and dad leave on a Mexican cruise on Saturday! I was shocked! I was not expecting this!! You see--I have to physically prepare for times when my mom is incognito and I can't talk to her several times a day!!

I'M NOT READY!!!!!!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

E.R.??? Maybe!!

Ok--I made it through the night! I knew I would! My goal is to get the kids home from school and then see if the neighbor can watch them--and then I think I will head to the Emergency Room. The fever has gone down--but the pain has come back up! So bad!! It's now been going on for over 48 hours--so I think I can put it off no more!

My husband had to work yesterday--and really needs to be there today--although he can call in one of the managers from the other restaurant to cover for him if I go into surgery. Either way--he has Wednesday and Thursday off--so it's the time frame I'm shooting for!! Of course, if I have surgery--he's going to have to take the rest of the week off I'm afraid! Even if they do the scope--I'm sure I won't be up to chasing two little tots around the house!

I'll keep you informed!!

Another Try At The Chiro...

Do you ever get lost? I actually don't (usually). I'm pretty darned good at finding my way around most places. Even downtown Chicago. You know, if you get lost, no big deal...it just takes a minute or two longer to get where you are going...but hey, I get there!

My oldest has Scoliosis and had been seeing a chiropractor. I wasn't happy with treatment at the time (miscommunication on our parts), so we stopped going. It's been about a year, and we got a free check up coupon in the mail. So I made an appointment for him and we headed on over.

It's not really close to my house, just off of my main tollway and on to a second one. But there is a cell tower that you can see for miles away, and the office literally sits at the base of it.

So even though I hadn't been in the area in over a year, as we came around the bend in Buffalo Grove...there it was.

Where Did That Come From??

Do you have little ones? I have four of them, and I'm continually taken aback by some of the things that they say, do and remember. Yesterday we were heading to the local grocery store to pick up the Sunday paper (it's a dollar cheaper at Woodman's!). As we pass the exit of the freeway, you can see one of those extended stay hotels. My four year old saw it yesterday and proclaimed, "Mom, we do live by Gramma in Lutah." That would be "Grandma in Utah" for all of you who don't speak Brett!!

My parents came to visit 18 months ago (Brett was 3) and stayed for 2 nights in this hotel. We have seen them twice since then but for some amazing reason, Brett is able to remember that being their hotel....and I guess it will be forever! I just figured he'd forget because he was only 3 at the time. It's just amazing!

Where Is The Warming??

Well, we have finished up with the Spring Cleaning around here. It helps when there is a neighborhood pick up day to get all of the "big" junk out. All I'm left with now are bags of clothes, baby bedding and other 're-usables' for Good Will, and they come on Tuesday.

It feels very strange calling it Spring Cleaning, as we spent the evening getting all of our junk to the curb in the falling snow. Are we sure it's April? Are we sure there is such a thing as Global Warming?? 'Cause I'm starting to doubt it!

Stand For Something...



I had to put this video up! It is the first I've seen that clearly explains the importance of Families. The look on this little boys face as he's running into his daddy's arms is what life is all about. Sheer love and adoration for his daddy--excitement, tears, relief--you can see it all.

I've often wondered WHY we have these 4 kids. There are times I find it very hard to see the Joy in them. I heard the comment--"Grandkids are your reward for not killing your own kids"--and it fits so many instances in my life!! Why, again, did we decided that becoming parents was a GOOD IDEA?? Well, this video is why. I can picture this with each one of my kids--if either my husband or myself were gone for a long period of time--or in such a scary place as this little boys daddy. Heck, I get it from my 2 year old when I come home from the grocery store!!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Very Scary Night!!

Saturday night I woke up with a terrible stomach ache. My mind immediately began racing trying to figure out what I had eaten to cause such a problem. I was in and out of bed trying to get comfortable--but nothing was working. I didn't sleep at all. When my husband got up at 6 a.m. he found me in a really strange position on the couch. Hey--I was trying anything! After he left for work-I went back to bed and when the sun came up--I called my parents. My mom had just suffered through a week of 'questionable' food poisoning--but her symptoms and mine were totally different. They drove over and watched the kids while I tossed and turned on the bed. I got up several times to throw up--but other than that, I was in bed. My parents had to catch their flight home (what a terrible last day with my parents!!) so my husband came home and picked up all 4 kids and took them to his mom's house. Shortly after he left-the pain localized-and it was confirmed (by me) to be appendicitis. I've had so many attacks before--that I was suspecting it was--but it had been 10 years since I'd had the last attack, so I wasn't really sure--but YEP!! I remember now!!

So now I'm home all alone--with appendicitis! I found my insurance card just in case I needed to head to the Emergency Room. I spent the entire day in bed--which was nice considering the fact that I hadn't slept at all the night before!! When I woke up this morning my appendix was still tender--and I couldn't stand up straight--but I'm hoping the worst is through! I kept Jacob home from school so he could help me take care of the two little ones. I'm definitely not "quick" enough to keep up with them today!

As fine as I'm feeling right now--all I can think of is the DAYS it's going to take me to 're-claim' my house!! But at least I'm not in the hospital!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Laundry Monster Slowly Dying!!

Today was laundry day! My mom is in town--and I hung out with her this afternoon and watched "The Singles Ward" (SOOOOOOOOO TRUE). After I picked up the kids from school, she and my dad headed up to Ulta to get Nailtec for my mom. It's her favorite thing for her nails-so it's always one of her stops when she is out here.

While they were gone-I had Jake help me bring up the 7 baskets of clean laundry. It needed to be folded and hung on hangers. I keep telling my mom--I have way too much laundry in this house--but I'm not quite sure she was expecting what she saw!! She and my dad came in with a Dunkin' Donuts treat for my boys (I'll explain in the next post), and then they both sat down and literally started to fold my laundry. It was so strange--my mom was working a pile--I was working a pile--and my sweet daddy was working a pile! I felt like a "sludge" but it certainly made the work that much more fun.

