Monday, June 30, 2008

Ok, I get It, It's the Enterprise.

In search for something new and different Spencer wanted to watch Star Trek, The Movie. It's rated G, I kinda remembered the plot and the basics, so I said sure!
I remember liking this movie once upon a time, but watching it with a first timer, as in, he has never seen the TV show, ever, was a different experience.
I had to explain every character and why they were acting certain ways. So much of this first movie is spent re-introducing the characters and the ship that it got boring. BORING! By the time they got into the cloud I had lost interest. And I enjoyed the show, I am not anti Trek. This movie was for show, "Oooo look what we can do, look at our special effects" ...which for the time was great, and for all the TV shows biggest fans it was a delight. I am glad they made more movies, ones with deeper plots and less 10 minute shots of just the ship.

Plus, movie IV,The Voyage Home, has someone in it I knew at the time, Christian Hoff,as a boy in the whale tour asking questions. He was a classmate of mine and now is on Broadway in Jersey Boys as Tommy DeVito, so there's a little trivia for you. :)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Generosity of a 7 year old.

Spencer has grown over a 1/2 inch this month. It's amazing sometimes, you send him to bed one height and he wakes up another. As the shorts come out for the season it is obvious he needs the next size up. He doesn't grow any wider, only longer, so they ride high and look uncomfortable even if he can still snap them.
We, being who we are , must bargain hunt. I tried a few standard places of common deals, but all the boys shorts were huge. Spencer is a slim, hard to find in a bargain. So I headed out to a thrift store one day and scored 3 pairs of Arizona Jeans shorts, carpenter style, size 10slims, PERFECT. And one pair was even black, that is a bonus.

These were great investments, but as the month progressed it was obvious he needed more, so we went back, hoping for another small miracle. It didn't happen today, however, something else did.

Let me interrupt my story by saying in just over a week one of my daughters is moving back to live at home while attending college, we are super excited, especially Spencer. She will moving into our tiny home, with our one bathroom, and sharing a room with Spencer(he's thrilled to have a roommate, something he has always wanted, but no younger siblings showed up, sorry kid).

After no shorts were found we looked around, and he found a light saber. Spencer loves Star Wars, and shares this love with Alyssa. He looked at me after practicing with the saber.
"Spencer, you all ready have one"
"I know, but I want to buy this one for Alyssa, so she can have one too, I'll use my own money"

And he bought it with his own money, so that when she gets here they can have practice and pretend battles. Because he loves her, because that's the kind of kid he is.

In those times when I doubt my mothering ability I will reflect on this moment.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pipe Cleaner Fun

A trip from my house to San Diego takes 8.5 hours.
Our car currently has no A/C.
It was 89 degrees when this shot was taken.
I can not read in the car, sadly.
Really, really sadly, because I want to read in the car.

I can however have fun with pipe cleaners.(Or chenille sticks as they are sometimes called now)
So remember: I was hot, a bit bored, and avoiding car sickness.
I present to you, the pipe cleaner mustache of FUN!







Yep, I won't put it in a photo album, but I will spread it across the internet blogosphere, because that's the kind of woman I am...generous, willing to go that extra step to make you laugh.


I am not alone:

"Chuck"



Thany





For more Fro Me To You Photo Fun Go to We Are That Family:

With A Hint Of Tide

Money is tight. Money has been tight, for many of us, for a long time. Which is why I do not get to buy my favorite laundry soap, Tide. I love Tide*. LOVE IT! Long ago, before I knew about it I would comment on the smell and cleanliness of certain friends laundry. Unbeknownst to me, it was Tide. A friend cautioned me one day, "Don't buy it, you'll love it, you'll get addicted, you'll never want to use anything else, but it's too expensive and it will leave you with Tide envy".
"Whatever" I believe was my response. And right here, in the blogophere of life, I renounce my 'whatever' and apologize dear Bethany, you were right, I do have Tide envy when I can't afford it.

