Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I am thankful

I am thankful it is the end of November. I missed a few days but I did pretty well coming up with things I am thankful for.

I think I used all my blogging brain cells this month so I may need a few days to recover. And I need some good blogging material. I'll see what I come up with in the next few days.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Only Two Days Left...

I have given each of the boys a post but as I started thinking about Jordan I was pretty sure I spotlighted her already this year. I did here when it was her birthday. So, I'll just do a short list. I'm lazy.

1. She is 1/2 girlie girl 1/2 tom boy. The girl really needs to quit skateboarding in her nice skirts though!

2. She loves to cuddle. I still tuck her in at night.

3. She loves to cook. Of course she is limited to quesadillas and grilled cheese. Oh and she makes a pretty good omelet. Someday we'll branch out with foods that don't include cheese in the middle...but why?

4. She loves to read, to sing, to dance, to do gymnastics.

5. She is fun to shop with.

6. She loves animals. Horses, dogs, cats, bugs....

7. She is a great helper and a good worker. She hardly complains and she gets the job done. I'm sure this won't last forever but I'll take it for now.

8. She loves hanging out with her brothers. However, the word of the day in our home the other day was "provoke" and she's pretty good at that too.

9. She just has awesome freckles. I'm waiting for the day she is in the bathroom with a lemon trying to get rid of them like Jan Brady.

10. She is a GIRL! Yes, I'm thankful for Jordan because she's a girl. I will admit it. While pregnant with her people would ask if I was going to keep trying for a girl if she turned out to be a boy. I would respond "no we are only having 3 but you can ask me again when I have 8 boys and I'm trying again for that girl".

--Obviously I am not capable of making short lists. Oh well!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Top 10 Reason's I'm Thankful for Jackson

Yep, I'm running out of time and I need to spread the love. I'm also exhausted from 4 days of late nights and early mornings. We'll see what I can produce.

1. He is my first baby. I won't deny that there IS something special about that first baby. Experiencing all those 1sts. I'll even forgive him for being 10 days late!

2. He has a great sense of humor. He takes his dad's dry whit and my sarcasm and uses the combination to his advantage. After parent teacher conferences once I asked him why all of his teachers think he's so great. He simply turned to me and said "well obviously they see in me things you don't". Hahaha. If you didn't know him you would think he was backtalking - the sarcasm is a gift.

3. He takes his responsibilities to heart. At his age I probably would have blown off half the things that are asked of him. He does his best to do what is expected.

4. He doesn't quit. He's a pretty hard worker when he has to be. He is also able to see more of the benefits of working.

5. His best friend is a girl. I love that. I hope it lasts because they have been friends since they were 5.

6. He is a good babysitter. Not that I haven't gotten reports that he was mean or forced them to watch tv in the other room so he didn't have to listen to them but for the most part I feel very comfortable leaving him in charge.

7. He is very open and honest. There isn't a conversation we've had that he didn't just ask what he wanted to know. This doesn't mean that as the immature mom I didn't have to run in to the other room and LAUGH AND LAUGH AND LAUGH and then come back with a straight face and answer his questions.

8. He has taken guitar lessons for 4 years. I'm thankful that he's stuck with it at times he thought he wanted to quit and I love to listen to him play. My kids have been lucky to pick up their dad's ear for music. I was in band in highschool but it wasn't a natural talent and I really can't HEAR it like they do.

9. He is frugal when spending my money. I know I said when he has his own money he tends to spend just to spend but he's learned how to shop when I'm buying and it has worked in his benefit. He picked up on what "clearance" meant pretty quickly.

