Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Halloween!

So, if I have done as well as LG and the kids think that I have with my pumpkin pattern carving this year, you should all be able to tell what these jack-o-lanterns are. What do you think?

Red Tree

 "Look over there,
That tree's all alone."
The others must think that
she thinks she's outgrown.

"Not like us", they think
but do not dare say.

I stand in my roots
And feel quite like the tree
Advanced in my ways
and unlike the rest green.

"It's like me", I think
but do not dare say.

They are all green.
I am bright red.
I stand out alone,
against their green layer.

"Not like they", I do know,
but red was green yesterday.

(There was this lone red tree at the soccer field and it fit so well with how I was feeling that day - just different from everyone around me - But, look at how beautiful that different tree was, couldn't I be the same?)
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Monday, October 29, 2007

Tags and labels

Rita and Shannon have tagged me, so here we go.

I thought that mom's knew better than causing people this unnecessary work! I am really going to have to wrack my brain. And, I will try not to complain because I can't think of anything else to blog about today anyway.

My biggest beef now is that I have to tag seven of my friends(SORRY, but I do give you permission not to follow through - don't want to cause anyone undo stress)...I don't even think I have seven blogging friends. Let's see, I tag 1-Valerie, 2-Andy(who hasn't updated his blog in forever and so I am sure he is not going to read this), 3-Cally,4-Lori,5-Dorry,6-Meagan, and 7-Karie Wow, that's seven. If you aren't listed above, consider yourself lucky!

Here are the rules which must be posted on your blog if you are tagged.1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

So, I am not following the rules to the tee, but that brings me to my first point.

1-I believe that we should all live by rules, but my beef with rules is that I should make them, not just for me, but for everyone I know. I am definitely an authoritarian at heart, and it is something that I am always trying to work on. I am a parent who tries hard to be democratic, but I definitely error on the side of being authoritarian and I cannot STAND permissive parenting. It makes me totally crazy to see parents let their children run the show! This is also something I am trying to work on constantly (not being bothered by people's differences)

2-I am terrified of mice....absolutely terrified! - There is a good story about why, that will have to wait until another blog entry.

3-I am very strong. I often tease that I am as strong as a "weak man", which I recently learned was not true when I arm wrestled what seemed to be a very whimpy missionary. I think I used to be able to bench press about 100, which is impressive considering at the time I was only 140 pounds. I also have pretty good endurance, which is really impressive considering I haven't had a real work out in months. But, mental fortitude is a different story....not as mentally strong.

4-I hate the sound of sleeping bags rubbing together. The same for those work out pants that are the similar material....AHH, just thinking about it gives me the heeby jeebies.

5-I think I have almost perfect pitch. Which may be far fetched, but when I used to be the Primary Chorister, I would come in for the kids without the piano and always be right on the right pitch...this could be because of the repitition only though because if I am asked to just pull out a note to sing a song it seems I am always too high or low...so, I hate to admit it, but I probably don't have perfect pitch.

6-I love to drink a Neer Beer whenever I go to a ball game. All you Mormons can stone me later. ;)

7-I was labeled "Intense Energy" by my graduating Carlsbad High Class GO LANCERS! I guess there were worse things to be labeled. Isn't Travis Parker cute? Yep, he was my boyfriend for a short time. I just heard that he is finally getting married. If he is the Travis that I remember from 15 year ago, she is a lucky girl, but not as lucky as me of course...because I got married to LG and HE IS THE VERY BEST MAN IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD! - and don't forget that my birthday is on Fri honey. ;)

Thursday, October 25, 2007


After reading Lindsey's blog about bleeding orange I remembered that I had some pretty good pictures of the girls celebrating LG's UT Law graduation. Here are just two of those pictures.

This is a picture of Bella with her orange and white pom pom and Abigail with Smokey. This story is about Bella and Smokey (UT's one and only Vol mascot), but, as you can see, there is no picture of Bella WITH Smokey.

You see, Abigail tried to take Bella up to see Smokey, but Bella (my toughest daughter by far) choked halfway up the bleachers. Abigail was bewildered because she was trying to hurry to get to Smokey on time before Smokey moved on, and Bella just froze. I was watching them all the way and because of my prior experience with big stuffed animals, I knew from afar that Bella may be having issues.

My little sister Renee hated Chuck E Cheese when she was small. For all I know, she still does.

Well, anyhow, I had to run up and retrieve Bella from Abigail's care, so that Abigail could hurry and get this photo. Before I was even able to snap the photo, I had to take a very anxious Bella back to the other side of the Colliseum to her father so he could protect her from the big bad mascot.

