The June Cleaver Experiment

A few days ago, I wrote a post about housekeeping. I shared a few pictures from a housekeeping book. In that same housekeeping book, the author (Daryl V. Hoole) suggests getting yourself dressed and ready for the day before serving breakfast. I thought it was a good idea in general, but nothing I was ever going to attempt. But the thought lingered. And lingered. And lingered longer, and I suddenly found myself thinking of it as a challenge.
Yesterday, I took that challenge -by jingo. I woke up, showered, dressed, did my make-up, did my hair, and then served breakfast to my husband with a (sarcastic) smile.
“This is for you, dearest,” I beamed.
“Thank you, darling,” he beamed back.

And then he left for work.
But before he left for work, he kissed me. Because I had gotten ready for the day, I was wearing lip gloss deliciously flavored with strawberry something-or-other (probably chemicals, right?). And his normal quick “I’m heading out the door” peck on the lips was replaced with a long, long, long… kiiiiiiissssssssss. The kind that make you swoon.
After he pulled away, he looked at me, thanked me for remembering just how much he loves the tasty lip gloss, and then told me I was hot.

Hot? Say whaaa?

I must here state that I really half-arsed my way through “getting ready for the day.” Instead of washing my hair, I straightened day-old hair. Instead of dressing up in something impressive, I opted for my comfy tennis shoes, my Old Navy jeans, and a handy blue Hansen’s Auto t-shirt. Did I mention that I’m still carrying a mound of holiday weight around my mid-section? Well I am.
But throughout the day I got texts from him.
“How are you?”
“What are you up to?”
And when he came home, he showered me in compliments the likes of which have never been heard since the dating days. This is shocking! And I’ll tell you why.
It has nothing to do with my husband. He’s as sweet as a honeysuckle. It has everything to do with me and those children running around my ankles.
THESE children.
There was NO END to their naughtiness yesterday! Absolutely no end! My main goal yesterday was to fold laundry. My loveseat is overflowing with laundry, and I was going to fold it come hell or high water!
But guess what?
On account of my children’s naughty behavior, I took my exhausted self and banished it to the kitchen instead. I hid behind beef soup (made with steak -sorry dad), dishes, and -surprisingly -pineapple meringue pie. Do you remember that old graduation song -the one filled with great advice and catchy music? Every now and then, a phrase from that song will pop out at me.
Do one thing every day that scares you.

Well, meringue scares me, okay? It looks so easy to mess up! So I took it on. I let the laundry sit where it may and I beat egg whites to my heart’s content. Because I banished myself to the kitchen, dinner happened to be ready when my husband walked through the door at 5.
And I think it sort of cancels out that one time I served my family dinner at 11:45 in the PM.

As the day wore on, what was left of my patience flew out the window and despite the fact that my make-up was on and my hair was done, I sounded quite the beast. But my husband told me several times over how hot I was.
Hot. Hot.
I’m still wrapping my mind around that.
Hot? No. I’m not hot. I’m a mom!
(“I’m not a woman anymore. I’m a mom!” Name it…)

We ran into town to get a few Eastery things for an Easter package we were assembling for our brother on a mission, and I tried to keep my cool and not dump my negativity all over my husband. I didn’t succeed 100%, but I did okay. We stopped off at the post office to get the mail before they locked the door AND to shove candy in my son’s mouth so he would stop falling asleep since it was nigh unto 7 in the PM and he had skipped his nap.
Which is another story.
And mama doesn’t allow naps at 7 in the PM. EV-ER.

When my husband came back out with the mail, he told me that the latest issue of Country Living had come in. He almost set it aside (gasp!) but I held out my eager hands and begged for it.
I squealed with delight and hugged it to my chest, clinging to my huge ray of sunshine on an otherwise trying day.
As I did so, my husband continued to say some of the sweetest things I’ve heard since we were dating.

During my Kitchen Confinement, I had done the dishes approximately 70 billion times (okay, 3) and after dinner was done, I did them once again. But I didn’t put the soup up.
After the packages were assembled, my husband put the soup up. I didn’t ask him to, he just DID.  Then he scrounged up every dirty dish in the house and washed them.
Then he turned on The Odd Couple as I put the kids into bed (never been so happy to).
Then he laid a blanket out in front of the television.
Then he offered me his arm.
And we laughed and ate pineapple meringue pie.

I also gave him the best foot rub known to mankind as my way of saying “Sorry for my lousy attitude, chum.”

I’m still trying to figure out what went on yesterday, and this is what I’ve come up with so far.

