Sunday, December 23, 2012

This Year's Christmas Fails

So, I'm just going to do my part to break the cycle of perfection that runs so rampant in the blog world.

Nobody's perfect. We can try to look it. We can try to act it. We can try to post it. But, we're not. It's just how it is.

As my gift to all those women who put too much pressure on themselves trying to keep up with the Mrs. Joneses out there on Pintrest, I give you yesterday and today and one from last year.

Overnight turkey- This one I got from a woman in our ward. It looked good when she talked about it on facebook so I asked her for the recipe and she sent her entire Thanksgiving file over email, which was very awesome and entertaining and I'm very grateful. 

I tried. I really did, but I think my oven's 170 degrees is less than her oven's 170 degrees. (The turkey does take a 300 degree stint at first to kill the bacteria.) And it didn't help when I came home from the grocery store yesterday morning and the oven was off. So I stuck in my thermometer and the temperature was ok, but not close enough to where it should have been at that time, especially since the oven was on when I left for the store.

The temperature did not rise in a timely manner. In fact, that turkey hogged the oven the entire day! Not cool.

We ate some for dinner and nobody got sick, but I'm not sure if I will try that again.

Cinnamon Rolls- This one's not a fail yet, but I'm calling it.I should have listened to my inner voice while at the grocery store and not bought them. They look kind of browned too much and I'm really not sure how good they will be Tuesday morning. The phone call from little mr. b while pulling out of the grocery parking lot doesn't help my confidence. "Mom, did you buy the cinnamon rolls yet because you don't have to. Mrs. L just brought some over for us for Christmas." Mrs. L is perfect.

Nuts- Well, almonds. Thirteen years ago, I made the most wonderful spiced nuts for Christmas and gave them out as little neighbor gifts. Thirteen years I've been trying to do that same thing, but no luck. This year was no different. 

Gingerbread- The boys really want to build a gingerbread house. I have some cute gingerbread house wall/roof/chimney cookie cutters and tried to use them tonight. The only pieces left uncrumbled are the chimney, one long wall, two side walls and part of half a roof. miss h told me that I should just tell them they're making their gingerbread house out of graham crackers. We'll see what tomorrow brings with their construction decisions.

Peppermint Popcorn=Broken Pestle- My mortar is now without it's pestle. Did you know that if you drop a marble pestle on the granite countertop, something will break? I'm just thankful it wasn't the countertop. 

Snap- I was grumpy a little bit. Not all day, but still not good.

Sugar Cookie- Nightmare. I made the dough yesterday so we could just cut them out and cook "later." Later turned out to be this afternoon and apparently this recipe didn't want to wait. I almost gave up and was about to take a nap when miss h said, "Want me to go google what to do with dry weepy sugar cookie dough?" Of course I said yes.

She found a fix and fixed it. Phew.
We only lost one little bag of dough.
The rest of it has now morphed into a large amount of cookies that are sitting on a big pink platter waiting for frosting.

Gifts- I am a horrible sister/daughter/daughter in law. Mom, K & G if you are reading this, I am so sorry. Fail, fail, fail this year. I think that this year I'm not a very good giver of things. I hope you will understand.

little mr. j, I am sorry that Santa has to talk to parents first when it comes to live animal requests. You know what we told him. And the only other thing on your list is something that I know one of your siblings is blessing you with. 

Cards-I love Christmas cards and sending them out before Valentine's day the next year. I love that my miss h totally did them for me this year. Just like I love that miss s totally orchestrated our Christmas Eve dinner last year when I was down, half dead with the flu. I remember her coming into talk to me and asking me what needed to be done- reality hit when I found the notes she took a few weeks later.

That's it for now. At least I think that's it. I probably forgot something big and will feel like a big failure on my fails, but I didn't take that nap and it's way past my bedtime, so ---

I just wanted you to know that I won't fail to fail again and I will always to be grateful to those who help me pull through my failures, except when they try to take my picture.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Turkey Update - Finally

We now officially have three Thanksgiving decorations living (albeit put away now as the holiday seems to have past rather quickly as are all the days of late) under our roof.

Earlier this month, when we only possessed two, little mr. b asked if he could please put them out as he would like some decorations. Of course I said yes you can with the reservation that they would have to be put away sometimes because of some unwritten of stuff that we have going on with the house at this time. He agreed.

So through the month of November, the two decorations would pop out and I would put them away and they would pop out again and I would put them away somewhere different and they would pop out again until I saw them and so on.

Thanks to our school's first grade's create a Thanksgiving turkey program, we now have three decorations to play that game with next year. And I didn't throw up in the crafting process. Thought you might like to know that as well. Oh, and little mr. j did not throw up either.

