Sunday, August 31, 2008


I got an email from a friend tonight for my birthday, and it made me feel like a million bucks. I am going to bind my blog into a book one of these days and I want my friend's nice words in the book, so please bear with me while I post this sweet note I got from my pal. I am granting anonymity to the author of said words, so don't ask, bucko! ;)

{To: Clancy}

Happy 30th a bit late. You are such a kick and I wanted to do something special so here is a random (in order and thought) list of 30 things that make me love you. Enjoy and we will party on soon I am sure.

ODE to Clancy Pants....In list form...

1. You let me call you Clancy Pants. How fun is that!!!

2. You made edible eyeballs and witch fingers.

3. You throw yourself into life full on. Anything you commit to doing you do in style.

4. Do you ever not have a smile? I bet you even smile while your yelling at the kids.

5. You don't really yell at your kids. You love them and love being their mom.

6. You invite every one into your life and make us all feel like your favorite sister.

7. Your Halloween costumes always rock.

8. You have one of the most sincere laughs and you use it often.

9. Your mom has chickens. I don't know why this makes me love you more. It just does.

10. You listen to my cry. Even if it isn't a good reason.

11. If I am not crying for a good reason, you make me feel like it is anyway.

12. You make me want to improve my life, as you are always trying to do.

13. You are so carefree. A very comfortable quality.

14. You think your children are the most adorable things in the world but you also make others feel the same about our kids.

15. You ride a motorcycle with your hubby on dates. How cute is that!

16. You put the R in RAD.

17. You let things go and help us all grow stronger.

18. You are steady in your friendship. You are not just a friend when it is convinient for you.

19. You make yummy treats.

20. And the winner for the cutest short hair goes to CLANCY PANTS...Nobody pulls it off like you do.

21. You rollerblade

22. You like Wheat Grass.

23. You are a hippie. I don't know why but you are.

24. You wear a Team Edward t-shirt.

25. You like Imogen Heap. Only cool people like her.

26. You always have something interesting to tell. I could never tire from talking to you.

27. You are happy for other people's happiness. This is a big one. It shows your selflessness.

28. You don't make people feel fat.

29. You wear cool shoes.

30. You LOVE Me!!!!

Happy birthday lovey.

{From: My pal}

Girly Do's Giveaway

I don't do Ella's hair everyday (the screaming... I just can't take it!), but when I do, I have been inspired many times by a hairdo blog: Girly Do's
Jenn is the blog author and the master hairdoer and she is having a giveaway for some cool hair products! Go check it out! All you have to do is leave a comment to be entered. Tell her I sent you... I could win a prize for referrals! ;)

So, go check out the giveaway at Girly Do's!

Friday, August 29, 2008

ClancyKate Morph

LOL! Funny, the things you can find on the internet! LOL!

MyHeritage: Celebrity Morph - Family search - Family history

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Image Tag

Britta (BBC!!!) has tagged me. I am instructed to go onto Google Images and find an image suitable for my response to each question. I laughed and laughed at Britta's responses. If you don't read her blog, you should go there RIGHT NOW and read her image tag post! LOL!

Past loves: I don't know if this is what they were looking for when they said "past loves", but the term "old flame" came to mind! These are two of my old boyfriends, and I loved them once upon a time. (and YES, I found these pictures on Google Images. LOL!)

My first name: Clancy. This is the Clancy Cottage at the Hallflat Farm Cottages in Wasdale, England. I've never been... just found it on the images. I want to go now. Doesn't it look magical. You should see the inside of the cottage... so charming.

Your middle name: Leigh. I don't know who Brennan Leigh is, but she plays the guitar and sings and that's just what I want to do! (I don't want an album like she has, but I just want to not suck at guitar like I currently do!)

Your last name: My husband has asked that I not put our last name on my blog, and I would love nothing more than to honor him and his request. Just know that this is the image I found when I plugged it in and I picked it because I have been running *except for the last week with my severe cold* and I plan to run a 5K this fall.

What are you doing right now?
Making sure my chair leg doesn't fall into the gaping hole in my floor. AKA plumbing in our basement... busted out LOTS of concrete so we can move every piece of plumbing in my house (We're not moving the location of the sinks or toilets upstairs, but we are changing the way they hook up to the main sewer). My own pictures forthcoming.... (and they're WAY cooler than that one!)

How old are you? Thirty, baby! Last Wednesday, thank you very much! Britta said she was stuck at eighteen forever. If we're talking about ages that we are "stuck" at, then I'm twenty-eight. I don't know why, but that's how I think of myself.

My favorite treat: Hmmm... this is a brand new favorite that I've only tried once, but I was pretty sure I'd died and gone to heaven when I tried it, and I've been craving them every since... Ferrero Raffaello. (you know... the makers of Ferrero Rocher ball treats that you get at Christmas?) These are little coconut covered spheres... the coconut gives way to a mild, crisp wheat wafer shell and a milky flavored cream inside with a very smooth texture. In the very center is an almond. AHHHHH!!! I think my Aunt got them at RightAid... do you think they're open at 10:00 pm?