Meager attempt to look nice + flavored lip gloss > losing patience with naughty children

June Cleaver, the world may condemn you in their own way, but today -as I served breakfast to my husband 100% dressed and ready for the day -I praised you. Though your ways and hair may seem dated, they stand for something monumental.
And let’s face it: he did my dishes. without even so much as a nudge.

But today I’ve really got to buckle down and fold that laundry.
Thank goodness for leftover pineapple meringue pie in the fridge.

Here’s a few shots of our package assembly last night (aka FHE):

Check out how happy I look in this picture. Can you tell it had been a long day? (lie and say “no”…)

World’s Greatest Man and his children. See how the daughter is clinging to him for affection? See how the son is mid-whine and saying “Nooooooo!” because his mother asked him to smile for the picture?

Happy Tuesday, all. May it be better than Monday.

Return of the Funny Bone!

Friends, you are funny.  And when I say “funny” I really mean it.  If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t laugh nearly as hard as I do.  Thank you for noticing funny things.  Thank you for snapping pictures of them.  Thank you for sending them my way.  Really, thank you.

Here’s one from Steve.  He spotted this flyer and had to share:Photobucket

3/4 – 5 bedrooms? That’s quite a jump. I can almost hear the advertiser whining,”If I can’t have 3/4 of a bedroom, just give me 5!” So there.

Here’s a poem my sister sent to me a few days ago. After reading it, you’ll never be able to stop yourself from giggling when someone says, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
Absence Makes the Heart Grow Henry

Ann was the love of Colin’s life
Until the day he went to meet her.
Later she became his wife
But absence makes the heart grow Peter.

Jack was obsessed with Debby’s writing.
Then one day he caught the train
And found the woman less exciting.
Absence makes the heart grow Jane.

I love you when you’re not around.
If we come face to face again we
Stand to lose by being found,
For absence makes the heart grow Henry.
(poem written by Sophie Hannah)

This video comes to us from my Tia. Not your Tia. Mine.
You might have already seen this. It’s sort of a sensation right now, but I don’t know why. At all. And maybe that’s what’s making it a sensation. No one can figure out what the hen is going on. And I just have to ask: are those kids really old enough to be driving?

Fun, fun, fun, fun!

And a little sad.  Because music and lyrics are supposed to make sweet love together not slaughter each other like that.

Back to Steve. He texted this to me with the words, “I want to go to Brighton!” Anyone who appreciates BBC will get it. Anyone who doesn’t ought to lament the bleakness that is their life OR just pick up a copy of the Colin Firth “Pride and Prejudice.”

There’s actually an internet store out there that sells a mouse pad with the words “I want to go to Brighton!” on it. I’ve been tempted to buy it about 5 times, but I don’t know who to give it to. Steve?

This picture comes to you from my kids.
They are -the both of them -stuck. At the same time. One in a tree. One on the fence.
“Mama!” They cried, “STUCK! HELP!” To which I replied, “No way! You got this!” And guess what? They did. Within minutes they were both unstuck and just THAT much more independent.
AND I got a funny picture. Win, win!
And last of all, here’s a picture I snapped while visiting Sister. Things like this are really only funny to me, Sister, and maybe Steve.

Thank your, everyone.

“Spray Some [Vinegar] On It!”

It turns out I have a little problem.  It started so small that I didn’t even notice what was happening, and then one day I woke up and had four different kinds of vinegar on my kitchen shelves -one of those being two gallons of white distilled vinegar.

Now, I ask you.  Is this normal?  But wait.  There’s more!


I went to Sam’s Club yesterday and bought spray bottles! You can get six for about $7! That, reader, is one HECK of a steal. But guess what? Guess what? I now have bottles filled with all manner of home cleaning products AND they are labeled AND I’m using them! This is some sort of record for me, so applaud.

I asked my husband, “You know the old saying ‘Patch it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without’?”
And he said, “No.”
I wasn’t to be deterred, so I went on anyway.
“It’s an old saying, and I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately. With the economy the way it is, I’ve just noticed a huge trend in the country right now. That OLD saying is now… like, hip.”
I then went on to tell him how dirty my cookie sheets are but how they still work just fine, and instead of buying new ones (like I really REALLY want to!) I’m just going to suck it up, clean them as best as I can, and keep using them in hopes that my neighbors never ask to borrow them. Because they are WELL USED.
Anyway, this train of conversation eventually led to saving money and all of the many ways we do this.
Menu planning
Sam’s membership (NON-OPTIONAL!)
Buying 1/2 a cow from Pops (that’s not a company. That’s just my Dad. Though come to think of it, a company called “Pops” with him at the head wouldn’t be a bad idea at’all.)
Making syrup from Mapeline
Using homemade laundry detergent
Making gifts for people with what we have on hand
Repurposing clothes
Planting and Harvesting a garden