Can you guess which one is ours?

Hint: It's not the pencil turkey or the Phelps turkey or the soccer turkey (which I got a preview of via a very fun texting session) or the bear turkey or the gymnastic turkey. I wish we had been that brilliant.

Still, it turned out kind of cute and it's done.
And that's good because Christmas will be here in about 15 days and I should probably be blogging about that.
But never mind that - take a gander (hehe) at these turkeys:

Monday, November 5, 2012

Eve of the Vote

(image taken from friend's facebook page- I have no idea where she got it, but I like it so it's here)

It's Monday night. November 5th, 2012. Tomorrow is election day. The first Tuesday of November.

I've argued with myself quite a bit over this post, but when miss s came home with so much to talk about from her government class, I decided it was time to come out.  I've made a decision and I've made a decision to be public (haha- as public as this little blog is) about it. But really, I've decided that since one of the reasons this little blog was created was to leave a little legacy for my progeny- who will someday be adults- to let them know that, yes, mom did know a thing or two- even though they didn't used to think so, I've got some things to say. Things I've learned that maybe they can learn from. Things I really hope I'm not to late in telling them.

You need to vote.
People have died so that you can have the privilege.
Don't mock their sacrifices, even through omission.

How to know how to vote-
When you turn 18, go register. You'll get a voter registration card in the mail. It will have all your important information on it. 
Find out where your polling place is.  It's usually near your home address.
If you're living out of the area, figure out how to vote absentee.
It's not that difficult.
Once you get to the polling place, follow the directions on the ballot.
This is one of many very important reasons you were taught to read.
If you can't figure it out, there are usually nice volunteers available to help you.

How to know how to vote (part 2)-

Or, How to know what/who you should vote for/against-
Know your own values and beliefs.  
Know what's important to you.
Match your values and beliefs with the candidate/issue.
Look for information, but more importantly, know the sources of your information-and if you can, their sources. Figure out who you can trust. 
When I learned about propaganda in WWII in my high school history class, I thought, "Surely, that will never happen again. We've become a much more advanced society and will see right through it."
Like most of my high school thinking, that was extremely naive.
Always, always, always question a person's (or group's or media source or etc., etc.) motives and bias.
Be smart. Be wise. 

How I made my decision this vital voting year-
It wasn't easy. 
I remember four years ago thinking, "Hope & Change? What hope and change?" There were no specifics and that scared me. Rightly so. Things have not gone well & I do not understand the people who can still stand behind and cheer for that kind of rhetoric.
Our nation's debt terrifies me. We haven't had a budget for years. What would happen if we ran our households this was? It makes me sick just thinking about the horrible mess this leaves for our children to take care of. 
I decided years ago (when Romney was running the first time) that I would not vote for the man just because I shared religious belief. A woman I know told me then, "He really is a moderate who can bring the two opposing sides together." Now I believe her. I also let religion in. Because, a man who has served the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the capacities that Mitt Romney has- has to be a man of integrity, an honest man. To be a full fledged 'Mormon,' one must live the commandments and more. Mitt Romney answers to a higher power than congress, country or wife.  He answers to God. I'm afraid that we haven't had that integrity for some time and our country and society need it terribly. 

No matter what happens tomorrow, I just want them (my kids & theirs & theirs) to know that the decisions I'm making now, I am making in hope that it will make life better for them. 
I hope other folks are doing the same and that someday they (my kids & theirs & theirs) will have the chance to do likewise.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Dreaded Turkey Call

The note came home from the first grade teachers today (via email).

Turkey Homework
I know many of you have been waiting in anticipation, wondering about our 
traditional turkey homework.  Well, the time to start your turkey is now.  Every 
year, since the beginning of time when Mrs. R began working at O'school, the 
first graders have created with their parents a "found" art turkey for 
Thanksgiving.  You can make these turkeys out of anything you find.  Things found 
around your home, at Wal-mart, or in your backyard.  We have had turkeys made of 
leaves, balloons, beads, golf tees, feathers, etc.  The only requirement is that 
this project be completed by both the parent and the child.  When creating your 
art work,  be thoughtful about breakable parts and food that may rot.  The turkeys 
will be displayed in our hall and on the tables during the Family Feast Day.  They 
are due Nov. 13th.

It's time to make our turkey.
I'm quaking in my non-crafty boots.
What will little mr. j's be?
We shall see.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dinner Fail or Pride Cometh Before the Fail

I was so organized last night and this morning! I had everything set out and ready so our morning would run smoothly and we could all get to where we needed to be in a calm timely manner.

