If you cared about my girls' happiness,


The Ribbon Retreat

Buy this e-book,

Woven Ribbon Headbands

and start making these headbands for them. Seriously.


So long, Mr. Curlies in the Back.

Shouldn't we take him somewhere to get his haircut?

Heck no. He's not going to sit still, so let's just do it - strap him in!

Me, wielding my best Fiskars, trying to contain the thrashing and not poke an eye out...

Hey Josh, don't look at Mommy, over here! Over HERE!

Snip, snip... no turning back now...

How short are you cutting it? You're not cutting the curls off, are you???

I have no idea. I'm just trying to cut the same amount off everywhere. HOLD HIM STILL!

Get around his ears.

Yeah. Easier said than done.


Hmmm... that's as good as it's going to get. Throw him in the bath please!I think he likes it.
Maybe I'll get a little more brave next time and go shorter, so we can gel it.Yeah, he's SO Allison's brother. No question.

Career Day

Yesterday Nick went into Allison's classroom to talk about his job. The kids asked questions beforehand all about what they wanted to know... and I thought it was quite amusing that all their questions centered around how long he works, how many hours, what days does he have off, how he gets to work... nevermind anything about what SRP does, etc... He gave an overview of the different types of electricity, showed them with a balloon and a kid's hair what static electricity was, what dams did to channel electricity, and how SRP gets electricity to their customers, what we use electricity for, and how to conserve electricity. Yeah, he lost them quite a few times, but it was fun. He even tried to teach the kids about the law of supply and demand and handed out little blinking toys... (methinks they didn't get that concept a bit!) Ha! Allison's lucky to have a dad (one of VERY few) who was totally willing to volunteer to speak - even on a morning in the middle of the week! What a guy...


Family Home Evening.

Tonight we had a great FHE using this "I can work hard" kit from Hatch Patch. I recommend this one. The story is a little long, but the girls LOVED playing the game. (Think pictionary plus charades - the girls got to act out things like vacuuming, folding clothes, etc. and TOTALLY had fun.) So what if the fits started soon afterward, for various reasons, Allison starving yet refusing to eat dinner, Manda screaming she hates us, and then getting her mouth washed out with soap...


Home Sweet Home ... ?

Isn't this gorgeous?
And it's not even anywhere near Lake Linganore.
Here's our chance to have our own, custom-built East Coast home out here in the desert...
Who'd have imagined???
Huge, mature trees.
Secluded. Gated.
A lot more than twice the size of the one we're on now.
Did I mention the trees?
Oh, and a ginormous HOA fee.

Is it worth sacrificing all our cash, taking a huge loss on our current home,
and most likely giving up ever owning any type of cabin??

Do we really want to stay in this neighborhood long term? Do you think the stake prez would annex us into our current ward?
Do we?
Should we?
Hmmmmm ... I think I need a real job.


How firm a foundation ...

... I have in my marriage. I'm so blessed to have it.
I'm thankful, after 10 years, that we still get a kick out of each other.

That he is loyal, and honest, and a hard worker.

That he does his duties, even as much as I grumble about them.

That he is confident, smart, and ambitious.

That he is clever, and funny. And only once in a while corny.

That we like the same TV shows and movies - though I don't believe we've ever even read the same book.

That he knows how to dust, fold and iron, though he won't admit it.

That he's up on current affairs enough for me to ask about anything, anytime, and he can educate me on the subject.

He may not do toilets or coupon shop very well, but I love him.


Manda's no good, rotten, very bad day.

Last week was ROUGH living with Manda's tantrums. Wow. All seems to be better now, and we've all miraculously survived, but I thought I'd share a song she sang to herself while in one of her time outs last week.

"What a rough day, what a rough day.
What a rough day, what a rough day I had today.
I'm in time out because I kicked my mom in the office.

"What a rough day, what a rough day.
What a rough day, what a rough day I had today.
I didn't get to do anything I wanted except to watch TV.

"What a rough day, what a rough day.
What a rough day, what a rough day I had today.
When is the sun going to come up?
I wish I had a friend who could play with me and who cares about me.

Geez, she's a piece of work, isn't she?


Favorite Scenes in Movie History. Mine, anyway.

I'm starting a tag. Play if ya wanna. Name your top ten favorite movie scenes - that you can think of on the top of your head, anyway. Google images is fabulous, isn't it? These are mine, in no particular order.

Daniel Craig as Bond, in Casino Royale, in the opening chase scene. On foot. Brilliant.

Donald O'Connor singing/performing to "Make 'em laugh" in Singin' in the Rain.

Kevin James as Albert dancing in Hitch. "Q-Tip! Now throw it away."

The laser dance in Ocean's 12.