Okay, don’t stop reading. Really. Don’t. My grandmother once told me to gargle vinegar when I complained of a sore throat. I thought she was loco, but that’s only because I was seven.
Now that I’m 25 and running a household with two children during a recession, vinegar has come to the rescue. If you have the faith to try it, it will absolutely revolutionize your life. You think I’m being dramatic. Okay, I’m being a little dramatic.
All I’m going to say is that, when used right, vinegar can clean windows, soften water, ring out dishrags, and I don’t know what all!
(It doesn’t ring out dishrags. In the middle of that sentence, I got carried away and quoted “Oklahoma!” Sue me.)

The point is: I’m out of mopping solution, but I have my vinegar.
I’m out of Downy, but I have my vinegar.
I hate my window cleaner, but I have my vinegar.
And now! NOW I have squirt bottles and know exactly how this guy feels:

Truth be told, vinegar works harder and better than most all of my household cleaners. So here’s a short list of my homemade home cleaning tips.

*substitute vinegar for fabric softener, ounce for ounce. It’s better for your clothes and your washer. My good friend, Cayla, passed this one on to me emphasizing that fabric softeners are made from animal fats. We are, neither one of us, animal rights activists. We just don’t want lard on our clothes. Amen.
*make a solution of equal parts vinegar and water and put it in a squirt bottle to use as an amazing streak-free window cleaner (polish with crumpled newspaper, if desired -and I suggest it because it makes your windows GLEAM), a dependable sanitizer (think doorknobs), all-purpose cleaner (counters and kitchen table), and it polished products without leaving a messy film on them.
*Every so often, rinse your dishes in a sink full of water with a cup of vinegar added to it. It makes them ultra clean.
*To get the smell out of your plastic dishes or cutting boards, dip half of a lemon in baking soda and rub your plastics down with it. As you rub, squeeze the lemon so the juice comes out and reacts with the soda. It smells good, sounds neat, and is generally pretty fun.
*Before doing dishes, dump a cup of baking soda down the drain and rinse it down with a cup of vinegar. Wait five minutes then run hot water down the sink for a bit. It cleans the drains out really well and is perfectly safe for septic systems.
*I forgot to tell you that I also use the lemon-dipped-in-soda thing for my counters sometimes.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You will not smell the vinegar in your laundry or your home. Okay? Well, you sort of smell it in your home but only right when you’re cleaning and for a few minutes after. BUT THEN it smells really fresh. Vinegar gets the smells out of basically anything. It also kills weeds. And now I’ll shut up because I’m getting boring.

If you’re interested in learning more about vinegar and all of the billions of things it can do, google “how to use vinegar” and a list as long as the world will pop up.
I heart the age of information.

The Times! The Times!

I drove one of my Beehives home from mutual Wednesday night and I made a comment about The Andy Griffith Show.
She said, “What’s that?”
“What’s what?” I asked.
“The Andy… whatever, whatever?”
“You’ve never heard of The Andy Griffith Show?” I asked.
“Nope,” she shook her head.  And then I cried for the youth of our nation.

I’ve decided that for one of our activities, we’re going to eat popcorn popped from an air popper and watch The Andy Griffith Show.

PS: my daughter asked me what a radio was a few weeks ago.
PPS: when we got the mail last week, my daughter asked me if she could open my “e-mail.” Again, I cried for the youth of our nation.

Before I go, I need to share something with you. Gather ’round. My brother was here yesterday, and we went into town together. As we exited the highway, we found ourselves behind a vinyl-clad truck. It had only good things to say about God, and we got a kick out of it. The back tail-gate was emblazoned with “JESUSAVES.” I didn’t think anything of it until my brother asked, “Where’s Jesus Avenues?”


As I type that word, I can’t help but think of David Spade.


Yesterday’s long post was about housekeeping -it’s true.  In a way, I’m glad it deleted itself because after I wrote it, I thought a lot about it and came to realize something.

A few years ago, I worked as a writing tutor for a community college.  Students of all shapes and sizes would come in.  They were all different, but they all had one thing in common: they didn’t GET English.  Well, that’s not totally true.  Some of them “got” English and only came to the Writing Center for extra credit.  Smart, smart.

But back to the others: I had a lot of students complain that they hated English because there were SO many possible “right” answers when it came to writing essays and papers.  I would always light up when they said that, “I know!” I’d gush.  “Isn’t it GREAT?!”

“Why can’t English be like math,” They’d sigh, “Math only has one right answer.”

