Friday, July 31, 2009

"Hey Hey we're The Monkees..."

"... people say we monkey around..."

As I was coaxing some (lots of) potato peelings down the disposal tonight, I noticed a rather unpleasant trickling sound. You know that sound that causes a wee bit of panic? Like "What is spilling?" or "Who's peeing on the floor?"

It turns out our sad ancient little pipes below deck couldn't handle so much waste and water and decided to spit back out and fill the cabinet with yucky wet junk. (thankfully, mostly water)

Being the clever, innovative only-adult-home-at-the-time, I did what anyone would do.

I used duct tape.

Problem solved. (sort of)

Daniel took his tools out and gave it the once-over.

He called it "A Job Well Done" and said "My work here is finished."

No, he really didn't. But he was a very good helper and did his best to fix it with his blocks and screws. He even remembered to bring something to catch the water.

Now if he can only grow the heck up and become the plumber/mechanic/electrician in the family so we can get some free services...

Na, he's still pretty cute. I'll keep him as is.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Be forewarned, I'm too lazy and too tired to write much. (I know, what else is new) But we had a lovely (albeit exhausting) summer day and I want to remember it.

So I'll do what I always do and just stick up a bunch of pictures. (hey, I never said I was good at this)

We spent the day at Grandma's to enjoy the company of our relatives a little more before some of them return to beautiful New Mexico. (not to worry guys, you'll not see your mugs published today. I'll take a break... for now)

I was pleased and skeptical when I caught these two playing so nicely together. Turns out, I underestimated them today. They were very well behaved all afternoon. I don't recall needing to raise my voice, other than to tell them to quiet down a little. (yes, I see the irony)

We had a really nice lunch and a happy little visit from Aunt Mary's (and mom's) friend, Molly. What a great gal and a fun story teller. She's one of those people I could listen to all day.

Poor Inga, she doesn't know what to do with herself when there are so many people in the house. (except lay right in the spot that gets the most traffic)

This is a carriage block from a really long time ago on my old street. I used to pretend I was Mary Poppins and jump off this with an imaginary umbrella. Thank goodness I never searched for anything higher to get a better effect. (no, that will be what Daniel tries when I'm not looking)

This is the street I grew up on. I walked this sidewalk to the bus stop, to get snacks from the quick shop at the end, and I learned to ride a bike on this slightly crooked path. It makes me feel a teeny bit fuzzy to see my kids playing on it too.

After a delicious supper of pulled pork, corn on the cob, a fantastic cole slaw salad and too many kinds of brownies for dessert, we walked to a nearby water park/playground.

I love pictures with water in them.

The kids had so much fun they forgot that they don't get along half the time. They played with their (second?) cousins who are a teeny bit older. Ashley, Dustin and Krista have become practically celebrities in the eyes of my kids. Already as we were preparing for bed my oldest two were asking me when we would see them again.

I'm exhausted. But it's the really good kind. So I'll take it and I'll look forward to the next time mom's sister and her family come back around.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I am hereby dedicating this post to Leslie Sansone, without whom I would most definitely need to be rolled out of the house like Violet Beauregard as a blueberry.

I made this devilish recipe this afternoon. (that's Dan's impatient finger) Another from PW's new kitchen site. She needs to stop it right now because pretty soon my butt will be too big for the computer chair that I spend way too much time in.

Katie was willing to try it. She called it a "bol-kay-no"

I told Daniel this was a dessert often called "chocolate lava cake" just to spark his interest. It only had to be dessert for him to be interested but naming it for him may have been a mistake.
He was staring silently at it for a minute and when I asked him what he was doing, he said "I'm waiting for it to erupt. When does the lava come out?" Despite the disappointment over a non-functional lava cake, he still ate it.

Uh oh...after a couple bites, she wasn't so sure... She's smarter than I think. (or is it the other way around? I mean it IS chocolate)

I won't post a picture of me eating it. It's not pretty. Though I did get a renewed ambition to start exercising again.

But then I needed to do something on the computer.

Then my sister called.

Then this little guy showed up in our backyard. "Ooohhh! A cute little woodlandcreaturefuzzybunnywabbit!"

My ADD is at it's worst when I should be doing something else.

Then I bit the bullet and did it. A little Aerosmith, some Clapton, a touch of Linkin Park and Pearl Jam got me through it. Leslie's not too hard. If you really want to do a number on yourself, try any of The Firm workouts. I was a goner the first time I did that one.

And now I'm back on my rear again.

I know there is muscle underneath all this junk. If only I can coax it back into the light.

But I'm determined to keep at it until I knock down those extra chins.