10. He has a tender soul. There have been times I've said something and realized that it just cut a bit too much. He wants to please and when he realizes you are disappointed you can see how sad it makes him. I love that he cares. I love that he will still cuddle on the couch. I could go on and on but I am just thankful he is a part of our family.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

New Friends

I am thankful for new friends. There is nothing like taking the leap and saying "hey let's go shopping" or whatever and then having a ton of fun. I am really bad at this. I think I overthink it too much and then in my head it turns in to something else. Yes - I am neurotic. OK, maybe that's a bit much but sometimes it seems to be true. Just the other day a friend on facebook mentioned she wanted to get out of the house and so I jumped and asked "where". Next thing you know she's on her way to pick me up and I am sitting her wondering - did she say yes because it's out there on facebook and she doesn't want people to think she's a jerk? These are the things that go through my head. Either way - we did go out, we shopped, we laughed, we had fun.

I am not sure what my hang up is about making friends. I have to REALLY set the goal. When we lived in England I made it a point to be social. I seriously told myself I was going to meet people. I was going to be different - and when I say this I really mean at church. I have made friends at the park. I have friends who are my neighbors. It's the church friends I suck at. So, in England I was different. There were even new families in the ward that would comment that I was the first person to welcome them at the door - I will admit I was probably just stalking someone to teach primary that day - but I would also immediately introduce myself and go on from there. I think when we moved back to Tucson I just fell back in to my old ways. I did move back in to a ward that I had already been in before. There were faces I recognized. Groups I knew I probably didn't fit in. So, the cycle continued.

I think I need to go back to being social. Jumping out there, introducing myself. It really is more fun and I could always use more friends.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Today I am thankful for family, friends and good food. I'm also thankful my mom taught me to clean as I cook so my kitchen is not a disaster. I'm thankful for friends that bring pies and rolls since baking is not my strong suit. I'm thankful for neighbors that accept the invitation to stop by when they get back from the thanksgiving feast they were invited to. I'm also thankful for 6 kids who get along great and spend the day playing together, or in pairs, instead of complaining of being bored or arguing with each other. I'm also thankful only 1/2 those kids are mine!

I hope you all had a great thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Top 10 Reasons I Am Thankful For Jared

I guess I better keep track of these kid posts because I'm running out of November thankful days. I'll get the other two in there.

1. He is just an easy going kid. He was born layed back. I think he realized I had my hands full chasing his brother around so he was always content to just sit back and watch.

2. He just has a different thought process. What I mean is he thinks about things that my other kids would never be concerned about. Sometimes he will think about something for days before he will bring it up for discussion. When he was three he had an in depth discussion with my brother about pickles. The next day he said "we should talk about pickles again". My brother told him they could talk about other foods too.

3. He is a collector. As much as it drives me NUTS I also have grown to love it. You know if you see a sparkly thing on the ground or an odd piece of paper or a cool stick or rock he WILL pick it up. Sometimes you have to yell - DON'T before he gets his hands on it. He had a collection of wood chips for a while - I threw them out when he was at my moms.

4. He is a Grandpa's boy. It's actually sort of odd because the other two could hang out with Grandma all day long. He went and stayed with my parents and my mom was shocked thinking she would have someone to hang out with. Nope - he went everywhere with my dad.

5. He is a great reader. This took a LOT of work. In the early days I thought someone might lose a life over trying to learn how to read. It was painful. Very painful. I'm still not sure how it happened but he is a great reader and he loves to read. He is on book 5 of the Harry Potter series and has encouraged his friends to also read them - boys that haven't even seen the movies.

6. He is frugal. When my other two have money they just HAVE to spend it. If Jordan has a dollar she's in the dollar section at Target searching for something. Jared will go to Target several times and also search online until he has finally decided what he really wants. Jackson will just buy something to buy it.

7. He is happy to play alone. He will be in his room for hours playing with lego's or GI Joe or his other toys. Of course on the flip side I've gone in to his room and noticed that every GI Joe is strategically placed to shoot whoever entered. It's like Toy Story in there.

8. He still uses words he learned in England. He also still pronounces the letter H as "haytch".

9. He is a trivia buff and loves history. Even when he was having a really hard time with school he would retain stuff that was shocking. We could travel to some castle or historic area in England and say "hey Jared what's the difference between the anglo saxons and the normans" and he would explain it. It always amazes me.