The “math” reply always left me stunned.  English?  Like Math?  Ew.  Bleck.  And no thank you.

I once had a student come in with about 40 billion note cards (source cards).  She was writing a research paper.  She had done the research -BELIEVE ME -she had done the research.  She had written every fact she felt was important on a note card and then written where she’d found it on the back of the card.  Through tears, she unloaded her English stresses on me and I listened.  Then she unloaded her family stresses on me and I listened.  Then she unloaded her health stresses on me and I listened.  When she was done crying, I made ONE suggestion that completely simplified her project.

She tilted her head in one great big “AH-HA!” moment, dried her tears, and then left with hope.

After she left, I sort of laughed a little.

“It’s not that hard,” I wanted to say to her, “You’re making it so much harder than it needs to be.”  On the other hand, she was getting advice from the girl who once wrote a research paper the night before it was due and aced it.  We’re talking 100%.  I don’t tell you this to boast over my procrastination skills -something that is hardly admirable.  I only tell you this to make a point.  (Also, I should point out that I spent hours researching my topic.  I just didn’t make any physical note cards.  I just made mental notes.)

When it comes to housekeeping, I feel exactly like 40 Billion Note Card Girl.  EXACTLY.

I’d love to burst into Martha Stewart’s office and tell her all about my housekeeping stresses.  Telling her would eventually lead to telling her about my emotional stress and I’d inevitably get around to telling her about my physical problems.  Of course, I’d be sobbing the entire time.

I doubt Martha would listen though -unless she was getting paid like I was.  I bet she’d smack me, give me a few pointers, and send me on my way.

As a Writing Tutor, I watched students come in completely tense and stressed because writing made no sense to them.  I suddenly know exactly how they feel.  I remember thinking ‘It’s not THAT big of a deal.  Just DO it!’  I think Martha would say the exact same thing to me.

I love writing.  I would never trade my ability to write for the ability to keep house better.  I wouldn’t.  I just wish I GOT housekeeping.  I wish it came easy to me.  Like 40 Billion Note Card Girl, I’ve worked harder -not smarter.  I’ve tried different avenues to get to one goal, and in doing so got hopelessly lost in the woods.

I’m going in circles now.  I know I am.  I swear I’ve walked past that SAME pile of laundry 7 times now.

A few years ago, Tia gave me a book on housekeeping.  Don’t get any wrong ideas.  She didn’t come over, see my house, and then hand me a book on housekeeping with a pity half-smile.  She looked through the book and attached sticky notes to the funny pages.  The first paragraph, for instance, is funny in a “yeah right” kind of way.  Please take into account that the book (The Art of Homemaking by Daryl V. Hoole) is absolutely inspirational.  It is full of great tips, advice, and pointers.  It was written in 1962 and I KNOW that if I were to follow the book to a T my house and home would be absolutely oozing with syrupy sweet wonderfulness.  But I also know my own limitations and gifts.  I know that if I were to follow the book to a T that I would lose parts of myself that I treasure.  My late night writer, for instance, would be maimed beyond repair.  I know this from experience, by the way.  And I HATE maiming my late night writer!  She’s funny!

I’m getting off the point.  The point is this:

Just reading that sends me into a sort of panic. No complaining?  And I need to look nice?!  All the TIME?!

As we speak, I’m still in my PJ’s.  I served baked oatmeal to my family while wearing said PJs and I even went so far as to not even look in the mirror once today (yet).  And frankly, I’m feeling pretty durn good that they got wholesome food for breakfast (if you’re not taking a close look at the sugar and butter content)!  Victory!


I fall somewhere between those two women.  Burnt toast is never on the menu, but my hair is never quite that lovely, um, ever.

This picture was me two days ago. But instead of a book in my lap, it was Lappy. And Lappy was treating me to an embarrassing amount of “Parks and Recreation” episodes. Instead of chocolates, I was eating french vanilla marshmallows that I picked up whilst visiting Sister. And despite the fact there IS no mop at my house, I did spend part of that day mopping up the flooded laundry room. It’s all better now, thanks for asking.

Anyway, I’m spending too much time talking about this. I am. But what’s new?
The bottom line is: I need housekeeping help of the hired sort. Hired Housekeeping Help. I love alliteration.
However, I don’t want to pay for it -mostly because I don’t have the money to. So for now I’m stuck, wandering in circles in the woods.

But at least I feel better about the whole situation for having talked to you about it.
40 Billion Note Card Girl


I wrote a long post today and it deleted itself when I hit “publish.”

I sat down to rewrite it and made so many typos in one sentence that my self-esteem plummeted.