I was especially proud that I had dinner made and in the crockpot.

I should have known better than to feel that way.

Ground Red Pepper does not, not, not equal chili powder.

Had to leave the soccer practice people of our family a note.

I believe this is the first time ever I've admitted to my cooking being dangerous.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

This week's family email

Hi from Oklahoma. The wind came back this week, it was almost 90 today and will be in the 40s by the end of the week.

This week little mr. J's bus ran over a skunk that was 'sleeping' in the road and the mailbox at the school was knocked over but not by a mom in an SUV. I don't know what hit it, but my mr. drove by and said it was quite the early morning whoop te doo.

I need to get more sleep and my mr.'s showing me silly British television shows on YouTube. Not good, but sure funny.

miss s auditions for all state choir and has been practicing so much. She works do hard. We're praying for the best for her.

Bought a bag of candy for little mr. b and his friend to enjoy while they hide in the woods and scare kids on Halloween. But not three year olds. Because if they scare any three year olds little mr. j is "going to come down there and punch them in the ....."

miss h is doing her best at the Y and we are proud if her. She's getting to enjoy a little time with the Utah cousins. And would appreciate it much if we would stop being pushy.

I bought a lamp.

That's about it for us.
the mrs.

I write. Visit my blog:

Monday, October 8, 2012

In honor of October

I give you the following conversation.

Me- Alright, little mr.j, your owl pellets have been on the kitchen table for a couple of days now. I'm going to throw them out.

Him- Nooooooo. There're skulls in there. Did you see the skulls?

Me- Yes, but I need the table back.

Him- But I'm not done looking at them Have you seen them?

Me- Yes, remember two days ago when we sat and you told me all about them and big brother kept saying, "you know where that comes from don't you?" And I kept telling him to be quiet. And then I thought that the owls pooped the pellets out, which I think now is wrong. I think now they must come up and out the other end but I haven't had time to research it yet and you told me they didn't teach you that in your first grade. Which I think Is a total missed opportunity. In first grade, gross is good. I bet if it had been discussed, you would know which end the pellet came out.

But I didn't say all that out loud. I just said yes.

Him- Please can I keep it?

And with a brilliant flash of owlish wisdom, it was my turn to talk again.

Me- How about we leave it on the end table as a Halloween decoration and after Halloween we take care of it?

Him- Ok.

And with that we have this year's only Halloween decorations up & and everybody's happy.

(Well, not really everybody because other household people want a lot more Halloween decor out and about, but I'm pre-functioning as the Halloween Grinch and the only other thing we are putting out is a jack o lantern if we can get it carved in time.)

PS- it's taken me two weeks to write this little post. The keys on my smarty pants phone are really little and i haven't even made time to find out to the which end question. Lots of becoming versed going on in my life right now. I'm so looking forward to getting it together again & sharing more with you!

Will we meet again before the end of October? ......... The suspense builds.......dun, dun, dun.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Dear Summer

We were so excited when you came this year. Thank you for our youngest child's first seasonal brain freeze. We enjoyed our brief rest away in Oregon, returning to enjoy the last few weeks with you. It's been a nice few months and we've enjoyed our time with you, but it's time for you to leave. The temperature forecast for the next couple days seems a little pushy, don't you think? Please, our time together was great, but you've got to make room for fall. We'll see you again soon and I promise, come January, that we will be singing your praises and looking forward to your return.
Thanks for coming, now leave.
Thank you,
the family

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Today We

Did a mini triathlon.
Cleaned the church.
Grocery shopped.
Made dulce d' leche, but didn't check how to spell it.
Played with friends.
Got hair done.
Had the missionaries to dinner.
Ran thee and ten miles instead of twenty.
Made and posted an inspirational music video.
Some laundry.
Said , "No, you can't play a game on the computer."
Played water polo and wrestling and scratched each other up.
Didn't notice two boys scratching each other up.
Rode bikes up and down someone else's street.
Forgot to do something.
And I think there's more but I'm done for the day.
This me is glad to be a part of such an awesome we.

Friday, August 31, 2012

wibbley-wobbley swing

I've always loved to swing. When I was little someone put lengths of an old green hose over the chains of my swing on our little swingset to protect my hands. My sister's hose was a different color. Mine was better.
I spent a lot of time on that swing. And on other swings.

Sometimes I could get someone to hold my seat up way high (which was oh so scary to me) and let go. I didn't like it when they did the run unders. I was afraid I might kick them. I don't think I ever did.

Sometimes they would let go with uneven hands and the swing would go all wibblely-wobbley and not stay on it's expected trajectory. That got my nerves going.