Place I would like to travel: I am torn between MANY places on this one, but right now it's a toss up between Venice and Greece. I think I could hit them both in the same trip, right? They're not TOO far apart? Anyway... that's the deal. I can't decide so I chooseboth!

Your favorite color: Definitely blue. Not just any blue... the blue of my Larimar necklace that Dustin bought me in Maui. It's very similar to this pic, but I think mine is prettier! :) (and just a little random fact: They have found Larimar in only 1 square km in the world.)

Your home town
: I guess they mean the place I grew up? That would be Salt Lake City, Utah. I always loved this statue that is across the street from the temple by the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. It is so joyful. (that pic would be in Salt Lake, obviously)

Your favorite vacation spot: I haven't gone on a lot of "vacations" but it's a toss up right now between Maui and Lake Powell.

Your favorite food: I've gotta go with Sushi. Sorry Britt... I love the stuff. It was torture to find a picture of it because it made me want to have some RIGHT NOW, but I don't think many sushi places are open at 10:39 pm. And FYI, Maui had the BEST sushi EVER!!! (makes sense with the ocean right there and all...)

Your favorite animal: I'm pretty sure you're surprised that I have a new favorite animal. Yep... Squirrel. And it's not just any squirrel, but MY squirrel. I am excited for him to get big! (and a little nervous... but we'll take it as it comes!) He's worked his way into our family's hearts. I wub him.

DANG! That was a long post! I worked on it over the course of 24 hours. Took FOREV, but it was very fun. The hardest part for me was thinking of what my favorite treat was. Weird.

So... I tag Carmy, Rachel, Brecca (private), Teri and
Ginny (private).

It's a Boy!

We're proud to announce the newest member of our family... Squirrely! (that's just what I've been calling him... he doesn't officially have a name yet) This is the baby squirrel that Ella found for my "birthday present". I got a little video of the kids telling all about it. These were taken a week ago- on the day we found it. His mommy didn't take him back so we still have him. He's not doing so hot right now... well, better today than yesterday, so we'll see if he makes it. He's pretty little. Poor guy. My dad took care of him while we were out of town. That just cracks me up. Thanks, Dad, for feeding Squirrely while we were gone (and buying him formula and a bottle)!
Here's Ella telling details of how she found it. Take special notice about what she thinks about everyone else having a squirrel. We'll be offering stud services when he grows up...

And here is Rohan telling about his experience with Squirrely!

And Mac... something about the combination of the camera and the baby squirrel created the baby voice! Funny guy!

From The Jar... #15

Where do you like to eat out? What do you order?

I like to eat out where there is good food. Duh, right? My favorite are the little local restaurants that are not big national chains like a place called The Snakebite here in my town. Mmmmm... yummy. I don't have a specific thing I order there... just try lots of different stuff. Last time I got a delicious hamburger (steak burger with yummy sauce of some kind) with a side salad that had cucumbers, craisins, walnuts or pecans (and other stuff I can't remember right now) with a sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. Yummy. I love their fish tacos too. And I've had a salmon salad there that rocked!

One of my very favorite places to eat out is a good sushi restaurant. I LOVE sushi with lots of wasabi to go with it. My favorite is unagi, or yellow tail. For any non-sushi eaters, unagi is eel, yellow tail is some kind of fish. Mmmmmm! My mouth is watering right now just thinking about it and it's only 8:30 am!!

I love a good deli sandwich too. With ham and mustard (prefer honey-mustard), onion, tomato, lettuce (not iceburg and not shredded), swiss cheese and cucumber. YUM!

I'm hungry now. How 'bout you? What's your favorite place and thing to eat?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Sometimes I have about 5,000 things to post about that I don't really feel like posting about, but I feel like I SHOULD post about for posterity. So, here's a quick rundown of some of the events of the last couple weeks (or a not-so-quick rundown!).

August 16th we baptized Mac. It was an incredible experience. Stressful, but incredible. We didn't do the normal Stake baptism thing. My parents were out of town on the weekend of the Stake baptism, and I used that as an excuse to break the norm. I wanted to do it at my parents' house. They have a creek that runs through their property. It's a lovely thing- edged with willows- and I thought it would be such a neat memory to be baptized in Grandma and Grandpa's creek. I asked Mac what he thought of that and he agreed that it would be "cool".

Turns out, it was "cool". Beyond cool! It was an incredible experience. Sadly, I didn't take a single picture the whole day. I was an anxious mess. (Dustin's mom did take some pics, so hopefully I can get them from her.) Not only were we doing the baptism there, but we did a "program" and had food for the thirty-something people who attended. (Thanks to all of you who brought food! You saved my bacon!) My parents decided to paint there back porch a couple days before which, of course, took WAY longer than it was supposed to, so they had stuff all over their yard just hours before the big event. I was a train wreck with my anxiety. It all turned out perfect and beautiful, but it was much more emotionally taxing than I EVER could have anticipated.

