Thursday, December 31, 2009

Uprising by MUSE

I think someone from MUSE has been reading The Hunger Games Series... Specifically, Catching Fire. Well, minus the angry teddy bears, that is. I'm so excited about this song that it pumps me up and makes me want to dance like Kevin Bacon in Footloose. I'll post the lyrics below just in case you didn't catch them all and you don't believe me that this is the perfect song for Catching Fire - the movie.

Muse - Uprising Lyrics

The paranoia is in bloom,

the PR transmissions will resume

They’ll try to push drugs

Keep us all dumbed down and hope that

We will never see the truth around

(So come on!)

Another promise, another scene, another

A package not to keep us trapped in greed

With all the green belts wrapped around our minds

And endless red tape to keep the truth confined

(So come on!)


They will not force us

They will stop degrading us

They will not control us

We will be victorious

Interchanging mind control

Come let the revolution take its toll if you could

Flick the switch and open your third eye, you’d see that

We should never be afraid to die

(So come on!)
Rise up and take the power back, it’s time that

The fat cats had a heart attack, you know that

Their time is coming to an end

We have to unify and watch our flag ascend


They will not force us

They will stop degrading us

They will not control us

We will be victorious
Hey .. hey … hey .. hey!(repeat)

They will not force us

They will stop degrading us

They will not control us

We will be victorious
Hey .. hey … hey .. hey!(repeat)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Book List Continues

This year I have read 57 books! I had plans to finish one more by Thursday night, but now it's not looking likely. And yes, I am bragging.
Here is what I have been reading since the last Book List Post:

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe - September Book Club Selection. It was fun to read a classic and I'm glad I did because there are a lot of other books and other situations in which this book is referred to, so now I can always know what is being talked about. But I have to say I struggled through it most of the time because it is incredibly repetitive.

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli - This is my second time reading this and it totally reminds me of all different kinds of people from my high school. It was also a fun book to discuss with some ladies in my neighborhood.

Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klaus - I read this for the other neighborhood book club. It's a werewolf book so it's a good book if you like to read about dogs and their mating habits.

Wild Wood Dancing by Juliet Marillier - This is a familiar story with a little more detail than we are used to and pretty predictable, but I enjoyed it anyway.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie - October Book Club Selection. This was a fun and spooky book to read in October. It's a "Who done it" mystery, so we waited until Book Club met to read the end and reveal the end. But before we did we shared our guesses for who we thought the culprit was. Good times.

The Outlandish Adventures of Liberty Aimes by Kelly Easton - I checked this book out from the library to read to Emmy, but it only held her attention for a few pages at a time. So after checking it out twice I eventually just finished it on my own and took it back. It's a fun little book that helps teach social cues and the proper way to expect people, including grown ups, to treat you.

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen - I totally enjoyed this book and I recommend it; however, all I could remember was that I liked it but not what is was about. I went to Amazon, read the front flap and now recall the story. It's a great book.

The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins - The first two books in a series. THESE ARE MY FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR! I'm not giving anything away though. There is something to be gained by learning what the story is about the way the author lays it out. GET YOUR HANDS ON THESE BOOKS AND READ THEM!

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - This is by the author of StarDust (which I haven't read). It was a strange book, like nothing I have read before. It started out exciting, got weird and a bit confusing in the middle and all came together for a satisfactory ending. I'll be honest, I almost quit on this book but I guess I'm glad I know it was all worth it in the end.

Follow the River by James Alexander Thom - November Book Club Selection. I read this book several times as a teenager. In fact, I borrowed it from one of my leaders at Girl's Camp and read it and read it and a year later she had to ask for it back. So, I suggested it for my Book Club and was surprised by some of the content. So violent. And it seemed very Harlequin -y to me this time around. This made me sad because it's based on a real woman and real events, so I felt like it cheapened her story. But I still recommend it.

The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton - I really enjoyed this book. I could see myself in several of the characters and some of my friends in them as well. Also, it's about women who get together and write, something I want to do someday. So that was fun to read about. There was a little bit of sexual content that I could have done without.

Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton - December Book Club Selection. I LOVED THIS BOOK! I wasn't looking forward to reading it because I thought it would be hard. It was wonderful and I can't stop thinking about it.

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell - I bought this at D.I. earlier this year and finally got around to reading it. I enjoyed it a lot. It's a quick read so it's a good book to take on a trip with you or to read in a day when your sick and taking it easy or something.

The Bodacious Book of Succulence by SARK - This book is a fun, non-fiction, self-help type of book that is hilarious and helpful at the same time. At least, it was for me. One of my friends loaned it to me to help me get out of my funk. Super fun.

Doll in the Garden by Mary Downing Hahn - Becky and I read this book so many times when we were kids, I am surprised the thing hasn't fallen apart. Over the summer while walking with my friend Melissa, we passed a house that is old and on a sort of estate like property. It reminded me of this book, and I came up with a great idea for a business that could revolve around this book - if I was ever able to own that house... I told Becky about my great idea and she found the book and sent it to me. But before she did, she re read it and wrote her thoughts in it for me to enjoy while I read. HILARIOUS!!! Also, I'm really surprised we liked that book so much because it has A LOT OF CAT IN IT!