Grandpa was working on Barrett's basket of clothes and everytime he would he would pick up a shirt to hang on a hanger he would tell Blakelynn that it was her shirt. She would giggle everytime. Finally she caught on, and the next time he asked her if a certain shirt was hers-she'd giggle and say--Nope, it's yours! It was really sweet! My dad has asked for the past two days to take his Grand-daughter to school! I just love that she is adored by her two grandpa's!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Blake's Bike!!

Blakelynn got this bike for her birthday when she turned 3. Her birthday is December 7, so she couldn't ride it right away anyway. Plus--it was a little big for her. We spent the summer in Utah last year--so she didn't have much opportunity to ride it at all. This year, we got it out--and she FITS!! She loves it--and looks like such a big girl zooming up and down the sidewalk on her own!!

My Mom Made It Home

I just got off of the phone with my mom. She just got off of the cruise ship and is waiting at her San Diego hotel before for her flight home tomorrow. It's been a week since I've talked to her. I hate weeks like this. My mom always laughs when people talk about trying to get your teenagers to talk to them. My mom would ask me how my day was (or didn't get a chance to ask) and I would go through my day-the bus ride in, 1st period, 2nd period, lunch, the bus ride home! Yep--she got it all! I'm a momma's girl! And she's back on dry land, and I'm gonna call her again this evening!! Wooo Hooo!!

My New Job

Last week I had a meeting with my husbands boss. It was to determine if what I did could help what he did. I walked in thinking there wasn't much need for the meeting and walked out with a job. I was kind of surprised by that, but am now on their Public Relations team. They meet every Friday at the first restaurant, so I need to pick up a Sony Vaio notebook in order to keep up during the meetings!

Time To Say Good Bye

Tomorrow is the going away party for my kids. We have about 15 kids invited, but no one has RSVP'd! I don't mind--I'm all for showing up if you can, but I'm very happy that I opted to just go to Chuck E. Cheese with my coupons rather than booking a party not knowing who all is coming.

We are doing it on a Monday night-so I'm hoping one of the long tables is 'un-reserved', but if not-we will just get 3 booths next to each other. If a group of 15 kids is anything like my kids--they rarely eat at the same time (if at all) so who cares if we aren't all sitting in one long line.

I figure I can get out the door having spent $100 to feed and 'token' all 18 children which is shocking considering the exact same thing for a birthday party this size would have cost $187!! I'm also thinking cupcakes are a ton cheaper than a cake--so now all I need is a new memory stick to keep the memorable moments of the night, safe and sound!

What A Beautiful Day!

Today has been a pretty good Sunday! Aside from the 15 toll free phone calls that have come through..."Sorry folks...I don't transact business on Sunday"! Not that calling tomorrow will get them any farther.

Today was a beautiful day. My husband worked out in the yard all afternoon, and even though it doesn't look like he's touched it, it is looking really nice! Next week is our Spring Cleaning garbage pick up. The one day of the year when you can put anything you want on the curb without a sticker...and they'll take it.

So for the next several days, we will be ridding our house, garage and yard of anything and everything we don't want to have hanging around for another year!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Tweakin' Templates!!

I have to say!! New Years time I set a goal to learn how to tweak a template to really make it my own! I have had a ball learning how to do just that! I'm no where near where I want to be--but have had a lot of fun taking an existing template and shaking it up! If you take a look at the first several blogs under family blogs on the sidebar--those are some of my attempts at "web design". Currently I'm working on a template for my sister--and by the end of the year--I'm hoping to be able to create my own templates from beginning to end! That seems like a lot of work--but from what I've learned already--I'm really excited to learn more! If anyone knows how to get a design to cover the entire background---I would love to hear from you! That is one skill I haven't mastered as of yet!! But man is it addicting!!

Jakey Time!!

Well, our date night came quickly and seemed to go just as quickly. I picked the boys up from school and hurried home, so Jake could get his homework done. He had forgotten his spelling list at school--and that was the only homework he had--so he will miss recess today to get it done. So we headed out. He decided that he would like to see "Bridge To Terabithia" and then go to dinner. So off we went. We caught a matinee, which only means that snacks cost more than the tickets to get in--but hey--how often do you get to take your 9 year old out. Yep, he got spoiled! The movie was pretty confusing to me. I loved the underlying story of friendship--but was very confused by the whole Terabithia thing. At the end, the boy learned to share what his friend had taught him with his little sister, who adored him. So needed in our family. Jake and Blakelynn do not get along at all. She adores him, and pesters him for attention--he gets annoyed with her and generally yells at, or scares her.

So at Bakers Square--we kind of talked about the movie and how it kind of mirrors our life at home. I pointed out the relationship between the brother and sister and how they fixed the relationship in the end. I then reminded Jake that Blake loves him and just wants to play with him. Then I asked if between now and our next date--if he would read her a bedtime story every night. Nothing more--just a story that she picks. He said he would. I think this little act of service on Jake's part--and little bit of attention for Blake--will truly be a miracle in their relationship! I HOPE anyway!

It was a wonderful night--we talked about things going on in his life. I found out he has a crush on a girl in his class, how long has this been going on! We talked about boys growing up, and things that will start to happen. We laughed, we snuggled--we were the only ones in the theater until just before the movie started. So I leaned over and told him that if no one else came--we could just make out the whole time! OH....the look on his face was CLASSIC!! He definitely thinks his mom is crazy!!

Next week is Grayson--and then it will be Jake's turn again. I can't wait!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

RANT**RANT**RANT**RANT!!

