Sunday, August 21, 2011


So, just in case you didn't know, I am human.

I also, you know, sometimes, try to be Christlike. And when I say that, I mean to do what He would do if He were here. I have my good moments and my bad, just like everyone.

But there is one big thing that I have REALLY had a hard time 'being Christlike' about.

Almost every time it comes up, I get angry. I get angry because I remember. I get angry because I feel that I never got to say what I needed to say. I get angry for some other reasons, too. I thought I was improving, thought I was almost getting to the point of letting go, so that I could get to the other important characteristic of Christ...forgiving.

I don't forgive well. It has been a huge difficulty of mine ever since I was a kid. And it doesn't get any easier as an adult, with adult issues with other adults.

Lets just say I would rather be dealing with my sister who hit me than this situation.

So, back to forgiving.....still working on it.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Kids and poop

Last night, my neighbors nephews were over at my house. The younger one is about the same age as Blondie. They were over at my neighbors house and the boys wanted to come over to our house. Which was fine.

Our downstairs bathroom is right next to the front door (yet another odd thing about this house floor plan....the dining room is also right as you walk in, and I have to walk through the living room to get to the dining room....anyway) and I heard the youngest one in the bathroom, and he went back to my neighbors as soon as he was done.

Superhero went in a little bit later to use the bathroom, and came out with the news that there was poop on the wall. I knew right away it had to be that little guy. So, I'm thinking it is a little bit of smudges on the wall. Oh no. When I get in there to take a 5 or 6 smudges that were pretty big, and a chunk of poop sticking out an inch from the wall. Wow. I thought it was hysterical.

I called over, hoping he was still there so he could come over and clean it up, but they had already left. My neighbor came over and cleaned it. She made the point that she would never call out another kid on doing something like that. That it would be too embarrassing.

Maybe I'm weird, but I would totally get the kid that did it, and have them clean it up. I wouldn't announce it over a loud speaker or anything, but I sure would give them what they needed to clean it up and have them do it. You make a mess, you clean it up. Yeah, it would be embarrassing at first, but why the heck did they do it in the first place??? I guess I'm just a big fan of natural consequences at my house. What would you do? Would you not say anything? Would you just talk to them about it? Would you let their parent do the talking? Or, would you do what I would do, and have the kid do the dirty work?

When kids are at my house, I treat them like my own. And my good friends treat mine like theirs. I would hope that if my kids EVER did something like that, and I wasn't around, they would have consequences.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Loved it

Like I talked about earlier, I really do not like going to movie theaters.

This last week, I made an exception.

Last year we read The Help for my book group. I read almost the entire thing driving back from one of my husbands triathlons. It was a 4 hour plus drive, so I had the time. I couldn't stop reading it. It just drew me in. So, since the movie just came out, we got our book group together (well, as many that could) and went to a late showing.

Loved it.

Yes, it was different than the book. But what movie isn't?? I mean, excepting those BBC movies that are hours long (Pride and Prejudice, Bleak House, etc....) you are never going to have a movie that goes perfectly with the book. I didn't have that expectation.

I would even pay to go back and see it. In fact, I'm going to read it again. Mostly because I cannot articulate what it is I loved so much about it.

Go see it. Get your husband or your girl friends, or your boy friend and go and see it. Maybe I'll be able to figure out what is just so amazing about it after I've watched it again.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


So, here's a loaded question: do you buy organic???

If I can afford it, I do. Why do I buy organic? Because I really believe that farming without pesticides and eating food that isn't covered in pesticides is better for the earth and our bodies.

I am lucky in a lot of ways. I can go to the commissary, where organic items are significantly less expensive (most of the time anyway) than regular stores. I also do not have a very large family, so I don't need to buy huge amounts of it. Costco also carries many organic products.

I even buy natural/organic personal products. Yes, they are really expensive. But again, I can go to the commissary. And sometimes they even have coupons so it becomes about the same price non organic personal items.

I do have a few personal rules about buying organic produce. If we eat the skin, like an apple or berries, I do my best to buy organic. If we don't eat the skin, like banana's or avocados, then I usually just buy non organic. Yes, it's mostly because of the price, and also because we're throwing away the majority of the chemicals when we peel it.

