Thursday, May 31, 2007

Simply Amazing! A Laundry Tip from Yours Truly.

It simply amazes me how quicky my children can destroy things...their rooms, their toys, and especially their clothing. Last week Sarah and Will went for a bike ride. I told Sarah she needed to change clothes because she had on gauchos and their wide legs might get caught in her bike chain and get greasy or torn. She was most uncooperative and after a few minutes of her wild protesting, I just gave in and let her go without changing. Less than 5 minutes later she comes back in bawling her eyes out...with ripped and grease-stained gauchos. Hard lesson to learn, but she makes sure now that she has on shorts or jeans. Her gauchos are wearable, but have a little rip in 'em. She's sad about it too.

Will played at a friend's the other day and came home with the pocket on his shorts ripped off. If I told you how that happened, you'd likely share my own disbelief and question his integrity. And then there is Abbey. Three articles of clothing this week have appeared with oily stains on them. Three. In one week. It's oil from the cheese quesadillas she insists on eating for lunch every day. And if you even think about putting a white shirt on that girl, stains start to magically appear. A white shirt is not her friend, but rather her napkin.

So yesterday I tackled our mound of laundry. And was feeling hopeless about those oily stains in her cute, relatively new stuff. I pre-treated them, but after the stain remover dried, I could still see the grease spots. So in a moment of desparation, I squirted a huge amount of Dawn dishwashing detergent on them and set them aside. A couple hours later, I dumped a bunch of baking soda on top of the detergent. Why not? Baking soda is good for so many things. I forgot all about them until late last night. Threw everything in the washer and then hung it up to dry. This morning...ALL of the stains are gone. Dawn detergent is magic! Simply amazing. I don't know if the baking soda helped or not, but it worked, so why mess with a good thing?

A couple of weeks ago, I was hurriedly making salad dressing and spilled a large amount of olive oil down the front of my t-shirt and my favorite khaki capris. We were just about to leave for dinner, so I quickly changed clothes and treated the oil stains with copious amounts of dish soap (dawn, of course!). Threw them in the kitchen sink and left. I really had written them off as ruined. They've been sitting in my laundry room for awhile now, waiting to be washed (sloth, sloth, sloth!). So I washed them last night with my oily load...and they are grease-free as well. I am so happy!!!

So before you throw away all those things you think you've ruined, or quit serving your children quesadillas...grab the dawn and let it work it's wonderful laundry magic. And if you've known about this laundry secret before now, please keep that to yourself and let me glory in my pride at having discovered it on my own.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Not Sure How I Could Forget to Mention This

We were at the park earlier. I got the kids a happy meal and we set out to find a prime viewing spot for the free air show. Traffic was very heavy and I just didn't want to deal with it, so we went to a nearby park with just an "okay" view. I'm so glad now that I didn't go hours early to get one of those aforementioned "prime" spots. My kids were much more interested in the merry-go-round than the Thunderbirds. I basically watched the show alone. Oh well.

As I was watching the air show finale, a young girl came walking across the sandbox towards me. She smiled her friendly smile and said "Hi" with a little too much enthusiasm. I looked back at her thinking maybe I should have recognized her or something. She sure seemed like she knew me. So she comes and stands beside me with her eyes also on the sky and she starts making friendly conversation. I notice the Bible she's carrying and the pamphlet peeking out of it and the dress she's wearing and l feel a little bit of dread come over me. She sees me looking at her Bible and asks if I have some time for her to share some things with me (I can't really remember how she phrased it). I paused for a moment or two and said something I have *always* wanted to say, but never ever have. I said, "No, I don't really think that's such a good idea." She looked shocked and taken aback (probably because I look so nice and sweet, right??) and she asked if there was a reason. I very matter-of-factly told her that I am a Christian and that I believe the Bible is God's word to us, but I've had plenty of conversations like these (she was Jehovah's witness) and they're always very awkward and end up going nowhere because neither of us is planning to change what we each firmly believe. And surprisingly, she backed away very graciously.

