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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Another snow day

It snowed again today.

Where do I live?

Seriously.

This is the pacific northwest, it's supposed to rain all winter, not snow.

My kids are going to be in school til July.

This is totally messing with our summer.

Don't get me wrong, I like it better when they are home. But, when it starts cutting into summertime, me and winter are going to have a knock out, drag down, gloves off fight.

Basically I'm just glaring out the window. But winter knows I'm mad, I'll tell you what!

"Don't mess with my vicious glare,Mr. Winter!You'll be sorry!"

So, I'm off to sit in my pajamas all day and watch movies, and bake cookies, and eat waffles for breakfast cuz we actually have time today, and nap, and read stories and giggle and play.

Hm.

Nevermind Mr. Winter, you just do what you gotta do.

We'll be just fine.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

One of those cereal for dinner days

My day yesterday.

Was like this:
And this:
video
You only had to listen for 10 seconds, I got to listen to that, for like, 20 minutes.

At least.

Maybe longer.

What's that you say?

I'm sorry, I can't hear you, I have been rendered deaf by the ear splitting noise that Henry made most of the afternoon.

And I can't see you because of the gray haze and drizzle currently blocking the light.

Yeah, it was one of those days.

And yes, we had cereal for dinner.

Don't judge me.

Please.

I can't be held responsible for the quality of the food around here on days like this.

I just can't.

Thank you.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Who is that?!

MBA school feels like along time ago now.

Alot of it was a blur simply because it was so stressful and we were really busy.

That's my excuse anyway.

However, there were times of fun and outlets for a lot of stressed out MBA students. Like sledding and bbques and various other get togethers.

On such occasions lots of people are taking pictures, keeping chronicles of their glory days at BYU.

They then send around these pictures to whoever was there and instant memories are stored on your computer.

When Jeff received an email with the pictures from a recent sledding adventure, he couldn't wait to show me-most likely so I could see what I missed.

While looking thru the pictures I was shocked to see a young man that piqued my interest because he was, well,he was H.O.T.-hot.

(The guy in the center with the sunglasses)

I was embarassed by this feeling and confused because I can honestly say that I don't care about other men, at all.

Sure I'm not blind and can see when someone is attractive, but the interest I felt in this person seemed strange and out of the ordinary and I was possibly a little too interested.

And because I didn't recognize him when I knew some of the others in the picture I asked Jeff "hey, who is that guy, I don't recognize him?"

Jeff looked at me funny and said, "That's me."



Oh,phew.

What a relief.

That would explain how attractive I found him.

Nothing explains why I didn't recognize my own husband.

But it sure put a smile on Jeff's face to know that I was secretly thinking, "who is that hot guy?"

So, is this really messed up? Or is it just that my subconsious will always know my Jeffy? Even when my brain isn't functioning properly?

Or could it just be that Jeff is one hot potato and who could possibly help but think so?

I'll go with that.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Dance King

Why I am insanely in love with Jeff:Reason 847

Go here for an awesome video of my dancing king husband.


And in case you're wondering about his hair in this video, he was growing it out so he could be Wolverine for Halloween.

And FYI-the fact that he still dresses up for Halloween is Reason 1026 of why I am insanely in love with him.

Friday, February 20, 2009

the one and only Keno



This is my big brother Keno. Oh how I love him.

I've always looked up to him. I've always thought he was just a cool guy.

Both my parents always worked. When we weren't with my grandma Keno was in charge.

Sometimes this meant that he had decided Maile and I had watched enough tv for the day so he would unplug the cable outside. Usually right in the middle of General Hospital.

It meant a lot of experimenting with food. Goulash anyone?

It meant building the fort around the utility light pole in the back yard.

We would spend hours creating skits and characters and filming them with the big Hurkin video camera. Dr. Joyce Sisters was a favorite.

As a family we weren't big on camping. Our one attempt ended in the 5 of us sleeping on top of the tent because my dad and Keno couldn't agree on how to set it up, all the while my mom cooked by the glow of the headlights on our car.

We never went again.

But Keno on his own was and has continued to be an avid camper. He earned his Eagle Scout at the age of 15.

I remember with "fondness" when he got back from his week long 50 mile hike at age 12. I'm not sure that smell ever leaves your memory.

In fact, he went camping yesterday for his birthday.


Keno has always been able to fix or build anything. He added lights to our Barbie house when he was 10 or so.

He was always rigging things to work better,experimenting, taking things apart. But with Keno, he got them back together and working again.

He's truly one of the smartest people I know as well as kind and generous and fun to be around.

Keno's first car was a Datsun 210, I think. We would drive it around listening to Dire Straights, Mr. Mister, Chicago, The Police.
Keno and I were always really good friends.Even with a 4 year age difference.