The Forgotten Carols by Michael Mclean - It's a Christmas tradition and we read it together a few days before Christmas.

The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale - This is one of her two books for adults. Wait, that made it sound like it's part of a series. It's not. Most of her books fall in the Young Adult category. I liked it a lot. It was hard to tell where she was going with it, which was good and bad. There were times where I feared I wouldn't like it by the end and then even if she went where I feared with the plot it turned out right in the end.

As usual, if you have read any of these leave me a comment with your thoughts. I'm always interested to hear what others think of the books and who has read what.

One last thing, I know that book titles are supposed to be underlined, but Blogger doesn't give me that option. Does Blogger give you the option? And if not, how do you underline without the option? Is there a secret command that only people who go to college get to know? Help me!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sherlock Holmes

We saw the movie.
We both liked it.
Matt says, "It's got style."
I give it two thumbs and one big toe up.
I wish I could have found a larger picture for you.

P.S. I took down the tree and put all the Christmas stuff away yesterday.
Does that make me a scrooge?

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Newspaper...

I went to a couponing class. I have great plans to save tons of monies. But so far, I'm losing monies. I got a subscription to receive three Sunday newspapers. All for the coupons. Then I'll use a website that will match sale prices with the coupons and I'll get good deals. I have been charged for December. I have received my papers one Sunday so far. And actually, on that Sunday I got four papers instead of three. On Monday morning I busted those babies out of their bags to find tons and tons of fliers all about Christmas sales, but no coupons. You see, the papers don't want to pay people over time or holiday pay to stuff the coupons into the papers, so no coupons on holiday weekends. Since most of December is a holiday weekend, I'm out of luck.

So, can I tell you how excited I am to help Sam's school earn monies. There is a dumpster at Sam's school for recycling paper. The dumpster is weighed and the school is paid by the pound for the recycling. I'll now be doing my part. Here is my stack of recycling, after one Sunday.

That's a good six inches high and I'd say at least 6 pounds. So I guess some good is already coming from my subscription.

Oh, and I read the paper. I've never really read and newspaper before. I've read newspaper articles - online. And of course I've read the Funnies... Is that what they are called? Should I say Comics? Anyhoo, I have found all kinds of good stuff in this paper. Stuff I had no idea about.

Did you know there is a Celebrations section? This week there were three announcements in this section. A dude turning 90, a dude getting a mission call (including the dates he enters the MTC, and when his sacrament meeting talk will be and where) and one dudette returning from her mission.

Weird.... Only in Utah. I get the birthday one, but missions? Really? I'll be keeping my eye on this section. I wonder what it's like in other cities/states. I've heard of wedding and engagement announcements, but missions?

Did you know they post movie theatre schedules as well as TV guide? I had no idea.

I am obsessed with the obituaries. I really enjoyed reading about people's lives and I find the details their families choose to share about them interesting... I just wish they would say how each of them died. Is that morbid? I feel bad for wondering but I find myself really wanting to know, especially the young ones.

I also read an article about a Polar Bear Swim that was going on in Deer Creek Reservoir to raise money for needy families. They got 50 people to sign up for and only 4 showed up. Those 4 were crazy! The article didn't mention if the other 46 gave the money up anyway, so I was left hanging.

Do you read the pape? (That's what they call the newspaper in NEWSIES... [singing]NOW IS THE TIME TO SEIZE THE DAY!)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Cutest Thing I Saw On Christmas.

This side of him was really cute too.

He totally flirted with me...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Santa Came Through

The stockings were full, and there was a Pocket Rocket waiting for Sam outside.... That is so not true. But he did get the Smash Bros. Brawl game. But Santa was too cheap to buy him a new one so it didn't work... We called the elves at and sent the game back to them today. Then Matt and Sam headed to Walnast to get a new one... The boy is happy... I bet you can't guess what else he got...

Besides his parents strange sense of humor.

It was a beautiful day day full of food and family. But we were missing our Becky.
I hope yours was as good as ours.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve Jammies

Yes, that is Michael Jackson.... Yes, he loves his new jammies... And so does his mom.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A New Hat

Sam came home from school on Tuesday with this hat.
The grandmother of one of his class mates made a hat for everyone in his class. Sam chose this one, which makes me happy because it's Gryffindor colors. He's been wearing it ever since.
But when he wears it like this, it reminds me of this:
Dumb Donald from the Fat Albert Gang.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Another Tradition-Hypocrisy

There is a tradition I forgot to talk about. That is, looking at Christmas lights. Everyone does it, whether it's an intentional trip or not. It hasn't always been something I liked to do. I was never satisfied, it had to be over top and perfectly executed in order to get my "approval". I hated it when people would put lights on the roof line but the strand would either run out, or there would be too much, and then the leftovers would stretch down to a bush or something... And don't get me started on the bushes...
That being said; ever since Sam has been old enough to enjoy and feel the magic of Christmas lights, I have managed to let my Christmas-light-pet-peeves go. Plus, I didn't want to voice my opinions about the bad light jobs and infect Sam with my scrooginess. Sam really likes the lights and he gets so excited. Even at his jaded age of eight. But last week as we drove home in the dark he said as he gazed out the window, "Mom, I wonder if some people think that the more lights they put on their house, the more presents they will get." HMMMM, DEEP.