And she didn't seek out anyone else in the park either. In fact, just a few minutes later, she and her posse were nowhere to be seen.

I'm thankful that I finally had the guts to say what I really felt. I've been stepping out in this area more and more lately and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the freedom it brings. It's a very good feeling.

**Feeling empowered by my new-found courage and ability to speak my mind and get the desired result, I spoke with the mama of the pesky neighbor-girl who keeps calling my house at 8:45 each morning. I told her that she absolutely cannot call us before 10am. I'll let ya know how that one goes, but I'm hopeful.

All is Quiet

All is quiet around here at the moment. It's been a loud couple of days with those cool Thunderbirds flying overhead. We LOVE it, but loud is definitely an understatement. I took the kids to the park for lunch and tried my darndest to capture the coolness with these digital pics. You'll probably have to zoom in close, but I think you can see 'em. I hope so anyway.

Yesterday turned out to be perfect. No jury duty for me. Woohoo! I didn't find out until about noon that I wasn't needed, but let me assure you I was doing the happy dance. I had a couple of friends on standby to watch the kids. When I called to tell them they were off the hook too, one of them invited me to lunch and had her kids babysit so we could go sans children. It was wonderful. We were sitting at Panera Bread eating our very yummy Fuji Apple Chicken salad and watching the Thunderbirds flying all around us. It doesn't get much better than that. Well, it could have been warmer actually. It was 43 degrees and I was FREEZING! But I didn't protest when she suggested ice cream for dessert. Caramel ice cream with caramel and walnuts mixed in is just to...die...for!

On Monday, John took us all to the Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park. Since gas has never been cheaper, we decided it would be nice to trek up and down the Front Range this weekend. The dinosaur museum was great and Woodland park is beautiful. Will absolutely loved it and John and I found it absolutely fascinating. I'm still not sure what the girls thought. It was such a nice day that we grabbed lunch from Sonic afterwards and found a nice park with a picnic bench. Very fun! We even got to watch a couple of kids catch a couple of fish. When we got home, John let me go shopping alone. I don't like to shop much to begin with, but shopping with kids is sheer punishment. On those rare occasions that I *have* to take them with me, I'm never sure of what I've done to deserve such torture. Anyway, I needed to buy some new summer uniforms (capris and t-shirts) so John sent me off by myself with a wad of cash. Very nice. And I didn't bring home one bit of change. A good shopping day indeed!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Well, things are looking more hopeful in regard to my jury duty obligation. I had to call late Friday afternoon to see if I had to report on Tuesday and I'm currently on stand-by. That means I have to call between 11:30 and 12:30 that day and be available to report within the hour if I'm needed. Last year John was on standby and wasn't needed. I'm hopeful, and I'm trying to be optimistic. The good news is that if called, I won't have to report til the afternoon so I won't miss the Thunderbirds, or the "Thunderburns" as Abbey calls them. Yippee. We heard and saw one of them flying over a little while ago. It's the most distinct sound and when I hear it, I immediately jump up and run outside. I wasn't disappointed either. I tried to take a picture to post, but despite my zoom, it only appeared as a dot on the screen. Oh well. I tried.

This morning we broke from our normal Sunday routine and drove to Golden, CO. John is working with a pastor on a book he's hoping to publish, so we went to this guy's church. It was a nice change of pace for us. Our friends from the ranch drove over and met us for the service and then we all went out together for lunch. Mexican...our favorite. We took the back way home and it was a most beautiful drive. It was a gorgeous day and so many folks were out picnicing and hiking and biking and just enjoying the sunshine and cool air. I hated we didn't have our hiking gear on. Oh well! Hopefully many more beautiful Sunday afternoons are in store for the summer.

Friday, May 25, 2007

"Hogs Get Candy"

My title is NOT referring to the Razorbacks, though I did vote multiple times for them in the CBS Sportsline Most Dominant Mascot contest this week. Nope, this is really a post about hogs.