Oh sure, I found other laundry soaps that are okay, even efficient, a good value, but none of them delight my nose like the great red and orange container. I have found ways of getting cheaper, wait for sales, cut coupons when you can find them, use the rebate system at Rite-Aid...whatever it takes. One time I stumbled upon a look alike in Big-Lots, same bottle, same colors, different name and upon a second look I realized it was in Spanish. I pondered the possibility that it was just a look alike and then opened it, pensively took a little whiff, just in case it was indeed an imposter. My nose took delight at the familiar smell, it was Tide...AHHHHH!

Alas, none of those deals have been enough to justify purchasing it lately, things are just too tight. So recently I was given not one, not 2, but several super-sized containers of laundry soap. I, knowing how tight money is, and not being stupid, accepted, heartily, thankfully, and hopefully graciously. They are all name brands, and even my second choice in soaps, EXCEPT, they are the no dye, no fragrance version. Hmmm, no smell? I tried a scented dryer sheet (Why doesn't Tide make one? WHY NOT??) That helped but I just needed a little more, it's silly to think a fragrance tells you it's clean, when really, the lack of aroma should instead, but I digress.

THEN I GOT A BRILLIANT IDEA:
Fill the measuring cup up with MOSTLY the unscented brand, and then , top it off with precious liquid gold, my favorite, TIDE...this adds the scent I love without breaking the bank. It uses my resources wisely and makes my nose happy. Now, if you happen to love Surf instead, add that, whatever you fancy. This is simply what works for me.

Find other Works For Me Tips over at Rocks In My Dryer:

* I am in no way being endorsed to speak of Tide so lovingly, however, if Tide wants to endorse me, I will happily start a new review blog and repeat all have said for a bottle of liquid nose delight. Are you listening Tide people? :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ten On Tuesday, E

Things I am thankful for, E edition:
In no particular order.

1. Eggplant, yummy sliced,olive oiled,salt and peppered, thrown on the grill eggplant.
2. Eyes, windows to the soul.
3. Erin, AKA, Chuck. Her generosity of self is amazing.
4. Entrails, and that most of mine are still intact.
5. Exits, graceful ones.
6. Evenings, when the sky turns colors and the breeze blows gently.
7. Eighties, the Radical styles and the big hair (how embarrassing, yet Awesome!)
8. Eggs, not only for baking and food, but for the life cycle they represent.
9. Eight, I have always liked the number 8,it may have to do with my birthday, or my love of curves...not sure.
10. Entries, on your blogs, yes, I am thankful. Thank you for sharing your life, humor, insights, recipes, helpful hints and photography with me.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Fluffly Floaty Things of Distraction

I neared a stop sign and noticed little fluffy cream things floating through the air and had the following conversation with myself:

"Oh, aren't they pretty, like snow in summer"
"Oh, probably those seed things"
"They are so graceful, look how they dance and swirl."
"They are all a potential weed, floating into people's yards."
"I wish I could stay and watch them longer, too bad there is someone behind me."
"I wish I could stop each one, they all mean more yard work for someone, and in this heat! How awful that those things are floating around. Glad they aren't near my yard."

I stopped and told my negative side to shut up. They were beautiful fluffy dancing distractions from how ugly life can be...

How many times do we let that inner voice, the ugly, mean, negative voice, speak up and ruin our day? Tell it to shut up, kick it to the curb! Life, while sometimes difficult, can be such a wonderful adventure, full of little wonders and special moments.
Although I don't write about everything going on in my world (yet), I want to say that things have been difficult for us for at least 3 years now. In the last year however, even when things got worse, I have learned to turn to God not only for strength, but for JOY!

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

I changed my view and accepted the little white things, a distraction from the heat and turmoiled thoughts filling my brain, delightful and light..dancing on air, and beautiful.I consider that moment in time a gift.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

5 Things

Thank you to Can I Get My Subscription for this little get to know you thingy. If you haven't read her blog go check her out. Occasionally PG-13, but funny and well written. It's sad people treat their pharmacists like that!