I have even found something very interesting. My son Superhero has ADD. And while we don't medicate him, I do try to watch his diet. Anything processed from a store, like a cookie or a popsicle, when eaten at a certain time of day, does crazy things to his body, which then makes him act like a crazy person and then he won't go to sleep and has an incredibly difficult time listening and following directions. I know, this sounds a little crazy, but just stick with me here. While as a general rule, we do not allow him to have any sort of treat after dinner (not even one small scoop of ice cream people, it does get that bad) when he has a cookie or brownie or something that I've made with the organic sugar I buy from Costco (I saw the same sugar at Whole Foods, 16 oz. bag, for $3.99. I buy a 10 lb bag from Costco for a little more than $8.00)(and it's even fair trade!!!) he does not exhibit that same behavior. I know, it sounds crazy, but it happens every time. Also, as a side note, during the school year, I make sure he gets a good amount of protein with only a few carbs for breakfast, and it really improves his behavior at school. So, it's worth it for a few extra dishes to wash to make his teachers day a bit easier, as well as give him the opportunity to make good choices, and to learn things better.

So, for us, it's worth it. Maybe someday, when I live in a place that actually has sun for at least half of the year, I'll garden and grow my own stuff.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Over the edge

So, I am wondering, how do you get your kids to help clean their rooms??

I've tried a few things, but nothing has ever really truly worked. And when I say worked, I mean that when I say it's time to clean rooms, they say 'okay'.

Okay, I know that is more of a dream, but would it be too much to ask for less whining and crying?

I am not the best picker upper or cleaner. I have greatly improved since I was married, and I hope to continue to improve. My problem is that when these kids are home, they eat, they play, they change clothes a gazillion times, and all of a sudden, the playroom/living room/bedroom is barely recognizable. Not to mention the kitchen....I think my husband is the biggest culprit there.

I have tried dad dollars to get them motivated. During the school year, we were doing pretty good. The schedule of school and other activities helped me to remember, and they would earn 'dollars' for having good mornings, and good afternoons etc. Now, there really aren't 'good mornings', we just have mornings when we wake up when we wake up, and we do what we feel like doing.

So, Blondie's room is a total disaster. As is her closet. She doesn't even have that many toys. But she gets these papers out and all of a sudden her room is covered in tiny toys (thank you littlest pet shop) and papers and I want to light the whole thing on fire.

Superhero's room isn't near as bad. His messes are usually books, lego's, and whatever isn't that he shoves under the bed. Sadly, my husband doesn't know this trick, and we've had to do some massive cleaning out from under the bed. I have also gone through his clothes and reorganized his drawers. It was less than a month ago. In that short time, his closet has gone down the crapper. I open a drawer that is supposed to be for socks and underwear, and find shirts and pants shoved into it.

I start to feel like a crazy person. Constantly cleaning up and organizing something puts me over the edge. Especially when I know that the person/child is totally capable of doing better. (it is especially irking when I push myself to do this or that because it's something I have a hard time with and then they totally DESTROY MY WORK!!! Perhaps it is just a trial a mother has, but it is truly pushing me over the edge.)

Enter the label maker.

Enter checklists posted in every conceivable place to remind them.

I picked up my label maker (brother, p-touch) from Costco the other day. This is my first one ever. I am going to label his dang drawers. As well as hers. And I'm sure I can find other things in the house to label. Like my cooler. Or our dvd's.

I am going to put my laptop back near the printer and there are going to be lists in bedrooms, closets and bathrooms.

And you know what, it will be very hard not to do this same thing for my husband. He needs just as much help with these sorts of things as the kids do. I mean, would it kill you to close a drawer or close a cupboard??? I know, little things, they shouldn't matter. But, unless it is a HUGE emergency, everyone has time to close a drawer or cupboard.

So, goal for the week is to get this process started. I don't think I'll finish, and I know things aren't going to magically run smoothly right away. But if I 'reward' their efforts and attempts to use the labels and to use the checklists with dad/mom dollars (some have pics of me and some have pics of him) I hope to see improvement.

My ultimate goal is this: when they leave the house/go on a mission for our church/get married/go to college, their roommates/spouses/missionary companions will not lose their minds because because my children can't take care of their space. I hope for the opposite. I hope that things will stay reasonably picked up and that they can hang up their dang towel.

I'll let you know how it goes.....

Saturday, August 6, 2011


I remember the first time I ever saw dolphins swimming in the ocean.

I was about 14 or 15, and our family was camping at Grover Beach. My sister and I woke up and decided that we were going to walk to the beach before breakfast. Mostly just to get out of the tent we were sharing with two of my brothers. It's amazing how boys in the middle of puberty don't even have to do anything to stink it up.....

