Friday, October 23, 2009

Happy Haunting!

This makes me laugh every time! Enjoy!

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Monday, June 29, 2009

A Great Book!

My husband and I both just finished reading this book. It is terrific! If you love to run, or wish you did- then you need to read this book. Go to your library and get it. It will change the way you think.

After you read it you will start running barefoot, or in these. That sounds like it would hurt or something, right? It doesn't. In fact, in feels great! Truly.

In addition you will start consuming a lot of chia seeds or putting "chia gel" in whatever you can. Who knew that your chia pet was hiding something so awesome and life-sustaining!

It would take forever to explain it all- so get the book. Seriously- stop what you are doing and get it now. It's a great read!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Needed Blessings

The other day while driving in the car on the way to church, Kimball had some questions regarding fasting. (It happened to be Fast Sunday) As parents it feels great when your kids ask questions like that. It opens the door for you to have what will surely be a great parenting moment, right?

I for one have a wonderful dream of what will occur..... a couple of minutes where we share a deep, spiritual conversation. We are moved. Our children are moved. I imagine that those few moments impact them forever and when they are adults they write it down and then quite possibly submit it to the Friend magazine for publication in the form of a story, "based on real events."

So, we had our discussion and I thought it had gone very well. Then came the time to ask some questions and get their feedback. One of the questions? Stanton asked Kimball if there was something specific he might like to fast for. After a short pause, Kimball's response was:

"Yes! What I really need is.......... the power to read people's minds."

Well, all-righty then. Good talk. Good talk.

Another big catch-up.

Summer Vacation has finally started! Our school year lasts so long every year that, come the end of June, we are all fed up with the schedules and homework and very anxious for some free time and fun!

Maybe I will blog about all we do......but maybe not. ( I feel bad for my posterity. They will have big empty gaps of my life to try and figure out on their own. Oh well!)

As for what we've been doing lately, here are a few updates for Grandma!

Budding Talents

Most recently, Laura has started designing. She approached me last week with a drawing of a purse that she had thought up. "Mom, it needs to be a crescent shape, with polka dots." Since I'm always up for a new project to sew, we got to work. She chose her fabric from the basement stash and sat down to draw a pattern on tissue paper. It was very basic so it came together quick.

She is so delighted with her creation and takes it everywhere we go. I can't wait to see what drawing she brings me next.
New Hair
We decided to save money on the barbers and shave some heads. Kimball and Stanton are both sporting the buzz look from now on. I love the ease of it, and think they both look adorable.

Piano Recitals
The boys performed in their first ever piano recital. Tustin was so nervous that he had a migraine and probably an ulcer or something. Poor kid! They both did great- and forgot to bow. As soon as they finished- they practically ran off the stage.

Laura Graduates

Laura graduated from preschool this year and something weird happened to me. Maybe it's because she's my sweet little girl- or maybe it's because I fear she may be my last child- but I got emotional!

When the boys both had their "graduations," I remember rolling my eyes and feeling embarrassed for all the moms and dads taking pictures and crying with pride. Come on people! It's preschool!

And- now here I was watching my daughter walk up for her little diploma and my heart melted. I lost it. Where have the years gone? Will I ever have another preschooler? Another baby? Is this the end of those sweet days when the world is so full of wonder and mommy is their favorite person? I wish I knew what the answer was. I wish I knew what I wanted the answer to be.

So, I am now humbled and I send out apologies to all the preschool moms that I have mentally mocked in the past. I have joined the ranks of blubbering boobs.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bugged by Bugs

Bugs love me. They flock to me. They follow me home. They eat me as often as they can. They strive to live where I live- and most recently- they strive to EAT where I live. To the bees I must smell like nectar. To the mosquitoes my blood is the most sweet. To all other creatures-spiders, beetles, fruit flies, ants, crazy caterpillar things, crickets, and so on- my front door must say, "Welcome! Please Enter. Come one, come all!!!"

I am convinced this must be true because every spring I am plagued, plagued, plagued!! Actually- that is exactly the word for it. I must have a major sin hanging out there that I have plain forgotten about- because pestilence is upon me, and this year is the worst of them all.

Let me give details.... First, my garage, dining room and front porch have become infested with carpenter ants. I have read that in order to truly eradicate them and stop them from turning my home into Swiss cheese I need to find and destroy their nest/nests. I keep watching the little buggers and their "travel" habits seem to lead me every which way. I have no idea where they are staying!

