Saturday, October 29, 2005

Happy Fetchin' Halloween

This was a photo worth showing to everyone. And it even got me to blog an entry. Here is my cool brother-in-law Logan dressed up for Halloween. As he walked into our Halloween party last night he received a standing ovation. Swwwwweeeet!

He is a good look alike, huh? Can you believe this is his real funny because he really has very straight hair. If you are living in the stone age and need a reference to Logan's hero,Napoleon Dynamite just click here.

Have a great Halloween!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Ask Jeeves

This is hilarious. Check out how one reader found my site. An Ask Jeeves search of Is Cialis any good? The reason he was routed here: apparently because one of my best blog entries, Cialis.
Now, that is funnier than me!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Our World

Just wanted to share this picture of the most beautiful little girls in the world.

Miss A, Miss S, and Miss B. (I used to have their names in here, but I am now paranoid of creepy online pedafiles!!!)

Aren't they gorgeous?

Kitty Bear

Our newest addition. LG has been bugging me for the past year to get a cat. He just likes to think of ways to give me more work. Between his pestering and the girls' begging for a "pet", I finally conceded. I had forgotten how much I love animals. She is a lot of fun.

A woman that works with LG is a huge animal person and rescues a lot. She had two little kittens that she was trying to get find a home for and kept on my husband about it. He kept on me for several weeks, and, there you have it, we are now the proud family of a little kitty.

LG told me that there was an orange cat and a black one. I was still waivering quite strong as to whether or not I wanted to take on another responsibility. Every five minutes I would change my mind. I finally gave it a 50/50 chance and told him that if the black one was a girl, we would take her.

Sure enough, she's a girl...just like all of our other kids. So, LG told this advocate for animals that we would take her. (Come to find out, she hadn't rescued these animals, they were from her own litter) What kind of advocate for animals doesn't have their cat spayed? Doesn't she watch The Price is Right? Maybe she is an advocate for feminist animals and doesn't want to take her cat's right away to procreate. blah blah blah

So, LG calls me and tells me that he was going to go and pick up our new cat. He had been so excited because her name was Bear and he thought that was a cute name for a cat. LG then threw in for good measure: by the way, her name is Bear because she doesn't have a tail. I thought he was pulling my leg. I really had been suckered. I was now stuck with a tailess cat. You can't tell the animal advocate that you don't want her flawed cat.

Well, she doesn't have a tail, but I found out that this wasn't a birth defect. Some breeds of cats don't have long tails. (Who knew) She has a short stubby tail and looks just like a little bear when she gets up on her hind legs. As soon as I investigated and saw that her stump of a tail was covered with fur, I was o.k. We are all in love with this cat. She kills the crickets that used to love to breed in our laundry room. She is riot at night when she goes crazy. And our girls now love to tell everyone that they finally have a pet. They say, "She is a cat; her name is Bear; she doesn't have a tail!"

Aisley Paisley

My newest niece!

Aisley is a CUTIE, isn't she? They considered naming her Ainsely, but we all concurred that it wouldn't be a good name for a little Mormon girl....sounds too much like the name of a beer.

Now that we have one nephew on LeGrand's side, that brings the whopping total of nieces and nephews to 19 and one on the way. Crazy. My kids are so fortunate to have so many cousins.

Well, I don't have anything funny to say, but lucky for you I feel like rambling a bit. I just tried to google my blog with a search for im so funny and got 19 pages of results. After checking 6 pages, I gave up. Guess I am not going to be famous. Oh well.

I heard a good quote the other day. "In this world, the thing that matters most is, not how many people know you when you die, but how your close family and friends feel about you."

So, since you guys are the only ones who read this blog, I sure do hope you like me a little bit or else I have failed on both ends.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Five MiliSeconds of Fame

Here is the screenshot that LG took from The Work and the Glory: American Zion trailer. As you can see, we were there as extras in the Kirtland Temple Dedication scene. It was a grueling day of wearing 18th century costumes in a 100 degree warehouse, and look we got the back of our heads in the film! WOO HOO!

Our movie star

Emily (Jessica in the Work and the Glory) sent us this screenshot (I hope it isn't copyrighted). HOW CUTE IS OUR CHILD? We should have ten more kids. I cannot wait for the movie to come out!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Free Kitchen

My mother-in-law called this afternoon and told me that I just had to enter into the Lowe's and The Early Shows' "I Want a Kitchen Makeover Contest". She feels sorry for me and my kitchen. She called and expressed her faith in me being able to write something that would convince the contest people that I need that kitchen more than anyone else!

[Sidenote: Faye(my mother-in-law) is redoing her kitchen right now and was tempted to enter for herself, but says that I need it more than she does. She just knows that I will have such a good chance of actually winning]

Well, I think these types of contests are totally rigged (like the show's producers sat around trying to figure out how they could get their mother a new kitchen without having to pay for it)! But, because Faye was so insistent I went ahead and sent the above picture with the following poem.

Keep in mind, I was only allowed a 50 word essay to express why I deserve a kitchen.
Pyrex exploded, ruined my floor.
Two year old paint, coats, need 3 more.
Husband in law school and 3 small kids.
No dishwasher, enough said!
Light and fan broken.
Now we use floor lamp, no jokin’.
I love to cook, even entertain.
But, my kitchen is driving me insane.
Don't you think I should win this contest? Who else can come up with something more sorry?

Friday, August 12, 2005


Ever since my in-laws turned into health and exercise nuts a few years ago, they began worrying about their progeny's health also(or lack of it). We don't much appreciate eating all of their low-fat and sugar free foods but we truly do wish that we could have their self denial skills. Well, besides trying to help us be in better shape, they also wanted to help us with our high stress lives. As portrayed in my last entry, Self checkout, they are pretty high most of the time. So, for LG's 30th Birthday, they gave us a wonderful gift. Most people that I tell about it don't think it was a wonderful gift, but LG and I are ecstatic about it. We are now the proud owners of a treadmill.

Why is it that just owning a piece of exercise equipment makes you feel sexier, younger, and totally yuppy-ish!? Man, if I would have known what just owning a treadmill could do for my mental and emotional state, LG would have surely invested a long time ago. Well, surprise, surprise, we have both been actually using the thing. We really do like to exercise; we have just never figured out how to fit it in when we have so many school, family, church, and work responsibilities. Now, we can do it at night while we are winding far, so good. So, yes, we will be placing before and after pictures up by this time next year....just kidding.

Well, this entry may not be that funny, but I just wanted to tell you what I thought the other night. It was the night of Self checkout and so I wasn't exercising in case I may have had a concussion. I had the priviledge of watching LeGrand do his routine instead. Now, I have to put a disclaimer in here: I do think that my husband is sexy, but under society's definition of sexy, you probably won't find his description. You have to know that he is 6' tall and 270 lbs. We laughed so hard because he was worried about using the treadmill; it has a 250 lb. weight limit.

Well, LG can be as big as he wants and I will always think that he is sexy. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but as I watched him huff and puff on that treadmill the other night something magical happened. I blurted out, "LG just watching you on that treadmill makes you look 25 pounds lighter." He started laughing so hard that he almost had to step off. I guess he wasn't feeling too sexy! But, I tell you what, really, there is something to owning a treadmill. Go and get one and when you step on it (whether or not you have it turned on) you will feel sexier too. I swear.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Self Check OUT

I have searched high and low on the internet for a picture of self check-out in action. This picture was with an article found here.

I wanted a point of reference as I tell you one of my most HILARIOUS embarassing life experiences. This is a good one, I promise, you want to keep reading.

O.k., much has been said about self-check out. Everyone has their own opinion about whether or not self check out is a good thing for society. My opinion of self checkout should have changed after my experience yesterday, but I have to admit that I will still be a frequent user of self check-out. I LOVE it.

I am addicted to self check-out. In fact, I HATE it when the workers who oversee the self checkout kiosks try to get too involved with my check out process. There is this one elderly employee at Wal-Mart that will stand by my side the whole time giving me tips, telling me how to unload my shopping cart, and what the codes are on the produce, and so forth. I want to shout at her, "Would you let me be? I am in the self checkout because I don't want to deal with people like you!" I guess she just doesn't understand that I am completely capable of scanning bar codes and swiping my own debit card. What she really doesn't get is the sheer joy I feel when "pretending" that I am the cashier(a job I always wanted to have as a child). "AND I REALLY WANT TO DO IT BY MYSELF...o.k. grandma!"

