You made it your OWN, dawg.

Yes, yes, we certainly did. Including the Idol logos.

Welcome to Hollywood, South Phoenix-style. We had a red carpet leading from the front door and stars hanging from the ceiling, too...The girls totally got into the karaoke...They had a good time dancing, some of them even got dressed up...We played musical chairs...J had a great time being around all the action, and got plenty of love from Grandma... (plus Izzie was there, his very favorite person!)

The boys didn't care so much for the karaoke, though, lol...


Random thoughts.

The American Idol party turned out great! Well, except for my "microphone" cake, which looked way more like an ice cream cone than anything else. I was too embarrassed by it to even take a picture... Turns out that the boys wanted NOTHING to do with the karaoke, but at least all the girls had a great time singing to Hannah Montana songs, etc... I think everyone had a good time. I'm just happy that it's over...

M is turning out to be quite the excellent student in school. She got over her initial "I don't want to goooooo!!!" whining, and I think is having a good time now. She's up super early every morning, with her bed made, and dressed and ready for school, before A even wakes up. She's only been "on yellow" once, she gets every question on every assignment correct - seriously, and her handwriting is amazing! So proud. Turns out this school is the perfect fit for both her and A!

M is jealous of A being in the gifted program and everything she gets to do. A keeps telling her that so-and-so will come give her tests so M can be in gifted too... heaven help us if she doesn't get chosen to be tested, or worse, if she doesn't make it. (!)

J is starting to put two words together - "Daeee tar" (Daddy's car) "hurrr heh" (hurt head) and so forth. He has also started to respond somewhat when we remind him of things with a defeated "Tay..." like, okaaaaayyy, I'll stop doing this, because I know I'm not supposed to...

A is getting BAPTIZED ON FRIDAY! She's so excited. If any of you want to come, let me know so I can give you directions.

I'm so ready for the construction to be finished around our house. My car has been filthy for weeks! Looks like they're widening 27th and putting in curbs and sidewalks and such... should be good!

I'm not thrilled with Costco's "new and improved" baby wipes. They have that dry, Huggies-type of feeling now. Why mess with a good thing??? Time to potty-train!

I can't believe it's the last week of the month, and I have yet to set VT appointments. Again.

We totally dropped the ball on the latest school fundraiser. Anybody want a tub of cookie dough? we have to turn in money tomorrow!

I've done so much laundry today already that we're out of hangers. That's impressive, let me tell you.


Count your (many) blessings

I will be teaching a class for our Super Saturday coming up in four weeks... and making this craft:

There will be two color options - this red/chocolate/cream version, and a lime green/aqua/taupe/white version - a little more modern (I LOVE the other color combo too... I will be making up a sample of that one as well)

There will also be a size option - you can have a 24" board that will hang THREE frames, or you can have a 30" board that will hang FOUR frames, which will say "Count your many blessings".

If you want to pick your own patterns/colors, feel free to bring your own scrapbook paper.

Let me know if you want in on this. I have enough stuff to make about 10-11 kits up, and there are already three spoken for.


I'd like to duct-tape him to the wall.

Little Boy Wonder has struck again. This makes the fifth time in 12 days he has re-decorated our house. It wasn't with poop, or markers, or Trix cereal, or shampoo this time... his weapon of choice today was a brand new tube of Spongebob toothpaste. That stuff is BRIGHT blue. There were landmines up and down the hallway all over the carpet, into his room, all over Manda's shoes, into Mommy's room, all over Mommy's bathroom tile, and in the EXACT same place in Mommy's closet where the big shampoo incident occured. I went through about 5 gallons of water in our carpet cleaner on that one spot alone... and it's still coming up foam.



2nd Grade Angst

A gets along really well with boys. She chooses to play with boys over girls on a regular basis. She strictly wears pants or shorts to school, versus skirts, so that she can run faster and play easier on the playground, she claims.

She and a kid named "Rueben" have been BFFs since school started this year. I think they started out sitting together in class. He lets her get in lines in front of him, she lets him borrow our Magic Tree House books, they play together at every recess, you name it.