Second, I have another carpenter friend; the carpenter bee. These guys are huge. They have eaten hide-aways into the trim of my house. The males are aggressive, and although they can't sting they love to chase me and buzz right in my face whenever I go outside. Hello! This is my nest- not yours! Get off my property!! I have read everything I need to know about eradicating the stinkers. It is a major pain and due to their location will require a huge ladder.

On to the next winged terrorist- the hornet/yellow jacket. We used to get a hornets nest every year in this old built in-barbecue in our yard. Since, it didn't work anyway, we had it removed, along with the little buggers. Did that stop them? No, of course not. Now they have taken up camp in the eaves of my dining room. They have built their hive, are raising their spawn or whatever they do, and will continue to attach themselves to various places on my property no matter how many times we kill them.

Fourth- I've noticed some funny yellow dust below the legs of my kitchen table. Every day I wipe it up- but then I wake the next day to find it again. Upon further investigation I now know that my table, and even my hutch next to it, are both infested with powder-post beetles!! Not only is my house being slowly chewed and tunneled apart- now my furniture is victim as well!

This problem is not just here in my home. I take my kids to the park, or I go out in the garden to plant some tomatoes, and although I douse myself in bug spray and all sorts of chemicals sure to cause me cancer, I will return from these jaunts looking like a victim of small pox or something. They will not stop eating me!

Today I went to our outdoor shed to get some gardening tools and potting soil I had stored in there. When I came out I felt very itchy. I had been attacked by ants! They were everywhere- crawling all over my arms and legs, in my hair and in my clothes. I had to immediately run into the shower to get them all off, and hours later I still feel like they are in my ears and down my shirt. I can't stop itching!

I have nightmares about bugs eating me, and attaching their suckers and goo to me. I have panic attacks about my house crumbling to the ground because some creature chewed away all the structural beams holding us upright.

Seriously-what did I do? Somebody just tell me so I can make restitution and be saved from these creepy crawlies. I'm losing it!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hopes from Kimball

( a strawberry smile!)

My son Kimball has some great personality characteristics, that i must admit he gets mostly from his Father. He's easy-going, thoughtful, unselfish, quick to laugh, softhearted and kind. (He has a few other character traits that drive me up a wall, but still I wouldn't trade him in for the world!)

He came home from school last week with a project he made in his class. It looks similar to a mobile that has three hanging paper shapes. Each shape represents something- his community, his world and himself, and on each one he wrote his hope/dream for that particular thing. I love what he wrote and want to remember it, so I'm sharing it here:

Kimball's Desires:
For his community: "That my family will honor it." ( I asked him for clarification - and he said he wants everyone to obey their parents...I'm never going to throw this away!)
For his world: " That everyone will worship the right God."
For himself: " That my fish will live a long time."

love that kid!

Creative Inclinations

My kids' elementary school encourages kids to use recycling to create their art projects. My guess is it's cheap for them and aids in their goal of "green living."Over the past five years my boys have come home with what feels like hundreds of sculptures and contraptions made from toilet paper tubes, egg cartons, cereal boxes and various plastic containers. I love that they get to use their imaginations and express themselves so open-endedly, but for the most part these projects look like what they are; trash kept together with tape and glue, so what am I to do with them all?

Thus far, I have had a system of elimination. I praise them for their ingenuity, possibly take a picture or two, and within a few days sneak them into our box to be put out for "recycling" yet again. I wash my hands of them and we're done. ( I know I am a heartless mother)

But last week, my son came home with this:
He named him George. Oh my goodness! He is huge! And unlike the others doesn't look like trash. I actually think he's a pretty cool robot. I don't have the heart to put him out- he looks at me with those big robot eyes and I just can't do it.

So now George is a permanent part of our family.

Onto other creations:

Last week was the Pine Wood Derby, and although Tustin's car was lacking in speed (my husband is still pretty frustrated about that, and convinced that someone sabotaged the well-polished/graphited axels and wheels), he took a second place trophy for "Most Artistic." ( I love all the awards they come up with at these things so that every kid can be a winner. Some of them are a real stretch- but I'm sure all the moms are grateful, as am I, that their son goes home a winner of sorts regardless!)

The 2009 Pine Wood Derby

Perler Beads & Baking Cups!

My daughter loves color, and especially making patterns with color. I have to admit she has a talent for it. ( I guess I have a future quilter on my hands!) However, as of three months ago I had no idea that this was the case. All of that changed one afternoon when she opened up a drawer in the kitchen and discovered an assortment of silicone baking cups! She was delighted!