The gunfight between Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Orlando Bloom as Legolas taking down the Oliphant in Return of the King. This just might be a tie, though, with Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn enlisting the help of the army of the dead.

Brenden Fraser as a drug lord surprising himself speaking Spanish in Bedazzled. "Donde esta su biblioteca?" "COCAINA??"

Steve Martin in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels as Rupret. Why is the fork on the cork?

Christian Bale in The Dark Knight breaking out of the Tumbler in a motorcycle, then proceeding to flip over an 18-wheeler. WHAT??? Awesome.

Amy Adams as Giselle singing "How does she know" with everyone in the park.

Julie Andrews as Maria singing "Confidence" in The Sound of Music.

I can't believe nothing specific is standing out for Will Smith, Glenn Close or Russell Crowe. I'll have to think on those a bit, but they may overtake several of these... maybe a little of this or that...

God did it.

This is our doorbell.
It is supposed to be attached to the wall between our upstairs/downstairs. It tends to fall off a lot, well, because of a certain 6-year-old and another certain 4-year-old I know who like to hang stuff over the railing and drop things, throw things, deliver things, tie things, play tug of war with things up and down the stairs... you get the picture. After the doorbell was "left hanging" once again, Daddy asked a certain 4-year-old how it happened.
"God did it."

Daddy - what? What do you mean?

Long, drawn out, thoughtful, "Well, God made US (emphasized) and... he gave us things like IDEAS (hand gestures now) to hang things on the stairs..."

She's right, you know. 'Nuf said.


Ahhh. After a day in the shop and an obscene amount of money, we have air conditioning again.


More on Money.

I posted the previous article clip simply to renew my commitment... to saving money. Bored? Stop reading. Seriously. Right now. Go click your finicky little mouse on something else to occupy your brain. Why are you still here? Ugh! Fine. Read if you want.

I'm tempted to start a "spending journal" as the example suggests, just to see exactly where our money goes. Then maybe Amberly can work her budget miracles on us. (This is in lieu of starting a "food journal" which I'm sure would horrify me.)

I always tell my girls that they need to SAVE the money they'd like to spend on little things (read: cheap plastic junk that will barely last the day) in order to HAVE money to spend when we want the big things.

I'm seriously craving those big things, (read: House. Cabin. Boat.) and I am convinced that we could have the buying power to do those things, if we tried hard enough.

My air conditioner in my car broke today. Gasp, but it's hot here. I never knew how miserable a drive across the valley could be. I'm glad that we'll be able to fix it without delay. Sucks, though. I was hoping to replace our completely-worn-out-it-hurts-my-back-to-sleep-on-mattress soon. And they ain't cheap.

Food seems like the biggest waste of money to me. There's absolutely nothing to show for it after you've done it. Convenience food, especially. All that shows me is a dose of calorie-ridden unhealthy guilt.

I avoid buying fountain drinks like the plague. Shocking, from the Diet Coke addict, I know, but when I can buy a whole 12 pack for $2 and take one with me every day, why the heck would I spend $2 through a drive thru for only ONE of the same thing?

I'm trying to get away from the concept of "stuff". Wanting stuff, needing stuff, always going to the store for stuff. My girls have it in their heads that THEY get something each time we walk into a store. No matter what store that is. I'm the meanest mom in the world, but I RARELY buy them anything.

I loathe shopping for toys. Even for presents. I feel guilt for adding to the clutter of other people's homes. I certainly don't want them adding to the clutter of mine. Buy us a ticket to a museum or someplace instead.

I don't do bank fees. I do, however, enjoy bank interest.

Only in a pickle do I do laundry or dishes between the hours of 1pm and 8pm. It gives me great satisfaction to see our electric bill show lower usage than last year, almost every single month.

It's always cheaper to stay home. No matter what the deal is I'm missing.

Signing off for now... but my thoughts on this subject are not yet complete.

A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned - B.F.

From an article in Meridian Magazine, on $$.

Ben Franklin was thinking - "For every dollar you don't spend, is another hour you don't have to work." Ben Franklin didn't mean that you should put your money in the bank. He meant that you should spend less. SPEND LESS. You save money when you don't spend it. If you get something half price, you saved half. If you don't buy it at all, you saved 100%.

(Take that, Coupon Sense! Ha!)

One day a man came in to his bishop discouraged over his dire financial situation. He was a hard worker, but his paycheck was unable to keep pace with his growing family.

"There is nothing more I can do," he said sadly. "I can't make it another year."

His bishop asked him to describe his typical day to him. "Where do you go? What do you do? What do you buy?"

"If you are suggesting that I am not careful, I can assure you that I am doing all I can to keep my expenses to a minimum."