As if that weren't enough, my little sister asked my mom and I to sing the Star Spangled Banner with her at a community luau that her company was hosting. No big deal under normal circumstances, but it happened to be the evening after the baptism. UGH! I was so tired. But, it went off without a hitch, excepting the fact that Lacy pitched it too low. She was the one that suffered there because she had the low harmony... poor girl! It was fine, even still.

The following Monday I got a cold. I think it was a serious crash from the weekend's anxiety. It's been a nasty one. It was just starting to come on on Monday. Tuesday it hit full boar and my voice was all squeaky, which was bad because Lacy asked Mom and I if we could join her again in the National Anthem, this time at our local minor league baseball game on Wednesday (my birthday!). Her work is a sponsor and they had asked her to sing at the game. They liked our performance at the luau and wanted all three of us at the game too. So... I hit the Wellness Formula and EmergenC hard. By Wednesday, the cold had moved from my chest (burning, couldn't breathe feeling) to my head (stuffed up so bad that NOTHING would move, but my chest felt WAY better!). It made for interesting singing, but it too went off without a hitch. It was pitched better too, and I think that one was our best one yet!

Since it was my birthday, my mom said she'd watch our kids so Dust and I could go out. After the Anthem singing, we left the game to go drop off the kids. (No, we didn't stay for the game... we aren't baseball people!) As we were pulling up to my parents' house, I asked Dustin if he had a plan for where we were going or what we were doing. Yes, of course he did. He didn't inform me what it was though. We pulled up and I expected that Dustin would leave the car running and drop Ella and Rohan off. Nope. He turned off the car and got everyone out. I left my purse in the car because I would be right back in the car in a minute. I walked slowly up to the house, walked in and my mom was standing in the living room. There were streamers on the ceiling and a Happy Birthday banner across the wall. 'Weird', I thought to myself. My head was rather blank... then suddenly people jumped out and shouted "SURPRISE!!!" and "Happy Birthday!" It scared/shocked me so bad that I fell back a couple steps and slammed my shoulder blade into the corner of a shelf. That left a big ol' bruise that is just now starting to feel better. It was a strange thing to have a surprise party. I'd wanted one my whole life and about a month ago I told Dustin as much. I asked if he would arrange one some time in my life. I didn't expect this year. It was crazy that I was so oblivious, but I was glad. It was AWESOME! Thanks to all who came and who helped arrange it...

Thursday morning I woke up and packed mine and my kids' stuff. My kids were heading over to my parents' house to stay with my dad for the weekend while Dustin and I and my mom headed to San Diego. My mom had two free tickets to a James A. Ray seminar, Harmonic Wealth Weekend. It was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! It's almost impossible to describe, but I was blown away. I loved every minute of it! It was truly incredible. Thanks to Mom for the tickets and letting us crash her hotel room! You're the best! Love you!

We flew back on Sunday, drove back for three hours and picked up the kids. Rushed them home, got them to bed as quickly as we could so they could have plenty of sleep to START SCHOOL the next morning. Sadly, with all the craziness of the previous week, plus having no car... I forgot that part... I hadn't gone school shopping yet. So, I had to go at about 10:00 on a Sunday night. Not my idea of fun, but we do what we have to do. (and, it's now Tuesday night, 10:00 and I STILL don't have my van back!!! GRRRRR!)

Oh yes- in the middle of all that I was filing paperwork for eviction and small claims for the tenant of our little house. I go to eviction court on September 2 and the small claims date remains to be seen!!! Thrilling times, my friends, thrilling times!

Oh... I almost forgot. This bit deserves a post all to itself, but we have a new addition in our family... a baby squirrel! Ella found him the morning of my birthday. She said he was my birthday present! Isn't she the sweetest? LOL! I'll post pics later. Or maybe a video.

So, basically, I've been BUSY and that's why I've been such a slacker-blogger! :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Manic Monday: Club

Be sure to visit Mo for more Manic Monday fun!

Third grade, it was. Myself, Angela, Beth, Brittini... I can't remember all of the names of our members, but we had a club. Did your club have a name, you ask? Yes, we had a name. "The Weird". I know, I know... so clever! *insert warm chuckle here*

I was the President of the club, and I thought that was a pretty sweet deal. Little did I know that with power (all the power of an eight year old) comes responsibility.

I have no recollection of exactly what it was that we did as a club except run in a little pack at recess. I know we had rules, but I can't remember specifics. What I do remember is something I wish I could forget. We had people who wanted to join our club, as clubs often have. Angela's little sister was one I recall. We immediately vetoed that. She was a good two years younger than us, and that just wouldn't do. I recall another one that wished to join. A girl by the name of Nicole. She asked if she could be a member of "The Weird". I'm sure we sat in committee meeting on the monkey bars or on "the wood" playground to decide Nicole's fate as far as our club was concerned, and after much deliberation, we granted her request. She was "in".