Most of you know that I'm a news junkie. My day is not complete without a thorough reading of the Denver Post. If you wanna know what's up in the world, or in our great state, chances are high that I can tell you. The daily paper provides me with endless blog fodder too. I could tell you all about the 60-year old woman who gave birth to twins this week, or the new Coca-Cola museum opening in Atlanta, the price of gas right now and how it is affecting millions of working Americans, or how 39% of homes in Utah have 4 bedrooms or more (due to the huge Mormon population there I'm sure) but I won't. I came across an article on Tuesday that has the nutrition freak in me all riled up. So about those hogs and that candy...fascinating, and quite possibly the most digusting thing you'll read today.

Currently, corn is in high demand in this country. That's because of the growing demand for a corn-based ethanol. Therefore the price of corn right now is sky high. And that's a concern for pig-farmers. The article says that 60% of our nation's corn crop is consumed by the livestock industry. So, with the price of corn through the roof, pig farmers are having to come up with some cheaper feeding alternatives for those pigs. Human food is cheaper, and so pig farmers have turned to feeding their pigs things such as trail mix, cookies, fruit punch, tortillas, beermaker's yeast, cereal, cheese curls, cocoa powder (they mix it with cereal to make "cocoa puffs" for the baby pigs--yes, the article *really* said that!) licorice, peanut butter cups, candy bars, french fries, and much more stuff we're better off not knowing (I'm stopping on purpose 'cause it just makes me feel sick). And if you think they're getting the first quality stuff, think again. It's the surplus stuff the farmers buy on the cheap that they're feeding these hogs; the stuff that was unfit for manufacturers to sell or for humans to eat. So they feed it to the pigs...which are then butchered and consumed by humans, and the stuff that was unfit for us to eat in the first place ends up getting eaten. Yuck, yuck, yuck. We don't eat a lot of pork at our house, but that is seriously enough to make me stop buying ham and bacon, and the occasional pork roast. Or at least make me consider buying the pricey organic stuff. Bluck!

Frankly, I'm a bit surprised that the FDA let this story go to print. I think it reflects very poorly on the quality of the food they say is fit for human cosumption. I guess most folks might not be grossed out by cheese curls and candy bars...but I don't think everything those pigs eat is as tame as the article suggests.

At a MOPS meeting years ago a nutritionist was our guest speaker. One mom asked about organic produce, meat, dairy, etc. and the importance of it to our diet. Of course, the nutritionist advised buying it whenever possible, but she also understood and made clear that it isn't always feasible on a limited budget. However, there are some organic products that just make sense to buy. When animals consume toxins, the toxins in their body get stored in their fat. So to avoid consuming harmful toxins, she advised buying organic when buying any product that contains animal fat. Things like butter, milk, and all PORK products. Am I the only one who doesn't ever want to eat a slice of bacon again?

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Today was the first official day of summer vacation. I told John I'd like to sleep in this morning, "so please don't bother waking me if I'm still sleeping when you leave for work". Yeah, like THAT was gonna happen. Everyone in my household was up before 7am. They don't even wake up that early on school mornings. So much for summer slumber. By 8am I had everyone fed and the dishwasher unloaded (John did that for me, sweet, huh?) and the kitchen cleaned and the newspaper read and now I'm blogging 'cause I don't know what else to do. This may be a long day. But I love long days, so all is good.

I'm so full of gratitude this morning and I want to tell you how much I love Will's teacher. I love all of my children's teachers, but Will's was extra-special this year. She has officially replaced Mrs. C as his *all-time favorite* and Mrs. C was a tough contender! Last year was a rough one for our boy. He finished the school year pretty dejected--"I'm not a good kid, I'm not a smart kid, etc, etc". None of that was true but somewhere along the way he started believing those things. So we spent most of last summer praying about his new teacher and asking God for a good group of boys in his class. Wow. How incredibly God answered those prayers this school year. Mrs. P is the best thing that could have happened to Will. He is a totally different kid. She has challenged him in so many ways and we have seen his self-confidence soar. She absolutely loves Will and believes in him and tells him that all the time. I've watched her with her students and they LOVE her. The girls are always hanging on her and even the boys give her hugs. But they respect her too. She's nurturing to the core, but she's firm at the same time. She's really got the whole balance thing down.