Then on Saturday we saw this:

It's a tree, with ice all over it... They did it on purpose, and there are lights inside and outside the ice. I have to say the lights in this tree/ice sculpture have re-awoken my Christmas-light-pet-peeves. I really think the effect would be way better if the light strands had been evenly spaced around the tree with all the strands INSIDE the ice. Maybe they couldn't control where the ice went but come on, tape the lights to the trunk or something. To me, this just looks bad. Clever idea - but poorly executed. Here is another picture to help you see the ice better.

Ok, maybe I'm too picky. And I honestly can't say anything this year. (Or any other year for that matter.) We have two strands of lights and they are doubled up and only framing our door way. Half of one of the strands doesn't light up. And the strands are way too long so there is too much left over on both sides... I'm a Christmas light hypocrite. Here is a picture to prove my hypocrisy:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Little Beethoven

Last night Sam had his first piano recital. He played Up On The House Top, We Three Kings, and We Wish You A Merry Christmas. He did an excellent job. He didn't seem nervous at all. I was impressed and proud of him. He was one of three performers for the night and they all did a great job.

I took video of each song but they were taking way too long to download so, if you want to hear I guess you'll just have to stop by and request and live and personal performance. I'm sure Sam won't mind one bit.
We enjoyed some refreshments and visiting after. It was a nice night and I think the kids felt really good showing their grandparents what they had been working on.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Probly I like to blog...

Sam has been starting sentences with the word, "Probably" except he says, "Probly". I don't notice much. I'm not really a correct-the-grammar type of girl. Probably because I don't know when it's incorrect. Whenever he does this Matt asks, "Do we start sentences with probably?" Then Sam restates himself starting with, "Maybe".
Tonight it happened. Sam started a sentence with Probly and then Matt reminded him. Sam restated himself and then said in an exasperated tone, "Is that more better?"

Also, last Friday, Emmy got to wear her pajamas to school. When I picked her up I said, "Oh, I like your new dress." She said, "No, it was pajama day. This is my new night gallon."

I love it when kids say their words wrong.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Neighbor Gifts

Have you ever heard of neighbor gifts? Is it a Utah thing?
I hadn't heard of neighbor gifts until I moved to Utah. Neighbor gifts usually come in the form of some sort of treat. This year we (and by we I mean Matt) made Muddy Buddies for some of our neighbors. I made the list and packaged them up. Here is the recipe that we got from a Chex website:
9cups Corn Chex®, Rice Chex®, Wheat Chex® or Chocolate Chex® cereal (or combination)
1cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Peanut butter and chocolate are a favorite flavor combo, but peanut butter lovers can substitute peanut butter chips for the chocolate chips to intensify that flavor.
Special Touch
Need clever gift wrapping ideas for this 15-minute recipe? Check out
Mix & Mingle with Chex® Party Mix.
1.Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.
2.In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.
3.Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No change.

We have been the recipients of many neighbor gifts this year, all fun and delicious. Thanks neighbors!
Now, leave me a comment with your thoughts on neighbor gifts or some fun ideas.

P.S. Sam just asked me, "Mom, what were the Three Wise men gifts? Gold, Meridian and what's the other one?... Franken sen?"

Saturday, December 19, 2009

We are turning into the Three Bears...

We ate porridge for our din dins Thursday night.
Papa Bear likes brown sugar in his.
Mama Bear likes honey in hers.
Baby Bear wanted both, but settled for brown sugar when Mama Bear said one or the other.
Ok, well, it was really cream of wheat. Is there a difference?
We ate it in an effort to save up some funds...
We were thinking of our cousin Arthur at the time...
He's our favorite Mall Rat.
There was no Goldilocks to share with,
but, once again,
last night our LOVER
was sneaking around outside
and left us another goodie.
Here is the update on the 12 Days Of Christmas:
1st - Christmas boxes for wrapping
2nd - Christmas-y paper towels
3rd - a pack of glittery tissue paper
4th - a big bag of m&m's
5th - a large bag of bows
6th - a brownie mix (Papa Bear's favorite, so far).
To whoever is doing this for us:
Thank you so much.
It has been so fun.
We have tried to catch you,
But you move faster than we do.
We love you too!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Two Little Girls = Hilarious Conversation

As you may know, I babysit in my home to help make ends meet as well as work in the Rec Center's Day Care one morning a week. I have a sibling set, Emmy and Reed, who come everyday but Thursdays and then three others who come less often. This week I have had my niece, Kelsey, with me while her mom does some substitute teaching.
This morning Kelsey wanted some toast. As I placed the toast with it's butter, sugar, and cinnamon on it, she is a very specific little lady, in front of her she said, "Thank you, Julie and Happy Holidays!"
Later during lunch Kelsey told Emmy that there were cookies for after lunch. Emmy asked me if I made them last night. I told her that Kelsey brought them to share with us. Emmy turned to Kelsey and said, "Thank you." Kelsey smiled and said, "Happy Holidays."
While they ate I was cleaning out a portion of my cupboard that hold the Campbell's soup labels that I have saved. I decided to cut the little UPC coupon part off rather that store the whole label and keep them in a little baggie. It took all my concentration so I didn't hear the whole conversation going on behind me but when I did tune back into reality this is what I heard:
E: I would like to marry him but I can't because we are brother and sister.
K: When you grow up?
E: No, when we grow up we will still be brother and sister, we will always be brother and sister.
K: Oh.
I snickered to myself.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sam's Christmas List

Sam has yet to write a letter to Santa... He may or may not be struggling with his beliefs right now. But he has been talking about three things in particular. A Cybertron Prime, which we knew was some kind of transformer. A Razor Pocket Rocket which we thought shouldn't be too bad because it obviously can fit in your pocket, right? And Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which is a video game...
One day Matt and I discussed these over the phone while Sam was at school. While we discussed we looked them up on the Internet... We laughed and laughed.