What was I doing 10 years ago?
1998, I was planning a move from a small apartment into a townhouse, while rescuing my then elementary aged school children from the after school care people I so mistakenly trusted with their care. I was weeks away from being laid off too(unbeknownst to me), which oddly enough led me to re-connect with this fabulous man that Autumn and we got married soon after. :)

5 Non-important things/habits/quirks

1. When visiting a long blog or website I must scroll all the way back to the top of the page before going to another site. I am trying to break myself of this quirk.
2. I often ask three questions in a row, ending with "Where's Buttercup?"
3. I am allergic to Bell Peppers.
4. I am addicted to other people's blogs.(me too)
5. I don't like green Mike and Ikes

5 Things I would do if I were a billionaire

1. Get out of debt.
2. Give God back His share, plus enough for our church to build a building.
3. Sponsor a whole lot of kids through Compassion and other organizations.
4. Buy a house for us, and a condo for my girls while they attend college, and working reliable cars with air conditioning, hybrids.
5. Build my hubby a state of the art music studio.


5 Foods I enjoy

1. Sushi
2. Mexican
3. Anything that involves cheese
4. Fruit
5. Hummus

5 Places I have lived
In no particular order.
1. Pasadena,Ca
2. San Diego, Ca
3. Ramona, Ca
4. Glendora, Ca
5. Glendale, Az

And I'm tagging the first five people who want to do this. Be sure to let me know so I can enjoy your bloggy goodness.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Outage

I was IMing on the computer with a friend, I in Northern Ca, she in Southern. There was a long pause, no big deal, she has a baby, and 2 other kids 5 and under. Then I received a text message on my cell phone from her:

T: "We just lost power...including cable etc."
C: "Oh No!"
T: "The kids are running around and saying the funniest things"
C: "They do that? How strange" (this was joking of course)
T: "I know...must not be my kids"
C: "It's the power outage...they aren't the same without electricity."
T: "HA! I will turn the power off all the time!"

This totally made me think. We have not had network, cable or any other form of outside TV in our home for over 9 months, my kid is different, and he is different in a good way. Our decision was completely economic, well mostly economic. But really, I don't miss it like I thought I would, and Spencer is better for it. I am not suggesting turning everything off (I wouldn't), I am not even suggesting not having TV, it's all personal. I am merely making an observation.

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Year On The Roof

When we moved into our current home the phrase I was often heard saying was, "Spencer, get off the roof!"
Um...
Except when I am getting a seasonal picture of you...yeah, then go ahead, and scoot back near the edge so I can see the foliage...


Summer 07


Fall 07


Winter 07/08


Spring 08

In general these photos won't make into an album because, well, I don't have albums, these photos are saved on my camera phone, and the quality wouldn't make it into print....



Share your not album worthy photos, or just see other peoples over at We Are That Family.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Giant Spoon Full of Laughter



One fall day, over 8 years ago, I was walking the isles in a dollar store. Well technically it was a 99cent store back then. The visit to the store was with my friend Thany, and it wasn't a normal outing. She was keeping me from the depths of depression over losing a baby to miscarriage a couple weeks before.

We wandered, making fun at the odd items that often show up in such places. I moseyed through the knick knack isle and saw him, the duck. This happens to be an excellent photograph of the duck, because Thany is an excellent photographer. This duck's bill is enormous for it's head size, you'll just have to trust me. It made me laugh, it made me laugh out loud, right there, in the middle of the store. I didn't care who heard me, I didn't care who saw me, by golly, that duck made me laugh, and it felt good. Thany eventually found me by following the loud disruption. She took one look and started laughing as well, partially, I am sure, just because I couldn't stop.

We, being who we are, came up with scenarios of where the duck might be from, or where he is going, but more importantly, what he might be saying through that beautiful giant bill of his. Imagining him saying "PILLOW" made my laughter go silent, the kind where breathing stops and your body shakes. Tears streamed down my cheeks, sorrow was replaced by silliness and joy, right there, in the middle of a dollar store.