So of course, when it came time to make her guest list for the all-important birthday party this weekend, Rueben was at the top of her list. Since I've seen this Rueben kid all of once, and never met his parents, we didn't hand-deliver his invite to his home, but rather, A took it to school instead.

Rueben threw her invitation away. (!)

I was appalled, and I'll say it, yeah, a little miffed, especially considering I had designed the.cutest.birthday.invitation.ever. I prodded A to find out if this really were the case, and if he truly didn't want to come (Because HONESTLY, who WOULDN'T want to come??)


I finally got the whole truth out of A tonight. Rueben said people think he and A are "boyfriend and girlfriend" - and I LOVE A's response here - she said "but I just don't trust that!" "We're just friends!"

Sigh. Don't you just love her? While Rueben succumbs to elementary school peer pressure and shuns A left and right now, she is exasperated because she just wants him to stay her friend... I fear this is just the beginning of A's heartache and struggles with the opposite sex...

To-do List

Oh Mylanta, I have a lot to do in the next week and a half.

Practice baptism songs on the piano.
Finish baptism invites and send them out.
Get board cut for Super Saturday project (Deirdre - got anything 4" by 24" laying around?)
Finish registering for traffic school.
PTO meeting tonight.
Meet up with Lisa to get vinyl for SS project. Get to Michael's to buy frames while my coupon is good this week. How many do you think I'll need? Hmmm... how many people are going to sign up??
Sign up for produce basket this weekend.
Take cool, close-up photos of my kids this week, edit and print them.
Remember to set the DVR for Flash Forward on Thursday. Looks good...
Find time to finish SS project sample, and figure out a cost. Lisa, how much are you charging me?
Order cupcakes to take into M's classroom on Friday.
Plan b-day party agenda, games, etc.
Rearrange furniture downstairs to make room for a "stage"
Get party favors together for b-day party.
Buy M's gift for party, and figure out somewhere to put it (Amberly's house?).
Decorate the house for b-day party. Pick up red carpet?
Figure out what karaoke songs to offer for b-day party.
Find another adult to help run party (Janna???)
Take cupcakes into M's classroom on Friday.
Get supplies needed to make microphone cake, and frosting, plus candles.
Meet Nonnie and Papa for dinner on Friday night.
Pick up produce basket on Saturday morning.
Have 15 crazies running around my house on Saturday.
Entertain 15 crazies for 3 hours on Saturday.
Go pick up pizza for 15 crazies on Saturday.
Send them all home.
Work on DVD slide show. Get music to go along with it.
Go to D-backs game on Sat. night and try not to fall asleep.
Take finished sample of Super Saturday project to church on Sunday.
Finish programs for baptism and get them printed.
Coordinate musical number for A's baptism, find time for everyone to practice.
Help Grandma with A's dress??
Finish slide show.
Parent-teacher conferences next week. One on Wednesday, one on Thursday.
Early release from school Thursday and Friday.
Take treats into A's classroom next Friday for her birthday.
Arrange to have DVD player & TV for baptism program.
Make sure someone is going to fill the font...


You make my dreams come true...

My favorite part of 500 days of Summer.

Stuff to blog about.

Movies I recommend:

17 Again. If you rented this and didn't like it, well, I JUST don't understand you. Granted, Matthew Perry was abysmal, but Zac Efron was great. Loved the dance with the cheerleaders. The dinner scene where friend Ned and his date start speaking... well, I don't want to give it away... was the funniest thing I'd seen in a VERY long time. Laughing. Out. Loud.

Hannah Montana. I sat with my girls and watched this, and actually enjoyed it. How can you not like the "hoedown throwdown" song? True, you have to go in with sort of low expectations... but for what it is, I think it's entertaining.

Movie I DON'T recommend? 500 Days with Summer. What a waste of 2 admissions. I thought with the quirky, likeable lead actors - that Zooey chick, and the kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun, it had promise... but it turns out neither can really carry a movie. Only redeeming quality it had was the dance scene. Hmmm... I think I'll see if it's on Youtube.

Crafty inspiration:

www.thepinkstamper.blogspot.com Has awesome cricut videos, how-tos, etc.

www.sherrywright.typepad.com Love the card and scrapbook-y designs. Will be scraplifting some soon.