10. I'm just thankful for him because of who he is. There have been many times that we've said "well that's just Jared" but it is. It's like he is his own definition.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Finally....Well, Almost!

I submitted my application to be a substitute teacher in our school district back in September or maybe even last August. It took some hoops to jump through just to get a state certificate to substitute teach and then to file all the information. I was then told I needed to wait for an interview. I have never been interviewed to substitute teach but I suppose there is some merit to it. Of course the first time they called for an interview I was going out of town that day. They do them in a group so I then got the impression it was more like an orientation, not an interview. Either way I waited for the next call. On Friday I got the call that my interview time would be today. I went to the district office and sat with 5 other people. We all followed the substitute coordinator and another woman from human resources in to a conference room. It was then explained that we would all be interviewed together and that we would all receive the same questions. For a minute I thought they were just going to hand us the packets and let us fill in our answers. Nope! I was at the top of the list so had the luck of answering the first question. There were several times that someone would answer and you would go OH MAN WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT??!! There were other times someone would answer and you could see eyes rolling from the others being interviewed. Or maybe I was the only one rolling my eyes at the guy who kept name dropping. You know what - I could name half the teachers at both schools my kids go to but I'm pretty sure they aren't interested in that.

So, if you noticed I said ALMOST. This is where the best part comes in. This was only an interview. I now have to see if I made the cut and in 2-4 weeks I might be lucky enough to get a call back for a 3 hour orientation. I'm not sure what they are going to fill three hours with. I'm sure I'll let you all know when it happens. Right now I'm just thankful that I finally had the interview and now I'll just wait for the next go round.

I'm also thankful for the friend that picked Jared up after school. (Because, of course, they scheduled the interview right during school pick up time.)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Story

There was a time in my blogging life that I had a regular Sunday story. That was when I was in Primary every week and my Sundays were filled with cute, embarrassing, hilarious or spiritual stories. Now I'm in Primary every now and then - I sort of enjoy being an on the spot substitute.

Today I had a group of 6/7 year olds that I have never taught before. In fact I only knew 2 of their names. We were discussing how sometimes people that we love go away for a while and how we feel when they are gone and how happy we are when they come home. Some of their comments were:

"My mom never picked me up from preschool once and I was really scared. I had to stay with the teacher and her daughter and I didn't think my mom was ever coming. When it was really late my Dad came because my mom was having my baby sister - I didn't even know she was having a baby."

"My mom went to Utah once and I sort of missed her but not really because my dad let's us do all sorts of fun stuff."

We also put a board game together and they colored it. Instead of writing the rules on the game I just wrote which lesson manual and the lesson number on the back. The kids were very confused because the "rules" didn't sound like anything I had told them. And they also weren't sure that their moms would understand what all that meant. I'm pretty sure their moms are all smart enough that they'll get it.

So, my thankful post of the day is that I'm thankful that I have Sunday stories to tell. Thankful that every now and then I get to jump in and have fun with the kids. (I'm not saying I want to be there EVERY week - just that I do enjoy it every now and then.)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I Would Be Grateful If....

someone could tell me how to fix my blog. I see many of you with a list of the blogs that you like to visit and it shows when those friends blog. I have searched and searched and I can't figure out how to make that change.

If anyone would like to share that secret I would love it!!!

I am not sure if this counts as something I am thankful for but I WILL be so it is an advance on the gratitude.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The 50's

We had a fun 20 minutes on Thursday night when Jared had his 5th grade music performance. Yes, 20 minutes. Maybe it was a few more than that but not much. Sometimes I'm thankful that they are so short, when Dad walks in during the last song I wish they were a few minutes longer.

Jared had a speaking part and he practiced but up there in front of everyone he stumbled over his words a bit but finally recovered. Either way I think he looked cute up there.