Well, there is my take on self checkout. Now let me tell you of my experience at Wal-Mart yesterday. [Don't you think I should start to tally how many times I write about Wal-Mart.] I guess it is a funny place. Let me tell you what, you would have been laughing hysterically if you were anywhere near me at Wal-Mart yesterday. I literally CHECKED MYSELF OUT!

Well, a friend offered to take my children for me so that I could do some heavy duty shopping. Bless her heart, there is NOTHING more painful than doing heavy duty shopping with three children under 6, unless you want to add more children to the scenario. I was in a HUGE hurry. Abigail started first grade today, and yesterday from 3-4 p.m. was the "meet the teacher" day. I dropped the kids off at one and vowed to be back by two; this would give me just enough time to get the groceries home, clean Abigail up, and drop Phia and Bella off at the other babysitter. I knew I would have to hurry. One hour is just not enough time to do heavy duty "I have nothing in the house" shopping.

So, of course, I found the time to be 2:05 and I hadn't even had a chance to navigate through the frozen food aisles. I made a mental note to do the frozen stuff later and hurried my way to the self-checkout, knowing that I had to make it real fast if I was going to get to the school by 3. O.k., so here is the crazy part:

I was unloading one shopping cart, checking items out, and loading them all into an empty shopping cart on the other side. I was crusing! I got my six gallons of milk scanned and set in the bottom portion of shopping cart #2. I then, proceeded on to my 12 pack of diet caffeine free dr. pepper. As I came back up (still, in a rushed mode, remember) I went to quickly grab the next item from my original shopping cart. Except my aim was WAY off. I slammed the top front part of my head against the corner of the scanning device. I heard a loud POP sound, and couldn't believe that I had slammed my head that hard in front of all those people. How embarassing. Little did I know that the slamming noise was the least of my worries.

I stood upright and brought my hand to my head, just hoping that I wouldn't find blood. I am unsure of what happened first, me feeling blood trickle down my face, or looking at my hand full of blood. I got dizzy and sat down on the "bagging" section of the self checkout. Thankfully there were no groceries there, leaving me a perfect little recovery bench. I am also thankful that the weighing device didn't shout out "weight not found" or "get off the scale". I sat there, put my head down, and held pressure on my bleeding head. How mortifying! There was blood all over my hair and face, the floor, my hand, and arm.

An older Tennessee native (who was missing most of her teeth) was walking by with her grandchildren right as all of this conspired. Normally, she would not be the kind of person that I might associate with, but yesterday before she left, I gave her a huge hug and told her, "Thank the Lord for Mothers!" She stepped right into action, grabbed a travel size kleenex off of the shelf and started handing them over. At one point she held them on my head for me. What a woman. She didn't know me or my blood history at all. In fact during the confusion I did promise her that my blood was clean. I probably stressed her out, as I am the kind of paranoid person that worries about blood diseases and so forth and she probably hadn't even thought of it.

Finally, the Wal-Mart workers became aware of what was going on. The first one on the scene questioned my new older friend, "What happened?" I shouted out, "She beat me up!" You gotta make light of the situation, right? How else does a person survive such an embarassment? Everyone had a good laugh and more and more Wal-Mart workers came out of the woodwork. (Why is that when you need a worker you can never find one? And, if you ever need customer service, you have to stand in a line for at least 15 minutes?.......Because ALL Wal-Mart workers feel the need to respond to a little emergency like a lady bleeding all over their floor in self checkout) One of the workers commented to the other, "She is bleeding like a stuck pig." I don't know if she was looking at the scale that I was sitting on or if she was trying to make any reference to my weight, but golly, do you think that was what I needed to hear at this horrific moment? Like everyone couldn't see the blood for themselves!

So, I started to regain consciousness, and threw out a request to my Wal-Mart fan club...."Can someone please get the Wipees from my purse?" (a good mom always has the wipees within arms reach) I started wiping off my head and hands and at this moment, the nicest worker, who happened to look a little like my husband, said, "Oh, here, sweetie, let me clean up your eyes." I closed them so that he could take care of me, unlike the rest of the staff who just stood around staring in awe. Someone did bring me some ice which was really nice. Then, the short little manager (you know he is a manager because he wears a red vest) asked me if he could take a statement. The nice guy that looked like my husband proceeded to check out the rest of my cart (or buggy as they call it here in TN). I stood up and proclaimed to the crowd of 8 that I would not sue Wal-Mart. It was totally my own clumsy fault. The short man said it was protocol to have me sign something.

I said, "Can you make it quick? I have to go and meet my daughter's teacher right now." This brought a roar of laughter. I guess I looked pretty awful and holding that bag of ice on my head didn't help the situation. I then got a stroke of genius. I said to the crowd, "Come to think of it, maybe I could get Wal-Mart to pay my husband's way through LAW school." Everyone laughed and the short serious manager replied with a worried tone, "Your husband isn't really in law school, is he?" I loved to get his goat and said, "Yes he is, and maybe I should call him before I sign anything." He tried to play it off like he wasn't worried, but what he was probably thinking about was the little sign that they keep in the break room that will now proclaim 0 days since an accident on the sales floor. I laughed and told him I was kidding, and reasurred him that I wasn't going to sue. He informed me that I had only 24 hours to let Wal-Mart know if I was in need of anything.

I then tried to awkwardly push my VERY heavy shopping cart out of the store while holding a bag of ice on my head. I smiled to myself because I was on my way, and maybe would even make it to meet the teacher on time. And, I had to laugh at myself. How many people on the internet have a self checkout story that even compares to mine? I survived checking MYSELF out at Wal-Mart. (and I am not talking about in the dressing room mirror) I can never show my face there again, but hey, I survived.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Sleeping arrangements

This is a photo from a room at The Gettysburg's Battlefield Bed and Breakfast Doesn't that sound like a fun place to go?
Well, the only vacation we will be taking any time soon is to Panama City, FL to see my new little nephew. My father-in-law booked all of us hotel rooms at a Days Inn down there. My mother-in-law informed me that he booked us a room with two double beds instead of the King. He was thinking of the kids of course, but either way they will end up on the floor because LG and I really cannot sleep in a double bed together. Anyone else out there understand that notion? Why do hotels even THINK about putting in double beds? We are in America in the 21st Century. People are fatter. We need bigger plane seats and bigger beds, not only at home, but at hotels too. Man, I cannot wait to have a Master Bedroom big enough someday, so that I can finally own a California King.
Well, the reason for the picture above is to take us on a trip back to the days when couples really and actually slept in seperate beds. Some nights I would be the first to agree that this wasn't such a bad idea. Well, yesterday in church, I had reason to believe that some parents out there teach their children that this is the only way to be chaste.
As you know, I teach the kids music. I taught a song about The Holy Ghost. I started with an object lesson, comparing my daughter's favorite well-used blanket as a COMFORTER and the Holy Ghost also as a COMFORTER. I asked the kids that like to sleep with a blanket to raise their hands. Of course the children started spitting out what they like to cuddle up to. After listening to their responses I asked them,"Do you know what Sister Gold likes to sleep with at night?" After no answers and all eyes on me, I replied, "Brother Gold." Well, all of the teachers rolled laughing, and some of the kids chuckled. I can be so INAPPROPRIATE!
Well, the best response came from little Rebecca. "Sister Gold, that's pornography!"
Could you just die laughing? I told her it wasn't pornography and questioned whether her mom and dad slept in the same bed. She said, "Yes." and after breathing a sigh of relief, I quickly changed the subject.
Moral of the story: If you sleep in the same bed as your spouse, you have no morals!

See the light

At church today, during the kids' learning time, one of the leaders pulled out an object lesson. She had drawn a picture of a lightbulb and showed it to the 25 children, ranging in ages from 3-8, as she explained that she meant to bring a real lightbulb but forgot it in her rush out the door.

So, she posts the lightbulb and throws out a question to the kids: "If this were a real lightbulb what would it need to light up?" The first child pulls out the obvious answer from a child....a lightswitch.

My daughter Abigail raised her hand and eagerly awaited her turn to be called on. She was called on second. Now, remember, she is 6 years old. She says as matter of factly as possible,"Electricity!" Where does this child come from? I called her "little smartie pants" in front of all the other kids. I think I kind of embarassed her a little. But, golly, what am I going to do? The kid almost knows more than me already. I am doing way too good of a job teaching her. (Just kidding) I really do give all credit to her Father's genes and the time that she spends with her Papa asking question after question....bringing me to my favorite quote.