Cybertron Prime $154.96

Razor Pocket Rocket $269.99

Super Smash Bros. BRAWL $47.00
If he didn't have a problem believing before, he really will now. My only hope is that he never writes that letter.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Favorite Christmas Memory

I was 6 years old. I was in first grade. My teacher was Mrs. Ritchie. She was a great teacher, and she used her fingers to erase the chalk board. We loved that about her.
She told us that if we got a tree for our classroom, we could flock it. I wasn't sure what flocking meant but it sounded fabulous to me. After this conversation about flocking the tree I was left with the impression that the kids in my class and I were in charge of getting the tree. Could she have possibly put this responsibility on 6 and 7 year olds? There's no telling now, but at the time, I felt like it was detrimental for us kids to get us a tree for our classroom.
That night I told my dad that we needed a tree for our classroom. I couldn't tell if he heard me or not. I seem to remember a lot going on at that instant. I moved on to much more important things like making sure my mom knew what I wanted for Christmas, and making sure she wasn't putting onions in the dinner. (I love onions now, by the way.)
A few days later while we worked quietly in the classroom there was a knock at the door. When the door was opened there was a Christmas tree and three big burly men dress in snowmobile gear standing there. Two of the men pushed their way through the door with the tree and the third pulled off his helmet as he walked toward the teacher. IT WAS MY DAD! My heart swelled. I was so surprised. The whole class was. He asked her where she wanted the tree and while it was being set up I walked over to my dad and he scooped me up.
I said,"I didn't know you were going to bring a tree."
He said, "Well, you told me you needed one."
"I didn't know you were listening."
We smiled. I totally felt like my dad was a hero who saved the day. It was a big beautiful tree.
And Mrs. Ritchie kept her promise. We flocked the tree and it was a big, stinky mess. I did not enjoy it, or the way it looked and smelled after. But I LOVED that tree.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Favorite Christmas Traditions

As a child my favorite tradition was opening a present on Christmas Eve. Every year my dad would tell us we didn't do that and never had. So we were obligated to start asking if we could open something first thing in the morning on Christmas Eve. Matt and I have carried on this tradition, but it's always pajamas that get opened.
As a teen, my sister's and I were in the ward youth choir and my favorite tradition became the day our choir would go up to the Oakland Temple and sing at the Visitor's Center there. Our aunts and uncles and cousins would come up and support us and then we would eat donuts and hot cocoa in the parking lot. Good times.
Also as a teen, my sisters and I started reading The Forgotten Carols every year. It's a story book and music that goes along with the story. Matt and I have carried on this tradition. It's fun and we feel the Spirit as we read and listen.
We started a strange tradition our first Christmas married. I was pregnant with Sam and my parents had moved to Utah earlier that year. We decided, since it was our last Christmas without kids to go visit my parents for Christmas. Peter still lived at home, but Becky was in Florida working at Disney World. On Christmas Eve, Peter ended up sleeping in the same room with Matt and I. For some reason, everything was freakin' hilarious and we laughed all night long. The next year we stayed in California for Christmas, but by the next year we were living with my parents, so the tradition continued. With the exception of the Christmas Pete was on his mission he slept in our room on the floor. While he was gone we moved into our townhouse. For the last three Christmases here, Peter has come and slept in our room on Christmas Eve. I don't recall it ever being as funny as that first year. And I doubt the tradition will continue, now that Petey Pie has a wifey.... Whitney?
Now, my favorite tradition is something that has been going on for years. My mom's Christmas Brunch. Every Christmas morning we get up early and go through our stockings, then open up gifts, one at a time. Then we linger around in all the wrapping paper until we can't linger anymore, then it's off the the showers. At 11am my extended family congregates for some good eatin' at my mom and dad's house. It's the best. Waffles with strawberries and whipped cream, hash brown/egg/bacon/green chili/cheese casserole, sausage, orange juice, etc. It's so good and the smells are the same every year. Yum!
What is your favorite Christmas Tradition?

Monday, December 14, 2009

You ask, I answer - For Heather B.

My friend Heather :

I have this problem, I always hurry to clean up right before someone is coming over and I usually just carry everything into my bedroom to hide it? Have this problem? Where do you hide it?

We all do this. Everyone gets a messy house once in a while. For some of us, it's more than once in a while, and for others of us our homes feel out of control. My house gets untidy on a daily basis, but there are major problem areas... My room, the office, and the closet under the stairs.