The duck was of course purchased and has spent his time showing up randomly at our houses. One time in a cupboard, another in the trunk of a car, another in a box in the pantry. I wrapped it up a few years later in a BabyGap box and presented him at her first baby shower, she screamed with delight and slight jealousy that I had surprised her so well. Most women in the room didn't understand, but we did, and that's all that matters.

This duck represents a breaking away from pain and embracing joy. It represents our friendship, and frankly our sneakiness and brilliance to get it into the other ones home.

Laughter is healing, and that's what works for me.


For other Works For Me ideas check out Rocks In my Dryer

Ten On Tuesday, The Big D

Things I am thankful for, in not particular order:


1. David, my brother. I love him, I wish I could hang out with him more. I should go call him as soon as I am done with this list.
2. David, my friend's husband. He has grown in the Lord so beautifully. He has been a covering and a protector and a leader for his wife during an especially difficult time recently. I am proud of him for the man he has become, and so very happy for my friend that he is totally there for her right now.
3. David, of the Bible, because he sang, clapped, danced and shouted to the Lord, he lifted his hands and was jubilant. He showed love to God with more than obedience, but with joy in song.
4. Dancing
5. Daffodils!!They are such happy flowers.
6. Dragonflies, I think they are cool.
7. Drums and drummers.
8. Dumplings, especially of the yummy Asian variety.
9. Depp,especially of the yummy Johnny variety.
10. Darkness, because without it, you can't see the stars.

Monday, June 16, 2008

First Aide

"AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"
Sound of scooter being dropped on cement, followed by screen door opening, regular door opening, everything being slammed shut.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAHHhHHHHHHHHHHh mommy!"
He was laying on the floor on the other side of the table where I am seated.
"What happened Spence?"
"My knee, my knee"
"Do you need your ice pack?"
"Yes"
"Well, it's in the freezer, go get it."

OH, now don't you go think I am a mean, calloused mommy. This is a test to see how bad it really is. I learned through experience that the more you gush over an injury the bigger and more painful it seems to become, even a little scratch.
He got up and walked to the kitchen behind me and got out the ice pack. I joined him. He sat back down and placed the ice on, and then in a minute lifted it up to peek,
"AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! It's bleeding!"

He had scraped it on the cement. Longish grooves. We cleaned it off, put some Neosporin on it, with pain reliever in it because I am a nice mom, and bandaged it up. He was rubbing his hands too.
"Do they kinda burn?"
"Yeah mommy, they do"
I hate it when that happens!
He recovered nicely and is back to playing outside, well I should say he was. It's hot today, now he is reading near me at the table.

If I had run over and gasped when I saw the gashes I am sure he would be limping and "unable" to play. It's like saying 'Uh-oh, try again' to a toddler learning to stay upright. JMHO.






I want to give a shout out to Bimmy...HI BIMMY! Who is one of my readers that I met on Saturday night. She also sings for a band called No Taboo that my husband happens to be in...but I had never met them before, due to babysitting issues and whatnot, and I didn't know she was one of my readers.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Cuffed

"Ma'am, I want you to place your hand high above your head. Lock your elbows and spread your fingers."

That was just the beginning of commands I was given leading up to being handcuffed.
Now, before you get all weirded out that I am some criminal... it was practice! Not practice for me to get arrested someday, rather, practice for our friend Mel to become completely proficient. He is attending the CHP academy and on weekends hangs out with us, and he needs practice. I test him on codes and then tried to hit him with a broom handle. He arrested me twice, and even practiced cuffing our 7 year old, just in case he has to work with someone so small. Since he isn't allowed a real baton until he passes special testing (it is a legal weapon after all) he practices with one from PVC pipe. He clipped me with the end, but the injury was worth it to help him out.

Things I learned:
Besides code numbers for things like bombs and "what time is it?" (can't tell you what they are, sorry) I also learned that even in my own living room, with a friend in shorts and a T-Shirt, it still makes me nervous to be spoken to in that manner. Not nervous like, "I did something wrong and I am in so much trouble", but more like "This is serious, pay attention, do what he says". It was interesting, the first time it made my stomach hurt. The second time wasn't nearly as bad,and now I am a pro at being arrested...well, at being practice arrested.
The positions and maneuvers that they use are efficient and frankly, affective.