So yesterday afternoon I was waiting for my kids on the school grounds instead of in the pick-up line. I wanted to help them carry all their "stuff" and I wanted to take their picture on the last day of school. I was standing and shivering with a couple other moms from Will's class (it was 39 degrees and raining at the time!) and one of the girls from his class walks up with big 'ole tears streaming down her face. We said our goodbyes, and got in the van. I asked Will once we were home why his friend was crying. He said that Mrs. P started crying when she told the class goodbye and then all the girls started crying and it was one big emotional hoo-ha. Well, I was crying by that point too. I'd been crying off and on all day in fact. I cry almost as much on the LAST day of school as I do on the first. I cry because my children are one year older and more independent of me, and because one year has passed that can never be recovered or re-lived. And that makes me sad. But I was also crying because Will's teacher touched not only his young life but those of a couple dozen more and they were all genuinely sad that a very good year was coming to a close. And there goes my tear-faucet again.

Seeing that little girl walk over to her mom yesterday with tears in her eyes--tears of sadness from saying goodbye to one she loved--will be etched in my mind for a long time. I've been telling God this morning how thankful I am for the gift of Mrs. P. And for her tremendous influence on my son's life. She is amazing.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Fare Thee Well

Well, today is the day I say goodbye to lunchboxes, homework, reading logs, backpacks, volunteer duties and to four really great teachers. Whew. What a year it's been! Very, very good, but I must say that I'm looking forward to doing much of nothing for the next 3 months of summer.

Only it's not feeling much like summer here today. Highs in the 40s. Yuck. No sooner do we pack our fleece away than we're pulling it back out and over our heads! Actually I never really pack it away; we need it for our cool summer nights! But it's pretty chilly out there today. Abbey's class had a party to celebrate their last day of school and I couldn't believe the teacher insisted on doing it outside. I should've protested because it was freezing out there...even with my layers on. I was thankful when we could go back inside just so I could thaw out! Definitely not feeling like May. And I'm not even going to tell you what is in the forecast for tonight. It's becoming a very bad four-letter word around here.

Yesterday was a weird weather day too. Went to the park with Sarah's class for the annual end of the year picnic and they were there about 15 minutes before it started raining. And lightning. At our elevation, lightning is something you don't mess around with. I wasn't feeling real safe in under the metal pavilion, let me tell ya. The kids loaded the buses in a nick of time before the hail started POURING. Bizarre. Here's a pic I took on the way back to school. The hail was a 'comin down let me tell you! Minnie-the-van was fine, but I was worried 'cause it sounded like rocks hitting our car!

And lest you think they went back to school and actually did some school work, let me assure you they DID NOT! They went to Plan B which included a Disney movie and huge quantities of popcorn. Why they even make 'em go to school the last few days is beyond me.

Miss Abbey and her daddy had their date last night. He took her to dinner and a movie. Dinner was Chick-Fil-A (her choice, I'm sure) and the movie was Shrek the Third. If I didn't tell you already, don't waste your $$ at the theater. It just wasn't a very good movie. Usually by the third film in the series, they're having to try HARD to come up with original stuff. They had fun though and that's the most important thing.

Will and Sarah and I stayed up and watched the Dancing With the Stars finale. Way to go Apolo!!! We love that guy!!!!! So glad he can add that lovely trophy to his Olympic medal collection!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Okay...I'll start with the good. I just got back from the grocery store where I saved $35 in coupons. $35. That's a lot folks! I probably can't do that well every week because I just used up a big wad of coupons and now my stash is rather slim, but that's okay as long as I try and save a little. It took me some time last night to plan, make a list, and clip the darn things, but for about one hours worth of work, I think I did rather well. And besides, last night was a good tv night, so I didn't mind the task too much.