These are pictures of the main living area of my house. From left to right - table at entry way, couch, dining table dining room/hall. Click to enlarge to get a better view of the mess. The entry table ALWAYS has my purse on it. There is a hook for the purse in the closet four feet away. Do I EVER hang it up? No. The couch has Sam's homework all over it, plus some mail and stuff that I need to put away. It will eventually get put on the dining table. The dining table almost always looks like this, or worse. When it's time to eat we either shove the mess to one side or move the mess to the side table. We can't do that now because the Christmas Chotschkies are over there. And the laundry, it's never ending. I don't even try to hide it. I could go on and on about laundry so I'll save it for a separate post.

This is the kitchen. I can't hide this mess. If I want it to look clean, I just have to bite the bullet and clean it up. But, I have heard of people who throw everything into a large tub and then put it in the oven until company leaves... I'd forget about it, move on with life and then pre-heat for something and end up burning my house down.

This is the closet under our stairs. It's great for stashing and hiding messes. The problem is it's pretty much already full. Notice the basket on the middle shelf. It gets a lot of stuff put in it and I feel like I am always cleaning it out. One of my biggest problems is papers, what to do with all the papers, when to toss and when to keep, etc. They always make a stop in the basket or on the far left of the bottom shelf. The pile is supposed to be notebooks and coloring books, but it almost always ends up with a stack of already paid bills, papers from the school, papers from church, etc. stacked on top of it. Also in this closet is: a box of cassette tapes (I don't have a cassette tape in my house), a stack of owners manuals, an exercise ball I never use, and a bag of blankets we never use.

The office, where in, no "office-ing" ever gets done. Again with the papers stacking up on the desk and dresser tops, waiting to be filed away. And that desk top computer.... We never use that dinosaur. The closet speaks for itself. I put the changing table in there to help with the stacking of the junk. I would really love another built in shelf just like the one that's there. There is plenty of waisted junk space above all that stacked up junk. And look inside the dresser. Most of it is MaryKay stuff. I haven't sold MaryKay for 2 years but I don't know what to do with it and I don't want to think about it, so it's all hidden in there.

My room is the worst. The first picture represent the primary black hole... And this is cleaned up. The second picture is the book shelf. It's a mess. Too many books and other stuff that doesn't have a place and LOTS of dust. Notice the suit case. That's still there from when I went to St. George back in October. I'm not sure what's in that box. My dresser top is home to the TV, that I don't want in our room - bedrooms are for reading, and the fan. The fan (also very dusty) gets turned on every night no matter how freezing cold it is in our room. We need the white noise or we would hear too much and wake up (the freeway, the neighbors, each other breathing, Sam crying for help, you know, stuff we don't want to hear). There is another catch all basket behind the fan, lonely socks who can't find their match, a broken turtle waiting to have his arm glued back on, hair elastics, bobby pins, barrettes, deodorant.... And again, the closet speaks for itself.
I wish, like I'm sure many of you do, that it wasn't this way. But honestly, I have other things to worry about and obsess over. I've never been one to worry much about the problem spots as long as the main living areas are fairly clean. And for that matter, I don't like dirty. There is messy and there is dirty and they are two different things. But, do I wish the problem spots would go away? Heck Yes! Are they going to go away without me becoming a screaming banshee to my family and a cleaning Nazi to myself? NO. I yell at them too much as it is and my inner critic talks enough already. So is it going to happen? Heck NO!
Let's all just learn to live with it and worry about other things such as:
is my family comfortable?
is my house inviting?
do people like to be here?
I wonder if my kids/husband wants to play a game with me?
what can I do for my neighbor?
what should I make for dinner?
what shall I plant in my garden next spring?
what is that smell?
where is my book, I want to read it?
it's time for a nap?
when was the last time I blogged?
(I just realized that the top three could be questions to ask if you think your house is too messy as well, sorry)
If this didn't answer the question and a valid question it is, then let me just say this: If someone wants to come over and spend time with you and your family, and you are kind enough to tidy up before they arrive, then you are a beautiful, thoughtful, charitable, and loving person and gosh darn it, people like you, and that's why they are comin' over. So I say, don't even worry about WHERE the mess is stashed, just enjoy your company.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Thoughts

It's a cold Sunday afternoon, there is a heavy, and very wet snow falling outside. We are cozy in our house and I have some things on my mind.

Tonight we are making pizza. We have really been into making pizza lately. We don't do sauce. If I think about one thing about pizza that's not my favorite, it's the sauce, which is unfortunate because it's most likely the healthiest part. I do like sauce, it's just not my favorite part, so we leave it out and instead we spread Olive Oil with garlic pressed into it all over the crust, then we add cheese. My favorite is just cheese and then once it's cooked and hot, I like to put a slice of fresh tomato on top. YUM! Tonight though, we are going to make a white sauce, add a cube of pesto and some Parmesan cheese to the white sauce and then spread it on the crust, then put some chicken that I canned this fall on and then the cheese. It should be good. Oh, and when I say a "cube of pesto", I mean, I made some pesto with a friend during the summer with basil from her garden. We froze the pesto in ice cube trays and now I can just pull a cube or two out to flavor pretty much anything I want to.