Since I generally write about products that I find interesting, I would like to try or have tried and love--I thought I would take a moment and RANT about the crap I hate!!

First off--when we were very first beginning this process of purchasing a home I thought, "Hey, what better way than to have lenders compete for my business!" You know the catch line, you've seen the commercials. So I head on over to Lending Tree's website and input our information. Not too bad--I'm expecting some emails to start arriving at any moment--but what do I get? A FLOOD of phone calls--8 in 1/2 hour--all from these lenders competing for my business. But it didn't stop, it went on and on for days--in fact, a month later I'm still getting the straggling phone call. Of course, we tell them that we've finished the mortgage cycle, and not currently interested in their product! But after literally 300 phone calls--I owe my husband a HUGE "Sorry, Honey"!!

So last night...we are needing to find home owners insurance. Our car insurance is with Geico--but who's ever heard of Geico selling Home Owners Insurance--so me, I go to Insweb.com. I put in the information we need--and am expecting the final page to come up with 6 or 7 quotes from different companies--that's what I got a few years back looking for auto insurance--but nope--to my HORROR--I got a page with 10-12 company names--letting me know that they would be contacting me shortly! WHAT THE HECK?? Sooooooo NOT what I wanted. So I did it again--today they are calling en masse, and I've gotten 16 emails! Ok--I LOVE getting emails--I hate getting phone calls. If you call me--you've lost my business immediately!! So again, I owe my husband a HUGE "Sorry, Honey"!!

Then, the other day-I'm signing up for some service plan--and it asks for my cell phone number. Since mine was dead at the time, I gave them my husbands. It didn't really matter--there was a line directly following the box for the phone number---"Don't worry, we won't call you"!! So, I finish putting the rest of the info in, and flip to the next page, and what does it say????? We just sent you a text message with your PIN, enter it here to see if you are a winner! Ok, what happened to the "Don't worry, we won't call" line! As soon as that thought entered my mind--my phone rang. Yep!! It was my husband. Something about getting a text message..."Sorry, Honey"!!

I'm sooooooo sick of having to say that! Yes, I say it a lot--I'm a freaky chic--but for things I never planned to have happen?? So, for all of you out there.....NEVER, I REPEAT NEVER try Lending Tree.com, and NEVER, I REPEAT NEVER try Insweb.com!! And if anyone says what's your cell phone number---we won't call you---Run!! And, just to let you know...Geico does offer Home Owners Insurance (Who Knew) and they were cheaper than all of the others--even before they add in our auto discount!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

More Cleaning!!

Last week I got both kids bedrooms cleaned out. This may not seem like much to the outsider looking in--but this is HUGE! I have baskets and baskets of clean laundry just sitting in my living room. I needed to have the rooms clean so I could put the clean clothes in their places. So finally today--I get to take 4 baskets of laundry and get them on the shelves of the rightful owners-that will, in turn, clean my living room up! I'm so happy! I know-it doesn't take much to excite me--but I haven't had a lot of energy over the past couple of, well, years!!! So when I get enough to actually get some much needed tasks accomplished--it really makes me feel like a worthy human being!!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

March Madness!

It' s March! That is amazing! March, of course, means NCAA Mens Basketball--and March Madness. I was talking to Jake on his way to Basketball camp--this is the first March Madness he's shown any interest in. He and his brother have worked out their brackets already! How, you may ask??? Well, they've made it up! All 64 teams--whichever team is a favorite--it's in the bracket! Now--I honestly don't know how many of their "dream teams" will actually make it to the Big Dance--but it's really fun talking about it with my 9 year old.

I think he's rooting for UCON!! When they go to Bulls games or watch them on tv--they do the starting line up word for word with the announcer--it's amazing to hear. But what was so funny is they kept saying "From Utah--Ben Gordon"--Now I have to tell you--I was raised on University of Utah basketball--and I'm pretty darn sure that I would have known if Ben Gordon came out of Utah!! So I started listening--and they don't say Utah--they say UCON!

We'll be Tivo'ing many of the games! I love that my boys have taken such in interest in a good healthy sport!!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Schedules!!

Oh, I'm still getting back in the groove of being back home. I don't know why everything is so out of control after a vacation! Add on top of that the fact that I'm going on 7 weeks of being sick--and I guess there is a little reason for it!

But really, this is ridiculous! I've got laundry coming out my ears--clean and dirty!! My living room is out of control--I have to clean the boys room before I can move the other things out of my living room and into their bedroom!

I've got 2 pinewood derby cars to paint with the boys. Painted they are--they just need to get their decals on and then I need to clear coat them and work on the wheels and the weights! Any good Pinewood Derby racer would know--it's all in the wheels and weights!

Last year Jake's car took #1 over all. Yep--all me with the wheels and weights!!

We will be defending our title this Saturday morning at our Pinewood Derby! Can't wait!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

More Great Grandpa Paintings!!

































Earlier today I put up two pictures that my great grandfather had painted. I got to talking to my mom and found out that before a reunion some time ago--other parts of the family had gotten together and photographed the pictures that they owned. My mom emailed me the pictures--I was amazed--because I had never seen any of these before. So I decided to put them up here as well!!

**Just an added note about these paintings. My great-grandfather was not a rich man. He couldn't afford canvas, so he painted on masonite. It's really an interesting choice because it gives the texture of canvas. He also couldn't afford to pile on the paint like so many have, so in some spots, as the paintings age, the paint is coming off and the masonite is showing. I don't know why this struck me as interesting--but they are such pretty paintings--so I thought I would share some extra trivia!!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

John Barrett Linton!!