Which brings me to the bad. True confession time. I'm addicted to The Bachelor. It's a sorry show with an even sorrier premise, but I can't help it that I've been sucked in. Three seasons now I've been watching. The beginning of the season is always somewhat amusing. Girls are so petty and I think the drama of the cat fight is hilarious. And true-to-life. But as the season goes on and everyone starts to get emotionally drawn in, it's just downright sad, not to mention unrealistic. I mean, who do you know that finds true love cafeteria-style? So last night was the season finale. Andy had to choose between Bevin and Tessa. He chose Tessa (my fave!) and Bevin was devastated. Wow, nothing like watching heartbreak unfold on national television. Just sad. John watched the end with me. He's usually too busy to be bothered with such shallow stuff, but I think he was kinda bothered by the whole thing too.

I can't find a good segue into the ugly, so I'll just give it to you. This whole birthday-jury duty thing keeps getting worse. As if it's not bad enough to have to report on your birthday, I just found out that my birthday is the day before Air Force Academy graduation. If that means nothing to you, you need to know it is one of MY FAVORITE days of the year. It is the day that the Thunderbirds practice for the graduation flyover and they fly over our house for HOURS. On graduation, the show is quite short, but on practice day it is amazing to watch them over and over and over. And seriously, we have the best seat in town. And of course that would all be happening on my birthday. And chances are high that I'll be stuck inside some courtroom downtown. Ugh, ugh, ugh! Seriously ugly!

Would you guys please pray for my little neighbor Caroline? She and her twin brother turned two on Sunday and this morning she was taken by ambulance to the hospital. She was having febrile convulsions and they don't know yet what might be wrong. She's adorable and she needs our prayers. Thanks!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Winding Down

Things are winding down for me. I can't believe I'm saying this on a Monday morning. Mondays are when things usually start crankin' up around here. But I'm so thankful for the change of pace this week.

Abbey is feeling much better today. She's looking and acting like herself and I think the worst is behind us. I kept her home from preschool this morning just to be sure, and because of the 24-hour rule about vomiting. She's not 100% but all seems well. And we're thankful. I was tucking her in last night and she likes me to lay on her bed with her for a few minutes. It's one of my favorite moments of the day. I told her we needed to thank Jesus for answering our prayers for her to stop throwing up and feel better. And she says, "Yeah, mom, 'cause Jesus healed me". And we believe He did and thanked Him for it. I love how tender her little heart is and how tender it is towards the heart of her Father. Very sweet.

She felt well enough for us to go to the awards assembly today for Will and Sarah. Thankfully they had a combined ceremony for their grades (saving me two trips up to school!), and it was outside and beautiful. Will got an award for Effort and Sarah got an award for Problem Solving. Don't ask me what that specifically means; it wasn't explained well even to me. But I'm proud of them both. Extremely proud. They've both served their classes as Student Council reps this year so they had the honor of serving cookies to the parents afterwards. I know that Abbey isn't 100% when she refuses a cookie.

So we have some new neighbors next door. They moved in on Friday and we met them briefly on our way out the door. They're from Illinois and have a girl Abbey's age, and a little guy who's 2. Will was bummed about that. He's way out-numbered by the girls in our neighborhood and was hoping someone close to his age would move in. Anyway, they seem nice. We'll miss our old neighbor though. He was a single guy. His name was John and he was really nice. He had a pond in his front yard which he stocked with goldfish and it was a huge attraction for all the neighborhood kids. Prayers of the People is part of the liturgy at our church and every Sunday we participate in a few minutes of guided prayer. During one part, we're specifically asked to "pray by name for those who need salvation in Jesus". So every Sunday for the last 2+ years we've been praying for "John, our neighbor". Even though we like him, we don't know him well, but I had to laugh a few months ago (and wonder if my prayers availed much!) when he told us he was moving to a larger city to enter seminary to become a priest! Who knows? Funny though isn't it?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Shrek the Third

Okay, we're Shrek fans. I didn't let my kids watch Shrek for a long time, but once I caved in to the pressure, we were hooked. I took them a few summers ago to see Shrek 2. My sister went with me and we laughed so hard we had diet coke coming out our noses. Very, very funny. So, we've been gearing up all week for the release of Shrek the Third. We schemed all week to get John to take us to see it and that was our plan for today.