I am very proud of him for going through the academy.We are thrilled to get to see him so often (he lived in southern California) And the awesome thing he is still a great guy, and an excellent drummer. It does my husband good to be around his fellow musician friend.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Got Gas ?

A dear friend, a dear single mom hard working no money to spare super nice friend, filled up her gas tank last week one night. Her Ford F-150 gas tank, so a big gas tank. Went to bed and in the morning got in to drive to work, and had an empty gas tank.

Her gas had been siphoned.

I asked her how much a locking gas tank cap would cost, "Around $50". So less than a tank of gas (how sad is that?!).

I suggest, that if yours doesn't lock, you get one that does.
Gas is only going to get more expensive, and people are going to get more desperate, or just plain underhanded and mean.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Spoon Full Of Water.

That's right, water.


About a year ago a good friend reached out to me wanting to sell her children to the gypsies. I told her flat out..."You need water".

My mother taught me a valuable lesson when my twins were little. Grumpy, stir crazy, bored or hot children need water. Make sure they are hydrated, dehydration can make anyone grumpy without knowing why. Then,let them have age appropriate fun with water.

"But we don't have a little pool in our tiny 'yard'"...

Be creative. This friend gathered plastic bowls, cups and straws and gave her then 2 and 4 year olds a big bowl of ice, they played happily for over an hour, AN HOUR PEOPLE! And sure, the patio was wet, but nothing to clean up! Kids were happy, mommy was happy, HAPPY! HAPPY! HAPPY!...ahhhhh. :)

Some ideas to try:**
Plastic pitchers
Small bucket(never the big 5 gallon ones, too dangerous for kids)
Big plastic cups
Measuring cups and spoons
Bowls
Strainers
Ping pong balls
Straws
Ice
A barely turned on hose (teach them to NOT drink from the hose)



When it was a bit too chilly to get wet we'd play the "Will it Float?" game. A big mixing bowl of water and water safe items to test, kids love it (And it's science too, shhhh).*
Try:
Leaf
Stick
Bouncy ball
Ping pong ball
Golf ball
Dryer lint
Pencil
Eraser
Rock
Sponge
Paper
Plastic spoon vs stainless steel spoon
Bath toys
Race car
Pretzel
Jelly bean, or any left over holiday candy getting stale and yucky.
A Ziplock snack baggy filled with air, then add something, like rice, how much rice before it sinks?


If you have a clear glass bowl letting them watch as few drops of food color drop in is fun too...and you can play "What color's next?"

A bath merely to play works too. No pressure to get clean, just water and toys, and maybe some bubbles if you desire. **


For more What Works For Me Wens. Ideas go to Rocks In My Dryer !


*Reminder, please teach children this game is only to be played in the "special bowl" so they don't use the toilet to test if something will float...oh, you laugh, but you know they will.

**Please!Make sure all young children are properly supervised at all times around water, safety first!

Ten On Tuesday, The Letter C

Ten Things I am thankful for, C edition:


1. Christ, His sacrifice and love to save me, and you.
2. Camping, I always feel at peace surrounded by trees.
3. Courage, in case there are bears and whatnot while camping...
4. Crayons!
5. Cell phones, it is a lifeline to family and friends
6. Christmas, without the miracle birth, there wouldn't be the miracle death.
7. Cartoon animators, good ones.
8. Cash, especially if it's unexpected, like in a coat pocket.
9. Carrots. Love them.
10.Cards. Because smiling is a good thing, and a note from a friend is always nice.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Eye's Opened Wider.

Recently I was taken to lunch by a friend because she needed help finding a "Mother of the Bride" outfit. As we waited for our food I was observing a table nearby with a mother and son. The son was an older teen and the mom was fully engrossed in reading her newspaper. The son sat completely bored, doing nothing, looking at odds and ends on the table with a view of the backside of the paper.