"All knowledge begins with wonder." - Noah Webster

So, go find out something new today.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

My Children's Book

Here is the cover of a book that I envisioned a few years back. Abigail helped me draw some crude pictures and we put prototypes together for my parents & in-laws for Christmas '03.

I think it is a great book with an even more important message. I won't give it away here.
[Wouldn't want to ruin my chances at a copyright.]
I will give you the first line: "You can be a student, if you learn to try."

I guess after my last entry, Yoda,this is, you can see that I am hypocritical in my book. Trying isn't enough. We have to do! That is where we all fall short. I admire people who don't just try, but do. I am a doer. It is really hard for "doers" to understand "tryers".

I came across a great illustration of someone who DID in spite of critics.

"The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C’, the idea must be feasible."
- A Yale University management professor, in response to student Fred Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service (Smith went on to found Federal Express)

Yoda, this is

Do, or do not. There is no ‘try’.
- Yoda,
The Empire Strikes Back

Thanks to my geek of a husband my daughter Abigail has a thing about StarWars. She just loves it! Her Grammy took her to a bookstore two days ago and she HAD to have the StarWars book.
I don't really have anything funny to write about StarWars. I really like this quote by Yoda. I hate the delivery that Yoda delivers. (I guess he never had an English class on not ending sentences with prepositions.)
Good story about prepositions:
On the subject of ending sentences with prepositions, people often recount a story involving Winston Churchill. When an editor dared to change a sentence of Churchill's that appeared to end inappropriately with a preposition, Churchill responded by writing to the editor, "This is the kind of impertinence up with which I shall not put." His purpose, of course, was to illustrate the awkwardness that can result from rigid adherence to the notion that prepositions at the end of sentences are always incorrect.
When we went to see the final StarWars I laughed out loud at the pivotal Darth Vader really have to be a StarWars geek to appreciate the cheese. My husband was mortified as to how freely I "ruined" the movie for everyone. Oops.
Anyhow, Yoda may have bad delivery, but just like an old wise Grandma, no matter how hard it is to pay attention at times, you HAVE to listen to what he has to say. He has profound teachings. He is my favorite part of StarWars. I had a spiritual experience at the last movie as Yoda counseled Anikan.

Friday, August 05, 2005

100% Cotton

The touch, the feel: of cotton!
Alright! My last entry, Farts and poops, leads me straight into this one. As you can read, a woman commented that she started her daughter in pull-ups at 17 months, to avoid the plumber's bum thing. I replied with my philosophy on pull-ups. In a nut shell: THEY ARE A RIP OFF! See the comment if you want to read the numbers involved.

So, I got philsophizing(isn't that a cool word, I made it up) about diaper duty. I can remember having to take my little brother's diapers to the toilet to rinse out the poop. What awful memories. When I potty train, I get to relive the grosser than gross ritual of rubbing cloth together to disengage sticky poop from cotton. YUCK!

I just read one mother's account about Cloth diapers on the internet. All I can say is I can't disagree with this mother any more passionately. Yes, disposable diapers do fill land fills and they cost a pretty penny ($50/month x 3 years x 3 kids = $5400, not including wipes or diaper medicine or powder)but disposable diapers are worth every penny. That is why the art of cloth diapers is OUT and Kimberly Clark is IN!

Did you know that you can buy diaper coupons on e-bay?

Take it from a mom that knows though....Luvs are the best. You don't need coupons because they run about $5 cheaper than Huggies or Pampers. And, Luvs are way more absorbant. Wow, I should be paid for my shameless plug.

Well, no matter what kind of disposable enviroment hating diaper you use, it's ok. Even generic brand are better than cloth. Thank goodness for the diaper baby boom of the 70's. I should praise the name of the diaper inventor,Marion Donovan, daily! Here was a mother with a head on her shoulders. Did you know her son, James Donovan, M.D, grew up to be a urologist. How funny!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Farts and Poops

This is Bella's bum trying to fit into her diaper. I love it when the kids have plumber's bum. So cute! Great shot, huh? I hope it's not considered "inappropriate".

Well, Bella has taken on a very endearing ritual. I first need to fill you in on my thoughts about the word "fart". I thought it would be fun to share, even though my mother will be devastated that I am using the word "fart" so freely. I guess I am not a lady at all because I have never had a problem with the word fart. I mean why do people think the word is so bad? Fart, toot, pass gas, flatulate...they all mean the same action.....air being passed from a not so nice smelling part of the body. Everybody does it. Well, as you read on you will see that I am passing on the non-lady like use of the word "fart" to my three poor daughters. LG and I think it is funny when they say it.

We laughed SO hard the time Sophia announced to a crowded restaraunt that she had farted. Well, in the past two months, Bella, our little clown, has figured out that when she says the word fart it makes people laugh. So, whenever I ask her if she needs to be changed, I say, "Bella, are you poopy; do you have poops; do you need your diaper changed?", she replies ever so slyly with, "No, I just farted." At two, she is showing huge potential for being a funny adult, don't you think?

I was staying at my in-laws for the last couple of days. My father-in-law, was very kind and offered to watch the girls while I went to a girls' dinner with my mother-in-law and some extended family. I explained that I had left a diaper and wipes in the bathroom for Bella in case he needed it. Now, I know how he feels about poopy diapers. He wasn't even fond of changing his own kids. So, I told him, "If she does poop, if you don't want to deal with it, if you can stand the smell, just leave it, she'll be o.k. until I get back."

On the way to dinner I confided my concern for my father-in-law and the diaper situation to my mother-in-law. She just cracked me up and said, "Oh, he'll be fine. You should have told him that you were just giving him an opportunity to pay you back for his diapers that you are going to have to change someday."

Well, he did have to change a poopy diaper a half an hour after we left. I voiced my appreciation from the hallway as I was leaving to come home last night. I also mentioned that he had given me a good reason to have to change his diapers someday. I wasn't too surprised when no laughter came from the office. I am sure he was horrified at the thought. I quickly p.s.'ed with the declaration that Faye had told me to tell him that. Still no response. What do you do? Again, I am left to wonder if my father-in-law will continue to accept me. So, in explanation: Duane, it was just a joke. If someone needs to change your diapers when you get old, I promise, it won't be me. That is what Amy is for.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Little Jack Horner

Introducing "The Young Jack Roberts"

Little Jack Horner sat in the corner
Eating his Christmas pie,
He put in his thumb and pulled out a plum
And said "What a good boy am I!"

This ryhme has a great history, that includes Horner, a thief, being rewarded greatly. Horner was obviouslly rewarded unworthily, inspiring the political rhyme and Horner's own political taunting, "what a good boy am I."

What do Little Jack Horner and Little Jack Roberts have in common you may ask? Both the theif Horner and the misbehaved Roberts think that they are "good boys" when in actuality they are far from it. And of course they also share the name Little Jack.

The young Jack Roberts lives in another dimension, just like ALL other children. This was demonstrated wonderfully during the President's press conference, announcing the nomination of his father, John Roberts, as a candidate for the Supreme Court bench. Click here and scroll down the page to the bottom left hand column and click on "Young Jack Roberts steals the show" to see the video clip. SO FUNNY!

Now, I am not about to rip on Jack Robert's parents or nanny or whoever raises the kid. My kids have done far worse than this to embarass me (O.k., maybe not they have never shared air time with the President of the United States and turned it into a circus), but if you are a parent, you will know what I mean about being embarassed. Kids can be outright humiliating, no matter how good of job you are doing.

I will say this; I would not even attempt to put my four year old in front of cameras in such a stuffy setting that late at night. I can only think that the reason Mrs. Roberts was talked into it was for "political gain". She had to know that she was setting herself for a disaster. According to critics, Jack's misbeavior really will make people "sympathize" with Roberts. The "people in the know" have said so much in the positive towards the child's bantering that you would think that they put Little Jack up to his misconduct.

So, what am I trying to say here? I don't know. I am just rambling today. I had a rough day yesterday. Remember the linger longer that I attempted yesterday, at the urging of my husband. Yeah, well, I couldn't do it! I left 15 minutes into it when he never showed up to help me with my three children who live in another dimension! He was in taking care of his church duties and I was left trying to figure out how to fight my way through a Disneyland style line to gather three plates of food without either dragging my three young children with me or leaving them unattended. Well, I never came up with an answer and I left all upset feeling like a loser because I cannot emotionally handle a stupid potluck.