I will attempt to rewrite the post tomorrow.  In the meantime, I’m going to clean something.

Until then.


After the Flood(s)

I popped into mom’s house last night.  She asked me how my day went.  I told her it was good.  Then I did a mental scan of how my day went and I laughed out loud.

“Do you really want to know how my day went?” I asked.   She said she did.  So I told her the honest truth.

Trent has decided he’s a little interested in going potty.  In fact, he wanted to spend most of the afternoon just sitting on it.  Incidentally, he never USED it.  I’m not kidding when I say he spent most of the afternoon on it.  I couldn’t just sit there while he sat there.  I had to get dinner going and dishes done… so I left him.

You’re all shaking your head right now, aren’t you? You’re thinking, ‘IDIOT!’

And you’re all right.  All of you.  He decided to wash his own hands, and I didn’t hear the water running full force because I was doing dishes.  When I checked on him, water was overflowing out of the sink and onto the floor.  I immediately set to cleaning it up, and situations like this usually upset me.  But yesterday, it didn’t really faze me.  I was sort of proud of how I handled the situation.  It wouldn’t have been such a terrible situation if I hadn’t have just washed every towel in the house.  They were all wet!  I went on a real hunt for towels and found just enough to clean it up.  The floor needed to be mopped anyway, right?

I stripped my son down to his nothings.

His clothes were drenched anyway. I didn’t bother putting a diaper on him because I knew he’d want to sit on the potty again. I put the wet towels in the dryer and loaded the washer with a comforter. I thought there’d be enough room for a pillow too. Trouble was: it was a body pillow. A THIN body pillow, but a body pillow nonetheless.
Then I mopped the kitchen. And why not? It needed done, and my knees were already wet from mopping the kids’ bathroom.
My husband came home just in time to see our linoleum gleam. Minutes after he came home, I heard a strange sort of sound coming from the washer. I went to check on it to find…
A flood in the laundry room.

Our laundry room has a door in it -the back door. It’s a splendid set-up, really. I threw the back door open and started mopping up whatever water I could however I could. My landlord (my dad) happened to be a few feet away working on his tractor.
He asked me what my kids were up to.
I confessed to him I didn’t know. I was too busy mopping up my little flood to know. Apparently my kids saw their grandpa from the kitchen window. As I mopped, I saw my daughter sprint by in her tutu and boots. She had escaped through the front door. I thought about telling her to come back and ASK before leaving, but I was so concerned with shoveling water that I was pretty much incapable of noticing anything else. I shut the back door and started moving things out of the laundry room.
Some 5 gallon buckets full of flour.
Our 72 hour kits.
Our three-part laundry basket.
The broom.
The ironing board.
The carpet cleaner.

I threw open the back door again and caught site of something. My son.
I quickly went back to mopping up water and then it registered. MY SON! My naked son! Except he wasn’t quite naked. I looked closer. My dad was sitting on his tractor. My son was sitting next to him wearing a jacket. Then my son leaned forward and…

I couldn’t help laughing. And laughing and laughing and laughing. When I went to fetch him and bring him back home, I noticed he was wearing his boots. His boots and a jacket. And that’s all.

My husband joined me in the fight to clean up the laundry room, we ate dinner, and last night I slept for 10 hours on the living room couch. I didn’t even make it to bed.

Yesterday might have been hair-pulling awful if it hadn’t been so darn funny.
Take this for instance: after I got the kids back inside my house from Their Great Escape (out the front door), I looked out of my window to see Dad tilling up his garden. Look behind him. His cows. They followed him! Isn’t that just the sweetest thing?
They sure know who their sugar daddy is.

After I took that picture, I walked back inside. I glanced at my flower bed. My barren flower bed. But I saw something pushing up through the dirt. You know what it is?

It’s a strawberry plant!! I planted strawberries in my flower bed last year and they failed miserably MOSTLY because I treated them terribly and a little because the flower bed wasn’t the best place to plant them. The best place would probably be somewhere in Georgia.
I feel so bad for that plant. I abused it! And STILL it wants me back! My husband took a class in college that described abusive relationships. He said that after someone abuses their spouse (or child), they go through a honeymoon stage. The abusive spouse (or parent) is exceptionally caring and sweet, but it eventually wears off giving way to the next stage which is less-honeymoonish. Eventually the cycle repeats itself. The spouse abuses, apologizes, and the couple enters the Honeymoon faze again.