Last night and this morning, we went to Stake Conference. It was uplifting and enlightening. We were visited by Bishop McMullin, 1st Councilor in the Presiding Bishopric. He shared a very powerful testimony. Words that could strike lightening through your soul and love to your heart all at the same moment.
One of the main themes he discussed was the scripture from Proverbs 3:5-6. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. "
Something for all of us to take to heart in these troubled times, and something I will spend a lot of time thinking about and putting into practice as I gear up and prepare to get pregnant again in January. Yes, we are trying again. Please pray for us.

My Sammy Poo is downstairs. He's such a good boy. I called down to him to turn off the TV and practice the piano and a few seconds later I heard the TV turn off and a few seconds after that I heard the piano. No whining, just practicing.
We went to his cousin's orchestra concert this week and Sam moved over and stood by the wall so he could see the hands of the boy playing the piano. When they announced that T-shirts were for sale in the hallway he asked for one. I told him that when he is the boy at the piano, with a bow tie on, then he could get a T-shirt. He said, "When I'm 14?" I nodded and then he asked, "Will I get to keep the bow tie?"
His favorite song to play right now is Ode To Joy. It's one of the first songs he learned that he recognized as a "real" song. He pretty much has it memorized now. And he was thrilled to hear his cousin's group play it.

Last night someone left us some gift wrap boxes on our porch with a little note that said, "On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....." Matt says it's from one of my many admirers... Hmmmm, I wonder which one.....

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Conversations in Costco - Episode 1

It all started in Costco.

We were moving from the bakery section to the meat/deli department to pick up our weekly 2 lbs. block of cheddar, when I heard Matt say, "Go Tide." I didn't think we needed laundry soap so I turned and looked at him, but he wasn't talking to me. He was talking to a guy I've never seen before in a redish sweatshirt and hat both with an A on them. The guy smiled and waved at Matt and we kept walking. This is how our conversation proceeded:

JULIE: Do you know him?
Matt: NO, but he is wearing Alabama clothes and they will be playing later today.
J: What does 'Go Tide' mean?
M:The Alabama team is called The Crimson Tide
J: Oh, that's unfortunate, it sounds like something I'd call my monthly visitor." (AKA: Aunt Flo, Uncle Cramps and their annoying dog Spot - if you catch my drift)(Yes, I just went there.)
M: Uh, ok.

Later in the day as Matt checked the scores:
M:The Crimson Tide won.
J: The Crimson Tide ALWAYS wins.
M: When the Crimson Tide is involved, there are no winners.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A bad joke:

It was like a bad crank call.
Caller: Is your toilet running?
Me: Yes.
Caller: You better go catch it!

I noticed our toilet running the other day. When I got home from Christmas shopping (I'M DONE!) I noticed it was still running. I called Matt and he did some research online and found that there must be a leak and the plug inside the tank is most likely warped or old or damamged or something. He read me a bunch of other stuff about the inner workings and balance and stuff. When he got home he turned the water off at the toilet, drained it and took the plug off. Sam could hear unfamiliar noises coming from the bathroom and grew curious. When he saw the inside of our toilet and said, "Whoa! I've never seen anything like it!" And then headed off to Home Depot with is Pa.
I lingered for a good three minutes hoping to get a good shot of some plumber's crack, butt- haha, get it, butt - I saw something shiny and got distracted. This is as close as we got to seeing some.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Music

I have three Christmas Albums that I like to hear yearly.
1. My favorite, Barbara Streisand's Christmas Album. I know, I know, she's Jewish. It makes no sense. But it does make cents which is why she did it. I like her voice and arrangements and we listened to it when I was a kid, so I love it. Here is a little treat for you. It's one of the best songs on the album, and so much fun!

2. Carpenter's Christmas Album. Again, from my childhood, familiar arrangements of songs we have heard a thousand times but still love.
3. Elf Soundtrack... Sam and I love it! It's got some fun songs that may not be Christmas Songs like Pennies From Heaven and Nothing for Nothing. But then it also has 10 well loved Christmas songs.
Check them out!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness is a cause I can get behind 100%. We need to stay informed on the health of our bodies. Early detection is the best medicine. My mom sent me this fun video and I'll be honest, I wish I had thought of it. It's so fun.
My favorite is the old dude dancing like a Back Street Boy with his push broom.

I just realized that this isn't framed up on my blog the way it should be and I don't know how to fix it, so here is the link to watch it on youtube and gete the full picture.

Yes, I totally got chocked up watching this. You know how I am with group dancing.

The thought of any woman going on a journey through breast cancer, spending all kinds of time at a hospital and having people like these there to support her makes me emotional. My favorite lyric in the song was this:
"Can I be her soldier please, I'm fighting for this girl on a battlefield of love."
Breast cancer is a battle and I hope if it ever hits me or someone I love, we'll have a group of soldiers there to help and support us.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sam's Favorite Ornaments

We received this beautiful star ornament from our friend Emmy, who brought it back from the Netherlands for us. This is it's first time hanging on our tree and Sam was really looking forward to hanging it. We love it. Danke!

Sam has always loved Nut Crackers. When I asked him why he likes them so much he said it's because you can open and close their mouths. Three years ago I took him to the dollar store for him to do his Christmas Shopping. I'm a mean mom and I made him use his own money. When we got home he was viewing his purchases on the table and telling me who was getting what. He didn't mention who was getting the Nut Cracker. So I asked and he said he bought it for himself. It has been on our tree every year since and it will go with him when he marries.