When we were at home getting ready Jackson asked if I knew how to dress Jared because of movies I watched when I was a kid. He's lucky he didn't ask if it was because that is how WE dressed, even though the similarities between the 50's and 80's are too many to number. He sort of looked like my friend Matt when we were in the 8th grade. The truth is, though, it really was from the movies I watched as a kid. My friend Andrea really called it though when she saw his picture and called him Pony Boy. We LOVED the movie The Outsiders.

My parents went out of town once for a few days and Andrea came and stayed at my house with me. I'm not sure why really. My brother went to a friends and Andrea, who was just 5 years older than me came and stayed with me. We both went to school during the day and then after school we watched The Outsiders OVER AND OVER AND OVER. We can still quote lines from the movie. (I think we lived on Lay's potato chips and dip that week too.)

I think Jared made a perfect Pony Boy.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Stock Piling!

I have a friend that I have shopped with a few times. Sometimes at Target she will say that she needs toilet paper. As we stand in front of all the rolls she picks up one package, four rolls, and puts it in her cart. I am always stunned by this and other similar behaviors. If my cousin is going to fix dinner she will go to the store and buy one package of pasta, one can of corn, and one of whatever else she is going to prepare.

My mom is the queen of stocking her pantry. I learned early on that if you need one of something chances are you're probably going to use it more than once and you should buy enough to last a while. I am not sure if my mom has ever run out of shampoo, toilet paper, or green beans.

I can honestly say that I do not have "food storage" in my house. I'm not proud of it but it is what it is. I've often joked that I will have enough toilet paper that I will be able to trade a roll or two for that ground wheat and potato pearls. I'll let you know if it works out in my favor or not. Mostly I just know that I'm glad that I'll have at least a few cans on my shelf and paper products in the cabinet. I'm also thankful that my mom has passed this down to me. Living where I do I'm not sure keeping only four rolls of toilet paper on hand at a time would be a good idea anyway.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I love getting the mail and opening up something you think is junk mail only to find that it is a rebate check. Thankful I didn't just toss it in the trash.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Joy of Guilt

The past two weeks we've had a bit of trouble in our home. Nothing to serious but annoying nonetheless. And you know - it's just a slippery slope and that nothing serious becomes something else. Lucky for me I like to lay on the guilt and it currently still works. Yes, I am thankful for guilt. Insert evil laugh.

Jackson is having a difficult time with his homework lately. I'm not sure what it is but mostly it's just that he isn't finishing it. This leads to getting after school detention of sorts, they call it ZAP. It can be good, it lets kids get help if they need it and it does show that the teachers are on top of their missed assignments. All fine and good if I wasn't asking him if he finished his homework and he wasn't saying yes. We all know what that is...when someone says something that isn't true. It's a bad three letter word.

Flash forward to today. The boy goes off to school only to call me an hour later and tell me he has ZAP. I promptly went in to his room and took his iPod, his PSP, his gameboy, any other form of entertainment that was in there. When he came home I asked for his phone and he responded "I know, I'm grounded."

I then stood in the doorway of his bedroom and told him he has a week to get it all together. To get his homework done and prove to me that he deserves all of his stuff back. I told him he had to earn his iPod and phone back and that it would probably be a lot easier to earn those "things" back but it might take some time to earn my trust back and that I hoped he thought that was more important than texting his friends. Yep, the guilt. And I layed it on thick. We'll see if it worked.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Family Time

I am thankful for family time. We spent the whole weekend just the 5 of us. We had lunch together, we went to the movies, we just hung around at home. I know that soon enough my kids are going to be older. They are going to hang out with friends. Have even more extracurricular activities than they already do. So, for now I'm thankful that they still like to hang out with us. It could just be the food and movies that keep them around though.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Annoying Gratitude?

I noticed today on facebook a friend posted "I'm grateful you didn't post what you're grateful for today." She doesn't read my blog so I'm pretty safe in saying it wasn't directed at me but it also made me wonder. What is it about someone else's gratitude that can be annoying? Maybe she was being sarcastic? I would take annoying gratitude over some status updates I have read.