An announcement was made to let people with small children and the elderly get in line first, but I guess the majority of people in our congregation feel they fit into those two categories. (Or, their manners go out the window because after years of conditioning that the only way to get any food is to get at the front of the line, so, they don't regard other people) I'm not even mentioning how I felt about being forced to leave my jellyroll pan of brownies, two loaves of french bread, and two large fruit salads behind that I had worked on for two hours the day before, ONLY to go home to eat ramen and toast.

Hey, I have an idea. Maybe it isn't the children who live in another dimension. Maybe it is all the rest of the world that doesn't understand that children are wild animals in the process of being tamed? Would you leave three starving and wild tigers in a room full of frantic starving people to fend for themselves while you stood around waiting patiently to get them some substance? NO! I guess I spend enough time with the wild tigers to understand them. I guess I also understand, me, their trainer, enough to know that I can't even attempt to do certain things with them....such as, a late night press conference, or a linger longer full of inconsiderate people. In fact, if I had it my way, I would tap into their dimmension's got to be a lot less stressful.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The WORK and the Glory

We spent a good proportion of May involoved with the filming of The Work and the Glory. Sophia has a short stint in the second film. She plays the three-year-old Rachel. I was such a good stage mom! We are looking forward to the film coming out in theatres. You will have to look for one in your area. With the first film it only played in a limited amount of theatres nationwide. The film is available now on DVD. I recommend it and the books by Gerald Lund.

Because Sophia was considered a "principal" actor when we were on set; they rolled out the carpets for us, as is tradition in the "acting" world. No wonder why they all have such big egos...the industry puts the actors on this awful pedestal. Although, I must say that most of the actors that we came into contact with were very down to earth and nice, especially to Sophia.

Well, as you can see, Sophia had her own trailer. Isn't she so special? When we got home from our first day on set, Sophia and I relayed all of the details to LG and Abigail and Bella. We especially made a big deal about her trailer. Abigail got a little jealous of the attention that Sophia was getting. I called the casting director and asked if Abigail could come on as an extra one day. Cookie was really helpful towards my sibling rivalry situation and booked us in for a day.

So, a few days later, Abigail and drove up the road 30 miles to The Museum of Appalachia where they were filming The Work and the Glory II. As we drove up and saw all of the trailers (wardrobe, hair, make-up) Abigail turned to me and said in all seriousness, "Where is my trailer"? She was in for a rude awakening as we stood in the "cattle call" lines all day with the rest of the thirty or so extras. Many crew members got a few laughs as I sarcastically inquired where Abigail's trailer was.

Abigail and I played as "extras" in a few horrendous scenes. Abigail absolutley detested the whole day and told me that she did not like acting at all. I couldn't blame her. I hated dragging her around to play "pretend" all day. It was 80+ degrees outside and we were filming a winter scene where we had to run up and down a hill multiple times. We had to wear Pioneer petticoats, bonnets, dresses, tights, uncomfortable "issued" shoes, PLUS, winter coats and shawls. We were running after a horse, and the last time we had to ditch the poop that he had deposited just minutes before, ruining the 14th take. By the end of the 15 takes I was saying, "Where is my trailer"? Oh, the things we do for our children.

At the end of the day, Shay, the assistant casting director invited us for another day of filming; I couldn't even seem to find any tact.(surprise, surprise!) When Shay said, "Could you come back on Tuesday?" I answered with a very loud, "NOOOOoooooo." followed by a much too soft, "thank you!"

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


My newest nephew. Lucky for my sister-in-law, Meagan, he was only 8 lbs. 4 oz. My brother-in-law, Jordan, was a whopping 12 lbs. when he was born. Lucky for Carson, he was born on July 24, 2005. July 24th is the day that marks a great Mormon holiday, Pioneer Day. Pioneer day is the day that we celebrate the Mormon's arrival in 1847 to the Salt Lake Valley, also memorializing our great Pioneer Heritage.

It is just coincidence that Carson's parents gave Carson the middle name Taggart. Carson shares this name with his famous Mormon great-great-great-great grandpa. Carson was given this name months before they knew he would be born on Pioneer Day.

George Washington Taggart was part of the historic Mormon Battalion and was the father to SarahJane Taggart. SarahJane was the mother of Horace Heiner. Horace and Amy Heiner were the parents to Melba Heiner Gold. Melba is the mother of my father-in-law, Duane Gold. Duane is the father of my husband, LeGrand, and LeGrand's brother, Jordan, the father of the newest little nugget, Carson Taggart.

Monday, July 25, 2005

The Potluck

Learn one VITAL sign in ASL: Eat food!

As opposed to Eat poo ("U-no-poo" was one of my favorite parts of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling)Wouldn't I love to be like J.K. Rowling someday!

Well, this entry is dedicated to one vital facet of Mormon life.....the potluck dinner. I must say that before moving to Tennessee, I really liked potlucks. But, too many bad experiences in my congregation here have quite turned me off. At our Christmas party last year, we ran out of food.....a Christmas party with not enough food???????
And sometimes after church on Sundays we have what is called a "linger longer" where all people bring food items of their choice and after our 3 hours of meetings we dine together. Or, we are supposed to dine together.

Last year I made a vow to never attend a linger longer again. On this particular Sunday, I left disgusted with potluck dinners. I had taken 3 dozen homemade rolls and two very yummy and large salads. When it came time to eat I found myself at the back of a very long line. I gathered 3 empty plates for my children and was astounded when all that was left of the spread was some yucky mac-n-cheese- and a 3 quarter empty rice-cooker with cold hard rice. My kids were starving and the people ahead of us had been VERY RUDE and gotten themselves very large servings and sometimes even TWO plates. I couldn't believe my eyes! I told LG that I would never attend a linger longer again.

Yesterday, after church, LeGrand came home and said, "Alice, you aren't going to like this, but...." I had no idea what he was going to say....only the worst was going through my mind.....(IDEAS: the Bishop wants us to donate a $1,000, I have been called on a mission to Zimbabwe, I want a divorce)

I braced myself, and inquired. He said,"I think that we should go to the Linger Longer next week." I lovingly questioned him and he put forth some powerful arguements and I agreed that I would go, but that I would stash enough lunch for the kids in the diaper bag, just in case.

As LG walked back to our bedroom to change out of his suit, I hollered, "LG, you aren't going to like this, but, I think we should have another baby." (No, I am not announcing anything)

LG, turned quick on his heels, met me in the kitchen, made eye contact and said, "O.k. Alice, we don't have to go to the linger longer." Isn't he funny?

P.S. I think he talked me out of Baby #4 for now.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

London Bridge

Our prayers to the victims of terrorism in the wonderful city of London. Here is a poem I wrote after 9/11. It showcases my feelings toward terrorism.

Choose to Live

I will choose the faith, not the threatening fear.
Observe the children at play and not their danger.
I will hear the laughter, not see the tear.
The love of a friend, not the threat of a stranger.

Life is not lived if we choose to retreat.
If all we see is wrong then we have failed our test.
Let us not all give up, stay home, be beat.
Choose to live and give and take from life the best.

Now, if that hasn't done enough to inspire you, here is a quick funny story.

About a month ago, we went over to the home of some friends, who had also invited a woman over who is a new member of our church. She is a single mom to a 6 year old son. At one point all of the children were engaged in the timeless game of "London Bridge". As I assisted the 6 year old boy and my 6 year old daughter, I made a terrible Freudian slip....."Take the key and knock her up." I swear I need to staple my lips together!!!

For you die hard fans....Yes, I am going to still try and get on here once in while. Sorry, I got really burned out....keep watching...I could surprise you.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Animals & Crackers

Shopping at the warehouse Posted by Hello
It's been a while. Sorry. Haven't felt like writing much. I could use bipolarism as an excuse, but for more than one reason, I won't. At least I will get one entry into my April archive.

A few weeks back, a good friend of mine and I ventured out to one of our favorite places....Sam's Club. (We don't have a Costco anywhere near here or that is the warehouse I would prefer.) Between us, we had three children under three year old. We joined the rest of the desperate homosapiens at the demo tables. Unlike other species, we patiently waited our turns at our chance for little pieces of pizza, smoothie demonstrations English tea cakes, and the chicken salad.

After Sophia complained of the taste of the chicken salad and spit her remaining portion into my napkin, the sweet elderly demo lady offered our girls just a plain Club cracker. They each were delighted as she offered them one for each of their chubby hands.