The rest of the evening Bella kept her very vigiliant watch on Smokey and kindly asked to go home whenever he got too close. We were trying every kind of reasoning to teach Bella that the big stuffed dog would not hurt her. The first reasoning being just that: he is just a big stuffed dog. Nothing was working. I have to admit that my best 3 year old reasoning was this: "Bella, that is just Smokey, he is related to Chuck E Cheese. You remember ChuckE from Sophia's Birthday party, don't you? He was so nice. You danced with him and the other kids. Well, Smokey is ChuckE's cousin."
This seemed to bewilder Bella more than anything. She was probably trying to figure out how a stuffed dog and a stuffed mouse could actually be related, but then again, maybe not. Now, whenever we see a big stuffed anything ranging from the ChikFilA cow to the Hardee's Star, the girls always immediately holler, "Bella, look there's another one of ChuckE's cousins.
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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

$100 Bonus


Here is my traffic violation in art form.

A few weeks back I received my first traffic violation in 13 years. If you are at an intersection and all the cars in front of you are waiting for the red light to turn green so that they can proceed directly through, it is not lawful to turn right into the gas station next to you to avoid the intersection. It is called exactly that...avoiding an intersection, and it is against the law...WHO knew?

Well, I was pretty bummed, but was delighted when I got home and LG told me that he may be able to get the ticket revoked by the traffic court judge. So, I was even more delighted when LG went with one of his boss's last week and in my behalf did exactly that. It was the first time since coming to law school that I finally got one little perk!

So, last night, we are going over our budget and trying to figure out how in the world we are going to come up with another $7,000 to pay for another bar class and bar test. (Why do they call it a bar anyway - that sounds like LG is going to go and take a drinking class - which if he wasn't a Mormon, he might) Needless to say, we were having a good amount of frustration. LG said to me,"Alice, I am done with the law, I have got to grow up and provide for my family. We should have called this law school thing a wash a long time ago. We just keep forking out the cash and all it has done for us is provide one $100 bonus in getting you out of a traffic violation."

I then replied, "Well that was one powerful $100 bonus to me." The power of being untouchable on the roads is a pretty nice perk! Now, I just can't get a ticket for another 30 days.
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Monday, October 22, 2007

Far more exceeding and eternal

On Friday, we got the very not expected news that LG will have to take the bar for the 2nd time! So, we have a choice: 1-Be defeated or 2-Move forward with faith. I thought that this picture was a great way to represent the notion of moving forward with faith.

Here are two sisters enjoying each others company while walking home from the Mechanic's on Friday. They weren't worried about the fact we had to walk home because our car was in the shop for the second time in the same week...they both found dandelions to pick and liked showing them to each other. In fact, they had no idea that a dandelion is a weed. They think that they are pretty flowers and always pick them and bring them to me whenever they see them.

Children are a wonderful blessing in keeping a positive attitude (something I have been working a lot on lately) I guess the Lord has decided to test me in whether or not I am serious about changing my negative ways...he sure has given me a lot of challenges lately.

The good news is I finally feel that I have passed the husband test. I can truly say that I love LeGrand no differently, even with the disappointing news. I have found myself loving him more and for the FIRST time in 10 years I truly believe in him, even at the hardest time to do so. It feels so good. It is worth this challenge just to feel the way I do.

So, as for the title of this entry. Taken from, believe it or not, Sunday's Sunday School lesson. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 & 4:17-18

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body...For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Family Room Fairy


Thank you to Mrs. Webb again today for a great teaching moment. It is amazing what good teachers can teach parents. On the way home from school today, while we were riding in the car, Abigail handed me a stack of papers. She is notorious for keeping a filthy desk. (In kindergarten and first grade I would sneekily clean out her desk on the days I would volunteer)

As Abigail handed me the large wad of papers, she said, "Mrs. Webb said that the Desk Fairy may be visiting tonight, so I cleaned out my desk." I replied, "The desk fairy?" Abigail said,"Yeah, if my desk is clean, she will leave me a piece of gum at the very back of my desk."

I immediately responded with such a wise mom thing to say, "Well, you guys will have to clean your play room today and see if the FamilyRoomFairy comes to visit tonight." It worked like a charm. Check out my family room! Yeah, Thanks to Lindsey's Mr Gobbles, LG did just gather up two garbage bags full yesterday and put them out of sight, but, still, the girls were moving a whole lot faster tonight and they had purpose in their cleaning...they want a visit from that fairy!

So, the FamilyRoomFairy is leaving some Holly Hobby Bubble Bath tonight: courtesy of my Birthday Box. Now, if I can just keep the room's mess to a minimal, maybe they won't get overwhelmed and will move on it every time I make a mention of the FamilyRoomFairy. And if we keep those two garbage bags full of toys out of the Family Room, it's gotta only help, right?