Time passed. We did our cool thing, whatever that was, and as things progressed with Nicole and we realized we had made a grave error in judgment. Nicole bugged us! She wasn't up to our very high "cool" standards. And so, true to the nature of third graders, we held a secret meeting and decided that Nicole had to go. Bye bye. Curtains. See ya later!

The secret meeting was coming to a close, but we still had not decided exactly how we were going to go about breaking the news to her. Options were discussed and it was decided that the President should write her a note and then leave it in her desk after school. THE PRESIDENT?! BUT THAT'S ME!!! I thought sickeningly. That is one of my first recollections of feeling the weight of responsibility.

I wrote the note. I tried to do it as diplomatically as possible, but I was kidding myself. We were simply being cruel little children. Again, the specifics eluded me. I don't remember the words, but I will never forget the feeling. It made my stomach hurt as I placed it in her desk and ran away. I thought about it all night. I wished I could take it back and throw it away, but would that make me loose "coolness" in my friends eyes? I never got the chance to find out.

I have flashes of memory or imagination, I'm not sure which it really was, of Nicole with red-rimmed eyes hiding out at recess on that pathetic day. Maybe she even went home. I don't recall.

I don't remember much of Nicole after that. She was around for several more years into junior high. She turned into a "wild child" wearing heavy black eye makeup and strange clothes. I winced inside every time I saw her then, and thinking of her now makes my heart heavy with regret for the cruelty of an eight year old version of me.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


A quick little note to say I'm sorry. I know you're all expecting another "chapter" in last week's Verbosity Project. I've had a LOT on my plate, as you may have noticed from my lack of posting. (I never posted the "phrases" on Tuesday either.) I am packing right now to leave town, last night was a surprise birthday party for mwah, and I've been totally sick so I haven't been able to stay up til all hours of the night... oh, and my car busted so I've been trying to deal with that too! It is forthcoming, but not today. Unless perhaps I work on it in the car or the plane? We shall see. In the meantime, friends... my apologies!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

From The Jar... #15

Thinking back, was there a teacher or class that had a great influence on you?

I really don't think there was. I liked a lot of teachers and classes, but none really stick out in my mind as a big "influence".

LOL. I've just remembered something that's kind of opposite of the question... In seventh grade I was in ELP (extended learning program where kids were pushed harder than the regular curriculum). I believe we went to ELP for English and Social Studies??? I can't remember for sure except for English. I remember we had to do a "creative writing" project. You'd think that that would have been a big influence, seeing how I love to write so much now. Not so. We had to make up a story. I thought it was retarded. I did something very half baked and thought my story was very stupid. While I was writing it the teacher let us get up and have a "break". I believe she left the room. I stomped around irritated and grouchy and said in a loud voice, "I WILL NEVER WRITE WHEN I'M DONE WITH SCHOOL. I WILL NEVER WRITE A BOOK! DO YOU HEAR ME? NEVER!!!!" I swore it up and down for ten minutes or so... I held onto that for a long time. I thought I hated writing most of my life. I wrote a poem when I was in high school just because I felt like it. It wasn't an assignment or anything. I liked that, but I still didn't like writing. Then I wrote little poems in college, and it seems that I only wrote when I was upset. I loved to write those. They always made me feel better. I didn't write much of anything for the years after we got married. Not until I started a blog. Then I just couldn't seem to stop. Now, about 17 years later, I've decided a book would be fun to write and it is a goal!

So, I guess the influence was a negative one, and it took me 17 years to get over my public school training!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Manic Monday: Wax

Wax, huh? Alrighty...

Candles and me... we don't get along so good. I don't know if it's the wax that gets put into the air or what, but almost instantly my nose gets this weird tingling thing. Then it gets stuffed up. Then I get a sore throat. It's yucky.

Actually, as I'm typing this, I'm realizing that it's only the candles at my own house. I don't seem to get that if it's a candle at someone else's house. Hmm.... maybe my candles are too old. I've had the one since we got married. (ten years, if you've forgotten) The others for several years. Perhaps it's not the wax at all, but the DUST that is settled all over the candles. I'm not sure.

And Britta... waxing rocks! The pain is a high! LOL!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Verbosity Project

Elise winced as her finger was pricked by yet another dead-looking weed. How many had they looked through now? She lost count sometime yesterday. For all she knew, she had already looked in this one twice. Stifling a yawn, she found herself wondering how Caroline was doing it. 'Does she EVER get tired?' she thought begrudgingly.

They had been at this for two days now with very little rest, and Caroline was relentless in her determination. 'Why is such a little thing such a big deal?' she thought for what felt like the thousandth time. 'And why am I still helping her!' she berated herself. This was not the first time she had had the latter thought either. She knew the answer to that question. Caroline didn't seem to have much choice in the matter. She HAD to find it and Elise wasn't about to leave her up here alone. She only wished Caroline could tell her a little more about what "it" was.

Her mind drifted to that night that began with such innocence. How could something so seemingly innocuous turn out to be so gravely urgent?