A few aisles down from the frozen foods, Sophia was trailing behind. She dropped her cracker on the cement floor. The lady standing close by her, yelled out to me that he cracker was now "dirty". Dirty is a relative term. When you have three children, dropping a cracker onto a floor does not constitute dirty.....if it was a sucker and had been dropped onto the floor of the van and retreived with lint, remnants of cheerios, and other foreign objects then it would be "dirty". Even then, if I had a bottle of water close by to wash it off, the sucker could still be salvagable(depending upon my childs' desperation for it and my need to please the child at the time).

So, like any other responsible mother, I yanked the cracker from Sophia's hand. I said, "No no, Sophia, it is dirty." Sophia looked at me perplexed, but luckily she is my mild mannered child, and she didn't yell out, "Mom, you always let me eat my stuff of the floor, it's not that dirty, just brush it off." As soon as we got around the corner out of earshot from the very paranoid mother I handed the cracker back to Sophia and said, "Here you go." Letting her digest the cracker was much easier than hunting for a garbage can, and's good for her immune system.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Hoppy Easter

Here comes Peter Cottontail Posted by Hello

My sister Renee called this morning with somewhat disturbing news. O.k. it is only really disturbing if you are under 5 years old or a mom of someone who it, but here it is. Renee was so sad for her kids. I told her that she should write a letter and complain.

Renee had taken her three small children into the city of St. George for their community easter egg hunt.
Before the festivites were through, the teenager playing the Easter Bunny decided that, even though it was 42 degreees outside, he was just TOO hot to keep his costume on. He took his Easter Bunny head off right in front of all of the bright eyed children.

I think you will back me up when I say, this kid needed some serious on the job training. C'mon, do you think that Chuck E. Cheese would ever strip his head off in front of the birthday goers? NO WAY! What about the characters at Disneyland? They would be fired on the spot! and have no defense in their impending lawsuit. I mean, imagine it. Is Santa allowed to shed his fake beard in front of a line of eagerly waiting children? Do I have to answer that?

I can only speak for my niece and nephew: they were traumatized. 4 year old Tannon asked my sister, "Mom, why did the easter bunny take his head off? Why isn't he real?" I just imagaine all of the children running around like chickens with their heads cut off when the easter bunny decided to strip down. "Oh, no, oh, no...the easter bunny lost his head."

This news reminded me of a Maury Povich show that I saw years ago. The show was about people who had very interesting phobias. This one forty year old woman was deathly afraid of character costumes. For the dramatic effect, while this woman tried to explain her bizarre fear, the show had orchestrated an Easter Bunny onto the stage. Her reaction was explanation enough. As soon as she saw the bunny, she jumped up and over about four rows of the studio audience. She was terrified......she probably witnessed a bunny take his head off when she was just a wee-one too.

Friday, March 25, 2005


Got milk? Posted by Hello

Today, once again, I beheld the power of advertising. The Got milk campaign is, in my opinion, by far, the most ingenious ad campaign of all time. Above is one of milk's recent photo shoots. LG and I love the TV show Scrubs. It has some of the best comedy. You can't watch the show for more than three minutes without being exerted into an all-out bellyroll laugh.

While I was watching my taped version of ER today, (Yes, taped....remember, we are poor and therefore, some of the only Americans who still tape instead of TiVo ing) the Staples commercial came on. Abigail had been asking me for a glass of milk for a few minutes and I was trying to get the kids situated into a movie. I kept telling her, "Just a minute." Abigail must have been paying really good attention to the Staples commercial, which in my opinion is not good. But, for my five year old, today, it was good for something.

The commercial goes something like this.....1-man not listening to a co-worker....2- man catches the 1st and last part of the conversation....and hears only, "When I get back I need. mumble mumble mumble "er" or you are fired" 3 - Man goes to staples and the superhero staples employee walks through the store with the man,telling him everything that they carry that ends with the sound "er". 4- Man magically remembers that it is the blankety blank blank wireless routER that he needs 5- man shouts out staples' praises as he walks out of the store with his job still in tact.

After the commercial Abigail says this, "Mom, I need something that ends with 'ilk'" as if her mental challenge will make me work to her beck and call faster. She is so FUNNY.

I chuckled and went and got her the mILK that she so desperately needed. Abigail and Sophia then watched their movie. When I got back to my taping of ER, I was sorely disappointed that for the second taping in a row, we had managed to run out of tape and cut off the last ten minutes of the show. No frets though, my sister filled me in.


Jaw Breaker Posted by Hello

While growing up there were many things that my family liked to do together. One of the finest things was to take a trip to the harbor one town over. Oceanside's harbor is relatively small, but to us children it was a place of great excitement and wonder.

My family loved to walk along the wooden planks and watch the seagulls, the fishermen, the locals, tourists, but most of all, we loved to watch the boats. The different kinds of "sea travel" would bring much speculation from all of us children. My parents would foster the dialogue with questions like,"Do you think that he lives on his boat?" "Maybe this boat belonged to pirates." "I wonder where this boat has traveled."

Oh, yes, just thinking about taking a trip to the harbor brings the pungent scent of sea water mixed with fish guts deep into my lungs. Going to the harbor made a Saturday evening wonderous.

A trip to the harbor was not complete unless we had a stop at the Candy Store. I don't know how the tradition got started, but whenever we visited the Oceanside Harbor, my parents knew that they had better have enough cash in their pocket to purchase their ticket of departure. The price they would pay was $1 per child. What would they have to purchase? Seven large jaw breakers, of course.

One jawbreaker the size of each small child's two fists put together would keep all of us children quiet the whole ride home. This small price for 15 mintues of peace and silence must have been worth every penny to my parents. Mom and dad also knew they would have to put up with our moans of pain for the rest of the week, but still, it was worth it.

If you have never had the joy of finishing off a LARGE jawbreaker before, let me fill you in. We would lick and lick, until half of the jawbreaker would be worn flat. It was magical to see which color layers you could break through. To this day, whenever I view an image on earth and its layers, I still think about those hundreds of jawbreakers consumed. The images always have a pretend image of the earth cut in half, as to portray the different layers...these images look just like a half consumed jawbreaker.

Why am I so familiar with the state of a half consumed jawbreaker, you ask. The reason is that most of the jawbreakers we earned at the harbor almost never got more than halfway consumed. When a tongue is engaged in that much liking through harsh layers, it eventually gives way. Yes, the jawbreakers would eventually smooth out, but they would always leave our tongues one bloody mess. Therefore, we never had the courage to actually finsih the delectable eye candy. When we got home, we would retire the jawbreakers away in a sandwich bag, and before our tongues would heal, they would usually end up in the garbage.

When I think of the Harbor, not only do I smell the scents of the sea, but I can't help but salivate profusely... the saliva tastes of a mix between layered sugar and bloody tongue. I can't figure out why whenever I see a large jawbreaker, I STILL MUST HAVE ONE. You would think that my tongue has endured enough torture by now.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Space Mountain

The Greatest Ride on Earth Posted by Hello

When I was about twelve, my whole family together took our first trip to Disneyland. We were one of the greatest spectacles for the tourists. My mom made my dad buy each of us a red sailor cap with our name embroidered on it. This made it easier for her to spot all of us when she wanted to do her quick count check know 1,2,3,4,5,6,7..o.k they're all accounted for. We could have been our very own Mickey Mouse club.

This trip was so much fun. We were all having a blast, until Space Mountain. LG says I can't tell you Space Mountain until I o.k. it with certain unmentioned family member. Until then, let me just tell you was one of my life's most traumatizing experiences.

Alright, lucky for you, my family all have the same open-book policy as I do. LG's family is definitely more reserved, but I honored my husband and got the unnecessary permission from my mom.

So, we all got to Space Mountain. My mom was not in her BEST mental state. She was recently recovering from a mental breakdown and a drug addiction. She was addicted to Valuim for years upon her doctor's perscription. We thought that Disneyland would be a great celebration, and it was, until Space Mountain.

All of the family waited in line anxiously and we boarded on the Space Car in an orderly fashion. I was the lucky one to board in the back seat next to my mom. She got in first, meaning that when the ride was over, I would have to wait for her to exit to the right before I could make a departure.

If you have never been on Space Mountain, let me inform you. It is building where they have squashed a rollercoaster inside. The coaster is supposed to resemble a ride in Space and it goes very fast and loops up and down and all around. The room is completely dark; the only thing that one can see are the flashing lights (these add to the effect of traveling through space). Throughout the ride, you feel like you had better not reach out with your hands, or you may just lose a limb to a traveling car on another track.