How sad.

I wanted to say something, but what? "Stop ignoring your kid"? They apparently were already finished and left a few minutes later. I may have missed a big conversation they had and that they needed a break, or perhaps, they just never speak to each other. This made me pray for better for them. However...on the way into the restaurant a waitress came out practically ripping her apron off to sit with a group of people that were smoking. She immediately lit up, to which I heard...from her MOTHER:
"I am so happy to see you smoking"
I was sure I heard wrong, until she added,
"And my same brand at that, I am proud".

WHAT!?
Are you kidding me? Proud that your own kid followed your own bad and expensive habits? And one that can kill you? And is brand loyalty really that important at a time like this?

I was completely disgusted and slightly shocked.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Customer Service?

I am currently on the phone with DirecTV. How can I possibly be blogging while on the phone you might ask...EASILY, I am once again, on hold. I have been shuffled through 5 different people, 3 of which had thick and matching accents, which makes me wonder how far around the world I was transferred those times.
I should back track a little. The call started with an automated system, the kind with the voice activated answers. They irritate me. They don't understand you, they give you options you don't want. I just need to speak to someone!! So , this whole call is because I am being charged for something not received, a complete billing error on their end, and it is now past due. So the voice prompting is asking me when I am going to pay this overdue incorrect bill, and how much I am going to pay. It does not accept "In your dreams!" or "Never!" as an answer. Eventually I typed in that I will pay a penny towards the balance, hopefully they don't hold me to that since I owe them nothing! I don't know if it was because I finally gave that answer or the system finally gave up on me and transferred me to a person, but I was relieved...briefly.

Why, why does it take 5 different people to hear my story, "check my account" , admit the error, and then transfer me to someone else to do the same exact thing? 30 minutes later Cicily got the job done. Thank you Cicily, I don't know if you read blogs, but I am here to say thank you for your competency, and authority to help me.

I have never had this much trouble with this company before. AT&T is a nightmare, DISH Network, horrible, and long ago we had trouble with Cingular...but DirecTV was always good, and quick, and we preferred their services over other options...but now, I am not impressed. I am hoping for better future communication with them, so they can redeem themselves.

Friday, June 6, 2008

As Seen On An L.A. Freeway

After a quick stop to drop something off at Aaron's mom's house in Buena Park we headed back to the freeway to get to San Diego. The on ramp was a long curved overpass bridge, 2 lanes. A truck came speeding past us, followed closely by a small import car. The small car raced into our lane to try and pass the truck, who immediately moved over to block the car. The car switched back into the other lane, to which the truck moved over blocking both lanes. We were well aware of of the immediate danger and slowed to a crawl to get some space between us and the warring vehicles. The truck practically stopped in front of the car as it weaved back and forth between lanes making sure to block the car. This went on as they entered the freeway. Yes, THE 5, in L.A...the truck had absolutely no recognition of any other vehicle, only to block and completely piss off the occupants of the car. He came to a sudden stop at the end of the ramp, which was now one lane, middle fingers flew into the air from the car as they pulled out into traffic, traffic going 70+. The truck was able to keep ahead of the car. They careened through 3 lanes of traffic back and forth until they were off to the right shoulder again near another on ramp. The truck dead stopped. It looked like the car actually rear ended the truck, but after finally passing them I think it was just the jolt of good brakes. By now items were being thrown from the two vehicles at each other, water bottles and things. We moved along fearing weapons and ultimately, a crash.

I don't know what started it, I don't care. The two drivers and their passengers put an incredible amount of people in harms way. Their reckless testosterone could (or maybe did) kill someone. Vehicles are not simply transportation, they are weapons, and that's what we witnessed.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Life Is Good

The drive was good, it only hit 88 degrees, so not too bad. I am having an amazing time with my daughters, my family, and dear friends. I got to hold, love on, kiss and smell the sweetness that is Baby Ella. I spent quite a lot of time with her asleep on me, that was refreshingly wonderful.
Life is good.