My name is the mrs.
I've been on a wibbley-wobbley swing.
I've enjoyed the experience, but I'm ready for it to even out.
Coming back here feels like my swing is stopping it's wonky arc.

So, here's where I've been on my swing (in kind of a chronological order):
August 2011 - my youngest child starts full day kindergarten & oldest out of state college- setting off a whole new "who am I & what am I doing with my life" phase.

September 2011 - my mr. comes home with the news that the company he worked for has asked that he no longer work for him. And it wasn't handled very kindly. And the joy just keeps on coming from them. Yesterday, a bill from a doctor appointment that took place 10 days before he was let go (and was totally covered the year before and we still were under the same coverage), came again. Apparently his company (who self insured) doesn't keep their commitments. Surprise.
My fingers slipped a little when I opened that envelope.

October 2011 - hoping to cover some of our family's expenses, I signed up to substitute at the school across the street from our neighborhood. Replacing my "who am I thoughts" with "what can I do to make us come through this unscathed" thoughts.

November 2011 - my mr. thankfully obtained employment locally, leaving us totally humbled and feeling blessed. The way the economy is right now, anything could have happened. The two men who were let go the same day he was are still searching for employment.

Somewhere in there, I was doing my tutoring/brain training in the afternoons & it was totally taking my time away from my children.

By December 2011 - I realized I had to figure out something different.  I got extremely ill over Christmas and pretty much missed the whole holiday week.

January 2012 - Applied  for a part time, title-one tutor job. Got the job. (Ok, I am fuzzy on the timing of this. I was substituting, still healing, taking care of my family & still working with the young women at church. The first seven months of 2012 passed in a blur.)

February 2012 - Started the job.

March 2012 - Liked the job.

April 2012 - I know I lived through April 2012. I know our taxes got done. That is all. It's a blank.

May 2012 - Job ended. Teacher asked me to please come back. School ended. College girl came home to live & work for summer. Took on four brain training clients.

June 2012 - Girls' camp with young women. Fun. Returned to Texas for a dear friend's wedding. She was beautiful & it was an incredible event. Stayed in Texas with three youngest children for a week. Totally fun, even though another sick time for me. That was not fun. Especially since my germs decided to tag team the boys and we've got to have them around until right about now and are still dealing with sinus issues.

July 2012 - Youth Conference in Nauvoo. Whirlwind trip with church youth group. Wonderful time.
Family reunion in Oregon.  We all would like to still be there. 

August 2012 - Had lunch with the teacher I worked with in the spring & found out she was moving out of state. my mr. got called to a new church job. I got released from mine. miss s had her last first day of school under our roof. College girl moved out again and I was sad. And I'm glad I was sad because I wasn't sad when she left last summer. She had done a wonderful job cutting the apron strings and this summer she worked hard and repaired many heart strings.

That puts us here. The night before September 2012.
I'm done training all but one of my clients. The job I had last year has yet to post. Being a Visiting Teacher is the only church job I have (as per my request- I kind of have an in with our new bishop). I'm exercising in the early morning and our house looks kept up. The "who am I" thoughts are sneaking up on me. I went to the temple yesterday. That visit calmed my soul and I will be going again next week. If anything can set my swing straight that place can.

I'm hoping to come out and play again soon.
Hope to see you out here.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

My oldest fan died last night . . .

It's quite tragic. When I asked my mr. how long my fan had been around, he said, "Oh, twenty years or so."

Which is an exaggeration.
He does that.
He exaggerates to the positive or bigger almost always.

I say about 15 years. Our association started while we lived in Washington.

But that's all beside the point, because my fan died.

So I went out and got a new one. It's not as stand up as the old one. It's quite boxy, but it gets the job done.

Poor fan. Rest in peace (or pieces-depending on where you end up).

PS- thanks for stopping by. Your visit makes me a big fan of yours. And I promise I'm not blowing hot air. :)

Friday, April 27, 2012


This week in the hall at school, there were a lot of children going to and fro in class lines.
I ended up walking next to one young class.

A little girl looked up and me and said something that I wasn't sure I heard correctly,
so I said, "Excuse me, I didn't hear you."

So she said.
"You're pretty."
"I think I look like you, don't you?"

I said, "Yes. I think we do look very much alike and you are pretty."

I said it mostly for her.
Because she was.
I wondered why I felt so strange saying what I said.

"Pretty is as pretty does."
That's one of the loops that's run through my head since I was very little.

I wanted to be pretty, so did pretty.
Sometimes I did ugly, but I felt horrible.
So I tried to not do ugly anymore.
It's not a bad goal to want to be pretty inside and out.