Since that day, she has spent innumerable hours stacking, sorting and playing with them. It amazes me that making various patterns of red, yellow, blue, purple and pink over and over---and over--- again could keep her interest for so long, but such is the case. It's crazy-but I have to admit, I have come to appreciate all the extra time it gives me to do my own stuff-uninterrupted.
(A "Perler Beads" set)

This inclination of hers for color and pattern has now become even more pronounced since we discovered "Perler Beads" a few weeks back. How was I ever a parent before these delightful little things? (Seriously- if you do not have them, run to your local Michaels and get some. Even my boys enjoy them- if not quite so much as their sister.) She hardly ever wants to watch television anymore-she just wants to stay in her creative realm with a pile of open-ended beads. I love it!

Using different peg boards, and plastic macaroni-like beads, my daughter has spent endless amounts of time making all sorts of creations. She loves to play with the colors and organize hearts, stars, turtles and flowers, etc..
( some of her latest works of art!)

I am really impressed with the beautiful designs she comes up with. My dining room is no longer used for eating- just Perler Beads, but I love that she has found her passion and I can't wait to see the next artistic medium that it manifests itself through.

As soon as she is old enough to use a sewing machine we will really have some fun!

(Enjoying her two favorites- Baking cups and Perler Beads)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine Violins

It is Valentine's Day 2009 and I am alone.

Where is my husband you ask? Oh---- he would be somewhere in Canada, with other Neilson men, skiing, getting massages, and soaking in the hot tub.

Surely this was a special, one time, couldn't pass it up opportunity.

But wait! Where was my husband on Valentines Day 2008?.......You guessed it!! --Somewhere in Canada, with other Neilson men, skiing, getting massages and soaking in the hot tub.

Now, where will my husband be on Valentine's Day 2010? I cannot say where his heart will be that day. Perhaps it will be dreaming of the slopes and a good massage-- but his physical presence, his actual person, had better be here WITH ME!!!

I understand the need for male bonding - but this sacrifice on my part will not extend another year! I see no reason why this weekend trip cannot be planned for any other single week out of the winter season that does not "coincidentally" happen to fall on this romantic day, that CANNOT be planned another day. (You can pretend that the week before or the week after is Valentine's Day- but it's not.)

I've said my peace. Love you sweetheart!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Scrapping Templates

I love to use scrapbooking templates. Even though I often rearrange them a little, I find they are a great jumping off point when I feel uninspired (unfortunately for me, this is most of the time).

Another thing I love is free templates! These are all over the Internet due to talented and generous bloggers. I recently came across one at She has a lot of two-page spreads which I like because I can get a more pictures and journaling on them. Check it out!

Here's is one of her templates put to use:

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Techno Mumbo Jumbo

Slowly but surely I am figuring out all this "blah blah blah" that one needs to know in order to escape blog/web page disasters.

First- never type something in Microsoft Word and then cut and paste it into your blog post! (It turns out that Word attaches all sorts of crazy html code to your document that in turn messes up your entire blog's formatting etc.) This is what happened to my blog due to a "pasted-post" I did about a month ago.

Second- You will not be aware of this problem, as I wasn't, if you browse with Mozilla- they automatically fix the issue. You, and your fellow Firefox users, will think everything is hunky-dory and be none the wiser until an Internet Explorer friend says, "Hey, I can't see anything on your blog! It's all white without a side-bar!." Thus starts the frustration!

Third- in order to fix this you must either delete the Word-pasted post and abandon it, delete it and retype it, (losing it's archive placement and posted comments) or do what I did and painstakingly enter the offending post's html and erase all the crazy stuff added by Microsoft leaving just your words and then reattach the pictures. It's a hassle- but it does the trick!

Hopefully these tips will save some of you from making my mistakes.

Who knew?

Blog Errors

Can You See Me Now?

According to many friends, they can't see my sidebar on this blog or any of the cute page elements. (I see everything just fine on my own computer so I'm having a hard time finding the problem.)

If you are reading this, will you post a comment to let know what you see? Can you see my profile image on the right or any of the links to blogs and sites I like? Do you get an error code? What does it say?

Any ideas? I have no idea how to fix the problem

Monday, February 02, 2009

A Pinkalicious UN-Birthday.

I've always enjoyed throwing parties for my kids' birthdays. I like making the invitations and the decorations and planning treasure hunts and presents. Yet, even though I like doing them, it doesn't preclude me from my usual downfall of procrastination. For instance, last year my son's birthday party was in June, even though he was born in December! That was a full six month lapse so I guess I'm making progress being that my daughter actually turned 4 in November. That's a full three month improvement!