We were awakened at 5:00am this morning with a small hiccup in the plan. Actually, John was awakened. I generally sleep through almost everything...even my children puking. That's what woke John up. He heard Abbey in her bed coughing her "I'm fixin' to frow up" cough. Yep, our baby was sick. We always hold our breath when Abbey starts vomiting. Once that kid gets going it is difficult to get her to stop, and almost impossible to keep any fluids in her. We've made at least 4 trips to the ER in the last couple of years for IV fluids and two of those times they've admitted her overnight because her dehydration was so severe. Scary stuff. So we hold our breath and pray like crazy.

The morning was rough, but I'm very thankful to report that she's doing fine this evening. She's running around bossing everyone around and that means she's back to her normal self. I overheard her tell John she doesn't feel so "frow-uppy anymore". She's kept some saltines and a couple popsicles down and she's not looking so pale anymore. I'm very grateful that when this stuff happens these days the duration seems to grow shorter.

So back to Shrek 3. Will and Sarah woke up this morning and realized what was going on with Abbey and knew that kinda changed our plans. They were sweet about it. They each put their hands on Abbey and prayed for her and then said we'd go see Shrek another day. Mid-morning, John decided I should go ahead with the plan and take Will and Sarah to the movie. So we went. And enjoyed it very much! John and Abbey are going to go see it together as soon as they can find time. Abbey is thrilled that she'll have daddy to herself. It's her "daddy date". We're so glad she's better. It is so pitiful when she's sick. But please pray that she'll continue to improve and fully recover before her last day of school on Wednesday!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Field Day

Yesterday was the first ever Field Day at Will and Sarah's school. And it was so much F-U-N. I volunteered to help for the morning while Abbey was at preschool and it was the most fun I've had all week. I was assigned to the Egghead Balancing Race. That might help explain the picture. The kids had to assemble the egg and then put it on their head and race around the orange cones without it falling and "busting". Hilarious! My little friend, Maddison, was the most "egg-cellent" champion. I had a blast and so did the kids. They had all sorts of games and activites, like sack races, long jump, volleyball, 1-mile run, chalking, tatoos, face-painting, stilts, pogo-sticks, and so, so much more. It was incredible, the weather was beautiful, and I can't wait for next year!

I think it might be a long summer...

I love, love, love summer. Especiallly summer vacation. My kids' last day of school is Wednesday and I'm soooooo looking forward to being home with them. But I'm dreading it a little too. Not for the typical reason that most moms dread. A lot of friends of mine don't like to hassle with bored kids or feel like they need to keep them entertained. Sure I can get frustrated with my children, but more than anything I love being at home them. We have a rhythym to our days and we just have a lot of fun together. The only thing that tops that is John being home with us too. Weekends are valuable time for us to re-connect and play as a family and all five of us need it What we don't need are "others". Oh yeah, sometimes it's fun and important to welcome others over for dinner and sleepovers and picnics and outings. But we have a couple of neighbor kids who call and come over WAY too much for my liking.

This morning I was talking to a friend on the phone. It was 9am and my other line beeps. I recently got caller id call waiting so I could see that it was the neighbor girl and I chose to ignore her call. What the heck is she calling us for at 9am? It's Saturday for pete's sake. She's a persistent kid though and when I didn't answer the phone she decides to pay us a visit. At 9:02 am?? Folks, if this happened once in a blue moon I think I'd be okay with it, but it happens with much more frequency than I want to think about. 9 out off 10 Sundays our family goes to church. You'd think she'd figure that out, but every Sunday our caller id shows multiple calls from this little one, usually starting around 9am and continuing til we've arrived home. We've designated Sunday as family day and our kids aren't allowed to have playmates on Sundays. Been telling the kid that for YEARS and she still keeps calling and coming over. Even on days like Easter, Christmas Eve, Mother's Day, etc. It's actually quite sad.