These are paintings done by my Great Grandfather. Apparently there are many of them floating around. I'm going to try to hunt down more and get them posted as well! I'm a strange one when it comes to holding on to personal mementos. My mom calls me a pack rat, and I really can't argue with her. However, collecting his artwork this way, is a lot less "space taking" than collecting the actual pictures.

My youngest is named Barrett Linton. I guess you can't guess where that name came from. I never met my great grandfather--but his name and stories have been passed down from generation. I've heard nothing but immense love for him from all of his family members. My grandmother was his daughter. If my youngest had been a girl he would have had her name--Katelynn "Dorothy" Noel would have been her name. Katelynn because it's my favorite name--Dorothy because it was my grandma's name and Noel because my grandma was born and died on Christmas day. But he was born a he--so we went to the most important man in her life--and that was her dad-John Barrett Linton.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I Told You I Was Taking Control!

I FINALLY got the boys bedroom cleaned out today! It was a messy black hole! I've been avoiding it since New Years--or maybe before. The boys love to attempt to play basketball in their bedroom, and have actually broken one of their beds. I assumed it was just the boards underneath the mattress that hold them up-but I have to tell you--I was WRONG! It's actually the rail that holds the boards--and it is completely un-fixable!!

So I did what any ticked off Mom would do! I took their beds down, and they are actually sleeping on their mattresses but they are up on storage boxes instead of their bed frames. I turned the huge toy box around to face the wall. No one plays with the toys in the toy box anyway--so instead of having them dig through the box and dump everything out--I made it in accessible!

The linen closet has been moved to the little kids room--so now--there just isn't much in their room to make a mess with! Hopefully-that will help keep it clean!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

B.R.A.T. Diet!!

And Now...

The stomach flu sets in! I've had pneumonia like symptoms for over 6 weeks now. Coughing, congestion--horrid! Well, now---I've got the stomach flu. My kids started getting it while we were still in Arizona-from Aunt Peggy in Arizona. Blakey got it there. Barrett got it the day after we got home, followed by Grayson and Jake on Saturday--and me today! BLAH!! I hate being sick--but even more than anything in the world--I hate to be nauseous!

So I will be taking it easy on the stomach today, and living the B.R.A.T diet for myself! It's just lucky that the kids lived the Brat diet last week--cause that means that I have all of the ingredients I need!

I'll let you know how it goes!

Bleck!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Integrating Life With...Life!!

I have been working hard recently to get some things up and running in my life. The one that still lags behind, exercise. Being a mom of four kids, there just doesn't seem like there is enough time in the day to get it all in. I am still looking for healthy ways to lose weight, and wouldn't mind finding on of the cheaper treadmills on the market. I'm assuming as the Barrett finally starts to get older, I will be able to fit my life into my life a little more often. However, I've also thought of going back to school to become a teacher. That way when the kids are all in school, I work their hours, at least as a substitute, so a calm quiet life just doesn't seem to be coming all that soon!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Birthday Donuts

I just drove 1.5 hours to the nearest Krispy Kreme to get my son his birthday treat for his class. Now I will say, there is nothing better in the world than a hot, creamy Krispy Kreme donut--but even though they were hot when when we picked them up--nothing is going to stay warm during a 45 minute drive home--and there is NOTHING worse than a cold Krispy Kreme donut!

I got a late start today due to a funky cold and a migraine, but knew that Grayson would be so disappointed if I didn't make it today. So I ended up dropping off his treat 20 minutes before school got out! Bad Mom!! Bad Mom!!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Houses!!

We spent the first few days of our Phoenix trip staying in a home owned by Sweet Baby Ray and his friends. It was right in the middle of town, and all of the necessities were so close. But even better in my kids mind--the basketball hoop out front!

They would be up and out of the house early--just to shoot baskets. I guess when we get home-I really need to get their Christmas gift put together and outside--unfortunately it was -13 the other night when my husband flew home. So maybe not for awhile!

After the first two nights at the "basketball" house, we took my husband to the airport and headed to my Uncle Bobby's house. We spent a lot of time here when we lived here. That was 4 years and 2 kids ago! They were our only family down here, and they treated my babies like they were their grandkids. Always so sweet. So it was fun for them to get to spend time with my grown up boys, and to meet and get to see my two newest additions. 4 and 2!!

Vacation So Far

I have had a week full of sick people. Ok, mainly sick kids--but people they are! I don't think I've ever cleaned up this much vomit in one day! I feel like I need that Bio-hazard suit for material handling. There is no way this stuff is healthy to be around. I mean the smell alone nearly causes me to add to the mess.

We are looking up however! The weather here in Arizona is warm and sunny, and the kids have had a chance to leave the house and enjoy a bit of this vacation. I'm just not ready to head back home to the frigid Midwest and the 6 feet of snow in our driveway just yet! In fact, I think I'll make me another smoothie and head out to sit under one of the palm trees on the patio! Wish me luck!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Looking Cute

I have been using the best weight loss pills these past few months, and I have to say, I'm so glad! Yesterday we spent the day out with some friends golfing, and I was required to wear summer clothes. You know, shorts and sleeveless shirts. I would have looked like a clown out there, but because I've found some success in the weight-loss field, I looked really cute!

When I get home I want to continue watching what I eat and working out, but if just for yesterday, it was all worth it!

Leaving!!

I woke up really early on the 6th of February. I had gone to bed at 4 am, but had set my alarm for 8. My niece was coming to stay with the dogs for two nights, and the house needed to be perfect for that.

I then realized that we have 5 suitcases and 3 duffel bags. Only now do I remember my husband is broken--and I will be the one carrying the duffle bags with the straps digging into my shoulders. So I headed to Target and bought a suitcase set. Came home and dumped 2 of the duffel's into the suitcases--now there were 7 suitcases and 1 duffel--for 6 people!