Laura loves the Pinkalicious book and when I saw it listed on her Scholastic Book Order form an easy party idea started brewing. I figured all I had to do was make some pink cupcakes and some pink play-dough, read the book to the kiddos, then let them play-- and call it done! So that's just what we did. It was a fun day.

(The invitation)

The go-home-goodie- a Pinkalicios book and a specially wrapped package of fruity Mentos.

Party Highlight- reading the book of course!

Some kids felt a little nervous about eating the pink cupcakes and worried they might actually turn pink!- we had some green foods on hand just in case!

My birthday girl!

I can't believe my baby is now a little girl! She is such a joy in my life. Without her I may never have become a fancypants mom- and oh how I do love the fancies!

When Laura received her baby blessing her Dad blessed that she would "be a comfort and a joy to her mother." Truly that is what she is to me. I just love her so much!

Happy Happy (belated) Birthday to my own pinkalicious, fancy girl!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Scripture Reading Tip!

Every January I vow to be better at my regular scripture study. I'm not terrible- but like most things in my life there is always room for improvement. It's odd that I find this habit slips through the cracks so easily, especially when the rewards for doing it are so great. With just a little bit of effort I get the maximum reward. Things are better when I'm regularly reading my scriptures. I feel closer to the Savior and my testimony of Him is that much stronger. I have a greater peace in my life. I feel more well-rounded. I'm a kinder mother, and a better friend. I seem to have more time on my hands and so I get more done in the day. And the list goes on. (With all that in mind, I feel sort of pathetic for being so bad at this one.)

This year is no different from any other and, once again, I'm committed to reading my scriptures. However, this year I'm excited about a new way of doing some of it.

A friend of mine started a blog with her mother called Two Pages a Day. Everyday, they are posting two pages of the Book of Mormon. What a great idea! I have added it to my Google Reader Account, so that each day when I check my email- there it is, and in no time at all I've read the scriptures and thus improved my life.

I thought I should share in case anybody else wanted another tool to increase their chance for scripture reading success!

I love it! Thanks so much Kathryn!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Statistics for Men

A watched this from a friends blog and just about died laughing so I had to share:

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

I got sucked into Masterpiece Theatre Sunday night watching the first half of "Tess of the D'Urbervilles," based on a Thomas Hardy novel. I love it so far, but in an effort to find out a little more about what's going to happen in part two, I surfed the net.

What was I thinking!? Not only did this ruin the show for me, but it let me in on a terrible bit of news- this story does NOT end happy! I hate that!

Happy endings are imperative to me. I don't mind the heart wrenching stories as long as they end happy. Who wants to watch a show, invest oneself in the characters and grow to love them only to have them die? It's awful!!

I should have known better. After all- this is Thomas Hardy. I once spent four hours watching, "The Mayor of Casterbridge," based on another of his tales. I watched the entire thing waiting for it to get happy. It never did. Yuck!!

Now what do I do? Knowing I will have to suffer the major emotional let-down, do I watch it anyway?

I know I'm going to. I'm a sucker for punishment.

New Years Resolution

Snuggling up on Christmas Eve

Another Christmas season has come and gone. They never last long enough for me. It seems like vacation is the only time to just chill and visit with the kids. We have the time to talk and play games and do fun things together. I love it!

I dropped my daughter off at pre-school and another mom exited at the same time as me saying something like, "Phew- after two weeks of them I am so glad my kids are all back in school and I can just be alone again." I felt so sad for her. Certainly, I value my personal time, but she seemed excessively happy to be "rid" of her kids. Maybe her children are particularly difficult- I should give her the benefit of the doubt. Mine definitely have their bad days, but I can't hold it against them, considering how many bad days I seem to be able to crank out myself. But, in the end, cranky moments and all, I still really like being around them and am always a bit sad when they're off and gone.

Besides, it's only a matter of years before they decide it's not cool to hang-out with me anymore. I need to cherish these days when they still think I'm a little bit cool.

Thus, my main new year's resolution is to "stop and smell the roses." If the dishes aren't done, the beds aren't made, and my front room is a disaster---- and yet my daughter wants to sit and read a book with me? I'm going to breathe, find my inner peace and read the darn book!!!

So, if in the coming year you visit our home and are a bit surprised at the mess, just know that I love my family. My sister gave me a cute saying that I think expresses it nicely:

We may not have it all together,
but together we have it all.

Happy New Year Everyone!


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