I have a friend who ends almost every update with the word "sigh". I have had to block her because I can't take the negativity every day. I don't understand the constant depression. Is there nothing in your life that makes me smile? Sigh.

I have another friend who constantly brings up topics to spark in depth conversations. Playing devil's advocate ALL the time? I've even been lured in to make a response and immediately regretted it remembering that his sole purpose is to watch the dance between all of his friends.

Another friend just posts nonsense. If we were still 14 I would find his status updates funny. Instead I read them and wonder how, at 37, his sense of humor and his friends haven't changed AT ALL.

Maybe I'm just boring and easily annoyed myself? Maybe I am facebook friends with people I was not actually FRIENDS with and those are exactly the reasons why. I do know that I wouldn't be bothered if some of these people were more grateful. I am also thankful for those friends I have that are.

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Mom

My mom came to visit this last week. It was perfect timing since Stew was out of town for two weeks. Always nice to have someone else here so the kids aren't left alone in the evenings so much. Of course I could drag all 3 of them to different activities but nobody wants to hang out at the gym for an hour and a half, or at the church, or the bowling alley.

We had a great time shopping and eating out. Yesterday Stew came home and today my mom went home. Tag team help - sounds good to me. I guess in all the excitement I forgot to be thankful for something yesterday but hey, who really thought I would do it anyways?

So, I am thankful for my mom. Thankful that she loves my kids and that she likes to come and hang out with us. I love that she cooks and cleans. I love that she sits on the couch and does crossword puzzles and soduko with the kids. Those soduko puzzles have numbers in them..NUMBERS!!! My kids like numbers, I don't, so that is good.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Where Is My Computer Repairman?

My computer is actually working just fine but we have the entire system hooked up to a battery backup. The battery is no longer able to support the four devices hooked up to it and it has been beeping. Beeping the same way a smoke detector does when it needs a new battery. Beeping, beeping, beeping. I can't turn it off because my internet router is one of those devices hooked up to the back up. It wasn't a constant beeping so it was easy to ignore at times but today it decided to give up the ghost. The beeping has turned in to an alarm sequence of beeping. I finally had to steal a surge protector that I plug my laptop into and transfer everything to it to stop the beeping.

So, you may wonder, did I forget I was supposed to be thankful for something? What does all this beeping have to do with being thankful? Well, my computer repairman will be here tomorrow. He's been gone for almost two weeks and we pick him up at the airport at lunchtime. I'm not ready to do an "I'm thankful for my husband" post so for now I will just say that I am thankful my computer repairman is coming home. And I'm thankful the beeping has stopped.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Today I am Thankful For...

My son's boyscout leaders. After taking a carload of boys to home depot and then standing in the store while they all picked out lumber for a project I can positively say that I am thankful for their leaders. I am also thankful that I am NOT their leader.

I did have an older woman stop and chat with me. She commented that she thought they were well behaved and that they all looked like they were great friends. I am not sure about the first but I really think the second part is true. They are a GREAT group of boys and it is nice to see them working together.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Monday night is MY night. On my one night that is all about me - I bowl. I have had people ask me how long I've been bowling and sometimes I will reply "in utero" since my mom bowled in a Sunday night league when she was pregnant with me and I was born on a Monday morning. The truth is I have only bowled for about 20 years. My mom has bowled off an on my entire life and it was also something my brother did. For some reason I never picked it up - probably because it was Larry's thing. We kept our activities pretty separate when we were kids.

When I went to Rick's for college I was picking classes and needed one more credit. Hmmm what to do what to do? I picked beginning bowling. It was a fun class, I learned how to bowl, I learned how to keep score, there were boys. As the next semester was coming up it was time to plan my schedule again. Did you know they offered Advanced Bowling? Oh yes, that was me. Not really but I had the pre-requisite of beginning bowling so why not?? This is where I met my husband. Truth is that I thought he was a bit of a geek. We were friends though, we bowled together. The rest is history.