On the way to Target it was just barely snowing. We had had terribly cold weather for the weeks previous (negative zeroes) but hadn't had any snow. By the time I came out of Target I could see that it was starting to snow harder and it was sticking.

So I rushed home and told everyone that we needed to leave now. Not my luck--my husband hadn't even showered yet-so that was out of the question. We finally got on the road--later than I wanted--and the roads were awful! So now we are REALLY late. We stayed behind a semi truck simply believing that if anyone spun out in front of us--he would take them out before we would. Cars were off of the road all along the way. Very scary.

We got to the airport, with about 45 minutes till the flight leaves and we still haven't parked the car. So my husband dropped us off and then sped over to the parking garage. I managed to get through the skycap with 4 kids and so much baggage, and then we made a run for security. I kept Barrett in his car seat and just pulled him behind me. I could hear everyone laugh as we went past--it looked like I was pulling luggage--but when we got past them--they could see it was a little boy. Security--what a JOKE!! I had to take the coats and shoes off of 4 kids plus me. Lift 3 carry on bags, and get Barrett out of his chair. My oldest Jake--saved the day! What an amazing help he was!

So we are through security and running looking back for my husband when I notice -- he's ahead of us. WHAT???? How did that happen! He must have passed us at security and not noticed us (how that is possible, I dare not think!!!) He came back and corralled the kids and carried some of the carry on. We were the last 6 people on the plane. Only middle seats available as far as the eyes can see! (Gotta love Southwest) So luckily there were some really sweet people, Michael got to sit with Grayson, Jake sat alone, Blake sat across the aisle from me and I sat next to Barrett!

Now in all this rush from 8 am on, I had completely forgotten one MAJOR thing! Grayson came back to my seat to show me his cool coloring and the woman just diagonally behind me asked me how old he was---I said, He's ...7 years old--today!! It was his birthday--and in the madness of it all--I hadn't even said Happy Birthday! So I went up to his seat--bent down over his ear, and sang him happy birthday!

It wasn't until we landed (no snow to be found) that we heard that there had been a 50 car pile up on the Interstate that we had just been rushing on. And only minutes after we got in the air Midway airport cancelled 140 flights! We would have been SUNK!! But we were blessed immensely and we made it to Phoenix in time to set up the house for company to come over for Grayson's birthday dinner and cake!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Early Birthday Party!!

This is a shot of Grayson's surprise birthday "cake"!! He wouldnt' let me tell his grandparents what we were bringing! Just in case you can't tell--they're cupcakes! Each cupcake had about 2 inches of frosting goop on them! We had to scoop it off--way to much for a room full of kids!

It was so cute--I even had little football candles to go on top. The football in the middle is made out of a Rice Crispy treat! Everyone fought over that piece, but I made sure everyone who wanted one got to try it!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Jake's Wolf--FINALLY!!


Jake finally got to have Pack Meeting! It's been months and months that he's been waiting! He's been working on his Bear now for 2 months-but barely got his Wolf! Normally when they get their Wolf they are given a pie plate full of Whipped Cream. All of the boys in the Pack kneel around it and the new Wolf gets to stick his head into the pie plate and "Wolf" down the whipped cream while everyone chants "WOLF WOLF WOLF WOLF"! Theyd didn't do this for Jake. It was a substitute Pack Leader. Our's is in the hospital having surgery to remove a non-cancerous brain tumor! How scary is that!! But yes, it's finally official! I am the mother of a Wolf!!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Blake's Day Out!!


This is a little pictorial of Blakelynn's day! We got to the carnival and she was so excited to get to the moonwalk. It's what she'd been waiting weeks for. She got in the first on, and did fine--and then went through the second one--came out--and threw up all over the floor! YUCK!! Poor little girl--you can see in her pictures she's white as a ghost! i made her stay in the stroller until she warmed up and felt a little better. She still had a good time, and even made it back to the moonwalks later in the day. She played all of the carnival games with her Grampa--and really enjoyed the magic show! I'm just glad she's feeling better!!

Barrett's Day!!

















Here are just a couple of the single shots of Barrett at the carnival! The one of him in his lion is my favorite. Being so little he didn't get to do quite as much as his older siblings. He wasn't a big fan of the moonwalks that his sister loved, and wasn't really thrilled with the horse races like his brother! He started getting cranky half way through the afternoon, so he spent the last half of the day in his stroller with mommy praying for a nap! But all in all--he had fun! He loved the balloons, he got his arm painted, and loved the Orange Juice that grandpa bought him! Maybe next year he'll get to participate a whole lot more than he did this time! One note: If you have been to a carnival you have probably seen the bowling ball game. You roll the ball up the ramp--it goes down the other side and up a little hill. The goal is to get it to stay on the other side of the hump--but it rarely does! Barrett NAILED that game! Out of all of us, he's the only one that won!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Mood Enhancer??

Ok---I have found the diet product for me! See--I told you I'd keep looking around! What I found? Ephedrasil hardcore!! Not only is this a great appetite suppressant--it is also a mood enhancer. Oh---to someone suffering for depression, a mood enhancement is a lifesaver!

The only thing that could make t better? Something to help me sleep! Like most depressed people, I have a terrible case of insomnia. If I could get a good night's sleep...who knows what I could do on the diet/exercise track!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Basement

We have an unfinished basement, and have been having some plans to finish it up. I would like a family room, an extra bedroom or two and heck, I'd even love a home theater down there. Kind of a place to send the kids for a quiet couple of hours on the weekend to watch a movie. They would love it. It would even be a fun spot for a slumber party. Big comfy couches to watch movies and play video games---heaven knows kids stay up all night anyway!

I've always wanted to have the house with the cool basement where all the kids would want to come back to after the school dances. Silly I know, but hey...a mom can dream!