Along the way,
after all these years of practicing,
I stopped looking at the outside.

I started only seeing the inside.
And not only in me.

Then one day, when I was walking down the hall at school,
a little girl I didn't know said to me,
"I think you're pretty."

I guess it worked.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Verification - a gift

a little gift to you for you to see
hope it makes you smile
it sure made me
(especially how the pop up positioned itself right above that headline!)

I've been learning a lot lately and not having the time to choose to use to share with you is so very sad for me.
So I am going to take a few minutes before I go to bed to rest my weary head and let you know what is going on with me, the mrs.

I am working part time now.
Last week, the teacher I work with made a comment to one of the students (after one of the students suggested that I would not be happy with them and do/say something negative) that she seriously doubted that Mrs. the mrs., would be capable of that. That in fact, in the few weeks I've been working with her, she has not seen me not smile.

And I was amazed.
Because she was right.
I go to that little part time job that I found because I was in so much turmoil because the substitute thing was just not right for me and I was not smiling and I was not happy and I was not in a very good place because the plan I had for the beginning of the rest of my life when all my children were in school all day was not working out the way I had envisioned and I had to create a new vision but the vision was very blurry and my current situation was not working for me or my family and I prayed for help.

And my prayer was answered.
All the little details like hours, how it would effect home life, working better one on one or in small groups, my worries about being valued after being 'at home' for all these years, etc.
All were answered.
And I am in awe of our God.
And grateful.

Here's the catch- I am a wife & mom first. Then I have my church calling (job) responsibilities next. Then I have the time I spend during the day at the school. My hours and minutes fill up fast and I love it. But, it leaves little time for me to be here (or in the gym - a place I really need to get back to). I am working on finding balance. For instance, everyone has clean clothes for the coming week and we are having leftovers for dinner tomorrow. I am getting there. I am excited for time in the future months to see how I will make it all fit.

And I will smile.

FYI - I am working at an elementary school in the town just north of us (not far at all). I am a Title 1 Reading Tutor. I have a name badge and even a desk (that I don't sit at much)! The days go fast, so I know I am enjoying it. I really believe this job was made just for me!

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Little Worn Out

These little shoes say it all.
At last Saturday's game, little mr. j's soles came loose.
It was hard for him to run and even after my mr. taped them up (again and again), he still ran a little awkwardly.

The last few month's my souls been a little loose. My glued expectations came off. We taped me up the best we could and I think I am becoming more comfortable.

little mr. j used his regular school shoes in tonight's game. They worked fine. His little team was seated 5th in their tournament and they ended up winning 3rd place.

my mr. taped me up. Helped me create an impressive resume from a life where I thought not much had been accomplished. Encouraged me and has been patient. I feel like I almost have my regular shoes on again.

Thank heavens!

I will be going to work tomorrow at a job perfectly suited to me and I will be back home to give hugs when school gets out, make sure the backpacks get cleaned out and put away, and take care of the dear souls I'm blessed to call family.
Ok, friends, this post is something new for me. I'm typing it on a smartphone and hope all turns out alright. Please let me know if you see anything wonky.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I write

but not lately.

Just wanted you to know that I have not fallen off the face of the earth.

Real life's just needed a lot of my attention.

I miss here.

I will be back.

the mrs.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday School

Since I have been away, the snarky bugs have taken hold.
That and my computer is now mute.
Not deaf, just mute.
little mr. b asked me if I would like him to fix it.
I declined.
This poor machine has been through enough.
You have been warned.

For today's Sunday School, we are watching a video.
One that makes me laugh and laugh and laugh.
I especially love the second verse.
Have a beautiful day of rest.

{{Hugs}} to my Tebow loving friends-
I do appreciate the faith, just not what the world has warped his outward expressions into.
(I hope I added the correct video.)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Oh Dear.

The computer wasn't the only one with a virus over the holidays.
I was gifted with one too.
And it was a doosey.
One week long high fever (and the pains that came with it) over Christmas was not a beautiful experience.
2011's holidays are a very sad memory for me.

And apparently along with the weakness I still feel, I am not alone.
Because there's a message at the top of the screen that's telling me my browser is no longer supported by Blogger. Whatever that means.
So I don't know if my computer is still not feeling it's best or if it lost something during it's stay at the computer doctor or what or if something in the Blogger world changed during our absence, but soon I hope to be feeling good enough to figure it out.

Till then - don't get sick.
It's not fun.


Happy New Year.

Deliver Me From Donut Day

Again, I haven't written in a while, but I don't want to forget this one. It's a doozy. I work in an elementary school. I teach ...