I used to feel a little guilty. It's obvious that the kid is dying for attention from anyone who will give it. But I've put my guilt aside because I can and will give her attention, but not to the point that it interferes with mothering my own three children. And believe me...the possibility of interference here is high. You give an inch and they'll take a mile. I pray for this kiddo when I see her or her name on caller id. And I pray for my attitude towards her. It's bad sometimes...and it's off the charts this morning.

So, I'm dreading summer just a bit because I don't like the daily hassle of telling her (and others) why my kids can't play every single day and why she (they) can't call our house so early and blah, blah, blah. It just sucks all the fun out of it for me some days.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Busier than a Bee

We are swamped around here. If you were to look at my wall calendar, you would probably start to wonder about my sanity these days. I'm certainly wondering about it. I am busy beyond belief. The end of the school year is always full of activity, but add three kiddos to the mix, each with different activities and you have a recipe for mom-insanity! Thankfully we only have six more days of school and I'm thinking of mandating six days of recovery after that. The sloth in me is crying for attention!

Yesterday I went with Sarah's class on a field trip to the Denver Museum of Science and Nature. Very, very cool! Abbey went along with us and was intrigued by the Egyptian Mummy exhibit. She forgot the word "mummy" though and kept asking me what those things wrapped in tissue paper were called. Sarah loved the Gems and Minerals exhibit (me too) and I loved the Colorado Wildlife exhibit. The Space exhibit was really neat too. Lots of interactive lessons for the kids. I can't wait to go back there sometime when it's not so crowded. I was in charge of a gaggle of girls and I think they loved making me crazy trying not to lose one of them among the 3000 other elementary school visitors yesterday. Not fun!

Last week I got to go with Will's class to the Sky Sox baseball game. The Sky Sox is the local minor league team and it was a great game! I think Maddison and I were the only ones watching the game though. The other kids in my group spent more time eating, listening each others ipods, and dumping their water bottles on each others heads (then asking me to refill them?) instead of watching the game. Why, oh why, do I torture myself like this???? The Sky Sox won, by the way.

John and the kids were really great on Mother's Day. They let me choose how to spend the day, and we went on an amazing hike in Palmer Lake. We hiked up to a reservoir (beautiful) and just took our time going up and coming back down. The kids did great, especially Abbey, and I forsee many a hike in our summer plans. We went for ice cream after that, because you really can't go to Palmer Lake without stopping at the Rock House for a cone or shake. And that evening they made dinner for me--quiche. It was yummy, and very nice to have the night off from dinner.

Today is another full day...but thankfully I'm seeing an end to all this madness. As crazy as I feel sometimes, I really wouldn't trade it for anything. I'm grateful that John works so hard for us all so that I can be available for field trips and end-of-year parties, and watching track meets in pouring rain, and all the insanity of this week! I really wouldn't trade it for anything. Except maybe lying on the beach somwhere with an umbrella drink in hand. Just kidding. Sorta.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Don't I Look Beautiful Like This, Mom?

Those were the words that Abbey asked me last night. She was fresh from the tub where the grime of the day had been washed away. Normally, I blow her hair dry after we wash it, but last night (after much begging on her part) I let her skip the hair drying and we let her hair dry naturally. She LOVES it when I let her do that. Her hair is stick-straight except for about 2 wavy pieces in the front. And she loves those waves. I mean loves 'em. That's what prompted her question last night...don't these waves in my hair make me look beautiful? And they absolutely did. I love the self-confidence that girl has, and I love that she's not afraid to ask questions like that all the while knowing the answer is YES, you're beautiful sweetie!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

first things first

So Will had a track meet last night that was cancelled because of the snow. Well actually the snow had melted but the field was a muddy, mucky mess, so they gave us the night off. John got home from work and said to Will, "Sorry about your track meet, bud." But Will wasn't sad. His response? "It's fine dad, really. Now I don't have to miss Dancing With the Stars." To which John and I laughed, but John was mostly laughing because he knows that Will is like me in so many ways. Yeah, I'm kinda obsessive about things like thar too. And anyway, we're cheering for Apolo (our local boy!) and Julianne. They ROCK!