My goal is one chin and right now, I'm counting three so I have a tough road to travel. Or a hard pill to swallow. Or could it be a spoonful of sugar...?
Maybe I'll be more apt to do this if I humiliate myself with progress pictures. I think it's best for everyone to keep it at head shots only.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Then and Now

Just look at this. Pitiful. I got away with it because I was ten and it was my first horse show but can you see those socks? Red and navy stripes. Which wouldn't matter if I was wearing proper boots that would cover those gaudy things but I'm pretty sure I've got loafers on. (I bet those socks had toes too. Who cared anyway? Because my instructor is wearing striped tube socks over his riding pants...oh the 80's) Why did I keep my sweatshirt around my waist? Man, I must have really not wanted to win. But I certainly wasn't trying to blend in either. Well, it's not like it was a fashion show or anything.

This was the beginning of my love affair with riding. It was my "thing". I ride English now (desperate attempt to hang onto my youth) but I'd love to ride Western too, just to have the chance to gallop once in a while. Everyone should gallop on a horse across an open plain in their lifetime. (cue "Oklahoma" music) It's such a great high. Not like that "jogger's high" I've heard about. I have ZERO interest in that one.

For the first time in years, I competed in a horse show this past weekend. While hot and dehydrated, I still had a great time and was not too humiliated being surrounded by so many little girls. (I rode in the adult division. Small, but thankfully there for people like me.)
Afterwards, my kids were inspired to have their own horse show. They set up pillows for jumps and awarded ribbons and everything.

Excited that they were showing an interest in my interest, I dug out my old ribbons for them to play with. Alas, Shannon liked matching them to her outfit more than play-riding. Really that's fine though because I'd probably be scared to death if I watched my kids do any serious riding. No wonder mom didn't watch me too often.

Notice these are the highest-placing ribbons. I have no idea where I stashed all my 5th, 6th, and 7th place ones. (much to Shannon's chagrin. She would have liked to "match" the pink ones with her outfit.)

What ever happened to those scrawny things? I really miss 'em.

This was last Saturday. I'm so very thankful it's so dark because in my head my legs were still those toothpicks and when I saw this, I was smacked with a reality I was none too pleased with.

Maybe I should start jogging...

Monday, July 27, 2009

We had such a mind-blowing, hair-raising, stimulating, non-stop weekend, I thought I'd write about our very normal and average day today just to build the suspense. Keep you waiting. Cause I'm not a nice person. I'm so cruel, I made this meal for lunch today. Pioneer Woman's Ranch Style Chicken

After choking this down, I forced everyone to eat no less than 2 each of these.

Or maybe that was just me and it was 5 or something...

Try 'em! They're pretty good! There are many variations possible. I did peanut butter cookies with plain kisses, and choc. chip with rolos. The recipe calls for store-bought dough, I think next time I'll make them with homemade dough. Still, just try and eat less than 2 of them. I triple dog dare ya.

After about five straight minutes of crying, we finally got to see a brand new smile. Katie helped it along while they were wrestling (thus the tears) but in the end, Shannon couldn't stop smiling and talking about it and planning a party. She really wanted to decorate the house to celebrate her lost tooth. She also thought the tooth fairy would bring her presents like Santa does.

Poor Daniel, we spent so much on the fancy dinner and Shannon's party we had nothing left to even clothe him in.

Okay, actually he just got really wet playing in the sink and stripped. Then he thought it would be fun to play in the kitty tube. I think the cats were ticked.

I went to a meeting today to decide if and what kind of therapy Katie will need. She'll start speech 2 days a week in September. During the meeting, I was asked to write down all the social activities she attends and for how long. Well, she's such a socialite I had to ask for more paper and look up the names of all her peeps. What?? She's 3! This was not the first time in this process I was quietly encouraged to socialize my child.

"Does she play often with other children her age?"
"No, no, we just keep her in the basement all the time."

"How often is she exposed to her peers?"

"So often we have to pencil us into her schedule."

"How does she react when she doesn't get what she wants? Does she get upset?"

"No, not at all. She's quite a lady. We're thinking of introducing her to the queen soon."

I know these questions are important for kids who have more needs, and it's just formalities. But I can't help feeling like these therapists (more than one spoke to me about this) are trying to subtly tell me to kick my kid out of the house to ensure she doesn't become an agoraphobic recluse with ADD or something.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Ever have one of those days?

This pretty much sums it up today. Nothing serious, just a lousy mood. (me, not her. She was fine. Maybe we'll come to need each other in that way. We're frequently on opposite mood planes. At least then we can lean on each other.)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Our family from Albuquerque is in town for a nice visit. We always have a great time when we see them.

This is Ashley. See how happy she is? Must be the beautiful dry and clear weather we've been having that is so much like the sapphire skies and dry air of her home.

Here we have my sisters. I'm not sure why I took a picture of them. They're not visiting from Albuquerque. I see them all the time. Oh yeah, I remember. Teresa (in green) loves having her picture taken. So being the nice person I am I had to oblige. See her expression? It's the tail end of a great big smile. She loves me and my angelic children.