I feel like I’m in the Honeymoon faze with my plant. I’m watering it and loving it and speaking kind words. But my black thumb will inevitably rear it’s ugly head and the plant will suffer. I’ve promised the plant I’ll change, but hey. I can’t change who I am.
And soon enough when visitors come to my door and ask me why my plant looks like it does -torn and terrible -I’ll tell them my plant is clumsy and that she probably fell down the stairs.
At that point, I would expect my visitors get suspicious and they’d never allow me to babysit their plants. EVER.

Did you know that a few weeks ago I told my husband I wanted to deep-clean the laundry room? Be careful what you wish for. I’m off to scrub. After I’m done scrubbing, I’m going to treat my strawberry plant to a spa day.

Those Who’ve Seen Us Know That Not a Thing Could Come Between Us

In the fall of 2009, my sister packed up and flew the nest.  I told her then that “one of these weekends, I’m just going to pack up and come see you.”

Last month, I looked at my calendar and went, “Seriously?!  It’s been THAT long?!”  She’s graduating from college in May.  I talked it over with my husbsters and then set aside the second weekend in April as THE weekend.  Our Weekend of Fun.  Then we proceeded not to make any more plans.  We didn’t do anything really “fun.”  I mean, we didn’t head out to any exciting parks or shopping centers (unless you count downtown Safford as exciting which I do.  But not everyone does).  BUT we ate!  And we finished Ju’s puzzle!  And then we ate!

As we were packing up, my husband mentioned that he wanted to take my lap top (“Lappy”) with him (he spent the weekend at his parent’s house).  I felt like Andy at the end of Toy Story 3.  My husband reached for Lappy.  I yanked it away.

No!  Mine!

“Do you really need it?” He asked.
“I usually blog in the morning…” I said.
“But, your SISTER.” He said.
And he had a darn good point. So I handed Lappy to him and finished packing. I spent an entire weekend Lappy free. My sister met us in a top-secret meeting point which happened to be a gas station a few hours from home. I went to the bathroom and saw a girl from our hometown who was a few years younger than I was.
“Hey!” I said as we washed our hands together in the bathroom, “Who needs facebook when we’ve got public bathrooms?”
That was the first of many tiny spontaneous reunions over the weekend.
I squeezed my family, said goodbye, squeezed them again, and then hopped into my sister’s car. I then proceeded to talk the entire drive to her house.

My best friend’s husband once suggested I make voice recordings of myself  talking and then put the recordings into dolls for people to buy and take on road trips. I’m thinking about it. Seriously thinking about it. The only problem is that my voice has been constantly sore since I had my daughter. I’ve been to the doctor a few times and they can’t find any problems, but -as I told my sister on the drive over -I’m mildly suspicious that I have cancerous growths choking out my vocal cords (chords?) and that someday I’ll be rendered completely SILENT and mothers will make an example out of me.
“See that girl?” They’ll point, “She talked so much it almost killed her. The doctors saved her life, but she’ll never talk again. Let that be a lesson to you.”

After we got into town, we dropped my luggage and then went grocery shopping. We got everything to make won tons. We also got toasted coconut marshmallows because, hello? Amazing.
After a dinner in the which we stuffed ourselves beyond stuffing, we went for a walk. At 10 pm. Don’t worry mom, I took my pepper spray.
The walk afforded us enough room in our bellies for Horchatas.

The Horchatas at this place are SO delicious. They spoil you. You fall in love with Horchatas and then two years later, you buy Horchatas from someplace else because you think you like them AND your heart falls down into your chest. Your stomach heaves. Not to be dramatic, but it’s horrific. Devastating. Bleak. You end up pushing the glass of Horchata away, saying “I will never love again” in the voice of Princess Buttercup.

After Horchatas (around midnight) we finally went to bed in the living room. All of us. We drifted off watching “Beauty and the Beast” and woke up in the morning to the menu playing background music on the screen. I woke up before any of the girls, and I wanted to take a picture rearry rearry bad of three “little” girls all bundled up in blankets sleeping away.
Once my seester woke up, we got dressed and walked to the fine arts area where the grass is lush and green. We had a morning devotional and both learned a little something about Passover.
Then we went back to the store and bought everything to make loaded scrambled eggs. Scrambled eggs the way they SHOULD be made. Scrambled eggs really ought only to be made this one way.

Cut up pieces of bacon, fry them until crisp, drain (most of) the grease, add chopped up green onions and bell peppers (we used an orange bell peppers because the green ones at the store looked like total ca-ca), saute until the bell peppers are soft. Add beaten eggs (I used a dozen because there were five of us eating breakfast). Once the eggs have cooked almost through but not quite, add a cup of grated cheese and a bunch of pineapple (tidbits or crushed, either one).  Then let the eggs finish cooking.
And, viola!
Heaven! And I might say that I hate scrambled eggs, but I love loaded scrambled eggs. Thanks be to my mother for making them this way. The first time I made them for my husband, he thought I was crazy. After partaking, he commanded me never to make ordinary scrambled eggs again. I suggested he make a note somewhere that I was right and smart.