This one will also be leaving us when he does. Last year, after Christmas, I took a turn down the ornament isle of Wal-nast. Everything was 80% off. Sam was with me so I told him he could pick out one ornament. You guessed it. He chose a ginormous bead encrusted acorn. Can you believe we got that beauty for $2?

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Gift Under The Tree

Here is the tree. We decorated it over the weekend. There is already a present or two under the tree. Can you find it? You may need to click on the picture and enlarge it to find it.

The best gift
That I ever got
Didn't really weigh a lot
It didn't have a ribbon 'round
And it sometimes made the terrible sound
The best of all it seems to me
It wasn't neath the Christmas tree
And yet, I guess I'd have to say
That it made all the other presents twice as gay
The best gift that I've ever known
I'd always wanted most to own
Yet in my dreams of sugar and spice
I never thought it could be so nice
The best gift that I ever get
Was sometimes dry and sometimes wet
Was usually pink but oftentimes red
As it lay so innocently in its bed
The best gift of the year to me
The one I hold most dear to me
A gift that simply drove me wild
Was a tiny new born child...
by L. O'Kun

Yes, Sam was born in May, but still.
On Saturday night after we had finished all of our decorating and our dinner I was in the kitchen doing the dishes. From where I was standing at the sink I would see some branches on the tree moving. I said, "Sam, are you kicking the tree?" He said, "No." But his voice didn't come from where I was expecting it to come from. I walked into the living room and said, "Where are you?" He said, "There's a present under the tree for you."

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Matt at the Drive-Thru

Have you ever paid in coins? Strictly coins?

My sister and I used to carry our change around in Ziploc bags and we'd call it our beer money. We actually would buy donuts with the change. The bakers didn't mind.

Yesterday, Matt went to the McDonald's drive-thru, and his total was $2.56, and he paid it all in change. As in COINS! Matt pulled up to the window and while the worker had his back turned to take another order, Matt put five handfuls of mostly pennies on the little window/ledge/counter top. He said he had to turn his head multiple times because he didn't want the guy to notice him laughing. Then just before he pulled up to the next window to get his food he saw a long hair, probably mine, in the pile of change. He thought that made it extra funny for some reason.

On my last payday, after my pimp (aka Matt) came home, I turned the money over to him. We went to the bank drive-thru to deposit the money so we could buy food and cover the bills and stuff like that. While waiting in a long line he organized all the cash (first time I've been paid in cash, therefore, the most cash Matt has held in his giant paws in a long, long time). First he sorted by denomination. 10's, 20's, 50's. Next he made sure all the heads were pointing in the same direction. Then, believe it or not, he put the separate groups in sequential order by serial number........... I know, he's a FREAK! I didn't think it could get any stranger than that. But when it was our turn Matt pulled forward, put the cash, checks and deposit slip in the canister and sent it away. Then he proceeded to talk to the poor bank teller in a strange voice that whistled it's S's....

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My Son - The Good Sport

This week Sam was invited to two birthday parties. Both were for girls.

The first was for our neighbor who was turning 12. I thought it was kind of strange that Sam got invited but then I found out he was invited to the party so her brother, who is 7, wouldn't have to be the only boy. They were going to a skating rink, so Sam was really excited. He came home with this beauty:
The second party was for our friend/sister-during-the-day. She'll be 5 this week and what kind of party do all the 5 year old girls want? A PRINCESS PARTY! So, here is a picture of Prince Sam of Penny Lane with his princess/friend/sister-during-the-day.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Real or Fake?

Of course I'm talking about Christmas trees... My opinion on this has changed several times over the years.
As a kid growing up in Montana, we always had a real tree. I don't even think I was aware of the fake trees. I think I was oblivious to most stuff and primarily concerned with what was going to be UNDER the tree with my name on it.
As a teen my Grandpa Alger moved in with us and along with him came his fake tree. It was hideous! Picture a green broomstick with four or five rows of branches. Nothing in between but a skinny green garland "bracelet" here and there for the broomstick part. It was not attractive. A few years into that my sisters and I were really wanting a real tree, my mom accommodated us she got us real trees. It was all about real trees for me after that.
But let's face it people, FAKE trees are not what they used to be, THEY ARE WAY BETTER! I have seen some really beautiful ones and did you know some of them come with lights already on them! HOW CONVENIENT IS THAT?!
There are pros and cons to both. A real tree has a great smell, it looks a little different every year and great memories can be associated with going to pick it out or chop it down, etc. A fake tree doesn't drop needles every where, you don't have to drop $20-$75 per year, just once. And like I said, if you get a good one, you don't have to mess with the lights and wrapping them around and around and around until you're all giddy in a dizzy holiday stupor. Plus, you don't have to risk being attacked by a bat who was carried all the way from the forest because somebody chopped it's house down and brought it to the city and you ended up with it's house in your house thus avoiding a series of rabies shots during the holiday season. That's always a plus in my book.
This year we are going with option C and borrowing a fake tree from Matt's mom so we don't have to spend any money whatsoever on a tree. She's so good to us! Thank you MJ! And thanks to Aunt Kathy for giving me the idea for this post and to Amy for helping to inspire me with her comments. I sure do appreciach'ya!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Two Things I Never Thought I'd Hear Matt Say In A Burger King