That's my mom and her sister, Mary. I thought I'd liven things up with some history trivia questions. What a party animal I am. They loved that and told me it was just what they wanted to do tonight. See how out of control we can get? Mom is correcting A. Mary about St. Francis of Assisi and Mary is reminding mom that she is perfectly able to rip mom's doll's heads off if she doesn't shut up. It got a little ugly. (oh wait, that was their childhood...sorry)

Here's Alec. He's really smart and set us all straight about King Arthur's Quest for the Holy Grail. (we thought it might be the quest for the holy hand grenade)

And this serious bloke is my brother. (why didn't I take more pictures of the people I don't get to see all the time?) He never looks like this. He's quite animated all the time. We just came back from seeing Harry Potter and I think he's a little upset about Dumbledore's fate.

I regret putting this one here. Dad is not vomiting, he is trying desperately to eat off of the quality china I provided. (being the gracious hostess I am)

Hey, he's having fun! Hi there nephew Evan!

I have no photos of U. Jay, Pattie, or Dustin. (or the locals who were also there: Andrew and Collin) Fear not. Your time will come.

Despite my sarcasm, I really did enjoy having lots of family in the house. (especially since I wasn't home half the night anyway. Thanks for b-sitting so I could go to the movies!)

After everyone left, I realized how quiet my family is and how much I don't mind house-full-of-people-noise when compared to my-3-kids-noise which is almost totally drowned out when they are outnumbered.

Thanks to my superb hostessing abilities, I'm sure to expect everyone back tomorrow night. (so, I can go out again, right? No? Thought I'd try.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

At least the Hemlock Fair was not a total wash out. In the beginning, we were so dry and happily unaware of the pending downpour.

I think Dan believes he is on a REAL 4-wheeler. "Don't bother me, I'm ridin."

You can bother us girls, we're silly with horse-love. Okay, maybe just me, but who doesn't like the merry-go-round? Not this little lady.

Or this one.

The "hot air balloon" ride was a real winner. Though Shannon never loosened her grip on the rail, for a little while I worried she might be getting sick. Thank goodness she wasn't. She was just scared. I can handle scared. Throw up not so much.

We were just getting into the rides when it started to rain.

It didn't just rain, and the skies didn't just open up. The atmosphere turned inside-out, gathered all the moisture from all the lands (and seas) and dumped all of it on us till we were wetter than a wart hog's backside. (is that even a phrase? where have I heard that?)
Amongst all those animals, I was fearful of getting kicked off Noah's Ark for being a human.

But we were undaunted. Take cover and retreat now? Naa, we'll just wait it out like we did last year when a monsoon passed through. The animal barns seemed like a good place to go.

The pigs were kinda cute.

Not so cute. Look at those veins!

Aaahhh, I bet she feels better.

Got Milk? She gave about a gazillion gallons of it.

This is cuter.

But we did see a lot of these

Then it was time for the Demolition Derby. Daniel has been waiting for this all day and kept reminding us about it. All day. Lots of times. He called it "the dervy" every time.

The derby is a really cool show with lots of cars smashing and explosions and wrecks and hoots and hollers from the crowd.

Pretty cool huh? Okay, this was an Indiana Jones reenactment at Disneyworld on our honeymoon. I guess I shouldn't have expected Disney-level entertainment from Hemlock, (not that I did) but I did like the 4-H horse riding competitions a lot more. No pictures of that though. I was too busy convincing 3 severely bored children the exciting world of equestrian events and it's importance in our culture. No one listened. (big surprise) So we played paper-scissors-rock instead.

This was the derby. It was ok, but due to the now pounding rain and lightning, it was cut short.
Anyway, I found myself looking over at these guys the whole time. (the horses, not the men. I'm pretty hopeless)

But we kept busy because we were in a dry place and we weren't ready to get wet yet. Shannon loosened her tooth some more.

Katie was fed salt potatoes by Grandma. And Daniel and daddy really had fun watching the derby. All 2 heats of it.

Because people were now swimming from barn to barn, and the lightning was getting scary, the derby was canceled. So to avoid getting wet, (like that wasn't a lost cause) we sheltered ourselves in the 4-H horse barn.
And that's where I met HIM. Isn't he beautiful? This handsome fella is over 17 hands high. (I think a hand is 3 or 4 inches so that puts him at 5.6 feet tall at the withers, the highest part of his back) I saw him go during the show jumping and he stepped over those almost 4 ft. jumps. He was quite good natured too. Those 4-H girls are so sweet for letting us bother them.

It's late now, and I'm tired. So nothing clever to say. Despite the rain, we still had a good time and we all got to do a bit of what we wanted. Well except maybe Shannon. She really wanted to play a game and never got the chance.
And she doesn't really like rides much.

And she doesn't care for stinky barn animals or for cars smashing together.

I think we owe her one. She was a pretty good sport today.