"Indulge me," the wise bishop said, "take this paper and a pen and write down for me everything you buy for just one week."

At the end of the week, the man reported back to his bishop and they looked over his expenses. One item stood out because it was a daily expense. Each morning before reporting to his construction job, the man stopped by the local convenience store for a few treatsó just a few cookies, a big drink, and a candy bar or two. At lunch he went back for a refill and on his way home from work, when he was absolutely famished, he stopped a third time.

"Do you think you might cut down those trips to the convenience store?" the bishop asked.

"Bishop, you don't know what you are asking. This is how I keep going."

"Try it for one month. Cut your trips to once a day and see how much you save."

The man went off with a shake of his head, but he tried the experiment. In one month he saved $300. He could scarcely believe it.

"Now," said the bishop, "take your $300 and begin to pay off your debt. Do it this month and the next month and the month after that."

You can do the same. For the next week keep a notebook handy to write down every penny you spend. At the end of your experiment, gather your family together and take a good look at your list. Can you spot some waste? If not, look again!

Where do you spend most of your money? On food? Utilities? Gas? Housing? Have you bought anything this week you absolutely did not need? If not, look again. Everyone has waste. You'll find something if you look long enough and hard enough.

Now try cutting just 10% out of your budget for next week. You'll do it a dollar here and a dollar there, but my, how those dollars add up. Maybe it's as simple as having homemade soup or homemade bread or tuna casserole once a week. Maybe it's taking a brown bag to lunch.

Maybe this week you'll walk to church or school or you'll ride the bus to work or maybe you'll carpool just one day next week. You'll be surprised how little you'll miss whatever you sacrifice. Little cuts never affect your lifestyle, but they do affect your buying power.


Happy Birthday Jackie Tag

12 things, on August 12th, that I heart about this lady.
She is a great mom, no matter what she says.

Her kids are FANTASTIC. And so easy to watch.

She is smart. AND funny.

She is well traveled and knows lots of stuff about places I've only seen on a map.

She tends to share experiences and stories that still surprise me.

She thinks she is much more of a rebel than she actually is.

She is fun to tease.

She is always entertaining in her rants.

Her house is ALWAYS cleaner than mine.

She is always willing to help out and provide service for others.

She is always prepared, whether it's having plenty of foamies at her house while babysitting, snacks for church, food and herbs from her garden, or an idea to share when you need it.

She can cook. And sew. And decorate. And coupon shop. And scrapbook. And much more. All very well.

Now YOU make a comment on what you love about Jackie!



Does anyone have any resources to download FREE photoshop frames, edges for photos, etc? I'm too lazy to make my own, but I'm needing to make my photos more interesting. Help please! I don't have any scrapbooking software, but I'm sure those programs have such things as well. I haven't done these for a LONG time, but I'm thinking I'd like to get back on the horse. Stuff like this:

Hey Mister Curlies in the back!

We love this kid! He is such a happy guy, and laughs all the time. He hardly complains when constantly carted around in the heat. He loves to play with toys, trucks, and mommy's pots and pans. He loves to babble and make funny faces. He's got great hair. Manda likes to call him "Mr. Curlies in the Back". He loves to throw things in pools, and he loves to throw things down the stairs. There's often a pile of his handiwork to step over on your way up. He also loves to throw whatever's he's got in his hands down on the floor when he's mad. He loves to lose his sippy cups all over the house. He loves to chew on shoes. He loves to be chased by his sisters around the house. He loves to be tickled and play peek-a-boo. He loves to stand at the girls' bath and play in the water until he's soaked. His tummy sticks out and leads him wherever he wants to go.
He's just... squeezable, isn't he??

First Grader.

She's still cute, even though she refused to wear any of her new clothes to school the first day!


Now Open for Business.

Yeah for preschool! My dear friend Janna is all official now with a logo and blog and everything for her preschool kids!
Manda is way excited to start next week. (And so is her mother!) If there's any little 3 or 4-year-olds you know, send them her way! Janna's link is over to the right on my blog here!

Swimming Lessons, 2008

We only got in two sessions this year, due to Mommy's disorganization and our weekend getaway schedule. The girls did okay, even though they forgot a LOT of what they'd learned/accomplished in years past.
Allison got pretty good at diving,
Manda, not so much. She says she doesn't like to dive because it hurts her face. Hmmm. Wonder why.
Here they are doing the backstroke. Manda always went for the zig-zag pattern, because she couldn't swim straight...The girls are still working on trying to figure out how to breathe on the the side...
Allison also loved to do tricks! Here she is spinning off the diving board. There has never been any fear of the board with her. She even went off the high dive several times while in St. Johns!