To Sam: "Your burger is hiding somewhere in this restaurant."
I have no explanation for why this happened but I will tell you Sam found it pretty quickly... once he realized his dad wasn't kidding.
To Sam: "Get your head out of the garbage can! We don't put our bodies in the garbage can!"
Sam had accidentally dropped the tray in while tossing the trash.
On a side note, we rarely eat a Burger King... it's purely coincidence that I have blogged about eating there twice now. Both times full of shenanigans.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Finger Nails

Do you have aspirations for your finger nails? Sure, we all do.
As a child I bit my nails down to the quick. When I was 9 ish I decided I wanted beautiful hands like my best friend, Stacy Polkowske. We had matching MaryLou Retton sweat suits so I thought for sure our nails should match too. So I put my self restraint to the test and stopped biting my nails.
It turns out I can grow some seriously thick and long nails. But let's face it people, length does not a beautiful nail make. (Which reminds me of a nanny from Jamaica I knew while in New York. Her big toe nails were 1.5 cm longer than her toes. She painted them bright red. NOT BEAUTIFUL! And, all she could wear were flip flops even in the winter or else her "pedicure" would be ruined. EWW!) My nails have grown since. But not in the sense that I'm going for the Guinness Book. The most maintenance I give them is to try to keep them all the same length, but they aren't any particular shape or color. I only use clippers, no files... Filing is too much like nails on the chalk board for me.
And let's talk polish for a moment. I like color and I've seen so many colors on other people that I would love to try but I don't have the guts. At the beginning of the summer I decided that I was going to have toes of color. I sported four different colors this summer and painted 5 different times. That's pretty good for this low maintenance girl. My problems with polish are
1.) It has to be maintained.
2.) I feel like my nails can NOT breathe when polished.
3.) If it's on my toes I have a hard time sleeping because my toenails can't breathe.
4.) If it's on my fingernails I usually end up picking it off. LAME.
I have a fingernail role model. Her name is Giada De Laurentiis and she is on the Food Network.
She's a chef. I've never tried any of her recipes because I believe In the old adage, "Never trust a skinny cook." But she has beautiful nails. Here's Giada.
Ok, it's just her blurry hand. It was the only non moving picture I could find of her with her hand in the pic. She was wearing her swimsuit in the picture so I cropped it down to just her hand and enlarged it. My blog is not ready for that much cleave and probably never will be. But aren't those blurry nails beautiful. They're like... white and stuff. I love the length and subtle color. I want nails like Giada!

P.S. Read the post below and help me out! And thanks to those who already have, great ideas, I can't wait to post about them.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Funk Free...?

I'm in a funk. And I can see the end in sight, thus the ability to admit to said funk. I get a bit Funk-y from time to time and I've found that for me, feeling the funk and embracing the funk helps the funk pass... eventually. But, I'm not very nice while I'm in a funk. Just ask Matt.... And Sam... And anyone else who has crossed me in the last month or so. It's time for this funk to be on it's way.
My sister, Becky, decided today that she is going to blog EVERYDAY for the month of December. It's a great idea and I'm looking forward to visiting her blog daily. You all know how much I love her and her little Parlayna and her pirate husband Natey Poo.
So,I'm taking on the challenge of blogging EVERYDAY in the month of December. I'm thinking it will get my mind off the lingering funk and I'll be chipper and carefree in time to enjoy the Christmas Festivities with my fabulous family. (Have I EVER been chipper and carefree?)
I'm going to need your help though, my dear sweet readership. WHAT COULD I POSSIBLY BLOG ABOUT EVERYDAY FOR 30 MORE DAYS?!!! Give me your requests. What have you always wondered about me? What has been your favorite post and would you like another like it ?(I'll try.) What have you heard about me through the grapevine and have always wondered if it was true? Ask me my opinion on something - anything! I'm very opinionated and happy to share my opinion. But, I am begging for your help. I'm sure you won't let me down.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Sleeping Habits of An Eight Year Old

One night last week, Sam was watching TV and all of a sudden he asked me to take pictures of him, because he was so cozy. I wasn't sure how that warranted a photo shoot but I got the camera out and the posing ensued. Note to reader: He is NOT asleep in this picture.

Or this one.

Or this one... Obviously.
Later that night, around 10pm, Matt came downstairs and said, "Julie, You have got to go look at your son." I said, "Just a minute." Because I was about the important business of programming the upstairs phone to match the downstairs phone so that they both had all the same numbers in them. Matt said, "He may not have a minute." So I went upstairs to see this:

He is, in fact, asleep in this picture. And yes, his head is inside his pillowcase. What he was doing before he fell asleep, we don't know. But of course we had to take pictures. And I found that once I started snapping the pics I couldn't stop.

He was a bit startled when Matt pulled the pillow off his head. But he never woke up.

Not awake.

Not awake.

Not awake.

Not awake.

Still, not awake.

Not awake.


Nuh-uh. Still not awake. He never woke up. And the really funny part, that I didn't get a picture of, was Matt and I cracking up. It was so funny. It's always funny to mess with a sleeping kid who is too out of it to wake up. He didn't remember a thing in the morning, and he didn't believe me until he saw the pictures. And watching him look at the pictures was funny too.

I love being a mom.