We went years where neither of us bowled. It was an expense that we couldn't afford. It was also time that we didn't have. When we moved to England we both joined leagues. It was a great way for me to get out and meet people. The Tuesday Morning Women's League was the place to be. Stew bowled on Thursday nights and for a while I bowled with him. Now that we're back in the states it is back to him being too busy to bowl but I still do. The kids are old enough I am able to take time out for myself. A night where I just hang out with the ladies I bowl with. Some days I bowl horribly, some days I do pretty well. Tonight? A 201!!! I'm thankful for the 201- we won the game. I'm thankful for "advanced bowling". I'm thankful for ME time!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cookies & Neighbors

I am not going to turn this in to a "thankful for food" month but for the second day in a row I AM thankful for food.

Today I am thankful for chocolate chip cookies. I loaned a book out to our neighbor, she is 11. Today there was a knock on the door and two girls standing with a container of chocolate chip cookies. I told them to thank their mom, actually saying how incredible she is. Triathlete, cookie baker, what else can she do? The younger sister turned and said "my mom didn't make them - Mandy did." Even better! And let me tell you they were GOOD. I am going to have to ask the secret but they were just the right amount of soft and crisp and the chocolate chips were still gooey!

I love having neighbors close to borrow eggs and cups of milk and to loan out books. Too bad they are not likely to get delicious cookies in return - but with a cookie maker like Mandy they don't need mine.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

That Was Close!

I almost failed on my challenge. It didn't help that I counted my midnight challenge as 5 posts and ended up with a whole day of no posting because of it.

So - what am I thankful for today? When I tell you just remember that I didn't promise that they would be total heartfelt earth shaking things to be thankful for. We all know we should remember to be thankful for the small things too, right? So, today I am thankful for

Yes, chips and salsa from Chili's. We went to Chili's for lunch today. My mom, Jordan and I with our good friends. It is always nice to be out with friends visiting over chips and salsa. It doesn't hurt that I think their salsa is extra yummy.

It also reminded me about when we lived in England. No, they don't have a Chili's where we lived but they do have one in Chicago O'hare Airport. I remember ending almost every visit home with a layover in Chicago. I would go to the Chili's and order a side salad with ranch dressing and chips & salsa. Two things that I knew reminded me of home just to prepare me for the long months I would then be away. It may seem completely silly. And yes, it probably also means that I turn to food for comfort but you know what - there could be worse things.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Challenge...

I have another friend who has taken up the challenge to blog every day in November. Since it has been two weeks since my last post (I didn't get the job and never got a call or letter but the new teacher started on Tuesday) I wonder can I actually take up that challenge. I mean it is the 4th of November, actually in 2 minutes it will be the 5th. So, it is too late right? Oh, who cares about the rules and let's just get started. I think I'll even have a theme. Being November I'll go with Thanksgiving. Not only will I find things I'm thankful for but I'll actually have to come up with something interesting to say about it. This could get interesting, or extremely boring - stay tuned.

Since today is the 5th, yes I've been typing for two minutes, I think a list of 5 things is due. Since I didn't blog about our trip to Vegas I'll work that in too, I'm sneaky like that.

#1 The ability to turn 38 years of not being a family into working on being one.

#2 Crazy family members who are willing to be shot up in the air at the top of the stratosphere. Especially for that little girl of mine who is just incredible. She chickened out for a bit but got back in her seat and did it! Jordan ROCKS!

#3 I am thankful for this old man. He's been my dad for as long as I can remember. He is a fantastic dad and a great grandpa. He even watched all the kids while we went and saw Cher and the guys were out at a casino.

#4 I am thankful for M&M's. No wait that isn't right. Well, I do like chocolate but that's not the point. At the M&M factory the kids were racing up the escalator and Grace tripped. It was NOT a pretty sight. A nice employee helped us out and got bandaids and all of that stuff to clean up her shin.

#5 Hoover Dam. Can I be thankful for the Hoover Dam? I think so because it gives me all of these opportunities to post dam pictures. It's become a hobby and it makes me happy. Dam happy.