We had to walk over the dunes to get to the beach. We were mostly looking for these teeny tiny sand dollars on the sand. An Italian couple were also out walking. Then all of a sudden they yelled and were pointing out to the water. We looked, and there they were. It was almost as if we could swim to them, they were that close. By that point, my whole family (six kids and two parents) had decided to follow us and were at the beach, so we all saw them.

It was pretty awesome.

I've seen them several times since then, and every time it amazes me.

I love it. Maybe some day I'll get to swim with them.

Friday, August 5, 2011

At least it didn't rain

I'm waiting for the washing machine to finish. Otherwise, I would be in bed.

We had four or five days of beautiful sun and warmth. I had made plans today to visit my aunt, and go to the beach (well, a puget sound beach) near her house where she said there were lots of starfish.

And of course, in classic pacific northwest style, today barely got above 70, and I think I saw blue sky only as I was coming home. And, we were there so early, that the tide was too high to see much. Not to mention that it was cold, so there was no way I was getting into the water to go and see what we could find.

There was a pier, with people fishing for crab and actual fish. The kids thought that was pretty cool. We were also next to the boat launch, so it was cool to see so many boats come in and out.

It could have been a worse day, for example, it could have rained. But, lucky for us, it didn't.

Well, I have no idea how long it's been since I started typing, but it is starting to sound like my washer might be getting done. So, I will end this sad post.

Like Annie says, "the sun will come out, tomorrow!" But I don't think she had ever been to the pacific northwest.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I love summer nights.

The few clouds that are in the sky are pink with the sun setting. People have their sprinklers going.

There is a slight breeze.

The smell of the water coming out of the hose. (it has a smell. and a taste.)

Remembering how the sun felt on your skin that day.

And feeling like this is so precious because we get so few days like this.

I wish I weren't so tired so I could go outside and enjoy more of it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Almost forgot

It's late, and I almost forgot to do my ten minutes.

I had a friends kids over for a while so she could pick up her husband (who had been gone for work for two to three months) in peace. And because, for a change, it was super nice outside, I did my best to keep all five kids outside to play. It worked for a little while. I managed to be out long enough to get a little bit of a flip flop tan on my feet, which warmed my heart.

I have been reading a lot of books. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, Heaven is for Real, Beside a Burning Sea, and I Still Dream About You. And tonight I started The Poisonwood Bible. Our book club is starting up next month again, so I'm trying to read the books I want to read before I commit to reading books that other people want to read. I really do enjoy our little group that gets together. We'll be talking about The Historian at our next meeting.

My vacuum is on its way out. Which is sad, as it is purple. When my husband bought it for me, he bought it because he knew I liked the color purple. Well, and we needed a new vacuum. And I always use cleaning products or appliances more if they smell nice and/or are pretty. You can't not use a purple vacuum. I will have to start pricing them out. In a perfect world, I would have two vacuums. One for the upstairs and one for the downstairs. I just hate carrying those heavy things up and down. We do have a small handheld one for the stairs and the car.....

Well, my ten is almost up. It is late, and I need to get to bed because tomorrow we don't have any plans, and I'm looking forward to just being home, without anyone coming over (I watched two other sets of kids last week. I don't mind watching other kids. But I think I'm done with that for a week or two.) and without having to do much at all. Maybe we'll go get their school supplies. And some milk....almost out of milk.......

Monday, August 1, 2011


I am now a fan of going on food tours. Last Friday, we drove up to the big city and went on a gourmet food tour. The next morning, we went on another one, it was a chocolate tour. You get to walk around the downtown area, and eat food.

The above is called drinking chocolate. It was thick, you could taste the different spices they had put into it. Our tour guide also had to fend off passersby, as they thought he was handing out free samples. This was on our second tour.

Now this was my favorite from our gourmet tour. It is a pizza (which was a little sourdough like), with yukon gold potatoes, pecorino cheese, olive oil, and herbs. I wish I could have had the whole pizza. In fact, after our chocolate tour, we walked right past it and I kept trying to get my husband to stop and have lunch there....I think he was too full of all the treats we had already had. Oh well. I know for next time I'm there.

All in all, our overnight trip was lovely. We stayed in a very nice hotel (probably the most expensive one we've ever stayed in), ate delicious food, the sun was out, and the best of all was that we didn't have any kids with us. Sometimes I forget who we are without children.

And now since I've taken up more than ten minutes (I figured I could take up to 30 since I missed a few days), I am out of here.