I have a feeling though that the family room fairy won't last for too long. I was just talking with my mom today about how I am so frustrated as to not being able to keep any real working systems at my house...she reassured me that the good parent is the one that realizes that the "system" no longer has the initial fun and motivation and adopts something new. I hope she is right because I can't even begin to count how many strategies I have used to motivate my kids to clean up this place! Tonight my money is on the FamilyRoomFairy. Let's put good old Mrs. Webb to the test!
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

LeGrand Voyage

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This is a sign for some event that was being held on campus a few days before LG's Law School Graduation. I thought it showed the appropriate mood at our house right now. We are all on a LeGrand Voyage as we await LG's bar results. The countdown has been on for aproximately 3 months, but every second that goes by makes "passing" seem so much more important.

LeGrand said it correctly the other night, "Alice, it doesn't matter if I was to stay up and pray all night, my future is decided by my maker." I guess I better hand over my future also. AGH - It just seems so out of my control!!!

Well, whether or not LG has an official "future" in the law 2 days from now doesn't change the fact that we have these three beautiful girls. They make every step of the voyage worth it. And, I guess LG is the bonus for me...a bonus that will be even better if he's happy.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Natural Tunnel State Park

There is a wonderful State Park on the border of VA and TN. It is called Natural Tunnel State Park. You can particpate in all of their activities for FREE on Labor Day. We took the opporunity to explore with Duane and Faye's ward! It was an almost perfect day. The scenery is breathtaking!

The park dates back to the 1800's when it was used as a place to stay for frontiersmen. They later discovered that the "Natural Tunnel" was a perfect place to lay the railroad tracks (its a shame if you ask me that they ruined the natural beauty with a train), but it adds to the mystique. All of the outlaying areas are still unharmed though, and it is a beautiful place. We all had a blast and even got some exercise with a glorious hike!
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Fridge Art Mess

Here is the long awaited fridge entry. Lori posted her fridge on her blog and so I thought I would show you all what a fridge slob I am. Here is the content lists:

View A
1- Abigail's Spelling List
2- Family Scripture Reading Chart (We've been working on finishing the Book of Mormon for 3 years - we are finally in Mormon!)
3- Gospel Magnets (gift from my sister in law in ID years ago - made from stamps on floor tile with magnets)
4- Kids School Work (didn't Bella do a good job of painting herself?)
5- Café Menu/Class News
6-Primary Pic (notice Abigail is thankful for her family and asked that I could hurry and finish our floors)
7-Letter Magnets ASB (Abigail, Sophia, & Bella of course)

View B
1-Chore Charts (when we had an FHE to discuss what we should do better as a family, the girls requested new chores?)
2- School Schedules (what time I volunteer and lunch times and teachers e-mails to keep me straight)
3- Cell Phone #’s 4 sitters
4- Fathers day Post it gift (handmade by yours truly with three little girls help)
5- Sm. White Board (for scribbling)
6-Dry Erase Marker Holder (never used)
7-Metal Pen Holder (holds all kinds of junk)

View C
1-Library Handout (open library time at the school on Mondays)
2- I have no idea! (just went and looked - an invite to a Bday dinner for LG and I)
3- Halloween Party flyer
4- Favorite Church Handouts(*The kingdom of God or nothing*A home is made of brick and stone a house is made of love alone*Saying you can forgive, but not forget is like saying you cannot forgive*Leave people better than you found them)
5- Favorite Fam Pics
6-Family Rules
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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Golfer Envy

Abigail was watching the Samsung LPGA World Championship with LG earlier today.

"Dad," said Abigail, "she really likes LG," refering to Angela Park and her shirt that was plastered with LG Electronics logos.

"I don't think she likes LG, Abigail, they pay her to wear that shirt."

"Golfers get paid to wear clothes!?!?"


"Dad, I want to be a professional golfer."

That's my girl.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cool Room

This is going to be quick....check out this girl's scrapbook room.

I am so in love with organization that I felt like I went to heaven just checking out her mixture of space and art....and the fact she shops for a lot of her finds at the Goodwill. WOW!

Now, check out the pic of my organization right now....the only thing I have in common with this lady is that we both shop at the goodwill...she must find all the good stuff...
The good news. I still have plenty of room for inspiration!

Hey Judicial LG

Hey Jude!