Monday, May 07, 2007

It's not really pleasant...

to be awakened before dawn to the sound of steel scraping asphalt. That would be the snowplows out ridding our neighborhood streets of last night's snowfall. Yep. More snow. Several inches. Two-hour delay for schools this morning (no preschool for Abbey). And did I mention that it's M.A.Y.? This is getting a bit ridiculous.

Friday, May 04, 2007

laundry limit

i'm feeling kind of bloggy today; this is my third post. maybe it's because i'll do just about anything rather than attend to my laundry at this moment. how many loads of laundry can one do before reaching her laundry limit? i'm on my 8th load. seriously. this is what happens when i have a day i get to spend *mostly* at home. i get to (have to) play serious catch-up. i have a couple more loads to go to be completely caught up. but i may put it off until tomorrow, because while 10 loads of laundry in one day may make it sound like i'm incredibly productive (are you reading this honey?) the truth is that is just crazy. remember, i have a lot of sloth in me. sadly, if i had more days at home like today i might not have to do 10 loads to catch up. and we've have the pick of our closet to choose from every morning. *sigh*


After lamenting on Monday about the myriad of things lost in our home, I have to tell you about something I found yesterday.

I was heading up to school one morning this week and needed to give some of my yearbook committee their copy of the yearbook. We want the students/parents to be surprised when they get their copy in a couple of weeks so I was searching for a manila envelope to conceal the book. I rummaged through my closet, found what I was looking for, and dumped the contents of an old envelope onto my bed.

On my bed were a dozen or so birthday cards...the juvenile type...that I'd saved from a long ago party, probably to include in their scrapbook or something (which obviously never happened). The cards got moved from the bed to a pile in the floor and yesterday Abbey picked 'em up and reading them. Turns out they were from Will's first birthday. 10 years ago. And in one of the cards I found a $20 bill. $20. Wow. And when I read the card it was from one of the Sunday School classes at our church in Stephens. They asked me to use the money to buy something he'd like.

For a nano-second, I considered giving it to Will, but I figured that after 10 years I've bought him TONS of things he likes. I pocketed the bill before Abbey saw it (and tried to claim it), and then promptly spent the entire twenty dollars on my afternoon trip to the grocery store. ugh.

But I actually *found* something this week and I'm truly amazed.

salad, anyone?

We've had a very wet winter. Lots of snow and lately, we've had lots of rain. Things are greening up quite nicely here and it's nice to see things starting to bud and bloom. One thing I haven't been pleased to see bloom are the dandelions in our front yard. I'm not talking a dozen or so...I'm talking hundreds and hundreds. We have the worst lawn on our street (no kidding) and everyday this week our yard full of bright yellow dandelions have drawn some serious attention to our lack of lawn upkeep. Ugh. I'm trying to talk (beg is more like it) John into getting outside tomorrow and doing some yard work. He's not enthusiastic and he's probably praying for rain. Anyway, this morning I open the Denver Post and pull out the GROW section. Chock full of gardening tips, one of which touts the edibility of dandelions. Even includes a dandelion salad recipe. Folks, I think I could get away with not buying lettuce until October. But for terrific flavor it says you should eat the greens before they flower. Looks like we missed our salad window.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


I got home a little while ago after picking the kids up at school. Stopped by the mailbox as usual. Sorted through the stack of stuff...bills, dvds from, wednesday grocery ads, catalogs, junk, junk, and more junk. One item in particular caught my eye. The State of Colorado seal makes things look official, as do the words Legal Document: Jury Summons. Summoning me. And get this...I have to report on my BIRTHDAY. Unless of course, I call the recorded message a few days prior and hear those glorious words that I am not needed. Start praying NOW! I can't really think of anything worse than that.