The old lime kilns were a place that Elise and her friends had frequented often. Creeping along the dark trail was no different this night than any other. They giggled as they told stories of what these kilns were used for, which was nowhere near the truth. They were trying to scare themselves and it was working. Everyone was getting sufficiently jittery. Well, almost everyone.

"Caroline, what's wrong?" Elise whispered. "You're acting weird."

"Nothing", Caroline replied stiffly. "I'm just freaked out." Elise could tell by her voice that that was only half true.

Shrugging it off, Elise sped up to where Evan was walking. They fell into easy conversation and continued up the path. Even in the dim light that the moon cast, Elsie could just see the kilns ahead. They reminded her of a small castle. The quarried rock that was mortared together spanned fifty feet and held the openings to four tunnels barely big enough to walk in. The kilns were built into the scarp of the mountain side, allowing the group to hike up the steep sides to the top, which rose more than twenty feet from the base.

Exploring the top always left Elsie feeling a little unnerved. A gaping twelve-foot hole, serving as a shaft for the limestone back when the kiln was in operation, looked ominous and foreboding. Everyone seemed to feel much the same as Elise because the mood shifted from giggling to sober in an instant.

"That is just plain freaky" Gabe quavered. Elsie's friends edged closer. The mood was lightening again as they taunted each other around the side of the shaft.

"Let's go check out the tunnels" Evan whispered. He wasn't alone in his idea. There were already others backtracking down the steep sides of the kiln. Elise turned to follow him but stopped. Caroline had caught her eye. She was moving toward the shaft instead of away from it. Her movements were unnatural, almost jerky as if she didn't really want to get closer, but she couldn't help it. As she twitched toward the hole Elise noticed her hand reaching into her pocket. She brought out something in a tightly clenched fist and quickly threw it into the blackness. It made no noise.

"Caroline!" Elise hissed. "What are you DOING! What was that that you threw in the hole?"

Caroline whipped around, her hair, silver in the moonlight, stuck to her wet lips. "Nothing!" she cringed, an almost hysterical note to her voice. Even in the wan light Elise could see her cheeks flush as an abashed look came over her face. "Honestly, I don't even know." She was almost whispering now. "I had a, umm, friend give something to me, and he told me to throw it in the shaft of the kiln. It was some sort of powder stuff. I really don't know what it was. He said that it would be funny."

As she spoke, Elsie noticed she had a hand in her other pocket. Feigning nonchalance, she kept the hand in her pocket turned away from Elsie. Caroline didn't seem to want her to notice it. "What's in the other pocket?" Elise asked.

"The other half of the joke." she murmured, almost too soft for Elise to hear.

Suddenly Elsie was on her back, as a blast from the shaft shot fire up into the sky. Screaming and shouting rained around her. 'Caroline!' she thought. 'Where's Caroline? She was too close to that hole!' Pulling her elbows up underneath her, she lifted her head. Caroline was down in a crouch, the expression on her face bouncing between panic and snarling rage. Her hand was still in her pocket, her shoulder curved protectively over it, and she was muttering to herself. Elise caught something about "too soon".

Elise shouted three times before Caroline responded. "Caroline, are you OK?"

Caroline looked around as if she was only just aware of where she was. "Yes. I'm fi..." She stopped mid-sentence as flashlights suddenly surrounded them. Men's voices shouted "Hold it right where you are!"

"Holy crap! It's the cops!" Elise squeaked, darting a glance at Caroline. The snarl was back on her face as she flung her hand out from her pocket, throwing whatever it was into the darkness of the mountainside. It whistled shrilly as it sailed past Elise's head. Seconds later, the cops had both of them in hand.

Elise kept her eyes on Caroline. She squirmed impatiently as the cop patted her down, but Caroline's eyes never moved from the direction she threw the... whatever it was.

Elise was brought back to the present by another stupid weed. Those cops had not stopped asking questions until the small hours of the morning. None of the group had any answers, except perhaps Caroline, but she was all wide-eyed innocence about the fifty foot jet of fire that burst out of that hole. They had been lucky Evan and the others hadn't ventured down the tunnels yet.

Elise asked Caroline about the fire, and she wouldn't talk. But when she asked her about what it was that she threw, Caroline grabbed her hand and squeezed it til it hurt saying, "We HAVE to find it! You have to help me Elise! The Prime. I've lost it!" The desperation on her face was frightening. What else could she do.

And so, for two days they searched, and at the end of those two days they found what would change Caroline and Elise's life forever.

A lime kiln in Utah

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

From The Jar... #14

How did you like being the oldest, middle or youngest child?

I am number three of five, so I am as middle as you can get. Well, I guess technically you can get more middle if you were number two of three because when there's five, three shares middle with two and four... I digress.

What kind of dumb question is this? Since being the middle child is all I've ever known I like it just fine. If I said I hated it wouldn't that imply that I hate my life? Maybe not, but it's kinda dumb. Oh well.

I've always thought being number three of five was a good place to be. I got to watch my older siblings give my parents lots of crap to wade through. I chose not to give much crap. I broke curfew. That's about the extent of my wild side. I've often wondered if I would have been more "wild" if I had been the oldest or the youngest. Probably not. I actually think it has more to do with who I am rather than my birth order.