Alrighty, Here is the long awaited video that LG was hoping I would forget about. Hit the "Hey Jude" link above. You should have seen LG's face when he finished helping me post this on googlevideos. It was a three way tie between total fear, complete embarassment and 'imsofunny". You know I have to thank LG for two things: 1 -for acting like a complete dork and 2 - You know I couldn't have uploaded this video without his help. It only took us five days to figure out how to do it. I hope it was worth the trouble.

As I saw the embarassed smirk on LG's face, all I could say is, "At least it's not YouTube, right?"I think that this is absolutely hillarious, if you didn't already know that bymy laughter that drowns out LG as a star on the video. Those of you that know LG will really enjoy it. The rest of you, may just have to suffer.

One of the best parts of the video is Uncle Dirk's comment at the very end...it is in the background very quietly...In Uncle Dirk's best southern boss hogg accent, "There's a trial lawyer in you yet, boy" or something like that.

LG was totally hamming it up at Claytor Lake with the family Karoake Bar. I LOVE Karaoke! Can you tell that LG was happy to have the Bar Exam finally completed! And of course, The Beatles bring out the best in him.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Knoxville Symphony

Abigail's class went to the Knoxville Symphony today. It was so fun! My favorite piece of music was definitely Bernstein's West Side Story. Why is it that I wait for my children's opportunities to force me to bring culture into my life? I had a blast today. Now, if I can just get to the Symphony without 800 school children there at the same time. hint hint

On a side note, I have discovered a great new aspect of the blog. (thanks lori - she gave me the idea with her etsy find) Blogging is a great way to leave subtle hints for stuff that I want from my husband. Someday I am going to post a picture of a 2 karat diamond!

Anyhow, Abigail really seemd to enjoy herself today. Because she has been at the "No Child Left Behind" school, she has never been on a field trip before. She is in 3rd grade...about time, don't you think? She was totally intrigued by this thing called "the bus" and loved the symphony. She asked all kinds of questions; the only one of which I had an answer for was, "Mom, what is the name for the guys with the big drums?" I actually could sound smart when I said, "Percussionists". Can't spell the word, but lucky for me, she won't know the difference.

The experience wore her out, as you can see from the yawn. It wore me out too, but no one had a camera to take a picture of me yawning throughout the experience. I now know why I refused to let my kids be carted to and from school on a school bus. It was crazy and the nauseousness was nostalgic as I thought back to my school days.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

In The Clouds

While in the car on Saturday, I noticed this cloud on the bottom right. I saw an upside down pig that looks like he is cracking up after booting a football. I named the cloud pig on pig. (get it, they call a football pigskin) - perfect cloud for this time of year, huh? And, guess what, the Vols won later that day.

The other pic, I thought is a great catch of an obvious heart. The pictures above just 1 - of the beautiful southern sky with clouds and trees and 2- Sophia's other piece of "in the cloud" artwork. A quadruple decker cracker and cheese sandwich....YUM! And, yes, I have to sidenote that this sandwich was made with her spreadable cheese, not the sliced kind. She really needed a bath before we hit the baptism we were heading to, but what do you do?

Cute, that later in the day, Sophia and Uncle Logan were at a neighbor picnic. They were laying in a hammock, observing the clouds. Sophia asked Uncle Logan if she could take pictures with his cell phone and then she proceeded to capture every available cloud and tell Uncle Log what she saw. Man, don't ever forget that your children are always watching!

Paper Roses and Angel Wings

What better description could there be for the girls' art projects than "Paper Roses and Angel Wings"? All of my girls are so lovely and sweet. It is amazing that their projects this week also happen to describe their personalities.

Sophia brought me in a whole dozen of these paper roses the other day. You should have seen her as she delivered the roses just for me. I don't know what was bigger, her arm span or the grin on her face. So cute!

Also, here is Abigail's sketch of her upcoming Halloween costume. I would not be surprised if she ends up as some kind of fashion or costume designer; she gets into sketching clothes and costumes and does it without any suggestions from me.

Well, hope you are all getting ready for Halloween!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Take Me Home, Country Roads

I thought that you would all love a pic of me in my bathing suit! He he

Shown in pic. - Cousins Jarrett and Missy Gold, and their 3 adorable kids (Brighton, Aspen, and Rider) and us and two of the girls. I have no idea where Bella is, but I highly doubt she ran ahead. She may be coming up and over the hill, or hiding behind the vastness of my towel.

This is a pic that LG's Uncle Dirk snapped when we were at Claytor Lake, VA over the 4th of July. I love the picture of all the green in the back. Behind us, over the small hilltop, is a massive lake...all the green is from behind the lake. There is at least a mile of lake between our backs and all those trees. Crazy, huh?

This is why they say, "Take me home, country roads."