After our 10 am breakfast, we managed to shower and stuff. Then we took ourselves to my good friend Stephanie’s house. This was the one reunion I had planned, mind you. I had been looking forward for weeks to seeing Stephanie and her new (now four month old) baby. Did you know the house behind her is for sale? Bloody tempting…

We stayed long enough to watch Stephanie’s niece fall asleep with her head in a popcorn bowl, and then we drove off. I promised Stephanie that we would be planning a trip to see her and it WOULD be barrels of fun. My mommy taught me that inviting yourself over is naughty, but in Stephanie’s case I have to make an exception. Even if she doesn’t want me, I’m comin’ over! I love that girl.

What we did next is blasted amazing.

Okay, so we didn’t quite finish the puzzle, but we did make a ton of progress on it. The above picture wasn’t taken until later that night when we actually DID finish the puzzle. I like her face though. It’s almost like she’s game show co-host, presenting the shiny new car that MIGHT be yours if you win it.

I also managed to make it to the bank. This isn’t as boring as you think it is. When I met my husband he worked at the bank, and the reason I chose to bank at Bank of America was this: when I returned to college for Spring Semester, my roommates told me that a new guy had moved into town and that he worked at Bank of America AND that he was delicious to look upon.
“Hey,” I thought, “I need to open an account.” So I went. To Bank of America. As I walked through the doors, I spotted an extremely good-looking bank teller and I managed to peek constantly at him while I sat at the front desk and opened my account.
I snapped a picture of his window and texted it to him (Seeing as how he’s now my on true love.  Oh, and husband.)
“Do you miss it?” I asked.
“Not at all,” he replied. I used to take all the time in the world making deposits at that window. I’d ask for help every step of the way, just to prolong the process.
“Where do I put my name?” I’d ask.
“Right here,” my future husband would say, and reach over the counter to hold my hand through it all.
We were ridiculous. We are ridiculous. And we will forever be so.

Puzzle-doing can really make a girl hungry, so we picked up Julianne the Second (Julianne has a best friend named Julianne and they’re precious) and went downtown. We stopped off at a few shops. This is where it got funzy-funzy. We loaded our heads with loud accessories and then I said, “Make a pucker face. You know, the classic Facebook Profile Pucker Face.” So they did. And I laughed at them.

They thought I was going to do it too. Puh-lease. Like I would. I mean, look how silly they look! Not that I’ve ever really minded looking silly.

After window shopping, we grabbed some nachoes and were lucky enough to visit with Christie Dobbs. She, of course, had forgotten all about me but still manages to send me email forwards faithfully. Dear girl.
After dinner, we raced home and slipped into our Sund’y best. We went to the Gila Valley Temple to do baptisms. My sister, it must be mentioned is a PRO at them. I’m not. At all. The last time I did baptisms was in October in Snowflake (aka Home Temple) and it was with my husband. This time I was baptized by someone who wasn’t my husband and I was awkward and lost and confused and couldn’t figure out what went where and when and where the right rooms were and how I was supposed to walk and talk and speak… in general, I was humbled right down to my white socks.
Which is okay.
And good for me.
But not for the kid who baptized me because I stepped on his foot accidentally. Grace isn’t exactly my forte. Because I don’t want to forget: Julianne was baptized for an Alice Cooper (and I sniggered) and one of the temple workers was named Dave Matthews. Red letter!

After baptisms, we went back to the store for more food on account of our wanting dips. Namely: spinach and vanilla bean cream cheese. We came home and THEN finished the puzzle. For realsies.

All of Saturday, we were freezing. Nature played a little joke on all of Arizona. The week before was so hot that we all turned out heaters off and cranked our ACs. Then came the storm, and Mother Nature had a laugh. Because we had eaten so much since I’d been there, we weren’t hungry. We sort of stared at our dips and willed our stomachs to want them, but they didn’t quite. But we decided we definitely could manage some hot chocolate from Denny’s.
We checked the clock and realized we would have to leave RIGHT THEN to make sure we got our food and service before Sunday officially started.
The hot chocolate was a gross disappointment. And when I say “gross” I mean it quite literally.

That’s Deanna and Stephanie. Stephanie started dumping packets of this and that into her cup. The other girls followed her lead. I didn’t though. Moms know better than to take in sugar before beddy-by time.

After hot chocolate, we went home and ate dips and fruits and Hawaiian sweet rolls to our heart’s content. And then we slept. All of us. In the living room.