From the get-go, my mom was doomed. She experienced sensory overload of some sort. Ten seconds into the ride, when I should have been like any other kid enjoying the ride, I was quite the opposite. All I wanted was for the ride to be over. My mom was wailing at the top of her lungs. I can't even describe what she sounded like, but it was something like this, "AHhhhhhhhhhhh, AHHHHHHHHHH, AAAHHHhhhhhhhhhhh, Ahhhhhhh." over and over again. When I caught a glimpse of her between flashing lights, all I could see was her hands clenched onto the bar for dear life and her face full of real terror.

I kept screaming, "Mom, mom, close your eyes." "Mom, it is just a rollercoaster." I tried to comfort her by patting her arm, but this is hard to do when a rollercoaster is traveling at the speed of light. My mom's screams of terror never stopped throughout the ride. I wanted so badly to make her alright, but I also couldn't stop thinking, "Why out of the 8 other members of the family, was I the one to sit by my mom on this particular ride?" I was just wishing that Dad would appear magically and switch me places.

Well, the ride was soon over. There is one bonus to Space Mountain. Most people feel it a rip to stand in line so long for a ride that lasts less than 60 seconds. On this day, that 60 seconds seemed like a lifetime. As we slowed down and approached the landing deck, my mom still didn't stop. She had literally checked out! She was still hanging on for dear life and repeatedly screaming, "ahhhhhh, ahhhhhh, ahhhhh."
It was as though my mom was possessed.

The people waiting in the line for their turn to board looked perplexed. They couldn't tell whether or not my mom was joking around. Was she trying to scare them from riding the ride? They were staring. By this point, I had given up on calming my mom down, and I tried not to look all these hundred of linegoers in the eye. I didn't know what to do.

The family all unboarded, but my mom was not going anywhere. Therefore, I had no choice but to sit and wait for something to be done. Now, everyone knew that my mom wasn't playing around. All of the potential riders looked at me in pity. The mother of these seven Mickey Mouse club members had truly lost it. My dad shooed the clueless Space Mountain worker to the side. My mom was always teeny (5 feet tall) and my dad big and strong. He leaned over and gathered up my raving mother in his arms. He carried her off to the side. I was finally able to unboard, and was totally immersed by my brothers and sisters wondering what in the world I had done to mom. I explained that she had just lost it. I don't remember much else after that, except for my dad got my mom a drink and luckily we didn't have to go home early. My mom came back to her senses at some point.

I know, this story and the last Pomp and Circumstance aren't funny at all. I have no idea why I am even writing them, except for the fact that out of tragedy can come humor. If you made this incidence into a sitcom, I am sure that people would laugh. I can look back and laugh at both situations. I came out of these scarred, but stronger. And, it is fun to laugh at what life throws your way. My mom experienced a nervous breakdown on Space Mountain, and I was right next to her to witness many people can say that? I bet not one other person in this world.

Pomp and Circumstance

Valley Jr. High Posted by Hello

7th and 8th grade are not fun for most people, for a girl like me, they were excrutiating. I was the fat girl and pretty much an outcast. I took control of my weight before heading to high school and finally elleviated my outcast status (having a "popular" older brother and sister was a definite bonus for a geek like me).

Needless to say, I was ecstatic when 8th grade graduation rolled around. Valley Junior High School to me signified only PAIN. During Junior High I had experienced one rejection after another. So, the end of the story is quite fitting.

Graduation was the end, but it almost didn't happen. I was horrified. I wanted nothing more than to be done with Junior High. For me, there wasn't any graduation pomp and circumstance. In fact, I would have been better off if I was a no-show. It wasn't that my grades weren't good, or that, like all of the rest of the kids, I hadn't earned the right to move to the 9th grade. My graduation was just one HUGE oversight by the school's administration.

On the night of graduation, all of the graduating students sat in their seats on the floor of the High School's gymnasium. The bleachers above us were surrounded with wellwishers. Because my last name was Wills, I was on the back row. One row at a time, the students would line up to the side of the stage and wait for their name to be called. When they were called, they would climb up the stairs to the makeshift stage and retreive their diploma. The school's new vice principal was doing the honors. It was just my luck that she was my former 6th grade teacher; you remember the Poltergeist incidence.

It was finally my row's turn, the nerves were high and my self-esteem low. All of the "popular" kids got the biggest cheers on their trek across the stage. And the rest of us, would have one more opportunity to prove to the world that we were worthless. I knew that the only cheers I would get would be from my family. Thank goodness I had a lot of brothers and sisters and a mom who could cheer really loud.

I stood up and walked with the rest of the herd to the side of the stage. Everyone watched us as we awaited our turn. I was so self-conscience, I knew everyone was watching me, waiting for a prime opporunity to "moo" or "boo" at me. I prayed that the kids would be kind; I didn't want to embarass my family.

The way the system worked was like this. There was a volunteer standing down by the lined-up students. This volunteer had the list of names, as well as the person at the top of the stairs. And, of course, the vice-principal at the pulpit. When I got to my place in line, the volunteer double checked her list for my name. Alice Elaine Wills was not on the list. The vice-principal, oblivious to the mix-up, kept calling out names. All of the students that were behind me, would kindly walk around me. I kept being pushed and pushed to the back of my line. The volunteer next to me had a look of horror on her face and she kept trying to get the attention of the administration.

The administration on the stage finally realized what was happening. They consulted one another to figure out what name they should call so that this poor outcast girl could come up and fetch NOTHING (they had not prepared anything for me). You would think that because the vice-principal had been my teacher the whole year of 6th grade, she would be able to remember my name. But, I had either gained too much weight or she wanted to prolong my torture to get back at me for Poltergeist.

They all looked at each other in confusion. The volunteer asked me for my name and she started mouthing it to the people up on the stage. Of course this approach didn't work. I stood, trying not to cry, because now all eyes were on me for sure! The volunteer went up and told the lady at the top of the stairs, who then told the vice-principal, who looked very surprised (she must have realized that she should have known my name). She called out Alice Wills. I walked up with my head down as low as possible, and tried to smile as the principal handed me some piece of notebook paper instead of my diploma.

I would never again have to step foot back at Valley Junior High. I didn't care if the administration hadn't given me a real diploma. Not receiving a diploma was nothing compared to the embarassment they caused me while I waited in that line. The people who hadn't witnessed my line incident were brought up to speed with my nothingness when there was a huge lull right after Lisa Zarate and before Alice Wills. Even though I was a W, I brought up the rear. (so appropriate considering the size of my rear) As I walked back to take my seat, I passed all of my fellow Junior High Students. I felt nothing but RELIEF. Pomp and Circumstance night had officially mortified me just enough to call my junior high experience finished....what an appropriate finale.

Friday, March 18, 2005

The Display

Fireworks...for me they represent the test of true love Posted by Hello

I should save this entry for Independence Day, but it is the one that I feel like writing about today.

On July 4, 1997, my husband proved his love for me. How did he do that, you ask? Well, pretty much all he had to do was stick around. My family would probably have been very successful at running anybody else off. Even after this night LeGrand stuck around to marry me on August 15, 1997.

My parents thought that it would be a lovely idea to invite LeGrand's sister and her husband, and Jordan, LG's little brother over for the 4th of July celebration. We lived directly above the Lavell Edwards Stadium, which hosts not only BYU football, but, also, the biggest fireworks display of the year, The Stadium of Fire. We could see the show from the backyard and we were all excited to get in on the action without paying for the tickets.

We had enough food to last the evening, and my family so generously provided the entertainment until the fireworks display began. How did they do that, you ask? Well, all my family had to do was basically be themselves and it was enough to send my soon-to-be in-laws into hysterics.

First, my mom decided that it would be more comfortable to pull out all of our family room furniture onto the lawn. Yes, may be embarassing to some, but we had to offer the best seat to the company. Then, my brothers commenced in lighting the firecrackers. This was a sight to see: a bunch of grown men acting like they were 8 years old again.

The night was topped off with the two events that my in-laws still speak of today. First, was a display of my father's typical problem solving skills (it has to be BIG). When we ran out of matches to light the firecrackers, my dad decided to pull out the blow torch. My brothers then spent the rest of the night fighting over who would have the honor of lighting up the stuff.