My next post is going to be our last trip to Claytor Lake over Labor Day. We paddled in the paddle boat and did Karaoke. If I can get the video to work, there is a funny one of LG singing like a sleezy lawyer....you have to try and catch it all from behind my laughter.

The Library

We love the library! We live in a country where we can pretty much get any book we want to read for free at our local library. It is too bad that more people don't take advantage of the opportunity. If I were a perfect mother, I would take the kids every week to storytime, but I am not, nor will I ever be perfect.

I think I have done alright though....look at how engaged all three girls are by the story. They really do love to learn. That is what counts, I guess. There is nothing better than a child engaged in a children's story.

Harry Golden, author of Only in America, said, "The library, I believe, is the last of our public institutions
to which you can go without credentials. You don't even need the sticker on your windshield that you need to get into the public beach. All you need is the willingness to read."

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Stray Snowball

This is a picture of our cat Kitty Bear and her archnemisis Snowball. Snowball is a neighborhood stray who can hunt a bird down like no other. Snowball also hunts down Kitty Bear.

How did the neighborhood stray get a name, you ask? Well, from a little girl, of course. If it was named by some boy its name would be dumb cat or something like that. Our former neighbor, Hailey, adopted this stray and named it Snowball. The cat looks nothing like a snowball, but it does have a destroying affect and so I guess that name is appropriate. Snowball will never let a human anywhere near it and so I guess technically he was never adopted...especially since Hailey moved away over a year ago and has never come back for the cat.

One thing snowball does have in common with snow is only the yellow stuff. The cat pees everywhere. It is so annoying. For a long time, she would pee on our porch. She used to sleep under our window until we got Kitty Bear. One day I went outside with the kids and the next thing we know there is a catfight going down right before our eyes.....can you say the word trauma?

Now, whenever the cat gets within 50 feet of our home, the kids will spot him out our big bay window and run out and holler at him. It is always the same words, "Get outta here Snowball!" So funny...they have learned to copy me. On their way back in the house, all three of the girls will mumble under their breath, "Stupid Cat".

Why do we keep Snowball around. Sure, we could catch him and take him to the pound. But we feel like Snowball is giving Kitty Bear character. The real reason though is I am terrified of mice, and I have never ever seen one since we have moved in four years ago. Snowball is good to keep around!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Welcome to the family Lily

Some of you know about LG's sister, Amy, and her husband, Tyler. They have been trying for a very long time to start their family. Their opportunity finally came true with Lily. She came into our lives aproximatley 6 months ago.

We have all had our fingers crossed through the ups and downs of the adoption process, but we can finally all celebrate. Lily's birth father finally signed the official papers.

I am sure that we cannot be more happy than Amy and Tyler, but it sure feels like nobody could be happier than I am right now.

Mayfield vs. Baskin Robbins

So, here in Tennessee, we have a delicacy called Mayfield ice-cream. The girls and I took a tour of Mayfield this summer. Here are the pictures of their HUGE single scoop cones. I hate to admit it, but even though I've lived in the south for the past four years, I still haven't been able to force myself to convert to Mayfield.

A funny thing about Mayfield Dairy is that they package their milk in yellow gallon plastic containers. It really freaks Westerners out. They always think that the milk is orange juice. Mayfield claims that these darker containers keep their milk fresh longer. My girls drink their milk so fast that freshness is not a worry for me! But, I do thank Mayfield for the countless laughs I have gotten from visiting westerners wondering why I have 4 gallons of OJ and no milk in my fridge.

I am through and through a Baskin Robbins girl. I just can't give up on that great 6 months of my life when I had all the ice-cream I could eat. Of course the flavors were almost endless.

I was recently reading an old stand up comic routine that I wrote. It was pretty weak, but the one good joke out of the bunch was in reference to the many odd jobs I have had in my life. I talked about what I learned working in the produce department and then UPS, and then I referred to Baskin Robbins. My words, "It was unfortunate, I had to quit; I just got sick of all 31 flavors".

The Wood Floors From Heck

Not funny, but it would have been if you could have seen us while we were sanding! Thanks dad for your technical support over the phone. You are the best.

Grad Pics

The yawn gives it all away. How did LG feel about his legal education? Was it boring? Or, was he pretty much just tired for the duration? Either way, we are very happy!

My Baby Quilts

Here is a picture of a personalized baby quilt I am making. I just checked out my friends' sites and Cally and Lori showed off all of their craftiness! So, I can't be shown up. This is the 3rd personalized bay quilt I have made. The first was a cowboy print with a horseshoe and sheriff's badge with the name Zeke. The second was a red white and blue plaid with a big blue star and some embroidered stars with the name Finn.