Sunday morning, I followed my sister around. She took care of her Sunday biddness (she’s the Relief Society President and had a lot to attend to) and I held on to her lush red hair and followed her wherever she went, wagging my tail behind me.

While she was in Ward Counsel, I ran into Andra Jensen! There was much joy and rejoicing as we caught up and laughed and laughed and laughed. Spontaneous reunions! Huzzah!

My husband and children came in the middle of sacrament meeting to fetch me. Have you ever had two little kids in a single adult sacrament meeting? It’s snort worthy. Single adults know how to be pin-dropping silent. Little kids do NOT. And that’s okay. If you’re not the mother of the little children. Then you’re a little nervous about the whole thing.
Julianne sent us on our way completely filled to the brim with good food and good memories.

I love that girl. Love, love, love. LOVE.

More than my Lappy.


Last night after the kids went to bed, my husband lit a pretty oil lamp in the living room and we sat up late talking.  When we talk we always gets on the subject of “Remember when…”

I ended up opening up my old blog, and we read and read and read.  We were laughing so hard we were in stitches.  My daughter is a RIOT!  I mean, it wasn’t funny at the time that she did everything she did, but I am SO glad I wrote it all down.

I can’t believe that life is going on.  It’s sort of sad.  Lacy wears 4T now.  When we buy her clothes, we shop in the LITTLE GIRL section instead of the baby section.  It’s not right!  It’s not right!!!

That was her four years ago. Don’t you love that face? She was falling over. I make that same face when I fall over.

Needless to say, we both got very baby hungry last night.

I guess he didn’t like playing horsie for Barbie.

Oh my heart strings. They may not survive this post.

Do you think I can place an order for one of these? Can I just send up a prayer to the Lord.
“I’d like a baby. The usual, please…”

“… and can you make sure that this one STAYS small?”

If You’re Worried

I wrote this late last night and then fell asleep before hitting “Publish.”

I’m feeling a little like Bing (Crosby of course) (It just NOW hit me that my neighbors might be direct descendants of the Great Bing -Crosby, not Chandler – but given that they’re all athletes and Bing was… Bing… I’m betting the relation is distant).

Growing up, I was in the habit of saying my personal prayers before bed.  Once I hit 22 and I had one into-everything kid and was pregnant with another, I sort of got in the habit of dropping nearly dead the minute my daughter shut her eyes.  I got out of the habit of personal nighttime prayers.  Thanks to the Personal Progress Program, I got BACK in that habit!  Hooray!

Something I love most about nighttime is the way I start mentally listing things I’m grateful for so I won’t forget them in my prayers.  Without even realizing it, I’m improving my bedtime mood (which is usually pret-tee sour).  Anyway, as I wandered through the house and put away this and shoved aside that, I realized that tonight’s Mental Grateful List is note worthy.  I think any and all gratitude lists are note worthy, but hear me out about today.  I liked my list so much I played with the idea of posting it on facebook.  It was rather short.

“Tonight,” the post would say, “I’m grateful that dinner’s plates were disposable, the markers on the couch were washable, and the kids are asleep.”

Then I remembered that I was also grateful for my nice, warm bed.

THEN I heard the rain thrashing against all of my windows, and I thought of my flannel pajamas waiting for me in my bedroom.  Then I thought about the cookies and milk I could have before drifting off.

Soon, my mind was a-whirl with things I’m just really grateful for today.  I want to share them all with you because I think you’ll appreciate them.  Ready?

#1) Paper plates.
#2) Washable markers.
#3) Sleeping children.
#4) BEDS.
#5) Homemade flannel PJ’s.
#6) Rain. Where I come from, rain is a good thing.
#7) Homemade cookies and milk before bed.
#8)My husband.
#9) And his job.
#10) The fact that my husband was able to come home a little early today.
#11) The fact that on account of his coming home early today, he was able to investigate the SMELL that’s been coming from beneath the loveseat.
#12) The fact that my husband will do whatever he can to keep me from seeing a dead mouse.
#13) The fact that my husband got RID of the dead mouse.
#14) The fact that the smell is gone!
#15) The fact that my husband played slave today because Wednesdays are my busy days.
#16) The fact that I only ate one cookie with my milk, a true accomplishment for me.
#17) A tiny, tucked away space on the Internets where I can write, write, write. Write, write. Write.

And so I say, as my dear friend Bing Crosby would sing: If you’re worried and you can’t sleep, just count your blessings instead of sheep, and you’ll drift off to sleep counting your blessings.

Hopefully your list of blessings has nothing to do with dead mice.