Thinking

Have you found success in the weight-loss world. I have been reading up on a few blogs, and found a Lipovox review. You know, I've never used this kind of a weight loss product, but honestly--I've never had any success losing weight! So I'm going to check into it further.

When it comes to losing weight, I think I'm just going to have to clamp down on my eating, and exercise a bit more. I would love to lose the extra pounds, and become the kind of mother I always wanted to be with my kids. Not to mention the wife for my husband!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Makin' Bank

We are trying to scrape together everything in the house to set up an early garage sale this year. We've never lived in a house with a garage, so this will be my first one ever! Most of the kids old toys and clothes will go, and if I can make sure all of the PS2 games work--I'll sell them too. We don't have a lot of the "undesirables" that you see at some sales, but a little extra in the cash drawer would kill two birds with one stones. First off, it would help clear out some of the clutter in this house, and second, it would help get us on a fun family vacation this summer.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Getting My Boy Healthy

My oldest son has become a bit rotund. I've always chalked it up to the coming growth spurt that just hasn't seemed to come! He's an active kid--sometimes! He plays basketball and is quite good. He and his little brother are taking up hockey, and even with all of this movement, the weight doesn't seem to come off like I think it should.

I talked to my husband about possibly finding a weight training class for him. Nothing that would require the use of NO2 Black, just something to help build and tone the muscles (football season starts in March). I would love it if it helped trim him down, and I'm sure it would help his self esteem immensely--but at 11 years old, I'm just afraid he's too young for to much. Am I wrong?

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Is It Really Just The Sink??

You know how it seems to be true that food cooked by someone else always tastes better? I know that's a strange thing to blog about, but over Christmas we had the opportunity to spend time at my husband's parents house. Since my mother in law cooked all of the food, I generally try to oversee the clean up. I'm going to throw out the idea that cleaning someone else's house is much more fun than cleaning my own! Kinda like the food thing, eh?

I can stand for a few minutes at my sink and wach the pots and pans by hand only to field a really sore back! But at their house, I can stand and hand wash the dishes until they are finished. The only thing different is that she has a deeper, wider seeming sink.

I guarantee you, if I had that sink, I would handle the dishes in my own sink much better. One can hope anyway, right? So I've been looking into Kohler sinks and if I can get my budget wrapped around it in the new year...that is my resolution!

Friday, January 02, 2009

New Year Headaches

My husband has been working obscene hours these past few weeks. When they first opened the restaurant they began with a "second class" POS system. It was supposed to be in sync with their bookkeeping program, but the two never seemed to match up. After 3 years of headaches, and with the new year fresh...they finally decided to switch POS systems to one that is actually integrated into their books. The problem??? My husband is the only one with the knowledge on how to migrate everything over from one system to the new one. It doesn't help that he's the head chef, and in every meeting someone decides to throw. So his hours are getting later and later every night.

Normally I don't mind, but in the next week, the boys' basketball seasons begin, and I'm just not up to handling both schedules on my own...I'm hoping for some help!

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Date With Jake!

American rock orchestra Trans-Siberian Orchestra.My son has taken up the Cello, and I have to say, music is in his blood. It's amazing to listen to him play after just a couple of weeks worth of lessons. For the past month he has been begging to go see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra that was here in Chicago last week. I had no interest in seeing it, and no money or child care in order to get him there. Why is it that after I hear of something for the first time and pay no attention to it--as soon as it's gone--the interest comes! I had no idea that I knew music from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Not only did I know it, I really liked it!

The orchestra will be in town next week, and I really want to get this for my son. He's one of "those" kids (in need of some diet pills), and sadly it's starting to affect his self esteem. I do think most of his problem stems from his scoliosis, and I really can't do much for that--but what a great way to take his mind off of his body image.

I will have to tell you if we make it next week or not. It's the week of Christmas, and for some reason, everything seems to get backed up into that week. But for him, it's well worth putting some things on the back burner. A night for him to relish in the possibilities of his talent!
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Saturday, December 13, 2008

I finished up my Christmas shopping last Thursday or Friday. I couldn't help it, I was in the mood, and I had the budget for it--so we headed to Target first. I got everything I needed for Blake, except her vanity. What made it nice was that since I had to shop for four kids with the four kids present, I sent the two older ones to a different aisle with their little sister. I then stashed all of her gifts under their coats. As I always do, I wondered just what the "camera" watching people at Target thought--would they realize that I had kids and was using my stealth mode? I got everything I needed and headed to the check out counter. I sent the three over to find a candy bar while the woman ringing everything up was just as stealth as I was. They must have special ops Christmas training.

So we headed to Meijer. I mainly needed some groceries, but decided to check out their toy section for some of the "vanity" items for Blake. Again, I sent her with her brothers to a different aisle, but this was much different than at Target. I suddenly had a Meijer employee or two all around me. Mind you, they didn't do or say anything to me--they were just suddenly needed in my aisle. I didn't mind--I was being completely on the up and up--no biggie. So we head to the grocery section and I start putting my items on top of the coats that are on top of 'the goods'. When I finished up, I head to the front to do my self checkout. I sent the kids off again to get their candy bars (that they didn't get at Target).

Now here is where the problem began. The kids are away for a quick moment-so I should start with Christmas---except that I buried Christmas under the groceries. The groceries go on the debit card and come out of my budget, while Christmas is only paid for with cash. So I need to do two different check outs. So I do the groceries and click the button that I'm finished. Start the card swiping--and literally there was a SWARM of 8-10 Meijer employees around me. Again, not on me--but suddenly there. Again, I don't care--but I keep having to wave my kids back to the candy bar section to stay away from the Christmas stuff. You'd think the employee's would catch on, but they didn't. I finished paying for the groceries--and I had to put the bags on the floor--there was no room in the cart, and you can't leave them on the scaled counter. As soon as I finished and lifted the first coat to begin the Christmas portion--suddenly, one by one the employees started to dissipate. Except for one, he came over to help me get the items in different, non-see through bags. I made the comment about how hard it is to shop for Christmas for kids when they have to be with you, and he says, "Oh, don't worry about it, we get this all the time!" Yeah, well, you all certainly didn't act like it 5 minutes ago!!