Exercise to get:

PLEASE, someone, start showing up for volleyball! My favorite way to spend Monday and Thursday mornings has completely fizzled the last month!

Cindy's Strength Training class on Tuesdays will make you completely sore and sweaty. What more are you looking for from a workout?? Please join us!

TV Shows:

Is anyone watching this season of Project Runway? Let's discuss...

FRINGE. Wow, I'm liking this show more and more! Think X-Files meets Alias meets Conspiracy Theory. Love it.

On the fence about GLEE. Could be such a fun, colorful, cute show... but I'm nervous about some of the themes... especially if he ends up leaving his wife, even though she's a beeyotch. Did I seriously just type that?

DVDs to rent:

You've probably heard it from Rachel, and she's completely right. PUSHING DAISIES is delightful, even though it kind of leaves you hanging at the series finale...


I'm all about fast food dollar menus lately. I know, so healthy, right? But who can resist a double cheeseburger for a buck when you don't have to dirty any dishes?

Sonic drinks are like old friends. We've been meeting up more and more lately.

I forgot about this blog: http://fortheloveofcooking-recipes.blogspot.com/ but need to get reacquainted, methinks.

The State Fair:

I can get free tix for one Friday next month... does anybody want to go with me? I haven't eaten anything cooked on a stick for a while.


Juicy Green Helper

Yesterday, after lunch, I was downstairs, cleaning something (shocking, I know) while J was upstairs, I thought, playing with trains in my craft room. I was on the phone with N and he even commented "how well J played by himself". I agreed, feeling content that I had such a sweet boy. I came upstairs and put him down for his nap... and then went in to take a shower. After almost breaking my neck slipping on SOMETHING on the floor, I realized what my sweet boy had REALLY been occupying himself with. That tiny blonde blankety-blank piece of work had taken a mostly-full shampoo bottle and squirted it EVERYWHERE he could think of. All over the bathtub ledge. All over the toilet. All over our bathroom scale. Squirted all over the cabinets. A dozen little lakes of juicy green apply shampoo all over the tile. Each rug was soaked. A gooey mess on my cedar chest. Another gooey pile on the carpet in my closet. And, starting about 3 feet up on each doorframe, as if he reached as high as he could and squirted, just so he could watch it run down the paint. Sigh. What a sweet boy, huh?


Wouldn't you know it...

I finally decided to go with the overwhelming majority and get sconce #3 from Pottery Barn... I was going to get a different shade... and now, guess what, it's sold out. DARN IT!


Where were you?

There are those moments in history in which you will never forget the details of your surroundings, with images burned into your mind, the thoughts and feelings you had. It almost becomes an out-of-body experience, where you are off to the side watching yourself react, versus just reacting. Eight years ago today, I was 9 months pregnant with my first child. She was due in 11 days. I had stopped working, and was spending my days alternating between wasting time sleeping, and nesting, fiddling with things around the house. We only had one car at the time. I had driven Nick to work that morning, and was back at home. I was laying on the couch downstairs at our Fox Chase home in Maryland, dozing in and out of consciousness, watching the news - I believe I heard it first from Katie Couric, well, I think my subconscious heard about the attacks before I really realized what was going on. I saw the second plane go into the building on TV, and I remember being horrified when newscasters theorized that these were no accidental plane crashes. This was a coordinated, calculated attack on the U.S. I remember Nick calling, making sure I'd heard what was going on. I remember different family members calling to make sure we were okay... as it was unclear to where the third plane had crashed, "somewhere near Camp David" - and people unsure exactly where we lived, were fearing for our safety. I remember the surreal, slow-motion way in which everything unfolded that day. I remember being asked to keep off the phone, as emergency workers were being called to DC and all the lines were jammed. I remember being worried about friends in our ward, who worked in DC, and wondering if they were okay. I remember being glued to the television screen, watching the videos over, and over again. I remember all the airports being shut down, and all the planes in the country being grounded. I remember most of the businesses in our town being closed that day. I remember going to my checkup that afternoon, surprised that my doctor's office was still functioning as normal... knowing that life as we knew it in this country had drastically, horribly, changed that morning. I remember foolishly fearing my baby would come that day, and that something would go wrong with all of the stress. I hoped and prayed that her birthday would not coincide with the date of this tragedy. The abstract word "terrorist" was suddenly very, very real, and for the first time in my life, seemed dangerous. Later, when I heard how close some of our friends were to the attacks, I remember being amazed, thankful for their survival, and humbled by their stories. It's now a different world that my 8-year-old is growing up in... all because of that day.