I have some of those "middle child" syndromes. I stayed out of the way a lot. I am the peacemaker of the family. I hate conflict. I had a tendency to be "invisible" or ignored sometimes. I don't resent it, but it does take some overcoming as an adult. But, who doesn't have "stuff" to overcome? None of us. We all have our junk in the trunk that we get to dig through and get rid of.

Being the middle of five had advantages too. I could either be one of the big kids or one of the younger kids. I got to be a big kid and stay up late or be a younger kid and get out of stuff I didn't want to do. I used it to my advantage. *insert evil laugh here... mwaahaaahaaa!*

I think the middle is a fine place to be. I certainly wouldn't like to be the oldest. We like to call that position the "experimental child" since we don't know what the heck we're doing and, in our experience, Mac tends to get the brunt of all our ignorance. Poor kid.

The youngest wouldn't be so bad. I used to wish I was the youngest. When it was just Taylor and Lacy at home my parents would buy them all sorts of good things to take in their lunch... Capri Suns, fruit snacks, lunch meat, mini chip bags... All we got when all five of us were there were things like PBJs and oranges or apples. We only got cool stuff when we had a field trip. Being the youngest always sounded like a pretty sweet deal. ;)

"If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride." I am the middle child, and that is just fine with me!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My Own Meme

I know I've got the Manic Monday thing going on, thanks to Mo. And I've got my little Wednesday "Jar" thing. But I've had an idea for a new meme game to play. Are we excited? We'll see.

So, here's the deal. I love to write. I know that's shocking, but there it is. I've thought a lot about this and I would like to do a meme every week that is an exercise in creative writing and I want you all to play!

The rules: I pick two phrases that we all have to include in some sort of story. It can be a snippet of a story... just a paragraph or even just two or three sentences. Or it can be a big long thing like I like to write sometimes. I will post the phrases on Tuesdays. We will have the stories ready for posting on Thursdays. Then we can all have fun writing and reading each others stories!!!

Don't get all goofy on me and think you're not a writer... just play! It's an exercise and time and practice improves everything. :)

SOOO.... here's the phrases for this, the first of my (and hopefully YOUR) new Thursday posts!!!

Stifling a yawn, she found herself wondering...

She squirmed impatiently as the cop patted her down.

There you go! Have fun with this and PLEASE play. It's no fun if I'm the only one! (And, by Thursday I will have come up with a name for this meme... I have several rolling around, but I haven't picked yet!)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Manic Monday: Boil

I wonder... what is the time difference of boiling something at sea level (needs to reach 212.15 °F) to boiling something at my elevation (needs to reach 202.89 °F). I know it would be a shorter time, but I hardly think that leaves me at an advantage. Reading up on a water-bath canner I notice that for my elevation I have to increase the processing time an extra ten minutes. That hardly seems compensatory. I don't think it takes ten minutes longer to go an extra ten degrees in temperature....

I guess life isn't fair sometimes, is it?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My Heritage

Any of you who have known me or read my blog for a while know that singing is vitally important to me. It makes me HAPPY. It makes me light. It brings me so much joy and satisfaction. It's also in my blood, reaching back generations.

I had a jar post a while ago where I talked about my aunts. I said I would try to get some recordings of my aunt Tana singing on here.... well, tonight I figured out how. These are not professionally recorded, but they are incredibly sweet. This was recorded on a reel to reel around twenty years ago or more. (I think!) It is my maternal grandmother and my aunt Tana singing. Tana is also playing the guitar. The first two songs, Free and Bright Light, my grandma wrote. The last one, The Sweetest Gift, someone else wrote, but it is my favorite. This is such a treasure to me that I have these recordings of my Grandma and my aunt singing together. My grandma is the lower voice, Tana, the higher. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Those three are very folk sounding, but here is my aunt in her big performance voice... I believe this was recorded at her church's Christmas Eve program. My favorite is at the end when the choir comes in behind her.... it gives me chills.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Batteries Not Included

Batteries are my nemesis. They are a thorn in my side or a stone in my shoe that, at times, as a nemesis sometimes does, can defeat me. Surely, they are a wonder and bless our lives in countless ways, and I am grateful for them. But batteries reveal certain weaknesses in me.

This weakness might stem from my growing up years. I might just be repeating patterns, but I can't remember clearly enough. Seems like, to my vague recollections, I grew up with a battery problem. In my house, double A's were an endangered species. Triple A's were on the verge of decimation. D's might as well have been extinct. While C's were nothing more than a myth. Let's not even talk about 9 volt...

Some of you may be asking the question, "What the #@!$ is she talking about!?" I will explain. It seems like I always need batteries, and it seems as though I never have any in my house. As a kid, if the batteries died in a toy or a clock or a flashlight, you might as well just kiss it goodbye. Throw it in the trash. Never mind that it is a perfectly good item, sans batteries. They just never got replaced. I remember holding onto things, like an RC car, for years thinking we'd get batteries for it "one of these days", but no... we never did. Eventually these things always got taken to the goodwill.