So I am all done--everything is wrapped and under the tree. Now I'm just waiting for my husband to find the items from him, and I'll get those wrapped and under the tree as well.

On tap for tomorrow...the box for my parents in Utah!! It would be nice to be able to get their box put together and to their house before Christmas day. They leave for Yuma two days after Christmas--and if I miss them my package will sit out in front of their house for months!!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Little Man's Eyes

I'm thinking my eight year old may just need eyeglasses! I've had my glasses for years, and have always sworn I'd get laser surgery, but I have yet to do it. If he does in fact need glasses, I will be finding the age requirements, because that beautiful little face will not be hidden behind glasses! He will have his eyes fixed even before me!

Isn't it amazing how our kids needs come before our own? I should look into new glasses as well. I'm sure my prescription has changed, but I want to wait and find out if he really needs them--maybe we can get a two for one!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Fresh Popped Popcorn

popcorn-machine
I was looking through some of the Black Friday ads after dinner last night, and there were a couple of sales on for those cute little old fashioned popcorn machines. I've always wanted one of the full size ones--but they have them now that fit on your counter. I don't know if the popcorn is quite as yummy as the full size, but I'm willing to give it a try.

The other night we went to see Twilight, and I have to say--I'm sick of the theaters dishing out the popcorn and then setting them under heat lamps. There is nothing more fabulous than fresh popcorn...and it's been so long since I've had it!

Planning A Getaway!

I can't believe it's been a little over a year since the hubs and I got home from our vegas trip. We were just gone the weekend, but it was heaven. We had never actually dropped of the kids and flown off somewhere, and I must admit, I was a little nervous about it. But it was great.

Then to have a weekend with just my man. Holding hands as we walked the strip, stopping to shop and browse and eat. It was amazing. We stayed at Circus Circus, but got to go through many beautiful hotels including the Wynn, and we were even at Tao at the Venetian for it's 2nd Birthday party...how many average Joe's can say that??

Anyway, with Christmas upon us, I'm trying to think of something special to do with my man this year!! Any ideas??

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Future Finances

I have a friend who has been looking into term life insurance quotes recently. We are in about the same stage of life, so I'm wondering if I should follow her example. All of the commercials I hear on the radio talk about being closer to 50 years old. My husband and I are nearing 40, so I really haven't looked into it.

With four kids, and with me being a stay at home mom, we would be devastated if something happened to my husband. That alone scares me to death! If something happened to me, I think he would get along pretty well, he would just need some child care. How much easier would it be to just start preparing for it now. Heaven forbid something terrible happens that we are completely unprepared for!

More Woes

So, how many times have you heard me complain about my face?? I was watching Extreme Makeover last night, and this woman was going in for some laser treatments on her face. When she was finished the doctor set her up with a daily cleansing regimen an order of acne pills.

Now, I'm 37! I should be long past the need for such things, but even today I have three huge mountains growing out the side of my cheeks. What is up with that? I don't think I can afford the laser treatment...but I'm in for the pills?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Did You Hear??

Did you read the newspaper article about the bearings company here in Chicago that gave their employees plump, juicy turkeys for Thanksgiving as well as plump, juicy bonus checks? One man that was interviewed received $33,000 while his wife's check was for a smaller amount. Holy cow...how would it be? Not only to receive that check, but in these economic times for a company to be able to give that check!

Bravo to all involved! I wish I worked for ya, but hey...you did good!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Technical Storage

Have you heard the radio commercials talking about backing up your hard drive using an online service? What are your thoughts on that? I've been a bit wary about some online services, and other than this blog, I really don't want any of my pictures online. I'm more of a fan of tape drives and CD's, but that may just be me bein' 'old school'!

I would love to find something. Every picture I've taken since my daughter was born is on this computer, and I would be SICK to lose even one!

What are some of the services you use??? Any ideas?

Monday, November 24, 2008

20 Year Reunion

Is it too early for New Year's Resolutions? I know, it probably is, but I have to say...I'm gonna do it this year! My high school reunion is coming up, 20 years, and if I have to take Decaslim twice a day to get skinny and beautiful....then that is what I am going to do!

Twenty years! I can't imagine. I walk my 4 year old into the high school for his pre-school program, and I still feel as gawky and strange as I did all those years ago. I was not one of those girls that just magically floated through the hallways. How I wanted to be! Now with the creation of online social networking, I've had the chance to take a look at some of these girls. Time has not been too kind to many of them! Now, I'm just a few pounds away from MY TURN!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Strange Little Quirks!!

I was talking to my mom last night about something silly. Street names! I find it kind of strange that I have such a drastic opinion on something so trivial, but there you have it. Down the street from me there is a street named "Kaskaskia". I'm sorry, but that is HORRID, and it's not even the worst I've ever heard!

When we first bought our house I was so happy to have the street name "Devonshire". To me it sounds so quaint and rustic. I almost expect to find a courtyard out front with a sconce or two on the brick. I love, love, love the sound of it.

Growing up the East side of Salt Lake City was considered higher 'class' than the west side. Our little 'village' was on the west side Farmington (suburb) and honestly, I hated that. But it was a beautiful area...how strange to hate it just because it was West. But even today the West is nowhere near as 'cool' as the East side. BUT, we lived in Oakridge Village which was next to Oakridge Farms and I have to say I MUCH preferred living in a Village rather than a Farm...silly huh!