My brother, Adam, decided to crown himself as the evening's commentator. He would delight us all with the names of what kind of firecrakers were being lit. We then all headed up to the roof (a family tradition, that didn't seem the least bit odd to me - I am desensitized). All 20 of us headed up, trying not to consider the people who lived upstairs from us. We invited them to join us, but only one took us up on the offer. We had the best show in the house and it was all free.

The award for the best entertainment of the night goes to Adam, when he said, "Now these fireworks are my very favorite...they are called the little sperm fireworks."

Thursday, March 17, 2005


The Hungry Leprachaun Posted by Hello

Abigail is obsessed with things from Ireland. Her Kindergarten teacher has turned her into a leprachaun lover by telling her story after story about her trip to Ireland. Last year, all that Abigail wanted from Santa was a leprachacun. Poor Santa had to shop on e-bay to find one, only for LG to say that Abigail was going to be disappointed that it wasn't a real living leprachaun. (Santa isn't that good) The obsession is so strong that I was teasing Abigail's teacher today that I would come and hunt her down if Abigail ever decides to convert to Catholicism, just so that she can be more like the Irish.

About a month back, when the kids and I were at the school library on Terrific Thursday, I pulled a book from the shelf that I knew Abigail would love, The Hungry Leprachaun. (It is out of print so there is no need to link to it) Abigail humored her father a few days later by repeating the story word for word.

Well, this week is National Reading Week. On Wednesday the children at Abigail's school were allowed to wear a costume that depicted their favorite storybook character. I tried to convince Abigail to dress up with something we had in the dress up box. Laura Ingalls, Professor McGonagall, even Pippi Longstocking would not do the trick. She only wanted to be Tippery, the hungry leprachaun.

On Tuesday night, we made a trip to Wal-Mart to buy the leprachaun hat. Abigail thought that Tippery wore green pants and a purple shirt. I figured that we could dig up a purple shirt somewhere.

On the way home, there was some confusion as to what Tippery did wear exactly. I, being the overzealous perfectionist that I am decided to stop in at the school. I ran up the library hoping that Mrs. McGee could help. The library was locked.

I then became desperate and did the unmentionable, I made sure no one was looking and I snuck into Abigail's classroom to take a look at the book. To my relief, I made it in and back out to the car with no one catching me.

The rest of the evening I was stuck coming up with The Hungry Leprachaun costume. I tell you, mothers do a little of everything. On Tuesday night, you would have thought that I was the seamstress. I found some leftover material and elastic and sewed the elf looking hat. I dug through drawers for the purple pants, purple socks and green shirt and spent the rest of the night nicking and tucking.

As I dropped Abigail off at school the next morning, she looked just like a leprachaun. When the Safety Kid told me that she looked cute, Abigail turned her head back at me with a satisfied look. I can't quite place what it looked like but it was a mix between her dad's goofy smirk and a leprachaun's smile.

Indeed, I am a good mom. Even if she converts to Catholicism I will still love her just the same.

Feeding Time

Oh no....the bottle is propped! Posted by Hello

A short while back, a friend and I were at Chik-fil-A for an evening out. Once in a while, when our law student hubbies are too busy to eat at home, we will go enjoy ourselves while the kids play. Chick-fil-a is where the responsible moms eat. The food is relatively healthy and the playland is safe, but most of all, it is CLEAN.

My friend and I were delightfully surprised when three other women from our church walked in. These women consisted of a single 19 year old, a pregnant 22 year old, and a 25 year old new mother. The new mother had the baby with her. We all delightfully exchanged hellos and chatted about the weather and other trivial girl things (like where the best places are to shop).

I was obviouslly the most experienced mother in the bunch. After I gathered up my three little monkies, I overheard a disturbing conversation. It went something like this:

"Do you know that girl that just had the baby?"


"I can't believe her...her baby was only three weeks old and she had her bottle propped."

For those of you that don't know what bottle propping is, see the picture above. The picture shows my FIRST child, Abigail, at 9 months old, enjoying her bottle, even when it was propped.

Now, you may not see the humor in this story, but I found the judgemental comment hilarious. The reason: the woman that "propped" her child, was not a FIRST time mom. The infant that had the bottle propped was her second child. All of these other women in my company: first time moms. They had no idea how many times I have propped a kid with a bottle. (Trust me, it gets more common with the more children that you have)

So, I butted my way into the conversation with,"Don't talk to me about that, I am a firm believer in propping." I swear you would have paid money to see the shock in their faces. One chimed up,"Oh, but not when they are so little." I said, "I don't know about that. Why does it matter, they are getting fed?"

The responses: "They can choke." "All the magazines say." "It is my bonding time." "They need to look you in the face, it helps their development."

At this point, I zipped my lips. (I know, it's a rare occasion.) What I wanted to say is this,"My FIRST child was propped all of the time, and I will bet money on the fact that she will be SMARTER than any of your children. She never choked. We still bonded. And, the people who write the magazines DO NOT HAVE CHILDREN. If they had children, than they would know that you can't write a magazine telling other people how to parent. Every single child I have ever met has different preferences. Two of my kids were happier to be propped. Come and talk to me when you get a few more kids."

And by the way, I had a bottle until I was seven, and according to the magazines, I would be a woman with screwed up teeth and a speech impedement. Well, my only speech impedement is I usually don't know when to keep my mouth shut. And trust me when I say, I never had braces and my teeth are just fine. Maybe if I still had a bottle I would be more succesful with keeping my mouth shut!


70's style Hairbows Posted by Hello

One part of having daughters is dealing with all of their hair things. I think that since we had our first daughter, not a holiday has gone by that we haven't been gifted some kind of hair thing. If you are a man, you have no idea how many hair things exist in the world. Whenever we recieve one, or the same one again, I always ACT very grateful and I guess, deep down, I have mixed feelings. I am so happy that I won't have to buy them myself, but bummed that I will now have to keep track of this new one. Even though I am the queen of organization, I have two things that cause me problems: tupperware and hairthings.

At our house we go through barrettes like nobody's business. Every time I turn around, one of the girls has lost some kind of hair thing, leaving their hair in disarray. I have recently converted to headbands. Headbands seem a little bit harder for the girls to lose. The bad thing about headbands is that at any given chance, Bella likes to pull them out of Abigail and Sophia's hair, along with a handful of their hair. When we wrestle Bella down to get the headband back, we provoke her agression to the point that she snaps the poor plastic band in half. Leaving all girls involved in complete hysteria.

Well, this blog entry is mostly for my sister Renee, but you may still enjoy it. Renee is 24 today.(and the mother of 3 - crazy) Happy St. Patrick's Day and Happy Birthday to you, Renee. Renee reminded me of the "Hairbow" story the other day. She informed me that after the years and years that she has listened to the story, she still didn't know what kind of hairbows we were talking about. I promised her a picture, so here it is. The poor child grew up in the 80's and completely missed the cool look of braiding two ponytails on each side of the head, and then tying them up in a loop with one of these beautiful fuzzy hairbows.

Now, for the story. It really isn't that funny, but it shows how desperate I was for entertainment as a child. My sister Shannon and I shared a room growing up. The room was small and sported a set of bunkbeads, a play kitchen set and a dresser. We had hours and hours of fun soaking spaghetti noodles in water atop our play stove. We really thought that we were cooking those noodles, and we loved to eat our homecooked delicatessen. (YUCK!)

Another thing that we loved to do was play Barbies. What girl doesn't? We would dump out the suitcase full of barbies onto the floor and then proceed to take turns picking the items. We would go through the barbies, then the dresses, other clothes, and end off with the accessories. I don't know what we did about the shoes with no match, but I am sure that most of the shoes were missing their match.

When these two activities got old, Shannon and I used our imaginations to come up with something a little more interesting. The best game involved the ceiling. If you were around in the 70's, you know exactly what I am talking about when I say that we had popcorn ceilings throughout our house. Even though Renee wasn't born until 1981, even she knows what I am talking about. We, unlike many others, never rennovated those popcorn ceilings. If it wasn't for the fact that we sold the house to someone else, we may have been able to call our house true vintage with its remaining ceilings.

Well, as ugly as the popcorn ceilings were, they were great for one thing, and maybe only one thing. (did you know that they are full of asbestos?)Popcorn ceilings and fuzzy hairbows are a perfect match. They cling to one another like a sweater and a dryer sheet. I don't know how my sister and I figured this out, but I am guessing it had something to do with me being in my sister's top bunk, taunting her that I would throw her hairbow over to the alligators down on the floor.