He was never mushy or sappy with us, he still has to be forced into a hug, but we know he loves us.

The best think Keno ever did was marry his lovely wife Amy. We all adore her and like him more because of his affiliation with her.

Keno is truly a one in a million. Somewhat because he is probably the only non-Asian in the world with the name Keno, but also cuz he is unique in his own bohunk way. (a bohunk is a person of east european descent(czech in our case) who is on the stubborn side.)

Keno and Amy have 4 great kids who are a real tribute to their most excellent upbringing.


Anyway, I love ya Bro. Happy Birthday Keno!

(And in case you hadn't noticed, my brother and sister have really cool names. What, may I ask, is up with that?

Why am I just Amy?

Sheesh, no wonder I worked so hard to be different my whole life, I didn't have a cool name.)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Frugal

Owning to the fact that the economy is where it is, many people I know, ourselves included, are dealing with layoffs, pay cuts, rate increases, etc.

With this in mind, I was asked lead a discussion group at church today on Frugal Living.

I didn't know I was that good at it until I started researching and found that I know many of the tricks to spend less.

Sticking to my budget is another subject entirely.

But I at least have the knowledge.

Here are some things I learned.

Wash your clothes in cold~they still get clean and it uses no energy to heat the water.

Reuse ziploc bags (unless they have had meat in them)by washing them out and letting them air dry.

Barter. For example, I would like piano lessons for my kids. I don't have the money to pay for them, but I make homemade bread every week and would be willing to trade bread for lessons. See what I mean?

I make my bread for 75 cents a loaf,by the way, so I save loads there and it's waay yummier.

To shave money off your food bill you must shop the sales, stick to your list, and avoid unnecessary trips to the store that add up to extra money spent. Also, never buy cereal full price, it is ALWAYS on sale somewhere, always.

Let go of a sense of entitlement. If we stop thinking that we deserve something just because we are a good person, worked hard, are pretty, nice, or whatever, then it's easier to step back and discern between needs and wants.

Turn your heat down.

Trade and share. If you have clothes you don't need, pass them on. If someone offers something you need, swallow your pride and accept it. This is how many survived the depression.

Be grateful for what you do have.~if we can step back and focus on our blessings, then gratitude will replace feelings of bitterness and anger.

Pay the Lord first. Whatever your religious affiliation, social conscience, political persuasion, be mindful of the blessings you have and pay your tithing, or give to charity or both.

Cut your dishwashing detergent in half. Your dishes will be just as clean and the detergent will last twice as long.

Turn the lights off when you leave the room.

Trade free babysitting with your friends, family, neighbors.

Bring your lunch instead of buying your lunch.

Buy in bulk. You can freeze the amount you don't need and use it over time. Watch for prices per ounce though to make sure you really are getting the best deal.

Cut up your credit cards, don't use them, pay them off.

I share this with you because this is what I have learned, not what I am good at.

There is always room for improvement. If we cut our costs and bank the money we save, then we will be in a better position to not only help ourselves, but to help others.

If we're frugal when we DON'T have to be, then we probably won't ever HAVE to be.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Back from Ocean Shores Wa.

Great time was had by all.

Lots of sand in socks.

Perfect weather.

Lots of laughing.

Not ready to come back to real life.

Highlights for you.











Monday, February 16, 2009

Off

I'm off to the beach with the fam.

A couple of days of regrouping.

A couple of days of cuddling.

A couple of days of sand everywhere and frozen toes.

Because we go to the beach in the winter.

Because we like the beach that much.

Because we're a little crazy like that.

Because Jeff has two days off of work and we haven't taken a vacation in a year and I have to get out of the Valley before my head explodes and go somewhere that has salty air, cold winds blowing and waves crashing and eat out at least once.

Because everybody needs a little time away.

You heard me say.

That's why I'm off until Wednesday.

Until then, au revoir, ciao, sayonara, Auf Wiedersehen, adios.

Catch ya on the flip side.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Update On my little Clown

Anne Marie went to school on Monday.

She was really mad at me for making her go.

But once she realized it was happening anyway, despite her threats of "I'm not going!!" she went to work with baby wipe after baby wipe until the clown face was more of a pink and blue glow over her whole face.

I didn't take a picture of it, because well, she wouldn't let me.

It was still obvious that something had happened to her face, but off she went to school.

She was still mad at me when she got home because her P.E. teacher had said something about blue and pink and then laughed.

She didn't like that.

However, I'm pretty sure the natural consequences that followed her foray into circus makeup have cured her of any further shenanigans with markers.

Hopefully.

But for now, we're all clear.

Monday, February 9, 2009

I thought it was a Miracle.