Do you have any strange little quirks about your likes and dislikes?

When Mean Shows On Your Face!!

Have you been watching "The Biggest Loser"? OH MY GOSH!! Vicki is such a Troll! Normally people become prettier the thinner they get, but her mean little inside person is starting to show on her face...and she is an ugly little troll!

I haven't been watching much this season because of her, well, that and the fact that I have the time for alli rather than 8 weeks in a gym...but it is inspiring at times to watch some of these people, who remind me somewhat of me, push themselves just a little farther each week.

I couldn't take 3 months away from my kids, but it would be awesome to actually start seeing a change in myself as much as these people on the show. Well, other than Vicky and Brady!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Starting Anew!!

One of the chefs at the restaurant is looking into opening his own little place closer to home. It makes sense due to the fact that he spends nearly 3 hours a day just in his commute. On top of that, if you have a little extra in the slush fund, now is the perfect time to take advantage of the economy. Yeah, it may be worrisome as to your clientele, but with the availability of real estate, full kitchens already in, used cisco and some really promising locations...now is definitely the time to make that jump!

I know my husband would love to have the same opportunity, but with our kids as little as they are, now is just not his time. We are hoping to get a little nest egg in place so that when things start picking back up and our kids are a bit older, he can make that same move. Here's to hoping!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Weekly Sales Rock!!

Have you started thinking about Christmas yet? That is absolutely AMAZING to my mind! But ready or not...it's time to start planning. This time of year is a budget killer for us. With three kid's birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas...YOWZA!! So searching for bargains is a must. The kids have their wish lists finished already, and I'm just trying to think of something nice for my husband. I've been looking a couple of things. The Magellan Maestro would be perfect. He's always getting lost and with the catering portion of the restaurant picking up...he would definitely get some great use out of it. But I can't help looking at the external hard drive. This would be more of a "family" gift...and it is needed, but it's just not as fun as giving him his own special gift.

Both of these items are on sale this week, which helps immensely, I just have to figure out which one he would love/use more. Ok, LOVE nothing...he may actually make it home a couple of hours earlier if he has a little box on his dash telling him where to turn!!

You definitely don't want to miss this sale!!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

What Would You Do??

My husband's best friend Chris has offered him a little mini scooter/motorcycle for the kids to ride on. Now I know we aren't talking used Harleys or anything, but it seems like a really nice gift.

I remember back in 7th grade, my little brothers friend had a mini motorcycle. He let my friend and I take it for a ride. 1 hour/1 minor crash/1 visit to the "crushes" house later...he got his bike back! Here we are 25 years later, and I still remember that little ride of ours.

I want my kids to have memories like that for their lives. Minus the crash of course! I think we'll talk a little more about it with Chris and see if it will make a nice Christmas gift for the kids!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Toot Toot Chugga Chugga!!

The Wiggles in The Big Red Car, during a conce...Image via WikipediaWell, Barrett has changed his mind again! Originally he wanted me to sculpt his birthday cake into a monster truck. I was all for it, I think it sounds great...but now he'd like a "Toot Toot Chugga Chugga" car from the Wiggles. That's actually a little easier for me, because it's just a VW Bug and Wilton has a cake pan shaped just like that.

I was going to make little fondant Wiggles to put inside the cake, but I've changed my mind. B has a big red car toy with all of the Wiggles already in it--so I'm just taking them off of the toy, washing them in bleach, touching up the paint and sticking them in the car. So much easier than sculpting people!

We are just going to have dinner at home with some family and friends and call it good! I'll post pictures when I get them!

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Food Kiosk Ideas!!

My husband's restaurant is looking into opening some shops at the mall, kind of like a Subway franchise. This would be BBQ of course, and they wouldn't do any cooking on site. They would have everything prepared at one of the restaurants and brought in every day. I might be a little partial, but they have the best pulled pork and pulled chicken sandwiches--add that to their yummy sides (like green chili mac and cheese) and I'm set!

With the economy slowing a bit, I'm not sure they'll go much farther with their plans just yet, but it sounds like a really good idea to me. Any reason to hit the mall is a good one in my book, especially if it involves a great sandwich at the food court!

Weightloss Woes!!

I have been looking or thebest diet pill on the market for quite a long time, but I have to say...I'm putting it on hold. I suffer from aspartame poisoning and the worst thing you can do with that is drop a lot of weight quickly. So I have to go at it at a much slower pace than I really want to, which is sad! Instead of hoping for some quick results, I'm giving myself an entire year to meet my goal. Just in time for my 20th high school reunion.

And can I just sadly point out, I was looking at pictures from the 20th reunion for the class in front of mine. All of the men were bald. It was amazing to see. Many of the beautiful girls had aged terribly and some of those gawky girls in high school were down right gorgeous! It was a jolt to the system to see. I'm hoping I can lose a little of the weight to look just a bit better than I do now...at least minus one of the chins!! ;)

It's Gotta Be Cool!!

I've said it before and I'll say it again. It is really hard living in a house with far more potential than I know what to do with. No, not square footage or even upgrades...but everywhere I look there are cords and sockets, plug ins and HDMI wall plates. I don't know if it has to do with cable TV, surround sound or internet but with the number of bundles we have, it has to be something amazing!

We've lived here over a year and when you walk to the bottom of the stairs in the basement and look up, all you see are cords. Bundles and bundles of them crisscrossing the ceiling. One pokes up from the family room carpet, one or two from the wall in the master bedroom. Each of the kids rooms have two or three of their own. My husband and I are clueless--and thought the brother in law would know, but honestly, he's no help either! I think I'm going to need to pick up a book from the library, "Electronic Wiring For Dummies"...wish me luck!