I have gotten a little better in my adult years. I try to be a little more responsible. I buy the super-mega-huge pack of double A's at Sam's Club and that helps. I have some rechargeable for my camera and our Wii remotes. These are steps in the right direction, but the problem still exists for the triple A's, the D's, the C's and the 9 volts.

For example: Dustin gave me a book light when Mac was a brand new baby. It requires "C" batteries, which he gave me with the light. I am an avid reader and the batteries died after a while. I've held on to the stupid thing for eight years thinking I'll get batteries for it. Hasn't happened yet. Sad, but true.

If my kids have a toy that requires a battery, I cross my fingers that it's double A, cuz otherwise it's trash fodder as far as I'm concerned.

I'm not sure if the weakness lies in the not remembering to purchase them or the tightwad's reluctance to fork out the cash. Probably both. Either way the toys, flashlights, watches, clocks, remote controls, and cheap electric toothbrushes of the world suffer at my residence because I, simply, have a battery problem.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My Originals

Remember my art post? Where I told you how much I love my original artwork purchases? Remember how I said I'd post pictures? Yep. So did I. I actually remembered to do something I said I would do on my blog. So... here they are. I should've waited til there was sunlight to take the pics. But if I waited to remember during the day, I might've never remembered! :) So, here they are.

My little Ella's portrait by John P. Hart. (I had to take it from an angle so the flash wouldn't glare on the glass.) Isn't she cute! So serious.

OK, the photographer sucked for this picture of the Reams Mansion, but it gives you the idea.

And here is my most recent acquisition... The Owl, by John P. Hart. Lovely, isn't it???

Of course, these pictures don't do any of them justice, but they give you the idea.

A Little Gushing from the Mother

I just have to take this moment to say how adorable my Rohan is. He's no master of it yet, but today he rode his bike with no training wheels! I was behind him the whole time with my arms ready to catch him, and he did fall several times, but he rode a LOT without me touching him! How cute is that! The kid just turned three in May! Mac was still three when he learned to ride his bike without training wheels, but he was only two months from turning four, not two months past three! He can't identify his alphabet, but he can ride a bike! He's working on the large motor skills.... :)

Sorry. Just had to take the liberty because I can. It's my blog! :)

From The Jar... #13

C'mon kids! Let's all play. Even if it's just a two sentence comment in the comment box! Or, on your blog, do a novel like I tend toward! :)

And the jar says...

Describe a favorite childhood friend and some things you did with him or her.

I'd have to pick my friend Beth, hands down. That would be Beth S. from my comment box. We grew up in the same ward (church) and were best friends by third grade. We were a very silly pair. Sleepovers were our favorite. She had an early morning paper route that I LOVED to go on with her. She thought I was nuts because I liked going. My favorite paper route memory was when it snowed a bunch and we were the first people to disturb the fresh snow, leaving trails of our footprints. We would imagine someone trying to follow our print so we would do funny things like leave two left feet in a row or have one footprint backwards. I loved the still, quiet times of those snowy mornings with my best pal.

We took gymnastics together. It was awesome. I sucked at back flips and back handsprings and she was good at them. I always went crooked somehow. (Nice memory, huh? That's just what sticks out in my mind from gymnastics.) My family had a trampoline where we would pretend to be Olympic gymnasts performing our incredible feats. We would do the whole shebang- stand and put our arms up when we were ready, turn to the right and the left and then do our trick. Then we'd stand again, arms up for our finish. Then we'd give each other a score. Mostly I think we handed each other perfect 10s. Rarely anything below a nine. :) We loved the movie Nadia and I think we watched it one to many times.

I remember pretending we were gang-banging drug dealers. Nice game for kids, huh? Seems like we were in about 5th or 6th grade. We were "Chico and Chino" and we spoke in a Cheech and Chong kind of Spanish accent. We wore navy blue or red bandannas which we referred to as our "colors". She lived on a busy-ish street, and we'd hide from the cars that passed shouting to each other in our Spanish accents as we dove behind bushes, "Don't show your colors, man!" We played this game with her older brother, Eric. I think that he was the one who made it up. We would fill ziploc baggies with powder sugar and dried basil, parsley or oregano and, you guessed it, those were our "drugs" that we would sell. I don't think we ever pretended to "do" the drugs... just sell them. Apparently we were clean drug-dealers.

We would pretend that real-estate signs were gateways to other dimensions. You know the kind that is on a big post and swings freely. Ya. We would run under them and then the other person would be lost to the one still on this side of the sign. We would call out to each other, pleading, "Oh where, oh where did you go! I can't see you!!!" And then the pleading one would take a deep breath and, with a running start, jump through the "doorway" to the next dimension and we were happily reunited. It was beautiful! *tear* :)

We had so much fun talking about boys and dreaming of what it would be like get a drivers license, date boys, kiss a boy, go to college, get married, have kids... you name it, we talked about it. We romanticized something as simple as going to the grocery store or paying bills. I wish I still thought of those things as something exciting!