Where were you?


Pick one.

The girls like to read in their rooms at night. The light in there is horrible, though, (or maybe it's just my poor eyesight that thinks it is)
Anyhoo, I want to get sconces to put by their beds... so pick one! This is what the lamp in their room looks like: and here are your three choices:

I like the shade on one, the pink base on the other, and the simplicity of the last one. And they're all about the same price, so that part doesn't matter... decisions, decisions...


SO - I'm supposed to teach a class at our upcoming Super Saturday activity. Usually, this would not be a problem... I just take whatever idea I already have for gifts for my peeps for Christmas, and turn it into a class. Well, this year I'm at a loss. Maybe it's my "simplify"ing that's been filling my head this year - I just don't want any.more.clutter. in my life or on my walls. It needs to be something fantastic that is worthy of my house, and worthy of gift-giving.

The activity is too late in Oct to do a Halloween craft - so something else is in order. Preferably not Christmas cute-sy, as I'm kind of over that. Perhaps a sewing project, or velvet pumpkins with real stems, or a scrapbook-type project, or some kind of jewelry-making, a vinyl something or other...

Any ideas? What have YOU always wanted to make, so I can plan it and do all the work for you? Hee hee... What have you seen in a store lately that made you shriek with joy? If there is something, and there is a pic of it somewhere online, please include the URL in your comments. Thanks much in advance.


Me went camping.

HA! As IF you'd believe such a thing. The thought was actually so ridiculous in my head that I couldn't even form it into a proper sentence for my post title. Hee. Hee. Tee. Hee. Hee.

So, no, I technically didn't camp. What I did, however, was cruise down to Safford on our 4-day weekend whilst my Safford-dwelling fam members were camping on the mountain. I decided that sure, we could go spend the days with them, but under no circumstances was I going to take camping equipment, nor sleep outdoors, nor even THINK about trying to put my two-year-old down to sleep while at nine thousand freezing cold feet up in the woods. Nope.

As ideas go, this wasn't a TERRIBLE one, but not one of my prize winners, either. Dad failed to tell me they were staying at the tippy top of said mountain, that it was frickin' COLD up there, that it would rain every day, and that the campground was an HOUR from their house. Sheesh. I ended up driving it back, and forth, and back, and forth. Good thing Sparky behaved himself.

My kiddos LOVED being up there. It was nice for me to not have to worry about where they were, who they were associating with. And bonus, there was no TV or computer to affix themselves to. They rode horses, made friends, got dirty, dug holes, watched a hundred horse shoe matches, and ate more junk than I care to know about. Josh also loved climbing and jumping off of stumps.

For the record, I am not opposed to the outdoors. I do place a premium on cleanliness and comfort, however. It's funny to me how this rag-tag reunion of inlaws, outlaws, friends, friends' inlaws, grandparents, and cousins came about - but now it has become a Labor Day tradition that they all look forward to every year. They even have church up there! {Which was a story in itself, with J during relief society...} Mostly all of the "Cunnngham crew" have acquired campers, toy haulers, etc... so technically, are they "camping?" Not sure. I guess they do sometimes cook outdoors, if that qualifies. Ha! My dear husband is thinking we should go again next year. I smile and laugh nervously.

Heaven help me if he throws a tent in the car.


Calling all Shoppers:

Since I'm hardly ever "out and about" - wondering if anyone's seen any bedside lamps, sort of like these (or cuter), that screw into the wall instead of clip to the bed. Or should I just deal with the clip-on thing and get these Pottery Barn ones? I want cute colors like these (preferably one pink and one light blue). Got anywhere to send me? Please don't just tell me to look at Ikea, unless you KNOW there are lamps there that are perfect. That store is WAY too much of a commitment for me.