My sister and I would spend hours and hours gathering up all the hairbows in the house that we could find, and then tossing them off the side of the top bunk. We perfected the throw to the point that we could make a hairbow stick every time. As time went on, the game progressed into seeing how far out we could throw the bows. One days our brothers got in on the action, and they showed us how to jump off the bunk and retrieve the bows on our way down.

Shannon and I were never as good as my brothers at retrieving the bows. Most of our hairbow sessions would end with us hollering for their assistance at getting the last few stray ones down. If the brothers weren't available, I might take one last try at it. Shannon would not dare. If all else failed, we would hunt down the broom and hit down the ribbon. Retreiving the ribbons off of the ceiling were some of the few times that we ever got to play in the snow. We lived in the sunny Southern California, and dancing around in asbestos popcorn ceiling flakes made us feel like we belonged in the movie, A White Christmas.

It's too bad that fuzzy hairbows are out of style. I guess it is O.k., my girls could never have the fun that we did with them anyway. We don't have a popcorn ceiling, and coming down on our hardwood floor would not be pretty. And, they don't have any brothers to retreive the hard ones for them.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Mother Hen

Poltergeist Posted by Hello

It seems that I have blogged a lot about my dad, but I have yet to tell you about my mom. Both of my parents made for my interesting upbringing. I have been to many therapy sessions and talked about my family, but writing this blog has been the best therapy yet. I have found myself laughing about my family, instead of blaming them for my issues. Yes, we were unorthodox and disfunctional, but as I write, I realize that we had some really good times, and I was taught one very good coping technique: laughter.

My mom provided many of the good times. When I was younger my mom was the life of the neighborhood. We must have gone through a box of sandwich bags every day of the summer. She would keep us busy for hours filling them up and throwing them at the neighbor kids. Why didn't we use water balloons? I don't know. Probably because sandwich bags were always on hand. Sandwich bags were also much easier to fill....dump them in a bucket of water and Wala...full to the rim.

I have many stories about my mom. My mom's most apparent feature is that she considers herself to be every child's mom. She has no qualm about laying a lecture down any time any where. She was always the one cheering the loudest in the stands at the sporitng events. Were those cheers for us kids? Yes. Of course. But, they were also for our coaches, "Good job coach.", our other teammates, "Way to go Monica.", the umpire, "Nice call ref.", and last but definitely not least, the other team, "Good playing Oceanside, you are on your mark today." I am sure that you could also hear my mom cheering on all the fans in the stands, rallying them up, "Let's go parents, let's go."

When I was in 6th grade, I had finally almost recovered from the 4th grade situation. Then, my teacher chose to show Poltergeist. I, being the sensitive child that I was, as well as sheltered and naive, couldn't sleep for weeks after viewing the movie at school. I was scared out of my pants. I had nightmare after nightmare. My mom was getting sick of me coming into her room and waking her and my dad up. She started to grill me for details. I never wanted to give them up because I knew exactly how my mom would react.

My brothers, on the other hand, knew exaclty what I was afraid of. By some freaky coincidence, during the same time period, my sister and I had this porcelain clown in our room. I couldn't even look at it after watching Poltergeist. I was terrified that it would come to life and harm me. At nights, I would gather up every bit of courage that I had, grab the clown, smothering it in my pillow, and as quickly as possible I would deposit it somewhere else in the house, usually in one of my brother's rooms. I would run back and close the door behind me, feeling mighty accomplished that the clown would not be able to harm me, just my brothers.

Well, after a little while, my brothers figured out what I was doing. They loved to sneak back in our room and leave the clown next to my bed. In the middle of the night, after one of my nightmares, I would wake up to a real nightmare next to my bed.

After weeks of this torture, I finally gave in and told my mom what we had seen at school. She reacted just as I thought that she would, but I was so down-trodden by this point, I didn't care. First, my mom, gave me a lecture about how I should have told the teacher that I wasn't allowed to watch movies of that nature. Second, she tried to give me the pep talk that it wasn't real and it was nothing to be afraid of. Third, she got rid of the clown. And, fourth, she marched down to that school's principal's office and gave her a piece of her mind.

Well, of course, the teacher was in trouble. She had to apologize to the class and the parents. A few of the other children got in trouble with their parents. The class then came after me....they knew exactly whose mom had made the stink. Mother Hen of course....she wanted to protect all the children in the 6th grade from that filthy trash of a show. What my mom did or didn't realize is that she had succeeded at making me an outcast for another year of my life. She did the right thing, but I can only say that because now I am also a Mother Hen. I have to say that if I am ever faced with the same situation, I will want to do the same thing, but I probably won't just because of the scars that I still carry from the 6th grade.

Monday, March 14, 2005

The Datsuns

Sheila with Adam Posted by Hello

May Sheila Rest In Peace. This is the last known picture of one of our beloved Datsun 210's. Yes, you heard me correct....ONE of our Datsun 210's. Our family had the fortune of owning two of them, at the same time. Because Adam, Shannon, and I were all in high school and driving at the same time, my parents honored us with both cars. Between the three of us, we still had to share, but hey, we took what we could get. Sharing two cars was definitely better than just having one.

I totally agree with my parents' decision of giving us pieces-of-junk to drive. (Not that they drove anything nicer) As you can tell from the picture above, these cars took a good beating. (I don't know why any parent would give their amateur driving child a new car.) For the life of me, I cannot recall how we even knew the difference between the two cars; they were like identical twins. They were the same make and model, the same exterior color, the same interior color, and the same piece of junk. In the beginning, I guess the only way we knew the difference was by the liscence plate. However, after breaking the cars in, it must have been much easier to tell the difference. I personally crashed one of the cars. After my fender bender, we always knew the difference. No one wanted to drive the Datsun without the grill.

The Datsun that I crashed never got her grill back. The only reason that I know that I didn't crash Sheila is from the picture above (notice Sheila still has her front grill). The Datsun I crashed was never forunate to have a name, like Shiela. Adam named Sheila years after we were in high school. He bought her from my parents for $2. Sheila was a great car. I can remember taking her on a trip from Provo, Utah to Carlsbad, California and back (aproximately 1200 miles round trip). Sheila had no heater, and the weather was below zero in Utah. We almost froze to death, all cuddled up under quilts. We were like Mormon pioneers. We were so happy when we reached Happy Valley (Las Vegas) where it finally started to warm up.

Another side note about Sheila is that she had no defrosting component. So, not only did we freeze to death when driving in her, we also, had a special way of clearing the windows for driving vision. Adam kept a towel and a credit card in the front seat of the car at all times. He would stop every ten miles or so and perform the ritual of scraping the left side of the window down and then wiping it thoroughly. On this one particular long trip, it became the shotgun passenger's responsibility. This way we wouldn't have to stop. It becasme a real talent to scrape the window without obstructing the driver's vision.

The other Datsun with no name, never took any long distance trips that I can think of. Although, I am sure that the car was involved with many other fun times: Like the time we stole 12 pairs of shoes from the bowling alley, only to have my dad find them in the back of the car the next day. We had to drive back to the bowling alley after church and give them back with an apology.

The most memorable time that I spent with the Datsun-with-no-name was when I was a Senior in High School. I had this boyfriend, Matt Jewell. He was a freshman, and I sure did take a lot of slack for dating him, but I was very immature for my age and he was so FINE! One night, Matt and I were driving down the coast. Of course, I was driving, since he was only 15. (Hey, I was barely 17)

So, we've already established that the Datsun was a piece of junk. It had a tail light out and the registration wasn't up to date. The one other fun thing about the car is that it had wires hanging down from the steering wheel. Someone had broken the key off in the ignition and my dad solved the problem by showing us each how to start the car by hotwiring it. Well, it was all fun and games to us and our friends. But, on this particular night, when I was trying to impress my goodlooking boyfriend, my car was not a reason to be proud. When the policeman pulled me over for a fix-it ticket and a registration warning, I could have died on the spot. The worst part of all was when he asked me about the wires. I must have looked like a deer caught in the headlights while trying to explain to him that we really did own the car.

I don't know what happened to the Datsun-with-no-name, but it assuredly sat out in front of our house in a non-working state for at least a year. Sheila finally met her demise when Adam left her on the side of the road. She just gave up her will to live and my brother was too poor to do anything about it. Eventually, the city compounded her. She was probably so relieved to sit in a junkyard. Hey, a junkyard is Disneyland to a car that spent the last leg of its life being driven by us. And, at least Sheila could go out in glory instead of collecting dust in our yard like her identical twin with no name.