We were together all the time and we had an incredible friendship that has withstood the test of time. We were best friends all through high school and into our college years. As the strain of being roommates (in the literal sense of the word) in college put a slight shadow over some things, we still talked all the time. Then, last January,
our relationship underwent some reconstruction, which was pretty amazing for both of us, and it obliterated the small shadow that we didn't even realize had come between us.

To you, Beth... thanks for sticking by me through all these years. It's a rare thing, indeed to still be close to someone at age almost-thirty who was your best friend as a child. I love you and I admire your courage and your strength of heart. Love ya! :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Thirty going on Thirteen...

Or maybe it's twelve. Either way, it was buckets of fun! As the majority of you know, Stephanie Meyer's new book, Breaking Dawn came out on Saturday, August 2. My friends Rachel, Maria, and Carmen and I went to the midnight release of this MUCH anticipated end to the Twilight saga.

Rather than just be normal... normal being going at midnight to stand in line with hundreds of other people... we decided to really play the thirteen year-old card. Rachel and I made shirts for ourselves and Carmen. (Maria is actually more like sixteen and was too cool to wear a sparkling declaration of love for Edward!)Me, Rachel, Carmen sportin' our sparkling TEAM EDWARD shirts.

Maria did wear black to match us and put a sticker on her shirt, so we might be lookin' at somewhere around 15 years old. ;)

Can't you just feel our excitement!! We were nearly bouncing off the walls with it!

This was the line ahead of us, and it extended far behind us too. This was only the people with "A" bracelets, meaning we were the first bunch. There was also "B-E", I believe. That's how many people were there! It was madness. I loved it!

And here we are with our much coveted treasures!

My big plan for when I got home was to sneak off and read for a few hours before I went to bed. But I was thwarted by a sick little girl. Ella ended up throwing up all night. So I was on mommy-duty instead! I finally fell asleep at about 5am and only read about 150 pages in between Ella sicking up.

I finally finished the book this morning, and, while I liked it, I didn't LOVE it like I did the other three. I was actually relieved that I only enjoyed it rather than obsessively LOVED it. It made it easier for me to not be sad and depressed when I finished the book and knew it was the end of this series forever.

What are your thoughts on the book? (If you want to talk specifics in a comment, please forewarn those who haven't read it yet by saying SPOILER before you type your spoiling comment!!!!)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Manic Monday: Big


Pulse racing at the memory of words that
Tug my heart across a space as
big as my mind.


Friday, August 1, 2008


Crayons have absolutely nothing to do with this post, excepting the fact that I never claimed to be the sharpest one in the box.

Dinnertime. Last week. Beans and rice were on the menu. I turned on the burner on HIGH. Put water and rice in the pot. When they came to a boil, I was supposed to turn them down to a low temperature and leave the lid on 'til they were done. Easy.

Whilst the water/rice combo came to a boil, I turned my attention to the other half of the meal. Beans. Great-Northern beans, to be precise. I wasn't sure how long I was supposed to pressure cook these babies, so I turned to my favorite source: Google. My computer is downstairs. Downstairs is not within smelling range of my kitchen. If I am not perfectly vigilant Google can carry me to a fantasy land where neither time nor rice exist. Google did just that on that fateful night.

As I was carried away searching for a pressure cooking timetable I thought to myself, "I"m sure glad I already put the rice on... THE RICE!!!" I bolted up the stairs and, as my nose came within range of the kitchen, I smelled the disaster before I saw it. I pulled the smoking rice off of the red-hot burner and opened the lid a fraction. Smoke began to pour out. With a spoon I moved the rice aside to assess the damage. Bad news greeted me from the bottom of my pot. Black covered everything I could see under the rice. Trying to avoid MORE of the smell of char in my kitchen, I headed outside to purge the pot of the befouled rice.

With haste to get the smoking pot outside, I encountered the closed outside door that I could not open with both of my hands holding a pot. For some insane reason (most likely having to do with previous crayon comment),I set the pot down... ON THE CARPET. Too late I realized what sort of physics project was happening under the pot. I might have set a record for the fastest opening of a door. Sure enough, I picked up the pot again and strings of melted nylon came up with it like hundreds of spiders had built their homes between the pot and the carpet. Perfect.

With wisps of melted carpet dangling from the pot, I took it outside and scraped the rice out. Inside the pot, the bottom was black except for the perfect outlines of rice. It reminded me of maggots. Eww.

Fortunately, this story has a fairly happy ending. If you can count as happy the several hours of elbow grease required to remove most traces of the charred rice and melted carpet from the pot...

The pot is still in action today, boiling merrily with whatever I'm scrambling to cook for dinner each night. I never cared about the carpet. The perfect melted circle left by the pot stands as reminder to sharpen those proverbial crayons and use them to defend myself against the lure of Google and stupidity of thinking before I set a scorching pan onto nylon carpet.