I thought today would be a Miracle. It would be officially 2 weeks of Anne Marie not missing any school.

As you may or may not know, Anne Marie has had a slower transition of accepting Kindergarten as a mainstay in her life.

Me, being who I am, have been an enabler in this capacity.

"You don't feel like going to school today? Ok, what do you want to do instead?"

"You're sad without me, aahh, just stay home"

You get the point.

Well, I finally realized that I just might be allowing her to manipulate me. *gasp* You don't say? Shocking, I know.

So I have made a concerted effort to encourage her to go to school everyday. When we made the 2 weeks mark of perfect attendance we did a little dance and took this picture.

However, I should have known that Anne Marie would find a way to best me. That somewhere in the workings of her mind, she would formulate a subconcious plan to thwart my best efforts.

Here is what she came up with.


This was taken 10 minutes ago, and Oh yeah, it's permanent.

I was informed that she wanted to be a clown, she wanted Henry to be a clown too.

He can't be held responsible for most of his actions yet, so I will not humiliate him.

On second thought.


But I'm thinking that I shouldn't let this mess up her perfect attendance streak.

In fairness to my daughter I'm willing to take a poll. It doesn't mean I won't still send her to school today, but I am curious what you all think. To send or not to send? That is my question.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Temptation

Caught in the act.



"If I can't see them, they can't see me, it's perfect, no one will ever know!"

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Inheritance

Wanna walk down memory lane with me? Great.

My lane of memories involves Cle Elum Washington, Mohar Road specifically, where my grandma lived. Her name was Ella Mae Rothlisberger Morrison.


That's her on the right, my dad and my Aunt Cathy make up that motley crew. I assume it's my mother behind the camera.

My grandma was a very big part of my childhood.

Both of my parents worked and so we spent almost every day in the summer with her and a lot of days after school as well.

She handled it pretty well I think.

I know we were a handful but her willingness to watch us so that we never needed daycare was pretty phenomenal.

She was the perfect cook for 3 young kids. Waffles every morning, Macaroni and Cheese for lunch, and noodles and sauce for dinner.

Not to mention the sips of coffee she would give us and the never ending supply of mini cans of 7UP and Coke.

She also took advantage of a new technology at the time called the Microwave.We had many a microwave cake and boy did they taste good.

My favorite memories of her are funny to me now, but she knew how to keep us entertained.

She would let me shave her legs with her electric razor. She was my grandma, so it wasn't weird or gross to me, it was fun.

She would always let us comb her hair the day before she got her hair done at the local beauty salon. It was always once a week and she would always fall asleep in her chair as we took turns combing it.

My grandma was also the funnest person in the entire world to scare. Now, I know that sounds mean, but she scared so easily.

We would wait outside the bathroom with our noses right next to the door, she would come out, her arms would fly into the air and she would scream, and usually pee her pants a little because she was laughing so hard.

We would scare her every chance we got, sometimes dozens of times a day, she always screamed, always laughed afterward and never got mad at us or asked us to stop, I think she honestly loved to be scared.

She would play card games with us all day if we wanted as well, usually falling asleep during a lengthy game of War.

Days spent at her house were magical. Everyday we walked across the field to my great grandmother's house. We would walk thru the back gate into her garden where the flowers were as tall as I was.

We would play in the barn, chase the peacock around, feed baby lambs on the front porch and stand by the fence and pet the top of the sheeps heads.

My great-grandmother had several old cars in her field that we would play in for hours. T.V. wasn't a huge part of our days.

We would pick wild roses along the road as we walked back to my grandma's house sometimes watching people jump into the canal just down the road.

There was a field between my grandma and great-grandma's houses. It was chock full of grasshoppers. We would catch them and feed them to my grandma's cockapoo Ginger.

Poor dog.

We would swing from the branch on the willow tree until my grandma finally got too nervous that we would fall and kill ourselves, so she cut it down.

At night we would cuddle up and watch Wheel of Fortune with her.

I have so many memories of her. She really helped to raise us in many ways (sorry mom and dad, but it's true.)

She died in 2004 of dementia. And I still miss her.

But I have little reminders of her.



She had this cuckoo clock for many many years. When we would spend the night I would hear it in the middle of the night chirping it's little "cuck-oo, cuck-oo".

So now it hangs in our house, in my bird room. We're still tinkering with it to get it to work but I love it, and it brings with it such nostalgia that even if it never tick tocks again I won't care.

My grandmother never had much money, but she certainly gave me an inheritance. An inheritance of rich memories, and a few precious possessions to always remind me of a blessed childhood and a grandma who loved me.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

From yuck to yay!

Before and After

Empty, spilled soy yugurt down the side. Happens to the best of us.

HUGE Costco trip and Fridge cleaning. Happy and content.


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